Wednesday, June 30 / Arts & Weekend: "Would you take advice on how to vote from the Beastie Boys? The veteran rappers hope so: their new album To the Five Boroughs is full of grammatically challenged but politically unambiguous statements like 'George W's got nothing on me, we got to take the power from he'.

The bad news for Bush is that this album is the new number one in the US charts, having been purchased by 360,000 Americans last week - many of them potential voters"
Number one music - Antibush, Number one movie - Antibush
Too many folks are onto the scam - Dixiechickin' is on the lamb.
The Founding Fathers Meet George Bush - Maureen Farrell at "Charles S. Beard noted that, 'You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.' "
Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.: "Washington Post: Despite the end of the occupation

Knight Ridder: Iraqis see hope in end of U.S.-led occupation

Los Angeles Times: end of a deeply divisive American-led occupation

San Francisco Chronicle: the U.S.-led military occupation had formally ended

Miami Herald: ended its occupation of Iraq

Associated Press: the end of the American occupation

Arizona Republic:: the 160,000 foreign troops in Iraq were transformed from occupiers into guests of a U.S.-backed government. "
Anybody but me think this is just another 'Mission Accomplished' moment?
The Washington Monthly: "What to say? The argument over the film mostly seems to revolve around whether it's factually accurate and presents a logical case, a conversation so pointless as to be laughable. I mean, it's a polemical film from Michael Moore, not a Brookings Institution white paper. It's like complaining that editorial cartoons are unfair because they don't portray the nuance of serious policy discussions."
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "Cheney just got booed at the Yankees game

(I was thinking of retitling this: 'Yankee fans tell Cheney 'go fuck yourself.'')

I just got a live phone-in from the Yankees vs. Boston game in NYC taking place right now. Dick Cheney just got booed by the crowd!

Even as my friend Michael called me from his seats at the game, God Bless America was still playing in the background. During the 7th inning stretch at Yankees Stadium, they play God Bless America and show on the big screen pictures of anyone famous who's in the audience that night. Dick Cheney is apparently in the audience, and as soon as his face went up, the entire crowd started booing! As my friend Michael tells it, this is the blue-collar Bronx we're talking about, and Cheney is still getting booed - not a good sign for the Bush-Cheney ticket. As soon as the camera guys realized Cheney was getting booed, they quickly switched the picture on the screen to someone else.

Michael's read of the situation, as a die-hard Yankees fan: The election is over."
One has to wonder how much national exposure this will receive. Story has apparantly
been confirmed by ESPN.
Eschaton: "WASHINGTON -- The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.

Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.

Soaries was appointed to the federal Election Assistance Commission last year by President Bush. Soaries said he wrote to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in April to raise the concerns"
Here's what I've been waiting for. They know they can't win again.

Tuesday, June 29

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Who Lost Iraq?: "Plans for privatization were eventually put on hold. But as he prepared to leave Iraq, Mr. Bremer listed reduced tax rates, reduced tariffs and the liberalization of foreign-investment laws as among his major accomplishments. Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics.
If the occupiers often seemed oblivious to reality, one reason was that many jobs at the C.P.A. went to people whose qualifications seemed to lie mainly in their personal and political connections people like Simone Ledeen, whose father, Michael Ledeen, a prominent neoconservative, told a forum that 'the level of casualties is secondary' because 'we are a warlike people' and 'we love war.'"
Hullabaloo: "How interesting for SCLM fans that the alleged inaccuracies in Moore's movie (which I've not yet seen) appear to be considerably more upsetting to the mainstream than say, those in the president's State of the Union messages, press conferences and requests to Congress for the power to go to war with Iraq."
Very interesting indeed.
The Rude Pundit: "Better then to avert one's gaze from Big Tony and over to Uncle Tom. Once again, proving that no Negro is as loyal as a house Negro (see Condi, Colin, etc.), Clarence Thomas, in the lone vote against the majority opinion, does what so many slaves have done for time immemorial: he embraces the way of his master. His dissent is a frightening look at the abiding deference to power that is the hallmark of the servant beaten down to believe that he has no opinions of his own or, to put it simply, he is not worthy: 'The plurality utterly fails to account for the Government's compelling interests and for our own institutional inability to weigh competing concerns correctly.' As for the reasons behind the executive's decision to name Hamdi an 'enemy combatant,' Thomas opines, 'We lack the capacity and responsibility to second-guess this determination.' Massa's always right, as Thomas bows and scrapes, 'Undeniably, Hamdi has been deprived of a serious interest, one actually protected by the Due Process Clause. Against this, however, is the Government's overriding interest in protecting the Nation"
How far out of the 'norm' do you have to be to think the President ought to have unlimited powers with no oversight? As far as Uncle Tom I guess.

Monday, June 28

House blocks refunds in Enron case: "WASHINGTON -- The House, after a blistering face-off in which Democrats accused the White House of coddling Enron Corp., yesterday refused to order refunds for millions of Western consumers who were victimized by an artificial energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.
Republicans refused to allow the measure to come to a vote, insisting that Democrats were only attempting to embarrass President Bush and Republicans for their once-close ties to Enron. Moreover, they said that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is working hard to build a case against Enron and that Democrats should allow the agency to complete its mission."
Republicans looking out for your best interests? Perhaps they're unaware of the Enron Trader Tapes? To Wit:

Officials with the Snohomish Public Utility District near Seattle received the tapes from the Justice Department.

"This is the evidence we've all been waiting for. This proves they manipulated the market," said Eric Christensen, a spokesman for the utility.

That utility, like many others, is trying to get its money back from Enron.

"They're f------g taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"

"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"

"Yeah, now she wants her f------g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a------ for f------g $250 a megawatt hour."

And the tapes appear to link top Enron officials Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to schemes that fueled the crisis.

"Government Affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling," says one trader.


"Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?

Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win.

"It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy," says one Enron worker.

That didn't happen, but they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices.
Eschaton: "Verbatim from Chris Myers (Fox Sports announcer) on today's race at Pomona pre-race program..

'You think you know Dale Earnhardt Jr.? He advised his crew to go see the Michael Moore movie Farenheit 911. He said hey, it'll be a good bonding experience no matter what your political belief. It's a good thing as an American to go see... and it just shows you that Dale Earnhardt Jr. can reach far beyond the steering wheel.'"
Nascar Fans Take Note
Hullabaloo: "Medicare is planning a lottery later this year for people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and several other diseases. For the 50,000 winners, the government will start helping pay for their medicine, but more than 450,000 others must wait until 2006.

However, the law limits the new program to 50,000 people and $500 million, at least $200 million of which must be spent on cancer drugs. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Medicare recipients without prescription drug coverage are eligible.

'There'll be a lottery to be chosen as one of 50,000 lucky individuals,' Thompson said.

Medicare will accept applications for the lottery from July 6 to Sept. 30, and will randomly select 25,000 cancer patients and 25,000 people with the other illnesses."
Finally, A NATIONAL LOTTERY!! Bill Bennett would be proud. - You Decide 2004 - Bush Campaign Ad Contains Hitler Footage: "Bush Campaign Ad Contains Hitler Footage
Saturday, June 26, 2004

WASHINGTON Adolf Hitler's (search) image has surfaced again in the White House race. President Bush's campaign contains online video, removed from a liberal group's Web site months ago and disavowed, that features the Nazi dictator. "
Real bad move on the Thug's part. As if we need to be reminded what kind of Nazi thugs THEY ARE? This will backfire Karl.
Hullabaloo: "Apparently, the NY Times just got its reporters brand new calculators/vanity mirrors because they seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time doing price checks on the Kerry campaign expenditures, barely able to contain their disgust at such conspicuous consumption:

John Kerry may be only a candidate for president, but he and his entourage travel like kings. A month ago, his campaign began chartering a gleaming 757, packed with first-class seats, fine food, sleeping accommodations - even a stand-up bar. They hardly shy away from fancy hotels, like the Four Seasons in Palm Beach and the St. Regis in Los Angeles.

Strangely, they weren't so appalled back in 2000 when the Bush campaign feted them in high style on the Enron jet. In fact, as Bob Sommerby incomparably pointed out, Margaret Carlson wrote in her book that it was the gorging on imported chocolates and expensive entres (as compared to the cold box lunches provided by that lying Philistine Al Gore) that created the positive brown nosing that passed for coverage of candidate Bush:

"There were Dove bars and designer water on demand, she recalls, and a bathroom stocked like Martha Stewart's guest suite. Dinner at seven featured lobster ravioli."
Don't expect the 'left wing' media to save us from the fascists. When the top rated movie in the nation makes it to ONE Mississippi afraid.

Friday, June 25 Politics: "Iacocca ditches Bush for Kerry

Lee Iacocca, the executive and pitchman credited with saving Chrysler, has a new project: saving America from another Bush presidency. The retired businessman endorsed Senator Kerry today at a campaign event in San Jose, California. "
Lee is getting in early on the exodus so he won't be trampled by the upcoming stampede. Congrats.

Thursday, June 24

Moore?s Magic: 9/11 Electrifies: "Now that the merde has hit the oscillator, so to speak, Mr. Moore charges that the Bush administration is still trying to hide evidence of its own stupidity by censoring 28 pages of the independent report by the 9/11 commission. If you don?t gasp at the sight of Mr. Bush dining with the Saudi ambassador with part of the Pentagon in flames in the background, this movie is not for you. No need to talk about the President welcoming the Taliban to the State Department, knowing they were harboring the man who bombed the U.S.S. Cole. No need to go into the plans to build an underground pipeline through Afghanistan pumping money into a company owned by Vice President Dick Cheney. Alarmingly, it?s all gone unreported by an irresponsible press corps. With $860 billion currently invested by the Saudis in American business, no wonder our tax money pays for a six-man detail to protect the Saudi ambassador in Washington. But why does it take Michael Moore to tell us? This is all very dispiriting. But unless you?ve lost your sense of humor completely, you?ve just gotta laugh when Mr. Moore intercuts Mr. Bush?s tough talk from cowboy movies with actual footage of the corny cowboys in those movies saying exactly the same things."
Bush Dines with Saudi ambassador while the Pentagon burns in the background? Now there's a scene worth the price of admission alone! - Information Authority for the Newspaper Industry: "NEW YORK The Associated Press has sued the Pentagon and Air Force, seeking access to all records of President George W. Bush's military service, but the news agency wonders why it has come to this.

'It seems a little curious because the president made a pretty forceful presentation that he had nothing to hide,' said AP General Counsel Dave Tomlin, when asked for his reaction to what the AP considers government stonewalling. 'But we are not surprised.'"
None of us should be surprised. I watched Bush on television one Sunday morning promise he would release all his records. I knew he was lying at the time because his lips were moving.
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "Our soldiers are bogged down in two different foreign countries. We're at war fighting terrorism and crippled internationally by the shame of our human rights abuses in Iraq. The White House just admitted they screwed up and, no, we're NOT winning the war on terror -- terrorist acts continue to rise. And in the midst of all this, some partisan Republicans want to waste our time by putting up for vote a Constitutional amendment that poll after poll shows most Americans don't support? Bring it on."
NRSC: "Cheney stumps for Ryan in quick visit
Excerpted from the Chicago Sun-Times; June 5, 2004
Vice President Dick Cheney flew into Chicago on Friday just to attend a dinner honoring Republican Senate nominee Jack Ryan...
...The No. 2 man in the Bush administration helped fatten Ryan's campaign coffers by nearly $500,000 at the fund-raiser at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. "
Birds of a feather.
Kerry finds gold, slams Bush in Bay Area visit / Exasperated senator calls GOP 'so petty': "If Kerry interrupts his campaigning for the vote, he is hoping the trip back to Washington is more productive than a similar one Tuesday. After calling off a campaign swing to New Mexico to vote on a veterans' health measure, he found himself cooling his heels in the Capitol for hours before the GOP leadership finally canceled the scheduled vote.
An exasperated Kerry called it a typical example of the partisanship that drives President Bush and the congressional leadership.
'These people are so petty, so sad, so political that all they could do was spend the whole day finding a way to not let John Kerry vote,'' he said during a speech to the Service Employees International Union convention at the Moscone Convention Center on Wednesday. "
Excellent example of the kind of divisive politics the Thugs are known for.

Wednesday, June 23

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "In September 2003--against the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention that require occupying powers to respect existing laws--Bremer got the Iraqi Governing Council to issue an order privatizing state companies and abrogating Iraqi laws that prohibited private ownership of 'national' resources and the 'basic means of production.' "
So we are breaking the Geneva convention concerning torture AND the stealing (codeword: PRIVATIZING) of Iraqi resources! Sweet.
Wonkette: "Family Ties: The Jack Ryan Story
As you know, GOP sachems are hewing to the official line on swingin' Jack Ryan: They still back him, and they say the race should be decided on 'issues,' not sexual peccadilloes. That argument seems so familiar. . . can't quite place it. In any case: Issues. Fine. Several Wonkette readers wrote in to suggest what issues Ryan might want avoid, like, say, 'the defense of marriage.' "
Because Dubya Said So! / Why prolong this insidious war? Gouge the economy? Rape the environment? Only one retort left: "It is the new Bush doctrine. Screw proof. Screw validation. Screw the U.N. and screw Europe and screw your damn 9/11 commission and screw every hunk of lingering logic and humanitarian reasoning on the planet and screw, finally, the notion that we need to justify our actions to anyone, least of all the dumba-- American public, you who've swallowed every lie so far like Jenna swallows her 10th Coors Light.
Because I said so. It is the final comeback line. It is the only line that still holds, given how we have been awash in so many outright lies and fabrications and bogus Orange Alerts and flagrant misprisions it would make Richard Nixon cheer. It is the last twitch of Dick Cheney's political sneer, the darkening blackness in Rummy's eyes, the last spasm of Condi Rice's comatose credibility, the only pathetic shield BushCo has left. "
Heard on the horizon: calls to get all U.S. troops out of Iraq / Anti-war voices joined by some in the establishment: "'A U.S. withdrawal would be preferable to what we have now,'' University of San Francisco politics Professor Stephen Zunes said Tuesday in Washington, D.C. 'The idea that more U.S. troops will improve the situation is wrong. The truth is the opposite.'' "

Tuesday, June 22

Iraq-al Qaeda 'link' probably unfounded / White House official suspects name mix-up: "Washington -- An allegation that a high-ranking al Qaeda member was an officer in Saddam Hussein's private militia may have resulted from confusion over Iraqi names, a senior administration official said Monday. "
Rethuglican diversionary tactic exposed again. Shameless aren't they.
Hullabaloo: "I could say the following without blushing: He is running against a man who was not fit for duty in 1968 and is not fit for duty today, a man who lacked the qualifications for the office when he was elected and has demonstrated it. We have been through a skein of national disasters, for which he accepts no blame, because he literally doesn't understand enough about the job to realize how a better President would have responded. John Kerry has been in public life for 35 years. He was a prosecutor when GWB was running an oil company into the ground. And he was already a seasoned United States Senator when GWB decided it was time to give up abusing substances. JK has a sharper grasp of foreign policy, and more experience with it, than any candidate for President in the last 50 years, with the possible exception of GHWB (see today's NYT). His dedication to the cause of our military and veterans is long established. And his commitment to economic and social justice for all Americans cannot be doubted. A man can't be the committed liberal Bush sometimes maintains Kerry is, and also the unprincipled waffler. Life and public service are complicated, as GWB doesn't understand. JK does. He has a sense of nuance, and the experience and values to improve the life of the country."
Yahoo! News - Illinois Republican to Stay in Senate Race: "CHICAGO - Republican Jack Ryan vowed to stay in the race for U.S. Senate despite embarrassing allegations that he tried to pressure his former wife to perform sex acts in clubs while others watched.

In New York, Ryan's former wife described a club "with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling." She said she refused when Ryan asked her to perform a sexual act while others watched."
More Republican family values.

Friday, June 18

Church & State, A lunatic Christian cult has the run of the White House and the ear of the president. What do they want? The end of the world. Be afraid., by Neal Pollack (06/10/04): "Even Ronald Reagan, that holy-rollerist of presidents, didn't give apocalyptic Christians weekly telephone briefings on White House policy. It's almost impossible for Kofi Annan to get a meeting with the president, but Robert G. Upton, of the United Pentecostal Church, can say, as he did a couple of weeks ago in that house organ of fundamentalism, the Village Voice, 'We're in constant contact with the White House.' "
Imagine what the makeup of our foreign policy would look like had Bush been a Scientologist? Folks, it's the CRAZY TONGUE SPEAKING PENTACOSTALS who are pulling this president's strings!
Pity the other denominations if they don't stand up to this obvious breach of church/state separation. Pity us all.

Thursday, June 17

WorkingForChange-How comforting: "The New York Times reported, 'In his recent trip to Rome, President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues.' As Josh Marshall brightly observed: 'I guess on one level we can say we've come a long way since 1960, when John F. Kennedy had to foreswear that he'd follow the instructions of the Pope in his decisions of governance. Today we have a Protestant born-again who tries to enlist the Pope to intervene in an American election.' "
MSNBC - Saudi prince: Zionism to blame for terror attack: "Other senior Saudi officials reaffirmed the claim that supporters of Israel ? Zionists ? were behind the terror attacks.
Prince Nayef, the Saudi Interior Minister said, ?Al-Qaida is backed by Israel and Zionism.?
Some call this dangerous Saudi doubletalk. ?The crown prince?s statements are inflammatory and irresponsible,? said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. ?On the one hand they say reassuring words to American leaders, but on the other hand they spout inflammatory anti-Semitic rhetoric for their domestic population.?"
It's OFFICIAL. The Saudi's are just as delusional as Bush! What next? Attack Israel? These folks need to get a clue. Anybody But Bush 2004
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "This boycott - the attempt to pressure movie theaters into not showing the movie -- is typical of the radical right and contrary to what a true believer in a free market economy (whether it be of jobs or ideas) should do. Remember, NO ONE on the left tried to 'ban' The Passion of the Christ or try and pressure movie theaters not to carry it. They simply expressed concern about the script and then the final film and argued with Gibson and its backers in the public arena. Everyone on the left repeatedly said he had the right to make the film and have it seen. (Obviously.)

Contrast that with those on the right who attack religious-themed movies they DON'T approve of and organize boycotts, protestors and so on. (Think of The Last Temptation of Christ, Jean Luc Godard's Hail Mary, Canada's Jesus of Montreal etc.) Quite un-American."
Torture Policy ( "President Bush and his spokesmen shamefully cling to the myth that the guards were rogues acting on their own. Yet over the past month we have learned that much of what the guards did -- from threatening prisoners with dogs, to stripping them naked, to forcing them to wear women's underwear -- had been practiced at U.S. military prisons elsewhere in the world. Moreover, most of these techniques were sanctioned by senior U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the Iraqi theater command under Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. Many were imported to Iraq by another senior officer, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller. "
The New York Times > Opinion > The Plain Truth: "Mr. Bush is right when he says he cannot be blamed for everything that happened on or before Sept. 11, 2001. But he is responsible for the administration's actions since then. That includes, inexcusably, selling the false Iraq-Qaeda claim to Americans. There are two unpleasant alternatives: either Mr. Bush knew he was not telling the truth, or he has a capacity for politically motivated self-deception that is terrifying in the post-9/11 world."

Wednesday, June 16

Yahoo! News - Ex-Soldier Recalls Beating He Received in Guantanamo Drill: "Baker says he volunteered to put on an orange prison jumpsuit and portray an uncooperative detainee in a training drill. But the five-man MP 'immediate response force' sent in to extract him was not told of the exercise. According to Baker's lawyer, the soldiers were told that Baker was an unruly detainee who had been doused with pepper spray after assaulting a sergeant.
Four MPs slammed Baker to the floor, he says, then choked him and pounded his head at least three times against the floor. Gasping for breath, he managed to spit out a code word ? 'red' ? and to croak: 'I'm a U.S. soldier! I'm a U.S. soldier!'
But the beating continued, according to Baker, until the jumpsuit was yanked down in the struggle, revealing his military uniform. Only then did the MPs realize that they had been beating an American soldier ? causing a traumatic brain injury, Baker alleges.
'What happened to me is something that should never have happened to any American soldier,' Baker wrote in an e-mail response to questions from the Los Angeles Times. 'I pray it will never happen again.'
Honorably discharged with a medical retirement in April, Baker spends dreary days inside a nondescript duplex in central Kentucky, unable to work because of what he says are seizures caused by the beating. He is taking nine prescription medications for seizures and headaches, his lawyer said. He has yet to receive disability payments promised by the military.
'The way the military treated Sean is unconscionable ? and the way they continue to treat him is even worse,' said attorney Bruce Simpson."
The Rude Pundit: "Look, this isn't just about 'Bush-isms' or mangled syntax or 'Bush doesn't do well off-the-cuff' or those kinds of cutesy shit. It's about a leader who cannot articulate his own policies. It's about a leader so insecure in his own power that he lashes out at the press to present some kind of image of control. The reality, the stark, clear reality we are all presented with is this: he has no control. He is out of control. And like so many mad leaders before him, he is leading us down the path of his madness."

Tuesday, June 15

Rocky Mountain News: America At War: "Since Fort Carson units began coming home in April, post recruiters have met only 57 percent of their quota for re-enlisting first-term soldiers for a second hitch, according to an Army report.
More disturbing, recruiters say, is they're re-enlisting only 46 percent of the quota for 'mid-career' noncommissioned officers. These are the young sergeants with four to 10 years of experience who are the backbone of the Army - its skilled soldiers, mentors and future senior NCOs. "

Friday, June 11

The Washington Monthly: "That combination is deadly. And as Mark Kleiman says, if there's also video of 'horrible things done to children' at Abu Ghraib, that would be the final straw. George Bush set the tone, and he's responsible for what happened.
Or, since he's fond of Bible verses, let's put it this way: 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' Galatians 6:7."
I have seen several reports relative to the issue of abuse of children. When the truth comes out will Rush continue to push the 'college prank' angle? Just wondering?
Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?: "The strongest criticism that the administration levels at Sen. John Kerry is that he changes his mind. In fact, instead of a president who claims an infallibility that exceeds that of the pope, America would be much better off with a president who, like John F. Kennedy, is honest enough to admit mistakes and secure enough to change his mind."

Wednesday, June 9

Insane Planet - Is President Bush Losing Sanity?: "Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

'It reminds me of the Nixon days,' says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. 'Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over there.'

In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be 'God's will' and then tells aides to 'fuck over' anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration. "
The Rude Pundit: "Maybe President Bush and others in his administration thought that the U.S. could enact a kinder, gentler version of torture. Maybe they believed in such degrees. Maybe they believed they were superior to other torturous regimes throughout history. Perhaps. But that's more theory, is it not? And shouldn't we judge the actions of people, not their thoughts or intentions?"
Ashcroft defiant on abuse memo / Democrats accuse Bush of redefining law on interrogations: "Washington -- Attorney General John Ashcroft told Congress Tuesday that he would not release a 2002 policy memo on the degree of pain and suffering legally permitted during enemy interrogations but said he knows of no presidential order that would allow al Qaeda captives to be tortured by U.S. personnel.
Angry Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee called on Ashcroft to provide the document, saying portions that have appeared in news reports suggest the Bush administration is reinterpreting U.S. law and the Geneva conventions prohibiting torture."
Yahoo! News - New Iraqi PM Not Ashamed of CIA Links: "The New York Times reported Wednesday that Allawi's group, the Iraqi National Accord, sent agents into Baghdad in the early 1990s to plant bombs and sabotage government facilities.
It cited former intelligence officials as saying they used car bombs and other explosive devices smuggled into Baghdad from northern Iraq. The bombings, whose effectiveness is disputed, never threatened Saddam's rule, they said. "
Iraq's new handpicked president used to do car bombings on our behalf!! It's getting difficult to sort the 'good' terrorists from the 'bad' terrorists!
Legalizing Torture ( "There is no justification, legal or moral, for the judgments made by Mr. Bush's political appointees at the Justice and Defense departments. Theirs is the logic of criminal regimes, of dictatorships around the world that sanction torture on grounds of 'national security.' For decades the U.S. government has waged diplomatic campaigns against such outlaw governments -- from the military juntas in Argentina and Chile to the current autocracies in Islamic countries such as Algeria and Uzbekistan -- that claim torture is justified when used to combat terrorism. The news that serving U.S. officials have officially endorsed principles once advanced by Augusto Pinochet brings shame on American democracy -- even if it is true, as the administration maintains, that its theories have not been put into practice. Even on paper, the administration's reasoning will provide a ready excuse for dictators, especially those allied with the Bush administration, to go on torturing and killing detainees."
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "Reagan was a controversial president to say the least. Many people with AIDS, and their friends and families, are convinced that Reagan is at least partly responsible for the millions of deaths of people with AIDS who were ignored during Reagan's 8 years in office. And that's just for starters. This is not the kind of president you honor on your national currency, not until there's a national consensus about his place in history, and that consensus has hardly been reached.

It's time for fair-minded Americans to draw a line in the sand. Demand that Republicans stop using Reagan's death for their own partisan political gain. When Democrats held an uplifting funeral for Paul Wellstone, Republicans twisted its message and lied to the American people about it being a 'election' rally. Now that the Republicans are ACTUALLY USING A man's death to benefit their party, turnabout is more than fair play."
Whiskey Bar: Praise the Lord and Pass the Thumbscrews: "Praise the Lord and Pass the Thumbscrews
It's been pointed out to me (tip of the hat to Bernhard H.) that the team of lawyers who wrote the Pentagon's treatise on presidential torture powers was led by this woman:
U.S. Air Force's General Counsel, Mary L. Walker, discusses what it takes to leave a legacy of significance
Ms. Walker, it turns out, is a long-time Republican political appointee first brought to Washington during the Reagan administration to help oversee the looting of America's natural resources, um, that is, I mean, to serve as principal deputy in the environmental division at Ed Meese's Justice Department."
Turns out this torture report is headed by yet ANOTHER CHRISTIAN LUNATIC bent on a return to the era of the Spanish Inquisition! Where are my many MAINSTREAM Christian friends? Can we truly hold the mainstream Muslims liable for the actions of their LUNATIC FRINGE if we can't even keep OURS in check?
Infoshop News - Pentagon Report Set Framework For Use of Torture: "Bush administration lawyers contended last year that the president wasn't bound by laws prohibiting torture and that government agents who might torture prisoners at his direction couldn't be prosecuted by the Justice Department.
The advice was part of a classified report on interrogation methods prepared for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after commanders at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complained in late 2002 that with conventional methods they weren't getting enough information from prisoners."

Tuesday, June 8

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a 'presidential directive or other writing' that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is 'inherent in the president.'
So the right to set aside law is 'inherent in the president'. That claim alone should stop everyone in their tracks and prompt a serious consideration of the safety of the American republic under this president."
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: The Great Taxer: "The contrast with President Bush is obvious. President Reagan, confronted with evidence that his tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, changed course. President Bush, confronted with similar evidence, has pushed for even more tax cuts."
Yahoo! News - Justice Department advised White House torture "may be justified": "'It is by leaps and bounds the worst thing I've seen since this whole Abu Ghraib scandal broke,' said Tom Malinowski, referring to the prison outside Baghdad where US military guards abused Iraqi prisoners.
'It appears that what they were contemplating was the commission of war crimes and looking for ways to avoid legal accountability. The effect is to throw out years of military doctrine and standards on interrogations,' he added. "

Monday, June 7

Scott Rosenberg's Links & Comment: "It does seem as though one of George Bush's chief legacies may be the complete implosion of the C.I.A. -- at a time when the nation desperately needs its services. (Bush's father served as director of the C.I.A. for many years. Is there some sort of Oedipal lunacy at work?)
So now Bush will be running on a platform of -- competence? Effectiveness in the war on terror? Isn't a war on terror first and foremost a war dependent on good intelligence? At what point can we declare this charade of Republican knowhow at an end?"
More violent patients are going to Laguna Honda: "Budget cuts and overcrowding at San Francisco General Hospital are forcing Laguna Honda -- the city's lone public nursing home -- to start taking in younger and possibly even violent patients.

The issue was highlighted a few days back when a 25-year-old man suspected of being a gang member, using a wheelchair and living at Laguna Honda, rolled into the TV room and changed the channel on a Giants game that a 50-year-old disabled patient was watching.

Words were exchanged, and according to a sheriff's report, the ganger suspect threatened to call his buddies and have the older patient beaten up.

Some 15 minutes later, two rather large buddies did allegedly show up.
Maybe if we cut taxes back just a little bit more we can have the day care facilities involved here too! Old person's home, gang banger rehab and day care. To Bush and his cronies, it would just be another TRIFECTA!
t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | Planet Reagan: " Mainstream media journalism today is a shameful joke because of Reagan's deregulation policies. Once upon a time, the Fairness Doctrine ensured that the information we receive - information vital to the ability of the people to govern in the manner intended - came from a wide variety of sources and perspectives. Reagan's policies annihilated the Fairness Doctrine, opening the door for a few mega-corporations to gather journalism unto themselves. Today, Reagan's old bosses at General Electric own three of the most-watched news channels. This company profits from every war we fight, but somehow is trusted to tell the truths of war. Thus, the myths are sold to us.
The deregulation policies of Ronald Reagan did not just deliver journalism to these massive corporations, but handed virtually every facet of our lives into the hands of this privileged few. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all tainted because Reagan battered down every environmental regulation he came across so corporations could improve their bottom line. Our leaders are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the corporations that were made all-powerful by Reagan's deregulation craze. The Savings and Loan scandal of Reagan's time, which cost the American people hundreds of billions of dollars, is but one example of Reagan's decision that the foxes would be fine guards in the henhouse. "
Capitol Hill Blue: Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides: "?The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,? says one aide. ?They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.?
But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them ?fucking assholes? in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him ?unpatriotic? or ?anti-American.?
?The mood here is that we?re under siege, there?s no doubt about it,? says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. ?In this administration, you don?t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.?"
Democratic Talk Radio: Democratic Voices Column: Impeaching Unstable Presidents?: "We are not talking the partisan frame-up of the Clinton impeachment era. We are talking about serious crimes and possible violations of the US Constitution that threaten the way the nation conducts our national business. These writers have been hearing behind the scenes rumbling about ticking time bombs that could bring down Bush before or (like Nixon) just after the Presidential elections.

The spending of 700 million dollars of federal tax dollars on an Iraqi invasion before Congress authorized it and supposedly before the decision was made by Bush is impeachable. There are credible reports that Bush knew about the plans to out the CIA agent wife of Ambassador Wilson and that Bush did nothing to stop it. This is certainly impeachable if true and likely criminal. Jail time for Bush would certainly not be unreasonable. We are at WAR!

Enron?s involvement in the California Energy Crisis has just been confirmed. Enron?s ties to Bush are beyond doubt. The actions of the Bush Administration during this crisis should be investigated by a Special Prosecutor. Billions of dollars were stolen from taxpayers, consumers and businesses in California. Enron is the single largest supplier of campaign cash for the Bush Republican Political Machine ever! "

Wednesday, June 2 Politics: "Boy, talk about burying the lead. In its Monday profile of the new liberal talk radio network Air America, the New York Times spent so much time dwelling on the financial woes that have reportedly plagued the start-up company that it wasn't until the 15th paragraph that readers learned this bombshell: Talk radio novice Al Franken's new Air America show beat conservative kingpin Rush Limbaugh in New York City where the two go head-to-head every weekday afternoon from noon to three o'clock. That's according to preliminary Arbitron rating estimates for April. " Politics: "A Democratic critic of the Accenture contract, Rep. Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, focused on the company's Bermuda location: 'The Bush administration has awarded the largest homeland security contract in history to a company that has given up its U.S. citizenship and moved to Bermuda. The inconsistency is breathtaking,' he said. "
Breathtaking and insanely predictable.

Tuesday, June 1

Making Hay Out of Straw Men ( "The Quotable Bush

'I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein.'
-- President Bush, meeting Iraqi amputees at the White House on May 25. "