Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Letter from Dear Cary @ salon.com
a great piece of advice
<$from salon.com (subscription or ad viewing required)
I have many right-wing relatives and friends. And I belong to a colonial reenacting group where we regularly dress up and handle guns, march in parades and reenact history.
Here's the problem: the opinions of right-wing assholes (RWAs). Now, when socializing with family or in our little club, the rule to observe is "Don't talk about sex, religion or politics." RWAs would be the first to assert these family values, but of course can't help getting in little digs. Or big digs. No matter what activity you pursue, RWAs must express their opinions. "That's one for Hillary." "'They' don't like us handling guns." "There's this one guy at work who's a Muslim, but he won't be around long if I can help it." And "the liberals did this, did that, did this other thing." Gay marriage, women's rights, gun control, our eternal wars -- you name it, a right-wing asshole can sneak it into any conversation and slam it.
And, oh man, can they talk! Many RWAs are blue-collar and listen to Hate Radio for eight hours a day, and can (and will) gladly blather for eight hours at the drop of a hat. None of their opinions are their own, of course. They're just parroting the talk-show hosts. And because they're "talking sense" they assume everyone listening agrees with them.
Which leads to my problem. Politically, I'm a radical. I never agree with talk-show dittoheads. But I'm also one of these rare individuals who actually listens when people talk to me. (Even talk at me, which is more common.) And as these RWAs go on (and on and on) I occasionally grunt "Uh-huh" to show I'm still listening.
But muttering "Uh-huh" during these verbal barrages seems like a betrayal of my beliefs. It's simply the wrong response. Because in English, "Uh-huh" has two meanings. One is "I'm still listening." The other is "I agree."
How can I talk to people I disagree with politically?
I do not agree with these bigoted, hateful, reactionary, simplistic, unthinking morons, but I can't think of any other response to make. The Japanese have a word, "hai," which only indicates, "I'm listening." Further, I do not want to spark an argument with fools because it's a waste of time. I believe in the old adage, "If you're going to engage in a battle of wits, first make sure your opponent is armed."
What word can we Westerners adopt that indicates, "I'm listening, but may or may not agree"?
Unfortunately, we don't have a single word that says "I'm listening but I may or may not agree." But we do have several ways of saying "Kindly take your head out of your ass," and it seems to me we ought to start saying it.
America is in political crisis. This is no time to sit quietly by. You simply have to register your dissent. We are living in one of those historic moments where you either respond authentically or you lose your soul. If your friends and relatives do not realize the depth of our peril, you owe it to them to try to make them aware of it.
So how do you register your disagreement in a way that is principled, respectful and historically conscious? Maybe you start by saying something simple and straightforward such as "I respectfully disagree."
What happens next? Maybe somebody says, "You respectfully disagree with what?"
Then maybe you say, "I respectfully disagree with what was just said."
"And what was that?" someone might ask, having noticed an interesting change in the noise level.
Try to avoid repeating what you disagree with. Instead, ask the person who said it to please repeat it, so you can make sure you heard it correctly. If he repeats it, just the repetition may make it obvious how stupid it was. But it might be a sentiment the whole room agrees with except you.
Very quickly, before things go any further, you need to lighten up a little; make it clear that you don't want to ruin the convivial atmosphere but you genuinely believe that America is facing a political crisis, that urgent matters of history are at stake, and that it is our duty as citizens to debate the issues and be well informed.
Don't try to win them over. Just stand your ground and say you're a liberal and you don't agree and that's how you see it. If you're challenged to rebut what was said, offer instead to do some research and present your case to the group at a later date, saying that even if you don't persuade anyone, that way you'll all end up a little better informed.
Then go home and study. Go over every detail. Learn the history of the subject. Listen to all the pundits you can stand and get to know what their arguments are. Find the factual holes in their arguments. Then, next time you meet, present your case, and ask for campaign contributions.
Cheney booed at Yankees game
Dick Cheney was booed at a Yankees game. This could spell bad news for the Bush team in more ways than one. Bush / Cheney were planning on exploiting the 9/11 tragedy to get New Yorkers and other votes. Bush / Cheney also had planned on carrying the sports fans this election by being average people, not "Mass. liberals from boarding schools" well it looks as if the spertsfans are finally coming around. Who knows JK may carry the Nascar dads or Reagan Democrats this year.
Thanks to Atrios for the link
<$We can only hope ( to Atrios)$>
Tom Burka does it again
Dell Dimension PC $699.00
HP 4 in 1 scan, copy, fax, and printer $199.00
Tom Burka's column today $ Priceless
The end of an era
Billmon is turning the whiskey bar into a special events palace.
<$Billmon says that he is tired, can you blame him?$>
After years of serving up thoughts in a dirty glass Billmon is closing the Whiskey Bar. The whiskey bar will be open for Billmon to post occasionally but no more comments. I can not blame him he must be tired. I said earlier that he is leaving it open as a special events palace, meaning election night we will have an open forum in our nations neighborhood whiskey bar. Billmon, thanks for the place to hang out and the memories.
Tonight driving home from the gym, I listened to Michael Reagan. A caller called him and started the usual rightwing BS about Kerry and then said that if we elected Kerry we would all be eating Ketchup soup. Reagan then agreed. I was truly beating my fist on the dash thinking this is "the legacy" the legacy of a father that tried to make ketchup a vegetable. How ironic to try and turn that on Kerry now.
Monday, June 28, 2004
Great anti-Bush website
Worth checking daily. These people have some of the new that rarely gets reported. I truly advice anyone to read it early and read it often.
For Great sports headlines
Truly the onion of sports reporting
<$Great weekly read!
Some of the funniest news for times like these. The headline today, Gary Payton demands to be traded to '95 Supersonics.
New POV on Nader
Newmexiken has a great piece on Ralph the Wrecker
<$I know, I am begining to look like a conservative blogger by only linking to other bloggers but it was a long day!
Salazar Leads Colorado Senate race
According to the new Mason Dixon Poll in the Denver Post. Ken Salazar leads any hypathetical senate race. Mike Miles trails any hypathetical matchup against either GOP candidate. Peter Coors polls a little better than Bob Schafer on the GOP side but trails the popular Attorney General by a healthy margin
Thanks to Colorado Luis for the link.
<$A great blog to read daily
If you think Cheney's cursing today
<$Ya gotta love it.
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Maureen Dowd's take on Cheney
Maureen Dowd has not gone quite as far as Digby did, though she is trying.http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/27/opinion/27DOWD.html
<$NY Times (Registration Required) I wonder if Cheney and the Neocon's will see an eminent threat in the NYT? The keyboard is of course at times mightier than microphone.
An engaging encounter?
Do faith-based marriage programs really promote marriage?
<$While there's scant evidence that promoting marriage will alleviate poverty, as the Bush Administration maintains. The Nation's reporters did a little investigation.
Alterman's column in The Nation
Eric Alterman wrote this stirring piece about how it was becoming hard for even the staunchest G.W.B. supporters to Tammy Wynette(Stand by their man)
<$From the Nation
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Rolling Stone convenes with panel of experts
Rolling Stone magazine recently convened a panel of experts to help figure out what went wrong in Iraq.
<$These people are not light-weights
a few excerpts... just cause I can.
Gen. Anthony Zinni: We've had a year of disasters. The strategy going into Iraq was patently ridiculous -- this idea that we'd generate Jeffersonian democracy and plant the seed of freedom in the Middle East. The rationale was even worse: We grossly overstated the threat and cooked the books on the intelligence. Then we put on the ground a half-baked pickup team that has alienated the people and can't connect to viable leadership.
Gen. Wesley Clark: We went in with far too few troops and seat-of-the-pants planning. We've been there for more than a year, and the borders still aren't being controlled -- jihadis and extremists are coming in from Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Fuel convoys are getting routinely attacked; oil facilities and police stations are regularly targeted.
What about the blunders behind the scenes at the White House?
Sen. Joseph Biden: I've been a senator through seven administrations, and this is by far the most divided one I've ever served with. The internal discord is rampant. It's not just Colin Powell, who has differed with Vice President Cheney at every turn. It isn't just Richard Clarke and the others on the intelligence team who have angrily defected. It's General Eric Shinseki, who was fired for telling the truth. It's Lawrence Lindsay, Bush's economic adviser, who was fired for saying the war was going to cost $200 billion. The price tag is even higher now, and still they submit a budget for 2005 without a single penny for Iraq. What in the hell is going on?
Bob Kerrey: Karl Rove's hair is on fire -- he's worrying about what the polls are saying about America's attitude toward Iraq. Voters want out. The greatest risk is that we'll make decisions for political reasons -- that Rove will say we've got to call it quits or we're not going to win in November.
What would happen if we did pull out in a hurry?
Youssef Ibrahim: We've got to cut our losses -- the sooner the better. Our presence is only aggravating the chances for civil war. The best-case scenario at this point is for the U.S. to declare victory and get the hell out. Iraqi resistance is rising by the day, and the United Nations, NATO and the Europeans are refusing to come in. There is no fig leaf to put on this.
So let's assume we're in it for the long haul. How do we even begin to regain control?
Barnett: The Bush team needs to eat crow and make the tough deals necessary to internationalize this. They need to call a summit meeting of the major powers, including Russia, China and India, and say, "We have a problem in Iraq. Our loss would be as big a loss for you -- economically and otherwise -- as for us. What will it take to get 10,000 Chinese troops, 10,000 Indian troops, 10,000 Russian troops? What do you want in return?" We know what the deals are. India would probably demand, for example, that we don't declare Pakistan a major ally. Russia wants full membership in NATO. China might ask us to stop planning a missile defense in northeast Asia.
Should we even be talking about a June 30th hand-over? Are we prepared?
Clark: That date was picked as a political gambit before there was a real plan for what to do. We're not prepared, but we're not going to be able to renege on that commitment.
Surely the Abu Ghraib prison scandal didn't help. Should Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or other Bush officials resign?
Biden: I was in the Oval Office the other day, and the president asked me what I would do about resignations. I said, "Look, Mr. President, would I keep Rumsfeld? Absolutely not." And I turned to Vice President Cheney, who was there, and I said, "Mr. Vice President, I wouldn't keep you if it weren't constitutionally required." I turned back to the president and said, "Mr. President, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are bright guys, really patriotic, but they've been dead wrong on every major piece of advice they've given you. That's why I'd get rid of them, Mr. President -- not just Abu Ghraib." They said nothing. Just sat like big old bullfrogs on a log and looked at me.
Beers: The Navy has a custom -- if a ship runs aground, the captain is relieved regardless of who is responsible. That's how Abu Ghraib should be handled.
Has the war at least produced a new respect for American military power?
Ibrahim: Hardly. We are no longer loved because of Iraq, and we are also no longer feared because of Iraq. The neoconservative dream of regime change throughout the region -- in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Libya and Somalia -- is dead. Do you really think any of those countries are afraid of us after watching us bleed in the streets of Iraq?
In the near term, is a change of administrations the best way out of the quagmire?
Ibrahim: I voted for Bush, but I'd sooner die than vote for him again. The neocons are vampires through which we have to drive a wooden stake. Neoconservatism must end as an ideology if you want America to recover its position as leader of the world.
The Rolling Stone Panel: Gen. Anthony Zinni Commander in chief of Centcom, 1997-2000; special envoy to the Middle East, 2002-2003; author of Battle Ready
Gen. Wesley Clark Supreme allied commander, Europe, 1997-2000; led NATO military campaign in Kosovo Rand Beers Counterterrorism adviser to President Bush, 2002-2003; national security adviser to Sen. John Kerry Sen. Joseph Biden Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Thomas P.M. Barnett Strategic adviser to the Defense Department, 2001-2003; faculty member of U.S. Naval War College; author of The Pentagon's New Map Fouad Ajami, Director of Middle Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
Sir Jeremy Greenstock British diplomat in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, 1969-2004; U.N. representative, 1998-2003; special representative for Iraq, 2003-2004
Youssef Ibrahim Managing director of the Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group; former Middle Eastern correspondent for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal
Bob Kerrey Senator from Nebraska, 1988-2000; president of New School University
Chas Freeman U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1989-1992; assistant secretary of defense, 1993-1994
Now I left a lot out... go read the rest.
Greens reject Nader
The green party rejected presidential hopeful Ralph Naders bid for the party's endorsement
<$from Salon.com registration or viewing of ad required
instead picking Texas Attorney David Cobb as its nominee. The Greens are on the ballot in 22 states and Washington D.C.
Rasmussen Report shows dead heat
According to the latest Rasmussen Report
<$Both candidates are tied at 46%
Friday, June 25, 2004
Is Cheney melting down?
Digby seems to have nailed it with this piece
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Sadaam - Bin Laden Just "good friends" according to Borowitz
Although the relationship rumor has been repeated by members of the administration http://www.borowitzreport.com/archive_rpt.asp?rec=889
<$Borowitz went to his sources (satire)
Cheney drops F Bomb on Leahy
This one came from the Blue Lemur of Raw Story.
<$He nailed this one, Cheney is indeed a... well fill in with what you like
Denver's voice of sensibility Enid Goldstein
We love you Enid.
<$From the North Fulton Democrats
Enid Goldstein began her talk radio career at San Francisco’s legendary KGO Radio. Before her arrival in Denver, she hosted talk shows at top stations in New York (WEVD), Los Angeles (KFI, KMPC), Chicago (WGN), Boston (WRKO), Washington DC (WMAL), Seattle (KIRO, KOMO), Philadelphia and Dallas.
Now that we know her history lets talk about why I am writing this.
All of that is fine, but I must say that after spending the past few days in Denver, unfortunately I am home now. I truly have become a fan of Ms. Goldstein. She is smart, witty, and willing to speak her mind. She puts "Dickie" in his place, while still showing compassion for him. I will tune into Enid everytime that I am in Denver, and recommend that anyone that either lives there or travels there listens to Denver's voice of sensibility. So Ms. Goldstein, here's to you. Keep the faith and the voice. Congrats on your 2 year anniversary.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Bush's behavior worries insiders
President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”
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.”
Capitol Hill Blue broke the story.
A little more from the article
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.
“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”
Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush’s inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration’s war against Iraq.
The President's abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works.
"Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now."
Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."
“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.”
Conservatives leaving Bush
This will not come as a shock to PPP regulars. This administration can not even keep their base.Conservatives looking for alternative to Bush
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Another GOP scandal
Jack Ryan candidate for U.S. Senate has some explaining to do.
Now I do not know about anyone else but if I was married to the ever stunning Ms. Jeri Ryan, I would try to make the marriage last.
Actress Jeri Ryan accused ex-husband Jack Ryan of insisting she go to "explicit sex clubs" in New York, New Orleans and Paris during their marriage -- including "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling."
Jack Ryan wanted her to have sex with him while others watched, the star of "Boston Public" alleged.
The Republican U.S. Senate candidate dismissed his ex-wife's allegations as "ridiculous accusations" and "smut" that she was dishing out without concern about how it would make their young son "feel about his parents or himself."
WHAT THEY SAID
Declaration of Jeri Ryan, dated June 9, 2000.
I made it clear to [Jack Ryan] that our marriage was over for me in the spring of 1998. On three trips, one to New Orleans, one to New York and one to Paris, [he] insisted that I go to sex clubs with him. These were surprise trips that [he] arranged. They were long weekends, supposed "romantic" getaways.
The clubs in New York and Paris were explicit sex clubs. [He] had done research.
[Jack Ryan] took me to two clubs in New York during the day. One club I refused to go in. It had mattresses in cubicles. The other club he insisted I go to. . . . It was a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling.
[He] wanted me to have sex with him there, with another couple watching. I refused.
[He] asked me to perform a sexual activity upon him, and he specifically asked other people to watch. I was very upset.
We left the club and [he] apologized, said that I was right and he would never insist that I go to a club again. He promised it was out of his system.
Then during a trip to Paris, he took me to a sex club in Paris, without telling me where we were going. I told him I thought it was out of his system. I told him he had promised me we would never go. People were having sex everywhere. I cried, I was physically ill.
[He] became very upset with me, and said it was not a "turn on" for me to cry.
I could not get over the incident, and my loss of any attraction to him as a result.
Response from Jack Ryan.
I should not have to respond to the ridiculous accusations Jeri Lynn makes. . .. I was faithful and loyal to my wife throughout our marriage. I did arrange romantic getaways for us, but that did not include the type of activities she describes. We did go to one avant garde nightclub in Paris which was more than either one of us felt comfortable with. We left and vowed never to return. . .. Apparently, Jeri Lynn did not consider how Alex [their son] will feel about his parents or himself when he learns of this type of smut.
The stigma of not being married
Now let me preface this by saying that I do not and I stress do not want to get married. Last night I was in an Outback Steakhouse bar in Colorado Springs (it was close to my hotel) I began talking with the bar tender a beautiful blonde named, well we will call her H. H. grew up in Florida and moved to the springs a few years back. She and I talked about being single and the merits of it. We both agreed that there are a lot of good points to being single, IE the freedom, the options, etc. The problem that both H. and I encounter is the strange stigma that goes with being for me 25 and single for her a little older and single. People seem to think that there is something wrong with us for being single. My own mother keeps asking me when I am going to get married. I always respond with maybe when I am 30. When I am 30 the answer will most likely be maybe when I am 40. So heres to H. my favorite bartender in Colorado Springs, keep the faith. The world will come around or maybe we will comply some day.
Endorsement for John Salazar 3rd Congressional District CO
Here we go, it is endorsement season again. I am endorsing John Salazar for the third congressional district seat in CO. WHy? John is a rancher from the San Luis Valley, grew up poor learned the value of hard work and hard earned dollars. John is the brother of Ken Salazar the current CO Attorney General. John understands rural issues, he is a rancher, understands what it takes to be a leader in Colorado and the nation. So get out the vote for John we need the third congressional district this year.
Bill Gallagher's piece from the Niagra Falls Reporter
This op ed was written by
Here are a few chosen excerpts.
The lies, delusions and deceptions of George W. Bush have reached a point where the "dry drunk" madness and the "stinking thinking" in his frighteningly flawed mind are what drives all his remarks on the bogus al-Qaida-Iraq connection and the president's rigid, judgmental world view.
In the best of times, George W. can be impatient, self-important and prone to irrational, contorted rationalization. Now that his crazy, unnecessary war in Iraq and grandiose plans to change the Middle East with more violence have clearly failed and he fears that he might get bounced from the White House like his daddy, our president's mental pathology is gaining more control over his behavior.
Even Bush said as much himself in one of the most under-reported stories of our times. Last Sept. 17, the president admitted publicly for the first time that there was "no evidence Hussein was involved" with the Sept. 11 attacks.
"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaida is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida," Bush told reporters at the White House after the commission's findings were announced.
I noticed Bush had that same look on his face, that same smirk, defiance and "How dare you question me?" pose when he met last year with Polish reporters, who asked him about the phantom weapons of mass destruction. Bush snapped impatiently, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction." Bush then went on to cite some mobile trailers his own inspectors had already dismissed as harmless weather labs.
Bush then went on a twisted attempt to redefine the record he and his people had deliberately clouded -- aided, I should add, by most of the mainstream media. Wait a minute, Bush cautioned, saying, "This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaida."
Now go read the rest of it....
Kerry rally was good
Kerry's rally in Denver was very good yesterday. Big John spoke eloquently and we all stood in the drizzle and watched the man whom we hope will be the next president of the United States lay out his position on stem cell research. Colorado Luis had a good question though,. where was Hickenlooper? Hickenlooper is the democratic mayor of Denver. I would have thought that he would have shown up for this event.
Great Parody site
I was reading
recently and thought what a great site. Since I just happened to find
find it I thought I would share it with the PPP readers.
Monday, June 21, 2004
OK so Lefty lost
Yes I know Mickelson did choke on the 17th. But he is still the "peoples champion."
First day of summer in Denver
Today is very cloudy and drizzly day in Denver it feels more like March then June. High expected to be 65. Current temp 54. I should have brought a jacket. Billmon has many interesting stories today, check him out. Did anyone see Clinton on 60 minutes? If you did let me know what you thought.
Kerry to be in Denver today
JK will be in Denver at the Civic Center Park @3:30. I will be there as well, waving my John Kerry sign as high as it can go. Next stop tomorrow Albuquerque, NM.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
This will be a light week for blogging. I have to go be in Denver and Colorado Springs for work. I will try and keep updated. I guess I am following Travis from Rainstorm's advice, take some time off, get refreshed, then come back and fight the good fight. Though I doubt if I can stay away too long. Well until we meet again.
Sunday in Shinnecock
Today is the final day of the 104th U.S. open. Retief Goose has a two shot lead over Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. I would love to see the man that critics said would never win a major win two in a row. (Mickelson) I guess the reason why Mickelson is the "people's champion" is because even after a bad day on the golf course he still stays and signs autographs for fans. He is always media accesible and he just makes a person think, damn I could hang out with that guy. So Phil bring another major home we are all rooting for you out west.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Tom Burka for Press Secretary of Kerry Administration
Tom Burka is by far the funniest blogger that I have ever read.
<$Burka is a great daily read$>
Here is an example of one Tom's pieces from this week.
So put Tom in your favorites and enjoy a laugh
Cheney Unable To Order Breakfast Without Mentioning Imaginary Al Qaeda-Iraq Link
Orders Eggs And "Intrinsically-Linked" Sausages
Despite the report of the 9/11 Commission that a thorough review of all relevant evidence showed that there was never any link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, Vice President Cheney is unable to go as long as three minutes without asserting the existence of such a connection.
"I'll have the waffles," he told a waitress earlier today, "with a side of bacon and Hussein was in bed with bin Laden all the way."
Cheney has mentioned the nonexistent link as many as 300 times so far today, alleging it during discussions of domestic oil production, Halliburton contracts, energy policy, and Diebold voting machines.
"We don't need a paper trail," said Cheney. "We don't have a paper trail that leads directly from Saddam to a certain now-desecrated spot in lower Manhattan, but we still know what Saddam did there."
At home, the Vice President has re-labelled the salt and pepper shakers on his dining room table "Iraq" and "Al Qaeda," and was recently heard to claim in a phone call to Anita Bryant, "They are like orange juice and sunshine."
In other news, Republicans cried foul when Time Magazine revealed that the "undisclosed location" to which Dick Cheney has periodically retreated is an underground bunker hidden in a popular theme park.
The Vice President is often in Fantasyland.
911 Panel Invites Cheney back
9/11 panel invites Cheney to share evidence of connection from Salon.com subscription required.
Nearing the end of its work, the Sept. 11 commission is inviting Vice President Dick Cheney to provide any evidence he has that would show links between al-Qaida and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, a panel member said Saturday.
He said the panel also wants to follow up its questioning of President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and CIA Director George Tenet.
The Cheney request culminates a week in which the commission said it found no evidence of collaboration between Saddam's Iraq and al-Qaida, while the White House stuck by its position that the two had significant links.
Cheney told the CNBC network that there probably were things about Iraq's links to terrorists that the commission members did not learn during their 14-month investigation.
Well Dick here is your chance...
After hearing the vice president's comment, commission members said they would like to see any intelligence reports that Cheney is referring to.
I wonder if he will misplace them?
We would certainly welcome any information bearing on the issue of assistance or collaboration with al-Qaida by any government including Iraq," said commission member Richard Ben-Veniste. Commission chairman Thomas Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton made similar comments to The New York Times.
The Bush administration used the assertion of collaboration between al-Qaida and Saddam's regime as one of its reasons for invading Iraq
The panel is saying, he added: "If the vice president or anybody else has any information on this subject that they would like the commission to examine, the commission would very much like to see it."
Without addressing whether the commission wants to question Rice and Tenet again, Felzenberg said, "It is not unusual to go back to someone with more questions."
Bush playing into Bin Laden's hands?
Is Bush playing into Bin Laden's Hands
A senior US intelligence official is about to publish a bitter condemnation of America's counter-terrorism policy, arguing that the west is losing the war against al-Qaida and that an "avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked" war in Iraq has played into Osama bin Laden's hands.
Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, due out next month, dismisses two of the most frequent boasts of the Bush administration: that Bin Laden and al-Qaida are "on the run" and that the Iraq invasion has made America safer.
In an interview with the Guardian the official, who writes as "Anonymous", described al-Qaida as a much more proficient and focused organisation than it was in 2001, and predicted that it would "inevitably" acquire weapons of mass destruction and try to use them.
He said Bin Laden was probably "comfortable" commanding his organisation from the mountainous tribal lands along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Now Go read the rest. Links at the top of page.
Dick cheney to be indicted by French Magistrate judge?
Cheney may be indicted
<$Dick, Dick, Dick$>
A British lawyer is emerging as a key witness in a $180 million bribery investigation that could lead to the indictment of US vice president Dick Cheney.
Hmm... Dick, Dick, Dick, what in the hell are you thinking?
Last week, US oil corporation Halliburton cut all ties with a former senior executive, Albert Stanley, after it emerged he had received as much as $5m in 'improper personal benefits' as part of a $4bn gas project in Nigeria. Halliburton also sacked a second 'consultant', William Chaudan in connection with the bribery allegations. At the time of these alleged payments, Cheney was chief executive of the corporation.
French investigating magistrate Renaud van Ruymbeke is examining a stream of payments surrounding the controversial project which was built during the regime of the late dictator Sani Abacha. The judge has uncovered a $180m web of payments channelled through offshore companies and bank accounts.
Dick, You might better change your opinion of France. You could be spending many years in one of their correctional facilities.
The Nigerian project to build a huge gas plant was signed with an international consortium that included Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. Cheney retired from the chief executive post in 2000.
The French judge is considering summoning Cheney to give evidence in his probe to ascertain whether the US vice president knew about the alleged commission payments.
Van Ruymbeke has been investigating why the consortium, which built the gas plant, paid up to $180m to a Gibraltan company set up by British solicitor Jeffrey Tesler, a partner in law firm Kaye Tesler & Co, based in Tottenham, north London. Van Ruymbeke wants to know whether the Gibraltar firm, TriStar Investments, was used to distribute bribes to win the contracts. Tesler has declined to answer media questions about his role in the project.
The Nigerian deal to build a $4bn liquefied natural gas plant is already subject to a formal investigation by both the US department of justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Halliburton's decision to sever ties with Stanley and Chaudan recognises the firm's difficulty with the corruption allegations. When the claims initially arose in France the firm denied any improper activities. A spokesman for Halliburton said the two executives were dismissed because they had broken the firm's 'code of business conduct'.
Now I have worked in the oil and gas industry for several years. The first lesson that you learn is, that you are only as good as the people that you surround yourself with. Mr. Cheney obviously forgot that lesson, for even if he did not know about it he should have had trustworthy executives. To me this story really shows what was wrong with Mr. Cheney's administration at Halliburton as well as the current administration on Pensylvania Ave. They are one and the same. Corrupt.
Missisippi Man found lynched
A must read for everyone.
From Makes me Ralph
Veal's body was found April 23 hanging from a tree with a pillow case on his head
along a secluded dirt road near his mother's house in Donegal.
There is something sure fishy about the Coroner's conclusion of suicide. If I was going to kill myself, I doubt that I would walk down the road to do it.
CBS to run anti-Clinton ad and violate own policy
I am sick of hearing about this so called liberal media
<$Thanks to our friends at Media Matters for the heads up$>
CBS is apparently set to run a new TV advertisement attacking former President Bill Clinton that appears to violate the network's stated prohibition on "advocacy" ads that deal with "controversial issues of public importance." Under the headline "Citizens United Launches New Anti-Clinton Ad Campaign to Air during '60 Minutes' Interview," Citizens United (led by David N. Bossie) announced on its website the new ad is to air during Clinton's June 20 appearance on CBS's news program 60 Minutes. The self-described "advocacy" group explained, "Amidst the hype surrounding the release of former President Clinton's new book, 'My Life', Citizens United sets the record straight by exposing the real legacy President Bill Clinton left for America."
CBS's airing of the Citizens United ad would be noteworthy because the network refused to run ads from MoveOn.org and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) during this year's Super Bowl. At the time, CBS explained that it does not run "advocacy advertising":
I thought Limbaugh said it was a liberal media. HMM...
CBS also explained that it rejects ads dealing with "controversial issues of public importance." From a Reuters article in January:
The network rejected the MoveOn.org ad based on its policy against "advocacy advertising," which it said was designed to prevent those who could afford to advertise from having undue influence on "controversial issues of public importance."
I truly wish that the media would come up with one standard. Not to favor either candidate but a standard that was fair. I guess I am in the minority on this.
However, the network's claim that it does not broadcast "advocacy" advertising or ads about "controversial issues of public importance" rang hollow at the outset. In January, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) noted in a floor speech that CBS has recently aired other advocacy ads, including controversial ads sponsored by the White House Drug Control Policy Agency. Senator Durbin noted:
Give 'em hell Dick!
Durbin went on to suggest that partisan political -- and financial -- considerations may have been behind many recent decisions by CBS. Durbin noted, "Maybe network executives at CBS are so afraid of political pressure from the rightwing and their business advertisers who are in league with the rightwing politics of America that they are afraid to put anything on the air that might in fact make things uncomfortable. If that is the case, it is time for CBS to announce the name of their network is the 'conservative broadcasting system' and come clean with American viewers."
In January, Representatives Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jan Schakowksy (D-IL), and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) sent a letter co-signed by 23 of their colleagues to CBS President Les Moonves. The letter noted that the decision not to run the MoveOn.org ad "appears to be part of a disturbing pattern on CBS's part to bow to the wishes of the Republican National Committee."
In February, the network began airing a Bush administration ad for the new Medicare prescription drug law. CBS stopped running the ad when the Government Accounting Office (GAO) began reviewing its content; the GAO eventually concluded that the ad was not "free of political tone" and "may appear to some as an attempt to persuade the public to the Administration's point of view regarding the newly enacted benefit." CBS surely knew that the Medicare ads dealt with "controversial issues of public importance"; some House Republicans considered the Medicare law so important -- and the vote on the legislation so controversial -- that they apparently tried to bribe one of their fellow members of Congress in order to secure his vote.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Buchanan writes anti-Bush book
Yes my friends even the conservatives say this President must go, and must go in a timely manner.
Excerpt from the article
The Thomas Dunne imprint of St. Martin's Press has agreed to pay around $500,000 to Pat Buchanan for an anti-Dubya book to be called "Where the Right Went Wrong."
The proto-conservative will blast the Bush Administration for behaviors both domestic and foreign. He is particularly scornful of the U.S. foreign policy that has "ignited a war of civilizations" with the Islamic world.
Publishing insiders say Buchanan's thoughts on the 43rd president are surprisingly out of character.
"They could put Michael Moore on the jacket of this book, and people would believe he wrote it," one said.
The deal for world, audio and serial rights was made with Buchanan's longtime agent, Fredricka Friedman.
"Where the Right Went Wrong" is scheduled to go on sale in early August, to coincide with the start of the Republican National Convention — at which Buchanan will be a commentator for MSNBC.
Thoughts for an average person (like myself)
From a bumper sticker
"Have a nice day, we are all in this together"
From a bumper sticker
"God bless America. Lets save some of it."
From a leather jacket seen at the river run in Laughlin, NV.
"America, love it or leave it alone."
These are pretty good common sense thoughts from average people. If we want to get a little more radical we can go with:
"Regime change starts at home. Vote out Bush - Cheney"
"Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld. Four reasons to vote no in 2004."
Edward Abbey once said that....
"Sentiment without action, is the ruin of the soul."
Well just a few thoughts, be good, and we will talk again later.
Kerry sets record
From the Associated Press
John Kerry raised a Democratic record $100 million from March through May, lifting his presidential campaign to more than $140 million so far.
Kerry raised roughly $25 million last month alone, figures provided Wednesday by his campaign show.
The Massachusetts senator has already surpassed his financial goal of about $106 million for the primary season. He has about six weeks of fund raising left before he accepts his party's nomination in Boston and receives full government financing for the general-election phase of his campaign.
President Bush has raised at least $216 million since he began his re-election effort in May 2003. That includes at least $13 million raised in May through online and mailed contributions.
Bush stopped holding fund-raisers for himself in April, turning his attention to helping the Republican Party and fellow GOP candidates raise millions for the fall election.
Kerry has been holding fund-raisers for himself and the Democratic National Committee and has also taken in millions over the Internet and through direct-mail solicitations. Kerry's total includes roughly $6 million he borrowed before his primary victories by mortgaging his Boston home.
Kerry will reach his fund-raising cutoff about a month before Bush, who can continue raising primary money until his party's convention in late August.
Mindful that fund-raising time is running out, Kerry is soliciting donations to a legal compliance fund he can use during the general election campaign to cover legal and accounting costs, reserving his roughly $75 million in government financing for ads and other campaign costs from August until November.
The legal fund, permitted under the campaign finance law, "will allow the campaign to put more of its resources into getting John's message to the American people," Kerry national finance chairman Louis Susman wrote in a mailing to prospective donors this month. "Given the size of the Republican war chest, every dollar counts."
What happens to good people when they go to Iraq?
U.S. officer to be charged with murder
The Army has decided to charge a 1st Armored Division officer with murder in the May 21 death of an Iraqi civilian who was wounded during a high-speed chase, then shot again at close range, an Army official said Wednesday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Army's Criminal Investigation Division has not yet publicly announced its decision, said the 1st Armored captain will be charged soon.
In its announcement, Central Command said the driver of an Iraqi vehicle in a motorcade was seriously wounded and a passenger was less seriously wounded when U.S. troops opened fire near the city of Kufa. It said initial reports indicated that the wounded driver was then shot at close range by a U.S. soldier and died.
The Army official who said Wednesday that a 1st Armored Division officer would be charged with murder in the case said the soldier reportedly shot the badly wounded man to end his suffering.
Now Where in the hell did he get the idea to shoot him? It is as if the Iraqi was a deer that had been hit by a truck on a highway and the officer were the game warden. Perhaps I am wrong but that kind of stuff usually does not happen here in the U.S. If you hit someone with a vehicle you generally do not shoot them. You probably would call for help. Just a thought.
Kerry's first endorsement!!!!!!!!
Read all about it. Click above.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
More on Delay
You just have to love what Mother Jones is cooking up for us now. Smells good, like soup du truth.
What a concept. Lets hope our friends in the GOP learn it soon.
You have to see this.
The Document that Sean Hannity does not want you to read
Buzzflash linked me up to this very interesting.
The Document Sean Hannity Doesn't Want You To Read
June 16, 2004
Speaking at the Take Back America conference on June 3, American Progress CEO John Podesta said, "I think when you get so distant from the facts as -- as guys like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity do, yeah, I think that tends to -- it kind of -- it tends to corrupt the dialogue." Apparently he struck a nerve with Fox News' Sean Hannity. Hannity challenged Podesta to "defend and explain one example where I -- where I said something that was so false." Since choosing just one of Hannity's distortions is too difficult, here are fifteen examples:
All Hannity quotes from Hannity and Colmes unless otherwise noted.
HANNITY: "You're not listening, Susan. You've got to learn something. He had weapons of mass destruction. He promised to disclose them. And he didn't do it. You would have let him go free; we decided to hold him accountable." (4/13/04)
FACT: Hannity's assertion comes more than six months after Bush Administration weapons inspector David Kay testified his inspection team had "not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material" and had not discovered any chemical or biological weapons. (Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03)
2. Colin Powell on Iraq
HANNITY: "Colin Powell just had a great piece that he had in the paper today. He was there [in Iraq]. He said things couldn't have been better." (9/19/03)
FACT: "Iraq has come very far, but serious problems remain, starting with security. American commanders and troops told me of the many threats they face--from leftover loyalists who want to return Iraq to the dark days of Saddam, from criminals who were set loose on Iraqi society when Saddam emptied the jails and, increasingly, from outside terrorists who have come to Iraq to open a new front in their campaign against the civilized world." (Colin Powell, 9/19/03)
3. Saddam/Al-Qaeda Connection
HANNITY: "And in northern Iraq today, this very day, al Qaeda is operating camps there, and they are attacking the Kurds in the north, and this has been well-documented and well chronicled. Now, if you're going to go after al Qaeda in every aspect, and obviously they have the support of Saddam, or we're not." (12/9/02)
FACT: David Kay was on the ground for months investigating the activities of Hussein's regime. He concluded "But we simply did not find any evidence of extensive links with Al Qaeda, or for that matter any real links at all." He called a speech where Cheney made the claim there was a link "evidence free." (Boston Globe, 6/16/04)
4. 9/11 Investigation
HANNITY: "[After 9-11], liberal Democrats at first showed little interest in the investigation of the roots of this massive intelligence failure...[Bush and his team] made it clear that determining the causes of America's security failures and finding and remedying its weak points would be central to their mission." (Let Freedom Ring, by Sean Hannity)
TRUTH: Bush Opposed the creation of a special commission to probe the causes of 9/11 for over a year. On 5/23/02 CBS New Reported "President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11." Bush didn't relent to pressure to create a commission, mostly from those Hannity would consider "liberal" until September 2002. (CBS News, 5/23/02; ABC News, 9/20/02)
5. The Recession
HANNITY: "First of all, this president -- you know and I know and everybody knows -- inherited a recession...it was by every definition a recession" (11/6/02)
HANNITY: "Now here's where we are. The inherited Clinton/Gore recession. That's a fact." (5/6/03)
HANNITY: "The president inherited a recession." (7/10/03)
HANNITY: "He got us out of the Clinton-Gore recession." (10/23/03)
HANNITY: "They did inherit the recession. They did inherit the recession. We got out of the recession." (12/12/03)
HANNITY: "And this is the whole point behind this ad, because the president did inherit a recession." (1/6/04)
HANNITY: "Historically in every recovery, because the president rightly did inherit a recession. But historically, the lagging indicator always deals with employment." (1/15/04)
HANNITY: "Congressman Deutsch, maybe you forgot but I'll be glad to remind you, the president did inherit that recession." (1/20/04)
HANNITY: "He did inherit a recession, and we're out of the recession." (2/2/04)
HANNITY: "The president inherited a recession." (2/23/04)
HANNITY: "The president inherited a recession." (3/3/04)
HANNITY: "Well, you know, we're going to show ads, as a matter of fact, in the next segment, Congressman. Thanks for promoting our next segment. What I like about them is everything I've been saying the president ought to do: is focusing in on his positions, on keeping the nation secure in very difficult times, what he's been able to do to the economy after inheriting a very difficult recession, and of course, the economic impact of 9/11." (3/3/04)
HANNITY: "All right. So this is where I view the economic scenario as we head into this election. The president inherited a recession." (3/16/04)
HANNITY: "First of all, we've got to put it into perspective, is that the president inherited a recession." (3/26/04)
HANNITY: "Clearly, we're out of the recession that President Bush inherited." (4/2/04)
HANNITY: "Stop me where I'm wrong. The president inherited a recession, the economic impact of 9/11 was tremendous on the economy, correct?" (4/6/04)
HANNITY: "[President George W. Bush] did inherit a recession." (5/3/04)
HANNITY: "[W]e got [the weak U.S. economy] out of the Clinton-Gore recession." (5/18/04)
HANNITY: "We got out of the Clinton-Gore recession." (5/27/04)
HANNITY: "We got out of the Clinton-Gore recession." (6/4/04)
FACT: "The recession officially began in March of 2001 -- two months after Bush was sworn in -- according to the universally acknowledged arbiter of such things, the National Bureau of Economic Research. And the president, at other times, has said so himself." (Washington Post, 7/1/03)
6. The Hispanic Vote
HANNITY: "The Hispanic community got to know him in Texas. They went almost overwhelming for him. He more than quadrupled the Hispanic vote that he got in that state." (9/16/03)
FACT: Exit polls varied in 1998 governors race, but under best scenario he increased his Hispanic vote from 24 to 49 percent – a doubling not a quadrupling. He lost Texas Hispanics to Gore in 2000, 54-43 percent. (Source: NCLR , NHCSL)
7. White House Vandalism
HANNITY: "Look, we've had these reports, very disturbing reports -- and I have actually spoken to people that have confirmed a lot of the reports -- about the trashing of the White House. Pornographic materials left in the printers. They cut the phone lines. Lewd and crude messages on phone machines. Stripping of anything that was not bolted down on Air Force One. $200,000 in furniture taken out." (1/26/01)
TRUTH: According to statements from the General Services Administration that were reported on May 17, little if anything out of the ordinary occurred during the transition, and "the condition of the real property was consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after an extended occupancy." (FAIR)
HANNITY: "I never questioned anyone's patriotism." (9/18/03)
HANNITY: (to attorney Stanley Cohen) "Is it you hate this president or that you hate America?" (4/30/03)
HANNITY: "Governor, why wouldn't anyone want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, unless they detested their own country or were ignorant of its greatness?" (6/12/03)
HANNITY: "You could explain something about your magazine, [the Nation]. Lisa Featherstone writing about the hate America march, the [anti-war] march that took place over the weekend..." (1/22/03)
HANNITY: "'I hate America.' This is the extreme left. There is a portion of the left -- not everybody who's left -- that does hate this country and blame this country for the ills of the world..." (1/23/02)
HANNITY: (speaking to Sara Flounders co-director of the International Action Center) "You don't like this country, do you? You don't -- you think this is an evil country. By your description of it right here, you think it's a bad country." (9/25/01)
9. Separation of Church and State
HANNITY: "It doesn't say anywhere in the Constitution this idea of the separation of church and state." (8/25/03)
FACT: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." (1st Amendment)
"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (Article VI)
10. James Madison
HANNITY: "You want to refer to some liberal activist judge..., that's fine, but I'm going to go directly to the source. The author of the Bill of Rights [James Madison] hired the first chaplain in 1789, and I gotta' tell ya' somethin', I think the author of the Bill of Rights knows more about the original intent--no offense to you and your liberal atheist activism--knows more about it than you do." (9/4/02)
TRUTH: The first congressional chaplains weren't hired by James Madison--they were appointed by a committee of the Senate and House in, respectively, April and May, 1789, before the First Amendment even existed. James Madison's view: "Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative." (James Madison)
11. Alabama Constitution
HANNITY: "But the Alabama Constitution, which Chief Justice Roy Moore is sworn to uphold, clearly it says, as a matter of fact that the recognition of God is the foundation of that state's Constitution." (8/21/03)
FACT: While the preamble of the Alabama Constitution does reference "the Almighty," section three provides: "That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles." (Alabama Constitution, Section 3)
12. Rent for Public Housing
HANNITY: Betsy, they're not going to lose it [public housing], because if you work less than 30 hours a week -- if you work more than 30 hours a week, you don't have to do it. If you're between the ages of 18 and 62 and you're not legally disabled and you have free housing -- in other words...
BETSY MCCAUGHEY: No. Wait a second, Sean. Let me correct you. Most people in public housing are not receiving free housing. Many of them are paying almost market rates.
HANNITY: Betsy, that is so ridiculous and so false, it's hardly even worth spending the time. (10/23/03)
FACT: Residents of public housing pay rent scaled to their household's anticipated gross annual income, less deductions for dependents and disabilities. The basic formula for rent is 30 percent of this monthly adjusted income. There are exceptions for extremely low incomes, but the minimum rent is $25 per month. No one lives in public housing for free. (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
13. Kerry Tax Plan
HANNITY: "The Kerry campaign wants to cut taxes on people who make two hundred thousand dollars. She [Teresa Heinz Kerry] only paid 14.7 percent of her income in taxes, because their plan doesn't go to dividends, only income. So they don't want to tax themselves." (5/12/04)
FACT: Kerry's plan would "Restore the capital gains and dividend rates for families making over $200,000 on income earned above $200,000 to their levels under President Clinton. (Kerry Press Release, 4/7/04)
14. Kerry and Weapons Systems
HANNITY: "He's [Kerry's] flip-flopped all over the place... on the issue of Iraq. All the munitions that we have built up, most of them wouldn't be there." (1/30/04)
HANNITY: "But he wanted to cancel…every major weapons system. Specific votes that he would have canceled the weapons systems we now use." (2/26/04)
FACT: "In 1991, Kerry opposed an amendment to impose an arbitrary 2 percent cut in the military budget. In 1992, he opposed an amendment to cut Pentagon intelligence programs by $1 billion. In 1994, he voted against a motion to cut $30.5 billion from the defense budget over the next five years and to redistribute the money to programs for education and the disabled. That same year, he opposed an amendment to postpone construction of a new aircraft carrier. In 1996, he opposed a motion to cut six F-18 jet fighters from the budget. In 1999, he voted against a motion to terminate the Trident II missile." (Slate, 2/25/04)
15. Kerry and the CIA
HANNITY: "If he (Kerry) had his way and the CIA would almost be nonexistent." (1/30/04)
FACT: John Kerry has supported $200 billion in intelligence funding over the past seven years - a 50 percent increase since 1996.
Kerry votes supporting intelligence funding:
FY03 Intel Authorization $39.3-$41.3 Billion
[2002, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 9/25/02]
FY02 Intel Authorization $33 Billion
[2001, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 12/13/01]
FY01 Intel Authorization $29.5-$31.5 Billion
[2000, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 12/6/00]
FY00 Intel Authorization $29-$30 Billion
[1999, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 11/19/1999]
FY99 Intel Authorization $29.0 Billion
[1998, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 10/8/98]
FY98 Intel Authorization $26.7 Billion
[1997, Senate Roll Call Vote #109]
FY97 Intel Authorization $26.6 Billion
[1996, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 9/25/96]
The truth about Heinz Kerry's party switch
Teresa Heinz Kerry says anger, not ideology, prompted her to become a Democrat. The wife of Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, says her emotion stemmed from the way the Republican Party, to which she had pledged allegiance, treated Democratic Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia in 2002.
We all understand Teresa. I was a republican until this year myself.
Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm as an Army captain during the Vietnam War, lost his re-election bid in a bitter campaign against then-Rep. Saxby Chambliss. The GOP had raised questions about Cleland's patriotism because of his position on legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security. Cleland supported the concept behind the department, but insisted that a workers' rights provision be part of the bill.
Now what was so wrong with helping the workers that put the attack dog's on Cleland?
"Three limbs and all I could think was, 'What does the Republican party need, a fourth limb to make a person a hero?' And this coming from people who have not served. I was really offended by that. Unscrupulous and disgusting," Heinz-Kerry said.
Heinz Kerry had been a registered Republican until Kerry, her second husband, announced his bid for the White House. Her first husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania and the Heinz prepared foods heir, was killed in a plane crash in 1991. She inherited a fortune estimated at more than $500 million.
Reagan family critical of Bush using Ronald Reagan in ad
Ronald Reagan's family is criticizing the use of the late president's image in a conservative political ad endorsing President George W. Bush.
The ad comparing Bush's war on terror with Reagan's battle against communism is being run by the conservative interest groupClub for Growth starting Wednesday. It shows footage of Reagan at the Berlin Wall, and Bush at ground zero.
A Reagan family spokeswoman said the group does not have permission to use Reagan's image in the ad because doing so implies his endorsement.
Club for Growth said it wants to show how similar Bush and Reagan have been "in terms of fighting evil." A Kerry spokesman said it's "pretty sad" that Bush supporters are already politicizing the nation's farewell to Reagan.
Have these people never heard of asking for permission?
Rummy Ache once again
NBC News is reporting that Rumsfeld personally ordered at least one unidentified prisoner in Iraq to be held "off the books" that were provided to the International Red Cross.
I don't pretend to be an expert on the Geneva Conventions, but I've always understood prisoners of war are entitled to Red Cross/Red Crescent visits, which pretty much implies you have to disclose that you have the prisoners, not keep them in some separate, off-book accounting system.
According to the MSNBC article: "Pentagon officials still insist Rumsfeld acted legally, but admit it all depends on how you interpret the law." Well, since we know the Pentagon has opined that as president Bush has inherent authority to set aside laws he doesn't want to follow, anything Rumsfeld did would be legal under the Pentagon interpretation.
Pistons / John Kerry a year of the Underdog
Thanks to Kos and Aexia for pointing this out
Anyone notice the similarities between the Finals and the Presidential election this year? Everyone expected the Lakers (Bush) to coast to an easy victory, no matter who emerged from the Eastern Conference (Democratic party). The Pistons (Kerry) comes out of it to the surprise of many. The Bush administration, who have successfully worked the refs (press) for years, suddenly start getting called on their fouls (fouls) and their fans (supporters) whine not realizing how good they've had it. Everyone keeps saying the Bush administration is going to bring their A game Osama/Diebold/Dirty tricks ANY DAY NOW and win easily in the end. Commentators (Pundits) are quick to pin the current state of the race as being Bush losing rather than Kerry winning. But I think by the end of this, we're going to see that great defense can win championships.
Very Well said guys.
Kerry on Gay Rights
From Travis @ Rainstorm
Kerry on Gay Rights
Via Professor Kim:
As we enter the season of celebrating Pride in the LGBT community, Americans should embrace the diversity that makes our nation strong and recommit ourselves to ensuring that all Americans receive equal rights.
I am proud to have fought for equal rights for gay Americans, but unfortunately so much still remains to be done. I am committed to using the power of the White House to advance equal rights for all Americans, including gay Americans. Together we can help America keep her promise of liberty and justice for all.
The Bush Administration repeatedly uses gay rights as a political tool to divide the nation. That’s just wrong. We don’t need a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. We need civil unions with full and equal rights. We don’t need opposition to hate crime legislation. We need to reject hate and embrace tolerance. And we don’t need a President who plays politics with gay adoption. We need a President who works everyday to protect and support all children and families.
-- Quoted from Standing Up With Pride on the John Kerry campaign website.
Just another clear example of the difference between the candidates.
Sorry I have been down for a while but I am back now.
My Comments in bold
A group of 26 retired U.S. diplomats and military officers said Wednesday that President Bush should be voted out of office in November for damaging U.S. national security interests and America's standing in the international community.
‘‘Never before have so many of us felt the need for a major change in the direction of our foreign policy."
Charles Freeman, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war, said the administration's handling of wider relations with the Islamic world was particularly damaging to U.S. interests in the long run.
Yes Charles you are correct
The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, did not explicitly endorse Democrat John Kerry for president in its statement.
The Bush-Cheney campaign said at least 20 members of the group have been involved in partisan political activities in the past.
When all else fails we will just call them "liberals"
‘‘It is not surprising that John Kerry has the support of a group of people who share his belief that the threat of terror is exaggerated," Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said in a statement. ‘‘This is a group that shares John Kerry's pre-September 11th world view and supports John Kerry's failed ideas for treating terrorism as a matter mainly for law-enforcement and intelligence."
Is it just me or does the Bush - Cheney team say the same thing over and over?
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said people who leave the Foreign Service can say what they want.
Last time I checked there was still freedome of speech.
included is Jack F. Matlock, who was appointed by Reagan as ambassador to the Soviet Union and retained the post under the first President Bush, and William C. Harrop, the first President Bush's ambassador to Israel and four African countries.
But these people are engaging in partisan politics... we musn't forget
Normally, former diplomats and military commanders avoid making political statements, especially in an election year. But last month 53 former diplomats accused the Bush administration of undermining U.S. credibility in the Middle East by its strong support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Forget credibility we have Israel
Friday, June 11, 2004
Dog Scare "policy" of U.S. In Iraq
US military dog handlers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison say they were ordered to use their animals to intimidate detainees, according to media reports.
They made the allegation in statements provided to military investigators, the Washington Post newspaper says.
The handlers also said the jail's top military intelligence officer had approved the tactic, the paper reports.
Pentagon officials have said abuses at Abu Ghraib were confined to a small group of military police soldiers.
The newspaper says that in their sworn statements, Sgts Michael Smith and Santos Cardona - US army dog handlers assigned to Abu Ghraib - told investigators that military intelligence personnel requested that they bring their unmuzzled dogs to prison interrogation sites on several occasions in December and January.
They said Col Thomas Pappas, who was in charge of military intelligence at the prison, told both of them that the use of dogs in interrogations had been approved, according to the paper.
Makes me wonder who was really in charge
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Kerry Leads Bush in Poll
John Kerry leads Bush in poll
LOS ANGELES - Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) leads President Bush (news - web sites) 51 percent to 44 percent among American voters in a two-way race for president, according to a Los Angeles Times poll published Thursday.
· L.A. Times Poll Shows Voters Favor Kerry
AP - 2 hours, 17 minutes ago
· Nader Submits Signatures for Ariz. Ballot
AP - 2 hours, 17 minutes ago
· Marshals to Ensure Dem Convention Access
AP - 2 hours, 19 minutes ago
Kerry's margin of 7 percentage points shrinks only slightly to 6 percentage points, 48-42, in a three-way race with independent candidate Ralph Nader (news - web sites), poll results show.
More than a third of those surveyed said they don't know enough about Kerry to decide whether he will make a better president than Bush. Asked who is more likely to flip-flop on issues, they chose Kerry by 2 to 1.
But by 56 percent to 16 percent, voters felt that Bush was "too ideological and stubborn." They gave Kerry better marks for ideas for strengthening the economy, building respect for the U.S. around the world, and handling the problems of cost and access to health care.
The telephone poll surveyed 1,230 registered voters nationwide from Saturday to Tuesday. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Nader's new line....
This is link is to a subscription service, salon.com Please, it is well worth the money subscribe. You will not regret it. If you cna not here are some excerpts.
Nader's latest presidential campaign does not have an official slogan. It does, however, have a kind of official rationalization. "I think I'm going to take more votes away from Republicans than from Democrats," Nader says, almost every time he speaks. Democrats doubt this theory. And Nader admits no Republicans have asked him to leave the race or expressed fear he will siphon votes from Bush. "I don't think they're in with the trend," Nader explained.
But Nader insists his Republican backers are real. To find out more, I spent a good chunk of time over the last few weeks talking to Nader supporters in New England. I attended Nader meetups, Nader volunteer meetings, Nader campaign events and Nader press conferences. I spoke with Nader supporters who are still in high school, and Nader supporters with gray hair. I talked to people who have admired Nader since the 1960s, and others who first heard of him last year. I found Nader supporters who have voted for him multiple times, Nader supporters who have never voted, and Nader supporters who voted for Al Gore in 2000.
What I did not find, however, was a single supporter of Ralph Nader who voted for George W. Bush in 2000, or who had been planning to support Bush this year before Nader entered the race. After a while, I felt like a stymied naturalist stalking a rare species. Sure, Naderus Republicanus must exist somewhere, but it is an unusual creature, capable of eluding human observation for long stretches of time.
Republicans are supposedly most independent-minded. Take Greg Stott, a schoolteacher from Goshen, N.H., who attended a recent Nader press conference in Concord, the state capital, holding a "Teachers for Ralph" sign. Stott is a registered Democrat. Does he know any Republicans or former Bush voters who are supporting Nader this year?
"No, I don't," replied Stott. "That's a pretty big leap. I haven't met anybody [like that] yet. I have met a lot of Democrats who have switched over. I mean, a lot."
Even Nader himself has only caught a few fleeting glimpses of his Republican backers. Unable to locate Naderus Republicanus, I sat down with Nader for an interview in Concord, to ask him about the subject. "Have you encountered people who have told you they supported Republicans in the past, and Bush in 2000?" I queried. "Oh, yes," Nader answered immediately.
"Georgia, for example. Three of them came up at a volunteer gathering and said 'I'm fed up, my Republican friends are fed up.' At a retirement village in Arizona, the same thing happened."
Well, every vote counts. But Nader had just finished a press conference at which he claimed more Republicans than Democrats supported him in New Hampshire, in 2000. (Bush beat Gore in the state by 7,211 votes, while Nader collected 22,198 votes.) That Nader would then point to a handful of apparent supporters in the Sun Belt -- the only examples he gave me -- will probably not convince Democrats about his theory. Which, in turn, is all the more reason Democrats should be interested in finding out more about Ralph Nader's supporters.
After all, Nader still sits at 4 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll -- high enough to be a decisive factor in the race again, and higher than the 2.7 percent he drew in 2000. Somebody is backing Nader. Who are these people, and why do they support him?
Two distinct topics, actually, seem to matter most to Naderites: the war in Iraq, and the consolidation of power -- economic, political, cultural -- in the hands of large corporations. Again and again, when I asked people at Nader events why they supported him, those were the first issues to surface.
Vote Kerry for Christ's sake
We can not afford another 4 years of this. If we do, I may be forced to become an ex-pat. Why because... I am already broke. and you may as well be roke in a place that you can agree with the govt.
A little humor
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS:
Two boys in Houston were playing basketball when one of them was
attacked by a rabid rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy
board off a near-by fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and
twisted it, breaking the dog's neck.
A newspaper reporter from the Houston Chronicle witnessed the incident
and rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering
data into his laptop, beginning with the headline: "Brave Young
Saves Friend From Jaws of Vicious Animal."
"But I'm not a Rockets fan, the little hero interjected."
"Sorry," replied the reporter. "But since we're in Houston, TX, I
just assumed you were."
Hitting the delete key, the reporter began "George W. Bush Fan Rescues
Friend From Horrific Dog Attack."
"But I'm not a Bush fan either," the boy responds.
The reporter says, "I assumed everybody in this state was either
for the Rockets or Bush or Delay. What team or person do you like?"
"I'm a Denver Nuggets fan and I really like John F. Kerry",
the boy says.
Hitting the delete key, the reporter begins again, "Arrogant,
Little Liberal Bastard Kills Beloved Family Pet."......So True of
the "Liberal Media"
Rumsfeld says "gloves off" ok for interrogation
After American Taliban recruit John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan, the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld instructed military intelligence officers to "take the gloves off" in interrogating him.
Apparently Rumsfeld has not been telling the truth... oh what a shock
The instructions from Rumsfeld's legal counsel in late 2001, contained in previously undisclosed government documents, are the earliest known evidence that the Bush administration was willing to test the limits of how far it could go legally to extract information from suspected terrorists.
Even these guys attorneys are saddistic.
What happened to Lindh, who was stripped and humiliated by his captors, foreshadowed the type of abuse documented in photographs of American soldiers tormenting Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
At the time, just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. was desperate to find terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. After Lindh asked for a lawyer rather than talk to interrogators, he was not granted one nor was he advised of his Miranda rights against self-incrimination. Instead, the Pentagon ordered intelligence officers to get tough with him.
The documents, read to The Times by two sources critical of how the government handled the Lindh case, show that after an Army intelligence officer began to question Lindh, a Navy admiral told the intelligence officer that "the secretary of Defense's counsel has authorized him to 'take the gloves off' and ask whatever he wanted."
In a series of memos from late 2001 to early 2002, top legal officials in the administration identified the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a safe haven offshore that would shield the secret interrogation process from intervention by the U.S. judicial system.
Now I do not condone Mr. Lindh's behavior but this administration obviously has some issues following the Geneva or any other convention.
However, the memos also show that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell warned the White House that a tougher approach toward interrogation "will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practices in supporting Geneva Conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general."
At least one of them has some sense, too bad they did not listen to him.
According to the government documents, when Lindh was first under interrogation at the schoolhouse, authorities realized that as an American he was drawing the attention of the Defense and Justice departments. There was some initial discussion of whether Lindh, as an American, should be advised of his right against self-incrimination before military intelligence officers talked to him.
You think so Donald? No John we can get by without doing it.
On Dec. 14, 2001, Haynes' deputy, Paul W. Cobb Jr., told Lindh's San Francisco lawyers that "our forces have provided him with appropriate medical attention and will continue to treat him humanely, consistent with the Geneva Convention protections for prisoners of war."
But court documents suggest that Lindh was treated much as the prisoners later were at Abu Ghraib. Along with nudity and the sleep and food deprivation, Lindh was allegedly threatened with death. One soldier said he "was going to hang." Another "Special Forces soldier offered to shoot him."
At other times, soldiers took photos and videos of themselves smiling next to the naked Lindh, another image eerily similar to the Abu Ghraib photos.
Matsunka for Congress
<$Stan Matsunaka needs our help/$>
Stan is a moderate from Northern CO (Loveland) that needs our help to defeat Marilyn Musgrave. Stan is a former State Senator and would represent the voices of CO far better than the right wing Musgrave. So lets get Stan elected in Colorado District 4. The polls show him and Musgrave in a dead heat.
Coors Ban Revived
Candidate's stance has gays prtesting brewery
candidacy for Ben Nighthorse Campbell's senate seat has many gays and union members boycotting Coors products. "Every time they (the campaign) make a move, it gains new energy," said Howard Wallace of San Francisco, who started the boycott in 1974 with gay politician Harvey Milk.
The boycott began as a protest of the Coors Brewing Co.'s anti-union position, and quickly grew to include gay outrage over company lie-detector tests that asked whether prospective employees were homosexual. Pete Coors has angered the gay community with his support for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Pete Coors and the company have issued statements stressing their independence of each other. The message doesn't seem to be getting across.
"Profits from the Coors companies flow substantially to members of the Coors family . . . (which) continues to be a major supporter of right-wing homophobes," the ad reads. "Every time you buy a Coors product, you're helping to fund some of the (gay) community's worst enemies."
Makes you think.........
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Strange showing on CNN
First off, let me preface this post by saying that I do not remember Reagan as a leader.
I was 9 years old when he left office so there for I can not honestly say that his policies effected my 9 year old existence. This is why I am a little shocked to hear people of my generation say that they are "Reagan Republicans" As I watched the CNN coverage today I saw mostly people in there 20's and 30's there. To which I say, great. Make a stand, but it seems almost hypocritical to say that he influenced the political opinions of a toddlers and children.
I believe that his policies directly and indirectly influenced my life today. I can honestly say that Reagan's pushing the Republican party to the right has made me a card carrying member of the Democratic party. To me Reagan's policies and his shift of the Reps. laid the groundwork for G.W. Bush and company.
Today while driving across Western Utah I listened to Rush Limbaugh. Why? Why not it is always interesting to see what kind of script Karl Rove gives Rush for the week. Today he said that Ronald Reagan would have invaded Iraq. Am I wrong in thinking that Reagan would not have pre-emptively attacked a sovereign nation on bad intelligence? We had far more intelligence on The U.S.S.R. and never attacked them. Reagan was not IMHO a war monger. He realized that wars cost something far more Than deficits, they cost families sons and daughters.
GOP Pays for Nader's AZ Ballot drive
GOP Pays for Nader's AZ ballot drive
that the Republican Party is paying for Ralph Nader's ballot drive. GOP consultant Nathan Sproul is being investigated for campaign tactics that would certainly tarnish the party's reputation in national and state politics. Sproul claims that he is innocent. Here is a quote from Sproul.
"I'm not being paid by anybody to do petitions (for Nader), and I've not paid anybody to do petitions," said Sproul, who served for three years as executive director of the state GOP before going into political consulting and management in 2002.
In a news release, state Democratic Chairman Jim Pederson said his party has found "mounting evidence" that Sproul "is the primary source of money" for paying petition circulators in support of the consumer advocate.
"Over the last several days, we have received information that strongly suggests a coordinated, highly funded secret effort by the Bush campaign, Christian right and others (to put Nader on the ballot)," the Democrats' statement said.
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Tenet's resignation and Thank you to all the WW2 vets
I am writing this post from beautiful (and record setting hot) Grand Junction CO. I spent this past weekend camping out at CO National Monument. I heard of Ronald Reagan's passing yesterday and it is indeed a sad day for our country. I was nine years old when Reagan left office and do not recall if I had an opinion of him. If you have read any of this you know that I am a Democrat, but I have a lot of respect for what the man stood for and how he led with a smile.
Somethng fishy is going on at the CIA. Why now for Tenet to resign? Why not in the wake of 9-11? Why not in WMD controversy? Why not over Chalabi's boy "Curvebali?" Did the neocon / Chalabi connection finally become the straw that broke George's back. I may be in the minority but I liked Tenet. I felt like he did the best he could with the orders that he was handed. When Sec Def Rumsfeld told him to find people that knew where the WMDs were..... well he tried. I wish that it was Wolfowitz though.
If any of you get a chance listen to "This American Life" on NPR, it is with Private contractors in Iraq. Quite an enlightening show.
One last thing being that today is D-Day Thank a vet. The greatest generation is going fast.
Well until we meet again.....
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Bush Retains Lawyer
Well everyone, I will be traveling for the next week or so. I will try to post on occasion but do not lose the faith. Here is an article on Bush's obvious fear of a grand jury idictment in the Plame case.
Is Crawford TX Bush country? Not according to the mayor.
The mayor of Crawford Texas has recently endorsed the candidacy of one John F. Kerry check out the link for more info.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Lets start a petition
Ben Nighthorse Campbell R- CO stated that he left the democratic party due to the corruption and "excessive spending" of the democratic party.
Sen. Campbell has stated that he felt the democratic party failed the american people. My question to Mr. Campbell... How do you like the republicans now? With Bush and Company at the Helm the deficit is at it's highest ever, the Halliburton / Cheney scandal will not die.
I would like to start a petition for Mr. Campbell to retire from the Senate as a democrat, the party that put him there to begin with. If anyone agrees and can help build this petition lets get it going. I believe that this gesture would help to show how Coloradoans and people in the Western States in General feel about the current administration.
Just a thought
Falsely Accused Intern Speaks of Kerry affair
Speaks about the recent right wing effort to smear her and her alleged relationship with Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry. Ms. Polier said that it came as quite a surpirise to find out that she was mentioned in Drudge Report, as an intern that had been in a relationship with Senator Kerry. Ms. Polier denies any such relationship ever happened. Thanks to Travis at Rainstorm for the link.