Tuesday, August 31, 2004


My guess is that this will ironically be the day that 1000 US soldiers have died in Iraq.

60 Attacks on US A Day 


BAGHDAD — Two months after the U.S. handed sovereignty back to Iraq amid hopes of reduced violence, more than 110 U.S. troops have been killed and much of the country remains hostile territory. The toll of U.S. dead since the war began last year is fast approaching 1,000.

Although attention in recent weeks has focused on Najaf, where U.S. forces battled Shiite Muslim militiamen, most of the deadly confrontations for American troops in newly independent Iraq have occurred in the Baghdad area and the so-called Sunni Triangle to the north and west.

The concentration of attacks in those areas is a reminder that the fiercest and most organized opposition to U.S. forces and the U.S.-backed interim government continues to be in Sunni-dominated cities, such as Fallouja. Nationwide, U.S. forces are being attacked 60 times per day on average, up 20% from the three-month period before the hand-over.

The occupation of Iraq has technically ended, but a U.S.-commanded multinational force of more than 150,000 is still there, tasked with providing security to the fledgling government. Ubiquitous graffiti denouncing the continued occupation indicate that insurgents see little change in their enemy — U.S. troops and their Iraqi allies.

15 Year Old Boy Raped By US Contractor? 


Aug 30 - While the latest reports investigating the widely condemned events at Abu Ghraib prison attempt to close the book on the Pentagon's culpability with a somber critique, new evidence gathered for a class action lawsuit filed against two US-based private contractors could prove that the scandal at Abu Ghraib was far from an isolated series of incidents perpetrated by a few rowdy "bad apples" working the night shift during Ramadan.

An attorney representing former detainees says his recent fact-finding mission to Baghdad uncovered dozens of cases of physical and psychological abuse, sexual humiliation, religious desecration and rape in ten US-run prisons throughout occupied Iraq.

The NewStandard spoke with Michigan-based attorney Shereef Akeel, who interviewed some 50 former detainees about their time and treatment in US custody. Part of the legal team behind a class action lawsuit against the firms for their employees' involvement in prison abuse at US-run facilities in Iraq, the former immigration lawyer found himself traveling to meet face-to-face with the people he is representing in the American court system.

His team has documented abuse dating from July 2003 to as recently as last month, when an Iraqi boy just fifteen years old says his captors at an American facility raped him. "He was told to go on all fours naked and was sodomized from behind," Akeel conveyed the fifteen year-old's testimony. "He said they made him dance and he was crying."…

… Perhaps the most disturbing evidence Akeel found suggesting an overarching policy of abuse comes in the form of first-hand accounts that captors singled out religiously observant prisoners for particularly harsh abuse.

Akeel said former detainees told him that upon arrival at a US-run facility, they were each given a questionnaire asking them about their religious affiliation as well as their vices. In Akeel's words, the questions included: "Are you Sunni? Are you Shia? Do you drink? Do you not drink? Do you have a girlfriend?" Akeel said he found a consistent pattern among the cases: the stricter the religious observance a detainee reported to his captors, the more severe the treatment he would receive at their hands.

Akeel provided several examples of religious desecration, including stories of men who had purified themselves in an Islamic absolution ritual only to be subsequently doused with beer and alcohol by captors. At one prison, plaintiffs told Akeel, captors hung a picture of a pig on the wall toward which prisoners faced to worship and told them, "Pray to your pig."

In one horrific case recounted to Akeel, a naked woman wearing a strapped on sexual device raped an elderly man while he was fasting. The man said the woman came in silently behind him, "wearing a belt with a penis," Akeel relayed. The man told Akeel he could not determine whether his assailant was an American MP or a private contractor.

Post Names Sanchez As Cause Of prison Scandal 

Katha Pollitt Writes About The Newly Awakened Left 


For well over a decade now, right-wingers and Republicans have heaped insult, lies and slander on liberals and Democrats, who responded for the most part by becoming starchy, self-doubting and depressed. To complain was to be labeled elitist and fuddy-duddy: Rush and Ann and Bill and Sean say liberals are traitors and hate America? They're populist entertainers! Jerry Falwell hawked a video accusing Bill Clinton of murder? Shut up and finish your latte. It took ages, not to mention a suspect election and a suspect war, but suddenly everywhere you look Democrats and liberals are fighting back.

The prissy and thin-lipped are cracking jokes, policy wonks are gabbing on Air America, voters once proud of being as unherdable as cats leap aboard the projects of MoveOn.org and write checks to long-shot red-state candidates because Howard Dean says it's a good idea. Do some of these newborn activists feel an intense personal dislike of Bush and all his works? Think he's a blithering idiot? Quiver with rage and loathing when they watch him flash that arrogant sneer and speak in that weird lurching way, as if he's on the edge of blanking out totally? Sure. Probably some of them even enjoy seeing his features merged with an ape's on smirkingchimp.com. But so what? This is America, where pundits have for years reassured us politics is a down-and-dirty contact sport with no room for girly men.

Bush hatred wasn't supposed to happen. Liberals were supposed to be lofty and wistful and clueless, even as their enemies slimed them into irrelevance; they were supposed to say things like "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" -- not cram into movie theaters to laugh hysterically at the President sitting in that classroom reading "The Pet Goat." Something must be wrong with these Bush-haters, with their No More Years bumper stickers and their obsessional blogs -- could they be insane? "Monomaniacal," as Tucker Carlson put it on Crossfire: "Their hatred has become the focus of their lives. It's actually a clinical description." …

…It's really a stretch to suggest that the newly awakened anti-Bush advocates are just the lefty equivalent of the hard-right disinformation machine. Al Franken is no Bill O'Reilly. The New York Times editorial page equates MoveOn PAC's ads with those of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and it's true both are funded through gaps in campaign-finance laws, and both attack the enemy candidate on his war record. But the Swift Boat vets' charges are a mess of smears and lies with Karl Rove's fingerprints all over them, while MoveOn's ads raise genuine questions about Bush's service record that have never been answered.

Quick Thoughts 

The Repub agenda is the most discriminatory I have seen in years. Rudy lauds Bush for going across the world and attacking terrorists, despite the fact that it hasn't stopped terrorism one iota, has increased violence and Iraq has failed in every way failure can be measured.

The GOP has absolutely nothing to run on except the illusion of strength and competence. It can do nothing else but dispute the facts we see before our very eyes.

Flip Flopper 

"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world."
-- George W. Bush
July 30th 2004.

"I don’t think you can win [the war on terror]. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.”
-- George W. Bush
Aug. 29th, 2004

Krugman Is A Must Read Today 

Other towns, like Samarra, have also fallen to insurgents. Attacks on oil pipelines are proliferating. And we're still playing whack-a-mole with Moktada al-Sadr: his Mahdi Army has left Najaf, but remains in control of Sadr City, with its two million people. The Christian Science Monitor reports that "interviews in Baghdad suggest that Sadr is walking away from the standoff with a widening base and supporters who are more militant than before."

For a long time, anyone suggesting analogies with Vietnam was ridiculed. But Iraq optimists have, by my count, already declared victory three times. First there was "Mission Accomplished" - followed by an escalating insurgency. Then there was the capture of Saddam - followed by April's bloody uprising. Finally there was the furtive transfer of formal sovereignty to Ayad Allawi, with implausible claims that this showed progress - a fantasy exploded by the guns of August.

Now, serious security analysts have begun to admit that the goal of a democratic, pro-American Iraq has receded out of reach. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies - no peacenik - writes that "there is little prospect for peace and stability in Iraq before late 2005, if then."

Monday, August 30, 2004


Jack Balkin On The GOP 

Shorter Republican Party Convention


Reporter: Hi, I wanted to ask you a few questions about ....

Republican Party: September 11th! September 11th! Remember September 11th!

Reporter: What's your view of the Democrats?

Republican Party: Out of Mainstream! Unpatriotic! Radical Pantywaists! September 11th! September 11th! Remember September 11th! (breaks into song) Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies, For Amber Waves of Grain!

Reporter: What's your view about unemployment?

Republican Party: Turning the Corner! America Strong! September 11th! September 11th! Remember September 11th!

Reporter: Deficits?

Republican Party: What Deficits? September 11th! September 11th! Remember September 11th!

Reporter: The failure to find weapons of mass destruction?

Republican Party: Winning the War on Terror! America Strong! America Good! September 11th! September 11th! Remember September 11th!

Reporter: Well, thanks very much for your time. I appreciate it. (starts to walk away).

Republican Party: (tackling reporter) September 11th! September 11th! Did you hear me! SEPTEMBER F**CKING 11TH!

These Slimeballs Have No Sense of Decency. 

On "Fox News Sunday," the Illinois Republican insinuated that billionaire financier George Soros, who's funding an independent media campaign to dislodge President Bush, is getting his big bucks from shady sources. "You know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where - if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from," Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: "Excuse me?" The Speaker went on: "Well, that's what he's been for a number years - George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there." Wallace: "You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?" Hastert: "I'm saying I don't know where groups - could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know."

Bush Administration Officials know no bounds in scurrilous smears.

Tucker Carlson On Bush 

... The attacks initially made me sorry I voted for him. For most of that day, as my wife and children stayed inside our house listening to the roar of fighter jets overhead, and black smoke from the Pentagon hovered above our neighborhood, Bush failed to return to Washington. My family sat unprotected a few miles from the scene of a terrorist attack; Bush hid in a bunker on some faraway military base.

It infuriated me, as did the subsequent excuses from White House spokesman. There was a risk in coming back, they said. There was a risk in coming back, they said. Of course there was. That's the point: Leaders must take risks, sometimes physical ones. Bush should have elbowed his Secret Service detail out of the way and returned in a display of fearlessness to his nation's capital. I found it distressingly revealing that he didn't.

Keyes Blows His Top.  

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Photos of NYC 

RNC and NYC Protest photos here and here

Don't Know What To Make Of this 

A Reminder Of Why We Should Probably Just Pull Out Altogether

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 28 - While American troops have been battling Islamic militants to an uncertain outcome in Najaf, the Shiite holy city, events in two Sunni Muslim cities that stand astride the crucial western approaches to Baghdad have moved significantly against American plans to build a secular democracy in Iraq.

Both of the cities, Falluja and Ramadi, and much of Anbar Province, are now controlled by fundamentalist militias, with American troops confined mainly to heavily protected forts on the desert's edge. What little influence the Americans have is asserted through wary forays in armored vehicles, and by laser-guided bombs that obliterate enemy safe houses identified by scouts who penetrate militant ranks. Even bombing raids appear to strengthen the fundamentalists, who blame the Americans for scores of civilian deaths.

This Is Why Bush Is So Scary  

When In Doubt, Hide The Facts

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 - The Department of Education is sharply cutting back on the information it collects about charter schools for a periodic report that provides a detailed national profile of public, private and charter schools.

Confirmation of the change, originally relayed in an e-mail message to a university professor, came on Wednesday from a spokeswoman for the Education Department. Last week, the first national comparison of test scores showed students in charter schools largely trailing comparable students in traditional public schools.

While everyone discusses where the shrapnel went into John Kerry’s ass, the Bush Administration figures out how to fix those pesky charter school scores: stop reporting the data.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Science Saturday:Math News. Prime Number Sequence Title Busted. 

Math News

On July 24, Markus Frind, Paul Jobling, and Paul Underwood announced that they had discovered the first sequence consisting of 23 prime numbers in arithmetic progression. This surpasses the previous record of 22 primes in arithmetic progression, set in 1993.

A prime is a positive integer evenly divisible only by itself and 1. An arithmetic progression is a sequence of numbers in which each term differs from the preceding term by the same fixed amount. For example, 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, and 21 is an arithmetic progression (or sequence) in which consecutive numbers differ by 4.

A prime arithmetic progression is one in which the numbers are all primes. For example, 199, 409, 619, 829, 1039, 1249, 1459, 1669, 1879, 2089 is a 10-term arithmetic progression in which consecutive primes differ by 210.

The new record holder starts with the prime 56,211,383,760,397 and adds 44,546,738,095,860 for each successive term in the sequence.

Medical Miracle In Europe 

Scientists Replaced A Jawbone By Growing A New One Inside The Man’s Own Body

A man who lost his jawbone to cancer has enjoyed his first solid meal in nine years after having a new bone grown under his shoulder blade and then transplanted to his face, reports The Times, London.

'Doctors who carried out the pioneering procedure at a hospital in Germany said that it opened up new avenues for the modelling of damaged bones and grafts,' the article said.

The procedure involved making 'a Teflon mould of the jaw replacement using CT scans, which produce 3D X-ray images, and a computer-operated milling machine.'

This mould was wrapped in a titanium mesh cage, which was removed and stuffed with genetically engineered human bone protein and bone marrow taken from the patient. This was implanted under the skin below the man's right shoulder blade, and allowed to remain and grow there for seven weeks, the article said.

Finally, this was removed with a flap of muscle containing blood vessels and attached to the man's face with screws.

The 56-year-old German man underwent surgery for a bone tumor in his jaw eight years before the operation, when a large section of the bone had been removed. Since then, he was able to eat only soft foods and soup.

It Happened Exactly As We Guessed The Story Behind MSNBC’s hard right turn.  

Friday, August 27, 2004

Story, Meet End. End, This Is Story... 

Ilana Mercer of World Net Daily, an extreme right wingnut pub, bitch slaps self loathing liar Michele Malkin. 

Ilana Mercer of World Net Daily, an extreme right wingnut pub, bitch slaps self loathing liar Michele Malkin.

Even assuming that mass treason among the American Japanese was possible, the only legitimate, Fifth Amendment-respecting course of action would have been to proceed separately against individuals by producing evidence of treachery, in accordance with the rules of evidence, and then proceeding with formal charges.

It's called due process, Michelle…

…That is not all that is invalid about her modus operandi, however. Malkin has gone beyond blindly supporting her man's (Bush's) policies, to using her journalistic celebrity to spread the so-far unverified swiftboat stories. There she was on "Hardball," her face contorted like Dorian Gray on fast forward, spewing speculation that John Kerry had shot himself in Vietnam. Thankfully, host Chris Matthews rose to the occasion like a cobra, and spat a succession of sharp questions at the dissembling Malkin regarding the rumors that tumbled promiscuously from her mouth.

The Cabby, the Gun and Socialized Medicine. And Krugman 

I never did write a post I was planning for weeks: a description of the scariest cab ride I ever had. This one down Santa Monica Boulevard in a mini van with a smelly scrawny self described “independent” who felt Franco “was a good guy ‘cause he killed all the commies he could….nothing you can do with commies BUT kill ‘em.."he went on…

He had a gun lodged between the seat and the gear box, and he got madder and madder as he talked. Finally I just asked him if we could get to the hotel silently because I frankly thought he was a nut.

Before the blessed silence he mentioned how much worse Canada and Mexico’s health care systems were than ours. Of course that’s the meme that floats around America. Our’s is the best. Paul Krugman points out : “The fact is that the mainly private U.S. health care system spends far more than the mainly public health care systems of other advanced countries, but gets worse results. In 2001, we spent $4,887 on health care per capita, compared with $2,792 in Canada and $2,561 in France. Yet the U.S. does worse than either country by any measure of health care success you care to name - life expectancy, infant mortality, whatever. (At its best, U.S. health care is the best in the world. But the ranks of Americans who can't afford the best, and may have no insurance at all, are large and growing.)”

Read the rest here.

You have to ask yourself: if our systems is so much better, than how do we explain the fact that there are more people are poor and uninsured than last year?
or that 45 million Americans have no insurance ?

Better yet: what exactly are the Republicans running on? Surely not this report.

And why does all the bad economic news get reported on a Friday?

Anyway…the cabby. Phew. And he was a registered voter.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

In Typical Fashion. More Secrecy. 

Government secrecy has increased sharply in the past few years
keeping Americans in the dark about information they should be able to access, says a report released Thursday by a coalition of watchdog groups.

It found the federal government created 14 million new classified documents in fiscal year 2003 - a 26 percent increase over the number of documents stamped secret in 2002, and a 60 percent increase over 2001. Those numbers cover over 40 agencies, but exclude the CIA.

At the same time, the government is declassifying fewer documents, the report said. Some 43 million pages were declassified in 2003, down from 44 million the year before - and a significant decrease from 2001 when 100 million pages were declassified.

"There are secrets that are necessary, but there are a heck of a lot of secrets that are being kept secret that the public would benefit from, with their disclosure," said Rick Blum, coalition coordinator for OpenTheGovernment.org and author of the report.

Dich Meyer: Dirty Tricks Old Bush Game 

Any student of Bush family campaigns could have seen the swift boat shiv shining a mile away. This old family has traditions – horseshoes, fishing, bad syntax and having the help do the dirty work in campaigns as well as the kitchen. And they are very good at getting jobs done without leaving fingerprints, without compromising their patrician image and their alleged character.

Even the audaciousness of this year’s episode is not surprising. Who would have believed that George Bush, with all the trouble over his National Guard service, could get John Kerry in hot water for his combat duty and medals in Vietnam? Well, anyone who saw what George Bush did to former POW John McCain in the 2000 primaries, which was even more outrageous.

The ancestral origin of Bush family gut fighting came in George H. W. Bush’s 1988 campaign against Michael Dukakis in the form of the infamous Willie Horton ad. (Historical footnote: Horton actually went by William, not Willie, and is referred as William in all legal documents; the ad makers thought Willie sounded scarier and blacker.)

1.3 Million Americans Slip Into Poverty 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some 1.3 million Americans slid into poverty in 2003 despite the economic recovery, and children and blacks were worse off than most, the government said on Thursday in a report certain to fuel Democratic criticism of President Bush.

The percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose to 12.5 percent from 12.1 percent in 2002, the Census Bureau said in its annual poverty report, seen by some as the most important score card on the nation's economy and Bush's first term in office. The ranks of the poor rose to 35.9 million, a boost of 1.3 million.

Health care coverage also dropped last year and incomes were essentially stagnant, the Census Bureau said in its annual poverty report, seen by some as the most important score card on the nation's economy and Bush's first term in office.

Bush Administration Hides Bad Economics Facts Again 

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Census Bureau will release government data on the poverty rate tomorrow. Not surprisingly, after years of progress on moving American families out of poverty in the 1990s, the Bureau's data is expected to show another increase under Bush.

That's the predictable part. The suspicious part has to do with the timing of the announcement.

Every year, the Census Bureau releases the poverty data in late-September. In election years, that means the public learns about the number of families in poverty about five weeks before going to the polls. This year -- surprise, surprise -- the announcement has been moved up to August, when Congress is out of session, a lot of journalists are on vacation, and the Olympics are on TV. The Wall Street Journal reported:A bureau representative says the date change has nothing to do with politics.

No, of course not, what ever could have given us that idea?

Indeed, it's not suspicious at all that the Census Bureau changed the date and the location of the announcement to a harder-to-reach office. Instead of using the traditional National Press Club in downtown DC, where the numbers have been released in years past, the poverty data announcement will be made from Census Bureau offices in Suitland, Md., far from reporters' offices.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

You Have To Ask Yourself This 

What does it take to get fired in the Bush Administration? I mean take Rumsfeld. He is the Secretary of Defense. The ONE job that the SecDef should have is guessing how many soldiers are needed to win. How many tanks and troops and what will it cost?

He was dead wrong on everything from the troop levels to total costs and damn near admitted it.

Gets to keep his job.

The Abu Ghraib report just released said there was confusion sown from the top of the Defense Department on how prisoners should be treated.

He is at the top.

He was wrong on the troop level and nature and depth of the post war insurgency.

Gets to keep his job.

What, I ask you would be a deal breaker for this guy?

Oh yeah, he was SecDef when we got hit on 9/11.

Begin With Industry Appointed EPA Officials , End With Record Mercury In The Water 

While You Were Obsessing About The Schrapnel in Kerry’s Ass… 

OK, while the GOP debates the depths of the schrapnel wounds in John Kerry’s ass, that there are three or four news items which could or should make a big impression on voters in the next election.

Wal Mart has one of its first low earnings expectations. I mean when Americans can’t afford to shop at Wal*Mart, you have to wonder exactly what Bush is running on.

Overtime pay has quietly gone into effect. These rule smay take billions of dollars out of the pockets of workers. Learn the rules here.

Study cited at UCLA that says that seniors are sometimes hoarding or not taking their medications and saving them until are really in trouble. I mean come on. You have to ask yourself why we keep defending our medical systems over everyone else’s when at the end of the day, millions of Americans have no access to health care.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

About The Best Column This Year 

The Rambo Coalition

lmost a year ago, on the second anniversary of 9/11, I predicted "an ugly, bitter campaign - probably the nastiest of modern American history." The reasons I gave then still apply. President Bush has no positive achievements to run on. Yet his inner circle cannot afford to see him lose: if he does, the shroud of secrecy will be lifted, and the public will learn the truth about cooked intelligence, profiteering, politicization of homeland security and more.

But recent attacks on John Kerry have surpassed even my expectations. There's no mystery why. Mr. Kerry isn't just a Democrat who might win: his life story challenges Mr. Bush's attempts to confuse tough-guy poses with heroism, and bombast with patriotism.

One of the wonders of recent American politics has been the ability of Mr. Bush and his supporters to wrap their partisanship in the flag. Through innuendo and direct attacks by surrogates, men who assiduously avoided service in Vietnam, like Dick Cheney (five deferments), John Ashcroft (seven deferments) and George Bush (a comfy spot in the National Guard, and a mysterious gap in his records), have questioned the patriotism of men who risked their lives and suffered for their country: John McCain, Max Cleland and now John Kerry.

How have they been able to get away with it? The answer is that we have been living in what Roger Ebert calls "an age of Rambo patriotism." As the carnage and moral ambiguities of Vietnam faded from memory, many started to believe in the comforting clichés of action movies, in which the tough-talking hero is always virtuous and the hand-wringing types who see complexities and urge the hero to think before acting are always wrong, if not villains.

After 9/11, Mr. Bush had a choice: he could deal with real threats, or he could play Rambo. He chose Rambo. Not for him the difficult, frustrating task of tracking down elusive terrorists, or the unglamorous work of protecting ports and chemical plants from possible attack: he wanted a dramatic shootout with the bad guy. And if you asked why we were going after this particular bad guy, who hadn't attacked America and wasn't building nuclear weapons - or if you warned that real wars involve costs you never see in the movies - you were being unpatriotic.

As a domestic political strategy, Mr. Bush's posturing worked brilliantly. As a strategy against terrorism, it has played right into Al Qaeda's hands. Thirty years after Vietnam, American soldiers are again dying in a war that was sold on false pretenses and creates more enemies than it kills.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Mr. Bush - who must defend the indefensible - has turned to those who still refuse to face the truth about Vietnam.

All the credible evidence, from military records to the testimony of those who served with Mr. Kerry, confirms his wartime heroism. Why, then, are some veterans willing to join the smear campaign? Because they are angry about his later statements against the war. Yet making those statements was itself a heroic act - and what he said then rings truer than ever.

The young John Kerry spoke of leaders who sent others to their deaths because they wanted to seem tough, then "left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude." Fifteen months after George Bush strutted around in his flight suit, more and more Americans are echoing Gen. Anthony Zinni, who received a standing ovation from an audience of Marine and Navy officers when he talked about the debacle in Iraq and said of those who served in Vietnam: "We heard the garbage and the lies, and we saw the sacrifice. I ask you, is it happening again?"

Mr. Kerry also spoke of the moral cost of an ill-conceived war - of the atrocities soldiers find themselves committing when they can't tell friend from foe. Two words: Abu Ghraib.

Let's hope that this latest campaign of garbage and lies - initially financed by a Texas Republican close to Karl Rove, and running an ad featuring an "independent" veteran who turns out to have served on a Bush campaign committee - leads to a backlash against Mr. Bush. If it doesn't, here's the message we'll be sending to Americans who serve their country: If you tell the truth, your courage and sacrifice count for nothing.

E. J. Dionne Is Also A Genius 

This is also a test of John McCain. When he ran against Bush four years ago, McCain was smeared mercilessly. When McCain protested to Bush about the attacks at one of their debates during the 2000 primaries, Bush brushed him off. "John," Bush said, "it's politics."

McCain snapped back, "George, everything isn't politics."

Jon Stewart Is A Genius 

STEWART: Here's what puzzles me most, Rob. John Kerry's record in Vietnam is pretty much right there in the official records of the US military, and haven't been disputed for 35 years?

CORDDRY: That's right, Jon, and that's certainly the spin you'll be hearing coming from the Kerry campaign over the next few days.

STEWART: Th-that's not a spin thing, that's a fact. That's established.

CORDDRY: Exactly, Jon, and that established, incontravertible fact is one side of the story.

STEWART: But that should be -- isn't that the end of the story? I mean, you've seen the records, haven't you? What's your opinion?

CORDDRY: I'm sorry, my *opinion*? No, I don't have 'o-pin-i-ons'. I'm a reporter, Jon, and my job is to spend half the time repeating what one side says, and half the time repeating the other. Little thing called 'objectivity' -- might wanna look it up some day.

STEWART: Doesn't objectivity mean objectively weighing the evidence, and calling out what's credible and what isn't?

CORDDRY: Whoa-ho! Well, well, well -- sounds like someone wants the media to act as a filter! [high-pitched, effeminate] 'Ooh, this allegation is spurious! Upon investigation this claim lacks any basis in reality! Mmm, mmm, mmm.' Listen buddy: not my job to stand between the people talking to me and the people listening to me.

STEWART: So, basically, you're saying that this back-and-forth is never going to end.

CORDDRY: No, Jon -- in fact a new group has emerged, this one composed of former Bush colleages, challenging the president's activities during the Vietnam era. That group: Drunken Stateside Sons of Privilege for Plausible Deniability. They've apparently got some things to say about a certain Halloween party in '71 that involved trashcan punch and a sodomized piñata. Jon -- they just want to set the record straight. That's all they're out for.

STEWART: Well, thank you Rob, good luck out there. We'll be right back.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Painting Schools In Baghdad, Closing Them in St. Louis. 

Painting Schools In Baghdad, Closing Them in St. Louis.

A wrinkled California Charter Academy banner with one edge loose hangs on a weathered white church that was — just days ago — home to an Inglewood school. Soon the banner will be packed and shipped away, along with globes, textbooks and computers.

The 450-student Village Elementary School is one of more than 60 charter campuses across the state shut down just weeks before the new school year. The Victorville-based charter organization that operated them collapsed this month under financial turmoil, pressure from new state laws and a California Department of Education investigation into its academic and financial practices.

Students are now scrambling to find new campuses.

"For us to be shut down is disheartening, it's a blow," said Principal Melody Parker. "We were just blindsided by it."

Weekly Standard Not High On Repub Ticket 

Yet in 2004, Republicans find themselves supporting a candidate, George W. Bush, with a slender and ambiguous military record against a man whose combat heroism has never (until now) been disputed. Further--and here we'll let slip a thinly disguised secret--Republicans are supporting a candidate that relatively few of them find personally or politically appealing. This is not the choice Republicans are supposed to be faced with. The 1990s were far better. In those days the Democrats did the proper thing, nominating a draft-dodger to run against George H.W. Bush, who was the youngest combat pilot in the Pacific theater in World War II, and then later, in 1996, against Bob Dole, who left a portion of his body on the beach at Anzio.

Republicans have no such luck this time, and so they scramble to reassure themselves that they nevertheless are doing the right thing, voting against a war hero. The simplest way to do this is to convince themselves that the war hero isn't really a war hero. If sufficient doubt about Kerry's record can be raised, we can vote for Bush without remorse. But the calculations are transparently desperate. Reading some of the anti-Kerry attacks over the last several weeks, you might conclude that this is the new conservative position: A veteran who volunteered for combat duty, spent four months under fire in Vietnam, and then exaggerated a bit so he could go home early is the inferior, morally and otherwise, of a man who had his father pull strings so he wouldn't have to go to Vietnam in the first place.

From Texas Freedom Network 

"I think that evangelicals are so concerned with the unborn -- as we should be -- that we have failed to pay enough attention to the born -- to those children who do live and who are being left behind by a system that has gone in favor of corporate interests and big money."
-- Evangelical leader and Baptist minister Tony Campolo, who argues that "evangelical Christianity has been hijacked" by the far right.

Stern Vs. Bush 

"If you're listening to me now, the one thing I ask you to do is vote against Bush. Vote for Kerry," Stern said during a recent broadcast of his morning show.

Stern is now railing against the president on a daily basis to a massive audience. He has the third-largest morning show in the country and is urging his 8.5 million listeners to drive the Republicans from office.

"Howard Stern is going to prove to be George Bush's worst political nightmare if he continues in this vein," said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Scientists discover 'moving mountains' 

8/5/04 - University of Nevada, Reno researchers have for the first time recorded a cluster of nearly 1,600 small earthquakes 20 miles beneath Lake Tahoe – the world’s second-largest alpine lake. Based on observations from the university’s Nevada Seismic Network and an ultra-sensitive Global Positioning System (GPS) station at Slide Mountain, the researchers believe the quake cluster coincided with an unprecedented 8-millimeter uplifting of the ski resort mountain in the Sierra Nevada.

“We’ve been watching earthquakes for 30 years in the Tahoe area and have never witnessed an earthquake ‘swarm’ anything like this,” said Ken Smith, research seismologist at the university’s Nevada Seismological Laboratory and principal author of an article to be published in August in the journal, Science, and on its Science Express Web site on Aug. 5.

Sick of Politics. Today, an article about teenage weight gain in Tyrannosaurus Rex 

Teenage Weight Gain in T Rex

Detailed analyses of fossils of Tyrannosaurus rex and some of its more ancient kin suggest that the creatures experienced an extended surge in growth during adolescence, putting on as much as half their adult weight in a mere 4 years.

T. rex, one of the most fearsome meat eaters ever to stroll the planet, weighed more than 5,000 kilograms as an adult. Scientists have long debated whether such large dinosaurs achieved their bulk through rapid growth when young, delayed adulthood that enabled a longer growth period, or both. After scrutinizing the remains of four tyrannosaur species, researchers suggest that the beasts went through a substantial teenage growth spurt.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Friday Night, A Discothèque in Georgia, 1980. The Fight. 

“ Well, Mr. Turow spit on Mr. Smith and then Mr. Smith threw a punch that broke Mr. Turows’ glasses. That’s how it started.”

“ Well, Mr. Smith hit Mr. Turow and Mr. Turow’s glasses fell off. Then Mr. Turow spit on Mr. Smith.”

Two different account from two different bouncers standing three feet away from the same fight. That’s what happens in life. People have slightly different memories of the same event and it does not mean one is absolutely wrong and the other absolutely right.

I was one of these bouncers. I was also deposed for other fights as well, each one yielding maddeningly different testimonies.

You can be boot to boot, elbow to elbow, in the same ditch, the same company, the same day, the same ambush, under a hail of bullets, and the differences in remembered details is even greater.

“First we heard RPGs, then AK fire. Then Joe was hit.”

“First a claymore went off, then AK fire came at us from the brush, then Joe died.”

Almost 40 years after a day in Cambodia, SBVFT are now telling us that even 300 yards away, they know what happened in John Kerry’s boat. And now there’s more: There are arguments emerging that somehow Kerry’s serving only four months in combat makes him less than a decorated war hero.

This is McCarthyism, plain and simple. Lowdown dirty smearing and shaming, that is itself ruthless and shamefull.

As the former Mayor of San Francisco has said, “John Kerry volunteered to serve. He served. He was shot. What’s to argue about that?”

And that’s what it boils down to.

And where do these smears come from? They come from an administration headed by a man who avoided combat and one who sought five deferments because rather than fight in Vietnam, he “had other priorities.”

Bush is a coward for allowing these smears. And Cheney is a coward period.

Kerry is a decorated combat veteran. And no amount of smearing and libeling, no matter how many self loathing right wing tarts spread the rumors, they cannot take this away from John Kerry.

Friday, August 20, 2004


In case anyone still gives a shit.

Does God Really Care About This? 

So this 8 year old girl Catholic girl a rare digestive disease cannot eat wheat. So The Diocese of Trenton declared her first Communion invalid. You see it has to be wheat according to church doctrine.

I have one question: Does anyone really think that God, the infinite being, the creative impetus behind the entire universe, the omniscient, omnipotent, all loving being that is both transcendent of the world and imminent in the world, is really not going to accept it’s own child, this little girl, because the wafer had no fucking wheat?

The Gray Lady Makes A Correction 

Politics as Usual

Correction Appended

It may seem outlandish to launch a campaign broadside by television ad and book flackery devoted to discrediting the respectable Vietnam War record of Senator John Kerry, who has five combat medals. But that is exactly what a Republican-financed group of partisans is doing in presenting itself as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and tattooing the Democratic presidential nominee with accusations of lying about his service and war wounds. Never in Mr. Kerry's command, but claiming to have served near enough, its members are trying to contradict the firsthand accounts of his crewmates who are vouching for his war record.

In a way, this political assault may merely be a knife-edged compliment to the effectiveness of Mr. Kerry's stratagem of tirelessly - some might say tiresomely - highlighting his wartime service. The attack ads and the book, "Unfit for Command,'' are a visceral part of the anti-Kerry campaign in the battleground states. The assault is gaining attention, with Internet and cable television zealots debating combat minutiae and even whether Mr. Kerry enacted wartime events with his political future in mind or held secret meetings with Communists.

The leader of the attack, John O'Neill, a Swift boat veteran and Texas lawyer, has been a detractor of Mr. Kerry for decades, ever since the Nixon White House recruited him to rebut Mr. Kerry's criticism of Vietnam policy. And the chief donor to the Swift boat broadside is a Texas businessman, Bob Perry, who is known for giving millions to the campaigns of President Bush and other Republicans.

Voters should also know that the group is one of the new "shadow party" efforts of supposedly independent ( but, in truth, transparently partisan) activist groups that have been set up to evade campaign laws and take advantage of nonprofits' tax breaks. One of the more prominent of these groups, the leftist MoveOn.org, is running ads attacking President Bush's Air National Guard service. We have denounced the Democrats for pioneering and financing these efforts - which the Federal Election Commission, ever the snoozing watchdog of American politics, has done nothing to rein in. The F.E.C. is to consider some get-tough proposals this week, but a majority of the commission members are likely to duck responsibility once more.

Senator John McCain, the Vietnam hero who was smeared by one such "independent" stealth group in the 2000 campaign, has denounced the Swift Boat Veterans' attack as dishonest and dishonorable, declaring, "The Bush administration should specifically condemn the ad." So far that hasn't happened. We can only hope the senator brought the point up as he campaigned last week with Mr. Bush.

Correction: Aug. 20, 2004, Friday

Bob Herbert Calls It Vote Suppression. It Is 

“We received your package related to the allegations of voter fraud during the 2004 mayoral election. This dealt with the manner in which absentee ballots were either handled or collected by campaign staffers for Mayor Buddy Dyer. Since this matter involved an elected official, the allegations were forwarded to F.D.L.E.'s Executive Investigations in Tallahassee, Florida.”

"The documents were reviewed by F.D.L.E., as well as the Florida Division of Elections. It was determined that there was no basis to support the allegations of election fraud concerning these absentee ballots. Since there is no evidence of criminal misconduct involving Mayor Dyer, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement considers this matter closed."

Well, it's not closed. And department officials said yesterday that the letter sent out in May was never meant to indicate that the "entire" investigation was closed. Since the letter went out, state troopers have gone into the homes of 40 or 50 black voters, most of them elderly, in what the department describes as a criminal investigation. Many longtime Florida observers have said the use of state troopers for this type of investigation is extremely unusual, and it has caused a storm of controversy.

You Have To See The Self Loathing Michelle Malkin Get Spanked 

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Bush Administration Makes Car Emissions Data Secret 

Someone please explain this to me.

The federal agency that oversees auto safety has decided -- based largely on arguments from automakers and their Washington, D.C., lobbyists -- that reams of data relating to unsafe automobiles or defective parts will not be available to the public.

Specifically, the government has banned the release of car and truck warranty-claims information, customer complaints and early-warning reports about defects from dealers, automakers and rental car companies, even if media outlets or other groups push for it under the Freedom of Information Act.

The rule, finalized earlier this year, is a two-paragraph decision buried deep within the Federal Register, which runs hundreds of pages each day. Few outside the automakers, their lobbyists and some public-interest groups, are even aware of it. But awareness is growing. The decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was cited Saturday in a front-page New York Times story as an example of regulatory actions by the Bush administration to aid business or industry.

Why Aren't US News Services Reporting This? 

Why Reuters And Not An American News Service To Report This

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Army general violated Pentagon rules by failing to properly clear speeches in which he described the war on terror as a Christian battle against Satan and should be punished, according to an inspector general's report obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

The Bush administration misled the public about the health hazards of the smoke and dust at Ground Zero, a new report charges. 

Reckless Disregard

The Sierra Club report blames the thousands of cases of long-term respiratory illness among New Yorkers on the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for downplaying the health risks and shirking their regulatory oversight roles.

EPA officials, the report says, urged financial district workers to return to their jobs, repeatedly claiming the air was safe, using outdated testing gear and limited test results. The reassuring message didn't substantially change as the months dragged on, the report said.

At the same time, concerns were being raised by independent researchers.

Christiane AmanpourOn Tina Brown’s Show On The Admnistration’s Pressure To Sell Iraq 

On last week's Topic A With Tina Brown on CNBC, Brown, the former Talk magazine editor, asked comedian Al Franken, former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke and Amanpour if "we in the media, as much as in the administration, drank the Kool-Aid when it came to the war."

Said Amanpour: "I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."

Brown then asked Amanpour if there was any story during the war that she couldn't report.

"It's not a question of couldn't do it, it's a question of tone," Amanpour said. "It's a question of being rigorous. It's really a question of really asking the questions. All of the entire body politic in my view, whether it's the administration, the intelligence, the journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels."

Clarke called the disinformation charge "categorically untrue" and added, "In my experience, a little over two years at the Pentagon, I never saw them (the media) holding back. I saw them reporting the good, the bad and the in between."

Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

CNN had no comment.

Hat Tip Atrios

Chris Matthews Decides Iraq War Is A Mess, Gives It To Wingnut Guest 

MATTHEWS: A permanent focus on the Middle East for war?

KERIK: Well, I think a permanent focus on war, not necessarily the Middle East. But they need rapid deployment. They need to plan and train, and they need to pull these people out. I think, over the long run, you‘re going to have a less stations around the globe. It‘ll be a taxpayer‘s savings if they close down some of these outside bases. And they‘ll put these people in positions where they can get to the war fastest, wherever that may be.

MATTHEWS: But al Qaeda was based in Germany before they hit here.

KERIK: Well, some of al Qaeda. I mean...

MATTHEWS: Well, the guys running the show.

KERIK: Well, some. You know...

MATTHEWS: In Hamburg.

... and ...

MATTHEWS: Do you think this administration can politically defend the casualty rate coming out of Iraq this summer? We have a higher level of KIAs. We‘ve got almost 100 people killed just in June and July. We‘re getting close to a thousand people killed over there in the war. We‘ve got an incredible number—I just saw this number—over 6,000, well over 6,000 wounded in this war so far, in a war that was supposed to be a couple of weeks. And it was a couple weeks, and all of a sudden, there‘s a “Mission accomplished” flag up on that ship, on that carrier...

KERIK: You know...

MATTHEWS: ... and then we‘ve had this hell for the last year.

KERIK: You have to go back to the September 20, ‘01, speech by the president. This war wasn‘t going to take a couple weeks. He said years.

MATTHEWS: Well, what was the “Mission accomplished” flag for?

KERIK: The “Mission accomplished” flag was getting into Iraq and taking—taking Saddam.

MATTHEWS: Was it accurate?

KERIK: Was it accurate?

MATTHEWS: What was accurate about it?

KERIK: Perhaps not ...

... and ...

MATTHEWS: Do you believe John Kerry voted for this war?

KERIK: Yes, I do.

MATTHEWS: He says he voted to authorize the president to go to the U.N. and try to negotiate a situation which would have allowed us not to go to war.

KERIK: Well, I really think it depends on which time you‘re talking to him, you know, what interview you‘re listening to, dependent on what he said.

MATTHEWS: When has he ever said he voted for the war? Tell me the interview. I want to look it up.

KERIK: I don‘t know exactly—well, go to gop.com. There‘s about—there‘s 11 minutes of different interviews.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know. Well, one of them‘s wrong because it has it happening on our show. And all he said on our show was—he said, I voted for the resolution. He said, basically, I voted for the resolution...

KERIK: Well, his personal quotes are there, and you can listen to them. He says it personally.

MATTHEWS: He never says he voted for the war.

KERIK: Well, I‘m not sayin

Hat Tip MSNBC Transcripts

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Top GOP Lawmaker Breaks Ranks With Bush And Tells Constituents That The Iraq War Was 'A Mistake' 

Now That He Is Stepping Down, A Top Republican Lawmaker Tells Everyone What He Really Thinks

LINCOLN, Nebraska, August 18, 2004

A top Republican congressman has broken from his party in the final days of his career in the House of Representatives, saying he believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified and the situation there has deteriorated into "a dangerous, costly mess."

"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action," Rep. Doug Bereuter wrote in a letter to his constituents.

"Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action," he said.

Bereuter is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He is stepping down after 13 terms to become the president of the Asia Foundation effective Sept. 1.

Intelligence Agent Blasts “Moral Cowards” Of 9/11 Commission 

Intelligence Agent Blasts “Moral Cowards” Of 9/11 Commission

Mr. Scheuer said in his letter that he found the commission's final report "disappointing in the extreme" and that it "seems to deliberately ignore those who were clearly culpable of negligence or dereliction" for failing to deal adequately with the bin Laden threat. "By finding no one culpable, you will allow the mindset that got America to 9/11 to endure and thrive in whatever new community structure is established."

Charter School Children Doing Worse Than Public School Students 

Don't think that the failure of the charter school program will actually stop the Bush Administration from telling you what an amazing success it has been.

BTW- guess where the data comes from: the US Govt.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Kevin Drum On Bush Haters's Versus Clinton Haters 

BUSH HATERS....Jonah Goldberg, in the middle of a post about Clinton haters and the people who hate them, says this:

The Bush-haters — who are just as extreme and nasty as the Clinton-haters were, and in many ways more so....

Tell you what, Jonah. As soon as the most popular liberal editorial page in the country accuses George Bush of murdering one of his aides, maybe I'll give your argument a hearing. And as soon as one of the most influential liberal interest groups in the country starts distributing hundreds of thousands of videos suggesting that George Bush ran a coke ring out of Austin, then I'll really perk up. And when Senate Democrats spend $70 million investigating the Valerie Plame affair — compared to the current $0 — and end up bringing impeachment charges against George Bush, then you'll have me. You'll really have me.

But until then, sell it somewhere else. Michael Moore calling Bush a liar and a moron just isn't in the same league as what your side did to Bill Clinton, and nobody who was sentient during the 90s can find the contrary suggestion anything but laughable.

Illinois To Drug Manufacturers: Fuck U 

Monday, August 16, 2004

Our Lazy Ass Press 

If you can find some actual news in between Laci Peterson, Micheal Jackson and Lori Hacking, here are some things that are not being reported.

Thousands of laws and regulations that were passed to save people's lives and health and income have been altered by executive order under the cover of darkness, behind closed doors, and without the consent of those who were actually elected.

The US Army is lobbing artillery shells into the largest historic Shiite cemetary in the world, and enraging the fundamentalist Arabs.

There are still an average of two US soldiers dead every day.

There are 7000 severely wounded soldiers from the Iraq incursion- amputees, blinded, severe burns.

Understaffed US forces in Aghanistan have allowed poppies to be grown again. Afghan opium production is up. It is financing the next generation of Al Quaeda.

Thought you'd like to know

Americans Can Be So Fucking Stupid 

Abu Ghraib Whitelblower Threatned By Neighbors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Relatives of the U.S. soldier who sounded the alarm about abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison said on Monday the family was living in protective custody because of death threats against them.

Reservist military police officer Staff Sgt. Joseph Darby alerted U.S. Army investigators about the abuse by fellow soldiers of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, a move his wife says has angered people in their community in western Maryland.

"People were mean, saying he was a walking dead man, he was walking around with a bull's eye on his head. It was scary," said Bernadette Darby from Corriganville, Maryland.

U.S. Economy Slows as Global Consumer Debt Rises 

Study Show US Debt Will Drag World Economy Into A Downturn

San Francisco, CA — The U.S. Presidential candidates George Bush and John Kerry promise very different economic policies. But research sociologist and consumer debt expert Robert Manning argues that the expansion of the global consumer economy will necessarily lead to the diminished economic power of the United States, including slower economic growth due to higher interest rates and excessive public and private debt burdens. Manning, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, finds that if the U.S. model of credit is adapted globally, it can be expected that household savings rates will plummet while credit card market penetration will continue to soar and average consumer debt will continue to rise.

What's Next? Maybe We'll ReActivate WWII Vets 

McALLEN — He’s 57 years old, afflicted with skin cancer, partially deaf and suffers from high blood pressure. But the U.S. Army still wants Master Sgt. Luis Jaime Treviño.

On July 14, the Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran received his third order to report to active duty — mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Calling Up The Sick

Another Example of Bush, In The Dark, Behind Closed Doors, Away From Elected Officials- Changing Regulation Rules 

Tuberculosis had sneaked up again, reappearing with alarming frequency across the United States. The government began writing rules to protect 5 million people whose jobs put them in special danger. Hospitals and homeless shelters, prisons and drug treatment centers -- all would be required to test their employees for TB, hand out breathing masks and quarantine those with the disease. These steps, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration predicted, could prevent 25,000 infections a year and 135 deaths.

By the time President Bush moved into the White House, the tuberculosis rules, first envisioned in 1993, were nearly complete. But the new administration did nothing on the issue for the next three years.

Then, on the last day of 2003, in an action so obscure it was not mentioned in any major newspaper in the country, the administration canceled the rules. Voluntary measures, federal officials said, were effective enough to make regulation unnecessary.

The demise of the decade-old plan of defense against tuberculosis reflects the way OSHA has altered its regulatory mission to embrace a more business-friendly posture. In the past 3 1/2 years, OSHA, the branch of the Labor Department in charge of workers' well-being, has eliminated nearly five times as many pending standards as it has completed. It has not started any major new health or safety rules, setting Bush apart from the previous three presidents, including Ronald Reagan .

Bush's "Business Friendly" Rules Changes Kill Americans

Bush's Handpicked Sycophants Vs. Kerry's Crowds 

Hat Tip Kos

Bush met with 300 small business owners Friday morning, and 2,300 supporters in a town hall-style gathering at a Beaverton school that also attracted a few hundred protesters to a police cordon a few hundred yards away.

Fire officials estimated the crowd at Kerry's rally in Waterfront Park at between 40,000 and 50,000 people, the largest turnout for a political speech in Portland in at least a decade.

Gosh Thanks For Not Detaining Me 

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 - One by one, the British travelers recounted their dizzying experiences upon arriving at American airports: One man was detained and denied the opportunity to call his wife and lawyer. One woman was handcuffed and another was placed in ankle cuffs that she complained were too tight.

United States officials said the travelers were not terrorists or criminals, but ordinary visitors who were handcuffed and detained this year for "minor, technical" violations of immigration law. In recent months, such stories have been splashed on television shows and in newspapers in Britain, giving what Commissioner Robert C. Bonner of the Department of Homeland Security described as "a black eye" to the United States' reputation.

On Thursday, Mr. Bonner announced that the department was changing its policy: Travelers from Britain and other countries that do not require visas to visit the United States will no longer be searched, handcuffed and detained if they overstayed their visas by a few days during a previous trip to this country.

What A Wimp!!! 

Handpicked Crowds, Scripted Fawning, Vacuous Questions.

Boy, Bush really faces the hard questions

His father loved them, Richard Nixon started them and President Bush has turned them into the near-daily warm bath of his re-election campaign.

Last week alone, in Virginia, Florida, New Mexico and Oregon, Mr. Bush had four "Ask President Bush'' question-and-answer sessions with rapt Republican audiences. The week before he had one in Columbus, Ohio, and this week he has one scheduled for St. Croix, Wis.

As anyone who has sat through the 90-minute forums knows, the questions are not hand grenades that detonate onto the evening news. Take, for example, one of the first queries at the "Ask President Bush'' session in Beaverton, Ore., on Friday:

"I'm wondering if I can get some inauguration tickets?''

Or consider this from Albuquerque on Wednesday:

"Can I introduce my mother and mother-in-law, who are new citizens to this country?''

Many times the questions aren't even questions at all. Exhibit A might be these words from an audience member in Niceville, Fla., on Tuesday:

"I'm 60 years old and I've voted Republican from the very first time I could vote. And I also want to say this is the very first time that I have felt that God was in the White House.''

"Thank you,'' Mr. Bush replied, to applause…

…"Mr. President, as a child, how can I help you get votes?'' a youngster asked at the "Ask President Bush'' event in Oregon on Friday.

"Thank you,'' the president responded. "That is the kind of question I like to hear.''

Republicans Sending FBI To “Visit” Protesters Before They Even Protest. 

From The Folks Who Brought You Scaring Florida Votrers, Comes Scaring Bush Protestors

Could someone please tell the Denver Police what Democracy is comprised of?

In the case of the three young men subpoenaed in Missouri, Denise Lieberman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union in St. Louis, which is representing them, said they scrapped plans to attend both the Boston and the New York conventions after they were questioned about possible violence.

The men are all in their early 20's, Ms. Lieberman said, but she would not identify them.

All three have taken part in past protests over American foreign policy and in planning meetings for convention demonstrations. She said two of them were arrested before on misdemeanor charges for what she described as minor civil disobedience at protests.

Prosecutors have now informed the men that they are targets of a domestic terrorism investigation, Ms. Lieberman said, but have not disclosed the basis for their suspicions. "They won't tell me," she said.

Federal officials in St. Louis and Washington declined to comment on the case. Ms. Lieberman insisted that the men "didn't have any plans to participate in the violence, but what's so disturbing about all this is the pre-emptive nature - stopping them from participating in a protest before anything even happened."

The three men "were really shaken and frightened by all this," she said, "and they got the message loud and clear that if you make plans to go to a protest, you could be subject to arrest or a visit from the F.B.I."

Scaring Elderly Florida Voters 

Jeb Bush Resorts To A Long Held Redneck Tradition Of Voter Suppression

Now, said Mr. Egan, the fear generated by state police officers going into people's homes as part of an ongoing criminal investigation related to voting is threatening to undo much of the good work of the league. He said, "One woman asked me, 'Am I going to go to jail now because I voted by absentee ballot?' "

Democracy In Iraq Comes Out Of The Barrel Of A Gun 

Inside the sprawling slum of Sadr City, members of the Mahdi Army were itching for a battle, and already feeling like victors. Never mind that raw sewage ran down the gutters, giving an overpowering stench in the 115-degree heat. Well-organized groups of militiamen stood guard, guns at the ready in case Coalition forces appeared. Around the corner from the One-Eyed Woman's Market, an outdoor emporium largely abandoned because of recent fighting, fighters cruised around, waving AK-47s and shouting taunts urging Americans to come and get them.

Traps had been laid. A NEWSWEEK correspondent watched as other fighters brazenly planted more than a dozen hidden bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs). First they set fires inside tires lying in the street, which melted the macadam underneath. Then they sank the IEDs into the molten asphalt and let them cool. Within hours, there was no sign of the devices, which could be detonated with the remote control of a car alarm whenever Coalition vehicles passed by. "The U.S. can't go any further," said one Mahdi Army commander, Sheik Amar, 28. "Even the helicopters aren't flying overhead." Allawi flexed his muscles, but in Sadr City and many cities and neighborhoods like it, insurgents and thugs still ruled the streets.

The Finns Do Prison Right 

If the very idea seems hopelessly utopian, consider a real-world case: Finland. Three decades ago, the Finns had a severe penal system modeled on that of the neighboring Soviet Union, and one of the highest imprisonment rates in Europe. Then they decided to rethink penal policy along more humane lines. Finnish prisons became almost ridiculously lenient by our standards. Inmates -- referred to as ''clients'' or ''pupils,'' depending on their age -- live in dormitory-style rooms, address guards by the first name and get generous home leaves. ''We believe that the loss of freedom is the major punishment, so we try to make it as nice inside as possible,'' one prison supervisor commented. Today, Finland imprisons the smallest fraction of its population of any European country (52 prisoners per 100,000 people, compared with 702 in the United States). Yet its crime rate, far from exploding, has remained at a low level.

That's a pretty impressive experiment in moral progress. As Winston Churchill observed, ''Treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country.'' The American mode of treatment is starting to look less like a necessary evil and more like a peculiar institution.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

We Don't Need Permission To Protest 

'We already have a permit. It is called the American constitution. The idea that I have to ask for permission to protest my own government is ridiculous,' Flanigan said.

Woops There Goes Another Bad Iraq Move  

1st Marine Division plans to dissolve the controversial "Fallujah Brigade" and the Iraqi police department in that turbulent city next week, clearing the way for a future decisive battle if the Iraqi government orders it.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Lawyers Across The World Condemn Bush Administration  

Twenty-eight leaders of the legal profession around the world have together condemned the US for the continued detention of hundreds of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

In an open letter, the heads of bar and solicitors' organisations call on the Bush administration to scrap its "review panels" considering whether to release the men.

They urge it to instead allow prisoners to challenge their detention in US courts, following the supreme court's ruling that civilian courts have jurisdiction over the US military base in Cuba.

Lawyers for at least two of the four British detainees have already filed petitions demanding that the US government justifies their continued detention.

Today's letter is signed by lawyers' leaders from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and several European states. They include Stephen Irwin QC, chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, and Edward Nally, president of the Law Society.

When Bush Changes The Law, He Does It In The Dark And Without Congress. 

On the same day, deep within the turgid pages of the Federal Register, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a regulation that would forbid the public release of some data relating to unsafe motor vehicles, saying that publicizing the information would cause "substantial competitive harm" to manufacturers…

… The administration, at the request of lumber and paper companies, gave Forest Service managers the right to approve logging in federal forests without the usual environmental reviews. A Forest Service official explained that the new rule was intended "to better harmonize the environmental, social and economic benefits of America's greatest natural resource, our forests and grasslands."

When Bush Changes The Law, He Does It In The Dark And Without Congress.

Friday, August 13, 2004

No Hecklers Allowed At Bush Events 

Said a rally organizer, "I wanna hear lots of cheering in there for the president!"

The event tickets went to busloads of pre-screened party faithful -- who poured in hours in advance -- to be greeted and organized by Bush campaign staffers.

"We don't want anybody with a dry throat. We want you yelling for the president!" they were told.

The art of TV-friendly political stagecraft reaches new levels in this campaign. At "Ask President Bush" events, even the president makes no bones about the fact that he's speaking to invited guests.

"Okay, I've asked some citizens to come and help me make my points," he said.

As relaxed and affable as a talk show host, the president answers friendly questions -- which are often not questions at all…

…It's all about getting out the message without any distractions, and making sure that there's no public argument to spoil the party.

Hurricane Chuck 

John In Cambodia? Turns Out Yes We Was In Cambodia 

The Truth About John In Cambodia

"On Christmas Eve he was near Cambodia; he was around 50 miles from the Cambodian border. There's no indictment of Kerry to be made, but he was mistaken about Christmas in Cambodia," said Douglas Brinkley, who has unique access to the candidate's wartime journals.

But Mr Brinkley rejected accusations that the senator had never been to Cambodia, insisting he was telling the truth about running undisclosed "black" missions there at the height of the war.

He said: "Kerry went into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions. He had a run dropping off US Navy Seals, Green Berets and CIA guys." The missions were not armed attacks on Cambodia, said Mr Brinkley, who did not include the clandestine missions in his wartime biography of Mr Kerry, Tour of Duty.

"He was a ferry master, a drop-off guy, but it was dangerous as hell. Kerry carries a hat he was given by one CIA operative. In a part of his journals which I didn't use he writes about discussions with CIA guys he was dropping off."

John Brinkley- biographer

The Fall Of The House Of Nixon 

I believe that Kerry will win and win big. I believe that this is the beginning of the end of a long reign of the Republican party. Evidence how the Repugs fight against Barak Obama, they find a guy who is also Black. I guess they see THAT is the real point of running against Obama- let’s not oppose him with better policy- let’s just find another Black guy. This is a desperate attempt to stay in power against polls that are leaning heavily against this nutcase heavihandedness.

The party that Nixon built is crumbling. Bush is the candidate of canned talking points and a party whose instincts have become rote and often counterproductive. The "war president" wraps himself in the flag but the latest Code Orange terrorist alert aroused no one to rally-'round-the-flag; instead, it raised questions about Bush's timing and handling. Rather than campaign on his record, he has challenged Kerry to justify his vote for the Iraq war resolution, and when Kerry explained his reasoning, Bush accused him of "nuance." How can Bush change the subject? With independent voters bleeding away from him, he has taken to stumping with the Republican maverick Sen. John McCain, his mortal enemy. Can Bush dump Cheney without being seen as desperate and repudiating his entire term? Bush's father owed his political career to Nixon's patronage; now the son is in danger of inheriting the wind.

We Can't Import Cheap Drugs Because Al Quaeda May Poison Them 

You can't even spoof the idiocy that comes out of this administration

"Cues from chatter" gathered around the world are raising concerns that terrorists might try to attack the domestic food and drug supply, particularly illegally imported prescription drugs, acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester M. Crawford says.

Well? Which is it? 

More Cruelty Against Children 

David Joseph is a little guy, about 5-foot-5, maybe 115 pounds. He's 20 years old, looks younger, and has the sluggish demeanor and sad expression of one who is deeply depressed. He has nightmares and headaches. He spends his days dressed in the blue fatigues of detainees at the federal Krome Detention Center, washing dishes at mealtimes, staring listlessly at television images broadcast in a language he doesn't understand, and praying.

"I thought I would come here for a few days and be released," he told me in a soft voice, his words translated by an interpreter. "But I watch the other people come and go, and I am stuck here."

Mr. Joseph is a refugee from Haiti who is seeking asylum in the United States. He is not a terrorist, and no one has even suggested that he is a threat to anyone. And yet he's been in federal custody for nearly two years.

An immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals have ruled that he should be freed on bond, pending a final ruling on his asylum request. But the attorney general of the United States, John Ashcroft, won't let him go.

Playing his ever-present, all-encompassing terrorism card, Mr. Ashcroft personally intervened in Mr. Joseph's case, summarily blocking his release. According to the attorney general, releasing this young Haitian would tend to encourage mass migration from Haiti, and might exacerbate the potential danger to national security of nefarious aliens from Pakistan and elsewhere who might be inclined to use Haiti as a staging area for migration to the U.S.

Mr. Ashcroft has been out in the Washington sun too long. Terrorism is not an issue here. Mr. Joseph is a nervous, nail-biting young man who has an uncle in Brooklyn who's a U.S. citizen and would be only too happy to take in his nephew. Keeping Mr. Joseph imprisoned for years is inhumane.

New Spy Exposure Embarrasses Bush 

In Case The US Press Has Forgotten 935  

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Non Partisan Congressional Budget Office Give Bad Report On Administration Tax Cuts 

Since 2001, President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families, the Congressional Budget Office has found, a conclusion likely to roil the presidential election campaign.

The CBO study, due to be released today, found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent, earning $1.1 million, saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent.

Over that same period, taxpayers with incomes from around $51,500 to around $75,600 saw their share of federal tax payments increase. Households earning around $75,600 saw their tax burden jump the most, from 18.7 percent of all taxes to 19.5 percent.

The analysis, requested in May by congressional Democrats, echoes similar studies by think tanks and Democratic activist groups. But the conclusions have heightened significance because of their source, a nonpartisan government agency headed by a former senior economist from the Bush White House, Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Indeed, the study will likely stoke an already burning debate about the fairness and efficacy of $1.7 trillion in tax cuts that the president pushed through Congress.

Flip Flopper 

“Major Combat Operations Have Ended. Mission Accomplished.”

-GWB 4/30/03

"Major operations to destroy the militia have begun.”

- U.S. Marine Maj. David Holahan, executive officer of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment. 8/12/04

Florida Not In Bush's Pocket- Q Poll 

Hat tip Kos

Quinnipiac Univ.. 8/5-10. MoE 3%. (6/23-27 results)
Kerry 49 (46)
Bush 42 (44)

Kerry 47 (43)
Bush 41 (43)
Nader 4 (5)

Bush job approval rating

Approve 44 (46)
Disapprove 54 (52)

Even The Pentagon Has Had It With Halliburton 

The Pentagon, in a statement received Thursday, has warned Halliburton it might start withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to the Houston-based company unless it reforms the accounting system of its Kellogg Brown and Root subsidiary.

The audit, concluded August 4, highlighted a series of problems in KBR's accounting system related to the costs of providing food, shelter and other support to American troops in Iraq.

KBR gave the military "inadequate cost estimate development, (and) incomplete and inadequate management review of cost estimates" among other problems, the audit found.

The Pentagon has given Halliburton 45 days to come up with a new accounting plan.

The audit was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday which pegged the disputed sum at over 1.8 billion.

Halliburton disagrees with the report and says it is the victim of election year politics.

"We disagree with the report, and we will respond to it within the timelines provided by the government's multi-step process," Halliburton said in a statement.

"Normally, these kinds of audit reports are part of a lengthy but routine process that is amicably resolved. Only in an election year, when Halliburton is being covered in a political context as opposed to business, does a DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) audit dispute become a news story," the company said.

It is the latest salvo in a series the Pentagon has fired at Halliburton since January of last year about problems over its cost estimates.

It also comes just over a week after Halliburton said it will pay 7.5 million dollars to settle charges of misleading accounting when Vice President Dick Cheney ran the company.

Cheney, who was not accused of any wrongdoing, gave sworn testimony to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and "cooperated willingly and fully" in the investigation.

The SEC charges followed Halliburton's failure to disclose a 1998 change to its accounting practices. Cheney was Halliburton chief executive from 1995 to 2000.

Only In Orwellian America Do You Have “Free Speech Zones” 

Dahlia Lithwick

An even more pernicious use of the federal law enforcement power to quash protest has been observed at presidential speeches, where the Bush team has used the Secret Service at public events to create "free-speech zones" that keep dissenters away from the president.

In 2002 Brett Bursey, a South Carolinian, was arrested for holding a "No War for Oil" sign near a hangar where Bush was speaking. The West Virginia police reported that the Secret Service had directed them to arrest a couple sporting anti-Bush T-shirts at a public speech this year. And an account by Justin Rood in Salon last week revealed that at a recent rally in Duluth, Minn., Secret Service checkpoints were festooned with photos of men posing some ostensible physical danger to the president: one was a professor active in the Green Party, another a pacifist homeless activist. Both had plans to protest the war during Mr. Bush's visit.

Michael Moore's cookie-wielding Fresno peace activists look almost dangerous in comparison. Without evidence that pacifist protesters plan to violate their own credos and bludgeon the president with their Birkenstocks, the use of the Secret Service to silence them is an abuse of executive power.

Enormous national events will inevitably be terror targets. So will the president. But before we single out the anarchists and the environmentalists and the puppet-guys for diminished constitutional protections - before we herd them into what are speech-free zones - we might question whether they represent the real danger. If we don't recognize the distinction between passionate political speech and terrorism now, it may be too late to protest later.

When In Doubt, Say It Differently 

Now the Bush administration has shifted from 'we've turned a corner' to "we're turning a corner".

Isn't that somewhat embarassing? Perhaps their other campaign slogan should reflect the same honesty: Promising Not To Lose Anymore Jobs; OK We'll Work With The UN Already; No We Will Not Admit We Are Wrong.

WaPo Misses The Point 

Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr

"People who were opposed to the war from the beginning and have been critical of the media's coverage in the period before the war have this belief that somehow the media should have crusaded against the war," Downie said. "They have the mistaken impression that somehow if the media's coverage had been different, there wouldn't have been a war."

No sir, that's not the point. the point is that you covered the war as if it were a good idea and as if the assumptions preceding it were true.

Think about it. before the cable news channels. when did a war ever have a logo?

From The Author Of "Unfit For Command" 

Hat Tip Atrios

• Corsi on Islam: "a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion"

• Corsi on Catholicism: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press"

• Corsi on Muslims: "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together"

• Corsi on "John F*ing Commie Kerry": "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"

• Corsi on Senator "FAT HOG" Clinton: "Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she?"

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

CIA Chief Nominee None Too Confident  

REP. GOSS: Uh, that was, uh, 35 years ago.


REP. GOSS: It is true I was in CIA from approximately the late 50’s to approximately the early 70’s. And it's true I was a case officer, clandestine services officer and yes, I do understand the core mission of the business. I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified. I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably. And I certainly don't have the technical skills, uh, as my children remind me every day, 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.’ Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have.

– Rep. Porter Goss, March 3, 2004, Washington, DC

Does Fair And Speedy Trial Mean Tried And Convicted By The 6:00 News? 

The Constitution guarantees a fair and speedy trial to any citizen. I wonder whether or not the national coverage of a trial violates that protection. Think about the fact that Court TV’s Bitter Blonde Bitch extraordinaire Nancy Grace talked for two or three years with the most passionate conviction that John Ramsey and/or his wife had killed their daughter. Consider that now it looks as if the investigation is off, it was bungled, and the Boulder Police Department has taken John Ramsey off the person of interest list. In fact, there is sufficient forensic evidence to suggest that there was indeed an intruder who killed the girl.

My question is this: Were the years of nightmarish accusations coming out of an entire cable news channel enough to make the Ramsey’s nothing less than victims of an assault on their most basic freedoms? When they try and convict you by the six o’clock news, is that what the framers of the Constitution had in mind? When they convict you again and again every six hours, when the channels make a cottage industry about who is guilty and who is innocent in a trial that they have chosen only because it is scandalous, is this a violation of the fair and speedy trial statute?

When I see the faux journalism, the scandal and line up of media hungry experts I ask myself, is this a good thing? Or this a horrible corrupt intersection of entertainment and profiteering by media conglomerates mixed with 15% journalism? Would it be fair to say that nancy Grace owes an apology to the Ramseys? Where does the right of a media company to entertain step on the rights of an individual to be private?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Read Digby Everyday 


I Yam What I Yam

Everybody chuckled at the Bush's third grade answer to "what does sovereignty mean in the 21st century" but he had another howler at that UNITY meeting:

ROLAND MARTIN: Mr. President, you remarked in your remarks you said that 8 million people in Afghanistan registered to vote, and as you said, exercised their God-given right to vote.


ROLAND MARTIN: That may be a right from God, but it's not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. In 2000, an estimated 2 million people, half African American had their votes discounted from Florida and Cook County, Illinois, to other cities. Some on it-- That cuts into other questions. Are you going to order Attorney General John Ashcroft to send federal election monitors to Florida and other southern states and in this age of new constitutional amendments, will you endorse a constitutional amendment guaranteeing every American the right to vote in federal elections?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. First of all, look, I can understand why African Americans in particular -- you know, are worried about being able to vote since the vote had been denied for so long in the south in particular. I understand that. This administration wants everybody to vote. Now, I -- best thing we did was to pass the Helping America Vote Act with over -- I think it's $3 billion of help to states and local governments to make sure that the voting process is fair. I -- you know, it's not just the south. By the way, the voting process needs help all over the country to make sure that everybody's vote counts and everybody's vote matters. I understand that. That's why I was happy to work with the congress to achieve this important piece of legislation. Just don't focus on Florida. I have to talk to the governor down there to make sure it works.

But it's the whole country that needs voter registration files need to be updated. The machines need to work. And that's why there's $3 billion in the budget to help, Roland. Obviously, everybody ought to have a vote. What was your other question?

ROLAND MARTIN: Should we put it -- guarantee it in the constitution.

PRESIDENT BUSH: I'll consider it. I'll consider it. What's your second question? R You said it should be guaranteed in Iraq, why not America?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, it's not guaranteed in Iraq. People have to show up to vote in the first place. The thing about democracy is people need to step up and decide to participate in the first place. There's no guarantees people are going to vote. They should be allowed to vote, but the problem we have in our society is too many people choose not to vote. We have a duty in the political process, and you have a duty as journalists to encourage people to register to vote, to do their duty. I'm not saying that -- I’m saying that people are choosing. It's not guaranteed they're going to. That's part of the problem that we have in America. Not enough people do vote. You have a duty on your radio stations on your TV stations, to encourage people to register to vote. I have a duty to call them out to vote. Of course, I’m going to try to call them out to vote for me.

The right to vote is not guaranteed unless everybody votes. Jesus H. Christ.

And, I don't know about you, but I feel much better about Florida knowing that the president is going to talk to his brother to make sure it "works."

Has there ever been a more stupid president? I don't see how it's possible. You can easily see how much more difficult he would have had it if he'd been forced to face a skeptical press more often. How lucky he was to have to only answer to the celebrity press corp instead of real journalists. Too bad about the country, though.

Two TV Spots Show The face Of The Latino Community To Bush Administration 

Bush Preparing For Presidency 

Read Agonist Everyday 

US contests the right of Guantanamo detainees to have a lawyer

WASHINGTON, Aug 10 (AFP) - The US government argued Tuesday that "war on terror" detainees at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have no right to meet with a lawyer, even if they try to contest their imprisonment in civilian courts.

How About A Little Separation of Church and State? 

A skillful mixing of religion and politics helped President Bush silence critics and sell his policies on terrorism and Iraq to the nation, according to a new book that analyzes hundreds of public communications and news reports.

As Bush makes his case for a second term, the research by David Domke documents how during his first term the president effectively linked religious terminology with political goals in the turbulent months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In all but one of Bush's 15 national addresses between 9/11 and the end of major combat in Iraq, for example, he cast the campaign against terrorism as a simple struggle of good (America) vs. evil, according to Domke's book. And in four of the speeches, Bush issued explicit declarations that administration policies and goals were in line with divine powers.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Scientist Fired -Accuses Bush Of Using False Data  

Last May BushGreenwatch reported that a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had filed a legal complaint against the agency, charging that agency officials deliberately used flawed scientific data in setting policy for protecting the Florida panther, an endangered species with only 60-80 animals remaining in the wild.

Tommy Franks Says Kerry Absolutely Capable Of Leading The Country 

Tommy Franks: Kerry Absolutely Fit For Presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, producer of the early military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq, said Sunday that criticism of John Kerry's war record is political hyperbole and Kerry is "absolutely" qualified to be commander in chief.

Spin This Wingnuts 

A growing Shiite rebellion has reached into southern Iraq , where the city of Basra has become a hot spot and most of the nation's desperately needed oil production has been shut down. Heavy fighting continues in Najaf.

Iraq's southern oil company stopped pumping oil to Basra because of threats to infrastructure, an official with the company said. About 1.8 million barrels per day, or 90 percent of Iraq's exports, move through Basra. Any shutdown in the flow of Iraq's main money earner would badly hamper reconstruction efforts.

Masked fighters from al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia patrolled some main streets in Basra and set up checkpoints, while no Iraqi or British troops could be seen. A British soldier was killed in fighting in Basra on Monday, the British Defense Ministry said.

This is the progress we have made. Chaos. Massive countrywide insurgency. Civil War.

Yes, A Contractor Raped A Boy In Abu Ghraib 

Kerry Has 20-Point Lead In New Jersey, Poll Shows  

Abu Ghraib Lawyers Want Cheney On Stand  

Facing The Facts 

"This year, more people will end up bankrupt than will suffer a heart attack. More adults will file for bankruptcy than will be diagnosed with cancer. More people will file for bankruptcy than will graduate from college. And, in an era when traditionalists decry the demise of the institution of marriage, Americans will file more petitions for bankruptcy than for divorce."

The Century Foundation, in a recent study, addressed the problem of outstanding debt. For many families borrowing has morphed from a tool that, used judiciously, can enhance their standard of living into a nightmare that threatens to destroy their economic viability.

"Debt burdens," the study said, "are at record levels because families have been stretched to the limit in recent years. With more income going to housing and other rising expenses related to medical care, education, vehicles, child care, and so forth, families are relying on credit as a way to meet everyday needs. Remarkably, a family with two earners today actually has less discretionary income, after fixed costs like medical insurance and mortgage payments are accounted for, than did a family in the 1970s.”

Waste And Fraud With KB&R 

Of the $18.4 billion Congress approved last fall, only about $600 million has actually been paid out.

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