Wednesday, February 28, 2007


"When a Party's Values Go AWOL" by Robert J. Elisberg, Huffington Post

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) called for the assassination of Fidel Castro, saying "I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people." At first she had denied it, then acknowledged that it was indeed what she said. Adding, "It's an everyday situation for me." (Me, I floss.)

Pat Robertson, former GOP candidate for President, called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Bill O'Reilly welcomed terrorist attacks on the city of San Francisco.

Ann Coulter called for the poisoning of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. And for the troops to frag Rep. John Murtha - military slang for soldiers to kill a superior officer. (These were both "jokes," she later said. Unlike most humorists, Ms. Coulter uses footnotes and must inform audiences after she has said something funny.)

Conservative radio host Hal Turner wrote on his website, "Any member of Congress who introduces, co-sponsors or votes in favor of any such amnesty will be declared a domestic enemy and will be considered a legitimate target for assassination."

Virgil Goode (R-VA) has proposed limiting people of the Muslim faith from entering the United States, so that they can't get elected to Congress.

Jerry Falwell said that the Katrina disaster killing 1,800 Americans was God's punishment on abortionists.

Newt Gingrich, rumored GOP candidate for President, recently called for new limitations on Free Speech in the First Amendment.

John McCain, leading Republican candidate for President, told a room of businessmen, "I want to keep health-care costs down until I get sick, and then I don't give a goddamn."

READ MORE: Fidel Castro, Ann Coulter, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Pat Robertson, Hugo Chavez, Bill O'Reilly, San Francisco, John Paul Stevens, John Murtha

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Your Republican Party.

Meet Compassionate Conservatism.

There's a pattern.

No outrage from Republicans.

There's a pattern.

No memorial after 9/11. Slow rebuilding after Katrina.

There's a pattern.

No minimum wage. Under-funding No Child Left Behind. Privatizing Social Security.

These don't happen in a vacuum. There's a pattern. To all these.

Not only no moral center, no moral edges.

There is a pattern.

If you are a Republican, is this what you want your party to stand for?

If you are an American, is this what you want your country to stand for?

If you are a human, is this what you stand for?

There's a pattern to all this. And that pattern is the Republican Party today.

And NO! The GOP does not get away with, "God told me so."

Monday, February 26, 2007

IRAQ - Bush is the best President ever .. for al Qaeda

On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 13:22:16 -0800, in sdnet.politics "Brian David Smith" wrote:

George Bush is the best president ever.

Look what George Bush has done. He has provided real-world target practice for al Qaeda. And he has made it convenient.

The object for al Qaeda is to kill Americans. So what does Bush do? Instead of making al Qaeda come to America to kill Americans he has delivered live Americans as clay pigeons for target practice in Iraq.

Want proof???.. look at this.

On 9-Eleven, al Qaeda had to go to the expense of establishing at least 20 of their operatives. That involved travel money. It was necessary to pay all the visa fees. They had to pay rent for places to live. There had to living expenses and all the incidentals of life in America. And remember the standard of living here in America is far more expensive to have their operatives living in America than it would be elsewhere.

Bottom line, it cost al Qaeda likely millions, over all, to stage and execute 9-eleven. So what did al Qaeda get for all that trouble? They killed 2,973 people.

HOWEVER.. now George Bush has shipped live Americans over to al Qaeda's back yard. They can kill Americans wholesale at NO cost. Remember, the al Qaeda objective is to kill Americans. Well the way that George Bush has conveniently started a civil war in Iraq, al Qaeda has Iraq insurgences killing Americans by proxy.

Want more proof. look at the numbers. on 9-Eleven al Qaeda killed 2,975. However, now they have killed 3,154 American in Iraq alone, add more if you add Afghanistan. Al Qaeda has hit the mother load and is paying nothing for it. George Bush as made it perfect for al Qaeda. They are getting Americans killed for practically nothing. What a fabulous deal.

Further, now that Bush has ordered "the surge" he has packed up Americans in groups at poorly protected Iraq police stations. For al Qaeda is it like shooting fish in a barrel.

Bravo Bush! What a friend Americans have in George Bush. You want to die for your country. Just join George Bush's suicide mission to Iraq and he will send you over there posthaste to die for it. How proud he must be.

Bush is the best President ever .. for al Qaeda.

IRAQ - Same Old Tune

"Old Problems Undermine New Security Plan for Baghdad" by RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr., New York Times

It looked like a scene out of a counterinsurgency training video. Dressed in crisp uniforms with a computer-generated camouflage of blue, gray and brown, Iraqi national police officers joined United States troops on searches late last week through relatively calm districts of Shaab and Ur in northeast Baghdad in the first large operation of the Baghdad security plan.

But appearances in Iraq can often be deceiving. At least two of the national police officers who turned out for the operation were moving ahead of the American troops not to lead the security drive but to warn the residents to hide their weapons and other incriminating evidence.

It was a translator working with the Americans, interviewed a day after the fact, who had overheard the Iraqi police tipping off the Iraqis. “They were telling people in the neighborhood to hide your weapons from the Americans,” he said. The police were Shiites, he said, and inclined to favor others of their sect in the district, which is mostly Shiite but has a considerable Sunni population.

On another patrol, an American commander said, Iraqi residents told American soldiers that a national policemen had warned them to hide anything incriminating including paraphernalia about Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite militia leader whose forces are targets of the Baghdad crackdown.

“Families told us he was warning people before we’d come in, ‘If you have this or that, then hide it before they get here,’ ” said First Lt. Andy Moffit, who led a platoon through Shaab and Ur. The major problem with Iraqi forces is not their tactical skill, but their “loyalties and integrity,” he said.

...there's more.

My question is, when are Americans going to get tired of hearing the same-old-tune and put a HARD STOP to this war? How many more Americans (and Iraqis) have to be killed before Americans finally say STOP, NOW!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

POLITICS - Yes! One More Progressive Senator Possible

Al Franken has announced he is running for United States Senate in Minnesota!

He is dedicated to carrying on the progressive ideals of his political hero Paul Wellstone. You might know Al Franken as an award-winning satirist and author. You might know him as the host of Air America Radio's "The Al Franken Show," the network's flagship program that helped put progressive talk radio on the map.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

IRAQ - Deja Vu

"Pace Questions Whether Iran Arming Iraq" by CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press

The top U.S. military officer said Tuesday the discovery that roadside bombs in Iraq contained material made in Iran does not necessarily mean the Iranian government was involved in supplying insurgents.

The comments by Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called into question assertions by three senior U.S. military officials in Baghdad on Sunday who said the highest levels of Iranian government were responsible for arming Shiite militants in Iraq with the bombs, blamed for the deaths of more than 170 troops in the U.S.-led coalition.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Monday he was confident the weaponry was coming with the approval of the Iranian government. On Tuesday, Snow said Pace's comments do not conflict with those of the senior military officials or the White House.

Sound familiar Vietnam Vets? How about the lead-up to this Iraqi War?

Of course "they" live in Bush World.

POLITICS - Typical GOP Behavior of the Knuckle-Dragging Kind

"Leaked Letter Reveals Conservative Strategy For Iraq Debate: Don’t Talk About Iraq" Think Progress

This week, the House of Representatives is debating a resolution opposing President Bush’s Iraq escalation. The resolution is just 58 words long, and has only one purpose: “Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.”

But a leaked letter obtained today by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) office reveals that conservatives have formulated a strategy to avoid talking about the central question of the debate.

In the letter, leading conservative Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) inform their allies: “The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily.” Shadegg and Hoekstra warn, if conservatives are forced to debate “the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.”

Here, Read it.

Instead, they write, “the debate must be about the global threat of the radical Islamic movement.” The problem is they lose that debate too.

IRAQ - Another UseNet Poster With Questions

On Tue, 13 Feb 2007 09:44:09 -0500, in alt.politics.usa.constitution (Barry Keller) wrote:

Why is the bombed out sand box called Iraq the Number 1 threat to America's Security!

Haven't we defeated their armies? Isn't that countries infrastructure in disarray.

Aren't they on the verge of Civil War and unable to get their act together and attack anyone but themselves?

Do they have any Weapons of Mass Destruction or Nuclear Weapons?

Aren't their more Al Qaeda Terrorists in Afghanistan than Iraq?

So what makes this the Number 1 Threat to America's Security! Does anyone have a clue as to why it is Vital, Crucial or Critical to our Defense or Security?

My answer, it MAY be now. But only because the Bush Administration MADE Iraq a rallying call to terrorists.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

OPINION - A General Theory of Stupidity

"A General Theory of Stupidity" by Bill Bonner

"Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe." ~ Albert Einstein

The big news this least before the premature exit of Anna Nicole Smith...was the new U.S. budget proposal. The Bush Administration revealed itself – once again – to be the most spend-thrift regime of all time. No publicly elected government has ever spent so much of its citizens’ money, or so much money that its citizens didn’t have. Nor did any government ever redistribute so much wealth – from the taxpayers to the defense contractors...from the middle classes to the financial classes...and (most importantly) from future generations to the folks living right here and right now.

The whole spectacle is breathtaking...and like all public spectacles...absurd.

Nearly half a trillion dollars in debt will be added over the next two years, according to the Bush plan. But then, in the year 2012, the feds promised to deliver a modest surplus – of just over $60 billion. Of course, that will only happen if nothing goes wrong in Iraq or Afghanistan (how could it?) and you are willing to employ accountants who are inveterate liars.

Even in the best case, there is no plausible way in which Americans can repay their debts – public or private. The public debt alone equals more than $100,000 for every family of four. The interest would be about $5,000. How many families could add that to their budgets? What sort of a politician would ask them to? Currently, the feds can’t even keep up with the interest payments. So, the debt feeds on itself...and the whole shebang just keeps getting bigger and bigger. More money. More credit. More debt.

Entire fortunes are put at risk. Billion-dollar bets are placed. Trillions of dollars float on a sea of liquidity. And nobody really knows what anything is worth...or when it might stop being worth anything at all.

How could this be?

Here, we turn to Darwin and the dinner table for a lift.

"It just makes sense that some groups of people would be smarter than others," our wife argued. "Different environments challenge people in different ways. Harsh environments may require greater intelligence to survive. Over time, the dumber members of the group are weeded out. The result should be a higher intelligence for the whole group."

Humans evolved in small groups, where they could know the particulars of things. They understood the threats they faced...and knew what was valuable. But when the scale and sophistication of human civilization increased, man found himself in a situation for which his brain was not prepared. He no longer had the precise, specific, direct information he needed. Instead, he needed to rely on a new kind of knowledge made up of abstractions, generalities and slogans. This new knowledge, which Nietzsche called "Wissen" to distinguish it from the more ancient form of experience-based knowledge called "Erfahrung," trips him up, because it is too far removed from the facts. The Inverse Square law and Darwin’s law both work against him.

Our hairy ancestors didn’t have to figure out the questions that bedevil us now: How much is a dollar worth? Or how much credit can the world stomach before it gets sick? Or will a troop "surge" in on the other side of the globe do any good? So, even today, our brains are just not suited to it. They’re not big enough.

Today, the average man can barely tell the difference between a fact and a campaign slogan. And so the new ersatz knowledge leads him into error. Modern politics turns the voter into an enabling dupe...makes the amateur investor a chump for Wall Street...and sends the poor, hapless foot-soldier off on a fool’s errand where he can only get himself killed.

Civilization, central banking and politics make monkeys of us all; we’re not equipped to deal with them. Like a hairdresser who shows up to work with a wrench in his hand and liquor on his breath, we are bound to make a mess of things.

This is especially applicable to our knuckle-dragging GOP Conservatives.

POLITICS - Another View From the Home Front

On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 08:01:36 -0800, in sdnet.politics :

"Army short 4000 armor kits for its Humvees" from Brian David Smith, San Diego, California

The U.S. Army says it is short 4000 armor kits for its Humvees. This simply says again, that George Bush is woefully unprepared to fight in Iraq.

This is a repeat of the same old story. From the beginning of Bush's war in Iraq, the Humvees lacked steel plating to protect soldiers from the enemy.

American soldiers were reduced to jerry-rigged with plywood and sandbags to protect themselves. The soldiers called the Humvees "cardboard coffins."

Further, the soldiers were lacking radio equipment, body armor, GPS gear, computers, and night vision goggles.

Also there has been problems with maintenance and replacement parts for critical equipment like Abrams tanks, Bradley personnel carriers and Black Hawk helicopters.

Now Bush wants to escalate the war by sending 21,500 additional troops into Iraq. This is insanity.

Bush is sending American soldiers on a suicide mission. Bush is setting them up as clay pigeons for target practice. Bush is sending the guys off to be murdered.

Clearly, Bush has lost all perspective and is grabbing at straws. Before he murders additional soldiers, Bush must be stopped. Bush's senseless war must be stopped.

Sadly, Congress is spineless and won't stop Bush. Therefore, they are complicit in murdering the troops as well. It is MURDER! It is cold blooded MURDER!

POLITICS - Bush Administration's Attack on Veterans

The number of veterans coming into the VA health care system has been rising by about 5 percent a year as the number of people returning from Iraq with illnesses or injuries keep rising.

Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans represent almost 5 percent of the VA's patient caseload, and many are returning from battle with grievous injuries requiring costly care, such as traumatic brain injuries.

All told, the VA expects to treat about 5.8 million patients next year, including 263,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The VA underestimated the number of veterans, including those from Iraq and Afghanistan, who were seeking care, as well as the cost of treatment and long-term care.

The cuts come even as the number of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is expected to increase 26 percent next year.

"Veterans face consecutive budget cuts" by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now — even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq' could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years — White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.

The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends — its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office — sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.

"Either the administration is willingly proposing massive cuts in VA health care," said Rep. Chet Edwards (D) of Texas, chairman of the panel overseeing the VA's budget. "Or its promise of a balanced budget by 2012 is based on completely unrealistic assumptions."

My take is the Bush does NOT really care about Veterans. Their concerns do not fit "Bush-World" views.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

IRAN - Not What It Seems

"It's Not About Democracy, The Looming War on Iran" by RON JACOBS, CounterPunch

Recent media reports about Iran suggest that President Ahmadinejad has run slightly afoul of the clerics in that country's Council of Guardians. Most specifically, the Imam Khamenei has publicly criticized the president's statements about Iran's nuclear program and his government's failure to stop inflation in Iran. Khamenei, for those who don't know, is the Supreme Leader of Iran, which means that, he reviews every political decision made by the Iranian legislature and the president according to the Koran and its interpretations. He has issued a fatwa that states the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons was forbidden under Islam. He has also supported the economic subsidies of basic goods and shelter and free medical care for all Iranians--two programs currently existing in Iran This support stems from the Koran's teaching that those who can afford it must pay zakat to help the poor, although the institutionalization of it through Tehran could be considered part of the Islamic government's successful attempts to remove leftists and their thought from the revolutionary regime by renaming their programs and then killing the left.

Like those that exist in any country, there are those in Iran's ruling elites who would like to see all subsidies ended, with Iran incorporating itself into the neoliberal model of economic Darwinism. In other words, those with the money and connections would reap great profits while the poor and working people would suffer. The former president Rafsanjani is one of these men, so it seems ironic that he would be in favor with Khamenei if Khamenei is to be believed. Rafsanjani, for those who don't know, was part of the original troika of clerics (along with Ayatollah Khomeini and Mohammed Husseni Buheshi) that forced the left and the moderates out of the revolution and established a dictatorship of the clerics.

A recent tactic from Washington as it seeks to motivate the people of the US for another war in the Middle East is its claim that Iran is arming the various insurgent groups fighting US troops in Iraq. The people pushing this story (specifically Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno) have even gone so far as to tell the press that the US military has traced the serial numbers found on some captured weapons back to Iran. Now, even if this were true, there is more than one possible explanation for these serial numbers. The one that springs first to mind is that SCIRI, an Iraqi party supported by the United States since before the invasion with a militia known as the Badr Brigades that was trained in Iran, has many of these such weapons. Consequently, it is quite possible that the weaponry supposedly captured by US troops and traced back to Iran was stolen from the Badr Brigades.

Other possible explanations could be that the rumored weapons don't even exist, were bought on the black market, or were planted by anti-Iranian forces in Iraq or US intelligence. In short, this claim rings as hollow as the yellow cake uranium claims made by the White House as it lied the US into war with Iraq. On the other hand, if it is true to some degree, that wouldn't be unusual. After all, even the US insurgency against the British was funded by the French.

This is what we get from our "War President" and we will pay, and pay, and pay, and.... with our wealth and lives. As long as we let him, that is.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

POLITICS - On the Lighter Side, GOP Week In Review

"NanceGreggs's Journal: Nance Rants, THE (GOP) WEEK IN REVIEW"

OK, want a good chuckle at the expense of the GOP? Read the above article.

POLITICS - Exxon, Corporate Goons

"Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study" by Ian Sample, The Guardian

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasize the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered.

The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.

The letters were sent by Kenneth Green, a visiting scholar at AEI, who confirmed that the organization had approached scientists, economists and policy analysts to write articles for an independent review that would highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC report.

"Exxon's 'outlandish' earnings spark furor" by Shawn McCarthy, Globe and Mail

The world's largest publicly owned oil company announced yesterday the largest corporate profit ever, but news of its near $40-billion (U.S.) windfall in 2006 sparked an angry backlash, coming on the eve of a major report blaming the use of fossil fuels for wreaking devastation on the planet.

Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have also urged Exxon to end its funding of organizations that deny the existence of -- or minimize the seriousness of -- human-made global warming.

Scientists yesterday accused the conservative American Enterprise Institute, which receives funding from Exxon, of offering scientists up to $10,000 for articles that undercut a report to be released today from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of the world's leading scientists who say global warming is human-made and blame it largely on the burning of oil and other fossil fuels.

Last month, the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental lobby group, said that Exxon has spent $16-million over the past 10 years financing organizations that deny the seriousness of climate change.

Alden Meyer, a strategist with the group, compared Exxon's efforts to discredit the science of global warming to the tobacco companies' efforts to sow doubts about the link between smoking and lung cancer in order to protect their profits.

Aha, come on, our poor-little oil companies just cannot hurt their bottom-lines...NOT! After all, all those people who are investors in Exxon really need bigger dividends. Especially the investors who own several million dollars in shares. It's not enough that Exxon make a profit, thy have the right to make ever-bigger profits, and to hell with the environment and the little guy.

Monday, February 05, 2007

RELIGION - Muslims & Jews

"The Jewish school where half the pupils are Muslim" by Jonathan Margolis, The Independent

It's infant prize day at King David School, a state primary in Moseley, Birmingham. The children sit cross-legged on the floor, their parents fiddling with their video cameras. The head, Steve Langford, is wearing a Sesame Street tie.

A typical end-of-term school event, then. But at King David there's a twist that gives it a claim to be one of the most extraordinary schools in the country: King David is a strictly Jewish school. Judaism is the only religion taught. There's a synagogue on site. The children learn modern Hebrew - Ivrit - the language of Israel. And they celebrate Israeli independence day.

But half the 247 pupils at the 40-year-old local authority-supported school are Muslim, and apparently the Muslim parents go through all sorts of hoops, including moving into the school's catchment area, to get their children into King David to learn Hebrew, wave Israeli flags on independence day and hang out with the people some would have us believe that they hate more than anyone in the world.

More evidence that the fanatics of the world (Muslim, Jewish, or Christian) believe in a lie of hatred.

POLITICS - The Snub, Bush

"The ‘Lame Duck’ Label" by Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey, Newsweek

With a series of media events, President Bush is working hard to avoid the negative tag as he enters the last two years of his presidency.

On Tuesday (Jan 30, 2007) , President Bush popped in for a surprise visit to the Sterling Family Restaurant, a homey diner in Peoria, Ill. It’s a scene that has been played out many times before by this White House and others: a president mingling among regular Americans, who, no matter what they might think of his policies, are usually humbled and shocked to see the leader of the free world standing 10 feet in front of them.

But on Tuesday, the surprise was on Bush. In town to deliver remarks on the economy, the president walked into the diner, where he was greeted with what can only be described as a sedate reception. No one rushed to shake his hand. There were no audible gasps or yelps of excitement that usually accompany visits like this. Last summer, a woman nearly fainted when Bush made an unscheduled visit for some donut holes at the legendary Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago. In Peoria this week, many patrons found their pancakes more interesting. Except for the click of news cameras and the clang of a dish from the kitchen, the quiet was deafening.

“Sorry to interrupt you,” Bush said to a group of women, who were sitting in a booth with their young kids. “How’s the service?” As Bush signed a few autographs and shook hands, a man sitting at the counter lit a cigarette and asked for more coffee. Another woman, eyeing Bush and his entourage, sighed heavily and went back to her paper. She was reading the obituaries. “Sorry to interrupt your breakfast,” a White House aide told her. “No problem,” she huffed, in a not-so-friendly way. “Life goes on, I guess.”

...there's more.

Of course, Bush will not get the message. "There is none so blind as those who will not see."