Monday, October 31, 2005

Bush Goes with Samuel "Scalito" Alito for SCOTUS


GOI: I'm doing research into this guy right now and so for the most part I am holding my powder as they say.

I will say though that preliminary research shows him to be more then qualified.

I do worry though about his seeming willingness to chip away at abortion rights considering Roe is pretty much settled law.

However, I am also worried that Dem's will filibuster him and I do not necessarily think that they should pursue that option here. Especially if they ever want to have one of their own on the court at some point down the road.

I am upset that he went with another white male. Bush could have made a great choice by nominating a latino woman.

We shall see.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Scooter Libby indicted in CIA Leak Case


BREAKING NEWS!!!!!

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been indicted with the following charges: 2 counts of Perjury, 1 charge of obstruction of justice and 2 counts of false statements.

This is big time.

This is yet another high profile Republican (and senior member of the White House )to be indicted. I guess the GOP now stands for "Guilty Old Party."

"Scooter" will resign immediately no doubt.

I don't think that this is a big surprise and it is the right decision to make as this is an issue of national security. And as we know, national security is something that this administration has hung it's hat upon.

The legal process in these indictments will continue on as well as surely Fitzgerald will move to prosecute Libby.

Hmmm, me wonders if Cheney is involved at all since this DOES involve his chief of staff...hmmm (rubs goatee). I guess we may never know.

Well, so much the claim of Bush that he would bring "honor and integrity" back to the White House.

More commentary to come...

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdrawl


GOI: Other blogs have already hit this story so I'll just simply say that I bet she is relieved to be out of this spot-light as she didn't seem to want it from the beginning.

Now I'm just waiting to see if Fitzy is going to drop the other shoe tomorrow.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Iraqi Death Toll Estimates


By JIM KRANE

Associated Press Writer

The number of Iraqis who have died violently since the U.S.-led invasion is many times larger than the U.S. military death toll of 2,000 in Iraq. In one sign of the enormity of the Iraqi loss, at least 3,870 were killed in the past six months alone, according to an Associated Press count.

One U.S. military spokesman said it is possible the figure for the entire war could be 30,000 Iraqis, which many experts see as a credible estimate. Others suspect the number is far higher, since the chaos in Iraq leaves the potential for many killings to go unreported.

The losses are far larger than most analysts and Pentagon planners expected before the war and mean Iraqi civilians are bearing most of the suffering.

"We may never know the true number of the Iraqi public that has been killed or injured in this war," said the U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Steve Boylan. "The Iraqi public has taken the brunt of the casualties."

GOI: The Iraqi's have sacrificed much. Let's hope that things continue to improve for them.

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Civil Rights Hero Rosa Parks dead at 92

(1913-2005)
She sat down so that an entire nation could stand up.
May her memory recommit us to the fight for the rights of all Americans.
---End of Transmission---

Now They Tell Us!


GOI: Great article from Salon about some high-level critics to the Iraq war only coming out now:

Two erstwhile loyalists have come out roaring against President George W. Bush this past week, attacking not just his conduct of the war in Iraq but the foundations of his foreign policy generally.

The critics are retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a longtime friend and former national security adviser of Bush's father, who attacks his targets in a profile by Jeffrey Goldberg in the latest issue of The New Yorker, and retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, another admirer of Bush Sr. and Colin Powell's former chief of staff, who launched his artillery in an Oct. 19 speech at the New America Foundation.

Scowcroft, besides voicing dismay over the invasion of Baghdad, slashes the administration—especially his old friend Dick Cheney and his own former underling Condoleezza Rice—for their "evangelical" notion that they can export democracy at the point of a gun.

"This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism," Scowcroft told the magazine (The New Yorker magazine).

Wilkerson goes further, charging Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with running foreign policy like a "cabal"—worse still, an "incompetent" cabal that has "courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran." He says they've gotten away with it because the president is "not versed in international relations and not much interested in them either."

There's nothing novel about the substance of these critiques; many analysts have made similar points for quite a while. The startling thing here is the critics—consummate insiders, veteran military officers, who as a rule don't reveal secrets or attack presidents, especially those named Bush.

GOI: In related news:

Judith Yaphe, who was the CIA's senior analyst on Iraq during the first Gulf War, says Iraq is "open to terrorism in a way that it was not before."

Similarly, Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of counterterrorism at the CIA under presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says the Iraq war "accelerated terrorism" by "metastasizing" Al Qaeda.

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A Grim Milestone


U.S. death toll in Iraq hits 2,000
I dedicate this post to all the fallen and injured soldiers from this conflict.
They will never be forgotten.
In Other News:
Let's get an update from the Osama Clock:
It has been 1,505 days since September 11th and President Bush demanding Osama bin Laden's
capture either, "Dead of alive."
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Monday, October 24, 2005

As CIA Leak Case Wraps Up


GOI: Some Republicans are trying to smear prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald:

This from Reuters:

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday the investigation into the outing of a covert CIA operative was "very serious," even as Republican allies started casting aspersions on the prosecutor and the possibility of perjury charges.

GOI: Over the weekend, Republicans launched a preemptive strike against possible charges for perjury.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas derided any potential perjury charge as a "technicality," and suggested Fitzgerald may be trying to show that "two years' of investigation was not a waste of time and dollars."

GOI: Even though Republicans nailed Clinton to the wall over perjury when it comes to one of their own it's a "technicality."

Common Dreams on Hutchison's hypocrisy:

This statement contradicts the Senator’s 1999 view expressed during the impeachment of President Clinton when she said, “The edifice of American jurisprudence rests on the foundation of the due process of law. The mortar in that foundation is the oath. Those who seek to obstruct justice weaken that foundation, and those who violate the oath would tear the whole structure down.”

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington stated, “I would expect a member of the United States Senate to judge any government official’s actions based on the rule of law, not on party affiliation. As a Senator charged with upholding the laws of the United States, Sen. Hutchison should be ashamed and embarrassed by her flagrant inconsistency. She owes her constituents and the nation an explanation.”

GOI: As for the two year investigation being a "waste of time and dollars: The Clinton investigation took TWICE this long!!

All the casting of aspersions emerging even though the Commander-in-Chief himself said this of the prosecutor Fitzgerald:

The special prosecutor is conducting a very serious investigation - he’s doing it in a very dignified way, by the way - and we’ll see what he says.

GOI: Also, reports are circulating now that the President is frustrated and playing the blame game within his own staff. This from, The New York Daily News:

"The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about," said one Bush insider. "Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share."

The vice president remains Bush's most trusted political confidant. Even so, the Daily News has learned Bush has told associates Cheney was overly involved in intelligence issues in the runup to the Iraq war that have been seized on by Bush critics.

Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the President himself," (GOI: Figures he blames everyone but himself. Reminds me of Homer Simpson saying, 'This is everyone's fault but mine.') said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wow, I Agree with Conservative George Will


From his column in the Washington Post:

Defending The Indefensible

By George F. Will
Sunday, October 23, 2005; Page B07

As Miers's confirmation hearings draw near, her advocates will make an argument that is always false but that they, especially, must make, considering the unusual nature of their nominee. The argument is that it is somehow inappropriate for senators to ask a nominee -- a nominee for a lifetime position making unappealable decisions of enormous social impact -- searching questions about specific Supreme Court decisions and the principles of constitutional law that these decisions have propelled into America's present and future.


To that argument, the obvious and sufficient refutation is: Why, then, have hearings? What, then, remains of the Senate's constitutional role in consenting to nominees?

It is not merely permissible, it is imperative that senators give Miers ample opportunity to refute skeptics by demonstrating her analytic powers and jurisprudential inclinations by discussing recent cases concerning, for example, the scope of federal power under the commerce clause, the compatibility of the First Amendment with campaign regulations and privacy -- including Roe v. Wade .

And Democrats, with their zest for gender politics, need this reminder: To give a woman a seat on a crowded bus because she is a woman is gallantry. To give a woman a seat on the Supreme Court because she is a woman is a dereliction of senatorial duty. It also is an affront to mature feminism, which may bridle at gallantry but should recoil from condescension.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Senate Letter to Sec.of Defense Donald Rumsfeld


October 19, 2005

The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld
Department of Defense
The PentagonWashington, DC 20301

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:We are writing to express our concern about the lack of political balance in talk radio programming on the Department of Defense's (DoD) American Forces Network and to request a definitive timeline by which we can expect DoD to correct this imbalance.

More than a year ago, the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution offered by Senator Harkin expressing the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of Defense should ensure full implementation of the American Forces Radio and Television Service goal of maintaining equal opportunity balance with respect to political programming.

AFN Radio carries the shows of a wide range of conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schlesinger, and James Dobson, to the near total exclusion of progressive talk radio hosts. This is in violation of DoD's own guidelines on political programming on the American Forces Network, specifically, DoD Directive 5120.20R, which calls for political programming on American Forces Network that is "characterized by its fairness and balance," as well as news programming guided by a "principle of fairness" that requires "reasonable opportunities for the presentation of conflicting views on important controversial public issues."On September 29, 2005, Manny Levy, Chief of the Radio Division of the American Forces Network Broadcast Center, formally advised the syndicate that distributes "The Ed Schultz Show" that AFN Radio would "begin carrying the first hour of 'The Ed Schultz Show' each day, beginning Monday, October 17, 2005 at noon PT/3 ET." However, higher-level DoD officials subsequently backtracked on this commitment. A Pentagon spokesman said that Mr. Levy "got ahead of the process," and that no decision had been made in a review of which programming to add to the network.

Inclusion of "The Ed Schultz Show" would have been a first, partial step toward achieving balance in political programming on AFN Radio. Even that first step has been abruptly canceled. Why, more than a year since the Senate passed its resolution, has DoD not implemented any program changes to balance political programming? At this late date, why is DoD still in violation of its own guidelines for political programming on AFN Radio? Given the time that has passed since this issue was brought to the attention of DoD by the Senate, the problem is not that Mr. Levy was "ahead of the process." The problem is that DoD is woefully behind in addressing this imbalance and coming into full compliance with its own guidelines and procedures. We request that you provide us with an action plan and timeline for achieving greater political balance in AFN Radio programming as quickly as possible.

We respectfully request that you respond to this letter by November 1, 2005.

Sincerely,

Tom Harkin United States Senator
Byron L. Dorgan United States Senator
Carl Levin United States Senator
Frank Lautenberg United States Senator
Mark Dayton United States Senator
Jack Reed United States Senator
Ron Wyden United States Senator
Daniel Akaka United States Senator
Christopher Dodd United States Senator
Edward Kennedy United States Senator
Russell Feingold United States Senator
Barack Obama United States Senator
John Kerry United States Senator

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Tom DeLay Mug Shot


Man, that smile looks pretty forced if you ask me. It looks like it is permanently strected with Super Glue. It's like he's smiling as if it is the best day of his life!! When you know he's pissed off as hell.

What a sad, sad man.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ed Schultz Radio Show Prevented from Armed Force Network


(10/17/2005 ) Military reverses plan to add Ed Schultz show to Armed Forces Radio.

The United States' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

Schultz was told Sept. 29 he would be added to the military's programming today. That decision was reversed this morning. His producers are currently seeking answers from the military.

On his program Friday, Schultz attacked Alison Barber, an Armed Forces official, over President Bush's staged conversation with U.S. troops in Iraq. Barber is an Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Armed Forces Radio provides programming to American troops wherever they are stationed abroad. The network carries newscasts from a variety of outlets, including NPR and the Associated Press, along with commentary from Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, among others.

"Barber told [producer] James Holm that the Ed Shultz show would not start on AFR today because her boss, Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita, was out of the country and couldn’t approve it. Barber also said she was going out of the country soon for a week-and-a-half. Holm asked Barber if the show would begin when DiRita and Barber returned. Barber said she couldn’t guarantee that.

"Here’s the really interesting part. Barber told Holm she heard Ed announced that he would begin on AFR during his show Friday. Shultz’s show Friday began with audio outtakes of Barber sounding foolish as she rehearsed the troops “Q&A session” with Bush."

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won approval last year for a nonbinding resolution urging Armed Forces Radio to offer more political balance in programming. Limbaugh strongly objected, noting that the network carries National Public Radio and declaring, "I am the political balance."

Late last month, Manny Levy, chief of the radio division for Armed Forces Network, told Schultz's distributor, Jones Radio, by e-mail: "AFN Radio has squared away everything on our end to begin carrying the first hour of 'The Ed Schultz Show' each day, beginning Monday, October 17, 2005."

Levy added: "I'm sorry that there were so many panicked, 'I need an answer soon' calls, false starts and unexpected delays on our end. An awful lot of people in the government had (or tried to have) a hand in [the] program selection process that ended with the decision to add 'The Ed Schultz Show.' "

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said last night that Levy "got ahead of the process" and that no decision had been made in a review of which programming to add to the network. When asked about Schultz's insistence that his criticism of Barber played a role, Whitman called that "an unfortunate misperception on his part. That has nothing to do with this."

And this from UPI:

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman denied any connection between the Barber tape and the decision to cancel Schultz's radio show. He confirmed the Armed Forces Radio Network is looking to diversify its offerings - it currently carries conservatives Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson's Focus on the Family — but said no offers have yet been made, including to Schultz.

GOI: The over-whelming shows carried on the Armed Forces Network are conservative and that is not Constitutional in my opinion. The U.S. military represents ALL Americans and since the military and AFN are supported by tax dollars the network should have a balance between right and left radio shows. American soldiers fight for the rights of all Americans and one of the most important right is freedom of speech. Of all people soldiers should have the right to listen to a myriad of political voices on the radio as they are themselves engaged daily in the protection of said right.

UPDATE (EDIT of email address):

I have sent an email to the AFN regarding my protests and if you agree then I urge you to contact them as well. Here is the email address: linda.sullivan@hq.afis.osd.mil

I would also recommend writing and/or calling your Senator and Representative about this issue.

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Saddam on Trial


GOI: Saddam Hussein finally went on trial today in Iraq and It could not have come sooner.

THANK GOD!!!

As you know, I did not support the invasion of Iraq but I believe (all be it with trepidation) that we need to stay until a strong, Iraqi military can be established.

Today is a wonderful day for Iraqi's. I am very, VERY happy that Saddam Hussein is going to be brought to justice.

What a morale boost to see that justice is FINALLY starting to kick in against Saddam Hussein and for the state of Iraq.

Hopefully this trial will help bring Iraq together.

We shall see.

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Taliban Bodies Burned by U.S. Soldiers


US soldiers in Afghanistan burnt the bodies of dead Taliban and taunted their opponents about the corpses, in an act deeply offensive to Muslims and in breach of the Geneva conventions.

An investigation by SBS's Dateline program, to be aired tonight, filmed the burning of the bodies.

It also filmed a US Army psychological operations unit broadcasting a message boasting of the burnt corpses into a village believed to be harbouring Taliban.

According to an SBS translation of the message, delivered in the local language, the soldiers accused Taliban fighters near Kandahar of being "cowardly dogs". "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burnt. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be," the message reportedly said.

"You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Taliban but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."

The burning of a body is a deep insult to Muslims. Islam requires burial within 24 hours.

Under the Geneva conventions the burial of war dead "should be honourable, and, if possible, according to the rites of the religion to which the deceased belonged".

US soldiers said they burnt the bodies for hygiene reasons but two reporters, Stephen Dupont and John Martinkus, said the explanation was unbelievable, given they were in an isolated area.

GOI: The more we disrespect the Geneva convenstions' human rights agreements the more we become like the terrorists. I am NOT for a minute trying to defend the Taliban. They are BAD, TERRIBLE PEOPLE!!! Do NOT for a minute infer that I support them in ANY WAY and I FULLY support our military in bringing them to justice.

HOWEVER, that being said I DO not think that American soldiers should be desecrating bodies in such a manner. It is HIGLY offensive to Muslims around the world and it GREATLY sets back our mission to win the hearts and minds of the greater, global Muslim population.

Such behavior is a disgrace to the hollowed American military uniform. We want people to see that we are above such ugly acts and we should be the leaders of humane treatment. I believe that 99.9% of the time our soldiers and military conduct themselves with the greatest of honor, sensitivity and humaneness.

However, when something like this happens it is a blot on the entire military and country of the United States of America. It should therefore be identified and shown to be as an atrocious act and the offenders should be shiftly prosecuted to show the world that we do not for a SECOND condone such behavior.

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Communist Double Standard



Ever notice the double standard that America plays with Communist China vs. Communist Cuba?

This is a topic that I have been mulling over in my head for awhile.

What is the difference between Cuba and China except that it comes down to business?

We have been cozying up to China for decades and trading heavily with them and greatly boosting their growing economy. Whereas Cuba gets nothing from America. No imports are accepted from Cuba and no exports are sent to the poor, Communist island country.

Even in the wake of the catestrophic hurricane Katrina we did not accept Cuban doctors (who are some of the best in the world) to help in the Gulf Coast.

I don't get it.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Election Fraud in Iraq?


File under: "Buried in the News."

Baghdad, Iraq - Iraqi election officials said Monday that they were investigating "unusually high" vote totals in 12 Shiite and Kurdish provinces, (GOI: Iraq has a total of 18 provinces) where as many as 99 percent of the voters were reported to have cast ballots in favor of Iraq's new constitution, raising the possibility that the results of Saturday's referendum could be called into question.

None of the provinces cited for a closer look had Sunni majorities, the official said, although there were reports of similarly lopsided vote totals against the constitution in some Sunni areas.

GOI: So the Sunni fucked it up too. GREAT!!! Juuuuust GRRRREAT!!!!!!

"When you find consistently very, very high numbers, then that is cause for further checking," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Anything over 90 percent either way usually leads to further investigation."

GOI: GODDAMN IT!!! I was hoping and the vote in Iraq was going to be a step forward and now we have some serious evidence of election fraud??? GOD, I am SO not surprised!! Nothing goes right over there!!!

Just to give you some perspective here, check this out. Almost to the day (October 16th), 3 years ago Saddam Hussein claimed to have received 100% of the vote!! And now, the only difference between this current vote on the Constitution and the Saddam vote is ONE PERCENT?!?!

Don't tell me that any of you believe that this was a fair and honest election?!! As if there are not a decent number of minority Sunni or other ethnic groups in these 12 provinces that did not vote for the Constitution!

99%?!!

That my friends is massive, defening voter FRAUD!!

Iraq is set back AGAIN.

(shakes head).

---End of Transmission---

Miers Supported Ban on Most Abortions


This from the Associated Press and ABC News, The San Fransico Gate and The Guardian:

WASHINGTON Oct 18, 2005 — Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers pledged support in 1989 for a constitutional amendment banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, according to material given to the Senate on Tuesday.

"If Congress passes a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit abortion except when it was necessary to prevent the death of the mother, would you actively support its ratification by the Texas Legislature," asked an April 1989 questionnaire sent out by the Texans United for Life group.

Miers checked "yes" to that question, and all of the group's questions, including whether she would oppose the use of public moneys for abortions and whether she would use her influence to keep "pro-abortion" people off city health boards and commissions.


"A candidate taking a political position in the course of a campaign is different from the role of a judge making a ruling in the judicial process." said Jim Dyke, a White House spokesman.

GOI: Hopefully she will not allow her personal view against abortion influence her rulings on settled law such as Roe v. Wade. I think that one of the main questions to ask her during the hearings should be whether or not she DOES view Roe v. Wade as settled law.

I and Chief Justice John Roberts certainly see Roe as settled law since it has been on the books for some 30 years. Also, most Americans believe that abortion should remain legal:

This from ABC News:

On abortion itself, 54 percent of Americans say it should be legal, about the average in polls since 1995. That includes 23 percent who say it should be legal in all cases, and 31 percent who say it should be legal in most cases.

Support for legal abortion is higher in the East (62 percent) and West (61 percent) than in the Midwest (52 percent) or South (46 percent). It jumps above 70 percent among liberals and non-evangelical white Protestants. Most Republicans, conservatives and evangelical white Protestants oppose it, peaking at 78 percent among evangelical white Protestants who attend church weekly (including four in 10 who are opposed in all cases).

Despite their church's stand on the issue, Catholics support legal abortion at the same rate as the broader public — overall 55 percent say it should be legal in all or most cases. However, legal abortion is opposed by 55 percent of Catholics who attend church at least a few times a month.


GOI: This questionnaire appears like the beginnings of a track record for Harriet Miers. Republicans and Democrats alike have been concerned that there was not much of a paper trail. I think that from this questionnaire it is same to assume that she still feels the same way about abortion. Why would a strong evangelical Christian change her views on such a bedrock issue for most Republican conservatives? I suppose she could surprise us all and vote to uphold Roe but It now appears that would be nearly impossible.

This is started to heat up and get interesting.

---End of Transmission---

Monday, October 17, 2005

Dobson Told: Miers Would Overturn Roe v. Wade


This from John Fund at the Wall Street Journal:

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

Two days after President Bush announced Harriet Miers's Supreme Court nomination, James Dobson of Focus on the Family raised some eyebrows by declaring on his radio program: "When you know some of the things that I know--that I probably shouldn't know--you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice."

Mr. Dobson quelled the controversy by saying that Karl Rove, the White House's deputy chief of staff, had not given him assurances about how a Justice Miers would vote. "I would have loved to have known how Harriet Miers views Roe v. Wade," Mr. Dobson said last week. "But even if Karl had known the answer to that--and I'm certain that he didn't because the president himself said he didn't know--Karl would not have told me that. That's the most incendiary information that's out there, and it was never part of our discussion."

It might, however, have been part of another discussion. On Oct. 3, the day the Miers nomination was announced, Mr. Dobson and other religious conservatives held a conference call to discuss the nomination. One of the people on the call took extensive notes, which I have obtained. According to the notes, two of Ms. Miers's close friends--both sitting judges--said during the call that she would vote to overturn Roe.

What followed, according to the notes, was a free-wheeling discussion about many topics, including same-sex marriage. Justice Hecht said he had never discussed that issue with Ms. Miers.

Then an unidentified voice asked the two men, "Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?"

"Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade."

"I agree with that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur."

Shortly thereafter, according to the notes, Mr. Dobson apologized and said he had to leave the discussion: "That's all I need to know and I will get off and make some calls." (When asked about his comments in the notes I have, Mr. Dobson confirmed some of them and said it was "very possible" he made the others. He said he did not specifically recall the comments of the two judges on Roe v. Wade.)


The benign interpretation of the comments is that the two judges were speaking on behalf of themselves, not Ms. Miers or the White House, and they were therefore offering a prediction, not an assurance, about how she would come down on Roe v. Wade. But the people I interviewed who were on the call took the comments as an assurance, and at least one based his support for Ms. Miers on them.

GOI: I am not sure to the credibility of John Fund (the author of this article at the WSJ). Although I do know he is a conservative columnist (far from being a liberal) for what that is worth. We also do not not know his source but it does raise HUGE "red flags" of concern for me.

Also, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) of New York met with Miers today and asked Miers about the WSJ article. According to CNN's, "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer Schumer asked her if she had told two of her close friends that she would vote against Roe. She then replied no, she hadn't said that to these two. However, when asked by Schumer if she told Rove that she would vote to overturn Roe she said that she would not discuss the details of that conversation.

Very suspicious if you ask me.

Hmm.

My head is spinning on the Miers nomination because the Bush administration and it's supporters have been all over the map.

I guess we will see.

---End of Transmission---

Friday, October 14, 2005

Baghdad Blackout

I just saw on the CNN that Iraqi insurgents have somehow managed to knock out power to most of Baghdad on the eve of the election. Apparently an electrical power was blown up in the north knocking out water and sewage pumps as well.

This may not be an inconvienence to Iraqi's use to such things but it may be quite demoralizing for Iraqi citizens. Besides, citizens should not have to worry about people blowing up their infrastructure every month or so and right before they go out and vote! Certainly raising more frustration about the dubious origins of this Constitution. That's not a functioning Democracy. Attacks like these undermine the legitamacy and credibility. I certainly will be frustrating to Iraqi citizens who want their lives back to some sense of normal. Something that has been gone since the start of this war.

If the Iraqi government can not even prevent the electricity from being knocked out then how do they EVER hope to defeat this insurgency?!!

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More on Bush Masterpiece Theatre Event


GOI: This from ABC News:

The president told them twice that the American people were behind them.

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

GOI: BULLSHIT!! The TROOPS have tremendous support here at home but not the way Bush has been handling the war itself:

Less than 40 percent in an AP-Ipsos poll taken in October said they approved of the way Bush was handling Iraq. Just over half of the public now say the Iraq war was a mistake.

GOI: They even had the token Iraqi soldier present who spoke like a slave to his master.

The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.

"Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you."

GOI: For EVERYTHING??? Oh like say, violent chaos in his country?? He might as well been saying, "I like you Massa' Whatever you say Massa." Bush addressed the Iraqi soldier before his gushing statements by saying something like, I understand you have something to say. GROAN. Yeah, that's not like a staged, leading question or anything. LORD.

Radio talk show host Randi Rhodes said on her show today that NBC has picked up the event for 10 more episodes of the Bush Show. Haha.

---End of Transmission---

The Iraqi Constitution Vote


GOI: I don't quite know what to think about this constitution vote this weekend. I have great hopes for Iraq and desperately want them to succeed. None the less though, I am leary of the constitution itself as it seems to be biased against the Sunni population. I expect it to pass, however.

Hopefully after it passes they will change some things around via amendments to prevent the on-going fracturing of Iraq.

Even if the constitution is passed though I do not think it is going to change much in Iraq. Especially in regards to the violence. Unfortunately the violence is here to stay for a long, long time.

"The fight will continue against the Americans, whether we vote yes or no," said Ahmed Mishhin, a 26-year-old physician from Ishaqi, a restive Sunni Arab town near Balad. His colleague, Sami Hassoun Ali, interrupted. "The constitution will only be ink on paper," he said.

GOI: It also appears that women's right will be worse. Not exactly a good thing in trying to establish a democracy. Especially when women's right's appeared to be better under Saddam.

From the BBC:

Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq had some of the most secular legislation in the region. (GOI: How ironic).

But all that could change, with hardline Shia members of the national assembly pushing for the country to be named the Islamic Republic of Iraq.

This from the Christian Science Monitor:

By Isobel Coleman and Mehlaqa Samdani

WASHINGTON – Whether or not the Iraqi constitution passes on Oct. 15, one thing is clear: Iraq will continue to be dominated by religiously motivated, well-organized Shiite political parties, determined to implement Islamic law and enforce social conservatism throughout society.

In this environment, it is inevitable that many rights taken for granted by Iraqi women will come under increasing challenge.

(GOI: We shall see how it all unfolds I guess).

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged


Thursday October 13, 2005 9:46 PM

AP Photo DCSA101

By DEB RIECHMANN

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

``This is an important time,'' Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. ``The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you.''

Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.

As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit - the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

``I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me,'' Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

``OK, so let's just walk through this,'' Barber said. ``Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?''

``Captain Smith,'' Kennedy said.

``Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?'' she asked.

``Captain Kennedy,'' the soldier replied.

And so it went.

``If the question comes up about partnering - how often do we train with the Iraqi military - who does he go to?'' Barber asked.

``That's going to go to Captain Pratt,'' one of the soldiers said.

``And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit - the hometown - and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?'' she asked.

Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the U.S. would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.

``So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory,'' Bush said.

The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.

``Thank you very much for everything,'' he gushed. ``I like you.''

On the training of Iraqi security forces, Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo from Scotia, N.Y., said to Bush: ``I can tell you over the past 10 months, we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. ... Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations.''
Lombardo told the president that she was in New York City on Nov. 11, 2001, when Bush attended an event recognizing soldiers for their recovery and rescue efforts at Ground Zero.

She said the troops began the fight against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and were proud to continue it in Iraq.

``I thought you looked familiar,'' Bush said, and then joked: ``I probably look familiar to you, too.''

(GOI: Durh! He's SUCH a DORK!!!)

Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, denounced the event as a ``carefully scripted publicity stunt.'' Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said.

``If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference,'' Rieckhoff said. ``He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains.''

(GOI: I'm tired of Bush using our soldiers as 'props.' It is sad that he felt like he had to stage this. He just doesn't have any thoughts of his own it seems. Why didn't he talk to the average troops? Because, I think that he didn't want to have a Don Rumsfeld moment with that soldier peppering him about the lack of armour! Remeber that little "public relations" snaffoo?!!

I don't think this is going to help his poll numbers. I'm kind of feeling sorry for ole King George. He refuses to accept that he isn't wearing any clothes.)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NBC/WSJ Poll Finds Bush Ratings Still Sinking


NEW YORK For the first time in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, President Bush’s approval rating slipped below 40%, while the percentage believing the country is heading in the right direction has dipped below 30% percent.

In addition, a sizable plurality prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress, and just 29% think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on that court, although nearly half say they don't know enough about her to judge.

This from MSNBC reporter by Mark Murray regarding the poll:

Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Hart, adds that he has disliked stories portraying Sept. 11 and Katrina as bookends for Bush — that the first event boosted his presidency, while the second has done the opposite. But he says these poll numbers suggest that is indeed what’s happening. “It’s hard to avoid that bookend story.”

According to the poll, Bush’s job approval has plummeted to 40 percent, an all-time low for the president. That’s a drop of 6 points from the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll taken in July, and it’s consistent with results from other recent national surveys. The poll also finds that just 37 percent of respondents approve of Bush’s job handling Iraq, compared with 58 percent who disapprove — another all-time low. In addition, 55 percent want to reduce the number of troops in Iraq, while just 36 percent want to maintain the current level there.

GOI: Tim Russert on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams reported as well that, "only 2%, 2% of African-Americans in the United States approve of George Bush's handling of the Presidency. The lowest we have ever seen in that particular measurement."

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Freedom of Religion a Myth?


GINA HOLLAND

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Tuesday from a Wiccan priestess angry that local leaders would not let her open their sessions with a prayer.

Instead, clergy from more traditional religions were invited to pray at governmental meetings in Chesterfield County, Va., a suburb of Richmond.

Simpson sued and initially won before a federal judge who said the county's policy was unconstitutional because it stated a preference for a set of religious beliefs.

Simpson lost at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the county had changed its policy and directed clerics to avoid invoking the name of Jesus.

Lawyers for Cynthia Simpson had told justices in a filing that most of the invocations are led by Christians. Simpson said she wanted to offer a generalized prayer to the "creator of the universe."

The county (GOI: Government) "issues invitations to deliver prayers to all Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious leaders in the country. It refuses to issue invitations to Native Americans, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Wiccans, or members of any other religion," justices were told in her appeal by American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Rebecca Glenberg.

GOI: I don't get this decision on several points. First, This Simpson lady said she wanted to offer a generalized prayer to the "creator of the universe." She was clearly in keeping with the counties policy that "directed clerics to avoid invoking the name of Jesus."

Second, It seems obvious to me that the county should either allow a different religions to pray now and then or not offer a prayer at all but then again maybe that makes too much sense. I just happen to be a Buddhist and I guess my religion is not a "traditional religion" despite the tradition of Buddhism being older then Christianity.

(scratches head).

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More Trouble for Frist


WASHINGTON - Outside the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist earned tens of thousands of dollars from stock in a family-founded hospital chain largely controlled by his brother, documents show.

GOI: Oops!

The Tennessee Republican, whose sale this summer of HCA Inc. stock is under federal investigation, has long maintained he could own HCA shares and still vote on health care legislation without a conflict because he had placed the stock in blind trusts approved by the Senate.

However, ethics experts say a partnership arrangement shown in documents obtained by The Associated Press raises serious doubts about whether the senator truly avoided a conflict.

Edmond M. Ianni, a former Wilmington, Del., bank executive who established blind trusts for corporate executives, questioned why the senator's brother was able to manage assets "when the whole purpose of a blind trust is to ensure lack of not only conflict of interest - but appearance of conflict of interest?"

Kathleen Clark, a government ethics expert at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, said she doesn't believe the Senate trusts or the Tennessee trust insulated Frist from a conflict because the senator or his brother were advised of transactions and could influence decisions.

"What I find most appalling is the Senate calls it a qualified blind trust when it's not blind," Clark said. "Since the Senate says it's OK, the Senate has made it a political question. It's up to the voter. But there's no doubt it's a conflict of interest."

With his background as a heart surgeon as well as majority leader, Frist has been at the forefront of legislation that would affect the hospital chain. Among the issues: a Medicare prescription drug benefit and limits on medical malpractice lawsuits.

GOI: Doesn't look too good.

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Harriet Miers: Ass Kissing Crony Corportist


(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

AUSTIN, Tex., Oct. 10 - “You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect,” Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him “cool,” said he and his wife, Laura, were “the greatest!” and told him: “Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed.”

The documents, including many minutes of meetings of the Texas Lottery Commission, which Ms. Miers headed, shed little light on her legal thinking, but underscore her ties to Mr. Bush. Because of their closeness and her lack of a judicial record, some critics have dismissed Ms. Miers as a crony unworthy of nomination to the court but for her confidential service as the president’s lawyer.

Others question whether their bond could undermine the separation of powers of the executive and judicial branches.

GOI: Ass kissing should NOT be a prerequisite for the Supreme Court!! Assuming that this lady will get nominated and according to her statements it sounds like she would have a MAJOR bias toward Bush and his administration on the bench. And Bush still has some 3 and a half years left!!!

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Another Republican in Trouble With the Law


10-11) 02:19 PDT DALLAS (AP) --

U.S. Rep Kevin Brady was arrested and charged with driving under the influence while in South Dakota, according to a published report.

The Texas Republican was pulled over by a state trooper Friday night for a problem with the tail lights of his vehicle, The Dallas Morning News reported.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Brady faces up to $1,000 fine and a year in jail, Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe said.

GOI: Not a good time to be a Texas Republican right now or a Republican period for that matter.

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Bush Incestuous Circle


GOI: Picture is of Susan Ralston, Rove's assistant. I heard on one of the Sunday morning talk shows that her name will appear more and more in the news as this grand jury investigation wraps up.

The DeLay, Abramoff and possible Rove indictments seem to involve and overlap with the same players into one big incestuous web.

Here is Sidney Blumenthal:

Meanwhile, the grand jury in the Valerie Plame case prepares to conclude its work. In August, it called Rove's assistant Susan Ralston to testify. As it happens, she had formerly been Abramoff's assistant. And it was revealed that before she allowed people to meet with Rove, she cleared them with Norquist. Rove, for his part, often used Abramoff and Norquist as his conduits to DeLay.

Now all the investigations are coming to a climax. Will it mean the decline and fall of the Rovean empire? "Rove is the ultimate centre of everything," said Wittman. "All roads lead to Rove. If it's Rove, everything collapses. People say there is no indispensable man. That's not true."

GOI: If Rove and Libby (Chiefs of Staff for Bush and Cheney) collapse into indictments then it is not a far thing to assume that Bush and Cheney themselves would be the next in line to fall.

There is not much that goes on with a President's Chief of Staff that the President himself does not know. Therefore it seems to me that if Rove and Libby go down then Bush and Cheney too should go down.

But more than the fate of one man or even a ring around him is at stake. For decades, conservatives created a movement to capture the Republican Party and remake it in their image. Under Bush, Republicanism as a system dominates.

With astonishing arrogance and bravado, the Republican oligarchy wired politics and business so that they would always win. But in believing that they actually possessed absolute power they have overreached. Now their project teeters on the brink.

(I highly recommend reading the rest of the article HERE. It is one of the best I have read on the cloud of corruption and cronyism in the GWB White House).

Think Progress has a great list of the 21 Bush Administration officials involved in the Plame case leak scandal (Kind of ironic that the buzz in Washington D.C. is that there are 22 indictments coming and 21 members of the Bush administration listed on the Think Progress Plame case involvement list).

The plot thickens.

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Turkey's Die In Turkey


I know that bird flu isn't exactly a funny subject but I find it highly ironic and amusing that turkey's have died in Turkey:

CNN Turk television quoted Turkish Farm Minister Mehdi Eker as saying bird flu had been discovered in Turkey for the first time.

The television station said turkeys had died of the disease on a farm in Balikesir province near the Aegean Sea in western Turkey. All animals on the farm had been slaughtered.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Rove Must Believe He May Be Indicted

"So Karl Rove is returning to testify before the grand jury investigating the outing of Valerie Plame, and he's doing so without any guarantee that Patrick Fitzgerald won't prosecute him. How big of a development is this?" asks SALON.COM's Tim Grieve. "Stunning," a former federal prosecutor told SALON.COM. "There is no reason for Rove to make this appearance unless he and his counsel believe he is at serious risk of indictment. None."

"It's always risky to go before a grand jury," Grieve adds. "You can't take your lawyer into the room with you. It's especially risky if you've already testified once -- or, in the case of Rove, three times -- before: The odds of introducing inconsistencies into your testimony increase each time you give it. That's why, the former prosecutor tells us, a defense lawyer would advise his client to make a return appearance before the grand jury 'only in extremis.'"

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Plame Case Buzz


Well, Radar Online has heard some serious buzz about the Plame investigation:

EXCLUSIVE: The D.C. rumor mill is thrumming with whispers that 22 indictments are about to be handed down on the outed-CIA agent Valerie Plame case. The last time the wires buzzed this loud — that Tom DeLay would be indicted and would step down from his leadership post in the House — the scuttlebutters got it right.

Can it be a coincidence that the White House appears to be distancing President Bush from embattled aide Karl Rove? “He’s been missing in action at more than one major presidential event,” a member of the White House press corps tells us.

If the word on the street is right a second time, we have a bit of advice for Rove: Go with vertical stripes, they’re way more slimming.


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Rove Testifies Again


WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors have accepted an offer from presidential adviser Karl Rove to give 11th-hour testimony in the case of a CIA officer's leaked identity but have warned they cannot guarantee he won't be indicted, according to people directly familiar with the investigation.

GOI: Uh-oh, I smell another Republican indictment!!

Other News:

Ohio (R) Governor Convicted for Ethical Violations Owns a Historic Record:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the wake of convictions for ethics violations, Ohio (Republican) Gov. Bob Taft's approval rating has dipped to a dismal 15 percent, making him one of the most unpopular politicians in the history of political polls.

GOI: Yes so get out of the way, sit back, put a pot of coffee on and watch the Republican's hang themselves.

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Dick Cheney: Propaganda Minister


THE United States must be prepared to fight the war on terror for decades to bring peace to Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, vice-president Dick Cheney told the army today.
Speaking to the Association of the US Army, Cheney joined the chorus of Bush administration officials - including the President - who have tried in recent days to bolster an American public that has grown increasingly weary of the war in Iraq. He told the audience filled with military members that the only way terrorists could win is if the US "lost our nerve and abandoned our mission".


He said: "Like other great duties in history, it will require decades of patient effort, and it will be resisted by those whose only hope for power is through the spread of violence.

"As the people of that region experience new hope, progress, and control over their own destiny, we will see the power of freedom to change our world and a terrible threat will be removed."

Mr Cheney did not specify how long he believed US troops would have to stay in Iraq.

GOI: All of this despite Cheney saying in May of this year that the Iraqi insurgency was, "in the last throes."

Which just proves that Cheney nor anyone in the administration knows what the hell is going on in Iraq. Doesn't exactly give you peace does it knowing that even the highest officials in our country have no clue or control about the situation in Iraq.

They have NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON and in the mean time people are dying in the dozens over there.

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James Dobson: Bush Administration Insider


Fundamentalist Christian Zealot, James Dobson (pictured here with his specially designed, massive gay eating Bible and brain melting laser eyes) and local bigot appears to have insider information into the Miers nomination.

This from the Rocky Mountain News:

He also confirmed reports that he received a special briefing from Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, but still will not discuss the talks in detail.

"When you know some of the things I know - that I probably shouldn't know - that take me in this direction, you'll know why I've said with fear and trepidation (that) I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice," Dobson said in a broadcast with co-host John Fuller.

GOI: For years critics of the Bush administration have argued that the fundamentalist, Christian Evangelicals have had special priviledge with the Bush White House and now it is clearly evident:

For more than 30 years, Dobson has waged a crusade to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion. He said he believes Miers is against abortion, based on talks with her longtime friends and other information.

GOI: Karl Rove has apparently assured this man that Miers would work hard to overturn Roe v. Wade. I say this because why would a man who has devoted some 30 years to overturning abortion endorse ANY justice who would not vow to make such a decision?

I am furious that James Dobson has recieved special information from the White House that the rest of us do not know (including Democrat and Republican Senators!!):

In a press conference Tuesday, Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Denver, demanded that the White House give senators whatever information it gave Dobson.

He's not the only one who wants to know the secret.

Dobson said his phone has been ringing off the hook from congressional allies and fellow conservatives seeking reassurance heading into Miers' upcoming confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

GOI: I urge you to write Sen. Salazer and give him your support for demanding this information. Also contact your Senators demanding that they receive the same information as Dobson.

For Senator Salazar's email form, click HERE.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Afghan Election


The election results are mostly in on the lastest election and some warlords have actually made it into parliament.

This from the BBC:

Warlords look set to win a number of seats in Afghanistan's new parliament according to partial results from September's election.

Many Afghans said they were unhappy that so many of the candidates were warlords or linked to warlords.

GOI: O.k., how can things be going well in Afghanistan if warlords or those linked to warlords are being voted into office?? This is like radical militia men being voted into our Congress or Senate!!

However, officials said the peaceful conduct of the polls was a victory over the militants.

GOI: O.k., how was this election a victory over militants when warlords (who are militants. Just look at their name, "warlord!!") are being voted into office!!

I wonder if the warlords will be allowed to bring their kalashnikovs into the parliament building to help get their "points" across.

Yep, democracy is on the march George!! We call for Democracy but when they vote in warlords (who are not much different then the Taliban) we call it a great success for Democracy?? So, we have traded the Taliban for the warlords who enrich themselves on heroin sales and who are now elected officials??

Great.

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Rick Santorum, "Village Idiot"


"One of the finest minds of the 13th Century."
-Philadelphia Inquirer

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Oldy but a Goody


I was going through my archives the other day and came across this priceless picture. It was taken last year during the 2004 election on my way to another town when I was still going to grad school.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

More Comments on Harriet Miers


(PHOTO: Bush and Miers on Bush's ranch. Extra credit: Fill in a caption for this photo. Mine? Bush points to sun while standing next to White House Council Harriet Miers saying, "warm").

GOI: Bush claims today that he has never asked her opinion on abortion rights.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Tuesday he has never discussed abortion with White House counsel Harriet Miers, his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

"Not to my recollection have I ever sat down with her [to discuss abortion]," Bush said in his first solo press conference since May.

GOI: Suuuuuure!!

I am bothered about this nominee when she is described as so much of loyalist that she has been described as Bush's "work wife." Which makes her sound like she spends more time with him then his own WIFE!!

YIKES!!!!!

This is as close Bush could get to placing either himself or Cheney on the bench.

Also, Bush claims to still have political capital proving that he does not understand the concept that one can not spend capital while having a negative account. No wonder we have a ballooning deficit!!!

He said (Bush) he still believes he has "plenty" of political capital available among lawmakers and will use it to approve a budget that is "fiscally responsible."

---End the Nightmare PLEASE!!!---

Outrageous Statements on Katrina Aftermath



GOI: This from transcripts of "Meet the Press with Tim Russert:"

MR. RUSSERT: All right. I want to ask one last question on Katrina, because this caught my attention. Alphonso Jackson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said this, according to the Washington Times: that "New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of `500,000 people for a long time,' and `it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again.'"

Then we learned that Craig Romero, the Republican candidate for Congress in the 3rd District of Louisiana, came to Washington and showed this bar graph, where he said it was a 50-50 district, but if you eliminate the parishes that were hit by Katrina, the Republicans would win 57-to-43. In other words, he's saying that the poor blacks are not going to come back to the 3rd district and, therefore, a Republican can win.

Common Dreams has more of Jackson's statements on this issue:

"I'm telling you, as HUD secretary and having been a developer and a planner, that's how it's going to be." Jackson revealed that he advised Mayor Ray Nagin not to rebuild the overwhelmingly black 9th Ward.

Jesse Jackson on Alphonso Jackson's comments:

Bush's isn't planning urban renewal, he's planning urban removal. The administration has given the victims of Katrina a one-way ticket out with no plan for their return. Instead, the planners will turn New Orleans into a gentrified theme park. They'll rebuild the white communities -- even those like middle-class Gentilly and wealthy Lakeview that are as prone to severe flooding as the 9th Ward.

GOI: At the very least this is cynical politics. I hope this Romero candidate is defeated. He is stating basically that the displacement of poor blacks was good politics for Republicans. Talk about a vulture waiting to prey on a disaster!

As for Alphonso Jackson's comments: How does he know on New Orleans that`it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again??" Where is he getting his figures??? I am worried that they will not let the 9th ward residents (who are predominately poor blacks and are mostly renters) come back and instead the area will be taken over by rich developers and the residents will effectively be people wandering the country like Moses!!

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Meanwhile, Back in Iraq.


GOI: Yeah, remember Iraq? It's that pesky place that where we are still in a war.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Four U.S. soldiers and a Marine have been killed in attacks in Iraq, military officials said Tuesday.

Since the beginning of the Iraq war, 1,944 U.S. troops have died.

Meanwhile:

Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers quietly passed a rules change that would make it almost impossible to vote down the draft constitution in this month's referendum, a source close to the Iraqi government told CNN.

The United Nations expects the National Assembly to review the rules after the world body criticized the recent move, Reuters reported.

"We have expressed our position to the National Assembly and to the leadership of the government and told them that the decision that was taken was not acceptable and would not meet international standards," Jose Aranaz, a legal adviser to the U.N. electoral team in Iraq, told Reuters.

GOI: Ahh corruption and questionable election rule changes in Iraq. Bush should be proud. Oh yeah and just a friendly reminder:

It has been 1,484 days since the first plane hit the first World Trade Center tower on September 11, 2001 and President Bush said that we would get Osama bin Laden "dead or alive."

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Hammer Nailed Again


AP: "A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering Monday, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader.

"Both indictments accuse DeLay and two political associates of conspiring to get around a state ban on corporate campaign contributions by funneling the money through a political action committee to the Republican National Committee in Washington.

GOI: Pile it on folks and this will not be the last indictment. Conspiracy AND money laundery, I'm waiting for the trifetca here.

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Bush Nominates Meirs for SCOTUS


President Bush named White House Counsel Harriet Miers, 60, to be associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court today.

Miers, who was Bush's personal attorney in Texas, was the first woman elected president of the Texas Bar Association and was a partner at the Texas law firm of Locke Liddell & Sapp before coming to Washington to work in the Bush administration.

If confirmed, she would be a rare appointee with no experience as a judge at any level. Among the non-judges appointed in modern history are the late William H. Rehnquist, who was a top Justice Department official in the Nixon administration, and Abe Fortas, an influential Washington attorney and close adviser to Lyndon B. Johnson, who nominated him to the high court in 1965.


GOI: I am please that he has announced the nomination of another woman but I am nervous that she does not have any experience on the judicial bench. Another thing that worries me is that she is a Bush loyalist and I worry that this could cloud her judgement but right now I willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I am also pleased that she is getting a good review from (D) Sen. Harry Reid whom i greatly respect. I am breathing a sigh of relief though that we did not see a judge Brown or Owens.

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Decline in Iraqi Troops' Rediness


By Josh White and Bradley Graham
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 30, 2005; Page A12

The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one, top U.S. generals told Congress yesterday, adding that the security situation in Iraq is too uncertain to predict large-scale American troop withdrawals anytime soon.

GOI: How can we feel like we are making progress in Iraq and coming home when we see a severe drop in Iraqi troop readiness by two thirds. The military and civilian leaders of the Bush administration were hoping to bring some troops home by next year but I do not see that happening unfortunately in 6-12 months.

Casey (General George W. Casey Jr.) also said that the "Iraqi armed forces will not have an independent capability for some time."

GOI: Now, I am not one of those liberals that believes in "cutting and running" (unless in the case of a civil war) but I am concerned when we have been in Iraq for two and a half years and the Iraqi troop readiness has drooped by two-thirds.

Senators bristled at the disclosure that only one of Iraq's 86 army battalions is ready to fight on its own, including rare blunt criticism from Republicans. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he believes the United States has not had enough troops to fend off insurgents permanently.

GOI: To me this is the main reason that we have seen so many set-backs in Iraq against a strong insurgency. We did not start with enough troops and now we are "behind the eight ball" and playing "catch up" with training Iraqi troops. Plus, there are various reports that show that Iraqi troop recruits are more difficult to find and maintain. There is a high turn-over ratio.

Democrats are by no means the only leaders on Capital Hill that are concerned about these set-backs. Both Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, Vietnam veteran Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) of Nebraska, Sen Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Christopher Shays (R-C.T.).

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) stated, said she was discouraged by the lack of readiness by the Iraqi security force. She said that it "contributes to a loss of public confidence in how the war is going," and that "it doesn't feel like progress when we hear today that we have only one Iraqi battalion that is fully capable."

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said he doubts that U.S. commanders have a clear handle on the nature of the insurgency and noted that the war has been more difficult than he expected.

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

DeLay Arraignment Set


Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has been ordered to appear at an arraignment on Oct. 21 in an Austin courtroom, where he plans to plead not guilty to the charge that he conspired with two associates to funnel corporate donations to Republican candidates for the Texas legislature.

DeGuerin also said he had begun to consider whether to attempt to move a trial, if there is one, out of Austin -- a Democratic bastion in a Republican-leaning state -- to a venue in Texas where the former majority leader has greater popularity.

GOI: I think that the judge should try to find a city with an equal (or near equal) amount of registered Republicans as Democrats.

Or another idea is for the judge to decide that there has to be 6 registered Democrats and 6 registered Republicans on the jury. I don't even know if that is Constitutional for the judge to do that but it seems like a reasonable thing to me.

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