22 November 2005

Thatcher threatened to use nukes

According to a new biography of the late French leader François Mitterrand, the old iron lady, Margaret Thatcher, threatened to use nuclear weapons against Argentina. More explicitly, she threatened to 'launch a nuclear warhead against Buenos Aires."

These western leaders and their reckless and cavalier attitude regarding their weapons of mass destruction. How can we allow them to produce and stockpile WMD when they have demonstrated their willingness to use them?

Guardian story link. read the whole thing. some great insight into Mitterrand's revenge in the form of a tunnel linking France and not-so-great britain. And some colourfully expressive language from the late Mitterrand, such as this gem:
Mr Mitterrand - who once described Mrs Thatcher as "the eyes of Caligula and the mouth of Marilyn Monroe" - went on: "One cannot win against the insular syndrome of an unbridled Englishwoman. Provoke a nuclear war for a few islands inhabited by three sheep as hairy as they are freezing! But it's a good job I gave way. Otherwise, I assure you, the Lady's metallic finger would have hit the button."

France, he insisted, would have the last word. "I'll build a tunnel under the Channel. I'll succeed where Napoleon III failed. And do you know why she'll accept my tunnel? I'll flatter her shopkeeper's spirit. I'll tell her it won't cost the Crown a penny."

blood for oil

uh-oh we all knew this was coming despite the denials of the bush administration.
Iraqis face the dire prospect of losing up to $200bn (£116bn) of the wealth of their country if an American-inspired plan to hand over development of its oil reserves to US and British multinationals comes into force next year. A report produced by American and British pressure groups warns Iraq will be caught in an "old colonial trap" if it allows foreign companies to take a share of its vast energy reserves. The report is certain to reawaken fears that the real purpose of the 2003 war on Iraq was to ensure its oil came under Western control.
...

Earlier this year a BBC Newsnight report claimed to have uncovered documents showing the Bush administration made plans to secure Iraqi oil even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US. Based on its analysis of PSAs in seven countries, it said multinationals would seek rates of return on their investment from 42 to 162 per cent, far in excess of typical 12 per cent rates.
...

Louise Richards, chief executive of War on Want, said: "People have increasingly come to realise the Iraq war was about oil, profits and plunder. Despite claims from politicians that this is a conspiracy theory, our report gives detailed evidence to show Iraq's oil profits are well within the sights of the oil multinationals."
and the real reason our men and women of the armed forces must stay in iraq to kill and die? has nothing to do with 'cut and run' or 'anything short of total victory' and everything to do with this:
No multinationals are operating in Iraq now because of the poor security situation.
the independent story

Bush war on press freedom gets explosive

the world's most dangerous tyrant attempted to put another notch in his belt of 'disasterous foreign policy' according to the daily mirror.

According to the report, a five-page memo leaked out of Downing Street, UK Prime poodle Minister Tony Blair had to persuade Mr Bush to NOT bomb the offices of al-Jazeera in Qatar and perhaps other locations around the world. One administration official suggested it was a joke, while another said mr bush was 'deadly serious.' Considering the US attacks on international journalists in Bagdad, the bombing of al-jazeera's Kabul, Afganistan office, and the killing of an al-jazeera reporter in a missile strike on the press agency's Bagdad office, I tend to believe W, the meglomaniac, was serious.

let's assume first that he was serious. that would mean the president of the united states of america had plotted to attack a civilian news agency because he disagreed with what they had published. Time for impeachment and war crimes trials.

let's assume he was joking. that would mean in the middle of a war, the president of the united states, an alleged freedom-lover and 'christian' thought the notion of bombing a news agency and killing civilians was hilarious. perhaps even more funny than his joking about the missing wmd. either way, this man is a danger to the world. his contempt for humanity knows no bounds.
PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.
...

The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.

A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do - and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."
...

Yesterday former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle challenged Downing Street to publish the five-page transcript of the two leaders' conversation. He said: "It's frightening to think that such a powerful man as Bush can propose such cavalier actions.

"I hope the Prime Minister insists this memo be published. It gives an insight into the mindset of those who were the architects of war."

Bush disclosed his plan to target al-Jazeera, a civilian station with a huge Mid-East following, at a White House face-to-face with Mr Blair on April 16 last year.
...

To have wiped them out would have been equivalent to bombing the BBC in London and the most spectacular foreign policy disaster since the Iraq War itself.

The No 10 memo now raises fresh doubts over US claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors.

In 2001 the station's Kabul office was knocked out by two "smart" bombs. In 2003, al-Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub was killed in a US missile strike on the station's Baghdad centre.
more: mirror story AFP story

14 November 2005

tenet tesimony suggest congress duped

rawstory:
President George W. Bush’s attempt Friday to silence critics who say his administration manipulated prewar intelligence on Iraq is undercut by congressional testimony given in February 2001 by former CIA Director George Tenet, who said that Iraq posed no immediate threat to the United States or other countries in the Middle East, RAW STORY has found.

Details of Tenet’s testimony have not been reported before.

Tenet told Congress in February 2001 that Iraq was “probably” pursuing chemical and biological weapons programs but that the CIA had no direct evidence that Iraq had actually obtained such weapons. However, such caveats as “may” and “probably” were removed from intelligence reports by key members of the Bush administration immediately after 9/11 when discussing Iraq.

and so much more

11 November 2005

49-42 senate vote against hebeas corpus

from dailykos diarist gillon:
"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

Does Afghanistan qualify as a rebellion? Does the War on Terror qualify as an invasion of America? I think not. Apparently, the Senate thinks otherwise. Actually 49 senators think otherwise. Because today, 49 senators joined together to vote for one of the most sickening pieces of legislation I have ever heard of.

And what's more - 5 DEMOCRATS voted for the bill. Goddamn it. [http://www.senate.gov/...]

Gillon's diary :: ::

[http://www.nytimes.com/...] The New York Times:

The Senate voted Thursday to strip captured "enemy combatants" at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, of the principal legal tool given to them last year by the Supreme Court when it allowed them to challenge their detentions in United States courts.

The vote, 49 to 42, on an amendment to a military budget bill by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, comes at a time of intense debate over the government's treatment of prisoners in American custody worldwide, and just days after the Senate passed a measure by Senator John McCain banning abusive treatment of them.

If approved in its current form by both the Senate and the House, which has not yet considered the measure but where passage is considered likely, the law would nullify a June 2004 Supreme Court opinion that detainees at Guantánamo Bay had a right to challenge their detentions in court.

Nearly 200 of roughly 500 detainees there have already filed habeas corpus motions, which are making their way up through the federal court system. As written, the amendment would void any suits pending at the time the law was passed.

The following Democrats voted for this amendment:

Conrad (D-ND)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Nelson (D-NE)
Wyden (D-OR)

The following Republicans should be commended for voting against this amendment:

Chafee (R-RI)
Smith (R-OR)
Specter (R-PA)
Sununu (R-NH)

I honestly cannot believe how belligerent this amendment is. It is a slap in the face to the principles this country was founded on. It is a slap in the face to the Supreme Court. It is a slap in the face to reason. It is contrary to every bone in my body.

condi's contempt

"in the united states, we know that if state and local governments don't work, people get a littttttle unhappy" said condyloma rice in bagdad's greenzone. way to go bitch, are you criticizing the american government [in their failed response to Katrina ] on foreign soil? just state and local, oh then it's okay... really you're just making light of human suffering, which is acceptable as long as those doing the suffering are poor. right?

reminds me of gwb's comic video where he searches around the oval office for WMD while americans are dying fighting a war based on lies of wmd that are no more present than those in the oval office, perhaps even less so.

unmittigated gall. these people are more than just out of touch, they have the audacity to actually make fun of the people who haplessly buy the bushit they peddle. they have nothing but contempt for the people they see as below them, the people they manipulate. i guess that's something i have in common with them. i too, have nothing but contempt for the simpleton/lemming that bush&co find so easy to manipulate.

but back to the point. what she said, is this any way for the secretary of state to behave?

robertson: god's wrath coming to PA

oh, jesus fucking christ...i include the ramblings of this loon, not to give him a platform, rather to illustrate just one more time, the problem with religion. it is never about how one treats one's neighbor, it is always about political and social control. those in the position of power orchestrating the actions of their minions, their lemmings.

for about one million people, tuning into the 700club each day is not only how they get their news, but also the deliverance of their maintenance dose. gross, this shit is worse than heroin, more destructive than alcohol, more insidious than anything i can think of.

it is used as a platform to push the politics of supreme government social control while at the same time promote the corporate oligarchy. fascism + totalitarianism with a little god thrown in as the cement that holds the tyranny together.
In voting on Tuesday, eight Dover, Pennsylvania, school board members [ all republican ] up for re-election lost their seats [ to democrats ] after trying to introduce a statement on "intelligent design" to high school biology students.
to that, pat robertson issued this threat warning:
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.
go cheney yourself pat roberston

57% say bush is a liar

latest AP-Ipsos poll:
57% "do not think the bush administration has high ethical standards. the same portion says president bush is NOT HONEST."

what's wrong with the other 43% do they not have eye and ears?
Just over four in 10 say the administration has high ethical standards and that Bush is honest. Whites, Southerners and white evangelicals were most likely to believe Bush is honest.
oh, that explains it. that explains A LOT.
82 percent, described Bush as "stubborn," with almost that many Republicans agreeing to that description.

His job approval rating remains at his all-time low in the AP-Ipsos poll of 37 percent.

Only 42 percent in the new poll said they approve of Bush's handling of foreign policy and terrorism, his lowest rating yet in an area that has long been his strongest issue.
can you say "failed presidency?"

story link. ap-ipsos poll data link [180k pdf].

delay was ready to pleabargain

i thought that was something only guilty people did!

santorum caught in frivolous lawsuit

neo-conman senator from pennsyltucky Rick Santorum [R] has long blabbered about frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. in fact, according to abcnews, he's called malpractice abuse the 'No. 1 health care crisis in his state."

of course that's the biggest health care crisis. really.

so i guess you could say, then, that ricky santorum has contributed to the number one health care crisis in pennsyltucky. seems his wife had an unfavorable experience with a chiropractor and GASP sued the practitioner. now, understanding that ricky santorum has called for malpractice awards to be kept under $250K, how much do you suppose the scam artist and her husband sued for?

would they stop at the santorum-proposed limit? no way! twice the santorum limit? right, $500K was the amount for which they sued the chiropractor. in this day of [allegedly] runaway jury awards, i bet they cleaned up with four or five times that amount. what do you think 2.5 million? 1.25 million?

nope, in the day of runaway awards, the jury actually said that the santorums were asking for TOO MUCH MONEY and reduced the award to 350K. damn! how would the master of all things hypocritical answer charges that he's a hypocrite?
"I guess I could answer that in two ways," he said. "Number one is that I've supported caps. I've been very clear that I am not wedded at all to a $250,000 cap and I've said publicly repeatedly, and I think probably that is somewhat low, and that we need to look at what I think is a cap that is a little bit higher than that."

But the fact is that Santorum has sponsored or co-sponsored a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages two times – even though he testified in his wife's case against the doctor.

"Of course I'm going to support my wife in her endeavors," he said. "That doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with everything that she does."

But Santorum agreed enough to tell the jury that he had to carry the laundry upstairs for his wife and that, because she suffered humiliation from weight gain, she no longer had the confidence to help him on the campaign trail. The jury was so moved it voted to award Karen Santorum $350,000.

"That's where again you're misled is that a lot of, there was cumulative damages," he said. "The medical bills, lost income, all those other things that were out there."

Those medical bills totaled $18,800, yet she sued for $500,000. And lost income? The judge made no mention of that when he slashed the jury's award in half, saying it was excessive.

The judge noted that the remaining damages "awarded amounted to something in the neighborhood of $330,000 or so for injuries sustained and the effect upon Mrs. Santorum's health, her past and future pain and suffering and inconvenience."
full abcnews article here

09 November 2005

GAO: GOP stole 2004 election

The Government Accounting Office [ now renamed Government Accountability Office ] released a report on vote fraud in Ohio during the 2004 election. This of course directly lead to the victory of bush/cheney. here's the intro, read the account:
As if the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby wasn’t enough to give the White House some heavy concerns, a report from the Government Accounting Office takes a big bite out of the Bush clique’s pretense of legitimacy.

This powerful and probing report takes a hard look at the election of 2004 and supports the contention that the election was stolen. The report has received almost no coverage in the national media.

The GAO is the government’s lead investigative agency, and is known for rock-solid integrity and its penetrating and thorough analysis. The agency’s agreement with what have been brushed aside as “conspiracy theories” adds even more weight to the conclusion that the Bush regime has no business in the White House whatever.
more
take ACTION: do you subscribe to a newpaper [print or online] ask them when they plan to cover this! and ask your representative what action s/he plans to take, what legislation s/he plans to propose in reponse to GAO report. afterall, s/he is paid to represent YOU in congress...

good. bad. ugly...

in the races last night,first the good news:
  • virginia – Kaine (D) beat bush's stumpin pardner Kilgore (R) decisively to become next gov.
  • new jersey – Corzine (D) beat fellow millionaire Forrester (R) decisively to become next gov. it is widely believed that he will appoint Richard Codey (D-current acting gov) to his now vacant senate seat. to salt the wound, corzine won mercer county (home of forrester) with 57% of the vote.
  • cowleeforneeea – all of the terminator's ballot initiatives FAILED all of them. way to waste $60million, ahnold!
  • pennsylvania – dover voters threw out creationist school board, replaced all six with dems
  • maine – voters overwhelmingly regect effort to repeal gay rights law
bad news:
  • virginia – looks like they elected a repug. for lt. gov
  • texas – voters (insert joke here) approved a constitutional amend. to ban gay marriage in a landslide. texas already forbids that kind of arrangement, and this amend. had the potential to ban all marriages. ha! say good bye to your sister, billy-bob, she ain't your wifie no more.
  • ohio – all of the Reform Ohio Now ballot measures failed. this is a big dissapointment. but then again, in ohio, it's a lot easier to convey marriage = man + woman, than it is to explain why the sec. of state should no longer have oversight of the elections. oh well, next time.
as fore the ugly, despite last night's success, we still have three more years of this intolerable asshole:

08 November 2005

documenting war crimes in fallujah

you really need to watch this documentary:

Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre
A Film by Sigfrido Ranucci

[quicktime]
other formats also hosted on truthout
follow up to my previous post

durbin on chalabi visit to cheney's lap

from thinkprogress:

Sen. Dick Durbin on the Senate floor this afternoon:
I don’t understand this. While the Department of Justice is actively investigating this man for wrongdoing that could have endangered American troops and American lives, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury are hosting him like some sort of dignitary. So don’t be surprised if you watch the Chalabi motorcade speed up when they pass the Department of Justice. I guess they’re concerned whether an FBI agent will come out and pursue this so-called active investigation.

It is very difficult to track how this man, who gave us such misleading information before the invasion of Iraq, now under active investigation for endangering American troops is now under active investigation for endangering American troops is now the toast of the town at the Department of Treasury and the Department of State
huffpo has full transcripts of a the durbin speech

leaky repugnicans?

this really is too good [ DSCC via americablog ]
Last Wednesday, the Washington Post ran a front page story revealing that there are secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. Apparently thinking that current and/or former CIA officials leaked this story, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist today launched a formal investigation into the leak. But now, Sen. Trent Lott, one of their own, is suggesting that the Republican efforts could boomerang… in a huge way. Were National Republicans Involved in Yet ANOTHER CIA Leak??

Lott: “We Can’t Keep Our Mouths Shut.” Sen. Trent Lott “stunned reporters” by saying that the issue of secret CIA prisons was discussed at a Republican-only lunch, attended by Vice President Dick Cheney, last Tuesday, the day before the Washington Post reported the story. Lott said of the Washington Post story, “a lot of it came out of that room on Tuesday” and he said of his Senate Republican colleagues, “we can’t keep our mouths shut.” [CNN, “The Situation Room,” 11/8/05]

CNN Calls Potential Senate Republican Leak “Boomerang.” Discussing the Republican investigation into the CIA prison leak and Sen. Trent Lott’s subsequent comments, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said, “That would really boomerang against Hastert and Frist…that would be a bombshell…” [CNN, “The Situation Room,” 11/8/05]
via atrios/dailykos/cnn:
S. O'BRIEN: There was a report last week in the "Washington Post" that talked about these secret prisons in Europe.

MCCAIN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: Are you aware of these prisons?

MCCAIN: No.

S. O'BRIEN: Not at all?

MCCAIN: I did not know anything about it.

S. O'BRIEN: Which means what, then? I mean if other senators -- are you going to start hearings on this? Obviously you would like to be aware, yes?

MCCAIN: Well, I think the Intelligence Committee chairman and ranking member were told -- at least that's the media reports that I have -- but I think the American people ought to know if we're doing that kind of thing.
is that true?
Trent Lott stunned reporters by declaring that this subject was actualy discussed at a Senate Republican luncheon, Republican senators only, last tuesday the day before the story ran in the Washington Post. Lott noted that Vice President Cheney was also in the room for that discussion and Lott said point blank "a lot of it came out of that room last tuesday, pointing to the room where the lunch was held in the capitol." He added of senators "we can't keep our mouths shut." He added about the vice president, "He was up here last wek and talked up here in that room right there in a roomful of nothing but senators and every word that was said in there went right to the newspaper." He said he believes when all is said and done it may wind up as an ethics investigation of a Republican senator, maybe a Republican staffer as well. Senator Frist's office not commenting on this development. The Washington Post not commenting either.
maybe mccain wasn't there. was the frister?
Too funny. Hastert and Frist make a big show of calling for an investigation into a leak allegedly affecting national security -- the locations of secret "black site" torture prisons. And then -- BOOM!!! Lott just said, Tuesday afternoon, that he thinks it was a GOP Senator who leaked the info to the Washington Post last week. He says the details had been discussed at a GOP Senators-only meeting last week, and that many of those details made it into the WaPo story.

Money quote from Lott; "We can not remain silent. We have met the enemy, and it is us."

All just reported on CNN. We are, folks, witnessing the full-on implosion of the national Republican Party. And not a second too soon.
Q- how does one turn a frist into a flip-flop:
Senate Majority Leader Frist telling reporters he has not officially signed the letter that he and Hastert drafted earlier today...

bush marriage troubles

oh say it ain't so! i'm not one to report on celebrity gossip but this daily news exclusive is just too tempting. it seem that the boys over at the wh have been having their share of troubles as of late and may need to seek counseling! according to one well-connected source close to the couple of assholes:
"The relationship is not what it was, [t]here has been some distance for some time."
however, the couple's publicist implored that any such characterization was "categorically false."
uh-oh, sounds like splitsville to me...

story link

failing grades

when was the last time a score of 16 [scale: 0-99] was considered passing? that was always a failing grade when i was in school, as was anything below 60% [and in later years the benchmark for passing was 70%].

since 1990, the army says it's okay for no more than 2% of recruits to score between 16 and 30 on the aptitude test, which again, has a scale of 0-99. That 16-30 score spread is considered the 'lowest category' for acceptance. Fiscal Year 2004, the number of recruits that were accepted from that 'lowest category' was 0.6%. in FY2005, among concerns about falling enlistment rates and missed recruitment targets, the army raised the limit on recruits that could come from this 'lowest category' to 4% and 4% is what they reached. well, FY2005 ended sept 30 and october represents the first month of FY 2006, so where are we now? for the month ending october 31, a staggering 12% of recruits came from this lowest acceptable score group. that's a 300% increase in 'low-lying lyndie england fruit.'

so out of curiosity, what does the army spokesperson have to say about this situation:
"We're on track to meet our 4 percent annual goal," said Lt. Col. Brian Hilferty, a spokesman for Army personnel.
interesting thing to say since he's 300% over his limit so far this fiscal year [ytd], and amid growing discontent with the war AND the war makers, how exactly does he intend to get back down to 4%?
He declined to comment on the 12 percent figure. "It's very early in the year," he said.
whoa, and can we just say for the record, with all due respect to Lt. Col. Hilferty, that 4% is not a goal. that's the upper limit, the maximum, a goal would be 0% because we want the best i mean decent, well really just some warm bodies. at least that's my understanding...maybe i'm wrong and the us army actually does have a quota for incompetence...hmmm
Former Army Secretary Thomas E. White said the service was making a mistake by lowering its standards. "I think it's disastrous. You are throwing the towel in on recruiting quality," said White, a retired general whom Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fired in 2003 over other policy differences.

"We have clear experience from the 1970s with recruiting a sizable number of people from the lowest mental categories," said White. After the Vietnam War, the Army accepted a higher proportion of low-scoring recruits, leading to training and discipline problems, he added.
story in the baltimore sun

no. 44 in the world

reporters sans frontières has released their 2005 report on freedom of the press. yikes. out of 167 countries 'the worlds greatest democracy' and 'beacon of liberty' for the world fell over 20 places to 44th! to put that in perspective, note that el salvador is 28, jamaica 34, even macedonia is a place above the US! and boliva is in the space right after us at #45.

of course the countries of northern europe topped the list with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, IReland, Netherlands, Norway, joining Switzerland at number one. slovakia at 8, the czech republic and slovenia tied for 10th place...

maybe time to retire 'they hate us for our freedoms'

war crimes for 'chemical rummy'

wow, the news from the front is bad. really bad. remember when our invasion excuse became: we're in iraq because there was this evil dictator that raped, tortured, gassed and killed the people of iraq. luckily in the two and a half years since the united states declared war on a sovereign nation removed that hiddeous dictator, we've been able to resist the temptation to committ each of saddam's sins. oil-for-food scandal, sure saddam tricked the UN, but not without the help of america's corporate elite. sure saddam's minions had raped and tortured, but so have rumsfeld's minions.

thankfully, we can still use "but he gassed his own people" as our rallying cry. i'm sure you're well aware that the poison gas he used was supplied by the American govt., just as i'm sure you know that the people he gassed were as much "his own people" as native americans are "our own people." yes, this justification of war is a stretch, but a good soundbite none-the-less. in this day and age, the thought that a military would use chemical weapons against people, especially civillians, is obscene. how barbaric does a leader have to be to allow/encourage his military to use wmd that burns or carmelizes the flesh right off the bones of children?

what modern-day hitler would use wmd in urban warfare–in cities with tens of thousands of civilians? at least in a democracy the people would not allow their government to rape, kill, torture, and burn children alive. because unlike a dictatorship, in a democracy, the people rule. and when the leaders act, they act on the will of the people. the people are directly responsible for the leaders elected and policies enacted. therefore anything that a democratic government does, is 'in the name of the people' of that democracy. and surely the poeple of a democracy would NEVER allow those kind of crimes against humanity. right?

so someone explain this to me: "US forces used chemical weapons during assault on city of Fallujah" hopefully it's just some catapulted propaganda and that this wasn't done in our name:
A biologist in Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq, interviewed for the film, says: "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-coloured substance started to burn, we found people dead with strange wounds, the bodies burned but the clothes intact."

"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."
whether this looks like an american signature or not, the point is now it's out there, and once again, george w bush has dragged the realatively good name of the people of the united states of america through the streets of the world, chained to the back of his pick-up truck like james byrd.

back...

it has been several weeks since my last post. i've been busy with work and travel for work...and that is why i've not written. also, i've grown a bit bored with the whole thing as well, and that has not helped.

the world, led by the american government, is being 'fast-tracked' to a barbaric hell. anyone who says 'i don't vote, it's not like it matters' ought to take a good hard look at the atrocities 5 years of bush have produced. from a preemptive war against an unarmed nation to the civil war against the middle class. from the cronies at FEMA to the cronies at depts. of educations, interior, state, defense, treasury, homeland security, justice, fda, cpb, and so on. from cheney's secret energy task force (featuring the oil lobby) to secret cia-run prisons in eastern new europe featuring torture and murder. this trainwreck of a president catapults the propaganda "stay the course." the train charges on though most of the cars are destroyed. logos of our american ideals lay strewn about the wreckage site of debris. the "freedom" car is twisted around a tree, "liberty" is upside-down in a ditch, "honesty and integrity" are burned out shells of mangled steel. "justice" and equality have yet to be found. meanwhile, miles from the site of the carnage, the diesel-powered engine is charging on through fields and towns in america's fartland, picking up under-educated, under-employed, misguided and/or ignorant young men and women. engineer george keeps them entertained with random mumblings of barely comprehensible babble mixed with sheer contempt. they travel with george on his runaway locomotive wearing their insulation of faith, blind and otherwise, hoping it will keep them warm. keep them safe.

18 October 2005

bush: worst president ever

october polls are in [data from polling report, commentary by mydd.com]:

Just when you think it couldn't sink any lower, it does. Here are the six October approval polls for Bush, from polling report:

Poll App Dis
Gallup 39 58
Fox 40 51
NBC 39 54
Pew 38 56
AP 39 58
CBS 37 58
Mean 38.7 55.8
I believe all six of these are record lows. You know Bush is really in trouble when Fox and Gallup aren't propping him up anymore. And forget the 40% floor--the new goal is 60% disapproval.

corporate greed part 598972

jobs creation act, like all bush laws, feeds the rich, starves the rest and sails through congress with a bullshit, made-up name, that does exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to:
A TAX break intended to create thousands of American jobs from billions of dollars made abroad by US companies could end up in shareholders’ pockets, leading economists say.

A year after the Jobs Creation Act was signed into law by President Bush, an estimated $206 billion (£116 billion) earned overseas by US multinationals has returned to America to take advantage of a one-off reduction in the rate of corporation tax.

Normally, companies face a 35 per cent tax on dividends when they repatriate their profits. But the Act reduces the levy to just 5.25 per cent on the profits of foreign subsidiaries.

But there is growing evidence that companies are instead funnelling the tax break into debt reductions and share buybacks, to the benefit of shareholders. The law does not require the companies to prove that they are using the money to raise investment levels above their original plans.

Kimberly Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College, Oregon, said: “Should (the profits repatriation) encourage US investment? Not really, because it hasn’t changed the attractiveness of doing business in the US rather than other countries.”

Companies could claim that they were investing in the US while actually using the money for other purposes, she said. “I say to my students, it’s just like if grandma sent you a cheque that was only to be used at the bookstore. You just take the money that you would have spent on books and you spend it on whatever you want. What grandma has effectively done is facilitated your spending on beer or pizza.”

She added that by setting a precedent for a tax amnesty, the new law might actually encourage companies to shelter their profits abroad until tax rates were cut again.
full story times of london

katrina: bush stumbles again

maybe if the president stopped taking weekly trips to the region and focused on his promises, people in his party might think he's doing a good job. from latimes:
Almost two months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast and a month after promising in a nationally televised speech to help rebuild the region "quickly," President Bush has settled on a cautious, piecemeal approach that even many members of his own party fear will stall reconstruction and sow economic disarray.

Bush has made highly publicized trips to Louisiana and Mississippi on average of once a week since the storm, but the administration has yet to introduce legislation for two of the three proposals the president highlighted during his September speech from New Orleans.

In the case of the third proposal, $5,000 accounts to help workers left unemployed by the hurricane, an administration-drafted House bill would provide aid for fewer than a quarter of the jobless. [allow me to interject, surely if that $5K was needed, it was needed yesterday not tomorrow. if you've survived for two months post disaster, what good is a promise of up to $5K tomorrow? are they waiting until no one needs the money? how hard is this to accomplish? are they feds just being lazy, or is this another bush lie?]

Despite mounting evidence that Washington is having trouble putting to use most of the $62 billion in emergency funds approved by Congress so far, the president has resisted appointing a recovery coordinator or further detailing his vision of how to tackle rebuilding. In interviews last week, he explained that he wanted state and local officials to act first.

"I recognize there's an attitude in Washington that says, 'We know better than the local people.' That's just not the attitude I have," Bush told NBC's "Today" show.
[note to the most absent president ever, WHAT LOCAL PEOPLE? THEIR CITY WAS DESTROYED AT LEAST IN PART BECUASE OF YOUR FAILURE TO HEED THE ADVICE OF THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, YOUR FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE FUNDS REQUIRED FOR PROTECTION, YOUR FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP FOLLOWED BY YOUR FAILURE TO FOLLOW WORDS WITH ACTION. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST YOU'RE AN IGNORANT ASS.]
In addition, the scale and complexity of reconstruction pose special challenges for an administration that firmly favors market mechanisms over government action, at least domestically.

With the immediate crisis past, administration officials may be hoping that state and local efforts — and the free market — will relieve them of the thorniest decisions, as well as a substantial chunk of the estimated $200-billion price tag for the region's revival.

However, a variety of prominent Republicans warn that the president's approach is a recipe for trouble.

...Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). "But henceforth, we've got to be very careful how we spend the money, and that means we're going to need a plan and somebody in charge."

"With all due respect to the president, things are not going to bubble up from the bottom,"
said Jack Kemp, who was Housing and Urban Development secretary under President George H.W. Bush. "There has to be some federal leadership here."

Such devastation creates a sort of chicken-and-egg problem, Baker said. "The question is, Who goes first?" If firefighters and police officers return to their communities first, they will have no equipment or food. If car dealers and retailers are the first, they will have no protection.

By offering tax breaks and encouraging local leaders to come up with rebuilding proposals, the White House implicitly hopes Gulf Coast residents solve the riddle themselves.

FEMA, which received almost $60 billion of the $62 billion in emergency funds, had "obligated" or assigned only $15.6 billion as of last Wednesday — less than a third of the money available — according to a weekly report the agency sends Congress.
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wapo on cheney

page A01 bitch:
As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials. The prosecutor has assembled evidence that suggests Cheney's long-standing tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.
read more a good start but they seem to be repeating the mantra, 'just a few bad apples' in cheney's office and he probably had nothing to do with it. ha! of course cheney would never have anything to do with this kind of thing. so much for accountability.

could it be cheney?

that fitzgerald is going to nail?

rawstory:
The case of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame is set to explode.

The New York Daily News is set to report in Tuesday editions that a well-placed source interviewed by the newspaper believes a senior White House official has flipped and may be helping the prosecutor in the case, RAW STORY has learned.

All eyes are on Dick Cheney, the News says, as the investigation wraps up.
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