At Halliburton, the Profits Never Stop Rolling In

Must be nice, but man, does this give a whole new dimension to the term, "blood money".

WASHINGTON, July 25 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Halliburton announced on Friday that its KBR division, responsible for carrying out Pentagon contracts, experienced a 284 percent increase in operating profits during the second quarter of this year.

The increase in profits was primarily due to the Pentagon's payment of "award fees" for what military officials call "good" or "very good" work done by KBR in the Middle East for America's taxpayers and the troops.

Despite the scandals that plague KBR's military contracts, the Pentagon awarded $70 million in "award" fees to the company, along with four ratings of "excellent" and two ratings of "very good" for the troop logistics work under the Army's LOGCAP contract.
Kudos to Halliburton Watch for their reporting.

The Hill: FBI Analysis of WMD Forgeries Looks Like a Sham

That's what Josh Marshall writes in the most recent verion of The Hill, posted online.

A snippet, if you will:

When my colleagues and I started investigating the Niger forgeries in early 2004, the word we got from FBI sources was that the file the bureau had put together on the forgeries was embarrassingly thin. Sources can be wrong, of course. And one would expect the true details of such a sensitive inquiry to be held very tightly. So we didn’t put that much stock in those claims.

But, as we began to investigate the story ourselves, the thought that our FBI sources might be right became more and more difficult to avoid.

For instance, first we talked to Elisabetta Burba. She’s the reporter for Italy’s Panorama magazine who first brought the papers into the U.S. Embassy in Rome back in October 2002.

The FBI had spoken to Burba. But Burba described an essentially cursory interview. One prime interest of the bureau was finding a way to make contact with the unnamed “security consultant” who had tried to sell her the documents.

The agent who interviewed Burba suggested possible ways that they could communicate with this Mr. X while still maintaining his anonymity. She was asked to follow up with the man and see if any of the proposed means of communicating would be acceptable.

She did that. But, according to Burba, the bureau’s agent never followed up. The next she heard from him was a courtesy call months later to tell her he was moving on to another assignment. That’s what Burba told us.

The Scotty McClellan Show: Can Anyone Beyond Masochists Enjoy This?

The president's favorite food taster and canaries in the cave, Scott McClellan (official, White House spokesweasel), has been having some time of it.

Sure, for more than five years, Scott would open his mouth and pour out the most ludicrous, twisted, assinine, carefully constructed horse manure 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has ever seen while the only one who regularly tried to hang him out to dry on his own petard was octogenarian Helen Thomas. Even then, Scott let us know that even though Helen really, really, REALLY was pulling his hair hard and that HURTS, Scott spent most of the time ignoring and/or punishing her. The rest of the press corps just sat there in rapt adoration while text messaging with their hair dressers to get a later afternoon appointment.

Recently, however, the press corps is actually listening to what Scotty says, and tries to get Scott to admit the completely illogical nature, the hypocrisy, the doublespeak and the partisan nature of his statements. Think Progress offers just one of thousands of recent examples.

At times, I actually find myself feeling sorry for him. Here's this nice, balding, affable putz who stands out there making these dumb remarks that you figure Bush has to be sitting back in his office snickering about on commercial breaks from the "Dukes of Hazzard" marathon.

But then I remind myself: people are the messengers of cloak that protects this Administration from you are really as equally guilty as a Dick Cheney, A Don Rumseld, or a Condi Rice.

I just wish everythng in Washington wasn't so much of a lie.

Number of International Visitors

Especially over the past two weeks - but one I've noted rise over time - I've noticed a great deal more International traffic on my blog. A couple of times recently, in fact, I had more visitors in a given day from England, Singapore, Australia, China, and Arab nations than North Americans.

Maybe it's the evil medication I'm taking right now - a sinus infection has landed while I'm also suffering with a bunch of other things leaving me feeling like what happens when the government decides to try all its biowarfare tricks on you at once - but I feel strangely hopeful whenever my peers from across the sea(s) and continent(s) stop by, especially when they make return trips.

It makes me hope in some small way that people will understand we aren't just all Koolaid consumers here in the US, that many of us very much care about the damage the US is wreaking throughout the world.

Our leaders may be hopelessly corrupt, but perhaps we can reach out to one another to talk and affect change ourselves.

Or again, maybe this is just the anti-spasmodic, the antihistamine, and the non-narcotic pain reliever talking. :)


Are Minutemen Shooting at Mexicans Trying to Come Over the Border?

Looks like.

Our President Sets One Record: Most Time Spent on Vacation; Fewest Days Working


Following the Congress in a midsummer exodus, President Bush plans a Texas ranch respite for several weeks, while Supreme Court nominee John Roberts has August to think about Senate confirmation hearings.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Friday that Bush will leave after signing into law the Central American Free Trade Agreement that Congress gave final approval to earlier this week.

It will be the president's 50th trip to the ranch since he was elected nearly five years ago.

I Was Wondering When Someone Would Noticeq

I've been asking again and again why the White House can repeatedly claim that the WH counsel is exclusively for the Bushies when Starr got a ruling against that in the Clinto era. Now, finally...

Here, from the LA Times:

The White House is citing the attorney-client privilege as the basis for refusing to reveal memos written by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. when he was representing the government before the high court. At the time, Roberts was the top deputy to Solicitor Gen. Kenneth W. Starr.

But it is not clear that this legal privilege shields the work of government lawyers from the eyes of government investigators — thanks to a legal ruling won by Starr himself, when he was independent counsel investigating President Clinton.

Usually, the attorney-client privilege protects private lawyers from being forced to reveal what their clients told them. It also shields their notes and memos from prosecutors. This rule of secrecy is seen as vital to the adversarial process.

But in 1996, Starr challenged the notion that White House lawyers who worked for Clinton could invoke the attorney-client privilege when Starr sought notes they had written.

Starr argued that the lawyers worked for the people of the United States, not for the president.

Democrats are making a similar argument in Roberts' case: that the solicitor general represents the public interest.

The dispute was one of many legal tussles during Starr's six-year investigation of the Whitewater matter. It resulted in a broad appeals court ruling that held that government lawyers did not have the same right to keep secrets as private attorneys did.

MSNBC: "We're Lame and Getting Lamer"

Here's a fast way to lose dinner: be eating your meal while MSNBC announces that Faux's former - and forgive my, but Rita looks like a female impersonator far more than a woman - "Makeup by the Pound" journalist, Rita Cosby will snow start her own show.

Let's see, this means the Rightie's Lamo Network has a lineup that has:

Dan "Someday, I'd like to be a really good reporter, like Geraldo Rivera, my role model" Abrams at 6 except Dan is usually on vacation

Tweety Boy-wets-himself-thumps-himself-on-the-back Tweety Matthews at 7

Keith - a breath of fresh air - Olbermann at 8

Then a turdbowl trifecta of:

Rita at 9

Joe Scarborough at 10

Tucker "I'm just really cool and smart; Kate O'Bierne told me so" Carlson at 11

And did I mention Rita talks like Mr. Moose on those hormones they give men trying to become women before "the big snip snip"?

"Nobody Stands in the Way of the Bushies and What They Want: Those Who Stand in the Way Will Be Leveled"

From the South Carolina paper, The State:

LAST THURSDAY, Vice President Dick Cheney went to Capitol Hill to shut down three senators whose efforts were frustrating the White House. Drop your amendment, the three rebels were told, or face a veto — the first veto of President Bush’s tenure.

Who were these three vexing the White House? Not Democrats, but Republicans: John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham. The measure that prompted such indignity in the Bush administration: an amendment requiring that prisoners held by the military during the war on terror be treated in accordance with the Army Field Manual, which had been the tradition.

Never mind tradition. The administration does not want anyone, in the courts on Congress, having any say over how it conducts the war on terror. It has thrown out U.S. standards, and it does not want to be challenged by anyone.

So the administration really might use its first veto to protect its terror policy from Republican-sponsored restrictions? Not likely. Doing so would highlight how out of line the administration’s policies are. This White House is unabashed about a lot of things that would make predecessors cringe, but using its first veto, after almost five years in office, to defend its treatment of detainees would be too much, even for it.

The implausible threat must not have carried much weight; it did not deter the senators. This week the amendment was ready to be added to the defense spending bill — a bill that must be passed at some point. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist set the bill aside for now, before the amendment could be tacked on. It will have to come back up later, after Congress takes its August recess.

Sen. Graham has expressed his objections and questions about inmate detention before, but during this week’s Senate debate, he conveyed new levels of exasperation. “If you know what the rules are about interrogating anybody, come tell me, because I can’t figure it out.”

The issue of detention is especially important to Sen. Graham because he is a reserve officer in the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General corps. JAG officers have been vocal opponents of the changes in detention rules, but mostly in private. This month, Sen. Graham took those objections public, adding to the Congressional Record memos from JAGs to their service chiefs that the administration’s policies were not on solid legal ground. A Marine JAG officer raised the specter that military personnel could be charged with crimes in other countries for following the administration’s policies on interrogation.
There's much more. Go read it.

Another Strong Editorial from Star Tribune on The Abuses of the Bushies

You have to read this in total; just a snippet is here. More and more, newspapers are finally standing up, with Editor and Publisher often in the lead. I applaud those that do. While at one time, this was what should be expected from the news media, the Bush years have changed that all, hasn't it?

From yesterday's Star Tribune:

Disclosures that the FBI has been building files on Greenpeace, the American Civil Liberties Union and other law-abiding critics of administration policy are a shameful affront to American notions of political freedom.

So where is the outrage?

Thus far, the FBI has declined to state its reasons for gathering some 3,500 pages of documents on Greenpeace and the ACLU, or to describe the contents of the files -- although some bureau officials used the cover of anonymity to float the idea that they might consist largely of routine correspondence. As if this should somehow make their collection less offensive.

And the bureau's overseers in the Justice Department are resisting legal moves to force a speedy turnover of the files, saying it will take up to 11 months to gather and copy so many pages. The process could be expedited if the Justice Department considered the matter urgent, which it does not.

For a long time, a wide range of groups at odds with Bush administration policies have believed they were subject to special attention from the FBI and other police agencies, especially after the post-9/11 Patriot Act loosened restraints on investigations. Greenpeace, the ACLU and several other organizations filed a lawsuit to find out if that was so.

This forced the FBI to acknowledge its files on these two groups, as well as the considerable attention its counterterrorism specialists paid to a coalition of small and seemingly innocuous antiwar outfits that planned to protest at the Republican and Democratic national conventions last summer. Parallels to the bad old days of the Nixon administration are plain, if inexact.

Richard Cranium of All Spin Zone on Latoyia Figueroa

Genia notes that Richard at All Spin Zone actually wrote to Graceless Nancy Grace about the missing woman, Latoyia Figueroa.

Non-White Women Go Missing, Too

Genia at SistersTalk makes a most-needed point:

Ya know, I've grown rather bored of the full hour stories on CNN and Fox News about that blonde white girl missing in Aruba. Yeah, she's pretty and all. And yeah, I feel for her family. But geezus fuckin' sakes, the media really ought to be ashamed here. It couldn't be more obvious that if Natalee Holloway were a Black American woman who went off to Aruba and partied -- then disappeared -- she would've been written off ages ago. They certainly wouldn't spend hour after hour -- day after day -- talking about her.

Audrey Seiler, another "missing" white woman, received an enormous amount of media attention. She wasn't really missing. She lied. And then, let's not forget the white runaway bride who also received an enormous amount of media attention. She lied, too.

But, there's Latoyia Figueroa, a missing non-white pregnant woman, has received very little media attention. Now why is that? Laci Peterson was pregnant when she disappeared and she received lots of media attention. Oh wait. She was white.

Downing Street Memo Still Gets Coverage

As it damn well should.

Raw Story links us to this Times-Standard piece about one of the most important - and heinous - stories of our lifetime: the cooking of the Iraq war as evidenced by the Downing Street Memo.

Shuttle Stupidity

I'm raging mad about this whole shuttle debacle. NASA never learns from its lessons because, at its heart, it always has a bureaucrat/politician at its head. It's very clear they fixed NOTHING regarding the system that ended up with the last crew blowing into thousands of pieces. Instead, they acted mildly embarrassed when a fuel gauge made them scrub last week's launch so they then rushed the crew up as soon as they could.

The result? Well, the International Space Station is pretty crowded with three people and it's got to be even more crowded with nine or so onboard.

People do NOT have to do space travel. The only reason we are not further into exploration is because of the insistence on having a human payload. It used to be pure PR and chutzpah that insisted humans ride. Now, I fear it's more about Bush's plans for the militarization of space, coupled with his light aptitude on the issues of human flight.

Giving the Finger to the Press

Cookie Jill at Skippy points us to one of many videos and stills in which Bush gives the finger - which is open to speculation - as his "victory" on forcing passage of CAFTA.

It's been hard for me to get worked up about this, because Bush has been flipping us off since before he was installed by the Supreme Court.

What the Senate Tells Us: the Gun Vote Matters More than National Security

They've sold out Americans again and again, but I think this issue reaches a new low.

WASHINGTON - Until lawmakers vote on a top-priority gun rights bill, nothing else happens in the Senate. And that includes Congress' prized monthlong vacation.

That's the way Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has toughened up his style in the final days before the August break was to begin, learning from last year to leave no room for gun control advocates to derail legislation limiting lawsuits against the gun industry.

Frist, R-Tenn., used Senate parliamentary procedures Wednesday to keep Democrats from dooming the measure with an amendment that would offend the National Rifle Association.

Last year, the NRA abruptly withdrew its support from a similar bill after Democrats succeeded in adding a measure that would renew the expiring assault weapons ban. Frist took the bill down.

But emboldened by a four-seat GOP gain in last November's elections, Frist this week cleared the floor of the $491 billion defense bill and replaced it with the gun liability bill sponsored by Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho.

The bill would prohibit lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, dealers and importers for damages resulting from the unlawful use of a firearm or ammunition. It provides for some exceptions.

Was CAFTA Vote Rigged?

Or shall I say it more accurately, rigged more than usual by this lying, miserable crew?

MyDD has the story here:

A disgusting development on the CAFTA vote is that it appears the vote was actually 217-217, which would have resulted in its defeat. However, apparently, the clerk did not record one or two of the "no" votes, thus stealing passage of the legislation. If we can prove this, it is is 100% grounds of impeachment for both Hastert and DeLay, even aside from DeLay's other ethical troubles. Fixing a vote in the House is without question a high crime against the Constitution. Of course, if this isn't true, then Charles Taylor is lying, lying, lying.

Update: OK, apparently Jo Ann Davis really wasn't there, maing the final 217-216 vote tally accurate, as she was stuck in traffic coming from a memorial service. That just puts more blame on the 15 sell-outs.

Wow. Newsflash: John Bolton Lies! Be Still My Breaking Heart!

Am I being sarcastic? Quite possibly.

From Wired:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department reversed itself on Thursday night and acknowledged that President Bush's U.N. ambassador nominee gave Congress inaccurate information about an investigation he was involved in.

The acknowledgment came after the State Department had earlier insisted nominee John Bolton's "answer was truthful" when he said he had not been questioned or provided information to jury or government investigations in the past five years.
At this point, it's only breaking news when anyone of the Bushies ever tells a hint of the truth.

Is Santorum Under the Wrong Impression Someone Actually Wants Him in Politics?

Gee, Santorum is such a nice man: he realized I was losing sleep worried that he would NOT run for president in 2008 so he's clarified that he still might.

Hey, Santimonious. Let me make something perfectly clear. Get out!

You are not a public servant: you're a servant of your own interests. You think you help America by sponging off the state of PA - and your elderly parents' who have to supplement your $200K income as a senator - and riding around on the Wal-Mart corp jet?

No one will miss you. You're a bit player.


Standard of Living Under Bush Rises Dramatically

That is, if you're a multimillionaire or someone who has risen to the level of billionaire as with the military industrial complex taking full advantage of the US's national message of "Terror! Terror! Fear Everywhere!" Followed by more and more discussion of what else we can fear topped off by a field-trip to a college where Young republicans dressed up in manipulative "Heathen Dems for Satan" t-shirts to show their support for Tom "Justice" DeLay(ed)".

From Skippy:
    report says childhood poverty rose between 2000 and 2003 - the annie e- casey foundation says a half (m) million more american children were living in poverty in 2003 than in 2000.

    in addition, the percentage of low-birthweight babies increased and infant mortality was up for the first time in 40 years.

    the study also finds an increase in families where no parent has a full-time job, and a rise in the teen death rate.
hey kids, it gets better. via digby, we learn that awol has successfully pressured the credit card companies to double mom and dad’s monthly payments. this was after he gave his friends pay raises and signed the legislation which makes it really hard for mom and dad to file for bankruptcy. but before he got the legislation that would save himself, and his buddies in the cabinet $344 million in estate taxes.

Did Bolton Lie About Appearing Before the PlameGate Grand Jury?

Read it and see what you think.

Arianna Huffington: Why is Judith Miller Really In Jail?

Excellent question and no, it's not to protect the freedom of the press.

Adrianna writes:

But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has "manipulate[d]" and "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an "unnamed government official"). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out.

This is why Miller doesn't want to reveal her "source" at the White House -- because she was the source. Sure, she first got the info from someone else, and the odds are she wasn't the only one who clued in Libby and/or Rove (the State Dept. memo likely played a role too)… but, in this scenario, Miller certainly wasn't an innocent writer caught up in the whirl of history. She had a starring role in it. This also explains why Miller never wrote a story about Plame, because her goal wasn't to write a story, but to get out the story that cast doubts on Wilson's motives. Which Novak did.

This version of events has divided the Times into two camps: those who want to learn everything about this story, and those who want to learn everything as long as it doesn't downgrade the heroic status of their "colleague" Judy Miller. And then there are the schizophrenics. Frank Rich is spending his summer in the second camp, while at the same time writing some of the most powerful and brilliant stuff about the scandal: "This case is about Iraq, not Niger. The real victims are the American people, not the Wilsons. The real culprit… is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped up grounds… That's why the stakes are so high: this scandal is about the unmasking of an ill-conceived war."

But this unmasking -- if it is to be complete -- has to include Judy Miller and the part she played in the mess in Iraq.

Will the President Still Bush Through Bolton's Appointment to the U.N.

Even the most casual observers must have noticed how frequently John Bolton's name has come up in conversations about Karl Rove, the State Department, leaks, and the outing of Valerie Plame. To those paying more attention, it must be cause for speculation that some of the mountains of paperwork and paper trail regarding Bolton that has been held back from the Senate investigating committee may show that it was Bolton who raced to Rove and Libby with the delightful news that Valerie Plame was a CIA covert operative working on WMD.

The last few weeks, as Bolton's name keeps burping up like a tender esophagus forever "retasting" the spicy salsa it processed over lunch, I've read time and again that Bolton's nomination is dead. The Senators don't want to pass him through and even Bush doesn't have enough nerve now to force him upon us through a recess appointment (the kind Bush promised not to do again but, like many of his promises, fell short).

But honestly, I don't think Bush would let his conscience or even propriety stand in the way of appointing Bolton. Bush has no shame, no capability to admit he's wrong or any capacity to acknowledge the painful truth once it has been sent his way. Bolton is who Bush wants and if the president isn't going to pay attention to up to 80% of American voters saying they feel Boston is the wrongman for the job, he's not going to let a little scandal he refuses to recognize spoil his fun.

So yeah, I would definitely plan to see Bolton's appointment to the UN made during the recess. I also expect that the MSM will largely pretend it's no big thing (or paradoxically, hail it as a wonderful move forward).

It sucketh mightily but what about the Bushies doesn't?

New List Up

This week's Gang of 5 for top dog blogs is up.

The Afghans Don't Like Us Either

From the BBC:

At least 1,000 protesters have staged a demonstration outside the main US base of Bagram in Afghanistan.

The demonstrators, chanting "Die America", were angry at the arrest of a number of villagers on Monday night. Some threw stones at military vehicles.

Piles of tyres were burned on the main road near the base, sending clouds of black smoke billowing over the area.

Eyewitness say US troops fired warning shots at the demonstrators. The US military are denying this.

The More Shit You're Behind, the Better We Pay You

Karl Rove joins a bunch of other White House staffers in getting a VERY nice raise.

Funny, in the rest of America, most people are taking home LESS money... and they don't have all those wondrous benefits we pay for either.

At Least Partial Repeal of Estate Tax Expected This Week

Heinous. Yet another welfare program for the ultra-rich at a time when middle and low earners are shouldering an ever-rising percentage of the burden and DURING a time of war that costs more than one billion $$ each day.

Have I Mentioned How Much I Enjoy Jury Duty?

Not that they ever actually choose me - all I have to do is say the word "journalist" and my ass is out of there faster than Tom DeLay wandering accidentally into a Feminist rap session. But only get released AFTER I sit and sit and sit and sit.

Brits: More Innocent Citizens Will Be Caught in the War

If you haven't read this piece elsewhere, stop by Vince's blog and read the article yourself.

Your Tax Dollars = Tom DeLay's Petty Cash Fund

From Judd at Think Progress:

Tom DeLay thinks the federal treasury is his personal piggy bank. DeLay slipped “a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas” into the energy bill.

But this isn’t a normal case of government pork. DeLay has completely dispensed with the democratic process. From a letter Rep. Henry Waxman just sent Speaker Dennis Hastert:

    The provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure.
The $1.5 billion won’t be administered by the government by a private consortium in DeLay’s district:
    The subtitle appears to steer the administration of 75% of the $1.5 billion fund to a private consortium located in the district of Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Ordinarily, a large fund like this would be administered directly by the government.
Hastert and DeLay need to explain themselves immediately. No member of Congress who takes taxpayer dollars seriously should vote for the energy bill until this matter is resolved.

CIA Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners

Few bad apples again?

From the Denver Post:

CIA officials used a sledgehammer handle to beat various prisoners in Iraq, and one official, whose name is classified, would often brag about his abuse of prisoners, according to testimony in a closed session of a military hearing.

The transcript, obtained this week by The Denver Post under a court order, was of a March hearing to determine whether three Fort Carson Army soldiers should stand trial for the death of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush during an interrogation in 2003.

Jessica Simpson's Not So Excellent Iraqi Adventure

Maybe she's smarter than she seems.

Simpson is crying foul that all the videotape of the extremely horrendous conditions in Iraq recorded when she and her husband were over there filming seems to have just "miraculously disappeared" leaving onto footage that makes it seem like a great time was had by all. Thanks to Stranger at Blah3 for nothing this.

The Porn Tax

So now there is fresh outrage that kids are accessing porn online and with it, a bill introduced to put a 25% automatic tax on any product based on sleazy sex.

Now, I'm all for kids being kept out of porn sites; I think almost all adults are in favor of this, including webmasters who know that if kids are using their services, they're likely doing it with misbegotten credit or debit card numbers.

But isn't the 25% charge just another sin or morality tax?

With the Shuttle Up, NASA's Just Grounded the Whole Fleet Again!


The SubTalk of Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

Today, again, we had some military official speculate that the troops would begin leaving in Iraq soon; this on the heels of another such revelation a couple of weeks ago.

But I suspect this is just more smoke. Not very long ago, Cheney and Rumsfeld were hinting at a pullout by the time Bush leaves office (January 2009 unless someone decides to investigate one of the endless numbers of high crimes and misdemeanors) or 2112 in case the Boy King decides not to let us vote in 2008 "for reasons of national security."

Words like that didn't play well in most of America. It was always said rather parenthetically and Bush himself never referenced the far away date, so they started to pretend they never said it.

They're sending these "smaller" voices out now to make the public more hopeful our troops will leave Iraq this decade. But I doubt it's in the works. Later, when it doesn't happen, the WH will remind us Bush himself did not say it. Meanwhile, he'll have escaped months of unhappiness by the public fooled into believing the end was in sight.

Is Rove a Rover?

I was pretty surprised that Turd Blossom was married. But I'm even more surprised that any woman would want to have an affair with him.

I wonder what she sees in him. Perhaps it's the third chin, the way he waddles, or the "I'll fuck you like you've never been fucked before" endearments he speaks from the White House phoneline by for by the taxpayers.

From Radar Online:

For years, political insiders in the Lone Star State have whispered about Rove’s close friendship with lobbyist Karen Johnson, a never-married, forty-something GOP loyalist from Austin, Texas. The two first became close when Johnson sat on the board of then-Governor George W. Bush’s Business Council over a decade ago. Their friendship reportedly deepened after Bush appointed Johnson—a little-known spokesperson for the Texas Good Roads Association—to a seat on his Transportation Department transition team in 2000. The plum appointment enabled Johnson’s lobbying firm, Infrastructure Solutions, to snare such high-paying clients as Aetna and the City of Laredo. Sources say Johnson now frequently travels between Washington D.C. and Austin, where she frequently appears at Rove’s side at parties and unofficial functions.

Although there is no evidence that their relationship is anything but professional, the close association between the married White House aide and the comely lobbyist has long raised eyebrows in conservative Texas circles. Asked about the pair, a prominent political journalist who has written extensively about Rove says, “I’ve heard the stories, but I would never write about Karl and Karen. If you want to keep your job as a reporter in Texas, you make believe you don’t see them together.”

Well, Not Everyone But Us Has Forgotten about RoveGate

From yesterday's WaPo and it offers a fairly good summary, especially regarding what the special prosecutor may be looking at most critically.

So, Did Bush Get Impeached, the Bushies Frog Marched Out of the WH, and Were Scalia and Thomas Dropped from the Supreme Court in My Absense?




Something to Remember About Alberto Gonzalez' Apperances Yesterday and the Special Prosecutor

As Buzzflash points out, the special prosecutor in PlameGate/Rove scandal, Fitzgerald, "serves at the pleasure and discretion" of Alberto Gonzales, who seems to be very much tied to the scandal by shaping the White House's response to it when he was then chief White House legal counsel.

The 12 Hour Advance Notice to Allow White House to Hide Info on PlameGate was Actually Three Whole Days

The Carpetbagger Report, in discussing the Frank Rich piece I cited yesterday, gives you all the details, including this:

The Bush gang didn't have 12 hours to cover their tracks — they had a whole weekend.

It's also important to note that Rich's discussion of the 12-hour gap, while important, isn't new. Senate Dems tried to raise hell about this two years ago, but no one — in Congress, the administration, or in the media — listened.

I appreciate Patrick Fitzgerald's reputation and believe him to be a credible prosecutor, who appears to have run a fair and thorough investigation. That's not the problem here. The question is whether Fitzgerald's probe has had access to all the information it should have received.

As Sens. Daschle, Biden, Levin, and Schumer said in October 2003, "We are at risk of seeing this investigation so compromised that those responsible for this national security breach will never be identified and prosecuted."

A scary prospect, indeed.

So Much for Logic

I was just about to post a note asking if anyone else is having difficulty posting comments (there's no HaloScan "down" message, however). Then I realized that if you are, how could you possibly tell me?

As lame as this sounds, I still seem to operate with more brainpower than most of the Bushies' snake oil act. AND I can walk, chew gum, blow bubbles AND kick ass simultaneously. Wanna see?

The White House's Suspect 12 Hours

While the rest of us speculate on what happened during the 12 hours between the time now Atty General Alberto Gonzales (then WH legal counsel) alerted the WH they would have to turn over details relevant to the investigation into the outing of CIA covert operative Valerie Plame Wilson and the time they actually began to release any details, Jesus' favored General gives us the facts (ma'am, and nothing BUT the facts).

Here's a start, but go read the divine missive in its glorious, righteous entirety:

8:00 pm - Pastor General Ashcroft calls Gonzales, informing him of the investigation.

Our Leader is preparing for his nightly meeting with the Lord by smearing his body with bacon grease and downing a quart of NyQuil.

Karl Rove is holding his hand over a candle to prove that he's tougher than G. Gordon Liddy.

Scooter Libby is waxing Deputy Leader Cheney's back.

8:01 pm - The Special Political Electronic Surveillance team patches Karl Rove into the audio portion of the call. He immediately begins drafting a plan to safeguard important evidence.

8:10 pm - Gonzales informs White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card.

8:15 pm - Card notifies the White House and Vice Presidential staffs via Blackberry, asking them to preserve the evidence.

8:30 pm - Our Leader places his face into the Mighty Tony Llama Boot of the Lord and asks God when he's going to supply him with flower-throwing, liberated Iraqis. God chuckles and punches him in the arm.


Why is White House Hiding John Roberts' Paper Trail?

Good question.

The Times' John Burns Joins Others to Suggest Iraq Civil War is Now in Progress

From Sunday's Editor and Publisher:

In one of the more startling recent mainstream commentaries from Iraq, John F. Burns of The New York Times suggested today that perhaps those who fear a dreaded civil war breaking out there ought to just take a good look around: It might already be here.

He wrote this before another suicide bomber caused havoc at a Baghdad police station today, killing at least 20. Also today, members of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's bloc threatened to walk out of the constitutional drafting committee in support of a Sunni group that boycotted the process. One committee member criticized the way the commission dealt with Sunni members' decision to suspend their participation in drafting the new charter.

In a news report, meanwhile, The Times' Dexter Filkins opened with this statement: "They just keep getting stronger. Despite months of assurances that their forces were on the wane, the guerrillas and terrorists battling the American-backed enterprise here appear to be growing more violent, more resilient and more sophisticated than ever."

The President: Questions about His Own Involvement in the CIA Leak Go Unanswered


His former secretary of state, most of his closest aides and a parade of other senior officials have testified to a grand jury. His political strategist has emerged as a central figure in the case, as has his vice president's chief of staff. His spokesman has taken a pounding for making public statements about the matter that now appear not to be accurate.

President Bush said in the fall of 2003 that no one wanted to get to the bottom of the C.I.A. leak case more than he did.

Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush's spokesman, has faced questions over the role of Karl Rove, right.

For all that, it is still not clear what the investigation into the leak of a C.I.A. operative's identity will mean for President Bush. So far the disclosures about the involvement of Karl Rove, among others, have not exacted any substantial political price from the administration. And nobody has suggested that the investigation directly implicates the president.

Yet Mr. Bush has yet to address some uncomfortable questions that he may not be able to evade indefinitely.

For starters, did Mr. Bush know in the fall of 2003, when he was telling the public that no one wanted to get to the bottom of the case more than he did, that Mr. Rove, his longtime strategist and senior adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, had touched on the C.I.A. officer's identity in conversations with journalists before the officer's name became public? If not, when did they tell him, and what would the delay say in particular about his relationship with Mr. Rove, whose career and Mr. Bush's have been intertwined for decades?

Then there is the broader issue of whether Mr. Bush was aware of any effort by his aides to use the C.I.A. officer's identity to undermine the standing of her husband, a former diplomat who had publicly accused the administration of twisting its prewar intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program.

For the last several weeks, Mr. Bush and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, have declined to address the leak in any substantive way, citing the continuing federal criminal investigation.

Seattle Times: More About London Bomber Investigation the U.S. Blocked

This is truly heinous. If not for the U.S. and the Dept of (In)Justice under John Ashcroft, London might have been able to prevent the bombings in London 2.5 weeks ago.

Again and again, we are presented with information that shows the Bushies actually blunder and block efforts to really cut down on terror acts, use the Patriot Act for truly stupid purposes, defeat the efforts of many operatives like Valerie Plame.

A few of these, you understand. But after years of watching these mount higher and higher, you start to wonder if the terror is rooted in the Bushies themselves and that's why they have to screw up all attempts to get to the bottom of what is really happening. After all, they don't want the rest of the world to realize they ARE the Terror.

Please, tell me I'm paranoid. Err... that I'm wrong. I hope I am. But...

The Justice Department blocked efforts by its prosecutors in Seattle in 2002 to bring criminal charges against Haroon Aswat, according to federal law-enforcement officials who were involved in the case.

British authorities suspect Aswat of taking part in the July 7 London bombings, which killed 56 and prompted an intense worldwide manhunt for him.

But long before he surfaced as a suspect there, federal prosecutors in Seattle wanted to seek a grand-jury indictment for his involvement in a failed attempt to set up a terrorist-training camp in Bly, Ore., in late 1999. In early 2000, Aswat lived for a couple of months in central Seattle at the Dar-us-Salaam mosque.

A federal indictment of Aswat in 2002 would have resulted in an arrest warrant and his possible detention in Britain for extradition to the United States.

"It was really frustrating," said a former Justice Department official involved in the case. "Guys like that, you just want to sweep them up off the street."

British intelligence officials now think that in the days and hours before the July 7 bombings, Aswat was in cellphone contact with at least two of the four suicide bombers, according to The Times of London.

Aswat was a highly public aide to Abu Hamza al Masri, the militant cleric whose North London mosque was a hotbed of radical Islamist preaching. In 1999, Aswat came to the attention of the FBI and federal prosecutors here as part of the investigation into the Bly camp and its founder, former Seattle entrepreneur James Ujaama.

As law-enforcement officials in Seattle prepared to take that case to a federal grand jury here, they had hoped to indict Aswat, Ujaama, Abu Hamza and another associate, according to former and current law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the case.

But that plan was rejected by higher-level officials at Justice Department headquarters, who wanted most of the case to be handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York City, according to sources involved with the case.

Times Leader Newspaper: Why is Santorum So Sanctimonious About "Family Values" Yet So Vague About Whether GOP Adulterer

... , Rep. Sherwood, charged with choking his long-time mistress, did anything wrong. Story here.

I've seen this double standard and maximum hypocrisy many, many, many times among those Family Values types.

Larry Johnson, The Republican Colleage of Valerie Plame who Has Been So Critical of the Bushies in the Leak Case

has some very strong words at TPM Cafe, which combine with Josh Marshall's own posts at Talking Points Memo staying that the Senate Intelligence Committee has basically been turned into the Karl Rove Political Excuse group.

This from Johnson:

I guess Senator Pat Roberts believes that if he repeats a lie long enough it eventually becomes true. While it is one thing for a political bag carrier like Ken Mehlman to be woefully ignorant about CIA practices and procedures, it is downright alarming that Senator Roberts can be so misinformed. Today, while appearing on CNN's Late Edition, Roberts repeated the specious claim that Valerie Plame could not be undercover because she went to work everyday at CIA Headquarters.

Folks, there is no excuse for this level of incompetence. There are thousands of undercover CIA employees who drive through the three gates at CIA Headquarters in McLean, Virginia everyday. And this Senator from Kansas who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee has the audacity to blame CIA for intelligence failures? How can he recognize failures when he does not even understand the very simple basics about people who work undercover at CIA. He should spend more time reading up on the CIA and less time memorizing Ken Mehlman talking points.

Aw, C'mon: If the Philippines Can Impeach Their President, a Great "Friend" of Bush, Can't We Get Rid of Ours?

Pretty please with Texas style baked beans and okra on top?

And why didn't anyone ever point out I keep spelling Philippines wrong? Or CNN does. Or we both do.

GW Law Professor Has Strong Words for Future of America and Supreme Court with Roberts' Nomination

Jonathan Turley in the Chicago Tribune makes some strong but necessary points, specifically that about the only "swing" vote one can expect from Roberts is a situation where he chooses between the far right and the even farther right. Urgh.

Say hello to

Lefty Blogs.

And to those looking for other progressive blogs in the Green Mountain State (Vermont to you flatlanders), the Vermont version of Lefty Blogs.

Related to that Previous Post on Gonzalez and PlameGate, a Frank Rich Must Read

It starts here, but please, make time to read the rest, entitled, "Eight Days in July":

PRESIDENT BUSH'S new Supreme Court nominee was a historic first after all: the first to be announced on TV dead center in prime time, smack in the cross hairs of "I Want to Be a Hilton." It was also one of the hastiest court announcements in memory, abruptly sprung a week ahead of the White House's original timetable. The agenda of this rushed showmanship - to change the subject in Washington - could not have been more naked. But the president would have had to nominate Bill Clinton to change this subject.

When a conspiracy is unraveling, and it's every liar and his lawyer for themselves, the story takes on a momentum of its own. When the conspiracy is, at its heart, about the White House's twisting of the intelligence used to sell the American people a war - and its desperate efforts to cover up that flimflam once the W.M.D. cupboard proved bare and the war went south - the story will not end until the war really is in its "last throes."

Only 36 hours after the John Roberts unveiling, The Washington Post nudged him aside to second position on its front page. Leading the paper instead was a scoop concerning a State Department memo circulated the week before the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife, the C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame, in literally the loftiest reaches of the Bush administration - on Air Force One. The memo, The Post reported, marked the paragraph containing information about Ms. Plame with an S for secret. So much for the cover story that no one knew that her identity was covert.

But the scandal has metastasized so much at this point that the forgotten man Mr. Bush did not nominate to the Supreme Court is as much a window into the White House's panic and stonewalling as its haste to put forward the man he did. When the president decided not to replace Sandra Day O'Connor with a woman, why did he pick a white guy and not nominate the first Hispanic justice, his friend Alberto Gonzales? Mr. Bush was surely not scared off by Gonzales critics on the right (who find him soft on abortion) or left (who find him soft on the Geneva Conventions). It's Mr. Gonzales's proximity to this scandal that inspires real fear.

As White House counsel, he was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation. This 12-hour delay, he has said, was sanctioned by the Justice Department, but since the department was then run by John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist who refused to recuse himself from the Plame case, inquiring Senate Democrats would examine this 12-hour delay as closely as an 18½-minute tape gap. "Every good prosecutor knows that any delay could give a culprit time to destroy the evidence," said Senator Charles Schumer, correctly, back when the missing 12 hours was first revealed almost two years ago. A new Gonzales confirmation process now would have quickly devolved into a neo-Watergate hearing. Mr. Gonzales was in the thick of the Plame investigation, all told, for 16 months.

Thus is Mr. Gonzales's Supreme Court aspiration the first White House casualty of this affair. It won't be the last.

Not Everyone at the White House Got the Secret Memo About Not Taling About Ongoing Investigations

Re Joe Wilson/PlameGate/Karl Rove, Invictus at Blah3 makes some points I've been thinking about every since I caught Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, on the AM talk shows today:

Current attorney general and former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales was on Face the Nation this morning answering questions about...you guessed it...the ongoing investigation that is the Turdgate scandal. Raises some interesting issues.

Like these:

Why is Gonzales out there chatting up the morning talk shows about what he did -- and didn't do -- when the investigation was announced while Scott McClellan and the White House have dropped the Cone of Silence on the whole affair?

Why did he tell Andy Card?

What did Andy Card communicate to other White House staffers during the 12 hour "head start" that Gonzales gave them?

What did Card and those with whom he communicated do in those 12 hours?

Patently Adorable

(Karlo? Close your eyes. Thank you.)

For those of you kitty freaks, this Daily Kitten is for you.

(OK, Karlo, you can open your eyes again. And here, have a piece of my Nihilist gum (for those who do not care about flavor).)

Just Say No

Say hello to Just Say No to Fascism.

Read this Newsweek Piece on Tim Russert and the PlameGate Investigation

And remember to read between the lines.

Vermont GOP Candidate Calls for Presidential Impeachment

From the Rutland Herald (a newspaper that is earning more and more of my respect with each passing day):

Dennis Morrisseau, 62, of West Pawlet, plans to seek the Republican nomination to run for U.S. House of Representatives. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., who plans a run for the U.S. Senate.

A central part of his platform, Morrisseau said, will be bringing articles of impeachment against Bush.

He will most likely face Maj. Gen. Martha Rainville, adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard, in the September 2006 primary, along with any other candidates who might get themselves placed on the ballot between now and then.

Morrisseau said he considers himself more of a Republican than the president, and he thinks a lot of Vermont Republicans agree with him.

"This leadership isn't very Republican and I don't think it's very popular with Vermont Republicans," he said. "Republicans in this state tend to be mind-your-own-business people, keep taxes low and government small."

Morrisseau held up former Gov. Deane Davis as an example of a Vermont Republican.

"Davis was the best environmentalist we had in this state," he said. "That's Republicanism in Vermont. We like small businesses. We're afraid of outsiders and large businesses. That's what I'm about."

While 38.8 percent of Vermonters — and likely the lion's share of Vermont Republicans — voted for Bush, Morrisseau said he thinks there is enough anti-Bush sentiment within Republican circles for his message to find an audience.
For those of you who think... oh yeah, Vermont is hippy central, that's not true. Only certain parts of the state are quite progressive. I, for example, live in a Republican town in a relatively otherwise progressive county, but Rutland and much of Southern Vermont is hardly progressive.

The Ten Commandments of the Right-eous

Lambert at Corrente outdid himself. Bravo, says the Father, the Son, and the Holy Bush (or is that the Revised - with a heavy emphasis on vice Trinity of Duba, Cheney, and Karl Rove?)!

    I. Thou shalt have no other gods but power and money.

    II. Thou shalt make unto thee graven image of power and money.

    III. Thou shalt take the name of the LORD thy God.

    IV. Remember election days, to rig them wholly.

    V. Impoverish thy father and thy mother.

    VI. Thou shalt kill.

    VII. Thou shalt commit perjury.

    VIII. Thou shalt steal.

    IX. Thou shalt bear false witness against thy enemies.

    X. Thou shalt covet every thing that is thy enemy's.

And Why I Sometimes Worry About Karlo

Karlo remains righteously opposed to Cat Blogging.

Please, Karlo, put down that gun. I'll pay a ransom for the kitty!

Yet Another Reason I (Heart) Karlo

From SwerveLeft:

When a delicate child forms in the womb, a woman isn't just a little pregnant. By its very nature, pregnancy is an all-or-nothing sort of thing. Likewise, commitment to democracy is either complete or non-existent. You can't support democracy only if people elect the candidates you prefer. But the Bush administration would like to have it both ways in Iraq. According to an article in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh, Bush approved a covert plan to channel funds to Iraqi candidates in the run-up to the January elections. A State Department official confirmed that there was an effort to provide direct funding to certain candidates. We've now learned that the issue went to high levels and was approved by high officials in the State Department and by others in the Bush Administration, in the late spring of 2004.

For people familiar with U.S. history and the CIA's activities, this condition of "being just a little bit pregnant" with democratic zeal should come as no surprise. The CIA has been fixing elections all over the globe. In Iraq, a country infected with suspicion and cynicism, this hardly seems like an auspicious beginning for the birth of democracy. But putting Iraq aside for the moment, Americans need to look deeply into their red-white-and-blue hearts and decide if their commitments are to democracy or to the maintenance of an international empire. Or are we all just a little bit pregnant with our ideals?

Sound of the Earth Ripping Itself Apart

Both factually and metaphorically....

Posted by Steve Clemons at The Washington Note:

I may be making comparing things that should not be compared, but nonetheless, the connection was made when catching up with some reading this morning.

It turns out that the global "listening" infrastructure that was built as part of Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban obligations picks up not only the sounds of nuclear tests -- but also big schisms in the earth's crust. This is a fascinating clip about the long, grinding sound of the earth tearing itself apart during the December 2004 tsunami-creating quake.

Then, I turned to a powerful piece written by the Washington Post's Warren Bass on Gaza. There too, there are political plates tearing themselves apart -- and there are huge risks not only for the Israelis and Palestinians writ large but for the world in the Gaza withdrawal.

I, for one, think that we need to begin considering what lies beyond Gaza -- but we have to get through Gaza first. As I wrote the other day, Frank Gaffney linked the London bombings to the Gaza pullout, arguing that withdrawing from occupied territories is appeasing Islamofascists. I couldn't disagree more.

We must not allow the crime of terrorism delegitimate policies that make good public policy sense. For example, withdrawing from Gaza is a major step towards an eventual two-state solution in the Palestinian-Israeli standoff, and the Bush administration endorses this.

We need to split the "official" Bush administration off from the radicals embedded in and around the White House and move this deal forward.

Is Roberts on Fast Track to Chief Supreme

From The Buzz at Capitol Buzz (and disturbing, I think):

The gossip around DC is that Roberts was put on the bench now so that he could learn the ropes from mentor Bill Rehnquist for a year before he ascends to the top job on the Court.

WWIII or Peace

I came across this thoughtful post by Sky at To Know the Road Ahead:

After the news of all the bombings this week I am so terribly sad.

I remember when Bush decided to invade Iraq and how in astonishment I cried.

It is pitiful that in these times we did not have a leader who had the intelligence and wisdom of Ghandi, Martin Luther King and former President Carter. We were at a time when World Peace efforts were thrown aside and we fell into exactly what the Terrorists wanted because Bush was an easy read. Impatience and agenda took presidence. Tonight there was a poll shown that said Americans expect WWIII but how many supported this action? Too many unawake souls filled with fear or conquering spirit.

With all the money being spent we could have established the most efficient ways to protect our country rather then destroying another which has now lead to the domino effect.

Will mankind never learn that revenge/retaliation, war/death, sacrifice/sorrow...are not the ways to world peace or safety? Only through conversing, understanding and diligent work can peace be achieved.

Someday, maybe someday...
the world will awaken...

Karl Rove and the Free Press

Here's a MUST SEE cartoon by ZenComix (man, I think he/they are talented and I'm not a big political cartoon fan). Thanks to David and his guest bloggers at In Search of Utopia for consistently highlighting ZenComix' work.

Could Bush Grant Rove and Other Leakers Reprieve Before They Are Charged?

This would prevent any finalization of the investigation, any truth from coming out, and any justice from being done.

This is the speculation at Buzzflash. Go read. I'll be out making waffles (want one?).

(And no, I put NOTHING past the Bushies anymore. Sadly, not even 9/11.)

Exclusive Wilson Interview

Keith Olbermann's interview - found here - is good.

But let me say something.

The right has painted Wilson as some evil emperor of the left. But, in as much as Wilson, a rather not terribly known ambassador to Gabon (and I'm probably NOT spelling that right but it's Sunday morning and I'm tired and I have 7 more chapters to write TODAY), is known today is entirely a function of the Bush-Cheney team.

Wilson never said he was sent hand picked by Cheney. But, unlike what the right says, he was not sent by his wife either. CIA officials have said this order to go to Niger and investigate came from one of the top three people at the agency, of which Wilson's wife was not one. You know, a CIA controlled BY Bush-Cheney.

Wilson didn't come back to discredit Bush-Cheney. When he reported his findings, however, he found them ignored. The Bush-Cheney-Condi-Colin team were still running around saying WMD were everywhere and we were just about to see a mushroom cloud.

Given that, and probably with a great deal of soul searching (as Bill Clinton has pointed out quite ably, Wilson has donated to the campaign of BOTH Dems and Reps and in 1992, Wilson voted for Bush's dad rather than Clinton), listening to the lies perpetuated again and again, he wrote the op/ed for The Times which still got relatively small attention UNTIL Bush-Cheney decided to implement a vicious campaign that included outing a woman who was NOT a desk jockey but a highly placed covert operative specifically working on the hunt for WMD. A campaign that ended up telling EVERY operative that the president's own crew would attack them viciously if they did anything that was embarrassing to them even if what they said was the truth.

Look at how they treated Rowley, Richard Clarke, O'Neill. This is what Bush-Cheney does. The press loves to applaud them for their fierce loyalty but that's as much bullshit and fiction as anything else they do.

Bush-Cheney turned Wilson into a voice for the left just as they turned his wife into a neutralized desk jockey rather than out there fighting the fight to control WMD (which, frankly, the USA has the overwhelmingly stockpile of).

Another Day in Bush's "New Democracy"

A US GI is dead in Southern Afghanistan while an Iraqi suicide bomber has killed 22 (and there's much more Sunday to go).

Goodnight, Goodnight, and again, Goodnight

I'm going to bed before my righteous indignation makes my head explode (again).

Have a good one. If you're hungry, I'm serving Belgian waffles and homemade ice cream around nine in the morning (People's Republic of Vermont time). Drop by and don't mind the 105-pound puppy whose growl is worse than his slobber.

Another Take on "Why Do They Hate Us?"

This author says NOT because of Iraq. Well, I'd agree it's not exclusively because of Iraq. But...

Share with us what you think of the piece and the one in Slate I referenced earlier.

Former FBI Agent Rowley and Redefining Honesty and Integrity

Check this out from Daily Read at Trailing Edge Blog.

Barbara "Why Should My Beautiful Mind Consider Iraqi Soldier Body Bags" Bush Joins Sonny on Social Security Bamboozlepalooza Tour

Uh huh. I'm sure Babs really depends on that Social Security check, too. But oh, she'll be paid. Just the poorer folks will go without.

Next time you want to hail Barbara Bush as a great woman, consider the sons she handed off to America. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, you know.

Rummy Refuses to Comply with Orders to Release Evidence of Torture and Abuse

Contempt for the American public from this administration is almost as bad as their contempt for Muslims and others we "seek to make free!".

From The Times:

Lawyers for the Defense Department are refusing to cooperate with a federal judge's order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.

The lawyers said in a letter sent to the federal court in Manhattan late Thursday that they would file a sealed brief explaining their reasons for not turning over the material, which they were to have released by yesterday.

The photographs were some of thousands turned over by Specialist Joseph M. Darby, the whistle-blower who exposed the abuse at Abu Ghraib by giving investigators computer disks containing photographs and videos of prisoners being abused, sexually humiliated and threatened with growling dogs.

The small number of the photographs released in spring 2004 provoked international outrage at the American military.

In early June, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court in Manhattan ordered the release of the additional photographs, part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to determine the extent of abuse at American military prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

"Pressure" To Put More Surveillance Systems in US

From AP:

Pressure is building for greater use of video cameras to keep watch over the nation's cities - particularly in transportation systems and other spots vulnerable to terrorism - after the bombings in London.

The calls have come over the last few weeks as British investigators released surveillance footage of the bombers in the deadly July 7 attacks and then put out frames of suspects in Thursday's failed attacks.

"I do not think that cameras are the big mortal threat to civil liberties that people are painting them to be," Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams said Friday.

He's not alone. While privacy advocates question their effectiveness, Sen. Hillary Clinton called for New York City subway officials to install more cameras, even though officials said some 5,000 cameras are already in use across all modes of city travel. In Stamford, Conn., Mayor Dan Malloy said it's time to revisit a 1999 ordinance that limited cameras to watching traffic.
We had plenty of surveillance on 9/11 and it did nothing to stop the hijackers. London has cameras everywhere and it did NOT stop the first bombings or detract from an event to do more on Thursday.

So explain to me again why we need cameras everwhere? In other words, I think it has little to do with security, and more with power and the ability to watch us all which might cut down on certain "undesirable" activities like protesting, or acts of civil disobedience.

Secret Plan to Nuke Iran?

Daily Kos reports on an article appearing in American Conservative Magazine which has been quite critical of Bush and Iraq, saying things like, "We don't need an exit strategy; what we need is an exit. And yes, that's a paraphrase.

Parallel Investigation Ongoing into Who Forged the Niger "There's Yellow Cake Everywhere" Documents at the Center of the Rove/PlameGate Mess

From the UK Guardian:

Meanwhile, a parallel investigation is under way into who forged the Niger documents. They are known to have been passed to an Italian journalist by a former Italian defence intelligence officer, Rocco Martino, in October 2002, but their origins have remained a mystery. Mr Martino has insisted to the Italian press that he was "a tool used by someone for games much bigger than me", but has not specified who that might be.

A source familiar with the inquiry said investigators were examining whether former US intelligence agents may have been involved in possible collaboration with Iraqi exiles determined to prove that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear programme.

Just What the World Needs, More Hulk Hogan Hastert

Denny wants another term as Speaker of the House aka Tom DeLay's fat whining bitch.

Let's say NO.


Where do you believe the think part comes in with this blog that hails Tancredo's nutso screed about nuking Mecca and hails Condi as a GREAT choice for president in 2008?