Saturday, March 17, 2007
Menu Foods, the Ontario-based company that produced the pet food, said Saturday it was recalling dog food sold under 48 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was distributed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico by major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway.
An unknown number of cats and dogs had suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, the company said. [my em]
For a list of products recalled, go here. It seems that it generally affects canned and 'moist' foods. Shayna is on the Nutro Natural Choice Senior dry formula and it's not listed.
Karl Rove must go to the jail, the pokey, the big house, if you will. No not country-club Republican, I-ripped-off-your-grandma-with-junk-bonds prison where he can join the Dartmouth or Princeton rowing squad and walk by a state-of-the-art outdoor weight-lifting facility his two-seats-on-Southwest ass would never even think about using.
I mean real prison. Like the kind you go to if you're caught in Kuala Lumpur with Rush's medicine bag.
What I don't particularly care for is a bunch of drunk fat white guys with "Kiss Me I'm Irish" buttons marching down the street one day a year weeping in their green beer about their remote connection to a land they've never seen and murdering "Danny Boy" in the process.
So here's a St. Paddy's Day parade to be proud of:
DUBLIN, Ireland -- Lithuanian musicians, drum-beating Punjabis and West African dancers used Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday to celebrate their place in a booming Ireland that has become a land of immigrants.
One man dressed as St. Patrick in papal hat and sunglasses did the samba, while another float nearby featured "Miss Panty," Dublin's premier drag queen.
Dublin's freewheeling parade drew a half-million spectators and included Christine Quinn, the first openly gay leader of the New York City Council. Quinn is boycotting the more conservative New York parade because the organizers refuse to let gay and lesbian groups march.
This year, she accepted an Irish government invitation to be part of the Dublin City Council contingent.
"The fact I'm here in Dublin and able to march and participate in inclusive events should send a message of how backwards the New York parade is," said Quinn.
The Irish economy has been booming for the past 13 years, drawing immigrants from around the world to the country -- and its festivities.
"Nowadays there's far more color in the parade. It's great to see all our new Irish from across the world dressed up in green," said Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who normally spends St. Patrick's Day in the United States but returned overnight after visiting President Bush in the White House.
Ireland musta looked really good after Bush!
It's nice to see diversity. In Ireland, apparently, drunks of any color weeping in their green beer are welcome. I'd like to hear "Danny Boy" in Punjabi!
I'm glad to see their economy booming and life improving for the Irish. They have it coming after about a thousand years of oppression by the English and the Catholic Church, among others.
Back to the mundane:
More than 1,000 police were on duty to deal with expected alcohol-fueled trouble in the evening, following widespread drunkenness that led to 700 arrests in 2005 and lesser trouble last year.
Not that there's ever any truth in stereotypes, but it is said that The Good Lord invented whisky to keep the Irish from ruling the world. He may have invented Irish jokes to remind us of it.
Erin Go Bragh*, y'all.
The Aulde Sot
*Ireland 'til the Day of Judgment
Most of America's wars didn't last long enough to begin a fifth year of active combat. By the fourth anniversary of 7 December 1941, Japan and Germany had both surrendered. Four years after the attack on Fort [Sumter], our own civil war was over. By my reckoning, only the American Revolution and Vietnam saw active combat into a fifth year.
4 years, ladies and germs, and what do we have to show for it? 3,200 Americans dead, countless Iraqis, and over a half-trillion dollars gone from the economy.
... There is a huge need for the Democrats to develop the record on this administration's many crimes. It's important for our future and it's important for history. What they have done should never, ever be repeated. You had the highest reaches of the white house casually revealing what was clearly "need to know" classified information (which they had no "need to know" in the first place) to reporters, for purely political purposes ...
This administration is the closest we've come to a dictatorship since the Founding Fathers wrestled with the form our government should take. It is imperative this never happens again.
Friday, March 16, 2007
A man who reportedly jumped from a cruise ship off Florida's coast early Friday was rescued eight hours later by the Coast Guard.
The 24-year-old man ran through a Carnival Cruise Lines ship cabin window and fell into the water off Fort Lauderdale, a witness told Coast Guard Petty Officer Dana Warr. It was unclear whether the window was open at the time.
The witness said the man was intoxicated, Warr said.
A word to the wise. I'm just sayin'...
A mondegreen (also sometimes spelled "mondagreen") is the mishearing (usually accidental) of a phrase in such a way that it acquires a new meaning.
Me 'n Mrs. G were in Reno today and decided to get some 'strange stuff', by which I mean we went grocery shopping at a brand of supermarket we don't have in our 2-supermarket town.
Mrs. G is a banker and notices banks the way I notice motorcycle shops. As we were turning into the market's parking lot she noticed one.
"Oh, there's a Bursting Appendix Bank" I heard. I mean, I've heard of sperm banks, but...
"Whaaaa...?" I gurgled.
"There's a First Independence Bank. What'd ya think I said?"
She had a good laugh when I told her, and I didn't make this up.
I wasn't going to admit I like this shit until I came across this line from one of the ditties and just had to share:
George Bush won't he just yell and rant but he's a presiDONT who ameriCANT
I like that!
It's almost too perfect. A mainstream reporter mocks a story a blogger has been working to break, asserting that "it all makes perfect conspiratorial sense!", and that the blogger is "seeing broad partisan conspiracies where none likely exist," only to backtrack a few weeks later when the story explodes across the front pages of the major dailies.
If you wanted to force the issue -- and we would be surprised if some MSM-hating critic doesn't -- the episode illustrates perfectly how the Washington press corps ignores the blogosphere at its own peril. But the story, and its implications, are actually far more complicated -- and for journalism, heartening -- than that.
That oughta set the hook! I'm playin' ya with light line, folks, it's more fun that way. Go read.
[I was saddened to learn recently that for the first time since the beginning of the Iraq War, the sanctity of The Wall will be challenged by protest. On March 17, a coalition of citizens concerned about the war gathers for a protest march originating at Constitution Park across the street form The Wall. A group of counter-demonstrators, calling themselves The Gathering of Eagles, will gather around and presumably in the memorial while spreading their pro-war, pro-Bush/Cheney message. The "eagles" claim that their intention is to "defend" The Wall from attack by the anti-war demonstrators. Yet, through four years of anti-war protest, there have been few incidents of vandalism and no war memorial has been damaged in the past. Further, hundreds of veterans and military families, including those who have had loved ones die in this war, are at the forefront of today's anti-movement. None of us who have sacrificed in this war would tolerate, much less condone, such behavior.
While the mission statement of the "eagles" states, "... we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials ... we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think." Yet, a cursory look at the comments section at the bottom of the page tells a different story. One commentator said, "I hope one of these Muslim commies cross the line so we can teach them a valuable lesson. I will be there with my brothers and will be victorious over these Dimicrat scum. This will teach them not to look at us with seditious eyes." Another expressed similar sentiments: "We need to show these anti-war turkeys we are all business that the sacrifice and honor of the men and women of this Memorial will not be defaced by the likes of them." Organizers for the veterans' contingent of the anti-war march have also received death threats from "eagle" supporters. It seems that the real intent of the Gathering of Eagles is to intimidate those who do not agree with their position on the war. They purport to believe in free speech and to forever honor America's men and women in uniform until the men and women in uniform disagree with them. At the point at which we veterans who feel a duty not to remain silent and advocate that our brothers and sisters in arms be brought home alive and cared for both now and when they get here, the "eagles" call us "commies," "traitors" or "dimicrat scum."
I took an oath to defend the Constitution and honorably served ten years in uniform. I still hold my oath no less sacred than the "eagles" claim to. One of the ways to honor that oath is speak freely and from the heart. I sacrificed everything I had and everything I was when I went to Iraq. I lost my marriage, a job I loved, and the very way I viewed the world. It is a shame these "eagles" who claim to love and support me so much not only want to silence my voice, but they have chosen to put a wall between me and the one place in America I where I can truly let my guard down and grieve.]
This won't go back to being a weekly thing, but Shayna's appearances have been rare lately so I thought I'd put up a pic.
More cute animals at Modulator and Cute Overload.
The Bush administration is doing that now, throwing Khalid Mohammed at us to distract us from the misdeeds regarding attorney-gate. The wonderful TRex wonders about the redactions in his 'testimony':
What, you mean the parts where he was screaming, "Oh, God, please make it stop! I'll say whatever you want! No more, please! AHHHH, GOD, NOOOOOO!! NOOOOOO!!"?
So we get to what we all know, this 'confession' was merely an attempt to have us look at shiny shit:
Yes, look! Over there! Arabs are violent and evil! Pay no attention to the Presidential Aide behind the curtain!
What they don't get is that without a Rethug-controlled Congress, they don't have the cover to sweep this shit under the rug while we're distracted. Besides, nobody believes shit coming out of 1600 anymore (well, except for the 23% who'd believe the Chimp is really Jesus in disguise). Fool us once ...
WHITE HOUSE AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
BEGIN U.S. ATTORNEY TRANSITION
"WASHINGTON, D.C. - Continuing the practice of new administrations, President Bush and the Department of Justice have begun the transition process for most of the 93 United States Attorneys. Attorney General Ashcroft said, "We are committed to making this an orderly transition to ensure effective, professional law enforcement that reflects the President 's priorities.""
IOW, standard operating procedure for a new administration. If they are stooping this low (why am I not surprised?), things must really look bleak on the prosecutor firings.
Please get this circulated as far and wide as you can.
A tip of the Jersey fedora to Seeing the Forest for the link.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It may all be true. But because this government has insisted that "sending a message" of toughness will make suicide bombers turn tail and give up --- and seems to truly believe that a false confession is a good as a real one, we have no way of knowing. This guy is by all accounts a very bad man, I don't doubt it. But the details of his confessions are meaningless because of this administration's short sighted and immoral policies.
I mean, does anybody with a brain believe this is anything more than a way to deflect attention from the other scandals taking up news time this week?
An Army already stretched painfully thin is now being asked to find the additional 25,000-plus troops to man President Bush's escalation in Iraq and, it's now obvious, prepare for additional combat rotations next year.
All the easy sweeping up of manpower already has been done. All the obvious moves to rob Peter to pay Paul have been carried out just to keep this unending war going.
You shouldn't rob Peter to pay Paul. It makes Peter sore and you can't do business with a sore Peter!
That might be one solution to the scandalous treatment of soldiers on outpatient status at Walter Reed Army Hospital - rate them good to go and send them back to Iraq.
The Army, that once-magnificent Army we counted on as our shield in a dangerous world, is being bled to death in the streets and on the roads of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Politicians only now are talking about adding 100,000 more soldiers to the Army and Marine Corps, when that's something that should have begun on Sept. 12, 2001.
Where and how do they propose to find and enlist 10,000 or 20,000 more troops each year when it is literally all the recruiters can do to find enough young men and women to fill the existing quota of at least 80,000 each year?
Again, all the cheap fixes have been used. They've raised the maximum age for enlistment from 35 to 42. Should we kick that higher, say 65? Then you would have your choice: Medicare or boot camp?
Goddammit, Joe, STFU! Don't give 'em ideas!
We've doubled the number of convicted felons permitted to enlist. We've lowered the minimum standards to allow for more high school dropouts, more people who test in the lowest quarter on mental aptitude, more people who are tattooed from elbow to ear.
Of course, if the economy does a meltdown there could be a boom in enlistments and all our problems would be solved.
All of these costs are being pushed down the line to be borne by our children and grandchildren and their children in the form of burgeoning budget deficits seen and, as yet, unseen.
When is someone, somewhere in this country going to stand up and demand an accounting for all we've lost in a foolish, unjustified and unnecessary war in the wrong place, against the wrong people, at the wrong time - conducted by a president who got every bit of it wrong?
When are we going to cut our incredible losses in Iraq - human, spiritual and monetary - and get back on the road to being a better country and a better people whose leaders believe, as we do, in the U.S. Constitution and habeas corpus and the right to privacy?
Pretty soon, no Army left. Then, no problem.
It's past serious, folks.
It does not necessarily matter to AIPAC if you preach "New World Order/Illuminati" conspiracy theories involving "international bankers," a classic coded anti-Semitic trope. Nor does it necessarily matter to them if the rhetoric you have spewed about the Holocaust sounds like a Christian version of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad. AIPAC doesn't even necessarily care that you've lionized Yigal Amir, the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. What matters more to AIPAC and its allies -- all that matters perhaps -- is that you back the hardline Israeli government without reservation, support the institutionalized dehumanization of Palestinians and offer crucial moral support for the illegal usurpation of Palestinian land. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that you lust for war with Iran.
It should come as no surprise then that an anti-Semitic Holocaust apologist like Pastor John Hagee was invited to AIPAC, and was given a raucous ovation. As I reported for the Nation last year, through his new lobbying organization, Christians United for Israel, Hagee is emerging as the most influential leader of the Christian Zionist movement, which has bolstered the Israeli right with the grassroots muscle of the evangelical right. I go on to explain in detail that Hagee is a dangerous crackpot whose stated desire is to see Israel engage in an apocalyptic nuclear war with Iran.
Go see Max explain it in detail. Video and many links.
All I know is that when you get a conglomerate of disparate right-wing warmongers together to do evil shit in the Middle East, ya got big trouble.
Change of plans.
Deborah Jeane Palfrey's client phone numbers aren't up for auction anymore -- at least according to her lawyer.
The alleged Washington call-girl madam, recently indicted on federal racketeering charges, has decided she wouldn't feel right doing business with some gossipy media outfit that pays for sleaze, her attorney said yesterday.
So it is possible that the nation's capital will not become embroiled in a raging sex scandal after all. Not right away, anyhow.
Palfrey, who employed college-educated women, mostly in their mid-20s, says that as far she knew, her employees and clients engaged in legal sex play -- at $275 per 90-minute session -- in the men's homes or hotel rooms. Her firm, Pamela Martin & Associates, was in business from 1993 until last year. If the women performed sex acts for the money, Palfrey says, they are to blame, not her.
Hey, I've been around a little bit, but that's a new one on me: what the hell is "legal sex play"? Sitting across the hotel room from the client talkin' dirty on cell phones? $275 for 90 minutes? Gimme a break!
Actually, that's pretty cheap. If you spend 90 minutes in a legal Nevada brothel and only spend $275, you never left the bar!
Ohhhh, it comes to me - we're talkin' strange getups and a toy box here...legal, but nothing they'd want their wives and pastors findin' out about. Or 'film at 11'.
I am reminded of a phrase in several articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, some including barnyard animals and every conceivable orifice of any kind anywhere including possible snake-infested bushes, "penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense".
What about the sex scandal that Palfrey kept promising?
"If you want to call it a scandal, you can. But I think potentially it speaks more to the hypocrisy of the Beltway community."
I don't doubt for a minute that the mere threat to out her client records promoted a voluntary influx of checks. The only way for politicians and others in D.C. to avoid being called 'hypocrites' is simply not to be found out.
Inquiring minds still want to know. Heh.
The House Wednesday passed three bills to open government records to the public, brushing aside White House opposition, and in one case, a veto threat.
The measures, highlighting the media-led Sunshine Week, would force government to be more responsive to Freedom of Information Act requests, make contributions to presidential libraries public and overturn a 2001 presidential directive giving the president authority to keep his records from public view.
The White House issued a veto threat on the presidential records bill and voiced opposition to the FOIA legislation. It also said the president would veto a fourth bill the House is to debate later Wednesday on whistleblower protections. Democrats say the bills, several of which were also taken up in past Republican-led Congresses, were needed to shine light on what they say has been one of the most secretive administrations in decades.
Creepy-crawlies hate sunshine!
Related, from Reuters:
The presidential papers bill nullifies a November 2001 order, criticized by historians, in which Bush allowed the White House or a former president to block release of a former president's papers and put the onus on researchers to show a "specific need" for many types of records.
The "specific need" I see will be for "evidence". I understand why Bush is trying to hide this stuff, and also why he is threatening to veto it: something, somewhere, in his and his father's records is stuff that could send them both to jail. We'll see how it goes.
While he is still as dangerous as any cornered animal, Cheney stands brightly revealed as the main culprit in cherry-picking the evidence to make the case for a stupid, failed war. He has been exposed as a vindictive, inflexible ideologue, who attempts to destroy all who publicly disagree with him, such as former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Wilson's CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. His extensive ties and loyal political service to energy and defense companies such as Halliburton (which now, in a burst of honesty, is moving its headquarters to Dubai), reveal him to be a man of deep corruption.
Like Nixon during Watergate, Cheney is now shrilly on the defensive. "National security made me do it!" he insists, clinging to pseudo-patriotism, that last refuge of scoundrels. But it is an argument that no longer flies with a public that has caught on to the rhythm of his screechy lies. After all, this is the leader, dominating a weak president, who pushed so hard for a complete occupation of a Muslim country not linked to 9/11. A man who hung his arguments for adventuristic war on known falsehoods, such as the attempted purchase of yellowcake uranium in Niger.
It is thus Cheney who has played right into al-Qaida's plans, heightening tension between the U.S. and the Arab and Muslim worlds by evoking an image of U.S. imperial conquest of Mideast oil resources. His palpable disdain for civil liberties, bald-faced lies and support for torture have even tarnished the reputation of democracy itself, which has to please tyrants and theocrats everywhere.
If the occupation had gone well, of course, Cheney wouldn't be under fire. But as it heads into its fifth year, the only winners in this war are the aforementioned radical Shiites, Iran, mercenaries, al-Qaida, oil companies and military contractors such as Halliburton, which has scooped up $27 billion in contracts paid with our taxes. Now Halliburton is making its home in an undemocratic oil-garchy so distasteful to Americans that we wouldn't let a company from there manage our ports.
Perhaps Cheney, in disgrace, can build his retirement cave there.
I'm glad The Dick is getting outed for the evil that he is, but let's not take our eyes off the ball: if Bush had a teeny fraction of the toughness he claims, he could have said 'no'.
Al-Qaida No. 3 Says He Planned 9/11
Yeah, and I'm suprised we don't have the Lincoln, Kennedy and King assassinations thrown in for good measure. If I had spent the last 4 years incommunicado at the concentration camp known as Guantanamo , I would confess to just about anything that the boys from the CIA suggested too. And then there's this:
"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed cemented his position as al-Qaida's most ambitious operational planner when he confessed in a U.S. military tribunal to planning and supporting 31 terrorist attacks, topped by 9/11, that killed thousands of innocent victims since the early 1990s.
The gruesome attacks range from the suicide hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001 — which killed nearly 3,000 — to a 2002 shooting on an island off Kuwait that killed a U.S. Marine.
Many plots, including a previously undisclosed plan to kill several former U.S. presidents, were never carried out or were foiled by international counterterror authorities."
"The transcripts refer to a claim by Mohammed that he was tortured by the CIA, although he said he was not under duress at Guantanamo when he confessed to his role in the attacks. The CIA has said its interrogation practices are legal, and it does not use torture."He was tortured, but wasn't under "duress". Right. See subject.
Also curious is the timing of this. Interesting how this has pushed the Gonzalez/Rove thingy out of the headlines, isn't it. Goebbels could have taken lessons from these guys when it comes to manipulating news.
"Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name] - You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff - no msn [mission] support and you don’t care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied - no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more.
"Trust is essential - I don’t know who trust anymore. Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it." [my em]
Iraq is a dishonorable, illegal attack and occupation of a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us. It drove a good, honorable man to take his own life because he could not square what he was taught about duty and honor with the fabrications of the Bush administration and their henchmen.
And you see why I have zero sympathy for mercenaries? You might think I'm naive when I talk about honor but in a war, after doing things you would never consider any other time, honor is the only thing some of these guys have left. They have to know that what they did was in defense of their nation, for the honor of their nation. If they believe they are nothing mote than pirates and hired muscle, that is the force you will end up with.
Great, great thanks to Jersey Cynic and Rook.
Not no more, ladies and germs. 'Berto's going before Congress to 'splain himself and a whole buncha generals have been cashiered for something other than speaking the truth. The waste in Iraq has been uncovered and publicized and many Republican voters have opened their eyes (this is anecdotal but I work in the reddest county in NY and I hear it from my customers). People are allowing themselves to believe what all us dirty hippies have been saying for years.
We've been fortunate to see Fox 'News' take some big hits lately too, the Rethug propaganda machine finally being exposed for what it is, and we got to see Dems use their newfound testicles to tell Murdoch and Ailes where to get off. Truly amazing; didn't think they had it in 'em.
I know many of us don't feel things have moved fast enough since November. Hell, I don't either, but they are moving. I'm positive next week will bring more bad news and circumstance; it has to because the light is starting to shine on their corruption and that light won't be snuffed out for a while. Things will work out ... eventually.
My only fear is when the White House gets desperate, still with finger on trigger. I do not put anything past them to preserve their power and that will be the most dangerous time, when Cheney and the Chimp feel backed into a corner. We'll see, but if progress comes at the current rate, I'll be one happy camper.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
About the operating system, it came with Windows Vista. It's XP on steroids. It has some cool shit but it's cumbersome and it's got a lot of extra crap I don't feel is needed, especially for experienced users. It's mostly special effects and I don't see the big deal.
My old laptop below. As you can see, it's been a lot of places.
Click to embiggen.
To all Mac users: Please don't tell me about Macs. I've never used a Mac. Never saw anyone use one. I've had PCs for 15 years and I'm too old to learn something new, and too cheap to experiment.
The cheese has really fallen off the cracker at Fox News over the Nevada Democratic Party's decision to break its presidential debate partnership with the cable news channel because the outlet is not seen as being fair. On Saturday night, Beltway Boys co-host Morton Kondracke completely lost it while discussing the snub and compared Nevada Democrats to communist propagandists. On Monday night, Fox News talker Bill O'Reilly went one better and likened the "radical" Nevada voters to Nazis.
O'Rally's statement is funnier'n shit! Nevada voters are getting less like Nazis all the time. Nevada is getting bluer all the time like most Western states, but it's still redder'n the dick on a dog.
More importantly, the latest confrontation simply highlights the fact that Fox News can't take a punch. Then again, isn't that always the case with bullies?
I really like it if someone starts whining right after I hit him. It means the fight's over and I won.
And now Nevada Democrats, pressed into action by online activists, have moved the ball forward. "The lies of FOX News and Roger Ailes have no place in public discourse, journalism, or the Democratic Party presidential debates," insisted blogger Matt Stoller, who helped launch the Nevada pushback on his blog MyDD and who stresses that it's important "to not ratify Fox News as a legitimate news source."
That's why the Nevada defection stung so badly, and that's why Kondracke and others lashed out in such outlandish fashion. Fox News does not want to be in a fight about whether it's a legitimate news organization. Why? Because Fox News can't take a punch.
Lotsa good shit and links in between the quotes. Read. Enjoy. I think that Fox Noise, like the Bush administration (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) is on the ropes. 'Bout fuckin' time.
Anti-Fox Campaign, African-American Edition. Video.
TODAY more than three-quarters of the world's oil is owned and controlled by governments. It wasn't always this way.
Until about 35 years ago, the world's oil was largely in the hands of seven corporations based in the United States and Europe. Those seven have since merged into four: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP. They are among the world's largest and most powerful financial empires. But ever since they lost their exclusive control of the oil to the governments, the companies have been trying to get it back.
Iraq's oil reserves - thought to be the second largest in the world - have always been high on the corporate wish list. In 1998, Kenneth Derr, then chief executive of Chevron, told a San Francisco audience, "Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas - reserves I'd love Chevron to have access to."
It's simple, Kenny - just get an oil patch guy, the dumber the better, installed as p-resident, get him to start a war, and just go take it. Oh, wait, you already tried that...well, it still might work.
A new oil law set to go before the Iraqi Parliament this month would, if passed, go a long way toward helping the oil companies achieve their goal. The Iraq hydrocarbon law would take the majority of Iraq's oil out of the exclusive hands of the Iraqi government and open it to international oil companies for a generation or more.
What's a few million in bribes compared to billions in profits anyway? Screw the ragheads, who says it's their oil just because they've been sitting on top of it forever? The dumb shit fuzzy-wuzzies wouldn't know what it was for if it wasn't for us enlightened Westerners. Hell, you can't run camels on it. We need it more than they do.
The law would transform Iraq's oil industry from a nationalized model closed to American oil companies except for limited (although highly lucrative) marketing contracts, into a commercial industry, all-but-privatized, that is fully open to all international oil companies.
The Iraq National Oil Company would have exclusive control of just 17 of Iraq's 80 known oil fields, leaving two-thirds of known - and all of its as yet undiscovered - fields open to foreign control.
The foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in the Iraqi economy, partner with Iraqi companies, hire Iraqi workers or share new technologies. They could even ride out Iraq's current "instability" by signing contracts now, while the Iraqi government is at its weakest, and then wait at least two years before even setting foot in the country. The vast majority of Iraq's oil would then be left underground for at least two years rather than being used for the country's economic development.
Iraqis may very well choose to use the expertise and experience of international oil companies. They are most likely to do so in a manner that best serves their own needs if they are freed from the tremendous external pressure being exercised by the Bush administration, the oil corporations - and the presence of 140,000 members of the American military.
Why do you think we're building permanent bases? So the troops can stay there forever - or at least until they've ensured the O.C.s have pumped all the oil riches into their own pockets. Troops are just peasants, their blood is a cheap price to pay for corporate greed and the American way.
Antonia Juhasz, an analyst with Oil Change International, a watchdog group, is the author of "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time."
The reviews are in.
At the end of Dana Milbank's report:
Even. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the administration's most faithful legislator, said "the appearances are troubling" for Gonzales. "I'm concerned," Cornyn said with Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) at his side. "This has not been handled well." The best Cornyn could offer Gonzales: "In Texas, we believe in having a fair trial and then we have the hanging."
If they've lost Cornyn, 'Berto is a goner.
I'm guessing Friday afternoon... late in the day.
March 13, 2007 - In what many political observers consider a bruising blow to a potential 2008 White House bid by Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House lost one of his longtime supporters today when Satan announced that he would not support a Gingrich candidacy.
[...] Dressed in his traditional red cape and carrying a smoldering pitchfork, Satan stated in no uncertain terms that he would be withholding his endorsement from his former colleague: "Not only am I not supporting Newt, I am giving his soul back."
Gingrich with a soul? He's doomed politically...
Ease yer mind, Ol' Scratch, you'll get him back eventually.
Satan's announcement was particularly hurtful to the potential GOP presidential candidate because, in the words of Gingrich supporter Tracy Klujian, "Newt and Satan have worked so closely together in the past."
Gingrich supporter Klujian remains hopeful, however, that the breach between the two infernal colleagues can somehow be mended: "You can win the GOP nomination without Satan's help, but it's not easy."
As we've said before, satire and irony are way too close to the truth these days.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is considering a plan to curtail the Pentagon's clandestine spying activities, which were expanded by his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, after the 9/11 attacks.
The undercover work allowed military personnel to collect intelligence about terrorists and to recruit spies in foreign countries independently of the CIA and without much congressional oversight.
This is what got us into Iraq. While one of the main characters in my novels is a CIA operator who works without congressional oversight, it makes for a decent story, the lack of oversight, as we've seen over the past 6 years, is a bad thing.
While this all sounds good, the dismantling of Rummy's clandestine infrastructure, the guys running the operation are still there.
It's been interesting to see that General Boykin, the architect of the unit along with Stephen Cambone, has not retired as quickly as many expected.
You remember General Boykin, God's Christian Soldier, don't you?
So it seems Gates still has a use for these operators:
Sy Hersh recently reported that the secret unit was playing a key role in the Administration's activities in Iran to undermine the government through covert support of certain ethnic groups. Its dissolution or downgrading would signal a change of course with Iran--and this might be just what saves the Squirrels. At the very least, Cambone's resignation is going to make Gate's job at the helm much easier. [my em]
Now, you might think this is a good thing, but this unit can best be described thusly:
... The unit was supposed to show the guys in the CIA's Clandestine Services what can happen when real men spy, but their few publicly-known escapades have made them look more like snake-eaters in drag--you can shove them in a trench coat and gussy them up with lipstick, but as soon as they take a few telltale steps...
Not much is gonna change under Gates and Bush Inc. still has its collective eye on Iran.
"This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country's international standing has been frittered away by people who don't have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works. America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference." --General Tony McPeak(ret.) - former Chief of Staff of the USAF.
A tip of the Jersey hat to my good friend Dr. Ken. for the link.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
"We now have direct evidence that Attorney General Gonzales was carrying out the political wishes of the president," Schumer noted, adding later that complaints from New Mexico Republicans that prosecutors weren't indicting Democrats quickly enough "were passed on to Karl Rove and to the president himself. The president weighed in with Attorney General Gonzales and within weeks, that U.S. Attorney, David Iglesias, was fired."
From Democratic Party Chairperson Howard Dean (via Democrats.org):
Let's see: A prominent Democratic Senator and the Chair of the Democratic Party are calling for Rove and the A.G. to resign because they were carrying out the criminal wishes of the president, but neither one of them is mentioning impeachment. Does that make sense to you? Doesn't to me. When are the Dems gonna come out of their coocoon and actually govern?
"The best way for Attorney General Gonzales to accept responsibility is for him to step down," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "The Bush White House has consistently put protecting the President and doing his bidding ahead of upholding the integrity of our nation's laws. Karl Rove should pack his bags and go too. His type of leadership doesn't belong at the White House.
America deserves better."
One important clarification before we move on. These days the Israeli lobby no longer lobbies for Israel. They lobby for the most right-wing, war-mongering part of the Israeli government. They don't represent the Israeli people or the whole government. They certainly don't represent what's in Israel's best interest. They only represent hard right-wing, Likud politics.
Why do you think the Chimp and Cheney are so deeply involved with them? Problem is, they have the Dem leadership by the balls too.
... 'Iraq and Afghanistan are sucking up resources at a faster rate than we planned for,' one three-star general said ...
No shit, Sherlocks. The last real war you had to fight, and resupply, was Vietnam. Forgot how that went, didja? My dad was a defense contractor during that war and every subcontractor machine shop on Long Island during the 60s and early 70s was working 3 shifts supporting Grumman, Republic Aircraft, and the military spare parts system. The Chimp and Cheney wanted a war on the cheap and they've shortchanged every-fucking-body in the process. Our wounded vets got especially fucked, but it's across the board.
Big tip o' the Brain to Cdr. Huber.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly canceled travel plans Tuesday amid growing calls for his ouster over the firings of eight federal prosecutors during a White House-directed housecleaning of U.S. attorneys.
Gonzales also accepted the resignation of his top aide, Kyle Sampson, who authorities said failed to brief other senior Justice Department officials of his discussions about the firings with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. Miers resigned in January.
Go read the rest. As a matter of fact, this thing has gained traction so fast you can just about push any button on your keyboard to read about it!
This could possibly bring down the fake AG we didn't want in the job in the first place. This is good.
Here's the funny part, to me at least: a good bit of this deal is a result of these U.S. Attorneys not investigating Democratic voter fraud prior to the November elections. Since most voter fraud is Repuglican, it's doubtful that they could actually find any, and some of the prosecutors weren't willing to manufacture cases like the WH wanted them to.
In the case of Ms. Lam, of course, it's because she went after Repuglicans. Prosecutors go where the crimes are, which is not Repuglican policy because they commit most of them.
Gotta go. Lurch just called to remind me that Tio Taco Gonzales is going to be on TV in a few moments. Later.
Well, that was more administration manure. Not worth watching except for getting to eat lunch.
Shorter AG TV appearance: the fox will investigate what happened in the henhouse so it doesn't happen again.
He's trying to defuse the situation and possibly get it off the front burner. I think - I hope - it's not going to work.
Cafferty: And it's not enough that the Attorney General of the United States is a glorified water boy for the White House. The Bush administration also is admitting now that its #1 political HACK, Karl Rove passed along complaints from Republican lawmakers about US attorney's to the Justice Department and the WH counsel's office. A political advisor—playing a role in the hiring and firing of US attorney's. It's disgraceful.
Cafferty: If you look up the word weasel in the dictionary Wolf, you'll see Alberto Gonzales's picture there.
Wolf: You don't like him?
Cafferty: That is correct, I don't.
Cafferty has never been exactly a shrinking violet, but I am sensing a subtle shift away from fear of the administration on the part of others as well. Let's hope it continues and grows.
They have to go. All of them.
Alberto 'Abu Ghraib' Gonzalez and the FBI
The U.S Attorneys
For those of you who were alive at that time, does this week give you the same feeling Watergate did? Like the snowball has started downhill and it's getting bigger the farther down it rolls.
Is impeachment back on the table now?
"WASHINGTON - Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush's authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war.
Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran."
I really, really believe that we have to start working at the grassroots to replace the Democratic Party with a party that truly represents Progressive values. We might just be surprised at how fast it takes off. The time is now. The opportunity is now.
A tip of the Jersey hat to CorrenteWire for the link.R.
Monday, March 12, 2007
"This is an insult to the U.S. soldiers and taxpayers who paid the tab for their no-bid contracts and endured their overcharges for all these years," said judiciary committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.
"As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the
Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with
serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said
are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor,
according to medical records. "
"Other soldiers slated to leave for Iraq with injuries said they wonder
whether the same thing is happening in other units in the Army. "You have to ask
where else this might be happening and who is dictating it," one female soldier
told me. "How high does it go?" "
More, much more in the full article.
Bush is afraid to even mention the word "draft". So he is digging deeper and deeper and essentially using America's youth as cannon fodder.
This administration needs to be removed. Fast. There is no reason in the world any more to keep impeachment "off the table." I only wish that there were a faster legitimate way to get rid of them. The Democrats need to find some cojones and pronto or we are going to be reading lots more headlines like this.
Without question, the benefit I have received traveling around the world has far exceeded the education I've gotten in college or beyond. There is no textbook that can replace actually experiencing a country as a local would. And the more of the world you see, the harder it is to see differences and borders dividing us ...
Speaking of traveling, I'm taking Mrs. F to the Caribbean next month for her birthday. Yes, I'll take you all along as usual.
Nobody is surprised to learn that the Justice Department was lying when it claimed that recently fired federal prosecutors were dismissed for poor performance. Nor is anyone surprised to learn that White House political operatives were pulling the strings.
What is surprising is how fast the truth is emerging about what Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general, dismissed just five days ago as an "overblown personnel matter."
As I said, none of this is surprising. The Bush administration has been purging, politicizing and de-professionalizing federal agencies since the day it came to power. But in the past it was able to do its business with impunity; this time Democrats have subpoena power, and the old slime-and-defend strategy isn't working.
You also have to wonder whether new signs that Mr. Gonzales and other administration officials are willing to cooperate with Congress reflect the verdict in the Libby trial. It probably comes as a shock to realize that even Republicans can face jail time for lying under oath.
Another big loose end involves what U.S. attorneys who weren't fired did to please their employers. As I pointed out last week, the numbers show that since the Bush administration came to power, federal prosecutors have investigated far more Democrats than Republicans.
But the numbers can tell only part of the story. What we really need - and it will take a lot of legwork - is a portrait of the actual behavior of prosecutors across the country. Did they launch spurious investigations of Democrats, as I suggested last week may have happened in New Jersey? Did they slow-walk investigations of Republican scandals, like the phone-jamming case in New Hampshire?
In other words, the truth about that "overblown personnel matter" has only begun to be told. The good news is that for the first time in six years, it's possible to hope that all the facts about a Bush administration scandal will come out in Congressional hearings - or, if necessary, in the impeachment trial of Alberto Gonzales.
In related news:
Washington - The Senate's No. 3 Democrat said Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign because he is putting politics above the law. Sen. Charles Schumer cited the FBI's illegal snooping into people's private lives and the Justice Department's firing of federal prosecutors.
Schumer, D-New York, said Gonzales repeatedly has shown more allegiance to President Bush than to citizens' legal rights since taking his job in early 2005.
In coming hearings by the Judiciary Committee, senators plan to review whether it might be appropriate to scale back some of the government's law enforcement powers in light of the abuses.
"What we found in the Justice Department over and over again is a lack of respect for the rule of law," Schumer said. "There's a view that the executive should be almost without check."
"And that is so wrong," he said. "That's one of the reasons I think we need a change at the top in the Justice Department."
This administration isn't getting away with shit quite as easily as it used to.
Thank you, Democrats. Now speed it up.
We watched the press behave like a bunch of lapdancers for the Republicans for well over a decade. They wrapped their legs around Republican power so strongly that it finally led us into a circumstance that is killing people in large numbers. They were angry at Bill Clinton for "trashing the place" and it wasn't his place. They took out their childish pique on Al Gore and stoked the fires that demanded Bush be seated in the white house no matter what the legitimate outcome of the election in 2000. After 9/11 they put on a modern martial pageant that would have made Joseph Stalin proud.
If the trial did nothing else it showed the sickeningly parasitic relationship between many in the press and the Republicans. The Libby apologists in the media and the political establishment are screaming bloody murder about the trial because there was no "underlying crime" so Scooter shouldn't have even been been tried for lying to the Grand Jury. Forgetting their unbelievable gall in making this argument after their non-stop shrieking about the "rule 'o law" in the Lewinsky matter when the alleged underlying crime of sexual harrassment had been thrown out of court on the merits, their crocodile tears for the first amendment are especially rich coming from the people who wanted to jail reporters in stories that revealed current illegal and extra-constitutional policies on the part of the administration. Dana Priest and others are actually doing the work they are supposed to do which is overseeing government and they are vilified by the same Republican establishment that has otherwise wrapped itself in the first amendment to defend Tim Russert and Judy Miller and the Bush administration.
See yas in the afternoon ...
Sunday, March 11, 2007
EVEN by Washington's standards, few debates have been more fatuous or wasted more energy than the frenzied speculation over whether President Bush will or will not pardon Scooter Libby. Of course he will.
Cuts through the shit, don't he? That's our Pop!
A president who tries to void laws he doesn't like by encumbering them with "signing statements" and who regards the Geneva Conventions as a nonbinding technicality isn't going to start playing by the rules now. His assertion last week that he is "pretty much going to stay out of" the Libby case is as credible as his pre-election vote of confidence in Donald Rumsfeld. The only real question about the pardon is whether Mr. Bush cares enough about his fellow Republicans' political fortunes to delay it until after Election Day 2008.
Either way, the pardon is a must for Mr. Bush. He needs Mr. Libby to keep his mouth shut. Cheney's Cheney knows too much about covert administration schemes far darker than the smearing of Joseph Wilson. Though Mr. Libby wrote a novel that sank without a trace a decade ago, he now has the makings of an explosive Washington tell-all that could be stranger than most fiction and far more salable.
Mary Matalin, the former Cheney flack who served with Mr. Libby on WHIG and is now on the board of his legal defense fund (its full list of donors is unknown), has been especially vocal. "Scooter didn't do anything," she said. "And his personal record and service are impeccable." What Mr. Libby did - fabricating nuclear threats at WHIG and then lying under oath when he feared that sordid Pandora's box might be pried open by the Wilson case - was despicable. Had there been no WHIG or other White House operation for drumming up fictional rationales for war, there would have been no bogus uranium from Africa in a presidential speech, no leak to commit perjury about, no amputees to shut away in filthy rooms at Walter Reed.
Listening to Ms. Matalin and her fellow apparatchiks emote publicly about the punishment being inflicted on poor Mr. Libby and his family, you wonder what world they live in. They seem clueless about how ugly their sympathy for a conniving courtier sounds against the testimony of those wounded troops and their families who bear the most searing burdens of the unnecessary war WHIG sped to market.
As usual, Mr. Rich nails it.
A tip 'o the Brain to Tennessee Guerilla Women.
Some arrived clutching banners telling "Mr Butcher" to go home. Others brought effigies of "The Warlord" dangling miserably from a hangman's noose. A handful dressed up as the grim reaper, while some women paraded through the streets with stickers of George Bush and Adolf Hitler placed tastefully over their nipples.
Lemme guess: Bush's Pinocchio nose stuck waaaay out...
There was none of the famed Brazilian hospitality. Even before Mr Bush arrived in Brazil on Thursday to begin a six-day tour of Latin America the protesters were out en masse. "Persona non grata" read one placard. "Get out you Nazi" said another. In case the message still hadn't hit home, there was one other taunt - this time in English: "Bush, kill yourself."
There was even a special group formed by students to track down the president, calling itself the Bush Hunt Command. The group gathered yesterday morning in Sao Paulo's Ibirapuera Park with the aim of chasing Mr Bush through the streets and forcing him to listen to their message.
The hunt began with a version of If You're Happy and You Know It with doctored lyrics. "Good morning President Bush, how's it going?" the crowd screamed, before the unmistakable chorus of "Filho da puta" - son of a whore.
Colorful, these Brazilians, eh?
A massive security operation involving hundreds of police, military and intelligence agents from both countries meant the president was completely shielded from any kind of protest.
His security people are well practiced in shielding him from reality, as we know.
That, however, did not stop people trying. In Ibirapuera Park the hunt's leaders herded protesters into a fleet of coaches to begin their pursuit. The first stop was the Hilton, where Mr Bush was staying in the £3,200-a-night presidential suite.
Now that pisses me off! I think that's about $5600. A night. He's not worth that, and it's our money.
On the eve of his trip President Bush told CNN's Spanish language channel he hoped to show South Americans the US "cared" about the region. Based on this showing, they will take a lot more convincing.
No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it's still gonna be a pig. I would like to see Bush's bacon fry.
Rudy Giuliani takes more heat, this time from the bipartisan New York firefighters union which blasts his "egregious" treatment of them after 9/11.
In a letter to its members Friday, the International Association of Fire Fighters, excoriated Giuliani for his November 2001 decision to cut back the number of firefighters searching the rubble of Ground Zero for the remains of some 300 fallen comrades.
The 280,000-member union accused him of carelessly expediting the cleanup process with a "scoop-and-dump" operation after the recovery of millions of dollars in gold, silver and other assets from the Bank of Nova Scotia that had been buried.
"Scoop and Dump" Rudy, it kind of has a ring to it, doesn't it?
Us dog owners are familiar with 'dump 'n scoop', but I think this fits Rudy to a T.
You may have heard by now that John Edwards was the first candidate to officially say no to the Fox News debate in Nevada -- and because of the hard work of so many grassroots and netroots Democrats, news is breaking tonight that Fox is out.
Enough is enough. It's time to send a clear message to Fox News and their allies that their right-wing talking points and temper tantrums won't go unchallenged anymore - when it comes to what Democrats should do in the Democratic primary, we'll decide - no matter what they report:
The truth is, Fox News can "report" whatever they want. And when it works for us, we'll deal with them on our terms. But this campaign is about responsibility and accountability, and we need to send the message to Fox that if they want to be the corporate mouthpiece of the Republican Party more than they want to be an impartial news outlet, they shouldn't expect Democrats to play along.
Excellent and I hope other Dem candidates (and Independents other than Lieberman) adopt this posture toward Fox until they clean up their collective act or go out of business.
Great thanks to C&L.
More from Booman:
And if we can slice FOX News off the right-fringe of the corporate media, making them look disreputable and biased, we will have done a great deal to move the overall debate back a little to the center.