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Lets's talk about democracy
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Friday, 5 August 2005
"Intelligent Design" for real dummies.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

This past Monday president Bush told reporters he thought evolution and so called “intelligent design,” the fancy new name for creationism, should be taught together in science classes in public schools so “people can understand what the debate is about.” What debate? Science is the practical application of knowledge gained through observation and testing. The bible is a fairly tale written two thousand years ago by sun stroked whackos in the desert.

What does the bible say about electricity, cancer treatment, the Internet? No wonder India is taking all our high tech jobs away. American kids can’t even do multiplication anymore and now we’re outsourcing science education to them because our president believes in superstition and fairy tales.

Maybe, that explains the Space Shuttle.

In a previous generation we went to the moon on rubber bands and bailing wire. Now, with all our high tech know how and gadgetry we’re sending up an almost forty year old space truck to pick up garbage.We do space walks to pull bits of “gap fillers” out of the damn thing so it won’t fall apart on the way back. MIR is starting to make the shuttle look like the star ship Enterprise compared to the shuttle. When did we become the Soviets?

Speaking of good-old Russian know how:

Currently they are having another submarine crisis. It appears that in the middle of their war games in the Pacific with their good friends the Chinese, they have lost a mini sub, ironically used for undersea rescues. It is tangled in fishing nets and the lives of 7 sailors are at risk. Judging from the Russian Navy’s reaction to the Kursk disaster, their chances are not good.

Speaking of NASA again:

[NYT]The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, a group pushing school boards around the country to teach their version of science (In an objective and secular manner, of course.), says they have proof, provided by NASA, that the earth stood still supporting the biblical story of the sun standing still in the story of Joshua. Now, that’s the kind of science I can wrap my head around.

While you were away:

While Bush was busy making sure his friends are getting their government checks and his religiously fanatic fellow travelers were taking over the public educational system, 21 marines died in two days of fighting in al-Anbar province on Wednesday. 14 alone died in one IED attack on an amphibious troop carrier in Haditha.

The forty-year-old Vietnam era craft known as an AAV, is made of light weight aluminum and obviously was not designed for the type of war being waged in Iraq. The underpowered boat had had armor added but not underneath, which made it a sitting duck. It’s the best the marines have, though, because of a lack of funding for a better more modern type of craft. The fact that the pentagon is using a boat to fight a desert war, really says it all.

Does anyone besides me note the similarity between Vladimir Putin continuing his Black Sea vacation during the Kursk sinking and W’s ranch vacation even as over 30 troops have been killed in less than a week? He spent $70,000 of taxpayer money to make an emergency flight to DC to save the “life” of Terry Schiavo by signing a bill he could have easily signed at the ranch, but this time he doesn’t see any urgency in going back to the office to find out what the hell is going wrong in Iraq?

I hope the families and friends of those kids from Ohio appreciate the president taking the weekend off in their honor.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:14 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005 7:40 PM EDT
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Thursday, 4 August 2005
Bring 'em on.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

The WaPo says George Bush is on his 321st day of vacation since he became president. This is his 49th trip to the ranch. He surpasses the formally thought to be laziest president ever, Ronald Reagan. "Reagan spent all or part of 335 days in Santa Barbara over his eight-year presidency -- a total that Bush will surpass this month in Crawford with 3 1/2 years left in his second term.

Never fear, our couragous leader is still doing stuff. The Post says, "Bush will not return to the White House until after Labor Day, but his staff has peppered his schedule with events to dispel any impression that he is not on duty." Lots of events, that's real hard president work boys and girls.

Scott McClellan says, "Spending time outside of Washington always gives the president a fresh perspective of what's on the minds of the American people."

This is the problem right there. He thinks talking to the of Waco Texas, the former neighbors of the Branch Davidians, is a good way to find out what's on the Amnerican people's minds? This explains the comments on "Intelligent design."

Too bad the guys in Iraq don't get as much vacation time. While 44 US troopshave died since July the 24, this guy is off playing golf and hosting "events." I say to that sand trap, "bring 'em on!"

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:18 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 3 August 2005

Publishers note: It happens only rarely, but sometimes I commit horrible atrocities against the English language. So, I apologize for my poor spelling and hope yoiu can bare with it.

Also, occasionally, I make a really bad mistatement of facts. Not on purpose, but through lack of time to make sure everything is correct.

ON the first I said prince "Naif" was the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Not correct. Turns our his real name is Prince Nayef.

The real new crown prince is the defense minister Prince Sultan, 77. I think. I heard it on ther BBC.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 7:34 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 2 August 2005
Spy fired for questioning WMD evidence. Go figure!
Topic: General News.

In yesterday’s NYT James Risen reports, an unnamed CIA veteran of twenty years has filed a suit in Federal court in New York alleging the CIA was informed in the spring of 2001 by an informant that Iraq had given up its quest for nuclear weapons and that, the agency “did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers.” The informant claimed Iraq’s uranium enrichment program had ended years before and the “centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even sale.”

The agent’s suit claims he was cashiered for “questioning the agencies assumptions on a series of weapons related matters.” Big surprise there!

North Korean nukes:

From the NY Times (July 28th), an article says US negotiators showed their North Korean counterparts evidence that the hermit kingdom had “secretly obtained uranium enrichment technology from a founder of Pakistan’s nuclear program, two administration officials said.”

This would be the infamous A.Q.Khan, the man who is suspected of spreading around the nuclear wealth to many sketchy regimes around the world. Since the Pakistanis won’t allow the US to interview him, no one knows for sure who exactly got his technology or how much.

The point of this apparently is to pressure the North Koreans to come clean on a suspected second nuke program that they have admitted but now deny having. Chief negotiator Christopher Hill, who is doing a much better job than John Bolton on this issue, is getting down to brass tacks with the North Koreans, now that it appears the administration has decided to drop the macho crap.

Saudi Nukes??

Speaking of Pakistan: Pervez Musharraf is in Riyadh today for the funeral of King Fahd. The Saudis have been very, very, good to Pakistan all these years. Lots of cash, lots of Pakistani workers taken in to clean the royal families homes and take out their trash. Something tells me Saudi money went through Pakistan on its way to Afghanistan during the Russian occupation, too. oh, and the Taliban.

The madrassas we are hearing so much about these days are funded by the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, thank you very much, so who’s to say A.Q. Khan didn’t help them out with a little nuclear know-how? The Saudis have Iran to worry about and Israel too; they’ve got the cash, maybe this is why Musharraf won’t allow the CIA to interview Khan?

Iraqi constitution: rush job.

The US wants Iraq to get on with it so we can leave. All those contentious issues like Kirkuk and the regional-versus-central-control of-oil-profits can wait. The NY Times writes many Iraqi leaders have been alienated by the American pressure to get it done and “warn that the country’s differences can be set aside only at great peril. ‘The Americans are the ones who want to have this done quickly,’ said Mahmood Othman, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi National Assembly and a member of the constitutional drafting committee. ‘And they are doing it so they can begin to implement their exit strategy.’” The Kurds say if their concerns are not addressed the Kurdish people will use their numbers to nullify the constitution in the referendum, which requires a two-thirds vote.

The Arabs on the other hand have problems with what the country will be called. Some committee members want to call it the “Federal Islamic Republic,” while the Kurds oppose a name that is religious in nature. And the Arabs are not prepared to discuss the reversal of Saddam’s “Arabization” of Kirkuk in the constitution, another Kurdish demand.

Ahmad Chalabi:

Ahmad Chalabi on the other hand is fine with chaos as long as he’s making money. His convoy was attacked on Saturday, the same day 5 US soldiers were killed, but he escaped with the loss of a body-guard. Hannah Allam in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Chalabi after being dumped by the Americans and having his house wrecked by Iraqi security forces has “emerged more powerful than ever:"

From his deputy premier's seat in the elected Iraqi government, Chalabi, 60, oversees Iraq's vast oil resources as chairman of the energy council. He presides over a board that regulates multimillion-dollar rebuilding contracts. He commands the controversial purge of former Baath Party members from government posts and the Iraqi Special Tribunal prosecuting Saddam Hussein. Until an oil minister was named, Chalabi held that job, too.

One of his top aides, Entifadh Qanbar, is headed for a plum job at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington. Chalabi's Harvard-educated nephew is the finance minister; rebel Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is an ally."

He might be the Shiite strong man we’ve been looking for all along.

Bush treatens veto for defense bill.

As important as it was to pass the Gun shield law and pay off the energy industries with gobs of taxpayer money, what didn’t get accomplish before congress went home was the defense appropriation bill. Seems that darn John McCain is at it again.

He wants a provision put into the bill that would outlaw cruel and inhuman treatment by US troops in our various prisons around the world. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and John Warner of Virginia are also along for the ride. Obviously, they are all dangerous liberals who must be stopped.

The law McCain is pushing for would also limit interrogation techniques to those spelled out in a new Army field manual. Along with these senators many former military officers and JAGs support the move. They feel that the lack of guidance in the law so far has led to abuses and undermines our moral authority and endangers our troops who might find themselves as POWs in a future war. Now, who knows more about being a POW? John McCain and his black baby or George W Bush? Bring ‘em on!

The administration argues these amendments to the defense bill will interfere with their ability to fight the “global struggle against violent extremism.” The president has threatened to veto the defense bill if these amendments are attached. I’d like to see that. ‘Sorry guys, after my month long vacation on my ranch in Waco I’m back to veto a bill that will provide for your equipment and ammo.’

Abuse of detainees! Rigged tribunals! Monstrous lies!

NYT has obtained emails from two senior military prosecutors written last year, prosecutors not defense attorneys, involved in the war crimes trails set up by the administration in Guantanamo that say the system is rigged. They allege, “The trail system had been secretly arranged to improve the chance of conviction and to deprive defendants of material that could prove their innocence.”

"Among the striking statements in the prosecutors' messages was an assertion by one that the chief prosecutor had told his subordinates that the members of the military commission that would try the first four defendants would be "handpicked" to ensure that all would be convicted.

The same officer, Capt. John Carr of the Air Force, also said in his message that he had been told that any exculpatory evidence - information that could help the detainees mount a defense in their cases - would probably exist only in the 10 percent of documents being withheld by the Central Intelligence Agency for security reasons."

Oh, who care, they're all terrorits right? or are they "global strugglers?"

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:41 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005 7:25 PM EDT
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Monday, 1 August 2005
Congress isn't ashamed of itself!
Topic: General News.

Well, it’s August 1st and you know what that means. W is off to Texas for “several weeks” to, according to Scott McClellan, “shed the coat and tie” and get in a few holes of golf.

Not so quick, Dubya’, there’s that John Bolton recess appointment to get done first. After all, Condi says she’s doing a lot of work getting ready for those big “high-level meetings” at the UN in September aimed at “refreshing” the world body and “we need our permanent representative.” How permanent he is going to be is up for debate. Christopher Dodd called him damaged goods and even Trent Lott thinks a recess appointment is “a little bit of a thumbing of the nose” at the senate and will, “cause you more problems down the road.”

Then there’s the Joseph Biden letter asking Condi to explain why Bolton “forgot” to tell the senate that he had been interviewed by an inspector general regarding the erroneous claims about Saddam and the Niger “yellow cake.” This might turn out to be a real short stay. One wonders what the administration is thinking here.

It’s pretty amazing that people so high up in the government have the memories of earthworms but can still manage to hold these high positions. Not that anybody at the UN is going to take this guy seriously, anyway. Condi has already said he will be kept on a tight leash, a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one, so what is he going to get accomplished, besides alienating our allies and making the listeners of Rush Limbaugh happy? (Warning: may cause anal leakage.)

A lot did get accomplished in the congress just before the recess. $14.5 billion in tax cuts for the energy industry companies, including tax payer subsidies for the nuclear industry; a $286 billion highway bill where all the congressmen got their pork; a gun “shield” law, and an overwhelming two vote win for CAFTA. They all must be very satisfied they did such good work for the American people.

Especially, Don Young, the sole representative from Alaska who got a $200 million bridge and $3 m. for a documentary on infrastructure advancements in his home state. John McCain, always the voice of reason, and the father of a black baby, said the highway bill is “terrifying in its fiscal consequences and disappointing for the lack of financial discipline.” President Bush said the bill would,” strengthen and modernize the transportation networks vital to America’s continued economic growth.” Of course, if you keep in mind that the spin coming from the White House is always the exact opposite of the truth, then these bills are billion dollar boondoggles.

Don’t forget the Gun Bill:

Senator Larry Craig (R. Idaho.) want us to know that, “this bill says ‘go after the criminal, don’t go after the law abiding gun manufacturer or the law abiding gun seller.’”

Yeah, that’s what I get from this. All those frivolous lawsuits by gun violence victims, is threatening the industry. And just because that kind of rhetoric sounds exactly like an NRA talking point, it doesn’t not mean the senator is in anyone’s pocket. After all, what would we do if there were no gun manufacturers? Think about it! Democrats, as usual, tried to obstruct the bill by attempting to put provisions in that would do things like ban “cop-killer” bullets, but luckily the republicans easily blocked them.

The LA Times wrote that “stocks for some gun makers rose Friday as it became clear that supporters of the legislation would defeat amendments by gun control advocates to allow lawsuits on behalf of children and law-enforcement officers harmed by firearms.” Screw kids and cops! This is about making money. Go back to Boston Teddy and molest some more kids with your liberal catholic priest friends!

The CAFTA 15

The NY Times thinks applause is in order for the “CAFTA 15,” the brave democrats who went along with 202 republicans to vote for “free trade.” Those democrats “chose principle over politics” in defying their party leaders, says the Times editorial board.

Yeah, right, very principled. I’m sure the goodies they were promised in the transportation bill had nothing to do with it. The republicans who voted for the bill, were principled too, even the ones who had to be brought along kicking and screaming. Jim Kolbe said the house leadership would “twist some republican arms until they break in a thousand pieces,”to get this done. This proves, along with the two votes to spare, that this bill is the right thing to do. The bill’s effect on our exports will be about equal the total global exports of New Jersey. WOW!

Kids left alone in immigration raid.

Now that more manufacturing jobs will be headed south, perhaps the flow of illegal immigrants from Central America will be stemmed. Then things like this won’t happen:

AP reports that in Arkadelphia Ark. “about 30 children, some as young as 3 months old, were left without their parents after immigration agents raided a poultry plant and took the parents away to face possible deportation.” The mayor of Arkadelphia said,” A lot of those families had kids in daycare in different places, and they didn’t know why mommy and daddy didn’t come pick them up.”

In a raid on Petit Jane Poultry 119 people were picked up. The majority, were from Mexico but two were from Honduras, one was from El Salvador, and one was from Guatemala. Now, they can go home, sans offspring, and get great new jobs thanks to the CAFTA 15!

In today’s news:

King Fahd is dead, long live King Abdullah. King Fahd, was the one who invited the Americans into the kingdom, which has lead to some much trouble for us. Prince Naif, the Saudi interior minister, now becomes the Crown Prince, and his best buddies the Whabbis become even more powerful.

Speaking of Saudi Arabia, reports out today say a suspect in the bungled 7/21 bombings in London who is under arrest in Italy, Osman Hussein, called Saudi Arabia before he was arrested last Friday.

Hussein has been talking the ears off Italian interrogators. (Maybe, we should render our terror suspects to Italy from now on!) He has reportedly said the attack was conducted out of anger over the invasion of Iraq. NO, NO, it’s because you hate us! The 7/7 bombers were mainly from Pakistan, but the 7/21 bombers are almost all from East Africa; this points to the global nature of the fight we’re in here.

K-2, Brute?

Uzbekistan has given Rummy 180 days to get take our airbase at Karshi-Khanabad and shove it. The Uzbeks were apparently torked off about a plan by the UN to fly refugees out of Kyrgyzstan who had escaped the Andijon massacre, to Europe. Many of these have arrived in Romania and will stay there for 6 months before moving on to the US and Canada.

Plus, the US has called for an independent investigation into the massacre. For once we’re doing the right thing. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if we could get the hell out of Afghanistan. Maybe, it’s not such a big deal for the pentagon. As I noted on Friday, the Brits are worried they might be left “holding the baby” next year.

In a related story regarding Afghanistan:

AP: “thousands of rockets, mortars, and anti-aircraft ammunition have been seized in Ghanzi province in central Afghanistan, the largest cache of weapons found in months, a government spokesman said yesterday.”

The theory is that these arms are being stockpiled to disrupt the September legislative elections. Of course, these large seizures might also be an indication of even larger stockpiles that won’t be found. You know the old adage; that is if you find one roach that means there’s a thousand more behind the wall.

Staying in the region, Pervez Musharraf says 600 suspects have been detained in a crackdown on extremists in Pakistan. This is his way of showing the west that he’s really trying to do something. How many of those 600 are really guilty of anything? I doubt his security forces are that good.

Musharraf has also vowed to expel the 14,000 remaining foreign students of madrassas suspected of being incubators for terrorists that then leave to wage jihad. So what? He might want to ask the Saudis to stop funding these madrassas; that might help. And the fighting in Kashmir is continuing apace, no change there. Where are those groups getting their support?


In India, another terrorist, this time a Hindi, is back in the courts. Lal Krishna Advani, the president of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), former deputy prime minister, appeared in court in Uttar Pradesh on charges of inciting a Hindu mob to demolish the mosque in Ayodhya in 1992. The destruction of the mosque led to the deaths of thousands of Muslims.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:09 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005 11:19 AM EDT
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Friday, 29 July 2005
Rubber stamp congress rushes to the August recess.

Congress is busy wielding the rubber stamp before the August recess. CAFTA was passed, the highway bill is law with extra heapings of pork, and the nuclear industry is cracking out the bubbly because the energy bill is almost law.

Finally, a clean energy source, with a provision put in to prevent lawsuits in case something goes wrong and New York becomes uninhabitable or something like that. Where all the clean nuclear waste is going to go for 100,000 years or so, was not addressed in the bill. Future congresses on Mars can figure that one out.

Also, added in at the last minute was $11 billion for a deep sea-drilling plan that will benefit Halliburton, and strangely enough, a company in Tom DeLay’s home district. And PUHCA is history, so Warren Buffet can start cashing in, too. John Bolton will be the new UN ambassador by executive fiat right after congress leaves town, reports say, so, all in all, a very good session for the monied interests and the fat cats. For the rest us; not so much.

And don't forget the Gun Lobby! The WaPo: "The nation's gun lobby is close to realizing a long-sought goal of protecting firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held legally responsible for violent crimes committed with their handguns and automatic weapons. Supporters believe they have the votes in the Senate to pass as early as today a bill making it virtually impossible for victims of gun violence to file civil suits against the industry..."

Odds and ends:

The WaPo reports that as usual sanity is prevailing in the Israel as the deadline for the Gaza withdrawal approaches. Ariel Sharon is having a death curse put on him, the pulsa denura ! "According to participants, Sharon will be struck down by the Angels of Destruction in less than a month, or else the 20 men themselves will die." The Jerusalem Post writes though, that "While far-right activists may have instigated a pulsa denura (death curse) against Ariel Sharon, Dr. Dov Schwartz – a researcher at Bar-Ilan University's Talmud faculty – claims the prime minister can sleep soundly, assured that nothing will happen to him." Whew!

Pitching tents can be dangerous.

AP reports about 300 children were hospitalized at a Boy Scout jamboree in Bowling Green Va. The children were overcome with heat while awaiting George Bush who was coming to honor four Scout leaders who were killed by a power line while trying to pitch a tent. While the kids were waiting Bush apparently postponed the trip because of impending thunderstorms.

Update: Bush has again delayed his visit to Fort A.P Hill at the request of the Boy Scouts until Sunday.

Terrorist convicted. No really, there was an actual trial and everything.

AP: Ahmed Ressam, the man convicted of trying to blow up LAX was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Wednesday. The US district judge in the case, John C. Coughenour, had a message for Bush and CO. “We do not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny the defendant the right to council. The message from today’s sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart.” More judicial activism from the bench; put him on the list,

Small leader of small group in Philippines gets most powerful military’s undivided attention.

US and Philippine troops are once again trying to capture the leader of Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao. The US had offered a $500 million dollar reward for the capture of the elusive Khaddafy Janjalani. The US is apparently providing intelligence and communications support for the operation, but are not engaging in combat. (Just like our “advisors” in Vietnam didn’t engage in combat.) “An estimated 80 to 90 American personnel operate in the southern Philippines. Villagers and human rights officials have reported that American troops have engaged in combat operations, and former American soldiers now working under contract to the pentagon operate there.” Isn’t there something in the Philippine constitution about no US troops operating in the country? Mindanao was also the scene of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths at the hands of US marines during the twenty year occupation.

We want you out!

Ibrahim al-Jaafari says, “the great desire of the Iraqi people is to see the coalition forces on their way out.” Boy, there’s gratitude for you! Gen. George Casey, the most senior commander of coalition forces in Iraq, said a large amount of troops might be pulled out early next year. Gen. John Vines said that “ four or five brigades” might be pulled out sometime next year. That’s 20,000 troops according to the report. Casey, always the optimist, in response to a question about a stalemate in Iraq, says “I wouldn't say that it's necessarily a stalemate," insurgencies need to progress to survive, and this insurgency is not progressing. There's been a change in tactics, to more violent, more visible attacks against civilians. That's a no-win strategy for the insurgents." In other words, they’re desperate, right? The work is hard, its hard work, but we’re making progress.

Rummy, made another “surprise visit” to Baghdad, after making a trip with a bag of money to several Central Asian nations. He said the Iraqis needed to get the constitution done. “It would be very harmful to the momentum that's necessary,” is they didn’t. “We have troops on the ground there. People get killed." (He’s actually noticed?) "We don't want any delays…they're simply going to have to make the compromises necessary and get on with it, that's what politics is about." (Except here in the US where it’s either the republican’s way or the highway.) So, he’s not concerned about the Kurds holding on to the peshmerga and taking over Kirkuk, Islamic law trumping all others, or the south breaking off into its own autonomous entity? Just get it done, “people get killed!”
Al-Jaafari says, "We do not want to be surprised by a withdrawal that is not in connection with our Iraqi timing.” I bet he doesn’t, but what does his “Iraqi timing” have to do with Scott McClellan’s “important mission that we need to complete?”

Judging by a new poll released recently I would say the American people think the “important mission” won’t be accomplished. AP: “By a 58 to 37 percent margin, Americans said their government would not be able to establish a democratic government in Iraq.” The blinders are finally coming off apparently because, “Fifty-one percent also believe the administration of US President George W. Bush deliberately misled the public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the central premise for the 2003 US-led war on Iraq.” Well, you know that old adage; “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” You can fool 43% of them, though, the ones who “predict a victory.” I thought the Dolphins had a chance last year, too, but what are you going to do?

A report issued by the Council on Foreign Relations, written by Sandy Berger and that turncoat Brent Scowcroft, says the, “"The costs, human, military and economic, are high and continue to mount,” in Iraq. "A dramatic military victory has been overshadowed by chaos and bloodshed in the streets of Baghdad, difficulty in establishing security or providing essential services, and a deadly insurgency." Now they tell us! In Afghanistan as well, they paint a not so pretty picture. The “report said, the postwar period has been marked by inefficient operations and billions of dollars of wasted resources.”

The Guardian reports that the Brits are afraid the US will leave them holding the bag in Afghanistan after the September elections there. “British defense officials are concerned the US could prematurely declare "mission accomplished" once the national assembly and provincial council votes are over. The worry is that Pentagon pressure to cut US troop levels could leave Britain holding the baby when it assumes command of Nato's security assistance force next spring.” A report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, entitled Endgame or New Beginning? warns, ”International security forces will have a particularly crucial role before, during and after the elections ... The international community must not regard the polls simply as a convenient exit strategy.” Oh, that would never happen. We’ll leave on Afghani timing.

Things are going right to plan there as CTV reports:

“Hundreds of protesters chanting "Die America!'' and throwing stones tried to batter down a gate at the U.S. military's main Afghan base Tuesday, adding to anxieties in a country worried that fighting with insurgents could disrupt elections.

The rioting erupted just hours after an overnight battle in southern Afghanistan that a provincial governor said killed at least 50 suspected Taliban rebels and two Afghan soldiers.

Rioting broke out in a crowd of more than 1,000 people who gathered to protest the detention of eight villagers at the base, where thousands of U.S. and other foreign soldiers live behind razor-wire fences and landmines left from Afghanistan's civil war.

Demonstrators hurled stones at a passing convoy of six U.S. military vehicles, smashing some windows. As soldiers inside the cars fired handguns in the air, the vehicles sped into the base and the protesters chased behind, trying to push down a metal gate guarded by Afghan troops.

The eight detained men were "suspected of planning and conducting attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces'' and had "materials used to make improvised explosive devices in their possession,'' the U.S. military said in a statement.

The demonstrators said they were angry that U.S. troops arrested the villagers late Monday without consulting local authorities.

‘We have supported the Americans for years. We should be treated with dignity,'' said Shah Aghar, 35. "They are arresting our people without the permission of the government. They are breaking into our houses and offending the people. We are very angry.'’”

Way to win hearts and minds. When are those elections again?

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:41 PM EDT
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Thursday, 28 July 2005
PUHCA for dummies and elephants.
Topic: General News.

It appears congress in determined to repeat history by repealing Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) of 1935. This is part of Cheney's energy bill which also gives the nuclear industry of pass on accidents. But, regarding PUHCA, this is a law passed to prevent the shenanigans that went on during the twenties, best typified by Samuel Insull, when power companies merged into bigger and bigger entites and created pyramid schemes that ultimatly collapsed leaving investors broke and conumers with higher bills.

The republicans have long memories and they are hell bent on getting rid of all those "fossilized" laws from the New Deal that protect the general public at the expense of a few tycoons. To them the depression was the good old days, even if the country was on its knees; they were in power, which is all that matters. FDR messed that all up. Not only do they want to gut all the protections put into law by the New Deal, they want Roosevelt off the dime!

Billions of Dollars in Energy Investments Await PUHCA Repeal in Energy Bill:

This is how the Natural Gas Intelligence web site sees it:

"Berkshire-Hathaway has $15 billion burning a hole in its pocket to invest in the energy industry and there is $100 billion of other investors' money "waiting on the sidelines" to see if Congress passes a broad energy bill this year, which includes repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), MidAmerican's David Sokol told a natural gas strategy conference in Denver this week.

PUHCA, a fossilized law passed in 1935 which restricts investments of companies owning natural gas or electric utilities, has progressed "from nuisance to menace," said the Chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a Berkshire-Hathaway company. He called on Congress to move quickly to repeal PUHCA to open the field to non-traditional investors to "re-capitalize the industry."

Of course what don't want you to know is that this just makes what Enron did legal, basically.

Public Citizen reports from June 9 2005:

Dozens of Public Interest Organizations Urge Congress to Save Important Consumer Protection Act in Energy Bill

"Seventy-six national and state public interest organizations today urged Congress to save the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), which protects consumers from high prices and other abuses by electric utility and natural gas companies. In a letter to the U.S. Senate, the groups urged lawmakers to save PUHCA from repeal, which both the House and Senate energy bills are proposing to do.

In ??exchange?? for repealing this vital consumer protection statute, the Senate bill gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) limited additional jurisdiction over mergers, but that will not help consumers.

??Giving FERC more merger authority is meaningless,?? said Lynn Hargis, an attorney with Public Citizen. ??FERC has no structural or geographic limitations for utility mergers, which is essential for regulating the size and scope of utility holding companies and preventing the kind of abuses that led to the enactment of PUHCA in 1935.'"

What are these guys on drugs?

Warren Buffet needs to make money! This is a good thing! Katty bar the door!

"An uninhibited marketplace would give aggressive utilities a better chance at capturing new markets and increasing shareholder wealth, proponents of PUHCA reform say. All in all, estimates are that the industry must attract $150 billion in new capital over 20 years??something that can only happen with regulatory reform, they add. Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffet says that his company would invest as much as $15 billion in energy-related assets if PUHCA is repealed.

PUHCA imposes artificial constraints??constraints that were designed to promote policies that are not particularly relevant anymore, says Bill Harmon, with the Jones Day law firm in Chicago. Having investors with resources that are interested in long-term, sound business practices other things being equal is a good thing."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:59 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 26 July 2005
Media threat to war on terror and the democrats are butching up.
Topic: General News.

From the AP:

The Bush administration says a federal shield law for reporters “would create serious impediments to the (Justice) Department’s ability to effectively enforce the law and fight terrorism. “ Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified to the senate judiciary committee that the bill under discussion “would bar the government obtaining information about media sources---even in the most urgent of circumstances affecting the publics health or safety or national security.” What about the people’s right to know? Screw that! Apparently there’s no rush by the DOJ to find out who outed a CIA agent’s name, so forget the national security argument.

What Comey seems to be saying, I guess, is that the feds foresee a situation where a reporter is sitting on information about an imminent nuclear attack and won’t tell agents where its going to be. Look for this scenario next season on 24! William Safire, of all people, testified that the law was necessary to “prevent law enforcement from turning reporters into its agents. ‘Journalists are not the fingers at the end of the long arm of the law.’” Good for you Bill, nice to have you on our side. Commie bastard!

Barbara Boxer let the side down by arguing that Karl Rove’s outing of Valerie Plame is undermining the CIA’s efforts to hire more women. What? Boxer said, “Karl Rove and this administration sought to destroy Wilson’s wife. Now is that the way we treat women who risk their lives for their country?” (And again, I say, what?)

Positive news about suicide among the troops.

A not so new, but upbeat, report released by the pentagon finds 54% of US troops in Iraq suffer from low morale, but that’s down from 72% a year earlier. This is a positive sign? The report was dated Jan. 25 2005, but was released on July 20, according to the AP. 13% of troops screened positive for a mental health problem, compared with 18% a year earlier. “17% of soldiers said they had experienced moderate or severe stress or problems with alcohol, emotions or their families,” compared with 23% last year.

That’s great but; 13% with mental health problems is pretty high for a survey group of 138,000 isn’t it? I’m no statistician but I wouldn’t call this a positive sign---an improvement yes---and what happens to these people when they come back home? The army turns them over to the VA, which doesn’t even know how much money to ask congress for? ‘Did we say we needed $100 million? We meant $31.31 billion, sorry about that. There are a few extra hundred thousand troops we didn’t plan for. Our bad!’

The NRA blows up Columbus Ohio’s party plans!

AP reports the NRA won’t be holding its 2007 convention in Columbus Ohio because the City Council voted to pass a ban on assault weapons. ‘The party is canceled because last week your City Council unanimously voted to revoke the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens in Columbus banning perfectly legal firearms,’ NRA executive vice president Wayne Lapierre said.”

Oh no, the party is canceled! And I just had my bazooka polished! City councilman Michael Mentel theorized the NRA knew the city was considering the ban and is just taking advantage of the publicity this will generate, not to mention the money. I can just see the emails now…”Columbus bans AK-47s: criminals run wild, elk moving to area to escape legitimate and legal gun possession and safe hunting! Tuck in love gift immediately!!!!” Why would the NRA want to go to a town that hadn’t recently had a machine gun massacre anyway? Looks like having a seat in the White House isn’t all its cracked up to be after all.

How stupid are the democrats and do I see a Bill Frist presidency in the future?

Wow, Columbus is the place to be. The democrats are having a party too, too. Steven Thomas of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s national staff writes that Democrats are “stung by criticism that their party offers no policy options for moderate voters,” so they are having a two day pow-wow of “centrist Democrats” who are proposing a “broad agenda on national security, family values, health care, tax reform, and managing the federal government.” What are these proposals and what do they have to do with the party? Good question. The Democratic Leadership Council, whatever that is, is stressing security and social issues. Whatever!

This is just my initial impression based on very little information, but if these are the proposals: “growing the military by 100,000 troops, allowing military recruiters unrestricted access to college campuses, and banning the marketing of violent material to children, ” I would say these “centrist” Democrats will help Bill Frist get into office in 2008.

Dems getting tough:

Al From and his buddy Bruce Reed, two jackasses I’ve never heard of and who would never want to hear from me, say of the proposals for national security, “It’s a toughness issue. We have to prove we’re willing to pull the trigger.” Pull the trigger? Did Mr. From miss the news about the NRA convention? (Sounds pretty tough, though.)

Everybody knows FDR was a real panty waiste when it came to war. He actually put his three sons on the line to serve in combat, whereas I doubt Mr. From and Reed will be urging congressional Democrats to offer up their elite offspring for “the duties of freedom.”

Dems want your children!

(What is the “centrist” policy on unrestricted recruiting in low-income high schools in rural and urban areas, by the way? They’re probably for it.) From’s theory is, “More than helping recruitment, the move could help the party shed its image as anti-military.” So the real point of all this saber rattling is to make the party look more macho?

The “anti-military” image has more to do with republican propaganda than Democratic pacifism but it appears From and Reed are really just trying to compare penis sizes with Karl Rove. Besides, anyone who can avoid military service will, just look at the example of Bill Clinton. They know this, which is why this is not a serious proposal.

What about the protecting children from the marketing of violent products proposal? Why are they still listening to Lieberman? He lost! Remember, “Sore loser man?” And why shouldn’t we be exposing children to violence early on, if we expect them to sign up for military service and help out with the Reed/From plan for the 100,000 more troops goal? Especially since “Iraq isn’t the last war we’re going to have to fight.” (Strong words there, from the guys who won’t have to fight.)

Dems want republicans, not panty waist dems.

What these proposals are more likely to do is drive away the very people the Democrats desperately need to reinvigorate the party. I still maintain, if the party hadn’t pulled the rug out from under Howard Dean after the “yell” he still could have won. Attaching their star to John Kerry was the kiss of death. Love him or hate him, Howard Dean was the candidate who could’ve beat Bush.

Showing the “yell” over and over again on the late night shows was free advertising! My God, what is wrong with the people who run this party? And Howard Dean is about a million times smarter than Kerry or Bush. Karl Rove isn’t a genius as much as the powers-that-be making the decisions in the party, are morons!

More pointless proposals:

Other proposals include cutting oil imports by 25% by 2025. I won’t even dignify that with a response.
To cut the federal budget these interlopers propose “cutting congressional and non-defense government staff by 10%, reducing the number of consultants used by government by 150,000, and cutting “pork barrel” highway projects by 50%.” Nothing about repealing Bush’s tax cuts or ending corporate welfare? None of this is going to happen in a million years, and even if it did it wouldn’t help to alleviate the budget deficit or the current account deficit.

What about fee trade? CAFTA man, that’s the ticket for “centrist” Democrats.These people are idiots! What we really need is a massive public works project to rebuild our infrastructure because the race is on, between Russia and us, to see whose infrastructure falls apart first. But who cares? The Democrats are doing their best to prove they have no business in power. The party needs a major enema and I can think of no one better to begin with than Alan From and Bruce (What kind of macho name is that?) Reed!

Odds and ends:

The remaining Sunni members of the constitutional council have returned to work after the Shiites agreed to give them the same amount of bodyguards the rest of them have. That would be 15 per member.

Tony Blair says the British government is “desperately sorry” for the killing of an innocent man. But it was entirely the terrorist’s fault. Muslims are a little concerned that the UK police are taking lessons from the Israeli police and perhaps feel this whole thing is a bit of overkill. Not exactly the way to reach out to the disaffected Muslim youth, by aping the Israelis. Speaking of which, the police shot Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, eight times, not five as had been previously reported.

The Egyptians are seeking nine Pakistanis in connection with the Sharm El Sheik bombings. Pervez Musharaf is having difficulties explaining why all these Pakistanis keep popping up all over the place in terrorist investigations around the world. One the one hand he doesn’t like the extremist groups in his country who are out to get him, but he does want to look the other way when certain groups in Indian controlled Kashmir blow things up.

Unfortunately, these groups are all interconnected and they all hate the Americans and the Israelis. The harder he cracks down the more they are all going to identify him as a friend of the Americans and the more precarious his position becomes. If he doesn’t crack down, the Americans will begin to see him as something less than a friend, and you can already feel another “shift” toward India coming up, so he’s in a tight spot.

Too bad he wiped out his moderate political opposition after the coup. He could probably really use the help of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif right about now. He’s got no one else to deal with now, except the nuts.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005 12:04 PM EDT
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Monday, 25 July 2005
Al-Qaeda?s global franchising in full swing:
Topic: War on Terror

I’m still reluctant to comment on what’s going on in the UK right now, because it’s so laden with speculation and propaganda, but I’m really intrigued by the constantly unfolding situation there. Every time you read the news there’s another even more bizarre twist.

My impression of the British security services was that they had things pretty much together when it came to dealing with terrorism, from their experiences with the IRA and their more enlightened stance towards their Muslim population, but it now appears that who ever these people are who are perpetrating these attacks, they really have the police on the ropes. Come to think of it, if you look back at the British Empire’s history in South Asia and its involvement in “the great game” over the past century or so, there is probably no country the extremists know better than the UK.

I always thought the British were our saner cousins that we could rely on not to fly off the handle when our government went crazy, but now, I don’t know what to think. A day after the mercifully bungled rerun attacks on three Underground trains and a bus, a fleeing suspect, who looked Asian according to eyewitnesses, was chased into a train car by armed British police officers, knocked down and then shot five times in the head.

According to the metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, the suspect was “directly linked to the ongoing and expanding anti-terrorist operation.” The next day: not so much. In fact, the man was a Brazilian electrician who had absolutely nothing to do with the London bombings. In an interview yesterday Blair apologized for the shooting but blamed it on the bombers. “I think it is important to recognize that…the underlying causes of this are not a police action or a police policy or procedures but actually the fact that we have terrorists using suicide as a weapon on the streets of London…that is the context in which we’re operating.”

In a classic example of British understatement, the FT writes in Saturday’s edition that the police admitting that they shot an individual dead, who was found subsequently not to be a suspect in the bombings, could be, “potentially hugely controversial.” Interestingly, they also write that the police have been given “secret new shoot to kill guidelines against suspected terrorists in recent weeks…the guidelines were secretly developed in consultation with other police forces including Israel, Russia, and the U.S.”

So, in other words, the UK government is sanctioning targeted assassinations? I’m not sure this new “shoot to kill” policy will make the British Muslim community any less apprehensive. A Pakistani man has been beaten to death and a convenience store in Leeds was burned down just to name a few of the hundreds of anti-Muslim incidents reported since the bombings on 7/7. Now, the police are shooting Asian looking people and asking questions later. [Listen to Steven Beard’s story on Market Place about Leeds, for more background on the poor economic conditions of British Muslims in Leeds.]

The war goes global:

Not that the improving situation in Iraq isn’t putting the terrorists to flight, but at 1:30 Saturday morning in Egypt, two truck bombs and a bomb in a suit case went off in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheik, killing at least 88 people. Al-Qaeda took credit for the bombings, but there is always the possibility the attackers were of domestic origin. Typically, the Egyptians immediately rounded up over 70 “suspects” for “questioning” but have yet to find three men they now believe may be involved. I’m surprised they have enough room in their prisons, already so full with all of our rendered suspects.

The Pakistanis are also dutifully rounding up a large number of “suspects” who are supposedly connected to the London bombings and have enacted a new law requiring Madrassas to register with the government by the end of the year. Very impressive! I’m sure this ham handed crackdown will have the whole terrorism thing wrapped up pretty quick.

If only we knew which side Pervez Musharraf is on. Seems he’s having a little problem reconciling his new anti-terror stance with all the groups he and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have been coddling for the past few decades, when they were Pakistan’s convenient cats paws in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

While the security forces are frantically searching in Lahore for all the usual suspects, in South Waziristan, Syed Saleem Shahzad at Asia Times Online reports various extremists organizations, formed into cells, kept small for security and safety reasons, have been forming since 2003. There, thousands of young men from around the world are being trained and then sent out to wage jihad around the world.

These “organizations include Kurds, Arabs, Pakistanis and Afghans committed to fighting against the US and its allies all over the world, by any means.”

Remember Iraq, the front line of the war on terror, but not linked at all to the attacks in UK.?

Over the weekend all the news was dominated by the terror attacks in Egypt and England. Iraq disappeared right off the front page, but the carnage continued unabated. Two hundred Iraqis have been killed in numerous attacks over the past week or so. On Sunday alone 22 Iraqis were killed and 30 wounded from an attack on a Baghdad police station and a Shiite charity. 36 American troops have also died so far this month.

A top Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlak, who is involved in the writing of the Iraqi constitution and is a member of the Sunni organization Iraqi Committee for National Dialogue, is accusing the Shiite dominated security forces of killing two Sunnis, Mijbil al-sheikh and Dhamin Hussein, also involved in the constitution writing, who were shot on July 19. Since the shootings the Sunnis have pulled out of the process. The Badr Brigade is the most likely suspect but al-Mutlak does not want to “use names.”

Link? What link?

The idea that the London bombings had anything to do with the invasion of Iraq is, of course, nonsense, right? England’s prestigious foreign policy think tank, Chatham House, issued a report last week criticizing the British government’s policy of sticking with the U.S. in Iraq. The war, they say, has diverted the country’s resources from defending its self from terrorist attacks. The report says the “situation over Iraq” had given Osama Bin Laden aid and comfort by helping al-Qaeda with its “propaganda, recruitment and fund raising.” British foreign secretary Jack Straw is outraged! “I am astonished that Chatham House is now saying that we should not have stood with shoulder to shoulder with our long standing allies in the United States”

That’s not what he said before the war:

Well, in fact, Jack Straw himself told Blair in 2002 going along with the U.S in its plans for invading Iraq would present risks for “both for you and for the Government,” according to one of the secret memos released recently. Before Blair met with Bush at his ranch in Waco in the spring of that year Straw wrote that, "The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few.” In another memo Straw says, “We have also to answer the big question -- what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole on this than on anything."

The Liberal Democrat leader in England’s parliament, Charles Kennedy, has said Tony Blair shouldn’t be surprised if the public linked the bombings with the war in Iraq. The FT writes,” Mr. Kennedy said in a speech in London that the war and the mismanagement of the occupation had “fueled the conditions in which terrorism flourishes.

The Lib Dem leader pointed out that Mr. Blair had been warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee, the body that gathers together intelligence assessments from various UK agencies, that the war was likely to increase the terrorist threat.” A large majority of British citizens think the bombings and Iraq are connected as well. (But they’re all wrong!)

And so apparently does Osama bin Laden. The idea that these terrorists are just cold- blooded killers and they do what they do because they “hate freedom” is an oversimplification of the situation. Ralph M. Coury a professor of history at Fairfield University in England writes, in a letter to the editor in the FT, that we should take bin Laden at his word. He quotes bin Laden as saying,” contrary to what Bush says and claims---that we hate freedom---let him tell us why we don’t attack Sweden. We fight you because we are free and we don’t put up with transgressions…any nation that does not attack us will not be attacked” (October 29 2004)”

Bin Laden’s political themes he argues “reflect a rational political calculus and include arguments that secular radicals might embrace…bin Laden’s statements reveals that he has placed far more emphasis on and why specific acts of western aggression must be fought than he has on any divinely sanctioned civilisational conflicts.”

Coury writes, “I am not seeking to justify the killing of civilians. I simply wish to argue that the motivations of bin Laden and many other Jihadists are eminently political. Their actions are not the products of a mentality “that sees mass murder as an existential act.” They are no more pure killers than Madeleine Albright, former US secretary of state, who claimed the death of Iraqi children as a result of sanctions was “worth it,” or present members of the Bush administration who seem indifferent to the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians as a result of their invasion.”

Iraqis and Afghanis link up:

Syed Saleem Shahzad writes in his article in Asia Times that “members of the Iraqi resistance, comprising mostly Ba'athists who have melted into various Islamic groups in Iraq, and Taliban and al-Qaeda members of the Afghan resistance met several months ago in Baghdad, where they reconfirmed strategies for their common goals.” These goals include taking the fight to “the home countries of the invading forces,” of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The evidence is pretty overwhelming that this is a global Jihad at this point and until we understand what it is these people are really after, I don’t see how we can defeat them. That’s not to say we should “surrender” but how can we fight an enemy we don’t know? Didn’t Rommel say, “Know your enemy?” Ignoring what their leaders are saying and simply dismissing it as Islamic rhetoric is a dangerous conceit we cannot afford.

Read Robert Pape’s Op-Ed on the real motivations of al-Qaeda, where he cites documents laying out the strategy behind the Spanish train bombings in March of last year, four months before the attacks actually took place.

Not ready, unwilling and unable:

Eric Schmitt writes in the New York Times on Thursday that a pentagon assessment of Iraq’s security forces found that, “About half of Iraq's new police battalions are still being established and cannot conduct operations, while the other half of the police units and two-thirds of the new army battalions are only "partially capable" of carrying out counterinsurgency missions, and only with American help.”

Never deterred by the untidiness of reality, Rummy said at a press conference on Wednesday that people shouldn’t be looking at the effectiveness Iraq’s security forces too closely because, “It's not for us to tell the other side, the enemy, the terrorists, that this Iraqi unit has this capability, and that Iraqi unit has this capability. The idea of discussing weaknesses, if you will, strengths and weaknesses of 'this unit has a poor chain of command,' or 'these forces are not as effective because their morale's down' - I mean, that would be mindless to put that kind of information out."

Somehow, I think the insurgents probably have a better idea of the state of Iraq’s military capability than probably even the U.S. military does.

The only ones being kept out of the loop on the pathetic state of affairs in Iraq are the American people. And members of congress, of course, who are brain dead. Just keep the checks coming and Billy Tauzen says its time for your medication.

Note: ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said a "broken" Al-Qaeda in his country could not have directed the bomb blasts in Egypt and London and called the terror network a global "phenomenon".

"It has no command structure originating from Pakistan and conveying messages to the whole world to do this act and do that act under total coordination of some commander."

"It is a phenomenon where everyone has started calling himself Al-Qaeda, whether he has done it in London or Sharm el-Sheikh," he said referring to recent deadly bomb blasts in the British capital and the Egyptian Red Sea resort."

[I apologize for not providing links to FT stories, but I don't have an acount. I have to read it the old fashioned way, by getting it at the news stand.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:18 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005 7:08 PM EDT
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Thursday, 21 July 2005
More bombings in London.
Topic: General News.

More bombings in London today. Thankfully no one was hurt. It appears these might have been some sort of copycat attack because the explosions were caused by detonators not bombs and several people were seens running from the scene after throwing rucksacks. This doesn't appear to be quite as sophisticated as the bombings two weeks ago. Time will tell.

First things first:

A reader of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes to the editor that the paper is showing its liberal bias by where it places “positive reports” about president Bush. He notes that a piece reporting that no torture had been found at Gitmo was on page 6 and another story about the lower deficit projection was on page 8! Well, I’m not going to wait a minute longer or bury these stories on my blog. No siree…

The story about Gitmo was from July 14th and began like this:

“Military investigators examining alleged abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they found treatment such as forcing a terror suspect to behave like a dog. But they say they found no evidence that there was torture or that senior leaders imposed faulty interrogation policies.”

Good news! The military investigated itself, once again, and found nothing! Just because they made one prisoner “dance with a male interrogator,” and “subjected him to strip searches with no security value, threatened him with dogs, forced him to stand naked in front of women, and forced him on a leash, to act like a dog,” I don’t see the issue. Donald Rumsfeld walks around with a dog leash on 8 hours a day, why can’t a suspected terrorist?

On the deficit [Steep drop in deficit projected] the story goes like this:

The annual White House midyear budget report projects this year’s deficit will drop to $333 billion. That’s $79 billion below last year’s record red link and $100 billion less than earlier estimates…Despite the improvement, the deficit picture remains far worse than when Bush took office in 2001, when the White House and congressional forecasters projected cumulative surpluses of $5.6 trillion over the subsequent decade.”

Did this guy actually read these articles? These are positive reports?

It’s settled:

Thousands of settler activists camped out in Kfar Maimon have given up and are going home in the face stiff resistance from the 20,000 police and soldiers preventing them from reaching their goal of Gush Katif. What I find interesting about this whole deal is, the entire time the settlers, and a couple former chief rabbis, have been calling for members of the IDF to disobey their orders. In fact, about 9 soldiers did quit and a couple even made their way into Gaza to resist with the settlers there. A common sign being carried by the settlers said,” Disobey orders. What will you tell your grandchildren?”

Now, imagine peace protesters here, or a preacher or priest, calling for U.S. troops to desert. I can’t imagine it. Of course, Pat Robertson can say a nuclear device should be dropped on Foggy Bottom, but that’s okay, he’s a friend of the president’s. Erik Rudolf and go around bombing abortion clinics, but he’s not a terrorist, he’s got God on his side. Things are different for them that got religion.

The stupidest congress ever!

Rep. Curt Weldon (R. PA) met last week in Paris with an Iranian exile; Feridoun Mahdavi (A.k.a. “Ali.”), who the CIA says is a fabricator and a liar. Don’t confuse the representative with the facts though; he’s got religion too. Also along for the trip, at tax payers expense, was Peter Hoeskstra (R. Michigan) Weldon’s colleague and chairman of the house intelligence committee (Now there’s a real oxymoron.). According to the Inquirer "Mahdavi is a longtime associate of Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar." You remember good old Gorba, the gun dealer in the Iran/Contra affair? He "has had two CIA "burn notices" issued on him, meaning agency officers are not to deal with him." Seems rep. Welden is trying to get a war started in Persia and he's found his own Ahmad Chalabi. (How stupid are these guys?)

At first the CIA said the evidence Chalabi was pushing on Iraq's WMD was dubious, so they were wrong about that. Then when no WMD was found, they got it wrong by not knowing there wasn't any. So now when they say of Ali, "It is... likely that, as a former official during the Shah's era, [Mahdavi] seeks to influence the U.S. government to overthrow the current Iranian government," in a ltter to Weldon last year, they are most assuredly wrong. Iran is about to attack us, why won't anyone listen?

Bomb Mecca?

Curt Weldon is either really stupid or just amazingly gullible, but there’s no question what rep.Tom Tancredo (R. Col.) is…

Last Friday when asked by a talk show host how the U.S should respond if extremists struck several of its cities with nuclear weapons.

“Well, what if you said something like---this happens in the United States, we are determined that it is the result of extremists, fundamentalists Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sights,”

“You’re talking about bombing Mecca,” Pat Cooper, WFLA radio, asks.

“Yeah.” Tancredo

Asked to explain his statements:

"I hope we can think of things that actually will prevent an event of that nature…From my point of view there’s a lot that can be done…I don’t want to inflame this issue.” Too late, jerk.

Condi says, "stop touching our press."


DARFUR, Sudan, July 21 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded and received an apology Thursday after Sudanese security guards manhandled staff members and press accompanying her on her journey to the country.

The incidents occurred while Rice was meeting with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir. Sudanese officials shoved U.S. journalists away from the Bashir meeting, grabbed a tape from a reporter and slammed the wooden doors to his palace in their faces.

At one point, NBC's Andrea Mitchell attempted to ask a question about the killing of innocent civilians in Sudan and was physically pulled away and told there were no questions allowed.

Angered U.S. reporters responded that the press corps with Rice as a "free press," but were told by a Bashir aide that "it's not a free press here."

What we will do for a little oil. Nice people we're dealing with over there. Perhaps, Condi should have brought some of Bashir's good friends at the CIA along, maybe she would have been treated better.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:07 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 July 2005 3:37 PM EDT
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