Thursday, July 31, 2003

Oh ya, George, you're all about responsibility . . ..”

From Eric Alterman

'The words “I take personal responsibility for everything I say, of course” constitute perhaps the single most obvious lie the president has yet told; it would take me pages and pages to enumerate all of the areas in which this president refuses to take responsibility for what he says and does . . . But what of the White House press corps? They simply nod their heads at this nonsense and move on to the next topic, as if Bush’s saying the words, but doing absolutely nothing to demonstrate that they have any meaning, simply closes the matter.'

Poindexter Booted over "Terrorism Futures" Program

WASHINGTON, July 31 — Retired Adm. John Poindexter is expected to resign his Pentagon post with the group that created the controversial and now dead terrorism futures program, Pentagon sources said Thursday.

. . .

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., earlier had suggested Poindexter leave, telling Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at a hearing, “This is two strikes now. Do you have to throw a third strike?”

The chairman of the Armed Services Committee apparently was referring to the Total Information Awareness program at the defense research agency. That program was developing computer software that could virtually track every detail of an individual’s life, raising fears of privacy violations by the government.

Poindexter, who two decades ago was charged with lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal, works for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, which is charged with “thinking out of the box” in developing new technologies for national defense and security.

Thinking out of the box? These short-strokers couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Bush Accepts Responsibility

Well, stop the freakin' presses - this IS news!

Up Next: Bush finishes his homework before TV time. Yay!!!
U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Go Without Water

"Carla Hitz has been sending care packages to Iraq ever since her son deployed in February. But when U.S. soldiers starting writing home asking for water, she decided to take action.

As part of 'Operation We Love Our Soldiers,' Hitz started building a supply of water to send over to thirsty service men.
Carla Hitz: 'Every contribution, whether it's big, whether it comes from a corporation or whether it comes from an individual who brings what they can afford from their heart, it will impact the life of a soldier.'

Officials from the Utah National Guard say the shortage is because the U.S. government never expected one hundred and fifty thousand troops to still be in Iraq during the hot summer months.
Some soldiers report that heat indexes have reached one hundred and forty degrees. Many of the service men are only getting one or two bottles of water to drink each day. "

From KSL-TV Salt Lake, referred by Ticchick at Salon Tabletalk
US soldiers beat up reporter for filming civilian killings

"A Japanese reporter was beaten up and briefly detained by US troops in Baghdad after filming their weekend raid on a house in search for ousted president Saddam Hussein.

Kazutaka Sato, 47, was held in an arm-lock, thrown to the ground and kicked by several US soldiers on Sunday when he was filming the bodies of Iraqis being removed from a car which was shot up in the raid, the reports said. Sato suffered slight injuries to his face and hands, the Kyodo news agency and the newspaper Asahi reported from Baghdad. He had his hands tied and was detained for an hour.

When members of the Western media approached, Sato was released and his camera, which had been confiscated, was handed back to him, the Asahi said. "

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Classic Cliché Comes to Life

We've all heard about the French aversion to regular hygene, and the resulting odor. But really, how bad could it be? Well . . .

"Scientists working for French police have perfected a technique for 'bottling' smells at the scene of a crime to identify suspects by the odour they have left behind. After conducting a two-year-long programme of tests on a method of detection known as 'odourology,' they have concluded that smell can be as effective as using fingerprints or DNA samples to link a criminal with a crime."

Dude, that stinks!
One Blogger's Lament

The folks at Eschaton are sure making it tough to do original social commentary. Every time a new political atrocity pops up, they're all over it before I've even laced up my shoes. In a short period, they've evolved into one of the strongest progressive voices on the net. If you don't read them regularly, you should.
Mondo Bizarro: Rat-brained robot does long distance art

"Working from their university labs in two different corners of the world, American and Australian researchers have created what they call a new class of creative beings: 'the semi-living artist'. Gripping three coloured markers positioned above a white canvas, a robotic arm churns out drawings akin to that of a three-year-old. Its guidance comes from around 50,000 rat neurons in a petri dish 19,000 kilometres away.

The 'brain' lives at Dr Steve Potter's lab at Georgia's Institute of Technology, Atlanta, while the 'body' is located at Guy Ben-Ary's lab at the University of Western Australia, Perth. The two ends communicate with each other in real-time through the internet (and webcam).

The project represents the team's effort to create a semi-living entity that learns like the living brains in people and animals do, adapting and expressing itself through art."
DLC'ers Paint Dean as a Lefty

". . . some of the 650 DLCers taking part in Monday’s meeting insisted that Dean’s bubble is likely to burst.

DLC member and Wisconsin state legislator Jeff Plale, who is supporting Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut for the nomination, said, “Dean is a novelty.” According to Plale, “Once folks start to really understand Howard Dean, his attraction as a candidate will start to fade. By running so far to the left, he’s positioning himself outside the mainstream.”

Further down in the article, we see the real DLC concerns: their fear of Bush hardliners, and their fear of losing the control of the Democratic party.

"Without identifying any candidate by name, DLC Chairman Sen. Evan Bayh warned, “The Democratic Party is at risk of being taken over by the far left.” Seeming to allude to Dean’s angry anti-Bush campaign trial rhetoric, Bayh said, “We have an important choice to make: Do we want to vent, or do we want to govern?”

Yes, making nice with the brownshirts has worked so well up to now. These smokes must be suffering from battered wife syndrome.

If no one in the DLC has the stones to campaign hard against Bush, they need to step aside and let the man go through. Have these quislings even looked at Dean's moderate politics?

US troops turn botched Saddam raid into a massacre

28 July 2003 - Obsessed with capturing Saddam Hussein, American soldiers turned a botched raid on a house in the Mansur district of Baghdad yesterday into a bloodbath, opening fire on scores of Iraqi civilians in a crowded street and killing up to 11, including two children, their mother and crippled father. At least one civilian car caught fire, cremating its occupants.

. . .

At the scene of the killings, there was pandemonium. While US troops were loading the bullet-shattered cars on trucks - and trying to stop cameramen filming the carnage - crowds screamed abuse at them. One American soldier a few feet from me climbed into the seat of his Humvee, threw his helmet on the floor of the vehicle and shouted: "Shit! Shit!"

From Robert Fisk at The Independent

Bush Secretary of Education has Problem with Fractions

'Rod Paige, the secretary of education, yesterday defended the record of the public schools in Houston, where he was superintendent before joining the Bush administration. Advances in student achievement, Dr. Paige said, were genuine and 'still standing,' though he said 'there probably was' a dropout problem. ... The state audited 16 middle schools and high schools and found that of 5,500 teenagers who had left school in the 2000-1 school year, about 3,000, or 55 percent, should have been reported as dropouts. ... Houston as a whole reported a 1.5 percent annual dropout rate, though education experts estimate that the true percentage of students who quit before graduation is nearer 40 percent.'

Monday, July 28, 2003

New on Fox: When objects impale people

"There are a lot of orifices in the human body, and there are a lot of accidents that happen," (Producer) Schotz says. "We've spent years compiling this show. ... Sometimes you'd just come across a picture that would just stop you, and you'd go, 'That's so wrong."'

I'm thinking you all can write your own punchline here . . .

U.S. Takes Hostages in Fight Against Iraqi Guerillas

"Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: 'If you want your family released, turn yourself in.' Such tactics are justified, he said, because, 'It's an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info.' They would have been released in due course, he added later. "

Remember when only Evil Dewars (like Iran) took hostages?

Sunday, July 27, 2003

5 G.I.'s Killed in Iraq in 24 Hours

BAQUBA, Iraq, July 26 — Three American soldiers with the Fourth Infantry Division were killed and four were wounded here today after an assailant, who witnesses said was probably perched inside the children's hospital the troops were guarding, threw a grenade into a group of soldiers who were playing a game of cards next to the building.

Another American soldier was killed today and two others were wounded in an attack on an Army convoy in Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad, military officials said. And early Sunday, a soldier from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed in a grenade attack. A military spokesman had no details on the location of the attack.

From the New York Times.

About Nigergate: President Bush's Statement Reassuring Americans He Did Not Mislead Them About Getting a Blowjob

" . . . I wanted to take this opportunity to personally assure the good people of America that I have not and will not ever mislead them about getting a hot & sloppy Oval Office hummer. In these days of uncertainty, continued economic stagnation, and historic deficits and unemployment, I will not lie about mouth-scrogging a chunky intern. As America's reputation takes a one-way Jet-Ski vacation with the Ty-D-Bol Man, I will not mince words about getting my chorizo nibbled. And as a whole new generation of young Americans settles in to their own Vietnam-like bloodbath, I pledge to never, ever sully the sanctity of the Presidency by denying a few extramarital blowjobs & soggy cigars. "

Bush Nominates "Starr Report" Author for D.C. Bench

WASHINGTON, July 25 — President Bush escalated his fight with Senate Democrats over judicial nominations today by naming two new candidates for judgeships for the federal appeals court in Washington, widely regarded as second in importance only to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Bush nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh, an associate White House counsel, and Janice R. Brown, a California Supreme Court justice, to the 11th and 12th seats on the appeals court.

. . .

Mr. Kavanaugh, at 38, would be one of the youngest members of the federal appeals bench. He is assistant to the president and staff secretary, and has been responsible for marshaling the fleet of largely conservative judicial nominees the president has sent to the Senate, resulting in angry battles with Democrats. But he is probably better known as a senior assistant to Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President and Mrs. Clinton for a variety of issues. Mr. Kavanaugh was one of the principal authors of the "Starr report" that argued that President Clinton deserved to be impeached because of how he dealt with his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky, a one-time White House intern.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Secret U.S. "No-Fly" List Completely Unmonitored

'The government has no idea how many air travelers are being subjected to delays and missed flights because of confusion over security watchlists, according to interviews and internal Transportation Security Administration documents. ...The internal documents were obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is trying to persuade a federal judge to order the government to disclose who is on the watchlists, how people get on them and how somebody can get off them. Citing national security, the TSA has refused to answer these questions, which the ACLU posed in an effort to learn whether passengers are being placed on watchlists because of their political beliefs.'
Treasonous Singer Banned for Criticizing Fearless Leader's Physique

"'A Baltimore acoustic artist has been banned from playing the Fredericksburg Borders Books & Music store -- apparently because she made fun of President Bush's legs... Julia Rose, a singer-songwriter and a fitness advocate who often shows audiences her six-pack abs, told a Fredericksburg Borders audience Friday: 'George Bush has chicken legs. He needs to pump some iron.' ... 'I never said anything about Bush being a bad president or anything. I was just poking fun at his scrawny frame.'' "

Next up: President Bush proves his vigor by swimming across the Potomac. . .

Friday, July 25, 2003

Thursday, July 24, 2003

The Smoking Crater that was Dennis Miller's Career

Uggabugga nails the breathtakingly unfunny appearence by Dennis Miller on Leno last night:

"Not only did he have to prep his audience with the fact that Robert Byrd had been in the KKK so that he could then recite his lame "burning the cross at both ends" joke, but he went on to opine about the political scene:

IRAQ: "Am I the only one who could care less about weapons of mass destruction?".

ON THE DEFICIT: "If we owe somebody, just don't pay it."

JERRY SPRINGER RUNNING FOR OFFICE: "The gene pool is so shallow, we don't need a lifeguard on duty."

SPORTS: "Tour de Fra..., Tour de Spineless Greasy-haired Wusses."

Searching for a funny Dennis Miller joke is like being Diogenes with an empty Zippo. <./Millerism>

Michelle Malkin says Fox News says Someone says Congressman Stark said "Cocksucker"

From Madam Malkin:

"Further goading McInnis, a married Republican gentleman, (Democrat) Stark lashed out: "You little fruitcake. You little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake." According to Fox News Channel, witnesses say Stark then hurled a 10-letter homophobic insult at Thomas better suited for an anti-gay rap record than the Congressional Record. Stark's press office refused to answer my questions on the record about these remarks."

Her conclusion: Democrats are hypocrites for not queuing up against the quadruple hearsay quote, QED. If only we had case this strong for invading Iraq.

Bloody Hell: Three More U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 24 — Three American soldiers were killed Thursday when their convoy was hit by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades in northern Iraq, a military spokeswoman said. The attack came a day after President Bush hailed the deaths of Saddam Hussein’s two eldest sons as the clearest sign yet that “the former regime is gone and will not be coming back.”

. . .

THE SOLDIERS from the 101st Airborne Division were traveling in a convoy toward Qayyarah, 186 miles north of the capital, Baghdad, when they were at attacked, Spc. Nicole Thompson told The Associated Press.

. . .

The 101st participated in Tuesday’s raid on a house in Mosul where Saddam Hussein’s sons Odai and Qusai were killed, along with a bodyguard and a teenager believed to be Qusai’s son.

Message of the Day

From dear heart Amy:

"Money isn't everything. Benefits are important, too."
F.C.C. Media Rule Blocked in House in a 400-to-21 Vote

WASHINGTON, July 23 — The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation today to block a new rule supported by the Bush administration that would permit the nation's largest television networks to grow bigger by owning more stations.

If the media whores get stiffed by their john, will they yell "rape"?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

MSNBC Breaks the Big Story: Consumers Prefer Pre-peeled Carrots!

Meanwhile, nary a word on the party-line approval in the Senate Judiciary Committee of William "Perjury" Pryor for the federal bench.
Opps!! White House aide "forgets" to tell bosses about Niger uranium lie

WASHINGTON, July 22 — White House officials acknowledged Tuesday that they received two CIA memos in October raising doubts about intelligence claims that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa, an allegation since proven false that President Bush trumpeted in his State of the Union address three months later.

. . .

[Deputy national security adviser Stephen] Hadley said at a briefing for reporters . . . that he was “pretty sure I read [the memos], but I don’t recollect them.” White House sources told NBC News that Hadley was “beside himself.” A senior source said Hadley offered his resignation, but Bush would not accept it. The sources said Bush remained confident in Rice, Hadley and Tenet.

In other news, two more soldiers were killed in Iraq today.

Feel free to make up your own caption . . .

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

More Joyful Noises From a Wall Street Oldster

"Russell, the dean of the investment newsletter industry, turns 79 on Tuesday. Russell celebrated his birthday early by selling all his bonds this past Tuesday -- 'every last one.'

Why did Russell do it? Because 'the U.S. is heading for maybe the greatest financial mess in world history.' "

. . .

"As the bear's grip tightens on the economy, the first rush will be to accumulate dollars... But when the nation hits the wall of [the Federal Government's unfunded liabilities, estimated at more than $40 trillion], the dollar will start to unravel as the U.S. attempts to print its way out of disaster. That's when people will turn to gold."

See similar recent opinions by John Templeton and Warren Buffett below.
American Media Does Happy Dance over Death of Saddam's Sons

Yeesh!!! Probably the two most evil people ever named in pig-latin, Uday and Qusay Hussein are believed killed by coalition forces. "Saddam sons’ death seen as a boon", trumpet's MSNBC. "Trumped", crows CNN over a photo of the Most Wanted playing cards.

But I say, why stop there? Bring us the heads on pikes!! Display them from the Williamsburg Bridge!!! Send their limbs to the four corners of the nation, and let the children play with their entrails.

Ixnay on the andle-scay. Nothing shuts up the critics like a heaping helping of steaming hot victory porn!
Open microphone catches California Democrats talking about prolonging budget crisis

Unaware that a live microphone was broadcasting their words around the Capitol, Assembly Democrats meeting behind closed doors debated prolonging California's budget crisis for political gain.

Members of the coalition of liberal Democrats talked about slowing progress on the budget as a means of increasing pressure on Republicans.

. . .

Some members of the group, including Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, said if the budget crisis were extended, it could improve chances for a ballot initiative that would make it easier for the Democrats to raise taxes by lowering the threshold for passage from two-thirds to 55 percent.

"No one is running" for re-election, she said, according to a transcript made by Republicans. "And maybe you end up better off than you would have, and maybe you don't. But what you do is show people that you can't get to this without a 55 percent vote."

So much for being the good guys.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Kids fear Ann Coulter

"Mommy, make the scary lady go away." Those are the tearful words of Kaylee Brodkin, 7, of Gary, Ind., who for the last five days has been awakened in the middle of the night by terrifying nightmares - nightmares featuring television pundit/author Ann Coulter.

With the ubiquitous Coulter currently on a national book tour, little Kaylee's sad story is far from an isolated occurrence.

"More and more these days, we are seeing small children who have been traumatized by Ann Coulter," said Dr. Harmon Densmore, chief clinical psychologist at the Chartwell Children's Institute based at the University of Minnesota.

. . .

Little Kaylee, who is now working with a counselor to conquer her fear, attends role-playing therapy sessions twice a week in which she uses a dragon puppet to bite the head off an Ann Coulter puppet."

On the other hand, some in the gay community find Ann Coulter sexy.

Blair is Toast

"HAKONE, Japan (AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair dramatically refused to say whether he might quit over the death of a former UN arms inspector at the center of allegations that Downing Street misused intelligence and exaggerated the threat of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Caught out at the start of an East Asia tour by the worst crisis in his six years in power, a visibly exhausted Blair said nothing when asked, point-blank, at a press conference if he had 'blood on his hands' and might resign.

Instead, he stared silently out across the room full of journalists and TV cameras for several tense seconds and then with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at his side, left the room. "

Friday, July 18, 2003

Cheney and His Oil Cronies Planned to Divide the Iraqi Petroleum Pie In March 2001

Documents indicate President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before Bush took power in January 2001. Now comes this documented revelation from Dick Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force meetings:

"Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at:"

"Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out" - George W. Bush, March 2002

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Niger Uranium Story Version 5.8

The State Department obtained the fraudulent documents alleging Iraq sought uranium in Africa months before President Bush made the claim, but U.S. intelligence analysts did not examine them closely enough to determine they were forgeries until after the president's disputed speech, U.S. officials say.

As many sources (including this blog) have already shown, the Niger documents were known to be forgeries long before the 2003 SOTU address. Apparently the Bush Administration strategy is to persevere with new lies until folks get tired of looking for the truth.

Texas Rethug Gerrymandering Runs into Further Difficulty

The effort by Texas State Republican representatives to hammer through a highly biased redistricting plan, previously thwarted by a Democrat walkout, has hit another snag.

'The Republican senator tasked with drawing his party's redistricting map angrily withdrew his proposal Wednesday and stormed out of a committee hearing, leaving fellow senators awaiting the much-anticipated unveiling in stunned silence. The move by Sen. Chris Harris, R-Arlington, caused an abrupt cancellation of a Senate Jurisprudence committee hearing, the panel charged with voting out a map that the Senate could debate. ... Harris' withdrawal casts further doubts on the already clouded fate of congressional redistricting efforts promoted by state and national Republican leaders.'
The Latest Iraq Lie Unravels

"CIA Director George Tenet told members of Congress a White House official insisted that President Bush's State of the Union address include an assertion about Saddam Hussein's nuclear intentions that had not been verified, a Senate Intelligence Committee member said Thursday."

Uh-oh. Someone get Karen Hughes on a plane for D.C. quick!
Invisible Cloud Buddy Science

At the annual Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair, Elementary, Middle, and High School students produced exhibits like: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)," "Pokemon Prove Evolutionism Is False," "Women Were Designed For Homemaking," and "Rocks Can't Evolve, Where Did They Come From Mr. Darwin?"

Two of students presented a project on human anatomy entitled "Allah (SWT) Created Me" which was found ineligible for a prize due to a number of Biblical inconsistencies . . .

Don't those damn kids know there is only one true Invisible Cloud Buddy?

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Are Combat Deaths in Iraq Being Disguised as Accidents?

"First Sgt. Christopher Coffin, 51, became the fifth soldier with Maine ties to die in Iraq after his vehicle ran into a ditch on July 1. He was a member of the 352nd Civil Affairs Command assisting convoys traveling between Baghdad and Kuwait.

The details of Coffin's death have been mired in confusion since the day it was announced by the military.

Initially, a press release from Coffin's unit stated he died after his vehicle swerved to avoid a civilian vehicle.

But a report from the U.S. Central Command issued a day before said a member of Coffin's unit was killed July 1 when his convoy was hit by "an improvised explosive device."

That report did not name Coffin, but he was the only member of his unit to die that day.

Now a new report from Time, citing "Coffin family members and U.S. government officials looking into the case," says Coffin's vehicle was deliberately run off the road, then surrounded by an angry mob. A Humvee following Coffin stopped to help, but was also overwhelmed and then set on fire."

. . .

"The case raises a very troubling question, which is, are combat deaths being disguised as accidents . . . so it would appear less harm is being caused by the Iraqi resistance than is the case?" asked Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine.

Go here for a current list of all coalition deaths, including a brief description of the circumstances.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

More On Judge Sentelle (see previous story below)

With this judge, who needs terrorists?
By CRAGG HINES - Houston Chronicle

"When Attorney General John Ashcroft says, "Jump," U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David B. Sentelle in Washington asks, "How high?" If Ashcroft says, "Three feet," Sentelle replies, "Why not five?," then hikes his robe and leaps.

How else do you explain the obsequiously Stalinesque ruling that Sentelle authored last week allowing the government to run an ethnic dragnet, secretly arrest anyone, throw the detainees under the jail, keep them there an unlimited amount of time and never make public their names, their possible misdeeds nor their attorneys (assuming they've even been allowed to attempt to seek counsel)?"

Sentelle is a prime example of why Democrats must keep up the battle on federal judicial appointments.

Sentelle and the DC Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Again

Remember the DC Circuit? The court that removed independent prosecutor Robert Fisk after he concluded there was nothing to Whitewater? The Court that then appointed the highly partisan Kenneth Starr? The same court that quashed contempt proceedings for prosecutorial misconduct against Starr?

Well, now Judge's Sentelle, Silberman, and the other Republican appointees on "Americas Second Highest Court" have rejected President Clinton's claim for reimbursement of Whitewater legal fees.

A federal statute allows reimbursement for legal fees incurred by a sitting president. Ronald Reagan was reimbursed 72% of his legal fees from the Iran-Contra Scandal. George H. W. Bush received a 59% reimbursement. But, holding the Whitewater witchhunt would have been pursued even if Clinton were not president, the DC Circuit found that only 2% of Clinton's $3.5 million in legal fees were reimbursable.

Clinton is being forced to pay more than he earned for serving his country as president. Sentelle and Silberman's apparent bias is an insult to all American jurists. More proof that Republicans cannot be trusted in positions of power.
Just a Little Mom and Pop Operation Like Halliburton

'They are among America's larger companies: Verizon Communications, AT&T Wireless, Barnes & Noble booksellers and Dole Food Co. But in the government's contractor database, they are listed as small businesses. The mistaken designations... mean the government has overstated the contract dollars that are going to small business at a time when the Bush administration has been pressing to give smaller companies as much federal work as possible. ... Once a company's status is mischaracterized, it stays that way through the life of a contract -- which can be 20 years. That means smaller firms that the administration intended to help may be frozen out from fresh business by the bigger companies with the incorrect designations.'

And yes, a subsidiary of Halliburton is on the small business list.
Total Information Awareness Program Becoming Unfunded Mandate

'The controversial Terrorism Information Awareness program, which would troll Americans' personal records to find terrorists before they strike, may soon face the same fate Congress meted out to John Ashcroft in his attempt to create a corps of volunteer domestic spies: death by legislation. ... The Senate bill's language is simple but comprehensive: 'No funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense ... or to any other department, agency or element of the Federal Government, may be obligated or expended on research and development on the Terrorism Information Awareness program.'

Maybe there is a god.
Today's Krugman Article: Pattern of Corruption

"In short, those who politicized intelligence in order to lead us into war, at the expense of national security, hope to cover their tracks by corrupting the system even further."

Good stuff as always from Krugman.

Monday, July 14, 2003


"Iraqimerica -- Supreme enemy Saddam Osama bin Hussein-Laden is presiding over a massive effort to rebuild his army of darkness in the form of evil robots and disgusting genetic engineering experiments."
Wall Street Great Templeton Says Market is Broken

"Wall Street has its statesmen and its noisemakers. Into the former camp fall the likes of Warren Buffett, the late Leon Levy and John Templeton, the founder of the Templeton funds group. Their wisdom is there for the taking, but when it's deemed to be 'pessimistic,' folks turn away.

That's where the noisemakers come in, ready to rev up any story that gets people buying stocks. "

More expert commentary in the vein of Warren Buffett's recent pronouncement that the stock market is still dangerously overvalued.
Bush: "Uma plenty smart!"

Saying he had "Darn good intelligence", Bush "defends" CIA Director Tenet, who took one for the team on the Niger Uranium fraud. (Yellowcakegate? Yellowgate? Nuculargate? Why not just plain old fraud?). At least it looks like the press is not buying the Bush Junta horseshit. Maybe.
Bad News For Iran

MSNBC - Iran makes huge oil discovery.

How long until the invasion plans are finished?
Occupation of Iraq "Burning" $1 Billion a Week

“This idea that we will be in [Iraq] ‘just as long as we need to and not a day more’,” he said, paraphrasing the administration line, “is rubbish! We’re going to be there a long time.” (Senator Richard) Lugar said he kept demanding answers about the cost to American taxpayers and was not quite getting them. “Where does the money come from?” he asked. “How is it to be disbursed, and by whom?”

Last week, at last, some of the answers started coming in, and they were grim. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a hearing that the “burn rate” for American money to fund the military presence in Iraq was now $3.9 billion a month—almost $1 billion a week. “This is tough stuff,” said a cranky Rumsfeld, lecturing the Senate committee. “This is hard work. This takes time. We need to have some patience.”

But that billion a week is just the beginning. It doesn’t include the cost of running Iraq’s government and rebuilding it, which could be an additional billion a month, according to rough U.N. estimates made before the war. Then there’s the matter of Iraq’s enormous debts.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Friday, July 11, 2003

Afganistan Has Become "Terrorist Disneyland"; Iraq Next

UPI -- One of the world's leading terrorism experts Wednesday told the panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that the U.S. invasion of Iraq may have worsened the threat of terrorism.

Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, giving evidence at a public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also criticized the failures of intelligence and policy he said had turned Afghanistan into a 'terrorist Disneyland,' and allowed al-Qaida and other terror groups 'a free reign.'"

What a mess President "Bring'em On" has made . . .

U.S. agencies stonewalling 9/11 probe, panel says

Commission: Problems with Pentagon 'particularly serious'

From Tenet's Pseudo Mia Culpa

. . . (T)he State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research included a sentence that states: "Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious."

. . .

"From what we know now, agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct, i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not have been the test for clearing a presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed."

Translation: Bush was just parroting what the British said, even though he know the it was "highly dubious". Next time the CIA will stop Bush from lying to get his war on. Promise.

And I swear I'll pull out next time, too.
In Iraq for the Long Haul

"... At the same time, the Army has hired Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary to feed and house up to 100,000 troops in Iraq. The contractor could erect large tents, but an Army spokesman said today that the $200 million project ordered last month could also include semipermanent wooden buildings similar to what American troops in Kosovo use.

Taken together, the new troop policy and housing contract represent perhaps the most concrete examples of the Pentagon's long-term commitment to Iraq and acknowledgment that rebuilding the country will probably take years and large numbers of American forces. "

Looks like Cheney will be back at Halliburton before U.S. troops are back from Iraq.
Tenet Falls on his Sword for Bush's Lies

July 11 — CIA Director George Tenet said Friday that he was responsible for President Bush’s false allegation in his State of the Union address that Baghdad was trying to buy uranium in Africa, a key part of Bush’s argument for military action in Iraq.


Nevermind that the Bush Administration pressured the CIA to generate intelligence supporting Iraqi WMD claims.

Nevermind the press reported the Bush Administration knew the Niger uranium documents were forgeries as early as March 2002.

It was all that nasty George Tenet's fault, fooling our handsome, focused President. And hey, did you see how good Mr. Bush looks in a flight suit?

FOLLOWUP: And now the Little Emperor says Tenet is forgiven, time to move on. Isn't that fucking precious? A quicker resolution than your average episode of Full House. Well, its not like it was a lie about something serious.

Like a blowjob.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

I can't think of a better way to spend company time than a visit to the Institute of Official Cheer. You can use up a good half a day perusing their collection of bizarre and disturbing magazine ads from yesteryear. And be sure to check out the Gallery of Regrettable Food while your there.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Free Republic Readers Get a New Mascot

BERLIN, GERMANY - A racist who trained his dog Adolf to give the Hitler salute outside a school of Asian and Turkish children is facing six months in jail.

. . .

He waited by the gates with Adolf to yell racist abuse at them, including: “You’re not Aryan. Go home scum.”

Tach would then command “Adolf — Gruss” and his dog would raise his paw.

NZ Magazine "Scoop" Breaks the Black Box Voting Story

(For backround, see my July 2, 2003 post "The Folks at Blackbox Voting Think They've Found the Georgia Touchscreen Voting Machine Hack", below.)

"Imagine if you will that you are a political interest group that wishes to control forevermore the levers of power. Imagine further that you know you are likely to implement a highly unpopular political agenda, and you do not wish to be removed by a ballot driven backlash."

. . .

"Imagine then if it were possible to somehow subvert the voting process itself in such a way that you could steal elections without anybody knowing."

More here and here.

Appeals Court Allows Suit Against Cheney Energy Panel to Proceed

"WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court dealt a setback to the Bush administration Tuesday, refusing to stop a lawsuit delving into Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s contacts with the energy industry as his task force was drafting the White House's energy policy."

In other news, Dick Cheney decides to have some routine maintenance work done on his heart.
Throw in a Complimentary Dinner at the Sizzler and We're Talking

THE U.S.-LED PROVISIONAL authority on Tuesday announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the killing of a member of coalition forces . . .

Now we know why Bush wouldn't increase the $6,000.00 death benefit for combat soldiers.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Life Imitates "Dear Penthouse" Letter

Earlier this week at Christie Lake Camp, a group of nine youths aged 12 to 14 were playing cards in a tent when the game escalated into group sexual activity.

Man, the biggest excitement at my summer camp was the snipe hunt.
Republican Roundtable on Campaign Strategy

There was bobbin' for pigs feet and hubcap hurling. Grown men competed against each other by belly-flopping into a mud pit.

This year's Redneck Games at Buckeye Park in East Dublin drew thousands of spectators.

Andrew Sullivan thinks Ann Coulter is a "Babe"?

Oxymoronic gay conservative Sullivan states, "Few would dispute that she's a babe."

That settles it. Ann's definitely a man.

Sullivan goes on, "Lanky, skinny, with long blonde hair tumbling down to her breasts, Ann Coulter has been photographed in a shiny black latex dress."

Skanky and loony I can see, but . . .
MSNBC on Bush's Sudden Interest in Africa:
Its all about the oil, baby.

“There is the stated (Bush) policy of wanting to improve African economies, end poverty and conflict but if they don’t push for the transparency of Africa’s oil revenues they will sow the seeds of further poverty and conflict,”

See, we just want to help them.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Taking off for the 4th of July

I'm taking a few days off for the holiday weekend, so there probably won't be much in the way of new posts here until Monday. In the meantime, check out some of the blogs listed to the left. Have a safe holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Indignant "Embed" Thinks He's A Journalism Hero

From "Wolf Blitzer Reports"

". . . I wouldn't risk my behind for anyone's entertainment. And it surprised me that a number of these people whose job is to interface with the media found the whole embed system unimpressive. After all, in the States, the Pentagon and media outlets for the most part thought the experience was a huge success."

Easy there, Ernie Pyle. The "embedded reporter" program allowed limited access without content or context. Thus, the military was able to completely control the message. I'm sure the Pentagon saw that as a success.

". . . (T)he military is supposed to serve the people, providing a common defense or ensuring national security. How is the public to know if that military is living up to those goals or the will of a nation if the people don't know what the military is doing?"

Dude thinks some disoriented reporter huddling in the back of a Bradley can assess what the military is doing or whether its meeting goals? Talk about the fog of war.
Huge Gelatinous Creature Washes Up on Shore

Rush Limbaugh fans fear the worst . . .

(Sorry. It was there, I ran with it. I have no excuse.)
Strange DUings at DU: The Folks at Blackbox Voting Think They've Found the Georgia Touchscreen Voting Machine Hack

Its been previously noted here that computerized voting systems without a paper trail present unique concerns regarding vote tampering.

With much cloak and dagger drama, the people at Black Box Voting have started a thread at Democratic Underground to announce they have found a "hack" they believe was used in the 2002 Georgia election to tamper with voting tabulation. If true, it would explain voting irregularities in the surprise defeat of Democrat Senator Max Cleland, and may be a factor in other elections. Developing . . .
Looking Tan and Rested . . .

Media Whores Online is back from its month-long vacation.

The Curious Story of Strom Thurmond's Black Daughter

Perhaps its bad taste to point out the inconsistencies of the recently deceased. Still, this is an amazing story: an ardent segregationist sires and supports a mixed-race child:

"If he didn’t exactly claim Essie Mae Williams, neither did he disown her. He gave her money and paid her regular visits (and probably tuition) at the black South Carolina college where she was a “high yaller” sorority girl while he was governor of the state. And in some ways, Williams has played the dutiful daughter, insisting over the long years that Thurmond was merely a “family friend.”

This is a fascinating look at a period when Southern social order allowed a defining constituency to be at once embraced and reviled.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The Party of Personal Responsibility Strikes Again

From Dana Milbank at WaPo

"With the start of his reelection campaign in the past two weeks, President Bush has revived his pastime of blaming his predecessor, Bill Clinton, for the economic recession.

'Two-and-a-half years ago, we inherited an economy in recession,' he told donors at a Bush-Cheney '04 reception yesterday in Miami. He has raised the same accusation in fundraising appearances since mid-June in Washington, Georgia, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It's a good applause line for a crowd of red-meat political supporters. The trouble is it's a case of what the president has called, in another context, revisionist history. The recession officially began in March of 2001 -- two months after Bush was sworn in"

Damn that Evil Clenis, does it never rest?
Agence Presse France Reports 4 Americans Killed, 2 Injured in Iraqi RPG Attack Today

While MSNBC and CNN have not yet reported the deaths, they do both feature a story about new Kraft reduced-calorie foods. Consume without concern, Americans!

NOTE: As of July 2, 2003 the Agence Presse France link is dead. No word from any other news source about these alleged deaths.

Parody Headlines No Longer Funny 'Cause They're True

Remember back to yesteryear, when parody headlines like these got laughs because they were so preposterous? (from the Onion):

American People Ruled Unfit To Govern - April 15, 1999

Bush "Refuses to Dignify" Mass Murder Allegations - March 9, 2000

Just Six Corporations Remain - June 11, 1998

Fox Reality Show To Determine Ruler Of Iraq - April 23, 2003

More States Shifting Welfare Control to McDonald's - December 10, 1997

'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over' - January 18, 2001

Where'd the funny go?

"Its a Guerrilla War!" "Its a Terrorist War"

Like two schmucks arguing the true nature of Certs minty freshness, the Press and Donald Rumsfeld today took to kibitzing over the proper identification of Iraqi hostiles. "Guerrillas" says the press. "Terrorists" says Rumsfeld. I guess "Freedom Fighters" wasn't on the list of possible choices.

"(Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday remnants of toppled President Saddam Hussein's government have coalesced into a "terrorist network" in Iraq, but rejected the notion that U.S. and British forces are facing a guerrilla war or are stuck in a quagmire. During a Pentagon briefing, Rumsfeld compared the postwar situation in Iraq to the difficult path taken by the United States after declaring its independence from Britain and before establishing a new Constitution and electing a president."

Um, so that would mean, we're like the British, and the Iraqis are like, uh, Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys? I need to find Samuel Adams, quick.

Meanwhile, back in Kabul . . .

"KABUL, June 30 (Online): Less than two years after the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan is re-emerging as a terrorism hotspot on radar screens. A spate of attacks and an increase in intercepted electronic 'chatter' indicate that the Al-Qaeda network could be re-establishing its foothold there.

Intelligence officials said this communication buzz and tapes reportedly released by Mullah Mohammed Omar, former leader of the Taleban, suggest that Osama bin Laden has renewed his partnership with it. The Taleban have been regrouping in the far-flung areas of the country. "

Oy . . .