Silence is Consent

If you don't speak up you accept what is happening. This site was born out of the mainstream media's inability to cover the news. I am just an American cititzen trying to spread the word in the era of FCC consolidation, post 9/11 Patriot Act hysteria, hackable voting machines and war without end. I rant and post news items I perceive to be relevant to our current situation.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson

Social Security is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed

So Called Social Security Crisis (SCSSC)

Comments, questions, corrections, rebuttals are always welcome.

Friday, January 30, 2004

If you want to laugh go read Bartcop today

It's a pretty gruesome article at times but maybe Americans need this to open their eyes.
Ground Zero by Chris Floyd
A man in Lawrence, Kansas walks into a day-care center. He has a gun in his pocket but nobody sees it. He goes up to the second floor, where the preschool kids are having their afternoon snack of cookies and juice.

Test of Electronic Balloting System Finds Major Security Flaws
Electronic voting machines from Diebold Inc. have computer security and physical security problems that might allow corrupt insiders or determined outsiders to disrupt or even steal an election, according to a report presented yesterday to Maryland state legislators.

Paul Krugman
Where's the Apology?
George Bush promised to bring honor and integrity back to the White House. Instead, he got rid of accountability.

It was the Bush administration, remember, that resisted mightily the creation of this commission and then appointed the wildly inappropriate Henry Kissinger to be its chair. When Kissinger was forced to withdraw for a gazillion conflicts of interest, the well-respected Tom Kean, former governor of New Jersey and a Republican, took over.

This is bazaar. Japan hires bodyguards for it's army in Iraq.
Japan Reportedly Paying Y10 Billion (75,052,849 EUR) to Iraqis to Guard SDF
The Japanese government is reportedly paying approximately 10 billion yen to Iraqi tribal leaders to provide bodyguards for the Self-defense Forces in Iraq.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
Interesting perspective on the Kay Report: Shifting the Blame: Is David Kay a Weapon of Mass Deflection?
What has become glaringly obvious to any sentient being is that the Bush White House consciously deceived a jittery post 9-11 public, thereby leading a nation to war, and plunging a region into chaos under false pretenses. And for those not glued to FOX or CNN, it was truly nightmarish watching it all unfold. They berated, bribed and threatened friends and allies. They undermined and ignored the findings of UN agencies involved in Iraqi arms inspections. They launched a smear campaign against Hans Blix. They spied on UN delegates. They outed Valerie Plame. They regarded millions of global anti-war demonstrators a "focus group." And yes, they disregarded cautionary assessments from many within their own intelligence apparatus and military, as well as retired and respected Generals.

Can the draft be far behind?
U.S. Army Plans Four-Year Boost of 30,000 Forces
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Strained by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army will boost its forces by 30,000 through emergency authority it expects to last four years, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker told Congress on Wednesday.

Corporate Owners of Radio, TV Blasted at Hearing
Dozens of citizens, many forcefully expressing their frustration and anger at big media companies and broadcasters, told members of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday that broadcasters aren't always serving the community.

Let's be Explicit and Clear: George McGovern Was Right About the Vietnam War -- And He's Right About the Iraq War.
"Let me say that one thing that Richard Perle and Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have in common is that none of them have ever been near a combat scene. They're perfectly willing to send younger people -- other people's sons -- into war. They're very generous with that blood of the young men and women that they throw into combat so casually. But they've protected their blood and their limbs by never serving near a battlefield. That's true of the President. It's true of the Vice President. It's true of Perle and Wolfowitz -- that whole crowd of neo-conservatives that have the ear of the President."
-- Former Senator George McGovern and 1972 Democratic Candidate for President

The Dead Center
The dismal fifth-place showing by Senator Joseph Lieberman in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday serves as both reminder and motivator to the other Democratic presidential candidates on what it will take to win in November. For so long now, everyone has assumed that recapturing the presidency depends on who triumphs in the battle between liberals and moderates within the party. Such thinking, though, is inherently flawed. The real fight is between those who want only to win back the White House and those who also want to build a new political movement — one that rivals the conservative movement that has given Republicans their dominant position in American politics.

If my memory is correct I could have sworn that in May we were told that in Afghanistan, "The bulk of this country today is permissive, it's secure".

US Plans Offensive Vs Al-Qaida Inside Pakistan - Report
The Bush administration is preparing a U.S. military offensive that would reach inside Pakistan with the goal of destroying Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday, citing military sources.

Afghan Weapons Cache Blast Kills 7 GIs
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Seven U.S. soldiers were killed and three injured in an explosion Thursday, U.S. Central Command said. One American soldier was missing.

Concerns Grow Over Taliban Resurgence, Opium
Suicide bombings that killed two peacekeepers from Britain and Canada in 48 hours have abruptly reminded Washington and its NATO allies they face major challenges in ensuring sufficient security in Afghanistan to hold credible elections scheduled for June.

60 Minutes Reports on Halliburton
Doing Business With The Enemy
Did it ever occur to you that when President Bush says, "Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations," he's talking about your money -- and every other American's money?

This is related and looks interesting
Conflict Securities Advisory Group.
Conflict Securities Advisory Group, Inc. (CSAG) is a Washington D.C.-based information provider and consulting firm that specializes in identifying and assessing global security-related risk factors primarily for institutional and individual investors.

One person speaks of his return to reality
So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish: A Warhawk Flies the Coop
I start on a personal note. I would like for the record to show that, today, I formally disavow the Republican Party as well as my past support for the Second Gulf War.

The Center for American Progress keeps up the pressure:
In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat
The Bush Administration is now saying it never told the public that Iraq was an "imminent" threat, and therefore it should be absolved for overstating the case for war and misleading the American people about Iraq's WMD. Just this week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at critics saying "Some in the media have chosen to use the word 'imminent'. Those were not words we used." But a closer look at the record shows that McClellan himself and others did use the phrase "imminent threat" – while also using the synonymous phrases "mortal threat," "urgent threat," "immediate threat", "serious and mounting threat", "unique threat," and claiming that Iraq was actively seeking to "strike the United States with weapons of mass destruction" – all just months after Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that Iraq was "contained" and "threatens not the United States." While Iraq was certainly a dangerous country, the Administration's efforts to claim it never hyped the threat in the lead-up to war is belied by its statements.

Now I am not one of those people that thinks that the current President Bush is a complete idiot. I just think that he doesn't care about these matters and is in a job he didn't want and therefore doesn't pay attention or is lazy. He apparently can't remember that Saddam let the weapons inspectors in. He said it in July and again this week.
July 14, 2003. Remarks by the President and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in Photo Opportunity The Oval Office
Q So even though there has been some question about the intelligence -- the intelligence community knowing beforehand that perhaps it wasn't, you still believe that when you gave it --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the speech that I gave was cleared by the CIA. And, look, the thing that's important to realize is that we're constantly gathering data. Subsequent to the speech, the CIA had some doubts. But when I gave the -- when they talked about the speech and when they looked at the speech, it was cleared. Otherwise, I wouldn't have put it in the speech. I'm not interested in talking about intelligence unless it's cleared by the CIA. And as Director Tenet said, it was cleared by the CIA.

The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful.

Thank you.
January 27, 2004. President Bush Welcomes President Kwasniewski to White House
Q Mr. President, but how do you describe and account for the difference between what you claimed prior to the war about what he possessed and what he was capable of, and what the intelligence said he possessed and was capable of in terms of a nuclear weapon within the decade, and the fact that David Kay says the intelligence was inaccurate and wrong, and nothing has been found? Don't you owe the American people an explanation?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I think the Iraq Survey Group must do its work. Again, I appreciate David Kay's contribution. I said in the run-up to the war against Iraq that -- first of all, I hoped the international community would take care of him. I was hoping the United Nations would enforce its resolutions, one of many. And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.

I said in the run-up that Saddam was a grave and gathering danger, that's what I said. And I believed it then, and I know it was true now. And as Mr. Kay said, that Iraq was a dangerous place. And given the circumstances of September the 11th, given the fact that we're vulnerable to attack, this nation had to act for our security.
But when you look at this exchange in his interview with Britt Hume it's no big shocker. He may not be aware that Saddam let inspectors in if he staff didn't tell him.
HUME: How do you get your news?

BUSH: I get briefed by Andy Card and Condi in the morning. They come in and tell me. In all due respect, you've got a beautiful face and everything.

I glance at the headlines just to get kind of a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and I get briefed by people who read the news themselves. But like Condoleezza, in her case, the national security adviser is getting her news directly from the participants on the world stage.

HUME: Has that been your practice since day one, or is that a practice that you've...

BUSH: Practice since day one.

HUME: Really?

BUSH: Yes. You know, look, I have great respect for the media. I mean, our society is a good, solid democracy because of a good, solid media. But I also understand that a lot of times there's opinions mixed in with news. And I...

HUME: I won't disagree with that, sir.

BUSH: I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news. And the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world.

HUME: Mr. President, thank you very much.

BUSH: Thank you, sir.
I wish Andy or Condi would tell this man that Saddam Hussein did, in fact, allow the inspectors in.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Better late than never
Editorials Question Bush's Role in 'Cooking' Up a War
In the wake of the latest revelations from weapons inspector David Kay, many of the largest U.S. newspapers are belatedly pressing the Bush administration for an explanation of how it could have gotten the question of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq so wrong in the march to war last year. A growing number are raising the possibility that Bush and his team may have "cooked" the intelligence to support their case for war.

Tony Blair has been having to answer for this for quite some time and now it is Bush's turn. Folks as you know, if you come to this site regularly, the fact that the President lied about WMD is not a shocker. It's just that if the media doesn't report it then most Americans do not go find this information on their own. We know they "cherry picked" the intelligence, used worse case scenarios and told us of muchroom clouds. Now let's see if Eric Alterman's "so called liberal media" (SCLM) will give the President and his administration the Lewinsky treatment.

David Kay says:
Kay: 'We Were Almost All Wrong'
Former top U.S. weapons inspector David Kay told members of the Senate Wednesday that the failure to turn up weapons of mass destruction in Iraq exposed weaknesses in America's intelligence-gathering apparatus.

The Center for American Progress says:
Neglecting Intelligence, Ignoring Warnings
Former weapons inspector David Kay now says Iraq probably did not have WMD before the war, a major blow to the Bush Administration which used the WMD argument as the rationale for war. Unfortunately, Kay and the Administration are now attempting to shift the blame for misleading America onto the intelligence community. But a review of the facts shows the intelligence community repeatedly warned the Bush Administration about the weakness of its case, but was circumvented, overruled, and ignored. The following is year-by-year timeline of those warnings.

I love stuff like this
What did big oil know - when?
Among unexamined facts about the administration's determination to go to war is that, in the weeks leading up to the invasion of Iraq, U.S. oil companies doubled their imports of Iraqi oil.

9/11 Commission Says It Needs More Time
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 ? The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks announced on Tuesday that it was seeking an extension of its deadline to complete the investigation until at least July, raising the prospect of a public fight with the White House and a final report delivered in the heat of the presidential campaign.

Don't forget if the administration would not have stalled this commissions creation for months they might already be finished. I do not think it is out of the realm of possiblity to believe that they stalled in the first place to have the opportunity to use this excuse. They wouldn't do that, would they?

It's getting hot for Cheney
Will Dubya Dump Dick?
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (IPS) - While Democratic rivals battle for the presidential nomination in a succession of gruelling primary elections, Vice President Dick Cheney appears to be fighting to secure his spot on the Republican ticket behind President George W. Bush.

Well Kerry is two for two. I'm not positive who I will vote for but at this point I lean Dean. My silver lining in all of this so far is the fact that in both contests the voter turnout has been high so far, New Hampshire and Iowa. This probably scares the Bushies quite a bit. I think it shows that the non right-wing Americans are not happy with the President. So Independents, Democrats and liberal "republicans" are all in play. I firmly believe that if more Americans would vote, and have their votes counted, we would have completely different leadership in this country.

Now The News:
Kay is now saying he didn't say Saddam's WMD went to Syria before the war. The neocons will now have to come up with a new reason to invade.
Kay denies evidence of moved Iraqi unconventional weapons to Syria; or WMD in Iraq
The former Chief of the Committee for hunt for the alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, David Kay, denied any the existence of proof that Iraq had moved unconventional weapons into Syria.

Is history repeating itself?
Iraqi whispers mull repeat of 1920s revolt
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Whispers of "revolution" are growing louder in Baghdad this month at teahouses, public protests and tribal meetings as Iraqis point to the past as an omen for the future.

Sounds like what Scott Ritter was saying before all this got started.
Kay Cites Evidence Of Iraq Disarming
U.S. weapons inspectors in Iraq found new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime quietly destroyed some stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons in the mid-1990s, former chief inspector David Kay said yesterday.

Cheney backs away from Iraq WMD claim
Dick Cheney, US vice-president, on Tuesday defended the US decision to invade Iraq but, in a notable shift of emphasis, he left open the question of whether Saddam Hussein had possessed weapons of mass destruction - a claim he made repeatedly before the war.
Bush Backs Away From His Claims About Iraq Arms
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 — President Bush declined Tuesday to repeat his claims that evidence that Saddam Hussein had illicit weapons would eventually be found in Iraq, but he insisted that the war was nonetheless justified because Mr. Hussein posed "a grave and gathering threat to America and the world."

Iraqi self-rule splits White House
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is deeply divided over how to defuse opposition to a U.S.-backed plan for restoring self-rule to Iraq and avert even deeper instability.

Let's not forget!
Widespread attacks kill 13 in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Five attacks claimed the lives of 13 people in Iraq on Tuesday, including six U.S. soldiers, two CNN employees, four Iraqi policemen and an Iraqi civilian, according to police and military sources.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Leak against this war
by Daniel Ellsberg
US and British officials must expose their leaders' lies about Iraq - as I did over Vietnam

No humanitarian case for Iraq war, says rights group
The United States and Britain had no justification for invading Iraq either on the grounds of alleged threats from illicit weapons and terrorism, or as a humanitarian mission, an international civil rights group said yesterday.

Deeper into debate on Iraq
THE DEBATE over America's war with Iraq is not ending. It is really just beginning, as the news out of Iraq continues to illustrate. Eight US soldiers died in weekend fighting and two helicopter crashes in Iraq. According to The New York Times, the Defense Department has identified 506 American service members who have died since the start of the war. The demand for direct elections by a powerful Shi'ite cleric is delaying the drafting of an interim constitution for Iraq; the controversy disrupts the entire timetable for a transfer of power by the United States to an Iraqi government.

Report from New Hampshire
If Dean survives the Media Freeze Out in New Hampshire Today, He Might Just Wipe That Smirk Off Bush's Face...

This article lays out the true aim Bush's economic policy. If you consider starving social programs and giving the savings to the rich an economic policy.
Red Ink Realities
Even conservatives are starting to admit that George Bush isn't serious when he claims to be doing something about the exploding budget deficit. At best — to borrow the already classic language of the State of the Union address — his administration is engaged in deficit reduction-related program activities.


Baghdad Is Bush's Blue Dress

Monday, January 26, 2004
Let me make sure I have this straight. In September '02 when the new product was released to us we are told that Saddam has WMD. A few out there were saying, "Oh no he doesn't". The one person who was the most outspoken was Scott Ritter, Is Scott Ritter Credible? Of course the Bushes did to him what they do to anyone who goes against the family, TARGET: SCOTT RITTER, The War Party gets ugly. Since they accused him of being a child molester the only place to find him now is in the world media, Scott Ritter: The search for Iraqi WMD has become a public joke. But I, for one, am not laughing.

So what happened? Well it seems that Mr. Ritter was right. Saddam never had WMD, after 1991. I think David Kay said it best:
"I don't think they existed," Kay told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday. "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s," he said.
But Cheney and Scottie do not agree. So after Kay made that statement it had to be fixed. The family gets to him and over the weekend he makes this statement:
David Kay said in a US radio interview that he thought the CIA owed the president an explanation for warnings about the threat Iraq posed.
But of course everyone knows that the CIA did not make the false claims it was the Office of Special Plans. It is Cheney that owes the American people an apology and he can start by resigning. One more thing to think about. If we now know he didn't have any why the hell are we still spending money on this?

More on this and other subjects:

Iraq's WMD: the big lie?
The justification for war
With the resignation of David Kay from the Iraq Survey Group, the pressure could not be greater on Blair to explain where he got the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Masterful Machiavellianism
George W. Bush, with the help of his advisor, Karl Rove has mastered the art of portraying himself as a man of great principle, integrity, honesty, caring, compassion, and character. Some morning just tune in to C-Span's Washington Journal and listen to the callers sing his praises. The question becomes what do they find so inspiring and how have they come to their conclusion about Bush when most of the evidence does not back it up?

Bush's Military Record Reveals Grounding and Absence for Two Full Years
"I think that people need to be held responsible for the actions they take in life. I think that's part of the need for a cultural change. We need to say that each of us needs to be responsible for what we do." – George W. Bush in the first Presidential debate, October 3, 2000.

''I did the duty necessary ... That's why I was honorably discharged" – George W. Bush, May 23, 2000

The latest episode of Get Your War On. This cracks me up!

I really didn't know much about why we "lost" the Vietnam War until I read David Halberstam's book The Best and the Brightest. When I read that book at a certain point I came to the realization that those running the war--LBJ, McNamara, Rusk, Bundy, etc...--knew it couldn't be won. They would not admit it to themselves or anyone else but they knew. They knew they couldn't win the war but they also couldn't leave without winning. Talk about a catch 22. The plan all along was if we can setup a US friendly democracy in the South the people of the North will see how nice it is and want to live like that too. Most saw it as a shadow government run by the US. Sound familiar? Those running the war did not understand that the native people of a country will stop at nothing to keep control of their country. In my opinion what they didn't understand was that they were fighting for a political win and the Vietnamese were fighting for their country. When it comes down to that I don't think there is any doubt who will win. Most of the decision makers from back then are dead but not Robert McNamara. Since 1995 he has been trying to save his soul for being the architect of the unneeded destruction of Vietnam in the 1960's. He is now speaking out on Iraq and who would know better about this subject?

'It's just wrong what we're doing'
In an exclusive interview, repentant Vietnam War architect Robert McNamara breaks his silence on Iraq: The United States, he says, is making the same mistakes all over again

It was a busy weekend in Iraq:
6 US Soldiers killed over Weekend, Over a Dozen Wounded; 2 Iraqi police dead, dozens wounded; Helicopter Crash
The low-grade guerrilla war against the US military continued at a heated pace over the weekend..
On Sunday, a soldier died of wounds inflicted by a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Beiji, north of Baghdad..

Kucinich says Iraq policy will lead to military draft
America's policy in Iraq will lead to a resumption of the military draft, Democrat Dennis Kucinich told high school and college students Saturday.

It's not just Iraq we will need the draft for. Next on the list seems to be Syria. With the military already stretched too thin and Syria, Iran and North Korea--for starters--on the list the neocons need more bodies. So here comes the setup:

Iraqi weapons sent to Syria: Kay
David Kay, the outgoing leader of a US weapons search team in Iraq, said that part of Saddam Hussein's secret weapons program was hidden in Syria, a published report said today.

Syria Scoffs at U.S. Claim It Has Iraqi Weapons
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria brushed aside Sunday U.S. accusations that it has Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a cover story for what it called U.S. failure in Iraq

Friday, January 23, 2004
On any given day there are many, many issues swirling through my tiny brain. As I run through the headlines at some point I start to get mad and decide to start writing out my thoughts and posting articles on subjects that most Americans are not aware of, for whatever reason. I still sometimes go to CNN and very rarely watch a few minutes of Hardball just to see what the sheeple are being fed. Since Monday night from what I have heard the only thing pundits have been talking about is Howard Dean's show of emotion. This has apparently disqualified him from the primary race. Reality unfortunately is much more serious than a Howard Dean scream. We are responsible for remaking two nations. Our government can now spy on our every move, keystrokes as the case may be. We are moving toward all our votes being cast on suspect voting machines. Jobs leaving our shores in droves. No real retribution for corporate thieves who steal billions. Health care costs through the roof. So lets see what is happening in George Bush's American today.

Paul Krugman: Democracy at Risk
The disputed election of 2000 left a lasting scar on the nation's psyche. A recent Zogby poll found that even in red states, which voted for George W. Bush, 32 percent of the public believes that the election was stolen. In blue states, the fraction is 44 percent.

Getting the Message?
I listened to President's 2004 State of the Union, and read the speech on-line. Deconstructed, it reveals a great deal about the state of our union.

Global Eye ? Royal Flush
Out of the blood and murk of Iraq, yet another sinister connection is emerging, a skein of corruption tying Dick Cheney's Halliburton, the Bush Family fortunes -- and a mysterious Kuwaiti company that peddles material for building weapons of mass destruction.

Grand Jury Hears Plame Case
Testimony begins in front of a grand jury in the investigation into whether the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was improperly leaked to the press.

US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld is considering plans to expand the global war on terrorism with multi-pronged attacks against suspected militant bases in countries such as Lebanon and Somalia...

Did you see the debate last night? Here was the big moment:
JENNINGS: I get General Clark and Senator Edwards this time.

General Clark, a lot of people say they don't you well, so this is really a simple question about knowing a man by his friends. The other day you had a rally here, and one of the men who stood up to endorse you is the controversial filmmaker Michael Moore. You said you were delighted with him.

At one point, Mr. Moore said, in front of you, that President Bush -- he's saying he'd like to see you, the general, and President Bush, who he called a "deserter."

Now, that's a reckless charge not supported by the facts. And I was curious to know why you didn't contradict him, and whether or not you think it would've been a better example of ethical behavior to have done so.

CLARK: Well, I think Michael Moore has the right to say whatever he feels about this.

I don't know whether this is supported by the facts or not. I've never looked at it. I've seen this charge bandied about a lot.

But to me it wasn't material. This election is going to be about the future, Peter. And what we have to do is pull this country together. And I am delighted to have the support of a man like Michael Moore, of a great American leader like Senator George McGovern, and of people from Texas like Charlie Stenholm and former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton.

We've got support from across the breadth of the Democratic Party, because I believe this party is united in wanting to change the leadership in Washington. We're going to run an election campaign that's about the future. We're going to hold the president accountable for what he did in office and failed to do, and we're going to compare who's got the best vision for America.

JENNINGS: Let me ask you something you mentioned, then, because since this question and answer in which you and Mr. Moore was involved in, you've had a chance to look at the facts.

Do you still feel comfortable with the fact that someone should be standing up in your presence and calling the president of the United States a deserter?

CLARK: To be honest with you, I did not look at the facts, Peter. You know, that's Michael Moore's opinion. He's entitled to say that. I've seen -- he's not the only person who's said that. I've not followed up on those facts. And frankly, it's not relevant to me and why I'm in this campaign.

JENNINGS: OK, thank you, sir.
Here is Miichael Moore's response: George W. Bush, A.W.O.L
In last night's Democratic Presidential debate in New Hampshire, broadcast on the Fox News (Nusciance?) Channel and ABC's Nightline, Peter Jennings went after Wesley Clark -- and me -- because I said I want to see Clark debate Bush... "The General vs. The Deserter."

Now if Peter would look at the facts that are referenced in Michael Moore's article he might not think this statement was so reckless.

Thursday, January 22, 2004
Do you remember this story? Infiltration of files seen as extensive. Well it's back in the headlines. As I read through the article this paragraph struck me.
As the extent to which Democratic communications were monitored came into sharper focus, Republicans yesterday offered a new defense. They said that in the summer of 2002, their computer technician informed his Democratic counterpart of the glitch, but Democrats did nothing to fix the problem.
Now as any Republican would tell you they are the party with moral leadership. So they pointed this out to the Democrats. The Democrats didn't fix it. So if they didn't fix then it's legal now and stealing confidential files is now OK. Is that what the more moral party thinks?

Iraq may be on path to civil war, CIA officials warn
WASHINGTON - CIA officers in Iraq are warning that the country may be on a path to civil war, current and former U.S. officials said yesterday, starkly contradicting the upbeat assessment President Bush gave in his State of the Union address.

Ex-C.I.A. Aides Ask for Leak Inquiry by Congress
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 - A group of former intelligence officers is pressing Congressional leaders to open an immediate inquiry into the disclosure last summer of the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer, Valerie Plame.

The President Speaks: Cheney: U.S. to Continue Search for Iraqi WMD
Jan. 22, 2004 -- Vice President Dick Cheney says the hunt in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction will go on and he insists that there were ties between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. In an interview with NPR's Juan Williams, Cheney also says the United Nations has a potential role to play in Iraq's political transition.

More SOTU Analysis:
An Address Worthy of Enron
In the gallery at President Bush's State of the Union address the other night I saw Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots; Adnan Pachachi, the current head of the Iraqi Governing Council; and a bunch of other people -- all there to personify something Bush was saying. When he got to Iraq, I had my own man for the gallery. I pictured a smiling Ken Lay.

William Rivers Pitt, The Color of Bush's Sky
It took a little less than a half hour for George W. Bush to taint the 215th State of the Union address with a bald-faced lie about Iraq. It was, in the end, merely an accent in the symphony.

Just to make sure we don't forget these remind us there is a war going on in Iraq:

Trio of Iraqis killed in Fallujah.
Baghdad, Iraq - Unidentified assailants shot and killed three women working for United States-led forces in a central city while a young man was fatally shot on Thursday in the south, police said.

Iraqi police killed in Falluja attack.
Three Iraqi police have been killed and five wounded after they were attacked near the town of Falluja.

Mortar Attack Kills Two U.S. Soldiers, Wounds Another.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and one was critically wounded in a mortar and rocket attack on a U.S. military base near the restive central Iraq town of Baquba, the U.S. Army said Thursday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Why isn't Brenie Sanders running for President? We Are the Majority. I had to post a few excerpts but the whole artilce is great, check it out.
What is even more cynical about these tax breaks is that here you have a conservative President and a conservative party, which for years have been ranting and raving about how terrible deficits are. But now they are giving us the largest deficit in American history. Why are they driving up a huge national debt that our kids and grandchildren are going to have to pay off? I'll tell you why they are doing that. They are doing that so that they'll come back before the American people and say, "We cannot afford to maintain Social Security; privatize it. We can't afford to protect Medicare and Medicaid; privatize it. We can't afford to protect the Veterans Administration; privatize it." That is their cynical plan: to destroy the basic rights that millions of people have fought for and received, and to bring us back to the nineteenth century, where the American people had no rights, where the elderly were the poorest people in our society, where children slept out on the streets without nutrition programs, where workers were unable to form unions, where there were no health care programs for the elderly. That is what they are trying to do, and we are not going to allow them to get away with it.


Go out on Main Street, stand at the corner, and ask people a simple question. Tell them you're doing an informal poll, and ask them if they want 40 percent of the tax breaks, hundreds of billions of dollars, to go to the top 1 percent, or whether those breaks should be spread around more fairly and be used for education or lowering the deficit. Then tell me who is "fringe." Ask them if we should maintain our disintegrating health care nonsystem or establish a universal health care system that guarantees health care for all. Then tell me who is "fringe." Ask them if we should continue to let polluters destroy our environment, or move to safe, sustainable energy. Then tell me who is "fringe."

Joe Conason asks What’s Bush Hiding From 9/11 Commission?.

This is a great commentary by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr on the State of the 'Vision Thing'.

I'm not sure what you thought of it but I wasn't able to see it. What do I mean the SOTU, of course. I debated the whole way home whether I was going to watch the speech or the Texas basketball game instead. I probably have watched everyone of these since somewhere during the Reagan years. I consider it a civic duty to watch it. Last night was my turn to put our youngest daughter to bed so I didn't see it live. When she finally went to sleep it was over, Texas won in overtime by the way. But my wife watched it or at least she did until she couldn't take it anymore. She didn't want to see her dinner again. I remember stepping into the room at one point and heard Bush rambling on about steroids and wondering what the hell he was saying--admittedly I knew he was probably filling because it was around 9 o'clock. I never was able to sit down and watch the whole thing. I caught bits and pieces here and there. From what I've been able make of it there was not much new there. The one thing I did see that stuck with me was the "permission slip" comment.
From the beginning, America has sought international support for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country.
Do you see the spin here? First of all the whole permission slip is tied to national security. He also lumps Afghanistan and Iraq together. If any of these two wars had anything to do with national security it was Afghanistan. We all know that Iraq was not a threat to our security. All of our historical allies ever would have willingly joined us in Iraq if Iraq was an imminent threat to our security. I said this before and I will say it again. If Iraq was a WMD threat and especially a nuclear threat Israel would have acted long before we did. They did it before! Just one of what I'm sure are a million examples like this in this speech.

Stephen Zunes and An Annotated Critique of the Foreign Policy Segments of President George W. Bush’s 2004 State of the Union Address. Here is his take on the "permission slip" comment:
In reality, it was not a few nations, but an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations that opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Furthermore, public opinion polls show that even in countries whose governments did support the U.S. invasion, the majority of these countries’ populations opposed it. It is highly unlikely that there would be any opposition in the United Nations Security Council or anywhere else for the U.S. government to “defend the security of our people.” The invasion of Iraq, however, was not about defending the security of the American people but an illegal act of aggression, according to the United Nations Charter, which has been signed and ratified by the United States and virtually every country in the world.
Sounds familiar.

More analysis:
Bush's Defiant State of the Union.

Editorial: State of the Union/It's not good, thanks to Bush.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
I haven't talked much about the Democratic Presidential race lately, as a matter of fact I haven't talked about it at all. If I was to vote today I know who I would vote for. The candidate that seems to stand the most for what I believe in is Kucinich. If he is in until Texas I will vote for him. I will vote for any of these guys over Bush, but there is not much I wouldn't vote for over Bush. I like several things about the most of the other candidates but I also dislike a few things about each one. I know that there is never a perfect candidate. I believe realistically at this point we are down to four viable candidates. My take on what happened in Iowa is that Gephardt believed he had to win here to have any chance. He took on the supposed front runner and they started smearing each other. It made both of them look bad and Kerry and Edwards sneaked in the back door. Why it happened this way is up for interpretation. I believe that the powers that be in the Democratic party do not like Howard Dean. Be it the DLC, the true money people, or the DNC. Whether it's because he is not beholden to them, they think he cannot be elected or they just don't like him I'm not sure. I think the power in the Democratic party put Gephardt on Dean to drag him down. I believe that if he didn't get dragged down far enough in Iowa then Lieberman would be finishing the job in New Hampshire. Now that the media has sufficiently branded Dean as angry he will now be rebranded as fading, out of steam, he peaked too early or something of that nature. A few things about Dean. He is not a liberal. He's been painted that way because of his Iraq war stance. He is a centrist Democrat. I have to go right now but will say more about this later.

Paul Krugman, Going for Broke.

Will he come out of his undisclosed location for this, Costello pushes hearings on Cheney.

The coverup continues, 9/11 Panel Unlikely to Get Later Deadline. 9/11 Panel Unlikely to Get Later Deadline .
President Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have decided to oppose granting more time to an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, virtually guaranteeing that the panel will have to complete its work by the end of May, officials said last week.
I've seen a few of these floating around. Print it out and take it home with you, State of The Union (SOTU) Scorecard, (.pdf).

Friday, January 16, 2004
I'm not an expert on Martin Luther King (MLK) but I know a few things. There was an interesting discussion yesterday on Democracy Now. One of the topics they hit on was that most people only know him for his civil rights work, which ended around 1965. He was killed in 1968. Most media retrospectives of MLK don't mention what he was doing from 1965 until his death. Well he wasn't working on tax cuts for the rich. What he was trying to do was bring lower and middle class workers together, no matter their race, sex, religion, etc.. He was also for organizing workers (labor unions). But most of all as this speech points out he wanted us out of Vietnam. Remember that's why JFK was killed and a month after MLK, RFK was killed for the same reason. All three killed by supposed lone gunmen. So MLK was a proponent of civil disobedience, nonviolent protest and world peace. Those are not good things as far as the military industrial complex is considered. Not to mention the fact of organizing workers made him a communist. The story that doesn't get told is always the best.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Memo for the President: Your State-of-the-Union Address.

Chalmers Johnson, America's Empire of Bases.

Al Gore Speaks on Global Warming and the Environment, read or listen.

I love this guy, Global Eye – Organ Grinders.

Photos from Bush in Atlanta yesterday.

Paul Krugman, Who Gets It?
So what's the answer? A Democratic candidate will have a chance of winning only if he has an energized base, willing to contribute money in many small donations, willing to contribute their own time, willing to stand up for the candidate in the face of smear tactics and unfair coverage.

That doesn't mean that the Democratic candidate has to be a radical — which is a good thing for the party, since all of the candidates are actually quite moderate. In fact, what the party needs is a candidate who inspires the base enough to get out the message that he isn't a radical — and that Mr. Bush is.
Molly Ivins, Giving money to rich people.

Thursday, January 15, 2004
Have You Forgotten 9-11?. Well, have you?

This Doonesbury is along the same lines.

Some days when I start looking over the news I cannot believe what I am seeing in relation to what I think most Americans are seeing. I'll give you a few examples of what I am seeing:

Senator Kennedy gave a speech yesterday, America, Iraq and Presidential Leadership,

Does this surprise anyone? 2 on 9/11 Panel Are Questioned on Earlier Security Roles.

This is amazing, New Blow to Blair over Iraq.
Mr Theilmann told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m afraid I think the American public was seriously misled.”

The US administration “twisted, distorted, simplified” intelligence in a way that led Americans to “seriously misunderstand what the nature of the Iraq threat was”, he said.

“I’m not sure I can think of a worse act against the people in a democracy than a President distorting critical information,” he said.

“For a President to abuse that sacred trust ... is to me a very serious development.”
I'm not posting this to slam the military. This is posted just to point out that war is ugly for everyone involved. Two murders and a lie, An investigation of the US Army's firing at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on 8 April 2003.

An analysis of the President's new initiative, The wrong leap for mankind.

These two speak to the same issue, why this administration has to have some kind of election in Iraq by the summer. Bush's self-serving Iraqi timetable and Last Copter Out of Baghdad.

The way I read this news. My Presidents a liar. Our government is covering up something about 9/11. War is an ugly undertaking and our President took us there for reasons other that he told us. Oh yeah, sorry, I already said he is a liar. A politically motivated initiative--that will cost much more than $1 billion--to go to Mars and the Moon, and we're still losing jobs and 43 million people don't have health care. Now go to ABC, CNN, NBC, or Fox and see what you get. Is it any wonder that most Americans think things are going pretty good? I believe that if the citizenry knew what was going on Bush wouldn't even be running for reelection, because he would have about a 30% approval rating. But what do I know.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
More from O'neill on our fearless leader, Surreal moments serving a mythological president.

This is a good read, 2nd act A year later, Sean Penn returns to Iraq and files a personal, candid report from the front.

Next, A War in Search of a Reason.


Tests Show No Agent in Iraq Mortar Shells

Freedom of the press in Iraq, US military 'brutalised' journalists.

This article tells why that person being interviewed won't, Answer the &$%#* Question! Here is how the article ends:
But in my examination of some fifty news transcripts, sharp questioning is unusual, raising the larger question of what the audience takes away when journalism appears to be little more than disguised public relations. Does the audience see through the culture of caution and obfuscation that permeates the news business? When TV guests practice question evasion, does the audience think twice about their credibility? Does the public see through polished answers and the platitudinous comments? Does it ask where the real meat and potatoes are?

Such questions bring up others: What are journalists for? Are they to analyze and interpret the news and arbitrate conflicting opinion for the public, or are they to act as mere carriers of other people?’s messages?

It?’s no secret that journalism has a credibility gap. Maybe it has always and by journalists who try less and less to close it.

Civil war is a possibility in Iraq, Refereeing in Hell. GIs are dying. Rival factions are turning on each other. After freeing Iraq, can we keep it from coming apart? This line needs a qualifier. Iraq was freed from Saddam Hussein, it has not been freed.
Iraq's neighbors are saying prayers of their own as they watch what's happening next door. They have all had their share of ethnic problems with Kurds and other minorities, but their concern goes deeper than that. When the WMD searches came up empty, Bush aides began claiming that the invasion was actually a way of planting the seeds of democracy in Arab lands. Now the fear is that Iraq's collapse could destabilize the entire region.
Paul O'Neill fell all over himself yesterday backtracking on what he said Sunday on 60 Minutes. Namely these two:
O'Neill said his contention that President George W. Bush came to office fixated on ousting Saddam Hussein was really just a government policy of regime change in Iraq that he inherited from the preceding Bill Clinton administration.

O'Neill said he would probably even vote for Bush in November's presidential election.
But not so fast. Someone else is Corroborating O’Neill’s Account.
President Bush ordered the Pentagon to explore the possibility of a ground invasion of Iraq well before the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, an official told ABCNEWS, confirming the account former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill gives in his new book.

The official, who asked not to be identified, was present in the same National Security Council meetings as O'Neill immediately after Bush's inauguration in January and February of 2001.

"The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces," the official told ABCNEWS. "That went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force."
So let's be clear. Their attempt to blame this as a continuation of Clinton policy is another lie.

There have been many times since our current President took office that I have sat back and thought to myself, "If Clinton was still President and this--WMD lies, crony capitalism, etc..--was going on the press and the Republicans would be all over this 24/7". So what is the first thing I see today? This, Perle's Wisdom, in (.pdf) if you like. So once again I can't help but wonder what would be happening if Clinton was still President?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Jim Lobe writes some great stuff, Neo-Conservatism, Hard Core. If hard-core neo-conservatives Richard Perle and David Frum had their way, the Bush administration would be issuing ultimatums on virtually a daily basis.

Rob Kall wonders, How Low Can The Right Wing Media Go?

Great cartoon, This Modern World.

Talking Points Memo has today's jumping off point,
Number of days between Novak column outing Valerie Plame and announcement of investigation: 74 days.

Number of days between O'Neill 60 Minutes interview and announcement of investigation: 1 day.

Having the administration reveal itself as a gaggle of hypocritical goons ... priceless.
Most of the reporting that I am reading on this is saying that no one inside the Bush administration is attacking what Paul O'Neill has said they are just attacking him personally. I watched the interview with him yesterday and for me the most interesting part--because I already knew that this administration had been lying about all this--was the last segment of the interview(Transcript):
While in the book O'Neill comes off as constantly appalled at Mr. Bush, he was surprised when Stahl told him she found his portrait of the president unflattering.

“Hmmm, you really think so,” asks O’Neill, who says he isn’t joking. “Well, I’ll be darned.”

“You're giving me the impression that you're just going to be stunned if they attack you for this book,” says Stahl to O’Neill. “And they're going to say, I predict, you know, it's sour grapes. He's getting back because he was fired.”
“I will be really disappointed if they react that way because I think they'll be hard put to,” says O’Neill.

Is he prepared for it?

“Well, I don't think I need to be because I can't imagine that I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth,” says O’Neill. “Why would I be attacked for telling the truth?”

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked about the book on Friday and said "The president is someone that leads and acts decisively on our biggest priorities and that is exactly what he'll continue to do."
You can always count on Scottie for a bland and uninformative comment. Anyways, is this guy naive or what? So why do they attack him like this? Well I have another quote from an interview to explain this, Transcript::
But interestingly enough, both of the Bush presidents have had political advisers who read Machiavelli. Karl Rove, the advisor to George W., and Lee Atwater was the adviser to George H. W. Now, Rove was quoted in one of the books that came out recently as saying that Lee Atwater, who was his friend, reread Machiavelli's "The Prince" once a year to sort of keep up on the wisdom of the master, so it speak What Machiavelli says in one of these book, most notefully, the prince, is that the prince has to be all talk about humanity and religion and fairness and nice-nice type of things, but what really makes a prince a success is to deceive, because you can basically pull the wool over most people's eyes most of the time. His historical analysis is that people like Pope Alexander VI and others there were successful because they deceived. And his analysis in the discourse is Machiavelli is the -- is that the history of success sort of in the Renaissance period didn't come from force as a way of getting leadership positions. Fraud was how you got leadership positions. I don't know how many copies of Machiavelli? ?he Prince?are at the C.I.A. It? possible that C.I.A. George H. W. got this from his C.I.A. connections. They would think in terms of keeping things quiet and deceiving. You had the advisers that fed on Machiavelli.
This quote comes from a an interview done by Democracy Now with Kevin Phillips the author of this book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush. I highly recommend either listening, watching or reading the whole interview. So what does all of this prove? That this administration will use any means necessary to get what they want. So don't forget it.

Paul Krugman, The Awful Truth.

Bush says O'Neill was right, Bush admits he targeted Saddam from the start.

WARNING, This article includes logic and reason. Editorial: The wrong war/Why Iraq was a mistake.
But the most sacred duty civilians have to their armed forces is to ensure they are never called to sacrifice their lives unless this nation faces a real threat. Bush must be held accountable for Hampton's death. Iraq was the wrong war -- for conservatives, for liberals, for all Americans.

Monday, January 12, 2004
If you didn't see 60 minutes last night you can watch the Paul O'Neill interview here, CBS 60 Minutes, Interviews former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill.

This woman knows quite a bit about pre-war intelligence, Open Door Policy. Will Rivers Pitt beings the recent stories into perspective, The Lies for War Unravel. In my previous post I said they are starting to eat their own. But I guess a more true statement is that these people are not and never were in with them. They are true conservatives and they were not for this war.

This is a good question, Okay, so what happens now?

Now they are starting to eat their (supposed) own, How to Lose Your Job in Talk Radio, Clear Channel gags an antiwar conservative..
So I’m a talk-show war casualty. My contract expires in a few more months and—my iconoclasm being noted—it is not likely it will be renewed. Among the survivors at my station: one host who wanted to nuke Afghanistan (he bills himself as “your voice of reason and moderation”) and another who upon learning that 23-year-old Mideast peace activist Rachel Corrie had been run over by an Israeli bulldozer shouted, “Back up and run over her again!” As he doesn’t quite get some of the important distinctions in these debates, such as that Iranians should not be called Arabs, we would hope that he’s not taken too seriously. Likewise my replacements in the afternoon drive slot, brought in for glamorizing the war and billed as “The Comedy Channel meets Talk Radio.” If you remember the “Saturday Night Live” skit “Superfans” with Mike Myers and Chris Farley—“Who’s stronger, God or da Bulls?” “Da Bulls!”—then you get the idea. Only instead of “da Bulls,” it’s three hours every afternoon of “da Bush!” Expect to hear more insightful topics like “So Who’s Tougher: Michael Jordan or Donald Rumsfeld?”

This looks interesting 9/11 panelists eye Bush, Bill. I think it would pretty cool to see both of these guys answering questions under oath on TV. One reason would be just to see the differences in -- how should I say it -- intellect between these two guys. But in actuality neither one of these guys will testify without seeing the questions and having their answers ready before answering a single question.

Massive press over the weekend on the new book The Price of Loyalty by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Most of the information has come out of a CBS interview, Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq? Here is my favorite quote so far:
At cabinet meetings, he says the president was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection," forcing top officials to act "on little more than hunches about what the president might think."
A nice wrap-up of the WMD stories last week, Iraqi WMD: Myths and ... more myths. To be fair, Danes show suspect Iraqi shells. Is this what we went to war over? Those shells look decomposed.

A little Bush family history, The Barreling Bushes.

Friday, January 09, 2004
Colin Powell on the WMD report from Talking Points Memo, Game, indeed.

We in America are taught to believe that we are the best informed people in the world. Well look at these two articles about your media and see if you still feel that way. Their Media War and Ours in 2004 A Call to Educate, Organize and Mobilize and Media AWOL .

Just a little more regarding the uproar over the and the two ads that compare Bush to Hitler. This is a good post that points out the right-wing has done the same thing. But more importantly it shows how they and the media attack these issues and the Democrats have no similar tactic. Media Channel also takes this article apart and speaks to the lack of coverage anywhere about the NY Post article,, The New York Post and Media's Double Standard. One take on this I saw was the argument that bad press is better than no press. My take on this is a little different. I saw an interview with Noam Chomsky a little while ago and he was asked why important issues to the American people are not talked about in campaigns, Presidential campaigns specifically. His response was basically, and I'm going from memory (because I can't find the transcript), that the corporations own the candidates and they don't want subjects like trade, corporate corruption, defense spending and other major issues discussed so the campaigns are run on issues like taxes, abortion, etc.... That is how I see this. A distraction from the important issues. Maybe Bush is the second coming of Hitler. If he's gone in a year though who cares anymore. Let's not forget what the big issues are.

Thursday, January 08, 2004
More on WMD, White House 'distorted' Iraq threat. Here is the link to the report mentioned in the article. It's running very slow right now.
The report says administration officials misrepresented the threat in three ways.

They presented nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as a single WMD threat, lumping together the high likelihood that Iraq had chemical weapons with the possibility that it had nuclear weapons, a claim for which there was no serious evidence. The administration also insisted without evidence that Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader, would give WMD to terrorists.

Finally, officials misused intelligence in many ways. "These include the wholesale dropping of caveats, probabilities and expressions of uncertainty present in intelligence assessments from public statements," it says.
If there are no WMD this makes sense, U.S. Withdraws a Team of Weapons Hunters From Iraq.

I'll steal from Buzzflash: Bush lied, our soldiers die! U.S. Helicopter Crashes in Iraq, 9 Killed. Crash? Let's see how long it takes for the headline to change from "crash" to "shot down".

See 'ya Colin, He won the battles, but lost the wars.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004
New Yorker article on Dean, RUNNING ON INSTINCT
One professor who made a big impression was Wolfgang Leonhard, who taught Russian history. He’d been a Party official in East Germany and had defected. A fantastic lecturer. He once told us, ‘Pravda lies in such a way that not even the opposite is so.’ That really hit home. I felt he wasn’t just referring to the Soviet government but to our own at the time. You knew it from some of the things Nixon talked about—denying the bombing of Cambodia—or from Kissinger’s ‘Peace is at hand’ statement, when clearly peace wasn’t at hand. They said these things just to get reëlected. I think there are some similarities between George Bush’s Administration and Richard Nixon’s Administration: a tremendous cynicism about the future of the country; a lack of ability to instill hope in the American people; a war which doesn’t have clear principles behind it; and a group of people around the President whose main allegiance is to each other and their ideology rather than to the United States.”
The latest story on no WMD, Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper. William Rivers Pitt has a little to add to this subject, The Five Hundrmore.

One more thing on That Pesky Bush-Hitler Thing. Personally I think if there was no truth to this they wouldn't care so much.

Arianna HUffington Dean, Bobby, And The Ghost Of Landslides Past.

Watch this if you have a few minutes, Electronic Voting Causing Concern. Not too hard hitting but at least it made the mainstream media.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Here is the latest attempt to scare off those who say bad things about your President and his advisors. If you are against Bush you are an anti-Semite. This man is nuts, The Era of Distortion. The best critique of this article I have seen so far is from The Daily Howler. Also Uggabugga has a great graphic on this. Josh Marshall chimes in as well, Talking Points Memo.

Have you seen this story? Army expanding `stop loss' order to keep soldiers from leaving the service. Here is what Kucinich has to say about it:
Kucinich: Refusal to Discharge Is an Involuntary Draft

"The Army's refusal to release tens of thousands of soldiers who have completed their terms of service amounts to drafting them on the very day they fulfill their obligations. These men and women have already risked their lives. They should not have to risk them a second time through involuntary service, through being forced to stay in Iraq. This is a draft. A draft forces people to serve involuntarily. If this occupation is allowed to continue for years, as the President and other Democratic presidential candidates want, we are bound to see a more formal draft. And with three of the Democratic presidential candidates favoring mandatory draft registration for 18-year-old women, even families without sons could be in for a huge surprise. Before we move any further down this path, we must recognize this occupation of Iraq as a destabilizing force in that country and a drain on the resources of this one. We must go to the United Nations with a proposal that would pull US troops out as UN peacekeepers are brought in. We must give up our hopes for oil profits and privatization of the Iraqi economy and instead rebuild our own economy here at home."
Have you read the lyrics to the song that Willie Nelson wrote? Here they are, What Ever Happened To Peace On Earth.

The finalists are up for the Bush in 30 Seconds contest. Check them out. My favorite is WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN? Looking at this article it looks like is doing quite a bit right. More on the GOP hypocrisy, Out of Their Anti-Tax Minds. Here is the headline that Buzzflash put on this article, Message to the Chairman of the RNC: You Need to Have a Little Talk with Grover Norquist, Who Compared the Estate Tax to the Holocaust. How Come We Haven't Heard Any Words of Outrage, Mr. Gillespie? I love their headlines.

I learned most of my politics from my father. There are two things he taught me about taxes. The first is that taxes never go down. The government always needs more money. Now he didn't tell me this because he is a government hater. He is a life long Democrat and believes this just to be a fact and as far as I can see it is true. Like your own budget the cost of most things you buy keeps going up. Therefore it costs you more to operate your household budget every year. The second thing he taught me is that there is no such thing as a "tax cut" only tax shifts. Meaning that the federal government may lower your taxes but because of that your state and/or local taxes will probably go up. The reason I bring this up is because the topic was discussed by Howard Dean in the debate on Sunday.
NORRIS: I have a follow-up for Governor Dean.

A hallmark of your campaign has been the pledge to repeal the Bush tax cuts across the board. Does this include tax cuts that are intended to provide some measure of relief for the middle class, the child tax credit or the lifting of the marriage penalty?

And specifically, what kind of tax relief are you proposing for middle class and working-class families?

DEAN: Well, we've got to look at the big picture. If you make over $1 million, you've got a $112,000 tax cut. Sixty percent of us got a $304 tax cut.

And the question I have for Americans is, did your college tuition go up more than $304 because the president cut Pell Grants in order to finance his tax cuts for his millionaire friends? How about your property taxes, did they go up more than $304 because the president wouldn't fund special ed, wouldn't fund No Child Left Behind, wouldn't fund COPS and -- how about your health care payments? Did they go up more than $304 because the president cut thousands of people all over America off health care because he wouldn't fund the states' share that they needed to continue to insure people, and that was shifted to insurance and the health care premiums?

Middle-class people did not see a tax cut. There was no middle-class tax cut. There was a Bush tax increase with tuitions, with property taxes, with health care premiums, and most middle-class people in this country are worse off because of President Bush's so- called tax cut than they are better off.

NORRIS: And tax reliefs that you might propose?

DEAN: Pardon?

NORRIS: And what kind of tax relief are you proposing for middle- and working-class families?

DEAN: We -- ultimately, we will have a program for tax fairness. But right now, I agree with John Edwards. You cannot balance the budget and tell people you're going to keep all these tax cuts. I am going to balance the budget, and I'm going to do it in the sixth or seventh year of my administration. We're also going to have health care...
Here is the full transcript. Some refer to this phenomena as Bush Tax. Some of the other candidates (Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt) started in on him for wanting to take money away from the middle class. But if you look at this logically, as Dean did-- I know I shouldn't bring logic into politics--There was no middle class tax cut. This is an important topic because tax shifts like those mentioned by Dean tend to hurt the poor and middle class much more than the wealthy. Here in Texas the Legislature is once again looking at different ways to finance public schools. The plan put forth by our Lieutenant Governor is to decrease property taxes and increase the sales tax. Now at least he doesn't try and say he is lowering taxes, like your President, but a shift like that will also hurt the poor and middle class much more than the wealthy. So maybe dear old Dad knew what he was talking about?

Monday, January 05, 2004
This is an amazing topic. Your President is apparently so fragile that if he becomes aware that people are against him he will not be able to take it. Or is it the fact that his handlers want him to be so in the dark that he thinks everyone is in love with him? Except for the "liberals" and the "liberal media" of course. Quarantining dissent How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech. Not only does he not read the news now we are shown that he is hidden from reality in other ways. The First Amendment zones and their Nixonian roots. (Thanks to on this one)

William Rivers Pitt, Two Loud Words. The 800 pound guerilla.

A little history, revisionist at that, on guerilla warfare Counterpunch.

A little advice about What we can and must do.

Friday, January 02, 2004
Josh Marshall updates the Plame case.

Paul Krugman on the Democrats, Who's Nader Now?

Some nice background, Eight Facts About Iraq.


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