Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An Irrelevant State of the Union


A posting of mine from the Comment Is Free blog of The Guardian....

Stale of the union

George Bush has nothing to say this evening that anyone really wants to hear.


In Washington, State of the Union addresses are usually depicted as momentous events: a president explains what he has in mind for the nation and the world. Reporters and pundits devote much airtime and ink to previewing the Big Speech; administration officials work feverishly to get their pet projects and notions inserted into the text; members of the opposition party try to deflate it before the text is even finalized.

On the night of the event, senators, representatives, Cabinet members, foreign ambassadors, military leaders, and Supreme Court justices flock to the Capitol to be present (as stage props) for the delivery. And-as a tradition has developed in recent years - they crane their necks to see whom the president has invited to sit with the first lady, the choice being awash with heavy-handed symbolism. (In 2004, at George W. Bush's first State of the Union speech after he invaded Iraq, one of the guests chosen for this honor was Ahmad Chalabi, the wily Iraqi exile convicted of bank fraud whose Iraqi National Congress had funneled misleading intelligence about Saddam Hussein's WMDs into US intelligence and the media.) And after the speech, commentators rush to dissect the address, as if they are unlocking the DNA of the presidency. It's all quite a to-do.

Not this year. Bush's SOTU (as the abbreviators call the State of the Union) is likely to be one of most irrelevant annual speeches in years. He has already addressed the most pressing matter of his presidency. Two weeks ago, he presented a speech on his Iraq policy, announcing an escalation that would entail the dispatching of more than 20,000 additional troops, mostly to Baghdad. (After the speech Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted this was no "escalation," just an "augmentation.") For months - ever since Bush dumped Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld following his party's loss of Congress - the public, the politicians, and the media had been waiting for Bush's "new" plan for Iraq. Bush unveiled that plan, to much political and popular opposition. Having had his say on Iraq, there is now not much else that anyone wants to hear him talk about.

Still, Bush is committed to standing at the lectern and unveiling policy proposals about problems other than Iraq. Yet with Congress in the hands of Democrats, his initiatives - whatever they are - will generally face dismal odds. In the past, he used the State of the Union to call for a grand mission to send humans to Mars and for more energy independence. But such programs, even when Republicans controlled Congress, did not get far off the ground. His proposal for the partial privatization of Social Security - once featured in a SOTU - exploded in his face. Even Republicans now deride his Mars idea as a legendary SOTU misstep.

This year, there is pre-speech talk that Bush will again refer to alternative energy and maybe global warming (how about driving to Capitol Hill in a Prius hybrid?) and that he'll propose taxing people who receive expensive health care insurance at work to raise money to pay for health care plans for some currently uninsured. But Democrats have plenty ideas of their own about energy independence and climate change, and it's rather unlikely the health care mavens of the Democratic Party - who are enthusiastic about designing their own health care legislation - are going to take any leads from Bush.

After the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, much of America has decided it has heard enough from this president. His recent Iraq speech only served to further distance himself from the public and most of its elected representatives in Washington. There is not much he can mention at this point that will resonate. (Perhaps if he calls for nationalizing the oil companies, that might catch people's attention.) He has defined his presidency with his war in Iraq. The state of Iraq is the state of the union. And he has nothing new to say about that.

Posted by David Corn at January 23, 2007 09:42 AM

77 comments:

Saladin said...

Sorry for this delayed response, I spent yesterday battling a trojan horse that manageed to get past all my security measures and cause serious grief. Caution to everyone, it is called trojan-downloader-zlob, and it will try to trick you into downloading FREE software called System Doctor and a couple others, DON'T DO IT!! This is very malicious spyware. Fortunately I was very suspicious because of all my past computer headaches, also the fact that the little warning balloon that kept popping up spelled balloon wrong! You would think these smart hackers would learn to use spell checker! I guess no matter how many safety precautions you take some asshole will find a way around them. This came with an email from a known friend, he had no idea it had been sent.

David, I am sorry for your loss, but you're right, if only we could all be assured of such a departure. I've lost both my my parents 20+ years ago, and I can still feel it. My best hope is that I will preceed my children, that will be all I could ask for.

Saladin said...

Whoops, guess I need the spell checker! I'm using my laptop, these little keys are hard to work with.

Saladin said...

'Fiscally conservative' Democratic faction refuses call to end war; Plans legislation focusing on accountability for funds Bush wants to spend on Iraq

Michael Roston
Raw Story

A group of forty-four "fiscally conservative" Democrats will not call for an end to America's military involvement in Iraq, RAW STORY has learned. Instead, the Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats will introduce legislation this week focusing on accountability for money the White House wants to spend on the nearly four year long Iraq War.

In a press conference last Friday, Rep. Jane Harman, the California Democrat who was formerly the ranking minority member of the House Intelligence Committee, announced a bill she would sponsor this week on behalf of the Blue Dog Democrats: "Providing for Operation Iraqi Freedom Cost Accountability." The provisions of the bill focus on Congressional oversight of the funds used to pay for operations in Iraq.

The Blue Dogs will not speak out as a group on whether or not to call for an end to the Iraq war. "They will not draft a resolution or course regarding the troops other than one of support for our soldiers in harm’s way," said Jon Niven, Communications Director for Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), who co-chairs the caucus.

Niven's language is comparable to a bill introduced by House Republicans leaders which resolves "to pledge the faithful support of Congress to members of the United States Armed Forces serving in harm's way," and states that "Congress will not cut off or restrict funding" for US troops in Iraq. However, several Blue Dog staffers told RAW STORY that the caucus hasn't held any formal meetings with House Republican leadership.

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA), a Blue Dog member, released a statement after the group's press conference on Friday stating that "Iraqis must steadily progress toward full responsibility for internally policing their country. Without such progress, it is wasteful to continue our investment of lives, limbs and taxpayer dollars in Iraq."

Much of the bill focuses on the fiscal implications of the Blue Dogs' legislation. The bill calls for reports every 90 days from the the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction on how military and reconstruction funds are being spent, including money now awarded to contractors. The bill also calls for Operation Iraqi Freedom funding to be appropriated via the normal appropriations process in the next fiscal year, and not with "emergency supplemental" budgets.

"This proposal will restore full, aggressive congressional oversight to ensure that taxpayer money going to the war effort is being spent efficiently and wisely," said Rep. Dennis Moore, another Blue Dog Co-Chair, in a statement to RAW STORY.
==========
UnFUCKINGbelievable! I guess getting them OUT of harms way doesn't make any sense? The dems are just as bad as bushco, I don't see one speck of difference. Oh yeh, I forgot, all the poor workers got a few crumbs.

Saladin said...

Lobbyists search for new ways to offer a free lunch

RAW STORY
Published: Tuesday January 23, 2007

High-priced power lunches between lobbyists and individual Members of Congress may be a thing of the past, but lobbyists are still seeking ways to pick up the tab for congressional meals, according to a report in today's Roll Call.

Tory Newmyer writes that the House has recently banned meals and gifts bought for Members of Congress by lobbyists and the companies they represent, and the Senate is working to follow suit. But he also describes a recent scene in a Washington steakhouse with congressmen from both parties enjoying a meal paid for by "Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, and FedEx," which, "each chipped in $10,000 to cover the expense. Other sponsors included the National Association of Broadcasters, Microsoft and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Their names were printed on tickets party-goers wore around their necks."

Lobbyists were able to pay for the event, steaks and all, under one of a dozen exemptions in the recent ethics legislation. This particular exemption is known as a "widely attended events." Newmyer quotes a variety of sources who say such events will be more frequent in the aftermath of the ethics legislation.

The article showed other examples of the lobbyists at work. While the ethics reforms ban fancy parties for Members at national party conventions, one campaign finance lawyer said he believed he could find his way around the ban because “The plain wording of this is not restrictive...you could probably find a half a dozen ways around it.”

The full article can be read by Roll Call subscribers at their website. An excerpt is offered below.
#

“Widely attended events will be the model for the future of any sort of interaction with Members, because everything else is restricted,” said Ryan Costella, president of Volta Live, the marketing-through-entertainment company that put on the Charlie Palmer event.

To qualify as a widely attended event, the House and Senate ethics committees require that at least 25 non-Hill employees are expected to show up, Members and staff are invited by a sponsor, and attendance has something to do with their official duties.

Already this year, the events have proved a popular way for lobbyists to get together in a friendly atmosphere with important contacts on the Hill.

They filled up the first week of the year with parties to honor new lawmakers. Holland & Knight threw a bash for Florida Reps. Vern Buchanan (R) and Ron Klein (D); Honeywell hosted the Iowa delegation in its offices; John Jonas of Patton Boggs co-sponsored a party honoring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.); and Patrick Murphy of mCapitol Management welcomed 200 people to his home for newly minted Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
===========
Yes indeedy, the dems first 100 hours have been a resounding success. Lot's of toothless legislation, crumbs for the peasants and those oil companies are truly on the run!! Business as usual on the hill.

kathleen said...

Micki "forgive quickly" You can say that again. A life long lesson.

Over the last 10 years I have been part of five close friends passings. All five died with Cancer taking their lives far too early. I had never been exposed to death with the exception of a late stage miscarriage and the death of grandparents.

As I watched these close friends suffer and die ( three had children), all five chose to die at home. I was often reminded of my fathers (who is 80 and also served in WWII) words repeated when my siblings and I would complain about what he considered trivial issues. He would respond and still does

"YOUR BREATHING ,COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS".

I did not fully get this coming from a military man who had seen many people die in war. His words came flooding back as I watched these young friends die.

David's father sounds as if he had a blessed passing.

kathleen said...

Saladin you are so right. "My best hope is that I will preceed my children, that will be all I could ask for"

If we die in order..grandparents first...this is truely a blessing. I am very much a part of my friends (who died of cancer) childrens lives, and there is almost always that look of a deep deep loss in their lives that can never be replaced.




The suffering and the hell on earth that we have created for the Iraqi people.. is criminal, ...and we wonder why people around the world hate us. DUH

kathleen said...

Since there is every indication that Rove is working behind the scenes we know that Bush will take some sleazy strategy in his SOTU.

Pretending to be agreeable, talking about energy, health care, he might even use the word SACRIFICE it will be so disgusting....This guy is dripping with blood and lies!

That's the word I put my money on tonight. SACRIFICE. I believe he will use it many times.

How many times will he say IRAN?

kathleen said...

Edwards kissing Israel and Aipac's asses.

At Raw Story
Edwards: 'Iran must know world won't back down'
Ron Brynaert
Tuesday January 23, 2007

In a speech at a conference in Herzliya, Israel, former Senator John Edwards (NC-D) took aim at Iran, warning that the "world won't back down." The 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, who recently launched a new presidential campaign also said that Israel should be allowed to join NATO.

Although Edwards has criticized the war in Iraq, and has urged bringing the troops home, the former senator firmly declared that "all options must remain on the table," in regards to dealing with Iran, whose nuclear ambition "threatens the security of Israel and the entire world."

"Let me be clear: Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons," Edwards said. "For years, the US hasn’t done enough to deal with what I have seen as a threat from Iran. As my country stayed on the sidelines, these problems got worse."

Edwards continued, "To a large extent, the US abdicated its responsibility to the Europeans. This was a mistake. The Iranian president’s statements such as his description of the Holocaust as a myth and his goals to wipe Israel off the map indicate that Iran is serious about its threats."

"Once Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the Middle East will go nuclear, making Israel’s neighborhood much more volatile," Edwards said.

Edwards added, "Iran must know that the world won’t back down. The recent UN resolution ordering Iran to halt the enrichment of uranium was not enough. We need meaningful political and economic sanctions. We have muddled along for far too long. To ensure that Iran never gets nuclear weapons, we need to keep ALL options on the table, Let me reiterate – ALL options must remain on the table."





I suggest Edwards and Hillary Clinton listen to Flynt Leverett, Richard Clarke, Un weapons inspectors Scott Ritter, David Kay, Hans Blix, Iaea's Mr. El Baradei and many others who have stated that there is no "hard evidence" to back up these repeated claims about Iran....instead of listening to Richard Perle, Cheney, Bolton, Ledeen etc.

kathleen said...

I wonder if Bush will mention "switch grass"?

kathleen said...

At Democracy Now. Edwards is an idiot for hooking up with right wing radicals like Richard Perle and James Woolsey. Edwards lost me completely.




Paper: Israeli Officials Prepare Public For Attack on Iran
The Independent of London is reporting that senior Israeli politicians and analysts appear to be preparing the Israeli public for a military conflict with Iran. Iran has been the central topic of discussion at a major security forum this week in the Israeli resort of Herzliya. Speakers at the forum have included top Israeli and U.S. officials, four U.S. presidential candidates and several leading neoconservatives including Richard Perle and former CIA director James Woolsey. A reporter from the Financial Times wrote: "The war drums are beating pretty loudly here in Herzliya." State Department official Nicholas Burns said there is no doubt that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. James Woolsey likened Iran to Nazi Germany. Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards told the conference: "The challenges in your own backyard – represent an unprecedented threat to the world and Israel." Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain have also addressed the forum.

kathleen said...

Thank you Juan Cole!


Cheney blew off Iran in 2003
For the Love of God Impeach this Man

Lawrence Wilkerson, an aide to Colin Powell when he was secretary of state says that Iran in 2003 offered to help stabilize Iraq and to cut off aid to Hizbullah in Lebanon and to Hamas. Wilkerson says that the State Department was interested in pursuing the offer, which presumably came from reformist president Mohammad Khatami. He says that when the issue was broached with VP Richard Bruce Cheney, Cheney shot down any notion of "talking to evil." As if Mohammad Khatami is evil and Richard Bruce Cheney is not. (Cheney's lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and connection to 9/11 have gotten hundreds of thousands of people killed).

Because Khatami kept promising that his reforms would make Iranians better off, and because the US rejected all his overtures and left him with no achievements to show for them, the Iranian electorate turned against the reform movement and put Mahmud Ahmadinejad into power, a loud-mouthed braggart of a sort that Cheney's Likudniks could then build up into a bogey man to frighten Americans with. Cheney created Iran as a menace.

What this article doesn't mention is that the rightwing Likud cabal in Cheney's office, such as Irv Lewis Libby, with its connections to the Israeli far right, almost certainly played a key role in this rejection. I think John Hannah was already there then, too. David Wurmser came later, after getting up the fraudulent case against Iraq in the Pentagon "Office of Special Plans" (i.e. foreign policy plumbers) set up by Likudnik Douglas Feith, then the number 3 man in the Pentagon.

Libby is now on trial for lying to the special prosecutor about his role in betraying CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. Wilson had been working on anti-proliferation efforts versus . . . Iran. She was outed to punish her husband for publicly challenging Cheney's lies about WMD in Iraq.

Cheney is the most fascistic high official in US government in history. He recently implied that al-Qaeda is glad that the Democrats won the mid-term elections, as his way of trying to create the impression that anyone who disagrees with him is a terrorist-loving traitor. But it is Cheney who is the traitor, with his office having betrayed Valerie to the Iranians (and everyone else in the world).

Fascism depends on the creation of straw man enemies said to be dire threats to the Homeland. Iran is a poor weak third world country and poses no threat to the US. It hasn't aggressively invaded another country for over a century. But Cheney needs Iran to substitute for the old Soviet Union, otherwise how could he get you to agree to let him listen in on your telephone calls without a warrant, or let him torture people?

Cheney is the much bigger threat to the integrity of the US constitution than any foreign force. He should be impeached. If lying about a tawdry affair that did not even get to third base is grounds for impeachment, then lying us into a war, slapping Iran's overtures away and setting the stage for another war, and outing a CIA operative certainly are.

At least let us investigate the extent of his crimes.

posted by Juan @ 1/19/2007 06:22:00 AM 12 comments

capt said...

MEET THE NEW BIG ENERGY, SAME AS THE OLD BIG ENERGY



When I heard that the CLEAN Energy Act (the acronym stands for "Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation") was on the agenda for the 110th Congress's "first 100 hours" hype-fest, two knee-jerk reactions formed immediately in my mind:

First: They're going to pass something that won't pass in the Senate, and won't be signed into law by the President -- it's just grandstanding.

Second: This isn't going to be a corporate welfare cut. It's going to be a corporate welfare transfer, and probably some tax hikes on the false premise that "not taxing"is the same as "subsidizing."

I guess I'm just an incurable cynic. Unfortunately, that cynicism was justified.

The CLEAN Energy Act probably won't pass in the Senate. Even if it does, President Bush probably won't sign it. If President Bush doesn't sign it, it's done -- the House vote on it was 264-163, well short of a 2/3 "veto-proof" majority. So, in that sense, this whole thing is really much ado about nothing.

And if, by some bizarre chance it passes in the Senate and is signed into law, it still postures government as part of the problem rather than part of the solution:


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

A good piece. Confirms some of my cynicism.



capt

kathleen said...

@JTA Student demonstrations are being planned at Brandeis University in the lead-up to former President Carterç—´ speech on his new book on Israel.

capt said...

Israeli President to Be Indicted on Rape, Abuse of Power Charges



JERUSALEM — Israel's attorney general said Tuesday he intends to indict President Moshe Katsav on charges of rape and abuse of power, a stunning accusation against the ceremonial head of state.

A final decision on the indictment, which accuses Katsav of forcing himself on his female employees for years, would be made only after he is given the opportunity to present his case. If indicted, Katsav would be Israel's first sitting president to be charged with a crime.

Katsav's lawyers insisted he was innocent and said they believed Attorney General Meni Mazuz would abandon his plans to indict him after hearing his side of the story.

"The president believes that everyone will see that he is the victim of false charges," said his lawyer, David Libai. Some of the complainants were motivated by "revenge" after they were fired, he said.

Mazuz's decision came just days after authorities launched a criminal investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's involvement in the sale of a government-controlled bank in 2005. Several other high-level politicians have also been implicated in other scandals.

More HERE

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Must be politically expedient, eh?



capt

Saladin said...

Capt, your cynicism is well founded.
Kathleen, I've said over and over, these politicians can't be trusted, Israel has them all by the shorthairs! They are all full of talk and no action. The people of Lebanon are a good example of what it's going to take to be rid of these war mongering lunatics. America will get fed up or suffer the consequences.

capt said...

Minimum Wage Rises, Sky Does Not Fall



A visit to Washington state, which has the highest minimum wage in the country, reveals a booming economy with none of the problems Big Business had been warning about.

When I flew to Seattle last week, airport security gave me trouble over the four-pound ham I was carrying. Several TSA officials gathered to consider the question of whether ham is a "gel," to which I retorted: If ham is a gel, so am I. I suggested that they biopsy it for hidden box-cutters. I offered to divide it into 21 three-ounce chunks, each appropriately stowed in a Ziploc baggie. But no deal.

So I broke down and told them I was flying into what I had been warned would be a food-free zone: Washington, with the highest minimum wage in the country ($7.63 an hour), could hardly be expected to have affordable restaurants or a functioning economy of any kind. Notable conservative economists have almost unanimously predicted that an increased minimum wage would result in wild price increases and mass unemployment, and I had a suitcase full of clippings to prove it.

I would be entering a culinary wasteland, facing fast food meals of $20 and up, and if I tried to fall back on soup kitchens, thousands of unemployed restaurant workers would be lined up ahead of me.

So imagine my surprise when I arrived, ham-less, in Seattle to find it fully functional, if not positively bustling. Restaurants were packed, and I could still get a grilled salmon sandwich for $7.95 at a cafeteria-style place overlooking the sound. My hotel was amply staffed with congenial people and - perhaps only because of the un-Seattle-like cold, no beggars approached me on the streets. Nor can you say the dire effects of a higher minimum wage just haven't had time to set in: Washington raised its minimum wage above the federal level of $5.15 an hour about a decade ago.

In fact, according to a January 9th article New York Times, Washington's economy is booming, generating 90,000 new jobs in the last year. Even business groups have stopped griping about the state's minimum wage. The article quotes a pizza store owner in the western part of the state: ''We're paying the highest wage we've ever had to pay, and our business is still up more than 11 percent over last year.''

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

High tide lifts all the boats in the harbor.

We have the same results here in NM - both Santa Fe and Albuquerque the "living wage" has created more business and more jobs.

"Remember! Things in life will not always run smoothly. Sometimes we will be rising toward the heights - then all will seem to reverse itself and start downward. The great fact to remember is that the trend of civilization itself is forever upward, that a line drawn through the middle of the peaks and the valleys of the centuries always has an upward trend."
~ Endicott Peabody (1857 - 1944)


capt

capt said...

Israeli settler abuse compared to pre-Holocaust Europe



You won't believe who said it...

The head of Israel's largest Holocaust memorial, Holocaust-survivor Yosef Lapid, said that the behavior of some of Israel's settler's toward Palestinians reminded him of the anti-semitism before WWII.

Referring to a recently televised incident in which: "a Hebron settler woman hiss[ed] "whore" at her Palestinian neighbour and settler children lobb[ed] rocks at Arab homes," the sometimes fiery Lapid commented on Israeli radio:

"It was not crematoria or pogroms that made our life in the diaspora bitter before they began to kill us, but persecution, harassment, stone-throwing, damage to livelihood, intimidation, spitting and scorn," he said.
"I was afraid to go to school, because of the little anti-Semites who used to lay in ambush on the way and beat us up. How is that different from a Palestinian child in Hebron?"



More HERE

*****end of clip*****

It is getting pretty damned obvious, eh?


capt

capt said...

Novel Computed Imaging Technique Uses Blurry Images To Enhance View



Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a novel computational image-forming technique for optical microscopy that can produce crisp, three-dimensional images from blurry, out-of-focus data.

Called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Microscopy, ISAM can do for optical microscopy what magnetic resonance imaging did for nuclear magnetic resonance, and what computed tomography did for X-ray imaging, the scientists say.

"ISAM can perform high-speed, micron-scale, cross-sectional imaging without the need for time-consuming processing, sectioning and staining of resected tissue," said Stephen Boppart, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, of bioengineering, and of medicine at the U. of I., and corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in the journal Nature Physics, and posted on its Web site.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

WOW, another good one for the (us) nerds among us.


capt

kathleen said...

Libby rolled over on Rove this morning at the trial. The Frog March is on!

kathleen said...

Rove the Rat = Rove Sealed V. Sealed = Immunized Witness = Jason Leopold was right…

capt said...

"Libby rolled over on Rove "


The very IDEA of that makes me positively GIDDY!


capt

kathleen said...

Is Rove the immunized witness. Remember Vivecka Novak's little meeting with Libby's lawyer Luskin. Karl went running to Fitz?

What will Ari Fleisher have to say?

capt said...

Lawyers paint Libby as sacrificial lamb



WASHINGTON - Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald described for jurors Tuesday a detailed Bush administration effort to beat back early criticism of the Iraq war and accused former White House aide "Scooter" Libby of covering up his role leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

I. Lewis Libby's attorney countered with a White House effort of his own, one in which Libby was blamed for the leak to protect Bush political adviser Karl Rove's own disclosures.

"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb," attorney Theodore Wells said, recalling a conversation between Libby and his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, as the leak investigation heated up in 2003. "I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected."

As the trial opened with a preview of each side's position, it was clear that the jury will be tasked with sorting through conflicting statements in a high-profile case that has opened a very public window on the behind-the-scenes Washington practice of leaking sensitive information to the news media.

The investigation began after syndicated columnist Robert Novak revealed that a chief Bush administration critic, Joseph Wilson, was married to CIA operative Valerie Plame. Rove was one of two sources for Novak's story.

Nobody, including Rove, has been charged with the leak. Libby is accused of lying to investigators and obstructing the probe.

By putting the focus on Rove, whom Wells referred to as "the lifeblood of the Republican party," Wells sought to cast Libby as someone who was drawn into discussions about Plame only to clear his own reputation. White House officials publicly cleared Rove of wrongdoing but originally stopped short of doing so for Libby.

Using a computerized calendar during opening statement, Fitzgerald cast Libby's actions much differently. Fitzgerald described a tumultuous week in 2003 when he said the White House was under "direct attack" from Wilson.

Fitzgerald said Libby learned from five people — from Cheney to members of the CIA and State Department — that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Libby discussed that fact to reporters and others in the White House, Fitzgerald said.

"But when the FBI and grand jury asked about what the defendant did," Fitzgerald said, "he made up a story."

Libby told investigators he learned about Plame from NBC News reporter Tim Russert. But Fitzgerald told jurors that was clearly a lie because Libby had already been discussing the matter inside and outside of the White House.

"You can't learn something on Thursday that you're giving out on Monday," Fitzgerald said.

Libby says he didn't lie but was simply bogged down by national security issues and couldn't remember his conversations with New York Times report Judith Miller, Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and Russert.

Opening statements were expected to continue into Tuesday afternoon. The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

I think a pardon is more and more likely. I would LOVE to be wrong about it, I would LOVE to eat my hat as Libby is convicted. For now I am a bit too happy for words.

"I was so busy I lied" (tee hee)


capt

capt said...

Israel Organizes Quite A "Watering Hole" Event



Is it just a plain old conference -- or is there other stuff going on at this hyper-well attended assembly organized this week in Herziliya?

Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times reports in his blog that the following mix of Luke Skywalkers and Darth Vaders (many more Darth Vaders) attended a meeting at a coastal resort near Tel Aviv:

Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (well, he's local)

Likud Leader Benjamin Netanyahu (he's local too)

Defense Minister Amir Peretz (another local)

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (another local)

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England (replaced Wolfowitz)

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns (has been acting simultaneously as Condi's Deputy, Counselor, and UN Ambassador lately)

Presidential Candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate and U.S. Senator John McCain (via satellite)

Presidential Candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Presidential Candidate and former U.S. Senator John Edwards (via satellite)

Richard Perle (needs no qualifiers)

Former CIA Director and Committee on the Present Danger Chairman R. James Woolsey

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (probably the only European neocon)

Read Gideon's good piece. The conference sounds a lot like a war party -- and if not that at least a cheerleading party for the idea of militarily confronting Iran.

-- Steve Clemons

Posted by steve at January 22, 2007 04:33 PM


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

What a group, queue the theme from The Twilight Zone.


capt

capt said...

Grumbling about a Few Decades of the Bush and Clinton Families



Let's just say that in 1992, you or someone you know and care about was eight years old. Although my first political memory occurred when I was between four and five years old, I think most kids start remembering presidents when they are eight -- but that's just a guess.

Given current trends in the Bush-Clinton dynastic rivalries, we could conceivably see four and a half decades of political memory spread between just two families.

If Hillary Clinton won the next presidential challenge and held the White House for two terms, that would take us quite a number of decades of Bush-Clinton all on its own. But on Sunday in the Washington Post, S.V. Date speculates in "What Would Jeb Do?" that 43's brother and 41's son could run in 2016, 2012, or even this next time in 2008.

Let's chart this out:

8 years -- Age at first "Political Memory" (1980-1988)

4 years -- George H.W. Bush administration (1989-1992)

8 years -- Bill Clinton administration (1993-2000)

8 years -- George W. Bush administration (2001-2008)

8 years -- Hillary Rodham Clinton administration (2009-2016) -- potentially

8 years -- Jeb Bush administration (2017-2024) -- potentially

I think that the "dynasty" question is something that the Clinton campaign must have already prepared well in advance to answer -- because people in three coffee shops I ventured into today were buzzing about this exact issue. They don't like dynasties.


More HERE

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Rivalry? Hmmm. The facts seem to serve both sides of this so-called rivalry.


capt

kathleen said...

MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 25 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald used his opening statement in the CIA leak trial Tuesday to allege that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff lied about Cheney's early involvement in the disclosure of a spy’s identity.

Fitzgerald said Cheney told his chief of staff, “Scooter” Libby, in 2003 that the wife of Iraq critic and former ambassador Joseph Wilson worked for the CIA, and that Libby spread that information to reporters. When that information got out, it triggered a federal investigation.

“But when the FBI and grand jury asked about what the defendant did,” Fitzgerald said, “he made up a story.”
Fitzgerald also alleged that Libby in September 2003 “wiped out” a Cheney note just before Libby's first FBI interview when he said he learned about Wilson and his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, from reporters, not the vice president.

It was not clear if Fitzgerald meant that an attempt was made to destroy the note or that Libby had forgotten about it. In any case, the note was recovered and is part of the evidence.

Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction. He told investigators he was surprised to learn the identity of Wilson’s wife from NBC News reporter Tim Russert.

But Fitzgerald told jurors that was clearly a lie because Libby had already been discussing the matter inside and outside of the White House. “You can’t learn something on Thursday that you’re giving out on Monday,” Fitzgerald said.

Libby says he didn’t lie but was simply bogged down by national security issues and couldn’t remember details of what he told reporters about Plame.

Defense: Libby was sacrificed
In their opening statements, Libby's attorneys said Bush administration officials tried to blame him for the leak to cover up for presidential adviser Karl Rove’s own disclosures.

Attorney Theodore Wells said Libby went to Cheney in 2003 and complained that the White House was subtly blaming him for leaking Plame’s identity to columnist Robert Novak.

“They’re trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb,” Wells said, recalling the alleged conversation between Libby and Cheney. “I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected.”

Libby plans to testify and tell jurors he had many other issues on his mind at the time, such as terrorist threats and emerging nuclear programs overseas. Attorneys say they expect Cheney to testify for the defense. Historians say that would be a first for a sitting vice president.

Libby’s attorneys had hoped U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton would tell jurors that “memory does not function like a tape recorder” and “a person is less likely to remember information if he is paying attention to several things at once.”

But Walton has refused to help defense attorneys make that point and on Tuesday rejected a request to allow defense attorneys to call a memory expert to testify at trial.

capt said...

"But Walton has refused to help defense attorneys make that point and on Tuesday rejected a request to allow defense attorneys to call a memory expert to testify at trial."

Now I dance the dance of HAPPY FEET!

HA!


capt

kathleen said...

Libby to Rove "I wish I could quit you"

Who else maybe immunized? Wurmser, Hannah, Rove, Fleisher (he has been quiet for years)

Gerald said...

Immunity for Rove would be a grave mistake and a win for Libby and Cheney. Rove could say anything even to commit perjury and nothing could be done to him. Immunity for Rove sets Libby free!

Remember when Ollie North testified in the Iran-Contra treasonous act affair, that ended any hope to delve further into these treasonous actions.

kathleen said...

Remember the sealed indictments that Jason Leopold reported about?

Gerald said...

I did not mention that Ollie North was also given immunity by the than stupid Democrats who controlled Congress.

kathleen said...

Peggy Gish's latest letter from Iraq.January 19, 2007
Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings to all on a sunny, but cold winter day!

We have been laying the groundwork for assisting Iraqi organizations
who are nonviolently addressing justice and violence concerns as well
as with groups advocating for the human rights for security prisoners
who have been imprisoned for long periods without charges or trials.
Continuous visits to governmental and security offices to register
CPT as an NGO, extend residency visas, and get visas for new people
coming in, has considerably slowed our moving ahead with this work.
We have plans to travel soon to another area in the north in response
to an invitation to learn about the problems there, and to meet with
local organizations and discuss nonviolent action.

We are making plans now for Art to come to Iraq in a week and a half
to work with me on the team here until he leaves for home the end of
February. One other team member plans to leave at that time, so Art’s
coming would keep the number of our team at three.

Last week, two of our team were in Erbil the day after U.S. soldiers
raided an Iranian consulate office, confiscating files and arresting
five men they accused of helping terrorists come in to Iraq from
Iran. The day we were there, we didn’t know yet about the raid, but
while visiting the Citadel, ruins of an ancient town in the center of
the city, two security guards told our translator and driver that the
day before, U.S. soldiers brought two men into the ruins and killed
them. We did not get any more details, and have no idea where there
is any connection between the two incidents.

We’ve listened for what people here in Iraqi Kurdistan are saying
about the raid and the arrest of the five Iranian men. There are
different points of view. Many express outrage at the U.S. violation
of the rights of the Iranian diplomats. Others say that maybe the
U.S. was right and that their actions may protect Iraq from more
terrorist activity. Others are concerned, but are waiting to learn
more before making a judgment. This diversity of responses reflects
the general diversity of opinion about the relationship of Iran to
Iraq (as well as the opinion about continued U.S. presence in Iraq).
There is positive sentiment toward Iraq from those families which
took shelter there during the Anfal campaign and others who just say
that there is no need to fear Iran. There are also many who fear
Iranian and Turkish invasion and so appreciate U.S. protection.

I was sitting in the Minister of Interior’s office waiting room in
Suleimaniya a few days ago, still trying to get their clearance for
the NGO status, when newscasters announced the hanging of two more
defendants who were on trial with Saddam Hussein. They said that
during the hanging, the head of one of the men was severed. Others in
the waiting room expressed the same kind of revulsion that I felt
when I heard it.

I would guess that you also share my revulsion and sadness at the
continued waves of violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. I
wish we could do more to stop it. I feel it is important to be here
and to do what we can, but I wish we could have larger numbers of
peacemakers throughout Iraq, making much more of a difference.

Much strength and joy to you all, Peggy

kathleen said...

Odd that NPR's opening reports about the days events did not even mention that Libby rolled over on Rove at the opening of the trial,

You might even think that NPR hopes that Americans are not paying much attention to this trial.

Odd!

Gerald said...

Why Is the Press Silent on Bush's Character Problem?

Gerald said...

The American public and the world suffer dearly as a result of the refusal of the corporate press to explore Bush’s character beyond praising him with simplistic adjectives such as "decisive and bold."

Peggy Noonan, the speechwriter for Reagan who became his hagiographer, wrote a book of so-called non-fiction (which we consider fiction) on Ronald called "When Character Was King."

For Bush and Cheney, a book should be written entitled, "When Character Was Locked in the Closet and Never Discussed, Even Though It’s Killing Our Nation."

Gerald said...

The Trials and Blessings of Peacework

capt said...

EXCELLENT POSTS!

Especially: Why Won't the Corporate Press Discuss Bush's Character Problem?

****

Seems like character like IMPEACHMENT only applies to BJ's and such, ruining the country, lying to start wars of aggression, outing NOC CIA agents are all off the table?

I remember a time when the Democratic leadership[sic] took impeachment off the table for the Iran-contra traitors and liars and surprise surprise most of those criminals are working for THIS MALadministration.

Had enough?


capt

Gerald said...

As a Christian and a priest who walks in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Mahatma Gandhi, I hope to testify to the nonviolent Jesus and explain that no Christian can support this war and claim at the same time to obey Jesus commandments “Put down the sword” and “Love your enemies.” Jesus blesses peacemakers; he obeys the law of God. And I think it is our religious duty, then, to obey the same law, God’s law of nonviolence.

I, as a Catholic and an American, cannot support the Iraq war and the nuclear bombing of Iran!!!!!!!!!!!

capt said...

"Peggy Noonan, the speechwriter for Reagan who became his hagiographer"


Okay, that one made me laugh out loud!

HA!



Thanks

capt

Gerald said...

Why does BJs require impeachment and not murders, torture, war crimes, and lies?????

Gerald said...

The Prize Is Oil

Gerald said...

Iraqi and Iranian oil reserves are targeted per se, but clinching these assets out of national decision-making would also give Washington control over about 60 percent of the world's conventional oil reserves located in essentially five countries in the Arabian Gulf region (described officially by Iran as "Persian"). Iran's close proximity to these major oil resources and her balancing power in controlling access to them have made her the second major obstacle after Iraq that could block any U.S. strategic drive to gain control over them. In 2003, about 90% of oil exported from the Gulf transited by tanker through the Strait of Hormuz, located between Oman and Iran.

The Iraqi bill would allow for the first foreign exploitation of Iraqi oil reserves since the industry was nationalized in 1972. The introduction of PSAs would also be a first in the Middle East. Washington wants the Iraqi law to be the rule that has to apply across the oil-rich region as well as worldwide. Most members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nationally control their oil industries through state-owned companies with no appreciable foreign collaboration.

Such an arrangement was impossible to pass through during the bi-polar world order, but has become possible following the collapse of the former USSR if the American uni-polar power could rein in the remnants of the ruling national liberation movements, or could topple them. Within this context only can the invasion and occupation of Iraq as well as the U.S.-Iranian current crisis be perceived. Since 1972 and 1979 respectively the U.S. was denied the banana-republics-styled free hand over Iraqi and Iranian oil assets. Iraq was invaded and occupied while a regime change that would secure U.S. control is still in the works. Meanwhile Iran is being pressured and threatened with more sanctions and a military U.S. strike to change the regime in Tehran.

The more vulnerable regional oil producers, as well as their counterparts in central Asia, would be wiser to do their best not to allow the draft Iraqi law to pass to be the future yardstick to determine their relations with the multi-national oil giants, and to pre-empt a political and military environment synonymous to the one prevailing now in Iraq to be copied in Iran, which would inevitably lead to a gradual erosion or abrupt end to their beneficial current arrangements.

Voluntarily or grudgingly getting along with Bush's old or "new" strategies, would never spare them. They should reconsider because Iraq was the first target and they are the next targets; Iran also should reconsider in Iraq because she is "the" next target.

Major oil consumers in China, Japan and Europe should also be alerted to avert a possible U.S. suffocating monopoly or hegemony on oil resources at a time their as well as the American demand for oil is on the rise; their economic competition or cooperation with the U.S. will only be adversely compromised by Washington's grip on the vital mineral that is driving their industrial economies.

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush and his lust for oil and foreign countries' natural resources will lead us into WW III!!!!!

Gerald said...

I truly become excited with the blowing to hell of this planet through a nuclear holocaust!!!!!

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: January 23

kathleen said...

Let's hope that Bush does not take the same "stratergy" towards Iran that he took towards Iraq. It was just four years ago that Bush during his State of the Union said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

It sure looks like it at this point!

Gerald said...

Please link onto LewRockwell.com for January 23, 2007 and read several great articles! Lew Rockwell's website is a winner for January 23!

capt said...

Lew Rockwell




The Cost of the Lie William L. Anderson on Duke, the courts, and official hoaxes.


America's Neo-Tough Guys And their mommies and daddies. Article by Glenn Greenwald.


Visible Subsidies and Invisible Destruction Per Bylund and Michael S. Rozeff on the actual effects of the state.


Comrade Gonzales Thomas R. Eddlem on our Soviet Attorney General.


Red Ghosts "Ex"-secret police agents and informers haunt Eastern Europe, says Eric Margolis.


About the Latest Cancer Cure Bill Sardi on small molecules.


Stop All Foreign Aid to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, et al. That would be a contribution to peace, says Ron Paul.


The State vs. Peace A Gandhian perspective from Jeff Knaebel.


American Fascism Robert Higgs, author of Resurgence of the Warfare State, on its economic and military facets.


The Axis of Deception They're lying us into war again. Article by Justin Raimondo.


Have Men Become More Modest Than Women? Kay S. Hymowitz, author of Marriage and Caste in America, on scenes from the exhibitionists.


The Danger of Too Much Exercise Ironman can become Deadman.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

No problem, Lew Rockwell is on the "Link List" too.


capt

Gerald said...

My son surprised me with this article

Carey said...

Dear Mr. Corn,

I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Even though it was expected, it does not soften the blow. That each of you, his children, had the time to sit and chat with him is such a blessing.

Please extend all of our condolences to his wife and your brothers.

Losing a parent is horrendously difficult. Take your time, do not push yourself in other areas of your life. Now is not the time. The soul can only handle so much.

Again, from me and all of my family, our sincerest sympathies.

Carey Self Hickman

David B. Benson said...

The title of an opinion piece somewhere on the web:

The State of the Union: Irate.

capt said...

CIA Director Quietly Buys Nuclear Attack Insurance



BETHESDA, MD—According to sources at the Allstate Insurance Company, CIA Director Michael Hayden purchased nuclear-attack insurance Wednesday, paying a $100,000 monthly premium for his homes in suburban Washington, Pittsburgh, and near Cheyenne Mountain, CO. "It's a typical nuclear policy that protects the insured from damages caused by fallout—pretty straightforward, though at that monthly rate, I don't usually sell too many of them," said Bethesda, MD–based Allstate agent Gary Rutter, adding that Hayden paid for the first premium with a certified bank check to guarantee that the policy would take effect no later than next Monday. "After he purchased the insurance, he asked again if everything was set for Monday. I assured him it was, and then he left." Insurance agents throughout the D.C. area reported selling 35 such policies in the last week, all to high-ranking government officials.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Makes sense to me.



capt

David B. Benson said...

capt --- Good lord! What is special about 2007 Jan 29 or 30?

I can guess, but what's yours?

capt said...

"None of us would trade freedom of expression for the narrowness of the public censor. America is a free market for people who have something to say, and need not fear to say it."- Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) US Vice-President, US Senator (D-MN) Source: New York Times, 9 March 1967

=
"The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our history abundantly attest." -- Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Source: Lovell v. City of Griffin

=
"I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and mature than most of the broadcast industry's planners believe. Their fear of controversy is not warranted by the evidence." -- Edward R. Murrow - (1908-1965), American Broadcast Newsman

=
"No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

DB,

I am clueless on the days. A good friends B-day but I doubt that is of any significance.

Do tell?


capt

capt said...

Cardinal urges Vatican to think again on right to die



ROME: The Vatican's rigid opposition to euthanasia has come under fire from within its own ranks after it denied a religious funeral to a paralyzed man who had asked to be removed from a life-saving respirator.

The influential former archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, said on Sunday that terminally ill patients should be given the right to refuse treatments and that the doctors who assist them should be protected by law.

On December 20 a doctor in Rome unplugged the respirator that for many years had kept alive Piergiorgio Welby, who had muscular dystrophy.

Although the Vatican has agreed that protracted treatments for the terminally ill can be ended by doctors if no cure is possible, the Vicariate of Rome denied Mr Welby's family permission to hold a Catholic funeral, saying his "desire to end his life, expressed frequently and publicly, is contrary to Catholic doctrine".

In an article published on Sunday in the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Cardinal Martini, 79, said there were likely to be more cases like Mr Welby's and the church "should pay closer attention to the issues".

Cardinal Martini, who has Parkinson's disease, called for Italy to follow France's example and introduce legislation allowing patients to request the ending of treatments.

He said he opposed active euthanasia, where a patient requests a fatal injection, but also opposed "unreasonably obstinate" treatments that keep the terminally ill alive.

"Avoiding drawn-out therapy need not mean looking for death, but accepting that you cannot stop it," he said.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Imagine a world where the government or church is so steadfast in their beliefs that compassion for the person dying is sacrificed and the person also pays for it in suffering?

Quality of life and dignity in death are considered many times each day all over the globe by all religions and under all governments. It is the insanity of the Terri Schivo thing all over again, and these crazy people (institutions and governments) want to act like the issue is new or novel?

I have been in critical care units both as a patient and an observer. I have been in ER's and a couple of hospices (visiting) and the issues of life and death are every day business with or without sanction from any power real or imagined. The people that face such deserve support and understanding not insane considerations about the sanctity of life from on high.



capt

David B. Benson said...

Capt --- When is the second carrier group going to arrive in the Persian Gulf?

Micki said...

Happy Valentine's Day?

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- That sounds about right. UN Resolution expires when, 2007 Feb 23?

Then why was the CIA director so insistent in having his nuk-u-lar insurance effective on 2007 Jan 29?

Brrr... (And its not cold out.)

David B. Benson said...

Well, 2007 Jan 29 is National Call-in Day on Iraq. Call your representative's Washington office to say your bit on Iraq.

Don't need nuk-u-lar insurance for that.

But it occurred to me that maybe the insurance has to sit for awhile, so that it doesn't look like you bought it with pre-knowledge of the insured event. If this is so, 2007 Mar 2 is a Friday more than one month after 2007 Jan 29.

Duhhh...

Micki said...

The Onion is great satire. (see capt's link) But, Dr. B, perhaps you have outdone them!

Hajji said...

re. SOTU

...The pundits, almost to a man, mentioned that even the Rethuglicans will give Bush only till June or so before tossing flushing him like the the turd in the party punchbowl that he is.

My question for them is...

At an average of 2.36 American deaths, and at least 100 Iraqi deaths each day, are they willing to accept the additional 1500 or so American and the many thousands of Iraqis lives as the price of being able to FINALLY say, "uhm, gee, I guess you were wrong on that one, Bushie!"

"Come to think of it, you've taken the wrong turn at every single turn around which this war-wagon has careened!" I wish that somebody would've pointed out your MISERABLE FAILURES before...I mean we could've saved SO MANY LIVES!?"

Shit-can 'em all...start all over... who wants to be a "founding father" to this juvenile delinquent of a country we've raised?

G'nite,

-T

O'Reilly said...

kathleen said...
Libby to Rove "I wish I could quit you"

Who else maybe immunized? Wurmser, Hannah, Rove, Fleisher (he has been quiet for years)

The folks at FDL are betting on Ari Fleisher.

Saladin said...

My God, what is to become of us? We are left to our own devices, but are censored. I have received my book on Afghanistan and want to encourage anyone who has the ability to buy the book and support the cause. The democracy being wrought against the poor people of Afghanistan in our name, and elsewhere, is heartbreaking, $40 is not too much to ask to build a clinic for the people who so desperately need it. Though I must warn you, you may be listed as a terrorist supporter.

capt said...

What did you think of his State of the Union speech?





Posted by Geoff Spencer
January 24, 2007 1:34 PM

LATEST COMMENTS

Full of CRAP Really! Can't believe this guy can get away with making fool of so many people!

Posted by: d gill at January 24, 2007 2:00 PM

Predictable, the guy inhabits another planet along with his whole administration and all of Howards government

Posted by: chris at January 24, 2007 2:11 PM

On Iraq, the Shrub sounds just like the Administrations back in 60s trying justify their ramping up of the Vietnam war, and we all know our Prime Miniature's views on that debacle. There was no terrorist activity in Iraq until the Shrub arrived on the scene.

I say we ship the Shrub, our Prime Miniature and B-liar off to the Hague to be tried as war criminals.


Posted by: Sarty at January 24, 2007 2:11 PM

Yea we won the war 4 years ago, were winning the war as late as 6 months ago and now we 'can still win the war'. No reason to believe a word he says.

Posted by: Alex at January 24, 2007 2:11 PM

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

A little SOTU blogging from down-under. I find it reassuring that others from other places see things so much the same way.



capt

O'Reilly said...

Israelis, America and Iran
By Gideon Rachman, FT

It sounds like the stuff that conspiracy theories are made of. In a coastal resort near Tel Aviv, senior Israeli politicians and generals confer with top officials and politicians from Washington to discuss the threat of a nuclear Iran. In any good conspiracy theory, however, these talks would be going on in secret preferably in an underground bunker. In fact the Herzliya conference on Israel’s national security is taking place perfectly openly in a smart hotel. And I am in the audience.

The Israel participation is, as one would expect, high level. The conference is scheduled to close with a speech from Ehud Olmert, the prime minister. The lunchtime speaker yesterday was Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud leader, and maybe the next prime minister. We’re hearing from the foreign minister, the defense minister and a string of present and former generals.

But what has really struck me is the number of top Americans who have bothered to come over for the conference. The speaker at dinner last night was Gordon England, America’s deputy defense secretary; earlier in the day we heard from Nick Burns, the number three at the State Department. Several contenders for the presidency in 2008 have also felt obliged to tip their hat to Herzliya. Mitt Romney, who is probably second favorite for the Republican nomination, is turning up in person. John McCain, the GOP front-runner is appearing by satellite, so is Rudy Giuliani. For the Democrats, John Edwards is also scheduled to make a satellite address. I cannot think of any other country in the world that could summon up this level of American participation for a conference like this. Certainly not Britain.

more HERE

Pat said...

How dumb does Libby's defense team think we are? They make it sound like Libby was Atlas, carrying the political weight that's spread among thousands in D.C. And, as if his day-to-day job was so stressful that outing a deep cover CIA operative is a forgettable non-event. Keep in mind what was on the line: the Administration's whole credibility, and put before the public by the CIA operative's husband whose op-ed had validity.

I'd go lightly on Libby if a Real Big Fish could be brought in. You'd hear me singing "Oh Happy Day" on the west coast if that came to pass!!!

Oh yeah.

Pat

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush pleads for a second chance. I say never give a hypocrite a second chance. Bush is an asshole personsified. Will he give our dead and maimed soldiers a second chance? Will he give the dead and maimed Iraqis a scond chance? Will he give the dead and maimed Iranians a second chance through his dropping of nuclear bombs on Iran?

Hitler Bush does not deserve a second chance. He is a nutcase: impeach the hypocrite.

Gerald said...

Yes and Yes!!!

Gerald said...

Are the Democrats too chickenshit to impeach asshole Bush???

Gerald said...

It's also time for Americans to reinvent this Nation of ours. The last 25 years have not been, shall we say a learning stage? It seems that in the last twenty-five or thirty years we have lost our direction as a people. We need to focus on our own sense of morality. We need to stop being a country that has a mind set of "What's in it for me?" into a nation that thinks, "How can we solve these problems?" When I hear George W. Bush say with a completely straight face, that people who are fighting against us in Iraq "Hate us for our freedom", I can't believe my own ears. That is absolutely preposterous. Who would hate somebody for their freedom? Let me say this to poor old dumb George, if you really think they "hate us for our freedom", they probably hate us a lot less since you became our President. We've lost so much of our freedom that they'll probably start falling in love with us pretty soon. George, the way this world works is Karmic. What goes around, comes around. What we do to make this world a better place will come back to us tenfold. We need to be the America that we can become. What people said America once was, if in fact it ever really was, we can become again. We can become that light in an otherwise dark and dismal world. We need to do this, not only because it's morally right, but because it's the only way out of this mess we find ourselves in. We need to do the best we can to just do the right thing. Just because it's the right thing to do.

kathleen said...

Here was my question and statement for Senator Sherrod Brown this morning on C-span

Senator Brown, during your debate with Senator Dewine at the City Club of Cleveland the two of you were asked a question about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The question "President Bush supports a two state solution an independent and secure Palestine and Israel living peacefully side by side".

You responded by saying that you support Israel, always have and always will, and that this is where you and Senator Dewine do not differ. Senator Dewine followed by basically repeating what you said. Neither one of you took the opportunity to be more fair and balanced about this critical issue.

During the SOTU last evening President Bush stated once again that he supports an independent and secure Palestine and Israel.

This barely received any applause. Why are our representatives so chicken to take a fair and balanced stand on this issue?

Kathleen
Athens Ohio
(I worked incredibly hard for you in the last election)

kathleen said...

Not one of our representatives stood up when Bush said that he supports an independent and secure Palestinian state living side by side peacefully with the independent and secure state of Israel.

THIS BARELY RECEIVED ANY APPLAUSE AND NOT ONE OF OUR CHICKEN SHIT REPRESENTATIVES STOOD UP NOT ONE!

HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO HEAR THAT IS THE THORN IN THE SIDE ON ALL COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

What a bunch of cowards on this issue!

kathleen said...

My observations on the SOTU. I watched MSNBC from 6-11p.m

Both Olbermann and Matthews tried to cover their own asses about the MSM coverage of the run-up to the war!

Keith Olbermann said "we all the media and the American people suspended criticism"

Chris Matthews said "we have all been part of groupthink up until recently"

WHAT A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT! THEY ARE BOTH GUILTY OF WHAT THEY SAID BUT MILLIONS OF AMERICANS MARCHED, E-MAILED, CALLED AGAINST THE INVASION THEY JUST HAPPENNED NOT TO COVER THESE MARCHES FAIRLY OR ACCURATELY. MANY MANY EXPERTS FOREWARNED OF EXACTLY WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES, INCLUDING MADELINE ALBRIGHT, JIMMY CARTER, ZBIGNIEW BREZINSKIM IAEA MR. EL BARADEI, CIAN ANALYST, SCOTT RITTER, RICHARD CLARKE ETC ETC.

I AM SO FUCKING TIRED OF THIS MYTH BEING REPEATED BY THE MEDIA AND SOME OF OUR REPRESENTATIVES. THAT WE WERE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE. WHAT A BUNCH OF HOGWASH!

Senator Clinton during her interview with Olbermann had the nerve to say when pressed by Olbermann about her vote for the war to say "Well if only we knew then what we know now". Weak

Christ all you had to do was listen to the BBC, Diane Rehms and a few other programs every other day and you could have heard all of these experts forewarn of a potential quagmire and question the false intelligence being used to drag our nation into a "war of choice".

Weak Hillary really weak!



Senator Webb dropped the reality bomb on the Bush administration. Addressing how our military has been abused by this administration by abusing their trust. HE ROCKED!

capt said...

I drifted into nap land and didn't both with the Bush blather but my better half recorded what Webb had to say.

Simply put Webb ROCKS!

You know he is an old GOPhers that made the necessary adjustment (reality and all of that) and became a Democrat.

We need more like him!


capt

capt said...

New thread!

Gerald said...

I have read that Rove has immunity. Libby trial is over. Rove can lie on the stand and nothing can be done to prosecute him for perjury. Let's hear no more about the Libby trial.

We must find an exit strategy for Bush to leave office before January, 2009.