Friday, January 12, 2007

Senator Mitch McConnell, Friend of Democrats

Senator Mitch McConnell, the newly installed Senate minority leader, may be helping the Democrats--unintentionally. After Senate Deems threatened to introduce a non-binding resolution that would express disapproval of George W. Bush's decision to send 21,000 more troops to Iraq, McConnell threatened to filibuster the bill. In the Senate, the minority can stop most legislation with 40 votes.

But such a move would only assist the Senate Democrats--by making it appear as if they were actually doing something to stop Bush's escalation of the war. (Bush's latest plan is opposed by two-thirds of the public, according to various opinion polls.)

Despite the Senate Democrats' aversion to Bush's decision to deploy more troops, most of them are only willing to strike at the president with a nonbinding resolution. Unlike the House Democrats, they are not considering withholding funding for Bush's so-called surge. A few Senate Democrats, such as Russell Feingold and Ted Kennedy, do want to take concrete steps to thwart Bush, but Senate Leader Harry Reid is not among them.

The best White House reaction to Reid's threatened nonbinding resolution would be a polite but dismissive response: Thank you for your views. In good faith, we disagree, and we'll be proceeding with the policy we deem best. If McConnell filibusters--and one can assume he would only do so if the White House wants a filibuster--the battle over the nonbinding resolution would take on greater significance and draw even more attention than it might otherwise.

So if this filibuster comes to pass, the Senate Democrats would look as if they were really doing something--not merely stating an opinion. Reid must be thinking, "Mitch, bring it on! Please!"

By the way, it's uncertain that McConnell could muster the 40 votes. There are 49 Republicans, but ten or so have voiced either opposition or hesitation regarding Bush's plan. McConnell might pick up the vote of Senator Joe Lieberman, Democrat-turned-independent, But the political momentum at the moment is against the president--even within his own party.

Which brings me to a cute idea proposed by Paul Begala, Democratic consultant and talking head. On CNN yesterday, he suggested that the Democrats not introduce a measure decrying Bush's plan. Instead, he said, they ought to put up a bill declaring support for Bush's surge. The Democrats, of course, would vote against this bill. (There's no law saying you have to support a bill you introduce.) But Reid would place the Senate Republicans in a tight spot by forcing them to vote on such a measure. Would McConnell filibuster it? If he did, that would look rather absurd.

This sort of stunt would not do anything to slow down Bush's escalation, but it would be an imaginative political maneuver that would tie GOPers to Bush's policy. After all, how many Republicans want to endorse explicitly Bush's unpopular expansion of this unpopular war?

Posted by David Corn at January 12, 2007 09:39 AM


Saladin said...

What a great idea, dems and repugs continue fucking around, playing games in DC while the blood continues to flow, with Iran in the crosshairs it's only a matter of time befor another USS Liberty type incident, or some other provocation, but everyone LOOKS like they're doing something. Could this possibly get any more absurd?

capt said...


Just more of the same, eh?

Kabuki theater - I hear you can get tickets in DC.


Saladin said...

Capt, I just have one question, when are the people going to snap out of it??!! I've been slammed over and over again by some of the regular Corn posters for my political negativity, but I would like to see one instance, in the past two years, that should give me any confidence whatsoever in this money grubbing, bullshit spewing crowd! Come on, just one! The handfull of sincere politicians in DC are completely helpless against this new and improved "surge" of bought off whores who are filthy rich and couldn't care less about our country or us. But for some strange reason the people insist things will change, I suppose they will, but only for the worse. The first 100 hours have begun, what has happened besides in-fighting and finger pointing? pelosi hasn't even managed to toss us peasants the few crumbs she promised. I guess they all have their restaurant reservations in order, that's something! More of the same is right.

Saladin said...

Democratic Congressman reintroduces bill for military draft in US
By Joe Kay
12 January 2007

Charles Rangel, the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, reintroduced a bill on Thursday that would institute a military draft for all legal residents of the United States between the ages of 18 and 42.

In his press release announcing the move, Rangel—a liberal Democrat who claims to oppose the war in Iraq—made clear that the central motivation for the bill is to alleviate the strains on the military, which will be further overextended as Bush moves to increase the number of troops in Iraq. A draft would also provide sufficient cannon fodder to use in Iran, Somalia, North Korea or any other country the United States decides to invade.

“The military is at the breaking point with more than 50 percent of our combat troops already deployed in Iraq,” Rangel said. “The question is: where will the additional troops—including those that may follow if the war is escalated further—come from?” He noted that many of the 21,000 additional troops that Bush is ordering to Iraq “are already on the ground in Iraq and will have their deployments extended. Almost 250,000 of the troops currently deployed in Iraq have served more than one tour, and some have been deployed as many as six times.”

Not only is the Bush administration escalating the occupation of Iraq, it is also increasing the threat of military action against Iran, while launching air strikes against Somalia Rangel pointed to these tendencies in November 2006, shortly after the midterm elections, when he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation, “If we’re going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea . . . we can’t do that without a draft.”

Notably absent from Rangel’s press release announcing the move was any suggestion that the bill is intended primarily to deter further military action or the deployment of additional troops in Iraq This is a rationale that Rangel has advanced in the past, suggesting that politicians would not launch wars if the sons and daughters of the wealthy would be subject to conscription.

Rangel claims to be opposed to the war in Iraq, as well as the plan to introduce more troops. He is attempting to justify his draft bill by couching it in the language of “equality of sacrifice.” The draft is necessary, he wrote in his press release on Thursday, because “if Americans are to be placed in harm’s way, all of us, from every income group and position in society, must share the burden of war.”

Indeed, Rangel’s bill would require that a significant portion of the population take up this “burden of war.” Not only is he calling for a draft of all residents between 18 and 42—an age range that far exceeds previous drafts and would include immigrants as well as US citizens, women as well as men—but his bill would also deny all deferments for college students. This is the product of the recognition that a large proportion of young people of military age are attending college or university.

If such a measure were actually put into law, it would mean something on the order of 100 million people subject to conscription. Rangel’s bill provides that those not selected for the military would be required to carry out some other form of “service,” such as policing or border patrol.

The various demagogic arguments for the draft advanced by Rangel at one point or another are merely covers for policy the aim of which would be to provide more cannon fodder for present and future wars waged by the American ruling elite.

A real campaign against the occupation of Iraq would take the form of a demand for the withdrawal of US troops. This demand has not been raised by the leadership of the Democratic Party because whatever tactical disagreements they have with the Bush administration, they support the occupation of Iraq and the basic aims of American imperialism. The party leadership, which gained control of Congress on the basis of the enormous antiwar sentiment expressed in the November elections, immediately ruled out cutting off funding for military operations in Iraq.

The question of the draft is the subject of serious discussion within the political and military establishment, though this discussion is occurring largely behind the backs of the American people. When Rangel stated in November that he planned to reintroduce his bill as soon as the new Congress started, his position received prominent media coverage. This was a highly conscious move, intended as a trial balloon to gauge public reaction and prepare the population for the possibility of a draft.

It is the Democratic Party that has particularly been pushing for discussion on the reintroduction of military conscription. Calls for some form of “universal service” were ubiquitous in the policy documents of leading Democratic strategists during the lead-up to the November elections.

While there is enormous concern within the ruling elite over the potentially explosive domestic consequences of a draft, there is equally great concern over the deterioration of the military as a consequence of the protracted Iraq occupation. Volunteer recruitment is down as a result of public opposition to the war, and yet both the Democrats and Republicans enthusiastically support a permanent increase in the size of the military. The military has already been forced to relax its standards in order to meet its recruitment quotas.

The question of the draft will now become an issue for discussion within the political establishment, as it conspires new ways to force the American population to kill and be killed in the interests of the ruling elite.
100 MILLION PEOPLE?? Are they kidding? If this doesn't get the people off their ass nothing will. I hope that is the real intent, if not they are even more traitorous than I thought.

Saladin said...

The 'Surge' Is A Red Herring
by Paul Craig Roberts

Bush's "surge" speech is a hoax, but members of Congress and media commentators are discussing the surge as if it were real.

I invite the reader to examine the speech. The "surge" content consists of nonsensical propagandistic statements. The real content of the speech is toward the end where Bush mentions Iran and Syria.

Bush makes it clear that success in Iraq does not depend on the surge. Rather, "Succeeding in Iraq . . . begins with addressing Iran and Syria."

The "surge" is merely a tactic to buy time while war with Iran and Syria can be orchestrated. The neoconservative/Israeli cabal feared that the pressure that Congress, the public, and the American foreign policy establishment were putting on Bush to de-escalate in Iraq would terminate their plan to achieve hegemony in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq would mean the end of the neoconservatives' influence. It would be impossible to start a new war with Iran after losing the war in Iraq.

The neoconservatives and the right-wing Israeli government have clearly stated their plans to overthrow Muslim governments throughout the region and to deracinate Islam. These plans existed long before 9/11.

Near the end of his "surge" speech, Bush adopts the neoconservative program as US policy. The struggle, Bush says, echoing the neoconservatives and the Israeli right-wing, goes far beyond Iraq. "The challenge," Bush says, is "playing out across the broader Middle East. . . . It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time." America is pitted against "extremists" who "have declared their intention to destroy our way of life." "The most realistic way to protect the American people," Bush says, is "by advancing liberty across a troubled region."

This, of course, is a massive duplicitous lie. We have brought no liberty to Iraq, but we have destroyed their way of life. Bush suggests that Muslims in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine are waiting and hoping for more invasions to free them of violence. Did Bush's invasion free Iraq from violence or did it bring violence to Iraq?

It is extraordinary that anyone can listen to this blatant declaration of US aggression in the Middle East without demanding Bush's immediate impeachment.

Republican US Senator Chuck Hagel declared Bush's plan to be "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam." In truth, it is far worse. It is naked aggression justified by transparent lies. No one has ever heard governments in Iraq, Syria, or Iran declare "their intention to destroy our way of life." To the contrary, it is the United States and Israel that are trying to destroy the Muslim way of life.

The crystal clear truth is that fanatical neoconservatives and Israelis are using Bush to commit the United States to a catastrophic course.
If these deranged lunatics are not stopped, and soon, we are fucked. No more talk, we're out of time. The extreme Zionist neocons will take us all down with them.

kathleen said...

Saladin, Abramoff is in jail, Cunningham is in jail, Enrons Lay is dead,(weil they were not in charge of that) Conrad Black wa busted.

I know this is the tip ot the iceberg...but

kathleen said...

David what do you think will happen with PHASE II OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE?

I saw Senator Rockerfeller on Keith Olbermann he did not look good, did not say much. ( is he unable to say much)

Olbermann did not really ask him any driving questions. Although I really thought Rodkerfeller would say more

O'Reilly said...

uh, nevemind.

kathleen said...

This is the best article I have read about the Bush's speech.

Would some one link it,The US-Iran-Iraq-Israeli-Syrian War
Robert Parry
Consortium News

Friday 12 January 2007

At a not-for-quotation pre-speech briefing on Jan. 10, George W. Bush and his top national security aides unnerved network anchors and other senior news executives with suggestions that a major confrontation with Iran is looming.

Commenting about the briefing on MSNBC after Bush's nationwide address, NBC's Washington bureau chief Tim Russert said "there's a strong sense in the upper echelons of the White House that Iran is going to surface relatively quickly as a major issue - in the country and the world - in a very acute way."

Russert and NBC anchor Brian Williams depicted this White House emphasis on Iran as the biggest surprise from the briefing as Bush stepped into the meeting to speak passionately about why he is determined to prevail in the Middle East.

"The President's inference was this: that an entire region would blow up from the inside, the core being Iraq, from the inside out," Williams said, paraphrasing Bush.

Despite the already high cost of the Iraq War, Bush also defended his decision to invade Iraq and to eliminate Saddam Hussein by arguing that otherwise "he and Iran would be in a race to acquire a nuclear bomb and if we didn't stop him, Iran would be going to Pakistan or to China and things would be much worse," Russert said.

If Russert's account is correct, there could be questions raised about whether Bush has lost touch with reality and may be slipping back into the false pre-invasion intelligence claims about Hussein threatening the United States with "a mushroom cloud."

U.S. weapons inspectors concluded in 2004 that Hussein had long ago abandoned his nuclear weapons program. Many experts agreed that continued international sanctions would have prevented its resumption for the foreseeable future.

Indeed, some observers believe Bush's invasion of Iraq has proved counterproductive by spurring Iran and other countries to speed up their development of nuclear and other unconventional weapons in hopes of keeping the United States at bay.

The countries on Bush's "axis of evil" hit list saw that Iraq's WMD disarmament and acceptance of United Nations inspections didn't stop the U.S.-led invasion.

Not only have possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result, but U.S. forces killed Hussein's two sons and turned the deposed dictator over to his enemies so he could hanged like a common criminal on Dec. 30.

at truthout

kathleen said...

Will Israel strike Iran before the Aipac trial results take hold..when Americans realize the extent of Israeli spying and undermining? Looks like it!

kathleen said...


Will the Trial of Indicted AIPAC Officers Rosen and Weissman Actually Take Place?
Will the trial of AIPAC’s indicted former foreign policy director Steve Rosen and its indicted former Iran specialist Keith Weissman actually take place? Originally set for January of this year, it was postponed to April 25, then to May 17. On May 5, less than two weeks before the trial was to begin, it was postponed yet again, this time to early August.

The April 24 edition of the conservative Washington Times carried a sympathetic article by Arnaud de Borchgrave analyzing the recent study “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer and Harvard University’s Stephen Walt. De Borchgrave ended on a chilling note, observing that in early August “Most of the chattering class” will be on vacation, so that “a motion to dismiss” will hardly be noticed.

Attention is focusing on Judge Thomas S. Ellis of the Federal District Court of Alexandria, Virginia where Rosen and Weisman are to be tried. First, in sentencing convicted Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin, he made the puzzling comment that Franklin—whom Ellis sentenced to 12 plus years for passing classified military intelligence about Iran and Iraq to Rosen and Weissman and to an Israeli diplomat—had been motivated by a desire to help the United States.

Abbe David Lowell and John Nassikas, lawyers for Rosen and Weissman respectively, are using every trick in the book to delay and obfuscate the case. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaked similar classified information to the defendants, their lawyers alleged. Ellis reportedly has tentatively agreed to subpoena Rice. Also subpoenaed are David Satterfield, deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Baghdad, and Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni.

Other government officials whom the attorneys want to summon include National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Kenneth Pollack, former national security official and author of The Threatening Storm, which supported the invasion of Iraq. There is no word of Judge Ellis’ decision on these motions, but he has denied requests for testimony from three Israeli diplomats who were the ultimate recipients of stolen U.S. secrets. Ellis’ apparent acquiescence to this blizzard of requests from their defense lawyers leaves the impression that Rosen and Weissman were engaging in legitimate lobbying activities and merely exercising their freedom of speech.

According to earlier reports, Rice was told about the FBI investigation of AIPAC soon after President George W. Bush began his first term, in early 2001. Knowing that an FBI investigation was underway, she is unlikely to have revealed anything of substance to Rosen or Weissman. This lends weight to the suspicion that the AIPAC duo’s defense lawyers are attempting to summon Rice purely for show.

Despite their maneuverings, however, the case against AIPAC appears to be on solid ground. The FBI was eavesdropping on Rosen in April 1999, when he disclosed codeword-protected intelligence to an Israeli official. This was during the presidency of Bill Clinton, who must have approved it. The investigation continued, apparently with the approval of President Bush, for at least four more years. And the FBI went after the top AIPAC official, Steve Rosen.

If he is convicted and goes to prison, we should have a much weakened AIPAC—and a much more secure intelligence system.—A.I.K.

kathleen said...

You are so right Saladin "more fucking around" for many of these weenies who have the Iraqi people's and American soldiers blood on their hands.

Jesus what a mess

Saladin said...

Kathleen, the closest I can find to a set date for the trial is Jan. 2007. This website has a lot of info from many different sources regarding AIPAC and those involved, as well as surrounding issues. Hope you find it helpful.

AIPAC / Rosen Weisman indictments?

Gerald said...

Who is that screwball in the White House

Gerald said...

Religious Followers

Gerald said...

How to recognize a human scumbag

Gerald said...

Bush's Breakdown Dead Ahead

capt said...

The Leader is with us

UPDATE III: About Ledeen's anti-troop outburst, Gator90 in Comments says

Mike Ledeen is right, the real problem in Iraq is our lazy-ass, latte-drinking soldiers. The homefront keyboarders are pulling THEIR weight, tirelessly typing away and selflessly braving the relentless rhetorical onslaughts of the reality-based, only to be let down again and again by the so-called "soldiers" who don't want to do their part. Why aren't those pussy soldiers out there killing more Iraqis, dammit?

Every so often, a right-winger pauses between shouts of "support the troops" just long enough to reveal their true, deep contempt for American soldiers. To most civilian righties, our troops are nothing more than political pawns, photo-op props, and above all, working-class cannon fodder. That's why most righties are genuinely puzzled by the "chickenhawk" accusation, and why they're so comfortable embracing an aristocratic draft-dodger like Bush. The best people don't fight; that's what poor people ... a fungible, renewable resource ... are for.

Gator put his finger on something that was the most bothersome part of the whole pre-election Kerry-hates-the-troops "scandal" (even more bothersome than all of the media stars pretending that Kerry intended to insult the troops): the sheer, transparent projection driving the outrage.

All of these people steaming with righteous anger over the "insult to the troops" are the same people who prattle on incessantly about how our country and civilization are at risk in this "war" but insist that they don't have to fight in it -- despite its being jeopardized by troop shortages -- because they're too important for that; because their great skills are needed at home for other vitally important (safe and sheltered) tasks; and, most of all, because life-endangering combat is for "others." Speaking of which, Bill Kristol was just on Fox using his breezy, casual style to explain how sending 20,000 more people to his war in Iraq is definitely going to make us win.


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

From one of our regular readers.

GG Rocks (as always) and so does Gator90


Gerald said...

The Disrespect for Truth

capt said...

The U.S.-Iran-Iraq-Israeli-Syrian War

At a not-for-quotation pre-speech briefing on Jan. 10, George W. Bush and his top national security aides unnerved network anchors and other senior news executives with suggestions that a major confrontation with Iran is looming.

Commenting about the briefing on MSNBC after Bush’s nationwide address, NBC’s Washington bureau chief Tim Russert said "there’s a strong sense in the upper echelons of the White House that Iran is going to surface relatively quickly as a major issue – in the country and the world – in a very acute way."

Russert and NBC anchor Brian Williams depicted this White House emphasis on Iran as the biggest surprise from the briefing as Bush stepped into the meeting to speak passionately about why he is determined to prevail in the Middle East.

"The President’s inference was this: that an entire region would blow up from the inside, the core being Iraq, from the inside out," Williams said, paraphrasing Bush.

Despite the already high cost of the Iraq War, Bush also defended his decision to invade Iraq and to eliminate Saddam Hussein by arguing that otherwise "he and Iran would be in a race to acquire a nuclear bomb and if we didn’t stop him, Iran would be going to Pakistan or to China and things would be much worse," Russert said.

If Russert’s account is correct, there could be questions raised about whether Bush has lost touch with reality and may be slipping back into the false pre-invasion intelligence claims about Hussein threatening the United States with "a mushroom cloud."


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

There you go!


Gerald said...

Is Bush Clinically Insane

Gerald said...

Bush's cruel and degrading presidency

Gerald said...

No Bravery

capt said...

The President's Intentions Towards Iran Need Much More Attention


I think there is a tendency to dismiss the possibility of some type of war with Iran because it is so transparently destructive and detached from reality that it seems unfathomable. But if there is one lesson that everyone should have learned over the last six years, it is that there is no action too extreme or detached from reality to be placed off limits to this administration. The President is a True Believer and the moral imperative of his crusade trumps the constraints of reality.

The AEI/Weekly Standard/National Review/Fox News neoconservative warmongers are mocked because of how extremist and deranged their endless war desires are, but the President is, more or less, one of them. He thinks the way they think. The war in Iraq has collapsed and the last election made unmistakably clear that Americans have turned against the war, and the President's response, like their response, was to escalate. How much more proof do we need of how extremist and unconstrained by public opinion and basic reality he is?


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

Another most excellent piece by GG.


Gerald said...

Support the Troops

Gerald said...

The Warmonger's Brigade

Gerald said...

Build up to WW III

Gerald said...

The Christian Axis of Evil

Gerald said...

War Criminal Nation

Gerald said...


Saladin said...

WOW Gerald, you're on a roll! I LOVE Lew Rockwell, a true patriot and peace lover.

Saladin said...

Wes Clark takes on AIPAC!
by Rozwadow
Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 06:38:09 AM PST
Daily KOS
Poor Wesley Clark. The General is in some serious trouble for declaring that some Jewish donors in NYC are pushing us into an Iran war as they pushed us into Iraq. I sure wish Wes had not used the term "Jewish donor" because what he is referring to is the AIPAC network which is not located exclusively in NY. But, once again, Clark has got it right.

Rozwadow's diary :: ::
Naturally, he is being called an anti-semite although he is himself half-Jewish and proudly so.
He is also very pro-Israel.
But the dogs are out anyway. First it was Walt-Mearsheimer, then Jimmy Carter, now CLark.
Anyone who criticizes our one-sided Mideast policies or suggests that Perle, Wurmser, Abrams, Libby, Wolfowitz, Krauthammer, Pletka, Kristol, Brooks, Beinart, Lieberman, Feith (I can't name them all) are not motivated by their devotion to the Likud view of Israel is immediately named a Jew-hater.

This bunch of Jewish neocons have done more damage to the US and Israel than anyone in recent history.

The US now confronts a shiite explosion against worldwide. Iraq and Iran are allied. Hezbollah is so emboldened that it attacked Israeli cities (Haifa!) and these guys still go to synagogue and believe they are good Jews (even good Americans).

Yeah, I know Bush, Cheney and Rummy arent Jewish. But
we all know that aides run the show in DC and run their bosses.

Meanwhile 88% of Jews voted Dem in the '06 election, and 91% voted for Gore and Kerry. These bastards represents nobody but their evil selves. Nevertheless, they have done terrible damage.

Clark called them on it. And now watch as he is utterly destroyed by the neocon bunch. The Walt-Mearsheimer thesis gets proven over and over again. And now Clark is done! Who's next? The next guy to speak the truth.

Was Clark wrong to blast the AIPAC crowd over Iraq/Iran?

95% 681 votes
5% 39 votes

| 720 votes
Kathleen, I really think the people are waking up! Could it be possible that someday Israel and the rest of the middle east can live in peace? When we can rid ourselves of these neocon parasites, I believe it can happen!

kathleen said...

Saladin, thanks for posting that link. I have been to that website quite a bit. It is odd that this is the only place that even mentions a date for the Aipac trial.

I was over at MSNBC's Hardball's website and going through the video links for the senate hearing with Condi Rice. I am always impressed with Kerry and his overview and then the way he digs. He politely and professionally rakes people over the coals which he did with Rice.

Matthews is really digging his teeth in on the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Iran. He hit Senator Dodd up with intense questions and then socked it to Tony Snow, basically getting him to say that there are "no" plans for a strike on Iran. Although Snow really messed with Matthews poking fun at how "far out ahead" Matthews had gone with the topic of Iran. Matthews responded that he had been watching the Iraq fiasco and that he did not think it was a stretch that this group would knock the "hell" out of Iran, and that the statements that the President made on Wednesday was a "provocation" for things to come.

It pissed me off that Matthews let Snow get away with saying "we exhausted all diplomatic options before going into Iraq". I thought Matthews would jump all over that false and bullshit statement. What a bunch of fucking hogwash!

Can anyone say allow the weapons inspections to be completed. Can anyone say ignore the efforts made by Hussein to appease the Bush administration through other means.

Can anyone say ignore UN Kofi Anan's speech at the UN where he tells the world that the Niger documents were false.

Matthews let him get away scot free with making such an idiotic and false statement.

Saladin on the Aipac topic mixed up with the heat Carter is taking. Laura (I believe that is her first name) O'Donnell asked really tough questions of one of the 14 people who "quit" Carters advisory board. She was actually tough on him.

kathleen said...

The right wing radical neo-cons have done more damage to Israel than they could imagine!

In Carters book I have learned that back in the early 90's James Baker came out at an Aipac conference and said that people needed to give up the idea of a "greater Israel".

One of the Hamas leaders recently said that they recognize that "Israel exists" within the 67 border. I have always thought that the term "the right to exist" was really stretching it.

I bet many Palestinians wish they could go back to the original division. They have lost so much territory over the years, and so many lives have been lost.

Wesley Clark will take a hammering. But the time is now to come out and speak the truth and facts, and stop being intimidated! Carter, Mearsheimer, Walt are leading the way. Although there have been plenty of people in the past. The door is open and people are walking through like never before.

I just hope people do not use the truth about what has taken place in the I/P conflict to do harm to Jews in this country or around the world. When you hold the lid down on a critical issue, it can explode!

capt said...

Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony.: Noam Chomsky

The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself: Archibald Macleish:

There are men - now in power in this country - who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit: John Lindsay

We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder "censorship," we call it "concern for commercial viability.": David Mamet

The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent: Gore Vidal


Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter~!

capt said...

Escalation Speech: The results are in…

…and they were to be expected: No change whatsoever. When will the White House realize that they've lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqis and the American people? We were sold on a war that was supposedly absolutely necessary and was going to be quick, easy and cheap. Turns out none of that was true — and, in most cases, downright and deliberately misleading.

Download (WMV)

Download (MOV)

Along with the Daily Show, check out this second-by-second focus group analysis of the escalation speech at (h/t Roopey in comments)


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

I can't help but think Bunnypants take some glee by doing the opposite of what the "people" want. It is an expression of his unbridled and endless power. His word as HE is the decider - unless we impeach his sorry arse.


capt said...

Fitzgerald questions Cheney’s role in PlameGate

Murray Waas has a new article out with some breaking news. Quoting from the federal Grand Jury transcripts, Fitzgerald obviously has zeroed in on Cheney and this should be really interesting at the trial. Most of us feel that the outing of Valerie Plame was Cheney's idea from the beginning and this new information appears to signal that Patrick Fitzgerald does too. "National Journal"

On March 5, 2004, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald himself questioned Libby before the grand jury.

Asked by Fitzgerald if he recalled a conversation with Cheney during which they discussed Plame and that she sent her "husband on a junket," Libby replied:

"I don't recall the conversation until after the Novak piece. I don't recall it during the week of July 6. I recall it after the Novak…after the Novak article appeared…"

Fitzgerald then bore down on the witness: "And are you telling us under oath that from July 6th to July 14th you never discussed with Vice President Cheney whether Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA?

Libby replied: "No, no, I'm not saying that. On July 10 or 11 I learned, I thought anew, that the wife—that the reporters were telling us that the wife worked at the CIA. And I may have had a conversation with the Vice President either late on the 11th or on the 12th in which I relayed that reporters were saying that." As Libby further told it, if he discussed with Cheney that Plame was a CIA officer, he had only done so in the context of saying that the information was only an unsubstantiated rumor that he had heard from Tim Russert.

In a subsequent grand jury appearance, a skeptical prosecutor indicated that he found it hard to believe that Cheney would have written the notations he did in the margins of former Ambassador Wilson's July 6, 2003 New York Times op-ed only after Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 column appeared saying that Valerie Plame was a CIA "operative."

"OK," the prosecutor said, before asking, "And can you tell us why it would be that the Vice President read the Novak column and had questions, some of which apparently seem to be answered by the Novak column, would go back and pull out an original July 6th op-ed piece and write on that?"

"I'm not sure…," Libby answered, "He often kept these columns for awhile and keeps columns and will think on them. And I think what may have happened here is what he may have — I don't know if he wrote, he wrote the points down. He might have pulled out the column to think about the problem and written on it, but I don't know."

Libby then added: "You'll have to ask him." read on…


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

Well we know Libby is a liar, the rest really falls into place.


capt said...

Ron Paul: Next President Of The USA?

Texas Congressman enjoys support across political spectrum, anti-war pro-freedom hero represents America's last hope

Ron Paul's office has confirmed reports that the Texas Congressman is set to run for the 2008 Presidency. Paul unites opposition to the war and the police state at home across the entire political spectrum and in contrast to the current gaggle of criminals running the White House, represents everything that America truly stands for. A gargantuan effort in support of Ron Paul needs to be mobilized now to prevent Americans from being hoodwinked once again into electing a different puppet of the same dark establishment in 2008.

Paul first ran for President as the Libertarian candidate in 1988, receiving a massive 400,000 votes. He now commands the support of those all across the political spectrum, from libertarians through anti-war Democrats to real paleoconservative Republicans.

Paul has been in and out of Congress since the 70's and is universally hated by the Republican elite, who routinely back Democrats against him just to try and get him out of office. The former Vietnam flight surgeon is the perfect candidate for President and activists from every corner of every political persuasion should mobilize now in an attempt to help Paul shatter the power monopoly of the Republican and Democrat establishment who have worked together for decades to slit America's throat in the interests of power, greed, and ego - all working towards the realization of a new world order.

The Texan represents a dying breed in Congress, those who actually cast their votes in accordance with the Constitution and not at the discretion of lobbyists or the fear that the elite will tarnish their political careers if they don't continually support the establishment. As a result Ron Paul is the elite's worse nightmare, simply having him on the ticket itself will be a massive public relations blow, and that's why media organs will probably be activated to try and discredit him before 2008.

Paul was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote against the illegal invasion of Iraq, contenting rightly that the Constitution clearly states that only Congress can declare war. In bucking a trend, Paul was anti-war long before the majority of the country came around to a similar way of thinking following the catastrophe of the occupation.


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

An interesting option. Probably too honest to win a primary.


capt said...

Sound Pulses Exceed Speed of Light

A group of high school and college teachers and students has transmitted sound pulses faster than light travels—at least according to one understanding of the speed of light.

The results conform to Einstein's theory of relativity, so don't expect this research to lead to sound-propelled spaceships that fly faster than light. Still, the work could help spur research that boosts the speed of electrical and other signals higher than before.

The standard metric for the speed of light is that of light traveling in vacuum. This constant, known as c, is roughly 186,000 miles per second, or roughly one million times the speed of sound in air. According to Einstein's work, matter and signals cannot travel faster than c.

PVC science

However, physicist William Robertson at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, along with a high school teacher, two college students and two high school students, managed to, depending on how you look at it, transmit sound pulses faster than c using little more than a plastic plumbing pipe and a computer's sound card.

"This experiment is truly basement science," Robertson told LiveScience.

The key to understanding their results, reported online Jan. 2 in the journal Applied Physics Letters, is envisioning every pulse of sound or light as a group of intermingled waves. This pulse rises and falls with energy over space, with a peak of strength in the middle.


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

Science - raw science has all of the qualities of art.


Saladin said...

Capt, Ron Paul would be a good president, but the elites will never permit it. They have come too far to allow a true republican to have any power, I would think Mr. Paul would know how the game works. He will be swift boated and his only hope would be as a write-in, which I would do if he is serious.

capt said...


I think Ron Paul might not have to be aced by the energy oligarchs. He does tell the truth and I think most of the electorate are allergic to the truth, they despise the truth, they fear the truth like nothing else.

Ron Paul is just not untruthful enough to be a viable candidate.

I am really not being tongue-in-cheek or trying to be funny.

With what I hear from the crazy Reich-wingnuts and the true believers I am sure (at least) they completely deserve Bunnypants - too bad they aren't the ones that have to pay for their own stupidity. The troops do the paying for them.


Saladin said...

Nancy 'Oops, I did it again!' Pelosi and a special exemption to the Minimum Wage Bill
Daily KOS
by james risser

Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 10:01:00 PM PST
Madam Speaker Pelosi has once again hypocritically exempted one of her precious pets from her legislation. As previously mentioned, in HR1the lobbying reform bill she allowed an exemption for AIPAC and the Aspen group. The very next day, in HR2, she provided an exemption to the Minimum Wage Bill to two companies based in her district, doing business in America Samoa.

If the main function of this site is to pursue electoral victories of Democrats, then, it ought to be a great concern to this community to see that the Democrats currently leading the Party do not turn their backs on the principles that led to their becoming the majority in 2006. The phrase 'culture of corruption' was coined by Ms Pelosi, and several Democrats ran on that premise and won. People do not want corruption and special-interests setting the agenda, and one hoped that those days died when that ridiculous excuse for a Speaker was sent packing.

It appears that Ms Pelosi either did not believe those words when she said them, or, her newly-derived power has changed her definition of 'corruption'.

james risser's diary :: ::
Madam Pelosi is losing any legitimacy as a leader of a Democratic Party that won in November promising to halt the 'culture of corruption' in Congress. Her hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed by the enemy party:

I am shocked," said Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican and his party's chief deputy whip, noting that Mrs. Pelosi campaigned heavily on promises of honest government. "Now we find out that she is exempting hometown companies from minimum wage. This is exactly the hypocrisy and double talk that we have come to expect from the Democrats.

The article continues to explain the exemption:

The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.

One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island's work force. StarKist's parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.

"There's something fishy going on here," said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, North Carolina Republican.

Yes there is indeed something 'fishy' about Ms Pelosi's first 100 hours. And the fact that the enemy party has been given ammunition to say: 'This is exactly the hypocrisy and double talk that we have come to expect from the Democrats' is not what this Party needs.

Although the Democrats have been silent about this recent pair of exemptions as they were about the first set of exemptions, the fishiness is not lost on the enemy party who openly mocked Ms Pelosi's exemption during the stem-cell research debate:

During the House debate yesterday on stem-cell research, Mr. McHenry raised a parliamentary inquiry as to whether an amendment could be offered that would exempt American Samoa from stem-cell research, "just as it was for the minimum-wage bill."

A clearly perturbed Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who was presiding, cut off Mr. McHenry and shouted, "No, it would not be."

"So, the chair is saying I may not offer an amendment exempting American Samoa?" Mr. McHenry pressed.

"The gentleman is making a speech and will sustain," Mr. Frank shouted as he slammed his large wooden gavel against the rostrum.

Further embarrassment was heaped onto the exemption and is now part of the Congressional Record in a floor-speech titled, The Democratic Agenda:

The only territory, the only location in the jurisdiction of the United States of America exempted from Federal minimum wage law would be American Samoans.

This loophole pleases the tuna corporations that employ thousands of Samoans in canneries at a rate of $3.26 an hour. It is an industry-specific rate that is set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

But the tuna industry has lobbied Congress for years arguing that imposing the Federal minimum wage on Samoa would cripple the economy by driving the canneries to poor countries that don't require a minimum wage.

Then one of the biggest opponents, though, of the U.S. minimum wage there is StarKist tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans. Yet StarKist is about 75 percent of that, about 3,750 employees perhaps at StarKist. Chicken of the Sea would be the other 1,250 employees, totaling the 5,000. Chicken of the Sea is also California based.

But what is interesting, and I think what inspired the gentleman's inquiry this afternoon, was that StarKist's parent company, this company that has now an exemption from minimum wage law, their parent company is Del Monte Corporation, Del Monte Corporation, headquartered in San Francisco, which is the hometown, of course, of our new Speaker.

Now, a spokeswoman for the Speaker said yesterday that the Speaker had not been lobbied in any way by StarKist or Del Monte. That is interesting. I don't know that I could say that about any single company in my district, small company, large company. Trade associations represent multiple interests that might come into that. I am lobbied by individuals, I am lobbied by trade associations, I am lobbied by individual companies over and over again, hundreds and thousands of voices coming into my office.

I welcome them all, but I could not take an oath that there is a single company in my district that has not lobbied me in any way, or, let me expand that, even if that were true, there is no way I could take the oath that not a single company has lobbied any of my staff. There are decisions made by my staff that I take responsibility for. That reflects upon me.

So one could impute from this statement that the Speaker has not been lobbied in any way by StarKist or Del Monte. One can impute to that that also includes the Speaker's staff. I couldn't make that statement about a single company in my district, but this large company, larger than any company in my district, and domiciled in and headquartered in San Francisco, has had no contact with the Speaker's office or staff over any period of time, over, not just within the last week, but over the last 2 years, 4 years, 6 years or more? I think that deserves a little bit of scrutiny.
Go nancy! A true hero of the people, except of course for the people of American Samoa.

Saladin said...

Preparing for daylight saving time changes in 2007
In August of 2005 the United States Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which changes the dates of both the start and end of daylight saving time (DST). When this law goes into effect in 2007, DST will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November) than what had traditionally occurred.
Posted Jan 12, 2007 02:12 PM PST
And this is supposed to do what? Save energy? Idiots.

Saladin said...

Iran says U.S. planned 9/11 attacks
Fri. 12 Jan 2007
Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 12 – Iran trumpeted a stunning accusation against the United States on Friday, claiming it had planned the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.

The Chairman of the Guardians Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati described 9/11 as a "puppet show", adding that it had been orchestrated by the Americans themselves.

"They used this event as a pretext in order to create the slogan of fighting terrorism and promoting democracy to carry out an assault on Islamic countries. But the reality is that they have been defeated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Lebanon and their slogan has lost its effect", Jannati told worshippers during a sermon in Tehran. His comments were aired on state television.

In September 2006, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps accused the Bush Administration and the Israeli security service Mossad of ordering the September 11 attacks.
They're REALLY asking for it now!

Saladin said...

Comic relief with Dave Barry

From Pelosi to Pitt, perverts to Paris, Dave Barry offers a last laugh

It was a momentous year, a year of events that will echo in the annals of history the way a dropped plate of calamari echoes in an Italian restaurant with a tile floor. Decades from now, our grandchildren will come to us and say, ''Tell us, Grandpa or Grandma as the case may be, what it was like to be alive in the year that Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Britney Spears and Katie whatshername all had babies, although not necessarily in those combinations.'' And we will smile wisely and emit a streamer of drool, because we will be very old and unable to hear them.

And that will be a good thing, because there are many things about 2006 that we will not want to remember. This was the year in which the members of the United States Congress, who do not bother to read the actual bills they pass, spent weeks poring over instant messages sent by a pervert. This was the year in which the vice president of the United States shot a lawyer, which turned out to be totally legal in Texas. This was the year in which there came to be essentially no difference between the treatment of maximum-security-prison inmates and the treatment of commercial-airline passengers.

This was the year in which -- as clearly foretold in the Bible as a sign of the Apocalypse -- Howie Mandel got a hit TV show.

Also there were many pesky problems left over from 2005 that refused to go away in 2006, including Iraq, immigration, high gas prices, terrorism, global warming, avian flu, Iran, North Korea and Paris Hilton. Future generations are going to look back at this era and ask us how we could have allowed Paris Hilton to happen, and we are not going to have a good answer.

Did anything good happen in 2006? Let me think. No. But before we move on to 2007, let's take a moment to reflect back on the historic events, real and imaginary, of this historic year, starting with,


capt said...

Olbermann: Special Comment on Bush Speech

[Mr. Bush], you are guaranteeing that more American troops will be losing their lives, and more families their loved ones. You are guaranteeing it!

Olbermann takes the scissors to Bush's speech and his apparent call for war in Iran...

Excerpt... Whole transcript after the jump. All Olbermann "Special Comments" HERE:

Our military, Mr. Bush, is already stretched so thin by this bogus adventure in Iraq that even a majority of serving personnel are willing to tell pollsters that they are dissatisfied with your prosecution of the war.

It is so weary that many of the troops you have just consigned to Iraq will be on their second tours or their third tours or their fourth tours — and now you’re going to make them take on Iran and Syria as well?

Who is left to go and fight, sir?

Who are you going to send to "interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria"?

Laura and Barney?

The line is from the movie "Chinatown" and I quote it often: "Middle of a drought," the mortician chuckles, "and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A.!"

Middle of a debate over the lives and deaths of another 21,500 of our citizens in Iraq, and the president wants to saddle up against Iran and Syria.

Only this president, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even messianic certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq, by offering an entrance strategy for Iran.


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

I hope nobody missed this. (h/t Carey for reminding)


kathleen said...

Saladin can you explain how Aipac and the Aspen Institute will be exempt. Does this mean that they will not be required to pay their employees minimum wage. I know absolutely 0 about this!

Also it would seem there would be more to the Samoa story. What is the cost of living there?

I have always thought wages should be set according to profit margins of a company. McDonalds should probably be paying $12.oo an hour. A mom and pop restaurant (not many of them left) should not be required to pay the same wage as McDonalds, if there profit margin is much smaller.

I do believe small business with small profit margins wages should be set with a sliding scale,

I am sure Del Monte and Starkist do not fit into this category. Wonder what their ceo's are making?

Saladin said...

Kathleen, if the people had even an inkling of how our fiat economy works they would know that raising the minimum wage has the exact opposite effect of it's intent. Let's say McDonalds is required to pay $12.00 an hour based on profit margin. Do you think they, or anyone else will simply swallow that loss and be happy with less profit? Not likely, instead the price of a Big Mac would quadruple, meaning the workers haven't gained a thing because all the costs associated with producing that burger will get passed down to the lowest wage earners in the end. There is a solution but it will never be implemented mainly due to ignorance. It's sad but true. Raising the minimum wage SOUNDS good, but it is really just a very leaky band-aid on a massive shotgun wound.

kathleen said...

The other night Chris Matthew's basically squeezed Tony snow into saying that the Bush administration is not planning to pre-emptively attack Iran ( Seymour Hersch has been telling us for quite some time that Iran is in the Bush administraton's cross hairs ). Also the plan at the PNAC and The Clean (fucking bloody) Break all have Iran as a target.

The folks at global security believe Iran is in the cross hairs

Video: Recent US actions could signal Iran conflict, despite White House denials; GOPer's bill requires Congress OK on Iran

David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
Friday January 12, 2007

Despite its claims to the contrary, some see evidence that the White House is preparing for conflict with Iran.

US forces raided a facility that Iran claimed was being used for diplomatic purposes, alleging that Iranians were funneling weapons to the enemy. Six Iranians were captured in the raid at the consulate, with one being released earlier today.

Several analysts consider parts of President Bush's latest speech as an obvious threat to Iran. One, John Pike of GlobalSecurity, notes that U.S. actions could signal a conflict in the near future.

"It's really unclear what the President was saying," Pike said. "It's a little more clear what the United States is actually doing, [President Bush] was basically calling on Iran not to interfere with Iraq, not to further interfere with Iraq."

Pike added, "But, also, look at what he said the United States is going to do. As previously reported, several weeks ago, the aircraft carrier, John Stennis, is being dispatched to the Persian Gulf. That gives the United States two aircraft carriers in the Gulf. Round the clock operations. He also, surprisingly, announced that the United States was going to be deploying Patriot anti-missile interceptors to the region. It's difficult to imagine whose missiles those would be shooting down other than Iran. It's looks to me like the United States is, at least, raising its capabilities in preparation for possible military confrontation with Iran."

Pike provides a time frame in which the U.S. or Israel might first strike Iran, explaining, "I think the month of February is certainly a time of heightened probability. It's very difficult to understand exactly what the thinking is at the White House and in the Israeli government but for sometime now we've been saying that 2007 is probably the time, if there's going to be military action, it's probably going to come this year. Possible as soon as next month. Probably no later that August of this year."

Nearly a year ago, Pike warned about a "cycle of escalation."

"When the Americans or Israelis are thinking about [military force], I hope they will sit down and think about everything the ayatollahs could do to make our lives miserable and what we will do to discourage them," John Pike said in Feb. 2006.

"There could be a cycle of escalation," Pike added.

Quotes today from White House spokesman Tony Snow, and word on a new House resolution regarding Iran, follow the video.

At the White House, meanwhile, Bush spokesman Tony Snow asserted that any notions that the President is planning an invasion of Iran, or Syria, is a "myth or urban legend," United Press International reports.

"What the president was talking about is defending American forces within Iraq and also doing what we can to disrupt networks that might be trying to convey weapons or fighters into battle theaters within Iraq to kill Americans and Iraqis," the UPI quotes Snow at a press briefing today.

Snow added, per the UPI, "that Bush still disagrees with proposals to negotiate with Iran and Syria, based on the assumption that both countries want stability in Iraq."

In the U.S. House today, Republican Rep. Walter Jones (NC) introduced a resolution requiring the President "to receive congressional authorization to use military force against Iran," reports McClatchy Newspapers.

"The resolution requires that – absent a national emergency created by an attack, or a demonstrably imminent attack, by Iran upon the United States or its armed forces – the President must consult with Congress and receive specific authorization prior to initiating any use of military force against Iran," Rep. Jones said in a press release.

"Today, there is a growing concern – justified or not – that some U.S. officials are contemplating military action against Iran," Jones continues. "This resolution makes it crystal clear that no previous resolution passed by Congress authorizes such use of force. The Constitution of the United States declares that, while the Commander in Chief has the power to conduct wars, only Congress has the power to authorize them."

@Raw Story

kathleen said...

Turning up the heat...Spread the word!

The Occupation Project
Nonviolence Guidlines
Project Updates

Voices for Creative Nonviolence is organizing the Occupation Project, a campaign of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at ending the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq. The campaign will begin the first week of February 2007 with occupations at the offices of Representatives and Senators who refuse to pledge to vote against additional war funding.

We invite your participation and your organization’s endorsement. To become involved with this campaign, please contact us via phone at 773-878-3815 or via email,

Read the campaign’s foundational document: The Occupation Project: A Campaign of Sustained Nonviolent Civil Disobedience to End the Iraq War

Participating Organizations

Veterans For Peace
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
North Carolina Peace Action
AFSC-Southeastern New England
The Declaration of Peace
Bloomington Peace Action Coalition
Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition
After Downing Street
Voters for Peace
International Solidarity Movement - Chicago Chapter
The Collateral Repair Project -- Seattle
Texans for Peace
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Stand Up Seattle

kathleen said...

January 13, 2007
Bush Authorized Iranians' Arrest in Iraq, Rice Says

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 — A recent series of American raids against Iranians in Iraq was authorized under an order that President Bush decided to issue several months ago to undertake a broad military offensive against Iranian operatives in the country, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.

“There has been a decision to go after these networks,” Ms. Rice said in an interview with The New York Times in her office on Friday afternoon, before leaving on a trip to the Middle East.

Ms. Rice said Mr. Bush had acted “after a period of time in which we saw increasing activity” among Iranians in Iraq, “and increasing lethality in what they were producing.” She was referring to what American military officials say is evidence that many of the most sophisticated improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, being used against American troops were made in Iran.

Ms. Rice was vague on the question of when Mr. Bush issued the order, but said his decision grew out of questions that the president and members of his National Security Council raised in the fall.

The administration has long accused Iran of meddling in Iraq, providing weapons and training to Shiite forces with the idea of keeping the United States bogged down in the war. Ms. Rice’s willingness to discuss the issue seemed to reflect a new hostility to Iran that was first evident in Mr. Bush’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night, in which he accused Tehran of providing material support for attacks on American troops and vowed to respond.

Until now, despite a series of raids in which Iranians have been seized by American forces in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq, administration officials have declined to say whether Mr. Bush ordered such actions.

The White House decision to authorize the aggressive steps against Iranians in Iraq appears to formalize the American effort to contain Iran’s ambitions as a new front in the Iraq war. Administration officials now describe Iran as the single greatest threat the United States faces in the Middle East, though some administration critics regard the talk about Iran as a diversion, one intended to shift attention away from the spiraling chaos in Iraq.

In adopting a more confrontational approach toward Iran, Mr. Bush has decisively rejected recommendations of the Iraq Study Group that he explore negotiations with Tehran as part of a new strategy to help quell the sectarian violence in Iraq.

In the interview on Friday, Ms. Rice described the military effort against Iranians in Iraq as a defensive “force protection mission,” but said it was also motivated by concerns that Iran was trying to further destabilize the country.

Mr. Bush’s public warning to Iran was accompanied by the deployment of an additional aircraft carrier off Iran’s coast and advanced Patriot antimissile defense systems in Persian Gulf countries near Iran’s borders. Both the White House and the secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, insisted Friday that the United States was not seeking to goad Iran into conflict, and that it had no intention of taking the battle into Iranian territory. The White House spokesman, Tony Snow, warned reporters away from “an urban legend that’s going around” that Mr. Bush was “trying to prepare the way for war” with Iran or Syria.

Mr. Gates said that the United States did not intend to engage in hot pursuit of the operatives into Iran.

“We believe that we can interrupt these networks that are providing support, through actions inside the territory of Iraq, that there is no need to attack targets in Iran itself,” Mr. Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I continue to believe what I told you at the confirmation hearing,” he added, referring to last month’s hearings on his nomination, “that any kind of military action inside Iran itself would be a very last resort.”

Ms. Rice’s comments came just a day after the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, issued a sharp warning to the administration about the recent raids against Iranians in Iraq, including one in Erbil early Thursday.

He said the vote to authorize the president to order the use of force to topple Saddam Hussein was not a vehicle for mounting attacks in Iran, even to pursue cells or networks assisting insurgents or sectarian militias. “I just want the record to show — and I would like to have a legal response from the State Department if they think they have authority to pursue networks or anything else across the border into Iran and Iraq — that will generate a constitutional confrontation here in the Senate, I predict to you,” Mr. Biden said.

In the view of American officials, Iran is engaged in a policy of “managed chaos” in Iraq. Its presumed goal, both policymakers and intelligence officials say, is to raise the cost to the United States for its intervention in Iraq, in hopes of teaching Washington a painful lesson about the perils of engaging in regime change.

Toward this end, American officials charge, Iran has provided components, including explosives and infrared triggering devices, for sophisticated roadside bombs that are designed to penetrate armor. They have also provided training for several thousand Shiite militia fighters, mostly in Iran. Officials say the training is carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

In the interview on Friday, Ms. Rice said, “We think they are providing help to the militias as well, and maybe even the more violent element of these militias.”

In addition, American officials say the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force is active in Iraq. A senior military official said last week that one of the Iranians seized in Baghdad late last month was the No. 3 Quds official. He said American forces uncovered maps of neighborhoods in Baghdad in which Sunnis could be evicted, and evidence of involvement in the war during the summer in Lebanon.

That Iranian official was ordered released, by Ms. Rice among others, after Iran claimed he had diplomatic status.

This week, American forces in Iraq conducted at least two raids against suspected Iranian operatives, including the raid in Erbil. The United States is currently detaining several individuals with Iranian passports who were picked up in those raids. The Iranians have said that they were in the process of establishing a consulate, but American officials said that the Erbil operation was a liaison office and that the workers there did not have diplomatic passports.

A defense official said Friday that such raids would continue. “We are going to be more aggressive,” he said, referring to the suspected Iranian operatives. “We are going to look for them and to try to do what we can to get them into custody.”

Thom Shanker contributed reporting.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

kathleen said...

13 January 2007
Home US strikes on al-Qa'ida chiefs kill nomads
By Anne Penketh and Steve Bloomfield
Published: 13 January 2007
The herdsmen had gathered with their animals around large fires at night to ward off mosquitoes. But lit up by the flames, they became latest victims of America's war on terror.

It was their tragedy to be misidentified in a secret operation by special forces attempting to kill three top al-Qa'ida leaders in south-ern Somalia.

Oxfam yesterday confirmed at least 70 nomads in the Afmadow district near the border with Kenya had been killed. The nomads were bombed at night and during the day while searching for water sources. Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Kenya has acknowledged that the onslaught on Islamist fighters failed to kill any of the three prime targets wanted for their alleged role in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

The wanted men are Fazul Abdullah Moham-med, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Abu Taha al-Sudani, who were all supposedly sheltered by the Union of Islamic Courts during its short reign in Mogadishu.

The operation, which opened a new front in Washington's anti-terror campaign, seems to have backfired spectacularly in the five days since it was launched. In addition to the scores of Somali civilians killed, the simmering civil war in the failed state has been rekindled.

Yesterday concern was mounting at the high number of civilian casualties, despite a claim by the US ambassador, Michael Ranneberger, that no civilians had been killed or injured and that only one attack had taken place. The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, reported that an estimated 100 people were wounded in Monday's air strikes on the small fishing village of Ras Kamboni launched from the US military base in Djibouti after a mobile phone intercept.

@ Independent

kathleen said...

Best article I have read about the BLOOD FOR OIL...

Claiming the Prize: War Escalation Aimed at Securing Iraqi Oil
by Chris Floyd
Global Research, January 12, 2007

I. The Twin Engines of Bush's War

The reason that George W. Bush insists that "victory" is achievable in Iraq is not because he is deluded or isolated or ignorant or detached from reality or ill-advised.

No, it's that his definition of "victory" is different from those bruited about in his own rhetoric and in the ever-earnest disquisitions of the chattering classes in print and on-line. For Bush, victory is indeed at hand. It could come at any moment now, could already have been achieved by the time you read this. And the driving force behind his planned "surge" of American troops is the need to preserve those fruits of victory that are now ripening in his hand.

At any time within the next few days, the Iraqi Council of Ministers is expected to approve a new "hydrocarbon law" essentially drawn up by the Bush Administration and its U.K. lackey, the Independent on Sunday reports.

The new bill will "radically redraw the Iraqi oil industry and throw open the doors to the third-largest oil reserves in the world," say the paper, whose reporters have seen a draft of the new law. "It would allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil companies in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972." If the government's parliamentary majority prevails, the law should take effect in March.

As the paper notes, the law will give Exxon, BP, Shell and other carbon cronies of the White House unprecedented sweetheart deals, allowing them to pump gargantuan profits from Iraq's nominally state-owned oilfields for decades to come.

This law has been in the works since the very beginning of the invasion -- indeed, since months before the invasion, when the Bush Administration brought in Phillip Carroll, former CEO of both Shell and Fluor, the politically-wired oil servicing firm, to devise "contingency plans" for divvying up Iraq's oil after the attack.

Once the deed was done, Carroll was made head of the American "advisory committee" overseeing the oil industry of the conquered land, as Joshua Holland of has chronicled in two remarkable reports on the backroom maneuvering over Iraq's oil: Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil and The U.S. Takeover of Iraqi Oil.

According to senior Bush minions talking up the plan for what is not a surge but a long-term escalation of urban warfare that the U.S. ground commander in Iraq says will likely last for years, Bush's new "stratergery" includes "benchmarks" that the natives must meet to keep in favor with their colonial master. One of the most prominent of these is the demand that Iraq "finalize a long-delayed measure on the distribution of oil revenue." As we can see by the Independent stories quoted here, that benchmark should be done and dusted within weeks.

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- A minimum wage requirement might be a 'band-aid', but at least it stops the bleeding.

In yesterday's(?) TNYT there was an article about Liberty Lake, WA (high minimum wage) and nearby Post Falls, ID (low minimum wage). Tunrs out that Liberty Lake is prospering, so much so that Post Falls teen-agers go there for minimum wage work. McDonells, etc., in Post Falls can't manage to attract employees for $7/hr, much higher than ID's minimum. Prospective employees are willing to drive the 12 miles for the extra $0.17+ per hour.

This is not the only place which demonstrates that a 'living wage' works to everybody's benefit, even is only a 'band-aid'...

capt said...

We too have a living wage standard in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

I think it only applies to businesses with 25 or more on the payroll.

The living wage has not had any negative effect on prices, profits or payrolls.


capt said...

Study: Minimum-wage law hasn't hurt job growth

Santa Fe's minimum-wage ordinance hasn't affected overall employment levels in the city, a University of New Mexico study has concluded.

Some industries saw jobs decline after the ordinance took effect about two years ago, the report said. But the author says those decreases were in step with, or less severe than, a similar trend in Albuquerque, which didn't have such an ordinance at the time of the study.

``If you look at the changing levels (of employment) in Santa Fe and changing levels in Albuquerque, Santa Fe actually did a little better than Albuquerque did overall,'' said Nicholas Potter, a researcher with the university's Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The Santa Fe City Council commissioned the study after adopting the highest minimum-wage requirement of its kind in the country.

The law's advocates greeted the results as further evidence that members of the Santa Fe business community who mounted political and legal challenges were wrong in predicting gloomy consequences.


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

As always large corporate interests are sell a bill of goods. They just want cheap and cheaper labor. Don't fall for their propoganda.


kathleen said...

D. Benson and Capt. It was shocking to me how many families that I talked with in small Appalachian town during the run-up to the last three elections had family members working two jobs at $5.15 and hour.

The extra two dollars an hour provided by the increase in the minimum wage here in Ohio has to help! Band aid and all.

capt said...

Of 744,000 Homeless Estimated in US, 41 Percent are in Families

WASHINGTON - There were 744,000 homeless people in the United States in 2005, according to the first national estimate in a decade. A little more than half were living in shelters, and nearly a quarter were chronically homeless, according to the report Wednesday by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, an advocacy group.

A majority of the homeless were single adults, but about 41 percent were in families, the report said.

The group compiled data collected by the Department of Housing and Urban Development from service providers throughout the country. It is the first national study on the number of homeless people since 1996. That study came up with a wide range for America's homeless population: between 444,000 and 842,000.

Counting people without permanent addresses, especially those living on the street, is an inexact process. But the new study is expected to provide a baseline to help measure progress on the issue.


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

A "living wage" is hope for the homeless and the working poor.


capt said...

41% are families - combine that with the "one in three" that are vets and we have to do better. We have to do more. We have to do all that we can to help the least among us.

The old saying "the rising tide lift all of the boats in the harbor" has been proven true time and again.

By raising the least of us up we raise ourselves by the same amount.


capt said...

Nearly three quarters of a million people without a home.

In America?

A tiny sliver of what has been spent in Iraq could have solved the homeless issues here at home for a very long time.



kathleen said...

You just have to read Bill Kristol's latest. For Kristol to call anyone a "boneless wonder" is a clear example of "the pot calling the kettle black". He even has the nerve to end his article saying "but hey they volunteered". Kristol has not.. will not.. and either will his children.

Bonerless Wonders (kristol, Kagan, Rubin, Cheney, Bolton, Feith) sending other peoples children into their wars!
The fucking combat weenie/cowards!

Boneless Wonders
Meet the spineless members of Congress.
by William Kristol

"I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum's Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the program which I most desired to see was the one described as 'The Boneless Wonder.' My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralizing and revolting for my youthful eye, and I have waited 50 years to see The Boneless Wonder--sitting on the Treasury Bench."
--Winston Churchill, January 28, 1931,
in the House of Commons, referring to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Today, Boneless Wonders sit on the benches of both parties in Congress. More are to be found on the Democratic side of the aisle than the Republican. But the herd of Boneless Wonders these days is a bipartisan one. Let's see if we can describe their thinking.

Say you're an average congressman. How do you react to President Bush's Iraq speech? You suspect, deep down, that he's probably doing more or less what he needs to do. We can't just click our heels and get out of Iraq--the consequences would be disastrous. And the current strategy isn't working. You have said so yourself. Last fall you called for replacing Rumsfeld. You've complained that there weren't enough troops. What's more, you've heard good things about General David Petraeus from colleagues with military expertise. So now Bush has fired Rumsfeld, put Petraeus in command, and sent in more troops. Maybe this new approach deserves a chance to work?

But, hey . . . look at
those polls! And those op-ed pages! You didn't come to Washington to support an unpopular president conducting an unpopular war. And the Bush administration is doing a crummy job of explaining this change in strategy. The path ahead in any case is going to be tough, and the new strategy might fail. Besides which, being for "escalation" sure doesn't sound good. Wasn't that a problem in Vietnam?

So you work on your talking points: You understand the president has a tough set of choices. You've got doubts about the path he's chosen. You've got lots of questions. But perhaps we should give it a chance . . .

But wait--that doesn't sound like leadership. That doesn't look decisive. And, if you're a Democrat--you didn't put in all that effort getting elected just so you could get a lot of grief from your own activists. If you're a Republican from a Democratic-leaning state--you didn't put in all those hours getting elected just so you could alienate the swing voters you need. So why not take the next step? Condemn the president's approach! There. That's a position.

But you're not just a talking head. You're a legislator. You need to vote.

+++please go read this one at Weekly standard

capt said...

War Is a Conservative Entitlement Program

Like many Americans inclined to believe that the news is important, I used to worry that too many of my fellow citizens were getting their news entirely from the late-night comedians. Now I worry about those who don’t get at least some of their news from those midnight merchants of mirth.

They don’t give you the full day’s news, of course, but neither do those smooth-talking, blown dry anchors and stylish "anchorettes" who supposedly give us "the world" in 22 minutes. And neither do the all- news channels that essentially give you the same 22 minutes of news and celebrity gossip over and over again. The world is a good deal bigger than that.

What the late-night joke jocks do is give you perspective. Jay Leno can give a news story more perspective with a good one-liner than all the solemn talking heads on the various news panels can in a day. There are many examples to choose from, but one will suffice. Take Leno’s observation that America has to stay in Iraq "until Iraq has a government that’s responsive to the voters."


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

What the late-night joke jocks do is give you perspective

Which is one of the reasons I love Pande's TNF's (nobody does it better)


capt said...

Here is a link:

Boneless Wonders


kathleen said...

My response to Kristol!

Bonerless Wonder that's what you are Kristol. You combat weenie you! Willing to send other peoples family members into a war that you helped start, along with the other "Bonerless Wonders" (Kagan, Rubin, Cheney, Bolton, Feith).

"It takes a very special kind of combat coward to advocate combat for others" Lawrence O'Donnell

kathleen said...

Thanks Capt.

Damn these "combat bonerless wonders" piss me off. If I had lost a child due to these lying mother /children killers like Cindy Sheehan has and so many others.

These psycho/ sociopaths would have to watch their backs.

Kristol has no shame, soul or conscience! It is oh so obvious!

capt said...

One of the hardest things to do is to get emotionally invested in the troops. I have a couple of friends with their flesh and blood on the line and the term "troops" becomes a blur as I focus on the names I know. I can't help but feel like I am being selfish or even hard-hearted towards the troops but I can't help it. There is nothing esoteric or general when you know the sacrifice that is being made every day.

The whole thing really sucks. I wish long and peaceful lives for all involved and my humanity tells me most Iraqis feel likewise.


Anonymous said...

For $7.93 an Hour, It's Worth a Trip Across a State Line

I don't know of any place where a fast-food hamburger has quadrupled in price due to an increase in the minimum wage. In fact, smart entrepreneurs know that paying a decent wage is good for their bottom line.

The minimum wage in Washington State is 54% higher than it is Idaho, and businesses are thriving.

Many people prefer to patronize businesses where the employees are treated like human beings, instead of like chattel.

capt said...

Living wage offers ray of light for homeless

A labor-community coalition in Albuquerque, N.M., is involved in a campaign to adopt a living-wage ordinance in the city. This article summarizes Martin’s remarks at an April 24 conference, organized by the New Mexico People’s Weekly World Committee, to build alliances to help defeat the Bush agenda.

New discussion on a living-wage ordinance is good news to our homeless community and low-income families, teetering on homelessness. It could be the shot in the arm we all have been waiting for, giving relief to many who have been struggling for too long to make ends meet (choosing between food, utilities or rent).

For our homeless community, low wages are the number one barrier to housing and financial difficulty is the number one factor in becoming homeless.

According to the Urban Institute 73 percent of Americans are one to two paychecks away from being homeless.

It’s poverty, not individual deviance, that is the major cause of people becoming homeless. (Substance abuse, alcoholism and mental disabilities apply to the smallest percentage of our homeless population — around 38 percent.)

According to Homeless Court, Continuum of Care and other service providers, 3,000-plus homeless people access services in our area. Many believe the number of homeless to be as high as 4,000. Over one-third work full- or part-time jobs.

The gap between what a person earns in wages and what they need for rent is the difference between housing and homelessness. With 28 percent of families in New Mexico living in poverty, we start behind the eight ball. It’s not free housing people are looking for, but housing people can access and afford.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says you need $11.58 an hour to rent a two-bedroom apartment here in Albuquerque, where 38 percent of residents earn $8 a hour or less. According to the Albuquerque Apartment Association, the average rent in the city is $607 a month. That does not include the cost of credit checks, security deposits and move-in costs.


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

The piece above is from 2005 so the numbers and statistics are dated.

We currently have a living wage law here in the ABQ.


º¿carol said...

Every time the minimum wage has been raised the same crap has been said, that it would wreck the economy. Hasn't happened yet.

I can't imagine not wanting the minimum wage to go up. Just look at your grocery receipt when you leave the store. Look what each item costs. Think about what it takes to have a roof over your head, heat, electricity, insurance, food, clothes, etc., etc., etc.

Two things I bought in the grocery store this week:

Whole Grain German
Dark Wheat bread 3.29
Kraft Maonaise 2.29 Total.............5.58

That's 43¢ more than minimum wage. Naturally, the person making that wage wouldn't have bought the bread I did which is a sad commentary, too. Imagine having to work over an hour for white bread and maonaise.

The minimum wage should at the VERY least be $10.00. Anything less is an insult.

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, you're wrong, it doesn't stop the bleeding at all, it just prolongs it. It's a stop-gap measure that doesn't do a thing to address the main issue, but no one really wants to go there eh? Just give them more money, illusion is better than nothing, and for the politicians it keeps the peasants quiet for a short time, till they wise up anyway.
Micki, what do YOU consider a living wage? I make $20.00 an hour and feel it is barely adequate. If you don't see the inflation, you aren't looking, prices are thru the roof, just think what would happen if fast food joints paid $12.00 an hour, which is not even close to a living wage here in Cali. Our economic system is set up so that the poor always suffer, no matter how much they make it is never enough, everytime they get a little ahead the prices go up and they are right back where they started. Inflation is the monster that eats up the future, minimum wage has nothing to do with it. The federal reserve makes the rules, and we pay the indirect tax thru inflation, it is a fact of fiat currency. If you know something I don't, by all means enlighten me. But I think they are just fueling the flames and calling it good.

Saladin said...

Carol, the economy is already wrecked in case you haven't noticed. How much do the people need to make to get by? I say a minimum of $25.00 an hour for a family of 3, that, I would say, is close to a living wage. The increase they are pushing isn't even a third of that, could YOU live on $7.15 an hour? How much will you pay for a loaf of good wheat bread if the employees make what they really need to make? NO, burgers haven't quadrupled, but then, no fast food worker makes $12.00 an hour, do they? It will never end, this poor working class who does the bulk of the work and makes the least, not until this bullshit system is brought to an end. You are only putting off the inevitable with these measures. The working people deserve more than just barely scraping by, but that is all they will ever get with the solutions offered by the multi-millionaire politicians. They've never been there, and they never will. We're on our own.

º¿carol said...

By your logic then no one should ever get a raise. Inflation could disappear then.

capt said...

"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side." US General Curtis LeMay, commander of the 1945 Tokyo fire bombing operation.

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world: Benjamin Harrison, address to Congress, 1888

"It's not a matter of what is true that counts but a matter of what is perceived to be true." --Henry Kissinger


Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone is in favor of keeping people "in their place."

Let's look at the facts -- In the November 2006 election, voters spelled out their priorities to Congress and the WH. They want to see progressive policy changes, including a long-overdue increase in the minimum wage. Contrary to the opinion of some, these people are NOT IGNORANT OF THE FACTS.

Raising the minimum wage provides increased income to workers earning the lowest legal income and helps them to sustain the basic necessities of life.

Raising the federal minimum wage is the right thing to do economically, as well as morally.

Minimum wage jobs are local jobs. They do not migrate to other regions as do those that compete in national and international markets. Furthermore, minimum wage workers will use any increase in earnings for purchases in the local economy.

Twenty-two states now have minimum wage rates higher than the federal level, and there have been none of the adverse effects that critics have predicted. Are these states laws made by ignorant morons? I don't think so!

The current federal minimum wage has not been raised by Congress since September 1997. This means that inflation has further eroded the wages of low-income workers.

Today, the federal minimum wage of $5.15 is at its lowest inflation-adjusted value in over 50 years. A full time minimum wage worker (40 hours a week) earns only $10,712 a year.

So, in the meantime, we're supposed to just let these working people "bleed to death" -- is that it?

And, frankly, now that I'm posting here...I can't believe that the rest of you take her insults, telling us we're ignorant about the reality of the situation.

Saladin, just where did you get your PhD in economics -- out of a Cracker Jack's box?

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Carol.

Anonymous said...

Better still...let's raise the minimum wage to $25 per hour.

Then everyone can go to Costco and buy their essentials -- artichoke hearts, smoked almonds and cheese.

Yessiree, those three items that Saladin buys (she said so right here...or on Corn's blog) are at the top of every family's grocery lists.

Fuck the toilet paper, the laundy detergent, the affordable meats and vegetables...stock up on artichoke hearts, smoked almonds and cheese!!!

Happy now, Saladin? You've gotten the attention you crave.

º¿carol said...

I'd like someone to explain to me why everything I buy every week keeps going up in price since the minimum wage hasn't moved. Maybe it's the raises everyone else in better jobs keep getting? I suppose that's a given so the minimum wage workers have to stay put to try to curb inflation. They can be the keel to the boat.

Saladin said...

Sounds to me like it's YOU who wants to keep the people in their place. $7.15 an hour? Go for it. Artichoke hearts, almonds and cheese are excellent sources of nutrition and a great bargain in bulk. You try living on less than $400 a week. Buy a house, pay the car insurance and payment, save for your children's college, but then maybe the bare necessities are the best a burger flipper should hope for? Who's here seeking attention anyway? You are just repeating the same, tired, failed policies of those traitorous dems, I want to see REAL progress, not just the kind that makes YOU feel better. $25.00 an hour is real, but it will not last, that is how a fiat economy works, and it always fails, always has, always will. The best fix will not be approached, because the poor have to accept whatever they will hand out, and it's pathetic. The people can do better than that. But not when this is the best that is offered. Laundry detergent? Who can afford to wash clothes at $7.15 an hour, who can afford clothes for that matter? Your insult is beneath even you micki. You should stick with the happy people at DEN'S, where all is right now that Ms. pelosi is in charge. All except for the people of American Samoa, they'll just have to live with $3.25 an hour. Fuck college.

Gerald said...


Dear Posters:

I wish to share with a part of a homily at the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The priest gave a sermon and he talked about the people who were called by Jesus. Many people who were called were sinners. Here are some names, like David, Moses, Paul, and Augustine. There have been many saints who have called and they were sinners.

But, what is important, we must remember that these sinners who later became saints were following Jesus’ agenda. They did not have an agenda. They were working for Jesus.

What upsets me is that I hear Bush is a religious person. I have heard these words so often that they make me nauseous. As I reflected on the homily, I have concluded that Bush is not a religious person. HE IS NOT FOLLOWING JESUS’ AGENDA. Bush is following the agenda of the Nazi Republicans, the PNAC, the evangelicals, the fundamentalists, corporate America, and Israel. Bush is a false prophet.

We must follow Jesus’ agenda of love, mercy, justice, and peace.

Please give some thought whenever Bush speaks to the agenda that Bush is following and to the agenda that he wants us to follow. Personally, Bush’s agenda is following the dictates of those special interest groups who will lead us to endless wars, murders, war crimes, torture, and damnation.



A comment for Saladin!

Saladin, the economic gap between the rich and the poor and the middle class must not continue to expand. If the Nazis want the poor and the middle class to fight their wars in order to protect their wide bottoms, it is important that the poor and the middle class have a feeling of hope and not hopelessness.

Gerald said...

We only have to look at the tax structure for the poor and the middle class to know and understand how the Nazis keep the poor and the middle class in their places and they will never leave their places. Please keep a close eye on the shrinking middle class.

I predict that there will be more and more converts to Islam and these converts will not take up arms against their Muslim brethren!!!!!

Nazi America is not just sliding into the abyss of hell; she is on the path toward destruction and damnation.

Gerald said...

Maureen Dowd who is one of my foxes is right. Nazi America, Israel's lapdog, will drop nuclear bombs and missiles upon Iran.


DEN said...

Minimum wages are just that, minimum.

Wages go up, prices go up, wages go up, prices go up.

One only look to the unions to see how you can price yourself out of existence in several years.

Until we dispose of the Federal Reserve system and return to the gold standard, everything will continue to escalate as it has been doing.

Remember when a nice car cost $4000 or less, brand new?

DEN said...

Little less personal sniping would be appreciated, eh Capt?

United we stand, divided we fall.

capt said...

Attempts at Marginalizing Carter Intensify

Fourteen members of the Carter Center have resigned in protest over former president Jimmy Carter's book,"Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." AP hints that they were mostly themselves Jewish Americans.

The lobby is drawing wagons around this one, even though Carter's book is actually very biased toward Israel and makes historical errors in Israel's favor. AP reports:

' "You have clearly abandoned your historic role of broker in favor of becoming an advocate for one side," the departing members of the center's Board of Councilors told Carter in their letter of resignation. '

What is really being demanded by the Zionist expansionists is that Carter ignore the creeping Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank, ignore the way in which Israel makes Palestinians' lives miserable, ignore the datum that under Israeli occupation 15 percent of Palestinian children are malnourished. If he ignored all that, then he'd be being even-handed.

The invocation of even-handedness is ironic. We all know what happened to Howard Dean when he even so much as suggested that the US play the role of honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The conditions under which Palestinians beyond the green line under Israeli occupation live are actually much worse than what most black South Africans suffered under Apartheid. Within Israel proper, Arabs with Israeli citizenship suffer discrimination. A frankly racist law prevents family unification for Israeli Arabs married to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, singling them out on racial grounds for discriminatory treatment not visited on Jewish Israelis. isn't being fair to Carter's book, either.


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

Juan Cole always has some well Informed Comment.


capt said...

The collapse of the Bush presidency poses risks


In a characteristically perceptive Op-Ed in this morning's Washington Post, Dahlia Lithwick makes the point that Bush's extremist actions -- such as Jose Padilla's detention, the Guantanamo abuses, and omnipotence-declaring signing statements -- have no real objective except one: "The object is a larger one: expanding executive power, for its own sake."

When I began writing about the Bush administration's violations of FISA, what confounded me at first was the sheer pointlessness of the lawbreaking. It was not merely that the FISA court has always allowed the President -- all presidents -- to do whatever eavesdropping they wanted, and that bypassing it was therefore unnecessary.

That is true. But more significantly, if the President wanted FISA changed, even radically, to vest him with still greater powers, the unprecedentedly compliant post-9/11 Congress was as eager as could be to grant all of his wishes and to give him whatever new powers he wanted. It did so repeatedly, at exactly the time (October, 2001) when he ordered eavesdropping in violation of the law.


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

We must impeach these dictatorial bastards.

GG always a good read!


capt said...

Musician In The Mirror: New Study Shows Brain Rapidly Forms Link Between Sounds And Actions That Produce Them

A new imaging study shows that when we learn a new action with associated sounds, the brain quickly makes links between regions responsible for performing the action and those associated with the sound.

The findings may contribute to understanding how we acquire language and how we think of actions if we only hear their sounds, say authors Amir Lahav, ScD, and Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD, of the neurology department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. Their work is described in the January 10 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"The findings have implications for understanding many complex processes, such as speech and music performance," says Robert Zatorre, PhD, "and they could encourage research into rehabilitative strategies using sound-movement tasks." Zatorre heads the auditory cognitive neuroscience laboratory at McGill University.

The authors also suggest that their findings provide evidence for the existence of a mirror neuron system in humans. Mirror neurons, first described in monkeys, are active not only when the monkey performs an action, but also when it sees the action performed by others or only hears the sound associated with the action. Some scientists debate their existence and function in humans.


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

Interesting stuff but have they missed the most basic uses of songs? Nursery rhymes and the "alphabet song" have always been teaching tools. Add to that the fact that everybody that can hum or whistle is a musician of sorts.

The implications of mirror neurons are very telling. It would explain many odd yet compelling behaviors like yawning making others yawn, all of the "monkey see-monkey do" stuff.


Saladin said...

THANK YOU DEN!! Apparently we both got our economic PhD's out of a cracker jack box! But I'M the one flinging insults? By MY logic no one should ever get a raise? This from someone who doesn't understand why prices keep going up but assumes it's because SOMEONE is getting a raise? She also seems to think minimum wage workers buy brand name products and whole grain bread!
micki believes that a service economy is good enough because the living wage jobs get sent overseas. I say there are solutions, but do these stereo attackers ask about what I might think these solutions are? NO, they say I want to keep the people in their place, while having absolutely NO idea what I do for a living. I will not debate anyone who relies on ridiculous assumptions and insults, there is no point. Anyone who wants to talk about long term help for the people I am happy to participate.
Gerald, I completely agree with your statement, the divide between the rich and poor will continue to grow until the politicians do what they are there to do, represent the good of the people and not the benefit of the money and power brokers. Until that day an extra 8-10 dollars a day will not stop the slide, especially when roughly half of the raise is swallowed up by some kind of tax and the voracious inflation monster that kills the money! Thank you Cracker Jack.

capt said...

Spy case puts Vice-President in the stand

A POLITICALLY charged courtroom drama centred on the Iraq war, a blonde-bombshell spy and a vice-president in the witness box will be on show this week when Dick Cheney's former chief of staff goes on trial for his alleged role in the CIA leak scandal.

The roots of the scandal that led to Lewis "Scooter" Libby being charged with perjury lie in how the Bush White House justified the invasion, and the spin operation that it mounted after the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

In one key respect, the six- week trial, which begins tomorrow, is unprecedented: the secretive Mr Cheney will enter the witness box as part of Mr Libby's defence. It makes him the first sitting vice-president to testify in a criminal prosecution.

He is expected to be cross-examined on his efforts to rebut critics of the war aggressively as it began to turn sour in 2003.

Mr Libby denies lying to the FBI and a grand jury about who gave the press the name of Valerie Plame, a one-time covert CIA agent with stunning good looks. No Bush administration official, including Mr Libby, was charged with leaking Ms Plame's identity. It became clear last year that the accusation that triggered the special prosecutor's investigation -- that the White House knew Ms Plame was an undercover operative and leaked her identity to discredit her husband, a war critic -- was unfounded.

Mr Libby is now accused of covering up a non-existent crime that did not need to be hidden.

The genesis of the Plame scandal lies in a CIA-sponsored trip Joseph Wilson, Ms Plame's husband and a former ambassador, made to Niger in West Africa in 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq had tried to buy uranium there.

In July 2003, he accused the Bush administration of ignoring his report that there was no Iraq-Niger link, and of twisting pre-war intelligence.

A week later, Robert Novak, a conservative columnist, wrote that Mr Wilson had been sent to Niger by Ms Plame.

The report caused a political storm after Mr Wilson claimed that his wife was a covert agent and that her name had been leaked as retribution for his criticism of the war. It is a crime to knowingly reveal the identity of a covert official.

Other journalists who wrote about Ms Plame told Patrick Fitzgerald, the investigating prosecutor, they had learned about her from Mr Libby and Karl Rove, Mr Bush's chief adviser.

Mr Libby is charged with lying to investigators because he claimed that he first learned about Ms Plame from reporters. Journalist Judith Miller was jailed for 85 days after refusing to reveal that her source was Mr Libby.

The Times


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

Interesting take from down-under.


capt said...

Hands-On With The World's Tiniest Robot

Right, fine, so there are tinier robots than the Eco-Be, but they were all flashes in the pan and haven't been heard from since the turn of the millennium. This here's the real deal--on day two of the Consumer Electronics Show I held it in my own clammy hands and felt the magic of its 4th-generation mass-producability (they've been working on it since 1995).

It was 2.5 cm x 1.8 cm and it felt deliciously solid--like the tiny chunk of precision-machined metal that it is.


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

Pretty cool stuff.


capt said...

A Hot Idea For Insulating Tiny Batteries

Engineering physics researchers are devising a unique "blanket" that will enable them to squeeze as much electricity as possible from nuclear-powered batteries the size of a grain of coarse salt.

Such batteries, which exploit the natural decay of radioisotopes to generate electricity, could provide virtually indefinite power for micro-technologies like fly-sized robots for military applications or sensors that monitor a building's health.

Other technologies such as fuel cells, chemical batteries or turbine generators also might work in micro-scale applications, says Professor James Blanchard. "But all of them are short-lived," he says. "They either need to be recharged or refueled. Our niche is things that need to be placed and ignored, and just keep running for years."

Nuclear microbatteries convert heat or energy to electricity more efficiently when they are hot, so it makes sense to insulate them, says Blanchard. "The better the insulation, the hotter the source gets, so the more efficient the battery can be," he says.


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

If I posted this before - please forgive me - it speaks to so many possibilities.


capt said...

Opposition to plan surprises Bush team

But they believe Congress won't have time to stop them

The bipartisan opposition to President Bush's troop-increase plan has proved more intense than his advisers had expected and has left them scrambling to find support, but the White House is banking on the assumption that it can execute its "new way forward" in Iraq before Congress can derail it.

The plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq was virtually guaranteed to provoke a furor in Washington, Bush advisers said, but the storm was exacerbated by the slow, leaky way that the White House reached its decision. Aides now harbor no hope of winning over Democrats. Instead, they aim mainly to keep Republicans from abandoning him further.

Bush invited GOP leaders to Camp David this weekend and will argue his case tonight on CBS' "60 Minutes." Vice President Dick Cheney and national security adviser Stephen Hadley will also hit the airwaves today.

"We recognize that many members of Congress are skeptical," Bush said in his radio address Saturday, adding, "Members of Congress have a right to express their views, and express them forcefully. But those who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success. To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible."

Many Democrats, in fact, have proposed alternatives centered around pulling out troops, an idea Bush flatly rejects.

Hopes for a bipartisan consensus after Democrats captured Congress in the November midterm elections have evaporated, and Bush appears more isolated than ever.

"We are headed towards quite a donnybrook in Congress," said former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., co-chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, whose plan for withdrawing combat forces by early 2008 was never fully embraced by Bush or Democrats. "We had hoped that there would be more progress towards a more bipartisan approach."

The White House has downscaled its goals and is playing for time. Advisers resign themselves to a nonbinding congressional resolution condemning the troop increase, but want to avoid many Republicans voting for it.

The more serious threat to the White House would be a Democratic attempt to restrict funds for more troops. Bush aides said that current funds are enough to get started, and they are counting on the notion that it will take two months until the supplemental appropriation bill providing more war funds comes to a vote. By then, they said, extra troops will be on the ground and it will be too late for Congress to stop them. And they hope for signs of progress that would let them argue that the plan is working.

A political strategist who advises the White House said, "The public responds to progress and to events. Every time they can see real progress -- an election, catching Saddam (Hussein), whatever it is -- they like it."

If that happens, the White House hopes the troop buildup then will succeed in bringing enough stability to Baghdad by August that U.S. forces can withdraw to the city outskirts. "By the end of the year, Baghdad's got to look significantly different," said a National Security Council official not authorized to speak on the record.

Democrats believe that Bush made a fundamental mistake. Had he embraced the Iraq Study Group, or even made a show of embracing some of its elements, he could have called the Democrats' bluff about wanting to work together, party strategists said. "That would have really jammed us," said a top congressional Democratic aide.

Philip Zelikow, who as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's counselor was intimately involved in Iraq policymaking before stepping down recently, said great thought was given to how to satisfy at least some Democrats. "If you were in our shoes, what is the approach that would satisfy the Democrats?" he asked.

"That's not an easy question to answer," given the diversity of views within the party, he said.

Some allies said the administration was doomed to bipartisan criticism regardless of how it handled the review. "You've got a Democratic Party that doesn't believe in Bush, doesn't believe in the war," said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. "You've got a Republican Party that thinks Bush cost them the election. They could have done it better, but I'm not sure it would've made much difference."


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

No, nothing short of impeachment and removal from office will slow this MALadministration one bit.


capt said...

Better armor lacking for new troops in Iraq

The thousands of troops that President Bush is expected to order to Iraq will join the fight largely without the protection of the latest armored vehicles that withstand bomb blasts far better than the Humvees in wide use, military officers said.

Vehicles such as the Cougar and the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle have proven ability to save lives, but production started late and relatively small numbers are in use in Iraq, mostly because of money shortages, industry officials said.

More than 1,000 American troops have been killed by roadside bombs since the war began in March 2003. At present there are fewer than 1,000 of the new armored trucks in Iraq. At $500,000 to $700,000 each, they cost more than twice as much as a standard Humvee, but already they are proving their worth.

"They are expensive, but they are going to save lives," said Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, during a recent trip to Iraq, where he reviewed the service's effort to get more of the vehicles.


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

A trillion dollar military and we are still sending our brave and best into harms way on the cheap?


capt said...

This is a US torture camp

It would be the ideal spot for a beachside birthday party. Surrounded by a turquoise sea, palm trees and white sand, the US detention camp at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba was five years old yesterday. Tony Blair calls it an "anomaly", but the evidence is overwhelming. Camp Delta, which still houses 470 men never convicted of any crime, is a torture camp. That should be the starting point of any debate about what is acceptable in the west's fight with Islamist extremists. More than 750 men have passed through the camp, with nearly half being released. Many prisoners, past and present, have given consistent and repeated testimony of serious abuses and ill treatment. There is also significant evidence from US officials and government documents of widespread abuse at the camp.

The British detainees known as the Tipton Three allege they were repeatedly beaten, shackled in painful positions for long periods and subjected to sleep deprivation. They were also subjected to strobe lighting, loud music and extremes of hot and cold - all meant to break them psychologically. Other detainees have suffered beatings, sexual assaults and death threats. At least one man has been "water boarded" - tied to a board and placed under water so that he had the sensation of drowning.

According to the Red Cross, the regime at Guantánamo causes psychological suffering that has driven inmates mad, with scores of suicide attempts and three inmates killing themselves last year.

Even US officials are shocked. Last week FBI documents revealed that an inmate's head had been wrapped in tape for quoting from the Qur'an. Another was humiliated for his religious beliefs and "baptised" by a soldier posing as a Catholic priest. The documents show FBI agents saw 26 instances of abuse in their time at Guantánamo. The FBI is highly sceptical about alleged confessions gained by its military colleagues. A May 2004 FBI memo branded intelligence gained from "special techniques" as "suspect at best". Indeed, one of the Tipton Three confessed to being in a video shot at an Afghan terror camp alongside Osama bin Laden - in fact, at the time he was working in an electronics store in the Midlands.

But the US should not shoulder all the blame. Some of the material from Guantánamo has been used by Britain's counter-terrorism agencies. In June 2003 Tony Blair told the Commons: "Information is still coming from people detained there ... That information is important." George Bush, his aides and the US military define what they have been doing as a special programme using special measures: their position appears to be that as long as blood is not drawn, it is not torture.

One official investigation found an inmate had been sexually humiliated and forced to perform dog tricks on a leash. It said the conduct was "abusive and degrading" but not torture. In a UK court hearing over Guantánamo, a senior British judge, Mr Justice Collins, declared: "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours." A UN report has confirmed evidence of torture, and Amnesty International has declared Guantánamo "the gulag of our time". Guantánamo is not the only US torture camp. Bagram in Afghanistan has been dogged by stories of abuse, and there are secret US prisons around the world where it is widely feared new horrors are occuring.

Human rights have been traded away in Guantánamo in the hope of gaining security, and it has not worked. One of the US's founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, stated: "He who trades liberty for security deserves neither and will lose both." Adorned on the walls of the Guantánamo camp is its mission statement: "Honour-bound to defend freedom". After five years of Guantánamo, do you feel any safer?


Robert S. said...

This obituary is true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.

Rest in Peace - Robert Anton Wilson

Robert S. said...

Isabel Perón arrested over accusations of human rights abuses
Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
Saturday January 13, 2007
The Guardian

Isabel Perón, the former Argentinian president and widow of the caudillo Juan Perón, was arrested at her home in Madrid last night after a judge in her home country launched an investigation into alleged human rights abuses during her tumultuous rule in the 1970s.

Police acted on an international arrest warrant issued by the judge, Raul Acosta. Ms Perón was driven to court last night and bailed pending an extradition request expected to follow by the end of February. Judge Acosta wants her extradited to Argentina to face questions about dissident killings during her 20-month rule.



Today's Washingtoon Journal included a segment with Otto Reich, who denied any U.S. involvement in the Venezuelan Coup, despite the U.S.'s jumping on the recognition bandwagon only to have egg on its face as Chavez regained control. He also pooh-poohed the idea that John Negroponte had any connection to death squads...

capt said...

New thread!

Robert S. said...

Friends of terrorism
Bush's decision to bring back Otto Reich
exposes the hypocrisy of the war against terror
by Duncan Campbell
8 February 2002
The Guardian

His name may sound like that of a character from a Mel Brooks musical but Otto Reich is real enough. He has just been appointed by President Bush as assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs -- and both the manner of his appointment and the role he will now play have profound implications for a part of the world often disregarded since September 11.

Over the last year President Bush has attempted to bring back into office people who were discredited during the US interventions in Central America in the 1980s and 1990s. One such appointment was that of Elliott Abrams, who had two convictions in 1991 for misleading Congress about the so-called Iran-contra affair. He was pardoned by President Bush's father in 1992 and now enjoys the title of head of the "office of democracy and human rights". Another was John Negroponte, the former US ambassador to Honduras, who was accused by his predecessor of turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed there against leftists because it was felt necessary to remain on good terms with the Honduran government. Negroponte was quietly confirmed as US ambassador to the UN shortly after September 11. But the third appointment is by far the most controversial and potentially divisive.

Otto Reich is a rightwing Cuban American whose key policy objective is the overthrow of Fidel Castro's regime and whose support base is the Cuban-American community in Florida. President Bush's brother, Jeb, is depending on this community's votes and backing as he runs for re-election as governor of the state later this year.

Otto Reich came to prominence during the Reagan administration when he was appointed head of the office of public diplomacy within the state department. According to the national security archives, Reich used this role to pursue his own agenda to such an extent that in 1987 the Comptroller-General of the US, a Republican appointee, found that some of the efforts of his office were "prohibited, covert propaganda activities ... beyond the range of acceptable agency public information activities". A letter of September 30 1987 concluded that Reich's office had violated "a restriction on the state department's annual appropriations prohibiting the use of federal funds for publicity or propaganda purposes not authorised by Congress".

He staffed his unit with CIA and Pentagon "psychological warfare" specialists and discredited journalists whose work the Reagan administration did not like. His office wrote bogus editorial pieces under the names of Nicaraguan contras and got them published in the mainstream media. He reported directly to Oliver North.

Reich also served as US ambassador to Venezuela...More.