Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Gore for Studio Head

Still waiting for a Libby verdict....

Al Gore played it rather straight at the Oscars on Sunday night. He was no ham and let Leonardo, Melissa and Davis (the director of An Inconvenient Truth) do most of the proselytizing. He joked about running for president and resisted exploiting the limelight more than the usual Oscar recipient. This signaled that Gore is actually telling the truth (convenient or not) when he says he's not interested in a presidential campaign. It's not only that he didn't use the star-studded occasion to issue any announcement. He didn't even hint of one to come. His manner and the way he handled the issue suggests he ain't running--and he's not even contemplating taking on Hillary and Barack (and, yeah, those other guys). What would you rather do? Party at the Vanity Fair gala (while saving the planet) or clean up George W. Bush's mess in Iraq. Gore's too big for the White House--and that seems fine by him.

Meanwhile, I see there are still Neanderthal holdouts with respect to global warming. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming is real. The National Academy of Science says it's real. Even Bush acknowledged global warming is under way and action must be taken (just not serious action). Yet Human Events, the right-wing magazine that is proud to publish Ann Coulter, knows better. It's promoting a book by Christopher Horner, a lawyer for the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute, called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming Tom Winter, the editor of Human Events describes the book this way:

Christopher C. Horner tears the cover off the Left's manipulation of environmental issues for political purposes -- and lays out incontrovertible evidence of the fact that global warming is just more Chicken-Little hysteria, not actual science.

How 1990s. Yes, global warming is merely another conspiracy of "the Left." That must be why Senator John McCain, Bush, BP, Ford, evangelical ministers and other people and institutions not regarded as Fifth Columnists for the Left have accepted the science. Goes to show how wacky the right can be. If only "the Left" was really able to mount such Manichaean manipulations. After all, if "the Left" could fool all these folks into believing global warming is real, why couldn't it fool the powerful and the public into foregoing an invasion of Iraq? And why couldn't the wily manipulators of "the Left" in 2000 manage to install in the White House the candidate who collected more votes? I suppose "the Left" just got lucky with global warming.

Posted by David Corn at February 27, 2007 02:12 PM


O'Reilly said...

Our friend Kathleen, has been
"Overheard At The Courthouse"
of the Scooter Libby trial.

Check out the post at FireDogLake HERE

capt said...


Go Kathleen!

Saladin said...

Robert, that is pure speculation. The powers that be tend to get what they want, if gore can cave to petroleum interests like he did with Kyoto, what makes you think the war machine would have less influence? Plus, he is a staunch supporter of Israel, who's security is one of the main reasons our troops are getting slaughtered, and he parrots all the same bullshit lies about the War On Terror as the rest. Things may have been different in some ways, but the same in others. He talks and talks but I am waiting to see action.

Who is denying that the planet has been warming? Anyone with even a speck of common sense can see that it has. Look back at earths climate history, just a little ways, 20,000 years or so, the climate has swung back and forth numerous times, we've been in and out of ice ages and very warm spells, what is so surprising about warming after coming out of a mini ice age? It isn't unusual. According to the climate time scale we are due for another ice age, if human activity can prevent it I will be impressed.

capt said...

Added FDL to the link list. I can't believe I haven't had it listed before. If not for me typing fireGODlake I wouldn't have noticed it was missing from the link list.


Saladin said...

Kathleen, you are brave! You must also have an amazing amount of fortitude. Your question I would answer with a reluctant yes.

I watched a fun movie with Robbin Williams last night called Man Of the Year. The scene where he is participating in a presidential debate as an independent with the dem. and rep. candidates was just awesome! Made me want to cheer. Laura Linney was also great. God how we could use someone like that!

capt said...

Dow drops after China stock meltdown

NEW YORK, NY, United States (UPI) -- The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 540 points before recovering Tuesday afternoon after a Chinese market meltdown and a poor durable-goods report.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 381.17 points, or 3.02 percent, to 12,251.09 in late afternoon trading. The broader Standard & Poor`s 500 stock index fell 49.99, or 3.57 percent, to 1,404.38.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 69.53, or 3.57 percent, to 2,414.99.

In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 148.60, or 2 percent, to 6286.10, the biggest drop since June 8.

Japan`s Nikkei 225 index shed 95.43 points, or 0.52 percent, to finish at 18,119.92.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note added 12/32, or $3.75 for every $1,000 invested, yielding 4.585 percent. The 30-year bond was up 20/32, yielding 4.691 percent.

The U.S. dollar was at 118.69 yen from 120.57 yen at Monday`s close. The euro was at $1.3245 from $1.3184 late Monday.


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

We could be in for a very wild ride.


capt said...

Big Oil in, stability out under new Iraqi law

While debate rages in the United States about the military in Iraq, an equally important decision is being made inside Iraq - the future of its oil. A draft Iraqi law proposes to open the country's currently nationalized oil system to foreign corporate control. But emblematic of the flawed promotion of "democracy" by the administration of US President George W Bush, this new law is news to most Iraqi politicians.

A leaked copy of the proposed hydrocarbon law appeared on the Internet at the same time that it was introduced to the Iraqi Council of Ministers (cabinet). The law is expected to go to the Iraqi Council of Representatives within weeks. Yet the Internet version was the first look that most members of Iraq's Parliament had of the new law.

Many Iraqi oil experts, such as Fouad al-Ameer, who was responsible for the leak, think this law is not an urgent item on the country's agenda. Other observers and analysis share Ameer's views and believe the Bush administration, foreign oil companies and the International Monetary Fund are rushing the Iraqi government to pass the law.


Gerald said...

Kathleen does walk the walk and not just talk the talk!!! Go girl!!!!!

Maybe I am wrong but I sense that Kathleen teaches at Ohio U. in Athens, Ohio? If anyone knows, please share with us Kathleen's occupation.

Carey said...

I've been super busy so I was quickly skimming and saw O'REILLY's post alerting us to Kathleen's post on Firedoglake.

WOW KATHLEEN! Go get 'em.

How telling your observations of Libby and his wife are. It says it all. Brilliant writing and reporting. Thank you.

Robert S said...


It is NOT pure speculation to posit that we would not have recycled the class of Iran-Contra into a Gore administration.

Nor would it be pure speculation to suggest that those cutsy named proposals such as "clean skies" and "healthy forests" would be vastly different under a Gore administration.

The bit about Kyoto was speculation and only meant as my own injection. Still, if Big Oil was that enamoured of Al Gore I doubt they'd have back W. Bush that lopsidedly. And it would not be speculation to doubt that the secret energy meetings with Dick Cheney would not have occured under a Gore administration.

No doubt, I'd have had what to bitch about under a Gore Administration. But, I'd be happy to get back to base line awful, after worst president ever...

capt said...

Today as never before in their history Americans are enthralled with military power. The global military supremacy that the United States presently enjoys--and is bent on perpetuating--has become central to our national identity. More than America's matchless material abundance or even the effusions of its pop culture, the nation's arsenal of high-tech weaponry and the soldiers who employ that arsenal have come to signify who we are and what we stand for. --Andrew Bacevich in The New American Militarism

"The revulsion against war ... will be an almost insuperable obstacle for us to overcome. For that reason, I am convinced that we must begin now to set the machinery in motion for a permanent wartime economy."- Charles E. Wilson (1886-1972) President of General Electric (1940-42, 1945-50), head of the Office of Defense Mobilization in 1951, US Secretary of Defense (1953-57) - Source: internal memo, 1944

"American strategic [nuclear] forces do not exist solely for the purpose of deterring a Soviet nuclear threat or attack against the U.S. itself. Instead, they are intended to support U.S. foreign policy." - Colin Gray U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Source: "Victory is Possible," Foreign Policy, Summer 1980

"The principal beneficiary of America's foreign assistance programs has always been the United States." -- US Agency for International Development Source: "Direct Economic Benefits of U.S. Assistance Programs," 1999


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

uncledad said...

Howdy Capt!

Have you ever thought about starting your own blog? You seem to have alot to say. Why do you recreate Corns, bushlies? Let him do it himself. Capt, what do you have to say? I would like to see for once here on this blog, your opinions, to start with. If Corn needs a place to be read, let him re-open bushlies.com. I have a hard time reading someone that can't publish himself. And seems afraid of the internets. And to be frank I get a little sick of reading Corn, when he has no identity, and no way out. Are we supposed to believe that his paragraphs are meaningful, but his website is not? Corn is a parasite on your website, Alternate reality II.

uncledad said...

northwest Indiana hippy music

capt said...

Scientists invent real-life 'tricorder'

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have created a handheld sensing system they liken to Star Trek's "tricorder," used to analyze the chemical compounds of alien worlds.

But Purdue University researchers say their system could have more reality-based applications, such as testing foods for dangerous bacterial contaminants and urine for biomarkers that might provide an early disease warning.

The instrument is a miniature mass spectrometer combined with a technique called desorption electrospray ionization, or DESI. The device and technique were developed by a team of researchers led by Purdue Professor R. Graham Cooks.

"Conventional mass spectrometers analyze samples that are specially prepared and placed in a vacuum chamber," Cooks said. "The key DESI innovation is performing the ionization step in the air or directly on surfaces outside of the mass spectrometer's vacuum chamber.

"We like to compare it to the tricorder because it is truly a handheld instrument that yields information about the precise chemical composition of samples in a matter of minutes without harming the samples."

The research team has used the device to identify cocaine on a $50 bill in less than 1 second.


Saladin said...

Robert, all I have is gore's past record to go on. It isn't exactly exemplary. So many times he could have made a decisive difference in his assignment as environmental guardian under clinton and he caved to corp. interests. I just don't trust these rich elites, preaching conservation and earth salvation while being major polluters themselves. His past speaks for itself. What might have been is as unknowable as the future.

Saladin said...

Capt, I think uncledad may be on to something! You've certainly earned your own space :-)

capt said...

Uncledad and Saladin,

Thank you for your good thoughts and kind words.

"One kind word can warm three winter months."
Japanese proverb


Robert S said...


I don't see it as "trusting rich elites" as I see it as recognizing the difference between working on the structural problems within the democratic process, while at the same time trying to use the existing levers to effect change.

It is no secret, and you'll get no argument from me, that both major political parties are infested with the money powers that be. Nevertheless, it is also no secret that Bill Clinton (regardless of my feelings or yours) remains one of the world's most popular figures, and W. is one of the most reviled. It is no secret that Al Gore has been vocal in his opposition to the Iraq war. He has been vocal in opposition to torture, illegal wiretapping, and the CIA renditions program.

I'd love to see the stranglehold the two party system has on the electoral process abolished. In the meantime, to ignore the difference between base-line awful and worst president ever is a distinction I don't think we have the luxury of.

Saladin said...

Robert, let me rephrase that, I meant trusting those FINANCED by rich elites. I can't say what exactly goes on behind those secretive doors, but I can certainly see the results. This country has been steadily spiraling for the past 30 years, and all the vocal opposition in the world hasn't even slowed it down. Yes, the bush administration is the most God-awful bane we have EVER been afflicted with, and yes, practically ANYONE would be better. I saw a poll awhile back that actually rated Satan higher than bush! I thought that was pretty funny. But I don't think we have the luxury of simply accepting the lesser of the evils anymore. The existing levers are broken, and both parties are at fault. It is now up to we the people to take back our authority and make the changes, these treacherous reps are obviously beholden to something other than this country. I don't know how much longer we need to wait for them to snap out of it, we are really teetering on the edge, and if the NWO agenda is really the goal, it won't matter who we vote for, if they came from a pre-vetted group we can kiss America and everything we ever loved about it goodbye.

capt said...

Perennial Lobbying Scandal

Last week it was reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had spent $72.7 million on lobbying in 2006, setting a new American record, previously held by ... the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: $53.4 million in 2004. It is a remarkable amount of money, and so it's worth asking: How exactly does a group manage to spend so much money on the political process? And should we care?

This little factoid was not major news. Sadly, there is little "new" about business groups spending ridiculous amounts of money to try to influence public policy. When the Center for Responsive Politics totaled up all lobbying expenditures from 1998 to 2004, of the top 100 groups (all of whom spent at least $19 million), 60 were corporations and 32 were business trade groups (like the Chamber of Commerce). That means 92 percent of the most active groups were businesses or business trade groups. The Chamber topped the list at $204 million, followed by Altria at $101 million and General Electric at $94 million.

The Chamber’s record-breaking expenditures are also not news because there is nothing outwardly scandalous about them, in the way that, say, Jack Abramoff’s delightful dealings were outwardly scandalous. I suspect that most of the Chamber's lobbying is decidedly uninteresting and above-board—lots of meetings, mostly in the greater Capitol Hill area, full of long-winded arguments about why proposed or existing regulations are bad for economic growth.


Robert S said...

Why Have So Many US Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics
By Adam Cohen
The New York Times
Monday 26 February 2007

Carol Lam, the former United States attorney for San Diego, is smart and tireless and was very good at her job. Her investigation of Representative Randy Cunningham resulted in a guilty plea for taking more than $2 million in bribes from defense contractors and a sentence of more than eight years. Two weeks ago, she indicted Kyle Dustin Foggo, the former No. 3 official in the C.I.A. The defense-contracting scandal she pursued so vigorously could yet drag in other politicians.

In many Justice Departments, her record would have won her awards, and perhaps a promotion to a top post in Washington. In the Bush Justice Department, it got her fired.

Ms. Lam is one of at least seven United States attorneys fired recently under questionable circumstances. The Justice Department is claiming that Ms. Lam and other well-regarded prosecutors like John McKay of Seattle, David Iglesias of New Mexico, Daniel Bogden of Nevada and Paul Charlton of Arizona - who all received strong job evaluations - performed inadequately.

It is hard to call what's happening anything other than a political purge. And it's another shameful example of how in the Bush administration, everything - from rebuilding a hurricane-ravaged city to allocating homeland security dollars to invading Iraq - is sacrificed to partisan politics and winning elections.

U.S. attorneys have enormous power. Their decision to investigate or indict can bankrupt a business or destroy a life. They must be, and long have been, insulated from political pressures. Although appointed by the president, once in office they are almost never asked to leave until a new president is elected. The Congressional Research Service has confirmed how unprecedented these firings are. It found that of 486 U.S. attorneys confirmed since 1981, perhaps no more than three were forced out in similar ways - three in 25 years, compared with seven in recent months.

It is not just the large numbers. The firing of H. E. Cummins III is raising as many questions as Ms. Lam's. Mr. Cummins, one of the most distinguished lawyers in Arkansas, is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. But he was forced out to make room for J. Timothy Griffin, a former Karl Rove deputy with thin legal experience who did opposition research for the Republican National Committee. (Mr. Griffin recently bowed to the inevitable and said he will not try for a permanent appointment. But he remains in office indefinitely.)

The Bush administration cleared the way for these personnel changes by slipping a little-noticed provision into the Patriot Act last year that allows the president to appoint interim U.S. attorneys for an indefinite period without Senate confirmation.

Three theories are emerging for why these well-qualified U.S. attorney were fired - all political, and all disturbing.

1. Helping friends. Ms. Lam had already put one powerful Republican congressman in jail and was investigating other powerful politicians. The Justice Department, unpersuasively, claims that it was unhappy about Ms. Lam's failure to bring more immigration cases. Meanwhile, Ms. Lam has been replaced with an interim prosecutor whose résumé shows almost no criminal law experience, but includes her membership in the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

2. Candidate recruitment. U.S. attorney is a position that can make headlines and launch political careers. Congressional Democrats suspect that the Bush administration has been pushing out long-serving U.S. attorneys to replace them with promising Republican lawyers who can then be run for Congress and top state offices.

3. Presidential politics. The Justice Department concedes that Mr. Cummins was doing a good job in Little Rock. An obvious question is whether the administration was more interested in his successor's skills in opposition political research - let's not forget that Arkansas has been lucrative fodder for Republicans in the past - in time for the 2008 elections.

The charge of politics certainly feels right. This administration has made partisanship its lodestar. The Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran revealed in his book, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," that even applicants to help administer post-invasion Iraq were asked whom they voted for in 2000 and what they thought of Roe v. Wade.

Congress has been admirably aggressive about investigating. Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, held a tough hearing. And he is now talking about calling on the fired U.S. attorneys to testify and subpoenaing their performance evaluations - both good ideas.

The politicization of government over the last six years has had tragic consequences - in New Orleans, Iraq and elsewhere. But allowing politics to infect U.S. attorney offices takes it to a whole new level. Congress should continue to pursue the case of the fired U.S. attorneys vigorously, both to find out what really happened and to make sure that it does not happen again.


The Bush Administration in One Sentence
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Wednesday 28 February 2007

History is bunk.
- Henry Ford
Just because the Supreme Court set that poison precedent and anointed Bush, who brought in a crowd of neocon yahoos which earned no attention before the 2000 campaign, just because we 'Muricans vote for the man and not the mob, which in this case turned into the mob that ruined the country, you know, Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Pearl and Feith and Ledeen and Negroponte...

...just because unreasonably massive tax cuts were combined in 2001 with the economic depth-charge that was the Enron/Arthur Andersen/inflated revenues/overstated tax earnings scandal, which was umbilically connected to the White House, just because the economy (not to mention our whole psyche) absorbed another blow when four commercial airplanes somehow managed to pierce the most impenetrable air defense system in the history of the universe, fooling the entire intelligence community as well, if you believe what you hear...

...just because this happened despite a blizzard of warnings delivered in the weeks and months beforehand, along with a raft of information gathered by the previous administration, just because a bunch of anthrax got mailed to Democrats by the Ashcroft wing of the Republican Party in what were obvious assassination attempts and yet nothing but nothing has been done about it, just because the 9/11 attack was immediately - and I mean the day after immediately - grasped as an excuse to invade Iraq, just because virtually everyone in the administration lied with their bare faces hanging out about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, terrorism ties in Iraq, so break out the plastic sheeting and duct tape because we're all gonna die...

...just because they did this in no small part to win the 2002 midterms by any means necessary, just because they have used that day against us with deliberation and intent, just because 3,160 American soldiers have been killed looking for 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons (which is one million pounds) of sarin and mustard and VX nerve agent, 30,000 munitions to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, aerial drones to spray the aforementioned stuff, and let's not forget the uranium from Niger for use in Iraq's robust "nukular" program, all of which was described to the letter by Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address, claims that still remain today on the White House web site, on a page titled 'Disarm Saddam Hussein'...

...just because the medical journal Lancet estimated that as many as 198,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed as well in the war to get at this stuff, and that was a while ago and a whole slew of bombings ago, just because none of the stuff was there, and by the way none of the stuff was there, and did I mention that none of the stuff was there, just because the idea that Hussein was allied with bin Laden was laughable because Osama has wanted Saddam's head on his battle standard for decades, just because the true source of world terrorism, which is Sunni Wahabbist extremism out of Saudi Arabia, goes completely unaddressed because the Houses of Bush and Saud have been partnered for decades...

...just because the lie that says the GOP is strong on national defense still permeates everything, though the loss of those 3,160 soldiers combined with the grievous wounding of between 47,000 and 53,000 other soldiers amounts to the evisceration of between a fourth and a third of our entire active fighting force, which makes us safer in no way that can be fathomed, and never mind the soldiers living in filth and among rats and roaches because they have been deliberately shafted so the Bush boys can squeeze a few more pennies into the coffers of folks like Halliburton and Exxon...

...just because so much of 9/11 and this 'War on Terra' has to do with business arrangements going awry between these two Houses, just because a deep-cover CIA agent who was working to track any person or nation or group that would give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists got her cover and her network blown by administration officials who wanted to shut her husband and any other potential whistleblowers the hell up, just because the front company she was working out of called Brewster Jennings and Associates was likewise blown, thus torpedoing other agents and their networks, just because absolutely all of this went virtually unreported by the mainstream media until it was too late, if it was reported at all...

...just because dangerous spies like Ahmad Chalabi used Judy Miller and the New York Times to disseminate the lie that Iraq was riddled with weapons, thus opening the floodgates for the rest of the media to repeat the lie, because once the Times says it, it must be true, just because this lack of reporting combined with an astounding level of cheerleading from the aforementioned media combined with some good old-fashioned vote fraud in places like Ohio, Florida and New Mexico gave the aforementioned group of yahoos four more years in 2004...

...just because this means the Iraq war will continue and Iran will probably be next, despite the fact that we basically gave the Iraqi government to Iran when we invaded and handed the Shi'ite majority control over the place, a majority that is ideologically and religiously allied with Iran, a majority controlled by two Shi'ite factions called Dawa and SCIRI, which have been creatures of Iran since the early 1980s, which were centrally involved in the 1983 Beirut bombing that killed more than 200 American Marines, just because we knew this going in but it happened anyway, and even though we know Iran is running Iraq, we still have to hear all this blather about Iran "interfering" in Iraq...

...just because our phones are tapped and our homes are no longer protected from unreasonable searches, just because we torture at will, just because we detain forever and use habeas corpus like so much toilet paper, just because signing statements have dismantled the separation of powers one brick at a time, just because no page is safe in a Republican Congress, just because no bribe is too small in a Republican Congress, just because a Democratic resurgence in 2006 is only a tiny beginning and not any kind of an end, because these Bush boys have no intention of slowing down or backing off...

...just because our national reputation is ravaged and our future has been sold out from under us, just because Truman's wartime economic footing has morphed into a machine that Eisenhower would recognize in horror as the very thing he warned us about before he left, just because the whole system now requires us to manufacture wars if none are available because the system itself has been wired to feed the beast no matter the consequences, just because television tells you not to worry, look at these breasts or this shaved starlet's head, or this shiny thing, look here, shhh, be silent, be still, sleep...

...doesn't mean We The People are finished, because all of this is why "We The People" was written down in the first place, and though the day is late and the road is long and the chances for success are slim, We The People are here to stay, so strap in and look out, because we are just getting started, and the next sentence will be ours to write.

capt said...

new thread