Friday, May 25, 2007

Fitzgerald Speaks...And, Yes, She Was a Covert Officer



In the Valerie Plame case, there's been much disinformation from conservative commentators and Scooter Libby advocates who claim that Valerie Wilson was not truly a covert agent. These partisans then contend that the leak identifying her as a CIA officer could not have been a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and, thus, Patrick Fitzgerald's leak investigation (which resulted in Libby's conviction) was illegitimate. GOP lawyer Victoria Toensing has led the rightwing pack in this charge. (See here for background on her efforts on this front.)

On Friday, Fitzgerald took a shot at this misleading argument. In a sentencing memorandum filed with the federal court overseeing the Libby case, Fitzgerald notes:

It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute (Title 50, United States Code, Section 421) as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press.

In other words, there!

I doubt this will stop Toensing and others from continuing to insist Valerie Wilson was not a covert officer covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. But this propaganda point has gotten rather thin.

Fitzgerald's memo explicitly counters contentions championed by the Libby lobby, which now is seeking leniency for the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby's pals have argued that since no crime was charged related to the leak itself, Fitzgerald abused his prosecutorial power in pursuing Libby on obstruction of justice charges. They also claim that since federal investigators discovered right away that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and White House aide Karl Rove had been the sources for the Robert Novak column that outed Valerie Wilson as a clandestine CIA officer, Fitzgerald continued the investigation purely for "political" purposes. So Libby should be given a break.

Fitzgerald, who doesn't leak and who doesn't go on television shows to defend himself, fires back in this memo. He writes:

Early in the investigation, investigators learned the identities of three officials--Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Senior Adviser to the President Karl Rove, and Mr. Libby, the Vice-President's Chief of Staff--who had disclosed information regarding Ms. Wilson's CIA employment to reporters. What was not apparent, however, were the answers to a series of questions central to whether criminal charges arising from the unauthorized disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity as an intelligence agent were both viable and appropriate. These questions included the following:

* Were Mr. Armitage, Mr. Rove, and Mr. Libby the only government officials to disclose information about Ms. Plame's CIA employment to reporters?

* Was each particular disclosure by the government officials to journalists deliberate, reckless or inadvertent?

* How did those government officials learn about Ms. Wilson's CIA employment?

* What did those government officials know about the classified nature of Ms. Wilson's employment?

* Precisely what information regarding Ms. Wilson's CIA employment did government officials disclose to reporters, and to how many reporters?

* Were the disclosures made as part of a concerted effort to disclose this information? And

* Did other government officials direct or approve these disclosures?


That is, knowing who leaked to Novak did not end the matter for Fitzgerald and his investigators. And clearly they wondered if there had been a conspiracy behind the leak. Libby's assorted lies to the investigators, Fitzgerald notes,

had two direct results. First, they made impossible an accurate evaluation of the role that Mr. Libby and those with whom he worked played in the disclosure of information regarding Ms. Wilson's CIA employment and about the motivations for their actions. Second, the lies required the government to expend substantial time and resources attempting to determine what--if any--of the information that Mr. Libby provided could be believed.

Libby, Fitzgerald argues, was responsible for keeping the investigation alive for so long. And the prosecutor adds,

Early in the investigation...the critical issue remained as to precisely what the particular [administration] officials [who leaked] knew about Ms. Wilson's status and what the officials intended when they disclosed her identity to the media. Moreover, in assessing the intent of these individuals, it was necessary to determine whether there was concerted action by any combination of the officials known to have disclosed the information about Ms. Plame to the media as anonymous sources, and also whether any of those who were involved acted at the direction of others. This was particularly important in light of Mr. Libby's statement to the FBI that he may have discussed Ms. Wilson's employment with reporters at the specific direction of the Vice President.

To spell it out, FBI agents were trying to determine if Dick Cheney has been involved in the leak. Libby's false statements to the investigators impeded this line of inquiry. Consequently, those statements became a subject of investigation.

Fitzgerald concludes the memo with a summation of the case:

Mr. Libby, a high-ranking public official and experienced lawyer, lied repeatedly and blatantly about matters at the heart of a criminal investigation concerning the disclosure of a covert intelligence officer's identity. He has shown no regret for his actions, which significantly impeded the investigation. Mr. Libby's prosecution was based not upon politics but upon his own conduct, as well as upon a principle fundamental to preserving our judicial system's independence from politics: that any witness, whatever his political affiliation, whatever his views on any policy or national issue, whether he works in the White House or drives a truck to earn a living, must tell the truth when he raises his hand and takes an oath on a judicial proceeding, or gives a statement to federal law enforcement officers. The judicial system has not corruptly mistreated Mr. Libby; Mr. Libby has been found by a jury of his peers to have corrupted the judicial system.

Fitzgerald is asking the court to sentence Libby to a prison term of 30 to 37 months.

Posted by David Corn at May 25, 2007 10:45 PM

91 comments:

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

I wager Toensing and Cliff May (and the other experts) will just say Fitzgerald is wrong and their delusion stands.

Reality is not the issue.


Thanks for all of your work.

Kirk

capt said...

How Can Bush Free Iraq When He Brings Tyranny to America?



The Washington, DC, think-tank, The American Enterprise Institute, camouflages its purpose with its name. There is nothing American about AEI, and the organization’s enterprise is fomenting war in the Middle East against Israel’s enemies. Its real name should be The Likud Center for Middle East War.

AEI has the largest collection of warmongers in America. AEI "scholars" have agitated for war in the Middle East for years. A moronic president and 9/11 gave them their opportunity. Now that the US invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have failed, the AEI warmongers are conspiring with Vice President Cheney to foment war with Iran.

Writing in the Washington Note, Steven C. Clemons reports that Cheney is working with the AEI warmongers to short-circuit the efforts of Bush’s secretaries of defense and state to find a diplomatic solution. Clemons reports that one former high level national security official describes the Cheney-AEI conspiracy as possibly an act of "criminal insubordination" against President Bush.

Now that the Democrats have betrayed their mandate of last November to end Bush’s war against Iraq and given Bush carte blanche to continue the gratuitous bloodshed, the neoconservative plan, spearheaded by Vice President Cheney, to initiate aggression against Iran, is back on the front burner.

Disinformation is being fed to the media that Iran is responsible for attacks on US troops in Iraq. This disinformation is routinely reported without skepticism by the American media in the face of challenges from experts. For example, a recent British report concludes: "few independent analysts believe Tehran is playing a decisive role in the sectarian warfare and insurgency."


More HERE

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Another excellent PCR piece.



capt

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: May 26

Gerald said...

capt, great post on Bush bringing tyranny to America!

capt said...

The sell-out to give Bunnypants a blank check greatly increases the likelihood of military action in Iran.

$100 billion is a mountain of money.

I wish Pelosi and Reid would consult DC - seems he has a better take on things.


capt

Gerald said...

The problem with the Democrats’ cynical logic is that allowing Bush to prolong the war in Iraq increases the chances that Cheney, Israel, and the neoconservatives can contrive a war with Iran. Most experts, and many in our own military, think that a war with Iran would go very badly for us, endangering our troops in Iraq by exposing them to more intense attacks from the more numerous Shi'ites, who would be armed with Iranian weapons that can neutralize our tanks and helicopters, leaving our fragmented and divided troops isolated and cut off from supplies and retreat routes.

The pending disaster would play into Cheney’s hands. With America faced with the loss of an army, Cheney and the neoconservatives would likely succeed in convincing Bush to nuke Iran. Cheney and Rumsfeld have already changed US war doctrine to permit preemptive nuclear attack against non-nuclear powers. Surprised by the inability of the US military to prevail in Iraq and by Israel’s military failure against Hezbollah, the neocons concluded that the only way to establish US/Israeli hegemony over the entire Middle East is to nuke Iran. The neocons believe that using nuclear weapons against Iran will demonstrate to the Muslim world that they have no alternative but to submit to US hegemony.

The Democrats are far from being alone in lacking the vision to see the abyss into which their cynicism is leading us. With the corporate media serving as propaganda ministry for the administration, Cheney will be able to whip up enough fear and anger to convince the American people that the use of nuclear weapons was imperative.

Bush’s popularity will return as he prevails over the enemy and tells Americans how he saved them from Iran’s nuclear weapons. The Democrats’ cynicism will have destroyed them and opened new avenues to destruction and violence.

Gerald said...

I believe that bunnypants has set in motion the destruction of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND NOT THE NAZI PARTY IN NAZI AMERICA.

The dropping of nuclear weapons, say the Nazis, would make Hitler Bush, a triumphant despotic ruler.

Gerald said...

McCain's wife says that her husband does not have a temper. Pavlov (sp) trained rats to behave. McCain must have trained his wife very well through behavior modification techniques.

With Hitler McCain as president we would be conditioned like rats to believe his nonsense. Of course, the MSM would be a big help to him.

Hitler McCain has missed 26 Senate votes. Would Hitler McCain be another vacationing despotic ruler like Hitler Bush?

Gerald said...

Bill Moyers Journal had Maxine Hong Kingston on his program. It was a great interview.

Gerald said...

Please type in Bill Moyers Journal for the audio portion of the interview.

Gerald said...

There are people who want Al Gore to throw his hat in the ring to be president. If he does, there would be big hype for awhile but the enthusiasm would diminish and Al Gore would have to fight off the sharks, like the Swiftboaters. Al Gore would better serve his country doing what he has been doing.

We know he got screwed in 2000 and his words outside the ring would resonate a big message to Americans, especially patriotic Americans.

capt said...

Start off this Saturday with:

Bob Geiger and his Saturday cartoons


capt

capt said...

Atom Interferometry Displays New Quantum Tricks



Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a novel way of making atoms interfere with each other, recreating a famous experiment originally done with light while also making the atoms do things that light just won't do.

Their experiments showcase some of the extraordinary behavior taken for granted in the quantum world--atoms acting like waves and appearing in two places at once, for starters--and demonstrate a new technique that could be useful in quantum computing with neutral atoms and further studies of atomic hijinks.

The NIST experiments, described in Physical Review Letters,* recreate the historic "double-slit" experiment in which light is directed through two separate openings and the two resulting beams interfere with each other, creating a striped pattern. That experiment is a classic demonstration of light behaving like a wave, and the general technique, called interferometry, is used as a measurement tool in many fields. The NIST team used atoms, which, like light, can behave like particles or waves, and made the wave patterns interfere, or, in one curious situation, not.

Atom interferometers have been made before, but the NIST technique introduces some new twists. The researchers trap about 20,000 ultracold rubidium atoms with optical lattices, a lacework of light formed by three pairs of infrared laser beams that sets up an array of energy "wells," shaped like an egg carton, that trap the atoms.

The lasers are arranged to create two horizontal lattices overlapping like two mesh screens, one twice as fine as the other in one dimension. If one atom is placed in each site of the wider lattice, and those lasers are turned off while the finer lattice is activated, then each site is split into two wells, about 400 nanometers apart. Under the rules of the quantum world, the atom doesn't choose between the two sites but rather assumes a "superposition," located in both places simultaneously. Images reveal a characteristic pattern as the two parts of the single superpositioned atom interfere with each other. (The effect is strong enough to image because this is happening to thousands of atoms simultaneously--see image.)

Everything changes when two atoms are placed in each site of the wider lattice, and those sites are split in two. The original atom pair is now in a superposition of three possible arrangements: both atoms on one site, both on the other, and one on each. In the two cases when both atoms are on a single site, they interact with each other, altering the interference pattern--an effect that does not occur with light. The imbalance among the three arrangements creates a strobe-like effect.

Depending on how long the atoms are held in the lattice before being released to interfere, the interference pattern flickers on (with stripes) and off (no stripes). A similar "collapse and revival" of an interference pattern was seen in similar experiments done earlier in Germany, but that work did not confine a pair of atoms to a single pair of sites. The NIST experiments allowed researchers to measure the degree to which they had exactly one or exactly two atoms in a single site, and to controllably make exactly two atoms interact. These are important capabilities for making a quantum computer that stores information in individual neutral atoms.


More HERE

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Let's hear it for the nerds!



capt

capt said...

"Bill Moyers Journal had Maxine Hong Kingston on his program. It was a great interview."

I second that motion - a very excellent interview. Bill Moyers rocks.



capt

capt said...

Reid & Pelosi: traitors and turncoats to our troops, the voters, the constitution



Funding the Iraq occupation without timelines or deadlines is a travesty.


In the face of a petulant, pig-headed, pertinacious President, for weeks both Reid and Pelosi claimed the moral high ground. They promised to insist on timelines for the withdrawal of our troops, currently stuck like fish in a barrel.

Let's review what is happening in today's IraqNam. General David Howell Petraeus was appointed to take over command after four years of lies and misreporting, after four years of worsening conditions and growing turmoil and death. His prior success in a small region was his biggest selling point. Anyone who could actually make friends and earn the trust of several factions, despite the brain-damaged policies of Bremer, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Feith, Wolfowitz, had to have something going for him. Congress approved his promotion by an overwhelming majority.

Three years ago, President Bush called for the first surge (a rose by any other name still has thorns). Six months later, he increased troops again, (many thorns), and a year ago, there was a fourth, perhaps fifth surge. Each surge had a minor, temporary impact. For example, people forget that we re-invaded Baghdad no less than three times, AFTER we invaded the very first time. Each time resulted in a slight lowering of the kidnapping, death and torture rates, while there was a noticeable increase in violence and death outside of the capital.

In December, as violence levels rose across the country of 24,000,000 disenchanted, suffering, unhappy, occupied people, Bush proposed his latest surge as a Final Solution. Despite generals and experts claiming that 20,000 troops would have little or no impact, Bush and his spin team painted his many critics as being unpatriotic, intent on losing and more intent on playing political games than doing the right thing. As usual, his oration was filled with half-truths, half-assed cliches, and half-brained arguments.

Were it not for the blogs, the liberals, the moderates – the true patriots, the Democratic majority would have caved in back then. Instead, the hue and cry from the grassroots caused the Democratic leaders to take a step back and reconsider their standard, spineless, yellow-belly response to a power-hungry, fascist White House. Even though Bush got his surge, the Democrats seemed willing to stand up for the first time in six years.

We learned that the 20,000 quickly grew to 29,000. Then we learned that 50,000 additional support troops were needed to supply, arm and support the new targets. This week we learned that another 50,000 might be necessary and that the military plans to stay in Iraq for at least 10 years.


More HERE

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But - but - but - they are the super-democrats and we should celebrate their victory.



capt

capt said...

Bush celebrates after signing Iraq war bill



WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush celebrated victory on Saturday after he signed into law a long-sought bill committing 100 billion dollars to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


"Congress voted yesterday to provide our troops with the funding and flexibility they need to protect our country, and I was pleased to sign the bill today," Bush said in a statement Friday.

"Rather than mandate arbitrary timetables for troop withdrawals or micromanage our military commanders, this legislation enables our servicemen and women to follow the judgment of commanders on the ground," he added.

The president’s Democratic foes in Congress had ceded to his demands to strip timelines for troop withdrawals out of the war funding bill passed Thursday. But Democrats have vowed fresh efforts to end the conflict.

Bush reiterated that the measure sets the stage for pressing the fragile government in Baghdad to make progress on national reconciliation.

"Iraqis need to demonstrate measurable progress on a series of benchmarks for improved security, political reconciliation and governance," the statement said, referring to provisions in the bill.

Bush had earlier told reporters: "I look forward to continuing to work with the prime minister and his government in meeting those expectations," referring to Iraq’s Nuri al-Maliki.

Bush’s signature on the bill cements a short-term truce with anti-war Democrats in a fierce struggle for control of the unpopular war.

But the president’s foes warned they were girding for a new assault on his authority in coming months, and claimed a breakthrough in reining him in over the unpopular and bloody conflict.

"I think that the president’s policy is going to begin to unravel now," said Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives. She admitted however that the budget bill, which she voted against, fell short of Democratic aspirations.

After Congress returns from a week-long break, Pelosi said, Democrats would seek to renew the battle to force Bush to change course in Iraq, targeting several defense spending bills due for debate.

She also pledged to schedule a vote on withdrawing Bush’s congressional authorization to wage war in Iraq, granted in 2002. Senator Hillary Clinton has introduced a similar bill in the US Senate.

"September is the moment of truth for this war," Pelosi said, referring to a date when the top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, is expected to report on progress of Bush’s surge of nearly 30,000 extra troops into Iraq.

The bill also requires Bush to report to Congress on Iraq in July and September.

The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, meanwhile gave the clearest signal yet that Republicans would also be looking for a change of tack by Bush later this year.

"I think the handwriting is on the wall that we are going in a different direction in the fall, and I expect the president is going to lead it," McConnell told reporters.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported Saturday the White House was working on what officials describe as several "concepts" for reducing the number of US combat troops in Iraq by as much as 50 percent next year.

Citing unnamed senior administration officials, the newspaper said the concepts could lower US troop levels in Iraq to roughly 100,000 by the time the 2008 US presidential election moves into high gear.


More HERE

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

Should be only party to celebrate more blood, treasure and bodies - everybody is invited.



capt

Robert S said...


Obama, McCain in war of words over war, spelling
Nick Juliano
Published: Friday May 25, 2007


Presidential candidates wasted little time Friday before tossing rhetorical bombs each other's way over Thursday night's vote to fund the war for another four months, not to mention their spelling ability.

Sen. John McCain released a statement equating votes against the funding bill from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to "waving a white flag to al Qaeda."

Obama responded that McCain and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- who also had jumped into the fray -- were forcing US troops to police a burgeoning civil war in Iraq.

"And if there ever was a reflection of that, it's the fact that Senator McCain required a flack jacket ... to stroll through a market in Baghdad just a few weeks ago," Obama said in a response released by his campaign.

That didn't sit too well with McCain, famous for his service in the Vietnam war, who said his "conversations with military leaders on the ground" inform his belief that the president's surge strategy must be given a chance to work.

"By the way, Senator Obama, it's a 'flak' jacket, not a 'flack' jacket," McCain chided, by way of pointing out his military service.

A McCain aide went even further, telling a Politico blogger, "Obama wouldn't know the difference between an RPG and a bong."

****************************

Chronic militarism is a treatable disorder, more bongs - less bombs!

*****************************

That said, farewell to Dr. Tod Mikuriya.

Robert S said...

Yesterday, on C-Span, the House Democratic folks were trying to spin this vote, and while some of the critters on the podium had voted against the measure, all were talking about it being a positive step forward, keeping up the pressure, and further falderol.

On of the critters was Chris Van Hollen, whom I knew had voted against this war from the beginning, so's I called his office to vent a little of the steam that's been building between my ears of late, ever so politely, of course....

But, Mr. Van Hollen voted against the measure, the young phone answerer assured me.

Then why is he, right as we speak, crowing about how this is a positive step forward, I inquired.

Why is it a good thing we are continuing to fund the rape and pillaging of a nation which did not attack us, I wanted to know.

No good answers were forthcoming, of course.

Party on.

Robert S said...


What Congress Really Approved: Benchmark No. 1: Privatizing Iraq's Oil for US Companies
By Ann Wright
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
Saturday 26 May 2007


On Thursday, May 24, the US Congress voted to continue the war in Iraq. The members called it "supporting the troops." I call it stealing Iraq's oil - the second largest reserves in the world. The "benchmark," or goal, the Bush administration has been working on furiously since the US invaded Iraq is privatization of Iraq's oil. Now they have Congress blackmailing the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people: no privatization of Iraqi oil, no reconstruction funds.

This threat could not be clearer. If the Iraqi Parliament refuses to pass the privatization legislation, Congress will withhold US reconstruction funds that were promised to the Iraqis to rebuild what the United States has destroyed there. The privatization law, written by American oil company consultants hired by the Bush administration, would leave control with the Iraq National Oil Company for only 17 of the 80 known oil fields. The remainder (two-thirds) of known oil fields, and all yet undiscovered ones, would be up for grabs by the private oil companies of the world (but guess how many would go to United States firms - given to them by the compliant Iraqi government.)

No other nation in the Middle East has privatized its oil. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iran give only limited usage contracts to international oil companies for one or two years. The $12 billion dollar "Support the Troops" legislation passed by Congress requires Iraq, in order to get reconstruction funds from the United States, to privatize its oil resources and put them up for long term (20- to 30-year) contracts.

What does this "Support the Troops" legislation mean for the United States military? Supporting our troops has nothing to do with this bill, other than keeping them there for another 30 years to protect US oil interests. It means that every military service member will need Arabic language training. It means that every soldier and Marine would spend most of his or her career in Iraq. It means that the fourteen permanent bases will get new Taco Bells and Burger Kings! Why? Because the US military will be protecting the US corporate oilfields leased to US companies by the compliant Iraqi government. Our troops will be the guardians of US corporate interests in Iraq for the life of the contracts - for the next thirty years.

With the Bush administration's "Support the Troops" bill and its benchmarks, primarily Benchmark No. 1, we finally have the reason for the US invasion of Iraq: to get easily accessible, cheap, high-grade Iraq oil for US corporations.

Now the choice is for US military personnel and their families to decide whether they want their loved ones to be physically and emotionally injured to protect not our national security, but the financial security of the biggest corporate barons left in our country - the oil companies.

It's a choice for only our military families, because most non-military Americans do not really care whether our volunteer military spends its time protecting corporate oil to fuel our one-person cars. Of course, when a tornado, hurricane, flood or other natural disaster hits in our hometown, we want our National Guard unit back. But on a normal day, who remembers the 180,000 US military or the 150,000 US private contractors in Iraq?

Since the "Surge" began in January, over 500 Americans and 15,000 Iraqis have been killed. By the time September 2007 rolls around for the administration's review of the "surge" plan, another 400 Americans will be dead, as well as another 12,000 Iraqis.

How much more can our military and their families take?

Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army and US Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. She served 16 years in the US diplomatic corps in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Micronesia and Mongolia. She resigned from the US Department of State in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq.

******************************

The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) - McGannahan Skjellyfetti

See that girl, barefootin' along,
Whistlin' and singin', she's a carryin' on.
There's laughing in her eyes, dancing in her feet,
She's a neon-light diamond and she can live on the street.

Hey hey, hey, come right away
Come and join the party every day.

Well everybody's dancin' in a ring around the sun
Nobody's finished, we ain't even begun.
So take off your shoes, child, and take off your hat.
Try on your wings and find our where it's at.

Hey hey, hey, come right away
Come and join the party every day.

Take a vacation, fall out for a while,
Summer's comin' in, and it's goin' outa style
Cause your mother's down in Memphis, won't be back 'till the fall.

Hey hey, hey, come right away
Come and join the party every day.

******************************

Party On!

Robert S said...

CORRECTION!

must watch these lyric sites!

Take a vacation, fall out for a while,
Summer's comin' in, and it's goin' outa style
Well, lie down smokin', honey; have yourself a ball,
Cause your mother's down in Memphis, won't be back 'till the fall....

capt said...

Wolfowitz's tomb



A lead architect of the Iraq war, he believed shock and awe would transform the Middle East. But his policies failed -- along with his tenure at the World Bank.


Paul Wolfowitz's doctrines are a summa of numerous failed political dogmas of the 20th century. His notion of politics was essentially Bolshevik, but less democratic in practice than Lenin's. Wolfowitz had no concept of mass politics. Nor did he have an idea of democratic centralism, the core of Leninism, by which the vanguard led the cells of the party. Wolfowitz believed only in the vanguard. The dutiful student of obscurantist authoritarian philosopher Leo Strauss operated as a solitary intellectual at the head of a single cell, the lone Wolfowitz. His view of international political dynamics was a strange concoction of the most heated, impassioned idea of Leon Trotsky -- the permanent revolution -- admixed with the most rigid, Manichaean metaphor of John Foster Dulles -- the domino theory of the Cold War. Dulles' idea, applied to Southeast Asia, was a reaction to his mistaken understanding of Communist expansion as Trotskyist in conception. From this thesis and antithesis came the synthesis of Paul Wolfowitz. Welcome to the dustbin of history.

The squalid ending of Wolfowitz's glittering career, bickering over lies about payments to his girlfriend, submerged his grandiosity. Wheedling with the World Bank board, he appeared as a shadow of his former self, the intellectual field marshal pulverizing the opposition with the artillery of his arguments, reduced to using a Washington lawyer to make fine points. His class enemies -- the CIA and the Baathists, the State Department and the McGovernites -- had retreated under his barrages, but he found himself at last whining of persecution at the hands of the sort of bureaucrats he had brushed aside throughout his long rise.


More HERE

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

That is the whole tease - I HATE salon for the tease/ad crud.



capt

capt said...

US Public Skeptical of "Surge," 72% Disapprove of Bush's Handling of Iraq




It isn't amazing that 61% of Americans think the US should never have invaded Iraq. [- Courtesy NYT/CBS.]

What is amazing is that 35% still think it was a good idea.

It isn't amazing that 76% (including 51% of Republicans) of Americans say that the increased US troop levels in Iraq have had no impact or are making things worse.

What is amazing is that 20% think that things have gotten significantly better.

It isn't amazing that 63% of Americans support a timetable for US withdrawal ending in 2008. What is amazing is that so many do not.

It isn't amazing that 13% want to cut off money for the Iraq War immediately, or that 69% want further funding to be tied to the meeting of specific benchmarks.

What is amazing is that %15 want the war funded with no conditions at all.

(By the way, that only 13% want to cut off all funding immediately goes a long way toward explaining the vote on the supplemental in Congress).

It isn't amazing that 72 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq.

What is amazing is that 23 percent approve. (Are these the horror movie fans in the Republican base?)

It isn't amazing that 65 percent disapprove of Bush's management of foreign policy.

What is amazing is that 25 percent approves. (They should be asked specifically of what they approve. The rest of us want to know.)

I won't say anything mean about the fall to a 38% favorability rating for the Republican Party. If I were a Republican, I'd want to impeach Cheney before it goes on down to zero. Given that a third of evangelicals voted Democrat in the last election, it is not impossible that the GOP will end up a minority taste for years to come.

More HERE

capt said...

U.S. show of force in Gulf alarming: Afghan paper



KABUL (Reuters) - A U.S. navy show of force on Iran's doorstep is "greatly alarming" for the region and the United States risked a bloody quagmire if it invaded Iran, a state-run Afghan newspaper said on Saturday.

A large flotilla of U.S. ships entered the Gulf on Wednesday in a dramatic show of military muscle, adding to pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, which the West says are an attempt to develop atomic weapons.

Afghan officials say privately a U.S. attack on neighboring Iran would further destabilize Afghanistan where U.S. and NATO troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban.

The English-language Kabul Times, which reflects the U.S.-backed government's thinking, said Iran should drop its nuclear ambition and not be so stubborn.

"This is ... greatly alarming news for the whole region lest American invaded Iran and create a blood bath of its people and another quagmire for itself," the newspaper said in an editorial.

The U.S. show of force comes less than two weeks after Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking aboard a warship during a tour of the Gulf, said Washington would stand with others to prevent Iran gaining nuclear weapons and "dominating the region".

The Kabul Times said Iran should not confront the United States.

"Diplomacy required that it should have abandoned its nuclear ambition ... It is not a good policy for a relatively small country to be stubborn and militant against a super power," it said.

Iran says it nuclear ambitions are for energy purposes only and its leaders have made clear they would not yield to pressure. Iran has also said it would resist any threat and give a "powerful answer" to its enemies.

More HERE

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

Something is afoot?



capt

capt said...

US housing market deteriorates at faster pace than expected



The deterioration in the US housing market is accelerating, new figures showed yesterday, and at a faster rate than Wall Street had been expecting.

With the number of house sales in April down 2.6 per cent on the same month last year, the average selling price for homeowners who do find a buyer has started to fall. And the data contained little evidence to support the economic optimists who argue that the worst is almost over, since the backlog of unsold homes also climbed.

Analysts blamed the worsening figures on the so-called "sub-prime" mortgage market, which has effectively dried up. Mortgage companies have sharply curtailed their lending to Americans with poor credit histories, after rising arrears sent several lenders into bankruptcy and attracted the attentions of politicians, who are investigating unscrupulous lending practices.

The National Association of Realtors said that the annual rate of second-hand house sales was 5.99 million in April, down 2.6 per cent and significantly below the 6.18 million that had been expected. The worst drop in activity was in the North-east, where sales were down 8.8 per cent. Across the country, the price of the average US home was $220,900 (£111,300) last month, down 0.8 per cent from $222,600 in April 2006.

The backlog of unsold homes at the end of April was 4.20 million, 8.4 months of supply at the current sales pace. There was a 7.4-month supply at the end of March. The figures were bad enough to dent the rally in an otherwise bullish day on Wall Street, where share prices were rising on expectations of continuing strength in the broader US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell in the minutes after the data was released, although it resumed its climb.

Car Leahey, an economist at Decision Economics, in New York, said: "This report tempers the new-found hope that some analysts had that the housing recession might be over. Forecasts of a better housing market later this year may turn out to be right, but I would be very surprised if you see the old-fashioned V-shaped housing recovery, in part due to the overhang of homes and the coming foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market."

Yesterday's figures snuffed out the little optimism generated on Thursday when figures on the sale of newly built homes suggested a pick-up in activity. Sales had surged in April, rising by 16 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis, but critics pointed out homebuilders had needed to slash prices to sell their wares.

More HERE

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

Looks like trouble for the people on the margins again. Families and new buyers that had to get creative are likely to get the worst of it. House flippers and investment money will take a ding too but the pain will spread and there will be plenty to go around.



capt

Gerald said...

Welcome

Welcome to The Weekly Sunday Section by Gerald

Personal stress must be reduced to control the heart arrhythmia that increases the heartbeat to a dangerous degree and places my life in grave jeopardy. I need to develop a carefree attitude about Nazi America and her imminent demise.

John 31:34-35
A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you, so you also love one another. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another!

Psalm 51:1
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Love and mercy are essential behaviors for a better world and for all of God’s children.

Proverb 3:5-6
Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps.

Prayer for Peace – John Paul II
O God, Creator of the universe, who extends your paternal concern over every creature and guides the events of history to the goal of salvation, we acknowledge your fatherly love when you break the resistance of mankind and, in a world torn by strife and discord, you make us ready for reconciliation. Renew for us the wonders of your mercy; send forth your Spirit that he may work on the intimacy of hearts, that enemies may begin to dialogue, that adversaries may shake hands and peoples may encounter one another in harmony. May all commit themselves to the sincere search for true peace that will extinguish all arguments, for charity that overcomes hatred, for pardon that disarms revenge!

Illegal immigrants can voice their concerns but nonviolent protesters against the Iraq war are arrested. There is something wrong in Nazi America.

May God bless and keep you in the palm of His hand!

Gerald said...

How Great Thou Art

Gerald said...

On Eagles Wings

Gerald said...

Serenity Prayer

Gerald said...

One Day You're Gonna Wake Up

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: May27

Gerald said...

Dropping the Mask

Gerald said...

There is no real disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on war goals, only the means. And clearly the means is more blood: "... the number of combat soldiers would rise from the 52,500 that were there in early January to as many as 98,000 by December. The total number of US troops—including support units—could hit a record 200,000." So Bush doubles the surge to a deafening silence. There will be no protests from Democrats, all are united in the cry for more soldiers, more blood, more prosperity. Only the news media still pretends they are antiwar.

The function of Democrats in this sorrowful empire remains what it has been for decades. They defend the basic interests of empire, while maintaining the fiction of a stalwart opposition in order to stall and redirect any real opposition that may lumber forth - to smother the otherwise fierce passions of a betrayed and exhausted population. A betrayal that is sensed, but misconstrued by the majority.

Here are the facts: "In all, at a time when 82 percent of Americans tell pollsters they want Congress to either approve funds for the war with strict conditions or cut off all funding immediately, 90 percent of House and Senate Democrats combined voted to give George W. Bush a blank check." - David Sirota, Working Assets, May 25, 2007.

In fact, there is nothing our leaders fear more than democracy. By assenting to this moral catastrophe, the people themselves are abdicating their right to further dissent from empire's designs. Now we must feel as the ancient Romans did in the days of early Christianity, when the Church still spoke with blood against power. Frankly, it no longer matters whether dissent is 82% or 99%, for the voice of the people has been silenced and the reign of unfettered corporate empire has slouched unashamed into the light.

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DEMS AND THE REPUGS. THEY ARE ONLY DIFFERENT WINGS OF THE SAME BIRD, THE BIRD OF HATRED, MURDERS, TORTURE, WAR CRIMES, CORRUPTION, DECADENCE, GREED, AND LIES.

NAZI AMERICANS WILL RUE THE DAY SHE ATTACKED IRAQ IN A WRONG AND IN AN IMMORAL WAR.

NAZI AMERICANS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN BLOOD-SUCKING VAMPIRES.

Gerald said...

Brief News of the Week

Below is a favorite quotation that is recited at the start of security moms and soccer moms' tea times.

"I could watch a burned infant trying to nurse from its dead mother's breast, see young men with their faces blown away, witness a boy deliberately gutted...and never protest."

—Reporter Richard Boyle in Vietnam. The Flower of the Dragon: The Breakdown of the US Army in Vietnam by Richard Boyle (San Francisco, 1972), p. 22. Reprinted in An Intimate History of Killing by Joanna Bourke (Basic Books, 1999), p 199.

Security moms and soccer moms will never protest against wrong and immoral wars. Wars are their favorite topics of conversation at these weekly tea times.

If you have been studying the immigration bill and debate, you will pick up on the fact that immigrants whether legal or illegal will have free lawyer counsel at the American taxpayer expense. There are at least 20 million illegal who will gain amnesty and free legal counsel regarding their status. Once a bill is passed, it is difficult to remove the bill or law.

I took sometime to add up the cost with some idea of attorney fees in mind. Plus I added up the cost of the Iraq war and through the twenty-first century, Americans will have to pay a tab of $17 trillion. This tab does not include our occupation of Iran and Syria and other preemptive and covert wars. It does include the domestic needs in our country.
WHO WILL PAY FOR THESE VARIOUS ISSUES, MISADVENTURES, AND NEEDS? Will the rich bleed the poor and the middle class more and more? My answer is a definite and a resounding, YES! Americans will experience endless pain and suffering through the twenty-first century and beyond.

Nazi America concedes that 300,000+ cannon fodder will be necessary in Iraq before the end of the year. Plus, the extra troops are needed to fight Iran. Nazi America will, first, soften up Iran with nuclear weapons before the cannon fodder invades Iran.

Sometime in 2008 Hitler Bush will declare martial law and cancel the 2008 presidential election. THERE WILL BE NO 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Hitler Bush’s recent directive giving him absolute power eases his takeover of Nazi America.

Ron Paul is on a roll. The repugs fear him beyond belief.

Hitler Bush has named Hitler Wolfowitz to be president of al-Qaeda. Wolfowitz will head Nazi America’s terrorist organizations.
US Intel predicted al-Qaeda rise in Iraq. Hitler Bush did not accept the prediction. Arrogance is Hitler Bush’s lifestyle. He has a history of killing off people, such as our soldiers. A man without a conscience is very dangerous and deadly.

In Arash Norovizi’s article, “The Rumor of the Century,” he discusses that Iranian president would not wipe Israel off the face of the earth but there would be a regime change. This is a big difference. The Iranian president has also said that Nazi America will have a regime change. There is a difference between regime change and wiping away Nazi countries. As we can read and see both Nazi Israel and Nazi America have huge problems with the citizens’ trust in Hitler Olmert and Hitler Bush. Hitler Blair will leave England by the end of June. The Hitlers of the world must be defeated!!! I say good riddance to garbage!!!

Here is more smoke and mirrors or bait and switch that is more to Hitler Bush’ mentality. The WH is said to debate a 50% cut in troops in 2008. This will never happen because a war against Iran is on the board and Nazi America will need those troops. Have we forgotten that Hitler Bush wants to increase our troops in Iraq to 300,000 by Christmas? The problem with Nazi Americans is that we have short memories. Never forget that a stupid American is born every ninety seconds in Nazi America.

From Jane Stillwater’s latest article:
According to the United States Joint Forces Command, "Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02) brought together both live field exercises and computer simulation July 24-Aug. 15, 2002. Sponsored by U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), MC02 focused on how a U.S. [joint forces command] explores the military ability to conduct Rapid Decisive Operations (RDO) against a determined adversary." And just as soon as humanly possible, these war game exercises segued into Shock and Awe and the war on Iraq.

"We are exploring the future of national defense in order to provide better information for national security decision makers. National defense transformation begins with aggressively setting the joint context for concept development and robust joint experimentation," stated the United States Joint Forces Command in an article posted on its website in August of 2002.
As you may or may not remember, Millennium Challenge was a dismal failure for the Blue Team, representing the Joint Forces Command, when the Red Team, representing a dictator closely resembling Saddam Hussein, whipped the Blue Team's ass immediately after the war games started. But that's not my point.

My point is that the Millennium Challenge war games in the Middle East were George W. Bush's opening move in his war on Iraq. And now Bush is staging war games again in the Middle East. Are these war games intended to be Bush's opening move in his war on Iran too? You bet!

"Joint experimentation fosters an operational, decision-making culture in the defense of our nation by exploring the threats of tomorrow today. The basic premise is that critical decisions on future military doctrine, organization and technology should be based on solid empirical results." The United States Joint Forces Command pretty much spells it out for you here. Expect a war on Iran ASAP.

Gerald said...

The $17 trillion tab does NOT include domestic needs. The above tab from my post said that it would include domestic needs.

Our domestic needs will probably require $50 trillion before the next century.

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush approves war with Iran

Gerald said...

US show of force is alarming

Gerald said...

Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy to ease Iran's future shortfall of oil.

Iran is no threat to Nazi Israel and Nazi America!

Hitler Bush and Hitler Chaney are addicted to wars.

Gerald said...

With our open borders I stand corrected that our domestic needs through this century maybe as much as $100 to 200 trillion.

Gerald said...

A lengthy article but a great read

All human beings should embrace cowardice.

Gerald said...

Gentle readers, to provide a proper acknowledgment of the upcoming Memorial Day, I give you Charlie Madison:
War isn’t hell at all. It’s man at his best; the highest morality he's capable of … it’s not war that’s insane, you see. It’s the morality of it. It’s not greed or ambition that makes war: it’s goodness. Wars are always fought for the best of reasons: for liberation or manifest destiny. Always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity. So far this war, we’ve managed to butcher some ten million humans in the interest of humanity. Next war it seems we’ll have to destroy all of man in order to preserve his damn dignity. It’s not war that’s unnatural to us – it’s virtue. As long as valor remains a virtue, we shall have soldiers. So, I preach cowardice. Through cowardice, we shall all be saved.

...

I don’t trust people who make bitter reflections about war. ... It’s always the generals with the bloodiest records who are the first to shout what a Hell it is. And it’s always the widows who lead the Memorial Day parades … we shall never end wars ... by blaming it on ministers and generals or warmongering imperialists or all the other banal bogies. It’s the rest of us who build statues to those generals and name boulevards after those ministers; the rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields. We wear our widows’ weeds like nuns and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices. My brother died at Anzio – an everyday soldier’s death, no special heroism involved. They buried what pieces they found of him. But my mother insists he died a brave death and pretends to be very proud.

...

[Y]ou see, now my other brother can’t wait to reach enlistment age. That’ll be in September. May be ministers and generals who blunder us into wars, but the least the rest of us can do is to resist honoring the institution. What has my mother got for pretending bravery was admirable? She’s under constant sedation and terrified she may wake up one morning and find her last son has run off to be brave.

Gerald said...

Lies on top of lies, on top of still more lies, all of it. As Robert Higgs notes in the passages excerpted here:
No one should be surprised by the cultural proclivity for violence, of course, because Americans have always been a violent people in a violent land. Once the Europeans had committed themselves to reside on this continent, they undertook to slaughter the Indians and steal their land, and to bullwhip African slaves into submission and live off their labor—endeavors they pursued with considerable success over the next two and a half centuries. Absent other convenient victims, they have battered and killed one another on the slightest pretext, or for the simple pleasure of doing so, with guns, knives, and bare hands. If you take them to be a “peace-loving people,” you haven’t been paying attention. Such violent people are easily led to war.

Gerald said...

Annihilation of the spirit. The game does not appear to be worth the candle. What is seen through the explosions is that this, no less than any other war, is not a moral war. Greek against Greek, against Persian, Roman against the world, cowboys against Indians, Catholics against Protestants, black men against white -- this is merely the current phase of an historical story. It is war, and to believe it is anything but a lot of people killing each other is to pretend it is something else, and to misread man's instinct to commit murder.

Nazi Americans cannot help but to continue with wars. Nazi Americans' basic instinct is to murder other human beings. We are a totally murderous people who lust for blood.

capt said...

Lost Whales & a Lost Presidency



Editor's Note: Two humpback whales find themselves lost and in grave danger, having wandered as much as 90 miles up the Sacramento River in California and showing little indication they grasp the desperate need to reverse course.

In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern sees parallels between the two whales and America's leadership in Iraq:



I know not everyone believes in God. But I do; and I’m really struck by the ways she chooses to penetrate our thick skulls.

So often we just don’t get it. To help us understand, allegory or parable is chosen—and sometimes leviathans.

Two wrong-way whales, a mother and her calf, are literally up the river—the Sacramento River. They are injured, and apparently almost deaf as well. The gurgles, chirps, whistles and banging on metal pipes by us humans are not enticing them to reverse course and escape.

Scientists report that attempts to save misguided whales with such sounds fail 90 percent of the time. This time, they add, the whales are so far up the river that scientists and whales alike are in uncharted territory. "We can’t have very high expectations of a positive outcome," one of them said...one of the scientists, that is.

Mother and young moved in circles near the Sacramento River bridge, while boat crews banged on pipes to get their attention and persuade them to cut and run for the Pacific some 70 miles away. Scientists theorized that vibrations from the bridge were upsetting the whales.

The pipe-bangers tried to bang carefully, so as not to stress them further. Brian Gorman, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned, "Stressing even a healthy whale is not good; stressing an injured whale is worse."

From the parable of the whales draw this lesson:

The wrong-way mother and calf are our injured vice president and president respectively, who are up the Tigris and Euphrates without a paddle—with no ears to hear the noises of those trying to save them from themselves. No gurgles, chirps, whistles, or banging seems able to get through.

Like the copious white matter in whale-brains, theirs is impervious to all suggestion as to how they could extract themselves from an otherwise fatal situation.

Good-sense-and-otherwise-sensory-deprived, only their olfactory faculty is working. Their very instinct for survival has been overcome by a pungent smell.

The only sounds that do break through the din of banging pipes and warnings of disaster are those of corporate sirens up-river. The sirens are singing enticing songs from lily pads stuck together by a pungent, oily substance that holds irresistible attraction for our metaphoric leviathans.

It may be a bit dangerous to stress them further, but the alternative is sure disaster—and not only for them.


More HERE

capt said...

Raccoons, a Nazi legacy, are a nuisance in Germany
Nonnative animals infest forests and pester city residents



In 1934, top Nazi party official Hermann Goering received a seemingly mundane request from the Reich Forestry Service. A fur farm near here was seeking permission to release a batch of exotic bushy-tailed critters into the wild to "enrich the local fauna" and give bored hunters something new to shoot at.

Goering approved the request and unwittingly uncorked an ecological disaster that is still spreading across Europe. The imported North American species -- Procyon lotor, the common raccoon -- quickly took a liking to the forests of central Germany. Encountering no natural predators, and with hunters increasingly called away by World War II, they fruitfully multiplied and have stymied all attempts to prevent them from overtaking the continent.

Today, up to 1 million raccoons are estimated to live in Germany, and their numbers are steadily increasing.

Raccoons have crawled across the border to infest each of Germany's neighbors and now range from the Baltic Sea to the Alps. Scientists say they have been spotted as far east as Chechnya. British tabloids have warned that it's only a matter of time until the "Nazi raccoons" cross the English Channel.


More HERE

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

A thousand year Reich was thinking small. I bet the raccoons are there beyond the time of man.



capt

capt said...

Dems’ panel chiefs cash in on bundling



Powerful Democratic chairmen and subcommittee chairmen have relied on lobbyists to raise money during the first three months of this year, according to recent fundraising reports, which cast light on the strong opposition to lobbying reform legislation scheduled to reach the floor today.

Conservative Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition have been particularly leery of legislation that would require lobbyists to reveal in public reports the total amount of contributions they raise or "bundle" for lawmakers. Many Democrats voiced concerns at a closed-door caucus meeting on the lobbying reform bill last week.

"Instead of passing a bunch of little bills, I would rather have people here understand they should act how their momma and poppa taught them how to act," said Rep. Allen Boyd (Fla.), a Blue Dog Democrat who is undecided about whether to vote for proposed rules requiring lobbyists to report the contributions they raise for lawmakers.

It appears many Democrats — and Republicans, for that matter — would prefer that the public not know how much fundraising help lobbyists provide. Recent campaign-finance reports offer a glimpse of the interactions between lobbyists and lawmakers in private dining rooms around Washington.

Lobbyists have hosted at least three fundraisers for Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Lobbyists at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds and Wiley Rein spent $2,600 on catering and room rental fees to hold fundraisers for Oberstar in January and March, according to a fundraising report.

Oberstar’s spokesman, John Schadl, said that he did not know whether lobbyists bundled contributions for Oberstar at the events. But that may change if Democrats vote to adopt legislation mandating disclosure of lobbyist bundling, something government watchdog groups call the keystone of reform.

The legislation would require lobbyists to disclose their fundraising when they have formal or informal agreements with lawmakers about how money raised should be credited. Also, lobbyists who know that lawmakers have credited them for raising funds must report their activity.

Many lawmakers have questioned whether these proposed regulations are too ambiguous.

"If a lobbyist helps put on the fundraiser, are you saying that everyone who contributes is part of a bundled contribution?"
Schadl said.

Schadl, who has worked on Oberstar’s campaigns on his own time, said that lobbyists who arrange fundraisers "usually send something to a group of people who might be interested in attending and they either show up or they don’t based on their interest. It’s not like there’s a vast political machine to round people up."

There has been talk that opposition within the Democratic Caucus is so strong that leaders may postpone consideration of lobbying reform.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she will put the legislation on the floor today.

One member of the Democratic leadership said it would send lobbying reform and bundling disclosure rules to the floor as separate pieces of legislation. If the House approved both pieces of legislation they would be combined during conference negotiations with the Senate.

Various Democrats in leadership said support for the bundling rules is growing and predicted they would pass. The House Judiciary Committee passed stand-alone bundling rules by voice vote last week.

Other Democratic chairmen have enjoyed the fundraising help of lobbyists.

Steve Elmendorf, the principal lobbyist for Elmendorf Strategies, held a breakfast fundraiser for Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Feb. 8.

Elmendorf said he did not remember the fundraiser for Frank because he hosts so many events.

"I do fundraising breakfasts almost every week for someone," he said. "Fifteen or 20 people show up and write their checks. There’s nothing unusual about it."

He said the proposed legislation likely would reduce the number of events lobbyists host.

"There will be some people who will stop having fundraisers because they think, ‘I’m not interested in filling out all these forms,’" he said of lobbyists.

Speaking of lawmakers, he added: "Some members will keep doing it and some will say, ‘I don’t want the potential of bad press. Instead of having Steve Elmendorf hold a fundraiser, I’ll have my contract fundraisers work harder and pay them
more money.’

"Behavior will change," Elmendorf concluded.

Van Scoyoc Associates’ political action committee (PAC) hosted a fundraiser for new Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) in March, paying $2,169 for room rental and catering expenses, according to Rangel’s fundraising report.

Van Scoyoc employees also bundled contributions to Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), the new chairman of the Appropriations energy and water subcommittee. Twelve employees gave Visclosky’s campaign contributions totaling $16,000 during the first three months of the year.

In March, the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition held a fundraiser for Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the new chairman of the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee. A Pallone aide said the coalition is made up of about a dozen organizations and that it hosted the fundraiser at a local restaurant. Philips Electronics North America PAC paid $2,042 for food and drinks.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association PAC hosted a fundraiser for Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the chairman of the full Energy and Commerce panel, a few days later. It paid $2,386 to cover expenses for the event.

Dingell said he was not sure whether he would vote to require lobbyists to report their fundraising activity on behalf of lawmakers.

"I’m looking at it and making up my mind," Dingell said.

More HERE

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

D or R - unless we the people can make them stop bundling nothing else will change. This is the process (one of them) where they get around the limits imposed by election law. Bundling is what made possible the Rangers and Pioneers for Bush.



capt

capt said...

Bundling


The practice of combining several small contributions into one large contribution. Under current federal law, it is illegal for an individual to give more than $1,000 to a Presidential candidate per election Since that limit was first introduced in the 1970s, however, fund-raisers have tried to overcome it by the completely legal and widespread practice of "bundling." Broadly it works like this: several $1,000 maximum contributions are solicited from, say, a corporation's executives and their families, and the checks are sent to a candidate all together in a large "bundle." While no individual has given more than the law allows, a lot of money has come from one place. (See contribution limits,FEC.)

capt said...

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.
Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD), Lives

The right things to do are those that keep our violence in abeyance; the wrong things are those that bring it to the fore.
Robert J. Sawyer (1960 - ), "Calculating God", 2000

It is by no means self-evident that human beings are most real when most violently excited; violent physical passions do not in themselves differentiate men from each other, but rather tend to reduce them to the same state.
Thomas Elliot

capt said...

New Creation Museum Mostly Illustrates that Creationists Have Lots of Cash


The guy who developed the Jaws and King Kong rides at Universal Studios is behind the new Creation Museum, which is set to open May 28 just south of Cincinnati. (The Times has a great review.)

Pro: Now Cincinnati will be known for something other than race riots.

Con: Now Young Earth Creationism, which one would hope would be recognized as both bad theology and bad science, has its Mecca. (Can a Hajj be far behind?)

(For those of you unfamiliar with Young Earth Creationism, it's worth noting that one of its central tenets is that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, and that dinosaurs are in fact Dragons. Really!)

More HERE

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

The appropriate Hajj would be the Exxonmobile Museum of No Global Warming - they have plenty of cash too.



capt

Gerald said...

Nazi America has failed her soldiers

Gerald said...

My wife has said to me that the BBC has aired that the newly elected French president has millions of undisclosed dollars in Japan. He broke the French law that stipulates all earthly assets must be accounted for by elected politicians who ran for election.

We can no longer wonder why he is Hitler Bush's friend. These Hitlers really learn quickly. BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER.

Gerald said...

I really love Nazi America. I love her for the smell, such as napalm in the morning and burning human flesh in the evening.

Gerald said...

Let's look at these numbers and reflect what lies from Hitler Bush has brought us!

Around 3,500 killed American soldiers!

Around 15,000 maimed soldiers with 10,000 very serious injuries!

Around 50,000 soldiers suffer PTSD!

This is only Iraq and does not include Afghanistan and Iran.

capt said...

Talk about numbers:

There are more Vietnam vets homeless today in America than were killed in Vietnam during the entire conflict.

So we have THAT to look forward to.

capt

Gerald said...

Mitt Romney leads in GOP polls. Some pundits say that he has the money to win the party's nomination.

His five sons have never served their government. He says that they chose not to serve because the military is a volunteer army.

Another hawk saying that someone else's son or daughter should serve and be killed to protect the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Gerald said...

Support the Troops

Here is American soldiers' future from all wars, past, present, and future!

capt said...

I used to go to the "Golden Bear" in HB to watch Country Joe and the Fish.

Ah, memories . . .



capt

Gerald said...

This is Hitler Bush's true legacy for us from his miserable and pathetic life

Gerald said...

Correction Made

Scroll up about Bush's miserable and pathetic life. I was rushed and made a mistake with the posting.

capt said...

Cheney touts Iraq spending bill



Vice President Dick Cheney Saturday touted the signing of the Iraq spending bill in his address to the graduating class of West Point.


"Last night, President Bush signed into law the war supplemental that we worked hard to achieve," Cheney told the cadets. "Whatever lies ahead, the United States Army will have all the equipment, supplies, manpower, training, and support essential to victory."

Cheney, who has repeatedly said that debating war funds in Congress sends a mixed message to U.S. troops, told cadets that he brought a message from the White House.

"I give you this assurance on behalf of the president," Cheney said. "You soldier for him, and he will soldier for you."

Cheney lauded the graduating class, noting that it was a rarity in the school’s history that a class began and finished their time at West Point while a war was going on.

"In the group that graduates today, and among the cadets watching from the stands, we have dozens of future officers that are already combat veterans," the vice president said. "You’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan. You’ve seen the enemy and his tactics. You’ve been part of an Army that has faced unprecedented challenges; an Army at war that is, without question, the finest ever fielded by the United States of America."

More HERE

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

Kudo's to Reid and Pelosi. They managed to enable Busheney to fund the war beyond their term. They will never get the full credit but they now will take the blame for every failure.



capt

capt said...

Here is another "No Bravery" piece (this one is from Ava)

Bravery

James Blunt's music and lyrics are so spot on, I think both animations ROCK!



capt

capt said...

"Baghdad is a smashed city..."



Below is an email I have just received from my close friend and translator Abu Talat. While he has fled Baghdad with his family and is now a refugee in Syria, he recently had to return to Baghdad in order to try to salvage what is left of his former life (his car, belongings from his house, etc.) before returning back to Syria. His note is instructive as to the current living conditions in the capital city of Iraq. Here is the full text of his message:


Habibi…

Baghdad is a SMASHED city…no roads to drive on…most of them are closed off by concrete obstacles with concertina wire. In addition, the presence of the Iraqi military, who cover their faces with black masks and hold their guns in such a way that when you see them you will definitely be afraid that they will shoot you.

The shops in most of the area I went to see are closed. I asked one of the shop owners I know, 55-year-old Abu Fadhil, since I heard that his shop was robbed. I found his door closed and locked and he was nowhere to be found.

Later, on my way to Sadr City, I found that two of the three roads which lead all the way from south to north Baghdad are either partially or totally closed in some places. You still remember the highways in Baghdad…well now most of them are closed, or at least fenced off with obstacles, yet they say there is some progress in the security situation inside the city! Everyday two or three cars explode across Baghdad, killing big numbers of civilians.

When I returned to my neighborhood of al-Adhamiya, I couldn’t get in unless the soldiers checked my ID and my car, even though the guards are from the same neighborhood and they know me personally. But they had to check it to ensure that no car bombs might happen. Nevertheless, daily mortars shell my neighborhood and those are out of control, despite this concrete wall placed by the Americans which now surrounds our neighborhood. Despite all that they do, they cannot bring security to our small neighborhood.

Needless to say, Baghdad has been changed into THE CITY OF GARBAGE. You can find it everywhere. You can smell the stench of dead bodies wherever you go.

Talking of electricity, there is now only one hour daily. That’s it. From where we’re staying in the city center, in Bab al-Muadham, I can see from the balcony that people sleep nearly naked on their rooftops because it is so hot and there is no electricity to run fans or air conditioners. Thank God that there are two large generators that maintain electricity in our building.

Everyday by 2-3 pm the buildings where we are staying are closed so that noone can leave or enter. That way it is kept secure, and this is how it remains until the next morning.

As far as my family life in this condition, we are as though we are in jail from 2-3 pm until the second morning where the doors are opened at 7 am.

My son goes to the hospital to work, but for the last two days he finds it without any running water. [His son works in Baghdad Medical City, the largest hospital in Iraq] For the last 2 weeks, as he told me, the hospital has been without any air conditioning and almost without patients, although it’s the biggest hospital in Iraq.

My sons wife, who is also a doctor, has to go to another hospital just to try to assist since there is a drastic lack of Gynecologists. She stays in her hospital for three days continuously before my son picks her up with his car on the fourth day to bring her home, in order to insure her safety so she doesn’t have to take a bus or taxi.

As for my daughter, she has not passed out the doorway of this apartment where we are staying for the last week except for one time for some work she had to accomplish.

My wife left here only once, when she went to her job (which she has been on leave from since we left to Syria) in order to apply for a full year vacation. Thank God she got it.

As for me, I found my car ruined, so I had to repair it. For that I called the mechanic to come to my home and repair it, since I couldn’t take the car to him since all the mechanics shops are closed and there is no place to have a car repaired. All of those shops are totally closed.

When I saw the mechanic he said, "We cannot live anymore, and there is no job we can find."

Dahr, this short letter gives you just a glance of the current situation in Baghdad. With the next letter I will tell you some more.




Posted by Dahr_Jamail at May 27, 2007 05:40 PM


More HERE

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

Another $100 billion for more of this? Keep in mind this is Baghdad - it is likely worse in a few other cities.



capt

capt said...

Still illogical on Iraq



See if you can follow this argument: The United States has to be in Iraq to fight the terrorists who are in Iraq because the United States is in Iraq.

If you do follow that familiar argument, you're going in a circle. It's familiar because President Bush has argued it many times before, trying to make the case that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror." His circular argument didn't persuade Americans before. But that hasn't stopped him from recycling it now.

Congress is sending him an emergency Iraq spending bill, minus the deadlines he vetoed once, and the pressure is on him to show that his "surge" can work. But given the high rate of violence and rising U.S. casualties, he hardly can claim that the surge is working. He's put off any formal assessment of that until September, at the earliest.

So, in a commencement speech this week at the Coast Guard Academy and in a White House news conference, President Bush fell back on the argument that even if the surge doesn't work, America needs to stay in Iraq - to fight the terrorists who are in Iraq because America is in Iraq. "In the minds of Al-Qaeda leaders," he told the Coast Guard graduates, "9/11 was just a down payment on violence yet to come." He linked that potential to Iraq by citing (conveniently) declassified allegations that Osama bin Laden in 2005 ordered Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to set up a terror cell in Iraq to strike at the United States.

But Zarqawi wasn't an Iraqi. He was a Jordanian who went to Iraq because of all the American targets there. Fending off criticism that Mr. Bush was selectively declassifying material, Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, told The Associated Press that the information about alleged plots was being declassified now because all the leads had been followed and the players were either dead or in U.S. custody.

Not quite. A U.S. airstrike did kill Zarqawi last year. But what about that other "player," the one supposedly giving him the orders? That would be Osama bin Laden. He decidedly is not in U.S. custody, and if he's dead, the world doesn't have that happy news yet. Instead of pressing the hunt, President Bush diverted resources from Afghanistan, which had harbored bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and then ordered an Iraqi invasion and occupation that has turned into an Al-Qaeda recruiting bonanza, as his own Zarqawi allegations prove.

Mr. Bush is right that Americans need to worry that a quick pullout could turn a collapsed Iraq into a terrorist haven. But Americans also need to consider whether a pullout - which is guaranteed to come up in Congress again soon - might end the vicious, bloody circle in which President Bush has forced U.S. troops to run.


More HERE

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

Not a war, an occupation. I truly believe if we force a change to more truthful nomenclature and speak about the occupation it would come to an end sooner than if we think we are fighting a "war".



capt

capt said...

Whom Should I Believe? Victoria Toensing or My Own Lying Eyes?



"'There is not one fact that I have seen that there could be a violation of the agent identity act,' said Victoria Toensing, a lawyer who helped draft the 1982 act." The Washington Times, October 10, 2005


"[T]he interesting thing is all this started from the supposed violation of a 1982 statute that has nothing to do with this case, people are now agreed on that." George Will on This Week October 16, 2005

Did anyone else read the Foreign Intelligence and Identities Act? I did, and it appears to fit Scooter Libby like a glove. Here, step-by-step, is why I think Toensing may be, shall we say, embellishing.

There are several ways to violate the Act, but 50 U.S.C. 421 (a) seems to apply:


More HERE

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

From '05. Tee hee!



capt

capt said...

Book Review: Cockburn's and St. Clair's End Times



More Examples of the Fourth Estate's Fall from Grace

The authors' book is wide-ranging and full of examples of fourth estate betraying the public trust precipitating its fall from grace. Rare exceptions aside, the dominant media never report what the authors published in their stunning 1998 book "Whiteout" about the CIA's long history of involvement in and profiting hugely from drugs trafficking. In his essay What You Can't Say, Cockburn explained the book "protrayed Uncle Sam's true face (that CIA was) Not a rogue agency but one always following the dictates of government, murdering, torturing, poisoning, drugging its own subjects, approving acts of monstrous cruelty" developed by Nazis recruited to America post-war.

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb said it too and got mainstream space in Knight Ridder's flagship San Jose Mercury News doing it for his 1996 Dark Alliance 20,000 word three-part series later expanded into his 550 page 1999 book with the same title. It involved CIA, the Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, and the distribution of crack cocaine in Los Angeles at the time. It got him national attention, and what the authors call "one of the most venomous and factually inane assaults on a professional journalist's competence in living memory" by his colleagues at the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, LA Times, American Journalism Review with even the "progressive" Nation magazine piling on (dis)courtesy of its contributor David Corn who poses as a liberal but often doesn't act like one. It cost Webb his career and marriage and finally his life in an apparent suicide in December, 2004 the result of his depression because his career was ruined.

The authors also wrote about The History of "Black Paranoia" that's easily justified from the long history of white on black abuse. One example was the 600 poor black men recruited in 1932 in Macon County, Alabama for a US Public Health Service study for which they used as guinea pigs. Four hundred were infected with syphillis, were lied to and told they were being treated for bad blood, and only got an aspirin-iron supplement so researchers could monitor the natural progression of the disease. After penicillin was available as a cure in 1943, the study subjects never got it and 100 of them died from neglect with an overdose of racism. The authors quote Dr. Vanessa Gamble, associate professor of history of medicine at University of Wisconsin, Madison, saying these kinds of experiments go back over 100 years usually "done by whites on slaves and free blacks" than on poor whites.


More HERE

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

"David Corn who poses as a liberal but often doesn't act like one"

I think the authors meant "poses as a liberal but seldom writes like one." Who cares how he acts.



capt

Gerald said...

Confessions of a Seven-Year-Old

Seven-year-old Hannah slept restlessly on the night before her first Confession. She knew all the steps for the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation, but her list of “sins” had her stumped.

“Mommy, what sins did you confess when you were my age?” Hannah asked as she was getting ready to go to church that Saturday. “How did you know what was a real sin?”

“Sometimes I told the priest that I was mean to my brother or my mother,” Hannah’s mom answered. “Other times I talked about not sticking up for someone when others picked on her.”

“I think I get it,” Hannah said, now seeming more relaxed. “Sin is when you don’t love enough to do the right thing, or you forget about love and do the really wrong thing.”

No matter our age, keeping up the love quotient in our day-to-day life will surely cut down on the possibilities of deliberately doing wrong.

‘To love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ – this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. (Mark 12:33)

Pardon me, Merciful Savior, when I fail to love others as I love myself.

Gerald said...

My wife knits sweaters for poor and disavantaged pre-school children.

Handmade with Love

Some ideas are so good that they accomplish far more than the person who came up with them ever imagined.

In 1996, Brigitte Weeks wrote an article for Guideposts magazine telling how she knit sweaters for refugee children and asking that others do the same. Ten years later, 300,000 sweaters have been distributed to youngsters from Appalachia to Uzbekistan.

Following a simple pattern provided by Guideposts’ Knit for Kids project, volunteers work individually and in groups to provide warm, colorful sweaters along with the message that someone cares. Fay Hartline of Temperance, Michigan, says, “As I knit each sweater, I offer a prayer that God would hold in the palm of His hand the child wearing the sweater.”

The next time you have a great idea to help people, share it with others. You never know just how much good you can do until you try.

Be ready for every good work. (Titus 3:1)

You have given me talents and abilities, Merciful Lord. Show me how to use them to benefit Your children.

Gerald said...

Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

We are Your sons and daughters, Father, please forgive the wrong that we do.

Gerald said...

Death No Longer Has Power Over Us

Gerald said...

People, it is not our needs that cause us problems. It is our wants that lead us away from a truly Christian life.

Do we really need three or four homes? Do we really need five or six swimming pools?

Do we really need $5 billion dollars instead of a salary that meets our month payments and gives us a chance to take a vacation?

Is money more important than our health?

Do we have a value system that stresses love over domination of a person or of a country?

capt said...

Bill Moyers Interviews Maxine Hong Kingston


Bill Moyers Journal

Friday 25 May 2007

TRANSCRIPT

Bill Moyers: I'm Bill Moyers. Welcome to the JOURNAL. On this Memorial Day weekend I am reminded that I have never had to go to war, never been tested under fire, never had to kill or be killed. What I have learned about battle I have learned from the real experts, from veterans - and from poets. With their power of empathy and evocation poets open us to what lies buried in the soldier's soul. I remember to this day hearing one of my high school teachers read Wilfred Owen's pained cry from the trenches of France: "I am the enemy you killed, my friend." So, even as America is fighting this weekend in Iraq, we turn to a poet, a writer, to honor all those soldiers who have served our country, in war and peace.

Bill Moyers: Welcome. No one I know personally has done more to help veterans themselves bear witness to unspeakable experience than Maxine Hong Kingston.

Growing up, the oldest of six children in Stockton, California, Maxine listened to her parents' stories and memories of their native China. In a series of highly acclaimed books she linked those traditional stories to her life in America, blending memory, mediation, and magic to create WOMAN WARRIOR, one of the most widely taught books on college campuses for thirty years now, and then CHINA MEN, TRIPMASTER MONKEY, TO BE THE POET, and THE FIFTH BOOK OF PEACE. Her body of work has earned Kingston a large following, as well as many awards, including the National Book Award and the National Humanities Medal presented by President Clinton in 1997.

But for all the words she's poured onto the page from her own life and mind, for the many years Maxine Hong Kingston has been coaxing words from others. In 1993 she put out a call to veterans to join her in workshops devoted to turning their experiences into poems, novels, and essays. Here in the hills of Northern California, over 500 veterans...from every war since WORLD WAR II have taken part, and some of their finest work has now been published in this book, VETERANS OF WAR; VETERANS OF PEACE. For many of them it has been a life-changing even life-saving experience.

More HERE

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

In case anybody missed it on PBS. You can watch it on video in a pop-up at the link.



capt

capt said...

We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: "Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."-Julia Ward Howe

=
Mark Twain: The War Prayer

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;

Read it HERE

=

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Iraq's bloody toll haunts Memorial Day



American deaths continue to mount and will get worse


Americans have opened nearly 1,000 new graves to bury U.S. troops killed in Iraq since Memorial Day a year ago. The figure is telling — and expected to rise in coming months.

In the period from Memorial Day 2006 through Saturday, 980 soldiers and Marines died in Iraq, compared to 807 deaths in the previous year. And with the Baghdad security operation now 3 1/2 months old, even President Bush has predicted a difficult summer for U.S. forces.

"It could be a bloody — it could be a very difficult August," he said last week.

U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus on Saturday acknowledged the increase in casualties as a result of the American surge in forces to regain control of Baghdad.

"We're doing heavy fighting. This is a fight. There's a war on out there," he told reporters at al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq.

Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst with the Brookings Institution and a consultant to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, said the increased casualties were a result of the security operation.

Thousands more American soldiers are patrolling the streets and living in isolated outposts across Baghdad, leaving them more vulnerable to attack. He also said the increase in raids on extremist Shiite militiamen had brought a wave of retaliatory attacks.

"We're out there on the streets a lot more. There are more patrols going on every day, so we're more open to attacks," O'Hanlon said.

Stephen Biddle, a military expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of a group that spent weeks in Iraq assessing the situation for Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, agreed that more American deaths were likely.

"The biggest change in their (insurgent and militia) tactics is that they've changed to exploit the vulnerabilities we've opened ourselves up to. They see a new, small American base in their neighborhood, three blocks away, and they're going to car bomb it," said Biddle.

"We're going to see a spike in the short term," said Biddle. "But the likelihood is that in six months we'll see a drop in casualties as these areas become more secure. The problem is, what about the rest of the country?"

By the end of Saturday at least 100 American troops had died in the first 26 days of May, an average of 3.85 deaths a day. At that pace, 119 troops will have died by the end of the month, the most since 137 soldiers were killed in November 2004, when U.S. troops were fighting insurgents in Fallujah.

As of Saturday, May 26, 2007, at least 3,451 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,817 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military.

More HERE

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

Bush and Cheney are celebrating.



capt

capt said...

Teacher, mind expander, spice of life: porn's multiple positions



A survey of porn consumers has some unexpected findings, writes Adele Horin


NOTHING in 30 years of research about pornography has ever suggested it has a positive side. But that, says Alan McKee, is because the wrong people were being asked.

No researcher had ever asked Australian consumers of pornography why they liked it - even though there is no shortage of them. In the first three months of this year, 4.3 million Australians visited an adult website, said Nielsen/NetRatings NetView, a world leader in internet analysis. Tens of thousands regularly watch pornographic DVDs.

When consumers are asked their opinion, the results are unexpected. "To find out that overwhelmingly people who use pornography experience it as good was surprising," says Dr McKee, "given everything you hear is negative."

Dr McKee, an associate professor in the creative industries faculty of Queensland University of Technology, and his colleagues - Catharine Lumby, of the University of Sydney, and Kath Albury - surveyed more than 1000 pornography users, 80 per cent of them men, and interviewed 46 in depth. The Understanding Pornography in Australia survey has been criticised for not being representative and for relying on a select group who are happy to respond. But Dr McKee says: "It's the only survey of consumers that's been done."

What consumers liked about pornography was that it was pleasurable, educational, and re-assuring. Less than 7 per cent said it had a negative effect on their attitudes towards sex; 58.8 per cent said it was positive.

More HERE

capt said...

Combating Climate Change: Farming Out Global Warming Solutions



Changes to agricultural practice and forestry management could cut greenhouse gas emissions, buying time to develop alternative technologies


Saving the trees could slow climate change, new research shows. Each year, nearly 33 million acres of forestland around the world is cut down, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Tropical felling alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon—some 20 percent of all man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—to the atmosphere annually. If such losses were cut in half, it could save 500 million metric tons of carbon annually and contribute 12 percent of the total reductions in GHG emissions required to avoid unpleasant global warming, researchers recently reported in Science.

Forest depletion ultimately contributes more GHG emissions than all the cars and trucks in use worldwide, says Werner Kurz, a forest ecologist with Natural Resources Canada, who was not involved with the study. "What we are doing in these tropical forests is really a massive problem."

Changes in forest management and agricultural practices could significantly reduce the threat of global warming much more quickly than can technological solutions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) from coal-fired power plants, according to experts. "We don't know how to do CCS. These are things we could do today," says Bruce McCarl, an agricultural economist at Texas A&M University in College Station. "They are a bridge to the future."

More HERE

capt said...

The Swan Song for the Democratic Party



The Democrats did us all a favor by giving Bush his Iraq war-money. After all, the Dems have supported the war from the get-go, so why not expose them as the hypocrites they really are?

The truth is, no one is really surprised by Friday's vote. We have one party in America—the War Party---the Dems are merely a junior partner in that system.

It boggles the mind that so many so-called "liberals" continue to be hoodwinked by the Democratic Party. After all, what do they offer---a slight boost in the hourly wage? Better management of foreign massacres?!?

Okay---I’ll concede that much.

But, what else? The Democrats are even giving ground on a women’s "right to choose", which, up until now, had been their defining issue. Now even that is eroding.

So, what do the Democrats really stand for?

Where are the "principles"?

This is not the party of F.D.R., my friend. This is the party of Bill Clinton, the Master of Triangulation. Clinton was nothing more than the flip-side of George Bush. The bombing of Belgrade was as big a crime as Shock and Awe--although it was cleverly masked behind Clinton’s "Aw shucks" charm and the ever-compliant media.


More HERE

David B. Benson said...

Vote Green...

capt said...

Why Congress Caved to Bush



The antiwar Democrats are crying betrayal – and justifiably so.

For a Democratic Congress is now voting to fully fund the war in Iraq, as demanded by President Bush, and without any timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal. Bush got his $100 billion, then magnanimously agreed to let Democrats keep the $20 billion in pork they stuffed into the bill – to soothe the pain of their sellout of the party base.

Remarkable. If the Republican rout of 2006 said anything, it was that America had lost faith in the Bush-Rumsfeld conduct of the war and wanted Democrats to lead the country out.

Yet, today, there are more U.S. troops in Iraq than when the Democrats won. More are on the way. And with the surge and retention of troops in Iraq beyond normal tours, there should be a record number of U.S. troops in country by year's end.

Why did the Democrats capitulate?

Because they lack the courage of their convictions. Because they fear the consequences if they put their antiwar beliefs into practice. Because they are afraid if they defund the war and force President Bush to withdraw U.S. troops, the calamity he predicts will come to pass and they will be held accountable for losing Iraq and the strategic disaster that might well ensue.

Democrats are an intimidated party. The reasons are historical. They were shredded by Nixon and Joe McCarthy for FDR's surrenders to Stalin at Tehran and Yalta, for losing China to Mao's hordes, for the "no-win war" in Korea, for being "soft on communism."

The best and the brightest – JFK's New Frontiersmen – were held responsible for plunging us into Vietnam and proving incapable of winning the war. A Democratic Congress cut off aid to Saigon in 1975, ceding Southeast Asia to Hanoi and bringing on the genocide of Pol Pot.

Democrats know they are distrusted on national security. They fear that if they defund this war and bring on a Saigon ending in the Green Zone, it will be a generation before they are trusted with national power. And power is what the party is all about.

Yet, not only does the situation in Iraq appear increasingly grim, with rising U.S. and Iraqi casualties, other shoes are about to drop that will reverberate throughout the region.

Support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, with his war in Lebanon a debacle and his leadership denounced by a commission he appointed, is in single digits. Waiting in the wings is Likud super-hawk "Bibi" Netanyahu, the most popular politician in Israel, who compares today to Munich 1938 and equates Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Hitler.

If and when Bibi comes to power, he will use every stratagem to provoke us into attacking "Hitler."

Also drumming for war on Iran are the floundering neocons and the Israeli lobby. Under orders from the lobby, Nancy Pelosi stripped from a House bill a stipulation that Bush must come to Congress for authorization before launching an attack on Iran.

With Democratic contenders reciting the mantra, "All options are on the table," and Iran defying U.N. sanctions, pursuing nuclear enrichment and detaining U.S. citizens, Bush has a blank check to launch a third war.

Lebanon is ablaze. Gaza is ablaze. The Afghan war is not going well. The Taliban have a privileged sanctuary. The NATO allies grow weary.

In Pakistan, the most dangerous country on earth – one bullet away from an Islamic republic with atom bombs – our erstwhile ally, President Musharraf, is caught in a political crisis over his ouster of the chief justice.

Presidents Musharraf in Islamabad, Karzai in Kabul and Siniora in Beirut, and Prime Minister Maliki in Baghdad, sit on shaky thrones. No one knows what follows their fall. But it is hard to see how it would not be crippling for America's position.

With such volatility in this crucial region of the world, with such uncertainty, it is easy to see why Democrats prefer to be the "dummy" at the bridge table and let Bush play the hand.

The congressional Democrats are cynical, but they are not stupid. If the surge works and U.S. troops are being withdrawn by fall 2008, they do not want it said of them that they "cut and ran" when the going got tough, that they played Chamberlain to Bush's Churchill.

And if the war is going badly in 2008, they know that the American people, in repudiating the party of Bush and Cheney, have no other choice than the party of Hillary and Pelosi and Harry Reid.

That is why congressional Democrats are surely saying privately of the angry antiwar left what has often been said by the Beltway Republican elite of the right: "Don't worry about them. They have nowhere else to go."

And that is why the antiwar left was thrown under the bus.


More HERE

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

I think old "Paleo-con" Pat is at least half right.



capt

capt said...

Pentagon Reaffirms Right Of US To Deny Adversaries Use Of Space



The United States has the inherent right of self-defense to protect its national interests in space and can deny its adversaries the use of hostile space capabilities, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday. "The United States views purposeful interference with its space systems as an infringement on its rights and will take actions necessary to preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space including denying, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests," Major General James Armor, director of the National Security Space Office said at a congressional hearings.
Proposed government spending on space defense programs was hit by severe cuts when the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2.9 trillion fiscal 2008 budget May 17, but reduced the proposed $8.9 billion on missile defenses by $764 million.

The Anti-Ballistic Laser (ABL) program was seriously affected, along with other "less mature" initiatives, such as Space Tracking and Surveillance, Multiple Kill Vehicles, and Missile Defense Space Test Bed, primarily linked to the deployment of missile defenses in outer space.

The general said Wednesday that the National Space Policy, issued by President Bush in August 2006, stipulates that the United States must possess an advanced space defense potential to counter threats from potential adversaries.

"The response to threats to our space capabilities must include... capabilities to deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space in order to protect our capabilities, ensure our terrestrial forces and keep the U.S. homeland safe," he said.

China tested its space weapons in January by destroying one of its old meteorological satellites with a medium-range ballistic missile, and the United States expressed concern over the theoretical possibility that China could shoot down satellites operated by other countries.

China later confirmed the destruction of its satellite, but said it was not planning to spread an arms race into space.

The U.S. general reiterated Wednesday that "potential adversaries must understand that an attack on a U.S. satellite will be considered a hostile act."

Speaking at the same congressional hearings, Donald Mahley, a senior State Department official, supported the Pentagon's views on the issue of the U.S. space defense program and said that the U.S. space capability must enable a broad range of options, from diplomatic to military, to prevent the hostile use of space by potential foes.

The U.S. Senate will hold a closed business meeting Thursday to markup the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.


More HERE

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

I really hope all of the countries on the planet realize the insanity of a space arms race. If it is profitable enough you can bet the military industrial complex want nothing less than all out space wars.



capt

capt said...

IS VOTNG FOR DEMOCRATS POINTLESS?



First of all, almost every one of the Blue America-endorsed freshmen voted against the supplemental. The exceptions were Chris Carney, who we have asked to return all 722 contributions he got from Blue America members (not just because of this one vote, of course, but because of a pattern of voting that has shown us he deceived us with false promises and that instead of the progressive he portrayed himself as, he is a reactionary Democrat, voting frequently with Republicans for the Bush Cheney agenda), Kirstin Gillibrand, Ciro Rodriguez and Joe Sestak. Congressman Sestak is coming on for a live blog session next Saturday, June 2, and we'll get to ask him about why he voted the way he did. Meanwhile please keep in mind that all the other House members we helped elect voted no: Mike Arcuri (NY), Bruce Braley (IA), Steve Cohen (TN), John Hall (NY), Paul Hodes (NH), Jerry McNerney (CA), Patrick Murphy (PA), and Carol Shea-Porter (NH). Meanwhile, Republicans are still in a state of denial, lying their asses off and even trying to tell the American public that Iraq was involved with 9/11, something no one except Dick Cheney still parrots.


More HERE

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

This reinforces the notion that we need more new blood and fewer incumbents. One out of the group of freshmen "Blue-America" endorsed (not sure about the group but) is far better than the insane number that voted to enable Crusader Dummypants.



capt

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Anyone else remember the old Libby's canned food commercials?

When it says Libby, Libby, Libby,
On the lobby, lobby, lobby,
Defending treason, treason, treason,
Is their hobby, hobby, hobby :)

I am disgusted with the DLC-dominated Democrats for being timid, but I am even more disgusted with the Stupid White Folks of the USA for MAKING them timid. [In case we have any new readers, I'm not only white but Southern to boot.]

I notice that Buchanan, a racist himself, did not mention the #1 reason the Democrats are a subordinate party now--the Stupid White Folks of the USA deserted the Democrats because the Democrats--and some honorable Republicans, back when such people existed--voted to end segregation, whereupon the DIShonorable faction of the GOP--which today IS the GOP--promptly turned to encoded appeals to racism and other forms of bigotry ["dog-whistle politics"] to gain the votes of Stupid White Folks. It worked all too well and made the GOP the dominant party it remains today.

Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it, good and hard." The Stupid White Folks of the USA are getting the government they deserve, good and hard, right up the poop chute.

The primary task of the Pretty Hate Machine [Driftglass's term for the right-wing propaganda network] and its allies, the Corporate McMedia, is to KEEP the Stupid White Folks stupid, and they also succeed all too well. The SWFs believe their Rush and their Faux News and the rest of those lying scumbags who tell them that the pain and bleeding in their rectums are caused by lib'rul lesbo witches casting hemorrhoid spells, not by the GOP pachyderm peckers pounding their poop chutes at Warp 6.

I admit I don't know how this can happen, but IF we, the sane, ever regain control of the USA, we must restore the Fairness Doctrine and expand to cover cable and satellite as well as broadcast electromagnetic media. Also, we must use the anti-trust laws to shatter the Corporate McMedia conglomerates, whose concentrated nature allows a handful of people to control what a majority of USAmericans see, hear, and read. Selah.

From the swamps of Arkansas, IBW

Gerald said...

Christians want to legitimize killing

The article talks about the Sixth Commandment. For me "Thou shall not kill" has always been the Fifth Commandment.

Gerald said...

What is needed that we understand the examination of our conscience. To sin against the Fifth Commandment does not necessarily mean we actually kill another person. A mortal sin is committed with our desire or wish to kill someone or to harm another person or a person is killed by someone else or harmed by someone else.

Our murder of Iraqis is a mortal sin. Our complicity in murder is a mortal sin.

A mortal sin separates us from God. To die in a state of mortal sin damns the soul for all eternity.

Our empire is accepting of mortal sins and as the empire's citizens we are trying to legitimize mortal sin.

Nazi America has damned her soul.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: May 28

capt said...

I know I am impossible to please with regard to party.

If the D's voted as a group I would accuse them of the same "lock-step" as the GOP, if they don't I accuse them of being in disarray.

I just want/wish they(or anyone) would stop this insane war. We can THEN return to nuanced discussions of domestic solutions.

War is too big and too important for any triangulation or finger in the wind calculations.

The ONE issue they should be completely in lock-step is in ending the war but . . . .



capt

capt said...

Nearly A Thousand Americans Have Died In Iraq Since Last Memorial Day



Nearly a thousand American troops have been killed in Iraq since last Memorial Day, and that number is expected to rise.

In the past year, 980 US forces have been killed in Iraq, compared to 807 who died in the previous year.

At least 100 troops have died this month alone.

Experts expect an increase in casualties now that more troops are taking on insurgents and militias.

The security crackdown in Baghdad has been under way for three months and experts note that thousands more soldiers are patrolling the streets and living in isolated posts across the city, making them more vulnerable to attack.

Even President Bush says troops will face a difficult summer in the war.

Last week he said August could become ``bloody'' and ``difficult.''


More HERE

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

A grim statistic to memorialize.



capt

capt said...

Anonymous Senator Blocks FOIA Bill




An unidentified Republican Senator placed a secret hold on the Open Government Act, a bipartisan bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, thereby preventing the Senate from acting on the bill this week.

"Regrettably, an anonymous Republican hold is stalling this important Freedom of Information Act legislation, needlessly delaying long-overdue reforms to strengthen FOIA and to protect the public's right to know," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), a co-sponsor of the bill along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

"It is both unfortunate and ironic that this bipartisan bill, which promotes sunshine and openness in our government, is being hindered by a secret and anonymous hold. This is a good government bill that Democrats and Republicans alike, can and should work together to enact," Sen. Leahy said in a May 24 floor statement.

"I hope that the Senator placing the secret hold on this bill will come forward, so that we can resolve any legitimate concerns, and the full Senate can promptly act on this legislation," he said.


More HERE

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

It would be funny if not true. Sounds more like a SNL sketch. I think the "anonymous hold" thing is extra-constitutional and a load of malarkey.



capt

capt said...

U.S. troops questioning Iraq mission



BAGHDAD, May 28 (UPI) -- Members of a U.S. Army battalion serving in Iraq say they have lost their belief in the mission and wonder why we are helping people who are trying to kill us.

Staff Sgt. David Safstrom told the New York Times his pivotal moment came when a man killed setting a roadside bomb turned out to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army.

"I thought: 'What are we doing here? Why are we still here,'" Safstrom said. "We're helping guys that are trying to kill us."

Interviews with more than a dozen soldiers in Safstrom's Delta Company produced similar views, The New York Times reports.

"In 2003,2004, 100 percent of the soldiers wanted to be here, to fight this war," said Sgt. First Class David Moore. "Not, 95 percent of my platoon agrees with me."

Like Safstrom and Moore, most of those interviewed indicated they were disillusioned by repeated deployments, the poor performance of Iraqi security forces and a conflict they considered a civil war.

The newspapers says only a small minority of Delta Company soldiers spoken with seemed to wholeheartedly support the war.

Those who did tended to be younger, more recent enlistees, the Times says.

More HERE

capt said...

No Celebration This Memorial Day




Editor's Note: When congressional Democratic leaders surrendered to George W. Bush's game of chicken over funding the Iraq War, they hoped they could return home for their Memorial Day recess without having to face angry pro-Bush voters accusing them of betraying the troops. Instead, they are facing angry anti-war voters accusing them of betraying the troops.

In this guest essay, writer Mary MacElveen voices the kind of anger that many Americans are feeling about a disastrous war brought on by a disastrous political system:


As I sat here visiting a non-political chat room which I tend to do from time-to-time just to escape this ugly war and the world of politics, someone asked in the room if we were enjoying this holiday weekend.

I just sat there with an anger rising since I do not see this and recent Memorial Day weekends as being holidays. In reading where 3,451 soldiers are now dead due to President Bush’s lies and his lust for power and greed; just how can one treat this as a normal holiday weekend?

Did I go off on this ignorant individual who may not be up to speed at what this war cost all of us? No, I just sat there with the bile rising and was speechless. Let us just say what would have resulted of my anger would have been the use of expletives in which I would have been kicked off this service. But, what I did notice was that no one answered yes.

Memorial Day usually marks the beginning of summer in which vacations for some Americans are close at hand. I say some since the thought of any vacation is elusive. But as one reads this remark coming from President Bush last week, "It could be a bloody — it could be a very difficult August," one does have to wonder if these vacations will be enjoyed as our men and women continue to die.

In reading that 3,451 soldiers are now dead, they will never see another vacation as President Bush heads off to Crawford, Texas this summer for his normal one-month retreat from the people’s White House.

In reading of this staggering number our congressional members will also enjoy their vacations when they are not in session. No such vacation should be had by any of these lawmakers until this war is ended. Then again, they gave this president a blank-check to continue it.

In going through various newspapers, you will see stores advertising their holiday sales which I suppose will have more entering these businesses seeking bargains. That is also revolting especially when so many men and women have died in a far away land fighting a presumed enemy of President Bush’s own making.

It is abhorrent that these businesses can treat a day we Americans honor our fallen soldiers of past and present wars with sales to increase their profits. It should offend the conscience of every ‘Support our soldier’ citizen that money is being made off of the deaths of so many.

Some soldier gasped his/her last breath so that you the consumer can purchase that hot-ticket item. Think of that as you enter any store this weekend.

As they die in which arms, legs, faces are blown off; Levitz which is a furniture store is having a ‘Blowout’ sale. In fact, they are calling it a ‘Memorial Day Blowout’. In this sale one can purchase a sofa with a matching love seat free for the bargain price of $599.99.

How many spouses of our soldiers will never get to sit on any love seat when their husband or wife will die in Iraq or has died? That love seat will be empty for a long, long time.

In going through my Sunday sales circulars, I see that I can go to Wal-Mart and purchase two tee-shirts at the bargain price of $15 dollars. Most likely those tees were made in China.

Considering how China has sent us tainted food, I will not be running off to Wal-Mart for this bargain. Go stuff it, Wal-Mart!

I can almost hear as one enters Wal-Mart, "Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers buy a pair of cargo shorts for $9.76" when I am reminded that blood has been spilled in a war of President Bush’s making and congresses complicity.

Considering the fact that many Americans are paying for higher gas prices; one wonders how it will affect the sales normally enjoyed by these stores.

I suppose that many Americans will be having their barbeques in which plastic plates are on sale at their local grocery stores; but who feels like having a barbeque when our soldiers continue to die? Who really feels like celebrating anything this weekend? In knowing how many more will die overseas in this far away land known as Iraq, I just cannot treat this as a normal holiday; can you?

Speaking of plastic plates, we all know they are a petroleum based product and petroleum is the very thing this war is being waged over. Should you be holding a Memorial Day barbeque, use regular plates in which you have to toil over the sink in washing them as our men and women in the armed services continue to die overseas.

Call that your sacrifice especially when Americans have not sacrificed one damn thing as this war was raged on. In past wars, we have been told by many presidents to sacrifice, this one, President Bush told all of us to go shopping.

I have heard while growing up and hear it to this day people say, "Happy Memorial Day" and one must ask; just how can they say happy pertaining to this holiday. I even hate calling it a holiday.

Not to be a total downer as I meet my fellow Americans during this weekend, I do wish them a good weekend, but with this reminder in which I state…Pray for our troops and remember those 3,451 who will never enjoy another holiday weekend.

capt said...

"Thus corporations finally claimed the full rights enjoyed by individual citizens while being exempted from many of the responsibilities and liabilities of citizenship. Furthermore, in being guaranteed the same right to free speech as individual citizens, they achieved, in the words of Paul Hawken, 'precisely what the Bill of Rights was intended to prevent: domination of public thought and discourse.' The subsequent claim by corporations that they have the same right as any individual to influence the government in their own interest pits the individual citizen against the vast financial and communications resources of the corporation and mocks the constitutional intent that all citizens have an equal voice in the political debates surrounding important issues.": -- David C. Korten - Source: in his book, When Corporations Rule the World, 2001

=
"To educate a man is to unfit him to be a slave.": Frederick Douglass - [Frederick Baily] (1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author, editor of the North Star and later the New National Era

=
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.": Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - (1749-1832)


===

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Right-wing blogger geniuses expose another journalistic fraud!



[…]

Right-wing bloggers and "Pajamas Media" spent all weekend calling Larry Johnson a liar and a fraud when the only liars and frauds were, as usual, them. And now that they stand exposed, yet again, as reckless and fact-free hysterics, they will simply move, unperturbed, onto their next manufactured scandal, with the expectation that they will be taken seriously. Is it really any wonder that not even their own party -- which venerates people like Rush Limbaugh -- takes right-wing blogs seriously?

But media figures like Howard Kurtz take them very seriously. And it is important to note they are really nothing more than an online extension of the right-wing noise machine, employing the same tactics and demonstrating the same sense of integrity. The most basic facts which conflict with their political agenda are derided as false. Those reporting those facts are subjected to the most vicious character assaults. And they launch one lynch mob after the next based upon the most serious accusations which repeatedly turn out to be as factually false as they were plainly ridiculous. What else could they possibly do to lose credibility altogether?

UPDATE: Professor Juan Cole was one of those who cited the Memo in a post from last week, which apparently prompted readers of these right-wing blogs to e-mail Cole to demand a retraction in light of the proven "fraud." In reply, Cole refused to retract, pointing out that he "do[esn't] accept the reasoning of LGF about the memo."

In response to Cole's refusal to retract, "Ace" said (h/t teh l4m3):

Hey, dickhead? What more "reasoning" do you need than this?

[photograph of figurine eagle]

This is a fucking hummel eagle and flag figurine from a cheesy knicknack vendor, you fucking idiot. What additional "reasoning" do you need?

It's this [Green Beret and retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Force] Pat Lang character, a lefty buddy of Larry Johnson's, who's been passing this obvious sham around. . . .

What kind of idiots do we have in our "intelligence" community, exactly?

When they give you an intelligence test, do they require you actually fail to get the job? Or at least post a not-too-high, not-too-low score somewhere between "average intelligence" and "borderline imbecile who sits in the corner all day clapping and masturbating"?


That is who Pajamas Media cited as the source for its "forgery" story.

Just contemplate the deep shame and sense of remorse that a normal, healthy person would feel after spewing that kind of venom at people, including a former Green Beret, who were completely right. But they don't. Like the brilliant pundits whose every proclamation about the Iraq war turned out to be false yet who still parade around as proud and pompous experts, right-wing bloggers continuously hurl accusations like this and then, when proven wrong, simply move on to the next accusatory orgy without any real acknowledgment of wrongdoing or apology.


More HERE

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

Good old PJ Media, in the trenches and spewing BS. Why anybody would associate themselves with that pack of idiots and liars I will never understand.

PJ and their brand of stupidity should pay a price for the words they put to print, lies are lies and bloviation is never necessary in a reasoned discussion.



capt

capt said...

New Thread!