Monday, February 28, 2005

never-ending repub scandals

From The Raw Story :

Social Security “fright mail” targeting seniors helped fund GOP leader’s trips to UK, Asia

Check out the story to see how this conservative group (The National Center For Public Policy Research) has paid over $130,000 to Tom DeLay, as well as sending out letters filled with lies to seniors telling them that their benefits will be discontinued unless they contribute to the group and not to tell anyone about it! Insanely outrageous! The conservative fabrications are incredible! Their imagination is infinite!


From Yahoo News :

115 Dead After Iraq Suicide Blast
HILLAH, Iraq - A suicide car bomber blasted a crowd of police and national guard recruits Monday as they gathered for physicals outside a medical clinic south of Baghdad, killing at least 115 people and wounding 132 — the single deadliest attack in the two-year insurgency.

Absolutely horrific....One would think that our military would be trying to protect the people who are attempting to become police officers in Iraq. Maybe there was a reason why they could not be here, but this would seem like a logical terrorists' target that should be guarded.

Friday, February 25, 2005

the never-ending "Gannon" story!

Christian right mum on Gannon Affair

Why have the 'traditional family values' folks erected a wall of silence around the Gannon scandal?
They were livid over SpongeBob Square Pants' participation in a video advocating tolerance, and fuming about Buster the Bunny's visit to a lesbian household. So where's the outrage from the Christian right over the Jeff Gannon Affair?

Despite a chunk of time having passed since the Gannon Affair was first uncovered, Christian right organizations are still cloaked in silence. As of February 24, there wasn't any news about the Gannon Affair available on the Web sites of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, or the Traditional Values Coalition. As best as I could determine, no special alerts about the Gannon Affair have been issued; and no campaigns have been launched to get to the bottom of the matter.
Curious about this wall of silence, I phoned several Christian right groups on Tuesday, February 22, hoping to find someone who could comment on the Gannon Affair. This is what I found:
Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family: I filled out an interview form and waited to hear back. Several hours later, a FotF administrative assistant called me to say that no one there could answer my questions about Gannon. She said a lot of folks were out sick and no one was available. "Would someone be available tomorrow or Thursday," I asked. She pointed out that no one would be available the following day or the day after to talk about this issue. "Next week?" "No."

The Family Research Council: I spoke with Amber Hildebrand, FRC's Media Director. She said "We haven't made any public comments about this. There have been other pressing issues that have taken precedent, although this came as a shock to FRC." Hildebrand said she would see if FRC's Vice President of Government Affairs Connie Mackey, would talk with me. At press time (Thursday evening) Mackey has not called.

The Traditional Values Coalition: I filled out an interview form and waited for a call back. As of 2.22, TVC Action Alerts are focused on the persecution and subsequent dismissal of charges against the "Philadelphia 5," a group of fundamentalists that disrupted a pro-gay activity in Philadelphia in order to preach "the Gospel to homosexuals," and on Columbia House for developing "a new subsidiary called Hush to market pornographic materials in association with Playboy and other pornography companies." At press time no one had returned my call. After making a second call, a TVC spokesperson told me that "no one is available to speak on that topic right now."

The Free Congress Foundation: Over at Paul Weyrich's Washington, DC-based organization, Jill Farrell, the Director of Communications told me that she hadn't "heard anyone say anything at all" about the Gannon Affair.

The editors at Town Hall, the Heritage Foundation's one stop shopping center for conservative ideas, and the Rev. Donald Wildmon's American Family Association, currently involved in trashing HBO's Bill Maher over recent remarks he made about religion, didn't return my calls. Charisma News Service and the Christian Response Network didn't respond to my email questions about their lack of coverage of the Gannon Affair.

That was then...
While waiting for callbacks, my minds eye drifted back to the Clinton White House. Tim Bannon, a liberal activist, had made his way into a presidential press conference; Bannon had been attending press briefings for nearly two years, under the name Slim Cannon. No one seemed knew much about, the Internet news service he worked with, but many suspected it was a front group for the Democrats.

Clinton had been taking a well-publicized beating over the Monica Lewinsky Affair. At the president's first press conference in quite some time, he called on Cannon, who asked the following question: "Mr. President, given revelations about House Speaker Newt Gingrich's serial affairs and the abandonment of his wife when she had cancer, and given that Congressman Bob Livingston has a similar record of perfidious peccadilloes, and given stories about the sexual shenanigans of a host of televangelists including Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, could you please comment on whether the right wing media, isn't selectively focusing on the Lewinsky Affair, and doesn't want to deal with sexual scandals in its own backyard?"

Less than twenty-four hours later, a host of right wing Web sites -- suspicious that Cannon may have been planted by the White House -- discovered that Slim Cannon's cannon was prominently featured on a number of gay porn sites, and that in his off hours he may have been a gay "escort." Intrepid researchers find out that Cannon had been privy to secret documents before any other duly accredited White House reporters. "Clinton's gay consort" became the right's theme for the next several months.

Reality-based fans will recognize that the above scenario never happened. If a Tim Bannon, as Slim Cannon, had insinuated himself into the White House on President Clinton's watch, and lobbed softball question after softball question, all hell would have broken loose. Right wing media, and the pulpits and newsletters of fundamentalist Christians, would have been ranting and raving: "Where's the outrage?" Bob Dole's mantra from his failed 1996 presidential campaign might actually have finally resonated. The mainstream media would have no doubt jumped on board.

This is now...
What has actually happened bears some resemblance to our fictitious scenario. The major difference is that the scandal involving Jeff Gannon, whose real name is James D. Guckert, is happening on President George W. Bush's watch. The vituperative voices of the right are quiet and their voracious appetites for sex, slime and salacious details about Democratic dalliances have disappeared since it's a GOP scandal.

On the heels of the payola scandal involving Bush Administration payoffs to Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and McManus -- a loose coalition of the shilling -- along comes the Gannon/Guckert affair.

James D. Guckert, as Gannon, represented a conservative news site called Talon News. Somehow, within a short time of his entering "journalism," Gannon was able to get credentialed and attend numerous White House briefings and lob softballs at White House officials. According to, "Gannon was actually in the White House as early as February 28, 2003 -- a month before Talon News even existed.

Gannon also got called on by President Bush at one of his rare news conferences.
Gannon ended his question with "How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?" referring to Senator Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Details of the Gannon/Guckert affair are still being uncovered. Thanks to the blogosphere and largely through the efforts of Media Matters for America and John Aravosis' Americablog we are learning more than we ever wanted to know about someone we rather no little about. These blogs, and a handful of other enterprising bloggers, blew the lid off Gannon's shameful charade. Beneath the lid was James D. Guckert in pre-fig leaf Garden of Eden splendor: As a contributor to such sites as,,, and, Gannon's cannon is on full display.

"'Jeff' has now quit Talon News," writes Frank Rich in the February 20 edition of the New York Times, "not because he and it have been exposed as fakes but because of other embarrassing blogosphere revelations linking him to sites like and to an apparently promising career as an X-rated $200-per-hour "escort." (For more on all of this including links to some of Gannon/Guckert's Web sites, see Americablog.)

There are innumerable aspects of the Gannon/Guckert Affair that should keep curious mainstream reporters busy for quite some time: how did Gannon/Guckert get into all those White House press briefings and the President's press conference?; Was he on the payroll of Team Bush?; Did he play a role revealing Valerie Plame's CIA employment? -- the investigation is ongoing; how did he get by with being a phony right wing reporter by day and a gay prostitute by night?

A few weeks back, editorialized: "The Gannon story touches upon everything from manufactured news to manufactured 'reporters' to the Valerie Plame affair to websites that have a connection to the White House, but appear independent, to a Bush Cartel hypocrisy about gays, to payola, to scripted Bush news conferences, to who knows what. This is a BIG media story that should be on the cover of the New York Times and Post."

Unable to speak with representatives from Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition, I turned to Joe Conn of American United for Separation of Church and State and John Aravosis, the creator of Americablog.

In a telephone interview, Conn said he wasn't surprised that there hasn't been any response from Christian right organizations because "The religious right is pretty much a team player when it comes to the Bush Administration. Unless it's an issue like same-sex marriage -- a core issue of their agenda -- they will give the president a pass."

"Clearly this is an example of the religious right's hypocrisy," Conn point out. "If it was Bill Clinton they would be in total uproar."

Via e-mail, I asked Aravosis why he thought the Christian right was being silent
about the Gannon Affair. "Because they're hypocrites," he wrote in an e-mail. "They know this scandal is hurting Bush and they put politics ahead of their God. That's how petty and un-Christian they are."

"Am I correct in thinking that they certainly would have responded to a similar situation if Bill Clinton was still president?," I asked. Aravosis responded with tongue firmly implanted in cheek: "Do you think the religious right would care if Bill Clinton welcomed a gay hooker to the White House, and then slipped him classified intelligence information? Let me think about that one."


The fact that this story is not on the front page of every newspaper and the lead story of every television newscast goes a long way in showing how ludicrous the "liberal media" fantasy is! This story would be EVERYWHERE if the media was so ponderously conservative!
(Funny that even in the Clinton fantasy press conference sequence above, the question posed is based on facts, not on lies, as Gannon's was!)

all children left behind

From the NY Times :

Report Faults Bush Initiative on Education
Concluding a yearlong study on the effectiveness of President Bush's sweeping education law, No Child Left Behind, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers drawn from many states yesterday pronounced it a flawed, convoluted and unconstitutional education reform initiative that has usurped state and local control of public schools.

The report, based on hearings in six cities, praised the law's goal of ending the gap in scholastic achievement between white and minority students. But most of the 77- page report, which the Education Department rebutted yesterday, was devoted to a detailed inventory and discussion of its flaws.

It said the law's accountability system, which punishes schools whose students fail to improve steadily on standardized tests, undermined school improvement efforts already under way in many states and relied on the wrong indicators. The report said that the law's rules for educating disabled students conflict with another federal law, and that it presented bureaucratic requirements that failed to recognize the tapestry of educational challenges faced by teachers in the nation's 15,000 school districts.

"Under N.C.L.B., the federal government's role has become excessively intrusive in the day-to-day operations of public education," the National Conference of State Legislatures said in the report, which was written by a panel of 16 state legislators and 6 legislative staff members.

Several education experts said the panel had accurately captured the views of thousands of state lawmakers, and local educators. If that is so, the report suggests that the Bush administration could face continuing friction with states and school districts as the Department of Education seeks to carry out the law in coming months.

Have ANY of bush's policies actually done anything positive for this country? Have any even done what they said they would do?! Its somewhat staggering that someone can be wrong that often! Doesn't statistical probability indicate that he should eventually be right about SOMETHING?!
Also, don't the repubs always say that they want to keep government OUT of our lives? I guess the exception is when it is a repub policy!

communists in our midst!

From the Las Vegas Sun :

Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., stared straight into a television camera Wednesday and apologized for referring to opponents of corporate-funded presidential inauguration parties as communists, a remark that was aired nationally last month by NBC.
NBC reported on critics who have said that corporate donations for inaugurations represent a way to buy influence with President Bush and the Republican Party. On the subject of corporate donations for inaugural parties, Gibbons told NBC reporter Lisa Myers: "Anybody who is against that obviously must be a communist."
Gibbons hadn't directly addressed the criticism himself until Wednesday when he told Ralston that while he shouldn't have made the remark, it was also taken out of context.
"Well, should I have said that? You know, no," Gibbons said. "I mean it was a statement that wasn't actually played properly back because we were talking about those people that supported democracy and I said, 'If you're opposed to democracy and these people are opposing democracy, then they must be communists.'

Our of context?! This is hardly comparable to the innumerable ways the repugs took quotes from Kerry & Edwards out of context and twisted their meanings to mean the opposite of what they said. Even in context, he is saying that if you don't support big businesses spending elaborate amounts of money on inaugual balls, then you are a communist! Where do these people come up with this stuff?! Sure would be nice if our politicians existed in the real world with the rest of us!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

can this possibly be real?

"Jeff Gannon" has a blog - apparently for real! Americablog has checked it out. Something major is going on here....Obviously, this guy is batsh*t crazy, but a week or 2 after claiming that he was going into hiding to "protect his family", he starts a new website? There's a lot of conjecture that he's trying to stay public because he is afraid that powers that be are not too happy that he's been so sloppy with linking his (literal) prostitution to the WH. Either that or this is some weird attempt at damage control! Especially weird seeing as Talon News just shut down their site!

they swear this is real!

See it to believe it -
Sean Hannity's dating website!

"right"-wing spin

From Think Progress :

[Influential conservative strategist Frank Luntz has produced a 160-page-playbook to advance the right-wing agenda. Think Progress cuts through the spin and gives you the tools you need to fight back. Check here for updates throughout the week.]
Luntz’s playbook is full of things people should never say if they don’t want to undermine the right-wing agenda. Here’s how you can be Frank Luntz’s worst nightmare:
• Talk about the economy using “facts and figures.”
• Talk about the overall size of Bush’s proposed tax cut.
• Describe how repealing the estate tax protects America’s wealthiest families.
• Talk about the economy without bringing up 9/11.
• Recall how Bill Clinton produced balanced budgets in the late 1990s.
• Remind people that conservatives want to make painful cuts in vital government
• Talk about the deficit without bringing up 9/11.
Social Security
• Remind people that the financial services industry has been embroiled in scandal and corruption.
• Note that money contributed to private accounts will “go into the hands of greedy Wall Street fat cats.”
• Point out that proponents of Social Security privatization “lack factual discipline.”
• Tell people that the push to privatize Social Security is about partisan politics.
• Tell people what ANWR stands for.
• Say, “We should rely on American ingenuity and not the Saudi Royal Family.”
• Talk about how drilling for oil harms the environment.
• Always say “Drilling for oil"; Never say “Exploring for energy.”
• Give specific examples of safety and security problems at nuclear power plants.
Patients’ Rights
• When talking about trial lawyers don’t use words like “creeps, bottom-feeds, overpaid and evil.”
• Say, “When innocent people who are injured seek compensation from those who cause their injuries it’s anything but frivolous. When a preventable careless medical error forces a child into a wheelchair for the rest of his life, it’s anything but frivolous. And when someone close to you suffers due to doctor negligence, their right to a day in court is anything but frivolous.”

LOTS more on this subject at their website. Check it all out - very informative!

new poll shows americans are still ignorant!

Iraq, 9/11, Al Qaeda and Weapons of Mass Destruction: What the Public Believes Now, According to Latest Harris Poll

More surprising perhaps are the large numbers (albeit not majorities) who believe the following claims not made by the president and which virtually noexperts believe to be true:

-- 47 percent believe that Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001 (up six percentage points from November).

-- 44 percent actually believe that several of the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on September 11 were Iraqis (up significantly from 37% in November).

-- 36 percent believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded (down slightly from 38% in November).

Another interesting finding is that only 46 percent believe that Saddam Hussein was prevented from developing weapons of mass destruction by the U.N.weapons inspectors, a fact which most reports now support.

Oh, damn that "liberal media" for keeping the public ignorant! Truly astounding!
First seen at Think Progress

many many many more bush flip-flops

From Think Progress:

During last year’s presidential campaign, the right-wing offered any number of reasons to fear a Kerry presidency. John Kerry, the typical tax-and-spender, would negotiate with the terrorists, undermine efforts to ban gay marriage, bring salacious scandals back into the White House, increase government spending while cutting vital missile defense, and get buddy-buddy with his surrender-monkeyEuropean allies, like close associate Jacques Chirac.
Or, in other words, Kerry might have…
– Suggested raising taxes to pay for the costs of his massive $2 trillion pet reform

- Entered into negotiations with the terrorists in Iraq
– Proclaimed that “nothing will happen in the Senate” on the anti-gay marriage bill
– Nominated a possible cabinet member who once engaged in adulterous romps in a motel room reserved for exhausted 9/11 workers
– Offered White House press privileges to a partisan activist with an alleged history in gay prostitution
– Released the largest budget in U.S. history while slashing missile defense spending by $5 billion over six years
– During a “warm” and “friendly” tour through Europe, declared that Jacques
Chirac could make a “good cowboy”
Scary stuff.

I'm sure that America is glad that we don't have to worry about Kerry bringing scandals to the WH when they have bush to do it!

talon "news"

Americablog reports that without "Jeff Gannon", Talon is nothing :

Talon News go dark
by John in DC - 2/23/2005 11:34:00 PM For a "real" news outfit, the loss of one single reporter seems to have shut them down.

Check out the many other articles, reports and links about this incredible story on Americablog's site! There is more news every day!

more on bush in Germany

The Germans Bush Wasn't Able to See

MAINZ, Germany, Feb. 23 - President Bush of course is not the first president named Bush to come to this town on the Rhine, but the very physical circumstances of this president's stopover here on Wednesday suggest how different, how less automatically warm, German-American relations are now than they were when his father stopped in Mainz 16 years ago.
Most conspicuous was the lack of contact between ordinary Germans and an American president visiting what could almost have been a stage setting: a town with buildings but no people, the shops and restaurants in the center of town closed, and only uniformed police officers on the streets.
Compare that with the main event of the first President Bush's trip here in 1989: a speech to an enthusiastic audience of 3,500 people gathered in a flag-draped hall, thrilling to Mr. Bush's declaration that Germany and America are more than "firm allies and friends," they are "partners in leadership."
But this president was entirely sealed off from Germans - other than Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the German journalists at a news conference, and even a town-meeting-type encounter with Mainz residents was scrubbed out of worry the mood would be hostile. A meeting with a group of carefully screened "young leaders" was put in its place.
But the dispute over the Iraq war awoke German citizens to something new in their relationship with the United States, an unease over the price that they might have to pay to be members of an alliance led by a figure whose instincts they distrust.

"Most Germans are still emotionally averse to what Bush stands for - going it alone, not paying attention to due process, which we love in Europe," said Eberhard Sandschneider, the director of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

The Germans remain anxious that their country will yet be drawn into a foreign military venture by a president who, as Mr. Bush has affirmed several times so far on his European tour, keeps all options, including military action, on the table.

Check out the article for another photo of the massive demonstrations!
I wonder what people from other countries really think about the president of the largest "free country" in the world not being willing to meet or even see the citizens of their country? Americans don't seem to be concerned with the fact that bush refuses to appear anywhere if the audience hasn't been pre-screened, but Europeans have to wonder about his confidence.
OK, this is hilarious! The conservatives want to show that there was a PRO-bush demonstration too - check it out here.
As best as i can see, there were about 6-12 people in this "demonstration"! A little different from the thousands of anti-bush protestors!
More on this and bush in general in a Buzzflash Editorial.

what a bunch of sick f*cks

From AOL News :

Flare-Ups in Battle Over Bush's Social Security Plan
Advocacy Groups Launch Attacks Over Strategy

WASHINGTON (Feb. 23) - The public relations war over President Bush's Social Security plan escalated on Wednesday, as a liberal advocacy group attacked the Republican chairman of the House Social Security subcommittee, and conservative groups fought among themselves over strategy.

The advocacy group, Campaign for America's Future, accused the subcommittee chairman, Representative Jim McCrery of Louisiana, of conflict of interest, saying he had accepted nearly $200,000 in contributions over four years from securities firms and commercial banks that could benefit from Mr. Bush's plan to let workers invest in retirement accounts.

On Thursday, the group will begin running newspaper advertisements against Mr. McCrery under the headline "Who Does This Man Work For?" in his hometown, Shreveport. In addition, it is using the Internet to raise money for television advertisements.

Mr. McCrery responded by accusing the group, which is backed by labor unions and left-leaning philanthropists, including George Soros, of "extreme liberal bias."

As Mr. McCrery and his detractors traded barbs, supporters of Mr. Bush's plan battled among themselves. The Cato Institute, the libertarian research organization that has long been a leader in pushing for private Social Security accounts, lashed out at USA Next, a conservative lobbying group that says it plans to spend up to $10 million on commercials and other tactics attacking AARP, the retirees' organization.

"This is not very bright politics," Michael Tanner, the director of health and welfare studies at Cato, said in a telephone interview. In particular, he objected to an Internet advertisement by USA Next that tries to paint AARP as an advocate of same-sex marriage. "Introducing homophobia and other things that are not relevant to Social Security reform is not helpful," Mr. Tanner said. AARP says it has no position on same-sex marriage.

But Charlie Jarvis, the president of USA Next, said his group would not back down. "We are going to make sure their members know their position on that and every other issue," he said of AARP, adding, "They can run, but they cannot hide."

The accusations, counterattacks and internal debate demonstrate the great lengths outside groups are going to to build or demolish public support for Mr. Bush's plan. Groups like the Campaign for America's Future, and AARP are spending millions to run advertising and generate opposition to personal accounts; on the other side, the Club for Growth, a conservative group, has pledged to raise $10 million, while Progress for America, which backed Mr. Bush in the election, is vowing to raise $20 million and has already run television advertisements promoting personal accounts.
The group has hired some of the same consultants who worked for Swift Vets
and P.O.W.'s for Truth,
the group that orchestrated the advertisements attacking Senator John Kerry's military record in last year's presidential campaign. USA Next's Internet advertisement, which ran on Monday as part of a test campaign, featured a photograph of a soldier in camouflage, crossed out by a red X, juxtaposed against a green check mark over two tuxedo-clad men kissing. The caption reads, "The real AARP agenda."

"You need to build a coalition to win this fight," Mr. Tanner of the Cato Institute said. "You're not going to get Social Security reform passed just through the right wing of the Republican Party. Groups like gays are disadvantaged by the current system, and I'd think we would want to bring them into the campaign, not insult them."
"Our plan is to do a multimedia ad buy on McCrery, and we may use the same tactic on other members," Ms. Miller said. She called on Mr. McCrery to refuse future Wall Street contributions "or hand over his gavel."

According to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign spending, in the 2004 election cycle Mr. McCrery received similar amounts from health professionals and the insurance industry as he did from commercial banks and securities and investment firms. But in its report detailing Mr. McCrery's campaign finances, the Campaign for America's Future singled out the financial industry contributions, saying, "These financial ties call his impartiality on the issue into question."

Every single freakin' day more and more BS and corruption is exposed on the conservative's side. Has there ever been a more f'k'd up and corrupt administration? Is there a single honest republican in Washington?! A SS subcommittee person accepting bribes and his defense is that the group exposing this has a "liberal bias"! Well, that explains everything!
They hire a PR firm to, once again, lie about the opposition, this time the AARP, and when called on their lies, they bring out the same old tired quote, "You can run but you can't hide"! Damn, you would think that they would get new speech writers by now!
Once again, it is obvious who has the money and the lock on the media - the conservatives already have $30 million. It is amazing that we have been able to fight as strongly as we have with all of the media and big businesses on the other side!

red states/blue states

Truthout videotaped a trip through the "red states" of America. This is an interesting document showing both the ignorance of some people (to this day) and also the fact that "red states" are certainly not red through and through. It reinforces my belief that we need to organize and educate these people, since a number of the people who voted for bush have values and concerns that are opposite of his. Sure, too many people said they voted for him simply because they thought he was "strong" or they thought we shouldn't change presidents during wartime or even "because my husband told me to"!! (honest!) But most were concerned about the economy, the environment, health care, etc, and were living examples of what bush's policies have done in these fields.
Of course, it is nearly impossible to counteract the conservative media juggernaut, but we need to show these people who is on their side and who is on the side of big business.

let's fix the voter irregularities!

Petition from MoveOn
Let's try to stop election thefts!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

limbaugh literally spouts nonsense

From Media Matters :

While in Afghanistan to highlight America's ongoing relief efforts in that country, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh delivered a partisan attack against a "political party," an apparent reference to Democrats, in a discussion with American troops.
Recounting his remarks during a phone interview with guest host Roger Hedgecock on the February 22 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh noted that he told the troops he wouldn't "go politically correct on them" by hiding liberals' "opposition" to the troops and their mission:

LIMBAUGH: And, by the way, folks, if you're wondering, I didn't go politically correct on them. I told them exactly who's saying what about them in an opposition fashion. I told them what I think is the sort of phony-baloney, plastic-banana, good-time rock 'n' roller of some members of the American left saying they support the troops but they don't support their mission --

And I haven't run into anybody who has snickered. They're eager for the truth here.

(WTF?! What the hell does "phony-baloney, plastic-banana, good time rock'n'roller of some members" mean?! That is literal nonsense isn't it?!)
Later in the program, Limbaugh explained that when a soldier asked him whether the U.S. should permit Afghanistan to adopt its own system of government, Limbaugh replied to a group of troops:

LIMBAUGH: And I said, "There are a lot of people in America who don't trust free people to do the right thing. I won't mention a political party -- you all know it -- and I won't mention the ideology -- you all know it.

(Sounds like the bush administration to me! I literally thought that is what he meant at first!)
But I have no desire to tell the Afghans they have to do it this way, they have to do it that way. Give them their freedom and let them figure it out. I trust it."

Right-wing news website covered Limbaugh's remarks to the troops in Afghanistan on February 23, reporting that Limbaugh "skewer[ed] left wing war critics for undermining their [the troops'] mission."
It isn't clear who is paying for Limbaugh's trip to Afghanistan or if he is being paid for his time, as Media Matters for America has noted.

Whew - what kind of drugs is he on?! And how the hell does he get away with propagandizing and lying to the troops?! The quote about supporting the troops but not the mission, though stated extremely incoherently, actually is true about a lot of people, which would explain why no one snickered, though i'm sure a lot were confused about what the hell he was referring to!

bush "looking for a good cowboy"

Via Alt Hippo :

Here's Sciolino's take: "During a photo opportunity, Mr. Bush refused to be pinned down on whether relations had improved to the point where Mr. Bush would be inviting Mr. Chirac to the United States or even to Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas.

" 'I'm looking for a good cowboy,' Mr. Bush joked, dodging the question. He did not say whether he considered Mr. Chirac a cowboy. Mr. Chirac did not seem to get the joke."

I don't blame him for not getting the joke! It is a total non-sequitur! Has any president ever made so little sense?!

assassination suspect

Suspect's kin say alleged plot to kill Bush is web of lies

Defense says Saudi police tortured American citizen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Family and friends who packed a Virginia courtroom to support Ahmed Omar Abu Ali laughed out loud when prosecutors alleged that the former high school valedictorian had plotted to assassinate President Bush.
Abu Ali, 23, a U.S. citizen who grew up in Falls Church, was charged Tuesday with conspiring with al-Qaida to kill the president in a plan that prosecutors said was hatched while the man studied in Saudi Arabia in 2002 and 2003.
Abu Ali had been detained for nearly two years by the Saudi Arabian government. His family sued the U.S. government shortly after his arrest there, claiming the Saudis were essentially holding him at the U.S. government's request.
The private school's teachings have come under scrutiny since the Sept. 11 attacks. Federal court documents in a case against another academy graduate suspected of terrorism indicate that student discussions following Sept. 11 took an anti-American bent and that some students considered the attacks legitimate "payback" for American mistreatment of the Muslim world.
Last year, the school also faced criticism for using textbooks that taught first-graders that Judaism and Christianity are false religions.
Abu Ali's lawyers expressed concern that the government's case may be based on evidence obtained through torture. At Tuesday's hearing, Abu Ali offered to show the judge the scars on his back as proof that he was tortured by Saudi authorities.
"He has the evidence on his back," lawyer Ashraf Nubani told the court. "He was whipped. He was handcuffed for days at a time."
According to the indictment, Abu Ali discussed Bush-assassination plans with an unidentified al-Qaida member in 2002 and 2003, while Abu Ali was attending college in Saudi Arabia.
They discussed two scenarios, the indictment said, one in which Abu Ali "would get close enough to the president to shoot him on the street" and, alternatively, "an operation in which Abu Ali would detonate a car bomb."
U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty said in a statement Tuesday that "after the devastating terrorist attack ... of Sept. 11, this defendant turned his back on America and joined the cause of al-Qaida. He now stands charged with some of the most serious offenses our nation can bring against supporters of terrorism."

Man, does this seem like yet another trumped-up story that is pretty much based on nothing? I mean, there hardly seems to be a actual "plot" - "let's try to shoot him or plant a bomb"! That seems less specific than the pre-9/11 reports that we had about airlines being used as weapons! The "evidence" that he believed that 9/11 was "payback" is hardly revolutionary - that is a pretty obvious fact. As for the school teaching that other religions are false - well, my Catholic school taught me the same thing! All religions belief that they are the one, true religion!
All this vague, circumstantial "evidence" that was derived through torture doesn't sound like much of a case to me! I could be wrong, but it seems like this is a real stretch for a story! More diversionary tactics, anyone?

bush in europe

Bush, Schroeder: No nukes for Iran

MAINZ, Germany (CNN) -- President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder joined together Wednesday to insist that Iran must not develop nuclear weapons.
Bush, on the second leg of a three-nation European tour, met for two hours with Schroeder in the German city of Mainz.
At a news conference afterward, the chancellor said, "We absolutely agree that Iran must say no to any kind of nuclear weapon -- full stop."
The president softened his tone on the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran. In Belgium the day before, Bush said the idea of an impending American strike on Iran was "ridiculous," but "all options are on the table."
On Wednesday, Bush said, "Iran is not Iraq. Diplomatic methods are just starting."
In Iran on Wednesday, President Mohammad Khatami warned that the United States would pay a heavier price than Tehran if it interfered with the Islamic republic's independence.
Speaking on Iranian state television, Khatami said his country would never disavow its right to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

From Yahoo :

Later, Bush addressed members of the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division at nearby Wiesbaden Air Base. "You're part of the history of freedom and peace," Bush told about 3,000 troops. "Terrorists must be confronted and they must be defeated. In this war, there is only one option for victory: We must take the fight to the enemy."
Even though Germany refuses to go into that war-torn nation, Schroeder noted its role in training Iraqi security officers in the United Arab Emirates and its willingness to help the new Iraqi government draft a constitution or establish ministries.
Bush thanked Germany. "I fully understand the limitations of German contributions," he said.
About 5,000 people braved wet snow and the heavy security for a peaceful rally and parade protesting Bush's visit — though they were kept far from the palace meeting site.
A recent AP-Ipsos poll showed overwhelming Germany skepticism of Bush — about four in five Germans say they don't agree with the president's determination to promote democracy around the world.
The protesters carried placards reading "We don't Want your Kind of Peace" and "Where Bush Is, There's War" and "Wanted Dead or Alive — George 'Dubya' Bush and His Band of Congressmen."

As usual, very little exposure of the many protestors. But that's our "liberal media" for ya!
Interesting that bush claims that an attack on Iran is "ridiculous", yet "all options are on the table"! He did use that same phrase just before the invasion of Iraq.
Just heard that the European audience broke up in derisive laughter when bush said that! Of course, that has been edited out by our "liberal media"!
And then he is quoted as saying "We must take the fight to the enemy". Doesn't sound like he's planning peaceful resolutions!
The backhanded compliment of Germany was amusing, too. Diplomacy in action!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

whose scandal?

The real oil-for-food scandal

While the Administration and those on the right continue to decry the UN, Annan, and its supposed oil-for-food scandal, it turns out that the bulk of illicit oil-for-food money was secured by Hussein with the help of the United Nations...(oops) States:
The Treasury Department provided assurances that the United States would not obstruct two companies' plans to import millions of barrels of oil from Iraq in March 2003 in violation of U.N. sanctions, according to an e-mail from one of the companies.
Diplomats and oil brokers have recently said that the United States had long turned a blind eye to illicit shipments of Iraqi oil by its allies Jordan and Turkey. The United States acknowledged this week that it had acquiesced in the trade to ensure that crucial allies would not suffer economic hardships.
The illicit oil exports took place outside the Iraq oil-for-food program, which the United Nations administered from 1996 to 2003. While allegations of corruption and mismanagement in that program are under investigation by five congressional committees, the Justice Department and a U.N.-appointed panel, the illicit oil exports outside the program have received less scrutiny. According to investigators, Iraq received more revenue from those exports than from the alleged oil-for-food kickbacks.

Surprise, surprise...the US doing something illicit and blaming others!

things you don't see on the "liberal media"

Bush in Belgium

Check out the pictures of the protestors. Haven't seen or heard anything about this anywhere else....

bush's "clear skies"

From clean air to clear skies

The Bush administration wants to reform the Clean Air Act and give it a new name: Clear Skies. The new name is less precise than the old and prettier to behold. But it's accurate. It gives polluters clear sailing.
Here's what's being cleared up by the proposed revision: Polluters will have an easier time polluting as deadlines to comply with stricter pollution standards will be relaxed, extended or scrapped altogether. Pollutants that will have clearer sailing include nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury. Nitrogen oxide, which produces smog, can damage foliage, decrease crop yield and, in humans, cause chronic lung disease. Sulfur dioxide is the chief toxic ingredient of acid rain.
Clear Skies encourages voluntary compliance with some standards the Clean Air Act made mandatory. States will have fewer rights to set their own air-quality standards -- and polluters will get to shop around for the weakest standard when they're trading so-called pollution credits.

We know that bush could care less about our environment. Guess he's hoping that he'll be dead before it gets too bad!

AARP responds to the lies

The neoconservatives are now trying to smear the AARP because they are against the destruction of Social Security. There is actually an ad out now that suggests that the AARP is anti-military and pro-gay marriage! No evidence of these accusations are given, but the campaign is run by the same PR firm that gave us the Swift Boat Liars campaign! That obviously did its job despite the lack of any factual information, so why change strategies? The AARP responds:

Attacking AARP
In a previous post on this blog, AARP presented information about the neoconservative lobbying group named USA Next. There is a new development in the attempt by some to discredit AARP because of our stance on Social Security.

From the people who brought you the Swift Boat veterans campaign against John Kerry in 2004 comes "consultants to orchestrate attacks on AARP" as reported in the New York Times and reprinted online elsewhere.

These anti-AARP efforts are rooted in neoconservative ideology. Charles Jarvis is president USA Next and was deputy secretary for the interior in the Reagan and first Bush administrations. The true motives of these anti-AARP efforts are clear in this quote from him:
They [AARP] are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts. We will be the dynamite that removes them.

AARP calls your attention to these efforts because media coverage is clear about the aggressive tone of the language. We question why neoconservatives would choose these tactics.

AARP urges you to judge critically the motivations behind statements made against AARP. For example, whenever you see attempts to discredit AARP presented on Fox News Channel or other media outlets like talk radio shows that regularly carry the neoconservative lobbying group messages, AARP urges you to consider these important background facts:

• USA Next is a lobbying group that "has poured poured millions of dollars into Republican policy battles" as reported in the New York Times.

• As reported by UPI, USA Next has hired a public relations firm with "plans to spend as much as $10 million to counterattack Democrats opposed to changing Social Security, has hired Chris LaCivita, a former Marine who advised Swift Vets on its media campaign and helped write its potent commercials attacking Bush's opponent, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass."

• Creative Response Concepts of Alexandria, Virginia is the public relations firm hired by USA Next. As reported by PR Watch, in 2004 "this firm used right-wing blogs and news sites to turn a CBS report casting doubt about President George W. Bush's National Guard services into a potential black eye for both the network and the Democrats."

The repugs will attack any and everyone to advance their lies - even those who voted for them! Truth means nothing to them, so why should honor?!

Monday, February 21, 2005

more ann coulter humor

Actual quote :

"This raving lunatic at the University of Colorado, who walks around like he's a big radical, living on the edge, when to the contrary, he can't be fired, he knows he can't be fired, he can say the most outrageous things imaginable, like that cartoonist Ted Rall, who just does things to upset people so his name will get in the paper."

I know that she's just theater and that her only claim to fame is spouting utterly outrageous nonsense, but this is just hilarious! Also funny in that she connects Churchill and Rall, even though there is no connection whatsoever. Maybe she's a stand-up comedian and no one has realized it yet!


From Salon, originally seen at Atrios :

California Rep. Chris Cox ... took the opportunity to mock the Democrats whose hatred of America led them to get Iraq so horribly wrong.
"America's Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd," he crowed. Then he said, "We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq." Apparently, most of the hundreds of people in attendance already knew about these remarkable, hitherto-unreported discoveries, because no one gasped at this startling revelation.

This is a Congressman telling this blatant lie that contradicts every report coming out of Iraq! Even bush isn't telling this whopper any more!

fun with jeff gannon

One of the more mind-boggling aspects of this wild story is the way the "right"-wingers are trying to defend "Gannon"! They are actually trying to say, with a straight face, that there is no reason why the White House would have any problem with a prostitute (which is illegal, remember) with no journalistic credentials having daily access to the WH press corps! This is certainly not a "privacy" issue in that the websites advertising his "escort" service and displaying his nude photos were still active when the story broke. Not exactly hiding, was he? They are desperately trying to sweep this under the rug, which only goes to show how big this story must really be!
Lots more at: Americablog , TBogg , Minnesota Politics and MSNBC

a true loss

Hunter S. Thompson dead at 67
'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' author takes own life

(CNN) -- Journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, who unleashed the concept of "gonzo journalism" in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself in the head Sunday at his home near Aspen, Colorado, police and his family said.

Terribly sad.
Considering his feelings towards the Nixon administration, I can't even imagine how he felt about bush & co. He considered nixon & cohorts to be "brutal" and "depraved" - they were amatuers compared to the current bunch of scumbags! Is there anyone today to take his place?

Friday, February 18, 2005

this is pretty funny

From the Village Voice (first seen at Gadflyer):

For Fox, Money Isn't Everything
You'd think Rupert Murdoch would laugh all the way to the bank if the liberal magazine The Nation cut a check to conservative Fox News. But the "fair and balanced" ad staff at FNC have rejected a TV spot that The Nation says Bravo, CNN, MSNBC, and TBS/TNT have accepted.

The ad goes like this (watch it here):

It peels away layers of obfuscation. Shreds lies.
Slices through White House fog. And you can try it for four weeks absolutely free. It's The Nation - America's hottest, most widely read journal of opinion.
Nobody owns The Nation - not Time Warner, not Murdoch. So there's no corporate
slant, no White House spin, just the straight dope.

The Nation has asked FNC how they might alter the ad to get it on the air, but Fox will not give a reason for the rejection. "We have the right to reject a spot. We do not need to give a written statement regarding the rejection," wrote a Fox ad rep to a buyer for The Nation. TBS/TNT hesitated to accept the ad at first, too, but relented when The Nation agreed to omit the references to "Time Warner" and "Murdoch."

"We finally have a little money to promote the magazine and they won't let us spend
it," says Nation publicist Mike Webb.

The Fox rebuff is the latest episode in the strange relationship between the lefty magazine and the righty network.

In February 2003, Fox took out an $8,700 back page ad in The Nation, which only two years earlier had dubbed the network "a calculated mouthpiece for the right that remains thinly veiled behind its misleading mantra, 'fair and balanced.' " Nation readers revolted at the ad: 250 wrote letters, and at least 50 cancelled their subscriptions. When The New York Times wrote about the reaction of The Nation's faithful to Fox's first spot, the network called and booked a second.

Why did Fox want to advertise in The Nation anyway? Maybe it was trying to win new viewers, though it seems a tough sell to Nation readers. Perhaps it merely wanted to crow to liberal "elites" about its lead in cable news ratings. Or maybe it was intended as a poison pill, to anger Nation subscribers and put the magazine in a tough spot. The Nation could have avoided that, of course, if they simply refused Fox's ads. But Webb says that wasn't considered. When the Fox ad came in, Webb recalls, the reaction at The Nation was " 'Oh no,' and 'Let's charge top rate.' "

Fox bought two more ads last year, each costing $7,395. One ran in the magazine's Republican convention issue. A couple days later, the network first rejected The Nation's TV spot. Webb insists the magazine wants to sell subscriptions, not pick a fight. "We're not just trying to make a stink, we're actually trying to spend our money wisely/efficiently," he writes in an email.

Fox did not return phone calls.

As usual, the conservatives don't want anyone to be exposed to any sort of "liberal" views, for fear that the logic of these views will turn people away from the "right"! Kinda funny in a pathetic sort of way!

how many times can i say "wow!"?

From Media Matters :

Gingrich falsely claimed that Republican senators never "systematically tried to obstruct" Clinton judicial nominees

FOX News contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that Republicans senators did not systematically block former President Bill Clinton's judicial nominees.

On the February 16 edition of FOX News' Hannity & Colmes, Gingrich criticized what he called Democratic senators' "blatant, deliberate, systematic filibustering" of some of President Bush's judicial nominees and then declared, "[T]he fact is, I do not believe that the Republicans in the Senate in the Clinton years systematically tried to obstruct [judicial nominees]. They tried to defeat people. They forced votes on

In fact, while Democratic senators used the filibuster to block 10 of Bush's 229 first-term judicial nominees, the Republican-controlled Senate prevented approximately 60 Clinton nominees from even receiving a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, much less a vote on the Senate floor. And while Senate Republicans under Clinton strictly enforced a "blue slip" rule -- which allows one home-state senator to prevent a nomination from moving forward -- they greatly relaxed this rule under Bush to circumvent Democrats' objections to several nominees.

As The Washington Post noted in a December 13 article detailing Republican opposition to Democrats' filibusters of Bush nominees: "Republicans say that Democrats have abused the filibuster by blocking 10 of the president's 229 judicial nominees in his first term -- although confirmation of Bush nominees exceeds in most cases the first-term experience of presidents dating to Ronald Reagan."

While MSNBC noted on January 14 that the Democratic senators' use of the filibuster to block nominees has been "the most aggressive use of that tactic in Senate history," the Republican-controlled Senate blocked up-or-down votes on far more Clinton nominees than the number of Bush nominees the Democrats filibustered, and, in most cases, even denied them hearings and committee votes. As The Christian Science Monitor noted on May 12, 2003, "some 60 Clinton nominees never had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee," which served "as effective a block to confirmation as a filibuster," according to Democrats. Similarly, as The Washington Post reported on September 5, 2003, "Senate Republicans enraged Democrats by bottling up about 60 of President Bill Clinton's nominees."

Further, the Republicans used the "blue slip" policy to deny Clinton appointments but then altered the policy after Bush took office. As The Christian Science Monitor has noted, the "blue slip" process is one "in which a home-state senator may indefinitely delay a nominee by failing to return a blue slip to the judiciary committee" confirming their approval of the nominee. But while Senate Republicans, led by Judiciary Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), used the "blue slip" to block Clinton nominees, Hatch relaxed and, in several cases, simply ignored the policy after Bush became president.

As CNN noted on August 14, 2001, even Attorney General and then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales has said that Republican senators' "partisanship over judicial nominations" during the Clinton era was "improper" and "wrong.

Do these people really think that no one will catch them in their lies, or are they just counting on more people hearing the lie than hearing the truth? Most likely the latter, I suspect! Especially seeing as most of the media merely repeats the lies!

bush further restricts our rights in favor of big business

Bush Signs Bill Curbing Class-Action Suits

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Friday signed a bill that he says will curtail multimillion-dollar class action lawsuits against companies and "marks a critical step toward ending the lawsuit culture in our country."

The legislation aims to discourage multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits by having federal judges take them away from state courts, a victory for conservatives who hope it will lead to other lawsuit limits. The president has described class-action suits as often frivolous, and businesses complain that state judges and juries have been too generous to plaintiffs.
But during the brief ceremony, Bush repeatedly described the bill as just a beginning in his drive to place much broader restraints on the American legal system.
"The House of Representatives joined the Senate in sending a clear message to the nation: the rights of large corporations that take advantage of seniors, low-wage workers and local communities are more important than the rights of average American citizens," said Helen Gonzales of USAction, a liberal, pro-consumer activist group.

More proof that bush could care less about the average person. Now that he doesn't have to worry about being re-elected, he will do as much damage as he possibly can! Notice that businesses that have to pay for their (sometimes deadly) mistakes are the only ones complaining. And he wants to put even MORE restraints on this system! Man, these next 4 years will be scary as hell! We will have nothing left by 2008!

boy, the elections have sure helped Iraq!

From Yahoo News :

Four Blasts Kill at Least 28 in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Four explosions ripped through Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 28 people and injuring dozens on the eve of Shiite Islam's most important holiday, officials said. It was the deadliest day since Iraq's landmark elections last month.

How many times have we heard the phase "deadliest day since...."? Nothing seems to be even slowing down the violence there. When will we actually do something to deter the fighting?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

another "great" choice by bush

See Think Progress

At 10AM this morning, President Bush will name John Negroponte as the new Director of Intelligence for the United States.

Who is John Negroponte?
You may remember him best as one of the key figures in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration. John Negroponte was the ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. While there, he was directed the secret arming of the Contra rebels in Nicaragua to help them overthrow the Sandinista government.

At the time, he also was “cozy” with the chief of the Honduran national police force, Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez. Martinez ran the infamous Battalion 316 death squad. Battalion 316 “kidnapped, tortured and murdered” dozens of people while Negroponte was ambassador. Negroponte, however, turned a blind eye to the death squad and ignored the gross human rights abuses so Honduras would allow bases for U.S.-backed Contras.

Negroponte maintained he knew nothing about them, leading to his nickname, “the ostrich ambassador.” The abuses, however, were widely chronicled in local papers. That means he either willfully ignored the mass murders and torturing of citizens or he was so out of touch that he didn’t see the atrocities going on beneath his very nose. Neither of these scenarios is what the United States needs in a National Director of Intelligence.

Is it even possible to have anyone remotely honorable in this administration?! I know, i know, that's a stupid question.....

LOTS more on "Jeff Gannon"

From Atrios.
Check it out. Some people are starting to pay attention.

Good Daily Show clip link too! Just watched the entire clip and its HILARIOUS! Gets some of the main points down (not all of them, but there's so many!) and tells the story with a great sense of humor!

Even more on this story, see Crooks and Liars for a clip of John Aravosis from Atrios on Court TV. Catherine Crier does hit on all the facts and, understandably, shares our outrage! I'm somewhat amazed that this got on TV!

Will anything happen with this bombshell? Something has to! This is way too big!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

just how stupid are people?!

From :

A poll for the Concord Monitor published last weekend showed 55 percent support for allowing workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in stocks and bonds, as Bush proposes. But support dropped to 19 percent when those in favor were asked if they would back the plan if it meant losing benefits when the stock market dropped.

In a University of New Hampshire poll released Monday, 54 percent called such investments -- a centerpiece of Bush's plan -- a bad idea.

The same poll found more residents approving of Bush's performance than disapproving, however.

WHA?!?!!? I guess that people really don't listen to any news at all or read any newspapers or really give a damn about what happens to them! Does anyone really think that they can invest in the stock market and NOT lose money when the market drops?!?! This doesn't even address the fact that their benefits will be reduced just by electing to invest! Yet people APPROVE of bush still?!?!? Literally beyond comprehension!!

more liars given awards!

Are we living on Bizarro world or something? Or have we had "opposite day" for the last 4 years and no one told the Democrats?!

From Newshounds :

Honoring The Swift Boat Vets Who Really, Truly Have No Connection to Bush has an article on upcoming honors to be awarded the Smear Boat Liars for Bush (as News Hound Nancy dubbed them). From the tone of the praise heaped on these guys, you'd think their last tour of duty in the election was more important than the one in the military. Considering the military records of the current administration, they may well think just that.

The veterans are due to get a "Courage Under Fire" award Friday, 2/18/05.

"These guys could have just gone on with their lives but they felt strongly that John Kerry's record was being misrepresented," said Richard Lessner, executive director of the American Conservative Union, chief sponsor of CPAC, which is giving the veterans the "Courage Under Fire" award during the annual Ronald Reagan banquet in Washington, D.C., on Friday. "We thought this sort of example of citizens
stepping forward under adverse conditions should be recognized," Lessner added.
"They are impressive."

"For a second time, the Swift Boat Veterans stepped up to serve their country honorably and courageously by telling the truth about John Kerry's tour of duty in Vietnam," said ACU President David Keene. "Despite vilification, character assassination and the hostility of the elite media, these veterans dared to tell a side of the story that the American people otherwise would not have heard."

So, by being funded by the repub party and flat out lying (see links below), these people get medals! What a world we live in! Gawd forbid the American public had not heard this side of the story - a complete fabrication made up by people who were not even there!

bush is a uniter!

He unites the world against the US!

Syria and Iran Vow a 'Common Front' Against Threats

Damascus Stresses It Doesn't Want to Antagonize U.S.

TEHRAN (Feb. 16) - Iran and Syria, both locked in rows with the United States, said on Wednesday they would form a common front to face challenges and threats."We are ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats," Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref said in Tehran after meeting Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari.

Otari told reporters: "This meeting, which takes place at this sensitive time, is important, especially because Syria and Iran face several challenges and it is necessary to build a common front."

Syria's ambassador to the United States, asked by CNN what the common front with Iran entailed, stressed that it was not an anti-American alliance and said Syria was trying to improve its relations with Washington.

"Today we do not want to form a front against anybody, particularly not against the United States," Imad Moustapha said.

"Syria is trying to engage constructively with the United States ... We are not the enemies of the United States, and we do not want to be drawn into such an enmity," he added.

Washington recalled its ambassador to Syria for urgent consultations on Tuesday to show its deep displeasure with Damascus after Monday's killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

U.S. officials said they were considering imposing new sanctions on Syria because of its refusal to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Lebanon and the U.S. belief that Syria lets Palestinian militants and Iraqi insurgents operate on its soil.

While acknowledging they do not know who was to blame for Hariri's car bomb assassination, U.S. officials argued Syria's military presence and its political power-broking role were generally responsible for Lebanon's instability.

Syria rejects accusations it supports terrorism.

Moustapha told CNN Damascus regarded its military presence in Lebanon as a "stabilizing factor" and said "we would be happy to withdraw the troops" if the Lebanese government asked Syria to do so.

Washington has branded Iran part of an "axis of evil" along with pre-war Iraq and North Korea and accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is solely for electricity generation.

President Bush has dubbed Iran "the world's primary state sponsor of terror" and has warned the United States could use military action to prevent it acquiring a nuclear bomb.

We are going to become the enemy of the world! bush's next war is certainly not going to be as "easy" as Iraq has been!

hasn't he given up on this yet?

Bush Barnstorms for Social Security Fix As Democrats Ask for Details

WASHINGTON -- President Bush is barnstorming the country, trying to convince the public that Social Security needs an urgent overhaul and offering a solution even the White House acknowledges won't fix the retirement system's future financial problems.

NO ONE thinks that this is a good idea. Even the WH admits that it won't fix the perceived problem, it will cut benefits, it will be extremely risky for the public and it will add trillions in costs! Why is he continuing with the charade? Is this simply more deflection? Most likely....

time for another scare tactic

Looks like the administration is coming under too much scrutiny lately with all of the press scandals. Time for another terror alert!

Rumsfeld Stumps for $419 Billion in Defense Funding, Tells House Committee Terrorists Are Regrouping

WASHINGTON (AP _ Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warned on Wednesday that terrorists are regrouping for another strike, but the United States is preparing to deal with any threat.

"The extremists continue to plot to attack again. They are at this moment recalibrating and reorganizing. And so are we," the Pentagon chief told members of the House Armed Services Committee in prepared testimony.

Offering his argument for President Bush's request for $419 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2006, Rumsfeld said the plan sets an ambitious course to "continue prosecuting the war and to attack its ideological underpinnings."

In the first of back-to-back testimony, the defense secretary said the times ahead will be challenging and focused on two central realities of the war on terror. He said the fight to defeat terrorism can't be won by military means alone and that other agencies must be involved as well. Rumsfeld said, "The United States cannot win a global struggle alone."

"It will take cooperation among a great many nations to stop weapons proliferation," he said. "It will take a great many nations working together to locate and dismantle
global extremist cells. It takes a great many nations to gather and share the intelligence crucial to stopping future attacks."

Rumsfeld spoke to lawmakers increasingly concerned about an exit strategy for Iraq, a timetable for troops to return home and the skyrocketing costs of the war.

Earlier this week, President Bush asked Congress for $82 billion in emergency money to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"The future of this conflict is not predictable. So additional funds will have to be requested as required," Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

Damn, they are predictable!
Interesting that he is now saying that we will need a "global" effort to defeat terrorism. Isn't that what Kerry was lambasting for saying during the debates? Funny how rhetoric changes with time. But the "terror" distraction never changes, does it? That is the ace in the hole whenever there is any news that they want to cover up.

start 'em young!

From Cox News :

Young Republican Accused Of Embezzlement

(Las Vegas, NV) -- The upcoming chairman of this year's Young Republican National Convention in Las Vegas has been accused of embezzlement. The "Review-Journal" says a criminal complaint was filed Monday against Nathan Taylor and it accuses him of using registration fees from young GOP delegates for personal expenses. The complaint claims Taylor spent more than $25 thousand on bar tabs, personal loans and credit card debts. The 29-year-old Taylor, who says he's now a UNLV student, has denied the allegations. Taylor claims there was a "grudge" between him and the national Young Republicans organization because he decided not to endorse a candidate for the group's national chairman. The Young Republicans are scheduled to hold their convention at Mandalay Bay in early July.

Guess they're learning from their older counterparts! Never too early to be unethical!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

rhetorical question of the week (or that damn "liberal media"!)

How is this story not on every front page in the nation?!

As i said, its a rhetorical question. Its not like any newspaper really covered the fact that it was proven that we were lied to about WMDs, that we were lied to about knowing that there was indeed a plot by bin Laden to attack the US by flying planes into buildings, that they are continuing to lie to us about connections between Iraq and al Qaida and on & on & on & on....

But everything about this story is simply astounding! A man, who by all appearances was once a gay prostitute (which is illegal, by the way - the prostitute part, not the gay part - at least so far!) - or, at the very least, set up websites for a gay prostitute who looks remarkably like him - , who had no journalistic credentials whatsoever, hooked up with an obscure online website, was not eligible for a "hard", permanent White House press pass, but within days of the website's creation was given a daily press pass (under a false name), and continued to receive one for TWO YEARS (which is unheardof) in order to provide the president and press secretary with "softball" questions which usually included a Democratic slander!

On top of this, he owes approximately $20,000 in back taxes! (Did i leave anything out?!)

THIS is a man that the WH thought should be asking the president questions?!?!

I am more flabbergasted by the day!

"never in danger"

Lost Halliburton Nuclear Material Found

WASHINGTON - A Halliburton Co. shipment of radioactive material that landed in New York in October was lost en route to Texas, and was not found until Wednesday, when it turned up in Boston.

The material — two sources of the element americium, used in oil well exploration — was found intact at a freight facility after an intense search by federal authorities. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it was not alerted to the missing shipment until Tuesday.

Both the NRC and Halliburton officials said Thursday that the public never was in danger.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the agency was not told about the missing material until Tuesday. Depending on the material, government rules require notification either immediately or within 30 days.
Markey said the lag time in reporting the disappearance of dangerous materials leaves open the possibility they could fall into the hands of terrorists without the government's knowledge.

"This is a shocking demonstration of the inadequacies of our current tracking system," said Markey, adding that the NRC must immediately improve its system of tracking radioactive material.

And this administration is pushing for a nuclear depository in Nevada, with nuclear material being transported from all over the country numerous times every day! This is absurd! They can't keep track of ONE shipment, how will they keep track of the hundreds they are planning for Yucca Mountain?! This was LOST for FOUR months! Are they TRYING to have a nuclear accident or terrorist attack in this country?!

Originally seen at AmericaBlog

why does bush hate our troops?

From the LA Times :

White House Turns Tables on Former American POWs
Gulf War pilots tortured by Iraqis fight the Bush administration in trying to collect compensation.

WASHINGTON — The latest chapter in the legal history of torture is being written by American pilots who were beaten and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. And it has taken a strange twist.

The Bush administration is fighting the former prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The rationale: Today's Iraqis are good guys, and they need the money.

The case abounds with ironies. It pits the U.S. government squarely against its own war heroes and the Geneva Convention.

Many of the pilots were tortured in the same Iraqi prison, Abu Ghraib, where American soldiers abused Iraqis 15 months ago. Those Iraqi victims, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said, deserve compensation from the United States.

But the American victims of Iraqi torturers are not entitled to similar payments from Iraq, the U.S. government says.
"Our government is on the wrong side of this issue," said Jeffrey F. Addicott, a former Army lawyer and director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. "A lot of Americans would scratch their heads and ask why is our government taking the side of Iraq against our POWs."
No sooner had the POWs celebrated their victory than they came up against a new roadblock: Bush administration lawyers argued that the case should be thrown out of court on the grounds that Bush had voided any such claims against Iraq, which was now under U.S. occupation.

Every single day in every single way, bush shows that he will screw every single person in the country! He does not give a f*ck about anyone at all! How does anyone believe that he "supports our troops"?!?!
By contrast :

Kerry Pushes Addition of 40,000 Troops
The former Democratic presidential nominee follows through on a campaign pledge.
Kerry's measure, which he plans to attach to the $81.9-billion supplemental budget request that was sent to Congress by President Bush on Monday, also calls for boosting benefits for soldiers and their families beyond the levels Bush is seeking.

So, one candidate meant what he said during the campaign and one was full of crap. Damn, the public can be fools!

Plame affair

From AmericaBlog :

Appeals Court Rules Plame Case Reporters Must Testify

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled today that Judith Miller from the New York Times and Matthew Cooper from Time Magazine have to testify about their sources in the Valerie Plame outing scandal.

The Washington Post reports:
A New York Times reporter and a Time magazine reporter can be jailed if they continue to refuse to answer questions before a grand jury about their confidential conversations with government sources, a federal appeals court decided this morning.

Maybe now Fitzgerald will get some answers. Of course, President Bush could tell whoever on his staff leaked the information to fess up. What a concept. Enforce the law in the White House. Then, this thing wouldn't keep dragging on. Then, we wouldn't have court cases about reporters trying to hide confidential sources.

But it does say something about the press. They were apparently used by the Administration to break the law. And, now, they are facing the consequences.

The only real justice here would be for whoever outed the spy (and in doing so undermined national security) to get a very long jail term. Well, it would be great too for them to share a cell with Bob Novak who was the first reporter to print Plame's name. That smug bastard put all of our lives in danger given the extremely sensitive nature of Plame's work.

And, lest we forget our favorite White House fake, remember, Gannon/Guckert was "reporting" on the Plame memo, too.

more on torture

Why torture issue hasn't had political traction

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo allegations don't bar Gonzales, Chertoff confirmations

WASHINGTON - Why have the allegations of torture and abuse of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, at the Guantanamo Navy Base, and in Afghanistan not damaged the Bush administration in purely political terms more than they have?
The torture charges fueled Democrats’ efforts to defeat President Bush’s nomination of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general.
Citing a now-famous Aug. 1, 2002 memo solicited by Gonzales and written by Jay Bybee and John Yoo in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Democratic senators accused Gonzales of “creating a permissive atmosphere” that led American soldiers to abuse prisoners.

But the Senate voted to confirm Gonzales after Democrats decided that the torture issue was not worth a filibuster.

On Tuesday, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo will again be lingering phantoms as the Senate votes on the nomination of former Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, now a federal appeals court judge, to be homeland security secretary.

Like Gonzales, Chertoff is likely going to be confirmed, despite Democratic senators’ questions about what he might have known about abusive interrogation methods during his 2001-2003 stint as chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

According to Sen. Carl Levin, D- Mich., one recently released FBI document shows that agents “strenuously objected” to the Defense Department’s interrogation methods at Guantanamo and raised concerns “as early as Fall 2002, before the abuses occurred at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.”
Levin said FBI agents voiced their worries about interrogation techniques to Justice Department officials, including senior officials in Chertoff’s Criminal Division.

When Levin asked Chertoff about this at his nomination hearing, he could not recall such discussions. Levin said the Bush administration had stymied attempts to get more information on Chertoff’s role.
But it isn’t just administration secrecy that explains why Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo haven’t helped the Democrats politically. Some Democrats say torture may in some cases be necessary, although no Democrat has claimed that the depravity in the Abu Ghraib photos was one of those cases.

During last year’s presidential campaign Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry and his advisors apparently decided that criticizing Bush on the torture/abuse issue would not be a winning strategy.
Kerry did say in May that if he were president, “I would personally have been concerned long ago about the reports (of detainee mistreatment) that were coming out from the Red Cross and from elsewhere.” But he never raised the issue of Abu Ghraib during his three debates with Bush, nor did Kerry’s ads focus on the issue.

In August Kerry found himself under fire from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for his 1971 Senate testimony in which he’d endorsed allegations that U.S. soldiers had committed atrocities in Vietnam.
Republican consultant Chris LaCivita, who served as the Swift Boat Veterans’ strategist, said Monday that Kerry held back from criticizing Abu Ghraib partly because “it’s no longer fashionable among those in the Democratic Party to engage in the bashing of American servicemen and -women while they are in combat. It might have been in vogue in 1970 and 1971 when Kerry was getting his sea legs in politics,” but not today.

“Had Kerry done something that cast aspersions on American troops currently serving” by using torture as an issue, “he would have opened himself up to people saying, ‘Wait a minute, this is the same type of charge he made in 1971, with a blanket indictment of American soldiers,’” LaCivita said.
Elisa Massimino, Director of the Washington office of Human Rights First, an advocacy group that opposed Gonzales’s nomination, said torture has so far fallen short as a compelling issue due to “the inability to really make a case to the public that the Abu Ghraib pictures are not just about Abu Ghraib.”
She noted that, “some of us had been ringing the alarm bells as early as December 2002 when deaths occurred at Bagram” air base in Afghanistan.
She added, “If you asked most Americans how many detainees have died in U.S. custody, they would say less than ten. In fact it is almost 50.”
“Abu Ghraib is a window on a broad policy,” Massimino said. “With each nomination, the window opens a bit. You might get the window wide open when the Haynes
nomination comes up.”
She is referring to Bush’s nomination of Pentagon general counsel William Haynes to serve as an appeals court judge. “He would have known a lot more about deaths in custody than Gonzales knew,” Massamino said.
Focus on degrading treatmentUniversity of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson, a critic of the Bush administration, who edited a new book of essays on torture, said the debate had become badly distorted by focusing only on whether certain actions are or aren’t torture.
As its name indicates, The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, bans more than torture.

In 1994 the Senate ratified this treaty, with certain reservations, narrowing its definition of torture. It was those limitations that Bybee and Yoo discussed in their memo.
Alluding to last week’s Washington Post report that female interrogators at Guantanamo had rubbed their bodies against detainees and made lewd remarks to provoke them, Levinson said, “It is a stretch to call it ‘torture’ but not a stretch at all to call it degrading.”
Levinson also says, “It is far too easy (and tempting) for critics of the OLC memo(s) to focus on John Yoo or Jay Bybee … rather, say, than on Senate Democrats who voted to support the relevant ‘reservation’ to the United Nations Convention that has helped to cause so much consequent mischief.”

But he notes that Democratic senators probably agreed to the reservations due to a need to compromise with then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R- N.C. Levinson is dismayed that the 2004 campaign was not the occasion for a thorough political debate on the treatment of detainees. Legal scholars, politicians and citizens, he said, need to deal not so much with the extreme scenarios such as the one Schumer cited, but cases that descend "into the muck" of specific interrogations.

What a revolting mess this is! The fact that we torture and degrade people unnecessarially basically isn't a big deal because sometimes it is needed! And apparently the American public just doesn't care enough about how bad our image has become in the world.
Its amazing how long people knew about Abu Ghraib and ignored it.
How many times are people in this administration going to say that they "cannot recall" reports, memos, meetings, etc?! How many times is this administration going to get away with obstructing investigations?!
The fact that Kerry was worried about how his position on torture would look is pretty damn depressing also! How anyone can talk to anyone involved with the proven swift boat liars is incredible, as well! Especially as they continue to distort his words and actions.
Too bad that American no longer stands for what it once did!

Monday, February 14, 2005


Americablog has done some remarkable researching of "Jeff Gannon" and discovered that he was apparently a gay "escort"/hustler! Pretty remarkable to move from that vocation to the White House press room!

Why does this matter?

So in the end, why does this matter? Why does it matter that Jeff Gannon may have been a gay hooker named James Guckert with a $20,000 defaulted court judgment against him? So he somehow got a job lobbing softball questions to the White House. Big deal. If he was already a prostitute, why not be one in the White House briefing room as well?

This is the Conservative Republican Bush White House we're talking about. It's looking increasingly like they made a decision to allow a hooker to ask the President of the United States questions. They made a decision to give a man with an alias and no journalistic experience access to the West Wing of the White House on a "daily basis." They reportedly made a decision to give him - one of only six - access to documents, or information in those documents, that exposed a clandestine CIA operative. Say what you will about Monika Lewinsky - a tasteless episode, "inappropriate," whatever. Monika wasn't a gay prostitute running around the West Wing. What kind of leadership would let prostitutes roam the halls of the West Wing? What kind of war-time leadership can't find the same information that took bloggers only days to find?

None of this is by accident.

Someone had to make a decision to let all this happen. Who? Someone committed a crime in exposing Valerie Plame and now it appears a gay hooker may be right in the middle of all of it? Who?

Ultimately, it is the hypocrisy that is such a challenge to grasp in this story. This is the same White House that ran for office on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. While they are surrounded by gay hookers? While they use a gay hooker to write articles for their gay hating political base? While they use a gay hooker to destroy a political enemy? Not to mention the hypocrisy of a "reporter" who chooses to publish article after article defending the anti-gay religious-right point of view on gay civil rights issue.

Who in the White House is at the center of all of this? Who allowed this to go on in the People's House? Who committed the crime of exposing Valerie Plame? Jeff Gannon has the answers to these questions, and boy we know he loves to talk.

Let him talk to Patrick Fitzgerald.

Will this immense story continue to be buried by the mainstream media?! Can you imagine if this happened during a Democratic administration?! Just goes to show how strongly the media is controlled by the repugs!