Tuesday, February 28, 2006

where did this nut come from?

‘God is my weapons inspector.’
“Bill Tierney, who served as a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq in the late ’90s, told National Review Online this week that he would look to God to direct him to possible WMD sites. ‘God is my intel,’ Tierney told NRO. His belief in the existence of a uranium-enrichment plant near Tarmiyah was supported, he said, by the fact that a friend had seen it in a dream.”

(Think Progress)

that's pretty damn ballsy!

I’ll take two fleecings with a side of embezzlement.
“Convicted Rep. Randall ‘Duke’ Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided. Prices came in the form of a ‘bribe menu’ that detailed how much it would cost contractors to essentially order multimillion-dollar government contracts, according to documents submitted by federal prosecutors.”

(Think Progress)

even more on the unsafe port deal

Why the Dubai port deal is dangerous to America

I know the Bushbot and their GOP allies are now falling in line behind their president, eager to let the supremely undemocratic (and terrorist sympathizing) UAE have access to major gateways into our nation.

You see, while we're supposed to invade countries without cause, torture prisoners, surrender civil liberties, get spied on by our government -- all in the name of "national security", pesky things such as "national security" shouldn't get in the way of commerce. Especially with some of Bush's best Middle Eastern pals who are also big Osama Bin Laden pals. (Is that one or two degrees of separation?)

Yet a real counter-terrorism expert under this administration gives reasons why the deal is a bad, bad thing.

Joseph King, who headed the customs agency's anti-terrorism efforts under the Treasury Department and the new Department of Homeland Security, said national security fears are well grounded.

He said a company the size of Dubai Ports World would be able to get hundreds of visas to relocate managers and other employees to the United States. Using appeals to Muslim solidarity or threats of violence, al-Qaeda operatives could force low-level managers to provide some of those visas to al-Qaeda sympathizers, said King, who for years tracked similar efforts by organized crime to infiltrate ports in New York and New Jersey. Those sympathizers could obtain legitimate driver's licenses, work permits and mortgages that could then be used by terrorist operatives.

Dubai Ports World could also offer a simple conduit for wire transfers to terrorist operatives in the Middle East. Large wire transfers from individuals would quickly attract federal scrutiny, but such transfers, buried in the dozens of wire transfers a day from Dubai Ports World's operations in the United States to the Middle East would go undetected, King said.

But for Bush, business cronyism tops national security concerns.

(Daily Kos)

gawddamn "Liberal Media" (the never-ending saga)

Media: National security is a right-wing value
Summary: Several journalists and media figures have taken to describing Democratic criticism of the Bush administration's approval of a deal allowing state-owned Dubai Ports World to assume control of six major U.S. ports as an attempt by Democrats to move "to the right" of President Bush and Republicans in Congress on issues of national security. In fact, some of the Democrats who have most strongly denounced the deal have been among the most active proponents of enhancing port security since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

(Media Matters)
Pretty gawddamn outrageous considering that the "left" has consistently promoted national security and our troops and has been repeatedly ridiculed and shouted down by the "right", who are only concerned with making their rich friends richer....

still more on ports deal

Coast Guard Saw 'Intelligence Gaps' on Ports
The U.S. Coast Guard, in charge of reviewing security at ports operated by a Dubai maritime company, warned the Bush administration it could not rule out that the company's assets could be used for terrorist operations, according to a document released yesterday by a Senate committee.

No one except bush and his buddies who will profit off of this deal thinks that this is a good idea. How can this lame-duck continue to get his way?!

Dubai censorship

Dubai is now trying to censor CNN's Lou Dobbs

I'm not kidding.

The Dubai state-owned company that wants to get control of 6 key US ports is now trying to silence CNN's Lou Dobbs. Apparently Dobbs' coverage of the port deal struck too close to home, so now Dubai is trying to force CNN to shut him up.

Well, here's a little advice for Dubai: In developed democracies the government doesn't get to tell the media to shut up or else. Sure, your good buddy George Bush has tried to censor the US media for years, but he's a failed president and an idiot and as a result is now at 34% in the polls. You've picked the wrong role model.

Dubai just proved once and for all how undemocratic and not-ready-for-prime-time it is. Scratch just a little bit and you uncover just another two-bit despot. But in this case, the two-bit despot has a checkered past with terrorism and wants to control the port of New York City.

You're doing a heck of a job, Dubie.


and just WHO is racist again?

Dubai port company boycotts Israel

Yes, Dubai Ports World is part of the Arab boycott of Israel. Ah, such a developed and civil democracy they are.And last time we checked, it was illegal for the US to help anyone facilitate that boycott. Will Dubai Ports World be stopping Israeli ships from coming to US ports?


more bush corruption regarding ports deal

Top Bush aides have ties to Dubai port company
Is that why a deal that poses questionable risks to national security was allowed to sail through, even against the objections of the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard?


how about we REALLY support the troops?

72% of US troops in Iraq want us to withdraw in a year

That's the Murtha plan, a Democratic plan, that our troops are supporting. Remember that, oh Democrats who were afraid to support Congressman Murtha (Mr. Hoyer, uh hum). Democrats represent mainstream American values now. Believe it, and trumpet it. You don't get credit for coming to the party late - embrace these policies now.

From the NYT via E&P:

A poll of U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq—reportedly the first of its kind—shows that 72% advocate a U.S. pullout within a year, with only 23% for staying as long ”as necessary,” reports Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times column today. Some 29% urge withdrawal “immediately.”

Kristof recently came out for setting a deadline for withdrawal at the end of next year.

The poll of 944 service members was conducted by Zogby International and LeMoyne College. Recent Gallup and CBS News polls have shown that most Americans at home also advocate the beginning of a pullout.

And one more thing, our troops think Bush has short-changed them:

Asked what it would take to “control the insurgency,” those surveyed strongly suggest that it would take doubling the number of ground troops and bombing missions.

Democrats need to abandon this failed war NOW, or just like Tom Daschle endorsing the $1.3 bn tax cuts, you can't criticize the other guy later on for a policy you too supported.


more on bush's economy

Consumer Sentiment Down More Than Expected
NEW YORK - Americans in February became less optimistic about the overall economy, especially the short-term prospects for the job market, sending a widely followed barometer of consumer sentiment below analysts' estimates.

Can anyone really be surprised at this? Our country is quickly going down the tubes under bush - no one believes that we're heading in the right direction in anything that bush is doing. It's just going to continue to get worse until we have a real change in this country.

what a surprise!

White House Rejects Special Counsel
WASHINGTON - The White House on Monday rejected the call by more than a dozen House Democrats for a special counsel to investigate the Bush administration's eavesdropping program.

President Bush's spokesman Scott McClellan said those Democrats should instead spend their time investigating the source of the unauthorized disclosure of the classified program, which "has given the enemy some of our playbook."

"I really don't think there's any basis for a special counsel," McClellan also said.

In a letter released Monday, 18 House Democrats told Bush that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should appoint a special counsel. They said the surveillance of terrorists must be done within the bounds of U.S. law, but complained that their efforts to get answers to legal and factual questions about the program have been stymied — "generally based on the feeblest of excuses."

"If the effort to prevent vigorous and appropriate investigation succeeds, we fear the inexorable conclusion will be that these executive branch agencies hold themselves above the law and accountable to no one," wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a member of the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees.

So, the Dems should be looking for the whistle-blower who exposed the fact that our president is breaking the law, rather than investigating the rpesident? THAT makes a lot of sense!
And, of course, the "enemy" had no idea that we would wire-tap anyone - oh wait, he thinks that they would "forget" if we didn't remind them, that's right!
Once again, bush flips-off the law and those of us who believe that even the president needs to obey the laws that our country is founded on.
Some of us would prefer not to live in a dictatorship - regardless of the fact that bush wishes that we were!

glad that he's being so open-minded about this controversial deal

Bush Renews Support for Ports Deal
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday he remains supportive of a United Arab Emirates-based company's takeover of some U.S. port operations, even though a new, more intensive investigation of the deal's potential security risks has yet to begin.

Bush is the final arbiter of that second review. Yet, he said after an Oval Office meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that "my position hasn't changed" on support for transferring control of management of some major U.S. port facilities from a British company to Dubai-based DP World.

So, I'm sure that he will come to a fair conclusion based on the facts and not his own prejudices!
How does this unpopular scumbag still have any power at all?!

Venezuela will help where bush will not

Conn. Approves Venezuelan Heating Oil
HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut has given social service agencies permission to supply low-income residents with discounted heating oil from Venezuela, whose energy aid program for the needy has rankled the Bush administration.


hardly worth a year of your life

Lawyer: U.S. Settles With 9/11 Detainee
NEW YORK - The U.S. government has agreed to pay $300,000 to an Egyptian man who sued after he was detained for nearly a year following the Sept. 11 attacks, his lawyer said.

This story should be used as an example to the people who think that there is no problem torturing every person that we are holding indefinitely. Obviously, this man is far from the only innocent person who is a victim of our country's extremism.

all time low!

Bush job rating falls to all-time low: poll
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's job rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, amid strong opposition to the Dubai Ports World deal and increasing pessimism over the war in Iraq, according to a CBS News poll released on Monday.

When will we be able to impeach this lame-duck and his administration and get someone who will work FOR America for a change?!

more on the chaos that Iraq is choosing (according to bush)

Multiple Bombings in Baghdad Kill 41
We they ever be able to pull themselves out of the disaster that we caused for their country?

so, its Iraq's "choice" now, is it?

Bush: Iraqis' Choice Is 'Chaos or Unity'
We haven't given them much choice up until now!
What an arrogant son of a bitch! We threw them into chaos and now it's up to them to get themselves out of it!

Step 2 - Supreme Courts OK's wackos

Supreme Court Backs Abortion Protesters
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to abortion clinics in a two-decade-old legal fight over anti-abortion protests, ruling that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban demonstrations.

So now people cannot be protected from looney-toons when visiting a Planned Parenthood office.
Will the SC OK bombings next? (I know, I know, that's a little extreme, but it's getting damn scary)

Monday, February 27, 2006

there is no way that I will ever understand this man

Incurious George Goes to India
Chimpy is on the road again.

President Bush is planning a two-day wind sprint across India this week, when he will meet with political leaders, chat up high-tech millionaires and give a speech at a 16th-century fort. But to the consternation of the Indians, he will not see the country's most famous monument, the Taj Mahal, a decision that Mr. Bush said was made by an omnipotent scheduler.
"I'll be the president, we've got the scheduler being the scheduler," [Bush said].
Mr. Bush has never been a sightseer, and his planned two days in India and one in Pakistan are typical of a president who visited the Great Wall of China in 30 minutes flat.

(First Draft)
how can you consciously avoid seeing the great wonders of the world?! Is bush even human?!

bush's Medicare lies

Bush’s Prescription Drug Claim Contains The Wrong Dosage
In his radio address yesterday, President Bush said the following:

More than 25 million people with Medicare now have prescription drug coverage, and hundreds of thousands more are enrolling each week.

But just this week, a government report indicated that the 25 million figure is way off:

Since December, the US Department of Health and Human Services has repeatedly overstated the number of enrollees in the new Medicare prescription drug plan. … [A]ccording to Medicare’s own figures, the actual number of voluntary enrollees is much smaller, about 5 million.

Confusion over the prescription drug benefit continues to prevent people from signing up. Instead of admitting it, the administration finds it more convenient to make up figures that suggest the program is a success.

(Think Progress)

so have we been doing over there?

Kristol: "We Have Not Had A Serious Three-Year Effort To Fight A War In Iraq"

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, one of the staunchest defenders of the administration's policy in Iraq, said the war in Iraq was not a "serious effort."


BILL KRISTOL: There would not be civil war if Zarqawi had not spent the last 2 1/2 years - had ex-Saddamists with him, very skillfully going on the offensive slaughtering Shia in Karbala, now blowing up the mosque.

CHRIS WALLACE: They're there. There are going to be more mosques to blow up. What do you do about the terrorists?

KRISTOL: Kill them. Defeat them.

CHRIS WALLACE: We've been trying.

KRISTOL: We've been trying, and our soldiers are doing terrifically, but we have not had a serious three-year effort to fight a war in Iraq as opposed to laying the preconditions for getting out.

CICI CONNELLY: I think that really begs the question then: what have we been doing over there for three-plus years? You say there hasn't been a serious effort to rid that region of the terrorists. I just wonder what secretary Rumsfeld would say in response to that or all the U.S. soldiers who have been over there all this time.

KRISTOL: Secretary Rumsfeld's plan was to draw town to 30,000 troops at the end of major activities.

Essentially, Kristol claims the Iraq war - which he was sure would be a smashing success - isn't working out because Donald Rumsfeld is Michael Moore.

Another question: Mr. Kristol, if the administration's policy in Iraq the last three years has not been a "serious effort" why have you spent the last three years defending it?

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.

(Think Progress)
Well, why hasn't bush taken this seriously for 3 years?

WTF kind of argument is this?!

one of the strangest arguements for the ports deal ever!

McCain: Port Sale Overblown Since UAE is ‘Freer Than China’

This morning on ABC’s This Week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued that concern over the Dubai port sale is misplaced since the UAE is freer than that beacon of liberty, China.

I think our priorities are misplaced. We’ve got a tremendous crisis in Iraq, that I’m happy to say the religious clerics have stood up against this violence. We’ve got the Iranian threat. We have got Nigerian oil at stake. We had an attack on a Saudi oil installation. We’ve got some very, very big issues that I think are perhaps more important than whether a country that’s freer than China should have control of some of our terminals.

According to the Freedom House’s 2006 Global Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, China scores the worst rating (7) for political rights and a 6 for civil liberties. Overall, it receives a rating of “Not Free.” It’s actually a feat to be less free than China — only 7 countries of 192 do it.

The UAE is also rated “Not Free,” scoring a 6 for both political rights and civil liberties. Some other human rights bastions who are “freer than China”: Iran, the Congo, Cote d’Iviore, and Rwanda.

Bottom line:
There are reasonable arguments for why the ports sale should go through. Freedom in the United Arab Emirates is not one of them.

(Think Progress)
McCain seems to be becoming more and more of an apologist every day. I used to think that he was fairly reasonable. Don't really feel that way anymore!!

lots more on the ports deal

Think Progress here, here and here
Read them and see that the Dems are once again, the ones who are truly concerned for our national security and are trying to do something about it.

ABC thinks our security is not an interesting topic!

ABC’s The Note on Dubai Ports Deal: “Zzzzzzzzzzz”
According to recent polling, the overwhelming majority of Americans are interested in the outcome of the Dubai ports deal:

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Americans say they have been following news about the Dubai Ports deal somewhat or very closely.

The same can’t be said for some major American media outlets. The authors of ABC’s The Note today shared their complete lack of interest in the story:

Port security:Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
(If you expected The Note to report on the meaning of the flap, the delay, the brouhaha, the whole thing — you expected wrong. Wake us when it’s over.)

Obviously they have more important things to cover (also from today’s edition): “Well-defined: Googling monkeys; Gang of 500; the sleep habits of Mike Allen.”

(Think Progress)
Whew! Damn that "liberal media" for hounding bush on one of the biggest issues of national security in his presidency.

no right to privacy under bush

Bush Justice Dept. still wants Google records

This is the most intrusive government in the history of America. The Bush administration wants to know every detail of everyone's lives. Nothing is sacred, not even Google:

Google Inc.'s concerns that a Bush administration demand to examine millions of its users' Internet search requests would violate privacy rights are unwarranted, the Justice Department said Friday in a court filing.

There is no such thing as privacy when it comes to Bush and his cronies. If they're not eavesdropping on Americans, they want their Google records. If they're not trying to intrude on families making intensely personal decisions as in the Schiavo case, they are trying pack the Courts with anti-privacy judges.

The Justice Department says they won't invade anyone's privacy if they get Google's records. They claim to have the noble purpose of stopping child porn. Can you trust any of what they say? This administration is obsessed with other people's sex lives. And really, has anyone in the Bush administration ever told the truth?


more DeLay corruption

DeLay used IRS against political opponent

How Nixonian:

The Internal Revenue Service recently audited the books of a Texas nonprofit group that was critical of campaign spending by former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) after receiving a request for the audit from one of DeLay's political allies in the House.

The lawmaker, House Ways and Means Committee member Sam Johnson (R-Tex.), was in turn responding to a complaint about the group, Texans for Public Justice, from Barnaby W. Zall, a Washington lawyer close to DeLay and his fundraising apparatus, according to IRS documents.


frist flip-flops on security

Frist now backs Bush deal to let UAE guard ports

You knew that the GOPers would bow to White House pressure and start supporting Bush on the UAE deal. It didn't take long for Frist to be one of the first to fall in line with the White House. It's what usually happens to that spineless, gutless GOP leader of the Senate:

Frist said Republicans trust the Bush administration and think its determination that the port deal doesn't threaten American security is "in all likelihood absolutely the right one."

This is one of those times that it's fun to see the GOPers in Congress cave to the White House. Let's hope that Republicans keep trusting Bush on this one. Bush cut a deal to let a country with ties to terror guard American ports. If the GOP thinks that's a winning issue, so be it.


more lies regarding port security exposed!

UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

Wow! What the hell are they thinking?!

Halliburton continues to rip us off

Halliburton gets slap on wrist for $250M in questionable charges

One might think that when the Pentagon puts its top auditors on a case involving $250M in excessive or unjustified costs, someone is going to be in trouble and have some answering to do. If the target is Halliburton, all bets are off and this is just a little speed bump on the road to riches. It sure does pay to have friends in the right places.

The Army has decided to reimburse a Halliburton subsidiary for nearly all of its disputed costs on a $2.41 billion no-bid contract to deliver fuel and repair oil equipment in Iraq, even though the Pentagon's own auditors had identified more than $250 million in charges as potentially excessive or unjustified.

Later that year auditors began focusing on the fuel deliveries under the contract, finding that the fuel transportation costs that the company was charging the Army were in some cases nearly triple what others were charging to do the same job.

That means the Army is withholding payment on just 3.8 percent of the charges questioned by the Pentagon audit agency, which is far below the rate at which the agency's recommendation is usually followed or sustained by the military - the so-called "sustention rate."

Figures provided by the Pentagon audit agency on thousands of military contracts over the past three years show how far the Halliburton decision lies outside the norm.

In 2003, the agency's figures show, the military withheld an average of 66.4 percent of what the auditors had recommended, while in 2004 the figure was 75.2 percent and in 2005 it was 56.4 percent.


wackos threatening science once again

Calif. Stem Cell Agency Fights for Life
SAN FRANCISCO - The future of embryonic stem cell research could be shaped in a suburban courtroom where two taxpayer groups are challenging the legality of California's new agency dedicated to the controversial field.

God forbid (literally!) that we have any advances in science that could actually help people! These small minded idiots should not be allowed to reap the benefits of science since they hate it so much!

good luck!

Democrats Seek Probe of NSA Eavesdropping
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should appoint a special counsel to investigate the legality of the Bush administration's eavesdropping program, 18 House Democrats told President Bush in a letter released Monday.

The lawmakers said the surveillance of terrorists must be done within the bounds of U.S. law, but complained that their efforts to get answers to legal and factual questions about the program have been stymied — "generally based on the feeblest of excuses."

"If the effort to prevent vigorous and appropriate investigation succeeds, we fear the inexorable conclusion will be that these executive branch agencies hold themselves above the law and accountable to no one," wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a member of the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees.

I can't imagine that we will ever get any justice in this case, but at least, yet again, the Dems are showing that they are on the side of people's rights, unlike the repugs.

bush cutting national guard

Govs. Press Bush on Nat'l Guard Strength
WASHINGTON - President Bush thanked the nation's governors Monday for their support of National Guard troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as state leaders are warning Bush's budget plans will cut Guard strength and leave states less able to respond to homegrown emergencies.
Governors are united in their stance that the administration shouldn't reduce spending for the Guard. Their meeting with Rumsfeld was sought to address those concerns.

"We're going to fight that tooth and nail," said Republican Gov. Bob Taft of Ohio. "The National Guard is not just important from the standpoint of disaster response in the state of Ohio, and homeland security, but is crucial for overall military preparedness. It would be a real mistake to cut back."

Bush's 2007 budget submission would support a state-controlled National Guard of about 333,000 citizen soldiers — the current total — rather than the 350,000 authorized by Congress. It also proposes to pay for 188,000 Army Reserve troops rather than the 205,000 authorized by Congress.

Why would bush cut the National Guard budget? He already has so many of them in Iraq that they cannot effectively do their real job of keeping our country secure.
But, then again, we know that bush doesn't give a f'k about our security.

did they really have to give their permission?

Analysis: Ports Review Provides Bush Cover

WASHINGTON - The White House got a gift in the ports security debate, a chance for the president to sidestep a battle with members of his own party and to tone down bipartisan criticism of the deal.

The offer by Dubai-owned DP World to submit to a broader review of security issues in its deal to take over major operations at six U.S. ports also could salvage a business deal critically important to its economic future.

The administration said Sunday it would move forward with the new review as soon as the DP World offer is formalized.

The president's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said as late as Friday that the administration would not reconsider its approval. When it became apparent early Sunday that a broader review of the deal was inevitable, the White House tried to distance itself from the result.

Hadley said the negotiations to head off legislation were between Congress and the company, and the White House was simply willing to go along with their conclusion as long as it didn't block the deal. White House homeland security adviser Frances Townsend said the White House was satisfied that the review had been completed, and only a request from the company would lead to a new one.

So, apparently, the WH will only listen to a foreign country when deciding our national security issues and refuses to listen to Congress. And they are demanding that we turn over our national security to a foreign government with ties to al-Qaida.
And how again is this the administration that is supposed to keep us safe from terrorism?!

More from Americablog here and here

turnabout is fair play!

Iran Leader: U.S. Should Give Up Nukes
KUWAIT CITY - Iran's president said Monday that his country supports calls for making the Middle East a nuclear arms-free zone, but he also urged the United States and Russia to give up all their atomic weapons as a threat to the region's stability.

I've never understood why the US thinks it should be able to dictate who can and cannot have nuclear capabilities and that we should be above reproach by anyone else. Who decided that we were the world's nuclear watchdogs? Not that we are particularly trustworthy or anything!

yet another cool discovery!

Ancient Sun Temple Uncovered in Cairo
CAIRO, Egypt - Archaeologists discovered a pharaonic sun temple with large statues believed to be of King Ramses II under an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt's antiquities chief said Sunday.

The partially uncovered site is the largest sun temple ever found in the capital's Aim Shams and Matariya districts, where the ancient city of Heliopolis — the center of pharaonic sun worship — was located, Zahi Hawass told The Associated Press.

Among the artifacts was a pink granite statue weighing 4 to 5 tons whose features "resemble those of Ramses II," said Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Also found was a 5-foot-high statue of a seated figure with hieroglyphics that include three cartouches with the name of Ramses II, and a 3-ton head of royal statue, the council said in a statement.

The green pavement stones of the temple's floor were also uncovered.

An Egyptian team working in cooperation with the German Archaeological Mission in Egypt discovered the site under the Souq al-Khamis, a popular market in eastern Cairo, Hawass said.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

more "liberal media" port-sale lies

NBC's Gregory uncritically reported White House claim of Dubai company's "extra security concessions"
Summary: NBC's David Gregory reported that the Bush administration "extracted extra security concessions from Dubai Ports World [DPW] as a condition for the $7 billion contract" through which the company would assume control of six major U.S. seaports. Gregory did not mention that these "extra security concessions" appear to be little more than pledges to comply with U.S. law, nor did he report that the administration exempted DPW from other obligations typically required by the United States.

(Media Matters)
I think that these "reporters" should be made to read a disclaiming saying something to the effect of "I'm now simply reading the current White House talking points - take this with a grain of salt".

the never-ending saga of our "liberal media"

Braindead Hotshot

Rita Cosby said that it's wrong that the Republicans in South Carolina are asking for church rolls to target the evangelical vote but it's just as wrong that Democrats are targeting the "hoodlum vote." Yes, the hoodlum vote. When a plainly confused Chris Matthews asked what she meant, she explained that Democrats were going through voter rolls to find felons to vote for them.


more trouble for santorum

AP picks up the story about that dirty little Ricky

Ricky is getting some national attention. And don't forget that Santorum, who spends a lot of time obsessing about gay sex, is also the GOP's beacon of ethics in the Senate:

Sen. Rick Santorum's charity donated about 40 percent of the $1.25 million it spent during a four-year period, well below Better Business Bureau standards - paying out the rest for overhead, including several hundred thousand dollars to campaign aides on the charity payroll.The charity, Operation Good Neighbor, is described on its Web site as an organization promoting "compassionate conservatism" by providing grants to small nonprofit groups, many of them religious.

The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance says charitable organizations should spend at least 65 percent of their total expenses on program activities.

Operation Good Neighbor is based at the same address as Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum's campaign office in suburban Philadelphia, and some of the same people who have worked on his campaign are working for his charity and collecting money from it, records show.

He's in big trouble.


is this some of that "good news" from Iraq we keep hearing about?

From the Washington Post:
The number of Iraqi army battalions judged by their American trainers to be capable of fighting insurgents without U.S. help has fallen from one to none since September, Pentagon officials said yesterday.

NONE! After all this time, effort and money. And now Iraq is entrenched in a civil war.
Great job bush is doing over there, innit?!

Saturday Beagle Blogging!

Harley knows how to relax and make himself at home!

Friday, February 24, 2006

laughter is the best medicine

This is one of the most hilarious things I've read in a long, long time:

State Sen. Robert Hagan sent out e-mails to fellow lawmakers late Wednesday night, stating that he intends to "introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents." The e-mail ended with a request for co-sponsorship....

To further lampoon Hood's bill, Hagan wrote in his mock proposal that "credible research" shows that adopted children raised in Republican households are more at risk for developing "emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities."

However, Hagan admitted that he has no scientific evidence to support the above claims.

Just as "Hood had no scientific evidence" to back his assertion that having gay parents was detrimental to children, Hagan said.

"It flies in the face of reason when we need to reform our education system, address health care and environmental issues that we put energy and wasted time (into)legislation (Hood's) like this," continued Hagan, who has been in the Ohio Senate nine years. Before the Senate, he served 19 years in the Ohio House.


bush buddies

$1 million.
Amount a sheik from the United Arab Emirates contributed to the Bush Library Foundation, which established the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station.

(Think Progress)


thank goodness some people believe in science!

USC Gets $25M to Build Stem Cell Center
LOS ANGELES - The University of Southern California has received a $25 million donation to build a stem cell research center, school officials said.

At least California is completely backwards yet!

more bad news for IDers

Fossil Overturns Ideas of Jurassic Mammals
WASHINGTON - The discovery of a furry, beaver-like animal that lived at the time of dinosaurs has overturned more than a century of scientific thinking about Jurassic mammals.

The find shows that the ecological role of mammals in the time of dinosaurs was far greater than previously thought, said Zhe-Xi Luo, curator of vertebrate paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

The animal is the earliest swimming mammal to have been found and was the most primitive mammal to be preserved with fur, which is important to helping keep a constant body temperature, Luo said in a telephone interview.
Now, a research team that included Luo has found that 164 million years ago, the newly discovered mammal with a flat, scaly tail like a beaver, vertebra like an otter and teeth like a seal was swimming in lakes and eating fish.
Thomas Martin of the Research Institute Senckenberg in Frankfurt, Germany, said the discovery pushes back the mammal conquest of the waters by more than 100 million years.

"This exciting fossil is a further jigsaw puzzle piece in a series of recent discoveries," commented Martin, who was not part of Luo's team.

It's the first evidence that some ancient mammals were semi-aquatic, indicating a greater diversification than previously thought, the researchers said.


what year is this?

S.D. House Approves Abortion Ban Bill
PIERRE, S.D. - State lawmakers voted Friday to ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota and sent the measure to the governor, who said he is inclined to sign it.

These fuckers would send us back to the stone age if they could. idiots.....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

they need to make up their minds!

Top Bush/Rumsfeld aide claims furor over national security helps our "enemies"

This is rich. It proves one more time that the Bush people will lie about everything. Bush has spent the past five years making Americans paranoid for purely political reasons. Now, apparently, if Americans do worry about national security, they are aiding the enemy according to our Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England:

If the furor over the port deal should go on, Mr. England said, it would give enemies of the United States aid and comfort: "They want us to become distrustful, they want us to become paranoid and isolationist."

It was actually Karl Rove who wanted Americans to become distrustful. Bush and Rove used distrust and paranoia to their political advantage.


no fly list

No More Mr Nice Blog asks:
Why does this keep happening? to Dems and not repugs....

even DeLay, of all people, thinks its a bad idea!

Et Tu, Tom?
I love a good wingnut war.
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay said Wednesday that President Bush is making a big mistake backing a sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates.

The former Republican majority leader said the administration's approval of the deal is "pretty outrageous." DeLay made the remarks during a campaign event with Houston real estate executives.


Atrios points out bush's money quote

Quote of the Day
This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America.

I guess every once in a while he slips and tells the truth!

just wow....

Dubai port company hires Bob Dole as lobbyist

As if this deal to sell off control of US ports to the United Arab Emirates couldn't become any sleazier, we now have former Republican Senator Bob Dole being hired as a lobbyist to influence - who? - HIS OWN WIFE. Yes, Bob Dole's wife is a Republican Senator from North Carolina.

I'm sorry, but how much sleazier can you get than having a former member of Congress being paid by a foreign government to lobby his own wife? Not to mention, I'm not real sure of the propriety of our national security decisions being influenced by foreign money.

Jack Abramoff would be proud.


more bad news for Santorum

good news for people who are hoping for a little justice:
CREW files ethics complaint against Santorum

This is big. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed an ethics complaint against Santorum for violating Senate rules. It's getting lots of coverage in the Pennsylvania press:

The flap over Sen. Rick Santorum's unorthodox $500,000 mortgage for his family home in Leesburg, Va., took another twist yesterday when a leading watchdog group filed a formal complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee - charging that the loan from a private bank was an illegal gift because Santorum did not meet its stated guidelines.

The complaint by the Committee for Responsible Ethics in Washington, or CREW, alleges that the mortgage from Philadelphia Trust Co. is a gift in violation of Senate Rule 35, which says that senators can receive loans or other banking services only on terms "generally available to the public."

Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, said in a statement that "Santorum's decision to accept a loan not available to other people in his financial position demonstrates his contempt for the rules. This is particularly ironic given that Sen. Santorum has long attempted to position himself as the poster child for public morality."

If you know CREW, you know they don't mess around. Ricky's in trouble. Big trouble.

You can find CREW's complaint here.


heading back to the dark ages

South Dakota passes abortion ban
SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Reuters) - South Dakota became the first U.S. state to pass a law banning abortion in virtually all cases, with the intention of forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 decision legalizing the procedure.

This is scary as fuck! What the hell is wrong with these twisted freaks who have to insert themselves into every aspect of a person's lives?!?! What about the health and safety of living, breathing women?!? How is this happening in this day & age?!?!
We are so fucked!
Thank goodness I already had a vasectomy!!!

More from Eschaton

more on bush's economy

Average American Family Income Declines
Because bush doesn't give a f'k about the "average American family" - all he cares about is his ultra-rich pals.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who worked to help the majority of citizens?

and how has this administration kept us safer?

White House Cites Katrina Response Failures
WASHINGTON - A White House report concluded Thursday that inexperienced disaster response managers and a lack of planning, discipline and leadership contributed to vast federal failures during Hurricane Katrina.

These clowns have been utter and complete failures at every single freakin' thing that they have been involved in (other than making their super-rich friends even richer - which seems to be the only thing that they care about).
How has their not been a complete uprising against these incompetents?!?!

what have we done to Iraq?!

Violence After Mosque Attack Kills 111
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen shot dead 47 civilians and left their bodies in a ditch near Baghdad Thursday as militia battles and sectarian reprisals followed the bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine. Sunni Arabs suspended their participation in talks on a new government.

At least 111 people were believed killed in two days of rage unleashed by Wednesday's attack on the Askariya shrine in Samarra, a mostly Sunni Arab city 60 miles north of Baghdad.

The hardline Sunni Clerical Association of Muslim Scholars said 168 Sunni mosques had been attacked around the country, 10 imams killed and 15 abducted since the shrine attack. The Interior Ministry said it could only confirm figures for Baghdad, where it had reports of 19 mosques attacked, one cleric killed and one abducted.


more on selling our security

Senators Say Ports Deal Raises Risks
WASHINGTON - Bush administration officials, trying to calm a political furor over allowing a United Arab Emirates company to take over a half-dozen U.S. seaports, told Congress Thursday they spent three months reviewing the deal and said all concerns about security were satisfied.

Earlier this morning, President Bush declared that "people don't need to worry about security," in regards to the approval of the deal to turn over port operations.
Representatives of key agencies that investigated the port deal — but not the heads of the various departments — sought to reassure senators during the Capitol Hill briefing.

But Democrats angry about the arrangement lashed out at the administration. Two Democrats on the Armed Services Committee suggested that the turning over port operations to the UAE firm could open a window of opportunity for a terrorist attack.

Brushing aside Bush's assurances that security concerns have been addressed by his administration, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the panel's ranking Democrat, said the UAE backed the Taliban and allowed financial support for al-Qaida.

Levin also charged that the UAE has an "uneven history" as "one of only a handful of countries in the world to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan." He added that millions of dollars in al-Qaida funds went through UAE financial institutions.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., also was critical, calling the approval process "a failure of judgment" because officials "did not alert the president, the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of defense" that several of our critical ports would be turned over to a foreign country.

Under secret conditions of the agreement with the administration, the company promised to cooperate with U.S. investigations as a condition of the $6.8 billion deal, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The U.S. government chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
Bush said he was struck by the fact that people were not concerned about port security when a British company was running the port operation, but they felt differently about an Arab company at the helm. He said the United Arab Emirates was a valuable partner in the war in terror.

Critics in Congress have complained that London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which previously operated at those ports, is a publicly traded company while Dubai Ports World is effectively controlled by the government there. Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Clinton have said they will introduce legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from running port operations in the United States.
In approving the purchase, the administration chose not to require Dubai Ports to keep copies of its business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to orders by American courts. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate requests by the government.

Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.

OK - BUSH of all people says that we "don't need to worry about security"?!?!? Just because HE doesn't ever worry about it, doesn't mean that the rest of us shouldn't! Every day that he is in office makes this country LESS secure!
How did this deal get this far without informing the president, secretary of the treasury or the secretary of the defense?!
Why did they choose not to impose routine restrictions on a government-run company with close ties to al-Qaida and the Taliban?!
Is bush surprised that people would feel differently about a company with ties to al-Qaida running our port security as opposed to Britian, one of our closest allies?!?! Seems like a slightly different situation to me!!
And, yet again, the Dems are taking steps to insure that foreign governments cannot control our security, while bush is doing his damnest to give us directly to our worst enemies!
Why would bush not require this company to keep records on American soil?!
How is it that this administration has been seen as tough on terrorists?!?! This is completely absurd!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Democratic Underground apologizes to the administration

in the spirit of Harry Whittington:
We Beg Your Pardon

bush once again doing something he said he'd "never" do

which he accused Kerry of wanting to do - though Kerry always staunchly opposed anything of the sort.
Bush to Kerry "I'll NEVER Hand Over America's Security to Foreign Leaders"
(Democratic Underground)

o'reilly calling for withdrawal from Iraq

nothing like a little hypocrisy:

O'Reilly: U.S. should leave Iraq "as fast as humanly possible" because "there are so many nuts in the country"

Summary: Bill O'Reilly suggested that the United States "hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible" because "[t]here are so many nuts in the country -- so many crazies -- that we can't control them." O'Reilly has previously called those advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq "pinheads" and compared them to Hitler appeasers.

how many times have these clowns flip-flopped by now?

atheists will not be mocked!

Non-Religious Turmoil Escalates
15,000 atheists in London rioted after a blank sheet of paper was found on a cartoonist's desk.

(Father Dan - first seen at Pharyngula)

and how are we different from the "bad guys" again?

didn't we used to have freedoms in this country?

SubGenius Membership Allegedly Leads to Loss of Child Custody
WTF?!?! Now, contributing to a satirical organization can cause you to lose your child?!?!
Welcome to bush's world!

hannity on "coulter crack"?

Huffington Post reports....

bush is a disgrace

Bush to dead soldier's mom: "How do you know his life would have been good?"

Cindy Sheehan is not the only Gold Star mom who felt disrespected after a visit with George W. Bush. Dolores Kesterson, whose son Erik was killed in Iraq in November of 2003, was among several military families who last year were invited to meet with Bush as a group. Each family was allotted ten minutes with the president, but because she is divorced from her husband, Dolores asked to speak with Bush one-on-one.

Dolores reports exclusively for U.S. Tour of Duty that she waited alone in a small partitioned area, wondering if her request would be granted, before a Bush aide suddenly announced, "The president will now see you." As the commander in chief strode briskly toward her, it seemed to Dolores that he was trying to intimidate her. He came marching in and got right in my face...eyeball to eyeball, and said, 'I'm George Bush, the president of the United States, and I understand you have something to say to me in private.'"

Dolores tried to give Bush a sense of what type of person Erik had been. She described her son as a "comedian" whose favorite saying was, "Life is good." The president replied, "How do you know his life would have been good?"

Dolores was shocked by Bush's eagerness to question the value of her son's life. She told the president, "Nobody wants to die."

Before he concluded their meeting, Bush proclaimed to Dolores, "We won't know in our lifetime whether or not Iraq was a success."

(US Tour of Duty) (via The Heretik and Crooks and Liars)
I guess this is more of the way that bush "supports the troops"!
How dare he talk to the mother of a dead soldier this way?!
Utterly disgusting....

a majority of Americans now believe that Iraq was a mistake

UAE very close with Osama

Eschaton reports
And so how does it make sense that they control our ports?!
THIS is the party that promises to keep us secure?!
Still more from Think Progress
And Seeing the Forest has the latest repug talking point - anyone who opposes this deal is a liberal racist (!!) even though a large number of republicans oppose it, as well!

we managed to create a civil war in Iraq

It looks like its starting now....
more from Crooks and Liars

why bush is defending the sale of our ports to UAE

Breaking the Law
Bush administration didn't bother with legally mandated 45 day investigation.Of course, laws don't actually apply anymore as the Republican congress has decided they're as irrelevant as UAE's Federal National Council. I'm sure this had nothing to do with it:

Washington - The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose agency heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World - giving it control of Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark's container port.

Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet.

The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World's European and Latin American operations and was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

We all knew that there had to be a reason why bush was selling out our national security and it has to be payback to friends, because he doesn't give a f'k about our safety. Between these reasons and the ties to Big Oil, it all makes sense!

leave the rockin' to the professionals!

Would-be rock star plunges from bed to death
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A teenage guitarist got so carried away while bouncing up and down on his bed mimicking a rock star that he flew out of a third floor window to his death, a Singapore newspaper reported Wednesday.

People don't realize how dangerous rockin' can be!!! I sustained more injuries from playing in bands that any other activity ever!
It's a precarious profession, kids!


White House Says Bush Didn't Know About Port Deal
Citing National Security, Lawmakers Brush Aside Veto Threat

WASHINGTON (Feb. 22) - President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.
Lawmakers from both parties have noted that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

So, this extremely controversial sale, that bush has been defending with his life, is something that he didn't even know about until it was approved?!?! What the f'k is going on with our country these days?! And just how out of touch is bush with our national security?!
Just when you think this administration couldn't get any stranger.....

More from Daily Kos

Scott McClellan says that bush found out about this from newspaper coverage!!!! (via First Draft)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

more on outsourcing our security

BREAKING: Rumsfeld and Pace Not Consulted On Transfer Of Port Operations To UAE
In a press briefing today, Secretary Rumsfeld revealed that he was not consulted about the decision to transfer operations of six key U.S. ports to the United Arab Emirates, a country with troubling ties to international terrorism.

QUESTION: Are you confident that any problems with security — from what you know, are you confident that any problems with security would not be greater with a UAE company running this than an American company?

RUMSFELD: I am reluctant to make judgments based on the minimal amount of information I have because I just heard about this over the weekend.

Rumsfeld’s statement was particularly troubling because Dubai Ports World, owned and operated by the UAE government, will also take over a major contract managing the movement of military equipment for the U.S. Army. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace, who was at the briefing, also said he found out about the deal over the weekend. The deal was approved on February 13.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan claimed the Defense Department was part of “a rigorous review…for national security concerns.” If so, why were two of the Department’s top officials not even informed, much less consulted?

(Think Progress)
Why? Because bush does whatever the hell he wants and he doesn't give a f'k what anyone else thinks about it!

more on United Arab Emirates

from Daily Kos

repugs planning on stealing California

Is The GOP "Shock-The-Vote Gang" Planning to Heist California?

The usual suspects are slipping into the Golden State. Political season is looming, there's a February chill in the Pacific breeze, and the GOP political 'family' is hard at work. California's appointed (as opposed to elected) Republican Secretary of State has recertified Diebold's voting machines, despite a damning report. Schwarzenegger is hiring a "steely" Karl Rove insider turned Dick Cheney capo, along with other national GOP campaign pols, to run his re-election campaign.

(Huffington Post)

more Santorum ethics problems

Little Ricky Has Some Ethics Problems
Hoo boy.
Santorum and his wife received a $500,000, five-year mortgage for their Leesburg, Va., home (pictured at top) from a small Philadelphia private bank run by a major campaign donor — even though its stated policy is to make loans only to its “affluent” investors, which the senator is not.


repeating proven lies as facts

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): ‘Nobody With Brains’ Denies That Hussein ‘Was Supporting al-Qaeda’

What Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said about Saddam Hussein’s relationship with al-Qaeda on Saturday:

Nobody denies that [Saddam Hussein] was supporting al-Qaeda…Well, I shouldn’t say nobody. Nobody with brains.

What the bi-partisan 9-11 commission said about Saddam Hussein’s relationship with al-Qaeda:

The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.

(Think Progress)
How can anyone with brains continue to spout these nonsensical lies?!

damn, repugs are thin-skinned!

Crazy Jean Schmidt upset about look-alike cake

She's demanding an apology from an advocacy group that took a cake that looked like her and cut it up, including cutting off her head. You see, Ann Coulter calling for the murder of Supreme Court justices and the assassination of an American president, that's okay, but cutting a cake that looks like a lunatic, it's time to call Homeland Security.

Someone's job has already gone to her head.

Sparklepony has pix!

this is past being crazy

Anti-Muslim Riot in Nigeria Turns Deadly
LAGOS, Nigeria - Christian mobs rampaged through a southern Nigerian city Tuesday, burning mosques and killing several people in an outbreak of anti-Muslim violence that followed deadly protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad over the weekend.

This really needs to stop! This is past the point of being absurd. What the hell is the matter with everyone?!

maybe Roberts isn't the nutcase we were made to believe

Court Allows Church's Hallucinogenic Tea
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that a small congregation in New Mexico may use hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual intended to connect with God.

Justices, in their first religious freedom decision under Chief Justice John Roberts, moved decisively to keep the government out of a church's religious practice. Federal drug agents should have been barred from confiscating the hoasca tea of the Brazil-based church, Roberts wrote in the decision.

The tea, which contains an illegal drug known as DMT, is considered sacred to members of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, which has a blend of Christian beliefs and South American traditions. Members believe they can understand God only by drinking the tea, which is consumed twice a month at four-hour ceremonies.
Roberts said that the Bush administration had not met its burden under a federal religious freedom law to show that it could ban "the sect's sincere religious practice."

The chief justice had also been skeptical of the government's position in the case last fall, suggesting that the administration was demanding too much, a "zero tolerance approach."

The Bush administration had argued that the drug in the tea not only violates a federal narcotics law, but a treaty in which the United States promised to block the importation of drugs including dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT.

"The government did not even submit evidence addressing the international consequences of granting an exemption for the (church)," Roberts wrote.

So, is Roberts actually a fair justice and not simply a bush lackey? We shall see....

bush continues to flip-flop on renewable energy

Bush Blames Cuts at Energy Lab on Mix-Up
GOLDEN, Colo. - President Bush on Tuesday acknowledged that Washington has sent "mixed signals" to one of the nation's premiere labs studying renewable energies — by first laying off, then reinstating, 32 workers just before his visit.

The president blamed the conflicting message on an appropriations mix-up in funding the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is developing the very renewable energy technologies the president is promoting.

"I recognize that there has been some interesting — let me say — mixed signals when it comes to funding," Bush said. "The issue, of course, is whether good intentions are met with actual dollars spent.

"Part of the issue we face, unfortunately, is that sometimes decisions made as the result of the appropriations process, may not end going to where it was supposed to have gone.

"We want you to know how important your work is," he said. "We appreciate what you're doing."

Two weeks ago, 32 workers, including eight researchers, were laid off at the lab.

Then, over the weekend, just before Bush's planned visit, the government restored the jobs.

His trip to the renewable energy laboratory is part of a two-day, three-state trip to promote the energy proposals Bush outlined in his State of the Union address.

At the direction of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, $5 million was transferred to the Midwest Research Institute, the operating contractor for the lab, to get the workers back on the job, the Energy Department announced Monday.

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said the decision restores only $5 million of the $28 million budget shortfall at the lab that forced the layoffs.

"The $5 million stopped the bodies from going out the door, but it doesn't provide the money for the (renewable energy) programs," Clapp said.

Lab employee Tina Larney said that even though the jobs are being reinstated, she still questions the government's resolve in finding alternative energy sources.

"There is technology available now, there is the know-how now," Larney said. "What is lacking is leadership on the large scale at the national level."

Critics of the Bush administration are skeptical of Bush's energy proposals.
Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., co-chairman of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, said the government has funded only one-third of the money the 2005 energy bill authorized for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Clapp claims the president is promoting renewables because polls show his job approval numbers are being weighed down by Americans' concerns about high utility bills this winter and the cost of gasoline at the pump.

Of course, this is all politics for bush and he doesn't really give a damn about this program. If he did, he would put some real funding into this, rather than giving the big oil companies tax breaks!

how bad must it be if even Frist is against it?!

Frist Calls for Halt to U.S. Ports Deal
This is boggling! If even this bush lap-dog is against this deal, either it's really, really bad, or we're all wrong and it would be for the best!!!!
Unbelievable that even the repugs are finally concerned with our security!

more bush-fed bigotry on the rise

Drives to Ban Gay Adoption Heat Up in 16 States
Efforts to ban gays and lesbians from adopting children are emerging across the USA as a second front in the culture wars that began during the 2004 elections over same-sex marriage.

Steps to pass laws or secure November ballot initiatives are underway in at least 16 states, adoption, gay rights and conservative groups say. Some - such as Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky - approved constitutional amendments in 2004 banning gay marriage.

"Now that we've defined what marriage is, we need to take that further and say children deserve to be in that relationship," says Greg Quinlan of Ohio's Pro-Family Network, a conservative Christian group.

It literally turns my stomach that these sick f'ks can push bigotry-laden laws onto the rest of us.
What the hell is wrong with these jackasses and why can't they mind their own business?

never ending chaos in Iraq

Baghdad Market Car Bomb Kills 22
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Feb. 21) - A car bomb exploded Tuesday at an outdoor market in a Shiite area of southwestern Baghdad, killing 22 people and injuring 28, police said.

Every day they seem to strive to outdo the day before. It just gets worse and worse there. Will they ever have peace again?

now it starts!

Supreme Court Plunges Into Abortion Debate
Justices to Consider Constitutionality of Ban on Late-Term Procedure

WASHINGTON (Feb. 21) - The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will consider the constitutionality of banning a type of late-term abortion, teeing up a contentious issue for a newly-constituted court already in a state of flux over privacy rights.

The Bush administration has pressed the high court to reinstate the federal law, passed in 2003 but never put in effect because it was struck down by judges in California, Nebraska and New York.

The outcome will likely rest with the two men that President Bush has recently installed on the court. Justices had been split 5-4 in 2000 in striking down a state law, barring what critics call partial birth abortion because it lacked an exception to protect the health of the mother.

More rights going down the drain!
thanks a lot bush!

More from Feministing

Monday, February 20, 2006

"biblically correct tours"

Pharyngula reports on looney-toons running museum tours that give religious interpretations on the exhibits. These nutjobs make statements like evolution causes abortion and racism and that evolutionists have no morality so they encourage people to do anything they can get away with!
Sounds like they are talking about themselves! How many religious crazies have said that they would go on a killing spree if they found out there was no god?
Scary times we are in....

this week's Top Ten Conservative Idiots

still more on cheney

Think Progress reports on cheney advisor saying that cheney "doesn't drink" and he "wouldn't hunt and drink", even though cheney has admitted to drinking!
just bizarre...
And Americablog on dick's DWIs (plural)

deflection - attacking Gore for telling the truth, so that cheney can lie

Think Progress shows that Gore has been stating facts, something that all repugs seem to oppose!

yet another bush lie - pell grants

Bush’s Backtrack: Freezes Pell Grants For Fourth Straight Year
Bush, 1/14/05:

We want to increase the Pell Grants by $100 a year over — $100 per year over the next five years.

Bush, 2/2/05:

[W]e’ll make it easier for Americans to afford a college education, by increasing the size of Pell Grants.

A year later, the president has completely backed away from his promises. The President’s FY ‘07 budget freezes the Pell Grant for the fourth year in a row. The maximum Pell Grant remains $4,050.

Meanwhile, the costs of higher education continue to skyrocket. The maximum Pell Grant covers only 33% of the average cost of attending a 4-year public university. Between 2001 and 2010, 4.4 million low- and moderate-income academically-qualified students forgo college because of the prohibitive costs.

The administration should work to make college more affordable for all students. Until this goal can be achieved, we need to make federal, state and institutional aid more widely available, especially to those with the greatest financial need.

(Think Progress)

not exactly a priority

Privacy Guardian Is Still a Paper Tiger
A year after its creation, the White House civil liberties board has yet to do a single day of work.

WASHINGTON — For Americans troubled by the prospect of federal agents eavesdropping on their phone conversations or combing through their Internet records, there is good news: A little-known board exists in the White House whose purpose is to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are protected in the fight against terrorism.

Someday, it might actually meet.

Initially proposed by the bipartisan commission that investigated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was created by the intelligence overhaul that President Bush signed into law in December 2004.More than a year later, it exists only on paper.


Huffington post of cheney

Just read it - its good!

did someone really need this explained to them?

Clinton: Secrecy Sparked Shooting Reaction
WASHINGTON - Former President Clinton said Sunday the Bush administration's "enormous penchant for secrecy" sparked the strong reaction to Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting mishap.

Of course there wouldn't have been any story at all if cheney hadn't tried to hide what he did and if there had been a police investigation that day, as there would have been with anyone else in the world.
It's all about the lies and the cover-ups - like everything this administration has done.

what a surprise! Frist doesn't think laws need to be obeyed!

Frist: No New Spy Legislation Needed

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, standing firmly with the White House on the administration's eavesdropping program, said Sunday he doesn't think new or updated legislation is needed to govern domestic surveillance to foil terrorists.

"I don't think that it does need to be rewritten, but we are holding hearings in the Judiciary Committee right now," Frist said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Frist also said he didn't think a court order is needed before eavesdropping, under the program, occurs. "Does it have to be thrown over to the courts? I don't think so. I personally don't think so," he said.

What a shocker! Frist doesn't believe that repugs need to obey the law!
Didn't we used to live in America?

not even repugs agree with this idiocy

Worries Escalate Over Sale of U.S. Port Operations
Homeland Security Chief Defends Review of Arab Buyer

WASHINGTON (Feb. 20) - Members of Congress and the Bush administration are at odds over whether security is compromised by an Arab company's takeover of operations at six major American seaports.
At issue is the purchase last week of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates, or UAE. Peninsular and Oriental runs major commercial operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the U.S. security review of DP World in various television interviews Sunday.

"We make sure there are assurances in place, in general, sufficient to satisfy us that the deal is appropriate from a national security standpoint," Chertoff told ABC's "This Week."
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said later he wasn't as sure.

"I'm aware of the conditions and they relate entirely to how the company carries out its procedures, but it doesn't go to who they hire, or how they hire people," King told The Associated Press.

"They're better than nothing, but to me they don't address the underlying conditions, which is how are they going to guard against things like infiltration by al-Qaida or someone else? How are they going to guard against corruption?" King said.

Critics have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, they contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

A Miami company, Continental Stevedoring & Terminals Inc., has filed suit in a Florida court challenging the deal. A subsidiary of Eller & Company Inc., Continental maintains it will become an "involuntary partner" with Dubai's government under the sale.
Lawmakers from both parties questioned the sale as a possible risk to national security.

"It's unbelievably tone deaf politically at this point in our history," Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said on "Fox News Sunday." "Most Americans are scratching their heads, wondering why this company from this region now," he said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told CBS' "Face the Nation": "It is ridiculous to say you're taking secret steps to make sure that it's OK for a nation that had ties to 9/11, (to) take over part of our port operations in many of our largest ports. This has to stop."

But, of course, bush doesn't give a f'k about our security - all he cares about is making money for his friends, no matter who they are.

i don't think he has anything to worry about

it's not like we're actually looking for him or anything....

Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive
CAIRO, Egypt (Feb. 20) - Osama bin Laden vowed never to be captured alive and said the U.S. military had become as "barbaric" as Saddam Hussein in an audiotape reposted on a militant Islamic Web site after first being broadcast last month.

In the tape posted to the Web site Monday, bin Laden offered the United States a long-term truce but also said his al-Qaida terror network would soon launch a fresh attack on American soil. The tape was initially broadcast Jan. 19 on Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite channel.

Islamic militant Web forums often repost messages from al-Qaida leaders to ensure sympathizers can see them. U.S. intelligence officials confirmed that last month's tape was of bin Laden - making it his first message in more than a year.

"I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don't want to die humiliated or deceived," bin Laden said, in the 11-minute, 26-second tape.

In drawing the comparison to American military behavior in Iraq to that of Saddam, he said:

"The jihad (holy war) is ongoing, thank God, despite all the oppressive measures adopted by the U.S. Army and its agents (which has reached) a point where there is no difference between this criminality and Saddam's criminality."

Bin Laden also denied Bush administration assertions that it was better to fight terrorists in Iraq than on U.S. soil.

"The reality shows that the war against America and its allies has not been limited to Iraq as he (Bush) claims. Iraq has become a point of attraction and restorer of (our) energies," he said.

The last audiotape purported to be from bin Laden was broadcast in December 2004 by Al-Jazeera. In that recording, he endorsed Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of Iraqi elections.

Interesting that he confirms that he had and has no love for Saddam (which makes the lies about ties between al-Qaida and Iraq even less believable) and confirms that Iraq was not a terrorist center before, but it is now.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

abramoff making a lot of repugs nervous

Abramoff needs more time to spill the beans.
“The U.S. Justice Department and defense lawyers asked a federal judge Friday to delay the scheduled March sentencing of lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a Florida fraud case to allow him more time to cooperate in a broader government corruption investigation.”

(Think Progress)

they want to "get beyond" the fact that they broke the law!

DeWine: “We Don’t Want To Have Any Kind of Debate About Whether Its Constitutional”

The White House announced its support for a legislative proposal by Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine to exclude Bush’s NSA wiretapping program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. ThinkProgress explained earlier why the proposal is a bad idea. Tonight, on Fox News, DeWine explained his motivations:

You know, there’s been some controversy about whether or not this program is legal or is not legal. I think we need to get beyond that. And the vast majority of American people believe these calls need to be listened to. But we don’t want to have any kind of debate about whether it’s constitutional or not constitutional. So I think we need to put that beyond us.

The reason DeWine and the White House don’t want to talk about the program’s legality is because the program is illegal. DeWine is attempting to fix a problem that he hasn’t even properly diagnosed. Even Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter isn’t buying DeWine’s spin:

Unless they’re prepared to have a determination on constitutionality as to their programs, window dressing oversight will not be sufficient.

President Bush said today, “I mean, a lot of lawyers looked at this, and they said, you bet, Mr. President, it’s legal.” If he’s so confident about that, why is he so afraid to have a debate?

(Think Progress)
Wow! Let's see, what possible reason could they have for not wanting to have a debate about whether this was legal or constitutional?! Maybe because it is illegal and unconstitutional?!?!
Jesus, why don't they just come right out and say it? "Yeah, we broke the law - fuck you - what are you going to do about it?" Their supporters would still be behind them and the media would continue to make excuses for them. What would they have to lose?