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Saturday, March 31

"'Hostage Crisis' Or End Game?"

That's the headline of Joe Quinn's essay at Signs-of-the-Times. Here's the opening remarks:

"Up until the 23rd March 2007, it seemed unlikely that the 'creative destructionists' (1) and 'reality-makers' in the Pentagon and Tel Aviv would get to "liberate" Iran in the way they have liberated 26 million Iraqis (1 million of them from their bodies).

"The past 3 years of subtle and not-so-subtle slander and demonisation of the Iranian president and people by the American, British and Israeli governments and their media had been largely ineffective in further provoking the anti-Islamic ire of Joe six-pack. After all, with the US invasion of Iraq either a war crime or a quagmire (depending on your political perspective and depth of conscience) Bush's political capital account was seriously overdrawn, rendering the idea of extending the Middle East madness into an attack on Iran nothing but a Zionist pipe dream.

"Or so it seemed."

Joe's on the money with this analysis. Hit the link for the rest.

More Pet food is Recalled

Purina pulled 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce cans of its Alpo Prime Cuts and Gravy wet dog food made at plant 1159 and bearing date codes from 7037 to 7053, the statement said. The company's 5.3- ounce Mighty Dog pouch products were removed from stores as part of the Menu Foods recall on March 16.

Yesterday, Colgate-Palmolive Co. unit Hill's Pet Nutrition, the maker of Science Diet pet foods, recalled its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food because it may contain gluten from the Menu Foods supplier.

Yesterday, Colgate-Palmolive Co. unit Hill's Pet Nutrition, the maker of Science Diet pet foods, recalled its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food because it may contain gluten from the Menu Foods supplier.

8,000 Complaints

Menu Foods recalled food sold under brands such as Procter & Gamble Co.'s Iams and retailers' own labels. Iams dry food isn't made by Menu Foods and doesn't contain wheat gluten, Cincinnati- based Procter & Gamble said.

Melamine is used as a fertilizer in Asia and is a durable plastic used to make plates and spoons. Normal inspections of pet food wouldn't have detected the substance.

Officials traced the wheat gluten to China and have begun inspecting imports. The supplier of the wheat gluten wasn't identified...

Week in Review

Bush lied. The congressional bill will not deprive troops of needed funds as Bush asserted last week. The army has enough money to fund the war through July.

Pretty darn ironic. John Gibson, Bill O'Lielly and Michelle Malkin have launched a campaign to get Rosie O'Donnell fired from the view. May I add that I have seen attacks on Rosie over at MSNBC as well.

Whenever people tried to tell me what a liberal Bill Clinton was, I remind them of Nafta to shut them up. Hillary appears to have split with Bill's Nafta legacy.

Wasn't it just gruesome how the president used troops at Walter Reed as his backdrop when he pretended to apologize for the conditions there?
Anatomy of a photo-op.
Bush at Walter Reed: “Journalists were allowed to take pictures and watch for only a few minutes before being ushered out, though not before Bush told photographers to take pictures of Sgt. Mark Ecker’s tattoo of a naked woman. Reporters were not allowed to interview patients in Abrams Hall, hospital officials said, citing logistics. The hospital instead made available two doctors, who spoke glowingly about the president’s visit and had no information to provide about the facility’s problems.” Bush wrapped up his visit an hour before the scheduled time.
“The president was not taken into the shut-down Building 18 yesterday but was shown a well-kept, empty dormitory room equipped with flat-screen television and desktop computer in Abrams Hall, where some Building 18 patients have been moved.”
Gonzo lies: "I believe in truth and accountability and every step that I've taken is consistent with that principle," Gonzales said when asked why he is not heeding calls to resign. "I am fighting for the truth as well."

OMG. Prayer flunks test: "In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications."

Give me some good news.

Friday, March 30

Caption anyone?

source unknown

Do you know this person?

Friday Sex Post for Women

Terrible Ted sent me a link to this article for the Friday sex post: Do Women Enjoy Chocolate More Than Sex?

The article by Danielle Egan is about a book written by Joan Sewell, I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido, who claims that women lose their libidos as they grow older. It's an old excuse and is not scientifically sound. Sure, she may prefer chocolate to sex with her husband for whatever reasons and she may be ok with her low libido- fine with me. But it's not biological. If the opportunity came up, my chocolate stash would be out the window in a second. Sewell thinks horny women are pandering to men. It's quite the contrary.

A woman's seeming lack of a sex drive, is not usually biological if you study the studies. Menopause does not click the switch off either. In this world with the unprecendented distractions, it's easy for couples to fall into a rut when it comes to intimacy, but with a little work from both sides, you can turn that flicker into a flame, if you want to.

Chocolate is a wonderful sex substitute for a human being, because you get the emotional pleasure (and then the resulting guilt)... but if someone new gives you the eye, that chocolate bar is not necessary anymore, although both are delightful as a combo. A woman may choose to stay on the chocolate rather than to get it on with the mailman because she values her current relationship, but it's not because she lacks the ability to be a horn dog.

A woman who eats chocolate is not dead yet.
If she were dead, she wouldn't be eating the chocolate.

UPDATE: Terrible Ted also wants you to see this article: Storm in US over chocolate Jesus
Chocolate Jesus on a cross? Oh. It's art. That's sure to fuel a controversy with the unpopular but vocal Catholic League who do not represent the majority of US Catholics. And isn't it interesting that the 'storm' is covered in the BBC news and I haven't even heard of this "storm" here in NY where it is happening?

UPDATE 2: the story is all over the cover of the NY Daily News. Figures.
UPDATE 3: The Chocolate Jesus will not be displayed after all.

Let me see if I have this straight.

President Bunnypants goes on the record blaming the Democrats in the House and Senate for not caring about the troops enough to fund them. In fact the bills from the House and Senate actually include more money than bush requested to fund the troops and the House bill makes bush certify that the troops are "properly trained, equipped and rested before being sent into combat." The problem is that bush wants to veto the bill because it calls for a withdrawal of troops 15 months from now. So if bush vetoes the bill, how can it be the fault of the Democrats?

Then I saw bush on tv reading blog posts from several weeks ago by Baghdad bloggers who say that everything is improving in Baghdad and that people are returning. It turns out that things are not improving and if you read the blog posts by these guys now, the shit is hitting the fan. Furthermore Michael Ware, CNN Baghdad correspondent said that even in the Green Zone, no one is permitted to go into the streets without wearing a flak jacket.

Then I heard Joe Lieberman and John McCain get up and tell everyone that the surge is working and Baghdad is safer but both of them were debunked by the facts.

I don't think it's very nice to spin the news and lie about an actual war to the American people. I believe that this undermines our troops very much. I also believe that if bush had read his father's memoirs, we wouldn't be in this mess and he should be held accountable.

From Chapter 19, A World Transformed, 1998 by GHW Bush (not edited)
Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.

PS. Check out Candy's excellent book reports on Glenn Greenwald's How Would A Patriot Act and Joe Conason's It Can Happen Here. I better get myself to the library.

Thursday, March 29

Let the Music Play

Just my 2¢...

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore is being blocked by some anti-global warming Congress critters of the GOP (my party, right or wrong) persuasion from having a "Live Earth" concert on the steps of the Capital building this July. The major excuse given by that bastion of ill repute, James Inhofe (R-Ok) is that you're not supposed to have an event that is partisan or politically controversial on Capital gruonds. Being that Inhofe's opinion on global warming makes the whole thing politically controversial and partisan, and someone ought to investigate exactly whose pocket Inhofe is in, makes this controversy laughable. Furthermore, his ill informed and uneducated opinion on the topic, plus the fact that he is anti-science (unless it serves his political agenda) in this day and age, insults my, and the rest of country's, intelligence. Global warming is not an opinion.

Speaking of Al Gore, did you catch Jon Stewart hosting Dennis Miller the other night and the sarcastic ribbing Stewart received from Colbert afterwards for not taking Miller down?

"Calm down with the threats."

States Speaker Pelosi -

"On this very important matter, I would extend a hand of friendship to the president, just to say to him, 'Calm down with the threats," she said. "There's a new Congress in town. We accept your constitutional role. We want you to accept ours."

"This war must end. The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of the war. Let's see how we can work together," added Pelosi, D-Calif.

She and Reid also sent Bush a letter during the day that said they "stand ready to work with you, but your threats to veto a bill that has not even been presented to you indicate that you may not be ready to work with us."

video here

Yep, hasn't even reached his desk and he's threatening a veto showdown and claiming ANYTHING that goes wrong with the army and war is now the fault of Congress. What a wanker!

So where are we at with the spiraling into the inky bowels of hell check off list?

1. Failed war and occupation
2. Former allies runing away and ignoring you
3. Several members of administration on trial or under investigation
4. Economy in the tank and sinking fast
5. Even the Mormons have lost faith in you (its true, a 21% drop in approval)
6. Your best advisor, Turdblossom, has started a rap career
7. Even the always reliable Right wing shills are getting their asses handed to them on their own TV shows

I'm sure you can come up with heaps more, maybe we should keep a running list somewhere so we can refer back to it.

Wednesday, March 28

Baby, baby, where did our love go?

UPDATE Friday, March 30
From Think Progress:
The Bush administration responded with shock to King Abdullah’s declaration that the U.S. is “illegitimately” occupying Iraq. “We were a little surprised to see those remarks,” said Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns. White House spokesman Dana Perino claimed, “It is not accurate to say that the United States is occupying Iraq.”
Then what is accurate Dana Perino? Please tell us.

You are a more ruthless dictator than I am, Bushie.
You, my dickless f(r)iend, possess no kingly skills. Your breath smells like camel farts and I will not kiss you this time. We will hold hands and walk in the park instead.

Oh my goodness. What went wrong?

The president was to host a gala for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on April 17, much to my nausea. Bandar bin Sultan (alias Bandar Bush) flew to DC last week to explain that the date was not convenient. WaPo's Jim Hoagland gives you the scoop. Also Jordan's King Abdullah has let the WH know that he can't make it for dinner this September.

Meanwhile the International Herald Tribune reports that
"King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, opening a summit meeting of Arab leaders here Wednesday, called the U.S military presence in Iraq "illegitimate" and warned that sectarianism could lead to all-out civil war.

"In beloved Iraq, blood flows between brothers in the shadow of illegitimate foreign occupation and hateful sectarianism, threatening a civil war," he said, in unusually strong criticism of the United States from a strong ally.

But Abdullah's focus was mostly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Sunni Arab leaders see as a major cause of violent radicalism in their own countries and threat to regional stability."
OMG, did they read my blog? It's about time.

But what's this about Persia?
This is interesting: Iran planning to stop using U.S. dollar to price oil
brace yourselves.

UPDATE: Condi was snubbed by Israel. "It refused her offer to act as negotiator between its government and the Palestinian authorities."

Ladies and Gentlemen

I give you . . . Politits.

Any blog site with this motto is worth reading: "Sex and politics. Two obsessions with a lot in common. Someone always gets fucked."

Sounds a bit like this place, no? (I wonder if she's a blonde.)


Even his Allies aren't returning his calls

I think this is quite possibly the best news I've heard today.

Now WE here, (you know, those citizens who actually READ and don't turn to Faux News to give us answers) do realized that the majority of terrorists attacks in Iraq are being funded and performed by allies of the Arabs, so it is especially interesting that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah had his national security advisor Bandar bin Sultan FLY to DC to tell Bush that the state dinner for April is OFF. The reason, 'It is not convenient' was the way it was put," says one official.

Now of course this comes right after an announcement that Saudi Arabi is looking for some common ground with the Iranians and Hezbollah. The money quote (and one I'll commit to memory) is :

"She is conducting crisis management, not grand diplomacy," a European official who talked to her recently said disappointedly.

Adds an admirer who tracks Rice's intentions and assessments in the Middle East: "Condi is doing everything she can. But she is dancing with a corpse that just keeps flopping over in another direction every time she tries to move it."

It is also noted that in the traditional Saudi view, when an administration or ruler is swimming against a tide of scandal and stench that engulfs his most trusted aides... this is a moment to hedge, not to indulge.

Moon River of the best!

You MUST take a listen to THIS VERSION by Kid Koala + P Love. He's a "Turntablist" (I thought there was something wrong with the audio when I played it)

A fantasy like experience, especially when it comes on while you're typing. It's haunting. It's simply beautiful.....

Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way

Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end, waitin' 'round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me

Kid Koala is Kewl. Fantastic piece of recording!!! (right click to add)

While you're over at Motel, don't forget to get Marvin Gaye - What's going on, and The Guess Who (Who?) - Undun.


Who does our government serve anyway?

Have you read this article?
The AIPAC Girl
by Patrick J. Buchanan

"If George W. Bush launches a pre-emptive war on Iran, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will bear full moral responsibility for that war.

For it was Pelosi who quietly agreed to strip out of the $100 billion funding bill for Iraq a provision that would have required President Bush to seek congressional approval before launching any new war on Iran.

Pelosi’s capitulation came in the Appropriations Committee.

What went down, and why?"

Buchanan suggests that Israel jerked her chain- Continue reading
Just who does this government of ours serve?

What happened to the Declaration of Independence anyway?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
See also
Howard Zinn at youtube Now Is The Time To END All War on This Earth
Anarchism and the Question of Human Nature
The Moral Obligation To Be Intelligent (1927)

Tuesday, March 27

We need to get smarter and angrier

My mind is whirling right now. I read how we are sending severely wounded troops back for more tours of duty because we can't afford to let them go home to heal. (Not that Walter Reed is much better for our wounded soldiers to mend at). The administration has pushed through its troop increase, leaving MORE men and women in harms way, with little to no training on new equipment (what little of it there is) and no understanding of basic language phrases or customs. Its like they WANT more civilian murders at the hands of our troops, isn't it?

Yet, with all of the problems they are having with one occupation there is now a ground swell of rumors and reports that they want to start ANOTHER one? (See Peter's story below). WTF?! And just what are the justifications for this 'war'?

Add to this the Congress has passed a resolution to give funding to the troops WITH the addition of a timetable for withdraw (One year) (Pity (not) Dick Cheney who rushed to the capitol to cast a tie breaking vote only to find out several republicans had sided with the dems - bwhahahaha). Not that it matters, of course, W has already stated that he will ignore the timetable and do and he damn well pleases. A stance that could easily be the final nail in his impeachment coffin.

Which of course leads me to wonder why he hasn't been impeached yet. He has screwed up everything he has ever touched, he is completely out of touch with reality in general and with the American public specifically. By his own admission, he talks to invisible people and listens when they talk back, he has nothing but faith in his cronies and financial backers... most of whom are leaving him in the dust.

I know the Neo-cons were waiting and expecting the Dems to splinter apart, to have a break down of their new found solidarity over the 'little, grey issues' but you know what, maybe we are getting smarter and learning to look at the big picture. Once the war is over and the monkey slinging shit has been taken out of the room and locked up, THEN we can hammer out the little details that separate us, but until then we stand as one. And we cannot let them pull us apart, not until the nightmare they started has been ended.

Yes, I am alive

Sorry I've been gone so long, health issues and a family crisis reared its ugly headand kept me quite busy for the last few weeks. I'm just trying to get my thoughts in order over the planned invasion of yet another Middle Eastern Country, but until then, please accept this joke:

One December day we found an old straggly cat at our door. She was a sorry sight. Starving, dirty, smelled terrible, skinny and hair all matted down.

We felt sorry for her, put her in a carrier and took her to the vet. We didn't know what to call her, so we named her "Pussycat."

The vet decided to keep her for a day or so. He said he would let us know when we could come and get her. My husband (the complainer) said, "OK, but don't forget to wash her, she stinks."

He reminded the vet that it was his WIFE (me) that wanted the dirty cat,not him. My husband and my Vet don't see eye to eye. The vet calls my husband El-Cheap-O', and my husband calls the vet 'El-Charge-O'. They love to hate each other and constantly 'snipe' at one another, with my husband getting in the last word on this particular occasion.

The next day my husband had an appointment with his doctor, who is located in the same building, next door to the vet. The MD's waiting room and office was full of people waiting to see the doctor.

A side door opened and the vet leaned in - he had obviously seen my husband arrive-
He looked straight at my husband and in a loud voice said, "Your wife's pussy doesn't stink any more and it's finally clean and shaved, so she now smells like a rose. Oh, and, by the way, I think she's pregnant. God only knows who the father is!"

Then he closed the door.

Now THAT, my friends, is getting even.

"Operation Bite: April 6 sneak attack by US forces against Iran planned, Russian military sources warn"

By Webster G. Tarpley
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Mar 26, 2007, 01:02

WASHINGTON DC, -- The long awaited US military attack on Iran is now on track for the first week of April, specifically for 4 am on April 6, the Good Friday opening of Easter weekend, writes the well-known Russian journalist Andrei Uglanov in the Moscow weekly "Argumenty Nedeli." Uglanov cites Russian military experts close to the Russian General Staff for his account.

Hit the link for full article.

UPDATE: Russian News and Information Agency: "Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border"

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

So Sad In A Hilarious Kinda Way

When I read Novak's piece in the Washington Post the other day ("In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment."), I couldn't help but think of the last line in the old schoolyard song "The Farmer in the Dell".

Did you know?

Watch this AMAZING video

(hat tip to Bri atbreezedebris)

Banana Republicans

I'm Chiquita Banana, and I've come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way.
And when they are flecked with brown and have a golden hue,
Bananas taste the best, and are the best for you.
You can put them in a salad. You can put them in a pie - aye.
Anyway you want to eat them it's impossible to beat them.
But bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator.
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.
~The Chiquita Banana Song

Amy Goodman writes, "Want to help finance terrorism? Buy a Chiquita banana."

...Chiquita made almost monthly payments to the AUC from 1997 to 2004, totaling at least $1.7 million.

The AUC is a brutal paramilitary umbrella group, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 armed troops. It was named a terrorist organization by the United States on Sept. 10, 2001. Among its standard tactics are kidnapping, torture, disappearance, rape, murder, beatings, extortion and drug trafficking.

Chiquita claims it had to make the payments under threat from the AUC in order to protect its employees and property. Chiquita's outside lawyers implored them to stop the illegal payments, to no avail....


Chiquita has had a long history of criminal behavior. It was the subject of an extraordinary exposé in its hometown paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, in 1998. The paper found that Chiquita exposed entire communities to dangerous U.S.-banned pesticides, forced the eviction of an entire Honduran village at gunpoint and its subsequent bulldozing, suppressed unions, unwittingly allowed the use of Chiquita transport ships to move cocaine internationally, and paid a fortune to U.S. politicians to influence trade policy....
Banana Republican: But you just knew somehow that the US politician's, particularly Republicans had to have something to do with this. After reading the whole above article, I did some "googling" and I found this transcript from Frontline January 30, 1996 called So You Want to Buy a President? Who buys presidents? Why it's the Chiquita Banana guy, Carl Lindner (still on the list of Forbe's billionaires), former head of Chiquita. Read more about Lindner in 1997 here at Frontline. This man and his bananas were verrrrry influential in American politics, even with the Clintons, but probably only because Clinton was the president despite all the money Lindner threw at Bob Dole who liked to use Lindner's private jet to get around. There was a banana war raging between the US and the EU- two countries that don't even produce bananas, but Lindner got US politicians to get the WTO to force the EU to open their markets to Chiquita bananas.

Why does that name sound familiar? He also contributed $300,000 towards the Swift Boat Veterans for Lies. Not unbelievable.

Day, I said Day, I said Day-ay-ay-oh
Daylight coming and me wanna go home

Monday, March 26

When They Start Taking The Fifth . . .

Dear Ms. Goodling:

I'm sorry to hear that things are moving down hill fast.

I'm sure it was hard enough that you had to take leave of absence for "personal reasons" from that cushy job as Department of Justice liaison to the White House. I hope your dog gets better soon. Still, as liaison between the DOJ and the White House, you must have had access to lots of juicy stuff. Oops, I guess I understand why it is you need to assert your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when you appear before the Senate and House committees.

You go ahead and take the Fifth, honey. I'm sure Messrs. Leahy and Conyers ain't after a small fry like you. (They mighta learned something from the Scooter Libby deal.) But don't think this gets you off the hook. Make no mistake about it, you will be testifying. The only questions is what type of immunity you get.

Kudos to your Daddy for picking John Dowd as your lawyer. He's a smart guy and I'm sure he'll do a great job keeping your sorry ass out of jail.


Monday Mental Tune-Up

It's going to be a busy week, and we need to be in full control of our mental faculities, so here's something to get our brains working on a Monday.

Name all 50 states in ten minutes. Time starts when you click the link, so be prepared.

I got all 50 with about six minutes to spare. Michigan costs me a bit of time.

How'd you do?


VATICAN CITY (AP) - Europe appears to be losing faith in its own future, Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday, warning against "dangerous individualism" on a continent where many people are having fewer children.
"One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road which could lead it to take its leave from history," the pontiff told bishops in Rome for ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a major step toward the creation of today's European Union.

Benedict said he was concerned about Europe's "demographic profile"—though he did not describe the trends that have alarmed the continent for decades.

In countries like Italy, where many married couples have one or no children, the population is expected to shrink dramatically in a generation or two unless fertility rates quickly increase.

Benedict expressed concern that Europe's population trends, "besides putting economic growth at risk, can also cause enormous difficulties for social cohesion, and, above all, favor dangerous individualism, careless about the consequences for the future."

Sociologists and economists blame the economy, particularly the unemployment rate—at 14.9 percent the highest in the EU. Worried about losing their jobs, many women in Poland put off having children, often until it is too late.

Italian experts cite Italian's desire for an easier lifestyle, but they also blame shortages of day care centers, expensive housing and a sluggish job market which sees many Italians living at home until well into their 30s as reasons for the country's relatively few children.

Here is the entire AP story

I need your help here my friends.

Somehow, not bringing a lot of children into an uncertain world, with the prospect of having a difficult future seems pretty responsible to me. It doesn't strike me as possibly leading to "dangerous individualism". Maybe I don't have a clear understanding of how he is using the word "individualism":

1. a social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action of the individual.
2. the principle or habit of or belief in independent thought or action.
3. the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests; egoism.
4. individual character; individuality.
5. an individual peculiarity.
6. Philosophy. a. the doctrine that only individual things are real.
b. the doctrine or belief that all actions are determined by, or at least take place for, the benefit of the individual, not of society as a whole.

He must be using the philosophical meaning?

Or, maybe he is using the economic view: A view that stresses the importance and worth of each person. In economics, it is the doctrine that individuals best serve the public interest by pursuing their own self-interest. For example, the businessman who expands his company to increase his profits also creates jobs for many people and thereby serves the public interest. (See laissez-faire.)

Must be this one since he was speaking at the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome -Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (I had no idea the Treaty of Rome "was nurtured at Bilderberg meetings)

I'm not even going to try to figure out how a decrease in population can also cause enormous difficulties for social cohesion. ( a state in society in which the vast majority of citizens respect the law, one another's human rights and values, and share a commitment to retain social order)

I thought that maybe a look at "individualism" over at wikipedia might help. OH BOY! "Individualism has a controversial relationship with egoism (selfishness)", and now I'm trying to get into Ayn Rand's head. She describes selfishness as a virtue.

Maybe someday I will be able to read without trying to get into the head of the person writing it. It drives me crazy (and my hubby) when I constantly ask "what do you think they mean by that"? He won't even watch movies with me anymore!

So, what do you think? Could Pope Bentdick be onto something using the term "dangerous individualism"?

Land of the free, Home of the brave

I just don't see how not negotiating or speaking to one's enemies is a good policy. Weren't we taught to look bullies in the eye? It seems more bullyish than brave and more chickenhearted than courageous to refuse to speak to those who don't obey us. That's what struck me most about this article in the NY Times: U.S. Envoy Says He Met With Iraq Rebels

And meanwhile, we have a list. A huge list. Of supposed people who may do harm to this country. And once you're on the list, you can't get off. The listmasters are overwhelmed.

And to add scariness to the whole scenario, Novak writes: "In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment." Now that's an indictment.

How about Chuck Hagel, "Any president who says, I don't care, or I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else, or I don't care what the Congress does, I am going to proceed — if a president really believes that, then there are — what I was pointing out, there are ways to deal with that."

How about me saying, "I miss Nixon."

New Rules For Bush and Cheney

I love it when Bill Maher seems to be reading our minds.
Watch here

Bill Maher, HBO March 23rd

New Rule - Traitors don't get to question my patriotism.
What could be less patriotic than constantly screwing things up for America? You know, it's literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush administration. Which is why I like to download the latest scandals right onto my IPod. That way, I can catch up on this week's giant fuck up on my drive into work.

In fact, Bush has so many scandals he could open a chain of "Bush Scandal and Fuck Up" theme restaurants. Hmmm, should I get the Harriet Miers Meatloaf, or the Katrina Crabcakes?

You know, not to generalize, but the 29 percent of people who still support President Bush are the ones who love to pronounce themselves more patriotic than the rest of us. But just saying you're patriotic is like saying you have a big cock. If you have to say it, chances are it's not true. And indeed, the Party that flatters itself that they protect America better is the Party that has exhausted the military, left the ports wide open, and purposely outed a CIA agent, Valerie Plame. That's not treason anymore, outing a spy? Did I mention it was one of our spies?

And how despicable that Bush's lackeys attempted to diminish this crime by belittling her service like she was just some chick who hung around the CIA. An intern really. Groupie if you want to be mean about it. No. Big lie. Valerie Plame was the CIA's operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means she tracked loose nukes. So, when Bush said, as he once did, that his absolute, number one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes, okay, that's what she worked on. That's what she devoted her life to. Staying undercover for 20 years. Maintaining two identities every God-damned day. This is extraordinary service to your country. Valerie Plame was the kind of real life secret agent George Bush dreams of being when he's not too busy pretending to be a cowboy or a fighter pilot.

CIA agents are troops. This was a military assassination of one of our own done through the press, ordered by Karl Rove. He said of Valerie Plame, quote, "She's fair game," and then Cheney shot her.

George Bush likes to claim that he doesn't question his critics' patriotism, just their judgment. Well, let me be the first of your critics, Mr. President, to question your judgment and your patriotism. Because let's not forget why they did it to her. Because Valerie Plame was married to this guy Joe Wilson who the Bush people hated because he busted them on one of their bullshit reasons for invading Iraq. He was sent to the African country of Niger to see if Niger was selling nuclear fuel to Iraq. They weren't. It was bullshit. And he said so. In fact, his report was called, "Niger, Please."

Valerie Plame's husband told the truth about their lies, so they were willing to jeopardize an entire network of spies to ruin her life. Wow. Even the mob doesn't go after your family.

Mark Twain said, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." And I say Valerie Plame is a patriot because she spent her life serving her country. Scooter Libby is not because he spent his life serving Dick Cheney. Valerie Plame kept her secrets. The Bush administration leaked like the plumbing at Walter Reed.

In the year 2008, I really think that Hillary Clinton should run for president on a platform of restoring honor and integrity to the Oval Office.
Hat tip to Alternet Blog peek

Sunday, March 25

BUT! What are we going to do about the emissions of bullshit from republicans?

"Pill stops cow burps and helps save the planet"

There's the headline. Here's Kate Connolly's article in the British-based Guardian:
Friday March 23, 2007

Cut down on flying, sell the car and recycle your bottles. But if you really want to tackle global warming, you should stop your cow from burping.
According to scientific estimates, the methane gas produced by cows is responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. And now, German scientists have invented a pill to cut bovine burping.
The fist-sized plant-based pill, known as a bolus, combined with a special diet and strict feeding times, is meant to reduce the methane produced by cows.

Hit the link for the rest of Kate's article. Meanwhile, I'm gonna try and find her e-mail address and ask her if she's heard anything about attempts to eliminate or at least reduce the amount of political bullshit that is also polluting our planet.

Kate writes about a good idea though. I spent my high school years, and a lotta time since then, doing farm work, which included milking cows, some even by hand instead of a machine. Once, I was pouring ground oats into the manger connected to old Bossy's stanchion when she let one rip right in my face and I damn near lost my supper. Up to that point in time I had always believed that a combination lima bean/sauerkraut fart was the worst smell on earth.

Some Things We Need To Pay Attention To

It's easy to become engrossed in all this Alberto Gonzales and Prosecutor-Gate stuff because there are lots of juicy details to savor. Every Friday evening is a feast as new documents are dripped, dripped, dripped out. There are, however, a couple other issues we oughtta be keeping our eyes on:

I can't believe the Iranians were stupid enough to snatch a bunch of Brits. I mean, it's not as if King George and the Neocon Nation aren't just waiting for an excuse to launch another war of aggression. Ahmedinijad is an idiot.

The Inspector General of the Justice Department has found huge abuse of National Security Letters, which force business owners to disclose sensitive client information without permission from the client. What he has said, in fact, is that the FBI acted illegally in obtaining highly personal information, such as internet records, bank accounts and credit information under the inaptly named Patriot Act. Now there's a freaking surprise. Who would have expected that to happen? Naturally, the Director of the FBI won't resign, nor will 'Berto, his boss (yes, we are back to Mr. Gonzales again). Apparently no one is responsible and the buck stops no where.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Insanity is collecting more information than they can possibly analyze, with annoying consequences to American citizens who find themselves on "no-fly" lists, thereby restricting their ability to travel freely. Constitution? We don't need no stinkin' Constitution.

In addition, King George himself appears to have put the kibosch on an internal Department of Justice investigation into warrantless wiretapping. The investigation was being conducted by DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility, which is charged with monitoring ethical abuses. (OPR was created in the wake of abuses by DOJ during Watergate. The more things change, the more they remain the same.) The investigation was stymied because His Heinie refused to grant the investigators the requisite national security clearances. This bears watching; we may see a lot more about this in the news very shortly.

The extent of the Pentagon's lies following the death of Pat Tillman are finally coming to light. That only took a couple of years. Its Inspector General "will cite a range of errors and inappropriate conduct as the military probed the former football star’s death on the battlefront . . ." That conduct includes the involvement of of four general officers. Geoffrey Chaucer once asked the question: If a shepard be shitten, what shall his sheep be? When military leadership acts this way, incidents such as Haditha should surprise exactly no one.

New Yorkers were spied on widely in the months before the 2004 Republican National Convention. Probably a buncha stinkin' flithy hippies with delusions about their so-called rights.

The new Secretary of Defense wanted to shut down Guantanamo, and the Secretary of State agreed, but they were overruled by Snarling Dick and (uh oh, here we go again) Alberto Gonzales. Meanwhile, the CIA is waiting for King George to set torture guidelines, but those are waiting for review and approval by 'Berto, who is busy with other matters right now.

Finally, because I can't resist, we have learned over the past 36 hours that Gonzo was a tad more involved in the US Attorney firings than previously disclosed, and that the DOJ liaison to the White House has gone on indefinite personal leave. Story here. Keep digging Mr. Leahy and Mr. Conyers. Most of this stuff has a common thread, and we'd like to see you find it and pull it. I will be quite interested to see what unravels.

Saturday, March 24

Environmental Nightmare

This weekend marks the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. March 29, 1989 at four minutes past midnight the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Alaska's spectacular Prince William Sound. 11 million gallons of crude oil was spilled. An environmental nightmare began that would not only change Prince William Sound, but the world. They'd like us to forget. Let's not, okay?

A spine grows in Washington

The Democrats grew spines yesterday and challenged the bushistas. Did you just love bush's hissy fit calling it political theater? He accused Democrats of deliberately undermining the troops by not giving them what they need to fight the war on terror and insinuating that the Democrats don't support the troops. But didn't the bill include appropriate 124 billion dollars towards the war in Iraq and then call for a withdrawal in 15 months? Bush acted like the Democrats refused to fund the war and wanted the troops out yesterday. If there was any political theater, it was in bush's retort.

And what's this I read this morning? All roads lead to Gonzo? He lied? Oh my.

And do you remember Heaven's Gate? It was 10 years ago. Time flies. Check out Heaven's Gate: The Sequel

Another Republican Hopeful Enters The Race

But at least this one is just running for Congress. With 3 eyes and 2 noses. Which, of course, is all the better for "snarfeling at the trough".

Friday, March 23

Women are the new gays.

It is evident the "memo" went out from Karl Rove to the right-wing noise machine.

After realizing that attacking Gays and Gay Marriage in the last election cycle, did not bring the desired election result. They also tried to attack latinos with the illegal Immigration "call for arms". It turned out that both republican and democratic demographics split evenly in pro and con on immigration issues.
The gay-haters were too small constituents and the pro-lifers really screwed up with the "Terry Schiavo" case to win an election.

So he picked a much greater constituency: men, frustrated with their inability to provide prosperity to their families on their own, due to the disastrous economic policies practiced since Reagan to destroy trade unions, (who were providing middle class men with good paying jobs) the manufacturing industry, ship jobs oversees to profit the corporate clients. They falsely pit them against Women as the root of all evil.

The new pariah are Women. In the past couple of years they unleashed a war on women, that is growing to exacerbation with the coronation of Nancy Pelosi as the first woman Speaker of the House and Hillary Clinton's bid for presidency.
Men define themselves by what they do for living, as who they are. Well, that is a great reason to divide and conquer. Men feel that their existence is at stake, their jobs that are taken by women.

The writing is on the wall. Valerie Wilson (a carrier CIA agent) is outed to punish a foe of the administration. Carli Fiorina removed from her job as CEO of Hewlett Packard, by a coup organized by men. Martha Stewart, "we gotta teach her a lesson. How does she dare to reach the hights reserved to men!?"
The list goes on and on.

The rottweilers were unleashed; Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glen Beck, Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough, Bill O'Reilly etc ripping women to shreds. Decency is not their device to talk about women. They call Barbara Walters a slut, Rosie O'Donnel a fat pig, Hillary is castrating to men...

At the center of it, behind the curtain is Karl Rove, Lee Attwater's pupil, the ruthless, scruple-less "anything goes" architect, rotten to the core right winger, who's dream to establish a republican reign on all levels of the government for the next 50 years...if there is gonna be anything left of this United States of America

Gee, I guess the big boys ARE worried:

"Huge U.S. economic losses forecast in flu pandemic"

An influenza pandemic on the scale of the 1918 "Spanish Flu" would inflict $700 billion in economic losses in the United States and a 5.5 percent GDP drop in a year, according to a report released on Thursday.

Such a pandemic could trigger the second-deepest U.S. economic recession since World War Two, the report from the advocacy group Trust for America's Health found.

The group examined the potential economic consequences facing the United States in a pandemic that might occur if, for example, the H5N1 avian influenza virus that has killed 169 people globally mutates to become more readily spread among people.

Gosh, fellers, I guess if it's gonna cost you money, you better do something about it.

It's hard to tell, but the estimate on the number of deaths during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak is anywhere from 20 to 50 million--hard to tell, because not every country back then kept good census figures.

Conspiracy theorists who wish to study the 1918 outbreak are invited to view the results of GoogleSearching SPANISH FLU FT. RILEY. Of course, the same conspiracy theorist might conclude that this is all part of the Grand Plan of Earth's custodians to kill off or subdue the planet's population.

(Damn! I was gonna write more, but I just simultaneously coughed, sneezed, farted, and accidentally hacked a big oyster all over my monitor. Hope I'm not coming down with something.)

Social Studies -- 101

Good morning class....

Open your books to the chapter on GEOGRAPHY. Today, we will be focusing on the geographical history of the Middle East.

Geography (from the Greek words Geo (γη) or Gaea (γαια), both meaning "Earth", and graphein (γραφειν) meaning "to describe" or "to write"or "to map") is the study of the earth and its features and of the distribution of life on the Earth, including human life and the effects of human activity.[1] A literal translation would be "to describe the Earth". .....

This section will be very short -- 90 seconds "maps it all"....

Who has conquered the Middle East over the course of world events? -- hit "play" to find out....

Any questions?

Prove Them Wrong

Tired of being called a traitor by ignoramuses on the regressive right because you do not support bush's decision to bomb the hell out of Iraq for nothing? Tell them "Afghanistan Proves it"
Excerpt from the Regressive Antidote
Maybe the reason that the same people who applauded the Afghan war then opposed the Iraq war is because they saw the first one as justified and the second one as not. Maybe the reason that virtually the entire world community supported the invasion of one Muslim country and even volunteered to participate (and, yes, that includes the French and Germans), but has reviled the other invasion is because the first country was sheltering the folks who did 9/11, and the second had not a damn thing to do with that attack, nor any other against the United States.

Obligatory Friday Sex Post

Chess champ, 15, found with nightclub dancer

A 15-year-old Peruvian chess player who didn't come back from a tournament in Argentina has been found - living with a nightclub dancer.

Emilio Cordova left Lima to play at the South American Chess Championship in Argentina, which he won.

But instead of returning home he went to Brazil and kept asking his family to send him money, saying he was ill.

After a few months his family grew suspicious and asked the police to find the boy.

Emilio was found living with 29-year-old Adriana Oliveira, who works as a dancer at a nightclub.

Emilio told his father, who brought him home to Peru, that Mrs Oliveira was only one of his girlfriends.

He told the press: "I play chess, study chess but this doesn't mean I can't enjoy myself. I'm young and I want to do this. I have to live.

"To be locked up in my room all the time depresses me."

I thought that since we were talking about 15 year olds in the previous post... well...

Thursday, March 22

Reader Inquiry

One of our readers, IMSpartacus, writes:
For the next post in my blog, I'm going to list all of things I want to tell my 15-year old daughter about sex and sexuality. I often wondered how many kids get the real scoop about sex at this age and I have this theory that there would be less teenage pregnancy, fewer cases of STDs, and fewer sexually repressed people in the world if we only tell our kids the truth.
I told him what I said and did with my teen, and I thought that the very astute readers here would be able to offer their experiences and suggestions as well. Won't you please give your advice in the comments?

Curiouser and Curiouser

So now we learn that there is a 16 or 17 day gap in the documents produced by the Department of Injustice in the latest docu-dump relating to the US Attorneys firings. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch between mid-November and early December, right before the firings were to occur. Hmmmmm.

Being a child of Watergate, Red must ask herself: has someone in the Maldaministration been practicing his "Rose Mary Woods stretch"?

Faux News Indeed

Good article at Hounding Fox News coverage by Mark Mellman
A study by a University of Maryland center concluded, “Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions” about Iraq. For example, in 2003, 67 percent of those who relied primarily on Fox wrongly believed the U.S. “found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization.” Only 40 percent of those who relied on print media harbored this illusion, debunked thoroughly by the 9/11 Commission.

Instead of providing “fair and balanced” reporting, Fox has created an audience ignorant of the facts, but fully supportive of management’s ideology.
And there is so much more that Fox "News" viewers are ill informed about that it boggles the mind. Personally, I'd like to see them sued for calling themselves a news organization.

Case in point- yesterday my son attended a debate between his political science professor and a political science professor from SUNY Stonybrook (which is a state funded school where my tax dollars go) regarding the war on Iraq. The Stonybrook professor insisted that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. This man gets his information from Fox News and is poisoning young minds with disinformation. I have to get more information and make some phone calls to the state and the university. I am waiting for my son to write something about the debate for this blog. (don't hold your breath)

I have lost total respect for several friends and relatives who continue to watch Fox News even after I have sanely and calmly rebuked their notions with non-condescending facts. For the record, I am much nicer in real life than I am on the blog. I don't call people stupid to their faces or even imply that they are stupid when I debate in real life. Maybe I should. heh.

Boxer shows Inhofe the gavel as he rudely interupts Gore

Yesterday, the heritage foundation sent an anti-global warming spokesman to debate my son's geology teacher and the geology department at Hofstra University. Kids of both persuasions were there. The heritage foundation guy clearly lost the debate and I am waiting for my son to write about it for this blog. He knows about this stuff better than I do. One thing I do know, is that whatever the cause, earthlings ought to prepare for drastic climate change.

Ironically, Al Gore presented his findings yesterday to the congress and the senate, and amazingly I was watching it, and Gore naturally was dissed by the great ignoramus from Oklahoma, James Inhofe, who always seems to preach bad science as fact. For instance, back in September, CNN took the Inhofe challenge and debunked all his bad science. But yesterday it was remarkable how rude Inhofe was to Al Gore. He insisted on having his 15 minutes of questioning and wanted Al Gore to send him the answers in writing so that time wouldn't be wasted listening to Gore. Finally Barbara Boxer picked up the gavel and told Inhofe that he doesn't make the rules anymore. She does. The audience went crazy. You can watch it here. Overall, this is a very partisan issue in DC.

On the news shows afterwards, the talking heads remarked at just how severe Al Gore's proposals were to offset the effects of global warming and they laughed it off. They commented that he couldn't possibly be thinking of running for president with all those radical ideas, like requiring a ban on any new coal-burning power plants. Of course Gore had to propose the harshest recommendations. He's smart enough to know that if he gets anything out of this congress, he better shoot high in the first place. More here

The Democrats are also focusing on how Darth Cheney's office has been manipulating the science of global warming documents. Just how evil is this man? (oh wait, at least he's not having sex)

Wednesday, March 21

Did He Really Say That?

That the personal lives of the presidential candidates should be off limits during the campaign?


After years of character assassination of Democratic candidates (beginning with Thomas Eagleton), now you want to call time out? Now, when the three leading candidates of the "Family Values" Republican party have eight wives and uncounted extra-martial affairs between them?

Newtie, Newtie, you CANNOT be serious.

H/T to HuffPo.

Hey what happened to that fascist who spoke at the RNC?

From the Kansas City Star:
In an interview with NBC's "Today" show that aired Tuesday and was taped earlier at the Stanford Mansion, Schwarzenegger was asked how he felt about those Republicans, including Limbaugh, who say he is only pretending to be a Republican.

"All irrelevant," Schwarzenegger said. "Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant. I'm not his servant. I am the people's servant of California. What they call me, if it's a Democrat or a Republican or in the center or I changed or this or that, that's not my bottom line. This is for them to talk about."
You can watch it at Think Progress.

Then you can read what Rush said about it here. Rush's problem is that Arnold is a Republican but not a conservative. Arnold is said to care about the environment and health care and icky non-corporate stuff like that. Stuff that would take away from the rich. Conservatives put money before people. Generally, Republican people are not averse to engaging in practices that would benefit the greater good. It's only since neocons invaded the party that the tide began to change so drastically. Personally, I'd like to see all conservatives leave the Republican party. Are they so cheap that they can't start their own party? The more parties the merrier.

Ignorance and Fear in Amerika

Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
-Aldous Huxley

Isn't it curious how the christianists are willing to jump on the science bandwagon when it suits them? And even if the science is still sketchy and inconclusive, if it can possibly seal their agenda, they are all over it. There is conclusive evidence that the world is round and revolves around the sun, yet you don't hear about christianists jumping on that bandwagon.

And have you ever wondered why the Southern Baptists are so crazy? Look no further than their leaders.

Case in point- R. Albert Mohler Jr, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky put forth in his blog that if science can prove that gayness is biological, then there ought to be a way to "cure" it before a baby is born... say with a patch the mother can wear on her belly that would alter the baby's hormones. Mohler says it would be biblically sound to alter a baby genetically before it's born. Is he suggesting that God made a mistake when he invented gayness? Isn't that a sin? Perhaps God created gayness in order to help scientists segregate the "stupid gene" as displayed so prominantly by religio-fascists.

Are the christianists funding scientists to discover the gene that makes people eat shell fish, an abomination that comes before the abomination of gayness in Leviticus? Perhaps Mr Mohler should check with the Catholics who have supercharged baptisms that wipe away original sin.

Pre-natal interventions are only considered by doctors when there are serious, life threatening circumstances. Gayness is not life threatening unless you live near a bunch of church going homophobes. Should serious after-life circumstances now be addressed by science? In that case, why not investigate ways to prevent humans from committing the top 10 sins as put forth by Moses? I can imagine a much better world if say you could engineer humans who don't lie or kill.

See also: Is Your Baby Gay?

Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.
Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
-H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, March 20

Bush in contempt of congress

Bush warns Dems to take offer in firings


WASHINGTON - President Bush warned Democrats Tuesday to accept his offer to have top aides testify about the firings of federal prosecutors only privately and not under oath, or risk a constitutional showdown from which he would not back down.

Democrats' response to his proposal was swift and firm. "Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That's the formula for true accountability," said Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bush, in a late-afternoon statement at the White House, said, "We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants. ... I proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse."

He added: "There's no indication ... that anybody did anything improper."

Bush gave his embattled attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, a boost during an early morning call to his longtime friend and ended the day with a public statement repeating it. "He's got support with me," the president said.

The Senate, meanwhile, voted to strip Gonzales of his authority to fill U.S. attorney vacancies without Senate confirmation. Democrats contend the Justice Department and White House purged eight federal prosecutors, some of whom were leading political corruption investigations, after a change in the Patriot Act gave Gonzales the new authority.

Several Democrats, including presidential hopefuls Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barrack Obama, Joe Biden and John Edwards, have called for Gonzales' ouster or resignation. So have a handful of Republican lawmakers.

"What happened in this case sends a signal really through intimidation by purge: 'Don't quarrel with us any longer,'" said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (news, bio, voting record), D-R.I., a former U.S. attorney who spent much of Monday evening paging through 3,000 documents released by the Justice Department.

Bush said his White House counsel, Fred Fielding, told lawmakers they could interview presidential counselor Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and their deputies — but only on the president's terms: in private, "without the need for an oath" and without a transcript.

The president cast the offer as virtually unprecedented and a reasonable way for Congress to get all the information it needs about the matter.

"If the Democrats truly do want to move forward and find the right information, they ought to accept what I proposed," Bush said. "If scoring political points is the desire, then the rejection of this reasonable proposal will really be evident for the American people to see."

Bush said he would aggressively fight in court any attempt to subpoena White House aides.

"If the staff of a president operates in constant fear of being hauled before congressional committees ... the president would not receive candid advice and the American people would be ill-served," he said. "I'm sorry the situation has gotten to where it's got, but that's Washington, D.C., for you. You know there's a lot of politics in this town."

what a load of cow manure.

OMG, This I So Much Fucking Fun

Watching King George's kingdom fall down around his ears, that is.

Sure, 'Berto has The King's complete confidence, right before he gets thrown under the bus?

Even the Stromtroopers of the Right have voted to yank away some of The King's powers. House, let's get on the stick and pass the same bill so we can get this signed into law.

And, they can't even keep their freaking timelines straight; they were against Carol Lam before they were for her, or something like that. It's hard when you tell so many lies to keep track of all of them.

Oh, and The King says the Senate can interview His Brain and his BFF Harriet, but only behind closed doors and off the record. Sure, behind closed doors it is: I'll pay for the one-way ticket to Gitmo.

he reads....

and this is what he & they have been reading for the past few years....

WASHINGTON - Accounts of a February 28 "literary luncheon" at the White House suggest that US President George W Bush's reading tastes - until now a remarkably good predictor of his policy views - are moving ever rightward, even apocalyptic, despite his administration's recent suggestions that it is more disposed to engage Washington's foes, even in the Middle East.

The luncheon, attended as well by Vice President Dick Cheney and a dozen hardline neo-conservatives, was held in honor of visiting British historian Andrew Roberts, whose latest work, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900,................

READ all about it here in the AsiaTimesOnline article by Jim Lobe - -Hurry to 'The End', for the end is nigh

Why do straights hate gays?

The LA Times has a heart wrenching letter to straight people by a 72 year old gay man, Larry Kramer, founder of ACT UP.


Why do you hate gay people so much?

Gays are hated. Prove me wrong. Your top general just called us immoral. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is in charge of an estimated 65,000 gay and lesbian troops, some fighting for our country in Iraq. A right-wing political commentator, Ann Coulter, gets away with calling a straight presidential candidate a faggot. Even Garrison Keillor, of all people, is making really tacky jokes about gay parents in his column. This, I guess, does not qualify as hate except that it is so distasteful and dumb, often a first step on the way to hate. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama tried to duck the questions that Pace's bigotry raised, confirming what gay people know: that there is not one candidate running for public office anywhere who dares to come right out, unequivocally, and say decent, supportive things about us.

Gays should not vote for any of them. There is not a candidate or major public figure who would not sell gays down the river. We have seen this time after time, even from supposedly progressive politicians such as President Clinton with his "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military and his support of the hideous Defense of Marriage Act. Of course, it's possible that being shunned by gays will make politicians more popular, but at least we will have our self-respect. To vote for them is to collude with them in their utter disdain for us.

Don't any of you wonder why heterosexuals treat gays so brutally year after year after year, as your people take away our manhood, our womanhood, our personhood? Why, even as we die you don't leave us alone. What we can leave our surviving lovers is taxed far more punitively than what you leave your (legal) surviving spouses. Why do you do this? My lover will be unable to afford to live in the house we have made for each other over our lifetime together. This does not happen to you. Taxation without representation is what led to the Revolutionary War. Gay people have paid all the taxes you have. But you have equality, and we don't.

And there's no sign that this situation will change anytime soon.

read the rest here.

Bush in South America

Despite all the traffic stopping protests in South America during Bush's South of the Border tour, he was quite successful in shoring up a new energy empire in S.A., particularly Brazil - ethanol producing sugarcane fields and of course, cheap labor. You may recall the the bushistas have bought quite a bit of property in Paraguay- A great place to be if you're interested in alternative power hydroelectric power and natural gas.

Read all about it:
Out-Flanked: A New War on Terra Arrives with Bush-Lula Ethanol Deal
Another Bush Family Energy Empire Now Forming in the Heart Of South America

It's all getting very confusing and dot connecting is hurting my brain. Makes you just want to start your own country.

Juicy Stories the Media Ignores

On February 25th, I posted Whose side are the Bushistas on anyway?
It was concerning this article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, THE REDIRECTION Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?

The charges that the US' interest in warring with Iran, fueled by Israel and Saudi Arabia could have disastrous consequences. Iran and Iraq are mostly Shi'ites and Saudi's are Sunni's. Al Qaida are Sunni's and funded by Saudi's. Why a war with Iran if we're on Iraq's side and they are mostly Shi'ites? The media just repeats the propaganda from the bush crime family as it did in the run up to war with Iraq. While Hersh appeared on CNN, Hardball, etc to talk about it, the story just up and died. We brought it up here on blondesense, that the possible war with Iran is all based on bogus assertations that don't make sense on the surface. Where are the congressional investigations?

Tom Engelhardt has a lot more to say about the Seymour Hersh Mystery. If Hersh is to believed and there hasn't been a reason so far to not believe him, why isn't there an investigation into the goings on in Dick Cheney's office? Where's the media? Black op's are juicy stories.

Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

I'm sick of this being called "conspiracy theory." It is a conspiracy. It's the reason we are at war and will always be at war. It explains why drugs are illegal and why the so called "defense" industry or the military industrial complex should be feared. It explains why countries feud. It explains the real reasons for the Taliban and al Qaida. It explains Atta and the Miami connection. It explains why the so called "right" wants to silence Hollywood and why they want to make this a "christian" country. The powers that be are beyond Machiavellian. (see also, The Prince)

I was following the gag order on whistleblower Sibel Edmonds 3 to 4 years ago rather closely and just gave up because the powers that be have their hands in everything and there is too much money to be made from drugs and weapons trafficking that I was overwhelmed by the fact that a mafia-like crime organization was in charge of everything that was wrong with the world including our government. There was just no way that she would be heard because it seemed that everyone had their hand in the drug/weapons industry. She was the Farsi (Turkish) translator who was hired by the FBI after 9/11 who discovered too much and the FBI wanted her to just overlook it. She appeared on 60 minutes in January of 2002 and was then fired by the FBI. A Washington judge order her silenced. The DOJ classified everything she said. Congress didn't want to hear about it (especially Hastert and you'll see why soon) and her testimony to the 9/11 Commission wasn't even in the report. You have the makings here of the biggest coverup in history as I reported 3 years ago and it goes deeper and deeper.

While I was busy trying to connect the dots, I missed a few but blogger, lukery has done a bang up job connecting them (and more at his blog). What's more, with Hastert out of the way, we can get this case opened again if you'd just make a few phone calls. Please call the offices of Congressmen Waxman - (202) 225-3976 (ask for Michelle Ash & David Rapallo) - and Conyers - (202) 225-5126 (ask for Elliot Mintzberg) - demanding open hearings into Sibel Edmonds' case and the State Secrets Privilege.

In short according to lukery in the comments:
Turkey is run by drug-dealing, terrorism-loving, arms dealing crooks
those crooks have enough money that they can 'buy' anyone
those crooks use the ATC as their front organization
the US establishment loves the ATC because it pays well.
we are all less safe as a result.

Edmonds stumbled upon the who's who of arms and drug (heroin) trafficking. You've got the American Turkish Council (ATC), AIPAC, the neocons: Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, Eric Edelman, and Stephen Solarz... Dennis Hastert was involved and as a result, America's elite are making out nicely. ATC and AIPAC own our government.

You might as well start here What the heck is Sibel Edmonds' Case about? And why should I care? and then follow the links. It's important to let Sibel Edmonds speak once and for all. Maybe there are some honest people in Congress or somewhere in DC.

Monday, March 19

Have We Been Wrong All Along?

We all know that there were never weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Iraq was not involved with 9/11, we didn't have to fight "them" there rather than here because there was no "them" in Iraq, etc. So, I was always willing to buy into the notion, which I find quite rational, that King George and The Neocons simply wanted to get their hands on Iraq's oil so they could hand it on over to the likes of Exxon and BP. Seems to make sense in light of the legislation that the Iraqi government is considering.

However, over at HuffPo, I found the following in the comments to this post, and I have to say, this, too, makes a LOT of sense to me:

"The actual cause of the war was one of the worst economic forecasts ever made. If the weapons inspectors were allowed whatever additional time was needed (three months, ex months etc.) to finally declare that Sadam had no WMDs, then BY THEIR TERMS the economic sanctions imposed in 1991 against Sadam would have automatically expired.

It was the fear that if the UN inspectors declared that Iraq had no WMDs, and Iraq was then allowed to sell as much oil as it wanted to whoever it wanted that the dreaded "12 and 12" scenario would occur. This scenario was based on the fact that the countries and places that Saddam hated most were vulnerable to a collapse in oil prices that could occur if Iraq were to produce and sell 12 million barrels per day of oil and thus drive the world price down to $12 per barrel.There was some logic in the "12 & 12" scenario. Who did Saddam hate most? There had been over 1,000,000 dead in the war between Iraq and Iran, Sadam hated Kuwait. Saddam hated Saudi Arabia for its role in the war with Kuwait, and probably Texas was the location Saddam hated most after, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. How could Saddam destroy the economy of all four of those places in one fell swoop? Flood the world with cheap oil."

What do you think? Is this a plausible scenario?

Iraq: 4 years later

Zip it.

CNN's Ed Henry asked Tony Snow what the recipe of success was for Iraq. Tony Snow smugly asked Ed Henry what HIS recipe was. Henry reported:
And when I pointed out to him that that was inappropriate for me to answer that — it’s not up for me about what the recipe for success is, what is the President’s recipe for success? — Tony felt I was interrupting him and said, “Zip it.”

Meanwhile, Condi defended going to war in Iraq but admitted that the US didn't send in enough troops to begin with.
Asked on CBS's "The Early Show" to say what the administration could have done better, Rice replied, "I don't know. When we look back over time we will know the answer to that question."
Yes, she should be president.


Bush isn't taking any questions regarding the war on Iraq today. He asked Americans to just be patient.


18. That's the percentage of Iraqi's who are confident that the US forces will succeed in bringing order to Iraq.


In other news, amazingly another testimony from Gitmo: Waleed Mohammed bin Attash admitted to plotting the bombing of the USS Cole. He also admitted to helping organize the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Does this mean we can go home now?

Monday Sermonette: The Second Commandment Republicans

I just read, The Second Commandment Republicans
by Joe Klein, Time Magazine 3/15/07.
the title must be referring to this:
Matt 22:36-40 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

So we're not talking about this second commandment: "You shall have no other god's before me."

Even if you don't believe in the Judeo-Christian sky god, you can't have a problem with Jesus' exhortation for us to love each other and to look out for each other. It just makes for a better world if people aren't steamrolling each other trying to get rich at any cost or running around accusing each other of sinning against the sky god.

We discover through this article that there are Republican candidates for president (huckabee and brownback) who are more concerned with social justice issues rather than finger pointing at those sinners we should hate (gays, women, the poor, Muslims, Mexicans, liberals, etc) as noted by conservative "christians". Most conservative "christian" republicans couldn't even recite the 10 commandments, let alone follow them, but boy are they quick to tell you that our country was founded on those principals. How hilarious is that?

"Indeed, it was Huckabee who reminded me of Chesterton's lament. "I'm a 'grace' Christian," Huckabee told me over lunch recently, "not a 'law' Christian. The Second Commandment--do unto others--is the basic tenet of my faith. And so I believe that life begins at conception, but I don't believe it ends at birth. I believe we have a responsibility to feed the hungry, to provide a good education, a safe neighborhood, health care ... "
Huckabee ought to clarify for his audiences that he's into the Jesus' commandments, not the Moses commandments or they will be confused. Well they'll be confused anyway because conservative "christians" don't know much about Jesus and the Gospels because you get more wrath for your buck in the OT, the letters of Paul and the Apocalypse.

Klein remarks, "Several weeks ago, I watched Huckabee lose an audience at the National Review's Conservative Summit with his talk of feeding the hungry and health care. "I think he's in the wrong party," a gentleman from Pennsylvania told me."

Indeed! Conservatives hate the poor, the sick and those who don't speak English.
And this:
For Huckabee and Brownback, a moment of biblical temptation looms. Both will be spending most of their time in Iowa, where Republicans have a strong religious bent. Both Robertson and Buchanan have done well there. The temptation will be to slouch back to hellfire and brimstone to unite conservative Christians. It will be an exquisite test of faith for a Second Commandment Christian like Huckabee: Thou Shalt or Thou Shalt Not? Can you win the Iowa caucus without losing your soul?
Are Iowan Republicans a bunch of rich folks who benefited from the tax cuts and war profiteering? It sounds more like they need a preacher who isn't a multi-millionaire.

Conservative "christian" republicans aren't Christian at all. They don't really know or understand Christianity. They know very little about Jesus, even though there are 4 gospels devoted to his teachings. They seem to make stuff up as they go along, without very much deep thought, in order to suit their political interests and they spend more time using the Old Testament and St. Paul for their cues with nary a reference to Jesus- the reason for Christendom. Astounding.

Anyone who really knows the Gospels knows that social justice is the numero uno theme. Jesus talks about helping the poor more than any other topic. If you want to go to heaven, then you act this way,
Matthew 25:35: 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
Most of the above, goes against conservative American values wouldn't you say? How does Gitmo fit in here? And building a wall against Mexicans? And doing away with public schools and social security? And the right to carry a gun so you can shoot people? And yet there it is, in the gospel of Matthew- the key to life. The gospel goes on to tell you who is going to go to hell and it doesn't look good for the conservative christians who ironically are on the left side of God:
Matthew 25: 41"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

The "faithful" Americans should know better than to accept what religious nonsense is spewed forth by political candidates and leaders of huge corporations that have words like "Christian" or "family" in their titles. A real Christian knows Jesus' teachings and when asked about them, does not quote from Paul's epistles, the Apocalypse and the Old Testament... or worse, Benjamin Franklin who said, "God helps those who help themselves." According to the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), God does not ignore those who are lost at all.
So who is God?