Thursday, July 26, 2007

the end

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Show A Movie, Raise Awareness on Torture

In a recent article, the Associated Press stated that an executive order issued by President Bush "breathed new life into the CIA's terror interrogation program . . . that would allow harsh questioning of subjects, limited in public by only a vaguely worded ban on cruel and inhuman treatment." The need for torture to be abolished is greater than ever and awareness of this issue is the key to realizing abolition.

To achieve this end, I want to encourage you and your church group to hold a showing of Rory Kennedy's HBO documentary "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" (recently nominated for four Emmy awards) during the week of October 21-28. GBCS is a member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) and it is our goal to have 1000 congregations participating in this "Spotlight on Torture" project. Signing up is simple to receive your free copy of the DVD, "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" and all of the materials needed to lead a discussion afterward.

Bush in Free Fall

By Robert Scheer, Truthdig

At what point will President Bush finally grasp the enormous disaster that the neoconservatives, from Vice President Dick Cheney on down, have visited upon his presidency?

Or, to put it numerically, just how does a president descend from a 92 percent approval rating one month after 9/11 -- the highest of any president since modern polling began -- to the two-thirds disapproval score that has stalked him through the last year, thanks to the Iraq debacle, without getting the message?

Two major polls released this week show that the vast majority of Americans grasp the salient lesson of the Iraq misadventure: "Winning" this war has nothing to do with winning the war on terrorism. Thus, the public overwhelmingly supports the congressional Democratic leadership's demand that the administration begin concrete steps to extract U.S. troops from Iraq.

This week's New York Times/CBS poll found that two-thirds of those polled said that the war is "going badly" and that "the United States should reduce its forces in Iraq, or remove them altogether." Meanwhile, a Washington Post/ABC survey reported that, "by a large margin, Americans trust the Democrats rather than the president to find a solution to a conflict that remains enormously unpopular."

According to the Post poll, more than six in 10 Americans want Congress to make the final decision about when our troops come home. Even a majority of Republicans judge Bush to be too rigid to change course and, significantly, among those who either served in Iraq or had a close friend or relative who did, only 38 percent approve of Bush's handling of the war.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

"Those in power need checks and restraints lest they come to identify the common good for their own tastes and desires, and their continuation in office as essential to the preservation of the nation."

-- Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice Source: We, The Judges, 1956

The Washington Post is on Crack

By Cenk Uygur

In an editorial in Saturday's paper called "The Phony Debate," the Washington Post claims it is Harry Reid who is keeping the US government from agreeing on a sensible withdrawal plan from Iraq. Who wrote this editorial, Mitch McConnell, Bill Kristol, President Bush?

What kind of crack do you have to be smoking to claim that it's Senator Reid and not President Bush who is keeping us in Iraq? That is such an outrageous proposition that it makes you question the Washington Post's credibility, or their sanity.

Look at this absolute crap they printed:

A large majority of senators from both parties favor a shift in the U.S. mission that would involve substantially reducing the number of American forces over the next year or so and rededicating those remaining to training the Iraqi army, protecting Iraq's borders and fighting al-Qaeda. President Bush and his senior aides and generals also support this broad strategy, which was formulated by the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton commission. Mr. Bush recently said that "it's a position I'd like to see us in."

Are you fucking kidding me? I'm so angry I can hardly type. If President Bush really wants this option, you know what he has to do? Order it! It will be done tomorrow. You have to be either retarded or completely biased to pretend that President Bush wants to leave Iraq but the Democrats won't let him. That is turning reality completely on its head.

I often argue that the mainstream media is absolutely cowered by decades of conservatives calling them liberal. They are willing to do whatever it takes, including often perverting the truth, to get them to stop (which, of course, they never will, because the whole point is to intimidate the media -- and it's working like a charm).


Anderson Cooper Needs to do his Job and Report the News

It Wasn't Terrorism.

It's E. coli conservatism.

An explosion wracked the area around Manhattan's Grand Central Station Wednesday, spewing asbestos, claiming one life, sending the city into a panic. The culprit? A pipe built in 1924.

We've warned here again and again about the decrepitude of our underground infrastructure, about what happens when a nation consecrates itself to no higher domestic goal than the cutting of taxes. New York had a Republican mayor, in fact, who now spends his days boasting that he cut taxes 23 times. Cut spending, too, he's proud to say.

"Midtown is chaos right now," said one witness. "It seemed like everybody in Midtown just dumped into the streets."

"It was mayhem. Nobody knew what to do. Everyone got outside and was yelling," said another.

Maybe it's time to stop listening to conservatives, and start listening to Merle Haggard.


[This is what the Third Worldization of a great nation's infrastructure looks like.]

["'There is no reason to believe whatsoever that this is anything other than a failure of our infrastructure,' [Mayor Bloomberg] said of the 24-inch steam pipe installed in 1924." How encouraging.]


How The White House Will Manipulate Events and Emotions to Maintain GOP Executive Branch Control in 2008

My Wake-up Call: Watch For Another 9/11-WMD Experience

(Thom Harman interviewed this guy [who advocates the impeachment of the president and vice president] on his show on 7/17 in the begining segments. You should listen to it even if you have to pay $2 for it. You can find it on the Air America website or on iTunes. Absolutely chilling.

By Paul Craig Roberts

This is a wake-up call that we are about to experience another 9/11-WMD experience.

The wake-up call is unlikely to be effective, because the American attitude toward government changed fundamentally seventy-odd years ago. Prior to the 1930s, Americans were suspicious of government, but with the arrival of the Great Depression, Tojo, and Hitler, President Franklin D. Roosevelt convinced Americans that government existed to protect them from rapacious private interests and foreign threats. Today, Americans are more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to government than they are to family members, friends, and those who would warn them about the government’s protection.

Intelligent observers are puzzled that President Bush is persisting in a futile and unpopular war at the obvious expense of his party’s electoral chances in 2008.

In the July 18 Los Angeles Times (“Bush the Albatross”), Ronald Brownstein reminds us that Bush’s behavior is disastrous for his political party. Unpopular presidents “have consistently undercut their party in the next election.” Brownstein reports that “88% of voters who disapproved of the retiring president’s job performance voted against his party’s nominee in past elections. . . . On average, 80% of voters who disapproved of a president’s performance have voted against his party’s candidates even in House races since 1986.”

Brownstein notes that with Bush’s dismal approval rating, this implies a total wipeout of the Republicans in 2008.

A number of pundits have concluded that the reason the Democrats have not brought a halt to Bush’s follies is that they expect Bush’s unpopular policies to provide them with a landslide victory next year.

There is a problem with this reasoning. It assumes that Cheney, Rove, and the Republicans are ignorant of these facts or are content for the Republican Party to be destroyed after Bush has his warmonger-police state fling. After me, the deluge.”


Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

Read the entire EO HERE

Friday, July 20, 2007

Olbermann's Special Comment on scapegoating.

Special comments on the scapegoating of Senator Clinton!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cheney, The Black Hole

From TPM:

At the dawn of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force was the hot social ticket for leading luminaries of future GOP scandals.

Once a closely-held secret, the Washington Post today publishes the dance card for the task force. Cheney, citing the principle of executive confidentiality, took the public's right not to know all the way to the Supreme Court when Congress tried to learn the attendance list published today. It comes as no surprise that the list was heavy on energy-industry big shots, including Enron's Kenneth Lay, who got a private meeting with Cheney on April 17, 2001.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Durbin Takes Obstructionist McConnell to Task

I have advocated the Dems do this for some time otherwise the public has no idea who the obstructionists really are. All the public knows is that the Dems aren't getting the things done they said they were going to get done. If the Repubs want to filibuster let them - but make them stand up and do it in front of the nation.

Give 'em Hell, Harry!

Forcing his Republican colleagues to put up or shut up on the notion of an up-or-down vote, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago announced that he will immediately file a cloture motion on the Reed-Levin troop redeployment bill and, if Republicans follow through with a filibuster, will place the Senate in a prolonged all-night session Tuesday to force a true continuation of debate.

"Now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end," said Reid. "They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops. They are denying us an up or down – yes or no – vote on the most important issue our country faces."

The Reed-Levin amendment to the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization Bill requires George W. Bush to "commence the reduction of the number of United States forces in Iraq not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act" and mandates a withdrawal of most combat forces by April 30, 2008.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

War ... should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits.

James Madison (1751–1836), U.S. president. “Universal Peace” (January 31, 1792). W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 14, p. 207, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).

Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq

Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.


Webb Rips Graham As ‘Politician Trying To Put His Political Views Into The Mouths Of Soldiers’

Oh my!

Iraq-Bound Soldier Hires Hitman To Shoot Him

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Bronx Man Admits He'd Rather Go To Prison Than Back To Iraq

The death and destruction of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq seems to have become so rampant to one local soldier that he actually staged an attack on himself -- allegedly hiring a hitman to non-fatally shoot him -- so he wouldn't be sent back for another tour of duty.

Now, 20-year-old Jonathan Aponte is under fire at home in the Bronx for his decision that may send him to prison.

"There are some people mentally that can handle it. There are some people who just can't. You need to know when to say enough is enough," Aponte told CBS 2 HD exclusively Friday.
Click photo to see video.


Bush Is Prepared to Veto Bill to Expand Child Insurance

We're spending 12 billion per month to kill people in Iraq - and our so called "pro-life" president will veto a bill which would reduce the number of uninsured children in the U.S. by 4.1 million by increasing spending over the next five years by $35 billion for a total of $60 billion. This increase would be funded by a cigarette tax increase. If this doesn't crystalize the Republican party's priorities for you - I don't know what will.

The White House said on Saturday that President Bush would veto a bipartisan plan to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, drafted over the last six months by senior members of the Senate Finance Committee.

The vow puts Mr. Bush at odds with the Democratic majority in Congress, with a substantial number of Republican lawmakers and with many governors of both parties, who want to expand the popular program to cover some of the nation’s eight million uninsured children.


Marine says beatings urged in Iraq

A Marine corporal, testifying Saturday at the murder trial of a buddy, said that Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after being ordered by officers to "crank up the violence level."

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo said Marines in his platoon, including the defendant, Cpl. Trent D. Thomas, were angry when officers criticized them as not being as tough as other Marine platoons.

"We're all hard-chargers, we're not there to mess around, so we took it as an insult," Lopezromo said.

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.