Thursday, August 31, 2006

Today's Details

-With paper ballots from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio scheduled to be destroyed next week, the secretary of state in Columbus, under pressure from critics, said yesterday that he would move to delay the destruction at least for several months. Since the election, questions have been raised about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that helped deliver the election to President Bush over Senator John Kerry .The critics, including an independent candidate for governor and a team of statisticians and lawyers, say preliminary results from their ballot inspections show signs of more widespread irregularities than previously known. DETAILS

-Iran defied a U.N. deadline Thursday to stop enriching uranium, opening the door for sanctions, but U.S. and other officials said no action would be sought before a key European diplomat meets with Tehran's atomic chief next week to seek a compromise. DETAILS

-Kenya stepped up criticism of US Senator Barack Obama, accusing him of insulting the Kenyan people and trivializing their achievements during a visit to his father's homeland.Two days after abruptly changing its tone on Obama, who had been welcomed as a returning hero but incurred official wrath with blistering criticism of corruption and ethnic divisions, Nairobi launched a new attack on the lawmaker. Less than 24 hours after the rising US political star left Kenya to continue an African tour, government spokesman Alfred Mutua blasted Obama for choosing "to dwell on non-issues" in a nationally televised speech on Monday. DETAILS

-Last night on Hannity and Colmes, Pat Buchanan explained that he’s motivated by his desire to keep the country overwhelmingly white.Buchanan told Alan Colmes: “What I would like is — I’d like the country I grew up in. It was a good country. I lived in Washington, D.C., 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, in a country 89 or 90 percent white. I like that country.” (*yawn* another day, another racist Republican.) VIDEO

-Zachary Guiles knew he was being provocative when he showed up for school two years ago in a T-shirt that accused George Bush of being a war-mongering draft-dodger, a drunkard and a drug addict. What the 13-year-old may not have realised was that he would provoke a major free-speech battle that culminated this week in a court victory. An appeals court in New York found that Zachary's constitutional rights were violated when officials at his Vermont school made him stick duct tape over parts of the T-shirt. The shirt also said the president was undertaking a "world domination tour" and showed a picture of his head superimposed on a chicken's body, along with cocaine, a razor blade and a martini glass. Zachary was suspended for a day, but continued to wear the T-shirt to school, complete with duct tape. DETAILS

Mike Malloy Fired by Air America Radio

From Mike's website:

There will be no Mike Malloy program on Air America Radio as we have been terminated as of 8/30/06.

Lie by Lie: Chronicle of a War Foretold: August 1990 to March 2003

This should be MANDATORY reading. In fact, I am declaring it as such. Mother Jones has an EXCELLENT interactive timeline on the run up to the Iraq war. It's all there - "LIE by LIE". Study it - share it with your Republican friends, share it with your Republican enemies, share it with those who still cling to the belief that the invasion and occupation of a small, unarmed country was was launched to protect and defend the United States from TERRORISTS!


Majority Say Iraq Making Terrorism More Likely

In the long term, do you think there will be more or less terrorism in the United States because the U.S. went to war in Iraq?

More................................................ 60 61 62
Less................................................. 31 25 26
About the same/no difference.......... 6 10 8
Not sure......................................... 3 4 4


Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2700/299

Most Recent Casualties:

August 31, 2006

Army Staff Sgt. Michael L. Deason, 28, of Farmington, Mo
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.

-Charles Eliot Norton

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rumsfeld Warns Against Appeasement

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces "a new type of fascism" and warned against repeating the pre-World War II mistake of appeasement.

Rumsfeld alluded to critics of the Bush administration's war policies in terms associated with the failure to stop Nazism in the 1930s, "a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the Western democracies."

Without explicitly citing Bush critics at home or abroad, he said "it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons." Aides to Rumsfeld said later he was not accusing the administration's critics of trying to appease the terrorists but was cautioning against a repeat of errors made in earlier eras. Speaking to several thousand veterans at the American Legion's national convention, Rumsfeld said that as fascism and Nazism took hold in Europe, those who warned of a coming crisis were ridiculed or ignored. He quoted Winston Churchill as observing that trying to accommodate Hitler was "a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last."


Today's Details

-General Motors Corp. has decided to end its sponsorship of CBS' hit series "Survivor," but the world's largest automaker said Wednesday that the decision had nothing to do with the reality show's controversial decision to divide its contestants in the upcoming season by race and ethnicity. (Good for them! More should follow suit. I haven't heard of a boycot being organized. We should do so - the RR always does when they feel their beliefs are being insulted. But are they out there organizing against blatant racisim. No-siree, Bob! Guess racisim is ok as television entertainment but not movies about Reagan the Messiah. Too bad GM products can't compete or I'd buy one from them since I'm going to get a new car in the next six months.) DETAILS

-RadioShack Corp. notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts. Employees at the Fort Worth headquarters got messages Tuesday morning saying: "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately, your position is one that has been eliminated." COWARDS! DETAILS

The new GOP buzzword: Fascism

When I came across this article I thought "They must be kidding! This is some kind of a joke". Republicans, running around the country touting 'facisim' as the new enemy of the people? HUH? Would someone please hand these people a mirror and the link to "Characteristics of Facism" . If the bobble heads that listen to this drivel don't pee on themselves laughing - then they have no idea what the word means. Good God, stop listening to this crap and start THINKING!!!!!!! We should be wary of the fascist tendencies of the foxes in our own hen house.

President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.

Bush used the term earlier this month in talking about the arrest of suspected terrorists in Britain, and spoke of "Islamic fascists" in a later speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Spokesman Tony Snow has used variations on the phrase at White House press briefings.

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, in a tough re-election fight, drew parallels on Monday between World War II and the current war against "Islamic fascism," saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries. It's a phrase Santorum has been using for months.

And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday took it a step further in a speech to an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, accusing critics of the administration's Iraq and anti-terrorism policies of trying to appease "a new type of fascism."


Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2700/299

Most Recent Casualties:

August 30, 2006

Marine Lance Corporal Colin J. Wolfe
, 18, of Manassas, Va
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Sgt. Joshua R. Hanson, 27, of West St. Paul, Minn.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

President Bush travels to the Gulf Coast this week, ostensibly to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Everyone knows his real mission: to try to make us forget the first anniversary of the downfall of his presidency.

-Frank Rich, NY Times

Katrina, One Year Later

Anniversary’s are times to reflect. Katrina and its aftermath have given us many things to reflect upon. I think the biggest lesson to be learned when talking about the 'failures' of the government in its response to Katrina is that Republicans don't see it as a failure. The gut wrenching images we saw unfolding on our televisions were in actuality a vivid reflection of the philosophy of the Republican Party come to fruition. This is a party who doesn't believe in government intervention or government programs. They don’t believe in a tax system which allows for the funding of such things. Although they don't say it out loud - they are about the dismantling of the kind of government that American’s have relied upon and have come expect will be there if needed.

Rather than spark a national movement to hold the government accountable for its failures in the aftermath of Katrina and demand the righting of wrongs, Americans seem to have embraced the philosophy that "the government can't help you". So when we talk about the failures of the government post Katrina - keep in mind that the Republicans have actually enjoyed great victory in the aftermath of Katrina by burning that philosophy into the psyche of America.

A full one year after Katrina and the 9th Ward of New Orleans has no electricity and no running water. In the America I love - that is simply unacceptable. We can afford trillions in tax cuts for the wealthy and billions per month for our futile war effort in Iraq but the government in this country can't bring the basic comforts that most of us take for granted to the brown skinned residents of New Orleans. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Katrina and the horrible aftermath should be the spark of a debate this campaign season about what kind of country we want America to be. Do we want a country that Republicans envision where the have-nots struggle to meet every adversity on their own with limited resources? Or do we want the kind country we like to imagine that we are? An America that truly values every human being and helps them to achieve their full potential? An America that’s there to help its people put their lives back together when powers beyond their control shake the very foundations of their existence? Do we want a government of rhetoric and slogans or a government that acts on behalf of its citizens?

Katrina, more than anything else that I can think of, accentuates the difference in philosophy between the two parties. The citizens of this country should recognize that Katrina was more than a natural disaster - it was a look into our future.

It was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that I began posting to this blog I'd created some months before but had not figured out what to do with it up until then. The article below was my very first attempt at blogging so I thought it fitting on this one year anniversary that I post it again.

Blaming the Least Among Us

By EAPrez

Since Katrina blew through the gulf coast I have been saddened by the 'blame the victim' spin heard since citizens started questioning the response of the federal government to the tragedy. Most of this kind of talk is from our friends, the Republicans - also known as the 'religious wing' of the population. Some of the things I have heard on right wing radio is enough to make those of us fortunate enough to have food and water - loose it. Here are a few examples heard on my local right wing radio station while I was stuck in traffic in the span of about 10 minutes:

-"Why are there so many poor people in New Orleans? Isn't it a blue state? How come so many people in a blue state don't have cars?" (Translation: If Democrats were such good leaders, there wouldn't be so many poor people in LA. We are seeing a failure of Democratic Leadership. It didn't occur to this unthinking caller that he was implying that no one in the red states lived below the poverty line. Imagine my surprise to learn this new 'factoid'.)

-"If I had to I would have taken my kids and walked to keep them safe. ANYTHING to get them out of harms way." (Translation: These people are not just black and poor - they're bad parents. They should have hit the road with their kids in 100+ heat lugging their food, water and clothing with them. Funny thing is - I doubt the man who made this comment would have been able to lug two toddlers and an infant through an air conditioned mall - purchase shoes, feed, change and hydrate them without loosing his mind. Easy to talk the talk when you're not the one facing the walk.)

-"If those people had to go to Texas to file insurance claims I'd bet they'd find a way." (Translation: These are lazy but greedy people motivated by one thing...MONEY! Gee, I'm motivated by money too - as I am sure this caller is as well. Unless of course all of his life's work is volunteer work for which he's never paid a dime. How appalling that people would try to get what they're entitled to! What's to be done about this travesty?)

-How come those democratic officials failed so miserably? (Translation: The Republicans would have done it better. Oh really? Have you seen the pictures on the news over the past two weeks????? If that were the case then the Republicans could have swooped in, saved everyone and received their just praises.)

That was about as much dialog as I could stomach during one drive home. I was cursing these people as I turned them off opting for the sounds of music instead. I would have liked to have been able to tell these members of the Republican party that I find it ironic that they are the party who likes to nail the ten commandments all over the place, pray at public events and wrap the flag around their head as a sweat band - yet nothing I heard them say reflected the spirit of America or the spirit of the Christ they want to compel the rest of us to worship. I would have also liked to have told them of the Jesus I am familiar with - but rather than quoting scripture I'd tell them that the Jesus I am familiar with would not be standing around blaming the victims for the circumstances they find themselves in. The Jesus I am familiar with would be rolling up his sleeves, no questions asked, and plucking every one of those New Orleaneans from the muck and mire. He'd move mountains to do so without making judgments about who was deserving and who wasn't.

There is absolutely no excuse for food and water not being air dropped into that city after the storm. NONE. If we can drop propaganda leaflets into a war zone to tell people we are dropping bombs on what to expect next - then we can certainly drop food and water into a flood zone in less than 5 days after a storm. If we can airlift food, water and medical supplies to refugees in other countries then we certainly have the right to expect that our own citizens receive the same consideration in a timely manner. If one removes the issues of race and class as the reason for the operational failures then one must then conclude that the system is a total failure and the people at the helm are bumbling idiots.

This administration campaigned on their ability to keep us safe. Safe from terrorists, safe from dirty bombs, safe from biological weapons. Appears they were not able to keep their campaign promise regarding biological agents since they failed so miserably in helping people survive an attack of the biological agent H20. In fact, many people died needlessly for want of a drink of water. You should be outraged - not making excuses for them by demonizing the victims. Blaming the victims is not the most constructive course to take at this time. Questioning the administration however, is a matter of life and death.

Then the king will tell those on his right hand, 'Come blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

For I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me drink' I was a stranger, and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.

"Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord when did we see you hungry, and feed you' or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in' or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'

‘The King will answer them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:34-40

Today's Details

-Fox News' ratings are down since August of last year. Like, way down. Like down 28 percent in primetime among all viewers, down 20 percent in primetime in the "money demo" (viewers aged 25-54) and down 7 percent in daytime viewership overall. In fact, the only place Fox is up is during the day, when they managed a ratings increase of just 2 percent, and even then only in the money demo. DETAILS

-This morning, the Census Bureau released new figures about health insurance, income, and poverty. It’s not a pretty picture. The number of Americans without health insurance continues to rise at an alarming rate, men and women are earning less money and there are as many people living in poverty as there have ever been. DETAILS

-Two attorneys representing claimants in a lawsuit over wiretapping by the National Security Agency claim that they have sent subpoenas the White House today. Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer, who say they represent hundreds of plaintiffs in lawsuits against Verizon, AT&T, and the US Government, will announnce today that they are serving both the Bush administration and Verizon with subpoenas. DETAILS

-The Texas Republican Party establishment has rallied around a single candidate, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, in their unusual write-in campaign to salvage the 22nd Congressional District seat vacated in June by Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader.But the extreme rarity of successful write-in campaigns for Congress and the presence of a solid Democratic nominee on the ballot in former Rep. Nick Lampson has prompted to change its rating on the 22nd District race to Leans Democratic from No Clear Favorite. DETAILS

-Sen. John Kerry didn't contest the results at the time, but now that he's considering another run for the White House, he's alleging election improprieties by the Ohio Republican who oversaw the deciding vote in 2004. An e-mail will be sent to 100,000 Democratic donors Tuesday asking them to support U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland for governor of Ohio. The bulk of the e-mail criticizes Strickland's opponent, GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, for his dual role in 2004 as President Bush's honorary Ohio campaign co-chairman and the state's top election official.''He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote,'' said Kerry's e-mail. DETAILS

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Storm Struggle

The "Times-Picayune" has put together an interactive media show entitled Storm Struggle. Go here to see and hear some truly moving stories of stuggle and survival in the face of Hurricane Katrina.

Karl Rove: Rhetoric vs Reality

If Rove experienced any pain from having his own reputation questioned, it hasn't stopped him from tearing down political opponents with attacks on their credibility.

Once again he's using the tactic that helped Bush win re-election in 2004 - suggesting that Democrats cannot adequately protect the country from terrorists.

"The problem for these Democrats is that their policies would have consequences and their policies would make us more, not less, vulnerable," Rove said from a podium beneath the beamed, vaulted ceilings and brass chandeliers of the Inverness Country Club in Toledo. "And in war, weakness emboldens your enemies and it's an invitation for disaster."

He even targets those who are decorated military veterans like Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha.

Rove recently said those Democrats "may be with you at the first shots, but they are not going to be there for the last tough battles."

He criticizes the media too. A favorite target is The New York Times and its role in revealing the administration's secret tracking of terrorist financing. He recently said journalists often criticize political professionals because they want to draw attention away from the "corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance."


Donald Rumsfeld Has Lost His Mind

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.

"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.

Rumsfeld was asked whether the criticism he draws as Pentagon chief and a leading advocate of the war in Iraq is an impediment to performing his job. He said it was not and he knows from history that wars are normally unpopular with many Americans. "I expect that," he said. "I understand that."

"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.


Katrina: A Man Made Disaster

Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2700/299

Most Recent Casualties:

August 29, 2006

Marine Cpl. Christopher T. Warndorf, 21, of Burlington, Ky.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Sgt. Matthew J. Vosbein, 30, of Metairie, La.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

Lieberman, along with the president and vice president, has become a full-blown McCarthyite smear artist, painting his political opponents with the tar brush of treason in an alleged apocalyptic battle for civilization.

Robert Scheer "Warring Over the Heart of the Party"

Today's Details

-A federal judge on Monday struck down a Florida law that imposes hefty fines on third parties that take too long to submit voter registration forms, saying it threatens free speech rights and unfairly exempts political parties. The law took effect Jan. 1 and has been blamed by critics for blocking voter registration drives because of huge financial risk.The law imposes a fine of $250 for each form submitted to election officials more than 10 days after it is collected from an individual. Penalties can reach $5,000 for each form that is collected but never submitted. DETAILS

- Schoolteacher John Mark Karr will not be charged with the murder of 6-year-old beauty pageant competitor JonBenet Ramsey, Karr's attorney said Monday."The warrant on Mr. Karr has been dropped by the district attorney," public defender Seth Temin said outside the jail. "They are not proceeding with the case." He said a hearing scheduled later Monday afternoon has been canceled. Temin also said he was "deeply disturbed" that authorities in Boulder brought Karr from Thailand with what appears to have been scant evidence. (I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! You will never convince me that the White House didn't have something to do with the timing of this. Why? To drive the ruling against the Bush Administration which said their NSA wiretapping program was unconstituional off of the news.....and it worked! Bastards!) DETAILS

- A former pitcher for a White Sox rookie league club and the minor league Joliet Jackhammers died in Sunday's plane crash in Kentucky as he was leaving on his honeymoon with the bride he had married a day earlier. DETAILS

- A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds that Americans have a more negative than positive opinion of presidential adviser Karl Rove, a pattern that has been consistent over the last year. Rove's current ratings have recovered somewhat from the low point measured in April, shortly after some of Rove's White House duties were reduced and as reports continued to suggest Rove might be indicted in the CIA leak investigation. His current ratings are roughly in line with his ratings from last October. DETAILS

-A plurality of voters in each of 32 states agree that the political system in the U.S. is "badly broken." Percentages range from a high of 63% in Vermont to 47% in Nebraska, but all point in the same direction. The Rasmussen Reports surveys were conducted as part of a series of Election 2006 polls on Senate and Governor's races across the nation. (Imagine that!) DETAILS

Monday, August 28, 2006

8 U.S. Soldiers Killed Over Weekend

The U.S. military said eight U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday and Sunday in and around Baghdad, seven of them by roadside bombs and one by gunfire. More than 2,600 U.S. military personnel have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.

U.S. military authorities said there was less violence than before.



A video from Peace Takes Courage if this doesn't bring a tear to your eye....nothing will.

Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2691/308

Most Recent Casualties:

August 28, 2006

Marine Lance Cpl. Donald E. Champlin
, 28, of Natchitoches, La.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Matthew E. Schneider, 23, of Gorham, N.H.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Cpl. Shannon L. Squires, 25, of Virginia Beach, Va.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

"It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy ... The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States."
-Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Tonight is Emmy Night! Which Show Will Walk Away With Best Drama Award?

The West Wing - Had a great final season - our side won - but they've won this award before. Time for "24" to win it. Here is a great scene between "Danny & CJ" as they try to define their relationship.

House - A favorite of mine. This is probably the best show on television - well, after '24'.

Grey's Anatomy - Didn't start watching this until late last season and fell in love with it. Great soundtrack.

"24" My personal favorite - and not just because my television boyfriend Kiefer Sutherland is the star of the show. In my NTBHP "24" is long overdue for the top award.

The Soprano's - Cursing and violence. Not very clever in my view.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fmr. FEMA Chief: Department Of Homeland Security Is "A Bureaucratic Black Hole"...

Former FEMA Chief Michael Brown appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning to talk about Hurricane Katrina one year later. Brown lost his position in the aftermath of the storm, and shouldered a great deal of blame for the fallout from the hurricane that leveled catastrophic damage at New Orleans. Earlier today he talked about his own mistakes, as well as the institutional faults of a government wholly unprepared for a natural disaster of Katrina's magnitude.

The following is excerpted from today's This Week

...Stephanopoulos: You've admitted that it was a mistake for you to play along with the White House message during Katrina, and in Playboy Magazine you called that 'a lie,' the White House Message. What was the lie?

Brown: The lie was that we were ready and that everything was working as a team. Behind the scenes it wasn't working at all. There were political considerations going in to all the discussions, there was the fact that New Orleans did not evacuate, and the mayor had no plan, the mayor didn't do what he was supposed to do. And so we were stepping in there and talking about 'we're working as a team,' everything's going the way it's supposed to do, those were the talking points.

Stephanopoulos: Why did the White House want you to lie?

Brown: Well because they want to just talk about how great thing are going. You always want to put the spin on that things are working the way they're supposed to do, and behind the scenes they're not. Again, my biggest mistake was just not leveling with the American public and saying, 'folks, this isn't working'...


Today's Details

-Ernesto became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season Sunday with winds of 75 mph, and forecasters said it would strengthen as it headed toward the Gulf of Mexico, where it could menace a wide swath of coastline including New Orleans. DETAILS

-Two Fox journalists kidnapped by militants two weeks ago in Gaze have been released and appear to be in good health. DETAILS

-Democratic Party leaders want a former candidate for attorney general who denies the Holocaust occurred to stay out of their future primaries. The party's executive committee passed a resolution Saturday informing Larry Darby that "he is not welcome in the Alabama Democratic Party." Darby, the founder of the Atheist Law Center, responded by saying the vote shows that the state party's leadership is "intellectually and morally bankrupt." "This is the typical heavy-handed behavior of the Alabama Democratic Party for the last 30 years," Darby said. "They're censoring me for having the wrong views." (Larry, it's not because you have the "wrong " views - it's because you're an idiot! You're not being CENSORED - you can say whatever you want to - you just can't do it as a card carrying member of the Democratic party! You can still call yourself a Democrat. Joe Lieberman does. Perhaps you should considering joining the Nazi Party since your beliefs are more in line with theirs. ) DETAILS

-About 700 demonstrators marched past the seaside church where President Bush's second cousin was to be married Saturday and then up to the checkpoint guarding the family summer compound to protest the war in Iraq. DETAILS

Sunday Funnies

Compliant and subservient: Jimmy Carter's explosive critique of Tony Blair

Tony Blair's lack of leadership and timid subservience to George W Bush lie behind the ongoing crisis in Iraq and the worldwide threat of terrorism, according to the former American president Jimmy Carter.

"I have been surprised and extremely disappointed by Tony Blair's behaviour," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

"I think that more than any other person in the world the Prime Minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington - and he has not. I really thought that Tony Blair, who I know personally to some degree, would be a constraint on President Bush's policies towards Iraq."

In an exclusive interview, President Carter made it plain that he sees Mr Blair's lack of leadership as being a key factor in the present crisis in Iraq, which followed the 2003 invasion - a pre-emptive move he said he would never have considered himself as president.

Mr Carter also said that the Iraq invasion had subverted the fight against terrorism and instead strengthened al-Qaeda and the recruitment of terrorists.


State Dept Has Always Known Who Leaked Plames Name

In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a "senior administration official" who was "not a partisan gunslinger." Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was "in deep distress," says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. "I'm sure he's talking about me."

Armitage's admission led to a flurry of anxious phone calls and meetings that day at the State Department. (Days earlier, the Justice Department had launched a criminal investigation into the Plame leak after the CIA informed officials there that she was an undercover officer.) Within hours, William Howard Taft IV, the State Department's legal adviser, notified a senior Justice official that Armitage had information relevant to the case. The next day, a team of FBI agents and Justice prosecutors investigating the leak questioned the deputy secretary. Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson's wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA. (The memo made no reference to her undercover status.) Armitage had met with Novak in his State Department office on July 8, 2003—just days before Novak published his first piece identifying Plame. Powell, Armitage and Taft, the only three officials at the State Department who knew the story, never breathed a word of it publicly and Armitage's role remained secret.

Armitage, a well-known gossip who loves to dish and receive juicy tidbits about Washington characters, apparently hadn't thought through the possible implications of telling Novak about Plame's identity. "I'm afraid I may be the guy that caused this whole thing," he later told Carl Ford Jr., State's intelligence chief. Ford says Armitage admitted to him that he had "slipped up" and told Novak more than he should have. "He was basically beside himself that he was the guy that f---ed up. My sense from Rich is that it was just chitchat," Ford recalls in "Hubris," to be published next week by Crown and co-written by the author of this article and David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation magazine.

As it turned out, Novak wasn't the only person Armitage talked to about Plame. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has also said he was told of Plame's identity in June 2003. Woodward did not respond to requests for comment for this article, but, as late as last week, he referred reporters to his comments in November 2005 that he learned of her identity in a "casual and offhand" conversation with an administration official he declined to identify. According to three government officials, a lawyer familiar with the case and an Armitage confidant, all of whom would not be named discussing these details, Armitage told Woodward about Plame three weeks before talking to Novak. Armitage has consistently refused to discuss the case; through an assistant last week he declined to comment for this story. Novak would say only: "I don't discuss my sources until they reveal themselves."


Ann Coulter Flees from Reality

Why anyone watches this show let alone appears as a guest is beyond me. Hannity does not let anyone who has an opinion different than his own speak. It's a show about yelling - not about providing real information to the viewer. After saying things in Afghanistan were "going swimmingly" (what the hell does that mean, anyway?) Ann Coulter was confronted with the reality. Realities are something Ann is not used to dealing with. When forced to sit and listen, rather than spew innacurate slogans, she opted to walk rather than learn something.

Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2686/305

Most Recent Casualties:

August 27, 2006

Army Spc. Kenneth M. Cross
, 21, of Superior, Wis.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Staff Sgt. Jeffrey J. Hansen
, 31, of Cairo, Neb.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Tristan C. Smith, 23, of Bryn Athyn, Pa.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Shaun A. Novak
, 21, of Two Rivers, Wis.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Seth A. Hildreth, 26, of Myrtle Beach, S.C.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Sgt. David J. Almazan, 27, of Van Nuys, Calif.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Sgt. Darry Benson, 46, of Winterville, N.C.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Joshua D. Jones, 24, of Pomeroy, Ohio
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Pfc. Daniel G. Dolan
, 19, of Roy, Utah
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Sgt. Moises Jazmin
, 25, of Providence, R.I.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Qixing Lee, 20, of Minneapolis, Minn.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

- Samuel P. Huntington

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Future Speaker of the House Nancy Peolosi on Letterman

Today's Details

-Adding insult to injury in the 'macaca' affair, video cameras trained on George Allen's latest apologies have captured yet another disturbing scene: Senator Allen winking at a room full of white folks before apologizing for his racism. DETAILS

-McCain is no longer offering himself as the alternative to Bush. Now he's positioned himself as Bush's heir, a turnaround that makes some people, including McCain sometimes, more than a little uncomfortable. DETAILS

-Sen. Joe Lieberman, the three-term Democrat whose independent campaign for re-election is being seen as a referendum on the Iraq war, said Friday he would consider taking a look at a fellow lawmaker's proposal for a timeline for troop withdrawals. The proposal was floated by Republican Rep. Chris Shays, another Connecticut politician facing a tough re-election battle with an anti-war candidate. Shays has long been a supporter of the war and previously opposed withdrawal timetables."It seems to me that Chris is saying, maybe we ought to set some goals for when we want to get out, and I'd like to see what he has in mind before I comment on it," Lieberman said while campaigning in New Haven. DETAILS

-Republican Sen. John McCain said Friday he supports the U.S. mission in Iraq days after faulting the Bush Administration for misleading Americans into believing it would be "some kind of day at the beach." The potential 2008 presidential canidate and staunch war supporter issued a statement explaining his position after his headline-grabbing comments criticizing the Bush administraion. "I never intended my concernt that the American people be fully informed about the conduct and consequences of the war to indicate any lessening of my support for our mission there, "McCain said in a statement. DETAILS

-Iran's hard-line president on Saturday inaugurated a heavy-water production plant, a facility the West fears will be used to develop a nuclear bomb, as Tehran remained defiant ahead of a U.N. deadline that could lead to sanctions. The U.N. has called on Tehran to stop the separate process of uranium enrichment — which also can be used to create nuclear weapons — by Thursday or face economic and political sanctions. DETAILS

-Campaign strategists seek intraparty consensus by focusing on accountability rather than Iraq troop withdrawals. A “no-confidence” vote in Pentagon chief, which Democratic lawmakers might offer on defense spending legislation, could embarrass Bush while appealing to Republicans who defend ousting Saddam but criticize war’s execution. One House Republican predicts leaders would heed White House urgings to block a vote. But a Republican consultant says some incumbents may embrace idea for distance from war setbacks. DETAILS

The Trouble with Bush's 'Islamofascism'

I read this article and immediately thought of new visitor, marie:

"Islamo-fascism" looks like an analytic term, but really it's an emotional one, intended to get us to think less and fear more. It presents the bewildering politics of the Muslim world as a simple matter of Us versus Them, with war to the end the only answer, as with Hitler. If you doubt that every other British Muslim under the age of 30 is ready to blow himself up for Allah, or that shredding the Constitution is the way to protect ourselves from suicide bombers, if you think that Hamas might be less popular if Palestinians were less miserable, you get cast as Neville Chamberlain, while Bush plays FDR. "Islamo-fascism" rescues the neocons from harsh verdicts on the invasion of Iraq ("cakewalk... roses... sweetmeats... Chalabi") by reframing that ongoing debacle as a minor chapter in a much larger story of evil madmen who want to fly the green flag of Islam over the capitals of the West. Suddenly it's just a detail that Saddam wasn't connected with 9/11, had no WMDs, was not poised to attack the United States or Israel -- he hated freedom, and that was enough. It doesn't matter, either, that Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites seem less interested in uniting the umma than in murdering one another. With luck we'll be so scared we won't ask why anyone should listen to another word from people who were spectacularly wrong about the biggest politico-military initiative of the past thirty years, and their balding heads will continue to glow on our TV screens for many nights to come. On to Tehran!


Democratic Takeover of House Likely

The latest state-by-state analysis by the Rothenberg Political Report projects a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.

For the full reports visit:

Rothenberg House of Representatives analysis

Rothenberg Senate analysis

News From Iraq

Following are security and other developments in Iraq reported on Saturday:

TIKRIT - Gunmen in the predominantly Sunni town of Tikrit stormed a bakery on Friday and killed three Shi'ite workers and wounded two, police said.

SAMARRA - Gunmen killed a policeman in the town of Samarra, 100km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S.-Iraqi Joint Co-ordination Centre said.

DHULUIYA - Insurgents killed the owner of an ice factory on Friday in the small town of Dhuluiya, 40km (25 miles) north of Baghdad, the Joint Co-ordination Centre said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed a policeman in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, police said.

Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2684/303

Most Recent Casualties

August 26, 2006

Marine Cpl. David G. Weimortz
, 28, of Irmo, S.C.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Edgardo Zayas, 29, of Dorchester, Mass.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

Rove Blasts Warrantless Wiretapping Decision

This is what I've been waiting for.............I'm surprised it took so long.

Presidential adviser Karl Rove aka "The Brain" criticized a federal judge's order for an immediate end to the governments warrantless surveillance program, saying Wednesday such a program might have prevented the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Rove said the government should be free to listen if al Qaeda is calling someing within the U.S.

"Imagine if we could have done that before 9/11. It might have been a different outcome," he said.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit last week became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agnecy's program, ruling it unconstitutional.


This is proof positive that this man and the party he represents - pander to the nonthinking citizenry of our country. His statements are not only laughable - they're offensive.

First of all, the government is able to listen if al Qaeda is calling someone. The law simply requires them to obtain a warrant to do so. Pure and simple. In spite of Alberto Gonzalez's thoughts to the contrary, the president is not above the law. This courageous judge reminded him of that.

Second of all - try imagining THIS Karl - Imagine that the president had actually taken the advice of the outgoing Clinton Administration regarding al Qaeda and made them a priority. Imagine that the president hadn't blown off the 8/16/01 PDB entitled 'al Qaeda Determined to attack inside the United States' . Imagine he'd actually read it. Imagine the he ended his vacation after reading it and went back to Washington - ordered his cabinet back to Washington and told them "failure is not an option" . Those minimal actions by Bush might have prevented the Sept 11 terrorist attacks without threatening our civil liberties.

But that's not what happened. No siree - your arrogance gave you license to ignore the Clinton Administraton's advice about al Qaeda and our uninterested President continued to clear brush and hit golf balls rather than react to a threat that was presented to him nearly a month before 9/11. Now you're out there trying to sell the idea that if we are hit again it won't be because the Bush Administration has failed us. No, if we're hit again, it will be because Judge Anna Diggs, by upholding the rule of law, prevented the president from protecting us.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command:

Most Recent Casualties

August 25, 2006

Marine Cpl. Jordan C. Pierson
, 21, of Milford, Conn.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

To a Right Winger, "Liberty" means the freedom to drive a Hummer in a petroleum-starved world, the freedom to declare themselves superior to all other races on the planet, shove all their messes and mistakes off on poor people, and invade other people’s countries, willy-nilly, on a bunch of cooked intelligence and a half-witted president’s whim, and declare that it’s for our "safety". And apparently it also means that said half-wit boy-king can do whatever he likes with regard to your privacy, even if that means destroying liberty in order to "save" it.

For you and me, "Liberty" means what it’s supposed to. Freedom to lead our own lives without being spied upon illegally, for instance. It means the right to adequate health care. It means the freedom to go to good schools, work hard, stay out of trouble and maybe one day make something of ourselves, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconimic background. It means the government can’t interfere with our lives, tell us when to bear children, when to marry and not marry, or otherwise try to direct our choices, for good or ill, based on someone else’s backwards, superstitious, outdated ideological framework.

TRex @ Firedoglake

Today's Details

-Rep. Christopher Shays, who is locked in a tough re-election fight against an anti-war challenger, says the U.S. should consider setting a timeline for troop withdrawals from Iraq. DETAILS

-The number of people who consider the Republican Party friendly to religion has dipped below half in the last year, with declines among white evangelicals and white Catholics. DETAILS

-Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt is fast, capable of running a marathon in 3 hours, 19 minutes, 6 seconds. At least that's what a photo on the Ohio congresswoman's Web site shows.No way, says a rival who contends that the picture from the 1993 Columbus Marathon is doctored and complained to state election officials. A four-member commission panel ruled Thursday that there was enough evidence to look into the complaint. On her Web site, Schmidt, who is 54, said she has completed 59 marathons. In April, she received a public reprimand from the Ohio Elections Commission for claiming on her Web site that she had two college degrees when she had only one. (**yawn** Another day, another Republican lie, cheat or steal story. You remember Rep Schmidt - or "Mean Jean" as she is called. She's the congresswoman who called Murtha a coward from the floor while wearing that hideous dress made out of a flag. Talk about flag desecration!) DETAILS

- The government awarded 70 percent of its contracts for Hurricane Katrina work without full competition, wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the process, says a House study released Thursday by Democrats. (So, THIS is what the Republicans mean when they say they are for less government.....less oversight of their business buddies business dealings!) DETAILS

-In a lengthy interview with Florida Baptist Witness, struggling U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris aka "Cruella De Vil" asserts, among other things, that the separation of church and state is a fallacy. "We have to have the faithful in government and over time," the Witness quotes Harris as saying, "that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers." (So either her party disagrees with God's choices since they have been meddling in election outcomes OR they believe God whisper's in their ear and tells them to win by whatever means necessary - both options contrary to my understanding of God.) DETAILS

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Is Bush An Idiot, Part II

A highlight reel of the most egregious 'Bush-isms'.

‘Morning After’ Pill Is Cleared for Wider Sales

The Food and Drug Administration today approved over-the-counter sales of the “morning after” contraceptive pill to those 18 and older, resolving one of the most contentious issues in the agency’s 100-year history.

The drug, an emergency contraceptive called Plan B that is manufactured by Barr Pharmaceuticals, will be sold only in pharmacies and health clinics. Buyers will have to show proof of age. Anyone under the age of 18 will still need a prescription to buy the pills.

Nationwide over-the-counter sales will begin by the end of the year, Barr said. The prescription drug presently sells for $25 to $40. The price could change, the company said. Men may purchase Plan B.


Supporting the Troops

By William Rivers Pitt

The Bush administration's most recent budget framework includes $910 million in cuts to the Veterans Administration. 2,615 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and yet efforts to double the death benefit for soldiers killed in active duty have been forcefully resisted by the White House. Pay raises for soldiers have been capped. The tax-cut mantra of the White House has not trickled down far enough to assist the troops on the line; soldiers fighting overseas and soldiers deployed for extended periods have not been deemed worthy of even minimal tax relief, while billions of dollars in tax cuts are gifted to the wealthiest among us.

Nearly 20,000 soldiers have been wounded in Iraq, but must wait nearly six months before being seen by a VA hospital. The prescription co-pay costs for veterans were doubled in Bush's proposed 2005 budget. His 2004 proposed budget would have eviscerated funding for the education of military children. The White House formally opposed allowing National Guard and Reserve members access to the Pentagon's health care program. Perhaps worst of all, the White House quietly attempted to cut combat pay for all soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this measure was quickly scrapped after it became public.

This from the man whose staged photo-ops with serving soldiers have become the stuff of lore. This from the man whose defenders denounce critics with the line, "Why don't you support the troops?" This from an administration filled with officials who, almost to a man, had other priorities when they were called to serve.


Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2682/305

Most Recent Casualties:

August 24, 2006

Marine Staff Sgt. Dwayne E. Williams
, 28, of Baltimore, Md.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Sgt. Jeremy E. King, 23, of Meridian, Idaho
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Marine Staff Sgt. Gordon G. Solomon, 35, of Fairborn, Ohio
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Pfc. William E. Thorne, 26, of Hospers, Iowa
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

The US, however, is far more dangerous than Rome. Rome saw its world as the Mediterranean and, for a while, Northern Europe, but the US thinks the whole world is its oyster. The Bush regime is busy trying to marginalize Russia, and neocons are preparing war plans to attack China before that country can achieve military parity with the US.

Consider what it means when our government believes other countries have no right to their own interests unless they coincide with US interests. It means that we are the tyrant country. We cannot be the tyrant country without being perceived as the tyrant country. Consequently, the rest of the world unites against us.

Paul Craig Roberts

Rick Santorum Man of Privilege, Hypocrite and Arrogant Ass

I found this little tidbit in The Washington Times:

16 years ago, Mr. Santorum pledged that he would never accept a pay raise, even a cost-of-living adjustment.

"The public is fed up with members of Congress having no limits on their ability to increase their salaries," the Associated Press quoted Mr. Santorum saying in 1990. "And members do not seem willing to voluntarily limit their salaries like I have, vowing never to accept any more salary than what is provided upon taking office."

Today, Mr. Santorum has come down from the ramparts.

"I believe that members of Congress should, by and large, receive cost-of-living adjustments," he said when asked about Mr. Casey's charges. "If we'd left the salary what it was when I first took office (1990), we'd be getting a third of the value of the dollar than what I got when I came in."

You can read the article in its entirety, here.

He's got a point about his salary keeping pace with inflation. We all want that, don't we? Whether rich or poor or somewhere in between, we all want to gain financial ground not loose it. We would hope that our elected officials have the same aspirations for us, and some of them do. BUT here is Mr Santorums voting record on the minimum wage - which hasn't been increased since 1996.

-He voted NO on raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over a two year period. (June 2006)

-Although he did vote yes to increase the minimum wage to $5.70 per hour six months after enactment and up to $6.25 after a year - this proposed legislation was tied to a tax cut for the wealthy and went down in defeat as predicted. (June 2006)

- He voted NO on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (Mar 2005)

- He voted YES on killing an increase in the minimum wage. (Nov 1999)

So, let me try to sum up this complicated set of facts, dear reader.

-It's OK that the poorest segment of society gets less bang for their buck and sees no increase in their earnings for 10 years.

-It's NOT OK for Rick Santorum's buying power to be reduced. So he must vote not once, not twice but THREE times to insure that his public servants salary keeps pace with inflation.

-It's OK with the Christian Coalition that poor folks get the shaft as well. The Christian Coalition - that bastion of family values - has given Mr Santorum a 100% rating for his pro-family voting record. I guess paying a fair /living wage is not a family value in certain circles of Jesus People. Food and housing are apparently not deemed to be as important as preventing abortions and gay unions. Silly me. All this time I thought Jesus was the champion of the poor and down trodden. Must have read THAT in another book.

Here are some minimum wage facts for your digestion

  • The effect of the last minimum wage increase in 1996-97 has been completely eroded by inflation.
  • The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is 30% lower in 2006 than it was in 1979.
  • $5.15 today is the equivalent of only $3.95 in 1995 — lower than the $4.25 minimum wage level before the 1996-97 increase.
  • Since September 1997, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has deteriorated by 20%. After adjusting for inflation, the value of the minimum wage is at its lowest level since 1955.
  • Wage inequality has been increasing, in part, because of the declining real value of the minimum wage. Today, the minimum wage is 31% of the average hourly wage of American workers, the lowest level since the end of World War II.
  • The earnings of minimum wage workers are crucial to their families' well-being. Evidence from an analysis of the 1996-97 minimum wage increase shows that the average minimum wage worker brings home more than half (54%) of his or her family's weekly earnings.
  • An estimated 1,395,000 single parents with children under 18 would benefit from a minimum wage increase to $7.25 by 2008. Single parents would benefit disproportionately from an increase — single parents are 9% of workers affected by an increase, but they make up only 7% of the overall workforce. Approximately 3.9 million parents with children under 18 would benefit.
  • Adults make up the largest share of workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase: 80% of workers whose wages would be raised by a minimum wage increase to $7.25 by 2008 are adults (age 20 or older).
  • Over half (54%) of workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase work full time and another third (30%) work between 20 and 34 hours per week.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jon Stewart dissects Bush's latest 'desperate soundbites'

During last night's opening segment of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart noted that there was something "peculiar" about President Bush's August 21 White House press conference. The president is known for his long vacations at his home in Crawford, Texas during during the month of August. Stewart asks, What could be so important as to lure our president from the spa like oasis that is Crawford, Texas."

The Daily Show takes the occasion to shread the Mr. Bush's press conference into a string of silly clips and commentary. And having one of his favorite subjects as fodder, Jon Stewart enjoys delivering an hilarious performance. From Bush's foreign policy to the emotions reflected in speech to his tendency to restate obvious, the show doesn't seem to miss an opportunity to lampoon the president.

9/11 'hero' image undone

It's the unexamined question of 9/11: What if Rudy Giuliani wasn't quite the hero everybody thought?

For nearly five years now, we've all lived in the glow of "America's mayor," that soot-covered father figure who rose to meet the greatest challenge of all. Rudy standing firm in the terror aftermath. Rudy guiding a rattled city back to its feet.

There was no denying this much in those early days of confusion: New York's grim-faced mayor looked a whole lot more in charge than America's deer-in-the-headlights president.

But what if Rudy's take-charge image was mostly a load of bravado and PR? What if the actual decisions he made - before, during and after the terror attacks - were directly responsible for the city's inability to deal effectively with crucial aspects of the crisis?

Well, it's about time someone opened that impolite inquiry.

Hold on tight, now! One of the most carefully guarded myths of 9/11 is about to be shattered for good.

"Grand Illusion," the book is called. "The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11." It is written by Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice and Dan Collins of, two of New York's shrewdest investigative reporters. Published this week by HarperCollins, "Grand Illusion" will forever alter how the world sees Rudy Giuliani's place in America's deadliest terror attacks. You can bet national political reporters will be combing though these chapters as the 2008 presidential campaign season revs up.