Some Johnny Carson humor as we think about invading Iran
What's all this fuss about plutonium? How could something named after a Disney character be dangerous? - Johnny Carson
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. - Oscar Wilde
What's all this fuss about plutonium? How could something named after a Disney character be dangerous? - Johnny Carson
WASHINGTON, D.C. - (OfficialWire) - 01/31/05 -- According to a scathing report by the U.S. Inspector General, the U.S. occupation authority, known as the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and led in Iraq by L. Paul Bremer III, lost track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to Iraqi government ministries, between October 2003 and June 2004.
As much as I can't stand the Bush spin on this one, it looks like Iraqis turned out in big numbers to vote. There were 30,000 polling stations open and several million Iraqis turned out to vote. Let's see what happens. Maybe we can leave there someday.
Iraq now faces many key issues that could tear the country apart, from the issues of Kirkuk and Mosul to that of religious law. James Zogby on Wolf Blitzer wisely warned the US public against another "Mission Accomplished" moment. Things may gradually get better, but this flawed "election" isn't a Mardi Gras for Americans and they'll regret it if that is the way they treat it.
Eight Iraqis and five US servicemen were killed in election ramp up violence. Election day is tomorrow. Should be an interesting day. 115 candidates, most of whom are anonymous. A confusing process. Yet, George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld have the nerve to say "freedom is on the march." Right off a cliff.
More than 26 million people are estimated to live in Iraq - most of them in cities in the eastern half of the country. Most Iraqis are Muslim and are divided along religious lines (between Shias and Sunnis) and ethnic lines (between Arabs and Kurds). There are no precise figures, but the mainly-Arab Shias are thought to form a 60% majority and expect to dominate political life after the January election. Under Saddam Hussein, Sunni Arabs (about 20% of the population) dominated political and economic life. The Kurds, who are also Sunnis and represent about 17% of the population, mainly live in the north where they have enjoyed varying degrees of autonomy since 1991.
At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.(thanks to my friend at Philly for this one)
The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.
I don't really want to write about this. You'll just have to read it on MSNBC. What kind of people are we?
Alberto Gonzalez looks like he;ll be confirmed as the nation's Attorney General, the highest law officer in the land. His testimony, and the position of the John Ashcroft-inspired Attorney General's office, show that a woman's expectation to medical privacy is severely compromised by Gonzalez. From ProChoiceAction:
Department of Justice Position on Medical PrivacyYou can do something about this. Sign NARAL's petition against Alberto Gonzalez's policies against medical privacy.
Defending subpoenas of womens medical records in California, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, and Pennsylvania, the Justice Department argued in a motion filed in January with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division that individuals no longer possess a reasonable expectation their histories will remain completely confidential.
Three Texas plastic surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed.
Words of Thomas Jefferson in a message to George Bush
This crash of a US Marine helicopter that killed 31 soldiers brings the total number of US soldiers killed in Iraq to over 1,400. When will the outrage begin?
The Bush administration is seeking about $80 billion in new funding for military operations this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, pushing the total for both conflicts to almost $300 billion so far.Let's see: $300 billion for a wasted war in VietRaq; $15 million initially pledged to over 100,000 victims of the tsunami (tsunami, what tsunami?).
In the interest of watching more global new items, I post this one from a Dutch newspaper that talks about a political party in North Holland (Noord-Nederland) that is thinking of separating from the rest of the country. This piece made me think about whether the "Southern States Will Rise Again" would ever raise its ugly head in the US.
You just have to see this film of a car driving through Paris at full speed to believe it. For those of you who don't speak French, the note at the start of the film says, "The film you are about to see was made without editing or speeding up the film." Just a little morning jolt.
So says a British psychologist, who says January 24 is the most depressing day of the year.
This post on Corrente titled Coronation spewage: [WINGER] Must... resist... cognitive... dissonance... tells the story. Whew!
E-A-G-L-E-S. Wow, what a game. It's joy in Pennsyltucky. I wore my Eagles sweatshirt today. I might not remove it until after the Super Bowl (well, maybe, but I am superstitious).
Dr. James Dobson is on a homophobic crusade against SpongeBob for promoting tolerance towards the gay community.Have a look at RBN. Good work.
However, I clicked over to Dobson's Family.org website and onto his kiddie section called "Ribbits". Cute enough, except for the frog with the giant erect penis -- WHAT?! A purple frog with a big ol' woody. Dr. Dobson! An erect purple frog? A horny toad, if you will? Gasp!
Here's the video with Bob Franken of CNN reporting at the Inaugural parade while some dude yells F**k Bush a bunch of times in the background. And then Wolf Blitzer says, "Bob, it's very noisy there. I'm having a little trouble hearing you." LOL.
From Media Matters for America:
Republican and conservative guests and commentators outnumbered Democrats and progressives on FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC during primetime inauguration coverage on January 20, just as they had done earlier in the day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, as Media Matters for America documented. Appearances made by Republicans and conservatives outnumbered appearances made by Democrats and progressives 25 to 4 on FOX, 7 to 1 on CNN (not including a Republican-skewed panel featuring Ohio voters), and 9 to 5 on MSNBC.
You just have to watch this.
I say Iraq/you say Iran/Let's call the whole thing off.
If half of the people surveyed think George Bush is a divider, doesn't that mean he is?
Today is Inauguration Day. And it's time to Turn Your Back on Bush.
A week ago I asked how long before we don't hear any more about the 150,000 dead in the tsunami. The answer: One week. Scour the majors today. Nothing of substance. 150,000 dead is a page 12 item. Georgie Boy has a party to throw in Washington! Now that's big news.
Here's the transcript of the exchange yesterday between Sen. Barbara Boxer and Secretary of State candidate Condoleeza Rice. Condi, who is supposed to be voted in as our country's top diplomat didn't look like she could take the heat, even from one US Senator. Wonder how the world stage will be for her.
This website, There Is No Crisis, tells the story of George Bush's manufactured Social Security "crisis." My favorite quote from it: Why are George Bush's goals always "crises"? This is a very well-documented site, with lots of foundation reading.
Wow. Great. More when the transcript is released. Look at CNN right now for the fun.
An intriguing ad from the ACLU about what ordering a pizza might be like in a few years if a national identity card begins the slide down the privacy slippery slope.
From The Washington Post today, this story titled Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy:
President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.
"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."
Senator Barbara Boxer intends to ask Condoleezza Rice some tough questions at her Senate confirmation hearing in the coming days - questions the American people deserve to have answered:
Check this out - a comparison of Rathergate vs. Saddam's WMD. It's rather sad.
There never were WMD and now we stopped looking for them. "Nope, they're not here," said George Bush in that knee-slapper at the Washington Correspondents' Dinner.
From a letter Dr. Dean sent to supporters today. Thank goodness we might end up with a guy who can help Democrats win.
From the BBC: Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has admitted for the first time that violence will prevent some parts of Iraq voting in this month's election.
Armstrong Williams issued an apology for being an apologist for George Bush's Leave No Child Behind initiative. Of course, Williams is sorry only because he got caught. He wasn't sorry last week or when he took a quarter-million dollars of our money. I guess Williams and Bush were two children left behind when their schools studied ethics.
The Rittenhouse Review pointed us to this PASS site under the title, It's never to early to beat the beast. Rick Santorum must go. Patriots Against Senator Santorum gets that motor started. I'm thinking we also need to register MODASS (Man-on-dog against Senator Santorum), GLASS (Gay lovers against SS), and ERASS (Everybody is really against SS). If you have other ideas, please leave a comment.
Philly has a cleverly named piece titled Security Super Bowl. He says, "No, it's not like the Bud Bowl or anything, it's the inauguration on January 20th." Read about the extraordinary measures the Bush Brownshirts are using to keep protestors away from the most expensive presidential inauguration in US history.
Iraq continues its descent into the maelstrom. Baghdad's deputy police chief was assassinated yesterday. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration says "everything's fine" and that "free and open" elections will take place at the end of January.
Wow. And Michael Moore looks like a New York guy....cool Dieter glasses. He's being very gracious. I dedicate this award to the [mothers and fathers of soldeiers in Iraq].
Note to Evangelical Republicans: Drowning prisoners is not a moral value.
The US military bombed the wrong house in Mosul. 14 innocent Iraqis, including seven children, were murdered. Hearts and minds were scattered everywhere.
I know I'm a little late in the game on this one, but Paul Krugman's piece still deserves to be read. I nicked it in its entirety for those of you who don't want to log onto the free NYT site (BTW: it's worth signing up).
Sen. Barbara Boxer is going to challenge the vote results today. Maybe then we won't have a repeat of the start of Fahrenheit 9/11, where no US Senator would stand up and let the Congressional Black Caucus have its say.
If you're thinking of shining your laser pointer into the cockpit of an airplane, maybe this cautionary tale might just be the cure. This guy's charged with a terrorism felony that could be punishable by life in prison.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army Reserve, whose part-time soldiers serve in combat and support roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, is so hampered by misguided Army policies and practices that it is "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force," the Reserve's most senior general says.
From a very clever calculation at pseudorandom:
According to this story in the Chicago Sun-Times, the war in Iraq has cost $130 billion to date (per the Office of Management and Budget). Given that we invaded Iraq 20 March 2003, that comes to 656 days since the invasion, which in turn equals $198,730,732 per day.Have a look at the original story to see all of his links and calculations. Very nicely done. I had proposed a week or so ago that we should put the Iraq War on suspended animation and send the billions dollars a week to the tsunami victims. This calculation shows why $350 million OF OUR MONEY (Bush acts like it's his to give and should get credit for it) is still a pittance.
In other words, the total amount committed by the US government to date for tsunami relief - $350,000,000 - equals 42.27 hours of the cost of the war in Iraq. Just to put things in perspective.
The Rev. Jackson has written a very compelling argument for US Senators to object to the Ohio vote:
The grounds for the objections are clear: The irregularities in the Ohio vote and vote count are widespread and blatant. If the Ohio election were held in the Ukraine, it would not have been certified by the international community.The votes for the inauguration going forward on Jan. 20 are getting close here on iFlipFlop. Let us know what you think by voting on the upper right of this site>>>.
Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A dozen former military officers, including retired Army General John Shalikashvili, are opposing the nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to be U.S. attorney general because he endorsed detaining suspected terrorists without protections accorded prisoners of war.
Iraq has 200,000 insurgents says the country's security chief. Why would it be, then, that the Bush Administration keeps telling us there are just "small pockets of resistence" and "one or two thousand people bent on disrupting elections"? George Bush is certainly no mathematician, but being off by a factor of a hundred just seems downright sloppy.
This hasn't hit the majors yet, but it looks like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been arrested in Iraq. He's the Number One bad guy in Iraq. If it's true, it's great news.
The ethics panel said DeLay's attendance at a June 2002 golf fund-raiser for his leadership political action committee created an "improper appearance." The event was attended by energy company officials and held as House and Senate conferees were about to hash out energy legislation.As a solution to the GOP's dilemma, which was brought on BY THEIR OWN RULE that required House leaders to step down when they're indicted by a grand jury, was for them to just remove the rule. The hell with ethics. This is Delay ethics. But they heard from their constituencies.
The committee also found that DeLay's office improperly contacted the Federal Aviation Administration in May 2003 to track a plane carrying Texas Democratic legislators, who had fled the state in an attempt to thwart a Republican plan to redraw the state's congressional district map.
The committee said the contacts amounted to an improper use of governmental resources for a political undertaking.
As we said the other day, violence is escalating in Baghdad. The governor of Baghdad was assassinated yesterday in an ambush. No wonder Paul Bremer and Bernie Kerik snuck out of there under cover of darkness. Who could blame them? The only thing that doesn't ring true is whey they, and the Bush Administration, continue to insist that these rebel actions are just a "bump in the road."
This article in The Guardian details what's happened with previous natural disasters. There's a breach between what countries pledge and what they actually deliver. In most cases, it's less than half of what they said they would do.
As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence, defense officials told the Washington Post.Fortunately, not everyone is going along with the Bush Administration's plan:
"It's a bad idea. So we ought to get over it and we ought to have a very careful, constitutional look at this," Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on "Fox News Sunday."It's a scary, scary dream. The office of Bush Newspeak in action.