Sunday, February 26, 2006

is he really that stupid




Wait a minute.....it's not 6 it's 21. Can this scandal get any more outrageous, the next thing you know we'll find out the Bush family is somehow making money on the deal. Oh, wait....

it's all so confusing

I know finding Bush contradictions is like shooting fish in a barrel, but some are truly amazing. Let's compare Newbush and Oldbush:

Newbush, when asked about spying on Americans with no court order in Dec of 2005:
"because it enables us to move faster and quicker. We've got to be fast on our feet.
"It is legal to do so. I swore to uphold the laws. Legal authority is derived from the Constitution,"

But sir, FISA was passed specifically to force the president to get a warrant (so it is not legal), and if it's speed you require the FISA court allows you up to 72 hours to get your warrant, after you've done your spying. If that was still a problem you could have went to Congress to ask them to consider another update, after all they've updated it 5 times for you since 9/11. And sir, even Oldbush disagrees with you, in April 2004 he said:
"Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way."

Why, we even have a pretty good idea of how Oldbush would feel about being spied upon by Newbush, this quote is from Oldbush in April of 2005:
"I don't e-mail", "And there's a reason. I don't want you reading my personal stuff."

Well guess what, WE DON'T WANT YOU READING OUR PERSONAL STUFF, either. (please relay these feelings to Newbush)

How about if we move on to the UAE scandal. Oldbush said in Sept. of 2001:
"And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism."

But now Newbush wants to turn control of our major ports over to a country that did just that. Here he is defending his decision:

"I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a [British] company,"
Well that's easy to explain as you said.......Oh wait a minute, I get it, when Oldbush said, "And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism." He meant pursue them, to manage our ports and to share our National Security Reports with them. Damn this is all so confusing, my head is starting to hurt. How do the Bush supporters stay sane? Oh wait........

(photo from Izzy Music)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

pretzel logic

You know things are going downhill for Bush when the founder of NRO says:
One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. . . .

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. . . . .

[Bush] will certainly face the current development as military leaders are expected to do: They are called upon to acknowledge a tactical setback, but to insist on the survival of strategic policies. Yes, but within their own counsels, different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat. . . .
Glenn sums up nicely all the pretzel logic that must be going on in the wingnuts heads.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

somebody must have woke Hillary up

Hillary must have read my post about port security (ya right). I'll admit she's not my favorite Democrat but I'm glad to see she's trying to do something about this:
Hillary Clinton is to introduce legislation in the US which would block the take-over of P&O by Dubai Ports World.
The US senator for New York claims the deal poses a threat to national security because it would place operations at six major US ports under the control of the government of the United Arab Emirates, which owns Dubai Ports World.

"Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments," said Mrs Clinton, who is backed by New Jersey senator Robert Menendez.

P&O shareholders have already voted to accept the £3.92 billion offer, which would hand over to DP World significant commercial operations at ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US - an inter-agency panel that reviews the security implications of foreign takeovers of strategic assets - has already looked at the deal and raised no concerns.

Mrs Clinton's legislation would prevent US ports from being owned by any foreign government, but much of the concern in this case arises because DP World is owned by the government of the UAE. The country was used to wire money to the September 11 hijackers, say US officials, though it has been a staunch ally of President Bush in his war on terror. DP World said yesterday that it had exactly the same security certifications as P&O.

Unlike Feingold she always grabs to low hanging fruit. Now, if she would just start speaking out about against, illegal wars, illegal spying, torture, patriot act, etc., etc.

poisoning the public view

Will somebody please tell Saddam's old buddy, that maybe it's time to move on, or go home, or get a job, or just go away. Far, far away where he won't do anymore damage.

I always thought the stupidest thing Rumsfeld ever said was, "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

Or how about,(in front of soldiers, no less) "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

But just to prove he hasn't lost his unique talent, here he is this week, opening mouth, spewing out stupidity, "Our enemies have skilfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but... our country has not,"

From the same BBC News story:
Mr Rumsfeld said al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists were bombarding Muslims with negative images of the West, which had poisoned the public view of the US.

Who has "poisoned the public view"? WTF? I don't know, call me skeptical but I'm thinking that Rumsfeld and rest of the gang that allow illegal and un-American shit like this to go on, are the ones poisoning the public view.

bizzaroworld

Friday, February 17, 2006

so this is how they maintain control


Well let's see.......... Senator Arlen Specter puts a little pressure on the Whitehouse for spying on the American people. His Judiciary committee questioned Gonzales and, he has requested DOJ documents about the illegal program. So does anyone else find it a little odd that the very week a federal judge orders the DOJ to release these documents, this little tidbit about Arlen's lobbying efforts gets leaked to the press.
Senator Arlen Specter defended himself and a member of his staff on Thursday after the disclosure that clients of a lobbyist married to the staff member had received money through the senator's actions.

This must have been the shot across the bow, because.....now we hear that Senator Pat Roberts has cut a deal with the Whitehouse to "fix" FISA? We didn't know anything was wrong with FISA.
How ironic is it that the very program that has to be brought under control is probably being used to maintain itself. Didn't we learn anything during the Nixon years?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Unclaimed Territory (is a must read)

I swear this guy's reasoning is like Picasso painting:
Republicans have been playing this game for years. They wildly inflate the importance of fringe, extremist figures and then -- every time one of those individuals makes an intemperate remark or comment that can be wrenched out-of-context and depicted as some sort of demented evil -- they demand that Democrats ritualistically parade before the cameras and either condemn those individuals or be branded as someone who is insufficiently willing to stand up to the extremists "in their party."

If that’s the game that is going to be played - and we’ve been playing exactly that tired, corrupt game for several years now – it ought to at least be two-sided.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

outsourcing homeland security duties

What else would you expect from this administration:
UAE company poised to oversee six U.S. ports

[snip]

A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.

The Bush administration considers the UAE an important ally in the fight against terrorism since the suicide hijackings and is not objecting to Dubai Ports World's purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.

[snip]

The State Department describes the UAE as a vital partner in the fight against terrorism. But the UAE, a loose federation of seven emirates on the Saudi peninsula, was an important operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks against New York and Washington, the FBI concluded.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat whose district includes the New York port, urged the administration to consider the sale carefully.

"America's busiest ports are vital to our economy and to the international economy, and that is why they remain top terrorist targets," Schumer said. "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."

[snip]

Critics of the proposed purchase said a port operator complicit in smuggling or terrorism could manipulate manifests and other records to frustrate Homeland Security's already limited scrutiny of shipping containers and slip contraband past U.S. Customs inspectors.

"When you have a foreign government involved, you are injecting foreign national interests," Kreitzer said. "A country that may be a friend of ours today may not be on the same side tomorrow. You don't know in advance what the politics of that country will be in the future."

Remember, Ken Mehlmen said this Friday:
"We do not and we never should question these Democrat leaders' patriotism, but we do question their judgment and we do question their ability to keep the American people safe," he said. "These are people we know love their country, the question is: Can they protect it?"

big lie

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”- Joseph Goebbels

Come Armageddeon links to a video that is a must see.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

looks like Poindexter's been busy

Courtesy of Think Progress: (sorry but I stole the whole thing)

UPDATE: Total Information Awareness Lives

Congress voted to shut down the Pentagon’s controversial Total Information Awareness program in 2003 (though not before it was renamed “Terrorism Information Awareness” — sound familiar?).

During a Senate hearing last week, General Michael Hayden was asked whether TIA had simply been “moved to various intelligence agencies” after Congress tried to terminate it. As ThinkProgress noted, Hayden stonewalled:

SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): I and others on this panel led the effort to close it [Total Information Awareness]. We want to know if Mr. [John] Poindexter’s programs are going on somewhere else. Can anyone answer that?

HAYDEN: Senator, I’d like to answer in closed session.

In fact, the answer is yes.

[T]oday, very quietly, the core of TIA survives with a new codename of Topsail (minus the futures market), two officials privy to the intelligence tell NEWSWEEK. … “It is truly Poindexter’s brainchild. Of all the people in the intelligence business, he has the keenest appreciation of using advanced information technology for intelligence gathering,” [says John Arquilla, an intelligence expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.]. Poindexter, who lives just outside Washington in Rockville, Md., could not be reached for comment on whether he is still involved with Topsail.

The will of Congress thwarted again. Why do they even bother?

Do what's right

It's going to be real sad if come election time Republicans can say they did more to stop Bush's illegal spying program than Democrats did:
In interviews over several days, Congressional Republicans have expressed growing doubts about the National Security Agency program to intercept international communications inside the United States without court warrants. A growing number of Republicans say the program appears to violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that created a court to oversee such surveillance, and are calling for revamping the FISA law.

Ms. Wilson and at least six other Republican lawmakers are openly skeptical about Mr. Bush's assertion that he has the inherent authority to order the wiretaps and that Congress gave him the power to do so when it authorized him to use military force after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

When the hell are DC Dems going to stop listening to their Republican mole advisers and just do what the hell is right?

Mehlman needs to STFU

I'd like to expand even a little further on Atrio's and Desi's, "Can they protect it?" posts:

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I don't think
anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.

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"I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving." –Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sept. 6, 2005

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Again, I want to thank you all for -- and, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. The FEMA Director is working 24 -- (applause) -- they're working 24 hours a day.

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Under pressure from the September 11 commission, the White House today declassified and released an intelligence digest given to President George W. Bush weeks before the 2001 terrorist attacks. The confidential President's Daily Brief (PDB) for August 6, 2001 contained a two-page section entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US," and refers to possible hijacking attempts by Osama bin Laden disciples and the existence of about 70 FBI investigations into alleged al-Qaeda cells operating within the United States. The August 6 PDB, an excerpt from which you'll find below, was presented to Bush while he vacationed at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. The digest is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency, an official from which briefs the president on the report's contents. While Bush critics have described the August 6 PDB as a warning of an impending al-Qaeda attack, Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser, testified Thursday that the document contained "historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information."

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"I'm a war president"

If it's all the same to you Ken, I'll stick with the Democrats protecting me.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Looks like America has a leaky Dick

From John Kerry's email: In the last 24 hours, we've seen troubling reports that Dick Cheney directed "Scooter" Libby to release classified information to discredit critics of the war in Iraq...we've heard hard-to-ignore accusations from a former top CIA official that the White House "cherry picked" intelligence to make the case for war...and we've received stunning evidence that the president sat on his hands and did nothing for 12 hours after the White House had been informed that the levees broke in New Orleans.

Enough is enough.

stuck between a rock and a hard place

I've been nagging my county executive and council members about evoting machines. They're under the gun to buy something new because of the HAVA act, if they don't act soon they'll lose those precious federal dollars. Of course there's nothing wrong with the equipment they have now, but that's another story. Anyway, there was a story in our local paper two Saturdays ago about them leaning towards buying Diebold machines. I fired of a couple more emails explaining the hazards of Diebold, apparently many others are doing the same. Here's the last response I received.

Thank you for your thoughts on the selection of electronic voting machines. Chief Executive Dan Onorato read your message and asked that I respond on his behalf.

Please be aware that the members of the Allegheny County Board of Elections plan to adopt Voting System Safeguards. If and when the Commonwealth authorizes VVPAT, Allegheny County will install the appropriate devices on all voting machines. The other safeguards relate to concerns regarding computer codes. The Board agrees that any company the County enters into contract with, will have to agree to give the County access to the voting system code and allow the County to review the code before and after each election to verify its integrity and consistency.

Please be assured that the Chief Executive is weighing the public input on this issue, heavily, as he moves forward in the selection process. Public notice will be published for the next Board of Elections meeting.

Thank you again for contacting our office.

Another problem is, our state legislature is Republican controlled and they haven't certified any any VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail) machines, if fact the only machine they've certified is a Diebold machine with no paper trail.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

the old tried and true

I was listening to Randi Rhodes on the way home from work and she said that Bush used the word terror, terrorist, or terrorism 97 times in his brilliant speech today, I thought she was kidding! So I went here to see for myself and sure enough she wasn't kidding. Use control f, type in terror, and click on highlight, when all the instances of terror are highlighted, it looks like a Christmas tree! When all else fails.....scare 'em into submission. (I am so sick of these people)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

who's hanging out in my back yard?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

can we clone this guy?

Part of his speech today (via Rawstory)
The President issued a call to spread freedom throughout the world, and then he admitted that he has deprived Americans of one of their most basic freedoms under the Fourth Amendment -- to be free from unjustified government intrusion. The President was blunt. He said that he had authorized the NSA’s domestic spying program, and he made a number of misleading arguments to defend himself. His words got rousing applause from Republicans, and even some Democrats. The President was blunt, so I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program. How is that worthy of applause? Since when do we celebrate our commander in chief for violating our most basic freedoms, and misleading the American people in the process? When did we start to stand up and cheer for breaking the law? In that moment at the State of the Union, I felt ashamed. Congress has lost its way if we don’t hold this President accountable for his actions. The President suggests that anyone who criticizes his illegal wiretapping program doesn’t understand the threat we face. But we do. Every single one of us is committed to stopping the terrorists who threaten us and our families.

getting kind of hard to sleep at night

First I see this story:
A Houston-based construction firm with ties to the White House has been awarded an open-ended contract to build immigration detention centers that could total $385 million a move that some critics called questionable.

The contract calls for KBR, a subsidiary of oil engineering and construction giant Halliburton, to build temporary detention facilities in the event of an "immigration emergency," according to U.S. officials.

[...]

Vice President Dick Cheney is Halliburton's former CEO.

Then I happen UPON THIS...
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"We believe...that we have all the legal authority we need," Cheney said.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

John Murtha - Patriot

Dear Mr. President,

This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a "Plan for Victory" in Iraq.

Iraq is not the center for the global war on terrorism. I believe Iraq has diverted our attention away from the fight against global terrorism and has depleted the required resources needed to wage an effective war. It is estimated that there are only about 750 to 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the Iraqis will force them out or kill them after U.S. troops are gone. In fact, there is now evidence that Iraqi insurgent groups are increasingly turning against al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists.

Our country needs a vigorous and comprehensive strategy for victory against global terrorism. The architect of 9/11 is still out there but now has an international microphone. We must get back to the real issue at hand - we have to root out and destroy al-Qaeda's worldwide network. - Read it all

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"advanced energy initiative"

Our Congresswoman is all excited about Bush's new energy initiatives that he mentioned in his SOTU address.

From the Pittsburgh, Post Gazette:
Other Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and Melissa Hart, R-Bradford Woods, said they were also excited about Mr. Bush's emphasis on a new "advanced energy initiative" that would provide a 22 percent increase in clean energy research at the Energy Department, according to the president.
Whoops.......sorry Melissa, but once again your President is all hat and no cattle.

From the NY Times:
The Energy Department will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget.

A veteran researcher said the staff had been told that the cuts would be concentrated among researchers in wind and biomass, which includes ethanol. Those are two of the technologies that Mr. Bush cited on Tuesday night as holding the promise to replace part of the nation's oil imports.

The budget for the laboratory, which is just west of Denver, was cut by nearly 15 percent, to $174 million from $202 million, requiring the layoff of about 40 staff members out of a total of 930, said a spokesman, George Douglas. The cut is for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.
You would think that even the sycophant repugs like Melissa Hart would get sick of Bush's lies.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Somebody doesn't like Alito

This guy definitely has a way with words.

Fed up yet?

What's wrong with this picture?

The Bush administration will ask Congress soon for another $120 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

The administration also will ask Congress for:

• About $18 billion for hurricane-related expenses in the Gulf Coast. That would bring the total to about $103 billion. Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., expressed concern that "Congress is in no mood to continue spending such resources."

• About $2.3 billion to prepare for a potential bird flu pandemic. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told USA TODAY that while a vaccine is available, "We don't have the capacity to manufacture it in great enough quantities in small enough times."

That will bring total spending on Bush's little misadventure to $440,000,000,000.00. (440 billion) with no end in sight.

That's $8,800,000,000.00 (8.8 billion) per state. Think your state could have used 8.8 billion for anything useful in the last 3 years?

Remember when Wolfowitz told Congress this in 2003, “There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

Fighting Dems

Time to Change Congress
The next time some shit for brains Repug tells you that only his party supports the troops, ask him why there are over 50 veterans running for Congress as Democrats?

From their website, Fighting Dem Vets for Congress :

It is with great pride that there are over fifty American military veterans, who have once again answered this nation’s call and are running for Congress as Democrats. Men and women who have proven their abilities as leaders, and have lived their lives with integrity and honor. They have stood watch and fought to protect our way of life. Now they seek to take the fight to Congress and to continue that fight in the halls of our Capitol and to ensure our rights stay protected.

The Veterans’ Alliance for Security and Democracy (VETPAC) is committed to helping these men and women achieve success at the polls in November. VETPAC is dedicated to promoting the values for which veterans have served, fought and died. With your help, VETPAC can give these courageous men and women, of proven leadership and dedication to duty, the resources they need to be elected to Congress and help this country heal and stay strong.