Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Lackey Pack can't deliver: Supreme Court rules against Bush administration on Guantanamo….

Associated Press reports, “The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.”

The vote was split 5-3.

Thomas, Scalia, and Alito (the administration Lackey Pack) dissent, backing the Bush administration.

Breyer concurs with majority saying, "Congress has not issued the executive a 'blank check.' Indeed, Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How pathetic were the Miami Seven? So pathetic, they asked the Bush administration for help and got it!

The Bush administration isn't against all forms of welfare, just welfare for the poor.

For example, the Bush administration isn't against corporate welfare. Pres. Bush signed the order that allowed Enron to fleece California during the energy shortage a few yeras ago.

And, the Bush administration even believes in helping a group of inept guys "appear to be terrorist" has its benefits. After all, a terrorist arrest or two, every now and then, keeps the terror alert blinking red, the public's wits sharp, and raises Bush's standing the polls. Through the efforts of the Bush administration, 7 wannabes (a/k/a The Miami Seven or the gang that couldn't shoot straight) were coaxed in to the lead role as "home grown terrorist" to be vanquished by administration superheroes. (See, How the world sees the arrest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight: Tall story of terror a chilling warning… ;The Miami Seven: The gang that couldn’t shoot straight. A Major Terror Ring Or 'Al Qaeda Lite'? )

Amy Goodman got the scoop and the entire pathetic story. Here it is:

"AMY GOODMAN: What about the evidence or lack of evidence that was

MAX RAMEAU: Well, a lot of show has been made about the militaristic boots that they had and the gear and the outfits. Well, it turns out these guys didn't have enough money or enough organization to get these things for themselves. The FBI bought them the boots that we've heard so much about, bought them the military outfits that we’ve heard so much about. If you look at the indictment, the biggest piece of evidence, it seems to me, that they have is that the group may have taken pictures of a bunch of targets in South Florida. But the guys couldn't afford their own cameras, so the federal government bought them the cameras with which they took the pictures. They couldn't get downtown and all the other places by themselves. The federal government rented them the cars that they needed to get downtown in order to take the pictures. So it looks like they really didn't have too much capacity.

In addition, right now the running joke in Liberty City is, you know, in the indictments -- if you read the indictments, the men provided the FBI informant with a list of things they needed in order to blow up these buildings, but in the list they didn't include any explosives or any materials which could be used to make explosives. So now everyone in Liberty City is joking that the guys were going to kick down the FBI building with their new boots, because they didn't have any devices which could have been used to explode, so this really, really looks pretty thin."

The entire charade is an international embarrassment. It's a shame the Presidency has been brought this low.

Flag-burning? What say you, Mr. E.E. Cummings...

Today the US Senate will take up the issue of whether or not the Constitution should be amended to prohibit flag-burning.

Under the tyranny of the Bush administration - wiretaps, preemptive war, etc.- it is fitting to let the poets speak to the issue. So, what say you, Mr. E.E. Cummings, on this issue of flags and partiotism:

i sing of Olaf glad and big

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit I will not eat"

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Law Prof. Says Bush’s behavior violates the rule of law: Meanwhile, Bush administration thumbs its nose at Congress.

Pres. Bush threw temper tantrum today. "The fact that a newspaper disclosed [U.S. spying on Americans] makes it harder to win this war on terror," an irascible Bush complained totally out of touch with his responsibilities as President.

Bush has always viewed his job as “ordained.” From the offhanded quip to European media that he obeys a “higher Father” to his irresponsible challenge to terrorist, “bring it on,” Bush has demonstrated an unsophisticated understanding of our nation’s system of checks and balances.

Bush once bragged that he didn’t read books. What a shame. Had he done, he might not have made such a mess of our country.

To understand why he has failed, Pres. Bush need only pay attention to the headlines. For instance, Associated Press reports, “Sen. John McCain thought he had a deal when Pres. Bush faced with a veto-proof margin in Congress, agreed to sign a bill banning the torture of detainees. Not quite. While Bush signed the new law, he also quietly approved another document: a signing state.”

Only an arrogant man would treat Congress as if it were a “doormat.”

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is opening hearings Bush’s favorite technique: overriding Congress in the name of wartime national security.

Arlen Specter, a Republican member of Congress, put it this way, “"It's a challenge to the plain language of the Constitution…I'm interested to hear from the administration just what research they've done to lead them to the conclusion that they can cherry-pick."

Specter and other are right to be angry, says David Golove, a law professor at New York University. "It means that the administration does not feel bound to enforce many new laws which Congress has passed. This raises profound rule of law concerns. Do we have a functioning code of federal laws?"

How the world sees the arrest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight: Tall story of terror a chilling warning…

The rest of the world continues to see through Bush’s “bush-league” (pun intended) efforts to save his presidency. The New Zealand Herald’s analysis of the case puts the event in the correct prospective:

“If the case has any significance in the ‘war on terror’, it is not as a present danger, but as a harbinger of possible future risks. Despite countless scare stories in the media, colour-coded alerts from the Department of Homeland Security and grim official warnings of al Qaeda sleeper cells waiting to do their worst, the US has not suffered a single terrorist attack since September 11, 2001. Nor have the authorities unearthed much of a threat. The Justice Department claims 401 people have been charged with 'terrorism-related offences' since the 2001 attacks, and 212 have been convicted. In fact only a tiny number were real terrorists.

The tendency - duly followed last week by Gonzales - has been to hype. The precedent was famously set by his predecessor, John Ashcroft, who called a press conference during a visit to Moscow in 2002 to announce the arrest of Jose Padilla, the 'dirty bomber' said to be preparing to attack Washington with a radioactive device.

Padilla languished incommunicado in a Navy brig without charge for over three years. He has been transferred to a civilian prison, and faces trial in Miami this year on different, much vaguer, terrorist charges.

An alleged sleeper cell was unearthed in Detroit, but those convictions were quashed in 2004 when it emerged that prosecutors had manipulated evidence.

In December 2005, the trial of Sami al-Arian, accused of links with Islamic Jihad terrorists, ended in embarrassment when the Florida university professor was acquitted.”

The arrest of the Miami Seven (Al Qaeda Lite) is disgraceful at best and squanders what’s left U.S. international credibility.

Read: Tall story of terror a chilling warning

When the President of the United States is two faced....

"For people to leak [the] program [to secretly monitor the financial transactions] and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America," Pres. Bush said in response to leaks published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

Yet, not long ago Pres. Bush and Dick Cheney purposely leaked the identity of CIA agent, Valerie Plame.

When the President of the United States is two faced, spies on U.S. citizens, disregards human right and natural rights, he has only himself to blame of the lack of trust. So, who does the greter harm, a dishonest president who care little about the constitution and human right or newspapers who expose him?

U.S. Republican Supreme Court retains draconian bent: Catholic pro-life Alito breaks tie, Kansas’s death penalty constitutional….

Recently, the Philippines abolished the death penalty. According to Amnesty International, during 2004 more than 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries, and more than 7,395 people were sentenced to death in 64 countries.

Some countries of interest who have banned the barbaric practice:

Germany (1987) Finland (1949) France (1981) Ireland (1990) Italy (1947) United Kingdom (1973) Switzerland (1942) Sweden (1921) Spain (1978) Portugal (1867) Netherlands (1870) Canada (1976) Mexico (2005)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pigs fly: “I am the law,” says Pres. Bush to the European Union….

"I would like to close Guantanamo… I understand your concerns," Bush said to his EU counterparts, "but I cannot allow cold-blooded criminals to walk around the streets." Thus, Pres. Bush’s words explain conservative logic for human rights violations and imprisonment without due process of law at Guantanamo.

But, consider for a moment, the Mr. Bush’s raw language: “I cannot allow cold-blooded criminals to walk around the streets." What audacity! What arrogance! To presume that, as president of the United States, Mr. Bush has the authority to grant or repeal rights given to individuals by virtue of their birth into humanity. "Just about as much right," said the Duchess, "as pigs have to fly...." — Alice in Wonderland. However, to the chagrin of Pres. Bush, natural rights do not exist by virtue of their fortuitous and historical inclusion in the U.S. Constitution.

On the contrary, natural rights are universal and unalienable. Natural rights don’t depend on a state or a sovereign for their existence. Moreover, neither state nor sovereign may presume to grant or repeal natural rights. And, among the natural rights that are unalienable and universal, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness reigns supreme.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Xenophobia's one thing, but concentration camps are another! GOP candidate calls for labor camp…

EFE, a Mexican news service, reports Republican gubernatorial candidate Don Goldwater, the nephew of the late Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater, advocates holding undocumented immigrants in camps to use "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting."

Ann Coulter made a similar argument months back, which Fox News considered seriously during of one of its Noise Machine segments.

Hey, folks, this kind of talk is seriously sick!

The Miami Seven: The gang that couldn’t shoot straight. A Major Terror Ring Or 'Al Qaeda Lite'?

Imagine, if you can, you’re President of the United States. You’re the only president in the history of the country to be appointed, rather than elected. Then, 9/11 happens on your watch! Now, you have to perform. With characteristic schoolboy bravado, you naively proclaim, “bring it on.”

You stake your entire presidency on the invasion of two countries. After all, you do command the strongest military in the history of the world. You can’t miss, right? You foolishly proclaim, “Mission accomplished,” before the last shot is fired. But, your tough talk and braggart ways leads to bloodshed with no end in sight.

Then, you’re caught spying on American citizens and coaxing major corporations into selling you personal data on private individuals. You’re caught searching international business records of Americans.

Couple international blunder after blunder with a soaring federal deficit, employment numbers that aren’t great, and a Misery Index that’s rising. Your job approval numbers are low and getting lower. Respected journalists consider you the worst president in the history the country. And, mid-term Congressional elections loom.

Ah, there’s the rub: mid-term Congressional elections.

If your party loses the House and the Senate, you’ll likely be the first president in the history of the country to be impeached and convicted. So what do you do to salvage your presidency? How do you avoid accountability?

When you’re the most powerful man in the world, you use that power to create conditions that save your presidency and keep your party in power. You do what’s always done. Find a scapegoat – a patsy – a Quasimodo.

Every generation has an anti-hero, who can rejuvenate a political base and salvage control. In the 20s, it was Sacco and Vanzetti. In the 50s, it was Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In the 60s, it was the Chicago Seven. Ah that’s it! Numbers and traitors… traitors and number…oh my!

Why not a “Miami Seven”? It’ll work. It has to work.

So under the direction of Alberto Gonzales and the FBI, seven men - Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyblenson Lemorin and Rothschild Augustine – from a Miami shantytown were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism.

But, something just doesn’t add up.

First, there’s the perennial "Jeb Bush-George Bush" connection. You know Florida, the rigged election of 2000, the 9/11 terrorist connections, etc. Is it a matter of chance or design that the seven men accused of being Al Qaeda operatives were exposed by FBI undercover agents in a state riddled with questionable activity on behalf of President Bush and controlled by Jeb Bush, Florida’s Governor and the President’s brother?

Next, there’s the accusation that the Sears Towers in Chicago, which is thousands of miles away, was the target.

And then, there’s the Justice Department’s characterization of the Miami Seven. "This group was more aspirational than operational," FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said. What does “more aspirational than operational” mean? Those close to the operation called the Miami Seven "bungling wannabes."

Bungling wannabes? Is that another way of saying the Miami Seven are little more than contemporary Walter Mittys, “Al Qaeda Lite,” or simply “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight”?

The Miami Seven are accused of trying to raise an army. And yet, spokesman for the US attorney's office said, "We are confident that we have identified every individual who had the intent of posing a threat to the United States." What about the army they were raising? Where is it?

Ah, but something is rotten in Miami. The Bush administration insisted the November midterm congressional elections didn’t motivate the arrest. Or, did it? Read: Major Terror Ring Or 'Al Qaeda Lite'? Andrew Cohen Is Skeptical About Arrests In Miami Terror Plot

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Former Defense Officials Urge U.S. Preemptive Strike on North Korean Missile Site

Washington Post reports, “Former defense secretary William J. Perry has called on President Bush to launch a preemptive strike against the long-range ballistic missile that U.S. intelligence analysts say North Korea is preparing to launch. In an opinion article that appears in today's Washington Post, Perry and former assistant defense secretary Ashton B. Carter argue that if North Korea continues launch preparations, Bush should immediately declare that the United States will destroy the missile before it can be fired.”

Big Brother gets access to worldwide banking data

Associated Press reports, Big Brother “gained sweeping access to international banking records as part of a secret program to choke off financial support for terrorism, officials confirmed Thursday. Treasure Department officials said they used broad subpoenas to collect the financial records from an international system known as Swift. Stuart Levey, Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, called the subpoenas 'a legal and proper use of our authorities.'"

AT&T to customer: We own you, and we own your record!

Reuters reports, “AT&T Inc said…it was revising its privacy policy, explaining to Internet and video customers that it owns their account records.” AT&T explained, as owner it can give the data to anyone it wants to give to, even to Big Brother.

The South shall rise again! Racist Republicans block renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In March of 1965, Alabama state troopers attacked a peaceful march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The marchers’ destination: The state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

President Johnson, a Democrat, demanded a strong voting rights law, which ultimately led to Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today House Republicans, who have always objected to the legislation, found pretext and numbers to stop renewal.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cost of Brand Name Drugs up 4 Percent in 1st Quarter

AARP reports a 4 percent increase in the cost of brand name drugs during the first quarter of this year, which is the largest increase since 2000. Families USA reports that insurers who participate in the Medicare program passed along price increases for 19 of the top 20 drugs that lead in sales. Prices of generic drugs remained unchanged. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said overall drug prices increased 1.6 percent during the first quarter and did not distinguish between the costs of brand name and generic drugs. Associated Press, Arizona Star, 06/21/2006

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bush’s handling of the war continues to unravel: 3 U.S. Soldiers charged with killing Iraqi prisoners…

CNN reports, “Three members of the 101st Airborne Division have been charged with murder in the May shooting deaths of three Iraqi prisoners, the U.S. military announced Monday.”

The three soldiers are Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard, Pfc. Corey Claggett and Spc. William B. Hunsacker of the 101st Airborne's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, each of whom were charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.

The killings took place in May during “an operation in Salaheddin province near Tharthar Canal, which connects the Tigris and Euphrates rivers north of Baghdad.”

Big Brother shadowed playwright Arthur Miller

Associated Press reports, “In the summer of 1956, playwright Arthur Miller married screen idol Marilyn Monroe in a Jewish ceremony, an event of high-level gossip for much of the world and of high-level curiosity for the U.S. government…An anonymous telephone call" has been placed to the New York Daily News, an FBI report notes at the time. The caller stated that the ‘religious’ wedding — Miller was Jewish and Monroe had converted — was an obvious "cover up" for Miller, who ‘had been and still was a member of the CP (Communist Party) and was their cultural front man.’ Monroe also ‘had drifted into the Communist Party orbit.’"

This memo is one of many included in Miller's FBI files:

Missing soldier's uncle criticizes Bush administration….

Appearing on Today, the uncle of Army Pfc. Kristian Menchaca said, "Because the U.S. government did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid for it with his life.” "I think the U.S. government was too slow to react to this,” the soldier’s uncle explained. "

Big Brother got phone data from brokers...

Associated Press reports, “Numerous federal and local law enforcement agencies have bypassed subpoenas and warrants designed to protect civil liberties and gathered Americans' personal telephone records from private-sector data brokers.”

These records have nothing to do with terrorism. Customers included:

_A U.S. Labor Department employee who used her government e-mail address and phone number to buy two months of personal cellular phone records of a woman in New Jersey.

_A buyer who received credit card information about the father of murder victim Jon Benet Ramsey.

_A buyer who obtained 20 printed pages of phone calls by pro basketball player Damon Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ex-Bush administration official, David Safavian, found guilty in lobbyist trial…

Associated Press reports, “jury found former Bush administration official David Safavian guilty Tuesday of covering up his dealings with Republican influence-peddler Jack Abramoff.”

The death of America’s free press: Hard-charging anchorman, Dan Rather, to leave CBS…

First, CBS backed down on the story about Pres. Bush getting preferential treatment in the Air National Guard. The BBC ran a similar story on Bush and never backed down because the accusations were true. To appease the Bush administration, CBS forced Dan Rather to resign.

Now, Associated Press reports, “Dan Rather, the hard-charging anchorman who dominated CBS News for more than two decades but whose final months were clouded by a discredited story on the president's military service, is leaving CBS after 44 years, the network announced Tuesday.”

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Addicted to war...

It’s reported Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the world, will spend $6.8B to fight poverty. By contrast, the United States, the richest country in the world, will spend $400B to protect the property of international corporations. So, is the world better off with George W. Bush? who is “addicted to war.”

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Big Brother speaks...

Big Brother is back:

“The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by (image placeholder)resident Bush's new justices.”

The Patriot’s dissent:

Dissenting justices predicted that police will now feel free to ignore previous court rulings that officers with search warrants must knock and announce themselves or run afoul of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

Big brother’s response:

"Whether that preliminary misstep had occurred or not, the police would have executed the warrant they had obtained, and would have discovered the gun and drugs inside the house," Scalia wrote. Suppressing evidence is too high of a penalty, Scalia said, for errors by police in failing to properly announce themselves.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What does Chickenhawk Karl Rove have in common with Dick Cheney and George W. Bush? They dodged the draft during the Vietnam War …

Just hours after the special prosecutor decided not to indict Karl Rove in the Scooter Libby CIA- leak scandal, Rove emerged from hiding and, once again, assumed his role as Bush's Brain.

Trying to salvage the Bush administration, Chickenhawk Rove attacked John Kerry and Jack Murtha. Both Murtha and Kerry have distinguished military records as compared to Rove, Bush and Cheney.

We all know that George W. Bush was given preferential treatment during the Vietnam War. Bush was allowed to enter, but never complete, military duty with the Air National Guard.

Dick Cheney was no better. After multiple DWIs, Cheney was eventually given a deferment from the draft.

As the Bush administration continues to spiral downward, the Blogs are buzzing with information about the draft-dodging efforts of Bush’s Brain, Karl Rove, during the Vietnam War. Here are some excerpts:

“Except for a lapse of several months, Selective Service records show presidential adviser Karl Rove escaped the draft for nearly three years at the height of the Vietnam War using student deferments....[Rover's]draft record and accounts from friends reveal a young man who didn't necessarily agree with the war and managed to avoid being drafted…. Far from being a conscientious objector, Gustavson [a friend of Rove] recalls, Rove's opposition to the war was political. He considered the conflict a ‘political skirmish that was not being properly administered.’"

Monday, June 12, 2006

More Guantánamo Newspeak...

Yesterday we reported on the suicides at Guantánamo, Cuba. We pointed out the use of Orwellian style Newspeak to confuse the public into believing that an act of desperation was actually an act of asymmetrical warfare.

Continuing that theme, The New York Times examines unspeakable aspects of American justice applied at Guantánamo:

" [Guantánamo] is a place where secret tribunals sat in judgment of men whose identities they barely knew and who were not permitted to see the evidence against them. Inmates were abused, humiliated, tormented and sometimes tortured. Some surely are very dangerous men, committed to a life of terrorism and deserving of harsh justice. But only 10 of the roughly 465 men at the camp have been charged with crimes. The others, according to senior officers who served there, were foot soldiers of the Taliban or men who just happened to live in a country invaded by the United States after the 9/11 attacks."

Read: The Deaths at Gitmo

In Prisoners' Ruse Is Suspected at Guantánamo , The New York Times details the suicides. Most intriguing is the continued Newspeak. For example, one official described the suicides as “an attempt to influence the judicial proceedings in that perspective." This is a far stretch.

Prisoners' Ruse Is Suspected at Guantánamo

Bush administration continues international downward spiral:Chilean President Defies US Pressure to Oppose Venezuela's Security Council Bid...

The Bush administration is feeling stiff resistance internationally. The latest obstacle: Chile. Roger Burbach reports:

"President Michelle Bachelet came to Washington on Thursday for a one day whirl wind trip that included a meeting with George Bush. Both exchanged pleasantries after the meeting, neither referring to the heavy-handed efforts of the Bush administration to pressure Chile to oppose Venezuela's bid for a seat on the United Nations security council....At a meeting of Latin American and European nations in Austria in May, President Bachelet, alluding to the growing US hostility towards the so-called "power axis" between Venezuela and Bolivia, stated: 'I would not want us to return to the cold war era where we demonise one country or another. What we have witnessed in these countries [Bolivia and Venezuela] is that they are looking for governments and leaders that will work to eradicate poverty and eliminate inequality.'"

Bachelet Refuses to Back Down to Bush

Are Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito determined to judicially rollback the racial clock?

New York Times reports, "now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases challenging racial balancing in public schools, some conservatives hope the end of affirmative action is near."

Perhaps Not All Affirmative Action Is Created Equal

More Executive abuse of power: DOJ targets plaintiffs' law firm….

Determined to keep the average person defenseless against the likes of Ken Lay, the Bush administration has targeted the securities law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman. Four Democratic congressmen have spoken up in defense of Milberg Weiss and, indeed all trial lawyers, stating:

"The Justice Department's crusade against trial lawyers, the first line in the average citizen's protection against corporate greed, has taken a new low in the indictment of an entire leading law firm in the plaintiffs' bar."

Representatives Charles B. Rangel, Carolyn McCarthy, and Gary L. Ackerman of New York and Robert Wexler of Florida signed the statement.

It’s time for all trial lawyers to sever ties with the Republican Party. For decades, the Republican Party, along with the Chamber of Commerce, have been on a relentless campaign to discredit trial lawyers nationwide.

Read: 4 From Congress Defend Indicted Law Firm

Attorney Whistleblower Sues Orleans Levee Board

Former staff attorney Gary Benoit sued the Orleans Levee Board and two officials, claiming officials tried to force his resignation after he decided in September to tell the governor's office about illegal activities at the agency. Benoit worked for the levee board for 17 years. Frank Donze, New Orleans Times-Picayune 06/09/2006 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Editorial: 'Overindulged' Nursing Home Industry Needs No More Special Breaks

Editors call for Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to veto any bill that offer more special favors to the "politically powerful" nursing home industry.

Louisiana HB 613 would protect nursing homes from state budget cuts and is part of a "long, disturbing pattern" in the way federal Medicaid funds support long-term care in Louisiana. Instead of protecting nursing homes, legislators should pay more attention to the health of Louisiana citizens.
Editorial, New Orleans Times-Picayune 06/09/2006 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bush administration’s newspeak continues: Is the U.S. at war with Saudi Arabia and Yemen?

Riddle: When is suicide not an act of desperation? Answer: When it’s an act of asymmetrical warfare. At least that’s how Rear Adm. Harry Harris, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, sees it.

Commenting on the 2 Saudis and 1 Yemeni who committed suicide at Guantanamo, Harris said:

“This was clearly a planned event, not a spontaneous event…I believe this was not an act of desperation, rather an act of asymmetric warfare waged against [the U.S.]”

"Asymmetrical warfare" is defined as "a conflict in which a much weaker opponent uses unorthodox or surprise tactics to attack the weak points of the much stronger opponent."

So, who will Bush bomb next for this asymmetric act of war? Saudi Arabia? Or Yemen?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Wake up: the American Dream is over

In “Wake up: the American Dream is over,” Paul Harris of The Guardian (U.K.) examines the plight of working class Americans. Calling America the land of extremes, Harris observes:

“America has some of the worst urban sprawl in the world and also the most beautiful and well-protected wildernesses. Its politics is awash with lobbyist inspired corruption. Yet passionate political engagement among millions of Americans puts many other countries to shame.”

Sadly, however, Harris rhetorically asks:

“So in this land of black and white, we should not be too surprised to find some of the biggest gaps between rich and poor in the world. Such a yawning chasm is just the American Way, it would seem. Besides, the American Dream offers a way out to everyone. All someone has to do is work hard and climb the ladder towards the top. No class system or government stands in the way.”

Not so, Harris concludes, supporting his conclusions with startling statistics:

“Over the past 25 years the median US family income has gone up 18 percent. For the top one percent, however, it has gone up 200 percent. A quarter of a century ago the top fifth of Americans had an average income 6.7 times that of the bottom fifth. Now it is 9.8 times. Inequalities have grown worse in different regions. In California, home to both Beverly Hills and the gang-ridden slums of Compton, incomes for lower class families have fallen by four percent since 1969. For upper class families they have risen 41 percent.”

Was he beaten to death, or was he bombed? New questions raised about the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Associated Press reports Iraqis have raised questions about the death Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. According to AP, U.S. officials altered their account of al-Zarqawi’s death. At first, U.S. officials said al-Zarqawi was alive and partly conscious after bombs destroyed his hideout. But an Iraqi witness has raised fresh questions about al-Zarqawi’s death.

The informant, identified only as Mohammed, said, “[al-Zarqawi] was still alive. We put him in the ambulance, but when the Americans arrived they took him out of the ambulance, they beat him on his stomach and wrapped his head with his dishdasha, then they stomped on his stomach and his chest until he died and blood came out of his nose."

Friday, June 09, 2006

"Hate-filled attack," said the 9/11 Comission to the Queen of Mean

"Hate-filled attack." That’s what the 9/11 Commission called Ann Coulter’s latest assault on 9/11 victims.

The Queen of Mean was unmoved and on message, a la Karl Rove, responding: "These broads (9/11 widows) are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.” The “grief-arazzis” phrase is a play on words taken directly from Rush Limbaugh who fondly calls independent women “femi-nazis.”

Ah thanks, Ann, for reducing feminity to an all time low as only a rabid right wing wacko could do.

The Bush administration continues its assault on the U.S. Constitution...

The Bush administration continues its assault on the U.S. Constitution. Recently, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter rebuked Cheney for trying to impede subpoenas of the phone company executives.

As only he could, Cheney responded that his behavior was "not unusual" in his role as vice president. "I have frequent contact with senators,” Cheney claimed, “both at their initiative and mine."

Specter, however, put “executive abuse” in the correct prospective: "I am not looking for an apology,” Specter responded. “I am looking for protection of civil rights and recognition of congressional oversight…I am looking for a substantive result and I think we may be on the way."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ann Coulter, the Republican Bitch of Buchenwald, attacks 9/11 widows…

Gays and lesbians can breathe easy for the moment. The Republican Inquisitors have a new scapegoat to prop up the failing Bush administration. It's the widows of 9/11 victims!

Ann Coulter, the Republican Bitch of Buchenwald, has been given the responsibility of distracting the public from the Village Idiot’s (GWB's) failures by attacking the widows of 9/11 victims. In the spirit of Ilse Koch, who made lampshades out of her Jewish victims, Coulter called the widows of 9/11 victims "witches" saying, "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.”

The public will be outraged, and rightly so. But, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh will come to the aide of the Queen of Mean by comparing her rancor to the vitriol of Ward Churchill, which will then cause David Horowitz to crawl from under his rock and enter the debate.

In the end, America will be distracted from the murder of Iraqi civilians, runaway gas prices, a failing economy, etc., in a way that the debate over gay marriage could never distract.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Has the Bush administration re-ignited the “Cold War”?

“The Mystery of the 'Two Cheneys,'” reads the op-ed piece from People's Daily, China's Communist Party-controlled newspaper.

The article discusses Cheney’s hypocritical criticism Russia, only to embrace dictator and human rights abuser Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.

The article asks: Has the Bush administration re-ignited the “Cold War"?

Read: The Mystery of the 'Two Cheneys'

Donald Rumsfeld: “Shit happens. Get over it. ”

The Sunday Times, U.K., presents a chilling article on the Haditha massacre.

“As his stomach churned,” the article reads, “Roel Briones mechanically clicked the button on his digital camera. With every shot, he felt his humanity was being tested. The dead, he said, ‘ranged from from little babies to adult males and females. I’ll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood.’”

The article also opines: “If proved, the massacre could change the course of the war in Iraq.”

And, Donald Rumsfeld’s response? if you can call it that: “Things that shouldn’t happen do happen in war.” Or, in street slang, “Shit happens. Get over it. ”

Read: Focus: America's shame

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Thank you, Mr. Rumsfeld, for proving “old men lie” and “young men die.”

It was called the “Domino Theory.” If we didn’t stop the advance of Communism in Asia, Communism would eventually engulf the world. The “Domino Theory” became the raison d'être for Vietnam. Of course it wasn’t true. But we learned that too late:

58,148 killed during service;
114 captured and died in captivity;
9,000 suicides as a direct result of the war (1.7 x the non-Veteran population).

Total of approximately 67,000 Americans.

Fighting with the U.S.:

223,748 South Vietnamese soldiers killed,
5,282 of other nationalities.

A total of approximately 300,000.

Fighting for North Vietnam:

1,000,000 military casualties;
600,000 wounded.

Civilian casualties:

2,000,000 in the north,
2,000,000 in the south.

A total of 5.1 million total Vietnamese casualties.

But today…today Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said: the United States wants to expand its military relationship with Vietnam, but has no plans to seek access to military facilities in this former enemy nation.

Thank you, Mr. Rumsfeld, for proving “old men lie” and “young men die.”

Listen to: George W. Bush, the unfeeling president….

Fear and hate…fear and hate and more fear and hate…

How do you convince a nation to vote for you? Fear and hate…fear and hate and more fear and hate…

Watch: THE BBC REPORT on the Ken Lay & George W. Bush connection...

Watch: THE BBC REPORT on the Ken Lay & George W. Bush connection. A must see!