Friday, March 31, 2006

Thanks for the Memories

Hey, Fellow Americans, REMEMBER WHEN ...? Updated at 12:04 AM
<http://journals.democraticunderground.com/NanceGreggs>


Courtesy NanceGreggs Donating Memberat DU
REMEMBER WHEN you displayed your flag on the front porch on the 4th of
July, and you didn't have to worry about whether it would be
misinterpreted as support for a corrupt president and his administration?

REMEMBER WHEN 'Support the Troops' meant equipping our military with
everything necessary for battle, instead of just being a catchy phrase
that looked good on a bumper-sticker?

REMEMBER WHEN your tax dollars paid for things like improved education
and social programs, instead of making Halliburton shareholders
millionaires?

REMEMBER WHEN you watched movies about WWII, and it was the enemy who
tortured captured American soldiers, instead of American soldiers
torturing the people they'd allegedly 'liberated'?

REMEMBER WHEN you heard something on the TV news or read something in a
newspaper, and you didn't have to go to the internet to find out just
how much of it was fact, and how much of it was 'spin'?

REMEMBER WHEN a politician was caught with his hand in the cookie jar
and he resigned in disgrace, instead of excusing his own behaviour by
claiming that his political opponents were equally as guilty of wrongdoing?

REMEMBER WHEN 'Made in the USA' labels on products were the norm, and
not a total oddity?

REMEMBER WHEN 'Made in the USA' labels were actually made in the USA?

REMEMBER WHEN you hitchhiked through Europe as a teenager, and you
DIDN'T have to replace the American flag on your knapsack with a
Canadian flag in order to be a welcomed guest in a foreign country?

REMEMBER WHEN organized crime figures had to make phone calls from the
corner phone booth, because they were the only people who had to worry
about wire-taps?

REMEMBER WHEN you were considered to be a worker of value because you
were an American with a good work ethic, and not because you were a
Pakistani or an Indian who would do the same job 'on the cheap'?

REMEMBER WHEN telling a fellow politician on the floor of the House to
'go f*ck himself' was considered behaviour unbecoming an elected
official, instead of being accepted as the way a Vice President behaves
himself?

REMEMBER WHEN you could pretty well count on the fact that if the
president said it, it was based on sound intelligence and was probably true?

REMEMBER WHEN your president spoke in public, and his words weren't the
punch-line to late night TV-show jokes?

REMEMBER WHEN you could rely on your elected representatives to put your
interests ahead of the corporations that filled their campaign coffers,
or the lobbyists who gave them great basketball tickets?

REMEMBER WHEN you didn't even KNOW what religion the people you voted
for were, because it didn't really matter? Remember when you didn't know
what party your neighbour belonged to, because that didn't really matter
either?

REMEMBER WHEN the pension you'd worked for your whole life wasn't in
danger of being wiped out by corrupt CEOs, assisted by respected
accounting firms that made that corruption almost impossible to detect?

REMEMBER WHEN you could brag that as an American, you were guaranteed
things like free speech and due process of law, without checking the
nightly news to see whether those rights were still in effect?

REMEMBER WHEN the president upheld the law of the land, instead of
coming up with 'legal loopholes' to support the idea that he's above the
law?

REMEMBER WHEN you could say, "I'm a proud American," without qualifying
it with a list of all of the things your government is doing that you're
not exactly proud of?

REMEMBER WHEN you saw news stories about people so poor they had to beg
on the streets in order to feed their children, and you shook your head
in disgust and thought, "What kind of uncivilized country would allow
that to happen," because it wasn't your own country?

REMEMBER WHEN you actually thought that the people in charge of running
your country were smarter than you were?

REMEMBER WHEN your parents worked all their lives to ensure you a better
life, instead of worrying about how bad the life they'd be leaving their
children might be?

REMEMBER WHEN the importance of clean drinking water and breathable air
were unquestionable mandates, and not some crazy hippie agenda to be
weighed against corporate profits?

REMEMBER WHEN questioning your government's policies was seen as
'participating in the process', and not 'giving aid and comfort to the
enemy'?

REMEMBER WHEN the 'enemy' was a country or military force that posed a
threat to American democracy, and not a nation of innocent civilians who
whose destruction was dismissible as 'collateral damage'?

REMEMBER WHEN your country went to war based on facts beforehand,
instead of constantly-changing suppositions after-the-fact?

REMEMBER WHEN 'patriotism' was judged by your words and actions, and not
by whether you were a member of the party currently in power?

REMEMBER WHEN the 'American Dream' was attainable through diligence and
hard work, and not the luck of the 'outsourcing' draw?

REMEMBER WHEN profitable corporations were content with simple tax
dodges, and didn't have to have government subsidies as part of the bargain?

REMEMBER WHEN incredibly wealthy Americans bragged about their
philanthropic work, instead of bragging about their tax cuts?

REMEMBER WHEN you went to the polls and voted, and didn't have to rush
home and watch the news in order to find out if your vote was counted?

REMEMBER WHEN the election of a president was considered the result of
democracy in action, and not the result of Diebold executives doing the
job they were expected to do?

REMEMBER WHEN you sang 'God Bless America' as a kid, and never thought
you'd grow up to wonder if, in view of your country's actions, asking
God's blessing was asking a bit too much?

I REMEMBER WHEN ... and I wonder if these ideas will become ancient
history by the time those of us old enough to recall them are dead and gone.

You might want to print this, and pass it down to your children. It
could be worth a fair buck on 'Antiques Roadshow' someday - an odd
document that can't be verified as authentic, because the memories it
conjures up are just too bizarre to be accepted as ever having been fact.

Any answers to these

1. How does sending our troops to Iraq, separating them form their
families and loved ones, putting them in harm's way, and keeping them
there equal "supporting the troops"?

2. Why do those who claim to "honor their sacrifices" want them to
continue sacrificing?

3. Why don't those who bloviate about "supporting" and "honoring" the
troops against an enemy they think threatens Western civilization
actually, you know, put on combat boots and join them?

Mission Impeachable

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that
you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Orleans Library]



-------- Original Message --------

Subject: [Norton AntiSpam] [NJforCorzine] New Orleans Library
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 07:41:58 -0500
From: Ann Dougherty <irish.eyes@verizon.net>
Reply-To: NJforCorzine@yahoogroups.com
To: undisclosed-recipients:;






New Orleans Public Library is asking for any and all hardcover and paperback books to restock the shelves after Katrina. The library staff will assess which titles will be designated for the shelves. The rest will be distributed to destitute families or sold for library fundraising. The books can be sent to:
 
Rica A Trigs, Public Relations New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Avenue New Orleans, LA 70112-2007

 
If you tell the post office that the books are for the library in New Orleans, they will give you the library rate that is less than book rate.  Good way to clean out those books you won't read again and write the donation off your taxes.
 
Can you please share this information with the others ?   It is a great opportunity to help.
 
If you don't have books, they have a fund for donations.
 
http://nutrias.org/info/friends/friends.htm


YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS




Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rubber Stamp

Rubber Stamp Republicans: Without them, Bush's failed policies would only be a hair brained agenda.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Zeitgeist

here's something that sums up many of the feelings we have. A bit long but worth the time and you can always hit the delete button anytime.
CrisisPapers's Journal
Posted by CrisisPapers
Tue Mar 28th 2006, 09:31 AM
| Ernest Partridge |

Watching the Democrats, one would think that they never gave up believing in Santa Claus.

Like little kids in December, they seem to believe that just by being nice, Santa will deliver the gifts: election victories and control of the Congress.

The Republicans know better. They analyze, they scheme, they think things through, they act aggressively and ruthlessly, and thus they win.

Unfortunately, the Democrats never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And opportunities aplenty are coming their way which, for the most part, they simply ignore. For example, when one of their number, Senator Russ Feingold, speaks up with a loud and eloquent voice, he is told to shut up. Demanding censure of the outlaw President, he is told by his own party, is "not nice."

One begins to wonder if the Democratic Party really wants to win in November. If they keep on behaving as they have, and if conditions remain essentially as they are now, they won't win. The Republicans will have a lock on that election... provided conditions remain essentially as they are now.

Now the good news: it is virtually certain that conditions will not remain essentially as they are now. Beneath the placid surface of our body-politic, stresses are accumulating that could result in a seismic political rupture. (I've listed these "stresses" in my "Perception is Reality" and so will not repeat them here). More conspicuously: Bush, Cheney and their war are becoming ever-more unpopular, public trust in Bush's competence and his honesty is likewise eroding, the mainstream media is beginning to desert Bush and his administration as the media continues to lose its credibility with the public. Still more moderate Republicans, libertarians and evangelical Christians are abandoning Bushism. Following John Dean, Kevin Phillips, "Pete" Peterson and John Eisenhower in 2004, now its Bruce Bartlett, Francis Fukuyama, Larry Wilkerson, and Paul Pillar. Even Chris Matthews, who once compared Bush with Henry V and Winston Churchill, has had it with Bush's and Cheney's lies. To Don Imus, he said just last week:

"From the beginning everything about how they've got WMD's, they are a threat to us, they are going to bomb us with a nuclear weapon, this country is going to be an easy liberate, it's going to be a cake walk. As Cheney said as recently as ten months ago the insurgents are in their last throes. Everything that is said is not true... They don't want the whole truth out and that's the fact."

Whether or not the Democrats will wake up and seize the offensive in the upcoming election campaign remains to be seen. But of this we can be confident: the Democrats must venture forth and seize their victory. Santa will not bring it to them just for being passively "nice."

A Descent Into Despotism

Critics who use "the F-word" (fascism) to describe the Bush regime are denounced as "shrill" and "irresponsible." Are they? Consider this: when Bush signs bills from the Congress forbidding torture and warrantless surveillance, he issues "signing statements" which states that he is free to ignore these laws when, at his discretion, he chooses to do so. And now this: "Last month ... President Bush signed into law a bill that never passed the house." In effect, this demotes the Congress of the United States from a law-making to an "advisory" body. Add to that the fact that Bush and his party are "elected" with privately owned and operated, unverifiable "black box" voting machines and compilers, conveniently provided by GOP partisans. So it comes to this: rule by decree by a "leader" who has placed himself above the law and beyond recall by the voters. If this does not define a "dictatorship," I don't know what does.

Meanwhile, the Congress, the courts, the media, and public acquiesce in silence.

We've not fully descended to totalitarianism. Dissent, however muted, is still tolerated. (But don't you dare protest within sight or earshot of "Our Leader"). Those of us who continue to criticize the regime have not yet been charged with "thought-crime," and sent to "re-education camps." Not yet.

So the task before us is not to protect our democracy; it's too late for that. Our task is to restore our democracy, to re-institute the government we once had, "deriving just powers from the consent of the governed."

Election Fraud: "The Dragon at the Gate"

If the Democrats are to capture at least one house of Congress in November and if, as a result, the American people begin to take back their own country, the party must first of all slay the dragon at the gate: election fraud. For, as anyone who dares face and study the evidence must appreciate, because GOP partisans build the unauditable machines, write the secret software, and count 80% of the votes, "the people's will" at elections is essentially irrelevant. The election results are simply what the GOP wants them to be, as they were in 2000, 2002, and 2004, and as they will be again in 2006 – provided conditions remain essentially as they are now.

Accordingly, the restored integrity of the ballot is the sine qua non of the overthrow of the Republican autocracy in November.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, those "useful idiots," steadfastly refuse even to recognize that there is a problem with the voting machines and vote compilations.

Nevertheless, the electronic voting scam is beginning to unravel, thanks to the determined efforts of a few dedicated individuals, an uncensored internet, and ad hoc citizen organizations along with all too few maverick politicians (notably John Conyers and Russ Holt), and despite the determined indifference of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media.

More and more e-voting outrages, failures, and statistical impossibilities are coming to light, and even breaking through in the media (most recently in Ohio, Texas, Chicago, and California, and the public is beginning to take notice. This awareness accomplished some significant victories, notably in New Mexico and Maryland, where "black box voting" has been abolished by state law. If this trend continues, and if a few available albeit unused modes of verification are put in play, it is just possible that November's election with be sufficiently (if not totally) honest to put an opposition party in control of at least one, and possibly both, houses of Congress. Then a balance of powers will be restored and the investigations, with subpoena powers and threat of perjury and contempt of Congress in play, may begin to probe the corruption and abuses of power of the Bush regime.

So, once again, opportunity knocks at the door of the Democratic Party. But if the Party persists, with the cooperation of the corporate media, in ignoring this opportunity, then that Party is once again likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Three Roads Diverge...

How will all this play out? I wouldn't be so bold as to make a prediction. But we might speculate about some alternative futures, so that we might prepare ourselves accordingly.

Worst case – "The 'Z' Scenario"

Final descent into totalitarianism. In Costas Gravas' 1968 film, Z, a popular movement is on the verge of overthrowing an autocratic regime. Then the leader of the opposition is murdered, and the ruling junta immediately imposes martial law and dictatorship. Could that happen here? As opposition to the Bush regime grows, as evidence of corruption and election fraud becomes widely known, this could lead to a crackdown on dissent, and a roundup and imprisonment of dissenters. Another terrorist "Pearl Harbor" could be the catalyst. Or possibly a new "pre-emptive" war with Iran.

A step too far – Cf. Russia, August, 1991. Is there a limit to how much abuse "the establishment" (the military, Wall Street, the media, the CIA, the courts, the federal bureaucracy, even the churches), the Democratic Party, and the public at large will tolerate? Is there a point when these institutions turn around, dig in their heels, and say "no more?" These institutions, along with the public, have the means to bring down the Bushevik regime. There are historical precedents:

When in Russia, the Communist Party attempted "the 'Z' scenario," the people and the military would have none of it. The people resisted, the Army refused to fire on the citizens, and the coup failed, and that was the end of the seventy years of Communist rule and the Soviet Union.

And when the extent of Richard Nixon's villainy was exposed by the media, the courts required him to surrender his evidence, and at last his Republican Party deserted him.

The CIA has been demeaned by the Bushista excuse that the Bush Administration was "misled by bad intelligence." Furthermore, the Administration exposed a CIA case officer, Valerie Plame Wilson, in an act of political retaliation, at the cost of compromising a vitally important counter-terrorism operation and possibly the lives of several agents. A top-down revolt at Langley is highly unlikely, given the fact that the top offices have been given to Bush loyalists. But that is not necessary. "Further down," intelligence strategically leaked, and blackmail strategically applied, could have devastating consequences for Bush, Inc.

As for Wall Street (the financial establishment), how much longer can they fail to appreciate that by supporting Bushenomics, they are scuttling the ship they are riding on – that they will not escape the coming Bush economic catastrophe?

Then there's the military. What if Bush attempts to launch an attack on Iran in a desperate attempt to salvage a GOP win in November, and thus prevent those Democratic Congressional subpoenas and investigations? Will the military, having been ordered to fight and die in a meaningless and dishonorable war in Iraq, finally refuse?

I imagine the following scene in the Oval Office, as Bush orders the strike:

"Mr. President," says the General, "our boys will go if they can follow you into Iran. So put on your flyboy suit, climb into the cockpit, and do your wild-blue-yonder thing, just like that President-Dude in 'Independence Day."

"But you know I can't do that! I'll crash and burn!"

"The thought has crossed our minds."

The "step too far" may have desirable consequences, most significantly a restoration of our democracy. But it could be cruel and bloody, and the "winners," the CIA or the military, just might not share our loyalty to democratic ideals. We could end up trading one autocracy for another. Just consider what followed the Russian counter-revolution of 1991.

Best case – A Velvet Revolution, November, 2006

This is the outcome that we should work toward. Due to constant pressure from law suits, the progressive Internet, citizen organizations, and the demands of ordinary citizens, the Democratic Party finally wakes up and actively demands action on voting fraud. The issue becomes too big for the mainstream media to ignore. While e-voting is not banished all at once, it is barred from enough key races that the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress. The e-voting fraud is finally exposed and then, following Congressional investigation, exposure and legislation, all unverifiable voting methods are outlawed.

Public repudiation of the mainstream media becomes so widespread that the media conglomerates face the choice: responsible journalism or bankruptcy. Congressional investigation exposes the political corruption of the mass media. In 2008, a Democratic administration initiates anti-trust action against the media conglomerates which are then broken up, and the FCC institutes and enforces regulations against market concentration.

The new Congress cuts funding for military operations and for base construction in Iraq. Chairman Henry Waxman of the Government Reform Committee convenes hearings on corruption in government contracts in Iraq and military procurement. These are followed by criminal indictments and convictions of numerous members of the Bush/Cheney Administration.

The House of Representatives votes bills of Impeachment against both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Conviction by the Senate fails when the Republican Minority votes in a block. However, the political power of the Bush Administration is effectively ended. In the 2008 election, the Republicans in Congress pay a heavy price for their support of Bush and Cheney.

In 2009, the new Democratic president repudiates the doctrine of pre-emptive war and the precepts of "The Project of the New American Century." He then takes active steps to repair international alliances, and to restore the reputation of the United States in the World community.

And what about the Democratic Party?

I began this essay with a condemnation of the Party, and yet end with the hope that the same Party will act aggressively to regain power, and responsibly as they apply that power. How is it possible for the same Party to be impotent and irresponsible now, and aggressive and responsible in the near future?

Answer: it must not be the same party.

Today, many life-long Democrats are justifiably disgusted with their Party. I am one of them. The Party today is "Republican Lite," staffed with comfortable DC regulars, many of whom are accomplices (if only through their passivity) to the corruption in Washington.

This disillusionment with the Party has led many progressives to leave and join the Green Party, and other minor parties. One result was the loss of Florida in 2000 and the "selection" of George W. Bush.

So this is my advice to the disaffected Democrats: don't abandon the Party, take it over. This is what the Religious Right did to the Republicans. Had they instead formed a minor party, they would have been insignificant, and the United States would now be a very different, and much better, country. On the other hand, a major party that is "taken over" by its grass roots, will have an organizational structure, an institutional memory, and financial resources – essential assets that are hopelessly out of reach of minor parties.

If you hate what the Democratic Party has become, I'm with you. Together we can make it a party that we can be proud of and support with enthusiasm. And also, a party that can win – as it must.

On one hand

On the other hand, there's a word for people who commit bad acts, but rely on an elaborately constructed fantasy structure to avoid taking responsibility for those bad acts.  The word is psychopath. And one more thing: Andy Card just resigned as White House Chief of Staff

Just wondering

Things that SHOULD make Republican voters go 'Hmmmmm' ...

Edited on Mon Mar-27-06 05:20 PM by EarlG
Do you ever wonder why, when there is some question of wrong-doing on
the part of the president, he always tries to thwart any investigation
into his actions? If he were innocent of anything untoward, wouldn't a
transparent investigation serve to vindicate him and prove his
detractors wrong?

Do you ever wonder why it's the Republicans who insist on using Diebold
machines, when they've been proven to be easily hackable and
consistently show faulty results that favour the Republican candidates?
Do you ever think that if your party was fair and honest, they would
insist on using machines that ensured an accurate vote count?

Cheney, who is still on the Halliburton payroll, keeps saying that he
has 'earmarked' those earnings for charity in the future. Do you ever
think about why he doesn't just donate the money now?

Do you ever wonder where your tax dollars have gone, when you hear that
the national debt is now at $9 Trillion dollars, and all you see is the
cutting of funding to health needs, education, transportation systems,
etc., instead of the expansion of any of those things?

Do you ever wonder why Bill Frist is still being described as a 'GOP
presidential hopeful', when he's under investigation for stock fraud and
charitable donation fraud? Do you ever think that if your party had
ANYONE to run who is NOT likely to be indicted on one charge or another,
they'd be touting him as the likely candidate?

Do you ever wonder why the Noble Cause we're fighting for in Iraq keeps
changing from week to week? Do you ever think that if that cause was
something clear-cut and truthful, Bush could have told Cindy Sheehan
what it was, and saved himself a lot of bad publicity?

Do you ever wonder why your president keeps telling you how engaged he
is in the running of the country, while at the same time he keeps
referring to things 'he didn't know anything about', like the Dubai
ports deal?

Do you ever wonder why your president has degrees from Harvard and Yale,
but he can't speak for more than two minutes without annihilating the
English language? Do you ever think about why, if he's so smart, he
failed at every business venture he was ever involved in? Do you look at
the national debt and wonder if there isn't some 'fuzzy math' at play here?

Do you ever wonder why your president constantly talks about being
pro-life, when he gleefully executed people as the Governor of Texas,
and laughed about the fact on national television during the 2000 primaries?

Do you ever wonder why your president and his administration hold
themselves out to be 'good Christians', while they embrace torture,
rendition, and secret prisons?

Do you ever wonder why your self-proclaimed born-again Christian
president took an oath, on the holy Bible, to uphold the Constitution,
but then says he is not bound by the laws set out in that same document?

Do you ever wonder why your elected officials do their utmost to protect
the unborn, but do nothing to improve the lives of the already-born?

Do you ever wonder why your elected officials say they are representing
your best interests, when they support laws that put the interests of
Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Business above your interests every time?

Do you ever wonder why your elected officials are stuffing their own
pockets with Abramoff money, while at the same time they're swearing
they never even met the man?

Do you ever wonder why your elected officials are always scolding you
about living within your means, while they vote themselves raises every
time the cost of living goes up? Do you ever think about all of the
extended trips they take to exotic places on your dime, to discuss how
bad things are back home?

Do you ever wonder why your party members invariably respond to
legitimate questions about their policies by attacking the person who
had the temerity to pose the question? Do you ever think that maybe
their policies are indefensible, and that's why they consistently resort
to that tactic?

Do you ever wonder why there are millions upon millions of easily
accessible records of those who have served in the military, and the
only records that have ever gone missing are the ones that would prove
your president's assertion that he actually fulfilled his military
service requirements?

Do you ever wonder why you, a United States resident, have to pay every
penny of your taxes or face dire consequences, while thousands of
profitable corporations legally duck paying theirs simply by having a
Bahamian post office box listed as their 'headquarters'?

Do you ever wonder why Bush and Cheney admitted, albeit reluctantly,
that Saddam Hussein and Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11th
attacks, but keep right on linking the two every chance they get?

Do you ever wonder why a guy named 'Curveball' was given total
credibility in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, while experienced
intelligence analysts were dismissed as 'nutballs'?

Do you ever wonder why your president and your elected officials
constantly tell you that the outsourcing your job is GOOD for the
country? Did you ever think to ask them to explain actually how that works?

Do you ever wonder why?

Do you ever?

Do you?

Just wonderin' ...
why we thought Joe McCarthy died in 1957.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Location changed

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATION

Editor’s Note: Attention News And Political Editors

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: 9/11 COMMISSIONER BOB KERREY TO DISCUSS  AMERICA’S ABILITY – OR INABILITY – TO COMBAT TERRORISM

 

 

 

WHAT:  An analysis of “The State of U.S. Readiness for a Terrorist Attack.” A keynote address followed by an audience Q & A. Sponsored by the Rutgers Division of Global Affairs, Newark campus, and the Rutgers School for Criminal Justice, Newark campus. Free and open to the public.

 

WHO:  Bob Kerrey, president of the New School in New York, 9/11 Commissioner, and former U.S. Senator and governor of Nebraska.

 

WHEN: Tuesday, April 4, at 3 p.m. 

 

WHERE:  Engelhard Hall, Bove Auditorium, 190 University Ave., Newark.

BACKGROUND: This program will examine U.S. readiness for a terrorist attack, examining the questions of how far the U.S. has come since the 9/11 attacks, what security improvements the nation has made since the 9/11 commission issued its report, and how far do we still have to go.

PARKING:  Rutgers‑Newark's public parking garage is at 200 University Ave., and metered parking is available on University Avenue. Printable campus maps and driving directions are available online at: http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/maps/index.php

 

INFORMATION:  Jack Jarmon, 732/222-0623

Saturday, March 25, 2006

tactical vs. strategic intel: knowing instead of jut killing bad guys

Imagine a pathologist looking into the microscope and
spotting a new bacterial form on his specimen slide.
He then takes the slide off the mount, puts it on the
table and smashes it with a hammer instead of
patiently studying its biology, chemistry, genetics
and antibiotic resistance. Is it imaginable that he
would then go home satisfied that he saved mankind
from yet another infective agent?

It was much like that when our forces entered "injun
country" in Vietnam and now in Iraq. They literally
enter forcibly but intelligence (intel) blind, smash
everything that looks suspicious and then leave. How
does that contribute to understanding the enemy?

Sol Sanders, an old Indochina hand used to lament that
in their efforts to smash the Viet Cong Infrastructure
(VCI), American forces never took into consideration
the Vietnamese familial structures and how the VC
might exploit that to form the VCI. When I brought
that up to a Marines general, he responded that he
didn't care how many relatives a VC had, but how many
were massing for an attack on the villages he was
protecting. Yet, it was the marines who brilliantly
worked the very difficult Vietnam I Corps with their
brilliant CAP Program in the northern provinces
constituting the route of infiltration from the
beginning of the war. Small units of Marines would
become a part of popular hamlet defense and would
gather lineage-- political and sanguinary-- to better
understand who was who and how were they committed or
incriminated. This later became the model for the also
very successful MAT program in the Mekong Delta of the
army. But before this "better war" that Lewis Sorley
wrote so well about, Gen. Westmoreland had insisted
that he had nowhere near enough troops to protect
every village and so he had to aggressively sweep
after the enemy, though intel blind. Only tactical
intel was then sought to find, fix and kill Mr.
Charlie.

We went in Iraq also intel blind. Our objective was to
quickly move boxes on a screen onto Baghdad as if it
were a video game. But as our troops dispensed with
Saddam's Republican Guard, write Gordon and Trainor in
their new book COBRA II, they failed to note Saddam's
Fedayeen irregulars. These lightly armed guerrillas
firing from the back of white pick-up trucks, cut into
our overextended logistic lines. Yet, when yet another
marine, Bill Wallace, pointed this out to Gen. Franks,
the latter sought to dismiss him for not being a team
player. Later, our occupying forces stood dumb-founded
watching as Iraq was raped and pillaged by violent
criminals; they soon to become the backbone of
Saddam's resistance. Behind all the criminal cacophony
was being set up a Saddam Fedayeen Infrastructure
(SFI) that later became the loose net that held
together the insurgency.

At no time did Sec. Rumsfeld allow more Iraq savvy CIA
and DoS personnel to develop strategic intel about
what they were up against and what was developing,
until President Bush turned the political side of
occupation to Condy Rice. And still, again, tactical
intel to "kill the bad guys" was the objective.

In Iraq our troops are on average five years older
than in Vietnam. They are thus moms and dads desperate
to survive intact so they can get back to their kids
and spouses waiting for them at home. They are
intel-blind, up against a lightly armed guerrilla
force that, according to the Iraqi intel chief
(supported by US field commanders) is over 200,000
strong-- larger than our entire Alliance force. And,
while our soldiers, desperate to live, weighed down by
body armor and gadgets and driving around in
inadequately armored HUMVEES, patrol more defensively
than offensively, the enemy is on a one way trip to
Paradise, seeking to take down as many Americans as he
can on his way. Our troops have the firepower in air,
on land and on the ground. But they are intel blind
while the enemy's eyes are everywhere. This is a
recipe for a lot of defensive collateral damage.
Indeed, according to Mike O'Hanllon of the Brookings
Institute, in the first year of our occupation, more
than 20,000 innocent civilians died. It is forgotten
that before four Western contract gunmen were killed
in Falluja and their bodies hung from a bridge-- thus
provoking our assault on Falluja-- Marines shot into a
peaceful demonstration, killing 11. Given our totally
incompetent, also intel-blind and corrupt,
reconstruction program, one can understand why the
Iraqis that welcomed us as liberators soon came to see
us as occupiers to be fought.

From 9/11 forward, little effort was made to quietly
experiment on our foe in order to understand what
makes him tick and then systematically experiment with
ways to exterminate him. I am reminded of the Ho Chi
Minh Trail; it was so hidden by triple canopy jungle
that we hit it statistically. We then realized that no
matter how great our fire power, it was never enough
to succeed intel blind. But in Iraq the lesson never
seems to have been learned. We got away with it in
Afghanistan by the skin of our teeth and though our
luck would hold out. Today, what the US Command knows
about the insurgents-- what it really knows-- can be
fit on five pages. We still speak of Sunnis vs. Shiia
to cover up our total ignorance of tribal lineages
though already into our fourth year in Iraq.

For President Bush, wishing to portray himself as as
"war president," there was everything to be said for
an Action-Jackson approach. Claiming to operate
secretly so as not let the enemy know what we know,
he seems more determined to keep secret from the
American people all that we don't know about the
enemy. So, focused on tactical intel, Gen. Miller
sought timeliness over legality when it came to
interrogating prisoners. So much was for show that no
one can yet explain why we still have no "metrics"
with which to tell how we are doing, per Sec.
Rumsfeld. Cong. Murtha seems to speak for much of the
field commanders when he claims that we have become
victims of our own war. And still, we are intel blind
because we, defensively now more than offensively, are
killing "the bad guys" before we ever understand them.
The inevitable result of a bad mix of intel blind
soldiers, with extremely superior firepower, that are
still losing "buddies" to the insurgents is the My Lai
like Haditha incident where, according to Iraqi
police, a marines unite lined up and shot an entire
family of 15 men, women, children and babies to avenge
the loss of one marine to a remote explosive device.

Like Vietnam, Iraq is a nation with a language to
which we are deaf and a culture to which we are blind.
Intel is not just tactical in order to fix and kill
"the bad guys"; it is also strategic so that we can
put everything into context. Because of our firepower
substituting for understanding, we have built little
in Iraq, destroyed much and find ourselves defending
our desperate desire to live against an enemy
determined to avenge those who died by our hands.
Unlike us, the insurgent does not care about living,
he only lives to avenge the dead (for a great
perspective on the Mediterranean cult of revenge read
Laura Blumenfeld's REVENGE). An insurgency that began
with looting by criminals has become an overwhelming
cosmic force determined to die pleasing God by killing
"infidel Crusaders" en route to Paradise:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/insurgency/etc/script.html

Now, a counterinsurgency student I always respected,
Dan Byman,

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060301faessay85208/daniel-byman/do-targeted-killings-work.html?mode=print

is leaning towards resorting to "targetted killing"
approach used by Israeli forces. But what he fails to
mention is that in order to carry out its targeted
killing, Israel's Shin Bet depended on 33,000
Palestinian informants. We have nowhere near that
many, nor are they as reliable. Worst still, our
national sense of moral guilt will soon come to haunt
us because we are not yet as hardened and desperate as
the Israelis who faced suicide terror bombing on a
daily basis.

While discussing the war on terror with a young
general serving in the White House, I brought up
Vietnam. He cut me off and warned that our discussion
would be cut off if I continued to associate him with
"that loser's war." Brazen in his ignorance, he failed
to note how much better my generation understood the
Communists than his understands the Jihadists. What
Goss brought to the Agency is sycophancy, not analytic
skills, as existed in Vietnam. But military intel is
no more brilliant, as can be seen from a recent
assessment of the pre-invasion Iraq obtained through
interrogation. Even in shackles Saddam's men made
monkeys out of us!

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060501faessay85301/kevin-woods-james-lacey-williamson-murray/saddam-s-delusions-the-view-from-the-inside.html?mode=print

We need a more mature intel service so as not to turn
our soldiers into desperate intel blind vengeful
killers. We must better know the enemy before we kill
him or before killing what we guess is him.

Daniel E. Teodoru

__________________________________________________

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Cadence call

Imagine a few hunderd people in jungle fatigues singing this in unison
and marching around the Capital building.

Bush and Cheney had their chance
When the draft board called
They crapped their pants.
(call)Am I right or worng?
(respond) You're right.
(call)Am I right or wrong?
(respond)You're right.
(call)Sound off.
(respond)One two,
(call)Sound off.
(respond)Three four
(call) Bring it on down
(respond)One two --- Three four.

Stand with the nation's veterans April 25th 26th in Washington DC
Stop the raid on vererans benefits to pay for Paris Hilton's tax cuts.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Time for Heresy

A must read in understanding the efforts to restore the Guilded Age when
there was no middle class. When solving a crime the question that needs
to be answered is: Who benefits?
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/22/a_time_for_heresy.php

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Exclusive: Read War Crimes Memos

To the Hague
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734/

intel blind in march 2006 reminds of April 1975


Americans went to Iraq as an assault force and found
themselves fighting in a defensive mode for their
lives, expending ordnance and firepower from the air,
sea and land intelligence (intel) blind at what was
assumed to be the enemy in order to survive. On
average five years older than American combat forces
in the Vietnam War, our soldiers are moms and dads
desperate to survive in order to return to the
children and spouses they left behind. In contrast,
the enemy-- the Iraq insurgents-- are on a one way
trip to Paradise, determined to take out as many
Americans as possible before they meet their doom.

US marines attacked Falluja in 2004, as pointedly
written by Bing West and shown in a FOX-TV
documentary, believing that "we are going after the
bad guys who say they would rather die than surrender,
so we are obliging them." But what means "firepower"
when you are intel-blind and when your troops are
desperate to survive while the enemy could care less
about survival?

In Vietnam we were also intel-blind, so we designated
wide territory "injun country" and mercilessly blasted
it with ordnance until the lush green land became
brown earth cratered to form thousands of rain puddles
by our bombs, never to again produce food for the
enemy, the Viet Cong (VC). Nevertheless, over the
years of a bloody war of attrition, some of "our
Viets" and many of our CIA operatives struggled to
gather intel until they finally developed a strategic
long range view of the enemy's mind. Only then were
they able to convert American war strategy from
Westmoreland's "search-and-destroy" strategy to what
Lewis Sorley so brilliantly wrote about as a "better
war." But until that day intel was a tactical tool to
find, fix and destroy the enemy, hitting him with
everything we had. To do that, nobody needed to
understand the language or the culture of the nation
Vietnam; Charlie was to be fixed and BOOM!

In the Iraq War we again went in intel-blind, cutting
our way through another strange land, ignorant of its
language and culture, in order to seize its capital,
Baghdad, as if playing a video-game. Rapidly moving
forward in armored vehicles American firepower only
saw, fixed and hit Saddam's Republican Guards but was
intel-blind to Saddam's Fedayeen irregulars, lightly
armed, attacking from pick-up trucks, as so well
demonstrated in Gordon and Trainor's new book: COBRA
II. When urged to stop the relentless march to Baghdad
in order to dispense with the Fedayeen irregulars,
Gen. Franks, reflecting the Rumsfeld mindset, sought
to fire Bill Wallace, the marine intel officer who
advised him, for his "lack of faith in the program."
For that "drinking of the Kool-ade," in Pentagon
parlance, by Rumsfeld and Franks, we are still paying
today.

Similarly, Rumsfeld sought to cut out of the planning
and execution of *his* Iraq War (though when things
got tough, he ran for cover, declaring: "it's not my
plan, it's Gen. Frank's plan," at a press conference.
Frank's sudden turn in surprise was a harbinger of his
soon afterward decision to retire. The Franks-Wallace
controversy brings to mind an earlier battle over
intel between Westy and Gen. Johnson who was leading
the PROVIN advocates for Vietnam. Then too a marine,
the I Corps commander, challenged Westy's intel-blind
approach with the CAP Program that brought marines
into the rural matrix of the difficult Northern
Provinces, providing a wealth of intel that to this
day richly serves historians. Nevertheless, for MACV
the Vietnamese were no more than incidental squatters
on our battlefield against Hanoi, like the unfortunate
birds nesting on our Puerto Rican islands that were
used for ship-to-land target practice by the US Navy.

One can only wonder if Reservists, leaving behind
families and desperate to return to them, can be
expected to or would distinguish Jihadists from
civilians in a land where liberation from Saddam
turned into deep resentment towards our intel-blind
incompetent occupation. It was a mark of that
incompetence to watch on PBS Colonels in Baghdad
pleading with the press to get Congress to release
reconstruction funds in order to replace their out of
pocket payments to Iraqi collaborators; nor could the
sight of marines standing idle while criminals and
looters violently ravaged "liberated" Iraq be seen as
anything but a sign of American indifference to
anything but oil (wells were well protected). Paul
Bremer, being no Komer (the chief of the CORDS
operation that rebuilt South Vietnam faster than Westy
destroyed it) himself, soon gave the impression that
he is the viceroy of a renewed heartless foreign
occupation.

It didn't take long for frightened Americans to find
themselves defensively firing into innocent civilians.
Few remember that before four American mercenaries
were murdered in Falluja, American forces had fired on
a peaceful demonstration, killing 11. When one side is
intel-blind but holds overwhelming firepower, such
"collateral damage" in inevitable.

Soon intel-blind American moms and dads, desperate to
get back to their own children, invariably found
themselves having a hard time discriminating between
the Iraqis who welcomed them and those preparing a
guerrilla offensive. According to Michael O'Hanlin, a
Brookings Institute scholar supporting the war, in the
first year of our invasion more than 20,000 civilians
died. Invariably this soured the welcome to the
liberators, especially in light of the lack of
reconstruction. Burdened with body armor, gadgets and
poorly armored vehicles, intel-blind Americans soon
became sitting ducks for men armed only with AK-47s,
RPGs and light mortars. Many did not even know how to
use these weapons. They were not well trained but they
more than made up for that with their willingness to
die, in counter to the American desperate desire to
live. Note the following description by Gaith
Abdul-Ahad, a Jordanian journalist who lived with the
insurgents:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/insurgency/interviews/
[begin quote]
And what was the mood amongst the insurgents? What was
their motivation? What was it like to be with them?

... It's not like a death cult, but the only thing
they were talking ... about was death. They were
chatting about death and what happens when you die and
how many virgins you get.

In a way I realized later that they were talking about
death because they were trying to comfort themselves,
knowing that this was what's going to happen. Most of
them were in their early 20s, and most of them were --
it's like people who have never fought before. There
was a Yemeni taxi driver who was a religious man, and
he'd used an AK-[47] before, but he'd never fought.
They were just motivated young men who came from
different places in the Arab world, and all that they
wanted was to fight the Americans and die.

That's, again, the difference between them and ...
their Iraqi commander. The emir, the commander of that
cell, was an Iraqi. For him he had a specific thing:
He wanted to fight the Americans because he wanted to
fight an occupation. But for those young men, ... they
have this romantic dream of Osama bin Laden, of
mujahideen, of Afghanistan, and they wanted to fulfill
these dreams in Fallujah and Iraq. ...

[You've said that you feel the insurgents don't live
in the same world as we do.]

When all that you want to do is die, you come from
different places. There was a teacher who was very
well paid; there was a taxi driver. And they leave
everything. They come to a country, and all they want
to do is die ... and become martyrs. I mean, yes, they
want to help a cause, work for something, but the
mentality of those foot soldiers is beyond
imagination.
[end quote]

The interviews of FRONTLINE with him and Michael Ware,
a brilliant TIME correspondent who also met with the
insurgents, serve to fully expose how very intel-blind
was our field command. In fact, I found it shocking
that Col. HR McMaster, the author of a brilliant book
on how the JCS Command failed to protect their troops
against harebrained intel-blind commanders in Vietnam,
DERELICTION OF DUTY, now finds himself an apologist
for similar command intel-blindness:

http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2005/tr20050913-3901.html

It has been argued that, whether they enlisted as
professionals because they like guns or as reservists
because they wanted assistance with college tuition,
soldiers are soldiers and must go where they are sent.
But they have a right to expect public support
translated into vigilance that they not be unduly put
in harm's way and killed. When Rumsfeld justified the
inadequacies a soldier complained about arguing that
you go to war with the army you've got, not always the
army you wish you had, he abrogated his responsibility
so well articulated in the Powell Doctrine: too much
is forgivable, too little is criminal. But the fact
that Bush was victim of a snow job, a blizzard of
"Rummy snowflakes," raises the question of whether
policy was based on intel-- good or bad-- or on
wishful thinking ideologically driven. If the latter
is true about Rumsfeld and the neocon suits who
advised him, then it was the duty of JCS to get word
to Congress so that their counter-opinions were on the
record at least. Yet, when an administration bore no
less than utter sycophancy, a mass resignation was in
order lest the very catastrophe McMaster wrote about
be repeated. COBRA II argues that indeed it was. And
former Pentagon intel chief Pat Lang's report that
Arabic speaking officers were rejected for his Iraq
ops by Defense Dept. under-Sec. Doug Feith because
that was indication enough that one would not
enthusiastically endorse Pentagon policies, is proof
of the reckless "anti-Semitism" towards Arabs that the
neocons brought to the Iraq War. It also indicts the
penchant for wishful thinking over intel, whatever it
may in fact be.

Soldiers sent to war driven by what ideology invested
civilian leaders wish were the case instead of by
solid intel of the best kind available cannot be
expected to distinguish those whom they are there to
destroy from those whom they are there to keep free.
Vietnam proved that quite dramatically. And no agency
better exposed the flaws of intel-blind ideologic
warfare than the CIA. Perhaps that is why Vice
President Cheney, Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and their
neocon civilian staff focused all their ire on the
CIA, seeking to paralyze it in order to replace it
with a "yes, sir" military intel system that reports
back the picture ordered on command. Westy intel
chief,Gen. Phillip Davidson, left behind two books on
the Vietnam War and massive court testimony in the
Westy vs. CBS Trial that are an appalling testament to
the utter ignorance MACV suffered about its enemy. Yet
these seem even relegated to a false history now. When
I recently encountered a young general leading in the
current War on Terror, I invoked the Vietnam
experience. He responded by threatening that if I did
not want to end the exchange I should not associate
him with that "loser's war." Yet, looking at the Iraq
War now, three years on, and the intel available when
our Vietnam War became the "better war" Sorley
recounts, one can only feel outrage at how ignorance
made needless orphans and widows to a resistance that
fights with little more than ingenuity.

Not recognizing our fatal errors as an invading and
occupying force, we will never understand the key
force that exhausts our nation in counterinsurgency.
While we cover-up and hide our errors (though Abbu
Ghraib indicates we don't even do that well) and seek
to suppress resistance to our occupation with the same
killer tactics the Israeli forces use to compensate
for the smallness of their force relative to the
Palestinian opposition to occupation (the Iraqi Intel
Chief claimed, with American field support, that the
insurgency numbers over 200,000 guerrillas, full and
part time), we miss the great Mediterranean motive
force that drives these willing-to-die-to-kill-us
fighters. As so exquisitely analyzed in Laura
Blumenfeld's book REVENGE, it is actually the cult of
revenge. It is not the same revenge that has by now
come to drive many of our forces to kill Iraqis
sometimes in violation of our rules of war. For while
our troops may wish to avenge every dead American with
ten dead Iraqis, and often succeed, the Iraqis seek to
die taking as many Americans with them as possible.
This is a new factor that has been manifesting before
our eyes since the 1970 Iranian Revolution with
devastating results. Yet our intel on shahids is
paltry because of political censorship of intel
analysis. It is often forgotten that Israel's Shin Bet
once enjoyed as many as 30,000 Palestinian informants
providing invaluable intel. Like the Israeli
leadership, our leaders realize that, no matter how
great our firepower, it can never match the force of
an insurgency of men willing to die killing us. Even
those criminals who do it for cash are accepting that
fate, so great is the hate against the occupying
Crusaders. But, realizing that the Israeli application
of indiscriminate force to compensate for intel and
motivational imbalance will be unacceptable to the
American public, our leaders simply chose to pretend
that the problem is not what it is and to apply
vengeful violence as secretly as possible in a
desperate hope to demoralize the enemy. Thus,
Rumsfeld, Cheney and the neocons, as of 9/11,
concluded that in no way are the intel services to be
permitted to analyze the reality that, while we are
desperate to live, our foe is desperate to die killing
us. As a result, our intel is so blind by censorship
and so illusory that our forces are victimized by it
instead of served by it. Worst than during the Vietnam
War, now careerist at CIA, like officers at the
Pentagon, are playing along with the charade.

The question to be answered is whether the American
people are so disconnected from the current war on
terror and on Iraq, indeed on Islam, suffering from
the "ain't my kid going to Iraq" disconnect syndrome,
that they will tolerate the mass killings of enough
Iraqis by our firepower "professionals" to dis-spirit
the Jihadists while not permitting the American public
to realize what our war on terror is really up
against.

The conspiratorial attempt to so blind our intel so
that it not create a record of how flawed our
ideological precepts were is truly, in my view, a
political deception, imposed on patriotic Americans
moved by the catastrophe of 9/11 to enlist in order to
defend their country "there" so that others need not
defend it "here." After these fighters are spent, what
will defend us, given that $200,000 enlistment bonuses
don't even seem adequate to keep up the quotas?

Daniel E. Teodoru

__________________________________________________
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[Fwd: incomprehensible shocker]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: incomprehensible shocker
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 01:23:22 -0500
From: Borowitzreport.com <andy@borowitzreport.com>
To: b.sussman3@verizon.net

The Borowitz Report <http://www.borowitzreport.com/>
Prepare to be shocked <http://www.borowitzreport.com/books.asp>

Winner of the First-ever National Press Club Award for Humor March 21,
2006

Breaking News

U.S. CONFUSES INSURGENTS WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN

Military Launches 'Operation Incomprehensible Program' Across Iraq

In an effort to confuse Iraqi insurgents, the Pentagon announced today
that the U.S. had begun bombarding insurgent positions with copies of
President Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan.

At a press briefing at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld said that the idea of confusing the insurgents with the
President's Medicare plan was hatched last week, after Mr. Bush appeared
at a series of town hall meetings at which seniors in his audience
seemed thoroughly bewildered by the intricate new program.

"We realized, if this prescription drug plan is that confusing in
English, imagine how incoherent it would seem once it was translated
into Arabic," Secretary Rumsfeld said.

As soon as Pentagon planners seized upon the idea of using the
President's plan to confuse the insurgents, Operation Incomprehensible
Program was launched.

According to Secretary Rumsfeld, U.S. warplanes pounded insurgent
positions in the citiers of Tikrit and Najaf with copies of the
prescription drug plan in the early morning hours of Monday.

Mr. Rumsfeld said that satellite photos of those positions have been
encouraging thus far, showing dozens of Iraqi insurgents reading the
prescription drug plan and scratching their heads.

The Defense Secretary said he was hopeful that Operation
Incomprehensible Program would leave the Iraqi insurgents totally
baffled, but he hinted that the Pentagon had other tactics up its
sleeve: "We are fully prepared to bombard them with copies of my press
briefings."

Elsewhere, one day after Seoul National University dismissed him for
falsifying results, South Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk claimed
that the other nine of him still had jobs.

ANDY IN NYC - MARCH 27

Andy's next New York show is Monday, March 27. Join Andy and his guests
DC Benny, Mike Storck, and much, much more! At Mo Pitkin's House of
Satisfaction, 34 Avenue A between 2nd and 3rd. Doors open at 8; show
begins at 8:30. Tickets $6 at the door or at www.ticketweb.com.

The Borowitz Report: <http://www.borowitzreport.com> Waste Someone's
Time: Forward to a Friend
<http://www.borowitzreport.com/email_form.asp?email=b.sussman3@verizon.net&rec=1350>.

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W - Dick Radioactive

Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 10:39:58 PM PDT

I am fascinated by these Republican Senate candidates who greedily lap up the big dollars Bush and Cheney raise for them, yet are too afraid and unprincipled to stand by their party's leaders in public.

New Jersey:

In the biggest campaign fund-raiser yet on behalf of State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to New Jersey on Monday and praised Mr. Kean as someone with "the experience, the values and the vision to be a superb United States senator."

But there was one problem: Mr. Kean was a no-show.

Actually, Mr. Kean did show up at the event, which was held at the offices of the IDT Corporation in downtown Newark. But he did not make it until 6:15, roughly 15 minutes after Mr. Cheney's motorcade had left.

So what should have been a routine political story about a successful fund-raiser, netting close to $400,000, became one in which Mr. Kean was asked repeatedly whether he had deliberately avoided being photographed with the vice president, who is deeply unpopular in New Jersey.

Ohio:

Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Bush's policies are a political "albatross around the neck of the Republican Party," noting that yesterday's visit is the second since February that De-Wine has missed.

"The Republican base is running from the president," Singer said.

DeWine was in Florida fulfilling long-made plans to take his father, who is recovering from surgery, to spring-training baseball games, said Mike Dawson, a DeWine spokesman.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said that DeWine and a number of Republicans in competitive races "are bound to put some daylight between themselves and an unpopular president."

"They would be guilty of political malpractice if they didn't."

They are also guilty of political hypocrisy -- taking the money while pretending to put "daylight" between them.

more commentary here
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/22/03958/7280

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

getting hot in DC

Incompetence prior to 9/11

"I don't believe any longer that it's a matter of connecting the dots. I think they had a veritable blueprint, and we want to know why they didn't act on it." — Sen. Arlen Specter

5. In addition to the Aug. 6, 2001 PDB entitled 'Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US,' the president saw a string of reports, including ones entitled: 'Bin Laden planning multiple operations,' 'Bin Laden network's plans advancing' and 'Bin Laden threats are real.'"

6 "Bush acknowledged that bin Laden was not his focus or that of his national security team. ‘I was not on point,' the president said [to Bob Woodward in Bush at War]. ‘I didn't feel a sense of urgency.' Well, how can you not feel a sense of urgency when George Tenet is telling you in daily briefings, day after day, that a major al Qaeda attack is coming?"

7. "'Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon," Richard Clarke told White House staffers in July 2001. "For six weeks. . . the U.S. government was at its highest possible state of readiness. . . By the time Bush received his briefing at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, the government had begun to stand down from the alert."

8. FBI officials complained after Bush took office, intelligence agencies were instructed to "'back off' from investigations involving other members of the Bin Laden family, the Saudi royals, and possible Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan."

9. Former Sen. Gary Hart says he warned Condoleezza Rice "about an imminent terror attack on two occasions before 9/11."

10. Senator: "incompetence. . . a contributing factor toward Sept. 11."

Incompetence on 9/11

"For more than two hours after the Federal Aviation Administration became aware that the first plane had been violently overtaken by Middle Eastern men, the man whose job it was to order air cover over Washington did not show up in the Pentagon's command center. It took him almost two hours to 'gain situational awareness'. . . "-- Gail Sheehy, the Los Angeles Times

11. Bush’s Pet Goat.

12. "How much in command was the commander in chief?"

13. John Dean: "It seems very probable that those in the White House knew much more than they have admitted, and they are covering up their failure to take action."

14. "Why don’t we have answers to these 9/11 questions?"

15. "FBI rewarding incompetence?"

16. "The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

doctor humor

A cardiologist died and was given an elaborate funeral.
> >
> >A huge Heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the
> >service.
> >
> >Following the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside.
> >The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart
> >forever.
> >
> >At that point, one of the mourners burst into laughter. When all eyes
> >stared at him, he said, "I'm sorry, I was just thinking of my own
> >funeral........I'm a gynecologist."
> >
> >The proctologist fainted.
> >

>
>

Friday, March 17, 2006

Vets march April 25-6


Legislators Attempt to Head-Off Veteran’s March on DC

WWW.FIREBASENETWORK.NET

By Staff Writer: Rick Townsend

firebaseadrian@tc3net.com

March 17, 2006,

Lawmakers in our nation’s capitol are attempting to pacify this country’s veterans and supporters of an upcoming grassroots veterans’ affairs demonstration planned for Washington, DC next month. 

On April 25th & 26th Operation Firing For Effect – The Veteran’s March will kick off a March and Rally in opposition to proposed future cuts in veteran’s services, and increases in retired military health care cost. The demonstration will be held on the U.S. Capitol steps and will address a wide variety of issues which affect the future of veterans’ affairs in this country. Thousands of veterans and their family members are expected to attend the Rally, which will begin at 8 am at the West Lawn of the Capitol building. 

Over the past 90 days there has been a groundswell of Bills and Resolutions introduced addressing several veteran and retired military issues. >From real legal representation for veterans filing claims with the VA, to efforts to block TriCare health coverage increases, our elected officials are scrambling to defuse growing anger and discontent within this country’s former military community.

The Military Retirees’ Healthcare Protection Act, H.R. 4949, if passed, would prevent increases in TriCare enrollment fees and pharmacy co-pays. This single Bill would affect over 3 million military retirees and their families. H.R. 4914, if passed, would permit veterans to hire an attorney when they disagree with a benefits claims decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Currently, veterans are not allowed to hire an attorney until the end of the administrative appeals process, specifically, after the Board of Veterans Appeals has rendered a decision. In addition, there is a 72.4 billion VA supplemental funding bill in Congress. And yet another Bill would define veteran’s health care funding as a “Cost of War” to be addressed in the Department of Defense budget. In short, the word “veteran” has been mentioned more times in the past 3 months, than the past 3 decades.

Organizers of Operation Firing For Effect – The Veteran’s March are convinced their efforts to unite this country’s veterans has resulted in this recent flurry of activity and posturing on The Hill.

Vietnam combat veteran, Gene Simes is the Chairman of Operation Firing For Effect – The Veteran’s March. Simes said, “The introduction of these new Bills is not a coincidence. Our elected officials are very aware of our plans and they know we are coming”.

Event Co-Chairman, Gulf War One combat veteran, James North explained The Veteran’s March and Rally this way, “Our objectives are very simple and straight forward. First, we want to draw public awareness and media attention to serious problems facing our former military personnel and their families. Second, we want to send a message to our Congress and Senate demanding Veterans’ Affairs issues take precedence over special interest issues. Third, we want to send a message to our deployed troops that we support them and they can count on us to fight for the protection of their earned benefits and services. Forth, we want to improve the State of Veterans’ Affairs in this country in an effort to increase enlistment and improve retention in the U.S. military, thus preserve our all volunteer military. Fifth, we want to provide our former military personnel and their families a voice in matters that affect them,” North said.

Vietnam combat veteran and noted veteran’s rights advocate, Jere Beery is Public Relations Director for the Rally. “I really don’t think many Americans will be pacified or fooled by the recent and sudden pro-veteran activity on Capitol Hill. We have to influence the overall mindset of the entire Congress and Senate, and that will take a great deal more than a couple of showboat Bills,” Beery stated.

Jim North agrees with Beery. “The problems facing our veterans will only be solved when the American people demand our government provide and protect the benefits and services earned by our troops. If we can find billions of tax dollars for Mars exploration, surely we can find adequate funding for our veterans,” North said. “It’s a simply matter of priorities,” North added.

Gene Simes and James North are very confident of a good turn out in DC. “We are providing an opportunity for the American people to voice their concerns about the future of veteran’s affairs. Our April 25th Rally will be merely the beginning of a much bigger movement to insure veteran’s issues take precedence over all special interest issues. This is the message we are taking to Washington, DC,” Simes stated.

In a related story, yesterday the U.S. Senate voted down Stabenow Amendment 3141 requiring mandatory funding for veteran’s health care. (46 YEA votes, to 54 NAY)

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00063

For more information on Operation Firing For Effect – The Veteran’s March visit; WWW.VetMarch2006.COM 

From Max Cleland

Only Max Cleland could say this. "I wasn't injured in Vietnam. I was duck hunting with Dick Cheney."

defending oppressed millionaires

Hey Veteran,
NOTE: The system that the Senate Democrats called for in a federal budget amendment had the following stated purpose -- "To provide an assured stream of funding for veteran's health care that will take into account the annual changes in the veteran's population and inflation to be paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes, and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy." 
 
(You will note that only one Democrat -- Nelson, Nebraska -- voted against the amendment.  Only two Republicans -- Snowe, Maine and Specter, Pennsylvania -- and the one Independent -- Jeffords, Vermont -- voted for it.  Nothing like putting the pocketbooks of corporations and the really wealthy ahead of the troops and veterans, eh wot?)

strong language


The Rude Pundit

Proudly lowering the level of political discourse

3/15/2006

Message To Democrats: Supporting Feingold Is the Path To Enlightenment:
The air is filthy with signs of Democratic weakness, ripe with the odor
of flop sweat and self-shitting. Perhaps one of the more puissant signs
is the near absence on the Democratic National Committee website
<http://www.dnc.org/> of mention of Senator Russ Feingold's call for
censure of the President for the illegal domestic spying program. It's
only referenced once
<http://www.dnc.org/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search=censure&x=0&y=0>,
in the DNC's blog, as a way to criticize odious bastard Wayne Allard for
saying that Feingold is "siding with terrorists" for believing that the
Constitution of the United States actually gives the Congress power to
hold the Executive branch accountable for lawbreaking.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/14/AR2006031401752.html>
he hoped that Feingold's move would make the Republican whores in the
Senate Intelligence Committee stop being the White House's whores and
allow an investigation of the surveillance program. Joe Lieberman, that
strange, sad little man who fucks for money but refuses to call himself
a "whore," said
<http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aOJLaCfJtuns&refer=us>,
"Frankly, I'd prefer to spend our time figuring out ways to bring this
very important program of surveillance of potential terrorists here in
the United States under the law." Which is not unlike saying, "Right
now, it's against the law" or "Instead of punishing the rapist, let's
legalize rape."

God, no wonder Feingold said
<http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060315/ap_on_go_co/feingold_censure;_ylt=Aub56fthbjrY3.jCD6PChyayFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA-->,
"Democrats run and hide" from the administration and are "cowering"
before the incredibly unpopular President. Feingold must be stunned,
like a soldier leading his machine gun-toting men into battle who then
run screaming away from the rock-throwing enemy. The censure issue
should be on the front of every Democrat's website, with press releases
and interviews sticking to a single talking point: President broke the
law. Feingold knows it's a black and white issue, as he tried to explain
to sexily dim Soledad O'Brien Monday
<http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/13/ltm.01.html>on CNN in
response to O'Brien's quoting of Bill Frist on the issue, "Many of his
colleagues on the Republican side, senators, have said repeatedly since
we've found out about this eavesdropping program in December, that it
wasn't legal. In fact, some are saying, well, it's illegal, so let's
make it legal. What does that tell you? That means they're admitting the
president broke the law of the United States of America."

What the rest <http://www.dlc.org/> of the Democratic Party ain't
gettin' is that the nation is fuckin' begging for the party to stand up
and say, "Enough." Bush's poll numbers are in the tank despite non-stop
coverage of every flea fart of a speech he gives, despite the political
talk shows being filled to swelling with Republicans and Joe Lieberman
saying how goddamned wonderful the President is, except for a minor
thing here or there, like, you know, the war; with the bloviators of the
air and of the Congress saying that it's unpatriotic to question the
President; and without any serious news organization or investigative
body exposing the rotten worm and maggot-filled underbelly of all the
scandal that's eating away the nation. Turn that log over, and you'll
retch from the disgusting sights and smells. Still, still, the public is
done with this President. So you know what? Here's the big fuckin'
conclusion, so listen the fuck up:

Democrats are makin' one huge miscalculation in staying away from
Feingold's motion for censure. They are being played by the Republicans,
who are scared shitless that they'll be forced to go on record, with a
vote, that they support the illegal activities of the White House. So
they are lashing out, calling Feingold a "traitor" and double dog daring
Democrats to support him. Looking at how loudly the Republicans are
screaming. As the Democratic Leadership Council's Marshall Wittman said,
"The Republicans couldn't contain their glee over an attempt to censure
the president for being overly zealous in defending the country against
al-Qaeda." The DLC are a bunch of tools, idiots for whom triangulation
is resistance. And they're wrong about the Republican huffing and
puffing. It's a Rovean bluff. Call that fucker. Back Feingold and the
public will follow you to 2006 and 2008 because you actually said enough
is, indeed, enough.

Here we Democrats sit, staring longingly like puppies at the pound,
hoping that some kind stranger will take us home when, instead, we
should be motherfuckin' pit bulls, ready to tear some ass, daring the
dog catchers to put us down.
// posted by Rude One @ 9:34 AM
<http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2006/03/message-to-democrats-supporting.html>

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