Sunday, July 27, 2008

McCain advisor: "McCain lost the week badly...he cannot afford another week like this one."

Obama wins in Europe, wins in Iraq, and is beating McCain at home despite the desperate attacks by the old man that have been denounced by fellow Republicans. McSame seems to have centered his foreign policy entirely around the past - looking back to and taking credit for the Bush 'surge,' while Obama continues to look forward.

McSame's strategy of prompting Obama to visit Iraq blew up in the elderly senator's face as Obama received the Iraqi Prime Minister's endorsement as a result of the visit, as noted by McCain political strategist:

Washington Post:
John Weaver, who once was McCain's top political strategist, said his old boss made a big mistake by virtually daring Obama to go to Iraq and Afghanistan, only to see Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki generally embrace the Democrat's plan for withdrawing combat forces when he went there.

"McCain lost the week badly, let's be honest," Weaver said in a message on Friday. "John [McCain] is still in striking distance, thanks to his own character, biography and memories of the McCain of previous election cycles. But he cannot afford another week like this one."

The Berlin Bounce: Obama opens widest lead yet in Gallup Tracking Poll . Fox News lies again.

Obama - 49%

McSame - 40%


Gallup Daily tracking poll


Check this out:

Fox News reported on Your World with Neil Cavuto, substitute host David Asman announced four and a half hours after Obama's Berlin speech, "No Berlin bounce! An estimated 200,000 people turning out to hear Barack Obama speak in Germany today but, it's the reaction here that really counts, and a Fox News poll just out shows Obama getting no pop from this overseas trip."

The Poll that was referenced by Asman was completed by Fox News the day before Obama's Berlin speech.

More of what we come to expect from the propaganda arm of the dying Republican party... lying and reassuring the ignorant.

German newspaper Der Spiegel: "this man will become the 44th president of the United States"

Der Spiegel:
No. 44 Has Spoken

"Barack Obama is a passionate politician who is fixated on -- and takes very seriously -- his desire for a better world. ... For those who witnessed his appearance in Berlin, it is hard to imagine that John McCain has any chance.

Europe is witnessing the 44th president of the United States during this trip. Anyone who listens to him realizes that he is not only ambitious but will also make demands. In the inner circles of Angela Merkel's Chancellery, he is reportedly seen as a pleasant person, one who arouses curiosity.

George W. Bush is yesterday, the Texas version of the arrogant world power. Obama is all about today ..."

Exactly.

CONFIRMED: FOX NEWS fed talking points by the White House

Conservatives like to be duped, reassured, reinforced... it's integral to the authoritarian mentality.

Constitutional violations and overt propaganda are nothing new for the Bush Administration. Freedom of the Press means freedom from government control and political use - i.e. propaganda.

Former Bush Press Secretary Scott McCellan confirmed what we all suspected.

“Certainly there were commentators and other pundits at FOX News, that were helpful to the White House. ... Yes it was something that we at the White House were doing, giving them [Fox News] talking points.... It was done frequently, especially on high-profile issues.”--Scott McClellan


There you have it... Fair and Balanced. I report, you decide.

MORE

How do you want America represented?


In the largest crowd ever assembled abroad for a US presidential candidate, Barack Obama spoke in Berlin before 200,000+ German citizens, many waving American flags.
"The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand...True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other. ...People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment. This is our time." -- Barack Obama in Berlin, 7/24/08

How do you want America represented.... Like this?



Or do you want America represented like this, the way John McCain would like to continue:

Berlin



London





Sidney



Brazil



Vienna



Prague



India



South Korea



The xenophobic isolationist white christian authoritarian neo-con regime of GW Bush and John McCain is now officially DEAD.

Senate Environment Committee seeks truth on Bush Administration coverup of climate change data

It was interesting to see Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth, Head of the Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research Climate and Global Dynamics Division debunk and tear apart the Global Warming skeptic testimony of *Dr. Roy Spencer:
The IPCC has extensively studied natural variability... natural variability has a cause, it's not magic, it doesn't come out of nowhere and we have the ability to track natural variability. For instance we can track variability on the sun and we know the sun isn't responsible for the changes that have occurred. We also know that it is not clouds. Einstein said we should "make things as simple as possible but not simpler." I think Roy's [Spencer] model is in the latter category. His simple model is fatally flawed, in my view. There are 2 figures in his written testimony, fig 3a and 3b, the radiation that's contrived there is about a factor of 10 too large, the ocean mix layer he uses is about a factor of 10 too large, and he starts the model off with an artificial starting point. Unlike the IPCC models that have been scrutinized by hundreds of scientists and many papers have been written about them, analyzing them, Roy's [Spencer] model has no standing whatsoever.
-- Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research Climate and Global Dynamics Division

*(Roy Spencer is listed as an author for the Heartland Institute, a US think tank that has received $561,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998)

The Committee Chair, Barbara Boxer said it may be necessary to subpoena documents that the White House has censored on the health threats of global warming. Former EPA official Jason K. Burnett implicated the Office of the Vice President, Dick Cheney, as well as the White House Council on Environmental Quality for censoring “any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change” in testimony to Congress.

Truth is hard to come by in the Bush Administration's war on science.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain and TN GOP prey upon the ignorant on offshore drilling issue

If you've seen the TN GOP ad, or this McCain ad, you'd think Obama was responsible for high gas prices.

Why this issue is a red herring and is designed to persuade the ignorant to capture votes:


1) There are 172 US offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and 26 off of southern California. These rigs cover 77.3% of the known reserves or 68 billion barrels where drilling is already allowed.

2) The estimates of offshore oil reserves in areas where drilling has not been allowed amounts to only 18 billion barrels.

3) The untapped oil in the gulf would be extremely difficult and expensive to obtain. Most of it is under a mile of ocean, 1 to 2 miles of granite and a mile of salt. It would cost more to produce than it would sell for. In order to make this possible, the government would have to extend to oil companies subsidies and tax breaks. If you factor that in, we'd actually be paying more for the oil than we would have to pay if we just bought it on the world market.

4) The 18 billion new offshore reserves would amount to just over 2 years of US oil demand. This added supply would take 10 years to obtain and only affect global oil prices by less than a nickel.

5) One spill on the level of the Exxon Valdez would cost as much as several billion dollars to clean up, not to mention the possibility of ruining a coastal habitat for a generation.


More

So, don't be led by ignorance, red herrings, or the super stupid TN GOP.

Reminder: McCain, his staff, and other conservatives repeatedly lied by saying that no oil was spilled during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Even LA Republican Governor Jindal was clueless about the oil spills created by Katrina and Rita. The Minerals Management Service reported that 113 oil platforms were “totally destroyed” — a total of 124 offshore spills. The US coastguard, which is responsible for the marine environment, said more than 6.5 million gallons of crude oil had been spilled - one of the worst spills in US history.

The fact is that Democrats want to see more domestic drilling where leases are already held.


House Democrats are pushing legislation they say would spur oil drilling on already available lands in Alaska, the West and the western Gulf of Mexico. Reserves in shale and land areas in the west hold far more productivity than new offshore drilling.

More

Bush War Crimes: Newly obtained Bush administration memos show that torture was authorized

Just another brick in the wall of evidence of war crimes.

The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained through Freedom of Information several internal Bush administration documents that authorizes the CIA to torture detainees.
“These documents supply further evidence, if any were needed, that the Justice Department authorized the CIA to torture prisoners in its custody. The Justice Department twisted the law, and in some cases ignored it altogether, in order to permit interrogators to use barbaric methods that the U.S. once prosecuted as war crimes.”

-- Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project
As we know, the coverup is in full swing. A look at the documents show they have been highly redacted and the Justice Dept. has launched a criminal investigation into the destruction of the CIA torture videos ... which of course is a sham.
Criminals investigating criminals.

Just a reminder here... there is no statute of limitations on the prosecution of war crimes. Since these war crimes have been confirmed by US Gov't investigators, physicians, an Oscar winning documentary film, and the International Red Cross, there is no longer any debate or doubt.

Press release on memos. USA Today story

CNN interview on war crimes interview

Bush is a war criminal. Fact.

McCain gaffe of the day: Iraq was the “first major conflict since 9/11“

It seems McCain, like Bush, would prefer to forget about Afghanistan and the failure to capture bin Laden. This McCain gaffe on CBS was edited out, as was his other gaffe on the Anbar Awakening/ Surge timeline.

McCain said:
"We were losing the war in Iraq. The consequences of failure and defeat of the United States of America in the first major conflict since 9/11 would have had devastating impacts throughout the region and the world."
He's right, maybe if the US had won in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda - the 9/11 planners were being harbored by the Taliban, bin Laden would have been captured and the bombings in Madrid, London and Bali may have been prevented. Except McCain was referring to Iraq as the first major conflict after 9/11 ... whoops. This is an insult to the approx 100 soldiers that died in Afghanistan before the Iraq invasion would be launched.

CBS saved John McCain's ass twice... how's that for the so-called "liberal media?"

Fox tries to make McCain look younger

In video supposedly showing McCain on the campaign trail "in Ohio today," Fox News aired EIGHT YEAR OLD video of McCain in an attempt to make the elderly senator look younger.

Caught again.

Watch it.

This is the level of deception, manipulation, and political bias we've come to expect from the 'Fair and Balanced network.' They don't call it Faux News for nothin'. I report, you decide.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One fat dumb redneck

Here's the guy responsible for the FL billboard that connects 9/11 with Democrats.

Does he look like a Republican or what? Fat, dumb and red.

Maybe he needs to ask himself: "on who's watch did
9/11 happen and why"?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

International Committee of the Red Cross: Bush Administration Guilty of War Crimes

We already knew this... Bush and Cheney are unquestionably guilty of war crimes, and here is more supporting evidence from yet another source, the Red Cross:

NYT
Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts since 2001.

The book says that the International Committee of the Red Cross declared in the report, given to the C.I.A. last year, that the methods used on Abu Zubaydah, the first major Qaeda figure the United States captured, were “categorically” torture, which is illegal under both American and international law.

As previously reported the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, plans to convene a ‘convention’ to plan strategies to prosecute members of the Bush administration for war crimes.

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

Maj. General Antonio Taguba

UPDATED:

This issue is no longer something that can be written off as a partisan or 'extremist' view. Our leadership has a serious problem. Don't they usually hang war criminals? There is NO statute of limitations on these crimes and Bush could be prosecuted years in the future. Multiple investigations, reports and Supreme Court decisions have showed both constitutional violations and violations of international law.

Watch a video report
(one of the commenters of this 5-star rated Youtube video suggested that they should hang Bush and televise it so billions could celebrate in the attainment of justice).

BBC Video

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Alabama Attorney General and McCain Campaign Manager: another anti-gay Christian conservative Republican caught having GAY SEX

Alabama Attorney General and McCain State Campaign Manager, Troy King, is married with 3 kids, and teaches Sunday school at Montgomery's First Baptist Church. He was reportedly caught by his wife in bed having homosexual intercourse with his partner and was subsequently banished from his home by his wife. BTW... Troy King helped prosecute Governor Don Seigalman, (that should give you an idea of the level of character of people involved in that case).

This rumor was of course denied by King's office. However, the details are being widely reported (here, here, here, here) and there is talk of an impending resignation. Most indicative of the veracity of the story is that the McCain campaign quickly scrubbed Troy King from their website.

King and his lover, reportedly a Troy State grad who was the 'Homecoming King,' have been seen at the YMCA reportedly engaging in "inappropriate activities." Hahaha ... Troy King with the homecoming King of Troy U. ... lol !!

What makes this so uniquely Republican is that Troy King is a big proponent of 'protecting the institution of marriage' and has made rabidly anti-gay statements. King also was opposed to the legalization of sex toys in AL where they remain illegal. Troy King turns out to be yet another Republican closet gay!! SO damn typical - another corrupt anti-gay Christian Conservative Republican caught having gay sex.

So everyone, had enough of these Republican moral values? Look at the Republicans who support the marriage amendment - David Vitter - a regular customer of whores in DC and LA, and Larry "Wide Stance" Craig.

Result of the Bush Administration's "Abstinence Education": Teen Pregnancy at 15-year High

The teen pregnancy rate is up for the first time since 1991 according to a report released Friday by the National Institutes of Health.

Fox News
Between 2005 and 2006, the number of teenage girls between the ages 15 to 17 having babies rose by more than 5,700 to 138,920, from a record low of 133,138, according to an annual report on the health and well-being of children and teens published by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
After so many reports on the failure of the Bush Administration's abstinence ed programs, after $1.5 billion in public funds, we now see the result.
“The tragedy is not simply the waste of taxpayer dollars, it is the damage done to the young people who have been on the receiving end of distorted, inaccurate information about condoms and birth control. We have been promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS, and that’s not just bad public health policy, its bad ethics”.

--James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth

Check this out -

RH Reality Check:
Using membership dues paid in part by federal tax dollars, the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) hired the Washington, DC, public relations firm, Creative Response Concepts, best known for the 2004 "Swift Boat Veterans" ads against John Kerry, to launch a public relations effort supporting the failed and unpopular abstinence only education policies.

So, how do you get failed policies implemented? By a marketing firm specializing in propaganda of course. Lie to the American public - what the Bush Administration does best.

Bush White House loses to the rule of law

Ever wonder how our government is being influenced by conservative religious leaders? The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington would like to know, and it looks like they will, because the Bush administration has been forced to turn over the information on it's visitors.
RS:

A federal appeals court on Friday set back the White House's efforts to keep the names of its visitors secret.

The Washington court threw out the government's appeal in the case in which a watchdog group is trying to find out how often prominent religious conservatives visited the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's residence.

EVENTUALLY, the rule of law will prevail over this, the most corrupt administration America has ever seen. Don't you realize why they are so secretive? If they were honest and forthright, they wouldn't have to hide from information requests, subpoenas, etc... it's common sense and common knowledge.

Arrest Rove !

Rove flees the country, blows off subpoena.
The Judiciary Committee seems serious about asserting their Constitutional right of authority to force Rove to testify in the investigation on dismissed U.S. attorneys, and Gov. Don Siegelman. They have given Rove one final extension and warning - 5 days to comply:
"This letter is to formally notify you that we must insist on compliance with the subpoena and urge you to reconsider your position... . Please let us know no later than Tuesday July, 15 if Mr. Rove will comply with the subpoena, or we will proceed to consider all other appropriate recourse... A refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives."

-- Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Linda Sanchez, chair of the Judiciary subcommittee
Under the process of 'inherent contempt,' the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House (or Senate), brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate. The last time inherent contempt was enforced was in 1934 in the Senate.

Although Rove does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on Fox News, he apparently is afraid to make his statements under oath. WHY?

Let's put it to a public referendum... how many think Karl Rove should testify under oath?

(Does this guy look like a Republican or what?)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

FOX NEWS: the level of ignorance we're dealing with

On the Fox News show Your World, the discussion was meant to stoke the fear of Iranian missiles. But while the anchor person was mispronouncing the Strait of Hormuz as "Hormez," the Fox News graphic not only misspelled the word "straits," but inserted an arrow pointing - not at the Strait of Hormuz, but at Kuwait. (The Strait of Hormuz is directly under the letter 'f' in the word 'of'). Listen to the report here at the end of this segment on MSNBC.


This should give you an idea of the level of ignorance we're dealing with in conservative media at Fox News.


Unbelievable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

McCain doesn't support vets, and they know it

McCain lied yesterday when he said, "I’ve received every award from every major veteran’s organization in America."

In fact, this is how veteran organizations rate McCain:

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America - John McCain rating: D

Disabled American Veterans - John McCain rating: 20%

Vietnam Veterans of America - John McCain rating: 15 votes against/ 9 votes for

Watch McCain get taken to task by a vet for his Senate votes against increased health care for the VA in 2003, 4, 5, and 6 for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

McCain appeared on MSNBC yesterday and blasted Congress for being lazy. He said that instead of taking a Fourth of July recess, senators should have stuck around and passed a housing bill. McCain is a hypocrite. He hasn’t been present for any of the six votes on the housing bill (HR 3221) in the past month. In fact, he hasn’t actually voted on anything in the Senate since April 8. McCain now ranks as the #1 most absent senator of the 110th Congress, having missed 61.8 percent of the votes.

Now there's some straight talk.

H/T: TP

Obama has a solid lead in electoral college

In the most extensive poll taken to date - 46,274 likely voters in all 50 states shows that if the election were held today, Barack Obam would be President of the United States. What is most remarkable is that Obama has enough electoral votes to win the presidency without counting any "toss-up states".

Obama's electoral advantage according to the Zogby Poll is 272 to MacCain's 160, with 105 within the margin of error, many of which are leaning to Obama. Further, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr has a significant 6% and is hurting McCain. This survey has a margin of error of just 0.5%.

Pollster John Zogby:
“Obama is in the driver’s seat right now, especially where it really counts - in the electoral votes. Bob Barr could really hurt McCain’s chances. McCain can’t afford the level of slippage to Barr we found among conservatives in this polling..."

Iraqis want us out

As we have seen, the Iraqis will not agree to US bases in their country and they want us out. Things have been going well in Iraq lately but just as we get optimistic...

[TP] Yesterday, a “wave of attacks in Baghdad and areas north of the capital…shattered a relative lull in violence, killing 16 people and injuring 15.” The attacks came just one day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that his government had “defeated” terrorism in Iraq. Today, a female suicide bomber “killed nine people and wounded 12 others in an attack on an Iraqi market.”

Now Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants the US out, he has proposed a timetable for US withdrawl:

Reuters:
"Today, we are looking at the necessity of terminating the foreign presence on Iraqi lands and restoring full sovereignty," Maliki told Arab ambassadors in blunt remarks during an official visit to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

"One of the two basic topics is either to have a memorandum of understanding for the departure of forces or a memorandum of understanding to set a timetable for the presence of the forces, so that we know (their presence) will end in a specific time."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Bush Administration makes bin Laden's wish come true

Thanks to GW Bush, Osama bin Laden is smiling somewhere.

There is no longer any debate about the fact that bin Laden was allowed to escape when the US had him cornered back in 2002 at Tora Bora (as described in a CIA ground commander's book: Jawbreaker), the Bush administration had admitted this failure. Bush had surrounded himself with idiots, particularly Rumsfeld and Gen. Tommy Franks who made the misjudgement to allow bin Laden to escape. Of course in this Administration, the bigger the fuckup, the bigger the medal. (Tommy Franks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom).

Now, al Qaeda is flourishing because Bush has screwed America by getting the US military mired in Iraq. Admiral Mullen, the top US Military Commander said we don't have additional troops to fight in Afghanistan because of Iraq.

The final insult has been brought to fruition: Bin Laden said in a 1998 interview that the oil should cost $144 a barrel, not the $11 that it cost ten years ago. Guess what? Oil is $145 a barrel - 13 times more than it was 10 years ago! Bush’s catastrophic decision to invade Iraq, sink the nation into debt to pay for that war, and consequently, weaken the dollar have all caused oil prices to soar astronomically.

The NYT wrote in 2001, 3 weeks after 9/11, "nightmare scenarios" where bin Laden would get his wish of $144 a barrel oil. One of those "nightmare scenarios" was to invade Iraq.

(TP:)Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last May, Anne Korin, the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, reminded Congress about bin Laden’s goal:
About ten years ago, Osama bin Laden stated that his target price for oil is $144 a barrel and that the American people, who allegedly robbed the Muslim people of their oil, owe each Muslim man, woman, and child $30,000 in back payments. At the time, $144 a barrel seemed farfetched to most.

I would like to impress upon this Committee that $144 a barrel oil will be perceived as a victory for the Jihadist movement and a reaffirmation that the economic warfare component of its campaign against the West is a resounding success. There is no need to elaborate on the implications of such a victory in terms of loss of U.S. prestige and our ability to prevail in the Long War of the 21st century.

George W. Bush has handed Osama bin Laden a victory. You want more of the McSame?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Iraq war is making America less safe

Because of the Iraq war, there are not enough troops for Afghanistan or any other conflict that may arise that could threaten America.

While the Taliban and al Qaeda strengthen in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while the sabre rattling over Iran continues in Israel, the US military is stretched thin by defending America against .... Iraq?

America's top military man, Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was asked:
Question: "Admiral, can you talk about the number and type of troops, the extra troops that are expected to go to Afghanistan in 2009?"

Admiral Mullen: "I don't have troops I can reach for, brigades I can reach to send to Afghanistan until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq" (video)
What about Iran?
Admiral Mullen: "This is a very unstable part of the world and I don't need it to be more unstable. ... Opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us." (video)
So, considering the US is military is too stressed in Iraq to fight the growing al Qaeda threat in Afghanistan with more troops, how is the war in Iraq making us safer? What if another significant threat arises?

But, if you subscribe to the McCain plan, you'll want to stay in Iraq 100 years... or until no more Americans are getting killed, no matter how long it takes and how many Americans get killed achieving that goal—that is, the goal of not getting any more Americans killed. And once that goal is achieved, we’ll stay.

Great plan! Making America safer spending $330 million dollars a day fighting a war in a country that is no threat to America while the real threat of al Qaeda and the Taliban continues to grow. This is the insanity of GW Bush and John McSame.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Conservative talk radio host on Iraq: "We've let down 3000 individuals, 3000 innocent Americans ... we've squandered resources in Iraq."

"I have never voted for a Democrat for President. I could do it on the strength of this issue alone because of my disagreement with the Administration and my fear that John McCain represents more of the same."

-- Michael Smerconish sitting in for Bill O’Reilly to host the Radio Factor

Yesterday, conservative radio host Michael Smerconish sat in for Bill O’Reilly to host the Radio Factor and discussed the NYT story about how the Bush War on Terror has FAILED and al Qaeda has established a base of operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. WATCH IT. As I had noted previously, this was also verified by a government report (pdf).


NYT:


Bin Laden Hunt at Dead End - "We're all hurting because of Iraq"

But it is increasingly clear that the Bush administration will leave office with Al Qaeda having successfully relocated its base from Afghanistan to Pakistan’s tribal areas, where it has rebuilt much of its ability to attack from the region and broadcast its messages to militants across the world. ...

Just as it had on the day before 9/11, Al Qaeda now has a band of terrorist camps from which to plan and train for attacks against Western targets, including the United States.

When American military and intelligence officials requested additional Predator drones to survey the tribal areas, they were told no drones were available because they had been sent to Iraq.

“We had to put people out in the field who had less than ideal levels of experience,” one former senior C.I.A. official said. “But there wasn’t much to choose from.”

One reason for this, according to two former intelligence officials directly involved in the Qaeda hunt, was that by 2006 the Iraq war had drained away most of the C.I.A. officers with field experience in the Islamic world. “You had a very finite number” of experienced officers, said one former senior intelligence official. “Those people all went to Iraq. We were all hurting because of Iraq.”

“The United States faces a threat from Al Qaeda today that is comparable to what it faced on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Seth Jones, a Pentagon consultant and a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation.

------------------------------

When looking at the progress of the War on Terror since 9/11 - what does this tell us about the rationality, awareness and intelligence of people who say, "Bush has won 2 wars"... and "the surge has worked" ... and "there's not a lot of anti-war sentiment out there"?? It is more than simple denial. It is a desperate authoritarian effort to save face and cling to the status quo.

Republican Congressmen who have gay sex and commit adultery co-sponsor the Marriage Protection Amendment

That's right, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who was arrested June 11, 2007 on charges of soliciting gay sex in a Minneapolis airport terminal, is co-sponsoring the amendment along with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) who was implicated in an sex scandal involving his repeated use of prostitutes in DC and LA.

This is GOP hypocrisy at it's finest. These wingnuts who put their dicks where they don't belong sponsor a constitutional amendment to protect marriage - when they didn't obviously value their own. Classic Republican behavior.


H/T: Jesus General (graphic)

Not befitting of a great nation

Some might say it's excusable to torture an innocent detainee to death, or to detain war combatants for no reason, these are just isolated instances. After all, nothing is worse than the videoed beheadings we've seen or the way that the enemy extremists have tortured. But as a nation as great as these United States, do we need to stoop to that level for no apparent reason? The Supreme Court has ruled we shouldn't. Now the courts will expose the Bush policy for what it is... illegal war crimes.

NYT:

In the first case to review the government’s secret evidence for holding a detainee at Guant├ínamo Bay, Cuba, a federal appeals court found that accusations against a Muslim from western China held for more than six years were based on bare and unverifiable claims.

The court compared that to the absurd declaration of a character in the Lewis Carroll poem “The Hunting of the Snark”: “I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.”

“This comes perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true,” said the panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The unanimous panel overturned as invalid a Pentagon determination that the detainee, Huzaifa Parhat, a member of the ethnic Uighur Muslim minority in western China, was properly held as an enemy combatant.

The 3 judge panel included one of the court’s most conservative members, the chief judge, David B. Sentelle, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, and Judge Thomas B. Griffith, a 2005 appointee of President Bush.

The Christian fetus fetish

The abortion issue takes on considerable weight when you have people basing their political preferences and votes on this single issue. Can you imagine a few more judges like Scalia? Can you imagine womens' abortion rights restricted to just a dozen or so 'blue states'? Can't they look past their Christian fetus fetish long enough to care about what overturning Roe v. Wade would do to American society? America would become the largest nation in the world where abortion was not universally safe and legal. These Christian fetus fetishists ignore and refuse to promote sex ed and contraceptives that would reduce abortion. Instead they promote 'abstinence ed' which has not only been proven a failure, but has been shown to promote anal and oral sex. The fetus fetishists refuse to acknowledge studies that show that instances of abortion declined the most where abortion was safe and legal. They also ignore studies that show outlawing abortion does not prevent it or lessen it's instance. Abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it. But, because of their Christian fetus fetish, they consider it unimportant that studies showed that the result of outlawing abortion endangers women's lives. The study indicated that about 20 million abortions that would be considered unsafe are performed each year and that 70,000 women die as a result of complications from those abortions, most in countries where abortion is illegal. Pro-life my ass. Pro-life is anti-women. Pro-life is an irrational contradiction, born most often out of religious conviction.

By all polls ever taken, America supports abortion rights and Roe v. Wade. Have you noticed? The vast majority of anti abortion rights commenters here are Christian conservative parents. You'll find a much broader demographic on the pro choice side. These are the American Taliban, those that want to force their religious views on society. They are not just happy upholding their own moral compass, they want to force it on all others.

No, a fetus is not a person. Human life, yes, but not a human being, not a person. Big difference. It is a developing person. The science that determines human life from a legal perspective is that of brain waves, the standard by which we can remove a person that is 'brain dead' from life support.

Like 'global warming deniers' ... much anti-abortion psuedo science has spouted fallacies like "At only 40 days after fertilization electrical waves as measured by the EEG can be recorded from the baby's brain" as proof of life. Yes, it is proof of life but it is not a human being because it's brain is not fully formed.

For a thorough discussion on this subject see this link.

From the article:
An EEG involves measuring varying electrical potentials across a dipole, or separated positive and negative charges. Any living cell has an electrical potential across its membrane, and any living structure is a dipole, which explains why people have been able to put electrodes on plants, hook them up to EEG machines, and get "evidence" that plants have feelings. But this has nothing to do with "brain waves," which are a nontechnical term for a particular kind of varying potentials produced by certain brain structures that don't even exist in an embryo and associated with consciousness and dreaming as well as the regulation of bodily functions.

To get scalp or surface potentials from the cortex requires three things: neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them. Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record "brain waves" prior to 20-24 weeks. Period. End of story.
98% of all abortions are performed before the 20th week, before the fetal brain is fully functional. If you want to restrict abortions in the last trimester, I have no problem with that, but abortion should an option in cases of severe fetal abnormalities or a risk to the life of the mother.

Theological Scholar: Women are beaten by their husbands because they rebel against their husband's God-given authority

If you ever had any doubt about how Christians view women, let a Christian scholar clarify it for you.


If you're a Christian, you know that the Bible states:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord ...For the husband is the head of the wife ... so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. -- Ephesians 5:22-24

So, what does this mean? A Christian Scholar clarifies (podcast mp3) it for us: Dr. Bruce Ware, Professor from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said Eve's curse in the Garden of Eden meant "her desire will be to have her way" instead of her obeying her husband. What happens if a woman is not satisfied with her role?

According to the Christian Scholar, as he explained to the congregation of Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas, men have two choices:
"when women want to have their way instead of submitting to their husbands, and do what they would like to do, and really seek to work to have their husbands fulfill their will instead of serving them, the husbands ...respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged, or more commonly, to become passive, acquiescing, and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men..."

Dr. Bruce Ware cited First Timothy in stating that women need to know and except their place as child bearers instead of "bucking against it" - and should not want "to be in a man's position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men."
"It means that a woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God's ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as--for the most part, generally this is true--as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man's position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men"

Dr. Ware notes disdain for the feminist and egalitarian movement that "challenges accepted Biblical views." Dr. Ware stated 10 reasons "for affirming male headship in the created order." They include that man "was created first" and that woman was created "out of" Adam in order to be his "helper." Even though the woman sinned first, Ware said, God came to Adam and held him primarily responsible for failure to exercise his God-given authority. Ware also said male/female relationships are modeled in the Trinity, where in the Godhead the Son "eternally submits" to the Father.

The authoritarian nature of his views of authority and submission were neatly summed up by his concluding statement:

"Women are called in various relationships... to submit to rightful male leadership, and this is for their good... It is as God-like to submit to rightful authority with joy and gladness..."

H/T: Ethics Daily

It's official: US Army official historical document details gross incompetence of Bush Administration Iraq policy

The history of the Iraq War is now being documented. Over 35 documentaries have already been filmed. One of the best: Frontline - Bush's War is extremely well written and sourced.

But now, its time for the military official historians to write the official history of the Iraq War.

Before the Iraq invasion, Bush surrounded himself with "yes men" like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Tommy Franks. He got rid of those like Gen. Shinseki who warned that we needed many more troops than Rumsfeld proposed to secure Iraq in the aftermath. He ignored Col. Kevin Benson, a planner at the land war command, who developed a plan that called for using about 300,000 soldiers to secure postwar Iraq, about twice as many as were deployed. Colin Powell tried to dissuade Bush from the invasion. He told Bush, "you break it, you own it." In essence - if you invade Iraq, the US will be responsible for the welfare of the country and it's citizens. So what happened? Tommy Franks turned out to be a failure. According to the report, he assumed the fighting was over and put the military effort in the hands of a short-staffed headquarters over the objections of the Army’s vice chief of staff. “The move was sudden and caught most of the senior commanders in Iraq unaware,” states the history, which adds that the staff for the new headquarters was not initially “configured for the types of responsibilities it received.” Franks blamed the Defense Dept and the Pentagon leadership.

Bush failed miserably and now it is officially documented. Here we are today, an unstable Iraq where there is war with no end in sight, the US is still unilaterally paying the cost, Americans dying everyday, millions of Iraqis dead, maimed and/or displaced. The report has vindicated Gen. Shinseki whom the Bush administration marginalized and all the other Generals that came forward with complaints of incompetent leadership of the Bush Administration.

CNN Story

NYT Story

PDF Report

The McFlip-Flopper

John McCain is the king of inconsistency, changing his position and sucking up to whoever he thinks will get him a vote.


*McCain supported the drilling moratorium; now he’s against it.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

* McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/18/mccains-offsho...

* McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15781.htm...

* McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15863.htm...

* McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/10/mccain-flips-o...

* McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15825.htm...

* He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion,he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15864.htm...

* McCain said he would “not impose a litmus test on any nominee.” He used to promise the opposite.
http://www.americablog.com/2008/06/now-mccain-is-flip-f...

* McCain believes the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration’s warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

* McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/may/28/mccains-abo... /

* McCain supported moving “towards normalization of relations” with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15617.htm...

* McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15557.htm...

* McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15564.htm...

* He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party’s policy making. Now he believes the opposite.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15573.htm...

* McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn’t.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/20/mccains-97-lob...

* He wanted political support from radical televangelists like John Hagee and Rod Parsley. Now he doesn’t.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15633.htm...

* McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn’t.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15699.htm...

*McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a“‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded.Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14761.htm...

* McCain is both for and against a “rogue state rollback” as a focus of his foreign policy vision.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/mccain-...

* McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry’s Democratic ticket in 2004.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14818.htm...

*In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won’t commit to supporting a regulation bill he’s co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris’ former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15033.htm...

* McCain has changed his economic worldview on multiple occasions.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15337.htm...

* McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15370.htm...

* McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15358.htm...

* McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off than they were before Bush took office.
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/19/mccain-economy-bloo... /

* McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/01/06/mccain-earmark /

* McCain believes his endorsement from radical televangelist John Hagee was both a good and bad idea.
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/21/hagee-flip-flop /

*McCain’s first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting“irresponsibly.”His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15176.htm...

* McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/us/politics/16mccain....

* In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/10/emtimeem-has-m...

* McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/oct/31/mccain-... /

* McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. Now he’s against it.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/oct/31/mccain-... /

* On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own legislation.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14447.htm...

*In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving“feedback” on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/9658.html

* McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.”
http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral...

*McCain said he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as“a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.”In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/08/18/mccain-greatest-cri... /

* McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade http://mediamatters.org/items/200610310003 to saying the exact opposite.http://thinkprogress.org/2006/11/19/mccain-abortion /

* McCain went from saying gay marriage should be allowed, to saying gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed.
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/02/mcc...

* McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/6988.html

* McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/6731.html

* On a related note, he said 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and insisted he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/us/politics/03mccain....

*In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1880630&page=1

* McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure that bore his name. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.
http://www.nysun.com/national/campaign-finance-effort-r... /

* McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20070115/pl_usnw/dnc__mcca...

* McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/8313.html

* McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15637887 /

* McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.
http://mediamatters.org/items/200610310003

* McCain decided in2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/12/19/mccain-kissinger /

* McCain used to think that Grover Norquist was a crook and a corrupt shill for dictators. Then McCain got serious about running for president and began to reconcile with Norquist.
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/12/19/mccain-kissinger /

* McCain took a firm line in opposition to torture, and then caved to White House demands.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

* McCain gave up on his signature policy issue, campaign-finance reform, and won’t back the same provision he sponsored just a couple of years ago.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/8066.html

* And now he’s both for and against overturning Roe v. Wade.
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/11/19/mccain-abortion /

H/T: Doc Mercer

The disaster of the Bush presidency

It is absolutely stunning the ability of the authoritarian right to tout the "great presidency" of GW Bush in face of facts. It could only be one of two things: 1) authoritarian worship, or 2) a simple lack of knowledge and information.

It's no secret that those who get their information exclusively from 'conservative news sources' are misinformed. This of course has been proven to be deliberate misinformation as been shown time and time again, most recently through the Pentagon military analyst scandal. The Bushies eat it up... hook, line and sinker - they swallow.

Question: On whose watch did 9/11 happen? What did Bush do when Tenet and Clarke and the entire intelligence establishment was telling him an attack was imminent? Answer: he went on vacation - for a month. And he's now the big hero... the big protector? How can people thank Bush for "a safer America" because there haven't been any 'further attacks' - especially after the influx of at least 12 million illegals on his watch? If the radical Muslims we're supposedly "fightin' over there so we don't have to fight 'em here" are such a threat, what is keeping them out? What... you think only Mexicans are capable of running across the border? But if we thought logically about this, neo-cons would not be able to use fear to support the war. Stay afraid! (40 some odd presidents can claim they kept America safe because of no attacks on the homeland. It's absolutely ludicrous!)

A Government report flatly states that an al Qaeda attack is now likely because the Bush Administration has not met US security goals to destroy the terrorist threat, and we hear a few days ago a Pentagon report that states the Taliban are flourishing in Afghanistan 7 years after 9/11, and that coalition deaths reached an all-time high last month. Yet, believe it or not, there are actually people who are so delusional and in denial that they thank GW Bush for "winning two wars"!!

Is it amazing some people are so delusional that they actually believe that Bush has somehow "restored dignity to the White House." How so? By committing war crimes and torturing people to death? By ignoring subpoenas , abusing power, repeatedly violating federal law and the Constitution? The GOP Culture of Corruption is a term that has made its way into posterity ... like the Republican practice of smear - 'swiftboating'. So how did Bush restore integrity to the White House, by employing numerous convicted felons in his administration, lobbying and campaigning? David Safavian, Scooter Libby, and Ken Lay .... and Jack Abramoff, who met Bush a dozen times, was photographed with him 6 times ... yet Bush says "I don't know him" ?? The White House lied about their contact with Abramoff. Further, the White House tried to conceal meetings with Abramoff and other criminals by trying to hide White House visitor logs. Then, in violation of the Presidential Records Act - the White House loses millions of emails - specifically during the period of the run up to the Iraq War and the Plame outing.

...and this is just the tip of the iceberg, just a small fraction sampling of the corruption.

Is that YOUR idea of integrity ? It's not mine.

And then there's the economy ... a mortgage crisis and reeling from high food and energy prices, the dollar is weaker internationally than ever, earnings down, and...
  • Job Growth Among the Slowest of Any Administration in over 70 Years
  • Private Sector Job Growth Among the Worst of Any Administration in over 70 Years
  • Job Growth Slowing Since Fall 2005 Peak
  • Unemployment Rate up by 1.3 Percentage Points
  • 2.5 Million More Unemployed
  • Long-Term Unemployment More Than Double Since President Bush Took Offic
  • Employee Compensation Has Lagged Far Behind Productivity
  • The Bush Economy Real Earnings Growth Weak and Unequal Relative to 1990s Expansion
  • Large Projected Surpluses Turned Into Large Deficits
  • $4.2 Trillion More Debt in FY 2008
  • Bush Tax Cuts Will Be More Than 100 Times Larger for Millionaires than for Middle Income Households
  • One of Only Three Administrations with a Decline in Household Income
  • Real Median Household Income Down $982
  • Real Household Income Has Declined for All Except the Richest since 2000
  • One of Only Four Administrations with an Average Annual Rise in the Poverty Rate
  • 4.9 Million More Americans in Poverty
  • 8.6 Million More Americans Without Health Insurance