Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Thursday, 9 June 2005 at 17h 56m 6s|
He is not a diplomat. He is a petty-minded bully.
This is from Americablog.
George Bush has a pattern of coddling corrupt monarchies and military
dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Then he turns around and punishes
democracies that don't do exactly what he wants every single time. The latest
A number of nations believe the Security Council should be expanded from 15 to
25, with four new permanent members. Others think there should also be room for
two African countries, including possibly Egypt. Does Bush object to including
Egypt, a corrupt dictatorship that has strangled that nation's growth and
encouraged the growth of extremism in the Middle East? Nope. He saves his
firepower for Germany.
Germany has banded together with India, Japan and Brasil to jointly push for a
seat on the Security Council. They promise not to even ask for the right to a
veto for 15 years. Since Bush always insists that democracy is the key to a
safe and stable future, you'd think he would jump at the chance to give these
four stable democracies more influence and prestige. But no. Germany objected
to Bush invading Iraq and its leader even campaigned on anti-US sentiment. So
Bush is blocking Germany's bid and damn the consequences of international
security. Germany didn't play ball so they must be punished.
More proof? Bush is coddling the cruel government of Uzbekistan even as it
opens fire on its own citizens. Six senators are suggesting to Bush, gee, do we
really want to get into bed with such a sleazy government? It certainly proves
the lie that Bush wants to spread democracy. Really? By garnering a long-term
deal for a military base in a corrupt country that abuses human rights on a
More proof Bush hates democracy? He's stunned that the OAS (the Organization of
American States) laughed off Bush's suggestion that he "monitor" the growth of
democracy in the Americas. Gee, maybe it has something to do with the fact that
Bush supported a military coup in Venezuela because he didn't get along with
the democratically elected leader.
Did you catch all that? This is the man who executed a retarded woman named
Karla Fay Tucker in Texas, to the complete opproprium of the world when he was
governor. When asked by a reporter what he thought the executed woman's words
were, Bush inappropriately joked "Please don't kill me." He has executed 152
people more than any governor in the history of the United States.
You can read about the history here, and also how Alberto Gonzalez is involved (Gonzalez
was Bush's legal counsel as governor). Here's a unsavory morsel.
George W. Bush during his six years as governor of Texas presided over 152
executions, more than any other governor in the recent history of the United
States. Bush has said: "I take every death penalty case seriously and review
each case carefully.... Each case is major because each case is life or death."
In his autobiography, A Charge to Keep (1999), he wrote, "For every death
penalty case, [legal counsel] brief[s] me thoroughly, reviews the arguments
made by the prosecution and the defense, raises any doubts or problems or
questions." Bush called this a "fail-safe" method for ensuring "due process"
and certainty of guilt.
He might have succeeded in bequeathing to history this image of himself as a
scrupulously fair-minded governor if the journalist Alan Berlow had not used
the Public Information Act to gain access to fifty-seven confidential death
penalty memos that Bush's legal counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, whom President
Bush has recently nominated to be attorney general of the United States,
presented to him, usually on the very day of execution. The reports Gonzales
presented could not be more cursory. Take, for example, the case of Terry
Washington, a mentally retarded man of thirty-three with the communication
skills of a seven-year-old. Washington's plea for clemency came before Governor
Bush on the morning of May 6, 1997. After a thirty-minute briefing by Gonzales,
Bush checked "Deny"— just as he had denied twenty-nine other pleas for clemency
in his first twenty-eight months as governor.
This man is a borderline sadist. He is not a man of principle. He is not a man
of vision who follows his instincts -- well, maybe his instincts for the
jugular and the buttons he has to push. He is truly vindictive and
manipulative. He has very little empathy for anyone but his thirst to be the
master. His integrity is smaller than the nucleus of an atom. He lies as a
Sweet jesus, he is also our president.
|Tuesday, 7 June 2005 at 18h 50m 6s|
It's about paying for it
Schweitzer Tells Bush Off on Roadless Change
By Courtney Lowery, 6-07-05
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has (figuratively) told President Bush to either
put up or shut up on the administration’s new roadless rule.
The administration announced last month that it had overturned the Clinton-era
roadless rule, opening up 58 million acres of roadless land in the West (6.9
million in Montana) to road building. That is, unless governors petition
otherwise. Governors now have 18 months to make the decisions on these lands, a
responsibility that does not sit well with Schweitzer.
“They’ve given me a broke-down baler and a vice-grip and told me to bale hay,”
Schweitzer told New West Tuesday afternoon.
In non-farmer terms, Schweitzer is saying the State of Montana has neither the
money nor expertise to deal with such a decision.
In a letter to President Bush, Schweitzer writes “The Forest Service has been
trying to resolve this issue for upwards of 30 years with little to no success.
With each succeeding plan, the issues have become more contentious and
irreconcilable. Now your administration, without the benefit of public
hearings, has issued a final rule that asks the states to shoulder this burden
both administratively and financially.”
Other state's are of course struggling with the new rule as well. Colorado
already has a commission created to help with the process, but the other states
either aren't sure what to do or aren't particularly happy with change. (With
the exception of Idaho's Dirk Kempthorne, who loves the new rule, surprise,
surprise.) Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal echoed Schweitzer's sentiments, saying
right after the announcement, “This is really a costly exercise in futility for
the states and a mechanism for the Forest Service to deflect political
The Schweitzer's office points out that in Montana alone, the Forest Service
employs 2,375 people, with a budget of more than $47 million. And those
employees are experts in making such decisions – hydrologists, foresters,
biologists, entomologists … “you have it they’ve got it,” Schweitzer said.
“I have one guy,” he added, meaning natural resource advisor Mike Volesky.
Schweitzer asks in the letter that the administration shop out the Forest
Service’s expertise and budget to help the governors make the decision.
If the administration wants governors to make the call, Schweitzer said, “They
can just detail for the forest service, then we’ll do it for them.” But that’s
something the Governor doesn’t think will happen anytime soon, so he’s setting
out this summer to meet with county commissioners across the state to gather
information about how Montanans want their roadless areas managed. It’s an
attempt, he said, to “hold this farm together with a little baling wire.”
Schweitzer is very obviously leaning toward trying to keep Montana’s roadless
areas as is. In his letter to Bush, he details how important these areas are
for “family recreation” and he points out that already, the Forest Service has
a $588 million backlog in Montana of existing forest roads needing work. By
putting more money into maintaining existing roads, Schweitzer said, we’d still
be creating more jobs for rural Montana and we wouldn't be building new, more
In the end, it will still be the administration's call whether or not the areas
stay roadless, another thing that sticks in Schweitzer's craw. Once the
petitions are made, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns still has the right
to yay or nay the petition. If the petition is a yay, it then all goes to the
Forest Service's rule making process.
(Sidenote: Schweitzer used the situation to use one of his "remember in high
school?" moments, in which he likened the situation to a principal and the
superintendent asking the student council to draw up an idea on an issue and
when it does, the principal says "Ah, I don't like this" anyway. Good analogy,
"I get the responsibility, but not the authority," he said.
This whole thing, Schweitzer said, is a trend with the Bush Administration –
turning over burdens to governors with no money to match.
“It’s just another unfunded mandate. ‘They say ‘you’re responsible but we’re
not helping and we’re taking away your assets,’” he said. “This is an
administration that has it all backward. Remember Truman? … This administration
says ‘by the way, I’m passing the buck to you.”
Cases in point: Amtrak reform, roadless area, national security (Schweitzer
points out that as the administration tells states they have to do their own
homeland security and natural disaster relief, it simultaneously takes away the
National Guardsmen and women and the aircraft the state uses to battle forest
fires, an issue that has had the Governor hot under the collar more than once.)
He’s happy to have local control, but Schweitzer says the federal government is
forgetting that states can’t just print up more money when someone has a new
idea like the administration can in D.C.
“I have to deal with real dollars, real people, real problems and come up with
real products,” he said.
|Tuesday, 7 June 2005 at 18h 30m 32s|
Kerry releases records ... now?
Of course, he was completely vindicated. [LINK] This
is Michael Kranash at the Boston Globe.
The records...are mostly a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004
campaign for president.
....The lack of any substantive new material about Kerry's military career in
the documents raises the question of why Kerry refused for so long to waive
privacy restrictions. An earlier release of the full record might have helped
his campaign because it contains a number of reports lauding his service.
....But Kerry refused, even though it turned out that the records included
commendations from some of the same veterans who were criticizing him.
Huhn? The man can't be this incompetant. The Kerry campaign was all a hoax to
steal the flame from the Dean prarie wildfire. Remember that Dean started
becoming "unpopular" because of "the scream."
And that scream was not really a scream at all. You see the scream played
1,000 times by the news media was the raw audio of the microphones. In the
room full of people where the event took place, Dean was not shouting but
articulating his voice.
Dean was taken down, and Kerry was pushed as his patsy.
Kerry has also said that he is going to bring up the Downing Street memo on the
floor of the Senate. When will that be Senator Kerry? How many more deaths
will you allow because you are either blinded by political ambitions, or you
are corrupted yourself? Neither of those reason are honorable, Mr. Kerry.
Imagine the devastation had Kerry simply stood up to the Swiftboat liars and
said "Fine, release all of my records, and let the chips fall where they lay."
Once those commendations were noticed, the egg on Bushes face would have
congealled -- especially after the revelation that a close Bush re-election
lawyer was also doing the legal work for the Swiftboat liars.
What did you do, Senator Kerry, make a deal with your ole fellow Skull and
Bones Yale boy? Did they sell you on 2008 if you played the Democratic
|Tuesday, 7 June 2005 at 18h 3m 28s|
Don't look now, more corruption is on the way
Quick, find another news item that we can blast all week long.
From the Washington Post [LINK]. The report "provides an extraordinary glimpse of how
the Air Force worked hand-in-glove with one of its chief contractors -- the
financially ailing Boeing -- to help it try to obtain the most costly
government lease ever."
For the past three years, the Air Force has described its $30 billion proposal
to convert passenger planes into military refueling tankers and lease them from
Boeing Co. as an efficient way to obtain aircraft the military urgently needs.
But a very different account of the deal is shown in an August 2002 internal e-
mail exchange among four senior Pentagon officials.
"We all know that this is a bailout for Boeing," Ronald G. Garant, an official
of the Pentagon comptroller's office, said in a message to two others in his
office and then-Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Wayne A. Schroeder
Besides documenting precisely who was responsible, the new report details the
Air Force's vigorous efforts on Boeing's behalf. It also shows how Air Force
leaders and Boeing officials jointly manipulated legislation to authorize the
deal and later sought to suppress dissenting opinion throughout the Pentagon.
The report also connects Rumsfeld to policymaking on the lease, recounting a
statement by former Air Force secretary James G. Roche that Rumsfeld had called
him in Newport, R.I., in July 2003 to say "he did not want me to budge on the
tanker lease proposal," despite criticism.
In the copy of the report obtained by The Washington Post, 45 sections were
deleted by the White House counsel's office to obscure what several sources
described as references to White House involvement in the lease negotiations
and its interaction with Boeing. The Pentagon separately blacked out 64 names
and many e-mails. It also omitted the names of members of Congress, including
some who pressured the Pentagon to back the deal.
The report is nonetheless the most damning of the three reviews of the tanker
deal completed by the inspector general since early 2004. It includes, for
example, a statement from an unnamed cost analyst that "numbers were contorted
a lot of different ways to sell the program."
It also suggests that the foundation of the Air Force's tanker lease -- that KC-
135 planes were experiencing unexpected corrosion and needed urgent
replacement -- was a house of cards.
The report says that Marvin R. Sambur, then the top Air Force acquisition
official, knew that this urgency "did not exist" but claimed otherwise and
ordered data unflattering to the deal removed from a key document. His office
made what a critic of the lease elsewhere in the Pentagon interpreted as
a "thinly veiled threat" to manipulate other Air Force contracts if the dissent
did not cease, the report shows.
The inspector general's report makes it clear that the Air Force's aggressive
pursuit of the lease over a three-year period was actually a team effort,
Of course, that's how these people work.
You can read the Inspector Generals report here. It's a 270 page PDF report.
|Tuesday, 7 June 2005 at 17h 47m 16s|
Bush quotes about Iraq
This is from Thinkprogress.org. [LINK]
The Downing Street Memo reported that in a July 23, 2002 meeting
between Prime Minister Blair and his war cabinet, attendees of the meeting
discussed the fact that President Bush had already made up his mind to attack
Iraq. According to the minutes of the meeting:
“There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as
inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action.”
Yet, as the record below proves, President Bush claimed over and over after
July 23rd until the war began that he had not made up his mind.
Bush: “Of course, I haven’t made up my mind we’re going to war with
Bush: “Hopefully, we can do this peacefully – don’t get me wrong. And if
world were to collectively come together to do so, and to put pressure on
Saddam Hussein and convince him to disarm, there’s a chance he may decide to do
that. And war is not my first choice, don’t – it’s my last choice.” [11/7/02]
Bush: “This is our attempt to work with the world community to create
And the best way for peace is for Mr. Saddam Hussein to disarm. It’s up to him
to make his decision.” [12/4/02]
Bush: “You said we’re headed to war in Iraq – I don’t know why you say
hope we’re not headed to war in Iraq. I’m the person who gets to decide, not
you. I hope this can be done peacefully.” [12/31/02]
Bush: “First of all, you know, I’m hopeful we won’t have to go war, and
leave it at that.” [1/2/03]
Bush: “But Saddam Hussein is – he’s treated the demands of the world as
up to now, and it was his choice to make. He’s the person who gets to decide
war and peace.” [2/7/03]
Bush: “I’ve not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this
done peacefully.” [3/6/03]
Bush: “I want to remind you that it’s his choice to make as to whether
we go to war. It’s Saddam’s choice. He’s the person that can make the choice of
war and peace.” [3/6/03]
Bush: “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if
Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force.” [3/8/03]
Bush: “Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people
that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken
to win it.” [3/17/03]
|Monday, 6 June 2005 at 21h 18m 56s|
Sean Hannity's racist neo-nazi roots
I suspected this all along. You can't be so consistently
deliberately deceptive, and intellectually dishonest for years without having a
morbid root causation. Keep in mind this is the king of the doctored video
clip, the sentence and phrase taken out of context, and the attack-mode of
Below is only a small part. You must read the source. This vile, venomous man needs to go down. This
factual honest expose by Max Blumenthal at the Nation will do just that.
Who is who?(Hint: Hal Turner is on the right)
This year a man named Hal Turner sat before his computer at his suburban home
in North Bergen, New Jersey, posting bomb-making tips on his website, hailing
the firebombing of an apartment containing "Savage Negroes" and calling for the
murder of immigrants. "When enough illegal aliens get killed they will stop
coming to the country!" Turner wrote.
Turner was once a prominent activist in New Jersey's Republican Party. To area
conservatives, he was best known by his moniker for call-ins to the Sean
Hannity Show, "Hal from North Bergen." For years, Hannity offered his top-rated
radio show as a regular forum for Turner's occasionally racist, always over-the-
top rants. Hannity also chatted with him off-air, allegedly offering
encouragement to Turner as he struggled to overcome a cocaine habit and
homosexual leanings. Turner has boasted that Hannity once invited Turner and
his son on to the set of Fox News's Hannity and Colmes. Today, Turner lurks on
the fringes of the far right, spouting hate-laced tirades on his webcast radio
show. Hannity, meanwhile, remains mum about his former alliance with the neo-
Nazi, homing in instead on the supposed racism of black and Latino Democrats.
A former moving company manager and real estate agent, Turner cut his teeth as
the Northern New Jersey coordinator for Pat Buchanan's quixotic 1992
presidential campaign. He was an aggressive self-promoter who found a platform
for his views on the radio show of Bob Grant, which was broadcast by ABC's
flagship station, New York City's WABC. Grant was a pioneer of right-wing radio
and, incidentally, a hysterical racist. In March 1995, according to the media
watchdog FAIR, Grant entertained the call of a promoter for the neo-Nazi group
National Alliance who billed his mission as the "support of European males." "I
don't have a problem with the National Alliance!" Grant twice declared. Less
than one month later, the Oklahoma City Federal Building was blown up by a
white supremacist who said he was influenced by the plot of National Alliance
founder William Pierce's pulp novel, The Turner Diaries. Grant insisted on his
show for days afterward that Arabs were responsible for the bombing.
WABC came under enormous pressure from the NAACP and other civil rights groups
to dump Grant. He had called Haitian refugees "subhuman infiltrators"; remarked
that the United States contained "millions of subhumanoids, savages who really
would feel more at home careening along the sands of the Kalahari or the dry
deserts of eastern Kenya"; and often promoted "The Bob Grant Mandatory
Sterilization Program" for minorities. In 1994, after a group of African-
American clergy members issued a plea for sponsors to boycott Grant's show,
Turner, at the time a frequent voice as a caller on Grant's show, organized a
pro-Grant rally in Trenton, which was attended by numerous members of the white
supremacist Nationalist Movement. Two years later, WABC finally gave Grant the
WABC tapped Sean Hannity to fill Grant's seat in the broadcast booth. For
Hannity, who had spent his career in the wilderness of the right-wing radio
circuit, the gig was like a dream. "I'd grown up listening to Bob
Grant...one of the most entertaining hosts I'd ever heard," Hannity wrote in
his 2002 book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism.
Hannity started out as a broadcaster at the liberal University of Santa
Barbara. "But it didn't last long.... The left-wing management had a zero-
tolerance policy for conservative points of view. And I was promptly fired,"
Hannity wrote. "They didn't like the comments one guest made on the show," he
added, without specifying what those comments were.
Neil Boortz aka, Karl Rove clone
From there, Hannity was hired by the right-wing WVNN in Huntsville, Alabama,
and then by WGST in Atlanta, where he filled in for his friend,
the "libertarian" broadcaster Neil Boortz. By the time WABC brought him on
board, he was already co-hosting Fox News's newly minted Hannity and Colmes,
which, as of May, was America's second-rated cable news show, with 1.3 million
households viewing each night.
On WABC Hannity inherited Grant's fan base of angry white males, who listened
to his show in the New York City area. Hannity recognized his audience's thirst
for red meat, racist rhetoric. However, he knew that if he wanted to avoid
Grant's fate, he needed an air of deniability. When "Hal from North Bergen"
began calling his show, Hannity found he could avoid the dangers of direct race-
baiting by simply outsourcing it to Turner.
Don't they all resemble good ole boyz?
|Monday, 6 June 2005 at 19h 29m 10s|
Bush and the Ohio Noe bag man
President Bush will not keep campaign contributions from someone who likely
engaged in criminal conduct:[LINK -- from the Dallas Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.
President Bush is returning $4,000 in campaign contributions from Tom Noe,
the Ohio coin dealer under investigation for his handling of $55 million the
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation gave to him to invest in rare coins.
Sounds good and honorable, doesn't it.
If the alleged criminal, however, collects big checks from all his friends and
presents them to President Bush in a big bundle, well, that’s another matter:
Bush has no immediate plans to return more than $100,000 Noe raised for the
Bush-Cheney campaign last year.
“Those are from other individuals,” McClellan said.
This is how they intend to distance themselves from the gradual unravelling of
the Ohio Coingate scandal. Tom Noe is a Bush Pioneer. Which means he
personally delivered more than $100,000 in checks -- not just the little $4,000
Bush is very ostensibly returning. Without Noe, the other $100,000 in
political veins would not have been possible. All the contributors understood
they were connecting to the network that Noe provided, and Bush certainly knows
that Noe is head of the political gang in Ohio.
Those "other individuals" are neither independent of nor disconnected from the
head bagman of the clan.
Isn't it sickeningly artful how the Bush-mafia spin this abject corruption?
|Monday, 6 June 2005 at 19h 12m 33s|
What did Bolton say?
This is from Thinkprogress [LINK]
Revelations about John Bolton’s unlawful orchestration of the firing of Jose
Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are
not entirely new. In fact, the firing of Bustani caught the attention of many
individuals who had become wary that the Bush administration was intent on
military action against Iraq. In an April 16, 2002, column published by the
British newspaper the Guardian, George Monbiot asserted:
On Monday, the U.S. government forced the departure of Jose Bustani, director-
general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.… These
recent attempts to undermine international treaties are being pursued with an
eye to the impending war with Iraq.… The U.S. justification for war is that
Saddam Hussein may possess weapons of mass destruction. So the two foremost
obstacles to war were Blix and Bustani, who have proposed nonviolent methods of
getting rid of these weapons.
The ousting of Bustani was typical of the smoke and mirror games that the
administration played during the run-up to the Iraq war: present a false claim
and push ahead before anyone can ask questions. One of the principal
justifications for getting rid of Bustani was that the organization had hit
financial problems under his reign. However, according to Bustani, “the
organization had hit financial problems because its three biggest funders – the
US, Germany, and Japan – failed to make their payments on time.”
[Press Association, 5/14/02]
As if the treatment of Bustani wasn’t enough, the further emasculation of the
entire Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was equally as
shameful. According to the 7/1/02 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
The U.S. ambassador to the OPCW told the staff it would be difficult to find a
replacement for Bustani, because no one wants ‘to be associated with a dying
organization.’ After remarking that the United States also wanted no more Latin
American directors because of their ‘sheer incompetence,’ the ambassador then
added, ‘If any of this gets out of this room, I’ll kill the person
Yep, that's what he said alright.
They knew what they were doing. They've been planning this for a long time.
|Monday, 6 June 2005 at 17h 33m 53s|
The strain of a paranoid neurotic
Please get me the names of the Jews. You know, the big Jewish contributors
of the Democrats. Could we please investigate some of those c---suckers?
--Richard. M. Nixon, from the Nixon Tapes.
|Monday, 6 June 2005 at 17h 8m 43s|
It does happen here
This is a story from the New York Times [LINK] written by Steven Greenhouse. It was brought
to my attention by Nathan Newman's blog.
For many workers in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the possibility of receiving the
legally required time and a half for overtime, even when they work 80-hour
weeks, seems as likely as winning the lottery.
"They always told us work faster, faster, and the money was really bad," said
Deisi Cortes, who worked as a stocker at Super Star 99 until April when she was
fired, she said, for being pregnant. "We'd ask for a raise, and all they'd say
is, 'Maybe later on.' "
'It's pretty stunning the extent to which stores here break wage and hour
laws," said Deborah Axt, a lawyer with Make the Road by Walking, an immigrant
advocacy group in Bushwick. "The violations seem epidemic."
Why should this be a surprise? Farm laborers have been experiencing wage
manipulation for at least as long as sharecropping. Sharecroppers got the right
to work a plot of the landowner for a small portion of the revenue, only to
fall into debt by the need to borrow before the sale of the harvest. Illegal
immigrant laborers were often allowed to work the fields, only to be turned in
when the 6 week labor was over and it was time for the employer to pay --
sometimes with a financial kickback to local legal authorities. Racism no
doubt justified(-ies) this greed.
Have you ever noticed that hate and selfishness have to have a scapegoat and an
excuse, whereas love and consideration need no justification at all.
For those with little to no experience or education, the vulnerability in the
labor market is very real. Intimidation is a constant factor, as common as
overbearing and mind-game playing mid-level managers, where the employee is
essential interchangeable with someone else who can do the same job.
And in a large market with plenty looking for work, there's no reason for any
employer to keep on an employee at higher cost unless experience matters, or
the employer is an individual who values devotion more than profit.
GOTO THE NEXT 10 COLUMNS