Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Accidents Happen: Israelis Kill 892 Palestinian Kids

. . . on the BBC the Israeli military stated that the killing of Yehya, Mahmoud and Sarah was an accident: 'at the very last second, it was apparent that they were children, but it was impossible to stop the explosion.' There was no mention of holding accountable the soldiers who killed them or at the very least any offer of support to the families and the community (...) Since September 28, 2000, there have been 892 such accidents....

The weekly death toll for Georgies illegal war and occupation in Iraq

Petraeus' math: Fuzzy and not even written down

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was asked today about the military's claim that sectarian violence in Iraq is down 75 percent as a result of the "surge." His reply: "We were briefed on the methodology. We're not comfortable with the methodology."
Will the rest of us have an opportunity to get "comfortable" with the methodology by examining it in some sort of methodical way? Fat chance. From the Washington Times via Think Progress comes word that Gen. David Petreaus' report -- where the 75 percent claim will be made -- won't be much of a report at all.
"A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq," the Times reports. The necessary implication: If the president isn't getting a written report from Petraeus, neither is Congress and neither are the rest of us.
Tim Grieve

The Shock Doctrine

In The Guardian UK, Naomi Klein says, "What [is] happening in Iraq and New Orleans was not a post-September 11 invention. Rather, these bold experiments in crisis exploitation were the culmination of three decades of strict adherence to the shock doctrine."

Why did President Bush go to Iraq?

Darn I told you Howie was a friking wanker, he should have just let him keep going.

Bush: OPEC or APEC
SYDNEY, Australia — President Bush had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the Sydney Opera House.
Then, speech done, Bush confidently headed out _ the wrong way.
He strode away from the lectern on a path that would have sent him over a steep drop. Howard and others redirected the president to center stage, where there were steps leading down to the floor of the theater.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Free Floating...

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues - Traduzione di Gianluca Freda
I hate it when I have no computer. I hate borrowing someone else's. I hate cyber cafes. I hate accumulated emails to which I can't reply and I hate blog moderation... All seem like obstacles to the flow of things... I have some free time on my hands. I err daily. I think a lot and observe everything and everyone around me.I am part of nothing and nothing is part of me...I feel like an alien, strolling aimlessly...floating freely on the surface of things... I walked into a small stationery shop. I needed a writing pad. I had to have a writing pad. The shopkeeper pointed his finger to one set of shelves. " You'll find them over there. " he said. There was one with a Barbie cover. Ludicrous. And another one with a Mad Max look alike cover. Ridiculous. And one with Roses - Oh God. Not Roses again! Too sentimental...


Malcom Lagauche
One-by-one, the legitimate government of Iraq is being murdered by the quisling Iraqi war crimes court and the U.S. Many organizations that delve into legal matters, as well as the United Nations, have called the court a travesty of justice. Soon, Ali al-Majid will hang. (He may already have been killed by the time you read this.) I can not recall any time in modern history where such a program was allowed to exist while the world watched. Where is Amnesty International? Where is Human Rights Watch? Where is the United Nations? Where are the myriad "peace" and "anti-war" groups? Where are the anti-death penalty activists who assemble at U.S. prisons on the eve of an execution? Where are the mainstream media? Where are the left and "progressive" media? Where are the members of the U.S. government who oppose the death penalty?...

Owners of nursing home where patients drowned in Katrina flooding acquitted

ST. FRANCISVILLE, LA. — The owners of a nursing home where 35 patients died after Hurricane Katrina were acquitted Friday of negligent homicide and cruelty charges for not evacuating the facility as the storm approached.
The jury took about four hours to acquit Sal and Mabel Mangano, the husband-and-wife owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home in St. Bernard Parish, just outside of New Orleans.
They had faced 35 counts of negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty to the elderly or infirm after the patients drowned - some in their beds - when the monster hurricane swept through the area.
The couple were the only people to face criminal charges stemming directly from Hurricane Katrina. More than 30 lawsuits have been filed against them by patients injured at the nursing home and the families of people who died there.

Couric's jaunt is fraud on a massive scale

AP Photo / Charles Dharapak
What I did on my summer vacation: Katie Couric poses with Marines while awaiting a presidential visit in Anbar province.

Posted on Sep 6, 2007
By Scott Ritter
If Couric and her ilk won't answer these questions, I will. "Why do Americans keep dying?" Simple: Because we are in Iraq. We don't belong there. Our presence is derived from our own violation of law, not someone else's, and as such any effort to sustain our presence is tainted by this same foundation of illegitimacy. In short, Americans will keep dying in Iraq as long as we remain in Iraq. If Katie wanted to really get to the bottom of this story, she could venture out on her own to any one of the villages and towns where Americans have been killed recently. Of course, she would probably end up dead herself, which would defeat the purpose of trying to report the story.
Anne Penketh reports for The Independent UK: "Syria was considering its response last night after an Israeli warplane violated Syrian air space and was accused of dropping ammunition inside the country. The incident, near the Turkish border on Wednesday, came just after midnight at a time when tensions are running high between the two neighbors. It prompted Syrian air defense units to open fire on the Israeli jets, Syrian officials said."
Iraqi Army Withdraws From Fallujah:
The last battalion of Iraqi soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, withdrew from the Anbar Province city of Fallujah, Sept. 1, leaving the city's security and stability in the hands of the local police and government.
A brave new attempt is under way to project that all is well now with Fallujah. Residents know better -- or worse.
Who Will Cry for Innocent Iraqis?:
70 percent of Iraqi children suffer from symptoms of traumatic stress syndrome manifested in psychiatric and psychological symptoms. These children daily witness death and destruction in their neighborhood. This is not surprising since a third of our own soldiers in Iraq return with symptoms of mental illness and traumatic stress disorder.
US strikes in Baghdad kill 14 sleeping civilians :
US combat helicopters and tanks bombarded a Baghdad neighbourhood in pre-dawn strikes on Thursday, killing 14 sleeping civilians and destroying houses, angry residents and Iraqi officials said.
By Paul Craig Roberts
In the US it is acceptable, even obligatory in many circles, to hate Muslims and to support violence against them.
Billions over Baghdad
By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele
Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency-much of it belonging to the Iraqi people-was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed.
By Larry Johnson09/06/07 " Booman Tribune"
-- -Why the hubbub over a B-52 taking off from a B-52 base in Minot, North Dakota and subsequently landing at a B-52 base in Barksdale, Louisiana? That’s like getting excited if you see postal worker in uniform walking out of a post office. And how does someone watching a B-52 land identify the cruise missiles as nukes? It just does not make sense.
So I called a old friend and retired B-52 pilot and asked him. What he told me offers one compelling case of circumstantial evidence. My buddy, let’s call him Jack D. Ripper, reminded me that the only times you put weapons on a plane is when they are on alert or if you are tasked to move the weapons to a specific site.
Then he told me something I had not heard before.
Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?
His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.
Now maybe there is an innocent explanation for this? I can’t think of one. What is certain is that the pilots of this plane did not just make a last minute decision to strap on some nukes and take them for a joy ride. We need some tough questions and clear answers. What the hell is going on? Did someone at Barksdale try to indirectly warn the American people that the Bush Administration is staging nukes for Iran? I don’t know, but it is a question worth asking.
Matt Renner writes for Truthout, "According to Democratic candidates who ran for House of Representative seats in 2006, Rahm Emanuel, then head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took sides during the Democratic primary elections, favoring conservative candidates, including former Republicans, and sidelining candidates who were running in favor of withdrawal from Iraq."

What was Rudy's biggest failure on 9/11?

Larry Celona, of the New York Post, reports, "Two more cops have died of 9/11-related lung cancer, according to their families."
Command Rape Sara Rich, the mother of Suzanne Swift, sat down with Truthout's Geoffrey Millard to discuss the command rape her daughter experienced while stationed in Iraq during 2004-2005. Sara is joined by retired Army Colonel Ann Wright, who provides contextual insight into the military.

The DSCC asked you to choose from the four best, and the votes are in for the winning slogan

The DSCC asked you to come up with their nationwide slogan, and you answered with more than 10,000 ideas. I have to admit that - this time - I've been out-zung.
Then we asked you to choose from the four best, and the votes are in for the winning slogan.
Click here to see the winning bumper sticker for 2008.

'Bad Day' For Bush

AP September 7, 2007 09:47 AM
President Bush had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the Sydney Opera House.
He'd only reached the third sentence of Friday's speech to business leaders, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, when he committed his first gaffe.
"Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit," Bush said to Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
Oops. That would be APEC, the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Pacific Rim nations, not OPEC, the cartel of...

The Deceivers: Malice Aforethought in the Iraq War Crime

Written by Chris Floyd
Friday, 07 September 2007
Sidney Blumenthal's article on Salon.com ("Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction") -- and Jon Schwarz's critique of it ("Salon WMD Story Seemingly Overstated") -- return us once again to the matter of the origins of the Iraq War. Jon of course has done sterling service in bringing to light the "Downing Street Memo" and related documents on the trumped-up case for war knowingly promulgated by Bush and Blair. This seems an apt time for a second look at a piece I wrote three years ago, in September 2004, about these murky origins. This article, written in the final weeks of the surreal charade that gave George W. Bush four more years to commit mass murder, came out before the Downing Street memos were uncovered; but as the article notes, the evidence of deliberate deception by the oh-so-Christian leaders of the "Coalition" was already copious, and undeniable.
Original version first published in The Moscow Times, Sept. 24, 2004:
The Deceivers
How many times must the truth be told before it conquers the lies? Again and again, the brutal realities behind the rape of Iraq - that it was planned years ago, that the aggressors knew full well that their justifications for war were false and that their invasion would lead to chaos, ruin and unbridled terror - have been exposed by the very words and documents of the invaders themselves. Yet the reign of the lie goes on, rolling toward its final entrenchment in November. Mid-month, as hundreds of Iraqi civilians were being slaughtered by insurgents and invaders, as more pipelines exploded, more hostages were seized, more families sank into poverty and filth, the cynical machinations of the oh-so-Christian Coalition of Bush and Blair were revealed yet again.
This time it was a tranche of leaked documents from March 2002, a full year before the war: reports to Tony Blair from his top advisers plainly stating that the intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was unsubstantiated, that there was no connection between Saddam and al-Qaida, that there was no legal justification for invading the country, and that any such invasion would lead to years of chaotic occupation, The Daily Telegraph (an arch-conservative, pro-war paper) reports. [The Observer, which also backed the war, had more on the leak here.]
Even more remarkably, Blair was told that the likely end result of the invasion would be the rise of yet another Saddam-like tyrant, who would then try to acquire the very weapons of mass destruction that the Coalition attack was ostensibly designed to destroy. In fact, Blair was told, with Iraq hedged in by a powerful Iran to the east and a nuclear-armed Israel to the west, any Iraqi leader, even a democratic one, will eventually seek WMD to defend the country.
All of this echoed similar warnings given to George W. Bush by the State Department, the CIA, top military brass - even his own father. Most of these alarms were reported - obscurely at times - in the press before the invasion. The Coalition's maniacal drive to war without evidence or provocation was later confirmed - again, often obliquely - by Congressional probes, the 9/11 commission, the Hutton report, the Butler report, Bush's official WMD investigators and a raft of revelations by top insiders on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Robin Cook, Richard Clarke, Bob Graham, John O'Neill and others.
The public record, available to anyone who wants the truth, is undeniable: The war was waged on false pretenses - and the war leaders knew it. They knew it would bring unimaginable death and suffering to multitudes of innocent people in Iraq - and to thousands of their own soldiers and civilians as well.
They knew it would lead to more terrorism, more chaos, more insecurity in the world. Yet they plunged ahead anyway, deliberately deceiving their own people with a poison cloud of lies, exaggeration and bluster. Why? Because for the warmongers, the game was worth the candle: The loot, the power, the "dominance" to be won was an irresistible temptation.
The Telegraph expose centered on papers prepared for Blair's March 2002 summit with the true ruler of the United States: Dick Cheney. As often noted here, Cheney was a key figure in the corporate/militarist faction Project for the New American Century, along with Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and other bloodthirsty elites.
In September 2000 - before Bush was installed as the faction's White House frontman - PNAC issued the final version of a plan, years in the making, to ensure American geopolitical and economic "dominance" through military control of key oil regions and strategic pipeline routes, either directly or via client states. This would be accompanied by a "revolutionary" transformation of American society into a more warlike state: a transformation that PNAC said could only be accomplished if the American people were "galvanized" by "a catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."
The conquest of Iraq was a vital cog in this long-range plan, and the depredations of the Baath Regime - the worst of which occurred with the full support of PNAC's top players during the Reagan-Bush years - had nothing to do with it.
The Cheney-Rumsfeld group put it plainly in 2000: The need to establish a military presence in Iraq "transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." Likewise, 9/11 and "the new threats in a changed world" - evoked so often as a justification by the warmongers - were equally irrelevant to an invasion planned years before the CIA's ex-ally, Osama bin Laden, obligingly provided that longed-for "new Pearl Harbor."
What's more, the warmakers knew that Saddam's WMD arsenal and weapons development programs had been dismantled at his order in 1991.
This was confirmed in 1995 by crateloads of documentary evidence supplied by top defector Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law and WMD chieftain - as Newsweek magazine reported before the war.
It was confirmed again by UN inspectors, who independently verified the elimination of 95 percent of Iraq's WMD arsenal - before they were summarily pulled out of the country ahead of a U.S.-British punitive strike in 1998.
Bush, Blair, Cheney and the rest knew all of this when they made the decision to launch what the Nuremberg Tribunal called "the supreme international crime" - aggressive war. Now they are openly planning a new blitzkrieg to crush all resistance to their profit-seeking conquest: an assault - conveniently set after Bush's re-installation as frontman - which they know will churn through countless innocent bodies like a meat grinder.
When they stand before the world to justify the coming outrage, remember this, and hold to it: everything they say about their war is a lie. And it has been from the beginning.

Please, Sir, May I Have Another? Surrender Monkeys on Parade

Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque
September 6, 2007Democrats Newly Willing to Compromise on Iraq
There is really nothing to say about this that we haven't said a hundred times before, except perhaps this small observation:
Why say the Democrats are newly willing to "compromise" on Iraq? When exactly have they not been willing, even eager, to support -- and extend -- the war of aggression in Iraq?
As for the substance of the story, it's not worth the slightest attention. Who on God's earth could possibly care about the mental dribblings of such wet rags as Carl Levin and Harry Reid, as they discuss their "strategy" for further capitulation? We've said it before here, many times, but we'll say it again because it remains the truth -- the only description for these poltroons is that given by the Emperor Tiberius to a similar bunch of toadies in the Roman Senate: "Men fit to be slaves."
But hey, let's not be completely grim. We have made some progress since those ancient days of endless war on the imperial frontiers -- our Senate has women fit to be slaves, too!
Meanwhile, for more on another reason why the Democrats continually cave in on issues of vital national interest -- besides the fact that they are wet rags fit to be slaves, that is -- see this fascinating and erudite piece by Jon Schwarz:
Democrats And The Iron Law Of Institutions
continua / continued

US Deports Parents of Dead Soldiers

Domenico Maceri reports for New America Media, "Three years after US Army Private Armando Soriano, 20, died fighting in Haditha, Iraq, his father is facing deportation."

One thing Mr. William Kristol is not, is a combat vet.

Cindy Sheehan responds to William Kristol's campaign against the Sept. 15 March on Washington, where he calls to"Kill the Die-In"

We need candidates who are really religious

From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, OSB
The closer the United States gets to choosing a president, the more the event begins to look like a papal election: it's all about religion and little about what religion teaches.
The United States, we love to say -- and Europeans repeat in a kind of incredulous wonder -- is the most "religious" country in the world. Meaning, of course, the most church-going country in the world. Whether or not going to church correlates well with religious values is clearly a debatable subject. To wit, the corporal works of mercy -- as in, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, house the homeless, visit the imprisoned, visit the sick, and bury the dead. It is on these criteria in Matthew 25: 31-46, however, that Jesus rests his definition of salvation. No small thing for those who considers themselves "religious." No small thing, then, one would think, if a nation -- if a candidate for political office -- were really serious about being "religious."
Point: The corporal works of mercy would, it seems, be a very clear template, a constant standard in such a nation, for the evaluation of a party platform, a legislative program or a candidate's fitness for office by those who consider themselves Christian. You can picture the score card now: Candidate A proposes keeping two of the works of mercy; Candidate B, five of them. Forget the need to count votes. The winner is ...
In the nation in which, they tell us, the last two elections were decided by Catholic and Evangelical Christians, the need to define what we mean when we say we're looking for a candidate with "religious" values is not an idle exercise. Given all our commitment to bible-quoting candidates, how do we stack up as a religious people against the religious principles we're told are essential to Christianity? The answers may make us all think again about what religion really means where politics are concerned.
If "feeding the hungry" is a basic, we're slipping, no matter how much we congratulate ourselves on our virtue. According to Bread for the World, a faith-based movement seeking justice for the world's hungry, over 35 million people -- including 12.4 million children -- live in hunger in the United States. They skip meals regularly or, when they eat, eat too little. Some of them go without food, the report says, for entire days. But hungry children develop more chronic illnesses, suffer more from anxiety and depression, and have more behavior problems than children who eat regularly. Those children we put in our institutions, call them social problems, and hire more police to keep them in line rather than feed them well.
If "clothing the naked" -- sending people into the world with dignity and propriety -- is a work of mercy, we will need legislators who are committed to spending money on education. With the amount of money we have spent on the war in Iraq -- over $449 billion -- we could have provided 21 million four-year college scholarships to young people whose parents are already strained to the financial break-point. That means, of course, that we need legislators who indicate a willingness to spend money on the intellectual future of this country. Then maybe, in the future, we wouldn't have so many wars.
If "giving drink to the thirsty" is a work of mercy, we could be doing something on a national level to save the water supply in this country. We would need legislators intent on controlling the global warming that is turning the southwest into a dust bowl and threatening to swamp property on the coastlands of the United States. We could be putting money into saving the water we have before water is no longer free and the poor cannot afford that either.
If "housing the homeless' is a work of mercy, we could at least match our housing chest with our war chest to provide four million new public housing projects. The U.S. Conference of Mayors "Hunger and Homelessness Survey" of 23 major cities in 2006 reports that 59 percent of those cities report an increase in requests for emergency shelter for families in the past year alone. Almost 30 percent of those appeals went unmet for lack of resources, the report tells us, as we agonize over which political candidate is more religious than the other ones.
If "visiting the sick" is a work of mercy, we might want to ask legislators who are seeking to renew their long-running terms in office why it is that of the 45 million uninsured people, 21 million of them are full-time workers? Whatever happened to the notion that if we worked hard in this country, we could take care of ourselves?
If "visiting prisoners" is a work of mercy, then it is time to think again about how closely religious values parallel our institutional goals. According to Human Rights Watch, September, 2007, "Most inmates [in U.S. prisons] had scant opportunities for work, training, education, treatment or counseling because of taxpayer resistance to increasing spending on prison rehabilitation programs." Clearly, we are a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" society. We send them to prison, do almost nothing to prepare them to live a decent life outside of it, and then wonder why the recidivism rate is as high as it is.
If "bury the dead" is work of mercy, then it is time to increase home health care facilities. According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, "one in five U.S. households are involved in home health care for an adult." Nevertheless, in August, Medicare announced proposed cuts of $7 billion dollars to local home health care agencies. Surely we need legislators who are intent on providing caregivers and families the support they need to care for their sick and earn a decent living themselves at the same time.
It's time, it seems, if we're Christian, to judge people the way Jesus told us to judge them: "By their fruits." But if that's the case, then the question is not: What do each of these candidates tell us about how religious they are? The question is: What do each of these candidates plan to do to make the corporal works of mercy a living sign of the Christian tradition in this so-called Christian culture?
In fact, how conscious are we of the silent erosion of each of these works of mercy in the society around us while we define "religion" as single-issue politics? After all, food and education and decent housing and support services are exactly the things that take the strain off families and make abortion unnecessary.
From where I stand, it may well be our own unawareness of the loss of these services that's making it so difficult for us to make a distinction between what is really "religious" about our candidates and what is only religion being used as another kind of slippery election strategy. God save us all from that kind of religion again

See the fake security passes that actually worked

Get it? ... this is the "insecurity" pass the Chaser team used in yesterday's fake motorcade stunt - plastered with the word 'joke' and other hints it's not for real - that got them within metres of George W. Bush's hotel.


Move to split state's electoral votes by congressional district could elect a GOP president
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
A GOP-backed initiative to toss out California's winner-take-all system of assigning electoral votes was approved for circulation Wednesday, and Democrats immediately slammed it as a backdoor attempt to hand Republicans the 2008 presidential election.
... The approval Wednesday by the secretary of state's and attorney general's offices means supporters can begin gathering signatures to qualify the initiative for the June ballot.
... "This is not reform," Howard Dean, head of the Democratic National Committee, charged in a conference call with California reporters. "It's just another Republican attempt to rig an election."
... So far, Hiltachk hasn't managed to collect endorsements from any big-name Republicans, either nationally or in California. Schwarzenegger, his former boss, dismissed the initiative in a Los Angeles television interview Wednesday.
"To me, what we have in place right now works," the governor said on KABC-TV. Changing the rules in the middle of the game "almost feels like a loser's mentality, saying 'I cannot win with those rules. So let me change the rules.' "
Prank in which comedy team drove a motorcade through Sydney for APEC, with one of the guys dressed as bin Laden. One of the rare funny things this gang has done. Some people just take themselves too damn seriously.

Chaser arrestWas the APEC stunt which saw the Chaser crew arrested funny?

Yes - 86%
No - 14%
Total Votes: 11232

Thursday, September 06, 2007

APEC's $250m security cracked by comics

Ahahahahahaha I just bet they are
Police Fuming After Bin Laden Lookalike Cracks Bush's APEC Security

Ron Paul provokes open laughter during FOX Debate 9/5/07, but he sure as Hell wins, so say the people

Ron Paul dumping all over Faux New, it is hilarious

This is great --- Ron Paul at this moment is dominating in the Fox News Poll regarding their debate that just occurred Wednesday night. I am very impressed with this. Is it because it is New Hampshire or is this actually the general consensus?

Ron Paul also won the NH straw poll... READ HERE





Fake Osama comes within 30 feet of Bush hotel

David Edwards and Jason RhynePublished:
Thursday September 6, 2007
Australian comedians dressed as Osama Bin Laden and other members of the terrorist's entourage organized a phony motorcade that was stopped only 30 feet from the hotel of President Bush, who is in Sydney for a summit meeting.
"Surrounded by fake security men in black suits but lacking security passes for the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the pranksters managed to get past one important security checkpoint," AFP reports.
Two actors from the Australian satirical program "The Chaser's War on Everything" were charged by police following the stunt, which involved a motorcade of three limousines, along with 11 crew members.
"They were producing a stunt, they were producing material," said Peter Ritchie, a spokesman for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino wouldn't discuss the Bush's security arrangements but rolled her eyes at the stunt and said "that sounds absolutely hilarious."
The following video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast on September 6.

Bush: "We're Kicking Ass"

Now Georgie according to the Polls, I would think the only ass that is being kicked is you own. Dems On Iraq: Let's Compromise

Once a thug and a liar, Always a thug and a liar

They Cooked The Books
Not Counted As Violence: People Shot In The Head From The Front, Car Bombs, Sunni On Sunni Violence, Shi'a On Shi'a Violence...
Experts Doubt Drop In Violence in Iraq

Military Statistics Called Into Question
WP Karen DeYoung September 5, 2007 11:14 PM
The U.S. military's claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.
Reductions in violence form the centerpiece of the Bush administration's claim that its war strategy is working. In congressional testimony Monday, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is expected to cite a 75 percent decrease...

Sidney Blumenthal: Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.

Salon exclusive: Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq.
By Sidney Blumenthal
On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam's inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.
Nor was the intelligence included in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which stated categorically that Iraq possessed WMD. No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.
On April 23, 2006, CBS's "60 Minutes" interviewed Tyler Drumheller, the former CIA chief of clandestine operations for Europe, who disclosed that the agency had received documentary intelligence from Naji Sabri, Saddam's foreign minister, that Saddam did not have WMD. "We continued to validate him the whole way through," said Drumheller. "The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming, and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy, to justify the policy."


Farewell ... Luciano Pavarotti, one of the greatest tenors of his generation, has died at his home in Modena aged 71 after a battle with complications from pancreatic cancer surgery last year / AP More

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Military Accused Of 'Cherry-Picking' Data To Claim Drop In Iraq Violence

WP Karen DeYoung September 5, 2007 11:14 PM
The U.S. military's claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.
Reductions in violence form the centerpiece of the Bush administration's claim that its war strategy is working. In congressional testimony Monday, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is expected to cite a 75 percent decrease...

Empire of Stupidity: Seven Years in Hell

Ain't that the truth

By Robert Scheer
In the effort to retaliate against terrorists who hijacked planes six years ago with an arsenal of $3 knives, this year’s overall defense budget has been pushed to $657 billion. We are now spending $3 billion a week in Iraq alone, occupying a country that had nothing to do with the tragedy that sparked this orgy of militarism.
By Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily
Death squads from the Ministry of Interior posing as Iraqi police are killing more people than ever in the capital, emerging evidence shows.
NOW reports on the shocking phenomenon that is military sexual trauma, saying that "Roughly one in seven of America's active-duty military soldiers is a woman, but a NOW investigation found that sexual assault and rape are widespread. One study of National Guard and Reserve forces found that almost one in four women had been assaulted or raped. Last year alone, almost 3,000 soldiers reported sexual assault and rape by other soldiers. On Friday, September 7, in one of the only national television broadcasts of the issue, NOW features women who speak out for the first time."

Fading away...

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues - Reflections in a sealed bottle...
Hala tries to console herself and says : " At least am better off than the rest.
At least am not going to be sent back to hell."Americans believed that they will be welcomed with flowers at the gates of Baghdad.
Iraqis are now forced to go and sell flowers to Americans.
There is a big lesson there for those who care to ponder...

Hala, 65 years old, left Baghdad nearly two years ago. The Jaysh al Mahdi threatened to burn her and her house down. Hala lived in what is considered a middle class neighborhood. Hala is single, has no kids and both of her parents have passed away. Hala studied Business Administration and Economics and worked for a government ministry until the age of 55 when she took early retirement to look after her parents who were both sick. Hala lived off her pension and that of her father's. Meanwhile, she too developed serious health problems one of which is rheumatoid athritis with bouts that debilitate her to the point of near paralysis. At times, she is unable to walk and is chair or bed ridden for weeks on end. At age 63, after the threats received by the Mahdi Militia, Hala had no choice but to pack a suitcase and head to Amman with all her savings. There she was granted a yearly residence permit and she lived off her savings until " God relieves this curse "... A few months ago, the Jordanian authorities refused to renew her residency and she was told she was no longer welcomed to stay in Amman. Her options were either to apply for refugee status with the UNHCR or return back "home" to Baghdad. Of course Hala had lost the family house which was her only refuge....
continua / continued


Malcom Lagauche
According to Draper, Bush admitted that his administration did not plan for sectarian violence after the invasion of Iraq. Draper said Bush "figured the Iraqi leader was fomenting ethnic divisions that would ease when he was gone" (...) It’s quite simple: we now can all blame Saddam Hussein for the sectarian violence that has engulfed Iraq for the past few years. The only problem with this theory is that it lacks any truth. Let’s go back to the year prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. We saw picture-after-picture of Saddam meeting with tribal leaders. We saw him meeting with Shi’ite, Sunni, Christian and other groups. His message was one of unity in the face of a U.S. invasion. Toward the end of 2002, Saddam released all prisoners in Iraq. His message was of forgiveness and unity, not fragmentation. Shortly before the March 2003 invasion, we heard that Saddam had stopped issuing the food rations to the Iraqi people. On the contrary, each Iraqi received six months worth of rations in case chaos ensued. This forward-thinking action has received little or no press. Many Iraqis were saved from starvation because of this move on the part of the Ba’ath regime (...) In reality, the guys who created the ethnic divisions in Iraq were the same who met with Bush before the invasion. Ahmed Chalabi was their chief...

Leaving Home...

Baghdad Burning
... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...
Two months ago, the suitcases were packed. My lone, large suitcase sat in my bedroom for nearly six weeks, so full of clothes and personal items, that it took me, E. and our six year old neighbor to zip it closed.
Packing that suitcase was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do. It was Mission Impossible: Your mission, R., should you choose to accept it is to go through the items you’ve accumulated over nearly three decades and decide which ones you cannot do without. The difficulty of your mission, R., is that you must contain these items in a space totaling 1 m by 0.7 m by 0.4 m. This, of course, includes the clothes you will be wearing for the next months, as well as any personal memorabilia- photos, diaries, stuffed animals, CDs and the like.
I packed and unpacked it four times. Each time I unpacked it, I swore I’d eliminate some of the items that were not absolutely necessary. Each time I packed it again, I would add more ‘stuff’ than the time before. E. finally came in a month and a half later and insisted we zip up the bag so I wouldn’t be tempted to update its contents constantly.
The decision that we would each take one suitcase was made by my father. He took one look at the box of assorted memories we were beginning to prepare and it was final: Four large identical suitcases were purchased- one for each member of the family and a fifth smaller one was dug out of a closet for the documentation we’d collectively need- graduation certificates, personal identification papers, etc.
We waited… and waited… and waited. It was decided we would leave mid to late June- examinations would be over and as we were planning to leave with my aunt and her two children- that was the time considered most convenient for all involved. The day we finally appointed as THE DAY, we woke up to an explosion not 2 km away and a curfew. The trip was postponed a week. The night before we were scheduled to travel, the driver who owned the GMC that would take us to the border excused himself from the trip- his brother had been killed in a shooting. Once again, it was postponed.
There was one point, during the final days of June, where I simply sat on my packed suitcase and cried. By early July, I was convinced we would never leave. I was sure the Iraqi border was as far away, for me, as the borders of Alaska. It had taken us well over two months to decide to leave by car instead of by plane. It had taken us yet another month to settle on Syria as opposed to Jordan. How long would it take us to reschedule leaving?
It happened almost overnight. My aunt called with the exciting news that one of her neighbors was going to leave for Syria in 48 hours because their son was being threatened and they wanted another family on the road with them in another car- like gazelles in the jungle, it’s safer to travel in groups. It was a flurry of activity for two days. We checked to make sure everything we could possibly need was prepared and packed. We arranged for a distant cousin of my moms who was to stay in our house with his family to come the night before we left (we can’t leave the house empty because someone might take it).
It was a tearful farewell as we left the house. One of my other aunts and an uncle came to say goodbye the morning of the trip. It was a solemn morning and I’d been preparing myself for the last two days not to cry. You won’t cry, I kept saying, because you’re coming back. You won’t cry because it’s just a little trip like the ones you used to take to Mosul or Basrah before the war. In spite of my assurances to myself of a safe and happy return, I spent several hours before leaving with a huge lump lodged firmly in my throat. My eyes burned and my nose ran in spite of me. I told myself it was an allergy.
We didn’t sleep the night before we had to leave because there seemed to be so many little things to do… It helped that there was no electricity at all- the area generator wasn’t working and ‘national electricity’ was hopeless. There just wasn’t time to sleep.
The last few hours in the house were a blur. It was time to go and I went from room to room saying goodbye to everything. I said goodbye to my desk- the one I’d used all through high school and college. I said goodbye to the curtains and the bed and the couch. I said goodbye to the armchair E. and I broke when we were younger. I said goodbye to the big table over which we’d gathered for meals and to do homework. I said goodbye to the ghosts of the framed pictures that once hung on the walls, because the pictures have long since been taken down and stored away- but I knew just what hung where. I said goodbye to the silly board games we inevitably fought over- the Arabic Monopoly with the missing cards and money that no one had the heart to throw away.
I knew then as I know now that these were all just items- people are so much more important. Still, a house is like a museum in that it tells a certain history. You look at a cup or stuffed toy and a chapter of memories opens up before your very eyes. It suddenly hit me that I wanted to leave so much less than I thought I did.
Six AM finally came. The GMC waited outside while we gathered the necessities- a thermos of hot tea, biscuits, juice, olives (olives?!) which my dad insisted we take with us in the car, etc. My aunt and uncle watched us sorrowfully. There’s no other word to describe it. It was the same look I got in my eyes when I watched other relatives and friends prepare to leave. It was a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, tinged with anger. Why did the good people have to go? I cried as we left- in spite of promises not to. The aunt cried… the uncle cried. My parents tried to be stoic but there were tears in their voices as they said their goodbyes. The worst part is saying goodbye and wondering if you’re ever going to see these people again. My uncle tightened the shawl I’d thrown over my hair and advised me firmly to ‘keep it on until you get to the border’. The aunt rushed out behind us as the car pulled out of the garage and dumped a bowl of water on the ground, which is a tradition- its to wish the travelers a safe return… eventually.
The trip was long and uneventful, other than two checkpoints being run by masked men. They asked to see identification, took a cursory glance at the passports and asked where we were going. The same was done for the car behind us. Those checkpoints are terrifying but I’ve learned that the best technique is to avoid eye-contact, answer questions politely and pray under your breath. My mother and I had been careful not to wear any apparent jewelry, just in case, and we were both in long skirts and head scarves.
The trip was long and uneventful, other than two checkpoints being run by masked men. They asked to see identification, took a cursory glance at the passports and asked where we were going. The same was done for the car behind us. Those checkpoints are terrifying but I’ve learned that the best technique is to avoid eye-contact, answer questions politely and pray under your breath. My mother and I had been careful not to wear any apparent jewelry, just in case, and we were both in long skirts and head scarves.
Syria is the only country, other than Jordan, that was allowing people in without a visa. The Jordanians are being horrible with refugees. Families risk being turned back at the Jordanian border, or denied entry at Amman Airport. It’s too high a risk for most families.
We waited for hours, in spite of the fact that the driver we were with had ‘connections’, which meant he’d been to Syria and back so many times, he knew all the right people to bribe for a safe passage through the borders. I sat nervously at the border. The tears had stopped about an hour after we’d left Baghdad. Just seeing the dirty streets, the ruins of buildings and houses, the smoke-filled horizon all helped me realize how fortunate I was to have a chance for something safer.
By the time we were out of Baghdad, my heart was no longer aching as it had been while we were still leaving it. The cars around us on the border were making me nervous. I hated being in the middle of so many possibly explosive vehicles. A part of me wanted to study the faces of the people around me, mostly families, and the other part of me, the one that’s been trained to stay out of trouble the last four years, told me to keep my eyes to myself- it was almost over.
It was finally our turn. I sat stiffly in the car and waited as money passed hands; our passports were looked over and finally stamped. We were ushered along and the driver smiled with satisfaction, “It’s been an easy trip, Alhamdulillah,” he said cheerfully.
As we crossed the border and saw the last of the Iraqi flags, the tears began again. The car was silent except for the prattling of the driver who was telling us stories of escapades he had while crossing the border. I sneaked a look at my mother sitting beside me and her tears were flowing as well. There was simply nothing to say as we left Iraq. I wanted to sob, but I didn’t want to seem like a baby. I didn’t want the driver to think I was ungrateful for the chance to leave what had become a hellish place over the last four and a half years.
The Syrian border was almost equally packed, but the environment was more relaxed. People were getting out of their cars and stretching. Some of them recognized each other and waved or shared woeful stories or comments through the windows of the cars. Most importantly, we were all equal. Sunnis and Shia, Arabs and Kurds… we were all equal in front of the Syrian border personnel.
We were all refugees- rich or poor. And refugees all look the same- there’s a unique expression you’ll find on their faces- relief, mixed with sorrow, tinged with apprehension. The faces almost all look the same.
The first minutes after passing the border were overwhelming. Overwhelming relief and overwhelming sadness… How is it that only a stretch of several kilometers and maybe twenty minutes, so firmly segregates life from death?
How is it that a border no one can see or touch stands between car bombs, militias, death squads and… peace, safety? It’s difficult to believe- even now. I sit here and write this and wonder why I can’t hear the explosions.
I wonder at how the windows don’t rattle as the planes pass overhead. I’m trying to rid myself of the expectation that armed people in black will break through the door and into our lives. I’m trying to let my eyes grow accustomed to streets free of road blocks, hummers and pictures of Muqtada and the rest…
How is it that all of this lies a short car ride away?
- posted by river @ 12:06 AM

Bush 'worst president', say 52 per cent of Aussies

September 04, 2007 12:00am
MORE than half of all Australians believe George W. Bush is the worst president in American history, a new poll shows.===Dr Marr also said similar polls in the United States showed it was not anti-American to be anti-Bush.
"George Bush is not representing American views these days, as over 60 per cent of Americans disagree with his policy in the Iraq war," he said.
"We don't have to go along with every hare-brained military action that he suggests, and unfortunately (Prime Minister John) Howard didn't have the courage to stand up against George Bush and not get involved in the Iraq war."

Can you count yet Georgie?

Loss of Arctic ice leaves experts stunned

Photo: John McConnico/AP
Source: Guardian Unlimited
The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced.
Experts say they are "stunned" by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.
So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia's Arctic coast could open later this month.
If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.
Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver, said: "It's amazing. It's simply fallen off a cliff and we're still losing ice."

That's News

Hey Condi How about obliging? CONDI 'CAN BE MY DATE,' Bush says before dinner with PM John Howard.
SYDNEY, Australia — Condoleezza Rice has been President Bush's foreign policy tutor, sports buddy, national security adviser and his secretary of state.
Bush came up with a new designation Wednesday at a dinner in his honor.
"She can be my date," the president said, reaching out his left hand to touch Rice's arm as they stood before the cameras at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister John Howard and his wife Janette at their residence, Kirribilli House .

What Good News?

Craig is a Naughty Naughty Boy!!!!!

GOP Leaders To Craig: STAY AWAY
AP September 4, 2007 08:50 PM
Lawyers for Sen. Larry Craig asked the Senate ethics committee Wednesday to reject a complaint based on the Idaho Republican's guilty plea in a police undercover operation in an airport men's room, saying the events were "wholly unrelated" to official duties.
"Assertion of jurisdiction over this matter by the committee would be literally unprecedented and would create deleterious consequences for the Senate as a whole," the lawyers wrote.

Well that is on way of keeping Australia in Iraq

AUSTRALIA'S defence co-operation with the United States will be significantly upgraded under a new treaty that gives unprecedented access to the latest US military technology and equipment.
Aussie companies tap into US defence technology
'New era' of defence co-operation
Australia to enjoy privileged access
More than six years after retired United Airline captain Ray Lahr launched his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition into the fate of TWA Flight 800, the FBI has shown him—likely by accident—one seriously smoking gun.
The Boeing 747 blew up off the coast of Long Island on July 17, 1996. One of the FBI documents received recently by Lahr and his attorney, John Clarke of Washington DC, details a communication that took place six days after the crash:
"On Tuesday, July 23, 1996, a representative from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) advised [the FBI] that after a visual analysis of both the videotape as well as a number of still photographs taken from various portions of the tape, the phenomenon captured by [name redacted] appeared to be consistent with the exhaust plume from a MANPAD [Man-portable air-defense] missile."
“The FBI guy who looked at this must not have read it, or not have realized what it would reveal,” says Lahr. “Otherwise he would have redacted most of it as before.”
Adding a new level of intrigue to the investigation is the fact that the video in question appears to have been shot on July 12, 1996, five days before the crash.

Air force official fired after 6 nukes fly over U.S.

B-52 bomber, accidentally armed with warheads, went over several states
WASHINGTON - An Air Force squadron commander has been relieved of his command after five nuclear weapons were mistakenly loaded aboard a B-52 bomber and flown cross-country from North Dakota to Louisiana last week.
Five 150-kiloton warheads were attached to cruise missiles that were flown from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to be dismantled, but the warheads should have been removed.
Military officials insist the warheads remained “under control” at all times and did not pose a danger.
more on...
Countdown Special Comment:

You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir.
Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment tonight is without a doubt, one of his hardest hitting and most emotional to date. Keith absolutely lays waste to President Bush’s lies and rhetoric about the surge. He contrasts his callous disregard for the truth and the troops between his six hour photo op in Iraq and the interview with Draper released this weekend.

A special comment about lying
Keith Olbermann on the difference between terrorists and critics
Felix Linden, songwriter, recently completed song,
"Dying to come home"

Now, he was just a boy

When he was deployed,Now someone must tell mother

That their baby's gone

Somewhere in this world there's a soldier

Dying to come home

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Post-Mortem America: Bush's Year of Triumph and the Hard Way Ahead

A MUST READ BY EVERYONE Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 02 September 2007I.
Tomorrow is here. The game is over. The crisis has passed -- and the patient is dead. Whatever dream you had about what America is, it isn't that anymore. It's gone. And not just in some abstract sense, some metaphorical or mythological sense, but down in the nitty-gritty, in the concrete realities of institutional structures and legal frameworks, of policy and process, even down to the physical nature of the landscape and the way that people live.
The Republic you wanted -- and at one time might have had the power to take back -- is finished. You no longer have the power to keep it; it's not there. It was kidnapped in December 2000, raped by the primed and ready exploiters of 9/11, whored by the war pimps of the 2003 aggression, gut-knifed by the corrupters of the 2004 vote, and raped again by its "rescuers" after the 2006 election. Beaten, abused, diseased and abandoned, it finally died. We are living in its grave.
The annus horribilis of 2007 has turned out to be a year of triumph for the Bush Faction -- the hit men who delivered the coup de grâce to the long-moribund Republic. Bush was written off as a lame duck after the Democrat's November 2006 election "triumph" (in fact, the narrowest of victories eked out despite an orgy of cheating and fixing by the losers), and the subsequent salvo of Establishment consensus from the Iraq Study Group, advocating a de-escalation of the war in Iraq. Then came a series of scandals, investigations, high-profile resignations, even the criminal conviction of a top White House official. But despite all this -- and abysmal poll ratings as well -- over the past eight months Bush and his coupsters have seen every single element of their violent tyranny confirmed, countenanced and extended.
The war which we were told the Democrats and ISG consensus would end or wind down has of course been escalated to its greatest level yet -- more troops, more airstrikes, more mercenaries, more Iraqi captives swelling the mammoth prison camps of the occupying power, more instability destroying the very fabric of Iraqi society. The patently illegal surveillance programs of the authoritarian regime have now been codified into law by the Democratic Congress, which has also let stand the evisceration of habeas corpus in the Military Commissions Act, and a raft of other liberty-stripping laws, rules, regulations and executive orders. Bush's self-proclaimed arbitrary power to seize American citizens (and others) without charge and hold them indefinitely -- even kill them -- has likewise been unchallenged by the legislators. Bush has brazenly defied Congressional subpoenas -- and even arbitrarily stripped the Justice Department of the power to enforce them -- to no other reaction than a stern promise from Democratic leaders to "look further into this matter." His spokesmen -- and his "signing statements" -- now openly proclaim his utter disdain for representative government, and assert at every turn his sovereign right to "interpret" -- or ignore -- legislation as he wishes. He retains the right to "interpret" just which interrogation techniques are classified as torture and which are not, while his concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay and his secret CIA prisons -- where those "strenuous" techniques are practiced -- remain open. His increasingly brazen drive to war with Iran has already been endorsed unanimously by the Senate and overwhelmingly by the House, both of which have embraced the specious casus belli concocted by the Bush Regime. And to come full circle, Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin are now praising the "military success" of the Iraq escalation -- despite the evident failure of its stated goals by every single measure, including troop deaths, civilian deaths, security, infrastructure, political cohesion and regional stability. This emerging "bipartisan consensus" on the military situation in Iraq (or rather, this utter fantasy concealing a rapidly deteriorating reality) makes it certain that the September "progress report" will be greeted as a justification for continuing the "surge" in one form or another. >>>>cont

Scientology faces criminal charges

Source: Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium - A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization....Van Espen's probe also concluded that Scientology's Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.
"They also face charges of being ... a criminal organization," Pellens said in a telephone interview....Investigators have spent the past decade trying to determine how far Scientology went in recruiting converts after numerous complaints were filed with police by ex-members alleging they'd been the victims of intimidation and extortion.
Justice officials seized financial records, correspondence, bank statements and other papers in their decade-long probe to track the flow of money to Scientology. Police also raided the offices of several consultancy firms linked to the Church of Scientology.
Pellens said that prosecutors expect Scientology to mount a strong legal challenge to the charges at a court hearing, which could come in the next two to three months. She acknowledged that could delay the case for years.

Calif. ballot proposal's GOP ties (Swift Boater)

Source: Yahoo/AP
Lawyers behind a California ballot proposal that could benefit the 2008 Republican presidential nominee have ties to a Texas homebuilder who financed attacks on Democrat John Kerry's Vietnam War record in the 2004 presidential campaign.
Charles H. Bell and Thomas Hiltachk's law firm banked nearly $65,000 in fees from a California-based political committee funded almost solely by Bob J. Perry that targeted Democrats in 2006. Perry, a major Republican donor, contributed nearly $4.5 million to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that made unsubstantiated but damaging attacks on Kerry three years ago.
Hiltachk has been pushing a proposal to revamp the way California awards its electoral votes, a change Democrats claim would rig the 2008 race. He and Bell are the sole officers of a new political committee, Californians for Equal Representation, that is raising money to place the plan on the ballot in June.
Their success could hinge on whether they get the financial backing to collect more than 400,000 petition signatures needed to qualify the proposal for the ballot. And while Perry has not donated to their cause, his wealth and connections make him a potential financier for a drive that could cost more than $1 million. Running a statewide campaign would cost millions more.

Howard snubs Bush for footy bash

Howard joked that he was getting his priorities right by attending the Dally M Rugby League awards rather than personally greeting President Bush when he arrived in Sydney for the APEC summit.
Link Here
Thanks for voting, here are the results so far:
Should Howard have personally greeted Bush?
Yes 41% (1244 votes)
No 58% (1728 votes)
Total votes Total of 2972 votes
PM, Bush unveil defence pact
September 5, 2007 - 11:20AM
Australia and the United States have agreed to a treaty allowing Australia better access to United States defence equipment, Prime Minister John Howard said today.
Mr Howard made the announcement at a joint press conference in Sydney with US President George Bush, who arrived in Australia last night ahead of the APEC leaders' meeting.

Triple "Suicide" of GOP Activists in FL Linked to Call-Boy Ring, Gay

One for the Nuns

“The National Coalition of American Nuns is impelled by conscience to call you to act promptly to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for … high crimes and misdemeanors,” the group wrote in a letter written on behalf of its board members.
The letter says that impeachment is warranted for their “deceiving the public under the false pretense that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction” and “destroying” the reputation of the United States and the good will of other nations.
“The time for impeachment is now — before the example of George W. Bush’s regime is set in stone,” they wrote. “Future generations will thank you for preserving the freedom of our nation and its relation to the entire human community.”

U.S. occupation creates humanitarian disaster in Iraq

Sara Flounders
If the full dimensions of the horror the U.S. occupation has created in Iraq were exposed and confronted, world outrage would reach such a pitch that the occupation could not continue. A huge number of reports that are largely ignored or given only passing mention in the corporate media confirm an unprecedented level of destruction of essential infrastructure, loss of life and massive displacement of people. There are more than 4 million Iraqi refugees and more than 1 million dead. Seventy percent of Iraqi children are not in school. Yet these reports and statistics do not begin to tell the story of destruction and violence caused by the U.S. occupation. Iraq, which was a modern, industrializing country before the first U.S. war in 1991, is now under U.S. occupation, facing national catastrophe and disintegration. Its once internationally acclaimed and free health care system is now in shambles. Thousands of years worth of its cultural heritage have been looted and smashed...
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