Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I wouldn't hold my breath, while Georgies still in office!!!!!!!

Sen. Jack Reed: No "Blank Check" For War In Iraq
WASHINGTON — Sen. Jack Reed says America can't afford the Republican strategy of continuing to write blank checks for the Iraq war.
"At a time when the war in Iraq costs $10 billion each month, Americans are paying $4 a gallon for gasoline, and our economy is struggling, we cannot continue down the path that President Bush and Senator McCain propose: writing blank check after blank check," Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, said Saturday in his party's weekly radio address.
Reed said Democrats have outlined a better plan to carefully redeploy combat troops out of Iraq and give them missions such as counterterrorism and training Iraq's military.
"Make no mistake: This is a plan that seizes on the progress and sacrifices our troops have made in Iraq, and it recognizes the desire of the Iraqi people to take control of their own destiny," he said.
Reed and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska accompanied presumed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on a six-day trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait that ended this week.
Obama says he will pursue a 16-month timetable for withdrawing combat troops if he is elected. That idea won conditional support on Monday from Iraqi leaders during talks in Baghdad.

It is called a strategic blunder and a monstrous injustice and sometimes even a patriotic mission, much to the chagrin of rational human beings.

The Iraq war is many things to different people. It is called a strategic blunder and a monstrous injustice and sometimes even a patriotic mission, much to the chagrin of rational human beings. For many big companies, however, the war is something far different: a lucrative cash-cow.
1. Halliburton
2. Veritas Capital Fund/DynCorp
3. Washington Group International
4. Environmental Chemical
5. Aegis
6. International American Products
7. Erinys
8. Fluor
9. Perini
10. URS Corporation
11. Parsons
12. First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting
13. Armor Holdings
14. L3 Communications
15. AM General
16. HSBC Bank
17. Cummins
18. MerchantBridge
19. GlobalRisk Strategies
20. ControlRisks
21. CACI
22. Bechtel
23. Custer Battles
24. Nour USA
25. General Dynamics

Today’s Impeachment Hearings

Parade of ‘Shrill" Unserious Extremists’ on Display
By Glenn Greenwald
Serious, responsible Beltway establishment leaders know that courtrooms and prosecutions are only for the common people and — for our own good — our leaders cannot, must not and should not be exposed to any of that, and must continue to be able to shield what they do from public scrutiny.

Obama Dazzles Old Europe while McCain cries "No Mas"!

His speeches are a welcome reprieve from the simian blabbering of President Dimwit.
25/07/08 "ICH" -- - By Mike Whitney
Barak Obama proved yesterday why November's presidential election will end in a 50-state sweep. John McCain has no chance. It's like George Bush climbing into the ring with Mike Tyson; one thundering left hook and the Crawford Caligula would be sprawled across the canvas in a pool of his own blood. "No mas"! The same fate awaits the crabby senator from Arizona. The polls are skewed to look like there's a political horse-race going on. There isn't. It's a complete rout. There's one well-toned thoroughbred striding from venue to venue electrifying the ever-increasing throngs, and one doddering, old mare limping towards the glue-factory. Someone should put a stop to it before McCain gets hurt.

Senate Republicans Block Heating Aid Bill

WASHINGTON — Republicans on Saturday blocked the Senate from considering a bill next week that would nearly double federal aid to help the poor pay heating and air-conditioning bills. Although a dozen Senate Republicans support the measure, most voted with GOP leaders who would rather spend the time trumpeting their call to expand offshore oil drilling before Congress takes six weeks off for vacation and the presidential nominating conventions.
"The American resources on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts contain 14 billion barrels at a minimum ... more than we have imported from the Persian Gulf in the last 15 years," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.
Democrats needed 60 votes to substitute the measure on heating and air-conditioning aid in place of the debate on an expansion of offshore drilling championed by President Bush and GOP presidential candidate John McCain. They got 50 votes Saturday, with 35 Republicans voting against changing the topic.
"Do we vote to keep the old, the sick and kids alive when the weather gets cold or very, very hot, or do we spend money on people who make huge campaign contributions? That is part of what this debate is about," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.
The government is devoting $2.6 billion in subsidies for helping people with low incomes pay heating and air-conditioning bills this year. Sanders' bill would nearly double that to $5.1 billion.
While Senate Democrats said they hoped to pass it next week, Democrats in the House were looking at the popular subsidies for anchoring a second economic aid bill they want to push in September, closer to the November election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is vehemently against letting the House vote on offshore drilling. She and Democratic leaders in the Senate also have shut down normal summer work on spending bills to prevent offshore drilling from getting a legislative footing in the appropriations committees.

80 year old, retired Methodist minister among those hauled away.

Anti-war protestors try to confront long-time Bush advisor
Friday, July 25, 2008, 3:22 PM
O.Kay Henderson
Four peace activists were arrested in Des Moines today as they tried to make a "citizens arrest" of Karl Rove, the long-time political advisor to President Bush. "It should be Karl Rove in that van. War Criminal!" one of the protesters shouted as the four were rounded up by cops. "Where's there justice in this country?"
Rove was in Des Moines to speak at a private fundraiser for the Republican Party of Iowa. The protestors let the police know of their wish to make a "citizens arrest" of Rove, then police arrested the four as they stepped beyond the gate at the entrance to the private Wakonda Club where Rove was speaking.
Eighty-year-old Chet Guinn, a retired Methodist minister, was among those led away. "To be silent when major crimes are being committed against all humanity makes us accomplices," Gwinn told reporters just before his arrest.
About a dozen peace activists showed up for the protest. Daniella Bermeo of Ecuador stood at the side of a busy Des Moines street, holding a poster. "Karl Rove is a war criminal and war criminals cannot just be running around like that, like they haven't done anything," Bermeo said. "I'm supporting the cause and supporting the people that he's committed war crimes against."
Am Shahmeer of Des Moines, a former resident of Pakistan, said the small group hopes their message somehow gets through to Rove. "There's people out there who really care, who know what's going on and they're out there to stand up against any injustice that anyone is doing," Shahmeer said.
Reporters were not allowed in to hear Rove's speech, nor were they allowed on the grounds to talk with the audience afterwards. Republicans paid $100 each for a ticket to the luncheon where they were able to listen to Rove speak. Those who paid $1000 were able to attend a separate reception and have their picture taken with Rove.
Two of the protestors arrested in Des Moines today were taken into police custody this past March when they disrupted Rove during his speech at the University of Iowa, but none were charged in that incident.

Impeachment a hot topic at 'not Impeachment' hearing

Members were cautioned to abide by the Rules of the House, which prohibit lawmakers from "impugning" the president's character
After spending long hours, sometimes late into the night, making his case for impeachment before a nearly barren House chamber, Rep. Dennis Kucinich finally got more of an audience for his case against President Bush Friday.
Even though Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers insisted early on that the panel's evaluation of Bush's "imperial presidency" was decidedly not an impeachment hearing, the prospect was not far from many minds during the six hours of testimony.
Kucinich formally introduced his articles of impeachment into the record of the committees proceedings -- although he did not utter the dreaded I-word, instead referring to the resolutions by their more legalistic titles "H. Res. 333, H. Res. 1258 and H. Res. 1345."
A committee aide tells
RAW STORY that members were cautioned to abide by the Rules of the House, which prohibit lawmakers from "impugning" the president's character during official debate. Some apparently took this to mean they could not explicitly call for Bush' impeachment. None of this would stop Republicans from accusing the committee's majority of seeking just that.

NYT: McCain More Conservative Than Bush

McCain: McSame as Bush

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

McCain: 100 years in Iraq "would be fine with me"

Bush and McCain Seem to Diverge in Foreign Policy


Sarkozy: Obama's my 'pal'

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is offering Obama a warm welcome on the day of their meeting, in an interview with the conservative daily Le Figaro.
"Obama? He's my pal," the president told Le Figaro. "Unlike my diplomatic advisers, I never believed in Hillary Clinton's chances. I always said that Obama would be nominated."
Sarkozy added that an Obama victory "would validate" his strategy of reconcilation with the United States. His embrace of the United States has made him American conservatives' favorite Continental politician, but he doesn't seem to be reciprocating.
Meanwhile, the French press appears to be welcoming Obama Friday with some of the same excitement as the Germans Thursday. The cover of the liberal daily Liberation, above, says Obama showed in Berlin that he's presidential material, and the
inside story headlines his appeal for unity.
One interesting detail from
Le Figaro: The Obama-Sarkozy meeting will be conducted with a minimum of fuss, to mark it off clearly from the trappings of a presidential visit.
"Nicolas Sarkozy's advisers received only one demand from the team of the Democratic candidate: no American flag for the press conference, because it's a candidate being received, not the president of the United States."


Feds Seize Two More Banks

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Two banks operating in Nevada, Arizona and California _ 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank N.A. _ were closed Friday by federal regulators.
The 28 branches of the banks, owned by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based First National Bank Holding Co., were scheduled to reopen on Monday as Mutual of Omaha Bank branches, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.
The FDIC said the takeover of the failed banks was the least costly resolution and all depositors _ including those with funds in excess of FDIC insurance limits _ will switch to Mutual of Omaha with "the full amount of their deposits."
The FDIC also said accountholders can access their funds during the weekend by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards.
As of June 30, the closed banks had total assets of $3.6 billion. That's down from $4.1 billion six months earlier. Most of the assets are in 1st National while First Heritage N.A. accounts for $254 million.


Liberal media my ass

And the Rest!!!!

Since this is a graphics-oriented blog, I couldn't pass this one up. Markos at DailyKos asks why if the wingnuts think mainstream media isn't giving enough coverage to the "Edwards Love Child Story" reported in the National Inquirer, MSM doesn't also cover these important stories from the tabloids!!

Add this one to the collection

Eve of Destruction 2.1 Released (on 43rd Anniversary of Original Version)

By DiAnne Grieser on July 26, 2008 9:45 AM
Remember "Eve of Destruction" (if you are old enough)? The lyrics were:"The Eastern world, it is exploding, Violence flaring, bullets loading, You're old enough to kill, but not for voting, You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're toting?" That was back in 1965. The Vietnam war was going on, as well as riots in the cities. The country was divided. It was controversial but the record went to the top of the charts. It was the first song to spell out specifics about the Vietnam War for the general public.
He recorded the song again, and with Mick Fleetwood, Roger McGuinn and Todd Smallwood. The new version was released on July 21, on the 43rd anniversary of the original release. (For you youngsters, that's Barry McGuire the original artist, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, and Todd I know performed with Jackson Browne, Robbie Krieger of the Doors and organized a Cuban/American singer-songwriter project in Havana for World Peace.) I knew Todd when I was a teen, during a time of horrific social unrest domestically and the tragic war in Vietnam going on abroad. The song meant alot to most of us, though conservatives who felt the song unpatriotic released a follow-up called "Dawn of Correction." (The modern version might be called "The Surge is Working.)
Barry McGuire is now 72. He says, "the stupidity of armed conflict doesn't end. Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm and now Iraq. How many people are still being murdered, slaughtered, blown to bits? If anything, we're on the Dawn of Destruction." McGuire was converted to Christianity but doesn't care much for organized religion. He follows Christ directly.
Some of the material for this "review" came from
Same Old Song for Singer Barry McGuire, in a North Carolina newspaper. The rest came from my memory, and then from the speakers of my Mac.
Todd Smallwood site & MySpaceJim McGuinn blog
I just bought it on iTunes. If you have an iTunes player you can go to the iTunes store and hear at least 30 seconds for free. If you want to buy it, it's a dollar. If I find an MP3 I'll put it up. If I find a video I'll put it up. I am tracking this closely. There are more great rumors (great things could happen with this song later this summer!) but those have to wait. Here are the lyrics to the original version. They may have been tweaked just a little for the new version. The new version is a new version - beautifully arranged, performed and recorded by some great artists!
Here is one of many videos that has been made to this song - this one with desert imagery rather than jungle - but too many things about our foreign policy just haven't changed!

EVE OF DESTRUCTION (Original lyrics)
The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’
But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.
Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]
And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.
Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’
And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.
Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Rove Threatened GOP IT Guru If He Does Not 'Take the Fall' for Election Fraud in Ohio, Says Attorney

Letter Sent to Attorney General Mukasey Requesting 'Protection for Mr. Connell and His Family From This Reported Attempt to Intimidate a Witness' After Tip from 'Credible Source'
UPDATE: OH AG Reportedly Asked to Provide Immunity Protection...

NOTE: Arnebeck will join Peter B. Collins and me, on-air, live tonight at 5pm PT (8pm ET) to discuss this story and the related matters. Details and listening link here...]
Karl Rove has threatened a GOP high-tech guru and his wife, if he does not "'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio," according to a letter sent this morning to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, by Ohio election attorney Cliff Arnebeck.
The email, posted in full below, details threats against Mike Connell of the Republican firm New Media Communications, which describes itself on
its website as "a powerhouse in the field of Republican website development and Internet services" and having "played a strategic role in helping the GOP expand its technological supremacy."
Connell was
described in a recent interview with the plaintiff's attorneys in Ohio as a "high IQ Forrest Gump" for his appearance "at the scene of every [GOP] crime" from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 to the RNC email system to the installation of the currently-used Congressional computer network firewall.
Connell and his firm are currently employed by the John McCain campaign, as well as the RNC and
other Republican and so-called "faith-based" organizations.
In a phone call this afternoon, Arnebeck could not publicly reveal specific details of the information that triggered his concern about the threats to Connell. The message to the IT man from Rove is said to have been sent via a go-between in Ohio. That information led Arnebeck to contact Mukasey after he found the reports to be credible and troubling.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

'Imperial presidency' hearing to feature 13 witnesses

Nick JulianoPublished: Thursday July 24, 2008
Kucinich, Barr, Bugliosi among those testifying
The House Judiciary Committee has released a witness list for its hearing to examine "the imperial presidency" of George W. Bush.
Testifying Friday morning will be Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has introduced several resolutions calling for President Bush's and Vice President Dick Cheney's impeachment; former Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate who led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998; Vincent Bugliosi, author of the just-released book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder; and 10 other current and former members of Congress, constitutional experts and human rights activists.
The hearing, which was announced last week, seems to be the one Judiciary Chairman John Conyers promised to Kucinich after he introduced his second impeachment resolution aimed at Bush earlier this month. Any action on Kucinich's articles of impeachment still seems unlikely, but the Ohio Democrat has previously said he just wants to be able to present his case.
Late Thursday afternoon, the committee released the full witness list, broken down into two panels.
Panel OneThe Honorable Dennis Kucinich, Representative from OhioThe Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Representative from New YorkThe Honorable Walter Jones, Representative from North CarolinaThe Honorable Brad Miller, Representative from North CarolinaPanel TwoThe Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Representative from New York The Honorable Bob Barr, Former Representative from Georgia, 2008 Libertarian Nominee for PresidentThe Honorable Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Founder and President, High Roads for Human RightsStephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of LawBruce Fein Vincent Bugliosi, Author and former Los Angeles County ProsecutorJeremy A. Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of LawElliott Adams, President of the Board, Veterans for PeaceFrederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Conyers (D-MI) previously laid out six areas the hearing would explore:

(1) improper politicization of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys offices, including potential misuse of authority with regard to election and voting controversies;
(2) misuse of executive branch authority and the adoption and implementation of the so-called unitary executive theory, including in the areas of presidential signing statements and regulatory authority;
(3) misuse of investigatory and detention authority with regard to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, including questions regarding the legality of the administration’s surveillance, detention, interrogation, and rendition programs;
(4) manipulation of intelligence and misuse of war powers, including possible misrepresentations to Congress related thereto;
(5) improper retaliation against administration critics, including disclosing information concerning CIA operative Valerie Plame, and obstruction of justice related thereto; and
(6) misuse of authority in denying Congress and the American people the ability to oversee and scrutinize conduct within the administration, including through the use of various asserted privileges and immunities.
The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday on Capitol Hill.


McCain cancels trip to oil rig after spill, blames weather

Source: RawStory.com
Thursday, workers on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast will see clear skies, mild temperatures in the 80's and 90's, and feel only a slight breeze. However, John McCain's campaign says inclement weather caused the cancellation of his appearance there, aimed at promoting offshore drilling.
Perhaps a more likely cause is the 400,000 plus gallons of oil floating through the Mississippi, spilled yesterday after a barge collided with a tanker at New Orleans. As for inclement weather, at the time McCain would have been taking center-stage on the oil rig, Hurricane Dolly, a Category 2 storm, was making landfall at the Texas-Mexico border about 600 miles away.
John McCain's campaign is placing increasing importance on its emphasis of allowing offshore drilling and drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge as a means to reduce US dependence on foreign oil, and public support has been increasing, finds a recent Wall Street Journal/Washington Post poll.
Yet yesterday, when a barge on the Mississippi river at New Orleans, was 'T-boned' an oil tanker -- snapping the barge in half on impact and causing a 419,000 gallon oil spill -- the GOP candidate became a bit shy of the issue.

Man revealed as bin Laden's bodyguard released by U.S.

Source: The Miami Herald
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Soon after Osama bin Laden's driver got here in 2002, he told interrogators the identity of the al Qaeda chief's most senior bodyguard — then a fellow prison camp detainee.
But, inexplicably, the U.S. let the bodyguard go.
This startling information was revealed in the fourth day of the war crimes trial of Salim Hamdan, 37, facing conspiracy and material support for terror charges as an alleged member of bin Laden's inner circle.
Michael St. Ours, an agent with the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service, NCIS, provided the first tidbit. He testified for the prosecution that his job as a prison camps interrogator in May 2002 was to find and focus on the bodyguards among the detainees.
And Hamdan helped identify 30 of them — 10 percent of the roughly 300 detainees then held here. They had just been transferred to Camp Delta from the crude compound called Camp X-Ray, and U.S. intelligence was still trying to unmask them.
Chief among them was Casablanca-born Abdallah Tabarak, then 47, described by St. Ours as ''a hard individual,'' and, thanks to Hamdan, ``the head bodyguard of all the bodyguards.''
St. Ours said he was eager to speak with Tabarak. But the Moroccan was ''uncooperative,'' and St. Ours moved on to other intelligence jobs — and never learned afterward what became of him.
Then, on cross-examination, Hamdan defense attorney Harry Schneider dropped a bombshell:
''Would it surprise you to learn he was released without ever being charged?'' St. Ours looked stunned.
''Yeah,'' he said.



You've just made me think....... imagine being McCrumblies P.R. people today??? You would have to go home with a thumping headache and reach for the Scotch and the Valium , kick the cat out, take the phone of the hook and take to your bed.Oh Tee Hee.

GOP Insider Eviscerates Bush And Party: Just "Phenomenal Arrogance"

There is wide-spread acknowledgment, even within the party itself, that the Republican brand is currently poisonous. Faced with massive losses in November, GOP leadership has green-lighted a save-yourself mentality, allowing its endangered members to go against the party line if it means helping their electoral chances.
But if the situation seems bad on the electoral level, insiders warn that it's even worse when you get down to infrastructure and machinery. Facing an avalanche of losses, the GOP is stuck with an antiquated system of fundraising, a tired leadership, and a president many Americans loathe."There is a phenomenal arrogance like a fog that has clouded people's thinking and ability to see what is real," said Nicole Sexton, a longtime Republican fundraiser and former Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "We have to go down in history as some of the worst messengers. And President Bush has been horrible. Everything he does deems calculated and insincere. The same was true with Bill Clinton but he at least had the ability to seem sincere. With Bush, people are throwing stones and tomatoes at him [and he hasn't changed]."


Iraqi Teams Banned From Beijing Olympics

BAGHDAD — Just two weeks before the start of the Olympics, Iraq was told Thursday it's not welcome in Beijing because of a political feud in Baghdad that angered the games' guardians and exiled a country that arrived to a roaring ovation at the opening ceremony four years ago.
The International Olympic Committee told Iraqi sports officials in a letter that it would uphold its ban imposed in June after the government in Baghdad replaced its national Olympic panel with members not recognized by the IOC.
The IOC had called the move unacceptable government interference.
In Iraq, it also smacked of the lingering sectarian bitterness between the new Shiite power brokers and the Sunnis who were once favored under Saddam Hussein _ whose son, Odai, ran the nation's Olympic committee as a personal fiefdom and was accused
of torturing athletes who came up short.
"Clearly we'd very much like to have seen Iraq's athletes in Beijing," said IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies. "We are very disappointed that the athletes have been so ill-served by their own government's actions.">>>cont.

Obama Berlin Speech: US Foreign Service Workers Instructed Not To Attend

Although it appears most of Berlin is heading to Obama's speech today, US Foreign Service personnel will be banned from the event. And they are not happy. The American Foreign Service Association, a union of Foreign Service workers are opposing the rule. Read more from The Washington Post. And watch the speech live here.
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin has instructed Foreign Service personnel stationed there not to attend Sen. Barack Obama's public rally today, which the State Department this week labeled a "partisan political activity" prohibited under its regulations for those serving overseas

SHOCK. Three officers guarding nuke launch codes fell asleep on duty.

The Air Force said Thursday that it plans to punish three officers who fell asleep on July 12 while guarding a classified nuclear launch codes device.
The device contained codes that had been deactivated, but nevertheless their lapse of unconsciousness constituted a 'procedural violation' -- and one which the Air Force wishes to avoid in the wake of Minot Air Force Base's 5th Bomb Wing accidentally flying six warheads over the United States last August. The sleeping officers on July 12 were also from Minot.
"While waiting for permission to bring the device back to base, the three officers with the code component in their possession fell asleep," reported the Air Force Times. "The fourth officer was not present.


McCain Campaign Running Obama-Castro Ad

The McCain campaign has a new web ad out placing Barack Obama, for the second time, side-by-side with a foreign dictator. This time, it's Fidel Castro.
A Democrat in south Florida alerted the Huffington Post to the image, which shows Obama and Castro, profiled side-by-side, above a quote from the Cuban leader praising the Illinois Democrat as "the most advanced candidate."
Picture association is a time-honored tool in political campaigns (think: former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland having his mug pasted beside Osama Bin Laden's during the 2002 congressional elections). And indeed, this is not the first time that the presumptive Republican nominee has used the tactic.
Early in June, McCain's campaign launched a web ad placing Obama beside Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underneath the caption: "Is it OK to unconditionally meet with anti-American foreign leaders?"

Berlin Awaits the 'Next JFK'

Walking around Berlin recently, the American visitor could be forgiven for thinking Germany was the 51st state in the Union - and that it would vote heavily for Senator Barack Obama on November 4. Joggers in local parks proudly sport Obama T-shirts; the trendy expat hangout White Trash Fast Food was turned into an Obama campaign center for a day; and a city magazine has published instruction on how to craft little American flags to wave in welcoming the junior senator from Illinois, who visits on Thursday.

The city has been buzzing with anticipation over Obama's visit, and his reported request to use the Brandenburg Gate as the backdrop for his only public address in Europe sparked a local media frenzy. Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted with "bewilderment" to the senator's request to speak at this historically charged location, and appeared concerned that approving the request would be interpreted as taking sides in the U.S. presidential race. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for his part, welcomed the suggestion that Obama speak at a venue rendered iconic by John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, saying it was "a vital expression of German-American friendship."
Obama's people and Berlin authorities finally agreed to stage the speech instead in front of the Siegessäule (victory column) monument, or "Goldelse" ("Goldlizzie"), as Berliners affectionately dub it, because of a golden statue of the goddess of victory that crowns the monument. Built in the second half of the 19th century to commemorate Prussian victories against the French, the Danes and Austria, the column has been a backdrop for various mass events, such as the annual "Love Parade," a huge open air techno party. The right location, some commentators only half jokingly remarked, for a political rock star.
While politicians bickered, however, the German people had long ago made their choice - one poll showed that 60% were in favor of Obama speaking at the Brandenburg Gate. And if Germans had a say in the U.S. election, 74% would choose Obama.
The media can barely contain its excitement. "Germany meets the Superstar" read the front page of the weekly Der Spiegel in reference to a popular TV show, while the tabloid Bild called Obama "Berlin's New Kennedy!" and gushed: "It's like 1963," describing the presidential candidate as "just as young, sexy and charismatic" as John F. Kennedy. And that's before he's even set foot here.

Nas & ColorOfChange.org Give 620,000 Petitions to Fox News

Sly Fox

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here is the protest video against FOX News, called "Sly Fox." Nas'

Nas - Sly Fox (Fox News Diss) Brand New 6-27-08

Fire Michael "Autism is a Fraud" Savage

What a disgusting individual he is.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama in The Middle East: Restoring America's Moral Leadership

"Wall Street Got Drunk": 'Banned' Bush Video Surfaces

An ABC-TV outlet in Houston, and now the Houston Chronicle, have posted a video taken at a political fundraiser for Pete Olson, featuring George W. Bush last week -- capturing some embarrassing/revealing moments after, he noted, he had asked cameras to be turned off.
The first moments form the July 18 event find him speaking almost incoherently in admitting, for once, that his friends in big business had screwed up: "There's no question about it. Wall Street got drunk ---that's one of the reasons I asked you to turn off the TV cameras -- it got drunk and now it's got a hangover. The question is how long will it sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments."
Then, making light of the foreclosure crisis, he said: "And then we got a housing issue... not in Houston, and evidently not in Dallas, because Laura's over there trying to buy a house. [great laughter] I like Crawford but unfortunately after eight years of sacrifice, I am apparently no longer the decision maker."
No one is saying how ABC's Miya Shay got the video or how it emerged.

Bush: Wall Street was drunk, House Hunting in Dallas

Obama meets with King Abdullah of Jordan

Senators Obama, Reed and Hagel at the press conference this morning
A Palestinian baker in the West Bank city of Ramallah prepares for Obama's visit to the area


Suck Eggs McSame McBush, who is Presidential? Obama That's Who

Get a load of the excitement and smiles
Senator Obama With U.S. Troops in Kuwait

Senator Obama Opening Remarks in Kuwait

Obama Meets Afghan Leaders, Makes Stop in Kuwait

Now watch this drive...

McCain: 100 years in Iraq "would be fine with me"

McCain: Bringing Troops Home from Iraq "Not Too Important"

HIV Digs Deeper Into Deep South

Dave Parks reports for The Birmingham News: "HIV has burrowed into the Deep South, feeding off some of the most impoverished people in the nation and creating a health catastrophe, according to a report being released Monday in Birmingham."

Black. Female. Accomplished. Attacked.

Sophia A. Nelson writes for The Washington Post:
"Welcome to our world. We've watched with a mixture of pride and trepidation as the wife of the first serious African-American presidential contender has weathered recent campaign travails - being called unpatriotic for a single offhand remark, dubbed a black radical because of something she wrote more than 20 years ago and plastered with the crowning stereotype: 'angry black woman.' And then being forced to undergo a politically mandated 'makeover' to soften her image and make her more palatable to mainstream America."
Juan Cole for Informed Comment writes about Barack Obama's visit to Iraq, as well as the recent attempt by the Bush administration to "muddy the waters this weekend regarding the interview of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with Der Spiegel, in which he expressed approval of Barack Obama's plan to get US troops out of Iraq within 16 months of next January."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jim Loney, of Reuters: "The first U.S. war crimes trial since World War Two began on Monday at the U.S. navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, nearly seven years after the September 11 attacks prompted President George W. Bush to declare war on terrorism. Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, faces charges of conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism and could face life in prison if convicted by a jury of U.S. military officers."

Thousands of former UK troops now mercenaries in Iraq

Thousands of former British soldiers have signed up as mercenaries in Iraq since 2003, lured by the prospect of a tax-free £250 a day offered by "private military companies" making billions from the booming security industry.
A four-man ex-SAS team in Baghdad can command £2500 a day and live in the plushest villas in the most exclusive section of the Iraqi capital.
The UN estimates that 20,000 of the 126,000 known contractors in Iraq are hired guns. Those in most demand are ex-British, South African and American army personnel, although Russia, the Balkans, Nepal, Fiji and South America are also well-represented by experienced soldiers looking for work.

Most are paid for close protection, escorting diplomats, civil servants or oil industry officials and providing the deterrent firepower to ward off would-be criminal kidnappers or insurgent hostage-takers.
They earn up to £7000 a month tax-free - six or seven times the take-home pay in the British and US armies.
Their main value to both Britain and the US is that they perform tasks which would otherwise fall to overstretched regular military forces and they are expendable in terms of the political arithmetic of the body bag.
Soldiers arriving home in flag-draped coffins have a negative impact on voter confidence. Dead contractors - about 1000 over the past five years - are laid to rest unannounced.
Erinys, a British firm, fields an armed force of 14,000 guarding Iraq's vulnerable oil wells and pipelines. Its manpower, composed of Iraqis and "third world nationals", outnumbers the British Army outside Basra by almost four to one.


Death of Free Internet is Imminent

Canada Will Become Test Case
By Kevin Parkinson
The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point.
France-Presse reports: "Nine policemen were killed in Afghanistan Sunday in international military air strikes called in when police and troops clashed after mistaking each other for Taliban, authorities said. The fighting erupted at about 1:30 am when Afghan and international soldiers moved into a district without informing police, who thought they were militants, the deputy governor of southwestern Farah province said. 'An engagement took place, each side thinking the other was the Taliban,' Mohammad Younus Rasouli told AFP."

Iraqi Media: U.S. Building Airbase on Iran Border

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 18:34:44
The United States plans to build a military airport near the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, which borders Iran, Iraqi media reports.

Court Confirms President's Dictatorial Powers

by Andy Worthington
Wake up, America! On July 15, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled by 5 votes to 4 in the case of Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli [
.pdf] that the president can arrest U.S. citizens and legal residents inside the United States and imprison them indefinitely, without charge or trial, based solely on his assertion that they are "enemy combatants." Have a little think about it, and you'll see that the Fourth Circuit judges have just endorsed dictatorial powers.
In the words of Judge William B. Traxler, whose swing vote confirmed the court's otherwise divided ruling, "the Constitution generally affords all persons detained by the government the right to be charged and tried in a criminal proceeding for suspected wrongdoing, and it prohibits the government from subjecting individuals arrested inside the United States to military detention unless they fall within certain narrow exceptions…. The detention of enemy combatants during military hostilities, however, is such an exception. If properly designated an enemy combatant pursuant to legal authority of the president, such persons may be detained without charge or criminal proceedings for the duration of the relevant hostilities."
As was pointed out by Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, who was steadfastly opposed to the majority verdict (and whose opinion was endorsed by Judges M. Blane Michael, Robert B. King, and Roger L. Gregory), "the duration of the relevant hostilities" is a disturbingly open-ended prospect. After citing the 2007 State of the Union Address, in which the president claimed that "The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others,'" Judge Motz noted, "Unlike detention for the duration of a traditional armed conflict between nations, detention for the length of a 'war on terror' has no bounds."
The Court of Appeals made its extraordinary ruling in relation to a habeas corpus claim in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, whose story I reported at length
here. To recap briefly, Marri, a Qatari national who had studied in Peoria, Ill., in 1991, returned to the United States in September 2001, with his U.S. residency in order, to pursue post-graduate studies, bringing his family – his wife and five children – with him. Three months later he was arrested and charged with fraud and making false statements to the FBI, but in June 2003, a month before he was due to stand trial for these charges in a federal court, the prosecution dropped the charges and informed the court that he was to be held as an "enemy combatant" instead.
He was then moved to a naval brig in Charleston, S.C., where he has now been held for five years and one month in complete isolation in a blacked-out cell in an otherwise unoccupied cell block. For the first 14 months of this imprisonment, when he received no visitors from outside the U.S. military or the security agencies, he was subjected to sleep deprivation and extreme temperature manipulation, frequently deprived of food and water, and interrogated repeatedly.


Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki speaks with the U.S. Democratic presidential candidate in Baghdad.

Sun shines on Obama's Iraq debut Obama Arrives in Baghdad
According to The Associated Press: "Barack Obama today began his first on-the-ground inspection of Iraq since launching his bid for the White House, with U.S. commanders ready to brief him on progress in a war he has long opposed and Iraqi leaders wanting more details of his proposals for troop withdrawals. His stop in Baghdad is the second major leg of a war zone tour that opened in Afghanistan. The contrasts in tone and message were distinct."

Obama Meets Afghan President Karzai in Kabul

Jul 20, 2008 04:10 EST
KABUL, July 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama met Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Sunday, the second day of a visit to Afghanistan that is meant to bolster the senator's foreign policy credentials.

Obama has previously criticised Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the hardline Islamist Taliban in 2001, but said the purpose of this trip was to listen rather than deliver strong messages.
Obama, part of a congressional delegation, was at the heavily guarded Afghan presidential palace in the capital Kabul and was having lunch with Karzai, a palace official said.
The Illinois senator will also visit Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain on a foreign tour he hopes will help answer Republican criticism that he does not have the experience to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Obama last week criticised Karzai in an interview with CNN.
"I think the Karzai government has not gotten out of the bunker and helped to organise Afghanistan, and the government, the judiciary, police forces, in ways that would give people confidence. So there are a lot of problems there," he said.
Once the darling of the West, Karzai has come under increasing criticism at home and abroad for failing to take tough action to clamp down on rampant corruption, tackle former warlords and stamp out record-breaking drug production -- all factors that feed the growing Taliban insurgency.

Hillraisers Donated Less Than $20,000 To Obama In June

By now, most political junkies know that Barack Obama raised a lot of money in June.
But his campaign's $52 million dollar take for the month becomes all the more impressive when considering the utter lack of help he received from Hillary Clinton's high-dollar fundraising machine. When comparing Obama's full FEC filing for June with a list of 311 "Hillraisers" -- or supporters who bundled more than $100,000 in contributions for Sen. Clinton -- the Huffington Post found only eight names in common between the two lists. Not all of those donors maxed out, either, making for a relatively paltry figure of $19,250 in direct, hard-money contributions from Hillraisers for the month.
That does not mean that only eight of Clinton's top donors have contributed to Obama since Clinton dropped out. Several dozen more Hillraisers are rumored to have donated in July, but those details will not be available until late August. Some other prominent Hillraisers, like Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, have hosted high-dollar events at their homes, drawing many more times the $4600 limit they each could have given individually by law.
But still, the fact that fewer than three percent of Clinton's donors have donated any money directly to Obama in his first month as presumptive nominee is likely to raise the eyebrows of some leaders in the Democratic Party who are hoping to see some signs of unity. Clinton suspended her campaign in early June, and officially endorsed Barack Obama
in a speech on June 7.

Obama To Blame For High Gas Prices!!!! Didn't Ya Know

New McCain Ad
¨Pump¨ TV Ad

Ignoring, for the moment, the idea that high gas prices are the fault of one senator as opposed to, say, the President of the United States, there are other objectionable aspects to McCain's latest spot. For starters, McCain is a recent convert to off-shore drilling, so his opposition (if it had an effect at all) is as responsible for our country's energy problems as Obama's. More significantly, of course, the implicit message of the ad -- that more drilling will lead to short-term relief at the pump -- is a notion disputed by every credible economist, including many of the 300 McCain claims support his candidacy.
Update: The Obama campaign responds, with a statement from spokesman Tommy Vietor.
"John McCain said recently that 'our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been thirty years in the making, and was caused by the failure of politicians in Washington.' As someone who's been in Washington for 26 years, Senator McCain is one of those politicians, and he's consistently opposed investments in renewable energy that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Now he's proposing nearly $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies and Washington gimmicks that he admits will only provide 'psychological relief' to consumers. Barack Obama has fought for energy independence in the Senate and has a plan to invest $150 billion in renewable sources of energy that will create five million new jobs and provide struggling families with an immediate energy rebate and a $1,000 middle-class tax cut."

Citing a lack of interest

Nevada GOP Cancels Convention, Opts for Conference Call

Brad Haynes reports on the presidential race.
Citing a lack of interest, the Nevada Republican Party has called off its state convention and will instead pick its delegates to the national convention by private conference call.
The state party broke up its original convention in April when supporters of Ron Paul hijacked the proceedings and tried to elect delegates for their candidate to the national GOP convention in September. Party officials tried to reconvene on July 26, but they needed a quorum of 675 and received only 300 RSVPs, according to
local reports.
“With so many people concerned about the economy, it simply wouldn’t be fair for us to ask delegates from all over the state to spend money to attend a convention if we know that a quorum won’t be present,” state party Chairwoman Sue Lowden said
in a release.


Night before Obama flies abroad, Rice bars embassies from aiding candidates
'If they want to rent a bus, show them where they can rent a bus'
The night before presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) left for Afghanistan, Iraq and Western Europe for a tour of US bases overseas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a cable to US missions forbidding them from holding events for presidential candidates or arrange meetings for them.
Rice issued no such cable prior to foreign excursions by presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
In a
cable sent late Thursday, according to a copy leaked to the Washington Times, Rice enjoined American diplomats to treat the candidates as "members of Congress visiting in personal or semi-personal capacities," but "with additional restrictions based on rules related to political activity."
"Provide de minimis assistance to the candidate with logistical arrangements," said the cable, according to the Times. "If the campaign staff wants to rent a bus for press, tell them where they can rent a bus."
Rice didn't issue the same demands in advance of travel by Sen. McCain. McCain visited the Middle East four months ago -- but officials told the paper they didn't make similar demands because he was part of an "official congressional delegation."
"American embassies and consulates around the world are actively engaged in official visits by members of Congress and other government leaders, the paper noted. "Diplomats meet the visitors at the airport, accompany them to meetings, most of which they have arranged, and host public events for them."
Rice made an effort in her cable to distance herself from claims that her decision might have been influenced by politics. >>>cont

Sunday, July 20, 2008

McCain adviser on Iraqi PM's Obama endorsement: 'We're f**ked'

Senator John McCain ridiculed Senator Obama's timetable for Iraq withdrawal as a tactic aimed only at getting votes.
For the Iraqi Prime minister, it apparently worked.
clear endorsement of Senator Barack Obama by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Saturday morning came as a strong blow to the McCain campaign.
McCain has claimed a superiority to Obama in matters of foreign policy as a major selling point to his candidacy for president, but that position is more difficult in the wake of al-Maliki's statement.
After hearing of the announcement, a sometime adviser to the McCain campaign said in an email, "We're f**ked," according to
Mark Ambinder of The Atlantic.
A senior McCain campaign official responded

Obama visit to Afghanistan

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