Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.I don't have anything much to add. GOP health care policies cost more in the long run and can kill.
A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.
If his mother had been insured.
If his family had not lost its Medicaid.
If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.
If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.
By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.
Deamonte's death and the ultimate cost of his care, which could total more than $250,000, underscore an often-overlooked concern in the debate over universal health coverage: dental care.
Some poor children have no dental coverage at all. Others travel three hours to find a dentist willing to take Medicaid patients and accept the incumbent paperwork. And some, including Deamonte's brother, get in for a tooth cleaning but have trouble securing an oral surgeon to fix deeper problems.
Ben Barnes name in Hollywood prostitute's phone book.
A political figure whose name appears is Ben Barnes, a former lieutenant governor of Texas, who drew attention during the 2004 presidential campaign by saying that he helped a young George W. Bush enter the Air National Guard to avoid the Vietnam-era draft.BBC Reported Building 7 Had Collapsed 20 Minutes Before It Fell - Video. This is the only building I find the conspiracy claims plausible. It was also a secret CIA HQ in New York. Does the CIA wire all their buildings to blow if necessary?
The Times reached Barnes by calling a cellphone number listed beside his name in Gibson's records.
"I have never met or talked to this broad in my entire life," Barnes said. He said he could not explain why his cellphone number was in her files.
Rumors - A financial analyst and fringe forecaster has said his contacts in Washington say the Iranian attack is scheduled for April 7. He also had an interesting story from China. China has too many US dollar securities and has recently decided we are a bad investment. The Treasury department sent officials to China when they learned they were prepared to dump a trillion dollars of them on the market. China said these are our investments and we can do as we please. The US officials said if you do we will blow up a hundred miles of your oil pipeline to Iran. China said: "You can't be serious. That would be insane."
The treasury officials replied, "Have you seen who is running our country lately?"
China decided to only gradually sell its US securities.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Why am I not surprised that the Washington Post does not report this part of their own poll? They have editorialized and reported against the Murtha plan to require troops to be fully equiped and rested before returning to Iraq.
Israel has supposedly received permission from some Arab states to overfly their countries if they attack Iran. There are reports this is only Israeli propaganda but Rice has had meetings with Israel and most Gulf states last week. Debka adds:
There is no knowing at this moment where these hectic war preparations by the US, Israel and Iran - joined by Syria, Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas - are leading. Neither can the prospects be weighed of the floating Saudi effort to halt or curtail Iran’s advance towards nuclear armament. However, a rogue factor must be taken into account: an unforeseen military or terrorist act against US targets in Iraq, against Lebanon and Israel - or a clandestine operation inside Iran - may well overload the delicate balance of terror and tip the crisis into dangerous waters....The US offer to talk to Iran is predicated on Iran first stopping uranium enrichment and then the US will talk to Iran about stopping uranium enrichment. The US and Israeli will rachet up the pressure on Iran until it stops enrichment or they find a pretext to attack. Russia is opposed to this pressure and is selling Iran anti-air and helping them build a nuclear reactor.
The standoff at this stage has too many unknown and changeable elements and is therefore too volatile for responsible predictions one way or the other.
Why is this not the big story today? - Bush-Cheney funneling money to Al Qaeda and insurgent related groups.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
The new direction of our foreign and military Middle Eastern policy that benefits our enemies. See here for how this ties in to the coming attack on Iran.
A special to air on the Discovery Channel will be on a recently discovered tomb in Jerusalem. In addition to Jesus, the tomb contained a number of stone coffins inscribed with New Testament names including a name Mary Magdalene may have been known under and one labeled Judah, son of Jesus.
Scholars know that from 30 B.C. to 70 A.D., many people in Jerusalem would first wrap bodies in shrouds after death. The bodies were then placed in carved rock tombs, where they decomposed for a year before the bones were placed in an ossuary.The Discovery Channel has set up a website here for the special which will air March 4. There are some theological considerations if the mortal remains of Jesus, his wife and a possible son have been found. This would mostly have to do with those who believe Jesus physically ascended to Heaven and those who believe not only is the Bible literally true but means what they traditionally have taught it means. The Catholic Church might be more rocked by this discovery if true than some other churches.
Five of the 10 discovered boxes in the Talpiot tomb were inscribed with names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament: Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph and Mary Magdalene. A sixth inscription, written in Aramaic, translates to "Judah Son of Jesus."
In addition to the "Judah son of Jesus" inscription, which is written in Aramaic on one of the ossuaries, another limestone burial box is labeled in Aramaic with "Jesus Son of Joseph." Another bears the Hebrew inscription "Maria," a Latin version of "Miriam," or, in English, "Mary." Yet another ossuary inscription, written in Hebrew, reads "Matia," the original Hebrew word for "Matthew." Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It reads, "Mariamene e Mara," which can be translated as, "Mary known as the master."
Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University, told Discovery News, "Mariamene, or Mariamne, probably was the actual name given to Mary Magdalene."
Bovon explained that he and a colleague discovered a fourteenth century copy in Greek of a fourth century text that contains the most complete version of the "Acts of Philip" ever found. Although not included in the Bible, the "Acts of Philip" mentions the apostles and Mariamne, sister of the apostle Philip.
"When Philip is weak, she is strong," Bovon said. "She likely was a great teacher who even inspired her own sect of followers, called Mariamnists, who existed from around the 2nd to the 3rd century."
Archaeological discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic very early documents found in Egypt have yet to be integrated into traditional Christian theology. It seems clear to me that the Jesus movement was badly splintered at the end of the first century and that the branch controlled by the family of Jesus lead by his brother James lost out to their bitter rivals lead by Paul who began converting non-Jews. The Catholic Church was the heir to Paul's fraction and suppressed history and documents they considered heretical when they became a state supported religion of the militaristic Roman Empire much later.
Most Christians would not support my interpretation.
UPDATE - A very thoughtful response but I disagree with him about the probability that this is related to Jesus's family based on the Discovery name frequency analysis. While not 600-1 in favor I would say about 100-1 it is. The Discovery Channel does imply that the other recently found ossuary inscribed with “Yaakov bar Yosef a khui d’ Yeshua,” or “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” in Aramaic, belongs in the missing space in the tomb, not that it is present. Expanded news.
The Dallas Morning News picks up The Nation on its Op-Ed pages. This I am sure was chosen to balance out the Dallas Op-Ed Sunday pages with its counter-weight being a Weekly Standard look at the changes in GOP front runners.
An intriguing issue and one that has been debated in liberal policy magazines for the last few years. Populism doesn't have the ringing endorsement of the professional middle-class yet but with out-sourcing becoming a bigger and bigger issue that is starting to change. Populism was the winning issue for some high-profile Democrats in the West and South in 2006. Part of the appeal is that Democrats can be tough and be for something and on the attack instead of running as a technocrat with 12-point programs to tweak policy issues.
I found it a little amusing but troubling to hear a friend of mine who works for a NASA subcontractor and is a solid Republican saying that the unionized industries of America should go bankrupt as it was only the lean nimble companies that outsourced all the jobs overseas that should survive. The NASA subcontractors are anything but lean and nimble and are full of over-paid managing engineers like my friend. These white color jobs and government related jobs are the coming trend in outsourcing. Will he feel still the same way when an Indian or Chinese engineer is assigned his projects for one fifth his salary?
I think populism is generally the way to go and that is why I support John Edwards for President. Edwards also has a natural charisma that highly successful politicians seem to have. I think in 2007 he might start to be seen as a more rugged Kennedy and his Two Americas populist campaign, which has been named One Corps, is only becoming more relevant. I am not locked in to John Edwards as we have a strong group of Democrats running this year. Interesting that the most conservative one is Hillary.
A video on a new site demonstrates the Right Wing Media Machine tactic of sliming.
"Sliming" is the rabid, rapid, media barrage of persistently repeated lies and innuendo mastered by the right-wing media machine, which aims to tar candidates with negative associations before their campaigns get rolling. Or alternatively, to bruise them enough so that they will suffer under the burden of damaged goods as they try to gain footing.Many of the So-Called Liberal Media will feed and reinforce a story line that gets established this way. That was part of what the open distribution of a 69-page book of GOP smears as talking points on every leading Democratic presidential candidate was about last week, to have all the GOP and conservative media spokespeople be on the same page echoing and re-echoing the slime talking point. Now, why isn't this the Sunday talk show story? Because the millionaire pundits are getting the same talking points and picking up the cocktail talk of their GOP friends.
The conservative roots usually puts out a speculative story through Fox News or Matt Drudge (of the Drudge Report), a powerful mouthpiece for the Bush White House. Then the right-wing echo reverberates as the lies make their way to talk radio and the right-wing blogosphere. Eventually, it gets picked up and carried by the mainstream media, with few understanding where the story originated.
The way to stop Fox News is for Democrats to either not go on their shows at all, which Obama is trying, or to go on their aggressively like Bill Clinton and instantly get in their face as they start their misleading reframing tactics.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.This isn't good. For them to speak, even anonymously, they must think an attack is likely and the consequences are as bad as I fear.
Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.
BTW - The Times is the Conservative paper, the liberal Guardian has this story - Iran calls for talks before new sanctions and picks up the conservative (despite what the wingnuts say) AP story: Iran: The United States is in no position to attack.
And from liberal Scotland: Iran - caught in US gunsights. Note this also reports a third carrier moving to the Arabian Sea.
DEBKAfile: No sign of Iran backing down.
DEBKAfile Reports: US forces in Iraq given permission to attack nuclear and military targets in Iran when a high-casualty attack is traced to Tehran.
Scott Ritter - "We’re going to war with Iran. It’s going to happen. There’s nothing we can do to stop it.”.
"America suffers from the French complex" today in the Middle East.
BTW Iran and Syria have a mutual defense treaty. The neocons know this.
UPDATE: Pentagon develops plan to strike Iran in 24-hours. Cheney's group in the pentagon has developed a quick strike plan which would attack Iran 24 hours after receiving word from Bush, Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker reveals in the new issue. The New Yorker in its current issue reveals that tough talk to Iran is keeping oil prices up, helping Iranian hardliners.
Hersh article now up: Shows Cheney office leading support for Sunni insurgents attacking our troops if they are also attacking Iranian influence.
US intelligence on Iran does not stand up, say Vienna sources. In a close parallel to pre-Iraq war hype, US intel reports of Iranian cheating on UN inspections do not lead inspectors to signs of banned activity.
My probability of a US attack on Iran within weeks leaning above 50% now.
Advocating breaking the law and then lying about it and then using sloppy reasoning that would flunk a freshman student might be a violation of university standards for a law professor. Reynold's and friends response is no, critics of Reynold's incomparable punditry should be fired.
Also - hacker brings down pervert judge. Perhaps someone should see what other trash is on Reynold's computers. Just a suggestion, I find that idiotic sanctimonious creeps often brush aside all concerns of legality and morality for their own self-centered reasons. Considering how he advocates this for our leaders....
Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.US plans to attack both open and subtle.
To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon.
"I don't think the decision has been made to do a pre-emptive strike. I do think everything is being put in place as if that were the plan," says [military analyst and advisor] Gardiner, who has conducted war-games planning on Iran. "That press conference in Baghdad was about telling the world that Iran has done enough, has done aggression, against the U.S. I think it was about setting down a marker - that we have the authority to strike Iran."Cheney hints at Iran strike while in Australia
"If you hit Iran, she is going to hit back," says Wayne White, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute and former intelligence analyst in the State Department.
"It would not be a surgical operation. It would virtually be a war against Iran ... and there wouldn't be any end game," he says. "The last person who attacked Iran in order to push the Iranians back as a threat was Saddam Hussein - and he ended up in an eight-year war with 150,000 to 200,000 Iraqi casualties."
"You get various estimates of where the point of no return is," Mr Cheney said, identifying nuclear terrorism as the greatest threat to the world.Israel denies reports.
"Is it when they possess weapons or does it come sooner, when they have mastered the technology but perhaps not yet produced fissile material for weapons?"
"Those who do not want to take political, diplomatic, economic steps against Iran are diverting attention to the mission we are supposedly said to be conducting," Sneh said.Israel might have a problem seeing Iran.
"(They) are anxious to spread the idea that we are planning to attack Iran in order to absolve themselves of the need to do the things that have been requested of them," he added
Bush plans limited nuclear winter to balance global warming - satire.
Houston Congressman challenged on Iran at Town hall meeting.
Petition with 100,000 signatures to not attack Iran. Other petitions are out there.
A neocon wet dream.
Can you demonstrate how unethical a blogger you can be? Paul the Spud asks that question and shows the competition you are up against to get on Fox News new show.
If you want to be in lights and on the screen entering this wouldn't require running through slime except for artistic purposes.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Teresa Nielsen Hayden comments on a follower in the right leaning footsteps of L. Ron Hubbard and Orson Scott Card. Dafydd ab Hugh was a dense ignorant jerk who thought he was smart with no listening, empathic or social skills on online SF forums for years. This makes him a perfect conservative blogger. In his role as a conservative blogger he gets to smear much more competent people.
What an ugly site he has, written as someone also not any good at blog design.
I recently reluctantly trashed one of Patrick Neilsen Harden's co-edited story collections with a one-star review despite my admiration for his blogging skills and the editing and story selection skills he has shown elsewhere.
I think this link won't make it up to him - Patrick makes an clever Asimov reference.
20,000 attend Sen. Obama rally in Austin - photos
Obama in Houston photos. I know people who went to this fundraiser.
Obama Storms Austin.
UPDATE - 21,841 Texans For Obama in the Rain.
John Edwards the Standout at first Democratic candidate gathering.
John Edwards calls for living wage for university service workers.
From Cheney admitting Iraq is a quagmire that we need to stay in to prove we are tough to a neocon saying Bush will attack Iran to our Iraqi allies warning insurgents to hide their weapons because the Americans are coming to New Yorkers lining up to kick Bush in the ass. One of the reasons the WP online is worth reading and viewing.
TNR, which published my first letter to the editor, has been sold and will no longer be a weekly. At one time a predominately Jewish liberal policy magazine it had turned mostly right a years ago. It seemed to reflect a hawkish Jewish perspective - advocating a very aggressive foreign policy while being moderately liberal on social issues. The publishers were big Bush supporters while the news media would often claim it reflected conventional Democratic positions. According to Politico they have changed direction back to the Left recently. They still are not considered part of the new liberalism of the internet and MoveOn etc. and they might be considered as reflecting establishment moderate-conservative Democratic views.
The new Politico has conservative leanings and has been called on for spreading GOP misinformation. Media Matters has been accused of being an internet pro-Clinton publication.
Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican PR firm, ran a poll against a probable skewed sample where all the choices were Republican talking points. It is all the Right Media Machine can talk about. The poll, not the bias, of course.
Unlike the established presidential straw poll in Iowa, in which any registered Iowa voter can participate, the Texas GOP poll will be restricted to previous participants in political conventions. As many as 15,000 to 20,000 activists could participate, party spokesman Hans KIingler said.Rigging their own poll, not surprising.
Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Amber Moon dismissed the GOP event as a "gimmick" designed to disguise a "lackluster field" of Republican candidates.
By restricting the poll to former convention delegates, Benkiser is trying to give the "extreme right" more influence in the selection process, Moon said. Recent Republican conventions have been dominated by social conservatives.
With national stature candidates in the running, local candidates without massive fund-raising ability are dropping. Vilsak has some interesting comments. Low in polls in home state and inability to raise money after his big initial fund-raiser were the real reasons.
With another couple of million or public financing he would still be in. Do we really want public financing of primaries? I support public financing of the general election but why give people with no chance money even before they can get their party to support them.
Cheney and the neo-cons just don't quit. One of the leaders in spreading fake intelligence getting us into Iraq, which he refuses to apologize for and is actually proud of, has according to the Wall Street Journal been appointed to handle reconstruction and reimbursement in Baghdad for the US troop surge. I said well over a year ago we should just abduct him in Baghdad and turn him over to Jordan to serve his bank fraud conviction. Like Saddam, like Noriega, neocons continue to use crooks until they decide it serves their purposes to turn on them.
Interesting article about the pressure being put on moderate-conservative DLC Democrats in liberal districts. Unless they shape up they could face primary challenges from the left. I spotted this on Gregg's blog.
"Sure, he has no foreign or national policy experience, and both his personal life and political career are riddled with scandal. But in the key area of having been on TV on 9/11, the other candidates simply cannot match him. And as we saw in 2004, that's what matters most to voters in this post-9/11 world."Link from Buzzfeed.
"People talk about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but did either of them happen to be mayor of New York in September 2001? Guiliani was. To me, that speaks volumes about this man."
- The Onion
Tags: Rudy Giuliani,
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Past participants in the 2000 Gore campaign are quietly gathering, petitions are being signed and the buzz will only get louder after an Oscar win and a Nobel peace prize.
ApostlesAl Gore - Superstar.
What's the buzz
Tell me what's a-happening
Why should you want to know?
Don't you mind about the future
Don't you try to think ahead
Save tomorrow for tomorrow
Think about today instead
I could give you facts and figures
I could give you plans and forecasts
Even tell you where I'm going.
What's the buzz
Tell me what's happening
Why should you want to know
Why are you obsessed with fighting
Times and fates you can't defy?
If you knew the path we're riding
You'd understand it less than I.
Tell the rabble to be quiet
We anticipate a riot
This common crowd
Is much too loud
Tell the mob who sing your song
That they are fools and they are wrong.
If you'd come today
You could have reached a whole nation
Isreal in 4 BC
Had no mass communication.
Don't you get me wrong
(Don't you get me wrong, now)
Don't you get me wrong
(Only want to know)
Only want to know
Why are we the prophets?
Why are we the ones?
Who see the sad solution
Know what must be done?
The Pentagon, in its most recent quarterly report to Congress, listed Basra as one of five cities outside Baghdad where violence remained "significant," and said the region was one of only two "not ready for transition" to Iraqi authorities.The Iraq war is even more unpopular in Britain than the US. However, contrary to KTRH's military expert I heard yesterday, Blair did not pull out to prevent a vote of no confidence. Blair has already promised to resign between May and September of this year. Blair needs the troops from Iraq in Afghanistan as he is well aware that is a more important staging area for international terrorists and that the West is losing Afghanistan to the Taliban.
Most analysts say the prime minister's assertion that significant progress had been made in securing southern Iraq stretched the facts. Though the south is not nearly as violent and chaotic as the capital and the Sunni heartland to the west, it remains jittery, unstable and frequently bloody. Shiite militias and armed gangs lord over such cities as Basra and Amarah, as well as the long, desolate stretches of roadway through the marshlands and deserts of the south.
British bases in Basra regularly come under mortar fire. British troops engage in almost daily gunfights with militiamen. In recent months, the British all but evacuated their downtown base and moved to a more secure site on the grounds of the city's airport.
A study on the south issued this week by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank that has been sympathetic to the Bush administration's foreign policy goals, describes southern Iraq in dire terms. It notes that Basra, once one of Iraq's more liberal and cosmopolitan cities, has become a bastion for Islamists who use the south's vast oil wealth to "fill their war chests."
"The province has suffered one of the worst reversals of fortune of any area in Iraq since the fall of Saddam [Hussein]'s regime," the report says.
Why the White House spins? It is more important for the administration to lie to the American people to keep more of the Republican Party from defecting over Iraq than to acknowledge that the Bush-Cheney Iraq policies have not worked and that no one thinks the new plan, same as the old plan, is any better. This "new plan" is the same plan that was tried last summer with a few more troops. That failed miserably after two months with the realization that it had increased the violence and didn't work.
For details on the Bush "secret" plan they were leaked to a conservative blogger
While there are big problems with the Iranian sympathizers who run the current Iraqi government I don't think a new consititution that the US imposes, contrary to its stated policies in Iraq, will cure them and they will remain the majority in power. Democracy is like that. When the Iraqi prime minister has to support a gang rape to appease the religious majority it is time to leave, not change the constitution.
Update - view the Pentagon map on Iraq provinces.
Record Georgia police officer speeding, get charged with stalking.
Where did Iran get its nuclear reactors? From Cheney, Rumsfeld, Kissinger and Wolfowitz long before Russia.
MoveOn's anti-War with Iran petition.
Fly to Eastern Europe on Dental and Medical Savings.
Florida has no problems with teen sex, but teens who photograph themselves go to jail for child porn.
News, what news? While America obsessed about Brittany's shaved head, Bush offered a budget that offers $32.7 billion in tax cuts to the Wal-Mart family alone, while cutting $28 billion from Medicaid.
Another win for Bush's military-industrial supporters.
Lead in popular lipstick brands - another urban myth.
Contributions from Jim, Gary and Amy.
Discussions about boycotts of Fox News and their advertisers.
Here are short documentation films of the lies they use to show advertisers. We watch FOX so you don't have to. The Fox News Disinfo Channel. Complain to the FTC about Fox News - Unfair and Unbalanced. Join the Campaign against the Conservative Republican Network. List of advertisers. How Fox News slanted debates it hosted. There were past boycotts, one of many.
I have mixed opinions about this. I am open to the free exchange of ideas. I would rather see more opinions on the airwaves and not less. On the other hand, until there is a level playing field I don't mind trying to to hamper the lies broadcast from one side.
Josh is blogging about the increasing buzz that the attorney firings in the Justice Department were to prevent one of the worst bribery scandals in history from spreading. In fact, were six of the firings meant as cover to remove the California prosecutor? Here is part of the California congressional corruption scandal that needs more investigation. Meanwhile, his TPM Muckrakers are uncovering another breaking sex and corruption scandal at the Interior Department.
What are the Republicans doing about the corruption in their party? Sending out a large talking points book to supporters instructing them how to demean every Democratic candidate for President. GOP strategy is to always smear first, take questions after talking points are developed later.
While I am glad the left blogosphere has regained two fine female voices I am still peeved about how that played out.
This was a victory for an anti-Semitic homophobe and a bitch who supports concentration camps.
I can call Bible-thumpers ignorant superstitious misogynists who don't know history and confuse myths with truth and I would be supported by all the founding fathers. Washington and Adams even pushed a treaty through Congress that declared "the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." This was published in the major papers of the day with no public dissent. Adams made a specific point of stating "I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof." If anyone has the vapors over historical facts they can kiss my big red, white, blue and green ass.
A faulty tract that disagrees with my assessment is here. The writer with little real American historical knowledge even falsely states that religion was "left to the states."
I am also annoyed that about a year before the first primary the media has declared two front runners in each party the real choices.
I am not peeved about income taxes, yet. So far I have done my father and stepmother's return and while I think that the medical expense deduction threshold of 7.5% of income is too high and am annoyed that the charitable contributions is only part of itemized deductions and not a separate non-itemized item and also object to not being able to deduct for a $6,000 fraud because of their tax situation, overall it didn't really get me ticked off. Maybe the three more returns I do soon will raise my annoyance threshold.
So, what are you peeved about?
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
When the US attacks Iran, for either working on nuclear weapons or over accusations it armed militants attacking US forces in Iraq, it will be a massive attack.
Iran repels simulated air attack in war games.
CNN also reported that Iran was testing swarming near Basra with small attack boats.
Jesselyn Radack was a normal legal advisor in the Justice Department, excellent evaluations, until she received a call one day. The call was what to do if the FBI insists on interrogating a suspect without a lawyer present. She replied that of course it was unconstitutional. After several calls and emails where she pointed out the clear responsibility to follow the law and the Constitution she was asked to resign and the emails were hidden by the Justice Department.
When I went to check the hard copy file, the e-mails containing my assessment that the FBI had committed an ethical violation in Lindh's interrogation were gone.An article in The New Yorker Magazine confirms this story. She has now been blackballed by the Bush Justice Department from the legal profession. Her problem, she believed the law applied to all American citizens - even the man called the American Taliban. She has a new article in the National Law Journal warning others of her experiences.
With the help of technical support, I resurrected the missing e-mails from my computer archives. I documented and included them in a memo to my boss and took home a copy for safekeeping in case they "disappeared" again. Then I resigned.
Months later, as the Justice Department continued to claim that it never believed at the time of his interrogation Lindh had a lawyer, I disclosed the e-mails to Newsweek in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act.
When I blew the whistle after my advice urging restraint was disregarded and then destroyed, the Justice Department leaned heavily on my private law firm--Hawkins Delafield & Woo--to fire me. Hawkins, being a bunch of invertebrates, placed me on a "leave of absence sine die" because of "the need of the clients of Hawkins." (Really, they were afraid of firing me because they knew they'd have a wrongful termination suit on their hands. By putting me on an indefinite, unpaid, involuntary leave of absence, they thought they could have it both ways--getting the government off their back without me suing them.)She has a new book out about what it is like to become one of the Americans relentlessly aggressively prosecuted by this administration for attempting to defend the Constitution.
After "leave of absence" dragged into a constructive discharge, DOJ then assisted Hawkins in contesting my award of unemployment compensation that barely paid for groceries each week. Since when does the government orchestrate the firing of a private person and assist a private employer in contesting the employee's receipt of unemployment benefits?
The Justice Department aggressively attacked Radack, costing her a job there and a later job with a private law firm, threatening her license to practice law, damaging her reputation, denying her income, placing her on the "no-fly" list, and endlessly harassing her. Her book recounts the hell she went through.Her story is in The War on Civil Liberties: How Bush and Ashcroft Have Dismantled the Bill of Rights and other books as well.
This book offers a poignant illustration of the erosion of civil rights and liberties in the "war on terrorism." It brings into sharp focus the critical question of whether we can respond effectively to the new threat of terrorism without jeopardizing the very freedoms and fundamental principles that characterize a democratic society. - ANTHONY LEWIS
New York Times
Jim prompted me to do a write up after I had heard about her case the day before.
Monday, February 19, 2007
There is a flap going on about the new Newberry Children's literature award winner. The book includes the word scrotum.
The same folks who complain about evolution are now banning this new book from school libraries and classrooms. “I don’t want to start an issue about censorship but you won’t find men’s genitalia in quality literature. At least not for children.” - a librarian.
The book is aimed at 10 - 12-year-olds.
In the book this is about a ten-year-old overhearing a conversation about a dog bite and wondering what a scrotum is.
Are we missing the big picture - when should children learn about the body parts and their names?
I would start very early, before the kids have adult development they should learn anatomy in biology and health classes. A good argument is made to start at home with your 3 and 4-year-olds.
According to the Guidelines For Comprehensive Sexuality Education kids should be taught the word scrotum in elementary school at ages 4 - 8, (page 25). Religious groups have been fighting these recommendations for the last few decades.
The Free Will Baptists deplore this program as teaching secular humanism and leading children to Satan. Another religious group considers it all part of the "secret, social and political corruption of America's powerful, government financed Lesbian Mafia."
Texas does not require sexuality education. The Texas Education Code states that if a school district does teach sex education, HIV/AIDS prevention, or sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention education, then it must stress abstinence only methods and have a board of parents, and not educators, overseeing the program.
Some Texas school districts, like Lubbock's, have turned over high school sex education to outside religious groups. This has resulted in a soaring teenage pregnancy rate and increasing STDs as students are told condoms don't work, a pledge of sexual purity will. This was documented in the documentaries Texas Teenage Virgins and The Education of Shelby Knox. According to the Texas Department of Health’s statistics, 3.64 percent of Lubbock’s teens were pregnant in 2002, and in 2003, Lubbock had 1,725 STD cases. Lubbock tops the charts for teenage gonorrhea rates, which are twice the national average. The Dixie Chicks support Shelby.
Texas ranks 45th in family planning. Texas also ranks 1st in pregnancies in young women under the age of 13. Department of State Health Services says:
1 of every 11 eighteen-year-olds gets pregnant
1 of every 16 seventeen-year-olds gets pregnant.
1 of every 27 sixteen-year-olds gets pregnant.
1 of every 58 fifteen-year-olds gets pregnant.
1 of every 967 thirteen-year-olds gets pregnant.
1 of every 5,280 twelve-year-olds or younger gets pregnant.
If your 10 and 12-year-olds don't know what a scrotum is and librarians and teachers want to keep it that way, America, you have a problem. This problem is worse in Texas.
PS - Amanda Marcotte wrote Texas conservatives want to force your little girl to have a baby among her other controversial posts.
As Clinton Runs, Some Old Foes Stay on Sideline - New York Times
Christopher Ruddy, who once worked full-time for Mr. Scaife investigating the Clintons and now runs a conservative online publication he co-owns with Mr. Scaife, said, “Both of us have had a rethinking.”This is not a good sign for liberals. Every so often the conservative money baggers feel a Democrat will probably win and back the most acceptable Democrat for them and their friends. Hillary is their choice now. She will likely have even more tons of money and great PR.
“Clinton wasn’t such a bad president,” Mr. Ruddy said. “In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways, and Dick feels that way today.”
There is a BuzzFeed about Bill Clinton being appointed Senator from New York if she wins. I think Hillary has other uses for him.
AP - "It's a huge strategic mistake not to be dealing directly with Iran," Edwards told the Associated Press in an interview before a campaign event in Dubuque.Edwards being a millionaire somehow is the talking point for the right noise machine. Why don't they look into the financial deals and homes of their leaders? Because this isn't an informative discourse but attempts to play gotcha in politics.
"What we should be doing with Iran, both on the Iraq issue and the nuclear issue, is being much smarter than we're being now. We have tools available to us to engage them."
Edwards also addressed criticism aimed at his campaign pledge to fight poverty in America. In recent weeks, Edwards has taken heat for his new multimillion-dollar home in North Carolina, which features a handball court, swimming pool and basketball court.
Laughing at a question about the home, Edwards said the work he and his wife, Elizabeth, have done to help less fortunate people speaks for itself.
"We've shown that commitment through our lives, not just in our public lives but in our private lives as well," he said.
Interesting article that Obama and Hillary seem more religious than the GOP front runners. I think the hypocrisy in private lives may get a little play in 2008.
In other news....
We certainly have a policy failure in Iraq. Big time.Amanda Marcotte, formerly with the Edward's campaign, makes the case for the "vulgar masses," defends her use of terms like "Christofascist," and recounts her experience with the right-wing smear machine. Houston's conservative Democratic blogger thinks her language and her referring to the Bible as a record of myths makes her beyond the pale. At least Greg likes Duckman.
Tony Blankley let the cat out of the bag, however, when he said that the US will be in Iraq for 20 years. When challenged about the difference between American combat troops on the ground an an American "presence" he (angrily)said this:The fact is that when the oil is challenged in the Saudi oil fields and the Straights of Hormuz are closed, we'll be fighting even by your definition.Right. They aren't even pretending anymore.
I think the great public intellectual and conservative philosopher Ann Coulter said it best:"Liberals are always talking about why we shouldn't go to war for oil. But why not go to war for oil? We need oil.
Republicans were for funding cutoffs for our troops before they were against it:
In a 108-64 vote Wednesday, House Republicans backed a measure that would cut off funding for the mission.....The measure drafted by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was given the best chance of winning Senate approval Wednesday....David Brooks, advocate for authoritarianism. "The centrality and necessity of obedience is a long-running theme for Brooks..."
The Senate debated three options: Cut off funding, a proposal given little chance of passing; oppose Clinton's decision to send troops but support the soldiers themselves, expected to gain Republican support; or permit Clinton to send troops but impose restrictions on the mission, also considered likely to pass
When does a Republican activist gets referred to in the newspapers as a "purported peace activist?" When he gets indicted for sending money to terrorist training camps.
Grand Moff Texan: "As the last six years have shown, Republicans can’t run a country. All they can run is a smear campaign."
NSA and ATT are listening to you.
Sacrilege at Redstate.org, conservative's top recommended post muddles religion, politics, Jesus and the Bible with smears of national leaders.
The NYT editorializes against making martial law easier and the erosion of civil rights.
Bush's Iraq reconstruction plan won't work says rebuilding group leader.
Krugman on Hillary and Edwards and admitting mistakes.
It Can Happen Here - The authoritarian peril facing America in Salon.
More Jonah Goldberg smears and Britt Hume smears and more from Greenwald in Salon.
The Great Right Wing Brain Glitch of 2007 - Tom Tomorrow.
Tags: Iran, Edwards, Salon.com, religion, politics, Iraq, hypocrisy, GOP, Republicans, conservatives, conservative Democrats, NSA, ATT, news
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Iran is aware of the US war preparations and in an Iranian press article mentions that six US carriers and a similar number of amphib carriers could be off of Iran within a month.
Two carriers in the region, the USS John C Stennis and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, could quickly be joined by three more now at sea: USS Ronald Reagan, USS Harry S Truman and USS Theodore Roosevelt, as well as by USS Nimitz. Each carrier force includes hundreds of cruise missiles.NYT - Iran accuses US of supplying bomb materials to its insurgents
Then there are the marines, who are not tied down fighting in Iraq. Several marine forces are assembling, each with its own aircraft carrier. These carrier forces can each conduct a version of the D-Day landings. They come with landing craft, tanks, jump-jets, thousands of troops and, yes, hundreds more cruise missiles. Their task is to destroy Iranian forces able to attack oil tankers and to secure oilfields and installations. They have trained for this mission since the Iranian revolution of 1979.
Today, marines have the USS Boxer and USS Bataan carrier forces in the Gulf and probably also the USS Kearsarge and USS Bonhomme Richard. Three others, the USS Peleliu, USS Wasp and USS Iwo Jima, are ready to join them. Earlier this year, HQ staff to manage these forces was moved from Virginia to Bahrain....
Sources in the region as well as trade journals confirm that the US has built three bases in Azerbaijan that could be transit points for troops and with facilities equal to its best in Europe.
Iran accused the United States and Pakistan of arming and basing Sunni insurgents who killed 11 people in Zahedan last week. A confession of the group leader and a photo of the US material was provided by Iran. Some evidence that the photo was manipulated and expanded from a smaller number of items provided by the men with little green balls.
ADDED: Natasha highlights the Democrats talking sense on Iran.
One of Texas's top lawmakers is trying to repeal the teaching of evolution but according to this memo this is only the start of his superstitious beliefs he will try to impose.
He is following the lead of his friend a Georgia legislator and using The Fair Education Foundation, Inc. for his source material. According to FEFI's website the Earth does not revolve on its axis, the universe is limited to the solar system, the Big Bang never happened, evolution is just the tip of the big lies of so-called science, and all of science from the Renaissance on and even before is just a vast Jewish conspiracy.
Is this some harmless crank? No, Republican Rep. Warren Chisum is the head of the Texas House Appropriations Committee which is responsible for all state funding.
We get hints of the far right worldview of the Republican Party of Texas from their party platform but Chisum as one of their leaders now reveals this is just the beginning of their attempts to send Texas back to the Middle Ages and eliminate modern science and all of its benefits.
Believers in real science should ask themselves why even fund Texas schools or keep colleges available to the middle class if they are going to be filling children's heads with fundamentalist Christian fantasies and eliminate "Jewish conspiracy" science?
Call your state representative and tell them to oppose any Republican education budget plans coming from the House Republican leadership that touch on what matters can be taught.
Thanks for Capitol Annex and Burnt Orange for the memo catch.
UPDATE: I see the Houston Chronicle already caught this.
Boing Boing has the Georgia side of the story.
Update from Kuff - Chisum apologizes, but still doesn't get it. Says he is not anti-Jewish, doesn't get the problem.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
This is suddenly gathering steam. AL Gore would be my first choice if he was running.
Did you know a senior editor at the Gallup Poll was fired for writing a book that showed that Al Gore really won in 2000? The media stampede calling the Florida vote for Bush led by Fox News created the conditions that enabled the GOP to persuade judges that they could halt a recount.
This belongs elsewhere - but I don't want to make another post - Why is David Lindorff not on Meet the Press and other pundit shows? Because he says things like Bush should be committed after he is impeached.
Ron Paul also comments on the "demented Bush philosophy" on the floor of Congress in this video.
I know I am a liberal but what are you? Liberals sworn enemies are the
Good news - there are twice as many liberals as the wingnuts. We are similar demographically in being white, better-off, educated, but differ fundamentally in what we believe. The overall report is a bit out of date. Bush and the Iraq occupation and the GOP were more popular then.
A little catch up post.
What if the Rapture occurred just like Bush's supporters are waiting for.... except God knows who's hearts are in the right place. This is being serialized here, start with chapter one. A liberal Left Behind.
According to the Pentagon's Iraq invasion presentation prewar, by now we are down to 5,000 troops in Iraq.
Murtha stand up. Threatens to block Bush-Cheney Iran strike.
Biden seeks to revoke Iraq war resolution
Should the military option be off the table for handling Iran? Ezra has the experts who say yes, and here. Think Progress has a another round up of experts who think there are no good military options on Iran.
Just another the-only-good-Muslim-is-a-dead-Muslim GOP congressman.
in 2004, 53 cents of every dollar in salary increases went to the top one percent. The other 297 million or so of us had to split the remaining 47 cents. And federal policy isn't blameless either. In 2006, folks in the bottom fifth got an average of $20 in tax cuts, raising their incomes by 0.3%. Those in the middle fifth received average cut of $740, boosting their incomes by 2.5%. And those in the top one percent received average tax cuts of $44,000, boosting their incomes by more than 5%. And the rich grow richer grow richer grow richer...Call Bush's bluff now.
Bush, perhaps deliberately, accused wrong Iranian leader.
Lines in the Sand, a new book chronicling the mid-decade Texas redistricting and the downfall of Tom DeLay.
CSM - Al Qaeda calls for attacks on oil facilities worldwide to weaken US.
Former Marines in social justice class admit to being proud of killing innocent Iraqis. Professor goes on a rant. Right wants professor fired.
The other writer the Right doesn't think supports the troops and wants fired.
Pelosi: Bush Lacks Authority to Invade Iran.
Texas considering earlier primary.
George Lakoff is right, escalation is a key word, DLC President Bruce Reed is wrong.
Liberal blog FireDogLake puts newspaper reporting to shame on Libby trial.
GOP has sold out conservatives, in worst shape than 1974.
Two major right bloggers now advocate killing of Muslim scientists, an assassination war.
And a close from Ezra again: Terry McAuliffe, now chairing the Hillary campaign, just luvs those billionaires.
I am off the Lefty blogs feed but that is a glitch related to the new Blogger, I think.
Evolution in Action, Kansas State School Board repeals ID and creationist policies.
The Iran debate at TPM - Baer starts off bad, Max notes first blog opposition, Ed tries to deconflate, Baer links to a semi-supporter, Larry Johnson gets it right. That was all at the Josh's Coffee House table, the Cafe's foreign policy table is nearly all Iran right now too.
Pew - War support slips further, growing pessimism about war, deficit and rich-poor gap.
“Whose life would be on my hands as the commander in chief because I, unilaterally, went beyond international law, went beyond the stated mission, and said we’re going to show our macho? We’re going into Baghdad. We’re going to be an occupying power — American in an Arab land — with no allies at our side? It would have been disastrous.” That was George H. W. Bush to a reunion of Gulf War veterans, Feb. 28, 1999.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
In a replay of their paper's coverage leading up to the Iraq war, the Washington Post buries important Iranian news inside. Colin Powell also recieved overtures from Iran that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld rejected. "This document did not come through official channels but rather was a creative exercise on the part of the Swiss ambassador," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said yesterday.
If Bush was determined to attack Iran with overwhelming force what would our carriers and strategic air force be doing? - What they are doing now.
When will they attack? - Between March 15 and April 18 of this year. Bush and Cheney's preparations appear complete and the pieces are already moving into place.
See my previous reports here, here, here, and all of these here.
Besides myself, other like Paul Rogers, have noticed the USS Reagan moving to either the Western Pacific or the Arabian Sea. Both reports could be correct, the Reagan will visit Japan February 24 to 28 on its way further west.
Little noticed item one is that a nearby local paper reports a member of the USS Enterprise has just put out to sea. Searching I find that carrier has completely dropped off of the media.
The USS Nimitz and the USS Roosevelt are also at sea in recently started exercises and could be underway already toward the Iran area. The new USS Truman is also near the USS Roosevelt in the Atlantic having just been ammo resupplied after completing sea trials. Stratfor had suggested the Nimitz and the Roosevelt as carriers that could immediately deploy for an attack on Iran.
Even the USS Kitty Hawk, the US Navy's oldest ship stationed in Japan, while undergoing normal maintenance is doing it in such a way without contractors that it can be redeployed by early next month.
President Nixon, a very good poker player, once defined the art of brinkmanship as persuading your opponent that you are insane and, unless appeased by pledges of surrender, quite capable of blowing up the planet.There were reports from the Eastern European press last month that tankers have already been deployed. "The United States “could be using its two air force bases in Bulgaria and one at Romania's Black Sea coast to launch an attack on Iran in April," the Bulgarian news agency Novinite claimed." Direct connection is behind a subscription wall but a Cuban article is good. Recent reports from Bulgaria and Romania would be good to have.
By these robust standards George Bush is doing a moderately competent job in suggesting that if balked by Iran on the matter of arming the Shias in Iraq or pursuing its nuclear programme he'll dump high explosive, maybe even a couple of nukes, on that country's relevant research sites, or tell Israel to do the job for him.
In Washington there are plenty of rational people in Congress, think-tanks and the Pentagon who think he's capable of ordering an attack,-- albeit not a nuclear one -- with bombers carrying conventional explosive and with missiles from US ships in the Persian Gulf.
Colonel Sam Gardner, who's taught at the National War College recently [outlined] the plan as it could unfold: already the second naval carrier group has been deployed to the Gulf area, joined by naval mine clearing ships. "As one of the last steps before a strike, we'll see USAF tankers moved to unusual places, like Bulgaria. These will be used to refuel the US-based B-2 bombers on their strike missions into Iran. When that happens, we'll only be days away from a strike."
Extensive debates from DC are appearing in the media - Four Ex-CIA officials see outbreak of conflict with Iran looming.
The strike is on - now it is a question of when. Modern US military practice is to wait for dark nights for our our stealth bombers. New moons in March and April are the times of risk. April 15-17 may be more likely but pieces are in place for a March 18 attack.
The terrorist group MEK and others are also beginning to be unleashed on Iran - 11 Iranian Republican Guards killed in unprecedented attack. Kurds are preparing for war:
Reports suggest that US Special Forces, helped by exiles, are already engaged in operations in Iran’s Khuzestan for data collection and liaison with internal opposition. US attack aircrafts have been sent to Turkey and other countries on Iran's borders. US troops, warships and Patriot anti-missile missile batteries are spread all over the Arab side of the Persian Gulf coast.Only urging your congressman to pass a resolution forbidding an attack without approval of Congress has a chance of stopping this war now. With the Bush-Cheney-Nixon doctrine of unitary executive authority even that may not be enough. As of now, I would bet my entire checking account we have an attack before the end of April.
Monday, February 12, 2007
A closer examination of US carrier movements indicates that both the Stennis and the Reagan are headed off the coast of Iran to join the Eisenhower.
Officially the Reagan is headed for the Western Pacific on a "short notice" deployment. What is going on in the Pacific to require a short notice deployment? Nothing.
See my previous post as well.
Update - Reuters has the correct destination for the Reagan. Scott Ritter also warned last week of the USS Reagan being deployed to the Persian Gulf.
Navy claims short notice for Reagan for Pacific deployment is because of the Stennis headed for Iran. With the Stennis headed to the Middle East the Reagan was chosen to relieve the Kitty Hawk to keep an eye on North Korea and China.
Debka reported in early January some sources were saying the Reagan was headed for Iran.
Two destroyers from Hawaii were unexpectedly added to Reagan battlefleet headed "for Persian Gulf." The two destroyers are very powerful carrying both advanced fleet air defense systems and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
If North Korea has come to some agreement with the US about nuclear weapons, as reported, I expect the Reagan is going to the Middle East. Three carriers is a loud alarm for an attack.
ADDED - USS Battan to be second amphib carrier deployed. Due to arrive soon.
Joe Klein actually gets something right. Just who is sending those powerful bombs to Iraq is murky and, based on the organizations in Iran, not likely the official government.
Not surprisingly considering this is just a pretext for a US attack on Iran, the secret anonymous briefing was lying about the number of US soldiers killed by the bombs as Juan Cole shows here and here.
Of course, the Shiite dominated Iraqi government doesn't support the charges against Iran either but surprisingly neither does our top general. Not a surprise - Iran denies charges, on primetime US TV.
Why now? The British and our military has been reporting on these Iranian IEDs for over a year. The answer appears to be to gin up support for military strikes on Iran in advance of the
Here is the anonymous PowerPoint presentation given to reporters, note the lack of specifics.
Are we prepared to fight three wars at once? The NIE calls it four elements of a civil war already without Iran, so by my count an attack on Iran would be five. "One is Shia on Shia, principally in the south; the second is sectarian conflict, principally in Baghdad, but not solely; third is the insurgency; and fourth is al Qaeda, and al Qaeda is attacking, at times, all of those targets," Gates said.
Tom Engelhardt calls the coming attack Bush-Cheney's Thelma and Louise solution. I stated last year a third carrier group, combined with the two amphib carriers, is the sign of the coming attack with disastrous consequences.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Newsweek skirts around the headline I used, instead calling it a hidden war and preferring the term blowup. They don't comment on the forgetful Condi and the Iran offer for talks, leaving it up to the reader to determine if she is a liar or forgetful or incompetent. A third carrier group headed out only means one thing - air strikes on Iran. Black Ops in Iraq are kidnapping and interrogating Iranian officials. War is coming unless Iran surrenders first.
At least one former White House official contends that some Bush advisers secretly want an excuse to attack Iran. "They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for," says Hillary Mann, the administration's former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs. U.S. officials insist they have no intention of provoking or otherwise starting a war with Iran, and they were also quick to deny any link to Sharafi's kidnapping. But the fact remains that the longstanding war of words between Washington and Tehran is edging toward something more dangerous. A second Navy carrier group is steaming toward the Persian Gulf, and NEWSWEEK has learned that a third carrier will likely follow.