Saturday, April 28, 2007

Retired General Says Bush Should Sign Iraq Bill

The AP Reports :

President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Oct. 1, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said

"I hope the president seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill Congress has sent him," Odom said, delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address.

Read Full Story

Go Odem!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Republican Rhetoric Center For A Brainwashed America

I made the following picture over a year ago for giggles. It's still true, maybe even more so than it was a year ago.
The "Vote Republican, Your Life May Depend On It" seems especially relevant in light of Rudy Giuliani's recent comments.
Bush Vows to Veto Troop Withdrawal Plan

U.S. Attorney General Scandal Coverage

McClatchy is proving an excellent resource for continuing coverage and archives of the Attorney General scandal, including PDF files of released documents.

Yahoo! is also offering "Full Coverage".
...Fox News’ reporting was parody, but reporting parody news is a new low.

Think Progress Reports :

"On Tuesday, Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends” aired at least eight segments on a purported “news” story that was actually a parody article written by a publication similar to The Onion.

The backstory: Last week in the town of Lewiston, Maine, a group of Somalian Muslim middle school students were the subject of a
cruel prank when their peers placed a ham steak next to them in order to personally offend the students. School officials filed a report because the
students considered the act to be a hate/bias crime.

This actual story was then
spoofed by a parody site called Associated Content, which made up quotes and details, such as the school’s intention to “create an anti-ham ‘response plan.’”

On Tuesday, Fox & Friends reported these parody quotes and details as actual news. Poking fun at the students, hosts asked whether ham was “a hate crime…or lunch?” and showed screen shots of ham sandwiches, starving Somalians, belching, animal noises, and mock “reenactments” of the incident. Ironically, the hosts assured viewers several times, “We’re not making this

Fox’s careless blunder made news in the town and “launched an immediate avalanche of
angry phone calls and ugly e-mails to the school system.”

Read Full Story

Faux News is always finding new lows to slink to. Fox News is to legitimate journalism what Jerry Springer is to a serious talk show: sensationalist, over the top and absurd.
Why Republicans Are Fighting An Uphill Battle In '08

Pity the Republicans, their base is so radical that when they appeal to their base they appal the rest of Americans.

The Republican base is the 28-30% of ideological neoconservative Americans who still support an unpopular war and an unpopular President. The base also has many other defining characteristics that will not be discussed today because war is the issue at hand.

Republican politicians [specifically this time around] are desperate to pander to their base and believe that pandering to their base is the only way to be elected.

The only problem with that notion is when your base is far outside the mainstream there is no way to appeal to the base and the majority of American voters, which are desperately needed to be elected.

On one hand you have John McCain who supports the recent troop surge that most Americans were opposed to and still defends going to war with Iraq although there were not any WMD's or 9/11 connection.

John McCain used to be favored by a number of Moderate and Independent voters before he started keeping company with radical Jerry Falwell, after admitting him to be an extremist.

McCain lost even more credibility with the independent minded when he gave out misleading information regarding the security of Iraq and then made a photo op trip to Baghdad to try to give the illusion of security in Baghdad. His misinformation was quickly noted by correspondents on the ground in Iraq as being "beyond ludicrous."

McCain didn't help himself either when he admitted that he sees no "plan b" for Iraq if the troop surge does not work.

McCain's latest incidents include singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys hit "Barbara Ann" and then deciding to use the "Barbara Ann" song at events.

McCain also flubbed when he "joked" to Jon Stewart that he had a present for him — an IED that he could place under his desk.

Leaving some to wonder that perhaps someone who cannot give honest assessments about the Iraq War and has no "plan b" for it, who takes lightly the possibility of having to bomb Iran and makes jokes about Improvised Explosive Devices should not be the next President of the United States.

On the other hand you have Rudy Giuliani, America's so called mayor. Giuliani can't get it right with the Conservatives he needs to pander to because he has been married three times and is just not Conservative enough for the real neocons, even though he advocates war.

Since Giuliani is having a hard time convincing the hardliners that he is a true neocon he has recently begun invoking the spirit of Ronald Reagan (the hero of the right) and referencing to his "leadership" after 9/11, even though Giuliani was slammed by the International Association of Fire Fighters, which is nation's largest firefighters union.

I had once viewed Giuliani as a real contender until recently because of his ability to siphon off Independent and Moderate voters still nostalgic for that courageous post 9/11 leader.

But Giuliani is driving a wedge between himself and the American people by pandering to neoconservatives by advocating an unpopular war and claiming only Republicans can keep America safe, especially if it is him. (wink, wink.) His mob ties aren't helping him either.

So there they are, the Republican front runners who can barely impress people in the same political party that make up their base.

So they have to try even harder to impress "the base" so it's essential to them to hammer extreme on the rhetoric which in turn only alienates them further from the rest of the voters who are a lot smarter and much less intimidated by threats and fear than they were a few years ago.

That's why the Republicans face an uphill battle in '08.
Rudy Giuliani - Married Three Times, Pro Abortion, Cross Dresser BUT HE CAN KEEP YOU SAFE.

Ahem ... Like he kept New York City safe on September 11, 2001.

"They [Democrats] do not seem to get the fact that there are people, terrorists in this world, really dangerous people that want to come here and kill us," Giuliani said. But, he said, if a Republican wins, "we will remain on offense" trying to anticipate what the terrorists are going to do and "trying to stop them before they do it."

Giuliani didn't mention that it was a Republican who was mayor of NYC when the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened, a Republican who should have anticipated terrorism because of the first WTC attack in 1993, a Republican who was him.

Giuliani also didn't mention that a Republican was in the White House when 9/11 happened, a Republican who had all but had a warning memo pinned to his shirt, that guy happened to be the President.

Giuliani also forgets to mention that Congress was also controlled by Republicans when America was attacked on 9/11.

So what was that again about Republicans anticipating terror and preventing it? I forgot.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Buying The War Or Selling The War?

Last night PBS aired what is perhaps the most important documentary about the Mainstream Media, it's interaction with the Bush Administration and how they helped push the American people into an unnecessary war with Iraq.

Buying The War takes an extensive look at the role journalist played in the run up to the war and their failure to even investigate the Bush Administrations claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction, or their claims of an Iraqi connection to 9/11.

Instead the media became lapdogs where traditionally they were watchdogs. Gone was the investigative efforts and cynicism that used to be present during the Nixon and Clinton years.

In the emotional aftermath of 9/11 journalist let their patriotism, instead of their logic lead them.

Instead of investigating any of the claims being made by the Bush Administration or taking seriously the evidence contrary to the Bush Administration claims, the feeling was that no one wanted to "question a popular 'wartime' President".

How could the Mainstream Media ignore the implications of scripted press conferences where only "friendly" journalist were allowed to ask questions like "How is your faith guiding you?" instead of "So where are those WMD's you have been telling us about?"

Any ruler knows one of the most important steps to becoming an absolute authority is to have control over the Press and the Press let themselves be put under the spell of George W. Bush and therefore became a failure to our Free Press.

Listen to this statement by former member of the allegedly Liberal media, Dan Rather:

"George Bush is the President, he makes the decisions and you know, as just one American wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where."

I think it's fair to say that this is the way all the journalist were feeling after 9/11, raw emotion coupled with blind patriotism.

Truth, accountability and objectivity was no longer important to journalist, subservience to the President was, showing what a patriotic bootlicker was what was really important. It was a new order in which the Press was no longer independent from the government.

Journalist who stepped out of the official line were quickly attacked by what many have referred to as the "Patriotism Police".

The documentary illustrates a complete failure of our so called Free Press, who hold at least some culpability in persuading the American people to go to war by failing to be objective and failing to investigate claims being made - all out of fear of having their patriotism questioned.

What else can be noted is that all the neoconservative warhawk pundits who are calling themselves "experts" who claimed "We would be greeted as liberators" and "there are WMD's in Iraq" and that "there is a connection between 9/11 and Iraq" are still being giving platforms on televisions, even after all of their fervent beliefs have been proven to be false.

Several journalist were skeptical of claims being made by the Bush Administration but they were not given the same spotlight as those who were beating the drum for war.

Furthermore it wasn't like the evidence contrary to what the Bush Administration was claiming was very hard to find.

Time after time independent journalist and journalist outside the "beltway bubble" released reports contrary to what the Bush Administration was claiming but the Mainstream Media failed to pick it up or research the claims themselves.

I can't possibly do this documentary any justice by blogging about it, you have to watch it to believe it. The amount of details and information provided by Bill Moyers is impossible to condense into a blog.

The failure of the Mainstream Media becomes painfully obvious in hindsight when watching the documentary, which is a "must see" for any critic of the Mainstream Media or the Iraq War.

For broadband users the video can be watched at this link.
For dial up users a transcript can be read at this link.

After watching the documentary one realizes how easy it is for the Media to be wrong on the facts but rally for war anyway.

One also realizes there are still several journalist who are under the control of the "Patriotism Police".
Senate OK's War Bill With Timeline, Bush Job Ratings Lowest Ever - 28%

AP Reports : "A defiant Democratic-controlled Senate passed legislation Thursday that would require the start of troop withdrawals from Iraq by Oct. 1, propelling Congress toward a historic veto showdown with President Bush on the war."

We also know by the recent elections and polls that the American people themselves want to start redeploying from Iraq sooner than later.

Now, we know that this bill will most likely be vetoed by President Bush, but what does this mean about the President?

Why does the President refuse to authorize money for the troops? The President is the man who is holding our troops hostage by refusing to cooperate with the will of the Congress and of the American people.

Is it because his pride is more important to him than the welfare of the troops? By signing the bill does the President feel as if he is acknowledging his mistakes in Iraq and his failure as a commander in chief?

President Bush has an approval rating of 28%, a full 11 points lower than Richard Nixon's 39% approval rating during the height of the Watergate scandal.

But you can't expect that to have an effect on the President. He will continue to be the same bullheaded and arrogant man who got us into this unnecessary mess in Iraq in the first place.

Now we will move into showdown mode with the 28% of loyal Bushies eager to take on the rest of the country to either force us into staying in the Iraq War or scare us into staying in the Iraq War.

This President was very interested in starting this war, but has little interest in ending this war.
Quick Note : It's easy to claim sectarian violence has been reduced, when your no longer counting suicide and car bombings in the equation. Welcome to Oceania folks.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Subpoenas Issued For Condoleezza Rice And RNC Emails

Condoleezza Rice could have avoided avoided all of this.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman has written several letters to Condoleezza Rice requesting information regarding the Bush administration's pre-war claims about Saddam Hussein's goals of seeking Weapons of Mass Destruction. Rice has either refused or failed to respond to the letters, eleven in total.

So Waxman tried to write Rice again on March 12, 2007, after he had become committee chairman. Waxman requested that Rice at least respond to his letter by March 23. Rice refused or failed to respond and now it is over a month after the request for response deadline.

Condolezza Rice could have avoided this, bur failed or refused to.

Subpoenas were also issued for the Republican National Committee for emails and testimony regarding emails White House officials sent threw RNC email accounts that are now said to be missing.

The White House and the RNC could have avoided all of this.

One way this could have been avoided was if the White House would have refrained from trying to politicize the justice system and the RNC had not been complicit in trying to cover it up.

Furthermore, the White House should not have been using GOP-provided, nongovernmental email accounts to avoid complying with Federal law, which requires the preservation of all electronic communications sent or received by White House staff.

Related :
- Who Is Behind The 4 Years Of "Missing" Karl Rove Emails?
- Dems vote subpoenas in widening probes
- House panels vote subpoenas, immunity in probes on prosecutors, war, political activity
If You Judge My Actions, You Let The Terrorist Win

"If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings," President Bush said in an interview on PBS "we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory." and those who "judge the administration’s plan" have "just given Al Qaeda or any other extremist a significant victories."

If the standard of success is not based on the number of bombings carried out then what the hell else can success be based on?!? Should we base success in Iraq on the number of sunny days opposed to the numbers of civilians dieing in bombings?

Was Bush's brain even in the "on" position, or what?

The statement is such a black is white up is down statement that I think I need to read 1984 to better understand it.

Let me be the first to ask : How could success not be based on the number of bombings carried out? Success has to be measured in levels of violence because violence is the problem!

Wasn't the goal of the "surge" to reduce the violence in the first place? So tell me again how it's working and tell me again how more bombings means more success.

The whole "if you judge my plan you let the terrorist win" line is getting a little old, it's yet another attempt to deflect criticism for a plan that still has not proven itself to be viable.

Source of George W. Bush quote : Think Progress

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ABC Gets It Wrong On Tillman

Is this ABC article poorly researched or deliberately misleading?

Tillman's Fictional Heroic Death: Did Bush Know?

Did Bush know? Did Bush know?!?

Back in March The Associated Press reported that :

"Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press."

So did Bush know? That's a ridiculous question.

The President had been informed that Pat Tillman's death was possibly friendly fire and decided to take advantage of the story of a real American hero in order to rally support around the war and perhaps to divert attention away from the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse.
The Iraq War Veterans Bush Doesn't Want You To See

The Iraq War veterans Americans are accustomed to seeing are the ones who serve as a backdrop to the Presidents photo opportunities, not veterans who are in disagreement with the handling of the war and the recent troop build up.

VideoVets is a new project from MoveOn.Org which is using the power of the Internet to spread the message of several Iraq war veterans and their families to homes across the country.

Their stories are moving, inspirational and informative.

These are the Iraq War veterans that the President doesn't want you to see, the ones who disagree with him.

It takes a lot of courage for anyone to speak truth to power, and likewise it takes a tremendous amount of courage for Iraq war veterans to stand up and voice their opposition to the current situation in Iraq and the circumstances that brought us there.

There are those who have argued from the beginning that to question the President is to undermine the troops and that the President should not be criticized in a time of war. They have forgotten the words that were written by a member of their own political party.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican once wrote :

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

That is also the quote that came to mind when hearing the following words from Michael Breen, a Veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

VideoVets: Michael Breen

"There are definitely those who say that by critiquing the administration or criticizing our current strategy your not supporting the troops. This is a government for and by the people - and so to say that to question the executive branch is to fail to support the troops, I think it's almost un-American."


"So I think the best way to support the troops is to exercise the very democratic process that they signed up to defend. And very frequently people say - to argue against the administration is to not support the troops are people who have never served in combat, never heard a shot fired in anger, and frankly that personally offends me."

In a separate video Iraq War veteran John Bruhns stated " I feel used and misled by the administration."

VideoVets: John Bruhns

"I feel as if my patriotism has been used and exploited, my willingness to fight for this country has been used and exploited. I'm very proud of my military service and I'm very disappointed in the civilian leadership and the administration for sending us needlessly into combat."

Garret Reppenhagen who was a sniper in Iraq had this to say :

VideoVets: Garret Reppenhagen

"Moral was a constant issue, constantly learning we had been lied to over and over again. We're out looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction and losing soldiers and having soldiers becoming injured when the President was here looking under his furniture in the Oval Office for Weapons of Mass Destruction, mocking us."


"It was always hard to keep the moral up and stay encouraged to do the mission. It's just a ridiculous idea to say that calling for a withdrawal is not supporting the troops. Supporting the troops is making responsible decisions for the troops safety and use them when it's only necessary, that's supporting the troops."

Shelly Burgoyne served two tours of duty in Iraq and her husband is currently serving in Iraq. She is opposed to the troop build up.

VideoVets: Shelly Burgoyne

"I love the Army and am proud to have served in it, but I can no longer ignore the truth."


"At this point we stand unable to respond to any military conflict or any domestic disaster. Escalation of the war in Iraq is not Republican it is not Democrat, it is simply tactically and morally irresponsible. That is why I a veteran stand with Move On and Vote Vets and oppose the escalation of the war in Iraq."

If you are a blogger and want to blog about VideoVets visit this link for promo graphics and coding. You can also visit this link for the codes to embed any of the videos on your blog.

You can visit the VideoVets site and watch all videos at this link and vote for which one you would like to see made into a commercial.

Iraq Blast Kills 9 GIs, Injures 20 At Outpost

Washington Post Reports :

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-rigged truck into a U.S. military outpost near Baqubah on Monday, killing nine soldiers and wounding 20 in one of the deadliest single ground attacks on U.S. forces since the start of the war in Iraq, military officials said early Tuesday.

Read Full Story
What Would Fascism Look Like In America?

As Americans we are born with what we believe is an inherent right to freedom and we mistakenly believe that this freedom can never be restricted or taken away.

As Americans we tend to place an enormous amount of trust into our system of "checks and balances" not realizing how easy it is for that system to be upset and replaced by a doctrine of strict interpretation and a system of unlimited executive power.

When we do suspect a suppression of our freedom [i.e. The Patriot Act and The Military Commissions Act, aka the "Enabling Act"] we attempt to dismiss these power grabs as being "for our safety" or "best interest" but is this actually true?

Even if the current Administration does not outright abuse it's power (as many will argue they have) there is no guarantee that a future administration will not seize upon the executive powers the Bush Administration has created.

With that written I would like to bring readers attention to a recent article titled "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps" in which the author opens with the words "From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all."

The article is very insightful and I believe it is well researched. The author provides numerous examples for the reasoning used in the article and is a must read for any American who is concerned that this great experiment could fail as a result mishandling and abuses of power.

The author identifies 10 steps any regime must take in order to abolish freedoms and descend into a nondemocratic nation. Each step has a thorough explanation of how the Bush Administration has met the "required" guidelines necessary to introduce a fascist state.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law

Read the full article "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps" at this link to read the explanations behind how the Bush Administration has met the 10 steps above.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Virgina Tech Coverage Went WAY Overboard

Who knew how many US soldiers died last week? Who knew the Attorney General was a terrible liar that was perhaps guilty of participating in attempting to politicize the justice system? Who knew that an Iraq war veteran, suffering from PTSD took hostages and demanded treatment for his condition?

The mainstream media went way overboard in it's handling of the Virgina Tech massacre. Granted this was the worst shooting in American history, but the media didn't even allow students time to recuperate and heal before heading back to classes this morning.

Before the gunman's body was hauled off campus pundits in America were already getting their digs in and turning a nonpolitical event into a political and media circus. Maybe I should take that back, everything is politcal in America.

Some "kind hearted" pundits in the Right Wing blamed the victims for being victimized, others claimed the answer to gun violence was more guns.

The Mainstream Media went to outlandish and may I say stooping levels in trying to gain interviews with students, such as infiltrating the realm of Facebook and trying to recruit interviews by posting messages and sending repeated emails to students, some of which got fed up who then posted themselves that the MSM should stop trying to contact them.

If the 24/7 news reel of misery and exploitation last week did not prove the MSM has gone too far, then maybe the fact that Virginia Techs student government has asked that all journalists leave campus by 5 a.m. this morning should.

Let's give these students some time to recover and gather their thoughts, they have a life to go on with and it is doubtful they want their tragedy to be exploited so the mainstream media can get ratings.

Developing Politics Of Virgina Tech Shooting

The Republicans are desperate to discuss anything other than Iraq and Bush, and that is part of the reason why they are so eager to discuss something on grounds they are more comfortable with and have substantial support on, like lack of gun control.

If Republicans are able to keep the American people's attention focused on things like Virginia Tech and gun control then they are successful at keeping the American people's attention diverted away from the Iraq War and the embattled President Bush.

We cannot let the incident at Virgina Tech outweigh or outshine the ongoing events in Iraq and the Bush Administration. Nor can we allow the Republicans to use this incident as a red herring to distract us from issues that are forgivably more essential for the long term prosperity of America.