Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dubya- King of the FUBAR Providence

Dearest Readers, Prissy has been down, but not out, with an illness typical of primary grade children!

It was a worse week for Bushies... And that former U.S. Attorney James Comey, thinking he needs to go around spreading the truth to anyone who will listen. He really knows how to make the prez mad.

Prissy sure did enjoy his testimony, the "hospital scenario" was straight out of a scene from the Sopranos.

Oh Prissy, what does FUBAR stand for, you may ask? It's an old military cliché for equipment or a situation which is seen as "F*$%ed-Up Beyond All Repair." Dubya may not be familiar with the term just yet...

Hot Links

IHT Iraq's hidden casualties: 13,000 working for contractors

Martin said she waited three weeks for her father's body to be returned home and expressed resentment that dead contractors were treated differently from soldiers who fall in battle.

"If anything happens to the military people, you hear about it right away," she said in a telephone interview. "Flags get lowered, they get their respect. You don't hear anything about the contractors."

Military officials in Washington and Baghdad said that no Pentagon office tracked contractor casualties and that they had no way to confirm or explain the sharp rise in deaths this year.

Major General William Caldwell 4th, the top spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, declined through an aide to address the matter. "Contractors are out of our lane, and we don't comment on them," said the aide, Lieutenant Matthew Breedlove.

While Prissy feels for any family suffering a loss, no one ordered contractors to Iraq. Unlike our soldiers, contractors are well compensated for their risk. So no, they can't really complain...if they don't want to keep getting popped off, they should just stop going. Contractors are resented by ALL other "sides" of this war, since they are directly profiting while the others stand by in misery. Notice the Lt.'s clipped phrase.

Army Times White House opposes 3.5 percent pay raise

Bush budget officials said the administration “strongly opposes” both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases “unnecessary.”

MSNBC Report: At least 2 abducted GIs believed alive Gen. Petraeus says U.S. knows who kidnapped three American soldiers

The top U.S. commander in Iraq thinks he knows who kidnapped three U.S. soldiers last weekend and believes that at least two of them are alive, the Army Times newspaper reported.

“We know who that guy is,” Gen. David Petraeus said in an interview posted Saturday on the Army Times Web site.

According to the newspaper, Petraeus said he did not know for certain whether the three 10th Mountain Division soldiers were alive.

“As of this morning, we thought there were at least two that were probably still alive,” he said. “At one point in time there was a sense that one of them might have died, but again we just don’t know.”

You can see how the General has come by his nickname.

Telegraph, more bad news for Dubya Bush gets ready for Iraq U-turn by Brown

Gordon Brown is prepared to risk the future of the "special relationship" with the United States by reversing Tony Blair's support for the Iraq war, President George W Bush has been warned.

He has been briefed by White House officials to expect an announcement on British troop withdrawals from Mr Brown during his first 100 days in power. It would be designed to boost the new prime minister's popularity in the opinion polls.

The President recently discussed with a senior White House adviser how to handle the fallout from the expected loss of Washington's main ally in Iraq, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

Prissy hopes those neorepublicans clinging to hopes of a Bush rebound, soon allow those fantasies to be laid to rest right now. Wolfiewitz is gone, Generals continue to speak out against Bush-practically fresh from the field and Gonzo is hanging by a thread (or is it threat)...oh my. The house of cards is coming down.

Reuters 6 U.S. soldiers in Baghdad, Dead for Bush Lies

Six U.S. soldiers and an interpreter were killed by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Saturday, the U.S. military said in a statement on Sunday.

MSNBC, Prissy warned you about this weeks ago; the corporate media still playing catch up to the blogs. Tainted food exposes Chinese import woes What few contaminated products FDA discovers are often shipped again

Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.

Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.

Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.

Doesn't look like they will be killing us with kindness anytime soon.

Democracy Now George Monbiot: "If We Don’t Deal with Climate Change We Condemn Hundreds of Millions of People to Death"

Every week seems to bring new warnings on the consequences of rising global temperatures caused by human activity. A new report from the British charity Christian Aid predicts global warming will create up to one billion refugees by the year 2050. The World Health Organization recently said it expects deaths and injuries from climate change to more than double in the next twenty-five years. The yearly death toll linked to weather patterns is forecast to top 300,000 by the year 2030.

The U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared earlier this year the warming of the earth's climate system is unequivocal and attributable to human activities. The panel has called for humans to make sweeping cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 50 years to keep global warming in check.

The Bush administration's stance is well known. President Bush laid out his opposition to the Kyoto Accords in his first State of the Union address in 2001.

Dubya is convinced global warming is not real, but he does believe we are "winning hearts and minds" in Iraq.

UK Times Decline and fall of the neocons Paul Wolfowitz’s departure from the World Bank signals the end of an ideological era in Washington

Wolfowitz, the cerebral neocon, and Falwell, the braying theocon, had nothing in common personally. Indeed, Falwell blamed “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians” for provoking the 9/11 attacks, an explanation uncomfortably close to the views of the Taliban. But the unlikely alliance between their two movements provided the brains and the brawn behind Bush. Now the neocons have been ousted, one by one, from their positions of influence and trust while the Republican party base is desperately thrashing around for a successor to Bush that it can back in 2008.

The cleavage between the two marks the end of an era in which Bible Belt conservatives became the surprise champions of radical nation-building in the Middle East in the hope of crushing terrorism and halting the march of militant Islam. After Bush, such reforming zeal is unlikely to be repeated.

The fall of Wolfowitz is already entering the annals as a morality fable for the Bush administration in which the arrogant, narcissistic former Pentagon official and a handful of his cronies were foisted on an unwilling international institution until it finally found a way to spit them out. By this reckoning, Wolfowitz’s appointment as president of the World Bank in 2005 was an “Up yours” similar to the way the Iraq war was imposed by Bush against the wishes of the international community – with predictably dire results.

According to Juan Cole, a professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan and a persistent critic of the Iraq war: “Wolfowitz has demonstrated a penchant for cronyism and for smearing and marginalising perceived rivals as tactics for getting his way. Indeed, these tactics are typical of what might be called the neoconservative style.”

The Hill Hoyer to Dems: We’ll stay put until Iraq bill passes

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Democratic lawmakers on Friday that they would remain in session until they passed legislation to pay for the war in Iraq, according to an announcement that he sent to members.

Republicans have tried to capitalize politically on the absence of a supplemental war spending bill after President Bush vetoed the first version, and Democrats lack the votes to override the veto.

Stupid Steny, not smart enough to run out the clock on Dubya's war hole money...

UPI Japan seeks making patriotism compulsory

A bill was passed Friday by the Diet's Lower House to make teaching patriotism and "love of country" part of compulsory education. If passed, it will be the first time since World War II that Japan will make teaching patriotism part of the national curriculum for all elementary and junior high school students.

McClatchy News- Inside Iraq Just Do It

Yesterday and for the first time, I could spend some time watching TV in my room because I asked my brother to ask the power generator owner to double our share. I used to pay 60 thousands Iraqi Dinars a month (more than 47 $)for six hours of electricity a day.we receive 5 amperes through a cable that we linked to the generator. the 5 amperes are enough only to switch on the refrigerator and an air cooler. If we switch on another instrument, there would be a power failure and we have to call the owner of the generator to re connect us. The generator owner provides us with electricity for 6 hours a day only from 2 pm until 4 pm ( the hottest two hours in Iraq summer)then he switches off the generator until 8 pm when he switch it on for another 4 hours. We have to spend the rest of the day without electricity power because the Iraqi government and the Great US leaders spent the billion on painting the pavements and planting some flowers here and there and of course the big share of money went to the pockets of the security companies which the Iraqi officials and American officials in Iraq depend on. Anyway, Now I have to pay 120 thousands Iraqi Dinars (95 $) because now we buy 10 amperes. Now , I can switch on my room air cooler and the water pump. So yesterday. Myself and my wife and my son celebrated the great day by watching some movies in our room and enjoying the cool air from our cooler.

McClatchy Coast Guard program to upgrade its fleet is taking on water

Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., calls the failed 110-foot conversion program "the poster child" of what's wrong with Deepwater.

"They stopped after ruining eight boats," said Taylor, a former Coast Guard reservist who commanded patrol boats. "What angers me is we have eight ruined boats, $100 million spent and no one is held accountable. No one has been demoted."

The 13-foot section added to lengthen the ships ended up causing the hull to buckle under the stress of rough waters. In addition, whistleblowers alerted congressional investigators that small search-and-rescue boats that the 123-foot vessel carried had radios that were not waterproof - a finding an incredulous Taylor said was "bizarre."

However, the company vigorously defends its performance.

Of course they do-they have already been paid!

Lester Thurow, Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and recent dean of the MIT Sloan School of Business. Harvard Square Library Speak Out Against the New Right-Analysis

President Johnson's refusal to raise taxes to pay for the Vietnam War is legitimately remembered as one of the key factors leading us into our current economic mess. He wanted both the Great Society and the war. But if he were to have both and not wreck the economy, his only option was to raise taxes sharply. He chose not to do so, and he wrecked the economy.

President Reagan wants both dramatic tax cuts to encourage investment and an even more extensive military build-up. But he cannot have both without wrecking the economy further unless he is willing to raise taxes dramatically on private consumption. He has chosen not to do so. If his current program is carried out, he too will wreck the economy.

Military spending is a form of consumption. It does not increase our ability to produce more goods and services in the future. While it may be necessary, it is consumption nonetheless. And as in any private budget, if you allocate more to one form of consumption, you must allocate less to some other form of consumption.

This means equivalent cuts must be made in other forms of consumption. The proposed military increase is so large that it cannot be fully paid for with cuts in civilian expenditures unless the president is willing to abolish major social programs such as Social Security. If he is not willing to do this, taxes must be raised to cut private consumption.

Still using the same play book from Vietnam, more evidence that 'conservatives' lack creativity.

More "uh-oh" for Dubya-The National Journal The Coming Appropriations War

On the other hand, not vetoing an appropriation after the Portman letter guaranteed it would happen will make the president's resolve look weak and raise questions about what he might do for the other bills. This will embolden congressional Democrats and Republicans alike to challenge the White House further on other issues.

The better strategy for the White House would have been not to issue the blanket challenge in the Portman letter so that it had some room to maneuver on a bill-by-bill basis. The administration could have simply complained about the overall level of spending in the budget resolution without taking any responsibility for it because that legislation isn't subject to a veto and it would have been solely Congress' decision. Then, the White House could have evaluated the support for each appropriation bill individually and vetoed only those it was certain of winning.

The Portman letter makes that strategy impossible. It also puts congressional Republicans in a very difficult position by forcing them to choose between supporting the White House and hurting themselves back home.

It's hard to see how those Republicans will side with the White House under these circumstances and, therefore, how the administration's latest budget strategy can succeed.

It's hard to see how Republicans will continue to hold a job-let alone a vote- with the administration's latest "strategy."

Cooperative Research Complete 911 Timeline Sibel Edmonds and Related Scandals

Late 1990s-Early 2001: FBI Investigation Discovers Turkish Nationals Attempting to Bribe Members of Congress

An FBI investigation finds that Turkish nationals are involved in efforts to bribe members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat. Targets of the FBI’s investigation include individuals at Chicago’s Turkish Consulate and the American-Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations. Wiretaps obtained by investigators also contain what appears to be references to large scale drug shipments and other crimes. In 1999 some FBI investigators call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to continue the investigation. But after the Bush administration comes to office, higher-ups in the Department of State pressure the bureau to shift the attention of its investigation away from elected politicians and instead focus on appointed officials. [Anti-War (.com), 8/15/2005; Vanity Fair, 9/2005]

April 2001: FBI Translators Point to Explicit Warning from Afghanistan

FBI translators Sibel Edmonds and Behrooz Sarshar will later claim to know of an important warning given to the FBI at this time. In their accounts, a reliable informant on the FBI’s payroll for at least ten years tells two FBI agents that sources in Afghanistan have heard of an al-Qaeda plot to attack the US and Europe in a suicide mission involving airplanes. Al-Qaeda agents, already in place inside the US, are being trained as pilots. By some accounts, the names of prominent US cities are mentioned. A report on the matter is filed with squad supervisor Thomas Frields, but it’s unclear if this warning reaches FBI headquarters or beyond. The two translators will later privately testify to the 9/11 Commission. [WorldNetDaily, 3/24/2004; Salon, 3/26/2004; WorldNetDaily, 4/6/2004; Village Voice, 4/14/2004] Sarshar’s notes of the interview indicate that the informant claimed his information came from Iran, Afghanistan, and Hamburg, Germany (the location of the primary 9/11 al-Qaeda cell). However, anonymous FBI officials will claim the warning was very vague and doubtful. [Chicago Tribune, 7/21/2004] In reference to this warning and apparently others, Edmonds will say, “President Bush said they had no specific information about September 11, and that’s accurate. However, there was specific information about use of airplanes, that an attack was on the way two or three months beforehand, and that several people were already in the country by May of 2001. They should’ve alerted the people to the threat we were facing.” [Salon, 3/26/2004] She will add, “There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used but not specifically about how they would be used and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities with skyscrapers.” [Independent, 4/2/2004]

NBC 4 3,000 Campers Flee S. Calif. Wildfire

GORMAN, Calif. (AP) -- A fast-moving wildfire had burned more than 2,500 acres Sunday and chased thousands of people from campsites near Los Padres National Forest, authorities said.

No injuries were reported. The fire was 50 percent surrounded by early Sunday morning, said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mike Brown.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated from four campsites in the area, Brown said.

The fire was reported at about 2 p.m. Saturday near the Golden State Freeway about 70 miles north of Los Angeles. By early Sunday it had scorched nearly 4 square miles.

The 250 firefighters on the lines were helped by lower nighttime temperatures.

Another reason to keep the National Guard reserves at home.

Asia Times, about that "surge" plan Iraq 'surge' strategy shows weaknesses

WASHINGTON - More than three months into the implementation of President George W Bush's "surge" strategy, skepticism over the likelihood of its success is still running high in Washington.

Except among neo-conservatives, who have been the strategy's most enthusiastic champions, most analysts believe it is doomed to failure in the absence of major moves - of which there have so far been virtually none - by the Shi'ite-led government of Iraqi

And while killings in Baghdad itself may be down compared with late last year, they have been steadily creeping upward over the last two months, according to published reports. Even the super-protected "Green Zone" - the nerve center of US operations and the Iraqi government - has become increasingly insecure.

"In any other embassy, we would have been evacuated," one State Department staffer told McClatchy Newspapers this week. "They are going to wait until 20 people die, then the people back in Washington will say we have a problem."

Calgary Sun Battered Radler winds up testimony at Black tria

CHICAGO -- The Conrad Black trial saw the last of David Radler yesterday as a prosecution witness, with lawyers shaking their heads and saying they'd never before seen such self-immolation of a star witness -- helped, one might add, by defence lawyers who supplied the matches.

Ron Safer got Radler to acknowledge his plea bargain deal of 29 months would normally have been 51 to 71 months, had he not stuck to a 37-page script written by the government for his grand jury appearance which led to the sweetheart deal -- which will be reduced to six months and served in Canada.

Lead prosecutor Eric Sussman in his rebuttal examination tried to undo the damage. He got Radler to reiterate that he was telling the truth and that "I pleaded guilty because I was guilty, and I am guilty." But guilty of one fraud charge, instead of 10.

Personally, I doubt there's anyone following this trial who thinks Radler is capable of not lying. Or even knowing when he lies. He knows all deals are off and he'll go to jail for a long time if he's caught lying in this case. So he resorts to not recall testimony given yesterday, which seems his version of the Fifth Amendment.

The Facts Theories abound for cause of gas costs

“There is a disconnect today,” he said. “All the price of oil does is establish a floor of what the price is going to be in the country. What’s going to tell you the maximum price is going to be the supply of refined product. Supply of the finished product is short, and the price is going up accordingly, and it’s all profit for the refineries.”

Lundberg Survey Inc. cites reductions in refining capacity during the past two weeks as a cause for the tightening of the gasoline market. Refineries have been recuperating from normal turnarounds, repairs from 2005 hurricane damage and foreign merchant events inhibiting export volumes, it says.

Regina Slaydon, public relations director for ConocoPhillips’ Sweeny refinery, could not comment directly about Lundberg’s assessment, but said, “prices are set in the market place by market conditions” and refineries have no say over the price at the pump.

Thank you to the government teacher in Ohio who sent the picture. If only all children were blessed with a government teacher who actually knows what is going on in their government!

Quotes of the Day

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.-- Edward Abbey

The United States government must not undertake to run the Churches. When an individual, in the Church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked.--Abraham Lincoln

The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?--James Madison

Ultimately, America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.--Robert F. Kennedy