Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Sordid Tales Of Bush Twin In The Buff!

The search is on for a videotape rumored to show First Daughter Barbara Bush in the nude

Hustler magazine honcho Larry Flynt is hunting for a videotape rumored to show First Daughter Barbara Bush in the nude.

Flynt's people are scouring the New Haven, Conn., campus of Yale University, where Barbara, 21, is a student, in hopes of buying a video supposedly made at one of Yale's notorious "naked parties."

"We definitely have heard the story and we definitely have a rep over there but so far we have not been able to substantiate anything - yet," Flynt told PAGE SIX yesterday. "But usually where there's smoke, there's fire, so we're still looking."

A source says Barbara has attended plenty of the bare-all bacchanals, a Yale tradition in which overworked Ivy Leaguers relieve stress by doffing their duds and drinking some suds.

The footage in question was allegedly taken at a naked party several months ago, and Flynt's foot soldiers have been in talks with a student who says he is friends with the guy who has the tape.

Flynt has offered the person $1 million. more and more

Of course, the only reason I'm drawing attention to this story is to further piss off the conservatives who read this blog daily. My personal feeling is more power to Barbara Bush! I think an intrusion into anyone's personal life is wrong unless a crime is being or has been committed. Nudity at a private party isn't illegal yet but of course with republicans in power that could all change.

With the Bush twins partying like this, they're NOT partying republican style - which means they're not drilling for oil in the Alaskan wilderness, not blowing the surplus, not threatening to cut veteran's benefits, not cutting rich people's taxes, and not invading third world countries.

Payback is a bitch (Remember the millions spent on Clinton's penis?) and it's too bad someone like Barbara Bush, who I would have partied with myself, has to be a pawn in her moron daddy's political wars. She'll get over it. Hell, she probably doesn't even care. However, the public will perceive this as more light shined on republican hypocrisy.

More On Larry Flynt - How The Owner Of A Girlie Magazine Stopped The Republican Smear Machine

High noon had come for the President's enemies as the Senate trial got underway--the culmination of years of vicious allegations, wild conspiracy theories, and wholly partisan investigations, all of which had gone nowhere. Now reduced to criminalizing the President's personal life by alleging that he had lied about sex, the Clinton-haters were finally at center stage. The time had come for them to put up or shut up.

However, their earlier high confidence for the President's removal from office had dissipated considerably after the circumstances of Bob Livingston's resignation on December 19--and was further diminished by Flynt's continuing crusade to expose hypocrisy in the wake of his revelations about Bob Barr on January 11. In fact, other than the unmasking of Kenneth Starr as a partisan sexual witchhunter after the release of The Starr Report in September 1998 and the excellent legal work performed by the President's attorneys before and during the Senate trial, there was no single factor which had a greater impact on the impeachment process than Larry Flynt.

Had Flynt never emerged in this drama, Bob Livingston would have become Speaker of the House and the impeachment of the President would have shifted from the House to the Senate with a tremendous, even an overwhelming momentum. Instead, with Livingston's stunning resignation and the hypocrisy of the President's enemies clear and present to the American public, who kept the President's approval ratings high, the case limped to trial. . . .

Even though many of our supporters were disappointed that we didn't reveal all of the information we had collected, Flynt's finest hour in this project, other than his handling of the Livingston matter, came when he finally said, "That's it. No more."

In the end, we no longer had the stomach to go for the throat--unless the President was suddenly convicted and removed from office. . . .

... On November 23--as the OIC leaks investigation proceeded and the President's impeachment appeared inevitable over what many considered the criminalization of his personal life--a representative of Larry Flynt approached me with an offer to investigate hypocrisy among the President's critics: those who had one standard of behavior for the President and another standard for themselves. Earlier, on October 4, Flynt had placed a full-page ad in the Washington Post, offering "up to a million dollars" to those who could provide proof of such hypocrisy... more

U.S. Troops Fire on Iraq Protesters - Again!

U.S. troops opened fire on anti-American demonstrators for the second time this week as Iraqis marched Wednesday to protest the previous shooting. The city's mayor said two people were killed and 14 wounded in the clash.

I thought we were bringing democracy to Iraq? more

Spend-Happy Republicans Push U.S. To Brink Of Default

The Treasury Department says the United States could face the prospect of not being able to pay its bills in late May unless Congress raises the government's borrowing authority, now capped at $6.4 trillion.

Treasury's debt managers have taken a number of steps since February to prevent the government from defaulting on the national debt, but "on current projections, the extraordinary measures taken since Feb. 20, 2003, will only be adequate to meet the government's needs until the latter half of May," said a statement released Tuesday.

After that - absent a boost in the government's borrowing authority by Congress - Treasury would breach the current $6.4 trillion ceiling on the national debt.

"The Treasury will continue to work with Congress to ensure the government's ability to finance its operations," Treasury said.

Treasury has asked Congress to boost the government's borrowing authority, although it has not suggested a specific amount. A proposal is pending on Capitol Hill that would raise the debt ceiling to $7.38 trillion.

Last year, Congress boosted the old debt limit by $450 billion, from $5.95 trillion to the current $6.4 trillion.

At that time Treasury warned that Congress would need to again increase the government's borrowing authority.

Boosting the debt limit is more a matter of politics than economics.

Economists doubt the Republican-controlled Congress will refuse to raise the limit. A federal default is considered unimaginable because it would rattle bond markets, force interest rates higher, weaken the world economy and deliver a political blow to President Bush.

Democrats point to the government's need to borrow more to ridicule President Bush's tax cuts, his handling of the economy and ballooning federal government budget deficits, which are expected to hit records this year and next.

By Memorial Day, Republicans hope to have pushed through Congress a tax-cut bill with a price tag of between $350 billion and $550 billion through 2013.

If Congress must approve a debt-limit extension during the same period of time, it could play into Democrats' political argument that the new tax cut will only make the government's red ink worse. more

Green Party Officials May Throw Support Behind Democrats; Cite "National Emergency" Of Bush's Hard Right Agenda; Nader Urged To Seek Senate Office

The surprisingly bellicose and hard-right direction of the Bush administration has given many Greens pause about running a third-party presidential campaign next year. One prominent Green Party activist -- journalist and former Nader confidant Ronnie Dugger -- has publicly and privately pleaded with his old friend not to run for president, urging him instead to run for senator or governor. Dugger argues that the extremism of the Bush presidency has created a "national emergency" that requires a unified effort on the left to beat the Republican ticket in 2004. more

Deciphering the Democrats' Debacle: Why the Republican majority (probably) won't last.

This is a very good and important read...

... despite the Republican tsunami described by many media outlets, the actual electoral shift was quite mild. Though politically the election was a landmark, the underlying numbers suggest a continuing partisan balance. Democrats lost two seats in the Senate, six in the House, and gained three governorships. As nonpartisan analyst Charlie Cook has pointed out, "A swing of 94,000 votes out of 75,723,756 cast nationally would have resulted in the Democrats capturing control of the House and retaining a majority in the Senate on Nov. 5. If that had occurred, obituaries would have been written--inevitably and prematurely--about the presidency of George W. Bush. Instead, we are entertained by predictions that the Democratic Party, as we know it, may cease to exist."

Given the very evenness of partisan division in this country, even minor fluctuations in public sentiment can cause sudden lurches in political power. Indeed, the last election differed markedly from 1994, when huge Republican gains (52 House and nine Senate seats, 10 governorships) really did change the partisan balance dramatically.

Nevertheless, the shock of '02 initially devastated Democratic morale. Many in the party seemed helpless before the Republican success, ready to concede the 2004 election. For their part, Republicans were riding high, canonizing Karl Rove, and mentally fitting Bush for a spot on Mount Rushmore. Conservatives like Fred Barnes even spoke fondly of an "emerging 9/11 majority."

But that's begun to change. Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's December runoff victory in Louisiana put Republican triumphalism in perspective. Subsequent events have revived Democratic hopes, as Bush's approval ratings, especially on the economy, have fallen and his diplomatic failures leading up to the Iraq war have been exposed. That's not the only encouraging news. A careful reading of the election and its aftermath suggests the GOP position has serious underlying weaknesses. In fact, the Republican victory depended on a series of unsustainable advantages that a tough, smart Democratic effort should be able to counter, forcing a competitive 2004 election and the likely--though not certain--ascendancy that Judis and I predicted by the end of the decade.

The GOP's midterm wins depended heavily on their advantages in five areas that are either unlikely to persist or were overrated to begin with: a reliance on white voters, the growth of exurban voters, heavy GOP turnout, the tax-cut issue, and war. I'll tackle these in order.

Last November was all about the white vote. For all the talk of Republican minority outreach, the voters who showed up for the GOP on election day were, with few exceptions, white. In the 2000 election, 54 percent of whites voted for Bush and 56 percent for congressional Republicans; in 2002 that figure rose to 58 percent, which, coupled with higher turnout of whites, especially conservative whites, was enough for victory. Viewed one way, that's good news for Republicans, since whites comprise the overwhelming majority of U.S. voters. Trouble is, that majority is steadily diminishing. What's more, Republicans' core constituencies among white voters--those in rural areas, married men, married homemakers, and so forth--are also shrinking relative to other voter groups, which makes the demographic challenge of maintaining a majority even tougher.

As Matthew Dowd, polling director at the Republican National Committee, has pointed out, if minorities and whites vote in 2004 as they did in the 2000 election, Democrats will win by 3 million votes, for just that reason. In the long term, unless the GOP can make inroads among minority voters, they'll lose. In 2002, they made essentially no inroads at all. Recall that in the 2000 election, Al Gore got 90 percent of the black vote; in 2002, blacks appear to have voted at similar rates--if not slightly higher--for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates. Hispanic support for Democrats was similarly rock solid, despite strenuous GOP outreach efforts. For example, California governor Gray Davis beat his Republican challenger Bill Simon by 65 to 24 percent among Hispanics--figures essentially identical to those by which Davis beat his 1998 challenger, Dan Lundgren. Nationally, a Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner poll taken after the 2002 election indicated that Hispanics supported Democrats by 62 to 38 percent, figures nearly identical to 1998 numbers. more


Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Conservatives are nervous about the publication of Sidney Blumenthal's The Clinton Wars, which will, for the first time, present the the facts from an insider's perspective about the ill-fated right-wing coup attempt in the late 90s.

As you read here yesterday, rightwing shill Matt Drudge has tried to spin the book's writer as someone out for revenge. What Drudge actually did was move the book to #1 yesterday on Amazon's Top Non-fiction list. Drudge once slandered Blumenthal and is now pretrified over what Blumenthal may have written about him. Author David Brock, in his book "Blinded By The Right" dropped a bombshell about Drudge last year - revealing Matt Drudge is gay. Nothing wrong with being gay BUT Drudge has aligned himself with a political party who is openly hostile to homosexuals.

Other figures who may feel the heat from Blumenthal's The Clinton Wars are Ken Starr, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, and possibly George W. Bush. Expect the book to reveal the truth behind the many republican-fabricated scandals that plagued the most successful presidency of the second half of the 20th century.

Order it TODAY!

Bush Speaks Out On Dixie Chicks Comment

In an interview with Tom Brokaw, pResident Bush spoke about freedom of speech and the Dixie Chicks:

"The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind," said Bush. "They can say what they want to say. They shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street. But I don't really care what the Dixie Chicks said. I want to do what I think is right for the American people, and if some singers or Hollywood stars feel like speaking out, that's fine. That's the great thing about America. It stands in stark contrast to Iraq, by the way."

Very well put, Mr. Bush, now wouldn't it be nice if you actually meant it? I mean, who can forget things you've said in moments of unguarded candor like "there ought to be limits to freedom, " spoken by you at an Austin Press Conference, May 21, 1999. Or how about this one: "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator," which is what you said while meeting with Congressional leaders in 2000.

So pardon us if we don't buy into your faux First Amendment affection. After all, the minions within your party treat the First Amendment as a nuisance. They learned it from so-called leaders like you.

Springsteen backs Dixie Chicks

Bruce Springsteen has given his support to country band the Dixie Chicks, who have faced severe criticism over a comment they made about President George Bush.
The Dixie Chicks received death threats, had their records burned and were removed from radio playlists after singer Natalie Maines said she was embarrassed that Bush was from her home state of Texas.

But Springsteen said the band were merely expressing their "right to free speech" and had received a "raw deal" from critics.

In a message on his official website, the star said: "To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech.

"For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American."

Springsteen said there was a "pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war".

He said pressure "goes against everything that this country is about - namely freedom".

"Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home," he said.

"I don't know what happens next, but I do want to add my voice to those who think that the Dixie Chicks are getting a raw deal, and an un-American one to boot. I send them my support." more

Public Enemy to Take on Bush With CD-DVD

Hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy are still fighting the powers that be.

The group, known for anthems including "Don't Believe the Hype" and "Fight The Power," will take on President Bush with their new CD-DVD, "Son of a Bush," scheduled for May 6 release.

The title track, which first appeared on last year's "Revolverlution," criticizes both the current president and his father.

Among the lyrics: "Have you forgotten/I been through the first term of rotten/The father, the son/and the holy Bush... I told y'all when the first Bush was tappin' my phone... Can't truss 'em."

The group joins other artists including the Dixie Chicks, Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, and Bruce Springsteen who have spoken out against the pResident.

Hillary Clinton Rallies The Democratic Troops
Bush a "snake oil salesman."

In a fiery speech Monday night, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused the Bush administration of having the worst economic policies since Herbert Hoover, with no real plan to end the nation's fiscal troubles.

Clinton, D-N.Y., told about 1,550 Connecticut Democrats that an increasing number of Americans are unhappy with Bush's policies.

"There is an unease," she told the party faithful gathered at the Democrats' annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner in Southington. "People know better than what they hear and what they see."

Clinton accused Bush of squandering the surpluses that accumulated during the administration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

"In just two years, the country again faces hefty budget deficits," she said. "We are, unfortunately, reaping the bad consequences of a wrong economic policy. They have the most wrong-headed economic policies that we've seen since Herbert Hoover."

She said many people, including some Republican lawmakers, have told her they worry about what she characterized as a Republican tax-cutting agenda that she compared to a snake oil salesman.

Clinton claimed Bush's tax-cut plan favors the wealthy while sacrificing the programs that Americans care about, such as public education, prescription drug coverage, child care and a clean environment.

She received a standing ovation when she angrily said it was unfair for critics of Bush's policies to be accused of being unpatriotic.

"We are Americans," she said. "We have the right to participate and debate any administration." more

Iraq Invasion Partly For Israel's Benefit ... And The Evidence Keeps Piling Up Despite Those Who Would Suppress It

Calling Them Like I See Them: In an informal debate this past weekend, I was accused of being anti-Israel and a "kook" for daring to suggest an invasion of Syria would benefit Israel and that an Israel-friendly government is in the works for Iraq. I quoted source after source to back my position, but like all rightwingers and rightwing wannabes, I was met with insults and personal attacks by my opponents. Typical of discussions with these kind of people, their only defense was the bare assertion fallacy, a fallacy of reasoning in which the user gives no reasons at all for his position other than the fact that he says so, facts be damned.

You can read the point in which I entered the discussion here. I'm "wyldwolf" in the thread and as is my style in a discussion, I was calm and informed, backing my assertions with multiple sources. The thread was eventually locked by the moderator and he called me a jerk because I was completely dominating his wife, Shaindle, in the discussion. She probably whined to him all night, "please shut the liberal up... please he's making me look like a monkey!!."

The evidence keeps piling up...

Israeli Calls for 'Regime Change' in Iran, Syria

The Israeli ambassador in Washington called for "regime change" in Iran and Syria on Monday through diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions and what he called "psychological pressure."

Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said the U.S. invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein helped create great opportunities for Israel but it was "not enough."

"It has to follow through. We still have great threats of that magnitude coming from Syria, coming from Iran," he told a conference of the pro-Israeli Anti-Defamation League.

Ayalon said he did not advocate or foresee the invasion of Syria and Iran. "I certainly do not see any aggressive military campaign. I don't think that would be the right thing. Nobody is suggesting that," he said.

But he added: "There are other means that can be exhausted ... The way to deal with Iran for instance is to delegitimize its regime and the way to do that is applying political pressure ... and to really apply economic sanctions." more


Monday, April 28, 2003

Intelligence agencies accuse Bush and Blair of distorting and fabricating evidence in rush to war... American officials have all but conceded that the weapons of mass destruction campaign was simply a means to an end – a "global show of American power" ... Bush has lied to the American people and his actions have caused DEATHS... but since the lies weren't about a blowjob, it must be ok!

Revealed: How the road to war was paved with lies

Only that damn liberal media would print such garbage... wait! This comes from a foreign source! They must... hate Bush! Yeah! That HAS to be it!

The case for invading Iraq to remove its weapons of mass destruction was based on selective use of intelligence, exaggeration, use of sources known to be discredited and outright fabrication, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

A high-level UK source said last night that intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war with Iraq. "They ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat," the source said. Quoting an editorial in a Middle East newspaper which said, "Washington has to prove its case. If it does not, the world will for ever believe that it paved the road to war with lies", he added: "You can draw your own conclusions."

On nuclear weapons, the British Government claimed that the former regime sought uranium feed material from the government of Niger in west Africa. This was based on letters later described by the International Atomic Energy Agency as crude forgeries.

On chemical weapons, a CIA report on the likelihood that Saddam would use weapons of mass destruction was partially declassified. The parts released were those which made it appear that the danger was high; only after pressure from Senator Bob Graham, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Democratic candidate for President, was the whole report declassified, including the conclusion that the chances of Iraq using chemical weapons were "very low" for the "foreseeable future".

On biological weapons, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, told the UN Security Council in February that the former regime had up to 18 mobile laboratories. He attributed the information to "defectors" from Iraq, without saying that their claims – including one of a "secret biological laboratory beneath the Saddam Hussein hospital in central Baghdad" – had repeatedly been disproved by UN weapons inspectors.

On missiles, Iraq accepted UN demands to destroy its al-Samoud weapons, despite disputing claims that they exceeded the permitted range. No banned Scud missiles were found before or since, but last week the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, suggested Scuds had been fired during the war. There is no proof any were in fact Scuds. more ( very good read!)

Unemployment Rate Darkens To 10.4 Percent

The jobless trap: Some settle for little, or give up

The number of so-called "underemployed" — those forced to take part-time or low-paying jobs — has grown 41 percent nationwide since the recession started two years ago.

Throw in the discouraged jobless who have stopped looking for work altogether, and the 5.8 percent U.S. unemployment rate darkens to a seasonally unadjusted 10.4 percent.

The gap explains why jobless rates are holding steady or even dropping while the economy continues to lose jobs. more

Americans have good reason to be afraid of their leaders
Americans are waking up to a world where, if you're not for your Government, you're a traitor

Freed from the oppression of their dictator, Iraqis are now free to complain. From tens of thousands of marchers chanting "down, down USA - don't stay, go away" to individuals spitting at soldiers, Iraqis are flexing a muscle that, paradoxically, had atrophied under Saddam Hussein.

But now here's an irony that no one expected. Back in America, complaining about America is the one thing that's pretty much disappeared, lost under the weight of a collective patriotism and increasing constitutional limitations.

Voicing any sort of anti-war opinion is just not done any more and a number of organisations have sprung up with the express purpose of blacklisting celebrities who speak out.

Susan Sarandon is obviously on the list. She's quoted as saying she doesn't remember ever being in a climate where people were too afraid to even have a conversation about an issue, let alone a debate.

But then in America, uttering any threatening remark about the President is illegal and likely to land you in jail. Writer Jonathan Freedland, looking at America's history of tolerance and diversity, said in the Guardian that the country was turning into a very un-American America, "where the limits of acceptable discussion have narrowed sharply and anyone commenting negatively on the war or the President is denounced as unpatriotic".

It shouldn't come as a surprise. A quick reading of the 2001 Patriot Act, formed in the dark hours after 9/11, clearly shows it's all part of a bigger plan. Under the guise of security, the act allowed all kinds of incursions into private life.

Some - like the right to track organisations suspected of funding terrorists - made sense in light of the attacks. Others - like the right to seize library lending records or the recruitment of posties, pizza delivery guys, and local shopkeepers into a national network of informers - did seem draconian.

But it turns out it was not enough. Sweeping new amendments to the bill have been drawn up. The Patriot Act II or as the brave would have it, the Liberty for Security Act, was leaked to the press in February and in its present form makes for scary reading. It allows things like random arrests, secret military tribunals for presidentially designated terrorists, and concealment of presidential records.

It even proposes reversing a federal court decision authorising the release of the names of the hundreds of people still detained, without representation, in the dragnet following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Perhaps you believe that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear? The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, in New York, warns that for the first time in United States history, the act will explicitly authorise secret arrests, not to mention sneak-and-peek searches.

That cute term means federal agents can enter your home, download your computer and internet viewing history, take your private business records and any other material, including confidential library and bookstore records - without telling you, without proof of probable cause, or without getting a court order.

And the best part? The legislation does not restrict searches to people suspected of being involved in terrorism.

It gets worse. The act not only increases Government power while decreasing checks on its invasive power. If passed (and that looks likely), the Government will be able to sample and catalogue genetic information, without a court order or your consent. The act also broadens the term "terrorist" to include anyone with views that differ from the Government.

And forget being a whistle-blower. That's set to become illegal, even if your motive is to protect the public from corporate wrongdoing or Government neglect.

But then to whistle-blow you need access to information. Under Patriot Act II information such as the environmental safety of local factories will be off-limits. And you won't be able to contribute to meaningful dialogue on the future of such resources as forests (that constitutes belonging to a "special interest group").

In addition if you don't like a secret decision made by a Government organisation - say, clear-felling ancient sequoia trees - you'll have no right to appeal. And even the press will be barred from publishing contentious information.

Feeling a tingle up your spine yet? Richard Woods, the head of our own spy service, the SIS, wouldn't comment. Even his receptionist Mary "I don't give my second name" would not comment on questions about New Zealand's response to the Patriot Act II.

But in comparison to the US draft, the proposed amendments to our own 2002 Terrorism Suppression Act are puny procedures - like we require a court warrant to use electronic tracking devices.

... Now... Americans are waking up to a world where, if you're not for your Government, you're a traitor... more

Graham: Bush Has Abandoned War on Terror

Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham said Sunday that President Bush has virtually abandoned Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism, which allowed al-Qaida to regroup while he pursued war in Iraq. The Florida senator also said that by refusing to allow an Iranian-style religious government to take power in Baghdad, even if elected by the Iraqis, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "demonstrates the kind of quagmire that we are potentially going to be in in Iraq."

"If you talk about a democracy, which means that people vote and select the political leadership that they desire, then you can't say, `But there are certain segments of the population that are off-limits,'" he told ABC's "This Week." more

Knowing our enemy: The Difference Between George W. Bush and North Korea's Kim Jong Il

As mindless liberals reflexively attack our elected wartime President, George W. Bush over his brilliant and inspired handling of the near-crisis brought about by the sinister North Korean communist regime, it is important that we true conservatives remember the nature of the Korean dictator and charter member of the Axis of Evil.

He is the pampered and spoiled product of his country's ruling elite and the son of his country's former leader. Born to the wealth and high social standing of his family's political dynasty, he has enjoyed a life of privilege far removed from concerns of his exploited countrymen. Despite an obvious lack of merit, talent or aptitude, he received the best accommodations his country could offer. He was a notorious playboy and immoral rake until he reached an age at which most men have matured. He produced nothing and accomplished nothing unconnected to his family's name, and owes his current political position to solely his father's cronies.

Surrounded by sycophants and toadies, he adheres to a discredited ideology that most of his countrymen would reject if they were not routinely and massively propagandized. He is unconcerned with the economic devastation his party's ideology has visited on his country, except as to avoid complete disaster and cynically manipulate each crisis to the passing advantage of his party and the ruling elite.

Paranoid and contemptuous of foreign opinion, he has alienated almost the entire world with disjointed, bellicose, but often colorful rhetoric that most other nations find frightening. His erratic foreign policy consists solely of slogans intended to further propagandize a fearful domestic audience rather than assure his neighbors. Often, he unpredictibly reverses his own national policy and acts unilaterally to further a political ideology that is incompatible with democracy.

These are the differences between Kim Jong Il and our own beloved and respected leader. Liberals are blind to those differences. (snicker... snicker...)

Isn't It Ironic? In An Attempt To Smear The New Pro-Bill Clinton Book "The Clinton Wars," Rightwing Shill Matt Drudge Causes The Book's Sales To Skyrocket!

It isn't a big secret that rightwing shill "journalist" Matt Drudge doesn't like writer Sidney Blumenthal, author of the new book "The Clinton Wars." Drudge was at one time sued by Blumenthal for libel. And now, on the eve of the book's release, Drudge is taking another shot at Blumenthal. Unfortunately for Drudge (and republicans across the country) the attention he has given Blumenthal's book has caused preorders for it to skyrocket on

"The Clinton Wars" documents as never before the unprecedented concerted assault on the highly successful Clinton presidency by the right-wing that created a constitutional crisis by invading the President’s personal life. Its shocking revelations of those who tried to overthrow a progressive, popular President goes to the heart of the conflict that continues beyond the Clinton years.

When Drudge wrote his piece on the book yesterday, he gleefully pointed out the book only ranked #23,588 on Amazon's sales chart. This morning, it stands at #79.

Buy it!


Friday, April 25, 2003

suggesting for the first time that coalition troops may come up empty in their search,

Bush Admits: Iraq's WMD May Have Been Destroyed

pResident Bush raised the possibility Thursday that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were destroyed before U.S.-led war, suggesting for the first time that coalition troops may come up empty in their search. Bush, who is expected to mark the end of hostilities soon, defied much of the world to wage war against Saddam Hussein in a bid to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. Iraqi leaders asserted the nation had none, and an intensive search by coalition forces has uncovered no proof so far of chemical or biological weapons or a nuclear weapons program.

So there. more

Whose Foreign Policy Opinion Does Tony Blair Trust Most, Bill Clinton's or George Bush's? Bill Clinton's, Of Course!

According to the Guardian, Tony Blair took repeated secret advice from our last legally elected president Bill Clinton on how to unlock the diplomatic impasse between Europe and the US in the build-up to the war on Iraq. In the crucial weekend before to the final breakdown of diplomacy in March, Mr Clinton was a guest of Mr Blair's at Chequers where the pair discussed the crisis.

Three days after his Chequers meeting, Mr Clinton made a rare public appeal to his successor, George Bush, to give the UN weapons inspectors more time.

Mr Blair and Mr Clinton met at least three times to discuss the war, underlining the extent to which Mr Blair rates Mr Clinton's analytical powers.

In a speech in Washington three days later Mr Clinton said the UN's chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, should set the timetable for compliance, adding: "I hope the United States would agree to that amount of time, whatever it is." At that point, Mr Blair was pressing Bush in private to extend the weapons inspections deadline.

Mr. Blair knows a qualified elected president when he sees one. To bad he has to work with Bush now!

American Media Coverage of Iraq War Blasted On Both Sides Of The Atlantic!

Turner Calls Rival Media Mogul and Fox News Owner Murdoch 'Warmonger'

Ted Turner said on Thursday too few people owned too many media organizations and called rival media baron Rupert Murdoch a warmonger for what he said was Murdoch's promotion of the U.S. war in Iraq.

"He's a warmonger," Turner said in an evening speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco of Murdoch, whose News Corp. Ltd. owns the fast-growing Fox News Channel. "He promoted it."

Asked by an audience member for his thoughts on Fox's larger ratings share than CNN's, Turner said, "Just because your ratings are bigger doesn't mean you're better." more

BBC Chief Attacks U.S. Media War Coverage

U.S. broadcasters' coverage of the Iraq war was so unquestioningly patriotic and so lacking in impartiality that it threatened the credibility of America's electronic media, the head of the BBC said on Thursday.

BBC Director General Greg Dyke singled out for criticism the fast growing News Corp. Ltd.'s Fox News Channel, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, and Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest operator of radio stations in the United States, with over 1,200 stations, for special criticism.

"Personally, I was shocked while in the United States by how unquestioning the broadcast news media was during this war," Dyke said in a speech at a University of London conference.

"If Iraq proved anything, it was that the BBC cannot afford to mix patriotism and journalism. This is happening in the United States and if it continues, will undermine the credibility of the U.S. electronic news media."

Dyke singled out Fox News, the most popular U.S. cable news network during the conflict, for its "gung-ho patriotism," saying: "We are still surprised when we see Fox News with such a committed political position." more

Dixie Chicks: Naked Defiance

They have been called Saddam's Angels and the Dixie Sluts, traitors and big mouths. Radio stations stopped playing their new CD and invited listeners to dump their old albums in garbage cans and there have been death threats and calls to boycott their upcoming US tour. Trash has been dumped in their yards and they now have 24 hour security. All because they dared to speak out against George W. Bush.

But a funny thing happened to the Dixie Chicks as they were being victimized by rightwing America's new McCarthyism. They got more popular!

"To be brutally honest, there has been no effect, other than the odd phone call to a building inquiring about a refund. There's a lot more noise than action," says Rob Light, the act's agent and head of the music division at Creative Artists Agency speaking to Billboard Magazine.

"Actually, the buildings are getting more asking, if there are refunds, can they buy the tickets."

He says that of 59 shows, only six have seats left, and those are all 85%-90% sold out and expected to go clean.

Interestingly, as wire services picked up this Billboard story, they inserted an extra line which read, The Dixie Chicks' album "Home" has tumbled down the charts in the weeks following singer Natalie Maines' declaration in London that she was ashamed to come from the same state (Texas) as Bush. (see Rueters) This line was NOT in the original. Why? Because it isn't true and Billboard would know because they are the ones who track and rank record chart positions!

After 34 weeks on the Billboard Country Albums chart, The Dixie Chick's latest album is #3 and was #1 just last week! (source). Considering the controversy happened several weeks ago, the album's chart position hardly qualifies as a "chart tumbler," huh? Home has sold over 6 million copies in 34 weeks - completeing eclipsing the performance of Toby Keith, an outspoken Dixie Chicks critic who is using a backdrop of Dixie Chick Maines and Saddam Hussein during concerts. His latest album has been on Billboard's country chart over a month longer than the Dixie Chick's but has managed to only sell 2 million copies.

Now, the Dixie Chicks are fighting back in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, where they have posed nude on the cover - concealed only with epithets they have attracted and vowing to continue to speak their minds.. And there are signs of a backlash against the backlash with sales of their CD, Home, bouncing back up in the charts this week.

"People think this'll scare us and shut us up and it's gonna do the opposite," said Maines. "They just served themselves a huge headache." more


Thursday, April 24, 2003

"were more focused on the overriding goal of defeating Hussein and paid little attention to the dynamics of religion and politics in the region."

Bush Administration Admits Rise Of Anti-American, Islamic Fundamentalists In Iraq.

As Iraqi Shiite demands for a dominant role in Iraq's future mount, Bush administration officials say they underestimated the Shiites' organizational strength and are unprepared to prevent the rise of an anti-American, Islamic fundamentalist government in the country.

The burst of Shiite power -- as demonstrated by the hundreds of thousands who made a long-banned pilgrimage to the holy city of Karbala yesterday -- has U.S. officials looking for allies in the struggle to fill the power vacuum left by the downfall of Saddam Hussein.

As the administration plotted to overthrow Hussein's government, U.S. officials said this week, it failed to fully appreciate the force of Shiite aspirations and is now concerned that those sentiments could coalesce into a fundamentalist government. Some administration officials were dazzled by Ahmed Chalabi, the prominent Iraqi exile who is a Shiite and an advocate of a secular democracy. Others were more focused on the overriding goal of defeating Hussein and paid little attention to the dynamics of religion and politics in the region.

"It is a complex equation, and the U.S. government is ill-equipped to figure out how this is going to shake out," a State Department official said. "I don't think anyone took a step backward and asked, 'What are we looking for?' The focus was on the overthrow of Saddam Hussein." more

Children held at Guantanamo Bay!

Children younger than 16 are being held as "enemy combatants" in the American detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, the US military admitted yesterday, a practice human rights groups condemned as repugnant and illegal.

Three boys aged between 13 and 15 are among about 660 inmates at the controversial camp, a US military official told the Guardian, on condition of anonymity. The official would not disclose their nationalities but said they had been brought from Afghanistan this year on suspicion of "terrorism."

They could be held indefinitely and not be granted access to lawyers because the US continues to view them as "enemy combatants" - a term it has used to argue that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to the inmates, who have not been charged with any crimes. more

Report: U.S. Has Plans to Bomb N.Korea Nuke Plant; North Korea, Whose Nuclear Missiles Can Reach Our West Coast, Warns Of War

Dumbasses! What other word can describe these people who, after ignoring them for months, are now picking a fight with a nuclear power. The Pentagon has drawn up plans to bomb a North Korea nuclear plant if it reprocesses spent nuclear fuel rods, according to an Australian newspaper report on Tuesday.

Citing "well-informed Canberra sources close to U.S. thinking," The Australian's foreign editor Greg Sheridan said the U.S. has produced a blueprint to bomb Yongbyon if the plant went ahead with reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods to make atom bombs.

He said the plan also involved a U.S. strike against North Korean heavy artillery in the hills above the border with South Korea. more

Meanwhile, Pyongyang's official news agency has released a statement warning that the situation on the Korean peninsula is so tense, war could break out at any moment.
The statement went on to demand the US boldly change its hostile policy towards North Korea. more

Alabama Law Says Bush Can't Be On The State's 2004 Presidential-election Ballot

Unless Alabama's election law is changed, Bush could be left off the state's 2004 presidential-election ballot. Apparently, the Republican National Convention is being pushed back a few days so as not to conflict with the Olympics, meaning the Republican Party won't choose a candidate until Sept. 2. This is two days after Alabama's Aug. 31 deadline to certify presidential contenders.

The Associated Press is reporting Republicans are asking the Democrat-controlled Legislature to change the law and extend the deadline until Sept. 5 - something they're no required to do. While that bill is on today's schedule in the House, some Republicans are concerned the bill may not come up for consideration because it has been placed behind several other issues.

GOP memo predicts drop in Bush poll numbers

Prepare for endless war. A GOP memo being sent to Republicans across the country predicts that President Bush's high approval ratings will soon "drop to more realistic levels" and that some polls may show him behind Democratic rivals.

The memo comes as more media and political attention is shifting away from the war in Iraq to domestic matters within the United States, especially the economy. And the advice to Republicans is being offered amid heightened campaign activity on the part of the nine announced Democratic candidates seeking to win their party's presidential nomination in 2004.

The Democratic hopefuls have grown increasingly vocal in their criticism of Bush, especially for his handling of the economy and his proposal for more tax cuts.

One day before 9/11, Bush's poll numbers were averaging around 48%. After 9/11, they rose close to 90%. Right before the Iraq war, Bush's numbers were hovering in the low to mid 50s. They're now in in the upper 60s to low 70s.

So the White House response to low approval numbers is war. Expect another in the Summer of 2003. more

The Most Dangerous President Ever? How and why George W. Bush undermines American security

At heart, the current Bush is a warrior for a region, a faction, a part of America. No national calamity has tempered his zeal for his factional agenda. His determination to reward the "investor class" (that is, still, the rich), to appoint socially reactionary judges, to favor his business cronies has not waned in wartime. His desire to make Americans reliant on the market, rather than social savings, has not been deterred by the worst decline in the markets since the Great Depression.

George W. Bush has been pursuing a reckless, even ridiculous, but always right-wing agenda -- shredding a global-security structure at a time requiring unprecedented international integration, shredding a domestic safety net at a time when the private sector provides radically less security than it did a generation ago. No American president has ever played quite so fast and loose with the well-being of the American people. more

Give Your Daughter The Gift Of Fascism With The New Ann Coulter Talking Doll!

I kid you not, people, fascism will soon be lurking under your christmas tree. "The Right Wing Barbie," in the likeness of the GOP shill and sloppy author Ann Coulter, is the newest creation of the same California dollmaker who brought you the George W. Bush doll last year. If you'll recall, the Bush doll recites 17 different phrases in his own voice - all with his amazing grasp of the English language. The Ann Coulter doll aims to verbally please as well and will likely spout these famous Coulter lines:

* College campuses serve as sort of internment camp for useless leftists
* We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals
* My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism
* I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote

If anyone can think of more insightful quotes the Ann Coulter doll should say, please don't hesitate to contact the doll's manufacturer. The phone number is 949-727-3646. You can write them at Talking, 18 Technology #149 Irvine, CA 92618.

There is no word yet if Rightwing Barbie Ann Coulter will share a penthouse with a talking Sean "the punk" Hannity doll.

In Georgia, Bob Barr Chickens Out Of Senate Run For Zell Miller's Seat; Surprise Potential Democratic Candidate Leads Pack

Don't consider Zell Miller's senate seat lost to the Republicans yet! While Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, a conservative Republican who rose to prominence as a House manager during the Clinton impeachment hearings, bowed out of a campaign to return to Congress yesterday, a potential new name has surfaced to compete with likely republican contenders - Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. Franklin indicated early on April 11 she may consider a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Zell Miller in 2004 and a poll shows her beating U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson and other likely candidates by wide margins.

The poll conducted in mid March of 800 likely state voters found Franklin would beat Isakson, the Congressman from Cobb County, 45 percent to 38 percent.

Franklin beats Republican U.S. Rep. Mac Collins from Columbus, another possible candidate for Miller's seat, 45 percent to 35 percent, according to the poll.

The poll also indicates Franklin would pull as much as 81 percent of the state's African-American vote and as much as 32 percent of the white vote, making her a formidable state-wide candidate.

Should It Surprise You That Another Bush Nominee Is A Racist? This Time, The Nominee Could Head Up The United States Institute of Peace

Daniel Pipes, nominated to a federal think tank on peace over the objections of Muslim groups. said Tuesday that President Bush should not have characterized Islam as a peaceful religion after the September 11 attacks.

Asked by reporters whether he thought Mr. Bush should have made the statement, Pipes said "no."

Why there are no (or only a few) liberal talk show hosts

Let me get this straight. Talk show hosts are running around criticizing actors for expressing anti-war opinions? Talk show hosts? Disc jockeys without discs flacking Double Acting Medicated Gold Bond Powder? Future infomercial hosts using the same makeup people as the moving mannequins they're disparaging?

They call artists Anti-American for speaking out on the war because of a lack of expertise. And they themselves are qualified how? Masters degrees from San Francisco State in International Relations? A lifetime of experience in diplomacy and government service? Or just some blow dried teeth who hired above average agents and excelled in freedom kissing Roger Ailes' butt deeper and more often than the other guy?

You tell me, what is more Anti-American than polarizing citizens into "us" and "them" conveniently avoiding the fact that most of America lies in the middle? Oh, you don't want I should change the subject to Anti-Constitution here. You know why there are no liberal talk show hosts? Forget the big corporations. That's another column.

I'll tell you why there are no liberal talk show hosts. The American Heritage Dictionary defines liberal as: "1.a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded."

Does that sound like the enemy to you? No, but it does mean you have to consider an opinion other than yours before you start ranting and bullying and labeling dissenters betrayers of your version of patriotism. And in the electronic media, being tolerant enough to consider opposing opinions takes time and means sometimes saying "I don't know" or "you have a point there" which causes our national treasure, the zombie legion of soul-dead media consultants to cry and wail about a perceived ratings drop. Contemplation doesn't sell. Ask Phil Donahue. No, wait, he was boring.

The problem is fancy millionaire artists are a red meat hot button to fancy millionaire talk show hosts. Can't wait to see how they denigrate the elite Robbins and Sarandon in their next seven-figure book deal. I'll tell you another reason why there aren't any liberal talk show hosts. Because as soon as a liberal talk show host would start gaining a little bit of traction, some right wing nut job would shoot him. more


Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Bush knocks Rightwing Slayer Off Line For Two Days!

Actually, it wasn't a bush. It was a tree... branch fell off onto my cable line, effectively disabling my cable modem. Long story... Tech support blamed it on a split cable in Alabama (200 miles away) before they came out two days later and found the problem.

So... finally... update tomorrow...

Monday, April 21, 2003

Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal Says His Work Is Done (Unless He Gets Called Out Of Retirement To Track Down Bush Adminstration Officials)

Renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was quoted as saying on Thursday he would soon close his files after nearly half a century because his work to track down the perpetrators of the Holocaust was complete.

"I found the mass murderers I was looking for, and I have outlived all of them. If there's a few I didn't look for, they are now too old and fragile to stand trial. My work is done," the 94-year-old told the Austrian weekly magazine "Format." more

Of course, he may be called upon again if the current American adminstration attempts to escape punishment for war crimes... Damn fascists!

Iraq may have destroyed weapons just days before war? Ummm... right!

A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said.

The scientist also told American weapons experts that Iraq had secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the mid-1990's, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda, the military officials said.

The Americans said the scientist told them that President Saddam Hussein's government had destroyed some stockpiles of deadly agents as early as the mid-1990's, transferred others to Syria, and had recently focused its efforts instead on research and development projects that are virtually impervious to detection by international inspectors, and even American forces on the ground combing through Iraq's giant weapons plants.

An American military team hunting for unconventional weapons in Iraq, the Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, or MET Alpha, which found the scientist, declined to identify him, saying they feared he might be subject to reprisals. more

He might be subject to reprisals? From who? He's in American custody if this "scientist" who wasn't identified by name even exists! The weapons, which took years to develop and manufacture, were all destroyed - without a trace - just days before the war?

What does Mr. Bush take the American public for? No wait! I KNOW what he takes us for!

White House to Host Yale Reunion; To Include Bush Classmates Who Opposed The War - Including Oliver Stone

Mr. Bush has been warming in recent years to the alma mater he once derided as an incubator of "intellectual snobbery" (He meant "they were smart I was dumb) when he was governor of Texas and has now agreed to hold his 35 year reunion at the White House. The gathering could include classmates who opposed the Iraq war like Oliver Stone.

The cost of the event may eclipse that of similar parties held by the Clintons for which they were criticized for. Holding to the double standards affored our unelected fraud, you may recall Bush once vowed never to hold the huge parties that the Clintons did.

Bush's charge of "intellectual snobbery" at Yale were indicative of his barely average performance; He had an inferiority complex!

The November 8th 1999 issue of the New Yorker published Bush's 1968 report card in its "Talk of the Town" section. While his grades average out to a "C," he got even lower grades in political science, foreign relations, and economics. Now THAT is funny. Considering his poor handling of the economy and his dreadful performance in foreign relations, perhaps Bush should have taken summer repeat courses if he'd had one inkling he'd one day be the leader of the free world.

Oliver Stone, part of the Yale Class Reunion, Calls Bush "A Flake"

Director Oliver Stone criticized recent American military decisions and spoke about his struggles in adapting history to the screen in a question-and-answer session held Friday night at Cantor Film Center.

Stone, a two-time Academy Award-winning director, fielded questions from a crowd of over 100 students, most of them from the film and television department in Tisch School of the Arts. The event was part of the twice-weekly Director's Series organized by the department.

While the session was designed to focus on Stone's directing career, many students asked about his notoriously liberal political beliefs. Although he declined to address the events of Sept. 11 directly, saying he feared a media circus, Stone frequently referred to current political issues in answering questions about his life.

When one student asked why Stone wanted to fight in the Vietnam War, the director said he had been "another person" at the time, one influenced by misguided war fervor. He compared the fervor over Vietnam to the present war on terrorism.

"[I thought] very much like the way [President George W.] Bush thinks now. Of course, I was 15," Stone said, to laughter from the crowd. "They don't want to take any casualties, so they won't put any men on the passes in Pakistan to try and catch [Osama bin Laden]. They won't even try. You know, they don't want to take 25, 50, 100 casualties. They're scared.

"[Bush says] 'We're pursuing terrorists,'" Stone said. "No, George, you're not. You're a flake. Be serious..." more

John McCaslin, nationally syndicated Washington Times columnist, proudly reports "Young Republicans" advisory board now led by Gerald Ford and Bob Dole

Rightwing writer John McCaslin seems down right giddy that the country's Young Republicans are now led by former President Gerald Ford, along with former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. I hope all Young Republicans grow into the winners Ford and Dole were! Yay!

When talk radio incites by Rekha Basu

Much of what passes for discourse on talk radio isn't worth dignifying with a response. Wild assertions are offered without supporting facts. Trivial things are generalized and distorted out of all proportion to score political points. Bluster and ridicule are turned on efforts for justice and equality, and scapegoats are made of easy targets.

There's a simplistic if paranoid formulation behind these rants: Government and taxes are bad. America needs to be rescued from the clutches of the politically correct. The country lacks morals and discipline. The world is going to hell in a hand basket.

But in the past few weeks, a Des Moines talk-radio host has crossed the line between idle raving and inciting. He's used the power of his control room to pick on teenagers. And it's gone beyond ignorant and offensive to downright creepy.

What provoked WHO radio's Jan Mickelson into his weeklong rampage was a national Day of Silence that members of Roosevelt High School's Straight and Gay Alliance were taking part in April 9. SAGA is one of 52 student-led extracurricular clubs (Bible Studies is another). It supports gay and lesbian students and has some members who are neither.

The event was in solidarity with victims of intolerance. Remember Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student who was beaten, tied to a fence and left to die?

When the news reached Mickelson, the darling of local conservative talk radio - a man who can't seem to let a mention of gay folks go without grabbing his mike and his soapbox - it was manna raining down from heaven.

For starters, he referred to SAGA as "the sodomy club" so often that, according to Al Foote, the counselor who is club sponsor, some listeners thought that was its actual name. He made the false claim that its activities were on school time with taxpayer money and involved all students. He concluded the school was pushing sexual activity and homosexuality on the kids.

"You've got activists now in control of the Des Moines school system and . . . they are defining the rules," he railed. "They didn't ask your permission, they're just doing it. And, then if you say no you don't like it, they call you a bigot."

Complaining that society cares too much about gay people's feelings, Mickelson said such concern is unwarranted "if you are a pervert and want to spin a sexual agenda at our expense." But then he suggested being gay is a myth. "It's junk science that says they are, and tells them to define themselves on the basis of their inclinations."

Mickelson even tried to link the SAGA event to falling test scores.

He graphically described to one student caller how he envisoned a sex act between two men. Foote says, "I thought it was totally out of line to be talking like that to a high-school student."

And the radio host exhorted listeners not to stand for any of it.

Roosevelt's phones lit up with hundreds of calls from outraged listeners, some so offensive that Principal Anita Micich had to replace student phone clerks. She had adult campus monitors ready in case of trouble. Repeatedly, she explained the school isn't pushing anything on anybody, and whatever your view of homosexuality, it's wrong that people are being discriminated against.

Foote says he also fielded calls after Mickelson or someone on the show accused him of "promoting my gay agenda with taxpayer money." One caller said, "Shame on you," and told Foote he was praying for him. For the record, Foote has been married 26 years and has three sons, and the event was student-planned.

Studies suggest gay students are two to three times as likely to attempt suicide as straight students. So schools have an obligation to help them find strength and support. "They're concerned about these issues," said Micich of SAGA members. "They did none of this with any malice toward anybody." And she's proud of them. more

Certain Words Can Offend Rightwingers, Trip Up AIDS Grants, Scientists Say

Scientists who study AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases say they have been warned by federal health officials that their research may come under unusual scrutiny by the Department of Health and Human Services or by [Republican] members of Congress, because the topics are politically controversial.

The scientists, who spoke on condition they not be identified, say they have been advised they can avoid unfavorable attention by keeping certain "key words" out of their applications for grants from the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those words include "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange," the scientists said. more

What Has Liberalism Done For You?

Every now and then I see a Rush Limbaugh inspired bumper sticker that says "Imagine No Liberals." This, of course, is meant to be a slam to liberals but it got me thinking about what this country would be like without liberals. So, here is a partial list of liberal accomplishments in this country:

1. The American Revolution: Simple. The conservatives of the day were loyal to the British King. Liberals wanted independance.
2. The Bill Of Rights: Conservatives of the day (Anti-federalists) opposed the Bill Of Rights on the grounds it interferred with state's rights. Conservatives today still preach "state's rights" and consider the Bill Of Rights as a hinderance to their ultimate agenda - especially the first amendment.
3. The abolition of slavery. Enough said!
4. The preservation of the Union. Although Lincoln was a republican, the republican party then hardly resembles the republican party of today. Lincoln policies were extremely liberal for his time. Many conservatives today still insist the Civil War was fought over their favorite whining point - a state's rights - namely - state's rights to secede.

For much much more, including civil rights and the American space program, click here


Rightwing Faux Patriot Police Department Charge Man With "Contempt Of Flag"

Alamosa officials found out Tuesday that Old Glory stands for even more American freedoms than they thought.

There's the freedom to hang Old Glory upside down, for instance, even if other people don't like it.

When bombs started falling on Baghdad last month, Alamosa business owner John Fleming put an upside down U.S. flag in the window of his book and music shop, The Roost, on State Street.

It was Fleming's protest against the war.

Hanging the U.S. flag upside down, Fleming said, is an official distress signal. It says so in the Boy Scout Manual.

"I was in distress over the war," Fleming said. "It doesn't mean I don't support the troops."

He heard some members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars were thinking about picketing his store. Fleming thought that would be great. "That was their First Amendment right," he said.

Then three police officers showed up. One of them was the chief of police. They told Fleming to remove his upside-down flag or be ticketed for a misdemeanor crime called "contempt of flag."

"I went into physical shock," said Fleming, 45. "Instead of supporting my rights, they were taking rights away from me."

He took down the flag.

But then he called the American Civil Liberties Union in Denver, which prepared to file a lawsuit.

"The need for litigation was avoided, however, when Alamosa officials agreed to resolve the dispute," ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said Tuesday.

Alamosa City Manager Michael Hackett did not return a telephone call Tuesday.

According to the ACLU, Alamosa officials explained to the police chief that Fleming's upside-down flag was a statement of opinion, protected by the First Amendment.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld that freedom at least twice in cases involving the use of the flag to make statements, Silverstein said.

And the old Colorado statute making "contempt of flag" a crime was struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1973, he said.

Fleming learned Tuesday that he can replace his upside-down flag in his shop window. more


Friday, April 18, 2003

Rightwing Myth Exposed: The Myth of the Spat-Upon Veteran

Spat on our soldiers returning from Vietnam is a great story, but like many right-wing myths it is simply not true. Jerry Lembcke, an associate professor of sociology at Holy Cross College, did an exhaustive search in the process of writing his 1998 book, The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and the Legacy of Vietnam. He found not a single case of a returning Vietnam veteran spat upon by antiwar activists. The relation between Vietnam veterans and the peace movement was generally good, since the antiwar people saw the mostly working class vets as just as much victims of the war machine as the Vietnamese peasants. We should remember that in that war, as many as 550,000 GIs went AWOL or deserted. A Harris Poll in 1971 showed that only 1% of the veterans encountered hostile reactions when they came home, and they did not think the antiwar movement was hostile to them.

There are practically no reports of spitting during the war itself (1965-75). The first reported instance occurs during an International Day of Protest featuring "Veterans for Peace in Vietnam." Here it is the war supporters who are spitting on the pro-peace veterans. In 1965, World War II veterans who were taking part in an antiwar demonstration were reviled as "cowards" and "traitors."

Lembcke was not able to find a single photograph, news story, or FBI report of veterans being spat upon (remember, the FBI did obsessive surveillance of the peace movements). He tried to track down individuals who said they had been spat upon or witnessed it, but they "dissolved on scrutiny" and others "betrayed lack of authenticity"—which, I assume, means they lied. So what is going on here?

Vietnam veterans did not come home in bulk at the end of the war as WWII vets did; they dribbled back after their usually one-year tour of duty. As the war progressed, thousands of WWII and Vietnam vets turned against the war. The Nixon administration launched a campaign to differentiate between "good" (pro-war) vets and "bad" (antiwar) vets. Spiro Agnew, who would soon be hounded out of office as a felon, led the charge. Overnight, conservatives changed the debate from "our objectives in Southeast Asia" (anti-communism, democracy) to "supporting our men who are fighting the war." (Everyone will remember a similar shift during the Gulf War.)

The single image of the spat-upon Vietnam veteran became the perfect myth of the Nixon-Agnew strategy to discredit the antiwar movement. What solidified the image of the reviled, spat-upon, and eventually crazed Vietnam veteran was the movies. It started in Jane Fonda's Coming Home, where a returning vet is verbally accosted as he returns home: "We don't want your rotten war!" Trouble is, peace activists quietly picketed soldiers going to Vietnam, not returning. But it was the 1977 movie Tracks in which we got the good pro-war veteran and the bad antiwar activist, Mark, who repeatedly spits on his opponents. Hollywood's role in creating the myth of the spat-upon veteran had begun.

And the end result was Rambo, the crazed Vietnam veteran: "But somebody wouldn't let us win. I come back and see all these maggots at the airport. Protesting me, spitting, calling me a baby-killer. Who are they to protest me? Huh?"

It's called the manufacture of consent. It is going on now and it's very scary. by Gabrielle Bernard

Howard Dean: It's Not Just Bush's Doctrine That's Wrong

When Congress approved the President’s authorization to go to war in Iraq – no matter how well-intentioned – it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list. The Bush Doctrine must be stopped here.

Many in Congress who voted for this resolution should have known better. On September 23, 2002, Al Gore cautioned in his speech in San Francisco that “if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the Administration it is simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president so decides.” And that is why it was such a big mistake for Congress to allow the president to set this dangerous precedent.

Too much is at stake. We have taken decades of consensus on the conduct of foreign policy – bipartisan consensus in the United States and consensus among our allies in the world community – and turned it on its head. It could well take decades to repair the damage this President and his cohort of right-wing ideological advisors have done to our standing in the international community.

Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies.

This unilateral approach to foreign policy is a disaster. All of the challenges facing the United States – from winning the war on terror and containing weapons of mass destruction to building an open world economy and protecting the global environment – can only be met by working with our allies. A renegade, go-it-alone approach will be doomed to failure, because these challenges know no boundaries.

The largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot eliminate the threat of sleeper terrorist cells. That task requires the highest level of intelligence cooperation with our allies.

Even the largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot be expected to go to war against every evil dictator who may possess chemical weapons. This calls for an aggressive and effective diplomatic effort, conducted in full cooperation with a united international community, and preferably with the backing of the multilateral institutions we helped to build for just this purpose. This challenge requires treaties – such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – that this Administration has sometimes treated cavalierly. In any case, war should be a last resort or an option to be used in the face of an imminent threat.

The UN Charter specifically protects the right of self-defense against armed attack, and most agree that action against imminent threat is also justified. As President – as has been the case with all previous presidents – I would not hesitate to use our military might to protect our people or our nation from an imminent threat. But you will not find a Dean Administration turning to the option of force in the first instance as this President does.

The immediate task at hand of the next president will be to begin rebuilding our relationships with our allies so that we can work in concert on tackling these challenges.

The next president will need to undo the work of this band of radicals currently controlling our foreign policy – who view the Middle East as a laboratory for their experiments in democracy-building, where no such traditions exist. Their approach will drastically change the view that the world has had of the United States.

Our nation should be viewed as a moral and just power, a power that seeks to do good, one that has led by example and with a spirit of generosity, and one that works with the world community in advancing the ideals of human dignity and rule of law across the globe.

The people of this country must understand that this Administration has a far different concept of the role of America in the world. This concept involves imposing our will on sovereign nations. This concept involves dismantling the multilateral institutions that we have spent decades building. And this concept involves distorting the rule of law to suit their narrow purposes. When did we become a nation of fear and anxiety when we were once known the world around as a land of hope and liberty?

On day one of a Dean Presidency, I will reverse this attitude. I will tear up the Bush Doctrine. And I will steer us back into the company of the community of nations where we will exercise moral leadership once again.

And not only will I seek to heal the divisions this President has caused in the world community, but I would also begin the process of healing the divisions he has exploited here at home.

This President shamelessly divides us from one another. He divides us by race – as he did when he claimed that the University of Michigan uses quotas in its law school admissions. He divides us by class by rewarding his campaign donors with enormous tax cuts while the rest of us are deprived of affordable health care, prescription drugs for our seniors, and good schools for our kids. He divides us by gender by seeking to restrict reproductive choice for women. He divides us by sexual orientation by appointing reactionary judges to the bench, and as he did in Texas by refusing to sign the Hate Crimes bill if it included gay or lesbian Americans as potential victims.

It is a Bush Doctrine of domestic division, and I want to be the President who tears that doctrine up, too. I want to restore a sense of community in this country – where it’s not enough to worry whether your own kids have health care, but whether your neighbors’ kids have health care. I want to go to the South and talk about race. White southerners have been flocking to the Republican Party in recent years, but I want to offer them hope that their children will benefit from better schools and affordable health care, too. The Republican Party has done nothing for working people, black or white, and we need to remind Southern white folks that the only hope for better schools, and better job opportunities, and health care that is affordable is a Democratic President.

I am what is commonly referred to as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. I am proud of the fact that as Governor I routinely balanced the budget – which I was not required to do by Vermont’s constitution – and paid down our state debt by nearly a quarter. I had to make tough decisions, and I will admit that some of them did not make the progressive community happy. But I made those decisions because I have a guiding principle that social justice must rest upon a foundation of fiscal discipline. Because of that approach to governance, Vermont today is not cutting education and is not cutting Medicaid despite the perilous economic times brought on by the Bush fiscal policies.

One of my goals as a Presidential candidate is to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party – a line made popular by the late Paul Wellstone. Some have questioned why I would so closely align myself with a politician whose politics were considerably more liberal than mine. The fact is that I admired Paul Wellstone greatly, not only because of his politics, but because he stood up for his beliefs and fought for them until the day he died. I can only hope that someday people will say the same about me – that I, too, remained true to my core principles no matter what. I believe that the Democratic Party needs to stand for something if we want people to vote for us. And by standing against the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war and domestic division, we may yet rediscover the soul of our Party

Who you callin' anti-American?

America is a creation of speech, of ideas freely uttered and discussed and dissected and disputed. It is not a perfect process; it is not a pretty process.

But it's a darn fine thing all the same.

In my experience, the label "anti-American" is a weapon used almost exclusively by those on the political right, in an effort to discredit those on the left. It has a single purpose that is itself anti-American, as least as I see this country: Those who deploy that particular weapon are almost always trying to short-circuit the debate, to silence ideas that they fear hearing, or fear that others might hear.

Those who call others "anti-American" betray a lack of faith in their own vision, a lack of confidence that their concept of America would be sustained in an open and free-wheeling debate. So they try to shut it down. more

Rush Limbaugh Knows The Constitution... NOT!

It really shouldn't surprise anyone that a shill like Rush Limbaugh would misrepresent the constitution. The fact he actually put it on his website, though, either shows he is careless as hell or he assumes his listeners/readers aren't smart enough to know the difference.

So, to win all the marbles, tell me what is wrong with the following statement - taken right off Limbaugh's website: ...our Constitution is unique in the history of man because... it says that our rights come from our Creator, not from other men.

If your answer was "the constitution doesn't say or imply anything about a creator," then you're right!

What it does say is, We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In other words, it does say our rights come from other men - we the people of the United States! - and not from a creator, contrary to Rush's quote. Given Limbaugh's vast influence on the conservative right in America, was this an oversight, a display of ignorance, or is he trying to rewrite the constitution in the minds of his followers? You decide. quote

D.C. Young Republicans Chairman Dean A. Heyl Practices To Be Typical GOP Drone - Speech Resembles Swiss Cheese... Full Of Holes

Syndicated columnist John McCaslin expects to see Dean A. Heyl on national ballot ballot one day. What has impressed McCaslin about Heyl? Heyl, chairman of the D.C. Young Republicans was one of the speakers this week at the National Press Club, where Americans for Tax Reform held its annual rally in support of lower taxes and less government.

"As a Republican in the District, I appreciate any chance I get to speak," he told the crowd. "I wish [D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes] Norton would support lower taxes.

"Unfortunately, she is more preoccupied with such things as denying D.C. residents their Second Amendment rights and promoting the dreaded 'commuter tax.' This ill-conceived plan would unfairly increase the tax burdens of Maryland and Virginia citizens, whose only crime is living too close to the District."

Ahhh... a young gun nut! Does he not realize the Supreme Court has always ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects the states' militia's rights to bear arms, but that this protection does not extend to individuals? Does he not know legal scholars consider the issue "settled law?" This is why the gun lobby does not fight for its perceived constitutional right to keep and bear arms before the Supreme Court, but in Congress which generally puts special interests ahead of what is legal and constitutional.

As for his "commuter tax" comment: If all the residents were doing was living close to D.C. then D.C. couldn't legally tax them. As it is, many residents "commute" to D.C. for work (which is why its called a commuter tax) where they use the city's resources free of charge. The citizens in D.C. must then pick up the tab for the extra burden.

Maybe if this guy does run for a national office as a republican, I'll be opposing him when I finally decide to jump into politics. He sounds like easy pickings.


I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong... wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I'm not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings... More casualties would have been a preferred alternative to the "larger moral negative" of a victory that boosted President Bush's chances for re-election...Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least-bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people... But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative — four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere? Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world. - Gary Kamiya, executive editor Salon. Comments?


YO! Check out my NEW Blog! Fahrenheit 911 - A blog tracking the status and progress of Michael Moore's next film ''Fahrenheit 911,'' which will expose George W. Bush's complicity in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Still Don't Think The Iraq War Is About Oil? Read On...

After First Denying It, US Now Admits American Troops Shot and Killed Iraqi Civilians in Mosul

A US commander has admitted that American troops did shoot and kill a number of Iraqis during a protest in the northern city of Mosul. Brigadier-General Vince Brooks said US marines and special forces soldiers fired at ant-American demonstrators on Tuesday after they came under attack from people throwing rocks.

US forces had earlier denied responsibility for the killings on Tuesday. Witnesses said US troops fired into a crowd growing increasingly hostile to a speech being given by the town's newly appointed governor. A US spokesman said troops were returning fire from a nearby building and did not aim into the crowd. more

It IS All About Oil! Israel's "Pipeline Dream" A Reality - and So Is America's!

What is it about the Iraqi city of Mosul that would call for American forces to shed Iraqi civilian blood? How about oil earmarked for Israel? According to Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli, Here’s the outcome of the war: With the US invasion of Iraq and the downfall of the country’s regime, all of the oil agreements Russia and France made with Saddam Hussein in the past have now been rendered null and void. And Israel has replaced Russia and Germany, two countries dead set against the US war, in the Iraqi oil bazaar.

The Israeli government has already begun laying the necessary groundwork to pump oil extracted in the northern Iraqi cities of Mosul and Kirkuk to its own soil. The plan is very simple, namely reopening the long-defunct oil pipeline from Mosul to the Mediterranean port of Haifa in northern Israel. With Israel lacking energy resources of its own and depending on highly expensive oil from Russia, reopening the pipeline would transform its economy.

Of the two obstacles to achieving this, one has already been overcome - the overthrow of Saddam Hussein with an Israeli-friendly American backed government to take it's place. The other obstacle? The Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline passes through Syria and given the state of war that exists between Syria and Israel, only a regime change there could fulfill Israel's "pipedream." So don't believe Bush when he says he won't invade Syria.

From Jane' It is understood from diplomatic sources that the Bush administration has said it will not support lifting UN sanctions on Iraq unless Saddam's successors agree to supply Israel with oil.

All of this lends weight to the theory that Bush's war is part of a masterplan to reshape the Middle East to serve Israel's interests. Haaretz quoted Paritzky as saying that the pipeline project is economically justifiable because it would dramatically reduce Israel's energy bill.

US efforts to get Iraqi oil to Israel are not surprising. Under a 1975 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the US guaranteed all Israel's oil needs in the event of a crisis. The MoU, which has been quietly renewed every five years, also committed the USA to construct and stock a supplementary strategic reserve for Israel, equivalent to some US$3bn in 2002. Special legislation was enacted to exempt Israel from restrictions on oil exports from the USA.

Moreover, the USA agreed to divert oil from its home market, even if that entailed domestic shortages, and guaranteed delivery of the promised oil in its own tankers if commercial shippers were unwilling or not available to carry the crude to Israel. All of this adds up to a potentially massive financial commitment.

The USA has another reason for supporting Paritzky's project: a land route for Iraqi oil direct to the Mediterranean would lessen US dependence on Gulf oil supplies. Direct access to the world's second-largest oil reserves (with the possibility of expansion through so-far untapped deposits) is an important strategic objective. more and more

Many Iraqis Turn Anger Toward the U.S.

Just days ago, U.S. troops were allegedly cheered and kissed as they destroyed the symbols of Saddam Hussein regime. Today, after a week of chaos, it's a whole different story.

After looters ran wild, American forces shot civilians and the lack of basic services spread misery across the land, many Iraqis turned their anger away from Saddam Hussein and toward what they saw as their new oppressor: the United States of America.

"They are aggressors," wheezed Ali Ahmed, 17, lying in a hospital bed as a tube drained fluid from his lungs. "They destroyed us. They put us in war and didn't let us sleep. They just raided Baghdad."

Ahmed said he was shot in the back by an American bullet Friday as he left his home to purchase bread for his family's breakfast.

U.S. troops rolled across the deserts of Iraq expecting to find people dancing in the streets and cheering their arrival. There was some of that. But there was also anger.

"If Americans and British are here to destroy the regime and liberate Iraq, we welcome them," said Emad Fadil, a 26-year-old worker in the southern city of Basra. "But if they come to occupy Iraq, we will fight them to the end — like the Palestinians." more


Isn't it funny how reTHUGlicans call into talk shows saying how people "don't have the right" to criticize Bush? Well, THIS is what gives people the right - in case any of you conservatives were wondering...


Another Bush Team Member Quits!

Citing "the wanton and preventable destruction" of Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities, the chairman of the President's Advisory Committee on Cultural Property has submitted his resignation to President Bush.

Another of the committee's nine members is also resigning over the issue.

"While our military forces have displayed extraordinary precision and restraint in deploying arms -- and apparently in securing the Oil Ministry and oil fields -- they have been nothing short of impotent in failing to attend to the protection of cultural heritage," Martin E. Sullivan wrote in the resignation letter that he sent Monday to the White House.

Sullivan, 59, is the executive director of Historic St. Mary's City Commission in Maryland. Since 1995 he also has chaired the advisory committee, which seeks to harmonize U.S. import regulations with the export restrictions of nations seeking to protect their cultural patrimony. Acknowledging that his successor would soon be named, Sullivan wrote, "From a practical perspective my resignation is simply symbolic." more

Why The Anti-War Movement Was Right

The Bible tells us that pride goeth before the fall. In Iraq, it cameth right after it. From the moment that statue of Saddam hit the ground, the mood around the Rumsfeld campfire has been all high-fives, I-told-you-sos, and endless smug prattling about how the speedy fall of Baghdad is proof positive that those who opposed the invasion of Iraq were dead wrong.

What utter nonsense. In fact, the speedy fall of Baghdad proves the anti-war movement was dead right.

The whole pretext for our unilateral charge into Iraq was that the American people were in imminent danger from Saddam and his mighty war machine. The threat was so clear and present that we couldn't even give inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction -- hey, remember those? -- another 30 days, as France had wanted.

Well, it turns out that, far from being on the verge of destroying Western civilization, Saddam and his 21st century Gestapo couldn't even muster a half-hearted defense of their own capital. The hawks' cakewalk disproves their own dire warnings. They can't have it both ways. The invasion has proved wildly successful in one other regard: It has unified most of the world -- especially the Arab world -- against us. more

All The President's Lies

George W. Bush is in a class by himself when it comes to prevarication. It is no exaggeration to say that lying has become Bush's signature as president.
The pattern is now well established. Soothing rhetoric -- about compassionate conservatism, about how much money the "average" American worker will get through the White House tax program, about prescription-drug benefits -- is simply at odds with what Bush's policies actually do. Last month Bush promised to enhance Medicaid; his actual policy would effectively end it as a federal entitlement program.

More distressing even than the president's lies, though, is the public's apparent passivity. Bush just seems to get away with it. The post-September 11 effect and the Iraq war distract attention, but there's more to it. Are we finally paying the price for three decades of steadily eroding democracy? Is Bush benefiting from the echo chamber of a right-wing press that repeats the White House line until it starts sounding like the truth? Or does the complicity of the press help to lull the public and reinforce the president's lies?

One thing is clear: If a Democrat, say, Bill Clinton, engaged in Bush-scale dishonesty, the press would be all over him. In the spirit of rekindling public outrage, here are just some of the president's lies... more