Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So, who sent dubya to Vietnam

Bush gave a speech in Vietnam. He mostly talked about how he admired the Vietnamese for standing up to a greater power, and then tried to tie that into an analogy about repeating the same mistakes in Iraq is a good idea. He repeated "we'll win unless we quit" a lot, and seemed to be confused as to what message he was really trying to get out. Clearly a disaster, but not likely by accident.

I suspect that his well-trained pit bulls that now set direction for the Republican Party have finally wised up to the fact that Dubya must be made the ultimate scapegoat for all the horrible policies of the last 6 years. Clearly he was put into a situation where he cannot succeed without showing some humility, and instead was given nonsense to read, making him look like an even greater fool than usual.

I could comment further, but Keith Olbermann does is so much better in this commentary.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

What's a good '08 ticket and slogan?

Here's a few possibilities

Feingold/Baldwin - as American as fresh cheese curds
Boxer/Pelosi - no unnecessary wars, but don't make me kick your ass
Obama/Edwards - just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave
Cleland/Murtha - you can call me a traitor because you're free. I'd stand up and salute that freedom, but I lost my legs defending it for you.
Franken/Stein - bipartisan and a monster of a ticket
Oprah '08 - you know it's the right thing to do

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voter suppression tactics

The FBI is reportedly investigating allegations that Republicans in Virginia - where the race between George Allen and Jim Webb could determine control of the U.S. Senate - are using misleading telephone calls in an effort to suppress the Democratic vote. Some Virginia Democrats have reported receiving calls telling them falsely that their polling places have been moved; one says he got a call in which he was told again, falsely that he wasn't registered in the Commonwealth and could be arrested if he tried to vote there.

Plus the misleading and harassing robo-calls paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee. Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo has been tracking the calls. In them, a prerecorded voice tells voters that they're about to receive important information about a Democratic candidate. If the voter stays on the line, he or she hears negative information about the Democrat. If the voter hangs up, a computer dialer redials the same number repeatedly, misleading voters into thinking that they're being besieged by calls by a Democratic candidate.

gotta love those GOP "suppress the vote" tactics...

Plus, another poignant commentary from Keith Olbermann
(transcript at Crooks and Liars)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lost reconstruction money? Then stop counting

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has blown the whistle on how US taxpayer money is being spent in Iraq with its reports on corrupt practices. The office found huge amounts of fraud perpetrated by Halliburton (amongst others), and over 14,000 weapons that were purchased and lost, presumably now in the hands of the insurgency that is killing Iraqi civilians and US soldiers.

In 2005, it issued a damning report citing "severe inefficiencies and poor management" at the body that ran Iraq before the recent elections, the Coalition Provisional Authority. This is a reflection of the complete lack of planning that went into the occupation portion of dubya's war.

So, with all this horrible news, what is being done to correct these huge problems? Why, disbanding the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, of course. The Republican Congress has snuck in a provision in their military spending budget, removing the ability of the US government from auditing how the billions and billions of dollars are being spread around. Your representatives and tax dollars at work.

Many references online, including this report from the BBC.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So, what does "habeas" mean anyway

As you may have heard, dubya declared that the writ of habeas corpus is no longer applicable to him, and following the orders of the political party in charge, the majority in Congress once again rolled over, followed orders, and rubber-stamped this latest edict from the political arm.

But what does it mean, in practicality? Is it necessary to fight terrorism? Hardly. If somebody is conspiring to do harm to America, our laws enable us to go after that person - so stopping people who are actually a threat is not a motivation for this action.

Well, what it really means is that the Executive Branch now has "legal" authority to arrest and detain ANYBODY they wish and

  • imprison them indefinitely

  • not admit that the person has been arrested

  • deny them access to any outside contact, including family or a lawyer

  • the person does not need to be told why they are being imprisoned

  • the person does not need to be charged with a crime, or even suspicion of a crime

  • the person does not ever need to go to trial

Plus, they have already declared that any torture techniques can be used, just so long as the word torture is not used (unless the President OKs it). Suspending the writ of habeas corpus and giving such absolute power to a political party is perhaps the most unAmerican thing ever done by any member of the American government.

Once again, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.