Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bush ignored CIA warnings of potential Iraq quagmire. Generals say change course, Bush refuses. Pre-war lies substantiated by Tenet, Durbin.

"His strategy is failing and cannot be rescued."
- Ret. General William E. Odom, U.S. Army, former Director of the National Intelligence Agency, 4/28

In a radio address on Saturday, General Odom pointed out the grim reality:
"The war could never have served American interests. But it has served Iran's interest by revenging Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in the 1980s and enhancing Iran's influence within Iraq. It has also served al Qaeda's interests, providing a much better training ground than did Afghanistan, allowing it to build its ranks far above the levels and competence that otherwise would have been possible. We cannot 'win' a war that serves our enemies interests and not our own. Thus continuing to pursue the illusion of victory in Iraq makes no sense. We can now see that it never did."

Read the entire statement, it bears a very strong recommendation to the President.

This all could've been prevented if Bush had listened to his own government warnings. Like the warnings of 9/11 that Bush ignored, George Tenet has revealed:
The CIA warned the Bush White House seven months before the 2003 Iraq invasion that the U.S. could face in Iraq: "anarchy and the territorial breakup". . . "a surge of global terrorism against U.S. interests fueled by deepening Islamic antipathy toward the United States". . . "regime-threatening instability in key Arab states" . . . "major oil supply disruptions and severe strains in the Atlantic alliance."
CIA analysts wrote these warnings at the start of August 2002 and inserted them into a briefing book distributed at an early September meeting of President Bush's national security team at Camp David. Tenet also elaborates on the pre 9/11 warnings that were ignored by Rice and the Bush administration.

Secretary of State Condi Rice lied to the American people Sunday morning (4/29) when she said on CNN:
"We all thought — including U.N. inspectors — that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. "
Senator Dick Durbin, who was on the Senate Intelligence Committee during the lead up to the war confirmed what George Tenet said and what the Downing Street Memos have shown:
Bush shrugged off any and all debate and evidence that was counter to his war justifications and invasion plans. Bush/Cheney misled the American people. Durbin and the rest of the committee members knew it, but were sworn to secrecy.
"The Intelligence Committee was meeting on a daily basis ... and the information we had in the Intelligence Committee was not the same information being given to the American people. I couldn't believe it! Members of this administration were in active heated debate whether aluminum tubes really meant that the Iraqis were developing nuclear weapons, some within the administration saying 'of course not' ... at the same time members of the administration were telling the American people to be fearful of mushroom clouds." - Sen. Dick Durbin [D - IL] 4/27
"worst-case scenarios are the most likely thing to happen."
Washington Post:
As fighting in Iraq enters its fifth year, an increasing number of experts in foreign policy and national strategy are arguing that the biggest difference may be that the Iraq war will inflict greater damage to U.S. interests than Vietnam did.
And it continues to go very badly. I wish it weren't so.

Breaking News: The Mother of All D.C . Sex Scandals?

ABC has "the list" that includes White House officials

ABC has obtained a list of "thousands of names" of clients of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation.
"There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers, and there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers — a long, long list..."
-Brian Ross, ABC News
By refusing to accept the plea bargain offered to her, escort service owner Deborah Jeane Palfrey is going to trial and naming names. She is scheduled to appear Monday in U.S. District Court and will be interviewed by ABC’s 20/20 on May 4. She is the subject of a front-page story
in the Sunday Washington Post.

Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, the so-called "AIDS Czar" - the Bush administration official charged with combating worldwide prostitution just resigned because of his fetish for prostitutes. Tobias oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution “loyalty oath.”

It will be interesting to see how many more Republicans this scandal takes down - a real great image for the 'party of family values' that went after Bill Clinton, impeaching him for lying about an affair when he had a 68% approval rating, and because of his leadership, America was in much better shape than it is now.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Republican Culture of Corruption - They're dropping like flies

File this one under "Republican moral values"

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias resigned Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation. Tobias was a strong proponent of the Bush administration’s abstinence-only policies. Tobias also oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution “loyalty oath.” (More on Republican sex crimes).

File this one under "criminals investigating criminals"

Senior Justice Department official Robert E. Coughlin II, deputy chief of staff for the criminal division, which is overseeing the Department’s probe of Abramoff resigned as investigators in Coughlin’s own division ratcheted up their investigation of lobbyist Kevin Ring, Coughlin’s long-time friend and a key associate of Abramoff.

Run down of Republicans convicted or under investigation

This is a short list and does not include lobbyists, congressional aids, CEOs, contractors, war profiteers or many of the others involved in the vast umbrella that has become know as the Republican Culture of Corruption.

    (A nice photo of our President with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. President Bush said of Abramoff, "I don't know him").

      Selling Bush's lies to the American people

      How did it happen?
      Bill Moyers tell us how. Watch the video.
      (Not surprising, Fox News has unleased a series of lies trying to discredit Moyers).
      The aftermath of 9/11 created an environment of extreme patriotism and submission to the Bush administration's Iraq war plan. Skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media - a perfect storm of media compliance with government propaganda. Since then, the Bush administration has attempted to cover up pre war intelligence reports.

      In his book "At the Center of the Storm," to be released Monday, former CIA director George Tenet said the administration of President George W. Bush never undertook a "serious discussion" about the option of containing Iraq without resorting to an attack. He states:

      "There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat."
      - G. Tenet

      Watch Tenet's interview: 60 Minutes on CBS - this Sunday, April 29
      Tenet lashes out against the Bush administration in an interview, accusing it of distorting his pre-Iraq War claim that the existence of weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk." Tenet called the administration's distortion "disingenuous and dishonorable."
      Tenet was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush. His pre 9/11 warnings to the Bush administration about a pending al Qaeda attack on the US went unheeded. Tenet has been invited to testify before the the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform on May 10.

      Now, the media gets it right:

      Now that we know Bush was warned repeated and explicitly about an impending al Qaeda attack in the months prior to 9/11 . . .

      Only in this America of the early 21st Century could it be true, that the man who was president during the worst attack on our nation, and the man who was the mayor of the city in which that attack principally unfolded, would not only be absolved of any and all blame for the unreadiness of their own governments, but, more over, would thereafter be branded heroes of those attacks.
      -MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, 4/25/07
      A new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows only 22 percent of Americans think the country is going in the right direction. Sixty-six percent say we're not. And the overriding issue in those poll numbers it the war in Iraq.

      Isolated and almost alone in his determination to continue the insanity that is the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush clings to a 4-year-old failed policy that has cost this country its reputation, more than 3,000 of its finest young people and a half a trillion dollars of your tax money. Thousands of our soldiers have been crippled for life.

      And, of course, finally, it's not working -- not on any level. There is no effective Iraqi government. There's no democracy. There's no political solution. Nothing. Just bloody day after bloody week after bloody month of violence, death, destruction.
      -Jack Cafferty, CNN 4/25/07
      Bush's Approval rating: 28%
      lowest of his presidency
      in the Harris/WSJ Poll

      Wednesday, April 25, 2007

      Lies, corruption and investigations - your update on our failed Republican leadership

      Just another day . . . trying to hold corrupt and lying Republicans accountable

      * According to Congressional testimony, military and Bush administration officials lied about the death of Cpl. Pat Tillman and the capture of former Pvt. Jessica Lynch to distract attention from setbacks in Iraq and the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

      • * Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced Articles of Impeachment against VP Dick Cheney in Congress yesterday.

      • Cheney continues to lie ... as usual.

      • The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has launched a broad investigation into Karl Rove and three brewing Bush Administration scandals: the firing of U.S. attorneys, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities. It has been suggested the investigation itself could be a Bush administration coverup since OSC head Scott Bloch, a Bush appointee, has been marred with scandal himself. The Washington Post reported Bloch is being investigated for alleged intimidation of career appointees, refusal to enforce a discrimination ban within his office, and accused of political bias.

      • The Senate may soon give Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a vote of no confidence

      • Corrupt Republican congressman Rick Renzi's (R-AZ) business was raided by the FBI and in a statement yesterday said that he’ll be resigning all his committee assignments. Renzi already resigned from his seat on the sensitive House Intelligence Committee last week.

      • Less than a week after his home was searched by the FBI in connection with the Abramoff investigation, Republican congressman. John T. Doolittle (R-CA), has stepped down from the Appropriations Committee.

      • A Republican Congressman sent out an "action alert" claiming that they've gotten word that Waxman will issue a subpoena to Secretary of State Rice this morning

      • Mark Zachares, a former congressional aide to Republican congressman Don Young, [R-Alaska] pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts from lobbyist Jack Abramoff in an influence-peddling scandal. He is 11th Republican to be convicted in the Abramoff Justice Department probe.

      • An agency that oversees the World Bank is asking for the resignation of the bank's president, former deputy U.S. Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

      The Bush initiated Iraq quagmire worsens

        • This month marked the first time that the U.S. military suffered five straight months of 80 or more fatalities. The last 8 months have been the worst since the war began.
        • The deadliest single attack since the war began occurred this month, a suicide truck bombing in Tal Afar that killed 152 people
        • The deadliest attack yet inside the Green Zone also occurred this month, a suicide bombing in the Iraqi Parliament
        • The Iraq government is in disarray - al-Maliki lacks the support in parliament to push through laws.
        • The Air Force's top general expressed frustration on Tuesday with the reassignment of troops under his command to ground jobs for which they were not trained to make up for shortages in the US military.
        • Bush advisor and architect of the Iraq escalation Frederick Kagan, lies and says things are going well in Iraq: "there is reason for wary optimism. … we seem to be turning a corner." April has been the worst month for US fatalities this year and the worst for UK soldiers in 4 years.

      A Republican Senator talks to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius anonymously:

      “This is the most incompetent White House I’ve seen since I came to Washington,” said one GOP senator. “The White House legislative liaison team is incompetent, pitiful, embarrassing. My colleagues can’t even tell you who the White House Senate liaison is. There is rank incompetence throughout the government. It’s the weakest Cabinet I’ve seen.”

      ...And remember, this is a Republican talking.

      Monday, April 23, 2007

      Maybe next time the smart people will elect the President

      Bush voters and supporters: the least educated Americans

      I just listened to the President's press conference this morning. Expressing confidence in his embattled Attorney General, Bush said Gonzalez "did no wrongdoing." Of course, the Fox News website misquoted him in an effort to correct the President's grammar: ("...there's no wrong doing"). Most people who have a fair grasp of the English language know that our President is grammatically challenged. Not occasionally, but almost daily. This has given rise to what is now known as Bushisms. Frankly, I find it to be an embarrassment ... one that could be overlooked if balanced by a stellar record of accomplishment, but no.

      Formal 'education' is not a prerequisite for intelligence and wisdom. However, education can often remedy ignorance. Yes, it bothers me that the states with the least number of college educated adults proved to be the base of support that reelected GW Bush in '04. Proof is found in the statistics.

      Consider the US Census Bureau's stats that show the % of adults over 25 that have completed a Bachelor's Degree ranked by state. When sorted by states whose electoral votes went to Bush, the results are glaring:

      12 of the TOP 14 states in % of college educated adults voted for John Kerry: D.C., MA, CT, MD, NJ, VT, MN, NH, WA, NY, CA, RI

      ALL of the BOTTOM 16 states in % of college educated adults voted for Bush: WV, KY, MS, AR, NV, IN, AL, LA, TN, OK, IA, OH, SD, SC, WY, NM

      Just look at the chart at the bottom of this page (link). The further 'south' you go in educational attainment, the deeper you delve into 'Bush country.' Stats also show that the 25 states with median household income less than the national median, 23 (92%) voted for Bush. I was reminded of this fact on a weekend off-road motorcycle trip when I came out of the state forest in Cheatham County to find a trailer surrounded by trash and unimaginable squalor ... and a large "BUSH/CHENEY '04" sign proudly tacked to the fence. Scary redneck'sville! Yep, that's what I'm saying, if you're a redneck or trailer trash, you probably voted for Bush.

      This educational deficit among Bush voters also explains why a third of the population continues to dogmatically support the President despite how badly he has done. It is the least educated and most ignorant of our population that is most susceptible to manipulation by fear, simplified political jargon, and buzz words (like the so-called "moral values" GOP platform). Demagoguery also played upon the simple minded in the election. Conservatives have made the word "liberal" synonymous with god-less, cowardly, indecisive, etc... but does anyone care to really understand what these words actually mean?
      Here's an explanation from Roget's Thesauraus. Which group would YOU be more proud to be a part of?

      Wednesday, April 18, 2007

      Trust the trained & responsible gun owners to keep us safe--> Secret Service agent shoots colleagues in the face & leg in White House accident on Tues

      In case you missed it...

      More guns for a safer America

      Tues. April 17

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Secret Service officers were injured on Tuesday after a gun held by another Secret Service officer accidentally fired inside the White House gate, according to a spokesman, Darrin Blackford.

      Their injuries are non-life threatening, the spokesman said.

      One officer suffered a shrapnel wound to the face, and the other was wounded in the leg.

      They were taken to George Washington Hospital.

      Gun nuts want more guns on campus. They say trust responsible citizens that have gone through a background check. The Va Tech killer's background check took only a minute.

      We mourn the 32 killed at VA Tech, but has anyone noticed the 250+ killed in Iraq the past 2 days?

      Lest we forget the mess our President has gotten us into

      A horrific series of blasts today in Baghdad has killed at least 170 people. Yesterday 85 people were killed or found dead across Iraq and our soldiers continue to die at the highest rate per day since the war began. Considering these numbers, what happened at VA Tech would be a daily occurrence in Iraq. Do we care? Iraqis are people too. Speaking of professors, 232 university professors were killed and 56 were reported missing in Iraq, while more than 3,000 others had left the country after the 2003 invasion. Speaking of Universities... in January, Baghdad’s Mustansiriya University suffered a double suicide bombing that killed at least 70 people, including students, faculty, and staff. A month later, another suicide bomber struck at Mustansiriya, killing 40.

      As we mourn Va Tech, we should also remember the Iraq quagmire that Bush initiated where every day people are massacred. Over the past six months, American troops have died in Iraq at the highest rate since the war began - about 4 every day.

      Bush's 'Surge' is not working -

      From Thinkprogress: Center for American Progress senior fellow and former Reagan Pentagon official Lawrence Korb recently returned from a 10-day visit to Baghdad to “assist the government of Iraq’s efforts to strengthen public administration in its civilian ministries” and uncovered results that only affirm that “the surge is not working."

      Korb noted that U.S. defense contractors, who have benefited heavily from the Iraq war, were curiously restrained in talking about the situation on the ground on the record. Major defense contractors, including those from Blackwater and Halliburton, were mum about the troop escalation only until Korb emphasized that he was not affiliated with the media:

      "The long wait did allow me to speak to some of the contractors about the situation on the ground. When I assured them I was not a member of the press, they were unanimous that the surge was not working."

      Monday, April 16, 2007

      Wingnut solution to campus gun violence - allow students to carry concealed handguns to class

      Phil Valentine wants more guns on campus

      College life.... a time where young adults are growing, learning, experimenting, and of course - PARTYING. Who does Nashville's conservative radio talk show guy, Phil Valentine, blame for the VA Tech tragedy? Politicians that defeated a bill that would've allowed students to carry concealed guns on campus. Phil Valentine insisted that if students could carry guns on campus, the VA Tech tragedy would not have happened. Perhaps, but look at the big picture .... what else would happen if students were routinely able to carry and possess guns on campus? Does any reasonably intelligent person believe that a multitude of students with guns on campus would prevent murders over time? Doesn't this guy think before he speaks? Of course he seems reluctant to blame the campus police whose job it is to protect the students.

      Put yourself in a professor's shoes. Imagine teaching a class knowing there are concealed guns in the room, particularly these days where binge drinking among college students is at an all time high. Violence directly related to alcohol consumption for students 18-24 is also very high. Alcohol consumption peaks in college aged students 21-25, with 44% admitting to binge drinking ... and Phil thinks giving guns to students to carry at school is a good idea.

      In universities, the pressure to succeed and to make the grade is severe, it is a very stressful time for these young adults. In my experience, many students begin taking psycho-pharmaceutical drugs in college (Prozac, Paxil, etc...) to control panic attacks, depression and other psychological problems that tend to manifest themselves during the stress of college life. Students are also prone to relationship and social stress in college that often precipitates emotional extremes. Hardly a weekend frat party goes by without a fight breaking out ... and Phil Valentine wants to add guns to the mix. Real smart, Phil ... great thinking! That should keep the students safe. Beer drinking party animals with guns.

      Students carrying guns on campus is about the most ludicrous suggestion I think I've ever heard. You can't take a gun into a Federal Building, into a concert, or on a plane ... but it's ok to carry concealed handguns to class, frat parties, sporting events? Are you nuts, Phil? Think about kids with guns, alcohol, the stress of college all together. More things could go wrong than go right. This is an excellent example of the judgement of idiot gun nut conservatives. These are the same people who put America in this Iraq quagmire. Might makes right. Guns are the solution to everything.
      CNN reports that the killer purchased the gun legally from Roanoke Firearms and the background check took one minute.
      UPDATE II:
      Phil Valentive says we should have faith in people who go through background checks and have proper firearms training .... yea like the Secret Service guy who accidentally shot his fellow agents in the face and leg at the White House yesterday?

      MTSU guitar student wins another major competition prize

      Silviu Ciulei, a junior guitar performance major at MTSU has won the $500 Second Prize at the 12th Annual Appalachian State University Guitar Competition on Sunday, April 15. This year's competition was exceptionally competitive and included guitarists from across the US representing universities and music conservatories in Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Hartford, and Dallas. Also competing were international students representing Slovakia, Bosnia, Israel and Ecuador. (The First Prize was won by Cameron O'Conner, a graduate student from Cal State Northridge). This is the fourth consecutive year that an MTSU guitar student has won a prize in this nationally recognized competition.

      From Constanza, Romania, Silviu was awarded a full international scholarship to attend MTSU three years ago. In just three years, he has established himself as one of the Nashville area's finest classical and flamenco guitarists. Last month, Silviu won the $2000 Second Prize in the Dallas International Guitar Competition. Since coming to MTSU, he has won First Prize in the Memphis Beethoven Club Competition and Second Prize in the Mississippi Concerto Competition.

      Silviu's program for the competition finals:

      Three Caprices - L. Legnani
      Un tiempo fue itálica famosa - J. Rodrigo
      Jongo - P. Bellinati

      Thursday, April 12, 2007

      Bush spies on Americans' email ILLEGALLY - but ILLEGALLY won't reveal White House emails

      As mentioned in an earlier post, a 22 year AT&T technician (who has submitted key evidence in a class-action lawsuit by the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T) exposed the Bush Administration for illegally watching every email you send, every phone call you make and every website you search.

      Now, it has come to light that Karl Rove's deputy at the White House, Scott Jennings, used an outside email domain,, for his emails. The domain, it turns out, is owned by the Republican National Committee. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have sent a letter to House government reform committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) requesting an investigation of whether the White House has been violating the Presidential Records Act -- in an attempt to keep certain correspondence away from prying eyes.

      Now that Congress wants to investigate these email accounts, the White House now says it has 'lost' the emails. How stupid do they think we are?

      Senator Patrick Leahy says the Bush Administration is LYING.
      From CNN:

      President Bush's aides are lying about White House e-mails sent on a Republican account that might have been lost, a powerful Senate chairman said Thursday, vowing to subpoena those documents if the administration fails to cough them up. "They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that!" Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy shouted from the Senate floor. "You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers," said Leahy, D-Vermont "Those e-mails are there, they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary."

      Another installment of the Bush Administration's abuse of power and criminal activity.

      Sunday, April 8, 2007

      Wingnuts continue to attack Al Gore... but support Bush's criminal war on the environment

      True to form, it's almost unanimous. Many local wingnuts are using the recent cold snap to attack Al Gore. They have so little to cheer about, to make themselves feel better, they practice the well-worn conservative tactic now synonymous with political smear and personal attacks - 'swiftboating.' Think about it realistically for a moment. Wingnuts attack Al Gore for heating a swimming pool while Dick Cheney gets a pass for designing an Energy Policy in secret meetings with big energy companies that has rolled back environmental protections and enforcement for polluters.

      So ... Terry Frank, Mark Rose, Bill Hobbs, Bob Krum and the rest of you wingnuts, answer the question:

      Who has contributed more to the release of greenhouse gasses and polluting the planet ?
      A) Al Gore's house and pool

      B) The 30 biggest utility companies owning the majority of the 89 dirtiest power plants in America that have poured $6.6 million into the coffers of the Bush presidential campaigns and the RNC, and have essentially designed America's energy and environmental policies.
      Well? Just to review... we understand where you're coming from. We know that the Republican political machine is funded by polluting industries and that's your main reason for politicizing this climate change issue... you're just parroting the standard Republican line - taught to defend the hand that feeds you. So ... who's causing the real environmental damage? Who are the real hypocrites . . . the real environmental criminals?

      Yes, Criminal - Federal Judges Rule Bush Environmental Policies Illegal

      If you're ignorant on the subject of the Bush Administration's criminal environmental atrocities, let me enlighten you.
      1. As mentioned, Bush received millions in campaign contributions from the biggest air polluting industries and as a payback, rolled back air pollution protections. A report released by the National Academy of Sciences finds the Bush administration's so-called "Clear Skies Initiative" would weaken existing Clean Air Act requirements. Prosecutions for violators have dropped 75 - 90% under Bush and polluting industries get to pollute more. Fortunately, in a unanimous ruling, a Federal Appeals Court struck down an attempt by the Bush Administration to weaken national rules limiting smog. The court held that EPA violated the Clean Air Act in relaxing limits on smog-forming pollution from large power plants.
      2. Bush and the Republican National Committee get big donations from the Coal Mining Industry. In return, Bush has attempted to rewrite a 25-year-old rule of the Clean Water Act, thus legalizing illegal valley fills so that coal mining companies can use Mountain Top Removal Mining. This horrible practice creates a huge amount of waste that fills valleys annihilating the ecosystem and polluting the watershed. A federal judge has twice ruled that most valley fills are illegal under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
      3. Bush and the Republican National Committee get big donations from Timber Companies.
        In return for campaign contributions, timber companies are raping our forests under the guise of fire protection. The Bush administration has been trying to overturn a Clinton-era rule that made nearly 60 million acres of national forest off-limits to road-building and logging. This is part of the Bush "Healthy Forest Initiative" -a concentrated effort to decrease public involvement, reduce environmental protection and increase access to our National Forests and other federal lands for timber companies. It will do little or nothing to protect communities from fire. Fortunately, Bush's plan has been ruled illegal. Here are some of the details of Bush's payback to Timber Companies.
      Even worse, Bush has gone to great lengths to distort and suppress scientific research showing the damage that his policies have done to the environment. This is how Republicans do business.
      This is how Republicans do business, and if they can keep their actions away from public view, ignorance is bliss.

      Well, this will be my last post for a few days, I have to go play a concert .... so read, learn, and live right. Love the earth and each other. Peace.
      "People only protect what they love, but they can only love what they know."
      - Jacques-Yves Cousteau

      Cheney -"We will be welcomed as liberators" ...
      al-Sadr calls for attacks on U.S. troops

      The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqi forces to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate their attacks on American troops rather than Iraqis, according to a statement issued Sunday.

      In the first 8 days of April, 34 US and UK troops have been killed in Iraq. That's 4.25 per day, the highest coalition death rate in more than 2 years.

      Now that we learn that our troops in Iraq are not protecting America, and that our presence there is breaking the US military, some people still have this illusion that supporting the president means supporting the troops.... WTF! Our leaders keep lying. How can anyone still believe them? Things are just rosy in Iraq today.

      After all... The Rev. Jerry Falwell and many evangelical christians totally support this war that is killing innocent Iraqi citizens and children. Falwell called it a "just war" ... telling us that the Prince of Peace is "Pro-War." How much more perverted can the religious right get?

      Thanks for supporting our troops, and Happy Easter Dick and GW.

      UPDATE: Welcomed as liberators? Thousands of anti-U.S. protesters marched in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

      Saturday, April 7, 2007

      Friday, April 6, 2007

      Military & terrorism experts say Bush exaggerates Iraq threat - Iraq terrorists pose little or no threat to US ... meanwhile, Cheney keeps lying too

      How many times have we heard this line of bullshit? "Gotta fight 'em over there, so we don't have to fight 'em over here" - Bush's chief justification for creating a quagmire in Iraq, playing upon the fears of Americans. We heard it again just last week:

      "If we were to leave before the job is done, the enemy would follow us here.”
      -GW Bush, 4/4/07

      Any thinking person understands that the war in Iraq is Sunni against Shia, and the ragtag bomb makers in Iraq are not a threat to us in the US. Even with Bush supplying terrorists the red carpet to enter the US from our southern border, we have yet to see a single IED or suicide bomber. If they were as hell-bent on "fighting us over here", surely they would have by now. But what do the experts say?

      "The president is using a primitive, inarticulate argument that leaves him open to criticism and caricature, it’s a poor choice of words that doesn’t convey the essence of the problem.”
      -James Jay Carafano, Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Expert -
      Heritage Foundation, Conservative Policy Organization.

      "The war in Iraq isn't preventing terrorist attacks on America, if anything, that - along with the way we've been treating terrorist suspects - may be inspiring more Muslims to think of us as the enemy."
      - U.S. intelligence official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity

      “There are very few foreign fighters who are going to be leaving the area because they don’t have the skills or languages that would give them access to the United States”
      - Daniel Benjamin, National Security Council’s director for transnational threats

      According to the Defense Intelligence Agency and a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Attacks by terrorist groups account for only a fraction of insurgent violence.” In essence, Bush is wasting and weakening our military in an Iraq civil war instead of defending the US.

      Cheney Continues to Lie

      Meanwhile, Dick Cheney continues to lie about the pre-war connection of Saddam and al Qaeda despite a Pentagon report released this week that says Cheney's dead wrong.

      And you have wingnuts out there who continue to insist that Bush and Cheney have never told a lie. Sheeesh! They bear out the old Nazi propaganda philosophy:

      "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
      - Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda

      Tuesday, April 3, 2007

      Creationists can't get their story straight in their 'war on global warming'

      The Christian group, Family Research Council (FRC) mocks Al Gore as "Chicken Little" and cites 600,000 year old evidence to dismiss his global warming projections.

      Say what?

      According to Christian fundamentalist creationists, the world is just 6,000 years old. What gives?

      The FRC clearly supports creationism -the numero uno core principle cited on FRC's website is:
      "God exists and is sovereign over all creation. He created human beings in His image." ... and, "God is the author of life"
      The FRC supports creationist education in schools. An article on their website declares:
      "creationism just might evolve into part of the curriculum for South Carolina. Only then will kids begin to understand education's 'missing link'."
      Sounds creationist enough to me. Yet, in mocking Al Gore and his dire warnings on global warming, the FRC cites Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) 600,000-year-old scientific evidence that Gore's carbon dioxide claims are false. The problem is, Barton's evidence is 594,000 years older than the date that God created the world and the universe, according to creationists. Whoops!

      The Republican/Fundamentalist War on Science rolls pathetically and confusingly forward. It must be noted however that there has been a call to action by at least one Evangelical group on the threat of global climate change.

      (For a concise explanation of the political aspect of the Republican War on Global Warming, see my previous post on the subject).

      Monday, April 2, 2007

      "Natural History Museums Turn Countless Minds Against Christ"
      The alternative? A $25 million Creationist Museum set to open in Petersburg, KY

      Science Turns Countless Minds Against Christ

      Forget those big city museums - the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, you wouldn't want your kids thinkin' we evolved from monkeys, now would ya? Solution? Keep 'em home schooled and as far away from an Anthropology textbook as possible. (you might as well hide the Geology and Archeology texts too... they all lie ya know). You need to take 'em up to Kentucky for an educashun at the Creation Museum, where they'll see the Garden of Eden, complete with dinosaurs together with Adam and Eve. Here, they'll learn the world is really just 6000 years old. The museum website proclaims:

      "Set to open in June 2007, this “walk through history” museum will counter evolutionary natural history museums that turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture."
      Museum founder Ken Ham said that if the creation story in the Bible is not true, then none of the Bible is true.

      By the way, Ham's website gives multiple options for contributing money to this $25,000,000 museum. Get out your credit card. You can become a 'partner of the museum' by purchasing a framed poster for $1000+.

      So... science turns countless minds against Christ? Sounds like a liberal atheist conspiracy. If so, it's not working... according to a recent poll, half of Americans reject the theory of evolution.

      There is an explanation for this mindset - a reason why Americans are susceptible to the Creationist/Intelligent Design hoax. The question must be asked ... how many Americans can actually understand the details of, and evidence supporting evolutionary science? According to the National Science Foundation, fewer than one-fifth of Americans meet a minimal standard of civic scientific literacy. That topic, I explored in a previous post.

      Evangelist Chuck Missler Disproves Evolution With Jar Of Peanut Butter [VIDEO]

      Drudge Caught Lying AGAIN - accuses CNN reporter of heckling senators, being "an activist not a reporter"

      Conservative liars keep lying. The Drudge Report, one of the leading conservative websites accused CNN reporter Michael Ware of heckling Senators McCain and Graham during a live press conference in Baghdad. From the Drudge website:
      "An official at the press conference called Ware’s conduct 'outrageous,' saying, 'here you have two United States Senators in Bagdad [sic] giving first-hand reports while Ware is laughing and mocking their comments. I’ve never witnessed such disrespect. This guy is an activist not a reporter"
      Well, well, well ... a video of the press conference has just been posted by Raw Story where we see occasional glimpses of Ware sitting quietly in the back of the room and when he raises his hand to ask a question, the news conference promptly ends. Even the conservative website Power Line acknowledges the Drudge Report was 'inaccurate' based on the video.

      DRUDGE IS A LIAR, like conservatives that can't handle the truth, he lies reaptedly [here, here, here]. Michael Ware reports the truth. Ware has been in Baghdad for over 4 years and unlike most reporters, he elects not to live in the safety of the heavily protected Green Zone. Ware, more than any reporter has risked his life to bring us the truth. The truth that McCain gives us is that 'it is safe to walk around in Baghdad markets' ... yea maybe if you've got 100 troops and 5 helicopters escorting you. That's a conservative definition of 'truth'.

      NBC Iraq correspondent Tom Aspell followed-up on his report from last night that Sen. John McCain was accompanied by 100 American soldiers, 3 Blackhawk helicopters, and 2 Apache gunships on his stroll through a Baghdad market.

      Aspell said that, with a similar level of protection, “even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.”

      Aspell observed, “It looked as though the whole trip had been arranged by someone to get rid of the negative publicity about [McCain’s] remarks in the States earlier in the week. It seemed as though he’d come to Baghdad, made a point of going to a market, staging this kind of visit to the market, and it just seemed to backfire.” He remarked that this weekend’s deadly violence in Iraq “made the trip look rather foolish.”

      Things are just rosy in Iraq... over the weekend, Iraq suffered it's single deadliest bombing ever since the beginning of the war - 152 killed, 347 wounded. In just the first 2 days of April, 9 US soldiers and 2 UK soldiers have been killed. Thanks Drudge and Senator McCain for telling us it's safe to walk around in Baghdad. Pants on fire .....

      The rarest wildflower in the world - in my backyard

      Pyne's Ground Plum
      (Astragalus bibullatus)

      Found in just three locations in the world, all in Rutherford County TN, Pyne's Ground Plum gets it's name from the fruit it produces in late May to early June. The fruits turn a purplish color and are marble sized when mature. The fruit is more like a sugar snap pea than a plum. (No, I will not admit to tasting the forbidden fruit). Also known as Guthrie's Ground-Plum, this plant is a federally endangered species that exists in the cedar barren habitat near Murfreesboro, TN. It is totally illegal to pick this flower and it's fruit. The species was first recognized as a new species by biologist Milo Pyne (then Milo Guthrie) in 1988. Mid March to early April is the best time to see Pyne's Ground Plum in full bloom. I took the above photo on Saturday, March 31 on the state protected area along Factory Rd. in Murfreesboro, near Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens State Natural Area.

      Don't you just love spring?

      (file photo of Pyne's Ground Plum Fruit)