Saturday, September 18

Atrios has a question

Military Call Up

The real question is this -- is Bush letting election considerations impact his conduct in the war in Iraq? More specifically, does he know believe that we need more troops in Iraq than we currently have, but isn't willing to bring them there until after the election?
To be honest I snipped his answer so I could go on a rant about whether bear's shit in the woods?, whether the pope is polish?, Is water wet?, Does a Kilogram weigh more than a pound?, Is sugar sweet?, Is the universe bigger than my bedroom?,Is Bush playing politics with peoples lives? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Atrios answers his own question thusly.
If so, he's jeapordizing the lives of American troops for the purpose of increasing his chances of re-coronation. That's despicable.
And thats the lying sack of shit in the whitehouse for you.

Nader's on the Florida Ballot and I don't care.

Sure helps a president to have friends in high places. The Florida Supreme court in a tip of the hat to democracy, says Nader can run in Florida. From those frenchmen at the BBC.
The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that maverick politician Ralph Nader can be on ballot papers in the November US presidential election.

The decision is regarded as a blow to Democratic Party candidate John Kerry.

In the 2000 election Mr Nader attracted enough left-leaning voters in Florida - a key swing state - to cost the Democrats the presidency, analysts say.

While I am sure that a clear majority of those that would have voted anyway, had Nader not been on the ballot in Florida in 2000, would have voted for Gore, It was the suppression of the Black vote (along with some judicial gymnastics) that secured the presidency for the fortunate son.

This time around most of those that bought into Nader's message will not be repeating their mistakes. Nader is not, under any stretch of the imagination, going to get 92,000 votes this time around, and is more likely to siphon off the votes of dissaffected republicans than erode support for Kerry. Our biggest problem is to dramatically reduce Black voter suppression. 90,000 African american votes were not counted last time, If you only cut that number to 89,000, another Bush presidency would have only been a nightmare, ending when you woke up in the morning, read the paper, and discovered that Bush was selling his fake ranch, and looking to get back into baseball.

But here we are, nearly four years later, waking up every morning, hoping to spite hope, that it is only a dream. Well friends, the extended nightmare is almost at an end.
I don't believe the polls, the methodology is no longer valid and in some cases purposely skewed to favor the incumbant. In my mind Kerry is up by ten, so just relax, let the media and the faulty polls keep the wingnuts happy and overconfident. Bush is going down in flames.

Have I mentioned Afghanistan lately?

Someone tried to assasinate Afghanistani President Hamid Karzai. Can someone explain to me why we fought a proxy war, failed to capture, Bin Laden and crew, failed to secure the peace, and left a piecemeal security force in place, while marching off for a Blue-printed disaster in the mesopotamian sandbox? Anyone?
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's interim President Hamid Karzai has escaped what the U.S. military described as an assassination bid when a rocket was fired at his helicopter while he was campaigning for next month's scheduled election.

Karzai was about to land in Gardez, about 100 miles (161 km) south of Kabul, for a road opening ceremony when the missile was fired. He aborted the trip and immediately returned to the presidential palace in the capital.

Eyewitnesses said the rocket flew over Karzai's U.S. military helicopter and 400 supporters gathered to meet him at a school as he was about to touch down, but caused no injuries.

"A rocket was fired at President Karzai as his helicopter was landing," U.S. military spokesman Major Mark McCann told Reuters. "It missed and landed about 300 metres from a school in the vicinity of the landing area."

Taliban guerrillas claimed responsibility but the government said it it did not know who was to blame.
Karzai escaped an assassination attempt in 2002 in the southern city of Kandahar. His security was later tightened.

He has since rarely been seen in Afghanistan outside his fortified presidential palace in Kabul where he is protected by U.S. bodyguards.

When the president and his wife discuss the freedom "endured" by the women of Afghanistan, they are really talking about a three block radius surrounding Fortress Karzai. Outside of that tiny plot of land, it's a case of anything goes, with the heroin producing warlords on the one hand and the resurgent Taliban on the other. I might go so far as to say, that when you add up all the secure land in Iraq and Afghanistan, I doubt that the total exceeds 10 square miles (don't try to fudge the number with uninhabited swaths of desert lands). But don't expect to see or hear anything about this unless it comes wrapped in the context of "trying to help Kerry win the election".

Stupid Talking Points

Now the Gang that can't shoot straight, or for that matter speak without without a forked tongue getting in the way, are trotting out some new insights into the goings on in Quagmiristan. You see the insurgency is all about politics. The Primadonnas of Projection tell us that the Iraqi's are causing all this mayhem because they wan't Bush to lose the election. There is simply no other reason that they can fathom. You see, in the Bush administration, everything they do involves the calculus of political expediency, they aren't about governance, just about maintaining power (and looting the treasury).

Yesterday the leader of the cool kids club, Tim Russert started the ball rolling during an interview with affiliate stations. From Atrios, via Eschatonian "pol"

By the way, the interviewers asked Timmy, since everything is a mess in Iraq and word is seeping out, would not Russert's claim possibly be in question. Russert gave some garbage that it is believed that the insurgency in Iraq is possibly intentionally aimed at getting Bush defeated!
Media Matters is all over the twelve car pileup, that represents the Republican Talking Point propagation and projection machine™, sometimes referred to by the beleagered Republicans as the "Liberal Media". Mortimer Kondrake opens the show.
KONDRACKE: There's clearly a campaign going to raise the level of casualties. And I think this is a rolling tent is what we're seeing, you know, like 1968 in Vietnam, designed to discourage the United States from persisting in the -- and maybe even trying to help elect [Senator] John Kerry for all I know.
For all I know? This is what passes as informed comment from the pundit class? Jesus, for all I know Dubya can't do a lick of work without a couple of Ben Wa balls singing their sweet melody inside his ass. Or was that a snoot full of brandy coke, or a mouthful of cock. Let's have a look at the coreography of coordination.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage alleged Friday that insurgents have stepped up their deadly assaults in Iraq because they want to "influence the election against President Bush," a statement that drew a sharp condemnation from the campaign of Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry.

It is apparently the first time that a Bush administration official has linked the escalating violence in Iraq to an effort by insurgents to help defeat Bush in November.
Expect to hear this new line of defence often this week. Judy Woodruf and Wolf Blitzer will no doubt be asking anyone whithin earshot "Are the insergents trying to help Kerry?" followed by "What do you think he promised them?" followed by, "If you look closely, you can see that this is a picture of John Kerry firing a Rocket propelled grenade at our troops". You heard it here first folks.

We're winning we really are. They like us they really do

Iraq is like a new frontier, go east young man, embrace opportunity, everything is fine, hell even the presnident had been there (beware of american gifts of plastic turkeys). Like any new frontier there are still pesky natives afoot, and armed with the finest weapons that money can buy, lets just say that you should be careful, and quick witted, a quick draw will serve you well. So let's take a look shall we at some of the recent news from the gold fields of California Iraq. It is unfortunate (actually it's a fucking tragedy, but humor is the the only way to keep the gorge down), that two good Americans, or murkins if you choose to embrace the mangled lexicon of dear leader, and one ferner (but a good one 'cause him with us) are some of the latest hostages that we choose to care about. In this case however, the Indians kidnappers have a made a bow to nobility. "Let our women free" is the request.
The Arab satellite television channel al-Jazeera has shown footage of what it says are three Westerners who were kidnapped in Baghdad this week.

The two Americans and one Briton were abducted from their house in Baghdad on Thursday.

The video shows blindfolded men who, the station said, were being held by followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In the video, the group says the US has 48 hours to release Iraqi women prisoners or it will kill the hostages.

The three men - Briton Kenneth Bigley, and his US colleagues Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong - were shown blindfolded and kneeling, sitting in front of a masked gunman.

The hostages appear to be giving details of who they are while their abductors' demands are made

The group said to be holding the hostages, Tawheed Wal-Jihad (Unification and Holy War), wants Iraqi women in prisons at Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad, and Umm Qasr, in the south of the country, to be released.

The US government has said it holds only two women in Iraq - high level detainees who are understood to have been part of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The video broadcast on Saturday is the first indication of who might have abducted the three men.

Tawheed Wal-Jihad is led by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an ally of al-Qaeda who the Americans say is behind much of the violence in Iraq.

The US has offered a $25m reward for his capture.
Only two women? You expect them to believe that. Hell do you expect us to believe that. Am I the only one in the midst of the catastrophy in mesopotamia, that believes in the existance a Camp Concubine for the Conqueror's?. And how about that fine job that the division of headless chickens at the Justice of Terror Department are doing with the "enemy comatant" detention program activities down at Gitmo. Can Asscraft get anything right, other than using chartered rather than commercial planes to satisfy his travel needs in the late Summer of 2001, how about, "not much".

After keeping him locked up in a Navy brig for almost three years, the U.S. government seems to want Yaser Esam Hamdi to just go away. Hamdi, a Louisiana native, was captured in Afghanistan in Novermber 2001. His father says Hamdi, 22, who moved to Saudi Arabia with his family as a child, was doing relief work. U.S. authorities say he was fighting for the Taliban.

It looks like we'll never know exactly what Hamdi was doing there. The U.S. has been reluctant to try Hamdi in either civil or military courts and, for over two years of his confinement, refused him access to a lawyer. The Supreme Court in June said the U.S. citizen couldn't continue to be held without charges. Now, rather than trying him, it appears the administration just wants Hamdi to disappear as quietly as possible. The terms of his release, currently being negotiated, are reported to include demands that he give up his U.S. citizenship and promise not to sue the U.S. government over his detention.

After his capture, Hamdi was brought to Guantanamo Bay. When U.S. officials discovered he was a U.S. citizen, they ended up declaring him an enemy combatant and moving him to a military brig in Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia, where he was held without legal counsel or charges filed against him. For most of the time he was held in solitary confinement, despite a lack of evidence that he presented any special security risk or danger.

We don't need no stinkin' evidence, not in the Wild West dreamland that George 'Ya gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet' Bush lives in. In that fertile imagination fueled by stories of the lawless frontier, we live in a "shoot em first ask questions later and maybe after ahm dead, god and the historians will sort it out" kind of world, where words speak louder than action, appearance trumps reality, and shame, honor, and dignity, are locked up underground in a bunker at area 51. Finally lets take a look at the security picture in Iraq.

Nearly two-and-a-half months after the handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government, Iraqi and multi-national troops are not in control of several major cities in Iraq. Even in the capital, Baghdad, parts of the city are no-go areas for these forces.

Click on the map to read about the military and security picture around the country.

Northern IraqSunni TriangleBaghdadNajafSouthern Iraq

Just click on one of them links to find out what is happening in the North, the Sunni triangle, Baghdad, Najaf, and in the south. Or you can take my word for it F.U.B.A.R. walking.

Friday, September 17

Make no assumptions

So I decided to try out a new Linux distribution, as the present setup is not quite as stable as I like. But then that is basically my fault for running bleeding edge stuff, I also think there may be some faulty memory in the box, but I digress. So I went over to Distrowatch to see if anything new and exciting was available and picked a Brazillian distribution called Kurumin
and proceeded to download. There are a couple of reasons this one appealed to me. One was the size versus feature set (333MB and including Open Office), the other was that I had though about giving this one a try previously, so why not.

So the download process begins and I decide to check out the website to see what distribution specific details I might need to know about. That the site was in Portugese only probably should of tipped me off, but what the hell, most of the distrobutions come with an english locale package, and if necessarry I can get through the portugese install process and change the language settings after the installation. Download finishes, CD burned, reboot, and suprise suprise its a live CD, which means that I can run the OS (operating system) from the CDROM drive. I also see that there is an option to copy the OS directly to ram, which makes for a snappy system.

So I selct copy to ram and wait for the system to boot up and find myself in KDE, and in portugese. It looks like I can select english, but it doesnt seem to take. In reality, I should have stopped at this time done a bit of research and possible try another distribution. Did I?
Hell no what fun would that be. Maybe (I think to myself) there will be an english installation option, so I go for it. No English option, but Ive done enough installs, plus I did have that latin and greek derivatives class in highschool many moons ago, plus I did teach myself a small amount of french (hoping to get a job working at the Tour de France) 7 years ago, so I should be able to recognise most of the critical steps. Anyway I do manage to install the new system, without wiping out this one, booted up and started looking for a way to get the thing speaking English. After a couple of hours, and partial succes I realize that the necesarry locale files are not available, and that this is also mucking up my ability to set up the DSL connection so I can't download the needed files.

A lilo (linux loader - a versatile boot manager) reconfiguration to get the present system bootable fails (for reasons beyond understanding I get a Kernal panic looking for a filesystem that is not on any of the hard drives). I find the Installation CD boot it up reinstall Grub (another boot management program) and voila, I am back in the saddle with the old system.

Moral of the story, if it is a smaller distribution (under 350 megs) and the web page is not in english, then you might want to get the english language locale package so you can have it available if you need it. Another note, regarding the Portugese keymap, I have no Idea where the forwrd slash is (absolutely necesarry when trying to edit files), turns out that the forward slash key returns a semi-colon, the semi-colon places some wierd assed character on the screen, but the rest of the keys are pretty much the same. Thus ends the travails of spending the afternoon on a Portugese Computer. And now I can see what Bush has screwed up today, or if Iraq still exists.

Dubya meet the man in the mirror

So a couple of weeks ago you drag out, dust off, and proceed to have the Groping Governor lionize a former criminal, who resigned from office. I know that you Republican reconstructionist's are vigorously working on a rewrite of history, and its a shame that 30 years later we discover that during a serious cold war crisis, that said CinC was too drunk to do his Job. 30 years later there is some worry if the current CinC is drinking the hard stuff.

Nixon gets the hell out of Dodge

(AP) Five days into the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, with the superpowers on the brink of confrontation, President Richard Nixon was too drunk to discuss the crisis with the British prime minister, according to newly released transcripts of tape recordings.

Henry Kissinger's assessment of the president's condition on the night of Oct. 11, 1973, is contained in more than 20,000 pages of transcripts of Kissinger's phone calls as the president's national security adviser and secretary of state — records whose privacy he had guarded for three decades. The National Archives released them Wednesday.

They show the powerful adviser trying to manage world crises even as Nixon's presidency teetered from the Watergate scandal that would consume his administration in August 1974.

In October 1973, U.S.-Soviet tensions were peaking over the Arab-Israeli war, and British Prime Minister Edward Heath's office called the White House just before 8 p.m. to ask to speak with Nixon.

"Can we tell them no?" Kissinger asked his assistant, Brent Scowcroft, who had told him of the urgent request. "When I talked to the president, he was loaded."

Scowcroft replied: "We could tell him the president is not available and perhaps he can call you."

Kissinger said Nixon would be available in the morning.
The happy ending of the story is that Nixon did not need to make immediate decisions, like say elevating the defcon status, commiting a battle group to action, or any other decisions relating to national security interests. You just think that during a crisis like the Arab-Israel war it might be prudent to lay off the sauce.

Will update when I can re-create lost post. arrrrhggg. The above pales, compared to the inspired screed I was moments away from publishing, when the computer crashed last night. It might have been some of my best work - poof - gone - sad.

Thursday, September 16

Redheaded "kicks a woman while she's on the ground" Thug outed.

And the identifying picture is quickly cropped down the memory hole. This was first mentioned by Talk Left, Jesus's General weighed in, and Atrios pointed me to a post by Julian at Hit and Run. Here is a still from the original video which also links to said video.

Image Hosted by
Image Hosted by

he's the fetching cat at left

notice the difference?

Here is the front page including the above newly cropped photo from The National Tax Payers Union. You see the phote above was on the page (our friend was an intern for this right wing can't tax the rich advocacy group). Near as I can tell they Stalined&trade his ass out of the photo when this patriot was identified. Still waiting on a name though. Thanks to Atrios for being sharp enough to actually copy the Photo rather than link it from the site. I have done the same so If any one want's an original, let me know.

The good news keeps raining down

This will suprise noone who has been paying attention, but the conclusions of a National Security Estimate, do not bode well for the future in Iraq. Not sure how this one slipped out of the barn, but here we go.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A highly classified National Intelligence Estimate assembled by some of the government's most senior analysts this summer provided a pessimistic assessment about the future security and stability of Iraq.

The National Intelligence Council looked at the political, economic and security situation in the war-torn country and determined -- at best -- the situation would be tenuous in terms of stability, a U.S. official said late Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

At worst, the official said, were "trend lines that would point to a civil war." The official said it "would be fair" to call the document "pessimistic."

I might add that it would be fair to call the document assessments accurate. There are wide swaths of the country that we avoid like the plague, mainly in an attempt to keep casualties down as Bush micromanages the war to have the least amount of negative impacton his bid for election.

The latest assessment was undertaken by the National Intelligence Council, a group of senior intelligence officials who provide long-term strategic thinking for the entire U.S. intelligence community but report to the director of central intelligence, now acting CIA Director John McLaughlin. He and the leaders of the other intelligence agencies approved it.

The estimate contrasts with public comments of Bush and his senior aides who speak more optimistically about the prospects for a peaceful and free Iraq. "We're making progress on the ground," Bush said at his Texas ranch late last month.

Reality contrasts regularly with the horse shit that leaps out of Bush's mouth. For instance, "progress on the ground". We sure had a lot of progress on the ground last month when we suffered the highest rate of casualties since the war started. Or how about this month, barely half way through and on pace to become the second most deadly month for Americans, since the war began.

But Hagel said the shift in funds "does not add up in my opinion to a pretty picture, to a picture that shows that we're winning. But it does add up to this: an acknowledgment that we are in deep trouble."

Hagel, Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, and other committee members have long argued -- even before the war -- that administration plans for rebuilding Iraq were inadequate and based on overly optimistic assumptions that Americans would be greeted as liberators. (Biden questions fitness of Iraqi security force)

But the criticism from the panel's top Republicans had an extra sting coming less than seven weeks before the presidential election in which President Bush's handling of the war is a top issue.

"Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration -- what I call the 'dancing in the street crowd,' that we just simply will be greeted with open arms," Lugar said. "The nonsense of all of that is apparent. The lack of planning is apparent."

He said the need to shift the reconstruction funds was clear in July, but the administration was slow to make the request.

"This is an extraordinary, ineffective administrative procedure. It is exasperating from anybody looking at this from any vantage point," he said.

When Lugar and Hagel pile on, people really should start paying attention. These guys cannot be dismissed as "playing partisan politics" which really just amounts to projection, as that is all the administration is capable of doing. But it is nice that people at that level see the coming shitstorm for what it is. Meanwhile Sydney Blumenthal shares some more bad news from the Neocon Sandbox.
Far graver than Vietnam

Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday September 16, 2004

The Guardian

'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.

But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan."

I am not sure that you could put it in graver terms. And this from guys who know what the hell they are talking about. I am sure that the administration, will keep these guys well out of the way of the president. His "stay the course " initiatives can't work in the real world, so he needs to be kept in fantasyland. In fact, now that I think about it, when he is done with politics he should open up his own version of Fantasy Island and play the role of Mr. Roarke, with Cheney as a bigger tatoo, pointing to "da plane" as it brings other members of the vanquished administration to the island to live out their fantasies of Global Hegemony.
General Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration and the senior military officers over Iraqi was worse than any he has ever seen with any previous government, including Vietnam. "I've never seen it so bad between the office of the secretary of defence and the military. There's a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic."
Holy shit, when Generals start invoking Stalingrad as an example and we aren't the Soviet's.......And suggests that Iran and Al Qaida have gained more from our little adventure than we have, we are screwed. Thankfully for Bush though, the media will not touch any of this and continue to pretend that all is well. Unfortunately for the dauphin, the deaths and casualties are beginning to add up and each one of them impacts 5-20 people directly, these numbers are gonna add up to a lot of pissed off people. Meanwhile from the Hearts and minds department, our soldiers don't trust anyone on the ground. Sound familier: Land war's in Asia, and inability to distinguish friend from foe come to mind.

"My whole opinion of the people here has changed. There aren't any good people," said Friedrichsen, who says his first instinct now is to scan even youngsters' hands for weapons.

Subtle hostility extends to Iraqi adults, and evidence of betrayal among some of the country's officials is causing some American troops to have second thoughts.

"We're out here giving our lives for these people," said Sgt. Jesse Jordan, 25, of Grove Hill, Ala. "You'd think they'd show some gratitude. Instead, they don't seem to care."

Parralells to Vietnam have long since become appopriate. I feel so badly for these guys.
This attitude is perfectly understandable, but will only contribute to a vicious decending spiral. Friends we have failed miserably. Failed the Iraqi's, failed our men and women in theatre, and continuing this course will only deepen the tragedy. I can't blame these young men for their feelings.

In a place where American soldiers are at constant risk of surprise attack, ill will shortens fuses even further.

"We're not taking any chances: Shoot first and ask questions later," said Lance Cpl. David Goward, 26, a machine gunner from Cloquet, Minn. "We're a lot more dangerous now. I'm not going home in a body bag, and neither is the person next to me."

After a series of ambushes one April day that killed a dozen Marines, Cpl. Jason Rodgers saw a familiar face among a group of slain attackers. The dead Iraqi, who was lying inches from a grenade, was a shopkeeper Rodgers had called on several times during foot patrols, he said.

`I felt like I'd been betrayed'

"I felt like I'd been betrayed, personally," said Rodgers, 22, of Susanville, Calif. "I'd stood there, talking to him, shaking his hand, giving his kid candy. And he'd been studying our moves the whole time."

Unfortunately nothing will change for at least the next four and a half months, and one can only wonder what will transpire during that time, and will it be to late by then to turn this catastrpophe around?

More shots across Iran's Bow

The rhetoric concerning Iran's Nnuclear capability have ramped up, and while diplomicy seems the preferred solution, "nothing is off the table"

When asked, senior officials repeat that President George W. Bush is removing no option from the table - but that he believes the issue can be solved by diplomatic means.

Diplomacy on Wednesday appeared stalled.

The US and its European allies on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency continued to wrangle over the wording of a resolution on Iran which insists it has no intention of using its advanced civilian programme to make a bomb.

Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank, says that with "enough intelligence and spadework", the US could "do a good job" of slowing Iran's programme for a while.

But, he cautions, the Bush administration would need a "game plan" for the aftermath.

That long-term approach is lacking, analysts say, and has floundered in the debate over "regime change".

Asked whether Israel would take military action if the US dithered, Mr Schmitt replied: "Absolutely. No government in Israel will let this pass ultimately."

Tom Donnelly, an analyst with PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute, says that while inflicting military damage is possible, the consequences rule out this option.

If the US started down the military road, it would have to consider going the whole way to invasion and occupation.

"We have to start thinking in terms of a post-nuclear Iran," he said, describing the Europeans as "hopeless" on Iran, and India and China boosting their energy relations with the clerical regime.

Henry Sokolski, head of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, says the US and its allies are in a state of denial, that it is too late to stop Iran from getting the bomb. It already has the capacity, he says.

Neither of the US and European options "to bomb or bribe Iran" would succeed and both could make it worse.

Mr Sokolski describes as "highly irresponsible" the idea that the US can let Israel do the job.

Like a kid on christmas morning bushco, gets bored with one toy (Afghanistan), opens up one a little more exciting (Iraq), tires of that one, and sets his sights on a shiny new
adventure (Iran), with the explosive possibility that would result if Israel got involved.
It's like a big game of Risk with these idiots, with armegeddon, and the return of Jesus as the goal.

Comparing Plans for Quagmiristan

Bush: Steady as she goes, stay the course, stay till we win, make democracy happen, painting schools, winning the hearts and minds through overwhelming force. Now Watch this drive. Nothing to see here, move along

Kerry: We need to internationalize the peacekeeping force, putting more boots on the ground. We need to share the burdens and rewards of the reconstruction. Bring our troops home during his first term.
Involve the Iraqis in the reconstruction and get Halliburton and other war profiteering foxes out of the Iraqi Henhouse.

One plan deals solely with perception and the other with reality.

Marching orders

Digby, inspired by a post at the Liberal Oasis, makes an excellent point. We must remember that we are not fans of our team, but members of the team. This means that it is time to join ranks, quit our bitching, moaning and second guessing. Liberal Oasis uses the latter stages of the Gore campaign to illustrate this point.
Monday morning QBs still lambaste Gore for his call, under the "every decision was a bad decision" logic when assessing "losing" campaigns.

But to this day, they can't be sure that a heavy dose of Clinton would have meant a popular vote loss too, or if it just wouldn't have made a difference.

And we also don't know what would have happened if the party just got in line and backed Gore's strategy to the hilt.
Meanwhile digby adds the following observation:
I've been thinking about this all day and I think part of what is going on with us Democrats is that while it is natural to treat the race like it's a sporting event our mistake is in thinking that we are the fans. We sit around the metaphorical bar and kibbitz about what the manager should and shouldn't do. Don't pull Pedro! That's nuts!

But this isn't a sporting event in which we are all observers. We are players in this game and it actually matters what we do and say. Our attitude, our intensity, or energy and our willingnesss to walk the precinct and put up signs and talk to our friends can all affect the outcome. The manager can't listen to all of our conflicting advice, but he sure needs us to play to the best of our ability.
We all realize the stake we have in this election, but sometimes forget the direct impact we can have as members of the team. That our actions, demeanor, and attitude can have a substantial affect on this election. As Steve Gilliard put it:
And while a lot of Dems want Kerry to lash out, he has to be careful and time his attacks right. One thing which the Dems haven't done, and have to, from the blogs to campaign talking points, is create the sense of inevitability of Bush's defeat.
I prefer "it is time to embrace the inevitability of a Kerry victory", and I have tried to take this advice to heart and usually add a signature to comments on other blogs usually a variation of KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE!!. And while I can't take credit I am happy to announce that I see others using a variation on this theme and it always puts a smile on this cynical bastard's face. I have been trying to find a post or two of mine to insert some previous insight The following was written in response to the confimation that there are more registered democrats (17 million) than republicans:
This information also suggests that we should be less worried about "undecideds" or "swing" voters, and should instead concentrate our amunition on those who are already with us.
You have friends that did not vote last time around. Talk to them about the Courts (boring I know, but damn inportant), the environment, Health Care. Find a resonant topic and start pushing buttons. It should be clear by now that there are more than just superficial differences between the parties.
So you know what to do, find 5 dems or socially-liberal friends and see to it, that they make it to the polls, and then we can start the serious work of cleaning up after these fools.
Which brings us Back to what I found so interesting in Digby's post. The fact is that he articulates what I mean above in more elegant fashion. And while I have dumped variations of the above themes on comments hither and yon, it is nice to see that great minds think alike, and more importanly that many more will see the message and embrace the action suggested. In fact I love the fact that Digby lowers the requirements to one person.
Here's a little idea for a personal political project that each of us can undertake. Surely, we all know one person who doesn't usually vote, an apolitical type who isn't interested. This country is crawling with them. This is the election to get them registered and make sure they vote, whether by sending them the link for an absentee ballot or offering to pick them up and take them to the polls on election day. Everybody knows somebody like this. If we all make sure that we each get one person to vote who wouldn't otherwise give a damn, we win.

So, think about it. Which of your slacker friends can you get to vote this year? Take the initiative. They won't mind. They don't care. Make that work for us.

So folks there you go. If you do nothing else, energize a slacker friend or just drag their ass to the polls. We can take our country back on slacker at a time. If you can find more people fantastic. Disdain dispair, embrace inevitability, quit paying attention to the media and the polls. If you get sucked in anyway, use the resultant anger and find another slacker. I am absolutely convinced of Digby's conclusion, you find one friend who did not vote last time, get them to the polls and we win. KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE!!

Wednesday, September 15

The Excuse Presidency

Kerry comes out swinging and tosses a little meat to the base.

At that convention in New York the other week, President Bush talked about his ownership society. Well Mr. President, when it comes to your record, we agree – you own it.

Of course, the President would have us believe that his record is the result of bad luck, not bad decisions. That he’s faced the wrong circumstances, not made the wrong choices. In fact, this President has created more excuses than jobs. His is the Excuse Presidency: Never wrong, Never Responsible, Never to Blame. President Bush’s desk isn’t where the buck stops – it’s where the blame begins. He’s blamed just about everyone but himself and his administration for America’s economic problems. And if he’s missed you, don’t worry – he’s still got 48 days left until the election.

He sure has a lot of excuses, but you know what? Of the last eleven presidents – many who faced war and recession – George Bush is the only one to actually lose jobs on his watch.

Right on John, keep it coming. The coward (hiding behind skirts is a way of life) in chief, can't run on afghanistan (Economic boom thanks to heroin trade) or Iraq (can you say "Screwed Pooch Walking") Or national Security (uhm george the ports, and taking a failure [9/11 happened on yur watch-"bin Laden determined to strike america"] and trying to make it an accomplishment, well thats just stupid) the Economy (net loss of jobs, more people without health insurance) Health care (the medicare bill was more of a big Pharma welfare plan, than an attempt to realistically deal with the ballooning costs of prescription medicine). Two and a half years with no real opposition (your party controls all branches of government), and a compliant media, all the tax cuts and wars you wanted and you left the place a bigger mess than when you got here.

Sir, If you had shown any sense of decency or shame, you would probably have been an effective president. If you had not taken the ball that was handed to you by the supreme court and run screaming to the far right, like you had any kind of mandate, you might have been an effective president. If you had simply finished the job in Afghanistan, Brought Osama and Omar to justice, you would be riding a wave of popularity to likely re-election, but no, you had to follow the lemming neocons off the cliff to optional war. You can't even find your damn heart for gods sakes. Prepare to take your beatin' like a man.

Memo's who cares, Delay shut your piehole

Tom Delay, congressional ballbuster, rule breaker and abuser of his power in violation of his oath to protect and defend the constitution has got to shut the Fuck up.

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, called on CBS News to say where it got the memos.

"I understand that people want to protect their sources, but we're dealing with the alleged forgery of government documents to influence a presidential race during war," DeLay told reporters. "This isn't politics as usual. It's dangerous and possibly criminal."

Excuse me Fucknuts Delay, have you no fucking shame. How about you can have the source of these documents when Novak releases the source of alleged traitor who released the identity of an undercover CIA operative, or how about when Cheney releases his energy task force records. Don't you have a couple ethics violations waiting for your ass on a docket or two to take care of.

I am pissed because I have to spend some time now taking a look (and it will be a short one I assure you) at this memo-gate. I could give a rats ass if they are not authentic, I have no idea, and in my opinion non of this matters, as the content is not under question.

Bush refused to obey a direct order to show up for a physical. Bush weaseled his way into and out of the guard, using his connections to jump ahead of the line and using the same connections to keep his ass out of the fire when he decided he had had enough. The man simply lacks the honor to admit that he played the system. Trying to hide behind his honorable discharge, when they seem to hand them out like candy at a bank. Remember the DC sniper? After a couple of times AWOL and a couple of stints in the brig, recieved an honorable discharge. Two simple questions George, (and if any member of the press who has access and happens to be feeling guilty about selling out to the devil, feel free to ask them yourself).

Why did you refuse the order to take the physical?

How many times have you been arrested?

Headless bodies and Car bombs

Three headless bodies turn up and other violence results in death in Iraq.
By Sabah Albazee

BAIJI, Iraq (Reuters) - The decapitated bodies of three men, their heads strapped to their backs and the corpses put in nylon bags, were found dumped by a roadside north of Baghdad Wednesday, Iraqi police and U.S. officials said.

The bodies were discovered by a group of Iraqi National Guardsmen shortly after dawn as they patrolled near the town of Dujail, 38 miles north of the capital. The U.S. military said initial indications were that the dead men were Arabs.

The development comes amid a sharp surge in violence over the past three days, with at least 150 Iraqis killed in bomb blasts, fighting and other attacks. A car bomb in central Baghdad killed 47 and wounded 114 Tuesday.

Iraqi police said two of the bodies had tattoos written in the Roman alphabet -- one saying "HECER," and the other a letter H. The third body had tattoos written in Arabic script but the words were not Arabic. There were no documents on the corpses.

Meanwhile at a police headquarters a familier tactic plays out.

As well as kidnappings and roadside bomb blasts, the insurgents appear intent on killing as many Iraqi police and National Guards as possible, while also targeting recruits.

Tuesday's car bomb in Baghdad was detonated outside a police headquarters in Haifa Street, a busy part of the old city. It went off as dozens of young men were lining up to join the police force, and as civilians shopped in a nearby market.

Similar attacks have taken place throughout the country in recent months.

While some of those recovering in hospital after the blast said the attack had now dissuaded them from joining the police service, others said it made them all the more determined.

"I will still join if I can," said Hamdan Radi, a 25-year-old who came all the way from Amara in the far south of Iraq to Baghdad to sign up. He ended up with severe shrapnel wounds across his abdomen and lower chest.

This attempt to attack future security forces is haveing a dramatic effect on the speed with which we can train and field credible Iraqi security forces. It has been obvious for far too long that the neocon architects of this war, should be beat like red headed step children for laughing off the military members who said that we would need at least 300,000 boots on the ground. Hell, we had a coalition numbering 500,000 for the first gulf war and that was just to get Kuwait away from Saddam and give it back to the Kuwaiti's. This failure of leadership has left us in an intractible quagmire and is killing the military. Bush and his cronys have done a criminal disservice to our men under fire.

Anyone who really thinks that Bush has done an outstanding job as CinC, needs a slap upside the head. The military has performed admirably given the anemic support of the administration which preferred to play the politics of profit during the occupation. There was a window of opportunity for this to work out and Bush and Bremer were to busy playing games. Once a critical mass of Iraqis realized that those bastards were in it for personal game it was only a matter of time and now, meet Quagmiraq, Quagmiristan, call it what you will, but that sucking sound you hear is the blood, treasure, honor, and prestige, of a great nation. A fucking disgrace. Yes I am pissed. Those smug lying sacks of shit. OK OK OK.

American sentenced in Afghanistan

Blogger eats post. American Jonathan Idema, has been sentenced by an Afghani court to ten years in prison for running a private jail and torturing Afghani's.

Jonathan Idema and Brent Bennett were sentenced to 10 years in jail and Edward Caraballo eight years.

Idema, who the US calls a bounty hunter, said his work had been approved by Afghan and US authorities. He told the court the FBI was setting him up.

Four Afghans working with the Americans were also found guilty and sentenced to between one and five years in jail.

Idema said after the trial: "I apologise that we tried to save these people... We should have let the Taleban murder every... one of them."

The judge said the defendants, who were arrested in Kabul in July, had the right to appeal.

A lawyer for Idema, John Edwards Tiffany, said an appeal would be launched.


Lawyers for the American defendants had called for the charges to be thrown out, arguing that the Afghan legal system was not fit to try them.

The defendants denied charges of kidnapping, torture and illegal entry into Afghanistan.

Idema a "former Green Beret" claimed that he had been working at the behest of Washington. The Government has disavowed any relationship with Idema and say that he was operating on his own.

Tuesday, September 14

Is this what Freedom looks like

Cribbed from my good friends at the AllSpinZone, the aftermath of the Helicopter Bradley incident. From the Guardian. I really am at a loss for words. I have absconded with the latter half of the tale, you should read the rest.

I had just reached the corner of the cube when I heard two explosions, I felt hot air blast my face and something burning on my head. I crawled to the cube and hid behind it. Six of us were squeezed into a space less than two metres wide. Blood started dripping on my camera but all that I could think about was how to keep the lens clean. A man in his 40s next to me was crying. He wasn't injured, he was just crying. I was so scared I just wanted to squeeze myself against the wall. The helicopters wheeled overhead, and I realised that they were firing directly at us. I wanted to be invisible, I wanted to hide under the others.

As the helicopters moved a little further off, two of the men ran away to a nearby building. I stayed where I was with a young man, maybe in his early 20s, who was wearing a pair of leather boots and a tracksuit. He was sitting on the ground, his legs stretched in front of him but with his knee joint bent outwards unnaturally. Blood ran on to the dirt beneath him as he peered round the corner. I started taking pictures of him. He looked at me and turned his head back towards the street as if he was looking for something. His eyes were wide open and kept looking.

There in the street, the injured were all left alone: a young man with blood all over his face sat in the middle of the cloud of dust, then fell on to his face.

Behind the cube, the other two men knew each other.

"How are you?" asked the man closer to me. He was lying against the cube's wall and trying to pull out his cellphone.

"I am not good," said the other, a young man in a blue T-shirt, resting against a fence. He was holding his arm, a chunk of which was missing, exposing the bone.

"Bring a car and come here please, we are injured," his friend was saying into his cellphone.

The man with his knee twisted out, meanwhile, was making only a faint sound. I was so scared I didn't want to touch him. I kept telling myself he was OK, he wasn't screaming.

I decided to help the guy with the phone who was screaming. I ripped his T-shirt off and told him to squeeze it against the gash on his head. But I was scared; I wanted to do something, but I couldn't. I tried to remember the first-aid training I had had in the past, but all I was doing was taking pictures.

I turned back to the man with the twisted knee. His head was on the curb now, his eyes were open but he just kept making the faint sound. I started talking to him, saying, "Don't worry, you'll be OK, you'll be fine." From behind him I looked at the middle of the street, where five injured men were still lying. Three of them were piled almost on top of each other; a boy wearing a white dishdasha lay a few metres away.

One of the three men piled together raised his head and looked around the empty streets with a look of astonishment on his face. He then looked at the boy in front of him, turned to the back and looked at the horizon again. Then he slowly started moving his head to the ground, rested his head on his arms and stretched his hands towards something that he could see. It was the guy who had been beating his chest earlier, trying to help his brother. He wanted help but no one helped. He was just there dying in front of me. Time didn't exist. The streets were empty and silent and the men lay there dying together. He slid down to the ground, and after five minutes was flat on the street.

I moved, crouching, towards where they were. They were like sleeping men with their arms wrapped around each other in the middle of the empty street. I went to photograph the boy with the dishdasha. He's just sleeping, I kept telling myself. I didn't want to wake him. The boy with the amputated leg was there too, left there by the people who were pulling him earlier. The vehicle was still burning.

More kids ventured into the street, looking with curiosity at the dead and injured. Then someone shouted "Helicopters!" and we ran. I turned and saw two small helicopters, black and evil. Frightened, I ran back to my shelter where I heard two more big explosions. At the end of the street the man in the orange overall was still sweeping the street.

The man with the bent knee was unconscious now, his face flat on the curb. Some kids came and said, "He is dead." I screamed at them. "Don't say that! He is still alive! Don't scare him." I asked him if he was OK, but he didn't reply.

We left the kids behind the bent-knee guy, the cellphone guy and the blue V-neck T-shirt guy; they were all unconscious now. We left them to die there alone. I didn't even try to move any with me. I just ran selfishly away. I reached a building entrance when someone grabbed my arm and took me inside. "There's an injured man. Take pictures - show the world the American democracy," he said. A man was lying in the corridor in total darkness as someone bandaged him.

Some others told me there was another journalist in the building. They took me to a stairwell leading to the basement, where a Reuters cameraman, a cheerful chubby guy, was lying holding his camera next to his head. He wasn't screaming but he had a look of pain in his eyes.

I tried to remember his name to call his office, but I couldn't. He was a friend, we had worked together for months. I have seen him in every press conference, but I couldn't remember his name.

In time, an ambulance came. I ran to the street as others emerged from their hiding places, all trying to carry injured civilians to the ambulance.

"No, this one is dead," said the driver. "Get someone else."

The ambulance drove away and we all scattered, thinking to ourselves: the Americans won't fire at an ambulance but they will at us. This scene was repeated a couple of times: each time we heard an ambulance we would emerge into the streets, running for cover again as it left.

Yesterday, sitting in the office, another photographer who was looking at my pictures exclaimed: "So the Arabiya journalist was alive when you were taking pictures!"

"I didn't see the Arabiya journalist."

He pointed at the picture of the guy with V-neck T-shirt. It was him. He was dead. All the people I had shared my shelter with were dead.

Well ain't that great news

Lynne Gobbell, the woman who was fired for having a Kerry edwards Bumper sticker on her car, Got a call from John Kerry and an Job offer to work for the campaign. If that ain't cool I don't know what is. From Slate.

But Gobbell said she wouldn't return without some written guarantee that Geddes wouldn't turn around and fire her once he was out of the spotlight. Then, late this afternoon, Kerry himself phoned Gobbell. "He was telling me how proud he was that I stood up," Gobbell told me. "He'd read the part where Phil said I could either work for him or work for John Kerry. He said, 'you let him know you're working for me as of today.' I was just so shocked."

Gobbell accepted Kerry's job offer, "so I reckon I'll be working for John Kerry." Kerry left it that someone from his campaign would call Gobbell to work out the details. Let's hope there's quick follow-through (I'll be checking!), because Gobbell told me she couldn't wait to tell Geddes that she had a better offer.

Although there's an excellent chance the Kerry campaign will flog (or perhaps already has flogged) this story in the press, I should emphasize that it did not tip me to Gobbell's story. By sheer coincidence, I happened to call Gobbell while she was on the line with Kerry, and got a busy signal. When I called back a few minutes later, Gobbell explained who she'd just been speaking with. In a political campaign, I should note, it's entirely appropriate to hire somebody based on that person's politics.

Maybe I should fire myself from this blog for you know being a radical lefty type Kerry Supporter. Can't wait to hear about the response to this in the right side of the sphere. Notably that French outfit Republique Libere.

Some news and stuff

Putin plans on taking advantage of terrorism to cement his hold on power, while taking a page out of the bush doctrine of pre-emptive strikes., let's hope that they are more successful than we have been.
Putin tightens grip

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has been lashed for anti-terror plans that will strengthen the Kremlin's grip on political life.

Saying Russia's future was at stake, Mr Putin called for the creation of a central, powerful anti-terrorism agency.

"The organisers and perpetrators of the terror attack are aiming at the disintegration of the state, the break-up of Russia," he said. "We need a single organisation capable of not only dealing with terror attacks, but also working to avert them, destroy criminals in their hideouts and, if necessary, abroad."

But the plans focused on electoral changes, including eliminating popularly elected governors and overhauling how Russians elect their parliament.

This is likely to increase the control of the dominant pro-Kremlin faction.

Meanwhile the U.S. continues it's schitzophrenic relationship with the U.N., well not so schitzophenic as when we need the bitch to do our bidding she's OK, but if she side's agin' us, well, she needs to be slapped down.
The United States and Iran appear headed for a showdown over the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

Washington is reported to be pushing for the United Nations nuclear agency to adopt a resolution that would set an October 31 deadline for Tehran to end its uranium enrichment and allow unrestricted access to all sites. The International Atomic Energy Agency is meeting this week in Vienna.

Diplomats say the resolution is tougher than one originally written by France, Germany and Britain setting a November deadline for Iran to fully disclose the nature of its nuclear program. Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei has warned against setting a deadline.

It's just co-incidence that Washington wants the deadline to come before the election. There is no way that this could be politically motivated right? I imagine that we will soon hear about unmanned aircraft able to deliver nukes to our doorstep from Tehran.
Man I can't wait for more wars. In other news Colin Powell states that we may not find WMD's in Iraq. Really? Can someone just shoot me already, this has truly descended into the theatre of the maximum absurdity.

WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD, Sept. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) may not be found in Iraq, while both Iraq and the United States expect the elections in Ir aq to be held as scheduled amid mounting violence.

"It turned out that we have not found any stockpiles (of the WMD). I think it is unlikely that we will find any stockpiles," Powell said at a hearing of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

"What I have found over the last year and several months is that some of the sourcing that was used to give me the basis upon which to bring forward that judgment to the United Nations were flawed, were wrong," Powell said.

Shit, meet Sherlock.

Can we stop torturing 14 year old's Please.

Well it seems like that toolkit for torture developed to maximise information gathering at Gitmo is continuing it's tour of the war on terror. After stops in Afghanistan, undisclosed cia holding pens in Iraq and a sellout tour of Abu Ghraib, It is apparently headlining in Mosul. No, this shit is not in the least bit funny, but I have to diffuse my anger somehow. Basically we are still Sodomising children, and it looks like "a few bad apples have spoilt the entire bushel. From Reuters.
Tue 14 September, 2004 13:34

By Peter Graff

LONDON (Reuters) - A British lawyer says he has uncovered evidence that U.S. troops mistreated detainees in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, suggesting abuse has spread far beyond the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

Phil Shiner sent Reuters statements by two Iraqis who said they were hooded, stripped naked, beaten and doused with cold water at lengthy torture sessions in a place called "the disco" because of loud Western music constantly blasted at detainees.

One said he had seen a 14-year-old boy bleeding from his anus. The other said he was threatened with sexual assault.

The allegations appear to be the first reports of abuse in Mosul. Washington has acknowledged detainees were abused at Abu Ghraib, and Shiner is leading a case on behalf of Iraqis who say they were mistreated by British forces in Basra. Three Iraqi staff working for Reuters say they were beaten and sexually humiliated by U.S. troops near Falluja in January.

Has all the torture and sodomy actually provided us with any reliable information, or has it inflamed passions in the muslim world to the degree that we will never be rid of the problem of islamic terrorism. And any of you out there who have no problem with torture done in your name, please get off your ass and down to a recruiting station immediately, "unkle Sam wants You!"

A U.S. military spokesman for detainee operations in Iraq said in Baghdad that he was unaware of the allegations. "I am surprised by them," he said. "I have visited that facility up there and I've seen the good work that they've been doing."

In the statements provided by Shiner, Haitham Saeed al-Mallah, an engineer, said he was brought to "the disco" where "they left me standing for hours, handcuffed and hooded".

"Then I was kicked very hard in the stomach, which was followed by continuous beating with a stick and with their boots until I fell unconscious. I only woke up after they poured over my head very cold water."

He said he was then abused in groups with other detainees, forced to carry out exhausting exercises and beaten or doused with cold water whenever they fell to the floor. They were not permitted to use the toilet and allowed only two hours sleep.

"I saw a young man of 14 years of age bleeding from his anus and lying on the floor. He was Kurdish and his name was Hama. I heard the soldiers talking to each other about this guy. They mentioned that the reason for this bleeding was inserting a metal object in his anus," he said.


The other alleged Mosul victim, Yasir Rubaii Saeed al-Qutaji, was described as an Iraqi lawyer investigating reports of abuse at "the disco" when he was arrested.

After a day and a night forced into stress positions and doused with cold water at "the disco", he was taken to a regular prison. Staff and interrogators there treated him properly at night, but allowed the same "disco team" to abuse him by day. He was threatened with sexual assault on his final day.

"The only reason he was detained was that he was working on documenting these cases of torture, at this prison and the Americans then went and detained him," Shiner said.

The U.S. government has said abuse of prisoners in Iraq was mainly confined to a few rogue soldiers at Abu Ghraib.

I guess I should consider the source of the allegation of metal-objects-causing- bleeding-anus on 14 year old Kurdish man
. That sand nigger is just lying to make us look bad. That 14 year old kid could not have had a flashlight shoved up his ass cause we would never do anything like that. And if the kid was in custody, he probably was opposed to his liberation and deserved to stand around naked in "stress positions", not alowed to sleep and have buckets of cold water poured all over him. Hell, his father is probably the leader of the "dead end gang". I am glad above all else that our respected media (liberal though it is) will keep this "propaganda" off the front pages, and off the air.

Monday, September 13

Tom Coburn Hypocrit and Theocrat

Part two of an analysis of a Republican Senatorial Candidate from Oklahoma, who should not, under any circumstances, be elected. For background look one post below.
We are now going to look at the involuntary sterilization. Again from Salon.

Unsurprisingly, in proposing this legislation Coburn was careful not to raise his own case involving Medicaid fraud.

In the early hours of Nov. 7, 1990, Dr. Coburn was summoned to Muskogee Regional Medical Center to attend to a pregnant patient who had been admitted with severe pains. The patient was a 20-year-old woman in her third pregnancy. After each of her first two pregnancies, she had asked Coburn to perform a tubal ligation to ensure that she would not have any more children, but he had refused, according to his testimony, telling her that Medicaid did not cover elective sterilization for women under 21. "I told her that she was too young, that it was irreversible, that she needed to wait," Coburn recounted telling the patient in December 1989. "I also told her that [Medicaid] wouldn't cover it."

In this case it would appear that Coburn was the embodiment of a good country doctor showing all the concern he could for his young patient. It is clear that he was only interested in what was best for her, insofar as medicaid was not yet ready to pay for it. So the good doctor might be forgiven for the next chapter of the story
Coburn found that she had an ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg is implanted somewhere other than the womb. In this case it was in her left fallopian tube. Coburn operated, removing both the left tube and the unaffected right one. The woman subsequently filed a malpractice suit, charging that he had tied her healthy tube without her permission.

Coburn found that she had an ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg is implanted somewhere other than the womb. In this case it was in her left fallopian tube. Coburn operated, removing both the left tube and the unaffected right one. The woman subsequently filed a malpractice suit, charging that he had tied her healthy tube without her permission.

In his Feb. 27, 1992, deposition in the case, Coburn insisted that the woman had repeatedly asked him to remove the second tube. In fact, she had signed a written consent form for the operation to deal with the ectopic pregnancy, but had not signed a consent form for the second procedure. Coburn testified that he had asked a nurse to obtain that form and that he did not know why it had not happened.

The woman may very well have asked on numerous occasions to be sterilized, but hearsay cannot be notarized, and without the consent form you can not perform the procedure in this case and not be exposed to a lawsuit. And of course it is always nice if you have an underling or two to blame for your breech of practice. But as long as we can slip one past the goalie and get paid, right? And thank god that the woman did not show up so the case could be dismissed, and this whole thing just brushed under the rug.
"I did not dictate [the second procedure] because of her Title 19 status," he testified. "If I had dictated both, it would have been a sterilization procedure and she wouldn't have had it covered."
when the mans says did not dictate, what he means is that "I did not report that procedure, because if I did, medicaid would have not covered the procedure, and I might not have been payed the easy money." "Besides, she got what she wanted all along anyway, not that she had a chance to actually make the final decision, and possibly change her mind about sterilization, hell and I got paid right?"
After the operation Coburn admonished both the woman and her mother not to discuss it. "She asked me, since she was under 21, how did I tie her tubes -- since I told her I wouldn't and Title 19 wouldn't pay for it," Coburn said in the deposition. "I said I did it anyway and that she shouldn't talk about it because ... I did a procedure that was not recognized under Title 19 reimbursement." Thus Coburn admitted he had tried to silence his patient because he knew he was billing Medicaid illegally.
A man has gotta do what an entitled man must do. All those fancy things aren't cheap. The country club dues, car payments, the opulence that shows that you have arrived are part and parcel of the status attained, and if the rules have to be fudged to benefit my bank account, well come on, what is your complaint. I earned that money.

Salon could not reach Coburn for comment. His campaign manager, Michael Schwartz, said that he was not familiar with the case and that it was "way off the radar screen" because the case happened 12 years ago.

And this last statement "way off the radar screen" is priceless. So what he was caught with his hands in a government cookie jar as an adult male professional, but that should have no bearing whatsoever on his fitness to be an elected official. I mean after all, this guy was a three term congressman (who's constituents at the time where unaware of his criminal past). this is classic "It's OK as long as you are a republican.
One of the great legacies left behind by our dear leader is the idea that you can be a colossal fuck up for the majority of your life (Kerry has been in the Senate longer than george has been off the booze-If you buy his story) and it doesn't really matter because you can pawn off the entire decade of your thirties as a period of youthfull indescretion, of course as long as you are Republican.
Coburn, meanwhile, continues to spout off. Last week, he declared Oklahoma lagging in economic development because "you have a bunch of crapheads in Oklahoma City that have killed the vision of anybody wanting to invest in Oklahoma." His spokesperson could not explain who or what Coburn was talking about. What's more, Coburn proclaimed the Senate race a "battle of good vs. evil."
Now isn't that nice, I guess when you put it in those terms I can understand. You don't drop the E-Bomb on your opponent, unless, you know, he's the embodiment of evil. I guess that a good doctor with such a nuanced understanding of the world really should be sent to washington to grease the wheels of government and punish those freely elected "crapheads" that are keeping the good state down. Oklahoma please spare yourself the embaressment and send Rhodes Scholar Brad Carson to the senate, and send doctor cookie jar back to his medical practice.

This guy should not be elected

This senate candidate from Oklahoma is a doctor who has not only performed abotrtions in the past, but now believes that the death penalty should be applied to doctors who perform legal abortions now. of course after we get rid of Roe V Wade. Welcome to the Theocracy and meet Tom Coburn, Born again jackass, who wants to shred the constitution and install Leviticus as law of the land. Which gets me thinking about some of the nutbars in positions of power, and whether they really were truthfull when they took the oath of office, specifically the "defend the constitution" part, and whether they were just lying out of their lie holes. Oh and one more thing, Dr Coburn sterilized a 20 year old woman against her will. My guess she was a lesbian, or less than white, lets see what Salon has dug up for our consumption.

Medicine man
The future of GOP control of the Senate depends on Oklahoma Republican candidate Tom Coburn, a former doctor who has covered up a scandal from his past until now.

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For Coburn, the imminent danger facing America is apparently not terrorism but the "gay agenda." His thumping about this menace within contributed to the pressure that led to Bush's endorsement of a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage. At a Republican meeting this spring, Coburn warned: "The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."

Ah yes that gay boogie man. I have several close friends that happen to be gay and live within a block and a half of me. One lives alone and is an artist, the other two are in a commited long term relationship. I happen, by dint of birth, to be a heterosexual, and I will hapilly share with you the gay agenda. They want to be left alone to live quiet and peaceful lives like the rest of us. They are no danger to you, me, or your children, they are in danger from occasional harrasment, queer bashing, and existential predjudice, by bible thumping homophobes like Coburn who should never get anywhere near the reins of power. I'll go so far as to say that those that protest homosexuality the loudest may not be completely comfortable in their hetero lives, in other words latent homosexuals are the most violent opponents of homosexual rights. Coburn probably got a hard-on in the highschool lockerroom and is living a lie. On to a little medicare fraud shall we go:

According to records obtained by Salon, Coburn filed an apparently fraudulent Medicaid claim in 1990, which he admitted in his own testimony in a civil malpractice suit brought against him 14 years ago by a former female patient. The suit alleged that Coburn had sterilized her without her consent. It eventually was dismissed after the plaintiff failed to appear for the trial. In his sworn testimony, Coburn admitted he sterilized the then 20-year-old woman without securing her written consent as required by law. He blamed the omission on a clerical error, but maintained that he had her oral consent for the procedure. (Salon has been unable to contact the woman and is withholding her name out of respect for her privacy.) Coburn also revealed under oath that he had charged the procedure to Medicaid -- despite knowing that Medicaid, also known as Title 19, does not cover the cost of sterilization for anyone under age 21.

Not sure we'll find out the reason for the performance of this procedure, but what is clear is that he committed fraud. May have given him a reason to pursue a political career.

Coburn was swept into Congress as a member of the Republican class of 1994 that gained control of the House for the first time in 40 years and installed Newt Gingrich as speaker. "He really drank the Kool-Aid with the class of '94; he was one of the real far-right guys," says Kenneth Hicks, a political science professor at Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla.

"He's a principled, pompous member," said a senior Republican staffer turned lobbyist. "He's one of those '94 guys, and there were a certain percentage of them who were so anti-system that they don't want to play the game. And from a leadership perspective and a lobbyist perspective, we don't like those kind of people ... He's going to be a frickin' nightmare in the Senate [if he wins]."

Par for the course for someone who feels he only has to answer to a higher law. Red baiting, Kool-aid embibing member of the class of '94. Looks like he's game to shut the system down. These guys don't want to govern in the traditional way, they want to govern by fiat. Bottom line, if there is a republican lobbyist that is alarmed, could someone get builcding me that bomb shelter and viet cong style network of tunnels, so I can hide or get the fuck out of dodge if these guys get power. Oh Jesus, the other shoe is about to drop.

As far right as Coburn is on fiscal issues, he is even farther right on social issues. "I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life," he told the Associated Press in July. Last week, he told the Hugo [Okla.] Daily News: "We need someone who will speak morally on the issues and not run from the criticism of the national press ... We need to have moral clarity about our leaders. I have a 100 percent pro-life record. I don't apologize for saying we need to protect the unborn. Do you realize that if all those children had not been aborted, we wouldn't have any trouble with Medicare and Social Security today? That's another 41 million people."
Can we just set up another country for these theocratic idiots to run there vision of moral rectitude. And rule number one, we will not allow immigration for any members of the population that choose to move to that country. You made your stinking bed now lie in it. The last sentence is just the stuff that dreams are made of. Wow no abortions no social security problems. I'm thinking that we might have considerable more intransigent unemployment problems and a whole lot more people without health insurance, but thats just this armchair pundit talking. I hope we are done with the horrific position points. Oh for the love of god there is more. For the sake of your stomach and mine, this will be a two part post.
At a House subcommittee meeting on the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1996, which heard testimony on the danger of the parasite cryptosporidium, which had killed 104 and sickened 400,000 in Milwaukee in 1993 and killed 19 in Las Vegas in 1994, Coburn displayed his expertise as a doctor. The lethal spores, he held forth, "can sometimes ... be very helpful -- for doctors -- because it helps us identify those people who in fact are immuno-compromised."
And just exactly what are we gonna do with these people that are helpfully identified as immuno-compromised, send them packing off to a concentration club somewhere.
Is it just me or is this a thinly veiled euphamism for Aids. Jeebus H Christ is this guy actually on the edge of advocating some form of "controlled" testing? To finish with part one we see that hypocracy meets hyperbole and well, does not look pretty. Remember his earlier case of fraud? Then dig this.
Medical fraud has been one of Coburn's signature issues. In his freshman term, he introduced the Health Care Anti-Fraud Act of 1995, which focused mainly on Medicare fraud but also touched on Medicaid. Speaking on the House floor on behalf of a Republican Medicare bill that year, Coburn said, "Our goal is to eliminate fraud and abuse. The way we do that is to make sure we change the expectation of those who are defrauding and abusing; that we, in fact, will catch them. If we change that expectation, then we will limit greatly the amount of people, and number of people, who attempt to defraud."
Pot meet kettle. Yeah all we really have to do is change the expectations. Cause if the doctors think they might get caught fleecing the government. And quite frankly as one who has fleeced the system himself he would be uniquely qualified to suggest how to change those expectations. Feel free to read the rest, and if you do feel free to come back over in a couple hours for the Value Added Content that I will have waiting for you. We will start with the case of the sterilization gone wrong. Till then Toodles.

Herbert on voter disenfanchisement, again

Bob Herbert NYT columnist is staying on top of efforts to supress the African American vote. Another in the never ending trail of outrageous behavior. One of these days we'll take a well deserved look at little Billy Renquists voter suppression history, but for now, some of the column.

The attempt to prevent blacks from voting has been a staple of America's political history, like long-winded speeches and balloons. I wrote three columns last month about a situation in Orlando, Fla., in which armed state police officers went into the homes of elderly black voters to question them as part of a so-called criminal investigation involving absentee ballots. This tactic sent a definite chill through voters who were old enough to remember the torment inflicted on Southern blacks who tried to vote in the 1950's and 60's.

A new study by the People for the American Way Foundation and the N.A.A.C.P. describes many recent examples of voter harassment and intimidation - the latest entries in the long and sordid history of disenfranchisement in the U.S. The study, called "The Long Shadow of Jim Crow," noted:

"Voter intimidation and suppression efforts have not been limited to a single party, but have in fact shifted over time as voting allegiances have shifted. In recent decades, African-American voters have largely been loyal to the Democratic Party, resulting in the prevalence of Republican efforts to suppress minority turnout."

In Texas, students at the predominantly black Prairie View A&M University were threatened with arrest by the local district attorney, a Republican, who suggested they were not eligible to vote in the county in which the school was located. This was nonsense. Students can vote in their college towns if they designate the campus as their home address. The whole point, of course, was intimidation. The threat of arrest is an excellent way of deterring someone from voting.

There are endless stories of attempts to discourage blacks from voting. Few get substantial publicity, so this is not seen as a big national problem. It deserves a brighter spotlight. When duly registered blacks are improperly challenged at the polls, or Florida tries to use a patently discriminatory voter felons list, or black votes are criminally tampered with or simply not counted at all - something should be done.

The number to call is 1-866-OUR VOTE.

All kinds of wonderful tactics in the war against democratic expression. Can't we just have our aristocracy all ready. The rich are afterall our betters and the sooner we come to terms with the divine rights of the upper class, we shall continue to toil in misery. Sorry outrage fatigue is like a punch in the solar plexus.

Management, Brownshirt style

A woman in Moulton, Alabama, was instructed by a manager to remove a Kerry Edwards bumper sticker from her car, or risk termination. Welcome to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. From a Kos Diary.

MOULTON — Lynne Gobbell never imagined the cost of a John Kerry-John Edwards bumper sticker could run so high.

Gobbell of Moulton didn't pay a cent for the sticker that she proudly displays on the rear windshield of her Chevrolet Lumina, but said it cost her job at a local factory after it angered her boss, Phil Gaddis.

Gaddis, a Decatur bankruptcy attorney, owns Enviromate, a cellulose insulation company in Moulton.

Gobbell gave this account:

"We were going back to work from break, and my manager told me that Phil said to remove the sticker off my car or I was fired," she said. "I told him that Phil couldn't tell me who to vote for. He said, 'Go tell him.' "

She went to Gaddis' office, knocked on the door and entered on his orders.

"Phil and another man who works there were there," she said. "I asked him if he said to remove the sticker and he said, 'Yes, I did.' I told him he couldn't tell me who to vote for. When I told him that, he told me, 'I own this place.' I told him he still couldn't tell me who to vote for."

Gobbell said Gaddis told her to "get out of here."

"I asked him if I was fired and he told me he was thinking about it," she said. "I said, 'Well, am I fired?' He hollered and said, 'Get out of here and shut the door.' "

She said her manager was standing in another room and she asked him if that meant for her to go back to work or go home. The manager told her to go back to work, but he came back a few minutes later and said, " 'I reckon you're fired. You could either work for him or John Kerry,' " Gobbell said.

"I took off my gloves and threw them in the garbage and left," Gobbell said.

This last part is the kicker. I mean this is just some sick assed shit. Welcome to the Democratic Republic of Fascistan.

"I would like to find another job, but I would take that job back because I need to work," she said. "It upset me and made me mad that he could put a letter in my check expressing his (political) opinion, but I can't put something on my car expressing mine."

She was referring to a flier that she said Gaddis placed in employee envelopes to remind them of the positive impact that President Bush's policies have had on them. An employee at the plant who would not identify himself confirmed the contents of the letter.

Gobbell provided a copy of the flier. It says:

"Just so you will know, because of the Bush tax (cut):

  • I was able to buy the new Hammer Mill
  • I was able to finance our receivables
  • I was able to get the new CAT skid steer
  • I was able to get the wire cutter
  • I was able to give you a job"

    It further says:

    "You got the benefit of the Bush tax cut. Everyone did."

  • Ahh the beauty of trickledown economics, just look at the beautiful bloom it left in Moulton, Alabama. The little people should be lucky to have jobs, ingrate scum.
    In case you are wondering here is some contact information that I found at the local Chamber of Commerce.

    P.O. Box 847
    Moulton AL 35650