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Saturday, January 24, 2004
Huh? Run that by me again, slowly:
Here's the Iraqi sovereignty plan envisioned by the White House (as related in this article):
"...Bremer wants his Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to appoint the members of 18 regional organising committees. These will then choose delegates to form 18 selection caucuses. These will then select representatives to a transitional national assembly. The assembly will have an internal vote to select an executive and ministers, who will form the new government. This, Bush said in the state of the union address, constitutes "a transition to full Iraqi sovereignty"...."

So, in other words, Bremer selects people, who select some other people, who select some other people, who get to vote on a leader and government.

That can't be right, can it?
I Love Ted Rall..
Not that way. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Click here for his latest cartoon
Friday, January 23, 2004
Let's Talk About the Military!
This article caught my eye today. I have, in fact been wondering when this shoe would drop. Funny how once again, it's a non-US paper talking about issues that vitally concern US citizens, but those issues aren't being addressed by our own media.

Active duty military folks have always understood that when the Country says "go fight", they go where they're told, do what has to be done and stay as long as neccessary. That is part of the deal, and it doesn't matter whether a soldier or sailor agrees with the reasons or not. They go. Period.

The National Guard has always had a different implication. These folks are the "weekend warriors" who work at the hardware store, or in the office next to yours. One weekend a month, they train to be soldiers, usually at the reserve facility in your town. Once a year, they do "active duty" training for two weeks, often at a military base within a couple hundred miles of their home. If there's a natural disaster, they help with sandbags, relocation, police patrols and stuff like that. If there's a riot or civil insurrection, they help out at the direction of their State government.

Things have changed.

These folks never had any reasonable expection that they would be sent halfway around the world to fight a preemptive war. They never had any reason to believe that they would spend 12, and now 13 or 14 or more months in a hostile foreign country, with obsolete equipment (good for floods and demonstrations, not for war), stunned, unprepared families and impatient employers waiting at home.

Oh, and the best part: if they should happen to get injured or wounded over there, they don't have the same priority and access to military hospitals and doctors that the "active duty" folks do.

So let me ask you a question: Are you or any of your relatives, friends or acquaintances planning on joining the National Guard? Didn't think so. Do you think the Guard might be having a bit of a recruiting problem soon? The Pentagon has temporarily solved their "retention problem" with active duty personnel by imposing "stop loss" orders (you can't leave when your enlistment is up). Can/will the Guard do the same thing?

What will happen a couple years from now when the need for troops is as large or larger, but recruiting has been zilch? Let me spell it for you: D. R. A. F. T.
Bin Laden Captured?
An interesting rumor. No confirmation from the US, though. Anyone for an October Surprise?
Republican Senate Staffers Breaking the Law?
Nah. Only Democrats do stuff like that. This story must be a total fabrication. The chief counsel for the Senate majority leader wouldn't do anything unethical, much less ILLEGAL, would he?

No need to investigate, just put it aside for a few months, like that Valerie Plame thing.
Hey, wasn't Bob Novak involved with that one too? So many "journalistic" sources to protect, Bob.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
What planet is Cheney from?
In an interview on NPR this morning, Cheney repeated his fantasy that Saddam and Al Qaeda (and therefore 9/11) were somehow linked. This guy needs an intervention. This story has been debunked by just about every intelligence agency on the planet, not to mention by papers Saddam himself was carrying when captured.

And yet he still repeats it.

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany.
That is understood.

But it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along to fight a war, ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.

All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

-- Hermann Goering

This is the best SOTU response yet!!
This is a must read.

Just one example:

"We are seeking all the facts. Already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations. Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day."


In nearly 10 months, "not a single item has been found in Iraq from a long and classified intelligence list of weapons of mass destruction." David Kay reported that "we have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook steps to build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material." He also said there has not been evidence of "mobile biological production efforts" and that "Iraq did not have a large, ongoing, centrally controlled chemical weapons program after 1991."

Great stuff!
A Blast From the Past
I think Orwell must have jumped up from his grave during the SOTUS and gotten the Daily Times to post this! Nice to see that Pakistan has something resembling a free press.

Richard Cohen evidently wasn't much swayed by Mr. Bush, either:

"...this year's State of the Union address, while not quite a lie, was clearly deceptive. I didn't feel Bush had an obligation to tick off everything that had gone wrong about Iraq, but I didn't expect him to pretend that somehow the WMD allegations had been substantiated..."

Nor was (thanks, Dave):

"...The President made no mention of the failure so far to locate nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in Iraq....The President said the economy is growing and producing jobs, but failed to mention that the growth is so far insufficient to make up for what's been lost since he took office....Bush spoke of a big increase in federal funding for education, but didn't mention complaints that he's forcing states to pay for new federal requirements to test student performance....The President promised to curb deficit spending, but said nothing about where the deficits come from...."

I've got a feeling this speech is going to haunt him right through the elections. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Kerry: The NEW media punching bag.
Now that the national media has successully painted Dean as an erratic emotional train wreck, it's time to trash John Kerry! Here's a couple of choice bits:

"...But while raising $34 million for four Senate races and $23 million in donations through Dec. 31 for his presidential run, he has drawn scrutiny multiple times for his ties to corporate interests...
...Should he win the Democratic nomination, those and other appearances of cozy connections could make it difficult for Kerry to paint President Bush as the candidate of special interests...."

So, this guy has raised 23 million as of 3 weeks ago to run for president and he is "suspect". Mr. Bush, on the other hand, has raised 84 million as of last September--but there's nothing to see there, folks, so just move along...

Of course, as I surfed today I didn't see any mainstream media stories questioning the sources of w's funding. Here's a comparison of Kerry and Bush donations by sector:

Having a hard time figuring out whose is whose? Look at the money scales and it will all become clear. Anyone see any smoking guns yet?
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Here's an interesting map.
It shows the "net" party/candidate contributions by county! Click here.

You might be surprised who your neighbors are giving money to.
"No one can now doubt the word of America." Our president speaks!

I wonder whether the world will now believe us when we say that "we have intelligence indicating....whatever?"
It's fun to listen to Bush (or any senior administration official) talk; just about everything they say these days is verifiably false. The Economy: lies. Tax cuts: lies. War:lies. Feel free to add your own.

Even better, when they accuse an opponent of some sin or crime, you can be assured that it's actually something they themselves are guilty of. Paul O'Neill: incompetent and vindictive. Senate Democrats: obstructionist, partisan and unfair. Get it? Forget who they accuse, just listen to the accusation and then apply it to the administration; it works every time! Maybe I could market it as a fun party game....

David Corn has a great article that addresses the administation's credibility problems better than I can.
I just love numbers:
Too bad no US media outlet could come up with this.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Aides say that Bush will justify the war
by claiming that having our troops mired in a conflict unrelated to the "war on Terror" is somehow keeping us all safer here at home. Never mind about those WMD's---oh, and never mind about the lack of a connection between Iraq/9-11/Al Qaeda----our presence in Iraq, uh, terror, ummm, evildoers! So there!

Senator Kennedy didn't even have to wait for this drivel in order to rebut it: Click here.

I'm continually amazed by the capacity of this administration to lie and lie, and then lie some more while the press lets them get away with it.
Monday, January 19, 2004
Kerry Wins Big!
I like John Kerry. I also like Edwards, Dean and yes, even Clark. Kucinich has ideas that resonate with me, but I don't think he can successfully implement most of his plans-too bad, but the world just isn't ready for him. From the look of the results, neither were the Iowa Democrats.

I'd like to see some more debates with Kerry, Edwards, Dean and Clark:
-No haircuts, anxiety medications, sweaters or similar bunkum.
-Tax policies
-Spending priorities
-A REALISTIC plan to clean up our Middle East mess
-A plan to reduce our exposure to terrorism NOT including the words "evildoer" or "patriot"

Wouldn't that be nice?
SOTUS tomorrow!
Let me guess..."1) We're winning the war on terra'. 2) Tax cuts are responsible for all good things. 3) Moon bases and Mars missions are just what this country needs right now. 4) Those nasty Dems are just so partisan. All they think about is politics. Good thing I'm above all that."

I wonder if he'll mention the 9/11 commission needing more time to complete its work but being forced to shut down on schedule--despite constant foot-dragging and outright stonewalling by the White House. Or maybe he'll mention the record-shattering Federal Deficits he's created, stretching out to the forseeable future.

Back from skiing...
With a blown-up knee. No flying or house projects for a while. Ouch.

Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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