Archive for July 21st, 2007

The Spin, I’m In; ‘A Special Breed!’

by GEF @ 7:14 EDT



Hard Times, Long Battles, Only a little time to remember… Her!

Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong

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Senate Tied In Knots By Filibusters

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:15 PM MST

WASHINGTON — This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that’s rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress.

The trend has been evolving for 30 years. The reasons behind it are too complex to pin on one party. But it has been especially pronounced since the Democrats’ razor-thin win in last year’s election, giving them effectively a 51-49 Senate majority, and the Republicans’ exile to the minority.

Seven months into the current two-year term, the Senate has held 42 “cloture” votes aimed at shutting off extended debate — filibusters, or sometimes only the threat of one — and moving to up-or-down votes on contested legislation. Under Senate rules that protect a minority’s right to debate, these votes require a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member Senate.

Democrats have trouble mustering 60 votes; they’ve fallen short 22 times so far this year. That’s largely why they haven’t been able to deliver on their campaign promises.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 3:55 PM MST

“We have a President now who is clearly a liar. The Vice-President lies constantly. We have a Secretary of State who lies, a Secretary of Defense who lies and an Attorney General who lies. This is insane. The secret government that they have put together is worse than most anything in the former Soviet Union. It’s unthinkable.”

Richard Gere does not lie awake at night pondering his tally of Academy Award nominations (none), or even why he has received such a startling lack of critical kudos. He lies awake worrying about American politics, any of his myriad humanitarian projects and, probably mostly, routine family stuff. Even America’s most famous Buddhist is surely not so enlightened that he has eliminated worry from his life altogether, though he conveys that impression when he arrives an hour or so late to our meeting without explanation or apology. And he has a sort of calming effect, all twinkly-eyed and well-tailored as he is. Can this really be a man two years away from a free bus pass?


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The Real Problem With Terrorism

by- Mentarch … 17:13 EDT

The question of a definition of terrorism has haunted the debate among states for decades.

Here is a summed up definition of terrorism from a 2001 report of the U.S. State Department (the original report is no longer available online apparently, and thus I use this article as source instead): Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets (civilians and/or military personnel who are unarmed, or off duty at the time) by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. Acts of terrorism are also considered as attacks on military installations or on armed military personnel when a state of military hostilities does not exist at the site, such as bombings against military bases.

However clear such a definition may appear to be, it nonetheless falls short when one considers insurgents against a regime or resistance fighters against occupiers. That is why the main difficulty in clearly defining terrorism lies with the unfortunately inconvenient – but nevertheless realistically valid – argument that one state’s “terrorist” is often another state’s “freedom fighter”.


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Sudhan@21:35 CET

Global Research, July 20, 2007


The Executive Order entitled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq” provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.

A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon’s military agenda in Iraq.

The Executive Order entitled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq” provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of “certain persons” who oppose the US led war in Iraq:

“I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.”

In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act.

The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to “blocking property” of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to “block the property” and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of “Certain Persons” involved in antiwar activities. It targets those “Certain Persons” in America, including civil society organizatioins, who oppose the Bush Administration’s “peace and stability” program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians.

The Executive Order also targets those “Certain Persons” who are “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction”, or who, again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and privatization of Iraq’s oil resources, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants.

The order is also intended for anybody who opposes Bush’s program of “political reform in Iraq”, in other words, who questions the legitimacy of an Iraqi “government” installed by the occupation forces.

Full article

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by Geezer Power …11:44 AM PDT

President Bush Meets with Organizations that Support the United States Military in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Roosevelt Room

Please don’t be too concerned with Duhbya’s performance, he is probably reminiscing about the experience he just had with his proctologist…( :


Office of the Press Secretary
October 20, 2006, 2:35 P.M. EDT

In Focus: Defense

THE PRESIDENT: I’ve had an uplifting and heartwarming conversation with fellow citizens of all ages from across our country who are supporting our troops. These folks don’t really care about politics; what they care about is how best to send a strong message to the men and women who wear our uniform that America supports them.

Meanwhile Darth Cheney is busy spreading fear to the National Guard in Indiana.

We understand the objectives of the terrorists. They want to seize control of a country in the Middle East, so they can acquire a base for launching attacks, and the oil wealth to finance their ambitions. They want to target and overthrow other governments in the region, and eventually to establish a totalitarian empire that encompasses the region from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, all the way around to Indonesia. They have declared, as well, their ultimate aims: to arm themselves with chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons, to destroy Israel, to intimidate all Western countries, and to cause great harm here in the United States.

Vice President’s Remarks at a Rally for the Indiana Air and Army National Guard

Camp Atterbury
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
October 20, 2006

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

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Comey: Make Fitzgerald Attorney General

by- Suzie-Q @ 11:20 AM MST

The former top deputy to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales suggested that Special Prosecutor and US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald should be Attorney General of the United States, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

“I think he would make a spectacular attorney general,” former Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey told the news service’s Patricia Hurtado and David Voreacos in a Friday article. “He certainly is one of the very best federal prosecutors in America.”


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by- Suzie-Q @ 10:30 AM MST

Lenin, Trotsky, Strauss, and Kristol
© 2004-2007 Stephen Pitt

This is an interesting piece from the Weekly Standard in which Bill Kristol points out that people like Cindy Sheehan don’t care about the troops in Iraq, even if they have family members serving. The people who do care are people like Kristol who come from families where no one serves.

This is standard neocon stuff. For the ideological architects of the war, the 3700 dead Americans are collateral damage in pursuit of a grand idea. It helps that they don’t know people who actually have family members serving. (The Manhattan and DC neighborhoods where neocons live are not hotbeds of service volunteers).


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Vitter: Breaking The Law Is Not A Crime But A Sin

by- Suzie-Q @ 8:28 AM MST

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) probably thought he was in the clear, or at least close to it. He was exposed as a hypocrite who hired prostitutes after running on a family-values platform, he went into hiding for a week, and he returned to the Senate as if nothing had happened. From what I hear, the rest of the Senate Republican caucus welcomed him back with open arms (literally and figuratively).

Problem solved? Not so much. Leading far-right voices — including Sean Hannity and Kathryn Jean Lopez — are now urging Vitter to resign.

First the scandal was about sex. Then it was about hypocrisy. Now, it’s about a sitting senator knowingly violating criminal law. Ross Douthat put it this way:

Making use of a prostitution ring isn’t a private matter, and Vitter should not be sitting in the United States Senate while the “D.C. Madam” is facing up to 55 years in prison for selling what he was apparently interested in buying. […]

If a politician were caught with his name on the “call list” of a prominent drug dealer, he wouldn’t be able to wriggle out of it by admitting to a “serious sin” and leaving it at that. And unless prominent Republicans are prepared to join Matt in supporting the repeal of laws banning prostitution – which I certainly hope they aren’t – then they shouldn’t be backing Vitter’s “it’s a private matter” line. It isn’t. It’s a crime.

That’s actually pretty compelling.

C & L

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Sudhan@12:30 CET

Bush alters rules for CIA interrogations


By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer Fri Jul 20, 2007


WASHINGTON – President Bush breathed new life into the CIA‘s terror interrogation program Friday in an executive order that would allow harsh questioning of suspects, limited in public only by a vaguely worded ban on cruel and inhuman treatment.

The order bars some practices such as sexual abuse, part of an effort to quell international criticism of some of the CIA’s most sensitive and debated work. It does not say what practices would be allowed.

The executive order is the White House’s first public effort to reach into the CIA’s five-year-old terror detention program, which has been in limbo since a Supreme Court decision last year called its legal foundation into question.

Officials would not provide any details on specific interrogation techniques that the CIA may use under the new order. In the past, its methods are believed to have included sleep deprivation and disorientation, exposing prisoners to uncomfortable cold or heat for long periods, stress positions and — most controversially — the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding.

Full article

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