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Archive for August 4th, 2007

by GEF @ 11:22 PM EDT

 

VIDEO: David Brooks Says Republicans Hate Bush

GOP Believe Bush Is An Incompetent Dishonest Draft Dodger That Is Destroying Party

by Alan Breslauer


Brad Blog Source

So is this the Best strategy Karl Rove has for the GOP ?
To Abandon Bush ?

They’re trying to have us believe that they hate Bush, while in Congress and in the Senate the GOP are basically abdicating the Legislative Branch to the White House ?

Anytime Bush cries out Terrorism even the Democrats along with the Republicans roll over, play dead and give Bush whatever he wants..

Nope: I can guarantee you that I wasn’t born yesterday.

Sorry Porkrind(Rove), it won’t work. Nobody will believe the GOP hate Bush!

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Bloggers Boo Hillary!

hillary.jpg

 By Larry@6:06 PM MST

CHICAGO — Liberal bloggers booed Hillary Clinton Saturday when she refused to rule out taking campaign contributions from lobbyists, a rare sore point as she and other Democratic presidential candidates courted the increasingly influential online commentators.

Most of the candidates appeared at the second annual “YearlyKos” convention, vying with one another to lavish praise on the bloggers, whom they said help counter the influence of conservatives at the Fox News Chanel and on talk radio.

The candidates all vowed to end the Iraq war, expand healthcare, and raise taxes on the wealthy — drawing applause from the left-leaning audience of more than 1,500 bloggers.

Clinton, however, risked a hostile reaction several times in two sessions Saturday and created the most notable moment of contention by insisting she was immune to pressure from special interests and their money.

Responding to a challenge from former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina to stop taking lobbyists’ contributions, she said: “I don’t think…anybody seriously believes I’m going to be influenced by a lobbyist.” There were scattered boos in the audience.

She insisted she would take contributions from lobbyists “because a lot of these lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans.” She mentioned nurses and social workers, for example. That drew some applause.

The boos prompted an acknowledgement from the New York senator that the group is notably irreverent and prone to interrupting speakers at the first sign of a canned response or political spin.

“I’ve been waiting for this. This is a real sense of reality being here,” Clinton said with a laugh.

Bloggers had booed the mention of some Democrats in earlier sessions and reacted angrily to the initial announcement that Clinton alone among the candidates would not face questions in a smaller session with about 300 bloggers.

She relented and in that separate meeting stood by several laws signed by her husband that are unpopular with liberals, including welfare reform and the Defense of Marriage Act, which protects states from having to recognize a gay marriage from another state.

She said she agreed with the central tenet of the Defense of Marriage Act but felt it should be amended to clear the way for an extension of federal benefits to gay couples.

In the candidates’ forum, Edwards pitched himself as an outsider who would close the Guantanamo prison, pass health care, fight big business and not compromise like rival candidates now serving in Congress.

“If you want change,” said Edwards, once a successful trial lawyer, “you need somebody who fought these people their entire life and beat them over and over.”

Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut won applause by criticizing media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch’s Fox News Channel and Fox host Bill O’Reilly.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson backed down when pressed about an earlier statement that his model for Supreme Court nominees was Byron White, though White has dissented from the decision legalizing abortion.

“I screwed up on that one,” Richardson said.

Richardson later was booed when he called for balanced budgets.

 www.mcclatchydc.com

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olympus.jpg

 By Larry@1:47 MST

WASHINGTON — The Senate, in a high-stakes showdown over national security, voted late Friday to temporarily give President Bush expanded authority to eavesdrop on suspected foreign terrorists without court warrants.

The House, meanwhile, rejected a Democratic version of the bill.

Democratic leaders there were working on a plan to bring up the Senate-passed measure and vote on it Saturday in response to Bush’s demand that Congress give him expanded powers before leaving for vacation this weekend.

The White House applauded the Senate vote and urged the House to quickly follow suit. The bill “will give our intelligence professionals the essential tools they need to protect our nation,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “It is urgent that this legislation become law as quickly as possible.”

Senate Democrats reluctantly voted for a plan largely crafted by the White House after Bush promised to veto a stricter proposal that would have required a court review to begin within 10 days.

The Senate bill gives Bush the expanded eavesdropping authority for six months. The temporary powers give Congress time to hammer out a more comprehensive plan instead of rushing approval for a permanent bill in the waning hours before lawmakers begin their monthlong break.

The Senate vote was 60-28. Both parties had agreed to require 60 votes for passage.

Senate Republicans, aided by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, said the update to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, would at least temporarily close gaps in the nation’s security system.

“Al-Qaida is not going on vacation this month,” said Sen. Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “And we can’t either until we know we’ve done our duty to the American people.”

In the House, Democrats lost an effort to push a proposal that called for stricter court oversight of the way the government would ensure its spying would not target Americans.

“The rule of law is still critical in this country,” Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., said before the losing the mostly party-line 218-207 vote that fell short of two-thirds majority needed for passage. “It is exactly when the government thinks that it can be the sole, fair arbiter that we most need a judicial system to stand in and strike the balance.”

“We can have security and our civil liberties,” Tierney said.

Current law requires court review of government surveillance of suspected terrorists in the United States. It does not specifically address the government’s ability to intercept messages believed to come from foreigners overseas.

The Bush administration began pressing for changes to the law after a recent ruling by the special FISA court that barred the government from eavesdropping on foreign suspects whose messages were being routed through U.S. communications carriers, including Internet sites.

Democrats agreed the law should not restrict U.S. spies from tapping in on foreign suspects. However, they initially demanded the FISA court to review the eavesdropping process before it begins to make sure that Americans aren’t targeted.

By the final vote, Senate Democrats had whittled down that demand and approved a bill that largely mirrored what the Bush administration wanted. It requires:

_Initial approval by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The administration relented to Democrats leery of Gonzales by adding McConnell to the oversight.

_FISA Court review within 120 days. The final Democratic plan had called for court review to begin immediately and conclude within a month of the surveillance starting

_The law to expire in six months to give Congress time to craft a more comprehensive plan. The White House initially wanted the bill to be permanent.

Before the vote, Democrats excoriated the GOP plan, which Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said “provides a weak and practically nonexistent court review.”

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., angrily chastised his colleagues for bending to the administration’s will.

“The day we start deferring to someone who’s not a member of this body … is a sad day for the U.S. Senate,” Feingold said. “We make the policy _ not the executive branch.”

Likewise, civil liberties advocates said they were outraged that Democratic-led Senate would side with the White House.

“We’re hugely disappointed with the Democrats,” said Caroline Fredrickson, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union. “The idea they let themselves be manipulated into accepting the White House proposal, certainly taking a great deal of it, when they’re in control _ it’s mind-boggling.”

It was not immediately clear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would endorse the Senate bill after days of rejecting White House offers.

“I hope that there are no attacks before we are able to effectively update this important act,” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

Bush has said he would reject any bill that his intelligence director deemed unable “to prevent an attack on the country.”

“We’ve worked hard and in good faith with the Democrats to find a solution, but we are not going to put our national security at risk,” Bush said after meeting with counterterror and homeland security officials at FBI headquarters Friday morning. “Time is short.”

Presidents have authority to call Congress back in session from a recess, but the last time it was used was in 1948, by Harry Truman.

www.huffingtonpost.com

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Anthony @ 20:20 BST


by CHARLES LAURENCE
Daily Mail
Last updated at 23:21pm on 3rd August 2007

He was the pin-up boy of Bush’s War on Terror. But the story of Pat Tillman’s heroic death soon started to unravel. Today comes the most astonishing claim of all – that he was assassinated by his own side

Pat Tillman died a hero’s death. At least, that’s what America was told when this former football star and steel-jawed poster boy for the War on Terror, returned home in a box.

Here was a soldier who had paid the ultimate price for defending his fellow Army Rangers from an enemy ambush in the badlands of Afghanistan.

President Bush awarded him a posthumous Silver Star and made speeches in his honour.

Such was the mood of public mourning that his funeral service was broadcast on national television. In death, he was promoted to Corporal.

More than ever, the huge, slab-sided face below the crisply trimmed beret became the face of American patriotism.

But that was never the true story. One month after the fateful day in April 2004, when the 27-year-old died in a ravine on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden hid with Al-Qaeda, it was officially acknowledged that Tillman had not been killed by the Taliban at all.

Instead, he had been cut down by his own side, a victim of “friendly fire”.

This was a revelation that triggered outrage. Spearheaded by Tillman’s devastated mother Mary and father Pat “senior”, a swelling tide of protesters demanded to know whether the Pentagon and the White House had deliberately played Tillman’s death for propaganda value to boost support for the war. Plainly there were lies and cover-ups. Who knew what and when?

Now comes a new and even darker possibility. A growing body of evidence suggests that Tillman died neither at the hands of his nation’s enemy nor in the tragic, accidental confusion of “friendly fire”; rather he was shot with three bullets in tight formation in the forehead at very close range.

(more…)

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18 U.S. casualties in Baghdad in one day

Sudhan@18:10 CET

By: Various on: 03.08.2007

Article image

 

   

Four U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq
Fri Aug 3, 2007

By Ross Colvin

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Four U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Friday, underlining U.S. President George W. Bush’s grim prediction of “a very difficult August” for U.S. troops in Iraq.

The military said a roadside bomb killed three soldiers on patrol in eastern Baghdad on Thursday during operations targeting Shi’ite and Sunni militants. Eleven others were wounded. A fourth soldier died in combat in a western district.

Bush has sent an extra 30,000 troops to Iraq, despite strong opposition at home, to help quell unrelenting sectarian violence and give Iraq’s leaders time to achieve a political deal to promote national reconciliation.

His new military strategy has had some success but at a cost — May was the deadliest month in 2-1/2 years for U.S. troops with 126 killed, and more than 100 died in both April and June.

The July death toll, initially put at 74, was welcomed by U.S. commanders as a possible sign that the military build-up was bearing fruit. But by Friday the toll had climbed to 81 on the icasualties.org Web site, on a par with February and March.

More

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By Anthony lui-même @ 13:43 BST

Former editor of the weekly conservative magazine, the Spectator, and currently MP for Henley (posh town on the Thames in Oxforshire, which hosts the annual regatta), Eton-educated toff Boris Johnson is one of the most colourful characters in British politics.

He recently (sorry for the late news, but I’ve been impossibilité for three weeks) announced his intention of standing for the Conservative Party nomination as London Mayor (against, obviously, other Conservative hopefuls, but, if he gets the nomination, which is almost a dead cert, against current incumbent, black sheep of the Labour Party and vociferous opponent of the war in Iraq, Red Ken Livingstone):

Here he is being stitched up on the satirical BBC TV programme Have I got News for you, on which he is sometime a guest…

…and sometimes host:

And here is Red Ken speaking out at a rally in London earlier this year taking a principled stand against the Iraq war and speaking out against our own (and Israel’s) weapons of mass destruction:

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Anthony @ 13:17 BST

Originally written with Madison’s help at the end of his first term and rewritten at the end of his second with Hamilton’s help, it is as relevent today as it ever was:

Sup.

Elections are coming up, and it’s time to figure out who we wanna give the keys to. I figure it might clear things up if I take a sec to explain why I’m not running.

Now, I care about the future, don’t get me wrong, and thanks for your trust so far. I just think me quitting is a good idea on all counts.

I’ve been president twice now, and I didn’t want to do it either time. I tried to quit the first time, but the country was in trouble and every single person around me begged me to stay on.

I’m glad to say we’re pretty much in the clear now and I can get out of here without getting screamed at or letting things fall apart completely.

I told you when I started what I thought of the job. All I’m gonna say is that I did my best to set up the government right, but the more I do this the more I realize how dumb I am, and so maybe it’s okay if I let someone else take over.

Before I go I’ve gotta thank y’all, for the awards and honors and stuff but more importantly for your supporting my projects to try to make everything right, even if they didn’t always turn out quite as well as I hoped. Remember, it’s hard to tell how things will turn out when people get all fired up, so thanks for sticking by me even when everything was going to hell. Y’all get the credit for anything good that came out of it, and by God you’d better keep taking good care of the Constitution and the lives of the folks who live here. As long as you do, we’ll be a pretty kickass country and the other guys will start noticing us.

I should shut up, but I care about you guys, so there’s some more stuff to cover. I’ve been doing some thinking and I’ve got a few things to say. You know I ain’t biased ’cause all I want is to leave, so you might wanna listen up.

(more…)

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