Archive for February 24th, 2008

Is there still a Republican party?

by Geezer Power ….7:27 pm

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Opium big business in Afghanistan

by Geezer Power ….7:19 pm

Bill Moyers Journal

February 15, 2008

Recent official reports have touted many successes in Afghanistan, but the country still faces many problems. Back to back bombings in one week of February 2008 left over 140 dead — leading to calls from NATO leadership for troop increases. In addition, Afghanistan’s government ranks high on indices of corruption and more and more Afghans are turning to opium production for money and the Taliban for security. According to the U.S. Department of State, “Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer of illicit opiates.”

For Sarah Chayes, who came to Afghanistan just after the fall of the Taliban as a reporter for National Public Radio, it’s a frustrating turn of events. Chayes left NPR to stay and help rebuild the country, first working with Qayum Karzai, President Hamid Karzai’s older brother to start Afghans for Civil Society, an organization designed to teach civics as a basis for sound economic development and later starting the Arghand Cooperative.

While Chayes agrees with many people that Afghanistan’s hopes rest in part on its ability to develop some alternative to the poppy plant, she disagrees with many in the international aid community about the solution. Chayes notes that Afghan farmers are turning to opium not out of ideology or strong-arming by the Taliban, but as a business decision. As she explains to Bill Moyers on THE JOURNAL:


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Two Mack Daddies… McCain And Lieberman

By- Suzie-Q @ 3:00 PM MST

By: Jane Hamsher Sunday February 24, 2008 9:00 am

Just A Couple Of Wild And Crazy Guys

Okay I wasn’t the only one creeped out by Joe Lieberman attesting to John McCain’s marital fidelity:

Even Joe Lieberman, who is not a Republican but who often “unites” with them, and sometimes on the first date, accused the Times of “puking” up 8-year-old rumors. That may not sound senatorial to you, but it was in fact a respectful invocation of Sen. Henry Clay’s famous 1850 speech about compromise, in which Clay asked: “What if, in the march of this nation to greatness and power, we should be buried beneath the puke that propels it onward?”Lieberman had an even more important role to play in convincing us of McCain’s innocence. He explained that he and McCain had traveled the world and met many lovely ladies and that he had never seen McCain do anything inappropriate.Not that there haven’t been some opportunities for those two mack daddies, right? When they hit Abu Dhabi in their Miami Vice unstructured white sports jackets and Don Johnson cheek stubble, it’s like ring-a-ding-ding, hey there, you with the stars in your eyes. I’m sure that China doll down in old Hong Kong waits for their return.If only they weren’t so darned ethical!, say all those beautiful babies whose hearts are breaking. With Joe Lieberman as his wing man, McCain could have sampled the sexual banquet tables of this world, and not just young American lobbyists who look exactly like Amy Poehler impersonating his wife.

Be still my heart.

(h/t tparty)


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By- Suzie-Q @ 1:00 PM MST


24 Feb 2008 // Washington, DC –

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its first-ever analysis of the misuse of power by all members of the Senate to financially benefit their family members. The analysis covers the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles. The new report, Family Affair – Senate, names 87 senators from all 50 states: 42 Democrats, 43 Republicans and 2 Independents.

To view the report, please visit the Family Affair- Senate website page.

In light of several well publicized cases of members of Congress using their positions to enrich their family members, in June, 2007 CREW released Family Affair – House, which examined the 337 members of the House of Representatives in top leadership positions and the chairs and ranking members of House committees and subcommittees. CREW has now applied the same analysis to the Senate.

Highlights of CREW’s Family Affair – Senate report include:

  • Combined, senators paid $528,797.42 in salaries or fees directly to family members.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said today, “CREW’s report, Family Affair – Senate shows that family members routinely receive payments from campaign committees and leadership PACs and that a significant number of senators’ relatives become lobbyists. While none of this is illegal, at the very least this information should be readily available to the public, which it is not. ”

“Most Americans will never meet a lobbyist; but if you are a U.S. Senator, chances are good there is one in your family.”


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Olberman’s Timeline On “Nexus Of Politics And Terror”

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 AM MST

Olbermann Timeline: How The Bush Administration Exploited Terror Threats For Political Gain, 2002-2008

In case you missed it, on Thursday night’s “Countdown” Keith Olbermann presented an impressively detailed timeline he called “The Nexus of Politics and Terror,” in which he chronicled the Bush administration’s exploitation of terror threats for political gain. Olbermann’s exhaustive account weaves from each revelation of an intelligence failure or a Democratic political victory to an almost immediate orange alert or “new threat” from al Qaeda.

The clip is 17 minutes long and entirely worth it, and its conclusion — “what we were told about terror, and not told, for security reasons, has overlapped considerably with what we were told about terror, and not told, for political reasons” — is a dutiful summary of the past six years.

Countdown: The Nexus Of Politics & Terror- Part 1

Countdown: The Nexus Of Politics & Terror- Part 2

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Crossing the Rubicon: Breaking the Fake News Trance

GEF @ 10:08 AM MST

via: The Cleaver

Crossing The Rubicon: Breaking The Fake News Trance

The phrase ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ is a metaphor for proceeding past a point of no return. It originates from 49 BC when Julius Caesar directed his legions south across the river Rubicon (a traditional barrier between the Roman province of ‘Cisalpine Gaul’ and Italy proper) towards ancient Rome in defiance of the Roman Senate. Upon crossing the river, Caesar is reported to have shouted “Alea iacta est” … the die is cast!

In terms of the awakening process, Crossing the Rubicon is a key revelatory stage when you realize, beyond any doubt, that the government is NOT your friend. The stark recognition that you have been living in a false paradigm created by someone else begins to sink in. It is here, at this bleak philosophical crossroads, where most people experience such a disturbing degree of cognitive dissonance, that they instinctively turn back. Too much to process and the implications are huge. So even knowing that there is a greater truth on the horizon, they choose instead to return to the Control System, to the Village, with all its securities and comfortable certainties.

“You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak]. Ignorance is bliss.”


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Taking risks to put Impeachment back on the table..

GEF @ 8:08 AM MST

“I don’t want to die and I don’t want to hurt my health,” said Hall, “but I need people to understand how important this issue is.”

State rep hungers for Bush, Cheney impeachment

New Hampshire Union Leader Correspondent

BROOKLINE – An 86-year-old state legislator may embark on a hunger strike in order to focus attention on the need to impeach President George W. Bush.Betty Hall, a Democratic state legislator who will turn 87 next month, has been pushing for passage of a resolution in the New Hampshire Legislature calling for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The resolution is meant to encourage congressional leaders in Washington to proceed with impeachment hearings before the Bush term ends in January 2009.”I want the investigation of the Bush administration in Washington to get started,” said Hall, who said U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is sitting on impeachment legislation in the House Judiciary Committee at the behest of Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Hall offered her resolution, HR24, as a means of letting the Democratic leadership know that the people of New Hampshire want to see impeachment happen. But Hall said her efforts have been met by resistance both in the State House and in the media.Hall’s resolution will go to the floor of the House in March with a recommendation from the State-Federal Relations Committee that it not be passed. The committee made that recommendation by a vote of 10-5 after a hearing on the resolution Tuesday.Hall said she is considering a hunger strike to help focus attention on the issue and to encourage those who support impeachment to let their voices be heard.

“I don’t want to die and I don’t want to hurt my health,” said Hall, “but I need people to understand how important this issue is.”

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Chomsky: Where’s The Iraqi Voice?

Sudhan @10:10 CET

By Noam Chomsky | Information Clearing House, February 23, 2008

The US occupying army in Iraq (euphemistically called the Multi-National Force-Iraq) carries out extensive studies of popular attitudes. Its December 2007 report of a study of focus groups was uncharacteristically upbeat.

The report concluded that the survey “provides very strong evidence” to refute the common view that “national reconciliation is neither anticipated nor possible”. On the contrary, the survey found that a sense of “optimistic possibility permeated all focus groups … and far more commonalities than differences are found among these seemingly diverse groups of Iraqis.”

This discovery of “shared beliefs” among Iraqis throughout the country is “good news, according to a military analysis of the results”, Karen deYoung reports in The Washington Post.

The “shared beliefs” were identified in the report. To quote deYoung, “Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of ‘occupying forces’ as the key to national reconciliation.”

So, according to Iraqis, there is hope of national reconciliation if the invaders, responsible for the internal violence, withdraw and leave Iraq to Iraqis.

The report did not mention other good news: Iraqis appear to accept the highest values of Americans, as established at the Nuremberg Tribunal — specifically, that aggression — “invasion by its armed forces” by one state “of the territory of another state” — is “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”. The chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, forcefully insisted that the Tribunal would be mere farce if we do not apply its principles to ourselves.

Continued . . .

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Cheney Impeachment: Courageous, but Not Surprising

Sudhan @09:50 CET

Elizabeth Holtzman | The Huffington Post, February 22, 2008
For the first time since the Bush administration took office, three members of the House Judiciary Committee, Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), are calling for hearings on the impeachment of Vice President Richard Cheney.

Their position, while courageous, is not surprising. What is surprising is that it took this long for members of Congress to invoke impeachment, and that even now, they do so against enormous political resistance and cyncial indifference from the media.

No serious student of the Constitution would question that sufficient grounds exist to impeach both President Bush and Vice President Cheney. The Constitution provides that an Executive who puts himself above the law and abuses the powers of his office may be impeached, a point confirmed in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, for abuses such as illegal wiretapping.

There is little serious debate about whether Bush administration actions — wiretapping without court approval (violating the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act), authorizing and facilitating mistreatment of detainees (violating US treaties and criminal laws), starting the Iraq war on a basis of lies, exaggerations and misstatements (an abuse of power) — meet the constitutional standard.

Continued . . .

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