McCain Campaign Populated By Lobbyists, Defense Privateers

Just how many McCain finance chairman, etc., have either had to step down or pretend they don’t hear the questions being asked about their participation in the ironically-entitled Straight Talk Express?

Far, far too many.

For Dems and perhaps for most of the country, the biggest enemy we face isn’t Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, maybe not even al Qaeda. It’s the threat of a McCain Administration that would continue the loathful, lousy work of the Bush Admin (aka Dewey, Cheatem, and How!).

The Next Bush Rape of Privacy? Overhead Sensors To Monitor Us

People who can’t catch a rather distinctive man of 6’4 and extraordinary means named Osama bin Laden KEEP ACTING like it’s Mom and Pop America that needs to be locked up. Ay carumba! Reported at Common Dreams and filed under the Rape and Plunder of Civil Liberties:

The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation€™s most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea€™s legal authority.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department€™s new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities €” such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.

Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.

Petraeus Back To Betray Us Again

Well, his words yesterday seemed like whole big repeats of late LAST summer (when the surge was supposed to be nearly over) and the Bush Administration lines on the Iraq war for more than four years.

I could barely contain myself when the Three Putzketeers (McCain, Lieberman, Lindsey Graham) helped to use the “update” on Bush’s escalation of war – while the deaths and bombings the last few weeks have been off the chart – to spin more misinformation to assure them the White House.

Polls in various media have been showing a minimum of 60% of respondents saying the war has gotten no better or brought us any closer to an end since the escalation began when more troops were sent in ahead of approval starting in December 2006 and January 2007.

Your take?

Unlike John McCain, Don’t Turn Your Back On New G.I. Bill

Like filmmaker Robert Greenwald in his email alerting us to this, I wonder why Republican John McCain, the man we’re constantly reminded was a war heo despite his willingness to sacrifice others’ lives, isn’t supporting the new G.I. bill.

Sign the petition; learn about the bill and then, if you agree, sign the petition to demand McCain and others step up for those we encouraged to step up for Washington.

Democrat: Put The Energy Into Opposing McCain, Not One Another

Stuck with a non-functioning net connection these last few days, I’ve had to depend more (oh, pitiful truth) on TV and NPR for my news and… well, according to the mainstream media, “the Democrats were all but choosing curtains for the Oval Office last summer but are now prepared to fracture into so many pools that John McCain may have it easy.”

Yes, by God, the arguments out here have gotten extreme. And not all of them happen in cyberspace, such as when that group of leading Dem contributors sent a “bad Nancy” note to House Majority Nancy Pelosi regarding superdelegates. And yes, the whole real voter-superdelegate one, while just a single argument, is such a brouhaha all its own.

However, folks, we have to remember: the evil, such as it exists en masse, is John McCain and what some are calling a “de facto third term” for Bush and Company, because McCain may sign on to allowing many of the Bushies stay in power once he “assumes the throne” (as Republicans always view the Oval Office). Even if McCain had completely denounced the Bushies – and note, he hasn’t by any degree of description – he is still the exact wrong choice for us moving ahead.

And it’s PAST TIME to move ahead. We’ve been living in the hell the Bushies used and abused of our horror over the attacks on 9-11 to destroy us. They’ve done a finer job than Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and every other terror network combined could have accomplished against us.

Fight terrorism at home; get the Republicans OUT of the White House. It’s a start.

This is our common mission. We can’t let individual cat fights on specifc candidates obliterate the success of this mission.

Just 3 Trillion Little Lies Later: Iraq

Not just three trillion dollars spent – in fact, I suspect the figure is more than four times that – but three trillion lies!

Today, as we mark that dark mid-March day in 2003 when President Bush, complete with a raised fist pumping air like he was about to go into the final playoffs to give “‘em one more for the Gipper…” gesture and dispatched the first soldiers off to war, the cold, harsh light of day makes it a heluva lot easier to see all the lies.

After all, it was not just one single lie that Bush used to get us into Iraq but a multitude of them, including:

  • weapons of mass destruction everywhere>
  • doctored intelligence reports that led to the outing of CIA covert operative, Valerie Plame Wilson, because Bushies did not like that Wilson’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, would not pretend Niger “yellow cake” uranium story was true
  • Saddam was about to launch a campaign to make kittens and puppies in perfect little American suburbia all sick
  • the war would take a few days to a few weeks, completely pay for itself, and there is “absolutely no way” to lose it
  • the entire world sees the war as right which is why we had to pay them and bully them into joining the “coalition of the willing”
  • actions in Iraq certainly won’t distract us from catching Osama bin Laden, regroup al Qaeda, or exhaust our resources for the global war on terror

Need I list more?

A *Should Be* Embarrassing Headline

President Bush has vetoed the law banning the CIA from using the waterboard and other torture methods. The headline the N.Y. Times slaps on this story reads: Bush Uses Veto on C.I.A. Tactics to Affirm Legacy.

That headline should be a source of tremendous embarrassment for any American. The President’s legacy is affirmed by allowing the CIA to torture people? For the quadzillionth time we are left pondering the question: “what has happened to America”? Continue reading

John And Hillary Sitting In A Tree…

Senator Clinton is questioning the ability of Senator Obama to effectively lead the nation in a time of crisis due to events which might happen overseas. That’s fine and dandy in and of itself, but Senator Clinton is throwing support to the Republican nominee by saying that Senator McCain and herself are the only two in the race who have the where-with-all to successfully deal with such a crisis.

This debate is a winner for Senator Obama if he is not afraid (as many Democrats seem to be) to engage on the issue, especially in a Democratic primary fight but also in a general election. The entire approach of Senator Clinton could be taken straight from the Republican playbook. Quite frankly Democrats in particular, and Americans in general, are sick of this macho, with us or against us, scare mongering approach to national security. Continue reading

Deconstructing The Iraq, Terrorist Fly Paper, Theory

Andrew Sullivan has taken note of an ongoing discussion as to why America has not been attacked in the past seven years. He posits that there are two possibilities that may provide the answer: the terrorist threat is overrated, or our defense is getting better.

One of Sullivan’s readers responded with the correct answer from my perspective, but Sullivan has characterized that answer in such a way as to make it seem that the Bush doctrine is working. Here is that exchange.

Reader: Why bother coming here (getting a visa, the travel, feeling out-of-place) to attack Americans, when one frustrated youth with jihadist tendencies from wherever can simply wander into Iraq or Afghanistan and do his best to take out US military personnel in uniform? There, you can at least blend into the local population, target not unarmed US civilians in shopping malls, -but uniformed, patriotic, heavily-armed Americans (who are light-years away from home and family, and all that’s familiar) – and be regarded as a hero to millions … all at the same time.

Sullivan: The flypaper theory works, in other words.

In fact, President Bush is fond of framing the flypaper theory with the following flawed logic: “We are fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.” So let me detail why the reader’s response to Sullivan is correct but the flypaper, fighting them over there, logic is patently wrong headed. Continue reading

Republicans And Sex Scandals: The John McCain Version

While Ricky posted about this story here, I’ve been reticent to say much until I read more and tried to ferret out how much evidence there is regarding the story ferreted out by The New York Times re: whether John McCain during his 2000 GOP presidential nomination bid was inappropriately involved (sexually/romantically/lobbying wise lobbyist Vicky Iseman) with a woman who was not only a lobbyist but represented organizations/companies whose work would be covered by the kind of committees and subcommittees McCain chairs/chaired in the Senate.

But here are my initial insights:

  • I love how the Republicans are blaming The Times like the newspaper is responsible for what McCain may have done
  • I love, too, how Republicans say, “I thought we called a truce to that kind of salacious story” like they weren’t the ones who made Bill Clinton’s sex life the focus RATHER than national security in the years leading up to the attacks on the U.S. in 2001
  • Does anyone recall how angry McCain was for much of his 2000 campaign? And the odd way he dropped out? He was particularly nasty to the media when the indication was that the real nastiness came from Republicans, particularly George W. Bush and his Turdblossom, Karl Rove. Makes me wonder if the Iseman story wasn’t an issue then.
  • I love, too, how the networks use mostly Republican spokespeople to discuss this story, including that idiot Vicky Morgan (is it?”) who brings such breathless insights like, “The thing this campaign shows us is that people LIKE to vote for people they LIKE.” She’s apparently the new token black Republican. Sigh.
  • InfraGard: Bushies Deputize Business Leaders To Spy On Us

    [See The Progressive’s Matt Rothschild, author of an article on InfraGard, an FBI “liason with business”, discuss this malicious little program on Democracy Now yesterday (February 11th). You can also see the group’s site – as in hiding in plain Web sight – here.]

    There have been many times since the fraudulent awarding of the presidency to George W. Bush in December 2000 that I have thought and declared that absolutely nothing these people do can any longer surprise me. In reality – and most unfortunately – the Bushies keep exceeding their own depths of depravity, anti-democracy, draconian edicts, dismal offerings, and deadly mistakes so yes, I keep getting surprised (and never in a good way).

    Well, the Bushies have done it again with a rotten little group called InfraGard, and it’s one of the top 20 worst I’ve heard: we know from many studies and experts that despite all the billions Bush-friended corporations have gotten to “protect the homeland”, we’re not just not any safer, we’re actually at greater risk than ever before. A report issued in the last few days says we’re in terrible shape to defend against an actual attack on U.S. soil, largely because of the “cakewalk” Iraq war and the nearly 1,800 days since Bush declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq and the 6 1/2 years since Dubya announced Osama bin Laden “can run but he can’t hide” and that we’ll get him “soon”, “dead or alive.”

    Yet, with all these terrific failures comes a report in The Progressive that the Bushies, ever the good friend to the worst corporate offenders – many of the same ones the Bushies offer HUGE tax breaks to in a bizarre new form of corporate welfare at the same time these creeps take jobs elsewhere – launched a program called InfraGard that:

    • reports potential threats of an attack to corporations when mere mortals are not allowed to know (you may pay a hell of a much bigger percentage of your income on taxes than Exxon or Halliburton, but you just don’t rate knowing if you’re about to be bombed)
    • encourages corporate leaders to “report” “problematic” employees (perhaps union organizers, those who might talk against the Bush Administration over the water cooler?) and others (say, their biggest competitor)
    • potentially “rewards” these corps with extra corporate welfare
    • makes US as taxpayers foot the bill to supply FBI agents and homeland (in)security folks to “interface” with the companies in the organization

    Continue reading

    “Homeland Security, Bush Style”: Prosecute Firecrackers, Let Osama Walk

    This is exactly the kind of story that – when the system actually WORKS PROPERLY so the innocent is finally recognized as such – plays out everyday in what the Bush mafia has the nerve to call homeland security (aka selective persecution of anyone):

    TAMPA, Fla. €” Two Egyptian college students arrested near a South Carolina Navy weapons station last year were carrying low-grade fireworks, as they claimed, not the dangerous explosives as charged by federal prosecutors, the FBI has determined.

    All Those Iraq Lies? (The) Saddam (Devil) Made Bush Do It

    Well, we’ve heard every possible excuse from the president and the rest of the Bush Administration on how they could have been so terribly wrong about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the threat the Iraqi leaders presented to the U.S. So now, after a government audit documented 935 separate lies about Iraq – and the American economy affected by a war with Iraq – from the Bush Administration, what makes more sense than for the Bushies to turn around and blame Saddam? Well, that is, it makes about as much sense as anything else this murderous, greedy, deceitful crew does, anyway.

    What marvelous timing that the FBI agent who supposedly was the one to interrogate Saddam Hussein after his capture in Iraq in December 2003 picked NOW, in light of the lie report, to disclose highlights from his seven-month-long interrogation of the Iraqi dictator, hanged just before the end of 2006.

    However, for the Bushies to quickly spread the story that it was Saddam who lied and fooled them does NOT appear to be a particularly flattering spin on events. For it to matter, we would have had to BELIEVE what Saddam was saying in the first place – and we had no reason to do that, did we? After all, we expect our enemies – and America’s greatest enemy of all, President George W. Bush – to lie to us. So why did the Bushies magically choose to believe the WMD/threat lies (if Saddam told them rather than the U.S.)?

    Also, according to Colin Powell, and Dick Cheney, et al, they had “military intelligence” and well more than ample evidence from “trusted sources” that WMD was EVERYWHERE in Iraq and that the nation, which could barely afford to operate at all, was ready to launch suicide camel rocket SCUBA divers to blow up the West Coast (remember?).

    Well, as usual with the Bushies, the truth changes faster than Bush’s “reasons” for going into Iraq in the first place, and none of the stories/versions makes as much sense as that we went in there for the oil, and got a lot more (and not in a good way) than we bargained for.

    Why can’t the Bushies do something truly unique just ONCE? As in, tell the truth? Wait. I know why. Because to them, the truth is just something to spin into something worse. Lessons we need to keep in mind as Bush keeps ramping us forward to war with Iran.

    More Proof That Cheney Is Absolutely Insane

    Newsweek has published an article titled “Fishing for a Way to Change the World” which is a lengthy excerpt from author Jacob Weisburg’s book “The Bush Tragedy”

    I am simply amazed at the utter lack of sense or reasoning which the following revelation demonstrates as relates to Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Cheney and Libby believed that Iraq’s potential to produce a smallpox weapon necessitated universal vaccination of the general population, something that hadn’t happened in the United States since 1972. On the other side of the argument was Donald Henderson, the heroic epidemiologist who led the WHO smallpox eradication program and later became Bush 41’s science adviser. After the anthrax attacks, HHS brought Henderson in as a consultant to help develop emergency plans.

    When I visited him at his office at the Center for Biosecurity in Baltimore, Henderson recounted a surprise, unpublicized visit he paid to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta with Cheney and Libby on July 18, 2002. Henderson flew down with them on Air Force Two and spent most of the trip explaining to the vice president and his chief of staff why he and other epidemiologists thought a massive vaccination program would be a terrible idea. Even medical professionals were horrified when they saw the range of normal reactions to a vaccination: grotesque scabs, lesions, and pustules. Henderson showed me a pamphlet that HHS distributed to hospitals to document the abnormal reactions: blackened limbs, uncontrolled swelling, and a reaction called progressive vaccinia, in which sores cover the body from head to toe. Continue reading

    American Officials Stole Nuclear Secrets To Give to Spies For Israel, Turkey?

    Once again, Sibel Edmonds, the FBI whistleblower whom the government threatens on a daily basis because she has the nerve to point out their incompetence and crime, shows that the “keepers of truth” are lying through their teeth. This time, there’s proof of our “civil servants” selling nuclear secrets to spies for Israel and Turkey, something that, of course, our government insists didn’t happen.

    Strange that, if completely accurate, American media ignores the story while a paper most Americans have never heard of, much less read reports on it.

    Is treason no longer a punishable offense? Only, under Bush, could THAT happen. And the GOP crew angling for his job sure won’t guard “the flame” any better. Some, quite terrifyingly, could be much worse.

    Bush’s Middle East Visit: Make No Mistake He’s Lobbying Support To War With Iran

    If you paid attention to Hillary Clinton’s pre-New Hampshire primary tears last week, you may have missed another set: Bush’s at the Wailing Wall when he visited Israel. I believe they use glycerine, in the movies, to fake tears; perhaps Bush genuinely cried but only because he was missing a Texas baseball game on satellite TV at the time.

    Now he’s in Arab countries offering them goodies (you always give the most freebies, of course, to the people who have more than enough to pay their own, don’tchaknow?). But what the media keeps missing reporting is WHY he’s in the Middle East, when he’s pretty much just sent henchmen and henchwomen there before.

    Bush is there to seek support to wage war on Iran. It’s no coincidence that they desperately sought some Iranian “threat” when they drummed up and blew out of all logical, sensical proportion the Strait of Hormuz incident with two teeny boats, with the military and intelligence even doctoring video and audio to try to make it sound like the mole hill was actually challenging the great mountain when it was not.

    I suspect, too, that when Bush said last week that by this time next year, his approval rating will be up to 45% or more (which is still damned sad), he was referring to the “rah rah, rally round the flag” influence he believes he’ll get with a new war with Iran… one he can then dump on the Dems.

    The Real ID Battle: Prove You’re American

    Our forefathers – and generations of leading minds since the nation known today as The United States was founded – held certain truths to stand above the will of capricious government. One was that we would never be required to proclaim our allegiance to the throne (in whatever form it takes, including the Bush White House) because they remembered how it would be abused, and one of the others was that Americans should not be required to prove they are, uh, you know, Americans.

    Yet the Bush White House, under Major Demon Homeland InSecurity Secretary Michael Chertoff, has announced that really, they’d like you to pledge allegiance to THEM and, while you’re at it, PROVE you’re an American by signing up for one of the most invasive and yes, ridiculous, national ID systems we can imagine. And – oh yeah – according to Chertoff, if you don’t want to have a national ID, you’re either Osama bin Laden (or other terrorist), an illegal alien who wants to steal the job of toilet bowl brushing many other Americans choose not to perform, OR you’re a criminal.

    I guess the idea that a patriot, much less than a regular citizen, might balk at being FORCED to prove he or she was born here, isn’t a terrorist (and according to the Bush White House, terrorism has repeatedly been expanded to mean ANYONE who does not agree 312% with some fascist program of the Bushies), and isn’t a serial killer (like Bush, in many respects, isn’t one of the world’s WORST of those and now wants to expand his killing fields into Iran).

    I’ll fight this with everything I have. I hope you will, too. It’s the patriotic thing to do.

    Bush Won’t Pay The Phone Bill So We’re All Gonna Die!! (or maybe not)

    Remember how the Administration and their toadies were calling the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” a vital tool in the war on terror which was responsible for stopping multiple attacks and saving thousands of lives?  Remember how they were calling for the reporters at the N.Y. Times to be charged with treason for reporting on the story?   Well, if we are to judge the necessity of the program by the determination to pay for it, it may not be so vital to our safety after all. Continue reading

    A Great Example OF Why Feds Can’t Investigate Themselves: The 9/11 Commission Search For Truth “Obstructed”

    Soon after I posted my piece about the rather ridiculous situation where the Justice Department will investigate its own CIA in the destruction of two videotapes depicting the feds’ torture techniques used on anyone they feel like hurting in the so-called “War on Terror”, Glenn Greenwald ably proved by point with this post on his Salon blog about how the 9-11 Commission’s investigation was blocked by the feds (with Bush and Cheney at the top of the mammoth dung pile).

    Once Again, The Fox Is Appointed To Investigate The Theft Of Chickens From The Hen House

    While some seem ready to applaud that the Justice Department announced this evening it WILL investigate the destruction of the two known CIA torture tapes a judge ordered those under the Bush Administration involved in the matter NOT conveniently destroy, to me it’s just another sad, piss poor example of the fox being allowed to investigate the case of chickens murdered in the hen house when it was one of the Fox’s minions (in this case, the CIA with marching orders from the fox) who arranged not just the initial crime but the destruction of the evidence.

    We see this again and again – hardly new to the Bushies yet they have taken it to ridiculously extremes as they have everything else – as when the Pentagon investigates its own.

    This, my friends, is beyond criminal. And, as Bush would smirk and smug-it-up as he tells you, there’s not one damned thing we can do to stop it while, at the same time, we know exactly what the results will be: nada, zap, ZERO. At best, they’ll point to some very insignificant, powerless peon, throw the book at him while they feed him to the wolves, and then pretend it never happened.

    Some democracy. And the new Attorney General Michael Mukasey can control everything this special prosecutor does and, as we’ve seen with his strange ignorance regarding torture and the American Constitution, he’ll prove himself a loyal Bushie regardless of his distinctly token status as an alleged Democrat.