Monthly Archives: March 2008

If you didn’t see 60 Minutes

You need to read about the abduction, confinement and torture of a German citizen by the US. Basically, the US paid bounties, thousands of dollars, for any “suspicious” looking person. I guess this  Nordic looking guy looked suspicious to Pakistanis. Froomkin has the story.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Bush blunders worldwide, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Pakistan, perpetual war: fascism in disguise, Politics, Torture: you're next, Wordpress Political Blogs

al-Maliki dead in the water; Iran, al Sadr calling the shots.

I expect great grandpa McCain will really get confused over this.….

Juan Cole:

A parliamentary delegation from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s own coalition (mainly now the Da`wa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) defied him by going off to the holy seminary city of Qom in Iran and negotiating directly with Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr and with the leader of the Quds Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, [!!!!!!]Brig. Gen. Qasim Sulaymani.

As a result of those parleys, Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to stand down, though I read his statement as permitting continued armed self-defense, as at Basra where the Iraqi Army is attacking them and the US is bombing them. Significantly, he calls on the Mahdi Army to stop attacking the HQs of rival political parties. That language suggests that the parties are suffering from such attacks and are worried that party infrasture is being degraded ahead of the October 1 provincial elections. The southern parties have essentially defied al-Maliki and Bush to make a separate peace.

The entire episode underlines how powerful Iran has become in Iraq. The Iranian government had called on Saturday for the fighting to stop. And by Sunday evening it had negotiated at least a similar call from Sadr (whether the fighting actually stops remains to be seen and depends on local commanders and on whether al-Maliki meets Sadr’s conditions).

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Filed under Bush blunders worldwide, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, perpetual war: fascism in disguise, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

All foreign calls are being tapped. Period. All. Totally.

Attorney General Mukasey is spreading the fear, in order to scare Congress into legalizing Bush’s/telecom’s lawless surveillance. It’s clear why the Bush administration won’t bother with warrants, and it always has been. They just won’t admit it.

All phone calls coming to and from the US are being monitored en masse. It’s a total, mass, automated, all-encompassing system.

They work at the level of the massive trunk lines as they enter and leave the country, not at the level of some individual phone.  So they get ALL CALLS.

Every call. All calls. each call. your call, my call. his call, her call; Russ Feingold’s call…. tous les calls. All the time. All day, all night, weekends. 24/7/365.

That’s why they can’t bother with warrants and probable cause and suspicion and evidence and judges and rights. They have no evidence. They are just sifting through everything. Looking for particular words. Grabbing the words, guessing what thoughts might be behind the words. Policing the minds.

It’s an automated machine. Think of a huge net thrown over the entire ocean: no individual fish has any rights..the net can’t respect any rights. They are wiretapping the calls of every person in the United States, if they talk to anyone overseas. It demolishes the entire idea of freedom from unreasonable search.
And it’s not just a search issue.

In effect, every call is being censored. Think of it. Every call from every journalist in Iraq is being monitored, and so is every elected official in the US who might get any information from overseas. How can anyone talk about the Middle East without using words that would make the alarms go off? He who controls the flow of information controls the public mind.

And it operates in total secrecy. No one knows what words and phrases will trigger the alarms, or what happens next, in terms of lists and investigations, and how you are ever cleared of suspicion. We can be pretty confident that Bush’s Pioneer donor lists are a get out of jail free card, and that Democratic governors are a free fire zone, but that’s about all we can guess.

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Filed under Congress, Dianne Feinstein betrays the voters trust, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Harry Reid:part of the problem, Iraq, Middle East, over the line, perpetual war: fascism in disguise, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, travel, Wordpress Political Blogs

Yes, we are now helping the Iran-supported militias in Iraq

link

There is one group of Iraqi Shiite militia that is given some support from Iran: formerly referred to as SCIRI, they are now called ISCI. The US, which regularly exaggerates Iran’s role in Iraq, is now helping this Iran-supported group to fight the Iraqi Shiite militias led by al-Sadr, who wants the US and Iran out of Iraq.

Are we clear? Bush’s BS about Iraq has always been self-contradictory.  What the US wants under Bush (and McCain) is permanent occupation and dominance over Iraq. It’s all about the oil for Bush/Cheney and their fatcat oil baron friends and donors.  The one force (al-Sadr) that wants independence for Iraq is Bush’s worst enemy. How long can this smoke and mirrors fool the American public?

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Bush blunders worldwide, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Congress, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, Iran, Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, perpetual war: fascism in disguise, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Wordpress Political Blogs

Songbird nest screws up our life

How can this be? some flitty little songbirds took over an artificial floral wreath in an alcove outside our front door.  Laid a bunch of little songbird eggs. Now we have to keep the kitchen blinds closed. And avoid using the front door? is this legal? can we sue them? what about the mail? WTF?

Why can’t we secure the borders?

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Filed under animal stories, Humor

Countrywide COO cashes in bigtime

I know that there’s a good reason for this….I just know there is….

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp said it has agreed to pay $28 million to Countrywide Financial Corp Chief Operating Officer David Sambol to induce him to run the merged companies’ consumer mortgage operations.

The amount, which vests over three years, is 37 percent higher than the $20.4 million that Bank of America Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis was compensated in 2007 to run the second-largest U.S. bank.

Bank of America disclosed the amount in a Thursday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Bush says new violence in Iraq is good; Jack Nicholson responds

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baseball: SF Giants…what were they thinking?

This team has the potential of losing 110 games. Doesn’t happen all that often. Here’s why:

Barry Zito is their ace. What?

Ray Durham: I can’t even fathom why when  how or what someone is thinking with this guy. 36 years old, hit .215, OBP under .300!!  Slg .343. And they hit him in the middle of the order?!!

Bengie  Molina:  33 yo catcher with an OBP of .298.  Slow.

Omar Vizquel: 41 years old. OBP 305.

Randy Winn: 34 years old.

Rich Aurelia? 36 years old.

Brian Wilson: “closer”; 7 career saves. sure.

Barry Bonds: Gone

no-name nobodies: 18 approximately

Who’s going to play first base? Some guy who’ll hit 9 home runs? who’s going to do anything? Aaron Rowand? Matt Cain? Tim Lincecum? They are the only average major leaguers on the team. The rest sucks. really. If any of their big three gets hurt, they will lose 110. If they stay healthy, only a hundred.

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Cheap Chinese basketball players fall apart after a couple of years

HOUSTON—Reports from several NBA teams indicate that cheap, flimsy Chinese basketball players frequently break down and fall apart when faced with the normal wear-and-tear of an NBA season. “We got one a couple years ago, but the foot broke,” said Rockets GM Carroll Dawson about Chinese center Yao Ming. “Now it just sits there. We don’t even use it anymore.”

The Onion 

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Filed under China: "junk" is not just a boat, economics, Humor, sports

New McCain video promises Joe Lieberman will be there for the 3 a.m. phone call.

In response to a vanishingly small chorus of criticism from the well-fed media, John McCain has put out a new, supposedly reassuring “3am” campaign video.. This 30 second spot shows the “red phone” next to the supposed bed of supposed president John McCain. When the phone rings, old John listens to some supposed crisis information, then stammers out some statement that makes no sense. But then, up pops another head from under the covers…IT’S JOE LIEBERMAN!! He whispers in McCain’s ear for a few seconds, while McCain puts his hand over the phone. Then John speaks into the phone again: “No, I take that back, don’t do that!!! Instead, do this…..”
McCain, known for tiring of his female spouses after years of marriage, and having been photographed in “compromising” poses with George W. Bush and possibly others, may have killed three birds with one stone, with this video. Firstly, he reassures that small fraction of the public that knows he’s either a liar, misinformed or senile; and secondly, he sends a not so subtle message to the “likudnik” wing that they have his ear, and thirdly, McCain can use this spot to capture some part of the gay demographic.

Asked about the possible negative effect on the rightwing evangelical demographic that he has courted so hard, McCain opined that the video might have to be revised to show the two old men in twin beds.

Pressed on the issue of whether the American public should be willing to accept an old man as president, McCain pointed to the example of Winston Churchill, who was chosen Prime Minister at the age of 76. Lieberman, who happened to be standing nearby, added, “of course, Churchill did have a stroke within two years…”

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Filed under John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista