Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen


Wednesday, October 30, 2002  

Boston Globe Online / Nation | World / Board was told of risks before Bush stock sale

One week before George W. Bush's now-famous sale of stock in Harken Energy Corp. in 1990, Harken was warned by its lawyers that Bush and other members of the troubled oil company's board faced possible insider trading risks if they unloaded their shares.

snip

The memo was not received by the Securities and Exchange Commission until the day after the agency decided not to bring insider-trading charges against Bush, documents show.


Bush lied, repeatedly. The SEC covered this up. Harken covered it up.

Time for indictments.

Oh, that's right, Martha Stewart is up first. After all, she might have made a few thousand dollars.

posted by lazarus | 03:16 | |


Tuesday, October 29, 2002  

Lean Left: More on right wing "outrage" over Wellstone Memorial Service

Kevin has a nice breakdown on the hypocrisy of the right.

I'll only add that I was disgusted at the lying of Ari Fleischer, to actually say that there isn't precedent for a President to attend a Senator's funeral.

posted by lazarus | 23:13 | |


Monday, October 28, 2002  

GOP Official: Senators Land in Mobile After Reporting Landing Gear Problems - from Tampa Bay Online

See, it can almost happen to Republicans, too!

Is there anything more despicable than these twits trying to gain sympathy and credit from Wellstone's death?

They even manage to not only allude to Wellstone, but to Carnahan. Bastards.

posted by lazarus | 23:52 | |
 

Newsday.com - FBI: Crime Up First Time in a Decade

Yup. Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over.

Thanks, George. Nice job.

posted by lazarus | 07:51 | |


Sunday, October 27, 2002  

ABCNEWS.com : Protesters March Against War in Iraq

Here's the problem:

Demonstrators by the Hundreds Gather in D.C. to March Against Possible War With Iraq


Since UPI, Reuters, and most attendees put the number well over 100,000, one has to wonder exactly why ABC, and the AP, have decided to tell such an obvious lie?

posted by lazarus | 03:06 | |


Saturday, October 26, 2002  

Guardian Unlimited Observer | International | Siege rescue carnage as gas kills hostages

This is horrible. I knew going in that this would end badly, one way or another. There's no way the rebels were expecting to get out alive, and I have no doubt they were prepared to slaughter the entire crowd.

But they used valium gas? Killed over 100?

So, yet another country "gassing their own people". But then, they were taking out terrorists, unlike Iraq. Who was using it on Kurdish terrorists, er, rebels. Right? Surely that makes a difference?

The rank hypocrisy of this administration just keeps growing and growing. I'm not sure we can take another two years of these incompetents.

posted by lazarus | 23:34 | |
 

One of these things is not like the others........

Much thanks to ianbruce over at Democratic Underground

posted by lazarus | 23:26 | |
 

Oh, and the Freepers had a counter-rally in DC. I've heard estimates between 8 and 15. That's it.

Here's a link to a screen cap of the wonderful protest.

Yep, the American people have spoken. Question is, will anybody listen?

posted by lazarus | 21:44 | |
 

I've heard reports of over 100,000 in Washington protesting today. I also talked to a guy at Borders who "heard on tv" that only 7500 showed up.

Good ol' liberal media, you can always count on them, can't you?

Oh, and over 50,000 showed up in San Francisco. Of course, these are just the fringe, right? Most people really really really really want a war, don't they?

posted by lazarus | 21:43 | |
 

Iraq Says It Is Not Expelling Western Reporters - from Tampa Bay Online

Thing is, if they do decide to kick out journalists, folks from CNN, MSNBC, NBC, FAUX, etc., won't have to worry, since they're not journalists by any stretch of the imagination.

posted by lazarus | 16:22 | |
 

United Press International: Afghan heroin crop spikes this year

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Poppy cultivation increased nearly 19-fold between 2001 and 2002 in Afghanistan, the world's leading exporter of heroin, according to a new U.S. study of poppy cultivation in the post-Taliban state.

According to the new survey, local farmers cultivated approximately 30,759 hectares in 2002, during the peak season for poppy in Afghanistan, the first since the December 2001 Bonn Agreement which established the first interim authority after the Taliban were ousted.

During the same period in 2001, only 1,685 hectares of poppy were cultivated in the last year of the Taliban's rein in the Central Asian state. The 2001 decline was due largely to a ban on poppy cultivation imposed by Taliban leader Mullah Omar in July 2001. snip

But other factors may impede Karzai's government from cracking down on the heroin trade. Indeed, some warlords still influential in Afghanistan have profited in the past from their country's illicit drug trade.


War On Drugs, War On Terror, yeah, this is working out great.

posted by lazarus | 09:54 | |
 

A fun and interesting point I just read.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan said that Walter Mondale was too young and inexperienced to be President.

Mondale had been Vice President for 4 years, Senator for 9 years, and Attorney General of Minnesota for many years before that. He was 56.

George W Bush was the admittedly weakest governor in the union for 6 years, and was 54 years old.

So I guess we can say that Reagan would have disapproved of Bush's presidency.

posted by lazarus | 05:31 | |
 

Paul Wellstone.

I have nothing to say that can contribute to this story, and probably won't post for a day or two.

Remember him well, he was one of us.

posted by lazarus | 00:52 | |


Friday, October 25, 2002  

TechTV | Bit Chat: Michael Moore Features a video stream of the interview if you missed it.

posted by lazarus | 01:41 | |
 

Bowling for Columbine : Get Involved : Beat the GOP

From Michael Moore. A great page.

And it's a brilliant film. Several of us went on Sunday, and found it both sad and exhilirating. I highly recommend it.

posted by lazarus | 00:10 | |


Tuesday, October 22, 2002  

An interesting story about nepotism. Were you aware that Justice Rehnquist's daughter, Janet, was installed as Inspector General of HHS? And that many senior people are being forced out under her management?

I have an idea. Let's spend exactly as much money on this investigation as we spent investigating TravelGate. Let's also demand that the media give this story just as much airplay.

Like that will happen.

posted by lazarus | 22:58 | |
 

The latest Boondocks.

Enjoy.

posted by lazarus | 06:19 | |


Sunday, October 20, 2002  

What a Difference Four Years Makes: Why U.N. inspectors left Iraq--then and now

FAIR does it again. Point this out the next time someone talks about the "liberal media".

An example:

Immediately after submitting his report on Baghdad's noncompliance, Butler ordered his inspectors to leave Iraq.

--Los Angeles Times, 12/17/98

It is not known whether Iraq has rebuilt clandestine nuclear facilities since U.N. inspectors were forced out in 1998, but the report said the regime lacks nuclear material for a bomb and the capability to make weapons.

--Los Angeles Times, 9/10/02

posted by lazarus | 03:07 | |


Friday, October 18, 2002  

BuzzFlash Reader Commentary - Rumsfeld and North Korea

What's the connection? Well, first, let's see who sold that nuclear equipment to North Korea:

It's a group called ABB Ltd. A look at their website shows that they are actually quite proud of this.

Another look at another part of their website gives us the following fun tidbit:

The company said that Donald Rumsfeld has resigned his membership on the Board as a result of his recent appointment as U.S. Secretary of Defense. In addition, Göran Lindahl and Peter Sutherland have both decided not to stand for re-election.


So, Rumsfeld sold them the nuclear material, and is now Secretary of Defense. Kinda like Cheney's selling stuff to Iraq, and then becoming VP, eh?

posted by lazarus | 15:56 | |
 

BBC News | ASIA-PACIFIC | US grants N Korea nuclear funds

Yeah, it's from April. Here's a fun tidbit from the article, however.


Under the 1994 Agreed Framework an international consortium is building two proliferation-proof nuclear reactors and providing fuel oil for North Korea while the reactors are being built.

In releasing the funding, President George W Bush waived the Framework's requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it has not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors.

President Bush argued that the decision was "vital to the national security interests of the United States".


No inspectors? Axis of Evil? Where's the American media?

posted by lazarus | 15:38 | |


Wednesday, October 16, 2002  

No proof of Iraq-al-Qaeda link: Chirac

Oops. Was that the French President calling Bush a liar?

posted by lazarus | 05:08 | |
 

Secret Military Spy Planes Enlisted in Hunt for Sniper

Err, Posse Comitatus? So, they going to be flying over the protests next, as well?

We're on a steep slippery slope, here, people.

The deployment of the Army's Airborne Reconnaissance Low planes is the latest and perhaps most dramatic tactic in the sniper investigation. Military and Justice Department officials wrestled for much of the day today with the question of how and whether the Pentagon could aid in the sniper investigation without violating an 1878 law, the Posse Comitatus Act, which restricts military personnel from taking part in domestic law enforcement operations. Lawyers ultimately decided that the military could offer equipment in the manhunt without violating the law.


How nice for the lawyers to decide that. It's just one little step, won't hurt anything at all. Next, we can have the soldiers patrolling, since they won't have any actual arrest powers.

Then, of course, the soldiers can "temporarily detain" suspects, just until......

posted by lazarus | 00:10 | |
 

Lean Left has this story about the death penalty in Illinois. I'd add only that I find it exceedingly brave that Ryan would even consider this move, and would love for Governors around the country to show the same bravery and integrity. Let's move from here to a reworking of our entire judicial system.

posted by lazarus | 00:04 | |


Tuesday, October 15, 2002  

The Influenza is kicking my butt. I hate the Influenza, I really really do.

Until I regain my strength, I'll simply ask that you all keep discussing HR 3598. It's not the War, it's the Draft.

posted by lazarus | 01:58 | |


Sunday, October 13, 2002  

So, I'm perusing the Patriot Act, and see this little tidbit.

Anybody out there doubt the ability of Ashcroft to twist this to include arrest of anti-war protestors for treason?

"Under Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act, a person commits the crime of domestic terrorism if within the U.S. they engage in activity that involves acts dangerous to human life that violate the laws of the United States or any State and appear to be intended: (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping."

posted by lazarus | 02:45 | |


Saturday, October 12, 2002  

Worldandnation: Missing pilot's status changed

Remember the Maine! Shrub's got his excuse, let's ensure thousands die because we've suddenly changed our minds about one pilot.

No, this isn't suspicious timing, not at all........

posted by lazarus | 06:30 | |
 

A recent post over at the Democratic Underground brings up a brilliant strategy for the Democrats.

Let's all start discussing HR 3598.

Haven't heard of this one? Here's the description:

To require the induction into the Armed Forces of young men registered under the Military Selective Service Act, and to authorize young women to volunteer, to receive basic military training and education for a period of up to one year.

When the Republicans talk war, let's make sure the parents out there hear the word "draft".

posted by lazarus | 04:17 | |


Friday, October 11, 2002  

ajc.com | News | Bush hitting campaign trail He's actually making love to the campaign trail.

Bush will be at the White House just two days next week. After that, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "the president will be on the road every day until Election Day."

What the bleeding hell did he need to force this war vote through for? He's not even doing his job! According to Bush, Saddam is an imminent threat, so, the first thing we do is take another month off to go campaigning?

Impeachment for dereliction of duty. It has to be done.

posted by lazarus | 04:56 | |
 

Judge says state can't ban sale of sexual devices

Well, this is exciting. Note that the case was lost four years ago, but UberGeneral Pryor decided to waste a lot more of our money pursuing an appeal.

In the desperate fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun......

posted by lazarus | 03:07 | |
 

BBC NEWS | Europe | Carter wins Nobel peace prize

Take that, Bush.

Next, we all ask President Carter to oversee US elections next month.

posted by lazarus | 02:24 | |


Wednesday, October 09, 2002  

Bush's Science Advisers Drawing Criticism Democrats

Yet another example of how different things are, and will continue to be, under these fascists.

Some interesting bits:


At issue is how Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, and his staff are reconstituting the expert committees that advise Mr. Thompson and the agencies under his control. The experts are influential in shaping federal policy.

In a particularly controversial case, the Food and Drug Administration has asked an obstetrician-gynecologist who strongly opposes abortions to serve on the panel that reviews reproductive health drugs. The doctor, Dr. W. David Hager, teaches at the University of Kentucky and has written popular books asserting the healing power of faith in Jesus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, is considering a toxicologist who has advised the lead industry for a panel weighing the contentious issue of whether the federal government should lower its acceptable limits of lead in the blood.


More of Bush's wonderful inability or unwillingness to do anything right, or for the people.

posted by lazarus | 21:57 | |


Tuesday, October 08, 2002  

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | White House 'exaggerating Iraqi threat'

Officials in the CIA, FBI and energy department are being put under intense pressure to produce reports which back the administration's line, the Guardian has learned. In response, some are complying, some are resisting and some are choosing to remain silent.

"Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA," said Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former head of counter-intelligence.



Once again, words are inadequate to express my disdain for these bastards.

posted by lazarus | 18:27 | |


Monday, October 07, 2002  

Two Fights Could Produce a Big Winner (washingtonpost.com)

Beyond that, this could decide the future of our nation.

Here's the key fight:

But the Bush administration, arguing in court 11 days ago, suggested that the legislative branch should not have the ability to take the executive branch to court -- period. "It basically would make the executive privilege of the president absolute by saying Congress can never sue," former Reagan Justice official Bruce Fein said. "The president could never be forced to turn anything over."

snip

Bush's lawyers said Congress has another option: Start a political fight with the president. "They can simply say, 'Look, Mr. President, that energy policy proposal you've sent up here is dead on arrival until you give us some information about how you went about formulating this policy,'" Clement said.

For that to work, a president's opponents would need to control the House or a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate -- and even then they would have little chance of winning a political fight against the bully pulpit. That means if the administration succeeds in cutting off the ability of Congress to sue the executive branch, Bush -- and those who follow him -- could be essentially immune from congressional scrutiny.


That sounds good, doesn't it?

This strikes me as coming perilously close to an impeachment level offense against Congress, to be honest.

posted by lazarus | 23:51 | |
 

Chicago Tribune | Bush threatens veto over pension benefit

Wait, that's not the best part. Guess who's pension benefits he's upset about, and doesn't want to pay? Hint: We're on the brink of war.

That's right, veterans. It's such a short piece, I'll post it in full.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Alarmed by the cost of expanding military entitlement programs, President Bush has threatened to veto the entire $355 billion defense authorization bill for the new fiscal year if House and Senate conferees do not eliminate new pension benefits for disabled military retirees that could cost $18.5 billion to $58 billion over the next decade.

The Pentagon now spends more than $35 billion a year on military pension and health-care entitlements that are among the most generous in the country for public or private-sector employees.

The pension provision at issue would for the first time allow military retirees to collect retirement benefits from the Pentagon and disability benefits from the Veterans Administration at the same time.

Conferees could decide the issue this week.

Copyright © 2002, Chicago Tribune

posted by lazarus | 05:45 | |
 

The Sunday Herald has this article. Guess what? It's the oil after all.


The report is linked to a veritable who's who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs. It was commissioned by James Baker, the former US Secretary of State under George Bush Snr, and submitted to Vice-President Dick Cheney in April 2001 -- a full five months before September 11. Yet it advocates a policy of using military force against an enemy such as Iraq to secure US access to, and control of, Middle Eastern oil fields.

One of the most telling passages in the document reads: 'Iraq remains a destabilising influence to ... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets.

'This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a pan-Arab leader ... and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime. The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.

'The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia, and with key countries in the Middle East, to restate goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies.'


Let's repeat this one:

'Iraq remains a destabilising influence to ... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets.


Tell us some more how he tried to kill your daddy, and how he's got WMD and is willing to use them, W. Tell us some more how it's not about the oil.

Then, let's look at the last paragraph:

Representatives of foreign oil firms have already met with leaders of the Iraqi opposition. Ahmed Chalabi, the London-based leader of the Iraqi National Congress, said: 'American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil.'

posted by lazarus | 02:13 | |


Sunday, October 06, 2002  

The Memory Hole > Transcript: Call to Police About Noelle Bush Allegedly Bringing Crack into a Drug-Treatment Center

Truly sad.

Oh, and there's more fun.
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- Noelle Bush's attorneys have asked a judge to bar the public from court hearings on their client's drug treatment, saying media attention violates her right to privacy, according to court records.

Peter Antonacci, one of three lawyers representing Gov. Jeb Bush's only daughter, cited a judge's ruling this week that drug treatment workers do not have to testify about a piece of crack cocaine allegedly found in her shoe.

"This harsh glare of the public scrutiny is the exact evil that both Congress and the Florida Legislature sought to remedy by enacting broad confidentiality provisions to protect substance abuse patients," Antonacci said in court documents filed Friday.

posted by lazarus | 22:36 | |
 

Republicans make the machines that count the votes.

Just read it. Explains a lot about what has happened, and what probably will happen.

posted by lazarus | 14:56 | |
 

National Defense Magazine has a truly frightening article.

A brief breakdown of the article: We're running out of stuff. All the money is going to those pretty smart bombs, made by Boeing and Raytheon (a Carlysle subsidiary, imagine that!).

Some choice quotes:


The U.S. engineering and production capabilities for cruise missiles and precision-guided munitions are adequate, despite the consolidation of the industry in recent years, Palaschak said. “The problem with precision-guided munitions is not the health of the industry, but the fact that they can’t produce them fast enough to replenish the inventories after a conflict.”

After the Gulf War, he noted, “it took us a long time to replenish precision-guided bombs and cruise missiles.”

During his confirmation hearing in August as chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. John Jumper said that the service has a $2 billion shortfall in its munitions accounts.

snip

Even though there are still significant amounts of conventional ammunition in war reserve, the stockpile is aging and needs to be modernized, said Col. James Naughton, deputy chief of staff for ammunition at the Army Materiel Command.

In a briefing to industry executives in February, Naughton said that there is not enough money to remanufacture obsolete ammunition stockpiles. Outdated ammunition not only poses a safety hazard, but also is unusable for combat.

According to statistics provided by the Munitions Industrial Base Task Force, the U.S. military munitions accounts are under-funded by more than $400 million in fiscal year 2002.

At the briefing, officials from the Industrial Committee of Ammunition Producers said that the Defense Department should be concerned about the “availability of product or re-supply” during a conflict and the “ability to replenish inventories” after a conflict.



Here's the most critical part of the article, I think:

“The problem with the base is not with the exotic stuff,” he said. A more troubling situation is that “we can’t even make routine, old-generation items.”

In his opinion, the ammunition industrial base is “very sick” in several areas.

The United States, for example, only has one manufacturing plant that makes ammunition links (tiny metal clips) for small arms — the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. The company that operated the plant, Valentec, was about to go out of business, and subsequently was bought by Alliant Techsystems.

“As you go around the base, in most items, we are literally one-deep,” said Heyderman. “These companies are on the jagged edge.”


Oh, and we're running out of fuzes and batteries. Dumb people ordering smart weapons.

Let's have a war, eh?

posted by lazarus | 14:45 | |
 

I haven't blogged much lately. And it shows, people aren't viewing the site as much.

I apologise to the folks that do check in regularly, and since the travel and general frustration of the last two weeks is over, I'll be back at it, starting now.

posted by lazarus | 14:44 | |
 

McBride promises to say in public what he says in private

But this is really about Jeb Bush. First, he talked about the "juicy details" of a missing girl's caregivers, they turn out to be lesbian, and they may even be Liberals!

The latest, I thought, was his being taped (unawares) in a meeting where he said he had "devious plans" to torpedo a vote on capping class sizes.

But then he comes out with this one, just a few hours later.
[blockquote]
In Orlando, Bush told about 600 black supporters, including large numbers of ministers, that funding for predominantly black universities has increased under his watch and that more appointments of minority candidates have been made to the state's boards and commissions.

[b]"I try not to make decisions with white men who look and think like me," said Bush[/b], who has been criticized by some black leaders for eliminating affirmative action programs in university admissions and the awarding of state contracts.
[/blockquote]

I'd be real happy if people who think like him were never in a decision-making position again, to be honest.

posted by lazarus | 03:13 | |
 

France finds 'zero' al-Qaeda links with Iraq

Well, now, lookie what we have here. "Jean-Louis Bruguière told the Financial Times: "We have not found any link between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Not a trace. There is no foundation, according to our investigations, for the information given by the Americans.""

Wow. So Rummie and Bush and Condi lied? Shocked, SHOCKED I am to find this out.

posted by lazarus | 02:47 | |


Thursday, October 03, 2002  

The Pensacola News Journal has this classy tidbit from Jeb Bush.

With the arrest of Rilya Wilson's caregivers on allegations of welfare fraud, Gov. Jeb Bush added his own "juicy details" in the national case.


Pamela Graham and Geralyn Smith were arrested Wednesday on allegations they illegally collected public assistance checks, including those for Wilson, 6, who lived in Miami until she disappeared eight months ago.


Bush told a visiting delegation of Panhandle legislators the news, adding he had "some juicy details."


He then implied the women are lesbians.


"As (Graham) was being arrested, she told her co-workers, `Tell my `wife' I've been arrested.' The wife is the grandmother, and the aunt is the husband," Bush explained, using his fingers to indicate quotation marks to emphasize the word "grandmother."


"Bet you don't get that in Pensacola," Bush told his visitors, which included a News Journal capital bureau reporter.


Nice sense of humour, there, Jeb. I'm sure next you'll discover they're Democrats.

Any luck tracking down those kids? Maybe that ol' debbil Osama's got 'em!

posted by lazarus | 18:30 | |


Tuesday, October 01, 2002  

CNN.com - Noelle Bush case on 'inactive' status - Oct. 1, 2002

Three strikes, and it's the next inning. Welcome to the Wonderful Life Of a Bush.

posted by lazarus | 20:19 | |
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