Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Trial Begins

Five felony charges are staring I. "Scooter" Libby in the face as his trial begins involving false statement he allegedly gave to Federal investigators and a Grand Jury. Much of the pre-trial brouha-ha has surrounded efforts by the defense that Scooter was real busy on important stuff so he couldn't possibly be expected to remember who he told what about the identity of classified agent Valerie Plame.

So, that's it? Are they seriously shitting me? The Chief of Staff of the most powerful Vice President in history of the most powerful country on the planet--his defense is that he's a fukkin lamebrain?

Ay Caramba!

Artwork by On the Fritz!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Lie Heard Round The World

I keep coming back to why we are in Iraq, what are we doing there, only because everything we have been told was wrong. The Administration bristles at the thought put forth that America was misled into war, but the recently deposed Republican congress refused to look into the matter. Well, they pretty much refused to do any damn thing. Now this story pops up, via AP:
WASHINGTON - A firedCIA employee, who collected prewar intelligence that Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction, can continue with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler decided on technical grounds that the lawsuit could not be dismissed. But she did not rule on the covert agent's contention that he was fired because he refused to alter intelligence that contradicted Bush administration policies.

Kessler said in the ruling Friday that the covert agent, identified only as Doe, had the right to argue his firing was based on allegedly false information placed in his personnel file.

The agent said he collected intelligence from several countries in the Near East. "Obviously, Iraq was one of them," said the plaintiff's Washington attorney, Roy Krieger. The lawsuit does not name any of the countries.


Now the story filed by the AP contends that Bush was never briefed about this agents findings, which apparently contradicted the contention that Iraq had WMD's, effectively shielding President Bush from misleading the country. This is also known as plausible deniability.

But the thing is, I haven't heard of anybody getting fired for the massive intelligence flub, except for this guy, who may have got it right. This brings up a couple of points.

1) The CIA has been punked over this whole deal and have kept pretty mum about it. No defense in their behalf has been offered.

2) This has made the President look pretty foolish yet he has not extracted a pound of flesh from the CIA. In fact, he gave George Tenet a big ol' fat medal for the debacle.

And the cost to America and Iraq has been extraordinary.

The Cheney/Bush team just go full-steam ahead with their "New Way Forward 2.0" (Now with Iranian flavor added)

It looks like the Bush Administration will go out the same way it came in--through the courts.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thank You President Bush

Sincerely. Before you took office, I was consumed by my own short-sighted personal interests and left political activism to others. After all, in the grand scheme of things, my vote and voice meant very little, and besides, I had to put food on the family. But in the 2000 election the vote was too close to call. Less than 400 votes separated Gore and Bush in Florida and with several voting irregularities. Election night came and went, and in the morning, still we had no answer.

Days turned to weeks and the two candidates turned to the courts. David Boies argued for Gore and won a string of successes in Florida, causing the Bush camp attorney, Ted Olson to refer to Mr. Boies as a "T-Rex of an attorney."

Politics definitely had my attention, and I started feeling guilty for not voting. Ultimately Bush the lesser would win by a single vote. His attorney, Mr. Olson successfully argued before the SCOTUS to stop the Florida recount and in a 5-4 decision installed by selection instead of election the President who would ignore the threats of terrorists allowing them to use airplanes to attack America. The one that slammed into the Pentagon was carrying Mr. Olson's wife.

Thank you President Bush, for showing me the power of one vote.

After seven minutes of stunned silence, you grabbed your bullhorn in the nick of time telling America your number one job is to keep us safe. Somehow, wondering around in the wreckage of your ignorance and arrogance did not seem like leadership, but hey, I guess all that Presidentin' is hard work. You round up a posse and search for a tall tree and a short rope but can't seem to find the guy whodunnit. No sense in lettin' a good posse go to waste, so you shake and bake a bunch of undercooked intel and invade Iraq. You will never be found guilty of diplomacy, one only need to look at how you treat our diplomats.

Thank you President Bush, for showing me how important it is who I vote for.

Now your occupation of Iraq is going badly. Whodathunkit? Certainly not your rubber-stamp congress (recently replaced btw). You continuously poked purple fingers into the eyes of your critics as evidence Iraqi's want to throw off tyranny and replace it with freedom and democracy. We point to America's vote of November 7th as evidence of the same. Terms like "congressional oversight" and "separation of powers" and "judicial oversight" had no real world meaning to me, until they were non-existent. And the constitution, which I thought was a bloodless document, is no such thing. When it is damaged, America herself is wounded.

Thank you President Bush for the civics lesson.

The Federal Government limits my employment to 70 hours in eight days, and I frequently bump this ceiling. Nevertheless, prior to the recent mid-terms found me pestering my neighbors to vote. I was dispatched 700 miles from my polling place on election day and threatened to quit. If both of my knees were shattered, I would have drug my unemployed ass across broken glass to cast my vote.

Thank you President Bush for giving me a passion for my country.

Fortunately, I did not have to do that by taking advantage of early voting. On November 7th as I was driving to New Mexico, I called my neighbors and urged them to the polls. My goal was to vote and add three more. The final result was nine. I plan on making them Lieutenants with orders to recruit three more new voters apiece.

Thank you President Bush for doing the impossible; you damn near organized the Democratic party.

Truly I don't think my education and motivation needed to be so costly for America. Curiously you took your one vote mandate (and questionable re-election), lassoed the stalled Gingrich revolution pendulum, pointed your wagon toward the neocon vanishing point and commenced to mash that gas and tote that ass and brought down your own house. You spent all of our money, our kids money and even their kid's kids money. We got no street cred worldwide, our military is sucking wind, our spies are gun shy from shooterface guy and the whole world is heating up. And that's just the short list.

Thank you President Bush for being the poster child of why politics matter.

I've turned the corner towards '08 and set my sights on the blatant homophobe and science denier, Senator James "Baghdad Bob" Inhofe. With any luck, my nine Lieutenants, or hero's (inside joke) will throw in and we can get him bounced. The nightmarish beginning of this century and all the horrors that have occurred since has been due to one man and one vote.

Bring a friend.

What has Bush taught you?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Escalate For Oil

Looks like Big Oil is getting close to getting their greasy paws on Iraqi oil. Via The Independent:

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity

The 'IoS' today reveals a draft for a new law that would give Western oil companies a massive share in the third largest reserves in the world. To the victors, the oil? That is how some experts view this unprecedented arrangement with a major Middle East oil producer that guarantees investors huge profits for the next 30 years


Now, the cliff notes on this story revolve around "production sharing agreements" or PSA's. Usually a company that has the expertise in developing reserves retains a share of the profits for their work.

Nothing wrong with that. But these agreements nearly double the standard amount developers keep, both in the initial investment phase and in the later, easy money phase. Also these agreements are reportedly for thirty years in length, and all disputes would be settled by international law.

It raises the question of corporations taking advantage of Iraq's weakened state, and flies in the face, once again, of rightwing talking points:

"Oil revenues, which people falsely claim that we want to seize, should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people"

Tony Blair; Moving motion for war with Iraq, 18 March 2003

"Oil belongs to the Iraqi people; the government has... to be good stewards of that valuable asset "

George Bush; Press conference, 14 June 2006

"The oil of the Iraqi people... is their wealth. We did not [invade Iraq] for oil "

Colin Powell; Press briefing, 10 July 2003

"Oil revenues of Iraq could bring between $50bn and $100bn in two or three years... [Iraq] can finance its reconstruction"

Paul Wolfowitz; Deputy Defense Secretary, March 2003

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies"

Dick Cheney; US Vice-President, 1999

Okay, so shooterfaceguy was actually shooting straight. But while they try to exploit the oil we did not fight for in Iraq, what is the plan for oil coming out of Iran? From Kim Murphy at the LA Times:
The efforts by the United States and its allies over the last few months to persuade international banks and oil companies to pull out of Iran threaten dozens of projects, including development of Iran's two massive new oil fields that could expand output by 800,000 barrels a day over the next four years.

"Many European banks which had accepted financing some oil industries projects have recently canceled them," Nejad-Hosseinian said.

American Imperialism at work. Dollar Diplomacy has come a long ways.

(h/t to DPD)

ExxonMobile Contributes To Massive Hoax

Senator Inhofe, R-OK, aka "Baghdad Bob," has claimed global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

ExxonMobile disagrees. (h/t huffpo) From Jerry Adler at Newsweek:
A report this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists finds a parallel between the efforts to whitewash tobacco and “greenwash” oil—and points the finger of responsibility at the world’s largest corporation, ExxonMobil.
For its part, ExxonMobil—after promulgating, and then withdrawing 20 minutes later, a statement that called the report an “attempt to smear our name and confuse the discussion”—wants you to know that it now accepts some responsibility for global warming. Specifically, and in boldface, it admitted that “It is clear today that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors that contribute to climate change, and that the use of fossil fuels is a major source of these emissions.”

Baghdad Bob's shilling for Big Oil, instead of being an honest steward of the commons, y'know shit like air for example, is just another example of the extremists of the right protecting huge profits at the expense of the voters who elected him.

We can all die gagging and choking breathing his sponsors profits, but at least we can be comforted that Inhofe is a blatant homophobe.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Downing Street Memo; Side B

The recent reshuffling of the deck chairs on the mid-termed renamed Administration vessel, the SS Minnow, telegraphs the much vaunted and delayed Best Plan Evah for Success in Iraq.

Or as has been said before, the intelligence is being fixed around the policy.

Since most of America lives in a Democracy and the Executive Branch floats in a sea of authoritarian fascism, they understand the importance of talking points.

There never was any doubt what this administrations shiny new plan would entail. The "listening tour" and the Baker plan was nothing more than finding the arguments they would need to address.

Bush is a war President.

The Republican party and neocons are very adept at messaging. By way of evidence, note the bowl of potato(e) salad they installed as President. American troop escalation in Iraq has less popular support than nearly every social disease, and yet, this is the dessert they serve after turning our noses up at the potato(e) salad.

This delay in announcing his new plan is to provide time to carefully craft the talking points to support it. Critics will be obliquely attacked as staining the memories of those who have fallen, and we must defeat the terrists. 9/11 will be mentioned a record 47 times in 22 seconds.

Rightards always know what they want. It is just a matter of a sales job to the American people. Now, the selling points may bear no actual resemblance to what they are actually trying to accomplish, you know, like:
today the wealthiest 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent...The CEOs of large corporations today earn more than 500 times what their employees are making...the Nation's 13,000 wealthiest families, which constitute 1/100th of 1 percent of the population, receive almost as much income as the bottom 20 million families in the United States.

We can scrub the face of our country clean of the middle class just as long as homo's can't be getting married and wimmens don't control their not-man parts and we unrelentingly kick some serious brown ass, both here and abroad.

Yes, the rightards have an agenda, and it has nothing to do with the well being of the 300 million people living in America. They use the fundies and their rightardlets peopling the media and the rightwing bigotsphere to get votes, just like a station wagon is used to get groceries. Just a useful tool to enact their greedy ambitions of self-enrichment, the seed wrapped in a foul wrapping of hate, bigotry and hypocritical moral relativism.

Of course the real agenda of this escalation is not the vanquishing of Iraq, but to fortify our position for the military engaging of Iran. I could be wrong. In fact, I hope I am way wrong.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Congressional Investigations

Seems there is a lot of talk about congressional investigations accompanying the 110th congress. Now, to me, an investigations usually accompanies a crime. It is usually what occurs once it is determined a crime has been committed.

Don't get me wrong, I believe the crimes against our country and humanity have been wide and rampantly inflicted on us and the world by the Bush crime family and his Republican enablers/co-conspirators.

The replacement of overlook with oversight is the first step, and since the backlog is so huge, it takes the appearance of an investigation.

What I hope for is responsible and honest stewardship of the peoples business.

The Democratic controlled congress is going to have a huge task before them. They will have to conduct present and future business in a judicious and thoughtful manner, while reviewing the previous six years that did not have that benefit.

Certain items like war profiteering and Iraq pre-war intelligence manipulation demand investigation from the outset. But oversight does not merit the description of an investigation.

The mighty right-wing wurlitzer and the corporate media will be wearing the public down on the word "investigations" making it appear the Democrats are only after retribution and political gain.

But these neocons have looted our treasury, spent our military, ruined our street cred and caused massive death, torture and maimings.

Some folks would like to know how they did that, and maybe even prosecute some of them.

This is not called investigation. It is called honest stewardship of the peoples trust.