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"Keep those motherfuckers away from me!!"
(TERESA HAMPTON, Capitol Hill Blue, Jul 28, 2004)
President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned. The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President's mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately. "It's a double-edged sword," says one aide. "We can't have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally." Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay. "Keep those motherfuckers away from me," he screamed at an aide backstage. "If you can't, I'll find someone who can." Bush's mental stability has become the topic of Washington whispers in recent months. Capitol Hill Blue first reported on June 4 about increasing concern among White House aides over the President's wide mood swings and obscene outbursts. Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports an anti-Bush propaganda, the reports were later confirmed by prominent George Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a "paranoid meglomaniac" and "untreated alcoholic" whose "lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad" showcase Bush's instabilities. "I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed," Dr. Frank said. "He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated." Dr. Frank's conclusions have been praised by other prominent psychiatrists, including Dr. James Grotstein, Professor at UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School. The doctors also worry about the wisdom of giving powerful anti-depressant drugs to a person with a history of chemical dependency. Bush is an admitted alcoholic, although he never sought treatment in a formal program, and stories about his cocaine use as a younger man haunted his campaigns for Texas governor and his first campaign for President. "President Bush is an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies," Dr. Frank adds. The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment on this article. Although the exact drugs Bush takes to control his depression and behavior are not known, White House sources say they are "powerful medications" designed to bring his erratic actions under control. While Col. Tubb regularly releases a synopsis of the President's annual physical, details of the President's health and any drugs or treatment he may receive are not public record and are guarded zealously by the secretive cadre of aides that surround the President. Veteran White House watchers say the ability to control information about Bush's health, either physical or mental, is similar to Ronald Reagan's second term when aides managed to conceal the President's increasing memory lapses that signaled the onslaught of Alzheimer's Disease. It also brings back memories of Richard Nixon's final days when the soon-to-resign President wandered the halls and talked to portraits of former Presidents. The stories didn't emerge until after Nixon left office. One long-time GOP political consultant who – for obvious reasons – asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush. "We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes," he says sadly. "That's not good for my candidates, it's not good for the party and it's certainly not good for the country."

[COMMENT]*******Well, what does one say...I could say that the signs were obvious but then they might have been clouded by my personal distaste for the person himself. I guess what scares me is that those around him, assuming this reportage is true, or near true, are allowing this person to continue to be in charge of the country. Why in the world would a sane person allow an insane or unstable person to have the power of control that the President of the United States has? Is the holding of office for the Republicans that important? What if this whacko goes and starts a nuclear war, with Iran or North Korea, or China? Do we say to ourselves, well, we knew he was insane. Little late then, I would say. How many American citizens must die to satisfy this nut case? Is your son or daughter, or wife or husband going to be the last? Or just the next? Are there that many ignorant people in this country to allow this man to remain in office? Does it not concern people anymore? Oh well, probably just wasting my time. We obviously deserve what we get. Time to start over anyway. But that's just this old Curmudgeon's opinion.*******
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 9:51 AM

Ask (Demand) And Ye Shall Receive
(CNN.com, July 29, 2004)
As reported below on July 8, 2004, it looks like the Pakistanis have come thru for The Shrub.  It has been reported this evening that the Pakistanis have captured a "key al-Qaeda operative" - and they did it on one of the days that the Bush Administration said they should...  imagine that.  Of course, a U.S. official in Washington confirmed the arrest but refused to say whether the United States had any role in the capture.  All that remains to be ascertained is how long the Pakistanis sat on the information about their captive until it could be released  today?!!
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:47 PM

The Crimes of George W. Bush
(Ramsey Clark's Statement to the July 25 Rally at the DNC in Boston)
By your courage and commitment, you have won the Constitutional rights to speak, assemble and petition on Boston Common and beyond. Let your message ring out! . . . It is not enough to vote a lawless President out of office. . . . Lawlessness must be removed from office. . . . George W. Bush made his criminal intentions clear long before committing his war of aggression against Iraq, an act held to be the "supreme international crime" by the Nuremberg Tribunal. The war has taken tens of thousands of lives. . . . In front page headlines in the New York Times on January 29, 2003 alone, the American people were told "Calling Iraq a Serious Threat, Bush Vows That He'll Disarm It," - "President Says America is Not Afraid to Take Unilateral Action" - "Bush Enlarges Case For War by Linking Iraq with Terrorists." . . . He boasted of assassinations and summary executions in his State of the Union message in January 2003 making them official U.S. policy along with the direct targeting of civilians and civilian facilities. . . . President Bush has placed himself above all law. His lawyers in the Defense and Justice Departments have pronounced that the prohibition against torture "must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander in Chief authority," (March 2003) and, "Any effort to apply (the criminal law against torture) in a manner that interferes with the President's direction of such core matter as the detention and interrogation of enemy combatants thus would be unconstitutional." (August 2002) We now know that such torture has led to scores of deaths. . . . The American people should not have needed the disclosures of the criminal conduct of President Bush by Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11, or in books by former Bush Administration Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, former Chief Security Advisor on Counter Terrorism Richard Clarke, or preeminent investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Seymour Hersh, among many others, important as their contributions are. . . . President Bush told the world and himself time and time again that the law is no obstacle to him, making our country the enemy of the people of the planet. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. . . . Any political party aspiring to nominate a person for President must renounce international crime and pledge accountability for its past commission. . . . The U.S. military occupation of Iraq remains a crime. The troops must be withdrawn and reparations paid for the death and destruction from U.S. Shock and Awe - terror Bush style. And "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States" responsible for such crimes "shall be removed from office" now. Article II, Section 4. Constitution of the United States of America. . . . Impeachment of George W. Bush and other officials of the United States who participated in this criminal enterprise by the U.S. House of Representatives and their trial by the Senate for "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is essential to the integrity of the Constitution and the honor of the elected representatives whose duty it is.

Ramsey Clark

New York, NY
July 22, 2004
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posted by Lorenzo 8:31 PM


Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

(By MATT BAI, NY Times Magazine, July 25, 2004)

"We need to build our own answer to the Death Star...

...What Stein showed him when they met was a PowerPoint presentation that laid out step by step, in a series of diagrams a ninth-grader could understand, how conservatives, over a period of 30 years, had managed to build a ''message machine'' that today spends more than $300 million annually to promote its agenda.

Rappaport was blown away by the half-hour-long presentation. ''Man,'' he said, ''that's all it took to buy the country?''

Stein and Rosenberg weren't asking Rappaport for money -- at least not yet. They wanted Democrats to know what they were up against, and they wanted them to stop thinking about politics only as a succession of elections. If Democrats were going to survive, Stein and Rosenberg explained, men like Rappaport were going to have to start making long-term investments in their political ideas, just as they did in their business ventures. The era of the all-powerful party was coming to an end, and political innovation, like technological innovation, would come from private-sector pioneers who were willing to take risks.

Led by Soros and Lewis, Democratic donors will, by November, have contributed as much as $150 million to a handful of outside groups -- America Coming Together, the Media Fund, MoveOn.org -- that are going online, door to door and on the airways in an effort to defeat Bush. These groups aren't loyal to any one candidate, and they don't plan to disband after the election; instead, they expect to yield immense influence over the party's future, at the very moment when the power of some traditional Democratic interest groups, like the once mighty manufacturing unions, is clearly on the wane. Meanwhile, Rappaport and the other next-generation liberals are gathering on both coasts, having found one another through a network of clandestine connections that has the distinct feel of a burgeoning left-wing conspiracy. They have come to view progressive politics as a market in need of entrepreneurship, served poorly by a giant monopoly -- the Democratic Party -- that is still doing business in an old, Rust Belt kind of way. To these younger backers, investing in politics is far cheaper than playing in the marketplace, and the return is more important than mere profit: ultimately, they say, it is the power to take back the country's agenda from conservative ideologues.

The presentation itself, a collection of about 40 slides titled ''The Conservative Message Machine's Money Matrix,'' essentially makes the case that a handful of families -- Scaife, Bradley, Olin, Coors and others -- laid the foundation for a $300 million network of policy centers, advocacy groups and media outlets that now wield great influence over the national agenda. The network, as Stein diagrams it, includes scores of powerful organizations -- most of them with bland names like the State Policy Network and the Leadership Institute -- that he says train young leaders and lawmakers and promote policy ideas on the national and local level. These groups are, in turn, linked to a massive message apparatus, into which Stein lumps everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to Pat Robertson's ''700 Club.'' And all of this, he contends, is underwritten by some 200 ''anchor donors.'' ''This is perhaps the most potent, independent institutionalized apparatus ever assembled in a democracy to promote one belief system,'' he said.

''What you need to understand about me is that I try to be respectful and objective about this,'' Stein went on. ''Not only is it a legitimate exercise in democracy, but I think they came up with some extraordinary ideas.'' The problem, he said, was that conservatives had moved beyond those policy ideas, into the realm of attack and innuendo. And Democrats had to understand that they were overmatched.

MoveOn.org was founded in 1998, during Clinton's impeachment hearings, by Wes Boyd, inventor of the once-ubiquitous flying-toaster screen saver; it was a fringe group until Soros and other donors, mobilized by the debate over Iraq, discovered it in 2003 and started pouring in money. MoveOn now has 2.2 million members and is the most dynamic online enterprise in politics. Rappaport adopted Music for America when it was raising money for the Dean campaign, and he helped keep it going after Dean dropped out. But these were chance encounters, random collisions of money and ideas. What Rosenberg envisioned was a ''virtual marketplace,'' patterned very consciously after the kind of incubators that venture capitalists set up in the 90's, in which major investors could systematically get to know like-minded bright, young innovators. Then the investors, given a choice of ideas, could decide which projects they wanted to get behind. We will only succeed if we build an entrepreneurial culture in Democratic politics...''

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posted by moshido praxis 11:02 AM

Republicans Obstruct Call for U.N. to Monitor U.S. Elections
(Edward Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle, July 17, 2004)
The idea of asking United Nations monitors to observe the 2004 presidential election, a proposal embraced by some Bay Area Democratic House members, was rejected in a House debate so heated that one member was disciplined for her rhetoric. . . . By a 243-161 vote, the House passed an amendment . . . that would ban using federal funds to request U.N. monitors. The highly partisan issue, a direct outgrowth of President Bush's disputed, razor-thin 2000 victory in Florida, reflects a continuing move by liberal organizations to enlist lawyers and other observers for the 2004 election to prevent a repeat of what they say was the huge disenfranchisement of minority voters in many states four years ago. . . . A dozen Democratic House members stepped into this fight early in July when they sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking for U.N. monitors. "We are deeply concerned that the right of U.S. citizens to vote in free and fair elections is again in jeopardy,'' they wrote. . . . The Democrats say conditions for minority voters haven't improved in many places, pointing to a disputed effort in Florida to purge convicted felons from voter rolls. . . . Even though the Democrats' letter was symbolic because the U.N. couldn't send in monitors without the host government's approval, the Republicans reacted with fury. . . . "I suppose that through this letter, members of this body were suggesting that we, the United States, need help, that the states cannot ensure the integrity of the election process and therefore, we need United Nations monitors,'' he added. . . . Democrats such as Rep. Diane Watson, D-Los Angeles, said that was just what they had in mind. . . . "We need the world to see how our elections are run because Florida cheated, and we are not going to allow it to cheat again,'' she said. . . . But Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., brought proceedings to a temporary halt when she accused Buyer and other Republicans of conspiring to steal the 2000 election from then-Vice President Al Gore. . . . "I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure that it does not happen again. Over and over again, after the election, when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' '' . . . At that point, Republicans asked that Brown's words be "taken down,'' a parliamentary request for her to be ruled out of order and forbidden from speaking on the floor for the rest of the day. The Republican in the chair, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, ruled her out of order. . . . "Members should not accuse other members of committing a crime such as, quote, stealing, end quote, an election," Thornberry ruled.
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posted by Lorenzo 4:21 PM

Cheney Attacked Fight Against Terror While Abroad
On the same day that President Bush announced plans to investigate Iran for ties to terrorism,[1] Halliburton acknowledged that "a U.S. grand jury issued a subpoena to the company seeking information about its Cayman Islands unit's work in Iran,[2] here it is illegal for U.S. companies to operate." Earlier this year, CBS News reported that Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO of the company "during which time Halliburton Products and Services set up shop in Iran."[3] In fact, Cheney was so adamant about doing business with terrorist nations like Iran, he even went abroad to publicly attack American foreign policy after meeting with top officials from a foreign government. Despite economic sanctions on Iran because of its ties to terrorists, Cheney openly bragged about Halliburton's business dealings there during the 2000 campaign.[4] Cheney argued that it was ethical for Halliburton to use "independent foreign subsidiaries" that exist in tax shelter countries like the Cayman Islands to skirt U.S. law. He also went abroad to attack American policy: According to the Malaysian News Agency, Cheney publicly attacked U.S. sanctions on terrorist countries after a meeting with top Malaysian government officials in Kuala Lampur.[5] During the 2000 campaign, Cheney also claimed that, as Halliburton CEO, "I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq,[6] even arrangements that were supposedly legal." Yet, earlier this year, The New Yorker reported "during Cheney's tenure[7] at Halliburton the company did business" in Iraq as well. The Washington Post reported that despite strict economic sanctions, Halliburton did up to $73 million in business[8] with Iraq while Cheney was heading the company.
[COMMENT] The footnotes can be found at the article link above.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:24 PM

The Evolution of a New Myth
(Bob Wallace, Strike The Root, July 19, 2004)
The full story of the modern Chickenhawk is this: deluded, lying, blood-thirsty cowards, afflicted with hubris, who have a lust for political power and attention.  They refuse to fight, but trick other into doing so, because of their mistaken belief in their intellectual and moral superiority.  They think the belief in their superiority gives them the right to sacrifice huge numbers of people, who should do as they are ordered, without question, so the Chickenhawks can social-engineer the world through political violence, as the way the Borg Queen wanted to, when she said, "Why do you oppose us?  We only wish to improve the quality of your lives".  The Chickenhawks are attempting to Borgify the US , indeed the whole world.  Being monsters, they have to be opposed.  Ultimately they will lose, because hubris is always followed by nemesis.  Unfortunately, they might--will--get a lot of innocent people killed, and a lot of societies damaged.  But then, it is the nature of monsters to do these things.   "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing," wrote Edmund Burke.  Truer words were never spoken.   Monsters, always with us, must always be fought.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 11:40 AM

This is the Fight of Our Lives
Bill Moyers, Keynote speech, Inequality Matters Forum, New York University, June 3, 2004)
Nothing seems to embarrass the political class in Washington today. Not the fact that more children are growing up in poverty in America than in any other industrial nation; not the fact that millions of workers are actually making less money today in real dollars than they did twenty years ago; not the fact that working people are putting in longer and longer hours and still falling behind; not the fact that while we have the most advanced medical care in the world, nearly 44 million Americans -- eight out of ten of them in working families -- are uninsured and cannot get the basic care they need. . . . poverty is showing up where we didn't expect it -- among families that include two parents, a worker, and a head of the household with more than a high school education. These are the newly poor. Our political, financial and business class expects them to climb out of poverty on an escalator moving downward. . . . What turns their personal tragedy into a political travesty is that they are patriotic. They love this country. But they no longer believe they matter to the people who run the country. When our film opens, both families are watching the inauguration of Bill Clinton on television in 1992. By the end of the decade they were no longer paying attention to politics. They don't see it connecting to their lives. They don't think their concerns will ever be addressed by the political, corporate, and media elites who make up our dominant class. They are not cynical, because they are deeply religious people with no capacity for cynicism, but they know the system is rigged against them. They know this, and we know this. For years now a small fraction of American households have been garnering an extreme concentration of wealth and income while large corporations and financial institutions have obtained unprecedented levels of economic and political power over daily life. In 1960, the gap in terms of wealth between the top 20% and the bottom 20% was 30 fold. Four decades later it is more than 75 fold. . . . Such concentrations of wealth would be far less of an issue if the rest of society were benefiting proportionately. But that's not the case. . . . We could have seen this coming if we had followed the money. The veteran Washington reporter, Elizabeth Drew, says "the greatest change in Washington over the past 25 years -- in its culture, in the way it does business and the ever-burgeoning amount of business transactions that go on here -- has been in the preoccupation with money." Jeffrey Birnbaum, who covered Washington for nearly twenty years for the Wall Street Journal, put it more strongly: "[campaign cash] has flooded over the gunwales of the ship of state and threatens to sink the entire vessel. Political donations determine the course and speed of many government actions that deeply affect our daily lives." Politics is suffocating from the stranglehold of money. . . . "When powerful interests shower Washington with millions in campaign contributions, they often get what they want. But it's ordinary citizens and firms that pay the price and most of them never see it coming. This is what happens if you don't contribute to their campaigns or spend generously on lobbying. You pick up a disproportionate share of America's tax bill. You pay higher prices for a broad range of products from peanuts to prescriptions. You pay taxes that others in a similar situation have been excused from paying. You're compelled to abide by laws while others are granted immunity from them. You must pay debts that you incur while others do not. You're barred from writing off on your tax returns some of the money spent on necessities while others deduct the cost of their entertainment. You must run your business by one set of rules, while the government creates another set for your competitors. . . . The middle class and working poor are told that what's happening to them is the consequence of Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand." This is a lie. What's happening to them is the direct consequence of corporate activism, intellectual propaganda, the rise of a religious orthodoxy that in its hunger for government subsidies has made an idol of power, and a string of political decisions favoring the powerful and the privileged who bought the political system right out from under us. . . . To create the intellectual framework for this takeover of public policy they funded conservative think tanks -- The Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute -- that churned out study after study advocating their agenda. . . . Look at the spoils of victory: Over the past three years, they've pushed through $2 trillion dollars in tax cuts -- almost all tilted towards the wealthiest people in the country. . . . Cuts in taxes on the largest incomes. . . . Cuts in taxes on investment income. . . . And cuts in taxes on huge inheritances. . . . More than half of the benefits are going to the wealthiest one percent. You could call it trickle-down economics, except that the only thing that trickled down was a sea of red ink in our state and local governments, forcing them to cut services for and raise taxes on middle class working America. . . . Now the Congressional Budget Office forecasts deficits totaling $2.75 trillion over the next ten years. . . . There's no question about it: The corporate conservatives and their allies in the political and religious right are achieving a vast transformation of American life that only they understand because they are its advocates, its architects, and its beneficiaries. In creating the greatest economic inequality in the advanced world, they have saddled our nation, our states, and our cities and counties with structural deficits that will last until our children's children are ready for retirement, and they are systematically stripping government of all its functions except rewarding the rich and waging war. . . . Let's face the reality: If ripping off the public trust; if distributing tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the poor; if driving the country into deficits deliberately to starve social benefits; if requiring states to balance their budgets on the backs of the poor; if squeezing the wages of workers until the labor force resembles a nation of serfs -- if this isn't class war, what is? . . . It's un-American. It's unpatriotic. And it's wrong. . . . What we need is a mass movement of people like you. Get mad, yes -- there's plenty to be mad about. Then get organized and get busy. This is the fight of our lives.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:12 PM

US writes off Pakistan's 496 million dollar debt
(DPA) 16 July 2004
Pakistan on Friday got a debt relief of 496 million dollars from the United States in return for its support to Washington in the ongoing war on terror.  Until the dramatic events of September 11, Pakistan owed some 3 billion dollars to the United States out of which a total of almost 1.7 billion dollars has now been written off.  US Ambassador Nancy Powell signed the agreement with the Secretary of Economic Affairs Division Waqar Masood in Islamabad.  The debt write-off was promised by US President George W. Bush during President Pervez Musharraf's Washington visit in October 2002.  "This agreement marks a continuation in the United States partnership with the government and people of Pakistan," Ambassador Powell said.  The Bush Administration has also pledged a 3 billion dollar five-year economic and military assistance package to Pakistan, which will go in to effect after congressional approval later this year.  In addition, the United States is also providing 100 million dollars a year, which will fund ongoing USAID programmes to improve education, health projects and good governance in Pakistan.  A key war-on-terror ally, Pakistan provided critical logistic and intelligence support to the United States to help topple the radical Taleban regime in Afghanistan in December 2001 which was accused of sheltering Osama bin Laden and his associates.  Pakistan has also arrested and handed over to the United States more than 600 Al Qaeda terrorists and their supporters.
[COMMENT] ****** Simply Amazing... Pakistan may have seemed to provide "critical logistic and intelligence support" during the invasion of Afghanistan, but have done little to support the search for bin Laden since the Bush junta redirected their efforts to Iraq.  How can the US continue to claim these people are our friends when they do little to fight the so-called "War on Terror" - unless they call getting caught selling nuclear weapons technology to radical states and then shrugging their shoulders help.  Bush is being played and we are paying for it.  But, that's just this old Curmudgeon's opinion.*****

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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 1:12 PM

Nader's Money Comes from Bush Supporters
(William March, Tampa Tribune, July 15, 2004)
More than one-third of the money Ralph Nader has raised for his independent presidential campaign in Florida comes from people who also have given to President Bush, the Republican Party or both. . . . "Obviously the Republicans feel George Bush does better with Nader on the ballot. Apparently the only one who doesn't understand that is Nader," said Trisha Enright, who runs an anti- Nader Web site and political committee. . . . Recent weeks have brought reports of Republicans and conservative organizations in several states working to get Nader on state ballots. . . . In Michigan, a crucial state in a tight race, Republican Party Executive Director Greg McNeilly urged party activists by e-mail to help get Nader on the ballot, saying it's his "fervent hope" that Nader would siphon votes from Kerry. . . . In Oregon, Citizens for a Sound Economy, an antitax advocacy group founded by former Rep. Dick Armey, R- Texas, urged members to call friends to sign petitions to get Nader on the ballot. Telephone scripts supplied by the group cited "an opportunity ... to drive a wedge through the Liberal Left's base of support." . . . In Arizona, GOP consultant Steve Wark formed a political committee to raise money to help Nader qualify. A Republican activist working with the committee asked supporters to "join me in this gallant effort to give our President the best chance possible of winning," and when Wark was asked whether he thought it would help Bush, he told The Associated Press: "I would hope so. I didn't do it for my own health." . . . The point to many Democrats and Republicans is that Nader could make a big difference in the race if he gets on the ballot in swing-voting Florida. . . . In a recent poll of Florida voters, Bush and Kerry each drew 43 percent support to Nader's 5 percent, but with Nader omitted, Kerry gained 46 percent to Bush's 44 percent. The Quinnipiac University poll had 1,208 responses and an error margin of 2.8 percentage points. . . . In Florida, a review of campaign finance records found $8,750 of Nader's $25,550 fundraising total came from donors with a history of giving almost exclusively to Republican candidates and causes, including Bush's campaign.
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posted by Lorenzo 10:28 AM

God Take Bush
What follows is satire. As you know, satire is the use of ridicule, irony, sarcasm, etc. to expose folly or vice. I point this out here because many of us who continue to exercise our right of free speech have begun to censor ourselves out of fear . . . fear of a knock on the door in the middle of the night. It is a very sad state of affairs when people in the formerly free USA have to be careful about what they say. When Bush's spokesman warned, "People had better be careful what they say," we knew where this country was headed, and it made us sad. Most thinking people, liberals and conservatives alike, are aware that this nation is no longer a democratic republic but has somehow morphed into a fascist oligarchy. (Check out the definitions of those words in a dictionary and come to your own conclusions before you brand me anti-American, as you are now branding many of my fellow Viet Nam vets who are protesting the "War President." What we hope to see one day is a Peace President. Sorry . . . I got carried away . . . What I want to tell all you good people who are employed by the government is that what follows is in no way whatsoever to be considered a threat of any kind to anyone. It's ridicule of Bush and of right-wing Fundamentalist Christians. And it is meant to be heard with a smile on your face. Sometimes We the People just want to have a little fun :-).

and now, let the satire begin ...

The following is a message from Jim Matus of Paranoise:

Dear Progressive Radio friends,

     This is my new Paranoise vs. Bush "Rant".
It's a satirical piece where I play a preacher who tells his congregation that
Bush has done such a wonderful job that it is now time for his great reward
in heaven. At the end of his sermon the entire congregation erupts into the
very catchy new hymn "I Wish That God Would Take Bush".

     Please play this as often as possible and make
copies and give them to all your friends. I want everyone in Amerika to know
this song by the time of the Republican convention so we can all sing Bush out
of office.

     Tell your listeners that they can get a free
copy by going to my web site (www.paranoise.com)
hitting "contact" and sending me their ground address.


Jim Matus

For your listening pleasure

     The link below is to an MP3 recording of track
3 of Jim Matus' new rant. If Windows Media Player is your default MP3 application,
a left click on the file name will launch and play the file. To download and
save the file to your computer, right click and select the “Save target
as ... ” menu option. [Download Windows Media Player]

I Wish That God Would Take Bush

(2.8 MB, approx. 3 mins.)

a note from Matrix Masters...

Should anyone come across any Flash presentations syncd to this
song, please send us the link or a copy so we can post it on our site. Thanks!

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posted by Lorenzo 5:55 PM

Former Fox Journalists Blow the Whistle on Fox Partisan Bias
For years, Fox News has been distorting the facts, covering for President Bush, and bashing groups like MoveOn. Now Uncovered director Robert Greenwald -- working with a group of Fox-monitoring MoveOn members -- has put together a documentary film that exposes Fox for what it is: partisan spin, not news. . . . We're using this movie to launch an organizing campaign with Common Cause and other great groups to "out" Fox News — making sure everyone in the country knows the network is stumping for the Republican agenda. . . . Be among the first to see this new movie, help others see it, and take on Fox by hosting an Outfoxed house party on Sunday evening, July 18th. Sign up at: http://action.moveon.org/outfoxed/newmeeting.html . . . Fox News star Bill O'Reilly will stop at nothing in acting as a partisan flak for Bush. When the 9/11 Commission reported finding no evidence of a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, O'Reilly lashed out at the nation's major newspapers for reporting it. In June alone, O'Reilly compared Bush critics Michael Moore and Al Franken to Nazi propagandists and journalist Bill Moyers to Mao Zedong. . . . Outfoxed features interviews with seven ex-Fox News employees who describe how, every day, highly partisan talking points are drawn up to influence newscasts. . . . In addition to Common Cause, our partners on this campaign include the Center for American Progress, Free Press, Media Matters for America, and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). . . . On Sunday, July 18th, we'll get together to see the compelling evidence of Fox's partisanship presented in the Outfoxed film. Then we'll all join an interactive coast-to-coast conference call with Al Franken and director Robert Greenwald, to plan out how we'll take on Fox and take back our media. . . . Can you host a party on Sunday evening, July 18th? Sign up now at: http://action.moveon.org/outfoxed/newmeeting.html . . . Inviting friends, family, and co-workers who have concerns about the media is a great way to get them involved. As a host, you have the option of just inviting people you know, or allowing MoveOn and Common Cause members in your area to join you. We'll provide you with a simple step-by-step guide to putting on a house party. We'll also ask some others to bring snacks and drinks, and to stay late to help clean up. . . . After you sign up to host a house party, you can get a DVD or VHS copy of Outfoxed for a $10 contribution. . . . Together, we will make a tremendous difference in this campaign. . . . Thank you, for all you do. . . . Sincerely, --Wes Boyd and Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org, June 30th, 2004
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posted by Lorenzo 4:34 PM

Democracy Voted Out, Fascism Now Reigns in Amerika
(Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, 09 July 2004)
An effort to bar the government from demanding records from libraries and booksellers in some terrorism investigations fell one vote short of passage in the House on Thursday after a late burst of lobbying prompted nine Republicans to switch their votes. . . . The vote, a 210 to 210 deadlock, amounted to a referendum on the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act and reflected deep divisions in Congress over whether the law undercuts civil liberties. Under House rules, the tie vote meant the measure was defeated. . . . The outcome led to angry recriminations from House Democrats, who accused Republicans of "vote-rigging" by holding the vote open for an extra 23 minutes to get enough colleagues to switch votes. Frustrated Democrats shouted "Shame, shame!" and "Democracy!" as the voting continued . . . The antiterrorism law expanded the government's authority to secure warrants from a secret intelligence court in Washington to obtain records from libraries and other institutions, using what many legal experts regard as a lesser standard of proof than is needed in traditional criminal investigations. . . . "People are waking up to the fact that the government can walk into their libraries, without probable cause, without any particular information that someone was associated with terrorism, and monitor their reading habits," Representative Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who sponsored the measure, said in an interview. . . . Republicans lobbied furiously to defeat the amendment. President Bush threatened late Wednesday to veto the spending bill if the provision was included . . . Democrats identified eight of the nine Republicans who switched their votes: Michael Bilirakis of Florida, Rob Bishop of Utah, Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, Jack Kingston of Georgia, Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado, Nick Smith of Michigan, Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Zach Wamp of Tennessee. One Democrat, Brad Sherman of California, also switched his vote to nay, officials said. In all, 18 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure; four Democrats opposed it. . . . Democrats accused Republicans leaders of corrupting the voting process and drew comparisons to the dustup last November over a Medicare bill, which squeaked through the House after Republican leaders held the vote open for three hours to get colleagues to switch their votes. The House ethics committee is looking into accusations that one lawmaker, Mr. Smith, was offered a bribe on the House floor for his vote. . . . Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said after Thursday's vote: "Republican leaders once again undermined democracy, this time so that the Bush administration can threaten our civil liberties. How thoroughly un-American." . . . And Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said: "The Republicans are so desperate to look into bookstore and library records that they violated the very principles of democracy to block an amendment that had already passed. This is an outrage." . . . The defeat of the library amendment was an important victory for Bush administration officials.
"We're obviously pleased," said William E. Moschella, an assistant attorney general. . . . Mr. Bush has made the Patriot Act and its importance in fighting terrorism a theme in his re-election campaign, urging Congress repeatedly to extend provisions in it that are set to expire at the end of next year. . . . Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, has hit the issue with equal vigor in arguing that parts of the law go too far in prying into the lives of ordinary Americans and risk government abuse. . . . Officials with the American Library Association, with more than 64,000 members, said they suspected based on anecdotal evidence that the government had used the antiterrorism law and related powers to demand library records more frequently than it had acknowledged.
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posted by Lorenzo 3:27 PM

(John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari, The New Republic, 07.07.04)
Late last month, President Bush lost his greatest advantage in his bid for reelection. A poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post discovered that challenger John Kerry was running even with the president on the critical question of whom voters trust to handle the war on terrorism. Largely as a result of the deteriorating occupation of Iraq, Bush lost what was, in April, a seemingly prohibitive 21-point advantage on his signature issue. But, even as the president's poll numbers were sliding, his administration was implementing a plan to insure the public's confidence in his hunt for Al Qaeda. This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism. This public pressure would be appropriate, even laudable, had it not been accompanied by an unseemly private insistence that the Pakistanis deliver these high-value targets (HVTs) before Americans go to the polls in November. The Bush administration denies it has geared the war on terrorism to the electoral calendar. [T]he New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election. Introducing target dates for Al Qaeda captures is a new twist in U.S.-Pakistani counterterrorism relations--according to a recently departed intelligence official, "no timetable[s]" were discussed in 2002 or 2003--but the November election is apparently bringing a new deadline pressure to the hunt. Another official, this one from the Pakistani Interior Ministry, which is responsible for internal security, explains, "The Musharraf government has a history of rescuing the Bush administration. They now want Musharraf to bail them out when they are facing hard times in the coming elections." ...an official who works under ISI's director informed TNR that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Military action in the tribal areas "has a domestic fallout, both religious and ethnic," Pakistani Foreign Minister complained to the Los Angeles Times last year. Some American intelligence officials agree. "Pakistan just can't risk a civil war in that area of their country. They can't afford a western border that is unstable," says a senior intelligence official, who anonymously authored the recent Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror and who says he has not heard that the current pressures on Pakistan are geared to the election. "We may be at the point where [Musharraf] has done almost as much as he can." Pushing Musharraf to go after Al Qaeda in the tribal areas may be a good idea despite the risks. But, if that is the case, it was a good idea in 2002 and 2003. Why the switch now? Top Pakistanis think they know: This year, the president's reelection is at stake.
[COMMENT] ***** Now why am I not surprised. I guess what surprises me the most is that the Bushies continue to think that these little allegiances and directives they create on the fly with various governments and despots might possibly stay out of the public eye. They will continue to deny but the more that comes out of the bag, day after day, the veneer of respectability and credence of the Bushies words deminishes. Eventually, hopefully, the majority of our public who might be listening for themselves will see the lies as they are. As for The Shrub, when you have no substance on which to stand, then you have to manipulate reality to support the lie. Perhaps they allowed (or even facilitated) 9/11 - they most surely will use whatever they can get their hands on (or create) to stay in power. But, that's just this old curmudgeon's opinion...******
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 3:00 PM

The Life of the American Republic May Be Almost Over
(Marc Cooper, LA Weekly, July 2-8, 2004)
[The following comments are those of Chalmers Johnson during a recent interview with Marc Cooper.)

I like living here. But I think we are trending like the Soviet Union was in 1985. If I had said then that the Soviets were five years away from extinction, you'd have said I had spent too much time inhaling exotic substances around Berkeley. . . . After the Soviets, who I thought were a real threat, collapsed, I expected a much greater demobilization, a pullback of American troops, a real peace dividend, a re-orienting of federal expenditures to domestic needs. Instead, our government turned at once to find a replacement enemy: China, drugs, terrorism, instability. Anything to justify this huge apparatus of the Cold War structure. . . . The role of the citizen now is to be ever better informed. When Benjamin Franklin was asked, "What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" he replied: "A republic if you can keep it." We've not been paying attention to what we need to do to keep it. I think we made a disastrous error in the classic strategic sense when in 1991 we concluded that we "had won the Cold War." No. We simply didn't lose it as badly as the Soviets did. We were both caught up in imperial overreach, in weapons industries that came to dominate our societies. We allowed ideologues to capture our Department of Defense and lead us off -- in a phrase they like -- into a New Rome. We are no longer a status quo power respectful of international law. We became a revisionist power, one fundamentally opposed to the world as it is organized, much like Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, Bolshevik Russia or Maoist China. . . . Easily the most important right in our Constitution, according to James Madison, who wrote much of the document, is the one giving the right to go to war exclusively to the elected representatives of the people, to the Congress. Never, Madison continued, should that right be given to a single man. But in October 2002, our Congress gave that power to a single man, to exercise whenever he wanted, and with nuclear weapons if he so chose. And the following March, without any international consultation or legitimacy, he exercised that power by staging a unilateral attack on Iraq. . . . The Bill of Rights -- articles 4 and 6 -- are now open to question. Do people really have the right to habeas corpus? Are they still secure in their homes from illegal seizures? The answer for the moment is no. . . . By an American empire I mean 725 military bases in 138 foreign countries circling the globe from Greenland to Asia, from Japan to Latin America. This is a sort of base world -- a secret, enclosed, separate world where our half-million troops, contractors and spies live quite comfortably around the world. I think that's an empire. Granted, the unit of European imperialism was the colony. The unit of American imperialism is the military base. . . . This base world becomes part of the vested interest we associate not with security but with militarism, the danger of the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against. . . . There’s the literal cost. We are flirting with bankruptcy. We are not paying for what is now a $750 billion tab. The defense appropriation itself is about $420 billion. That doesn't include another $125 billion, which is the cost of Afghanistan and Iraq. Then another $20 billion for nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy. Add in another $200 billion or so for military pensions and for health benefits for our veterans. Together, that's three-quarters of a trillion dollars. . . . We are putting it on the tab, running up some of the most extraordinary budget and trade deficits in history. If the bankers of Asia and Japan should tire of financing this, if they notice the euro is now stronger than the dollar, then all this ends -- whether or not they like the Boy Emperor from Crawford. We would face a terrible crisis. . . . The greater cost is what the public will lose, if they haven't already lost it: the republic, the structural defense of our liberties, the separation of powers to block the growth of a dictatorial presidency. . . . there was never a plan to leave Iraq because there is no intention of leaving Iraq. We are currently building 14 bases there. Dick Cheney can't imagine giving up that oil. And the military can't imagine giving up those bases. That's why they can't come up with a plan to leave. . . . The political system alone can no longer save the republic. Even if Congress wanted to exercise real oversight, how can it when 40 percent of the military budget is secret? All of the intelligence budget is secret. The only hopeful sign I saw was a year ago when 10 million people demonstrated in the streets for peace. We also saw the recent election in Spain as a response to what is happening. If we can see that now in the U.S., in the U.K., in Italy, then maybe we can have some hope. Otherwise we will soon be talking about the short happy life of the American republic.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:49 PM

Bush pushing for religious campaigning
(Alan Cooperman, Washington Post, July 2, 2004)
The Bush-Cheney re-election campaign has sent a detailed plan of action to religious volunteers across the country asking them to turn over church directories to the campaign, distribute issue guides in their churches and persuade their pastors to hold voter registration drives. . . . Campaign officials said the instructions are part of an accelerating effort to mobilize President Bush's base of religious supporters. They said the suggested activities are intended to help churchgoers rally support for Bush without violating tax rules that prohibit churches from engaging in partisan activity. . . . But tax experts said the campaign is walking a fine line between permissible activity by individuals and impermissible activity by congregations. Supporters of Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, charged that the Bush-Cheney campaign is luring churches into risking their tax status. "I think it is sinful of them to encourage pastors and churches to engage in partisan political activity and run the risk of losing their tax-exempt status," said Steve Rosenthal, chief executive officer of America Coming Together, a group working to defeat Bush. . . . The instruction sheet circulated by the Bush-Cheney campaign to religious volunteers lists 22 "duties" to be performed by specific dates. By July 31, for example, volunteers are to "send your church directory to your state Bush-Cheney '04 headquarters or give (it) to a BC04 field rep" and "talk to your pastor about holding a Citizenship Sunday and voter registration drive." . . . By Aug. 15, they are to "talk to your church's seniors or 20-30 something group about Bush-Cheney '04" and "recruit five more people in your church to volunteer for the Bush-Cheney campaign." By Sept. 17, they are to host at least two campaign-related potluck dinners with members, and in October they are to "finish calling all pro-Bush members of your church," "finish distributing voter guides in your church" and place notices on bulletin boards or in Sunday programs "about all Christian citizens needing to vote." . . . The IRS on June 10 sent a strongly worded letter to both the Republican and Democratic national committees, reminding them that tax-exempt charitable groups "are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office." . . . That warning came one week after The Washington Post and other news media reported on a Bush-Cheney campaign e-mail that sought to identify 1,600 "friendly congregations" in Pennsylvania where Bush supporters "might gather on a regular basis."
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 4:46 PM

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