Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Here's a photo of Dennis Kucinich and yours truly. Photo by Jane Shirek at http://www.JaneShirek.net


On Thursday December 6, 2007, Elizabeth Kucinich – wife of Democratic Presidential contender, Dennis Kucinich - was our guest on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show which airs daily at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas and is simulcast on the web. You can hear this and other brilliant interviews in the audio archives on our website at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed John Edwards, John Dean, Valerie Plame, Dahr Jamail, Elizabeth Edwards, Mike Gravel; Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig, Mikey Weinstein, Paul Krugman; Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert and Paul Waldman are regular guests. Upcoming: Obama and Hilary. If you missed any of these shows, check out the archives on our website.

This was Elizabeth’s second appearance on the show - however, her first - by herself.

Elizabeth attended the University of Kent at Canterbury in the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies and Theology and a Master's degree in International Conflict Analysis.

Her thesis for her Master's was on "Conflict Resolution in World Politics".

In 1996 she went to Agra, India to volunteer at one of Mother Teresa's homes for India's poorest children. Upon earning her bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Kent, she spent 16 months in a rural Tanzanian village and worked as an advocate for regional development.

After leaving Tanzania, she volunteered with a British Red Cross refugee unit; earned a certificate in Peace Studies from Coventry University; and got a job as a fund-raiser for a seafarer's charity in London.

Her volunteer work often brought her to the House of Lords. At that time she heard financial analyst Stephen Zarlenga speak about monetary reform. She was impressed and soon was hired to become Zarlenga's assistant at the Chicago-based American Monetary Institute. That work took her and Zarlenga to Dennis Kucinich's office. She married Dennis Kucinich, in 2005 in Congressman Kucinich's hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.


The NIE, our very best national intelligence, has finally released a top secret report that states unequivocally that Iran stopped all nuclear weapons aspirations over three years ago. But Bush, ever the optimist, wants to "keep worrying" that Iran might someday think about having the knowledge to one day think about making a nuclear weapon. What are we, the Thought Police? Bush refuses to accept the truth -- and instead opts to live in fear.

Bush lies and says he only got this NIE report last week. Despite this definitive evidence, which might have been leaked by some higher ups in the military, Bush says: "My opinion hasn't changed."

Now should we really trust a man who has been wrong on every single thing he ever said?

U.S. Report Contradicts Bush on Iran
By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3) - A new U.S. intelligence report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and it remains on hold, contradicting the Bush administration's earlier assertion that Tehran was intent on developing a bomb.


  1. Bush lied about a middle east country's WMD program,

    Say it ain't so,

    Because when a president lies like that,

    People get hurt.

  2. EXCELLENT article.......it appears an itelligence report comes out which makes Bush look like a total idiot whose been dead wrong about EVERYTHING, and like a good little Nazi propagandist he lies and tries to twist things to make it APPEAR the report somehow supports his lies and deceptions...........Bush is doing a good job channeling Goebels even without Rove telling him what to say.

  3. When a president lies like that they SHOULD be impeached and charged with treason Clif!

  4. mike: I don't think Bush is coming up with the crap he is spewing. I think it is from his handlers.

  5. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused presidential rival John Edwards of making "outlandish political charges" in portraying her vote against Iran as a pretext for war as the Democratic contenders confronted each other in a debate in Iowa just one month before the state's leadoff caucuses.

    Clinton came under criticism from her rivals, who highlighted her September vote in Tuesday's debate, which came the day after release of a new intelligence report that says Iran stopped development of a nuclear weapon four years ago.

    Edwards said Clinton gave President Bush just what he wanted when she voted to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Clinton said her vote was meant to encourage diplomacy.

    "Declaring a military group sponsored by the state of Iran a terrorist organization, that's supposed to be diplomacy?" Edwards interjected. "This has to be considered in the context that Senator Clinton has said she agrees with George Bush terminology that we're in a global war on terror, then she voted to declare a military group in Iran a terrorist organization. What possible conclusion can you reach other than we are at war?"

    Clinton objected. "You know I understand politics and I understand making outlandish political charges, but this really goes way too far," said the New York senator, who is locked in a tight three-way race with Edwards and Barack Obama in this first-voting state.

    "None of us is advocating a rush to war," said Clinton, the only Democratic candidate to vote for the resolution.

    Joe Biden, a senator from Delaware who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, responded by telling Clinton that "terminology matters."

    "It's not about not advocating a rush to war," he said. "I'm advocating no war."

    The seven candidates participating in the debate broadcast on National Public Radio stood together in criticizing Bush's assertion that "nothing's changed" despite the new intelligence report. They began their debate at the Iowa State Historical Museum by agreeing that the United States should shift its focus in dealing with Iran to diplomatic engagement.

    "President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology," said Illinois Sen. Obama. "They should have stopped the saber rattling, should have never started it. And they need, now, to aggressively move on the diplomatic front."

    Hillary was busted again for pursuing another war for Bush.

  6. Mitt Romney, who has taken a tough stance against illegal immigrants in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, has continued to employ a company that uses illegal immigrants to do lawn work at his home.

    Responding to inquiries from the Globe, which had observed the work taking place at his house and interviewed the workers, Romney tonight fired the company for failing to comply with the law.

    Why wasn't Romney arrested for aiding and abetting Illegal Aliens, as the law requires?

  7. Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin cover people, power and politics in the beltway in their "Yeas & Nays" column. Want to comment? Got a juicy tip? Send an email to dish the dirt, chew the fat and wag the tongue.

    Rudy: I'm more than 9/11!
    December 4, 1:40 PM

    Although former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani frequently gets ribbed by his opponents as nothing more than the guy who happened to be the mayor of New York City when 9/11 struck, he rejected that idea in an interview slated to air on C-SPAN tonight.

    Giuliani told C-SPAN's Steve Scully that Sept. 11 and his leadership in response to that crisis "fits" into the arc of his career, but added, "It wouldn't quite be fair to say September 11, like, made my career. I've had a very varied career and I've done a lot of things."

    Guiliani gleefully profiting on the death of thousands of Americans.

  8. The New Yorker's Sy Hersh tells CNN that for at least a year the administration has had intel saying Iran isn't working on a nuclear bomb and tried to keep it out of the NIE.

    Another Bush coverup.

  9. By Alec Baldwin:

    The entertainment business, movies, TV, music, is divided between buyers and sellers. The sellers are actors, musicians, directors writers and their agents. The buyers are the studios, the networks, the labels. Over the last fifteen years or more, the balance of power has shifted dramatically from the sellers to the buyers. Once, powerful agencies made astronomical deals on behalf of their biggest clients. The rising tide that resulted lifted all boats. Major stars were paid large fees and their supporting castmates made enviable salaries, as well. In the 1990s, that began to change. Today, the biggest stars are still paid huge salaries, but other salaries have dropped significantly. Roles are cast at a fixed price and the producers find the actor who will work at that budgeted amount.

    More changes followed. The quote system died. Actors who never read a script without an offer were being told that producers did not want performers passing on their material and, thus, effecting the industry word on the project. Reading without an offer is the way of the world for many now.

    Some of the most prominent names in film and television switched sides. The end of the sellers' market meant big name agents became producers, even executives, as the party was ending for many of their clients. Today, most agencies, one could argue, work for the buyers. Agents realize that their ten percent of their clients' income comes from the studios and networks as a cushion shot. It is banked off of their clients, but it comes from the buyers. When I started in this business, agents went to war with the buyers on behalf of their clients over casting and money. Agents still fight for their clients to get a role, but the money discussion is brief. The buyers essentially fax over the deal and the artist says yea or nay.

    The strike may go on for a variety of reasons. On one hand, the writers are cursed because they are right on most issues but they are awful negotiators. They got screwed in 1988 and expect the buyers to make up for that, like some kind of reparations. That will never happen. The time for making that situation right was 1988. The studios have a different problem. They are owned by huge, creativity-deadening corporations and operated by lawyers and marketing executives who lord over the worst creative decline I have witnessed in a long time, particularly in films. In television, companies like GE view properties like NBC the way realtors view square footage. GE does not care what is on NBC. So long as the programming is relatively inoffensive, they want to earn as much per square foot as they can. In the current strike, the writers expect the buyers to have a soul. The buyers, who cannot count a real filmmaker or television programmer among them, view a soul as an impediment to business.

    The strike should end now. The writers should go back to work. Continue negotiating, but go back to work. The report in yesterday's New York Times about NBC buying blocks of programming from "outside producers" is a view to our future. Just as MOWs were killed off the networks and original movies became the exclusive realm of the cable broadcasters, one can envision a future where more scripted programming moves to cable. Eventually, HBO and Showtime, et al, may become the place to find the bulk of scripted shows. With these people calling the shots, anything is possible.

    In the meantime, the writers, and the other sellers as well, have a different idea they can try. I recall when a popular late night talk show host skewered the head of his own network for a prolonged run, right there on his show. On and on it went and, from what I heard, that network head was apoplectic. These people have bigger egos than even the stars themselves, but without any sense of humor. I want the WGA to set up a website and on that website we can all post stories about every no-talent, idiotic, amoral producer and executive we have ever dealt with. Just like they do to us on shows like Extra and sites like TMZ (owned by Warner Brothers.) Set up a website and tell the entire world, via the internet, your own anecdote about some of the witless boobs you have endured in Hollywood and beyond. The strike will end in a week.

  10. Last night's "Colbert Report Live" packed in staffers, friends, and family, as well as a few lucky ticket holders to the small Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, site of the previously staged "30 Rock Live" and "SNL Live." UCBT co-founder Amy Poehler and her SNL "Weekend Update" co-anchor Seth Meyers stood in the back, cheering along the writers at every punchline. At the other end of the room stood "30 Rock" star Jack McBrayer. Other than these UCB regulars, there weren't any recognizable faces. The closest I got to a celebrity sighting was a fat guy wearing a beanie who looked like Artie Lange.

    Televised episodes of "The Colbert Report" only feature glimpses of the writing staff: "Bobby" the stage manager, played by Eric Drysdale, appears every now and then, and if you're quick you can spot writers like Peter Gwinn and Laura Krafft, who sometimes appear as plants in the audience or pre-taped "On the Road" segments. But while Stephen Colbert still sat center stage at Monday night's show, the attention was definitely on the writers.

    Home crowd favorite Peter Gwinn, a UCB instructor and longtime improv stalwart, opened the show, giving thanks to the staff and crew and announcing that the funds collected from the $20 ticket sales would go to the now out-of-work crew. He also thanked everyone who helped "bring things from the offices we can't get into" (these guys aren't about to cross picket lines for a few measly props!). Gwinn introduced Stephen Colbert, who barreled out from backstage with arms in the air and a huge grin on his face, reciprocating the huge amount of applause from the audience by high five-ing everyone in the front row, in typical Colbert fashion. He said a few words about the strike, admitting that he's been doing the show for his dryer machine for the past two weeks. And because he's been able to spend so much time at home with the family, one afternoon his 6-year-old daughter told him "I love the strike," to which his 9-year-old added, "Isn't it great?"

    Colbert opened up the floor for questions, in hopes that this would "humanize" him. The first question, which couldn't have been more appropriate for the venue, was about lessons Colbert learned from Del Close, the improv guru who trained John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. The next question was prefaced with "I come to this theater a lot," to which Amy Poehler perked up and put her hand to her ear. The question was about whether Stephen would return to the UCB. Stephen said that if this kind of situation (strike) happened again, he certainly would return.

    The official "Colbert Report" show within last night's show began with "Bobby" counting down to airtime. The lights went down on the stage, which was adorned with red, white, and blue stars and party streamers (no photos were permitted, as per usual, alas), and the audience cheered as the show's intro music played. Colbert did his usual intro: quick jokes summing up the main topics of the show, but with one small difference. Instead of flashy graphics with witty headlines popping up at the bottom of the screen, writers stood over Stephen's shoulder holding poster board with the headlines written on in magic marker. As soon as Stephen uttered "This is the Colbert Report!", writers filed through the stage door, running across stage with signs containing words from the show's intro. The last writer, head writer Allison Silverman, held a sign that said "Strikely." This "back to the basics" style of presenting text was the format for "The Word" segment as well, except two more writers came out to hold up identical signs for the left and right wings of the audience. The subject was the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as attorney general. Colbert examined the effect that the confirmation could have on Bush, looking at how past shake-ups (like Katrina) have changed him (Poster board: "Will show sympathy for beads"). The audience was rewarded with a bonus "Word" segment, this one about Dennis Kucinich and his U.F.O. sighting. Title: "U.F.O. No You Didn't!" The audience gave gracious approval for both "Word" features, especially after hearing from Colbert how hard they are to produce. "You have to write two jokes running parallel with each other... It sucks the fucking calcium out of your bones!"

    Commercial breaks were provided by Peter Gwinn and Peter Grosz, who improvised a Sonic commercial. The crowd went nuts seeing Grosz, an actual Sonic commercial star, poking fun at himself. During the second commercial break Stephen asked "Bobby" what he's been up to since the strike began. "Bobby" said he's been building a shelf.

    The show featured the popular "Threat Down" segment, for which Stephen provided the laser-like sound effects himself (byou! byou! byou! byou!). We were even treated to the flashy "Threat Down" graphics from the show that played on the overhead screen behind Stephen. The number two threat, eccentric billionaires, gave Stephen another excuse to play the clip of Richard Branson throwing water on him. The number one threat was, you guessed it, BEARS! The threat was centered on this article from FoxNews.com about officials in Alaska dyeing problem bears certain colors to mark them as dangerous. According to Stephen, bears already have a color coding scheme to alert people about their dangers. "If the bears are black, brown, or white, you've already got a problem." "If you want to make kids scared of bears," he added, "paint them to look like things kids hate, like peas, piano lessons, or Tucker Carlson."

    Instead of the usual guest interview segment, Colbert brought out the authors of I Am America (And So Can You!), who also happen to be the show's writers, to read the sections of the book that they are responsible for writing. Peter Gwinn read about Stephen's first memory, Eric Drysdale discussed what it takes to have foreign balls, Laura Krafft read about higher education, and Rob Dubbin read from "When Animals Attack Our Morals." The segment concluded with a comparison of Colbert's book, which held the top spot of the New York Times Bestseller list for six weeks, to the new top seller, Glenn Beck's An Inconvenient Book. Somewhere between there and the end of the show there was a Van Halen concert on the moon and a love song for Karl Rove, sung by Stephen, ending with "I love you and your big baby head." The song was penned after Rove's resignation, and was performed as a "come back to me" type song. It was a fitting ending for a show that everyone misses.

    Stephen Colbert supports the writers who are on strike.

  11. Evangelist Benny Hinn, raises his hands in prayerAmong the many conservative Christians who feel misunderstood by the general public, the six televangelists under investigation by a Senate committee are an embarrassment.

    “We’re not representing any of the parties involved, but when I see a senator charging into organizations, wielding this kind of budget ax and laying bare religious figures and expenditures, huge constitutional questions are being raised,” said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious liberty legal group founded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family and other influential evangelicals.

    ll the ministries preach a form of Word of Faith theology, known as prosperity gospel, which effectively teaches that God wants believers to be rich. The ministries have said separately that they are committed to following the tax laws, but it is not known whether they will all comply with Grassley’s request by the deadline.

    But Grassley irked some religious leaders when he quipped about the lifestyles of the preachers under investigation, saying Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey, not a Rolls Royce.

    Why not include Dobson and Robertson in this investigation?

  12. Hey larry that article by Alec Baldwin is perfect.

    Les Moonves was quoted as saying something like this a few years ago.... (paraphrase) "CBS had a rep of being a network that skewed toward older viewers with shows like "Murder She Wrote" and Diagnosis Murder. Both stars -- Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke --
    CBS wants to be the young network. We don't want to hire anyone over 30. Thirty is too old for CBS. We like 18 year olds.

    This was about the time he left his long-time wife for the younger exotic Julie Chen.

  13. By the way, the pic in this posting definitely belongs on bushorchimp.com

  14. Lydia here is a quote from Les Moonves from earlier today:

    "I think our product's as good as anyone's," Moonves said. "I am concerned that the average person who watches evening news is 61 years old. We tried to get that a bit younger. People flipped over to [ABC's] Charlie Gibson, but those are mostly 60-plus[-year-old] men. That's not a demographic we want."

    But Moonves was quickly called out on his sour-grapes answer. "I wanted to provide some consumer research I thought you might find useful," began the next questioner. "I'm 61, and I just bought a new car."

  15. Hey Libhom that photo does look appealing to the chimp population of the U.S.

  16. As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again. The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.

    Confidential Arkansas state government records, including letters from these women, obtained by the Huffington Post and revealed publicly for the first time, directly contradict the version of events now being put forward by Huckabee.

    While on the campaign trail, Huckabee has claimed that he supported the 1999 release of Wayne Dumond because, at the time, he had no good reason to believe that the man represented a further threat to the public. Thanks to Huckabee's intervention, conducted in concert with a right-wing tabloid campaign on Dumond's behalf, Dumond was let out of prison 25 years before his sentence would have ended.

    "There's nothing any of us could ever do," Huckabee said Sunday on CNN when asked to reflect on the horrific outcome caused by the prisoner's release. "None of us could've predicted what [Dumond] could've done when he got out."

    But the confidential files obtained by the Huffington Post show that Huckabee was provided letters from several women who had been sexually assaulted by Dumond and who indeed predicted that he would rape again - and perhaps murder - if released.

    In a letter that has never before been made public, one of Dumond's victims warned: "I feel that if he is released it is only a matter of time before he commits another crime and fear that he will not leave a witness to testify against him the next time." Before Dumond was granted parole at Huckabee's urging, records show that Huckabee's office received a copy of this letter from Arkansas' parole board.

    [See the full letters sent to Huckabee's office here.]

    The woman later wrote directly to Huckabee about having been raped by Dumond. In a letter obtained by the Huffington Post, she said that Dumond had raped her while holding a butcher knife to her throat, and while her then-3-year-old daughter lay in bed next to her. Also included in the files sent to Huckabee's office was a police report in which Dumond confessed to the rape. Dumond was not charged in that particular case because he later refused to sign the confession and because the woman was afraid to press charges.

    Huckabee kept these and other documents secret because they were politically damaging, according to a former aide who worked for him in Arkansas. The aide has made the records available to the Huffington Post, deeply troubled by Huckabee's repeated claims that he had no reason to believe Dumond would commit other violent crimes upon his release from prison. The aide also believes that Huckabee, for political reasons, has deliberately attempted to cover up his knowledge of Dumond's other sexual assaults.

    Another Republican moralist at work.

  17. Lydia,

    You're very beautiful!

  18. DETROIT - Dow Chemical Co. announced Tuesday it is cutting 1,000 jobs, or about 2.3 percent of its work force, as part of a plan to rid itself of underperforming businesses and boost its global efficiency.

    The Midland-based company, one of the nation’s biggest chemical makers, said it will exit the automotive sealers business within the next nine to 18 months in North America, Asia and Latin America. It will look at options in its European operations.

    Other cutbacks include idling a styrene plant in Camacari, Brazil, on Jan. 1 and closing a cellulose manufacturing facility in Aratu, Brazil, in the first quarter of next year.

    Another ressult of the Bush economy.

  19. Sen. Joe Biden on Tuesday was incredulous over President Bush’s statement that he learned only last week that a recent intelligence estimate says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. “If that’s true … he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history.” Biden said.

    So True! So True!

  20. (Reuters) - A Taliban suicide bomber slammed his car into a bus filled with Afghan soldiers in Kabul on Wednesday, killing 13 people, the second such attack in as many days around a visit by the U.S. Defense Secretary.

    Six soldiers and seven civilians were killed during the morning rush hour attack in Kabul's southern outskirts. Seventeen people, including seven army officers, were wounded, the defense ministry said in a statement.

    It was not immediately clear if the civilians were traveling in the bus or caught on the road by the blast, which also caused gas containers in a nearby shop to explode, witnesses said.

    Four of the civilian dead were children, a health ministry official said.

    Didn't Bush claim he had won this war?


    Prominent CNN Anchor and Best-Selling Author to Hit the Afternoon Airwaves

    Each Weekday Beginning March, 2008

    The Lou Dobbs Show Will Occupy Gap Between Conservative and Liberal Talk Radio

    New York, NY – December 4, 2007 – Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Lou Dobbs announced today that he will be bringing his influential and popular point of view to a coast-to-coast radio audience with a new daily Talk Show. The show, tentatively titled The Lou Dobbs Show , will be produced, distributed to affiliates and sold to advertisers by United Stations Radio Networks, Inc. (“USRN”), a privately-held radio programming company based in New York. Dobbs, who is best known as the anchor of the nightly Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, has become an ideological flashpoint himself in recent years and is certain to bring his insightful journalism along with his provocative views to this new daily program. Lou Dobbs and United Stations Chairman/CEO Nicholas J. Verbitsky made this announcement today in New York City.

    “Lou Dobbs brings a true independent voice to Talk Radio, occupying the vital middle ground between the conservative and liberal voices that dominate much of the segment today, particularly as we move toward a critical election for our country,” said Verbitsky. “At the same time, this announcement demonstrates the growing importance of the Talk Radio segment to the industry today, both on AM and increasingly on FM. We look forward to stirring up the competitive mix in Talk Radio.”

    Commenting on the announcement, Dobbs remarked, “The political climate is rapidly changing. Independents are registering at an unprecedented rate and will determine the outcome of the 2008 election. I’m excited to be adding my voice to the talk show arena and have an opportunity, along with my listeners, to help enrich our national dialogue.”

    United Stations, an independent leader in network radio programming, will collaborate with Lou Dobbs to create the daily content for this new Talk Radio series. The program is slated to begin daily broadcasts on March 3, 2008 and will be fed to affiliates live-via-satellite each weekday (Monday through Friday) from 3 – 6 pm Eastern Time. The format of the program is still in development, but both newsmaker guests and caller interaction are expected to be important components of the program along with stories brought to the forefront by Dobbs.

    A new interactive website for the show is currently under construction at www.loudobbsradio.com .

    For over twenty-five years, Lou Dobbs has been an innovator in the field of news programming and reporting. During his long tenure at CNN, Dobbs has earned a reputation as one of the most trusted voices in financial reporting. His broad range of expertise encompasses the most pressing developments in domestic and international business news, government policy, Wall Street, corporate crime and technology. Dobbs has won nearly every major award for television journalism, including the prestigious Peabody Award, a Horatio Alger Association Award, and two Emmys, including one for Lifetime Achievement. He’s currently the anchor and managing editor of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and the author of three recent best-sellers, Exporting America, War on the Middle Class and the brand new Independents Day.

    United Stations has a seven-year history working with Dobbs as the co-creators and distributors of his daily short-form features known as The Lou Dobbs Financial Report. The financial news pieces are one-minute headline capsules provided by Dobbs to affiliates three times each weekday, in the morning, the midday and at the close of the US markets.

    But it’s the expansion by Lou Dobbs into the daily long-form landscape of Talk Radio that takes center stage as of today’s announcement. Talk Radio (counting the News, News/Talk and Sports formats) is currently the format of choice on roughly 2000 commercial frequencies. That makes it a close number two (behind Country Music) as the format occupying the greatest number of commercial dial positions in the US. Most headline-driven Talk Radio leans either to the conservative side of the political spectrum or the liberal. With The Lou Dobbs Show, Dobbs plans to take the same stance he has in his recent books, and that is the role of the independent pluralist, a stance from which he examines issues and promotes points of view that are in the common good of all Americans.

    On the network side, USRN CEO Nick Verbitsky added that "United Stations is incredibly proud to be the radio partner for the new Lou Dobbs Show. Lou is a broadcaster of integrity and quality and plenty of charisma. Lou is also currently voicing exactly what most Americans are feeling, and when you combine that with his ability to entertain and engage listeners, in our medium, that’s a bulls-eye."

    United Stations Radio Networks, Inc., is the nation’s largest independently owned and operated radio network. The company currently distributes and produces dozens of format specific programs and services to over 4000 rated radio stations across the country. Formats served by USRN include Adult Contemporary, Album Rock, Contemporary Hit, Country, Oldies, Smooth Jazz, Urban, All News and News/Talk.

  22. Lydia Cornell said...
    Hey larry that article by Alec Baldwin is perfect.

    Les Moonves was quoted as saying something like this a few years ago.... (paraphrase) "CBS had a rep of being a network that skewed toward older viewers with shows like "Murder She Wrote" and Diagnosis Murder. Both stars -- Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke --
    CBS wants to be the young network. We don't want to hire anyone over 30. Thirty is too old for CBS. We like 18 year olds.

    This was about the time he left his long-time wife for the younger exotic Julie Chen."

    Like I said before the talent has to all stick together and buy content and distribution/delivery pipelines so THEY can threaten to cut out the greedy CEO's just like the Greedy CEO's are threatening to cut them out............it doesnt have to happen over night but the actors and writers should start to buy up production companies, cable and sattelite companies so they have an alternative and no longer need the greedy media conglomerates........without the creative talent they are just greedy corporate stooges who are a dime a dozen.

    Think how worried the Media moguls would be if all the talent refused to work for them because they had an alternative............it would serve to keep the other companies in line.

  23. Speaking of the media becoming TOO powerful check out this article: The Media consolidation NEEDS to end......these Conglomerates NEED to be broken up to insure diversity of opinion and Kevin Martin NEEDS to be fired as soon as the Democrats take back the White House..........we need someone who reprtesents the best interests of the people not the a corporate stooge who represtents the interests of the wealthy elites.

    There is a massive bipartisan ground swell of public opposition building against the attempt of the FCC chairman on accelerated notice to sneak through the most devastating decimation of media diversity ever. Multiple groups are mobilizing around this, including more than 10,000 submissions to the FCC and your members of Congress from our first alert on this last week.

    Stop The FCC Action Page: http://www.usalone.com/stop_media_consolidation.php

    Facebook Action Page: http://apps.facebook.com/fb_voices/action.php?qnum=pnum738

    Though deliberately been rushed through to try to evade critical analysis, it is now clear that the proposed rule changes would affect every city and hamlet in every market, not just the 20 biggest as deceptively advertised. It's nothing but a giant cave in to the media moguls who have already degraded the public discourse with systematic propaganda masquerading as news.

    But the good news is that members of both sides of the aisle in Congress are acting to stop this last minute bum rush, by bringing forward the Media Ownership Act of 2007, to tell the FCC in no uncertain terms, "Whoa horsey!" Please submit the action page above so we can turn the tide on this eminently winnable struggle, just as we did in 2003, turning back virtually the same attack by then FCC chairman Powell.

    We need to really pour it on. We need every voice we can muster to tell our members of Congress we stand behind them as one on this, and to tell the FCC that we the people unanimously oppose our media being sold out to those who have sold the public interest so short.

    We only have until December 11, to make our voices heard. Please bring the weight of your personal comments to bear at this pivotal time for the future of our public media. You can submit either of the action pages above, the second being the new Facebook alternate option.

    OpedNews Brings Their Numbers To Join The Fight

    Coming through in a major way in this mobilization is the entire contributing writer staff at OpedNews, who have submitted seven pieces on this policy crisis in the last couple days alone. The articles below contain much insightful analysis and information, for example the fact that FCC Chairman Martin has been nothing but a Bush political hatchet man since day one, including a stint as a Bush campaign attorney.

    Please read and promote these articles of truth as well, on any networks you participate in like Digg, Reddit and so on, to get the word out that it's time for the people to be heard again.

    Censored: Media Consolidation Debate
    by Steve Fournier

    Cross Ownership Proposal
    by Kenneth Briggs

    Confronting the FCC Monolith
    by Kevin Gosztola

    The Bush Push To Take Control Of Our Media and What You Can Do About It
    by Cliff Carson

    Stopping the FCC from Consolidating Media Ownership
    by Mike Kuykendall

    When Fox News Brags.....and the FCC
    by Michael Shaw

    Media for the Masses, not amassed media monopolization
    by Richard Mathis

    Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

  24. BTW.............Now THESE are great pictures!

  25. Yea those are great pictures.

    The one with Kucinich is a keeper.

  26. Mike and Bart - what pics are you talking about? You mean on the blog thread?

    I have one with Elizabeth Kucinich (who will be on our show tomorrow.

    She is amazing, she has some wonderful solutions for sustainable agriculture...

    Thanks for tuning in.

  27. Yeah the one with you and Dennis Kucinich and the one of Bush..............those are awesome!

  28. Yea, the ones on the blog thread.

    You look good in the Kucinch photo.

  29. I hope you're keeping a photo album of these. You're meeting and interviewing the who's who of the current poltical arean.

  30. We are trying to get Obama. For some reason his rep in Vegas doesn't think he needs to do press. I guess since he's got Oprah and he's done Ed Schultz show, they don't think local cities such as Las Vegas are that important.

    I think she's wrong. But we won't give up on getting an interview with Obama.

    John Edwards and his wife are good friends of our show and we'll be having them on again soon.

    Again, ELIZABETH KUCINICH tomorrow.

  31. You know, this should be good news but it is not. it will not deter the chief idiot but will only make him dig deeper to instigate this war. He got caught lying what's new. He will deny it say he is doing a great job, and continue his underhanded plan. He will not relent.
    Israel says they don't care about the NIE from another part of the world. They are convinced Iran has a nuclear weapons program. they will not relent.
    Since the NIE finding Iran now says the US must be punished for thei damaging lies. They will not relent. one of these countries will get this going. They do not want peace. that is a fact and the simple truth.

  32. Dennis Kucinich is MY candidate regardless who the Democraps put up.

  33. Finally someone tells the truth, the reichwing trolls were just foisting the neo-con crap for the white house;

    A Rare Moment of Candor

    Dan Bartlett, on the White House's use of right wing blogs:

    I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It’s a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we’ve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.

    --David Kurtz

    It's not like we didn't know already, after all far too many times reichwingers went into the white house with out kneepads, so they weren't there for the same thing Jeff Gannon was over 200 times.

    They were there just to spread reichwing neo-con crap all over this country. (any toe tapping in or near the oval office and executive office building was just incidential.)

  34. Here is one of the reasons I don't think it will be easy for Cheney and Bush to attack Iran;

    Commander's Veto Sank Threatening Gulf Buildup

    Admiral William Fallon, then President George W. Bush's nominee to head the Central Command (CENTCOM), expressed strong opposition in February to an administration plan to increase the number of carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf from two to three and vowed privately there would be no war against Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM, according to sources with access to his thinking.

    Fallon's resistance to the proposed deployment of a third aircraft carrier was followed by a shift in the Bush administration's Iran policy in February and March away from increased military threats and toward diplomatic engagement with Iran. That shift, for which no credible explanation has been offered by administration officials, suggests that Fallon's resistance to a crucial deployment was a major factor in the intra-administration struggle over policy toward Iran.

    The plan to add a third carrier strike group in the Gulf had been a key element in a broader strategy discussed at high levels to intimidate Iran by a series of military moves suggesting preparations for a military strike.

    Admiral Fallon's resistance to a further buildup of naval striking power in the Gulf apparently took the Bush administration by surprise. Fallon, then Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, had been associated with naval aviation throughout his career, and last January, Secretary of Defence Robert Gates publicly encouraged the idea that the appointment presaged greater emphasis on the military option in regard to the U.S. conflict with Iran.

    Explaining why he recommended Fallon, Gates said, "As you look at the range of options available to the United States, the use of naval and air power, potentially, it made sense to me for all those reasons for Fallon to have the job."

    Bush administration officials had just leaked to CBS News and the New York Times in December that the USS John C. Stennis and its associated warships would be sent to the Gulf in January six weeks earlier than originally planned in order to overlap with the USS Eisenhower and to "send a message to Tehran".

    But that was not the end of the signaling to Iran by naval deployment planned by administration officials. The plan was for the USS Nimitz and its associated vessels, scheduled to sail into the Gulf in early April, to overlap with the other two carrier strike groups for a period of months, so that all three would be in the Gulf simultaneously.

    Two well-informed sources say they heard about such a plan being pushed at high levels of the administration, and Newsweek's Michael Hirsh and Maziar Bahari reported Feb. 19 that the deployment of a third carrier group to the Gulf was "likely".

    That would have brought the U.S. naval presence up to the same level as during the U.S. air campaign against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, when the Lincoln, Constellation and Kitty Hawk carrier groups were all present. Two other carrier groups helped coordinate bombing sorties from the Mediterranean.

    The deployment of three carrier groups simultaneously was not part of a plan for an actual attack on Iran, but was meant to convince Iran that the Bush administration was preparing for possible war if Tehran continued its uranium enrichment programme.

    At a mid-February meeting of top civilian officials over which Secretary of Defence Gates presided, there was an extensive discussion of a strategy of intimidating Tehran's leaders, according to an account by a Pentagon official who attended the meeting given to a source outside the Pentagon. The plan involved a series of steps that would appear to Tehran to be preparations for war, in a manner similar to the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    But Fallon, who was scheduled to become the CENTCOM chief Mar. 16, responded to the proposed plan by sending a strongly-worded message to the Defence Department in mid-February opposing any further U.S. naval buildup in the Persian Gulf as unwarranted.

    "He asked why another aircraft carrier was needed in the Gulf and insisted there was no military requirement for it," says the source, who obtained the gist of Fallon's message from a Pentagon official who had read it.

    Fallon's refusal to support a further naval buildup in the Gulf reflected his firm opposition to an attack on Iran and an apparent readiness to put his career on the line to prevent it. A source who met privately with Fallon around the time of his confirmation hearing and who insists on anonymity quoted Fallon as saying that an attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch".

    Asked how he could be sure, the source says, Fallon replied, "You know what choices I have. I'm a professional." Fallon said that he was not alone, according to the source, adding, "There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box."

    Fallon's opposition to adding a third carrier strike group to the two already in the Gulf represented a major obstacle to the plan. The decision to send a second carrier task group to the Gulf had been officially requested by Fallon's predecessor at CENTCOM, Gen. John Abizaid, according to a Dec. 20 report by the Washington Post's Peter Baker. But as Baker reported, the circumstances left little doubt that Abizaid was doing so because the White House wanted it as part of a strategy of sending "pointed messages" to Iran.

    CENTCOM commander Fallon's refusal to request the deployment of a third carrier strike group meant that proceeding with that option would carry political risks. The administration chose not to go ahead with the plan. Two days before the Nimitz sailed out of San Diego for the Gulf on Apr. 1, a Navy spokesman confirmed that it would replace the Eisenhower, adding, "There is no plan to overlap them at all."

    The defeat of the plan for a third carrier task group in the Gulf appears to have weakened the position of Cheney and other hawks in the administration who had succeeded in selling Bush on the idea of a strategy of coercive threat against Iran.

    Within two weeks, the administration's stance had already begun to shift dramatically. On Jan. 12, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had dismissed direct talks with Iran in the absence of Tehran's suspension of its uranium enrichment programme as "extortion". But by the end of February, Rice had gotten authorisation for high level diplomatic contacts with Iran in the context of a regional meeting on Iraq in Baghdad.

    The explanation for the shift offered by administration officials to the New York Times was that the administration now felt that it "had leverage" on Iran. But that now appears to have been a cover for a retreat from the more aggressive strategy previously planned.

    Throughout March and April, the Bush administration avoided aggressive language and the State Department openly sought diplomatic engagement with Iran, culminating in the agreement confirmed by U.S. officials last weekend that bilateral talks will begin with Iran on Iraq.

    Despite Vice President Dick Cheney's invocation of the military option from the deck of the USS John C. Stennis in the Persian Gulf last week, the strategy of escalating a threat of war to influence Iran has been put on the shelf, at least for now.

    The commander of CENTCOM thinks Cheney and the neo-cons are as he put it;

    "the crazies"

    That is priceless.

  35. We can't trust some international wussie organization. Iran is a grave threat and we need to invade.

    It'll be a cakewalk, and throngs of grateful Iranians will shower our soldiers with ice cream and flowers.

    Who Hijacked Our Country

  36. Directly contradicting Mike Huckabee's claims, his former senior aide tells the Huffington Post that, as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee indeed told the state's parole board that he supported the release of a convicted rapist.

    The senior aide, Olan W. "Butch" Reeves, personally attended a controversial parole board meeting with Huckabee in Oct. 1996.

    "The clear impression that I came away with from the meeting was that he favored Dumond's release," Reeves said, referring to convicted rapist Wayne Dumond.

    Moralist Huckabee is another Republican liar.

  37. Vice President Cheney today predicted Iraq will be a self-governing democracy by the time he leaves office, calling the current U.S. surge strategy “a remarkable success story” that will be studied for years to come.

    Can't Cheney realize people are sick of this same old lie?

  38. The ONLY way Iraq can become a self governing democracy is if A$$HOLES like Cheney and the other neo-cons who illegally invaded and occupied Iraq are willing to bring the US forces home and allow Iraqi people to rule their own country.

  39. Chrysler LLC Chief Executive Robert Nardelli told a group of employees this week that the company is headed for a $1.6 billion (€1.09 billion) loss this year, according to a person familiar with his statements.

    Nardelli told a group of engineers and designers that revenue will be less than $63 billion (€42.8 billion) but costs will exceed $64 billion (€43.48 billion), said the person, who requested anonymity because Chrysler is a private company and no longer has to report its earnings. Nardelli, the former CEO of The Home Depot Inc., was hired in August by Chrysler's new private equity owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP.

    If his prediction is correct, it would be the company's second straight year of losses. Chrysler lost $618 million in 2006, but made $1.8 billion in 2005.

    More fallout of the Bush economy.


    At the White House news conference yesterday, The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Silva gingerly snuck up on a state-of-mind question.

    “I can’t help but read your body language this morning, Mr. President,” he said. “You seem somehow dispirited, somewhat dispirited.”

    W. did look like a kid who’d just had his toys taken away. But he acted humorously exasperated, as he always does when the talk turns introspective.

    “This is like, all of a sudden, it’s like Psychology 101, you know?” he said, as reporters laughed.

    The reporters pressed on about whether the president was troubled about a possible “credibility gap” with the American people, given that the facts had failed him on Iraq and Iran and that Harry Reid had charged that “the president is not leveling with the American people” on war spending.

    Even though Norman Podhoretz is conjuring up a “Seven Days in December” spy thriller scenario in which the intelligence agencies colluded to sabotage the president and prevent him from the noble mission of air strikes on Iran, W. insisted he felt “pretty good about life.”

    He said that the breathtaking and embarrassing reversal in the National Intelligence Estimate about Iran’s nuclear capability — from “high confidence” in 2005 that the mullahs were developing a nuke to “high confidence” that they stopped the program in 2003 — somehow made it clear that he was right.

    If W. can shape the intelligence to match his faith-based beliefs, as with Iraq, then he will believe the intelligence — no matter how incredible it is.

    If he can’t shape it to match his beliefs, as with Iran, then he will disregard the intelligence — no matter how credible it is.

    Even though Sy Hersh claims that the top echelon of the White House has long known of the conclusion that Iran had stopped its nuke program, and that Dick Cheney “has kept his foot on the neck of that report,” the president says he was briefed on it only last week. Others conspiratorially speculate that the president had to have green-lighted the report to take the air out of the hawks’ Iran push.

    Just because the facts on which he based his white-hot rhetoric about Iran possibly sparking World War III have been debunked, W. said with his usual twisted logic, why should his policy change?

    Indeed, John Bolton, who must have been paying attention in his Psych 101 class, argued to Wolf Blitzer that the intelligence analysts “got Iraq wrong and they’re overcompensating by understating the potential threat from Iran.”

    George Tenet helped hawks like Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bolton overstate the case on Iraq W.M.D. Then, when things went wrong, W., Cheney and Condi made Mr. Tenet the fall guy.

    After getting Iraq wrong and Iran wrong in 2005 and almost every other big thing wrong since the nation began spending billions every year on intelligence, the burned spooks may not have wanted to play the patsy again while W., Cheney and the neocons beat the drums for an Iran invasion.

    Now the apple-polishing George Tenet is gone. The man who oversaw the new estimate is Tom Fingar, a former State Department intelligence officer who was smart and brave enough to object to the cooked-up intelligence on Iraqi W.M.D.

    “The way they used to do business was to write estimates in a way that couched things so they said, ‘We may not always be right, but we’re never wrong,’ ” said Tim Weiner, the reporter for The Times who wrote the award-winning history of the C.I.A., “Legacy of Ashes.” “This is a slam-dunk reversal, admitting error. Now, when they play poker, they show their hands to each other, so they don’t get another Curveball.”

    The president, who has shut out reality for seven years, justified continuing in his world of ideological illusion by saying that he would not be “blinded” to the realities of the world. You can’t get more Orwellian than that.

    “And so,” W. concluded triumphantly, and nonsensically, “kind of Psychology 101 ain’t working.”

    W. loves to act as though psychology is voodoo even though his whole misbegotten foreign policy has been conducted from his gut, by checking the body language of his inner circle and looking into the hearts and souls of dictatorial leaders.

    If I were looking at the latest fiasco from a Psych 101 point of view, I’d say it was another daddy issue for W.

    Poppy Bush, who was once C.I.A. director, loved the agency and liked to sign notes: “Head Spook.” The C.I.A. headquarters bear his name.

    W., by contrast, has voiced contempt for the intelligence community. In 2004, he dismissed a pessimistic National Intelligence Estimate that didn’t match his sunny vision of the Iraq occupation, saying that the analysts were “just guessing as to what the conditions might be like.”

    When W.’s history is written, he will be seen as the rebellious teenager crashing the family station wagon into his father’s three most cherished spots — diplomacy, intelligence and the Gulf.

  41. Christopher, thank you. YOU are very handsome!!

  42. A series of bombings in several major cities rocked Iraq today. Overall, at least 31 Iraqis were killed and 70 were wounded in the latest attacks. Most of the victims were civilians. Also, three U.S. soldiers were killed in separate incidents.

    Are you happy tonight Bush?

  43. Joe Scarborough Rips Bush On Iran NIE: He’s Either ‘Lying’ Or ‘Is Stupid’
    Yesterday in his press conference, President Bush asserted that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told him “we have new information” on Iran’s nuclear program, but “he did not tell me what the information was.”

    This morning, the cast of Morning Joe chided Bush’s claim. Co-host Willie Geist said, “It’s just not a credible answer, I’m afraid.” Host Joe Scarborough ripped into Bush, saying that president is either “lying to the American people” or is simply “stupid”:

    We are left with only two options here. Either the President of the United States is lying to the American people about what happened during that meeting, or the President of the United States is stupid.

    The little neocon will be defending Bush tomorrow.

  44. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has scheduled a committee vote Thursday on contempt resolutions against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential political guru Karl Rove for failing to respond to subpoenas.

    Under Judiciary Committee rules, the vote could be postponed for a week, but Leahy said he intends to move the criminal contempt resolutions as soon as possible. Last week, he rejected the White House's executive privilege claim in preventing Rove and Bolten from appearing before his panel, calling it "overbroad, unsubstantiated, and not legally valid," setting the stage for Thursday's showdown.

    Rove and Bolten were subpoenaed earlier in the year by the Senate panel as part of the investigation into the sacking of nine U.S. attorneys. President Bush, citing executive privilege, refused to make the two senior aides available for questioning by the committee.

    Leahy predicted that the contempt resolutions could reach the Senate floor sometime early next year.

    Believe it when you see it.

  45. According to internal State Department cables obtained by TPMmuckraker, the State Department has slated two Diplomatic Security officials who oversee private-security contractors guarding U.S. diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan for salary bonuses. The optional bonuses, called Senior Foreign Service Performance Pay Awards, come months after administrative investigations have raised questions about the propriety of State's relationship with security contractors like Blackwater.

    In late October, Richard Griffin, head of the department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, resigned after an internal State Department review of contractor relationships implicitly rebuked the office for insufficient oversight. That lack of oversight contributed to the September shooting deaths of over a dozen Iraqi civilians by Blackwater security guards at Nisour Square, and has inflamed Iraqis, who view State Department guards Blackwater, Triple Canopy and DynCorp as having a license to kill without legal consequence. Yet shortly after Griffin's resignation, ABC News reported that two key deputies who worked closely with the security contractors, Kevin Barry and Justine Sincavage, received quiet promotions. One outraged State official told ABC, "What does it say when State promotes the two people into DS' most senior positions, when if they had properly managed the programs under the responsibility, we wouldn't be in this mess?"

    That question could also be asked of their recent pay bonuses.

    On November 20, an internal cable, listed as State 158575, went out to State employees announcing the recipients of bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 for "outstanding performance." Among them: Kevin Barry and Justine Sincavage. You can read the cable here. Barry's name is listed on page 2, and Sincavage's is on page 5. Both Barry and Sincavage already earn approximately $150,000 annually. Their bonuses are scheduled to take effect on December 20, in time for the holidays.

    According to the cable, a merit board issued recommendations this summer to award the bonuses, but approval from higher up in the State Department came relatively recently. It's unclear who approved awarding Barry and Sincavage their bonuses, or even how big they are. A State Department spokeswoman, Nancy Beck, told TPMmuckraker that she was "not going to be able to help" or "comment in any way" on "internal communications." The cables are stamped "unclassified."

    This is pathetic: Bush secretly giving financial bonuses to the murdering Blackwater thugs.

  46. With cracks and holes in the Greenland ice sheet, we may well have to 'geo-engineer' the climate

    Next week, policy makers, scientists and activists from around the world will gather in Bali, Indonesia, to try to produce a climate-change agreement that will take us beyond the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Accord. This meeting will take place in an atmosphere of sharply heightened unease among leading climate scientists.

    A few years ago, these scientists regarded global warming as a matter of serious concern; now many appear to think that it's a matter of grave urgency — that we may be running out of time. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports are increasingly viewed as out of date.

    Because the IPCC reports incorporate only scientific findings published up to about mid-2005, they don't reflect almost two years of extraordinarily important results from multiple streams of research. Immediately after the Working Group 1 report was released (last February), many scientists said it significantly underestimated sea-level rise this century.

    Since then, we've seen sharply higher global carbon dioxide emissions than the IPCC expected (2006 emissions were almost half a billion tonnes above the worst-case IPCC prediction), while the absorptive capacity of ocean and land-based carbon sinks appears to be decreasing more rapidly than predicted.

    Two issues particularly exercise climate scientists: positive feedbacks and ice-sheet dynamics.

    Water is not white, like ice

    A positive feedback is a causal cycle — essentially a vicious circle — in which warming causes a series of changes that reinforces warming. One feedback of special importance to Canada is the ice-albedo feedback in the Arctic. The sea ice floating on the Arctic Ocean is white, so it reflects a large proportion of the sun's radiation back into space. As this ice melts from global warming, it leaves behind open water that absorbs about 80 per cent more of the sun's radiation. This ocean water becomes warmer. Then, after the summer passes and fall comes, the water releases its heat back into the atmosphere, which impedes refreezing. So winter generates thinner ice, which melts more easily the next summer.

    This feedback is one of the reasons why the planet is warming, and will continue to do so, much more rapidly in its northern reaches. The IPCC predicts about 3 C average warming by 2100, and in the neighbourhood of 6 C to 7 C across much of Canada. Some people say we will benefit. Well, we may have lower heating bills in the winter for a few years, but because we're a northern country, warming here will be about twice as fast and the ultimate magnitude will be twice as great as the planet's average.

    The consequences will be immense for our flora and fauna, for our forests that can't adapt and die en masse, for our grain-growing regions that could turn to desert, for the Great Lakes as their levels fall, for transportation in the St. Lawrence Seaway and for northern permafrost that melts.

    This summer, melting of Arctic sea ice sharply diverged from the trend of the past decade — which suggests feedbacks in the north are gaining enormous force. By mid-September, we'd lost about a third of the Arctic ice cap compared to the 1979-2000 average and about 50 per cent compared to the 1950s. Scientists now expect a completely ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer by the end of the next decade, perhaps as early as 2013.

    The ice-albedo feedback is an example of one of two main kinds of positive feedback: the kind that operates more or less directly on energy flows and temperature. Feedbacks of this kind are reasonably well built into current climate models. But there's another kind that operates on the carbon cycle.

    In these cases, warming produces a change in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon cycle feedbacks are not so well understood, but it's becoming increasingly clear that they could literally be deal-breakers for humanity. We may be quite close to creating circumstances in which the biosphere releases huge quantities of carbon into the atmosphere.

    At that point, warming could become its own cause; it would no longer really matter what we do to mitigate our emissions of carbon dioxide. The global ecosystem would take over.

    One worrying carbon feedback involves the permafrost in Siberia, Alaska and northern Canada. As the permafrost melts, it emits large quantities of methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas that, in turn, causes more warming.

    And then there's the matter of pine bark beetles. As the climate warms, they reproduce through two generations during the summer, and their mortality is lower during the winter. Both these changes mean that beetle populations become much larger overall. We've already lost swaths of pine forest in British Columbia and Alaska to bark-beetle infestation. If they cross the Rockies into the boreal forest that stretches from Alberta to Newfoundland, and kill much of it, the forest will be susceptible to fire that could release astounding quantities of carbon dioxide. When I asked Stephen Schneider, a leading climate scientist at Stanford, about the implications, he just shrugged and said, "Well, we're talking about billions of tonnes of carbon."

    Our climate has many positive and negative feedbacks. The positive ones are self-reinforcing, while the negative ones counteract the warming tendency. The big question for climate scientists then is: What is the balance is between the positive and negative feedbacks? A consensus appears to have emerged over the past two years — not yet reflected in the recent IPCC reports — that the positive feedbacks are much stronger and more numerous than the negative ones.

    Melting that outpaces warming

    The second issue that particularly concerns climate scientists is ice-sheet dynamics. The Greenland ice sheet is the second largest mass of ice in the world, after Antarctica's. If we melt Greenland entirely, the sea level rises by seven metres. The recent IPCC estimate of sea-level rise by 2100 was only 20 to 60 centimetres, because the report assumed Greenland's melting would take many centuries.

    In the past two years, though, two studies using very different methods have suggested that the ice sheet is now melting much faster than expected — at a rate of 200 to 250 cubic kilometres a year. According to the most recent study, which used satellite measurements of Earth's gravity to estimate changes in Greenland's mass of ice, that rate has doubled in the past 10 years.

    Climate scientists now recognize that the ice-sheet melting models in the IPCC reports were radically inadequate. These models were "static"; they assumed that atmospheric warming melts the ice, and the resulting water then runs off the surface of the ice sheet into the ocean.

    Scientists now know that these ice sheets have cracks in them. In the summer, melt water runs down the cracks, and as these expand into wide gaps, millions more tonnes flow downward. This water takes heat to the bottom of the ice sheets and also lubricates the movement of glaciers into the ocean.

    Commenting on the Ilulissat glacier in northwest Greenland just a few weeks ago, Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said, "We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at two metres an hour on a front five kilometres long and 1,500 metres deep." He had flown over the glacier and seen "gigantic holes in it through which swirling masses of melt water were falling. I first looked at this glacier in the 1960s and there were no holes. These so-called moulins, 10 to 15 metres across, have opened up all over the place. There are hundreds of them."

    The consensus now emerging is that oceans will rise by a metre this century and perhaps even two. A two-metre rise would have enormous effects on coastal areas of Canada — on places where people live in Victoria and Vancouver (especially on Delta and Richmond in the Lower Mainland) and on the ports of Vancouver, St John's and Halifax. With such a rise, concerns about rebuilding infrastructure and moving people inland will — in a few decades — become real, even urgent.

    In light of these two trends, climate scientists are now beginning to discuss a topic that only two years ago many fervently hoped they'd never have to discuss: geoengineering, or the intentional human modification of the planet's climate to arrest or slow global warming. Geoengineering would involve, for example, putting sulphate aerosols into the atmosphere or putting mirrors into space to try to block a fraction of incoming solar radiation.

    An idea no longer at the margins

    Today the topic is at the margins of the public-policy dialogue about climate change, but I expect it will be at the centre of public discussion within five years. In 10 years, we will see demands from some segments of the public and many opinion leaders that we carry out geoengineering. And we'll probably start doing it within 20 years, likely when it becomes apparent that the Greenland ice sheet is starting to collapse.

    We will do it, because by then we'll be experiencing major socio-economic impacts of climate change — for instance, shortfalls in global food supply, as droughts and heat waves affect grain-growing regions. At that point, we will wonder about what kind of world we've created for our children and grandchildren. We'll recognize that we're facing an emergency unlike anything humankind has ever faced before, and we will demand that our leaders and experts do something, anything, to stop the slide.

    Where is everybody's favorite "widdle trucker" to tell all us there is nothing top worry about?

    Probably wondering why the NIE isn't what georgie and dead eye said it said.

    Or wondering why the reichwing has collapsed like the ice sheet did in the arctic this summer, and neither looks to be in good shape come next fall.

    Poor poor widdle trucker and the rest of the reichwing, wrong on so much for so long, they don't know where to begin the spin,

    It has gotten so bad that even some of Rove's co-conspirators are callin' him on his bullsh*t now a days ...........

  47. It was more or less an open secret that Chimpy was sitting on the NIE for quite awhile. Nobody knew exactly why.

    Now we know.

  48. Bush will still attack Iran. The weapons inspectors said there wwre no weapons in Iraq, but the monkey attacked anyway.

    Bush isn't detoured by the truth.

  49. KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 5 — A suicide bomber smashed his car into a bus carrying Afghan Army personnel here in the capital early Wednesday, killing 13 people.

    I thought Bush won this war.

  50. Strike Update:

    To Our Fellow Members:

    Yesterday, the WGAW and WGAE presented to the AMPTP a response to its proposal on streaming television programs.

    We accepted the framework in their proposal of last Thursday for a fixed residual in the first year.

    But rather than basing the residual for the entire first year on a small percentage of the applicable minimum, we proposed that the fixed residual be paid on a higher percentage of applicable minimum for each 100,000 streams per quarter.

    This is a readily ascertainable number. In fact, the companies are already keeping records of streams for their advertisers. Both the advertisers and the companies are already using these numbers as the basis for their business model.

    We believe these formulas will protect the writer even if all television reuse migrates to new media. This is our real goal – we simply want to make sure that writers keep up if reuse moves to the Internet. If new media reuse turns out to be additive, both partners will benefit.

    After the first year, following the companies’ proposal, reuse is paid on a percentage formula. We held to our proposal that the appropriate rate for that payment is 2.5% of distributor’s gross and the same rate should also apply to streaming of theatrical motion pictures.

    Finally, we modified our position to move closer to the companies on determining fair market value and ensuring our ability to obtain documents to enforce these revenue-based residual formulas.

    Our fixed residual proposal is based on thorough analysis. To reach our formula, we looked at the value to writers under existing fixed television residuals and blended those residuals to the scale of new media. Our proposal protects the interests of both parties.

    We look forward to the AMPTP’s response as we continue to pursue a discussion of all the issues important to writers.

  51. On our radio show this morning, the idea was put forth that the NIE report was deliberately leaked at this time to calm everyone's fears for the Christmas season so people would go out and shop in a good mood. It was to give people hope that there will be no war with Iran.

    Then in january they will ratchet up the "Iranian threat" to put us in fear again.

  52. I believe this senario of fooling shoppers so they will spend money.

    Either Bush will attack Iran, or he will have Israel to attack then "defend" them with his own attack.

  53. Lydia, this NIE is a BIG NAIL in the neo-con coffin,

    dead eye fought it for almost a year, and it came out basically unchanged, which means he can no longer force what the evidence is used to push policy.

    The official determination of the US intelligence community is saying Dick Cheney, George Bush, and the neo-con community if full of horse hockey.

  54. Yea I agree with Clif.

    This ones basically sunk the boat on attacking Iran. Bush is exposed, and it will probably reopen the debate on the lead up to the Iraq war.

    Of course, Bush is beating the war drum louder now that its out.

    He's scared.

  55. I KNEW this one was huge the minute i saw this............our OWN intelligence just CONFIRMED Bush and Cheney are warmongering liars and it is obvious to all they are trying to pull the same BS they did to manipulate us into war with Iraq.

    Bush was trying to twist what was said to support his lies and dishonest agenda but only a fool would believe the Neo Cons or give them ANY credibility at this point.......sure bush is still obsessed with attacking iran, but at this point i think bush was engaged in damage control morethan beating the war drum.

    Even BEFORE this NIE came out i have been starting to think war with Iran is much less likely, and that is based on both observations as well as instincts and gut feelings...........if you had asked me this past Summer or Spring i would have said i was at least 80% sure that Bush would attack Iran, now i would there is only a 35% chance that could happen.

    The will of the public, the Military Commmanders and the truth coming out has neutered the Neo Con liars...........i think our country is slowly being taken back much to the chagrin of the Reich wing idiots and Neo Con warmongerers

  56. Bush will still attack Iran. The weapons inspectors said there wwre no weapons in Iraq, but the monkey attacked anyway.

    Bush isn't detoured by the truth.

    As I understand it, the brass (as in, CENTCOM) may well refuse the moronic monkey's orders should he order an attack. They'd be taking a totally Constitutional position if they did.

  57. Lydia,

    An alternative theory is that the intelligence community sought to give the moronic monkey a public middle finger. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  58. Homeless in Paradise

    In the United States of America, the greatest country in the world, as many as three and a half million people experience homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire US population or 10% of its poor) and of that, 1.37 million (or 39%) are children under the age of 18.

    The total number of billionaires in the world is 793 with 371 of them being in the United States of America, that's about 322 more than there were 20 years ago.

    If it can be said that people with money and power run the world, then 1% of America's wealthiest and most powerful run America behind a façade of democracy. The façade is coming apart and the true nature of this government is plain to see.

    After four years of a useless war, costing Americans their lives and treasury, and enriching the multitude of corporate entities slurping up billions at the Iraqi trough, we have allowed the new robber barons, Bush and his crony capitalist friends to continue conning us out of house and home, our country. Our constitution is in shreds and our economy is about to crash. Don't let any of the Wall Street freaks try to fool you. They're as scared as we are.

    What happens when an economic system reaches the end of its days; when purchasing power dries up and workers can no longer buy the products they produce?

    When Capitalism still had some vigor, Henry Ford said he would price his cars so that his workers could afford to buy them.

    Do you find that kind of insight in Corporate America today? Not on your life! First, they break the unions and then they outsource their high-paying manufacturing jobs. It's a race to the bottom. Go to wherever the lowest wages can be found. All we get to hear is that giant sucking sound that Ross Perot talked about when he was running for president American good paying jobs and manufacturing plants leaving the country. Let's call it "globalization". Some economists, like Milton Friedman, seem to think it's a good thing.

    I hate to sound like an old-time Trotskyite, but I'm beginning to believe now that our political and economic system will have to get worse, before it can get better. We're going to have to take some "shock and awe" in this country to knock some of the lethargy out of our citizens, brainwashed by the corporate media. And it's not just the media. The almost deliberate act of dumbing down the populous has been built into the fabric of society"from public education to academia to computer games to radio and television talk shows. To keep the sheep compliant, I presume.

    When was the last time you heard the labor theories of value or the theory of surplus value discussed anywhere in the public media? They'd rather give us Brittany Spears and O.J. Simpson.

    You wouldn't know, from what you learned in school or read in the papers, that Franklin D Roosevelt, when he became president in the depth of the depression in 1933, saved capitalism by providing a "safety net" for the millions of destitute Americans. He did it with the NRA, WPA. TWA, CCC, AAA, Social Security and other "socialist-like" programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

    So where have all the alphabets gone"along with the flowers of the "new left" of the 1960s? We thought they'd re-descend in the 1990s, but they haven't shown up yet.

    So I think it's a matter of taking matters into our own hands. We have a line-up of presidential candidates, Republicans and Democrats, most of them in the pockets of corporate interests, who will take us back to the same old stand, except, perhaps for Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich. But they have already been ruled out of the running because they have something helpful to say to the American people. Not allowed.

    Now, Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, has just announced that he will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran. Isn't that courageous! Doesn't Joe have enough evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors right now and hasn't he had them for the last three or four years; enough to move those proceedings from the Senate which he can't because impeachment must originate in the House of Representatives? Joe must know that. But he needs something to grandstand on while running for president. This is typical of the kind of tactics candidates like to use in futzing with the minds of the voters.

    It appears that our system is heading into the perfect storm. With the sub-prime mortgage disaster, a dismal forecast in consumer spending, the maxing out of credit cards and the Fed fighting the credit crunch, can a recession be far behind? We might be lucky if it's only a recession. We could get the kind of economic collapse that would make the last depression look like a tea party. With friends like China, who needs enemies? We've fought this Iraqi war (which we're still fighting) on the cuff"about two trillion dollars worth. China, a prime creditor, could call in some of this debt if they wanted to be mean.

    Bush would like to get our minds off Iraq by attacking Iran. That way, he could get one more war under his belt. Go get him, Joe Biden!

    Meanwhile, we wander around aimlessly, homeless in paradise, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  59. Demand for tickets to see Oprah Winfrey appear with White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in South Carolina on Sunday is so high that the campaign moved the event to an 80,250-seat football stadium.

    The Obama team and is doing away with tickets because of the strong demand and switching the event to the Williams-Brice Stadium, the home to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. This was the biggest venue the campaign could find in Columbia.

    Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said, “We don’t expect to fill the stadium, but we want to accommodate the thousands of South Carolinians who expressed interest in attending.”

    Winfrey, with Barack and Michelle Obama start a two-day campaign swing in Iowa on Saturday with events in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. After the South Carolina rally, Winfrey et al head to Manchester, New Hampshire. The Des Moines and Manchester halls have capacities to seat thousands.

    From the campaign..
    Sustained and overwhelming demand prompts move to larger venue

    COLUMBIA, SC – Due to sustained and overwhelming demand, the Obama for America campaign today announced a new location for Sunday’s rally with Sen. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and special guest Oprah Winfrey: Williams-Brice Stadium at the University of South Carolina. The original site selected, the Colonial Center, does not have the capacity to accommodate the tens of thousands of South Carolinians who signed up to attend the event on the first few days seats became available, and the location is being changed to accommodate all who wish to attend.

    The event is free and open to the public, and tickets are no longer necessary for admittance, but people are encouraged to RSVP online at sc.barackobama.com/oprah_sc.

    “This event has injected an incredible enthusiasm in our grassroots base and excited many other voters who haven’t been closely following the primary race,” said Obama for America South Carolina Steering Committee member Inez Tenenbaum. “When we saw folks had lined up in the early morning hours outside of our Columbia office when seats became available, and thousands signed up within hours, we recognized that the Colonial Center was going to fill quickly. The move to Williams-Brice Stadium will allow us to accommodate all of the South Carolinians interested in attending and learning more about why Barack Obama is the candidate who will bring change we can believe in.”

    New Location:
    Williams-Brice Stadium at the University of South Carolina, Corner of George Rogers Boulevard and Bluff Road, Columbia SC

  60. Since its creation five years ago, Americans have been inundated with stories of waste, fraud and abuse at the Department of Homeland Security (”DHS”). Mismanagement, grossly excessive spending, criminal conduct and shady no-bid contracts within DHS have become regular features on the evening news and the front page of newspapers. As a result, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (”CREW”) has prepared a report documenting some of the most serious problems facing the country’s newest cabinet-level department.

    Given the enormous size of DHS and the nearly innumerable issues facing the agency, CREW could not catalogue all of the problems. Instead, CREW has highlighted some of the agency’s most serious failings to see that those responsible will be held accountable and to spark a public debate about how DHS can and must be improved in the next administration.

    Whether it is the chronic staffing vacancies, the worst employee morale in the federal government, the inoperability of information technology, our exposure to cyber-terrorism or FEMA’s fake press conferences, DHS’s failures are reported on a daily basis. In addition to the spectacular and well documented failures of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during and following Hurricane Katrina, there have been seemingly unending smaller outrages: that DHS purchased iPods for “data storage,” dog booties for hurricane recovery and designer rain jackets for munitions training, only to learn the iPods were lost, the booties unused and the firing range closed during rain.

    There are more frightening facts as well. We take our shoes off at the airport, but baggage screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed 75% of the fake bombs smuggled through by government auditors and we stock up on duct tape, plastic sheeting, water and batteries, but DHS has no integrated plan for catastrophic disasters.

    Then there is the utter waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Billions have been spent on projects to secure our borders and to inspect port cargo, but the projects have been delayed and the contractors have overcharged, all under the less than watchful of eye of DHS political appointees.

    DHS has come to epitomize the unworkable, incompetent government bureaucracy. The stories about the agency would be comical if only our national security were not at stake.

    Homeland Security: More wasted money.

  61. The unclassified version of a new National Intelligence Estimate, or NIE, released on Monday, said that Iran was "less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005".

    In May 2005, the intelligence community had said "with high confidence" that Iran was "determined" to build nuclear weapons.

    The new NIE confirms that Iran did, indeed, have an illicit nuclear weapons programme.

    But it says that programme ceased operating in 2003 and, as of mid-2007, had probably not started up again. The NIE asserts that the weapons programme was dropped because of international pressure.

    It says that US intelligence estimates - with "moderate-to-high confidence" - that Iran currently does not currently have a nuclear weapon.

    The document estimates that the very earliest Iran could produce enough highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon would be late 2009, but some time between 2010 and 2015 is more likely.

    In an interesting note of dissent, the state department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research does not think enough HEU for a weapon could be produced until 2013.

    Intelligence gaps

    In all, the new NIE argues that Iran's intentions may be less threatening than US intelligence previously thought.

    And it strongly suggests large gaps in the Americans' knowledge of exactly what the Iranian programme is capable of.

    But the document emphasises that Iran continues to build a capacity which could be turned to nuclear weapons production in the future.

    "Iranian entities are continuing to build a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so," it reads.

    Iran continues to insist that its programme is for civilian purposes.

    The Bush administration welcomed the NIE, even though it might be seen to contradict the administration's warnings about the gravity of the Iranian threat.

    The National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, said the report showed that the risk of Iran's acquiring a nuclear weapon remained a "very serious problem".

    Mr Hadley said that the NIE showed that the US had the "right strategy" in pressuring Iran to suspend its entire nuclear programme, while offering to negotiate.

    His statements suggest that the new NIE will not engender any profound shift in policy on the part of the Bush administration, and that Washington will continue to push for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran.

    Complicating factor

    But Washington analysts were predicting that the intelligence community's new position would complicate the effort to bring about a new UN Security Council Resolution imposing sanctions.

    Such a resolution was still within reach, they said, simply because Iran has not complied with demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

    But, they said, the US will be hard put to maintain a sense of urgency following the release of the new NIE.

    However, the new NIE will make it harder for proponents of military action against Iran to argue their case.

    One source, who has close links to US intelligence, said that members of Vice President Dick Cheney's staff continued to call for military strikes against Iran "on a daily basis".

    Senior military officers and intelligence officials are understood to have grave reservations about an attack on Iran - not least because it would be unclear how a military confrontation with Iran could be brought to a conclusion.

    Cheney doesn't want to hear this.

  62. Homeland security;

    proof republicans should never be put in charge of the government;

    they claim it can't ever work and is wasteful;

    and when elected work their damnedest to prove it.

  63. Richard Roberts told students at Oral Roberts University that he did not want to resign as president of the scandal-plagued evangelical school, but that he did so because God insisted.

    God told him on Thanksgiving that he should resign the next day, Roberts told students in the university's chapel on Wednesday.

    "Every ounce of my flesh said 'no'" to the idea, Roberts said, but he prayed over the decision with his wife and his father, Oral Roberts, and decided to step down.

    Roberts said he wanted to "strike out" against the people who were persecuting him, and considered countersuing, but "the Lord said, 'don't do that,'" he said.

    After submitting his resignation, he said, for "first time in 60 days peace came into my heart."

    Roberts spoke for only a few minutes and was applauded and cheered by students. He wiped away tears with a white handkerchief and his hands.

    "This has nearly destroyed my family, and it's nearly destroyed ORU," Roberts said.

    A lawsuit accuses Roberts of lavish spending at a time when the university faced more than $50 million in debt, including taking shopping sprees, buying a stable of horses and paying for a daughter to travel to the Bahamas aboard the university jet.

    Roberts has previously said that God told him to deny the allegations. The week the lawsuit was filed, Richard Roberts said that God told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion."

    On Wednesday, Roberts said God told him he would "do something supernatural for the university" if he stepped down from the job he held at the 5,700-student school since 1993.

    On Tuesday, the founder of a Christian office and education supply store chain pledged $70 million to help the university, provided it passed a 90-day review of the school's finances. Oklahoma City businessman Mart Green, founder of the Mardel chain, offered to donate $8 million immediately.

    Roberts said he would return to the full-time evangelistic healing ministry, "which is where my heart has always been," and told students and faculty that he will be praying for them every day of his life.

    "I believe with all my heart the best is yet to come for ORU," he said.

    Roberts walked out of the chapel through a side door to more cheers. Regents Chairman George Pearsons followed, telling students the ORU administration is "endeavoring to do the right thing" during a very difficult time.

    "This is a good university," Pearsons said. "ORU is a place where love is king."

    Gary Richardson, the attorney who filed the lawsuit accusing Roberts of lavish living, said Wednesday there was a possibility for settlement with the university, but held out little hope for settling with Richard Roberts after what he said was his failure to admit in chapel he did anything wrong.

    "You can't imagine the people who say to us, 'Don't let it be swept under the carpet,'" Richardson said.

    Richardson also said his firm filed a request with Roberts' attorneys for a copy of a report detailing an outside audit of the university's finances. Tuesday, Pearsons refused to provide details of the audit, citing the pending litigation.

    "We'll get it, as long as there's a lawsuit involved," Richardson said.

    Roberts remains the CEO of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and remains a "spiritual regent" who cannot vote on university matters.

    On Tuesday, Pearsons announced a plan to separate the finances and leadership of the university from the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, a move welcomed by many students and faculty members.

    The university has been under the ministry since its inception in 1963, an arrangement that critics say led to co-mingling of funds and a blurring of leadership roles.

  64. Reuters) - Housing markets from Punta Gorda, Florida, to Stockton, California, will crash and suffer price drops of more than 30 percent before the housing crisis is over, a report from Moody's Economy.com said on Thursday.

    On a national level, the housing market recession will continue through early 2009, said the report, co-authored by Mark Zandi, chief economist, and Celia Chen, director of housing economics.

    The report paints a worsening picture of the hard-hit housing sector, which is in the midst of its worst downturn since World War II.

    While activity will stabilize in 2009, it will not be until 2010 before a measurable improvement in sales, construction and pricing will emerge, the report said.

    House prices are forecast to fall 13 percent from their peak through early 2009. After accounting for incentives home sellers are offering buyers, effective declines peak-to-trough will total well over 15 percent, the report said.

    Punta Gorda, Florida, and Stockton, California, are the hardest hit markets in the U.S., with price declines from peak-to-trough forecast at 35.3 percent and 31.6 percent, respectively.

    "This is the most severe housing recession since the post-World War II period," Zandi told Reuters.

    It's still because of the Bush economy.

  65. "And we can say as long as we get Democrats in, everything's gonna be O.K. It's a lie. It's not the truth. Do you really believe if we replace a crowd of corporate Republicans with a crowd of corporate Democrats that anything meaningful's gonna change?"

    John Edwards

  66. The largest part of today's negotiations were taken over by the WGA's small group discussion of jurisdiction for Reality TV and made-for-Web content as well as animation and cable. I've learned the WGA played hardball by demanding that network and studio CEOs no longer make deals with Reality TV producers like Mark Burnett Productions, Fremantle, Endemol etc unless those companies become signatories of the WGA. This is part of the WGA's continuing campaign to ensure that Reality TV writers -- often referred to as the story editors or story producers of the shows -- start to receive the same benefits and pay and protections as guild members. survivor-mud2.jpg(Of course, further complicating matters is that some Reality TV shows have signed deals with IA, the editors guild.) It's also clear the WGA's demand today was timed to this Friday's big writers protest outside Fremantle Media headquarters.

  67. A second Christian ministry is refusing to meet a Thursday deadline for a Senate investigation into preachers' salaries, perks and travel, The Associated Press has learned.

    Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas, said in a statement to the AP on Thursday that he will not respond to the inquiry until next year.

    A lawyer for preacher Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta had said Wednesday that the investigation should be referred to the IRS or the Senate panel should get a subpoena for the documents.

    Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, sent lengthy questionnaires a month ago to six ministries so he could review whether pastors were complying with IRS rules that bar excessive personal gain through tax-exempt work.

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    Only Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo., has provided the detailed financial and board oversight information sought by Grassley.

    Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said in a Wednesday conference call with reporters that he "can't be impressed" by the argument from some of the preachers that the IRS already monitors them, because his past inquiries have unearthed information that the IRS never knew.

    All the ministries preach a form of Word of Faith theology, known as prosperity gospel, which teaches that God wants believers to reap material rewards for their faith.

    Grassley has insisted his investigation "has nothing to do with church doctrine" and is strictly concerned with making sure nonprofit groups are following the law.

    However, several religious liberty watchdogs have said the scope of the inquiry is too broad and warned that it could be unconstitutional.

    Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for Hinn, said in a statement that the preacher "plans to facilitate a response to Senator Grassley's inquiry by Jan. 30th, and likewise notified the senator's office of this intent on Nov. 20th." Torossian said Hinn is "in full compliance with government agencies duly authorized to oversee churches and charitable organizations."

    Torossian would not elaborate.

    The other televangelists have been noncommittal in their public comments, but some have voiced strong objections that echo Dollar's.

    The other ministries targeted in the inquiry are Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga.; Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.; and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas.

    Refusals to turn over the information could lead to a court fight, giving a judge the authority to decide whether the committee is entitled to all the information it requested.

    "Hopefully these organizations will work with us," said Grassley, who has been investigating nonprofit compliance with IRS rules for years. "I don't think I've had to issue a single subpoena in the five years that I've been trying to get cooperation from organizations.

    The moral majority are defying the law.

  68. Jolly Roger, I am beginning to believe you are right. The military will mutiny.

    I hope.

  69. Tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, crates of machine guns and rocket propelled grenades are just a sampling of more than $1 billion in unaccounted for military equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces, according to a new report issued today by the Pentagon Inspector General and obtained exclusively by the CBS News investigative unit. Auditors for the Inspector General reviewed equipment contracts totaling $643 million but could only find an audit trail for $83 million.

    The report details a massive failure in government procurement revealing little accountability for the billions of dollars spent purchasing military hardware for the Iraqi security forces. For example, according to the report, the military could not account for 12,712 out of 13,508 weapons, including pistols, assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and machine guns.

    The report comes on the same day that Army procurement officials will face tough questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding their procurement policies. One official, Claude Bolton, assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology has already announced his resignation on the heels of sharp criticism of army contracting. Bolton’s resignation is effective Jan. 2, 2008. The Army has significantly expanded its fraud investigations in recent months.

    The Bush Boys Blackwater and Halliburton are thieves.

  70. ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: As GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson wrapped his South Carolina campaign visit, he had a small handful of protesters outside his event at a Lexington, South Carolina restaurant.

    About four men held confederate flags and signs that said "Honk for Dixie" and "The South Does Not Want Fred Thompson."

    The men said they were part of the South Carolina League of the South and speaking out against Thompson and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for recent remarks about something dear to their hearts. At the November 28 CNN/YouTube debate, both candidates said they did not believe the Confederate flag should be flown in a public place. The two Republican hopefuls, who are among the leaders in Palmetto State polls, also said the flag wrongfully divides the country.

    "When a Southerner goes bad, we call him a scallywag. Thompson's a scallywag - he deserves no respect," Jim Hanks, who identified himself as a registered Independent, said. A scallywag is a white southerner who supported the federal government during Reconstruction. Hanks also said he was interested in Thompson, but now supports Ron Paul.

    The group also lashed out at Romney - who called the flag was "divisive" at the debate - for being a "carpetbagger."

    "Most people think the flag is a racist symbol. I would say not in South Carolina, we don't. Not in the South, we don't. We don't vote for people that say negative things about the Confederate flag," Don Gordon, a protestor who wore a Confederate flag tie, said.

    The group intends to protest every campaign stop in South Carolina for both candidates.

    "Yesterday, we were at Mitt Romney's headquarters because Mitt Romney insulted our flag," Hanks said. "We'll try to be everywhere they are."

    The group was at one of four Thompson campaign stops today. Thompson spokesman Jeff Sadosky said they will pay no attention to the protestors.

    Romney and Thompson: Just A Couple of Republican Racists.

  71. (Reuters) - U.S. home foreclosures and the rate of homes entering the foreclosure process rose to a record in the third quarter, as homeowners battled slumping house prices and spiking loan payments, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.

    Problems with payments on all loan types drove up the pace of homes entering the foreclosure process, the trade group said in its delinquency and foreclosure survey,

    About 994,000 U.S. households are in the process of foreclosure, said MBA's chief economist Doug Duncan, adding:"Not all of them will lose their house, but that's how many are currently at serious risk of losing their house."

    The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process rose to 1.69 percent of loans outstanding, up 0.29 percentage point from the prior quarter and up 0.64 from a year earlier.

    "Over-easy monetary policy, a 'hands off' regulatory approach, reckless real estate speculation, and the complete abandonment of prudent lending practices by the mortgage industry created a housing bubble," said Mike Larson, real estate analyst at Weiss Research in Jupiter, Florida.

    "Now that bubble has burst we all have to deal with the consequences," he said.

    Subprime adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) represented just 6.8 percent of all loans, but made up 43 percent of loans entering the foreclosure process in the third quarter.

    The rate of foreclosures started rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.78 percent in the third quarter, up 0.13 percentage point from the prior quarter and up 0.32 from a year earlier.

    This was the first quarter in which the effect of the credit crisis -- which effectively shut down the jumbo mortgage market -- economic weakness, broad-based home price drops and loan rate resets for adjustable mortgages all came together, Duncan said.

    A massive supply of unsold homes is dragging prices lower, which in turn is boosting the pressure on late payments and foreclosures. More foreclosures mean even more inventory of unsold homes, escalating the cycle.

    Late payments on mortgages jumped to the highest level since 1986, according to the survey that the group started in 1972. The survey covers 85 percent of the mortgage market.

    While the rate of homes entering the foreclosure process have risen to the highest levels on subprime mortgages, the pace is rising for higher quality loans too.

    The rate for prime ARMs rose to 1.02 percent in the third quarter from 0.30 percent a year earlier, as subprime ARMs rose to 4.72 percent from 2.19 percent. The start rate for prime fixed loans gained to 0.22 percent from 0.13 percent, while the rate for subprime fixed loans rose to 1.38 percent from 0.97 percent.

    Florida and California are the main drivers of higher national foreclosure rates, the trade group said.

    The two states have more than 36 percent of all prime ARMs, and represented more than 42 percent of the nation's prime ARMs entering into foreclosure. They also have about 28 percent of all subprime ARMs and 33.7 percent of the foreclosure starts on those products.

    More fallout of the Bush economy!

  72. Jolly Roger is definately RIGHT...........the Military Commanders and the CIA and other intelligence agencies are sick and tired of the Idiot In Chief and his dunce of a sidekick..........they Know these two lame duck morons only have one year left and they know NOW is the time to stand tall and let the truth be known and do the right thing............people arent afraid of the war mongering facists and are fed up with them destroying both our country and our military and murdering and torturing in our name to enrich the wealthy elite cronnies of Bush and Cheney.

    This NIE just slapped the lying Bush and Cheney right in the snout it was a BIG deal, bigger than most people realize..........the Idiot can try and do damage control and lie and twist it to try to make it "APPEAR" to support his lies and deceptions but no one believes the Neo Con liars anymore people see through them and see them as the pathetic lying laughingstocks they truly are.

  73. The repug presidential candidates are pathetic its like they all belong on the Island of misfit toys that no one wants..................they Have Rudy the lying cross dressing fascist who is a pretend tough guy just like GWB who wants to implement a fascist police state just like GWB and flashes rage whenever challenged just like the pompous moronic monkey GWB.

    Next we have Fred Thompson a halfwit moron cheap Reagaqn imitation who cant even string 2 coherrent sentences together no less say anything intelligent.

    Then we have Willard M. Romney a flip flopping Mormon who "pretends to be "joe Conservative".......to bad for him Conservatism is dying out like a donosaur.

    Then We have Huckabee a guy who likes to obstruct justice and destroy hard drives and other evidenve just like the current thugs in the White House.

    Tom Tancredo doesnt merit a comment other than to say he is a jacka$$ who doesnt have a chance of winning.

    The repugs will get thumped this election........it will be the biggest margin of victory since 1996!

  74. If the Repugs win next year then America will pay like they have never paid before.

  75. They wont win next year it wont even be close enough to steal like they did the last 2............if that slimy welching troll would actually pay up i'd bet him another $10,000...........particularly if Hillary DOESNT get the nomination, then they will get thumped even worse.

    I think Edwards and Obama have a good shot to beat Shillery!

  76. People are not as easily deceived as they were the last 7 years.............Shillary and Rudy are imploding...........Now is the time for Obama or Edwards to seize the day, and take our country in the RIGHT direction rather than the Reich direction!

  77. I hope Hillary loses every primary, she is a Repug in disguise.

  78. Hillary thinks Bill Clinton will be enough to pull her through.

    She still won't back down on all her war votes

  79. Lydia Cornell said...
    Jolly Roger, I am beginning to believe you are right. The military will mutiny.

    I hope.

    They already have.

    At least the intelligence community has said enough in their own clandistine way.

    Can you say N.I.E ?

  80. Iraqi legislators suspended parliamentary sessions Thursday for the rest of the month to mark the Muslim religious season -- the end of much-delayed efforts to pass U.S.-backed legislation aimed at achieving national reconciliation this year.

    The supposed Iraqi lawmakers have much in common with their counterparts in the U.S.

    Neither accomplish anything and both take months off at a time to do nothing.

  81. Well they did learn from the best Larry, lol.

  82. The CIA videotaped its interrogations of two top terror suspects in 2002 and destroyed the tapes three years later out of fear they would leak to the public and compromise the identities of U.S. questioners, the director of the agency told employees Thursday.

    The disclosure brought immediate condemnation from Capitol Hill and from a human rights group which charged the spy agency's action amounted to criminal destruction of evidence.

    CIA Director Michael Hayden said the CIA began taping the interrogations as an internal check on the program after President Bush authorized the use of harsh questioning methods. The methods included waterboarding, which simulates drowning, government officials said.

    Another coverup of illegal Bush activities.

    Will Pelosi Impeach the Chimp: NO

  83. Looks like on the job training in doing nothing Bartlebee.

  84. Keith Olbermann has a "SPECIAL COMMENT" tonight.

  85. NBC boss Jeff Zucker is expected to make big cuts on the newsgathering and operational side of the company's news division, including eliminating an entire level of MSNBC's management team, in a bid to save between $20 million and $40 million, The Post has learned.

    Sources inside or close to NBC yesterday claimed the cuts, which are expected to come down this week or next, will be weighted evenly between NBC News and MSNBC. CNBC staffers are being shielded from this round of cuts because Zucker wants the network to be at full strength now that the battle with Fox Business Network has begun. (FBN is owned by News Corp., which also owns The Post.)

    Among those set to have their jobs eliminated at MSNBC are two holdovers from previous regimes - head of primetime programming Bill Wolf and Editorial Director Davidson Goldin. Wolf is a holdover from Rick Kaplan's days with NBC, while Goldin was recruited to the network when Dan Abrams served as general manager.

    The duo's impending departures follow those of daytime programming Vice President Susan Sullivan and Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief Tammy Haddad, both of whom left MSNBC of their own volition.

    More telling than the departures themselves, however, is the fact that NBC has no plans to replace any of these positions, according to one company insider. A second company insider noted that with ratings on the entertainment side of NBC down about 15 percent in November sweeps, an ongoing writer's strike and an anticipated tough economy heading into 2008, the pace and proportion of cuts may accelerate rather than wane after the current round is complete.

    While she declined to comment on savings targets or specific people, NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust said in a statement to The Post that, "There is an ongoing process at NBC News to reallocate, reorganize and right-size the division given the business pressures that every major media organization is facing. This process began some time ago, it continues today, and will continue tomorrow."

    Though NBC can't be blamed for responding to competitive pressures, sources said morale at the news division is suffering under the weight of the corporate cuts, which this time around will affect newsgathering, operations and some other areas of the unit.

    According to one company insider, staffers at the news division, which has already had a round of layoffs, are surprised that they are bearing the brunt of the cuts given that Zucker "grew up" in the unit.

    "They feel they've been wronged," said another source close to NBC News.

    But another source dismissed the grousing by noting that it is precisely because Zucker intimately knows the news division that he feels it can still succeed with less resources.

    Zucker is keenly aware, however, of how competitive MSNBC has become with CNN in primetime, at times squeezing past its rival into second place behind Fox News in the ratings. And given that primetime is where the money is made, sources said that even though Wolf is headed out the door, MSNBC's primetime programming - i.e., the shows hosted by Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams, as well as the documentary unit - are sacrosanct and won't be affected by any of the cuts.

    Bye Bye Neocon Tucker Carlson.

  86. By Earl:

    If this story is true. This will be the best gift I’ve received since Santa really did exist.

    Valerie Plame Wilson, whose cover as a covert CIA agent was famously blown by top Bush administration officials, told a Brown University audience last night she is pleased that the U.S. intelligence community has released an assessment concluding that Iran halted its covert nuclear weapons campaign in 2003.

    After her hour-long speech and question-and-answer session, Plame dropped one bombshell almost casually.

    She said a lawyer had called her just before her talk began and told her that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald had agreed to turn his transcripts of interviews with Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over to U. S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who is known for his relish for investigating wrongdoing by Republicans.

    Let's hope that is being reported accurately. There had been reports that the White House had denied Fitz permission to hand over the interview transcripts, but it seems like extending Fitz's notoriously by-the-book nature for him to absurd lengths for him to let Dubya stonewall his own testimony. Supposedly Waxman asked new attorney general Mukasey to intervene, but wasn't Fitzgerald already given de facto AG authority over this case?

  87. The reichwing keeps claiming how 'wonderful" the occupation in Iraq is going after the surge killed so many Americans and Iraqis this summer;

    Too bad this is what happened yesterday in Iraq;

    Reuters reports political violence in Iraq for Wednesday.

    Significant incidents:

    ' BAGHDAD - A car bomb near a Shi'ite mosque in central Baghdad's Karrada district killed 15 people and wounded 33, police said.

    BAGHDAD - Four bodies were found in different areas of Baghdad, police said. . .

    BAGHDAD - Two policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb targeting their patrol in Baghdad's western Yarmouk district, police said. . .

    SULAIMANIYA - Bombs destroyed a shop selling alcohol in the town of Sayyid Sadiq near the Iranian border southeast of Sulaimaniya, 330 km (205 miles) northeast of Baghdad, on Tuesday, police said.

    KIRKUK - A parked car bomb killed two people in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said. The bomb targeted the convoy of a police commander, Brigadier-General Kakamen Hameed, who was among 10 people wounded. One of his bodyguards was among the two killed.

    MOSUL - A parked car bomb killed one civilian and wounded seven others, including a policeman, in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .

    BAQUBA - A parked car bomb killed five people and wounded 13 on a road near a number of government offices in the city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

    SALAHUDDIN PROVINCE - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two others wounded when gunmen opened fire after a roadside bomb exploded in Salahuddin province on Tuesday, the U.S. military said. . .

    ANBAR PROVINCE - One U.S. soldier was killed and two injured by an explosion in Anbar province in western Iraq on Monday, the U.S. military said. . .

    This is what they consider "good"?

    I guess we all know what they consider bad, any US MSM acknowledgment of the truth on the ground over there.

    Given the 24-7 coverage of the horrible events in Omaha Nebraska, it is a good thing the MSM doesn't cover extreme acts of violence in Iraq like they do in the US.

    Other wise Brittany, Paris, OJ, the latest GOP victim of their family values fraud and what ever young white woman is missing this month would never get air time.

  88. Larry said...
    Looks like on the job training in doing nothing Bartlebee.

    Well in all fairness, they did learn how to take lots of vacations.

  89. If there ever was a simple visual way to understand how much Afghanistan has deteriorated since 2005 this is it;

    Leaked aid map of Afghanistan reveals expansion of no-go zones

    Almost half of Afghanistan is now too dangerous for aid workers to operate in, a leaked UN map seen by The Times shows.

    In the past two years most foreign and Afghan staff have withdrawn from the southern half of the country, abandoning or scaling back development projects in rural areas and confining themselves to the cities or the less risky north. The pullback compounds the problems of the Government in Kabul, which has struggled to extend its authority to the regions and provinces, which are increasingly lawless or Taleban controlled.

    Development has always been touted as a key factor in Western efforts to win over Afghans and bolster support for President Karzai but in the past six years little has been done on the ground in the critical south and east.

    The failure to help ordinary Afghans or to rebuild areas damaged by fighting in provinces such as Helmand has caused huge resentment and is exploited by Taleban propaganda.

    The unpublished map, acquired by The Times in Kabul, is for UN staff and aid workers and illustrates risk levels across the nation. It shows a marked deterioration in security since 2005, when compared with a similar map from March of that year.

    Then only a strip along the Pakistan border and areas of mountainous Zabul and Uruzgan provinces in the south were too dangerous for aid workers. Now nearly all the ethnic Pashtun south and east is a no-go zone categorised as high or extreme risk and there are even pockets in the north of the country that are becoming dangerous for aid workers.

    Here is the 2005 map.

    Here is the 2007 map. (which also has the legend to explain the meaning of the colors).

    The difference should explain how poorly Bush ET Al have done with the War in Afghanistan against those who really attacked the US on 9-11, while they were screwing up Iraq as much as humanly possible for a dull-witted neo-con.

    Hope they realize that the people retaking Afghanistan DO still have connections with al quaeda and Bin Forgotten, and are also linked with the hardliners who are attacking Musharraf and desiring to replace him with another Taliban state in Pakistan except this Taliban state comes with it's very own nukes, unlike Iraq, (never really had them, or Iraq, ditto and stopped working on them in 2003).

    Good luck on what the map looks like when the brush cutter from Crawford Texas, gets sent packing to the pig farm he bought to pretend he was a "tough cowboy".

  90. Democrats controlling Congress sent the most explicit signals yet on Thursday that they are resigned to providing additional funding for the war in Iraq before Congress adjourns for the year.

    Conceding that President Bush is in a strong position as Congress seeks to wrap up its work, Democrats are cooking up a pre-Christmas endgame that would deliver tens of billions of dollars for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on conditions acceptable to the White House.

    The Iraq funding would ultimately be attached by Bush’s Senate GOP allies to a $500 billion-plus “omnibus” appropriations bill taking shape in closed-door talks. That’s the only way they would let the measure advance through the Senate.

    House Democratic leaders, though hardly enthusiastic about the idea, recognize it is the only way for Democrats to have a chance to wrap up their long-unfinished budget work and adjourn just before Christmas.

    “I anticipate at some point in time that will be the case,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., when asked if Congress would ultimately vote on Iraq funding without a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.

    Hoyer acknowledged Democrats are considering a legislative two-step in which the House would initially pass the catch-all spending bill next week without Iraq funding attached. But the Senate would add the money — as the only way to avoid a GOP filibuster — and House Democrats would reluctantly accept it.

    Once again Pelosi and Reid are shills for the Bush war brigade.

  91. Families with ties to the military, long a reliable source of support for wartime presidents, disapprove of President Bush and his handling of the war in Iraq, with a majority concluding the invasion was not worth it, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

    The views of the military community, which includes active-duty service members, veterans and their family members, mirror those of the overall adult population, a sign that the strong military endorsement that the administration often pointed to has dwindled in the war's fifth year.

    Nearly six out of every 10 military families disapprove of Bush's job performance and the way he has run the war, rating him only slightly better than the general population does.

    And among those families with soldiers, sailors and Marines who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 60% say that the war in Iraq was not worth the cost, the same result as all adults surveyed.

    "I don't see gains for the people of Iraq . . . and, oh, my God, so many wonderful young people, and these are the ones who felt they were really doing something, that's why they signed up," said poll respondent Sue Datta, 61, whose youngest son, an Army staff sergeant, was seriously wounded in Iraq last year and is scheduled to redeploy in 2009. "I pray to God that they did not die in vain, but I don't think our president is even sensitive at all to what it's like to have a child serving over there."

    Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin -- particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict. One-quarter say American troops should stay "as long as it takes to win." Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or "right away."

    Military families are only slightly more patient: 35% are willing to stay until victory; 58% want the troops home within a year or sooner.

    Here, too, the military families surveyed are in sync with the general population, 64% of whom call for a withdrawal by the end of next year.

    "You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we've fought in the past, particularly for families," said David Segal, a military sociologist at the University of Maryland.

    Today's all-volunteer force is older and more married than any before it. Facing a shortage of troops, the Army increased the maximum enlistment age from 35 to 42 and called up reservists, who tend to be older and more settled than recruits fresh out of high school. The result is a fighting force that left thousands of spouses and children behind.

    At the same time, deployments have grown longer and more frequent as troops rotate in and out of the war zone, sometimes three and four times, with no fixed end date in sight, a wearing existence that has contributed to opposition to Bush and his war strategy.

    "The man went into Iraq without justification, without a plan; he just decided to go in there and win, and he had no idea what was going to happen," said poll respondent Mary Meneely, 58, of Arco, Minn. Her son, an Air Force reservist, served one tour in Afghanistan. "There have been terrible deaths on our side, and it's even worse for the Iraqi population. It's another Vietnam."

    The survey, conducted under the supervision of Times Poll Director Susan Pinkus, interviewed 1,467 adults nationwide from Nov. 30 through Monday. It included 631 respondents from military families and 152 who have had someone in their family stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points; for military families it is 4 percentage points, and for families with someone in the war zone it is 8 percentage points.

    Other surveys have shown an erosion of support for Bush and the war among military personnel, including a 2005 poll by Military Times of their active-duty readers.

    Now the disapproval of Bush appears to have transferred to his party. Republican leanings of military families that began with the Vietnam War -- when Democratic protests seemed to be aimed at the troops as much as the fighting -- have shifted, the poll results show.

    When military families were asked which party could be trusted to do a better job of handling issues related to them, respondents divided almost evenly: 39% said Democrats and 35% chose Republicans. The general population feels similarly: 39% for Democrats and 31% for Republicans.

    "The Democrats are not seen as the anti-soldier group anymore," said Charles C. Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University. He added that Bush's firm backing of the troops did not gain him any points because the entire country was now viewed as supportive of the military, even if not of the war. "He doesn't get extra credit for that."

    "We support the troops; we don't support Bush," said respondent Linda Ramirez, 52, of Spooner, Wis., whose 19-year-old son is due to be deployed with the Marines early next year. "These boys have paid a terrible, terrible price."

    The carnage -- nearly 3,900 killed and 29,000 wounded -- is contributing to the war's unpopularity, even though the number of dead is low compared with previous wars, Moskos thinks.

    Medical advances on the battlefield have saved more lives but sent home more severely injured troops; for every soldier killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, eight are wounded -- nearly triple the ratio in Vietnam.

    Asked about the Bush administration's handling of the needs of active-duty troops, military families and veterans, 57% of the general public disapprove. That number falls only slightly among military families -- 53% give a thumbs-down.

    And most military families and others surveyed took no exception to retired officers publicly criticizing the Bush administration's execution of the war. More than half of the respondents in both groups -- 58% -- say such candor is appropriate. Families with someone who had served in the war are about equally supportive at 55%.

    When the military families turn against the war, so do the troops.

  92. On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, drawing the United States into World War II. More than 2,300 Americans were killed.

    Fortunately the id-jet currently residing in the white house wasn't president then, for both the nation and world.

  93. A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.

    The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.

    The NAO was created under a plan tentatively approved in May 2007 by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. Specifically, the NAO will oversee how classified information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other key agencies is used within the U.S. during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other events affecting national security. The most critical intelligence will be supplied by the NSA and the NGA, which are often referred to by U.S. officials as the “eyes” and “ears” of the intelligence community.

    The NSA, through a global network of listening posts, surveillance planes, and satellites, captures signals from phone calls, e-mail and Internet traffic, and translates and analyzes them for U.S. military and national intelligence officials.

    This shows bigger plans to allow Bush to spy on average Americans.

  94. Car bombs in Baghdad and three northern Iraqi cities killed at least 23 people and injured more than 40 others today as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived for an unannounced visit with senior Iraqi officials.

    The car bombings, including a particularly deadly suicide car bomb attack on a crowded street in eastern Baghdad that killed more than a dozen people, served as a vicious reminder that the months-long decline in daily violence was not a sure harbinger of any kind of lasting peace.

    Iraq sure looks safe now doesn't it Bush.

  95. United Hollywood:

    This is the first of what we hope will be a number of "calls to action."

    As of last week, the AMPTP retained the powerhouse "crisis management" firm of Fabiani and Lehane (known in political circles as "the Masters of Disaster." )They also have "a reputation for hardball tactics in damage control and inflicting damage on opponents."

    This firm has built a reputation and a substantial income largely from Democratic, progressive political causes. A short list of their past employers includes Al Gore, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore/Miramax (for Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko), and my personal favorite, the Screen Actors Guild. Founding partner Chris Lehane is currently a consultant for the Californians for Fair Election Reform, a major Democratic group, among other things.

    My DC lobbyist friends tell me that for emergency “crisis management,” firms like Fabiani & Lehane charge as much as $100,000 dollars a month. But the AMPTP is also paying Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican-leaning PR guru. He could easily cost another $100,000 a month.

    My concern is this: no one hires crisis management firms at such huge expense if they’re planning on making a fair deal. A fair deal doesn't require hundreds of thousands of dollars of spin to sell. A fair deal is its own good PR.

    The WGA hasn’t hired a huge PR firm. We don’t want to “spin” anyone. United Hollywood is an all-volunteer blog, and our PR strategy is simple: we tell the truth.

    The truth is, we’re fighting for the future for all working people in Hollywood.

    The truth is, new media coverage and internet residuals are vital to the income of writers, directors and actors.

    The truth is, the below-the-line unions rely on residuals to fund over half of their pension and health plans, and their rate is tied directly to ours. If we lose, their P&H will likely be decimated.

    The truth is, if we don’t get coverage for new media productions, the below the line unions won’t get it either. If we lose, they lose.

    This strike is a disaster for the working men and women of California, and many other regions that rely on the entertainment industry for jobs. We didn’t want this strike. And the AMPTP could stop it tomorrow because our proposals are affordable and reasonable.

    But instead of making a fair deal with us, they hire Fabiani & Lehane. The proposal gets a snazzy new name, the CEO's take out new ads and tell everyone how great their proposal is. Except that then, they don't give it to us. Remember the second half of the proposal they said we'd have on Tuesday? We still haven’t gotten it. Hard to negotiate without the offer. And it's becoming clear they don't intend to give it to us -- one theory being that they're stalling, looking for an opportunity to walk out of the talks and blame the WGA leadership for it.

    It's time for the CEO's to stop playing PR games and get a deal done.

    When Fabiani & Lehane worked for SAG in 2002, Lehane said at the time:

    “... we believe strongly in the need to preserve the strength of the union and this agreement does that. We both come from liberal, progressive backgrounds, and this union represents working people."
    For the record, so does the WGA, which is why SAG is our ally. And yet, right now Chris Lehane is helping the conglomerates try to divide this union internally and orchestrate ways to get us to question our leadership.

    In other words, Chris Lehane is union busting.

    And since Lehane and his firm have made their fortune – and continue to make it – off of Democratic Party connections and progressive causes, I think the hypocrisy here is pretty appalling.

    Below is the contact info for the three frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton, who says she supports the writers in this strike, has worked extensively with Fabiani & Lehane. Barack Obama and John Edwards also support the strike, and they work with many of the organizations that Fabiani & Lehane rely on for their business.

    Call these 3 candidates, and ask them to promise to hold Fabiani & Lehane accountable for what they are doing.

    Tell Clinton, Edwards and Obama this:

    "As long as Fabiani & Lehane are in the business of union-busting, we want your personal assurance that they will not be in the business of working with Democratic organizations, businesses, politicians or candidates.

    A strike is not a business opportunity to make a profit by harming the interests of working men and women."

    Hillary Clinton (213) 908-0190 socalhrc@hillaryclinton.com

    John Edwards (919) 636-3131 trusso@johnedwards.com

    Barack Obama (866) 675-2008

    And if you'd like to weigh in with Mr. Lehane at his office:

    Chris Lehane 202.549.5911 email: clhehane@fabianiandlehane.com

    The AMPTP likes to say that this is all about business. Well, the business of hypocrisy shouldn’t pay.

    CEO's: end the strike. Make a fair deal.

  96. A female suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt Friday outside the offices of an anti-al-Qaida group that has joined forces with the U.S., killing at least 15 people, police said. It was Iraq's second suicide attack involving a woman in less than two weeks.

    That "surge" sure looks like it has helped the violence.

  97. For a newly private company, executives at Chrysler LLC haven't been too secretive about the numbers on their balance sheet.

    Twice in the past two weeks, top executives have said Chrysler will lose $1 billion or more this year, leading several industry analysts and some employees to believe that they are preparing workers and the marketplace for further cuts in models, factory capacity and jobs.

    Another result of the Bush economy.

  98. On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, drawing the United States into World War II. More than 2,300 Americans were killed.

    Fortunately the id-jet currently residing in the white house wasn't president then, for both the nation and world.

    While the Japanese were landing forces in California, we'd have been tied up in an unwinnable insurgency in Brazil.

  99. CIA destroyed terrorism suspect videotapes
    Director says interrogation tapes were security risk; critics call move illegal

    NBC News and news services
    updated 5:59 a.m. MT, Fri., Dec. 7, 2007
    WASHINGTON - The CIA destroyed videotapes it made in 2002 of the interrogations of two top terror suspects because it was afraid that keeping them "posed a security risk," Director Michael Hayden told agency employees.

    Current and former intelligence officials told NBC News' Robert Windrem that one of the videos included the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah, the person in charge of al-Qaida's training camps and the group's first major leader to be captured.

    Hayden's revelation to the CIA employees caused a commotion on Capitol Hill where members of the Senate Intelligence Committee immediately vowed to conduct a thorough review. A leading human rights group voiced alarm about it.
    In his message to agency workers, Hayden said that House of Representatives and Senate intelligence committee leaders had been informed of the existence of the tapes and the CIA's intention to destroy them to protect the identities of the questioners. He also said the CIA's internal watchdog watched the tapes in 2003 and verified that the interrogation practices were legal. Hayden said the tapes were destroyed three years after the 2002 interrogations.

    Jane Harman, then the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was one of only four members of Congress in 2003 informed of the tapes' existence and the CIA's intention to ultimately destroy them.

    'Bad idea'
    "I told the CIA that destroying videotapes of interrogations was a bad idea and urged them in writing not to do it," Harman said. While key lawmakers were briefed on the CIA's intention to destroy the tapes, they were not notified two years later when the spy agency actually carried out the plan. The Senate Intelligence Committee's Democratic chairman, Jay Rockefeller, said the committee only learned of the tapes' destruction in November 2006.

    Republican Pete Hoekstra, who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from August 2004 until the end of 2006, said through a spokesman that he does not remember being informed of the videotaping program.

    "Congressman Hoekstra does not recall ever being told of the existence or destruction of these tapes," said Jamal D. Ware, senior adviser to the committee. "He believes that Director Hayden is being generous in his claim that the committee was informed. He believes the committee should have been fully briefed and consulted on how this was handled."

    Jennifer Daskal, senior counsel with Human Rights Watch, said that destroying the tapes was illegal. "Basically this is destruction of evidence," she said, calling Hayden's explanation that the tapes were destroyed to protect CIA identities "disingenuous."

    In the statement to agency employees, CIA director Hayden revealed that the agency destroyed all copies of the video in 2005. While the official agency statement does not mention waterboarding, officials tell NBC News the videos included the waterboarding of Zubaydah. He was known as al-Qaida's "dean of students" and had an encyclopedic knowledge of al-Qaida operatives worldwide. He is now awaiting trial at the U.S. prison at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Zubaydah, under harsh questioning, told CIA interrogators about alleged 9/11 accomplice Ramzi Binalshibh, President Bush said publicly in 2006. Binalshibh was captured and interrogated and, with Zubaydah's information, authorities in 2003 captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the purported mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Hayden said that a secondary reason for the taped interrogations was to have backup documentation of the information gathered.

    "The agency soon determined that its documentary reporting was full and exacting, removing any need for tapes. Indeed, videotaping stopped in 2002," Hayden said.

    The CIA is known to have waterboarded three prisoners since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but not since 2003. Hayden banned the use of the procedure in 2006, according to knowledgeable officials.

    The disclosure of the tapes' destruction came on the same day the House and Senate intelligence committees agreed to legislation prohibiting the CIA from using "enhanced interrogation techniques." The White House Thursday threatened to veto the bill.
    Attempt to get ahead of newspaper
    Hayden's message to CIA employees was an attempt to get ahead of a New York Times story about the videotapes, The Associated Press reported.

    In the story in the newspaper, members of the Sept. 11 commission said they were surprised the interrogation tapes existed until 2005.

    The commission had asked for material of this kind during their investigation that ended in 2004, Philip D. Zelikow, who served as executive director of the Sept. 11 commission and later as a senior counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, told the newspaper.

    “The commission was assured that we had received all the material responsive to our request,” he said. “No tapes were acknowledged or turned over, nor was the commission provided with any transcript prepared from recordings.”

    Daniel Marcus, a law professor at American University who served as general counsel for the Sept. 11 commission and was involved in the discussions about interviews with al-Qaida leaders, warned “it’s a very big deal” if tapes were destroyed, the New York Times reported.

    It could amount to obstruction of justice to withhold evidence being sought in criminal or fact-finding investigations, Marcus told the New York Times.

    'In line with the law'
    Hayden insisted that the CIA's actions were legal.

    "What matters here is that it was done in line with the law," he said. "Over the course of its life, the agency's interrogation program has been of great value to our country. It has helped disrupt terrorist operations and save lives. It was built on a solid foundation of legal review. It has been conducted with careful supervision. If the story of these tapes is told fairly, it will underscore those facts."

    The CIA says the tapes were destroyed late in 2005, a year marked by increasing pressure from defense attorneys to obtain videotapes of detainee interrogations. The scandal over harsh treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq had focused public attention on interrogation techniques.

    Beginning in 2003, attorneys for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui began seeking videotapes of interrogations they believed might help them show their client was not a part of the Sept. 11 attacks. These requests heated up in 2005 as the defense slowly learned the identities of more detainees in U.S. custody.

    In May 2005, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ordered the government to disclose whether interrogations were recorded. The government objected to that order, and the judge modified it on Nov. 3, 2005, to ask for confirmation of whether the government "has video or audio tapes of these interrogations" and then named specific ones. Eleven days later, the government denied it had video or audio tapes of those specific interrogations.

    Failed to hand-over tapes
    Last month, the CIA admitted to Brinkema and a circuit judge that it had failed to hand over tapes of enemy combatant witnesses. Those interrogations were not part of the CIA's detention program and were not conducted or recorded by the agency, the agency said.

    "The CIA did not say to the court in its original filing that it had no terrorist tapes at all. It would be wrong to assert that," CIA spokesman George Little said.

    The 9/11 Commission referenced the 2002 interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Binalshibh multiple times throughout its report, but cited written documents and audiotapes only.

    There is no mention in the letter of the tapes that CIA officials destroyed in 2005, The New York Times reported. Moussaoui was convicted last year and sentenced to life in prison.

    John Radsan, who worked as a CIA lawyer from 2002 to 2004 and is now a professor at William Mitchell College of Law, said destroying these tapes could carry legal penalties, according to the newspaper.

    “If anybody at the CIA hid anything important from the Justice Department, he or she should be prosecuted under the false statement statute,” he told the New York Times.

  100. CIA destroyed evidence?
    Dec. 7: "Abu Zubaydah says the only reason he gave up certain information during an interrogation was because he was being tortured, according to transcripts obtained by NBC News. NBC's Bob Windrem reports.

    Gee do ya think Zubaydah was tortured to say that the only reason he gave up the information WAS BECAUSE he was tortured.

    Information gleened from torture is not credible or reliable, evidence suggests people will make things up, say anything, lie or say whatever the tortureer wants to hear just to make the torture stop.

    Oh, and here's another coinkydink...The disclosure of the tapes' destruction came on the same day the House and Senate intelligence committees agreed to legislation prohibiting the CIA from using "enhanced interrogation techniques." The White House Thursday threatened to veto the bill............now what are the chances of that.

    Those Neo Con fascists just love to destroy evidence and obstruct justice while committing treason and war crimes under the guise of false flag patriotism and national security............they have twisted national security and Exceutive Privlige into a unassiailable blank check to stifle oversight and investigations and to obstruct justice.

  101. Larry said...
    A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.

    The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.

    The NAO was created under a plan tentatively approved in May 2007 by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. Specifically, the NAO will oversee how classified information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other key agencies is used within the U.S. during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other events affecting national security. The most critical intelligence will be supplied by the NSA and the NGA, which are often referred to by U.S. officials as the “eyes” and “ears” of the intelligence community.

    The NSA, through a global network of listening posts, surveillance planes, and satellites, captures signals from phone calls, e-mail and Internet traffic, and translates and analyzes them for U.S. military and national intelligence officials.

    This shows bigger plans to allow Bush to spy on average Americans."

    I'm damn tired of Congress allowing this Fascist moron to transform our country into a fascist police state........What happened to people who value freedom and privacy.........These cowardly Neo Cons are far mor of a threat than any rag tag renegade terrorist ever could be.

    There used to be a day when REAL Patriots said "give me liberty or give me death" or "live free or die".........Now we have cowardly treasonous false flag "pretend" patriots that say.........."please mr "DECIDER" take my freedoms and liberties, destroy my privacy just protect me and keep me safe from the big bad terrorist bogeyman.

    I wanna know whose gonna keep "ME" safe from the gutless Neo Con fascists and the freedom hating chickenhawk cowards?

  102. Israel is warning Iran that it is still considering a military strike on the rogue regime.

    "No option needs to be off the table," Israeli deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio Friday, according to The Guardian.

    Get ready for Bush's surrogate attack in Iran, and the beginning of World War III.

  103. Cracks are emerging in congressional Democrats' solidarity, as frustrated lawmakers concede their majority status is not enough to overcome Republican resistance on taxes, spending, Iraq and a host of other issues.

    The fissures, which became obvious this week, are undermining Democrats' hopes for several key achievements this year. They also point to a bruising 2008 election in which Democrats will say Republicans blocked prudent tax and spending plans to score political points on immigration and other hot-button issues.

    After 11 months of insisting that all major programs be paid for with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere, Senate Democratic leaders acknowledged Thursday they cannot persuade enough Republicans to join them. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reluctantly allowed a vote on a long-debated middle-class tax cut that would add billions of dollars to the deficit because it is not offset elsewhere.

    The measure, which the Senate approved 88-5, would prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting about 25 million more taxpayers, at a cost of about $50 billion to the U.S. treasury next year. Reid's decision puts the Senate at odds with the House with two weeks left before the holiday recess.

    House Democratic leaders still insist on a pay-as-you-go policy, or "pay-go," which they made a centerpiece of their governing principles in January.

    Reid told reporters Thursday that Senate Republicans have used their filibuster powers to block Democratic efforts to change Iraq policy, move a farm bill and pay for the proposed one-year "fix" to the alternative minimum tax. He especially complained about Republican demands to offer farm bill amendments dealing with state drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

    Pelosi and Reid are still gutless.

  104. State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, under scrutiny for his brother’s link to the Blackwater security firm, has decided to resign, U.S. officials said on Friday.

    Krongard, the State Department’s top investigator, has been accused by current and former subordinates of thwarting probes into waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq, including alleged arms smuggling by Blackwater.

    Another corrupt Bushy gone.

  105. The strategy is to lay low and then blame [democrats] for not getting anything done. The truth is, we all lose. We trash each other and end up making the institution look bad. That’s why Congress’ approval ratings are so low.

    -Republican Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois

  106. A spokesman for the Mitt Romney campaign is thus far refusing to say whether Romney sees any positive role in America for atheists and other non-believers, after Election Central inquired about the topic yesterday.

    Romney's America sounds exactly like Bush's America.

  107. Think Progress:

    This morning, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivered an impassioned floor speech to help frame the debate over FISA reform. Using his privilege as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Whitehouse said he has “spent hours poring over” secret opinions issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) — and he took notes.

    Whitehouse is a lawyer, a former U.S. Attorney, a former legal counsel to Rhode Island’s Governor, and a former State Attorney General. He said he sought and received permission to have his notes declassified because he wanted to show the public “what the Bush administration does behind our backs when they think no one is looking.”

    “To give you an example of what I read,” Whitehouse said on the Senate floor, “I have gotten three legal propositions from these secret OLC opinions declassified. Here they are, as accurately as my note-taking could reproduce them from the classified documents”:

    1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

    2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II.

    3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.

    Emperor Bush decides what is constitutional in his version of Nazi America.

    By Keith Olbermann
    Anchor, 'Countdown'
    updated 9:28 p.m. ET, Thurs., Dec. 6, 2007
    There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr. Bush has left us with tonight.

    We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War III about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole, or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked, at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so, whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed were still even remotely plausible.

    A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency an unapologetic warmonger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

    After spokeswoman Dana Perino’s announcement from the White House late last night, the timeline is inescapable and clear.

    In August the president was told by his hand-picked major-domo of intelligence, Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking, worrying-warrior who will always see more clouds than silver linings, that what “everybody thought” about Iran might be, in essence, crap.

    Yet on Oct. 17, the president said of Iran and its President Ahmadinejad:

    “I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon.”

    And as he said that, Mr. Bush knew that at bare minimum there was a strong chance that his rhetoric was nothing more than words with which to scare the Iranians.

    Or was it, Sir, to scare the Americans?

    Does Iran not really fit into the equation here? Have you just scribbled it into the fill-in-the-blank on the same template you used to scare us about Iraq?

    In August, any commander-in-chief still able-minded or uncorrupted or both, Sir, would have invoked the quality the job most requires: mental flexibility.

    A bright man, or an honest man, would have realized no later than the McConnell briefing that the only true danger about Iran was the damage that could be done by an unhinged, irrational Chicken Little of a president shooting his mouth off, backed up by only his own hysteria and his own delusions of omniscience.

    Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Bush.

    The Chicken Little of presidents is the one, Sir, that you see in the mirror.

    And the mind reels at the thought of a vice president fully briefed on the revised intel as long as two weeks ago, briefed on the fact that Iran abandoned its pursuit of this imminent threat four years ago, who never bothered to mention it to his boss.

    It is nearly forgotten today, but throughout much of Ronald Reagan’s presidency it was widely believed that he was little more than a front man for some never-viewed, behind-the-scenes string-puller.

    Today, as evidenced by this latest remarkable, historic malfeasance, it is inescapable that Dick Cheney is either this president’s evil ventriloquist or he thinks he is.

    What servant of any of the 42 previous presidents could possibly withhold information of this urgency and gravity and wind up back at his desk the next morning, instead of winding up before a congressional investigation or a criminal one?

    Mr. Bush, if you can still hear us, if you did not previously agree to this scenario in which Dick Cheney is the actual detective and you’re Remington Steele, you must disenthrall yourself: Mr. Cheney has usurped your constitutional powers, cut you out of the information loop and led you down the path to an unprecedented presidency in which the facts are optional, the intel is valued less than the hunch and the assistant runs the store.

    The problem is, Sir, your assistant is robbing you and your country blind.

    Not merely in monetary terms, Mr. Bush, but, more important, of the traditions and righteousness for which we have stood, at great risk, for centuries: honesty, law, moral force.

    Mr. Cheney has helped, Sir, to make your administration into the kind our ancestors saw in the 1860s and 1870s and 1880s, the ones that abandoned Reconstruction and sent this country marching backward into the pit of American apartheid.

    Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland — presidents who will be remembered only in a blur of failure, Mr. Bush.

    Presidents who will be remembered only as functions of those who opposed them, the opponents whom history proved right.

    Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland ... Bush.

    Would that we could let this president off the hook by seeing him only as marionette or moron.

    But a study of the mutation of his language about Iran proves that though he may not be very good at it, he is, himself, still a manipulative, Machiavellian snake-oil salesman.

    The Bushian etymology was tracked by Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post’s Web site.

    It is staggering.

    March 31: “Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon...”
    June 5: Iran’s “pursuit of nuclear weapons...”
    June 19: “consequences to the Iranian government if they continue to pursue a nuclear weapon...”
    July 12: “the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons...”
    Aug. 6: “this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon...”
    Notice a pattern?

    Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.

    Then, sometime between Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, those terms are suddenly swapped out, so subtly that only in retrospect can we see that somebody has warned the president, not only that he has gone out too far on the limb of terror but there may not even be a tree there....

    McConnell, or someone, must have briefed him then.

    Aug. 9: “They have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium, which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program...”
    Aug. 28: “Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons...”
    Oct. 4: “you should not have the know-how on how to make a (nuclear) weapon...”
    Oct. 17: “until they suspend and/or make it clear that they, that their statements aren’t real, yeah, I believe they want to have the **capacity**, the **knowledge**, in order to make a nuclear weapon.”
    Before Aug. 9, it’s: Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.

    After Aug. 9, it’s: Desire, pursuit, want ... knowledge technology know-how to enrich uranium.

    And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that the National Intelligence Estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program in 2003....

    And you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program on Oct. 17.

    And that’s just a coincidence?

    And we are to believe, Mr. Bush, that nobody told you any of this until last week?

    Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last week might be legally true, something like “what the definition of ‘is’ is,” but with the subject matter being not interns but the threat of nuclear war.

    Legally, it might save you from some war crimes trial, but ethically it is a lie.

    It is indefensible.

    You have been yelling threats into a phone for nearly four months, after the guy on the other end had already hung up.

    You, Mr. Bush, are a bald-faced liar.

    And moreover, you have just revealed that John Bolton and Norman Podhoretz and the Wall Street Journal editorial board are also bald-faced liars.

    We are to believe that the intel community, or maybe the State Department, cooked the raw intelligence about Iran, falsely diminished the Iranian nuclear threat, to make you look bad?

    And you proceeded to let them make you look bad?

    You not only knew all of this about Iran in early August, but you also knew it was accurate.

    And instead of sharing this good news with the people you have obviously forgotten you represent, you merely fine-tuned your terrorizing of those people, to legally cover your own backside.

    While you filled the factual gap with sadistic visions of, as you phrased it Aug. 28, “nuclear holocaust,” and, as you phrased it Oct. 17, “World War III.”

    My comments, Mr. Bush, are often dismissed as simple repetitions of the phrase “George Bush has no business being president.”

    Well, guess what?

    Tonight: hanged by your own words, convicted by your own deliberate lies....

    You, sir, have no business being president.

  109. Christopher has the video of Olbermann's "Special Comment" on his blog if you want to hear the full effect.

    From The Left

  110. On Elizabeth K, she's clearly a special person, but her husband lost all credibility in my eyes when he said he would choose Ron Paul as his running mate.

    Larry, I have it at mine too, along with the vid of Dana Perino squirming under questions about Bush's lies about when he knew.

  111. We all keep thinking the CIA destroyed a videotape of Abu Zubaydah being questioned by CIA agents possibly even being tortured, which some believe is the reason it was destroyed. Zubaydah was touted by Bush as one of the masterminds of al qaeda however when he made that claim he knew it wasn't the truth, (sound familiar?).

    Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries "in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3" -- a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail "what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said." Dan Coleman, then the FBI's top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality."

    Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics -- travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was "echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President," Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States." And over the months to come, under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques.

    But some things which he revealed, not even under torture, are very interesting;

    On Sunday, March 31, three days after the raid, the interrogation of Zubaydah began. For the particulars of this episode there is one definitive source, Gerald Posner's "Why America Slept," and according to it, the CIA used two rather unusual methods for the interrogation. First, they administered thiopental sodium, better known under its trademarked name, Sodium Pentothal, through an IV drip, to make Zubaydah more talkative. Since the prisoner had been shot three times during the capture, he was already hooked up to a drip to treat his wounds and it was possible to administer the drug without his knowledge. Second, as a variation on the good cop-bad cop routine, the CIA used two teams of debriefers. One consisted of undisguised Americans who were at least willing to treat Zubaydah's injuries while they interrogated him. The other team consisted of Arab-Americans posing as Saudi security agents, who were known for their brutal interrogation techniques. The thinking was that Zubaydah would be so scared of being turned over to the Saudis, infamous for their public executions in Riyadh's Chop-Chop Square, that he would try to win over the American interrogators by talking to them.

    In fact, exactly the opposite happened. "When Zubaydah was confronted with men passing themselves off as Saudi security officers, his reaction was not fear, but instead relief," Posner writes. "The prisoner, who had been reluctant even to confirm his identity to his American captors, suddenly started talking animatedly. He was happy to see them, he said, because he feared the Americans would torture and then kill him. Zubaydah asked his interrogators to call a senior member of the ruling Saudi family. He then provided a private home number and cell phone number from memory. 'He will tell you what to do,' Zubaydah promised them."

    The name Zubaydah gave came as a complete surprise to the CIA. It was Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the owner of so many legendary racehorses and one of the most westernized members of the royal family.

    Zubaydah spoke to his faux Saudi interrogators as if they, not he, were the ones in trouble. He said that several years earlier the royal family had made a deal with al-Qaida in which the House of Saud would aid the Taliban so long as al-Qaida kept terrorism out of Saudi Arabia. Zubaydah added that as part of this arrangement, he dealt with Prince Ahmed and two other members of the House of Saud as intermediaries, Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki al-Saud, a nephew of King Fahd's, and Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, a 25-year-old distant relative of the king's. Again, he furnished phone numbers from memory.

    According to Posner, the interrogators responded by telling Zubaydah that 9/11 changed everything. The House of Saud certainly would not stand behind him after that. It was then that Zubaydah dropped his real bombshell. "Zubaydah said that 9/11 changed nothing because Ahmed ... knew beforehand that an attack was scheduled for American soil that day," Posner writes. "They just didn't know what it would be, nor did they want to know more than that. The information had been passed to them, said Zubaydah, because bin Laden knew they could not stop it without knowing the specifics, but later they would be hard-pressed to turn on him if he could disclose their foreknowledge."

    Two weeks later, Zubaydah was moved to an undisclosed location. When he figured out that the interrogators were really Americans, not Saudis, Posner writes, he tried to strangle himself, and later recanted his entire tale.

    Interesting, he IMPLICATES the Saudi hierarchy, while we all know 15 of 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

    I wonder if Porter Goss was ordered By Cheney to destroy this very damaging evidence against the Saudis just like the 28 pages against the Saudis were removed from the 9-11 Commissions report?

    I wonder why Bush and Cheney are more interested in protecting the monarchs in Saudi Arabia then they are protecting America?

    Who have they really been working for all these years, besides Israel I mean.

    I wonder if the Saudi leadership passed on some of what they knew to dead eye?

    That might explain a lot of the inconsistencies of what happened on 9-11, and Cheney's questionable reactions to it on that day.

    Might that be why that tape could never be shown to the American people because it exposes the lies of the administration about 9-11 upon which they have built the fraud they call the war on terra?

  112. Might that be why bush made sure we never captured bin Laden?

  113. Liz Kucinich reminds me of Julianne Moore, only prettier.

  114. Things in China ain't as well as some might believe;

    The coming China crash

    The lackluster investment strategy of China Investment exposes a central flaw in the Chinese economy, its lack of a rational system of capital allocation. For more than a decade, Chinese state-owned companies have made losses, and have been propped up by the banking system. Since 2004, loss-making state owned companies have been joined by overbuilding municipalities, erecting white-elephant office blocks in attempts to turn themselves into the next Shanghai.

    None of these losses have resulted in bankruptcy; instead the cash flow deficits have been covered by the Chinese banks. As a result, the Chinese banks have an enormous volume of bad loans -- $911 billion at May 2006, according to a later-withdrawn estimate by Ernst and Young, which must surely have ballooned to $1.2-1.3 trillion now.

    That explains why China Investment is somewhat un-aggressive in its international investment strategy. China’s $1.4 trillion of reserves are in fact almost all required to prop up the banking system, when the inevitable liquidity crisis occurs. If the banks are to survive, China Investment will have to be followed by six more sovereign wealth funds of equal size, each of which will have to abandon its attempts to take over Exxon or Google and pour its money down domestic rat-holes.

    A $1 trillion problem in subprime mortgages has caused even the US money market to seize up and has required frequent applications of sal volatile by the Fed. Since China’s economy is around one fifth the size of the United States’ the Chinese banking system’s bad debt problem is in real terms about five times that of the United States, about 40% of its Gross Domestic Product.

    We have seen this movie before; the Japanese banking system’s bad debts after 1990 totaled around $1 trillion, about 30% of Japan’s GDP. The result was the bursting of the 1980s bubble and a period of little or no economic growth that lasted well over a decade.

    One could come to the belief that none of the supposed economic genisus' on either side of the pacific really know what the hell they are doing.

    While suffering the economic avalanche, it doesn't really matter where the pebble was that started the crash does it?

    May you live in interesting times is the English translation of an ancient Chinese proverb and curse.

    We are enjoying both attributes of that quote.

  115. This chart shows just how bad and HOW LONG this reset process is going to be;

    It ain't JUST sub-prime, but alt A, and adjustable rate morgatages, and also commercial reality (which nobody is talking about), credit cards (think people who are losing their homes are gonna pay citi bank?), auto loans (which are starting to show problems with rising defaults). All these financial credit instruments will combine to further deteriorate the major banking balance sheet write-offs. This means lower profits and needs for more MONEY in reserves to hold up their bottom lines. Now if they just didn't have so much CDO and SIV toilet paper they pretended to be gold.

  116. BTW the Paulson-Bernanke plan pushes a good portion of the sub-prime mess out to 2013. If you look at the chart is where this mess would have finally become resolved in some manner. Why do the republicans ALWAYS want to put bad news and the resolutions of the messes they create off to some future time if not generation?

    The do it with Taxes, they do it with the debt their refusal to pay for their own policies, and now they want to do it with the credit mess the private banking industry has made, (with the help of the FED).

    Why do republicans never stand up and take responsibility for any mess they create?

  117. Also consider if we have a recession in the next couple of years, everything just got MUCH worse.

    Because in any recession, people who are treading water BUT making it will also fall into the need a bankruptcy court (if any can be found to help out the middle class caught in the Greenspan major bank fraud perpetrated on the American middle class and rest of the world with their sub-prime to CDO SIV frauds).

  118. Hey Clif, wasnt Bush thumpimg his chest defiantly saying if homeowners didnt take the time to read the contracts and are going to lose their homes its their fault and the government shouldnt bail them out........didnt he say people should take personal responsibility and reckless speculation should be punished not rewarded...........didnt all the mindless repug trolls and minions mindlessly parrot that talking point.

    Yet they didnt say a damn word when the FED and government movel to bail out the rich wall street brokerages.

    THATS ALL this bailout is about trying to throw a few working class people a bone so no one will focus on Bush and the FED flip flopping and hypocritically bailing out all the reckless Wallstreet speculators not a mere 60 days after saying that reckless speculation deserves to be punished rather than bailed out at taxpayer expense.

    Dont get me wrong I realize there is quite a bit at stake here and trying to avert an economic Depression pre-emptively may very well be the right course of action.................however i am focusing on the flaming hippocrissy of the Bush Administration and the fact that not only do they talk out of both sides of their mouth and have NO credibility but they have been dead wrong about essentially EVERYTHING they have ever said!

  119. Mike it isn't a bailout. No government money is involved.

    All the idiot did was get the banks to renegotiate some loans, and be lenient on some others.

  120. Why was it ok for the poor working class people to lose their homes, and why did they not deserve a bailout............but the wealthy elite from Wallstreet who speculated recklessly and irresponsibly do deserve a bailout without even a second thought.

    I guess if you are a fascist then corporate welfare and socialism for the wealthy elite is ok..............socialism is only repunant to a repug when it helps the poor or working class................we gotta start talking about the corporate welfare queens who make hundreds of millions in bonuses and stock options and get corporate bailouts at TAX PAYER EXPENSE while their companies take millions and billions in writeoffs because of their greed and incompetence...........and lets not forget all the no bid contracts and cronny capitalism that cost tax payers billions and trillions 1.6 trillion was the last number i heard.

    12 Billion was just lost and unaccounted for in Iraq and there is virtually NO ACCOUNTABILITY or responsibility.

    Repugs like lower taxes thats kinda hard when the repugs in charge waste and squander trillions in senseless wars, lost and unaccounted for funds and corporate welfare and bailouts to their reckless, irresponsible and incompetent cronnies after saying they dont believe in tax payer funded bailouts for speculators.

  121. The Repugs would as soon cast the poor on an island to dwither away, while making this country one for the ultra elite.

  122. sure it is Larry.............who do you think is going to keep the banks and wall street brokerages afloat.............the FED will lower interest rates, print money to give to the banks and brokerage houses and even drop money out of helicopters to keep their cronnies afloat.

    The Fed stopped reporting M3 for a reason and that reason was so they can print money and keep the game going a while longer without the sheeple becoming aware till its too late.

    The banks cant just eat the loss of loaning out money at a lower rate figuring they would recoup it later because rates were rising then rates dont rise..........so the Fed is lowering rates and printing lots of money to TRY to allow both banks and consumers to stay afloat.

    The Fed isnt just going to lock in adjustable rates for 5 years they will most likely push rates down to allow both consumers and banks to lock in lower rates before rates start rising again..........they are creating a window to lock in lower rates and pumping money into the system and trying to use inflation to inflate some of the debts away or at least make them more manageable.

  123. Larry said...
    The Repugs would as soon cast the poor on an island to dwither away, while making this country one for the ultra elite."

    Your right Larry, they would...........But they will be swept away by the next Recession/Depression just like Hoover and Mellon and the repugs were during the Great Depression..........if they old things off for a few more years that will ONLY prolong things.........I think the recession is coming this year though no matter what they do.

  124. All they are doing is making a Catch 22 that will expire in 2012 and further decimate whoever is left after this fallout.

  125. Larry said...
    All they are doing is making a Catch 22 that will expire in 2012 and further decimate whoever is left after this fallout."

    Yeah and ask yourself WHY they would do that...........ya think they KNOW the Democrats will win the Whitehouse and they want to push the economic collapse out a few years so the Democrats will own it?

  126. Did you read Clif's comment earlier about the crumbling of China's economy.

    Bush and company are creating a worldwide Recession/Depression.

  127. They are but I think the USA will crumble first............China has a manufacturing base and a surplus not a growing deficit.

    Think how utterly insane it is to BORROW trillions to fight a neverending unwinnable war of choice based on lies.............thats like an unemployed alcoholic deep in debt speding thousans on credit cards to pay the bar tab instead of feeding their children or paying the mortgage.

  128. The U.S will crumble first, and shortly after the idiot leaves office, if he does, and then we will see a Modern Day Depression that few will totally survive.

  129. Did you hear Bush the liar "CLAIM" he wasnt aware of the CIA destroying the torture tapes.............what did anyone expect the liar to say..........admit he had knowledge of it and was in on the plot to obstruct justice?

    Thats like asking a Mafia boss if he remembers seeing his enforcer murder an enemy or if he was aware of a video of it being destroyed.

  130. Bush is probably the one who told them to destroy the tapes. He is drunk with power and mad with greed and not nearly as stupid as he wants people to think.

  131. Bush and Cheney are punchdrunk on their own power and greed...........but i think they sense the tide turning and they arent as confident as they were...........I can sense it with their push to attack Iran.

    If you asked me a few months ago, i would have said it was very likely, almost a certainty.............Now I think it more likely that it WONT happen...........Bush and chenney arent as confident pushing to attack Iran they KNOW it will be difficult to manipulate things this time............I think they will make one more push or attempt to make it happen, but i think they are also ready to throw in the towel and accept that it isnt as likely.

  132. Don't be so sure about not attacking Iran.

    A story on Huffingtonpost has the Pentagon saying their plans haven't changed a bit, even with the NIE revelations.

  133. More back-up to the theory that the destroyed CIA tapes were destroyed for the evidence they held against the Saudis, NOT the fact they might have shown torture;

    It's Not Torture They're Covering Up, It's the Results

    The automatic assumption about the CIA's destruction of the interrogation tapes of Abu Zubaydah is that the tapes exposed methods everyone would agree amounted to torture, and they were destroyed to prevent that proof being exposed. It's quite likely that what was being covered up was the results of that torture.

    Gerald Posner has a piece at HuffPo drawing from his 2003 book that is worth a read:

    Instead, when confronted by his "Saudi" interrogators, Zubaydah showed no fear. Instead, according to the two U.S. intelligence sources that provided me the details, he seemed relieved. The man who had been reluctant to even confirm his identity to his U.S. captors, suddenly talked animatedly. He was happy to see them, he said, because he feared the Americans would kill him. He then asked his interrogators to call a senior member of the Saudi royal family. And Zubaydah provided a private home number and a cell phone number from memory. "He will tell you what to do," Zubaydah assured them

    He named two other Saudi princes, and also the chief of Pakistan's air force, as his major contacts. Moreover, he stunned his interrogators, by charging that two of the men, the King's nephew, and the Pakistani Air Force chief, knew a major terror operation was planned for America on 9/11.

    It would be nice to further investigate the men named by Zubaydah, but that is not possible. All four identified by Zubaydah are now dead. As for the three Saudi princes, the King's 43-year-old nephew, Prince Ahmed, died of either a heart attack or blood clot, depending on which report you believe, after having liposuction in Riyadh's top hospital; the second, 41-year-old Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki al-Saud, died the following day in a one car accident, on his way to the funeral of Prince Ahmed; and one week later, the third Saudi prince named by Zubaydah, 25-year-old Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, died, according to the Saudi Royal Court, "of thirst." The head of Pakistan's Air Force, Mushaf Ali Mir, was the last to go. He died, together with his wife and fifteen of his top aides, when his plane blew up -- suspected as sabotage -- in February 2003. Pakistan's investigation of the explosion -- if one was even done -- has never been made public.

    It wasn't the fact that he was tortured that needed covering up, it was what he said.

  134. Walter Conkite knows a little bit about illegal, immoral wars;

    Our Troops Must Leave Iraq

    by Walter Cronkite and David Krieger

    The American people no longer support the war in Iraq. The war is being carried on by a stubborn president who, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War, does not want to lose. But from the beginning this has been an ill-considered and poorly prosecuted war that, like the Vietnam War, has diminished respect for America. We believe Mr. Bush would like to drag the war on long enough to hand it off to another president.

    The war in Iraq reminds us of the tragedy of the Vietnam War. Both wars began with false assertions by the president to the American people and the Congress. Like Vietnam, the Iraq War has introduced a new vocabulary: “shock and awe,” “mission accomplished,” “the surge.” Like Vietnam, we have destroyed cities in order to save them. It is not a strategy for success.

    The Bush administration has attempted to forestall ending the war by putting in more troops, but more troops will not solve the problem. We have lost the hearts and minds of most of the Iraqi people, and victory no longer seems to be even a remote possibility. It is time to end our occupation of Iraq, and bring our troops home.

    This war has had only limited body counts. There are reports that more than one million Iraqis have died in the war. These reports cannot be corroborated because the US military does not make public the number of the Iraqi dead and injured. There are also reports that some four million Iraqis have been displaced and are refugees either abroad or within their own country. Iraqis with the resources to leave the country have left. They are frightened. They don’t trust the US, its allies or its mercenaries to protect them and their interests.

    We know more about the body counts of American soldiers in Iraq. Some 4,000 American soldiers have been killed in this war, about a third more than the number of people who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And some 28,000 American soldiers have suffered debilitating injuries. Many more have been affected by the trauma of war in ways that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives - ways that will have serious effects not only on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, but on society as a whole. Due to woefully inadequate resources being provided, our injured soldiers are not receiving the medical treatment and mental health care that they deserve.

    The invasion of Iraq was illegal from the start. Not only was Congress lied to in order to secure its support for the invasion of Iraq, but the war lacked the support of the United Nations Security Council and thus was an aggressive war initiated on the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Nor has any assertion of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda proven to be true. In the end, democracy has not come to Iraq. Its government is still being forced to bend to the will of the US administration.

    What the war has accomplished is the undermining of US credibility throughout the world, the weakening of our military forces, and the erosion of our Bill of Rights. Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz calculates that the war is costing American tax payers more than $1 trillion. This amount could double if we continue the war. Each minute we are spending $500,000 in Iraq. Our losses are incalculable. It is time to remove our military forces from Iraq.

    We must ask ourselves whether continuing to pursue this war is benefiting the American people or weakening us. We must ask whether continuing the war is benefiting the Iraqi people or inflicting greater suffering upon them. We believe the answer to these inquiries is that both the American and Iraqi people would benefit by ending the US military presence in Iraq.

    Moving forward is not complicated, but it will require courage. Step one is to proceed with the rapid withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and hand over the responsibility for the security of Iraq to Iraqi forces. Step two is to remove our military bases from Iraq and to turn Iraqi oil over to Iraqis. Step three is to provide resources to the Iraqis to rebuild the infrastructure that has been destroyed in the war.

    Congress must act. Although Congress never declared war, as required by the Constitution, they did give the president the authority to invade Iraq. Congress must now withdraw that authority and cease its funding of the war.

    It is not likely, however, that Congress will act unless the American people make their voices heard with unmistakable clarity. That is the way the Vietnam War was brought to an end. It is the way that the Iraq War will also be brought to an end. The only question is whether it will be now, or whether the war will drag on, with all the suffering that implies, to an even more tragic, costly and degrading defeat. We will be a better, stronger and more decent country to bring the troops home now.

  135. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

    The Dumbos are about to cave to Bush for the thrid time on his request for additional Iraq war funding.

    Bush stomped his widdle size 5 cowboy boots y'all and demanded additional funds before Christmas and the idiots Pelosi and Reid essentially said, "Yessum, Mastah Bush, how many of them, thar billions more do ya' want?"

    This shit has got to end in 2008.

    Pelosi and Reid MUST go and we must get men and women in leadership positions to actually lead and don't capitulate to the neoconservatives and the Likkuds who control the U.S.'s foreign policy.

    Our debt ceiling is $9.4 trillion now and the Democrats just keep partying like they're printing the money in the basement in Capitol Hill.

  136. Bush is probably the one who told them to destroy the tapes. He is drunk with power and mad with greed and not nearly as stupid as he wants people to think.

    This can be refuted fairly easily.

    The bum has never been a success at anything he tried his entire life. He got through college on his daddy's connections, ran 3 businesses into the ground, and TRADED SAMMY SOSA.

    No, it's no act. He really is that stupid. His life history tells us so.

  137. If anyone actually thinks the decision to destroy the tapes was made within the CIA, aznd not in the White House, please call me... with your checkbook open. ;-)

  138. TomCat said...
    If anyone actually thinks the decision to destroy the tapes was made within the CIA, aznd not in the White House, please call me... with your checkbook open. ;-)"

    And i'm hoping the Congressional invesigations illuminates that very fact................more treason from the White House!

  139. By Colleen Redman:

    I want President Bush to have a dream
    like the one that Ebenezer Scrooge had
    I want him to be visited by the ghosts of Iraqi children
    who cry out, "But mankind was your business."

    I want all the Tiny Tims of the world
    to get their 401k money back
    from the white collar criminals who stole it

    I want them to not go to war for oil,
    good ratings, or weapon sale quotas
    because this white collar mafia is in power

    I wish President Bush would have an affair
    I wish he'd take off his black pointed cowboy boots
    and look at the moon more often

    And then I wish he'd wake up
    and be inflicted with what Jim Carey had
    in the movie "Liar Liar"

    I wish all the billboards across the country read:
    "Give back the votes your brother stole"
    and the poets would shout from every street corner,
    "The emperor wears no clothes"

    I want his mouth washed out with soap
    every time he says "weapons of mass destruction"
    and for him to wear a Darth Vader helmet
    if he ever says "the axis of evil" again

    I hope President Bush looks out his White House window
    when we descend on Washington marching for peace
    like hordes of starlings who know their way home
    because it is in their nature

    I want President Bush to have a dream
    like the one that Martin Luther King had
    I want him to be visited by the ghosts of King,
    John Lennon, Paul Wellstone, and the Kennedys

    I want the New York Times to cover the story
    when his mother scolds him for being a bully
    I hope he gets some Gi Joes for Christmas
    and starts to play with real toys
    and not with real people

    I think President Bush should go back to school
    and look up some words in the dictionary
    or study history - like the Roman Empire
    I'd like him to write on the blackboard 100 times,
    "I will not promote propaganda - or the far right agenda"
    " I will not join gangs"

    I want President Bush to be haunted
    by the ghosts of our Founding Fathers
    until he learns this lesson:
    that killing civilians is a terrorist act
    and pre-emptive strike is invasion

    I want him to break out in song
    at his next Address to the Nation
    singing "Give Peace a Chance" is all we are saying
    and "We Shall Overcome"

    I want President Bush to have an epiphany
    or else I want him gone
    I want Americans to say "yes" when the polls ask,
    "Should regime change begin at home?"

    And I want him to stop shouting "Fire!"
    in the theatre when he is the one with the matches
    I want him to care about children
    more than slogans and re-elections

    If President Bush doesn't have a real dream soon
    he should step aside for those who do
    He should impeach himself
    and ask for forgiveness
    for imposing his nightmare on the world

  140. Yahoo News, December 8th, 2007
    A suicide truck bomber attacked a police station in one of Iraq's major oil hubs on Saturday, killing at least seven people and injuring 13 in a neighborhood home to many refinery workers and engineers, police said.

    The incident in Beiji was at least the third deadly suicide attack in 24 hours in Iraq and came a day after a key oil pipeline in the northern city was struck by an insurgent bomb.

    The bomber on Saturday approached the police station in an explosives-laden truck about three miles north of the city center, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the attack.

    The official said five policemen and two civilians were killed in the blast, which damaged nearby homes and sent shards of glass flying through the air.

    Boy that "surge" is really working.

  141. It's as if politicians never learn. The old Watergate adage, "It's not the crime; it's the cover-up" became a cliche precisely because of its political salience. And yet, even now, leading Republican presidential candidates seem oblivious to the lesson.

    In Rudy Giuliani's case, the Shag Fund scandal continues to dog the former mayor, not just because he used taxpayer money to subsidize his adultery, but also because he tried to hide the expenditures and continues to lie about what transpired. The "crime" is embarrassing, but the "cover-up" keeps the story alive.

    In Mike Huckabee's case, the Wayne Dumond controversy is part of the same phenomenon. Huckabee, for apparently political reasons, pushed for the release of a convicted rapist, who had become a right-wing cause celebre. Free, Dumond went on to rape and kill again.

    Given what transpired, Huckabee had one viable option: acknowledge the truth, express regret, and promise voters that he learned from the mistake. Instead, Huckabee not only pushed to let a violent criminal out of jail for political reasons, he's lying about it now. Huckabee's "crime" was a tragedy, but it's the "cover-up" that will likely undermine his presidential campaign.

    First, Huckabee insisted that he had no way of knowing that Dumond was still dangerous when he pushed for his freedom. That wasn't true. Second, Huckabee insisted that he did not pressure Arkansas' parole board to release Dumond. As it turns out, that's demonstrably false, too.

    Huckabee had a chance to tell the truth and get this painful ordeal behind him. Unfortunately for him, he made the wrong call. The cover-up may not be worse than the crime, but the political impact is likely to be far more damaging.

  142. From Bradblog:

    She's the Teflon prima donna.

    Controversial conservative writer Ann Coulter didn't break election laws when she registered at an address other than hers in Palm Beach and voted in the wrong precinct in February 2006.

    That's what the Florida Elections Commission declared after investigating a complaint of fraud that WPB Democratic political consultant Richard Giorgio made this summer. The reason? The two-year statute of limitations expired. The clock started ticking when Coulter registered to vote, shortly after her arrival in June 2005, not when she voted.

    And though the commission verbally slapped the TV quote-machine for not listening to a poll worker who tried to steer her to the right place, investigators found no probable cause that Coulter willfully violated the law.

    Commission counsel Charles Finkel couldn't be reached for comment, but Giorgio called the opinion "arbitrary."

    "We have an election commission that's hesitant to enforce the law," he said.

    Coulter's voting also has been investigated, so far, by Palm Beach Police, the PBC Supervisor of Elections and the sheriff's office — and all declined to file charges.

    Was there any doubt the pointed nosed witch would be freed by Bush's courts!

  143. (Bloomberg) -- CompUSA, the computer retailer that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim owned since 2000, will shut its doors after 23 years, succumbing to competition from Best Buy Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

    Restructuring firm Gordon Brothers Group LLC bought the chain for an undisclosed sum and will sell or close its 103 stores after the U.S. holidays, CompUSA said yesterday. The 67- year-old Slim, Latin America's richest man, failed to turn around CompUSA after investing more than $1.5 billion in the chain over eight years.

    ``An orderly and expedited wind-down and asset sale process is the best option for CompUSA and its creditors at this juncture,'' Bill Weinstein, a principal at Gordon Brothers, said in a statement. Weinstein will serve as interim president of CompUSA.

    Founded in 1984, CompUSA focuses on computer-related products for small companies and individuals. The chain, acquired by Slim in 2000, shut more than half of its stores earlier this year.

    CompUSA was a unit of Slim's U.S. Commercial Corp. SA, which had sales last year of 37.8 billion pesos ($3.5 billion).

    Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy, the biggest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, had revenue of $35.9 billion last year. No. 2 Circuit City Stores Inc. had sales of $12.4 billion.

    Boston-based Gordon Brothers' DJM unit helped Discovery Channel Stores, Bombay Co. and Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. sell properties. It plans to sell CompUSA's TechPro technical services division and CompUSA.com as well.

    Another result of the faltering Bush economy.

  144. What is lost in all of this is an even bigger question:

    Why do we let them get away with approaching the debate from the underlying premise that if Iran was producing nukes then that would justify an invasion?

    Let's state several facts:

    1. The idea that we can prevent other countries from developing 60 year old technology (including uranium enrichment) is fantasy in itself. North Korea, Pakistan and India have already make a mockery of the so-called non-proliferation pact.

    2. History teaches us that we can survive having a nuclear armed opponent. When the people in the Soviet Union decided they were tired of living in fear of their own government, all those nukes in the end did them no good.

    3. We've had trade embargos on Iran, North Korea and Cuba for a combined 132 years without succeeding in changing the government in any of those countries. Maybe the better way would be to open the trade of consumer goods with all of them, and let their own people do as the Soviet people did and reform their own system. 2/3 of the population of Iran is under 30 and has no memory of the Shah or of the revolution. They don't like living under the strictures of the current system, and the mullahs know it. We should be reaching out to the younger generation in Iran instead of playing into the hands of the mullahs and Ahmadinejad by militarily threatening and refusing to trade with Iran.

  145. Excellent comment Eli:

    Whether Iran has anything or not, it isn't Bush's place to stick his nose in and invade.

    Doubt he would want his little kingdom in Texas invaded.

  146. Larry:


    Maybe if we recognized that there are other ways to deal with a situation than to go to war, we might be more successful.

    I just hope that Bush's retirement home never gets termites. Because the only way he would be able to think of to get rid of termites would be to burn the house down (Voila! We defeated the termites! See, a victory!)

  147. Eli:

    If the palaces of Bush were to get termites it would be real justice, not the justice that kills thousands of people for oil and world dominance.

  148. Here is a link to what the Republican Party stands for:

    Republican Sex Offenders

  149. Larry that is one of tiny the lying welshes favorite sites.

    He loves it so much, he claimed to be searching for a democratic site just like it.

    Too bad it has been over a year and he ain't found any thing close to it.

  150. RIP John Lennon,

    27 years ago a very special light and soul was taken from all us far too soon.

    IMAGINE if you can.

  151. Bush Spins Iran's Centrifuges

    by ray McGovern

    Those who know about the centrifuges used to refine uranium tell me they must spin at an almost unrivaled velocity—almost unrivaled, because Bush administration statements are being spun at equivalent speed by White House and corporate media spiders.

    Without weaver-in-chief Karl Rove and former presidential spokesman Tony Snow, it is amateur hour at the White House. And the theater would be as funny as The Daily Show were the subject not so serious.

    Judging from President George W. Bush’s words and body language he is far from giving up on ways to “justify” attacking Iran’s nuclear program—weapons-related or not. He appears convinced he must honor the pledge he has made to Israel’s current leaders to eliminate what they have called an “existential threat” to Israel.

    This came through in a particularly pointed way when an agitated president ad-libbed about the possibility of World War III, complaining loudly, “We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced he wants to destroy Israel.”

    Not at all helpful to the president was the judgment of U.S. intelligence that the Iranians halted their nuclear weapons-related program in 2003, a judgment the administration made public this week.

    The White House knew only too well that this bombshell could not be kept secret very long—the more so since Congress’ intelligence committees, Pentagon brass, and senior CIA officials reportedly made it clear they would go public if the White House did not publish a sanitized version of the key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate.

    On Oct. 26, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell launched a trial balloon, declaring he would no longer declassify and release summaries of National Intelligence Estimates, but that balloon was quickly shot down.

    So what can Cheney and Bush do now to “justify” striking Iran?

    Several months ago, about the time new intelligence established there was no active nuclear weapons program in Iran, there were signs in the rhetoric coming from the president and Gen. David Petraeus that the argument was going to hinge on claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were supplying the wherewithal to kill our troops in Iraq.

    Petraeus was clearly ready to play that game, but his superior, Admiral “we’re-not-going-to-do-Iran-on-my-watch” William Fallon would not play along. And neither would the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates is now back from a brief visit to Iraq and his caution so far on this issue suggests he is paying more heed to Fallon than to Petraeus.

    In other words, there is no sign that Gates wants to abet using Iranian meddling in Iraq as a pretext for a military strike on Iran. Gates’s well-deserved chameleon-like reputation counsels caution here, since a word from Cheney or Bush could conceivably make Gates a fervent champion of this pretext for war.

    But people do mature; Gates is smart; and I doubt he would want to be so closely associated with starting a regional war, if not WW III.

    Spinning Centrifuges

    So where does that leave the beleaguered president?

    This week’s spinning by the White House and subservient media suggests the administration still thinks it can make a case for war, by obfuscating the nuclear program in Iran.

    This has become clearer as administration mouthpieces blur the distinction between uranium enrichment for a civilian energy use (permitted to signatories of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty) and the much more demanding requirements of a nuclear weapons program.

    The spinners have resurrected the discredited argument that Iran’s nuclear program must be for weapons, because Iran’s oil and gas should suffice to meet all its energy requirements.

    Thus, the administration’s Pravda, also known as the editorial page of the Washington Post, on Dec. 5: “Iran’s massive overt investment in uranium enrichment meanwhile proceeds...even though Tehran has no legitimate use for enriched uranium.”

    And thus another major administration mouthpiece, also known as the New York Times, on Dec. 6, in an op-ed, “In Iran We Trust?” by Valerie Lincy and Gary Milhollin: “Why, by the way, does Iran even want a nuclear energy program, when it is sitting on an enormous pool of oil that is now skyrocketing in value.”

    This is a familiar canard; i.e., that Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is for electricity production is given the lie by its own large oil and natural gas reserves, so uranium enrichment must be for nuclear weapons development.

    Condoleezza Rice took that line over a year and a half ago (shades of those (in)famous aluminum tubes that she said could “only” be used in a nuclear application but turned out to be for conventional artillery).

    At about the same time Dick Cheney complained that since the Iranians are “already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas, nobody can figure why they need nuclear as well to generate energy.”

    It all makes me think of Harry Truman’s complaint: “They must think we were born yesterday!”

    Rice and Cheney have selective memories—or take us for fools.

    Back in 1976—with Gerald Ford president, Dick Cheney his chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld secretary of defense—the Ford administration bought the Shah’s argument that Iran needed a nuclear program to meet its future energy requirements.

    That argument, of course, is even more valid today, with the price that can be obtained for oil and the specter of Peak Oil.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld persuaded a hesitant President Ford to offer Iran a deal that would have meant at least $6.4 billion for U.S. corporations like Westinghouse and General Electric, had not the Shah been unceremoniously dumped three years later.

    The offer included a reprocessing facility for a complete nuclear fuels cycle—essentially the same capability that the U.S. and Israel now insist Iran cannot be allowed to acquire.

    A pity that our domesticated media seem unable to catch the disingenuousness.

  152. Speaker Botox condoned torture?

    Looks like. She toured a facility where waterboarding is carried out and she smiled and said nothing.

    Her silence was a tacit vote in favor of the military and CIA violating the Geneva Convention and the World Court.

  153. You know with the NIE leak, the Bush administration is reeling on the ropes.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Jon Stewart and Colbert, Maher and Letterman were on?

    Could you imagine the media massacre?


    If they were only allowed to speak, instead of being silenced by this so called "writers strike".

  154. A strike that as I predicted, no ones talking about, no ones hearing anything about, and yet, it just goes on, and on, and on and on and on and...

  155. Bartlebee - you're right, this is infuriating. The cover story of L.A. Times yesterday had a huge story on how the talks ended in rancor this week. The networks stand to lose gazillions when all the shows go off in two weeks.

    They have no backups and risk losing younger viewers permanently. The producers and writers are so close to an agreement, yet the top two negotiators are so stubborn.

    No industry would cut its own throat like this. Bush doesn't have any power left, and no one would deliberately do this.

    But you're right, we NEED these late night talk shows desperately.

  156. Its those "top two negotiators" I'd be looking into Lydia.

  157. Could you imagine Stewart on the NIE leak?

    Finding out that Bush PUBLICALLY LIED about Iran so he could invade and murder them and plunder their resources?

    Stewart would have massacred him.

    And about 2 million more young people would know about it than do now.

  158. We HAVE Bush.

    We have him lying on camera, about Iran's nuclear program.

    Now we KNOW he was briefed that they dismantled their nuclear weapons program, but Bush LIED to us all, and said they were "actively working to create nuclear weapons".

    He lied on camera, not once but dozens of times over the last few years, even though he knew years ago that Iran had abandoned the program.

    This is an immediately impeachable offense, as is the Scott Mclellan revelation that they lied about leaking Valerie Plames name.

    They've GOT him.

    Problem is, not enough people are talking about it in public.

    The MSM gives it a few minutes of airtime. The hardcore cable news shows talk about it of course, but only a certain demograph listen to those.

    If Stewart, Colbert, Maher, Letterman, etc, were on everynight talking about this stuff, I dont' see how Bush could stay in office.

    Which is why I think he silenced them.

  159. Lydia I remember hearing about the cameraman, my condolences to everyone!
    I have to tell you, that NIE report outing Bush's lies did nothing but ensure a furtherance to war, watch! Bush is still instigating the world saying Iran is very dangarous as the world is now ignoring Rice and Bush openly. Bush will not relent until there is a confrontation with Iran. He has to have it so he can further his wars and new world order.
    Israel will not relent and says they know Iran has a clandestine nuclear weapons program and will not stop either. It is increasingly looking like the scenario I painted years ago of Israel attacking and Bush coming to their rescue will be the way Bush gets into Iran.
    At the same time Iran is now saying they will make us pay for Bush's lies and the damage he has done to Iran. This long ago planned war has to happen and it will. Then this will all really get started when the rest of the world comes to their aid.

  160. Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani reaffirmed yesterday that he continues to hold a financial stake in the security consulting firm he launched after leaving the New York mayor's office, and said the company's client list will continue to remain confidential.

    Guiliani can't reveal all those mobsters and terrorists he is associated with.

  161. Two senior Republicans and Democrats in Congress -- including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- were briefing on the CIA's program to use waterboarding on terror suspects in September 2002 and did not object, according to Sunday's Washington Post.

    In the long-ranging article, which seemingly takes the lawmakers and the Bush Administration to task by discussing the practice's emergence in Nazi Germany and other totalitarian states, a Pelosi aide said the Speaker remembered discussion of "enhanced" interrogation techniques and "acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time."

    "In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody," the Post wrote. "For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk."

    "Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill," the Post added. "But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said."

    Democrats have since been vehement critics of the practice, piggybacking on public outrage to a practice many have described as torture -- including 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ) who was tortured in the Vietnam War.

    Only Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) -- then the second-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who would supplant Pelosi in 2003 -- formally objected. Harman, who was set to lead the House Intelligence Committee when the Democrats retook the chamber in 2006, was pushed aside by Pelosi when she took over as Speaker, in what was seen as an element of personal rivalry.

    "Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program," the Post notes. "Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy."

    Nancy Pelosi: Vindictive, Manipulative and a Secret Republican.

  162. A Senate Democratic leader said Sunday the attorney general should appoint a special counsel to investigate the CIA’s destruction of videotaped interrogations of two suspected terrorists.

    Sen. Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, cited Michael Mukasey’s refusal during confirmation hearings in October to describe waterboarding as torture.

    Mukasey’s Justice Department and the CIA’s internal watchdog announced Saturday they would conduct a joint inquiry into the matter. That review will determine whether a full investigation is warranted. “He’s the same guy who couldn’t decide whether or not waterboarding was torture and he’s going to be doing this investigation,” said Biden, who noted that he voted against making Mukasey the country’s top law enforcer.

    “I just think it’s clearer and crisper and everyone will know what the truth is … if he appoints a special counsel, steps back from it,” said Biden, D-Del.

    Bush won't let that happen.

  163. I still believe that if Chimpy gets us into a war with Iran, his Reign of Error will come to a quick and nasty end. And it won't be our CONgress that ends it.

    From the things I've heard, some of them may well be in trouble too, if it comes to that. Military rebellions are seldom polite matters.

  164. If Bush does go to war with Iran, and there is a rebellion, I hope Pelosi and Reid are brought down with Bush.

  165. It’s déja vu all over again in Hollywood.

    On October 31, 2007, the day the WGA’s contract with the studios was set to expire, the AMPTP issued the following statement to the WGA:

    We’ve been working hard to come up with a package in response to your last proposal. But we keep running up against the DVD issue. The companies believe that movement is possible on other issues, but they cannot make any movement when confronted with your continuing efforts to increase the DVD formula, including the formula for electronic sell-through.

    The magnitude of that proposal alone is blocking us from making any further progress. We cannot move further as long as that issue remains on the table. In short, the DVD issue is a complete roadblock to any further progress.
    Read that last sentence again: “[T]he DVD issue is a complete roadblock to further progress.”

    A roadblock. Gee, I suppose the WGA should take the DVD issue off the table.

    So that’s what it did.

    Cut to 29 days later -- when the AMPTP finally got around to making its first economic proposal, which they have entitled the “New Economic Partnership.”

    What’s that you say? Hasn’t the AMPTP been negotiating with the WGA since July? Hasn’t the WGA been on strike for 24 days? Haven’t hundred of people lost their jobs? And the AMPTP is just making an economic proposal now?


    But that’s not the kicker. The kicker is that the NEP was vague (purportedly $130 million dollars for an unspecified term) and incomplete -- it didn’t include a proposal on the critical issue of Electronic Sell Through (downloads, think iTunes). But that’s alright, the AMPTP promised, we’ll get the EST half of the proposal to you on Tuesday.

    Maybe the AMPTP tried sending their proposal through telepathy, because the WGA negotiators didn’t receive it. Perhaps they’ll get it on Wednesday.


    Thursday? Nope.

    Friday. Surely, the AMPTP would make its Tuesday proposal then. Unfortunately, by five PM, they hadn’t.

    “That’s alright,” one can imagine the WGA negotiators thinking. “Maybe they’re OCD and feel like they should present their Tuesday proposal on a Tuesday or something.”


    Instead of delivering the Tuesday proposal, or any proposal on Friday, the AMPTP delivered a statement which noted in pertinent part, “Instead of negotiating, the WGA organizers have made unreasonable demands that are roadblocks to real progress.”


    I thought DVDs were the roadblock. Now you’re telling me there are others? Well, heck, the WGA should take those off the table, too. Just like they did with DVDs. Then maybe we could get on with some real negotiating -- after we've given them 95% of what they want without getting a single concession from them on anything, and having been left at the table after they walked out on us.

  166. This is the first of what we hope will be a number of "calls to action."

    As of last week, the AMPTP retained the powerhouse "crisis management" firm of Fabiani and Lehane (known in political circles as "the Masters of Disaster." )They also have "a reputation for hardball tactics in damage control and inflicting damage on opponents."

    This firm has built a reputation and a substantial income largely from Democratic, progressive political causes. A short list of their past employers includes Al Gore, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore/Miramax (for Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko), and my personal favorite, the Screen Actors Guild. Founding partner Chris Lehane is currently a consultant for the Californians for Fair Election Reform, a major Democratic group, among other things.

    My DC lobbyist friends tell me that for emergency “crisis management,” firms like Fabiani & Lehane charge as much as $100,000 dollars a month. But the AMPTP is also paying Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican-leaning PR guru. He could easily cost another $100,000 a month.

    My concern is this: no one hires crisis management firms at such huge expense if they’re planning on making a fair deal. A fair deal doesn't require hundreds of thousands of dollars of spin to sell. A fair deal is its own good PR.

    The WGA hasn’t hired a huge PR firm. We don’t want to “spin” anyone. United Hollywood is an all-volunteer blog, and our PR strategy is simple: we tell the truth.

    The truth is, we’re fighting for the future for all working people in Hollywood.

    The truth is, new media coverage and internet residuals are vital to the income of writers, directors and actors.

    The truth is, the below-the-line unions rely on residuals to fund over half of their pension and health plans, and their rate is tied directly to ours. If we lose, their P&H will likely be decimated.

    The truth is, if we don’t get coverage for new media productions, the below the line unions won’t get it either. If we lose, they lose.

    This strike is a disaster for the working men and women of California, and many other regions that rely on the entertainment industry for jobs. We didn’t want this strike. And the AMPTP could stop it tomorrow because our proposals are affordable and reasonable.

    But instead of making a fair deal with us, they hire Fabiani & Lehane. The proposal gets a snazzy new name, the CEO's take out new ads and tell everyone how great their proposal is. Except that then, they don't give it to us. Remember the second half of the proposal they said we'd have on Tuesday? We still haven’t gotten it. Hard to negotiate without the offer. And it's becoming clear they don't intend to give it to us -- one theory being that they're stalling, looking for an opportunity to walk out of the talks and blame the WGA leadership for it.

    It's time for the CEO's to stop playing PR games and get a deal done.

    When Fabiani & Lehane worked for SAG in 2002, Lehane said at the time:

    “... we believe strongly in the need to preserve the strength of the union and this agreement does that. We both come from liberal, progressive backgrounds, and this union represents working people."
    For the record, so does the WGA, which is why SAG is our ally. And yet, right now Chris Lehane is helping the conglomerates try to divide this union internally and orchestrate ways to get us to question our leadership.

    In other words, Chris Lehane is union busting.

    And since Lehane and his firm have made their fortune – and continue to make it – off of Democratic Party connections and progressive causes, I think the hypocrisy here is pretty appalling.

    Below is the contact info for the three frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton, who says she supports the writers in this strike, has worked extensively with Fabiani & Lehane. Barack Obama and John Edwards also support the strike, and they work with many of the organizations that Fabiani & Lehane rely on for their business.

    Call these 3 candidates, and politely ask them to promise to hold Fabiani & Lehane accountable for what they are doing.

    Tell Clinton, Edwards and Obama this:

    "As long as Fabiani & Lehane are in the business of union-busting, we want your personal assurance that they will not be in the business of working with Democratic organizations, businesses, politicians or candidates.

    A strike is not a business opportunity to make a profit by harming the interests of working men and women."

    Hillary Clinton (213) 908-0190 socalhrc@hillaryclinton.com

    John Edwards (919) 636-3131 info@johnedwards.com

    Barack Obama (866) 675-2008

  167. TVNewser tipsters tell us MSNBC taped a pilot with radio talk show host Rachel Maddow and MSNBC prime time VP Bill Wolff. Maddow is a frequent guest on MSNBC, she appeared regularly on Tucker Carlson's former 11pm ET show, The Situation. Wolff, who was the EP of that show, has been running MSNBC's prime time since September 2005. No word on if the pilot is being considered ready for take-off.

  168. Religious vigilantes have killed at least 40 women this year in the southern Iraqi city of Basra because of how they dressed, their mutilated bodies found with notes warning against "violating Islamic teachings," the police chief said Sunday.

    That "surge" sure is working Bush!

  169. A roadside bomb struck a convoy carrying the police chief of a predominantly Shiite province south of Baghdad on Sunday, killing him and two of his bodyguards, authorities said.

    Didn't Bush claim his "surge" was a success?

  170. Hang on...Lydia? You're SHORTER than Dennis Kucinich?

    Damn, you come off much taller in Blogtopia!

  171. Larry said...
    Here is a link to what the Republican Party stands for:

    Republican Sex Offenders

    You should add Rudy! to the list.

  172. Carl, first of all I was leaning in and crouching so I wouldn't block the person behind me...

    But 5'6" - 5'7" is not short for a woman.



  173. Its obvious from the photo you're leaning in Lydia.

    I just assumed you were doing it to be polite to Mr Kucinich, by making him appear taller.

  174. Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is no longer appealing his conviction in the CIA leak case, a tacit recognition that continuing his legal fight might only make things worse.

    Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of perjury and obstruction but President Bush commuted his 30-month prison sentence in July. Had Libby won a new trial, that commutation would be meaningless and Libby would again face potential prison time.

    White House Press Secretary Dana Perino refused to comment on the trial during today's press conference despite the fact that there is no longer a pending appeal.

    No worries for Scooter: Bush will pardon the criminal.

  175. No, 5'6" is a bit above average even.

    Good. So if the opportunity to kiss you ever comes up...and I mean, in a totally chaste, on-the-cheek fashion, of course, I don't have to worry about throwing my back out.

  176. Bart,

    Leaning in, yes, but if she's standing straight up, she loses maybe an inch, inch and a half in that pose.

    Crouching a little makes more sense.

  177. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office has avoided fully disclosing payments of $1.7 million in nonprofit funds for private jets, hotel suites and support staff for his trips overseas, according to state documents and interviews.

    Record-keeping for many of the governor's luxury-class jaunts has been by word of mouth. Asked how the staff tracks the costs, subject to public disclosure laws, Schwarzenegger attorney Daniel Maguire said: "Orally."

    In late 2004, the multimillionaire governor stopped reporting the travel expenses on state disclosure forms that itemize gifts to elected officials. Instead, Schwarzenegger's top aides recorded some of the costs -- and made only general references to others -- in memos they wrote to themselves and filed away in the governor's legal affairs office.

    Several of the memos did not include dollar amounts, even though regulations under the state Political Reform Act require that such figures be disclosed in a written public record within 30 days of payment. After The Times asked for those amounts -- some missing since 2004 -- the governor's office took more than two months to produce them.

    Schwarzenegger has frequently called for more transparency -- what he calls the "antiseptic of sunshine" -- in state government. But nonprofit watchdogs and open-government advocates called his aides' handling of the travel costs deceptive, a way to thwart scrutiny of the lavish spending by the tax-exempt charity that foots the bill.

    "They're trying to not have written records," said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies. "I would call it creative accounting -- creative oral accounting."

    Another corrupt Republican stealing from the taxpayers.

  178. Steadily lengthening delays in the resolution of Social Security disability claims have left hundreds of thousands of people in a kind of purgatory, now waiting as long as three years for a decision.

    Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times
    Thomas Airington, 48, was told his appeal, filed last spring, would be expedited when he showed officials an eviction notice. In the meantime he lost his house.
    Two-thirds of those who appeal an initial rejection eventually win their cases.

    But in the meantime, more and more people have lost their homes, declared bankruptcy or even died while awaiting an appeals hearing, say lawyers representing claimants and officials of the Social Security Administration, which administers disability benefits for those judged unable to work or who face terminal illness.

    The agency’s new plan to hire at least 150 new appeals judges to whittle down the backlog, which has soared to 755,000 from 311,000 in 2000, will require $100 million more than the president requested this year and still more in the future. The plan has been delayed by the standoff between Congress and the White House over domestic appropriations.

    There are 1,025 judges currently at work, and the wait for an appeals hearing averages more than 500 days, compared with 258 in 2000. Without new hirings, federal officials predict even longer waits and more of the personal tragedies that can result from years of painful uncertainty.

    Progress against the backlog, if it happens, cannot undo the three years that Belinda Virgil of Fayetteville, N.C., has worried about her future since her initial application was turned down.

    Tethered to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day because of emphysema and life-threatening sleep apnea, Ms. Virgil lost her apartment and has alternated between a sofa in her daughter’s crowded house and a friend’s place as she waits for an answer to her appeal.

    “It’s been hell,” said Ms. Virgil, 44, who finally got her hearing in November and is awaiting the outcome. “I’ve got no money for Christmas, I move from house to house, and I’m getting really depressed.”

    The disability process is complex, and the standard for approval has, from the inception of the program in the 1950s, been intentionally strict to prevent malingering and drains on the treasury. But it is also inevitably subjective in some cases, like those involving mental illness or pain that cannot be tested.

    In a standard tougher than those of most private plans, recipients must prove that because of physical or mental disabilities they are unable to do “any kind of substantial work” for at least 12 months — if an engineer could not do his job but could work as a clerk, he would not qualify — or prove that an illness is expected “to result in death.”

    In a recent interview, the commissioner of Social Security, Michael J. Astrue, said that outright fraud was rare but that many cases on appeal were borderline. In addition, widely publicized charges in the 1970s that money had been wasted on recipients whose conditions improved led to tighter scrutiny.

    Of the roughly 2.5 million disability applicants each year now, about two-thirds are turned down initially by state agencies, which make decisions with federal oversight based on paper records but no face-to-face interview. Most of those who are refused give up at that point or after a failed request for local reconsideration.

    But of the more than 575,000 who go on to file appeals — putting them in the vast line for a hearing before a special federal judge — two-thirds eventually win a reversal.

    Mr. Astrue and other officials attribute the high number of reversals to several causes. Those who file appeals tend to be those with stronger cases and lawyers who help them gather persuasive medical data. During the extended waiting period, a person’s condition may worsen, strengthening the case. The judges see applicants in person and have more discretion to grant benefits in borderline cases.

    Requiring face-to-face interviews at the initial stage could reduce the number of appeals, Mr. Astrue said, “but given the huge volume of cases coming through, it would be incredibly costly, and the Congress is not willing to fund that.”

    The Bush Government: Ruining The Lives Of The Elderly.

  179. The White House said Monday it would not answer questions about the CIA's destroying interrogation tapes of terrorism suspects, citing ongoing investigations into what some have called a cover-up.

    Do they ever really answer questions about anything?

  180. New thread is up, and read in the middle. Please discuss the Scooter Libby thing and the Dana Perino idiocy.

  181. Larry said...
    The White House said Monday it would not answer questions about the CIA's destroying interrogation tapes of terrorism suspects, citing ongoing investigations into what some have called a cover-up.

    Do they ever really answer questions about anything?"

    No Larry they have TOO much to hide to actually answer questions thats why they constantly stonewall, obstruct justice and destroy evidence to cover up their treason, criminality and war crimes against humanity.

  182. Carl said...
    No, 5'6" is a bit above average even.

    Good. So if the opportunity to kiss you ever comes up...and I mean, in a totally chaste, on-the-cheek fashion, of course, I don't have to worry about throwing my back out."

    5'6 is definately taller than average for a woman, i would say that 5'4 is probably the average..............how tall is Kucinich, he looks like 5'9 or so, he's not that short...........and he certainly doesnt seem to have a Napoleon complext like the pompous GWB who is 6 foot does.................Kucinich is a bigger man than Bush in Every way, he deserves to get some kind of leadership position either in the next presidential administration or in Congress.

  183. Hey, thank you for the kiss...