Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Patrick Henry wrote, "Give me liberty or give me death." New Hampshire's motto is "Live free or die." What could be more apt today? The Granite State can be very contrary. Today they surprised everyone, mainly the pollsters. Clinton ended her speech with my favorite line: Government must be of the People, by the People, for the People.

Was it the tears? In New Hampshire women came out to vote for Hillary: CLINTON WINS, OBAMA a close second, EDWARDS third.

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 9, Gail Sacco and Becky Isais will be our guests. Gail Sacco is a tireless advocate for the homeless, who faces a year and a half in jail and three thousand dollars in fines for sharing food with indigent people in a city "public" park without a permit that is unattainable. If you live in Vegas you can tune in Live or go to our website and listen in the audio archives.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas and simulcast worldwide on the web. All shows are archived and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed John & Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich, John Dean, Pat Buchanan, Valerie Plame, Lou Dobbs, Helen Thomas, Christine Crier, Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; Christine Pelosi, Dahr Jamail, Senator Mike Gravel; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig, 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.

MORE ON Gail Sacco and Becky Isais: Gail is a retired restaurant owner and has been a resident of Las Vegas since 1988. Almost everyday she shares hot vegetarian and vegan meals to homeless, the working poor, those in poverty, and anyone who is hungry at Frank Wright Plaza, Jaycee Park, Baker Park, side streets, empty lots, and wherever she is needed. She also helps them apply for jobs, birth certificates, identification, health cards, and housing.

Becky Isais is a mother first, wife second, and third, a person with an insanely loud conscious. She was born in 1975 to politically conscious parents, and has been fighting the good fight “Since I was a fetus.” She says, “I grew up in a politically/crazy family.”

Her last demonstration was with her Dad in 1993 protesting N.A.F.T.A. She is a political nerd as has worked on many campaigns - currently - Mike Gravel For President. She has always been involved in helping the homeless, and she shares food every Sunday at 4th & Stewart inside Frank Wright Plaza. Becky sees a huge need for justice and civil liberty in Las Vegas.

We also expect to be joined by a representative from “Circle of Friends for American Veterans,” an organization dedicated to influencing public opinion and affecting public policy in support of homeless veterans. Since 1993, they have worked with veterans and homeless groups, policymakers at the local, state and national levels, foundations and corporate partners, as well as individual supporters to address the plight of veterans left homeless and secure the help they need.

Between December 27th, 2007 and February 8th, 2008 the Circle of Friends for American Veterans will sponsor ten, rip-roaring city rallies to raise awareness of the problem of and solutions for veterans' homelessness and the urgent needs of our returning troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. They will be here in Las Vegas Wednesday January 9, and will be holding a rally at the American Legion, Post #8, it's located at 733 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Las Vegas. The event starts at 7 p.m.

"LIVE FREE OR DIE" in light of Bush's "unitary executive" power grab, his undermining of the FISA law — which resulted in the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens?


  1. Regardless of whether Clinton, Obama or Edwards wins the primaries, we all will win come November.

    I don't know about the rest of you but I'm excited at the idea of any of these 3 taking office, after 7 years of Bush.

  2. Hell i'd be excited if Homer Simpson won over Bush

    and yes I watched the daily show tonite

  3. I will try to post below, But I wanted to say to Everyone, Lydia, Larry, Mike, Cliff, Christopher, Tom, and Someone else that I forgot...Thank you so much for all of your Faith, and Hard Work, and Sharing of data and resources and Brainstorming this week....

    You all are what make this Country Great...

    We will get this Country Back...

    Thank you ....
    Have Hope ...
    Have Faith...
    We Can Do This....
    We are Stronger than Anyone knows or Dreams...
    Because we are allowed to Dream and have Hope again......


    ( Lydia. This post looks great...I need to read it again before I comment- I am blurry eyed...Keep up the great blogging)

  4. Why was I screaming?

    Bartlebee -- you are so right!!

    Clif - very funny!

    And Enigma - Thank you for all your hard work and great posts.


  5. I wonder if Bill O is gonna have another meltdown because John Edwards remembered we have homeless veterans in America tonight, and reminded us all about it.

    John Edwards cares about homeless veterans, while Bill O cares about appearances NOT real people ....

    Which makes Bill O just another empty cable cabal hot air machine.

  6. Condi ain't doing very good in her internal polls either;

    Diplomats Give Rice Low Marks

    Only 18 percent of the U.S. Foreign Service think Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is doing a good job protecting their profession, according to a recent survey conducted by the service's union. Forty-four percent rated her performance "poor" or "very poor," the same percentage of respondents who said that "developments of the last few years" had made it less likely they would complete their careers in the Foreign Service.

    Damn, she is achieving Bush level results, too bad that is what most people consider FAILING

  7. BTW listening to the MSNBC squawk about Iran claiming the US staged the speed boat incident this weekend, REMEMBER the April 9th Saddam statue pull down,

    Which was supposed to be spontaneous by the Iraqi people but really was a US Military PSYOPS to fool both the MSM and get them to report the Iraqi people were celebrating;

    Army Stage-Managed Fall of Hussein Statue

    Also remember that the war mongers in 1965 got the Gulf of Tonkin resolution out of congress with exactly such a staged incident, which the US Navy can't even tell the whole truth about today, long after the truth is known.

    Add to this operations like Operation Northwoods, the dishonest way they faked the intell about WMD's, and the supposed connections between Iraq and 9-11, and I will be VERY skeptical what this administration tries to sell this time, since they have been pushing for a war against Iran for almost two years based on Flawed WMD claims once again.

    I am skeptical because this is not beyond the capabilities of a Navy PSYOPS unit;

    With the ability of naval vessels (especially the larger task forces) to produce audio-visual materials the Navy can often produce PSYOP products for use in denied areas.

    With or with out help from the National Clandestine Service , which BTW is the part of the CIA which made the torture video tapes before they destroyed them to cover them up, and was lead by, Jose A. Rodriguez who is said to have ordered the tapes destruction.

    Isn't it interesting a NAVY unit just happened to be video taping their operations just as a supposed Iranian unit decided to "play chicken" with them?

    I find that interesting.

  8. Looks like Global warming is "endangering the polar bear" after all;

    Decision on listing polar bear postponed

    Federal officials said Monday that they will need a few more weeks to decide whether polar bears need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of global warming.

    The deadline was Wednesday, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it now hopes to provide a recommendation to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne in time for a decision by him within the next month.

    The department has never declared a species threatened or endangered because of climate change, said Dale Hall, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    "That's why this one has been so taxing and challenging to us," he said.

    Environmental groups that petitioned to protect polar bears, arguing that warming threatened their habitat, said they would go court to ensure a timely decision.

    "We certainly hope that the polar bear will be listed within the next month," said Kassie Siegel, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

    Listing polar bears as "threatened" with extinction could trigger limits on development, particularly oil and gas exploration and production, that could harm the animals. That listing is a step below "endangered," the most severe classification under the Endangered Species Act.

    Kempthorne proposed the "threatened" listing for polar bears in January 2007, and under the Endangered Species Act that gave him a deadline of exactly one year for a final decision. Among other things, the yearlong period includes opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed listing.

    The Biological Diversity Center, along with Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a petition more than two years ago claiming that global warming was eroding sea ice, the polar bear's primary habitat.

    In September, the U.S. Geological Survey issued a report concluding that two-thirds of the world's polar bears, including the entire population in Alaska, will be killed off by 2050 because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic.

    With this administration always putting money and corporations over the lives of ordinary people, why would any of us think the polar bear could get a break?

  9. This ain't gonna help lower the unemployment rate;

    Citigroup could axe 32,000 workers to stem losses

    Citigroup is expected to cut up to 32,000 jobs to stem rising losses.

    The world’s largest bank could lose 10 per cent of its workforce when it unveils full-year results next Tuesday. It is also believed to be considering the sale of non-core assets to raise capital.

    However, Meredith Whitney, one of Wall Street’s top banking analysts, said that the only way Citigroup could repair its balance sheet would be by selling Smith Barney, the broker, for about $25 billion (£12.7 billion).

    Ms Whitney, an analyst at CIBC World Markets, told The Times: “In these markets banks can only sell their best assets. The sale of non-core ones would not be material enough.

    “To really reduce their leveraging, Citigroup have to sell a chunk of their mortgage or card portfolio, but there is no market for those assets. The only asset they could sell of any size is Smith Barney.”

    Ms Whitney said that JPMorgan Chase had previously expressed an interest in the broker and that Credit Suisse was another potential bidder.

    Citigroup is expected to write down as much as $18.7 billion in the fourth quarter of the year, to cover losses on bonds backed by American sub-prime mortgages, and to slash its dividend by 40 per cent. Yesterday, Citigroup said that reports “on specific numbers are not factual”.

    Wall Street was especially gloomy yesterday after David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch, said that the United States had already slipped into recession. Mr Rosenberg believes that weak employment data and slowing retail sales performance point to the US economy being in recession.

    Selling off assets and laying off workers, sounds like an US auto corp not a bank.

    Boy are we in trouble.

  10. Bartlebe said "Regardless of whether Clinton, Obama or Edwards wins the primaries, we all will win come November.

    I don't know about the rest of you but I'm excited at the idea of any of these 3 taking office, after 7 years of Bush."

    I agree Bartlebe, we all have our favorits that we think would do MORE good and be better, but after 7 years of Bush I would be very happy with any of those 3........or ANY of the Dems period for that matter!

  11. Hiary weinning New Hampshire was huge, but after watching her closely the last few days one buring question jumps to the forefront.

    The Economy is clearly the most important issue to the voting public, EVERY poll I have seen has clearly shown this, Now Ron Paul has CLEARLY tapped into some powerful support among the independendents, Libertarians and moderate repugs who care about being fiscally responsible, restoring the Constitution and ending the war, i'm POSITIVE Hillary was trying to woo the EXACT same demographic group.......so like I said before why would she jump on the wrong side of the issues like Bush.

    Like I said last week all the polls I have seen show that 70%-80% of Americans are against the war, 70%-80% of repugs still support the war so that tells me that it is the independents, libertarians and moderate repugs that recently swung against the war to bring the total to 70%-80% of our entire country being against the war...........I would just like to know what her thinking was to take a position against the will of not only the American people but the very group she was trying to attract.

    I'm looking for some real insight here, not just it was Mark Penn, or she needed to LOOK tough because she was a woman because if that was the case she wouldnt have cried the other day.

    Dont get me wrong i'm not a Hillary hater, I think she is pretty smart, she has been talking much more about the economy lately and she has taken more of an anti war position, but i'm just wondering why she hasnt focused on restoring the Constitution and more fiscal responsibility as well as more anti war and economic focus to try and tap into ron pauls base............Bill Clinton was VERY fiscally responsible and i just dont think she emphasized this enough.

  12. Lydia said ""LIVE FREE OR DIE" in light of Bush's "unitary executive" power grab, his undermining of the FISA law — which resulted in the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens?"

    Thankfully You didnt overlook the Constitutional abuses and assualts on our freedom,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what a great paragraph to end the article with!

  13. great post....

    I just got back online after 12 hours without power...can anyone tell me here or over at Watergate Summer , where I can find the FINAL NH Numbers for the night....

    ( when the power went out at 1:30am, Obama had over 102,000.....)


  14. J. Edgar Hoover

    J. Edgar Hoover was director of the FBI for 48 years until his death in 1972. In the years following his death, Hoover has been widely demonized - to the point of being characterized as a closet drag queen who sold his soul to the Mafia because it had photographs of him in drag.

    Hoover at all times was Machiavellian. For decades he outmaneuvered his political enemies, which included more than one president of the United States. (Nixon is on tape saying that if he fired Hoover, Hoover would " bring down the temple," including the presidency.) The source of Hoover's power was information. He compiled dossiers on the drinking, sex and gambling habits of many thousands of prominent Americans. Writers, actors, musicians, ministers, politicians - anyone with a public following was fair game. Hoover's agents not only cultivated armies of informers, but used illegal wiretapping to gather information on the more prominent targets.

    Hoover was accused of exceeding and abusing his authority, criticism that grew especially strong in the 1960s. He is known to have investigated individuals and groups because of their political beliefs rather than their suspected criminal activity as well as using the FBI for other illegal activities such as burglaries and illegal wiretaps.[2] Hoover frequently fired FBI agents by singling out those who he thought "looked stupid like truck drivers" or he considered to be "pinheads."[3] He also relocated agents who had displeased him to career-ending assignments and locations. Melvin Purvis was a prime example; he was one of the more effective agents in capturing and breaking up 1930s gangs and received substantial public recognition, but a jealous Hoover maneuvered him out of the FBI.[4] It is because of Hoover's long and controversial reign that FBI directors are now limited to 10-year terms.[5]
    COINTELPRO years
    In 1956, Hoover was becoming increasingly frustrated by Supreme Court decisions that limited the Justice Department's ability to prosecute Communists. At this time he formalized a covert "dirty tricks" program under the name COINTELPRO.[10] This program remained in place until it was revealed to the public in 1971, and was the cause of some of the harshest criticism of Hoover and the FBI. COINTELPRO was first used to disrupt the Communist Party, and later such organizations such as the Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s SCLC, the Ku Klux Klan, and others. Its methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps, planting forged documents and spreading false rumors about key members of target organizations.[11] Some authors have charged that COINTELPRO methods also included inciting violence and arranging murders.[12] In 1975, the activities of COINTELPRO were investigated by the Senate Church Committee and declared illegal and contrary to the Constitution.[13]

    Hoover amassed significant power by collecting files containing large amounts of compromising and potentially embarrassing information on many powerful people, especially politicians. According to Laurence Silberman, appointed deputy Attorney General in early 1974, Director Clarence M. Kelley thought such files either did not exist or had been destroyed. After The Washington Post broke a story in January 1975, Kelley searched and found them in his outer office. The House Judiciary Committee then demanded that Silberman testify about them. An extensive investigation of Hoover's files by David Garrow showed that Hoover and next-in-command William Sullivan, as well as the FBI itself as an agency, was responsible.

    In 1956, several years before he targeted King, Hoover had a public showdown with T.R.M. Howard, a civil rights leader from Mound Bayou, Mississippi. During a national speaking tour, Howard had criticized the FBI's failure to thoroughly investigate the racially-motivated murders of George W. Lee, Lamar Smith, and Emmett Till. Hoover not only wrote an open letter to the press singling out these statements as "irresponsible" but secretly enlisted the help of NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall in a campaign to discredit Howard.

    Presidents Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson each considered firing Hoover but concluded that the political cost of doing so would be too great.[15] Richard Nixon twice called in Hoover with the intent of firing him, but both times he changed his mind when meeting with Hoover.[citation needed]

  15. Read what i just posted about J Edgar Hoover and think about that in the context of Bush's illegal Unconstitutional spying on American citizens TODAY..........its a no brainer just like Hoover the machavellian GWB is not wasting enormous resources spying on American citizens to protect us from terrorists.........thats like looking for a needle in a haystack, like Hoover he is spying to gain political capital to black mail politicians and the wealthy and powerful. How many times have people regardless of political party challenged or opposed Bush only to completely change their position and fall in line with the "DECIDER" like a bunch of sheep.

    I have this question to ask...........If GWB really is assembling huge files and databases to black mail people to gain political power and capital what happens if someone like Hillary Clinton were to inherit all this information after becoming president.............Could this be why Hillary hasnt spoken out that vehemently against the Constitutional abuses of power by the Bush administration............Think of all the power that could be wielded were the opposition party to gain access to this sensitive and illegal information and think of how powerfully they could wrench our country in a new direction and push their own agenda.

    Personally I would like to see those Unconstitutional abuses to freedom and privacy ended...........but i was just wondering if that is the Reich Wing's greatest fear?

  16. The Reich Wings been following the same tired old script with slimy dirty tactics and lies and dishonest talking points for close to a Century..........too bad its all imploding this Century.............I dont care WHO our candidate is they are going to crush the Reich Wing.

    All our candiates are good, sure we each think some are better than others but after 7 years of Bush criminality and treason anyone will be a breath of fresh air.

    Think of it this way after garbage picking and eating dog food for seven years it wouldnt matter wether you got a big juicy hambburger, a T Bone steak or filet mignon.........sure we all have our favorites and preferences..........but they would ALL be a welcome change.

  17. MIke: thanks for posting and helping us put Bush's Hooverdam in context...all dead on...and chilling ...People hopefully are thinking on ALL these issues when they Vote.....Now if we could just get the MSM to cover ....sigh...( well, a girl's gotta dream , right?)

    Lydia- I too loved how you ended the article- chilling reminder of WHAT is at stake...just one more piece...and that your show has Homeless Advocates and People of Substance.

    Cliff, Mike and Bartle- isn't it funny you all posted on issues that are important from MONEY and economic realities and environmental realities to Civil Rights assaults...ironically we do indeed have plenty to cry about ???

    Anyways....I was in the Dark all night ( huge power outage by Lake Erie) but I do have two new posts up , one on the NH confusion....and the other asking some hard questions about Hillary's Money ( problems)....come on over if you have time..

    I will be back later...

  18. Nine American soldiers were killed in the first two days of a new American drive to kill al-Qaida in Iraq fighters holed up in districts north of the capital, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

    Six soldiers were killed and four were wounded Wednesday in a booby-trapped house in Diyala province, where joint U.S.-Iraqi forces were driving through a difficult web of lush palm and citrus groves, farmland and fertile river bottoms.

    The military also announced that three U.S. soldiers were killed and two were wounded Tuesday in an attack in Salahuddin province. The operation began Tuesday.

    The bloodthirsty Bush keeps rolling on.

  19. Larry there is a possibility that the insurgency in Iraq has decided it is now TET time after spending the last 6 months preparing for it.

    For the troops sake I hope not, but the insurgents do know about our almost psychotic election season, and would want to do to the process what the Viet Cong were able to do in 1968.

  20. Tweety commenting today on MSNBC (Morning Joe, speaking to Mika Brzezinski);

    Matthews: Well, I don’t know if they read the NY Post. I think the Hillary appeal has always been somewhat about her mix of toughness and sympathy for her. Let’s not forget, and I’ll be brutal, the reason she’s a US Senator, the reason she’s a candidate for President, the reason she may be a front runner, is that her husband messed around.

    That’s how she got to be a Senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win it on her merit, she won because everybody felt, “My God, this woman stood up under humiliation, right? That’s what happened! That’s how it happened.

    It may just be me, but shouldn't MSNBC send Tweety packing?

    I mean they should tell him to fly south, or somewhere?

    Maybe they can send him where they have sent another obviously insane commentators;

    They might also do with Tweety what they did with another no talent hack;

    I mean didn't they learn from their time with another loud mouth know nothing firebrand;

    Tweety must be as embarrassing to MSNBC as the village idiot is to all of us;

    BTW when MSNBC is giving Tweety his long deserved boot, tell them to send chicken little along with him.

    At minimum they could allow other on air commentators to slap him from time to time, especially when he said stupid crap like this.

  21. Tweety isn't going anywhere. He is on at 11:00PM tonight in yet another hour with a new show.

    Somebody must like Tweety.

  22. Here by the Great Lakes Countdown is running again, which was unexpected gift after MANY hours of "Lockup" and "To catch a Predator"....what a breath of fresh air....

    Also MSNBC is having a Forum ( or is a debate) next week, and Brian Williams is moderating, and just now they said that Keith is hosting a special Countdown beforehand......that is a HUGE shift...that would have for sure been a Normal Tweety slot....wow..

    Did you see about Brokaw...he definently put Tweety in his place ( finally)....

    And Tweety comes off as a Sexist Hack..yes...his interview with Elizabeth Edwards was hideous....he should go work for E or ???Fox ? sorry, but that interview burned all bridges with me...

    (well, the Tom Delay bit last night really really didn't help....)

    ( Clif thanks for atleast making me laugh about it...)

  23. First Merril Lynch became an American hater,

    Now it is Goldman Sachs;

    Goldman Sachs sees recession in 2008

    Goldman Sachs on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to drop into recession this year, prompting the Federal Reserve to slash benchmark lending rates to 2.5 percent by the third quarter.

    In a note to clients, Goldman said real gross domestic product would contract by 1 percent on an annualized basis in both the second and third quarters. For all of 2008, the investment bank said GDP would rise by 0.8 percent.

    The unemployment rate will rise to 6.5 percent in 2009 from the current 5 percent, it said.

    The weakening economy will force the Fed to lower policy rates by an additional 1.75 percentage points from the current 4.25 percent. Starting in September, the Fed cut rates at the last three meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, reducing the target rate on loans between banks by 1 percentage point from 5.25 percent.


    On Monday, Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg said the jump in U.S. unemployment in December confirmed that the economy was entering a recession.

    Well I know how the wingnuts will spin this one,

    Hillery decided to run for president, (Gasp) ....(the horrors);

    Therefore the economy tanked because it couldn't stand the idea of another Clinton White House, (it's biblical, it's the sign of the anti-christ, "Hallelujah, the rapture is just around the corner")Of course the fact that the "Clenis" (the anti-christ himself)was helping her, everything after all is their fault, just ask the wingnut trolls and nasel pickers who populate places like redstate or freeperville.

  24. well Clif...you have pointed out some big worries....and Hill will try to fearmonger the Rich with this ? who knows...

    I wrote today about her campaign coffers' problem....10 Milion to go forward...that would be enough to make anyone to cry...

  25. enigma4ever said...
    well Clif...you have pointed out some big worries....and Hill will try to fearmonger the Rich with this ? who knows...

    I wrote today about her campaign coffers' problem....10 Milion to go forward...that would be enough to make anyone to cry..."

    Enigma, wont more money be flowing into Hillary's coffers now that she won New Hampshire?

    I think the thing Hillary NEEDS to worry about is Michael Bloomberg...............Bloomberg entering the race would hurt Hillary MORE than any other candidate and that could affect the thinking of the Super Delegates, as I dont think Bloomberg would enter if it was an Obama vs McCaine matchup.

  26. oh BTW one other little event that might cause everyone heartburn...Bloomberg is looking at putting together a committee to Examine a Prez Run....

    ( 11 PM tonight Breaking News on AC360...)

  27. I'm NOT sure Bloomberg is so undefeatable, after all at least Mitt Romney hasn't tried to claim allegiance to three parties in the last decade.

    If Mitt is a flip flopper extraordinaire, because he tried to claim many different positions , he now claims he really never believed in, to be all to everyone to become Governor of Massachusetts, before he changed stripes and colors to run as a reichwing republican, to run for President. Well then what is Micheal Bloomberg who has crassly used party affiliation and his enormous wealth to get what he wants. I'm not sure that message will sell when people see just how opportunistic he is. His coyness and behind the scenes political maneuvering, could remind people of the last rich old guy who decided he knew exactly what America needed, and being the second coming of Ross Perot ain't what we need now.

    Being mayor of NYC is not the best springboard for President no matter how much Ru-die or Micheal want us to believe it is, the MSM will spin this story, but Bloomberg hasn't as much credibility to say he is qualified as Obama has, let alone Hillery or Edwards.

    A second major problem he is gonna have is getting enough people to back him, and both parties will fight that one for two reasons;

    1. They don't want any real competition which is why they fought the last independent party so hard. this is not as repugnant as you might think, because the country has a very long record of having only two major national parties, which means if a new party rises, one of the two is probably in terminal decline, like the Whigs were back pre-civil war. Abraham Lincoln was a whig before he was a republican.

    So state and local candidates for office won't back him, if they want the backing of their party front runners. Also if Bloomberg thinks he can get the national powers that be which are behind both parties to NOT use everything at their disposal to lower his "halo", he is mistaken. Expect Bloomberg to get "swift boated" by quite a few 527's which will search high and low for all the dirt they can find. This is especially true for the more conservative element who doesn't want a NY semi liberal stealing their thunder. With all the disarray in the republican party currently, any Bloomberg success at all, could rip a large section off that party.

    If that happened it could relegate it to a second rate party like the Libertarian party is now. The former northeastern moderate faction of the party would combine with what ever Bloomberg's movement becomes taking the center right and the Democrats having the center left. Given the demographics of the country at the moment, the rest of the conservative movement would be left broken between the fundis and libertarians, which are gonna suffer if much more comes out about Ron Paul. And the base of both are shrinking with future demographics of the younger generations and enlarging of minorities in the country.

    2. Unless a party arises out of a real grass root movement, the reason for the party's existence has little to grow from or get it through the lean times. This current incarnation and run is still a national party from the top down. It is NOT being set up because the "people" want something new, because it is being organized by mostly retired and marginalized politicians from the center of both parties. They aren't building from the bottom, but from national negotiations of former national political figures. Trying to run for president and build a real national party with local roots, it seems, is not a viable process as Ross Perot proved. These people at this time want to create a new vehicle to gain control of the national discourse, which I am not sure will be able to sustain itself. Their message has already been pre-empted by one major candidate, Obama with his;

    " We aren't red states or blue states, but the United States."

    If they can't outshine him, if he is the candidate, they will fall flat.

    If Bloomberg had tried to resuscitate the Reform Party and become their candidate, he might have stood a better chance. However by reinventing the wheel one more time, the people behind "Unity 2008" and Bloomberg's possible candidacy are doing a lot of work that was previously done which went for naught. Given we have 10 months (299 days)until the election and Bloomberg hasn't even filed, let alone tried to get on one of the 50 state ballots, which ain't as easy as it seems, just ask Ross Perot. This should not be ignored, because every state Bloomberg fails to qualify to get on the ballot, means that much a higher bar he faces.

    Another major hurdle Bloomberg faces is the remember the front runners and odds on favorite candidates to win in November is either a woman or an African American. That is historical, and should not be ignored or trivialized one bit. If Bloomberg faces Hillery, the New Hampshire primary legacy of women voting for Hillery could undercut his claim of the "new new". Obama's candidacy is even more problematic for Bloomberg because Micheal Bloomberg is almost as boring as John McCain is compared to Obama. Bloomberg droning on about policy next to Obama's fiery speeches of hope and change are gonna fall flat. Obama has already proved he can be the new new of the 21st century, and an old guy is gonna pale in comparison.

    Of course Micheal Bloomberg hasn't been vetted by the MSM like Ru-die wasn't last summer, and we all see how well Ru-die is doing after that process.

    The vetting process will include quite a bit of harassment and background digging, and I'm not sure Bloomberg who is used to getting his way, is gonna like the way the MSM grinds and grills candidates to see what falls out. This is one reason I think Fred Thompson stayed out as long as he did, because he wanted the process to chew up Ru-die and allow him to become the conservative savior of the republicans, but the sudden rise of Huckabee sort of squashed that plan, for now at least.

    I think Bloomberg is trying to stay out as long as he can for two reasons, to allow the MSM and process to beat up the candidates as much as possible before he steps in (saving him some negative campaigning), and also keeping the MSM busy going after the other candidates and allowing him less scrutiny in the process.

    After all most of the leading candidates have already been vetted 6-12 months, with Bloomberg still "clean" and "viable" because of it. As long as he can play "coy" he gets MSM face time and his name out there, with out what Ru-die and Romney has gone through, which has diminished both of them as candidates for president.

  28. About 151,000 Iraqis died from violence in the three years after the United States invaded, concludes the best effort yet to count deaths -- one that still may not settle the fierce debate over the war's true toll on civilians and others.

    The estimate comes from projections by the World Health Organization and the Iraqi government, based on door-to-door surveys of nearly 10,000 households.

    Are you happy now Bush?

  29. When the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey needed to find an outside lawyer to monitor a large corporation willing to settle criminal charges out of court last fall, he turned to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, his onetime boss. With no public notice and no bidding, the company awarded Mr. Ashcroft an 18-month contract worth $28 million to $52 million.

    I thought he was a Republican moralist!

  30. The Pentagon is preparing to send at least 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan in April to bolster efforts to hold off another expected Taliban offensive in the spring, military officials said Wednesday.

    The move represents a shift in Pentagon thinking that has been slowly developing after months of repeated insistence that the U.S. was not inclined to fill the need for as many as 7,500 more troops that commanders have asked for there.

    I thought Bush claimed he won that war!

  31. Baghdad - A US force has stormed a kindergarten in a Shi'a-dominated district in Baghdad, smashed toys, doors and windows and arrested three of its guards, the Iraqi government said on Tuesday.

    US troops raided Kanari kindergarten in the Jamila area of Sadr City in Baghdad where they smashed children's toys, doors, windows and roofs, according to a statement by the media centre of the Iraqi cabinet.

    "No evidence was found during the raid on the kindergarten that proves the school's involvement in terrorist acts or that it is used for storing weapons," the statement said.

    The reason for the operation was not immediately known.

    Bush hates innocent children!

  32. Fortunately for members of Congress, their pay isn’t tied to their approval ratings.

    Lawmakers in 2008 will receive salaries of $169,300, a boost of $4,100 over the pay they have lived with since January 2006.

    That 2.5 percent increase is mirrored by similar raises for associate justices of the Supreme Court, who will see their pay go from $203,000 to $208,100, and Chief Justice John Roberts, whose pay will rise to $217,400 from $212,100.

    The salary figures were published in Tuesday’s edition of the Federal Register.

    Democrats, newly elected to the majority, had vowed to block an increase in their paychecks until Congress raised the minimum wage.

    With the minimum wage increase accomplished last year, House Democratic leaders joined with their Republican counterparts to oppose a procedural vote to bring the COLA issue to the floor, leaving the way clear for their automatic raise.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will get a pay boost from $212,100 last year to $217,400, the same as Chief Justice Roberts.
    The majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and Senate president pro tempore Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., will get increases from $183,500 to $188,100.
    Dick Cheney, in his last year as vice president, will receive $221,100, up from $215,700. President Bush’s salary of $400,000 is unchanged.

    Pelosi and Reid gaves themselves and their cronies, incuding Cheney a raise.


  33. (Reuters) - Countrywide Financial Corp, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Wednesday that foreclosures and late payments rose in December to the highest on record, sending its shares tumbling for a second day to their lowest in nearly 13 years.

    The shares closed down 43 cents, or 7.7 percent, at $5.12, bringing their two-day decline to 33 percent. They earlier fell to $4.43, a level not seen since April 1995.

    Analysts attributed Wednesday's drop to deteriorating credit quality reflected in Countrywide's monthly operating report, and renewed concern the lender might not survive the housing crunch and could seek bankruptcy protection. On Tuesday, Countrywide rejected bankruptcy rumors.

    "Virtually no one in the market is willing to cast a vote of confidence in this company's ability to extricate itself from its current heap of trouble," options analyst Rebecca Engmann Darst of Interactive Brokers Group wrote in a report.

    Like many rivals, Calabasas, California-based Countrywide has been hurt by falling home prices, rising defaults and tight capital markets.

    Another devastation from the Bush economy.

  34. Check out how well Major Garret of Fox Noise checks his sources, especially with the person in question trying to give him the straight dope;

    Fox News: We Report -- Even if We Know It's False

    “I’ll take it under advisement”

    Classic, he was telling Begala he knew what Begala was going to do, and Begala shouldn’t confuse him with the facts.

    Damn, give him the facts from the very person who he is talking about, and the kool aid keeps him from seeing the reality that he has been given a load of horse hockey buy one of his “trusted sources”.

    Major Garret should just go on Fox Noise to say he was going into re-hab, and then go on vacation, to at least have an excuse for this bonehead move.

    He won’t though, because like every other Fox Noise clown who has been proved to be totally wrong if not making up the facts as they go along, he will just ignore this latest blatant example of Fox Noise trying to create reality instead of actually finding out what reality was, THEN reporting on it.

    James Carville denied it also with his usual flair, and as much as I’m no fan of James Carville, he does have a certain view of Fox Noise I can agree with;

    “Fox was, is and will continue to be an asinine and ignorant network. ……. “

    James Carville Emphatically Denies That He’s Going To Work For Hillary

    Couldn’t have put that one better myself, kudos to Mr Carville.

  35. Blackwater GASSED US troops;

    2005 Use of Gas by Blackwater Leaves Questions

    The helicopter was hovering over a Baghdad checkpoint into the Green Zone, one typically crowded with cars, Iraqi civilians and United States military personnel.

    Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.

    “This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous,” Capt. Kincy Clark of the Army, the senior officer at the scene, wrote later that day. “It’s not a good thing to cause soldiers who are standing guard against car bombs, snipers and suicide bombers to cover their faces, choke, cough and otherwise degrade our awareness.”

    Why did Blackwater GAS US troops?

    Officers and noncommissioned officers from the Third Infantry Division who were involved in the episode said there were no signs of violence at the checkpoint. Instead, they said, the Blackwater convoy appeared to be stuck in traffic and may have been trying to use the riot-control agent as a way to clear a path.

    Because they don't like traffic jams?

    Great not only do US troopps have to fear the insurgents in Iraq;

    NOW they have to fear the over paid, unregulated wanna be rambos that Dumsfeld and Condi useless Rice unleashed upon that country, and their boneheaded tactics.

    Of course Bush approved the use of gas in 2003 even though it's use is very strictly regulated;

    “It is not allowed as a method or means of warfare,” said Michael Schmitt, professor of international law at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. “There are very, very strict restrictions on the use of CS gas in a war zone.”

    But not regulated for Blackwater as they gas US troops it seems.

    heck of a job georgie.

  36. Barack Obama has won the presidential endorsement of Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 nominee who lost to George W. Bush.

    Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, plans to announce his support Thursday at a rally at the College of Charleston, said a Democrat familiar with Kerry's decision. The 2004 nominee will argue that Obama can best unite the country and has the potential to create transformational change, the person said.

  37. TRUST me as anybody who has gone through the gas chamber in basic training,

    CS gas ain't nothing you ever want to be involved in.


    you can't breathe,

    your lungs burn,

    your skin starts to burn,

    your eyes flow so you can't see anything,

    nose runs,

    it is totally unpleasant in a large way to put it mildly,

    and that is just the five minutes you face it with drill sergeants around you and the ability to get clear after you leave the gas chamber,

    But to be in a combat senario and get gassed by boneheads who think their sh*t don't stink?

    What moron thought we should privative the military?

  38. The soothsayers have slaughtered the ox and are examining the gloppy entrails for signs: Rising unemployment, a falling dollar, weak consumer spending, the credit crisis, a swooning stock market. Could there be something wrong here? Could we actually be approaching a, god forbid, recession?

    To which the only sane response is: Who cares? According to a CNN poll, 57 percent of Americans thought we were already in a recession a month ago. Economists may complain that this is only because the public is ignorant of the technical -- or at least the newspapers' standard -- definition of a recession, which specifies that there must be at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the GDP. But most of the public employs the more colloquial definition of a recession, which is hard times. If hard times have already fallen on a majority of Americans, then "recession" doesn't seem to be a very useful term anymore.

    The economists' odd fixation on growth as a measure of economic well-being puts them in a parallel universe of their own. WorldMoneyWatch's website tells us that, for example, that "The GDP growth rate is the most important indicator of economic health. If GDP is growing, so will business, jobs and personal income." And the latest issue of US News and World Report advises, "The key... for America is to keep its economy growing as fast as possible without triggering inflation."

    But hellooo, we've had brisk growth for the last few years, as the president always likes to remind us, only without those promised increases in personal income, at least not for the middle class. Growth, some of the economists are conceding in perplexity, has been "de-coupled" from mass prosperity.

    Growth is not the only economic indicator that has let us down recently. In the last five years, America's briskly rising productivity has been the envy of much of the world. But at the same time, real wages have actually declined. It's not supposed to be this way, of course. Economists have long believed that some sort of occult process would intervene and adjust wages upward as people worked harder and more efficiently.

    And what about the unemployment rate? The old liberal faith was that "full employment" would create a workers' paradise, with higher wages and enhanced bargaining power for the little guy and gal. But we've had nearly full employment, or at least an unemployment rate of under five percent, for years now, again, without the predicted gains. What the old liberals weren't counting on was a depressed minimum wage, impotent unions, and a witch's brew of management strategies to hold wages and salaries down.

    Now if those great and solemn economic indicators -- growth, productivity and employment rates -- have become de-coupled from most people's lived experience, then there's something wrong with the economists, the economy, or both. The clue lies in the word "most." We have become so unequal as a nation that we increasingly occupy two different economies -- one for the rich and one for everyone else -- and the latter has been in a recession, if not a depression, for a long, long time. Not all economists can bring themselves to admit this.

    I suspect that America's fabulous growth in productivity is another illustration of the disconnect between economic measures and human experience. It's been attributed to better education and technological advances, which would be nice to believe in. But a revealing 2001 study by McKinsey also credited America's productivity growth to "managerial innovations" and cited Wal-Mart as a model performer, meaning that we are also looking at fiendish schemes to extract more work for less pay. Yes, you can generate more output per apparent hour of work by falsifying time records, speeding up assembly lines, doubling workloads, and cutting back on breaks. Productivity may look good from the top, but at the middle and the bottom it can feel a lot like pain.

    When employees are squeezed hard enough, then you have the possibility of a genuine recession as technically defined. People buy less, so growth declines, to the point where even the economic over-class has to sit up and take notice. This is happening in Japan, where a recent Wall Street Journal headline announces: "Growing Reliance on Temps Holds Back Japan's Rebound: Firms Increasingly Add Part-Time Workers; Spending Power Lags." The U.S., where consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy compared to a little more than half in Japan, is even more vulnerable to a downturn in personal consumption.

    What is this fixation on growth anyway? As a general rule of biological survival, any creature or entity that depends on perpetual growth is well worth avoiding, lest you be eaten alive. As Bill McKibben argues in his book Deep Economy, the "cult of growth" has led to global warming, ghastly levels of pollution, and diminishing resources. Tumors grow, at least until they kill their hosts; economies ought to be sustainable.

    Apocalypse aside, the mantra of growth has deceived us for far too long. What it translates into is: Don't worry about the relative size of your slice, just concentrate on growing the pie! Now, with a recession threatening even more suffering for those who are already struggling, may be the perfect time to get out the pie-cutter again. Too bad that the one leading Democratic candidate who promises to do so now appears to be on the ropes.

  39. Bloomberg) -- Capital One Financial Corp., the largest independent U.S. credit-card issuer, reduced its full- year profit forecast by about 20 percent because of swelling loan losses in a weakening U.S. economy. The company fell the most in two months in New York trading.

    Capital One expects 2007 profit of $3.97 a share, down from a previous forecast of about $5. The decline was caused by $1.9 billion of loan-loss provisions and $80 million in legal reserves in the fourth quarter, the McLean, Virginia-based company said in a statement today.

    It's the Bush economy!

  40. Bush calls for end of 'occupation' of Arab lands.

    updated 10:02 a.m. MT, Thurs., Jan. 10, 2008
    RAMALLAH, West Bank - President Bush, summing up meetings with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, said Thursday that a peace accord will require “painful political concessions” by each. Resolving the status of Jerusalem will be hard, he said, and he called for the end of the “occupation” of Arab land by the Israeli military.

  41. Thats a real hoot, the "DECIDER calling for an end to occupation of arab land........................Kind of like the fox telling other foxes not to eat chickens while in the chicken coop picking his teeth with a chicken bone after having just devoured a chicken.........those silly hippocritical repugs!

  42. Larry said...
    The soothsayers have slaughtered the ox and are examining the gloppy entrails for signs: Rising unemployment, a falling dollar, weak consumer spending, the credit crisis, a swooning stock market. Could there be something wrong here? Could we actually be approaching a, god forbid, recession?

    To which the only sane response is: Who cares? According to a CNN poll, 57 percent of Americans thought we were already in a recession a month ago. Economists may complain that this is only because the public is ignorant of the technical -- or at least the newspapers' standard -- definition of a recession, which specifies that there must be at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the GDP. But most of the public employs the more colloquial definition of a recession, which is hard times. If hard times have already fallen on a majority of Americans, then "recession" doesn't seem to be a very useful term anymore.

    The economists' odd fixation on growth as a measure of economic well-being puts them in a parallel universe of their own. WorldMoneyWatch's website tells us that, for example, that "The GDP growth rate is the most important indicator of economic health. If GDP is growing, so will business, jobs and personal income." And the latest issue of US News and World Report advises, "The key... for America is to keep its economy growing as fast as possible without triggering inflation."

    But hellooo, we've had brisk growth for the last few years, as the president always likes to remind us, only without those promised increases in personal income, at least not for the middle class. Growth, some of the economists are conceding in perplexity, has been "de-coupled" from mass prosperity.

    Growth is not the only economic indicator that has let us down recently. In the last five years, America's briskly rising productivity has been the envy of much of the world. But at the same time, real wages have actually declined. It's not supposed to be this way, of course. Economists have long believed that some sort of occult process would intervene and adjust wages upward as people worked harder and more efficiently."

    Larry Growth is VASTLY overstated due to the RIDICULOUSLY UNDERSTATED CPI.........inflation is likely 300%-400% higher than the government shills proclaim it to be food and gasoline and oil have gone up 30%-50% in the last year or so this is roughly 80%-90% of what i spend my income on yet the buffons compiling the CPI to cheat the elderly and the working class arrogantly and insultingly proclaim inflation is roughly 2%-3%, its insulting to our intelligence..............when you factor in the REAL rate of inflation which is closer to 10% you see that GDP would be negative if the true rate of inflation were stated. Growth is an illusion created by rising prices due to inflation after adjusting for the REAL rate of inflation you would CLEARLY see that growth has ben negative for almost ALL of the DECIDER"S entire reign of evil!

  43. Clif, more and more analysts and economists in the MSM and on CNBC (the cheerleading network) are calling for $150-$200 oil and $4-$4.50 gasoline as well as recession in 2008.........i've never seen ANYTHING like this out of those former perma bulls in my lifetime...........at this point only a complete fool living in fantasy land like Rusty, Troll Tex and Fascist Fan could NOT think we are enering a NASTY recession.

  44. Clif and Enigma......I dont think Bloomberg would enter the race if Obama or edwards gets the nomination..............I think if it is a Clinton VS Rudy race then Bloomberg would jump in and try to steal the moderates and independents that may not like either polarizing candidate.

  45. The United Nations has warned that economic problems in the United States could trigger a global recession.

    According to an analysis released by the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs, "There is a clear and present danger of the world economy coming to a near standstill. ... The domino effect of a U.S. recession would be to knock down export growth from China, Europe and Japan, in turn reducing their demand for exports from developing countries."

    Chief UN economist Rob Vos told Bloomberg News that in those circumstances the world economy might not expand at all in 2009.

    George W Bush: Destroying the worlds economy.

  46. Republican Rep. John Doolittle of California, who is under investigation in a congressional lobbying scandal, said Thursday that he'll retire from Congress at the end of his current term.

    Another corrupt Republican trying to avoid Prosecution.

  47. Florida investigators are still trying to determine whether disgraced GOP Rep. Mark Foley violated state law with his lewd, sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to underage Congressional pages.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been stymied in its pursuit because officers have been unable to examine Foley's computer, from which ABC News revealed he communicated with teenage male pages, once chatting about sex with a teen boy while the House was in the middle of a vote.

    "If we are not granted access to said equipment, I respectfully request a written response specifying the reason for the denial and direction to the court process or other procedure required to gain the requested access," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Dec. 11 letter, according to the Palm Beach Post.

    Just what is Pelosi trying to cover up?

  48. Lydia
    I am sick of the MSM wondering why they were so wrong. They always are. This is NH not Iowa or any other State. There was no surprise.
    The only surprise is the MSM does not get it. They no longer matter. They all like to say this is a different world today. Then they all, childish Politicians included play the same games the same clildish way.
    The game today is being fought in the trenches of society around the world. They would do well and would get it right if they were smart enough to listen to the real experts in America today, those of us in the trenches.
    It's funny, Tuesday I had a meeting with Jerome Grossman the relentless Liberal. He is 90 now and still a grassroots organizer and activist but wow!
    His organizations donate to many Politicians including both Clinton's Anyway he agreed with my Analysis of the expert situation. He sent me his breakdown of the NH primaries. Hilarious! We are both from Boston so their were no surprises. Just keep an eye on Obama though!

  49. Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

    A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.

    In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.

    "We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence," according to the audit by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

    More than half of 990 bills to pay for telecommunication surveillance in five unidentified FBI field offices were not paid on time, the report shows. In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.

    The FBI did not have an immediate comment.

    Faulty bookkeeping
    The report released Thursday was a highly edited version of Fine's 87-page audit that the FBI deemed too sensitive to be viewed publicly. It focused on what the FBI admitted was an "antiquated" system to track money sent to its 56 field offices nationwide for undercover work. Generally, the money pays for rental cars, leases and surveillance, the audit noted.

    It also found that some field offices paid for expenses on undercover cases that should have been financed by FBI headquarters. Out of 130 undercover payments examined, auditors found 14 cases of at least $6,000 each where field offices dipped into their own budgets to pay for work that should have been picked up by headquarters.

    The faulty bookkeeping was blamed, in large part, in the case of an FBI agent who pleaded guilty in June 2006 to stealing $25,000 for her own use, the audit noted.

    "As demonstrated by the FBI employee who stole funds intended to support undercover activities, procedural controls by themselves have not ensured proper tracking and use of confidential case funds," it concluded.

    Bush the illegal wiretapper can't even pay his bills so he can illegally spy on innocent Americans.

  50. Just two days after the U.S. Navy released the eerie video of Iranian speedboats swarming around American warships, which featured a chilling threat in English, the Navy is saying that the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or from another ship.

    U.S. Navy Face-Off With IranThe near-clash occurred over the weekend in the Strait of Hormuz. On the U.S.-released recording, a voice can be heard saying to the Americans, "I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes."

    The Navy never said specifically where the voices came from, but many were left with the impression they had come from the speedboats because of the way the Navy footage was edited.

    Today, the spokesperson for the U.S. admiral in charge of the Fifth Fleet clarified to ABC News that the threat may have come from the Iranian boats, or it may have come from somewhere else.

    We're saying that we cannot make a direct connection to the boats there," said the spokesperson. "It could have come from the shore, from another ship passing by. However, it happened in the middle of all the very unusual activity, so as we assess the information and situation, we still put it in the total aggregate of what happened Sunday morning. I guess we're not saying that it absolutely came from the boats, but we're not saying it absolutely didn't."

    Another Bush war lie being brought to light!

  51. Larry
    Did you see that even the Pentagon was questioning the validity of that Video and audio

  52. Jim:

    Obviously not everyone in the Pentagon was comfortable with another one of Bush's lies, or they were about to be found out.

  53. JANUARY 11, 2008, is the six-year anniversary of the first arrival of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

    On January 11, we are calling on everyone opposed to torture and indefinite detention to WEAR ORANGE to symbolize their sadness and disgust with the national shame that is Guantánamo Bay.

    Download the CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO Toolkit now to find out how you can organize for January 11 at home, in your office, on campus, in your community, and online. Learn More About Guantánamo >>

    EVENTS -

    > 1 / 7 - Phoenix, ARIZONA - Demonstration
    > 1 / 8 - San Francisco, CA - Volunteer Activist Night
    > 1 / 9 - Tampa, FL - Protest
    > 1 / 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Facing Guantánamo: Six Years Later
    > 1 / 10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Discussion
    > 1 / 11 - Atlanta, GA - Rally
    > 1 / 11 - Boise, ID - Demonstration
    > 1 / 11 - Boston, MA - Procession and Vigil
    > 1 / 11 - Boulder, CO - Rally
    > 1 / 11 - Columbia, SC - Rally
    > 1 / 11 - Corvallis, OR - Rally
    > 1 / 11 - Hollywood, CA - Torture is Un-American Un-happy Hour
    > 1 / 11 - Lansing , MI - Vigil
    > 1 / 11 - Miami, FL - Rush Hour Vigil
    > 1 / 11 - Minneapolis, MN - Rally
    > 1 / 11 - New York, NY - Prayer Vigil
    > 1 / 11 - New York, NY - Evening of Voices Against Torture
    > 1 / 11 - Orlando, FL - Demonstration
    > 1 / 11 - Philadelphia, PA - Demonstration
    > 1 / 11 - Raleigh, NC - Close Guantánamo Vigil
    > 1 / 11 - San Antonio, TX - Close Guantánamo Rally
    > 1 / 11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Close Guantánamo Vigil
    > 1 / 11 - San Francisco, CA - Silent Candlelight Protest
    > 1 / 11 - Seattle, WA - Demonstration
    > 1 / 11 - Waikiki, HI - Protest and Street Theatre
    > 1 / 11 - Washington, DC - Day of Action
    > 1 / 11 - Willimantic, CT - Rally
    > 1 / 18 - St. Louis, MO - Candlelight Vigil
    > 1 / 30 - Salt Lake City, UT - Freedom Files Screening

  54. ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Sen. Barack Obama held a New York City fundraiser on Sen. Hillary Clinton's turf Wednesday night, that organizers said raised $700,000 for the Democrat's campaign coffers.

    An estimated 700 people, who all paid to be there, attended the soiree at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City, the same place where Obama held a packed fundraiser several months ago.

    Actor Richard Gere, movie director Spike Lee and model Iman mingled in the crowd.

  55. Good Evening Lydia, Larry, Clif, E4E, BartleBee, Mike.. & ALL..

    Larry said...
    George W Bush: Destroying the worlds economy.

    Yes, did you see that Australia banks had invested $1 BILLION in Countrywide?

    It's said that Countrywide is about to collapse too.. and so now the banks in Australia are in a credit bind.

  56. Thanks Average Patriot, great to know about New Hampshire and Boston.

    Hi Suzie!!!


  57. Check out Enigma's post on what the candidates aren't discussing.

    Enigma was also kind enough to give a kind comment about Lydia's post.

    Enigma is a regular here at Lydia's as well as being a regular on many other blogs, and running a popular blog of her own.

    Check out Enigma's post:

    Watergate Summer

  58. Well well well not only is Blackwater gassing US troops, but some of them are illegally running guns INTO IRAQ;

    Ex-Blackwater Employees Sentenced

    Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide, the beleaguered contractor whose practices in Iraq are under federal scrutiny, were sentenced to probation Thursday on gunrunning charges.

    Blackwater, the largest private security firm in Iraq, has been under scrutiny as a federal grand jury in Washington investigates the company's involvement in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians. The firm is also under investigation for possible weapons smuggling allegations _ violations the firm strongly denies.

    The two men were granted leniency because they have been helping federal investigators for more than a year, and neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys would confirm the men are involved in the smuggling investigation.

    Kenneth Wayne Cashwell, of Virginia Beach, Va., and William Ellsworth "Max" Grumiaux, of Clemmons, were sentenced to three years probation and a $1,000 fine on charges of possession of stolen firearms that had been shipped in interstate or foreign commerce, and aiding and abetting another in doing so.

    The details of what information the two men are giving to prosecutors was kept secret by Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan, who invited attorneys to the bench to quietly share details of what she called "extensive cooperation."

    "I believe the matters in this case should be kept under seal," Flanagan said.

    An Associated Press reporter in the courtroom unsuccessfully objected to the private discussion. U.S. Attorney George Holding did not immediately return a call seeking comment on why part of the sentencing hearing needed to be held in private.

    Cashwell also was sentenced to three months of house arrest. Both men had faced up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but federal prosecutors asked Flanagan to approve the lighter sentence in light of their cooperation.

    "I'm sorry for what I've done," Grumiaux said during the hearing. "I feel like I've dishonored myself, having served in the military, and that's a burden I'll have to bear for the rest of my life."

    Little is known about the weapons investigation, which became public in September when Howard Krongard _ then the State Department's Inspector General _ mentioned that he "made one of my best investigators available to help assistant U.S. attorneys in North Carolina in their investigation into alleged smuggling of weapons into Iraq by a contractor."

    Blackwater is the only private security contractor working for the State Department that is subject to the jurisdiction of federal prosecutors in North Carolina. The others, Dyncorp and Triple Canopy, are based in Washington's northern Virginias suburbs.

    Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell did not immediately return a call seeking comment, but the company has strongly denied involvement in weapons smuggling, noting it turned the two men in to authorities in 2005.

    The company has said it immediately fired the men after learning they were stealing from the company and invited the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate.

    Federal officials confirmed in 2005, when the men were fired, that Blackwater came forward and asked authorities for help. Flanagan said Thursday that Cashwell was in possession of as many as 50 weapons stolen from Blackwater's campus in northeastern North Carolina.

    Damn they aren't responsible when their employees gas US troops.

    They aren't responsible when their employees illegally run guns into Iraq to sell to people the US Military and Iraqi government doesn't want to have guns, (other wise The US would be the one who is running guns to them.)

    What ever happened to accepting responsibility for actions?

    Just like Abu ghraib, scandal where the powers that set up the problem blame it on low level sacrificial underlings, so does it seem that Blackwater is doing the same thing.

  59. Just like a bunch of Republicans Clif.

    Arming the enemy then decided you want to go to war with them after they are well armed.

  60. Marine ex-recruiters say higher-ups share blame

    5 men say use of stand-ins to take tests was an established tactic

    By Dane Schiller / Houston Chronicle

    Five former Marine recruiters punished for fraudulently enlisting recruits from the Houston area said they were part of a web operating with tacit approval of some superiors.

    The men confirmed they helped would-be recruits sneak past an exhaustive test by using a tactic established before they'd joined the Corps, served in Iraq or hit the streets as recruiters.

    "I love the Marine Corps; I don't want to be spitting on the Marine Corps," said a former sergeant, who said he left the service after seven years to avoid facing military justice and the possibility of a bad-conduct discharge.

    Eight others were removed from recruiting duty, according to Marine Corps officials, and were handed punishments including fines.

    "The people in charge of me while on recruiting duty didn't stand up for me," he continued.

    The scandal comes as the Marine Corps and other military services are under increasing pressure to find recruits as wars continue in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marines are aiming to bulk up from about 184,000 troops to 202,000 by September.

    The former sergeant acknowledged his own actions were improper but insisted higher-ranking Marines share the blame.

    The Marine Corps said late Tuesday that a Marine with supervisory responsibilities over some of the disciplined recruiters was recently removed from recruiting duties, but it remains to be seen whether he will face any charges.

    A staff sergeant "has been relieved of his recruiting duties and has been assigned administrative duties," said Capt. Beatriz Yarrish, a spokeswoman for the 8th Marines Corps District, which is based in Fort Worth and includes all of Texas and other areas.

    "The investigation with regard to (the sergeant) has been completed, and the commanding officer is currently deciding what course of action he will pursue."

    Yarrish wouldn't share details of the case.

    Not implicated at first

    All were apparently snared in an investigation that began in the spring and was made public in November after the Houston Chronicle learned nine Marine recruiters were snared for using stand-in substitutes to take a military entrance exam for potential recruits who might not otherwise qualify for service.

    During the initial inquiry none of the nine disciplined recruiters implicated their superiors in the scam, said Capt. Carlos Sotomayor, who investigated the recruiters last April through June.

    Any violation of the rules was unacceptable, Sotomayor said, and the recruiters had the chance to tell what they knew.

    "We teach them the right way," he said. "If they choose to do it the wrong way, the Marine Corps will hold them accountable."

    The Marine Corps punished four recruiters nationwide in 2006 for testing irregularities, said Maj. Wesley Hayes of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Virginia.

    "It is extremely rare that these incidents happen," said Hayes.

    The Marines are not alone in such problems.

    In an entrance-exam scandal involving the Army National Guard in Arizona, test examiner Christine Thomas was sentenced to probation in July 2007 for a scam in which she conspired with recruiters to falsify results for about 70 applicants, according to court documents.

    The Department of Defense is developing a system relying on electronic fingerprint readers as part of an effort to prevent potential recruits from using test takers to stand in for them.

    The original investigation that snared the nine Houston-area recruiters was launched when someone noticed a signature on a test form didn't match with a signature on other recruiting documents, Sotomayor said.

    Marine officials would not disclose the time period during which the stand-in test takers were used.

    The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, known as the ASVAB, is a lengthy test used to place recruits in military jobs to which they are best suited.

    Results could determine whether a person meets a minimum threshold to enter the service, as well as whether that person marches and fires a weapon, sits at a desk or takes up other duties.

    Unsure how widespread

    The Marine Corps declined to release the names of the recruiters or discuss specific details of the scheme, which resulted in eight recruiters being disciplined, a ninth leaving the service, and an unclear number of people entering the military based on test scores that weren't their own.

    Although officials said they are unsure how widespread the practice was or where the recruiters learned of the technique, the fraud was traced to at least 15 incidents that went through the Military Entrance Processing Station in downtown Houston.

    Of the nine recruiters, four worked at the Memorial City substation; two in Baybrook; two in Houston; and one in Lake Jackson, according to the Marines.

    "We have pursued all individuals involved in the incident," said Sgt. Robert Jones, a public affairs spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Station headquarters in Houston, which includes the men's superiors.

    Yarrish said Marines who served as enlisted supervisors at the recruiting substations and their supervisory office when stand-in test takers were used have been advised not to talk to the news media at this time. A Chronicle request to interview them was denied.

    'Wink, wink, nod, nod'

    Five former recruiters contacted by the Chronicle confirmed stand-in test takers were used with the approval of higher-ups. Two who spoke at length asked their names not be published to avoid possible retribution.

    Interviewed separately, they said they wanted to make it clear they didn't act alone or without approval.

    The man who left the Marine Corps said he was a recruiter for more than two years and put about 65 people in the service but used test takers six times.

    "It was one of those, 'wink, wink, nod, nod' — they knew," he said. "It was not an isolated thing — it is something that was going on for years and they all knew about it."

    He said loyalty stopped him from reporting other Marines. The Marine Corps has declined to release any portion of its investigative report.

    The other person who spoke with the Chronicle at length said he was fined and removed from recruiting duties but stayed in the service.

    He recalled an incident in which a higher-ranking enlisted Marine said a "tester" was needed to get a recruit into the Corps.

    When looking for a tester, sometimes they would find someone who had already been recruited and previously passed the test, or a friend or family member of a potential recruit, he said.

    "I wouldn't say it was ordered, but it was like, 'Hey, this is the way things are done,'" the former recruiter said.

    "If you are out there recruiting a lot, you are going to come across kids that this is the only push they need, and it is easy to do something," said the Marine, noting that anyone who enters the Corps still has to complete boot camp and an advanced training school.

    Now we know how Bush's military has been getting recruits.

  61. Two televangelists have resigned their posts as regents at Oral Roberts University, as the debt-ridden school tries to regroup following a spending scandal involving its former president.

    Benny Hinn and I.V. Hilliard have resigned as regents, where they were involved in making major school decisions, university spokesman Jeremy Burton said Thursday. Burton declined to say why the two resigned, but said both wrote the board to express their support for the school's mission.

    The resignations come a month after the resignations from the board of regents of two other televangelists, Jesse Duplantis and Creflo Dollar.

    Hinn and Dollar are among six televangelists being investigated by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to determine if the high-profile preachers violated their organizations' tax-exempt status by living lavishly on the backs of small donors. They have denied wrongdoing.

    A phone message left after-hours Thursday at Hilliard's ministry, The New Light Christian Center, was not immediately returned. Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for Hinn, did not immediately respond to an e-mail message sent after-hours Thursday seeking comment.

    The resignations follow that of Richard Roberts, who stepped down as university president in November amid allegations he misspent school funds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle. Roberts, the son of school founder Oral Roberts, held the position at the 5,700-student school since 1993.

    Former regent Harry McNevin, who resigned 20 years ago over what he says was excessive spending by Oral and Richard Roberts, said Thursday's resignations couldn't have come soon enough.

    "The whole board needs to go," McNevin said. "I see (the university) as a corporation belonging to the Robertses."

    Meanwhile, the first court-ordered mediation session between university officials and three former professors who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school appeared to reach a stalemate late Thursday, said Gary Richardson, an attorney for the professors.

    The professors have accused Richard Roberts of spending school funds on shopping sprees, a stable of horses for his family and a Bahamas trip for his daughter and her friends aboard a university jet — all with the university more than $50 million in debt. Richard Roberts has denied wrongdoing.

    Richardson said he saw no possibility of resolving the matter through mediation "unless there's a major change in attitudes."

    A phone message left with school attorney John Tucker seeking comment Thursday was not immediately returned.

    When are they going after Falwell's empire and Robertson's kingdom of corruption?

  62. welll Hey folks.....

    I feel all caught up here on the Bush Theocracy....religous wonders to Soldiers of Misfortune.....thanks Larry, Clif and Mike Bartle and Suzie- and hey there Lydia ( btw I am sending folks here for the great post this week)

    (1) Australia I think is not the only country that has invested in Countrywide.....there will be more lining up in dismay... I live in a neighborhood full of empty houses- it really hit during the holidays how bad it is....it looks like 1930s....so sad...

    (2)Blogger is giving me fits tonight- it won;t allow comments to come to my email, so if you need to please do email me directly enigma4ever@earthlink.net....

    (3) So did anyone see Bush said that we give Isreal 30 Billion this year ? ( it was on the press conference when the PM thanked us....30 B?? what budget does that come out of ???? the Uninsured Children ? the Pentagon? )

  63. Hey Enigma,

    Huffingtonpost had an article about the Israeli President being Bush's latest lapdog.

    Now watch Israel attack Iran so Bush can come to their defense and start the war Bush has planned for years.

  64. John Stewert had a good question after Bush's latest appearance with Olmert,

    Where Olmert praises Bush like most reichwing trolls usually do but probably for a better reason,

    The 30 billion dollars annual support package the US was sending Israel;

    After showing the lavish praises Olmert laid on Bush,

    Stewert wondered if bush's ass was kosher.

  65. That's right we give Israel 30 billion dollars in different aid programs every year;

    Now if there ever was a Welfare Program that needs to be cut;

    Welfare for Israel

    is one of them.

  66. Welfare for Israel and Welfare for Corporate America.

  67. Is Olmert ‘Bush’s new poodle’?

    The Washington Post reports on President Bush’s visit to Israel, commenting that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may be “auditioning to replace Tony Blair as George W. Bush’s new ‘poodle’“:

    Certainly, Olmert, who may be less popular in Israel than Bush is in the United States, appears to be working overtime to lavish encomiums on the lame-duck American president.

    In an interview last week with the Jerusalem Post, Olmert said that in all his years in public life, he did not recall “that America was led by someone as friendly since the days of President Ford.”

    “He’s also a great guy,” Olmert added of Bush. “I know that people say all kinds of things about him. Gentlemen, he’s a graduate of Yale and Harvard. People don’t graduate from Harvard and Yale without wisdom and understanding of processes and domestic and international relationships. He’s a very wise man.”

    The two then went on to answer questions about Iran and the Middle East, but when the questions were over, Olmert could not resist thanking Bush for “the courage that you inspire in all of us to carry on with our obligations.” […]

  68. With a population of 7.2 million people;

    the welfare for Israel program is the equivalent of giving every person in Israel;

    $4150.00 every year.

    nice tax rebate if the Israelis ever did pay taxes,

    so if you wonder why veterans in the US live under bridges and can't get the medical care they deserve,

    remember bush thinks giving Israel 30 billion is MORE IMPORTANT.

  69. 30 billion could house and provide healthcare for those thousands of homeless veterans, as well as the entire homeless population in America.

  70. YEAH... 30B would be so good for the VETS...children without healthcare...Katrina folks..

    Yeah...Jon Stewart did it great.....

    all of what bush is doing is nerve racking...he can't leave soon enough...

  71. Juan Cole has a very good breakdown of how the Navy or pentagon DID create the reality they sold to the MSM;

    US Video of Iran Speedboats Doctored;

    Iranians Charge Fabrication

    The Bush administration's assertion that 5 small Iranian boats confronted big, well-armed US ships in the Straits of Hormuz and threatened to blow up the American vessels is looking more and more like a serious error if not a Republican Party fabrication.

    He continues with this from the nyt and a very good question;

    And sure enough, we now know that the tape is a fabrication in the sense that the Pentagon says the video and the audio were recorded separately and then combined. And they can't even be sure where the audio came from! The NYT reports,

    ' The audio includes a statement that says, “I am coming to you,” and adds, “You will explode after a few minutes.” The voice was recorded from the internationally recognized channel for ship-to-ship communications, Navy officials have said. Naval and Pentagon officials have said that
    the video and audio were recorded separately, then combined. On Wednesday, Pentagon officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak officially, said they were still trying to determine if the transmission came from the speedboats or elsewhere."

    Wouldn't it have been better to determine if the transmission came from the Iranian speedboats before super-imposing it on the videotape of the Iranian boats and then issuing it in such a way as to possibly foment a war?

    Probably, but then again that would whip up the dumb wingnuts and candidates for president to spew stupid talking points,

    It also wouldn't get the MSM off the news of Obama and Hillery which is NOT making the republican party very happy, because it makes the democrats seem more credible as the next president.

    Nor could it be used to help Bush seem strong while he was visiting Israel.

    The faux staged incident also would help Bush to get the US "allies" in the region to rally around a isolate Iran movement when the Iranians started seeming to reasonable.

    Seems like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, they didn't know what really happened, but that never stopped them from making up the facts to fit what they wanted to happen, for their propaganda purposes.

    Too bad it seems the US Navy and Pentagon weren't any more interested in the facts about this incident, then Fox Noise or Major Garret were in their dishonest claims about Paul Begala and James Carville joining the Clinton campaign.

    Check out JR's blog about that.

  72. Way too funny;

    Chris Matthews talks a lot is a nice way of putting it.

  73. Oops Musharraf forgot who was supposed to be the boss;

    Pakistan warns against unilateral action on rebels

    Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said any unilateral action by U.S.-led coalition forces against militants in the border region with Afghanistan will be regarded as an invasion, a newspaper reported on Friday.

    Musharraf told Singapore's The Straits Times that Islamabad will resist any entry by coalition forces in the tribal areas to hunt down Islamic militants, regarding that as a breach of Pakistan's sovereignty.

    "I challenge anybody coming into our mountains. They would regret the day," he told the newspaper in an interview conducted in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

    Musharraf can't lose US support because he needs all the money Georgie sends him. He can't anger the tribal areas very much because they harbor bin Forgotten and the Taliban. So he has to play both sides against the middle. Too bad for him one side is a faux Texas cowboy who owns a former pig farm, so he has to try to look tough to the rest of the planet.

  74. An independent research organization has unveiled a website that examines "how big money and special interests influence the path to the Oval Office."

    The Center for Public Integrity states in a press release obtained by RAW STORY that an award-winning team of researchers and journalists has built "The Buying of the President 2008" on its behalf. It is the latest in a continuing series that began in the 1996 election year.

    The site, www.buyingofthepresident.org, is described as "a one-stop source of information about the 2008 election, featuring profiles of the candidates, their donors, and advisers, as well as the latest fundraising news."

    An executive director for the Center further states that the website "is a quintessential must-read for journalists, policy makers, and political enthusiasts alike who want to broaden their curiosity and pursuit of the purse strings behind presidential campaigns."

    One feature of "Buying of the President," entitled "The Auction Blog," focuses on how money is shaping the '08 White House race, the release notes.

    The site also boasts interviews with dozens of presidential candidates, campaign strategists, consultants and other notable figures; among the names dropped are such political luminaries as George McGovern, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Geraldine Ferraro, Carol Moseley Braun and Ted Kennedy.

    The Center was founded in 1989 by reporter and former '60 Minutes' staffer Charles Lewis to investigate corruption in the nation's capital. It has come under fire from some critics who charge that funding for its various projects originates from wealthy liberal activists like George Soros, but the criticism is tempered by praise from such icons of American journalism and scholarship as Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, and the late Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who described the Center as "an indispensable truth-teller in a treacherous time."

  75. Our shameful Guantanamo anniversary

    The appalling fact that innocents have been locked up and abused at the U.S. prison for six long years is not the only reason we must close it now.

    By Anthony D. Romero / Salon

    Today, America's Guantánamo era enters its seventh shameful year. If we are ever to regain our standing as a nation committed to the rule of law and fundamental human rights, we must close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay now, reaffirm our commitment to international treaties and our own Constitution, and either release or prosecute fairly the men who have been held so long in a legal and moral black hole.

    Six long years ago, the first orange-clad, shackled and blindfolded prisoners arrived at Guantánamo's Camp X-Ray. The Bush administration's plan was to fashion Guantánamo quite literally as an island outside the law -- a place with no lawyers, no rights and, above all, no public scrutiny. The administration labeled the men imprisoned at Guantánamo "illegal enemy combatants" who were to be held until the "cessation of hostilities" in the "war on terror" -- in other words, forever. Such "quaint" notions as the Geneva Conventions and the constitutional "Great Writ" of habeas corpus were swiftly discarded because the men at Guantánamo were uniformly, in former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's words, "among the most dangerous, best trained vicious killers on the face of the earth." President Bush, somewhat more prosaically, assured the world that the Guantánamo prisoners were "bad people."

    Make no mistake: There were, and are, innocent people imprisoned at Guantánamo. Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, who was Guantánamo's commander for several years, candidly acknowledged in the Wall Street Journal: "Sometimes, we just didn't get the right folks." And we now know that only a small percentage of the many hundreds of men and boys who have been held at Guantánamo were captured on a battlefield fighting against Americans; far more were sold into captivity by tribal warlords for substantial bounties.

    But the appalling fact that innocent men have been imprisoned and abused at Guantánamo is not the only reason why its closure is of such urgent importance. The most profound and enduring stain of Guantánamo is its corrosive effect on America's reputation and standing, and on respect for the rule of law worldwide. Repressive regimes have cited America's example to defend their abysmal human rights practices; for instance, Malaysia's law minister insisted that his country's practice of detaining suspects without trial was "just like Guantánamo Bay." Will future enemies make the same claim to defend the detention and torture of our own men and women in uniform? Such concerns have led former Secretary of State Colin Powell and other former military officers to call for Guantánamo's closure. "Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it," Powell has said.

  76. Bank of America Corp. has agreed to buy Countrywide Financial for $4 billion in stock, a deal that rescues the country's largest mortgage lender from bankruptcy.

    Another result of the Bush economy.

  77. Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost twice the company's original estimate, the New York Times reported on Friday.

    The losses were prompting the company to raise additional capital from an outside investor, the newspaper said in a report on its Web site. Merrill is expected to disclose the huge write-down when it reports earnings next week, the New York Times said, citing people who had been briefed on the company's plans.

    The loss exceeds the $12 billion hit that many Wall Street analysts had forecast, the newspaper said.

    Just another step toward the Bush Depression.

  78. Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled Friday by federal officials.

    Another step toward Bush's New World Order.

  79. If anyone is looking for signs that we may be headed into a recession, look no further than the dismal December sales results turned in by the nation’s retailers.

    Many merchants who reported sales figures Thursday failed to meet already lowered sales projections, making this the weakest holiday season since 2002. Their performance led a string of stores to reduce earnings outlooks for the fourth quarter.

    The weak results crossed all retail categories. Particularly hard hit were apparel sellers including Limited Brands Inc. and AnnTaylor Stores Corp., as well as department stores including Macy’s Inc. Among the few bright spots were low-price operators like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which posted results that exceeded Wall Street expectations, as it benefited from shoppers trading down to cheaper stores amid higher gas prices and a slumping housing market.

    Another step toward the Bush Depression.

  80. Larry said...
    Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled Friday by federal officials.

    Another step toward Bush's New World Order."

    Over my dead body will I support these fascist police state rules i'll drive without a damn licences before i get one with a "Big Brother" tracking micro chip.

  81. Larry said...
    Bank of America Corp. has agreed to buy Countrywide Financial for $4 billion in stock, a deal that rescues the country's largest mortgage lender from bankruptcy.

    Another result of the Bush economy."

    Yeah ever notice we have less and less choices as these companies and media empires CONTIUE to become bigger and more powerful.............we need anti trust agencies to actually look out for diversity of opinion and the consumer instead of rubber stamping what the corporate elite want.

  82. clif said...
    Oops Musharraf forgot who was supposed to be the boss;

    Pakistan warns against unilateral action on rebels

    Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said any unilateral action by U.S.-led coalition forces against militants in the border region with Afghanistan will be regarded as an invasion, a newspaper reported on Friday.

    Musharraf told Singapore's The Straits Times that Islamabad will resist any entry by coalition forces in the tribal areas to hunt down Islamic militants, regarding that as a breach of Pakistan's sovereignty.

    "I challenge anybody coming into our mountains. They would regret the day," he told the newspaper in an interview conducted in the garrison city of Rawalpindi."

    What happened too Chimpy and his followers saying that ANYONE harboring or aiding terrorists is the enemy and will be considered a terrorist..............could the repugs be on the WRONG side of capturing Bin Laden, fighting terrorism and Nation Security..........because I clearly heard all the Democrats say they would go in there to get Bin Laden REGARDLESS of what Mushareff the Dictator and thug says.....................silly me Pakistan and Afghanistan dont have any oil or other resources the Neo Con hippocrires want.

  83. Something isn't right in the Granite State and the problem is named Diebold.

    Nevermind the braindead pundits and the rest of the chattering class. But for 17 polling organizations to have shown Obama ahead and then Hillary wins?

    Sorry, but I don't buy it and I was glad to see Dennis Kucinich doesn't buy it either.

    When are the American people going to rise up and storm the Bastille? Our very democracy and the republic hangs in the balance. How many more elections will be cast in a shroud of ill-gotten gain?

  84. Real Time With Bill Mayer returns tonight at 11:00 PM EST.

    It's gonna be good!

  85. When Bu$hco came into power in 2001there were already intelligence gathering telecommunications snooping in place.

    It was called Echelon whose existence had only recently been acknowledged by US officials, and was capable of hoovering up millions of phone calls, faxes and emails a minute. But this was not enough for Bu$hco and agency officials said that the NSA must become a “powerful, permanent presence” on the commercial communications networks, a goal they admitted would raise legal and privacy issues.

    In February 2001 ‘Project Groundbreaker’ was set Up to monitor domestic phone communications and in October 2001 the NSA created a massive data base of US citizen’s phone calls.

    In todays news Justice’s Inspector General Glenn Fine, right, said more than half of about 1,000 FBI phone bills reviewed were not paid on time and resulted in wiretaps being cut. The FBI, led by Robert S. Mueller III, said no evidence was lost.

    Recently the Senate intelligence committee voted 10 to 9 along party lines to approve a bill that added new restrictions on government surveillance powers. But this did not include language addressing the immunity issue, which would mean that the telecommunications companies would have to testify in court.

    The committee defeated in a 12 to 7 vote a proposal from Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) that would have precluded legal protections for telecom companies. Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Herb Kohl (Wis.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) joined nine Republicans in voting against the proposal.

    There is sure a lot of difference between Feingold and Feinstein. In San Francisco some folks are calling Dianne Feinstein a Neocon in drag.

  86. MARIA Bartiromo's CNBC rival, Erin Burnett, is doing her share to roil the cable business network.

    Sources tell Page Six that Burnett, known as the "Street Sweetie," has network suits in an uproar over the narcissistic, money-grubbing feature she penned for Men's Health, titled "Eight Things That Would Impress Me" - with bosses worried it could hurt her and the station's serious news image.

    In the jaw-dropping piece, first revealed on this page Monday, Burnett says guys can "unlock" her heart by giving her round-trip, business-class tickets to Australia and New Zealand, sending a yoga instructor and personal chef to her apartment, and treating her and her sisters to a long-weekend spa getaway, among other suggestions.

    "This has caused a lot of hand-wringing at the network," an insider told us, suggesting Burnett comes off as a trite, gold-digging hussy. "There's worry she's damaged her brand. Everybody's talking about it and asking, like, 'Why did you do this?' Everybody think it's a major [bleep]-up.' "

    A mention of the article on Dealbreaker.com ridiculed it as, "Map to Erin Burnett's [Bleep]." The site later substituted the word "heart" for the vulgarism. "The newsroom was talking about 'Erin Burnett's [bleep].' You've got to wonder who gave her the idea for this story," our source said.

    Burnett, who's been dubbed "Maria 2.0" for her rivalry with "Money Honey" Bartiromo, wouldn't talk to us. CNBC flack Brian Steel refused to say whether Burnett's story set off an uproar, repeatedly telling us: "Erin is one of the most respected and insightful journalists on television today.

    "It was a fun little piece," Steel said, adding that he had pre-approved Burnett's writing the article.

    Burnett's boo-boo takes even more heat off Bartiromo, who last year survived an ethics scandal over globetrotting on Citigroup's private jet with its then-wealth-management chief Todd Thomson, who later got the ax. She also had animal-rights activists screeching for posing in a $3,695 Michael Kors wool coat and gushing about its fluffy fox-fur cuffs.

    Our source said: "For the moment it looks like Maria's off the hook. Erin's the problem child now."

  87. U.S. President George W. Bush said on Friday the United States would have a long-term presence in Iraq that could "easily" last a decade.

    And Bush's Bloodthirst keeps rolling on.

  88. About a dozen senior campaign staffers for Rudy Giuliani are forgoing their January paychecks, aides said Friday, a sign of possible money trouble for the Republican presidential candidate.

    "We have enough money, but we could always use more money," contended Mike DuHaime, Giuliani's campaign manager and one of those who now is working for free. "We want to make sure we have enough to win."

    Guiliani has stolen/squandered millions of mob money meant for his campaign.

  89. By Jane Smiley

    When I read Lawrence O'Donnell's post calling John Edwards a "loser" and threatening a lifetime of infamy if he doesn't get out of the race, I immediately went to O'Donnell's bio to see his party affiliation. I was sure it would say "R" -- but it didn't. It didn't say anything.

    However, I am fairly sure in my own mind that Karl Rove paid him to write that post. Look at it this way: O'Donnell attacks the only candidate in the race with explicitly progressive policy positions, and the only candidate in the race who hasn't accepted corporate money, and the only candidate in the race who understands how corporations are poisoning American politics and American life with their unrestrained power and influence.

    In addition, O'Donnell maintains that the only two candidates we can have to choose between are Clinton and Obama. Both Clinton and Obama have serious electability issues. If you believe that there was no Diebold factor in New Hampshire (something that I think requires further investigation but will not get it, I am sure), then you have to acknowledge and fear the Bradley factor -- that there is a core group of American white voters who will not vote for a black man no matter what they say to pollsters. By the same token, polls among voters of all types have shown that Clinton has the highest negatives -- the highest number of voters who will not vote for her under any circumstances.

    Hillary Clinton aroused incredible antagonism in the 1990s. The antagonism she aroused was not rational, but then, neither is voting. So, what O'Donnell proposes is prematurely reducing the choices of Democrats to the two candidates that are, on the face of it, the least electable. It was clear from the op-ed that Rove wrote a few weeks ago that the Republicans, whose own candidates run the gamut from the ridiculous (Fred Thompson) to the psychopathic (Rudolph Giuliani) and the theocratic (Huckabee) have already begun to see finagling the Democratic primary race as their only chance. If O'Donnell happens to be a Democrat and he buys into this strategy, then the infamy is his.

    But I thank him for one thing -- he persuaded me to send a nice fat donation to John Edwards.

  90. Larry, I'm so glad you posted this article by Jane Smiley. How uncanny. I read this on HuffPo and immediately Googled "Is Lawrence O'Donnell an IDIOT?!!!"

    What a schmucky thing to do, to malign and smear the most progressive candidate we have: John Edwards.

    I still think Edwards has the most comprehensive plan to help America survive on every level.

    Let's see what happens...

  91. By Mike Kelly:

    Ann Coulter's father John died last week, and this week she honored his memory with a column containing not one, but two Ted Kennedy jokes. I know I'd be proud.

    Hahaha! Ted Kennedy! Back me up, mourners! I know you're out there - I can hear you breathing! Unlike dad! That lady in the shroud... she knows what I'm talking about!

    Such is a daughter's grief. Think of her, then, as Ophelia with her violetless garlands, crossed with a real fucking hack.

    But where's the Hillary material? Come on. It's right in front of you, Ann -- dad's dead... Hillary cries... you do the math.

    Clearly, Ann's not at the top of her game. So I've taken the liberty of going through the eulogy -- cutting the Kennedy material -- and punching up the rest.

    The longest baby ever born at the Albany, N.Y., hospital, at least as of May 5, 1926, who grew up to be my strapping father, passed away last Friday morning.
    And by "strapping" I mean, "he beat me with a strap."

    As Mother and I stood at Daddy's casket Monday morning, Mother repeated his joke to him, which he said on every wedding anniversary until a few years ago when Lewy bodies dementia prevented him from saying much at all: "54 years, married to the wrong woman." And we laughed.
    Because he was dead.

    John Vincent Coulter was of the old school, a man of few words, the un-Oprah, no crying or wearing your heart on your sleeve, and reacting to moments of great sentiment with a joke. Or as we used to call them:


    When he was moping around the house once, missing my brother who had just gone back to college, he said, "Well, if you had cancer long enough, you'd miss it."

    Unlike Lewy bodies dementia, apparently.

    He'd indicate his feelings about my skirt length by saying,
    I can see your balls.

    "You look nice, Hart, but you forgot to put on your skirt."

    Your parents are your whole world when you are a child.

    Especially when other children avoid you out of instinct.

    You only recognize what is unique about them when you get older and see how the rest of the world diverges from your standard of normality.
    Or the cops come.

    Besides being very funny, Father had an absolutely straight moral compass without ever being preachy or judgmental or even telling us in words.

    If you call a five-decade joke about hating his wife, another about his son being like cancer, and another based on looking at his daughter's ass "funny."

    Father hated puffery, pomposity, snobbery, fake friendliness, fake anything. Like Kitty's father in "Anna Karenina," he could detect a substanceless suitor in a heartbeat.

    "War on the one hand is such a terrible, such an atrocious thing, that no man, especially no Christian man, has the right to assume the responsibility of beginning it." - Tolstoy

    "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." - Some Fatherless Creep

    He hated unions because of their corrupt leadership, ripping off the members for their own aggrandizement.
    I know I'm forgetting some of the other things he hated, but you're starting to get the picture. Oh yeah, yogurt. Hated it. And mom.

    But he had more respect for genuine working men than anyone I've ever known. He was, in short, the molecular opposite of John Edwards.
    John Edwards being alive.

    Father spent most of his nine-year FBI career as a Red hunter in New York City.
    Where Stalin had sent his legions to steal the secrets of Broadway's Golden Era.

    He never talked much about his FBI days.
    Or dressing like a woman.

    Father mostly had contempt for Soviet spies.
    Reserving "hate" for unions, snobs, phonies, mom and us kids. Think of him as a kind of grown up Holden Caulfield, crossed with Hitler. Hitler Caulfield. The Catcher in Rhine. This guy in the front row, he gets it!

    In the early 1980s, as vice president and labor lawyer for Phelps Dodge copper company, Father broke a strike against the company ... Every day, Father walked with the strikebreakers through the picket line, (in my mind) brushing egg off his suit lapel.
    And his skirt.

    By 1986 it was over; the mineworkers voted against the union and Phelps Dodge was saved. For any liberals still reading, this is what's known as a "happy ending."
    Not as happy as this funeral. But happy.

    Now Daddy is with Joe McCarthy and Ronald Reagan.
    "Hey, Ron, is it always this hot in here?"

    Sounds like Daddy Coulter was a Scab too.

  92. Lydia,

    Read O'Donnell's article she is talking about also on Huffingtonpost.

    It's sickening.

  93. Check out Christopher's post on why Chris Matthews (Tweety) hates Keith Olbermann.

    From The Left

  94. Larry, I DID read the first part of O'Donnell's article and I could barely stomach the headline. Then I saw Jane Smiley's right below and I was so grateful she called him on his disgusting hatred.

    I like John Edwards, I like Kucinich and I like Obama too.

  95. Bill Mayer is also questioning whether Obama was screwed out of victory in New Hampshire because of the Diebold machines.

  96. Consumer confidence fell to an all-time low as worries about jobs, energy bills and home foreclosures darkened people's feelings about the country's economic health and their own financial well-being.

    According to the RBC Cash Index, confidence tumbled to a mark of 56.3 in early January. That compares with a reading of 65.9 in December -- and a benchmark of 100 -- and was the worst since the index began in 2002.

    "People are anxious because everything sounds pretty awful these days," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services Group.

    Economists cited several factors for consumers' gloomy outlook:

    --Hiring practically stalled in December, pushing the unemployment rate to 5 percent, a two-year high, the government reported last week.

    --The meltdown in the housing market has dragged down home values and made people feel less wealthy.

    --Harder-to-get credit has made it difficult for some to make big-ticket purchases.

    --High energy prices are squeezing wallets and pocketbooks.

    --There has been much hand-ringing on Wall Street and Main Street as to whether all these problems will plunge the country into recession.

    "Consumers are gloomy. The confidence reading suggests that people believe bad times are upon us," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.

    Over the past year, consumer confidence has eroded sharply as housing and credit woes took their toll. Last January, confidence stood at a solid 95.3. The index is based on the results of the international polling firm Ipsos.

    It is another sign of the coming Bush Depression!

  97. China's trade surplus surged to a record 262.2 billion dollars last year, up 47.7 percent from 2006, the official Xinhua news agency said Friday, citing the customs administration.

    Total foreign trade hit a record 2.17 trillion dollars, according to Xinhua.

    The surplus, a source of huge concern for the United States and China's other major trading partners, stood at 177.47 billion dollars in 2006.

    The United States and other critics have repeatedly criticised China for keeping its currency, the yuan, artificially high, which they argue gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage and boosts the surplus.

    In response, China has allowed the yuan to appreciate gradually, and faster in recent weeks, but has refused to scrap the controls completely.

    The yuan hit another record high on Friday morning of 7.2672 yuan to the US dollar, which marked an appreciation of about 12 percent since the currency was de-pegged from the greenback in July 2005.

    China's surplus is because of the Bush economic policy.

  98. Rolls-Royce said today that it was to axe up to 2,300 jobs in the UK, Europe and US as it seeks to trim costs.

    The group declined to confirm how many jobs in the UK would be cut, but said it would seek to secure voluntary redundancies where possible.

    Rolls-Royce employs around 23,300 people in the UK at bases in locations including Derby and Bristol.

    The wealthy can't afford to buy a Rolls Royce: Another sign of the coming Bush Depression!

  99. From Scholars and Rogues:

    NBC, in its infinite political wisdom, has declared that Democrat Dennis Kucinich should not be exposed to the public as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. While he may be qualified, he is not viable, NBC has summarily declared.

    Only two days ago NBC had invited Rep. Kucinich to take part in the network’s Jan. 15 debate co-hosted by the Nevada Democratic Party. But, according to today’s The Hill, NBC “disinvited” him.

    NBC had invited the long-shot candidate on Jan. 9 but rescinded its decision Friday morning, when NBC Political Director Chuck Todd informed the Kucinich camp that the network was “redoing” its participation criteria, according to the campaign.

    The lawmaker had qualified for the debate by coming in fourth in a national poll with 3 percent.

    However, NBC changed its criteria to focus the debate on the three candidates with a realistic shot of winning the nomination — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).

    Rep. Kucinich says he may sue. He ought to, because the NBC decision is disingenous on so many levels. Changing the rules in middle of the game is un-American. Going back on your word is un-American. Narrowing the range of ideas offered through your news division is un-American (but probably highly corporate).

    Aren’t we all tired of news organizations deciding who voters should or should not hear from? The Iowa caucuses had a turnout of about 347,000 people. New Hampshire had a turnout of about 527,000, about 60 percent of the state’s registered voters. Both turnouts were records.

    That’s not even 1 percent of the approximately 122 million Americans expected to vote in November, a 17-million increase from the record 2000 presidential turnout of 105 million. (See estimate, turnout study.)

    Yet media adopt early “winners.” The “winners” cash in with more campaign donations. Those candidates whose strengths lie in other geographic regions, such as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, are penalized. Still other candidates, such as Kucinich, who, we must admit, carries a certain “kook” factor, see their efforts – and their thinking about public policy issues — shown the door instead of the podium.

    I have no fervor for the candidates catching the media’s fancy on both the GOP and Democratic sides. Perhaps I will at some point.

    But at the moment, I’m tired of my choices being limited by network news nitwits.

    This is Bush's American Democracy: Deny a Presidential Candidate an opportunity to be heard with the others: The Democratic Party applauding the move.

    In Bush's America, THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY!

  100. The surge in Iraq has worked so well the US Air Force though it would be FUN to drop 40,000 lbs of bombs just south east of Baghdad,

    Because if they didn't do it just for fun,

    That means the surge just might not be working as well as some reichwing sycophants want us all to believe;

    In Iraq, U.S. airstrikes target insurgents near supposedly safe zone

    The U.S. military dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives southeast of Baghdad on Thursday in a series of airstrikes that underscored the tenuousness of U.S. progress against Islamic extremists in Iraq.

    The targets were near the town of Arab Jabour, a Sunni Muslim-dominated district on Baghdad's outskirts that American officials recently held up as a security success and an example of how local Sunni tribesmen known as "concerned local citizens" had turned against al Qaida in Iraq.

    But Thursday's air attack indicated that the area still has a considerable Sunni militant presence. The statement said that more than 40 targets in three large areas were hit during two passes by two supersonic B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighter jets. A U.S. military official in the area said the targets were al Qaida in Iraq weapons caches and bomb-making materials.

    The blitz dropped 38 bombs in its first 10 minutes, the statement said.

    Lets see,

    38 bombs adding up to 40,000 lbs,

    that means 36 1000 lb bombs,

    with a lethal radius of about 600 ft,

    and 2 2000 lb bombs,

    with a lethal radius of about 1200 ft or almost a quarter mile.

    40 bombs spread around an Iraqi neighborhood ......

    This means a good section of a neighborhood got bombed,

    which means they probably killed quite a few people,

    but they never do body counts,

    after all that is bad taste,

    especially after you just blew up their homes schools and the people who live there.

    So you can say the surge is working.

  101. Thanks Cliff:
    Well, I don't think the Bombs were dropped on "Islamic Extremists" ( which is a horseehit phrase at this point- because it means nothing to anyone that follows the tribal issues in that region)....So WHO was the messege to? Sunni? Shia? WHO? and yes, we KNOW that bombs will kill many families....and WHAT for ? So Bush and his frigging Surge Legacy (fantasy) will intact?

    I hope SOMEONE asks McCain about this....


    So for anyone interested...Watergate Summer is still having some troubles...sadly ....but only from an email perspective...just takes me longer to answer...sorry...

    So for now I am using both emails....

    ( so that is why this comment will have a different avatar...sorry...)

  102. Clif, the Reich responds, "So what. They aren't Americans." Not only that, big corporations get to profit for every Iraqi Bush and the GOP murder.


    Thank you,