Obermann Blasts Bush

September 12, 2006

Last night, MSNBC host Keith Obermann blasted Pres. Bush on his show with Ground Zero in the background. It is the most scathing attack on the current Administration that I’ve heard to date.

      “Five years later this space… is still empty.
Five years later there is no Memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our
America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country’s wound is still open.
Five years… later this country’s mass grave is still unmarked.

      Five years later… this is still… just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.”

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Video: The Best War Ever

September 12, 2006

There is a new book out on the propaganda campaign that led us into the Iraq War – The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies and the Mess in Iraq.

Youtube.com has a promo for it, of course:

newspaperFrom San Francisco Bay Guardian:

1. THE FEDS AND THE MEDIA MUDDY THE DEBATE OVER INTERNET FREEDOM

2. HALLIBURTON CHARGED WITH SELLING NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN

3. WORLD OCEANS IN EXTREME DANGER

4. HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS INCREASING IN THE UNITED STATES

5. HIGH-TECH GENOCIDE IN CONGO

6. FEDERAL WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION IN JEOPARDY

7. US OPERATIVES TORTURE DETAINEES TO DEATH IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ

8. PENTAGON EXEMPT FROM FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

9. WORLD BANK FUNDS ISRAEL-PALESTINE WALL

10. EXPANDED AIR WAR IN IRAQ KILLS MORE CIVILIANS

Read the details: CENSORED!

From Slate.com:

DC cap

Zeitgeist Checklist
What Washington is talking about this week.
By Dana Milbank
Posted Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006, at 8:18 AM ET

Sadr But Wiser
Iraq. Many in the capital wonder about Sir Winston Rumsfeld’s state of mind after he says that those who disagree with him on Iraq are trying to appease fascists. The unfailingly upbeat Gen. George W. Casey Jr. issues a new statement of optimism, which is quickly disqualified by a gloomy Pentagon report to Congress. Iraq’s parliament, emulating Congress, wraps up a month-long recess.

Bringing Down the House
Democrats. GOP eyes open as wide as Nancy Pelosi’s when Stuart Rothenberg predicts that Democrats will gain control of the House in November. Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, the Burger King and McDonald’s of political forecasting, have now both switched to Democrat-takeover predictions. Senate still remains Republican in every scenario but Democratic campaign Chairman Chuck Schumer’s.

What If Brit Hume Moderates?
Iran. Trying to divert attention from his country’s refusal to meet U.N. nuclear demands, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad challenges Bush to a televised debate. The administration, worried that the Iranian might sigh like Al Gore, declines the challenge, opting instead for sanctions.

Thud
Scandal. Valerie Plame leak scandal fizzles out. Newsweek confirms that columnist Bob Novak’s first source to unmask the CIA operative was the State Department’s Richard Armitage, who was just gossiping. Scandal seekers must look west for sustenance: Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs is caught in Nevada in a Cadillac with three wigs, 15 cell phones, and one of his many wives.

Fourth and Long
Sports. Redskins owner Dan Snyder, his team performing woefully in preseason and in need of a punter, hires out-of-work Tom Cruise. The partnership, First and Goal LLC, will give the Scientologist actor up to $10 million a year for expenses such as couch repair and replacement.

Who Needs Terrorists?
Homeland Security. As polls show Americans abandoning the administration line that Iraq is part of the war on terror, Bush prepares a round of speeches to reinforce the point while planning much activity for the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Incompetence proves deadlier than terrorism as Comair flight crashes on wrong runway in Kentucky when lone worker in undermanned control tower isn’t looking.

Flushed
Weather. Hurricane Ernesto is a washout, and coverage of Katrina anniversary quickly reaches saturation. This compounds misery for cable news after charges are dropped against JonBenet confessor/hoaxster John Mark Karr. CNN’s solution: narrating a Bush speech with audio of anchor Kyra Phillips using the toilet and dishing on her sister-in-law.

Elders of Zion
Middle East. Israel won’t lift its blockade of Lebanon. Hezbollah won’t release the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. U.N. won’t send enough troops to enforce a cease-fire. Kofi Annan won’t stop whining. Meantime, Harvard’s Stephen Walt and the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer come to town, guests of a Muslim group, to blame everything on American Jews and Israel.

The Road More Traveled
Economy. Census Bureau finds that Washington area has the nation’s three wealthiest counties, which can be conveniently accessed by driving through the nation’s second-worst traffic. From their Leesburg McMansions and Lexuses snarled on I-66, political Washingtonians have little worry of encountering the 46.6 million Americans without health insurance or the 37 million in poverty.

Life Imitates Ali G
White House. Brilliantly timed with the release of the new Borat movie, Bush will welcome Kazakhstan’s autocratic president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, at the White House and in Kennebunkport. This appears to contradict Bush’s initiative to foil foreign corruption, but Americans are unlikely to read about it: New SAT results show the biggest drop in verbal scores in 31 years.

Dana Milbank writes the Washington Post‘s Washington Sketch column.

Is the U.S. falling apart?

August 28, 2006

broken The American Society of Civil Engineers last year graded the nation “D” for its overall infrastructure conditions, estimating that it would take $1.6 trillion over five years to fix the problem.

The Seattle Times published an article citing the Alaskan pipeline failure, air traffic control problems in major cities like LA and power outages like the one that crippled the National Security Agency in Maryland. Read it – We’re falling apart at the seams.

Katrina was just a wake-up call. We can’t keep wasting billions of dollars on friends of those in power.

shockHouse Democrats finally got their act together enough to do a full investigation into the Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts by FEMA. The Bush Administration used private contractors billions to do the work – 70% were awarded without a competitive bid. The report identifies 19 Katrina contracts, totaling $8.75 billion, that have experienced significant overcharges, wasteful spending, or mismanagement.

And of course, under Bush-Cheney theory of “We’re going keep to doing the wrong things, but we’ll just get better at them,” FEMA awarded earlier this month another $1 billion in contracts to several of the same companies implicated in the wasteful Hurricane Katrina response.

Key findings in the report include the following:

  • Full and Open Competition is the Exception, Not the Rule. As of June 30, 2006, over $10.6 billion has been awarded to private contractors for Gulf Coast recovery and reconstruction. Nearly all of this amount ($10.1 billion) was awarded in 1,237 contracts valued at $500,000 or more. Only 30% of these contracts were awarded with full and open competition.
  • Contract Mismanagement Is Widespread. Hurricane Katrina contracts have been accompanied by pervasive mismanagement. Mistakes were made in virtually every step of the contracting process: from pre-contract planning through contract award and oversight. Compounding this problem, there were not enough trained contract officials to oversee contract spending in the Gulf Coast.
  • The Costs to the Taxpayer Are Enormous. This report identifies 19 Katrina contracts collectively worth $8.75 billion that have been plagued by waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. In the case of each of these 19 contracts, reports from the Government Accountability Office, Pentagon auditors, agency inspectors general, or other government investigators have linked the contracts to major problems in administration or performance.

Read the report for yourself (PDF): House Report

pbIn his new book, State of Emergency, former Presidential candidate and TV political pundit Pat Buchanan charged that Mexicans “prefer to remain outsiders” and “do not wish to assimilate.”

The problem, just like we find with Charlie “It’s my meeting” Fairchild and Marty “Jeff’s a Weasel” Donovan, is that the facts don’t support these claims.

According to poll by the Pew Hispanic Center: 96% of foreign-born and Spanish-speaking Latinos believe it is “very important” to teach English to immigrant children, and they’re doing just that ( PDF). Yes, only 4% of Hispanic immigrants are fluent in English. However, 46% of their children and 78% of the third generation are English dominant.

Assimilation didn’t happen overnight for the Irish, Germans and others who immigrated to this country. It takes generations and that is what is happening in the Hispanic community.

DC capZeitgeist Checklist
What Washington’s talking about this week.
By Dana Milbank
Posted Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006, at 1:57 AM ET

Misunderestimated
Iraq. It’s getting lonelier for President Bush, as even hawk Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., scolds the administration for its “mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders” happy talk. A day after Bush says there’s no civil war, the Pentagon announces it will fight the uncivil war with the first involuntary call-up in years.

Farsi-cal
Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad scoffs at U.N. demand that Iran stop uranium enrichment. Bush administration wants sanctions but Russia and China immediately go wobbly. And, House intelligence committee says it has no confidence that spy agencies know what Tehran is up to.

No Plan B for Conservatives
Culture wars. Administration infuriates its base by approving over-the-counter sales of “morning after” contraceptive. Anti-abortion groups say the drug is just as immoral as stem-cell research. Girls younger than 18 still need a prescription or a fake ID, but they don’t vote.

Help Wanted
Middle East. United Nations needs 15,000 troops to enforce Lebanon cease-fire, but Italy is alone in offering 3,000 troops. France is shamed into raising its offer from 200 to 2,000, as U.S.-bashing Europeans decide they’d rather not get their boots dirty. American focus turns to Fox News journalists kidnapped in Gaza; Jesse Jackson to the rescue?

Be Somewhat Afraid
Homeland security. Bush bounces up to 42 percent support in Gallup and CNN polls as his terrorism numbers rise because of British airplane plot. But CBS/New York Times poll finds him back at 36, with GOP facing 15-point disadvantage in November midterms.

Home Equity Groan
Economy. Wall Street slumps as existing-home sales fall to 30-month low, worse than economists feared. Bush advises GOP candidates: “I’d say, ‘Look at what the economy has done. It’s strong.’

Storm Stories
Katrina. Spike Lee and every think tank in town do Katrina retrospectives, reminding everybody about the White House’s most famous failure. Bush’s best hope: Plans for the fifth anniversary of 9/11 will, er, swamp the Katrina craze.

Supersize Us
Science. Two big studies prove that being even modestly overweight shortens your life. Even the fitness-mad president fails the Body Mass Index test. No comment from the speaker of the House. Chicago responds to the threat by banning foie gras.

Size Matters
Mystery. Pluto, teased with planetary status just a week ago, is now told it is too small. It will join a lesser class of extraterrestrial objects likely to include ex-Paramount star Tom Cruise and dubious JonBenet confessor John Mark Karr.

Third Degree Burns
Republicans. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., already embattled because of ties to ex-superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, debuts on YouTube with clip of him falling asleep at agriculture hearing. This after disparaging firefighters and joking that his “little Guatemalan” house painter was illegal. Burns escapes full-macaca treatment by media, which are distracted by endless George Allen apologies.

Dana Milbank writes the Washington Post‘s Washington Sketch column.

soldier1,251 days – which is 7 days longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II.

VOTE TODAY

August 21, 2006

Escambia County Election Supervisor David Stafford has opened three polling places for voting today thru Saturday, Sept. 2:

Supervisor of Elections Main Office, 213 Palafox Place 2nd Floor

Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway

Lucia M. Tryon Branch Library, 5740 North 9th Avenue

Early voting will be offered at each of these locations Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Early voters will cast their ballots on the county’s new iVotronic touch screen voting machines, and can choose any one of the three sites.