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Impeach Bush--Index 28

May 21, 2006
Let Bush limp off the stage or take him down?

Molly Ivins: Can Things Get Any Worse?
AUSTIN, Texas—Looking at the wreckage of the Bush administration leaves one with the depressed query, "Now what?" The only help to the country that can come from this ugly and spectacular crackup is, in theory, things can't get worse. This administration is so discredited it cannot talk the country into an unnecessary war with Iran as it did with Iraq. In theory, spending is so out of control it cannot cut taxes for the rich again; the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bushies is already among its lasting legacies.

As we all know, things can always get worse, and often do. I rather think it's going to be up to the Democrats to hold the metaphoric hands of this crippled administration until it limps off stage.

Barring emergency, I suspect the wisest thing Democrats can do in the next two years is to begin steadily undoing what Bush hath wrought—on tax and spending, on global warming, and on surveillance and other illegal lunges for power. George W. Bush ran in 2000 as a moderate. He did not bother to inform us at the time that he felt the government of this country needed a much stronger executive, one above the law. Congress has sat by passively while this administration accrued more and more power. If members of Congress think the legislative branch should be equal, it's time for them to stir their stumps.

May 22, 2006
Activism - using civil disobedience

Be a Part of the Growing Pro-Impeachment Movement
And for every member of Congress, even one you might decide to hold your nose and vote for as a lesser evil, we have the carrots of praise, popularity, media attention, and blogosphere attention, and the sticks of condemnation, embarrassment, and civil disobedience.

May 17, 2006
Conservative Extremism

Senator Arlen Specter Betrays Our Country
And he has been working on a bill that was going to require the Bush administration to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to rule on the legality of the warrantless wiretapping, to rule on Bush's position that his role as commander-in-chief meant he didn't have to follow the law requiring a warrant from the FISA court.

But as of today, Specter has backed down, and is no longer including that stipulation in his bill. And he's also allowed a provision that will make it harder to challenge the Bush administration's actions in court on the surveillance program.

May 20, 2006
Do-nothing Congress

What's Being Done to Prevent Mine Deaths?
Already in 2006, 31 miners have died, nine more than all of last year — in part because more coal is being mined. That means less-experienced miners working more hours, critics say.

"Here we go again," said Kenny Johnson, chaplain of the United Mine Workers of America union. "It's just one coal mine tragedy after another. And there seems to be a lot of people talking about it. But the changes they're making is just not getting to the root, the heart of the matter."

May 20, 2006
Conservative Backlash

Growing Number of GOP Seats In Doubt
Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of a political newsletter, now has 42 Republican districts, including Drake's, on his list of competitive races. Last September, he had 26 competitive GOP districts, and Drake's wasn't on the list. "That's a pretty significant increase," he said. "The national atmospherics are making long shots suddenly less long."

May 19, 2006
Conservative Extremism

Scalia Tells Congress to Mind Its Own Business
Justice Antonin Scalia rebuked fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill yesterday, saying they have gone too far in trying to prevent the Supreme Court from using foreign law in its constitutional rulings.

Scalia dissented vigorously from the court's recent decisions that invoked foreign law to help strike down the death penalty for juveniles and laws against consensual homosexual conduct. In Congress, conservative Republicans responded angrily to the rulings and introduced bills that would either condemn or ban the court's use of foreign legal authorities.

May 20, 2006
Upholding the Constitution

Judge Strikes Down Okla. Gay Adoption Ban
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge struck down a 2-year-old law that prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from other states and countries.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron ruled Friday the measure violated due process rights under the U.S. Constitution because it attempted to break up families without considering the parents' fitness or the children's best interests.

May 20, 2006
Activism - civil disobedience

Graduates at New School Heckle Speech by McCain
Noting that Mr. McCain had promised to give the same speech at all of his graduation appearances, Ms. Rohe, who was one of two students selected to speak by university deans, attacked his remarks even before he delivered them.

"Senator McCain will tell us today that dissent and disagreement are our civic and moral obligation in times of crisis, and I agree," she said. "I consider this a time of crisis, and I feel obligated to speak."

She continued, "Senator McCain will also tell us about his strong-headed self-assuredness in his youth, which prevented him from hearing the ideas of others, and in so doing he will imply that those of us who are young are too naïve to have valid opinions.

"I am young, and although I don't profess to possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous and wrong," she said.

May 21, 2006
Afghan drugs, poverty and anger fuel Taliban war
KABUL (Reuters) - Drugs, poverty and frustration with the Afghan government are fuelling an insurgency by Taliban militants, who appear to be growing stronger just as more foreign forces are arriving to try to improve security.

Violence in the past week has been some of the worst since U.S.-led forces drove the Taliban from power. In recent days, more than 100 people have died in bombings and gunbattles in the Afghan south. Two French soldiers, an American and a Canadian were among the dead.

May 18, 2006
How the Bush Administration Deconstructed Iraq
Once in a while, we get a glimpse of this unreported reality. On April 25, James Glanz of the New York Times offered a neat window into the ugliness of U.S. culpability. He told the story of an American effort to repair an inoperative oil pipeline in Al Fatah, a village about 130 miles north of Baghdad. The pipeline had been damaged early in the war by an American air attack on a bridge across the Tigris River over which it traveled.

Immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003, plans were activated to repair the bridge and reestablish the pipeline. Original estimates indicated that "it would cost some $5 million and take less than five months to string the pipelines across the bridge once it was repaired." Initially, $75.7 million was allocated for the repair job. Work began almost immediately, because the American occupation authorities were anxious to acquire the $5 million a day in oil revenues that a reconnected pipeline promised.

May 12, 2006
Media Advisory

Insidious Bias
US media analyst Norman Solomon finds disturbing trends in the US media landscape over the past four decades that conspire to deprive Americans of harder-hitting journalism when it comes to wars overseas.

..but really the New York Times, an ostensibly liberal newspaper, will deserve more credit, if you will, for helping to drag the US into war. When they discovered that the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) story was a complete fantasy perpetuated by the Rove-Cheney-Bush administration, you had this belated mea culpa. They said, 'we fell for it.' Well, they didn't fall for it, they jumped for it. There was an eagerness on the front page to make this case of WMD under Saddam Hussein's control. And also, why would the New York Times' top editors put themselves in the same category as the government? I thought that was very revealing. They view themselves as integral to the national security state and so their capacity and inclination to scrutinize what is coming out of the White House are very hobbled.

May 15, 2006
Do think you'll ever hear the media say the GOP Is poll-driven? Nah!

Gingrich: GOP 'Drifting Toward Disaster'
"The Senate is drifting toward a disaster of the first order," Gingrich added. "The agreement on who they're going to appoint to the conference guarantees a bad bill. The bill they're looking at is a bad bill. It violates, in almost every case, what the American people want."

May 12, 2006
Test Bush or his lapdogs in the media?

Disclosure could test Bush on key issue
Yet the program's secrecy allowed Democrats to complain that the Bush administration is once again seeking to evade constitutional checks and balances. And it prompted some to warn that it is a slippery slope from checking on phone calls placed by suspected terrorists, to checking on phones calls placed by others deemed dangerous, such as news reporters writing on secret programs in hopes of determining their sources.

"A program like this will go too far if kept secret. It's just a matter of when," Harper said.

May 17, 2006
Pace: US can't withdraw any forces
Testifying alongside US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, General Peter Pace was asked whether coalition forces could withdraw within the next three months from any of 14 Iraqi provinces that he had described as calm and stable.

"No, sir," Pace told members of a Senate appropriations subcommittee considering an administration request for 66.3 billion dollars in additional military funding, most of it for Iraq.

May 18, 2006
Media Advisory

Press uncritically reported Sen. Hatch's claim that FISA judges did not object to warrantless surveillance
Shrader did not note that two judges informed of the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program prior to its public disclosure reportedly expressed serious concerns about the constitutionality of the operation and its effect on the warrant process.

May 18, 2006
Media Advisory

Fox News Hides Background of Gore Critics
--Funding for the Competitive Enterprise Institute has come from Amoco Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, ARCO Foundation, ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Motors, Texaco Inc., and Texaco Foundation, all with a vested interest in an American economy based on burning fossil fuels. CEI has helped fight automobile fuel efficiency standards over the years. --Right-wing fanatic Michelle Malkin was once a "journalist" fellow for the institute and co-published a report that dioxin is good for you. --Wealthy conservatives such as the Scaife family has funded both Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis. --The National Center for Policy Analysis is funded also by automakers (DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund) and big oil (El Paso Energy Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, Koch Foundation) as well as other sources, according to Sourcewatch.

May 18, 2006
Pelosi: Hastert Shows True Republican Colors -- Out of Touch and Fiscally Irresponsible
"On the House floor early this morning, Speaker Hastert demonstrated how out of touch Republicans are with everyday Americans when he made the preposterous claim that working families pay no taxes. What he should have said is that working will receive no tax cuts under the Republican-tax-cuts-for- millionaires-bill.

"Now the Speaker says fiscal responsibility is not an option for this Congress. Thanks to the Republican budget, which has red ink as far as the eye can see and heaps mountains of debt on future generations, it's not a possibility either.

May 18, 2006
Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold Objecting to the Judiciary Committee's Handling of the Constitutional Amendment on Marriage
"Today's markup of the constitutional amendment concerning marriage, in a small room off the Senate floor with only a handful of people other than Senators and their staffs present, was an affront to the Constitution. I objected to its consideration in such an inappropriate setting and refused to help make a quorum. I am deeply disappointed that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee went forward with the markup over my objection. Unfortunately, the Majority Leader has set a politically motivated schedule for floor consideration of this measure that the Chairman felt compelled to follow, even though he says he opposes the amendment.

May 19, 2006
An Impeachable Offense - more evidence of torture and rendition.

German to fight on after CIA torture lawsuit fails
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man who says he was abducted and tortured by the CIA will consider taking his case to a higher court after a U.S. district judge dismissed it on national security grounds, his lawyer said on Friday.

In a case that has sparked fierce criticism of U.S. methods in the "war on terror", Masri says he was flown by the Central Intelligence Agency from Macedonia to Afghanistan in 2004 and jailed for months as a terrorist suspect before being freed without charge and dumped in Albania.

Gnjidic said the judge's decision that U.S. national security took precedence over Masri's interests effectively granted a license to the CIA to act outside the law.

"The logic is that even when there's evidence (of abuse), the CIA can simply fall back on state secrecy and can't be stopped from committing crimes, even on foreign territory, without having to fear any consequences," he said.

May 18, 2006
An Impeachable Offense - more proof Bush violated anti torture laws.

UN Committee against Torture: Shut down Guantanamo Bay
It was blunt about the Guantanamo Bay camp: "The state party should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention facility."

Prisoners there should be given access to a "judicial process" or released, and not sent anywhere they could face torture.

It also said that the United States should not send any prisoner to any state where they could be tortured, a reference to the practice of "rendering" suspects, often secretly, from one country to another.

It called for any secret detention camps to be disclosed.

May 17, 2006
Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Is Struck Down by Georgia Judge
"People who believe marriages between men and women should have a unique and privileged place in our society may also believe that same-sex relationships should have some place, although not marriage," the judge wrote. "The single-subject rule protects the right of those people to hold both views and reflect both judgments by their vote."

May 17, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Haditha Massacre - Murtha Speaks Out
WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

Three Marine officers — commanders in Haditha — have been relieved of duty, and at least 12 Marines in all are under investigation for what would be the worst single incident involving the deliberate killing of civilians by U.S. military in Iraq.

May 17, 2006
Gallup Finds Sudden Upsurge in Number of Americans Who Think Congress is Corrupt
NEW YORK The Gallup Poll reports today that "The percentage of Americans who say that most members of Congress are corrupt has increased significantly from the beginning of this year, and is now at the point at which slightly fewer than half of Americans believe most members are corrupt."

May 17, 2006
Former Bush campaign official sentenced to prison
CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) - A senior official in U.S. President George W. Bush's re-election campaign was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Wednesday for his role in suppressing votes in a key U.S. Senate race, a scandal that Democrats charge may involve the White House.

Democrats want an investigation into 22 telephone calls made by Tobin and New Hampshire Republican Party officials to the White House on November 5 and 6, 2002, and say they believe national Republican officials may be involved in the scheme.

May 16, 2006
Media Advisory

Tom Friedman's Flexible Deadlines
Such praise is not uncommon. Friedman's appeal seems to rest on his ability to discuss complex issues in the simplest possible terms. On a recent episode of MSNBC's Hardball (5/11/06), for example, Friedman boiled down the intricacies of the Iraq situation into a make-or-break deadline: "Well, I think that we're going to find out, Chris, in the next year to six months—probably sooner—whether a decent outcome is possible there, and I think we're going to have to just let this play out."

That confident prediction would seem a lot more insightful, however, if Friedman hadn't been making essentially the same forecast almost since the beginning of the Iraq War. A review of Friedman's punditry reveals a long series of similar do-or-die dates that never seem to get any closer.

May 18, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

US 'to circumvent Geneva Conventions
A law passed by Congress in December bans the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in US custody anywhere in the world. It also limits US military interrogators to procedures and techniques spelled out in the army field manual.

Although he did not elaborate, Mr Rumsfeld's comments suggested that the Pentagon is considering permitting interrogation techniques to be used against "war on terror" detainees that would not be permitted against prisoners who enjoy Geneva Convention protections.

May 17, 2006
Stocks tumble after consumer prices surge
MAY. 17 2:44 P.M. ET  Consumer prices vaulted higher in April, fueling concerns the Federal Reserve might keep pushing interest rates up to fend off inflation. Discouraged Wall Street investors sent stocks tumbling.

May 15, 2006
Telecons deny turning over records to NSA
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp., facing consumer lawsuits seeking massive damages, have issued carefully worded denials of a report that they turned over millions of customers' calling records to a U.S. spy agency.

However, "Verizon cannot and will not confirm or deny whether it has a relationship to the classified NSA program," the company said.

AT&T has been more circumspect, saying it has an obligation to assist law enforcement and other government agencies but has refused to comment specifically on national security matters.

May 16, 2006
Diverse Group of Detainees at Guantanamo
They range from teenagers to an Afghan, now released, who was nearly 90 and was reportedly referred to as "al-Qaida Claus," by interrogators. Their hometowns are from all over - including the holy Muslim city of Mecca; Lyon, France; and Baton Rouge, La.

May 17, 2006
Impeach the House

House Ignoring Pledge Over Pet Projects
WASHINGTON - Just two weeks after the House passed a reform bill requiring lawmakers to attach their names to pet projects, GOP leaders are advancing spending bills containing billions of dollars in such parochial "earmarks" whose sponsors remain anonymous.

May 16, 2006
BellSouth, AT&T added to NSA lawsuit
NEW YORK (CNN) -- BellSouth and AT&T were added to a class-action lawsuit against Verizon Communications that alleges the companies illegally participated in a National Security Agency domestic surveillance program.

May 16, 2006
Venezuela Weighs Selling U.S. Jets to Iran
Gen. Alberto Muller, a senior adviser to Chavez, told The Associated Press he had recommended to the defense minister that Venezuela consider selling the 21 jets to another country.

Muller said he thought it was worthwhile to consider "the feasibility of a negotiation with Iran for the sale of those planes."

May 16, 2006
Chavez threatens to cut off oil and use Euros US if embargo continues
In an exclusive television interview, he told this programme America could have its arms back - and says he will cut off oil supplies to the US if more sanctions are imposed.

But he says he is protecting himself against US aggression - and says he may join forces with Tehran in their plan to undermine the US dollar by selling their oil in Euros.

May 16, 2006
New York City Sues 15 Gun Dealers in 5 States, Charging Illegal Sales
Testing a novel strategy in its aggressive campaign against illegal firearms, New York City sent teams of private investigators posing as gun buyers to stores in 5 states, catching 15 dealers making illegal sales, officials said yesterday.

May 16, 2006
Bush Averages on Foreign Affairs, Economy Mediocre by Historical Standards
While the elder Bush was the most highly rated president on foreign affairs, his 35% average approval rating on the economy is easily the worst of the most recent presidents. Clinton had the highest economic approval average at 57%, including a lofty 69% in his second term. George W. Bush's recent decline on this issue has left Clintonas the only recent president with an average economic approval rating above 50%. Reagan averaged just 45% approval on the economy, though it was slightly better in his second term (47%) than his first (43%).

April 25, 2006, posted May 16, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Tice Letter to Warner - Whistleblower Act
Under the provisions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act
(ICWPA) and in the absence of an official response from the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence (SSCI), I intend to report to the Armed Services Committee probable unlawful
and unconstitutional acts conducted while I was an intelligence officer with the National
Security Agency (NSA) and with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

May 15, 2006
Gallup: Bush 33%, Congress 21%. Conservatives Support Bush Spending
PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup survey finds George W. Bush marking time at an uncomfortable place -- near the all-time low of public approval for his presidency. According to the May 8-11 poll, 33% of Americans currently approve of the job Bush is doing as president, essentially unchanged from the 31% approving in a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted last weekend.

May 14, 2006
Now we know the real reason she was fired. She's a whistleblower. An Impeachable Offense

Mary O. McCarthy Says CIA Lied to Congress
That CIA officer was Mary O. McCarthy, 61, who was fired on April 20 for allegedly sharing classified information with journalists, including Washington Post journalist Dana Priest. A CIA employee of two decades, McCarthy became convinced that "CIA people had lied" in that briefing, as one of her friends said later, not only because the agency had conducted abusive interrogations but also because its policies authorized treatment that she considered cruel, inhumane or degrading.

May 14, 2006
Handwritten notes by the vice president surface in the Fitzgerald probe
May 13, 2006 - The role of Vice President Dick Cheney in the criminal case stemming from the outing of White House critic Joseph Wilson's CIA wife is likely to get fresh attention as a result of newly disclosed notes showing that Cheney personally asked whether Wilson had been sent by his wife on a "junket" to Africa.

Cheney's notes, written on the margins of a July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed column by former ambassador Joseph Wilson, were included as part of a filing Friday night by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the perjury and obstruction case against ex-Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

May 13, 2006
Cheney Pushed U.S. to Widen Eavesdropping
WASHINGTON, May 13 — In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for terrorists, according to two senior intelligence officials.

But N.S.A. lawyers, trained in the agency's strict rules against domestic spying and reluctant to approve any eavesdropping without warrants, insisted that it should be limited to communications into and out of the country, said the officials, who were granted anonymity to discuss the debate inside the Bush administration late in 2001.

The N.S.A.'s position ultimately prevailed.

May 13, 2006
Frank Rich Accuses White House of Treason
Now history is repeating itself, as the Bush administration and its defenders "are desperate to deflect blame" for the Iraq fiasco, "and, guess what, the traitors once again are The Times and The Post. This time the newspapers committed the crime of exposing warrantless spying on Americans by the National Security Agency (The Times) and the C.I.A.'s secret 'black site' Eastern European prisons (The Post). Aping the Nixon template, the current White House tried to stop both papers from publishing and when that failed impugned their patriotism....

May 13, 2006
Spy Agency Watching Americans From Space
WASHINGTON - A little-known spy agency that analyzes imagery taken from the skies has been spending significantly more time watching U.S. soil.

Geospatial intelligence is the science of combining imagery, such as satellite pictures, to physically depict features or activities happening anywhere on the planet. A part of the Defense Department, the NGA usually operates unnoticed to provide information on nuclear sites, terror camps, troop movements or natural disasters.

May 10, 2006
Fed Makes Money More Expensive, Fails to Slow Economy
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve's nearly two-year campaign to make money more expensive has finally begun to succeed. What it hasn't done yet is slow the economy enough to ensure that inflation will remain in check.

The central bank's 15 interest-rate increases since June 2004, with a 16th expected today, have pushed mortgage rates to a four-year high and raised average rates on home-equity credit lines, credit cards and automobile loans to levels that some economists say may curb spending growth.

May 10, 2006
Fed Lifts Rates 16th Straight Time
NEW YORK -- If you need a loan, it's likely to cost more in the months ahead.

The Federal Reserve boosted short-term interest rates on Wednesday -- the 16th increase since June 2004.

April 29, 2006
Remarks of Salt Lake City Mayor Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson
We are gathered here today to say, "No more!"

No more killing.

No more expenditures of almost $6 billion per month on this tragic war.

No more denial of health care coverage for over 42 million Americans, when we are paying more for this outrageous war than what it would cost for universal health care throughout the US.

May 13, 2006
Inflation Fear Takes Shares Down
Stocks endured a second day of steep losses yesterday as the dollar weakened and bond prices fell after data showing higher import prices fueled the market's inflation worries. The major indexes declined sharply for the week.

A rebound in prices for imported goods further rattled investors already worried about interest rates. Although import prices were flat excluding oil, that did little to soothe concerns about energy costs lifting prices elsewhere.

Plunging consumer confidence also reinforced beliefs that high gasoline prices at the pumps could choke consumer spending. Wall Street, meanwhile, weighed the importance of an unexpected decline in the trade deficit and cooling oil prices.

May 10, 2006
Gold Rises to 25-Year High, Platinum at Record
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Gold rose to a 25-year high and platinum reached a record as the standoff between Iran and the U.S. intensified, spurring investors to buy precious metals as a haven.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today criticized Western nations for their stance on nuclear energy amid U.S. accusations that the Middle Eastern nation is enriching uranium to make bombs. Some investors buy precious metals as a store of value amid geopolitical turmoil. Gold touched a record $850 an ounce in January 1980 after the 1979 Iranian revolution cut oil exports. It's jumped 28 percent since Jan. 9, when Iran said it had resumed nuclear research.

May 11, 2006
Feds Search Home, Office of CIA Official
WASHINGTON - Federal agents searched the home and office of the CIA's departing No. 3 official on Friday as part of a corruption investigation that has sent a former congressman to prison and now involves CIA contracts.

Investigators from five federal agencies acted under search warrants at the home of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo in Vienna, Va., and his office at the CIA's Langley, Va., campus, FBI spokeswoman Debra Weierman said. Both locations are in the Washington suburbs.

May 11, 2006
NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

May 11, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Gathering phone data could be illegal
WASHINGTON — The U.S. government's secret collection of Americans' phone records may not breach the Fourth Amendment's privacy guarantee, legal analysts said Thursday, but it could violate federal surveillance and telecommunication laws.

More broadly, USA TODAY's report about the National Security Agency's deal with three major phone companies fed a debate over whether the Bush administration is going too far — and setting dangerous precedents — in trying to protect the nation from terrorism.

"This may well be another example where the Bush administration, in secret, decided to bypass the courts and contravene federal law," said Georgetown University law professor David Cole.

May 12, 2006
Very old story, but new to a lot of people.

Phone companies gave data to NSA
WASHINGTON -- U.S. spy agencies have secretly collected details of billions of telephone calls made by Americans, it was revealed yesterday, setting off a political firestorm as the stunning scope of the clandestine data-gathering became clear.

May 11, 2006
Editorials, from Right and Left, Hit Latest NSA Shocker
NEW YORK Leading newspapers reacted swiftly to USA Today's Thursday bombshell confirming the long-rumored National Security Agency "data mining" operation drawing on phone records of tens of millions of Americans. Web sites covered the reactions of the day in Washington, and now editorials are appearing.

The New York Times' James Risen and Eric Lichtblau first disclosed the program, but in less specific terms, last December. Thursday on its Web site, The Washington Post confirmed it, using these words: "The Bush administration has secretly been collecting the domestic telephone records of millions of American households and businesses, assembling gargantuan databases and attempting to sift them for clues about terrorist threats, according to sources with knowledge of the program."

May 11, 2006
U.S. War Veterans in Need of Help - post-traumatic stress
WASHINGTON May 11, 2006 (AP)— Less than one-quarter of the U.S. military's Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who show signs of post-traumatic stress are referred for additional mental health treatment or evaluation, a government study finds.

May 12, 2006
Bush Approval At All-Time Low 29 Percent
President George W. Bush's job approval rating has fallen to a record 29 percent in a new Harris Interactive poll, reports United Press International.

According to the Harris Poll, of the 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone, 29 percent said Bush was doing an "excellent or pretty good" -- down from 35 percent from a poll conducted in April. In January, Bush's job approval rating was as high as 43 percent.

May 11, 2006
Minute-by-Minute Schedule for Bush Trip Found in Trash
Bush Administration officials insist they have no idea how a minute-by-minute schedule for the President's trip to Florida landed in a pile of trash, where almost anyone could grab it, hours before the President took off.

But the White House does admit the document should have been burned not tossed.

The document in question appears to be a White House staff schedule for the President's trip to Florida Tuesday. And a sanitation worker was alarmed to find in the trash long hours before Mr. Bush left for his trip.

May 9, 2006
Admiral Inman Lashes Out at Bush Over Domestic Wiretaps
Former NSA director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman lashed out at the Bush administration Monday night over its continued use of warrantless domestic wiretaps – and called for the CIA to be broken up in two. It's one of the first times a former high-ranking intelligence official has criticized the program in public, analysts say.

May 5, 2006
NBC, CBS, Fox cropped Rumsfeld questioner's challenges, Rumsfeld's "stammer[ing]" replies
Rumsfeld gave misleading answers, which McGovern pointed out during the exchange. But in their coverage, NBC, CBS, and Fox News deceptively edited the exchange, excluding McGovern's rebuttals of Rumsfeld's claims without noting that they had done so.

May 8, 2006
Media ignore Hayden's misleading 2002 congressional testimony
But none of these outlets mentioned Hayden's misleading testimony before Congress in 2002, in which he said that the National Security Agency complies with the requirements of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in conducting surveillance on citizens or legal residents of the United States. Nor did they mention his shifting and contradictory defenses of the domestic surveillance program or his failure to answer questions regarding whether the program has been used to spy on U.S. residents with no ties to terrorism.

May 9, 2006
U.S. infant survival rate near bottom
CHICAGO - America may be the world's superpower, but its survival rate for newborn babies ranks near the bottom among modern nations, better only than Latvia.

The Save the Children report, released Monday, comes just a week after publication of another report humbling to the American health care system. That study showed that white, middle-aged Americans are far less healthy than their peers in England, despite U.S. health care spending that is double that in England.

May 4, 2006
More U.S. workers turn down costly health coverage
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A growing number of American workers at companies offering health insurance are turning it down because of a steep 42 percent jump in recent premiums, a non-partisan health think tank said on Thursday.

May 6, 2006
An Impeachable Offense - a known lie.

Bush Says He Tried to Avoid War Diplomatically
NEW YORK President Bush today said he had tried to avoid war with Iraq "diplomatically to the max."

May 5, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Minority contractors seeking government contracts must support Bush
"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

May 9, 2006
Senators Demand Resignation of HUD Secretary
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) called on President Bush to ask for the immediate resignation of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson if a report about government contracts being awarded based on the contractor's opinion of President Bush are accurate, RAW STORY has learned.

In addition, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Barney Frank (D-MA) have also called for a full investigation. Their release follows.

May 13, 2006
Long version

Full text of President Ahmadinejad's letter to George Bush
Mr. President, You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can these actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the Messenger of peace and forgiveness? There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.

May 6, 2006
Teens don't stick to abstinence pledges, finds study
Under the study, Rosenbaum studied data on 13,568 American adolescents who were participants of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which focused on virginity pledges. The survey asked the adolescents questions about the pledge and their sexual habits at the beginning of the study and then a year later. The results showed inconsistencies in the adolescents' account of their sexual history. In addition, around one third of those who had reported that they had had sex in the first survey and then took a pledge said they were virgins in the second survey. The chances of youngsters who were sexually active and then took virginity pledge recanting their earlier statement was four times more than those who hadn't taken the pledge.

May 6, 2006
USA Today Poll: Bush approval 31%, a new low
WASHINGTON — President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.

The survey of 1,013 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, shows Bush's standing down by 3 percentage points in a single week. His disapproval rating also reached a record: 65%. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

May 6, 2006
Bush calls terror fight WWIII
US President George W. Bush has said the September 11 revolt of passengers against their hijackers on board Flight 93 had struck the first blow of "World War III".

May 8, 2006
U.S. Bars Use of Torture in Interrogations
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Stimson conceded to the panel the U.N. watchdog for the 1984 anti-torture treaty that the United States had failed to protect detainees in Iraq.

"We feel terrible about what happened to these Iraqi detainees," Stimson said. "We didn't (protect them) and that was wrong."

May 8, 2006
Former Aide to Rep. Ney Pleads Guilty
A former top aide to Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty Monday in the Jack Abramoff influence peddling scandal, admitting he conspired to corrupt Ney, his staff and other members of Congress with trips, free tickets, jobs, meals and campaign events.

The criminal investigation of Abramoff's lobbying operation has now claimed Abramoff and three former congressional staffers: Volz as well as Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon, who both worked for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

May 8, 2006
IRAQI POLICE KILL GAY 14 YEAR-OLD
An Iraqi human rights group is claiming that a 14 year-old boy was shot and killed in front of his home by Iraqi police for the apparent crime of being gay.

Ahmed Khalil was shot at point-blank range after being beaten by several men wearing Iraqi police uniforms in the al-Dura area of Baghdad, according to witnesses.

May 8, 2006
Economist worries about rising level of federal debt
The U.S. is spending as much just to pay interest on the debt -- $105 billion per year -- as it totally spends on Medicaid, which provides health-care payments for poor and uninsured Americans.

May 8, 2006
FBI Investigates No. 3 CIA Official
WASHINGTON - The FBI is investigating whether the No. 3 official at the CIA improperly intervened in the award of contracts to a businessman who has been implicated in a congressional bribery scandal, a law enforcement official said Monday.

CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo already was under investigation by the agency's inspector general in connection with his relationship to San Diego businessman Brent Wilkes.

May 7, 2006
Pollster Suggests Bush Moves Might Be Too Little, Too Late
"This administration may be over," Lance Tarrance, a chief architect of the Republicans' 1960s and '70s Southern strategy, told a gathering of journalists and political wonks last week. "By and large, if you want to be tough about it, the relevancy of this administration on policy may be over."

May 5, 2006
Judge Calls Government's Wiretapping Arguments 'Gobbledygook'
(AP) A U.S. appeals panel sharply challenged the Bush administration Friday over new rules making it easier for police and the FBI to wiretap Internet phone calls. A judge said the government's courtroom arguments were "gobbledygook."

"Your argument makes no sense," U.S. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards told the lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission, Jacob Lewis. "When you go back to the office, have a big chuckle. I'm not missing this. This is ridiculous. Counsel!"

At another point in the hearing, Edwards told the FCC's lawyer that his arguments were "gobbledygook" and "nonsense."

May 4, 2006
USA Today Founder Bashes Bush, Says Supporters are in Denial
NEW YORK USA Today founder Al Neuharth, once known for his generally Republican views, appears to have seen enough of President Bush. In his column today for USA Today, he once again hits the Iraq war (he is one of the few mainstream journalists to favor a quick withdrawal), then notes the president's approval rating having plunged from 71% to 34% in the Gallup poll since 2003.

May 6, 2006
Goss Forced Out as CIA Director
Porter J. Goss was forced to step down yesterday as CIA director, ending a turbulent 18-month tenure marked by an exodus of some of the agency's top talent and growing White House dissatisfaction with his leadership during a time of war.

May 4, 2006
Greenfield: Is anyone listening to Bush?
So far in 2006, Mr. Bush has given this year six speeches on terror and Iraq, not counting the State of the Union. What has happened? He began the year at 43 percent job approval -- in CNN's latest polling, he's at 32%. And his handling of Iraq -- and terror in general -- are now sharply negative.

What has happened? Put simply, it's that the power of a president, with all the attention that office commands, is no match for a steady stream of unsettling news. Every piece of good news -- a referendum, an election -- seems overshadowed by violence that takes both Iraqi and American lives.

May 9, 2006
This story doesn't have the "white girl gone missing" appeal that CNN and Fox cover, but it's worth knowing anyway.

Boot-camp death, boy was suffocated by guards
On Friday, the brutal truth came out. Martin Lee Anderson suffocated when boot camp guards, after beating the kid limp, covered his mouth and stuffed ammonia vials up his nose.

May 5, 2006
Won't happen. The Congress shouldn't allow the military to control all our intelligence gathering. The military gives the president what he wants, not the truth.

Power Surge - The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush has settled on Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as his choice for CIA director, and an announcement is planned for Monday, senior administration officials told CNN late Friday.

December 7, 2005, posted May 9, 2006
The Bush WH is lying to the UN about torture. An Impeachable Offense

Rendition: Tales of torture
The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has defended the US against allegations that it ran a network of "ghost flights" and secret prisons around the world where terror suspects could be interrogated with little concern for international law.

The BBC News website profiles some of the detainees who say they were victims of the US' secret "extraordinary rendition" policy.

May 4, 2006
Torture Rendition Flights To Europe - a Thousand or More.
John Bellinger, a legal adviser to the US secretary of state, said there had been only a few such flights in Europe.

Last month, European lawmakers cited a thousand or more cases of such flights.

May 5, 2006
US Testifies Before Committee Against Torture in Geneva
"The US government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture, it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish, including by trying to narrow the definition of torture," said group official Curt Goering.

May 3, 2006
RNC Chairman Warns of Possible GOP Catastrophe
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman met with Republican members of Congress this week to impress upon them just how bad the opinion polls are looking for them, and warning that they face a possible catastrophe in November.

May 5, 2006
Conservatives Drive Bush's Approval Down
WASHINGTON - Angry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre.

powersurge (8K)May 2006
Power Surge - The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush
The pattern that emerges is one of a ceaseless push for power, unchecked by either the courts or Congress, one, in short, of disdain for constitutional limits. That pattern should disturb people from across the political spectrum. The criticism expressed in this study is often harsh, but the evidence is there as a matter of public record for all fair-minded people to see-and it paints a disturbing picture of presidential indifference to constitutional safeguards and principles.

May 4, 2006
Must Read - nearly every major news organization is hit hard.

Lapdogs
Cowardly and clueless, the U.S. media abandoned its post as Bush led the country into a disastrous war. A look inside one of the great journalistic collapses of our time.

But Bush meant it was scripted, literally. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer later admitted he compiled Bush's cheat sheet, which made sure he did not call on reporters from some prominent outlets like Time, Newsweek, USA Today, or the Washington Post. Yet even after Bush announced the event was "scripted," reporters, either embarrassed for Bush or embarrassed for themselves, continued to play the part of eager participants at a spontaneous news conference, shooting their hands up in the air in hopes of getting Bush's attention. For TV viewers it certainly looked like an actual press event.

It's unlikely viewers expected "an argument" that night in the East Room. But what about simply asking pointed questions and firmly requesting a direct response? On March 6, even that was beyond the media's grasp. The entire press conference performance was a farce -- the staging, the seating, the questions, the order, and the answers. Nothing about it was real or truly informative. It was, nonetheless, unintentionally revealing. Not revealing about the war, Bush's rationale, or about the bloody, sustained conflict that was about to be unleashed inside Iraq. Reporters helped shed virtually no light on those key issues. Instead, the calculated kabuki press conference, stage-managed by the White House employing the nation's most elite reporters as high-profile extras, did reveal what viewers needed to know about the mind-set of the MSM on the eve of war.

Battered by accusations of a liberal bias and determined to prove their conservative critics wrong, the press during the run-up to the war -- timid, deferential, unsure, cautious, and often intentionally unthinking -- came as close as possible to abdicating its reason for existing in the first place, which is to accurately inform citizens, particularly during times of great national interest. Indeed, the MSM's failings were all the more important because of the unusually influential role they played in advance of the war-of-choice with Iraq. "When America has been attacked -- at Pearl Harbor, or as on September 11 -- the government needed merely to tell the people that it was our duty to respond, and the people rightly conferred their authority," noted Harold Meyerson in the American Prospect magazine. "But a war of choice is a different matter entirely. In that circumstance, the people will ask why. The people will need to be convinced that their sons and daughters and husbands and wives should go halfway around the world to fight a nemesis that they didn't really know was a nemesis."

Because the MSM not only failed to ask pressing questions, or raise serious doubts about the White House's controversial WMD assertion, but in some high-profile instances, such as with Judith Miller's reporting for the New York Times, the MSM were responsible for spreading the White House deceptions about Saddam's alleged stockpile; they were guilty of "incestuous amplification," as former Florida senator Senator Bob Graham called it. Being meek and timid and dictating administration spin amidst a wartime culture is one thing. But to be actively engaged in the spin, to give it a louder and more hysterical voice, is something else all together. In fact, the compliant press repeated almost every administration claim about the threat posed to America by Saddam. The fact that virtually every one of those claims turned out to be false only added to the media's malpractice.

May 2, 2006
Ginsburg: Congress Watchdog Plan like Soviet Union
As an example, she mentioned proposals by senior Republicans who want an inspector general to police judges' acceptance of free trips or their possible financial interests with groups that could appear before them.

"It sounds to me very much like the Soviet Union was .... That's a really scary idea," said Ginsburg, who was put on the court by President Clinton and is one of its liberal members.

May 4, 2006
An article of impeachment against Nixon referred to him taking power away from Congress. An Impeachable Offense.

Senator Specter questions bypassing of law
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing the White House of a "very blatant encroachment" on congressional authority, said yesterday he will hold an oversight hearing into President Bush's assertion that he has the power to bypass more than 750 laws enacted over the past five years.

May 3, 2006
Possible Impeachable Offense - putting a known criminal on the Court should be a violation of Bush's oath of office.

Key Bush judge under ethics cloud
May 3, 2006 | Key Democrats denounced Terrence Boyle on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, after a Salon report revealed that the controversial judge, nominated to one of the nation's highest courts by President Bush, violated federal law on conflicts of interest. As the debate over Boyle heated up, the White House acknowledged that Boyle should have recused himself in cases involving companies in which he owned stock -- but continued its support of the nominee.

Leahy called it "chutzpah beyond all understanding" that Boyle, in one case, bought stock in General Electric while presiding over a lawsuit against the company -- and just two months later threw out most of a disability claim against the company. "Now, in the first year of law school you might get an example like this because it is so clear-cut and easy to understand," Leahy said. "This is amazing -- amazing -- notwithstanding all the other conflicts of interest he had in other cases. Whether or not it turns out that Judge Boyle broke federal law or canons of judicial ethics, these types of conflicts of interest have no place on the federal bench."

May 3, 2006
George W. Bush: An American Hitler
Sadly, nobody in Congress or the courts has the balls to stop this American Hitler. He rides roughshod over the laws of the land, safe in the assumption that his arrogance will leave opponents cowering in fear and an apathetic populace willing to wait until 2008 to rid itself of this festering boil on the body politic.

"This is now a battle for the soul of America," he says. "The very future of this Republic may well rest on whether or not anyone can, or will, stop George W. Bush."

April 15, 2006
Revenue needs to increase to 20% of GDP for surpluses to return. Otherwise, we pass the debt to the next generation.

Taxes: Who Pays, and How Much?
Moreover, federal taxes amounted to 17.5% of gross domestic product, up from a modern low of 16.3% in 2004, but well below the high of nearly 21% in 2000.