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Impeach Bush--Index 39

November 25, 2006
Republican paid ex-mistress about $500K to keep quiet
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Republican congressman accused of abusing his ex-mistress agreed to pay her about $500,000 in a settlement last year that contained a powerful incentive for her to keep quiet until after Election Day, a person familiar with the terms of the deal told The Associated Press.

November 25, 2006
It's a Civil War, Stupid - US faced with three civil wars in the Middle East at the same time.
"But in fact, many scholars say the bloodshed here already puts Iraq in the top ranks of the civil wars of the last half-century. The carnage of recent days -- beginning with bombings on Thursday in a Shiite district of Baghdad that killed more than 200 people -- reinforces their assertion. . . .

"'It's stunning; it should have been called a civil war a long time ago, but now I don't see how people can avoid calling it a civil war,' said Nicholas Sambanis, a political scientist at Yale who co-edited 'Understanding Civil War: Evidence and Analysis,' published by the World Bank in 2005. 'The level of violence is so extreme that it far surpasses most civil wars since 1945.' . . .

Harvard professor Monica Toft wrote on NiemanWatchdog.org in July that there are six criteria for considering a conflict a civil war -- and that Iraq had met all six since early 2004.

"'We're juggling with the strong potential of three civil wars in the region, whether it's the Palestinians, that of Lebanon, or of Iraq,' the Jordanian king said on ABC's 'This Week.'

Give the Sunni West Iraq and give the Shiites East Iraq. Can it get any easier?

November 26, 2006
Neighborhood by neighborhood, Baghdad descends into civil war
For the most part, the Tigris River is still the shimmering blue line that divides Baghdad's predominantly Sunni west, the Karkh, from the majority Shiite east, the Risafa.

But over the past several months, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, often backed by government security forces, has pushed into the western side of the capital and is driving Sunnis from their homes in the east.

Sunni forces - neighborhood youths, former Baath Party members, Islamist extremists - are conducting their own purges to expand their grip on the west and defend their brethren across the river.

As a percentage of their population Iraq has already lost more people in their civil war than the US did during our Civil War. ANYONE who doesn't say this is civil war should be ignored for the rest of time.

November 26, 2006
What Makes A Civil War and Who Declares It?
The common scholarly definition has two main criteria. The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.

American professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that Iraq's conflict is a civil war.

A few short months ago the media and the Bush White House said the transfer of military force to NATO showed the problem was solved. In reality, the war in Afghanistan was already lost. At the time of NATO taking over, 50% of the country was under Taliban rule. Now it's over. Iraq is lost, Afghanistan is lost and Vietnam was lost. We lost all three wars under Republican presidents.

During the next election cycle the media will say republicans are strong on defense. Unless you think losing makes us look strong don't believe a word of it.

November 27, 2006
Nato urged to plan Afghanistan exit strategy as violence soars
Nato's fragile unity over Afghanistan has begun to crack ahead of an important summit - with one public call to discuss an exit strategy from the Allied forces' bloody confrontation with the Taliban.

While heads of government are to make a show of unity over Afghanistan at tomorrow's alliance summit in Riga, Belgium's Defence Minister has questioned the future of Nato's most important mission.

This is the first article from "Smirking Chimp" (which I don't consider a news source). It's one of the few places in the country we can read alternatives to "stay the course" rhetoric of Bush and the media. One hopes the American people soon see the necessity of getting out of Iraq as soon as possible now that it's civil war.

November 25, 2006
The Plain and Persuasive Case for Getting Out of Iraq Now
To those who say we can't let Iraq join Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia in a string of humiliating U.S. defeats that cumulatively expose us as a paper tiger, there are two emphatic answers:

"That train has already left the station."

"You were the ones who put the locomotive on the tracks in the first place."

We can't let habitual incompetents, oblivious to reality, continue repeating policies that never had any possible outcome but disaster.

It'll take at least six months for the experts to figure out what really happened in the last election.

November 26, 2006
Democratic gains in suburbs spell trouble for GOP
Democrats carried nearly 60% of the U.S. House vote in inner suburbs in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas, up from about 53% in 2002, according to the analysis by the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.

They received nearly 55% of the vote in the next ring of "mature" 20- and 30-year-old suburbs, with 45% going to Republicans and third-party candidates. In 2002, the last midterm election, Democrats received 50% of the vote there.

A Bush "think tank?" They've got to be kidding. One good thing, the cost will remind visitors of the record debt he created.

November 27, 2006
$500 Million for Bush Library
WASHINGTON - He may be a certified lame duck now, but President Bush and his truest believers are about to launch their final campaign - an eye-popping, half-billion-dollar drive for the Bush presidential library.

Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush lived in Dallas until he was elected governor of Texas in 1995.

November 25, 2006
Science is urged to vie with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told
Somewhere along the way, a forum this month at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., which might have been one more polite dialogue between science and religion, began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: In a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told.

One speaker after another called on their colleagues to be less timid in challenging teachings about nature based only on scripture and belief. "The core of science is not a mathematical model. It is intellectual honesty," said Sam Harris, the author of The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation.

"Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization."

November 26, 2006
Calls for calm as crowd stones Iraqi PM
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Angry fellow Shi'ites stoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's motorcade in a Shi'ite stronghold of Baghdad on Sunday in a display of fury over a devastating car bomb that tore through their area.

Maliki was visiting the Sadr City slum to pay respects to some of the 202 victims of last week's devastating bombing.

"It's all your fault!" one man shouted as, in unprecedented scenes, a hostile crowd began to surge around the premier and then jeered as his armored convoy edged through the throng away from a mourning ceremony.

November 26, 2006
Iraqi coalition on brink of collapse as country descends towards civil war
Iraq's precarious government was teetering today as a powerful Shia militia leader threatened to withdraw support after sectarian killings reached a new peak and the country lurched closer to all-out civil war.

The prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was forced to choose between his US protectors and an essential pillar of his coalition, when Moqtada al-Sadr declared his intention to walk out, potentially bringing down the government, if Mr Maliki went ahead with a meeting with President George Bush in Jordan next week.

ABC tends to have very one-sided stories. Why didn't they ask liberals for a solution? All the farmer has to do is pay a decent wage and he'll find all the help he needs.

November 23, 2006
Pear Crop Rots as Field Hands Kept from Crossing Border
"I'd lay in my house," he said, "and hear, 'plop, plop, plop' … and I'd have to look at them out my window. And, it's just sickening."

Watch John Quinones' report on the rotting pear crop tonight on "World News."

Farmers across the country blame Congress for not coming up with legislation that would grant migrant workers "seasonal worker status," allowing them to come work in U.S. fields temporarily and legally. It's a matter of national security, some say.

November 23, 2006
Class Struggle: American workers have a chance to be heard
The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people.

Incestuous corporate boards regularly approve compensation packages for chief executives and others that are out of logic's range. As this newspaper has reported, the average CEO of a sizeable corporation makes more than $10 million a year, while the minimum wage for workers amounts to about $10,000 a year, and has not been raised in nearly a decade. When I graduated from college in the 1960s, the average CEO made 20 times what the average worker made. Today, that CEO makes 400 times as much.

Wages are at an all time low as a % of GDP, but GDP is growing - how can that be? The reason - corporate profits. For the first time in US history, corporate profits make up a majority of our GDP. The tax problems are a result of the Reagan/Bush 43 tax cuts. As republicans cut taxes for the rich, the pass(ed)their spending to then next generation through debt (raising the debt ceiling, instead of raising taxes).

November 25, 2006
Class Warfare: Guerrillas in the midst
The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes."

It doesn't stop there. Webb goes on to discuss the amazing sums of money corporate board members make for doing little or nothing, and notes that thanks to "trickle-down" economics, wages and salaries are at an all-time low as a percentage of the economy. He mentions the fact that manufacturing jobs have all but vanished.

We already sanitize the news so we don't have to see flag draped coffins and we've sanitized education so facts are either replaced or ignored because they offend certain religious beliefs (evolution etc.), now some want to ban books because the book is based on facts. Good grief, some parents need to get a life.

November 24, 2006
Parents Want Angelou Book Banned
(AP) FOND DU LAC Some Fond du Lac parents have asked school officials to remove former U.S. poet laureate Maya Angelou's autobiography from the high school curriculum.

But some parents have objected to passages that describe Angelou's rape and subsequent unwanted pregnancy. About 80 people attended a meeting at the school this week to discuss the book and the request to remove it.

Big losers: John (put more troops in Iraq) McCain and all the retired generals who supported this war from day one.

November 26, 2006
Iraq Insurgency Has Funds to Sustain Itself
BAGHDAD, Nov. 25 — The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.

November 23, 2006
Al-Sadr loyalists take over Iraqi television station
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis "terrorists" and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms.

The media will do everything in its power to push the Bush agenda of staying in Iraq for the rest of time. Resist their uninformed opinion.

November 23, 2006
Poll: Iraqis want 'a speedy US exit'
The survey by World Public Opinion (WPO), taken in September, found that 74% of Shiites and 91% of Sunnis in Iraq want us to leave within a year. The number of Shiites making this call in Baghdad is even higher (80%).

Before Global Warming and being against the war in Iraq were popular, one man hits these issues hard - Al Gore. The media seldom calls upon the man who did the most to bring this crisis to light. Why? Because they spent years ridiculing him.

November 26, 2006
Self-Preservation Forcing Wild Species to Act
In their separate ways, wild creatures, business executives and regional planners are responding to climate changes that are rapidly recalibrating their chances for survival, for profit and for effective delivery of public services.

Butterflies are voting with their wings, abandoning southern Europe and flying north to the more amenable climes of Finland. Ski-lift operators in the West are lobbying for leases on federal land higher up in the Rockies, trying to outclimb snowlines that creep steadily upward.

Polar bears along Hudson Bay are losing weight and declining in number as the ice shelf melts and their feeding season shrinks. Power planners in the Pacific Northwest, which gets three-quarters of its electricity from hydroelectric dams, are meeting in brainstorming sessions and making contingency plans for early snow melts, increased wintertime rainfall, lower summertime river flows and electricity shortfalls during hotter, drier summers.

November 25, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Rumsfeld okayed abuses says former U.S. general
MADRID (Reuters) - Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison's former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.

Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation.

November 26, 2006
Nato runs critically short of combat troops to keep Taliban at bay
Although it took over responsibility for the whole country just a few weeks ago, Nato's mission remains at least 15 per cent undermanned, with a significant shortage of combat troops and a desperate lack of helicopters. A succession of Nato meetings has failed to secure reinforcements, and all the indications are that the alliance's Riga summit, presented as one of the most crucial in its post-Cold War history, will not be any more successful.

Oil companies will see the light and stop stealing from us now that Democrats are back in power.

November 26, 2006
AP Analysis: Oil Companies Decreasing Supply
Whatever the truth in Bakersfield, an Associated Press analysis suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. And tighter supplies tend to drive up prices

—During the 1999-2006 price boom, the industry drilled an average of 7 percent fewer new wells monthly than in the seven preceding years of low, stable prices.

—The national supply of unrefined oil, including imports, grew an average of only 6 percent during the high-priced years, down from 14 percent during the previous span.

November 26, 2006
Wal-Mart left behind as others post strong Black Friday sales
Wal-Mart, however, estimated it will post a 0.1 percent decline in same-store sales, or sales at stores opened at least a year, in November. That's slightly below its original projections for flat sales for the month, compared with to the year-ago period. The results cover the four-week period that ended through Friday. Same-store sales are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.

November 26, 2006
Withdrawal from Iraq now will be less painful than years from now
Except when the survival of the nation is at stake, all military missions must be judged according to a cost-benefit calculation. Iraq has never come close to being a war for America's survival. It was an elective war -- a war of choice, and a bad choice at that. How much are Americans willing to pay in blood, treasure and toil to try to prevail in Iraq?

Reagan started this vile hate towards "liberals." It was quickly picked up in daily attacks on the "liberal media" and anything else liberal. The media pushed GOP talking points and lies about Whitewater, WMD and the war on terror and they let the republican party lie to us about Kerry's and Bush's war records. The GOP and the brain dead media are part of the same monster - morally corrupt liars.

November 22, 2006
Republicans Declared War On Americans
"Gosh," professional pundits and pseudo-journalists like Tim Russert and Katie Couric wonder, "how did American politics become so 'polarized?'" One assumes it is a sarcastic rhetorical question. The how and why of America's polarization is after all, as obvious as it was intentional. Most absurd, however, is the way in which the Russerts, Blitzers, and Courics of the world tend to blame the so-called liberals for America's polarized condition.

How America became polarized is simple. More than thirty years ago, the Republican Party set out on a mission to divide the country. Early on they used race-based wedge issues to make inroads into the South. Come to think of it, if the recent senate campaign in Tennessee is any indication, that whole race-based wedge issue trick remains a vital and vibrant part of today's Republican electoral strategy. When pitting Anglo-American against African-American finally failed to get the big results, Republicans turned to the so-called social issues. They rode abortion for all it was worth. Then the Republicans simply declared war. They call it a "culture war," but for them it is a very real war. In some cases, regarding doctors that provide abortions, the Republican war has become a shooting war...and at abortion clinics, a bombing war.

November 24, 2006
War in Iraq surpasses World War Two
THEY were America's days of infamy, 60 years apart - Pearl Harbour and September 11. The first led the US into World War II, a conflict it endured for 1348 days; the second was followed by a war that from tomorrow will have lasted even longer.

Days after pro war Lieberman lost his primary the Bush White House concocted a fake threat to our national security, then allowed the so-called terrorists to get away.

November 25, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

US interference allowed liquid explosive gang to escape
A team of suspected terrorists involved in an alleged UK plot to blow up trans-atlantic airliners escaped capture because of interference by the United States, The Independent has been told by counter-terrorism sources.

An investigation by MI5 and Scotland Yard into an alleged plan to smuggle explosive devices on up to 10 passenger jets was jeopardised in August, when the US put pressure on authorities in Pakistan to arrest a suspect allegedly linked to the airliner plot.

November 24, 2006
Earth hit by 'mass extinction' 250 million years ago
The experts told in the latest edition of the journal, Science, how they came across the culling of species while examining figures on the numbers of marine life forms in communities over the past 540 million years.

Simple species that did not move or search for food were largely wiped out, they concluded. More complex life forms such as crabs and snails that went looking for food took over.

In 2006 alone, an increase from 70 deaths in one attack in January, to 90 in April to 154 (plus) in November.

November 25, 2006
Factbox: Iraq's worst atrocities
Nov 23, 2006: Six apparently co-ordinated car bombs and a mortar blast in different parts of the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad kill at least 154 people

April 7, 2006: Ninety people killed when three suicide bombers, two of them disguised as women, attack worshippers at a Shia mosque in Baghdad

Jan 5, 2006: Suicide bombers kill 53 people killed in Karbala and 70 in Ramadi

The battle of Anbar (including Fallujah) will most likely be called the beginning of our defeat in Iraq. It's over folks.

November 24, 2006
Under fire, US marines hand off battered Fallujah
"A lot of us feel like we have our hands tied behind our back," says Cpl. Peter Mattice, of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment. "In Fallujah, [insurgents] know our [rules of engagement] - they know when to stop, just before we engage."

Here echo the conclusions of a report written by the chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in August, and first described by The Washington Post, which determined that there is little the military now can do to improve prospects in insurgent-riddled Anbar Province, which includes Fallujah.

November 25, 2006
Four in 10 US deaths over three months in Anbar province
More than two-thirds of the 245 U.S. casualties between Aug. 7, the start of the Baghdad offensive, and Nov. 7 occurred outside Baghdad — which military leaders have called the "center of gravity" of Iraq, and the key to success in the war. Four in 10 deaths over those three months have been in Anbar province, a Sunni insurgency stronghold where U.S. Marines have largely taken the lead.

People who voted for pro war candidates like Joe Lieberman (mostly republicans) have blood on their hands. Let them rot in hell.

November 24, 2006
215 people killed in Baghdad's main Shiite district
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Revenge-seeking militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers and burned them alive with kerosene in a savage new twist to the brutality shaking the Iraqi capital a day after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 215 people in Baghdad's main Shiite district.

If you're gay you can fight and die for your country ONLY if you're a seasoned liar. Telling the truth must be avoided at all cost. In fact, if slip up and tell the truth, they'll be kicked out of their job. How did forcing people to lie become right? Where are the moralists and ethicists? Why are they silent?

November 22, 2006
Recruiters Ignoring Policy On Gays
(CBS4) DENVER A CBS4 Investigation into recruiting by the United States Army found recruiters telling potential soldiers that it wasn't a problem if they were gay. The recruiters told people showing interest in being a soldier to keep their homosexuality to themselves.

If our government and our people were true to the spirit of our Declaration of Independence, gay Americans would already have equal rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "

Imagine that - "all men are created equal." Powerful words that are ignored by the small minds that vote against gay marriage.

November 21, 2006
Canada: court says state must recognize gay marriage
In a precedent-setting ruling, the High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that five gay couples wedded outside of Israel can be registered as married couples.

A sweeping majority of six justices to one ruled that the civil marriages of five gay couples obtained in Toronto, Canada, can appear as married on the population registry.

Americans oppose the war but the media will tell us daily we have to stay in Iraq. It's why they exist - to mislead, to lie and to distort reality. The media pushed this war around the clock. It's their war as much as it's Bush's. When we voted the GOP out of power, we also voted against the pro war media.

November 22, 2006
Poll: Most Americans Now Say Iraq War Similar to Vietnam Conflict
A poll by Opinion Research Corporation released by CNN finds that 58% of respondents believe the war in Iraq has turned into a situation like the United States faced in Vietnam, up six points since early October.

In another finding, a whopping 63% of Americans now say they oppose the war in Iraq, with only 33% favoring it.

It's important to note that for the first time in US history, a majority of GDP (growth) is coming from corporate profits and not individual wealth creation. In other words, the GOP congress was able to create the illusion of growth almost exclusively by giving massive tax cuts to very rich corporations. The debt created by this corporate welfare was almost $1 trillion every two years ($2.8 trillion) since 2001 In fact, the economy hasn't even grown fast enough to counter the growth in government debt so we're all subsidizing corporate profits with our government debt. Capitalism pretty much ended when the GOP took power. Instead, they became the party of socialism.

November 23, 2006
Democrats' Victory Is Felt On K Street
Labor and environmental representatives, once also-rans in congressional influence, are meeting frequently with Capitol Hill's incoming Democratic leaders. Corporations that once boasted about their Republican ties are busily hiring Democratic lobbyists. And industries worried about reprisals from the new Democrats-in-charge, especially the pharmaceutical industry, are sending out woe-is-me memos and hoping their GOP connections will protect them in the crunch.

Despite this focus on gaining access to authority, Democratic congressional leaders have expressed disdain for their predecessors' fealty to "special interests." That is why they are planning an elaborate assault on lobbyists during their first week in session. Through changes in laws and in House rules, Democrats hope to ban lobbyist-provided gifts and travel to lawmakers and to create an Office of Public Integrity to oversee the disclosures that lobbyists must make about clients and fees.

The bigger question is 'why did the Justice Dept. ignore requests from senior members of the Democratic Party? Congress might investigate the criminal abuses of power within Justice.

November 24, 2006
Senate Democrats Revive Demand for Classified Data
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 — Seeking information about detention of terrorism suspects, abuse of detainees and government secrecy, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are reviving dozens of demands for classified documents that until now have been rebuffed or ignored by the Justice Department and other agencies.

The drug industry supported the losers. Who cares what they think?

November 24, 2006
Drug Industry On Defensive After Dems Take Control of Congress
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 — Alarmed at the prospect of Democratic control of Congress, top executives from two dozen drug companies met here last week to assess what appears to them to be a harsh new political climate, and to draft a battle plan.

Hoping to prevent Congress from letting the government negotiate lower drug prices for millions of older Americans on Medicare, the pharmaceutical companies have been recruiting Democratic lobbyists, lining up allies in the Bush administration and Congress, and renewing ties with organizations of patients who depend on brand-name drugs.

When this war was still popular, the US used napalm on Iraqi citizens in violation of International law. Napalm burns people alive. Iraqis learned how to be war criminals from the US. Note how the US media calls it savage when the other side does it. Wasn't it equally savage when we did it?

November 24, 2006
Shiites burn six Sunni worshippers alive
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Revenge-seeking militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers and burned them alive with kerosene in a savage new twist to the brutality shaking the Iraqi capital a day after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 215 people in Baghdad's main Shiite district.

Maybe our government doesn't work anymore because it's news when they go to work.

November 21, 2006
Pelosi to keep House in session for several weeks
Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi will open the House for the first session of the 110th Congress on January 4, and keep it in session for the first several weeks of January.

While that may not sound remarkable outside-the-beltway, it is departure from tradition that is certain to prompt some teeth gnashing among Republicans.

November 22, 2006
Campgrounds face the knife
Got a favorite campground? Don't count on it being there forever.

Rising expenses and a shrinking budget are forcing USDA Forest Service officials to consider closing hundreds of campgrounds, picnic areas and other recreation facilities across the country.

November 2006
Apology Demanded
Righteous anger fills the land,
And flames of strife are quickly fanned:
A liberal Senator has slighted the troops,
So surely now must jump through hoops.
For naught is worse than what he's done,
And so John Kerry we now must shun.
For that affront, so rank and vile,
He surely now must stand for trial,
Unless, of course, he admits his lapse,
And for our leaders blindly claps.
But for the lies that started this war,
That sent our troops to foreign shore,
That spilled their blood to stay the course,
Is there no guilt, nor yet remorse?
And the trampling of our rights,
Are these not also dreadful slights?
What of our standing in the world,
The awe we saw, our flag unfurled,
When nations knew just where we stood
And saw that we were just and good?
Instead we now must bear the shame
Of Abu Ghraib and torture's blame;
Such wicked acts in battles past
Were done by foe, with us aghast!
What apology can pay these debts,
And who shall make it to our Vets?

About the Author:  Robert Leslie Palmer is a Birmingham, Alabama attorney. He received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Tulane University in 1979 and a J.D.from Georgetown University in 1982. From 1983 to 1987 he served as a captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. He may be contacted by e-mail to WaveHoya@charter.net.

November 22, 2006
Another Marine pleads guilty in Iraqi's death
CAMP PENDLETON — A 21-year-old lance corporal who joined the Marine Corps to "have adventures I could tell about" became the fourth defendant Tuesday to plead guilty to dragging an unarmed Iraqi from his home and executing him as he begged for his life.

Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr. was sentenced to 21 months in the brig after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

November 20, 2006
Students Dropping Out of High School Reaches Epidemic Levels
Nov. 20, 2006 — - In several of the largest school systems across the country -- from Baltimore to Cleveland to Atlanta and Oakland, Calif. -- half of the students are dropping out.

And the problem is not only in the big cities.

November 22, 2006
October deadliest month ever in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - At least 101 Iraqis died in the country's unending sectarian slaughter Wednesday, and the U.N. reported that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll of the war and one that is sure to be eclipsed when November's dead are counted.

Under the Geneva Conventions an occupying power is responsible for security.

November 22, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Doctors are reportedly fleeing Iraq
VIENNA, Austria - Iraq's top doctors are under threat and are fleeing the country, leaving hospitals in the hands of medical students or junior physicians, an Iraqi lawmaker said Wednesday.

"They have been targeted since the fall of the regime," she told The Associated Press during a visit to Austria. "Some of them have been kidnapped and found dead in the streets, some have been released after paying a ransom."

"We were promised, or we believed, that we would have many new hospitals being built, and many health centers ... but none of this has been done," she said. "No hospitals have been built so far; only some of the hospitals have been serviced."

I've come to the conclusion that the state of Israel no longer deserves the right to exist. It appears to exist for the sole purpose of tormenting its neighbors.

November 20, 2006
U.N.: Gaza suffering "massive" rights violations
"The violation of human rights I think in this territory is massive," Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, told reporters during a visit to Beit Hanoun, a town the Israeli army shelled earlier this month, killing 19 civilians.

"The call for protection has to be answered. We cannot continue to see civilians, who are not the authors of their own misfortune, suffer to the extent of what I see."

Her visit, the first she has made to the region since becoming commissioner, comes days after the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution that "deplored" Israel's shelling of Gaza and called for an immediate cessation of violence.

After seeing how fast the US gave into North Korea after it said it had nukes (Oct. 2003), I'd be surprised if Iran isn't trying to build nukes. In fact, it would shock the hell out of me if they didn't get nukes in the very near future.

November 19, 2006
CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A classified draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said.

Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.

Slowly the GOP is coming to understand they lost another war. Let's hope the media stops saying they're strong on defense.

November 19, 2006
Kissinger: Victory no longer possible in Iraq
LONDON - Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday.

Kissinger presented a bleak vision of Iraq, saying the U.S. government must enter into dialogue with Iraq's regional neighbors — including Iran — if progress is to be made in the region.

"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.

November 19, 2006
Pity -- almost -- the GOP true believers
White House genius Karl Rove is still in denial, giving interviews in which he says the Democratic victory is no big deal. His battle plan of concentrating on a right-wing base and ignoring moderates, independents and Democrats, worked for three elections. But finally folks got wise. Nobody likes to be ignored.

Why isn't the FBI investigation this criminal?

October 16, 2006 (posted November 21, 2006)
Mitch McConnell: A thug and shakedown artist
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is a thug who shakes down political contributors and strong arms government agencies into awarding contracts to his donors.

That's the conclusion of an investigation by the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader into the Kentucky Senator's activities.

November 19, 2006
Democrats probe billions lost to Baghdad's corruption
In a prophetic e-mail, Stoffel wrote to an American colonel he knew in Iraq: "If we proceed down the road we are currently on, there will be serious legal issues that will land us all in jail. There is no oversight of the money and if/when something goes wrong, regardless of how clean our hands are, heads will roll and it will be the heads of those that are reachable, and the people who are supposed to know better (US — citizens, military etc.)"

American taxpayers have spent $36 billion (£19 billion) on reconstruction in Iraq, much of it unaccounted for. A further $22 billion of Iraq's own money, derived mainly from oil, has been largely squandered, with little scrutiny.

More evidence of the "vast right wing conspiracy.

February 3, 2006 (posted November 21, 2006)
AP, NY Times, ABC Fail to Report Boehner Bribery Scandal
The Associated Press, The New York Times, and ABC's World News Tonight reported on Republican efforts to present new House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) as a clean break from GOP corruption scandals, but they ignored criticism Boehner received for passing out checks from a tobacco industry group on the House floor moments before a key tobacco vote, as well as other ethical questions raised by Boehner's record.

November 20, 2006
GOP fundraiser gets 18 years in prison
TOLEDO, Ohio - A GOP fundraiser who embezzled from a state investment in rare coins was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison in a scandal that helped bring down Ohio's ruling Republican Party on Election Day.

Tom Noe, 52, was also fined $139,000.

The sentence handed out to the politically connected coin dealer will be on top of the more than two years he was ordered to serve after pleading guilty earlier this year to illegally funneling $45,000 to President Bush's re-election campaign.

If Bush tries to execute a "POW" after a military trial, someone should demand to know why they haven't executed guilty US soldiers since 1961.

November 20, 2006
Death sentence affirmed for soldier who killed comrades in Kuwait
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A general has affirmed the death sentence for a US Army sergeant convicted of murdering two fellow soldiers in a grenade attack in Kuwait at the outset of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the army said.

Sergeant Hasan Akbar is the first US soldier to face the death penalty for killing another soldier since the end of the Vietnam War.

The last military execution took place in 1961, but seven other service members have been sentenced to death since the military death penalty was reinstated in 1984.

Liberals should never let the media forget they pushed known lies about WMD and liberals were more likely than not to know they were lies. The fact that the conservative media and every conservative in the country was wrong should have significant merit also. But of course the vast right wing conspiracy doesn't care about truth - it cares about pushing GOP talking points and pretending it's news.

November 17, 2006
Liberals won, conservative lost. Media attacks liberals
Better yet, given the thumpin' the GOP took at the hands of progressives -- and given the public's giddy reaction to the election results -- we might expect a rash of news reports about how out of touch the Republican Party is; how its far-right agenda has been rejected; how the GOP is now a regional party, unable to appeal to voters outside of the deep South.

Over at The Note, ABC's political tipsheet and unofficial headquarters of the Rove/Mehlman Fan Club, Halperin & Co. have given no indication that they've removed the pictures of their hero Karl from their wall. In eight editions of The Note since the Thumpin', its authors steadfastly avoid Rove's miscalculation; indeed, his name barely appears, except in passing. Is it because they like him too much? Because they remain in awe of his genius even as he loses? Or is it because undermining that genius could hurt sales of Halperin's mash note of a book, The Way to Win?

In 2003, members of Bush 41 cabinet warned that if Bush invaded Syria he's be impeached. From possible invasion to ally in just a few years. It's funny how elections can force change on a president who's blind in one eye can can't see out of the other.

November 20, 2006
Iraq resumes diplomatic ties with Syria
BAGHDAD, Iraq - After nearly a quarter-century of severed ties, Iraq said Monday it will resume diplomatic relations with neighboring Syria — a move seen as a possible step toward stemming some of the unrelenting violence, which claimed another 100 lives.

If he goes forward with this bill, we'll see how many members of congress really support the troops and/or support this war. My guess is zero.

November 19, 2006
Democratic congressman says he will introduce bill to reinstate military draft
WASHINGTON: Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.

Representative Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars.

Since GOP voters voters for GOP candidates in about the same numbers as previous elections, the base was happy. But the rest of the country wasn't. The problem with the GOP base is there isn't enough of them to win elections (not even close). It's been clear Bush polled only the "base" and did what they wanted. Maybe he'll figure out he's not the president of the republican party.

November 18, 2006
Republicans Lost Ground With Latinos In Midterms
Pollsters generally agree that the same voters abandoned the president's party in droves during last week's elections, with Latinos giving the GOP only 30 percent of their vote as strident House immigration legislation inspired by Republicans and tough-talking campaign ads by conservative candidates roiled the community. It was a 10-point drop from the lowest estimated Latino vote percentage two years ago, and a 14-point drop from the highest.

November 19, 2006
Blair: Invasion a disaster
LONDON: For the first time, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed with the assessment that the Iraq invasion has been a disaster but sought to blame the Al-Qaeda for the near civil-war conditions in that country.

Democrats can simply stop ALL funding for the war, which is what they should do if Bush is unwilliing to put forward a plan to win. Even the most conservative of conservatives knows this war is lost, so why should we stay?

November 19, 2006
It's Not the Democrats Who Are Divided
The plain reality is that the victorious Democrats, united in opposition to the war and uniting around a program for quitting it, have done pretty much all they can do.

Republican leaders must join in to seal the deal.

Don't count Mr. McCain among them.

His call for more troops even when there are no more troops is about presidential politics, a dodge that allows him to argue in perpetuity that we never would have lost Iraq if only he had been heeded from the start.

November 17, 2006
The Senate's "Horrible Mistake": Nukes in India
At the prodding of the Bush administration, the Senate voted 85-12 to allow the U.S. to ship nuclear fuel and technology to India as part of an initiative to encourage the expansion of nuclear programs in that country. At a time when the Bush administration is suggesting the U.S. might need to go to war to block nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, the Senate has given its stamp of approval to proliferation in one of the most volatile regions of the world. Describing the vote as "a horrible mistake," Senator Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, said the vote repudiated decades of U.S. policy of "telling the world it's our responsibility and our major goal to stop the spread of nuclear weapons."

November 17, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Gitmo detainees denied access to witnesses
Twenty-one first-year law students at Seton Hall University in Newark, N.J., analyzed the documents to create a database analyzed by eight second- and third-year students.

Among their findings:

  • The government did not produce any witnesses in any hearing.
  • The military denied all detainee requests to inspect the classified evidence against them.
  • The military refused all requests for defense witnesses who were not detained at Guantanamo.
  • In 74 percent of the cases, the government denied requests to call witnesses who were detained at the prison.
  • In 91 percent of the hearings, the detainees did not present any evidence.
  • In three cases, the panel found that the detainee was "no longer an enemy combatant," but the military convened new tribunals that later found them to be enemy combatants.

Anyone with a shred of decency has already stopped watching CNN. What are the rest of you waiting for?

November 14, 2006
CNN's Beck to first-ever Muslim congressman: Prove you're not a terrorist
Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " Beck added: "I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

For whatever reason the military and many US Churches still propagandize known lies about homosexuality. They need to grow up and learn how to stop lying.

November 16, 2006
Pentagon Alters Homosexuality Guidelines
WASHINGTON -- Pentagon guidelines that classified homosexuality as a mental disorder now put it among a list of conditions or "circumstances" that range from bed-wetting to fear of flying.

"More than 30 years after the mental health community declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, it is disappointing that the Pentagon still continues to mischaracterize it as a 'defect,' said Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

November 16, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

CIA FLIGHTS: EX-GUANTANAMO DETAINEE RE-LIVES HIS ORDEAL
Ruhal was speaking at the presentation of an Amnesty report on the alleged illegal abduction of terror suspects in Europe by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and their interrogation and detention in secret jails in Europe and elsewhere.

In his testimonial, Ahmed, 24, described his arrest, along with two friends, in Afghanistan in October, 2001, their imprisonment there in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, transfer to and detention at Guantanamo, return to Britain, their arrest by British anti-terror police and release 24 hours later - without ever being charged or told why he was detained. "I have received no compensation to this day, although the British government promised to help us," he said.

If US generals spent as much time trying to win the war as they spend pushing GOP spin, the war would have been won within weeks.

November 17, 2006
U.S. general: Islamic militancy could yield world war
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Reuters) - The top U.S. general in the Middle East said on Friday that if the world does not find a way to stem the rise of Islamic militancy, it will face a third world war.

Army Gen. John Abizaid compared the rise of militant ideologies, such as the force driving al Qaeda, to the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s that set the stage for World War Two.

Anyone taking bets he'll get his sentence reduced and he'll be out of jail within months?

November 16, 2006
U.S. soldier in Iraq gang rape gets 90 year sentence
FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky (Reuters) - One of four U.S. soldiers accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl before killing her and her family was conditionally sentenced on Thursday to up to 90 years in prison with the possibility of parole.

The sentence -- which is subject to review by a higher military authority and could be reduced -- was imposed on Specialist James Barker after a two-day court-martial. He had pleaded guilty to rape and murder and agreed to testify against others charged in the case in exchange for escaping the death penalty.

November 17, 2006
The GOP's short-lived humility
For the normally bellicose Republican leadership, four days was actually a good long spell of humility. So long, in fact, that even some hardened veterans of the White House press corps briefly succumbed to the fantasy of bipartisanship, churning out stories of a chastened White House eager to reach out across the aisle and across the ocean, cuddling up to the multitude of lawmakers, citizens and foreign states it had so assiduously alienated in that long, dark era stretching from 2000 to Nov. 7, 2006 BT (Before Thumping).

But all good things come to an end.

He's the deal. If anyone in Congress is willing to raise taxes to pay for war, go for it. See how many people support war after taxes are raised. If on the other hand, they pass spending bill after spending bill and make the next generation pay for it, then we know they don't support the war or the troops.

November 16, 2006
Military may ask $127B for wars
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is preparing its largest spending request yet for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a proposal that could make the conflict the most expensive since World War II.

Since 2001, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror, roughly two-thirds for Iraq. The latest request, due to reach the incoming Democratic-controlled Congress next spring, would make the war on terror more expensive than the Vietnam War.

Turn on the TV and someone will try to tell you what to do. No facts, no evidence, no news. Just endless opinion passing as news. The American people have spoken and we want out of Iraq. The media doesn't care.

November 16, 2006
The Media's Iraq Offensive
A survey by the Boston Globe , conducted in February 1968, found that out of 39 major daily newspapers in the United States, not one had editorialized for withdrawing American troops from Vietnam. Today—despite the antiwar tilt of national opinion polls and the recent election—advocacy of a U.S. pullout from Iraq seems almost as scarce among modern-day media elites.

November 15, 2006
Democrats, Don't Wimp Out
All over Washington, the sage barons of the establishment media are warning Democrats not to get cocky. Don't move too fast, they say. Don't push a bunch of wacky, left-wing ideas. Seek compromise, give ground, hew to the center, for only there lies the greatest prize of all: the praise of David Broder and Joe Klein, the nodding approval of the Washington Post editorial page, the admiration the Beltway cognoscenti reserve for those who know their place and know whose rings they should be kissing.

Bull. What Democrats need to do is spend the next two years crushing their opponents like bugs. It's not about mercy, it's not about manners, it's about three fundamental goals: limiting the damage the Bush administration can do, passing whatever legislation they can in the short term to help the American public and laying the foundation for future progressive victories.

Will the conservative strangle-hold on the media finally come to an end? Bring back the Fairness Doctrine so one company can't dominate what is called news.

November 16, 2006
Conservative Clear Channel Radio Sold
Clear Channel, which also said it plans to divest 448 of its 1,150 radio stations, is selling at a time when the radio advertising market is weak, and listeners are migrating to digital music, Internet media and satellite radio.

The radio stations earmarked to be sold are located outside the Top 100 U.S. media markets. Also to be sold is Clear Channel's 42-station television station group.

Never underestimate the money a conservative can waste in military spending.

November 16, 2006
Half-billion-dollar Pentagon travel system bypassed by eight in 10 users
The result: a half-hour booking process that, according to testimony before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, would take travel professionals only five minutes.