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Impeach Bush--Index 42

January 2, 2007
Few Iraqis Are Gaining U.S. Sanctuary
Until recently the Bush administration had planned to resettle just 500 Iraqis this year, a mere fraction of the tens of thousands of Iraqis who are now believed to be fleeing their country each month. State Department officials say they are open to admitting larger numbers, but are limited by a cumbersome and poorly financed United Nations referral system.

"We're not even meeting our basic obligation to the Iraqis who've been imperiled because they worked for the U.S. government," said Kirk W. Johnson, who worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Falluja in 2005. "We could not have functioned without their hard work, and it's shameful that we've nothing to offer them in their bleakest hour."

January 2, 2007
Ugly voices tarnish debut of Congress' first Muslim
What a great story to tell the Muslim world. Five years after 9/11, voters in America's heartland elected Ellison, an African-American who grew up in Detroit and converted to Islam in college, to one of the nation's highest offices. The 43-year-old Democrat took 56% of the vote in his Minneapolis-area district.

Goode and other critics could learn something from the man whose actions they've vilified. Asked about the controversy on CNN last month, Ellison refused to be drawn into a battle over different holy texts.

"Let's focus on the text that binds us together," Ellison said. "That's the Constitution. That's a great document."

December 31, 2006
Poll: Americans see gloom, doom in 2007
WASHINGTON - Another terrorist attack, a warmer planet, death and destruction from a natural disaster. These are among Americans' grim predictions for the United States in 2007.

Six in 10 people think the U.S. will be the victim of a terrorist attack. An identical percentage thinks it likely that a biological or nuclear weapon will be unleashed somewhere else in the world.

An Impeachable Offense

January 4, 2007
Bush claims right to open people's mail
Washington - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the New York Daily News has learned.

The president asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.

Bush will go down in history as the president who created the more debt than any other president - and he did it by cutting taxes and taking us to war with the wrong country.

January 3, 2007
Bush targets the budget
So we called Maya MacGuineas. She's the director of the fiscal policy program at the New America Foundation. Maya, good to talk with you.

But the bottom line is, I think getting the deficit eliminated by 2012 is quite doable if you have both parties working together. But one of the real challenges is, we should actually be running budget surpluses long before 2012 in order to prepare for the upcoming retirement of the Baby Boom. So even that goal's not as aggressive as it should be.

RYSSDAL: Does any of this matter right now. I mean, 2012 is the end of somebody else's first term in office.

Wherever they put this man he screws up. Why do they keep moving the chairs on the Titanic? Negroponte is best known for telling the UN the US wouldn't go to war with Iraq without a vote in the UN. He lied.

January 4, 2007
National Intelligence Director Resigns
WASHINGTON -- John Negroponte, who in 2005 became the first director of national intelligence, overseeing the 16 U.S. spy agencies, will give up that job to become deputy secretary of state, U.S. officials said Wednesday evening.

A veteran diplomat and former ambassador to Iraq, Negroponte joined the newly created agency at a time of growing concern over the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence. He would be returning to more familiar terrain by moving to the No. 2 diplomatic post, vacant since July.

When Bush challenged the media to go to Guantanamo Bay to see for themselves, CNN took up his challenge, but the military took their equipment away. Bush knew about the abuse and did nothing but lie about it and hide it from the American media and people.

An Impeachable Offense

January 2, 2007
FBI Details Possible Detainee Abuse
WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.

Documents released Tuesday by the FBI offered new details about the harsh interrogations practice used by military officials and contractors when questioning so-called enemy combatants.

Big losers: John McCain who once again proves he has no idea how to govern or build coalitions and Bush.

January 1, 2007
A 'Surge' Faces Trouble In the Senate
President Bush and McCain, the front-runner for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, will have trouble finding support from more than 12 of the 49 Republican senators when pressing for a surge of 30,000 troops. "It's Alice in Wonderland," Sen. Chuck Hagel, second-ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, told me in describing the proposal. "I'm absolutely opposed to sending any more troops to Iraq. It is folly."

The decider decided to let others make all the decisions while he sat back and took all the glory of being a "war time president." Now that the war is over and Bush's poll numbers are in the dumps he figured out he has to make some decisions. Wow, give the man a cookie.

January 1, 2007
WH Blames Gen. Casey for Iraq Disaster
"You can't fight a war from Washington," said Bush in October. "You can't make the tactical decisions necessary to win. It just won't work." "By mid-September," reports the Times, Bush had "signed off on a complete review of Iraq strategy -- a review centered in Washington, not Baghdad."

The piece also makes clear the White House's latest PR spin on Iraq: Blame Casey. The top U.S. commander in Iraq is about to become the latest fall guy for the administration's Iraq debacle. So we hear that "as Baghdad spun further out of control," the president "grew concerned that General Casey, among others, had become more fixated on withdrawal than victory." A member of the reality-based community in their midst! A cut-and-runner in Army fatigues! Indeed, we learn that many American field commanders in Iraq "were surprised by General Casey's continued advocacy of withdrawals."

More evidence the Bush White House continues to live in a bubble. Even arch conservative William F. Buckley said the war was lost about a year ago. Where were the WH, State Department and Pentagon - sleeping?

January 2, 2007
Chaos Overran Iraq Plan in '06, Bush Team Says
The original plan, championed by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Baghdad, and backed by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, called for turning over responsibility for security to the Iraqis, shrinking the number of American bases and beginning the gradual withdrawal of American troops. But the plan collided with Iraq's ferocious unraveling, which took most of Mr. Bush's war council by surprise.

In interviews in Washington and Baghdad, senior officials said the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department had also failed to take seriously warnings, including some from its own ambassador in Baghdad, that sectarian violence could rip the country apart and turn Mr. Bush's promise to "clear, hold and build" Iraqi neighborhoods and towns into an empty slogan.

This could be the biggest story of 2007.

January 2, 2007
Scientists find way to slash cost of drugs
Two UK-based academics have devised a way to invent new medicines and get them to market at a fraction of the cost charged by big drug companies, enabling millions in poor countries to be cured of infectious diseases and potentially slashing the NHS drugs bill.

Improvements they devise to the molecular structure of an existing, expensive drug turn it technically into a new medicine which is no longer under a 20-year patent to a multinational drug company and can be made and sold cheaply.

The process has the potential to undermine the monopoly of the big drug companies and bring cheaper drugs not only to poor countries but back to the UK.

January 1, 2007
GOP "Scared to Death" About 'Surge' in Troops
CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 31 -- Republican lawmakers appear uneasy about -- and in some cases outright dismissive of -- the idea of sending many more troops to Iraq, as President Bush contemplates such a "surge" as part of his new strategy for stabilizing the country.

"Republicans are scared to death of it politically," said Ed Rogers, a top GOP lobbyist with ties to the White House and Republican leaders on the Hill. "The fear is that it won't make any difference. There won't be a perception of turning the corner."

Maybe government officials can be shamed into doing the right thing. I doubt it, but it's good for some reporters to catch them at their worse.

December 31, 2006
Ford Funeral: No Shows
President Bush sent his regrets; he was cutting cedar and riding his bike on his ranch in Texas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his deputy, Richard Durbin, couldn't make it, either; they were on a trip to visit Incan ruins. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a pass, too -- as did nearly 500 of the 535 members of Congress.

December 30, 2006
Trounced at Polls, Kansas GOP Is Still Plagued by Infighting
The fiercely antiabortion Republican attorney general in Kansas lost his reelection bid in November when moderate Republicans voted in droves for Paul Morrison, a longtime Johnson County district attorney who became a Democrat in hopes of vanquishing Kline.

"The moment Phill Kline got the nomination, half the room got up and walked out," said Scott Schwab, the county GOP chairman. "It wasn't so much yelling or cussing. They threw up their arms and said, 'What do we do now?' "

Kline's reincarnation as Johnson County prosecutor reveals the depth of the continuing Republican split in Kansas and suggests challenges faced by the GOP nationwide as it tries to recover from its Nov. 7 losses and build toward 2008.

Republicans lost their U.S. House and Senate majorities and 350 seats in state legislatures across the country. The early post-election Kansas experiences show that a recovery could be difficult because the splits inside the party between social conservatives and moderates will not be easily healed.

January 1, 2006
As 2006 ends, at least 3,000 U.S. forces dead in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Nearing the fourth year of war in Iraq, at least 3,000 American military personnel have now died, officials said.

The U.S. military announced Sunday the deaths of two more soldiers, raising the number of Americans killed to the somber milestone, according to an Associated Press count.

The White House said U.S. President George W. Bush mourned each death but would not issue a statement about the 3,000th.

Afghanistan is lost. Over half of Afghanistan is already controlled by the Taliban. By any standard losing this much control is so little time is a military failure.

December 30, 2006
Top U.S. general says 'Higher levels of fighting' upcoming
CAMP SHARONA, Afghanistan – The outgoing U.S. commander in Afghanistan predicted more fighting this spring and summer and said Taliban militants would try to overrun towns to "unhinge the Afghan people's morale."

Eikenberry said that as he looks ahead to the spring and summer, "I anticipate higher levels of fighting."

When asked if that was in comparison to 2006, he said: "We should not be surprised by levels of fighting in parts of southern Afghanistan that rivaled what we saw last year."

Violence rose sharply in Afghanistan in 2006, killing an estimated 4,000 people, the deadliest year since the U.S.-led coalition swept the Taliban from power in 2001.

The only good thing Ford did was pardon Nixon and he spent his entire life lying about why he did it. Are there any republican leaders who think we can handle the truth while they're alive?

December 26, 2006
Ford: Nixon pardon was because of friendship
"I looked upon him as my personal friend. And I always treasured our relationship. And I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon, because I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn't want to see my real friend have the stigma," Ford said in the interview.

The media tries to pretend the problem with Bush is the nation is polarized. Not true. There are some people who simply believe things that are not true - we call them conservatives. They believed they could cut taxes, go to war with an unarmed country for no reason and spend money like there was no tomorrow AND balance the budget. They were 100% wrong. Conservatives would be hard-pressed to think of one success during the past six years. At this point in the Clinton presidency we had balanced budgets for as far as the eye could see. After the Supreme Court appointed Bush president, everything fell apart.

December 29, 2006
Bush - villain of the year
When people were asked in an AP-AOL News poll to name the villains and heroes of the year, Bush topped both lists, in a sign of these polarized times.

After the Reagan tax cut the US went from the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation. After the Bush tax cuts the US dollar went from being the currency of the world to having the Euro overtake us. Conservatives don't know how to manage the economy.

December 27, 2006
Euro overtakes Dollar as Currency of the World
The US dollar bill's standing as the world's favourite form of cash is being usurped by the five-year-old euro.

The value of euro notes in circulation is this month likely to exceed the value of circulating dollar notes, according to calculations by the Financial Times. Converted at Wednesday's exchange rates, the euro took the lead in October.

The US created the refugee crisis in Iraq and then allowed only 202 Iraqis into the US last year. Talk about shameless.

December 30, 2006
We Can't Ignore Iraq's Refugee
The refugees are witnesses to the cruelty that stains our age, and they cannot be overlooked. America bears heavy responsibility for their plight. We have a clear obligation to stop ignoring it and help chart a sensible course to ease the refugee crisis. Time is not on our side. We must act quickly and effectively.

Today, within Iraq, 1.6 million people have already fled or been expelled from their homes. An additional 1.8 million, fleeing sectarian violence, kidnappings, extortion, death threats and carnage, have sought refuge in neighboring countries. At least 700,000 are in Jordan, 600,000 in Syria, 100,000 in Egypt, 54,000 in Iran and 20,000 in Lebanon. Typically they are not living in refugee camps but have relocated in urban areas, where they must draw on their own meager resources to pay for food and shelter, and must depend on the good graces of the host governments.

An Impeachable Offense

December 28, 2006
How Old is the Grand Canyon? Park Service Ordered to Pander to Creationists
HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON'T SAY — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Gone are the days when grand pronouncements like "you're either with us or against us" were considered diplomacy or sane. At the NSA, Ms. Rice failed on 9/11 and failed when she made false claims about WMD (the two largest intelligence failures in US history). Anyone who thought this woman was capable of anything other than failure was not well.

December 28, 2006
Rice still struggling for success after two years as top US diplomat
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Condoleezza Rice wraps up her first two years as secretary of state with few diplomatic successes to show for her efforts and fewer signs she plans to change course to improve the record.

But since she took over as America's top diplomat on January 26, 2005 with an agenda to promote freedom and democracy around the globe, Rice has been shadowed by the failure of that plan on its biggest stage: Iraq.

December 29, 2006
PAUL KRUGMAN: A Failed Revolution
But the truth is that the movement that took power in 1994 — a movement that had little to do with true conservatism — was always based on a lie.

The lie is right there in "The Freedom Revolution," the book that Dick Armey, who had just become the House majority leader, published in 1995. He declares that most government programs don't do anything "to help American families with the needs of everyday life," and that "very few American families would notice their disappearance." He goes on to assert that "there is no reason we cannot, by the time our children come of age, reduce the federal government by half as a percentage of gross domestic product."

As long as people like Mr. Armey, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay were out of power, they could run on promises to eliminate vast government waste that existed only in the public's imagination — all those welfare queens driving Cadillacs. But once in power, they couldn't deliver.

That's why government by the radical right has been an utter failure even on its own terms: the government hasn't shrunk. Federal outlays other than interest payments and defense spending are a higher percentage of G.D.P. today than they were when Mr. Armey wrote his book: 14.8 percent in fiscal 2006, compared with 13.8 percent in fiscal 1995.

If Democrats hadn't regained control of the Senate you can bet your bottom dollar Wallace would be heading for the bench.

December 27, 2006
ABA Ranked Wallace "unqualified"
Attorney Michael B. Wallace, in asking President Bush on Tuesday to withdraw his nomination for a U.S. Court of Appeals seat, said "it is the right thing to do for Mississippi."

In the nomination process, the American Bar Association rated Wallace "unqualified" to be a judge. Also, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, incoming Senate Judiciary chairman, said he plans to fill vacancies only with "consensus nominees."

Whom will history judge more harshly? People who falsely believed the tripe about WMD or global warming deniers? It doesn't matter that much, Fox News was 100% wrong on both counts.

December 29, 2006
Ice mass snaps free from Canada's Arctic
TORONTO - A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a "major" reason for the event. The Ayles Ice Shelf — all 41 square miles of it — broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic.

December 29, 2006
Career Military Turns Against Bush
For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president's handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war, according to the 2006 Military Times Poll.

He added, "Part of what we're seeing is a recognition that the intelligence that led to the war was wrong."

But while they want more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly three-quarters of the respondents think today's military is stretched too thin to be effective.

December 30, 2006
Dec. deadliest month in Iraq for U.S.
The U.S. military announced the deaths of three Marines and two soldiers, making December the year's deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq with the toll reaching 108.

Their deaths pushed the toll past the 105 U.S. service members killed in October. At least 2,997 members of the U.S. military have been killed since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an AP count.

Lieberman's been wrong for almost four years now. Does anyone still take him seriously?

December 29, 2006
Why We Need More Troops in Iraq
Sen. Lieberman: Iraq is the most deadly battlefield on which that conflict is being fought. How we end the struggle there will affect not only the region but the worldwide war against the extremists who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001.

This bloodshed, moreover, is not the inevitable product of ancient hatreds. It is the predictable consequence of a failure to ensure basic security and, equally important, of a conscious strategy by al-Qaeda and Iran, which have systematically aimed to undermine Iraq's fragile political center. By ruthlessly attacking the Shiites in particular over the past three years, al-Qaeda has sought to provoke precisely the dynamic of reciprocal violence that threatens to consume the country.

December 28, 2006
Many soldiers say troop surge a bad idea
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Many of the American soldiers trying to quell sectarian killings in Baghdad don't appear to be looking for reinforcements. They say the temporary surge in troop levels some people are calling for is a bad idea.

In dozens of interviews with soldiers of the Army's 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment as they patrolled the streets of eastern Baghdad, many said the Iraqi capital is embroiled in civil warfare between majority Shiite Muslims and Sunni Arabs that no number of American troops can stop.

The next three stories are on Somalia and Ethiopia. Bush now supports war lords in Somalia - the same people who killed US soldiers in "Black Hawk Down" and his policies are helping al-Qaeda (again). The man never learns.

December 26, 2006
U.S. policy in Somalia may aid al-Qaida
The top Islamist official has called for "jihad" against what he said were Ethiopian invaders, and hundreds of foreign fighters, primarily from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Asian peninsula, reportedly have arrived in recent days to bolster the militia, known as the Council of Islamic Courts. Somalia has not had an effective government since warlords overthrew longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, pushing the country into anarchy. Two years ago, the United Nations helped set up a central government for the arid, impoverished nation on the Horn of Africa.

The Bush administration's policies have reinforced a widespread belief that the United States tacitly supports Christian-ruled Ethiopia's intervention into the overwhelmingly Muslim country. Ethiopia is perceived as a historically Christian nation, though Muslims now make up nearly half its population.

Regional experts say a major war in Somalia could allow al-Qaida to claim that Christians are trying to suppress another Muslim nation and use that as a basis to recruit fighters from the adjoining Gulf region. That could bring about the very al-Qaida beachhead in East Africa that the Bush administration has been striving to prevent.

December 27, 2006
US Backs Ethiopian Incursion Into Somalia
The Ethiopian military presence in Somalia, while tacitly blessed by Washington, has nonetheless been awkward for American officials. They have publicly urged a return to peace talks by warring Somali factions, but some officials have also said an Ethiopian invasion could be the only factor to prevent the Islamists' complete takeover of Somalia.

"Should the press focus on the role of Ethiopia inside Somalia," read a copy of the guidelines that was given to The New York Times by an American official here, "emphasize that this is a distraction from the issue of dialogue between the T.F.I.'s and Islamic courts and shift the focus back to the need for dialogue." T.F.I. is an abbreviation for the weak transitional government in Somalia.

"The press must not be allowed to make this about Ethiopia, or Ethiopia violating the territorial integrity of Somalia," the guidance said.

May 17, 2006 (posted December 22, 2006)
U.S. Secretly Backing Warlords in Somalia
More than a decade after U.S. troops withdrew from Somalia following a disastrous military intervention, officials of Somalia's interim government and some U.S. analysts of Africa policy say the United States has returned to the African country, secretly supporting secular warlords who have been waging fierce battles against Islamic groups for control of the capital, Mogadishu.

Liberals attack the media when it lies (Whitewater, WMD etc.). Conservatives attack the media when it tells the truth.

December 26, 2006
Same old GOP song: Blame the media
WE'VE SEEN IT many times before: When things go bad for Republicans, they blame the media. Nothing, not even the disastrous consequences of their decisions, is their fault. If the public has turned against the war, it can only be because the media have fooled us into thinking success is actually failure. If they lose elections, it can only be because the media were biased against them.

It's a song and dance that got old a long time ago. In a 1995 interview, Bill Kristol, the editor of the right-wing Weekly Standard magazine and a frequent Fox News talking head, explained it:

"The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."

When the Dems raise taxes to pay for Katrina or Bush's war, or to undo his record debt, the GOP and the media will cry foul. It's what they do.

December 25, 2006
Abuse could push Katrina costs to $2 billion
WASHINGTON - The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition.

Federal investigators have already determined the Bush administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.

Another glaring example of corporate welfare not doing any good. Maybe someone should think about getting rid of all this worthless welfare.

December 22, 2006
Oil Incentives Don't Work
But the study predicts that the inducements would cause only a tiny increase in production even if they were offered without some of the limitations now in place.

It also suggests that the cost of that additional oil could be as much as $80 a barrel, far more than the government would have to pay if it simply bought the oil on its own.

Forget about putting the cost in the budget, how about raising taxes to pay for the war and then we'll see how many right wing pro war nuts still support their war.

December 22, 2006
US lawmakers press Bush to put war costs in budget
WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Top lawmakers are pressing President George W. Bush to stop using a "shadow budget" to fund the Iraq war and instead list the expected costs in the 2008 spending plan he is set to unveil early next year.

Total war spending may reach $170 billion for the 2007 fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, a record.

More broken laws - The Privacy Act.

December 22, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Homeland Security Admits Privacy Violation
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security Department admitted Friday it violated the Privacy Act two years ago by obtaining more commercial data about U.S. airline passengers than it had announced it would.

Seventeen months ago, the Government Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm, reached the same conclusion: The department's Transportation Security Administration "did not fully disclose to the public its use of personal information in its fall 2004 privacy notices as required by the Privacy Act."

Instead, the privacy office said, "TSA announced one testing program, but conducted an entirely different one." In a 40-word, separate sentence, the report noted that federal programs that collect personal data that can identify Americans "are required to be announced in Privacy Act system notices and privacy impact assessments."

December 23, 2006
UK Poll: Religion does more harm than good
More people in Britain think religion causes harm than believe it does good, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today. It shows that an overwhelming majority see religion as a cause of division and tension - greatly outnumbering the smaller majority who also believe that it can be a force for good.

The poll also reveals that non-believers outnumber believers in Britain by almost two to one. It paints a picture of a skeptical nation with massive doubts about the effect religion has on society: 82% of those questioned say they see religion as a cause of division and tension between people. Only 16% disagree. The findings are at odds with attempts by some religious leaders to define the country as one made up of many faith communities.

The NY Times says everything the government redacted from this editorial had been previously reported. Is the government censoring facts that differ with their opinions? It sure looks like it, but without the redacted information we don't know for sure. It's time for Congress to take a look.

December 22, 2006
Possible Impeachable Offense

Redacted Version of Original Op-Ed
Those who argue that Iran did not cause Iraq's problems and therefore can be of only limited help in dealing with Iraq's current instability must also acknowledge that Iran did not "cause" Afghanistan's deterioration into a terrorist-harboring failed state. But, when America and Iran worked together, Afghanistan was much more stable than it is today, Al Qaeda was on the run, the Islamic Republic's Hezbollah protégé was comparatively restrained, and Tehran was not spinning centrifuges. Still, the Bush administration conveyed no interest in building on these positive trends.

December 22, 2006
Misinformer of the Year: ABC

  • During his interview with Bush, Stephanopoulos did not challenge Bush on several statements that directly contradicted previous statements and actions, including when Bush asserted that his administration has "never been stay the course" in Iraq. [10/22/06]
  • In an interview with White House senior adviser Karl Rove, correspondent Ann Compton asked Rove three questions about Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) "botched joke" about Bush and Iraq but none about other contemporaneous topics of greater significance. The only questions Compton asked not relating to Kerry were whether Rove believed that Bush would be able to "mobilize the Republican base and those independents and undecideds" and if "this [is] George W. Bush's last campaign and yours." [11/1/06]

December 22, 2006
Most outrageous comments of 2006
"All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?" [2/23/06]

"Attacking Capitalism: Have Dems Declared War on America?" [2/18/06]

"Dems Helping the Enemy?" [5/22/06]

"A Lamont Win, Bad News for Democracy in Mideast?"

"Have the Democrats Forgotten the Lessons of 9/11?"

"Is the Democratic Party Soft on Terror?" [8/8/06]

"The #1 President on Mideast Matters: George W Bush?" [8/14/06]

"Is the Liberal Media Helping to Fuel Terror?" [8/16/06]

Now that the government accepts the fact that global warming is real - ice is melting in the arctic and polar bears are in danger, we can look back on all the fools who attacked 'real science' and ignore their rants in the future. This list includes just about every conservative pundit in the country.

December 12, 2006 (posted December 28, 2006)
CEI, WSJ, Rush Limbaugh, Fox: Global warming lies
CEI has received substantial funding from the fossil-fuel industry, including more than $2 million from ExxonMobil since 1998, as Stephens acknowledged, and as Media Matters has noted. Think Progress has reported that ExxonMobil "stopped funding the Competitive Enterprise Institute" in 2006. In addition, CEI has been funded by right-wing financiers and organizations such as Richard Mellon Scaife, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as noted by Media Matters.

Conservatives choose to be dumb - they choose to watch Fox and they choose to sit back and let Fox lie to them. We shouldn't feel sorry for them. We must condemn their idiocy and be loud and clear about it.

May 19, 2006 (posted December 28, 2006)
Fox News interviews scientists with industry ties, records of misinformation
In recent months, Media Matters for America has documented numerous instances in which misinformation about climate-change issues has surfaced on Fox News.

[S]eparately written expert reviews unequivocally demonstrate that on closer inspection, Lomborg's book is seriously flawed and fails to meet basic standards of credible scientific analysis. The authors note how Lomborg consistently misuses, misrepresents or misinterprets data to greatly underestimate rates of species extinction, ignore evidence that billions of people lack access to clean water and sanitation, and minimize the extent and impacts of global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and other human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Not only does the Bush White House push fake science but so does the media. Nearly every news story regarding global warming used to carry "fake science" funded by Exxon. Exxon no longer has any credibility and neither do the media giants who spewed disinformation about the real threat of global warming.

December 27, 2006
U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened
The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence.

The administration's proposal -- which was described by an Interior Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- stems from the fact that rising temperatures in the Arctic are shrinking the sea ice that polar bears need for hunting. The official insisted on anonymity because the department will submit the proposal today for publication in the Federal Register, after which it will be subject to public comment for 90 days.

December 27, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

US tries to assure allies that extraordinary renditions are over
The US is telling its overseas allies that it has stopped "extraordinary renditions" and needs their help to empty Guantánamo's prison cells. But human rights groups dispute this assertion and a question mark hangs over 200 "war on terror" detainees who could be held indefinitely without trial.

European diplomats say Washington is reacting to pressure from parliamentary investigations, lawsuits from former prisoners, and calls by friendly governments, including the UK, to close Guantánamo, the prison camp at a US naval base in Cuba.

However, the administration's response is seen as confused and inadequate. Analysts attribute this to internal divisions over how far to roll back controversial counter-terrorism practices - including torture, secret prisons, detention without trial, and renditions - as the price for rekindling transatlantic relations.

Democrats want to ignore criminal acts by a sitting president. Can you imagine Republicans doing the same?

December 19, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

European Commission Meets to Find Ways to Stop US Illegal Rendition
Following the publication of the first draft of Parliament's final report on CIA extraordinary renditions in Europe, European Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini met MEPs on 19 December to discuss future legal measures to prevent the use of European countries by the CIA for the illegal detention and transport of prisoners. MEPs highlighted the Commission's positive cooperation on this issue, contrasting it with the passivity of Council and most EU Member State government representatives.

When has a conservative been intellectually consistent? Regardless of what one thinks of us liberals, no one can say we're inconsistent. But, look at conservatives. They say they're in favor of less government and then they spend more than any liberal could dream of spending. Conservatives are consistent in one area - they always lose wars.

December 26, 2006
St. Louis judge hates liberals
A liberal-bashing book by a veteran St. Louis judge is to become available publicly this week, but it is already causing a stir in political and legal circles — and prompting some to say it could cost him his job.

Chapter 1 of Circuit Judge Robert H. Dierker Jr.'s book, "The Tyranny of Tolerance: A Sitting Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault," has circulated via e-mail since last month and been widely read in legal circles, lawyers and judges say.

The War in Iraq has one more purpose - keep the press running after non-stories while Democrats track the criminal acts of the Bush White House.

December 26, 2006
White House hiring lawyers in expectation of Democratic probes
WASHINGTON //  President Bush is bracing for what could be an onslaught of investigations by the new Democratic-led Congress by hiring lawyers to fill key White House posts and preparing to play defense on countless document requests and possible subpoenas.

Bush is moving quickly to fill vacancies within his stable of lawyers, though White House officials say there are no plans to drastically expand the legal staff to deal with a flood of oversight.

December 21, 2006
A Near-Miss Nuclear Explosion
In March 2005, a nuclear warhead almost exploded in Texas. The near miss accident occurred in Amarillo, when workers at the Pantex nuclear weapons plant bungled the dismantling of a W-56 warhead, a weapon 100 times stronger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

Details of the averted catastrophe have been kept under wraps until last month, when the Department of Energy (DOE) fined the company that operates the plant, BWX Technologies, $110,000 for safety violations.

In a letter obtained by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), technicians at the plant blamed the accident on severe working conditions, including mandatory 72 to 84 hour work weeks. One nuclear scientist told POGO that he "would not work on his car engine if he were fatigued from a 72-hour work week, and sure as hell would not work on a nuclear weapon."

December 21, 2006
I.R.S. Is Spending Less Time Scrutinizing Big Businesses
The Internal Revenue Service has cut deeply the time that it spends auditing the nation's largest corporations, according to data made public yesterday.

The figures, obtained by Syracuse University researchers, showed that the I.R.S. had reduced the time spent on each audit by 21 percent in the last five years, to 958 hours from 1,210 hours. At the same time, the number of actual audits, which had increased in the last two years, has fallen back to the level of 2002.

The nation's 12,137 largest corporations, with $250 million or more in assets, earn 87 percent of the profits reported by the nation's more than five million businesses.

About 4,000 of these companies were audited in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. If large companies were audited at the same rate as a decade ago, when the auditing staff was a third larger, more than 6,000 of these companies would have had their tax returns examined.

December 20, 2006
The war is already lost
Once a war goes badly wrong and its justifications are shown to be lies, to insist that a "democratic" Iraq is visible on the horizon and that "we must stay the course" becomes a total fantasy. What is to be done?

Meanwhile the old men in Washington recognise the scale of the disaster. Their descriptions are strong, their prescriptions weak and pathetic: "We agree with the goal of US policy in Iraq, as stated by the president: an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself." Elsewhere they recommend a deal with Tehran and Damascus to preserve post-withdrawal stability, implying that Baghdad can never be independent again. It was left to a military realist, Lieutenant-General William Odom, to demand a complete withdrawal in the next few months, a view backed by Iraqis (Shia and Sunni) in successive polls. The occupation, Kofi Annan informs us, has created a much worse situation than under Saddam.

December 21, 2006
'No Mr. William F. Buckley, No ...'
Mr. Buckley, your great country went to war with a nation already impoverished by over 20 years of war and American-led, U.N.-imposed sanctions. The immediate aftermath of the invasion left a traumatized Iraqi society with no recognized head of state or working administration, and with well over 70 highly-fragmented political parties pulling their unfortunate country in every possible direction.

Mr. Buckley, the reality that after the invasion, Iraq would plunge into complete chaos was clear to everyone but the likes of your good self. Your military annihilated Iraq's central leadership, disbanded its army and police forces, decimated its bureaucracy and stumped its judiciary with mock trials. Your country encouraged competing tribal and ethnic forces to pull Iraq apart. With no infusion of money, no central leadership, no overseeing bureaucracy, no American commitment to rebuilding and no self-sustaining industry, Iraq was certain to sink into a bloody civil war, which is precisely what has happened. Don't muddy the waters, Mr. Buckley.

Moreover, any nation - including your own - would have deteriorated exactly the same way under similar circumstances.

The biggest fear among military historians cited on this cite is that when the US withdraws (most like through Kuwait) the enemy will be waiting for us and it'll be a bloodbath. Most experts cited on this cite also say we must take our weapons with us, so it's time for us to tell them the way things are going to happen - if they interfere we'll obliterate them.

December 23, 2006
Iraqi militants offer US a truce to leave Iraq
A speech posted on the internet on Friday by the purported leader of an al-Qaeda-linked militant group has offered United States troops a one-month truce for withdrawing from Iraq without being attacked.

Addressing the US, al-Baghdadi said: "We are announcing today our orders for you, so obey them before you regret it.

"We order you to withdraw your troops immediately, using troop carriers and aircraft, and taking only your personal weapons. Don't withdraw any heavy weapons. Instead you should hand that and your military bases over to the holy warriors of the Islamic State," he said on the tape.

December 25, 2006
12,000 Iraqi Police Killed Since Invasion
The Iraqi government says 12,000 police officers have died in the line of duty since the United States-led invasion in 2003.

He says that means there has been one death for every 16 officers.

December 22, 2006
Court strikes down 2004 EPA smog rules
At issue was the EPA's April 2004 ruling that 474 of the nation's 2,700 counties in 31 states have unacceptable levels of ground-level ozone, a major ingredient in unhealthy smog.

"We vacate the 2004 Rule and remand the matter to EPA," the court said. "EPA has failed to heed the restrictions on its discretion set forth" in the Clean Air Act.

Very harsh, but worth the read.

December 20, 2006
This is where George Bush gets dangerous
Bush's exit plan is to dump the Mess on Potamia in the lap of the next president – so somebody else can lose the war. Oblivious to the mounting cost in blood and treasure, this president's only concern is to preserve his dubious legacy.

This is where Bush gets dangerous. Witness his utter disdain for the report issued by the Iraq Study Group. Brushing aside its recommendations, he is reportedly discarding its findings for an alternative 'military solution' proposed by Jack Keane and Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute – the home of the Likudnik neo-cons who spared no effort in promoting the war. Their recommendations can be summed up in one word – escalation. According to these neo-con wizards, an additional thirty to fifty thousand troops will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Regardless of what Democrats do, history will continue to show that republicans don't know how to win wars. They lost Vietnam, Afghanistan and now Iraq. If Democrats don't shove these loses in their face, the media will say they're weak on defense for the rest of time (apparently the media thinks losing wars makes one look strong).

December 20, 2006
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Let's look back to what has happened since the November mid-terms:

  • The Democrats sweep to power in the House and Senate, aided by a strong antiwar sentiment from voters.  Then they immediately stop talking about any firm timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Pelosi tells her incoming chairman to forget about impeachment.
  • The day after the election, Bush fires Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the public face of the war, and appoints former CIA head Robert Gates, who tells Congress that we are losing the war.
  • The Iraq Study Group issues its long-awaited report, urging diplomacy and saying combat troops should be withdrawn by 2008 and replaced by more military advisors. But the bottom line of the ISG report is that the situation in Iraq is "grave and deteriorating."
  • Gates then starts talking about the need to "win" in Iraq, the same nonsense language that Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney use.
  • The Pentagon says it needs more troops in Iraq to "complete the mission."
  • Bush admits the U.S. is "not winning" the war and says more troops are necessary to "win."

December 21, 2006
Scientists reveal that bears have stopped hibernating
Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain, scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world.

"It does not in itself prove global warming, but it is certainly consistent with predictions of it," he said. "What is particularly interesting about this is that hitherto the warming has seemed to be happening fastest at the poles and at high latitudes, and now we're getting examples of it happening further south, and heading towards the equator.

"I think it's an indication of what's to come. It shows climate change is not a natural phenomenon but something that is affecting not only on the weather, but impacting on the natural world in ways we're only now beginning to understand."

* Scientists in the Netherlands reported more than 240 wild plants flowering in the first 15 days of December, along with more than 200 cultivated species. Examples included cow parsley and sweet violets. Just two per cent of these plants normally flower in winter, while 27 per cent end their main flowering period in autumn and 56 per cent before October.

Some Democrats think it's possible to work with Republicans. Personally, I think it's a waste of time to even try.

December 19, 2006
GOP Senate Did One Thing in 2006: Kill Democratic Initiatives
An analysis of all Senate roll call votes in 2006, shows that, true to the form they established the previous year, the GOP killed most legislation proposed by Senate Democrats. In all, Democrats were able to scrape together a handful of Republican votes to pass just 28 pieces of legislation in all of 2006.

Add the 70 percent kill-rate of the Democratic measures defeated in 2006 with the greater number beaten back by Republicans in 2005 and the GOP ends the 109th Congress having shot down 207 of 283 pieces of Democratic-sponsored legislation -- or 73 percent.

The other startling thing that becomes obvious when analyzing the votes, is the sheer number of bills related to national security or helping America's Veterans that were voted down by the Republicans -- with no substitute measures of their own -- simply because the ideas came from the other side of the aisle.

December 21, 2006
Bush Indicates Military Won't Dictate Numbers; Top General to Retire
The internal struggle over troop levels in Iraq has exposed a schism between civilian and military leadership 45 months into a war that, at the moment, has no end in sight. Testifying before a Senate committee Nov. 15, Abizaid bluntly rejected the surge option, saying: "I do not believe that more American troops right now is the solution to the problem. I believe that the troop levels need to stay where they are." Other generals have been equally resistant in public and private comments.

Bush has traditionally paid public deference to the generals, saying any decisions on moving U.S. forces in the region would depend on their views. At a Chicago news conference in July, for instance, Bush said he would yield to Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Iraq commander.

Americans have the right to vote for whom they choose. This senator has brought dishonor on the Senate and American people. He must apologize or be removed from office.

December 20, 2006
Muslim group asks congressman to apologize
WASHINGTON - A Muslim group is asking Virginia Republican Rep. Virgil Goode Jr. to apologize after he told hundreds of his constituents that more Muslims will follow Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., to Congress if strict immigration laws are not passed.

"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district, and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran," Goode wrote.

There are thousands of news stories on this site and it's stories like this that make me sick to my stomach.

December 21, 2006
Eight Marines charged in Haditha killings
CAMP PENDLETON, California (Reuters) - The U.S. military charged four Marines on Thursday with murder and four others on related charges in the November 2005 deaths of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha, Iraq.

Marine Corps squad leader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, whose lawyer said was charged with 13 counts of murder, led a squad investigated in connection with the November 19, 2005 shootings in the western Iraqi town.

Others charged with murder are Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum. The remaining four are charged with failure to properly report and/or investigate the deaths.

December 21, 2006
Scarborough: There Would Be Impeachment Talk if Clinton said he'd ignore military commanders

SCARBOROUGH: Well, this is uncharted territory. And Josh Green, I want you, if you will, to imagine, how would Republicans have responded if President Bill Clinton had ignored the advice of all of his Joint Chiefs, his top general in the war zone, his former secretary of state, and 80 percent of Americans? Is it not a stretch to say that many Republicans would have considered impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton if this situation were identical?

MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think, Joe, that more Americans ought to be truly depressed by what they saw today on TV, the latest press conference. We have a president of the United States who is isolated. He's delusional. He is stubborn. He has had one intervention that clearly didn't work, the Baker-Hamilton report. He is clearly in need of another intervention.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, Michael Crowley, that's what's so fascinating about it. We showed you those clips. We could have gone back to February of 2003, before this war began. Military leaders that claimed we needed more troops over there were mocked and ridiculed. People that said it was going to cost more, mocked and ridiculed by the president, by Dick Cheney, by Don Rumsfeld. So you're exactly right. When our military men and women needed more troops, this administration didn't give it to them, and now that they're saying it's too late, don't send the troops, they're ignoring them again.

History will damn Bush but let it also damn those who votes to keep him in office and those who speak out against impeachment.

December 19, 2006
Sean Penn Accepts 'First Amendment Award' -- Hits Media, Calls for Impeachment
In his remarks, Penn listed more than a dozen serious issues facing the country, and commented, "We depend largely for information on these issues from media industries, driven by the bottom line to such an extent that the public interest becomes uninteresting."

Turning to his views of President Bush, Penn said, "Now, there's been a lot of talk lately on Capitol Hill about how impeachment should be 'off the table.' We're told that it's time to look ahead - not back...

"Our country has a legal system, not of men and women, but of laws. Why then are we so willing to put inconvenient provisions of the U.S. constitution and federal law 'off the table?'"

December 18, 2006
Is $100M Guantanamo Courthouse Necessary?
That's right, a $100 million courthouse to try about 60 cases. That's $1.6 million per defendant ... just for the building. The trials will cost many millions more.

Tax watchdog Tom Finnigan of Citizens Against Government Waste says his radar antennae went up when the Pentagon recently tried to push the plans through Congress on an emergency basis without any votes.

"They tried to rush the funding through the process. That alone raises a red flag this could be a boondoggle in the works," Finnigan says.

December 20, 2006
95% of Americans Have Sex Before Marriage
The study, examining how sexual behavior before marriage has changed over time, was based on interviews conducted with more than 38,000 people — about 33,000 of them women — in 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002 for the federal National Survey of Family Growth. According to Finer's analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.

Even among a subgroup of those who abstained from sex until at least age 20, four-fifths had had premarital sex by age 44, the study found.

Is Gates so delusional that he thinks he can win this war? The war has been lost for at least a year now. Saying otherwise only makes the loser feel good for awhile longer. Gates should be forcing to Bush to accept reality instead of pandering.

December 18, 2006
Gates: Failure in Iraq will haunt U.S
WASHINGTON - On his first day as defense secretary, Robert Gates warned Monday that failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the United States for years. Underscoring eroding security there, a Pentagon report said the number of insurgent and sectarian attacks had risen to the highest level in years.

Conservatives in both parties that created this disastrous and immoral policy look smaller with each passing day. Sam Nunn looks particularly bad. Bigotry always looks bad in hindsight.

December 18, 2006
Zogby Poll: 73% of Military Comfortable Serving with Gays and Lesbians
According to the new Zogby data, however, nearly three in four troops (73%) say they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians. Of the 20% who said they are uncomfortable around gays and lesbians, only 5% are "very" uncomfortable, while 15% are "somewhat" uncomfortable. Just two percent of troops said knowing that gays are not allowed to serve openly was an important reason in their decision to join the military.

Barr hated Clinton with a passion. I suppose the fact that Clinton was balancing the budget after 12 years of failure under Reagan and Bush was hard to him to swallow. Today, after seeing the GOP and Bush spend like drunken sailors (like Reagan and Bush) proves to him and (and everyone else) that the GOP has always been the party of record deficits, record spending and hate.

December 18, 2006
Bob Barr Quits GOP
WASHINGTON (Dec. 17) - A former Georgia congressman who helped spark President Clinton's impeachment has quit the Republican Party to become a Libertarian, saying he is disillusioned with the GOP on issues such as spending and privacy.

Bob Barr, who served eight years as a Republican congressman before losing his seat in 2002, announced Friday that he is now a "proud, card-carrying Libertarian." And he encouraged others to join him.

Cheney will be forced to say (under oath) that he ordered Libby to out Ms. Plame in order to destroy her husband, Ambassador Wilson. That should be enough to destroy any chance that Cheney can redeem himself after leaving office. Why anyone in the media takes this man seriously is beyond me.

December 19, 2006
Cheney to Be Defense Witness in CIA Case
Vice President Dick Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the CIA leak case, an attorney for Cheney's former chief of staff told a federal judge Tuesday.

"We're calling the vice president," attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who is charged with perjury and obstruction.

Bigotry is alive and well in the US media today. All these idiots should be fired for utter incompetence and a loathing lack of character. Is this news, or are they all reading from the same script?

December 20, 2006
Media Begins Attack on Obama's Heritage - News or GOP Talking Points?
On the December 11 edition of The Situation Room, CNN senior political analyst Jeff Greenfield compared the similarity of Obama's "business casual" clothing to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "jacket-and-no-tie look." Greenfield concluded the segment by saying: "Now, it is one thing to have a last name that sounds like Osama and a middle name, Hussein, that is probably less than helpful. But an outfit that reminds people of a charter member of the axis of evil, why, this could leave his presidential hopes hanging by a thread."