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Impeach Bush--Index 46

The American people want leadership in Congress and Harry Reid has proven he can't deliver. Off with his head...

February 13, 2007
Poll: Most Americans Want Congress to Go Beyond Non-Binding Vote on War
NEW YORK A new Gallup Poll released today -- as a landmark debate on the Iraq war begins in the House of Representatives -- finds that most Americans favor congressional action for a cap on, and then withdrawal of, troops. They are less excited about the current nonbinding resolution against a "surge."

The fact that big spending republicans could claim to be fiscal conservatives was pure fiction - manufactured and disseminated by the media. Reagan created more debt than all the presidents before him combined - how conservative was that. Bush simply extended the idiocy of the Reagan years.

February 14, 2007
America's view of Republicans crumbles in Iraq
According to the latest Gallup survey, Republican self-identification has declined nationally and in almost every American state. Why? The short answer is that President Bush's war of choice in Iraq has destroyed the partisan brand Republicans spent the past four decades building.

That brand was based upon four pillars: that Republicans are more trustworthy on defense and military issues; that they know when and where markets can replace or improve government; that they are more competent administrators of those functions government can't privatize; and, finally, that their public philosophy is imbued with moral authority. The war demolished all four claims.

McCarthyism and WMD have three things in common. They both required a republican congress, a republican president and a willing media.

February 14, 2007
Most Beloved Country in the World, the US is Now the Most Hated
When I first went to the United States in the 1950s, I impertinently remarked to an archetypal guru, Chief Justice Felix Frankfurter, that what with Senator McCarthy and southern segregation, and civic corruption everywhere, I was not much impressed by the condition of America. Be patient, said the sage. America is like a pendulum, swinging from good to bad, from bad to good, and before long it will swing again.

He was right, and with luck, perhaps the pendulum is almost ready to swing back once more. Whatever we may think in our moments of despair, America is still a marvellous and lovable country whose patriotism can still be touching: try restraining a tear when you listen to Irving Berlin's setting of the words on the Statue of Liberty - the ultimate American text, with music by the emblematic American immigrant. The Great Republic is great still, full still of decent clever people trying to be good. Even now, it is as free as can be expected, and its democracy is fundamentally honest and robust. It laughs at itself, criticises itself and dislikes itself just as much as we do.

More evidence of war crimes.

An Impeachable Offense

February 14, 2007
EU Parliament report accuses some member nations of colluding with CIA renditions
STRASBOURG, France - The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial report accusing Britain, Germany, Italy and other European nations of turning a blind eye to CIA flights transporting terror suspects to secret prisons overseas in an apparent breach of EU human rights standards.

If only the US House had the same courage.

February 14, 2007
Israeli legislators begin impeachment hearings
Jerusalem- Israeli legislators began discussions Wednesday on whether to impeach President Moshe Katsav, who has taken leave of absence after the attorney-general said he could be charged with rape, sexual harassment, breech of trust and obstruction of justice. It is the first time in Israel's history the Knesset House Committee is debating whether to remove a sitting president.

Democrats still don't get it. Bush will sign the bill into law and then issue another signing statement saying he won't follow the law. The ONLY remedy is impeachment and removal from office.

February 14, 2007
Bill Would Restore Detainees' Rights, Define 'Combatant'
A group of Senate Democrats introduced legislation yesterday that would restore habeas corpus rights to all detainees in U.S. custody and would narrowly define what it means to be an "enemy combatant" against the United States, a measure designed to challenge laws ushered in by the Republican-controlled Congress last year.

The bill, titled the "Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007," strikes at the core of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 by giving detainees access to U.S. courts. It was introduced by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sam Nunn was the Democrat Senator who pushed banning qualified gays. His short-sightedness haunts us even today.

February 14, 2007
Felons, But Not Gays
The problem is that the Pentagon's current personnel policy is utterly irrational. Under its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, it has fired over 11,000 capable troops, including nearly 1000 considered mission-critical and over 300 foreign linguists, just because they're gay. This despite overwhelming evidence that letting known gays serve does not impair cohesion, recruitment or effectiveness.

A few years ago President Clinton tried to allow gays to serve openly (there have always been gays but "don't ask" required them to lie) in the military...and he was shot down. Apparently short-sighted people thought it'd never come to this - recruiting unqualified criminals instead of highly educated and motivated gays. Thousands of qualified gays were discharged from the military since "don't ask" was passed. Members of Congress who now say they support our troops didn't support gay troops. They supported bigotry and prejudice instead.

February 14, 2007
Army recruiting more criminals
The number of waivers granted to Army recruits with criminal backgrounds has grown about 65 percent in the last three years, increasing to 8,129 in 2006 from 4,918 in 2003, Department of Defense records show.

During that time, the Army has employed a variety of tactics to expand its diminishing pool of recruits. It has offered larger enlistment cash bonuses, allowed more high school dropouts and applicants with low scores on its aptitude test to join, and loosened weight and age restrictions.

The GOP depended on fake science created by Exxon to do justify doing nothing. A few months ago "The Royal Society" (UK science academy) demanded Exxon stop funding fake science. Where were US scientists?

February 13, 2007
Exxon Admits Global Warming is Real
HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil Chairman Rex Tillerson told a world energy conference today that "there is no question that the world's climate is getting warmer," and said that technological advances and a global strategy will be needed to combat the rise in carbon emissions.

We're looking at history again. The Bush White House will go down in history as being the most incompetent and the most corrupt.

February 13, 2007
Wilkes, Foggo Indicted
SAN DIEGO – A federal grand jury on Tuesday issued indictments against Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes and former high-ranking CIA official Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, childhood friends from San Diego who are entangled in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham congressional corruption scandal.

February 13, 2007
Poll: Americans oppose surge
Sixty percent of Americans oppose the deployment that is part of Bush's new strategy for restoring security in Iraq, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll published on Tuesday.

The House opens debate on Tuesday on a two-sentence resolution disapproving a troop buildup in Iraq but also pledging support for U.S. forces serving there. A vote was planned for Friday.

February 13, 2007
Bush budget cuts veterans health care in 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration's budget assumes cuts to veterans' health care two years from now -- even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012. But even administration allies say the numbers are not real and are being used to make the overall budget picture look better.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly -- by more than 10 percent in many years -- White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.

February 9, 2007
Don't let kids grow up 'red'
Just how big is the gap between red states and blue states on children's issues? According to Petit, a child in the overall bottom 10 states is:

  • Twice as likely to die by the age of 14.
  • Seven times more likely to die from abuse and neglect.
  • Twice as likely to be living in poverty.
  • More than twice as likely to be incarcerated as juveniles.

Some of us wondered how Ari Fleischer could get up and lie to our faces day after day. It seems it was easier than we thought - the White House simply lied to him. We should note that on 911 and shortly thereafter, Fleischer incorrectly said Air Force One had been targeted by terrorists. This mistake (lie) was unknown to him but Cheney and Bush knew it was a lie. The Secret Service debunked the mistake on 911 but the White House continued to lie about it for weeks.

February 11, 2007
Former Press Secretary Didn't Know What Was Going On
What has emerged, instead, is:

  • a vice president fixated on finding ways to debunk a former diplomat's claims that Bush misled the U.S. people in going to war and his suggestion Cheney might have played a role in suppressing contrary intelligence.
  • a presidential press secretary kept in the dark on Iraq policy.
  • top White House officials meeting daily to discuss the diplomat, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, and sometimes even his CIA-officer wife Valerie Plame.

A child stuck in a man's body.

February 12, 2007
Cheney may snub outspoken Japan Defense chief
TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States has asked Japan not to arrange a meeting between Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, an apparent response to Kyuma's criticism of U.S. policy, Kyodo news agency said on Monday.

Last month, Kyuma irked the U.S. administration by saying the United States was wrong to start the war in Iraq. He also criticized Washington's handling of the relocation of a U.S. base in Japan.

Howard was censured by the Australian Senate in 2003 shortly after the war began because he lied about WMD. At the time (2003) the US media was still carrying the water for Bush's lies about war and excuses for war.

Obama's response was nice but I'd have gone for the gut - saying his own senate censored him for lying about WMD.

February 12, 2007
Boost for Obama from Australia
Mr Howard's intervention helps Mr Obama by highlighting his opposition to the war, in contrast to Mrs Clinton, who voted for it in the Senate in 2002 but now distances herself from it. Democratic activists are strongly opposed to the war. Mr Obama, 45, will also be helped by American irritation that a foreign leader should intervene in their election.

Robert Gibbs, Mr Obama's press secretary, said Mr Howard was not in a position to be overly critical. "If prime minister Howard truly believes what he says, perhaps his country should find its way to contribute more than just 1,400 troops so some American troops can come home. It's easy to talk tough when it's not your country or your troops making the sacrifice."

February 12, 2007
Civilian Contractor Killed by US troops
DETROIT - Several investigations have been launched into why a civilian contractor in Iraq was shot and killed by American troops as he drove toward a U.S. military checkpoint last week.

Greenfelder said a KBR representative visited Tolfree's daughter, Kristen Martin, 22, of Owosso, Feb. 6 to deliver the news. The representative initially said Tolfree and another convoy driver were killed by a roadside bomb.

Later that day, the representative phoned Martin and said Tolfree was killed by U.S. forces, Greenfelder said. She later learned from news reports that the other driver had survived.

An Impeachable Offense

February 10, 2007
Ex-Agent Ties Firing to CIA Pressure on WMD
A federal judge has ruled that a CIA agent identified only as "Doe," allegedly fired after he gathered prewar intelligence showing that Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction, can proceed with his lawsuit against the CIA. The judge has ordered both parties to submit discovery requests–evidence they want for their case–to be completed by March 15, according to the CIA agent's lawyer and a spokesman for the Justice Department, which is defending the CIA in court.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler issued her ruling after what Doe's attorney, Roy Krieger, described as an extraordinary, secret status conference by telephone this afternoon that lasted nearly a half an hour. So concerned was the CIA about the agent's identity becoming public that the Justice Department prevailed upon the judge to issue a highly restrictive order regarding press contacts by the agent and Krieger. The order barred them from "requesting, allowing, encouraging, or directing" any members of the media from appearing at Krieger's office or even within a two-block vicinity of the building where he works or of any other location of the status conference, until two hours after the conference was completed.

February 11, 2007
McCain Taps Cash He Sought To Limit
Just about a year and a half ago, Sen. John McCain went to court to try to curtail the influence of a group to which A. Jerrold Perenchio gave $9 million, saying it was trying to "evade and violate" new campaign laws with voter ads ahead of the midterm elections.

As McCain launches his own presidential campaign, however, he is counting on Perenchio, the founder of the Univision Spanish-language media empire, to raise millions of dollars as co-chairman of the Arizona Republican's national finance committee.

An Impeachable Offense

February 10, 2007
Intelligence agencies disagreed with many of its prewar findings
WASHINGTON — As the Bush administration began assembling its case for war, analysts across the U.S. intelligence community were disturbed by the report of a secretive Pentagon team that concluded Iraq had significant ties to Al Qaeda.

Analysts from the CIA and other agencies "disagreed with more than 50%" of 26 findings the Pentagon team laid out in a controversial paper, according to testimony Friday from Thomas F. Gimble, acting inspector general of the Pentagon.

February 11, 2007
Envoy: Iran poses no threat to Israel
MUNICH, Germany - Iran's nuclear program is not a threat to Israel and the country is prepared to settle all outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency within three weeks, its top nuclear negotiator said Sunday.

Ali Larijani, speaking at a forum that gathered the world's top security officials, said Iran doesn't have aggressive intentions toward any nation.

"That Iran is willing to threaten Israel is wrong," Larijani said. "We pose no threat and if we are conducting nuclear research and development we are no threat to Israel. We have no intention of aggression against any country."

February 10, 2007
Baptist group fights Texas coal plant
DALLAS - Texas' largest Baptist group is taking a rare step into environmental advocacy, working to block Gov. Rick Perry's plan to speed the approval process for 18 new coal-fired power plants.

The Christian Life Commission, the public policy arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, is mobilizing Baptists against the coal-fired plants and urging the convention's 2.3 million members to voice their opposition to state lawmakers.

February 10, 2007
Wal-Mart Joins Business, Labor Coalition for Universal Health Care
Wal-Mart – the nation's largest retailer – has formed a coalition with labor unions and other larger corporations to call for quality affordable health coverage for all Americans by 2012. The coalition includes AT&T, Intel, Kelly Services, the Service Employees International Union and the Communications Workers of America. We get analysis from Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Jeanne Lambrew and Healthcare-NOW! National Coordinator Marilyn Clement. [includes rush transcript]  Wal-Mart – the nation's largest retailer – has formed a coalition with labor unions and other larger corporations to call for quality affordable health coverage for all Americans by 2012. The coalition includes AT&T, Intel, Kelly Services, the Service Employees International Union and the Communications Workers of America. Three public policy groups are also backing the campaign, dubbed Better Health Care Together. Wal-Mart's CEO Lee Scott said "Our current system hurts America's competitiveness and leaves too many people uninsured."

In a few days or weeks the Bush debt will hit the $3 trillion mark. This government chart shows what happens when presidents cut taxes (Reagan and Bush).

February 5, 2007
Clicking the link below will load a pdf file from the Treasury Department.

US Government Debt (1982-January 21, 2007 (PDF)

history_public_debt (24K)

It can't be stressed enough. The Pentagon received a 61% increase in spending and it used this money to lose a war in a country that has no military. The military is utterly incompetent. Imagine if it had to fight a real war - a war with a country that was armed to the teeth.

February 10, 2007
The government should stop deceptively pretending that war costs are separate from the Pentagon's budget
Here's how the supplemental shell game works. The official defense budget for 2008 comes to $481 billion. That's a 10% increase over last year and a 62% increase over 2001. And it conveniently fails to include a supplemental request of $141.7 billion, which brings the 2008 defense total to $622.7 billion. On top of that, the president requested a 2007 supplemental in the amount of $93.4 billion, bringing this week's entire defense "budget authority request" to $716 billion (the figure of actual outlays is even higher because it includes billions already committed to the Pentagon).

So why abuse supplemental appropriations? Because Congress and the president have discovered that they are an effective way to discreetly increase spending for a long and painful war. As important, supplemental spending does not count against budget caps or automatically trigger offsetting cuts. Thus, the Pentagon can have money for the war while keeping space available in the regular budget for pet projects.

Rule #1: When confronted with reality, the media will instead push GOP Talking Points and lies. After the damage is done - the truth always comes out and the media looks incompetent.

February 9, 2007
House security chief: Pelosi didn't ask for plane; I did
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not request a larger plane for personal use to travel cross-country without stopping, Bill Livingood, the House sergeant at arms, said Thursday.

Livingood said the request was his, and he made it for security reasons.

"The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable," Livingood, who has been at his post for 11 years, said in a written statement.

Now that congress can finally wee the intelligence for the first time, we learn the intelligence was contrived and manipulated. Is there any crime this White House didn't commit?

An Impeachable Offense

February 9, 2007
Report Says Pentagon Manipulated Intel
He cited Gimble's findings that Feith's office was, despite doubts expressed by the intelligence community, pushing conclusions that Sept. 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague five months before the attack, and that there were "multiple areas of cooperation" between Iraq and al-Qaida, including shared pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

"That was the argument that was used to make the sale to the American people about the need to go to war," Levin said in an interview Thursday. He said the Pentagon's work, "which was wrong, which was distorted, which was inappropriate … is something which is highly disturbing."

Another big lie bites the dust. Congress is only now able to see the intelligence Bush used to take us to war. Previously Bush said Congress had access to same intelligence he had - he was lying.

An Impeachable Offense

February 5, 2007
All 435 House Members Can See Iraq Intelligence
To the surprise of the Bush administration, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Wednesday night to allow all 435 House members to see the classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq sent to the White House last week. The report is classified in part because it contains information about sources and methods used in intelligence-gathering.

The document will provide fuel for a House debate, scheduled to begin Tuesday, on a resolution of disapproval of President Bush's plan to boost U.S. troop strength in Iraq. Remarkably, each House member will be given five minutes to speak. The decision to provide such broad access to the microphones is based on the fact that each member got the chance to speak before the Iraq war began, according to House leadership aides.

February 8, 2007
Homeland Security Dead Last in Job Satisfaction Survey
But the results of the federal government's own survey of employee morale paints a different picture.

Of the 36 agencies surveyed, Homeland Security employees rated theirs as last: 36th in job satisfaction, 35th on leadership and 36th on results-oriented performance.

"Dysfunction equals danger," said Clark Kent Ervin, the former inspector general of the Homeland Security Department, who says the results of the survey are one more sign of serious trouble for the agency in charge of protecting America.

February 8, 2007
Federal Reserve chairman issues warning on social inequality
He noted that wages at the 50th percentile ("the median wage") had risen approximately 11.5 percent between 1979 and 2006, while wages at the 10th percentile ("near the bottom of the wage distribution") had climbed just 4 percent and earnings at the 90th percentile ("close to the top of the distribution") had jumped 34 percent. Bernanke pointed out that the worker at the 90th percentile now earned 4.7 times as much as the worker at the 10th percentile, compared to a ratio of 3.7 in 1979.

The federal reserve chairman went on to say that greater inequality was also evident in other measures of financial well-being, such as real household income. Figures showed, he said, that the share of the national income received by households in the top fifth of the income distribution rose from 42 percent in 1979 to 50 percent in 2004 (a 19 percent increase), while the share of the bottom 20 percent of households had declined from 7 to 5 percent (a 29 percent decline). He took note of the fact that the wealthiest 1 percent of households had seen its share of after-tax income increase from 8 percent in 1979 to 14 percent in 2004 (a 57 percent jump).

Enumerating the damage is nearly impossible; the US presidency lay in ruin, the reputation of the US isn't far behind, the US media looks pathetically weak, the Congress looks weaker, the military can't win a war in a country that has no military and also looks weak. All in all, Bush's war did one thing - it exposed how weak this country has become.

February 8, 2007
War Planners Prepare For Defeat in Iraq
Feb. 8, 2007 | Deep within the bowels of the Pentagon, policy planners are conducting secret meetings to discuss what to do in the worst-case scenario in Iraq about a year from today if and when President Bush's escalation of more than 20,000 troops fails, a participant in those discussions told me. None of those who are taking part in these exercises, shielded from the public view and the immediate scrutiny of the White House, believes that the so-called surge will succeed. On the contrary, everyone thinks it will not only fail to achieve its aims but also accelerate instability by providing a glaring example of U.S. incapacity and incompetence.

The era of making foreign policy based on guesses, lies and supposition appear to be over. What took so long?

February 7, 2007
Rice grilled over lack of smoking gun in allegations against Iran
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faced a blistering challenge in Congress over the administration's failure to provide evidence to back up allegations Iran is building nuclear weapons and fueling attacks on US forces in Iraq.

"Unproven charges against Iran's nuclear intentions are eerily reminiscent of the false charges made against Iraq before we invaded that country," said Ron Paul, a lawmaker from President George W. Bush's own Republican Party, during an appearance by Rice before a congressional panel.

February 7, 2007
CREW's Latest Report reveals 25 Most Corrupt Members of the Bush Administration
Today, CREW released a new report, "Criminals and Scoundrels: The 25 Most Corrupt Members of the Bush Administration." The full report with exhibits can be found here.

The 25 Most Corrupt Members of the Bush Administration are:
Claude Allen, White House Eric Andell, U.S. Department of Education Margaret Burnette, Food and Drug Administration Lester Crawford, Food and Drug Administration Lurita Doan, General Services Administration
Brian Doyle, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Darleen Druyun, U.S. Air Force Frank Figueroa, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, Central Intelligence Agency J. Steven Griles, U.S. Department of the Interior
Andrea Grimsley, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Donald Keyser, U.S. Department of State John Korsmo, Federal Housing Finance Board Kevin Marlowe, U.S. Department of Defense Jose Miranda, Broadcasting Board of Governors
William Myers, U.S. Department of Interior Janet Rehnquist, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services David Safavian, White House and General Services Administration Robert Schofield, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Thomas Scully, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
David Smith, Department of Interior Jeffrey Stayton, U.S. Department of the Army Robert Stein, Coalition Provisional Authority Roger Stillwell, U.S. Department of the Interior Kenneth Tomlinson, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

February 7, 2007
Two Million Iraqis Have Fled In Past Three Years
SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq - Some 2 million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries in the past three years and up to 3,000 more go abroad every day, according to the U.N. refugee agency. But Umm Ali and her husband, Hussein Jawad, are among nearly 85,000 Iraqi Arabs who have sought refuge in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

February 7, 2007
Mistrial declared because soldier believes war in Iraq is a war crime
FORT LEWIS, Washington (Reuters) - A military judge declared a mistrial on Wednesday in the court-martial of a U.S. Army officer, who publicly refused to fight in Iraq and criticized the war.

First Lt. Ehren Watada had faced up to four years in prison and a dishonorable discharge if found guilty on a charge of missing movements for not deploying to Iraq and two charges of conduct unbecoming an officer for his criticism of the war.

Lt. Col. John Head, the military judge, declared a mistrial after throwing out a "stipulation of fact" -- an agreement over certain facts of the trial -- that forced the government to ask the judge for a mistrial instead of arguing its entire case again.

It seems PBS reporters aren't as easily bought off or manipulated as network news reporters. After the war started a poll was done and it showed that PBS viewers were the most informed people in the country. On the other hand 80% of Fox Viewers believed something about the war that was no true. I can see why he (and the GOP) want it to go away.

February 5, 2007
Bush Proposes Steep Cut to PBS Funding
President Bush is reopening the fight over government support of public television, unveiling a 2007 government fiscal year budget that would cut federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by nearly 25 percent.

There was some confusion on how to tally the exact cut, but public TV and congressional sources said at least $114 million of the $460 million CPB budget for the fiscal year that starts in October would be cut. The Association of Public Television Stations said the total impact could be $145 million when cuts in related programs are added, including a program to upgrade radio station satellite facilities.

February 7, 2007
Wrong Weapons, Wrong Wars: The Self-Destructive Logic of War
Yet the Pentagon continues to spend money on weapons that are ill suited for the fights "we are in." As a top U.S. Air Force commander told Aviation Week and Space Technology, the most expensive fighter aircraft ever built may be ready for war but it's not ready for the war we have today in Iraq. The F-22 isn't "ready for Iraq" because it probably can't fulfill its core mission, especially in the Baghdad area. In straightforward language, the F-22 would be electronically "blind" despite having the most advanced suite of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance devices in the U.S. Air Force.

This brings us back full circle. U.S. Air Force Gen. Ronald E. Keys is concerned that the surveillance suite of the $350 million aircraft may not be able to operate around Baghdad. Although nominally a fighter aircraft, the F-22 also can act as a signals intelligence interceptor, which would be its role in Iraq. General Keys notes, however, that the electronic spectrum around Baghdad is polluted by the myriad jamming devices that coalition forces primarily employed to thwart remote detonations of the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have inflicted 70% of all U.S. fatalities in that war.

The potential problem was discovered when the first F-22s were operating near U.S. navy ships off the Atlantic coast. Navy radars overwhelmed the F-22's automated sensors. Even now, larger, multi-station, purpose-built electronic intelligence-gathering airplanes encounter difficulties around the Iraqi capital because of the extreme density of jamming devices. Supporters of the F-22 propose that one headquarters should coordinate F-22 intelligence collection missions with the use of both airborne and ground-based jammers.

The irony is the media still thinks republicans are strong on defense when in reality all they do is give them new toys to play with. Losing wars and buying worthless equipment doesn't make us look stronger. In fact, I'd suggest all this new technology hasn't helped us one iota. We still lose wars - in this case, against a country that has military. The US military has never looked weaker. So, give them more toys.

February 7, 2007
Bush Budget Delivers the Bacon
At least in Iraq, we created enemies we can now fight. The bulk of the rest of the military portion of the federal budget, $481.4 billion for the Defense Department and an additional $22.5 billion for other departments' defense programs, is intended to fight an enemy of advanced military power that is nowhere to be found--not even among the dreaded "Axis of Evil" nations.

For example, this budget allocates billions to continue building stealth aircraft designed to evade Soviet defenses the ex-superpower never managed to create.

The United States' military budget is greater than that of the next 14 biggest military spenders combined. Even if not one additional dollar is allocated to the advanced weapons systems now in the works, there is not a nation on Earth that would dare challenge U.S. dominance in the air or on the seas for decades to come. The enormous imbalance in U.S. military spending is not about defense but rather profit.

Why hasn't this man been fired yet?

February 5, 2007
Army Officer Says No Abuse: Didn't Interview Any Detainees
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - An Army officer who investigated possible abuse at Guantanamo Bay after some guards purportedly bragged about beating detainees found no evidence they mistreated the prisoners — although he did not interview any of the alleged victims, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

Col. Richard Bassett, the chief investigator, recommended no disciplinary action against the Navy guards named by Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny, who had said that during a conversation in September they described beating detainees as common practice.

Democrats need to pick up only a few seats to have a veto proof senate. They can easily destroy republicans who vote for more troops and especially republicans who refuse to allow open debate.

IMO, the debate is over and the GOP lost. They can't win wars and they can't balance the budget. What can they do?

February 8, 2007
7 GOP Senators Back War Debate
Senate Republicans who earlier this week helped block deliberations on a resolution opposing President Bush's new troop deployments in Iraq changed course yesterday and vowed to use every tactic at their disposal to ensure a full and open debate.

In a letter distributed yesterday evening to Senate leaders, John W. Warner (Va.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and five other GOP supporters of the resolution threatened to attach their measure to any bill sent to the floor in the coming weeks. Noting that the war is the "most pressing issue of our time," the senators declared: "We will explore all of our options under the Senate procedures and practices to ensure a full and open debate."

Imagine a $1 trillion tax increase...try to imagine it.

Bush and the GOP don't support his own war. If he did, they'd support a tax increase to pay for it like every other generation. Bush has created nearly $3 trillions of debt - almost twice as much as Reagan (and we thought Reagan was bad). It's time to accept the basic fact that Bush and the GOP are delusional and unworthy of power...for the rest of time.

February 5, 2007
War tax sought as Congress debates Bush budget
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outspoken supporter of the Iraq war on Tuesday called for a new tax to pay for its astronomical cost as Congress opened a debate on President George W. Bush's $2.9 trillion budget plan for next year.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut proposed a "war on terrorism tax" at a Senate hearing during which he said the Pentagon's $622 billion defense budget proposal for fiscal 2008 threatened to crowd out funds for domestic programs.

The lawmaker, a former Democrat turned independent, favors a U.S. troop buildup in Iraq.

Bush traveled to Manassas, Virginia, to deliver the opposite message about the budget he submitted to the Democrat-controlled Congress on Monday.

"This budget can work if Congress resists the temptation to raise your taxes," the Republican president told employees of Micron Technology Inc., a semiconductor manufacturer.

February 5, 2007
Officials indict 5 in Iraq contract scam
WASHINGTON - Three U.S. Army Reserve officers were indicted Wednesday, accused of taking part in a bid-rigging scam that steered millions of dollars for Iraq reconstruction projects to a contractor in exchange for cash, luxury cars and jewelry.

An American businessman in Romania was charged as the go-between for the military officers and the contractor. The husband of one of the reservists was accused of helping smuggle tens of thousands of dollars into the United States that the couple used to pay for a deck and a hot tub at their New Jersey house.

People who support(ed) this war (a war for no reason) are morally obligated to undo what they've done. It's an interesting coincidence that church-goes are the biggest supporters of this war - and they are the most immoral people in the country.

February 5, 2007
Iraq: Children living without limbs lack support
"When I ask NGOs or the government for a wheelchair for my child, or to pay for surgery or even an artificial leg, they just answer me by saying that people are dying every day and others getting displaced and they don't have time to worry about just one child," Rand Muhammad, Barakat's mother, said.

"The problem is that hundreds of children are suffering in Iraq with the same problem but are not getting help from anyone. They have been put aside until the violence has been controlled and the displaced return to their homes. But until that happens, they may die or they could be seriously affected psychologically," she said.

The GOP gave oil companies tax breaks when they had record profits and now the poor have to pay for it. If there's a single republican with an ounce of decency let him speak now.

February 6, 2007
Bush slashes aid to poor to boost Iraq war chest
President George Bush is proposing to slash medical care for the poor and elderly to meet the soaring cost of the Iraq war.

Mr Bush's $2.9 trillion (£1.5 trillion) budget, sent to Congress yesterday, includes $100bn extra for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for this year, on top of $70bn already allocated by Congress and $141.7bn next year. He is planning an 11.3% increase for the Pentagon. Spending on the Iraq war is destined to top the total cost of the 13-year war in Vietnam.

An entire generation is growing up learning that republicans don't stand for what they say. They say they want debate, then they vote against it. They say they want balanced budgets and then they vote for tax cuts. Hagel is like Specter - all huff and puff. Neither man stands for anything and when push comes to shove they both their party over everything else. This generation knows republicans can't be trusted.

February 6, 2007
Hagel Acquiesces To Block Debate On Non-binding Iraq Resolution
Hagel is a co-sponsor of the non-binding, bipartisan resolution – but he joined every other GOP senator in voting to avoid debate.

Interestingly, Hagel was still talking last Friday about the absolute need for the debate. That was the same Friday when the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky confidently guaranteed that all of the Republican flock would be in the fold, voting against taking up the resolution.

As Bush is forced to back away from his war-mongering it would be wise for Democrats to say publicly that if he invades Iran he'll be impeached and removed from office. This will force Bush to invade or look weaker than he already is.

February 5, 2007
Attacking Iran would be disastrous, warns coalition of opinion led by retired officers
Warnings of the dire consequences of military confrontation with Iran, and calls for a renewed diplomatic effort, are being issued on both sides of the Atlantic in a sign of the growing anxiety over the prospect of US or Israeli action.

A coalition of foreign policy thinktanks, humanitarian organisations and peace groups will issue a report today arguing that an attack on Iran, reportedly being contemplated by the US and Israel as a means of slowing down Iran's nuclear programme, would backfire disastrously.

Israel and the US supported wars in Lebanon and Iraq which are putting these two countries into civil war (along with others). War in the Middle East keeps Israelis preoccupied so they can ignore the failed policies of their government and in the US, Bush's failures have led to oil companies reaping record profits for years. War has become a made-for-tv diversion, not a necessity.

February 5, 2007
Fears of new civil war increase as Lebanese political factions rearm
Gun sales in Lebanon have tripled since the current standoff between the government and the Hizbullah-led opposition began, prompting concern that political factions are rearming.

The increased presence of gunmen on the streets of the capital, Beirut, and reports of fighters loyal to the Sunni-dominated government being trained overseas has heightened fears of a return to civil war, which ravaged Lebanon from 1975 to 1990. Gunfights last month, some involving the army, left six civilians dead and more than 150 wounded.

"There is a reappearance of arms in the hands of almost every political group; we are sitting on a powder keg, tension is increasing every day," said a prominent security analyst. "They don't know what they are doing, they are going to destroy this country."

The media is still in White House spin mode. Instead of reporting income and spending and deficits, it states only what the WH wants - more military spending. Few if any bother to report on how any of it's going to be paid for (with more borrowing).

February 5, 2007
Bush submits $2.9 trillion budget
US President George W Bush has submitted a $2.9 trillion (£1.5 trillion) budget to Congress including almost $700bn in new military spending.

Much of the money is earmarked for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2008 budget also sets out plans to curb domestic spending, including $66bn savings over five years from Medicare.

February 5, 2007
News media cheer ruling on Libby tapes
WASHINGTON -- News organizations praised a judge's decision Monday to release tapes of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's grand jury testimony, saying it would open a window into court proceedings.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he would make the eight-hour recordings public even though he was worried that jurors could be influenced by outside media buzz.

Federal law supports the public release of evidence presented to a jury. But judges in high-profile cases occasionally have released only written transcripts or have delayed public disclosure until the trial's end.

How much more proof do we need that Cheney outed a CIA operative?

An Impeachable Offense

February 5, 2007
VP appeared eager to blunt criticism
Washington -- Vice President Dick Cheney's press officer, Cathie Martin, approached his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on Air Force Two on July 12, 2003, to ask how she should respond to journalists' questions about Joseph Wilson. Libby looked over one of the reporters' questions and told Martin: "Well, let me go talk to the boss and I'll be back."

On Libby's return, Martin testified in federal court last week, he brought a card with detailed replies dictated by Cheney, including a highly partisan, incomplete summary of Wilson's investigation into what was suspected to be Iraq's program for weapons of mass destruction.

Libby subsequently called a reporter, read him the statement, and said -- according to the reporter -- he had heard that Wilson's investigation was instigated by his wife, an employee at the CIA, later identified as Valerie Wilson. The reporter, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, was one of five people with whom Libby discussed Valerie Wilson's CIA status during those critical weeks that summer.

Imagine if every US soldier who killed someone in Afghanistan or Iraq was charged with murder. In war, we kill and they kill. Why is it called murder only when they do it?

An Impeachable Offense

February 3, 2007
Murder charge filed against Canadian in Guantanamo
The U.S. military filed a murder charge Friday against Omar Khadr, who is the only Canadian imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay prison and has been there for more than four years.

Khadr, who is now 20 but has been imprisoned since he was 15, is among the first three prisoners to face charges as the military begins a new set of Guantanamo trials after the original ones were halted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006.

The Bush White House has a long record of changing charges against detainees when other charges fall apart. This alone should prove how utterly worthless the charges are.

An Impeachable Offense

February 5, 2007
Guantánamo attorney protests 'new crime'
The latest charges are the military's second attempt to try Australian David Hick, 31, and two other high-profile prisoners at the U.S. detention center in Cuba.

Hicks' Pentagon-appointed lawyer, Marine Maj. Michael Mori, said he had never heard of a charge of providing material support for terrorism.

"It seems to me that they're creating new crimes after the fact," Mori told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio today.

No matter how fast the economy grows it can never grow fast enough to pay for tax cuts - ergo, another round of record debt after a major tax cuts. Another Reagan-like economic disaster.

February 5, 2007
Economy tethers Bush budget
A business slowdown or recession, an increase in inflation and interest rates, a reversal in the willingness of foreign investors to keep buying U.S. Treasury bonds could put the skids on what has been a strong economy.

Meanwhile, spiraling payouts in guaranteed federal benefits for Social Security and Medicare as baby boomers retire "is going to be the single largest economic problem that we face," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for at Moody's Economy.com.

"Deficits look OK today," Zandi said. "But what happens at a time when the economy isn't operating at full tilt?"

When Bush took office in 2001, the national debt was about $5.6 trillion. Now it stands at about $8.6 trillion.

By now most Americans have to know the GOP can't be trusted with major issues like national defense. It's time for Reid and others to understand the GOP exists for the sole purpose of defending the failures of Bush. Dems should act accordingly.

February 6, 2007
Republicans block Iraq war debate
A resolution opposing President George W Bush's decision to send extra troops to Iraq has failed to advance in the US Senate, dealing a blow to war critics.

The measure needed 60 votes before the 100-member Senate could begin debate, but it got 49, with 47 voting against.

Democratic senators, who backed the motion, said they would raise the issue again, possibly later this week.

February 3, 2007
Private Contractors Take On Biggest Role Ever
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 — In June, short of people to process cases of incompetence and fraud by federal contractors, officials at the General Services Administration responded with what has become the government's reflexive answer to almost every problem.

They hired another contractor.

It did not matter that the company they chose, CACI International, had itself recently avoided a suspension from federal contracting; or that the work, delving into investigative files on other contractors, appeared to pose a conflict of interest; or that each person supplied by the company would cost taxpayers $104 an hour. Six CACI workers soon joined hundreds of other private-sector workers at the G.S.A., the government's management agency.