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Impeach Bush--Index 50
April 20, 2007

Executions rising rapidly in Iraq

Iraq has jumped to fourth place in the international executions list after a rapid rise in death penalty sentences last year, according to Amnesty.

Only China, Pakistan and Iran executed more people in 2006. Iraq killed at least 65, many of whom were convicted after unjust and unfair trials, said a report by Amnesty International today.

The death penalty was suspended in Iraq after the invasion by U.S. led forces in 2003 but it was reinstated by the Iraqi authorities in mid 2004. Since then more than 270 people have been sentenced to death and at least 100 of those have been executed, according to the report.

If republicans really cared about this country they'd be calling for Bush's resignation also. It was his White House that subverted the Justice Department.

April 20, 2007

GOP House Leader: Gonzales should resign

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A congressional Republican leader on Friday joined bipartisan calls for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign but the White House reaffirmed its confidence in President George W. Bush's long-time friend.

Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, chairman of the Republican conference in the House of Representatives, said it was important for the head of the U.S. Justice Department to have "unwavering" credibility.

"For the good of the nation, I think it is time for fresh leadership at the Department of Justice," Putnam said in a brief telephone interview. He said a lack of credibility by the Justice Department chief puts in jeopardy the president's legislative agenda.

April 18, 2007
(two articles)

'Doonesbury' Character Calls for Bush and Cheney Impeachment

NEW YORK A day after "Doonesbury" character Mark Slackmeyer called for President Bush's impeachment, he said he wants the same fate for Vice President Cheney.

In today's comic, Mark continues to look at reader e-mails with Mike Doonesbury. "A.F." of Omaha writes, "Dear Mike: What do you think of the conservative strips that papers buy to balance your politics?" -- referring to comics such as "Mallard Fillmore" and "Prickly City."

No matter how many times the topic comes up and no matter who speaks on the issues the media refuses to ask Americans the basic question; "should Bush and Cheney be impeached for lying about intelligence when they took us to war?" The Pentagon recently said the intelligence they created was bogus. What more proof do we need?

April 18, 2007

Impeach Cheney First?

The Nation -- It is no secret that Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has been toying with the idea of moving articles of impeachment against a member of the Bush administration. And he appears to be focusing more and more of his attention on the man that many activists around the country see as the ripest target for sanctioning: Vice President Dick Cheney.

Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's efforts to convince Democrats to keep presidential accountability "off the table," Kucinich is just one of many House Democrats who have acknowledged in recent days that they are hearing the call for action loud and clear from their constituents and from grassroots activists across the country.

There's little doubt the war in Iraq was hatched by neocons and Haaretz (a Jewish publication) explores the role of Jews in that decision.

One of the commentators, Charles Krauthammer says Americans are more willing to sacrifice now than during Vietnam. He's insane. During Vietnam we had a draft and tax increases. Today we have no draft and tax cuts. We have a culture of conservatives who think increasing debt ceiling limits isn't the same as passing tax increases. They're all morons.

Where is the sacrifice? No draft...no taxes. It's easy to say you support something when it costs you nothing and you have nothing to lose. Does Krauthammer have family members in Iraq. I bet not.

posted April 21, 2007

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible. But another journalist, Thomas Friedman (not part of the group), is skeptical

In the course of the past year, a new belief has emerged in the town: the belief in war against Iraq. That ardent faith was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals (a partial list: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Eliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer), people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another and are convinced that political ideas are a major driving force of history. They believe that the right political idea entails a fusion of morality and force, human rights and grit. The philosophical underpinnings of the Washington neoconservatives are the writings of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Edmund Burke. They also admire Winston Churchill and the policy pursued by Ronald Reagan. They tend to read reality in terms of the failure of the 1930s (Munich) versus the success of the 1980s (the fall of the Berlin Wall).

April 18, 2007

U.S. foreclosure filings rise 47 percent in March

Banks began foreclosure proceedings against 47 percent more U.S. homeowners last month compared with a year ago as falling housing prices made it more difficult for borrowers to refinance mortgages.

More than 149,000 filings were posted in March, the highest number since RealtyTrac Inc. began collecting data in January 2005, the Irvine, Calif.-based research company said Wednesday in a statement. California filings rose to 31,434, more than triple the number a year ago. Nevada and Colorado had the largest percentage gains.

Imagine for a moment Bush and Cheney going before Congress and having to defend their war in Iraq, deficit creating tax cuts, a corrupt Attorney General, failures at FEMA, failures in the intelligence agencies, failures in the war in Iraq, failures are Water Reed etc. It's what our democracy needs....accountability. God knows the press has been in very deep slumber.

April 20, 2007

White House insiders: Gonzales hurt himself

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Several administration officials and the House Republican Conference chairman said Friday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should step down, following the harsh response to his Senate testimony on last year's firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Gonzales for hours Thursday about the dismissals.

The attorney general has been roundly criticized for his handling of the shakeup and for the shifting explanations Justice Department officials have given for the changes. (Watch how pressure on Gonzales to resign is growing Video)

Gonzales said more than 60 times that he "couldn't recall" certain incidents. His former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, used that explanation 122 times during his testimony weeks ago.

There's a certain amount of iron to all this. GOP senators have no problem asking the AG to resign because he's incompetent, but few in government dare tell the president to resign for the same reason. Why is that?

April 20, 2007

Coburn Tells AG to Resign

Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers challenged the embattled attorney general during an often-bitter five-hour hearing before the Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers confronted Gonzales with documents and sworn testimony they said showed he was more involved in the dismissals than he contended.

"The best way to put this behind us is your resignation," Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma bluntly told Gonzales, one GOP conservative to another.

April 20, 2007

Doolittle resigns from Appropriations Committee after FBI raid

Less than a week after the FBI raided the Northern Virginia home of his wife, Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.) gave up his coveted seat on the House Appropriations Committee yesterday amid concerns that he had used that post to advance the interests of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and other allies.

Doolittle's wife, Julie, operates Sierra Dominion Financial Services Inc. out of the couple's home in Oakton. Since 2005, a Justice Department task force has been looking into payments made by Abramoff and other lobbyists to Doolittle's wife and the spouses of other lawmakers. The couple's house was raided last Friday, the same day that Doolittle's former legislative director, Kevin Ring, abruptly resigned as a lobbyist for Barnes & Thornburg. Ring had been an intermediary in Abramoff's hiring of Julie Doolittle's firm as a fundraiser for a charity the lobbyist had founded.

Doolittle also helped steer millions of dollars in military funding to one of the defense contractors tied to the bribery case of former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).

April 19, 2007

Top deputy tells Wolfowitz to step down

A deputy to Paul Wolfowitz urged the World Bank chief to resign in the interests of the institution during a meeting of the bank's management, sources who participated in the meeting said.

World Bank Managing Director Graeme Wheeler, a bank veteran named by Wolfowitz as one of his two deputies a year ago, raised the issue at a meeting of the bank's vice presidents.

Wheeler, a former World Bank treasurer who joined the bank from the New Zealand treasury, is widely respected in the institution.

He was one of the first career staffers Wolfowitz brought into his management team after he took the helm of the bank in 2005 and came under fire for surrounding himself with people he brought with him from the Pentagon and White House.

We have a lot of polls to look at so here there are. Things look good from Democrats on many fronts but most Americans still don't see them doing much. If they want to extend to lead in the next election they have to get on the ball. There's only a few months before the next election cycle gets into full gear and when that happens, nothing will get done.

April 19, 2007

Solid Poll Numbers For Pelosi, Reid

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) drew relatively high approval ratings as they passed their 100-day mark as leaders of their chambers, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Pelosi had a job approval rating of 53 percent, according to the nationwide survey of 1,141 adults. That's about where she was in January just after becoming speaker.

Reid came away with 46 percent approving of his leadership of the Senate and 33 percent disapproving.

April 19, 2007

Poll: Support for the Iraq war deteriorates

Republicans and Democrats see the conflict much differently, according to the poll. More than 90 percent of Democrats oppose the war, compared to 24 percent of Republicans. In contrast, four years ago, 55 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of Republicans supported the war.

That partisan divide stands in stark contrast to the nation's last bitterly divisive war, a generation ago in Vietnam.

In 1971, when public opposition to the war in Vietnam was about the same as today's opposition to the Iraq war, both Democrats and Republicans opposed the conflict in nearly equal percentages. At the time, Republican Richard Nixon was in the White House, managing a war he inherited from the Democratic Kennedy-Johnson administration.

This time around, Bush finds himself living with the fallout from his own decision to invade Iraq. Most of his fellow Republicans remain supportive, but his policy has very little backing among Democrats.

April 17, 2007

Poll: Americans trust Dems on Iraq, 54%-33%

Democrats appear to be standing on firm political ground, as they work toward a final bill. A Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,141 adults, conducted April 12-15, found that 58 percent trusted the Democrats in Congress to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq, compared with 33 percent who trusted Bush.

Pessimism about the war has continued to grow. For the first time, a narrow majority of Americans, 51 percent, said the United States will lose the battle, compared with 35 percent who said the United States will win.

April 19, 2007

Almost 200 die in one of Baghdad's bloodiest days

Car bombs killed almost 200 people in Baghdad today in the deadliest attacks in the city since US and Iraqi forces launched a security crackdown aimed at halting the country's slide into civil war.

One car bomb in the mainly Shiite Sadriya neighbourhood killed 140 people and wounded 150, police said, making it the worst insurgent bomb attack in Baghdad since the US-led invasion in 2003.

"The street was transformed into a swimming pool of blood," said Ahmed Hameed, a shopkeeper near the scene.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking in Tel Aviv on a visit to the region, called the bombings "horrifying" and indicated Sunni Islamist al Qaeda was to blame.

The apparently coordinated attacks - there were four within a short space of time - occurred hours after Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said Iraq would take security control of the whole country from foreign forces by the end of the year.

Over three thousands civilian deaths since the surge started. Nasty.

April 14, 2007

U.S. troop deaths up 21 percent in Iraq

And the sweeps have taken a heavy toll on U.S. forces: Deaths among American soldiers climbed 21 percent in Baghdad compared with the previous two months.

Figures compiled by the AP from Iraqi police reports show that 1,586 civilians were killed in Baghdad between the start of the offensive and Thursday.

That represents a sharp drop from the 2,871 civilians who died violently in the capital during the two months that preceded the security crackdown.

Outside the capital, 1,504 civilians were killed between Feb. 14 and Thursday, compared with 1,009 deaths during the two previous months, the figures show.

Democrats who voted for Alito and Roberts are equally guilty. When there are enough Dems to stop a filibuster in the Senate we can put our energy into getting rid of weak Democrats who vote for the conservative agenda.

The Dems who voted for Alito and Roberts are listed in the left hand Column of this Impeach Bush website.

The life of the mother is meaningless to these right wing fascists on the court (and the Democrats who helped put them there).

April 18, 2007

Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2007 — For the first time today a sharply divided Supreme Court has upheld a ban on a specific abortion procedure.

In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court upheld the partial-birth abortion ban that President Bush signed into law in 2003.

Kennedy wrote that the ban did not pose "an undue burden on a woman's right to abortion" and that it furthered the government's legitimate interest in promoting "respect for life, including life of the unborn."

A sharply written dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that the court's decision "deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety."

Ginsburg, joined by the three other liberal justices, said the court's "hostility" to the abortion right guaranteed by Roe was "not concealed."

Today's decision will come as a devastating blow to abortion-rights activists who accuse conservatives of attempting to chip away at a woman's right to an abortion.

People for the American Way, a liberal activist group, released a statement saying, "The replacement of moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor with ultraconservative Justice Samuel Alito has brought the Court to the brink of judicial disaster."

April 17, 2007

White House Should Be Able To Recover Millions of Deleted Email

WASHINGTON - The White House should be able to recover an undetermined number of e-mails - perhaps millions of messages - that accidentally disappeared from its servers during a program conversion, an administration official said Monday.

"We are aware that there could have been some e-mails that were not automatically archived because of a technical issue," said White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino.

"But given the complex nature of this issue, it might take us a little while to identify those. We do, however, know that most - all of those e-mails should be available on backup tapes. And so we'll continue to look at it."

This issue is separate from the White House acknowledgment that aides to President Bush have improperly used e-mail accounts created by the Republican Party to conduct official White House business, and that an undetermined number of these e-mails have been lost.

Obama will be the next president. With all the money the Clinton's raised during their eight years in office they should be old pros at this, but the new comer beat them. I can't imagine a scenario where Clinton would win the nomination...and if she did, I wouldn't vote for anyone.

Senator Clinton waited until after the polls turned against the war before she had the courage to speak out against it. Her vote for the war was forgivable but her support for the war after it was known it was based on lies is unforgeable.

April 15, 2007

Obama Raised More than Clinton: $24.8 Million to $19 Million

Clinton, the senator from New York, raised $19 million for the primary election, trailing Obama, who collected $24.8 million in donations for the primary.

The first quarter financial reports established Clinton and Obama as the undisputed money leaders of the Democratic field, a significant but not determining factor in politics. The reports also show that as a group, Democratic presidential candidates out raised Republicans by a margin of eight to five.

People who get their news primarily from the morning news shows, Fox and network news score very low. The corporate owned media has done a very good job dumbing down the country. The networks, working with Fox are leading the way in creating a population of uninformed idiots.

If you want to know what's going on, you have to move away from network news and Fox News.

April 15, 2007

What Americans Know: 1989-2007

FigureWell-informed audiences come from cable (Daily Show/Colbert Report, O'Reilly Factor), the internet (especially major newspaper websites), broadcast TV (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer) and radio (NPR, Rush Limbaugh's program). The less informed audiences also frequent a mix of formats: broadcast television (network morning news shows, local news), cable (Fox News Channel), and the internet (online blogs where people discuss news events).

Aside from news media use, demographic characteristics, especially education, continue to be strongly associated with how much Americans know about the larger world. However, despite the fact that education levels have risen dramatically over the past 20 years, public knowledge has not increased accordingly.

April 17, 2007

World Publics Reject US Role as the World Leader

graph2.pngThis is the fourth in a series of reports based on a worldwide poll about key international issues conducted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org, in cooperation with polling organizations around the world. The larger study includes polls in China , India, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, France, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Israel and Armenia—plus the Palestinian territories.

The publics polled represent about 56 percent of the world's population. Not all questions were asked in all countries.

Majorities in all 15 of the publics polled about the United States' role in the world reject the idea that "as the sole remaining superpower, the US should continue to be the preeminent world leader in solving international problems." However majorities in only two publics (Argentina and the Palestinian territories) say that the United States "should withdraw from most efforts to solve international problems." The preferred view in all of the other cases is that the United States "should do its share in efforts to solve international problems together with other countries."

April 15, 2007

Anti Bush Journalist Charlie Savage Awarded Pulitzer Prize

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
Bush could bypass new torture ban
Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement
Cheney aide is screening legislation
Civil rights hiring shifted in Bush era
Military lawyers see limits on trial input
Bush cites authority to bypass FEMA law
Hail to the chief
3 GOP senators blast Bush bid to bypass torture ban
Two lawmakers demand Bush obey laws
3 Democrats slam president over defying statutes
Bar group will review Bush's legal challenges
Senators renew call for hearings on signing statements
Senator considers suit over Bush law challenge
Bill-signing statements seen as vehicles to bypass laws, ABA panel finds
Specter takes step to halt Bush signing statements
ABA urges halt to `signing statements'
Bush signings called effort to expand power
Democrats pledge to scrutinize Justice's civil rights arm
Bush vs. Congress

April 16, 2007

U.S. Foreclosures Double as Refinancing Gets Tougher

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- The number of U.S. homes entering foreclosure in the first quarter doubled from a year earlier as property prices stagnated and owners struggled to refinance mortgages.

Owners of 168,829 homes in the first three months of 2007 received notice that lenders had filed for foreclosure due to failure to pay loans or liens, Foreclosures.com said today in a statement. That compares with 83,154 homes in the same period of 2006, the Sacramento, California-based research firm said.

A four-year high in mortgage payment delinquencies and the failure or sale of 50 subprime mortgage companies, which provide loans to people with poor or limited credit histories, have made credit less available. The inability of homeowners to refinance their debt has added to the rise in foreclosures.

An Impeachable Offense
April 16, 2007

Conservatives to Bush: Fire Gonzales

The two-page letter, written on stationery of the American Freedom Agenda, a recently formed body designed to promote conservative legal principles, is blunt. Addressed to both Bush and Gonzales, it goes well beyond the U.S. attorneys controversy and details other alleged failings by Gonzales. "Mr. Gonzales has presided over an unprecedented crippling of the Constitution's time-honored checks and balances," it declares. "He has brought rule of law into disrepute, and debased honesty as the coin of the realm." Alluding to ongoing scandal, it notes: "He has engendered the suspicion that partisan politics trumps evenhanded law enforcement in the Department of Justice."

The letter concludes by saying, "Attorney General Gonzales has proven an unsuitable steward of the law and should resign for the good of the country... The President should accept the resignation, and set a standard to which the wise and honest might repair in nominating a successor..." It is the first public demand by a group of conservatives for Gonzales' firing. Signatories to the letter include Bruce Fein, a former senior official in the Reagan Justice Department, who has worked frequently with current Administration and the Republican National Committee to promote Bush's court nominees; David Keene, chairman of the influential American Conservative Union, one of the nation's oldest and largest grassroots conservative groups; Richard Viguerie, a well-known G.O.P. direct mail expert and fundraiser; and Bob Barr, the former Republican Congressman from Georgia and free speech advocate, as well as John Whitehead, head of the Rutherford Institute, a conservative non-profit active in fighting for what it calls religious freedoms.

An Impeachable Offense
April 15, 2007

WH Lie: Firings caused by failure to pursue voter fraud

When the public first learned about the firing of eight United States attorneys, administration officials piously declared that many of the prosecutors had ill served the public by failing to aggressively pursue voter fraud cases (against Democrats, naturally). But the more we examine this issue, the more ludicrous those claims seem.

Last week, we learned that the administration edited a government-ordered report on voter fraud to support its fantasy. The original version concluded that among experts "there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud." But the publicly released version said, "There is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud." It's hard to see that as anything but a deliberate effort to mislead the public.

Sound familiar? In President Bush's first term, a White House official, who had been the oil industry's front man in trying to discredit the science of global warming, repeatedly edited government reports to play down links between climate change and greenhouse gases. And then there was the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which turned reports on old, dubious and false tales about weapons of mass destruction into warnings of clear, present and supposedly mortal dangers.

April 15, 2007

Gonzales' written statement

While I firmly believe that these dismissals were appropriate, I have equal conviction that the process by which these U.S. Attorneys were asked to resign could have – and should have – been handled differently.

I made mistakes in not ensuring that these U.S. Attorneys received more dignified treatment. Others within the Department of Justice also made mistakes. As far as I know, these were honest mistakes of perception and judgment and not intentional acts of misconduct. The American public needs to know of the good faith and dedication of those who serve them at the Department of Justice.

April 15, 2007

Soros Condemns Israeli Lobby

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The billionaire investor George Soros has added his voice to a heated but little-noticed debate over the role of Israel's powerful lobby in shaping Washington policy in a way critics say hurts U.S. national interests and stifles debate.

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros takes issue with "the pervasive influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)" in Washington and says the Bush administration's close ties with Israel are obstacles to a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Soros, who is Jewish but not often engaged in Israel affairs, echoed arguments that have fueled a passionate debate conducted largely in the rarefied world of academia, foreign policy think tanks and parts of the U.S. Jewish community.

The long-simmering debate bubbled to the surface a year ago, when two prominent academics, Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, published a 12,500-word essay entitled "The Israel Lobby" and featuring the fiercest criticism of AIPAC since it was founded in 1953.

AIPAC now has more than 100,000 members and is rated one of the most influential special interest groups in the United States, its political clout comparable with such lobbies as the National Rifle Association.

April 14, 2007

Vets are home and homeless

Three years ago, when he returned from Iraq and a stint in the U.S. Army, Herold Noel thought he'd be treated as a hero. Instead, he faced a series of degradations, including learning he was ineligible for public-housing assistance.

That's when Noel went back to the red Jeep that had become his home at night. That's when Noel -- fueled by alcohol -- took out a gun. That's when Noel fired the bullet intended to pierce his skull and kill himself instantly.

Noel misfired, then passed out. When he woke up, he realized what had happened.

April 14, 2007

Israeli army suspends commander after using Palestinians as human shields

The Israeli army says it has suspended a commander after the unit he led was accused of using Palestinians as human shields in a West Bank raid.

Amateur video footage shot earlier this week showed Israeli soldiers apparently forcing Palestinians to stand in front of their armoured jeep.

Israeli law forbids the military from using human shields.

The Israeli army said it was investigating the incident, which reportedly took place in Nablus.

An Impeachable Offense
April 15, 2007

Divided Iraq has two spy agencies

From its conception, Shahwani's agency has antagonized Iraq's new Shiite elite. In September 2004, his men arrested at least 50 members of a Shiite party in southern Iraq called Hezbollah — which is not linked to the Lebanese group of that name — and detained them for several months. In the same period, Shahwani accused one of the country's main Shiite political parties, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, of being on Iran's payroll and blamed its militia for the deaths of 10 of his agents.

Shahwani's service "is funded completely by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, not by the Iraqi government," a U.S. military official said on condition of anonymity. "U.S. funding for the INIS amounts to $3 billion over a three-year period that started in 2004."

Bush screwed up so another institution needs to be gutted. We've heard that song before -first with intelligence, then disaster relief, then... The problem is Bush, not Walter Reed.

Besides, we're broke...we can't afford any new hospitals. We have $8.8 trillion of debt already and republicans aren't willing to raise taxes to pay for anything.

April 15, 2007

Review urges Walter Reed closure

WASHINGTON - A top-level review panel appointed by the Pentagon has concluded that Walter Reed Army Medical Center should be closed as soon as possible, following revelations of poor care that the panel blamed on a "perfect storm" of failed leadership, flawed policies and overwhelming casualties.

In a preliminary report released last week, the panel recommended accelerating the closure of the hospital in northwest Washington. Under decisions made two years ago, the hospital's facilities already were due to move to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., by 2011.

Real wages adjusted for inflation peaked in 1972. Wages rose substantially during the Clinton years after falling sharply during the Reagan year but even after the huge growth in wagers under Clinton we never regained the lost wages under Reagan. Since Bush has been in office wage growth has been nearly dead in the water. (source: Economic Report of the President 2007).

April 15, 2007

Poll: The Middle Class Squeeze

(CBS) The last few years have seen economic gains for the wealthiest Americans, at least in part resulting from tax cuts and investment gains, and many Americans are living well — buying large homes, expensive cars and luxury products. But has any of this wealth trickled down to the middle class?

According to the latest CBS News Poll, most Americans — and most of those with mid-range incomes — don't think so; instead, many think the middle class has experienced tougher times. 59% think that life for middle class Americans has gotten worse in the last 10 years. Just 30% think it's gotten better.

54% of those with incomes of $30,000 to $75,000 (44% of those who describe themselves as "middle class" have incomes in this range) concur that life has indeed gotten worse for the middle class.

After being told the US was going to be attacked what did Bush do...he passed tax cuts.

An Impeachable Offense
April 16, 2007

French knew of al-Qaida plot

PARIS - A French intelligence service learned as early as January 2001 that al-Qaida was working on a plot to hijack U.S. airliners, and it passed the information on to the CIA, a news report said Monday.

France's Le Monde newspaper said it had obtained 328 pages of classified documents on Osama bin Laden's terror network that were drawn up by the French foreign intelligence service, the DGSE, between July 2000 and October 2001.

Will the media ever grasp the scope of what Bush has done in Iraq? Four million people displaced because Bush went to war for no reason...and they still let him get away with it.

April 16, 2007

UN conference to spotlight huge Iraqi exodus

GENEVA (AFP) - A UN conference opening on Tuesday will try to boost support for Iraqis who have fled violence, amid warnings that the growing refugee crisis could cost billions and drive a wedge between Iraq's religious communities.

Up to 50,000 people are fleeing their homes every month in Iraq, more than any other country in the world, according to aid agencies.

"We're talking about four million people who are uprooted," said Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which called the two-day conference of senior officials from 60 nations.

In my opinion the gun nuts had a chance to show us what they're made of after 911. They could have joined the military (by the millions) and we'd have all the troops we could possible want. The fact that they refused to fight for their country tells me they don't believe in the Second Amendment. Gun nuts are hypocrites who should stop hiding behind the Second because they like playing with guns.

April 17, 2007

Fear of U.S.-style massacre resonates in Asia

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The U.S. shooting massacre in Virginia resonated across Asia on Tuesday with Australia rejecting the negative "gun culture" in America and the anti-gun lobby in the Philippines saying it feared similar carnage.

Prime Minister John Howard said tough Australian gun laws introduced after a mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996 had prevented the U.S. gun culture emerging in his country.

In contrast the anti-gun lobby in the Philippines, nicknamed "The Wild West of Asia" because of the public's love affair with firearms, fears a U.S.-style massacre.

China, meanwhile, faces a growing problem of home-made guns, particularly amongst its rural poor.

April 15, 2007

Shiite cleric calls for resignations: Iraq PM job threatened

Two officials close to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said his followers would quit their six Cabinet posts Monday — a move that could leave Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's already weak administration without enough support to stay in power.

And in a rare gesture of dissent from America's partners in Baghdad, dozens of Iraqi policemen demonstrated in front of their station, accusing U.S. troops of treating them like "animals" and "slaves."

Abstinence programs were a way for Bush to spend tax dollars to reward religious nuts for their vote. The fact that there were no facts supporting the program is irrelevant. The religious right exists for the sole purpose of generation money - either from individuals or government.

Now that the program doesn't work...will Bush ask for it to be dismantaled? Not a chance...making government fail is what he does best; first on 911, then with WMD intelligence, then FEMA and Katrina, then the military, then Walter Reed, then....

The sad fact is that after Bush fails (after 911 and Katrina) entire agencies are forced to close down and new agencies are created. It never occurred to the media or the GOP that the problem wasn't government but the man mismanaging the government.

When we get rid of Bush most of our other problems will go away also.

April 16, 2007

Abstinence students still having sex

WASHINGTON - Students who participated in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex a few years later as those who did not, according to a long-awaited study mandated by Congress.

Also, those who attended one of the four abstinence classes reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes, and they first had sex at about the same age as their control group counterparts — 14.9 years, according to Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education. Critics have repeatedly said they don't believe the programs are working, and the study will give them reinforcement.

An Impeachable Offense
April 16, 2007

Justice Department's Independence 'Shattered,'

Since the day he arrived at the Department of Justice in February 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has "shattered" the department's tradition of independence and politicized its operation more than any other attorney general in more than 30 years.

Q: In your view, what needs to be done to repair the department?

A: Based upon my experience, it's very hard to imagine how the department can viably move forward now without a Watergate-style repair. By that I mean the appointment of a new attorney general, one who by reputation, background and temperament is well-suited to at least begin the process of restoring the department's previous reputation for political independence and the reliably even-handed administration of justice.

April 15, 2007

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

GOP candidates will talk about cutting taxes instead of dealing with real problems like global warming. For whatever reason they seem utterly incapable of living with the real world. When Bush passed his tax cut in 2001 we already had $5.7 trillion of debt. When confronted with this enormous problem, what was his solution...create more debt with a tax cut.

In 2000 and 2001 the US media let him lie us about surpluses, deficits and balanced budgets. He later developed a flair for lying about everything else; from the number of stem cells lines available for research, to a fake threat to our national security (using fake intelligence).

While Bush was lying to us, the US media remained in a deep slumber.

April 15, 2007

Ex-generals: Global warming threatens U.S. security

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming poses a "serious threat to America's national security" and the U.S. likely will be dragged into fights over water and other shortages, top retired military leaders warn in a new report.

The report says that in the next 30 to 40 years there will be wars over water, increased hunger instability from worsening disease and rising sea levels and global warming-induced refugees. "The chaos that results can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide and the growth of terrorism," the 35-page report predicts.

"Climate change exacerbates already unstable situations," former U.S. Army chief of staff Gordon Sullivan told Associated Press Radio. "Everybody needs to start paying attention to what's going on. I don't think this is a particularly hard sell in the Pentagon. ... We're paying attention to what those security implications are."

Wolfowitz personally saw to it that his girlfriend received a massive pay raise but it's all an honest mistake? In what world do these people live in? Oz?

An Impeachable Offense
April 14, 2007

Wolfowitz: Confusion, not corruption

More than 100 pages of documents show that on Mr Wolfowitz's personal direction his girlfriend was given increases that took her annual pay package to nearly $200,000 (£101,000) when she was reassigned from the World Bank to the US State Department. Ms Riza remained on the payroll during her external assignment, which was to forestall any conflicts of interest. But they also show the difficult position that Mr Wolfowitz faced when he took charge of the Bank on June 1, 2005.

We've now entered an era of overkill. Nearly everything that's coming out of this White House either proves they lied under oath or committed crimes. But, regardless of how heinous the crimes, the Democratic Congress refuses to put impeachment back on the table.

An Impeachable Offense
April 13, 2007

Email shows GOP Attorney Replacements

WASHINGTON, April 13 — A Justice Department e-mail message released on Friday shows that the former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales proposed replacement candidates for United States attorneys nearly a year before they were dismissed in December 2006. The department has repeatedly stated that no successors were selected before the dismissals.

The Jan. 9, 2006, e-mail message, written by D. Kyle Sampson, who resigned last month as the top aide to Mr. Gonzales, identified five Bush administration officials, most of them Justice Department employees, whose names were sent to the White House for consideration as possible replacements for prosecutors slated for dismissal.

Democrats are doing everything in their power to run out the clock so they can say there's not enough time to impeach. The reason is simple - they supported a war based on lies and impeachment will expose their under bellies and utter incompetence. In the mean-time Bush continues to get away with breaking one law after another as they sit back and do nothing. Vote for Democrats if you think criminal behavior should be rewarded.

April 13, 2007

Impeach - Time is Running Out

The Washington Post editorial page has become a virtual Bush administration megaphone. ABC, CNN, CBS and NBC -- all the corporate-owned television news outlets -- gleefully and zealously parroted the administration's dishonest and despicable slander campaign regarding Speaker Pelosi's recent visit to Syria...complete with ignoring the visit by a Congressional Republican delegation. There is even a newspaper in Georgia that is running an unpaid serialized column written by a General in Iraq. That is Soviet-style propaganda, pure and simple. But what does it mean?

What it means is that Democracy in the United States is under attack like never before.

Time is running out for the Democrats. The corporate-owned media has made their move...they've gone "all in" on the bet that when the Iraq War smoke clears, the Republicans will be the only Party left standing.

Impeach!

April 13, 2007

US military pays out $45m for war deaths

WASHINGTON: The US military has paid at least $US33 million ($NZ45m) to civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan for wrongful deaths and injuries, the Army said after some of the claims were made public.

Civilians have said relatives were run over by tanks, shot dead at checkpoints or killed by stray bullets, according to claims that provided a glimpse of the hazards civilians faced as the United States and its allies battled insurgents in the two countries.

Of 500 claims obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under an open government law, 200 were denied because the incident took place in combat situations – for example, a 16-year-old Baghdad youth killed by a US sniper who mistook his schoolbag for a dangerous object.

Rove admits he deleted email. The RNC admits they deleted email. The White House admits it deleted email and it's highly likely some of these email were official presidential papers protected by law. But, now we're being asked to believe it was all a mistake.

I'm the first to admit this is the most mistake-prone administration in history. In fact I'm sure most Americans have concluded this entire White House is filled with babbling baboons. But, when we have countless "mistakes" and all these mistakes violate the law, is becomes a pattern - a patter of criminal behavior. Besides, they always tell us ignorance of the law is never an excuse. This WH always has excuses, but it never has a valid defense.

An Impeachable Offense
April 13, 2007

Lawyer: Rove Didn't Mean to Delete Email

Karl Rove's lawyer on Friday dismissed the notion that President Bush's chief political adviser intentionally deleted his own e-mails from a Republican-sponsored server, saying Rove believed the communications were being preserved in accordance with the law.

New documents released Friday by the Justice Department may shed additional light, but their release prompted Gonzales' one-time chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, to postpone a closed-door interview with congressional investigators.

The missing e-mails posed some of the weightiest questions of a sprawling political and legal conflict between the Bush administration and Democrats in Congress.

Democrats are questioning whether any White House officials purposely sent e-mails about official business on the RNC server - then deleted them, in violation of the law - to avoid scrutiny.

White House officials say they can't answer that question, but they say the administration is making an honest effort to recover any lost e-mails.

April 13, 2007

Fat Cat CEOs Strike Back at Congress

The 160 corporate CEOs who make up the Business Roundtable -- the nation's single most influential business lobbying group -- don't appear to think so. The Business Roundtable is currently leading the corporate charge against congressional efforts to legislate new checks on executive compensation.

CEOs in the Business Roundtable do have one more reason -- unmentioned in Castellani's testimony -- to feel comfortable with today's executive pay status quo. They're making out like bandits.

In 2006, Business Roundtable execs took home paychecks that added up to a $9.9 million median. The comparable take-home for major corporate CEOs overall, according to just-released Wall Street Journal data: only $6.5 million.

Business Roundtable chief executives are doing even better compared to average Americans. In 2006, the CEOs who belong to the Business Roundtable saw their pay jump 10.6 percent, nearly three times more than the average wage increase of 3.7 percent that went to typical U.S. white-collar workers.

911 and the war on terror are campaign slogans for the GOP and nothing more. Every story you hear or read about terrorism is a free ad for the republican party. The media can't help itself. They know it's all a lie but they can't stop themselves.

April 13, 2007

Endless war, endless spin: GOP keeps lying about Iraq

Now at last, they seem to be saying, we've finally got it right. The war is lost. It was lost before it started. It is immoral and it was immoral before it started. The Republicans running for re-election know the public is fed up with the war but they are caught in recycled old rhetoric and cannot slip out of it.

More disturbing, however, are the arguments being advanced by the three musketeers who are the major Republican candidates. They are still spinning the war in Iraq as the real war on terror. Rudy Giuliani seems eager to take on Iran. That might not be fair to Alexander Dumas' gallant warriors. Perhaps they should be compared to the "see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil" trio of simians.

If the jingoistic militarism of the candidates persists for another year, the public will have to choose between support for a war it doesn't like anymore and the charge that it is cowardly and traitorous. It seems unlikely that this "framing" of the issue could win the election. But in the last couple of decades, American voters have been erratic in their responses to the constant spinning of slogans and fallacies, and especially those spun by the words "Sept. 11, 2001."

We desperately need a congress that cares more about individuals than special interest groups that help rewrite bankruptcy laws.

April 13, 2007

Bankruptcy Laws Contributing to Foreclosure Epidemic

Bankruptcy law changes are needed if hundreds of thousands of American families struggling with abusive subprime mortgages are going to escape foreclosure and the loss of up to $164 billion in home-based wealth, according to a joint call for Congressional action issued by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

The joint statement recommends a wide range of specific bankruptcy law changes, including the following:

• End the Bankruptcy Code's special treatment of home mortgage loans.
• Remove time-consuming credit counseling requirements.
• Curb excessive fees during bankruptcy.
• End mandatory arbitration in bankruptcy.
• Create a minimum homestead exemption for the elderly.
• Amend chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.