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Impeach Bush--Index 55

40% of troops support torturing POWs. What more do we have to say about these animals?

As I see it there are three problems; overworked and corrupt soldiers, underworked and corrupt generals and a Commander in Chief who's oblivious to what's going on. The Sec. of Defense (while new) is also partially to blame. He says he has all the soldiers he needs and that's patently false.

An Impeachable Offense
May 5, 2007

Study finds lapses in battlefield ethics

WASHINGTON - In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.

"It is disappointing," said analyst John Pike of the Globalsecurity.org think tank. "But anybody who is surprised by it doesn't understand war. ... This is about combat stress."

May 5, 2007

Transportation Department Lost 100,000 Records

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees.

Authorities realized Thursday the hard drive was missing from a controlled area at TSA headquarters. TSA Administrator Kip Hawley sent a letter to employees Friday apologizing for the lost data and promising to pay for one year of credit monitoring services.

"TSA has no evidence that an unauthorized individual is using your personal information, but we bring this incident to your attention so that you can be alert to signs of any possible misuse of your identity," Hawley wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press. "We profoundly apologize for any inconvenience and concern that this incident has caused you."

This is a tough call. Did DOJ begin the investigation because Goodling broke the law or because the Congress gave her immunity so she could testify against the AG?

An Impeachable Offense
May 4, 2007

Goodling's Lawyers Protest Justice Department Probe Revelation

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for former U.S. Justice Department aide Monica Goodling protested the agency's announcement of an internal investigation into whether she improperly considered the political affiliation of applicants to be prosecutors.

Goodling, 33, who resigned last month as an aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination to refuse to tell Congress about her role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

Her Washington lawyers, John Dowd and Jeffrey King, said in a letter they are disturbed that the Justice Department revealed the inquiry eight days after a House committee voted to compel Goodling's testimony by authorizing a grant of limited immunity from prosecution.

May 4, 2007

Projectile Bomb Attacks Hit Record High in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Attacks in Iraq involving lethal weapons that U.S. officials say are made in Iran hit a record high last month, despite efforts to crack down on networks supplying the armor-piercing weapons known as explosively formed projectiles, according to a senior U.S. commander.

The number of attacks with the projectiles rose to 65 in April, said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who oversees day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq. "The overwhelming majority" were in predominantly Shiite eastern Baghdad, Odierno said in an interview this week. Officials have said the projectiles are used almost exclusively by Shiite fighters against U.S. military targets.

The growing use of the projectiles is a major concern for American commanders because the weapons are powerful enough to punch through the heaviest U.S. armored vehicles, including the Abrams tank. As a result, the weapons are far more lethal than other roadside bombs, and have been a factor in keeping U.S. troop casualties from dropping despite improvements in the military's ability to detect and defeat roadside bombs.

May 4, 2007

Bush's deputy security adviser resigns

WASHINGTON - Public support for them Iraq war is low. Lawmakers are battling the White House over money to pay for the combat. Suicide bombings continue in Baghdad.

Despite it all, J.D. Crouch, who is stepping down from his national security post at the White House, is confident history will prove that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.

Crouch, who has been President Bush's deputy national security adviser for more than two years, said the president never will be swayed by opposition to the war. Instead, Crouch said, Bush will use his resolve to help convince a broad section of Americans that it's important to be in Iraq.

May 3, 2007

General Motors profit plunges 90 per cent

Washington - General Motors Corporation Thursday reported a 90 per cent drop in first quarter profits, drained down by the slump in its mortgage branch.

Net income dropped to 62 million dollars from 602 million dollars in the same period last year, the Detroit automaker said. Revenues were down 16 per cent to 43.9 billion dollars.

The overall slump in the US mortgage market has seen many borrowers overextended and unable to keep up with payments, resulting in a domino effect throughout the industry. The increasing number of loans to high risk lenders is coming under scrutiny by the government and consumer groups.

May 2, 2007

World's major economies no longer depend on America

It's because of two great decouplings that have occurred in recent years. First, the rest of the worlds' major economies have decoupled from the United States economy. China, India, Japan, and Europe are now such large markets they can grow briskly even as America slows.

Second, America's largest corporations have decoupled from the United States. Their overseas subsidiaries are booming even as their American operations stagnate. General Electric expects more than half its revenue this year to come from outside the United States for the first time. More than half of Boeing's new orders are from overseas. Ford is struggling in America but doing well in Europe.

In other words, the president's supply-side tax cuts are great for America's global investors, who have been investing their extra money around the world -- either in foreign companies or in global American-based ones.

Posted May 2007

Coughlin and O'Reilly Propaganda Study

Prominent bad role-players and reasons

picture-2 (12K)

I live in a region where fish are dying by the hundreds of thousands. No one knows for sure but most likely because of low oxygen supplies caused by too much snow or not enough water after years of drought. Truck loads of dead fish are still being removed from area lakes.

May 3, 2007

Honeybee Die-Off Threatens U.S. Food Supply

BELTSVILLE, Md. (May 3) - Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet.

Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have. Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.

In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinate plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Americans have clearly had their fill of republican politics and they're NOT staying with the Democrats

Dems have shown they not willing to take risks...not willing to do what's hard...not willing to confront Bush or stop his war even though everyone in the country knows his war was based on lies. If it wasn't so pathetic it'd be funny.

May 2, 2007

Number of Republicans in U.S. Hits New Low

The number of people identifying themselves as Republicans has fallen to a new low. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 15,000 adults in April found that just 31.0% now say they belong to the Grand Old Party. That's down from 31.5% the month before and reflects a drop of more than six percentage points from the peak of 37.3% during Election 2004.

However, the survey also found a decline in the number identifying themselves as Democrats. Today, 36.5% say they belong to Nancy Pelosi's party. That's the lowest total in eleven months and represents a decline from 38.0% since the Democrats began running Congress.

As a result, the number not affiliated with either major party has jumped to an all-time high—32.4%. That's up eight percentage points since Election 2004 and means that there are now more politically unaffiliated adults than Republicans (see history).

May 2, 2007

New Documents Show Republican Involvement in U.S. Attorney Firings

WASHINGTON There's a new development in the aftermath of the firing of several U-S attorneys, including Nevada's Daniel Bogden.

The Associated Press has learned that the Justice Department is investigating whether its former White House liaison used political affiliations in deciding whom to hire as entry-level prosecutors in some U-S attorney offices around the country.

Such consideration would be a violation of federal law.

The inquiry involves Monica Goodling, a conservative Republican who recently quit as counsel and White House liaison for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. It raises new concerns that politics have cast a shadow over the independence of trial prosecutors who enforce U-S laws.

May 2, 2007

Reenlistment rate for mid-grade soldiers dropped 12%

The Army has seen the reenlistment rate of mid-grade enlisted soldiers drop 12 percentage points, from 96 percent during the first quarter of 2005 to a low of 84 percent for the first quarter of 2007, according to Pentagon data. As of March, the Army is as much as 10 percentage points behind where it was in retaining mid-grade soldiers at that time in 2005 and 2006. (The overall retention goal for mid-grade soldiers in fiscal year 2006 was about 25,000.)

Although Army officials say they will make their overall retention goals by the end of the fiscal year – in September – the decline means this will be the hardest year so far when it comes to keeping soldiers in uniform since the war in Iraq began.

How bad the problem is depends on whom you ask. To some, the trend is further proof that the war in Iraq has broken the back of the Army. Others believe it remains only an ominous warning light on the Army's collective dashboard but does not mean there is a crisis.

We have two impeachable offenses here; witness tampering and using party affiliation to fill career positions.

An Impeachable Offense
May 3, 2007

Justice probes hiring bias for Republicans

The Justice Department has launched an internal investigation into whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's former White House liaison illegally took party affiliation into account in hiring career federal prosecutors, officials said yesterday.

The allegations against Monica Goodling represent a potential violation of federal law and signal that a joint probe begun in March by the department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility has expanded beyond the controversial dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

In newly released statements, the two alleged that they were threatened by Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty's chief of staff immediately before Gonzales testified in the Senate in January.

May 3, 2007

UK General: Iraq War is Hopeless

Gen Sir Michael Rose also told the BBC's Newsnight programme that the US and the UK must "admit defeat" and stop fighting "a hopeless war" in Iraq.

He told Newsnight: "As Lord Chatham said, when he was speaking on the British presence in North America, he said 'if I was an American, as I am an Englishman, as long as one Englishman remained on American native soil, I would never, never, never lay down my arms'.

"The Iraqi insurgents feel exactly the same way."

He said it was time to bring troops home.

May 3, 2007

Senior VA officials get big bonuses

va_bonus (37K)WASHINGTON - Months after a politically embarrassing $1 billion shortfall that put veterans' health care in peril, Veterans Affairs officials involved in the foul-up got hefty bonuses ranging up to $33,000.

The list of bonuses to senior career officials at the Veterans Affairs Department in 2006, obtained by The Associated Press, documents a generous package of more than $3.8 million in payments by a financially strapped agency straining to help care for thousands of injured veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among those receiving payments were a deputy assistant secretary and several regional directors who crafted the VA's flawed budget for 2005 based on misleading accounting. They received performance payments up to $33,000 each, a figure equal to about 20 percent of their annual salaries.

These Christians say Christ is their savior, but forget he never said a single word about homosexuals. When faced with this basic fact they run to the Old Testament where they pull out obscure verses from Books like Leviticus that they don't even believe in. Anti gay Christians are not Christians and they should stop using the world of God to preach hate.

April 30, 2007

Christian groups say hate crimes legislation will make it harder for them to hate gays

Christian groups were sending out "action alerts" scaring supporters into believing that passage of the hate crimes bill, a piece of legislation that has clear First Amendment safeguards, would result in preachers arrested from the pulpit and Christians shipped off for an indefinite stay at the Hanoi Hilton.

In the words of Andrea Lafferty, executive director for the Traditional Values Coalition, "Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs." This was a fear that bared as much resemblance to fact as Dannielynn Smith does to Howard K. Stern.

There's little doubt that Bush, like Reagan promised to balance the budget while giving away tax cuts and promising to increase spending. Can anyone honestly say we didn't know they were lying?

We were told we could afford tax cuts when we already had trillions of dollars of debt - its an argument a child might use - it was the Reagan Revolution. Instead of paying our way, we've borrowed trillions of dollars from the next generation so the GOP could give tax cut to the wealthy. Reagan and Bush both did it. The GOP glorifies Reagan and still defends Bush...but with any luck these twin failures will go down in history as the worst presidents in US history.

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Balancing budget now won't solve U.S. debt woes

Let's assume that all of Bush's projections were to come true and a surplus was realized in 2012. According to his playbook, the story either ends there or reverts to the old ploy of more tax cuts. But the story neglects one detail: The national debt. During the Bush years, the debt grew from $5.7 trillion to $8.8 trillion, a 54 percent increase. By the time Bush leaves office, it'll have grown past $10 trillion. In other words, Bush will have saddled the country with almost more debt than all previous presidents combined, including Ronald Reagan, the last champion of Republican fiscal discipline.

Bush built his economic promises on two lies: That tax cuts would "generate strong revenues to the Treasury" -- demonstrably false, considering the near doubling of the national debt. And that balancing the budget was the end game. Why, then, did his administration report last week once again that Medicare and Social Security are heading for bankruptcy by 2019 and 2041 respectively, even as the administration keeps badgering Congress to make permanent the tax cuts that amplified bankruptcy? Because the true end game is to use bankruptcy as a means of ending government programs socially beneficial to tens of millions while rigging the tax code to benefit the nation's wealth and dividend class -- its richest 1 percent and overwhelming profiteers of the Bush years.

April 12, 2007

Gen. Batiste: Withdraw from civil war

"We still are playing a game of whack-a-mole," Batiste said. "It's the Myth of Sisyphus playing out over and over again… This country isn't mobilized. We don't have our heart into this… and the strategy is no more unified today than it was in March of 2003… It's time for this great country to accept the cold hard facts that we are right in the middle of an Iraqi civil war, and it is an absolute mess."

"Yes, I favor a draw-down," one of the administration's former "generals on the ground" said about congressional calls for a withdrawal of forces from Iraq… "We've got to pace ourselves and stop the Bush administration from driving us to a global culminating point.

"What we have is a failure in leadership," Batiste said today, as he had one year ago.

April 30, 2007

Has Bush Committed Impeachable Acts?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who served as the chief prosecutor of the major Nazi war criminals, called starting a war without cause the "supreme war crime" because all other war crimes flow from it.

Although the Bush administration uses the language of war, such as "War on Terrorism," it insisted that the prisoners captured in Afghanistan were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions because they did not wear uniforms. President Bush's attorney called the Geneva Conventions "quaint." However, the same administration claimed a right to detain these prisoners indefinitely without any kind of hearing on the grounds that prisoners of war can be detained without hearing until the war ends. President Bush uses the international law of warfare selectively, saying it applies when it suits his purposes but does not apply when it does not suit his purposes.

My conclusion: It is the political will to impeach, not the legal grounds, that we lack.

May 1, 2007

Ex-Republican aide guilty of election fraud

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The former executive director of the Allen County Republican Party pleaded guilty to election fraud charges, admitting he forged the signatures of 11 candidates on election forms.

Douglas T. Foy, 41, of Fort Wayne, faces three years of probation under terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty Monday in Allen Superior Court to 11 felony counts of forging the names of nine township advisory board and two trustee-assessor candidates last year.

The Allen County Election Board removed the candidates from the ballot on the grounds that the signatures were not legitimate, and the county GOP chairman fired Foy over his actions.

What's happened to the "home of the free? and will republicans ever stand up against this White House and demand Bush's impeachment? What the hell are they waiting for?

An Impeachable Offense
April 28, 2007

America's war on tourists

In a recent poll of international travelers, commissioned by Discover America Partnership, a coalition of US tourist organisations, 70 per cent of respondents said they feared US officials more than terrorists or criminals. Another 66 per cent worried they would be detained for some minor blunder, such as wrongly filling out an official form or being mistaken for a terrorist, while 55 per cent say officials are "rude."

Such fears are fuelled by the horror stories. Earlier this year a friend of mine was detained for hours and strip-searched at LAX for a minor visa infraction. He was finally allowed to enter the US, on the condition he departed the next day. "I won't be coming back," he said.

If anyone in Congress thinks they can trust Bush on any issue they're delusional. The reason he gets away with breaking our laws is simple; the US Supreme Court and the Congress let him.

Congress should immediately sue Bush and ask for a hearing before the Court to stop this lawlessness.

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Administration Withdraws Pledge - will not seek warrants

WASHINGTON, May 1 — Senior Bush administration officials told Congress on Tuesday that they could not pledge that the administration would continue to seek warrants from a secret court for a domestic wiretapping program, as it agreed to do in January.

Rather, they argued that the president had the constitutional authority to decide for himself whether to conduct surveillance without warrants.

As a result of the January agreement, the administration said that the National Security Agency's domestic spying program has been brought under the legal structure laid out in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires court-approved warrants for the wiretapping of American citizens and others inside the United States.

But on Tuesday, the senior officials, including Michael McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, said they believed that the president still had the authority under Article II of the Constitution to once again order the N.S.A. to conduct surveillance inside the country without warrants.

April 20, 2007

Despair stalks Baghdad as plan falters

The Sunni extremists held to be responsible for these attacks seem to be making a mockery of the US and Iraqi security plan, which is now into its third month.

So far, their surge seems to be having more effect than the American one.

Last month alone there were more than 100 car bombings, and the number of attacks has continued at a similar rate so far this month. This indicates a high level of organisation.

This despite the fact that there are many extra US and Iraqi troops in the city now. There are more raids and patrols.

May 1, 2007

GOP Congressman Pays $323,830 in Back Taxes and Fine

(AP) Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi avoided federal campaign penalties by paying $323,830 in back taxes last year to reassure regulators that loans to his political committee came from his own pocket.

The Federal Election Commission, in documents made public Tuesday, said it decided to take no further action against Renzi regarding the source of the loans to his 2001-2002 congressional campaign.

Renzi, a Republican, did agree to pay a $25,000 fine for unrelated reporting violations during that election cycle.

The congressman, who has been drawn into an FBI investigation of an Arizona land deal, completed a conciliation agreement with the FEC on Jan. 10, but it was only made public now.

It's self evident Bush's war is dragging down the Democrats much faster than it destroyed the GOP majority. Will Democrats wake up before it's too late? Not likely.

Democrats think they can sit back, do nothing and get reelected. In the latest poll we learn Democrats have a 58% negative rating.

Pelosi's positive rating is 30% and Reid's is at 22%. And if that's not enough to scare the crap out of Democrats, then the ratings of congress should. Congress now has an approval rating of 27%, three points above where it was when republican lost control.

99% of the Democrat/Liberal blogs are pandering to the party instead of doing their jobs and holding Democrats accountable. These liberal blogs have become a problem as big as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News were for the republicans - deluding themselves and their party into thinking everything is fine.

If Murtha and Pelosi don't put impeachment back on the table and keep it there, they will doom their party for a generation (Murtha has backed away from his statements about putting impeachment back on the table - will he grow some balls before he loses power again?)

April 30, 2007

Murtha: Impeachment is back on the table

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) revised the much publicized statements he made yesterday and told National Public Radio late on Monday afternoon that impeaching President George W. Bush was "on the table."

"I'm just saying that's one of the options that Congress has on the table, I'm getting more and more calls from the public about impeachment," the long-time Congressman, who is a veteran of the US Marines, told NPR's Melissa Block on the program All Things Considered.

Murtha's remark was at variance with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has insisted since prior to the Congressional election last year that returned a Democratic majority in the House that impeachment was "off the table."

Imagine for a moment if Bush had asked for a $500 billion tax increase to pay for his war. How much support do you think he'd have? Zero. It's easy to say you support the war or the troops when the cost has to be paid by our children and grand children. No generation in US history has been more irresponsible. $3.1 trillion of debt in the last six years and over $7.8 trillion of debt since the Reagan tax cut.

Our biggest enemy remains the republican party - specifically, those who would bankrupt us with tax cuts that create mountains of debt.

April 30, 2007

Price tag for war in Iraq on track to top $500 billion

WASHINGTON - The bitter fight over the latest Iraq spending bill has all but obscured a sobering fact: The war will soon cost more than $500 billion.

That's about ten times more than the Bush administration anticipated before the war started four years ago, and no one can predict how high the tab will go. The $124 billion spending bill that President Bush plans to veto this week includes about $78 billion for Iraq, with the rest earmarked for the war in Afghanistan, veterans' health care and other government programs.

Congressional Democrats and Bush agree that they cannot let their dispute over a withdrawal timetable block the latest cash installment for Iraq. Once that political fight is resolved, Congress can focus on the president's request for $116 billion more for the war in the fiscal year that starts on Sept. 1.

May 1, 2007

DO you mind if I don't trust the U.S. military establishment?

DO you mind if I don't trust the U.S. military establishment? I'm from a generation that was famous for not trusting what we used to call "the war machine."

I am appreciative of all the men and women who joined, or were drafted into, the armed forces. For whatever reason they served, personal or patriotic, they are to be honored. They are not the problem.

The problem lies with some in the military who stir the propaganda pot in hopes that Americans will blindly believe what they say. Well, there's never been a time when all Americans believed them and there never will be.

But the question of the hour is this:

Did the military really think it could transform Jessica Lynch into a Rambo-style hero simply by spinning her capture and subsequent release from an Iraqi hospital? And did the military really believe it could spin Pat Tillman's story and make him a hero killed in combat with the enemy rather than from friendly fire?

If they thought they could get by with lying in a feeble attempt to bolster the war machine, they were wrong. Lynch appeared before Congress earlier this week and told the truth in a well-reasoned statement that made me proud that she was a West Virginian.

For years the EPA has been breaking the law. Instead of issuing a ruling stating the Bush White House is breaking the law, the court lets previous ruling stand...which is ok for the most part, but it continues to show how utterly worthless the Supreme Court has become.

April 30, 2007

Supreme Court won't hear Bush appeal allowing more pollution

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a Bush administration appeal defending its rule that would allow older factories, refineries and coal-burning power plants to upgrade their facilities without installing the most modern pollution controls.

The justices declined to review a U.S. appeals court ruling in March 2006 that struck down the Environmental Protection Agency's rule for violating the federal Clean Air Act.

According to the rule that was adopted in 2003 but has never taken effect, modern antipollution controls would have to be installed only if plant upgrades cost more than 20 percent of the replacement cost of the plant.

As bad as things are for Bush, they're almost as bad from Democrats in Congress. If they think they'll get reelected with these numbers they're sadly mistaken. Someone take a brick and hit them upside the head...maybe that'll wake them from the deep slumber.

April 28, 2007

Bush/Cheney Polls Hit All Time Low

President George W. Bush's job performance is currently viewed positively by only 28 percent of U.S. adults, the lowest since he took office. Seven in ten adults view his job performance in a negative light, including almost half (48%) who say his job performance is poor. Since February, the President has dropped from one-third (32%) who viewed his job positively and 67 percent who gave him negative marks.

Vice President Dick Cheney is also at his lowest job approval – just one-quarter of adults view him in a positive light while over two-thirds (68%) view his job performance negatively. This is down from February, which was his previous low, when 29 percent saw his job performance positively and 67 percent saw it in a negative way.

When all is said and done how many real POWs do you think are in Guantanomo? Five, maybe 10? Who knows, but we know the US government has released hundreds upon hundreds. In the face of the egregious violations of human rights the US Supreme Court sits on its collective ass and does nothing. Is it any wonder why the world hates us?

It's come to the point where the US Supreme Court is more worthless and more inept than the Bush White House.

April 29, 2007

82 Inmates Cleared but Still Held at Guantanamo

LONDON -- More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them, according to Bush administration officials and defense lawyers.

Since February, the Pentagon has notified about 85 inmates or their attorneys that they are eligible to leave after being cleared by military review panels. But only a handful have gone home, including a Moroccan and an Afghan who were released Tuesday. Eighty-two remain at Guantanamo and face indefinite waits as U.S. officials struggle to figure out when and where to deport them, and under what conditions.

The delays illustrate how much harder it will be to empty the prison at Guantanamo than it was to fill it after it opened in January 2002 to detain fighters captured in Afghanistan and terrorism suspects captured overseas.

I'd list this as an impeachable offense if I thought Democrats gave a damn.

(Rice was also subpoenaed by the 911 Commission during their inquiry.)

April 29, 2007

How do Congressional subpoenas work?

What happens when someone receives a congressional subpoena?
The subpoena will list when and where the person is expected to appear.

There are only a few options for appealing. Since 1975, federal courts have refused to invalidate congressional subpoenas, since such issues are considered "political questions" rather than judicial ones.

But there are two potential outs. An individual can invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In response, the committee could grant immunity to an individual, meaning the witness would not face charges for any criminal activities he admits to during testimony. The witness has to comply with the subpoena or face a contempt charge.

It's important to note that the top 1 percent received 21.8% of all income and the top 10% collected 48.5 percent of all reported income. During this period of massive tax cuts for the rich, the US went from having less than one trillion dollars of debt to over $8.8 trillion, which means the government had to borrow money to give it away (tax cuts). If this insanity continues, the GOP (and the Democratic Congress) will bankrupt America long before the next terrorist attack.

April 26, 2007

Taxation and Income: A Return to the 19th Century

Consider a head-to-head comparison. We know what John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in Gilded Age America, made in 1894, because in 1895 he had to pay income taxes. (The next year, the Supreme Court declared the income tax unconstitutional.) His return declared an income of $1.25 million, almost 7,000 times the average per capita income in the United States at the time.

But that makes him a mere piker by modern standards. Last year, according to Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine, James Simons, a hedge fund manager, took home $1.7 billion, more than 38,000 times the average income. Two other hedge fund managers also made more than $1 billion, and the top 25 combined made $14 billion.

When Iraq seized land from Kuwait the world was thrown into a tizzy. When Israel seizes land from the Palestinians there's a big yawn. Does anyone still wonder why we're hated so much. At a minimum the US should have condemned Israel, but we don't condemn the terrorists we arm with our weapons/

April 28, 2007

Israel seizes West Bank land for controversial barrier

JERICHO, West Bank (AFP) - Israel is to confiscate 23 hectares (57 acres) of Palestinian farmland in the occupied West Bank for its controversial security barrier, according to a military order seen by AFP on Saturday.

The army on Friday told the village council in Bardaleh, north of the city of Jericho, that the land would be confiscated "for security reasons" in order to extend the barrier Israel says stops suicide bombers.

Those who own or use the land are invited to apply for compensation, said the order a copy of which was given to AFP by Bardaleh council.

April 27, 2007

Tenet: CIA warned of 'anarchy' in Iraq, Knew Powell was Lying About WMD

For the first time, Tenet offers an account of his own view of a historic moment in the run-up to war: Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 2003 speech before the United Nations, with Tenet sitting just behind him.

"That was about the last place I wanted to be," Tenet recalls. "It was a great presentation, but unfortunately the substance didn't hold up," he says of the performance, in which Powell charged Iraq had WMD stockpiles.

"One by one, the various pillars of the speech, particularly on Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programs, began to buckle," he writes. "The secretary of state was subsequently hung out to dry in front of the world, and our nation's credibility plummeted."

The war profiteers - including GE, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC was one of the primary contractors in Iraq made their profits illegally. Will the US government now demand they return their ill gotten gains or was the propaganda NBC spewed during the run up to war satisfy even the most corrupt member of congress and this White House?

An Impeachable Offense
April 29, 2007

Inspectors Find Rebuilt Projects Crumbling in Iraq

In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.

The United States has previously admitted, sometimes under pressure from federal inspectors, that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed or poorly constructed. But this is the first time inspectors have found that projects officially declared a success — in some cases, as little as six months before the latest inspections — were no longer working properly.

April 28, 2007
(link will take you to a PDF file from the US government)

Rush Limbaugh Lie

timber (10K)During drive time this morning, I heard Rush Limbaugh say timber production declined 80% since the 1080's. Knowing this was probably wrong - that man always lies, I decided to look it up.

Maybe one of the reasons the media and so many republicans were so easily misled about WMD is because they're used to being lied to.

April 28, 2007

Reagan's NSA Adviser Rips George W. Bush Over Iraq War

Lieutenant General William E. Odom I am not now nor have I ever been a Democrat or a Republican. Thus, I do not speak for the Democratic Party. I speak for myself, as a non-partisan retired military officer who is a former Director of the National Security Agency. I do so because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked me.

In principle, I do not favor Congressional involvement in the execution of U.S. foreign and military policy. I have seen its perverse effects in many cases. The conflict in Iraq is different. Over the past couple of years, the President has let it proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued.

April 28, 2007

Rice aide resigns after escort questions

WASHINGTON – Randall L. Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid, abruptly resigned Friday after he was asked about an upscale escort service allegedly involved in prostitution, U.S. government sources said.

Tobias resigned after ABC News contacted him with questions about the escort service, the sources said. ABC News released a statement Friday night saying Tobias acknowledged Thursday that he had used the service to provide massages, not sex.

Tobias has been Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's point man in an ambitious effort to overhaul how the U.S. government manages foreign aid, a key part of her "transformational diplomacy" agenda. Just two days ago, President Bush lauded Tobias for his work in the administration leading "America's monumental effort to confront and deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the continent of Africa."

In an unusual statement issued at 5 p.m., State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Tobias informed Rice "today that he must step down as Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator effective immediately. He is returning to private life for personal reasons."

April 28, 2007

Ex-Justice Dept. Lawyer Under Investigation

A federal task force investigating the activities of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has in recent weeks been looking into whether one of Abramoff's colleagues improperly traded favors with a Justice Department lawyer, sources familiar with the Abramoff investigation said yesterday.

The lawyer, Robert E. Coughlin II, resigned on April 6 as deputy chief of staff in the Criminal Division, citing personal reasons, a department spokesman said.

"Bob gave a personal reason for his resignation," said spokesman Bryan Sierra. He stressed that Coughlin "had no involvement" in the department's investigation of Abramoff.

Coughlin had worked in the criminal division since 2005 but was recused from the Abramoff inquiry because of a longtime personal friendship with Kevin A. Ring, one of Abramoff's lobbying colleagues whose actions are under investigation, a law enforcement source said. Investigators are looking into dealings between the two in 2001 and 2002, when Coughlin worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, the sources said.

The evidence remains strong that the war on terror is creating more terrorism.

April 27, 2007

Terror attacks up 29%

WASHINGTON - A State Department report on terrorism due out next week will show a nearly 30 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2006 to more than 14,000, almost all of the boost due to growing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Friday.

The annual report's release comes amid a bitter feud between the White House and Congress over funding for U.S. troops in Iraq and a deadline favored by Democrats to begin a U.S. troop withdrawal.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her top aides earlier this week had considered postponing or downplaying the release of this year's edition of the terrorism report, officials in several agencies and on Capitol Hill said.

In 2005, the department was again accused of playing politics with the report when it decided not to publish the document after U.S. officials concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985.

April 27, 2007

British soldier: Basra is lost

A British soldier has broken ranks within days of returning from Iraq to speak publicly of the horror of his tour of duty there, painting a picture of troops under siege, "sitting ducks" to an increasingly sophisticated insurgency.

"Basra is lost, they are in control now. It's a full-scale riot and the Government are just trying to save face," said Private Paul Barton.

The 27-year-old, who returned from his second tour of Iraq this week along with other members of 1st Battalion, the Staffordshire Regiment, insisted that he remains loyal to the Army despite such public dissent. He said he had already volunteered to go to Afghanistan later this year.

An impeachable offense because it's illegal for the government to use propaganda on the American people.

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Bush Mired in Stealth, Lies and Cover-Ups

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration will do, say and spend anything to maintain its façade of command and control.

To hear them tell it, the administration would be winning the war, if only those traitorous Democrats would stop pointing out that they aren't. Everything would be fine at Walter Reed Army Hospital and likewise New Orleans, if only the locals weren't wasting money. Those fired U.S. attorneys? Mishandled maybe, but they were properly let go ``for performance-related reasons."

Two of the most disgraceful attempts to replace the truth with propaganda were brought to vivid light on Tuesday at a congressional inquiry into the death of Corporal Pat Tillman, killed by friendly fire in 2004, and the capture of Private Jessica Lynch.

In the interest of their own PR machine, which has spent more than a billion dollars on propaganda, the Pentagon shamed itself by lying about what really happened to these two heroic patriots, who need no government flackery to make them so.

An Impeachable Offense
April 27, 2007

Administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys

WASHINGTON - Congressional sources who have seen unedited internal documents say the Bush administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys before paring down its list to eight late last year. The four who escaped dismissal came from states considered political battlegrounds in the last presidential election: Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The latest revelation could provide new evidence to critics who contend that politics, not performance, played the determining role in the firings. The White House and the Justice Department have repeatedly denied that politics played any role.

An Impeachable Offense
April 25, 2007

Put Bush's 'puppy dog' terror theory to sleep

Does the President think terrorists are puppy dogs? He keeps saying that terrorists will "follow us home" like lost dogs. This will only happen, however, he says, if we "lose" in Iraq.

RICHARD CLARKE: The puppy dog theory is the corollary to earlier sloganeering that proved the President had never studied logic: "We are fighting terrorists in Iraq so that we will not have to face them and fight them in the streets of our own cities."

Remarkably, in his attempt to embrace the failed Iraqi adventure even more than the President, Sen. John McCain is now parroting the line. "We lose this war and come home, they'll follow us home," he says.

How is this odd terrorist puppy dog behavior supposed to work? The President must believe that terrorists are playing by some odd rules of chivalry. Would this be the "only one slaughter ground at a time" rule of terrorism?

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Justice Dept. Lists Withheld Documents

The Justice Department released a list of internal documents Thursday focusing on lawmakers' concerns and media questions about the firings of eight federal prosecutors, but the department resisted congressional demands for copies of the memos.

The list of 159 e-mails and memos, spanning nearly three months, at the least demonstrates concern about how the dismissals were being publicly received before they erupted into a firestorm that has resulted in calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign.

The House Judiciary Committee has demanded the full text of all documents that had been partially or completely blacked out among nearly 6,000 pages of e-mails, calendar pages and memos released to Congress as it investigates whether the firings were politically motivated. The documents being sought include correspondence with lawmakers and journalists about the firing.

The subtext of this story on global warming is the complete collapse of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and GOP members of Congress who are strongly against the use of real science. The party faithful are not listening to the propaganda put out by the party any more.

April 27, 2007

60% of Republicans support Immediate Action on Global Warming

Americans in large bipartisan numbers say the heating of the earth's atmosphere is having serious effects on the environment now or will soon and think that it is necessary to take immediate steps to reduce its effects, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

Ninety percent of Democrats, 80 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans said immediate action was required to curb the warming of the atmosphere and deal with its effects on the global climate. Nineteen percent said it was not necessary to act now, and 1 percent said no steps were needed.

Anyone who's followed politics knows you can't trust anything a republican says. You have to watch what he does. Unfortunately for them...they seem to have knack for always being on the wrong side of history.

Real leaders say what they believe and do what they say they're going to do. Fake leaders (pandering SOB's) don't.

Reagan and Bush both promised to balance the budget. Neither of them told the truth.

April 27, 2007

Giuliani flips: Opposes Civil Unions

In a startling departure from his previously stated position on civil unions, Mayor Giuliani came out to The New York Sun yesterday evening in opposition to the civil union law just passed by the New Hampshire state Senate.

"Mayor Giuliani believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly," the Giuliani campaign said in a written response to a question from the Sun. "In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it."

My personal opinion is there won't be peace in Iraq as long as we're there because the Sunni hate us. We should leave as soon as humanly possible.

In every war this is a winner and a loser. Nothing we do can change this basic fact of life. All we're doing is prolonging the inevitable and prolonging their agony.

April 27, 2007

Iraqis welcome U.S. Congress vote

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqis are glad U.S. soldiers could soon depart but fearful of what they might leave behind, after the U.S. Congress approved a bill linking troop withdrawals to war funding.

"U.S. forces have to leave Iraq but not now," said Abu Ali, a 47-year-old trader from the southern city of Basra, on Friday.

"The Iraqi government and its security forces are unable to control security, especially in Baghdad and its neighborhoods."

Like many, he said tying funding to a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops over the next 11 months would force Iraq's police and army units to shape up quicker.

It's good to see at least one surge is working for (oil man) Bush.

April 27, 2007

Exxon Mobil Earnings Surge

HOUSTON, April 26 — Despite a winter of relatively soft oil and natural gas prices, Exxon Mobil on Thursday reported another surge in profit for the first quarter of the year because of stronger earnings from its refining, marketing and chemicals businesses.

Exxon's continuing good fortunes — it said the results were its best ever for any first quarter — were particularly noteworthy given the mixed earnings picture reported in recent days by other large oil companies. Most of them cannot match the cost management and range of investments held by the world's largest publicly traded oil company.

Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Occidental, Hess and other companies that reported this week generally acknowledged that profits from oil sales, though still hefty, had slowed in recent months.

Is there any law they didn't break?

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Political briefings at 15 agencies could have violated Hatch Act

White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity, a White House spokesman and other administration officials said Wednesday.

The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies, the officials said.

The existence of one such briefing, at the headquarters of the General Services Administration in January, came to light last month and provoked the Office of Special Counsel to begin an investigation into whether the officials at the briefing felt coerced into steering federal activities to favor those Republican candidates cited as vulnerable.