Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Impeach Bush--Index 72
January 12, 2008

Shortages hurting Army health care

Injured in a roadside blast in Iraq, Sgt. Gerald Cassidy was assigned to a new medical unit at Fort Knox, Ky., devoted to healing the wounds of war.

But instead of getting better, the brain-injured soldier from Westfield, Ind., was found dead in his barracks on Sept. 21. Preliminary reports show he may have been unconscious for days and dead for hours before someone checked on him.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., linked his death in part to inadequate staffing at the medical unit. Only about half of the positions in the unit were filled when Cassidy died. The Army is investigating the death and its cause, and three people have lost their jobs.

"By all indications, the enemy could not kill him, but our own government did," Bayh told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Not intentionally, to be sure, but the end result apparently was the same."

January 14, 2008

Americans Cut Back Sharply on Spending

Strong evidence is emerging that consumer spending, a bulwark against recession over the last year even as energy prices surged and the housing market sputtered, has begun to slow sharply at every level of the American economy, from the working class to the wealthy.

The abrupt pullback raises the possibility that the country may be experiencing a rare decline in personal consumption, not just a slower rate of growth. Such a decline would be the first since 1991, and it would almost certainly push the entire economy into a recession in the middle of an election year.

January 11, 2008

Merrill Lynch: $15 Billion Loss

Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost double its original estimate, prompting the firm to raise additional capital from an outside investor

Merrill, the nation's largest brokerage firm, is expected to disclose the huge write-down when it reports earnings next week, according to people who have been briefed on its plans. The loss far exceeds the $12 billion hit many Wall Street analysts had forecast.

January 12, 2008

Immunity Off-Limits

Mr. Rodriguez has been subpoenaed to appear before the House intelligence committee next week, and Mr. Bennett has said he won't allow his client to testify without immunity -- as any lawyer worth his salt would do, especially when the Justice Department has already launched its own investigation. Generally, when a witness testifies before Congress under a grant of immunity, prosecutors are not allowed to use the testimony unless they can prove they obtained the same information independently. This is a difficult hurdle to clear and a major reason that courts threw out the criminal case against Iran-contra defendant Oliver L. North.

There is no indication that the committee is poised to grant Mr. Rodriguez immunity, and we urge the committee to stand its ground and rebuff Mr. Bennett's request.

January 14, 2008

Army Investigates War Crimes

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Army is investigating possible war crimes after a Fort Carson soldier facing first-degree murder charges in the slayings of two Iraq war veterans told investigators he and another soldier randomly fired at Iraqi civilians.

Pfc. Bruce Bastien Jr. and two former soldiers face charges in the December shooting death of Spc. Kevin Shields, while Bastien and one of those former soldiers face charges in the Aug. 4 shooting death of Pfc. Robert James.

Fort Carson spokeswoman Dee McNutt confirmed the Army investigation detailed in a motion filed by prosecutors Tuesday seeking to combine the two slayings into one case.

January 8, 2008

Merrill Lynch: Recession 'has arrived'

The feared recession in the US economy has already arrived, according to a report from Merrill Lynch.

It said that Friday's employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.

Its view is controversial, with banks such as Lehman Brothers disagreeing.

January 8, 2008

Survey: Diplomats oppose Iraq policy

WASHINGTON - Nearly half of U.S. diplomats unwilling to volunteer to work in Iraq say one reason for their refusal is they don't agree with Bush administration's policies in the country, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Security concerns and separation from family ranked as the top reasons for not wanting to serve in Iraq. But 48 percent cited "disagreement" with administration policy as a factor in their opposition, said the survey conducted by the American Foreign Service Association, the union that represents U.S. diplomats.

January 8, 2008

France best, U.S. worst in preventable death ranking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

January 6, 2008

Why I Believe Bush Must Go

As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.

Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard.

August 13, 2003

US Study: conservatives suffer from neuroses

A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity".

As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report's four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction.

Impeachable Offense
January 4, 2008

The Justice Department's Payback

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department's criminal inquiry into the destruction of the Central Intelligence Agency interrogation tapes will be carried out largely by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has been sharply at odds with the C.I.A. over the agency's interrogation practices.

In some law enforcement circles the prospect of the F.B.I. interviewing high-level C.I.A. officials, under the plan announced on Wednesday, and rummaging around the files of the agency's secret interrogation programs represents a payback moment in the rich history of rivalry between the agencies.

January 4, 2008

National Academies: creationism doesn't belong in classrooms

WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and Institute of Medicine (IOM) today released SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM, a book designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom.  Recent advances in science and medicine, along with an abundance of observations and experiments over the past 150 years, have reinforced evolution's role as the central organizing principle of modern biology, said the committee that wrote the book.

With any luck the era of fake science and fake national security intelligence is behind us.

January 2, 2008

Academy stresses evolution's importance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Academy of Sciences on Thursday issued a spirited defense of evolution as the bedrock principle of modern biology, arguing that it, not creationism, must be taught in public school science classes.

The academy, which operates under a mandate from Congress to advise the government on science and technology matters, issued the report at a time when the theory of evolution, first offered in the 19th century, faces renewed attack by some religious conservatives.

Great piece of journalism. Instead of talking endlessly about who's ahead and who's behind, this one nails why Obama is leading. He's not Bush. Clinton's problem is simple...she's more like Bush than Obama.

January 2, 2008

Clinton Finds Obama Plan to Negotiate Wins Votes Soured on Bush

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama vows to "talk to all nations, friend and foe." Hillary Clinton promises to end "the era of cowboy diplomacy."

Yet their records and rhetoric show a philosophical divide that separates the two would-be presidents: Clinton would likely be swifter to use U.S. force, and Obama more willing to talk to rogue leaders.

The perception among many Democratic voters that Clinton is more of a hawk and Obama is more willing to talk appears so far to have played to Obama's advantage. That may be why her campaign plays down their differences on issues, while the Obama camp is eager to emphasize them. In a speech after her third- place finish in the Iowa caucuses last week, Clinton stressed that she knows force should be used "as a last resort."

The Fed races to help banks that screwed up and lost money. Why don't they let poorly run banks go bankrupt? Capitalism weeds out the weak, but instead the government helps out the weak. Does anyone wonder why we're having so many problems? The bank lobby has to be strong because their CEOs are incompetent.

January 4, 2008

Fed to boost auction amounts to aid banks

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve announced Friday that it is increasing the amount of money available to banks through the new auction process it created to ease the nation's severe credit squeeze. The Fed again pledged to continue the auctions "for as long as necessary."

The Fed said that it will increase the amount offered at each of the next two auctions from $20 billion to $30 billion, a 50 percent jump. Those two auctions will be Jan. 14 and Jan. 28.

As long as failure is rewarded (in politics, business and the media) our problems can only get worse. Bush failed on 911 and failed again when he fabricated intelligence to take us to war. He also failed to balance the budget even once and instead created over $3.4 trillion of new debt. Were conservatives pissed? No, they reelected him. Now the Democrats are doing the same thing...giving power to people like Pelosi and Reid who are utterly incompetent. If they want to be the majority party, they have to reward success, not failure.

April 5, 2007

Ford CEO: $28M for 4 months work

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Struggling Ford Motor Co., which posted a record $12.7 billion net loss in 2006, gave its new CEO Alan Mulally $28 million for four months on the job, according to the company's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.

The Ford (Charts) pay package for Mulally comes on top of the $7.4 million that aerospace company Boeing (Charts) had previously reported paying him for his eight months running that company's commercial aircraft unit before he made the move to Ford at the beginning of September.

January 3, 2008

Toyota passes Ford in U.S. sales in 2007

DETROIT - Detroit's automakers went out with a whimper in 2007, as a lackluster December failed to pull the industry out of the lowest U.S. auto sales slump in nearly a decade.

Ford Motor Co. was knocked from its perch as the No. 2 U.S. auto seller, a position it held since 1931, while General Motors appeared likely to lose its title of the largest automaker in the world. Both were dethroned by the juggernaut that is Toyota.

Toyota Motor Corp. sold 2.62 million cars and trucks in the U.S. in 2007, which amounted to 48,226 more than Ford, according to sales figures released Thursday. Toyota's sales were up 3 percent for the year, buoyed by new products such as the Toyota Tundra pickup, which saw sales jump 57 percent. Ford's sales fell 12 percent to 2.57 million vehicles.

January 3, 2008

Toyota likely to emerge as worldwide leader

DETROIT - If its estimates hold true, Toyota Motor Corp. will depose General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker in 2007.

GM said Thursday it made 9.284 million vehicles worldwide last year, roughly 226,000 fewer than Toyota's 2007 production estimate of 9.51 million.

It's imperative that Americans understand that the incompetence of our generals is leading to more violence and more terrorism (or what they call terrorism). In the delusional construct of the Bush White House (and the media) anyone who defends himself is called a terrorist or al Qaeda.

January 1, 2008

Record level of violence in Afghanistan

US military deaths, suicide bombings and opium production hit record highs in 2007. Taliban militants killed more than 925 Afghan police. But US officials insist things are looking up.

Civilian deaths caused by US and NATO forces in the first half of the year rattled the government, and more foreign fighters flowed into the country.

Obstructing a commission set up by congress used be an impeachable offense...that is until Democrats gave power to Nancy Pelosi.

Impeachable Offense
January 2, 2008

Stonewalled by the C.I.A.

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission's interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

When the press reported that, in 2002 and maybe at other times, the C.I.A. had recorded hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda detainees, we went back to check our records. We found that we did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that would have been contained in such videotapes.

A meeting on Jan. 21, 2004, with Mr. Tenet, the White House counsel, the secretary of defense and a representative from the Justice Department also resulted in the denial of commission access to the detainees. Once again, videotapes were not mentioned.

Obstructing justice used to be Impeachable offense...that is until Democrats gave power to Nancy Pelosi.

Impeachable Offense
January 3, 2008

Angry Bush will stonewall CIA probe

President George W. Bush tried to stop Attorney General Michael Mukasey from launching a criminal investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency"s destruction of tapes showing torture of a prisoner and has ordered top White House officials to stonewall the probe, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

Bush is reportedly "livid" that Mukasey went ahead with the investigation and even discussed firing the attorney general but senior administration officials talked the President out of taking an action that would add fuel to suspicions of a cover-up.

January 2, 2008

Manufacturing Shrinks Most Since 2003

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Manufacturing in the U.S. shrank the most last month in almost five years, triggering speculation that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by half a percentage point to stave off a recession.

The Institute for Supply Management's factory index fell to 47.7, from 50.8 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. The figure was lower than forecast by any economist surveyed by Bloomberg News. Fifty is the dividing line between contraction and expansion.

January 2, 2008

Can the Economy Handle $100 Oil?

"Add it up and you have a wildly bullish day," says Stephen Schork, an energy consultant in Villanova, Pa., and editor of The Schork Report, a daily energy newsletter. "Fresh capital is charging back into the market and looking to buy." The question now: whether the faltering U.S. economy can avoid a recession in an environment of $100 oil. That's because the price of crude oil has knock-on effects throughout the economy (BusinessWeek, 10/29/07), from the price of gasoline to stock market valuation (BusinessWeek.com, 1/2/08). The worry is that consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. economy, will suffer as prices rise, tipping the economy into a further slowdown or recession.

January 2, 2008

The world wants America back

For the next several years, world politics will be reshaped by a strong yearning for American leadership. This trend will be as unexpected as it is inevitable: unexpected given the powerful anti-American sentiments around the globe, and inevitable given the vacuums that only the United States can fill.

This renewed international appetite for U.S. leadership will not merely result from the election of a new president, though having a new occupant in the White House will certainly help. Almost a decade of U.S. disengagement and distraction have allowed international and regional problems to swell. Often, the only nation that has the will and means to act effectively is the United States.

January 2, 2008

The Economy and the New Year

When Mr. Bush says the economy is strong, he is generally referring to rising wages, low unemployment and what he calls healthy economic growth. But wages have either fallen or failed to outpace inflation during most of his tenure. Job creation is now slowing from a pace that has long been subpar. Economic growth is also braking, if not contracting. In any event, growth during the Bush years has not been healthy; rather, it has been abnormally lopsided. Corporate profits have soared (until recently) and the rich have become richer, while most Americans have treaded water or lost ground, their troubling circumstances masked by an unprecedented borrowing binge, now exacting its toll.

An Impeachable Offense
January 1, 2008

Legal voters thrown off rolls

Five years after passage of a federal law to create electronic registration databases to deter voter fraud, the new technology is posing hurdles that could disenfranchise thousands of legal voters, a USA TODAY examination finds.

From Florida to Washington, voters have been challenged because names or numbers on their registration forms did not exactly match other government databases, such as Social Security and motor vehicle agencies. "We know that eligible people have been thrown off the rolls," says Justin Levitt, a lawyer with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

An Impeachable Offense
December 23, 2007

CIA chief to drag White House into torture cover-up storm

It has emerged that at least four White House staff were approached for advice about the tapes, including David Addington, a senior aide to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, but none has admitted to recommending their destruction.

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: "If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?"

An Impeachable Offense
December 31, 2007

Looking at America

There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.

It was not the first time in recent years we've felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement, not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.

The country and much of the world was rightly and profoundly frightened by the single-minded hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President Bush and his advisers panicked — how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.

Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America's position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America's global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world's anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.

In the years since 9/11, we have seen American soldiers abuse, sexually humiliate, torment and murder prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few have been punished, but their leaders have never been called to account. We have seen mercenaries gun down Iraqi civilians with no fear of prosecution. We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant.

We have read accounts of how the government's top lawyers huddled in secret after the attacks in New York and Washington and plotted ways to circumvent the Geneva Conventions — and both American and international law — to hold anyone the president chose indefinitely without charges or judicial review.

December 21, 2007

Life Was Better For Christians Under Saddam

Life was "better" for Christians in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein than it is today, according to the only Anglican vicar working in Baghdad.

Canon Andrew White, vicar of St George"s Church in the capital of Iraq told Times Online that day-to-day life was 'a lot easier' for Christians when the vicious dictator Saddam Hussein was President of the country. But he said he still believed removing him was the right thing to do, for the sake of the long-term future of the country and its inhabitants.

"It is still very difficult ," he said . " Not like it was under Saddam, it was a lot easier just day - to - day living. There are threats to these our people all the time. They know who the Christians are."

We blamed the GOP when they had power and now we must blame the Democrats. The crimes committed by this White House are so extensive that history will damn this congress for the rest of time.

December 12, 2007

Over 1000 Attorneys Demand Investigation Into Unconstitutional Action By Bush Admin.

We are lawyers in the United States of America. As such, we have all taken an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law…. We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws…. Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight …. Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution…. We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President. -- American Lawyers Defending the Constitution

The CIA is a criminal enterprise. Not only couldn't they provide us with a single digital picture of a WMD (the kind of pictures we take with our cameras during the holiday season) but now we learn they broke the law on other fronts also - including lying to congress. It's time to dismantle the CIA. Anyone who says otherwise is uninformed. Why did the CIA lie to Congress. Why did they destroy the tapes? Why did they torture? Why did they fail to take pictures of WMD in Iraq? Incompetence on this scale is something we'd normally laugh at, but now it's the norm.

An Impeachable Offense
December 22, 2007

9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes

WASHINGTON — A review of classified documents by former members of the Sept. 11 commission shows that the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and were told by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had "produced or made available for review" everything that had been requested.

The review was conducted earlier this month after the disclosure that in November 2005, the C.I.A. destroyed videotapes documenting the interrogations of two Qaeda operatives.

December 20, 2007

Congress subpoenas ex-CIA official

WASHINGTON - The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena Thursday for Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official who directed that secret interrogation videotapes of two suspected terrorists be destroyed.

The panel ordered Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, to appear for a hearing on Jan. 16. Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Rodriguez "would like to tell his story but his counsel has advised us that a subpoena would be necessary."

The CIA cracked open its files to congressional investigators Thursday, inviting them to the agency's Virginia headquarters to begin reviewing documents and records related to the videotapes.

December 21, 2007

UNICEF: War has taken a toll on Iraq's children

BAGHDAD — More than four years after the United States invaded Iraq, the country's children continue to face a litany of problems from disrupted educations to unsafe drinking water, detentions and violence, UNICEF reported Friday.

Violence and displacement often kept Iraqi children out of school this year. The organization estimates that 2 million educations were interrupted, especially among primary-school students.

The report says that only 28 percent of 17-year-olds in Iraq took final exams this summer, and fewer than half passed. However, UNICEF-supported programs to distribute classroom materials, rebuild schools and provide more learning opportunities benefited 4.7 million children, the agency reported.

It'll take years to tabulate all the crimes of this administration, yet there's still no talk of impeachment. Has the Congress gone missing? or don't they give a damn anymore?

An Impeachable Offense
January 2, 2008

Criminal Probe Opened Over CIA Tapes

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department opened a full criminal investigation Wednesday into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, putting the politically charged probe in the hands of a mob-busting public corruption prosecutor with a reputation for being independent.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced that he was appointing John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to oversee the investigation of a case that has challenged the Bush administration's controversial handling of terrorism suspects.

The CIA acknowledged last month that in 2005 it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects. The acknowledgment sparked a congressional inquiry and a preliminary investigation by Justice into whether the CIA violated any laws or obstructed congressional inquiries such as the one led by the Sept. 11 Commission.

Conservatives have a knack for believing things that are not true. Maybe it's time for them to shut up and get their facts straight before they try to push their religious agenda on us.

December 19, 2007

Sex education found to help teenagers delay sex

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Teenagers who have had formal sex education are far more likely to put off having sex, contradicting earlier studies on the effectiveness of such programs, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

They found teenage boys who had sex education in school were 71 percent less likely to have intercourse before age 15, and teen girls who had sex education were 59 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.

Sex education also increased the likelihood that teen boys would use contraceptives the first time they had sex, according to the study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The US military is fighting in a country which has no army, no navy, no air force and it still is having a hard time winning. Thank god we don't have real enemies who have real weapons.

December 18, 2007

Pentagon finds little long-term progress in Iraq

WASHINGTON — Despite significant security gains in much of Iraq, nothing has changed within Iraq's political leadership to guarantee sustainable peace, a Pentagon report released Tuesday found.

The congressionally mandated quarterly report suggests that the drop in violence won't hold unless Iraq's central government passes key legislation, improves the way it manages its security forces and finds a way to reconcile the country's competing sects. It said none of those steps has been taken.

The culture of rewarding "failure" continues. Why should the US military change when there are no consequences when it screws up? Bush was rewarded with reelection after he lied about WMD and CEOs of major corporations still receive massive bonuses after they drive their companies into the ground. When we return to what made us great - rewarding success, many of our problems will go away.

December 17, 2007

US Army loses another 12,000 guns and trucks

The US military in Iraq has lost track of another 12,000 weapons, including more than 800 machine-guns, and everything from 2100 new electricity generators to half a dozen garbage trucks.

The latest gap in record-keeping follows a report by the US government's accountability office in the summer which revealed that 190,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and automatic pistols earmarked for Iraqi government forces had gone astray in 2004 and 2005 and could be in insurgent hands.

The US Defence Department said an audit between March and May this year could trace only £41m-worth of armoured vehicles and other equipment worth more than £500m which was supposed to be part of Iraq's police and army training and outfitting package.

It's embarrassing that the US is forced to borrow from China and it's even more embarrassing that US corporations are so poorly run (by conservatives) that they're forced to borrow from China also.

December 19, 2007

Morgan Stanley Posts Loss, Borrows From China

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley wrote down its subprime-infected mortgage holdings by a greater-than-expected $9.4 billion and received a $5 billion cash infusion from state- controlled China Investment Corp.

Chief Executive Officer John Mack called the fourth-quarter loss of $3.56 billion, the first in the New York-based firm's history, "embarrassing.'' He'll forgo his bonus for the year, the company said today in a statement.

Mack's strategy of expanding in mortgages and making bigger trading bets backfired as losses from securities linked to home loans more than doubled in November. He ousted Co-President Zoe Cruz, who had overseen the fixed-income unit responsible for the mortgage trades, last month and promoted James Gorman and Walid Chammah, who previously ran wealth management and the New York- based firm's European operations.

Republicans allow themselves to remain delusional on many issues, including the $9.1 trillion of debt and the fact that the debt rose $3.4 trillion since Bush became president. In their world, this truth is unknowable. Another Bush lie.

December 06, 2007
An Impeachable Offense

Tax Cuts Don't Boost Revenues

If there's one thing that Republican politicians agree on, it's that slashing taxes brings the government more money. "You cut taxes, and the tax revenues increase," President Bush said in a speech last year. Keeping taxes low, Vice President Dick Cheney explained in a recent interview, "does produce more revenue for the Federal Government." Presidential candidate John McCain declared in March that "tax cuts ... as we all know, increase revenues." His rival Rudy Giuliani couldn't agree more. "I know that reducing taxes produces more revenues," he intones in a new TV ad.

If there's one thing that economists agree on, it's that these claims are false. We're not talking just ivory-tower lefties. Virtually every economics Ph.D. who has worked in a prominent role in the Bush Administration acknowledges that the tax cuts enacted during the past six years have not paid for themselves--and were never intended to. Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005, even devotes a section of his best-selling economics textbook to debunking the claim that tax cuts increase revenues.

December 19, 2007

Congratulations to the record-breaking Senate GOP — Most Obstructionist Ever

The 49-member Senate Republican minority has done something no Senate minority in American history has ever done: they've filibustered more bills than any Congress ever has — and they broke the record with a full year to spare.

"In just one session, a minority in Congress has prevented a mind-blowing 62 pieces of legislation from going to the floor for an up or down vote,' said Campaign for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey. "Our report shows how over and over again, the uncompromising minority has thwarted the will of majorities in Congress and of the American people, holding the Senate floor hostage to a radical right-wing agenda." […]

An Impeachable Offense
December 16, 2007

'Army Times' Article Describes U.S. Troop 'Mutiny' in Iraq

"We said, 'No.' If you make us go there, we're going to light up everything," DeNardi said. "There's a thousand platoons. Not us. We're not going."

They decided as a platoon that they were done, DeNardi and Cardenas said, as did several other members of 2nd Platoon. At mental health, guys had told the therapist, "I'm going to murder someone." And the therapist said, "There comes a time when you have to stand up," 2nd Platoon members remembered. For the sake of not going to jail, the platoon decided they had to be "unplugged."

Under Bush's version of US democracy, everything is secret until a court rules otherwise but by the time it gets to court the damage is done.

An Impeachable Offense
December 17, 2007

Judge: White House Logs Are Public

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House visitor logs are public documents, a federal judge ruled Monday, rejecting a legal strategy that the Bush administration had hoped would get around public records laws and let them keep their guests a secret.

The ruling is a blow to the Bush administration, which has fought the release of records showing visits by prominent religious conservatives.

Visitor records are created by the Secret Service, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. But the Bush administration has ordered the data turned over to the White House, where they are treated as presidential records outside the scope of the public records law.

December 17, 2007

Police Brutality Rises 25% since 9/11

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are targeting a rising number of law enforcement officers for alleged brutality, Justice Department statistics show. The heightened prosecutions come as the nation's largest police union fears that agencies are dropping standards to fill thousands of vacancies and "scrimping" on training.

Cases in which police, prison guards and other law enforcement authorities have used excessive force or other tactics to violate victims' civil rights have increased 25% (281 vs. 224) from fiscal years 2001 to 2007 over the previous seven years, the department says.

Another major foreign policy loss for Bush and the neocons.

December 18, 2007

Russia Deliverers Nuclear Fuel to Iran

TEHRAN -- After years of delay, Russia announced Monday that it had delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to a reactor in southern Iran, a move Washington had long tried to delay to pressure Tehran not to pursue its own enrichment program.

Analysts said that U.S. officials appeared to be putting the best spin on a decision they had opposed. Robert J. Einhorn, a former top weapons proliferation official in the Clinton and Bush administrations, said Bush's comments were an attempt to "make lemonade out of this lemon."

December 14, 2007

BBC Poll: Basra residents blame UK troops

More than 85% of the residents of Basra believe British troops have had a negative effect on the Iraqi province since 2003, an opinion poll suggests.

The survey for BBC Newsnight of nearly 1,000 people also suggests that 56% believe their presence has increased the overall level of militia violence.

Two-thirds think security will improve when the British hand back control of the province to Iraqi forces on Sunday.

An Impeachable Offense
December 12, 2007

Congress Investigates Second Rape Charge Against KBR

Congress is asking questions about another ex-employee of government contracting firm KBR who claims she was raped in Iraq.

Letters to the Pentagon and the Justice Department today from Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. underscore congressional concern about a second alleged assault, this time of a woman from Florida who reportedly worked for a KBR subsidiary in Ramadi, Iraq in 2005.

"I am deeply troubled by recent reports that at least two women who worked in Iraq under contractors for the Department of Defense were sexually assaulted by male coworkers," Nelson wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates Thursday.

December 12, 2007

Bankers Face Grim Truth: Worst Is Yet to Come

AS the credit crisis sweeps wildly through Wall Street, major investment banks face a grim truth about their already-slumping profits: the worst is yet to come.

Beginning with Lehman Brothers on Thursday, major investment banks and securities firms will begin reporting what are likely to be their weakest quarterly earnings in years.

The results will show how hard the recent turmoil in the financial markets continues to hit the even the mightiest Wall Street banks, and could cast doubt over the future of several chief executives. Multibillion-dollar write-offs have already prompted Merrill Lynch and Citigroup to replace their chief executives.

December 13, 2007

Bush vetoes kids health insurance bill

WASHINGTON - President Bush vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.

It was Bush's seventh veto in seven years — all but one coming since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Wednesday was the deadline for Bush to act or let the bill become law. The president also vetoed an earlier, similar bill expanding the health insurance program.

Bush vetoed the bill in private.

December 5, 2007

Economic gloom makes new election issue

WASHINGTON - Americans have turned markedly gloomier about the economy in recent months, a shift that is reshaping a presidential campaign long dominated by the war in Iraq and national security concerns.

Higher prices for gasoline and home heating oil, stock market volatility and rising mortgage foreclosures all account for some of the pessimism, in the view of political pollsters. Significantly, they also cite the recent drop in real estate prices as a major worry for millions who have long viewed their homes as a source of retirement income.

Another Bush and CIA lie.

An Impeachable Offense
December 11, 2007

Did Torture Work?

In interviews yesterday and this morning, a former CIA agent called waterboarding what it is. Not "enhanced interrogation" or "harsh tactics." Simply: torture.

It's a notable achievement in the battle against the Orwellian doubletalk infesting the national discourse and the news coverage about this important issue.

John Kiriakou, who participated in the capture and questioning of the first al-Qaeda terrorist suspect to be waterboarded, also made clear that every decision leading to the torture of CIA detainees was documented and approved in cables to and from Washington. That's a step forward for accountability after two gigantic steps back last week, when it emerged that the CIA had destroyed videotapes of two of its torture sessions.

An Impeachable Offense
December 12, 2007

White House Pressured EPA to Weaken Standard

WASHINGTON - The White House pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to weaken requirements that companies annually disclose releases of toxic chemicals, congressional auditors said Wednesday.

The Government Accountability Office said the changes mean that industry will have to file 22,000 fewer reports each year, reducing an important public monitoring tool on industrial emissions.

The EPA rushed to complete the changes because of "pressure" from the White House Office of Management and Budget to reduce the regulatory burdens on industry, says the study obtained by The Associated Press and later released by the GAO. The White House overstated the cost-savings to industry of making the changes, it added.

December 12, 2007

Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

An Impeachable Offense
December 12, 2007

CIA destroyed tapes despite court orders

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration was under court order not to discard evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics.

Normally, that would force the government to defend itself against obstruction allegations. But the CIA may have an out: its clandestine network of overseas prisons.

December 9, 2007

First Quarter Budget Deficit Reaches Record

WASHINGTON (Thomson Financial) - A slowing economy has begun taking its toll on US government finances as the Treasury today reported record deficits for both the month of November and the first two months of its 2008 fiscal year, the latter being a record 153.8 bln usd.

The deficit for October and November, the first two months of the federal government's 2008 fiscal year, was up 26 pct from the previous same period, Treasury reported. Revenues were up 5 pct this year to 329.2 bln usd and spending up 11 pct to 483.0 bln usd.

An Impeachable Offense
December 10, 2007

Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

"Don't plan on working back in Iraq. There won't be a position here, and there won't be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.

December 8, 2007

What The Reagan/Bush Debt Means To You

As I write this, the U.S. national debt is about $9.17 TRILLION dollars. This debt is the amount we have borrowed to pay for our government since the Reagan tax cuts -- compounded by the Bush tax cuts. This is because of a choice we made -- yes, I say WE, because this government is US -- to borrow and pay later instead of pay now.

Don't for a minute think that you do not owe that money. It comes to about $30,000 for each American, including infants. If you are a family of four you now owe about $120,000 thanks to those tax cuts. YOU owe this money, even though the tax cuts have primarily gone to the very rich. You WILL be paying it, one way or another. Don't think that debt like that just goes away.

An Impeachable Offense
December 7, 2007

C.I.A. Destroyed 2 Tapes Showing Interrogations

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency's custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terrorism suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. The tapes were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risks, several officials said.

An Impeachable Offense
December 11, 2007

Waterboarding Ok'd at the Top

Kiriakou did not explain how he knew who approved the interrogation technique but said such approval comes from top officials.

"This isn't something done willy nilly. This isn't something where an agency officer just wakes up in the morning and decides he's going to carry out an enhanced technique on a prisoner," he said Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show. "This was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and Justice Department."

December 9, 2007

Symptoms of an economic depression

It is not only a matter of mass foreclosures. It is not merely a question of collapsing home prices. It is not simply the shutting down of large portions of the construction industry (which is inspiring some of the doom-and-gloom prognostications). It is not just the born-again skittishness of financial institutions that have, all of a sudden, gotten religion, rediscovered the word "prudence" and won't lend to anybody. It is all of this, taken together, that points ominously to a general collapse of the credit structure that has shored up consumer capitalism for decades.

Finally, it is vital to recall that this tsunami of bad business is about to wash over an already very sick economy. While the old regime, the Reagan-Bush counterrevolution, has lived off the heady vapors of the FIRE sector, it has left in its wake a deindustrialized nation, full of super-exploited immigrants and millions of families whose earnings have suffered steady erosion. Two wage-earners, working longer hours, are now needed to (barely) sustain a standard of living once earned by one. And that doesn't count the melting away of health insurance, pensions and other forms of protection against the vicissitudes of the free market or natural calamities.

An Impeachable Offense
December 5, 2007

Bush told in August about Iranian nuke program

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush was told in August that Iran's nuclear weapons program "may be suspended," the White House said Wednesday, which seemingly contradicts the account of the meeting given by Bush Tuesday.

Adm. Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told Bush the new information might cause intelligence officials to change their assessment of the Iranian program, but said analysts needed to review the new data before making a final judgment, White House press secretary Dana Perino said late Wednesday.

"Director McConnell said that the new information might cause the intelligence community to change its assessment of Iran's covert nuclear program, but the intelligence community was not prepared to draw any conclusions at that point in time, and it wouldn't be right to speculate until they had time to examine and analyze the new data," Perino said in a statement issued by the White House.

What am I missing. The White House and Congress told the CIA to save the tapes and the CIA went off half-cocked and destroyed them. We don't need an investigation, we need heads to roll.

December 9, 2007

Justice, CIA Begin Videotape Inquiry

The Justice Department and the CIA announced yesterday that they have started a preliminary inquiry into the CIA's 2005 destruction of videotapes that depicted harsh interrogation of two terrorism suspects.

The announcement follows congressional demands Friday for an investigation into the CIA's action despite warnings from the White House and congressional leaders to preserve the tapes.

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden disclosed the destruction of the tapes Thursday in a letter to his staff, telling them that the identities of the interrogators in the 2002 sessions needed to be protected. Some lawmakers have rejected that explanation.

December 5, 2007

Countdown Special Comment: Bush Is A Pathological Liar

We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.

A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

It would seem the executive branch, which includes the military doesn't seem to think it's accountable to the American people anymore. It's high time we set them straight.

An Impeachable Offense
December 7, 2007

'Millions missing' from Iraq fund

A $5.2bn (£2.6bn) fund used to train and equip Iraqi security forces cannot be shown to have been used properly, US military auditors say in a new report.

Sloppy accounting by the US army command meant there was no paper trail for much of the spending, they say.

The report, based on a visit from March to May this year, said high levels of violence made it hard to oversee management of the fund.

Few agencies in our government have a longer and more distinguished record of being wrong all the time as the CIA. The Federal Reserve comes in a close second. When we reorganize our government, ridding ourselves of the CIA and the Fed should be top priorities.

December 7, 2007

CIA Tapes Furor: A Legacy of Mistrust

This week's uproar over the destruction of interrogation tapes by the CIA offers a rare public glimpse into a perennial battle within the agency's clandestine service. Since Watergate, the CIA's case officers have been restrained by the expectation that taking risks in pursuit of actionable intelligence would bring career-ending, or even life-threatening, exposure if things went badly and details came to light. CIA leaders, especially after 9/11, have sought to unshackle their operatives by reassuring case officers they would be protected if they took risks. Current CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday that the tapes of the questioning of al-Qaeda suspects were destroyed to protect the identities of the interrogators.

December 7, 2007

State Dept. Official in Blackwater Probe Resigns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, under scrutiny for his brother's link to the Blackwater security firm, has decided to resign, U.S. officials said on Friday.

Krongard, the State Department's top investigator, has been accused by current and former subordinates of thwarting probes into waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq, including alleged arms smuggling by Blackwater.