Thursday, March 30, 2006

What We Know For Certain

President George W. Bush did not make the decision to axe Andrew Card. We know this for certain because George Bush does not make any decisions. He has input, yes. But he has no final say on ANYTHING. And this is because everyone in Washington, DC knows he’s an alcoholic former cocaine addict mentally impaired idiot. So who made the decision to fire Card? Who is continuing to make decisions about additional cuts, and heave-ho’s? Who is deciding on the new budget director to fill Josh Bolton’s old job? John Snow’s days as Secretary of Treasury are numbered. That’s a given. Who is handing down the decision on the new Treasury Secretary? The big decision-makers are most likely the members of WHIG, the White House Iraq Group task force that Andy Card and Karl Rove started in 2003 to sell the Iraq invasion to the public. The members of WHIG in addition to Rove are Karen Hughes (Under Secretary of State for public diplomacy with the rank of Ambassador), Mary Matalin (an American political strategist and consultant who has, in the past, told both Dick Cheney and George W. Bush what to do and how to act), James R. Wilkinson (Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice), Nicholas Calio (Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs), Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State) and Stephen Hadley (Assistant to the President For National Security Affairs). There is no reason for Karen Hughes to be in this group except to be GWB’s surrogate mommy, but there she is, nonetheless. When Condi Rice was promoted from surrogate mommy No. 2 to Secretary of State she gained a measure of acceptance only because of her title. Ergo, she is in WHIG. These seven people in addition to The Carlyle Group’s Frank Carlucci are the most likely current members of the White House employment agency. The names floating around for Snow’s job are Henry M. Paulson Jr. who is chief executive of Goldman Sachs; John J. Mack, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley; and Richard D. Parsons, the chairman of Time Warner. Paulson was staff assistant to President Nixon from 1972 to 1973 and served as staff assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon from 1970 to 1972. Mack received the up-from-rags Horatio Alger Award in 2002. He became CEO of Morgan Stanley after a bitter fight for the job with Philip Purcell. Parsons was on Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s legal staff and stayed with him when Rockefeller became VP in 1974. Parsons then became a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford. My bet is on Paulson who was paid a $29.8 million salary in 2004. The White House loves a rich successful corporate sombitch. I keep wondering how long the press is going to honor the fiction that George W. Bush makes decisions. GWB has peeves, druthers, hates, likes, leanings, and loyalties. But GWB does not decide anything more crucial than whether he’ll go to bed at 9:00 or 9:15. And even that brain-buster is helped along by nannies and minders.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Oh Mercy! If Only Moussaoui Had Fessed Up!

Had Zacarias Moussaoui only told the truth back when--the GOP’s sniffle and whine goes--the attack on the World Trade Center could have been avoided—oh alas! Oh drat! Yeah…if only. Let me interject a reminder here. Cast your minds back to the 9/11 Commission hearing back on April 8, 2004. Commission Member Richard Ben-Veniste was questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Ben-Veniste said, “Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 p.d.b. (president’s daily briefing, 8/6/01) warned against possible attacks in this country, and I ask you whether you recall the title of that p.d.b.? Condleezza Rice: I believe the title was "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." So let’s roll the if-only nonsense in a ball and throw it in a shitcan. If Moussaoui had knocked on the White House door and informed whoever would listen that he and others planned to fly planes into the WTC, the Bush administration would have paid him no mind whatsoever. The Prez took the longest vacation ever known for a sitting president to take from August 3 to September 3, 2001 while tons of stuff was coming into the White House about the possibility of a terrorist attack. George W. Bush could not be bothered. The CIA knew about Moussaoui taking flying lessons and it had been warned that he and/or other terrorists might fly planes into US buildings. When CIA Director George Tenet was asked if he would advise the Prez of this when Bush got back from vacation on September 5th, Tenet said, “No. It isn’t the appropriate place.” Jordan and Morocco had advised US and allied intelligence that Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorists were preparing airborne terrorist operations in the continental United States. And Condoleezafucking Rice had read the president’s daily briefing and ignored it. If Moussaoui had sworn on the Koran in front of the entire CIA, George Bush, Dick Cheney, the assembled idiots in the Pentagon, and the entire Bush cabinet that the World Trade Center towers were going to be blown up, the Bush administration would not have listened. Because they did not listen. Yes of course the WTC attack could have been avoided if only… If only we didn’t have morons, idiots, jackasses, and a performing monkey on a chain running the US government.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bush Planned to Attack Iraq No Matter What

Headline in this morning’s New York Times: “Bush Was Set on Path to War, Memo by British Adviser Says”. This is not really news. But it is proof that what we’ve always known to be true, is in fact true: By January 2003, George W. Bush had decided to attack Iraq even if he had to trump up a provocation. NYT reporter Don Van Natta, Jr. writes, “During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he (George W. Bush) made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapon…” Several excerpts of a memo written by Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor David Manning in 2003, were broadcast by the UK’s Channel 4 last February, Van Natta says. A British international law professor, Phillipe Sands, included highlights of the memo in a book published in January, “Lawless World”. But the full five-page memo had not been made public until now. The memo summarizes the January 31, 2003 discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six top aides and was stamped “extremely sensitive”. Van Natta says the memo has been reviewed by the NYT in its entirety. More from Van Natta’s article: “At several points during the meeting between Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair there was palpable tension over finding a legitimate legal trigger for going to war that would be acceptable to other nations, the memo said. The prime minister was quoted as saying it was essential for both countries to lobby for a second United Nations resolution against Iraq, because it would serve as "an insurance policy against the unexpected." One stunning revelation in the NYT article is that Bush and Blair kicked around possible ways of provoking a confrontation with Saddam Hussein in order to have a plausible excuse for attacking Iraq. Bush proposed “the US fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours…if Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." President Bush also suggested, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D.” And Bush’s third idea was to assassinate Saddam Hussein. Van Natta’s penultimate paragraph says, “At a White House news conference following the closed-door session, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair said ‘the crisis’ had to be resolved in a timely manner. ‘Saddam Hussein is not disarming,’ the president told reporters. ‘He is a danger to the world. He must disarm. And that's why I have constantly said — and the prime minister has constantly said — this issue will come to a head in a matter of weeks, not months.’” So yeah…they’re liars. The people of Great Britain, the United States and the world got set up. The US is in debt up to its eyeballs until our grandchildren have grandchildren because two men (one tiny, the other mentally challenged) thought a war would make them look important. We’ve killed 2,323 fine soldiers because two subhumans thought a war was a dandy way to look good in the history books. But is the info in this memo a smoking gun? Is the memo evidence of war crimes? Can these assholes be prosecuted? The war in Iraq falls under a “crime against peace” and the "sovereignty" rule. The sovereignty rule means that it is a crime of aggression to use armed force with intent to overthrow the government of a state or to impede its freedom to act unhindered, as it sees fit, throughout its jurisdiction. We owe it to ourselves, to the soldiers Bush/Blair have killed, and to the world to bring war crimes actions against the men who started this unnecessary war in Iraq. And by the way, Condoleezza Rice was at the January 31, 2003 with Bush and Blair. Her very existence is a crime against humanity.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bush: We Are a Nation of Immigrants

No, Mr. Fund-raiser, we are not a nation of immigrants. To call the United States a nation of immigrants is to describe Americans by the status of the early settlers. And if we are still what we were when the pilgrims landed, then we also are a nation of criminals and whores. Because, like it or not, that was the status of a majority of those who fled their mother countries to come to the new world. What we are is a nation of American citizens. America’s image has always been that we open our arms to the oppressed from other countries. It is right to be proud of that reputation. But attached to that open arms concept is the expectation that once an immigrant has legally entered the United States and been welcomed here, he/she goes through the process of becoming a citizen. The population of the United States is roughly 296,000,000 people. We are citizens. And as citizens we have been granted the rights and benefits that citizenship gives us. Eleven million foreign-born people who are living in the United States are illegal immigrants. These illegal immigrants believe they should be granted all the rights and benefits that accrue to the citizens of the United States even though they have come into this country illegally and are living here illegally. I confess. I do not understand that expectation. Not all illegal immigrants are Hispanic, of course, but since the US borders Mexico, many illegals are Hispanic. The GOP recognizes that 40,000,000 Hispanics live in the US, and the Latino population is growing. In the 2004 election, it was estimated that 40% of the Latino voters voted for Republican candidates. And that is why the GOP is now wooing Latino voters by bending over backwards to accommodate illegal immigrants. The Bush administration has the belief that if it uses just the right words, it will persuade its detractors of the rightness of any of its myriad cockamamy policy decisions. Therefore the White House is using terms like “guest worker program” instead of “amnesty”, and “undocumented immigrants” instead of “illegal immigrants”. But whatever the weasel words are, the Bush Administration wants to award full citizenship to illegal immigrants by granting amnesty to people who have entered the United States illegally and are living in the United States illegally. The Bushboys know that when the Republican-controlled house voted last December in favor of making it a federal crime to live in the US illegally, it was a deal-killer with the Hispanic vote. That law would turn illegal immigrants into felons. And a felon cannot gain legal status. Currently, it’s a violation of civil immigration law, not criminal law, to live in the United State without authorization. The legislation to make illegal immigrants felons will come to a vote this coming week. I have no problem with legal immigrants. I have a problem with bending our immigration laws to get votes. I have a problem with the Roman Catholic Church once again getting involved in a political issue. I have a problem with the RCC loudly ranting that, "This is not about politics from our point of view, this is about how we treat other human beings” in order to try to get public attemtion off the RCC’s sex crimes and back onto the RCC being a self-appointed arbiter of ethics and morality. Once again, the Bush administration and the Roman Catholic Church are pushing for policies that have nothing to do with ethics but everything to do with image and votes. Fah! On both their houses.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Who’s In Charge?

E.J. Dionne writes in today’s WaPo (“In Charge, Except They're Not”) that President Bush acts like “a right-wing talk show host”. Referring to Bush’s press conference this week, Dionne said, “He sounded like someone who has no control over the government he is in charge of. His words were those of a pundit inveighing against the evils of bureaucrats.” Dionne calls Bush the critic-in-chief. He quotes Bush as saying, “Obviously there are some times when government bureaucracies haven't responded the way we wanted them to, and like citizens, you know, I don't like that at all." And if Bush can’t do something about it, who can? Dionne asks. Interesting question. What is the chain of command? We know Bush can’t even control himself and his mental problems, let alone have control over the White House. But when a question comes up about making a policy decision, who makes the decision? Cheney is the obvious answer, but Cheney just pontificates and spews propaganda. Who does Cheney say, Mother may I, to? Rove spins. Rove does not make policy. Condi Rice does her mean face and tries to act the way she thinks a powerful woman would act, which of course has no resemblance to the way powerful women act, mainly because little Miss Condi has no power. William Kristol? Nah. William Kristol acts snide and smiles while acting snide to try to seem knowing, but he’s as out of the loop as William Buckley. Rupert Murdoch? Maybe. He’s Chairman and Managing Director of News Corporation, the world's largest and most influential media corporation. Murdoch surely is at the top of the chain of command. Now that Neil Bush has been cited as being in bed with the Scientology crew, maybe Cheney goes to David Miscavige, the big mahoff of Scientology. Cheney could ask him to channel founder L. Ron Hubbard for advice. More likely, Cheney communes with Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Chairman of The Carlyle Group with regard to US policies. The Carlyle Group says of itself, “Our mission is to be the premier global private equity firm, leveraging the insight of Carlyle's team of investment professionals to generate extraordinary returns across a range of investment choices, while maintaining our good name and the good name of our investors.” Craig Unger in “House of Bush House of Saud” quotes a Carlyle Group brochure which says, “We invest in niche opportunities created in industries heavily affected by changes in governmental policies...we focus on industries we know and in which we have a competitive advantage...federally regulated or impacted industries such as aerospace/defense.” Um...The Carlyle Group invests in arms, armaments and it funds military operations. Founder David M. Rubenstein served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. During the Carter Administration, Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. Carlyle Group partners, advisers, counselors and/or directors have been former president George Herbert Walker Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Prime Minister of Great Britain John Major and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci. President George W. Bush was a director at one time. In 1995, GHWBush and James Baker went to the House of Saud on behalf of the Carlyle Group to solicit investment. It’s assbackward to think Cheney goes to Murdoch or the Carlyle Group about policy decisions. What probably happens is that Murdoch or Gerstner, Jr. gets a bug up their ass that the US needs to do something to benefit global corporations or a military operation. They tell Rubenstein who tells Cheney who informs the White House (with the exception of the Prez). Karl Rove and Andy Card and the rest of the White House Iraq Group kick the idea around about what is the best way to spin it. They decide on a plan and then the president is told: Here’s what you’re going to say. Who’s in charge? Not anyone in the White House or the US Congress, you can bet the rent on that.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Add Tourette Syndrome To The Prez Problems

People are once again remarking on the President’s jawjerking/chinducking tics. They seem to come and go depending on his approval numbers. The more stress, the more he jerks his jaw. Ever since the chin jerks were noticed a few years ago, Bush watchers have suggested the president may have Tourette Syndrome. And TS would at least explain some of the president’s other anomalies. Those who have TS often are afflicted with Attention-Deficit Disorder, problems with impulse control, Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, dyslexia and sleep disorders. A French doctor, Georges Giles de la Tourette, first described the condition in 1885. It’s genetic. TS can be inherited or it can occur during the development of the fetus in the womb. A problem develops with the way nerves communicate in the brain. Symptoms are usually first noticed in young children or teenagers. Most of the many and varied tics associated with Tourette Syndrome are involuntary. In its more severe form, TS can cause even a pious rightwinger to scream invectives, curse and use language that would make a sailor blush. TS tics can include gyrating, hopping, clapping, tensing arm or neck muscles, and repeated touching of people or things. Other TS symptoms are recurrent, persistent ideas, argumentativeness and stubbornness. Most people with mild TS do just fine without drug therapy. But some of the drugs used to reduce TS symptoms are anti-psychotics such as olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal). However these drugs can cause drooling, muscular rigidity, tremor and lack of facial expression. Clonidine, a blood pressure medication also reduces tics, but its side effects are fatigue, dry mouth, irritability, dizziness, headache and insomnia. If George W. Bush has TS, apparently he has a mild form. But since his recent television performances have become so boring and predictable, the idea of a Bush speech laced with obscene gestures, hopping, clapping, gyrating and profanity is irresistible. It surely would be an improvement.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bush Tells Helen Thomas Why He Invaded Iraq

I hope to see yesterday’s White House Press Conference lampooned on “South Park” one of these days. We have a prematurely senile (in addition to alcoholic and medicated) President Bush telling sharp-as-a-tack 85-year-old reporter Helen Thomas why he invaded Iraq. It may be GWB forgot he was on-camera. Or perhaps he thought that since Ms Thomas is old she had forgotten the last three years. Maybe the Prez thought, if he thought anything at all, that he’d mesmerized the whole world and no one had any memory of the Iraq invasion. CNN Transcript of the Helen Thomas part of the press conference: QUESTION from Helen Thomas: “I'd like to ask you, Mr. President -- your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, your Cabinet officers, former Cabinet officers, intelligence people and so forth -- but what's your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil, the quest for oil. It hasn't been Israel or anything else. What was it? BUSH: I think your premise, in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- that I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect. QUESTION (Helen Thomas): And... BUSH: Hold on for a second, please. Excuse me. Excuse me. No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed in September the 11th. When we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people, that we will do everything in our power to protect our people. Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy, and that's why I went into Iraq.” Well now, isn’t that interesting? The President didn’t want the war. Saddam denied the inspectors. And the president went into Iraq to make sure we didn’t provide a haven to the enemy. In fact, President Bush wanted to attack Iraq so badly that he authorized Colin Powell to lie in front of the UN to justify the war. Sadam Hussein did not deny access to the inspectors. The President himself provided a haven to the enemy that attacked the World Trade Centers. And the world is HUGELY less safe now than it was before Bush's war. By now, OJ Simpson has no doubt convinced himself he did not kill his wife. And in 1983 when already impaired President Reagan told Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal he’d been a US Army photographer assigned to film Nazi death camps, he certainly believed it, even though he didn’t set foot in Germany during WWII and had spent the entire war in Hollywood. And President Bush, given his mental disorders, may believe the hogwash he hands out during speeches and press conferences. But like all liars, he forgets what he said the last time he lied. In June 2003, the BBC reported that President George W. Bush told Mahmood Abbas (now Palestinian Authority president) that he went to war in Iraq because God told him to. "God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did,” Bush said. In his speech to the United Nations in September 2003, the Prez said, “because a coalition of nations acted to defend the peace, and the credibility of the United Nations, Iraq is free.” Scratch the God stuff. We attacked Iraq to defend the UN. In December 2005 the Prez said, “We are in Iraq today because our goal has always been more than the removal of a brutal dictator; it is to leave a free and democratic Iraq in its place.” Scratch the God and UN stuff. We attacked Iraq to give it democracy. And yesterday, scratch the God, UN and democracy stuff. The Prez said we attacked Iraq to make the US safe from enemies. Neither Helen Thomas nor the entire population of the United States will ever hear the real reason we attacked Iraq from anyone in the White House. The reason changes from day to day according to the spinning needs of the moment. But the real reason we attacked Iraq was because it was an easy first step in the neocons’ grandiose plan for the US to own the world. And what’s the upshot? The world owns the US.

Monday, March 20, 2006

US Leaders: Inept, Delusional and Corrupt

Sixty years ago when the government made false statements there was nothing anyone could do to refute them. Those who had seen the truth with their own eyes could only contradict the powers that be, which lead to their being discredited, but there was no proof that the government had lied. Seventy-four years ago when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president, the people of the United States did not know that the polio he’d contracted in 1921 had crippled him and that he could not walk. FDR was propped up and he could stand with leg braces. The people knew he was lame but never knew his legs were paralyzed. It’s interesting that now that we have cameras and tape recorders to monitor every moment of what is really going on in the world, the Bush administration is using the technology to make movies that support its version of reality while claiming that the scenes we see on television are a false version of reality. The Bush administration is commemorating the three-year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq with claims that the war always was and continues to be righteous and that the US always was and continues to be victorious. On “Face the Nation” yesterday, VP Dick Cheney insisted that he was right three years ago when he said the US “will be greeted as liberators”, he insisted he was right 10 months ago when he said the insurgency in Iraq was “in its last throes”. He said the media had made it appear otherwise with photos of violence and destruction. Donald Rumsfeld, who sees his failed war in Iraq as a military exercise equal to WWII, wrote in the Washington Post that, "Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis…it would be as great a disgrace as if we had asked the liberated nations of Eastern Europe to return to Soviet domination." The Prez made a prepared two-minute statement on the situation in Iraq and said,"I'm encouraged by the progress." In the end, who and what the public believes will be the deciding factor in whether the US remains in Iraq or shouts, We Won! and abruptly withdraws without a backward glance or a fare-thee-well. Today the New York Times reported that Iraq’s former interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, said Iraq was nearing a "point of no return,” and that “it is unfortunate that we are in civil war...we are losing each day, as an average, 50 to 60 people through the country, if not more...if this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is." The NYT said Senior American commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., contradicted Allawi on CNN and said, "We're a long way from civil war." And then there are the Republican Senators and pro-Bush pundits who say the US has to stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future because the US has a lot at stake in Iraq. What? What’s at stake? Salvaging the reputation of the Bush administration? Finalizing contracts with Carlyle Group companies for defense materiel? Making business deals with Arab countries that depend on the continued presence of the US in Iraq? Business as usual. That’s why we continue to kill our soldiers in Iraq (latest count is 2,318): The US is conducting business and fattening the coffers of fat cats in American corporations.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Operation Swarmer—Just Another Photo Op

Yesterday, Time mag’s online edition posted an article by Brian Bennett and Al Jallam called, “How Operation Swarmer Fizzled”. It chronicled how four Black Hawk helicopters had flown members of the press to a wheat field near Baghdad so that the reporters and cameramen could witness Operation Swarmer, a military maneuver that had been hyped by Iraqi flacks and US Army spokesmen as the "largest air assault since 2003" in Iraq. But the whole thing was another Bush administration staged performance. Time said “contrary to what many television networks erroneously reported, the operation was by no means the largest use of airpower since the start of the war. (‘Air Assault’ is a military term that refers specifically to transporting troops into an area.) In fact, there were no airstrikes and no leading insurgents were nabbed in an operation that some skeptical military analysts described as little more than a photo op. What’s more, there were no shots fired at all and the units had met no resistance, said the U.S. and Iraqi commander.” By now, no one is surprised when the White House presents a phony filmed drama complete with costumes and props as though it were a real event. And reprehensible as it is, no one is surprised when the White House gives our soldiers prepared lines to speak and uses them as extras in extravaganzas that have been staged to make George W. Bush look, if not good, then at least, adequate. It also has become an infuriating practice of the Bush administration to compare the puny sycophantic toadying commanders of its war of choice in Iraq to the great generals of the WWII. And the White House even goes so far as to liken its decision to attack Iraq to the US having to enter WWII. And now, by calling the White House movie-of-the-week “Operation Swarmer”, the White House and its cadre of propaganda-spewing Iraq war commanders have once again denigrated a proud and brave group of men who served during WWII and in the Korean conflict (which was never officially called a war). Following are snippets from “Unit History of the 187th”, by Col. William Weber who wrote about the original Operation Swarmer. “The 187th Infantry Regiment was constituted on 12 November 1942 at Camp Mackall, North Carolina... “In May 1944, the Regiment deployed with the Division to the southwest Pacific debarking at Lae, New Guinea... “While serving as occupation forces, the 187th received the title "Rakkasan" from the Japanese which literally translated means ‘Falling Down Umbrella'... “In May, the Regiment moved into Lipa to refit, rebuild, and prepare for the Invasion of Japan. At this time, the 3rd Battalion was formed and the Regiment was redesigned as a para-glider regiment... “In early 1950, the Rakkasans participated in the largest peacetime airborne maneuver in history,'Operation Swarmer'. The performance of the Regiment during this maneuver was instrumental in the Regiment being selected to form an airborne regimental combat team to enter the Korean conflict.” That the Bush administration would have the crass impudence to call their little fake air show Operation Swarmer is another indication of the contempt the White House feels for our soldiers, for us and for the innocent people in Iraq.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dear Tom Friedman:

Your New York Times Op/Ed piece yesterday, “Dubai and Dunces”, comes very close to sounding rational. If you weren’t always wrong about Iraq, and if the Bush administration’s unnecessary and disastrous war hadn’t sown the seeds of mistrust for all Arabs in the hearts and minds of Americans, your “Arab businessman friend” would make complete sense. He said the US “could not have a better friend and more of a symbol of globalization and openness” than Dubai. But you are always wrong about Iraq. And the Bush administration is the reason Americans are wary of deals with Arabs. So once again, your article comes to us from Tom Friedman’s virtual world. Which is nine-tenths wishful thinking and one-tenth based on your having lived in the Middle East for seven years twenty years ago. The readership for your column has dwindled now that people have to either buy a print edition of the NYT or pay an onerous fee to read the Op/Ed columnists online. That’s because the NYT made a decision based on financial considerations rather than the public good. And that is a very neat metaphor for what the Bush administration has done to the United States. The unfortunate decision to attack Iraq has bankrupted the USA, which, prior to the reign of George W. Bush was in good shape financially and had a good reputation throughout the world. In order to finance the Bush war in Iraq the US has had to sell itself to foreign governments. The US needs $4 billion A DAY in FOREIGN MONEY to make up for its budget and trade deficits. As CNN’s Christine Romans told us on February 22nd, “The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group, the private equity investment firm where President Bush's father once served as senior adviser and is a who's who of former high-level government officials. Just last year, Dubai International Capital, a government-backed buyout firm, invested in an $8 billion Carlyle fund.” You see, Mr. Friedman, the failed Dubai deal has brought all this information out into the open. Like children who were kept in the dark about their family’s business being bought by foreign businessmen, the American people didn’t realize what had been going on. Stopping the Dubai deal is symbolic. The American people’s eyes have been opened and we are saying, WE DON’T LIKE WHERE GEORGE W. BUSH HAS TAKEN US! It’s the circumstances under which we found out the truth that sticks in our craw. I grant you, this so-called globalization would have been inevitable whether George Bush or Jesus Christ was president of the United States. But George Bush and his cronies have lied and deceived and killed American soldiers for no reason other than stupidity and greed, and Americans don’t like what they are finding out or the way in which they have gotten the news. I have to quote your article, since so many people don’t have the chance to read it. You say, “Dubaians are building a future based on butter not guns, private property not caprice, services more than oil, and globally competitive companies, not terror networks. Dubai is about nurturing Arab dignity through success not suicide. As a result, its people want to embrace the future, not blow it up.” Fine. Or, it would be fine, if on this side of the world, the same could be said for the Bush administration. But our White House has not only fouled its own nest, it has fouled our perception of the Arab world. You end your article with a supremely Friedmanesque statement: “So whatever happens with the Iraq experiment—but especially if it fails—we need Dubai to succeed.” Experiment? IF it fails? Good Godalmighty, you educated moron, Iraq is no laboratory test tube. The war in Iraq and the selling of the war in Iraq as humane intervention is A TOTAL FAILURE! It started out as a huge lie, progressed through massive mistakes and missteps and now has deteriorated into chaos and anarchy that has poisoned the entire region. And that is why Americans didn’t like the Dubai deal. We needed to say NO! to the Bush administration that has squandered our birthright and our children’s future. Pull your head out of your ass for just five minutes, Tom Friedman. Take a look at what the Bush administration has done to us and to the world.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Let’s visit a couple of old stories since the Bush administration isn’t in the headlines this morning with new scandals. Although, as Jack Palance answered Billy Crystal’s query, “Killed anybody today, Curly?” in “City Slickers”, “…the day ain’t over yet.” On February 24th I sent an e-mail to international bookie PaddyPower to see if it was giving odds on the date when President Bush would back out of the Dubai deal. PaddyPower got back to me a day later saying, "Unfortunately we will not be able to offer a price on this particular market at this time." I had picked March 15th and March 17th as good bets for the actual date. As it turned out, it was March 9th. But, as we all knew would happen, the Bush administration made a face-saving deal with the UAE. It was Dubai that seemingly backed out. I say seemingly because we still haven’t heard the end of the Dubai deal. On March 9th, the UAE’s state-owned company DP World said it would bow to US political pressure and “transfer” (whatever that means) the ports in the Dubai deal to a “US-owned entity” (whatever that is). This morning the Miami Herald reported, “An e-mail raising questions about when -- or if -- Dubai Ports World would sell its interests in a Port of Miami-Dade terminal operator fueled some lawmakers' concerns that the Arab company isn't serious about divesting its U.S. operations. “In an e-mail discussing the upcoming budget for the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co., an executive of P&O Ports North America -- which was bought by DP World -- addressed the controversy over the sale. “The e-mail states: ’. . . unless one or both of our esteemed partners have separately advised you that they plan to sell their interests, you should assume for your own purposes of managing the company that ownership of POMTOC is not going to change,’ wrote P&O Ports North America general counsel Robert Scavone on Monday. ‘And even if they do plan to sell, that would probably take a while . . .’ “Facing a likely defeat in Congress, DP World said last week it would sell its U.S. operations to an American company. “But the Arab company offered little detail about how or when it would sell, and some lawmakers were skeptical whether the divestiture will take place. “Skeptics include one of P&O's partners in POMTOC, Eller & Co., which has been fighting to stop the sale. "This was another trick on their part, to pull the wool over our eyes," said Eller attorney Michael Kreitzer.” And then we have the Claude A. Allen story. What a little beauty it is. Maybe I love it because some of my fave movies are about twins. Bette Davis in “A Stolen Life” (1946), for instance. They had to split the screen exactly in half back then and film first the one twin and then the other and splice the halves together. Even using the old-timey technology “A Stolen Life” is a wonderful tearjerker. And then there is Jeremy Irons in the marvelous and grisly “Dead Ringers” (1988). That movie used newer and awesome technology which allowed Irons to walk behind himself as twins. So, when the story about White House advisor Claude Allen’s theft arrest blossomed with an “evil twin”, I was captivated. Oh boy! Floyd the evil twin did it. And even Claude and Floyd’s stepmother Renee Allen said she assumed Floyd-the-rotten was the guilty party not Claude-the-perfect. What could be better? The good and pious Claude A. Allen who worked his righteous ass off for the GOP (as in, sitting at the right hand of Jesse Helms, Clarence Thomas and George W. Bush) had a mirror-image twin who was as black hearted as Claude was pure. Yummy! Alas, Claude himself blew the possibility of the evil twin doing the credit card scam. The March 11th New York Times reported, "Mr. McClellan (White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan) gave this chronology: On Jan. 3, Mr. Allen discussed the incident with Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel, and told her that he had been returning merchandise and there was confusion with his credit cards because he had moved many times. He assured Ms. Miers that the matter would be cleared up.” Within days Claude Allen had resigned his White House post. Is there a good George W. Bush twin living in Canada? Will he come back to Washington DC and save the world? Nah! If he’s the good and smart twin he’s already had plastic surgery and changed his name.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What Happened to Claude A. Allen?

The popular thing to say about Claude Allen’s credit card scam and downfall is: “We don’t know what happened to him, he was a goody-two-shoes.” Here’s what happened to Claude Allen. He came to Washington, DC as a staff member for lying cheat former senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), then he became a protégé of lying cheat Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and ultimately Claude Allen became an adviser to lying cheat president George W. Bush. Claude Allen learned his lessons well: Lesson 1) You’re a Republican, lie Lesson 2) You’re a Republican, cheat Lesson 3) You’re a Republican, deceive So where did he go wrong? He trusted his Republican mentors. Big mistake. With mean-spirited malice aforethought they neglected to teach him the most important lesson: Lesson 4) You’re a Republican, cheat for billions, petty scams make us look bad

Monday, March 13, 2006

Porn Star Mary Carey Is Doing DC…Again

And she says she is “so excited” to be seeing the Prez…again. Last May, Mary Carey (nee Mary Cook) and her LA hard-core porn producer Mark Kulkis paid the required 5,000 bucks for two tix to a National Republican Congressional Committee party where the porn queen met her peers in the GOP. See, Miss Mary, star of such XXX videos as "Grand Opening”, ran for California Governor in 2003. Now she says she’s going to have another go at the California Guv race and she needs all the Repub support she can get. PRWire broke the news yesterday that Mary Carey will be the guest of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). PRWire says she will join Karl Rove, senior advisor to the President, for lunch on Wednesday the 15th, and President Bush for dinner on Thursday the 16th. So okay, this is a lot of fun for everyone. But low jokes and raised eyebrows aside, what is going on? First, let’s be clear. The NRCC is different from the Republican National Committee (RNC). U.S. Rep. Tom Reynolds (NY) is the Chairman of the NRCC. Ken Mehlman is the Chairman of the RNC. The NRCC hype says it’s “a political committee devoted to increasing the 231-member Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives”. Alrighty then. I cannot with good conscience allege that in-the-closet-but-who’s-kidding-whom Mehlman is responsible for trying to stoke up George W. Bush’s hetero-quotient. But it looks like someone in the GOP has gotten a load of Press Secretary Scottie McClellan, advisor Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman and decided that with all his other troubles, the Prez could use a hetero boost. So you have to wonder: has the Prez been meeting with his college cheerleading buddy, Polish Ambassador Victor Ashe again? Are those rumors getting a re-run? Have the recent Repub scandals made the Prez all tense and he’s been blowing off, um, steam? Have Special Services been getting in contact with JimmyJeff GuckertGannon for special services? Oh well…whatever. We’re probably going to see a series of photo-ops of George-who-likes-women now. Does that mean Karen Hughes and Condi Rice have to get Double-D implants?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Yikes! The Real John McCain: Bush With Brains

On Friday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gave a speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis, TN. Three things are now clear: 1) McCain will do ANYTHING to be President in 2008. 2) Southern Repubs are convinced Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) will be the Democrat candidate in 2008. 3) Southern Repubs are convinced McCain is the only candidate who can defeat Clinton. New York Times quotes re the conference in Memphis: “’We must keep our presidential ambitions a distant second to standing with the president of the United States,’ Mr. McCain said.” “The extent of Mr. McCain's embrace of Mr. Bush was striking, and Republicans here suggested it reflected two political facts: that he needed to reassure conservatives of his loyalty to Mr. Bush, and that, at this point, he was in a strong enough position in this field to have flexibility in presenting himself. “Mr. McCain went so far as to condemn the collapse of the port deal, saying that Congress had served Mr. Bush poorly by not permitting a 45-day review of security concerns, though he did not mention that the deal was sunk by fellow Republicans. "’The president deserved better,’ Mr. McCain said.” “Mr. McCain praised the president for his failed effort to rewrite the Social Security system, said he supported the decision to go into Iraq and blistered at critics who suggested the White House had fabricated evidence of unconventional weapons in Iraq to justify the invasion.” "’Anybody who says the president of the United States is lying about weapons of mass destruction is lying,’ Mr. McCain said.” "’There's a lot of frustration here — we've had a run of real bad luck,’ said Tom Rath, a New Hampshire Republican leader. ‘You've got such longevity in that White House team that they are tired. They need a break. They need a big piece of good luck. I don't know what it is.’” Washington Post quotes about McCain in Memphis: “The Arizona senator was full-throated in his support for Bush on Iraq, Iran and even the now-defunct Dubai seaports deal. In doing so, he continued to establish his bona fides as the Republican most likely to defend and extend the president's controversial foreign policy record. At the same time, McCain delivered a stern condemnation of fiscal profligacy and corruption in Washington that was rooted in his reputation as an advocate of change and an antagonist of pork-barrel spending.” “As McCain left the Peabody Hotel on Saturday to tour the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast, he was matter-of-fact about his steadfast support for the president. "We elected him, we need him, he needs to do well and the country needs him," McCain said in an interview. "With all the challenges, all of these things that are going on, including slow progress in Iraq, we need to show our support. It's easy to support somebody when they're up. That's why I did it. If he had been up, I wouldn't have emphasized it nearly as much. You've got to rally the troops." WaPo also said: “When Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (Ky.) called Bush "one of the great presidents in the history of the United States," the audience rose to applaud and cheer. Former Texas Republican Party chairman Fred Meyer made clear that anyone running for president in 2008 should forget about running against Bush. "Not supporting the president on the high percentage of issues would be a mistake, because people value loyalty." LA Times quotes about McCain in Memphis: “Sen. John McCain, who made his name as a Republican maverick, is going mainstream.” “Six years after the Arizonan emerged as George W. Bush's nemesis in the bitterly fought 2000 GOP presidential primary — and, in the views of some, ran against his party's establishment — McCain is taking a different tack as he prepares for a possible second White House bid. “Even as he has picked high-profile fights with Bush over military interrogation tactics and with congressional colleagues over pork-barrel spending, McCain has been quietly courting GOP power brokers, emphasizing his loyalty to the president and burnishing his conservative credentials on litmus-test issues. “McCain was nearly alone on Capitol Hill in defending the administration-approved ports deal involving a Dubai-owned company. He has eased his opposition to tax cuts that he once complained were excessive. “He recently met with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a leading evangelical conservative whom he previously had denounced as intolerant. To the delight of GOP partisans, he publicly lambasted Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois — a rising star among Democrats — over an ethics and lobbying overhaul.” “McCain's backers say an increasingly strong selling point for him among conservatives is that he would be the candidate best able to defeat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, the early front-runner in the Democratic presidential race and a politician loathed by Republicans of virtually every stripe.” May all Independents who are leaning toward McCain read the MSM’s evaluation of this weekend’s Conference in Memphis. John McCain will do and say whatever it takes to win the GOP nomination in 2008. The straight-shooter-man-of-integrity image he has tried to project is a lie. Yes, he was a prisoner of war for five years, but one lesson he may have learned does not necessarily make a trustworthy politician: Survive at all costs no matter what you have to do and say.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

How Can He Be So Obtuse?

Republicans wanted a mentally challenged George W. Bush to be president so strongly that twice they perpetrated massive fraud to make it so. And now the idiot is saying he’s “concerned” about the message the failed Dubai deal is sending to “friends“ in the Middle East. Dear President Mousebrains: You are the one who created this mess. You are the one who wanted to sell our ports to a country that aided and abetted the 9/11 hijackers. You are the cheerleader for a sale to a country that refuses to recognize a US friend, Israel. It was you who hysterically started screaming threats to veto attempts to block the Dubai deal after which you said you didn’t know anything about the deal. You and your felonious family (George H. Walker, GHWBush, Neil, Jeb and Marvin) are the ones who have been doing dirty, double-speak, double-cross deals in the Middle East for over a hundred years. And now, it was bound to happen. The guys who would rather enrich US corporations with money from 9/11 co-conspirators than to keep the US safe, are revving up the old scare tactics. Senator John W. Warner, (R-VA) chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in an interview that the failed Dubai deal is going to put our friendships with Arab countries to the test. No, Senator Warner. If anything is putting our friendship with Arab countries to the test it is you and your money-grubbing fellow Repubs who tried to broker a deal with a duplicitous Arab nation against all warnings. Oh, and by the way, these wonderful friends of the US have now engaged in blatant blackmail. The New York Times reported this morning, “In its statement on Thursday announcing the decision, DP World referred to an understanding that it ‘will not suffer economic loss,’ leading some Wall Street analysts to suggest that the United States government intended to compensate DP World financially for any difference between its high purchase price and a potentially low resale value.” The NYT article went on to say, “Company spokesmen have repeatedly declined to clarify whether DP World's pledge to "transfer" the leases to a "United States entity" meant a complete sale or some alternative structure like a trust or subsidiary based in the United States that would allow DP World to retain some ties to the terminals. A Treasury Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the government's talks, said the department expected an outright sale.” Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) released a letter to President Bush questioning the term "transfer." Schumer’s letter said, “I am very concerned that the legal structure of the U.S. entity will not have a sufficient wall between the company and the Dubai government." Once again, the Republicans have rolled around in a huge manure pile and now are looking around with shock and disdain saying, “Who farted?”

Friday, March 10, 2006

Which “US Entity”?

The UAE’s state-owned company DP World said yesterday it would acquiesce to political pressure in the US and transfer the controversial ports in the Dubai deal to a US-owned entity. A US entity with ties to the Bush/Saud dynasty maybe? A US entity with ties to the UAE? How about The Carlyle Group, or Halliburton? How about a newly formed entity whose operating officers are all members of WHIG? If I sound like I don’t trust the White House and the UAE, it’s because I wouldn’t walk three feet with representatives from either of them without having an armed guard. If the Dubai deal goes to a newly formed entity, thrown together for the express purpose of ending the controversy on this dubious Dubai deal, you can bet your ass it’s a front. If the entity is an existing company, you can bet your ass it’s been bought and paid for by the White House in cahoots with the UAE. The UAE, remember, promised reprisals against the USA if the ports deal fell through. DP World, remember, said on March 7th that in a few days P&O’s operations would belong to them, no matter what Congress does. I believe the UAE when it makes threats. In a pig’s eye the deal has fallen through. The deal has simply been made to look like it has fallen through. The three “US entity” frontrunners are: The Blackstone Group, a private equity concern, The Texas Pacific Group (TPG) another private equity outfit and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) which specializes in leveraged buyouts. As we speak, Blackstone and TPG both are bidding for Univision, the largest Spanish-language television and radio company in the United States. An interesting tidbit about TPG is that The Wall Street Journal reported that one of its founders, David Bonderman, supported John Kerry in the last election, but was a George Bush supporter in 2000 and also supported GWB when he ran for Texas guv. Definition of private equity from the Investor Dictionary: Private equity is a broad term that refers to any type of equity investment in an asset in which the equity is not freely tradable on a public stock market. Categories of private equity investment include leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, angel investing, mezzanine capital and others. Definition of leveraged buyout from the Investor Dictionary: A leveraged buyout (or LBO) occurs when a financial sponsor gains control of a majority of a target company's equity through the use of borrowed money or debt. Typically this money is borrowed through a combination of prepayable bank facilities and/or public or privately-placed bonds, which may be classified as high-yield or junk bonds. Often, the financial sponsor will use the target company's free cash flow to repay the borrowed debt. Finally, the financial sponsor will sell the target company to another company, sell shares in an IPO or pay itself a dividend payment in a refinancing. Most leveraged buyout firms look to earn a return on investment in excess of 20%...Proponents of LBOs claimed that they caused companies to make more efficient use of their resources. Opponents claimed that they tended to destroy value and cause great economic hardship through the economic disruptions they caused. So what we’ve got here is this: mavens and pundits in the field of high finance are betting that the Dubai deal is turned over to an entity that preys on corporations that are in trouble, rapes them, sells them to the highest bidder, makes an inordinately high profit and causes distress and hardship wherever it goes. Perfect.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Main Concern In Congress—Getting Re-elected

Our congressional representatives may say that getting re-elected is important because they need to continue their righteous calling. But it’s a job like any other job. The perks are good and our elected reps think their main job is to keep their job. Right now, the Republicans in Congress are weighing whether White House policies will hurt their re-election chances. Of course the so-called Repub moderates voted in favor of continuing the Patriot Act for four years. Of course they are voting in favor of wiretapping with a puny oversight clause. Why oppose bad legislation when the confrontation may not win votes? But the Dubai deal is a different matter altogether. A Repub person voting in favor of this controversial stinkhole could get booted out of Congress and never know what hit him. WaPo reports this morning (“House Agrees To Vote On Ports, Showdown With President Likely”) that a House vote on the Dubai deal is scheduled for next week. This means White House efforts to avoid legislation against the Dubai deal have failed. But wait. Looky here: “Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) will attach legislation to block the deal today to a must-pass emergency spending bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” WaPo said. How tricky is that! John McCain, the Repub’s great White House hope for 2008 wants the Iraq/Afghanistan wars to go on in perpetuity. But the public has become disillusioned with these wars. How do you kiss the Bush/McCain ass, kick UAE where it hurts and put Repub Congressmen in the winners' circle all at the same time? You attach a bill funding the wars to a bill killing the Dubai deal. Will it work? It is certain that Congress is in no mood to make the kind of compromise that House Homeland Security Chairman Peter T. King (R-NY) is sponsoring. That is, requiring DP World to have a U.S. partner, which would completely control operations at the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans. Congress wants the Dubai deal killed outright. And the Republican Congress also knows that emergency funding for the George Bush/John McCain wars is must-pass legislation. Lewis’s bill will no doubt pass. But the controversy about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue to dog Congressmen who are up for re-election. And the Dubai deal controversy will not end any time soon. The tag line on the WaPo article is the most interesting part: “DP World officials suggested yesterday that within days, Peninsular & Oriental's operations will belong to them, no matter what Congress does.” You didn’t think an Arab country was going to pack up its gazillion dollar deal and quietly go home did you?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Are Repubs Worse Hypocrites Than Dems?

Maybe not. But the Repubs are the ones in power. And the Repubs are the ones carrying on the loudest about the threat of terrorism in the Middle East while doing everything in their power to foment terrorism in the Middle East. The Repubs are the ones who rant about making the US secure while neglecting to do even the simplest things to make our ports secure. The Repubs are the ones who accuse Bush dissenters of being unpatriotic while the Repubs cut benefits to veterans, send our troops into battle without body armor and force fatigued soldiers to do tour after tour after tour in Iraq. The Repubs are the ones who refuse to honor American war dead with photographs of flag-draped coffins because it’s too much of a reminder that soldiers are dying in Iraq. And, the Repubs are the ones who piously preach about the evils of abortion, while seeking abortions for themselves when an unplanned pregnancy threatens their own families. Democratic Underground has a wonderful post this morning by nolies32fouettes called “The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion”. It is a collection of short paragraphs from abortion providers around the world who have provided abortions to the protesters who revile abortion clinics. The unrelenting fight, which anti-abortion protesters have waged, is so successful that Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia are planning laws to ban all abortions. South Dakota enacted a law Monday, which bans all abortions except when a pregnant woman's life is in jeopardy. The prayers of the pro-lifers are being answered. So where will these God-fearing anti-abortion crusaders go for their abortions?

Monday, March 06, 2006

How Boring Was the Oscar Show Last Night?

My Snooze Meter started to snore during Jon Stewart’s opening. It gave a wake-up beep when a presenter slipped and nearly fell, but went back to snooze mode until Reese Witherspoon’s speech when it snored so loudly I only heard 75 of her thank-yous. It would be wrong to place the blame entirely on the Academy Award producers and Jon Stewart for giving us the dullest Oscar show in a decade. Part of the problem is that for the last year the GOP has been giving us a daily diet of White House produced melodramas full of pratfalls, international intrigue, spooks, terror, betrayal and sexual perversion. We are sated. What could be funnier or sadder than the President of the United States running away to Pakistan to flee his bad press at home and then making a speech calling Pakistan “a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world”? Pakistan is neither a force for freedom and moderation nor is it Arab. The Academy Awards art deco set was wonderful. How about next year having George Clooney stand in front of that set and reading a list of Oscar winners? That should take five minutes. Then he could be filmed standing there for the next three-and-a-half hours. Works for me.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Military Denies It...It’s Probably True

Today, MSNBC reported, “The U.S. military in Iraq said on Sunday media reports that America and Britain planned to pull all troops out of Iraq by spring 2007 were ‘completely false,’ reiterating that there was no timetable for withdrawal. Two British newspapers reported on Sunday that the pull-out plan followed an acceptance by the two governments that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq was now an obstacle to securing peace.” The British press has been claiming since last December that the UK’s PM Tony Blair planned a pullout of UK troops from Iraq beginning in 2006. Now the UK’s Telegraph has reported that all of Britain’s and America’s troops will be withdrawn “by spring 2007”. But it’s the PM’s saber rattling about Iran that has Brits worried. When asked if Britain will send troops to Iran, Blair said, "You can never say never in any of these situations." The big question for Americans is: If the rumored pullout becomes fact, would the crazy Bush administration engage another country in another war to raise its plummeting approval rating? Of course the answer is Yes, because the crazy Bush administration is crazy. You know for certain that a pullout of our troops from Iraq would NOT be because our troops are an obstacle to peace. It would be because we’ve lost the war on terror, we’ve lost the war to gain control of Iraq’s oil and we’ve even lost the PR war to call naked aggression democracy. Since the White House didn’t bother to take it’s plan to attack Iraq to Congress for a vote, what would the procedure be now for diverting those troops to Iran that were illegally sent to Iraq? The psychopaths in the Bush administration assume they have the power to act on whatever whim comes to mind on any given morning. They no doubt would simply wind up their Dr. George and Mrs. Condi Strangelove puppets and send them out to inform the world that the US had decided to invade Iran. But what would the reaction in the real world be? What would Congress do? What would Americans do? What would the press say? I haven’t the foggiest notion.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Point Is….

Everyone is getting revved up about impeaching Bush, but Bush is only the messenger. And a bumbling, stupid messenger he is. But if everyone in the Presidential succession died and we were left with the final guy…Number 8 Michael Chertoff as Prez, we still would have to deal with the GOP policies that have landed us in the horrifying stew we are in. That’s the point. James Boyce had an interesting post in HuffPost yesterday. He suggests that John McCain (R-AZ) swallowed his pride (and by me, his integrity) during the 2004 election because he’d been promised Cheney would retire before the end of this term. And when Cheney retired McCain would be named Vice President. Which of course would put McCain in a perfect position to ascend to the GOP throne in 2008. I’ll buy it. But would it change anything? It surely shows that McCain’s ethics are no higher than the other Repubs who have set Bush administration policies. But even if we have a more attractive VP than Cheney and even if Bush were committed to a mental institution, we still would have the White House Iraq Group (Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, James R. Wilkinson, Nicholas E. Calio, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Andrew Card and Karl Rove), The Carlyle Group and Rupert Murdoch giving the GOP its marching orders. Senate Majority Leader William Frist is the most blatant rightwing bagman the GOP has ever put in office and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is his opposite number in the House. Neither Frist nor Hastert will ever take a stand against GOP crimes for the long haul. Both men have been effectively castrated by their own party. Super-Repub Ed Rollins said last night on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight that the entire Bush administration is inept. “Every week it's something that just reinforces the message that these guys don't know what they're doing. They're incompetent,” he said. Later, referring to Bush’s trip to India, Rollins said, “Normally a foreign trip gives you something…but if we're walking back with mangoes, and they're getting nuclear rods, that's not a very good swap.” Responding to a question about Karl Rove, Rollins said, “I think Karl has been distracted the last year with the CIA investigation and I think, to a certain extent, he was much better when he was the political adviser. When they made him the deputy chief of staff, he worried about policy. There hasn't been any policy in a year and a half that's been successful. Andy Card is an old friend of mine, worked on my staff. He's been around a long, long time, and I think he's tired. And there's nobody else allowed to have any political....” When Dobbs said, “I've got to ask you this first, Ed. Is any part of this administration working right now, in your judgment? And I'm talking about in governance, not politics,” Rollins said, “Maybe Interior, but I'm not quite sure. I think the parks are still being run pretty well.” So let’s say Cheney retires or chokes on his bile and crokes. Let’s say Bush resigns, is sent to a rest home or falls off his mountain bike and bites the dust. Let’s say Dennis Hastert becomes Prez and John McCain is appointed Vice Prez. If these events come to pass, will GOP policies change? McCain is a man who could make it appear that the GOP is willing to alter its course while in fact supporting the current deadly GOP policies. I am absolutely convinced that if McCain becomes President in 2008 he will sell off whatever is left of the United States to the highest bidder and commit the US to 30 more years in Iraq.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mr. Ratfucker Continues His History Lesson

The Bush family’s involvement with Middle East oil goes back four generations to George W. Bush’s great-grandfather George H. Walker. Walker was a WWI war profiteer. In the 1920’s Walker oversaw the rebuilding of the Baku oil fields, which were a couple hundred miles north of present-day Iraq. In 1964, when GHWBush ran for the US Senate from Texas, the incumbent Democrat Ralph Yarborough called him a hireling of the sheik of Kuwait. Just after the end of GHWBush’s Gulf War, which was waged to protect Bush family interests in the Kuwait oil fields, the Bank of England shut down one of the world’s largest banks, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). The reason for the unprecedented shutdown was that BCCI had engaged in “widespread fraud and manipulation”. The bank had a reputation for being a slush fund for the Central Intelligence Agency. CIA head Robert Gates even called it the “Bank of Crooks and Criminals International”. BCCI was founded by Agha Hasan Abedi in Pakistan in 1972. Capital for the startup came from the emir of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the Bank of America and, it is said, the CIA. But the emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, was the major investor. BCCI was used as a laundry service for the heroin labs in Pakistan and for funds for the British and American arms that were being funneled to the Afghan mujahideen. In 1992, John Kerry (D-MA) co-authored a report on BCCI with Senator Hank Brown (R-CO). The report was sent to the Committee on Foreign Relations and brought about the eventual closure of the bank. GHWBush was linked to both the Iran-Contra Scandal and the BCCI scandal. In 1992 Special prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh said Bush Sr. had been “in the loop” on multiple illegal acts. But his actual role was murky and could not be proved. However, GHWB’s role in supplying aid to Saddam Hussein in the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980’s was much more upfront. In a June 1992 “Nightline” segment, Ted Koppel said, "It is becoming increasingly clear that George [H.W.] Bush, operating largely behind the scenes through the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the aggressive power that the United States ultimately had to destroy." Bush family failure, George W. Bush, started his alliance with Middle East oil in the late 1970’s. His connection was Texan James Bath. Bath was the business representative for two Saudis--Salem bin Laden and BCCI director Khalid Mahfouz. Bath put $50,000 in GWB’s Arbusto oil business and it’s widely assumed the money came from the Bin Laden/Bin Mahfouz coffers. When George W Bush’s fledgling company Harken landed a huge contract to drill in the Persian Gulf for the government of Bahrain, Time mag said, “Mahfouz, or other BCCI players, must have had a hand in steering the oil-drilling contract to the president's son." During the 1980’s, now-Florida Guv Jeb Bush entertained and was entertained by Adhur Sakhia, the Miami BCCI branch chief who became a BCCI VIP in the US. After GHWBush left the White House in 1993, son Neil accompanied his parents, his brother Marvin and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III to Kuwait. Neil Bush is best known for his corrupt practices with the Colorado Silverado Savings and Loan where he was director. After Bush Sr. came back to the US, Neil stayed in Kuwait to lobby for business contracts and to start a number of ventures with Syrian-American Jamal Daniel. It may be that Mr. Ratfucker is only getting started with his history lesson about the whoring Bush family and its slimy ties to Middle East governments. Then again, anyone who actually believes that the Iraq war of 2003 had anything remotely to do with fighting terrorism, uplifting the downtrodden or bringing democracy to an oppressed land, is too thick-witted for Mr. Ratfucker to continue to try to educate.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mr. Ratfucker Feels A History Lesson Is Due

Mr. Ratfucker gets a real kick out of the transparent posts of silly freepers. Most freepers are young, inexperienced and ignorant. Ergo, Mr. Ratfucker believes a little education might be helpful to these blithering black holes of stupidity. Mr. Ratfucker would like to focus attention on George Bush Sr’s Gulf War, which was a war over oil but was sold as a war to stop Saddam Hussein’s aggression. GHWBush had the opportunity to stop Hussein once and for all and decided not to. By 1982, even though Iran was a terrorist country, the US was sending illegal arms to Iran to fight Nicaragua. In 1984 the US wanted to send arms legally to Iran. The Reagan administration went to Saudi Prince Bandar and had the Saudis funnel arms to Iran. Reagan also supported the Saudis, Kuwait and Egypt in sending arms to Iraq in order to aid Saddam Hussein. The US had been in cahoots with Saddam Hussein as far back as 1959 when Saddam was hired by the CIA as a paid assassin. When George Herbert Walker Bush became head of the CIA in 1976, he continued the practice of using Saddam as a paid assassin. In the mid 1980’s, it also served the US interests in Afghanistan to work with Osama bin Laden in sending covert aid to the Afghanis. When Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Osirak, Iraq in 1981, GHWBush said he thought Israel should be punished even though the reactor was considered to be Iraq’s first step toward making a nuclear weapon. Donald Rumsfeld became GHWBush’s Secretary of Defense in 1983. (Correction: Donald Rumsfed became GWBush's Secretary of Defense in 2001.) In 2002, Rumsfeld boasted that he had cautioned Saddam Hussein against using chemical weapons. That was a lie. Rumsfeld never cautioned Hussein against using chemical weapons. All during the Reagan/GHWBush years, the US publicly decried Iraq’s use of chemical weapons and privately supported it. In 1988 Saddam Hussein dropped a chemical bomb on Halabja and killed 5000 of his own people, the Iraqi Kurds. A bill was proposed in the US Congress, the Prevention of Genocide Act, which would have imposed sanctions on Iraq for the chemical attack on Halabja. Colin Powell and Dick Cheney made sure the act did not become law. The Reagan administration gave Saddam Hussein a free pass for gassing the Kurds. In 1989 GHWBush signed a National Security directive that gave Saddam Hussein more aid and promised not to tighten restrictions on US high tech exports to Iraq. By 1990 GHWBush’s administration was still sharing military intelligence with Saddam and GHWBush opposed Congressional efforts to impose sanctions on Saddam Hussein. In order to protect US oil interests in Iraq, GHWBush had armed Saddam Hussein. But in July 1990 Prince Bandar told GHWBush that Saddam planned to invade Kuwait. This meant Saddam would control Saudi and Kuwait oil fields and GHWBush agreed with Bandar that Hussein had to be stopped. On August 5, 1990, GHWBush postured and fulminated and declared, “This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.” GHWB knew Americans didn’t believe Middle East oil was worth losing lives over. So he said, “The fight isn’t over oil. The fight is about naked aggression and will not stand.” The Bush administration hired Hill and Knowlton, a prestigious PR firm, to convince the American people that Saddam was a villain. Saddam was a villain. But Hill and Knowlton went over-the-top and invented a baby-killing story to get the point across and to further the idea that the US had to militarily stop Saddam Hussein from aggressing on Kuwait. The fact was that the US needed to protect Saudi/US oil interests. The subsequent Gulf War was over in three months and showed that the Iraqis did not have the military power that Prince Bandar and GHWBush claimed it had. However, the US could have ended Saddam’s reign over Iraq once for all in 1991 and chose not to. That fact stuck in the craw of Republican neocons from the end of the Gulf War on April 6, 1991 to the beginning of the War in Iraq on March 20, 2003. Mr. Ratfucker will finish his history lesson tomorrow, unless another Republican scandal breaks and requires comment. All facts related in Mr. Ratfucker’s history lesson can be checked out in official records. Reading “House of Saud House of Bush” by Craig Unger is a good way to learn those facts.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bush Makes A Few Things Perfectly Clear

1) The Bush administration did not look carefully into the Dubai deal because it had decided to sell our ports to the UAE whether the UAE was a security threat or not. 2) The Bush administration knows and does not care that DP World honors a boycott against Israel. 3) The 45-day review is bullshit. The highly vaunted review of the Dubai deal that DP World has agreed to will begin AFTER the deal is signed, sealed and delivered tomorrow. The review as it stands now would be meaningless after the deal is done. Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Peter T. King (R-NY) is proposing legislation to give Congress the right to reject the takeover if the president sanctions it after the 45-day review. King said the administration sees the 45 days as a time to lobby Congress not as a time to investigate security issues. "The administration has to educate itself. They have to conduct a full and thorough investigation,” King said. "Let me just make something clear to the American people," the Prez told reporters. "If there was any doubt in my mind, or people in my administration's mind, that our ports would be less secure and the American people endangered, this deal wouldn't go forward." That’s the problem. There was no doubt in Bush’s mind and there was no doubt in the minds of his administration because they had made a determination to sell our ports to the UAE no matter what. And they asked no tough questions. As Granny used to say, “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.” The Bush administration has no desire to know about the seamy betrayals and foul alliances that would have been unearthed during a proper investigation of the UAE owned Dubai Ports World. Last night on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, a segment showed Ted Stevens (R-AK) asking Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Jackson if he was aware of the Coast Guard’s classified document which had raised concerns about the Dubai deal. Jackson at first tried to skirt the question. Stevens pressed on saying, “That's not the question I asked you. Were you aware of it?” Jackson said, “At the time it was written I was not. No, sir.” Stevens then asked, “Were you aware of it at the time you passed on the approval of DP World?” Jackson said, “No, sir, I was not.” Stevens asked, “Do you think you should have been?” Jackson said, “In this transaction, in retrospect, I wish I had learned more.” Stevens asked Jackson if he was cleared for that access. Jackson said, “Yes sir.” George W. Bush says "Trust me." Just like GHWBush said to Kuwait, Colin Powell said to the UN, Donald Rumsfeld said to the troops and DP World said to George W. Bush. The circle jerk is complete.