Saturday, October 29, 2005
POLL of TROOPS: Bush sucks
Military shares public's declining support for Bush, warhttp://www.wcnc.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8DH767G0.html
More than half the North Carolina military members surveyed in the latest Elon University poll don't like the way President Bush is handling his job and the war in Iraq.
The survey results were released today.
Of the 539 adults surveyed, nearly 53 percent of military members said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of Bush's handling of his job. And 56 percent of that same group said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of his handling of the Iraq war.
Overall, slightly more than 53 percent of those surveyed did not approve of Bush's job performance, while 57 percent didn't approve of his handling of the Iraq war.
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Target of CIA leaks: Real crime was WHY they leaked agent's name
Wilson proved that the case for the war in Iraq was not just the result of mistaken intelligence, but intentional lies. He told the Bush administration that the documents saying Saddam tried to buy uranium from Niger were clumsy forgeries quickly disproven when he went to Niger, but the Bushies referred to the uranium claim as if it was true anyway.
The special prosecutor is also looking into who did those forgeries and has contacted the Italian government officials who investigated it since it originated there and NO similar investigation was started here.
One of the most aggravating things about the Bush administration is that they create problems either through incompetence or malice, then blame the government agency they ignored or coerced to cook the books, and use it as an excuse to give a Bush crony a new oversight position like Negroponte, or even create a whole new bureaucracy like the Department of Homeland Security. I hope the investigation goes this deep.
effect on Wilson/Plame & CIA
Investigating who faked the documents
Our 27 months of hell
By Joseph C. Wilson IV
The attacks on Valerie and me were upsetting, disruptive and vicious. They amounted to character assassination. Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months.
But more important, they did it as part of a clear effort to cover up the lies and disinformation used to justify the invasion of Iraq. That is the ultimate crime.
The war in Iraq has claimed more than 17,000 dead and wounded American soldiers, many times more Iraqi casualties and close to $200 billion.
It has left our international reputation in tatters and our military broken. It has weakened the United States, increased hatred of us and made terrorist attacks against our interests more likely in the future.
It has been, as Gen. William Odom suggested, the greatest strategic blunder in the history of our country.
We anticipate no mea culpa from the president for what his senior aides have done to us. But he owes the nation both an explanation and an apology.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
VIDEO: Andy Dick as Bush speech coach
Sunday, October 23, 2005
99% of Iraqis vs. "elected" liars
One percent of Iraqis say occupation is making them safer in a recent British intel commissioned poll. That's probably less than the margin of error.
Past polls have shown similar overwhelming opposition to the occupation:
There are two depressing implications to this story.
One is that the elected prime minister of Iraq begs us to stay in the same in article, leading me to wonder how legitimate their democracy is when their leader can ignore numbers like this.
Worse, is what it says about our democracy. I expect Republicans to support the war. That is what they are paid to do. But I do not expect Democrats to not only ignore the wishes of the American people about pulling out of Iraq, but also lie to us about the situation there as Sen. Carl Levin did yesterday in this LA Times story:
The Michigan senator, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a frequent visitor to Iraq, said that one of the few points on which the main Iraqi ethnic and sectarian political groups agree was that all want U.S. forces to remain in the country. The Bush administration should use that consensus to forge political compromise, Levin argued.
It is not enough to vote for Democrats and expect everything will be swell. While they will be better on civil rights and domestic policy, in foreign policy, the leaders of the party seem just as eager to use our tax dollars to steal and kill for corporate America, actions we do not profit from in any way.
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Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.
• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;
• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;
• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;
• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;
That appears to have failed, with the poll showing that 71 per cent of people rarely get safe clean water, 47 per cent never have enough electricity, 70 per cent say their sewerage system rarely works and 40 per cent of southern Iraqis are unemployed.
But Iraq's President Jalal Talabani pleaded last night for British troops to stay. "There would be chaos and perhaps civil war," he said. "We are now fighting a world war launched by terrorists against civilisation, against democracy, against progress, against all the values of humanity.
"If British troops withdrew, the terrorists would say, 'Look, we have imposed our will on the most accomplished armed forces in the world and terror is the way to oblige the Europeans to surrender to us'."
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Margaret Thatcher slams evidence for Iraq War
Thatcher was a conservative icon before Ronald Reagan was elected, and she ran the UK's last solo shooting war, the one with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.
She is hardly a pacifist, and she supported overthrowing Saddam.
This more likely shows that the financial elite have lost faith in the war and are going to cut Bush and Blair loose, and act shocked, SHOCKED! that they lied us into a war that isn't paying as great a dividend as they hoped.
Thatcher reveals her doubts over basis for Iraq war
By Andrew Grice
Published: 14 October 2005
Baroness Thatcher has criticised Tony Blair for taking Britain to war in Iraq on the basis of flawed evidence about Saddam Hussein's weapons. The former prime minister's embarrassing criticism emerged as Mr Blair was among the 670 guests who attended a party to mark her 80th birthday.
Although Lady Thatcher remains a strong supporter of the decision to topple Saddam by invading Iraq, it is the first time she has questioned the basis for the war. Yesterday's Washington Post reported that when asked whether she would have invaded Iraq given the intelligence at the time, Lady Thatcher replied: "I was a scientist before I was a politician. And as a scientist I know you need facts, evidence and proof - and then you check, recheck and check again."
She added: "The fact was that there were no facts, there was no evidence, and there was no proof. As a politician the most serious decision you can take is to commit your armed services to war from which they may not return."
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Bush celebrates black approval rating
President Bush has done what no other Republican president has managed: he has reduced his job approval rating among blacks to LESS than the margin of error in the poll.
The Bush administration has consistently lacked this finesse. While their words are sometimes concilliatory, their is no mistaking their actions.
We are not at war with Islam--we are just killing Muslims.
We do not favor the rich--we just give them massive tax breaks and war profits.
We don't hate poor black folks--we just leave them to drown in their own sewage and be eaten by alligators, and when they try to leave, we let white sheriffs block the exits.
A Polling Free-Fall Among Blacks
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Thursday, October 13, 2005; 3:09 PM
In what may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling, President Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. The drop among blacks drove Bush's overall job approval ratings to an all-time low of 39 percent in this poll. By comparison, 45 percent of whites and 36 percent of Hispanics approve of the job Bush is doing.
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Saturday, October 15, 2005
Chavez more honest about OIL CRISIS than US pols
National Geographic: "End of Cheap Oil"
Scientific American: "the End of Cheap Oil"
Collection newspaper, magazine and technical articles on peak oil
I'm faxing this to all our senators and telling them to start telling us the truth about our energy situation and how it's driving our foreign policy. Maybe if they let us in on the debate, we'd choose to do something other than occupy oil producing countries until the oil companies suck every last drop out of the ground and leave us with the debt of hatred and emnity of those countries this earned.
Oil companies practice a nearly perfect example of one corporate mantra: "Socialize risk and privatize profits." We risk our tax dollars, our good reputation abroad, and our soldiers lives, and oil companies reap the profits.
Chavez: World Faces Major Energy CrisisFULL TEXT:
By CIARAN GILES, Associated Press Writer 21 minutes ago
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that the world faces an energy crisis but there is little chance of his country and other OPEC members increasing production because they are already pumping near "their capacity."
"We're at the doorway of major energy crisis worldwide," Chavez said. "We'll have to develop other resources such as wind, solar and nuclear energy — naturally for peaceful purposes." He said Venezuela was in talks with Argentina and Brazil regarding nuclear power.
"The United States for example, with scarcely five percent of the world's population, uses almost 25 percent of the petroleum and combustion fuels produced in the world," he said.
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Thursday, October 13, 2005
Impeachment polls: Bush vs. Clinton
This is one of those things that prove them wrong.
After all the hounding and media attention given to Bill Clinton's personal failings and the conservative drumbeat to impeach him, only 36% of Americans wanted him to be impeached. People were being herded toward supporting something stupid and petty, and they didn't buy it.
With virtually NO discussion of the issue in mainstream media and very little even from Democrats, 50% think Bush should be impeached if he lied about the causes for war, which the Downing Street Minutes and statements already on the record by former administration officials clearly prove.
The other great thing about this poll is that it was grassroots funded. Despite Bush's low job approval numbers, no mainstream polling organization was asking about impeachment, so Afterdowningstreet.org collected the money and commissioned one.
According to a poll by the Zogby organization, just released by the group Afterdowningstreet.org, 50 percent of the American public now would like to see the House impeach Bush if it were found that he had lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq (if?).FULL TEXT:
Compare that to December 17, 1998, only days before Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives, when an AP poll found that only 36 percent of the American public wanted to see the president impeached.
Clearly Americans view the flawed invasion of Iraq and other actions by the Bush administration, like the placing of business cronies in high places, the bankrupting of the federal government, and the failure to come to the rescue of an American city as far more serious than Clinton's sex romp and the lying about it that followed. And there's plenty more bad news to come for Bush, beginning with likely indictments in the Plame outing affair.
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Bush teleconference with troops tightly scripted
What is news is that it was covered--including the rehearsal. Let's hope this is part of trend of pulling back the curtain on the propaganda machine that has to work full tilt to make Bush look even minimally competent and engaged.
Yahoo! NewsFULL TEXT:
Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press WriterThu Oct 13, 4:35 PM ET
"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"
"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.
"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.
"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.
And so it went.
"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.
"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Pew Polls of Arab & World attitude toward US
The first set of numbers is from some Arab countries and the last two sets are from Iraqis themselves.
In the Muslim countries bordering Iraq, support for our War on Terror was highest in Lebanon at 31% and all the others were around 20%. They were also glad their countries didn't help us invade Iraq, 63% agreeing in Pakistan, 81% in Turkey, and 89% in Jordan. It's odd that Turkey and Jordan have such high negatives for the war given that they border Iraq...
Maybe they didn't think Saddam was a threat?
The other striking figures here are that most don't buy our "spreading democracy" pitch. They see through it. It is just the American right and the media that gives them a free pass that even pretend to take this seriously.
The firs set of data is from the Pew Global Attitudes Poll June 2005
(click to enlarge)
Gallup Spring 2004 (before Abu Ghraib photos):
Coalition provisional authority's own poll (spring 2004 after Abu Ghraib photos): source: http://wid.ap.org/documents/iraq/cpapoll_files/frame.ht...
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Monday, October 10, 2005
why media coddles Bush: business and browbeating
Clinton signed the last big telecommunications bill that deregulated media, but public outcry would make Democrats unlikely to go further if they were in control. By contrast, rank and file Republicans don't know or care about media consolidation, and even if they did, Bush would ignore them and do favors for those who can pay for them.
The flip side of this is how the Bushies deal with individual reporters, a combination of bribes, threats, and browbeating. Most American reporters are so familiar with this that they play by the Bushies' rules, and when someone strays even an inch like Dan Rather did, they are drummed out of the business.
An Irish reporter tried to do a real interview with Bush, and the response of Bush and his staff seem petulant, vindictive, and fascinating. Some excerpts from the story are below.
Incentive for Chicago Tribune & Los Angeles Times to go easy on Bush:
Tribune newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, account for far more revenue than its television holdings. But while the stations account for 28 percent of the company's revenue, they account for 45 percent of its profits.
Mullen's departure comes at a time of setbacks for Tribune Co. The company's share price is down 21 percent this year amid long-standing worries over the erosion of newspaper readership.
Last week, Tribune paid off the $880 million federal portion of a $1 billion tax bill it inherited with its 2000 purchase of Times Mirror, following a U.S. Tax Court ruling it plans to appeal.
Also hanging over the company and its television group are delays in the proposed loosening of the government's media regulations that restrict ownership of a TV station and newspaper in a single market. If such a change doesn't come, Tribune might be forced to divest itself of assets.
The rest of the story...
From an Irish journalist's description of interviewing Bush:
“We’re not supposed to tell you this yet, but we are trying to set up an interview with the first lady.”
She indicated that the White House had already been in contact with RTE to make arrangements for the interview at Dromoland Castle, where the president and Mrs Bush would be staying. As an admirer of Laura Bush’s cool grace and sharp intellect, I had requested interviews with her several times previously without any reply. Now the first lady of the United States was being handed to me on a plate. I could not believe my luck.
“Of course, it’s not certain yet,” MC added. And then her sidekick dropped his second bombshell. “We’ll see how you get on with the president first.”
I’m sure I continued smiling, but I was stunned. What I understood from this was that if I pleased the White House with my questioning of the president, I would get to interview the first lady. Were they trying to ensure a soft ride for the president, or was I the new flavour of the month with the first family?
Having noted the tone of my questions, the president had now sat forward in his chair and had become animated, gesturing with his hands for emphasis. But as I listened to the history of Saddam Hussein and the weapons inspectors and the UN resolutions, my heart was sinking. He was resorting to the type of meandering stock answer I had heard scores of times and had hoped to avoid. Going back over this old ground could take two or three minutes and allow him to keep talking without dealing with the current state of the war. It was a filibuster of sorts. If I didn’t challenge him, the interview would be a wasted opportunity.
“But, Mr President, you didn’t find any weapons,” I interjected.
“Let me finish, let me finish. May I finish?”
With his hand raised, he requested that I stop speaking. He paused and looked me straight in the eye to make sure I had got the message. He wanted to continue, so I backed off and he went on. “The United Nations said, ‘Disarm or face serious consequences’. That’s what the United Nations said. And guess what? He didn’t disarm. He didn’t disclose his arms. And therefore he faced serious consequences. But we have found a capacity for him to make a weapon. See, he had the capacity to make weapons . . .”
I was now beginning to feel shut out of this event. He had the floor and he wasn’t letting me dance. My blood was boiling to such a point that I felt like slapping him. But I was dealing with the president of the United States; and he was too far away anyway. I suppose I had been naive to think that he was making himself available to me so I could spar with him or plumb the depths of his thought processes. Sitting there, I knew that I was nobody special and that this was just another opportunity for the president to repeat his mantra. He seemed irked to be faced with someone who wasn’t nodding gravely at him as he was speaking...
At the studio I handed over the tapes. My phone rang. It was MC, and her voice was cold.
“We just want to say how disappointed we are in the way you conducted the interview,” she said.
“How is that?” I asked.
“You talked over the president, not letting him finish his answers.”
“Oh, I was just moving him on,” I said, explaining that I wanted some new insight from him, not two-year-old answers.
“You were given an opportunity to interview the leader of the free world and you blew it,” she began.
I was beginning to feel as if I might be dreaming. I had naively believed the American president was referred to as the “leader of the free world” only in an unofficial tongue-in-cheek sort of way by outsiders, and not among his closest staff.
“You were more vicious than any of the White House press corps or even some of them up on Capitol Hill . . .The president leads the interview,” she said.
“I don’t agree,” I replied, my initial worry now turning to frustration. “It’s the journalist’s job to lead the interview.”
It was suggested that perhaps I could edit the tapes to take out the interruptions, but I made it clear that this would not be possible.
As the conversation progressed, I learnt that I might find it difficult to secure further co-operation from the White House. A man’s voice then came on the line. Colby, I assumed. “And, it goes without saying, you can forget about the interview with Laura Bush.”
MC also indicated that she would be contacting the Irish Embassy in Washington — in other words, an official complaint from Washington to Dublin.
“I don’t know how we are going to repair this relationship, but have a safe trip back to Ireland,” MC concluded. I told her I had not meant to upset her since she had been more than helpful to me. The conversation ended.
By the time I got to the control room, the Prime Time broadcast had just started. It was at the point of the first confrontation with the “leader of the free world” and those gathered around the monitors were glued to it. “Well done,” someone said. “This is great.”
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