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    28 May 2005

    Tough weekend ahead for families of Mississippi heroes

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    From the Dept. of Defense
    The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on May 23 in Haswa, Iraq, when their military vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

    The soldiers are:

    Spec. Bryan Edward Barron, 26, of Biloxi, Miss. Barron was assigned to the Army National Guard's C Company, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, Biloxi, Miss.

    Spec. Audrey Daron Lunsford, 29, of Sardis, Miss. Lunsford was assigned to the Army National Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, McComb, Miss.

    Staff Sgt. Saburant Parker, 43, of Foxworth, Miss. Parker was assigned to the Army National Guard's C Company, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, Biloxi, Miss.

    Sgt. Daniel Ryan Varnado, 23, of Saucier, Miss. Varnado was assigned to the Army National Guard's C Company, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, Biloxi, Miss.

    Meanwhile Mr. Bush is out this spewing this crap (from Faux News)
    ...historians will look back on the Iraq war as "America's golden moment."


    I also noticed this
    He noted that the U.S.-led coalition in the War on Terror has dealt "serious, powerful blows" to terror regimes within the past weeks.

    Seriously, what were they? I must have missed something because I don't remember too many accomplishments. I may be wrong so if I am please inform me.

    27 May 2005

    A somber Memorial Day

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    Memorial Day came to Minn State Senator Becky Lourey in the worst way possible yesterday. Her son, Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Lourey (serving on his second tour in Iraq), was killed when his helicopter was shot down near Baghdad by small arms fire.
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    I don't know if it is appropriate, but anyone who would like to send their respects this is his mothers email address:

    In the words of Mott Street
    Senator Becky Lourey did what so many Americans could not imagine doing.

    She spoke out against the war,
    she spoke up for the troops fighting and dying over there,
    and she lost her son there.

    This is what an American Patriot looks like.

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    you can read and comment at his diary here at the Daily Kos.

    26 May 2005

    The Bolton Documents

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    What is in those documents that the Democrats requested on Bolton and why is bushCo. withholding them? [Update 830 pm 26 May]Armando asked the same question at dKos today as well.

    Earlier in May Dems requested info that they suspected would prove that "Bolton was spying on other government officials he suspected of disagreeing with or undermining his views on sensitive topics such as Cuban and Syrian weapons capabilities."

    Mr. Biden said on Face the Nation (from Raw Story) "The real question here is how far did John Bolton stretch the truth or stretch the facts, regarding intelligence." Mr. Biden continued (as represented in the article)"the panel needed the documents to learn more about whether Mr. Bolton, as under secretary of state for arms control, had sought "to push the envelope" in making public assertions about Syria, Cuba and other countries that were not supported by objective intelligence assessments." Basically he wants to see if he is a warmonger.

    Dr. Rice says
    ...that the information involves "internal deliberations" and their disclosure could have a chilling effect on debates within the administration.

    Her State Dept stated
    "I don't think we're stiffing anybody here (...) We feel we've given all of the information that's required under those circumstances."

    Let me reiterate that the Dems are not obstructing anything! bushCo. is the party withholding information (information requested by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) and causing the obstruction. Don't believe the hype!

    I think Senator Jay Rockefeller knows something but can't disclose it.

    That said, let me ask again; What are they hiding?

    Be proud Progressives

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    At request from prominent bloggers, Josh Marshall (TPM) and Markos Moulitsas (Daily Kos), I’d like to thank you and congratulate you. We have done a lot together. We are winning crushing bushCo. on Social Security and our protection of the filibuster has been a triumph, although I don’t like the deal and I am certain that the Repub. leadership in the Senate (by that I mean Dobson) will break it rather quickly.

    Anyway, be proud!!

    via Kos
    The most infuriating thing about Democrats is their fear of standing loud and proud. Rub it in their faces. Make sure American knows who killed Bush's attempts to dismantle social security. As Atrios notes, don't be afraid of what Russert and Broder and Tweety say. Fuck them. They aren't important. And any sort of "compromise" should be completely off the table.

    It's time to press the advantage.

    and Josh
    Add to this the fact that the president is clocking in at under 30% support on Social Security and most Americans now understand that he wants to dismantle the program and the whole thing really becomes a no-brainer.

    In fact, Dems should really start making the point now that they are the ones who stopped President Bush from phasing out Social Security this year.

    Be loud, be proud.

    [UPDATE]I almost forgot Bolton. As I type this the vote in the Senate (6 pm) for Bolton's UN nomination is gearing up. Because of us you this man has been exposed for the creep that he is. All foreign diplomats are aware of his background. If there is such a thing as a lame duck diplomat, John Bolton will be it!

    [UPDATE II]Bolton has been blocked!! Way to call it MSM.

    Faux news is not 'Fair and Balenced'

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    Faux News man David Asman (ASSman ??) slips on air, true colors bleed through
    ASMAN: You're the chairman of the rules committee. Did Senator [Bill] Frist [R-TN] have the votes to end the filibuster?

    LOTT: I believe that he did. It would have been very close. We would have probably gotten a 50-50 tie vote, with the vice president breaking the tie. Perhaps we'd have had 51 before it was over. I do think it's a rule that should be in place because what the Democrats have been doing is not, you know, protecting a rule, they have been causing something different. The filibusters on a serial basis, federal judicial nominees to the appellate courts, was unprecedented for 214 years. So, to put that rule in place saying that it only takes 51 votes to confirm these judges was something I thought we should do. Remember now --

    ASMAN: So, Senator, if we should have done it and if we had the votes to do it in the Senate -- if you guys in the Republican Party did -- then why did you need a compromise?

    LOTT: Well, you know, I would argue that we probably should have gone forward with the vote, all things considered.

    Not to mention what Lott said is total BS.

    (via TPM and Media Matters)

    25 May 2005

    Iraq News

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    Juan Cole has been asked how do we fix Iraq. Kind of a dumb question; It is beyond repair or at least in a time frame any American wants to here. He basically concludes that we will be there for another decade. I'm not an expert but I know more about the region than the average American, I'd say that 10 years is about right.
    In an ideal world, the United States would relinquish Iraq to a United Nations military command, and the world would pony up the troops needed to establish order in the country in return for Iraqi good will in post-war contract bids. But that is not going to happen for many reasons. George W. Bush is a stubborn man and Iraq is his project, and he is not going to give up on it. And, by now the rest of the world knows what would await its troops in Iraq, and political leaders are not so stupid as to send their troops into a meat grinder.

    Therefore, I conclude that the United States is stuck in Iraq for the medium term, and perhaps for the long term. The guerrilla war is likely to go on a decade to 15 years. Given the basic facts, of capable, trained and numerous guerrillas, public support for them from Sunnis, access to funding and munitions, increasing civil turmoil, and a relatively small and culturally poorly equipped US military force opposing them, led by a poorly informed and strategically clueless commander-in-chief who has made himself internationally unpopular, there is no near-term solution.

    In the long run, say 15 years, the Iraqi Sunnis will probably do as the Lebanese Maronites did, and finally admit that they just cannot remain in control of the country and will have to compromise. That is, if there is still an Iraq at that point.

    It hasn't been a fun week in Iraq, the signs of a civil war are surfacing. It will be hard for the MSM to ignore it for much longer. It even made it into one report yesterday
    In the northern city of Tal Afar, there were reports that militants were in control and that Shiites and Sunnis were fighting in the streets, a day after two car bombs killed at least 20 people. Police Capt. Ahmed Hashem Taki said Tal Afar was experiencing "civil war." Journalists were blocked from entering the city of 200,000.

    To further this pending disaster, southern Iraq is planning to form a semi-autonomous state.
    As Iraq begins writing its new constitution, leaders in the country's southern regions are pushing aggressively to unite their three provinces into an oil-rich, semi-autonomous state, a plan that some worry could solidify Iraq's sectarian tensions, create fights over oil revenues and eventually split the nation.
    The region is rich with resources and trade opportunities. Dhiqar could expand its trading business through Basra's port; Maysan could expand the other two provinces' trade with Iran. Basra would be a more powerful city, with more oil, agriculture, trade and tourism under its control.

    The discussion has created tension in Basra between Shiites and the Sunni Arab minority there. Some Sunnis already have left because they think the proposed new region excludes them. That response has some fretting that a state defined partly on religion could fuel the sectarianism that's engulfed the country since the Jan. 30 parliamentary elections.

    Finally, the main focus of the MSM yesterday was a report that theal-Qaida in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was injured. This may sound like good news, but what happens when he goes? The answer is he will be replaced and he will become a martyr for the resistance. So basically this issue creates an illusion of good news that is really bad in reality.

    24 May 2005

    Frist intends to renege on deal

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    I wont say I told you so, but this was his statement Monday night
    Mr. President, a lot has been said about the uniqueness of this body. And, indeed, our Senate is unique. And we all, as individuals and collectively as a body, have a role to play in ensuring its cherished nature remains intact.

    And, indeed, as demonstrated by tonight's agreement and by the ultimate implementation of that agreement, we have done just that.

    Which is not what is being reported by Congresses Daily PM which thinks that Frist will hold up his side of the bargin with Dobson later this week
    Senate Majority Leader Frist will file for cloture on President Bush's nomination of William Myers to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later this week, according to sources on and off Capitol Hill, wasting no time in testing the resolve of 14 Republican and Democratic senators who forced at least a temporary halt to the battle over Democratic filibusters of President Bush's judicial picks.

    (Credit to ZanderOC of the dKos community and ThinkProgress)

    The MSM has picked this up, here.

    In the afterglow of the bipartisan accord announced Monday night to avert a Senate showdown on changing the filibuster rule, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist emphasized Tuesday that he wasn’t a party to the deal and would quickly try to implement the rule change if Democrats resumed use of the filibuster to derail President Bush’s judicial nominees.
    Thus Frist made it clear only 18 hours after the accord was announced just how brittle it was. It seemed that a decisive vote over filibusters of judicial nominees had only been deferred for a while.

    Senator Voinovich lashes out at Bolton

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    Senator George R. Voinovich of Ohio issued a warning and a call for thought instead of partisan politics
    In the letter, Mr. Voinovich said that while he had been "hesitant to push my views on my colleagues" during his years in the Senate, he felt "compelled to share my deep concerns" about Mr. Bolton's nomination.

    "In these dangerous times, we cannot afford to put at risk our nation's ability to successfully wage and win the war on terror with a controversial and ineffective ambassador to the United Nations," Mr. Voinovich wrote. He urged colleagues to "put aside our partisan agenda and let our consciences and our shared commitment to our nation's best interests guide us."

    Well said Mr. Voinovich. If we could only get this out of the rest of the Republican caucus maybe this country would be worth it. Contact your Republican Senators ASAP, the vote is coming up next I believe.

    Bush admits use of propaganda

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    In his continued failure at promoting his Social Security plan, Bush made this truthful statement.
    Now, a personal savings account would be a part of a Social Security retirement system. It would be a part of what you would have to retire when you reach retirement age. As you -- as I mentioned to you earlier, we're going to redesign the current system. If you've retired, you don't have anything to worry about -- third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)

    But if you choose to have one of these accounts -- notice I keep saying "if you choose" -- the government is not going to tell you, you have to do this. I think the government ought to give you the opportunity to set up one of these accounts. And the account becomes a part of your retirement plan. It's your own asset. It's something you leave to somebody -- whomever you choose. And it makes the system eminently more fair.

    Did you notice it? My main question is why the F would these idiots who support Bush clap? I know the average Bush supporter is not bright but come on!
    I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

    (credit corrsman of the dKos community)

    NC baptist are bastards

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    This is why I hate bible beaters.

    The Reverend Creighton Lovelace of Danieltown Baptist Church says he believes it's a statement that the Bible is above any other religious book "that does not teach Christ as savior and lord."

    If there is a hell, I hope Reverend Lovelace burns in it.

    Downing street - one more minute

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    Apian has the goods
    [UPDATE]Apian has more!!!
    This is unbelievable stuff!!
    Read it here:
    what is happening here is a lie being unraveled.

    A minute dated 18 March 2003 from Elizabeth Wilmshurst (Deputy Legal Adviser) to Michael Wood (The Legal Adviser), copied to the Private Secretary, the Private Secretary to the Permanent Under-Secretary, Alan Charlton (Director Personnel) and Andrew Patrick (Press Office):

    1. I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR 678. I do not need to set out my reasoning; you are aware of it. My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office before and after the adoption of UN security council resolution 1441 and with what the attorney general gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.) I cannot in conscience go along with advice - within the Office or to the public or Parliament - which asserts the legitimacy of military action without such a resolution, particularly since an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression; nor can I agree with such action in circumstances which are so detrimental to the international order and the rule of law.

    2. I therefore need to leave the Office: my views on the legitimacy of the action in Iraq would not make it possible for me to continue my role as a Deputy Legal Adviser or my work more generally. For example in the context of the International Criminal Court, negotiations on the crime of aggression begin again this year. I am therefore discussing with Alan Charlton whether I may take approved early retirement. In case that is not possible this letter should be taken as constituting notice of my resignation.

    3. I joined the Office in 1974. It has been a privilege to work here. I leave with very great sadness.

    Elizabeth Wilmshurst
    Deputy Legal Advisor to the Foreign Office
    March 18, 2003

    Another smoking gun, deny all you want this war was illegal and the truth will prevail! From 'I' to 'law' in the first point were scrubbed by blairCo. Mom always said to tell the truth! Truth always prevails!

    22 May 2005

    McCain develops a pair at Faux News

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    (dKos echo chamber, transcript link)

    McCain was on Faux New Sunday today and sounded like a reasonable Repub. It's nice to see some reality come from the party of empire for a change. Still no word on a vote tally yet, although I am afraid that the Repubs will squeak a rule change out with Cheney breaking the tie this Tuesday :(
    WALLACE: I want to get to some of those issues in just a second, but let me just ask you sort of the next question, which is if you don't reach agreement, does the majority leader, Bill Frist, have the 50 Republican votes he needs, plus the tiebreaker from Vice President Cheney to, in fact, impose the nuclear option?

    MCCAIN: I don't know the answer to that because there's several Senators who have not indicated exactly how they're going to vote.

    So I don't know.

    . . . WALLACE: But in other words, there would be a provision that would allow the defeat of at least several of these nominees?

    MCCAIN: No, it would mean that there would be a commitment to let most of them go under any circumstances, and then there would only be a couple of others that would then be a decision made as to whether they would continue to filibuster those or not.

    It's very possible that there would be a vote on all of them. It's also possible that one or more of them would not reach the Senate floor because of other difficulties that their nomination faces.

    Look, we're talking about changing the rules of the Senate with 51 votes, which has never happened in the history of the United States Senate. The Democrats have tried to change the rules when they were in the majority. They tried to get a two-thirds vote.

    If you have 51 votes, changing the rules of the Senate, nominations of the president is next, and then legislation follows that. And we will now become an institution exactly like the House of Representatives. That's not what our founding fathers envisioned when they created a bicameral legislature.

    . . . WALLACE: But I guess what I'm asking is: What is the impact do you think it would be on the institution if while you're involved in this food fight up here on Capitol Hill, an awful lot of the people's business isn't getting done?

    MCCAIN: I think it would be, again, very bad. I note that polling numbers and approval for Congress is down to where it was in 1994.

    I think we have, unfortunately, a tendency to forget that we're in a war. Young Americans are dying every day. We have the threat of Al Qaeda and the war on terrorism. We have an unprotected border. We have Social Security, not to mention a burgeoning deficit.

    Understandably, to me, the American people's priorities are not those being displayed by the Congress today, particularly in the United States Senate.

    The level of rhetoric has reached a point that's really not helpful to the institution or to the individuals who are part of it.


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