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    15 October 2005

    Iraq vote was undemocratic

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    After the constitution passes the referendum consider the 60 ballot stations that never opened in Western Iraq.

    14 October 2005

    Pot does not make you dumb

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    This story is amazing, I can't believe it is true. You got to read it...

    Uhh... What was I talking about? Oh yeah...
    Forget the stereotype about dopey potheads. It seems marijuana could be good for your brain.

    While other studies have shown that periodic use of marijuana can cause memory loss and impair learning and a host of other health problems down the road, new research suggests the drug could have some benefits when administered regularly in a highly potent form.

    You know, the only problem I see with the drug is the Feds/DEA and the Police. The latter overwelmingly wants pot legalized decriminalized anyway. What's the problem?

    Posted by Geoff

    Judith Miller to retire

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    She is not cooperating with the NYT newsroom (who want CIA leak dirt) and after her story goes out this weekend she will resign, reports Raw Story. This may or may not be true, and may be for a variety of reasons. Spending almost 3 months in jail must distance a mother from kin, no? But to me this makes the idea that she is a martyr for the freedom of press complete BS. If this is true she remains a hack. Someone who puts the Whitehouse before her country, is yet another instance of misplaced patriotism (nationalism) a stain on this country and another stain on the Bush administrations blue dress.

    Posted by Geoff

    13 October 2005

    More propaganda

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    Not that anyone cares anymore when Bush talks, but his scripted conference today was off the chart in terms of propaganda. Furthermore, it's a real shame that he couldn't address a large body of troops (live or not) rather than only a handful; that would have done a lot for moral in Iraq and in the US. I guess rounding up a few hundred troops into an area would have been a tempting target and thus impossible in Iraq.

    Back to the staged conference
    As she [Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary] spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit — the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

    "I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.

    A brief rehearsal ensued.

    "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.

    Ok. I understand what their doing here, they want to shame anyone who might criticize or complain about this mess in Iraq; pulling on the thread of nationalism ( or patriotism) once again.

    And man! are they desperate
    The soldiers all gave Bush an upbeat view of the situation.

    The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.

    "Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you."


    [UPDATE] From CNN via Atrios

    The president's going to ask some questions and he may ask all 6 of them, all 3 of them. He might have such a great time talking to you. He might come up with some new questions. So what we want to be prepared for is to not stutter. If there's a question that the president comes up with that we haven't drilled through today I expect the microphone to go through to you Captain Kennedy.

    Anyway, clearly set up. But not according to McClellan in the WH press briefing. Here Scott first claimed that the event was not staged, then attacked Helen Thomas suggesting she was against fighting the global war of terrorism. After Thomas asked what the administration meant by "total victory" in Iraq, Scott made the tired use of 11 September yet again
    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, the President recognizes that we are engaged in a global war on terrorism...We are fighting them there so that we don't have to fight them here. September 11th taught us --

    Q: It has nothing to do with -- Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you have a very different view of the war on terrorism, and I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism. The President recognizes this requires a comprehensive strategy, and that this is a broad war, that it is not a law enforcement matter.

    Scott then went on to the next question; after speaking on behalf of another. And now it gets good
    Q: On what basis do you say Helen is opposed to the broader war on terrorism?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, she certainly expressed her concerns about Afghanistan and Iraq and going into those two countries. I think I can go back and pull up her comments over the course of the past couple of years.

    Q: And speak for her, which is odd.

    MR. McCLELLAN: No, I said she may be, because certainly if you look at her comments over the course of the past couple of years, she's expressed her concerns --

    Q: I'm opposed to preemptive war, unprovoked preemptive war.


    But I digress, Scott later answered another question about the propaganda conference
    Q: So you're saying this was not a staged conversation for PR purposes?

    MR. McCLELLAN: This is an event where there's coordination that goes on and we work closely with the Department of Defense. They worked to pull together some troops for the President to visit with and highlight important topics that are going on right now on the ground in Iraq.

    Was that just a flip-flop? I think that was a yes.

    Read or watch this press conference somewhere it looks like the gloves are off in the press room. With the vote in Iraq, the vote in Afghanistan (which is still unknown after nearly a month), the CIA leak, the republican culture of corruption, continued administrative heavy-handedness and arrogance the situation may get worse and the administration is already on poor footing.

    Will this ever end?

    Posted by Geoff

    Constitutional referendum, whatever... Iraq = "state of anarchy"

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    I've long said that the upcoming celebration next week for the referendum will be short lived, and promoted largely by the American right wing. After this, things will remain the same in Iraq; a state in regression, moving towards a civil war or worse a regional sectarian war. Long-time Mid-East correspondent Robert Fisk notes that we (the west) may be the only people seriously talking about the referendum when you take into account the chaos in some parts of Iraq as he reflected over multiple visits to the country.
    ...the portrayal of Iraq by Western leaders of efforts to introduce democracy, including Saturday's national vote on the country's proposed constitution was "unreal" to most of its citizens. In Baghdad, children and women were kept at home to prevent them from being kidnapped for money or sold into slavery. They faced a desperate struggle to find the money to keep generators running to provide themselves with electricity. "They aren't sitting in their front rooms discussing the referendum on the constitution."

    I hope that this vote will lead to some progress, but I'm not counting on it; if you can't take it anymore and you have to see good news from Iraq just watch Fox next week and believe them. Then just ignore the real news as it comes out from actual reporters and specialists. It's what half the country has been doing for the entire war so far...

    Another highlight form Fisk (as written by Nigel Morris)
    Fisk doubted the sincerity of Western leaders' commitment to bringing democracy to Iraq and said a lasting settlement in the country was impossible while foreign troops remained. "In the Middle East, they would like some of our democracy, they would like a couple of boxes off the supermarket shelves of human rights as well. But I think they would also like freedom from us."


    He told the debate in London: "The Americans must leave Iraq and they will leave Iraq, but they can't leave Iraq and that is the equation that turns sand to blood. At some point, they will have to talk to the insurgents."

    "But I don't know how, because those people who might be negotiators the United Nations, the Red Cross their headquarters have been blown up. The reality now in Iraq is the project is finished. Most of Iraq, except Kurdistan, is in a state of anarchy."

    This was all predicted by the CIA before the war but marginalized by the greedy and vendictive nature of the administration and its neocon advisors. Funny isn't it? Maybe if some of the decision makers had some merit to make decisions like waging a war on Iraq we would be talking in a much different tone today :(
    "Intelligence assessments on post-Saddam issues were particularly insightful," said the report.


    "In an ironic twist, the policy community was receptive to technical intelligence (the weapons program) where the analysis was wrong, but apparently paid little attention to intelligence on cultural and political issues (post-Saddam Iraq), where the analysis was right."

    Where was the candy and flowers?
    The Bush administration suggested early in the Iraq war that American forces would be greeted as liberators by a grateful Iraqi people. President George W. Bush initially took a cavalier approach to the insurgency, suggesting it would be no threat to U.S. forces there and declaring: "Bring 'em on!"

    But more than two years later the country is gripped by a deadly Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite and Kurdish-led government and U.S. troops and nearly 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed.

    Presented in July 2004, the report said prewar Iraq intelligence also concluded accurately that Saddam had no operational or collaborative ties with al Qaeda and calculated the war's impact on oil markets.

    The CIA report, produced by a team led by former CIA Deputy Director Richard Kerr, was issued as the last in a series of three reports on Iraq intelligence. It is unclassified but has not been released publicly until now. The two earlier reports remain classified.

    Oh how I'd like to see those reports, so often in America truth comes with time. Some people should not forget that.

    Posted by Geoff

    Drinking Liberally - Charleston, SC

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    A little late, sorry...
    That headline from this week's The Onion is enough to make it my
    standard newspaper.

    So what is going on these days in the Secret Land of the Libs???

    US Senator Evan Bayh will be in Charleston this Friday!! The meet & greet is a fundraiser for the SC Democratic Party. Blind Tiger on Broad St., 4-5pm. Be there or be square.

    DL Charleston has a great page on MySpace, thanks to Sadie's enthusiasm (and lack of employment. Sadie you could solve that issue if you became a crony.) Don't worry if you're not a MySpace subscriber; you can still access and read stuff there, and she's doing a fab job of keeping announcements and news updated! Hope on and take it for a ride ... http://www.myspace.com/charlestondl

    Speaking of .......... DL Charleston's forum. Now that you can link from our MySpace page to the Drinking Liberally Charleston forum, we may start getting real traffic there, so we need to tidy it up. If you'd like to be the moderator or administrator for the forum, let us know and we'll get you going.

    Thoughts of changing location are being bandied about by a few, so it must be time once again to get your opinions. Please let us know at 'Charleston' at 'drinkingliberally' dot'org' whether you want to stay at Voodoo or begin meeting somewhere else in the near future.

    So, as we anxiously await Harriet Miers' confirmation hearing, the pResident's fuel bill for his 8th trip to New Orleans, Boy Wonder's next orchestration, and Mr Cheney Sir's next big Halliburton deal, let's raise our spirits while we raise our glass, and share ideas while we share a pitcher at this week's installment of .........

    Drinking Liberally Charleston
    Voodoo Lounge
    15 Magnolia Road
    West Ashley

    "I think that steroids ought to be banned from baseball." White House,
    Oct. 4, 2005 -- Someone should let Dubya know they've been banned since

    11 October 2005

    Bolton at the UN

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    At first I read the title of this story from Reuters and reacted in anger.

    here is the title:
    U.S. blocks U.N. briefing on atrocities in Sudan

    But if you read it, it says that he blocked the briefing because we need to take action in Sudan not discuss it.
    U.S. Ambassador John Bolton blocked a U.N. envoy on Monday from briefing the Security Council on grave human rights violations in Sudan's Darfur region, saying the council had to act against atrocities and not just talk about them.

    This is true but there has yet to be any proposal of the matter so why doesn't someone take the next step? There is a lot of oil in Sudan, and I'd be willing to bet that that has something to do with it.

    Posted by Geoff

    09 October 2005

    Pat Robertson's at it again; but his movement is dead

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    Pat Robertson claimed today that Hugo Chavez supplied funding for UBL after the 11 September 2001, this info came from "[s]ources that came to me. That's what I was told."


    Sure Pat we believe you...

    It's not the same, I know; but I'll remind Mr. Robertson that we (Reagan) funneled millions of dollars to UBL and other Mujahideen through Saudi Arabia. But they were freedom fighters then....

    Anyway, some good news about the so-called Christian Coalition
    The Christian Coalition, the onetime powerhouse of the religious right founded by Pat Robertson, is struggling to stay afloat.

    The group'’s annual revenue has shrunk to one- twentieth of what it was a decade ago -– from a peak of $26 million in 1996 to $1.3 million in 2004 - and it has left a trail of unpaid bills from Texas to Virginia. Among the creditors who have sued the coalition for nonpayment are landlords, direct-mail companies, lawyers and at least one former employee seeking back pay.

    Now for the rest of 'em.

    Posted by Geoff


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