Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gunsmoke

Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The information was provided to Bush on September 21, 2001 during the "President's Daily Brief," a 30- to 45-minute early-morning national security briefing. Information for PDBs has routinely been derived from electronic intercepts, human agents, and reports from foreign intelligence services, as well as more mundane sources such as news reports and public statements by foreign leaders.

See the rest at the National Journal

Monday, November 21, 2005

Oath of enlistment. Defend the Constitution, Not the President

I, ___________________________________, do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed overme, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.


The troops have to follow Bush's orders, but they don't have to agree with him and neither do we.

In fact they are sworn to defend our right to disagree, speak out, and assemble in protest. The Constitution explicitly grants us those rights and our troops take an oath to defend those rights.

The Republicans don't have a leg to stand on with this attack on the Constitution. Shame on them.

Demanding that we not criticize the President is an attack on our rights as granted by the constitution. And, as such is an attack on the mission of the United States Military.

Their mission is to defend the Constitution.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Exporting Democracy to Iraq is a Major Mistake

Noble as it may sound, a representative democracy in Iraq runs a major risk of being anti-American.

If we can't trust that the future Iraqi government will act in our national interest then installing it is a mistake. We have spent to much blood and treasure to come out of this war with an unfriendly Iraqi government. Or worse, a Government friendly to Iran.

If Iraq is not a US client State the war will have been for nothing.


Now Repugs can rant all they want about how cynical this is and how high they hold the ideals of democracy and all that might be well and good. But, if we don't get direct and tangible economic, strategic, or diplomatic gains out of this it's a waste.

I say to the Repugs, grow up. If our national interest is not advanced clearly and tangibly you will never convince the majority of the American people to support this war. Your rhetoric is empty.

Read my lips, "no new tactics"

The Republican message to the troops is clear.

You aren't coming home, we aren't sending help, we aren't changing the plan.

Make it work.

This Republican message is aimed at the Generals. The Republicans know the Generals are looking for a way out of this. The message is, "shut the hell up and make it work".

They don't want to hear the truth, they don't even want to consider it. These people made bad decisions and continue to make others pay for them.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cheney sucking on the tax payer tit.

Cheney Sidesteps Travel Disclosure Rules, Reports CPI

Unlike the Rest of the White House, the Vice President Refuses to Let Sponsors Pay for His Trips - Instead, Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff have been declaring themselves exempt from the travel disclosure laws followed by the rest of the White House, a Center for Public Integrity investigation released today found.

The vice president's office appears to have stuck taxpayers with millions of dollars in travel costs and has avoided disclosing its expenses and destinations.

The private sector routinely covers the travel expenses associated with government officials' appearances -- of which Cheney himself has made more than 275 since 2001 -- at think tanks, trade organizations and universities around the world. When the private sector picks up the tab, however, federal law requires that officials report where they went, how much it cost, and who paid.

Yet since 2001, Cheney's office -- unlike Vice President Al Gore before him -- has claimed that it is not bound by the travel disclosure rules the rest of the White House complies with, the Center found. Letters from the vice president's counsel assert that the office is not "an agency" of the executive branch, but adds as "a matter of comity" that none of the staff has accepted travel payments from a non-federal source.

Since the vice president's office engages in trips like any other government agency, its refusal of payment from the private sector defers the costs to taxpayers -- all while keeping the travel specifics concealed from public view.

The full report can be found online at http://www.publicintegrity.org.

The Center for Public Integrity conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. Through objective and thorough analyses, the Center hopes to serve as an honest broker of information and to inspire a better-informed citizenry that can demand a higher level of accountability from its government and business leaders. Since 1990, the Center, an independent, non-profit organization, has released more than 275 investigative reports and 14 books. In just the past eight years the Center has been honored more than 40 times by, among others, PEN USA, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the Society of Professional Journalists and The George Polk Award.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Democrats must force the Republican Senate's hand

The Republican Senate is built on one last house of cards. The nuclear option. The idea is dead, but Democrats haven't figured it out yet. The Nuclear option is built on the premise that a popular President is being obstructed by an unpopular minority party.

The truth on the ground is far from that. The vast majority of the public wants President Bush's hands tied. We think he's incompetent. He gets no more free rides.

Now, we want to show the American people that the Republicans in the Senate are a "rubber stamp" right. What a better way is there then forcing them to try and change the Senate rules to give themselves more power?

This is the biggest weapon we have right now. We need to make sure our people use it. Call your Democratic Senators today. Do it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Why Republicans Can't Save Themselves

The American people are looking for consensus. The people are tired of divisiveness in the face of overwhelming challenge. The people realize that only cooperation can solve these problems and they want leadership that will seek consensus.

Republicans have built their entire political strategy on dividing the country. On peeling off voters by using wedge issues. Gay Marriage is a prime example. It seemed so important to so many, but now as the war continues, people are ready to put that aside in favor of agreement.

The Republican machine is unwieldy and cannot turn on a dime. They can't become something they despise...moderates.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Turd polishing 101: why Bush is in the crapper

Last year a took a marketing class at my local JC to help me in by business.

Lately, with his poll numbers in the toilet, I have heard a lot of Bush supporters claim he needs better marketing. I've heard it on Fox a lot. "What the President needs is to revamp his public relations campaign blah blah blah".

Well, I learned all about turd polishing and this is how it works:

The slickest most professional marketing campaign can sell turds. Hell you might even get the same people to buy more then one turd. But, sooner or later the polish wears off...and boom...you bought a turd and you aren't happy.

My marketing professor said, "if you are building a brand you better deliver on your promises", "good products are easy to market". The Bush team was geared for the one time sale. They polished up that turd for that one big day in November...boom...you bought a turd and you aren't happy (not you dems...the rest of you).

The moral of the story is, no marketing in the world can replace a good product. Good governance is what we want and need. Put it in a nice package and it's even better. But, a turd it will always be a turd no matter how nice the package is.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Clinton Factor: The Right Wing Blame Game 5 Years to Late

Why do they think bringing up Bill Clinton's statements on Iraq and WMD is going to change anything about how we think about Iraq now?

Because, unlike us, they worship their leaders and swallow their every word as gospel. So, they expect us to do the same. We do not worship our leaders as false idols.

Bill Clinton was wrong about WMD in Iraq. Thank God he didn't gamble his presidency on it.

But, I say we should punish him anyway. We should repeal the 22nd amendment, re-elect him, and give the Repugs a chance to impeach him again.

Hell, anything's better then what we have now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Truth, Justice and the American Way

Today we found out who the real Americans are. Anyone against investigations is a stooge, a fool, and a traitor.

Our way...the American way...is truth and justice.

Love it or leave it.