Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 14, 2007

Video Follow-up


By Representatives and Members of the Judiciary Committee:
Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.

The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to “unknowingly [pass] along false information.” In addition, recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations - would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.

The charges against Vice President Cheney are not personal. They go to the core of the actions of this Administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority support hearings according to a November 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70% of voters say that Vice President Cheney has abused his powers and 43% say that he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.

Some people argue that the Judiciary Committee can not proceed with impeachment hearings because it would distract Congress from passing important legislative initiatives. We disagree. First, hearings need not tie up Congress for a year and shut down the nation. Second, hearings will not prevent Congress from completing its other business. These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the Vice President – not our commander in chief – and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton Presidential impeachment hearings. Also, despite the fact that President Bush has thwarted moderate Democratic policies that are supported by a vast majority of Americans -- including children’s health care, stem cell research, and bringing our troops home from Iraq -- the Democratic Congress has already managed to deliver a minimum wage hike, an energy bill to address the climate crisis and bring us closer to energy independence, assistance for college tuition, and other legislative successes. We can continue to deliver on more of our agenda in the coming year while simultaneously fulfilling our constitutional duty by investigating and publicly revealing whether or not Vice President Cheney has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence – not politics – should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

VH1 Classic needs better Researchers!!!

VH1 Classic is in the middle of a "Rock Band Countdown" to promote the new video game "Rock Band". Here are my observations and why I would do a better job than the ASS that researched and assembled the four part series. (Note: I am a huge RUSH fan, but I'm also a huge music fan)

Part one: Greatest Drummer... I did not find fault with the list, but the researchers and producers at VH1 Classic need to do a better fucking job!!! At number 10 in the countdown, they have Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden (although he could have placed higher). What bugs me about this is that they showed the video for "Run To The Hills" from the bands "The Number Of The Beast" album. Why am I mentioning all of this information - I'll tell you... Nicko McBrain wasn't on that fucking album!! Nor was he in the video!!! The drummer for Iron Maiden to that point was Clive Burr. I could do a better job than the fuck that produced the show. It could have been easy to find out such information - Iron Maiden's website or

Part two: Greatest Bass Player... Not many problems with the list... It was fair, but Steve Harris from Iron Maiden should have ranked a bit higher... But I digress... If you're going to show a 4 part series where you're going to have people from the same band winning in the different categories, find other videos to show!!! Part one was about Drummers, so Neil Peart from RUSH is on that list and they show the live video of "Tom Sawyer" from their "Exit...Stage Left" concert, so for part two on Bass Players, Geddy Lee of RUSH makes the list and what do they show??? The same fucking video as from part one!!! I know they have more than one song and one video!!!

Part three: Greatest Guitarist... Good list, and also fair. In the Bass Player part, Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath made the list and they showed a classic video of "Paranoid" - in this part Tony Iommi made the list for Guitarist, so what do they show?? "Paranoid" again!!! Same for Deep Purple (Roger Glover for Bass, and Ritchie Blackmore for Guitar) - they showed "Highway Star" in both parts. Eddie Van Halen, of course, made the list - but in my opinion, I would not have showcased "Jump" in this category as it is so keyboard driven and really didn't highlight what Eddie can do - I'm sure they could have found something where he is actually playing a guitar throughout the whole song.

Part four: Greatest Frontman... Well rounded list, but they had a lot to choose from. Roger Daltrey should not have been number ten, though - he should have been higher... And how did they decided which Van Halen frontman to use??? David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are from two different worlds and styles.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ensign on Iran

John Ensign (R-BrillCream) wants war - crybaby wants his goddamned war!!! Harry better shot him down, and fast!!!

Senate Republicans plan to call for a congressional commission to investigate the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran and the specific intelligence that went into it, according to congressional sources.
The move, which would be the first formal challenge to the NIE, comes amid growing backlash from conservatives and neoconservatives unhappy about the assessment that Iran halted a clandestine nuclear weapons program four years ago.

It reflects how quickly the NIE has become politicized, with critics even going after the analysts who wrote it.

Sen. John Ensign (R., Nev.) said he planned to introduce legislation next week to establish a commission modeled on a congressionally mandated group that probed a disputed 1995 intelligence estimate on the emerging missile threat to the United States over the next 15 years.

"Iran is one of the greatest threats in the world today. Getting the intelligence right is absolutely critical, not only on Iran's capability but its intent," he said in an interview.

Ensign's proposal calls for Senate leaders to put an equal number of Republicans and Democrats on a panel to study the NIE and report back in six months.

"There are a lot of people out there who do question [the NIE]. There is a huge difference between the 2005 and 2007 estimates," he said.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Olbermann Kicks Ass - Again!!!

Special Comment from 12/06/2007

Finally, as promised, a Special Comment about the President's cataclysmic deception about Iran.


There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr.. Bush has left us with tonight.

We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole -- or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked -- at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so -- whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.

A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

After Ms Perino's announcement from the White House late last night, the timeline is inescapable and clear.

In August the President was told by his hand-picked Major Domo of intelligence Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking, worrying-warrior who will always see more clouds than silver linings, that what "everybody thought" about Iran might be, in essence, crap.

Yet on October 17th the President said of Iran and its president Ahmadinejad:

"I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon."

And as he said that, Mr.. Bush knew that at bare minimum there was a strong chance that his rhetoric was nothing more than words with which to scare the Iranians.

Or was it, Sir, to scare the Americans?

Does Iran not really fit into the equation here? Have you just scribbled it into the fill-in-the-blank on the same template you used, to scare us about Iraq?

In August, any commander-in-chief still able-minded or uncorrupted or both, Sir, would have invoked the quality the job most requires: mental flexibility.

A bright man, or an honest man, would have realized no later than the McConnell briefing that the only true danger about Iran was the damage that could be done by an unhinged, irrational Chicken Little of a president, shooting his mouth off, backed up by only his own hysteria and his own delusions of omniscience.

Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Bush.

The Chicken Little of presidents is the one, Sir, that you see in the mirror.

And the mind reels at the thought of a Vice President fully briefed on the revised Intel as long as two weeks ago -- briefed on the fact that Iran abandoned its pursuit of this imminent threat four years ago -- who never bothered to mention it to his boss.

It is nearly forgotten today, but throughout much of Ronald Reagan's presidency it was widely believed that he was little more than a front-man for some never-viewed, behind-the-scenes, string-puller.

Today, as evidenced by this latest remarkable, historic malfeasance, it is inescapable, that Dick Cheney is either this president's evil ventriloquist, or he thinks he is.

What servant of any of the 42 previous presidents could possibly withhold information of this urgency and gravity, and wind up back at his desk the next morning, instead of winding up before a Congressional investigation -- or a criminal one?

Mr. Bush -- if you can still hear us -- if you did not previously agree to this scenario in which Dick Cheney is the actual detective and you're Remington Steele -- you must disenthrall yourself: Mr. Cheney has usurped your constitutional powers, cut you out of the information loop, and led you down the path to an unprecedented presidency in which the facts are optional, the Intel is valued less than the hunch, and the assistant runs the store.

The problem is, Sir, your assistant is robbing you -- and your country -- blind.

Not merely in monetary terms, Mr.. Bush, but more importantly of the traditions and righteousness for which we have stood, at great risk, for centuries: Honesty, Law, Moral Force.

Mr.. Cheney has helped, Sir, to make your Administration into the kind our ancestors saw in the 1860's and 1870's and 1880's -- the ones that abandoned Reconstruction, and sent this country marching backwards into the pit of American Apartheid.

Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland...

Presidents who will be remembered only in a blur of failure, Mr.. Bush.

Presidents who will be remembered only as functions of those who opposed them -- the opponents whom history proved right.

Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland... Bush.

Would that we could let this President off the hook by seeing him only as marionette or moron.

But a study of the mutation of his language about Iran proves that though he may not be very good at it, he is, himself, still a manipulative, Machiavellian, snake-oil salesman.

The Bushian etymology was tracked by Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post's website.

It is staggering.

March 31st: "Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon..."

June 5th: Iran's "pursuit of nuclear weapons..."

June 19th: "consequences to the Iranian government if they continue to pursue a nuclear weapon..."

July 12th: "the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons..."

August 6th: "this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon..."

Notice a pattern?

Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.

Then, sometime between August 6th and August 9th, those terms are suddenly swapped out, so subtly that only in retrospect can we see that somebody has warned the President, not only that he has gone out too far on the limb of terror -- but there may not even be a tree there...

McConnell, or someone, must have briefed him then.

August 9th: "They have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium, which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program..."

August 28th: "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons..."

October 4th: "you should not have the know-how on how to make a (nuclear) weapon..."

October 17th: "until they suspend and/or make it clear that they, that their statements aren't real, yeah, I believe they want to have the **capacity**, the **knowledge**, in order to make a nuclear weapon."

Before August 9th, it's: Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.

After August 9th, it's: Desire, pursuit, want...knowledge technology know-how to enrich uranium.

And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that the National Intelligence Estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program in 2003...

And you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program on October 17th...

And that's just a coincidence?


And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that nobody told you any of this until last week?

Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last week might be legally true -- something like "what the definition of is is -- but with the subject matter being not interns but the threat of nuclear war.

Legally, it might save you from some war crimes trial... but ethically, it is a lie.

It is indefensible.

You have been yelling threats into a phone for nearly four months, after the guy on the other end had already hung up.

You, Mr.. Bush, are a bald-faced liar.


And more over, you have just revealed that John Bolton, and Norman Podhoretz, and the Wall Street Journal Editorial board, are also bald-faced liars.

We are to believe that the Intel Community, or maybe the State Department, cooked the raw intelligence about Iran, falsely diminished the Iranian nuclear threat, to make you look bad?

And you proceeded to let them make you look bad?


You not only knew all of this about Iran, in early August...

But you also knew... it was... accurate.

And instead of sharing this good news with the people you have obviously forgotten you represent...

You merely fine-tuned your terrorizing of those people, to legally cover your own backside...

While you filled the factual gap with sadistic visions of -- as you phrased it on August 28th: a quote "nuclear holocaust" -- and, as you phrased it on October 17th, quote: "World War Three."


My comments, Mr. Bush, are often dismissed as simple repetitions of the phrase "George Bush has no business being president."

Well, guess what?

Tonight: hanged by your own words... convicted by your own deliberate lies...

You, sir, have no business... being president.


Good night, and good luck.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bush Uses Constitution to wipe his ass!!!

From the UK Times:

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

From USA Today:

Lakhdar Boumediene is an Algerian who emigrated to Bosnia in the 1990s and became a citizen. After the 9/11 attacks, Bosnian police picked up Boumediene and five other Algerians when U.S. authorities charged that the six had been plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.

When a three-month probe found no evidence to support the charges, Bosnia's top court set the suspects free. At U.S. insistence and in defiance of the court, however, Bosnian police scooped them up again and they ended up in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They've been there ever since.

Is Boumediene a murderous terrorist? An innocent victim? Something in between? Who knows? More than six years after the 9/11 attacks, Boumediene and more than 300 other detainees still sit at Guantanamo, all but a few with no formal charges and the functional equivalent of a life sentence.

The Bush administration says these detainees are the worst of the worst, which is meant to sound like a good reason to lock them up and lose the key. But that's what former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said before hundreds were let go, many when authorities apparently concluded there was little or no evidence against them.

More important, locking people away indefinitely without charges, even if they are not U.S. citizens, violates one of this nation's bedrock principles. The doctrine of habeas corpus guarantees the right of the accused to challenge their detention before an impartial judge. It's one of the sacred rights that for centuries has distinguished the United States from dictatorships.

Regrettably, the Bush administration has an abysmal record of using the war on terror to justify brushing aside this and other safeguards. The U.S. Supreme Court has slapped down the White House and a too-compliant Congress three times already, ruling that imprisoning detainees on Cuban soil to keep them out of U.S. courts is a ruse, that even suspected terrorists have rights, and that the courts have a role in reviewing these cases.