Saturday, December 27, 2003

This Is More Like It 

[From Bark Bark Woof Woof]

We're going to be hearing a lot from the Republicans how Dr. Howard Dean is a "Park Avenue blueblood," a "preppie snob," and a "tax-and-spend liberal" who knows nothing of life in "real America." But this backgrounder by Rick Lyman in the NY Times shows us a true portrait of his background and education. Interesting reading, especially when it's pointed out that Dr. Dean's life history - on the surface - is not so differnt from the current president.
George Walker Bush and Howard Brush Dean III are from opposite sides of the nation's political fault line. Yet it may be their similarities and the inroads Dr. Dean might make among swing voters that worry some Republicans, especially when Dr. Dean's current image as a Vermont liberal is leavened with details of the fiscally conservative way he governed Vermont for 11 years.
The difference is that in spite of his family's wealth, Dr. Dean has actually worked for a living.

[On a personal note, it's nice to see quotes in the article from the Rev. Hayes Rockwell, who was the chaplain at St. George's when I was there and a good friend. It was Rev. Rockwell who suggested I read up on the Quakers.]

Bush Money Whore #1 

His name is Mercer Reynolds.

Just read these next few paragraphs:

Reynolds, 58, is a Chattanooga, Tenn., native and a multi-millionaire who came to Cincinnati in late 1969 as a representative for a Coca-Cola distributor. He eventually teamed up with business partner William O. DeWitt to form a company that deals in corporate financing and investment management

After meeting Bush, both Reynolds and DeWitt thought so highly of the future president that they bought out his struggling oil company in 1984. Later, they became co-owners of the Texas Rangers baseball team in a venture that included Bush and other investors.

When Bush ran for president four years ago, Reynolds and DeWitt signed on as Bush "Pioneers" and agreed to raise $100,000 apiece for the campaign. Records show the pair actually raked in more than $600,000.

Bush rewarded Reynolds by appointing him as ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Reynolds remained in the post until March of this year, when he returned to the United States to work as finance chairman of Bush's re-election campaign.

Reynolds dismisses critics who say Bush is raising money from a small, elite group of wealthy donors who are trying to buy influence.

Um. What?!?!? You tell me old Mercer got that Switzerland job based on his experience refilling Coke machines? If you believe that then let me sell you my new book on underwater fire prevention.

The Gotham City 13

Casualties in Iraq over the past few days 

Lifted directly from my site from this morning:

Via Today in Iraq:

War News for December 27, 2003 Draft

Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed, one wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Ad-Dulleieya.

Bring 'em on: US patrol ambushed with RPG and small arms fire in Mosul. Four Iraqis killed.

Bring 'em on: Five US soldiers wounded in convoy ambush near Baghdad.

Bring 'em on: Iraqi police station under missile attack near Karbala.

Bring 'em on: Insurgents bomb fuel depot near Baghdad.

Bring 'em on: One US soldier wounded in convoy ambush near Habaniyah.

Bring 'em on: Gunfight and grenades at funereal of slain tribal chief in Mosul. (Last paragraph.)

Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi insurgents killed by premature bomb explosion near Beiji.

Bring 'em on: Car bomb kills four, wounds 60 Iraqis at Karbala university campus.

Bring 'em on: Twenty Coalition casualties reported in coordinated mortar and small arms attacks at two Coalition installations in Karbala.

Bring 'em on: Four Bulgarian soldiers killed in mortar attack in southern Iraq.

CENTCOM changes default display on casualty page to reflect only the last day's casualties.

Iraqi interim foreign minister wants early sovereignty; Sunni cleric vows to increase resistance.

Analysis: The costs and consequences of Bush's folly.

Home of suspected insurgent destroyed in Khaldiyah.

Insurgents find safe haven among an angry Iraqi population.

When did the US Army start decorating journalists?

War News for December 25 and 26. 2003

Bring 'em on: Two US soldiers killed, four wounded in mortar attack near Baquba.

Bring 'em on: Multiple mortar and rocket attacks reported in Baghdad.

Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed, one wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Baquba.

Bring 'em on: Two Polish soldiers wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Mahwil.

Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed attempting to defuse roadside bomb near Baquba.

Bring 'em on: Three US soldiers wounded in convoy ambush near Mosul.

Bring 'em on: CENTCOM reports one US soldiers killed by IED in Baghdad.

Bring 'em on: Tribal leader assassinated near Mosul.

Bring 'em on: Mortar attacks continue on CPA compound in central Baghdad.

CENTCOM reports one US soldier electrocuted in accident near Kirkuk.

Illinois Guardsmen mobbed in Iraq. "'They had our convey caught in this lane. Must have been 500 people out there, cutting the fuel lines on our trucks taking anything they could. Then the Iraqi police came out and started shooting up into the air, that moved the crowd pretty good,' said specialist Sean Walsh, Illinois National Guard."

War News for December 24, 2003

Bring 'em on: CENTCOM reports three US soldiers killed by roadside bomb near Samarra.

Bring ‘em on: Suicide bomb kills four in Arbil.

Bring ‘em on: US convoy attacked with small arms fire in Mosul.

Bring ‘em on: Iraqi CDC member killed in action in Mosul.

Bring ‘em on: Attempted assassination of aid to Iraqi minister in Baghdad.

Bring ‘em on: Iraqi security guard wounded in Mosul during ambush of US military convoy.

Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed, two wounded by landmine in Baghdad.

Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting reported in Baghdad.

Bring 'em on: Baghdad Sheraton mortared, firefight ensues.

Ethnic fighting between Arab and Kurdish Iraqis reported in Kirkuk.

I count 24 US/Iraqi/Coalition dead, and 100 wounded from the above. Just since Christmas Eve Day.

I count 6 dead insurgents. Granted, they're probably having a hard time tracking such figures, but nonetheless, look at the KIA and wounded numbers. That poor soldier who was electrocuted most likely won't receive honors for being killed in combat, too, given the propensity to only count those killed in ambushes and firefights.

When the hell is the media finally going to wake up and report all of these casualty figures? It's outrageous that this isn't front page news, not to mention the lead story every single night on the evening news and every hour's top story on the cable channels.

All is not well in Baghdad, despite what the Emperor and his cronies claim; we're losing a lot of troops -- both killed and wounded -- and it's just not reported.

Go to the Today in Iraq site and read the story links for each of the line items above. Bookmark the site and read it daily. Then write your congresscritters every day about it.

The truth needs outing, and quickly, so the 'Merican People © can realize they've been hoodwinked before next year's election.

The Gamer's Nook

Friday, December 26, 2003

Fudged Reports 

In bold red letters, Matt Drudge has the headline "Dean not ready to pronounce Osama bin Laden guilty...". It's another attempt by this conservative shill to make controversy out of nothing. (I'm not even going to link to this junk).

I'm sure what Dean is trying to say is that, until all the facts about 9/11 come out, we'll never know the absolute truth about the attacks. We haven't been told the truth yet, have we, Matt?

He's playing off the assumption that since GWB is going after Osama YoMama, then Osama YoMama is guilty of ramming those jets into the WTC. He furthering the notion that if you don't believe the White House line on things like terrorism, you are a worthless traitor.

Stick to talking about Wacko Jacko, Matt.

The Gotham City 13

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Four Questions 

I'd like to see President Bush answer these four questions:
  • Where is Osama bin Laden?

  • Where are the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction?

  • Who leaked Valerie Plame's name to Robert Novak?

  • Why isn't Ken Lay in jail?
  • If he can't answer those simple questions, we have ourselves a real race for the White House next November.

    [Also posted at Bark Bark Woof Woof]

    Cows Mad as Hell 

    I work for an agricultural media company, so Tuesday's news of the first case of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE]) had me spending Christmas Eve in my dreary little cubicle. Presses had to be stopped, interviews with beef industry experts had to be conducted, new prognostications on beef futures had to be made. But I left the office last night with more questions than answers. First of all, the AP story on Tuesday said this about Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman:

    She told a news conference that a single Holstein cow that was either sick or injured - thus never destined for the U.S. food supply - tested presumptively positive for the brain-wasting illness.

    This paragraph is troubling. Sick and injured cows enter the food supply all the time. Did the AP misunderstand the USDA Secretary, or is another Bush administration official lying? I always thought of Veneman as a pretty straight-up person, so I want to believe it was the reporter's error.

    But, here's the other thing: The cow tested "presumptively" positive for BSE on December 9, but the meat was sent to the packers anyway and no one heard anything about it until December 23. What's up with that?

    What it boils down to is: The Bush administration is telling us that our food supply is safe and beef is OK to eat. Based on BushCo's history of lying to us, should we believe them now? I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm steering clear (no pun intended) of ground beef for awhile.

    Season's Greetings 

    Terror Alert Level

    Wednesday, December 24, 2003


    Word on the street is that several of the 10 most wanted terrorists have tried to enter the country but were blocked. The word is also that this story won't be revealed until after Christmas.

    I guess we'll have to wait to see if my source is full of crap.

    The Gotham City 13

    Check the Eggnog 

    William Safire is suggesting that if Dean doesn't get the Democratic nomination, he'll split off and go for a third-party run, which will hand Bush a Nixon/Reagan-sized landslide and lead to arrogance and tyranny from the Republican majority.

    Where, oh where to begin?

    Read the rest at Bark Bark Woof Woof

    Tuesday, December 23, 2003

    Mad Cows & Terrorism? 

    From CNN:
    BREAKING NEWS U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms a cow in Washington state has tested "presumptive positive" for mad cow disease. Details soon.
    From the AP:
    First Suspect Case of Mad Cow in U.S.
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first-ever U.S. case of mad cow disease is suspected in a single cow in Washington state, but the American food supply is safe, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Tuesday.

    "We remain confident in the safety of our food supply," said Veneman.

    She told a news conference that a single Holstein cow that was either sick or injured - thus never destined for the U.S. food supply - tested presumptively positive for the brain-wasting illness.

    Mad cow disease, known also as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is a disease that eats holes in the brains of cattle. It sprang up in Britain in 1986 and spread through countries in Europe and Asia, prompting massive destruction of herds and decimating the European beef industry.

    Veneman said Tuesday: "This incident is not terrorist related. ... I cannot stress this point strongly enough."
    Is there anything that this administration won't use to insert the word "terrorist" into the transcript?

    [Posted same at Bark Bark Woof Woof]

    The Bush Formula 

    With Saddam, it now looks as though the Bush Admin is following it's normal script for dealing with adversity. It goes something like this:

    1) Saddam is captured.
    2) The Bushies start pounding their chests and saying "I told you so".
    3) Bush makes a sobering statement to the nation to cover his ass.
    4) He also makes statements about swift justice and the war on terra.
    5) Other nations call for a war crimes tribunal.
    6) Georgey calls for the bloody head of Saddam on a spear.
    7) Other nations disagree with this barbaric statement.

    Read the rest of the list at The Gotham City 13.

    FTAA and Miami: An Update 

    Just because no mainstream press is covering this story doesn't mean it isn't important.

    The extent of the police brutality which is being quietly swept under the rug is mind-boggling. We now have a semi-retired circuit court judge who has stated in open court that he personally witnessed a minimum of 20 instances of police officers committing felonies. As of December 11 (3 weeks after the fact), a grand total of zero officers had been charged, which sort of suggests that none ever will be.

    It's important to remember that these cops were partially financed by the $87 billion approved for Iraqi reconstruction, and that the so-called 'Miami model' seems to be just a part of a larger pattern of the ruthless suppression of dissent under the guise of law enforcement, against both citizen protestors and elected officials.

    (Originally posted at edwardpig.)

    Monday, December 22, 2003


    The Democratic veepstakes guessing games continue. Assuming that the Democratic nominee is Howard Dean, so far it's been Dean/Richardson as in Bill Richardson, former congressman, ambassador to the UN, Secretary of Energy, and now governor of New Mexico. Then we had speculation about Dean/Clark as in Gen. Wesley Clark, but based on his interview with ABC on Sunday, it's Dean/Clark. Today it's Dean/Graham as in Bob Graham, the senator from Florida who folded his presidential bid after polling lower than everybody else.

    Read the rest at Bark Bark Woof Woof

    Sunday, December 21, 2003

    Sunday Sillies 

    Our favorite candidate for president, Joe Lieberman, has updated his website. Go get 'em, Joe! On behalf of all liberals, I wish you the best.

    Joe may be an exciting fellow, but how would he score on the Lipson-Shiu corporate personality test?