Thursday, December 28, 2006

Last tag?


New U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin says he wants to focus on aggressively fighting crime, not on the way he was appointed to his position.

Griffin, a former assistant to President Bush adviser Karl Rove, was sworn in last week as the interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The 38-year-old Magnolia native replaced Bud Cummins.

Arkansas Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln had questioned Griffin's appointment, saying it circumvented the normal appointment process.

Griffin acknowledges the appointment process is a political one, but says --quote-- "the moment you become U-S attorney, politics stop." He asks that those doubting the appointment to judge him on his performance as time goes on.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press.

Did he get that quote from
his old boss or Alberto Gonzales?

Separated at birth

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Meet the flogger

Bill Kristol, one of the foremost architects and cheerleaders of the neoconservative agenda (AKA "the blind leading the a. vicious b. stupid c. insane d. all of the above") takes it on the chin from John Stewart. Check out the creepy, frozen smile on Kristol's face, which never once falters. But do any who would lead us down the pathway to hell ever lack confidence?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

So glad the White House isn't in denial ....

Donald Rumsfeld urged the United States not to retreat from the agonies of combat.

Donald Rumsfeld urged the United States not to retreat from the agonies and ugliness of combat. (Reuters)

Cheney calls Rumsfeld 'finest US defence secretary'

United States Vice President Dick Cheney says Donald Rumsfeld is the finest defence secretary in US history.

Soldiers and politicians have gathered at the Pentagon to farewell Mr Rumsfeld in a colourful military ceremony.

US President George W Bush has called Mr Rumsfeld a skilled public servant and leader.

"This man knows how to lead and he did, and the country is better off for it," Mr Bush declared at Friday's ceremony.

"In every decision Don Rumsfeld made over the past six years, he always put the troops first. And the troops in the field knew it."

Mr Cheney, a long-time friend and associate of Rumsfeld, went even further with the praise.

"Donald Rumsfeld is seen as one of the architects of the unpopular war in Iraq and his legacy will be fiercely debated," he said.

"I believe the record speaks for itself - Don Rumsfeld is the finest secretary of defence this nation has ever had."

Mr Rumsfeld resigned after the Republicans lost control of congress in the mid-term elections.

-- ABC News

These goobers don't just spin the fantasy, they live it.

This is just too damn good to pass up...

December 15, 2006

Firm Contracted to Build Fence on US-Mexico Border is Fined for Hiring Illegal Workers

US-Mexico Border FenceOne of the firms working on the US-Mexico Border Fence has been fined $5 million for hiring illegal immigrants. This controversy was ironically predicted by comedians such as George Lopez, who jokingly says in his new act, "They want to build a fence along the border to keep out Mexicans, but who's gonna build it?" Answer: Mexicans.

The Golden State Fence Company will not only pay a major fine, but two of its executives will have to serve jail time for the hirings.

The company's attorney stated that this all goes to show that the country needs to adopt a robust guest-worker program.

AP Photo by Denis Poroy

Is this a great country or what ...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cheney and Neo-Cons Plotting More Wars

"On March 11, 2003, as final preparations were under way for the neo-cons' greatest triumph--the invasion of Iraq--New Yorker magazine investigative reporter Seymour Hersh exposed an extortion scheme by neo-con Richard Perle, to extract tens of millions of dollars out of the Saudi royal family, in league with the infamous Iran-Contra arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. The scheme involved a Perle company, Trireme Partners LP, which wanted a piece of the billions of dollars in homeland security contracts soon to be issued by the Kingdom. The proposal, according to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, smacked of a quid pro quo: Perle, a leading critic of the Saudi regime, would drop the propaganda barrage and the calls for regime change, coming out of his Defense Policy Board, and the Saudis would cough up.

"Several senior U.S. intelligence officials recently told EIR that some higher-ups in the Saudi royal family, perhaps including Prince Bandar, who is now the national security advisor to King Abdullah, regret that they didn't take the bait and pay off Perle and his partners back in January 2003. A few million dollars might have saved them several years of headaches, as the neo-con propaganda Wurlitzer waged a non-stop regime-change campaign against them. But even more to the point, suddenly, the Saudis, along with several other Sunni Arab regimes, find themselves as strange bedfellows with Washington's neo-cons and with the Ehud Olmert government in Israel--in common cause against Iran.

"A Nov. 3, 2006 teaser from Vanity Fair magazine revealed that the neo-cons are going through a major retooling--wiping their hands of the entire Iraq fiasco, and placing the blame for the failure squarely on the shoulders of President George W. Bush and his team of national security incompetents and nincompoops. In a preview of a story to appear in the January 2007 Vanity Fair, author David Rose delivered excerpts from interviews he conducted in October 2006 with some of the cream of the neo-con crap--starting with the `Prince of Darkness,' Perle himself, and also including Kenneth Adelman, who gained infamy by proposing that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq would be a ``cakewalk'; Michael Ledeen, Frank Gaffney, and Michael Rubin.

"Lovers of Iraqi faker Ahmed Chalabi, and Iraq warhawks to a man, these neo-cons are now saying that if they had it to do over again, knowing that the Bush-Cheney-Rice team was the most incompetent national security management group in the post-World War II history of America, they would have opted for an alternative to war.

"In a scene worthy of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, these modern-day Brutuses have stabbed President Bush and Condi Rice in the back. As far as the neo-cons are concerned, according to a number of informed Washington sources, both Iraq and George W. Bush are yesterday's news. They are now preparing to survive the fall of the House of Bush, and are already making plans for the next confrontations: against Iran and Russia, to name the top two targets du jour."

-- Jeffrey Steinberg, Znet, read more here.

Proof positive that any impeachment proceeding that does not include Cheney is a job half-done.

Dollar disinformation?

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has warned U.S. private financial services of an al Qaeda call for a cyber attack against U.S. online stock trading and banking Web sites beginning Friday, officials said on Thursday.

The officials -- a person familiar with the warning and a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security -- said the Islamic militant group aimed to penetrate and destroy the databases of the U.S. stock market and banking Web sites.

Homeland Security said it had no evidence to corroborate the threat [my emphasis] but had issued the warning out of an "abundance of caution." The department said in a statement that the threat was for all of December.

"There is no information to corroborate this aspirational threat. As a routine matter and out of an abundance of caution, US-CERT issued the situational awareness report to industry stakeholders," said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.

US-CERT is the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The U.S. government said the threat was to avenge the holding of suspected terrorists at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo.

Hmmm, curious how this comes out as the buck goes into a tailspin ...

What Dubya's sound fiscal policy has wrought

US setbacks see dollar plunge to 15-year low

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, 12/1/2006, UK Telegraph

The dollar tumbled to a near 15-year low against sterling yesterday on fresh signs of economic trouble in the United States.

An 8.3pc crash in US industrial orders and an admission by the Federal Reserve chairman that Washington does not know how bad housing really is set off another day of wild gyrations on the currency markets.

Dollar woes poised to carry over into next year

Greenback is down about 50% vs. euro in past five years; down 6% vs. yen

By Wanfeng Zhou, MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:48 PM ET Nov 29, 2006

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- After a precipitous slide in the last week that caught many traders off guard, the dollar is vulnerable to further losses and may continue to weaken against major rivals heading into 2007, analysts said Tuesday.

"Sentiment for the dollar has been deteriorating steadily over recent weeks," said Mitul Kotecha, head of global foreign-exchange strategy at French investment bank Calyon. The decline was not prompted by a particular piece of news or data release, "but rather a general worsening in sentiment that saw long held technical levels breached," he said.

"We expect the dollar to weaken further into year end, and retain this tone in the early months of 2007," he said.

Death Knell of the US Dollar

by Clive Maund, GoldWatch

"The conditions leading to an inevitable dollar panic sell-off did not come about overnight. They are the result of years of abuse, principally by the Federal Reserve of the US, which has created a veritable blizzard of dollars, and the universal acceptance of this “funny money” has, up until now, allowed the United States to freeload economically on the rest of the world, living way beyond its means. The exponential growth in dollars has been and is created electronically at the touch of a button, so that paying for anything is never a problem, whatever you want you simply print the extra money to pay for. Because foreigners have so far played along with this game, they are now widely, and to some extent understandably, regarded as stupid. However, it is a dangerous mistake to underestimate the mental capacities of other peoples. The Chinese, in particular, have an ancient and deep culture, and when it comes to strategic considerations, can outthink - and outflank virtually anyone."

US dollar 'will keep falling'

by Heather Stewart, Sunday November 26, 2006, The Observer

"The US dollar has reached a 'tipping point' as foreign exchange markets wake up to the threat that the Federal Reserve will have to slash interest rates in the new year to stave off recession, analysts say. After a sharp sell-off on Friday took the greenback to 18-month lows against the euro, and pushed the pound to $1.93, economists warned that there was worse to come for the US currency.

"'We are just at the start of what we think will be a downtrend for the dollar - a tipping-point has probably been reached,' said Tim Fox, currency strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, who expects sterling to hit $2 within the next three months."

U.S.- Iran history, beyond the fear

"So warm, gracious and welcoming were the people of Iran, in just two days I felt safer walking the streets of Tehran, a city of 16 million, than I did in Albany. Where was this 'axis of evil'?

"The rhetoric of fear and misinformation often promoted by the U.S. government and news media quickly dissolved as our delegation, Academics For Peace, met face to face last year with former President Mohammad Khatami and various officials in Tehran. As we traveled to Esfahan and Shiraz, the depth and beauty of Iranian culture became readily apparent, and we shed any remaining vestiges of fear. I wondered what was a truthful accounting of U.S. foreign policy with Iran as our delegation began to initiate dialogue between the people of Iran and the U.S. with hopes of preventing a war between our two countries.

"In 2003, Stephen Kinzer, a New York Times correspondent, provided a vivid account of the 1953 CIA-led coup against the democratically elected Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In his best-selling, 'All The Shah's Men,' Mr. Kinzer documented how, during the Eisenhower administration, the CIA's Kermit Roosevelt, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, CIA director Allen Dulles, subverted this fledgling Iranian democracy.

"Prime Minister Mossadegh was replaced by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a brutal dictator who ruled for the next 25 years, thus explaining much of Iran's distrust for the U.S. During the shah's reign, the Iranian oil industry previously nationalized by Mossadegh, was "un-nationalized," with U.S. firms reaping a 40 percent interest. During the shah's reign, the United States also encouraged the beginning of Iran's nuclear industry. In 1979, the shah was deposed resulting in the Islamic Republic of Iran headed by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Why is this history important to us?"

-- John Amidon, Albany (NY) Times-Union, 11/17/2006

Find out here or here. But one hint: when George W. Bush tells us to fear, we should only fear him.

Who killed Bobby Kennedy?

In 1968, a high school kid, I was poised to volunteer for the Presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. My dreams, and those of many in my generation were shattered on June 5 when he was gunned down in a Los Angeles hotel, a mere 2 months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. A year after the "Summer of Love," and four-and-a-half years after the the killing of JFK in Dallas, the loss of these men to the tar pits of violence that run below the surface veneer of the American Dream would have rippling effects that last to this day. The sixties will one day be recognized for the true benchmark that it was in American history and culture - the start of the unraveling.

Shane O' Sullivan is an independent researcher who has made a startling discovery - that three CIA agents were present in Los Angeles on the day Bobby was murdered - not only present, butin the crowd at the campaign rally site. Moreover, the three agents had every reason to hate the Kennedys.

"Three years ago, I started writing a screenplay about the assassination of Robert Kennedy, caught up in a strange tale of second guns and 'Manchurian candidates' (as the movie termed brainwashed assassins). As I researched the case, I uncovered new video and photographic evidence suggesting that three senior CIA operatives were behind the killing. I did not buy the official ending that Sirhan acted alone, and started dipping into the nether-world of 'assassination research,' crossing paths with David Sanchez Morales, a fearsome Yaqui Indian."

Read more
here or here, and watch an interview with O'Sullivan here.