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Welcome to UNKNOWN NEWS News that’s not known, or not known enough.
Helen & Harry Highwater’s cranky weblog of news and opinion.
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(202) 224-3121.

House condemns MoveOn.org’s Petraeus ad, too

Excerpt: By a 341-79 vote, the House passed a resolution praising the patriotism Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and condemning a MoveOn.org ad that referred to Petraeus as “General Betray Us.”

Comment: Let me say again what I said last week, when the “Democrats” in the Senate had their turn condemning their party’s base for presuming to exercise their First Amendment rights: Gen. Petraeus is a treasonous bastard. Ain’t no other word for it, when he’s flat-out inarguably lying to Congress about every aspect of the war, painting a rosy scenario to extend the war, and every lie he tells extends the war and thus kills more American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

Democrats have only nominal control of the Senate, where MoveOn’s utterly factual ad was “condemned” last week. But Dems have a real majority in the House they control not just what wins on the floor, but what bills will make it to the floor for a vote in the first place. And this is the kind of garbage that sails through with an overwhelming majority? Every Democrat who voted for this is a Republican at heart, and that’s a more vulgar insult than anything involving the usual four-letter words. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

List (with contact info) of these deadbeat Democrats in Congress

Comment: We reiterate: While thinking people can (theoretically) disagree about whether Gen. Petraeus has betrayed his country, for politicians to condemn their own party’s political base for speaking their minds is both anti-democratic and anti-Democratic. Here are the Democratic Congressmen and women who would really prefer that the people they “represent” would shut the hell up:

And if you’d like to support MoveOn in their battle to tell the truth, you can donate to MoveOn here. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

New laws in Ohio, Florida designed to dampen Democratic voting

Excerpt: Ohio and Florida, which provided the decisive electoral votes for President Bush’s two razor-thin national election triumphs, have enacted laws that election experts say will help Republicans impede Democratic-leaning minorities from voting in 2008.

Backers of the new laws say they’re aimed at curbing vote fraud. But the statutes also could facilitate a controversial Republican tactic known as “vote caging,” which the GOP attempted in Ohio and Florida in 2004 before public disclosures foiled the efforts, said Joseph Rich, a former Justice Department voting rights chief in the Bush administration who’s now with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Comment: A “controversial” tactic? I’m no lawyer, but my admittedly un-informed impression is that vote caging is simply illegal under federal law. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Iran — Run-up to the next war

Democrats in Senate approve vague semi-declaration of war on Iran

Excerpt: Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton (NY), Chuck Schumer (NY), Bob Menendez (NJ), Barbara Mikulski (MD), and Ben Cardin (MD) all voted in favor of the “Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment.” This piece of legislation actually encourages the practitioner of cowboy diplomacy, George W. Bush, to be even more belligerent in his foreign policy. The Kyl-Lieberman Amendment passed by a vote of 76 to 22. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden voted against it, and Barack Obama missed the vote.

Kyl-Lieberman is the first step in providing Congressional legitimacy for military action against Iran. The 76 to 22 vote, which also had the support of Majority Leader Harry Reid, codifies U.S. Iran policy and comes very close to sounding like a declaration of war.

Designating a four decades old military branch of a sovereign state a “foreign terrorist organization” is an extreme step that is only necessary or useful if there are plans “on the table” to do something about it. Such a step is tantamount to a foreign government designating the U.S. Marines a “foreign terrorist organization.”

The Democratic Senate is playing right into the hands of those neo-cons and crazies who think a military strike against Iran will improve the situation in the Middle East. On the contrary, it will magnify the current disaster in Iraq tenfold.

The Democrats in Congress are jumping through hoops like well-trained circus dogs as they vote for resolutions and give speeches validating the aggression. And then we’re off to the races in another illegal war against a nation that has not attacked us.

Iran labels CIA ‘terrorist organization’

Excerpt: Iran’s parliament voted Saturday to designate the CIA and the U.S. Army as “terrorist organizations,” a largely symbolic response to a U.S. Senate resolution seeking a similar designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Comment: That’s a lot more plausible assertion than Bush’s claim about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Haven’t seen any compelling evidence that the IRG has assassinated foreign leaders, toppled foreign governments, plotted coups, installed dictators friendly to their goals, but for the CIA that’s all in a day’s work … Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

U.S. focus on Ahmadinejad puzzles Iranians

Excerpt: Unlike in the United States, in Iran the president is not the head of state nor the commander in chief. That status is held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, whose role combines civil and religious authority. At the moment, this president’s power comes from two sources, they say: the unqualified support of the supreme leader, and the international condemnation he manages to generate when he speaks up.

“The United States pays too much attention to Ahmadinejad,” said an Iranian political scientist who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “He is not that consequential.”

Senate passes kids’ health insurance with veto-proof majority; House, 24 votes short, prepares to fight

Excerpt: The Senate on Thursday sent President Bush a $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, setting up the biggest domestic-policy clash of his presidency and starting a fight that will reverberate into the 2008 elections.

Bush has vowed to veto the measure, which would be paid for by a 61-cent increase in the federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes, but he has faced strong criticism from many fellow Republicans reluctant to turn away from a popular measure that would renew and expand an effective program aimed at low-income children.

Democratic leaders, while up to 24 votes short in the House, are campaigning hard for the first override of Bush’s presidency.

They secured a veto-proof majority Thursday night in the Senate, with the 67-29 tally including “yes” votes from 18 of the 49 Republicans, including some of the president’s most stalwart allies, such as Kit Bond, R-Mo.; Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Veto of children’s health care is certain, Bush tells Pelosi

Excerpt: President Bush insisted to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday that he’s going ahead with his promised veto of a major expansion of a children’s health program despite its overwhelming approval by Congress.

Comcast fined whopping $4000 for airing commercial as news

Excerpt: Cable giant Comcast violated the law by broadcasting video news releases without identifying them as sponsored programming, the Federal Communications Commission announced today. The ruling came in response to a complaint from Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy, a media watchdog group focusing on VNRs.

Rulings such at these by the FCC have become increasingly less frequent over the past seven years. At the same time, the use of VNRs has become more wide spread.

In April of 2006, a study by [the Center for Media and Democracy] revealed that, over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content.

NRG Energy files paperwork to build two nuclear power plants in Texas

Excerpt: US utilities have steered clear of new nuclear power stations, given a bureaucratic application process, high costs and public resistance following the US’s worst commercial nuclear accident, at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island plant in 1979.

Comment: Will Bush bomb them? Will Congress declare NRG Energy a terrorist organization? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Amid protests and killings, access to internet cut in Burma

Excerpt: Soldiers in Myanmar [Burma] pounded down on dissenters Friday by swiftly breaking up street gatherings of die-hard activists, occupying key Buddhist monasteries and cutting public Internet access. The moves raised concerns that a crackdown on civilians that has killed at least 10 people this week was set to intensify.

Burmese police fire into crowd or protesters

Excerpt: [Japanese journalist] Kenji Nagai held his camera above his head to continue taking photos even as a soldier pointed a gun at his chest.

He was one of at least nine people who were killed when troops opened fire after ordering the protesters to move on. Another 11 were reported injured.

Thousands dead in massacre; monks’ bodies dumped in the jungle

Excerpt: Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Video from al-Jazeera

Bush secretly promised to attack Iraq with or without U.N. approval

Excerpt: Weeks before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush told Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar that the attack would go forward with or without a U.N. resolution condemning the government of Saddam Hussein, according to a transcript of the private meeting obtained by a Spanish newspaper.

Pre-war transcript reveals impeachable offenses by Bush

Excerpt: The transcript, it seems to me, provides a whole rack of smoking guns that could be a basis for impeaching George W. Bush.

The transcript shows that Bush consciously intended to go to war without a United Nations Security Council resolution. The United Nations Charter, to which the United States is a treaty signatory (so that it has the force of American law), forbids any nation to launch an aggressive war on another country.

The only two legal mechanisms for war are either that it came in response to a direct attack or that the attacker gained a UNSC authorization. The transcript shows Bush actively plotting to sidestep the UNSC if he could not, gangster-like, threaten its members into compliance.

Comment: That’s Juan Cole talking, president of the Global Americana Institute and a bona fide expert on such stuff, who, despite his credentials, apparently hasn’t noticed: There are no impeachable offenses, when the Congress is comprised of co-conspirators, con men, the corrupt and the compromised. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Black teen in Jena Six case freed on bail

Excerpt: In Jena, Louisiana, the seventeen year old Mychal Bell one of the Jena Six has been released on bail after ten months in prison.

Bell and five other African American high school students were arrested last year for beating a white student during a schoolyard fight. The fight occurred after white students hung three nooses in a tree in the schoolyard. An all-white jury convicted Bell of aggravated second-degree battery.

But earlier this month a Louisiana appeals court ruled he should not have been tried as an adult. On Thursday, Bell walked out of prison on a forty-five thousand dollar bail bond.

Good Samaritan posted bond

Excerpt: “I was concerned about what was going on up there and thought the district attorney was a bit harsh in his treatment of Mr. Bell,” said [Sr Stephen] Ayers, who is black but added that his race was not his motivation. “I really thought it was overkill.”

Verizon forced to back down after trying to censor pro-choice group

Excerpt: Verizon Wireless Inc. has reversed a decision to block text messages on its network from abortion rights group Naral Pro-Choice America after an outcry from net neutrality advocates and others.

The controversy erupted Thursday, after a New York Times story said Verizon had rejected a request from Naral to send text messages to wireless customers who sign up for them. Verizon had said it has the right to block controversial or unsavory messages.

Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group, said Verizon’s decision still shows the need for the U.S. Congress to pass a net neutrality law, which would prohibit telecom carriers and broadband providers from blocking or slowing content from competitors or other groups.

Comment: Verizon basically said “oops” about this, but the corporation still maintains that it has the right to censor messages. It just won’t exercise that power … yet. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

High Court to hear voter ID arguments

Excerpt: A voter seeking to cast a ballot is first told to produce a photo ID. Is that intimidation or a prudent safeguard against election fraud? The Supreme Court said Tuesday it intends to decide, stepping into a controversy that blends race, partisan politics and the Constitution.

Comment: Isn’t this the same Supreme Court that was asked by the Republicans to throw the election for Bush, and said ‘sure’? Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

Judge says PATRIOT Act’s unconstitutional spying is unconstitutional

Excerpt: The judge said the amendments made by the Patriot Act to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government to conduct searches and monitor American citizens without probable cause, which is typically required by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“The defendant here [Bush administration] is asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so,” [U.S. District Judge Ann] Aiken wrote in her ruling.

Life in liberated Afghanistan & Iraq

Al-Maliki criticizes U.S. proposal to split Iraq

Excerpt: Iraq’s prime minister told The Associated Press on Friday that a U.S. Senate proposal to split the country into regions according to religious or ethnic divisions would be a “catastrophe.”

Comment: The U.S. Senate yaks about rewriting the political landscape in Iraq, while American media and government (goverdia? mediament?) continues the laughable pretense that Iraq is a sovereign nation. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Bush ‘has accepted ethnic cleansing’ in Iraq

Excerpt: The real thing in the mind of this president is he wants to reshape the Middle East and make it a model. He absolutely believes it. I always thought Henry Kissinger was a disaster because he lies like most people breathe and you can’t have that in public life. But if it were Kissinger this time around, I’d actually be relieved because I’d know that the madness would be tied to some oil deal. But in this case, what you see is what you get. This guy believes he’s doing God’s work.

Afghan puppet Karzai offers government role to Taliban

Excerpt: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday offered to meet with the Taliban leader and give militants a government position only hours after a suicide bomber in army disguise attacked a military bus, killing 30 people nearly all of them Afghan soldiers.

Strengthening a call for negotiations he has made with increasing frequency in recent weeks, Karzai said he was willing to meet with the reclusive leader Mullah Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister and factional warlord leader.

Court says cops need only ask to get cell phone records of your movements

Excerpt: While most courts considering the issue have held that police need “probable cause” to track your movements, a new decision last week out of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts holds that law enforcement need show only “relevance to an ongoing investigation” to get a historical record of your past movement (something like the Jeffy trail in The Family Circus cartoon).

Alaska Republican found guilty of bribery

Excerpt: A former state legislator’s conviction for taking bribes from an oil services firm has wider implications: the FBI is investigating whether Ted Stevens, the U.S. Senate’s longest-serving Republican, also received illegal gifts from the same company.

U.S. finally offers lawyers to ‘high value’ Guantanamo prisoners

Excerpt:The [Washington] Post quoted defense and intelligence officials as saying the offer of attorneys does not represent a change in policy. “It was the intent and the plan all along that they would have the right to counsel,” a senior intelligence official told the newspaper.

American Bar Ass’n won’t cooperate with sham trials at Guantanamo

Excerpt: The American Bar Association said this week that it was backing out of an agreement to find lawyers for Guantanamo detainees because it did not want to “lend support and credibility” to what it called inadequate legal protections for the 340 men held there.

The bar association, the largest lawyers group in the United States, said it had agreed to help find volunteer lawyers before Congress stripped the courts of the power to hear habeas corpus cases, which are attacks by prisoners on the government’s authority to hold them.

Comment: The ABA is a milquetoast middle-of-the-road professional organization, a group that’s generally all about polishing lawyers’ public relations image, and doesn’t give half a damn about civil rights. If they’re willing to make this public statement, that strikes me as good news of genuine importance. It means that the horrendousness of Bush-Cheney is finally becoming common knowledge. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Endless blood and death in Iraq

Excerpt: By late September 2003, Lt. Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army’s operations chief, believed that IEDs not only threatened soldiers in Iraq, who included his two sons and a nephew, but also posed a strategic risk to U.S. ambitions in the region. “The IED problem is getting out of control,” he told Col. Christopher P. Hughes, a staff officer. “We’ve got to stop the bleeding.”

Comment: And if you think it’s bad now, just wait until Bush starts bombing Iran. The whole place will explode. Chris M. PERMANENT LINK

24 die in Iraq peace meeting blast

Excerpt: A suicide bombing in Iraq’s volatile Diyala province ripped through a “reconciliation meeting” on Monday night attended by Sunni and Shiite militia leaders a brazen attack that killed and wounded dozens and fractured an effort to foster amity between the rival sects.

Pentagon OK’d “luring” and killing Iraqis with weaponry as bait

Excerpt: A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of “bait,” such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.

The classified program was described in investigative documents related to recently filed murder charges against three snipers who are accused of planting evidence on Iraqis they killed.

Comment: So the “enemy” is now anyone who would pick up a weapon or explosives they saw just lying there in the street instead of walking right by it? I pray that the authors of the Geneva Conventions were sick and twisted enough to imagine this sort of scummery, and outlawed it along with more obvious war crimes. And of course, I’d take it as a small justice if the Pentagon personnel who signed off on this idea were flown directly to the Hague for their trials. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

White House withdraws nomination of pro-torture lawyer for CIA post

Excerpt: The White House withdrew its nominee to become the CIA’s top lawyer on Tuesday after Democrats raised concerns that the agency’s interrogation techniques may be illegal.

Rizzo, currently serving as the CIA’s interim general counsel, told a Senate panel in June that he did not object to a 2002 memo authorizing interrogation techniques that stop just short of inflicting pain equal to that accompanying organ failure or even death.

An intelligence official, who asked not to be named, said Rizzo saw that his nomination would not succeed in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and concluded that a prolonged confirmation fight would not help the CIA.

Blackwater — America’s most famous mercenaries

Rice blocks House investigation of Blackwater

Excerpt: An ongoing battle between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a House committee investigating Iraqi government corruption and the activities of the Blackwater security firm erupted into another skirmish yesterday as Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) accused Rice of interfering with the committee’s work and preventing administration and Blackwater officials from providing pertinent information.

Congress slams Blackwater for inciting Battle of Fallujah in 2004

Excerpt: Blackwater, one of the largest American security firms in Iraq, has come under criticism in the US for its role in a 2004 ambush in Fallujah that left four of its staff killed and the region in deadly chaos.

A House of Representatives report outlined the “unprepared and disorderly” build-up to the incident on 31 March, 2004, resulting in the employees who were escorting a convoy being executed and having their charred bodies hung from a bridge.

The disturbing attack was seen as a turning point for US public opinion after images of the charred bodies were shown around the world by the media. A few days later, the US military launched a major offensive in Fallujah, leading to one of the bloodiest periods since the 2003 invasion.

Blackwater victims include four media workers

Excerpt: More details have emerged on other killings linked to Blackwater forces aside from last week’s mass shooting in Baghdad. McClatchy Newspapers reports the victims include four media workers killed over the past year.

In February, Blackwater guards shot and killed Al Atyaf television reporter Suhad Shakir as she was driving to work. Five days later, three Iraqi security guards were killed at the offices of the state-funded Iraqi Media Network, also known as Iraqiya. The three were picked off by Blackwater snipers on the opposite street.

An Interior Ministry official says the guards were killed as if they were “target practice.”

Pentagon issues Blackwater new $92 million contract

Excerpt: Last Thursday, Gen. Peter Pace told reporters, “Blackwater has been a contractor in the past with the department and could certainly be in the future.” The next day, that future was already here. The Pentagon had issued a new list of contracts, including one worth $92 million to Presidential Airways, the “aviation unit of parent company Blackwater.”

Blackwater cancels plans for expanded mercenary training camp

Excerpt: On Wednesday, the North Carolina private military contractor canceled a $5.5 million deal to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg , where it was going to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives.

The diplomatic and public relations damage from the shooting, combined with next Tuesday’s scheduled testimony before Congress by Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince, prompted the company to put all new projects on hold, according to the president of the company that had agreed to sell the land to Blackwater.

Comment: “Public relations damage” means you and me screaming has actually accomplished something. Pat yourself on the back for a moment, and then: Resume screaming. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

State Dept investigators say their jobs were threatened

Excerpt: Two career investigators in the office of State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard have charged that they were threatened with firing if they cooperated with a congressional probe of Krongard and his office.

Told by Terry P. Heide, Krongard’s congressional liaison, that he should not agree to a request for a “voluntary” interview by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Special Agent Ron Militana said he was then advised that reprisals could be taken against him. “Howard can fire you,” he said Heide told him. “It would affect your ability to get another job.”

Krongard the schmuck implicated in cover-ups galore
at State Dept is embroiled in bizarre lawsuit against his son

Excerpt: The son and daughter-in-law of State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard have asked a judge to issue a restraining order forcing him to stop sending “unprofessional and highly offensive” e-mails that suggested the family would be put “on the street” if they lost a lawsuit Krongard has filed against them, according to documents filed last week in a New Jersey court.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating whether Krongard, a lawyer who was general counsel of Deloitte and Touche, thwarted politically embarrassing inquiries into contractor fraud and treated subordinates poorly.

Republicans’ steal-the-election initiative collapses in California

Excerpt: Days after a controversial organization began collecting voter signatures for a ballot measure to change California’s winner-take-all presidential vote, a founder of the GOP-backed group says its major players are resigning and the group will fold due to lack of funding and support.

“The levels of support just weren’t there,” said Marty Wilson, the Sacramento-based fundraiser, in a telephone interview Thursday.

House wants bribe case subpoenas quashed

Excerpt: Attorneys for the House of Representatives asked a federal judge Wednesday to quash subpoenas for 12 congressmen in the trial of a defense contractor charged with bribing former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

Comment: If that isn’t a guilty plea, what is? Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

Republicans use Justice Department to subvert justice

AG nominee Mukasey is just another totalitarian scumbag

Excerpt: Before the hearing, Mr. Awadallah told his lawyer that he had been beaten in the federal detention center in Manhattan, producing bruises that were hidden beneath his orange prison jumpsuit. But when his lawyer told this to Judge Mukasey, the judge seemed little concerned.

“As far as the claim that he was beaten, I will tell you that he looks fine to me,” said Judge Mukasey, who was nominated by President Bush last week to be his third attorney general and is now facing Senate confirmation hearings. “You want to have him examined, you can make an application. If you want to file a lawsuit, you can file a civil lawsuit.”

Even though Mr. Awadallah was not charged at the time with any crime and had friends and family in San Diego who would vouch that he had no terrorist ties, Judge Mukasey ordered that he be held indefinitely, a ruling he made in the cases of several other so-called material witnesses in the Sept. 11 investigations. A prison medical examination later identified the bruises across his body.

Book: Bush nominee helped mask FBI’s pre-9/11 failures and
kept al Qaeda’s infiltration of US intelligence from view

Excerpt: Why does it matter now that Judge Mukasey, touted by the New York Times for his prowess as an anti-terror judge, made light of Ali Mohamed’s failure to show at the “Day of Terror” trial? Because if Ali had testified, lawyers like Stavis would have ripped the lid off the years of failure by the FBI to stop bin Laden’s juggernaut.

Al Qaeda’s capabilities, their bench strength and sheer resolve to strike again at New York might have been exposed years before 9/11, giving other agencies like CIA and DIA a chance to examine the intel being gathered by Bureau agents in this country.

At a minimum, Mohamed’s exposure at trial would have blown his cover as a double agent and interdicted his supervision of the Embassy bombing cell. But Judge Mukasey, the man President Bush wants to run the Justice Department, didn’t want to tip the jury to the significance of his absence.

Federal Elections Commission nominee doesn’t want to let Democrats vote

Excerpt: Another one for you to file under “fox guards the henhouse”: The Senate rules committee votes tomorrow (Wednesday) on whether to give Hans A. von Spakovsky a full six-year term on the Federal Elections Commission. For Senate Democrats to even consider allowing someone with von Spakovsky’s background to sit on the independent agency tasked with protecting the integrity of federal elections is beyond incredible. If von Spakovsky is confirmed, it will be yet more evidence that Democrats have no more regard for the rule of law, or the integrity of the Justice Department, than Karl Rove does.

Von Spakovsky, three others advance without recommendation

Excerpt: Rules and Administration Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she could not support the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky. He has served on the commission as a recess appointee since Jan. 4, 2006, but has been harshly criticized for his earlier work at the Justice Department by career lawyers and civil rights groups.

“I don’t feel that this is an unbiased individual that we would confirm to go on the FEC,” Feinstein said.

Comment: If half-assed Democrat Diane Feinstein is the voice of Von Spakovsky’s opposition, then he has essentially no opposition. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Strip-search of 13-year-old for suspected possession of ibuprofen AOK, says U.S. court

Excerpt: Safford Middle School officials did not violate the civil rights of a 13-year-old Safford girl when they forced her to disrobe and expose her breasts and pubic area four years ago while looking for a drug, according to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

House subpoenas mine documents from Labor Dept

Excerpt: A House panel is demanding internal Labor Department documents related to the August 6th coal mine collapse in Utah that led to the deaths of 9 people.

And the panel has subpoenaed the documents from Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Lawmakers say they have exhausted other options.

GM and UAW reach deal after nationwide 2-day strike

Excerpt: At the core of the new deal is the transfer of retiree health-care payments from GM to the UAW. GM will pay an estimated $35 billion into a trust designed to appreciate in value and pay health-care benefits for retired workers for at least the next 80 years, the union estimated. In exchange for giving up annual raises over the course of the contract and allowing GM to pay new workers a lower wage, the union got job-security assurances.

While some saw the contract talks as a way to deal a death blow to an already diminished union with fewer than 600,000 members, the UAW is less than half the size it was at its peak in the 1970s others saw it as an opportunity to turn decades of conflict into collaboration, noting that GM no longer has the clout it once did, either. GM’s U.S. market share has slipped to less than 25 percent.

“I’d say the two sides are pretty much balanced now,” said Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute and a labor scholar. “That’s why they worked out an agreement that was a real give and take.”

Morgan Stanley used 9/11 to falsely claim records were destroyed

Excerpt: Morgan Stanley, the second-largest securities firm, will pay $12.5 million to settle regulatory claims it wrongly withheld e-mails in arbitration cases by saying they were lost in the Sept. 11 attacks, the company’s third sanction since 2002 for mishandling the records.

Virginia officials propose new prison to hold illegal immigrants

Excerpt: Virginia officials said Tuesday that they are considering a proposal to build a 1,000-bed detention center where illegal immigrants arrested for certain crimes could be held until federal officials deport them.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said Tuesday night that such a center would be the country’s first state-run facility built to hold only illegal immigrants accused of crimes. Currently, illegal immigrants who are arrested are held in local jails, federal facilities and private prisons.

Freddie Mac is fined $50M for years of security fraud

Excerpt: “We take these charges seriously, and that’s why the Freddie Mac of today is a very different company than the Freddie Mac of the past,” said Richard Syron, Freddie Mac’s chairman and chief executive officer.

McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing under the accord with the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday, but it agreed to refrain from future violations of securities laws.

Comment: This is basically a bribe, explained away with what I’d call criminal diplomacy: They’re saying, “We take these charges seriously, but we’ll neither admit nor deny the charges, but trust us, now we’re completely reformed.” Completely criminal. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Feds probe Chicago Police over torture of black prisoners

Excerpt: The federal government is investigating claims that Chicago police tortured numerous murder suspects and lied about it under oath, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said Wednesday.

Comment: But the federal government tortures and lies themselves. Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

Poppy Bush’s pool boy doesn’t think highly of Bush family

Excerpt: “What do you say? ‘Thanks for School of the Americas, and Iran-Contra, and NAFTA, and shipping all those jobs overseas, and arming Saddam, and funding the Taliban?’ What do you say ‘You’re a jerk?’ There’s nothing that can be put into a sentence that would capture the lives these people have taken, and the way of life that’s been taken.”

Court lets DeLay indictment dismissal stand

Excerpt: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today rejected the state’s motion for rehearing on its June dismissal of a criminal conspiracy indictment against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The decision clears the way for Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle to move toward trial for DeLay and two associates on other pending charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

BBC premiers a television newscast about America

Excerpt: Nearly four months of planning bear fruit Monday when the hour-long BBC World News America debuts at 7 p.m. EDT on BBC America, a network available in about half of the nation’s TV homes. Parts of the newscast will also be seen on PBS stations that regularly air news material from the British Broadcasting Corp.

Comment: I can’t remember the last American TV newscast I sat through local, national, or cable without being well-aware of the lies, spin, and omissions of important facts. The Beeb ain’t perfect, but it’s manna from heaven compared to the corporate-controlled crap on American commercial and public television. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

There are more than three stooges
(and one of them will be America’s next President)

Bush quietly advising Hillary Clinton, top Democrats?

Excerpt: President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president.

In an interview for the new book The Evangelical President, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said Bush has “been urging candidates: ‘Don’t get yourself too locked in where you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, things could change dramatically.'”

Comment: If this story is accurate, Bush-Cheney are at least considering leaving office at the end of their term like such officials have historically done: that’s the good news.

The bad news is that they’re doing everything they can to insure nothing changes if they do leave. jrm PERMANENT LINK

Edwards: Limit frivolous lawsuits

Excerpt: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who made his fortune as a trial lawyer, says attorneys should have to show their medical malpractice cases have merit before filing them.

He also said attorneys with a history of frivolous suits should be barred from filing new cases.

Comment: Smells rotten to me. “Frivolous lawsuits” have been wildly overhyped by lying, corporate controlled Republicans who want to basically end consumers’ legal recourse against corporations. Why is Edwards playing ball with the liars on this almost entirely phony issue? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Edwards will accept public financing after all

Excerpt: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards reversed course Thursday by signing onto the public financing system he once rejected with the belief he could raise more money on his own.

The 2004 vice presidential nominee claimed higher moral ground in the debate over money in politics while announcing the change. But it is a consequence of him bringing in far fewer dollars than his top rivals Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“It is worrisome seeing the amount of money that is being raised in this campaign,” Edwards said on CNN. “This is not healthy. … This campaign should not be a fundraising contest.”

Thompson utterly un-informed again, this time about well-publicized court ruling in his home state

Excerpt: Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Thursday he was unaware that a federal judge had ruled last week that lethal injection procedures in his home state were unconstitutional.

Thompson also told reporters he was unaware that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to consider a Kentucky case about whether lethal injection violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Giuliani declares himself “one of the four or five best known Americans in the world”

Excerpt: “I’m probably one of the four or five best known Americans in the world,” Giuliani told a small group of reporters at a posh London hotel as onlookers gathered in the lobby to gawk at actor Dustin Hoffman who was on a separate visit.

Comment: I personally could only off the top of my head probably name 1500-2400 ‘famous’ Americans I knew about before I ever heard of Giuliani existing at all (during his time as NY mayor).

Of course, I’m an American: not one of the foreigners Giuliani is speaking of, who might only have recognized 1000 or so famous US actors and singers and politicians before they ever heard of Giuliani.

But still, being in the top 1001 seems a far cry from top five. Maybe he’s referring to his legendary role which can be seen exclusively IN HIS OWN MIND. Sort of like Bush’s frequent in-depth discussions with God Himself [look it up: Bush has said it happens]. JR Mooneyham PERMANENT LINK

Mississippi wants to use Katrina aid to spruce up port

Excerpt: A state agency wants to divert $600 million from a Hurricane Katrina housing program to a port restoration project, outraging advocacy groups who say the proposal shortchanges thousands of people still homeless on the Gulf Coast. “It’s just unfair,” Reilly Morse of the Mississippi Center for Justice said Wednesday. “We’ve been told affordable housing was supposed to be a priority. Don’t rob the displaced to build a port.”

Israeli court orders that land must be sold to Arabs

Excerpt: Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday gave the country’s main land distributor three months to change its policy of selling property only to Jews a practice that Israel’s Arab minority deems racist.

Lawsuit dismissed against judge who banned the word ‘rape’

Excerpt: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against a state judge who barred anyone from saying “rape” or “victim” during a criminal trial, ruling Tuesday that the accuser failed to prove that he should intervene.

Bush’s UN speech full of Fone-eh-tick pronunciations for world leaders

Excerpt: Pronunciations for President Bush’s friend French President Sarkozy “[sar-KOzee]” appeared in draft #20 on the UN website. Other pronunciations included the Mugabe “[moo-GAHbee] regime” and pronunciations for countries “Kyrgyzstan [KEYRgeez-stan]” and “Mauritania [moor-EH-tain-ee-a].”

Comment: This story got some publicity and led to a few late-night comedians’ jokes, but I don’t think it’s anything, not even embarrassing. It’s just an effective way to prevent tongue-slips. If there’s news here it’s a little deeper in the article: … when asked if the president had a hard time pronouncing some of those country names [White House SpokesLiar Dana] Perino declined comment saying, “I think that’s an offensive question.”

That’s either a lie or a sign of psychosis. There’s nothing offensive about the question, but Perino’s defensive answer suggests again what’s already been shown repeatedly that this administration sees itself as regal, above even the mildest questions and the most half-assed of investigations. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

America’s lack of universal health insurance even hurts the old folks on Medicare

Excerpt: So what’s an old person’s best defense? Not things like flu shots! For the number of preventative vaccinations available for dangerous contagions is truly tiny and even the handful that are available don’t appear to help old folks much.

No, the best way to keep the elderly from getting sick is making sure everyone else stays healthy, so they can’t give the bugs to the old people in the first place! There’s just no way around it. On the bright side, this same solution also protects the little children. On the dark side, Republicans don’t seem to like either old folks or little children very much except as easy targets and victims.

Federal judge strikes down pedestrian breath test law

Excerpt: A federal judge in Detroit today struck down as unconstitutional a Michigan law that allows police to force pedestrians under the age of 21 to take a Breathalyzer test without first obtaining a search warrant.

Europeans angry after Bush climate speech ‘charade’

Excerpt: George Bush was castigated by European diplomats and found himself isolated yesterday after a special conference on climate change ended without any progress.

European ministers, diplomats and officials attending the Washington conference were scathing, particularly in private, over Mr Bush’s failure once again to commit to binding action on climate change.

Army sniper acquitted of murder in Iraq

Excerpt: A military panel acquitted U.S. Army Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval of two counts of murder Friday, apparently swayed by testimony from fellow Army snipers that two Iraqi men were killed on orders from a higher ranking soldier.

Sandoval was convicted of a less serious charge of planting detonation wire on one of the bodies to make it look like the victim was an insurgent. As a result, he still could face five years in prison. The seven-member jury deliberated less than two hours in clearing him of all but one charge.

Comment: We’re back to the Nuremberg Trials: I was just following orders. Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

Mugabe slams Bush hypocrisy on human rights

Excerpt: Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, accused U.S. President George W. Bush of “rank hypocrisy” on Wednesday for lecturing him on human rights and likened the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison to a concentration camp.

Police take threatening stance against man who complained about police

Excerpt: A young Saint Louis, Missouri motorist faces trouble with local police upset at the national attention his September 7 video of an out-of-control officer has drawn to ongoing problems within area law enforcement agencies. On Sunday, Brett Darrow filmed a Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department cruiser staking out his home.

“It was the first time I’ve seen it,” Darrow told TheNewspaper. “But my neighbor said he’s seen a lot of police down our dead end street since all of this happened.”

New bill “to protect the children” would extend FCC authority to cable, satellite and Internet platforms

Excerpt: The Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007, or S. 602, which originally was introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in February, was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation earlier this month and now is headed to the full Senate floor.

While S. 602 ostensibly is designed to spur the development of “the next generation of parental control technology,” an analyst from a government watchdog group recently warned that the bill also could serve to expand the reach of the FCC’s regulatory powers to include oversight of content transmitted via cable, satellite and Internet platforms.

Comment: This is a very bad idea. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Hungary gives permits to prostitutes

Excerpt: In an effort to bring prostitutes into the legal economy, officials said Monday that Hungary will allow sex workers to apply for an entrepreneur’s permit a move that could generate government revenues from an industry worth an estimated $1 billion annually.

New technology promises new privacy nightmares

Excerpt: “We can read fingerprints from about five meters …. all 10 prints,” said Bruce Walker, vice president of homeland security for Northrop Grumman Corp. “We can also do an iris scan at the same distance.”

Comment: Oh goodie! Now you need not even touch anything anywhere for the government to digitally capture your prints, then transfer them to the scene of a crime of their choice, to use as evidence against you.

How on Earth will anyone ever be able to prove their innocence, when it gets so damned easy to make them look guilty? JR Mooneyham PERMANENT LINK

HIV-infected condoms sent to kill Africans, claims Catholic archbishop

Excerpt: Mozambique’s Roman Catholic archbishop has accused European condom manufacturers of deliberately infecting their products with HIV “in order to finish quickly the African people”.

Comment: A lot of people take whatever the church says “on faith”, so a lot of people will believe this jackass in a clerical collar. And die because they did. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Sister locked up and forgotten for seventy years

Excerpt: “Nowadays there are appeals but back then a doctor could sign away a life with the stroke of a pen. They basically locked her up and threw away the key and she was stuck in the system.”

Chihuahua Leahy nips at spy chief’s heels

Excerpt: “I hope we will not hear anymore irresponsible rhetoric about congressional inquiries risking Americans’ safety,” [Patrick] Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, told [national intelligence director Michael] McConnell at a hearing. “Our job is to protect Americans’ security and Americans’ rights.”

Congress last month passed a law to expand for six months the power of the government to conduct surveillance without court approval while tracking suspected enemy targets.

Magna Carta to be auctioned in New York

Excerpt: The Magna Carta Latin for “Great Charter” was originally issued in 1215 in response to tensions between King John and English noblemen, and confirmed as English law in 1297, the year that the sale document was issued.

The Magna Carta enshrined certain human rights in English law, including the right against unlawful imprisonment, the right to a speedy trial, and to a trial by a jury of one’s peers.

Comment: America has no use for guaranteed rights, and the Magna Carta’s for sale to the highest bidder. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Gunman in George Bush mask arrested on NYC college campus

Excerpt: A college student with a rifle and wearing a George Bush Halloween mask was apprehended Wednesday after walking through a campus of St. John’s University, police said.

Comment: Unlike the real George Bush, the one with the Bush mask didn’t kill hundreds of thousands, then laugh about it. Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

Lightning round news

100,000 protest over Japan textbook
attempt to lie about Japan’s brutal war history

Ohio federal judge strikes down net-censorship law

$15B narco-terrorism war to be outsourced

Democracy in Texas: Votes cast in
legislature at unattended machines

US accused of killing women and
children in Baghdad raid

CBS wants to annoy you even
when the television is off

Feds close medical marijuana snack house

Larry Craig’s airport restroom gets redesigned stalls

U.S. soldier: ‘I was ordered to murder unarmed Iraqi’

Customs Dept steals dishwasher’s life savings

Why China shut down 18,401 websites

Diplomats accuse Bush of
derailing UN climate conference

U.S. sniper ‘bait and kill’ tactics may be a war crime

Singapore gains as Bush
suppresses stem cell research

How Alexis Debat managed to
cheat everyone in Washington

NPR goes easy on ABC news in Debat affair

Report says Bush administration
is still screwing veterans

Defense lawyers cringe at
MediaDefender’s child-porn patrol plans

Gallup poll shows public trusts Dems over
Republibastards on national security, terrorism

Anti-Bush protesters arrested for kneeling on sidewalk

Iraq war vet says he’ll return his medals

Editor of college paper that ran ‘f***’ Bush
editorial says he’d run it again

Washington Governor says state will sue
if Bush limits kids’ health care

Euthanasia for anti-euthanasia
Pope John Paul II, article alleges

The love of money is the root of all evil

Medtronic is sued over bone stolen from corpse and implanted without screening for disease

SEC charges three at Dell with insider trading

21-million pounds of beef might have some E. coli

Contaminated tofu can cause illness, death

AT&T silences criticism in new terms of service

IBM seeks US patents for offshoring US jobs

FDIC closes Netbank, one of the first online banks

Infant playpens recalled in US
after baby’s strangling death

Chinese-made children’s jewelry and
toys recalled because of lead content

Cops you won’t see on TV’s COPS

Cop charged with evidence tampering,
other crimes, gets fabulous plea
bargain, probation, and keeps pension

Daughter-in-law of NYC politician
dies in Arizona police custody

School security guards beat teen over cake spill

Driver prosecuted for coughing near police officer

Chicago cop accused of murder scheme

Cop who killed four-year-old is fined $25

Cops keep going tazer crazy

Go to health

Young children “simply should not
take” cold and cough medicines

Aspartame causes cancer in rats at
levels currently approved for humans

Big duh: Letting kids drink early reduces binging

No evidence physician-assisted
death leads to ‘slippery slope’

Study shows autism symptoms
can improve into adulthood

Mixing large doses of acetaminophen and
caffeine may increase risk of liver damage

How to fill a 120-day prescription
for 1/5th of the regular price

Teaching condom use as a backup
to abstinence helps prevent HIV

Flu vaccine for elderly overhyped

Deformed frogs linked to farms’ chemical waste

Liars, scoundrels, and hypocrites

O’Reilly says he wants to
murder anyone who criticizes him

Boehner (R-Ohio) says using children for political messaging is ‘beyond the pale’ (unless he does it)

Clarence Thomas has allegedly written a book

Limbaugh: Service members who support
U.S. withdrawal are “phony soldiers”

General Peter Pace just can’t
stop talking about the gays

Ex-Pres Clinton calls out Republicans
over phony outrage about MoveOn

Spy Czar McConnell reiterates bonkers
claim that debate will kill Americans

President responsible for the biggest deficits in
US history criticizes Democrats on spending

Legislators threaten to yank funding
from Columbia University ‘cuz the
school let Iranian President speak

Bush says we can’t spend $22 billion on America because we need $200 billion for Iraq war

At least 832,962 people have
been killed in Afghanistan & Iraq


This week’s commentary

The neo-Blues Brothers ride again
by Kevin Good, Unknown News

Excerpt: “We’re getting the band back together again, man. We’re on a mission, a mission from God.”

‘Joliet’ Jake Cheney and Elwood Rumsfeld in their up-armored ‘BluesMobile’ are getting together the ‘Chicken-Hawk War and Blues Review’ for another victory tour.

God forbid you might actually
want to do something about it

by Kathy Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: If you blink you miss the reports on the war and world news reports. They carefully sandwich them in with How to get thin, How to buy the right shoes, Where the best restaurants are…

Why? Because they want you to keep consuming, keep going to work, and not think about the real goings on in the world.

Elephants in the room
by JR Mooneyham, Unknown News

Excerpt: We’ve allowed true evil-doers to set up an enormous maze of pitfalls and traps for any good-hearted or well-intentioned person to traverse, while constructing a super-wide express lane for villains to easily slide right into our highest seats of power, and easily deflect all attempts to pry them out again.

So what’s a real people’s hero to do in such a situation?

It is too late
by Leon Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: You see the rot setting in everywhere rising prices, the housing bust, a wildly fluctuating stock market, foreign governments getting rid of dollars for other more stable currencies such as the Euro, stagnant wages, no health benefits, increasing numbers of homeless, America’s cities and states dangerously close to bankruptcy …

Don’t you just hate “them”?
by Sherri B., Unknown News

Excerpt: Can you do it in time? Can you drop your hatred for other cultures and religions in time to band together against the enemy? If you can’t well, it’s been a good ride.

The blind leading
the amazingly stupid

by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: We are trapped in the demented psychosis of G. Bush. His dementia is our living nightmare and there’s not much ‘we the people’ can do about our current hell. Congress refuses to act, and where could the American people turn for a “redress of grievances?” Congress is closed to regular Americans, and listens only to the special interest monied corporate elite.

What if it’s all on purpose?
by FOMAD, Unknown News

Excerpt: There is total chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran is dealing with the IAEA, sweating out a possibility of nuclear extermination, Syria just got lit up by Israel, the Palestinians are in about the worst shape ever, Russia and China are new best buds, torture, renditions, mini-nukes, global economy crash, depleted uranium, GIs going haywire due to the stress, mercenaries without a law, everyone in the world hates America, global warming seems to be accelerating the glacier melts at an alarming rate, not to mention the ice-free passages in the northern regions, but is it possible that we are indeed being out-thought? That all this is on purpose?

When greed turns
to fear and loathing

by Ding Pahc, Unknown News

Excerpt: After 6.75 years in office most of the members of the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve are “loyal Bushy” appointees. A lot of the original crew members resigned without much in the way of explanation. When Greenspan receives his “Hero of the Peoples’ Republic” medal and a pat on the back, “Heckuva job, Greenie!”, you will want to look into the overall personnel situation at the Federal Reserve.

Why do Americans
refuse to get angry?

by Jafo, Unknown News

Excerpt: They are slaughtering a lot of innocent people the world over. People disappear at random into the secret prison system to be tortured and kept indefinitely. Our leaders steal, they pillage, they rape, they torture, they starve people. They refuse to help people that are being slaughtered by others because it is our ally slaughtering them, or because they don’t have any more natural resources for big corporations to steal. We watch them take away what our forefathers laid out for us as our natural rights as human beings and they tell us it’s for our own good. When people are being beaten and tasered for having the nerve to speak out, speak up, or speak against, American citizens actually cheer!

How can we get the masses
off their apathetic asses?

by Michelle L., From Reason to Freedom

Excerpt: Usually, at our rallies, the overwhelming percentage of people who respond (either by a thumbs-up signal or encouraging words) are supportive of what we are doing. Sure, we get some one-fingered peace signs as well as the “Get-a-job-hippie” and “Go-back-to-Iraq” and “Nuke-em-all” type of feedback, but generally, these are getting fewer as time progresses.

That said, I am amazed that the vast majority, by far the largest number of folks passing the busy intersection during peak traffic hours do … nothing. Bear in mind, these citizens have nothing else to do but wait at the traffic lights and still, nothing; except try very hard not to make eye contact. God, never make eye contact.

Camouflage, ribbons
and social control

by Punditman, Punditman

Excerpt: Pretending the yellow ribbon is neutral means pretending that everyone supports the troops. But if you stop to think about it, this is neither true nor possible. One can not “support the troops” but not their mission because that is a logical inconsistency. If you want to see the combat mission ended and Canada’s soldiers brought home as soon as possible, then you really do not support them because a good part of their current mission is to kill or be killed.

A coup has occurred
by Daniel Ellsberg, Consortium News

Excerpt: When I say this I’m not saying they are traitors. I don’t think they have in mind allegiance to some foreign power or have a desire to help a foreign power. I believe they have in their own minds a love of this country and what they think is best for this country but what they think is best is directly and consciously at odds with what the Founders of this country and Constitution thought.

They believe we need a different kind of government now, an Executive government essentially, rule by decree, which is what we’re getting with signing statements. Signing statements are talked about as line-item vetoes which is one [way] of describing them which are unconstitutional in themselves, but in other ways are just saying the president says “I decide what I enforce. I decide what the law is. I legislate.”

It’s [the same] with the military commissions, courts that are under the entire control of the Executive Branch, essentially of the president. A concentration of legislative, judicial, and executive powers in one branch, which is precisely what the Founders meant to avert, and tried to avert and did avert to the best of their ability in the Constitution.

Jackass Republican thinks
Iraq war isn’t a major issue

by Coleen Rowley, The Huffington Post

Excerpt: We rang the Senator’s doorbell and someone even banged a drum for a while but no one came out. Then shortly after taking this picture, who turns up in the back alley? Norm Coleman himself. With police and bodyguard accompanying him, he confidently strode to his front yard to address our peace group. Here’s Coleman’s silvery-tongued, continued insistence that he’s not hearing much about Iraq, that even though he’d like to bring the troops home, he has to believe Al Qaeda when Al Qaeda says that Iraq is the central front (in the war on terror). The quick translation of all his slick, double talk indicated to us that Coleman was inclined to simply stay with Bush’s (disastrous) course. But at least we got it on tape so we can listen again.

Pro-democracy means anti-fascism
by Cindy Sheehan,
candidate for Congress

Excerpt: Only vote for candidates that promise the following things … for president, or any other federal elective offices:

• Repeal the Patriot Act

• Repeal No Child Left Behind

• Scale down the Department of Homeland Security and rename it so it loses its Nazi tone and is brought under civilian control.

• Restore habeas corpus and close all torture camps by repealing the Military Commissions’ Act.

• Repeal all contracts with paid mercenary killer companies.

• Restore the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

• Repeal all BushCo-Presidential directives (especially Directive 51) and review all laws that contain signing statements.

• Restore the 4th Amendment by enforcing warrants for spying on Americans.

• Impeach Bush and Cheney-post presidency so they can’t receive federal benefits.

• Bring all troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and review military needs for other bases around the world.

• Repeal all free trade agreements.

• Kick AIPAC and other lobbyists out of the halls of Congress where they have no business.

How deep is your hatred?
by JS Magruder, Unknown News

Excerpt: Thank goodness we have a convenient group of people to blame — that’ll be helpful when the economy bottoms out and we’re tempted to blame our elected officials. We can blame brown people instead. Amazing how this stuff just keeps working … generation after generation.

Burning salt water
by Herb Ruhs, MD, Unknown News

Excerpt: I love hoaxes, especially the really wild ones that hang on for a long time, like Y2K. I don’t like that it is done. I like them in the same sense that I deplore free range graffiti but admire the art. This is going to displace Y2K and cold fusion in my ranking, if it takes off and becomes a grown-up hoax.

Leader of the neo-dark side
by Kevin Good, Unknown News

Excerpt: The first thing out of Petraeus’s mouth before Congress, when he got his breath and microphone back, was, “I’m not a puppet of this administration. Just look at the stars all over the uniform, and pay no attention to that ring-string-thing on my back. The Administration will not pull it whenever you finish one of your speeches and actually ask a question. …”

May our voices be heard
by Leon Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: Under no circumstances must we stop speaking out against them. We are right, and they are wrong. It is as simple as that.

Checklist to armageddon
by Sherri B., Unknown News

Excerpt: It’s past time to start taking your world back. Or there will be absolutely nothing for you to take. You will either become a fighter, a martyr, or a slave.

The iron fist in the
velvet glove is back

by Mr. Chuckles, Unknown News

Excerpt: It is not unreasonable to believe that the U.S. dollar index will fall by 50% during the next two to three years. That will be extremely damaging to the poor of America assuming that they eat food, shelter indoors at night, and do things like wear clothes, use energy to stay warm in the winter, and buy stuff for their children.

Kafka Komics: Police state!
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: “You’re resisting arrest, citizen, I’m going to have to tear your throat out.”

On winning
by Rudolph M., Unknown News

Excerpt: I have worked as a “temp” or “contractor” for nearly all of my “career”, in banking, insurance, phone, shipping, cable TV, education, and more. What I saw in nearly every company was a bunch of Lifers, pacing themselves for retirement in the far off future. I saw asses super-glued to seats, and meekly subservient workers going along to get along, reluctant to rock the boat or effect change. I saw half-assed effort, and plenty of people who either knew they could not be fired, or who always did just enough to not get fired.

The bad guys don’t always win. Just most of the time.
by JR Mooneyham, Unknown News

Excerpt: The bad guys don’t always win. Just most of the time. The rest of the time it’s puny little guys like us left standing proud on the field of battle, after the great beasts have slunk away to lick their wounds — and try devising a sneakier way to get rid of us.

Hillary’s health plan: Out of touch with reality
by Marina di Pisa, Unknown News

Excerpt: Senator Clinton’s thinking insults our intelligence and is almost delusional. Tax credits? To poor people? Requiring someone who is broke and out of work to prove that he has health insurance in order to get a job? How many people in the inner cities are going to be able to afford to front the insurance premiums and then wait 12 months to get their tax credits?

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What Really Happened


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