Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In 2005, Exxon CEO Raked in 190K a Day

Average Americans are struggling to keep up with persistently high gas prices, now approaching $3 a gallon. Testifying before Congress last November, Exxon CEO Lee Raymond blamed the problem on ?global supply and demand? and assured the public that ?we?re all in this together.?
 
Last year, Raymond made do with ?a total compensation package? of just $69.7 million or $190,915 a day, including weekends.
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Ashland Daily Tidings : Did Jesus settle down in Japan?

Did Jesus Christ escape crucifixion and live out his days in a tiny village in northern Japan? The Bible says no, but a Japanese legend says he did. His tomb, and that of his brother Ishikiri, are in the hills above Shingo village in Aomori Prefecture. Shingo is a remote, strung out settlement of a few dozen houses jammed against the mountains to save the precious arable valley for crops of rice and garlic. It was once called Herai. Some experts believe ?herai? is the word for Hebrew in old Japanese.
 
The legend fills in the 18-year gap the Bible leaves in Christ?s life. At age 12, he is confounding the priests in the temple with his knowledge. Then he disappears until age 30, when he begins his ministry. The legend says that Jesus came to Japan at age 21 to study Oriental philosophy and theology. After a decade, he returns to Jerusalem and begins to teach and heal the people of Israel. His ministry brings him into conflict with both the Roman and Jewish authorities. He is arrested, tried and sentenced to death. But, because of mistaken identity, his brother is the man crucified by the Romans.
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Friday, April 14, 2006

Who Benefits - Smaller Growers or Just Large-Scale Producers and Agribusiness? - by Christopher Cook

When president bush suddenly embraced wood chips and biofuels on national television, renewable energy producers received a prime-time injection of hope. Ethanol backers forecast a boon for farmers and the environment. Yet serious questions remain about whether ethanol merely enables our addiction to an unsustainable auto-centered society -- unless it?s part of a broader shift in consumption and production.
 
Equally critical is the matter of what a carbohydrate economy means for America?s two million farmers (by no means a monolithic lot), and for the future of sustainable agriculture. Will biofuels benefit smaller growers, or just large-scale producers and agribusiness? How will pressures for increased production and reduced energy prices effect farmers? Would small and mid-sized growers fare any better in the energy economy than they have in a rapidly consolidating food economy that has driven so many off the land and into poverty?
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The Slow-Motion Trap - by Sidney Blumenthal

President Bush has been in search of himself for two and a half years. His voyage of self-discovery began on Sept. 30, 2003. Asked what he knew about senior White House officials anonymously leaking the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, he expressed his earnest desire to help special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald ferret out the perpetrators. "I want to know the truth," he said. "If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business."
 
Bush didn't stop there. He issued an all-points bulletin requesting help for the prosecutor. "And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would." The day before, the president had sent out his press secretary, Scott McClellan, to announce that involvement in this incident would be a firing offense: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."
 
Last week, however, in a filing in his perjury and obstruction of justice case against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, Fitzgerald revealed that Libby had been authorized by the president and vice president to leak parts of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to reporters.
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How Many Deaths Until Congress Knows? - by Henry Marchand

Seymour Hersh has much more credibility than the Cheney/Bush White House. He has been right and truthful on a regular basis, a claim that cannot be made for our nation?s reigning warlords. In his article, ?The Iran Plans,? in the April 17 edition of the New Yorker magazine, Mr. Hersh warns that the administration has already ordered teams of combat troops ?into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups? in preparation for a massive air attack that may involve nuclear ?bunker buster? bombs. Reading this, and listening to Cheney, Bush, and their various mouthpieces as they ratchet up their ?threat to the United States? and ?war on terror? rhetoric, any thinking person has to wonder, as did my thirteen year-old son, ?Are they insane??
 
It?s too bad that the U.S. Congress doesn?t have many thinking people in it.
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Minority Maker

The clever GOP strategy for defeat in November.
 
Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
 
If Republicans lose control of Congress in November, they might want to look back at last Thursday as the day it was lost. That's when the big spenders among House Republicans blew up a deal between the leadership and rank-in-file to impose some modest spending discipline.
 
Unlike the collapse of the immigration bill, this fiasco can't be blamed on Senate Democrats. This one is all about Republicans and their refusal to give up their power to spend money at will and pass out "earmarks" like a bartender offering drinks on the house. The chief culprits are the House Appropriators, led by Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis of California and his 13 subcommittee chairmen known as "cardinals." If Republicans lose the House--and they are well on their way--Mr. Lewis deserves the moniker of the minority maker.
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CNN.com - Robotic 'Crusher' ready to roll into combat

PTTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Carnegie Mellon University is about to unveil a new unmanned ground combat vehicle commissioned by the U.S. military.
 
"Crusher," a 6.5-ton, six-wheeled robotic vehicle designed to negotiate harsh terrain, will be presented along with its predecessor, "Spinner," at Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center on April 28, spokeswoman Anne Watzman said.
 
Crusher, funded by the Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is one of many robotic products being developed nationwide to cut the risk of casualties.
 
"It's designed to help keep military personnel out of harm's way," Watzman said.
 
"If these vehicles can get around and do things soldiers are doing now, there won't be anybody there but a machine to get injured."
 
Although Crusher is designed to carry weapons, the university has worked only on the machinery of the vehicle, Watzman said.
 
"It would be up to the Army to decide about payloads," she said.
 
Crusher combines some capabilities of Spinner -- an invertible machine able to right itself -- with mobility and autonomy technology, such as the use of terrain data, developed under a program called PerceptOR.
 
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 
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Bish IS a Liar - By Robert Parry

The White House is taking umbrage over new press reports that George W. Bush misled the American people on a key justification for invading Iraq. But Bush?s latest excuse ? that he was just an unwitting conveyor of bad information, not a willful purveyor of lies ? has been stretched thin by overuse.
 
Nevertheless, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at a Washington Post report that in May 2003, Bush described two Iraqi trailers as mobile biological weapons labs although two days earlier a Pentagon field investigation had debunked those suspicions in a report to Washington.
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Iran & teh Bomb

Iran Can Now Make glowing Mickey Mouse Watches
 
Despite all the sloppy and inaccurate headlines about Iran "going nuclear," the fact is that all President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday was that it had enriched uranium to a measely 3.5 percent, using a bank of 180 centrifuges hooked up so that they "cascade."
 
The ability to slightly enrich uranium is not the same as the ability to build a bomb. For the latter, you need at least 80% enrichment, which in turn would require about 16,000 small centrifuges hooked up to cascade. Iran does not have 16,000 centrifuges. It seems to have 180. Iran is a good ten years away from having a bomb, and since its leaders, including Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei, say they do not want an atomic bomb because it is Islamically immoral, you have to wonder if they will ever have a bomb.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Beverage Creates a Buzz

INZA, Colombia ? Call it the "Real Thing."
Indians in this remote mountain village in southern Colombia are marketing a particularly refreshing soft drink that harks back to Coca-Cola's original formula, when "coca" was in the name for a reason.
 
Advertising posters here describe the carbonated, citrus-flavored Coca-Sek as "more than an energizer" ? a buzz that just might be provided by a key ingredient, a syrup produced by boiling coca leaves.
 
Since January, the Nasa indigenous community has been offering the soft drink locally and in neighboring Popayan, where it is bottled. By the end of the year, the Nasa hope to sell Coca-Sek nationwide, targeting the same consumers who drink Gatorade or Red Bull, both highly popular with Colombians.
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Methane Hydrates -- The Dangerous, Yet Promising Energy Source

The dark surface of the Pacific spreads calmly beneath the derrick of the JOIDES Resolution. On the lit rig deck, the night shift is hard at work. Twelve thrusters maintain position over the Cascadia Continental Margin, 40 miles west of Vancouver Island, while the crew snakes a string of drill pipe through the ship's "moon pool" until it hits the seafloor more than a mile below. When they haul up the core barrel, it contains 31 ft. of shale, silt and clay--and traces of the world's most promising fossil fuel.
 
On the catwalk, a scientist in flip-down face protection quickly punctures the plastic liner that encases the sediment, in order to prevent pent-up pressure from launching it straight into the air. Another runs an infrared camera over the core's surface. On a monitor, deep purple smudges indicate areas of intense cold--and a geologic jackpot: methane gas straining against a rapidly degrading cage of icelike water.
 
Carved from its surroundings, a chunk of methane hydrate looks like a hard-packed snowball--white, cold and solid. At room temperature, the resemblance fades as fast as snow itself, hissing and popping as it dissolves. Light a match and the difference is even starker: It burns. Studying this unstable substance is hardly easy. Even so, the team aboard the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program's (IODP) JOIDES Resolution is part of an international community determined to understand its many paradoxes.
 
"Thirty years ago, hydrates were a novelty," says Miriam Kastner, a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a geochemist on the IODP expedition last fall. "We didn't realize their significance, and no one calculated how much there could be." Then someone began to do the math. Methane bound in hydrates could provide the world with an astounding amount of natural gas--if it could be safely extracted. If released inadvertently, it could cause untold damage: hastening global warming and kick-starting tsunamis by causing seafloor slumping.
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Coming Home - Disillusioned - by Christopher H. Sheppard

Three years ago, I was a Marine Corps captain on the Iraqi/Kuwaiti border, participating in the invasion of Iraq. Awestruck, I heard our howitzers thunder and watched artillery rockets rise into the night sky and streak toward Iraq ? their light bathing the desert moonscape like giant arc welders.
 
As I watched the Iraq war begin, I completely trusted the Bush administration. I thought we were going to prove all of the left-wing antiwar protesters and dissenters wrong. I thought we were going to make America safer. Regrettably, I acknowledge that it was I who was wrong.
 
I believed the Bush administration when it said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I believed its assertion that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Africa and refine it into weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb. I believed its claim Iraq had vast quantities of biological and chemical agents. After years of thorough inspections, all of these claims have been disproved.
 
I believed the administration when it claimed there was overwhelming evidence Iraq was in cahoots with al-Qaida. In January 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that there was no concrete evidence linking Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.
 
I believed the administration when it grandly proclaimed we were going to bring a stable, Western-style liberal democracy to Iraq, complete with religious tolerance and the rule of law. We never had enough troops in Iraq to restore civil order and the rule of law. The Iraqi elections have produced a ruling majority of Shiite fundamentalists and marginalized the seething Sunni minority. Iraq dangerously teeters on the brink of civil war. We have emboldened Iran and destabilized the entire Middle East.
 
I believed the administration when it claimed the war could be done quickly and cheaply. It said the war would cost only between $50 billion and $60 billion. It said that Iraqi oil revenue would fund the country's reconstruction. I believed President Bush when he landed on the USS Lincoln and said "major combat operations have ended."
 
The war has cost the American taxpayers $250 billion and counting. The vast majority ? 94 percent ? of the more than 2,300 United States service members killed in Iraq have occurred since Bush's "Top Gun" proclamation. The cost in men and materiel has been far beyond what we were led to believe.
 
I volunteered to go back to Iraq for the fall and winter of 2004-2005. I went back out of frustration and guilt; frustration from watching Iraq unravel on the news and guilt that I wasn't there trying to stop it. Many fine Marines from my reserve battalion felt the same and volunteered to go back. I buried my mounting suspicions and mustered enough trust and faith in my civilian leadership to go back.
 
I returned disillusioned by what I saw. I participated in the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004. We crushed the insurgents in the city, but we only ended up scattering them throughout the province. The dumb ones stayed and died. The smart ones left town before the battle, to garner more recruits and fight another day. We were simply the little Dutch boy with our finger in the dike. In retrospect, we never had enough troops to firmly control the region; we had just enough to maintain a tenuous equilibrium.
 
I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability. It planned a war based on false intelligence and unrealistic assumptions. It has strategically surrendered the condition of victory in Iraq to people who do not share our vision, values or interests. The Bush administration has proven successful at only one thing in Iraq ? painting us into a corner with no feasible exit.
 
I will never trust any of them again.
 
Christopher H. Sheppard is a former Marine captain who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a combat engineer. He currently is finishing his master's degree in mass communication and lives in Marysville.
 
� 2006 The Seattle Times Company
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Undocumented Workers Contribute Plenty - by Derrick Z. Jackson

At the New York rally for legalization of immigrants, Chung-Wha Hong, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, ''We are inseparable, indivisible, and impossible to take out of America."
 
In Phoenix, Victor Colex, a 37-year-old fence builder who makes between $7 and $8 an hour, told the Washington Post, ''We are not asking for favors. We only want to work, for our families and parents and children."
 
In Boston, 26-year-old Robin Martini, a legal immigrant from Guatemala, told the Globe, ''We give a grain a day of ourselves to this country. We want to be part of it. We respect the laws. We pay our taxes. We want a piece of the American dream."
 
Americans seem to get this, in a conflicted way. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll says that 63 percent of Americans now support legalization of immigrants who have lived here for a certain number of years. A new CBS News Poll found that 74 percent of Americans favor letting illegal immigrants who have been in the country at least five years stay and work in the United States providing they pay a fine, pay any back taxes they owe, speak English, and have no criminal record.
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The Rise of Fascism in America - by Gary Alan Scott

"Fascism in America won?t come with jackboots, book burnings, mass rallies, and fevered harangues, nor will it come with black helicopters or tanks on the street. It won?t come like a storm?but as a break in the weather, that sudden change of season you might feel when the wind shifts on an October evening: Everything is the same, but everything has changed. Something has gone, departed from the world, and a new reality will have taken its place. All the old forms will still be there: legislatures, elections, campaigns?plenty of bread and circuses. But ?consent of the governed? will no longer apply; actual control of the state will have passed to a small and privileged group who rule for the benefit of their wealthy peers and corporate patrons.
 
"To be sure, there will be factional conflicts among the elite, and a degree of debate will be permitted; but no one outside the privileged circle will be allowed to influence state policy. Dissidents will be marginalized?usually by ?the people? themselves. Deprived of historical knowledge by a thoroughly impoverished educational system designed to produce complacent consumers, left ignorant of current events by a corporate media devoted solely to profit, many will internalize the force-fed values of the ruling elite, and act accordingly. There will be little need for overt methods of control.
 
"The rulers will act in secret, for reasons of ?national security,? and the people will not be permitted to know what goes on in their name. Actions once unthinkable will be accepted as routine: government by executive fiat, state murder of ?enemies? selected by the leader, undeclared wars, torture, mass detentions without charge, the looting of the national treasury, the creation of huge new ?security structures? targeted at the populace. In time, this will be seen as ?normal,? as the chill of autumn feels normal when summer is gone. It will all seem normal."
 
--Chris Floyd, November 10, 2001 Moscow Times (English edition)
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A Clear Pattern of Deception - Editorial

If we are to believe White House spokesman Scott McClellan, President Bush authorized the disclosure of selected classified intelligence on Iraq?s weapons programs to certain reporters because "it was in the public interest."
 
But when the president made this decision in the summer of 2003, his immediate goals apparently were to punish former ambassador Joseph Wilson for revealing that the White House had ginned up the case for war and to once again misinform the public about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein?s regime. These two goals were to serve the ultimate objective: concealing how the administration had misused prewar intelligence to sell Americans on an invasion of Iraq.
 
Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case, said in a court filing last week that there was "a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson," who had the temerity to say publicly that the administration had misled the nation about Iraq?s efforts to obtain weapons-grade uranium.
 
Part of the plan seems to have involved outing Wilson?s wife, who was a CIA agent. But another part entailed what had become a tried-and-true method for this administration: feeding distorted intelligence to gullible reporters so that they would regurgitate it to the public.
 
Vice President Dick Cheney?s former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was the point man for this operation. According to Fitzgerald?s court filing, Libby, who faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges in connection with the leak case, was instructed by Cheney to tell at least three reporters that a key finding in a 2002 National Intelligence Estimate was that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium" in Africa. Wilson had disputed this point.
 
At the time, the reporters could not have known that what Libby was peddling was a distortion of what the NIE said. The uranium claim was not included in the estimate?s bulleted list of key judgments, but instead was buried deep inside the report ? probably because the CIA director and State Department considered the intelligence on it to be dubious at best.
 
As The Washington Post noted earlier this week, Libby also misrepresented a CIA report on Wilson?s trip to Africa to investigate Iraqi efforts to procure uranium. Libby?s inaccurate description of the report to journalists made it appear that Wilson had uncovered a desire by Iraqis to purchase uranium from the African nation of Niger in 1999. However, the former ambassador made no such discovery.
 
The administration?s manipulation of intelligence in the summer of 2003 was part of a larger pattern of deception in which misuse of the 2002 NIE played a key role. In the run-up to the war, the White House released a public version of the NIE that left out most of the dissents and caveats that were contained in the full report, which was kept classified.
 
It should be no surprise to learn the administration fretted over the possibility that the public might learn about classified summaries of the NIE that contested the president?s case for war. According to the National Journal, Karl Rove warned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that the president?s re-election chances would be seriously damaged if Americans knew about the summaries.
 
What all this points to is a consistent and deliberate misuse of the intelligence on Iraq, as well as a concerted effort to hide that misuse from the public.
 
The Senate Intelligence Committee has been slow to complete an inquiry into how the administration used prewar Iraq intelligence, but the panel may finally be about to wrap up its work. An honest report from the committee would have to highlight the administration?s habit of distorting the intelligence on Iraq.
 
That conclusion might not fit with Scott McClellan?s definition of "the public interest," but perhaps it?s time to stop letting the White House define that term for us.
 
� 2006 Consolidated Publishing
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006


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Meet the 200-mph Electric Car - By Christopher Palmeri

Lithium ion batteries and solar panels are the secret ingredients in Hybrid's LiX-75 pricey eco-sports-car
 
You want to do right by Planet Earth. You want to drive a car that's easy on the environment. But most electric vehicles look like glorified golf carts. And you'd have to look like Leonardo DiCaprio to get lucky in a Prius.
 
A fledging Las Vegas-based company called Hybrid Technologies thinks it has the solution. Hybrid will launch a car it calls LiX-75 at the New York Auto Show on Apr.14. The sleek, $125,000 sports car runs off of electric batteries, boosted by solar panels on the trunk. It recharges in four to six hours from a regular three-prong electric socket. And the company claims it will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and hit a top speed of 200 miles per hour.
 
"It's the environmentalist mid-life crisis vehicle," says Richard Griffiths, head of business development at Hybrid. "It's a sports car that performs like a Porsche Boxster, looks like a Ferrari, and has zero emissions" (see BW Online, 10/25/06, "Porsche's Entry-Level Dream").
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It's Hard Out Here For A Lobbyist

As Hollywood takes aim, the gun, liquor, and tobacco guys fire back -- over steaks

Truth be told, there are few smoke-filled rooms in Washington these days. The city council is set to tighten its smoking ban, and Big Tobacco simply doesn't loom as large as it once did. But the public view of billion-dollar deals in dark corners and arm-twisting behind closed doors is about to get a Hollywood endorsement with the Mar. 17 premiere of Thank You for Smoking, a gleeful lampoon of the Beltway's culture of spin.
 
Thank You's three amigos work for the alcohol, tobacco, and firearms industries and call their lunch bunch the M.O.D. Squad, for "Merchants of Death." The central character, menthol-smooth tobacco spokesman Nick Naylor, played by Aaron Eckhart, sets the scene with a simple observation: "This profession requires a moral flexibility that goes beyond most people."
 
The real-life M.O.D. Squad doesn't have weekly lunches. But BusinessWeek assembled just such a group on Mar. 7 to ask: Do Sin Industry lobbyists lose sleep at night? First, the lobbyists -- who prowl Gucci Gulch and spin the press and the Hill on tobacco, guns, and booze -- screened the film. (One liquor lobbyist declined our invitation, fearing that his industry would be tarred by associating with...tobacco.) Then they dined at Washington power restaurant The Palm with Christopher Buckley, author of the 1994 book that inspired the movie. There, they reflected on their careers.
 
The collective theme: It's hard out here for a lobbyist.
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DOL WHD: History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 1996

The table of federal minimum wage rates under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 1996 is also a PDF Version. In order to view and/or print PDF documents you must have a PDF viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat� Reader?)  available on your workstation.
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Why Saddam is Laughing all the Way to the Gallows - by Peter F. Spalding

Saddam Hussein, the devil in the docket in Baghdad, is laughing all the way to the gallows. Saddam will meet his just reward when the Iraqi court renders its final verdict and sentences him to death, but it is Bush who is the long term loser in their confrontation.
 
Saddam in his wildest dreams could never have imagined the damage the U.S. invasion of his country would inflict on the invader. It cannot but delight Saddam to see the United States listed in most surveys of world opinion as the most despised country on the face of the planet. As the Pew Center for the People & the Press wrote last year: ?anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than at any time in modern history.? Saddam wonders how he could have achieved such a ?victory? when he was never a threat to the United States in the first place. A joyful laugh emanates from Saddam?s cell.
 
The billions of dollars the United States has spent advancing Bush?s messianic misbelieve that democracy can be promoted through the barrel of a gun is a mere pittance compared to the tragic expenditure in lives and shattered limbs of the brave men and women of the Armed Forces, all in cause unworthy of their noble sacrifice. Three years into a war to make Iraq both safe for democracy and safe for oil exports to the United States, neither objective is within reach. The infrastructure remains in a shambles. Electricity, water, and security are in short supply. Fear stalks the streets and alleyways in much of the country. A recent survey indicates that seventy-two per cent of the US forces in Iraq think we should exit in a year. The man in the cell lets out a cheer.
 
Iraq has become a breeding ground for terrorists who have improved their skills and increased their hate. Saddam not only had no WMD in his country prior to the war, he also harbored no terrorists. When the US invaded, Osama bin Laden despised Saddam for his secular state. Now Osama operates through surrogates and envisions an Islamic theocracy in Baghdad. Another cheer emanates from Saddam?s cell urging on al-Qaeda, a force absent from Iraq prior to the US invasion.
 
The President, Vice President Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld continue to claim progress in Iraq and make optimistic predictions, but Saddam from his prison cell knows that their credibility is shrinking day by day. Rumsfeld asks us to consider that ?history is a bigger picture? and then goes on to insult the history of the Holocaust by equating defeat in Iraq to defeat at the hands of the Nazis. Rumsfeld must have forgotten his Commander in Chief?s view of history that was evident when Bush told correspondent Bob Woodward: ?history, history we don?t know; we will all be dead.? Saddam lets out a wild whoop as he watches the American troika try in vain to make a silk purse out of a pig?s ear.
 
The American experience in Iraq has been nasty, brutish and too long and is eating away at the ?dream that dreamers dreamed.? It may be too late, but all involved in Iraq should recall Immanuel Kant?s words in his essay ?Perpetual Peace? (1795) when he wrote: ?no state at war with another shall permit such acts of hostility as would make mutual confidence impossible during a future time of peace.?
 
As mutual confidence between the three major factions in Iraq fades into the sunset, we hear a piercing laugh of triumph emanating from Saddam?s cell. Saddam?s last words could well be the Arabic equivalent of: ?heck of a job Bushie??
 
Peter F. Spalding is a retired member of the senior Foreign Service and is writing a book on the search for an ethical foreign policy. Email to: PFS202@AOL.COM.
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Green Bay Press-Gazette - Halberstam: War in Iraq 'heartbreaking'

Award-winning journalist speaks at St. Norbert
 
DE PERE ? The war in Iraq is a mistake and it's heartbreaking, said author and journalist David Halberstam during a visit Thursday to St. Norbert College.
 
"I'm a Vietnam-era journalist. I think most journalists were appalled as we moved toward war in Iraq. The worst mistake this administration made was not about weapons of mass destruction. It was the administration's view that we'd be welcomed as the great liberator. I think they were watching the movie 'Patton' when they should have been watching 'The Battle of Algiers' about urban insurgency."
 
Halberstam, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for reporting in Vietnam in the early 1960s for the New York Times, was at St. Norbert College for the Norman and Louis Miller Lecture series. He also taped "Conversations from St. Norbert College," which will air in May.
 
"The war in Iraq was more swift and more violent than I thought. It's heartbreaking. The only one in the administration with Vietnam experience was (Secretary of State) Colin Powell and he was trying to put the brakes on."
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THE BRAD BLOG: "EXCLUSIVE: Ann Coulter's Felonious Florida Voter Registration Application"

LUSIVE: Ann Coulter's Felonious Florida Voter Registration Application
GOP Darling Seems to be Latest in Growing List of Republicans Who Choose to Ignore 'The Rule of Law'
State, County Records Show She Lied on Voter Application, Despite Oath Affirming Truthiness of Information
 

"OATH: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida. I am qualified to register as an elector under the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida. I am a U.S. citizen. I am a legal resident of Florida. All information on this form is true. I understand that if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years."
 

That's the oath next to the signature of Ann Coulter, who, on 6/15/05 filled out her Florida Voter Registration Application Form -- as obtained Exclusively by The BRAD BLOG (posted in full at the bottom of this article) -- after purchasing her new $1.8 million house at 242 Seabreeze Ave. in Palm Beach County, Florida in March of 2005. The "Warranty Deed" (also obtained by The BRAD BLOG) for the house was signed over to Coulter on March 30th, 2005 by the previous owners, Eric Stonestrom and his wife, Lucinda Pascale Stonestrom.
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The Daily Drip of Special Favors for Special Interests - by Molly Ivins

We need to keep up with the daily drip, that endless succession of special favors for special interests performed by Congress, or we?ll never figure out how we got so far behind the eight ball. While the top Bushies lunge about test-driving new wars (great idea?the one we?re having is a bummer, so let?s start another!), Congress just keeps right on cranking out those corporate goodies.
 
Earlier this month, the House effectively repealed more than 200 state food safety and public health protections. Say, when was the last time you enjoyed a little touch of food poisoning? Coming soon to a stomach near you. What was really impressive about H.R. 4167, the ?National Uniformity for Food Act,? is that it was passed without a public hearing.
 
?The House is trampling crucial health safeguards in every state without so much as a single public hearing,? said Erik Olson, attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. ?This just proves the old adage, ?Money talks.? The food industry spared no expense to ensure passage.?
 
Thirty-nine attorneys general, plus health, consumer and environmental groups, are opposing the law. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the food industry has spent more than $81 million on campaign contributions to members of Congress since 2000.
 
The bill would automatically override any state measure that is stronger than federal law, the opposite of what a sensible law would do. The NRDC says state laws protecting consumers from chemical additives, bacteria and ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions would be barred, and that includes alerts about chemical contamination in fish, health protection standards for milk and eggs, and warnings about chemicals or toxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead. Happy eating, all.
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IRS Privacy Nightmare - by Peter Rothberg

The IRS has quietly proposed astounding new rules which would allow tax preparers to sell the contents of their client's tax returns to third-party businesses, as long as a requisite form is signed. Historically, tax returns were a strictly private affair, with both tax preparers and IRS agents forbidden to share the info with anyone for any reason. But this could all change if the IRS's blatant corporate giveaway is passed. That's great news for "data-brokers" like Choicepoint that make tens of millions of dollars selling personal information to corporate marketers.
 
Here's how the new rules would work: when you visit your accountant or a tax-preparation firm like H&R Block, your tax preparer would ask you to sign a form authorizing them to release your information at their discretion. Once you sign that form, your tax preparer has permission to sell or share the information contained in your tax filings. You have no control over how that data will be used, who will get it, or whether it'll be adequately safeguarded from identity thieves.
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Movements Bubbling Up to Challenge Trickle-Down Economics - by Charlie Cray

While it's hard to see it here in the U.S., "trickle-down" economics is beginning to be confronted by popular democratic movements, which are bubbling up in communities across the country as well as all over the world in countries like Ghana and Bolivia, where fierce resistance to the privatization of water not only pushed big water multinationals like Bechtel out of the country , but led the government of Bolivia to begin pushing the world's international financial institutions to exempt water from trade liberalization (i.e. corporate predation) agreements and bolster effots to reverse now widely-discredited structural adjustment programs that have forced debtor nations to privatize essential services like water in exchange for usurious loan packages.
 
Activists who went to the World Water Forum held in Mexico City last month say that Bolivia's experience is beginning to show signs of rippling out to the rest of the world, becoming a significant model that the struggle for democracy can use to challenge the cold logic of "trickle-down" economics -- i.e. the bogus arguments for efficiency etc. by which privatization is sold.
 
Instead, the principles of community self-determination and social and environmental rights are beginning to bubble up and challenge the right of multinational corporations, unaccountable investors who benefit from the corporate system, and their shills in the development-financial institutions.
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Movements Bubbling Up to Challenge Trickle-Down Economics

While it's hard to see it here in the U.S., "trickle-down" economics is beginning to be confronted by popular democratic movements, which are bubbling up in communities across the country as well as all over the world in countries like Ghana and Bolivia, where fierce resistance to the privatization of water not only pushed big water multinationals like Bechtel out of the country , but led the government of Bolivia to begin pushing the world's international financial institutions to exempt water from trade liberalization (i.e. corporate predation) agreements and bolster effots to reverse now widely-discredited structural adjustment programs that have forced debtor nations to privatize essential services like water in exchange for usurious loan packages.
 
Activists who went to the World Water Forum held in Mexico City last month say that Bolivia's experience is beginning to show signs of rippling out to the rest of the world, becoming a significant model that the struggle for democracy can use to challenge the cold logic of "trickle-down" economics -- i.e. the bogus arguments for efficiency etc. by which privatization is sold.
 
Instead, the principles of community self-determination and social and environmental rights are beginning to bubble up and challenge the right of multinational corporations, unaccountable investors who benefit from the corporate system, and their shills in the development-financial institutions.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

PressThink: Murray Waas is Our Woodward Now

"Not only is Woodward not in the hunt, but he is slowly turning into the hunted. Part of what remains to be uncovered is how Woodward was played by the Bush team, and what they thought they were doing by leaking to him, as well as what he did with the dubious information he got."
 
It should be obvious from the work who the Woodward of Now is. And if it isn?t obvious Greg Sargent can explain it to you over at the American Prospect.
 
The guy?s name is Murray Waas; he?s an independent journalist who recently went to work as a staff writer for the National Journal and the Atlantic Media Company, which owns the Atlantic Monthly, the Journal, and other titles. Waas has been in the game since he was 18, when he started working for the columnist Jack Anderson.
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People With Near Death Experiences Differ In Sleep-Wake Control

by Staff Writers
St Paul MN (SPX) Apr 11, 2006
People who have had near death experiences often have different arousal systems controlling the sleep-wake states than people who have not had a near death experience, according to a new study published in the April 11, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
 
For the study, a near death experience was defined as a time during a life-threatening episode of danger such as a car accident or heart attack when a person experienced a variety of feelings, including a sense of being outside of one?s physical body, unusual alertness, seeing an intense light, and a feeling of peace.
 
The study, which is published in Neurology?s "Views & Reviews" section, compared 55 people with near death experiences to 55 people of the same age and gender who had not had near death experiences.
 
The study found that people with near death experiences are more likely to have a sleep-wake system where the boundaries between sleep and wakefulness are not as clearly regulated, and the REM (rapid eye movement) state of sleep can intrude into normal wakeful consciousness. Examples of this REM intrusion include waking up and feeling that you cannot move, having sudden muscle weakness in your legs, and hearing sounds just before falling asleep or just after waking up that other people can?t hear.
 
Of the people with near death experiences, 60 percent reported having times of this REM intrusion, compared to 24 percent of people who had not had near death experiences.
 
"These findings suggest that REM state intrusion contributes to near death experiences," said neurologist and study author Kevin R. Nelson, MD, FAAN, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "People who have near death experiences may have an arousal system that predisposes them to REM intrusion."
 
Nelson said several other factors support this hypothesis. Several features of near death experiences are also associated with the REM state. For example, the feeling of being outside of one?s body has been associated with the REM state and the conditions of sleep paralysis, narcolepsy and seizures. The feeling of being surrounded by light could be based on the visual activity that occurs during the REM state, Nelson said. During the REM state, the muscles can lose their tone, or tension.
 
"During a crisis that occurs with REM state intrusion, this lack of muscle tone could reinforce a person?s sense of being dead and convey the impression of death to other people," Nelson said.
 
REM state intrusion is also associated with other disorders, including narcolepsy and Parkinson disease.
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Priapic pensioner becomes garlic-powered porn star

More from our Russian geriatric filth bureau:

A Russian grandad who wandered onto a porn set has become the star of his own series of grumble flicks. David Bozdoganov, 75, apparently believed he was about to enjoy a "muscle man show" at the studios of Gorodcki production company, Ananova reports.
 
Director Alexander Plahov picks up the tale: "We were auditioning for a new film and had a number of couples on stage simulating sex when I saw an old guy standing at the back. I wandered over to ask him to leave when I saw this massive package straining against his trousers. I thought, now this could be an original idea."

The jazz auteur said Dynamite Dave's biggest hits have been The Old Neighbour and The Handyman at Work.
 
Readers may remember our report of Dave's contemporary, 65-year-old Vladimir Villisov, who plans to be buried with his smutty stash. Still-breathing Vlad copped to spending time with his mags in his bespoke coffin already though.
 
The latest story takes on a similarly quintessentially Russian flavour with the news that the spawny coffin-dodger draws his prowess from an unusual source. Plahov explained: "His female co-stars always complain because David believes in the beneficial power of garlic and insists on rubbing it on his erection before a scene and it's rather smelly." Quite.
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Farting Preacher 5 - Google Video

The Trailer Park HQ Where the 'Long War' is Being Waged - by Suzanne Goldenberg

Behind a fence in what was once a car park in a major American military installation sits a tight formation of green-trimmed white trailers, where flags belonging to countries from Australia to El Salvador flutter in the Florida breeze.
 
It may look like one of the multitude of retirement communities that dot the shores of the sunshine state. But this set of trailers in Fort MacDill, near Tampa, and the military officers who emerge from their tin doors in various configurations of camouflage, are engaged in a far more serious enterprise. They are planning for a global conflict that, Washington believes, will dominate the next 20 years. The Pentagon calls it the "long war": an integrated military, financial and diplomatic campaign against al-Qaida and its affiliates that will eventually span the globe, shaping the lives of the coming generation much as the cold war defined the baby boomers.
 
And yet within the very heart of Centcom the contours of the coming clash remain a matter of debate. The 63 countries represented here see a need for a joint effort against al-Qaida, but are not at all sure that they share America's vision, or its leadership, of that war.
 
Since the autumn of 2001, when George Bush declared the "global war on terror", Fort MacDill has been the nerve centre of the US-led coalitions against first Afghanistan and then Iraq. The airbase is the headquarters of the US central command, which extends from the Middle East through the horn of Africa to central Asia.
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How the GOP Became God's Own Party - by Kevin Phillips

Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush?s conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.
 
We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before ? in Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.
 
Indeed, there is a potent change taking place in this country?s domestic and foreign policy, driven by religion?s new political prowess and its role in projecting military power in the Mideast.
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Iraq Mess is Literally Making People Sick - by Judy Leurquin

Of the more than 670,000 troops deployed to the Gulf in 1991, about one-third of them now receive disability compensation.Remember your mother's warning, "If you can't clean up after yourself, don't make the mess"? Didn't we subject our children to that mantra?
 
But what was and is a continuing motif running through the theater of family life has not apparently carried over into the theater of modern warfare.
 
Take Iraq, for example. During the 1991 Gulf War our military attacked Iraq and its people with over 350 tons of depleted uranium (DU). During the current war and occupation we've fired 2,200-plus tons on people and cities all over Iraq. A byproduct of uranium enrichment, DU remains radioactive for 4.5 billion years. We have turned the cradle of civilization into a toxic wasteland.
 
DU is cheap. Nuclear power plants are glad to have arms manufacturers take this radioactive waste material off their hands. DU is effective, 1.7 times denser than lead. It's pyrophoric, burning everything it hits into a charred crisp.
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Who, or What, Will Stop Bush's Military Attack on Iran? - by Fran Shor

Recent articles in the Daily Telegraph in England and the Washington Post and New Yorker reinforce the speculation that the Bush Administration will launch a military attack on Iran. Although leading Administration officials from Bush to Secretary of State Rice to UN Ambassador Bolton insist that they are pursuing a diplomatic route to preventing a nuclear Iran, the military ?option? remains at the core of the preemptive strikes consistently favored by this rogue Administration. Furthermore, while it may seem preposterous that this discredited right-wing cabal would undertake another military campaign while bogged down in a growing civil war in Iraq, both their previous actions and continual ideological orientation suggest that deliberative diplomacy is trumped by aggressive militarism. So, who, or what, will stop Bush?s military attack on Iran?
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Gangster Government: A Leaky President Runs Afoul of 'Little Rico' - by Greg Palast

 It's a crime. No kidding. But the media has it all wrong. As usual. 
 
'Scooter' Libby finally outed 'Mr. Big,' the perpetrator of the heinous disclosure of the name of secret agent Valerie Plame. It was the President of United States himself -- in conspiracy with his Vice-President. Now the pundits are arguing over whether our war-a-holic President had the legal right to leak this national security information. But, that's a fake debate meant to distract you.
 
OK, let's accept the White House alibi that releasing Plame's identity was no crime. But if that's true, they've committed a BIGGER crime: Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized. That's akin to calling in a false fire alarm or calling the cops for a burglary that never happened -- but far, far worse. Let's not forget that in the hunt for the perpetrator of this non-crime, reporter Judith Miller went to jail.
 
Think about that. While Miller sat in a prison cell, Bush and Cheney were laughing their sick heads off, knowing the grand jury testimony, the special prosecutor's subpoenas and the FBI's terrorizing newsrooms were nothing but fake props in Bush's elaborate charade, Cheney's Big Con.
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Monday, April 10, 2006


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ScienceDaily: Chaos=Order: Physicists Make Baffling Discovery

"Da police are not here to create disorder; dere here to preserve disorder." ? Richard J. Daley, Chicago mayor, explaining to the media the role of the police during the riotous 1968 Democratic National Convention.
 
Police keep order. That's why, for example, they issue tickets for "disturbing the peace." Thus the only logical conclusion to Mayor Daley's famous quote above ? other than dismissing it as the result of a tangled tongue ? is sometimes disorder spawns order.
 
Sounds impossible, right?
 
Wrong.
 
According to a computational study conducted by a group of physicists at Washington University in St. Louis, one may create order by introducing disorder.
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Controversial Findings Help Explain Evolution Of Life - - by Staff Writers

 Chemists at Oregon State University have pioneered a controversial theory about how supposedly-stable DNA bases can be pushed into a "dark state" in which they are highly vulnerable to damage from ultraviolet radiation ? an idea that has challenged some of the most basic concepts of modern biochemistry.
 
The theory, not long ago dismissed as impossible by much of the science community, has just in recent months begun to garner increasing interest, and is being confirmed by other studies.
 
And though it began as scientific heresy, the findings could help explain how the presence of water was the key to the evolution of life on Earth, making it possible for life to emerge from what was once a hostile and unforgiving primordial soup of chemicals and radiation.
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The Truth About Lewis "Scooter" Libby's Statements - by John Dean

 Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has now revealed in court filings bombshell information that I. Lewis"Scooter" Libby told the grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame-Wilson's covert CIA identity. According to Fitzgerald's filings, Libby said that he was authorized by the President and Vice President to leak classified information to New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
 
This revelation has been accompanied by a number of public misstatements, which call for correction. The most blatant of these is the claim that Fitzgerald's filing indicates that the President authorized the release of Valerie Plame's covert status at the CIA. In fact, the document is conspicuously silent on this fact. The filing does indicate that the President authorized the release of classified information, but it was different information - a National Intelligence Estimate that had been classified pursuant to an executive order.
 
In addition, conventional wisdom - if that label fits the consensus information that is surfacing on radio and television news shows - has it that this information does not reveal that the President or Vice President did anything illegal. But that claim, too, is not necessarily accurate.
 
At a minimum, the filing indicates that the President and Vice President departed radically, and disturbingly, from long-set procedures with respect to classified documents - and that the Vice President, in particular, exceeded his declassification authority. And it may indicate that they, too, ought to be targets of the grand jury.
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A Trillion Good Reasons to Keep the Estate Tax - by Mike Lapham

 My grandparents and great-grandparents paid the estate tax when they passed along the family
business. Some decade soon, my own parents will.
 
With hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars to gain, I should be cheering for the proposal coming before the Senate in May to do away with the estate tax, which applies only to multimillion dollar inheritances.
 
Instead, I�m organizing wealthy members of Responsible Wealth to oppose repeal of the estate tax. As multi-millionaires, we have benefited handsomely from all that our country provides: public education, roads, clean water, legal protection, research funding and public safety, just for starters.
 
One Responsible Wealth member, Martin Rothenberg, grew up using the public library, went to school on the GI Bill, received a government fellowship, and built a $30 million software company using publicly-funded research and publicly-educated employees. �I hope the taxes on my estate will help fund the kind of programs that benefited me and others from humble backgrounds,� he says.
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Impeachable Offenses - by Todd Buchanan

In summer 1973, my parents' work habits slackened noticeably. They took extended lunch breaks, glued to the television sometimes for two hours. What captivated them was no ordinary soap opera, but the hearings of Sen. Sam Ervin's select committee investigating the Watergate scandal.
 
Some months later, President Nixon narrowly survived a student-wide vote at Boulder High on the question of impeachment. Though I was disappointed at the results, in hindsight it is clear that the Boulder High vote was the beginning of the end of the Nixon presidency.
 
Three decades and some change later, the Board of Trustees of Nederland is considering an impeachment resolution, this time for allegations that George W. Bush has knowingly violated domestic law and international treaties. This would upgrade the town's unique reputation.
 
Citizens equally concerned with the crisis in United States foreign policy as well as constitutional government will disagree on the wisdom of impeachment. Advocates say it behooves Americans to defend constitutional government against any usurper and to demonstrate to the world that Americans are not united in an overreaching foreign policy. Opponents counter that impeachment is divisive, when the opportunity may exist to build a strong, centrist opposition to the policies in question.
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If You Don't Mind, Why Don't You Mind? - by Todd Huffman

 A favorite line of song, penned by the Canadian band The Magnetic Fields, poses the question: If you don?t mind, why don?t you mind? Where is your sense of indignation? To anyone who isn?t yet appalled by the extent of the disaster that is the Bush presidency, I could not think of how better to ask it: Why don?t you mind?
 
Not a day goes by without some new disclosure, some new bit of headline evidence that the Bush presidency is the most catastrophic presidency in the history of our great country. The consequences of this fact will effect not only yours and my personal future and fortunes, but those of our children and theirs. Where is your sense of indignation?
 
What can be safely said is this: Poverty is up by nearly 50 percent since this president took office. Somewhere between five and ten million Americans have lost their health insurance. Income inequality is the highest since the 1920s. Real median income has declined five consecutive years, the longest such streak since the Great Depression. And the Bush budget cuts have left Americans with the most threadbare social safety net since that dreadful era.
 
Almost 30 percent of American manufacturing jobs have been lost over these past five years. Manufacturing now accounts for less than 13 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, while the finance, insurance and real estate sector accounts for greater than 20 percent. Under Bush, moving money around has surpassed making things as the greatest share of our GDP.
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DeLay Inc. Systematized Exchange of Favors - by Margaret Carlson

The one message U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, wanted to get across when he announced he was dropping out of his re-election campaign was that it had nothing to do with any criminal prosecution.

The Texas Republican spun his decision as high-minded and generous, the result of praying with his wife and thinking only of others. His resignation, DeLay said, would spare the party the distraction of a referendum on him, in favor of "a referendum on ideas." It might keep his seat Republican.

What ideas could he be talking about? Other than cutting taxes for the wealthy, delivering pork to his district, and trying to outlaw abortion, is there one idea he's identified with?

If short on ideas, DeLay's office is chock-a-block with aides and acquaintances who have admitted to corruption that would make the sheiks of Abscam blush. It's as if they showed up each day wearing Sherman Adams's vicuna coat, only with the price tag dangling from the sleeve. The wonder is that he lasted this long. If the Democrats were still alive, he wouldn't have.

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Lies Lurk Behind U.S. Terror Policy

by Robyn E. Blumner 
 
President Bush once famously stumbled over the phrase "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." It was a Freudian slip. Bush knew just how often he's put one over on the American people. Why rub it in?
 
Slowly this country has come to the realization that nothing the president and his minions say is believable, yet they still want us to just trust them. There hasn't been a more dangerous combination of incompetence, mendacity and arrogance since Lansford Hastings encouraged the Donner Party to diverge from the Oregon Trail and take his "short-cut."
 
Bush recently dropped a whopper by telling veteran journalist Helen Thomas that he never wanted to go to war, even as insider memos keep popping up detailing Bush's early intention to attack Iraq. But nowhere has the bald-faced lying been as fierce as in the "war on terror." Here, Bush has raised prevarication to national policy. From the president's disingenuous proclamations that all prisoners are treated "humanely" to the administration's laughable claim that it couldn't disclose the names of those swept into detention after 9/11 because it would violate their right to privacy, there is nothing this crew won't say to avoid accountability.
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Are Mainstream Churches Finally Standing Up to the GOP's Hateful "Christian" Blitzkrieg?

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
 
Right-wing church movements have been a staple of American politics since well before the 1692 witch trials at Salem. But only in the past few decades has the extremist church served as the grassroots base for a new breed of corporate totalitarianism. That unholy union has been nowhere more powerful than here in Ohio, and it has finally provoked a response from the state?s mainstream churches.
 
With huge torrents of cash from Richard Mellon Scaife, the Ahmanson family and other super-rich ultra-rightists, the fundamentalist church has formed the popular network that has spawned the Bush catastrophe. The totalitarian alliance between pulpit, corporation and military is unique in U.S. history.
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So Long, Tom, You Hypocrite- by Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas ? In general, I'm against kicking 'em when they're down ... unless really awful people are involved. I figured Tom DeLay is so awful, plenty of people would gang up on him and I could pass.
 
Imagine my surprise when the toughest question one famous TV tough guy could come up with was, "Do you think you invested too much in the Republican Party?" Another inquired whether DeLay could think of any mistakes he'd made. I waited with bated breath for the immortal, "I wish I could learn not to work so hard," but no, he couldn't think of a single one.
 
Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay first came to power promising to restore democracy to the House of Representatives, supposedly suffering from then-Speaker Jim Wright's tyrannical regime. Even after the Rs drove Wright from office, however, bipartisanship was out of the question for DeLay. In the budget fight and government shutdown of 1995, DeLay rejected compromise and famously said, "It's time for all-out war."
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New York Post - HOT SEAT: Rob Corddry

FOLLOWING the massive seven-figure successes of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, being a correspondent for "The Daily Show" now seems like comedy's surefire launching pad to stardom. So who's next? Rob Corddry, the brilliantly deranged "senior analyst" and "God Machine" operator, is at the head of the queue, having been cast as the lead of "The Winner," a sitcom pilot for Fox executive produced by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane.

But "Daily Show" fans needn't wait to see what Corddry can do as a leading man. Thursday night marks the premiere of "Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story" at the East Village's Pioneer Theater at Two Boots. The improvised film stars Corddry as a paintball master who attempts a comeback after disgracing his sport by "wiping" (cleaning paint from his uniform) during a match.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006


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Eyewitness Muse- Ptolemy Told Me

Before TiVo, folks used to sit around and stare at the sky. And they discovered something that may come as news to habitues of American Idol and the O?Reilly Factor: there are stars and stuff up there.
 
The ancients not only observed the stuff in the sky, they were intrigued by the fact it moved around. Since they thought that the Earth was flat and stationary, the notion that it was round and hurtling through space was unthinkable. Therefore, they reasoned, those heavenly bodies were doing the boogaloo up there for their entertainment.
 
To prevent some genius from coming along and suggesting that the stars and stuff appeared in different parts of the sky at different times because both the Earth and the celestial objects were in motion, a theory was needed. Enter Claudius Ptolemy.
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