Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reid Does the Right Thing

WASHINGTON - Reversing course, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's office acknowledged Wednesday night he misstated the ethics rules governing his acceptance of free boxing tickets and has decided to avoid taking such gifts in the future.

The Nevada senator still believes it was "entirely permissible" for him to accept ringside seats for three professional boxing matches in 2004 and 2005 from the Nevada Athletic Commission but has nonetheless decided to avoid doing so in the future, his office said.

"In light of questions that have been raised about the practice, Senator Reid will not accept these kinds of credentials in the future in order to avoid even the faintest appearance of impropriety," spokesman Jim Manley said.


This is called learning. Harry learned that accepting such 'gifts' is wrong as a public servant and has rescinded his ways. This should be in the Democratic Platform, and be made policy of the party. There's no reason for a Nevada senator to accept gifts and attend private festivities, regardless of your take on Boxing. He has a job to do and that is to serve the people of Nevada, and as a senator, the nation. Give 'em hell Harry.

Story

I also find it interesting that he is pictured (in the article at the time) afront a backdrop which reads (at least) "Honest Leadership / Open Government". Given that this white house is the least open government in history, it will be interesting to see how the Democrats try to reverse that course and Crash the Gates

Friday, May 12, 2006

Haven't you had enough?

Someone has

71% of America can't be wrong

Saturday, May 06, 2006

All the Wars in Bush's Little Peanut


Bush calls terror fight WWIII
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Washington

May 06, 2006

US President George W. Bush has said the September 11 revolt of passengers against their hijackers on board Flight 93 had struck the first blow of "World War III".
In an interview with the financial news network CNBC, Mr Bush said he had yet to see the recently released film of the uprising, a dramatic portrayal of events on the United Airlines plane before it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

But he said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, who in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month called it "our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war, World War III".

Mr Bush said: "I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III.

"It was, it was unbelievably heroic of those folks on the airplane to recognize the danger and save lives," he said.

Flight 93 crashed on the morning of September 11, 2001, killing the 33 passengers, seven crew members and four hijackers, after passengers stormed the cockpit and battled the hijackers for control of the aircraft.

Advertisement:
The president has repeatedly praised the heroism of the passengers in fighting back and so launching the first blow of what he usually calls the "war on terror".

In 2002, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explicitly declined to call the hunt for Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group and its followers "World War III".


full story

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, President Bush and his supporters spent a great deal of time talking about a "coalition of the willing" that at one time included four dozen countries. The president's use of the term "coalition" was always something of a misnomer, as it suggested a great deal of shared responsibility, when in fact the overwhelming majority of troops on the ground were from the U.S. Aside from the U.S. and Great Britain, no country ever had more than 5,000 troops in Iraq, and many of the coalition "partners" never had more than 100 troops in the country.

Additionally, some of the largest troop contingents came from countries in eastern and central Europe that had been coerced to join the coalition by the U.S., which promised support for their efforts to integrate into international economic and political organizations in return.

The president makes few references to his "coalition of the willing" these days because the coalition has been crumbling. Among the countries that have exited the coalition are Singapore (in January 2004), Nicaragua (February 2004), Spain (April 2004), Dominican Republic (May 2004), Honduras (May 2004), Norway (June 2004), Philippines (July 2004), Thailand (August 2004), New Zealand (September 2004), Tonga (December 2004), Hungary (December 2004), Portugal (February 2005), Moldova (February 2005), Netherlands (June 2005), Ukraine (December 2005) and Bulgaria (January 2006).

Compared with the U.S. casualty rate, the Italians have suffered relatively few losses in Iraq. But those losses have been deeply felt, as they have been in other coalition countries. Twenty-seven Italian soldiers died in Iraq, according to a CNN count. That's out of a coalition death toll, as of April 10, of 2,560 2,353 of them Americans, one Australian, 103 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, three Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Fijian, one Hungarian, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, two Salvadorans, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians.

Prodi has always said that the Italian death toll was 27 too many.

A former prime minister, Prodi re-entered Italian politics two years ago after serving as president of the European Commission when he backed a campaign against Italian participation in the coalition that used the slogan "Iraq: A Wrongful War." Now, as the prime minister once more, Prodi will be able to implement the promise of that campaign by withdrawing Italian troops from the coalition and by further confirming that the ongoing occupation of Iraq is George W. Bush's project as opposed to that of a genuine "coalition of the willing."


full story

We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald Rumsfeld (defense secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses, was written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."


full story

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tim's Thought Crimes

Acclaimed American actor/director Tim Robbins blasted the US government's policy on terrorism -- and the US media's failure to examine it critically -- at a news conference in Athens promoting his stage version of George Orwell's "1984".

"We have right now a media that is willfully ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanours of the president of the United States," the star of Hollywood hits including "Mystic River" and "The Player" told reporters.

"Clinton lied about a blowjob, and got impeached by the media and Congress," Robbins said.

"(Bush) got us into (the Iraq) war based on lies that he knew were lies. ... His war has recruited more Al-Qaeda members than Osama bin Laden could ever have dreamed for ... yet no one in the media is calling for impeachment," he said.

Robbins pointed out similarities between current US policies on terrorism and the authoritarian society described by Orwell.

"Unfortunately, the book and the play is more relevant now than it ever has been," he said. "(It) talks about continuous warfare as a means to control the Western economy, and as a way to control rebel elements within society through the use of fear, constant fear."

"In my country we seem to be sanctioning renditioning of innocent people without trial ... put them in jail without telling anyone ... and torture them out of suspicion of what we think they might do," Robbins said.

"This is exactly what Orwell was talking about when he spoke of thought crimes," he added.


Full story