Wednesday, June 29, 2005



Bush stood up in front of America (and the world) last night and lied and lied. It was as clear as water that he was full of shit. But listening to the Democrats who the media got to comment-- right-wing/corporate shills like Biden-- made me think how badly progressives need a political party, either by starting a new one or by taking over the Democratic Party. Even when Bush got called on his lies-- like when Nancy Pelosi pointed out how he was using the tired canard linking 9/11 to his invasion and mayhem in Iraq-- there was something very creepy about it. Pelosi accused Bush of demonstrating a
willingness "exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11
and the war in Iraq." Yes, there's no connection and yes, it's good Pelosi pointed it out but, "sacred
ground." Give me a fucking break. Of course that's better than Biden's (and Kerry's) comments. All
they could say is we need to send more troops to Iraq! They sound WORSE than the Republicans! "We don't have enough troops," was what Kerry had to say. Also trying to out-macho the Right, Biden started fuming, "I'm going to send him the phone numbers of the very generals and flag officers that I met on Memorial Day when I was in Iraq. There's not enough force on the ground now to mount a real counterinsurgency.The course that we are on now is not a course of success. He (Bush) has to get more folks involved." This is what we have leading the DEMOCARTIC Party? Good luck! But Biden's such a pathetic corporate hack; what are progressives saying, you might ask. "The president needs to do more of what he did last evening. This is a beginning," enthused the progressive U.S. Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd (not the war-mongering loon from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman).

Meanwhile Grandma Maggie at translated Bush's speech the way Democrats SHOULD.

The following is what Bush really said Tuesday night at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Gosh, hehehehe! smirk, smirk.

I'm tickled pink to be able to use the Ft. Bragg soldiers as a backdrop for this speechifying of mine.
My greatest responsibility as president is to tell the truth ..... Ha ha ha ho hoho!. Oh that was a good one!

Where would I be without cannon fodder like you?

I thank your families, for mostly keeping their big mouth shut & for waving those Chinese made flags.

The soldiers and families of Fort Bragg have contributed mightily to my efforts to secure oil for my good friends at Halliburton, etc and for me of course! I am so grateful that I am about to pee my pants because I have been so successful in deceiving you..

The troops here and across the world are fighting for a bald faced lie. September 11, 2001 is my crowning jewel. I still can't believe that you suckers are still buying that line!

The terrorists who attacked you and the terrorists you face, murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent..... Yes sireee Sam, That's me!

My aim is to remake the Middle East in my own grim image of tyranny and oppression by toppling governments, by driving decent people out of the region and by keeping you terrorized.

To achieve these aims, I will continue to kill: in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere.

I believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent and, with a few hard blows, I can force you to retreat until you bow down and kiss my feet.

After September the 11th, I made a commitment to PNAC & Uncle Dicky: This nation will be attacked again. I will defend my lies and will fight dissent where ever it shows it's ugly head.
Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war.

I don't have to tell you that I kill innocent men, women and children on the streets of Baghdad because they are followers of the 'dissenters' you see in New York, Washington and London.
There is only one course of action against them: to kill them before you get your dumb heads out of your ass.

Our mission in Iraq is as clear as the center of a tornado: We're killing anyone who gets in our way. We're helping Iraqis become the terrorists that I need to convince others that they must be my ally in this war, no matter how big a lie must be utilized. We're not advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are making a new source of violence and instability and laying the foundation of never-ending war for our children and our grandchildren.

The work in Iraq is difficult and it is dangerous. I love to see the images of violence and bloodshed that shows the horror and the suffering. They know whose the boss.
Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it?
You're damn tooting it is worth it. And it is vital to the future of my plans for other countries who get in my way.

Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by Iraqis who are trying to defend their country. Damn those who dissent & bring attention to my grand PNAC plans.

They fight because they know that the survival of my hateful ideology is at stake.
They know that as my kind of freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to join their dissent.

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. On that account there is no debate. I've made sure that this will be my center for decades to come.

I talked to my buddy, Osama bin Laden down at the pig farm in Texas and he says: This third world war is raging in Iraq. The whole world is watching this war. He says it will end in misery and humiliation.

I know that the outcome will leave them emboldened. So we are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives we are willing to take.

You can see the nature of the enemy when you look at me. Mine are savage acts of violence, but they have not stopped the insurgents nor has it brought me any closer to achieving my strategic objectives.

I have broadcast my atrocities for the world to see. My actions have not forced a mass withdrawal by our allies. Why should it? I am bribing those bastards with your money on a daily basis.

The lesson of this experience is clear: I can kill the innocent, and no one can stop me as long as I have you suckers snowed with my fabrications and bald faced lies.

The only way my enemies can succeed is if I allow you to forget September the 11th, this will not happen on my watch.

A little over a year ago, I spoke to the nation and described my coalition's goal in Iraq. I said that the Bu$h mission in Iraq is to a joyous success and you believed it. I told you that I would defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend -- and I did. I just gave Halliburton another contract in spite of them getting caught while they were funneling money to me and my best buds!

I outlined the steps I would take to achieve this goal.

I would pretend to hand authority over to a sovereign Iraqi government. I would help Iraqis hold elections of my choosing by January 2005. We would continue helping Halliburton to rebuild anything their little hearts desired. I would encourage more international support for Halliburton's thievery. And we would keep Uncle Dick in his hidey hole to avoid embarrassment at his near fatal slips of the tongue. We had to give that old boy a jolt a few days ago in Colorado or one of those out west places.

In the past year, I have made significant progress.

One year ago today, I presented a pretend sovereignty to the Iraqi people. By January 2005, more than 100 thousand Iraqi men, women & children had died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I continued with efforts to convince them turn over their country to me. Turning over a country after three decades of tyranny is hard, but they will see another three decades if they don't get their asses out of my way.

My progress has been uneven, but progress is being made. You think that I am improving roads and schools and health clinics; that I'm working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity and water and that together with our allies, we will help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens. ROTFLMAO! Keep on watching Fox you ninnies!
In the past year, the international community has stepped forward with vital hands out for bribes before they would participate in Bush's folly. Some 30 nations have troops in Iraq, (about ten each) and many others are contributing non-military assistance. (That means I am paying a premium price for lip service).

More than 80 countries and international organizations recently came together to decide what they could do to stop my march across the Middle East. Once again.....ROTFLMAO!

Today, Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions including how to kick my ass. Iraqi forces have fought bravely, helping terrorists and insurgents in Najaf and Samarra, Fallujah and Mosul.

And in the past month, Iraqi forces have led a major terrorist campaign in Baghdad called Operation Lightning, which has led to the capture of hundreds of innocent Iraqi citizens.

The progress in the past year has been non-existent, and but I do have a clear path forward. To complete the mission, I will continue to hunt down for Osama Bin Laden. (hehehehe... why do you think I make so many trips to the pig farm in Crawford).

I have decided that the best way to complete the mission is to keep murdering people so that Iraq can never govern itself, sustain itself and or defend itself.

So my strategy going forward has both a military track and a political track.

The principal task of our military is to pretend find and defeat the terrorists. And that is why I am on the offense.

And as I pursue the terrorists, our military is are losing members every day.

My strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, I will keep my Texas ass as far away from this mess as possible.

I have made progress, and killed over 1700 US troops in the process, but I have a lot more work to do.

My coalition is dragging it's ass & are slow to provide resources and manpower to this critical task.

Today, hundreds of nations are working toward a common objective: How to kick my stupid ass back to Texas or worse but I am staying the course.

I am taking three old new steps:

First, we are partnering coalition units with Iraqi units. Let some of them get killed to take the heat off me for all of our military deaths. These combined operations under Donald Rumsfeld are giving Iraqis a chance to experience the most unprepared armed forces in the world.
Second, we are embedding coalition transition teams inside Iraqi units to tattle on the ones who slip away to join the insurgents. These teams are made up of bribed coalition members who live, work and die with their Iraqi comrades.

Under Rumsfeld command, they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of messing up my plans, matter of fact they don't have a snowball's chance in hell...period!

Third, we are working with the Iraqi ministries of interior and defense to help them develop command and control structures according to Dick Cheney. Ho ho ho, this is too good!
We're also providing them with civilian and military leadership training, under Rumsfeld so Iraq's new leaders will never effectively manage their forces in the fight against error.

The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of Iraqi security forces have given their lives for Rumsfeld's stupidity. Thousands more are now training to serve their new god and savior,...........ME.

A major part of our mission is to train them so they can do the dying, and then our troops can come home. I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. Forget that shit!

Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why those people are full of crap.

Setting a timetable would allow Americans to see what a damned liar I have been & I don't want to get my ass impeached. It would send the wrong signal to our troops, who have been fed a continuous diet of my propaganda & they would know that they are risking their lives to get oil for my good buddies, Cheney, Kenny Boy....oops! Never mind, I don't really know that guy.

And it would send the wrong message to the American people , who are already suspicious of some of my stories.

Some Americans ask me, If completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? You gotta be schittin' me. I trust Uncle Donny and Uncle Dick. Those damn commanders will just have to do with what they have. I have my eye on Iran now and will need troops there.

As we determine the right force level, my troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sobering lies of Uncle Dick, Donny and Condi!

The Iraqi people are looking at decades of tyranny and oppression.

Under the regime of Saddam Hussein,(Thanks to Pres. Raygun & my daddy) the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights while senior regime officials enjoyed the privileges of unchecked power like me.
The challenge facing Iraqis today is how to get rid of me and come together to build a new Iraq that includes all of its people.

They are doing that by building the world's largest terrorist organization and that fits right in with my plans for a never-ending war. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and equal justice under law.....Hahahahahohoho....hehehe.

The Iraqis have held an election based on my rules. The next step is shove my constitution down their throats permanently. I plan to expand the constitutional drafting committee to include all the new terrorists groups that have assembled in Iraq.
That is essential to MY future.

After my experts write the constitution, the Iraqi people will have a chance to dip their fingers in that pretty purple ink again. It won't matter since Diebold has already prepared the winning ticket! Of course that is subject to change since someone keeps picking off the leaders I have appointed.

The combination of political and military tom foolery will lay a solid foundation for an occupied Iraq.

As Iraqis are subdued, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq's borders. Can you feel it America?

Before our coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was openly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has moved his chemical and nuclear weapons programs to Iran. How convenient for my Axis of Evil plans.

My strategy it to get that Iraqi oil and to keep Halliburton pumping those big green ones my way for years to come.

The rise of freedom in this vital region will stifle my plans & provide conditions that might cause the Iraqis to rise up and kick my ass.

I have more work to do, and there will be tough moments when you uncover more of my lies.

I am fighting against Liberals who are armed with the truth and that is a lethal weapon that can be used against my atrocities. They respect the laws of warfare and morality. They curse at the taking of innocent lives & other chaos that is shown in the damned liberal media.

They will fail at shaking my will in Iraq just as they failed to see that I had been appointed king of the U.S. on 12-12-2000.

The Liberals do not understand me. I stay the course under threat and I will not allow those damned car bombs and assassins to be used against me.

I demand the courage of you fighting men and women. You must be steadfast in the face of those evil liberals. You must fight them there because I don't want them inside this country where they might fry my dumb ass.

I know what is at stake here and I accept the burden of continuing my $60,000 an hour trips on that luxury plane (AF One) and I will keep you in the fight until I get everything my rich bitch friends want.

America has done difficult work in the past. From the fight for her independence, to the dark days of civil war, to WWII, never has the world seen so many lies from those damned liberals, like Bill Clinton who should have eradicated all evil in the world before I had myself appointed president, hopefully for life.

I will hold firm because I have always believed that if I am not confronted I gain strength. Yet those liberals are beginning to grow a spine and they have the audacity to question my ever changing stories.

Downing Street Memos, my ass! That damn Blair can't keep a secret.

In this time of testing, I need you, the troops behind me at all times. Next week, on the 4th of July, I will take the opportunity to use as many of you as possible by flying the flag, sending rubber stamped letters to the families of the deceased and by convincing as many of you as possible that you need to take another cut in pay or benefits.

At this time when we celebrate our freedom, I thank you for your courage under fire and your service to my cause. Now I must end with one of those corny endings that will shut up those damn liberals for several days.

I thank our military families. The burden of war falls especially hard on you. TOUGH! You knew what you were getting into when your hero signed on that dotted line.

In this war, good men and women who left our shores to fight because of my lies and did not live to make the journey home.

I've never attended a funeral with those lower class families grieving the loss of loved ones and I don't intend to start today so shut up about photographing those damn coffins at Dover AFB.

I will pray that the families continue to support my efforts to enrich my good buddies at Halliburton, Kellogg, Root,Brown, etc. The best way to honor me is to complete my mission.
I thank those of you who've re-enlisted compliments of Rumsfeld's stop loss orders. hehehehehe

And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service for king George, your god and savior, whether you know it or not.

I live in AWOLness because my daddy had the green stuff to make sure that I never had to put up with the shit that you clowns are enduring.

When the history of this period is written, the destruction of Afghanistan & Iraq will be great turning points in the return of slavery in our great country, unless those &%$&%*@^&# liberals & progressives manage to wake up you sheep.

After September 11, 2001, I turned on the tears for your benefit, AFTER a 4 day drunk and AFTER Uncle Dick threatened to kick my cowardly ass if I did get it on AF One and get back to DC to carry out his PNAC plans. After all he and I were the ring leaders in revising and carrying out Operation Northwoods..... now known as Operation 9-11. Whew! That one had me sweating for a while.

I must prevail as my enemies are brutal but they are no match for the great George Bush as I know I can order the military to do any damn thing I say and that greedy, wimpy Congress will only roll over yet again! Damn who would have ever thought that a brain damaged, dry drunk could wreak such havoc with no interference?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the pious, religious ending. May God bless all you little suckers.


Thank you very much little sheeple. And God bless. Bless you, bless you, bless you...

(Ooooops... in open mike..... "was that good enough to do a snowjob on those sonovabitches in the Senate? Reckon they noticed that this is the same damn thing I said a yr ago?)



Do you remember Coleen Rowley? She was an FBI agent who "blew the whistle" on the agency right after 9/11. She pointed out all the gross intelligence failures on the part of the FBI which could have prevented the 9/11 plot from succeeding if someone would have been paying attention. TIME Magazine named her one of their "Persons of the Year" for 2002. And then she sort of disappeared; less of a mass media lifespan than the runaway bride or the missing Alabama Aruba vacationer, let alone Scott Peterson. But this year Rowley, now 50, applied to the Bush Regime for a seat on the newly created Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which is supposed to ensure that government actions in the war on terror do not infringe on people's rights. In line with the Bush Regime steadfast policy of guaranteeing that only foxes watch the hen houses of the nation, Ms Rowley was passed over for the job in favor of a gaggle of Republicrook hacks, she made a decision. Coleen Rowley is running for congress against the far right loon who represents Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District (just south of the Twin Cities), John Kline (who is probably best known for trying to get Reagan's picture of the $50 bill.

Rowley is running as a Democrat in a district that has long been considered a safe Republican seat. Kline won it with a 16% point margin last year. Rowley is undaunted by the district's conservative bent, explaining that she is pretty conservative herself. (Note: conservative and fascist are two different things. The Bush Regime is fascist-oriented.) "I'm fiscally conservative, and conservative on law-enforcement-type issues," explained the former FBI agent. "I'm concerned about the direction of the country. We have done things that have made us less safe, among them the Iraq invasion and the loss of our allies and the moral high ground in international affairs."

Kline is shitting a proverbial brick and the spokesperson he sent out to comment on Rowley's challenge could only say that Kline had no comment because he was focusing on his work. Presumably it isn't as easy getting the Gipper's photo on the $50 bill as he thought it would be.



I want to update my report from June 14th on Republicrook Congressman "Duke" Cunningham's bribery case. This is finally making it into the mainstream media and things have suddenly taken a turn for the worse for the powerful extreme right-wing congressman from the San Diego suburbs. Just to recap, briefly, ole "Duke," who sits on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sold his house to a Republican scam-artist pal of his, Mitchell Wade, who immediately turned around and sold it for a huge loss. Smells like a bribe to me, especially when you consider that Wade just happens to own a shady DC-based company called MZM Inc. which does the kind of classified work for the military that is overseen by ole "Duke's" committtees. And coincidences never seem to stop in this case. Just before Wade paid Cunningham off, MZM was floundering and just after the pay-off, he won some huge military contracts and he quadrupled the size of his staff-- and started raking in the dough, in fact, tripling his annual revenue. (Even in DeLay-world this kind of bribery is illegal.) Anyway, Associated Press is reporting today that a federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from ole "Duke" related to the sale of his house to Wade. I forgot to mention that when Wade paid "Duke" $1,700,000 for his house and then turned it around for $1,000,000 a year later, the San Diego area was experiencing a 25% RISE in average home prices. And when ole "Duke," pointed out that the house's value had been determined by an "independent" appraiser, well, surprise, surprise, it turns out the appraiser is another Republicrook contributor to ole "Duke's" campaigns.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department has halted orders this month on MZM's $153 million contract after the department's inspector general was forced to admit that the awarding of the contract violated the Pentagon's own rules on competitive bidding. The Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, another notorious crook and a long-time croney of "Duke's," Congressman Jerry Lewis, a right wing clown from the Big Bear/high desert area of Southern California, said Tuesday that programs approved under his leadership "passed the smell test." Neither Lewis nor Cunningham passes any smell tests-- unless you're looking for skunks. When we have young men and women dying in ill-conceived, badly executed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many complaining of shoddy or non-existent materials they need for effective fighting, it is more than criminal to be bilking the defense budgets. It's called "war profiteering"-- a standard and traditional means of amassing wealth in the Bush family. War-profiteering is treason.

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Monday, June 27, 2005



More and more people around the world are seeing Bush and his regime as a criminal enterprise. It's doubtful he or any of his gang will ever face Justice. This may be the closest we get to seeing these war criminals before a court.

Tribunal on Iraq Findings
World Tribunal on Iraq

Monday 27 June 2005
The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all - The Jury of Conscience

Istanbul, 27 June, 2005 - With a Jury of Conscience from 10 different countries hearing the testimonies of 54 members of the Panel of Advocates who came from across the world, including Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom, this global civil initiative came to an end with a press conference at the Hotel Armada where the chair of the Jury of Conscience, Arundathi Roy, announced the Jury's conclusions.

The Jury defined this war as one of the most unjust in history: 'The Bush and Blair administrations blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated.'

On the basis of the preceding findings and recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal documents, the jury has established the following charges against the Governments of the US and the UK:

* Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.

* Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure

* Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems

* Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter

* Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors

* Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment

* Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment

* Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied

* Willfully devastating the environment

* Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded

* Failing to protect humanity's rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq

* Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media

* Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions

The Jury also established charges against the Security Council of United Nations for failing to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity among other failures, against the Governments of the Coalition of the Willing for collaborating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, against the Governments of Other Countries for allowing the use of military bases and air space and providing other logistical support, against Private Corporations for profiting from the war, against the Major Corporate Media for disseminating deliberate falsehoods and failing to report atrocities.

The Jury also provided a number of recommendations that include recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq.

The Istanbul session of the WTI lasted three days and presented testimony on the illegality and criminal violations in the U.S. pretexts for and conduct of this war. The expert opinion, witness testimony, video and image evidence addressed the impact of war on civilians, the torture of prisoners, the unlawful imprisonment of Iraqis without charges or legal defence, the use of depleted uranium weapons, the effects of the war on Iraq's infrastructure, the destruction of Iraqi cultural institutions and the liability of the invaders in international law for failing to protect these treasures of humanity.

The session in Istanbul was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. Sessions on different topics related to the war on Iraq were held in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain.

They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence on the illegality of the invasion and occupation that will be recorded in a forthcoming book.

Preliminary Declaration of the Jury of Conscience World Tribunal on Iraq

27th June 2005, Istanbul

In February 2003, weeks before war was declared on Iraq, millions of people protested in the streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them. It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all. We the people of conscience decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq, to demand justice and a peaceful future.

The legitimacy of the World Tribunal on Iraq is located in the collective conscience of humanity. This, the Istanbul session, was the culmination of a series of 20 hearings held in different cities of the world focusing on the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

We the Jury of Conscience, from 10 different countries, met in Istanbul. We heard 54 testimonies from a panel of advocates and witnesses who came from across the world, including from Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The World Tribunal on Iraq met in Istanbul from 24-26th of June 2005. The principal objective of the WTI is to tell the truth about the Iraq war as clearly as possible, and to draw conclusions that underscore the accountability of those responsible and underline the significance of justice for the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein's crimes against his people are not the focus of this Tribunal. We believe it is up to the Iraqi people to investigate these crimes in an independent and free trial.

I. Overview

1. The reasons given by the US and UK governments for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003 have proven to be false. The real motive was to control and dominate the Middle East. Establishing hegemony over the Middle East serves the goal of controlling the world's largest reserves of oil and strengthening the position of the US's strategic ally Israel.

2. Blatant falsehoods about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and a link between Al Qaeda terrorism and the Saddam Hussein régime were manufactured in order to create public support for a "preemptive" assault upon a sovereign independent nation.

3. Iraq has been under siege for years. The imposition of severe inhuman economic sanctions at the end of the first Gulf war in 1991; the establishment of no-fly zones in the Northern and Southern parts of Iraq; and the concomitant bombing of the country were all aimed at degrading and weakening Iraq's human and material resources and capacities in order to facilitate its subsequent invasion and occupation. In this enterprise the US and British leaderships had the endorsement of a complicit UN Security Council.

4. In pursuit of their agenda of empire, the Bush and Blair blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history.

5. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated.

6. The occupation has intentionally exacerbated ethnic and confessionnal divisions in Iraqi society, with the aim of undermining Iraq's identity and integrity as a nation. This is in keeping with the fam liar imperial policy of divide and rule.

7. The imposition of the UN sanctions in 1991 caused untold suffering and thousands of deaths. The situation has worsened after the occupation. At least 100,000 civilians have been killed; 60,000 are being held in US custody in inhuman conditions, without charges; thousands have disappeared; and torture has become virtually routine.

8. The privatization, deregulation, and liberalization of the Iraqi economy has transformed the country into a client economy that serves the Washington Consensus. The occupying forces have also accomplished their primary goal of acquired control over the nation's oil.

9. Any law or institution created under the aegis of occupation is devoid of both legal and moral authority. The recently concluded election, the Constituent Assembly, the current government, and the drafting committee for the Constitution are therefore all illegitimate.

10. There is widespread opposition to the occupation. Political, social, and civil resistance through peaceful means is subjected to repression by the occupying forces. It is the brutality of the occupation that has provoked a strong armed resistance and certain acts of desperation. By the principles embodied in the UN Charter and in international law, the popular national resistance to the occupation is legitimate and justified. It deserves the support of people everywhere who care for justice and freedom.

II. Findings and Charges

On the basis of the preceding findings and recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal documents quoted in the appendix, the jury has established the following charges.

A. Against the Governments of the US and the UK

1. Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.
Evidence for this can be found in the leaked Downing Street Memo of 23rd July, 2002 in which it was revealed that: "military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were fixed around the policy." Intelligence was manufactured to willfully deceive the people of the US, the UK, and their elected representatives.

2. Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure, by intentionally directing attacks upon civilians and hospitals, medical centers, residential neighborhoods, electricity stations, and water purification facilities in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights ("ICCPR"), Articles 7(1)(a), 8(2)(a)(i), and 8(2)(b)(i). The complete destruction of the city of Falluja in itself constitutes a glaring example of such crimes.

3. Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems, such as cluster munitions, incendiary bombs, depleted uranium (DU), and chemical weapons. Detailed evidence was presented to the Tribunal by expert witnesses that leukemia had risen sharply in children under the age of five residing in those areas which had been targeted by DU weapons.

4. Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 13 and 27, and the ICC Statute, Articles 7 (1)(a) and 8(2)(a)(i). This is evidenced, for example, by "shock and awe" bombing techniques and the conduct of occupying forces at checkpoints.

5. Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors, beginning with, among others, the April 2003 killing of more than a dozen peaceful protestors in Falluja.

6. Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment, on the people of Iraq, in violation of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Geneva Conventions, and customary international law requiring due process. Repeated testimonies pointed to "snatch and grab" operations, disappearances, and assassinations.

7. Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the ICCPR, other treaties and covenants, and customary international law. Degrading treatment includes subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to acts of racial, ethnic, religious, and gender discrimination, as well as denying Iraqi soldiers Prisoner of War status as required by the Geneva Convention. Abundant testimony was provided of unlawful arrests and detentions, without due process of law. Well known and egregious examples occurred in Abu Ghraib prison as well as in Mosul, Camp Bucca, and Basra. The employment of mercenaries and private contractors to carry out torture has served to undermine accountability.

8. Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied, in violation of international covenants on the responsibilities of occupying powers, in order to amass illegal profits (through such measures as Order 39, signed by L. Paul Bremer III for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which allows foreign investors to buy and takeover Iraq's state-owned enterprises and to repatriate 100 percent of their profits and assets at any point) and to control Iraq's oil. Evidence listed a number of corporations that had profited from such transactions.

9. Willfully devastating the environment, contaminating it by depleted uranium (DU) weapons, combined with the plumes from burning oil wells, as well as huge oil spills, and destroying agricultural lands. Deliberately disrupting the water and waste removal systems, in a manner verging on biological-chemical warfare. Failing to prevent the looting and dispersal of radioactive material from nuclear sites. Extensive documentation is available on air, water pollution, land degradation, and radiological pollution.

10. Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded contrary, to the repeated claims of the leaders of the coalition forces. Women's freedom of movement has been severely limited, restricting their access to education, livelihood, and social engagement. Testimony was provided that sexual violence and sex trafficking have increased since the occupation of Iraq began.

11. Failing to protect humanity's rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq, by allowing the looting of museums and established historical sites and positioning military bases in culturally and archeologically sensitive locations. This took place despite prior warnings from UNESCO and Iraqi museum officials.

12. Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media, such as newspapers (e.g., al-Hawza, al-Mashriq, and al-Mustaqila) and radio stations (Baghdad Radio), targeting international journalists, imprisoning and killing academics, intellectuals and scientists.

13. Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions, including holding more than 500 people at Guantánamo Bay without charging them or allowing them any access to legal protection, and using "extraordinary renditions" to send people to torture in other countries known to commit human rights abuses and torture prisoners.

B. Against the Security Council of United Nations

1. Failing to protect Iraq against a crime of aggression.

2. Imposing harsh economic sanctions on Iraq, despite knowledge that sanctions were directly contributing to the massive loss of civilian lives and harming innocent civilians.

3. Allowing the United States and United Kingdom to carry out illegal bombings in the no-fly zones, using false pretense of enforcing UN resolutions, and at no point allowing discussion in the Security Council of this violation, and thereby being complicit and responsible for loss of civilian life and destruction of Iraqi infrastructure.

4. Allowing the United States to dominate the United Nations and hold itself above any accountability by other member nations.

5. Failure to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity by the United States and its coalition partners in Iraq.

6. Failure to hold the United States and its coalition partners accountable for violations of international law during the occupation, and giving official recognition to the occupation, thereby legitimizing an illegal invasion and becoming a collaborator in an illegal occupation.

C. Against the Governments of the Coalition of the Willing
Collaborating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

D. Against the Governments of Other Countries
Allowing the use of military bases and air space, and providing other logistical support, for the invasion and occupation.

E. Against Private Corporations
Profiting from the war with complicity in the crimes described above, of invasion and occupation.

F. Against the Major Corporate Media

1. Disseminating the deliberate falsehoods spread by the governments of the US and the UK and failing to adequately investigate this misinformation. This even in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. Among the corporate media houses that bear special responsibility for promoting the lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, we name the New York Times, in particular their reporter Judith Miller, whose main source was on the payroll of the CIA. We also name Fox News, CNN and the BBC.

2. Failing to report the atrocities being committed against Iraqi people by the occupying forces.

III. Recommendations

Recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq.

We recommend:

1. The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq;

2. That coalition governments make war reparations and pay compensation to Iraq for the humanitarian, economic, ecological, and cultural devastation they have caused by their illegal invasion and occupation;

3. That all laws, contracts, treaties, and institutions established under occupation which the Iraqi people deem inimical to their interests, should be considered null and void;

4. That the Guantanamo Bay prison and all other offshore US military prisons be closed immediately; that the names of the prisoners be disclosed, that they receive POW status, and receive due process;

5. That there be an exhaustive investigation of those responsible for crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity in Iraq, beginning with George W. Bush, President of the United States of America; Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and other government officials from the coalition of the willing;

6. That we initiate a process of accountability to hold those morally and personally responsible for their participation in this illegal war, such as journalists who deliberately lied, corporate media outlets that promoted racial, ethnic and religious hatred, and CEOs of multinational corporations that profited from this war;

7. That people throughout the world launch actions against US and UK corporations that directly profit from this war. Examples of such corporations include Halliburton, Bechtel, Carlyle, CACI Inc., Titan Corporation, Kellog, Brown and Root (subsidiary of Halliburton), DynCorp, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Texaco, British Petroleum. The following companies have sued Iraq and received "reparation awards": Toys R Us, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Shell, Nestlé, Pepsi, Phillip Morris, Sheraton, Mobil. Such actions may take the form of direct actions such as shutting down their offices, consumer boycotts, and pressure on shareholders to divest.

8. That soldiers exercise conscience and refuse to enlist and participate in an illegal war. Also that countries provide conscientious objectors political asylum.

9. That the international campaign for dismantling all US military bases abroad be reinforced.

10. That people around the world resist and reject any effort by any of their governments to provide material, logistical, or moral support to the occupation of Iraq.

We, the Jury of Conscience, hope that the specificity of these recommendations will lay the groundwork required for a world where the international institutions will be shaped and reshaped by the will of people and not fear and self-interest, where journalists and intellectuals will not remain mute, where the will of the people of the world will be central, and human security will prevail over state security and corporate profits.

Appendix: List of Legal Documents
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
The Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952)
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)
The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1963)
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998)
The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950)
The American Convention on Human Rights (1969)
The Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces of the United States of America (1963)

Saturday, June 25, 2005



In the days and weeks ahead we'll be hearing more about the World Tribunal of Iraq. Never heard of it? Really? It's not on the front page of your newspaper? CNN isn't doing break-aways from coverage of Michael Jackson and runaway brides to highlight the testimony? Strange! Since Arundhati Roy is so well-spoken and her arguments so well put together, I decided to run her opening statement on behalf of the Jury of Conscience of the World Tribunal of Iraq meeting now in Istanbul.(FYI- she received the Booker Prize for literature in 1997. Presently, she's one of the most eloquent voices for the global justice and anti-war movement and she was also awarded, among many others, the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004, and the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize in 2002.)

This is the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq. It is of particular significance that it is being held here in Turkey where the United States used Turkish air bases to launch numerous bombing missions to degrade Iraq's defenses before the March 2003 invasion and has sought and continues to seek political support from the Turkish government, which it regards as an ally. All this was done in the face of enormous popular opposition by the Turkish people. As a spokesperson for the jury of conscience, it would make me uneasy if I did not mention that the government of India is also, like the government of Turkey, positioning itself as a ally of the United States in its economic policies and the so-called War on Terror.
    The testimonies at the previous sessions of the World Tribunal on Iraq in Brussels and New York have demonstrated that even those of us who have tried to follow the war in Iraq closely are not aware of a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq.
    The Jury of Conscience at this tribunal is not here to deliver a simple verdict of guilty or not guilty against the United States and its allies. We are here to examine a vast spectrum of evidence about the motivations and consequences of the US invasion and occupation, evidence that has been deliberately marginalized or suppressed. Every aspect of the war will be examined - its legality, the role of international institutions and major corporations in the occupation, the role of the media, the impact of weapons such as depleted uranium munitions, napalm, and cluster bombs, the use of and legitimation of torture, the ecological impacts of the war, the responsibility of Arab governments, the impact of Iraqs occupation on Palestine, and the history of US and British military interventions in Iraq. This tribunal is an attempt to correct the record. To document the history of the war not from the point of view of the victors but of the temporarily - and I repeat the word temporarily - anquished.
    Before the testimonies begin, I would like to briefly address as straightforwardly as I can a few questions that have been raised about this tribunal.
    The first is that this tribunal is a Kangaroo Court. That it represents only one point of view. That it is a prosecution without a defense. That the verdict is a foregone conclusion.
    Now this view seems to suggest a touching concern that in this harsh world, the views of the US government and the so-called Coalition of the Willing headed by President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair have somehow gone unrepresented. That the World Tribunal on Iraq isn't aware of the arguments in support of the war and is unwilling to consider the point of view of the invaders. If in the era of the multinational corporate media and embedded journalism anybody can seriously hold this view, then we truly do live in the Age of Irony, in an age when satire has become meaningless because real life is more satirical than satire can ever be.
    Let me say categorically that this tribunal is the defense. It is an act of resistance in itself. It is a defense mounted against one of the most cowardly wars ever fought in history, a war in which international institutions were used to force a country to disarm and then stood by while it was attacked with a greater array of weapons than has ever been used in the history of war.
    Second, this tribunal is not in any way a defense of Saddam Hussein. His crimes against Iraqis, Kurds, Iranians, Kuwaitis, and others cannot be written off in the process of bringing to light Iraqs more recent and still unfolding tragedy. However, we must not forget that when Saddam Hussein was committing his worst crimes, the US government was supporting him politically and materially. When he was gassing Kurdish people, the US government financed him, armed him, and stood by silently.
    Saddam Hussein is being tried as a war criminal even as we speak. But what about those who helped to install him in power, who armed him, who supported him - and who are now setting up a tribunal to try him and absolve themselves completely? And what about other friends of the United States in the region that have suppressed Kurdish peoples and other peoples rights, including the government of Turkey?
    There are remarkable people gathered here who in the face of this relentless and brutal aggression and propaganda have doggedly worked to compile a comprehensive spectrum of evidence and information that should serve as a weapon in the hands of those who wish to participate in the resistance against the occupation of Iraq. It should become a weapon in the hands of soldiers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, and elsewhere who do not wish to fight, who do not wish to lay down their lives - or to take the lives of others - for a pack of lies. It should become a weapon in the hands of journalists, writers, poets, singers, teachers, plumbers, taxi drivers, car mechanics, painters, lawyers - anybody who wishes to participate in the resistance.
    The evidence collated in this tribunal should, for instance, be used by the International Criminal Court (whose jurisdiction the United States does not recognize) to try as war criminals George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Silvio Berlusconi, and all those government officials, army generals, and corporate CEOs who participated in this war and now profit from it.
    The assault on Iraq is an assault on all of us: on our dignity, our intelligence, and our future.
    We recognize that the judgment of the World Tribunal on Iraq is not binding in international law. However, our ambitions far surpass that. The World Tribunal on Iraq places its faith in the consciences of millions of people across the world who do not wish to stand by and watch while the people of Iraq are being slaughtered, subjugated, and humiliated.

Friday, June 24, 2005



"In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the Secretary of Defense?"
-Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to Donald Rumsfeld

"The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning."

"The Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world."
-Bertrand Russell

and, of course, most awesome of all:

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

Oh-- here's another cool one I forgot (not as timeless as the ones above, but very... of the moment:

"The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."
-U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)

Thursday, June 23, 2005



The House Ethics Committee is the one (and only) House committee run in a bipartisan manner. There are an equal number or Republicans and Democrats, although the majority party gets to name the chairman. Last year, in light of the most outrageous and blatant ethics violations by GOP House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay-- violations that should have landed him in prison-- even the Republicans on the committee backed some VERY MILD admonitions against DeLay. Predictably, DeLay went berserk and purged the committee, ridding it of the fair-minded chairman, Joel Hefley, and putting a dependably corrupt crook and strong ally, "Doc" Hastings in his place. Hastings immediately provoked a series of confrontations with Democrats on the committee by trying to tamper with the structure of the committee's work in a way to specifically protect DeLay. The committee deadlocked and ceased to function-- and crooked politicians like DeLay and Randy "Duke" Cunningham continue to run amuck.

Hastings is a right-wing hack from rural central Washington State (Yakima area). Howard Dean has suggested, rather mildly, that Hastings allow the investigation of DeLay to proceed from which he should recuse himself due to his close lobbying ties to The Hammer (the very root of why DeLay is being charged with criminal activities in Texas and why the House needs to expel him). Although Hastings somehow forgot to disclose it, newly-released documents show he had a lucrative financial relationship with lobbyists at a Seattle law firm that was part of the DeLay/Abramoff scam empire for financing DeLay's gangster empire. (And, predictably, the firm's star lobbyist, DeLay's consiglieri Jack Abramoff, has been another Republicrook arranger of lavish overseas trips for DeLay and pals.) Local Washington State newspapers are starting to scratch their editorial heads about Doc's apparent sleazy behavior. His hometown paper in Pasco, the Tri-City Herald, for example, went into details of Hastings' ties to Preston Gates & Ellis, the Seattle law firm linked to some of DeLay's shenanigans, and to one of its big lobbying clients in the 1990s, the government of the Northern Mariana Islands, an American colony. The law firm got Hastings to support efforts to prevent the federal minimum wage from being imposed on the Marianas' sweat-shop clothing factories. The headline on the article was "Hastings' Link to Islands Sullies Ethics Post." Taking advantage of and victimizing (like in bilking them for millions of dollars) American Indians as well as colonial natives appears to be a Abramoff/DeLay specialty. To have the chairman of the Ethics Committee involved in this fits right in with the Bush governing principles of having foxes watching the hen houses.

And now that Hastings is feeling the heat, he's ready to jump ship and run for cover. Painting himself-- as they always do-- as a "victim," Hastings is "threatening" to resign as committee chairman. One anonymous Republican committee staffer told the Associated Press that "Doc has had just about enough of this. He'd like to find a face-saving way out." I'm sure he would.

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What time is it? Is it time for Congress to figure out how to get us out of the disastrous quagmire that Iraq has turned into for most of us (though not for big GOP campaign contributors like Bechtel and Haliburton)? Is it time for Congress to figure out how to confront the dwindling supply of oil in our oil driven society? Is it time for Congress to figure out how to repair an electoral system that allows partisan tampering with such alacrity that determined extremists can "win elections" without getting actual votes? For the Republicans who have managed to gain control of all branches of the federal government it's time to figure out why their approval ratings are so low, and sinking lower and lower
by the day. Bush's approval rating is headed into the 30s-- which means he'll be supported by far
right religious fanatics (time to insert one of my favorite Voltaire quotes-- "The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning"), war-profiteers AND NO ONE ELSE. The Congress' approval ratings are already in the 30s. Doing anything that would actually solve the problems that have Americans disapproving would violate GOP ideology and their whole raison d'être for going to such expense and trouble to steal elections in the first place. So what's a right-wing legislator to do? Well, sure as shit, the GOP has come up with the solution! According to Orrin Hatch (R-UT), "It's time to stand up for our symbol. I consider defecating on the flag, urinating on the flag, burning the flag with contempt." Now THERE'S a problem that keeps me up nights! Defecating on the flag? To hell with Republicrooks trying to make it easy for their Wall Street pals to loot Social Security-- the way they have managed to OK looting of corporate retirement funds and the way the one-party GOP government in Ohio has allowed its contributors to loot the State Workmen's Compensation Fund-- we have a REAL problem: people defecating on the U.S. flag!

I think I must have been in like 6th grade at PS 197 when I first heard about the governing concept called "divide and conquer." I can't remember who the teacher was, although I remember it applied to the Roman Empire. Maybe my old classmate Norm Coleman, now a far right loon elected to the U.S. Senate under dubious circumstances after the murder of Paul Wellstone, will remember. (Lord knows he applies it in his career.) But it didn't make much of an impression on me at the time. I mean, the Romans? That was like so long ago. And we've come so far! The next time I remember hearing about it, it was the British Empire and how they encouraged Hindus and Muslims in India and Shiia and Sunni in Iraq to hate each other so the British could control such populous far away places with a minimum of expenditure of blood and treasure. That made more of an impression but it was still a long time ago. But then some wiseass teacher, apparently one who wasn't worried about the NYC academic witch-hunt engendered by the Rapp-Coudert hearings, slipped in something about how the wealthy white Establishment (i.e.- The Right) in the American South was still using divide and conquer to separate poor whites and poor blacks -- by "stoking" racial tensions-- in order to run the show down there. It all clicked and I've been watching how they do it ever since. Yesterday the GOP ran their predictable little show again in Congress. With cheerleading from their co-conspirators in the media conglomerates they own and the echo chamber that creates in the media companies they don't directly control, they are convincing always gullible Americans that what ails the society is not tied to Republican policies, Republican venality, Republican corruption, Republican incompetence but to... people (in Utah??) defecating on the flag.

Veteran political journalist Ron Fournier wrote an AP story today that points out that although the lockstep GOP mob that runs the House of Representatives passed a measure to ban desecration of the flag, "its prospects aren't good in the Senate, but Republicans could still get what they want-- an issue that divides or even conquers Democrats in the 2006 and 2008 elections."

The debate was personalized by two House members-- Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA), still staying out of prison after taking a large bribe from a defense contractor (see my June 14 entry) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), whose district includes the 9/11 Ground Zero. ''If the flag needs protection at all,'' said Nadler, ''it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents.'' Meanwhile, the bribe-taking Duke, like Hatch, is playing to the lowest common denominator (though he restrained himself from talking about Hatch's defecation problem): ''Ask the men and women who stood on top of the Trade Center,'' (an impossibility obviously). ''Ask them and they will tell you: 'Pass this amendment.''' (I guess aside from running a bribes-for-defense-contracts scam, Cunningham is also working, at least part-time, the psychic network angle. But just ask their fearless leader, Bush, and you'll know the Right has direct communications pipelines from Heaven.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005



I'm not claiming I know more about Afghanistan than Bush and his advisors do just because I spent
almost a year there in the late 1960s (and again in the early 70s). Theoretically, they (although not Bush himself, a self-admitted and notorious non-reader) may have even read some of the same history books about Afghanistan that I read. The problem with the current U.S. regime and with their so-called policies in Afghanistan is that they don't base them on hard facts but on ideological, usually simpleminded preconceptions. Their black and white world-view seems to work well enough in the backward U.S. electoral districts of Mississippi, Utah, Texas and Kentucky, but not at all in the reality-bound universe where pigs don't fly and when running into a brick wall hurts your head.

Alexander the Great more or less conquered "Afghanistan," although even when I was there a couple of thousand years after Alexander, most of the people I met outside of the capital city didn't really recognize a country we call Afghanistan. The king of Kabul managed to get his hands on U.S. and Soviet weapons and jigger the local balance of power in his favor. So he was claiming to be the king of... Afghanistan. The folks in Kandihar didn't see it quite the same way. And neither did the guys in Herat or Mazar-i-Sharif-- and those are the big "metropolitan" areas (they had some electricity). And even Alexander had to put his lover aside for a while and marry some local king's daughter to shore up his very tenuous "control" over the area. After Alexander no one conquered Afghanistan. Shortly before I got there the Americans and Russians built the first paved roads. There were exactly zero miles of railroad track. If you look in Webster's under "remote cut off backwater" you might find a picture of Afghanistan. Only two things unite the people who live there: their love for Islam and their hatred of foreigners. They united, albeit briefly, to destroy two superpowers who invaded them in the past: the British and, more recently, the Russians. And in stumbles George W. Bush, babbling about "a crusade."

Today I saw an AP story under the headline "Dozens Killed as US, Afghan Troops Fight Rebels." The AP, which tepidly acknowledges "fears that the Afghan war is widening, rather than winding down," is gonna get in trouble with Darth Cheney if they don't change their tune. For whatever reasons-- like between 25 and 40 million of them killed during the unpleasantries of the1940s-- the Russians can be pretty brutal, far more brutal and far less sensitive than even a pack of Alabama rednecks. But all that brutality (and a pretty short supply line) didn't prevent the Russian's ignomious defeat at the hands of the backward Afghan tribes a few short years ago.  "We are not letting up on the enemy and will continue to pursue them until the fighting stops. Coalition and Afghan forces will continue to defeat these militants for as long as necessary to ensure the people of Afghanistan remain free of oppression and tyranny," said a U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara. I have a feeling Lt. Col. O'Hara has not read the same books Bush hasn't read. If he wants to talk about endurance, he better pack up now and come home and save a lot of lives. The Afghans will all die before they let America and its corporations conquer them.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005



Historically, right-wingers always love to play victim. They are always being beset by forces trying to take something away from them, their guns, the honor, their virtuous women, their religion, and, most of all, of course-- harkening back to the meaning of the political right, their money. Even when they control virtually everything they still want to cry and whine that they are being victimized. And they have always used this tactic to very good effect (for themselves). Although the French and Russian Revolutions dealt with the reactionary right rather well-- and even the very moderate U.S. revolutionaries sent a good many of the most extreme rightists packing to Canada, the West Indies and London (at least for a while)-- most of the time even set-backs for the Right are like water off a duck's back. After the U.S. Civil War, the most extreme right-wingers in the South were able to thwart any meaningful-- and short-lived-- attempts by progressives to enforce racial equality or even to begin the process of bringing African-Americans a semblance of human dignity. And now they control the White House, both houses of Congress and the Federal Judiciary! And they're still crying "victim!"

Just this past Monday, one of the most extremist right-wingers in the U.S. Congress, John Hostettler (R-IN), worked himself up into a lather and a state of righteous indignation on the floor of the House about how Democrats persecute Christians! Although Hostettler has proven to be psychologically unstable, even deranged, in the past, this tactic is more venal and premeditated than loony. Tom DeLay, still not in prison and still Majority Leader of the House, admitted that "Hostettler may have
said it unartfully" but went on to insist that "Democrats are constantly attacking people of faith." What "Crazy John" Hostettler had raved, by the way, was that "like moths to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians."

Mind you, this all comes out of Howard Dean's comments-- blown out of proportion by the GOP media echo chamber lead by fake journalists and partisan hacks like O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity-- that the GOP represents the interests exclusively of white Christians. He mentioned that although he himself is also a white Christian, the modern Democratic Party represents a wider set of interests that transcend races and religions. The outcry from the Far Right was so gigantic that one had to wonder if they were not only unaware of their own policies and the implications of those policies, but also on little facts Faux News certainly would never bring up, like 100% of the Republicans in the 2 houses of the Texas legislature-- the most out there and fascist-oriented GOP government in the U.S.-- is white and Christian. Is that "bad?" Not necessarily (although in a state with such a diverse population, it is a little odd) but it IS THE TRUTH.

Today the Associated Press ran this piece under the headline "Bush Promotes Funding for Religious Groups:

President Bush on Tuesday told the Southern Baptist Convention a compassionate society would rely more on religious groups to provide social services and oppose expanded embryonic stem cell research.
Bush renewed his call for Congress to pass a law that would allow religious groups with federal contracts to consider questions of faith when making employment decisions. With such legislation long stalled, the president has bypassed Congress and made more money available to such groups through executive orders and regulations.
"Congress needs to pass charitable choice legislation to forever guarantee equal treatment for our faith-based organizations when they compete for federal funds," Bush told the Baptists meeting in Nashville, Tenn., via satellite.
Quoting the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," Bush said, "Thy compassions, they fail not."
On "culture of life" issues such as stem cells, the president said, "A compassionate society protects and defends its most vulnerable members at every stage of life."
Bush opposes a House-passed bill that would lift his 2001 restrictions on public funding for research on newly developed embryonic stem cell lines. The Senate is now considering the matter.
Bush also reiterated his intention to nominate conservative jurists to the federal bench.

Poor Christians; they still think they're a persecuted minority. I guess it feels somehow better than feeling like a persecuting majority! And as for Republicans, well, here's a great example: when Ohio's demonstrably corrupt GOP Governor Taft was called out on the hundreds of millions of dollars stolen by his contributors and appointees from the State Workmen's Compensation Fund his immediate reaction was to play... what else?-- victim. It was all about a vengeful press and unfair Democrats. Although he now seems to be headed in the direction of a nice long stay in a Federal Penitentiary, Taft still blames everyone but himself and his fellow Republicrooks.

Monday, June 20, 2005



Last week Bill Moyers gave one of his brilliant speeches somewhere. I wasn't there but I read the text. The guy is so inspiring. But I took out a piece that really had very little substantive relevance to what he was talking about, just some warm-up banter in the intro: "I can't imagine a more exuberant gathering today except possibly at the K Street branch of the Masters of the Universe where they are celebrating their coup at the Securities and Exchange Commission."

The coup Moyers was referring to, of course, was the announcement by Bush that he was appointing Christopher Cox to head the SEC. Bush could have been worse; he could have appointed Cox's neighbor, "Duke" Cunningham (although he would probably have to had pardoned him to prevent him from going to jail for accepting undisguised bribes from a military contractor). And Cox is bad enough. He is also very much in line with the kinds of people Bush nominates for important jobs-- mediocre intellects with total disregard for integrity and any sense of ethics, people like "Crazy John" Bolton, a congenitally undiplomatic U.N.-hater as Ambassador to the U.N., or Philip Cooney, a sleazy oil industry operative as chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, recently forced out of government (and back directly on the Exxon payroll) after being caught red-handed changing scientific papers on environmental dangers that didn't mesh with extreme right wing ideology (and corporate profiteering).

Is Cox as bad? MUCH MUCH MORE DANGEROUS to America. If the population of the United States is 300,000,000, there are probably a good 299,900,000 better suited to protect investors, particularly small investors from avariciously, capitalist crooks and greedy corporatists. Just his ties to the Enron scandal alone should disqualify him but, of course, in the topsy-turvy world of George W. Bush, that makes Cox a perfect candidate. Back in 1995 Cox showed he was willing to go to the mat and fight to the death-- for his corporate masters against the interests of the American people. He championed the right of corporate executives to lie with impunity without the fear of being sued, his so-called Private Securities and Litigation Reform Act. Whenever a rightist uses the word "reform," hold on to your wallet because you're about to be fleeced. On Capitol Hill they dubbed the bill the "Ken Lay Protection Act." Yeah, we need Christopher Cox watching over the interests of small investors! Do you think he'll recall the nearly three-quarters of a million dollars the financial community has shoved up his ass as campaign contributions once he gets his new position?

In short, Cox doesn't believe in regulation-- just the kind of unfettered capitalism that INEVITABLY leads to catastrophe for ordinary people. It always has and it always will. But is he personally a crook? Probably. According to the L.A. TIMES Cox was sued when he was caught helping concoct a scheme that robbed 8,000 investors of approximately $136 million in retirement savings by encouraging them to invest in phony mortgages. Although other people at Cox's company pled guilty, Cox avoided prison on a technicality and by (falsely) claiming ignorance. Who better for Bush to appoint to head the SEC?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005



George W. Bush, for once, telling the truth: "And that's why I'm talking about Social Security. And the debate has only just begun. (Applause.) But I believe the side of reform is going to prevail, because the American people now are beginning to realize we have a serious problem when it comes to Social Security. And that problem begins with people like me."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005



I know I keep writing about the Republicrook coin scandal in Ohio. I have nothing against Ohio. It's the home of the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. It's unfortunate that it's a one-party state (like Zimbabwe) but they have some swell folks there, despite Noe and Ney. Meanwhile closer to where I live there's some funny business completely unrelated-- well at least not DIRECTLY related-- to the Republican scandals in Ohio. Do you know who Randy "Duke" Cunningham is? No? He's the long-time congressman from suburban northern San Diego County. He has a long long record of being one of the most extreme right-wing loons the U.S. Congress has ever seen. (And if you take a look at the U.S. Congress, that is saying A LOT!) Cunningham can always be counted on to oppose anything that helps working people and support anything that helps the ultra-rich and the wealthy multinational corporations that donate generously to his campaigns, some would say overly generously. In fact, a defense contractor recently took a $700,000 loss on the purchase of the congressman's Del Mar house while the congressman, a member of the influential defense appropriations subcommittee, was supporting the contractor's efforts to get tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Pentagon. Republican Mitch Wade bought "Duke's"
house for $1,675,000 in November 2003 and immediately put it back on the market for the same price. But the Del Mar house languished unsold and vacant for nearly a year before he was able to sell it for $975,000. Interestingly, good ole Wade, who hadn't been too successful in getting any lucrative tax-payer-funded Pentagon contracts, had a real winning streak happen around then-- bringing in tens of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence-related contracts. What was Bush lecturing Africans the other day about good governance and ending corruption in their countries?

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Yesterday's NY TIMES was very supportive of the Senate's apology for not passing any of the anti-lynching legislation proposed over the decades. "Although the Senate garnered praise on Monday for acting to erase that stain, some critics said lawmakers had a long way to go. Of the 100 senators, 80 were co-sponsors of the resolution, and because it passed by voice vote, senators escaped putting themselves on record. "It's a statement in itself that there aren't 100 co-sponsors," Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said. "It's a statement in itself that there's not an up-or-down vote," which the GOP leadership refused to allow. (They like certain up and down votes and not others.) Anyway, I don't know how many of the non-sponsors are KKK members, but I do know that all are extreme right-wing Republicans with voting records that are consistently against the interests of minority citizens and against working men and women in general. Here's the latest Hall of Shame from the U.S. Senate: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Thad Cochran (R-MS),
John Cornyn (R-TX), Michael Crapo (R-Aryan Nation of ID), Michael Enzi (R-WY),
Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Trent Lott (R-MS)-- which makes a united front for the great state of Mississippi, scene of more lynchings, BY FAR, than any other state in the U.S., both Senators opposing the resolution-- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Sununu (R-NH), Craig Thomas (R-WY) and Tom Noe's good friend George Voinovich (R-OH).

Monday, June 13, 2005



Yeah, the folks who are obliterating the American middle class with their class warfare policies that serve the interests of multimillionaires at the expense of everyone else, claim to be concerned about "family values." In fact, whenever they get caught stealing or doing something directly contrary to the civic obligations of office (at least among non-Republicrooks), they always say they want to spend more time with their families. And then they resign in disgrace and Bush gives a speech thanking them for their service (in return for them swearing on a stack of bibles that they'll never tell anyone the inside dope of what his illegitimate, criminal regime is doing behind closed doors). Latest out the door is a greasy sleazebag oil company lobbyist Bush appointed chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Now, be honest, even if you're a right-winger and you hate me-- HAVE YOU EVER EVER EVER HEARD OF A MORE BLATANT CASE OF HIRING A FOX TO WATCH THE CHICKEN COOP? Anyway this Philip Cooney fella was caught blatantly changing government reports to say what his masters at Big Oil (and the GOP) want said about the deteriorating environment.

One of the White House team of professional liars and imitation Goebbels, Dana Perino, whose never been known to say one true thing since she went to work for BushCheney, claimed his departure was, of course, "completely unrelated" to the disclosure that Cooney was caught red-handed and couldn't wiggle out of it (although the White House tried for a few pathetic days last week). Not mentioning whether Cooney would be prosecuted for breaking the law, she said "Mr. Cooney has long been considering his options following four years of service to the administration. He'd accumulated many weeks of leave and decided to resign and take the summer off to spend time with his family."

Based on documents provided to the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that helps whistle-blowers, The New York Times first reported Wednesday that Cooney made arbitrary changes in several federal environmental reports. The changes emphasized uncertainty of evidence that greenhouse-gas emissions are causing global temperatures to rise, even when there was no uncertainty. Cooney, a low-life shyster and crooked attorney who should be disbarred-- and, of course, without a background in science-- once headed the oil industry's lobbying on climate change.
Predictably, the White House defended the unwarranted edits to the documents, saying they were part of the normal, wide-ranging review process and "did not violate an administration pledge to rely on sound science" (since such a pledge doesn't exist?).



The other day I had the misfortune of hearing Bush whining on the radio about how he and Tony Blair tried to avoid war in Iraq. It was clear he was believing exactly what he said too-- all Iraq would have had to do was surrender its sovereignty to Bush and Blair and there would have been no war. (Bush and Blair hate war and it's so painful comforting all those dead young men's and women's relatives and it was those damn Iraqi's by not doing what they were told that FORCED this war on poor Bush and Blair.) If you remember back to 1999 when Bush was first campaigning for the presidency one of his only memorable point was how he is a "uniter, not a divider." The logic in his pea-brain on that is similar: if everyone just gets behind him and his authoritarian, even totalitarian/fascist ideas we will all be united. True enough.

Now the linchpins of the BushCheney far right political coalition wants to make certain that it is clearly understood that one group not included in this union of all Americans are the damn dirty disease-ridden homos. A so-called "reverend" from the hate group disguised as a religious organization, one Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition speaks for many on the extreme neo-Nazi right when he calls for the exclusion of gay men and women from American society. These people are dangerous to all Americans and all American ideals, not just to gays and lesbians. They should be undergoing psychological treatment for their mental disorders, not running the U.S. through their control of the Republican Party.

Christian Coalition: Gays Should Wear Warning Labels
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 13, 2005  12:01 am ET

(New York City) The leader of a conservative Christian lobby group says that gays should be required to wear warning labels.
"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports," said  Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition.
The journal regularly publishes articles described by many mainstream psychologists as misleading and faulty.  The homosexuality morbidity study was conducted by the conservative anti-gay Family Research Institute.   
Banuchi called LGBT Pride celebrations held in New Paltz, north of New York City, and other areas of the country on the weekend "sad".
He called on people to "pray for those who are deceived by the lies of popular culture, who are caught up in a destructive lifestyle, and for the children who are being zealously evangelized by radical homosexuals."
It is not the first time gays have been told they should wear labels. In Nazi Germany gays were forced to wear the pink triangle to differentiate them from other internees at concentration camps.
But, while, Banuchi was denouncing homosexuality, 300,000 people were celebrating gay Pride in West Hollywood, California, nearly half a million in Boston, and 100,00 in Salt Lake City this weekend.
In West Hollywood, crowds lined Santa Monica Boulevard for the 35th annual Pride Parade.  But, this year's choice of grand marshals did not make everyone in the crowd happy. Christopher Street West, which organizes Weho's Pride festival selected Paris Hilton and her mother, Kathy to host the parade.
"I just don't know what anybody was thinking of. My jaw dropped when I heard it," Dan Berkowitz, a member of the West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, told the West Hollywood Independent. "I'm sure she is a very nice girl and her mother is a very nice woman, but what they have to do with gay pride in West Hollywood or anywhere else is utterly beyond me." 
Christopher Street West defends its choice of a heterosexual daughter and mom saying Paris has agreed to speak out on LGBT issues including gay marriage.
In Boston, the Pride Parade marched from the South End to Boston Common on Saturday. A number of local politicians were on hand, but two were noticeably missing. Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who opposed same-sex marriage and continues to block out of state gay couples from marrying in the state, was in Detroit at his high school reunion. Democratic Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly also skipped the parade. 
Reilly who says he supports gay marriage and opposes a proposed amendment to ban it is seeking his party's nod to run for governor. The other declared candidate for the Democratic nomination, Deval Patrick, attended Pride events.
In Salt Lake City, the annual Pride Parade saw record crowds.  Organizers say the parade helped the community develop a renewed sense of purpose following last year's bitter fighter over a constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriage in the state. 
Gays also celebrated Pride in Washington, DC and nearly a dozen other communities.



Howard Dean has been a real pain in the ass for BushCheney. The kinds of progressive reforms he advocates-- from equitable and workable health care and insurance systems to a plan to ensure that participatory democracy (in the form of fair voting counting, for example) is as prioritized for places like Ohio and Florida as it is for Anbar Province and Baghdad-- drive the Far Right insane. True, that may not be that far of a drive, but last week the full might of the BushCheney media empire struck, with all the vicious intensity it could muster. Why now?

One of the policy areas that the VAST majority of Americans feel BushCheney and the GOP Congress have been particularly inept and burdened with conflict of interest in handling, is the social safety net (i.e.- the heart and soul of the Right-wing's longtime bete noir, the New Deal). In his efforts to rally Democrats (his job), Dean has been going around the country and pointing this out. Until the Washington Post pointed out Dean's aggressive campaign against what can only be seen as GOP malfeasance (in an area near and dear to the hears of most Americans) the right-wing machine just tried to ignore it. (They don't really care all that much what people are saying Arizona and Colorado and Michigan.) But when the Post ran a hard-hitting report on what Dean was saying about them, they struck back. The Post piece, "Dean Accuses Bush of Not Protecting Pensions" by Dan Balz ran June 3. The first paragraph probably got them pissed off-- "Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean delivered a broadside at President Bush and the Republican Party yesterday, accusing the president of failing to protect private pensions in the United States and the GOP of embracing a 'dark, difficult and dishonest vision' for the country." A little close to home. Dean went on to say that there is a need to broaden the debate over Bush's proposal to restructure Social Security to include the issue of private pensions, citing Labor Department statistics estimating that private companies underfunded their pension plans by $450 billion last year. Dean correctly pointed out that Bush bears considerable responsible for the failure of private industry to protect those pensions. "The president wants to take away our Social Security," he said, "and then he's going to take away the private pension plans, too? What does he think ordinary Americans live on after they get to be 65 years old?" The only solution that Dean suggested is to make pensions portable, saying pension plans "ought not to be controlled by companies, they ought to be controlled by the people who those pensions belong to." BushCheney corporate donors DESPERATELY do not want this to happen. Period. That means it's time to bury what Dean is saying by attacking the messenger, something the BushCheney media apparatus is expert at-- and something the rest of the sheepish media follows along on without thought.


Sunday, June 12, 2005



Dick Cheney, probably the most hated man in American politics-- not enough people know Tom
Delay-- viciously attacked Howard Dean on the Far Right's pet TV network, Faux News, today. Cheney,
who's views are so far from the mainstream of American thought that he has way more in common with Benito Mussolini's views than with Dwight Eisenhower's, claimed Dean is "over the top." The far right fears Dean more than the tame Democrats like Lieberman, Feinstein or Biden, because he doesn't play by rules stacked against progressives. In short-- he tells the truth. Republicans can't handle that. "I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've  never met anybody who does," Cheney told Fox News Channel. Something tells me Cheney doesn't meet too many real Democrats, among whom Dean is wildly popular. Cheney, who never admits much, admitted it "doesn't matter so much what I think; I'm a Republican," but said some Democrats he had talked to thought Dean was "doing more damage to the party than he is good." I'd almost like to see that list as much as the list of which energy company executves and Enron criminals were part of his energy planning committee. (By the way, scroll down and take a look at the story from a couple weeks ago about another right wing extremist, Bob Novak, also claiming he talks to Democrats and offering us his wisdom.)

Even if Dean's serious remarks don't get covered by the Right-wing owned mass media in this country, we can always count on the free press in Britain to carry what is ACTUALLY said instead of just GOP spin. The GUARDIAN ran this piece yesterday on this brouhaha. (And if you read it and you're wondering who Donna Brazile, quoted below, is, let me tell you. She's an inside the Beltway political hack-- yes Dems have lots of that species too-- of mediocre intelligence who had more to do with Al Gore losing in 2000 than almost any other single person. Currently she is an often-called-upon TV talking head, useful when Republicans need an idiot who can be counted on to make progressives look bad.)

Dean Tells Dems: 'People Want Us to Fight'
Saturday June 11, 2005 9:16 PM
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Howard Dean said Saturday that positive responses from supporters have reinforced his determination to keep talking tough despite suggestions from some congressional Democrats that the party chairman should tone down his rhetoric.

``People want us to fight,'' Dean told the national party's executive committee. ``We are here to fight.''

Over the past week, Dean described Republicans as ``pretty much a white, Christian party'' and said many in the GOP ``never made an honest living.''

Several Democratic lawmakers distanced themselves from their chairman. Republican officials called on him to apologize. After weathering the criticism, Dean forged ahead with the GOP scolding at the meeting of Democratic National Committee leaders.

Yet some Democrats say the former Vermont governor should not remain the center of attention.

``Privately, people have said they don't want Howard Dean to become the story because we have more important issues to talk about,'' said Donna Brazile, who managed Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2004.

``But publicly we will continue to give Howard Dean our strong support,'' she said.

One of Dean's predecessors at the DNC, Don Fowler said, ``The controversy over this statement or that statement is a blip and only a blip.'' But Fowler complained about leading Democrats who aired their gripes last week. ``Even if they don't like it, they should have enough sense not to make those comments,'' Fowler said.

At the session in a downtown hotel, Dean accused Republicans of trying to suppress the vote, selling access to the White House for lobbyists and basically being dishonest with the public.

``The reason the Republicans are in trouble is because there are so many cases where they say one thing and do something else,'' Dean said.

He said President Bush's education initiative, the ``No Child Left Behind'' program, cuts school spending and a clean environment plan, the ``Clear Skies Initiative,'' permits more pollution.

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee said Dean would rather sling mud than discuss serious matters.

``Dean's inflammatory rhetoric makes it clear that Democrats have no vision and would rather pander to the maniacal fringe than talk about the important issues facing our country,'' Tracey Schmitt said.

Dean said that Republicans, in the public's mind, have the upper hand on moral values because Democrats have done a poor job of explaining where they stand.

He said the party will do more to win over military veterans. It also will call on thousands of lawyers who helped in the 2004 presidential election to aid Democrats' push for changes in election laws.

On political fundraising, the DNC trails the Republican Party by more than 2-to-1 despite Dean's reputation as a potent fundraiser. The Democrats have raised almost $19 million so far this year.

Dean said he is bringing in $1 million weekly. Records show the DNC took in $13.8 million over the first three months of 2005, compared with $8.4 million during the same period in 2003, the last year without a federal election. Terry McAuliffe was party chairman then.

Dean has given more than $1 million from the DNC to state parties. He said the DNC plans to share some of the money Dean raises for the national party when he is in a state. Both of these moves are winning him support from state party leaders.

In his remarks, Dean made few references to the recent brouhaha.

But when a DNC member joked that the best way to get the chairman's attention was to ``jump up and down,'' a grinning Dean fired back: ``That's my job.''

The crowd of Democratic activists burst into applause.

Friday, June 10, 2005



Look, I don't know about you, but I don't get a phone call from Sponge Bob everyday. So even though I had never heard of Barry Crimmins, when Sponge Bob (actually Tom Kenny, the voice of) call and asked me to come and see Crimmins do a stand-up comedy routine in a club in an area not far from where I live but to which I have never been, I said "OK, what time?" (I didn't ask him if he would be wearing his sponge outfit; he never does; NEVER-- like not even once.) Instead I went to Google (which I recently found out I own a little piece of, having told a guy who manages money for me that I demand he sell shares he held for me for the execrable WalMart, to see him replace them with shares of Google, which have increased in value hugely while WalMart sort of just sits there waiting for another shoe to drop) and looked up Crimmins. There were 70,100 articles mentioning him. I immediately saw he wrote a book about Kissinger, NEVER SHAKE HANDS WITH A WAR CRIMINAL, enough of a reason to go see him-- even without Sponge Bob's urging. One site described him as "one of the country's top political satirists and a hilarious stand-up comic who takes on the powers-that-be with wit and wisdom..." and that he's toured with Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Utah Phillips, and Michelle Shocked. Lix Winstead, one of the people responsible for John Stewart's DAILY SHOW wrote that "Crimmins stands out as one of the few humorists who takes the high ground and comments on what's really important. He's truly one of the most hilarious social critics of our generation.” Last night I went to the show. Sponge Bob and Lix got it right.

Crimmins had me howling with his imitations of Bush and Cheney and his sharp dissections of their criminal endeavors. He seems so matter-of-fact in how he approaches the pomposity of our political class and then, suddenly, you realize he just deftly and cleanly separated a head from a set of shoulders. I never saw Lenny Bruce perform. Thank goodness I got to see Barry Crimmins. Look for him.