Saturday, September 30, 2006

Torture, anyone?

In the middle of the recent torture/detainee debate, the Bush administration sent a bunch of right wing pundits to Guantanamo as part of a coordinated propaganda show. They took some of the most mindlessly subservient "journalists," staged a one-day show for them, gave them a script, and then sent them on their merry way, after which the little Bush propagandists began dutifully disseminating what they were told.

TRUTH High-level military attorneys have told Congress that some interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] are not consistent with guidelines in the Army Field Manual [interrogation manual; additional manuals]. In a written response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee [official website], lawyers from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps wrote that certain tactics used to interrogate terrorism suspect Mohamed al-Qahtani [TIME report], the so-called "20th hijacker", could be considered violations of policy because they were humiliating or degrading. Interrogators forced al-Qahtani to wear women's undergarments, called him a homosexual and implied that others knew he was a homosexual, forced him to perform dog tricks, and forced him to stand naked in the presence of female soldiers. The lawyers said these methods do not follow policy.


LIE MS: ...I'm at LaGuardia, on my way back from a very enjoyable day trip to Gitmo, down in Cuba, to have a look at the alleged, or I guess I should say, alleged enemy combatants down there.

HH: Well, the alleged enemy combatants lost their habeus corpus rights today, thanks to the steely indifference to liberty, as the Democrats would put it, of the Republican majority in the Senate. Do they appear put upon to you, Mark Steyn?

MS: No, they don't. It's interesting to me. They were being treated very lavishly, as you know, to Ramadan, and we at the meal that...when I was down there, that the detainees eat, and very proudly, we were told, as they served up this fantastic meal, that it featured homemade pastries, especially cooked for the detainees for Ramadan. So I can tell you something. They eat much better food...I've eaten MRE's with American troops in Iraq, and these detainees eat much better than American troops do. Whether that is the right approach to fighting this war, I don't know whether...I think that there are legitimate differences of opinion about that.


TRUTH A suspect held in Guantanamo Bay was stripped, forced to bark like a dog, and subjected to music, it emerged as debate intensified in the U.S. capital over the future of the detention camp in Cuba.


LIE While always mindful that they are dealing with dangerous men, the Americans treat them humanly, even sensitively. Seemingly every surface has a painted arrow pointing toward Mecca. Every detainee gets a Koran, and should it be necessary to search one, it is done by a Muslim translator, not a guard. Detainees are offered 4,200 calories a day. U.S. combat troops get 3,800. The average detainee has gained 18 pounds.

Interrogators rely on the soft sell. Detainees sit in a La-Z-Boy chair during interrogations, and beverages and movies are available to put them at ease. The most effective interrogator is said to be an older woman who adopts a nurturing attitude.


MORE LIES The high-minded critics who complain about torture are wrong. We are far too soft on these guys - and, as a result, aren't getting the valuable intelligence we need to save American lives. The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can't be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day. Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two - and (of course) are interrupted for prayers. One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald's sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o' Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.) Interrogations are not video or audio taped, perhaps to preserve detainee privacy.


What a sick administration. They torture and make sure it's acceptable by feeding the public lies through fake news they pay for with our taxes. It doesn't get much sicker than Bush & Co. I'm must wondering when the other 1/2 of America will wake up. I can't figure out just what this administration of madmen would have to do before the hangers on become outraged.

Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt reveal the true impulses underlying yesterday's vote

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good Night, America. I Love You

House Passes Warrantless Domestic Spying Measure

Senate OKs Detainee Interrogation Bill

This Time, Congress Has No Excuse

How Did We Sink So Low in Just 6 Years?

Integrity, Moral Authority, and Some Inconvenient Truths

It's Mourning in America

William A. Cook: A Personal Declaration of Independence...

“I refuse to accept as my government actions by the current administration and its obsequious servants, the Republican Congress and the Republican Senate.”

Cindy Sheehan: Lift Your Head...

“It is now the time to stand up and be counted and tell this out of control government of ours that we are withdrawing our consent to be governed by them.”

“Now is the time to rise up. Now is the time to lift our heads and refuse to be bowed by war criminals. Now.”

William Rivers Pitt: In Case I Disappear...

America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.

That was the idea. That was the dream. It may all be over now, but once upon a time, it existed. No good idea ever truly dies. The dream was here, and so was I, and so were you.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Let's Get the Party Started

Well look what happened today...the DCCC finally added John Hall to their List of Emerging Races. It took a lot but they finally coughed it up.

Daily Kos has a post up and the Mobilizer puts it rather nicely:

A number of people have been drawing attention here to this great campaign, and one of the things we've been asking people to do is contact the DCCC to urge attention to it, so this news reflects both the efforts of people here and the strength of the campaign.
Seems Sue Kelly is running scared now. Why? Because she has Carol Fox, the Voter Services Chairwoman of the Somers League of Women Voters miffed due to the fact that Kelly has not even respond to three invitations to participate in a forum in Somers next month with Democratic challenger John Hall. The Journal News has a piece on how Sue is actually dodging John to debate.

Finally, Jonathan Tasini wrote a beautiful post about John Hall and the Campaign. What is so important is that as many volunteers help as possible. We need to turn around this country and we also need to fix a lot of broken Dems in Washington who seem to back the wrong candidates too. The Democratic Party will get better once the people take control of it.

Sue Kelly and Habeas Corpus

Sue Kelly is the 12 year incumbent that John Hall is running against for Congress. Perhaps her vote on the recent Habeas Amendment will give you an idea of how aligned Sue is with Bush. I would say she gets a Rubber Stamp for this vote.

Sue Kelly voted in favor giving the administration authority to interrogate and prosecute terrorism detainees and she approved legislation on military commissions that authorizes torture and strips detainees of the right to challenge their detention.


Making a long story short, my MIL is doing better. She received blood transfusions today. What a difference! And what a relief! I'm telling you all, please be VIGILANT when caring for an ailing person. Ask detailed questions of medical professionals, and do NOT allow them to dismiss you. If you have even ONE question (and I bet it is usually more than that) unanswered, get in their faces until you are satisfied. It is your right and duty.

I saw the Edwards' on Oprah today. It was poignant. Even sad. I admit (selfishly) that I was a bit disappointed that there was little political discussion with John. But this was, clearly, Elizabeth's moment and about her book and her life's challenges. She's the real deal, and I continue to admire her and her strength.

Finally, surprise of all surprises, I have a job interview next week. It is my first in about 19 years. And over the past 9 months, I couldn't even TELL you how MANY applications and resumes I have submitted to various jobs. I'm cautiously optimistic. Could be that I'm superstitious that by the virtue of even telling all of you about this interview will jinx it. But I REFUSE to hold that mentality.

Just in case, though, don't ask anything else about it. I'll let you know how things turn out ;-)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Legendary musicians Bonnie Raitt & Band, and special guests The Mammals are throwing a "VOICES FOR CHANGE" benefit concert for John Hall.

When: Oct. 18, 7:30pm

Where: Tarrytown Music Hall
13 Main St
Tarrytown , NY

Tickets are on sale now exclusively through the John Hall website.

All proceeds will benefit John's campaign to take back a seat in Congress from a Rubber Stamp Bush follower.

Pants On Fire

Bush says his intelligence is naive:

The war in Iraq has become a 'cause celebre' for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that probably will get worse before it gets better, federal intelligence analysts conclude in a report at odds with President Bush's portrayal of a world growing safer.

In the bleak report, declassified and released Tuesday on Bush's orders, the nation's most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaida, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach. [snip]

At a news conference, Bush said critics who believe the Iraq war has worsened terrorism are naive and mistaken, noting that al-Qaida and other groups have found inspiration to attack for more than a decade. "My judgment is, if we weren't in Iraq, they'd find some other excuse, because they have ambitions," he said.
Condi has some problems, too:
Hillary Rodham Clinton hit back at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday as the political fighting escalated over which president — Bill Clinton or George W. Bush — missed more opportunities to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks. [snip]

"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice said during a meeting with editors and reporters at the New York Post. [snip]

Rice also took exception to Clinton's statement that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for incoming officials when he left office.

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaida," she told the newspaper, which is owned by News Corp., the company that owns Fox News Channel.
And maybe memory loss:
A memo received by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shortly after becoming National Security Advisor in 2001 directly contradicts statements she made to reporters yesterday, "We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda," Rice told a reporter for the New York Post on Monday. [snip]

However, RAW STORY has found that just five days after President George W. Bush was sworn into office, a memo from counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke to Rice included the 2000 document, "Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects." This document devotes over 2 of its 13 pages of material to specifically addressing strategies for securing Pakistan's cooperation in airstrikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
And there‘s this:
Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking Dem on the House Intelligence Committee, called on the White House to release a second, previously publicly unknown national intelligence document that focuses solely on Iraq. Harman insisted there is a draft NIE that has not been revealed to the public.
And this:
Think Progress gives us the damning details of how Rice and her boss George Bush ignored Al Qaeda right before they killed 3,000 Americans.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

TV Reminder!

John and Elizabeth Edwards on Oprah tomorrow. Check your local listings.

Also, Al Franken will be on the Daily Show tomorrow night.



This entry has been updated at DSb2 on Wednesday 092706


Click on his picture to watch Keith Olbermann hand the NOXIOUS ONE HIS HEAD STUFFED IN HIS ASS!
You'll have to download it and watch it on your desktop, but YOU'LL WANT TO! Its clean. I scanned it.


All I'm saying is Keith Olbermann 2008!

Also posted at DSb2

Sue Kelly is Running Scared

Just runnin scared, feelin low
Runnin scared, you love him so
Just runnin scared, afraid to lose
If he came back which one would you choose

Is Rep. Sue Kelly running scared? It sure looks that way, Phil Reisman says
From the Journal News
By: Phil Reisman
Is Rep. Sue Kelly running scared? It sure looks that way.

The Bedford Republican has held the 19th Congressional District seat since 1994 and has never had a tough time getting re-elected.

But this year might be different.

Like many nervous Republican incumbents across the country, Kelly appears to be distancing herself from President George Bush. Although the House seat is not counted among the 40 considered vulnerable to Democratic takeover, Kelly's campaign is sending signals that would suggest that Bush's low approval ratings are as contagious as the plague. [more]

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bull In The Pottery Barn

US Report Says Iraq Fuels Terror

Source: BBC News

The New York Times newspaper has published what it says are the findings of a classified US intelligence paper on the effects of the Iraq war.

The document reportedly blames the three-year-old conflict for increasing the threat of terrorism and helping fuel Islamic radicalism worldwide. [...]

According to the New York Times, which has spoken to officials who have either read it, or been involved in drafting it, the report says the invasion and occupation of Iraq has spawned a new generation of Islamic radicalism that has spread across the globe.

It also warns that Islamic militants who have fought in Iraq could foment radicalism and violence when they return to their home countries, much as returning Jihadis did after the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Al-Qaeda threat

It reportedly concludes that, while al-Qaeda may have been weakened since the 11 September 2001 attacks, the radical Islamic movement worldwide has strengthened with the formation of new groups and cells who are inspired by Osama Bin Laden, but not under his direct control. [...]

In a series of recent speeches, President George W Bush has been portraying the war in Iraq as the central front in the war on terrorism. This report implies while that may be true, that it is a front of America's own making.

New York Times:

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat


Report Stirs Debate on Terror Fight

Other articles:

The Globe and Mail:
The report says the long, bloody war in Iraq, coupled with reports of U.S. atrocities and allegations of torture and ill-treatment at Guantanamo Bay and other prisons, has fomented Islamic radicalism. [snip] The latest report on the trend in Islamic extremism was apparently completed in April. Richard Holbrooke, formerly Mr. Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations, said it confirms what many have said for a long time -- that Iraq wasn't originally where the terrorists were.

"The 9/11 terrorists didn't come from Iraq, but Iraq has become a breeding ground for terrorists. It's increased anti-Americanism around the world. It's contributed to other crises. It's strengthened Iran," he said.

Guardian Co UK:
"It's a very candid assessment," said one official who has seen the report. "It's stating the obvious." [snip] The report's tone contradicts recent optimistic assertions by the US administration. It also furthers the divisions between the military and politicians in their assessment of the impact of US policy in Iraq.

I Crave Normal

And I thought about that a bit today. What is normal? To tell the truth, my normal is really that I want things my way. And I must admit that is incredibly selfish. So be it.

For instance, I found my ideal "normal" today when Bill Clinton told Chris Wallace off. I LOVED IT! I BASKED in it. I watched my recording three times, with relief and reassurance. I truly felt like, finally, we're getting to normal. Phew!

And I craved another normal today when I (as I tend to do) spent time keeping my husband company while he cares for his mom. It was a foreign experience. She had been napping for three or more hours. We tried to wake her up. It was not successful. Ken screamed. I screamed. Nothing.

Then I tapped Ken's arm (with the thought that many have reported the sleeping/coma-like are not deaf to what is going on in the room. I clasped my left wrist with my right -- a signal to tell Ken to check her pulse. He signaled with his hand to his chest (moving up and down) that she was breathing. He told me he checks her pulse a lot. Boy, was I scared.

We finally roused her. I felt he should get her to a hospital or something. She was disoriented. Probably said she needed to take her insuliin (she is diabetic) about ten times while falling in and out of sleep. She didn't know if it was night or day. I figured this was the end.

Ken kept needling her and insisting she remain awake. I told him to leave her alone (there are no instruction manuals for the journey to death). He pushed her to consume a small glass of OJ. She kept trying to wipe her mouth with a napkin that was not in her hand (she had dropped it but didn't know). Then Ken pushed her to drink a lot of water. She was clearly dehydrated.

She surely didn't know what was going on for the longest time. She couldn't even process the silly television program we were watching. By the time she had enough liquids and was served some supper, she seemed back to normal. I had a lucid conversation with her. But I was still freaked out.

I left about an hour later. Ken said he would see me "soon" (meaning his sister would arrive to relieve him). Well, silly me. I thought "soon" meant no more than an hour. It was THREE hours later that he came home. I was a wreck. I kind of figured my MIL had possibly died since I left. She hadn't. How was I to know?

Seems she was, mostly, dehydrated. I know what that can do to people since that happened to me when I gave birth to Brian. Ultimately, I needed transfusions because I didn't drink enough water (if only they explained it to me). My brother also was rushed to a hospital because he was dehydrated and making no sense and sleeping a lot. Not related to terminal illlness.

Soo, my MIL is still alive. Ken's brother talked to her doc about an appointment to check on meds and everything. Know what the doc said? "I don't want to see her." I couldn't believe it (but I could on other levels). Isn't there something called the hippocratic oath? But he is a quack. He has been since my FIL had prostate cancer LONG ago (before I had my kids -- who are 19 and 18). When my FIL was having chest pains (after the prostate issues), that quack told my FIL to take Mylenta for indigestion. When my FIL lost his appetite five years ago, the quack put him on antidepressants. After all his best friend had lung cancer -- he must be so depressed. But the man had pancreatic cancer! I get so angry sometimes.

If it were up to me, I would drop this doctor and take my MIL somewhere where people give a shit. But it's not up to me. All I can do is offer my opinion and . . . that's about it.

So, I'm looking for MY normal now. The one where we're not facing this without any help. The one where I don't have to worry so much -- but I do. And I'm trying to find a balance to support him while he's going through this. I really am. But I don't think he gets that I am going through something as well.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

John Hall Has Spirit

John greeting people along the parade route, and he supports Education
and promises to fund it properly.And here is a supporter of John Hall....

Democrats Go After GOP

Dems use Iraq report to attack GOP

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Democrats on Sunday seized on an intelligence assessment that said the Iraq war has increased the terrorist threat, saying it was further evidence that Americans should choose new leadership in the November elections.

The Democrats hoped the report would undermine the GOP's image as the party more capable of handing terrorism as the campaign enters its final six-week stretch.

Their criticisms came in a collection of statements sent to reporters Sunday amid the disclosure of a National Intelligence Estimate that concluded the war has helped create a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks. [...]

The report was completed in April and represented a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government, according to an intelligence official. The official, confirming accounts first published in Sunday's New York Times and Washington Post, spoke on condition of anonymity on Sunday because the report is classified.

"Unfortunately this report is just confirmation that the Bush administration's stay-the-course approach to the Iraq war has not just made the war more difficult and more deadly for our troops, but has also made the war on terror more dangerous for every American," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic effort to take control of the House.

"It's time for a new direction in this country," Emanuel, D-Ill., said in the statement.

"Press reports say our nation's intelligence services have confirmed that President Bush's repeated missteps in Iraq and his stubborn refusal to change course have made America less safe," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. "No election-year White House PR campaign can hide this truth." [...]

Democrats said Bush had misled people about Iraq's contribution to the terrorist threat.

"It is abundantly clear that we need a new direction in Iraq by strategically redeploying our troops to fight and win the real war on terror and make our country safer," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. "The American people know it and our military leaders do as well. It's only the Republican leaders who have their heads in the sand, stubbornly refusing to change course and making the war on terror harder to win."

Rep. Jane Harman, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and one of a few lawmakers to have read the classified report, said she agrees with the findings.

"Even capturing the remaining top al-Qaida leadership isn't going to prevent copycat cells, and it isn't going to change a failed policy in Iraq," she said. "This administration is trying to change the subject. I don't think voters are going to buy that."

In congressional races across the country, Democratic candidates used the report to attack their opponents and tie them to Bush's faltering strategy. In New York, for example, Democratic challenger Kirsten Gillibrand pointed to the report and said GOP Rep. John Sweeney "has supported President Bush 100 percent of the time on Iraq, refusing to ask tough questions or push for honest answers." [...]

Full article here.

"The World Is Beginning To Doubt" ...BEGINNING??

Where have you been, Colin?

Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Colin Powell is late.

Late by weeks, late by months. Truth to tell, late by years.

"The world," he wrote in a letter to Sen. John McCain last week, "is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

The eyes goggle at the word, neon obvious in its understatement. Beginning to doubt? "Beginning"?

Au contraire. Surely the world began to doubt when we barreled unilaterally into Iraq, crying "WMD! WMD!" Surely, the world began to doubt when, finding no WMD, we declared that not finding WMD didn't matter. Surely, the world began to doubt when it read headlines of our soldiers committing acts of torture at Abu Ghraib. Surely, the world began to doubt when news broke of the U.S. sending alleged terrorists to countries where they could be tortured by interrogators. Surely, the world began to doubt when Dick Cheney lobbied to exempt the CIA from rules prohibiting torture. Surely, the world has doubted for a long time now.

Powell's letter was meant as a show of support for a group of dissident GOP senators on the Armed Services Committee — McCain, John Warner, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins — who joined Democrats in rebuffing a White House legislative attempt to reinterpret Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

The White House wanted to allow the use of torture in the interrogation of supposed terrorists, including a technique that simulates drowning. President Bush also wants to be able to try alleged terrorists without allowing them to see, much less rebut, the evidence against them — the very definition of a kangaroo court.

It's a mark of how far we have fallen since Sept. 11, 2001, that these things are even being discussed, much less, seriously. So, belated as it is, Powell's evocation of morality also feels, paradoxically, like the timeliest of reminders for a nation that has so obviously forgotten who and what it is supposed to be.

Before Sept. 11, this country whose moral authority much of the world is "beginning to doubt" was a nation whose moral authority inspired much of the world. Imperfect and even hypocritical as we often were, we were in many ways the world's moral policeman, the nation that held other nations accountable on issues of human rights. [...]

This, I think, is the line in the sand drawn by four GOP senators and the former secretary of state. A line that says, finally — beyond all politics and partisanship and manipulation and fear — enough.

I don't mean to minimize the threat terrorist fanatics pose to your life and mine. But vital as it is that our lives be protected, there are things that matter more. Meaning the essential character of our nation.

Experts say torture is an unreliable tool for interrogation; it often produces false confessions. But even if that were not the case, even if we had to choose between saving Americans and preserving America, it should be an easy call.

Kill me before you kill my country.

What's the Frequency, Democrats?

I am deeply troubled. Talk Left has a post up on the "Bad Compromise" that is well worth reading.

The compromise between three Republican senators and the Bush administration over language in legislation governing the interrogation and trial of detainees turned back the worst of the administration's intentions, but that is no reason for the bill to win the support of any Democrat -- or, for that matter, any Republican who cares about justice.
Jane at FDL is disgusted with her country.
I don’t know what happened to the country I grew up to belive in, but I don’t recognize it in this matter any more.
Mary at Daily Kos has the link to the numbers to contact Senators and Represenatives. She recommends that you contact all of them and tell them that this legislation:

1. takes away habeas corpus rights of the innocent people who have been rounded up by the military or CIA and shipped off to be tortured and imprisoned for years with no protections and no way to secure their release; and

2. allows for torture or violations of not only the Geneva Conventions, but the War Crimes Act, the torture conventions and allows the United States military, government, CIA or President to commit crimes against innocent people with no recourse.

Unsurprisingly Digby:
This means that while the Republicans are pretending to keep the Geneva Conventions intact and prohibiting torture and taking great credit for it, they have removed any means by which one could hold the US government accountable for failing to live up to those rules. Rights without remedies. In other words, the whole thing basically just legalized torture for any practical purpose --- and that means all of it, from forced enemas to waterboarding to the rack. What's a furriner gonna do about it? He's is specifically not allowed any judicial review of anything to do with his treament unless his US government torturers turn themselves in and ask their superiors to punish them.

This is it folks. There will be no judicial oversight of torture which means there is no way to enforce the law. The world will just have to trust George W. Bush to follow those laws based upon his superior morals and decency.

Update II: Here's the WaPo pretty much saying the same thing. This bill is an abomination.

This 'N That

Okay, I admit it. This graphic doesn't make sense. In fact, I usually try to be funny. But I googled for an image under "confused," and this was the closest I could get (after going through 25 pages). Oddly, most graphics under "confused" (when there are people in them) are male oriented. As a women's studies person, I could say more. But I genuinely adore the guys who post here and they don't deserve the ribbing :-)

I know nothing of politics today. I did some shopping for my MIL. I got a manicure (OMG! I love this place that I got to, but I got this new woman who beat the crap out of me -- in the form of a "massage"). I'm not letting her do my nails again! Oh, did I ever tell you about the sole male (owner, I think) of this shop? He did my nails last week, for the first time. OMG! He gives the best massage! I was SO close to that scene in "When Harry Met Sally," where Meg Ryan did her fake orgasm in the diner with Billy Crystal! Mine, however, would not have been fake! I felt like I was having an affair, LOL! Shame on me! I'm having him do my nails again next week ;-)

I've set my recorder to watch the Chris Wallace/Bill Clinton interview. I caught a clip of it tonight. Wowzer, Bill was REALLY PISSED. It shone through.

Tonight I watched Baba Wawa interview O'Lielly. This is not something I'm inclined to do, but I was curious. And that is where my "confused" heading stems from. Billy said that Clinton was a good president. Huh? He said that Rummy has to go. Huh? He said he feels sorry for Bush because Bush has made some mistakes. Oh, THERE'S the O'Lielly that I am familiar with! I don't know. It was just weird. (Oh, and for those who don't remember . . . Mike Wallace interviewed O'Leilly a year or so ago). Mike Wallace, FATHER of nutcase, Chris Wallace. I see a pattern here.

I also watched Leno interview Callista Flockhart (I really want to see this new show of hers). I gotta tell ya, she is dumber than a rock! I couldn't believe it. Leno was talking with her about toys she has for her son. He asked her if he likes Legos. She didn't KNOW WHAT LEGO's ARE!! Huh? Then Leno asked if the kid was into erector sets. Callista asks, "What? What is a Rector Set?" Leno made some stupid joke about how it's not a sexual (erection) thing. I'm sorry, but I don't know what planet she is from!

Finally, I went to my MIL's to prepare dinner for her and my husband. My MIL is terminal. My husband stays there on the weekends to care for her. His siblings carry the week-day shifts. WAY TOO LONG OF A STORY TO GET INTO HERE. But she seems to be doing decent (considering the fact they told us she had six weeks to live on July 20 and we're heading to October). So, I guess that's a good thing.

So what is going on with you and all of your lives?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Brian Keeler Blograiser!!

Blograiser for Brian Keeler!

When: Monday, September 25, 2006, 7:00 - 10:00 PM EST

Where: Prey NYC (Online and beyond) 4 West 22nd Street

I have adopted Brian as a candidate, as my NY district is solidly blue. Just like I have adopted Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hall and out of staters Ned Lamont, Zack Space and Larry Kissell. So, if you are looking for a progressive candidate that has integrity, progressive values and beliefs, Brian is your guy

We must change this horrible Republican administration from the bottom up, Town by Town, District by District, School Board by School Board, County by County and State by State. Please take a moment to check out with Brian stands for and, if you believe in the same things he does, please drop a couple of bucks here.

Important info here from Kos regarding the simultaneous coast-to-coast Kossack meetup to support the candidacy of the one true Netroots candidate, Brian Keeler (aka NYBri).

My three, political TV Alerts

The first is an interview with Bill Clinton by (*sswipe) Chris Wallace on Fox. It's supposed to air Sunday (morning?). I read the full transcript here:

Clinton really RIPS into Wallace about his line of questioning WRT Path to 9/11 and Clinton's efforts (or lack thereof) to get bin Laden. Clinton does not cowar in this line of questioning and further challenges Wallace on his own lack of posing similar questions/accusations (my term) to the Bush administration. It's a good read, and it will be interesting to see how Fox edits this for air.

Next, an interview with Pakistani Musharaf (sp) on 60 Minutes Sunday. Musharaf states Bush (and/or officials of the administration) threatened attack on Pakistan shortly after 9/11. I'll have to hear the whole thing, but I don't have a lot of doubts that this happened.

Finally, on Wednesday, John and Elizabeth Edwards are interviewed on Oprah Winfrey (air times vary across the country). I caught a preview today, and it looks like it will be quite interesting. Elizabeth talks about when the police came to her door to (I assume) tell her about the death of their son. She said she fell to the floor and really lost it. She also talks about her breast cancer experience. John chimes in on the timing of it along with the loss of the VP race. Looks like this is a full hour with the Edwards'. And I am kind of excited because I take this as a sign that Edwards is gearing up for a presidential run. I hope so! I sure like him. But I am willing to change favors should another (more winnable) candidate pops up.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Insult to Americans

Bush Insults Americans
by Still Linking Iraq to 9/11 Attacks

By Mike Sarafa, September 22, 2006

I arrived home on the evening of 9/11/06 to a speech on television by President George W. Bush, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers.

After tributes to the fallen heroes and courageous survivors of that day, the president launched into a disconnected and surreal defense of the war against Iraq.

"The United States could not risk the threat posed by Iraq after 9/11," the president said. He went on to defend the American attack on Iraq as essential to homeland security.

The argument carried some water in the aftermath of 9/11, but the president's continued insistence, in the face of contrary evidence, that Iraq was connected to the 9/11 attacks is difficult to swallow. The president's constant revisionism five years after the fact -- and after the facts are even clearer -- is an insult to Americans. [...]

But five years later, we know better. Everyone knows better except, it seems, the president, his people, and the talking heads who carry the Bush administration's load in the media. [...]

And for what? At what cost in human lives and dollars? At what cost to American stature abroad? At what cost to the American economy and the stability of Iraq?

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann may have said it best: "How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love (after 9/11), and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion ... How dare you -- or those around you -- ever 'spin' 9/11?"

This war was predicated on a lie and for much of the past five years most Americans, including Chaldean Americans, bought into this lie. But the lie has been exposed.

Five years later, the war is a disaster. Five years later, the facts demonstrate that the hysteria over Iraq was a deliberate hoax played on the American people by the Bush administration. It was bought into by a weak Congress and propagated by a sycophantic media.

Full article here: Detroit Free Press

On the Lamont Front

I was on my way to Lamont HQ's tonight. I had stopped at a store. The rather young (but above majority) clerk notice my button "Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican." The gentleman (he really was) said he liked my button. Oh, it is affixed on the front of my purse strap. Then, he asked, "What do you think about Lieberman?" I just turned around so he could see my back where my "Women for Lamont, 2006) was also strapped to my purse strap. The clerk said, "Me too! I'm for Lamont." I told him I was headed to the HQ's right then. He said to tell Lamont that there are young people supporting him as well. I agreed and was happy to hear it. That was without telling him Lamont isn't at the HQ's (at least when I've been there). It would take too much time to explain, just as I felt it would take me too long to give him my detailed reasons why I hate Lieberman. I had to get to WORK to promote Ned's campaign. I didn't want to be late.

(BTW, you guys should check out the GQ article about the Lieberman/Lamont campaign over the summer. It's very good and telling insofar and Lieberman's dirty tricks. I'm too lazy to link right now, but you can find the link at It is a rather lengthy article, but it's worth taking the time to read it.

From my phonebanking experiences, I have concluded that about 80% of households are not home on Thursday nights. I wonder where they are or what they are doing. I don't get the same result on Tuesday nights. Hmmm.

Of those that are home, the majority of the unafilliated voters are still sitting on the fence (this conflicts with a recent poll). I was not warmly received (and I really kiss ass and remain objective) by the majority of those at home. We had one person who has been a Lamont supporter until today, when a new radio ad (I haven't heard and am still trying to procure) turned he and his coworkers decided to change to Lieberman. That is five votes lost, but we reported it to the staff. They pursued it immediately.

Many Dems and Inds commented they want the "fighting" between the candidates to stop. Fighting? I don't get that. But okay. I can see the general frustration with a heated contest.

Finally, I spoke with a registered DEM. Without explanation, she said she was going to vote repub (no one is interested in this guy and he is barely in the press and his number is something like 3%). Right or wrong, I assumed she said that because she's tired of the Lieberman/Lamont wars. I conveyed this to the volunteer caller sitting next to me. And he said he thought it was good she was voting repub. Initially, I was upset. But, with greater thought, he was right. I told him so. Voting for an unknown Repug cancels out the unaffilliated who vote for Joe because they don't like Ned -- if that makes sense.

Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I will go back and do more next week. I keep telling myself not to because it is not exactly rewarding. I still want Ned to win, and I don't think that I could live with myself if I just walk away.

That's my Ned update.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

NY-19 John Hall

From the John Hall Website:

John is challenging Rep. Sue Kelly to a series of five debates before Nov. 7 — one debate in each of the five counties of the 19th Congressional District.

"This year it’s absolutely crucial that voters know exactly where candidates stand on the issues," John said. "So let's bring the issues to the voters, in a series of planned debates around the district."

"There are profound differences between me and Sue Kelly on the issues, so presenting our ideas in open forums and giving the voters a chance to weigh those contrasts for themselves makes a lot of sense,” said John. "For instance, Sue has voted for the Iraq war and continues to support it; I'll work to bring home our troops right away. She's supported Bush's tax cuts for the rich; I think everybody should pay their fair share. She's taken more than $60,000 in campaign contributions from the big oil companies and repeatedly voted to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling; I've been fighting for environmental safeguards for over thirty years, and the only way I'd get a check from ExxonMobil would be if they mailed it to me by mistake."

As to when and where the debates should be held in each of the counties, John proposes that the Kelly campaign name the place and the time, and he will be there. Moderators for the debates can come from media organizations and civics groups. Or the debates can even be moderated by college and university students in the district. After all, as John said, "It's their future we’re concerned with."

Daily Kos has a post up about the DCCC snubbing John, but they state:
I've done 15+/- campaigns, and witnessed scores of others, and these guys [Hall Campaign] are the best, hands-down. I've NEVER seen a better-run operation than this. If you're not on the ground here, you are definitely missing this story.
I agree!!

Finally, for any older New Yorkers who are enrolled in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, tomorrow is the day you have all been dreading. I care about Seniors, here is proof.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

That's Unacceptable Thinking, Sir

Bloggermann, Sept. 18, 2006

The President of the United States owes this country an apology.

It will not be offered, of course. [...]

The President revealed this last Friday, as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.

The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that “the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.” [...]

“If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic,” Bush said. “It's just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.”

Of course it's acceptable to think that there's “any kind of comparison.”

And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary, even if Mr. Powell never made the comparison in his letter.

Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists.

Some will think that there is no similarity, or, if there is one, it is to the slightest and most unavoidable of degrees.

What all of us will agree on, is that we have the right -- we have the duty -- to think about the comparison.

And, most importantly, that the other guy, whose opinion about this we cannot fathom, has exactly the same right as we do: to think -- and say -- what his mind and his heart and his conscience tell him, is right.

All of us agree about that.

Except, it seems, this President.

With increasing rage, he and his administration have begun to tell us, we are not permitted to disagree with them, that we cannot be right, that Colin Powell cannot be right.

And then there was that one, most awful phrase.

In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years - the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark.

“It's unacceptable to think,
he said.

It is never unacceptable to think. [...]

There needs to be an apology from the President of the United States.

And more than one.

But, Mr. Bush, the others -- for warnings unheeded five years ago, for war unjustified four years ago, for battle unprepared three years ago -- they are not weighted with the urgency and necessity of this one. [...]

Oddly, there are other words of Voltaire's that are more pertinent still, just now.

“Think for yourselves, he wrote, “and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”

Apologize, sir, for even hinting at an America where a few have that privilege to think and the rest of us get yelled at by the President.

Anything else, Mr. Bush, is truly unacceptable.

* * *

Colin Powell explains why he publicly opposed Bush on torture: “If you just look at how we are perceived in the world ...”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Book Review

I highly recommend this book. Although I admit I was a bit disappointed in the beginning, which encompasses Kristen Breitweister's youth and the ever-persistent efforts by Ron (her future husband) to win her over in a span of four years. What bothered me, as a feminist, is how Kristen graduated from law school; married Ron; and proceeded to do nothing beyond decorating her home and laying out Ron's clothes every night AND adopting his beliefs (a real Reagan fan).

But the tragedy of her loss, and the aftermath of processing it, really transformed Kristen into an outspoken, independent thinker. In the beginning stages, Kristen wanted nothing to do with the 9/11 issues. She is (was?) quite shy. But another of the Jersey 4 (basically) FORCED Kristen to get involved. As a result, she became the stronghold behind the 9/11 Commission. And that was no easy feat -- as the administration placed myriad hurdles in front of the efforts. Kristen never let up with any of them.

And what makes things more interesting are the political roadblocks and partisan BS that comes along with that. Kristen clearly spells out how much our government KNEW before 9/11 that could have prevented the attacks. Further, she explains that COMMUNICATION between agencies was so thwarted that (for whatever reason) resulted in 9/11. What is more, we learn of the numerous scapegoats in the disaster.

What really makes this book so wonderful is how Kristen artfully weaves her personal tragedy with the politics of its outcome. You will shed tears as she walks you through with her discovery (via TV) of the first attack; her subequent phonecall from her husband; and her lengthy journey of denial to the day her dear friend pushed her to accept that Ron is gone (and they only had his left hand/arm to bury -- Kristen kept the salvaged wedding band of her husband).

On a side note, Kristen sang the praises of Tom Kean. I was quite surprised, given the latest role he had in that stupid 9/11 movie on ABC. I wonder if she still views him as non-partisan. Added BONUS: in the back of the book, Kristen has a letter that she wrote to Ann Coulter in response to Coulter's attacks. It's a very good read.

AWOL Soldier Claims Harrasment

EUGENE, Ore., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Eugene, Ore., Army specialist who claimed to have been sexually harassed could face prison time and a dishonorable discharge if convicted of desertion.

Spc. Suzanne Swift said she refused to be redeployed to Iraq after three alleged sexual offenses against her, including a coerced sexual relationship with a superior, during her first tour of duty in Iraq, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Swift told the Army of the offenses after she was arrested in June. The incident involving the sergeant who allegedly coerced her into a sexual relationship had already been verified and the sergeant left the military, but the Army was unable to verify two other incidents cited by Swift.

Swift was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a private therapist. However, the Army later said its evaluation found she had stress disorder symptoms but not the whole disorder.

The Army is deciding whether to go forward with a court-martial against Swift.

The case has gained attention from anti-war and women's groups, who have circulated petitions and protested on Swift's behalf near her base at Fort Lewis, outside Tacoma, Wash.

UPI Story

Exclusive interview with Ms. Swift

A site to learn more and take partake in action

Monday, September 18, 2006

Shut up, Nancy Grace

CNN's Grace out of line in Duckett case

by Lauren Ritchie, Orlando Sentinel

Shut up, Nancy Grace.

Every time the CNN Headline News host implies that Melinda Duckett is guilty in the disappearance of her son, she grinds the sorrow and the uncertainty deeper into the souls of that late young woman's parents.

By her exaggerated emotion and her accusations -- made without a shred of evidence against the Leesburg mother who killed herself Sept. 8 -- Grace has won for herself a few minutes of extra fame. How nice for her.

But considering that the 47-year-old supposed newswoman is neither a Lake County jury nor God, perhaps she should quit living out her prosecutor fantasies and go quietly back to whatever alternate reality she came from. She needn't worry that anyone who lives a normal existence will forget her despicable behavior.

Grace was far out of line when she flipped out two weeks ago during an interview with Duckett, 21, who had told police Aug. 27 that her son Trenton was snatched from his bed while he slept. Grace began pounding her desk and demanding of Duckett, "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"

But she really went over the edge after Duckett took her life the day after the taping. Grace began opining that "guilt made Melinda Duckett commit suicide."

In the days that have followed, Grace has sought to explain her behavior by turning public discussion to the question of whether the young mother was behind her 2-year-old son's disappearance.

This is not the issue.

The real issue is Grace's bizarre behavior and why her employer allows her to run wild.

Leesburg police didn't hire CNN to solve the case. Nobody asked Grace to prosecute Melinda Duckett. The nastiness she pulled with Duckett, who shot herself before the interview aired, seems to be just the former prosecutor indulging in histrionics that never would be tolerated in court. [snip]

If you find Grace as vile as I do, then let's show her in the only way she understands. Pick up the remote and turn Nancy Grace off forever.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Vigils and Rallies for Darfur Peace


Cambodian students light candles as they hold candlelight vigil at a mosque to remember Darfur victims in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006. Cambodia, still haunted by memories of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime's rule in which nearly 2 million were killed in the late 1970s, joined a global rally Sunday to call for an end to violence in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan.
(AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Yahoo: Activists around the world focus on Darfur

BBC: World rallies for peace in Darfur

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Where do I begin?

I have been so very amiss in posting and absent from this blog and have missed everyone so much. The good news is that I am taking this weekend off to spend it with my family. My husband has been so great these passed 4 weeks, without his support and help I would not have been able to spend all my time at HQ.

My children missed me dearly, so this weekend is dedicated to them. Now to get the groceries put away.

But do check out the article by Harvey Wasserman at Common Dreams titled "Will Anti-Nuker John Hall Rock Congress?"

I say YES!

FIGHTING FORCES - Coaxing the unwilling

US military recruiting in 2006 has been marked by upbeat pronouncements from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, claims of success by the White House, propaganda releases by the Pentagon, and a spate of recent press reports touting the way the military has made its wo/manpower goals. But the US armed forces have only met with success through a fundamental "transformation", and not the transformation of the military - that "co-evolution of concepts, processes, organizations and technology" - Rumsfeld is always talking about, either.

While the secretary of defense's long-standing goal of transforming the planet's most powerful military into its highest-tech, most agile, most futuristic fighting force has, in the words of the Washington Post's David Von Drehle, "melted away", the very makeup of the armed forces has been mutating before our collective eyes under the pressure of the war in Iraq. This actual transformation has been reported, but only in scattered articles on the new recruitment landscape in the United States.

Last year, despite NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), professional bull-riding and Arena Football sponsorships; popular video games that doubled as recruiting tools; television commercials dripping with seductive scenes of military glory; a "joint marketing communications and market research and studies" program actively engaged in measures to target for military service Hispanics, dropouts and those with criminal records; and at least US$16,000 in promotional costs for each soldier it managed to sign up, the US military failed to meet its recruiting goals.

This year, those methods have been pumped up and taken over the top in 12 critical areas of recruitment that make the old army ad-line "Be all that you can be" into material for late-night TV punch lines of the future.

Link to article

Friday, September 15, 2006

Flawed Logic

Bush Fights GOP Revolt Over Terror Bill

President Bush fought back Friday against a Republican revolt in the Senate over tough anti-terror legislation and rejected warnings that the United States had lost the high moral ground to adversaries. "It's flawed logic," he snapped.

Bush urged lawmakers to quickly approve legislation authorizing military tribunals and harsh interrogations of terror suspects in order to shield U.S. personnel from being prosecuted for war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, which set international standards for the treatment of prisoners of war. [...]

Seven weeks before the November elections, the dispute left Republicans fighting among themselves — rather than with Democrats — about national security issues that have been a winning theme for the GOP in past elections. [...]

"If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic," Bush said. "It's just — I simply can't accept that." [...]

Bush said the Geneva Convention's ban was "very vague" and required clarification. "What does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity?' That's a statement that is wide open to interpretation."

* * *

The United States is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. Geneva Convention III, adopted Aug. 12, 1949, prohibits mistreatment of prisoners of war, and Geneva Convention IV, also adopted Aug. 12, 1949, protects civilian populations in times of war.

In 1994, the U.S. also adopted the U.N.
Convention against Torture, which defines torture as "any act by which severe pain, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted" to gain information, extract a confession, or as punishment. In addition, it requires state signatories to prevent acts of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture."
* * *

U.S. Army Bans Torture Of Prisoners

New Manual Prohibits Forced Nakedness, Starvation And 'Water Boarding'
* * *

Tortured logic...

'THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT TORTURE," President Bush said last week. It can, however, make use of what he euphemistically called "an alternative set of procedures" for eliciting information from prisoners suspected of being terrorists.

The difference between torture and these "alternative procedures" seems to be who's conducting the interrogation and where it takes place. If it's the CIA and it's overseas, they're permissible alternative procedures. Anywhere else, they're not allowed. This kind of legalistic legerdemain doesn't just expose the weakness of the administration's argument, it does a real disservice to U.S. foreign policy and all those serving overseas.

The administration characteristically refused to provide details about its methods. But experts on interrogation suspect that these alternative procedures could include subjecting prisoners to extreme temperatures and "waterboarding," in which a prisoner is strapped to a board and put in fear of drowning if he doesn't confess.

Such techniques seem to qualify as "humiliating and degrading treatment" prohibited by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention
(Update: see comments for more info), which protects so-called enemy combatants, at least according to the Supreme Court. That's also the military's view. The new Army field manual, rooted in Article 3, prohibits extreme interrogation tactics such as waterboarding and conducting mock executions.

The administration, apparently untroubled by this disagreement, is now asking Congress to declare that detainees who claim violations of the Geneva Convention may not have their day in court. The administration also wants to amend the 1996 War Crimes Act, which makes violation of the Geneva Convention illegal under U.S. law.

* * *

Brutal details...

The Shy Detainee

On Dec. 5, one day after Mr. Habibullah died, Mr. Dilawar arrived at Bagram. [...]

Mr. Dilawar was a frail man, standing only 5 feet 9 inches and weighing 122 pounds. But at Bagram, he was quickly labeled one of the "noncompliant" ones.

When one of the First Platoon M.P.'s, Specialist Corey E. Jones, was sent to Mr. Dilawar's cell to give him some water, he said the prisoner spit in his face and started kicking him. Specialist Jones responded, he said, with a couple of knee strikes to the leg of the shackled man.[...]

"He screamed out, 'Allah! Allah! Allah!' and my first reaction was that he was crying out to his god," Specialist Jones said to investigators. "Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny." [...]

It became a kind of running joke, and people kept showing up to give this detainee a common peroneal strike just to hear him scream out 'Allah,' " he said. "It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes." [...]

On Dec. 8, Mr. Dilawar was taken for his fourth interrogation. It quickly turned hostile. [...]

The Post-Mortem

The findings of Mr. Dilawar's autopsy were succinct. He had had some coronary artery disease, the medical examiner reported, but what caused his heart to fail was "blunt force injuries to the lower extremities." Similar injuries contributed to Mr. Habibullah's death.

One of the coroners later translated the assessment at a pre-trial hearing for Specialist Brand, saying the tissue in the young man's legs "had basically been pulpified."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Heads Up News

This article won't surprise most of us, but finding out that we were right doesn't change what's happening and maybe it explains why 1/2 of the population just doesn't get it.

Media ownership study ordered destroyed
FCC draft suggested fewer owners would hurt local TV coverage

The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says.

The report, written in 2004, came to light during the Senate confirmation hearing for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. received a copy of the report "indirectly from someone within the FCC who believed the information should be made public," according to Boxer spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.

(Note: In June of 2006, the FCC announced the start of a new review of media ownership, including a "series of public hearings on media ownership issues at diverse locations across the nation". That review is still ongoing.)

'Every last piece' destroyed
Adam Candeub, now a law professor at Michigan State University, said senior managers at the agency ordered that "every last piece" of the report be destroyed. "The whole project was just stopped - end of discussion," he said. Candeub was a lawyer in the FCC's Media Bureau at the time the report was written and communicated frequently with its authors, he said.

In a letter sent to Martin Wednesday, Boxer said she was "dismayed that this report, which was done at taxpayer expense more than two years ago, and which concluded that localism is beneficial to the public, was shoved in a drawer."

Martin said he was not aware of the existence of the report, nor was his staff. His office indicated it had not received Boxer's letter as of midafternoon Thursday.

Local ownership benefits
In the letter, Boxer asked whether any other commissioners "past or present" knew of the report's existence and why it was never made public. She also asked whether it was "shelved because the outcome was not to the liking of some of the commissioners and/or any outside powerful interests?"

The report, written by two economists in the FCC's Media Bureau, analyzed a database of 4,078 individual news stories broadcast in 1998. The broadcasts were obtained from Danilo Yanich, a professor and researcher at the University of Delaware, and were originally gathered by the Pew Foundation's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The analysis showed local ownership of television stations adds almost five and one-half minutes of total news to broadcasts and more than three minutes of "on-location" news. The conclusion is at odds with FCC arguments made when it voted in 2003 to increase the number of television stations a company could own in a single market. It was part of a broader decision liberalizing ownership rules.

Community responsiveness
At that time, the agency pointed to evidence that "commonly owned television stations are more likely to carry local news than other stations."

When considering whether to loosen rules on media ownership, the agency is required to examine the impact on localism, competition and diversity. The FCC generally defines localism as the level of responsiveness of a station to the needs of its community.

The 2003 action sparked a backlash among the public and within Congress. In June 2004, a federal appeals court rejected the agency's reasoning on most of the rules and ordered it to try again. The debate has since been reopened, and the FCC has scheduled a public hearing on the matter in Los Angeles on Oct. 3.

The report was begun after then-Chairman Michael Powell ordered the creation of a task force to study localism in broadcasting in August of 2003. Powell stepped down from the commission and was replaced by Martin in March 2005. Powell did not return a call seeking comment.

The authors of the report, Keith Brown and Peter Alexander, both declined to comment. Brown has left public service while Alexander is still at the FCC. Yanich confirmed the two men were the authors. Both have written extensively on media and telecommunications policy.

Yanich said the report was "extremely well done. It should have helped to inform policy."

Boxer's office said if she does not receive adequate answers to her questions, she will push for an investigation by the FCC inspector general.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Ride to Victory

John Hall's Campaign was staffed by some amazing people. Above is a pix of our Campaign Manager, Amy Little. I would just like to take this moment to thank them. It has been one amazing ride these last few weeks and I have learned so much. The outpour of volunteers makes my heart feel so good today. Without their help we would not have been able to get John Hall selected as the Democratic Candidate for the 19th District.

Jonathan, our Volunteer Coordinator

Aviva and Josh tallying the returns

Marty the Captain of Visibility yesterday

Darcy our Field Director and Tate, Our Tech Guy,
who by the way announced last night that his wife is expecting twins.

Ariel and Mike, 2 Interns that put their heart and soul into this campaign.

Last Night at the Marriot - Our Victory

John Hall Declares Victory!

...He was carried over the finish line in yesterday’s four-way party primary by a robust, grassroots organization made up of some of his party’s most fervent activists.

“All across the United States in rooms like this, Democrats are gathering along with Independents and Republicans,” Hall said. “They’ve been looking at what’s going on in this country for the last five-and-a-half years and decided they’ve had enough.”

Hat-tip: DeLLBerto


Also see at John Hall for Victory!


UPDATE: You can catch John this evening (Sept. 13) at
FireDogLake for a Blograiser.

h/t: Tracy Joan

My first day of Lamont School

Well, that's what I call it anyways. I did some work for the campaign in the spring, but that was really independent. I barely met one person from the campaign, and then I was on my own. That's why I call this my first day.

I'm sure many would find this strange, but I was REALLY nervous! I knew that all I had to do was make phone calls for the campaign. But even in that, I was lacking confidence. I must say that Matthew told me he felt that way the first time he did phone banking, but he was ONLY 15!!

Anyway, I get into the office and I just tell the guy (who was to train me) that I was nervous. "After all, I haven't been in the workplace of any kind in 19 years." He was fine with it. THEN he starts talking to me about this new commercial they are shooting over the weekend. It was going to touch on several issues. He went over them with me and asked if they had anything to do with my personal situation. They didn't. Besides, I totally freaked out (internally). No way in HELL is anyone going to get me to speak in front of a camera. It's so not me! But I did happen to notice that our Pam B was signed up. She's not the timid type ;-)

That topic finally closes, and the guy took me to a side room to train me. I was still really nervous. A strange, side thing happened. One of the people in that room (all making calls to unaffilliated voters) is someone I recently had a falling out with. It was incredibly awkward. It did nothing for my nerves. It seems that we BOTH pretended we didn't notice each other. But I'm quite sure she noticed me and/or my distinct voice as much as I noticed her.

Anyway, the training guy sat me down with the instructions. I was shakey. I really didn't know if I could do it. Then another new volunteer came in, and my training guy was going to go over it with him. I told the training guy I wanted to listen to it again. I did. GAWD, sometimes I feel like such a weenie!

Finally, I made my first few calls. I was fumbling over my words. Screwing up. Could barely cross on my checklist because my hand was also shaking. I'm telling you folks, this is what happens when you've been a housewife for too long! Then something happened. I made another call, and the confidence kicked in. I followed the script, "Hello, may I speak with X, please." The person on the other end (when I was lucky) said, "Speaking." I said, "Hello, this is Rose. I'm calling from Democratic headquarters. I'd like to ask you to answer two brief questions."

Depending on the person's response, I'd proceed. "Who would you vote for in November, Lieberman or Lamont?" I'd record the response and follow-up with, "What influenced your decision?" Simple, no? Yes!! I'd just write down the answers (well, it was a checklist so there weren't random choices).

There are all kinds of strange things that happen with this phone banking. Some peoople get REALLY angry. I called for an adult offpsring living with his parents. His mother answered the phone. When I told her I was calling from Democratic headquarters, she became angry. She asserted her son was unaffilliated. I said that I understood that and I didn't want to influence his position on anything. She said, "Then don't, and don't ever call here again."

"okay. Thank you for your time."

Called another 21 year old living with mom. He said he was going to vote for Lieberman. I asked what affected his decision. He said he didn't like Lamont's negative campaign strategies. "Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions. Good-bye." Huh? What negative campaign strategies was he talking about? I so wanted to ask, but I couldn't.

Then there was the call to the 32 year old male living with his parents. His father answered the phone. He father hesitated, wanting to know what I was calling about. Again, I explained I was calling from Dem hdqtrs and had some questions for him. Dad says, "Well, this is a 'different' situation. Our son votes, but he votes with us." I can't quite explain it, but it seems dad was trying to tell me (without telling me) that his son is mentally handicapped in some way.

Two parents of voting age males summoned their sons after I told them who I was. Mysteriously, those calls were disconnected without contact. Two women were upset that I called because they were busy "canning." Another woman was upset because she was busy on the computer and she didn't have the time.

This stuff didn't upset me. I found it rather interesting to see what it is like to be on the delivering end of those annoying phone calls that disrupt all of our lives. After all, I've received some calls from the Lieberman camp. I can't say that I've been exactly nice about them. It really isn't fair to the poor schmucks who are just doing their jobs.

What I really gained from this experience (besides an awesome lawn sign) is a sense of confidence and ability I didn't hold before. I think this will only serve me better in my employment pursuits. I'm volunteering again on Thursday this week and Thursday next week. It's pretty easy work.

And it really helped that I talked with Matthew about it before-hand. He told me that when you are phone banking that you may feel like it doesn't matter. "But," Mom, "You don't get to see the big picture of the difference [phone banking] it makes. At the the higher level [that he was at for Malloy], it all comes together. It's a big deal."

Thanks, Matthew. That puts it all into perspective.

ENTRY #950 At Night Bird's Fountain

9/11 To Me, The Lay Person

Cyn's entry HERE & HERE prompted this. I started a comment as a response, started typing and just kept on typing as I thought about it (not in one sitting- my back doesn't allow such things), so I decided to re-structure it a bit and make an entry response.

So, thanks for sharing that Cyn. You got me started. If they have NOTHING to hide, why are they hiding EVERYTHING?

And Cyn, the troll glorious that hit you over there is part of the blind followers in this once united nation. glorious supports the removal of his/her own rights. If so much wasn't at stake, glorious would be someone to pity. As it is, glorious is someone to be written off and ignored.

One thing's for sure; the bush regime will be milking 9/11 for the next couple of months- at least until the elections. THEY'VE BEEN MILKING THIS TRAGEDY FOR FIVE YEARS NOW, rolling it out from time to time for political gain or when approval polls are sagging (in the mid 30s% for 8 months in a row now).

In 1998, the PNAC wrote about how America needs to build up our military so that we can take over the oil in Iraq, Iran and then Syria. Once America controls the oil the USA will have world domination. In order to build up the military there needs to be a new Pearl Harbor."
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor. pg 51

Like his father, Bush tries to keep a daily diary of his thoughts and observations. That night, he dictated "The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today."

The SOURCE of the above is HERE. As far as I'm concerned, coupled with the FACT that bush planned to invade Iraq before the coup of 2000- TWO YEARS BEFORE 09/11/01, THAT'S ENOUGH RIGHT THERE. I'm not an attorney however, but sometimes I wish I would have been. I'm not cooperative enough with the enemy I guess; not much of a wheeler-dealer when a conviction is at stake, so I'm sure I would've been a poor one (financially anyway). :)

Here are a few questions I think need to be asked and a response, EVEN a LIE, needs to be pressed for. Why do I say that? Because a LIE with more than one person involved can be found out- can lead to the truth with the right investigator.

1) Why was bush allowed to go into that classroom AFTER the first tower was hit? Yes, they knew before he went in! So why, at 9:03 a.m.—fifteen minutes after it was clear the United States was under terrorist attack—did President Bush sit down with a classroom of second-graders and begin a 20-minute pre-planned photo op? No one knows the answer to that question. In fact, no one has even asked Bush about it. Regardless of when he knew, HE DEFINITELY KNEW BEFORE HE ENTERED THE CLASSROOM, just ask US Navy Captain Deborah Loewer, the director of the White House Situation Room.
In fact, bush has slipped up and said three times now that he knew before he was informed by Captain Loewer- that he watched the first plane hit on TV- from his limousine. THE FIRST PLANE HIT WASN'T ON TV. Oh that was just a memory lapse...three times? In three different years? BS. Closed circuit?

a) How did his "handlers" know that he wasn't a target that day?
b) How did they know the children were safe?
c) And if they didn't, isn't that gross incompetence?

2)Why were U.S. jet fighters ordered to stand down? All they do is train for a situation like that. One finally happens and THEY DO NOTHING. I'm not convinced that CINC NORAD, General Eberhardt was at fault. Its my belief that he was ordered to stand down. I can think of no other plausible explanation. To my knowlege, General Eberhardt has never had to "fall on the sword", so there you go.

3)Why were the bin Ladens and affiliates "secretly" flown out of Florida on September 12, 2001? The entire country was under a "no fly law" for three days.

a)Whom did the Saudis call to request government approval of the flights?

b)Who in the government coordinated approval of the flights?

c)Did the FBI receive any communications from the White House about the urgency of permitting these individuals to leave the country?

d)Did any Justice Department or FBI officials express reservations or objections to the decisions?

4)Why was there not even one speck of airplane wreckage at the Pentagon? And why was the hole (from the impact) only a few feet wide?

5)Why did the FAA destroy ALL of their tapes from the morning of 9/11/01? I BELIEVE THAT'S CALLED EVIDENCE!

The 9/11 tragedy that bush has continually used as a distraction and/or for political gain is totally and completely ABSURD! Only an idiot would believe any of the official story. bush's seizing upon the emotions of this nation's people for fearmongering and, in his own words, "to catapult the propaganda" is disgusting. ITS NOTHING MORE THAN A GREAT (bush created) OPPORTUNITY FOR AN ENDLESS WAR ON TERROR (again bush created)!

He must be smiling (between the frequent temper tantrums) behind closed doors in the White House.

We all know one thing. The chain of command ENDS at george duh-bya bush.

If you want to make an informed decision it really is difficult because they have tried their best to cover everything up. The problem with this, for them, is that there are just too many people involved. And people slip up sometimes. People "paint themselves into a corner" sometimes. And then sometimes there are people who find out things they shouldn't.

That's why the boyking refused to testify to the commission under oath. That's why his handlers knew that he'd need a "puppy eater" by his side and sent his Uncle Dick with him. That's why Sibel Edmonds was gagged. That's why Stanley Hilton's lawsuit was thrown out of court and I quote the court here:
"a sitting president and his cabinet officers are immune from any civil lawsuits for any acts done in office." And let's not forget David Kelly. Or the Downing Street memo.

This site has culled quite an extensive indictment on the whole thing and they've used public testimony, public facts and mainstream media to deliver it. You can bookmark it, pick & choose & refer to it any time. I know I've learned a lot by just looking at a small portion of what's available. And to be honest here, my questions above aren't really questions as far as I'm concerned. I'm pretty sure I know enough of the real 9/11 story to make my own decisions about what really happened.

Mirror entry at DSb2

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

John Hall for Congress (NY-19)

Today is Primary Day...and I am hoping that all our grassroots work brings about a win for the 19th District in New York. John Hall is the Democratic Candidate who has the support of many of our County Democratic Committees as well as the AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, 1199 SEIU, NYSUT, CWA, Mid-Hudson Progressive Alliance.

John has also been endorsed by the Honorable Maurice Hinchey and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


All rights reserved.
Disclaimer And Comment Policy