Saturday, March 29, 2008

5 Years!!!

Today marks my 5th year in the DESERT!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008


This is from today's Progress Report ... when I saw the video clip of Cheney saying "So" on the Daily Show the other night I started yelling at the TV ... he has the darkest heart of any human alive ... and when he was asked in another interview about the Troop deaths reaching 4000 he said they were all volunteers ... like that made it OK to die in this bullshit Iraq war:

ADMINISTRATION -- HAGEL SLAMS CHENEY'S CALLOUS IRAQ COMMENTS AS NOT 'OUT OF CHARACTER: Last week, Vice President Cheney made notorious comments exemplifying his distance from the situation on the ground in both Iraq and the United States. When asked about the sour public opinion on the war, he replied "So?" And when asked about 4,000 dead U.S. troops, he said, "The President carries the biggest burden, obviously." But in two interviews this week on NPR, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) ripped Cheney's callousness towards the public and the troops on the ground. Hagel told Dianne Rehm on Tuesday that he didn't think the "So?" comment "was out of character for the Vice President." On NPR's On Point on Wednesday, Hagel again went after Cheney, saying that his sense of Bush's "burden" in the war is ironic coming from a Vietnam draft dodger. "There is a credibility gap here, at least a little bit, with the Vice President, as far as I'm concerned," said Hagel. "Here's a guy who got five deferments during the Vietnam War, said publicly that didn't work into his plans." The public agrees with Hagel. A recent World Public Opinion poll found that 81 percent of Americans believe that when making "an important decision," government leaders "should pay attention to public opinion polls; 94 percent want this done 'in between elections.'"

Monday, March 24, 2008


Troops deaths in this lie of a war have reached 4000 ... the Iraqi War has entered it's 6th year this past week ... you just know that Bush & Co. don't give a shit about American deaths in Iraq or the cost of this war (and not acknowledging that it's destroying the American economy) ... when I see pictures or video of Dubya laughing it makes my blood boil!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five Years of War!!!

From today's Progress Report ... I'm leaving the house in a minute to go and protest at Mary Bono-Mack's (a very reliable rethugnican rubberstamp) Palm Springs office ... we're (Veterans for Peace + MoveOn, etc.) going to read the names and ages of all the Californians that have died in the past FIVE YEARS in this lie of a war:

Five Years Of War

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a preventative war of choice whose purpose, according to President Bush, was "to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger." Five years later, it is clear there were no weapons of mass destruction to disarm in Iraq and no grave danger from which to defend. In 2006, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluded that the war in Iraq had become "the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement" faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat. The 2007 NIE concluded that "al-Qaeda [had] reorganized to pre-9/11 strength," largely as a result of the United States turning its attention away from Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to focus on Iraq. Also, al Qaeda's association with insurgents in Iraq helped "energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and...recruit and indoctrinate operatives." Far from making the United States safer, the Iraq war has made the world much more dangerous.

A FAILED RECONSTRUCTION: A recent World Health Organization and Iraqi health ministry report estimated that 151,000 people were killed between the start of the invasion on March 20, 2003 and June 2006. In a March 17 report, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that millions of Iraqis are still deprived of clean water and medical care, describing Iraq's health care system as "now in worse shape than ever." Iraqis endure intense heat in the summer and freezing cold in the winter because of a lack of electricity, even though more than $6 billion, mostly in American money, has been devoted to improving supply. The New York Times reported that "typical daily peaks are around 4,500 megawatts." According to a recent report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, "that's only about 500 megawatts more than what it was shortly after the start of reconstruction five years ago -- before the completion of thousands of American-supported projects." Garbage collection is notoriously unreliable, with refuse often piling up "for days, sometimes weeks, emanating toxic fumes." In a new report, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees stated that, five years after the U.S.-led invasion, Iraqis are still fleeing in large numbers. Iraqis topped the list of asylum seekers in industrialized countries for the second year running, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total with 45,200 applications last year. "It is important to bear in mind, however, that Iraqi asylum seekers in industrialized countries represent only one percent of the estimated 4.5 million Iraqis uprooted by the conflict," the report said. Amnesty International reports that Iraq continues to be "one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with hundreds of Iraqi civilians killed every month."

A FAILING POLITICAL RECONCILIATION: In the latest blow against progress toward political accommodation between Iraq's ethnic and sectarian factions, a conference to reconcile Iraq's political groups began to unravel even before it got under way on Tuesday, as members of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front said "they would not participate in the conference until Shiite lawmakers address their political demands." The Shiite bloc led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and some smaller groups also boycotted the conference, revealing the deep and persistent divisions between and within Iraq's main sects. Over the past few months, several legislative accomplishments that were first seen as signs of progress turned out to be much less favorable on closer inspection, or were simply reversed. In January, a de-Baathification reform law, initially "billed as the first significant political step forward in Iraq after months of deadlock," was "riddled with loopholes and caveats to the point that some Sunni and Shiite officials say it could actually exclude more former Baathists than it lets back in." In February, the passage of a package of three laws (addressing amnesty for detainees, budget allocations, and provincial powers) was hailed by conservatives as a significant political advance. Days later, the provincial powers law was struck down by Iraq's three-member presidency council, breaching the compromise that had enabled the passage of the three laws.

WAR ARCHITECTS STILL IN DENIAL: The individuals who devised and supported the Iraq war still refuse to admit error. President Bush insists that the war was worth the "high cost in lives and treasure." On separate surprise visits to Iraq this week, Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) seemed oblivious to the tragedy that their policy had unleashed upon the people of Iraq. Cheney preposterously claimed that the Iraq war has been a "successful endeavor" and blithely "warned against losing the gains the surge has produced," even as Baghdad was again wracked by explosions. On the same day that a suicide bomber killed over forty people in the Shia shrine city of Kerbala, McCain repeated his mantra that "the surge is working." Here at home, the war architects frantically cast blame on each other, and even on the Iraqis themselves. American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar Richard Perle still maintains that invading Iraq was "the right decision," but blames Iraq proconsul L. Paul Bremer for "underestimat[ing] the task" of nation-building. Douglas Feith, the former director of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, has also blamed Bremer for "mishandling...the political transition" in Iraq. AEI analyst Danielle Pletka blamed the Iraqi people for not embracing the opportunity afforded them by the American invasion and occupation. Alas, Pletka laments, "there is no freedom gene."

A WAY FORWARD: The Iraq invasion has wrought a fractured, dysfunctional government, a disunified largely militia-controlled state closely allied with Iran to the east and in simmering conflict with Turkey to the north, an open-source training ground for terrorists and a cause around which global jihadists have rallied. American standing is at a low point in the Middle East and Arab world, with Arab democrats and reformers isolated and frustrated. It not enough to simply stay the course. The United States must reset its strategy by looking beyond the deteriorating situation in Iraq in order to counter the threat from global terrorist groups and ensure stability in the entire Middle East and Gulf region, using the credible promise of withdrawal from Iraq to encourage Iraqi leaders to come to a sustainable political accommodation. This is an essential first step in order to correct the tragic policy mistakes of the last years, of which the decision to invade Iraq is the most obvious and profound.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not So "Green"!!!

From AlterNet:

California's "Green" Governor's Love Affair with His Private Jet

By Bill Walker, Environmental Working Group
Posted on March 11, 2008

Sacramento's not such a bad place: The summer heat and lousy air quality are balanced by the outdoor recreational opportunities and an unpretentious, small-town feel. But if you're a international movie star used to the bright lights of Hollywood and you somehow get yourself elected governor of California, surely you can't be expected to actually live there.

The first governor to fit that description, Ronald Reagan, had nothing against Sacramento per se, but Nancy found the historic governor's mansion near the Capitol a dump. The state built a new residence in the suburbs that became a white elephant after Jerry Brown decided he preferred a mattress on the floor of a studio apartment.

Today we have Arnold Schwarzenegger, who at first toyed with the idea of buying a home and moving his family to Sacramento, then took up residence in a hotel penthouse across the street from his office. But he missed his kids in Brentwood, and he already had a private jet at his disposal, so of late he's been flying home at night and back in the morning. It's a three-hour round trip, not that extreme a commute in California today.

The governor pays for his jet-set commute from his own pocket -- more than half-a-million dollars a year. But wait? Isn't this the same Arnold Schwarzenegger who last year was featured on magazine covers as an environmental hero? The same one who flexed his muscles to lead California's fight against global warming? The one who must be aware of the vast amount of global-warming gases and air pollution his jet is spewing?

Yep, same guy. The Los Angeles Times' Evan Halper and Michael Rothfield broke the story last week:

The governor's Gulfstream jet does nearly as much damage to the environment in one hour as a small car does in a year, according to figures compiled by the Helium Report, an online publication for buyers of luxury items.

Administration officials say Schwarzenegger is well aware of this and makes amends by purchasing pollution credits for the carbon dioxide his jet releases. The credits fund efforts worldwide to reduce greenhouse gases, such as projects that harness energy from wind, landfill gas and farm waste, although they don't eliminate the pollution from Schwarzenegger's plane.

Flying the Gulfstream and other jets the governor uses costs as much as $10,000 an hour. Some conservationists say Schwarzenegger is essentially attempting to buy a clean conscience with the carbon offsets, which cost about $43 an hour.

He has been very bold on all these [environmental] initiatives, so it is sad to see him undercut that," said Denis Hayes, president of the Bullitt Foundation, a philanthropy that funds conservation efforts in Western states. "If you are going to be talking about an issue, you should be living the reality you are trying to embrace.

Don't get me started on pollution credits, but it's better than doing nothing. To be fair, Arnold shouldn't be singled out as the only climate hypocrite in government. Even the greenest members of Congress fly back to their home districts every weekend, and some members of the Legislature who live as far from Sacramento as the Bay Area drive back and forth every day, in state-supplied vehicles.

As someone who lived in the Big Tomato for a few years, back when it was hard to find an espresso, I know about the lure of I-80 or Southwest Airlines on Friday afternoon. If you've got your own jet, why not every day?

Here's why not: This governor has gone out on a limb to promote himself as a global warming warrior. It's a laudable stance that has genuinely helped move America toward a greener politics. This latest flap is a rare PR slipup for a master of the game, but it could make some Californians -- like, all of us who don't own a jet -- think twice about how well his walk matches his talk.

Bill Walker is a native Texan in exile in California, who runs the west coast office of Environmental Working Group.

© 2008 Environmental Working Group All rights reserved.View this story online at:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No Shit, Sherlock!!!

This is from today's Progress Report ... I wonder how much money they spent on this:

ADMINISTRATION -- PENTAGON REPORT CONFIRMS NO SADDAM LINK TO AL QAEDA: McClatchy reports that an "exhaustive" Pentagon-sponsored review of "more than 600,000 Iraqi documents" captured after the 2003 invasion "has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network." The full report, set to be released tomorrow, "was essentially completed last year and has been undergoing what one U.S. intelligence official described as a 'painful' declassification review." In September 2002, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that American intelligence had "bulletproof" evidence of links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Earlier that same week, then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice asserted that "there are some Al Qaeda personnel who found refuge in Baghdad." In fact, the Defense Department reported last April that interrogations of deposed Iraqi leaders showed that Hussein's government "did not cooperate" with al Qaeda. The Senate Intelligence Committee's September 2006 report revealed a 2005 CIA assessment declaring that prior to the war Saddam's government "did not have a relations, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward" al Qaeda leader Abu Musam al-Zarqawi and his associates.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Vermont ROCKS!!!

From today's Progress Report:

"Voters in two southern Vermont towns passed articles Tuesday calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney for violating the Constitution. More symbolic than substantive, the items sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere — if they’re not impeached first."