Thursday, May 19, 2005

Even more Galloway

The paragraphs quoted below are from Counter Punch, "An Open Letter to Democrats Listen to Galloway and Learn Something" By Stan Goff. (which I found via Wolcott's link)

George Galloway did that for which you (Democratic elected officials) have proven incapable; he spoke as an opposition. Since there seems to be a great dark space in the middle of your heads where the notion of opposition should be ­ a void filled by parliamentary molasses and the pusillanimous inabilty to tell simple truths ­ I suggest you all review the recordings of Galloway's confrontation with Republican Senator Norm "Twit" Coleman to see exactly how effortless it is to stand up to these cheap political bullies (watch the video). While you are at it, you can watch your colleague Carl Levin demonstrate exactly what I mean about most of you and your party, as he alternately hurls petulant cream-puff insults at Galloway and kisses Coleman's stunned, clueless ass to give that toothy dipshit some comfort in the wake of Galloway's verbal drubbing.

Galloway didn't have to walk up to the docket and slap the cowboy shit out of Coleman ­ though I admit I still struggle with my own secret urges to do just that with most of the air-brushed, combed-over, Stepford meat-puppets who now people the United States Congress. No, all Galloway had to do was tell the unvarnished truth, and it had exactly the same effect. If Democrats had half the spine that Galloway does if you would stop chasing your creepy little careers through the caviar and chicken-salad circuits of duck-and-cover American political double-speak, then not only would people like me not be calling for all to abandon the Democratic Party and take their fight to the streets like good Bolivians not only that, but you'd have won the last election.

There's more and it's really good and nasty.

Filibuster falsehoods

Media Matters "The top ten filibuster falsehoods" has been posted and linked to far and wide. Essentially Media Matters points out that every stated reason to eliminate filibusters is a lie. Media Matters provides ample support for each of the ten. But in case you missed them, they are here.

Galloway, one more time

Few speak publicly about what's "going on" and fewer still have the courage to speak truthfully to American power. That's what makes Galloway's Wednesday tongue-lashing of the Senators, Coleman in particular, so special. I can only imagine how dumbfounded Senator Coleman must have been. I've been savoring it for days. I found a transcript here and quote the paragraphs from the site linked.

Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life’s blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

“Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

Lost but not found

I found these quotes in an Al Franken column, here, by way of Atrios.
Meanwhile, the Coalition Provisional Authority, which we ran, has lost 8.8 billion dollars. By lost, I mean it’s totally unaccounted for. Not only has Congress not "looked into" this $8.8 billion and who might have it now, but it seems that some members are completely unaware that this staggering sum, which was supposed to go toward rebuilding Iraq, is missing. The Sunday morning after the White House Correspondents dinner, I ran into Senator George Allen at a brunch thrown by John McLaughlin and his wife. Allen had never heard of the missing $8.8 billion, or at least that's what he told me. And he's on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

At the end of the column Franken asks “What in God’s name is going on?” Indeed.

The Franken column is linked to and backed up by this January AP story posted on the Forbes page:
Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq
01.30.2005, 07:41 PM

The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Not everyone believes that vital natural resources are owned by multi national corporations, no matter what is written in the deeds and contracts.

There are three versions of this story linked on the Energy Bulletin. One from the NY Times, one from the Christian Science Monitor and the one linked below from which I copied these two paragraphs. It's interesting to compare the three versions.

Bolivia erupts

At around 8:00 am on Monday morning, massive crowds of mostly poor indigenous Bolivians gathered on the cusp of a mountainside that descends into the capital city of La Paz. They are residents of the massive shantytown of El Alto, located on the high plateau (the altiplano) that overlooks the valley which encompasses La Paz.

Workers in the massive informal sector, ex-miners "relocated" to the shantytown after privatization of the mines in 1985, the unemployed, recent migrants from the countryside pushed from their former livelihoods through the devastation of the agricultural economy in the high plateau, women in traditional indigenous dress with their unique bowler hats, shoe-shine boys, Trotskyist teachers, communists, socialists, indigenists, neighbourhood activists, populists, and others milling around in a jovial mood eating breakfast on the street, provided by women venders who have erected their food-stands along the opening path of the planned march for the nationalization of the country’s natural gas.

Sounds like fun,a little dance on the rubble of misery. Here's the links to places where this version of the story originated; places you might not ordinarily go.

New Socialist

(To ensure they are properly identified, I'm going to try putting the block quotes in italics)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bill Moyers

Here's a couple of paragraphs from Bill Moyers' Sunday address, "A democracy can die of too many lies,"at the National Conference for Media Reform as it appeared in Salon today.

....We're seeing unfold a contemporary example of the age-old ambition of power and ideology to squelch and punish journalists who tell the stories that make princes and priests uncomfortable.

...Who are they? I mean the people obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and intimidate. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class in a war to make sure Ahmed Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq's oil. I mean the people who turn faith-based initiatives into a slush fund and who encourage the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets. I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy.... Link

Reality Check

Sometimes there is just so much upsidedownness, so much inversion of truth and lie, black is white, white is black, that it is hard to remain clearheaded. You just about drown in crap. To help you stay on course here’s some reminders from today’s Altercation. There’s more and you should follow the link and read the rest.

...far more judges have been confirmed—both in real terms (and) as a percentage of those nominated under Bush than under Clinton and yet all of a sudden Republicans think the filibuster is a threat to democracy. And they don’t like the ethics committee now that Tom DeLay is Public Enemy Number One. And when our troops were fighting in Bosnia, the House Republicans could not even agree to pass a resolution in support of the troops. Put the wrong bumpersticker on your car now, and they’ll send a state trooper your way. (Or at the very least forcibly remove you from an official White House informational meeting on Social Security.)

And in an MSNBC story “British lawmaker blasts U.S. on Iraq allegations”, George Galloway defends himself forcefully. But what I liked is the quote below, from the article.

“I gave my heart and soul to stop you from committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq,” Galloway said. “And I told the world that the case for war was a pack of lies.” link

There are a few truths, largely ignored by the media, that need to be repeated over and over again. Here's the short list, reliable as Polaris to keep your bearings straight. Bush lied to get us into war. Both the 2000 and 2004 elections were blatantly stolen. Bush's tax cuts mainly benefited the ultra rich. Bush aims to destroy Social Security. There is no Social Security crisis.

And finally, via Kos this PEW poll

Pew. 5/11-15. MoE 4%. (March '05 results)

Bush approval ratings

Approve 43 (49)
Disapprove 50 (46)
Congressional Republicans
Approve 35 (39)
Disapprove 50 (44)
Congressional Democrats
Approve 39 (37)
Disapprove 41 (44)
By 37-28, respondents oppose eliminating the filibuster, though most aren't paying attention.

Brer Muslim?

Newsweek retraction stories are all over the place. Josh Marshall, Olbermann and Silber, for example.

It’s hard to feel bad for Newsweek, especially so for Isikoff. Isikoff "discovered the liaison between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and it was his reporting that led to impeachment proceedings against the president." Even Dan Rather is a more sympathetic victim of the same frighteningly effective Bushista censorship. Maybe having the Bush boot heel on the Newsweek necks, for repeating a frequently reported story about Koran abuse, will piss them off enough that they will find the courage to write the truth more often. Not likely.

As for me, if I were locked up in Guantanamo I’d prefer having them flush my books down the toilet to having them beat the shit out of me and hold my head underwater until I passed out.

To paraphrase Brer Rabbit: Please oh please don’t flush my books. Drown me. Beat me. Shock me. But please Brer Bush don’t flush my books.

Monday, May 16, 2005


I'm sure everybody knows that the NYT is beginning a series on Class in the U.S. Here's a quote from today's entry,
"Life at the Top in America Isn't Just Better, It's Longer".

Class informed everything from the circumstances of their heart attacks to the emergency care each received, the households they returned to and the jobs they hoped to resume. It shaped their understanding of their illness, the support they got from their families, their relationships with their doctors. It helped define their ability to change their lives and shaped their odds of getting better.

Class is a potent force in health and longevity in the United States. The more education and income people have, the less likely they are to have and die of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and many types of cancer. Upper-middle-class Americans live longer and in better health than middle-class Americans, who live longer and better than those at the bottom. And the gaps are widening, say people who have researched social factors in health.

All Aboard Liberals

Both Liberals and far Right leaders like Cheney know that we are heading for tough times. The ship is sinking. Liberals believe we should be working to find room in the lifeboat for everyone. Cheney believes there is not room enough for everyone and he wants to be sure he and his buddies get seats; not only seats, but comfortable seats in a boat with lots of room and other amenities.


The Bushistas manage to frighten another news outlet into changing the truth to benefit the regime.
Contrary to White House spin, the allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo published by Newsweek May 6 are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States, RAW STORY has learned.

Several former detainees at the Guantanamo and Bagram airbase prisons have reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Quran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it.


Here’s an interesting article, "U.S. places large bet on pipeline",
by Candace Rondeaux, that was picked up by The Energy Bulletin. It explains why we’re expanding our military presence in Azerbaijan.
NEW YORK - American-backed plans to build a nearly 1,100-mile-long oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean are about to go from what skeptics once called a "pipe dream" to a reality. One of the longest oil routes in the world, it's expected to pump 1 million barrels of oil a day by 2010.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

News From Elsewhere

51 House members call on Gonzales to appoint special counsel on alleged U.S. 'war crimes'. From The Raw Story.

USA plans to expand military presence in Azerbaijan, promises $100mil for Caspian guard. From the Energy Bulletin.