Monday, April 30, 2007

Gobal Terrorism increased 28%

Reproduced in full

Report says terror attacks up sharply

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer 13 minutes ago

Terrorist attacks worldwide shot up more than 25 percent last year, killing 40 percent more people than in 2005, particularly in Iraq where extremists used chemical weapons and suicide bombers to target crowds, the State Department said Monday.

Among countries, Iran remains the biggest supporter of terrorism, with elements of its government backing groups throughout the Middle East, notably in Iraq, giving material aid and guidance to Shiite insurgent groups that have attacked Sunnis, U.S. and Iraqi forces, it said.

In its annual global survey of terrorism, the department said 14,338 attacks took place in 2006, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, 3,185 more than in 2005 representing a 28.5 percent increase.

These strikes claimed a total of 20,498 lives, 13,340 of them in Iraq, 5,800 more, or a 40.2 percent increase, than last year, it said.

Despite the grim figures, State Department officials pointed to some successes in the war on terror, including improved counterterrorism cooperation with various nations and the thwarting of numerous plots, notably plans to down trans-Atlantic airliners.

"Serious challenges do remain, there's no question about that," said acting counterterrorism coordinator Frank Urbancic. "This is not the kind of war where you can measure success with conventional numbers. We cannot aspire to a single decisive battle that will break the enemy's back, nor can we hope for a signed peace accord to mark victory."

The report partly attributes the higher casualty figures to a 25 percent jump in the number of nonvehicular suicide bombings targeting large crowds. That overwhelmed a 12 percent dip in suicide attacks involving vehicles.

In Iraq, the use of chemical weapons, seen for the first time in a Nov. 23, 2006, attack in Sadr City, also "signaled a dangerous strategic shift in tactics," it said.

With the rise in fatalities, the number of injuries from terrorist attacks also rose, by 54 percent, between 2005 and 2006, and the number of wounded doubled in Iraq over the period, according to the department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2006.

The numbers were compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center and refer to deaths and injuries sustained by "noncombatants," with significant increases in attacks targeting children, educators and journalists.

"By far the largest number of reported terrorist incidents occurred in the Near East and South Asia," said the 335-page report, referring to the regions where Iraq and Afghanistan are located.

"These two regions also were the locations for 90 percent of all the 290 high-casualty attacks that killed 10 or more people," it said.

The report said 6,600, or 45 percent, of the attacks took place in Iraq, killing about 13,000 people, or 65 percent of the worldwide total of terrorist-related deaths in 2006. Kidnappings by terrorists soared 300 percent in Iraq over 2005.

Afghanistan had 749 strikes in 2006, a 50 percent rise from 2005 when 491 attacks were tallied, according to the report.

However, it also detailed a surge in Africa, where 65 percent more attacks, 420 compared to 253 in 2005, were counted last year, largely due to turmoil in or near Sudan, including Darfur, and Nigeria where oil facilities and workers have been targeted.

As in previous years, the 2006 report identified Iran as the "most active state sponsor" of terror, accusing the Islamic republic of helping plan and foment attacks to destabilize Iraq and derail Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard has been "linked to armor-piercing explosives that resulted in the deaths of coalition forces" and has helped, along with Lebanon's radical Hezbollah movement, train Iraqi extremists to build bombs, the report said.

Although the designation of Iran is not new, it appears in the report that is being released as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepares to attend a conference of Iraq's neighbors, at which she has not ruled out a meeting with Iran's foreign minister.

The report said that terrorists continue to rely mainly on conventional weapons in their attacks, but noted no let up in an alarming trend toward more sophisticated and better planned and coordinated strikes.

For instance, while the number of bombings increased by 30 percent between 2005 and 2006, the death tolls from these incidents rose by 39 percent and the number of injuries rose by 45 percent, it said.

The report attributed the higher casualty figures to a 25 percent jump in the number of non-vehicular suicide bombings targeting large crowds that more than made up for a slight 12 percent dip in suicide attacks involving vehicles.

Of the 58,000 people killed or wounded in terrorist attacks around the world in 2006, more than 50 percent were Muslims, the report, says with government officials, police and security guards accounting for a large proportion, the report said.

The number of child casualties from terrorist attacks soared by more than 80 percent between 2005 and 2006 to more than 1,800, while incidents involving educators were up more than 45 percent and those involving journalists up 20 percent, the report said.

Twenty-eight U.S. citizens were killed and 27 wounded in terrorist incidents in 2006, most of them in Iraq, where eight of the 12 Americans kidnapped by terrorists last year were taken captive, it said.

The Army Corps of Engineers. Are they lying?

After Katrina, the city of News Orleans was helpless. We all remember the expectations of horror and the reality of the horror.

No need to rehash that part of the past.

But, we expected steps to be taken. We were told steps were being taken. We were promised the right steps.

Instead, the culture of corruption triumphed over our humanity.

The government cut a deal with a Repuglican contractor for flood pumps. Pumps to push back the floods from the next storm, the next disaster, the next Katrina.

The Culture of Corruption installed defective pumps.

Read more details on how the Repuglican government lied about preventing the next human disasters.

We first covered this story in March. See that post here.

Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice

The Secretary of State, Crocodile Rice, never smiles with her eyes, cries tears that never make her mascara run, and crawls on her stomach in the river of lies that has become the Bush Administration.

Does anyone not remember her testimony before the 9/11 Commission? She appeared without taking an oath on the Bible, wearing a pair of shoes that would have made Imelda Markos puke.

In that timid, wavering voice, Rice denied military history when she said, "No one could have known that airplanes were going to be used as human guided missiles."

Ms. Rice owes her freedom to the 4,900 men killed by Kamikaze pilots in 1945. Another 4,800 men were wounded by these 'human guided missiles.'

Ms. Rice has over used her act as the woman being unfairly attacked. Her quavering voice, her never smiling eyes, and her defensive hand gestures betray her intent to lie.

Sunday, Ms. Rice again made an appeal on national TV. In so many words she said, "Don't trust the former head of the CIA. He lies." She bases that on many things but mostly on 'slam dunk.'

“When George said ‘slam dunk,’ ” Ms. Rice said, “everybody understood that he believed that the intelligence was strong.

“We all believed the intelligence was strong.” (From the NYT)


Thank you, Secretary Rice for clarifying on TV what you will not say under Oath, "It's not my fault. I did my job. I was duped and fooled by other people who were smarter than me."

Of course you were, Ms. Rice. Of course you were.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

bin Laden mocks Bush's Mission Accomplished


only in a cartoon








From the AJC April 29,2007

Bush Celebrates bin Laden Birthday with a card

Successful Rebuilding of Iraq

Another big lie from the big, bad Right.

Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News have all been reporting great success with the rebuilding of Iraq. These far right war mongers have been blaming the "mainstream media" for our public perspective of the Iraq invasion as a failed Repuglican policy.
There is a real reason to call it the Mainstream Media. The Mainstream Media doesn't lie. The far Right media is paid to lie.

I don't know which is worse. Liars that believe their lies or liars that are paid to lie.

Most rebuilding projects in Iraq have failed. The country is worse off today than it was under Saddam with U.N. sanctions.

Read the details in NYT, registration required.

At the airport, crucially important for the functioning of the country, inspectors found that while $11.8 million had been spent on new electrical generators, $8.6 million worth were no longer functioning.

At the maternity hospital, a rehabilitation project in the northern city of Erbil, an expensive incinerator for medical waste was padlocked — Iraqis at the hospital could not find the key when inspectors asked to see the equipment — and partly as a result, medical waste including syringes, used bandages and empty drug vials were clogging the sewage system and probably contaminating the water system.

The newly built water purification system was not functioning either.


The Repuglican Party, the best collection of liars and paid liars on the planet.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Iraq War

Bush lied about how many troops would be sent to Iraq in his misnamed "troop surge."

He said 21,500, but we've already increased troop levels by more than 20,000 and less than half of the "surge" has happened.

Bush said the surge would have specific goals.

Yesterday, he moved the goal posts. Again.

Read the details in the NYT, registration required.

The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.


When a Repuglican opens either side of their mouths, expect a lie. Remember, the Bush Administration is not going to make any judgements until September. No matter how well things go or no matter had badly things go.

What a great leader to run a war.

Friday, April 27, 2007

GOP Family Values

I learned about the GOP first hand. I worked as a volunteer in a mental health facility dealing with adults who had been abused as children.

It's an ugly job. And, I didn't wake up one morning and say I'm going to change the world by talking with adults who were sexually abused as a child. No, events pushed me into that position.

Several men in my home town from various backgrounds had been accused of sexual child abuse. I don't remember the details from the newspaper headlines or the six o'clock news anymore. It's been more than 25 years.

Two or three of the accused 'child molesters' went to trial and they were acquitted. The community was outraged at one aqquital of a Marine. I don't remember his name. He appeared in court wearing his dress uniform. The children took the stand. And, immediately after the jury announced the not guilty verdict, the United States Marine Corps arrested that well dressed Marine. It seems another child, in another state and under military jurisdiction, had made an accusation of sexual abuse.

That's the Reader's Digest condensed version. A local group formed to educate the public about child abuse. A state supported mental health group provided some training, mentoring, and a place for public forums.

As a volunteer, even as a trained volunteer, no one in the group could speak to any 'child' under 18. But, the facility provided free help to the family and the children through properly trained professionals.

But, the grant money didn't cover 'children' over 18.

It is odd to say "'children' over 18." I use that phrase to remember how each of these adults had hidden certain events. For these 'adults,' childhood had stopped too soon and through a nightmarish twist, had never ended.

So after hours of training, which was not enough, I wound up listening as quietly as possible to the savage details.

I was 26 years old and listening to people usually older than me talk about almost historical events. Historical in the sense that I could do nothing to change those events. No one could be arrested, arrainged in court, and tried for these crimes.

All I could do was listen. And, never ever tell another living soul.

That is how I learned all about GOP family values.

This news story reminded me of some small detail from those confessional conversations many years ago.

Bush official linked to call girl probe.

I rage because I can never reveal those shared secrets about the daughters of the wealthy, disowned by family, and 'cast out' by loving mothers and proud fathers.

I know someone who called their daughter a whore because a sexual predator manipulated and sexually abused her. That someone is very powerful. Wealthy. And, Republican.

To her mother and father I say, She begged you for help. When she begged you for help, you blamed her and accused her of being a tramp and a whore.

You did more than give her a label. You gave her a job title.

Republican family values are a lie.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Vietnam - Iraq and lying about Body Counts

The right side of the political spectrum has lost it. The lies that are being told have become outrageous and harmful to human life.

No, I'm not talking about the many lies about Global Warming or the censorship of NASA scientists.

The United States supports whatever can be called the Iraqi government. Support isn't adequate to describe the nearly Titanic sized effort to maintain an mythical country called Iraq. That's another series of posts.

The mythical Iraqi government has been skewing body counts, reporting fewer people maimed and killed in the daily chaos.

I don't know what phrase is best to describe a government that has to meet behind concrete bomb blast doors. Maybe Hilter had a special term for his bunker.

Anyway, the bunker mentality of the Iraqi government now matches the bunker mentality of Vietnam and the current Bush Administration.

Lie, lie, and lie some more.

Details on how the Iraqi government has been under-reporting the violence here.

Cartoon


From the AJC today

Monday, April 23, 2007

Voodoo from the GOP

It's been a week since the gunfire shattered 32 lives and ended a shattered life at Virginia Tech. My favorite Catholic priest told me to never judge a person for taking their own life. "That is something between God and them." He was hinting at their being some meaning even in a life lost to suicide. But, he was a better man than me.

I've sick and tired of the endless number of right wing GOP backers crying because Virginia Tech didn't have just one more gun on the campus that day! God forbid the shooter had carried three guns instead of two.

One more gun ... would have changed nothing.

What would one less gun have changed? Two less guns?

Had we stopped the shooter from buying guns, how many people would be alive today that have instead been mourned and will be forever missed?

I've made the point that students don't need plastic money to buy guns while in college. No one needs to be buying guns on credit.

But, give me credit. I'm no Nancy Schaefer, Georgia Senator from the 50th District.

Nancy does not believe in mental illness. Therefore, everyone is entitled to listen to the voices in their heads and buy guns.

Like the Son of Sam serial killer. Herb Mullin, who killed 13 people to save California from earthquakes. Charles Albright, serial killer who removed the eyeballs of his female victims. Jeffery Dahmer. Eddie Gein, role model for Buffalo Bill in the movie, Silence of the Lambs. Genene Jones, pediatric nurse who killed little babies in Texas hospitals. And, like the shooter at Virginia Tech.

But, Nancy says, "There's no such thing as mental illness!" And, therefore, no reason to screen gun buyers for psychosis, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, paranoia, multiple personalities, obsessive-compulsive disorder ...

And, Nancy, the North Georgia Queen of Voodoo, says there's no reason for the public to pay for pills, diagnosis, or treatment in our schools and colleges.

A week ago, ten days ago, were we one pill away from saving 32 human beings and one already shattered life?

Not one more gun ... just more one caring doctor ... just one more caring nurse ... THAT could have saved so much heartbreak.

The all time Oscar for lying goes to the Voodoo Queen, Nancy Schaefer. "There is no such thing as mental illness."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bush Lied

This is a cheap and easy target to accuse of lying, George W. Bush.

In Congressional testimony and under Oath, Admiral William Fallon said that
The idea of the troop increase, originally billed by the administration as a temporary "surge," is not to defeat the insurgency. That is not thought possible in the near term. The purpose is to contain the violence — in particular, the sect-on-sect killings in Baghdad — long enough to create an environment in which Iraqi political leaders can move toward conciliation and ordinary Iraqis are persuaded of a viable future.

The "troop surge" as it once was called is only in reference to troops being deployed to Baghdad!

Actual troops counts are not being given by the Admiral, who is the Senior Commander for all of the Middle East.

Prior to the "temporary troop surge," about 135,000 U.S. military personnel were on duty inside Iraq. With less than half of the "surge" in place, the total number of personnel serving in Iraq can only be estimated at between 160,000 and 180,000.

IF Bush had been telling the truth about escalating his occupation force to maybe 200,000 troops for an unlimited time, he would have been impeached.

The Admiral escapes being called a liar for this wonderful remark: He also said the United States does not have "a ghost of a chance" of success in Iraq unless it can create "stability and security."

Doesn't victory in a WAR involve creating "stability and security?"

So he merely gets the Double Speak Oscar for saying that we don't have a "ghost of a chance" unless we win.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Financing Terrorism

In the aftermath of Virginia Tech, questions are being asked about guns, campus security, and individual responsibility.

It was very easy to determine how the killer got his guns and where he got them. He walked into a gun shop and used a VISA card.

Campus security issues continue to defy any easy resolution. The Atlanta Police do not lock down the entire city or a section of the city after each of the bloody murders the town is so infamous for.

Individual responsibility has been nearly destroyed by the GOP mafia. Bush accepts none on pre-war intelligence. Gonzales has none in the political firings of productive Justice Department employees. Sonny Perdue, Glenn Richardson, and other GOP figureheads avoid even a cursory investigation by a 'legitimate' ethics commission.

But, the real question of accountability or responsibility isn't being addressed under the Gold Dome or in the aftermath of 32 murders on a college campus.

Why did a college student, someone without a job and income, have a credit card that was used to buy a $571 semiautomatic gun?

I hope Casey Cagle, master Banker and Lt. Governor, issued the card through his banking network. I'd like to listen to Cagle explain his first responsibility as a member of the Board of Directors is making sure the stockholders get a fair return on investment.

We should only blame the shooter for the murders of 32 people and the wounding of at least 17 others. But, we should thank a Banker for putting the guns in the hands of a student.

How the Army Lies

By now, nearly everyone knows that Pat Tillman was shot to death by his own platoon in Afghanistan. After his death, his family and the public were told of Pat's heroism under 'enemy fire.' Tillman was awarded a Silver Star.

Months later, the Army confessed to distorting all the details of Pat Tillman's murder.

Tillman was killed by his fellow platoon members.

Now we are learning, nearly 4 years later, how far the Army went with the lies and the coverage, burning Tillman's uniform, cutting phone lines, and giving 'orders' to withhold information from Tillman's brother.

The lies and cover up started with fellow Ranger, Russell Baer.
Ranger Spc. Russell Baer had witnessed Rangers shooting at Rangers. Afterward, he was directed to travel from Afghanistan to the United States with his friend Kevin Tillman. But he was ordered not to tell Pat Tillman's brother and fellow Ranger that friendly fire was the likely cause of the former football player's death.
Non-commissioned officers knew the truth.

Two other sergeants who examined Tillman's vest noticed the bullet holes appeared to be from 5.56-caliber bullets — signature American ammunition. An awful realization dawned on the sergeants, whose names, like those of others who testified in the investigation, were deleted from the recently released testimony.

"At this time was when I had realized Tillman may have been killed by friendly fire," one of them said.

Material evidence was burned and destroyed.
Nearby on the same base, a staff sergeant was in his tent when a captain walked in and told him to burn Tillman's bloody clothing. . . Then he left the staff sergeant to his work: placing Tillman's uniform, socks, gloves and body armor into a 55-gallon drum and burning them.
Guards were posted to keep the wounded from talking.
Spc. Jade Lane lay in a hospital bed in Afghanistan, recovering from gunshot wounds inflicted by the same fellow Rangers who had shot at Tillman. Amid his shock and grief, Lane noticed guards were posted on him.

"I thought it was strange," Lane recalled. Later, he said, he learned the reason for their presence: The news media were sniffing around, and Lane's superiors "did not want anyone talking to us," he said.


...and who shall guard the Guardians? Who shall make sure the Guardians make no mistakes?

Jim Wooten Earns His Oscar

Being a two faced hypocrite might not be lying.

No form of gun control would have prevented the Virginia Tech murders. Every tragedy involving guns becomes a launch for anti-gun agendas, even when the dots don’t connect. America simply cannot make every potential target secure.

So Jim, does this mean we should take the locks off all the doors? Keep our shoes on while boarding airline flights? Tear down the border fences?

32,000 people are murdered with guns each year.

Mr. Wooten would tell me that "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

I'm willing to let him apply that theory on a personal level. He can serve in Iraq without a gun.

And, if he can convince our military that guns don't kill people, more power to him.

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. A lie.

A very bad and evil lie.

Post publishing note: No one has real statistics on how often a gun is used to kill a killer.

Wolfowitz and "Sleeping with the Enemy"

Sleeping with the Enemy was a movie, wasn't it? One of those Julia Roberts vehicles about relationships gone bad?

Well, Paul Wolfowitz, one of the many geniuses behind the ill concieved and botched occupation of Iraq, has a little relationship problem of his own. And, he wishes Julia Roberts was playing the other gendered part.

While Deputy Secretary of Defense, under the now defunct Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz verbally hired his "companion," Shaha Ali Riza. The details really don't matter. He hired his lover to work at the Pentagon during a "time of war."

Wolfowitz maybe an idiot but he knows how to cover his little behind. When things went bad in Baghdad, Wolfie got a plush appointment to run the World Bank.

From the Defense Department to the World Bank? How did that happen!

I guess if you know how to buy guns, you must know a lot of financing guns.

Anyway, he immediately hired his "companion," Shaha Ali Riza. Then, gave her a few promotions or raises, a much nicer office, a small island in the Pacific ... all within the Powers Granted to Him by the World. Or, World Bank.

Now, how's that for Sleeping with the Enemy? Makes me wonder what she did for him.

And, Wolfowitz says? "I didn't do anything wrong!"

LIAR!

A Liar Put to the Test, Attorney General Gonzales

Our national leader of all law enforcement has already earned his Oscar award for Best Denial by a Liar in Public Office.

His denial was brutal, straight talk. "I didn't have anything to do with the firings."

Almost as good as Clinton's "I never had sex with that woman."

I can only wish Gonzales good luck as the New York Times (registration required) compared his appearence before Congress to a man facing the gallows.

Before he uttered his first word to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, looked at him as if he were headed to the gallows and offered this advice: "Be alert and direct and honest with this committee. Give it your best shot."

A very good comment and great advice. However, it was like telling a chicken not to run around with your head cut off just before chopping away with the axe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Georgia Senate has no guts on guns

The Republican dominated Georgia Senate has no guts!

With Casey Cagle leading the pack of wind blown opinion chasers, the Senate wilted in the hours after the massacre at Virginia Tech. For the nearly Biblical 40 days and 40 nights, the Legislature has been pushing Guns and Guts in SB 43 and HB 89. These two gun packing bills have been competing for the Guns and Guts vote in the Senate and the House, respectively.

Now, all the Georgia Cowboys have to cry and leave their guns at home. In the hours after 33 people were murdered one by one on a college campus, Georgia Republicans turned their backs and showed their yellow stripes.

The Senate will not bring either bill to a final vote. Not even Jim Whitehead wants to stand on principles of a gun on every hip and in every car. (Senator Whitehead says it okay kill every liberal student and faculty member at UGA with bombs, not a Glock 19.)

Details from the Gainesville Times

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UK: Bush Losing "War on Terror"

It is being reported in Australia that the UK will split with Bush on the "War on Terror" when Tony Blair resigns.

Tony Blair will resign as Prime Minister, leaving Bush holding the bag on the phrase, War on Terror.

The UK understands how the English language works. Heck! They sort of invented the thing. Why does that matter?

The phrase, War on Terror, is vague, simplistic, misleading, and counterproductive.

Four words often used to describe George Bush and 99.9 percent of Republican leaders. Also another way to very politely, in that uniquely British way, say, the Yanks are lying about making war on terror.

To make this a little more clear, Casey Cagle pledged to never raise taxes. But, he just created a surcharge of 3.5%. Stop lying, Casey! It's an increase in taxes! Changing the name of a tax to a surcharge isn't honest.

Nor is saying "We're at war with terror!" Meaningless Madison Avenue advertising slogan.

"I am the War President!" "I'm for Law and Order!" "I'm against big Goverment!" "I'm a fiscal conservative!" (Just some more slick and meaningless sound bites from the Lying Right.

High Profile Liars in the GOP

Expect me to give you hard facts on the lies used by individuals in the Georgia Republican Party to either obtain public office or to make money by using an elected office.

I will rehash Sonny Perdue.

I will introduce the Lt. Governor, Lowell S. "Casey" Cagle as a liar.

And, I will rehash some other GOP legislatures from the North Georgia area who lie to make money.

Count on it.

Dollar nearly worthless, thanks to Bush, GOP, Nathan Deal

As I said, the GOP lies. And, they are very good at it.

The British Pound Sterling is now worth two U.S. dollars and rising. Not since Europe created the European dollar or Euro has the Pound Sterling been worth twice as much as a dollar.

What can we expect from the Bush appointee, Ben Shalom Bernanke? Increases in your mortgage rates, increases in all interest rates, and an increase in the Federal Debt.

Now how did I get an increase in the Federal Debt?

As Ben Shalom increases interest rates on the entire U.S. economy, growth will fall. As growth falls, tax revenues decrease. Less revenue for the federal government with no cuts in spending will mean a faster increase in Debt.

Don't expect Bush to cut the budget in the middle of his term as the War President. It takes a lot of 'hard work' and MONEY to lose a war. Maybe even more money and hard work than winning a war.

Watch Ben Shalom Bernanke. He just said the record number of people being evicted for not being able to pay their floating rate mortgage has been contained.

"Contained." As in the nuclear blast that destroyed Hiroshima has been contained. (Once the uranium completely burned a hole a quarter mile deep and a half a mile wide, killing 80,000 instantly).

Where is Nathan Deal on the issue of inflation, bank repossessions of homes, and the worthless dollar?

AWOL

More details on the worthless dollar.

More Conservative Lies

I will be focusing on how Conservatives LIE to maintain control in the next few weeks. Partly, to show how conservatives lie, partly to show how conservatives use propaganda effectively, and most importantly, to show how Liberals need to get the facts!

The Administration is telling us that inflation is under control. A lie.

Reuters headline, "March consumer prices up 0.6 percent." That would be an annual inflation rate of 7.2 percent. But, of course, inflation is under control! Then, the lie continues.

Core inflation is under control.

A 10.6 percent jump in gasoline prices last month eclipsed a 0.3 percent gain in February and was the largest increase in 1-1/2 years since a 17.4 percent gain in September 2005.
So energy isn't one of your core purchases. Gasoline is a luxury.

But excluding food and energy, consumer prices edged up by a slim 0.1 percent in March following increases of 0.2 percent in February and 0.3 percent in January. Wall Street economists had forecast that overall consumer prices would gain 0.6 percent and that core prices would be up by a slightly larger 0.2 percent.
And, food isn't a core purchase either. What exactly is left for consumer purchases? Furs? Diamonds? Baseball Teams?

Remember Saxby Chambliss is pushing a bizarre tax scheme called the "FairTax" which he calls a voluntary tax system. By a show of hands, who wants to be the first volunteer to live without food? Heat? Water?

Conservatives LIE.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

GOP run by a Secret Society

No, it's not the Skull and Bones.

The Republican Party is being run by a series of "secret societies" that recruit like terrorist organizations.

Read between the lines and understand the hydra-headed monster created to destroy the American Dream.

Written by Annie Coulter

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Treatment for our Veterans

Our troops were sent to Iraq on false information. They were sent without the gear and equipment needed. The plans given to them as mission plans were defective. The mission goals were fubar.

I've known for three years about the situation at Walter Reed. My son worked there and continues to volunteer one month a year to Veterans Clinics in Boston. He's a doctor.

The generals are now speaking out on the medical system's institutional failures to care for our troops.

Bush has never listened to the Generals. It's a lesson he learned in the Texas National Guard. Don't show up. Don't tell anyone. Just be AWOL as quietly as possible and you can get by.

Details

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The High Cost of Dying

The United State spent $171 million dollars in 2003 for re-enlistment bonuses to retain troops.

Last year, that figure hit $1.07 billion dollars.

The all volunteer army is becoming rather mercenary.

Details

Georgia's Lt. Governor, Mark Taylor

Republican web sites were buzzing with excitement yesterday. The Georgia Ethics Commission is going to investigate a possible ethics violation by the former Democratic Lt. Governor, Mark Taylor.

Georgians in the political loop know that Mark Taylor is no longer Lt. Governor and very likely will never run for public office again. 42 of 43 allegations that Mark Taylor violation ethical standards were thrown out by the Ethics Committee. That part of the news didn't make any headlines on 'Red State' blogs. No surprise.

It was no surprise that the Republican dominated Ethics Commission refused to investigate the exchange of sexual favors by GOP Speaker, Glenn Richardson, and a blond utility lobbyist. Richardson had filed legislation very favorable to utilities. But, the Ethics Commission didn't want to look into any allegations that maybe sex was exchanged for legislation. I guess the marital status of Richardson helped him avoid being outed by his peers as being an adulterer with no ethics.

I'd bet any one that the current Republican Lt. Governor, Lowell S. Cagle, has more skeletons in his closet than Mark Taylor.

I'm willing to wait until the Commission finishes its very important business with Taylor before reminding Cagle of his past violations.

Let's see if justice GOP style is fair and blind.

Saxby Chambliss and the Shoe Bomber, Richard Reid

Everyone traveling by passenger plane knows Richard Reid as the Shoe Bomber. Reid tried to blow up himself and the jet he was on with a shoe bomb.

As protection against future shoe bombers, our government makes us take off our shoes before boarding passenger flights.

Reid failed to blow up the plane. Thankfully! He had made it through security. The plane was in mid flight. He got out his matches and tried to light the fuse for the bomb. For some reason, he couldn't get the fuse to burn. His terrorist act was thwarted by a defective fuse.

However, Saxby Chambliss, the infamous draft dodging Republican Senator from Georgia, says the Patriot Act stopped Richard Reid from killing a couple hundred people.

I have written my Senator, Mr. Chambliss, and asked him about this misinformation. I clarified my status as a citizen and as a student on North Georgia College and State University.

He, his office, and all the King's minions couldn't be bothered with putting pen to paper or even thanking me for writing.

Chambliss is mentally ill or ... he's willing to lie to his voters.

What about it, Senator Chambliss? How did the Patriot Act stop Richard Reid from blowing up an airplane in midair?

Does Bush manipulate Oil Prices?

Less than 7 years ago, oil sold for $19 per barrel. That was 1999 and oil prices had been falling.

What is keeping oil prices over $60 per barrel, three times higher?

Some people blame China. But, an analysis of China's economy shows it runs on coal and natural gas. China imports very little crude oil. And, the amount of oil imported by China has not grown as fast as oil prices.

The usage of gasoline in the United States has steadily increased over the past twenty years at a rate less than inflation. About 1.5% annually.

The only reason for gasoline prices to increase in the U.S. would be inflation given that world reserves have grown faster than usage.

This is an open forum. What are your thoughts?

Is the U.S. propping up oil prices so that Iraqi oil makes money? Is the situation in Iraq so bad that we have to boast the Iraq economy by manipulating oil prices.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bush's Troop Surge

Bush denied the troop surge was a Vietnam style escalation. In public, W the President clearly said only 21,500 additional troops were being temporarily deployed.

Just another Nixon style lie!

Nearly as soon as the ink was dry on the newspapers, another 4,000 support troops were added. Then, another 9,000. Then, 15,000 were given extended tours. Now, another 13,000 Guard troops have been notified to be ready to move out early.

So, a small troop surge of 21,500 in GOP math is more like an excalation of 50,000 to 60,000 troops.

Vietnam taught us all a lot of lessons. It seems like telling the truth wasn't one of those lessons.

Details

James Marlow and Terry Holley in Georgia's 10th Congressional District

Kudos to the Democratic Party of Columbia for sponsoring a public event for all the Democratic Candidates in Georgia's Special Election in the 10th Congressional District.

The only candidates present were James Marlow and Terry Holley.

Terry Holley is the very under performing Vice Chair of the 10th District who lost to the deathly ill Charlie Norwood last December.

The gerrymandered 10th District once re-elected a comatose Charlie Norwood. As thanks, Charlie wanted to die in office. And, he did. The 10th District has not had a voice in Congress since September 2006. Before he passed away in February, Norwood missed over a hundred and ten floor votes.

With GOP Governor, Sonny Perdue, working to mandate a victory for GOP State Senator, Jim Whitehead, the 10th will remain unrepresented in Congress until at least June.

Nine months without an active voice in Congress for the citizens of the 10th District. Baghdad gets more representation than Lincolnton, Evans, and Toccoa.

The GOP attack dogs are after James Marlow on the blogs as being too fancy. That's coded language for Southern and polite.

Looks like the GOP is scared to have a real election with real people.

Real people don't make comments about bombing UGA off the face of the planet. I guess we won't be calling the GOP 'fancy' anytime soon.

TAX REFORM! Georgia GOP Style

The Georgia Republicans ran on a tax reform platform. They talked the talk but never had anything other than a swaggering walk to back it up.

Meanwhile, you got screwed. Property tax assessments are up 25%. SPLOSTs passed in many counties.

But, the Republican dominated legislature did cut taxes for the very rich, the morally bankrupct corporations, and a hand full of insiders.

Read the details in the AJC about how the free spending Casey Cagle just gave away $100 million of your tax dollars.

Fulton GOP Called Machiavellian

The Fulton County GOP held a meeting and an election that would make the 2000 vote count in Florida look well organized. Why is it that the GOP didn't learn their lesson about fairness?

The Atlanta Journal covers a portion of the disaster.

Monday, April 9, 2007, 10:34 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Recently, you’ll recall, we asked for a report from anyone who attended last months Fulton County GOP Convention, which we had heard was a highly contentious affair.

We heard from Mark Irle, the outgoing first vice chair of the county party, who described a tumultuous affair in which the voting for chairman was marked by a number of irregularities including a shortage of ballots and considerable confusion over the final vote count in the chairman’s race, in which incumbent Mike Dvorscak was declared the winner over challenger Shawn Hanley.

Irle was a Hanley supporter, but he passed along a letter from John Fredricks, a self-described Dvorscak supporter, who also deplored what he described as “Machiavellian floor tactics” and “miscalculated ballots.”

Anyone who has ever been involved in a local convention fight like this will deduce we’re considerably shortening the description to get to the point.

There was enough protest over the election that the party has scheduled a special executive committee meeting for 7 p.m. Friday at the Roswell City Hall to go over what happened.

Irle questioned the timing of the meeting, which he said was designed to suppress turnout for what he describes as more of a fiasco than a convention.

We called Dvorscak, and he said Friday night was the only time when there wasn’t a conflict with local city council meetings. He said there was also a concern the legislature could be meeting into the evening on other nights of the week, which would keep those executive committee members who are legislators from attending.

Dvorscak declined to comment on the charges made about the handling of the convention.

“These types of intra-party things are normally settled in-house without bringing in the press, and in that spirit, there’s not a lot I want to say about it,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean others can’t get in touch.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Reality of Attorney General Crisis

Attorney General Gonzales should be fired and not allowed to resign.

Why?

He helped direct the 'faithful Bushies' to bend the law in Federal Court.

Read the details of how the Justice Department violated the Court System in the NYT.

The list of things to investigate keeps growing. A federal agency that protects the rights of military employees is now investigating the firing of David Iglesias, the New Mexico United States attorney. Justice Department officials said he was fired in part because he was out of the office due to his commitments as a Navy military reservist. If so, the firing may have been illegal.

There is also trouble in the Minnesota United States attorney’s office, where the administration recently installed Rachel Paulose, a 34-year-old with scant management experience. Three of her top assistants have resigned their management positions, and The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that they did so out of dissatisfaction with her. Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said the resignations were more evidence of the attorneys’ offices being “deprofessionalized.”

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Bush violates Korean Sanctions!

Korea, once an Axis of Evil, now is allowed to sell military supplies and GUNS to Africa with the approval of the White House!!!!!!

Read the details of how Bush helped Korea sell guns to Ethiopia.

The Shocking Mistakes in Iraq

A new book by an government insider tells the step by step mistakes of the Bush Administration in Iraq, starting with "the 'monumental ignorance' of those in Washington pushing for war in 2002 without 'the faintest idea' of Iraq's realities. 'More perceptive people knew instinctively that the invasion of Iraq would open up the great fissures in Iraqi society,' he writes."

Not only the Pope speaks about the evil the Bush GOP has done in Iraq, the Iraqi government is telling the brutal truth.

Details

Another Day, another Lie from the GOP

Mitt Romney claims to be a life long hunter. Or, should he have said poacher? Or, should he have told the truth that he has been hunting twice in his life?

Details on Mitt Romney and Bugs Bunny

The Pope On Easter

Pope: 'Nothing positive' from Iraq

By FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 21 minutes ago

In an Easter litany of the world's suffering, Pope Benedict XVI lamented that "nothing positive" is happening in Iraq and decried the unrest in Afghanistan and bloodshed in Africa and Asia.

"How many wounds, how much suffering there is in the world," the pontiff told tens of thousands gathered Sunday at St. Peter's Square on what is Christianity's most joyful feast day.

Benedict, delivering his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" Easter address from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, read out a long list of troubling current events, saying he was thinking of the "terrorism and kidnapping of people, of the thousand faces of violence which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion, of contempt for life, of the violation of human rights and the exploitation of persons."

"Afghanistan is marked by growing unrest and instability," Benedict said. "In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees."

He singled out what he called the "catastrophic, and sad to say, underestimated humanitarian situation" in Darfur as well as other African places of suffering, including violence and looting in Congo, fighting in Somalia — which, he said, drove away the prospect of peace — and the "grievous crisis" in Zimbabwe, marked by crackdowns on dissidents, a disastrous economy and severe corruption.

Benedict called for a negotiated solution to end the drawn-out, bloody conflict in Sri Lanka, and said East Timor needs reconciliation ahead of elections.

Earlier he celebrated Easter Mass on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica under hazy sunshine.

The voices of choir boys rang across the square. Wearing golden vestments, the pope gripped a slender, silver crucifix as clerics sprinkled incense across the steps. The altar area was ablaze with color — red tulips, orange tiger lilies and yellow broom plants were among the flowers delivered from the Netherlands — and at the end of the service the pope thanked the Dutch for the gift.

In an unusual touch for the Vatican's Easter Mass, black-robed clerics intoned a long chant from the Byzantine liturgy. This year, Eastern and Western celebrations coincided. The two rites often celebrate Easter on different dates because of different church calendars.

Orthodox faithful in the Balkans, in Russia, in Greece and other places celebrated Easter with long, traditional ceremonies. Russia made an exception to its cutoff of transport links with George to allow three charter flights of Georgians to come to Moscow for the Easter period.

Benedict ended his appearance by giving Easter greetings in dozens of languages, including Arabic and Hebrew, and giving the crowd his apostolic blessing.

After Sunday's events, Benedict heads to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, in the Alban Hills south of Rome, for a few days of rest.

When he returns to Rome, Benedict has two important dates on his calendar: his 80th birthday on April 16, and the second anniversary of his election as pope three days later.

Advocates pressing for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty marched peacefully through Rome, ending their rally in St. Peter's Square near the end of the pope's Mass. Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said he was marching because "it happens many times that an innocent life is taken" by capital punishment.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The News that Fox News Ignores

This is a long posting from the Australian.

It's about the "Australian Taliban," David Hicks.

The United States held Mr. Hicks without a trial for over 4 years. Finally charged with a crime and given a trial, Mr. Hicks entered into a plea bargain. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison.

Among the original allegations? Mr. Hicks helped plan the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Hicks was a immediate member of the bin Laden private circle. Mr. Hicks knew the shoe bomber, Reid. Mr. Hicks knew the American Taliban, John Walker Lind.

The United States agreed in the plea bargain that Hicks was a foot soldier in the Taliban fighting against the Northern Alliance. Not even fighting against U.S. troops. No connection to acts of terrorism committed by bin Laden or al-Qaeda.

Details

No headline for this one

This post is just plain ugly. It's about patients being sexually abused at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

And, it's about the way in which our troops are treated.

Details from the AJC

According to federal court documents, Burgess was one of at least three Walter Reed patients who were sexually abused that spring by a civilian medical technician who had a history of sexual molestations.

The incidents are the latest in a series of revelations of substandard conditions at the Army's premier medical center that have prompted congressional investigations, promises from President Bush to rectify the problems and resulted in the firing or resignation of several high-level generals and the Secretary of the Army.

Who is this State Senator Jim Whitehead?

Georgia State Senator Jim Whitehead is running in the special election to replace Charlie Norwood.

I'm not sure that's legal. State Senators are legally restricted from campaigning during the Legislative Session.

They can't raise money etc etc ...

So this Jim Whitehead needs to explain the campaign activities. Especially his remark that someone needs to bomb UGA off the face of the earth because it's full of nothing but Liberals.

Details at Athens Online, registration required.

Friday, April 6, 2007

James Marlow in Georgia's 10th District

I promised to write a few more words about my time with James Marlow.

While having lunch with James Marlow, his mom and dad, and the campaign crew, I had that awkward moment when I tried to make polite small talk. Since it was the Tuesday immediately after the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I tried talking about basketball, a sport.

When everyone at the table had exhausted our collective knowledge of basketball, James Marlow brought up another good topic, the environment.

Now, let me be upfront about the environment. James Marlow did not actually talk about saving the earth, hugging trees, or the environment directly. He wasn't campaigning or giving a stump speech.

There were just a very few people, sitting and enjoying lunch. We needed a topic for safe conversation that could span three generations.

James Marlow used the keyword, Winnebago, as in that huge camping machine designed as a Holiday Inn on wheels.

James said the Marlow Family never had a Winnebago. They owned the much more valuable, Marlow-bago. The Marlow-bago camper never competed directly with the Winnebago camper for brand name recognition. But, I understood the camping term immediately.

The Marlow-bago, a working family solution for camping vacations.

My family had a similar camping vehicle. For us, it was a 1963 Ford station wagon. But, any vehicle with enough room for all the family, a tent, and a Coleman lantern was the answer to Winnebago envy. Various upgrades could include, but were not limited to, a white gas cooking stove, a pickup truck, and maybe even a pop up travel trailer.

Many of us remember going camping with our families. It's pretty hard to forget sleeping on the ground, getting wood smoke in your eyes, and raccoons in the trash.

It's also pretty hard to forget sharing the only hot shower with 200 other people. That was only one of the basic environmental laws to be learned as a camper with Winnebago envy.

"Keep it Clean." "No fires outside the fire ring." "Smile and say hello to the members of your camping community." "Respect privacy." "Let Mother Nature make all the noise after dark." "Don't tease the bears or your sister while hiking." "Don't love Mother Nature to death. Leave some beauty behind for the next camper."

Some time after James Marlow started reminiscing about camping in the North Georgia mountains as a junior member of a family, I stopped reminiscing about my days as a camper. Every good camping lesson could be adopted to the environment or good government. Plan ahead. Get reservations. Buy a road map. Travel with another family or a group. Buy insurance. Be friendly with the park ranger and the park employees. Have a budget and an emergency fund. Buy your firewood locally. Take joy in living.

And don't envy the Winnebago!

Thank you, Buddy Marlow, for taking your son camping.

Cheney cries Wolf!

Saddam, the Iraqi leader, was interrogated for months before his execution. Never did anyone, other than Dick Cheney, find a connection to the 9/11 attacks. U.S. military forces seized thousands of Iraqi documents. The attacks on 9/11 were not conceived in Iraq nor did al-Qaeda operate with Iraq support.

End of the story. Except for Dick Cheney.

Cheney is again crying WOLF!.

Details

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Bonus for Ford Executives

The Ford Plant is gone from Hapeville. Sonny Perdue is bragging about attracting new jobs.

What we missed was the huge stock bonuses earned by top executives who laid off our Georgia employees.

Details

Ford lost $12 billion dollars last year. "Chief executive Alan Mulally, who took over from Bill Ford on September 1, received a total compensation package of 28.2 million dollars which included a salary of 666,667 dollars for his four months of work at Ford."

A salary with the number 666 in it certainly deserves a devilish bonus of $27 million dollars.

What did the company have to say? They paid a "modest bonus" to "recognize [the hard] work in reducing costs and "courageously" restructuring the company as it shutters plants and lays off 40,000 workers."

That's a bonus of $675 per employee terminated by the CEO. Nice pay for firing people and closing plants in Georgia. Reminds me of the deal Delta gave it's executives for driving Delta to bankruptcy.

Germans claim a breakthrough with Alzheimer's

From the Australian

GERMAN researchers claim they have found a way of blocking the formation of a toxin blamed for the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers from the chemistry department at Berlin's Free University said the discovery could prove useful in the development of medicines to combat the fatal brain disease.

Biochemist Gerd Multhaup said his team had largely managed to inhibit the formation of Amyloid-Beta Asse42, which destroys nerve cells and plays a key role in the onset of Alzheimer's.

They have patented the technique which subverts the formation of the toxin, he said.

The group's findings will be published in The Embo Journal science review at the end of April.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's but there are medicines aimed at mitigating the effects of the debilitating disease.

James Marlow in Georgia's 10th Congressional Race

James Marlow announced his candidacy for the 10th Congressional Race on Tuesday. By now, that seems like old news.

I got to trail along behind the campaign as James made his formal announcement in Lincolnton, Evans, Toccoa, and Athens.

James, his mom and dad, had lunch in Evans and they very kindly invited me to sit with them.

James gets his telegenic good looks from his mom and dad as well as his good Southern manners. I felt like a fish out of water being one of those damn Yankees that moved here late in life. However, I did recognize the corn bread, BBQ, and sweet tea.

If eating like a Southerner earns me any points with the natives, I think I made a good impression.

James and his sincere manner made a very positive impression on me.

I will blog more about him when time allows.

Cartoon


From the AJC yesterday

Two Georgia GOP supporters are going to Iraq.

They have clearly stated a mission of getting the truth on how the liberal media lies about safety in Iraq.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Southern States losing clout by voting GOP tickets

The Republican Party continues to decline into a regional party and that region is the old South.

The allegations of GOP racism would seem to match the support base.

And, as a result, the old South is being neglected and the voters marginalized.

Details on how the South is losing again by supporting the religious nuts in the Republican Party..