zaterdag, januari 24, 2004

Let's Debate the Vacuity of the Presidential Candidates!

"While profits went up 46 percent for companies, wages for workers went up three pennies. This is a Wall Street Republican recovery, it's not an American worker recovery," Kerry, the lastest Democrat zen master.

"I didn't get to the Senate by accident," said Sen. John Edwards a North Carolinian who defeated a Republican incumbent to win his seat in 1998 and cited his support for gun rights. On the other hand, Edwards made his millions as a Personal Injury lawyer, so if it weren't for other peoples' accidents, he'd never have had the money to buy a seat in the Senate in the first place!

We've not had one Republican president in 34 years balance the budget. You can't trust right-wing Republicans with your money. You ought to hire somebody who has balanced a budget. Howard Dean, still living down his hooting and hollering in America apparently. I understand the America media has played that clip over and over again. Funny we don't see the replay of clips of President Jesus Bush Administration's lies, deceptions and rationales for sending thousands of people needlessly to their deaths. Instead, we get Vice President of Blood For Oil, Distoritionist-In-Chief, Dickhead Cheney distorting as he loves to do, reported by Common Dreams:

"In January 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney did a round of media interviews with NPR and others in which he reinforced his claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. To back these claims up, he cited documents already discredited as ?inaccurate? by the Bush Administration.


CHENEY CLAIM: "There's overwhelming evidence there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government. I am very confident that there was an established relationship there." - Vice President Cheney, 1/22/04

FACT: According to documents, "Saddam Hussein warned his Iraqi supporters to be wary of joining forces with foreign Arab fighters entering Iraq to battle U.S. troops. The document provides another piece of evidence challenging the Bush administration contention of close cooperation between Saddam's regime and al Qaeda terrorists." [NY Times, 1/15/04]

FACT: "CIA interrogators have already elicited from the top Qaeda officials in custody that, before the American-led invasion, Osama bin Laden had rejected entreaties from some of his lieutenants to work jointly with Saddam." [NY Times, 1/15/04]

FACT: "Sec. of State Colin Powell conceded Thursday that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no 'smoking gun' proof of a link between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and terrorists of al-Qaeda.'I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection,' Powell said." [NY Times, 1/9/04]

FACT: ?Three former Bush Administration officials who worked on intelligence and national security issues said the prewar evidence tying Al Qaeda was tenuous, exaggerated and often at odds with the conclusions of key intelligence agencies.? [National Journal, 8/9/03]

FACT: Declassified documents ?undercut Bush administration claims before the war that Hussein had links to Al Qaeda.? [LA Times, 7/19/03].

FACT: ?The chairman of the monitoring group appointed by the United Nations Security Council to track Al Qaeda told reporters that his team had found no evidence linking Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein.? [NY Times, 6/27/03]

FACT: "U.S. allies have found no links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.'We have found no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda,' said Europe's top investigator. 'If there were such links, we would have found them. But we have found no serious connections whatsoever.?" [LA Times, 11/4/02]


CHENEY CLAIM: ?Abdul Rahman Yasim arrived back in Iraq and was put on the payroll and provided a house, safe harbor and sanctuary. So Saddam Hussein had an established track record of providing safe harbor and sanctuary for terrorists.? ? Vice President Cheney, 1/22/04

FACT: ?Even if the new information holds up ? and intelligence and law enforcement officials disagree on its conclusiveness ? the links tying Yasin, Saddam and al-Qaeda are tentative.? [USA Today, 9/17/03]


CHENEY CLAIM: "You ought to go look at an article that Stephen Hayes did in the Weekly Standard here a few weeks ago, that goes through and lays out in some detail, based on an assessment that was done by the Department of Defense and forwarded to the Senate Intelligence Committee some weeks ago. That's your best source of information? to justify the Saddam-Al Qaeda claim. ? Vice President Cheney, 1/9/04

FACT: ?Reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate. Individuals who leak or purport to leak classified information are doing serious harm to national security; such activity is deplorable and may be illegal.? [DoD, 11/15/03]"

Now, back to the debate, during last Thursday's Democratic Primary debate in New Hampshire, moderator Peter Jennings asked Al Sharpton whom he would name as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, then, with wicked irony, added: "And maybe just take a minute or so to give us a little bit about your views on monetary policy." Al Sharpton!

Sharpton made a quip about Howard Dean's "hooting and hollering," then offered some criticism of the International Monetary Fund. To which Jennings replied: "Forgive me, Reverend Sharpton, but the question was actually about the Federal Reserve Board." Sharpton's answer (the transcript omits his numerous "uhs"):

Oh, in the Federal Reserve Board, I would be looking for someone that would set standards in this country, in terms of our banking, our--in how government regulates the Federal Reserve as we see it under Greenspan, that we would not be protecting the big businesses; we would not be protecting banking interests in a way that would not, in my judgment, lead toward mass employment, mass development and mass production. I think that--would I replace Greenspan, probably. Do I have a name? No.

Do I have a clue about anything going on around me? Whose money am I wasting on this campaign? No. and I don't know.


Roman Rebound : lovely article on the renewal of Latin:

TO SCARY music, a furtive Jewish nationalist of the first century paints on a wall the words Romanes Eunt Domus. A centurion enters:

Centurion: What's this, then? ? ?People called Romanes they go the house??
Nationalist: It?it says, ?Romans, go home?.
Centurion: No, it doesn't. ?Go home?? This is motion towards. Isn't it, boy?
Nationalist (being savagely beaten): Ah. Ah, dative, sir! Ahh! No, not dative! Not the dative, sir! No! Ah! Oh, the...accusative! Domum, sir! Ah! Oooh! Ah!
Centurion: Except that takes the...?
Nationalist: The locative, sir!

The scene, from ?Monty Python's Life of Brian?, marked the apotheosis of Latin in film?until last March. At that point Mel Gibson, star-turned-director, announced that his new film ?The Passion?, about the last hours of Christ, would be made entirely in Latin and Aramaic. At first, the hero of ?Thunderdome? and ?Lethal Weapon? did not even want subtitles. When he realised that audiences needed to know, just roughly, what the characters were saying, he reluctantly backed down.


More Hyperbole or is Diebold Diabolical?

It is Diebold Inc., whose touch-screen voting machines are in increasingly widespread use across the United States:

NYT's Paul Krugman notes:

"An analysis of Diebold software by researchers at Johns Hopkins and Rice Universities found it both unreliable and subject to abuse. A later report commissioned by the state of Maryland apparently reached similar conclusions. (It's hard to be sure because the state released only a heavily redacted version.)

Meanwhile, leaked internal Diebold e-mail suggests that corporate officials knew their system was flawed, and circumvented tests that would have revealed these problems. The company hasn't contested the authenticity of these documents; instead, it has engaged in legal actions to prevent their dissemination.

Why isn't this front-page news? In October, a British newspaper, The Independent, ran a hair-raising investigative report on U.S. touch-screen voting. But while the mainstream press has reported the basics, the Diebold affair has been treated as a technology or business story ? not as a potential political scandal.

This diffidence recalls the treatment of other voting issues, like the Florida "felon purge" that inappropriately prevented many citizens from voting in the 2000 presidential election. The attitude seems to be that questions about the integrity of vote counts are divisive at best, paranoid at worst. Even reform advocates like Mr. Holt make a point of dissociating themselves from "conspiracy theories." Instead, they focus on legislation to prevent future abuses.

rest of the story is here


Meanwhile, the Arseholes You Knew All Along Were Arseholes And Thieves, Begin to Confess

This is more a matter of if they're willing to confess to this one, what other far more enormous acts of thievery, killing and corruption are they still hoping to hide? This is the sacrificial lamb for the much bigger farm of lies they're trying to protect:

"Halliburton Co. said Friday that it was refunding the government $6.3 million its employees had improperly received in a kickback deal with a Kuwaiti company.

Halliburton said it discovered the improper payments in an internal audit and reported the results to Defense Department officials last week, after company officials discovered that one or two Halliburton employees were apparently paid by the Kuwaiti company for giving it the work helping rebuild Iraq."

The disclosure of another financial anomaly involving Halliburton and Iraqi contracts raised new concerns among Democrats who have been critical of the contracting process for Iraq in general and of Halliburton in particular, in part because Vice President Dick Cheney was the company's chairman until 2000.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a persistent critic of the company, said Friday that he found it troublesome that Halliburton, which has more than $9 billion in contracts for Iraq, won its latest government deal, worth up to $1.2 billion, last Friday, just a day after the company informed the Pentagon of the possibilities of kickbacks.

The contract calls for additional work in the oil fields in southern Iraq.

"It is incomprehensible," Waxman wrote to Rep. Thomas Davis, R-Va, chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, in a letter calling for hearings, "that the administration could give Halliburton another billion-dollar contract without fully investigating such serious criminal wrongdoing."

Incomprehensible? Where has Rep Thomas Davis been living these last 3 years? This is the modus operandi of the Jesus Bush Administration.

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