May 22, 2008 archive

McCain needs to explain his own deep ties to Chalabi

Earlier today, teacherken had a very important diary about the connection between McCain campaign honcho, lobbyist and political advisor Charles Black and Ahmed Chalabi, who we all know as the de facto Iranian double agent who duped the US with bogus intelligence about Saddam.

But there is something that has only been noted here and there which really merits more probing, and certainly demands an explanation from McCain himself – especially if he is to claim that he is not clueless on foreign policy and that is his own connections to Chalabi and how he helped Chalabi dupe the US, how he stood by Chalabi and how he propped up Chalabi all while Chalabi was working for Iran (even FoxNews reported that Chalabi was spying for Iran).


Four at Four

  1. So Israel and Syria have begun peace talks. The type of dialogue that Bush compared attempts to “negotiate with the terrorists and radicals” with appeasement of Hitler. So was Bush using the horrors of Nazi Germany to attack Obama or disrupt Israel’s peace talks with Syria?

    According to “Advice From White House Is Not Always Followed“, a news analysis by Helene Cooper in The New York Times, The Bush administration was “initially opposed” to the talks.

    The Israel-Syria announcement, in particular, offers an interesting case study, because Israeli officials have said for months that the United States was the only obstacle blocking talks with Syria, which both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak advocated.

    In particular, Elliott Abrams, Mr. Bush’s deputy national security adviser, has cautioned against an Israeli-Syria negotiation, according to Israeli and Bush administration officials. Administration officials said they feared that such a negotiation would appear to reward Syria at a time when the United States was seeking to isolate it for its meddling in Lebanon and its backing of Hezbollah.

    But a few weeks ago, Israeli officials told their counterparts at the State Department that they planned to begin the negotiations, which are being mediated by Turkey.

    “They weren’t asking our permission,” one senior administration official said. Another Bush official characterized the Israeli announcement as “a slap in the face.”

    And there it is: talk of peace is a slap in the face of the Bush administration. Hat tip a gnostic.

  2. Yet another way Bush’s failed war in Iraq impacts Bush’s failed war in Afghanistan. The Associated Press reports One NATO soldier killed in Quran protest.

    Gunfire broke out Thursday at a protest in western Afghanistan against a U.S. sniper in Iraq who used a Quran for target practice. Officials said a NATO soldier and two civilians were killed.

    Police opened fire on demonstrators who threw rocks and set tents on fire near a military airfield in western Ghor province, said NATO spokesman Maj. Martin O’Donnell.

    Two civilians were slain and seven others were wounded, he said.

    Gunfire also killed one NATO soldier from Lithuania and wounded another, but it was not clear who shot at them, O’Donnell said. The Lithuanian Defense Ministry identified the dead soldier as Sgt. Arunas Jarmalavicius, 35, the first Lithuanian soldier killed in Afghanistan.

  3. Meanwhile back in Iraq, The New York Times reports another U.S. airstrike kills 8 civilians in Iraq. “Iraqi officials said an American helicopter strike on Thursday killed eight civilians including two children and an elderly man during an assault near the northern Iraqi town of Baiji. American officials confirmed that two children had died in an American assault on Sunni insurgent suspects in the area and expressed regret. Iraqi officials, however, said the incident was likely to stoke anti-American resentment.

    “Unfortunately, two children were killed when the other occupants of the vehicle in which they were riding exhibited hostile intent,” said the American statement, which was released in Baghdad.

Four at Four continues with this year’s Atlantic hurricane outlook.

How do Democrats Win in Tough Races? We Walk….

Cross posted from EENR Blog

That’s right.  Gary, Charlotte and I went for our first precinct walk this weekend together in Aliso Viejo, California.  Oh man, not a good weekend to start, it was very hot and we waited until early evening to grab walking shoes and knock on doors in our very own neighborhood.  Why not start where we live?  Our community is in the heart of the 33rd State Senate district.

This will be our cheapest and best way to get the word out about Gary’s campaign and for now we are knocking on all the doors.  Republicans, Declined to States and Democrats.  We’ve found Republicans to be very receptive to meeting the candidate, especially when it’s quite doubtful that the Republican candidate will do any walking at all.  

And this is the best lesson we learned, talking to people is the best way to get them to vote for you.  And we even found some lovely Democratic neighbors who want to donate and volunteer.  What more can a grassroots campaign ask for?

How An Illinois Gal Got Katrina Brain

I’ve often imagined many in have been wondering why I care so much and have been so passionate in my support of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Region from afar, after having been to New Orleans but once, over 30 years ago. And how Hurricane Katrina and the federal flood have had such a tremendous, shattering impact on me though I witnessed them safe and dry far from the sea in central Illinois. And how not only could I be well-deservedly hard on BushCo, but even take Clinton and Obama to task for not paying enough attention to New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Region. And why I feel so strongly about this I started the NOLA/Gulf Blogathons. I’ll go into that in more detail below the fold–but first I’ll tell you how 9/11 impacted me.

Now for something completely different: Prime John Prine

I found this in my email inbox this week, and it was too good not to share:

John Prine TV!?!?

“What is John Prine TV?”

JP TV is a video player that hosts a collection of our favorite videos of John and some of his musical cronies. There is a ton of classic Prine footage on it, and as we find more videos, we’ll be adding them.

“What exactly will I find there?”

On it you’ll find clips of John duetting with Iris Dement and Nanci Griffith, doing “Angel From Montgomery” on the edge of a placid lake (“Lake Marie” maybe?), or sitting around a kitchen table just playin’ for some friends, and a whole lot more. Whether it’s John in front of ten friends or in front of 10,000 strangers, you will find John in some of the intimate settings as well as some of the most grand.  

I have failed in my efforts to embed the video, but this link will take you to a collection of 20 John Prine videos, which just keep playing one after another.

Do yourself a favor and Give it a click.

Fear & Loathing Today…Please Bear With Me.

Ok…I'll admit, I'm posting this here because I'm afraid of the wrath of the “Rules Committee”-types who control the orange zone. I don't need any more stress than I already have and I'm hoping you people are a little more accepting of creative license and will appreciate my effort.

Hunter S. Thompson is a gawd…period. I don't know if he worshipped The Noodles, The Sauce & The Holy Meatballs but I'm relatively sure he would have at least understood the concept and partaken in our particular brand of lunacy to point out the insanity of what is considered “normal” in this 230-year-old experiment we call democracy and the good ol' U.S.A. 

Bearing that in mind I ask you all to consider this brief essay written by Mr. Thompson before his death in 2006 that could apply today and is my way of expressing myself. I agree with everything he says and if this is plagarism or “overuse” of another's writings in my “diary” than I guess I'm glad I'm writing an essay.

I'm sure you'll understand. As Always…Peace ;-)>



Live Blog w/ Ed Fallon IA-3 just minutes away!!!

In just a few minutes, Iowa state legislator and candidate for Congress Ed Fallon will be joining us for a live blog at 1pm et over at the EENR Blog. Get your questions ready and let’s get the conversation going!

One of the first candidates the bloggers of EENR decided to endorse was state legislator Ed Fallon running for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd c.d. It wasn’t a difficult choice. Ed Fallon is a progressive’s progressive. In his 14 years as a legislator in Iowa’s House, he never accepted PAC/lobbyist money. Fallon had his values in place long before it was the progressive thing to do to refuse lobbyist/PAC money. Here’s a statement from Fallon about why he’s running for Congress:

Our country needs and wants change.  I’m ready to take on the corporate interests who have corrupted our federal government.  I’m ready to give working families and the poor a voice in national politics.  I’m ready to do what I can to see that environmental issues are taken seriously inside the beltway.  I’m ready to apply what I’ve learned during 23 years of public service in Iowa and be a part of the solution in Washington.

More below the fold….

Human Rights Watch: US forces imprison children in Iraq (without due process)

The US military is back in the cross-hairs of human rights organizations.  The issue in question is our detention of children, their treatment in custody, judicial review, and access by international monitors. Today, the issue will come up for review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

On May 22, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will meet in Geneva to review US compliance with the international treaty banning the use of child soldiers, which requires states to help with the recovery and reintegration of such children under their control.

Source: Human Rights Watch

Although Iraq is supposedly a sovereign country, US forces still seem to be playing a major role in arresting and detaining Iraqi citizens, including children.  


Liveblog (cfp08) 21st Century Panopticon: Fusion centers

Another liveblog from the Coinference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. Session on closed circuit law enforcement video surveillance and law  enforrcement data sharing and mining via “Fusion Centers.” Panelist bios at… .

EPIC’s resource on Fusion Centers  

Pony Party, Just Jokin’

Found this joke on a site that sells t-shirts.  Since theyre apparently ‘into’ the whole ‘capitalist’ thing ;), ill add the link

President Bush was visiting a primary school and he dropped in on one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked the President if he would like to lead the discussion of the word “tragedy”.

UN Chief Tours Burma, Regime Pressured To Allow In More Aid

“I’m quite confident we will be able to overcome this tragedy. I’ve tried to bring a message of hope to your people,” Ban said earlier as he made an offering at the country’s holiest Buddhist shrine, the Shwedagon Pagoda.

“At the same time, I hope your people and government can coordinate the flow of aid, so the aid work can be done in a more systematic and organised way,” said Ban.

“The United Nations and the whole international community stand ready to help you overcome this tragedy.”


Meanwhile pressure is building on the military regime to do far more to help the victims of the cyclone, and not all of the pressure is coming from outside the country:

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