Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Florida Students Tell Cheney NO NO NO Using Your Taxpayer Paid Travel Budget To LIE LIE LIE

Yahoo! News - No Politics Please, Florida Students Tell Cheney

More than 200 students at the school in Tallahassee, Florida, signed a letter asking university President T.K. Wetherell to seek assurances from Cheney that Saturday's speech "will not be another political diatribe aimed only at scoring points in the presidential campaign."

Fallujah Pullout leaves US policy in disarray--Another Policy Blunder from your friends at Chimp_junta

Fallujah accord leaves US policy in disarray

A new opinion poll in the US has found that support for the war has fallen substantially over the past few months. After initially expressing robust backing for the war, the American public is now evenly divided over whether the military should stay for as long as it takes to stabilise Iraq, or pull out as soon as possible, the poll showed.
Asked whether the US had done the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, 47 per cent of respondents said it had, down from 58 per cent a month earlier and 63 per cent in December.

The New York Times/CBS News poll found that 46 per cent of respondents said the US should have stayed out of Iraq, up from 37 per cent last month and 31 per cent in December.


Political Media Foes of Reality/Friends of Chimp_junta Turn Off Koppel's Salute to War Dead toa Million Viewers

Kansas City infoZine - Common Cause: Gagging Ted Koppel: Action Needed! - USA

Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest owners of TV stations across the country, yesterday made a unilateral decision to deprive hundreds of thousands of viewers the right to see tonight's Nightline broadcast honoring the soldiers killed in Iraq.

Washington - That a corporation can tell the citizens in the communities they are supposed to serve that they have no right to view this program shows the incredible power of media consolidation.

Sinclair executives claim the Nightline segment was partisan and anti-war, and thus decided to pre-empt it in the markets where it owns ABC affiliates. ABC said that the broadcast was intended to be "an expression of respect which simply seeks to honor those who have laid down their lives for this country."

Editor's note: Kansas City local ABC affiliate KMBC Channel 9 which is own by Hearst-Argyle will be showing this Nightline starting around 12:05am. Check your local listings as it may come one earlier.

Senator John McCain, in a letter to Sinclair, stated its "decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves."

Should a handful of corporate executives decide when news programs are partisan and have the right to remove them from the air? Isn't a judgment about what's partisan better left to the viewers to decide?

What is also troubling is Sinclair's own record of partisanship. Since 1997 through the end of 2003, Sinclair and its executives and affiliates have given 100% of their political contributions exclusively to Republicans, more than $165,000 in total.

Broadcasters have an obligation, written in law, to serve the public by providing programming that stimulates discussion and debate on issues important to this country. By showing the names and pictures of U.S. military who have died in Iraq, Nightline was offering a sobering view of the human costs of war. This is what journalists are supposed to do, and what serving the public interest is all about.

Sinclair's censorship is only a taste of the chokehold on information that media giants are able to achieve. This time, Sinclair's censorship affected only the ABC affiliates it owns. But if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is permitted to deregulate media ownership, one company could shut off information it did not like to the hundreds of TV and radio stations, newspapers and cable systems it owns across the country.

Sinclair's reckless disregard for serving the public interest also makes clear that the FCC and Congress must require broadcasters to take seriously their public interest obligations.

We are calling on Sinclair Broadcasting to Air Nightline Tonight!

Take Action: Call CEO David D. Smith at 410 568-1500 x1504

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Colin Powell Dictates News Coverage But Al Jazeera Turns Deaf Ear (Congratulations to them!)

U.S. Airs Critical Views of Arab TV

(What if every one was throwing roses at the US Troops and Al Jazeera covered that? Now let's look at the truth...Butcher of Fallujah Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt is ordering the slaughter of children, women, old and helpless and the handicapped--anyone who gets in the fucker's way. Listen here you bastard, you are the fucking INVADER.


Send that cocksucker Powell back to his daddy, elChimper, who sent him on this mission.

Let's not forget it IS BUSH'S dirty-work the in-boy is doing. Powell is allowed in the house only if he cleans the masters feet.

And Powell has shown that he is a genuine toe-sucker. A fucking liar. And he did it in front of the United Nations. As he begs at their door, hat in hand, he is representing the most disastrous foreign policy blunder in the history of America, if not the world.

Worse than Viet Nam. Fuck you, Powell, and the media whores you rode up on. Arabs are not the fucking Washington press cheerleaders with their hair all pretty and their $50,000 a WEEK incomes.

They are the real thing, risking life and limb to bring the story of a besieged populace. Remember the General who took a country to war to get rid of fucking invaders in 1776? That was General George Washington. He was and is the hero of the Western world for getting the British imperialists out of America...and it WAS a British country!

Powell, you and the Butcher, Kimmitt, are war criminals. All throughout history war criminals were so caught up in their self-importance that they thought they never would be brought to the bar of justice for their crimes.

But you, too, will hang, Mr. Powell. Right next to the entire Chimp_junta: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, General Tommy Franks, Wolferwitz, Perle, and Powell. Names that will live forever in the history books as murderers. Thieves. Jingoistic bible-toting fucking maniacs who thought they could use/abuse the treasure and lives of their countrymen to take over the oil fields in Iraq under the guise of outing a dictator.

One fucking dictator out--another one comes in. And the worst part is the new dictator is worse than the old one. And was never even elected--but was appointed by crooked and felonious judges on the highest court in the land.

Is there any wonder that Arabs are posting $15,000,000 dollar rewards for your capture, DEAD OR ALIVE, the same as you did to them?

And these guys often get their man. If I were any of you, I would, at the very least, tell them what bridge you want your charcoaled asses to be strung-up on.

GOPPER Lies Charted and Debunked

Claims vs. Facts Database - Center for American Progress

The Center for American Progress has launched this new database project to chart conservatives's dishonesty – and compare it with the truth. In this database, each conservative quote will be matched against well-documented facts, so that users can get a more accurate picture of the issues. And we need your help. If we're missing a lie or distortion you know of, please submit an entry. If it checks out, we will gladly add it to the database.

Finally the SLEEPING FU*KING MAJORITY AWAKENS!!--> Bush's Approval Rating at All-Time Low -Poll

Yahoo! News - Bush's Approval Rating at All-Time Low -Poll

New York Times Coverage of This Incredible Reversal of Chimp_junta's fortunes: <--LINK or Paste this

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Bush's approval rating is at an all-time low and fewer than half of Americans now believe invading Iraq was the right thing to do, according to a CBS/New York Times poll released on Wednesday.

The poll found that if the presidential election due in November was held today, 46 percent of Americans would vote for Democrat John Kerry and 44 percent would vote for Bush -- if independent Ralph Nader stayed out of the race.

The poll, with a sampling error of 3 percentage points, was conducted among 1,042 adults nationwide from Friday to Tuesday during a spate of fierce fighting in Iraq. More than 115 U.S. soldiers have been killed in combat this month.

"Just 32 percent, the lowest number ever, say Iraq was a threat that required immediate military action a year ago," the poll reported.

"Less than half, 47 percent, now say the United States did the right thing taking military action in Iraq, the lowest support recorded in CBS News/New York Times polls since the war began."

The poll said the Iraq war appeared to have hurt assessments of Bush -- his overall approval rating (46 percent), his rating on handling Iraq (41 percent) and his rating on handling foreign policy (40 percent) "are at the lowest points ever in this administration."

"His approval rating has dropped five points from early March...LINK...

Some help on maintaining your InSanity

A friend sends the following ideas on how we can keep what he calls "a healthy level of insanity".

At lunchtime, sit in your parked car and point a hairdryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

Page yourself over the intercom. (Don't disguise your voice.)

Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with it.

Put your trash can on your desk and label it "IN".

Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has got over their caffeine addictions, switch to regular.

Reply to everything someone says with "That's what you think."

Finish all your sentences with " accordance with the prophecy".

Don’t use any punctuation

Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.

Send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what you're doing at every moment of the day. For example: "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."

Call the psychic hotline and just say, "Guess".

When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I won! I won! Third time this week!!!"

Tell your children over dinner "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

Air America ON NOW (Weekdays 12-3 PM EDT)

Yahoo! News - Powell Says Support for Iraq War Will Revive

Yahoo! News - Powell Says Support for Iraq War Will Revive

He doesn't want to face the fallout of Fallujah. He can't stand the heat. The fucking liar should get out of the kitchen.

He is a ruined man. He will always be remembered for holding his thimble-sized bottle of talcum powder up in the UN, and claiming it was enough anthrax to kill us all and IRAQ HAD 56 METRIC TONS OF IT STORED AND READY TO USE. (Oh, as in those weather balloon trailers?) Fucking liar. Period.

Chimp_junta has used him. His reputation will fit in that bottle now. He is a "has-been," sucked dry of any authority by his own mendacity and complicity in WAR CRIMES.

He joins the others as unindicted War Criminals who must be tried by an international jury and if found guilty, either hung, electrocuted, or put in a small rubber room for the rest of his natural life.

Gene Lyons Asks Not What Kerry Did With His Medals, but What Bush/Cheney Did With Theirs?


Wednesday, April 28, 2004


By Arianna Huffington

It's a puzzling paradox: Recent polls show that voters are more worried that we are losing the war on terror, more convinced that we're about to be attacked, and more certain that the invasion of Iraq has put America at greater risk from terrorists. And yet, these same voters overwhelmingly believe that President Bush will do a better job of protecting them from terrorists than John Kerry.

Isn't that like believing that the embezzler who just ran off with your life's savings is the perfect guy to manage your finances?

Indeed, national security is one of the precious few issues on which voters think Bush is up to snuff — the same voters who turn thumbs down on his handling of the deficit, jobs, health insurance, the environment, Social Security and Iraq. Which is why the Bush campaign is starting to resemble one of those single-issue cable networks: the 24-hour Terror War Channel — All Anxiety, All the Time.

Whether it's Bush's flag-draped campaign ads, his newly aggressive defense of the Patriot Act, or Karen Hughes' mind-boggling linking of abortion rights and al-Qaida, our war president's message is clear: "Vote for me or your days may be numbered."

In response, Kerry has entered into a hissing contest with Bush over whose national security plank is more impressive: "My first responder is bigger than yours!"

But trying to out-macho the counterfeit Cowboy from Crawford is the wrong strategy.

I say let Bush run on 9/11; Kerry needs to run on 9/12.

Remember Sept. 12, 2001? On that day blood banks overflowed, money poured into charities, and so many people turned up to help at Ground Zero that most had to be turned away. It was the best of times amidst the worst of times. In the wake of that horrific attack, Americans were eager to work for the common good — to be called to a large, collective purpose.

But George Bush squandered his chance to tap into that national impulse.

Granted, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the president paid a lot of lip service to the concept of shared sacrifice. "We have much to do, and much to ask of the American people," he said in a speech four days after the attacks. And at a press conference a month later, he echoed the theme, saying simply: "America is sacrifice."

But there is a world of difference between spouting Churchillian rhetoric and championing a cause that will transform our society. Far from using his post-9/11 political capital to rally us as a nation to a vision that is bigger than the things that divide us, all the president called on us to do was to go shopping and "get down to Disney World in Florida."

John F. Kennedy asked us to "ask not" what our country can do for us. George Bush asked us to open our wallets.

But spending a wad of cash should not be all that our leaders ask of us. The truest expression of American character has always been not our will to amuse ourselves but our choice to give of ourselves.

Nevertheless, nearly three years down the war-on-terror road, the only sacrifices being made are by those risking, and all too frequently giving, their lives on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq — and by their families back home.

And I don't think the newly approved bill allowing members of the National Guard and Army Reserve to tap into their IRAs without penalty will make up for the repeated extended deployments they're having to endure.

Despite the passage of time, the values and spirit that emerged on 9/12 are still very much a part of who we are as a country — and they can still be harnessed if we have a president who will appeal to more than voters' narrow self-interest and unspoken prejudices. A president with the fortitude to ask more of each and every one of us.

That's why Kerry needs to take a page from FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, JFK's Peace Corps and LBJ's Vista, and usher in a new era of national service and shared sacrifice.

George Bush seems convinced that the way to win is by playing on our fears. John Kerry can prove that the answer lies in appealing to our better instincts.

The choice awaiting the American people in November couldn't be more clear-cut: Vote your fears or vote your hopes. If we do the former, Bush wins. But if we are inspired to do the latter, we could reach the 50 percent of eligible voters who've given up on our democracy — and it could be Kerry in a landslide.


Can Americans, The Result Of a Revolution, Insurrection, & Gen. Washington's Valley Forge, Understand This?

Aljazeera.Net - Iraqis offer bounty for US officials

Resistance fighters in the Iraqi city of Fallujah have placed a $15 million bounty on the heads of key US occupation figures, including Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

(See, it's like, if you have liberated a country, GET THE FUCK OUT or be labeled war criminals, thieves, murderers and occupiers like Chimp_junta. Or the Butcher Of Fallujah, General Mark Kimmitt--definitely not anything like the first American General, Washington. In fact, Kimmitt was what Washington was trying to KILL. But that was then...)

Congratulations to the "Information Clearing House" Website...Wonderful Links like this one,,,

The Butcher and the Idiot-Prince: Upside Down In Fallujah

Upside Down In Fallujah

...Today, in what was called “a defensive action”, the American troops attacked hospitals, ambulances, schools and homes in the center of Fallujah. This is just another twisting of the language to make attack seem like defense, aggression and occupation to sound like peace and freedom; our media has gone along, unquestioningly, with this—like tame parrots. But this is no different than what has been going on since America entered Iraq. Alfred Korzybski, the famous general semanticist would turn over in his grave if he could hear this abuse of language by our American military and media.

General Kimmit and Dan Senor keep talking about “insurgents” and “foreign fighters” trying to intimidate the people of Fallujah. Actually, they are upside down, Our Americans are the “foreign fighters” who were not invited to Fallujah or Iraq and it is America who is trying to “capture” the city, to “destroy the fighters”, most of whom are Fallujahans. And, as General Kimmit said again today, “We intend to send in patrols, but we will observe this cease fire truce.” He also sends in Apaches who attack groups of Iraqis from the sky, with no apparent justification. But, of course, this is not breaking the truce—at least none of our correspondents report it that way, even though their cameramen show the Apaches firing into Fallujah and buildings going up in smoke.


Dick Clarke, Target Of Chimp_junta Venom, Makes Case For Regime Change (In America)

t r u t h o u t - Richard A. Clarke | The Wrong Debate on Terrorism

By Richard A. Clarke
New York Times

Sunday 25 April 2004

The last month has seen a remarkable series of events that focused the public and news media on America's shortcomings in dealing with terrorism from radical Islamists. This catharsis, which is not yet over, is necessary for our national psyche. If we learn the right lessons, it may also prove to be an essential part of our future victory over those who now threaten us.

But how do we select the right lessons to learn? I tried to suggest some in my recent book, and many have attempted to do so in the 9/11 hearings, but such efforts have been largely eclipsed by partisan reaction.

One lesson is that even though we are the world's only remaining superpower - as we were before Sept. 11, 2001 - we are seriously threatened by an ideological war within Islam. It is a civil war in which a radical Islamist faction is striking out at the West and at moderate Muslims. Once we recognize that the struggle within Islam - not a "clash of civilizations" between East and West - is the phenomenon with which we must grapple, we can begin to develop a strategy and tactics for doing so. It is a battle not only of bombs and bullets, but chiefly of ideas. It is a war that we are losing, as more and more of the Islamic world develops antipathy toward the United States and some even develop a respect for the jihadist movement.

I do not pretend to know the formula for winning that ideological war. But I do know that we cannot win it without significant help from our Muslim friends, and that many of our recent actions (chiefly the invasion of Iraq) have made it far more difficult to obtain that cooperation and to achieve credibility.

What we have tried in the war of ideas has also fallen short. It is clear that United States government versions of MTV or CNN in Arabic will not put a dent in the popularity of the anti-American jihad. Nor will calls from Washington for democratization in the Arab world help if such calls originate from a leader who is trying to impose democracy on an Arab country at the point of an American bayonet. The Bush administration's much-vaunted Middle East democracy initiative, therefore, was dead on arrival.

We must also be careful, while advocating democracy in the region, that we do not undermine the existing regimes without having a game plan for what should follow them and how to get there. The lesson of President Jimmy Carter's abandonment of the shah of Iran in 1979 should be a warning. So, too, should we be chastened by the costs of eliminating the regime of Saddam Hussein, almost 25 years after the shah, also without a detailed plan for what would follow.

Other parts of the war of ideas include making real progress on the Israel-Palestinian issue, while safe-guarding Israeli security, and finding ideological and religious counter-weights to Osama bin Laden and the radical imams. Fashioning a comprehensive strategy to win the battle of ideas should be given as much attention as any other aspect of the war on terrorists, or else we will fight this war for the foreseeable future. For even when Osama bin Laden is dead, his ideas will carry on. Even as Al Qaeda has had its leadership attacked, it has morphed into a hydra, carrying out more major attacks in the 30 months since 9/11 than it did in the three years before.

The second major lesson of the last month of controversy is that the organizations entrusted with law enforcement and intelligence in the United States had not fully accepted the gravity of the threat prior to 9/11. Because this is now so clear, there will be a tendency to overemphasize organizational fixes. The 9/11 commission and President Bush seem to be in a race to propose creating a "director of national intelligence," who would be given control over all American intelligence agencies. The commission may also recommend a domestic security intelligence service, probably modeled on Britain's MI-5.

While some structural changes are necessary, they are a small part of the solution. And there is a risk that concentrating on chain-of-authority diagrams of federal agencies will further divert our attention from more important parts of the agenda. This new director of national intelligence would be able to make only marginal changes to agency budgets and interactions. The more important task is improving the quality of the analysts, agents and managers at the lead foreign intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency.

In addition, no new domestic security intelligence service could leap full grown from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. Indeed, creating another new organization while we are in a key phase in the war on terrorism would ignore the lesson that we should have learned from the creation of Homeland Security. Many observers, including some in the new department, now agree that the forced integration and reorganization of 22 agencies diverted attention from the missions of several agencies that were needed to go after the terrorists and to reduce our vulnerabilities at home.

We do not need another new agency right now. We do, however, need to create within the F.B.I. a strong organization that is vastly different from the federal police agency that was unable to notice the Al Qaeda presence in America before 9/11. For now, any American version of MI-5 must be a branch within the F.B.I. - one with a higher quality of analysts, agents and managers.

Rather than creating new organizations, we need to give the C.I.A. and F.B.I. makeovers. They cannot continue to be dominated by careerists who have carefully managed their promotions and ensured their retirement benefits by avoiding risk and innovation for decades. The agencies need regular infusions throughout their supervisory ranks of managers and thinkers from other, more creative organizational cultures.

In the new F.B.I., marksmanship, arrests and skill on the physical training obstacle course should no longer be prerequisites for recruitment and retention. Similarly, within the C.I.A. we should quash the belief that - as George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, told the 9/11 commission - those who have never worked in the directorate of operations cannot understand it and are unqualified to criticize it.

Finally, we must try to achieve a level of public discourse on these issues that is simultaneously energetic and mutually respectful. I hoped, through my book and testimony, to make criticism of the conduct of the war on terrorism and the separate war in Iraq more active and legitimate. We need public debate if we are to succeed. We should not dismiss critics through character assassination, nor should we besmirch advocates of the Patriot Act as fascists.

We all want to defeat the jihadists. To do that, we need to encourage an active, critical and analytical debate in America about how that will best be done. And if there is another major terrorist attack in this country, we must not panic or stifle debate as we did for too long after 9/11.
Richard A. Clarke, former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council, is the author of "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror"

A Gruesome Look Into a War Trauma Center--Where Bush Has Blood on His Hands Every Minute

Next Duly Elected President OF USA, John F. Kerry, KICKS AWOL el_Chimpo's Lazy Ass--Texas Style!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

And By The Way...Like CNN'S WOLFIE says: "GET READY FOR A HARD ONE" (Just bend over, here comes the news)

When does Chimp_junta get on the list of those SUPPORTING TERRORISM since they are the top recruiters for Al Caida now? (Al Caida is coming out favoring a reelection of Chimp_junta since it has been much easier for them to recruit since his insane invasion of Iraq...and this is not make believe...they HAVE come out for BUSH!!)

When does Chimp_junta get on the list of those supporting TERRORISM since they are the worst killing machine since the HITLER incursion into Poland 60 years ago?

(W_W_H_D...How would Hitler handle all these suddenly popped-up "Saddam loyalists?")

And Congratulations to the BUTCHER OF FALLUJAH, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, who can say out of one side of his mouth "the muzzies are blowing up their own mosques!!" and out of the other side of his mouth "we have to be very careful since this is such a delicate situation."

And don't forget the latest poster boy for the chimp_junta's BAD BOY MUZZIE: Zarqawi! (But what about OBL??) Just can you say Zarqawi? (But Iraq never attacked us) Zarkqawi Zarqawi etc etc

(What a bunch of lying mother-fuckers. Hope the Butcher catches a live round?)

Fallujah Offensive--Chimp_junta's Secret Plan!

1. Chimp tells Butcher of Fallujah, General Mark Kimmitt "Just say you're taking it slow and then BRING IT ON AND SLAUGHTER THE MUZZIES!!"

2. Chimp tells Washington media cheerleaders, "The town is FULL of INSURGENTS (ie human beings) and we are getting shot at (1 marine, sadly, was killed and 650 innocent civilians were blown to bits).

3. Lie Lie Lie about everything all the time and expect Chimp_junta to jump in and give you cover.

4. For instance, just say the "Cease Fire Is Holding" even when real time shows a bloodbath.

(What a bunch of lying mother-fuckers. Hope the Butcher catches a live round?)

South African (White) Apartheid assassins Paid $1,000.00 a DAY in Iraq--Are Getting Themselves KILLED! (hooray!)

YOUR U.S. Aircraft Hammer Fallujah After Dark

Chimp_junta's Spies Are Sniffing Blogs--Fuck em--Bring It On

Yahoo! News - Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials

Over 100,000 bloggers on this Google product,! Collectively...and I bet I speak for 'em all with no partisan divisions when I say FUCK 'EM -- AND THE WHORES THEY RIDE UP ON!

See, this is what you get when you give these bastards too much power and let them play their TERROR games. Anyone can be the next Jose Padilla, slapped in the Navy Brig in Norfolk VA because el_Chimpo wants to play jailer-in-chief and stuff his jock with a sock.

UPDATE: Brigadeer General Mark Kimmitt Asks: FALLUJAH, W_W_H_D__ As Rocket Gunships Pound Helpless Innocents

Collective Punishment in Falluja


The Best! Paul Krugman, NYT--Did SCOTUS Install A Petty Dictatorship?

The New York Times > PAUL KRUGMAN: A Vision of Power

Published: April 27, 2004

There's a deep mystery surrounding Dick Cheney's energy task force, but it's not about what happened back in 2001. Clearly, energy industry executives dictated the content of a report that served their interests.

The real mystery is why the Bush administration has engaged in a three-year fight — which reaches the Supreme Court today — to hide the details of a story whose broad outline we already know.

One possibility is that there is some kind of incriminating evidence in the task force's records. Another is that the administration fears that full disclosure will highlight its chummy relationship with the energy industry. But there's a third possibility: that the administration is really taking a stand on principle. And that's what scares me.

Could there be a smoking gun in the records? Well, maybe Mr. Cheney was already divvying up Iraq's oil fields in 2001, but I'd be surprised to find anything that clear-cut. It's more likely that the administration fears that releasing the task force's records would alert the public to the obvious.

Those of us who have been following such things know that the Bush administration is so deeply enmeshed in the energy industry that it's hard to know where one ends and the other begins. Campaign contributions are part of it, but it's also personal: George Bush and Dick Cheney are only two of the many members of the administration who grew rich by relying on the kindness of energy companies. Indeed, the day after the executive director of Mr. Cheney's task force left the government, he went into business as an energy industry lobbyist.

In return, the Bush administration has given energy companies a lot to celebrate. One policy decision alone, effectively scrapping "new source review" in regulating power plant pollution, is worth billions of dollars to industry donors.

But if we know all this, why does the release of the task force's records matter? The answer, I think, is that there's a big difference between compelling circumstantial evidence and a more or less official confirmation.

Consider, as a parallel, the case of the nonexistent W.M.D. It was pretty clear by last summer that Saddam didn't have the weapons that were the ostensible reason for war. But it wasn't until January, when David Kay admitted that there was nothing there, that the absence of W.M.D. got traction with the broad public.

The main public justification for the Cheney task force was the 2000-2001 electricity crisis in California. For at least two years, we've known that this crisis was largely the result of market manipulation by energy companies — and surmised that some of those same companies were advising Mr. Cheney on energy policy. But the public will pay a lot more attention if it turns out there is documentation that any energy executives were telling Mr. Cheney how to solve power shortages even as their traders were busily creating those shortages.

Still, Mr. Cheney's determination to keep his secrets probably reflects more than an effort to avoid bad publicity. It's also a matter of principle, based on the administration's deep belief that it has the right to act as it pleases, and that the public has no right to know what it's doing.

As Linda Greenhouse recently pointed out in The New York Times, the legal arguments the administration is making for the secrecy of the energy task force are "strikingly similar" to those it makes for its right to detain, without trial, anyone it deems an enemy combatant. In both cases, as Ms. Greenhouse puts it, the administration has put forward "a vision of presidential power . . . as far-reaching as any the court has seen."

That same vision is apparent in many other actions. Just to mention one: we learn from Bob Woodward that the administration diverted funds earmarked for Afghanistan to preparations for an invasion of Iraq without asking or even notifying Congress.

What Mr. Cheney is defending, in other words, is a doctrine that makes the United States a sort of elected dictatorship: a system in which the president, once in office, can do whatever he likes, and isn't obliged to consult or inform either Congress or the public.

Not long ago I would have thought it inconceivable that the Supreme Court would endorse that doctrine. But I would also have thought it inconceivable that a president would propound such a vision in the first place.


Monday, April 26, 2004


Aljazeera.Net - Clashes shatter faltering Falluja truce

"The human rights violations that happened in Falluja are very serious and the massacres that happened there are unprecedented"

Shaikh Muhammad
Hamad al-Shihan,
Falluja delegation leader

Has There EVER Been More Murder, Embezzlement, Corruption In High Office, In The History of the USA, than Chimp_junta???

Prosecutor Appointed by ASSCRACK to Probe GOPpig Access to Democratic Files

(If only there were a strong Army from across the sea to get REGIME CHANGE RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA, RIGHT NOW--Listen World, AMERICA IS DESPERATE FOR OUR DEMOCRACY. But Please, when you save us, don't use FUCKING SHOCK AND AWE AND KILL THOUSANDS OF US. And then, when the Regime is either killed or arrested, GET THE FUCK OUT OF OUR COUNTRY, O.K? Don't do like Chimp_junta and try to steal our country or we WILL HAVE TO HAVE A REVOLUTION and have to start killing you until you leave.)

Chimp_junta's Lapdog, Tony Blair, Takes It On The Chin From 50 Distinguished Diplomats

On the Lighter Side--

Sally Harding-Wyatt has sent this list of things you would never know if it weren't for television.

1. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises wearing their most revealing underwear.

2. Beds have strange L-shaped top sheets that reach up to armpit level on a woman but only waist level on the man lying beside her.

3. All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

4. It's easy for anyone to land a plane, providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

5. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off - even while scuba diving.

6. The ventilation system of any building is a perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building without difficulty.

7. You're likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

8. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.

9. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building in Paris.

10. People on TV never finish their drinks.

11. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

12. When paying for a taxi, never look at your wallet as you take out a note - just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.

13. If you lose a hand, it will cause the stump of your arm to grow by 15cm.

14. Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.

15. During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

16. Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning, even though the husband and children never have time to eat them.

17. Cars and trucks that crash will almost always burst into flames.

18. A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of a football stadium.

19. If a killer is lurking in your house, it's easy to find him. Just relax and run a bath - even if it's the middle of the afternoon.

20. All single women have a cat.

21. Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.

22. Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.

23. One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them all than 20 men firing at one.

24. If a phone line is broken, communication can be restored by frantically beating the cradle and saying, "Hello?, Hello?"

25. Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings - especially if any of their family or friends has died in a strange boating accident.

26. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessor.

27. During a very emotional confrontation, instead of facing the person you are speaking to, it is customary to stand behind them and talk to their back.

28. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your room will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.

29. Dogs always know how to spot villains and will bark at them and no one else.

30. Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

31. When they are alone, all foreigners somehow prefer to speak English to each other.

32. If there is a deranged killer on the loose, this will coincide with a thunderstorm that has brought down all the power and phone lines in the vicinity.

33. There's always a chainsaw around when you need one.

34. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch-enemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gases, lasers and man eating sharks that will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

35. All bombs are fitted with helpful electronic timing devices that have large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.

36. It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting.

37. Make-up can safely be worn to bed without smudging.

38. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.

39. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.

Jeremy Paxman--BBC


Sunday, April 25, 2004

Dirty Tricks From Dirty GOPpers? Crooked Bastards Created Their Own Cal. Democratic Club to LIE LIE LIE!

Why Are Kids Always "Caught In Crossfire?" Do Arabs Kill Their Own Kids? I Don't Think So

Butcher Of Fallujah, General Mark Kimmitt, About To Get His Daily Mouth-Full Of Iraqi Blood

The New York Times > Decision on Possible Attack on Iraqi Town Seems Near

(After which the Commander in Thief el_Chimpo will attend a pro-life rally in Florida... aj)

Read Just One Headline Today? This Is Phenominal. From Maureen Dowd, NYT--Welcome To Bushworld

The New York Times > Mo Doud : The Orwellian Olsens

Posted 4/25/04

It's their reality. We just live and die in it.

In Bushworld, our troops go to war and get killed, but you never see the bodies coming home.

In Bushworld, flag-draped remains of the fallen are important to revere and show the nation, but only in political ads hawking the president's leadership against terror.

In Bushworld, we can create an exciting Iraqi democracy as long as it doesn't control its own military, pass any laws or have any power.

In Bushworld, we can win over Falluja by bulldozing it.

In Bushworld, it was worth going to war so Iraqis can express their feelings ("Down With America!") without having their tongues cut out, although we cannot yet allow them to express intemperate feelings in newspapers ("Down With America!") without shutting them down.

In Bushworld, it's fine to take $700 million that Congress provided for the war in Afghanistan and 9/11 recovery and divert it to the war in Iraq that you're insisting you're not planning.

In Bushworld, you don't consult your father, the expert in being president during a war with Iraq, but you do talk to your Higher Father, who can't talk back to warn you to get an exit strategy or chide you for using Him for political purposes.

In Bushworld, it's O.K. to run for re-election as the avenger of 9/11, even as you make secret deals with the Arab kingdom where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.

In Bushworld, you get to strut around like a tough military guy and paint your rival as a chicken hawk, even though he's the one who won medals in combat and was praised by his superior officers for fulfilling all his obligations.

In Bushworld, it makes sense to press for transparency in Mr. and Mrs. Rival while cultivating your own opacity.

In Bushworld, you can reign as the antiterror president even after hearing an intelligence report about Al Qaeda's plans to attack America and then stepping outside to clear brush.

In Bushworld, those who dissemble about the troops and money it will take to get Iraq on its feet are patriots, while those who are honest are patronizingly marginalized.

In Bushworld, they struggle to keep church and state separate in Iraq, even as they increasingly merge the two in America.

In Bushworld, you can claim to be the environmental president on Earth Day while being the industry president every other day.

In Bushworld, you brag about how well Afghanistan is going, even though soldiers like Pat Tillman are still dying and the Taliban are running freely around the border areas, hiding Osama and delaying elections.

In Bushworld, imperfect intelligence is good enough to knock over Iraq. But even better evidence that North Korea is building the weapons that Saddam could only dream about is hidden away.

In Bushworld, the C.I.A. says it can't find out whether there are W.M.D. in Iraq unless we invade on the grounds that there are W.M.D.

In Bushworld, there's no irony that so many who did so much to avoid the Vietnam draft have now strained the military so much that lawmakers are talking about bringing back the draft.

In Bushworld, we're making progress in the war on terror by fighting a war that creates terrorists.

In Bushworld, you don't need to bother asking your vice president and top Defense Department officials whether you should go to war in Iraq, because they've already maneuvered you into going to war.

In Bushworld, it's perfectly natural for the president and vice president to appear before the 9/11 commission like the Olsen twins.

In Bushworld, you expound on remaking the Middle East and spreading pro-American sentiments even as you expand anti-American sentiments by ineptly occupying Iraq and unstintingly backing Ariel Sharon on West Bank settlements.

In Bushworld, we went to war to give Iraq a democratic process, yet we disdain the democratic process that causes allies to pull out troops.

In Bushworld, you pride yourself on the fact that your administration does not leak to the press, while you flood the best-known journalist in Washington with inside information.

In Bushworld, you list Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack" as recommended reading on your campaign Web site, even though it makes you seem divorced from reality. That is, unless you live in Bushworld.


Saturday, April 24, 2004

A Website That Counts Our Dead Men & Women--The Blood-Slaughter of our Soldiers In Fucking Bush's War

Click Here<----

World, we have to get this squatter, this son of a bitch, (yeah the old Barbara Bush...that bitch--the one who claims her "beautiful mind" won't let her even THINK about dead innocents in Iraq let alone our dead and maimed service people)the FUCK out of OUR WHITE HOUSE.

Chimp_junta's Terrorist Recruiting Succeeds!


By Ted Rall

NEW YORK--If the election were held now, Newsweek tells us, John Kerry would defeat George W. Bush by a seven-point margin. True, a lot can and will happen between now and November. But time is running out for the Republicans. It's virtually impossible to imagine the bloodshed in Iraq easing enough to save Bush's steal-the-world wackos from joining the growing legions of the unemployed. Even if Islamist terrorists attack us again--Al Qaeda wants Bush to win because his wars are their recruitment tool...


Chimp_junta's "Coalition of the Willing" Fighting Whistleblowers in All Countries Now


To Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt:

Listen here you son of a bitch, you are responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians; the old, the handicapped, the hungry, the children, their pets, their grandparents and their lives.

You say turn in this, or turn in that, and you will leave. But you are a fvking liar. You smiled into the cameras for CNN and the beltway whore media cheerleaders, and stated that "Americans were keeping the cease fire" while in real time, on Al Jazeera, helicopter gunships and F-14's were attacking heavily populated areas of the city--killing and maiming "insurgents."

The Nazis called insurgents by different names: spy, Jews, gypsies, terrorists--all of the names that you have used in different context.

Listen here you son of a bitch, these are living breathing people with more ethics and morals and the desire to breathe free air. Free of 'Occupation Troops.'

You have already taken a heavy and murderous toll on the civilians in Fallujah, killing and maiming nearly 1,000. Whore press that believes your figure of two hundred and some would find that that many were killed in the first hour of your revenge slaughter for the killing of 4 mercenary Hessians driving along with machine guns in their laps.

Go away. You are in the history books, "General Kimmett," as THE BUTCHER OF FALLUJAH, and that title will follow you as with the Nazis who came before, until someone takes you to task for your war-crimes and murderous actions.

World Bank Trying to Own/Privatize WATER All Over the World. Join WBW ...

Public Citizen | World Bank Watch - World Bank Watch

World Bank Watch monitors World Bank proposed (pipeline) loans in the water and sanitation sector that contain privatization and cost‑recovery policies. The Bank continues to push these measures despite evidence that increased cost recovery and privatization reduce access, raise the price of water for the poor, exacerbate inequities, and reduce local control.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The official weblog of Noam Chomsky--Absolutely Excellent Reading!!!!

Butcher of Fallujah, Major General Kimmet's Staff Officer, Threatens To Flatten Fallujah and Kill Everyone

US officer threatens to turn Fallujah into "a killing field"

By James Conachy
23 April 2004

An unnamed senior American officer told yesterday’s New York Times that the US forces besieging the predominantly Sunni Muslim Iraqi city of Fallujah could turn it into “a killing field in a couple of days”. The statement, filled with murderous intent, is only one of the more chilling indications that the Bush administration has ordered the military to drown the city of 300,000 in blood and make it an example of what will happen in other areas of Iraq if the three-week uprising against the US occupation continues.

The two-week ceasefire in Fallujah is on the verge of a complete breakdown. The US terms for a “peaceful” end to the siege are so unpalatable that they were clearly meant to be rejected. The US is demanding that the fighters defending the city hand over all their heavy weapons and stand by passively as marines and Iraqi police come in to carry out mass arrests and drag hundreds of young men off into prison camps.

On Wednesday, in defiance of a US agreement with unnamed city leaders that the resistance would turn in their rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortars and machine-guns, the defenders handed over only a truck-full of dysfunctional and obsolete weapons.

General James Conway, the commander of the marines preparing to attack the city again, was forced to note: “We are somewhat questioning whether they [the negotiators] represent the people of Fallujah.” Conway gave a timeframe of “days, not weeks” for marines to launch a renewed assault on the city, which he admitted would be “costly” for both the population and his troops.

Attempts are being made by US officials to justify before American and international public opinion the destruction of the city and massive Iraqi casualties.

Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) spokesman Dan Senor demonised the thousands of young men defending Fallujah on Thursday as “foreign fighters, drug users, former Mukhabarat [Baathist secret police], Special Republican Guard, former Fedayeen Saddam [irregular Baathist fighters] and other serious, dangerous, violent criminals...”

General Conway declared: “If the situation comes to it, we will demand that noncombatants leave the city... We’d like the good people of Fallujah, who see that their country has a future, to separate themselves from those who have nothing to live for and are here to die fighting the infidels.” By implication, those who remain and are killed in the indiscriminate US attacks that follow, have only themselves to blame.

The ceasefire itself has been an utter travesty. Its main purpose from the standpoint of the US military was not to negotiate a “peaceful solution,” but to kill as many defenders as possible while at the same time boosting the US forces around the city.

Loud music, insults and bursts of gunfire have been directed at Iraqi positions to try to provoke fighters into launching attacks. On at least half a dozen occasions, helicopter gunship raids and air strikes have been called in on parts of the city. Marines have launched attacks on several towns and villages near Fallujah that were also being held by the Iraqi resistance.

American snipers have literally stalked the city, murdering as many people as they can. The Los Angeles Times reported on April 17, six days into the ceasefire: “Marine sniper teams are spread in and around the city, working night and day, using powerful scopes, thermal imaging equipment and specially modified bolt-action rifles that allow them to identify and target armed militants from 800 yards away... The Marines believe their snipers have killed hundreds of insurgents.” One 21-year-old sniper claimed to have killed 24 Iraqis already.

Over the past two weeks, 3,500 marines have massed around Fallujah, backed by logistical support, squadrons of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, helicopter gunships and ground artillery. The US Air Force is flying at least 50 combat missions each day over the city and western Iraq.

In a sign of an impending attack, marines have reportedly been issued two to three days worth of combat rations, water and ammunition. A 500-strong Iraqi unit, the 36th battalion of the Iraqi Civil Defence Corp (ICDC), will also be involved in any assault. It has been confirmed that this unit is the special battalion recruited last December from pro-US militias, such as the Kurdish peshmerga and the forces of Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress.

Unacceptable symbol of defiance

Fallujah has been slated for destruction because the city, along with Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who is besieged with thousands of his supporters in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, has become a symbol of an uprising that has shaken the US occupation of Iraq to the core. The majority of Iraqis, whether Shiite or Sunni, are uniting around a common demand—that the American military get out of their country.

The entry of thousands of Shiite fighters into active resistance on April 4, alongside the long running guerilla war being fought in predominantly Sunni areas, has forced US and allied forces to retreat inside fortress compounds in many parts of the country.

The uprising has also triggered the virtual disintegration of the US-recruited Iraqi security forces. According to the commander of the US First Armored Division, 10 percent of the Iraqi police and civil defence troops outright joined the uprising, while another 40 percent deserted.

The inability of the US military to provide security has led to a breakdown in the economic functioning of the occupation. At least 1,500 engineers and contractors hired to work for the CPA have fled the country. Other contractors, such as truck drivers, are refusing to work. Halliburton, the Republican party-connected company with a contract to supply the US military with food, water and fuel, has had to reduce its convoys by 35 percent.

Fighting and unrest has spread to areas of Iraq that until now had been relatively quiet. Last weekend, US forces fought a major battle in the town of al-Qaim, in the far west of Iraq on the Syrian border. The depth of animosity toward the occupation was highlighted yesterday, during the funerals of dozens of people killed by the bomb blasts at five Iraqi police facilities in Basra on Wednesday. Led by a cleric loyal to al-Sadr, police and the families of the dead blamed the British forces for the bombing and demanded they leave the country.

Afraid of being embroiled in a quagmire, the Spanish, Honduran and Dominican governments have announced they are pulling out their troops. The Thai and Philippines governments are considering following suit.

The disarray in Iraq has emboldened the European Union to suggest that US control over Iraq should be weakened—undoubtedly to the benefit of the European powers. EU foreign policy minister Javier Solana declared on Wednesday that there would be “big battles” if the new UN resolution being sought by the Bush administration to legitimise the formation of a caretaker Iraqi government on June 30 placed the Iraqi security forces under US command. Control of the Iraqi forces, Solana asserted, was “still an open question”.

The reaction in the US political establishment has been an increasingly impatient demand that the Bush administration and military reassert control—regardless of the cost in Iraqi and American lives.

The Wall Street Journal editorial of April 20 is a case in point. Declaring Fallujah had to be “cleared out as a terrorist sanctuary” and condemning the ceasefire, it warned the White House: “The fastest way for Mr. Bush to lose support at home would be if Americans see soldiers restrained from doing what it takes to win by UN statements or political control. That’s when his own base begins to walk.”

A murderous logic is at work in Iraq. Having staked so much on the conquest of the oil-rich and geo-politically strategic country, as part of a broader agenda of global domination, US imperialism is signalling it cannot and will not retreat. The entire discussion within the political establishment, from both Republican and Democratic quarters, revolves around sending more troops, allocating more finances to the war and crushing the Iraqi uprising.

Republican senator John McCain summed up the mood sweeping Washington in a speech yesterday. Calling for another 10,000 troops to be sent to Iraq and for greater military spending, McCain declared Iraq was the “biggest foreign policy test in a generation”, that would be “very expensive, difficult and long”.

Those who will pay the price, unless US militarism is defeated, are the Iraqi people and hundreds more young American soldiers.

Ignorant Right Wing Nutcase Tries to ReWrite History and Turn Blood Into Wine

First, perhaps the reader should reflect on this screed, published in a neo-con magazine: Mackubin T. Owens on Vietnam & War Crimes on National Review Online after which the following letter to that author will make more sense.

My Letter to Crooked Politician--or writer--or whatever he is:

Dear Sir:

I reject your entire premise, which I won’t go in to with detail, about John Kerry’s testimony in 1972. He was a God-send. He was right then. He is right today. Starting with the Eisenhower ‘advisors’ sent in to V/N in the middle of the last century and moving through Johnson’s absurd Gulf of Tonkin Resolution…the V/N war was an insane delusion of those in power to assume the absoluteness of their ideology by sending our young people to die. (Sound familiar? Can you say IRAQ Quagmire??)

And having your ilk pick up the pieces and hide the nasty, ugly facts later. Worse, you try to make wine from their blood.

Is it that you righties want to alter the perceptions of “even those too young to remember it?” I remember it. Since I didn’t read the balance of your article, in the paid, digital version, I must assume you have had battlefield experience and are not just running off at the mouth.

And certainly, you have the medals to prove your substance during that conflict, as does Senator Kerry. Or maybe you did hard time in the Hanoi Hilton with Senator McCain?

You hard-righties really disgust and upset me exactly the way your ilk did during the criminal incursion into nation building, prompted by the idiotic and unquestioned ‘domino theory,’ now referred to as the “Viet Nam War.”

Why not express your zeal to the nearly 60,000 names on the Memorial Wall in D.C.? Why not tell the other 250,000 walking wounded and maimed and mentally broken service people with no where to turn, since the VA can’t handle their burgeoning medical needs any more? And this after all the promises made to our men & women?

Promises broken. By you and your ilk.

How dare you write such hogwash?

(Update Update Stop the Presses: "Mac" was quite articulate--displaying the full range of his magnificent "dittohead" mindset-- with a fast email resonse to my letter. He sent me a message: "Have a big cup of shut the fuck up." Advice that perhaps "Mac" would use to clean out his own closet, first. What else could this guy have to add? Mac, you have a nice day ;-))

Chimp_junta Goes Berzerk As Photos of Dead Heroes Get Released

Photos of Soldiers' Coffins Revive Controversy (

By Blaine Harden and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 23, 2004; Page A10

The Pentagon lost its tight control over the images of coffins returning from Iraq as about 350 such images were released under the Freedom of Information Act and a Seattle newspaper published a similar photo taken by a military contractor.

After Dover Air Force Base, the main port for returning remains, released hundreds of government photos of the ceremonies, the Defense Department ordered yesterday that no more photographs be released. In addition, two employees for defense contractor Maytag Aircraft were fired after the Pentagon complained about a photo of flag-draped caskets taken by one of them that appeared in the Seattle Times.

In March 2003, on the eve of war in Iraq, the Pentagon ordered an end to all media coverage of ceremonies for the returning remains of soldiers killed overseas. Although Dover already had such a policy, the Pentagon action enforced a military-wide ban on images of flag-draped caskets that dated to late 2000 but had not been followed.

With few exceptions, the ban had remained in force until recent days. But last week, about 350 photos from Dover were released under a Freedom of Information Act request by Russ Kick, a First Amendment advocate who runs a Web site called the Memory Hole (*. Dover recommended that Kick's request be denied, but officials at Air Mobility Command headquarters at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois authorized the release on appeal. After Kick posted the photos, they appeared on other Web sites, including the Drudge Report.

The sudden spread yesterday of the Dover photos of flag-draped caskets returning from Iraq came a day after Tami Silicio and her husband and co-worker, David Landry, were fired for the photo she took at Kuwait International Airport of caskets in an aircraft. The photo was published Sunday on the front page of the Seattle Times.

"We have terminated two employees in Kuwait who violated Department of Defense and company policy by working together to photograph and publish the flag-draped caskets of our servicemen and women being returned to the United States," said William Silva, president of Maytag Aircraft, the Colorado Springs-based military contractor that employed Silicio and her husband.

According to the Times, Silva said the firing decision was made by the company but the military had "very specific concerns" about the photo. The Pentagon has said that only individual graveside services give the full context of a soldier's sacrifice.

Silicio, a cargo worker who often loaded coffins on military planes bound for the United States, shot the photo in early April, as twin uprisings in Iraq led to a spike in American war dead. She snapped a digital photograph of an aircraft packed with caskets and told her best friend that her photograph of coffins of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq would allow parents of the dead to see that "their children weren't thrown around like a piece of cargo."

Losing her well-paid job in Kuwait was something that Silicio had been very worried about before the photo was published, according to Barry Fitzsimmons, a photo editor at the Times. "She has a mortgage to pay, and she really needs the job," said Fitzsimmons, who said he had a dozen phone conversations and exchanged 40 e-mails with Silicio before the photo was published. He and the newspaper's senior editors wanted to make sure she understood the possible consequences of publication.

"In the end, she felt she would be okay and she would be able to keep her job," Fitzsimmons said. "I think there is a little bit of being naive about the whole thing."

Silicio received no payment, but her name appeared under the photo.

Zuma Press, a photo agency, is handling distribution of the photo. Rights to publish it have been purchased by a weekly newsmagazine, according to Zuma.

Although photographs of flag-draped caskets returning from overseas fighting were common in the 1980s and 1990s, the Bush administration has enforced the ban on such images, saying it reflects families' wishes. Critics of the policy said the administration is trying to airbrush the realities of war.

"I feel if the administration were more sympathetic they would see that this is a positive thing," Silicio said in an e-mail yesterday. "When our loved ones are coming home, the families want to be there with them through the media, coming the whole way home."

Harden reported from Seattle. Staff writer Josh White contributed to this report.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

*The Memory Hole website is either being spammed by Chimp_junta or is very very busy since this Washington Post story...more to come...aj

NYT's Jack Krugman: What Went Wrong?

Published: April 23, 2004

n April 11 of last year, just after U.S. forces took Baghdad, I warned that the Bush administration had a "pattern of conquest followed by malign neglect," and that the same was likely to happen in Iraq. I'm sorry to say those worries proved justified.

It's now widely accepted that the administration "failed dismally to prepare for the security and nation-building missions in Iraq," to quote Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies — not heretofore known as a Bush basher. Just as experts on peacekeeping predicted before the war, the invading force was grossly inadequate to maintain postwar security. And this problem was compounded by a chain of blunders: doing nothing to stop the postwar looting, disbanding the Iraqi Army, canceling local elections, appointing an interim council dominated by exiles with no political base and excluding important domestic groups.

The lesson of the last few weeks is that the occupation has never recovered from those early errors. The insurgency, which began during those early months of chaos, has spread. Iraqi security forces have walked off their jobs, or turned against us. Attacks on convoys have multiplied, major roads have been closed, and reconstruction has slowed where it hasn't stopped. Deteriorating security prevents progress, lack of progress feeds popular disillusionment, and disillusionment feeds the insurgency.

Why was it predictable that Iraq would go wrong? The squandered victory in Afghanistan was an obvious precedent. But the character flaws in the Bush administration that led to the present crisis were fully visible in the months that followed 9/11.

It quickly became apparent that President Bush, while willing to spend vast sums on the military, wasn't willing to spend enough on security. And 9/11 didn't shake the administration's fanatical commitment to privatization and outsourcing, in which free-market ideology is inextricably mixed with eagerness to protect and reward corporate friends.

Sure enough, the administration was unprepared for predictable security problems in Iraq, but moved quickly — in violation of international law — to impose its economic vision. Last month Jay Garner, the first U.S. administrator of Iraq, told the BBC that he was sacked in part because he wanted to hold quick elections. His superiors wanted to privatize Iraqi industries first — as part of a plan that, according to Mr. Garner, was drawn up in late 2001.

Meanwhile, the administration handed out contracts without competitive bidding or even minimal oversight. It also systematically blocked proposals to have Congressional auditors oversee spending, or to impose severe penalties for fraud.

Cronyism and corruption are major factors in Iraq's downward spiral. This week the public radio program "Marketplace" is running a series titled "The Spoils of War," which documents a level of corruption in Iraq worse than even harsh critics had suspected. The waste of money, though it may run into the billions, is arguably the least of it — though military expenses are now $4.7 billion a month. The administration, true to form, is trying to hide the need for more money until after the election; Mr. Cordesman predicts that Iraq will need "in excess of $50-70 billion a year for probably two fiscal years."

More important, the "Marketplace" report confirms what is being widely reported: that the common view in Iraq is that members of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council are using their positions to enrich themselves, and that U.S. companies are doing the same. President Bush's idealistic language may be persuasive to Americans, but many Iraqis see U.S. forces as there to back a corrupt regime, not democracy.

Now what? There's a growing sense of foreboding, even panic, about Iraq among national security experts. "This is an extremely uncertain struggle," says Mr. Cordesman, who, to his credit, also says the unsayable: we may not be able to "stay the course." But yesterday Condoleezza Rice gave Republican lawmakers what Senator Rick Santorum called "a very upbeat report."

That's very bad news. The mess in Iraq was created by officials who believed what they wanted to believe, and ignored awkward facts. It seems they have learned nothing.



Thursday, April 22, 2004

Criminal? Impeach the Idiot Prince

Arianna: Live on Air America Today/Tonite on Jon Stewart--And Here, Sending Chimp_junta To Dante's Inferno

Today the "Fanatics and Fools" book tour brings me to New York and the Land of the Comedy Giants. I'll be doing Al Franken's radio show this afternoon (Air America, 1:40 EST), and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" tonight (Comedy Central, 11:00 pm).________________

By Arianna Huffington

For the past year, I've been studying and writing about the Fanatics running the White House and the Fools on both sides of the aisle who have enabled them to prevail.

Bob Woodward has now given us a chilling behind-the-scenes look at how this dysfunctional dynamic drove us to war in Iraq — providing devastating snapshots of both the evidence-be-damned zealotry of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their minions and the craven capitulation of White House enablers Powell, Tenet, Rice, and Hughes.

Woodward's portrait of this last group is particularly damning: an assemblage of cowards and sycophants who knew full well that the truth was being sacrificed on the altar of Dick Cheney's "fevered" obsession with Saddam but did nothing to stop the butchery. A very special Circle of Hell must be reserved for them.

Piled on top of the insider accounts by Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke, Woodward's book delivers the coup de grace to any lingering doubt that the Bush administration is teeming with fanatics for whom evidence is little more than an obstacle on the path to greater glory.

We see a president for whom staying the course — even if the course is leading us over the edge of a cliff — is a badge of honor, and for whom a questioning mindset is anathema reserved for, well, wimps. And George the Younger was going to have none of that this time around. Sorry, Dad. Bush is also terrifyingly insulated; if it wasn't coming from Cheney or Rummy — or Prince Bandar — he wasn't listening.

We see a vice president so obsessed with linking Saddam to 9/11, that no piece of intelligence that supports this hypothesis is deemed too unreliable to be used. Cheney was like an al-Qaida alchemist, converting shards of faulty or ambiguous information into golden reasons for pre-emptive war. Who knew that the soundtrack to the shock and awe of Baghdad would be Cheney's karaoke take on Peggy Lee: "Fever 'til you sizzle/What a lovely way to burn!"?

As frightening as this collective fanaticism is — and there can be few things more unnerving than leaders willing to lie to get their way — it's hardly surprising. Bush and Co. have been flouting the truth since the moment the Supreme Court handed them the keys to the White House.

What is a surprise is how easily — and willingly — the White House Fools went along with the program.

Colin Powell believed in his heart that war with Iraq could — indeed, should — be avoided. But instead of making a principled stand, he made like a Good Soldier and fell into line. He was further out of the war loop than the ambassador from the home country of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers — but when the president asked him to carry his sample vial of anthrax at the United Nations, Powell was so flattered he dutifully set out to hoodwink the world.

In Dante's "Inferno," deceivers are sentenced to have their souls encased in flames, hypocrites are forced to wear a cloak weighted with lead, and those who use their powers of persuasion for insidious ends are doomed to suffer a continual fever so intense that their body sizzles and smokes like a steak tossed on a George Foreman grill. Maybe Satan will give Powell a three-afflictions-for-the-price-of-one deal.

At least the secretary of state won't be lonely in the underworld. He'll have George Tenet and Karen Hughes right by his smoldering side.

Tenet knew that the intel on Iraqi WMD was thinner than Lara Flynn Boyle on Dexatrim but was so desperate to get on Cheney and Bush's good side that he turned himself into the Dick Vitale of WMD: "It's a slam dunk, baby!"

Hughes was just as spineless. After listening to Scooter Libby foam at the mouth for an hour, rabidly trying to sell the Cheney case for war to a jury of administration heavy-hitters, Hughes gave the overheated and hyperbolic presentation two thumbs down. But instead of counseling the president to rethink his pre-emptive plans, Hughes sat back and watched as the job of making the shaky case to the world was transferred from Libby to Powell. Forget fixing the message; they merely switched messengers.

In the Bible, Jesus makes it clear that those who have been exposed to the truth have a higher obligation than the uninformed: "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, you cannot escape your guilt."

The White House Fanatics — blinded by their zealotry — should suffer the wrath of the electorate and be voted out of office. But the Fools who enabled them must face an even harsher form of retribution. Eternal damnation is the ultimate long, hard slog.


El_Chimpo, Idiot Prince, Starts War on Iraq Based On Twitches, Grunts, and Eye Rolls. (Stranger than Fiction!)

The New York Times > Opinion > Mo Dowd: The Body Politic

"Not since Jane Goodall lived with chimps in Tanzania has there been such a vivid study of the nonverbal patterns of primates engaged in a dominance display."

Even $upporting our Troop$ I$ Political Football with Goppers: "Let 'em eat cake 'til after election."

GOP congressmen angry at White House over Iraq

...The complaints among Republicans that the administration has failed to own up to the soaring costs of the war reflect growing political strains over the war and the looming elections. If the administration is indeed forced to ask for more money, Republicans would prefer to see that happen while the election is months away.

(Note: This Website Supports the "Cost Of The War" website...View the 'toll meter' on the side-bar of NLTCP to watch the Billions and Billions of Dollars in US Treasure flow out of our country to Halliburton and other "Contractors" approved by Chimp_junta...Thanks, aj)

Chimp_junta Orders Firing Of Woman Who Took A Picture!! And Her Husband!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Chimp_junta Paying Mercenary Hessians $1,000 a DAY While Our Soldiers Get $300/Week?!?

Privatization in Iraq: Contractors With Guns

by Nicholas Von Hoffman

04/21/04 "New York Observer" -- Newspapers and TV outlets were condemned for showing the bodies of four Americans identified as "contractors" who were brutally killed, burned and then gleefully put on display in Iraq. As if Americans were not capable of acting exactly as the Iraqis did. Individuals and peoples remember what they want to remember and forget what they want to forget. For those who have forgotten, or the millions of Americans who are too ignorant to have known, our libraries are full of pictures of white people dancing and eating Southern-fried chicken as they partied around the burnt corpses of lynched African-Americans. So please spare us the shock and awesome indignation at Iraqi behavior.

Who were the "four U.S. contractors" who met their deaths in Fallujah? They were described in The Washington Post as "elite commandos … hired by the U.S. government to protect bureaucrats, soldiers and intelligence officers."

The contractors were employees of Blackwater Security Consulting, four of some 400 Blackwater employees in Iraq who are making up to $1,000 a day.

American news organizations are not doing the truth a favor when they call these hired guns "U.S. military contractors." They are not even being accurate: The men were not contractors to the government, but Hessians or mercenary soldiers in the employ of a corporate warlord, namely Blackwater Security Consulting. Let’s call these people what they are, even though Americans have yet to feel completely comfortable with the idea of killing for money.

Perhaps to help us get over any queasiness we might be experiencing in that department, a number of stories about the Blackwater mercenaries have stressed that they were former members of elite units of the American military. It has even been said that they gave their lives for "freedom." Whose freedom is left unsaid, but surely no more overused and abused word can be found in contemporary American English. The patriotic crap aside, if these men’s primary motives for being in Iraq were flag and country, they’d still be in the armed services. At a pay grade of $350,000 a year, we know why they were there.

Does that justify killing them? No, nothing can justify taking human life—but if you take one-third of a million dollars a year to walk around in somebody else’s country with a machine gun, and you get wasted by the locals, I don’t think you deserve a very big or elaborate funeral. They were there for the money, and these men—elite ex-soldiers that they were—knew the risks, and they took them. So be it.

Evidently, thousands of mercenaries have been put to work in Iraq, and this raises some troublesome questions. Is all this stuff we are fed on TV and in the newspapers about the new and democratic Iraqi Army and constabulary just lies? Why aren’t Iraqis guarding "bureaucrats, soldiers and intelligence officers"? Why aren’t soldiers guarding themselves?

Sooner or later, the American troops are going to find out about this. Is it going to occur to the young gung-ho guys, who volunteered right out of high school, that they are risking life and limb for chump change while other men (and probably a few women) with the same skill sets are getting rich? What will be the reaction of the middle-aged reservists and National Guard people serving for a few hundred dollars a month, at the risk of job and mortgage, when they find out about the thousands of mercenaries being paid a king’s ransom to do for money what they do for country? If there is a morale problem now, as these stories about suicides among our service people suggest, what, pray tell, will be the state of morale then?

What will be the morale of the members of Congress who worry about where the money is coming from when it gets through to them that the United States is fighting this war with $1,000-a-day soldiers? As with all formulae offered as automatic and invariably successful solutions to difficult problems, privatization works only sometimes. It works with garbage collection, where it saves money. It does not save money with Medicare, and it certainly does not save money waging war.

Not only does privatization not save money waging war, it creates problem after problem, only some of which are visible at this juncture. If captured, are these mercenaries prisoners of war and subject to the Geneva Convention, or can they licitly be shot as spies and saboteurs?

We know that there are thousands of mercenaries now loose in Iraq. Only some of them work for Blackwater. Apparently, there are a number of companies who hire these people, so the question arises about how much control the American authorities have over the irregulars running about the country. Dyncorp mercenaries in the former Yugoslavia were accused of rape and robbery. The point is that they are not subject to military discipline, and even if they commit no acts universally regarded as criminal, they may still do things that offend the Iraqis: They might drink alcohol, use insulting gestures, whistle at women or find a dozen ways to get into trouble doing things which are innocent enough if done in Indiana, but which are incendiary acts if done in Basra.

It is astonishing that a military establishment which has poured billions upon billions into the development of communication technology that allows for close command and control never before dreamt of by military commanders can have sanctioned such a use of mercenaries. They have armed mercenaries all over the country over whom they can exercise no effective supervision and whom they cannot even communicate with. In a situation where the Americans know they are walking on egg shells, where innocent but explosive misunderstandings can occur at any minute, the introduction of swaggering, overpaid and undersupervised commando types is little more than idiotic.

Another question hanging in the air is why the Bush administration has resorted to the wholesale use of mercenaries. What you may lose in command and control with military operations of one sort or another carried out by commercial contract, you gain in secrecy and, as John Dean is making a point of, we have an administration in Washington of secrecy fetishists. It is much harder to dig out what the corporate warlords, who are immune from the Freedom of Information Act and most other forms of inquiry, are up to. We know, for example, that the State Department has hired a war corps to carry out various military duties in Colombia, but precise knowledge of what they are doing is gained only by a reporter risking life and safety—and even then, the facts may remain hidden.

The administration may be using mercenaries because it does not have enough troops, enough "boots on the ground," as the tough guys like to say. President Bush et al. were warned, you may remember, before they launched us into their Iraqi folly, that they would need twice the number of soldiers they had committed to the operation. The warning was laughed off, and the general who did the warning was retired from active duty.

Hiring mercenaries is one method of trying to make up for the gap between troop strength and troop requirements. Hiring mercenaries enables the administration, it hopes, to fill the gap without having to admit it was wrong. Moreover, it seems that the administration was so wrong on its troop estimates that there is no other way to make up the deficit except by the use of hired guns. This alliance of 34 countries contributing troops is a joke. The United Kingdom has 11,000 troops in Iraq. No other country has more than 2,700, and that’s Italy. The Spanish have 1,300 and they’re leaving. Twenty-six countries have less than 500 soldiers, and of that group 10 nations have fewer than 100 soldiers. Moldova has 24 men there and Estonia has 55, so they are both dwarfed by Japan, which has a grand total of 75 troopers in Iraq. How many American soldiers does it take to guard the Japanese and Moldovians? Or are we to assume that the 121 Latvian soldiers can speak Arabic and can get on by themselves?

So other than going out on the market and buying soldiers, where can Mr. Bush find them? He could make a speech imploring our best young people to enlist to fight the evil-doers and weapons-of-mass destructioneers and then see what that gets him at the recruiters. Or let’s go back to conscription. It will not be easy for George Bush to lose the November election, but proposing to reinstate the draft is one way he can.

So it’s mercenaries or nothing, but aside from the money, there will be hell to pay for this.

You may reach Nicholas von Hoffman via email at:


Do You Know Where Chimp_junta Gets All That Money They Use to Lie Lie Lie With?

Public Citizen's report finds that the 416 Bush Rangers and Pioneers have bundled together at least $58.1 million for the 2004 campaign and that 90 percent of them (374) represent the special interests of America's corporations.

The report details how Bush has given tax breaks that benefit the finance industry, made it easier for real estate developers to build on wetlands and in the Florida Everglades, reneged on a campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions (pleasing the electric utility and mining industries), increased the amount of public land available for oil and gas exploration and coal mining, filled top Interior Department positions with executives from the mining industry, and aided the pharmaceutical industry by pushing pro-industry Medicare drug legislation.

Among the industries highlighted in the report are:

## The financial industry. Bankers, stockbrokers, venture capitalists and wealthy private investors have contributed at least $38.4 million to Bush's campaign efforts in 2000 and 2004 and produced more Rangers and Pioneers than any other industry - 73 who have bundled at least $10.8 million this cycle. Bush's tax cut dramatically reduced the "double taxation" of dividends, the securities industry's No. 1 priority. His other major tax cuts benefited the securities industry and its CEOs, who personally will save hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in taxes a year. Social Security privatization, likely to be a top Bush priority in a second term, would shift trillions of dollars of retirement savings to private sector investment accounts.

## Real estate developers. The real estate industry has donated $32.2 million to Bush campaign efforts in 2000 and 2004, and 37 real estate developers have qualified as Rangers or Pioneers in 2004, bundling at least $5.4 million. The Bush administration has made it easier for developers to build on wetlands, has attempted to narrow the Clean Water Act so that it no longer covers many ponds, streams and wetlands, and has appointed crusading opponents of the Endangered Species Act to key positions at the Interior Department.

## Electric utilities. The electric utility industry has donated nearly $6 million to Bush campaign efforts in 2000 and 2004. In return, in 2000 three industry Pioneers got slots on the transition team at the U.S. Department of Energy. The administration also rewrote a key Clean Air Act rule to effectively neutralize existing government lawsuits against energy companies and prevent future challenges. Bush launched a "Clear Skies" initiative that would dramatically delay emissions reductions and do nothing to contend with carbon dioxide, and has proposed mercury regulations indistinguishable from industry proposals.

## Oil and gas. Oil and gas companies gave $15.8 million to Bush campaign efforts in 2000 and 2004. Bush has opened federal land for oil and gas exploration and coal mining, targeted Wyoming's Powder River Basin for coalbed methane drilling, and required federal agencies to consider how agency rules will affect energy supply, distribution and use.

## Mining companies. The mining industry has contributed at least $3.1 million to Bush campaign efforts in the 2000 and 2004 cycles. Mining executives have been appointed to top posts in the Interior Department, and Bush's Environmental Protection Agency has permitted mountaintop removal for coal mining, is trying to lift a Reagan-era regulation that banned mining within 100 feet of a stream and increased the amount of public land available for mining company waste dumping.

(The Stinking Chimper Bastards.)

Get the report here <---Click

Bush Still Has Not Explained Ties to Saudi Arabia (and al Caida?)

Highly Trained Murderer, Torturer, Political Hack and Odius Dracula-like Negroponte Next Viceroy of Iraq

The Negroponte nomination: a warning to the people of Iraq

...While he was ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte supervised a 20-fold increase in US military aid to the country, which he aggressively defended as a model of democracy in Central America.

His predecessor as US ambassador warned him that the Honduran security forces were resorting to “extralegal tactics—disappearances and apparently physical eliminations to control a perceived subversive threat,” according to a briefing book obtained by the Baltimore Sun for a detailed investigation it produced in 1995.

Negroponte, however, systematically suppressed any reporting of the human rights violations that escalated substantially after he assumed control of the US embassy. He issued report after report claiming that the country had no political prisoners, torture or extra-judicial executions, and that “student, worker, peasant and other interest groups have full freedom to organize...”

During this same period, hundreds of people were kidnapped and “disappeared,” including a number of union leaders, student organizers and other opponents of the military-dominated regime. Prisoners were routinely tortured on the direct orders of the chief of the Honduran armed forces.

Much of this dirty work was carried out by a unit known as Battalion 316, whose members were trained in the United States and “advised” by the CIA in Honduras. While issuing his glowing endorsements of the Honduran regime’s human rights record, Negroponte was intimately familiar with the grisly work of these killers.

He worked to silence reports of the killings and torture, threatening dissenting Honduran officials by accusing them of aiding “communism.” When the head of Honduran military intelligence fled into exile and publicly warned about the “death squad” activities of Battalion 316, Negroponte dismissed his testimony as unfounded.

At the time of his nomination as US ambassador to the United Nations, Negroponte gave an interview to CNN, in which he said, “Some of these regimes, to the outside observer, may not have been as savory as Americans would have liked; they may have been dictators, or likely to [become] dictators, when you would have been wanting to support democracy in the area. But with the turmoil that [was there], it was perhaps not possible to do that.”...


"the President of the United States runs his father down as a weakling"

Gene Lyons: Bush's 'heartland' (Gene Lyons Is The Best of the BEST--Up there with Paul Krugman!)

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Following President Bush’s stunningly incoherent press conference, his media acolytes reintroduced one of their most useful fictions: the decadent, blue-state "Beltway elite" vs. saltof-the-earth, red-state "real Americans." Based upon TV electoral maps that colored Al Gore states in 2000 blue, Bush states red, it’s a theme GOP imagineers have exploited since Newt Gingrich pronounced Democrats "enemies of normal Americans." Even his admirers had to notice that Bush had no answer for the deeply embarrassing question of why he can’t testify before the 9/11 Commission without Dick Cheney holding his hand. In the Weekly Standard, however, Fred Barnes invoked geography. The president’s real audience, see, "is outside the Beltwaythe mass—and he does surprisingly well in appealing to it. How does he do it? By being plain spoken and amiable and down to earth. By sounding more like Midland, Texas, than like Georgetown or Chevy Chase."

Ah, the heartland. After the Supreme Court made Bush president, see, conservatives had to deal with the uncomfortable fact that he’d lost the popular vote. So they seized upon his popularity in counties containing more livestock than people. No more lampooning what H. L. Mencken called the idiotic hallucinations of the cow states. GOP thinkers contrasted the humble faith and patriotism of the American yeoman to the snobbery and intellectualism of the liberal "elite."

New York Times columnist David Brooks helped with an article in the December 2001 Atlantic titled "Are We Really One Country? A Report from the Red and Blue America." Brooks, who effects a thoughtful, academic demeanor as a PBS commentator, traveled to a rural county in Pennsylvania (actually a blue state) like a 19 th century British explorer visiting the Hottentots. "We in the coastal metro Blue areas," he confessed, "read more books and attend more plays than the people in the Red heartland. We’re more sophisticated and cosmopolitan.... But don’t ask us, please, what life in Red America is like. We don’t know. We don’t know who Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins are... . We don’t know what James Dobson says on his radio program, which is listened to by millions. We don’t know about Reba and Travis.... Very few of us know what goes on in Branson, Missouri, even though it has seven million visitors a year, or could name even five NASCAR drivers.... We don’t know how to shoot or clean a rifle.... We don’t know what soybeans look like growing in a field."

As Kansas author Thomas Frank has pointed out, the top three soybean-producing states—llinois, Iowa and Minnesota—all voted for Gore. It’s a strange map of America that leaves Iowa out of the "heartland."

Me, I’ve hauled several generations of stubborn beagles out of Arkansas soybean fields on rabbit-hunting trips. Would that be Travis Tritt or Randy Travis that Brooks is talking about? Completely different breeds of cat. Last I heard, Reba McEntire was starring on Broadway, which blows almost as big a hole in the "two Americas" theme as the soybean nonsense. But no, I don’t care for Branson or any "sport" involving gasoline engines.

As for LaHaye and Jenkins, I recognize them as the authors of the "Left Behind" series of best-selling "Christian" novels based upon apocalyptic themes from the Book of Revelation not very different from the doomsday "prophecies" of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians: The end is near, and events in the daily newspaperspecifically the Middle Eastprefigure Armageddon. It’s a mish-mash of crackpot theology and action/adventure melodrama concocted to keep turnstiles clicking at cineplexes everywhere. How seriously people take this stuff is questionable. I expect most still invest in life insurance even as they giddily imagine the end of the world. How it makes them more grounded in reality than Democrats, I cannot imagine. (Shoot, many are Democrats.) I doubt Brooks knows, either; he’s just patronizing the rubes for political advantage.

At the Ann Coulter-Michael Savage end of the right-wing spectrum, moreover, the cartoonish "two countries" theme gets ugly. Democrats are essentially accused of the crimes of the Jews as Hitler saw them: atheism, moral relativism, communism, sexual license, physical cowardice and lack of patriotism. Anybody who thinks I exaggerate should visit freerepublic. com or read my e-mail.

Especially next week, because I’ve got an impertinent question. During his recent "60 Minutes" appearance, reporter Bob Woodward was asked if Bush consulted his father about Iraq. "I asked the president about this," Woodward said. "And President Bush said, ‘Well, no,’ and then he got defensive about it.... Then he said something that really struck me. He said of his father, ‘He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength.’ And then he said, ‘ There’s a higher father that I appeal to. ’" My question: Is Bush pandering to the "heartland," or is he really that far gone?

• Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.