Those of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) which flared yesterday at more stonewalling by the Bush White House, refusing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee documents relating to global warming:
"The committee isn't trying to obtain state secrets or documents that could affect our immediate national security," said Waxman, complaining that he and Rep. Tom Davis (R- VA) have been asking for the documents for six months. "We are simply seeking answers to whether the White House's political staff is inappropriately censoring impartial government scientists."
The White House has opposed mandatory caps on greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming, contending they could prove costly to industry and harm the economy.
Waxman said that the evidence examined by his staff so far strongly suggests administration officials have attempted to "mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming."
During the hearing, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported that it has found 150 government scientists who say they have experienced political interference in their work in the last five years.
PS: A coming report will say that Sydney Australia will, before long, become uninhabitable, due to heat and drought.
Democrats need more nostrils.
LA Times piece:
JEFFREY T. KUHNER,
"editor” of the “Insight” website, responsible for the totally false story suggesting that Barack Obama had attended a radical Islamic school in Indonesia as a small child. Ostensibly disowned by the Rev. Moon, who owns the site, Kuhner was able to push this toxic story onto his site and then onto major cable networks with simple e-mails.
Thanks to the NY Times for letting us see the inner workings of the Republican echo chamber . . . in broad daylight.
MOLLY IVINS Here's to the brave, wonderful Molly; happy warrior, caring, courageous, crusading journalist who has devoted a rich life to exposing corruption, hypocrisy and cruelty in high places, especially these last six dark years in America. She's now been hospitalized with cancer for the third time. This post and, I'm sure, all of us who have illustrated her work, and have been inspired by it, send her our thoughts and prayers. Nice tribute piece by RJ Eskow: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/01/27/i-heart-molly-ivins/
The Dallas Morning News 508 Young St., Dallas, TX 75202 214-977-8222
DICK “Hogwash” CHENEY
who gave us a great week.
In one interview he cried, “Hogwash” when it was suggested that the GOP may feel now that his approach is too hard line.
He attacked the interviewer for mentioning that Focus on the Family had objected to lesbian couples having children. "I think, quite frankly,'' Cheney said. "You're out of line with that question.''
Then, of course, Cheney’ role in the Scooter Libby trial, which is getting more interesting by the day. Although it has no bearing on the actual charges against Libby, his defense is pointing at Rove and Cheney anyway. And the fun doesn’t stop. Rove is called to testify this week! Stay tuned.
(Thanks to Rob for this one.)
Cheney interview article: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/25/cheney/index.html
WILLIAM H. SWANSON,
President and CEO of RAYtheon Co., developer of the "Silent Guardian", a heat-beaming weapon that can give anyone the army (or police) chooses the feeling of being on fire. Effective at more than 500 meters, it is designed for crowd control, the Pentagon says. But think of the possibilities!
This weapon won’t be available for use until 2010. So it’s okay to march tomorrow. (Please consider coming to Washington, make your own heat about this war, which is making it very hot indeed for many innocent folks, and creating a generation or more of blowback, in our name. Unitedforpeace.org)
Former aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who says that the Bush Administration snubbed a package of concessions from the government of Iran in 2003. This report from the BBC:
“Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilize Iraq following the US-led invasion.
Offers, including making its nuclear program more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.
But Vice-President Dick Cheney's office rejected the plan, the official said.
The offers came in a letter, seen by Newsnight, which was unsigned but which the US state department apparently believed to have been approved by the highest authorities.
In return for its concessions, Tehran asked Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and repatriate its members.
"We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that," Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.
But as soon as it got to the White House, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself.
Observers say the Iranian offer as outlined nearly four years ago corresponds pretty closely to what Washington is demanding from Tehran now.”
SEN. JIM WEBB in whose State of the Union rebuttal, about 2/3 of the way through, delivered language that amounted to a Democrat backbone implant. "The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable - and predicted - disarray that has followed. The war's costs to our nation have been staggering. Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world. The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism. And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve."
SEN. JOHN WARNER
staunchly conservative senator from Virginia, supporter of the Bush gang and Iraq war, who today will come out, with Susan Collins and Ben Nelson, with a resolution against Bush's escalation. This is will be non-binding but significant. It means that Bush has no major allies. Except for McCain, who must realize by now that he's hitched his wagon to a flying piece of shrapnel. This is all in the context of the weekend's rising bloodbath and Maliki statements that expose the Bush program as a sham. (Warner, BTW, has a lot to worry about. The Dems have targeted his seat as one to focus on in '08).
in a Texas prison for 11 years, was exonerated Wednesday by DNA testing thanks to the labs of the Innocence Project. Mr. Waller, convicted of sodomy based on the testimony of a 12 year old, is the latest exoneration of 12 in Dallas County since 2001. “Nowhere else in the nation have so many individual wrongful convictions been proven in one county in so short a span”, said Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. He has vowed to find out why.
host of American Idol, now raking in millions, holding retarded “contestants” up for national ridicule as freaks.
Well, December’s over and we can ditch all that “good will toward men” bullshit and get back to business.
In this art project all concerned look like what they are. Mr. Cowell wakes up one morning looking just like a moray eel.
Mr. Jonathan Jayne, a mentally handicapped, former Special Olympics participant who had been laughed at and derided by this “show”, likewise gets a newly visible inner self.
PS: Art Buchwald, recently dead, would pick on the powerful and never the poor, unlucky or ill. Already spinning.
Brutal Dictator's Executed Half Brother of the Day
ALBERTO GONZALES, attorney general, faced Patrick Leahy and other Democrats yesterday on the Bush gang's various assaults on the Constitution. He heard a particularly forceful discussion of "extraordinary rendition", as symbolized by the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian who ended up in a cell, being tortured in Syria, after U.S. officials grabbed him on a stopover in New York. Senator Patrick Leahy: "We knew damn well if he went to Canada he wouldn't be tortured," said Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont. "He'd be held and he'd be investigated. "We also knew damn well if he went to Syria, he'd be tortured. And it's beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights to send someone of another country to be tortured." "You know and I know that has happened a number of times in the past five years by this country. It is a black mark on us." Leahy noted that U.S. officials claimed to have had assurances that people sent to Syria would not be tortured. "Assurances," he snorted, "from a country that we also say now that we can't talk to them because we can't take their word for anything."
who, in his pre-presidential campaign, is being flooded by requests from groups that want to support him. One is called "Sportsmen for Obama". "I don't agree with everything he says about guns", Rep. Brandon Phelps said. "He would never do anything to hurt hunters, because he has bothered to get to know us and listen to us". Chicago Tribune, 1/17
I don't think I understand the full nature of what's happening here, but it feels different from previously held political wisdom. Does Obama represent a new way to govern, or just a new way to win?
who, as loyal henchman to the colorful Deadeye Dick Cheney, is standing trial for lying about carrying out the hit on Valerie Plame. This is basically about lying us into war. How far will this trial go? Doesn't seem that it needs to go far to hit pay dirt.
The blame for Plame stays mainly on . . what's his name.
former UN ambassador, who said on British TV last night, "The fundamental point is whether the civil war that is there is going to continue or are the Iraqis going to live as one country . . . This is not for the United States to answer."
Reality, on the march.
HOWARD ALEXANDER, anguished father of David Alexander, who, in our overtaxed army, is being held a year past his enlistment in his second tour of duty in Iraq. Howard had written countless letters to politicians and army officials, begging them to send his son home. Last Wednesday, after seeing President Bush's speech announcing the escalation of the war, Howard went to bed, suffered a seizure and died. The army is now sending David home. Michael Daly, NY Daily News, 1/14
Thanks to Edel for the great 1967 King speech. It stirs the blood. Here's a section I had selected for today:
In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military "advisors" in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken -- the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
At the Media Reform Conference in Memphis, gave a stirring speech last night about the role of citizens standing up to big media bent on controlling and corrupting the Internet.
“We’ve got to get alternative content out there or this country’s going to die of too many lies.”
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaK3tSVu68k
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL
who in a Foreign Relations Committee hearing yesterday told Condoleezza Rice that the war escalation was the worst foreign policy blunder since Vietnam.
She later suggested it may be worse than that, by intimating the desire for a wider war involving Iran and Syria.
Then there was this, at the end of an article on page A15 iof today's NY Times:
One of Mr. Maliki’s political allies, Sheik Khalid al-Attiya, who is deputy speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, said Thursday that he expected the benchmarks set by Mr. Bush to take 6 to 12 months to be met. With American commanders in Baghdad saying they hope to have the main parts of the city stabilized by late summer — allowing American troops to be pulled back to bases outside the city as Mr. Maliki has demanded — the Americans seem likely to run out of patience with Mr. Maliki long before Mr. Attiya’s timetable plays out.
A Shiite political leader who has worked closely with the Americans in the past said the Bush benchmarks appeared to have been drawn up in the expectation that Mr. Maliki would not meet them. “He cannot deliver the disarming of the militias,” the politician said, asking that he not be named because he did not want to be seen as publicly criticizing the prime minister. “He cannot deliver a good program for the economy and reconstruction. He cannot deliver on services. This is a matter of fact. There is a common understanding on the American side and the Iraqi side.”
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY
(speaking at the National Press Club 1/9/07)
"Our bill will say that no additional troops will be sent and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation unless and until Congress approves the president's plan. Our bill is a straightforward exercise of the power granted to Congress by article 1, section8 of the Constitution. This bill will give all Americans an opportunity to hold the president accountable for his actions. The president's speech must be the beginning, not the end of a new national discussion of Iraq."
Not exactly a profile in courage at this point. But facing front for a change.
If you agree, give him a shout.
THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION has woken up and realized that a lab which was supposed to test e-voting machines, Ciber Inc., has been doing such a lousy job that many faulty machines are being used in US elections.
Labs like Ciber Inc. have been funded by voting machine companies.
The Election Assistance Commission has hired some of the same people involved in state monitoring that had been ignoring what Ciber has been doing!
Well, you gotta wake up sometime.
GEORGE W. BUSH
who, in the midst of the recent holiday season, quietly OKAYED WARRANTLESS MAIL SEARCHES. While signing a bill requiring that government agents get warrants to open first class mail he issued a SIGNING STATEMENT that the executive will still make the determination itself as to whose mail it will open!
Chico Marx was right. There ain't no Sanity Clause.
Wesley Autrey, waiting for the downtown local at 137th St. and Broadway, saw a man collapse and fall into the track in front of an oncoming No. 1 train. Autrey jumped onto the track and pinned the man down as the train road over them both. Five cars passed before the train could stop. Both were pulled out unhurt. All my life I've wondered if you could do such a thing. For the rest I'll marvel at this person's saintly courage.
GEORGE W. BUSH
who, at a recent classified Iraq briefing with his generals said that he was not interested in stabilizing the violence. "What I want to hear from you is how we are going to win, not how we are going to leave." NY Times 1/2/07