Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clinton Gang Declares War on the Democratic Party

Is there any doubt anymore that Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying to destroy Barack Obama's chances of winning? You have to be very naive to believe otherwise. There is no reason for Hillary to fight any further. Her only motivation is bring about Obama's defeat so she can run in 4 years. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party the "leadership" in the party do not have the courage to say as much. If you love your party why not defend it against someone who is out to get John McCain elected. If you don't know by now then I'm telling you: force Hillary (and Bill) out of the race. She's had her chance. My thinking is the Democrats are too inept to do the right thing. They've failed to run our country so why shouldn't they fail to run their own Party:

In a decision mirroring Florida’s fate, Michigan’s 128 pledged delegates will be heading to Denver, Colo., this August for the party’s national convention but with one half of one vote assigned to each delegate, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled this evening in a 19-8 decision.

The delegates of the contested Jan. 15 primary were given a 69-59 split in favor of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won the contest. That split means 34.5 delegate votes for Clinton, and 29.5 delegate votes for Sen. Barack Obama.

Opponents of the decision, including Clinton senior advisor and committee member Harold Ickes, condemned the move because Obama was awarded delegates he did not earn outright because his name did not appear on the ballot.

“This is not a good way to start down the path of party unity,” Ickes said, who admonished the committee for their “gall and chutzpah” in the ruling. Ickes also warned that this may not be over yet. “Sen. Clinton has asked me to reserve her right to take this to the credentials committee,” Ickes said, to cheers from Clinton supporters in the hotel ballroom.

The credentials committee is the next procedural step in the DNC rule-making process that leads up to the convention. Even if Clinton continues the fight, she still has little or no chance to win the nomination. Months of intra-party bickering and disputes between the rival presidential campaigns resulted in a no more than a net gain of 24 delegates for Clinton.

The decision was met with some uproar from Clinton supporters in the crowd, many were heard shouting “McCain in ‘08!” in frustration.

UPDATE: The Florida and Michigan decisions made this evening by the committee have also shifted the goal post for the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination. Set at 2,026 delegates up until today, the new number needed to secure the nomination, according to the DNC, is 2,118.

Adding in the delegates awarded in today’s process, Obama still maintains a significant delegate lead over Clinton: 2,052-1,877.5, according to the Associated Press count. Obama is now 66 delegates away from the nomination, while Clinton has a much steeper climb of 240.5 delegates.

McCain Gets it Wrong on Troop Levels in Iraq

John McCain claims to vastly superior to Barack Obama when it comes to foreign policy. But he can't get his facts straight on the simplest on issues surrounding the Iraq war:

At a press conference today in Milwaukee, McCain defended himself from Democratic accusations that he misspoke Thursday, when he incorrectly said that the US had "drawn down to pre-surge levels" in Iraq.

Asked in the media avail if he got his facts wrong, McCain replied by stating that US troops levels are down -- but said nothing of pre-surge levels. "We have drawn down three of the five brigades. They’re home. The marines [inaudible] are home. By the end of July, [inaudible] are back. That’s just facts, those are just facts. The surge, we have drawn down from the surge and we will complete that drawdown to the end -- at the end of July. That’s just a factual statement."

He added, "The important thing here is not that three of the five brigades are back, which they are and the others are coming back in July. It’s whether they would have been sent in the first place and succeeded or failed. Sen. Obama said that the effect would be the reverse. So, he has no fundamental understanding of the entire situation that warranted the surge, which led to the success."

But according to NBC's Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube, the US has NOT drawn down to "pre-surge levels" in Iraq -- and they will NOT be at those levels even after the five surge brigades finish redeploying later this summer. The math is a bit fuzzy, but here are the facts: The US now has 155,000 troops on the ground in Iraq, and that is 17 brigade combat teams plus combat support forces. The baseline number of troops, now commonly called the "pre-surge level," was about 132,000 troops, or 15 brigade combat teams, plus the support forces (engineers, medics, cooks, etc).

Three of the five surge brigades are fully redeployed back to the US. The fourth has already begun to redeploy now (heading back to Fort Lewis). All five brigades will be back in the US by the end of July. When all five surge brigades are out of Iraq, the US will still have between 140,000 and 144,000 troops on the ground -- about 10,000 more than the "pre-surge level." Why? Most of the combat support and logistics troops will stay behind. So will the additional MPs, aviation forces, and other individual battalions sent over in bits and pieces as the surge forces arrived last year.

US Shrugs Off Cluster Bomb Treaty

Our government behaves like the worst dictatorships in the world. It opposes just ever international treaty. Why doesn't someone take a poll on whether the American people would support a treaty that puts restraints on a horrible weapon system. And this renegade behaviour isn't limited to the Bush/neocon thugs:

Chief negotiators of a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs predicted Friday that the United States will never again use the weapons, a critical component of American air and artillery power.

The treaty formally adopted Friday by 111 nations, including many of America's major NATO partners, would outlaw all current designs of cluster munitions and require destruction of stockpiles within eight years. It also opens the possibility that European allies could order U.S. bases located in their countries to remove cluster bombs from their stocks.

The United States and other leading cluster bomb makers - Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan - boycotted the talks, emphasized they would not sign the treaty and publicly shrugged off its value. All defended the overriding military value of cluster bombs, which carpet a battlefield with dozens to hundreds of explosions.

But treaty backers - who long have sought a ban because cluster bombs leave behind "duds" that later maim or kill civilians - insisted they had made it too politically painful for any country to use the weapons again.

"The country that thinks of using cluster munitions next week should think twice, because it would look very bad," said Espen Barth Eide, Deputy Defense Minister of Norway, which began the negotiations last year and will host a treaty-signing ceremony Dec. 3.

"We're certain that nations thinking of using cluster munitions won't want to face the international condemnation that will rain down upon them, because the weapons have been stigmatized now," said Steve Goose, arms control director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, who was involved in the talks.

However, the treaty envisions their future use - and offers legal protection to any signatory nation that finds itself operating alongside U.S. forces deploying cluster bombs, shells and rockets.

The treaty specifies - in what backers immediately dubbed "the American clause" - that members "may engage in military cooperation and operations" with a nation that rejects the treaty and "engages in activities prohibited" by the treaty.

It suggests that a treaty member could call in support from U.S. air power or artillery using cluster munitions, so long as the caller does not "expressly request the use of cluster munitions."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the treaty would not change U.S. policy and cluster munitions remain "absolutely critical and essential" to U.S. military operations.

He said U.S. officials in the State and Defense departments were studying whether the treaty would eventually oblige American bases in Europe to withdraw cluster munitions.

Goose said this decision would be up to individual U.S. allies. The treaty, he noted, requires nations that ratify it to eliminate all cluster weapons within their "jurisdiction or control."

Did Musharraf Give North Korea, Iran Nuclear Technology

Pervez Musharraf, we are told, is America's ally in the war on terror. But it could turn out that the Pakistani military ruler has been double-dealing the U.S. for years. It might be that Musharraf is an enemy not an ally:

The Pakistani scientist blamed for running a rogue network that sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya has recanted his confession, telling ABC News the Pakistani government and President Perez Musharraf forced him to be a "scapegoat" for the "national interest."

"I don't stand by that," Dr. A.Q. Khan told ABC News in a 35-minute phone interview from his home in Islamabad, where he has been detained since "confessing" that he ran the nuclear network on his own, without the knowledge of the Pakistani government. The interview will be broadcast Friday on "World News With Charles Gibson."

It was his first interview with an American journalist in a series of telephone interviews he has granted this week, marking the 10th anniversary of Pakistan's first test of a nuclear bomb.

"People were asking a lot of questions, so I said, 'OK. Let me give an answer,'" Khan told ABC News early Friday, Pakistan time.

As to his widely publicized confession, Khan said he was told by Musharraf that it would get the United States "off our backs" and that he was promised he would be quickly pardoned. "Those people who were supposed to know knew it," Khan said about his activities.

If true, it would mean Pakistan lied to the U.S. and the international community about its role in providing nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

The Bush administration isn't concerned about the whether Pakistan is unreliable. They like their boy Musharraf. They are more concerned about the consequences would be if the Pakistani strongman were forced to step down. The Bush gang are worried about real democracy taking place in Pakistan:
Pressed by a swirl of rumors that he was about to be ousted, President Pervez Musharraf insisted this week that he was staying, and President Bush on Friday confirmed his continued support with a reassuring phone call to Mr. Musharraf, the White House said.

Mr. Musharraf was forced at an official dinner Thursday night to deny rumors of his imminent departure, speaking after a Pakistani newspaper reported that the chief of army staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, met with him on Wednesday to persuade him to resign.

At the same time, the Pakistani military confirmed that General Kayani had removed a loyalist to Mr. Musharraf from one of the army’s most significant posts.

[...]In his telephone conversation with the Pakistani president, Mr. Bush “reiterated the United States’ strong support for Pakistan, and he indicated that he looked forward to President Musharraf’s continuing role in further strengthening United States-Pakistani relations,” said the White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Transcript: Scott McClellan Interviewed by Keith Olbermann

McClellan took his bombshell book tour to Countdown to be interviewed by Keith Olbermann. Read the complete Transcript:

OLBERMANN: That's a good way to start.

That phrase, “you have since come to realize that some of those statements were badly misguided.” Not to put words in your mouth or insult you, but did you lie as White House press secretary at any point?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I did when it came to the issue of the Valerie Plame leak episode when I—unknowingly did so. I passed along false information. I had been given assurances by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that they were not involved in the leak. And it turned out later that they were, but they both unequivocally told me, when I asked them, were you involved in this is any way? They said, no.

[...]OLBERMANN: I want to get, as I was saying, back to the entire Plamegate or Plame/Libby story, or Plame/Libby/Cheney story. But as I suggested in the opening here, this—to me, in reading, so far, about half of this book, it seems it is the Rosetta Stone for understanding the last seven years of American history.

I would like to drop you in and out of key moments in that time.

And—tell me what really happened and what you saw.

And I want to start more or less chronologically on 9/11, not 9/11 per se but 9/12, the day afterwards, the days afterwards. Did the president see this as much as a disaster? Did he see it as an opportunity do you think?

MCCLELLAN: The September 11 attacks?


MCCLELLAN: Well certainly he saw it as an opportunity to look at the war on terror in broad way and to try to implement this idealistic vision that he had of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. I think that's what you're getting to.

OLBERMANN: Yes. In the sense that it was to some degree used—


OLBERMANN: What happened after 9/11 was used in this country?

MCCLELLAN: Well certainly it was to advance the Iraq policy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Transcript: Scott McClellan Interview on Today Show

Read the complete transcript of Scott McClellan's interview Thursday on the Today Show as he discusses his bombshell book:

VIEIRA: But you had to know this was going to create a firestorm.

Mr. McCLELLAN: Well, I think I expected some of the reaction that was going to come out. You know, the White House would prefer that I not talk openly about my experiences. But I think there's a larger purpose to this book and that is the message I just talked about. It's really about looking at this permanent campaign culture in Washington, DC, and talking about how can we move beyond it? When I went to work for President Bush back in 1999, then Governor Bush, I had all this great hope that we were going to come to Washington and change it. He talked about being a uniter, not a divider. This was a president that had a--had a record as governor of Texas of being a bipartisan leader, of someone who brought people together to get things done, an approval rating well into the 70s. And then we got to Washington and I think we got caught up in playing the Washington game the way it's played today. And I think a lot of Americans like me would like to see us move beyond that bitter partiness--partisanship that exists today.

VIEIRA: So he let you down then, this man that you believed in?

Mr. McCLELLAN: Well, you know, I think I'm disappointed that things didn't turn out the way that we all hoped they would turn out. We all had high hopes coming in. And I think this is sharing my personal experience of going through that, coming into Washington, DC, as deputy press secretary, then becoming the White House spokesman, the White House press secretary. And by the last 10 months or so of my time at the White House, I grew--I grew increasingly disillusioned by things, when the first revelation came out that what I had been told by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, that they were in no way involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity, which we now know is not true, when I--and despite the fact that I went to the podium and said these people assured me they were not involved, you know, I started--I started to become a little more disillusioned about things.

Disinformation Campaign to Coverup Hillary's Lesbianism

This article in Today's NY Daily News is very curious. It has been long rumored that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian. And her rumored love interest--Huma Abedin. So it is somewhat mysterious when a NY politician, who is a Clinton supporter, claims to be in love with the presidential candidate's "body woman." We know for a fact that Bill and Hillary have a cynical power arrangement that does not extend to romance. They are never intimate in public. And Bill's tirades can be explained to sexual frustration. He has obviously been put on a leash to prevent a scandal from breaking out and destroying his and her chance to get back to the White House:

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a likely 2009 mayoral candidate, is pouring his heart into Hillary Clinton's White House bid - literally.

Weiner, whose district includes parts of Queens and Brooklyn, finally 'fessed that he is romancing Clinton's glamorous "body woman," Huma Abedin.

Asked by The Associated Press about all the time he's spending on the road campaigning for Clinton, the 43-year-old bachelor said, "It's largely because I'm dating Huma."

The whispers have been around for months, but until yesterday Weiner ducked questions about Abedin, saying his personal life was off limits.

Though she posed recently for a glamorous photo spread in Vogue, Abedin, 32, is famously press-shy.

Oh, by the way, Weiner is Jewish and Abedin comes from a Muslim background:
Abedin was born in Michigan to a Pakistani mother and an Indian father and was raised in Saudi Arabia.

She landed an internship in the First Lady's office in 1996 and quickly become her indispensable right hand.

These days, she rarely leaves the senator's side - and Weiner rarely leaves hers.

As to the hectic pace of a presidential campaign, he conceded, "It's not a great environment to forge a relationship."

In the comments to the Daily News article readers made reference to Hillary and Abedin relationship and this being an attempt to cover up that fact.

McClellan on Today Show: Bush "Manipulated" Public Opinion

McClellan gives a sincere and heartfelt description of why he wrote the book on the Today Show this morning. Read the complete transcript of McClellans interview:

The former Bush administration pitchman making explosive election-year charges about how the White House handled the Valerie Plame case and built the case for invading Iraq said Thursday that he went to Washington to change it and became “disillusioned” when he realized he was just a pawn in the never-ending political game.

“The larger message has been sort of lost in the mix. ... The White House would prefer I not speak out openly and honestly about my experiences, but I believe there is a larger purpose,” Scott McClellan, the chief spokesman for the White House from 2003 to 2006, told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira exclusively during his first interview since excerpts of his new memoir hit the Internet on Tuesday.

“I had all this great hope that we were going to come to Washington and change it. ... Then we got to Washington, and I think we got caught up in playing the Washington game the way it is being played today,” said McClellan, who made only passing references to Bush himself.

[...]McClellan said that it wasn't until he realized that he may have been led to deliver false information to the media about two senior administration officials’ roles in outing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative that he knew he would someday have to tell his story.

“My hope is that by writing this book and sharing openly and honestly what I learned is that in some small way it might help us move beyond the partisan warfare of the past 15 years. There’s a larger purpose to this book. It’s about looking at the permanent campaign culture in Washington, D.C., and how we can move beyond it,” he said.

As Bush's press secretary, McClellan defended the war to the media. But in his book he accused the White House of shading the truth and conducting a political propaganda campaign in making the case to go to war in Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein.

“I gave them the benefit of the doubt just like a lot of Americans,” McClellan said. “Looking back and reflecting on it now, I don’t think I should have.”

[...]McClellan writes that the Bush White House decided “to turn away from candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed” during the period when sentiment was being marshaled to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein.

McClellan said that the White House never shifted from campaign mode to governing mode, an approach that “almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option. … In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage.”

The mainstream media also came under fire from McClellan, who charged that reporters accepted what they were told and didn’t ask the hard questions that might have exposed the bad intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

McClellan: Bush WH "Shaded the Truth" in Going to War with Iraq

The press has chosen to focus on the motivation of Scott McClellan for writing his book so negative of the Bush White House. What they should be considering is whether engaged in impeachable offenses for starting a war that had no legitimacy:

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, whose new memoir has sparked controversy about the Bush administration's plans before the Iraq war, said Thursday he is "disappointed that things didn't turn out the way we had hoped they would turn out" at the beginning of the administration.

McClellan, whose memoir claims the administration manipulated facts to "sell" the Iraq war, told NBC's Today Show that he became "increasingly disillusioned with things" during his time in the White House.

"My hope is that by writing this book and sharing openly and honestly what I lived and what I learned during my time at the White House that in some small way it might help us move beyond the destructive partisan warfare of the last 15 years," he said of the memoir, excerpts of which were first disclosed earlier this week.

Let's hear from those who should be defending McClellan:
McClellan's sharp critique drew the wrath of administration officials, past and present, on Wednesday.

"This is a wholesale jumping-ship, using the language of the other side in a very harsh, accusatory manner," said Ari Fleischer, who preceded McClellan as press secretary.

"It is sad," said current press secretary Dana Perino, who was hired by McClellan. "This is not the Scott we knew."

"I'm just flabbergasted," says Trent Duffy, a deputy press secretary to McClellan. "Scott never hinted, whispered, breathed any shred of this when we worked together 2½ years."

Perino said President Bush does not plan to comment, saying he "has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers." But she said he was "puzzled, and he doesn't recognize this as the Scott McClellan that he hired and confided in and worked with for so many years."

As an original member of Bush's political entourage from Texas, McClellan, 40, wasn't expected to follow in the line of presidential loyalists-turned-critics who date back at least to Franklin Roosevelt's administration. Nor was he considered likely to accuse colleagues of confusing "the political propaganda campaign with the realities of the war-making campaign."

McClellan, who declined to comment Wednesday, also is scheduled to appear National Public Radio's Morning Edition and liberal commentator Keith Olbermann's Countdown show on MSNBC this week, to be followed by a book tour starting Wednesday in New York.

Perhaps McClellan's most important claims have to do with the decision he says "pushed Bush's presidency off course" — the decision to invade Iraq.

In his book, McClellan says the administration did not employ "out-and-out deception" but engaged in "shading the truth." That included efforts to make evidence that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction and Iraq's connections to terrorism "just a little more certain, a little less questionable, than they were."

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., a White House aide during the Clinton administration and a critic of the Iraq war, said that if McClellan's book is accurate, "the price to America for this presidency is beyond what we actually have calculated."

Leon Panetta, a White House chief of staff to Clinton, joined Bush aides in wondering why McClellan had not expressed his views earlier.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Clinton Supporters Cannot Defend Hillary Candidacy

Read the transcript of James Carville trying to make the case for Hillary. This comes from his appearance on The Situation Room. It's quite pathetic:

Is there a realistic scenario that Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there's a scenario. I mean there's a chance. And I -- look, there's nobody...

BLITZER: Wait a second. You say there's a scenario. You're talking a little too fast.

You say there's a scenario...

CARVILLE: A scenario.


CARVILLE: Well, I don't -- again, there is a -- I don't know if there's a 20 percent chance, a 15 percent chance -- I don't know, a 25. First of all, she is probably going to win the popular vote. Now, one can say -- you can make an argument, secondly, she would probably carry Florida. We seem to be seeing that. So she's going to make her argument and she's going to continue to make her argument, as she should make her argument.

BLITZER: Well, let's get back to the question -- you see a realistic scenario that she could still get the nomination?

CARVILLE: I see a scenario that she could win the nomination. I don't know what -- what is a realistic scenario?

BLITZER: Well, what is a realistic scenario?

CARVILLE: I don't know. But I think she's going to be the popular -- I think there's a good chance that's she's going to be the popular vote winner. I think, in spite of -- I think she would be a -- I think there's a good case that she can make that she'd be a stronger general election candidate.

BLITZER: But just...

CARVILLE: I think she ought to be allowed to make her case.

BLITZER: But just like Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, it was the Electoral College that mattered...

CARVILLE: Well, again, but you know what?

BLITZER: The popular vote...

CARVILLE: Democrats... BLITZER: Does it really matter?

Isn't it the delegate count that matters?

CARVILLE: Again, she's not going to go -- she's not going to get -- the point is, what's more important, voters or delegates?

If you say delegates are more important, it's one thing. And, by the way, Al Gore actually -- I don't want to re-fight the 2000 campaign right now...

BLITZER: Well, we're not going to (INAUDIBLE).

CARVILLE: the Democratic Party, but that's hardly a convincing argument for Democrats.

I'm saying that she is going to see this thing through the 3rd of June. She may see it further. She's going to make her case to the super-delegates. You know, people change their minds all the time. I think she's going to continue pressing her case. And she has a good chance. Let's wait and see how the vote comes out. She probably will have more people vote for her than Senator Obama will.

BLITZER: How big is this meeting that the DNC is having on Saturday to determine Michigan and Florida?

Will that really make much of a difference?

CARVILLE: I don't know. But I know that -- and I think we've got -- if Senator Obama is the nominee, we have a lot of work to do in Florida. As you know, right on this set here, I offered to split the cost with the Obama people, with David Rohan. They refused that. Then myself and Governor Rendell and Governor Corzine offered to pick up the entire cost to have a primary in Florida and Michigan. And the Obama people refused that.

I think we made a great decision -- not -- I think it was a bad decision not to go forward, because if you look at what's happened in Florida, I think it hurt us a little bit in the general. I think we can come back for it and I think Senator Obama can still take Florida, but we've got our work cut out for us there if he's the nominee.

BLITZER: James, thanks for coming in.

This explains why some of her supporters are forced to admit the obvious. Or are they just trying to destroy Obama's chances:
ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: Staunch Clinton campaign supporter Gov. Ed Rendell said Wednesday that his favored candidate is "very unlikely" to capture the Democratic nomination, and said that will mean the Democratic Party will nominate the weaker candidate for the fall campaign against Sen. John McCain.

Rendell, D-Pa., told Bloomberg Television that he believes polls that suggest that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a "far better candidate" than Sen. Barack Obama in swing states. But he added that he's a "realist" who recognizes that superdelegates are likely to continue to flock to Obama until he clinches the nomination.

"I'm a realist, and I think most likely the superdelegates will give Sen. Obama the votes he needs," Rendell said. "I don't think the DNC is going to fairly adjust what happened in Florida. . . . I don't think they’re going to fairly adjust it. So I think it's very unlikely that Senator Clinton can prevail. I think that means we're not going to field our strongest candidate."

Transcript: Karl Rove Denies McClellan Charges on FOX

The chickens are coming home to roost, Mr.Rove. Your lies and criminality are catching up with you and your boss. Read the complete Hannity and Colmes interview with Rove from yesterday:

COLMES: What about this specific charge that he's claiming that you misled him about your level of involvement in the Valerie Plame case?

ROVE: That's, that's simply not true. I'm not going to add to the public record on this because there's a civil lawsuit that the Wilsons have, and until that is resolved — they lost at the district court level, it's on appeal, pretty confident that it's going to be tossed out — but until that's resolved, I can't add to the public record.

But the fact of the matter is Scott's questions to me were: did I leak Valerie Plame's name, and the answer is no. In fact, we know today that the name of Valerie Plame was leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, the number two guy at the State Department, and not by me and not by Scooter Libby.

Amnesty International: U.S. Sends "Wrong Message Around the World"

The criticism is mostly the result of a fascist administration that does not respect international law or human rights:

Human rights group Amnesty International has told leading nations to get their own house in order if they want to restore moral authority in the world.

Amnesty secretary general Irene Khan told Sky News that there was a "burning imperative for action" after the will to apply human rights had "evaporated" among leaders.

Releasing a report 60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the group singled out the US, China, Burma and Israel over abuses - and Britain did not escape unscathed.

Speaking of the US, Ms Khan said Guantanamo Bay "sent the wrong message around the world".

"Other governments look to the US as a role model; that's why we think it's very important that the US should lead by example," she said.

She insisted that the US "close Guantanamo and either release people or try them fairly".

Childhood Lead Exposure Linked to Adult Crime

Exciting breakthrough. The government should get going and act on this information:

In what may be the strongest link yet between lead exposure and crime rates, researchers at the University of Cincinnati on Tuesday released new evidence, spanning more than 20 years, that draws a direct relationship between the amount of lead in a child's blood and the likelihood he or she will commit crimes as an adult.

Research has shown before that lead has harmful effects on judgment, cognitive function and the ability to regulate behavior. But until now the best research focused on juveniles, not adults.

Former Bush Press Secretary Blows Whistle on the Administration

Now we have a former insiders in the Bush White House who is exposing the criminal conduct of this administration. It is a bombshell. It might heat up the effort to impeach this scoundrel. Read the entire article:

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush “veered terribly off course,” was not “open and forthright on Iraq,” and took a “permanent campaign approach” to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

Among the most explosive revelations in the 341-page book, titled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” (Public Affairs, $27.95):

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

A few reporters were offered advance copies of the book, with the restriction that their stories not appear until Sunday, the day before the official publication date. Politico declined and purchased “What Happened” at a Washington bookstore.

The eagerly awaited book, while recounting many fond memories of Bush and describing him as “authentic” and “sincere,” is harsher than reporters and White House officials had expected.

McClellan was one of the president’s earliest and most loyal political aides, and most of his friends had expected him to take a few swipes at his former colleague in order to sell books but also to paint a largely affectionate portrait.

Instead, McClellan’s tone is often harsh. He writes, for example, that after Hurricane Katrina, the White House “spent most of the first week in a state of denial,” and he blames Rove for suggesting the photo of the president comfortably observing the disaster during an Air Force One flyover. McClellan says he and counselor to the president Dan Bartlett had opposed the idea and thought it had been scrapped.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curtail Influence of Shadowy '527' Groups

This opinion piece points to the latest problem with the electoral process. These partisan groups are having destructive impact on elections. Already these groups are getting ready to swift boat Obama in the Fall:

Presidential campaigns can be tawdry enough with candidates' attacks on each other, but outside groups that operate with few restraints have made the process even more demeaning. The most notorious recent example is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization that came out of nowhere in the summer of 2004 with unsubstantiated attacks that raised questions about the Vietnam War record of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

The Swift Boat Veterans had plenty of company on both sides of the political fence. Republicans were so irritated with liberal-leaning organizations impugning President Bush that the Republican National Committee alleged that the groups were part of a "criminal enterprise."

Despite outraged complaints from both parties, these "527" organizations — named for the section of the tax code they operate under — remain largely free of the constraints on candidates. They may take unlimited donations, which gives them enormous resources. In the 2004 election, the 10 biggest groups spent more than $375 million.

It's So Bad Congresspeople are Losing Their Homes

The mortgage foreclosure crisis has even hit members of Congress. That should some indication that things are getting really bad. You need to worry:

California Rep. Laura Richardson claimed Friday that her Sacramento home was sold into foreclosure without her knowledge and contrary to an agreement with her lender.

She said she is like any other American suffering in the mortgage crisis and wants to testify to Congress about her experience as lawmakers craft a foreclosure-prevention bill.

In a lengthy interview Friday night with The Associated Press, the Southern California Democrat struck back against several days of negative publicity over reports she defaulted on her mortgage, allowing the house to be sold at auction.

And it isn't just housing that is a problem. There is also the gas crisis:
At a time when gas prices are at an all-time high, Americans have curtailed their driving at a historic rate.

The Department of Transportation said figures from March show the steepest decrease in driving ever recorded.

Compared with March a year earlier, Americans drove an estimated 4.3 percent less -- that's 11 billion fewer miles, the DOT's Federal Highway Administration said Monday, calling it "the sharpest yearly drop for any month in FHWA history." Records have been kept since 1942.

According to AAA, for the first time since 2002, Americans said they were planning to drive less over the Memorial Day weekend than they did the year before.

And oil prices just keep going through the roof:
Retail gas prices hit record highs for the 20th day in a row, motorist group AAA's Web site showed Tuesday.

The nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded rose to $3.937, up slightly from $3.936 the previous day.

The climb in gas prices, which have steadily risen over the past three weeks, comes amid the start of the summer driving season, which unofficially kicked off over the Memorial Day weekend.

The AAA survey shows gas prices are up about 9% from a month ago and nearly 23% higher from year-ago levels. The average price for gas has passed the $4 a gallon mark in 11 states, as well as in Washington, D.C.

The most expensive state for buying gas is Alaska, where a gallon of regular unleaded costs an average of $4.201. The second most expensive state is Connecticut, where a gallon of gas costs $4.196, according to AAA.

Is there any doubt that a recession is either here or coming:
Former Fed chief Alan Greenspan thinks the United States will have a recession, though he doesn’t expect it to be “severe.” In an interview with the Financial Times, Greenspan says he believes there is a better than 50% chance that the American economy will suffer a contraction this year. Greenspan sees a “tug of war” between the loss-soaked financial sector and strong profit gains among nonfinancial companies, and concedes he can’t predict how that will play out. “No one knows how this tug of war will end – specifically, whether the financial crisis will end before it drags down the real economy,” Greenspan tells the FT.

Greenspan says recent economic data suggest the economy is stabilizing, but it’s too early to say whether the worst of the financial crisis is over, as he expects further declines in house prices. In the meantime, he is keeping an eye on rising household savings. While rising savings are surely a good thing in the long run, the danger now is they could further depress consumer spending - and deepen any recession that comes to pass.

Update. Just in:
Prices of single-family homes declined a record 14.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, marking a pace five times faster than the last housing recession, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller national home price index reported on Tuesday.

The S.&P./Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.2 percent in March from February and fell 14.4 percent from March 2007.

Economists expected prices for the 20-city index to fall 2.0 percent on month and 14 percent from a year earlier, according to a median in a Reuters survey.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Al Qaeda Cell A Growing Threat To U.S.

This is what Bush/McCain/Clinton have left for us. America is bled dry in Iraq while al Qaeda continues to plot and prepare:

The new faces of terror are militants inside an emerging al Qaeda cell, which U.S. officials warn presents a clear and growing threat to America.

Based in North Africa, the group calling itself "Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" specializes in kidnappings and suicide attacks, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.

A car bombing last September of an Algerian military barracks killed 28 people. But, follow-up bombings of a United Nations building and a diplomatic office signaled that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, has bigger plans.

"They have devoted an enormous amount of their energy and their resources to try to build this up as a base to try to carry out attacks, not just in North Africa, but ultimately into West Europe and someday against North America," says Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institute.

Riedel, a former CIA official, says a propaganda video - just posted on a jihad website - shows a sophisticated attack capability.

With Africa being in such a sorry state is it any wonder al Qaeda camps are popping up there:
A new video has been posted on militant Islamist websites by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb on Tuesday. The 45:39 min documentary-style propaganda video is dated April 2008 and shows about 30 men training in a tree-filled area that the group identifies as the “Martyr Abu Ibrahim Moustafa Camp.”

The militants are shown training on the use of guns and RPGs, carrying out assassinations, jumping over barriers and crawling under others, using ropes to move between the trees and sitting in a circle taking notes while a trainer talks about urban warfare. Many of the trainees, as well as all the trainers, have their faces covered.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Meet The Press Transcript: Discussion on Hillary RFK Gaffe

Read the entire transcript. Excerpts below:

MR. RUSSERT: Robert Kennedy's son, RFK Jr., issued this statement: "It's clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June. ... I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense." Kennedy is a Clinton supporter. Michael Goodwin, of the New York Daily News, the home state paper of Senator Clinton, had a much different view. Here he wrote this on Saturday. "Her colossal blunder simply the last straw. We've seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way.

"Many black Americans have talked of it, reflecting their assumption that racists would never tolerate a black president and that Obama would be taken from them.

"Clinton has now fed that fear. She needs a very long vacation. And we need one from her.

"Say good night, Hillary. And go away." Very complicated, controversial subject.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, your take.

MS. DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, neither historical parallel that she offered were true, because Clinton had already sewed up the nomination by June, and in Bobby Kennedy's case, he'd only gotten into the race like six weeks prior to his assassination. I don't think she even needs to argue. She should acknowledge that party unity probably is hurt, but that this election is so unique that having more people vote and more people registered and more people excited is worth taking it to June. The problem is that the argument that the Clintons supporters have sometimes made is the superdelegates shouldn't even decide in June. They should wait until August, end of August, because who knows what might happen in the summer--a gaff, another pastor coming out of the woodwork, or, God forbid, what this thought suggested. And I think once it played into that, it became much more troubling.

[...]MS. MAUREEN DOWD: Well, I think her timing was excruciatingly bad. I mean, right after the anniversary of King's death, right before the anniversary of Bobby's death, right when we learn the tragic news about Teddy Kennedy, and right when she and Bill seem engaged in kind of a hostile takeover of Obama's vice presidential mansion. So, beyond that, I think it gave delegates and a lot of Democrats the creeps, because basically the only reason she is still is in the race is that something bad will happen. Of course she doesn't wish him bodily harm, but she does want--she does wish him ill in the sense that they want a big horrible story that would debilitate him to break.

[...]MS. IFILL: Exactly. Why would you even suggest it? And the backdrop is what's important. There's probably no one who's ever been in a room with Barack Obama at one of these huge rallies or even just seen a photograph of it where it hasn't crossed their mind, if you're of a certain age and survived and lived through these assassinations and assassination attempts. So the question with, with the Clintons especially is we know that they are wordsmiths, that we know that they very carefully think about what it is they say. She's said this several times before. And so you have to think what do they think people would think? We've heard her campaign spokesman say things like, you know, "Who knows what could happen?" Well, they could suspend their campaign and still come back if something happened. That's not what she's arguing. And so, you know, unfortunately, it poked a sore that, that keeps existing throughout this campaign, and it, and it never is going to go away. A lot of women feel that sores have been poked and a lot of African-Americans feel sores have been poked. The future of party unity lies in them not continuing to reopen these scabs.

Karl Rove Exposed by George Stephanopoulos

Karl Rove appeared on This Week and was caught it what sounded like a stonewall. He obviously has something to hide (see read source article and video):

STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re just about out of time. This is — as you know, and our viewers probably know, you were subpoenaed this week by the House Judiciary Committee to give testimony on any involvement you may have had with the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. He’s claiming there was selective prosecution. He’s out on bail now, even though he was convicted. He says your fingerprints were all over it.

Here’s what the House report said. It said, “In May 2007, a Republican attorney for northern Alabama named Jill Simpson wrote an affidavit stating that in November 2002, she heard a prominent Alabama Republican operative named Bill Canary say that Karl Rove had contacted the Justice Department about bringing a prosecution of Don Siegelman. The question for Mr. Rove is whether he directly or indirectly discussed the possibility of prosecuting Don Siegelman with either the Justice Department or Alabama Republicans.” Did you?

ROVE: Let me say three things. First of all, I think it’s interesting — everybody who was supposedly on that telephone call that Ms. Simpson talks about says that the call never took place. I’d say…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although she produced a cell phone record, according to the committee.

ROVE: Well, I would say three things. First of all, I have — I learned about Don Siegelman’s prosecution by reading about it in the newspaper. Second of all, this is really about a constitutional question of separation of powers. Congress, the House Judiciary Committee, wants to be able to call presidential aides on its whim up to testify, violating the separation of powers. Executive privilege has been asserted by the White House in a similar instance in the Senate. It will probably be asserted very quickly in this — in the House. Third, the White House has agreed — I’m not asserting any personal privilege. The White House has offered, and my lawyers offered, several different ways in which if the House wants to find out information about this, they can find out information about this. And they’ve refused to avail themselves of those opportunities.

We didn’t say, close off any option to do anything else that you want to do in the future. We said if you want to hear about this, let’s sit down and talk about this, and then you’re entitled to do what you want to do in the future. This is now tied up in court. It’s going to be tied up in court and settled in court. And frankly, the House last week doing this, you know, is duplicating what the Senate has already done and it’s already found its way into the courts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But to be clear, you did not contact the Justice Department about this case?

ROVE: I read about — I’m going to simply say what I’ve said before, which is I found out about Don Siegelman’s investigation and indictment by reading about it in the newspaper.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s not a denial.

ROVE: I’ve — you know, I read — I heard about it, read about it, learned about it for the first time by reading about it in the newspaper.

The reason he is using classic lawyer language has to do with the possible legal troubles he faces:
The House Judiciary Committee pressed its investigation of possible political influence in Justice Department prosecutions on Thursday by issuing a subpoena to Karl Rove, the former chief political operative at the Bush White House.

Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the committee chairman, said the subpoena was necessary because Mr. Rove had explicitly declined an invitation to appear voluntarily. Mr. Conyers and fellow committee Democrats say they want to question Mr. Rove about the dismissals of several federal prosecutors and ask whether he knows anything about the decision to prosecute former Gov. Donald E. Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat.

Mr. Siegelman, who was convicted on a bribery charge, was released from prison in March pending an appeal after an appeals court ruled that he had raised “substantial questions” about his case.

Jimmy Carter: Clinton will be Forced Out after Last Primary

Why haven't the superdelegates acted already to end this race especially after Hillary's despicable assassination comment. The Democratic Party obviously lacks any moral leadership to stand up to thugs like the Clintons:

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said on Sunday he expects Democratic superdelegates to reveal their choice for presidential nominee soon after the final primary in June and that Hillary Clinton will then have to quit the race.

In an interview with Sky News, Carter said he did not think Clinton was achieving anything by staying in the fight.

[...]"I'm a superdelegate ... I think a lot of the superdelegates will make a decision quite, announced quite rapidly, after the final primary on June 3," he told Sky News.

"I have not yet announced publicly, but I think at that point it will be time for her to give it up," Carter said.

Democrats needed to put this farce to end because the Clinton dredging up Florida and Michigan could have repercussions for the general election. It is clear Billary want to damage Obama so that Hillary can run in 2012. It is so obvious at this point that it makes you wonder why the press doesn't jump all over her. Are the Clintons untouchable? They seem to always get away with it. Democrats are their own worst enemy:
Democrat Barack Obama accused rival Hillary Clinton on Saturday of "stirring up" a controversy over the disqualified Florida primary election because it was her last hope of winning their party's presidential nomination.

[...] "The Clinton campaign has been stirring this up for fairly transparent reasons," Obama told reporters on the plane from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Chicago, adding she had not done so earlier in the race when she did not need the delegates to win.

"Let's not ... pretend that we don't know what's going on. I mean this is, from their perspective, their last slender hope to make arguments about how they can win, and I understand that," Obama said.

Neither Clinton nor Obama campaigned in either state before the primary elections, and the Illinois senator removed his name from the Michigan ballot. Obama spent three days campaigning in Florida this week.

A party committee will meet next Saturday to seek a resolution to the conflict. Obama said he wanted the delegates seated and brushed off arguments that voter anger at his less aggressive role in resolving the issue would cause lasting resentment among Democratic voters in Florida, a battleground state in November's general election.

Obama should not be playing politics with this matter. He should be denouncing the Clinton divisive tactics not appeasing them. It is clear that Hillary wishes Obama ill. He should be demanding Ms.Clinton pullout of the race since she is hurting the Democratic Party. He is acting like a typical politician by not standing up to her. And he could lose the general election if he continues to turn the other cheek. You don't back down to bullies:
Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama empathized with rival Hillary Clinton on Saturday for the firestorm she ignited by referring to the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy.

"I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make and I think that is what happened here," Obama said in an interview with Radio Isla Puerto Rico during a campaign visit to the Caribbean Island and U.S. territory.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Transcript: Olbermann's Denunciation of Hillary Assassination Remark

Read the entire transcript of Keith Olbermann's Special Comment denouncing Hillary's reference to the campaign and Robert Kennedy's assassination, and why she was sticking around. The language and hostility in Olbermann's statement is memorable, and possibly historic. You can also see the video here:

Asked if her continuing fight for the nomination against Senator Obama hurts the Democratic party, Sen. Hillary Clinton replied, "I don't. Because again, I've been around long enough. You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just don't understand it. You know, there's lots of speculation about why it is. “

[...] She actually said those words.

Those words, Senator?

You actually invoked the nightmare of political assassination.

You actually invoked the specter of an inspirational leader, at the seeming moment of triumph, for himself and a battered nation yearning to breathe free, silenced forever.

You actually used the word "assassination" in the middle of a campaign with a loud undertone of racial hatred - and gender hatred - and political hatred.

You actually used the word "assassination" in a time when there is a fear, unspoken but vivid and terrible, that our again-troubled land and fractured political landscape might target a black man running for president.

Or a white man.

Or a white woman!

You actually used those words, in this America, Senator, while running against an African-American against whom the death threats started the moment he declared his campaign?

You actually used those words, in this America, Senator, while running to break your "greatest glass ceiling" and claiming there are people who would do anything to stop you?


Senator - never mind the implications of using the word "assassination" in any connection to Senator Obama...

What about you?

You cannot say this!

Olbermann: Hillary Assassination Remark "Unforgivable"

This is a historic condemnation of a major American politician by a well known news personality. It was an amazing denunciation of Hillary Clinton by Keith Olbermann (MSNBC's Countdown)that has to be seen to be believed. There is also ironic humor in it. See if you know what I mean. Ms.Clinton's remark implying she was staying in the race just in case Obama gets assassinated is without a doubt the most despicable thing she's ever said. It shows what kind of scum the Clinton's really are. Read the entire transcript of Olbermann's "Special Comment."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

John McCain's Fraudulent Reputation of Being Principled

This video exposes how John McCain has perpetrated a fraud when he tries to present himself as being a person of principle:

FBI Whistleblower Says Bureau Is 'Ill-Equipped' to Fight Terrorism

The FBI is not an intelligence agency. They are a domestic crime fighting organization. We need to restore the ability of the CIA to spy domestically; or create an agency that is dedicated to domestic intelligence. September 11th was a result of failure of the FBI and CIA to cooperate and share information:

The FBI’s counterterrorism program cannot adequately protect the nation against another attack by Middle Eastern terrorists, a high-ranking FBI official and recognized whistleblower claimed Wednesday in a rare appearance on Capitol Hill.

Bassem Youssef, in oral and written testimony, decried what he saw as major deficiencies in his own bureau’s counterterrorism operations.

He accused the FBI of needlessly violating the civil liberties of thousands of Americans, misidentifying threats against the United States and repeatedly making “sloppy mistakes."

“My greatest goal is to get the message across that the FBI counterterror division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorism problems we’re facing,” he said before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Youssef also matter-of-factly declared that the bureau's counterterror operations, including the prestigious International Terrorism Operations Centers, are not adequately staffed. He said many of those who do fill positions in these units have no familiarity with the basics of counterterror investigations, the Arabic language or the cultural nuances of the Middle East they must comprehend in order to be effective.

Transcript: Jesse Ventura on Larry King (5-21-08)

Read the entire transcript:

KING: Are you surprised that the polls say that about 85 percent of America is in discontent?

VENTURA: No, that doesn't surprise me a bit. Because when you look at the situation in the country today, I mean we're $9 trillion in debt now, Larry. That's -- both parties are responsible for that. I mean I did a little bit of math. And you figure if there's 300 million people in America and we're $9 trillion in debt, that means a baby born tomorrow will be saddled with $30,000 worth of debt before they've even taken their first breath of life. Now, to me, that's unconscionable.

How can we do that? How can we look at the people who run our government and say they're doing a good job when you have a generation that may never get out of debt because of what we've put them into?

[...]Why does it cost so much to run for office?

VENTURA: Well, because -- I don't know really, Larry, because you're talking to the wrong person there. I don't -- I don't spend to get in office more than I'll make while doing the office. In Minnesota, I raised $300,000. But over the course of four years as governor, I made $480,000. So I really am not the person to ask.

But on a serious note, maybe a little bit, I think, in some ways, usually it's because you have to get recognized. You don't have name recognition, so you have to purchase it or buy it. But in the case of the presidential election, they certainly all have that. So, I don't know. It's just a matter of, I guess they think if they spend money rather than ideas, they can win it with money as opposed to ideas. I don't know.

[...]KING: I know you disagree with a lot of his politics, but aren't you -- don't you have a little emotional tilt toward John McCain in that of his war service record?

You were a Navy SEAL. Don't you feel a bond?

VENTURA: Well, I greatly respect Senator McCain. Certainly we have a bond. We're both Navy men. And I wish his well. But what troubles me more, Larry, is hypocrisy. And in the case of John McCain, we have a huge hypocrisy in this country.

And that is this -- how is it that a federal employee -- if you work for the federal government, you're required to retire by age 65. And yet you can run for president and be the head of the very federal government, have the most stressful job in America and you can do it at any age. I don't get that.

John McCain could not get hired by the federal government to work, but he can become the leader of the federal government, because -- he couldn't get hired because he's too old.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Israel is Talking to Syria Why Can't We Talk to Iran?

John McCain and George (I won't negotiate with the enemy) Bush have been attacking Barack Obama for advocating negotiations with Iran. Now it turns out Israel, and their archenemy Syria are talking, in secret. Maybe because it makes the anti-appeasement crowd (people like Bush and McCain) look bad:

Israel and Syria have begun indirect peace talks, mediated by Turkey, aimed at reaching a comprehensive peace accord, the three governments announced in a coordinated statement Wednesday. The announcement is the first public confirmation of the negotiations by all three sides.

The two most senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office have been leading the Israeli negotiations and were in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on Wednesday, talking through Turkish mediators to their Syrian counterparts, Mr. Olmert’s office said.

Turkey is a close ally of the United States. It is also Syria’s neighbor and has an interest in securing regional peace. A senior official in Mr. Olmert’s office, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the talks with Syria and the decision to make them public had been coordinated with American officials.

The statement is official confirmation of what was widely suspected to be ongoing contact between Syria and Israel, directed by Turkey. In the past months, Israel had been reluctant to make the negotiations public. But the negotiations now seem to have made enough progress that all sides decided they should acknowledge the meetings.

“The two sides stated their intention to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind,” a statement from Mr. Olmert’s office said, referring to Israel and Syria.

And don't kid yourself into thinking that the Bush administration wasn't supportive of these naive peace talks:
London-based pan-Arabic daily Al-Hayat reported Saturday that the United States government had changed its position on negotiations between Israel and Syria. The report said an Israeli source revealed that the US government had recently requested that Turkey promote talks between Israel and Syria.

According to Al-Hayat, this change of stance came in light of recent violence in Lebanon, and was based on the assumption that peace with Syria would help distance Damascus from Hizbullah.

According to the sources, the US has hinted to Israel more than once that, contrary to the country's previously stated position, it would be interested in taking part in dialogue between Israel and Syria.

The source, who reportedly met with members of US President George W. Bush's entourage, asserted that it was not by coincidence that both Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not mention Syria in any of their speeches.

Can someone in the press please ask Bush--why if Israel is negotiating with Syria why can't we talk to Iran.

Clinton Kentucky Victory Speech Transcript (5-20-08)

Read the entire transcript:

You know, I am so grateful for this victory, and I am so appreciative, because tonight I'm thinking about why we're all here. And it's not just to win a primary or even just to win an election. What propels us is the struggle to realize America's promise: a nation where every child can achieve his or her God-given potential, where every man and woman has a fair chance, where we fulfill...


... where we fulfill the ideals our founders pledged their lives to defend and our nation was born to uphold.

I want to say a special word this evening about someone who has spent his whole life dedicated to realizing the promise of America.


Senator Ted Kennedy...


... is one of the greatest progressive leaders in our party's history and one of the most effective senators in our country's history. He's my friend, and he's my inspiration. More than that, he is a hero to millions of Americans whose lives he has fought to better.

I'm proud to have stood side-by-side with Ted Kennedy to increase the minimum wage, to extend health insurance to millions of children, to help stop insurance companies from discriminating against the sick.

But the privileges that I have had and so many others have had, because of the battles we have fought side-by-side with him are just a mere handful of what he has done during his entire public service, five extraordinary decades devoted to America.

And as a lifelong champion for social justice and equality, his work has made the path easier for me, for Senator Obama, and for countless others. He's been with us for our fights, and we're with him now in his.


And I know he's going to fight with all of his legendary might, supported by his wonderful wife, Vicky, and his entire family against this latest challenge. And we wish him well and send our thoughts and prayers to him.


Tonight, we've achieved an important victory.


It's not just Kentucky bluegrass that's music to my ears. It's the sound of your overwhelming vote of confidence, even in the face of some pretty tough odds.

Some have said your votes didn't matter, that this campaign was over, that allowing everyone to vote and every vote to count would somehow be a mistake. But that didn't stop you. You've never given up on me, because you know I'll never give up on you.


This is one of the closest races for a party's nomination in modern history. We're winning the popular vote, and I'm more determined...


... more determined than ever to see that every vote is cast and every ballot counted.

I commend Senator Obama and his supporters. And while we continue to go toe-to-toe for this nomination, we do see eye-to-eye when it comes to uniting our party to elect a Democratic president in the fall.

Obama Victory Speech Transcript (5-20-08)

Read the entire transcript:

You know, there is a spirit that brought us here tonight, a spirit of change, and hope, and possibility. And there are few people in this country who embody that spirit more than our friend and our champion, Senator Edward Kennedy.


He has spent his life in service to this country, not for the sake of glory or recognition, but because he cares, deeply in his gut, about the causes of justice, and equality, and opportunity.

So many of us here have benefited in some way or another because of the battles he's waged and some of us are here because of them. And we know he's not well right now, but we also know that he's a fighter.

And as he takes on this fight, let us lift his spirits tonight by letting Ted Kennedy know that we are thinking of him, that we are praying for him, that we are standing with him and Vicky, and that we will be fighting with him every step of the way.


You know, 15 months ago, in the depths of winter, it was in this great state where we took the first steps of an unlikely journey to change America.

The skeptics predicted we wouldn't get very far. The cynics dismissed us as a lot of hype and a little too much hope. And by the fall, the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out.

But the people of Iowa had a different idea.


From the very beginning, you knew that this journey wasn't about me or any of the other candidates in this race. It was about whether this country, at this defining moment, will continue down the same road that has failed us for so long or whether we will seize this opportunity to take a different path, to forge a different future for this country that we love.

That's the question that sent thousands upon thousands of you to high school gyms and VFW halls, to backyards and front porches, to steak fries and J.J. dinners, where you spoke about what the future would look like.

You spoke of an America where working families don't have to file for bankruptcy just because a child gets sick, where they don't lose their home because some predatory lender tricks them out of it, where they don't have to sit on the sidelines of the global economy because they couldn't afford the cost of a college education.

You spoke of an America where our parents and our grandparents don't spend their retirement in poverty because some CEO dumped their pension, an America where we don't just value wealth, but we value work and the workers who create it, as well.


You spoke of an America where we don't send our sons and daughters on tour after tour of duty to a war that has cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, but has not made us safer.


You spoke of an America where we matched the might of our military with the strength of our diplomacy and the power of our ideals, a nation that is still the beacon of all that is good and all that is possible for humankind.

You spoke of a future where the politics we have in Washington finally reflects the values we hold as Americans, the values you live by here in Iowa: common sense and honesty, generosity and compassion, decency and responsibility.

These values don't belong to one class or one region or even one party. They are the values that bind us together as one country.

That is the country...


That's the country I saw in the faces of crowds that would stretch far into the horizon of our heartland, faces of every color, of every age, faces I see here tonight.


You're Democrats who are tired of being divided, but you're also Republicans who no longer recognize the party that runs Washington, and independents who are hungry for change. (APPLAUSE)

You're the young people who've been inspired for the very first time...


... and those not-so-young folks who've been inspired for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Global Peace Index: U.S. 97th out of 121 Countries Ranked

It is part of the Bush legacy. But not limited to his disastrous administration. The goal of any society is a peace nation. Our government has failed for decades at making America, and the world, more peaceful:

Iceland tops the ranking of the world's most peaceful, Iraq rated least peaceful. U.S. remains largely unchanged, ranking at 97.

[...]The Index is constructed from 24 indicators of external and internal measures of peace including UN deployments overseas and levels of violent crime. It has won the backing of an influential and distinguished group of supporters including Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Professor Muhammad Yunus as well as the Fulbright Center.

Steve Killelea, founder of the Global Peace Index, said: "The world appears to be a marginally more peaceful place this year. This is encouraging, but it takes small steps by individual countries for the world to make greater strides on the road to peace."

[...]Based on a direct comparison of the 121 countries measured in the GPI 2007 to GPI 2008, a majority of the individual indicators have seen slight improvements. On average, scores for level of organised conflict (internal) and violent crime, political instability and potential for terrorist acts have all improved marginally. In contrast, the world's armed services have grown on average per country, as has the sophistication of its weaponry.

[...]-- Small, stable and democratic countries are the most peaceful - 16 of the
top 20 are western or central European democracies
-- The G8 fared very differently: Japan (5), Canada (11), Germany (14),
Italy (28), France (36), UK (49), United States (97), Russia (131)
-- Iraq is the lowest ranked country on the Index (140)

It is not a moral statement but a scientific analysis of what makes for a more violent world:
The idea for the index came from Steve Killelea, an Australian businessman and philanthropist who wanted to identify just what creates a peaceful country.

He asked the Economist Intelligence Unit to look at a range of variables, from levels of homicides per 100,000 people - which drags down America and boosts Denmark - to corruption and access to primary education.

"The U.S. does so badly because has the highest proportion of jailed people in the world. And it has high levels of homicide and high potential for terrorist attacks," Killelea told The Associated Press. "Its overall score isa reflection of that. The index is not making any moral statements by the ranking."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Forecasters see Weak Economy, Higher Unemployment

Things are not going to get better for quite a while. Fundamentally we have a broken economy. This news also spells bad news for John McCain. A weak economy in the Fall spells defeat for the Republican. It's good news, bad news:

First the good news: The worst of the painful housing slump and the credit crunch might come to an end this year. Now the bad: The economy will weaken further and unemployment will rise.

That's the latest outlook from forecasters in a survey to be released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics, also known by its acronym NABE. It will take time for any rays of light to poke through the economic clouds, though.

A growing number of economists believe the country is on the brink of a recession or in one already, dragged down by all the problems in housing, credit and financial markets. Now 56 percent of the economists think the economy has started or will enter a recession this year. That's up from 45 percent in a survey in February. If there is a recession, it probably will be short and shallow, economists said.

Forecasters downgraded their projections for economic growth. They now predict the economy, which grew by 2.2 percent last year, will slow to 1.4 percent this year. That's lower than the 1.8 percent growth projected in February. If the new figure proves correct, it would mark the weakest growth since the last recession in 2001.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Comedian-in-Chief: What's with the Candidates and Comedy Shows

Every time you look up a presidential candidate is on a comedy program. Are we electing a president or a comedian. Being a politician is serious business nowadays. So they should be concentrating on solving the ever growing problems that face our society and world. They should not be spending so much time self-promoting on comedic shows. The reason they are on these programs is because their handlers have told them that it's a good idea to connect with the Youtube generation. But lets face it, the reason they make so many appearances on these programs is that they are clowns after all. We don't take them seriously so why should they:

John McCain is 71 years old, and his age has provided late-night comics with some easy punch lines. On "Saturday Night Live," he joined in.

"I ask you, what should we be looking for in our next president?" McCain said. "Certainly, someone who is very, very, very old."

The certain Republican presidential nominee appeared in a phony campaign ad in which he promised to put an end to runaway government spending, claiming he had never sought money for his home state, Arizona.

"Controlling government spending isn't just about Republicans or Democrats," he said. "It's about being able to look your children in the eye. Or in my case, my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and great-great-great-grandchildren, the youngest of whom are nearing retirement."

"I have the courage, the wisdom, the experience and, most importantly, the oldness necessary," McCain said. "The oldness it takes to protect America, to honor her, love her and tell her about what cute things the cat did."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Too Many Guns: 3 Wounded in LA Church Festival Shooting

What was this scum doing in possession of an assault rifle. No one should own such a weapon. This is another example of what is wrong in our society. There are too many unstable people walking around guns. More guns don't make us safer:

A man with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire at a church festival Saturday, wounding his ex-wife and two bystanders before several festival-goers grabbed him, wrestled his gun away and held him for police, witnesses and authorities said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene, with people screaming and running for the exit after gunfire rang out on a grassy field where the festival was being set up at the St. John Baptist de la Salle Roman Catholic parish shortly before 11 a.m.

[...]The woman and the man with the leg wound were hospitalized in stable condition. The man with the chest wound was listed in critical condition. None of their names were released.

Meanwhile the politicians pander to the powerful gun lobby, which is responsible for this state of affairs:
Republican presidential candidate John McCain warned gun owners on Friday that his Democratic opponents Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would threaten their right to bear arms, as he sought to rally conservatives' support in the November election.

The right to bear arms in the Constitution's second amendment is considered sacred by many U.S. gun owners. Both Obama and Clinton tout their support for it, although they also say ways must be found to keep guns from falling into the hands of criminals or those who are mentally ill.

But the Arizona senator accused the two Democrats of giving only "theoretical" support to the second amendment.

"They claim to support hunters and gun owners. But just because they don't talk about gun control doesn't mean they won't support gun control," McCain told a convention of the National Rifle Association.

"If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected president, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk. They have both voted as senators to ban guns or ban ammunition or to allow gun makers to be sued out of existence," he said.

Obama, an Illinois senator and the front-runner in the battle for the Democratic nomination to run against McCain in November, countered by accusing him of trying to whip up fear about his positions and using the "same playbook" from other elections.

"I think people have the right to lawfully bear arms. I do believe that there is nothing inconsistent with also saying that we can institute some common-sense gun laws so that we don't have kids being shot on the streets of cities like Chicago," Obama said while campaigning in South Dakota.

Reasonable gun laws would include strong background checks of those who sought to buy weapons and tracing guns back to "unscrupulous" gun dealers who sold them to people who shouldn't be able to get them, Obama said.

What hypocrisy:
A small but startling sign welcomed the gun lovers who arrived at the National Rifle Association's annual gathering Friday.

"Firearms WILL NOT be allowed in Hall A during the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum."

Beyond this sign at the Kentucky Exposition Center was a row of 10 metal detectors. They were manned by uniformed Secret Service officers deployed because the scheduled speakers included presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

The people's platform would seek to create a government that isn't beholden to the powerful NRA. Government should protect us not sell out to those who don't care about America's safety. -

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pot Calls Kettle Black: Bush Compares Obama to Neville Chamberlaine

George W. Bush accused Barack Obama of wanting to appease the terrorists. And here is the kicker, he compared the soon to be Democratic Presidential nominee, to Neville Chamberlaine (see video). This coming from a man who, Pat Buchanan this morning said, is negotiating with the North Koreans, an axis of evil country. How hypocritical is that?

Here is a president who failed to defend us and started a war that has been a blessing to al Qaeda. Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 6,000 Americans. He has no business criticizing anyone on foreign policy, especially on foreign soil.

The Republicans would rather Bush disappear, especially John McCain. He is poison. And this disgusting speech is only going to backfire on Republicans in the fall. What a joke. What do you call your unwillingless to stand up to the Chinese? America's greatest threat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Transcript: ABC's Charlie Gibson Interviews Hillary Clinton

Read the entire transcript:

CHARLIE GIBSON: Senator, taking a, a practical and realistic objective, maybe even cold-blooded view of this race, can you win it?

HILLARY CLINTON: Of course I can. And, that's because no one has won it yet. There is no nominee. No one has reached the 2,210 number, which is the, uh, number of delegates needed to win, if you include Michigan and Florida, and both Senator Obama and I agree that we have to include Michigan and Florida, and get their delegates seated. So I think that we've got some additional contests to go. We've got people who are trying to make up their minds, looking at who they believe would be the better president, and the stronger candidate against Senator McCain.

CHARLIE GIBSON: But the math is daunting. It may be after next Tuesday that Senator Obama will have the majority of pledge delegates, and indeed, superdelegates are coming to him in a rather steady flow. Indeed, in the last week, he won more of those than you were able to pick up in West Virginia.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he, um, has, uh, to reach what is the, the magic number of 2,210. And, uh, he's not there yet, and we are working hard. We were thrilled by our victory in West Virginia last night. It was a great validation of my message about fighting for people, and, uh, we're going onto Kentucky, and Oregon, and the rest of the contest, and then we'll see what happens with Michigan and Florida, and by, you know, June 4th, we'll have a clearer idea about where everyone stands.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hillary's Only Argument Left not Valid

Hillary is still running around telling voters that she has a better chance at beating McCain in the Fall. The polls don't show it. Both Clinton and Obama beat McCain by about the same amount--white voters not withstanding. Tonights West Virginia primary will not change that fact. Obama has now surpassed Hillary in superdelegates. Everyday that passes more and more of those non-elected delegates go towards to Obama. At this pace, Obama will have enough to win the nomination sometime in June. Even if Obama doesn't win 1 delegate in the upcoming primaries, which is impossible, he will win probably 30 to 40 delegates, all he needs 2/3rds of the remaining superdelegates.

Conversely, it is nearly mathematically impossible for Hillary to win enough delegates. She needs 320 delegates to win the nomination. There are only 150+ superdelegates left. That means she would have to win all the superdelegates and 65 percent of the delegates in the last remaining primaries. Ain't gonna happen. It's impossible, even if you include Michigan and Florida.

Just heard a caller on Cspan discuss Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and experience. No one talks about the Governator's qualifications anymore. Hillary for a long time argued that she was qualified to be President and Obama was not. She doesn't bring that up anymore.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Clinton Looking for Dirt to Destroy Obama With

Why is Hillary still in the race? Her hoodlum campaign workers are desperately digging for dirt to use against Barack. Even if it isn't enough to win her the nomination it could destroy his chances at winning in November. This would mean she could run in 2012. The question is whether the Democratic Party will allow her to do that.

Why haven't all the superdelegates come out for Obama? It would seem logical for them to bring this mess to an end--if they want their party to win in the general. Or are these people that naive? It is obvious what Hillary and her people are doing. Before Obama is formally nominated a news story will be leaked to the press that will become a "scandal." How big a scandal? Another Wright controversy? We will have to wait in see. The press will do the work for Hillary. And she will try to pick up the pieces.

It is shameful that the Democratic Party has not denounced these Republican swiftboat tactics coming from a fellow Democrat. This only proves that the party of Jefferson is no different from the party of Lincoln. We need an alternative to this madness.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is the Government Broke?

The story about state governments not being able to pay for the health benefits and pensions of public employees should be a wakeup call. Given the recession the government will find it hard to pay it's bills. Between the recession, war in Iraq, new medicare prescription program, and retiring baby boomers, we are headed for big trouble. We actually depend on the Chinese government to pay our bills. That is not a good place to be in. The monstrous rulers in that country could decide to bring us to our knees.

The politicians in this country should be blamed. They've brought us to this point. And we can't count on them to get us out. We The People must get us out.

Start now...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Obama, Pay her Bills But Don't Make Hillary VP

There is some talk about Obama paying off Hillary's debt as a way of getting her out of the race. That's ok as long as you don't make her your VP choice. You will regret the decision, Barack.

I realize you would be doing it despite the Clinton's being multi-millionaires. They can afford it. And you would be helping Hillary to payoff loans that went towards destroying you politically. But if you could get this thug out of the race you could get started on running a general election campaign, which Hillary is distracting you from.

Listen to your supporter Senator Edward Kennedy, who thinks making Hillary your VP choice is a bad idea.

- There is an alternative to this crooked political game: The People's Platform.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Transcript: NBC's Brian Williams Interviews Obama

Read the entire interview transcript:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: I asked this at the last democratic debate. Are-- are hedge funds good or bad for America? Is it right for these hedge funds making billions and billions of dollars along with the hedge fund managers?

BARACK OBAMA: Well, I don't think that hedge funds are bad per se. I think they're just one more financial tool. And in that sense, they're useful. But I think that what we've seen are a number of rules that skew in the favor of folks on Wall Street. Private equity funds and hedge fund managers who are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.

There are some failures in the regulatory regimes that have been set up. For example, I talked today-- that there may be an incestuous relationship between ratings agencies that are determining the quality of investments and the people that they're rating.

So, what we need is stronger market transparency and accountability. That's good for everybody and the marketplace. We have to think about how are we investing to make sure that everybody can compete in this global economy? And that means investing in education and it means investing in things like energy independence. And we've got to rebuild our social safety net, particularly on health care and retirement security, where a lot of ordinary Americans are seeing that security slip away. When that security slips away, they are more likely to turn to things like protectionism that, over time, may constrict economic growth overall.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Who or what do you think is to blame for this current mortgage and credit crisis? Who do we see about that?

BARACK OBAMA: Well, I think there are a lot of folks who ought to take some responsibility. The original idea was a good one, which was that let's see if we can distribute this more broadly and make it easier to provide loans to people who otherwise might be-- not be able to get a mortgage loan.

Over time, what ended up happening was that the appraisers started loosening their standards. The mortgage brokers started playing around with their standards. Then, the people who were buying these securities weren't really checking very carefully to see whether the underlying mortgage could support the loans that were made.

And so, over time, you had everybody I think conspiring to just do what felt good and what was making a lot of money. The problem was that a lot of homeowners were induced to take out loans that they could afford only if home prices continued to go up.

Hillary "Drops a Racial Bomb"

Ok, what is the excuse now for the entire Democratic Party establishment not to denounce Hillary Clinton and for the superdelegates to come out for the Obama. If a Republican had made the same comments they would've been denounced as a racist:

Hillary Rodham Clinton played the race card yesterday as she dismissed Barack Obama as a candidate who will have a hard time winning support from "white Americans."

It was the most starkly racial comment Clinton has made in the campaign, and drew quick condemnation from some Democrats.

She's been on the defensive ever since Tuesday's big loss in North Carolina and narrow win in the Indiana primary - dismissing calls to drop out.

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she told USA Today in an interview published yesterday.

[...] Clinton's "white Americans" remark drew a swift rebuke from some superdelegates, and private dismay from several Democrats concerned about reuniting the factionalized party.

Muriel Offerman, a North Carolina superdelegate who has not disclosed her choice, said, "That should not have been said. I think it drives a wedge, a racial wedge, and that's not what the Democratic Party's about."

Asked about Clinton's comments, Massachusetts superdelegate Debra Kozikowsi said, "That's distressing. I'm not even sure how to respond to that."

[...]Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said the New York senator could quit if she is behind after the last primaries on June 3 - a departure from his previous insistence that she'd fight to the August convention.

It is obvious at this point that the Clinton mob is out to destroy Obama in order insure that he doesn't win in November. In that way Billary can run in 2012.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wash. Times: Once Secret Memos Question Clinton's Honesty

Hillary can't run away from her corrupt past:

A decade before Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton admitted fudging the truth during the presidential campaign, federal prosecutors quietly assembled hundreds of pages of evidence suggesting she concealed information and misled a federal grand jury about her work for a failing Arkansas savings and loan at the heart of the Whitewater probe, according to once-secret documents that detail the internal debates over whether she should have faced criminal charges.

Ordinarily, such files containing grand jury evidence and prosecutors' deliberations are never made public. But the estate of Sam Dash, a lifelong Democrat who served as the ethics adviser to Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr, donated his documents from the infamous 1990s investigation to the Library of Congress after his 2004 death, unwittingly injecting into the public domain much of the testimony
and evidence gathered against Mrs. Clinton from former law partners, White House aides and other witnesses.

[...]A June 1998 draft indictment of Mrs. Clinton's Rose firm partner Webster L. Hubbell, who followed the Clintons to Washington in 1993 as associate attorney general, said Mrs. Clinton did legal work for Madison "continuously" from April 1985 to July 1986. It also said she represented the thrift before the Arkansas Securities Department for approval to issue preferred stock, helped Madison obtain a questionable broker-dealer license to sell the stock and was actively involved in a failed Madison project known as Castle Grande.