New Civilization News: If I Hear "Robust" Once More, I'm Gonna Puke    
 If I Hear "Robust" Once More, I'm Gonna Puke10 comments
picture20 Apr 2007 @ 09:57, by Richard Carlson

Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking.

---Dean William R. Inge

I have realized that the past and the future are real illusions, that they exist only in the present, which is what there is and all there is.

---Alan Watts

A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake.


God, how this White House loves that word! Everything they do is ROBUST. The Surge is robust, the economy is robust, our schools are SO robust, anti-abortionists are getting much more robust, and the Gun Lobby never has been so robust! Rove is just busting with robust. He and Bush are in Ohio all the time because we brim with robust!

I suspect it may have been Rove (or his people) who came up with "robust." It has the first 2 letters of his name so that satisfies egomania, and of course "bust" is in he can think of breasts and milk as well as allegiance to his President. What could be better?

The only thing better would be if all Repubs use it...and they do (even when wearing the pink necktie of apology and surrender). Yesterday Justice Department spokeswoman Cynthia Magnuson used it against critics who say the Executive's legal people have been using federal attorneys to wipe out the opposition. She said the department has "a completely robust record when it comes to enforcing federal voting rights laws." The Justice Department not only is robust, it's COMPLETELY robust. It's like Heaven on earth there!

I love this photograph by Doug Mills for The New York Times this morning. There he is, the Attorney General of the United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave. The man used the "can't remember anything" approach to his testimony. At least it's more down-to-earth than the "best-of-my-recollection" song and dance other attorneys general have used. A busy man has to have people on his staff who remember things for him. I understand that. Do you suppose there is someone at Justice who remembers who is supposed to remember the content of meetings? Maybe they can search around.

In the meantime, you might take a look at Greg Gordon's article for the Baltimore Sun yesterday that contains Cynthia's robust remark...and see if you can detect any "legal" strategies in there about crushing free election. And then I guess I have to like best Lara Jakes Jordan's coverage for AP of Gonzales' pathetic appearance yesterday.

From the Baltimore Sun

Administration tried to curb election turnout in key states
Campaign against alleged voter fraud sought to bolster the GOP
By Greg Gordon
April 19, 2007

WASHINGTON -- For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates, according to former department lawyers and a review of written records.
The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush's popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won.

Facing nationwide voter registration drives by Democratic-leaning groups, the administration alleged widespread election fraud and endorsed proposals for tougher state and federal voter identification laws. Presidential political adviser Karl Rove alluded to the strategy in April 2006 when he railed about voter fraud in a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association.

Questions about the administration's campaign against alleged voter fraud have helped fuel the political tempest over the firings last year of eight U.S. attorneys, several of whom were ousted in part because they failed to bring voter fraud cases important to Republican politicians. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales could shed more light on the reasons for those firings when he appears today before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Civil rights advocates contend that the administration's policies were intended to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor and minority voters who tend to support Democrats, and by filing state and federal lawsuits, civil rights groups have won court rulings blocking some of its actions.

Justice Department spokeswoman Cynthia Magnuson called any allegation that the department has rolled back minority voting rights "fundamentally flawed."

She said the department has "a completely robust record when it comes to enforcing federal voting rights laws," citing its support last year for reauthorization of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the filing of at least 20 suits to ensure that language services are available to non-English-speaking voters.

The administration, however, has repeatedly invoked allegations of widespread voter fraud to justify tougher voter ID measures and other steps to restrict access to the ballot, even though research suggests that voter fraud is rare.

Since President Bush's first attorney general, John Ashcroft, a former Republican senator from Missouri, launched a "Ballot Access and Voter Integrity Initiative" in 2001, Justice Department political appointees have exhorted U.S. attorneys to prosecute voter fraud cases, and the department's Civil Rights Division has sought to roll back policies to protect minority voting rights.

On virtually every significant decision affecting election balloting since 2001, the division's Voting Rights Section has come down on the side of Republicans, notably in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and other states where recent elections have been decided by narrow margins.

Joseph Rich, who left his job as chief of the section in 2005, said these events formed an unmistakable pattern.

"As more information becomes available about the administration's priority on combating alleged, but not well substantiated, voter fraud, the more apparent it is that its actions concerning voter ID laws are part of a partisan strategy to suppress the votes of poor and minority citizens," he said.

Former department lawyers, public records and other documents show that since Bush took office, political appointees in the Civil Rights Division have:

• Approved Georgia and Arizona laws that tightened voter ID requirements. A federal judge tossed out the Georgia law as an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of poor voters, and a federal appeals court signaled its objections to the Arizona law on similar grounds last fall, but that litigation was delayed by the U.S. Supreme Court until after the election.

• Issued advisory opinions that overstated a 2002 federal election law by asserting that it required states to disqualify new voting registrants if their identification didn't match that in computer databases, prompting at least three states to reject tens of thousands of applicants mistakenly.

• Done little to enforce a provision of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act that requires state public assistance agencies to register voters. The inaction has contributed to a 50 percent decline in annual registrations at those agencies, to 1 million from 2 million.

• Sued at least six states on grounds that they had too many people on their voter rolls. Some eligible voters were removed in the resulting purges.

Copyright © 2007, The Baltimore Sun

Yahoo! News
GOP senator calls for Gonzales to resign
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer
Thu Apr 19, 7:51 PM ET

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales struggled Thursday to convince skeptical senators he did nothing improper in firing eight federal prosecutors, losing ground as a second senator from his own party joined the calls for his resignation.

Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers challenged the embattled attorney general during an often-bitter five-hour hearing before the Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers confronted Gonzales with documents and sworn testimony they said showed he was more involved in the dismissals than he contended.

"The best way to put this behind us is your resignation," Sen. Tom Coburn (news, bio, voting record) of Oklahoma bluntly told Gonzales, one conservative to another. Gonzales disagreed, rejecting the idea that his departure would put the controversy to rest.

Even with the White House offering fresh support, it was a long day for the attorney general. Seventy-one times he fell back on faulty memory, saying he could not recall or remember conversations or events surrounding the firings. During breaks in the hearing, sign-waving protesters rose from the audience calling for him to resign.

Digging in as the day wore on, Gonzales defended his decision last year to oust the U.S. attorneys. Congress is investigating whether the firings were politically motivated, which the Bush administration vehemently denies.

"The notion that there was something that was improper that happened here is simply not supported," Gonzales said, adding that he would make the same decisions again.

Late Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record) said in a telephone interview that the Justice Department might be better served with new leadership. "I think it's going to be difficult for him to be an effective leader," said Sessions, a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee and former federal prosecutor.

"At this point, I think (Gonzales) should be given a chance to think it through and talk to the president about what his future should be," Sessions said, adding that he was most troubled by Gonzales' inability to recall attending a meeting at which the firings were discussed. Documents provided by the Justice Department show he was present at the Nov. 27, 2006, meeting.

Gonzales has provided differing versions of the events surrounding the dismissals, first saying he had almost no involvement and later acknowledging that his role was larger — but only after e-mails about meetings he attended were released by the Justice Department to House and Senate committees.

There was no doubt about the stakes involved for a member of President Bush's inner circle, and support from fellow Republicans was critical to his attempt to hold his job.

Calling most of Gonzales' explanations for the firings "a stretch," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record) asked whether the dismissals simply came down to personality disagreements the Justice Department and White House had with the former prosecutors.

"You said something that struck me — that sometimes it just came down to these were not the right people at the right time," said Graham, R-S.C. "If I applied that standard to you, what would you say?"

Ignoring hoots of laughter from the protesters, Gonzales responded: "I believe that I continue to be effective as the attorney general of the United States. We've done some great things."

A number of Democrats have called for Gonzales to resign or be fired, but until Thursday John Sununu (news, bio, voting record) of New Hampshire was the only Republican senator to say so.

Bush spokesman Tony Fratto said at the White House that Gonzales "can be effective going forward."

"It's understandable that the senators have been frustrated by the way this decision was communicated and we fully expected that they would take this opportunity to express this frustration," Fratto said.

Gonzales also scrapped with Democrats, most notably committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record) of Vermont and Charles E. Schumer of New York. Even soft-spoken Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin chastised Gonzales for having "severely shaken the confidence of the American people."

"Would you explain to the American people why it is so important that you should remain in this office?" Kohl asked.

"The moment I believe I can no longer be effective, I will resign as attorney general," Gonzales responded, making it clear he had not reached that point.

Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, top Republican on the panel, stopped short of calling for Gonzales to resign — a modest lifeline for the attorney general — even while questioning his credibility.

Specter said the attorney general's answers "did not stick together."

Senators ticked off evidence — based on department documents and testimony from two former senior Justice officials — that Gonzales participated in discussions about at least three of the fired prosecutors: Carol Lam in San Diego, Bud Cummins in Little Rock, Ark., and David Iglesias in New Mexico.

In Iglesias' case, Gonzales recalled an Oct. 11 conversation with Bush and White House political adviser Karl Rove about voter fraud concerns during which the prosecutor's name came up. "I now understand that there was a conversation between myself and the president," Gonzales said.

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Iglesias said Gonzales has yet to point out a performance-related reason that justifies the firing. The reasons Gonzales has given "are political issues," Iglesias said. "I wish he would shoot straight with the American people."

Gonzales faced GOP as well as Democratic challenges to his credibility throughout the day.

Later, Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record) of Iowa criticized Gonzales for now accepting responsibility for the firings after initially saying he had played only a minor role. "Why is your story changing?" Grassley asked.

In response, Gonzales replied that his earlier answers had been "overbroad," the result of inadequate preparation.

Gonzales maintained a stoic face through most of the hearing, pursing his lips at times, ignoring the protesters wearing orange garb and pink police costumes. The words "Arrest Gonzales" were duct-taped to their backs.

He said he made a "mistake I freely acknowledge" for taking a largely hands-off approach to the firings. But "at the end of the day I know I did not do anything improper."

Gonzales marched out of the hearing at its conclusion, shortly before 5 p.m., as protesters began singing "Hey, hey, goodbye" from the 1970s hit song by Steam.

Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

On the Net:

Senate Judiciary Committee: [link]

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.

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21 Apr 2007 @ 06:17 by vaxen : Frijoles...
Looks like Mr Roberto, Gonzales, Jimenez, Jimenez, Ruiz, Gonzalez, Pedro, Gonzales y Gonzo just laid a big wet one. Well... I guess he did, eh? Up, down, down, up... who cares?

Robust? Ha!

"The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when the fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression." -- H. L. Mencken - (1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic Source: Minority Report

You have prepared very nice shirts and hats to give to your Chinese partners. You used green to show your environmental awareness, but nobody wanted to take the hats. Why?

A. You should not give hats in China.
B. Printing a logo on a hat is not polite.
C. A man wearing a green hat in China
indicates his wife is unfaithful to him.
D. Chinese are not allowed to take gifts

"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President Source: Virginia Statutes of Religious Freedom, 1779

When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism, are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies: - Martin Luther King, Jr -from "A Time to Break Silence", King's address given on this day, April 4th in 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York City.

"The most violent element in society is ignorance.": Emma Goldman


Impeachment Fever Rises (So?)

By John Nichols

When Nancy Pelosi announced last fall that impeachment was "off the table," official Washington accepted that the primary avenue for holding lawless Presidents to account had been closed off by the new Speaker of the House. But the Republic's citizenry has not been so inclined.


Vermont Senate Calls For Impeachment Of Bush

By Associated Press

Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, saying their actions have raised "serious questions of constitutionality."


A Hierarchy of Death

By Roy Greenslade

Why do 32 deaths in Virginia receive blanket coverage while nearly 200 fatalities in Iraq are barely reported?


Lots and lots of smoke and mirrors and... nobody cares! HaHa!  

21 Apr 2007 @ 10:02 by jazzolog : Friday Morning, 7 AM, NPR
Thank you Vax for the comment and the invigorating links. Ilona and I were on the way to Athens High School, as usual, at that hour yesterday. We always catch the National Public Radio version of the news then on the network's Morning Edition. I wanted Ilona to hear numbmind Gonzales say "don't recall" at least once. Some stations cut away after the first 3 lead stories. The first 3 all were the kids in Blacksburg. I've never heard NPR give the whole newscast to one story...ever. The Athens station gives us the whole newscast, so I waited regretfully. There was nothing: a couple of global business deals and maybe another hundred blown up in Iraq and that was it. I couldn't believe it...and began my daughter's day with a Dad Tirade in the car. (To Morning Edition's credit, the program did give a segment to the hearing during the hour.)

Bush said Gonzales gave a great performance before Congressional investigators. He continues Complete Confidence. What more can anyone need to know about this President and his view of our process of law? Contempt for Congress? To Bush, surely it is clear any group of lawmakers is beneath his contempt!

I have thought, and probably written at NCN before this, that I believe Nancy Pelosi is not pushing for impeachment because she thinks it'll be a move against both Bush and Cheney. If both are removed from office, who's next in line? If that happens, she really does need a grassroots movement to avoid suspicion the Speaker of the House was trying to engineer a power grab.  

21 Apr 2007 @ 14:06 by vaxen : She...
is one of "THEM," jazzolog! The whole kitten kaboodle is drunk on power and ripoff. The only solution is a brand new government! It's the only one.

I'm sure there will be some sound bytes out there so you might be able to capture the idiot for Danas' perusal 'on the net.'

NAZI Germany all over again. No use in being frightened or dumb...

A new Government, a new Capitol. Potomac is too vulnerable anyway. Remember Bushs' famous " long as that dictator is me." ?

Whew, I guess we borned ourselves into this time but there are a few planets out there where I'd rather be. The future does not look pretty at all...

Buckle up for it's gonna be one 'helluva' ride.


Long yearning,To be in Chang'an.

The grasshoppers weave their autumn song by the golden railing of the well;
Frost coalesces on my bamboo mat, changing its colour with cold.
My lonely lamp is not bright, I’d like to end these thoughts;
I roll back the hanging, gaze at the moon, and long sigh in vain.
The beautiful person's like a flower beyond the edge of the clouds.
Above is the black night of heaven's height;
Below is the green water billowing on.
The sky is long, the road is far, bitter flies my spirit;
The spirit I dream can't get through, the mountain pass is hard.
Long yearning, Breaks my heart.
The tall, courtly trees clumped together create a deep shade,
A cool evening with light talk, sitting by a pillar.
For no particular reason emotions rise up, and with it anxious thoughts,
Play until the tune Plum Blossom, and moonlight fills the qin.
"The most violent element in society is ignorance.": Emma Goldman


A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay “Self-Reliance”

Lock and load!  

21 Apr 2007 @ 19:06 by a-d : you mean....
"Faaaabulous" is Out, huh???? whoahhh.... what happened??? did they all get "straight" all of a sudden? ; ) .... BTW doesn't "robust" make u think of Grannie's Mashed Potatoes?... : )huramphhh...

23 Apr 2007 @ 02:30 by vaxen : ro bust...
, dear A-d, makes me think of a bust of me body! As one nick name I do carry is... ro. ;)

Is our Master jazzolog OK?  

23 Apr 2007 @ 04:46 by a-d : Yeaaahhhsee....
....your Robust--- is a result of Granny's RObust Mashpotatos, deliciously chewable -as in lumpy; was very good for you.... Faaabulous to say the least! ; ) I heard some Nasties were torturing our friend with some aggrevating jibberish, not knowing when/how to shut the .... up!.... Kids!...nahhh... Bratts...stupid, ignorant BRATTS!... shooootem! : )  

23 Apr 2007 @ 05:24 by vaxen : Not Grannys potatoes...
The Thirst to Rise and the Descent of Grace

Granny Mountains,
. . . whose hair
sprouts as snowy weeds,
whose pupils
shine like stars,

rains riches:
prayers fulfilled,
the realm replete,
the seven treasures

Reflections of green trees sink down,
and fishes climb their branches;
the moon dives beneath the lake,
and the rabbit [of the moon] sports upon the waves.


Noh link? Heh heh. Not even at Silver Dragon Temple?


23 Apr 2007 @ 08:27 by jazzolog : And Do You Have A Picture Of The Pain?
(Some may remember that line from the wondrous Phil Ochs song entitled Crucifixion.)

And now, courtesy of Frank Rich yesterday, a new review of our favorite sitcom, The Bushies!

Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac
By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 22 April 2007

President Bush has skipped the funerals of the troops he sent to Iraq. He took his sweet time to get to Katrina-devastated New Orleans. But last week he raced to Virginia Tech with an alacrity not seen since he hustled from Crawford to Washington to sign a bill interfering in Terri Schiavo's end-of-life medical care. Mr. Bush assumes the role of mourner in chief on a selective basis, and, as usual with the decider, the decisive factor is politics. Let Walter Reed erupt in scandal, and he'll take six weeks to show his face - and on a Friday at that, to hide the story in the Saturday papers. The heinous slaughter in Blacksburg, Va., by contrast, was a rare opportunity for him to ostentatiously feel the pain of families whose suffering cannot be blamed on the administration.

But he couldn't inspire the kind of public acclaim that followed his post-9/11 visit to ground zero or the political comeback that buoyed his predecessor after Oklahoma City. The cancer on the Bush White House, Iraq, is now spreading too fast. The president had barely returned to Washington when the empty hope of the "surge" was hideously mocked by a one-day Baghdad civilian death toll more than five times that of Blacksburg's. McClatchy Newspapers reported that the death rate for American troops over the past six months was at its all-time high for this war.

At home, the president is also hobbled by the Iraq cancer's metastasis - the twin implosions of Alberto Gonzales and Paul Wolfowitz. Technically, both men have been pilloried for sins unrelated to the war. The attorney general has repeatedly been caught changing his story about the extent of his involvement in purging eight federal prosecutors. The Financial Times caught the former deputy secretary of defense turned World Bank president privately dictating the extravagant terms of a State Department sinecure for a crony (aka romantic partner) that showers her with more take-home pay than Condoleezza Rice.

Yet each man's latest infractions, however serious, are mere misdemeanors next to their roles in the Iraq war. What's being lost in the Beltway uproar is the extent to which the lying, cronyism and arrogance showcased by the current scandals are of a piece with the lying, cronyism and arrogance that led to all the military funerals that Mr. Bush dares not attend. Having slept through the fraudulent selling of the war, Washington is still having trouble confronting the big picture of the Bush White House. Its dense web of deceit is the deliberate product of its amoral culture, not a haphazard potpourri of individual blunders.

Mr. Gonzales's politicizing of the Justice Department is a mere bagatelle next to his role as White House counsel in 2002, when he helped shape the administration's legal argument to justify torture. That paved the way for Abu Ghraib, the episode that destroyed America's image and gave terrorists a moral victory. But his efforts to sabotage national security didn't end there. In a front-page exposé lost in the Imus avalanche two Sundays ago, The Washington Post uncovered Mr. Gonzales's reckless role in vetting the nomination of Bernard Kerik as secretary of homeland security in December 2004.

Mr. Kerik, you may recall, withdrew from consideration for that cabinet post after a week of embarrassing headlines. Back then, the White House ducked any culpability for the mess by attributing it to a single legal issue, a supposedly undocumented nanny, and by pinning it on a single, nonadministration scapegoat, Mr. Kerik's longtime patron, Rudy Giuliani. The president's spokesman at the time, Scott McClellan, told reporters that the White House had had "no reason to believe" that Mr. Kerik lied during his vetting process and that it would be inaccurate to say that process had been rushed.

Thanks to John Solomon and Peter Baker of The Post, we now know that Mr. McClellan's spin was no more accurate than his exoneration of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby in the Wilson leak case. The Kerik vetting process was indeed rushed - by Mr. Gonzales - and the administration had every reason to believe that it was turning over homeland security to a liar. Mr. Gonzales was privy from the get-go to a Kerik dossier ablaze with red flags pointing to "questionable financial deals, an ethics violation, allegations of mismanagement and a top deputy prosecuted for corruption," not to mention a "friendship with a businessman who was linked to organized crime." Yet Mr. Gonzales and the president persisted in shoving Mr. Kerik into the top job of an already troubled federal department encompassing 22 agencies, 180,000 employees and the very safety of America in the post-9/11 era.

Mr. Kerik may soon face federal charges, and at a most inopportune time for the Giuliani presidential campaign. But it's as a paradigm of the Bush White House's waging of the Iraq war that the Kerik case is most telling. The crucial point to remember is this: Even had there been no alleged improprieties in the former police chief's New York résumé, there still would have been his public record in Iraq to disqualify him from any administration job.

The year before Mr. Kerik's nomination to the cabinet, he was dispatched by the president to take charge of training the Iraqi police - and completely failed at that mission. As Rajiv Chandrasekaran recounts in his invaluable chronicle of Green Zone shenanigans, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," Mr. Kerik slept all day and held only two staff meetings, one upon arrival and one for the benefit of a Times reporter doing a profile. Rather than train Iraqi police, Mr. Kerik gave upbeat McCain-esque appraisals of the dandy shopping in Baghdad's markets.

Had Mr. Kerik actually helped stand up an Iraqi police force instead of hastening its descent into a haven for sectarian death squads, there might not now be extended tours for American troops in an open-ended escalation of the war. But in the White House's priorities, rebuilding Iraq came in a poor third to cronyism and domestic politics. Mr. Kerik's P.R. usefulness as a symbol of 9/11 was particularly irresistible to an administration that has exploited the carnage of 9/11 in ways both grandiose (to gin up the Iraq invasion) and tacky (in 2004 campaign ads).

Mr. Kerik was an exploiter of 9/11 in his own right: he had commandeered an apartment assigned to ground zero police and rescue workers to carry out his extramarital tryst with the publisher Judith Regan. The sex angle of Mr. Wolfowitz's scandal is a comparable symptom of the hubris that warped the judgment of those in power after 9/11. Not only did he help secure Shaha Riza her over-the-top raise in 2005, but as The Times reported, he also helped get her a junket to Iraq when he was riding high at the Pentagon in 2003. No one seems to know what she actually accomplished there, but the bill was paid by a Defense Department contractor that has since come under official scrutiny for its noncompetitive contracts and poor performance. So it went with the entire Iraq fiasco.

You don't have to be a cynic to ask if the White House's practice of bestowing better jobs on those who bungled the war might be a form of hush money. Mr. Wolfowitz was promoted to the World Bank despite a Pentagon record that included (in part) his prewar hyping of bogus intelligence about W.M.D. and a nonexistent 9/11-Saddam connection; his assurance to the world that Iraq's oil revenues would pay for reconstruction; and his public humiliation of Gen. Eric Shinseki after the general dared tell Congress (correctly) that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to secure Iraq after the invasion. Once the war began, Mr. Wolfowitz cited national security to bar businesses from noncoalition countries (like Germany) from competing for major contracts in Iraq. That helped ensure the disastrous monopoly of Halliburton and other White House-connected companies, including the one that employed Ms. Riza.

Had Iraqi reconstruction, like the training of Iraqi police, not been betrayed by politics and cronyism, the Iraq story might have a different ending. But maybe not all that different. The cancer on the Bush White House connects and contaminates all its organs. It's no surprise that one United States attorney fired without plausible cause by the Gonzales Justice Department, Carol Lam, was in hot pursuit of defense contractors with administration connections. Or that another crony brought by Mr. Wolfowitz to the World Bank was caught asking the Air Force secretary to secure a job for her brother at a defense contractor while she was overseeing aspects of the Air Force budget at the White House. A government with values this sleazy couldn't possibly win a war.
Like the C.I.A. leak case, each new scandal is filling in a different piece of the elaborate White House scheme to cover up the lies that took us into Iraq and the failures that keep us mired there. As the cover-up unravels and Congress steps up its confrontation over the war's endgame, our desperate president is reverting to his old fear-mongering habit of invoking 9/11 incessantly in every speech. The more we learn, the more it's clear that he's the one with reason to be afraid.  

23 Apr 2007 @ 23:34 by vaxen : Words, words...
and more words and the war lingers on for the next 50 years or more. For the money lenders? Hopefully more. But... there are those of us who won't touch their wretched perfidy with a ten foot pole but who will shove that very self same pole right up into that place where "the sun don't shine."

Poppy head Bush once said "If the American people knew what we had done to them they'd..." Well, we know heroine head, we know!

We are a very patient people and are not, unlike the Bushitskies and their phoney creditors, murderers. The day of reckoning will come.

But... it is already too late. Antipathos is worse than antipasta.

Hope this link will serve till I can get the other up somewhere...

Taibai Rock, or Master Li Bai's Rock, on Western Hill of Wanxian County, is said to have been where the great Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai (Li "Wiseguy" Po) (701-762) once studied. Li Bai styled himself Tai Bai. Also he was known as "Qing Lian Ju Shi (The Blue Lotus Recluse)"

In any case I am overjoyed to know that you are well and not rotting away in some dark hole somewhere for having exercised any of your 'privileges' given unto you by your liege lords in, ah, congress? You do know that other meaning for the word "congress," yes? ;)  

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