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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Papers Please

“Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.
Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.
‘This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there,’ Fernandez said.
The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.”
-Associated Press, November 28, 2005

“Federal prosecutors are reviewing whether to pursue charges against an Arvada [Colorado] woman who refused to show identification to federal police while riding an RTD bus through the Federal Center in Lakewood.
Deborah Davis, 50, was ticketed for two petty offenses Sept. 26 by officers who commonly board the RTD bus as it passes through the Federal Center and ask passengers for identification.”
-Rocky Mountain News, November 29, 2005

“Remember when you had to be actually accused of something before you needed to present identification? Remember when we used to laugh at the Soviet Union making citizens ‘present papers’ to travel? Remember when we were called the ‘Land of the Free’? It’s amazing how fast things can change. For instance, take a look at our relationship with Mexico and our policies towards illegal immigration.”

“We share values with Mexico. They’re common values — values that unite people, whether they live in the United States or whether they live in Mexico. And what are those values? … The willingness to work hard. America is known for our ability to work hard. Think about the Mexican worker who walks 500 miles across a desert to find work. Those are hard-working citizens. We share that very important value of people willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 6, 2001

“A few short years later..”

“To defend this country, we have to enforce our borders. When our borders are not secure, terrorists, drug dealers, and criminals find it easier to sneak into America. My administration has a clear strategy for dealing with this problem: We want to stop people from crossing into America illegally, and to quickly return the illegal immigrants we catch back to their home countries.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 22, 2005

“Or, for something a little more in the news, how about just who the enemy is in Iraq? Seems like something that we’d know by now..”

"’This is a group of people who don't merit the word `insurgency,' I think,’ Rumsfeld said Tuesday at a Pentagon news conference. He said the thought had come to him suddenly over the Thanksgiving weekend.
‘I think that you can have a legitimate insurgency in a country that has popular support and has a cohesiveness and has a legitimate gripe,’ he said. ‘These people don't have a legitimate gripe.’ Still, he acknowledged that his point may not be supported by the standard definition of ‘insurgent.’ He promised to look it up.
Webster's New World College Dictionary defines the term ‘insurgent’ as ‘rising up against established authority.’
Even Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who stood beside Rumsfeld at the news conference, found it impossible to describe the fighting in Iraq without twice using the term `insurgent.'
After the word slipped out the first time, Pace looked sheepishly at Rumsfeld and quipped apologetically, ‘I have to use the word `insurgent' because I can't think of a better word right now.’"
-Associated Press, November 29, 2005

“Or even where the war is taking place. I’d have thought for sure that there could be no misunderstanding on that one..”

“Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, flubbed Monday and referred to Iraq as Vietnam while commenting on Fox News against an immediate troop withdrawal.
‘The Democratic Party seems to be taken over by the Michael Moore contingent in their attitude toward Vietnam, and they continually call for a withdrawal of troops at a time when we haven't finished the job,’ Hatch said on the network's morning show. Hatch's spokesman acknowledged the error, which was first reported on the American Prospect Web log.”
-Salt Lake Tribune, November 29, 2005

“Apparently the more thing change, the more they stay the same. Good Morning Vietnam.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Dear John

“As the American military pushes the largely Shiite Iraqi security services into a larger role in combating the insurgency, evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods.
Hundreds of accounts of killings and abductions have emerged in recent weeks, most of them brought forward by Sunni civilians, who claim that their relatives have been taken away by Iraqi men in uniform without warrant or explanation.
Some Sunni males have been found dead in ditches and fields, with bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills. Many have simply vanished.”
-New York Times, November 29, 2005

“American officials, who are overseeing the training of the Iraqi Army and the police, acknowledge that police officers and Iraqi soldiers, and the militias with which they are associated, may indeed be carrying out killings and abductions in Sunni communities, without direct American knowledge.”
-New York Times, November 29, 2005

“Wow.. Torture, people ‘vanishing’ and military death squads.. Why does this sound familiar? Let’s look in on the man who was our ambassador to Iraq up until April of this year (when he was, of course, promoted), John Negroponte.”

“Negroponte's nomination for the U.N. post was confirmed by the Senate in September 2001, but that confirmation didn't come easy.
It was delayed a half-year mostly because of criticism of his record as the U.S. ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. In Honduras, Negroponte played a prominent role in assisting the Contras in Nicaragua in their war with the left-wing Sandinista government, which was aligned with Cuba and the Soviet Union.
For weeks before his Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Negroponte was questioned by staff members on whether he had acquiesced to human rights abuses by a Honduran death squad funded and partly trained by the Central Intelligence Agency.”
-Associated Press, April 20, 2004

“Intelligence Battalion 3-16 was also created in the early 1980s with the help of the CIA. Together with the DNI, Battalion 3-16 is blamed for the repression, capture, interrogation and disappearance of about 180 people, generally popular movement leaders.”
-U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Honduras, October 14, 1998

“Battalion 3-16 counter-terrorist tactics included torture, rape, assassination against persons thought to be involved in support of Salvadoran guerrillas or the Honduran leftist movement. Information available to the United States Government in the 1980s indicated that named individuals were abducted and killed by Battalion 3-16 and the FUSEP Special Unit.”
-CIA Working Group Stipulations, September 13, 2001

"I'm pleased to announce my decision to nominate Ambassador John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence . . . John brings a unique set of skills to these challenges."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, February 17, 2005

“There are also a few similarities in the ignorance of the U.S. government. Apparently we just never notice that kind of problem.”

"I think it is important to stress there was no effort on the part of myself or others serving the U.S. Government at the time to stifle reporting about human rights in Honduras, to cover up any credible evidence of human rights abuses which came to our attention, or to misrepresent the general picture with respect to the human rights situation in the country."
-John Negroponte, September 13, 2001

“Ah yes, Iraq. Bringing together all of the things we never learned in Vietnam, the Honduras and a hundred other dirty CIA operations Something for everyone.”

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: SNAFU

"The military families who mourn the fallen can know that America will not forget their sacrifice, and they can know that we will honor that sacrifice by completing the noble mission for which their loved ones gave their lives."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, November 28, 2005

“And how exactly is that noble mission going? Let’s ask the former Prime minister of Iraq..”

“Human rights abuses in Iraq are as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein if not worse, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has said.
‘People are doing the same as (in) Saddam's time and worse,’ Allawi said in an interview published in Britain on Sunday.
‘It is an appropriate comparison,’ Allawi told The Observer newspaper. ‘People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things.’
[Allawi] added that he now had so little faith in the rule of law that he had instructed his own bodyguards to fire on any police car that attempted to approach his headquarters without prior notice, following the implication of police units in many of the abuses."
-CNN, November 27, 2005

“Seeking to quell the insurgency and sectarian violence, leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish political factions ended three days of contentious talks Monday with a call for a pullout of foreign troops from the country but no agreement on a timetable.
In Egypt, the communiqué's attempt to define terrorism omitted any reference to attacks against U.S. or Iraqi forces. Delegates from across the political and religious spectrum said the omission was intentional.
‘Though resistance is a legitimate right for all people, terrorism does not represent resistance. Therefore, we condemn terrorism and acts of violence, killing and kidnapping targeting Iraqi citizens and humanitarian, civil, government institutions, national resources and houses of worships,’ the document said.”
-Associated Press, November 22, 2005

“Well, we can always just declare victory and get out.. Despite what Bush said last week about there being ‘no timetable’, that seems to be exactly what he is now pushing..”

“The White House for the first time has claimed possession of an Iraq withdrawal plan, arguing that a troop pullout blueprint unveiled this past week by a Democratic senator was ‘remarkably similar’ to its own.
Even though Bush has never publicly issued his own withdrawal plan and criticized calls for an early exit, the White House said many of the ideas expressed by the senator were its own.”
-AFP, November 27, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Buy Nothing Day

“Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday...The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.”
-Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
-Jane Howard, "Families"

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. “
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

"Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want." -Geoffrey F. Abert

“Yes, it’s that time of year again. The consumer feeding frenzy is beginning. In honor of that, in a small way to try to re-align our priorities, Adbusters and numerous other groups have designated this Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, Buy Nothing Day. It is a simple idea.. Don’t shop. Stay at home and do a puzzle with the kids. Call the folks and have a long talk about life. Go play in the yard with the dog. Take a nice walk in the park with your spouse. It isn’t about the shopping. It is about life. Just for one day leave behind the nine to five rush for more, more, more and have a simple day with those that you love. In twenty years no one will remember the Barbie doll.. They might remember a day with you though. Do your part. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and really give some thanks.”
-Skippy, November 25, 2003

“And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you're saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore.”
-George Carlin

“Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client.”
-William Burroughs

“What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
-Bob Dylan (1941 - )

“I hope that all of you out there have a happy Thanksgiving. Drive carefully, be safe, and just enjoy the time with your family and friends. They are what Thanksgiving is all about. It is about being thankful for what you have, not what you think you need. I leave you with this sage advice from a puppet pig..”

“Never eat more than you can lift.”
-Miss Piggy

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Deep Schmidt

“Anyone remember Rep. Jean Schmidt? She was the Republican woman who narrowly beat out Paul Hackett, a soldier who had fought in Iraq, in the last election in an area of Ohio (Cincinnati) that is solidly Republican.. She claimed that he was out of touch with the district because he had been away fighting the war. Luckily, upon taking office she promised to clean up the impolite behavior of the House. The following was her first address to the House.”

“This House has much work to do. On that we can all agree. We will not always agree on the details of that work. Honorable people can certainly agree to disagree. However, here today I accept a second oath. I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character. It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price.”
-Rep. Jean Schmidt, September 6, 2005

“Apparently though her change of heart was only skin deep. Here is part of her second address to the House.”

“"A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body...”
-Rep. Jean Schmidt, November 18, 2005

“Jean is, of course, calling Congressman Murtha a coward over his request for troop withdrawals in Iraq. Rep. Murtha is a decorated 37-year Marine veteran and a military hawk. That makes twice she has insulted military veterans and claimed that they don’t support the troops. You see, setting a timetable and trying to save the lives of the troops apparently isn’t patriotic.”

“Murtha's bold proposal to get the troops out in six months stands in stark contrast to his fellow Democrats' nervous and tortured attempts to extricate themselves from their 2002 vote to give the President the authority to go to war.”
-CBS, November 22, 2005

“President Bush said yesterday that it was ‘a positive step’ for the Senate to defeat a Democrat-led effort to establish a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
‘The Senate, in a bipartisan fashion, rejected an amendment that would have taken our troops out of Iraq before the mission was complete,’ Mr. Bush said during a press conference in Kyoto with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. ‘To me, that was a positive step by the United States Senate.’"
-Washington Times, November 17, 2005

“Setting timetables is bad, mmkay? You shouldn’t set timetables. If we set a timetable on Iraq then the terrorists have already won.”

"As long as I am commander in chief, our strategy in Iraq will be driven by the sober judgment of our military commanders on the ground. When our commanders on the ground tell me that Iraqi forces can defend their freedom, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned."
-George Dubya Bush, November 18, 2005

“You see, hidden in that statement is the assumption that there will be military commanders on the ground as long as he is commander in chief. That’s unfortunately about another three years. That will show all of those pinko leftist liberal Democrats who’s boss. Yeah, we aren’t going to let anyone tell us when to leave Iraq.”

“Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a ‘legitimate right’ of resistance.”
-Associated Press, November 22, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“In February 2002, after a briefing on the status of the war in Afghanistan, the commanding officer, Gen. Tommy Franks, told me the war was being compromised as specialized personnel and equipment were being shifted from Afghanistan to prepare for the war in Iraq -- a war more than a year away. Even at this early date, the White House was signaling that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein was of such urgency that it had priority over the crushing of al Qaeda.”

-Bob Graham, November 20, 2005

“At a meeting of the Senate intelligence committee on Sept. 5, 2002, CIA Director George Tenet was asked what the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) provided as the rationale for a preemptive war in Iraq. An NIE is the product of the entire intelligence community, and its most comprehensive assessment. I was stunned when Tenet said that no NIE had been requested by the White House and none had been prepared. Invoking our rarely used senatorial authority, I directed the completion of an NIE. T
enet objected, saying that his people were too committed to other assignments to analyze Saddam Hussein's capabilities and will to use chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons. We insisted, and three weeks later the community produced a classified NIE.”
-Bob Graham, November 20, 2005

“Under questioning, Tenet added that the information in the NIE had not been independently verified by an operative responsible to the United States. In fact, no such person was inside Iraq. Most of the alleged intelligence came from Iraqi exiles or third countries, all of which had an interest in the United States' removing Hussein, by force if necessary.”
-Bob Graham, November 20, 2005

“Hmm.. Who could have wanted to invade Iraq so badly that they went through the motions half-arsed? Was it the kindly old homicidal maniac?”

"I didn't advocate invasion, I wasn't asked."
-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, November 20, 2005

“The yellow menace?”

“I didn’t do it.”
-Bart Simpson

“Or was it Old Man Potter?”

"We learn more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s. That it involved training, for example, on [biological and chemical weapons], that Al Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems."
-Dick Cheney, October 3, 2004

“Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is ‘overwhelming’ that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were ‘irresponsible.’"
-CNN, Friday, June 8, 2004

"I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11."
-Dick Cheney, Vice-Presidential Debate, October 5, 2004

“No.. I’m pretty sure that this whole debacle can be laid at the feet of the Boy King.”

"I'm the commander. See, I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush to Bob Woodward, in "Bush at War"

“And I’d have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those darn kids.”
-Scooby-Doo Show

Friday, November 18, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: And Now for Something Completely Different

“Political quotes? You expect those from me. Ranting? A given.. Football? SURPRISE! Quotes of the Morning.. unpredictable since 1997 (or so.. Heck, I can’t remember when I started doing this..)”

"Being in politics is like coaching football. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it's important."
-Eugene J. McCarthy

"If we could get the public as involved and as informed about politics as they are about Monday Night Football, we would not have as many problems. People have to get off their duffs and participate."
-Carol G. Hanson

"Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings."
-George Will

"Possession of the ball is the key to winning in football, basketball, and the game of life."
-J. Laing Burns

"In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Football is a game of cliches, and I believe in every one of them."
-Vincent Lombardi

"There's more violence in one football game than there is in an entire hockey season, and nobody ever talks about that."
-Keith Allen

"When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anybody deliberately . . . unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something."
-Dick Butkus

"To watch a football game is to be in a prolonged neurotic doubt as to what you're seeing. It's more like an emergency happening at a distance than a game. I don't wonder the spectators take to drink."
-Jacques Barzun

"Marta was watching the football game with me when she said, ‘You know, most of these sports are based on the idea of one group protecting its territory from invasion by another group.’
‘Yeah,’ I said, trying not to laugh. Girls are funny."
-Jack Handey

"Being a woman is of special interest only to aspiring male transsexuals. To actual women it is merely a good excuse not to play football."
-Fran Lebowitz

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Fun with Dick

“The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history. We’re going to continue throwing their own words back at them.”
-Dick Cheney, November 16, 2005

“’Throw their own words at them’? Sounds like a fun idea..”

“It’s clearly established in terms of training, provision of bomb-making experts, training of people with respect to chemical and biological warfare capabilities, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Iraq for training and so forth…”
-Dick Cheney, June 4, 2005

“A high Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.
The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, ‘was intentionally misleading the debriefers’ in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda's work with illicit weapons.”
-New York Times, November 6, 2005

“On Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cheney described Saddam as a ‘man who provided safe harbor and sanctuary to terrorists for years’ and who ‘provided safe harbor and sanctuary as well for al Qaeda.’
In Wisconsin on Friday, he said the ‘al Qaeda organization had a relationship with the Iraqis.’
-CNN, September 12, 2004

“The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no ‘collaborative relationship’ between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq.
Along with the contention that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials have often asserted that there were extensive ties between Hussein's government and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network; earlier this year, Cheney said evidence of a link was ‘overwhelming.’
But the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but no cooperation. In yesterday's hearing of the panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, a senior FBI official and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the finding.”
-Washington Post, June 17, 2004

“Please note that the previous quote pre-dated the one before it. Dick was apparently aware of the 9/11 commission’s findings when he continued his claims. In the past there has been a claim that the White House had evidence that the Senate didn’t have. Of course now, since the question of ‘What the hell are we doing in Iraq?’ has been raised, the administration claims that the Senate had exactly the same evidence as the White House when they gave Dubya approval to ‘enforce’ the UN resolutions (which isn’t exactly the same as war, but heck..)”

“A CIA report has found no conclusive evidence that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein harbored Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which the Bush administration asserted before the invasion of Iraq.
‘There's no conclusive evidence the Saddam Hussein regime had harbored Zarqawi,’ a U.S. official said on Tuesday about the CIA findings.”
-Reuters, October 6, 2004

“With respect to 9/11, of course, we’ve had the story that’s been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack.”
-Dick Cheney, September 14, 2003

“Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that -- it's been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don't know at this point, but that's clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.”
-Dick Cheney, December 9, 2001

“Borger: ‘Well, let's go to Mohamed Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, ‘pretty well confirmed.’ ‘

Cheney: ‘No, I never said that.’
Borger: ‘Okay.'
Cheney: ‘Never said that.’
Borger: ‘I think that is . . . ‘
Cheney: ‘Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down.’”
-Dick Cheney Interview with Gloria Borger, June 17, 2004

“Thanks for the great idea Dick (and thanks to Americablog for most of the quotes.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Fed to the Lions

“Think how far Iraq has come from the days of torture chambers and mass graves, and the brutal reign of a barbaric tyrant.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, November 1, 2004

“Because we acted, torture chambers are closed.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 7, 2004

“The U.S. Army discovered scores of detainees in poor health at a building run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry during a search for a missing 15-year-old boy, a U.S. general said Monday.
Brig. Gen. Karl Horst of the 3rd Infantry Division said the prisoners were found Sunday ‘in need of medical care -- so I brought medics in.’
Iraqi police went further, telling CNN that many detainees in the Baghdad building ‘had obviously endured torture’ and were ‘detained in poor health conditions.’
The Iraqi Interior Ministry could not be reached for response.
Iraqi police said the U.S. military ‘raided’ the building, arriving in about 20 vehicles. The building was run by police commandos who work for the Interior Ministry, police said.
Horst denied there was a raid. He said U.S. and Iraqis were working on a joint investigation into the detainees and into the whereabouts of the boy.
Asked what the original purpose of the facility was, Horst replied, ‘I don't know -- that's part of the ongoing investigation.’”
-CNN, November 14, 2005

“Finally we do something right and actually STOP torture in Iraq. I only wish this one case made up for the others..”

“REPORTER: So when you say that you want the U.S. to adhere to international and U.S. laws, that's not very comforting. This is a moral question. Is terr -- torture ever justified? DUBYA: Look, I'm gonna say it one more time. I can -- if I can -- maybe -- maybe I can be more clear. The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That oughtta comfort you. We -- we're a nation of law. We adhere to laws. We have laws on the books. You might look at those laws. And that might provide comfort for you. And those were the instructions out of -- from me to the government.
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, June 10, 2004

“Under the dictator, prisons like Abu Gar -- reb -- were symbols of death and torture. That same prison became a symbol of disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and ‘disregardered’ our values. America will fund the construction of a modern, maximum security prison. When that prison is completed, detainees at Abu Garomp will be relocated. Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Garab prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 24, 2004

"They [American troops] took us to a cage — an animal cage that had lions in it within the Republican Palace," he said. "And they threatened us that if we did not confess, they would put us inside the cage with the lions in it. It scared me a lot when they got me close to the cage, and they threatened me. And they opened the door and they threatened that if I did not confess, that they were going to throw me inside the cage. And as the lion was coming closer, they would pull me back out and shut the door, and tell me, 'We will give you one more chance to confess.' And I would say, 'Confess to what?'"
Inside the Republican Palace — the site of Saddam's former office — Sabbar says troops taunted him with a mock execution.”
-ABC News, November 14, 2005

“Sabbar, 37, and Sherzad Kamal Khalid, 35, are in the United States this week to talk about the lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First filed on their behalf against Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other military officials.
The suit, which was filed in March and transferred to U.S. District Court in Washington, details alleged sexual abuse, mock executions, water and food deprivation, electric shock and other torture used on eight detainees, including Sabbar and Khalid. It does not mention the lion cage.
‘They threatened that if I did not confess they would put me in the cage,’ said Khalid, adding that the soldiers kept asking him where Saddam was. ‘I laughed, I thought they were kidding me. They asked where are the weapons of mass destruction. I was very surprised and I thought it was weird.’
But when he laughed, he said, he was only beaten more. And he said they pushed him into the cage three times, pulling him out as the lions moved toward him.
Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Odai, kept lions in his compound at the presidential palace, which was taken over by U.S. troops during the war.”
-Associated Press, November 15, 2005

“Ok.. Sorry to everyone about harping so much on the fact that the United States of America is now allowing the torture of prisoners. I know it’s a bummer to read about it so often, but hey, what can I say? When I see everything that this country believes in trampled into the dirt and spat upon by ‘a few bad apples’ (said with a wink, a nod, and a few token court-martials) again and again I tend to get a little upset. This is America. We are supposed to be better than that. I am sick of reading day in and day out about how our country is doing the same things that we used to loathe other countries for. Remember the old Soviet gulags? We run them now. Remember Saddam’s torture chambers that we saved the Iraqi people from? We run them now. Remember the stories of prisoners being abducted in the night in evil old Russia and held for years without right to a trial or even being accused of anything? Our government is claiming that we need to do that now to protect out ‘freedom’.
I’m sick and tired of this. I desperately want to be proud of my government. I love this country and I am proud to be an American, so all of this other sh*t has got to stop. This is America. We believe in freedom. We believe in honor. We believe in justice.
At heart I’m just a geek. I’ve spent way too many years reading comic books about the constant battles of good versus evil. I know the basics. I know that Superman wouldn’t fight for torture. I know that my faith in this nation is simplistic. I know that asking ‘What Would Superman Do?’ is too easy a question, but I also know that it is a mighty good starting point, and when I see us as a nation acting in ways that in the comics would usually bring Superman barreling through the walls to stop it makes me ashamed. This sh*t has got to stop.”

“We do not torture.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, November 7, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: And Politics

"Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, November 11, 2005

"Half a truth is often a great lie."
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, taken this month, found that majorities of Americans now say the war was not worth it (52 percent said it wasn't, 42 percent said it was); that Bush had misled the country about prewar intelligence (57 percent vs. 35 percent); and that the president has not given good reasons to keep US troops there (58 percent to 38 percent).”
-Boston Globe, November 15, 2005

“Apparently those ‘some Democrats and anti-war critics’ are now 57% of the population. The rest is a little rough too..”

“National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, briefing reporters Thursday, countered ‘the notion that somehow this administration manipulated the intelligence.’ He said that ‘those people who have looked at that issue, some committees on the Hill in Congress, and also the Silberman-Robb Commission, have concluded it did not happen.’
But the only committee investigating the matter in Congress, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has not yet done its inquiry into whether officials mischaracterized intelligence by omitting caveats and dissenting opinions. And Judge Laurence H. Silberman, chairman of Bush's commission on weapons of mass destruction, said in releasing his report on March 31, 2005: ‘Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry.’”
-Washington Post, November 12, 2005

"It is not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude."
-Alexander Haig

“Bush, in his speech Friday, said that ‘it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.’ But in trying to set the record straight, he asserted: ‘When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support.’
The October 2002 joint resolution authorized the use of force in Iraq, but it did not directly mention the removal of Hussein from power.”
-Washington Post, November 12, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Already There

“President Bush on Monday vigorously defended U.S. interrogation of suspected terrorists after the public disclosure of secret CIA prisoner camps in eastern European countries. ‘We do not torture,’ he declared.
‘There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again,' Bush said. ‘So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law.’”
-Associated Press, November 7, 2005

“Good. Not just because we are signatories of the Geneva Conventions, and thus per the Constitution (which make treaties signed the law of the land) we aren’t legally allowed to torture, but also because its wrong. Just wrong. You’d have thought that an administration that spends so much time calling their enemies ‘evil’ would have a good grip of right and wrong.”

“Over White House opposition, the Senate has passed legislation banning torture. With Vice President Dick Cheney as the point man, the administration is seeking an exemption for the CIA. It was recently disclosed that the agency maintains a network of prisons in eastern Europe and Asia, where it holds terrorist suspects.
The European Union is investigating the reports, which have not been confirmed by the White House.
‘Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people,’ Bush said. ‘Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture.’”
-Associated Press, November 7, 2005

“The part about ‘is within the law’ makes me nervous. Remember this?”

“Gonzales and the administration began articulating a radical new legal theory shortly after Sept. 11, which they set forth in public statements, internal memos, and eventually in arguments to the federal courts. It was the theory behind the argument that the president could, of his own authority, order any U.S. citizen arrested and detained indefinitely without access to counsel or a day in court. It was also behind the position that the United States could hold foreign nationals at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely, not protected by U.S. law or the laws of war. And it undergirded the justice department's view that government officials may be immune to prosecution for torture or other unlawful conduct if they were acting according to the president's power as commander in chief. The idea is that law is in significant respects inconsistent with the power needed to fight terrorism. And in situations involving security, law, whether it constrains executive power or protects individual rights, should be replaced with trust in the president's prudence, policy, and self-restraint.”
-The American Prospect, November 23, 2004

“You see, per Gonzales, if the President does it it is ‘within the law’ no matter what it is, and if it is within the law, it can’t be torture, because torture is not within the law. Remember when the worst thing we had to worry about was whether or not ‘oral sex’ was technically ‘sex’. God I wish we still lived in those far-away times.”

“In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture, arguing the US administration was duty-bound to protect Americans from terrorist attack.
The comment, by US national security adviser Stephen Hadley, came amid heated national debate about whether the CIA and other US intelligence agencies should be authorized to use what is being referred to as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ to extract from terror suspects information that may help prevent future assaults.
The US Senate voted 90-9 early last month to attach an amendment authored by Republican Senator John McCain to a defense spending bill that would prohibit ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading’ treatment of detainees in US custody. But the White House has threatened to veto the measure and has lobbied senators to have the language removed or modified to allow an exemption for the Central Intelligence Agency.”
-AFP, November 13, 2005

“Republican Senator Kit Bond, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Newsweek magazine that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ had worked with at least one captured high-level Al-Qaeda operative, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to thwart an unspecified plot.”
-AFP, November 13, 2005

“CIA interrogators apparently tried to cover up the death of an Iraqi ‘ghost detainee’ who died while being interrogated at Abu Ghraib prison, Time magazine reported today, after obtaining hundreds of pages of documents, including an autopsy report, about the case. The death of secret detainee Manadel al-Jamadi was ruled a homicide in a Defense Department autopsy, Time reported, adding that documents it recently obtained included photographs of his battered body, which had been kept on ice to keep it from decomposing, apparently to conceal the circumstances of his death.
Photos of grinning US soldiers crouching over Jamadi's corpse were among the disturbing images that emerged from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2004, prompting international outrage and internal US military investigations.”
-Forbes.com (AFX News), November 13, 2005

“My body is cut and broken
It's shattered and sore
My body is cut wide open
I can't stand anymore
It tortures me to move my hands
To try to move at all
And pulled
My skin so tight it screams
And screams and screams
And screams for more

Hanging like this
Like a vampire bat
Hanging like this
Hanging on your back
Oh it's torture
And I'm almost there
It's torture
But I'm almost there

It's torture
But I'm almost there
It's torture
And I’m already there...”
-The Cure, Torture

Friday, November 11, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: No One Can be Told What the Science Is.

“Morpheus: You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”
-the Matrix

“At the risk of re-igniting the same heated nationwide debate it sparked six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.
The 6-4 vote was a victory for ‘intelligent design’ advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.”
-CNN, November 8, 2005

“And that higher power was, of course, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who created all of us with his divine Noodly Appendage. I can only pray that Bob Dobbs (patron saint of the Church of the Subgenius) will intercede for us and protect us from being tricked by the Science.”

“The challenged concepts cited include the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and the theory that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life.
In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.”
-CNN, November 8, 2005

“And I personally think that changing the definition of words like ‘science’ or ‘torture’ or ‘treason’ or ‘restoring dignity to the White House’ is a doubleplusgood thing. Science should include other things than searching for natural explanations of phenomena. I think that it should also include ping pong. Man, I’d have a doctorate if science included ping pong.”

“John Calvert, a lawyer who runs the Intelligent Design Network, based in Kansas, praised the board as ‘taking a very courageous step’ that would ‘make science education interesting to students rather than boring.’"
-New York Times, November 8, 2005

“That’s what I’m saying. They’re going at it the wrong way though. Intelligent design isn’t going to make it interesting on its own. We need action to keep the kids attention. We need car chases and explosions. We need a bass-beat techno album blasting in the background. We need to give the kids the mother-funking red pill and let them see that the world around them is created by a higher frigging power!”

“Morpheus: I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?

Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix.
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?
Neo: Yes.
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.”
-The Matrix

“And thankfully the Kansas State Board of Education will continue to make sure that your mind is safely imprisoned where it can’t harm anyone. Whew. Unfortunately Dover, PA, did not fare as well. All eight members of the school board, which was pushing similar legislation, were voted out in the last election, and God (or possibly the Flying Spaghetti Monster) is pissed.”

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there.”
-Pat Robertson, November 10, 2005

“Sure, God might be pissed at Dover, and may do one of those ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ things he’s so well known for, but the Flying Spaghetti Monster will always be there to forgive his people and sprinkle parmesan from Heaven in their time of need. Thank you Flying Spaghetti Monster, and we welcome you into the Kansas school system.”

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Hot in the City

“The fighting in Fallujah, Iraq has led to a number of widespread myths including false charges that the United States is using chemical weapons such napalm and poison gas. None of these allegations are true.
Qatar-based Internet site Islam Online was one of the first to spread the false chemical weapons claim. On November 10, 2004, it reported that U.S. troops were allegedly using ‘chemical weapons and poisonous gas’ in Fallujah. (‘US Troops Reportedly Gassing Fallujah’) It sourced this claim to Al-Quds Press, which cited only anonymous sources for its allegation.
The inaccurate Islam Online story has been posted on hundreds of Web sites.
On November 12, 2004, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a denial of the chemical weapons charge, stating: ‘
The United States categorically denies the use of chemical weapons at anytime in Iraq, which includes the ongoing Fallujah operation. Furthermore, the United States does not under any circumstance support or condone the development, production, acquisition, transfer or use of chemical weapons by any country. All chemical weapons currently possessed by the United States have been declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and are being destroyed in the United States in accordance with our obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention."
To its credit, Islam Online ran a Nov. 25, 2004, story carrying the U.S. denial.
In both stories, Islam Online noted that U.S. forces had used napalm-like incendiary weapons during the march to Baghdad in the spring of 2003. Although all napalm in the U.S. arsenal had been destroyed by 2001, Mark-77 firebombs, which have a similar effect to napalm, were used against enemy positions in 2003.
The repetition of this story on Islam Online’s led to further misinformation. Some readers did not distinguish between what had happened in the spring of 2003, during the march to Baghdad, and in Fallujah in November 2004. They mistakenly thought napalm-like weapons had been used in Fallujah, which is not true. No Mark-77 firebombs have been used in operations in Fallujah.
Finally, some news accounts have claimed that U.S. forces have used ‘outlawed’ phosphorus shells in Fallujah. Phosphorus shells are not outlawed. U.S. forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes. They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters.”
-US Department of State, January 27, 2005

“They only used it to light the way. Nothing to worry about.”

“U.S. forces in Iraq have used incendiary white phosphorus against civilians and a firebomb similar to napalm against military targets, Italian state-run broadcaster RAI reported on Tuesday.
A RAI documentary showed images of bodies recovered after a November 2004 offensive by U.S. troops on the town of Falluja, which it said proved the use of white phosphorus against men, women and children who were burned to the bone.
‘Burned bodies. Burned children and burned women,’ said Englehart, who RAI said had taken part in the Falluja offensive. ‘White phosphorus kills indiscriminately.’
A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said he did not recall white phosphorus being used in Falluja. ‘I do not recall the use of white phosphorus during the offensive operations in Falluja in the fall of 2004,’ Lieutenant Colonel Steven Boylan said.
An incendiary device, white phosphorus is used by the military to conceal troop movements with smoke, mark targets or light up combat areas. The use of incendiary weapons against civilians has been banned by the Geneva Convention since 1980.
The United States did not sign the relevant protocol to the convention, a U.N. official in New York said.”
-Reuters, November 8, 2005

“WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired ‘shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."
-Field Artillery Magazine (printed by the US Army), March 2005

After pounding parts of the city for days, many Marines say the recent combat escalated into more than they had planned for, but not more than they could handle.
‘It's a war,’ said Cpl. Nicholas Bogert, 22, of Morris, N.Y.
Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused.
The boom kicked dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they call ‘shake 'n' bake’ into a cluster of buildings where insurgents have been spotted all week.
They say they have never seen what they've hit, nor did they talk about it as they dusted off their breakfast and continued their hilarious routine of personal insults and name-calling.
-North County Times, April 10, 2004

“When conventional ammunition like white-phosphorous and high explosive deteriorates from exposure, toxic chemicals leak out of them and contaminate the soil, said Rizzo.”
-US Department of Defense, October 27, 2005

“One year ago this week, US-led occupying forces launched a devastating assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja. The mood was set by Lt Col Gary Brandl: ‘The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He's in Falluja. And we're going to destroy him.’
The assault was preceded by eight weeks of aerial bombardment. US troops cut off the city's water, power and food supplies, condemned as a violation of the Geneva convention by a UN special rapporteur, who accused occupying forces of ‘using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population’. Two-thirds of the city's 300,000 residents fled, many to squatters' camps without basic facilities.
The US also deployed incendiary weapons, including white phosphorous. ‘Usually we keep the gloves on,’ Captain Erik Krivda said, but ‘for this operation, we took the gloves off’. By the end of operations, the city lay in ruins. Falluja's compensation commissioner has reported that 36,000 of the city's 50,000 homes were destroyed, along with 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines.
The US claims that 2,000 died, most of them fighters. Other sources disagree. When medical teams arrived in January they collected more than 700 bodies in only one third of the city. Iraqi NGOs and medical workers estimate between 4,000 and 6,000 dead, mostly civilians - a proportionately higher death rate than in Coventry and London during the blitz.”
-Guardian Unliminted (UK), November 10, 2005

“Someone want to explain to me how we were ‘saving’ the Iraqi people? And after that you can explain to me why this doesn’t resemble Vietnam at all. There are days I’m really scared for my country. The military lies to your face and then the administration wants you to blindly trust them. Torture and using incendiary devices against civilians is not what my country does. I have no idea some days where I’m living anymore.”

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Streamlining Scandals

“The CIA took the first step toward a criminal investigation of a leak of possibly classified information on secret prisons to The Washington Post, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The agency's general counsel sent a report to the Justice Department about the Post story, which reported the existence of secret U.S. detention centers for suspected terrorists in Eastern Europe.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert called for a congressional investigation into the disclosure of the existence of the secret prisons. The leaders made the request in a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sidestepped questions on secret prisons, saying the United States was in a ‘different kind of war’ and had an obligation to defend itself.
If the Post story is accurate, "such an egregious disclosure could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks," wrote Frist, R-Tenn., and Hastert, R-Ill., asking for a joint leak probe by the Senate and House intelligence committees.
The newspaper's story of a week ago said the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al-Qaida captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, part of a covert prison system set up by the agency four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries. Those countries, said the story, include several democracies.”
-Associated Press, November 8, 2005

“You see, it seems that we’ve been running old Soviet era prisons tucked away in places where little things like the Geneva Conventions don’t really have much impact. Yep, we run the gulags now. The most important thing though is that the media found out. It means that there was a leak of classified information. Oddly enough, when it comes to investigating leaks that make America look bad, the leadership of the Senate is all about the oversight..”

“The congressional probe would seek to determine not only whether the information contained in the Washington Post report was classified, but also whether it was accurate, according to a letter to congressional intelligence committees by Senate majority leader Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House.
A spokesperson for the House intelligence committee said the committee had not received the letter.
In the draft letter, Mr Frist and Mr Hastert said that, if accurate, the disclosure of the prisons could have ‘long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences’ that would imperil national security.”
-MSNBC, November 9, 2005

“I’m sure that we’ll get to the heart of this in no time. We need to find out which Democratic operative leaked this information on our gulags in order to weaken America in a time of war!”

“Vice-President Dick Cheney discussed the existence of secret US prisons abroad with a group of Republican senators last week, according to Senator Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican.
Details about Mr Cheney's meeting emerged on Tuesday just hours after Republican congressional leaders released the draft of a letter calling for an investigation into whether a story in the Washington Post last week about the prisons was based on leaked, classified information.
Mr Lott told reporters that ‘a lot’ of the details of the Washington Post story mirrored information that was discussed at a Republican luncheon a day before the story appeared. A spokesperson for the senator did not return a call.”
-MSNBC, November 9, 2005

“Wow.. They’re getting good at this. It took the Plame investigation two years to get to Cheney’s doorstep. It only took this scandal a few hours. That’s efficiency for you. I’m kind of guessing that Dubya isn’t going to me spending a lot of time on Trent Lott’s new porch.”

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Get Out and Vote

“Eyeing three upcoming presidential elections in Latin America, Bush said citizens must choose ‘between two competing visions’ for their future.
One, he said, pursues representative government, integration into the world community and freedom's transformative power for individuals.
‘The other seeks to roll back the democratic progress of the past two decades by playing to fear, pitting neighbor against neighbor and blaming others for their own failures to provide for the people,’ he said. ‘We must make tough decisions today to ensure a better tomorrow.’"
-Associated Press, November 7, 2005

“Oddly enough, I think that he had absolutely no sense of irony while saying that..”

"Because you NEED me, Springfield. Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king."
-Sideshow Bob Terwilliger

"Do you remember last election day... and how you convinced me to not vote. You argued that since we disagreed on all issues, we could both stay home and the outcome would be the same as if we both voted. DOGS CAN'T VOTE!!"

"It does not matter who you vote for, either way your planet is doomed!"

“Just a reminder.. Get out and vote. Vote for anyone that you like, but vote. I will at lunch, as my mind works on autopilot for the first hour or so of the day and so I forgot this morning. If I can drive across town during lunch to do it, you can too.. Oh, and the Quotes of the Morning (a subsidiary of Fly by Night Industries) endorses voting yes on issues 2, 3, 4, and 5. I doubt anyone cares (or is surprised) but there you are.”

Monday, November 07, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: No Tax and Spend

“Your fellow citizens ought to worry about somebody who is out there making promise after promise after promise, like over $2 trillion worth of new promises, and not telling you how he's going to pay for it. You know, he says, well, we can pay for it because we'll tax the rich. Well, we've heard that kind of language before. And you know what happens with this kind of tax the rich deal. That's why they've got accountants and lawyers. So the rich figure out ways not to pay, and you get stuck with the tab.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 18, 2004

“Ah yes.. We can’t tax the rich because you will get stuck with the tab. So, instead of taxing the rich, we’ll tax you instead or just cut all of your needed social services. How’s that working out for everyone?”

“But some Republicans worry that social service cuts, though relatively small, might have outsized political ramifications, especially when Republicans move in the coming weeks to cut taxes for the fifth time in as many years. Those tax cuts, totaling $70 billion over five years, would more than offset the deficit reduction that would result from the budget cuts.
‘The problem is the interrelationship between cutting taxes, which no matter what you do will be viewed as cutting taxes for the rich, and reducing programs for the poor,’ said moderate Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.). ‘It's that simple.’"
-Washington Post, November 2, 2005

“A smaller-than-expected 56,000 new U.S. jobs were created in October despite the fading impact of hurricane Katrina, while total job growth over the two prior months was revised lower, a Labor Department report on Friday showed.
Wall Street economists had forecast that 100,000 jobs would be created last month and the unemployment rate would be unchanged.
The department revised its figures for August and September. It said that 148,000 jobs were created in August instead of 211,000 that it previously thought and that 8,000 jobs were lost in September instead of 35,000. As a result, the data shows 36,000 fewer jobs were created over the two months than the department previously estimated.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Kathleen Utgoff said the relatively weak increase in jobs last month could not be blamed on Hurricane Katrina, the storm that devastated the Gulf Coast region in late August. ‘Rather, job growth in the remainder of the country appeared to be below trend in October,’ Utgoff said.”
-New York Times, November 4, 2005

“If I didn’t know better I’d have to say that cutting taxes for the rich really hasn’t done much to stimulate the economy over the last four years. It takes about 150,000 new jobs a month just to compensate for the growth in the labor market (in other words, to ‘break even’ on the unemployment rate).”

“In Omaha on Friday, a divorced single mother named Mary Mornin tells the president, ‘I have one child, Robbie, who is mentally challenged, and I have two daughters.’ ‘Fantastic,’ the president exclaims, and he tells her she has ‘the hardest job in America, being a single mom.’

Later, the 57-year old Mornin tells Bush that she works three jobs, which the president deems ’uniquely American’ and ‘fantastic.’ He asks her if she gets any sleep.”
-Washington Post, February 6, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Its Good to Be the King

“The Senate approved sweeping deficit-reduction legislation last night that would save about $35 billion over the next five years …”
-Washington Post, November 4, 2005

“Hey, saving money is always a good thing. I’m sure that they’ve probably rolled back some of the tax cuts to the wealthy and stuff like that. They’ll keep the important stuff.”

“…by cutting federal spending on prescription drugs, agriculture supports and student loans, while clamping down on fraud in the Medicaid program.
The measure would also open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a long-sought goal of the oil industry that took a major step forward after years of political struggle. A bipartisan effort to strip the drilling provision narrowly failed.”
-Washington Post, November 4, 2005

“Ok.. Student loans aren’t really where I’d want to be cutting the budget, but I’m sure that it just goes along with rolling back the tax cuts.”

“House Republicans are pushing to cut tens of thousands of legal immigrants off food stamps, partially reversing President Bush's efforts to win Latino votes by restoring similar cuts made in the 1990s.
The food stamp measure is just one of several provisions in an expansive congressional budget-cutting package that critics say unfairly targets the poor and disadvantaged, especially poor children.
The food stamp cuts in the House measure would knock nearly 300,000 people off nutritional assistance programs, including 70,000 legal immigrants, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Those immigrants would lose their benefits because the House measure would require legal immigrants to live in the United States for seven years before becoming eligible to receive food stamps, rather than the current five years.
About 40,000 children would lose eligibility for free or reduced-price school lunches, the CBO estimated.
Such issues have created deep divisions between the conservatives pushing the cuts and Republican moderates, who fear the measure is going too far. A separate House measure would scale back federal administrative aid to state child-support enforcement programs, saving the federal government nearly $5 billion over five years but potentially cutting child-support collections even more.
Still another House provision would roll back a court-ordered expansion of foster care support, denying foster care payments to relatives who take in children removed from their parents' homes by court order. That provision would reduce the coverage of foster care payments to about 4,000 children a month and cut $397 million from the program through 2010, the CBO said.”
-Washington Post, November 2, 2005

“Um.. This seems a little.. what’s the word.. insane to me. You don’t cut benefits for the poor when they’re already barely keeping it together. But I’m sure that everyone, rich and poor, will be called on to do their part in trimming the budget.”

“But some Republicans worry that social service cuts, though relatively small, might have outsized political ramifications, especially when Republicans move in the coming weeks to cut taxes for the fifth time in as many years. Those tax cuts, totaling $70 billion over five years, would more than offset the deficit reduction that would result from the budget cuts.
‘The problem is the interrelationship between cutting taxes, which no matter what you do will be viewed as cutting taxes for the rich, and reducing programs for the poor,’ said moderate Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.). ‘It's that simple.’"
-Washington Post, November 2, 2005

“Hey, cutting those programs hurts everyone, not just the poor. Now Donald Trump and Paris Hilton won’t be able to get student loans or food stamps either.”

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, or to steal bread."
-Anatole France

“We have to make these cuts because government spending is out of control. And we all know who to blame for that.”

“Republicans may control Congress and the White House, but a leading House Republican says they can't be blamed for runaway federal spending on their watch.
Blame it on the war, said Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas. Or the Democrats.
‘We've been operating off a Congress designed by Democrats,’ he said.
The Republicans took control of Congress in 1995.”
-Knight Ridder Newspapers, November 3, 2005

“And Mr. DeLay understands out of control spending. Heck, just to ship him back and forth in the two days after his indictment Fox News Sunday had to give him $14,000. That of course did not include dining or a place to stay. It’s a tough life.”

“It’s good to be the king.”
-Mel Brooks, History of the World Part I

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Dumb and Dubya

“I’m having another lazy morning, so I’ll take the low-hanging fruit. Here are a few quotes from Fearless Leader.”

“Would the United States and other free nations be more safe or less safe with Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq, its people and its resources?”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 28, 2005

“Not that it was about the oil.. No, whatever gave you that idea?”

“If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks. They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming an historic victory over the United States and our coalition.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 30, 2005

“Zawahiri writes that al Qaeda views Iraq as the place for the greatest battle. The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 25, 2005

“Some have argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and al Qaeda attacked us anyway.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 25, 2005

“Some people would also claim that drinking and driving can lead to auto accidents. I would remind them that even those who do not drink get into accidents, therefore they are all a bunch of poopy-heads.”

“The terrorist Zarqawi sums up their appeal this way. Anyone who stands in the way of our struggle is our enemy and target of the swords. That's the sum of his grim vision.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 24, 2005

“Almost every day is a new phase, in some ways, because we're reminding different countries which may be susceptible to al Qaeda, that you're either with us or against us. And so we're constantly working on bolstering confidence amongst some nations which may sometimes forget that either you're with us or you're with the terrorists. That's kind of a -- that's a phase, I guess you could say. Phase one was Afghanistan, phase two is to make sure that other countries don't become places for training or places where the al Qaeda think they can hide.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, July 17, 2002

“Completely different. The terrorists believe that anyone who stands in the way of their struggle is their enemy. We believe that either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists. Not the same thing at all. For the love of God I can’t figure out why… but I have total faith that it is not the same thing at all.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: A Lott of Issues

“Unable to win their way with votes, outnumbered Democrats used a rarely invoked Senate rule to force a secret session as a way to dramatize their assertions that the Bush administration misused intelligence in the run-up to war in Iraq.
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., a former majority leader, said a closed session was appropriate for overarching matters like impeachment and chemical weapons - the two topics that last sent the senators into such sessions. Moreover, he said Reid's move violated the Senate's tradition of courtesy and consent. But there was nothing available in the Senate rules Republicans could use to thwart Reid's maneuver. The Senate is authorized to have secret sessions by the Constitution.

But it was the first time in more than two decades the chamber has been forced into a closed session without bipartisian agreement. The last closed session was in 1999 to consider the impeachment of President Clinton.”
-Associated Press, November 2, 2005

“This must be really tough on Trent Lott. I mean, this guy is good friends with some people in the Dubya Administration. You’d hate to have to investigate your friends.”

''The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house, and I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 2, 2005

“It seems though that the stress of the Dubya Administration is taking its toll. Trent seems less.. enthused.. than he used to.”

"There are a lot more people - men, women and minorities - that are more qualified in my opinion by their experience than she is.”
-Trent Lott, on Harriet Miers, October 5, 2005

“Yep. Trent apparently would have accepted several other men, women, or even a minority. Heck, he might even have accepted a minority that WAS a man or woman. He’s good like that. And please, don’t think that that was a stretch for Mr. Lott.”

“[Lott] doesn’t consider himself a member. Nor does he have firsthand familiarity or knowledge of their views.”
- John Czwartacki, press secretary for Trent Lott, on reports of Lott’s connections to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), 1998

“He spoke before the CCC three times in the 1990s, including once as a keynote speaker in 1992. He also wrote a column in the newsletter. His uncle was a local executive for the group, and his cousin was a member.”
-Skippy, December 19, 2002

“The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction and our children will be the beneficiaries!"
-Trent Lott in his keynote speech before the CCC, 1992

"Each of the three major races plays a distinct role in history. . . . The whites were the creators of civilization, the yellows its sustainers and copyists, the blacks its destroyers.”
-CCC website, December, 1998

"Western civilization with all its might and glory would never have achieved its greatness without the directing hand of God and the creative genius of the white race. Any effort to destroy the race by a mixture of black blood is an effort to destroy Western civilization itself."
-Citizen’s Informer (the CCC Newsletter), Fall, 1994

"The presence [in Congress] of even one white person with our interests foremost in his mind is simply unacceptable to the issues-obsessed conservative race traitors. Texas Governor George Bush and his brother Jeb in Florida have manifested their self-hatred by embracing Hispanics ahead of whites. Somehow we must find a way to relieve whites of their self-hatred."
-“Open Letter to White People”, CCC Website, December 1998

"If we want to live, white Americans must begin today to lay the foundations of our future and our children's future.... Start today, fellow white Americans. Look at the faces around you: Find the faces like yours, and see them as your brothers and sisters. Find the fair-skinned babies and see them as your children."
-“A Call to White Americans”, CCC Website, December 1998

“See, Trent has grown. He’s matured. He’s looking for ‘courtesy and consent’ in the Senate. Super.”

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Two-Faced

“The president directed everybody in the White House to cooperate fully with the special counsel […] The White House has been cooperating fully with the special counsel, and we will continue to do so.”
-White House Spokesman Scott McClellan, October 31, 2005

“Of course, Scooter Libby was just indicted for obstruction of justice, so maybe cooperating just a little more fully would be a good idea..”

“No one would ruminate on the record about Libby's motives, but there is speculation that perhaps Libby is falling on his sword to protect Cheney, not only his boss, but also a personal friend. The two ride into work together in Cheney's motorcade most mornings. Although Libby testified otherwise under oath, his own notes indicate that it was Cheney who first told him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. What is not known is whether Cheney was aware of -- or sanctioned -- Libby's effort to discredit Wilson and his wife.”
-Washington Post, October 30, 2005

“The White House on Monday rebuffed calls for a staff shakeup, the firing of Karl Rove and an apology by President Bush for the role of senior administration officials in the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Three days after the indictment and resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, the administration said it would have to remain silent as long as there was an investigation of the leak and legal proceeding under way. Bush ignored reporters' questions during an Oval Office meeting with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.”
-Associated Press, October 31, 2005

“They do not ‘have to’ remain silent. They choose to. There is no legal requirement.”

“No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the President of the United States. If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates.”
-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, October 7, 2003

“Please note. The President stated that he would get rid of anyone involved in leaking information. Scooter leaked information. Rove leaked information. There is no doubt about either of those statements. The fact that Rove was not indicted seems to revolve around his cooperation and around a lack of evidence regarding his intent. The fact that he leaked information is undeniable. Neither was fired. Scooter (who it has been known was one of the leakers for a number of weeks) was allowed to resign, and only after indictments were brought. Rove still has his job. That is how this White House operates. The President is a liar.
Look at the scenario. Bush states that any leakers should come forward so that we can get to the bottom of this back in 2003. There are two scenarios. In one, Rove and Libby tell him that they were involved. In that case Dubya is a liar for covering that up for several years from the prosecutor. In the other scenario they did not tell him. In that case they were lying to the President, and should therefore have been fired as soon as that came out several months ago. If anyone can think of a third option I’m willing to listen, but so far I seem to be able to choices that include lying and incompetence.”

“If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 30, 2003

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