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Liberal Outrage


Newsweek (found via This Modern World):

Does President Bush have it in for the press corps? Touring a Caterpillar factory in Peoria, Ill., the Commander in Chief got behind the wheel of a giant tractor and played chicken with a few wayward reporters. Wearing a pair of stylish safety glasses--at least more stylish than most safety glasses--Bush got a mini-tour of the factory before delivering remarks on the economy. "I would suggest moving back," Bush said as he climbed into the cab of a massive D-10 tractor. "I'm about to crank this sucker up." As the engine roared to life, White House staffers tried to steer the press corps to safety, but when the tractor lurched forward, they too were forced to scramble for safety."Get out of the way!" a news photographer yelled. "I think he might run us over!" said another. White House aides tried to herd the reporters the right way without getting run over themselves. Even the Secret Service got involved, as one agent began yelling at reporters to get clear of the tractor. Watching the chaos below, Bush looked out the tractor's window and laughed, steering the massive machine into the spot where most of the press corps had been positioned. The episode lasted about a minute, and Bush was still laughing when he pulled to a stop. He gave reporters a thumbs-up. "If you've never driven a D-10, it's the coolest experience," Bush said afterward. Yeah, almost as much fun as seeing your life flash before your eyes.

By fnord12 | January 31, 2007, 4:06 PM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Comments (6)| Link

People Like to Smoke Crack, Too

It's enjoyable and there's not an alternative product.

The Altria Group, better known as Philip-Morris, is "spinning off" the Kraft portion of the business to shareholders cause they feel that it's really just a drag on their profits.

"Something that is forgotten in all of this is people like to smoke," said David Adelman, a Morgan Stanley analyst, noting that U.S. tobacco stocks have beaten the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index in each of the last six years. "It's enjoyable and there's not an alternative product."

He added: "If frozen dinners get too expensive, people will try something else. That's not true with cigarettes -- you are not up at night worried about that product that is going to make cigarettes obsolete."

One might point out that the reason for this is that cigarettes are addictive. Like crack. Or heroin. Or that other socially acceptable drug - alcohol. So, yeah, i can see how a flunctuation in price might not affect tobacco sales. It's good to capitalize on someone's illness. Afterall, even if you don't, someone else will. You might as well get in on it. At least you donate money to the local charity every christmas.

Now, just because their legally addictive product is doing well all around the world doesn't mean Philip-Morris is resting on its laurels. No, no. They continue to work hard to bring you new and innovative waves to get your nicotine fix.

It also hopes eventually to lure consumers with new tobacco products, including a small tea-bag-like pouch that is smoke- free, spit-free and tucks into the cheek.

And so that you can get an idea of the mentality of the people involved,

"The exciting part for me," said Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Citigroup, "is that tobacco use today will evolve. It's unlikely that there will ever be a 100 percent safe cigarette, but we feel that a reduced-risk cigarette is on the horizon."

Dear Bonnie. You're an idiot and conscienceless. I hope you don't pass on your genetic material. Enjoy your wealth, you dosey cow.

By min | January 31, 2007, 9:14 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Bush To End Regulatory Tyranny

Stolen directly from today's TPMmuckraker who stole it...

From The New York Times:

"In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities."

That's right, each agency (like, for instance, the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration) will now have a politically appointed babysitter to make sure that regulations aren't too onerous for corporations. In fact, the directive ensures that regulation is the absolute last resort: "in deciding whether to issue regulations, federal agencies must identify 'the specific market failure' or problem that justifies government intervention."

"Business groups welcomed the executive order," the Times notes, in a terrific understatement.

By min | January 30, 2007, 1:30 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Pink Sheet room, please.

Daily Howler:

MATTHEWS SCANS THE LOBBY: To help you grasp the soul of your "press corps," let's return to the charity event we glancingly described in October 2005. (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/24/05. Scroll down to "Culture Corner.") The emcee that night was Kathleen Matthews, then of Washington's Channel 7. On the way out of the Mayflower Hotel, we saw her husband, TV talker Chris Matthews, chatting with DC journo Mark Plotkin. We don't know Plotkin, but we know Chris a tad. So we decided to stop for a chat rather than walking on by.

"Tough crowd tonight," we thoughtfully said. Chris then offered us a look at the odd soul of the Washington press corps. His eyes stared past ours, scanning the Mayflower's block-long lobby in a classic thousand-yard stare. "I just saw the most incredible prostitute," he weirdly said. (Instead of "prostitute," he may have said "hooker.")

To Plotkin's credit - again, we don't know him - he seemed to be just as surprised as we were by Chris' oddball comment. But Chris wasn't through with his weird discussion; his eyes continued to scan the long hall as he said something like, "Yeah, you have to ask for the 'pink sheet' rooms when you check in." (Not an exact quote.) At no point did Plotkin seem to think that this was a recognizable topic. For ourselves, we'd have to say it was the strangest thing any man has ever said to us. No, it simply isn't our experience that men make such weird comments to other men - much less, to men whom they barely know. Men like Matthews apparently think that this is standard male discussion. (We googled and Nexised "pink sheet" the next day. We found no usage which conformed to what Chris had said.)

By fnord12 | January 30, 2007, 1:28 PM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Link

Feingold Taking a Stance

Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin is leading a hearing today in the Judiciary Committee about a topic that makes many of his fellow Democrats squirm: using the power of the purse to bring an end to the Iraq war.

For all the harsh criticism against President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq, most Democrats blanch at the notion of cutting funding for new troops. Not Mr. Feingold, who believes his party has been too timid on this front. This is how Mr. Feingold opened the hearing:

"There is little doubt that decisive action from the Congress is needed. Despite the results of the election, and two months of study and supposed consultation -- during which experts and members of Congress from across the political spectrum argued for a new policy -- the president has decided to escalate the war. When asked whether he would persist in this policy despite congressional opposition, he replied: 'Frankly, that's not their responsibility.'

Last week Vice President Cheney was asked whether the non-binding resolution passed by the Foreign Relations Committee that will soon be considered by the full Senate would deter the President from escalating the war. He replied: 'It's not going to stop us.'"


This coincides with Bush being the "decider" and Cheney's statement that he's the VP and you're not. I love snappy comebacks.

I'm happy to see someone actually making a tough stance. I just fear that instead of getting behind this in a united front, the Dems instead will try to distance themselves from the "radical". Hey, guys, it's not high school anymore. You don't have to impress the popular kids and shun the "nerds".

I really really really hope they get the marketing to work for them on this one. Feingold has already stated that this will not affect the troops' supplies and salaries. It will only prevent more deployment of soldiers. They really need to push that meme because the neo-con PR machine is already in place and very good and dealing out misinformation to the willfully misinformed. The Democrats need to put up a united front on this with no holdouts on their side and they need to make sure they work the media machine. Fast. As i was told, even if you have the superior product, you can lose out because the inferior product had the better marketing. 8 years of Bush is a harsh price to pay for poor marketing decisions. Have they learned their lesson? Are we cutting thru the bozone* layer? I have no high expectations, but i would like to be pleasantly surprised.

Edwards has already introduced legislation to do the same. That's 2. And one of them running for president. Hope this lights a fire under the fence straddlers.


*bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.

By min | January 30, 2007, 12:33 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Good Enough

Bridge the Gap, a non-profit org specializing in nuclear safety issues, sent a proposal to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2004 to toughen up their security measures and to build steel cages around nuclear reactors in an effort to deflect the impact of a plane. The NRC's response?

NRC officials said the requested precautions are not needed because reactors already have ``adequate protection'' against attacks by airliners.
...enhanced firefighting and evacuation procedures put in place after 2001 are sufficient to deal with potential releases of radiation from fires and explosions. NRC officials said protections against air attack -- fighter planes and anti-aircraft weapons -- are the primary responsibility of other federal organizations, such as the military.

Now, i haven't read Bridge the Gap's proposals nor do i know anything about nuclear power plant safety. Mebbe their proposal is completely wacky and impractical. Mebbe steel cages is not going to do squat against a jetliner. How should i know?

I just want to point out that the NRC's response is not exactly reassuring. It boils down to "good enough" and "not our responsibility". I guess none of the NRC officials live near a nuclear reactor so it doesn't really matter much to them either way. Thanks guys. Good lookin' out.

By min | January 30, 2007, 12:24 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Voted to eliminate the minimum wage:


Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thomas (R-WY)

By fnord12 | January 26, 2007, 12:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Even Crack Dealers Care About the Constitution

As Josh Marshall put it.

An Arkansas lawyer has risen to challenge the law which allows the administration to circumvent Senate approval when installing new U.S. Attorneys.

On behalf of his client, an alleged crack cocaine dealer who's accused of killing a man he'd robbed to prevent him from talking to the police, Little Rock lawyer John Hall has challenged the appointment of Timothy Griffin, the recently-appointed U.S. Attorney for eastern Arkansas with close ties to the White House.

Meanwhile in the Senate, Schumer (D-NY) is moving to have a Judiciary Committee hearing on the firings and appointments of Attorney Generals by Gonzalez and Feinstein (D-CA) (along with Specter, R-PA) is working to get a bill thru to close this loophole. Ofc, Specter was responsible for the loophole being there in the first place, but i guess he gets points for cleaning up his mess.

By min | January 26, 2007, 12:34 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Manufacturing Consent

From Dana Milbank at the Washington Post:

Memo to Tim Russert: Dick Cheney thinks he controls you.

This delicious morsel about the "Meet the Press" host and the vice president was part of the extensive dish Cathie Martin served up yesterday when the former Cheney communications director took the stand in the perjury trial of former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Option 1: "MTP-VP," she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message."

"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used," Martin testified. "It's our best format."

(Kos comments:

"How embarrassing for Russert. He's been shown the fool. A mere puppet.

How will he respond?")

More from the Post:

But the trial has already pulled back the curtain on the White House's PR techniques and confirmed some of the darkest suspicions of the reporters upon whom they are used. Relatively junior White House aides run roughshod over members of the president's Cabinet. Bush aides charged with speaking to the public and the media are kept out of the loop on some of the most important issues. And bad news is dumped before the weekend for the sole purpose of burying it.

With a candor that is frowned upon at the White House, Martin explained the use of late-Friday statements. "Fewer people pay attention to it late on Friday," she said. "Fewer people pay attention when it's reported on Saturday."

By fnord12 | January 26, 2007, 8:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Make it so

From Americablog:

In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.

"He's tried this two times - it's failed twice," the California Democrat said. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.' "

Asked if the president had elaborated, she added that he simply said, " 'I told them that they had to.' That was the end of it. That's the way it is."

Transcript, including punchline:

PELOSI: He's tried this two times - it's failed twice. I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?'

BUSH: Because I told them it had to.

PELOSI: Why didn't you tell them that the other two times?

By fnord12 | January 26, 2007, 8:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

I know what's best for you, so shut up.


The thrust of Cheney's views - in urging the president to ignore politics and maintain a tough course on Iraq - surfaced in an interview he gave last weekend to Chris Wallace of Fox News. Wallace noted that Iraq was a big issue in the November elections, and that exit polls showed only 17 percent of voters supported sending in more troops. What followed was this remarkable exchange:

Q: "By taking the policy you have, haven't you, Mr. Vice President, ignored the expressed will of the American people in the November election?"

The vice president: "Well, Chris, this president, and I don't think any president worth his salt can afford to make decisions of this magnitude according to the polls. The polls change."

Q: "This was an election, sir."

The vice president: "Polls change day by day, week by week."

By fnord12 | January 25, 2007, 12:31 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Very good

Obama supports universal health care. Throw a major project to overhaul mass transportation in this country and maybe the democrats can become the party of ideas.

By fnord12 | January 25, 2007, 11:47 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (3)| Link

No Habeas Corpus For You

Spored sent this lovely little pick-me-up. Attorney General Gonzalez manages to stun the Senate Judiciary Committee with his interpretation of the Constitution.

"The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas,'' Gonzales told Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
Gonzales acknowledged that the Constitution declares "habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless ... in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.'' But he insisted that "there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.''

Specter was incredulous, asking how the Constitution could bar the suspension of a right that didn't exist...

Habeas corpus is an extremely important right for us to have. We're pretty much screwed if they decide we don't automatically have such a right. One law prof quoted puts it pretty plainly.

"This is the key protection that people have if they're held in violation of the law,'' said Erwin Chemerinsky, a Duke University law professor who has criticized the administration's actions on civil liberties. "If there's no habeas corpus, and if the government wants to pick you or me off the street and hold us indefinitely, how do we get our release?''[emphasis mine]

This type of "logic" doesn't just affect habeas corpus. Many of the fundamental rights we hold dear aren't directly stated. They're all bestowed by wording saying it can't be taken away. For instance, the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now apply Gonzalez's version of reasoning to that. See the problem?

The only positive thing that occurred was Specter's exchange with Gonzalez.

Gonzales: There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There's a prohibition against taking it away. ...

Specter: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take it away except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's an invasion or rebellion?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas. Doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except...

Specter: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.

By min | January 25, 2007, 11:00 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Good. It's a Majority.

We bring democracy. Democracy good.

Iraq's parliament is at a total standstill.

Nearly every session since November has been adjourned because as few as 65 members made it to work, even as they and the absentees earned salaries and benefits worth about $120,000.
Deals on important legislation, most recently the oil law, now take place largely out of public view, with Parliament -- when it meets -- rubber-stamping the final decisions. As a result, officials said, vital legislation involving the budget, provincial elections and amendments to the Constitution remain trapped in a legislative process that processes nearly nothing. American officials long hoped that Parliament could help foster dialogue between Iraq's increasingly fractured ethnic and religious groups, but that has not happened, either.

They might be earning $120k, but safety is such a huge issue that the salary barely pays for the guards hired by members to protect them. One guy says he has 40 bodyguards and the money only covers 20.

The speaker of the parliament is thinking of trying to clamp down on the rampant absenteeism.

Mr. Mashhadani said Parliament would soon start fining members $400 for every missed session and replace the absentees if they fail to attend a minimum amount of the time.

He hit a slight snag on that, though. He needs a quorum in order to pass the proposal.

By min | January 24, 2007, 10:22 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

There won't be any gas left by 2017

So we'll make that goal, easy.

By fnord12 | January 23, 2007, 3:50 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

End the war from the comfort of your own home

Sign up. It's 15 bucks a month. You won't even notice that it's gone.

Tonight, George W. Bush will use the State of the Union to push his outrageous plan for escalation in Iraq.

So we're launching our own massive escalation. More pressure on Congress, more voices calling on Democrats to stand up to the president, more Americans opposed to the war.

It'll cost about $90,000 per month for the resources required - including skilled staff organizers deployed around the country. If 6,000 of us chip in $15 a month, we can do it. Can you give $15 a month to end the war?

By fnord12 | January 23, 2007, 11:46 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

No really, it's called the Constitution

I appreciate Mr. Freedom Fries trying to make amends, but don't we already have something for this?:

THE IRAN QUESTION. It's unclear if this will go anywhere, but it's still worth noting: Ari Berman tells us about new legislation introduced today that would require President Bush to gain congressional approval for any military action against Iran. Good for Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones, who's pushing the bill.

Follow up from the article Tapped links to:

"Our constitution states that--while the Commander in Chief has the power to conduct wars--only Congress has the power to authorize war," Jones said at a press conference today. "It's time for Congress to meet its Constitutional responsibility...This legislation makes it crystal clear that no previous resolution passed by Congress authorizes such a use of force [against Iran]."

Such a basic expression of the separation of powers should be obvious. But with the Bush Administration, one never knows. So H.J. Res 14 spells it out. "This resolution says a strong message that Congress won't stand idly by and it won't get railroaded into another war that will only make America and the world less safe," said Rep. Marty Meehan. "A lot of people in Congress are fearful that this war will expand," added Rep. Ron Paul. Containing an expansion of the war, said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, is "the most important issue this Congress will face aside from Iraq."

They're basically pushing through a law that says "You have to follow the Constitution". (Of course Bush can still do whatever he wants after the law is passed, with the proper signing statement.)

I'm not feeling secure about the whole democratic process today.

By fnord12 | January 19, 2007, 2:52 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Social Security Panic....again

Just in time for another attempt to privatise social security.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U S government may face a "fiscal crisis" in the coming decades if it fails to deal with the rising costs of retirement and medical benefits for the aging population.
Under Congressional Budget Office projections, the ratio of federal debt held by the public to gross domestic product will rise to about 100 percent in 2030 and "grow exponentially after that," from about 37 percent now, Bernanke said.


There's clearly only one solution. The Logan's Run solution. It's not like most of us care about the elderly anyway. The freak us out with their obvious mortality.

By min | January 19, 2007, 9:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link

Cigarettes Made More Addictive Deliberately?

A Harvard study concluding that cigarette makers have for years deliberately increased nicotine levels in cigarettes to make them more addictive led to renewed calls Thursday for greater federal oversight of the industry.


Gee, i find that so hard to believe. Why would the cigarette companies do such a thing?

Needless to say, Phillip Morris took issue with the study.

By min | January 19, 2007, 9:44 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Comments (4)| Link

Spirit of Cooperation

I suppose i can hold out hope that they just got it wrong in the translation, but i'm not that optimistic. It's so pathetic that our government can make these statements in earnest without the weight of their hypocrisy crushing them into flat pancakes. China shot down one of their old weather satellites about a week ago. Here is the "intelligent" response our nation is so famous for.

AP quoted analysts as saying that China's weather satellites would travel at about the same altitude as U.S. spy satellites, so the test represented an indirect threat to the U.S. defense system.

"The United States believes China's development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area," AP quoted National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe as saying.

"We and other countries have expressed our concern to the Chinese," he said.
[emphasis mine]

Ok. I don't know if i should laugh or cry in shame. We're going to go and give a lecture about civility and cooperation while in the same breath discuss the satellites we have in orbit to spy on other countries? I'm sure this was reported with absolutely no hint of irony. WTF is wrong with you people?

It gets better. Read on.

AP said President Bush signed an order last October asserting the United States' right to deny adversaries access to space for hostile purposes. As part of the first revision of U.S. space policy in nearly 10 years, the policy also said the U.S. would oppose the development of treaties or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access to or use of space.

There's nothing more effective for making friends and gaining respect than saying "You're my bitch". Gotta love the "do as i say, not as i do" policy this administration adheres to.

AP said that what drove China to act now remains a mystery.

AP should get its head out of its butt. Mebbe what drove China to "act now" is the sad fact that the United States is being run by a bunch of lunatics and fascists whose diplomatic approach entails such well thought out strategies as "Glass 'em" and "You're either with us or against us" so they figured they ought to be prepared. Or mebbe they were tired of being spied on.

By min | January 19, 2007, 8:35 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Link

I work hard on this blog. Why can't the troops put just as much effort into their jobs?


And although they all praised the troops before they dissed the troops, we're also starting to see some in the pro-war crowd place the blame for the coming defeat on the troops themselves. Here's NRO's Michael Ledeen slagging the soldiers last week:
Note that an increase in embeds [U.S. troops embedding in Iraqi military units] doesn't necessarily require an increase in overall troop strength. We've got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don't know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it's a substantial number. Enough of that.

Could you imagine the reaction from Ledeen's pals at Pajamas Media if Markos Moulitsas (or God forbid, John Kerry) had said exactly the same thing in the exactly the same context? It would have been a pure shitstorm of indignation. Roger Simon would have written a cute little post about liberal reactionaries that incorporated a Buddy Holly song, Charles Johnson would have cited it as inconvertible proof of the worldwide conspiracy between Islam and The Left to enslave us all using the Vulcan Mindmeld, Glenn Reynolds would have sputtered something about Markos (and/or Kerry) hating America and the troops, while Michelle Malkin synthesized it all into a really stupid post of fifteen or so very small words.

By fnord12 | January 18, 2007, 4:24 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

We're number 53! We're number 53!

Alright! We have the 53rd most free press in the world! Take that, islamofascists! Democracies and open societies will always prevail!


The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of "national security" to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his "war on terrorism." The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media's right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.

Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who works for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year.

By fnord12 | January 17, 2007, 9:53 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link


In an article i was reading yesterday, it was mentioned in passing that we've spent more money on the Iraq invasion so far than has ever been spent on researching a cure for cancer.

And amazingly, we have less to show for it. At least our cancer research hasn't made cancer worse (unless you count mammograms).

*I was going to do a title that did something with cancer cells vs. terrorist cells but i couldn't think of anything good and the Iraq invasion had nothing to do with terrorism anyway.

By fnord12 | January 17, 2007, 9:46 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

That wasn't exactly the top question on my mind.


SCOTT PELLEY: Do you think you owe the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job?
BUSH: That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?
PELLEY: Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion.
BUSH: Not at all. I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.
PELLEY: Americans wonder whether . . .
BUSH: Yeah, they wonder whether or not the Iraqis are willing to do hard work.

By fnord12 | January 16, 2007, 12:38 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

It was never about the oil


Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.

Here's a good line (You have to appreciate British snark):

Oil industry executives and analysts say the law, which would permit Western companies to pocket up to three-quarters of profits in the early years, is the only way to get Iraq's oil industry back on its feet after years of sanctions, war and loss of expertise.

Yep, oil industry executives say this is the only way to help the Iraqis. They're doing this for the Iraqi people's own good.

Opponents say Iraq, where oil accounts for 95 per cent of the economy, is being forced to surrender an unacceptable degree of sovereignty.

Proposing the parliamentary motion for war in 2003, Tony Blair denied the "false claim" that "we want to seize" Iraq's oil revenues. He said the money should be put into a trust fund, run by the UN, for the Iraqis, but the idea came to nothing. The same year Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, said: "It cost a great deal of money to prosecute this war. But the oil of the Iraqi people belongs to the Iraqi people; it is their wealth, it will be used for their benefit. So we did not do it for oil."

I think they've been waiting for things to "settle down" over there but that's not happening and they see that their time is running out so they're just gonna open things up now. Of course, since things aren't "settled down", these oil companies will need protection in order to extract the oil. They have two choices: 1) Hire private armies, bringing us even closer to a dystopian future where corporations are more powerful than governments or 2) Let the US army protect them, which puts our troops in the line of fire so that oil executives can have their profits (oh wait, that's been going on for years).

By fnord12 | January 11, 2007, 1:18 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

The First 100 Hours

Oh god yes let the Republicans filibuster a minimum wage increase.

By fnord12 | January 11, 2007, 1:07 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

The Canadians Are Spying On Us

Or mebbe it's the French. Or the Russians. Or the Chinese. Actually, it's prolly not the Canadians. Yeah. Prolly not them.

Link c/o nsxt290.

In a U.S. government warning high on the creepiness scale, the Defense Department cautioned its American contractors over what it described as a new espionage threat: Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside.

The government said the mysterious coins were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

ntelligence and technology experts said such transmitters, if they exist, could be used to surreptitiously track the movements of people carrying the spy coins.

The U.S. report doesn't suggest who might be tracking American defense contractors or why. It also doesn't describe how the Pentagon discovered the ruse, how the transmitters might function or even which Canadian currency contained them.


The government insists the incidents happened, and the risk was genuine.
[emphasis mine]

What an odd thing to say.
"I swear. REALLY. It's all true. All of it."
As if the government would ever make something up. Pshaw.

Experts said hiding tracking technology inside coins is fraught with risks because the spy's target might inadvertently give away the coin or spend it buying coffee or a newspaper.
"It wouldn't seem to be the best place to put something like that; you'd want to put it in something that wouldn't be left behind or spent," said Jeff Richelson, a researcher and author of books about the CIA and its gadgets. "It doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense."

But then again, a coin would be something that wouldn't seem suspicious in the least to find in your stuff.

By min | January 11, 2007, 9:47 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Comments (1)| Link


"George W. Bush spoke with all the confidence of a perp in a police lineup. I first interviewed the guy in 1987 and began covering his political rise in 1993, and I have never seen him, in public or private, look less convincing, less sure of himself, less cocky. With his knitted brow and stricken features, he looked, well, scared. Not surprising since what he was doing in the White House library was announcing the escalation of an unpopular war." - Howard Fineman, MSNBC
[--emphasis mine]


Personally, i can't stand looking at the guy, let alone listening to him make a speech for over an hour (i'm assuming it was over an hour. i know it takes him at least that long to say "uh.....fluff buh?"), so i appreciate it when others take one for the team and not only sacrifice their time to sit there while Bush talks, but actually pay attention to the words coming out of his mouth. Thank you.

By min | January 11, 2007, 9:21 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

People scare me


Among other predictions for the U.S. in 2007:

_35 percent predict the military draft will be reinstated.

_35 percent predict a cure for cancer will be found.

_25 percent anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ.

_19 percent think scientists are likely to find evidence of extraterrestrial life.

By fnord12 | January 5, 2007, 3:14 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Bush Reading Your Mail

What the hell is the deal with these "signing statements" anyway? Why the hell is he allowed to get away with that crap?

In signing the postal legislation last month, Mr. Bush said that its restrictions on opening mail should be construed "in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection."

The law generally prohibits opening first class mail without a warrant unless "there is credible evidence that a package contains a bomb or other dangerous material." I guess Bush and Co. are taking "dangerous material" to mean "foreign intelligence". Or anti-Bush propaganda. Or pro-choice propaganda. Or propaganda on keeping schools and government secular. At least Mussolini made sure the trains were on time.

By min | January 5, 2007, 1:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

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