Friday, September 14, 2007

some reactions to the preznit's speech

Fred Kaplan: President Bush's TV address tonight was the worst speech he's ever given on the war in Iraq, and that's saying a lot. Every premise, every proposal, nearly every substantive point was sheer fiction. The only question is whether he was being deceptive or delusional.

NYT Editorial: ...his only real plan is to confuse enough Americans and cow enough members of Congress to let him muddle along and saddle his successor with this war that should never have been started.

McClatchy Commentary by Joseph L Galloway: Well, now we’ve heard from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker and President George W. Bush, and it appears that the Surge has succeeded — succeeded in guaranteeing that the Iraq War will drag on for the last 16 months of the Bush presidency at a cost of another 1,600 American dead and $13 billion a month.

TBogg: It's a shame that he was unable to reference Red Dawn in the speech. An occasional cry of "Wolverines!" would have really punched it up...

Booman Tribune's Steven D: In short, utter bullshit.

On a related note - Informed Comment: The Bush adminstration has presented a lot of statistics on Iraq this week. Aljazeera English presents some others.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

giant sand

thursday reads

Dwane Powell / Raleigh News and Observer

"The US healthcare system is considered a dysfunctional mess," writes Ezekial Emanuel, chairman of the department of clinical bioethics, in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A carefully constructed compromise on a draft law governing Iraq’s rich oil fields, agreed to in February after months of arduous talks among Iraqi political groups, appears to have collapsed. The apparent breakdown comes just as Congress and the White House are struggling to find evidence that there is progress toward reconciliation and a functioning government here.

The US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, expressed long-term interest in running for the US presidency when he was stationed in Baghdad, according to a senior Iraqi official who knew him at that time.

CENTCOM Chief Fallon: Petraeus is "an ass-kissing little chickenshit"

Charlie Savage on how the Bush-Cheney legal team’s strategy of picking presidential lawyers to fill court vacancies has been an integral part of the groundwork it has laid for a long-term expansion of White House power.

Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Friedman Unit, circa 1877

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

wednesday reads

It appears that two of the soldiers who helped co-write a riveting New York Times Op-ed last month criticizing U.S. war strategy in Iraq have now died.

Once again an impoverished Texas neighborhood, in this case in the town of Port Arthur, has become the disposal point for hazardous waste, only this time the waste is potentially so lethal that a drop the size of a pinhead can kill.

Who Does U.S. Food Aid Benefit? Current policies favor giant shipping companies and agribusinesses over the starving populations they are supposed to serve.

James Wolcott: If General Petraeus is willing to let Brit Hume lead him around by the damp nose, it's proof that what we have here is little more than Joe Lieberman in highly-decorated drag, positively ablaze with flare. It is a measure of Petraeus's obliging pliancy that he would even accede to testifying on the anniversary of September 11th, thus ensuring that his report would function as a tie-in product.

RJ Eskow asks: Where's Admiral Fallon?

Tom Engelhardt - Imperial Autism: The Petraeus Moment Blots Out the World

The architects of Cambodia’s famed Angkor – the world's most extensive medieval "hydraulic city" – unwittingly engineered its environmental collapse, says research by UNSW scientists and a team of international scholars.

Scientists program a computer that understands knock-knock jokes. (via Techdirt)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General Strike - September 11, 2007

General Strike
September 11, 2007

"Students First In Line" Program

'Students First In Line' Program To Offer Job Training At Needy Schools

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sibel Edmonds and 911

Sibel Edmonds case: The real culprits of 911

As we approach another 911 anniversary, it's time we learnt:
1) Who are these mid and high-level al-Qaida operatives?
2) What role did they play in planning 911?
3) What operational support did they provide?
4) Why they are still roaming free today?
5) Why did the US authorities continually exclude key participants from the official narrative?

My Congress Critter Understands

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx) on the White House's reporting spin on Iraq.

Roller Derby T-shirt Threat to Air Security

The Sun UK

A TOURIST was told to turn his T-shirt inside-out at an airport — as a picture of two guns on it was deemed a SECURITY RISK.

Dave Osborne, 21, was bound for Newark, New Jersey, when guards hauled him out of the queue for his Guns N Rollers T-shirt.

They told him the two pistols on the front could constitute a security risk and upset passengers.

The Guns & Rollers (of the Rose City Rollers, Portland,OR) team logo features two crossed pistols, in a parody of the band Guns & Roses' iconic graphic.

Thanks to Lead Jammer

monday reads

The age of disaster capitalism is an extract from Naomi Klein's new book The Shock Doctrine

Tom Engelhardt - "Progress" by the Numbers

...a briefing chart prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency says what Gen. David Petraeus won't.

Like millions of others in the world’s poorest countries, she is destined to die in pain. She cannot get the drug she needs — one that is cheap, effective, perfectly legal for medical uses under treaties signed by virtually every country, made in large quantities, and has been around since Hippocrates praised its source, the opium poppy. She cannot get morphine.

"When you have to deal with the VA (Veterans Affairs) or TRICARE (the federal health insurance program), you feel beaten down," Schick said. "You are a number, and you feel like a number. It's a total, total beat-down."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The DC Establishment versus American public opinion

Glenn Greenwald

The Washington Establishment has spent the last several months glorifying Gen. David Petraeus, imposing the consensus that The Surge is Succeeding, and most importantly of all, ensuring that President Bush will not be compelled to withdraw troops from Iraq for the remainder of his presidency. The P.R. campaign to persuade the country that the Surge is Succeeding has been as intense and potent as any P.R. campaign since the one that justified the invasion itself. While this campaign has worked wonders with our gullible media stars and Democratic Congressional leadership, it has failed completely with the American people.