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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Negroponte's Murderous Past 

If you think we're all whistling in the wind about Negroponte's past, check out Pudentilla. This guy's been doing the 'wet work' on church people since the eighties. He's perfect for creating enemies in yet another religious group with death squads and torture.

Church Folks for a Better America 

By way of Katrina vanden Heuvel’s Nation blog, I came across a valuable website. Church Folks for a Better America’s site will be available here under Links permanently (or at least until we have a better America).

I also recommend Katrina vanden Heuvel’s post about CFBA founder George Hunsinger and his campaign to fight the use of torture. It should be pointed out that when pundits are falling on themselves to call the President ‘courageous’ for lying about Social Security— true courage CAN be found in the lonely battles of religious people like Hunsinger, and secular people with similar ethics, to fight the evil of torture and abuse, practices now being used to fight ‘evildoers’ on the President's say-so.

This country has a proud history of moral courage, often on the part of people not in power, to work against the popular tide of public opinion to stop crimes being committed in our name. Hunsinger’s group falls squarely within that tradition.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Bait and Bite on Social Security 

Also thanks to FUGOP, this little tidbit from the President’s Tampa appearance floated up…

“Now, the president insisted, must be "a moment where people of both parties come together." He urged all who disagree with his proposals to offer their own ideas. "I promise you there won't be political retribution for doing so," Bush said.”

...yeah, right, he'd NEVER bite the hand of bipartisanship.

Combine this bait with Fineman’s Newsweek assertion (previous post) that the GOP is waiting for a Democratic proposal to pair off against before the Congressional leadership congeals around specifics, and the strategy becomes clear. Bait and bite.

Dems need not take the bait, just insist that the President make a specific legislative proposal to review, instead of merely prattling on about non-existent crises.

More Reasons to Hold Your Breath on Social Security 

Here’s yet another reason why Democrats with any brains won’t make a counterproposal on Social Security until the President writes out his own, in the form of legislation, not just pablum…

“…Bush's GOP allies are moving cautiously. They won't even try, Hill sources tell NEWSWEEK, to unify behind a particular bill until the fall—hoping to lure Democrats to make a counterproposal first.”

- Howard Fineman, Newsweek, Feb. 14 issue
(and thanks to FUGOP)

Vioxx, Celebrex, Torts, and You 

What do this story and ...this story have in common?

Think about it… and imagine a world with unfettered access to the Corvair, Thalidomide, asbestos, highly flammable clothing, locked exits in garment factories, DDT, Love Canal, self-unlocking infant car seats, refrigerators with locking latches, food in lead containers, unlabelled allergy-producing canned goods, etc.

It’s closer than you think…

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Osama Who? 

Still find yourself occasionally wondering how Osama got away from the Battling Bushilitary? Then you’re clearly more obsessed about it than the President is…

...take an archival moment with TOPDOG08 for a review of the old, “Do I worry about Osama or just go back to focusing on Saddam” dilemma…


...and imagine if our government HAD actually been out to fight Al Queda

Some Reporters Just Refuse to Knuckle Under... 

Thanks to The Liberal Avenger, our faith in the occasional member of the White House Press Corps is temporarily restored. Check out the exchange between Helen Thomas and Ari Fleischer back in January 2003 over the prospect of bombing Iraq. Cheers (much belated) to the conscience of the WHPC, Ms Thomas.

Those Old Central American Terror Blues Again 

Another reason to be horrified at the elevation of Negroponte is described at the link by Paperwight today. Do the words 'Death Squads' ring any bells?

Weren't these guys supposed to be fighting AGAINST terrorism?

Negroponte: More Spin in Our Intel Future 

Maureen Dowd suggests that the Bush White House might need someone with our kind of background to help look at prospective talent. She writes today that, “After getting gobsmacked by the louche sagas of Mr. Guckert and Bernard Kerik, the White House vetters should consider adding someone with some blogging experience.”

Any bloggers interested? I’ll pass.

It seems the right wingers of Pennsylvania Avenue have now gotten to the point where they feel there’s no percentage in nominating anyone who hasn’t already passed inspection for another post. Hence, the elevation of Ambassador John Negroponte to become the first Grand Poobah of All Intelligence Spin.

Negroponte’s appointment probably comes as a particular slap to the 9/11 Commission and the 'widows,' the activist families of many who perished because of institutional rot in the nation’s intelligence organizations prior to September 11, 2001. The rationale of the Commission, which insisted on having an independent Intelligence Chief, was that the occupant could ensure against political rubber-stamping of intel reports to suit an Administration’s political agenda. Instead, the elevation of perhaps the most ideological supporter of neocon orthodoxy to take the position now stands as a vicious retort to the Commissioners, who demanded real independent information-gathering as an antidote to the corruption and calcification of the intelligence-gathering process.

No surprise here— just more disappointment and spin, instead of a reality check on neocon visions of their perfect Pax Americana world.

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