Saturday, January 28, 2006

from notes on the road Atlantic seaboard and the Okefenokee in particular. Good travel journal with pictures.

Is life in the modern workplace banal and meaningless, has your spirit been sapped by corporate crons.... low morale, if nothing else maybe that's grist for the cartoonist's mind.




Airline Security a Waste of Cash
Consider CAPPS and its replacement, Secure Flight. These are programs to check travelers against the 30,000 to 40,000 names on the government's No-Fly list, and another 30,000 to 40,000 on its Selectee list.

They're bizarre lists: people -- names and aliases -- who are too dangerous to be allowed to fly under any circumstance, yet so innocent that they cannot be arrested, even under the draconian provisions of the Patriot Act. The Selectee list contains an equal number of travelers who must be searched extensively before they're allowed to fly. Who are these people, anyway?

The truth is, nobody knows. The lists come from the Terrorist Screening Database, a hodgepodge compiled in haste from a variety of sources, with no clear rules about who should be on it or how to get off it. The government is trying to clean up the lists, but -- garbage in, garbage out -- it's not having much success.


O'Liar slams Senator Clinton and lies about the Bush record. Bill, all spin all the time. O'Reilly attacked Sen. Clinton, dubiously asserted Bush kept campaign promises
Bush opposed "extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions" before advocating "changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people."
Bush supported mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions, before opposing such caps.
Bush ridiculed Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's proposed tax credits for hybrid gasoline-electric engine vehicles, before proposing a $2.5 billion tax cut for vehicles with hybrid or cleaner-burning diesel engines.

Bill also sells snake oil that will cure arthritis.

I'm sure the right-wing clowns approve of this, Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him
The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.

Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.

Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."

Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead.

"Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic."


"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion." - Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Republican is just another word for hypocrite, Why are Republicans selling America to China and Republicans know Jack really really well.

Peevish reminds us that for the roughly 1,289,124,012 time Republicans are of the filibusters are OK when they do it, but its unfair when Democrats do it, school of political doggerel,
Filibuster
Supporters of George W. Bush are lambasting Sen. John Kerry for a threatened filibuster against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.
In 1991, the Democratic-controlled Senate was planning an investigation into whether Republicans had conducted secret negotiations with Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist regime during the 1980 campaign, when Jimmy Carter was still President and Iran was holding 52 Americans hostage.

The unresolved hostage crisis destroyed Carter’s reelection hopes and gave an important boost to Ronald Reagan when the hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, immediately after he was sworn in as President and George H.W. Bush became Vice President.

A decade after those events, some Democrats wanted to get to the bottom of recurring allegations that George Bush Sr., a former CIA director, had joined clandestine negotiations with Iran in fall 1980 that may have delayed release of the hostages for political gain, what was called the “October Surprise” mystery.

Meanwhile, Republicans were worried that a full-scale October Surprise investigation might implicate Bush in near-treasonous talks with an enemy state and devastate his 1992 reelection campaign. Confirmation of the allegations also would have eviscerated the legitimacy of the Reagan-Bush era.

So, in November 1991, Republican leaders used the filibuster to block funding for the investigation. The Democrats mustered 51 votes – a majority – but fell short of the 60 votes needed for cloture. A fully funded investigation was prevented.


The Era of Massive Deficits Is Just Beginning
Today, the Congressional Budget Office issued its ten-year budget outlook. According to their report, the 2006 federal budget deficit will be at least $337 billion, and deficits from 2006-15 will total $1.2 trillion. If we continue with President Bush’s economic policies the actual deficits will be much, much higher.

Will the magic fairies of Bushonomics click their heels together and blow some more dust into the average American's eyes about how borrow and spend fiscal policy combined with massive iresponsible tax cuts are making America stronger. That magic trick should be easy, just convince the next two generations that giving one third of their income to pay off their Chinese and Saudi note holders builds character.


What is it about the Abramhoff scandal that Katie Couric, Tim Russert, and Matt Lauer don't understand.....Dems Don’t Know Jack
A new and extensive analysis of campaign donations from all of Jack Abramoff’s tribal clients, done by a nonpartisan research firm, shows that a great majority of contributions made by those clients went to Republicans. The analysis undercuts the claim that Abramoff directed sums to Democrats at anywhere near the same rate.

The analysis, which was commissioned by The American Prospect and completed on Jan. 25, was done by Dwight L. Morris and Associates, a for-profit firm specializing in campaign finance that has done research for many media outlets.

In the weeks since Abramoff confessed to defrauding tribes and enticing public officials with bribes, the question of whether Abramoff directed donations just to Republicans, or to the GOP and Democrats, has been central to efforts by both parties to distance themselves from the unfolding scandal. President Bush recently addressed the question on Fox News, saying: “It seems to me that he [Abramoff] was an equal money dispenser, that he was giving money to people in both political parties.”

Although Abramoff hasn’t personally given to any Democrats, Republicans, including officials with the GOP campaign to hold on to the Senate, have seized on the donations of his tribal clients as proof that the saga is a bipartisan scandal.

Its my understanding, that all these "reporters" make a million bucks or more a year and charge thousands for speaking fees, why can't they get the basic facts about the Abarmahoff and Indian Tribe money straight. Taking political donations from Indian tribes is not illegal and they have always given more to Democrats then Republicans. All....All of Abramhoff's money went to Republicans.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wal-Mart on investigation is clearly not good for America. That said they are a reality, many people shop there because the prices are lower and in many areas of the country, even if a consumer were willing to spend a few cents more, Wal-Mart has driven out the competition. In doing so they have also driven out other employers, so the bottom line is that when you need shelter and food, life's all too real demands takes precedent over principles, Thousands apply for jobs at new Wal-Mart
Eighteen months after the Chicago City Council torpedoed a South Side Wal-Mart, 24,500 Chicagoans applied for 325 jobs at a Wal-Mart opening Friday in south suburban Evergreen Park, one block outside the city limits.



Bush Justification for Domestic Spying Contradicts DOJ Explanation From 2002
Today, during his news conference, President Bush explained that he circumvented the FISA court process to enact his domestic spying program because the current system "doesn't work." But, according to a number of news reports, the Bush Justice Department in 2002 rejected a move by the Republican Congress to loosen restrictions on domestic spying, including legal requirements to obtain a warrant from a top-secret FISA court.

In a statement to Congress, "the Justice Department said it opposed a legislative proposal to change FISA to make it easier to obtain warrants that would allow the super-secret National Security Agency to listen in on communications involving non-U.S. citizens inside the United States." The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, "the law governing such operations, was working well, the department said in 2002." A Justice Department official also noted that, the "proposed change raises both significant legal and practical issues, the administration at this time is not prepared to support it." [Knight-Ridder, 1/26/06]

So Bush is not just being accused of breaking the law, he admits he broke it because it wasn't convenient. Even the convenience excuse doesn't work since the offer had been made to admend the law and the DOJ rejected the offer. The far right need not worry, this is just going to be tacked on to the growing list of immoral and illegal acts committed by this administration about which most Americans could care less and will soon be forgotten.


When you talk about the world of wing-nuttery, you're talking about people that have the mental equivalent of a maze with no exits. The facts become, for the righties a mental obstacle that if all else fails, try mental avoidance.....Framing For Tomorrow
Using M.R.I. scanners, neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and unconscious, the researchers report, and there are flares of activity in the brain's pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected.
Everything we know about cognition suggests that, when faced with a contradiction, we use the rational regions of our brain to think about it, but that was not the case here," said Dr. Drew Westen, a psychologist at Emory and lead author of the study, to be presented Saturday at meetings of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Palm Springs, Calif.

You give a fact to a wing-nut and all you're doing is giving their warped wiring a chance to misfire which they get a strange kick from. Such a mind could never understand that choicing between two evils is easy, reject both........Rejecting Bin Laden And Cheney
It was something of a political anthropology overload: to witness on the same day Osama the moral troglodyte emerging from his cave, and Dick the collector of indictments emerging from his bunker, both delivering ideological sermons. Neither was very convincing or appealing. Their deadly, supposedly divinely sanctioned, combination of arrogance and violence has elicited the rejection and active political resistance of virtually the entire world. And in any case, both these guys are already in some trouble with the law.

I link to this story with the caveat that until Hamas proves otherwise, they're pretty evil too.

Since they seem to live in a echo chamber, conservatives would be surprised to learn that the center-left actually thinks about things like risks versus gain and we actually defy the conventional wisdom. The last five years especially, the right has thrown out any consideration of cost analysis, whether fiscal or national security.....Army reaching breaking point, experts warn
WASHINGTON - A pair of reports by outside experts in the last two days warn that the Army has been stretched thin by repeated combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and could soon reach the breaking point.

The first, a report on the Iraq war that was commissioned by the Pentagon and made public Tuesday, said defense officials risk "breaking the force" if current troop levels are maintained in both countries without increasing the size of the Army or slowing the pace of deployments.

The second, issued Wednesday by Democrats on Capitol Hill, warned that unless the strain on the Army and Marine Corps is relieved soon, "it will have highly corrosive and potentially long-term effects on the force." Over time, it argued, the services would be weakened and the country would be more vulnerable to potential enemies.

At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld rejected both reports, saying that "it's clear that those comments do not reflect the current situation. They are either out of date or just misdirected."

After which Rummy took a long sip of his kool-aid.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Little words become so important. Former NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden at the National Press Club acting as point man in Bush's defense,
QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use --

GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually -- the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That's what it says.

QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.

GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.

QUESTION: But does it not say probable --

GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.. . .

Which is more disturbing, that this General doesn't know what the 4th Amendment says or knows and purposely clouds the issue hoping none will notice.
Unclaimed Territory has more, The Administration's new FISA defense is factually false
So, in June, 2002, the Administration refused to support elimination of the very barrier ("probable cause") which Gen. Hayden claimed yesterday necessitated the circumvention of FISA. In doing so, the Administration identified two independent reasons for opposing this amendment. One reason was that the Justice Department was not aware of any problems which the Administration was having in getting the warrants it needed under FISA

So maybe the rumors passed around by The Washington Times' sister publication are true, there is talk of impeachment - White House Expecting Impeachment.
MyDD leaves out the possibility that the rumor is being floated to get sympathy for Bush. Since President Clinton's approval ratings actually went up during that whole inane proceding. Though there is a big difference here, the Big Dog's behavior was sleazy, but personal, while Bush's is very sleazy and undermines the rule of law. Even with Constitutional safeguards we've slipped into banana republicanism with power and privledge usurping democratic processes.

I gave no idea who Joel Stein is, never heard of him before this column caught the attention of the wombats, Warriors and wusses. On reading Stein's column I thought that maybe he was being ironic since the last part ends with,
I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn't so much as served on jury duty for his country. But it's really not that easy to say because anyone remotely affiliated with the military could easily beat me up, and I'm listed in the phone book.

I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.

Seriously, the traffic is insufferable.

Then I read the interview at Radio Blogger and it turns out that he's kind of an oddball and a useful idoit for the wombats, a commenter here writes,
What’s the big issue since we all know that’s the case anyway. As soon as you hear any Dem say ‘but we support the troops’ you know they don’t support the troops. It’s like when some pro jock says ‘It’s not about the money’ you know it’s about the money.

Joel has very conveniently provided the wingnuttery their daily serving of bloody red meat which they are positively delighted to chew into perpetuity.
Though credit given to James Joyner at Outside the Beltway for this simple quasi-defense,
ICM: I disagree, at least in the main. There are certainly some prominent Democrats (and probably a few Republicans, even) who have contempt for our soldiers. Still, I believe that the vast majority of those who oppose the war do in fact want the best for our soldiers.

The logical consequence of Stein's argument is that we should hope our troops fail and, indeed, that as many of them are killed as possible so that their crimes stop. I have to believe that’s not a position that many; if any; Democrats in Congress hold, even privately.

I then went back and read Stein's piece again and while I still think he's an idiot, I don't see anywhere that he implies that any/some/many troops should die, though he does seem to hint that the troops should not obey lawful orders - that would be wrong Joel.
One visitor to Joyner's site suggested that Karl Rove paid Stein to write it, which would be funny except that it sounds like just the kind of thing Bush's puppet master would do. While the center left of politics has a few stray idiots we have a long way to go to catch up with the likes of Milken, Coulter, or Falwell - the right's wacks are actually their center. I find their behavior at least a little schizophrenic, outraged at any critism one minute and then engaging in another spasm of Swiftboating a veteran the next minute.
The partisan attacks on John Murtha by the chickenhawks of the radical right aptly demonstrates the hypocrisy of their failed leadership. Hiding behind the “support our troops” slogan, to send our sons and daughters to fight unnecessary wars, they attack real heroes who have served their country honorably and have been willing to sacrifice their own lives in the service of the United States of America. Demeaning John Murtha’s service is an affront to all American soldiers who have served in combat and especially to those who have been wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

As an Airborne Ranger with two tours of combat service in Vietnam, I am offended beyond words. The actions of these political weasels are not only despicable, they are un-American.

Terry F. Stulce
Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (TN-03)

At least one definition of modern irony is that the same bloggers that are outraged over Joel Stein have also done their fair share of Swiftboating.

P.S. note to Joel, any chance you could move to some small caribbean island in the near future.

"Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Usama Bin Ladin have a lot in common." Take the quiz

While I appreciate the special place that blogging holds as a sometimes raw, sometimes polished attempt at citizen media, there are some things that bloggers just are not up to yet. One of those things is indepth coverage of Iran and issues associated with same. Opinions about such important matters require a detailed knowledge of facts only avaliable to insiders. As some of those details become available to the public or when an insider blogs the issue we'll get more insight and less second guessing. As far as second guessing goes this is a good effort by The Armed Liberal, Just A Second – It’s Not That Dark Yet (And We Have A Really Big Flashlight)
Given that I believe that invading Iran wouldn’t be wrong, and that it’s arguable possible, why cavil? The problem with invading or bombing, of course, is what then?

What then in Iran, what then in the face of a world order that will be implacably hostile to us, and what then in the face of a more-united Islamic world.

And while we’ll push back the hands on the proliferation clock, let’s not mistake that for stopping it.

On the other hand The Washington Note provides an insiders view, On Iran: "Rewarding the Hysterical at the Expense of the Calm"
"Chris, are we seeing a coordinated [scare] campaign on Iran? The same neoconservative pundits who championed the invasion of Iraq are now beating the drums on Iran. They all got the same talking points this week. On Monday, urging us to keep military options open, William Kristol claims Iran's 'nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return.' Wednesday, Charles Krauthammer said, 'Instead of being years away from the point of no return for an Iranian bomb. . .Iran is probably just months away.

"This is complete nonsense. There is no need for military strikes against Iran. The country is five to ten years away from the ability to enrich uranium for fuel or bombs. Even that estimate, shared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and experts at IISS, ISIS, and Carnegie assumes Iran goes full-speed ahead and does not encounter any of the technical problems that typically plague such programs. In the next few months, they will be lucky to get a test centrifuge cascade up and running. Hardly a "point of no return."

Not to guard against all contingent points of view and information as they become available I am holding out for options. In some ways the scare tactics have worked on me, the idea of radical Islamic Holocaust deniers with THE BOMB is to actually consider WWIII. We need to get to the best solution. This administration can't seem to be honest or candid about anything, thus issues of character and trust roar up like neon signs on wheels in a nightmare regarding anything they say.
This crisis or impending crisis with Iran highlights the pure misguided zealotry of putting boots on the ground in Iraq. Whether our military can handle a conventional incursion into Iran is only a sub-issue of how much of a presense we can have for some undetermined time in the middle-east. Are we headed to the point that Iran/Iraq become permanent US protectorates. We need the best possible answers and the people that America should be able to look to to get those answers have proven themselves too inept to answer them.
In my own view, Iran's nuclear pretensions are a direct result of America removing Iran's chief antagonist in the region, Iraq under secular (and yes, fascist) rule -- as well as from the sad fact that America's mystique of power and capability has been greatly damaged by bogging down in the Iraq quagmire. When the perception of American power declines, allies are prompted not to count on the US as much and enemies have an incentive to move their agendas.




McCain Calls Spying Program Illegal


The Forgotten Wounded of Iraq
I, like most other Americans, have occasionally seen them on TV or at the local veterans hospital, but for the most part they remain hidden, like the flag-draped caskets of our dead, returned to Dover Air Force Base in the darkness of night as this administration continues to pursue a policy of censorship, tightly controlling the images coming out of that war and rarely ever allowing the human cost of its policy to be seen.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Clownstein of Science
Filed under, This is what happens when you lock a child in a closet with a dog eared copy of Leo Strauss BeKos Kerry Says So
fancies himself capable enough a speaker to pull off rhetorical dodges that are not only obviously insincere and unconvincing to the majority of Americans (and I include intellectually honest Democrats—even those who support Kerry’s Machiaveillian attempts to shift the debate’s focus)

Even out of context, a reader would assume that the writer of this swill had knowledge of what intellectually honest was and admired it as a quality. That assumption would be mistaken.
the world could get back to the important business of having elites in smartly-tailored suits pretending that the biggest problems we face are greenhouse gases that actually create a naturally-insulating canopy that aids agriculture

Global Warming Science - Union of Concerned Scientists
Global warming is already under way. The evidence is vast and the urgency of taking action becomes clearer with every new scientific study. Some of the most obvious signs are visible in the Arctic, where rising temperatures and melting ice are dramatically changing the region’s unique landscapes and wildlife—as well as people’s lives and livelihoods. Across the globe, other early warning signs include melting glaciers, shifting ranges of plants and animals, and the earlier onset of spring.

Global warming is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that are emitted primarily by the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests. These gases remain in our atmosphere for decades or even centuries.

The profound impact rising temperatures have had in the Arctic provides a window into a future we may all experience. With continued warming, we can expect more extreme heat and drought, rising sea levels, and higher-intensity tropical storms. At risk are our coastal property and resources, the livability of our cities in summer, and the productivity of our farms, forests, and fisheries.

The impact of global warming in North America
12. Eastern USA -- July heat wave, 1999. More than 250 people died as a result of a heat wave that gripped much of the eastern two-thirds of the country. Heat indices of over 100?F (37.8?C) were common across the southern and central plains, reaching a record 119?F (48.3?C) in Chicago.

13. New York City -- Record heat, July 1999. New York City had its warmest and driest July on record, with temperatures climbing above 95?F (35?C) for 11 days -- the most ever in a single month.

39. Chesapeake Bay -- Marsh and island loss. The current rate of a sea-level rise is three times the historical rate and appears to be accelerating. Since 1938, about one-third of the marsh at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has been submerged.

40. Bermuda -- Dying mangroves. Rising sea level is leading to saltwater inundation of coastal mangrove forests.

42. Hawaii -- Beach loss. Sea-level rise at Waimea Bay, along with coastal development, has contributed to considerable beach loss over the past 90 years.

65. Glacier National Park, Montana -- All glaciers in the park will be gone by 2070 if retreat continues at its current rate.

68. Interior Alaska -- Permafrost thawing. Permafrost thawing is causing the ground to subside 16-33 feet (4.9-10 m) in parts of interior Alaska. The permafrost surface has warmed by about 3.5?F (1.9?C) since the 1960's.

69. Barrow, Alaska -- Less snow in summer. Summer days without snow have increased from fewer than 80 in the 1950's to more than 100 in the 1990's.

71. Bering Sea -- Reduced sea ice. Sea-ice extent has shrunk by about 5 percent over the past 40 years.

72. Arctic Ocean -- Shrinking sea ice. The area covered by sea ice declined by about 6 percent from 1978 to 1995.


BeKos is symptomatic of the pretend thinkers club and their extreme Right world view. The intent is either to obscure facts in convoluted rhetoric, or if that doesn't work to use language that is intentionally unclear and imprecise. Like a bogus magic the intent is to use language to confound critics. The insult though is actually at the expense of fans who think they understand, but are being condesended to. The Straussian structuralists sounds so assured and determined, yet has left himself so much room in which to wiggle he never takes a stand that could be defended except in even more archiac doubletalk. Ultimately poorly written drivel that you have to have hip boots to wade through. Calls to intellectuall honesty apparently only apply to those with which Mr Anti-Science-Clown disagrees.


Defensive Denial and High Cost Prosocial Behavior
Two studies were conducted to test the defensive denial hypothesis proposed by Schwartz. According to that hypothesis, holding prosocial norms will not increase prosocial behavior in situations in which the prosocial behavior in question has high personal costs, because those holding prosocial norms will redefine the situation as inappropriate for norm activation.

Halliburton Cited in Iraq Contamination
"We exposed a base camp population (military and civilian) to a water source that was not treated," said a July 15, 2005, memo written by William Granger, the official for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary who was in charge of water quality in Iraq and Kuwait.

"The level of contamination was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River," Granger wrote in one of several documents. The Associated Press obtained the documents from Senate Democrats who are holding a public inquiry into the allegations Monday.

While the Abramhoff story is big it is probably just the part of the problem that is most visible. When the majority party is willing ti ignore or hide problems apparently for no other reason then to protect the party and its president from yet another blatant example of its incompetence it speaks to its whole approach to governing.

via No Quarter, Johnson has another story about water - A New Case of CIA Waterboarding?
... Kyle Dustin (Dusty) Foggo, is currently the Executive Director of the CIA. Dusty, as he is known in the building, has a direct tie to the corrupt Californian Congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham. According to friends still working on the inside, tongues are wagging about the peril that may be on the horizon for Dusty. Specifically, Dusty is alleged to have played a role in helping Brent Wilkes, a co-conspirator with Duke Cunningham, get the contract to supply bottled water to the CIA in Iraq. A buddy of mine who was on the ground in Iraq back in 2003 says that rumors were swirling then that Dusty was a player in the water deal. Dusty, who reportedly got the job as Executive Director thanks to "helpful" suggestions from Duke Cunningham to his congressional buddy,CIA Director Porter Goss, is now under the microscope.

As we all know ,Goss was Bush's handpicked successor to Tenet. It is stories like this that makes one wonder how conservatives can with a straight fave claim that they are the party of values. There is a point at which incompetence is not random, its endemic, its part of the way modern Republicans do things.

What is it about this tikes little mind that doesn't understand the simplest issues, its OK to disagree with John Murtha . It is not OK to smear him. Its way past the point of hypocrisy to say that the far -right zealots are just taking a look at Murtha's record, when any mention of Bush or Cheney's service to country is considered by the Party of Hate and Smear an attack on thier personal leader. The best that one can be said of the current El Presidente is that he and his supporters have serious character issues with their own cowardly behavior and moral corruption and deal with the problem by deflecting attention to none issues like the distinqiushed service of men like John Murtha.