Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rudy Giuliani's Got a Lot of Nerve Wrapping Himself in 9-11 Hero's Cape: Rudy's Alleged Links to Terror Sheik

It's no secret Rudy wants you to think of him as "America's Mayor" (!) or a "hero" on 9-11. Increasingly, however, such mantras have emerged as flimsy propaganda. Indeed, Rudy has a lot of nerve wrapping himself in patriotism and 9-11 heroics. There were plenty of heroes that day. Only Rudy was more grandstander than hero. Worse, Rudy has dealings which cast doubt about his ability to keep us safe.

As a new Village Voice story reveals, the one-time mayor has business connections which tie him to the man who let 9-11 mastermind escape from the FBI. This stunning revelation is detailed here.

Three-Way Tie in Iowa Polling

While the national corporate media has claimed Hillary all but has the nomination locked up, Obama AND Edwards are closing the gap. Here's one time when I welcome the "horse race."

Check out the numbers here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Media Watch: Super Cyclone Hits Bangladesh, But News Shows Lead With Barry Bonds

The cyclone swept in from the Bay of Bengal. And the storm forced approximately 3 million refugees to seek safer ground. Imagine 3 million people! Over 600,000 people have filled shelters to capacity. Bangladeshis are reeling from a super cyclone with winds at 150 mph. This is a mega-disaster. But you wouldn't know it to see the extent of news coverage here.

the story, which wasn't even on on the top of front page of's website.

And yet our networks, two of them (CBS and NBC), led with Barry Bonds, as if we need more press coverage of his troubles.

THE IAEA report was also released today. But you didn't find that near the top of the so-called mainstream media's broadcasts either. Here's the link. I'll write more about the IAEA report later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh! The Irony: Bush Claims Dems are Like Kids With Credit Cards.

Failing to get the irony, Bush did another round of finger wagging at Dems yesterday. You'd think he would have a hard time doing this with a straight face. Just who is "like a teenager with a credit card?" I dare say many teens would be more responsible.

But bailed-out George, who never met a failure Daddy or Daddy's friends didn't rescue him from, didn't have any trouble accusing them of being big spenders. This is from the most profligate spender in US history, the one who inherited a surplus, bankrupted us into the next two generations, and is actively trying to spend and destroy the Social Security surplus, so he can dump seniors into "onyourownership."

Bush's many failures as Texas governor included him having to run back to Texas the summer before the 2000 election in order to patch a half-billion dollar hole in the state budget, all because of his poor management. And yet this was so underreported, he now gets to play similar havoc with the nation's fiscal resources.

The only question I have is why are not his fellow Republicans joining in holding him accountable? Our national treasure is not to be wasted on elective, disastrous adventures of Dick and George. They are for our infrastructure and human services. We have had the best military in the world for decades. And yet nearly every aspect of the nation's budget masks what is largely "defense" (or "offense," in the case of preemptive war) spending. It's long past time to throw a few crumbs our way. That means health care, education, infrasturcture, environment protection, inspection of food supplies, social services, enforcement of consumer protections, and more. But first, bring the troops home, stop the mad-cap adventures of Dick and George, and get our priorities back in balance.

As President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children...This is not a way of life in any true sense. Under the cloud of a threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." --Dwight D. Eisenhower, from a speech before the American Association of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Barack Obama: He Lost Me at Hullo-o.

Hullo-o? Are you really sure you want to go there, Barack? Generational warfare against many who are strongly considering you? Are you kidding? When you said this were you really thinking this through? It's no secret that you are more popular among younger voters. Really, what's up with that? Heck, I've leaned initially toward your candidacy, but waivered due to your extreme caution. And I'm not a younger voter. But now you seem to be ready to write off a generation, encourage the perpetuation of generational stereotypes, and trying to pit one generation against another.

This primary time is unusual because I usually make my choice early on. But now it's not quite so clear. I've also liked John Edwards. I've ruled out all the others, especially Hillary, who is so nineties, so yesterday, that I wonder if her supporters are nostalgic for something that never was. I wonder even further at the feminists who are so hungry for a woman in the White House that they'll vote for one who is not their best hope for a progressive America. Do we really need a "free market" Margaret Thatcher who smiles? I put that in quotes because it's not really a free market that free-marketers want, but rather socialism for corporations and on-your-ownership for the rest of us.

But being realistic about Hillary, a demographic peer of mine, does not mean dissing an entire generation, my own. Are you serious? Do you really want to go there? You could well have lost me here, Barack. I'll be waiting for improvements in your attitude about seniors. But most importantly, I want you to speak forcefully on how you'd make this country better. That you're younger isn't reason enough. So, come on Barack, make my day and get serious about the issues.

Olbermann Takes FAUX News to the Woodshed for Its Girls Gone-Wild-Approach to News.

Olbermann gave FOX So-Called News a well-deserved spanking over its ongoing light- porn approach to video news. Check it out here.

Along comes a FOXie to illustrate with a news story to justify FOX obsession with women's anatomies. Here's the text of a FAUX News report of a study purporting to show "curvy" women are healthier, smarter and bearers of smarter kids.

For more fun check out the FAUX News visual report of this here. Kinda gives the story a different look, doesn't it. Does the video support Olbermann's claim or what? The medium is the message indeed. And we've got the message. FOX is tabloid TV.Here's the video.


War Costs Each Family $20,900, Dems Research Shows

MSNBC has obtained a Democratic report due to be released today concerning the very personal affect of the war on Americans' pocketbooks. And the cost is staggering. Read the story here.

Here's the intro to the story:

WASHINGTON - The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $1.6 trillion — roughly double the amount the White House has requested thus far, according to a new report by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press and scheduled to be released Tuesday, attempted to put a price tag on the two conflicts, including "hidden" costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions.

Read the rest at MSNBC.

Since the Media Won't Tell You, I Will

Here's John Edwards policy manual. Since the media won't discuss issues, but rather haircuts, Hillary's cleavage and pantsuits, Ms. Kucinich's tongue stud, and all the rest of the clap-trap, we'll all have to dig a little harder. The best defense for our democracy is an informed electorate.


Daniel Ellsberg, former Defense Department analyst, leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of the Vietnam War. Speaking at an American University symposium, he offered thoughts on the Constitutional crisis, looming attack on Iran, and loss of liberty in the United States. What follow are his comments from that speech. They have been edited only for space. Find this article here.

By Daniel Ellsberg

Let me simplify . . . and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9-11. That’s the next coup that completes the first.

The last five years have seen a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution . . . what the rest of the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model and experiment to the rest of the world—in checks and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights, individual rights protected from majority infringement by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the possibility of impeachment.

There have been violations of these principles by many presidents before. Most of the specific things that Bush has done in the way of illegal surveillance and other matters were done under my boss Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam War: the use of CIA, FBI, NSA against Americans.

All these violations were impeachable had they been found out at the time but in nearly every case the violations were not found out until [the president was] out of office so we didn’t have the exact challenge that we have today.

That was true with the first term of Nixon and certainly of Johnson, Kennedy and others. They were impeachable. They weren’t found out in time. But I think it was not their intention, in the crisis situations that they felt justified their actions, to change our form of government.

It is increasingly clear with each new book and each new leak that comes out, that Richard Cheney and his now chief of staff David Addington have had precisely that in mind since at least the early 1970s. Not just since 1992, not since 2001, but [they] have believed in executive government, single-branch government under an executive president—elected or not—with unrestrained powers. They did not believe in restraint.

When I say this, I’m not saying they are traitors. I don’t think they have in mind allegiance to some foreign power or have a desire to help a foreign power. I believe they have in their own minds a love of this country and what they think is best for this country—but what they think is best is directly and consciously at odds with what the Founders of this country [and the Framers of the Constitution] thought.

They believe we need a different kind of government now, an executive government essentially, rule by decree, which is what we’re getting with ‘signing statements.’

Signing statements are talked about as line-item vetoes which is one [way] of describing them which are unconstitutional in themselves, but in other ways are just saying the president says: ‘I decide what I enforce. I decide what the law is. I legislate.’

It’s [the same] with the military commissions, courts that are under the entire control of the executive branch, essentially of the president—a concentration of legislative, judicial, and executive powers in one branch, which is precisely what the founders meant to avert, and tried to avert and did avert to the best of their ability in the Constitution.”

* * *

Now I’m appealing to that as a crisis right now not just because it is a break in tradition but because I believe in my heart and from my experience that on this point the Founders had it right. It’s not just ‘our way of doing things’— it was a crucial perception on the corruption of power to anybody, including Americans.

On procedures and institutions that might possibly keep that power under control because the alternative was what we have just seen, wars like Vietnam, wars like Iraq, wars like the one coming.

That brings me to the second point. This executive branch, under specifically Bush and Cheney, despite opposition [even] from most of the rest of the branch, even of the cabinet, clearly intends a war against Iran, which, even by imperialist standards, [violates] standards in other words which were accepted not only by nearly everyone in the executive branch but most of the leaders in Congress.

The interests of the empire, the need for hegemony, our right to control and our need to control the oil of the Middle East and many other places. That is consensual in our establishment. …

But even by those standards, an attack on Iran is insane. And I say that quietly, I don’t mean it to be heard as rhetoric. Of course it’s not only aggression and a violation of international law, a supreme international crime, but it is by imperial standards, insane in terms of the consequences.

Does that make it impossible? No, it obviously doesn’t; it doesn’t even make it unlikely.

That is because two things come together that with the acceptance for various reasons of the Congress—Democrats and Republicans—and the public and the media, we have freed the White House — the president and the vice president—from virtually any restraint by Congress, courts, media, public, whatever.

And on the other hand, the people who have this unrestrained power are crazy. Not entirely, but they have crazy beliefs.

And the question is what then, can we do about this?

We are heading toward an insane operation. It is not certain. [But it] is likely.… I want to try to be realistic myself here, to encourage us to do what we must do, what is needed to be done with the full recognition of the reality. Nothing is impossible.

What I’m talking about in the way of a police state, in the way of an attack on Iran, is not certain. Nothing is certain, actually. However, I think it is probable, more likely than not, that in the next 15, 16 months of this administration we will see an attack on Iran. Probably. Whatever we do.

And . . . we will not succeed in moving Congress, probably, and Congress probably will not stop the president from doing this. And that’s where we’re heading. That’s a very ugly, ugly prospect.

However, I think it’s up to us to work to increase that small, perhaps—anyway not large—possibility and probability to avert this within the next 15 months, aside from the effort that we have to make for the rest of our lives.

* * *

Getting back the constitutional government and improving it will take a long time. And I think if we don’t get started now, it won’t be started under the next administration.

Getting out of Iraq will take a long time. Averting Iran and averting a further coup in the face of a 9-11, another attack, is for right now, it can’t be put off. It will take a kind of political and moral courage of which we have seen very little.

We have a really unusual concentration here and in this audience, of people who have in fact changed their lives, changed their position, lost their friends to a large extent, risked and experienced being called terrible names, ‘traitor,’ ‘weak on terrorism’—names that politicians will do anything to avoid being called.

How do we get more people in the government and in the public at large to change their lives now in a crisis in a critical way? How do we get Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for example? What kinds of pressures, what kinds of influences can be brought to bear to get Congress to do their jobs? It isn’t just doing their jobs. Getting them to obey their oaths of office.

I took an oath many times, an oath of office as a Marine lieutenant, as an official in the Defense Department, as an official in the State Department as a Foreign Service officer. A number of times I took an oath of office which is the same oath of office taken by every member of Congress and every official in the United States and every officer in the armed services.

And that oath is not to a commander in chief, which is not [even] mentioned. It is not to a Fuehrer. It is not even to superior officers. The oath is precisely to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Now that is an oath I violated every day for years in the Defense Department without realizing it when I kept my mouth shut when I knew the public was being lied into a war as they were lied into Iraq, as they are being lied into war in Iran.

I knew that I had the documents that proved it, and I did not put it out then. I was not obeying my oath, which I eventually came to do.

I’ve often said that Lt. Ehren Watada—who still faces trial for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Iraq which he correctly perceives to be an unconstitutional and aggressive war—is the single officer in the United States armed services who is taking seriously [the matter of] upholding his oath.

The president is clearly violating that oath, of course. [All the personnel] under him who understand what is going on — and there are myriad — are violating their oaths. And that’s the standard that I think we should be asking of people.

On the Democratic side, on the political side, I think we should be demanding of our Democratic leaders in the House and Senate—and frankly of the Republicans —that it is not their highest single absolute priority to be reelected or to maintain a Democratic majority so that Pelosi can still be speaker of the House and Reid can be in the Senate, or to increase that majority.

I’m not going to say that for politicians they should ignore that, or that they should do something else entirely, or that they should not worry about that.
Of course that will be and should be a major concern of theirs, but they’re acting like it’s their sole concern. Which is business as usual. “We have a majority, let’s not lose it, let’s keep it. Let’s keep those chairmanships.”

Exactly what have those chairmanships done for us to save the Constitution in the last couple of years?

I am shocked by the Republicans today that I read [about] in The Washington Post who threatened a filibuster if we … get back habeas corpus. The ruling out of habeas corpus with the help of the Democrats did not get us back to George the First it got us back to before King John 700 years ago in terms of counter-revolution.

I think we’ve got to somehow get home to them [in Congress] that this is the time for them to uphold the oath, to preserve the Constitution, which is worth struggling for in part because it’s only with the power that the Constitution gives Congress responding to the public, only with that can we protect the world from madmen in power in the White House who intend an attack on Iran.

And the current generation of American generals and others who realize that this will be a catastrophe have not shown themselves —they might be people who in their past lives risked their bodies and their lives in Vietnam or elsewhere, like [Colin] Powell, and would not risk their career or their relations with the president to the slightest degree.

That has to change. And it’s the example of people like those up here who somehow brought home to our representatives that they as humans and as citizens have the power to do likewise and find in themselves the courage to protect this country and protect the world. Thank you.”

Not Copyrighted. Readers can reprint and are free to redistribute - as long as full credit is given to American Free Press - 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20003

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hillary Bushwacked Herself

It's true that the Republicans have set a very low standard for manipulation, fake news, and gamesmanship. But that doesn't mean our side should stoop that low. But never underestimate the ability of our side to match the Bush standard for fake news. It seems Hillary planted questions in her audience. And she now admits as much.

One would hope that she'd be confident that she really does have a "plan" (much talked about, but little explicated by her). It would be nice if she'd spend more time informing citizens about her plans for us and less time staging herself. Or is everything boiling down to those staged homes in a real estate open house?

At least she did admit to what she did this time. Too bad she can't admit her bad judgment on more than one occasion, especially in supporting the Iraq war and allowing Rupert Murdoch to fund raise for her. One can hope. More importantly, we need evidence that Hillary isn't so retro that she's trapped in 1990s thinking, muscular uber-hawkishness, needless war, worthless incrementalism on health care, and off-shoring or US jobs. One can hope, indeed.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Media Watch: Press Spews Garbage about Hillary

I won't be voting for Hillary in the primary. But, if current trends pan out, and several of the better candidates lose in their efforts to make a real Democrat out of her, she may be the only game in town. The other side, Prey-on-yer-fear-mongers-R-Us, will send us further into the rat-hole. Voting for or sitting idly by for the police-state-inclined, autocrat, 9-11 exploiter and fear/war-monger Giuliani, or his terrible cast of radical "right" lessors--well, that's not an option. There simply is no way to sit it out.

Far be it from me to try to "rescue Hillary, but.." The media are relentless in trying to lead the masses to do just that (sit it out). And it is by design. No, I am not talking about the debate, which Hillary and crew tried to spin as "piling on." She deserved it (the piling on). And her campaign is pathetic for playing that card. Can she compete in a tough campaign or not? If not, then why should we hire her? The real outrage that night was the MSNBC celebrity questioners, who didn't intend to give the other candidates a fair or honest screening. And so, most of the questions were directed at Hillary as if the others did not exist. The rest got pitched incredibly undermining questions, such as "Do you believe in UFOs?" How else would the dissed get an airing than to be scrappy with the media-anointed, Rupert Murdoch-supported front-runner? So, I celebrate the so-called piling on. Hillary continues to triangulate remorselessly and needs to be held to account.

I am talking about something else. I speak of the ongoing trivialization and ridicule the media unleashes about her even as I write. It was predictable, that the media anoint a "front runner" because that's how they set that person up for a fall. The media giveth and the media taketh away. We've been there before. And it's already started again.

We are continually reminded of such trivialities as her "signature" pants suits. Yep, only Hillary wears pantsuits in this country, her "signature alright (sarcasm).

Yesterday and the day before, Chris Matthews has made an absurd federal case about her clapping. Read about it here. Before that it was her laugh. OK, I admit it was inappropriate laughing at times. She seemed to laugh at exactly the most serious moments. Was it nerves? Was it contrived? I don't care. Enough! How someone laughs is irrelevant. This kind of stuff is just nasty. It reminds me of the empty vessels, such as the snide someone at my workplace, who once told me I had a "fake smile." (What I had was (is) partial numbness, parasthesia from jaw surgery.) Are such people grownups or are they 12? Still, the media pick, pick, picks and won't stop until they draw blood. Look at the mileage they got from one brown Al Gore suit? This is the most political decision most people ever make and the media gives us smiles and suits for content?

And then there are the outright lies, including on NPR, and elsewhere in the blogosphere (ABC for instance), about Hillary supposedly not leaving a tip. The problem is it isn't true. Later the ABC blog was updated. But millions of Americans have been told by various media outlets that Hillary didn't leave a tip. Here's the update:

The Clinton campaign contacted ABC News to assert that they did, contrary to yesterday's claim to NPR, pay $157 for food at Maid-Rite and left a $100 tip to be split among the staff.

That's a pretty hefty tip. But never mind. The media devour a person anyway. Get the full story and the update here.

The latest is media writing about her cough and losing her voice (see here). Anything to portray her as "shrill," which the media frequently try to do.

But several media outlets portrayed it as a "coughing fit." Always put the worst connotation on it. You know, a "fit" suggests something more twisted. Are you ready for 2008 to be over yet?

Are you as sick as I am at the unrelenting, snot-nosed, deceptive, coverage by Chris Matthews and all the cast of trivialists? If, so, let your media outlets know. They are polluting the airwaves with the latest trivial digs at our candidates, celeb rehab, and Rosie. As for me, it's iPod time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Irony! Bush Administration Tells Pakistan Leader to Never Restrict Personal Freedoms to Fight Terrorism.

Hat Tip to, which writes:

White House Tells Musharraf: Never ‘Restrict Constitutional Freedoms’ To Fight Terrorism

During today’s White House press briefing, spokeswoman Dana Perino condemned Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of “emergency rule” in Pakistan. She said that the administration is “deeply disappointed” by the measure, which suspends the country’s constitution, and believes it is never “reasonable” to “restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism”:

Q: Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?

MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no.

Get the video clip and the rest of the story here.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sideshow Bob Marshall is Getting Even More Dangerous: He Keeps Trying to Outlaw Birth Control, Even for Married Couples.

Here's a flier which says what needs to be said in as few words as possible. Track his legislative record of interference in the bedrooms of Virginia. -- images courtesy of, ad by DPV.

Daily Howler Parsing Shows Limbaugh Style in Brian Williams Questions at Democratic Debate.

Wednesday's Democratic debate set a new low for media misbehavior. Russert, Williams et al. were hell-bent on killing off most Democratic hopefuls by neglect and trivialization, while savaging the so-called front-runner. No vote has been cast and statewide polls show the race to be much tighter than the so-called national polls. And yet the media has anointed its "favorite" Dem in order to eliminate her.

They set up their foil and then cannibalize it. As Howard Dean supporters from 2004 know, the media giveth and the media taketh away. Hillary and her supporters' biggest mistake is that they still don't see it. They honestly think they have an unstoppable winner. Until they stop drinking the myth/Kool Aid that there is a liberal media, they will never win. Not this time, not ever. Ironically, I think Hillary knows. Lord knows he's tied in with more than a few Republicans in her laxness about media consolidation and deregulation, and her overtures to Rupert Murdoch. But is she so naive that she can't see she is being set up for a fall, or is she part of the problem? I don't know.

This is not to say Hillary Clinton didn't give interviewers some pause for trying to have it both, or several, ways on several issues during the debate. As I have said, I am no fan or supporter of Hillary's triangulating ways. But the press excess showed once and for all what the television media is really about. Is there anyone who watched who still thinks there is a "liberal media"?

The website Daily Howler presents an explication of the pathetic media performance on this past week's debate. Most questions were framed in Limbaugh-style. Check it out here. Brian Williams has admitted he's a fan of rush Limbaugh, even listens to Rush almost every day.

Now we know Rush has infected him with vicious tongue. Question after question wreaked of Limbaugh frame. So much for Williams' reinventing himself as more humane after Katrina. His real colors are showing now.