Friday, September 14, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Has Left The Building

The worst Attorney General in U.S. history has formally stepped down from the post.
Resigning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left the scandal-scarred Justice Department on Friday, declaring himself hopeful about its mission of ferreting out crime and defending the truth. Gonzales quit after 2 1/2 years at the department amid investigations into whether he broke the law and lied to Congress. He has denied any wrongdoing.

President Bush is expected to announce a nominee next week to replace his longtime friend and fellow Texan.

In a Friday morning speech, Gonzales said his time at the Justice Department made him determined to fight terrorists and sexual predators and crack down on guns, drugs and gang violence plaguing the nation's neighborhoods.

"Over the past two and a half years, I have seen tyranny, dishonesty, corruption and depravity of types I never thought possible,"
That is what happens when you work for a criminal administration and you yourself are a dishonest slug. The tyranny, depravity, dishonesty and corruption are the modus operandi of the current Republican party as led by the depraved and tyrannical moron we call President Bush. Mr. Gonzales should now crawl back under the rock that he came out of. Good riddance Gonzo.

Consumer Confidence Tumbles

Consumer Confidence Tumbles in September.
Shaken by housing and credit woes, peoples' confidence in the economy sank to its lowest point in nearly 1 1/2 years, raising fresh worries about their appetite to spend in the months ahead.

The RBC Cash Index showed consumer confidence clocking in at 71.1 in September, a sharp drop from August's reading of 89.3. It marked the worst showing since May 2006. The index is based on the results of international polling firm Ipsos.

''Consumers are rattled to the bone, '' Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research, said of the latest confidence reading.

The deterioration comes as Wall Street has been suffering through a mood swing of its own, sending stock prices careering wildly. The deeper consumer angst also comes after troubling news last week that the economy lost jobs for the first time in four years.

Against this backdrop, analysts say the chance the economy might fall into a recession is growing.
Consumers are finally realizing that the debt they have accumulated and their inability to save are a very dangerous combination in an economic downturn.

I have said since I started this site that a recession was looming. I am standing by that prediction and with reports like this coming out, its a safe prediction to make. The lower and middle classes will be especially hard hit since they lack the savings that sustained them through the last recession.

The next President will inherit a mess on nearly every front. Why anyone would want the job after this moron has basically destroyed the country is beyond me.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bush says Troops Will Be In Iraq After He Leaves Office

Bush Orders Gradual Troop Cuts in Iraq
President Bush, defending an unpopular war, ordered gradual reductions in U.S. forces in Iraq on Thursday night and said, "The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home."

Yet, Bush firmly rejected calls to end the war, insisting that Iraq will still need military, economic and political support from Washington after his presidency ends.

Bush said that 5,700 U.S. forces would be home by Christmas and that four brigades _ for a total of at least 21,500 troops _ would return by July, along with an undetermined number of support forces. Now at its highest level of the war, the U.S. troop strength stands at 168,000.

"The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is: return on success," the president said, trying to summon the nation's resolve once again to help Iraq "defeat those who threaten its future and also threaten ours."
Basically what he said is that we will eventually get to pre-surge troop levels but we will maintain a 130,000 troop force until at least he leaves office. It is time for the American people to say enough is enough and that not one more American life is worth being lost in this disaster.

There has been no measurable progress in Iraq no matter what General Petraeus,"the ass-kissing little chickenshit" tell us. Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command(Centcom) needs to be called before Congress to give his sworn testimony.

His version of the situation on the ground is much different than General Petraeus who may have designs on the Presidency of the United States. Just what we need, someone else using the troops as props for political reasons.

Ex-Chiquita Execs Won't Face Bribe Charges

On August 3, 2007 I posted this entry about Chiquita International and its support of a terrorist organization in Columbia. The Justice Department has told Ex-Chiquita Executives (and Big Bush Supporters) that they would not face criminal charges.
The multibillion-dollar banana company pleaded guilty earlier this year to making $1.7 million in illegal payments to a right-wing Colombian paramilitary group from 1997 to 2004. Until now, three of its officers were under investigation for authorizing and approving the payments to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as AUC, after federal prosecutors warned them in April 2003 that such bribes violated the nation's anti-terrorism laws.

"The United States gave serious consideration to bringing additional charges in this matter," prosecutors wrote in a memo filed in court yesterday. "In the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, the United States has decided not do so."

Of the 10 company officials with potential liability, those most under scrutiny were former Chiquita chief executive Cyrus Freidheim, former general counsel Robert Olson and former board member Roderick M. Hills, according to sources close to the probe. They and Chiquita had argued that the three men, who had disclosed the "protection money" payments to Justice officials, kept them going while awaiting advice that never came from then-Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff and then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.
If this had been a Muslim that had sent funds unwittingly to a charity that later supported terrorists in the Middle East, you can bet that person would have been sent straight to Guantanimo.

Political donations really do pay off!! Pay to play is alive and well in the United States.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oil Tops 80.00 Per Barrel

New record for crude as government reports big drop in supplies; Alaska production slowdown, Gulf storms add to worries.
U.S. light crude for October delivery set a trading high of $80.18 late in the session before pulling back slightly to settle at $79.91 a barrel, still up $1.68 a barrel and another record close. The old trading high was $78.77 a barrel hit Aug. 1.

In its weekly inventory report, the Energy Information Administration said crude stocks plunged by 7.1 million barrels last week. Analysts were looking for a drop of 2.7 million barrels according to a Dow Jones poll.

A reported slowdown in production from Alaska's North Slope, as well as a gathering storm in the Gulf of Mexico also pushed prices higher.
Get ready for the rise at the pumps very soon. We must make alternate sources of energy our top priority if we are ever to get out from underneath the strange hold of crude oil and the multinational oil companies. It is not just for the economic survival of our nation but it should be a top homeland security issue as well. We all know that our soldiers are dying in Iraq as a result of an "Oil War". What would be poetic justice is if oil was rendered worthless and the big oil companies impotent.

We need a new direction in this nation away from fossil fuels. Will we elect someone with the leadership to bring us to that goal? If we do not we will soon be a former superpower on our way to being a third world nation.

The Next Big Republican Sex Scandal?

I am an avid fan of Michelangelo Signorile of Sirius OutQ. Yesterday he interviewed Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend. Together they are two of the best voices out there for the Gay Community.

Yesterday they discussed the latest Republican Sex Scandal. This scandal is very juicy and includes murder, a love triangle and possibly a Republican Congressman. Take 20 minutes from your day and listen to this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

From Jon Soltz of Vote Vets over at the Huffington Post:
General Petraeus today made a stunning admission, conceding "I don't know" if the course of action recommended in Iraq makes America safer:

WARNER: I hope in the recesses of your heart that you know that strategy will continue the casualties, stress on our forces, stress on military families, stress on all Americans. Are you able to say at this time, if we continue what you have laid before the Congress, this strategy, that if you continue, you are making America safer?

PETRAEUS: Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objections in Iraq.

WARNER: Does that make America safer?

PETRAEUS: Sir, I don't know actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind. What I have focused on and been riveted on is how to accomplish the mission of the Multinational Force in Iraq.

This exchange verifies the argument has been making, that General Petraeus' job is not to take those things into account, and therefore the President is hiding behind General Petraeus.

Let me explain.

General Petraeus was given an order -- find a military solution for Iraq where there is none, and without concern for troop overextension or the larger war on terror. General Petraeus followed his orders, giving the president what he wanted to hear, and now the president will hide behind that to justify his failure as a commander in chief.

General Petraeus has a very limited area of concern -- the US military in Iraq -- and his testimony today reflected that.

When one looks at the grander scale, past just the military in Iraq, the picture is dismal, and becoming a critical danger. From the Government Accountability Office report to Congressional Research Service report to the report by General Jones, it is clear that there has been no political reconciliation overall in Iraq or increased security, despite our military's strongest efforts.

From Admiral Fallon to Admiral Mullen, those above General Petraeus in the chain of command are telling the president that this war is hurting our military and our global security. The president has chosen to ignore all of this, in favor of a report based on a false premise with faulty findings, signed by a General with a very limited scope of concern. Call it denial, or call it stubbornness, or whatever you want; it all boils down to the same thing -- this president still refuses to listen to those he needs to listen to, in favor of those who tell him what he wants to hear.

Unwittingly, General Petraeus just confirmed all of that in the exchange above, today.

September 11th

We all remember where we were on that infamous day. I was in my office when a co-worker told me that a plane had hit one of the towers. Soon afterwards we heard about the second tower. My company did a lot of business with Cantor Fitzgerald so we all knew that there were most likely people we had spoken to who were now dead.

People in my office were crying and afraid. We all wondered what had really happened. When we found out what had really happened we were all in stunned silence. At that point I wanted those who did this to pay. I threw my support totally behind President Bush. I did not vote for him but in a time of crisis we rally together. How six years have changed everything.

Osama Bin Laden is alive and well and making videotapes and President Bush says he does not spend a lot of time on him. Oh really Mr. President? The man that killed 3000 of our people is not worth your thoughts yet invading the wrong country is? Your actions since 9/11 have destroyed two countries. Iraq and Afghanistan lead the world in suicide bombings. The civilian death toll in Iraq by some accounts has passed 500,000 and the number of dead soldiers is close to 3800. The standing of America in the world is the lowest in my lifetime after being the highest after 9/11.

For most people actions have consequences but for George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden life works differently and the entire world suffers as a result.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Bloodbath in The Mortgage Industry Continues

Countrywide Cuts Foretell Loss of U.S. Mortgage Jobs
The worst U.S. housing slump in 16 years may lead mortgage companies to eliminate almost 100,000 jobs, more than double the number already cut this year.

As many as 20 percent of the nation's real estate loan officers and mortgage brokers will be fired, according to Josh Rosner, managing director at the New York investment research firm Graham Fisher & Co. That's in addition to the 10 percent reduction from December to July that thinned their ranks to 450,000 as investors stopped buying mortgages and lenders curtailed financing to avoid rising subprime defaults.

``Originations are going to decline dramatically,'' Rosner said. ``We are just at the front-end of seeing the large banks and investment banks start to cut their capacity.''

Countrywide Financial Corp. said Sept. 7 it will cut 10,000 to 12,000 jobs. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the biggest underwriter of mortgage-backed bonds, and IndyMac Bancorp Inc., the second-biggest U.S. home-loan company, also announced job reductions last week.

At least 100 mortgage companies have sought buyers or halted lending since the start of 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A record number of Americans faced foreclosures in the second quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington reported last week.
The housing bubble didn't just burst, it exploded all over the whole economy and will have chilling effects on many industries. Unfortunately the pain is just starting and could get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

The Iraqi People Are Against the Surge

If the Iraqi people are against the surge and they are a sovereign nation, why are we still there?
According to this latest poll, in key areas - security and the conditions for political dialogue, reconstruction and economic development - between 67 and 70% of Iraqis, or more than two-thirds, say the surge has made things worse.

All this as the political battle is about to erupt again in Washington over the future of the US mission.

The Bush administration is insisting progress is being made and that the surge needs more time.
Who are you going to believe, the people of Iraq or President Bush? That choice is pretty easy. They want us out and this poll speaks volumes about the believability of the Petraeus testimony. What an absolute mess!!!

General Petraeus Testifies

The administration's mouthpiece on Iraq talks to Congress but can he be believed?
The 30,000 additional troops deployed to Iraq in January could come home by next July, but further American withdrawals would be "premature," the U.S. commander there told a fractious congressional hearing Monday.

"Our experience in Iraq has repeatedly shown that projecting too far into the future is not just difficult, it can be misleading and even hazardous," Gen. David Petraeus said at a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees. "The events of the past six months underscore that point."
The real question is will the Democrats be able to stop this trainwreck? They do not have the 60 votes necessary to force the President to set a timetable for withdrawal and they do not have the 67 votes that would be needed to override a certain veto.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement, "Today, despite overwhelming evidence that neither goal has been achieved, Gen. Petraeus testified that the surge would last at least until next summer. This is simply unacceptable."

She added, "The president's strategy in Iraq has failed. It is time to change the mission of our troops to one that will promote regional stability and combat terrorism, so that the numbers of our brave men and women in uniform in Iraq can be reduced on a much more aggressive timetable than the one outlined today by Gen. Petraeus."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said, "Our enemies around the globe gain great advantage by having the United States mired in an Iraqi civil war."
President Bush and General Petraeus will make a token withdrawal of one or two brigades to show they are moving in a different direction but this will be a lie. Their intention is for a permanent occupation of Iraq. Their actions speak volumes. It is up to the American people to demand an end to this war or it could very well last as long or longer than Vietnam with a similar result.

Is The Bin Laden Tape a Fake

I was suspicious but it seems maybe there is some proof that this was a fake.
Osama Bin Laden's widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The audio track does appear to be in the voice of a single speaker. What I suspect was done is that an older, unreleased video was dubbed over for this release, with the video frozen when the audio track departed from that of the original video.
Who would want to trick the American people? Is it just me or do other people doubt this guy is still alive? The American government as well as al-Qaeda have a vested interest in keeping the myth of Bin Laden alive and well.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Are There More Gay Outings Coming for the GOP

It seems there are more Gays in the Repoublican Party than at a Bette Midler concert. Self loathing seems to be second to these hypocrites, right after tax cuts. From the The Pensito Review:
In the wake of closeted Sen. Larry Craig’s self-outing in an airport men’s room this summer, Mike Rogers, the Washington-based publisher of blogActive who outed Craig, is threatening to reveal the secret sexual identities of two leading GOP senators, while two allegedly gay Republican congressmen are making headlines and drawing unwelcome attention to themselves, the timing of which could not be worse.

The senators are Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, from Kentucky. More about them below but first let’s look at two allegedly closeted members of the House, representatives Patrick McHenry and David Drier, who have been in the news lately.
Read the rest of this stunning article here.

Taking A Stroll Through Baghdad

The surge must be successful, right? Watch this and then tell me that you can believe the dog and pony show put out by those that support this war.

Senator Chuck Hagel To Retire

Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel plans to retire at the end of this Congress, adding to the challenge already facing the GOP in its effort to regain control of the Senate in the 2008 elections.
Hagel, who has recently gained national visibility as a critic of President Bush’s Iraq policy, has been exploring a run for the White House. He faced a possible primary challenge from the right if he sought a new Senate term.

Bypassing a run for re-election would give Hagel more freedom to chart an independent course during the remaining 15 months of his term. He has been among a handful of Senate Republicans willing to challenge Bush by supporting Democratic efforts to legislatively force an Iraq troop withdrawal or put pressure on the president to agree to a withdrawal timetable. Hagel, a Vietnam combat veteran, voted to authorize military action against Iraq but later turned against the war.

Hagel was one of two Senate Republicans who voted in March 2007 for a war funding bill (HR 1591), which Bush later vetoed, that would have set a March 31, 2008 goal for withdrawal of troops. In June, Hagel was among four Senate Republicans who backed an unsuccessful effort to limit debate and bring to a vote a withdrawal timeline offered as an amendment to the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill (HR 1585).

Hagel, who has a conservative voting record on most other issues, is a member of the Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Rules and Administration; and Select Intelligence committees.
Hagel joins Warner, Allard and Craig who will not be seeking re-election. "Wide Stance" Craig will be resigning at the end of September due to his bathroom antics in Minneapolis.

It is being said that Bob Kerrey, the former Senator from Nebraska, may seek the seat. This will force the Republican party to spend campaign funds on a race that would have been safe.

The republicans have only themselves to blame for their current mess. It was Karl Rove's plan to make a permanent Republican majority. It now looks like exactly the opposite will happen. The Republicans are out of touch with normal Americans but were able to keep fooling the voting public, but as the nitwit President once said "There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

Most People Do Not Believe Gen. Petraeus Will Be Truthful

Wide Skepticism Ahead of Assessment:
Poll Respondents Doubt Petraeus Will Give True Picture of Situation in Iraq

Most Americans think this week's report from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus will exaggerate progress in Iraq, and few expect it to result in a major shift in President Bush's policy. But despite skepticism about the Petraeus testimony and majority support for a U.S. troop reduction in Iraq, there has also been a slight increase in the number who see the situation there as improving.

The findings, from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, underscore the depth of public antipathy toward the Iraq war, the doubts about the administration's policies and the limited confidence in the Iraqi government to meet its commitments to restore civil order.

Fifty-eight percent, a new high, said they want to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. And most of those who advocated a troop reduction said they want the drawdown to begin either right away or by the end of the year. A majority, 55 percent, supported legislation that would set a deadline of next spring for the withdrawal of American combat forces. That figure is unchanged from July.

Only about a third believed the United States is making significant progress toward restoring civil order in Iraq, most said the buildup has not made much difference, and a majority said they do not expect the troop increase to improve the security situation over the next few months. Just one-third were confident the Iraqi government can meet its political and security goals.
We learned this week that the way of counting sectarian violence will not lead to a truthful representation of the facts on the ground. It was said that only bullets to the back of the head are now be counted as sectarian violence. All other shootings will be counted as regular crimes. The deck is stacked against a truthful representation of the facts in Iraq. Why should this report be any different than the rest of the lies we have been told over the past four years. It is nice to see the American people are finally realizing that nothing that comes from this administration can be trusted. That is the only silver lining to this horrible situation in Iraq.