May 2005 Archives

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May 31, 2005

Bush's Political Capital Spent, Voices in Both Parties Suggest

Bush after re-election, "I earned political capital and now I'm gonna spend it".

Looks like Cletus the President done runnin' a deficit...

Link: Bush's Political Capital Spent, Voices in Both Parties Suggest.

Two days after winning reelection last fall, President Bush declared that he had earned plenty of "political capital, and now I intend to spend it." Six months later, according to Republicans and Democrats alike, his bank account has been significantly drained.In the past week alone, the Republican-led House defied his veto threat and passed legislation promoting stem cell research; Senate Democrats blocked confirmation, at least temporarily, of his choice for U.N. ambassador; and a rump group of GOP senators abandoned the president in his battle to win floor votes for all of his judicial nominees.With his approval ratings in public opinion polls at the lowest level of his presidency, Bush has been stymied so far in his campaign to restructure Social Security. On the international front, violence has surged again in Iraq in recent weeks, dispelling much of the optimism generated by the purple-stained-finger elections back in January, while allies such as Egypt and Uzbekistan have complicated his campaign to spread democracy.

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C.I.A. Expanding Terror Battle Under Guise of Charter Flights - New York Times

This is the first in-depth article I've seen on this practice... and, by in depth, I mean calling out the firm, and pointing out the possible international law violations.

Link: C.I.A. Expanding Terror Battle Under Guise of Charter Flights - New York Times.

Some of the C.I.A. planes have been used for carrying out renditions, the legal term for the agency's practice of seizing terrorism suspects in one foreign country and delivering them to be detained in another, including countries that routinely engage in torture. The resulting controversy has breached the secrecy of the agency's flights in the last two years, as plane-spotting hobbyists, activists and journalists in a dozen countries have tracked the mysterious planes' movements. Inquiries From AbroadThe authorities in Italy and Sweden have opened investigations into the C.I.A.'s alleged role in the seizure of suspects in those countries who were then flown to Egypt for interrogation. According to Dr. Georg Nolte, a law professor at the University of Munich, under international law, nations are obligated to investigate any substantiated human rights violations committed on their territory or using their airspace.

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May 26, 2005

CBS Poll: Bush Out Of Touch

The question is, how can 50% of America be stupid enough to think he's "in touch"?

Link: CBS News | CBS Poll: Bush Out Of Touch | May 25, 2005 21:00:10.

Six in ten Americans say the president does not share their priorities, while just 34 percent say he does %u2013 the lowest numbers for Mr. Bush since the eve of his first inauguration. If there's any solace for Mr. Bush, it's that even fewer people, just 20 percent, say Congress shares their priorities.

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May 25, 2005

Iraq: 14 dead Americans in three days

But, hey... they got to vote over there...

Link: Gadsden Times.

Eighteen U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq during the past week - 14 in the past three days alone. The deaths come at a time when American troops are trying to hand more responsibility to Iraq's fledgling security forces, part of the U.S. strategy to eventually leave Iraq.

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May 23, 2005

People for the American Way has a Nuke Option Sign-Up!!! DO IT!

Link: Nuclear Option MIR Sign Up - PFAW Interactive.

With the Nuclear Option%u2019s timing in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist%u2019s hands, there won%u2019t be enough warning to send out an email alert the moment he drops the bomb on the Senate. But we can deliver a text message straight to your mobile that embeds a Senate phone number based on your state.

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PBS chief says he sees bias in public broadcasting

Does the phrase, "...and, by Viewers Like You" ring a bell?

Well, you can kiss that phrase goodbye.

BOYCOTT PBS.

Link: New chief says he sees bias in public broadcasting.

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson remembers exactly when it was and what he was watching when the thought struck him: Public television has a problem. A liberal problem. It was November 2003, and he was watching Bill Moyers, host of the Public Broadcasting Service show "Now," talk about how free-trade policies had harmed small-town America. Tomlinson knows small-town America -- he grew up outside tiny Galax, Va., in the Blue Ridge Mountains -- and Moyers' presentation of the issues struck him as superficial and one-sided. Indeed, it struck him as "liberal advocacy journalism." Right then, Tomlinson said, he decided that it was time to bring some "balance" to the public TV and radio airwaves. And so began an effort that in recent weeks has begun to tear like a knife through the insular world of public broadcasting. Tomlinson, 60, isn't just any conservative with a complaint about liberal media bias. As chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he heads a private but congressionally chartered agency that hands out federal funds -- $387 million this year -- to PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and TV stations around the country. Tomlinson's contention -- that liberalism is too prominent on public TV, radio news and talk programs while conservative ideas are marginalized -- has been met with aggressive denials, concern and suspicion within the public broadcasting establishment. Some suggest that Tomlinson isn't really interested in fairness so much as promoting conservative ideas.

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State Dem Party Chair Switches to GOP

The Dem's must love crap like this...

Link: Winston-Salem Journal | Former state Democratic party chairman changes to GOP.

RALEIGH, N.C. - Former state Democratic Party chairman Lawrence Davis has switched his affiliation to the Republican Party, saying his personal position on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion differed from those of Democrats. "Basically, it's an effort to bring some coherence between my beliefs and my actions," said Davis, who was regarded as a conservative said. "I felt my (former) party was on the wrong side of right-wrong issues." Davis, 67, said he switched his party affiliation in February and didn't want a lot of fanfare.

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Tillman's Parents Are Critical Of Army

About time there was reporting on his family... they've been trying to reach out to the press forever now.

Link: Tillman's Parents Are Critical Of Army.

"Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did," Mary Tillman said in her first lengthy interview since her son's death. "The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."

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May 22, 2005

Galloway Senate testimony Now MAGICALLY Missing

We've already printed the full text here at the ABP... so, FU to the Senate from all of us here at the ABP.

Link: Galloway Senate testimony PDF goes AWOL - vnunet.com.

The website for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs has removed testimony from UK MP George Galloway from its website.All other witness testimonies for the hearings on the Oil for Food scandal are available on the Committee's website in PDF form. But Galloway's testimony is the only document not on the site."I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him," Galloway told the Committee."The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns."Press representatives for the Committee had no comment.

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It's All Newsweek's Fault

Frank Rich has a few things to say.

The essence is, "so, you, the White House, are upset because somebody reported something that wasn't true?".

When will somebody in the press core, including Newsweek for fucks sake, say, "hello? we didn't kill people when we fucked up!"

Link: It's All Newsweek's Fault - New York Times.

The administration has been so successful at bullying the news media in order to cover up its own fictions and failings in Iraq that it now believes it can get away with pinning some 17 deaths on an errant single sentence in a 10-sentence Periscope item that few noticed until days after its publication. Coming just as the latest CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll finds that only 41 percent of Americans think the war in Iraq is "worth fighting" and only 42 percent think it's going well, this smells like desperation. In its war on the press, this hubristic administration may finally have crossed a bridge too far. Let's stipulate flatly that Newsweek made a serious error. For the sake of argument, let's even posit that the many other similar accounts of Koran desecration (with and without toilets) by American interrogators over the past two years are fantasy - even though they've been given credence by the International Committee of the Red Cross and have turned up repeatedly in legal depositions by torture victims and in newspapers as various as The Denver Post and The Financial Times. Let's also ignore the May 1 New York Times report that a former American interrogator at Guant´┐Żnamo has corroborated a detainee's account of guards tossing Korans into a pile and stepping on them, thereby prompting a hunger strike. Why don't we just go all the way and erase those photographs of female guards sexually humiliating Muslims (among other heinous crimes) at Abu Ghraib?

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