Sunday, January 22, 2006

From The Ratpuppy: New Shell, Same Game...


In his defense of spying on Americans in violation of the FISA law, Cheney on Friday stated: "it is, I'm convinced, one of the reasons we haven't been attacked in the past four years,"

But he forgets the fact that almost as many Americans have died in battle overseas since then, as were lost on that fateful day four years and 4 months ago.

It seems like he is trying to tell us that it is better to see Americans die "over there" than it is over here.

Americans are dying in larger numbers with each passing week.

And 9/11 did not create the 12,000-20,000 wounded American veterans with missing limbs, blindness or other permanent head injuries.

9/11 also did not cause the slaughter of 50-100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children, whose only crime was living in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Since the first of the year, we have lost three military helicopters in Iraq and now are only a few hundred unfortunate souls away from matching the 9/11 death toll, (if you aren't counting deaths due to "accidents," or the individual suicides of soldiers thrown into this meat-grinder.)

Is this how we honor and support our soldiers overseas? Should we just sit back, shut up and watch them die?

In our time we can see how history repeats itself as unwelcome American occupiers are being attacked and killed as surely as the French Resistance attacked the German occupiers during the Second World War.

If you don't believe that the Iraqis see the US as an unwelcome occupier consider this:
The British Ministry Of Defense conducted a poll of the Iraqi people in August 2005 in which 45% believed that attacks against Anglo-American troops were justified, 82% were "strongly opposed" to Coalition troop presence and 67% feel less secure because of the occupation.

What part of 'Iraq wants us out NOW,' do the neo-cons in the White House so miserably fail to understand?

How did we come to this point?

Let's remember some of the lies that we were told by Slippery George in the lead-up to the war:

On January 29, 2003, Bush announced in a State of the Union Address before Congress that Saddam had "25,000 liters of anthrax; enough doses to kill several million people..." and "...materials sufficient to produce 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin; enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure..." and "...the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX agent..."

In this address, Bush also stated that Hussein had "upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents..." and "several mobile biological weapons labs," and a "design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb."

As well as the now infamous claim that: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Bush never let Congress investigate or interview the sources of these wild tales as he demanded authority from the Congress to act against Iraq and remove Hussein. (Of course, Congress didn't provide the oversight needed either.)

Bush stated that he would exercise all options to avoid conflict as he ordered the UN inspectors out of the country, because they were embarrassing his plans for conquest. Iraq was cooperating, they were letting the inspectors go wherever they wanted to, and it was becoming obvious on the eve of war, that Iraq had not rebuilt the munitions that the weapons inspectors destroyed 13 years earlier.

Then Bush attacked Iraq.

It wasn't because Iraq was ever a genuine threat to the United States, and we were never told that we would force George Bush's sick brand of "democracy" down their throats no matter how hard the Iraqi people wanted to find their own way, and build their own government.

9/11 left 2,986 families devastated. Their Thanksgivings will never be as bright with a needlessly empty seat at the table.

And it appears that Bush will not rest until another 2,986 families will be forced to endure their Thanksgivings in the same manner as the living victims of 9/11.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Marueen Dowd - Googling Past The Graveyard


From Maureen Dowd of the New York Times

"I don't like the thought of Dick Cheney ogling my Googling..."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Russian Official Claims Condi's Problem is Lack of Sex


In a Pravada interview last Wednesday, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Russia's Liberal and Democratic party, made the following statement in the wake of being lectured by Rice in relation to Russia's dispute with the Ukraine over gas supplies.

"Condoleezza Rice released a coarse anti-Russian statement. This is because she is a single woman who has no children. She has lost her reason because of her advanced single status. Nature takes it all [her reason].

"Such women are very rough. They are all workaholics, public workaholics. They can be happy only when they are discussed and written about everywhere: "Oh, Condoleezza, what a remarkable woman, what a charming Afro-American lady! How well she can play the piano and speak Russian! What a courageous, tough and strong female she is!

"This is the only way to satisfy her female needs. She derives pleasure from this. If she hasn't found a man by her side by her age, such a man will never appear. Even if she had an entire selection of men to choose from, she would remain single because her soul and heart have hardened. Like Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, or Alexander the Great of Macedon, Ms. Rice needs to fight and release tough public statements on a global scale. She needs to be on top of the world.

"Ms. Rice was always interested in Russia. Now she needs to prove that she actually has some insight into Russia. Her number one goal is to observe America's interest. If Russia rises, it means that the U.S. falls. Europe has united, China is growing rapidly and Russia possesses immense power in terms of energy resources. There is nothing the U.S. administration can do about it.

"The United States is experiencing a crisis of ideological and moral values. Americans talk about good family values, but the actual state of things is disastrous. That's why they need to protect themselves with such public personalities as Condoleezza Rice, who get pleasure from provoking political commotion.

"The civilized world needs to think about ensuring that single politicians are not allowed to stay in power. This was a common practice in the Soviet political system. The matter of international relations is very subtle and exquisite. A single word or phrase may play an extremely important role in politics. This is not the place where one can sublimate personal sexual problems.

"Complex-prone women are especially dangerous. They are like malicious mothers-in-law, women that evoke hatred and irritation with everyone. Everybody tries to part, as quickly as possible, with such women. But a mother-in-law is better than a single, childless political persona.

"This is really scary. Ms. Rice's personal complexes affect the entire field of international politics. This is an irritating to everyone, especially for the Eastern and the Islamic worlds. When they look at her, they go mad."

"Condoleezza Rice needs a company of soldiers. She needs to be taken to barracks where she could be satisfied. On the other hand, she can hardly be satisfied because of her age. This is a mental complex. She needs to return to her university and teach students. She could also use some psychological analysis.

"The true reason of Ms. Rice's attack on Russia is simple. Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel woman, offended by a lack of attention from men. Releasing such stupid remarks gives her the feeling of being fulfilled. This is the only way for her to attract men's attention," Vladimir Zhirinovsky said.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bush Authorized Illegal Spying Before 9/11

The Lies of the Bush Administration just keep on coming...

Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 13 January 2006

The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document.

The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

Bush Should be Impeached for Illegal Wiretaps


New Zogby Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping

Friday, January 13, 2006

From Faux News:


This is an actual screen capture from a Fox News broadcast...

The text states: "Will Vicious Dems Pay For Driving Alito's Wife To Tears?"

We are talking about a LIFETIME appointment here!!! And the lie-and-deny Neo-CONS want us to think only about how the poor little wifey cried???

How many tears will she shed for the women who will have to return to back-street abortions and coat hangars when Alito overides Roe v. Wade???

Did she cry for the little 10 year old girl that Alito ruled could be strip-searched?

Did you see how Alito ran out of the Senate chamber after the last hearing, leaving his wife far behind to fend for herself???

Give me a F**CKING break!!!

Open Letter to Norm Coleman


My ‘roomie’ Bill sent a letter to Republican Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota just before the Christmas holiday stating his expectations for a full and honest investigation of Slippery George’s allegedly illegal spying on people within the United States without obtaining warrants from the FISA court as required by law.

Here you can read Coleman’s reply, as well as our latest response to him.

We hope every patriotic American is making their will known in no uncertain terms to their elected representatives. I know someone like Coleman is probably just praying for this to go away… (This and Jack Abramoff…) But we all need to keep hammering them on this over and over again, and reminding them that they have a duty to their constituents first, until they start taking action.

If American citizens don’t start forcing their elected representatives to defend the Constitution, who will?

Anyway I think this is a good example of how to keep a communication on point, and respectful without being a fool about it.

Back the Attack, Until Freedom’s Enemies Crack!

Molly the Boston Terrier

http://ratpuppy.blogspot.com

First, from Norm Coleman to us:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me concerning Congressional hearings into the National Security Agency's (NSA) wiretap program.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has announced that the Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to determine whether there was a statutory or legal basis for such a program, whether there was judicial review, the scope of the NSA intercepts, and what was done with that information. I support such an action because I believe we need to ensure that this program, aimed at protecting our national security, does not violate our Constitutional rights.

President Bush has confirmed that he authorized the NSA to conduct wiretaps on persons with established links to terrorist groups. It is important to note that the wiretap authorizations were only for intercepting international calls and only from persons the government has a reasonable basis to conclude is affiliated with Al Qaeda or related terrorist groups.

Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were informed about and received regular updates on this program. In fact, Representative Jane Harman (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, stated that "I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities." Additionally, the Administration has briefed key members of Congress on the program over a dozen times.

The President has maintained that he will continue to use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) whenever possible. However, the FISA did not anticipate a post 9-11 situation where speed and immediacy is needed for approvals for warrants. Lt. General Michael V. Hayden, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, has testified that without the NSA program, crucial information not otherwise available would have been lost because of the processes and requirements set up under the FISA process.

I will continue to follow this important issue. I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you.

Sincerely, Norm Coleman United States Senate

And here is our response to him:

Dear Honorable Senator Coleman,

Thank you for your timely response to my message requesting that you get to the bottom of the reasons for President Bush's authorization for the NSA to spy on persons within the United States in obvious violation of the law.

I have two simple questions that should really get to the heart of President Bush's activities as it regards its Constitutionality and legality.

The questions are: (1) What tools did President Bush require in order to protect Americans from terrorism that were not available to him under existing FISA law?

And (2) How do we know for a fact that President Bush never authorized spying on any person within the United States in violation of the "reasonable cause" standard required by law as he claims?

You state in your response "President Bush has confirmed that he authorized the NSA to conduct wiretaps on persons with established links to terrorist groups..." or "only from persons the government has reasonable basis to conclude is affiliated with Al Qaeda or related terrorist groups."

But FISA already allows for the monitoring of such individuals, so why did President Bush have to turn his back on the US Constitution and FISA, as you seem to be claiming? Please be specific in your response.

You also stated to me "Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were informed about and received regular updates on this program. In fact, Representative Jane Harman (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, stated, "I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities." Additionally, the Administration has briefed key members of Congress on the program over a dozen times."

I do not understand how anyone could consider being told by the administration that it intended to break the law, then being threatened with prosecution if they spoke about it, remotely constitutes proper Congressional oversight. The fact that Representative Harman and others failed to report this alleged criminal activity does not excuse President Bush from his sworn duty to uphold the US Constitution. Not by a long shot.

I also fail to understand your reasoning when you state that "the FISA did not anticipate a post 9-11 situation where speed and immediacy is needed for approvals for warrants."

FISA currently allows criminal law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance for up to 72 hours when "speed and immediacy is needed" before going before the court for approval. If the request passes the Constitutional requirement of "probable cause," a warrant is almost always approved within a matter of minutes.

And in a time of war, FISA extends this period to 15 full days. If your argument is that 72 hours wasn't enough time to perform surveillance before obtaining a warrant that normally is granted within one hour, then please explain to me why the Republican Congress failed to declare a state of war after 9/11, if it was so critical to ignore the Constitutional rights of privacy and due process under the law of persons within the United States in the name of the war on terrorism.

I also look forward to hearing Lt. General Hayden's specific explanation as to why he believes "the processes and requirements set up under the FISA process..." Made it impossible for him to obtain any information that he had a legal right to have.

In my opinion, you have not made a single statement of fact that explains why the Bush Administration or the NSA needed to eavesdrop on the private communications of persons within the United States without meeting the requirements of FISA and the US Constitution.

That brings us back to my original questions...

(1) What tools did President Bush require in order to protect Americans from terrorism that were not available to him under existing FISA law?

(2) How do we know that Bush never spied on any person within the United States in violation of the "reasonable cause" standard required under FISA as he claims?

Question number 2 comes into play because if President Bush had all of the tools he needed to conduct the surveillance necessary to defend America, as I have shown he did under existing law... Why would he turn his back on the US Constitution and existing federal law?

Was it arrogance? Was it laziness? OR was it for some other reason...

Was Bush casting a net of electronic surveillance so wide that he knew it would be seen as illegal? Was he targeting anyone who might just have been expressing their first amendment rights to protest or to speak freely in America? Is it possible he snooping on political opponents?

This is why we have a FISA court, with ALL of the tools that any President would ever need to target the bad guys. FISA is the law so that NO PRESIDENT can snoop on any person within the United States without demonstrating within 72 hours AFTER the surveillance has started: 1) Exactly who is being spied upon, and 2) What probable cause there is to conduct the search.

If you believe that President Bush would never spy on anyone illegally, just remember how many people never thought Nixon would either. His illegal spying was one of the three articles of impeachment presented against him before he resigned. And the FISA court was created in the wake of his resignation in order to prevent this very abuse today.

In addition, I recall that the Bush Administration specifically asked that warrant-less surveillance of persons within the United States be permitted as a condition of the PATRIOT act in 2001, and that the US Congress specifically DENIED him this authority at that time.

So the Congress of the United States has already specifically addressed this issue, and has specifically denied the President authority to conduct warrant-less searches of persons within the United States for ANY reason. PERIOD!!!

Be Reminded That:

FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law enforcement agents engaged in official duties conducting "surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order." [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

Your choice should now be crystal clear to you... Either you believe in the oath you took to defend the US Constitution, or you are a passive accomplice to high crimes and misdemeanors against the American People. There is no room on the fence in this matter in the mind of patriotic Americans.

I did not spend eight years in the uniform of my country, and in defense of the US Constitution abroad to live to see these concepts shredded, or to have anyone in my government attempt to claim the right to do so in my name.

Without a strict adherence to the US Constitution and the rule of American law, THERE IS NO AMERICA!!! Can't you SEE that???

If the NSA, FBI or Justice Department, following the letter of an illegal Presidential Executive Order, did in fact conduct electronic surveillance on any person within the United States without providing probable cause and obtaining a court order... Then the President is guilty of a felony under the law!!! PERIOD!

Remember that President Bush is not being honest if he is claiming that he has Congressional authority to bypass the FISA Court, when he specifically requested and was denied permission to conduct warrant-less surveillance on persons within the United States BY CONGRESS when he originally sought this exact power in the PATRIOT Act negotiations back in 2001.

It would be dishonest for anyone else to make that claim as well.

I will be contacting YOU in the near future to see what specific action YOU are taking as my representative in the Senate to investigate and prosecute these serious allegations of criminal activity by President Bush.

I would expect such an investigation at a minimum to determine the names of everyone within the United States that were spied upon and to determine if FISA Court-acceptable probable cause did exist for each case of this surveillance.

Respectfully,

Your constituent

cc: Senator Dayton; Representative Gil Gutknecht

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lucifer Becoming Impatient With Cheney's False Alarms



It was revealed in a press announcement by his aides Richard Nixon and Adolph Hitler that, Lucifer, Lord of the Underworld, is becoming increasingly impatient with Vice President Dick Cheney's continued health.

He stated: "All of these numerous 'false alarms' are really setting off our timetable down here. We keep scheduling his reception at the 'very special corner' that we have created for him..."

"I guess we will have to be patient, but were not waiting until Hell freezes over!" The Lord of Darkness stated with an evil laugh.

The allegedly Damned Cheney could not be reached for comment after being wisked to an undisclosed location after his latest hospital visit.

New Links Between Abramoff and The White House


For those who think that these aren't links between Slippery Jack Abramoff and Slippery George Bush's White House...

Here is a first glimpse of what may be the tip of the iceberg...

Abramoff and Co. Logged Nearly 200 Contacts with Bush Administration in First 10 Months Alone

Or this one...


The Next Abramoff Shoe to Drop

Although the mainstream press is ignoring the story as desperately as they can, it is beginning to look as though the Republican White House is as up to it's ears in the stink of the Abramoff scandal as the Republican Congress is

US Homeland Security Now Opening Private Mail!


From MSNBC:

Retired Professor Confused, Angered When Letter From Abroad Is Opened

-And-

Don't forget to respond to the MSNBC poll...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: DeLay Resigns as Majority Leader!


He could tapdance while waiting for his conspiricy and money-laundering prosecution in Texas...

But the weight of his involvement in the Abramoff scandal proved too much for him to handle.

Now let's see how much longer he can keep his Congressional seat.

Stay tuned... This is just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of Republican criminals could be going down over this one.

And it will all be played out over the next election year!

From ABC News: DeLay Resigns as Majority Leader

New Congressional Report Calls Bush Spying Illegal


When will Slippery George be prosecuted and imprisoned for his crimes against America?

From the Washington Post:

Report Rebuts Bush on Spying

Cindy Sheehan says: Get Involved!


She is asking those who oppose the war to kick it up a notch...

The Opposite of Good is Apathy

Florida Court Throws Out Jeb's Voucher Scheme


By Linda Kleindienst Tribune Newspapers: South Florida Sun-Sentinel Published January 6, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.

-- The state Supreme Court on Thursday struck down Florida's landmark school voucher law--the only statewide voucher program in the country and a cornerstone of education reforms championed by Gov. Jeb Bush.

In a 5-2 decision, justices ruled that the Opportunity Scholarship Program violates a constitutional mandate that the state provides for a "uniform, effective, safe, secure and high quality system of public schools" by illegally siphoning off public dollars to benefit private schools.

A disappointed Bush vowed to find a way to continue the 1999 program although he has no specific plan yet. He credited the threat of students leaving failing public schools with helping to boost individual student test scores and school grades.

Cheney Walks With Cane (for Sympathy?)


"Big Dick" Cheney seems to be de-evolving before our eyes... Could make the case for "Intelligent Design..." (arf, arf!)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Chow Time Again!!!




Alright fine... So I am eating again... Big Deal!!






Don't know why my owner 'Mr. Wonderful' has to pull out the damn camera every time I get hungry...

Girls gotta eat too... (Sheesh...)

Anyway... Interesting stories below:

We got Wartime Desertion, Alleged Felonies, Illegal Spying, Political Graft and Corruption and the Slaughter of Innocent Human Beings not to mention Extreme Amnesia (Osama who?) and Malfeseance.

And you don't even have to leave the Oval Office to find most of it!

So enjoy the latest entries and don't forget to click at the bottom of any post to comment on anything that you feel might be sponge-worthy...

Have a good weekend,

Molly the Pup

US Marine Held for Deserting 40 Years Ago


Here we have the case of a Marine who is charged with deserting 40 years ago.

Yet Slippery George Bush never reported to his National Guard unit from May of 1972 to October, 1973... A period of over a year. So when will this Draft-Dodging, Coke-Head, War-Deserter ever by brought to justice?

I believe that Gary Trudeau, author of Doonesbury is still offering a reward of $10,000 for anyone who can prove they saw Bush doing his Guard duty at all during this period, and $50,000 to anyone who can prove they saw him serving at his assigned duty station of Dannelly Air Force Base.

The law makes it very clear that there is no Statute of Limitations against the crime of Desertion. And Bush was alleged to have deserted during a time of war!

Now I am just a 'lil Boston Terrier puppy, but the "guy that feeds me," served eight years in the US Navy, and he is furious that such a traitor and criminal can be allowed to walk among patriotic Americans, let alone sit in the Oval office.

Bush Ignored Explicit Warnings in 2002 About Mine Safety


From the Sirtoa Blog

Even the John Birch Society Wants Bush Impeached!


Interesting Poll

Thursday, January 05, 2006

White House Told NSA Briefings Broke The Law

From the Associated Press

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

From Maureen Dowd


It's Not Personal Jack, It's Strictly Business...

Did Bush Illegally Spy on CNN's Amanpour?


Why did NBC's Andrea Mitchell ask that of James Risen (the man who originally reported the illegal NSA spying?)

It is getting harder by the day to trust a criminal like Slippery George Bush.

Story here

Wednesday's WH Press Briefing


At the White House Press Briefing, here are some of the questions McClellan tried to tap dance around today:



When the President went to the Pentagon, did he ask about the dropping of a bomb on a home, killing nine children and grandchildren, and so forth? I mean, is this how we go after the rebels?

How can you justify killing children and grandchildren at home?

A new Gallup Poll shows that 49 percent of the American public think most members of Congress are corrupt. Does the President agree?

Abramoff raised more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign, and the campaign has given back, like, $6,000. Why aren't they giving back more?

If you have all of these powers under Article II of the Constitution and the authorization for use of force, why do you even need these controversial provisions of the Patriot Act?

The President's speech today at the Pentagon as far as terrorism and fighting terrorism is concerned, do you think that Osama bin Laden is still in -- is running the al Qaeda business?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, who?

Osama bin Laden.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Intelligent Design Relegated to the History Books


From the Associated Press: Intelligent Design backers on the Dover, KS school board thrown out of office by voters. New board removed Intelligent Design from cirriculum as first act.

"Board Recinds Intelligent Design Policy"

This Modern World


It's a new This Modern World! (Starring Molly's dad Sparky...)

This week: "The Shocking Allegations"

From the NewsHog Blog!


Inside the diseased mind of a Republican...

Monday, January 02, 2006


I am grabbing a bite at the moment... It is wise not to get between a puppy and her cream...

But I found a good article about the empty brain of Slippery George...

From digbysblog:

Clearing The Ranchette

by digby

This is the wierdest damned article I've read in ages. I knew that Junior did the brush clearing thing, but I assumed that he did it for photo-op purposes. It turns out that he's actually obsessed with it.

He's obsessed with brush clearing.

On most of the 365 days he has enjoyed at his secluded ranch here, President Bush's idea of paradise is to hop in his white Ford pickup truck in jeans and work boots, drive to a stand of cedars, and whack the trees to the ground.

If the soil is moist enough, he will light a match and burn the wood. If it is parched, as it is across Texas now, the wood will sit in piles scattered over the 1,600-acre spread until it is safe for a ranch hand to torch -- or until the president can come home and do the honors himself.

President Bush, shown clearing cedar at his Crawford, Tex., ranch in 2002, has not lost his enthusiasm for the task during recent trips to what aides call the Western White House.

Sometimes this activity is the only official news to come out of what aides call the Western White House. For five straight days since Monday, when Bush retreated to the ranch for his Christmas sojourn, a spokesman has announced that the president, in between intelligence briefings, calls to advisers and bicycling, has spent much of his day clearing brush.

This might strike many Washingtonians as a curious pastime. It does burn a lot of calories. But brush clearing is dusty, it is exhausting (the president goes at it in 100 degree-plus heat), and it is earsplitting, requiring earplugs to dull the chain saw's buzz.

For Bush, who is known to spend early-morning hours hacking at unwanted mesquite, cocklebur weeds, hanging limbs and underbrush only to go back for more after lunch, it borders on obsession.


The president of the United States likes to spend his suburban ranchette vacation killing time cutting stuff down with a chainsaw and then torching it. Holy shit. Does it get any more symbolic than that?

(It reminds me of the tales his pals told about his childhood, stuffing frogs with firecrackers and blowing them up.)

Certainly the 1,583 acres of rugged canyons and rocky hillsides, creeks and pasture land on Prairie Chapel Ranch contain a lot of brush. Bush, a creature of habit, is not in danger of finishing the job. The Bush ranch, however, is not a working ranch. The president has kept only a handful of cattle on the property since Kenneth Engelbrecht, who sold him the former hog farm six years ago, stopped leasing back some pasture land that supported a herd of cows.

[...]

Real ranchers, who need to clear a whole lot of brush for pasture land, either hire someone to spray herbicides from the air or run an excavator through it. They tend to tend cattle, several said.

Bush, by contrast, practices a selective, do-it-yourself sculpting to enhance his enjoyment of his property, local experts say. He will clear underbrush to preserve beautiful live oaks and pecan trees, or to prepare the 50 acres where Laura Bush is cultivating native grasses, or to help carve nature trails through the ranch's many canyons.

"It's a selective control of the brush," said Sam Middleton, owner of a West Texas ranch brokerage, who added that this enhances a ranch's value.

Then again, there will be times when the president drives around his property and "will see a stand of cedar trees and say 'Let's clear those,' " said Joseph Hagin, Bush's deputy chief of staff, who has been cutting brush with his boss all week. They do not talk a lot of policy over the sound of their chain saws, he said.



You can't compare this to his bicycling or running obsessions, because those have a certain meditative yet thrilling physical challenge. This is something else entirely. This is the the only thing he can think of to do when he isn't running or biking. Mindless, loud, repetitive manual labor. It's like obsessively jackhammering sidewalks for fun.

A reader wrote me an e-mail asking me what conclusions I had come to about Bush after all this time. Is he evil? Is he stupid? Is he a religious fanatic, a spoiled frat boy, what?

I haven't actually changed my mind from the first impression I had of him when he said "Christ. He changed my life" in answer to the debate question about favorite political philosophers. He's simple but well-trained. And he hasn't changed. The person we have been watching for the last five years is the same inarticulate, testy, arrogant and shallow, rich mediocrity he was when he took office.

He's also as laughably robotic and unresponsive as ever. (Only Scott McClellan is less spontaneous.) But the Republicans discovered that if the president doesn't submit himself to spontaneous situations and is disciplined in his message, people will get used to it after a while and stop expecting him to actually answer questions. This was new. Reagan wasn't a genius, but he understood the public after a lifetime of training in what they wanted from a celebrity. He also had a good sense of humor and great timing. He was very capable of dealing with the press. Clinton was a master of detail who could riff on anything. His intellect and his obvious enjoyment in governing prepared him to answer any question that was thrown at him. Bush senior was bumbling but professional. He responded.

Junior simply doesn't engage unless he is forced to, seeing encounters with the press as nothing more than an oppportunity to get out the message of the day and run out the clock. He is a living stone wall who speaks in strange parables and cliches and sometimes just pure gibberish. He falters, he stammers, he looks uncomforatble and weak. Yet he was until fairly recently perceived by most to be a strong and resolute leader. (The post 9/11 delusion was some powerful mojo.)

I know that it's not considered wise to "misunderestimate" him and I've heard many people say that he's got political acumen that we elitist nerds just don't get. I don't believe it. I know what I see. The man has been in over his head since the day he entered the presidential race and he's still in over his head. 9/11 got him reelected in 2004, but he and his administration have been hanging on by their fingernails since the day they took office. They wear suits and ties and say sir and ma'm, but it's all to cover for the fact that they had no idea how to govern and by now it's clear they never will.

I see a man who is barely holding back his panic; a man who clings to his pathetic "war president" image like a talisman. He looks confused and hurt by the criticism he's receiving from people who he thought bought into the program and reportedly knows on some level that he's been duped by his advisors. He has no choice but to keep barreling along pretending that he knows what he's doing. He barks at underlings and pretends to be in charge even as he gets more and more confused. He's distanced from his father, the one person everyone thought could help guide this callow airhead if the shit came down. He trusts no one now.

So he clears brush like a madman everytime he gets the chance, hiding behind his Oakley's, blessedly unable to hear anything over the sound of chainsaws ---- maybe even the voices inside his head that remind him that he's still got three more years of this horrible responsibility he knows he cannot handle.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!! (From Molly the Puppy...)



A little under the weather from last night's barking at Regis Filbin at Times Square... My owner thought it would be a good idea to slip me a few teaspoon's full of Brandy Alexander from his glass last night... (What a maroon...)

So this intrepid puppy is still laying a bit low this morning nursing a Great Dane sized hangover, and waiting for Mr. Wonderful to finally get out of bed and give me something to eat...

But nothing is discouraging me from my hopes for the New Year. Slippery George, Big Dick Cheney and all other Enemies of Democracy are on the run. I believe that this will be the year that finally turns the tide against those who have worked to oppress all that is decent and good about America.

The only regret I have is that we can't get back to the America that we once knew without doing the hard work that lies ahead. I hope next year at this time to be howling with glee and running in circles as we welcome in a Democratic House and Senate! The next step will be to undo all of the damage that BushCo and company have done to the fabric or our nation.

We must undo the tax cuts, re-fund social programs, schools and health care for those who truly need them, start prosecuting corporate cheats, and those who would harm our environment for the sake of quarterly profit.
And this is just the tip of the iceburg...

For the sake of Democracy, examples must be made of those who would ignore the law that ALL Americans must follow. From Abu-Grahb to insider trading, to desertion at wartime, to illegally spying on Americans, that criminal behind the desk in the Oval Office must be stopped COLD!


We must also rejoin the world as the example of freedom and ethics that we were before Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court. We need to join the International War Crimes Commission, and let the chips fall where they may in relation to illegally invading countries who were no threat to us, or in relation to torture, war profiteering, prisoner rendition, stealing natural resources without proper compensation, slaughtering 10's of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq, as well as the many other war crimes perpetrated in YOUR name by the sadly deluded George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the lying Neo-Cons.

Since the 80's, what WMDs did Hussein ever have that weren't given to them by Don Rumsfeld working for Ronald Reagan?
We also need to sign on the line and onto the Kyoto Protocol and do our part to stop the destruction of our atmosphere.

And we need to renew our commitment to nuclear disarmament! Before George Bush came along, we were actually working with Russia and the Soviet Bloc to dismantle and destroy nuclear warheads. That was one of the first programs Bush cut as he also tore up our nuclear treaties with Russia so he could build Star Wars in violation of our oath not to do so. I hope that the nation learns in 2006 that Star Wars isn't about protecting Americans, it is all about spending 100 billion dollars to line the pockets of Slippery Georges slippery corporate buddies.

Well, I hope it all starts coming home to roost for this White House in 2006!!! But as you can see, we all have a lot of work to do... It will start by supporting and volunteering for progressive candidates in your voting district in 2006. And VOTE! No matter how few machines they put in your polling place, or how long the lines are in Democratic preceincts because of it. VOTE! No matter how many times the police state tries to disqualify you. Make sure that you check about three weeks before the election with your local Supervisor of Elections to ensure that they haven't cowardly removed you from the registration, and make sure that you know where your voting place is. (That's another game the anti-American fascists like to play... Change your voting place, then 'forget' to tell you where it is.) And... If they are using voting machines that do not create a permanent printed record of your vote that you can verify before you leave the voting booth... Haunt your Supervisor of Elections, and local and national representatives until they DO!!! If they say that they don't have the money, ask them how they can spend $250 BILLION to bring democracy to Iraq, but can't spend a few million to guarantee democracy in our own backyard.

And while you have your politician on the phone... Ask them what action they have taken in the past week to investigate the illegal warrantless searches of Americans by the Bush Administration... If they haven't taken any action, or start tap-dancing around it, just tell them that you will be calling back next week for a more complete answer as well as an additional progress report. Congress isn't gonna do squat about this criminal activity unless we call them, and call them over and over...

Because they don't give a damn about the rights of Americans, or their sworn responsibilities to protect America and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Unless we remind of their duties, and do it as often as we can.

I hear Mr. Wonderful starting to hack on his cigarette in the bedroom... Time to nip him on the ear, and get him to make me something yummy...

Regards,

Molly the Progressive Puppy.

Both Bush and Nixon Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably

From John Dean over at FindLaw: The FISA law was enacted in 1979 to ensure that no President had ANY excuse to evesdrop on persons within the United States without a warrant. They even allowed for up to 72 hours of searches without a warrant, as long as they eventually went to the court and obtained one within 72 hours.

Conducting warantless searches of Americans was one of the three Articles of Impeachment presented against Richard M. Nixon before he resigned like a coward.

Let the new investigations and impeachments begin...

White House denies calling for probe

Slippery George just can't stop spying OR lying... He states publicly that he expects an investigation into the honest Americans who exposed his felonies against the American People, then he denies asking his Justice Department to investigate the leak???

How stupid does he think we are?

From The Courier-Mail in Australia

Dollars to doughnuts, Bush's drug benefit is no bargain

Some honest discusion about Bush's multi-Billion dollar giveaway to the HMO's and drug companies.

Bush's drug benefit is of no benefit to those it is supposed to help.

From Robert Kutner of the Boston Globe.

Heck of a Job, Bushie!

A good article about how Slippery George has failed on just about every policy he has touched in the past year.

Now that we are all getting wise to his strutting cowboy BS, this job can't be as much fun anymore... (poor 'lil baby...)

(Keep walking George...)

From Paul Krugman of the New York Times.

Republicans Bankrupting America!

Treasury Secretary and Republican apointee John Snow wants Congress to raise the debt ceiling for the fourth time in four years!

From the Washington Post: