Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I think I've forgotten most html tags. It has been an embarrassingly long time. A LONG time and I see that my already-paltry readership is not down to single digits.
Well, the good news is that my new job is a good new job. It involves editing at a major humor publication, and it has not left me much time to get all sexy on the blogosphere. But I am trying to get back. This is the first attempt.
So here's something outrageous to get things rolling.
Thanks to reader Samela for pointing out this incredible series in the Chicago Tribune outlining contractor abuses in Iraq. It's rather surprising that no other papers or any of the networks have bothered to report the story (at least that I'm aware of) but I can understand it. The sheer volume on inhumane activity that the Bush administration has endorsed or perpetrated is so huge that it's hard to keep up.
"The top U.S. commander in Iraq has ordered sweeping changes for privatized military support operations after confirming violations of human-trafficking laws and other abuses by contractors involving possibly thousands of foreign workers on American bases, according to records obtained by the Tribune."
It goes on to describe similar situations in Bosnia, in which people were routinely bought and sold as sex slaves—refugees with no home, no recourse, no law to protect them. These are the kinds of war-mongering venture capitalists making things run in Iraq. Heart breaking.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I have to get MSNBC. Keith Olberman is a-double-you-e-some, awesome.
[T]hat hotel balcony crack[by Laura Ingraham] was unforgivable. In was unforgivable to the memory of David Blum, it was unforgivable in considerable of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vought, unforgivable in light of what happened to Michael Kelly and what happened to Michael Weiskopft. It was unforgivable with Jill Carroll still a hostage in Iraq. And it was not only unforgivable of her; it was desperate and it was stupid."
After watching this clip, I said, "Hoooo."
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The Guardian, anyway, is calling it one of the biggest financial frauds of all time. They speak, of course, of the Provisional Government's handling of some $23 Billion for reconstruction in Iraq — money that belonged to the Iraqi people and no one else. Money that was entrusted to the US-run organization by the UN to help the Iraqi people build hospitals and schools and to have clean running water and electricity and all the things a burgeoning deomcracy deserves. Instead, they gave it over to Republican securities firms and cronies to do with what they pleased. One who was there compared the atmosphere to the Old West.
Because the Iraqi banking system was in tatters, the funds were placed in an account with the Federal Reserve in New York. From there, most of the money was flown in cash to Baghdad. Over the first 14 months of the occupation, 363 tonnes of new $100 bills were shipped in - $12bn, in cash. And that is where it all began to go wrong.
One CPA official was given nearly $7m and told to spend it in seven days. "He told our auditors that he felt that there was more emphasis on the speed of spending the money than on the accountability for that money," says Ginger Cruz, the deputy inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction. Not all coalition officials were so honest. Last month Robert Stein Jr, employed as a CPA comptroller in south central Iraq, despite a previous conviction for fraud, pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal more than $2m and taking kickbacks in the form of cars, jewellery, cash and sexual favours. It seems certain he is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a further 50 criminal investigations under way.
Another embarrassment, another blight, another crime in this terrible war.
When the revolution comes, Britt Hume will be first against wall.
He simply cannot see anything wrong with BushCo at all, and Bill Kristol (who is one of the main architects of the Iraq War and the global domination program) rips Britt a new one over Feingold's censure motion.
Hume: "That is absurd. No politician among those who have been thoroughly briefed on this claims the briefings were insufficient and vague…Rockefeller does not claim that. Rockefeller has said many things about this program, but he has never said that he wasn't fully briefed that I know of."
Which is, of course, more bull from one of the blind spouters. Britt thinks censure is completely motivated, the impeachment is wacko timfoil hat talk, and that the public is wildly in favor of wiretapping.
Oh, silent majority?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
The wise and mighty Bill Frist responds to Russ Feingold's censure resolution. Some excerpts.
The Presiden't of the United States is out there fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban and Osama bin Laden
destroy... all the families who are listening to us...
Russ is... dead...
...think back to 9-11...
...War On Terror...
...there is... a lack of support for our Commander-In-Chief...
...there is no crack...
Bush is out there fighting terrorists?
Threatening to kill a US Senator?
You're not making any sense, Bill!
Even though Jefferson and Washington never spent lazy afternoons throwing the old baseball around, Russ Feingold, that hero from the North, says Bush is about to strike the eff out.
Mr. President, return to the law. Return to our system of government.
Put Feingold in charge.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Crooks and Liars has kind of been my saving grace these past couple weeks. I rarely have the stomach to watch the news anymore, so watching Quicktime clips of the relevent conversations -- enlightening or enraging -- is a nice alternative. Today they have a very impressive interview from Face the Nation with John Murtha, who lays out the arguments against BushCo's strategy - ahem - in Iraq so plainly and intelligently that everyone with a TV should see it. And he also makes the provocative but completely true assessment that the only ones who want us there are Iran, al Qaeda and China. Worth watching if you haven't seen it already.