Republican or Democrat, American or Foreign, the politicos are fine subject for speculation, rumination and a bit of derision
Not Even Feingold Stuck Around
One of the biggest giggles these past weeks across the political spectrum is Russ Feingold’s attempt to boost his 2008 presidential campaign by offering a suggestion to censure the President for the NSA wiretaps.
This is an act for which the American populace offers a collective ho-hum because, silly Americans, they have no problem with intercepting phone calls between so-called American citizens and terrorists abroad.
Now Feingold is a Democrat and I watched his boring and politically expedient speech with my own eyes the day he suggested the President be censured. The most galling, the most despicable of all, even beyond the silly actions described below by the WAPO, has to be how Feingold didn’t even stick around after his speech! Indeed he ran like the dickens because the beloved cameras were waiting.
Democratic senators, filing in for their weekly caucus lunch yesterday, looked as if they’d seen a ghost.
“I haven’t read it,” demurred Barack Obama (Ill.).
“I just don’t have enough information,” protested Ben Nelson (Neb.). “I really can’t right now,” John Kerry (Mass.) said as he hurried past a knot of reporters — an excuse that fell apart when Kerry was forced into an awkward wait as Capitol Police stopped an aide at the magnetometer. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) brushed past the press pack, shaking her head, and waving her hand over her shoulder. When an errant food cart blocked her entrance to the meeting room, she tried to hide from reporters behind the 4-foot-11 Barbara Mikulski (Md.).
Hillary hid behind my own former Senator Barbara Mikulski? Mikulski’s what, maybe four and a half feet tall! What a bunch of cowards.
How About Those Saddam Documents?
The government, under pressure from the Blogosphere and Congress, has begun putting non-classified documents on a web site available to the public.Government Site for Iraqi Document Release.
Already bloggers have circled the wagons and mind-boggling revelations are pouring forth.
Like this, from Laura Mansfield:
March 17, 2006: Documents confirm Saddam Hussein government knew Zarqawi headed Al Qaeda cell in Iraq in August 2002
Documents released Thursday by the US government show that less than a year after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Saddam Hussein’s government had identified at least one active Al Qaeda cell in his country.
Among the Iraqi documents collected by U.S. intelligence during the Iraq war amd released Thursday is a document, released only in Arabic, which the US government describes as follows:
2002 Iraqi Intelligence Correspondence concerning the presence of al-Qaeda Members in Iraq. Correspondence between IRS members on a suspicion, later confirmed, of the presence of an Al-Qaeda terrorist group. Moreover, it includes photos and names.
But it gets better.
FreeRepublic has an Arab translator, a delightful fellow who was quoted in the Boston Globe, who is working diligently to translate the documents. The site has compiled all of these translations for easy access and major media are checking them out.
So far translated documents reveal that Iraqi intelligence officials met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan, that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction with details on a meeting on how to hide them from U.N. inspectors, and that Russia was passing U.S. intelligence on to Saddam.
Isn’t it about time we look deep into what Saddam was up to via these documents and stop the teeth-gnashing over a war the vast majority of our elected representatives voted for?
These translations are currently flying under the national radar but give it time. The truth simply cannot be ignored. Especially truth recorded, videotaped, and scribed by the enemy.
Bloggers in the Cross Hairs of Campaign Finance Reform
I cannot stomach John McCain, ever since the man stomped all over my free speech rights with that ridiculous campaign finance reform act, in conjunction with that great American patriot, Russ Feingold, I might add.
Now McCain, aligned with Joseph Lieberman, is trying to quash so-called “grass roots” organizations. This would include bloggers.
Oh. But only if your blog is read by over 500 people. So my personal blog would be exempt from whatever ridiculous rules the congress critters want to use to cripple ordinary citizens from Internet discourse. But Blogcritics, where I also post, will have to shut down political talk one month before an election. This is if the new law follows the pattern of that unconstitutional campaign finance reform nonsense.
The Senate is scheduled to debate lobbying reform shortly after it returns from this week’s recess. While most congressional attention has focused on measures aimed at traditional lobbyists and lawmakers, there also have been attempts to impose restrictive new rules on grass-roots lobbying organizations.
Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., are pushing a proposal to require these organizations to register and to report to Congress on their activities. Failure to comply would result in civil or criminal penalties.
The proposal has grass-roots organizations understandably nervous. Using direct mail, phone banks and the Internet, these groups hail from all points on the political compass and portray themselves, not always accurately, as outsiders to the Washington scene.
The underlying goal for every grass-roots operation is to mobilize an army of citizen activists to support their pet issues. Typically, they encourage the bombardment of congressional offices with constituent communications. Alerted and prodded, citizen activists daily send thousands of letters, e-mails, faxes and phone calls to Congress.
Goodness we can’t be bothering the vaunted congress critters with our emails and faxes. So they’ll pass a law to shut us down.
The California Lodi Trial
It’s anybody’s guess why the mainstream media is ignoring this ongoing trial of terrorists living within the U.S. Maybe these “American citizens” got caught via the NSA intercept program planning their treachery and goodness can’t report about terrorists actually being caught by this program.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A prosecutor says publications promoting jihad and a Pakistani militant group were found in the home of a Lodi father and son who are standing trial on terror-related charges.
Hamid Hayat (hah-MEED’ HY’-et) is being tried on charges of providing material support to terrorists by attending an al-Qaida training camp and separate charges of lying to the FBI. His father, Umer (OO’-mer) Hayat is also charged with lying to the FBI.
The prosecutor told jurors yesterday that FBI agents found the items while searching the family home two days after the men were arrested last June.
The Sound of Silence
Donald Rumsfeld penned his own op-ed recently and it appeared in The Washington Post on St. Patrick’s day. So far, well how can anyone argue with the man?
By Donald H. Rumsfeld
Sunday, March 19, 2006; B07
Some have described the situation in Iraq as a tightening noose, noting that “time is not on our side”and that “morale is down.” Others have described a “very dangerous” turn of events and are “extremely concerned.”
Who are they that have expressed these concerns? In fact, these are the exact words of terrorists discussing Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his associates — who are describing their own situation and must be watching with fear the progress that Iraq has made over the past three years.
The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq. I believe that history will show that to be the case.
Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.
Democrat to Plead Guilty
Scooter Libby lost his job over essentially nothing and this chick from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pleads guilty to illegally obtaining Maryland’s Lt. Governor Michael Steele’s credit report.
And Chuck Schumer, alleged champion of privacy rights, finds time to comment on everything but has no comment on this?
A former Democratic operative will plead guilty to a federal charge of illegally obtaining Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s credit report, the woman’s attorney said yesterday.
Lauren Weiner, who was a researcher for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) last year when she accessed the credit data, will plead guilty to the misdemeanor offense in coming weeks, said her attorney, Whitney C. Ellerman.
She will likely be sentenced to 150 hours of community service with no jail time or fines, and her criminal record will be erased after one year of probation.
Mr. Steele, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, said he would be disappointed if the DSCC is not held accountable for the actions of its operatives.
“It is a stain on the entire organization and the operations of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,” Mr. Steele said yesterday. “It’s the kind of politics that turns people off and demeans the electoral process.”
Selling Ocean Front Property in the Desert to the NY Times
If the story pleases them, the NY Times prints it. Doesn’t have to be true or anything and if it makes America look bad, well there you have it.
In this case, they loved the story about the prisoner at Abu Ghraib pictured with arms extended while standing on a block. During the Abu Ghraib fizzle this picture was featured widely by the mainstream media.
Below, heh, the raw and tragic story by this poor soul.
Almost two years later, Ali Shalal Qaissi’s wounds are still raw.
There is the slight limp, made worse by days tied in uncomfortable positions. And most of all, there are the nightmares of his nearly six-month ordeal at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003 and 2004.
Such prose. This poor fellow has a limp and a mangled hand. All due to the mean American soldiers who so tormented him.
A front-page article last Saturday profiled Ali Shalal Qaissi, identifying him as the hooded man forced to stand on a box, attached to wires, in a photograph from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal of 2003 and 2004. He was shown holding such a photograph. As an article on Page A1 today makes clear, Mr. Qaissi was not that man.
The Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi’s insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi’s account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account. The Pentagon, asked for verification, declined to confirm or deny it.