Archive for December, 2004

Bush for President … Of Iraq

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

LA Times > Opinion > Morrison > The Perfect Candidate for Iraq

Some time around high noon EST, three weeks from today, George W. Bush will be sworn in for a second term as president, or as some of us think of it, “Dubya Dubya Too.”

Ten days after that, Iraqis will strap on their body armor and go to the polls to vote for leaders of their own. More than 100 slates of candidates are in the running, but I know whom Iraq voters’ choice should be. Who better to govern Iraq than the man who broke it, bought it and now pledges to put it back together again: George W. Bush?
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REPUB JUDGE SLAMS BUSH TERROR POLICIES

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Life & Leisure News Article | Reuters.com

Far from the typical corporate Christmas card, a former U.S. federal judge’s law firm is embracing controversy with holiday cards showing the historic Supreme Court session where he sucessfully challenged the Bush administration’s treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Even more unusually, the attorney who argued the case before the nation’s highest court is a Republican and former federal appeals judge appointed by President Richard Nixon.

“Human rights issues are not Republican or Democratic issues,” said John Gibbons, whose arguments led to the Supreme Court’s landmark June ruling that foreign terror suspects held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba can have access to U.S. courts.

Wal-Mart: Crusher of Dreams

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Rockridge Institute - Big-Box Battle

When Betty Dukes, a 56-year-old African-American Wal-Mart worker in Pittsburg, California, first read about Sam Walton, the founder of the world’s largest retailer, she felt inspired. “I learned that Sam Walton had a profound vision and started Wal-Mart on a faith venture,” she said. “I have always deeply appreciated his visionary spirit and his efforts to reach for the stars.”

Never did she imagine that she’d become the lead plaintiff in a class-action sex-discrimination suit against Wal-Mart. In Selling Women Short, veteran journalist Liza Featherstone uses this historic lawsuit as a way to explore and expose the new face of the working poor in America: low-wage, mostly female retail workers. In 2000, Dukes joined five other women in the largest employment-discrimination case ever brought against a private employer.

The suit charges Wal-Mart with systematic discrimination against women in pay, promotion, and job assignments, and with maintaining a corporate culture that encourages sex discrimination. Four of the six plaintiffs are Christian fundamentalists. Of the 100 women who have joined the suit, many are conservative Republicans who have never had much sympathy for feminism or unions.
Most of them believed that Wal-Mart was a moral, Christian company where they’d be rewarded for their hard work. When they repeatedly bumped up against a corporate culture that ignored their talents and discriminated against them, they felt deeply betrayed.

DeLay Gets Speaker to Remove Threat?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

House Ethics Panel Chief May Be Replaced (washingtonpost.com)

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is leaning toward removing the House ethics committee chairman, who admonished House Majority Leader Tom DeLay this fall and has said he will treat DeLay like any other member, several Republican aides said yesterday.

Although Hastert (Ill.) has not made a decision, the expectation among leadership aides is that the chairman, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), long at odds with party leaders because of his independence, will be replaced when Congress convenes next week.

Is Their Faith So Fragile They Cannot Read About Another Religion?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

CNN.com - Conservative students, liberal profs - Dec 28, 2004

At the University of North Carolina, three incoming freshmen sue over a reading assignment they say offends their Christian beliefs.

In Colorado and Indiana, a national conservative group publicizes student allegations of left-wing bias by professors. Faculty get hate mail and are pictured in mock “wanted” posters; at least one college says a teacher received a death threat.
And at Columbia University in New York, a documentary film alleging that teachers intimidate students who support Israel draws the attention of administrators.

Happy New Year from SoonerThought!

Monday, December 27th, 2004

Peace on Earth.

How Much More?

Friday, December 24th, 2004

The men and woman (yes, Candiliar Rice, you are in this group) who ill-planned, ill-equipped and ill-executed this illegal war, at the very least, should be required to spend time with each family of every military person killed or wounded in Iraq. Then they should do the same thing with the families of each Iraqi killed. In addition to getting a better insight into the misery and pain their actions have cause, they wouldn’t have any time left to plan more insanity. The reasons for this invasion and occupation have mutated so many times the Bushites don’t even remember why they ordered the military into Iraq. But one thing remains clear: these people are war criminals and need to be held accountable for their murderous actions.–Jake

Families Pay the Price

By Bob Herbert

“It’s like watching your son playing in traffic, and there’s nothing you can do.” - Janet Bellows, mother of a soldier who has been assigned to a second tour in Iraq.

Back in the 1960’s, when it seemed as if every other draftee in the Army was being sent to Vietnam, I was sent off to Korea, where I was assigned to the intelligence office of an engineer battalion.

Twenty years old and half a world away from home, I looked forward to mail call the way junkies craved their next fix. My teenage sister, Sandy, got all of her high school girlfriends to write to me, which led some of the guys in my unit to think I was some kind of Don Juan. I considered it impolite to correct any misconceptions they might have had.
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Help Piss Off Bill O’Reilly

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

“So, every day The Radio Factor’s on the air, we have these creeps — and they really are the most vile, despicable human beings in the country — who listen to every word of the program.”

– Bill O’Reilly, The Radio Factor, December 9, 2004

Before Media Matters for America, the right-wing media operated with total impunity. Now we listen, watch, and record hours of programming as we monitor the media for conservative misinformation. Many on the right have lashed out at us because they do not want their lies and distortions exposed.

We will not back down or waver because of such attacks by the conservative media. Bill O’Reilly is just one part of the problem. We promise you, our loyal supporters, to remain steadfast in our monitoring of the media, but we need your help to do this!

CLICK HERE.

Honor Cal Hobson

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

You are Invited to

A Gala Salute in honor of Senator Cal Hobson

President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate

Representative Jari Askins

Democratic Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives

and the

Democratic Members of the 50th Oklahoma Legislature

Coca-Cola Bricktown Special Events Center

Oklahoma City

Saturday, January 22, 2005

7 p.m.

Black tie optional

Individual tickets may be purchased for $75

Table sponsorships are available for $1000 per table of 8

Table sponsors will be included in a pre-event reception and will automatically be a

2005 Rooster Club Member.

Make checks payable to the

Oklahoma Democratic Party

with the attached form or fax the form with your credit card information to

405-427-1310

For further information or to RSVP please call 405-427-3366 or visit our website at www.okdemocrats.org

Your New Year’s Resolution: Subscribe to SoonerThought!

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

Just enter your email address in the box on the top left of your screen foR periodic email updates from SoonerThought! And don’t forget, we can use your help paying our hosting fees–just click on the box on the right side of your screen to help out–every dollar counts!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

Alex, Jake and Greg
SoonerThought.com

OK County Party Officers’ Holiday Message

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

Click on “Read More” below for a holiday message from the Oklahoma County Democratic Party Officers.

It has been a tough year for these folks, who inherited a crippling debt and a shattered leadership structure–for reasons best not discussed here–which basically decimated the gains made by longtime former Chairman Jeff Hamilton’s previous administrations. SoonerThought wishes Kitti, Ron and Lynn all the best next year.
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IS BUSH A WAR CRIMINAL?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

The Australian: FBI email embroils Bush in jail abuse [December 23, 2004]
FBI email embroils Bush in jail abuse
Correspondents in Washington
December 23, 2004

THE White House says it expects new documented accounts of torture at Guantanamo Bay to be “fully investigated”, but has denied claims George W. Bush personally approved the use of abusive methods against detainees at the US prison camp.

Responding to documents obtained by the leading US civil liberties group, White house spokesman Scott McClellan said any allegations of torture had to be taken seriously.

“People need to be held accountable and brought to justice if they’re involved in wrongdoing,” he said.

“Preventive measures and corrective measures must be put in place to prevent it from happening again.”

He rejected claims the US President had issued an order allowing inhuman interrogation methods against detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, saying there was “no executive order relating to interrogation techniques. When it comes to military detainees and interrogation methods, those are determinations made by the US Department of Defence”.

But the American Civil Liberties Union released copies of a two-page FBI email dated May 22 that refers repeatedly to an executive order signed by Mr Bush which, according to the ACLU statement, “states the President directly authorised interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and sensory deprivation through the use of hoods”.

The FBI email was sent to a number of senior FBI officials from “On Scene Commander — Baghdad”. It states that the bureau had prohibited its agents from employing the techniques Mr Bush had authorised.

Other documents made public by the ACLU under freedom of information legislation include:

A heavily edited “Urgent Report” in June addressed to FBI director Robert Mueller, mentioning that an FBI agent “observed numerous physical abuse incidents of Iraqi civilian detainees”, including “strangulation, beatings, and placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees’ ear openings”.

The document states that “(blanked out) was providing this account to the FBI based on his knowledge that (blanked out) were engaged in a cover-up of these abuses”.

An August 2 email from another FBI agent who witnessed Guantanamo detainees under interrogation shackled hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor for 18 to 24 hours at a time, and most had “urinated or defecated” on themselves.
One detainee was held in an unventilated room at a temperature “probably well over 100 degrees (38C)”.

“The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night,” the agent wrote.

A July 30 FBI agent’s account of an interrogation at Guantanamo “apparently conducted by Defence Department personnel — in which a detainee was wrapped in an Israeli flag and bombarded with loud music and strobe lights”.

Suggestions two US army officers were involved in the deaths of at least two detainees in Iraq.