Archive for December, 2006

U.S. military deaths in Iraq reach 3,000 

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

U.S. military deaths in Iraq reach 3,000 | News One | Reuters.com

EXCERPT:
The number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq has reached 3,000 since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, an authoritative Web site tracking war deaths said on Sunday.

The milestone comes as President George W. Bush weighs options, including more troops, for the deteriorating situation in Iraq, where daily violence plagues Baghdad and much of the country and has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis.

The Web site, www.icasualties.org, listed the death of Spec. Dustin R. Donica, 22, on December 28 as previously unreported, and said that 3,000 U.S. military personnel had now died.

Chavez to shut down opposition TV

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Hugo, Hugo, Hugo…you are falling for the oldest temptation in the book. Too bad.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Chavez to shut down opposition TV
“There will be no new operating licence for this coupist TV channel called RCTV. The operating licence is over… So go and turn off the equipment,” Mr Chavez said.

Hillary falls to earth in poll race

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Hillary falls to earth in poll race - Sunday Times - Times Online

EXCERPT:

Unfortunately for Senator Hillary Clinton, long the front-runner in the Democratic drive to retake the presidency, most of them are coming at her expense.

 

A brace of Christmas opinion polls has left Clinton with a political hangover after a year that had appeared to cement her status as the Democrats’ best-organised, best-financed and best-connected contender for her party’s presidential nomination.

Despite winning re-election to the US Senate by a handsome margin in mid-term voting last month, Clinton has had little to celebrate as polls from the presidential primary battlegrounds signalled early trouble for her historic bid to become America’s first woman president.

In Iowa, the Midwestern state that will once again open the primary season with its caucus votes on January 14, 2008, Clinton slumped to fourth place with only 10% of the vote in a survey of 600 likely Democratic voters.

In New Hampshire, which will hold the first full primary eight days later, Clinton had appeared to be cruising comfortably with a 23-point lead over her Democrat rivals — until last weekend, when a poll in the Concord Monitor newspaper showed her only one point ahead of Senator Barack Obama, the comparative political newcomer who is considering a similarly historic attempt to become America’s first black president.

The End of the Year Podcast and Our First Ever Eurosatan CD on Sale Now!

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

 

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Harry Shearer: Woodward Drops the Pardon Bomb, Pundits Owe Nation an Apology

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Eat The Press | Harry Shearer: Woodward Drops the Pardon Bomb, Pundits Owe Nation an Apology | The Huffington Post

Get the New Orleans: Big Easy to Big Empty DVD

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Palast Investigative Fund - » New Orleans: Big Easy to Big EmptyDVD

Some Lawmakers Will Be Missed on Hill

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Some Lawmakers Will Be Missed on Hill - New York Times

EXCERPT:

It’s just not going to be the same. When the new Congress convenes next month, a few high achievers and a few lawmakers known more for being characters than for their legislative skills won’t be around.

Some left by choice, others rejected by voters in what President Bush called a Democratic ‘’thumping'’ of his fellow Republicans in November. A few — such as Florida’s Katherine Harris, former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne — reached for the brass ring of higher office and fell short.

A couple of those most prominent among the missing are Democrats, but most are Republicans.

Whether cherished for their political skills or their entertainment value, they leave a vacuum.

Among them:

–Sen. Bill Frist, the heart transplant surgeon and heir to a hospital fortune who switched to a political career in mid-life and — in his typical overachiever fashion — became the Senate’s majority leader just eight years later.

Courting religious conservatives for a presidential bid in 2008, he tripped while dealing with the case of severely brain-damaged Terry Schiavo, misdiagnosing her condition using a video tape. Last month he abandoned the race for the White House, deciding to return to Tennessee.

–Rep. Katherine Harris, the former Florida secretary of state who was instrumental in delivering Florida’s contested electoral votes and the White House to President Bush in 2000. She coveted Democrat Bill Nelson’s seat in the Senate to the consternation of state and national Republican leaders, who couldn’t find anyone to challenge her in the primary. Her campaign staffers quit in droves in response to her temper tantrums and she took to the airwaves to say non-Christian officials would ‘’legislate sin.'’ She lost to Nelson, but said we haven’t seen the last of her — she’s promised a tell-all book on her doomed campaign.

–Sen. George Allen of Virginia, who lost to Republican-turned Democratic challenger Jim Webb by a fraction of a percentage point. The son of a former Washington Redskins coach, Allen favored cowboy hats and boots and chewing tobacco. He also was on the way to a presidential bid in 2008 — until he described a Webb staffer of Indian descent as ‘’macaca'’ — a reference to a type of monkey — and the video found its way to the press and onto the Internet.

–Sen. Conrad Burns, a former broadcaster who also courted the cowboy image and whose mouth also kept him in trouble. Over the years, Burns has apologized for remarks offensive to blacks, Arabs and firefighters and denied making remarks offensive to women that two flight attendants attributed to him. Burns was a big victim of the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Even though returned or gave away the approximately $150,000 he received from Abramoff, his associates and his clients, Burns still lost to Democrat Jon Tester by fewer than 3,000 votes.

–Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney, R-Ga., who earlier this month introduced a bill on the last day of the 109th Congress to impeach Bush. A liberal firebrand, McKinney relished her reputation as a rebel. She questioned whether Bush knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but kept quiet to allow defense contractors to profit and accused former Vice President Al Gore of having a ‘’low Negro tolerance level.'’ Last March, McKinney entered a Capitol office building unrecognized and refused a police officer’s request to stop. When he tried to stop her, she struck him. She apologized, but lost her seat anyway to a Democratic primary challenger.

–Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, another Republican who at one time had his eyes on the White House. His opposition to abortion and gay marriage — plus his youthful looks and tireless energy — made him a poster child for conservatives. He penned a 2005 book, ‘’It Takes a Family: Conservatism and Common Good,'’ to counter Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ‘’It Takes a Village.'’ But his sometimes abrasive style alienated voters in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, and they replaced him with an anti-abortion Democrat, Bill Casey.

–Sen. Mark Dayton, a multimillionaire department store heir who spent about $12 million of his own money to win a Senate seat in 2000 but then decided he didn’t have enough money to fund a re-election campaign in 2006. A Democrat, Dayton was widely ridiculed for closing his Washington office during the 2004 summer congressional recess, saying a secret intelligence report made him fear for his staff’s safety.

[…]

–Rep. Tom Osborne, R-Neb., who gave up his House seat to run for governor but lost the Republican primary to sitting Gov. Dave Heineman. Osborne is still best known as the Cornhuskers’ head coach, winning three national championships during his last four years there before finding a second career in politics. His supporters — including 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers — lobbied voters to write his name in on the ballot after he lost the primary to Heineman. He declined, saying, ‘’You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game.'’

–Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., a master of policy intricacies disliked and even feared for his testy impatience. Holding one of the most powerful jobs in Washington, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he never lost the mannerisms of the California college professor he once was, lecturing fellow lawmakers and reporters — often sarcastically — about taxes, Medicare, trade policy and Social Security. He once called out the Capitol police to break up a meeting of Democrats on his committee, then expressed regret in tears.

–Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., at 82 ending a 32-year House career in which he was best known for his tireless battles against abortion rights and his leading role in the impeachment of President Clinton, is ending a 32-year House career. He authored legislation prohibiting federal funding of abortions. The U.S. Supreme Court declared the ‘’Hyde amendment'’ constitutional in 1980.

Saddam’s Time Running Out, His Death Will Be Videotaped

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Saddam’s Time Running Out, U.S. Takes First Step Toward Handing Him Over To Iraqi Authorities - CBS News

EXCERPT:

“We will video everything… All documentation will be videoed. Taking him [Saddam Hussein] from his cell to the execution is going to be videoed, and the actual execution will be documented and videoed.”

Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq - washingtonpost.com

EXCERPT:

Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. “I don’t think I would have gone to war,” he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford’s own administration.

In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford “very strongly” disagreed with the current president’s justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney — Ford’s White House chief of staff — and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford’s chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

 

President Gerald R. Ford, center, with Chief of Staff Donald H. Rumsfeld, left, and Rumsfeld's assistant, Dick Cheney, on April 28, 1975.

President Gerald R. Ford, center, with Chief of Staff Donald H. Rumsfeld, left, and Rumsfeld’s assistant, Dick Cheney, on April 28, 1975. (By David Hume Kennerly — Ford Library Via Associated Press)
On July 28, 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford sat down for an interview with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. The interview was conducted at Ford’s Beaver Creek, Colo., house; the former president agreed that his comments could be published any time after his death. Below are audio excerpts from the interview:

  • LISTEN: Ford says he does not believe the United States should intervene militarily overseas unless it is directly in America’s national interests.
  • “Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction,” Ford said. “And now, I’ve never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.”

    Chevy Chase Cost Ford the Presidency?

    Thursday, December 28th, 2006

    The Blog | Richard Valeriani: Ford Retrospective | The Huffington Post

    EXCERPT:

    If it hadn’t been for Chevy Chase, Gerald Ford would have been elected President in his own right in 1976.

    That’s what I believe. I was an NBC News correspondent at the time, and I covered some of that campaign. And I believe it was Chase’s portrayal of Ford on Saturday Night Live as a bumbling, fumbling clown that had as much to do with his defeat as anything else.

    Deadly Gas Causes Jail Riot in Nebraska

    Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

    Okay, so we tweaked the headline a bit…

    Flatulence allegedly sparks jail fight - Yahoo! News

    EXCERPT:

    “You just can’t get a reprieve from one another,” Kramer said. “When you’ve got a guy causing problems passing gas, there’s no way to get away from the smell.”

    “Accidental” President Ford dies at 93

    Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

    Though some Warren Commission skeptics will always hold him suspect, President Ford was a good man who saw the nation through an extraordinarily tough time. Rest in Peace.

    Former President Ford dies at 93 - CNN.com

    EXCERPT:

    His enormously controversial decision to pardon Nixon is widely blamed for costing him his own presidential election victory in the 1976 race, which was one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history. (Full story)

    At 93, Ford was the nation’s oldest surviving former president and the only president and vice president never to be elected to office.