Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bob Graham on Pre War Intelligence

Bob Graham does not lie or forget

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and the run-up to the Iraq war, I probably had as much access to the intelligence on which the war was predicated as any other member of Congress.

I, too, presumed the president was being truthful -- until a series of events undercut that confidence.

In February 2002, after a briefing on the status of the war in Afghanistan, the commanding officer, Gen. Tommy Franks, told me the war was being compromised as specialized personnel and equipment were being shifted from Afghanistan to prepare for the war in Iraq -- a war more than a year away. Even at this early date, the White House was signaling that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein was of such urgency that it had priority over the crushing of al Qaeda.

Read every word.


Depends on Iraqis being able to do what the Mighty American Military has not been able to do.

So say Rummy

Until We are Dead or Disabled

ed; title changed from them to we


CBO estimates that the provisions that will cause many low-income Medicaid beneficiaries to be required to pay more out-of-pocket for health care, and will reduce the health care services for which these beneficiaries are covered, represent cuts of nearly $30 billion over ten years. A large body of research shows that when premiums are imposed or co-payments are raised significantly, low-income patients forgo needed health care or medications and many become sicker as a consequence. Consistent with this research, CBO expects the increase in premiums and co-payments in the bill — primarily for near-poor people modestly above the poverty line, who would face particularly large increases in these charges — to lead to Medicaid patients forgoing various health care services and prescription medications or not enrolling in Medicaid at all. CBO noted that its estimate of nearly $30 billion in savings in this area “reflect[s] CBO’s expectation of reduced utilization of services due to higher cost-sharing requirements and decreased participation in Medicaid by individuals who would be required to pay premiums.”

In fact, CBO estimated that about 80 percent of the savings from the increases in Medicaid co-payments are expected to come from decreases in the use of services such as doctors’ visits and prescribed medications
, that ultimately 17 million low-income Medicaid beneficiaries could be subject to high co-payments, and that more than 100,000 people would lose coverage altogether because they would have trouble paying the premiums. CBO also said that the reduced use of health care services would result in more emergency room visits and higher emergency care costs (as people’s health worsens due to lack of timely care).

So we can deal with the wretched poor when they die or become disabled, or as Katrina showed us, not.

In addition, under the House bill, states would no longer be required to provide low-income children just above the poverty line with comprehensive preventive care and treatment. Substantial numbers of near-poor children could lose coverage for such services as eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care speech therapy, and crutches.

That should help them do well at all their standardized tests.

CBO estimates that child support payments made by non-custodial parents would be $24 billion lower over ten years. CBO estimates that the deep cuts in funding for child support enforcement included in the House bill would result in $24 billion in child support that would otherwise have been collected going unpaid instead.

This is starting to feel like slow genocide.

CBO estimates indicate that more than 220,000 people a month would lose food stamps; the large majority of these are people in low-income working families. This number includes at least 150,000 people, most of them in low-income working families with children that now receive food stamps because they have substantial work and housing expenses that drop their net incomes below the poverty line. In addition, 70,000 legal immigrants who have been in the United States between five and seven years, primarily working-poor parents and poor elderly individuals, would be cut off food stamps by 2008.

There are seven million more hungry Americans now than there were before the "Compassionate Conservatives" got a hold of us.

The good news is that the cash starved states will still have the option to offer free and reduced price school lunches to the children whose families get booted off food stamps.

Remember that this is the same president who forked out $43.00 per governor for wine
and the same man who spent more than a million dollars to have his famous "Mission Accomplished" photo op, but there is more

* Children and Families Services Programs (which includes Head Start) would be reduced by $656 million, or 7.2 percent. Head Start itself would be cut 3 percent, eliminating Head Start slots for about 27,000 low-income children; and

* EPA’s state revolving funds for clean water and drinking water would be reduced by $261 million, or 13.2 percent.

Great timing with the 595 Katrina induced spills across four states. I heard that FEMA has stopped making payments because they are broke although they did not provide disaster aid to Wisconsin after they had 27 tornados in Augustand weren't there another 20 highly unusual tornados in the upper midwest last week?

State by state tables here

This is on top of how poorly the destitute fared last winter when gas was a dollar a gallon cheaper and heating fuel cost a third less. Take a look at these income and poverty stats between 1997-2005 to see where we are going.

Super Secret Flights to the Super Secret Torture Gulag

You know, the ones that everybody on the freaking planet knows about.
Everybody but the 2635 people who don't want Bush impeached.


Who does the President think he is to scold us about sacrifice?

When has he ever made a single sacrifice in his entire overpriveleged life?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Economic Lies


What If

What do you think Barbara Bush would tell the world if one of her children was forced to pay the ultimate price for the criminally irresponsible acts of her cold hearted boy child? Would she wear a gossamer gown to mourn or would she revert to her old behavior and delay her golf game by 30 minutes or so?

Would she lift a finger to save somebody else's sons

Wierd Bob Woodward


What Does He Do For His Annual $194,000.00 Haliburton Payment?

I seem to remember him driving the company to the verge of bankruptcy when he was in charge. Contrast Dick's pay package with another nearly bankrupt company that is soon to be bailed out with the same American tax dollars that not only bailed Haliburton out, but increased their stock prices more than 3,000 times

a new york bankruptcy judge on wednesday approved interim agreements between northwest airlines corp. and its pilot and flight attendant unions that included pay cuts of as much as 24%.

...the airline's attorneys said the agreement with the air line pilots assn. included a 23.9% pay cut, and the accord with flight attendants reduced pay by 20.7%. the unions ratified the agreements monday. - latimes

northwest airlines, flying while in bankruptcy, wants to position itself to outsource all flight attendant jobs on international flights, as well as all attendant jobs on planes with 100 or fewer seats.

...northwest flight attendants earn from $19,500 to $48,000 a year, depending on experience. the airline wants to cut their pay by as much as 22 percent. but it's expected that northwest will soon raise that target. - honolulu advertiser

What's the difference, why the disparity in the treatment of the employees of these two failed companies when they are both sucking their money out of taxpayer pockets?

h/t Kelley and Joe

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

So anyway, I was minding my own business when my T.V. shouted that Iraq Al Quaida (I took a microsecond to curse Rook for the notable shortage of trademark symbols there) is targetting western journalists.

Declare Victory and Leave

Yesterday John Murtha gave a press conference to announce his resolution for the immediate redeployment of our troops to rebuild our military

"I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

"The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We cannot allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S.

"Much of our ground transportation is worn out and in need of either serous overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." We must rebuild out Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being "terrified" about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft.* The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden."

Murtha continues..

"But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths."

The number of American casualties today is 2085
every additional death above 2085 should be tallied seperately as we will no doubt linger and lose more people, money, status and military readiness. John Murtha wrapped up with this paragraph

"I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United Stated occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a "free" Iraq."

*President George W. Bush and the current administration have now
borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks than the
previous 42 U.S. presidents combined, which the Blue Dog Coalition
in the House of Representatives called “astounding.”-----via Gordon

What Is the Fed Hiding?

If you have ever been very disturbed by something you don't really understand, you probably understand how I feel about this article.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is Dick Cheney In Montana?

I am very puzzled about why KCFW's Jenny Kuglin did a live report on the Ten O'Clock news repeating every lie and ass covering insult that Dick Cheney spoke in the proceeding film clip.

No, Dick, you lied and you continue to lie.

That dishonor belongs to you, not to the men and women who returned from the Iraq war. Dick Cheney is not worthy of this country or of the men and women who have chosen to serve it.

Why would NBC Montana choose to run and repeat those statements without any rebutting facts?

Do Not Renew Patriot Act!


The House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a
bill to renew the USA PATRIOT Act. A Senate vote is
expected before the week it out. Now is the time to call
your senator and representatives and say "No!" to PATRIOT

The final conference process for PATRIOT reauthorization has
gone very badly for those attempting to reform the bill.
Growing concerns in the House, and key compromises agreed in
the Senate have all been ignored. Indeed, the draft bill
obtained by EFF actually makes some PATRIOT powers worse:

* "National Security Letters", which the Washington Post
reveals have been used to spy on tens of thousands of
ordinary Americans, have been strengthened. New criminal
penalties have been added for NSL recipients who try to speak
about their experience.

* The draft bill jettisons the four-year time limits on
several PATRIOT powers,replacing them with longer, seven-year
"sunset" clauses. All other PATRIOT powers that were set to
expire this year will be renewed without any time limit.

* Some politicians, confident that no one would dare vote
against PATRIOT, have added their own irrelevant amendments:
piggybacking other unpopular reforms onto this terrible bill.

This bill flouts the growing concern in Congress with the
documented abuses of the prior version of the Patriot Act and
the flawed process of PATRIOT reauthorization. They're growing
restless on Capitol Hill: one more call could be enough to
start a rebellion in both Houses.

Time is short: sources say the PATRIOT vote will be rushed
through in the next few days. Please call your representative
and senators now. Ask them vote "no" on the PATRIOT
reauthorization act.

Please visit our Action Center at the link below. It will
give you the phone numbers to call, and suggestions on what
to tell your elected official.

Learn more about the bill, and its new problems, see:

Thanks for your help and determination,

The EFF Activism Team.

Who Needs Habeus Anyway?

Jose Padilla seems to be doing fine without it and it has been 1286 days since he was locked up without trial, charges or representation. Sure Jose is fine because President Bush said that everything we do is legal and we don't torture.

That brings up A Damn Good Question swiped from the freedom fighters at Buzzflash.

Eleven Soldiers Died In Iraq Today

Eleven deaths pending DOD notification bringing our dead American Soldier count to 2080. Before you minimize this, please take a moment to consider the tens of thousands of lives that have been derailed or destroyed because of physical and psychic damage incurred during this unnecessary war.

If your heart is big enough, spare a moment to think of the damage we have caused countless Iraqis including the ones whose skin was melted off them in Deranged Donnies reenactment of the NeoCon false bravado fantasy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

George W. Bush