Wednesday, November 23, 2005


KGO-AM 810 NewsTalk: "
FEBRUARY 23 & 24, 2001 ? COLIN POWELL SAYS IRAQ IS CONTAINED: 'I think we ought to declare [the containment policy] a success. We have kept him contained, kept him in his box.' He added Saddam 'is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors' and that 'he threatens not the United States.' [Source: State Department, 2/23/01 and 2/24/01]
SEPTEMBER 16, 2001 ? CHENEY ACKNOWLEDGES IRAQ IS CONTAINED: Vice President Dick Cheney said that 'Saddam Hussein is bottled up' ? a confirmation of the intelligence he had received. [Source: Meet the Press, 9/16/2001]
SEPTEMBER 2001 ? WHITE HOUSE CREATES OFFICE TO CIRCUMVENT INTEL AGENCIES: The Pentagon creates the Office of Special Plans 'in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true-that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States?The rising influence of the Office of Special Plans was accompanied by a decline in the influence of the C.I.A. and the D.I.A. bringing about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community.' The office, hand-picked by the Administration, specifically 'cherry-picked intelligence that supported its pre-existing position and ignoring all the rest' while officials deliberately 'bypassed the government's customary procedures for vetting intelligence.' [Sources: New Yorker, 5/12/03; Atlantic Monthly, 1/04; New Yorker, 10/20/03]
2002: Intel Agencies Repeatedly Warn White House of Its Weak WMD Case
Throughout 2002, the CIA, DIA, Department of Energy "

Friday, November 11, 2005

In the wake of the week

Forget the CEO testimony, it's the FTC, stupid!

They're the ones who can find and prosecute collusion ...

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission has sent subpoenas to Big Oil companies in its investigation of gasoline price manipulation and oil refining capacity constraints, and hopes to complete the probe next spring, the agency's head told a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday.

The agency sent out "dozens of subpoenas" to companies, including oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. , Chevron Corp. , ConocoPhillips , and the U.S. units of BP Plc. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. , FTC Chairwoman Deborah Majoras said.

She spoke following a hearing on energy profits held by the Senate's energy and commerce committees. "It is a major investigation."

... Remember, markets only do what the Law of Supply and Demand requires. It's restraint of trade that's illegal.


Liberals get no respect, even in Canada

"On Monday, the Liberals are expected to deliver a fiscal update that will detail its pre-election platform. Wiseman said Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will announce a projection of a $10 billion surplus. [... remember what a surplus felt like? I do ]

...The Conservatives, meanwhile, are reacting positively to Layton's proposal [to force early elections] and said all opposition parties are joining forces to bring down the minority Liberals."


Diebold is a voting machine in Egypt?

CAIRO, Egypt Nov 10, 2005 — President Hosni Mubarak's strongest challenger in the presidential race two months ago lost his parliamentary seat in an upset in the first round of Egypt's legislative elections, according to initial returns Thursday.

Ayman Nour, a key mainstream opposition figure, was defeated Wednesday by a candidate of the ruling National Democratic Party for the south Cairo seat he had held for 10 years, the results said.

... Abdul! Every time I try to touch Nour's picture, Mubarak's winks at me!


Dems hopes rise but futures dim

Even in their improved position, Democrats will have limited numbers of targets. Because congressional boundary lines place most lawmakers in districts clearly favoring one party or the other, fewer than 10% of House seats held by Republicans currently are considered at risk. Most Senate Republican incumbents facing re-election next year remain favored to win.


YAUNEL: Yet Another Unelectable Northeastern Liberal

Anyone else looking forward to '08 the way I am? I can hardly wait to see the next YAUNEL the Dimmocrats decide to put up against whatever cretinous proto-facsist the pubbies settle on.


Random Thots:

The State shouldn't be involved in marriages. They should recognize civil unions for legal purposes and let the clergy handle the marrying.

If Dubya were a Democrat he'd have been impeached by now.

ANWR spared? HA! That oil isn't going anywhere --They'll get it next time.

Paris, City of Light (as in lightweight gov't)

Re CA props: Straight "no". No, no, NO, NO, NO, dammit! I hope that message got thru. (Any other year, several props would have passed in CA. There was a larger issue at stake this time)

Prop 13's Dirty Little Secret:
...It applies to businesses, too! That means when there's competition, firstcomers can prices and undercut latecomers' costs. And when the latecomers go bust, well, you know what happens then.

Judith Miller retires from NY Times. Kinda like Eagles losing Owens.

Scott McClellan does a pretty good Ron Ziegler immitation.

If only 25% of Kansans believe in evolution and over 50% in the pentefundegelical version of Creation, why should they be forced to teach evolution in their schools? Willful ignorance is as willful ignorance does.

Ahhhh, Paris in the fall ...

A collection of news reports tell a compelling story...

PARIS (AP) - Authorities imposed curfews in the French Riviera cities of Nice and Cannes on Wednesday to prevent rioting, while the interior minister called for the deportation of foreigners convicted in the wave of unrest that has spread throughout France.

Looters and vandals defied a state of emergency with attacks on superstores, a newspaper warehouse and a subway station. Arson attacks continued after sundown, with a nursery school going up in flames in the southern city of Toulouse, RTL radio reported.

.. Take that, kiddies!

The unrest began Oct. 27 and has grown into a nationwide insurrection by disillusioned suburban youths who complain of discrimination and unemployment. Although many of the French-born children of Arab and black African immigrants are Muslim, police say the violence is not being driven by Islamic groups.

.. OK, if Islamic groups aren't driving it, who is? SANTA?

The extraordinary 12-day state of emergency, which began at midnight Tuesday, covered Paris, its suburbs and more than 30 other French cities from the Mediterranean to the border with Germany and to Rouen in the north - an indication of how widespread arson, riots and other unrest have become.

The measures imposed in Nice also require some bars to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the next 10 days, the regional government said.

.. no way, man, not the bars too!!

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who previously inflamed passions by referring to troublemakers as "scum," said 120 foreigners have been convicted for roles in the violence, and he called on local authorities to expel them.

"I have asked regional prefects to expel foreigners who were convicted - whether they have proper residency papers or not - without delay," he said during a National Assembly session.

.. If they really want to get serious about restoring order, they'd better invite the Wehrmacht.

"Protestors set fire to 315 cars in the Paris area overnight, half of them in Seine-Saint-Denis, where nine people were injured, officials said.

Simone: Your jacket!
Clouseau: Yes, I kneaw it iz my jacket.
Simone: No... It's on fire!

"The violence has once more trained a spotlight on the poverty and lawlessness of France's rundown big-city suburbs and raises questions about an immigration policy that has, in effect, created sink ghettos for mainly African minorities who suffer from discrimination in housing, education and jobs.

Today, France's government was in crisis mode with Mr de Villepin calling a string of emergency meetings with government officials throughout the day.

One was a working lunch with the interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been accused of inflaming the crisis with his tough talk and police tactics. Mr Sarkozy has called troublemakers "scum" and vowed to "clean out" troubled suburbs, language that some say further alienated their residents [...hmmm... I guess he forgot to call for their total eradication. ]
The unrest was triggered by last Thursday's accidental death in Clichy-sous-Bois, five miles from Aulnay, of two African teenagers who were electrocuted while hiding in a power substation from what they believed, apparently wrongly, was police pursuit. An interior ministry official described the clashes as "more like sporadic harassment, lightweight hit-and-run urban guerrilla fighting, than head-to-head confrontation". Small, highly mobile groups of up to a dozen youths emerge, hurl stones or petrol bombs, and disperse. "It's hard to contain," the official said.

The minister of social cohesion, Jean-Louis Borloo, said the government had to react "firmly" but added that France must also acknowledge its failure to deal with anger simmering in poor suburbs for decades.

"We cannot hide the truth: that for 30 years we have not done enough," he told France-2 television.

Fran?ois: Do you know what kind of a bomb it was?
Clouseau: Yes, the exploding kind


Paris, City of Light

PARIS — The French government declared a state of emergency Tuesday, enabling police to impose curfews and other extraordinary measures to combat the worst riots in recent history.

President Jacques Chirac's Cabinet decided at a special meeting to invoke an emergency powers law first imposed during the Algerian war of independence against France 50 years ago. Starting at midnight, the authorities had the right to declare curfews in targeted areas, restrict the movement of people and vehicles, request police searches and place suspects under house arrest. "

... "Too little, too late" again, Jacques. How's that workin for ya?


Better late than never, France ?

PARIS (AP) - The French government declared a state of emergency Tuesday after nearly two weeks of rioting, and the prime minister said the nation faced a "moment of truth."

The extraordinary security measures, to begin Wednesday and valid for 12 days, clear the way for curfews to try to halt the country's worst civil unrest since the student uprisings of 1968.

... and after only 12 days!


Very slow learners, these French...

PARIS (AP) - France will impose curfews under a state-of-emergency law and call up police reservists to stop rioting that has spread out of Paris' suburbs and into nearly 300 cities and towns across the country, the prime minister said Monday, calling a return to order "our No. 1 responsibility."

The tough new measures or what passes for tough there... came as France's worst civil unrest in decades entered a 12th night, with rioters in the southern city of Toulouse setting fire to a bus after sundown and pelting police with gasoline bombs and rocks.

Outside the capital in Sevran, a junior high school was set ablaze, while in another Paris suburb, Vitry-sur-Seine, youths threw gasoline bombs at a hospital, police said. No one was injured. Earlier, a 61-year-old retired auto worker died of wounds from an attack last week, the first death in the violence.

Asked on TF1 television whether the army should be brought in, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said, "We are not at that point." meaning "my car has not firebombed yet"

But "at each step, we will take the necessary measures to re-establish order very quickly ...or what passes for very quickly there... throughout France," he said. "That is our prime duty: ensuring everyone's protection."

...Oh, please.


French discovering the Awful Truth: Self-inflicted Wounds are Always the Most Painful

What catches many French leaders in a bind is their belief that the alternative to their strong state intervening to ensure color-blind equality is the cut-throat capitalism and ethnic segregation they say prevails in English-speaking countries.

When Sarkozy says the best social system is the one that produces jobs and that the French model is not doing that, his comments are met not with approval but retorts that the French model is fine and needs only to be better applied.

In a scene that spoke volumes, National Assembly Speaker Jean-Louis Debre -- a close Chirac ally and passionate defender of the republican model -- was shocked and almost speechless on Sunday as he surveyed riot damage in Evreux, where he is mayor.

"A hundred people have smashed everything and strewn desolation," he commented. "Well, they don't form part of our universe."

... and denial is not a river in Egypt, pal.