Friday, December 29, 2006

Song of The Day (Staind, 'Sober')

Staind performing a live, and quite stellar, version of Tool's 'Sober'.

I always think of Bush when I hear these lyrics:

I am just a worthless liar

I am just an imbecile

I will only complicate you

Trust in me and fall as well

Saddam is you feel safer?

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is dead

Executed by hanging for killings committed during a brutal crackdown nearly 25 years ago –- Iraqi TV stations report. Saddam was executed at 5:57am Iraqi time according to CNN TV.
Is Saddam's life worth the 3000 dead US troops and 10s of thousands that now have lifelong disabilities due to injuries? Was it worth the BILLIONS and BILLIONS of US dollars spent?

It's an easy answer....HELL NO.

The Year in Unnecessary Censorship

Jimmy Kimmel reviews the unnecessary censorship of 2006

Saddam's Execution Just Hours Away, Lawyers Work to Stop Execution

Ex-leader will be hanged by 6 a.m. Baghdad time

An adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saddam would be executed before 6 a.m. Saturday (Baghdad time), or 10 p.m. Friday ET. Also to be hanged at that time were Saddam’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, the adviser said.

Lawyers Work to Stop Saddam's Execution
Lawyers for Saddam Hussein asked a U.S. judge to block his transfer to the custody of Iraqi officials poised to carry out his execution. Hussein's lawyers filed documents Friday afternoon asking for a stay of execution. The 21-page request was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

Bush #1 Villain of 2006: Beats Saddam, OBL, and Satan

From ABC News:

Bush won the villain sweepstakes by a landslide, with one in four respondents putting him at the top of that bad-guy list. When people were asked to name the candidate for villain that first came to mind, Bush far outdistanced even Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader in hiding; and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who is scheduled for execution.

From Scarborough Country -

SCARBOROUGH: Now you don't have to have a political doctorate in Political Science to realize it's never a good sign when you're outpolled by Lucifer

H/T to C&L

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Edwards announces 2008 bid for presidency...accidently

From the Wash Times:

Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race yesterday, a day earlier than he'd planned, prodded by an Internet glitch to kick off a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.

The North Carolina Democrat's campaign accidentally went live with his election Web site a day before an announcement, set for today, that was supposed to use hurricane-ravaged New Orleans as a backdrop.

The slip-up gave an unintended double meaning to his campaign slogan on the John Edwards '08 Web site: "Tomorrow begins today."

Edwards' states, "This campaign is about each of us taking responsibility for our country's future -- and ensuring America’s greatness in the 21st century. [And] we all must take responsibility and take action now to:"
  • Provide moral leadership in the world
  • Strengthen our middle class and end poverty
  • Guarantee universal health care for every American
  • Lead the fight against global warming
  • Get America and other countries off our addiction to oil

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Song of The Day (The White Stripes, 'I just don't know what to do with myself')

A great, great song and a sexy, SEXY video. :)

Bush Administration Helping Defraud Taxpayers in Iraq?

In 2003 a small, private military contracting company opened its doors just in time to feel the boon that would be the war in Iraq. Custer Battles, run by Mike Battles, a former CIA agent and failed Republican Congressional candidate, along with his partner Scott Custer, had zero experience in the security industry when it received one of the very first contracts issued in Iraq.

In the spring of 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein and around the time that President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished”, Custer Battles was presented with a whopping $16 million no-bid contract to secure the airport in Baghdad. This contract was the first of many.

During Custer Battles’ tenure in Iraq, the company was flooded with allegations of unrestrained force, fraud and over billing of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Retired Brigadier General Hugh Tant III said Custer Battles’ fraud, "was probably the worst I've ever seen in my 30 years in the Army.”

Custer Battles was eventually kicked out of Iraq and forced to face fraud charges back in the United States, despite objections from the Bush Administration.

According to Newsweek, the Bush Administration "...has argued privately that the occupation government, known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, was a multinational institution, not an arm of the U.S. government. So the U.S. government was not technically defrauded. Lawyers for the whistle-blowers point out, however, that President George W. Bush signed a 2003 law authorizing $18.7 billion to go to U.S. authorities in Iraq, including the CPA, 'as an entity of the United States government.' And several contracts with Custer Battles refer to the other party as 'the United States of America.'"

In March of 2006 a jury found Custer Battles guilty, but that verdict was overturned shortly thereafter due to the supposed ambiguous nature of the structure of the CPA. The judge that overturned the verdict did admit however, that “U.S. taxpayers ultimately footed the bill.” In the end, the Bush Administration's argument shielded Custer Battles from refunding stolen U.S. taxpayer dollars.

According to Custer Battles’ owners, the company was sold to a Romanian firm, Danubia Global Inc. At the time of the sale, Danubia was owned by Security Ventures International Ltd, a British Virgin Islands firm.

“Battles and Custer, through a spokesman, said they sold the remaining Iraqi assets of Custer Battles - including vehicles, computers and intellectual properties - to Danubia early this year. Several former Custer Battles employees have joined the Romanian firm. But the contractors refused to name the employees, or to identify Danubia's owners.”

PR Newswire reported in May 2005 that Danubia had been bought out.

“Windmill International Limited, the American company, has a 15-year presence in Romania and recently acquired a major shareholding in Danubia Global Inc. (DGI), a global logistics and security provider headquartered in Bucharest which is currently providing security and logistics services in Iraq.”

The Board of Directors of Windmill include a wide variety of who’s who in the Republican party, including:

James Gilmore *: former RNC chair and Governor of VA

Hansford Johnson *: Acting Secretary of the Navy under George W. Bush – 2/03 – 10/03

Michael Ussery *: former State Department official and Ambassador to Morocco

Douglas Combs *: "Combs was acting undersecretary of the Navy from 1999 to 2003 and made frequent trips to Iraq during that period and worked with contractors and military advisers there. He also was a special assistant to Johnson, who was acting secretary of the Navy, the service's top civilian position, in 2003."

Ronald Dwight *: An assistant attorney general in Rhode Island, who later worked on Mike Battles failed congressional campaign.

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(John Warner, Douglas Combs and Dick Cheney)

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(Douglas Combs and George H.W. Bush) *.

Ronald Dwight, a personal friend and former co-worker of Mike Battles', was on the board of directors of the company that purchased a controlling share in Danubia Global, which had shortly before purchased much of Custer Battles' assets.

Also, Dwight briefly served as a legal adviser in the Iraqi Transportation Ministry around the time in which Custer Battles was receiving contracts throughout Iraq.

Recently, members of Windmill International's board of directors were accused "of scheming with a banned American contractor to get lucrative rebuilding contracts in Iraq."

According to the AP, "The current suit names former acting Navy Secretary Hansford Johnson, former acting Navy Undersecretary Douglas Combs and Custer Battles LLC officials including founders Scott Custer and Mike Battles, who were barred in 2004 after billing the government for work that was never done and for padding invoices by much as 100 percent.

Also named were six companies connected to the contracting firm, including Windmill International Ltd., a worldwide contractor run by Combs and Johnson, and a Romanian company, Danubia Global, which bought Custer Battles in 2005.

The new lawsuit contends Custer and Battles, both Army veterans with Washington political connections, tried to get around the suspension order by plotting with Johnson and Combs 'to set up sham companies (thereby) concealing their ownership and control of those entities.'"

A lawyer for Windmill International does acknowledge that Combs partook in a business meeting with Scott Custer in 2004.

Most of the players in this suit are in some way tied to the Bush Administration, either as a personal friend or having served at some level in the Administration itself. With the Administration's Justice Department arguing so vehemently in favor of Custer Battles', could Bush/Cheney, etc. actually be involved in assisting these contracting companies in defrauding the U.S. taxpayers?

*All photos and information on Board Members were originally hosted on Windmill International's website, which is no longer in operation.

Former President Ford Dead at 93

The now longest-living President of the United States (surpassing Ronald Reagan) Gerald Rudolph Ford, has passed away at the age of 93.

Ford's wife Betty announced his passing in a statement saying he "died peacefully", but no cause of death was announced.

Ford had been suffering from a variety of health problems, and in August underwent an "angioplasty procedure to reduce or eliminate blockages in his coronary arteries."

Funeral arrangements are still to be announced.

US Death Toll in Iraq Surpasses that of 9/11

On September 11th, 2001 the United States lost 2,973 of our family members to a senseless act of violence targeting the innocent.

As of Christmas day 2006, 2,978 service men and women have been killed in Iraq, surpassing the total number of those killed on 9/11.

The New York Times reports, "With new casualties announced by the U.S. military on Tuesday, the death toll of American soldiers since the March 2003 beginning of the Iraq war was at least 2,978 -- five more than the number killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania."

Five + years after the attacks we still have not brought those responsible to justice, while we've sacrificed the same number of our American family members in a needless, unjust war.

Merry f$%&@!%$ Christmas.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Senate Report, Able Danger did not identify 9/11 hijackers prior to 9/11

Over the last few years some of the most extreme right-wingers attempted to blame 9/11 on Clinton. The righties were particularly fond of citing Able Danger, a classified military intelligence program under the command of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). They repeatedly claimed that Mr. Clinton ignored "startling intelligence" that might have helped to prevent the attacks. Well, as usual, the righties are flat out wrong. From a new Senate report:

The Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected as untrue one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes — a congressman's contention that a team of military analysts identified Mohamed Atta or other hijackers before the attacks — according to a summary of the panel's investigation obtained by The Times.

After a 16-month investigation, the Intelligence Committee has concluded that those assertions are unfounded.

"Able Danger did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker at any time prior to Sept. 11, 2001," the committee determined, according to an eight-page letter sent last week to panel members by the top Republican and Democrat on the committee.
Poor, poor, Sean Hannity, one could only wonder how he's going to take this latest defeat. And, how will he spin this latest news and attempt to continue to blame Mr. Clinton? 2007 is going to be a great year for Freedom and Democracy.

RIP James Brown (1933 - 2006)

James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, Dies at 73

James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died early Monday, his agent said.

Brown, 73, was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music. Longtime friend Charles Bobbit was by his side, he said.

I saw James Brown in concert in Memphis of 1993. It was an amazing show and I'll always remember that evening. It was surreal watching a living legend.

Merry Christmas to All!

A little Saturday Night Live humor to make your Christmas bright. Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Time is Here - SNL Christmas Song

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