Clarity Vs. Celebrity

By BOB HERBERT, New York Times

Few people have ever heard of Jonathan Tasini. He's a low-key labor organizer and writer from Upper Manhattan who is trying to piece together a primary challenge to the re-election bid of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, primarily because of her stance on the Iraq war.

Mr. Tasini is against the war and wants American troops pulled out of Iraq forthwith.

Senator Clinton's position is — well, that's a problem. It's not at all clear what Senator Clinton's position is. And for a Democratic Party that has suffered a succession of brutal defeats with excessively cautious candidates, Mrs. Clinton's indecisiveness on the war may be a hint of yet another disaster in the making.

Late Nite FDL: GOP Boogeymen and Other Media Phantoms

By Jane Hamsher

We’ll leave aside for now the high hilarity of George Stephanopoulos having Tom DeLay on to talk about ethics, and letting him blather on about corrupt Democrats virtually without challenge (I can think of 20 things a good journalist would’ve started hammering DeLay about on the spot, but obviously DeLay took the gig because he had no fear of anything like that happening). Howard Dean did an excellent job of scoffing at the absurdity of the situation, but then came Father Tim recounting practically the same narrative. So did Maura Liasson. The thing that they all seem to be terrified of is that the Democrats will gain a majority and start impeachment proceedings (or at least launch investigations) of the White House (it seems to be Chris Matthews’ deepest, darkest fear).

Rummy Logic & Enduring Lies

By Robert Parry,

Rebellion was in the air, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld acting like a crafty minister to an embattled king, fending off citizens outraged over government lies and the growing death toll from a war built on deception.

As hecklers at a speech in Atlanta on May 4 accused the Bush administration of lying and then were dragged away one by one, Rumsfeld appealed for civility and for renewed faith in George W. Bush’s honesty.

Where to Protest Peacefully

Monday, May 8, 2006
NEW* BUSH in Washington, DC: President Bush will make a statement on
Darfur at 11:40 AM. [The Note,, 05/08/06]

NEW* FRIST in Washington, DC: Senator Frist holds a press conference
with more than 300 doctors with the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecology to call for a "fair up-or-down vote" on two medical
liability reform bills before the Senate at 4:00 PM. [The Note,

Why I Am Running for Congress

By Kevin Hearle, Ph.D.

I am running for Congress. I do not want to be a United States Congressman, but so much that is illegal, unconstitutional, anti-democratic, and un-American has been perpetrated by the current Bush administration in my name and in your name and in the name of America and democracy that staying home and writing my next two or three books no longer seems a sufficiently moral choice. However much I might prefer the comfort of my own home and career, when this administration compounds its immorality by calling its critics un-American I must stand and join in vocal and patriotic dissent.

Bush says would like to close Guantanamo

By Reuters

BERLIN - US President George W. Bush said he would like to close the US-run prison at Guantanamo Bay -- a step urged by several US allies -- but was awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on how suspects held there might be tried.

"Of course Guantanamo is a delicate issue for people. I would like to close the camp and put the prisoners on trial," Bush said in comments to German television to be broadcast on Sunday night. The interview was recorded last week.

White House is warned against Bush nominee for head of CIA

· Appointment threatens to worsen intelligence crisis
· Concerns raised over Pentagon's role at agency
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington, The Guardian

The Bush administration, which emerged from the September 11 2001 attacks vowing to make the United States safe from terrorists, was yesterday warned that it risked provoking a new crisis over intelligence if the president appointed a controversial general to head the CIA. Mr Bush is widely expected to nominate General Michael Hayden as head of the intelligence agency today, three days after the abrupt departure of the agency's director, Porter Goss.

AT-TUWANI: "Are you afraid of the settlers too?"


Increased attacks and harassment by Israeli settlers from Hill 833 (a Ma'on
settlement outpost), on schoolchildren from the village of Tuba have drawn a
confused response from the Israeli police and military. These actions by
settlers include the following:

- Settlers placed large rocks blocking the short road from Tuba to At-Tuwani
that goes between Ma'on and Hill 833. (The Israeli Knesset Committee for

A Ministry Bush won't support

By CHUCK CAMPBELL, Scripps Howard News Service

"RIO GRANDE BLOOD," Ministry (13th Planet/Megaforce)

Ministry's Al Jourgensen isn't like those timid rockers who stay apolitical to preserve their fan bases. He's also not giving in to the "rage burnout" that has prompted some of President Bush's detractors to shift into apathy, though Ministry's relentlessly over-the-top "Rio Grande Blood" could cause a few listeners to go numb.

Taking a page from Rumsfeld's book

Secretary's past can serve as guide for new chief of staff

Suppose you are a new White House chief of staff. One of the difficulties you face is an extraordinarily powerful, well-entrenched Cabinet secretary who enjoys the strong support of the president. What do you do? Not to be vague about it: How should Joshua B. Bolten, who is driving to reshape the Bush administration, deal with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, who is fast becoming a political liability and may resist any serious change of direction?

How to Discuss Impeachment

To: Rep. Nancy Pelosi
From: Bob Fertik
Re: How to Discuss Impeachment

As the Democratic Leader in the House, you are the chief spokesperson on
whether Democrats will impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Of course, you know better than anyone that Bush and Cheney have committed
innumerable impeachable offenses. But if you say that out loud, the Vast

A Declaration of Peace

Create peace. Create alternatives. Create hope.
End the US war in Iraq.
Take steps to bring the troops home now --
And engage in nationwide nonviolent action
If a concrete withdrawal plan is not established and activated

The Declaration of Peace --
A Commitment to Take Nonviolent Action to:
• End the US War in Iraq
• Bring the Troops Home Now, and
• Establish a Concrete Deadline and Timetable for a Comprehensive Withdrawal

Iraqis Speak: Voices for Peace in Iraq

Join us for an evening of dialogue with representatives from Iraq. They will speak about their experiences of the war and occupation and hopes for peace. The evening will feature an open discussion with all present, including guests from veterans¹ and military family organizations.

Friday, May 12th
7 pm ­ 9 pm
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
5301 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20011

UK Attorney General Calls for Guantanamo to Close

By Jamie Doward and Mark Townsend, The Observer UK

Lord Goldsmith risks row with White House by denouncing detention centre as "unacceptable."
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is set to trigger a diplomatic row between Britain and the United States by calling for Guantanamo Bay to close.

The decision by the government's chief legal adviser to denounce the detention centre in Cuba as "unacceptable" will dismay the Bush administration, which has continually rejected claims that the camp breaches international laws on human rights.

Behind the Goss Toss

By Richard Sisk, The New York Daily News

Washington - A little-known White House advisory board convinced a reluctant President Bush to launch yet another high-profile shakeup of the nation's intelligence community and can CIA Director Porter Goss, sources said yesterday.

Bush had already gotten an earful from Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte on the shortcomings of Goss, but the final push came from the "very alarmed" President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, intelligence and Congressional sources said.

30 killed in Iraq car bomb blasts

By Reuters

BAGHDAD: Car bombs killed 30 people in Iraq on Sunday and wounded more than 70 in one of the bloodiest spasms of violence of recent weeks as political leaders closed in on a deal to form a national unity government.

The southern city of Basra was largely calm as British military engineers examined the wreck of a helicopter whose apparent shooting down was followed by clashes between troops and youths chanting triumphal Shia militia slogans.

Car bombs rock Iraq, 14 dead

Baghdad police find 43 bodies shot in head

A woman grieves at the site of a car bomb attack in Karbala on Sunday.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A car bomb in a crowded commercial area in Karbala killed at least five people and wounded 18 on Sunday, and two car bombs in Baghdad claimed the lives of nine victims, hospital and police officials said.
Karbala -- which lies some 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad -- is home to two of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines and has been targeted by insurgent bombings in the past.

Rep. John Conyers: It's Checks and Balances, Mr. Russert

By Rep. John Conyers, Huffington Post

It's not every day a Congressman from Detroit has his name mentioned on, not one, but two Sunday morning news shows.

First, on ABC's This Week, I was taken to task by none other than the soon-to-be-ex-Congressman Tom DeLay. Democrats should not be allowed to take back the House, he said. Why? Because, he claimed, "John Conyers will be the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee if the Democrats take over. John Conyers is to the left of your next guest, Howard Dean and he's already participated in mock impeachment hearings." Funny, I don't remember that hearing. I did organize a Democratic forum on the Downing Street Minutes, but that was not about impeachment, and the Republicans wouldn't even let us have a room for it.

RNC Attack on John Conyers Demands Action from Democrats

By David Swanson

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has launched an aggressive campaign to smear Congressman John Conyers.

Here's the background: It is accepted common wisdom among reporters, pundits, congressional staffers, and a majority of Americans that Bush and Cheney lied us into a war. A new "smoking gun" piece of evidence makes the news on almost a weekly basis, and that has been going on for upwards of a year. Yet there has been no investigation in either branch of Congress, no oversight, no checks, no balances, no accountability.

A letter on "Just War"

Jozef Hand-Boniakowski

Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, D.D.
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Dear Father Flynn:

As a veteran of the Vietnam era, a parent who gave a kidney to his son, a member of Veterans for Peace, a son whose father was wounded in North Africa (Palestine) during World War II, a pacifist, and as a former Catholic, I am writing you this letter as a consequence of your response to Mary and Nick Eoloff and their petition to repudiate the Catholic Church's "Just War Theory".

Al Franken's Stockholm Syndrome

By Kagro X

So I've finally decided to pick up and read the copy of Al Franken's The Truth, with Jokes that I got as a gift this past holiday season. And having just recently read some of the blog coverage of Franken's recent visit to Burlington, Vermont, I was struck by a section of the book I read last night, and haven't been able to sleep since.

Let me start with the relevant passage of the book. In Chapter Six, "With Friends Like Zell," Franken describes what may have been one of the most politically costly mistakes made by the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign.

Last Question Is Obstruction for Fitzgerald, Rove

By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

Hundreds of pages of emails and memos "discovered" by the White House in February and turned over to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald show that Karl Rove played a much larger role in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak case than he had previously disclosed to a grand jury and FBI investigators.

In February, TruthOut was the first to report the existence of the 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney's office and the Office of the President that were written in mid-2003.

Impeachment Forum in Massachusetts

Peter White, Independent for Congress Campaign
MA 10th District
P.O. Box 913
Hyannis, MA 02601

Please come to the Forum this Friday on "Should Bush/Cheney Be Impeached NOW?" at 7:00 PM in the Tilden Auditorium at Cape Cod Community College. Spread the word, and bring some friends! We really need a large turnout for this important event!!! John Bonifaz, Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, will be the lead-off speaker, with myself, Lawrence Brown, and Francis Broadhurst (both columnists for the Cape Cod Times) on the panel, and Florence Seldin of the League of Women Voters moderating.

Opening the debate on Israel

By Norman Solomon,

The extended controversy over a paper by two professors, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," is prying the lid off a debate that has been bottled up for decades.

Routinely, the American news media have ignored or pilloried any strong criticism of Washington's massive support for Israel. But the paper and an article based on it by respected academics John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, academic dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, first published March 23 in the London Review of Books, are catalysts for some healthy public discussion of key issues.

A History Of US Secret Human Experimentation

1931 Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, infects human subjects with cancer cells. He later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. While there, he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients.

What Can We Do About Iraq and Iran?

By Bob Burnett,

President Bush’s job approval ratings continue to plummet, as increasing numbers of Americans recognize that the Administration lacks the clear thinking required to deal with the critical issues that confront America, such as Iraq and Iran. Nonetheless, many citizens despair of the prospects of changing America’s course, so long as George Bush is President. They ask, “What can we do?” to restore sanity and democracy to the USA.

Atheists for Peace

By David Swanson

With the exception of Jews and African-Americans, no demographic group in the United States voted more heavily against Bush and for Gore and Kerry than did atheists, who make up 10 percent of the electorate. Atheists tend to be disproportionately progressive. So do atheistic countries.

The Atheist Manifesto that Sam Harris has posted at Truth Dig points out that "Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on Earth….The United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious literalism and opposition to evolutionary theory; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, STD infection and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious superstition and hostility to evolutionary theory, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms….Countries with high levels of atheism also are the most charitable in terms of giving foreign aid to the developing world….Consider the ratio in salaries between top-tier CEOs and their average employee: in Britain it is 24 to 1; France 15 to 1; Sweden 13 to 1; in the United States, where 83% of the population believes that Jesus literally rose from the dead, it is 475 to 1."


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