Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 01, 2007

OT 07-012

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 1, 2007 at 6:25 UTC | Permalink


Stories by Molly Ivins - r.i.p.

Posted by: b | Feb 1 2007 6:39 utc | 1


Posted by: annie | Feb 1 2007 9:00 utc | 2

next time you need some ammo while arguing with right wing friends and neighbors about the right of Congress to determine military action, use these quotes of what republican senators said about this very thing when they forced the removal of US forces from Somalia when Clenis was the prez.

somehow I gotta hand it to these guys, their hypocrisy is absolutely stunning.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 10:59 utc | 3

dan of steele,

Not to defend the repugs here, but one can look at this situation from both parties. If Congress did not declare war, what was clemis & the dems doing back then? (If it was OK then, why not now?) But for sure, hypocrisy is the standard mode of operation with our politicians, both Democratic and Republican. A person from the traditional "right" prefers a stricter interpetation of the Constitution, which should have prevented both situations. Not a powerful argument of "left vs right" in my opinion.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 12:51 utc | 4

don't get me wrong Rick, Clinton would have eventually invaded Iraq just like w did. He is by no means a saint.

The democrats voted for both authorizations to use force and only the ones who think they need to take a less pro-war stance for their constituents are trying to backtrack now.

what irks me are the sanctimonious rightwingers who speak disparagingly of 435 Commanders in Chief when referring to Democratic initiatives such as the toothless resolution they are bandying about and the absolute right of the decider to do whatever he wants with the military. therein lies the incredible hypocrisy.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 13:10 utc | 5

I don't recall seeing a link to this here before, so I am posting.

George Soros at Davos: American Needs a De-Nazification Process (from a DKos diary):

"To what extent (America) recognizes the mistake will determine its future," declared Soros.

I think it's safe to say, no truer words have been spoken lately....

"America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany," Soros added. As in how we insisted the German people be "educated" on the actions of the German government after WWII. Instead he sees a reluctance in this country to confront our own recent history. More akin to Turkey, or Japan, in ignoring or denying our trangressions, than Germany, which has largely taken responsibility for it's past sins.

In short, while the "Conservative Movement" is down, it is time to PILE-ON.

Until it is quite clear in the American mind, WHO is responsible for this war, HOW it was started, HOW it has been directed, and WHAT has actually happened, in secret, and/or merely safely unreported in American mass media, there is a HUGE danger that people will come to see the Republican geniuses who brought us this morally bankrupt and totally un-American policy of "pre-emptive War," as "no different than the other guys." The Democrats. Us.

For the nightmare to end, Democrats must start hearings immediately, and they need to be full blown. All evidence of crimes, atrocities, unconstitutional actions, and governmental malfeasence, needs to be taken out of the realm of "secret," or the private domain of military "courts," and brought into full public view in the halls of Congress.

I am not particularly interested in protecting the Democrats from assuming their share of responsibility, but I AM invested in getting Americans to face the enormity of their government's crimes against humanity and trying in whatever fashion to introduce some kind of educational, legal, political, and any other measures that could prevent this from ever happening again in the future. And in that sense, I applaud Soros for saying aloud what was crying out to be said.

On the other hand, I have about zero confidence that such a comprehensive approach as that which he suggests has a prayer of being undertaken here in the world of the walking lobotomized. But I thought it was noteworthy that he suggested it, and I hope he puts some funding behind his suggestion to try and advance this objective in whatever way money could facilitate.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 1 2007 13:28 utc | 6

The only good I see here is that USA political scene is cracking and I smell political crises. It's about time to see this Potemkin's idyllic village of “free democracy” fall down.

Posted by: vbo | Feb 1 2007 13:38 utc | 7

dan of steele,

Hillary is the biggest backtracker (liar) of all if you compare her recent (of the last week) anti-war statements to her statements back around 2003.

I have no sympathy for the self-righteous "right" either. Just look at the hypocrisy and illogic exposed in the link below. How many so-called "Christian Right" speak and write in similar fashion as this retired U.S. military leader does?

‘For every improvised explosive device that goes off in Iraq, a bomb should go off in Iran,’ retired Air Force lieutenant general says.

In that respect, as mentioned before, I have all but given up arguing issues from a left or right, Republican or Democrat respective. I try to debate (specific) issues, whether logical or illogical, moral or immoral.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 13:43 utc | 8


I listened to Limbaugh yesterday and probably heard the same thing you did about HRC.

She is despicable, but I never liked her anyway.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 15:58 utc | 9

not only have efforts to assemble peacekeepers for propping up the puppet - sorry, transitional - government in somalia largely failed, it sounds like that govt may be losing its own troops
Ethiopian soldiers intercept soldiers defecting from the government

Addis Ababa 01, Feb.07 ( Sh.M.Network) - At least 24 soldiers who defected from the transitional government base in Kismayu, southern Somalia, were intercepted in Jinlib district, some 386 km south of the capital Mogadishu.

The Ethiopian soldiers reportedly intercepted the soldiers equipped with two pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and AK 47 rifles.

Witnesses told Shabelle that the capture of the troops happened late yesterday afternoon although it is not apparent to which destination they were heading.

and it sounds like the earlier stories about captured u.s. soldiers indeed has legs
US diplomat bids the release of 11 US soldiers seized in Somalia

Addis Ababa 01, Feb.07 ( Sh.M.Network) - Somalia’s routed Islamist leader Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and the US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, have come to bidding over the release of 11 US servicemen reportedly captured by the defeated Islamists in southern Somalia.

According to Al-Khaleej news agency based in Emirates quoting DPA news agency , Reliable diplomatic sources indicate that at least the two men have had four rounds of talks over the American soldiers in the captivity of Islamists in southern jungles of the war-torn country, Somalia.

Mr. Ranneberger has asked the Islamist leader in the custody of Kenyan authority to order the release the US soldiers who were seized during heavy ground skirmishes between the Islamists and the American soldiers accompanied by Ethiopian troops. Sources say the incident took place nearly three weeks ago in southern Somalia.

According to Al-Khaleej, sheik Sharif stipulated the release of the soldiers with several conditions. He said, “Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia should be withdrawn immediately, America should halt the military action in south the country, I should be transferred from Kenya to another safe country (probably Yemen) and the United States should tell the world that 11 of its marine soldiers were seized in Somalia.”

Sheik Sharif said if these conditions were fulfilled, they would facilitate the release of the American soldiers, asserting he would always feel insecure and unsafe as long as he lingers in Kenya.

Mr. Ranneberger, who was campaigning for the African peacekeeping force to Somalia, has always told the world press that moderate Islamists like Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed should be inclusive in the Somali transitional government that is now in control of the country with the help of the thousands of Ethiopian troops.

how long before that story breaks in the capitalist - whoops! corporate - media? you'd think it grab a lot of eyeballs, eh? start people asking WTF is going on... we thought you said the u.s. wasn't involved... yea, right.

Posted by: b real | Feb 1 2007 16:05 utc | 10


That general referred to in Ynet piece shows how the military has this terribly incestous relationship with the defense industry.

of course Air Force generals look at war differently from Army and Marines, it is mostly a game for them flying their expensive toys at very high altitude and delivering guided munitions from far away. they never look their enemies in the eye.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 17:09 utc | 11

The retired Air Force general's views are unfortunately shared by a great many people. I would add in contrast, a sign I saw at the peace march in Washington on Saturday,

"War is terrorism with a bigger budget" -

and since World War II, no one has killed more people with bombs than the United States Air Force - by several orders of magnitude, I bet.

May the Creative Forces of the Universe have mercy on our souls, if any.

Posted by: mistah charley | Feb 1 2007 17:16 utc | 12

Dan of Steele,

I think I heard Limbaugh's rant about Hillary a couple of days ago... probably the same rant you did considering the time change. I went to Limbaugh's website this morning and tried to check out exactly what he said. Limbaugh does not back up with a link or verification of Hillary's statement at Des Moines East High School. Limbaugh may have distorted Hillary's statement. But even so, the War Resolution by Congress is very clear that it gave Bush the authority for war. And this You Tube video is indefensible for Hillary. After about 8 minutes into the video, Hillary clearly says that the U.S. needs to act alone in Iraq if we don’t get the U.N. cooperation. When pressed by her Code Pink audience, she also tries to change the subject to U.S. domestic economic problems and homeland security.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1 2007 17:40 utc | 13

Hillary also had a statement a couple years ago, well after the quagmire was established, where she said that even knowing what she knew then (no WMDs, indefinite stay in Iraq) she still would have voted for the war authorization.

Her claims that it would be "irresponsible" for Bush to leave the war to his successor strikes, I think, at the heart of her problem with it. She doesn't want to lose.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 1 2007 17:55 utc | 14


If you were watching the handball semi-final, I guess you are probably breathing again. wadda game!

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1 2007 18:36 utc | 15

more bad grades at DHS
narcosphere: DHS memo reveals agency personnel are treated like "human capital"

Posted by: b real | Feb 1 2007 20:36 utc | 16

Just listened to Norah Jones' new CD and found this song. It's quite nice, and timely at this particular moment, I think.

My Dear Country

’Twas Halloween and the ghosts were out
And everywhere they’d go they shout
And though I covered my eyes I knew
They’d go away
But fear’s the only thing I saw
And three days later was clear to all
That nothing is as scary as election day
But the day after is darker
And darker and darker it goes
Who knows maybe the plans will change
Who knows maybe he’s not deranged
The news men know what they know but they
Know even less than what they say
And I don’t know who I can trust
For the come what may
’Cuz we believed in our candidate
But even more it’s the one we hate
I needed someone I could shake
On election day
But the day after is darker
And deeper and deeper we go
Who knows maybe it’s all a dream
Who knows if I’ll wake up and scream
I love the things that you’ve given me
I cherish you, my dear country
But sometimes I don’t understand
The way we play
I love the things that you’ve given me
And most of all that I am free
To have a song that I can sing
On election day

Posted by: Bea | Feb 2 2007 2:42 utc | 17

has anyone been keeping up on what's going on in the philippines? i haven't been following it, but this news sounds promising yet hauntingly familiar
Arroyo vows to end assassinations

The Philippine president has defended the military after an inquiry blamed soldiers for the killing of activists.

"I believe 99.9 per cent of our military are good, hardworking and patriotic Filipino," Gloria Arroyo said.

The panel had said "elements in the military" were behind the killing of activists, farmers and village organisers.

Arroyo admitted that soldiers were "possibly" involved, but also pointed the finger at "communist rebels".
The Melo commission submitted its report to Arroyo on Tuesday but it has not been released to the public.

On Wednesday, Eduardo Ermita, the commission’s executive secretary, said the report was based on initial findings gleaned mainly from military officials and that more needed to be done before the commission could complete its task.

Ermita said the president had asked the justice and defence departments to work with human rights groups and asked the Supreme Court to explore the possibility of organising a special court to hear political killings cases.

The Arroyo government is also asking European human rights officials to work with the investigative panel.
Jose Melo, a former Supreme Court justice who heads the commission, said on Tuesday that soldiers were involved in a majority of political killings in the country, and that their superiors should be held accountable.
Another rights group, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or Bayan, said the report fell short of "finding the roots of the extra-judicial killings".

It pointed out that killings have continued after Palparan retired, and said there was "a national policy involved which sanctions the assassination of activists".

"The Melo Commission … has shielded the administration from any culpability," it said.

Karapatan has listed more than 800 people allegedly gunned down by security forces since 2001 but it is unclear how many of the cases were investigated by the Melo commission.

an article from last may, by james petras & robin eastman-abaya
The Killing Fields of Asia: Waging war on activists and others, with U.S. support

The combined military-death squad campaign has all the earmarks of U.S.-sponsored “low intensity” warfare against the civilian population. The military “proscribes” or labels individuals and groups as terrorists on the basis of what it claims to be “secret intelligence” in order to criminalize their right to resist oppression and fight for self-determination, and to justify their elimination. The creation of these lists is outside of the process of judicial scrutiny and limits any legal protection for the victims or their survivors. Using the propaganda of a psychological warfare operation, the victims and their associations are invariably described as terrorists.
In October 2003, during a visit Bush cited the Philippines as a model for the rebuilding of Iraq. Forgetting to mention the U.S. invasion of the Philippines in 1898 and 13-year pacification campaign when upwards of one million Filipinos died, Bush described the Philippines as a “model of democracy”—albeit a bonafide death squad democracy.

and a rpt i've already linked to a couple times recently, but which is relevant
Unconventional Warfare: Are US Special Forces Engaged in an ‘Offensive War’ in the Philippines?

Since January 2002, US Special Operations Forces (SOFs) have been stationed in the southern Philippines and have not left since then. Their deployment has significant implications for issues of peace and security in the southern Philippines, on democracy in the country and its sovereignty, on the geo-political balance in the region, and on the US’ global military posture. But – because of domestic historical factors and the current balance of political forces – it is on the claim that the US Special Forces are not engaged in “actual combat” that their continuing presence in the Philippines seem to stand.

Five years after the initial deployment, this report gathers the available information and evidence regarding this claim. It relies on publicly available information provided by US troops themselves who, in writing about their missions for military publications, have gone on record to describe their experiences in ways that cast their operation in a different light. It is based on first-hand interviews with witnesses who have dared to come out and who claim to have seen US troops in action. It gathers various separate news articles, reports, and papers offering little-known or little-discussed information on the mission and puts them together to provide a bigger and more coherent picture. Finally, it studies and analyzes overall US global military strategy in order to contextualize their mission.

It finds that the US troops may not only be waging war within the Philippines, they may also established a new form of U.S. bases in the country.

Posted by: b real | Feb 2 2007 5:41 utc | 18

Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.
The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN's panel as "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and ask for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs".
The letters were sent by Kenneth Green, a visiting scholar at AEI, who confirmed that the organisation had approached scientists, economists and policy analysts to write articles for an independent review that would highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC report.

Posted by: b | Feb 2 2007 7:30 utc | 19

@b real - thanks for the Phillipine update.

Posted by: b | Feb 2 2007 7:49 utc | 20

@b-real - 10 - Somalia:

Looks like the US made a deal? Islamist chief reportedly Yemen-bound

Islamist leader Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, seen by Washington as a potential key to reconciliation in postwar Somalia, was out of custody in Kenya and reported to be leaving soon for Yemen.

Several Islamist leaders have taken refuge in Yemen since their movement's defeat late last year in an offensive by Somalian government forces backed by the Ethiopian military.

Ahmed, who is widely perceived as a moderate compared with other senior Islamists, was one of the two main leaders of the movement, which took the capital, Mogadishu, in June and ruled a swath of southern Somalia until its defeat.

Posted by: b | Feb 2 2007 8:50 utc | 21

Here is another example of a bill which sounds good at first blush but has enormous potential for misuse.

thank goodness the democrats are running things now so we don't have to worry about civil liberties being taken away.

Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 2 2007 9:55 utc | 22

b- before i went to sleep last night, i saw a longer reuters article on yahoo reporting that sheikh sharif sheikh ahmed had been released and was likely headed to yemen. i thought the same thing - what kind of deal was worked out? ahmed being able to go safely out of the country was one of the demands. and ahmed was quoted as saying that he could not answer any other questions at that point. the timestamp on the article was 9:30 am thursday morning, which seemed a bit strange. the article is no longer avail at reuters, but i did find a copy here -- Somali Islamist leader out of Kenyan custody

i did find this article from yesterday on a website covering the horn
Somali Islamist leader Leaving from Kenya

Djibouti (HAN) February 1st, 2007 - The leader Islamic courts in Somalia have set conditions the release of eleven American soldiers witch the said abducted in southern Somalia during US ground mission in the area. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the moderate leader of Somali Islamists presented the conditions during talks with US ambassador to Kenya in Nairobi, Arab diplomats said on Thursday.

but there's no further details & the article itself is weird, contradictory at times, labeling ahmed a moderate leader in one paragraph & an extremist in another, and it's confusing. it states
The pentagon Information beaurue in Washington denied that the Somali extremist Islamist news site report that its retreating fighters had captured 10 U.S. soldiers, one of whom died of malaria.

Qaadisiya site, which has been the Islamists' official mouthpiece in recent months, also said 'mujahideen' – who retreated to the remote south after being ousted from Mogadishu – planned to parade its U.S. detainees in front of media.

But a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: 'We don't have any U.S. service members that have been captured or killed in southern Somalia.'

why would a DoD official speak anon on denying missing troops? today has a writeup on an interview they've just completed w/ ahmed, and the quote him as denying the rpts of captured soldiers.
Top Islamist leader calls for peace and reconciliation in Somalia

Somalia’s top Islamist leader, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, with whom Shabelle had an interview from Nairobi, Kenya on Friday, said the US government worked hard to bring him to the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

“The U.S. and I have had dialog over how to introduce peace into Somalia. We have agreed on many issues and we still have something left,” he said.
Ahmed denied Reports written by many news agencies that indicated about 11 US soldiers were seized by Islamist fighters in southern Somalia before they were driven out of the country by Ethiopian and the Somali government troops. “We don’t have those reports and they are not what we are aware of,” he said.

so i'm not sure what to make of this right now. was the al-khaleej the only source reporting on the ahmed's conditons in his meetings w/ the u.s.? it's tough to dig very deep given the language barrier, for one. so will have to wait for more english-language reportage, commentary, & analyses.

Posted by: b real | Feb 2 2007 16:22 utc | 23

b real #18. great post, i recommend the links. from the pdf @pg 18

The goal is not just to earn the sympathy of the locals, but to extract information necessary for combat. As a military writer wrote, the underlying aim of the humanitarian projects is "not simply to provide feel-good projects that achieve positive perceptions among the local populace. " According to him, "the pupose is to utilize the correct...carrots... that will yield actionable intellegence that can be used to target and destroy the insurgent infrastructure..." after the carrots come the sticks. According to Wendt, "After the infrustructer has been identified and exposed by the local population, its members can be killed and captured." this strategy to gain detailed local knowledge takes a long time and requires that the troops are "embedded" in the community in order to become more familiar with both the terrain and the local culture"

Posted by: annie | Feb 2 2007 17:27 utc | 24

Selections from "Thirty -six sure-fire signs that your empire is crumbling":

You know your empire’s crumbling when you weaken your currency until it looks as anemic as a Paris runway model, and you’re still setting record trade deficits. (Hint: Because you’re not making anything anymore.)

You know your empire’s crumbling when the predatory class has taken over your government and is stripping the country of everything not bolted down to the floor. And then it sells the floor itself, as well, to your rivals.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you’re spending tens of billions of dollars you don’t own on new nuclear warheads and space weapons that don’t work, to be used against an enemy you don’t have.

Posted by: catlady | Feb 2 2007 19:48 utc | 25

Thanks catlady - recommended ...

Posted by: b | Feb 2 2007 20:03 utc | 26

Glenn is right here. What I do is unsustainable ...

Posted by: b | Feb 2 2007 20:15 utc | 27

b- all you have to do is put out the hat. we probably can't replace an IT salary, but i'd be willing to bet this community can help sustain operating expenses each year.

Posted by: b real | Feb 2 2007 21:58 utc | 28

not sure if this is just my perceptions changing, or if perhaps you really are operating on a higher level of perception since the Hamburgfest, but your posts and comments have been laser sharp since the start of the year. The perspectives you've been offering have been little revelations, and I am having the novel experience of steadily being moved off many of my underpinnings of delusion, one after another. I say novel because each shift is small but definite, and no other reading experience of mine since I was re-evaluating my religion has been not only sharply focused enough for me to absorb but also rapidly and consistently followed by yet another sharply meaningful burst.

What I mean is, I owe you. Tell me, are you interested in a fulltime writing gig? Or is there someother way we could help?

But back to my point - I owe you and hope to keep on gaining from your posts for a while longer. Thank you.

So, what's your vision of something sustainable?

Posted by: citizen | Feb 2 2007 22:27 utc | 29


Please put up a donate button on Moon of Alabama's home page. Your posts are direct, to the point, and have info that I can find NOWHERE ELSE!!!! Even with news found in the mainstream media, your analysis and summaries save me oodles of time. And from my experience and knowledge, any bias or skepticism that you have placed in your analysis has been well warranted!

Again, the world doesn't need another political blog - but the world needs Moon of Alabama.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 2 2007 23:27 utc | 30


what you do is something more essential than can be readily understood

the resources here are always exceptional & filters out the useless dull thud of information into things that are more concentrated

thank you
but you know that

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 3 2007 3:09 utc | 31

keep this blog goin' b, or i'm gonna ban you.

Posted by: bush's heart | Feb 3 2007 3:49 utc | 32

VOA is reporting that the UN is likely going to take over responsibility for peacekeeping forces into somalia
UN Prepares For Takeover Of Somalia Peacekeeping Mission

The United Nations is sending a mission to Somalia to prepare for the eventual takeover of a planned African Union peacekeeping force. VOA's correspondent at the U.N., Peter Heinlein reports.

U.N. Political Affairs chief Ibrahim Gambari says an African Union peace mission being recruited for Somalia is only a stopgap measure. Gambari told the Security Council Friday that A.U. leaders expect the world body to assume control of the operation within six months.
The current Security Council president, Slovakia's Ambassador Peter Burian said the latest deadly mortar attacks in Mogadishu underline the urgent need for a peacekeeping presence. "Members of the Security Council supported the rapid deployment of a U.N. technical assessment mission with a view to making recommendations to the Security Council on future security needs in Somalia," he said.

Burian emphasized the need for an urgent deployment to help create conditions for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Somalia.

should be interesting, b/c as one u.s. specialist in somalia pointed out several years back, in 1992 "events in Somalia nearly destroyed the credibility of UN peacekeeping."

ethiopia must have really made a solid deal w/ the u.s. (or be in a good position to bargain) b/c it sounds like they're still sticking to their schedule for complete withdrawal w/i two weeks.

Posted by: b real | Feb 3 2007 4:59 utc | 33

RITMO: Border Policy's Success Strains Resources

"I call it 'Ritmo' -- like Gitmo, but it's in Raymondville," said Jodi Goodwin, an immigration lawyer from nearby Harlingen.
Detainees are subject to penal system practices, such as group punishment for disciplinary infractions. The tents are windowless and the walls are blank, and no partitions or doors separate the five toilets, five sinks, five shower heads and eating areas. Lacking utensils on some days, detainees eat with their hands.

Because lights are on around the clock, a visitor finds many occupants buried in their blankets throughout the day. The stillness and torpor of the pod's communal room, where 50 to 60 people dwell, are noticeable.

Goodwin described a group of women who huddled in a recreation yard on a recent 40-degree day with a 25-mph wind. "They had no blanket, no sweat shirt, no jacket," she said. "Officers were wearing earmuffs, and detainees were outside for an hour with short-sleeved polyester uniforms and shower shoes and not necessarily socks."

Perhaps more troubling, lawyers said, large numbers of immigrants have been transferred from Boston, New York, New Jersey and Florida, far from their families and lawyers. Because some immigration judges do not permit hearings by teleconference, detainees are essentially deprived of counsel.

Posted by: b | Feb 3 2007 9:46 utc | 34

Barney the purple dinosaur

just for giggles, from driftglass

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 3 2007 17:23 utc | 35

dan, nice. this meshes perfectly w/my sat morning slow brain.

Posted by: annie | Feb 3 2007 18:56 utc | 36

Bernhard, Please put up a donate button on Moon of Alabama's home page

just in case everyone doesn't know, there is a donation link here.

b, you are a jewel

Posted by: annie | Feb 3 2007 19:31 utc | 37

In Washington, Contractors Take on Biggest Role Ever

In June, short of people to process cases of incompetence and fraud by federal contractors, officials at the General Services Administration responded with what has become the government’s reflexive answer to almost every problem.

They hired another contractor.
The G.S.A., like other agencies, said it did not track the number or total cost of its contract workers. The agency administrator, Lurita Doan, who previously ran a Virginia contracting firm, has actively pushed contracting. Ms. Doan recently clashed with her agency’s inspector general over her proposal to remove the job of auditing contractors’ proposed prices from his office and to hire contractors to do it instead.

Posted by: b | Feb 4 2007 8:56 utc | 38

Frank Rich (liberated): Why Dick Cheney Cracked Up

IN the days since Dick Cheney lost it on CNN, our nation’s armchair shrinks have had a blast. The vice president who boasted of “enormous successes” in Iraq and barked “hogwash” at the congenitally mild Wolf Blitzer has been roundly judged delusional, pathologically dishonest or just plain nuts. But what else is new? We identified those diagnoses long ago. The more intriguing question is what ignited this particularly violent public flare-up.

The answer can be found in the timing of the CNN interview, which was conducted the day after the start of the perjury trial of Mr. Cheney’s former top aide, Scooter Libby.
Thanks to the commotion caused by the leak case, that damning evidence has slowly dribbled out. By my count we now know of at least a half-dozen instances before the start of the Iraq war when various intelligence agencies and others signaled that evidence of Iraq’s purchase of uranium in Africa might be dubious or fabricated. (These are detailed in the timelines at The culmination of these warnings arrived in January 2003, the same month as the president’s State of the Union address, when the White House received a memo from the National Intelligence Council, the coordinating body for all American spy agencies, stating unequivocally that the claim was baseless.
What we are learning from Mr. Libby’s trial is just what a herculean effort it took to execute this two-pronged cover-up after Mr. Wilson’s article appeared. Mr. Cheney was the hands-on manager of the 24/7 campaign of press manipulation and high-stakes character assassination, with Mr. Libby as his chief hatchet man. Though Mr. Libby’s lawyers are now arguing that their client was a sacrificial lamb thrown to the feds to shield Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby actually was — and still is — a stooge for the vice president.

Whether he will go to jail for his misplaced loyalty is the human drama of his trial. But for the country there are bigger issues at stake, and they are not, as the White House would have us believe, ancient history. The administration propaganda flimflams that sold us the war are now being retrofitted to expand and extend it.
Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of Colin Powell’s notorious W.M.D. pantomime before the United Nations Security Council, a fair amount of it a Cheney-Libby production. To mark this milestone, the White House is reviving the same script to rev up the war’s escalation, this time hyping Iran-Iraq connections instead of Al Qaeda-Iraq connections. In his Jan. 10 prime-time speech on Iraq, Mr. Bush said that Iran was supplying “advanced weaponry and training to our enemies,” even though the evidence suggests that Iran is actually in bed with our “friends” in Iraq, the Maliki government.

timeline (pdf)- good one

Posted by: b | Feb 4 2007 9:15 utc | 39

From the moonie times...

Rumsfeld's transition raises questions
"Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has left the Pentagon, but not the Defense Department.

On Jan. 4, Mr. Rumsfeld opened a government-provided transition office in Arlington and has seven Pentagon-paid staffers working for him, a Pentagon official said... "

I have sd it before, these fucks don't get fired no matter how much they fuck up, they get moved laterally.

This website is devoted to the display of information with diagrams:
In particular, I found this one to be interesting: The Bush dynasty as described in Kevin Phillips' book. Thought I would share it...

Can we say, The Peter Principle?...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 4 2007 16:11 utc | 40

CSM: What 'Israel's right to exist' means to Palestinians

To demand that Palestinians recognize "Israel's right to exist" is to demand that a people who have been treated as subhumans unworthy of basic human rights publicly proclaim that they are subhumans. It would imply Palestinians' acceptance that they deserve what has been done and continues to be done to them. Even 19th-century US governments did not require the surviving native Americans to publicly proclaim the "rightness" of their ethnic cleansing by European colonists as a condition precedent to even discussing what sort of land reservation they might receive. Nor did native Americans have to live under economic blockade and threat of starvation until they shed whatever pride they had left and conceded the point.
- Recommended

Posted by: b | Feb 4 2007 19:45 utc | 41

I recall one of b's guests from the new year's gathering reporting a comet on the plane ride back. I don't quite imagine this is the same one, but nonetheless its a sweet picture.

cute subplot too.

Posted by: citizen | Feb 4 2007 21:34 utc | 42


This site is so valuable in so many ways. Please let us help you in whatever way would be useful. Donations - absolutely. But I am also willing to share the burden of responsibility, if there is any way that would help. I am not sure what it might be. Commit to writing posts on a regular basis? Help with some of the back end stuff? Take on responsibility to scan certain publications or sites each day for worthwhile information? I don't really know. But I am really really grateful to you for this site and all that it makes possible, and I would not like to see it diminished in any way.

Please, if there are ways that we can help alleviate the drain on your time, let us know.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 5 2007 2:41 utc | 43

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