Saudi Newspaper Warns of Nuclear Fallout

Bush-Iran .. The Saudi government is now preparing plans to deal with “any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards” that may arise from an attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors. This was reported by a top Saudi newspaper, Okaz, and relayed by a leading German news service, DPA — one day after Dick Cheney paid a visit to the kingdom. As we noted, no one knows exactly what was said at that confab of allied authoritarians — but something sure lit a fire under the Saudis, and convinced them that urgent action is needed to brace for the lethal overspill from a strike on Iran.

Floyd points out that nothing in Saudi Arabia becomes the top news story without government approval. That such a story should be released the day after Cheney’s visit, sends a message to everyone about what’s on Cheney’s mind.

This, combined with the dismissal of Centcom chief, Admiral Fallon, Petreus’ claim to have evidence (which he doesn’t produce) that Iran was responsible for the recent shelling of the Green Zone,

. . and the Egyptian report that a nuclear sub has been ordered by Bush into the Gulf, the bleak picture in both Pakistan and Afghanistan (accelerating collapse of Musharraf’s power and strategy, the coming spring offensive in the Taliban’s announced drive for Kabu[sic]),

. . plus the oft-stated desire of Bush and Cheney to attack Iran, and, as noted by former mideast policy official William K. Polk at Juan Cole’s site just a few days ago, the last time Cheney visited the nations he visited this time was right before the Iraq attack,

. . then only a moron would deny that Bush and Dick have nothing but contempt for the will of the people, congress and the courts, and that they crave war like a junkie craves his fix… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <OpEdNews>

As troubling as this news is, I think it’s a bit premature. For now, I think that the Reich is content to sit back and watch Democrats shredding each other, while the captive MSM concentrate on that. Once Democrats settle their differences and turn their attentions to McConJob, then is the time that this scenario becomes most likely, perhaps in late summer or early fall. Then the attack, if it happens, is sure to be preceded by a false-flag operation of some sort, because the people won’t be fooled by a trumped-up necessity for a preemptive strike. Iraq is too fresh in their minds, with the many lies surrounding that debacle. Instead, the attack will have to appear to be a direct retaliation for an attack against the US or Israel. When and if this happens, it will fall to us to scour the world news in order to learn and expose the truth, because we may rest assured that the media will be beating the war drum.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

GOP Identification Down 18% Since 2004

31GOPchart The Pew report released ten days ago represents possibly the strongest indication yet of a major ongoing partisan realignment, along the lines of what was last seen in 1930/1932–or at least half of one, as people are leaving the Republican Party in droves–almost one in five since 2004–while more independents are leaning Democratic. So many other things have been happening, however, that it doesn’t seem as if this report has gotten nearly the attention that it deserves. If nearly one in five people had left the Democratic Party since 2004, the coverage would have been so intense, it would have driven Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears into obscurity, but with the GOP undergoing collapse, not so much. Still, why are WE paying so little attention? And, more importantly, what can we do to take maximum advantage of this turn of events?

Pew (3/20):

The balance of party identification in the American electorate now favors the Democratic Party by a decidedly larger margin than in either of the two previous presidential election cycles.

In 5,566 interviews with registered voters conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press during the first two months of 2008, 36% identify themselves as Democrats, and just 27% as Republicans.

In particular, good as the news may be for Democrats, it’s main importance may be in calling attention to a potential for even further, and much more substantial gains–if Democrats will recognize the opportunity, and move to seize it.

… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Open Left>

GOPNazis Democrats need to concentrate on what sets up apart from Republicans, and especially on how McConJob is McSame as Bush. The media will not do it. They’d much rather cover the delegate fight between Clinton and Obama. So spreading the truth falls to us. But we have so much ammunition, it’s hard to know where to start. The GOP has brought us an illegal and immoral failed war, election fraud, spying on Americans, torture, rendition, kangaroo courts, illegally politicizing federal agencies, especially the DOJ, economic warfare against the poor and middle classes, the muzzling of scientists, corrupt outsourcing of contracts, $4.00 gasoline, scandal after scandal after scandal, and most of all, the collapse of our economy. We have the power to put the GOP out of balance, if only we choose to use it.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

Musharraf at Risk for Impeachment

31musharraf_bush Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani on Saturday won a unanimous vote of confidence from the National Assembly and pledged to begin rolling back some of the authoritarian measures imposed late last year by President Pervez Musharraf during six weeks of de facto martial law.

Gillani, who took office Tuesday, was legally required to win a vote of confidence before his government embarks on its work. No Pakistani prime minister had ever won such a vote unanimously.

Saturday’s impassioned parliamentary session brought the latest indications that the new government, made up of the former political opposition, may make it impossible for Musharraf to remain in office, even in a much-diminished role.

Analysts and some opposition figures said the wall-to-wall support for Gillani suggested that the new government would probably be in a position to muster the two-thirds support needed in both houses of parliament to impeach Musharraf, if it chooses to do so.

We have the numbers for impeachment,” said Khwaja Asif, a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, or PML-N, the junior partner in the new ruling coalition, speaking to reporters after the parliamentary session.

Musharraf’s far-outnumbered party, however, said the vote in favor of Gillani on Saturday was merely a signal of willingness to work with the new government.

Musharraf’s ouster would be a serious blow to the Bush administration, which fears that its longtime ally’s abrupt departure from the political scene could trigger instability in nuclear-armed Pakistan and hamper efforts to fight AlQaeda and the Taliban.

The Bush administration has been scrambling to build ties with Pakistan’s new leaders, but two senior U.S. diplomats received a chilly reception during a visit last week. Many ordinary Pakistanis deeply resent the unflagging U.S. support for Musharraf over the last six months, even as he cracked down hard on political opponents, suspended the constitution and muzzled the electronic media… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <LA Times>

Musharraf was a fool to think that he could get away with the kinds of crimes Bush and the GOP commit here with impunity. I don’t think he can survive this, and as a result, the US will have lost considerable influence in a vital region. As the Pakistani congress moves forward, I hope Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are watching and ready to learn.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

Another Corrupt Republican Going Down

31alphonsojackson WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. housing secretary will resign Monday morning under pressure after accusations of improper allocation of federal contracts, the Wall Street Journal reported in its Monday edition.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson will step down on Monday morning, the paper reported. The department announced late Sunday that Jackson will make a statement to the press on Monday morning.

Jackson has faced calls for his resignation after lawmakers have said he behaved improperly in awarding federal contracts…

Inserted from <Reuters>

I know. No surprises here. Yawn! smile_thinking

If one resigned every day for the rest of Bush’s term, a virtually infinite supply will remain to be fired ASAP in 2009.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

Siegelman Seeks Answers, Eyes Rove

30Karl_Rove-SS Upon his release from prison yesterday, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman sounded like a man intent on figuring out why partisanship apparently landed him behind bars for nine months.

Speaking by telephone in his first post-prison interview, shortly after he had left the federal penitentiary at Oakdale, La., Mr. Siegelman said there had been “abuse of power” in his case, and repeatedly cited Karl Rove, the former White House political director.

“His fingerprints are smeared all over the case,” Mr. Siegelman said, a day after a federal appeals court ordered him released on bond and said there were legitimate questions about his case. He was sentenced to serve seven years last June after a guilty verdict on bribery and corruption charges a year earlier.

In measured tones after spending nine months at the prison, the former governor, a Democrat, said he would press to have Mr. Rove answer questions to Congress about his possible involvement in the case.

When Attorney General Gonzales and Karl Rove left office in a blur, they left the truth buried in their documents,” Mr. Siegelman said, referring to Alberto R. Gonzales. “It’s going to be my quest to encourage Congress to ensure that Karl Rove either testifies, or takes the Fifth.”

Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, told the NYT, “There’s absolutely, positively, no truth to any of the allegations and literally no evidence for any of it.”

Really, Bob? “No evidence” at all?

I seem to recall Republican lawyer Dana Jill Simpson, answering questions under oath from House investigators, offering at least some evidence.

In the interview, first obtained by Time and released today by the committee, Simpson explains the context in which she knew what Alabama Republican operative William Canary meant on a campaign conference call in 2002 when he said “Karl” had gotten the Justice Department on Siegelman. Simpson told House investigators that the son of Gov. Bob Riley (R), Rob Riley, had told her about the conversations between Rove and Canary. From the transcript:

“But I knew from conversations that I had had with Rob that Bill Canary was very connected to Karl Rove. Additionally, there was some talk — and that’s not in my affidavit — about Karl had — about Washington; that Karl had it taken care of in Washington.”

The investigation into Siegelman didn’t lead to any prosecutions before he could run for re-election, so in 2005, Dana Jill Simpson said Rove went back to the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice to push for a more aggressive approach. (Apparently, there was a concern that the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama “messed up” the case that was supposed to keep Siegelman from running.)

Q: Okay. And did Rob give you the name of the person at — I’m just going to call it Public Integrity — that he thought he understood Karl Rove had spoken to?

[Simpson]: No, he said it was the head guy there and he said that that guy had agreed to allocate whatever resources, so evidently the guy had the power to allocate resources, you know.

Q: To the Siegelman prosecution?

[Simpson] Yes. And that he’d allocate all resources necessary.

“Literally no evidence” of Rove’s involvement in this controversy? Maybe someone ought to make Mr. Luskin a copy of the recent “60 Minutes” report… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Carpetbagger Report>

That’s all the evidence I need. The ideal here would be for Rove to be so preoccupied keeping his own Nazi butt out of prison so as not to have time to use his extensive criminal talent to benefit McConJob in his attempt to become Bush III. Unless all the GOP miscreants involved in the attempt to convert the US to one-party fascist rule are held accountable for their crimes, it will happen again.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

Spinning Failure in Iraq

30iraq Shiite militiamen in Basra openly controlled wide swaths of the city on Saturday and staged increasingly bold raids on Iraqi government forces sent five days ago to wrest control from the gunmen, witnesses said, as Iraqi political leaders grew increasingly critical of the stalled assault.

Witnesses in Basra said members of the most powerful militia in the city, the Mahdi Army, were setting up checkpoints and controlling traffic in many places ringing the central district controlled by some of the 30,000 Iraqi Army and police forces involved in the assault. Fighters were regularly attacking the government forces, then quickly retreating.

Senior members of several political parties said the operation, ordered by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, had been poorly planned. The growing discontent adds a new level of complication to the American-led effort to demonstrate that the Iraqi government had made strides toward being able to operate a functioning country and keep the peace without thousands of American troops.

Mr. Maliki has staked his reputation on the success of the Basra assault, fulfilling a longstanding American desire for him to boldly take on militias.

But as criticism of the assault has risen, it has brought into question another American benchmark of progress in Iraq: political reconciliation… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

This has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or sectarian violence. It’s a struggle between Shia militia’s, the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigade. Maliki is trying to consolidate then power of his faction over that of Al Sadr. Despite support from Bush, McConJob, Petraeus, and the GOP, Maliki’s effort is failing. In many cases, his troops have surrendered and handed over their weapons to the Sadrists, as pictured above. But when all else fails, they can depend on the Reichsministry of propaganda, aka Faux Noise.

faux_news On Thursday, President Bush declared that the violence currently engulfing the southern Iraqi city of Basra is “very positive” because it shows that the Iraqi government “is willing to take on elements that believe they are beyond the law.” On the same day, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said that clashes in Basra are “a credit not only to the Iraqis, but to the success of the surge.”

On Mike Gallagher’s radio show yesterday, Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, echoed the Bush administration’s spin and declared that violence in Basra is “good news”:

We’re going to talk about Iraq and the Iraqi offensive, which I think, in a sense, is good news. Because it’s the Iraqi government, who’s mostly Shi’ite, taking on Shi’ite outlaw militias in the southern part of the country and this is after all what the whole point of the surge and our efforts there was supposed to be all about, was to get the Iraqis to stand up and control their own country.

… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Faux Noise can not save the Reich from their failures. They can only misinform GOP twenty percenters and apolitical sheeple who lack the civic responsibility to inform themselves. While the rest of the MSM is largely silent, Faux Noise grossly and intentionally distorts the truth. It falls to us to spread the word in every way we can, because there can be no democracy when voters do not have valid factual information.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

McCain Guru Linked to Subprime Crisis

30mccaingramm The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil.

“A regulatory structure set up for banks in the 1930s needed to change because the nature of business had changed,” the Illinois senator running for president said in a New York economic speech. “But by the time [it] was repealed in 1999, the $300 million lobbying effort that drove deregulation was more about facilitating mergers than creating an efficient regulatory framework.”

Gramm’s role in the swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation’s investment houses and practices didn’t stop there.

A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS’s new investment banking arm.

Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.

During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages.

For his work, Gramm and two other lobbyists collected $750,000 in fees from UBS’s American subsidiary. In the past year, UBS has written down more then $18 billion in exposure to subprime loans and other risky securities and is considering cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.

Gramm did not respond to an e-mail, and was unavailable for comment, according to a UBS spokesman. The bank has no official position on the subprime crisis, the spokesman said, but is a member of the Financial Services Roundtable and other industry groups that are actively lobbying Congress on the issue.

Now, some housing experts and economists see Gramm’s thinking in the recent housing proposal from McCain, the Republican Party’s presumed presidential nominee. Gramm is often a surrogate for the Arizona senator, particularly in meetings focused on the economy. And McCain has hinted he’d consider the former Texas senator for Treasury secretary in a McCain administration… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Politico>

To sum this up, McConJob’s chief financial guru was a key player rolling back consumer protection against predatory lending practices during the GOP controlled 109th Congress. Do we want such a man as Secretary of the Treasury? McConJob’s stated solution to the housing crisis is to reduce regulation. Four years of McConJob equals four more years of Bush!

Cross-posted from Politics Plus