news aggregator

November 25, 2005

Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), longtime congressional hawk, took a historic stand and came out against the war in Iraq and for bringing our troops home. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and tell them why you support Congressman Murtha. Peace Action
Source: Blogger News
Categories: News
  • Dems won a special election for a state senate seat in Minnesota last night. From the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (which supports state lege races) press release:

    Democrats now have a ten-seat advantage over Republicans for state legislative seats nationally controlling 3,662 state legislative seats to 3,652 for Republicans.

    "A national effort is underway to fight back against Republicans on the state level in all fifty states, and it is working" added Davies.  "The DLCC has been working with state legislative Democrats on this effort and it is clear from this month's critical victories that we have been effective in beating the Republicans' efforts."

    Democratic control of state legislatures is crucial to the future of the Democratic Party as 20 of the 36 states in which state legislatures control redistricting are within 4 seats of switching party control.  State legislators are the national barometers of the future--57 percent of Members of Congress and 44 percent of Governors once served in state houses.

  • Asked, "Do you think that the Bush administration generally provides accurate information regarding current issues or do you think they generally mislead the public on current issues to achieve its own end?", respondents to the latest Harris poll for the WSJ gave "generally accurate" only 32 percent, compared to 64 percent who thing Bush is a misleader.

    It was 68/28 among Republicans, 7/91 among Democrats, and 25/73 among independents. (Link, which is subscription only.)

  • The New Politics Institute, where I am a fellow, is having an event titled Riding the Media Wave: Making the 21st Century Media Transformation Work for Progressives. It features Peter Leyden, former managing editor of Wired Magazine. The event is free. Click the link for date, location, and signup form.

  • Latest ARG poll has Bush at 36 percent approval, same as last month.
Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
This report finds that nearly half of the low- and moderate-income taxpayers surveyed in seven cities nationally reported having medical debt. This debt posed a significant barrier to their housing security. The Access Project
Source: Blogger News
Categories: News
Rasmussen. 11/16. MoE 4.5% (No trend lines)

Nelson (D) 52
Ricketts (R) 29

Nelson (D) 57
Kramer (R) 25

Senator Nelson faces a challenge that is different from most of his colleagues in the Democratic Party. He is running for re-election in a state where George W. Bush remains popular. The President has a 61% Job Approval Rating in Nebraska.

If the election becomes a referendum on President Bush, that would benefit whichever candidate wins the Republican nomination.

Republican Governor Dave Heineman is even more popular than the President with a 79% Job Approval rating.

Nelson is viewed favorably by 70% of Nebraska voters and unfavorably by 22%.

For Ricketts, the numbers are 39% favorable, 29% unfavorable and 32% with no opinion.

Kramer is viewed favorably by 32%, unfavorably by 33%, and 35% have no opinion.

Nelson should've been a top NRSC target in 2006, but this is one of those states in which Liddy Dole completely dropped the ball. And to the inevitable whiners who can't get past Nelson's DINO status, this is Nebraska. 55 percent of Nelson's votes is better than the big fat zero we'd get out of a Republican replacement. Not to mention the Big Vote in January 2007 for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Incidentally, Rasmussen is promising to poll every single senate and governor's race every month in 2006, which is pretty frickin' cool. And better yet, competitive races will be polled even more frequently.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
Murray Waas:

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The administration has refused to provide the Sept. 21 President's Daily Brief, even on a classified basis, and won't say anything more about it other than to acknowledge that it exists.

The information was provided to Bush on September 21, 2001 during the "President's Daily Brief," a 30- to 45-minute early-morning national security briefing. Information for PDBs has routinely been derived from electronic intercepts, human agents, and reports from foreign intelligence services, as well as more mundane sources such as news reports and public statements by foreign leaders.

One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources.

To be clear -- there wasn't just no connection, but Saddam viewed Al Qaida as one of his enemies. Yet while the administration and its apologists continue to claim that Democrats had the same intelligence they did on Saddam, we can bet that NONE of them had this bombshell of a document.

Meanwhile, the White House refuses to turn over this document (and other similar ones)  to Senate investigators.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
If the story has no merit, why would the Brittish government threaten newspapers with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act?

Claims that George Bush planned to bomb the Arabic TV news station al-Jazeera have fuelled concerns that an attack on the broadcaster's Baghdad offices during the war on Iraq was deliberate.

An international journalists group today demanded "complete disclosure" from the British and American governments over reports that the US considered attacking the al-Jazeera HQ in the Qatar capital, Doha.

The International Federation of Journalists claimed that 16 journalists and other media staff have died at the hands of US forces in Iraq, adding that the deaths had not been properly investigated.

Al-Jazeera cameraman Tarek Ayoub was killed when the station's Baghdad office was bombed during a US air raid on April 8 2003. On the same day a US tank shelled the Palestine hotel in the Iraqi capital, killing two other journalists.

"Reports that George Bush and Tony Blair discussed a plan to bomb al-Jazeera reinforce concerns that the US attack in Baghdad on April 8 [2003] was deliberate targeting of the media," said Aidan White, the general secretary of the IFJ [...]

A Downing Street spokesman added: "We have got nothing to say about this story. We don't comment on leaked documents."

The attorney general last night threatened newspapers with the Official Secrets Act if they revealed the contents of a document allegedly relating to a dispute between Mr Blair and Mr Bush over the conduct of military operations in Iraq.

Suddenly, Eason Jordan doesn't seem like such a crackpot, does he? (Not that he ever did, despite the rightwing swarm against him.)

And incidentally, the two Brits who leaked the memo detailing the argument between Bush and Blair over bombing Al Jazeera are already being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. It's real.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
We've already discussed this, but now that some newspapers are picking it up, it wouldn't hurt to mention it again.

In late February 1991, an intelligence source reported, during the Iraqi crackdown on the Kurdish uprising that followed the coalition victory against Iraq, "Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships."

According to the intelligence report, the "reports of possible WP chemical weapon attacks spread quickly among the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled from these two areas" across the border into Turkey.

"When Saddam used WP it was a chemical weapon," said Mr Ranucci, "but when the Americans use it, it's a conventional weapon. The injuries it inflicts, however, are just as terrible however you describe it." [...]

Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, called for an independent investigation of the use of WP during the Fallujah siege. "If it was used as an incendiary weapon, clear restrictions apply," he said.

"Given that the US and UK went into Iraq on the ground that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people, we need to make sure that we are not violating the laws that we have subscribed to," he added.

Apologists of the use of WP continue to hide under the legalistic argument that white phosphorus isn't classified as a chemical weapon under any treaty signed by the United States, as if our moral standing in the world hinges on legal parsings. In the court of world opinion, if it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, and burns off the skin of babies like a duck while leaving their clothes intact, well then...

As the United States tries to justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq with moralistic arguments, it would help if we didn't use the same techniques and tactics Saddam used.

That goes with the use of WP, which the Pentagon labelled a "chemical weapon" when it was politically expedient to do so, as well as the use of torture.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs