Category : scandal

The Fed is starting to feel the heat! Keep the pressure on, Congresscritters. Looks like the House is united in demanding a real, independent audit. Now we’ve got to get the Senate on board.

More here.

Things look grim. I’m sure we’re not out of the woods yet — there’s a long way to go before we hit rock bottom.

You can probably guess my reaction to the bailout: SCAM!!

So, our plan is to give the people who fucked the economy billions of dollars with no real plan to get it back? Brilliant! How could that not work?

The assholes basically just got us to pay them for ripping us off. Quite the smooth move on their part. 

But you know, it’s basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic at this point. I don’t think $700 billion (actually, with all the pork it’s closer to $850 billion) will make a lick of difference. The problem is much deeper than that; it has to do with the way we create and regulate money, at the fundamental level. Basically, we need to return to the gold standard, eliminate fractional reserve lending and dissolve the Federal Reserve.

This will make for some bumpy transitions, as a nation used to 5% growth every year realizes that maybe 0.2% is more appropriate. Of course, the 5% growth stat is illusionary. You have to grow by 5% every year just to stay ahead of inflation. If you want to actually make money you need an even higher rate — which leads to risky investments. Wall Street wants ever-better numbers and the strain of achieving them has led many an executive to make risky, negligent or downright stupid investments. We need fiscal sanity! It may be boring, and less people will be able to make a living moving electronic numbers around, but it will bring stable beneficence to the majority of the world.

Problem: How to get there from here. 

Step one: Reach rock bottom.

We’re well on our way there. I’m afraid nothing will change without suffering because there’s no motivation otherwise. It’s a sad truth. The problem is that we’re speeding too fast towards rock bottom. We may hit it with the impact of a dinosaur falling off a thousand-foot cliff. That would basically end our civilization as we know it.


We need a soft landing. But how to get it? The fat-ass rich people stole the golden parachutes, but in a world where money is worthless paper what help will those parachutes be?

There’s no way out of this one, folks. We’re all gonna die unless somebody has been planning ahead with an altruistic and audacious plan to save us from our high-velocity trajectory straight into the ground.

We can’t look to the people in charge to save us — they’re the ones who got us into this mess. So I guess we don’t have many options. Who has a plan? Who has the resources to make it work? Who among us is bold enough to listen?

We are fast approaching the Rubicon.

So yeah, I know this isn’t a big shocker to anybody with a functioning brain stem, but the Bush administration systematically lied its way into the Iraq War. A new study by the Center For Public Integrity has analyzed the public statements of administration officials in the run-up to the war and come up with 935 lies in a two-year span.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

Everybody makes mistakes. Accidents happen and people do stupid things… but 935 mistakes? No fucking way.

So Many Lies, So Little Time
This was an organized campaign of deception. It was a fraud perpetrated on the American people and, most especially, on the people of Iraq.

935 LIES! That’s 1.28 lies per day for 24 months straight by my calculations.

Take a look at the chart below (click for a larger version). You can see that the lies are concentrated around the pre-war and immediate post-invasion period. The peak lying period was the February before the invasion (which began on March 19, 2003). This was no accident.

This is not just a bunch of anonymous interns leaking statements to the press. The study concentrated on just 8 top officials:

President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).

The study can only look at public statements, so we have no way of counting the many lies whispered into the ears of journalists. It’s interesting that Karl Rove was not included in this study, but he’s more of a behind-the-scenes operator. Also missing are gobs of military men, mid-level staffers, the whole pundit class on TV and many more folks who are not directly connected to the administration. These 935 lies are just a drop in the bucket, but they all originate from very high-ranking officials.

The Impeachment Fantasy
So now that we’ve got a study in the mainstream press clearly delineating the fact that George W. Bush made at least 260 false statements in just 24 months, that means the impeachment hearings are just around the corner, right?

Wrong.

The Democrats will wag their fingers and cluck their tongues and do…. nothing. The Republicans have long since sold their souls, but it’s the Democrats’ betrayal that really hurts America. We need a true opposition party more than ever, but we don’t have one.

If you’ve been reading this blog you probably know by now how Washington really works. Democracy, hearings, investigations, intelligence estimates, blah, blah, blah. It’s all just for show. The real power resides behind the scenes. The oligarchy, the establishment, the powers that be — whatever you want to call them — have decided that there will be no impeachment hearings. So there won’t be.

I don’t know what else to tell you. “Write your congressperson”? Fat lotta good that will do, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the pressure on.

The Oligarchs’ Dilemma
Just try not get too depressed. Yes, American “democracy” makes Pakistan look like an oasis of liberty, but it’s not all bad. I’ve got a feeling that there are some people in the establishment who want to change things. No doubt they’re biding their time, waiting for things to fall into place. But we don’t have much time. I don’t think the Bush team plans to leave office, ’cause if they do they’ll have to leave the country, too. Even the oligarchy can’t stop a limited investigation into the Bush regime by any successive Democratic administration. They have to continue the illusion of democracy, even if it hurts them in the short term. And that could mean a war crimes tribunal for Bush and crew.

Cheney knows this so it’s more likely that there will be another terrorist attack before or shortly after the elections (before inaugeration). Bush will declare martial law, lock down the nation, suspend the constitution and retain power “temporarily” until the emergency has passed. Of course, just like in Musharraf’s Pakistan, the emergency will never pass.

If there are any oligarchs still loyal to the constitution, they will have to move quickly. There’s a very small window (less than a year now) to execute their counter-coup. Bush will move to arrest the constitutional loyalists on trumped-up charges. Impeachment is the only remedy. We’ll need to take to the streets and camp out in every single senator’s office and demand justice.

If and when it does happen we’ll have to be ready. We need to stand up for democracy, no matter what the cost. The future of America hangs in the balance.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character, Sherlock Holmes, was found of saying,

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

And now, I will quote a DK diary that pretty much says it all:

There have been several recommended diaries about the call by House Judiciary committee members Robert Wexler, Tammy Baldwin and Luis Gutierrez for the committee to actually begin hearings on the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

But don’t you find it curious that there’s been literally no traditional media coverage of it? Three Members of Congress, all on the Judiciary Committee, call outright for impeachment hearings, and no one reports it? [emphasis mine]

The three even wrote an op-ed together explaining their reasoning and offered it to the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. No one has yet agreed to run it.

Isn’t that interesting, in and of itself? I mean, say what you want about impeachment, but when three members of the Judiciary Committee sign on to a positive call for it, that’s worth a little news blurb, don’t you think?

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. The word “conspiracy” gets tossed around a lot these days, but only for mockery in the mainstream press. Now we know why.

The whole establishment is committed. Between 9/11, Iraq, warrantless wiretapping and torture, they’re in this together. Big Media, Big Business and Big Brother are partners in this debacle; they sink or swim together.

There will be no help from the media on this one. We’re on our own.

The intellectual cowards over at the head office of the St. Thomas University adminstration should be ashamed. They have shown themselves to be contemptible weaklings without the guts or the will to hear viewpoints they may disagree with. And this institution is supposed to be a vanguard of academic freedom? For shame.

What am I talking about? I’m referring to St. Thomas’ recent decision to withhold an invitation to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

St. Thomas never invited Tutu to speak, but declined to approve an invitation as part of the PeaceJam, an event the school has hosted for the past four years. PeaceJam officials have now arranged to have the South African archbishop and activist speak at its April event, which will be held at Metropolitan State University.

St. Thomas officials said that local Jewish leaders they consulted felt that Tutu had made remarks offensive to the Jewish people in a 2002 speech about Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

Columbia University just made St. Thomas look like a bunch of backwater bush-league pussies. Nobody likes Ahmadinejad; that’s not the point. The point is the free exchange of ideas. If you don’t like what somebody says you don’t try to censor them, you use your freedom of speech to elucidate your opposition to said ideas. The president of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, may have been a dick to Ahmadinejad, but at least he let the motherfucker speak. St. Thomas’ president, the Rev. Dennis Dease, won’t even let a fellow man of the cloth on campus. What a fucking pussy.

His lame-ass excuse “Teh Joos don’t like one speech he made dis one time!” is full of shit. What he means is “Some extreme-rightwing Zionist oppressor Jews don’t want nobody talking shit about the way they fuck over A-rabs in Palestine.” There, fixed it for you, Dease. (You can suck dees nuts)

In fact, Dease has been getting a lot of mail from Jewish groups saying, “Let this guy speak! We’re not anti-free speech! Why’d you listen to those assholes?!” [[ I'm paraphrasing in case you haven't noticed ]]

So, you might be wondering what crazy-ass shit this Tutu guy was spewing that pissed off the hard-right fascist/zionist types. Well, he said the most offensive thing you can possibly say to a warmonger: “Peace is possible.”

Israeli Jew, Palestinian Arab can live amicably side by side in a secure peace. And, as Cannon Ateek kept underscoring, a secure peace built on justice and equity. These two peoples are God’s chosen and beloved, looking in their face back to a common ancestor Abraham and confessing belief in the one creator God of salaam and shalom.

Oh man, that is some whack shit! Who let this guy in here?

Then he reveals his true hatred for teh Joos:

I give thanks for all that I have received as a Christian from the teachings of God’s people the Jews. When we were opposing the vicious system of apartheid, which claimed that what invested people with worth was a biological irrelevance – skin color – we turned to the Jewish Torah, which asserted that what gave people their infinite worth was the fact that they were created in the image of God.

He calls teh Joos “God’s people.” We’re clearly dealing with a loose cannon here, folks.

Seriously, that’s what the whole speech is like. He criticizes the occupation of Palestinian lands, but he clearly has problems with the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.

I with many other Nobel Peace Laureates. I, after taking counsel with the then Bishop of Jerusalem, am a member of the Board of the Shimon Peres peace center in Tel Aviv. I am a patron of the Holocaust center in Capetown. I believe that Israel has a right to secure borders, internationally recognized, in a land assured of territorial integrity and with acknowledged sovereignty as an independent country. That the Arab nations made a bad mistake in refusing to recognize the existence of sovereign and in pledging to work for her destruction. It was a short sighted policy that led to Israel’s nervousness, her high state of alert and military preparedness to guarantee her continued existence. This was understandable. What was no so understandable, what was not justifiable was what Israel did to another people to guarantee her existence. I have been very deeply distressed in all my visits to the Holy Land, how so much of what was taking place there reminded me so much of what used to happen to us Blacks in Apartheid South Africa.

This guy sees echoes of Apartheid in Israel. He was there. He expresses viewpoints not too far from middle-of-the-road Democrats in America. When did expressing disagreement with a foreign government become a censorable offense? Oh that’s right; when you’re a boot-licking fascist who wants to kiss the ass of future dictator George Bush. I guess Dease thinks he can become the Tsar of Education under a future King George. (Or whatever. Maybe he’s just a fucking idiot, I don’t know.)

The scary thing here is not the shoddy treatment of a Nobel laureate. He’ll speak on another campus, one not controlled by Nazis. He’ll be fine. No, the scary thing here is how incredibly fucking normal, sane and mainstream his ideas are. If this is how a Nobel laureate is treated by The Powers That Be, how are the rest of the us going to be treated when the other jackboot falls and we’re under martial law? Tutu’s beliefs are almost exactly in line with mainstream Democrats, Independents and even many Republicans. The main difference is that he’s an archbishop, an Apatheid survivor and a international icon.

Where the fuck does that leave the rest of us?

Dear God, Cheney plans to nuke Iran

The buzz has been growing over the last few weeks. The Bush Regime, led by Count Cheney, have been inching closer and closer to attacking Iran.

Now we hear about nukes being “accidentally” flown across the country:

A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

How does an organization like the Air Force manage to “mistakenly” get ahold of nukes and fly them around the country? Somehow I think the only accident was letting the public find out about it.

The military has extremely stringent rules regarding the handling of nuclear weapons and you can’t just send a junior officer over to the weapons depot and have him sign for a nuke. This goes up the chain a long way, and now it’s being spun as a mistake. Bullshit.

The story gets weirder. The plane was flying from North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana:

Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.

Is the Bush Regime moving the nukes into place for a strike on Iran? That certainly seems to be a possibility. It would be totally fucking insane, but that’s not outside the MO of this regime. Keep your eyes peeled, kids. Uncle Cheney is gonna have a surprise in store for you.

It’s looking more and more like Pat Tillman was murdered — executed if you will. The incredible revelations were revealed in a new AP story that doesn’t draw any conclusions, but whose fresh details paint a picture of an Army-wide cover-up and an execution-style assassination. From Yahoo:

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors — whose names were blacked out — said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

10 yards away? How do you fuck up so badly that you manage to put 3 bullets — in a tight grouping — in the head of a fellow Ranger? It doesn’t seem very likely, especially when there was zero evidence of enemy fire. That means that they were not in the fog of war and the confusion that follows from it.

It’s also worth noting that the Tillman story has changed several times. First, he was killed by enemy fire. Then he was killed by friendly-fire. Now it seems the “friendly” might have been aiming right at him.

Who would want Tillman dead, and why? Prison Planet has some theories:

The evidence points directly to it and the motivation is clear – Tillman abandoned a lucrative career in pro-football immediately after 9/11 because he felt a rampaging patriotic urge to defend his country, and became a poster child for the war on terror as a result. But when he discovered that the invasion of Iraq was based on a mountain of lies and deceit and had nothing to do with defending America, he became infuriated and was ready to return home to become an anti-war hero.As far back as March 2003, immediately after the invasion, Tillman famously told his comrade Spc. Russell Baer, “You know, this war is so fucking illegal,” and urged his entire platoon to vote against Bush in the 2004 election. Far from the gung-ho gruff stereotype attributed to him, Tillman was actually a fiercely intellectual man with the courage of his convictions firmly in place.

Tillman had even begun to arrange meetings with anti-war icons like Noam Chomsky upon his return to America before his death cut short any aspirations of becoming a focal point for anti-war sentiment.

This is the last thing the Bush/Cheney administration needed. Could they have possibly given the order to assassinate Tillman and then cover it up?

Former presidential candidate Wesley Clark said he thought the orders to whack Tillman must’ve come from the very top. Tillman could’ve become an anti-war voice much more resonant among men and conservatives than Cindy Sheehan. He represented a threat precisely because of his service, his life story and his fierce, questioning intelligence. The latest (and most pathetic) propaganda seems designed to paint Pat as an atheist to undermine America’s trust in him:

But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.

The chaplain said that O’Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman’s side, “crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God’s not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling …”

If there was no enemy fire, why were they on the ground? How do we know this account wasn’t completely fabricated? I think Congress needs to talk to the doctors and investigators who attempted to pursue the homicide angle, but were stymied.

How come all of these anti-war people tend to die mysteriously?

Dick Cheney involved with Hookergate?

Wayne Madsen is reporting that Dick Cheney is a possible client of the DC Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s “escort service” — which translates in my mind as “high-priced hookers.”

The individual, who is definitely “newsworthy,” reportedly engaged the services of Palfrey’s escort firm while he was the CEO and maintained a residence off Chain Bridge Road in the Ballantrae neighborhood in McLean, Virginia, a few blocks from the headquarters of the CIA.”

WMR has confirmed with extremely knowledgeable CIA and Pentagon sources that the former CEO who is on Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s list is Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton during the time of his liaisons with the Pamela Martin & Associates escort firm. Palfrey’s phone invoices extend back to 1996 and include calls to and from Cheney.

Madsen’s confirmation appears to rest partially on the fact that Cheney had a residence in the Ballantrae neighborhood. I have independently confirmed that Cheney did in fact have a house in that neighborhood starting in 2000.

For example, on Jan. 12, 2000, Vice President Richard B. Cheney bought a property for $1.35 million on Chain Bridge Road, one of the top-end streets in McLean — one of the richest parts of Fairfax County, which is one of the richest counties in the United States.

Watch the corporate media bury this story at the bottom of the Potomac.

5-23-07 UPDATE: The story gets weirder. Palfrey’s lawyer has issued a non-non-confirmation leading Roll Call writer Emily Heil to say that “Cheney isn’t not on the list.” What that means is unclear, but I’ll keep an eye on this story. Wayne Madsen, for his part, stands by his reporting and has a new update with additional details on how the 20/20 story was killed by Disney-owned ABC execs, apparently under pressure from the White House.

Like I said, we need blow jobs to sink the Bush administration. Apparently starting a war on false premises is A-OK with the American public. Sex is a different story.

Apologize to Al Sharpton for your sins!!

Are you white? Are you somewhat sympathetic to Don Imus and his situation? Have you ever said an offensive word? Well, it’s time to apologize to Al Sharpton.*

Now that Imus has been fired this little witch-hunt is apparently over. Is anybody else scratching their head, wondering what this little kerfuffle was all about? Obviously, Imus is a moron and used some shitty language, but I have trouble believing the Rutgers basketball team is really crying themselves to sleep at night. Who the fuck cares what he thinks/says?

Despite the thin-skinned temperance of the basketball players, I can at least understand why they are upset and demanding an apology (and groveling, 30 lashes, some ass-kissing and a book deal), but what I’m confused about is why Imus needs to apologize to Al Sharpton? … I thought Jesse Jackson was the emperor of black people.

Man, South Park totally called this one. Yes, Imus is a fucking moron (as is Micheal Richards), but this whole scenario seems like a media-generated distraction. I mean, Alberto Gonzales lied to Congress and he still has a job. George Bush lied to Congress, America and the world to lead us into war and he still has a job. WTF?

I think our priorities are pretty fucked up in this country. Whatever happened to “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”? Apparently, the Rutgers basketball team does not subscribe to this philosophy. Meanwhile, Bush’s words led directly to broken bones, shattered skulls, crushed vertebrae, lacerated flesh and all the other attendant injuries related to dying in a fraudulent war over oil. But is the media whipping up a shitstorm over that? Incredibly, no. They are not as fawning as before, but they still treat him with unaccountable respect. He deserves to hang like Saddam, but the MSM is still treating his polices and speeches deferentially. The media could easily launch into a witch-hunt to bring down this administration. It has just demonstrated it has the power, in the case of Imus, despite Imus having the support of 63% of Americans. Bush, meanwhile, has the support of only 30%. That’s quite a disparity. Can somebody explain to me how this could happen? Certainly Bush didn’t call anybody a “nappy-headed ho” but he did lie to us repeatedly in order to lead us into war, a war that has left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, along with 3,000+ American soldiers. Near as I can tell Imus has not killed anybody. What gives?

Does it make me a cynic if I believe this witch-hunt was manufactured by the media to provide a well-timed distraction at a point in time when the Bush regime is increasingly on the run? Or does it make me a realist?
__________

*Apology not necessary if you are black and/or a rapper. If you are a rapper, you can call any woman a “ho” and it’s okay. Snoop said so.**

** I can’t believe I agree with Michelle Malkin on something. I feel so dirty. I’d better go apologize to Al Sharpton.

Between the deepening U.S. Attorney firings scandal, the war in Iraq and the other myriad scandals closing around the Bush Regime it’s tempting to consider the possibility that they will soon collapse under the weight of their own lies. Perhaps that sentiment is premature, but as two shocking new revelations show, the Bush Regime is very close to being swept away.

First, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman take a look at how Ohio is struggling to come to grips with election fraud.

In a bold move “to restore trust to elections in Ohio,” Ohio’s newly-elected Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, has requested the resignation of all four members of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The two Democrats and two Republicans were formally asked to resign by the close of business on March 21. Cuyahoga County includes the heavily Democratic city of Cleveland. Brunner is a Democrat who was elected to be Ohio’s Secretary of State in November, 2006.

Felony convictions have also resulted in 18-month prison sentences for two employees of the Cuyahoga BOE as a result of what the county prosecutor in the case calls the “rigging” of the outcome in the recount following the 2004 presidential election. Further problems surfaced in the conduct of Cuyahoga County’s May, 2006 primary, in the wake of which Michel Vu, Executive Director of the county’s Board of Elections recently resigned. [emphasis mine]

Check out the whole article for a glimpse into what might be the story of the century. If we can prove Ohio was stolen that will make the Bush regime instantly illegitimate in the eyes of most citizens (fascists will continue to support him) and grease the wheels of impeachment. We’re already getting convictions, but we need to keep going. I doubt Maiden and Dreamer (seriously, those are their names) are the masterminds of this particular project. I think a proper investigation will reveal that this goes all the way to the top.

A second story takes a look into the mysterious GWB43.com domain.

It appears that the Bush/Cheney team has been using an alternate email system in a bid to keep potentially incriminating emails off the official White House system. Presumably, they’re worried about those emails being subpoenaed (which is what’s happening in the Gonzales case).

Interestingly, according to the National Journal (reported in the WaPo), Karl Rove “does ‘about 95 percent’ of his e-mailing using his RNC-based account.”

This is a violation of so many rules I can’t even count them all. A number of them are technical: Many are wondering if gwb43.com as secure as the White House’s communications system. I don’t know, but I suspect it is robust enough (does somebody want to hack them and test this theory?) in order to keep those emails well hidden.

Far more insidious is the way this server can be used to hide incriminating evidence in the event of an investigation (there’s only, what — a million investigations going on?). It also violates the Presidential Records Act, which requires all official communications be saved. The White House was specifically ordered to save all email communications by Henry Waxman’s Oversight Committee.

Think back to the recent scandals involving Jack Abramoff and Scooter Libby. Did the investigators in those cases have full access? Did they even know about the alternate email system? Most likely they did not since this is just coming up now.

Many key people in the Bush regime deny even using email. At all. Is that even possible in today’s business/technology climate? Bush, I can understand being too stupid to operate a computer, but Condi Rice? Alberto Gonzales also claims not to use email (how convenient). Same with Rumsfeld. How the hell do they communicate on a day to day basis? Write something down and walk it over there? Make a staffer run to the Pentagon and back? If these people have BlackBerries they’re using email; that’s the whole point of a BlackBerry.

I just have a hard time believing these people don’t use email in the course of business. I mean, GW promised to bring a corporate culture to the presidency (I saw that as a threat, but some people apparently thought that was a good idea), and his regime was terribly effective for several years. They did all of this with several key folks swearing off email?! If I told my boss I didn’t want to use email he’d tell me to stop using Quaaludes. That’s like saying, “Oh sorry. I don’t ride in cars; I only use horse and buggies. Don’t worry, I’ll catch up. Of course, I don’t use phones either, so I’ll have to send up a smoke signal to catch a ride.” Maybe I missed something, but I don’t remember there being very many Amish captains of industry. Too many Quaaludes perhaps?

Something fishy is going on here… What horrors lurk within the secret email system available only to Bush cronies? Where’s a hacker when you need one?

This is one of those stories that can’t be made unfunny. I know I said I was boycotting the BBC (I found this via Reddit), but their write-up is too funny to pass up.

Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found drunk and naked apart from bondage gear.Reports say he was able to identify himself to police only after a rubber ball had been removed from his mouth.

Gagged, bound, disoriented and nearly-naked? Sounds like he was negotiating with the Bush administration!

Authorities said they were unable to find the donkey.

A foreign ministry official described Ambassador Tzuriel Refael’s behaviour as an unprecedented embarrassment.

The incident, which happened two weeks ago, has renewed calls for a radical overhaul of the way Israel appoints and promotes its diplomats.

Indeed, Israel has changed the process for initiating new ambassadors. No longer will they be gagged with a rubber ball and forced to dress up like the gimp. Nope! No more drunken orgies or visits to the dominatrix for spanking and discipline. Part of Israel’s culture is fading they conform to international norms. The hazing process will now involve papercuts and titty-twisters like most other countries.

Mental note: watch out for those El Salvadoran dominatrices. They really go the extra mile.

The two biggest criminals in this country are both implicated in the Plame affair. As Scooter Libby’s trial progresses and things look worse and worse for Cheney’s ex-right-hand-man his defense team is casting blame in every direction… including toward “the top.”

Last week, Libby’s attorney Theodore Wells made a stunning pronouncement during opening statements of Libby’s trial. He claimed that the White House had made Libby a scapegoat for the leak to protect Karl Rove – Bush’s political adviser and “right-hand man.”“Mr. Libby, you will learn, went to the vice president of the United States and met with the vice president in private. Mr. Libby said to the vice president, ‘I think the White House … is trying to set me up. People in the White House want me to be a scapegoat,’” said Wells.

Cheney’s notes seem to help bolster Wells’s defense strategy. Libby’s defense team first discussed the notes – written by Cheney in September 2003 for White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan – during opening statements last week. Wells said Cheney had written “not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy that was asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of incompetence of others”: a reference to Libby being asked to deal with the media and vociferously rebut Wilson’s allegations that the Bush administration knowingly “twisted” intelligence to win support for the war in Iraq.

However, when Cheney wrote the notes, he had originally written “this Pres.” instead of “that was.

The “meat grinder” is generally taken to mean “the DC press corps”. So, after re-inserting “this Pres” into Cheney’s note it reads: “not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.”

It’s not surprising that strategy concerning the Plame affair would be discussed at the highest levels. But Bush has been denying all along that he knew anything about the leak.

When Cheney testifies will he throw Libby under the bus like Addington? I can’t wait to find out. What happens when the top two liars in the country are implicated in a scandal, tied to an illegal war that’s been used to justify illegal wiretapping? Well, if Republicans are in charge: Nothing. However, I have a smidgen of hope that the Democrats will pursue impeachment. They’d better hurry up about it because I keep hearing more and more noise about starting a war with Iran. It sounds like the preparations for a joint U.S./Israeli strike are almost complete.