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Saturday, December 20

Friends Appointed to the Right Places 

Ashcroft can avoid investigations into himself:

"During more than two years of investigating two campaign committees that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft maintained when he was in the Senate, the Federal Election Commission never directly questioned Ashcroft or obtained a sworn statement from him even though the issue of his personal ownership of a mailing list and the income it produced were central to the inquiry.


Ellen L. Weintraub, chairwoman of the FEC, said she and the other two Democrats on the panel did not have the required four votes to carry a motion to interview Ashcroft. In addition, she said, all the commissioners did not want to be seen as 'harassing the attorney general of the United States' and so never sought to question him. "


It is how we do things. We appoint a majority of our friends to the commision or court, then anytime we want to break rules, no problem. We know before we begin that we'll never be held accountable.

You, however, are screwed. We want you behind bars. The privatized prison system needs to meet that bottom line, and the products made by prisoners are always in need of really cheap labot. The more prisoners the better, we say. As long as it isn't us.

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Friday, December 19

Saddam: a "presentable young man" with an "engaging smile" (British Embassy, 1969)  

The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook
Declassified Secrets from the U.S.-Iraq Relationship


18 December 2003

Press Release -- National Security Archives

For more information: 202/994-7000
Thomas Blanton/Malcolm Byrne

Saddam a "presentable young man" with "engaging smile,"
Let's "do business," said British Embassy in 1969.

Rumsfeld met Saddam in 1984 with instructions to improve relations,
despite chemical weapons use and sanctuary for terrorists.

U.S. construction giant Bechtel planned to evade 1988 CW sanctions,
Now has biggest AID contract for reconstructing Iraq.

New declassified documents reveal secret U.S.-British-Iraq history;

Saddam Hussein Sourcebook published by National Security Archive.

Washington D.C., 18 December 2003 - Newly declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive show the British Embassy in Baghdad recommending Saddam Hussein to London in 1969 as a "presentable young man" with an "engaging smile," "with whom, if only one could see more of him, it would be possible to do business."

U.S. documents published in today's Saddam Hussein Sourcebook quote Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975 telling the Iraqi foreign minister "we do not think there is a basic clash of national interests between Iraq and the United States" (the Iraqi disagreed), and that Israeli influence on U.S. policy would diminish given "our new electoral law" which means "the influence of some who financed the elections before isn't so great."

The newly declassified briefing notes for special envoy Donald Rumsfeld's second trip to Baghdad in March 1984 reveal Rumsfeld's instructions to reinforce the message of U.S. interest in improved relations "at a pace of Iraq's own choosing," and to emphasize that U.S. criticism of Saddam's chemical weapons use versus Iran was not meant as a pro-Iranian or anti-Iraq gesture. Saturday, December 20, marks the 20th anniversary of Rumsfeld's famous handshake meeting with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

When the U.S. Senate passed economic sanctions on Iraq in 1988 for using poison gas against the Kurds, U.S. ambassador April Glaspie reported that the U.S. construction company Bechtel planned to employ "non-U.S. suppliers of technology and continue to do business in Iraq," according to a CONFIDENTIAL State Department cable. In April 2003, Bechtel landed the largest U.S. Agency for International Development contract to date for infrastructure repair work in Iraq, with an initial payment of $34.6 million and long-term value of up to $680 million.

The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook posted today also brings together five briefing books previously published by the National Security Archive into one searchable file of primary sources. These include "Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction," "Eyes on Saddam," "Alleged Iraqi War Criminals in 1992," "Operation Desert Storm," and "Shaking Hands with Saddam: U.S. Policy before the Gulf War."

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Which Era Is This? 

Eschaton has a guest host named Thumb spreading all sorts of information about my close personal friend, Karl Rove. Please don't read this:
As it became apparent that the [recession] was more than a temporary downturn, President [Bush] appointed [Karl Rove] to his three-member presidential Emergency Committee for Employment. "It was really a public relations committee, " [Rove] recalled. [Bush’s] refusal to countenance "socialist" ideas such as social security and public works programs left the committee with few options. "We encouraged various ways of spreading employment: through reduced daily and weekly schedules, shorter shifts, alternating shifts and rotation of days off...We urged employers to find personnel willing to go on furlough without pay; to disclose duplication of wage earners in the same family, as a measure of spreading wages; to maintain lists for preferential employment and to determine the adequacy of part-time wages." In the end, however, [Karl Rove]realized, "These efforts were all ineffective. Particularly unsound was the share-the-work idea, which put the onus of sacrifice on the shoulders of the wage earner instead of the employer." Advertisers and businesses offered empty slogans such as "Be patriotic and spend money," "Spend ten cents more each day and help drive hard times away," or "Help the jobless by doing your Christmas shopping now." As the economy careened into deeper and deeper trouble, newspapers resorted to desperate cheerleading. "Optimism Gains as U.S. Speeds Jobless Relief," read one headline. "[Bush's] Drive to Aid Jobless Shows Results," read another. "President Declares Voluntary Cooperation of Industry Will Solve Problems."


Of course, then you find out it isn't really about Rove.

Of course the year is 1932 and you need to replace [recession] with depression, [Bush] with Hoover, [Karl Rove] with Edward Bernays and [any current Democratic contender] with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


Taken originally from the book "Trust Us, We're Experts," which you definitely must not read under any circumstances. Forget that you even heard about "Trust Us, We're Experts." And whatever you do, if you are a teacher, don't take the folks at PR Watch up on their offer to give your students free copies of "Weapons of Mass Deception". Just because it only requires you to e-mail them and the book is very good doesn't mean students should have access to it. They may begin to think.

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Thursday, December 18

Richard Gephardt is "a genial, decent man" 

The Associated Press reports further on the story of the Anti-Dean ad paid for by Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values:

"Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values has refused to disclose its financial backers until campaign finance laws require it to do so in early February. It has poured most of its money - about $400,000 - into ads in Iowa and has spent only a couple thousand dollars apiece in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Several labor unions that endorsed Gephardt, a Missouri congressman, have given thousands of dollars to the group to run issue ads. Jones is a former Gephardt fund-raiser while the group's president, Edward Feighan, a former congressman from Ohio, has donated $2,000 to Gephardt.

Gephardt has said he doesn't know anything about the group, including who is financing it. Campaign finance laws prohibit federal candidates or campaigns from coordinating with such groups.

Some rival campaigns have criticized the group's latest ad not for its message - that Dean doesn't have the national security experience needed to be president - but for its use of bin Laden's picture."

Meanwhile, David Tell writes this week in The Weekly Standard, "Richard Gephardt is a genial, decent man. He'd be a president you'd have to work awfully hard to hate."

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Howie Asks; The Czar Responds 

Why let Hinckley out?


"The television footage, about the decision to allow John Hinckley unsupervised visits, brought back some unpleasant memories.

On March 30, 1981, when I was a young reporter for the Washington Star, an editor asked me to race to the hospital after word came over the wire that Reagan had been shot outside the Washington Hilton. I jumped in the car, only to realize I didn't know which hospital. I flipped on the radio and heard a newscaster say it was the George Washington University hospital.

Ditching the car, I watched Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger come out to say that the president had been shot in the chest. We didn't know whether he would make it. There were no cell phones in those days, so I and a colleague knocked on doors until someone let us use the phone. We called in the information to the Star, an afternoon paper, which used it in an extra edition.

The next day I found two D.C. paramedics who told me that Reagan had lost a huge amount of blood and was in much worse shape than had been publicly disclosed.

I've also watched as Reagan's press secretary, Jim Brady, who was wounded in the shooting, struggled with his disabilities over the years.

I'm not a mental health expert, so I won't venture an opinion on whether Hinckley is dangerous and should be allowed unsupervised visits or not. But the reaction of many people seems to be: Why coddle a guy who came within an inch of killing a president?"


Excellent question. Why coddle a guy that tried to kill Reagan? The answer is easy. Payback. The Bush family is friends with the Hinckley family.

Now why would the Bush family, with George Sr. sitting in the vice-president's office when the president was nearly assasinated, owe them a favor? Why would the Bush family, cancelling a dinner meeting with the Hinckley's scheduled for about the same time as the assasination attempt, help the Hinckley family behind the scenes? Why would a federal judge, in Ashcroft's Justice system, let a known assasin-attempter to go free in the world of terrorists and evildoers?

These are for Howie to ask next...

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Anti-Dean Ads Pulled 

Associated Press reports at 11:30 a.m. today:

"Group's anti-Dean ads coming down"

Television commercials criticizing Democratic presidential front-runner Howard Dean, including one featuring Osama bin Laden, will come off the air in three early voting states by the end of the week.

Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values, a group with ties to Dean rival Dick Gephardt, is ending the ad runs in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to comply with a federal ban on such ads by outside groups in the month before a primary contest. Voting begins Jan. 19 with Iowa's caucuses.

David Jones, the group's treasurer, said in an interview that the decision to stop running the ads was made weeks before Dean and others condemned them and said they should be pulled.

"We're going to take a break for the holidays and reassess where we are after that," Jones said.

But that doesn't mean the ads, including the bin Laden spot that questions Dean's national security qualifications, won't resurface in states with later primaries. Michigan and Washington state hold caucuses on Feb. 7, for example, which means such ads can be broadcast in those states until Jan. 8.

"It's very possible that after the first of the year we'll go up in other states," Jones said.

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Global U.S. Prison System 

You better behave!

The US has set up a global network of prisons, as described here in the NY Times:

Officials described it as a prison system with its own unique hierarchy, one in which the most important captives are kept at the greatest distance from the prying eyes of the public and the media. It is a system in which the jailers have refined the arts of interrogation in order to drain the detainees of crucial information.


Don't worry your pretty little head, though. It's run by the very capable:

Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, according to government officials.

It is a secretive universe, they said, made up of large and small facilities scattered throughout the world that have sprouted up..."


Sprouted up. Like flowers.

You can't trust us at all, but you do. Keep sitting there, doing nothing. We make progress every day of the week. We still have the secret shadow executive branch, in case you have forgotten, with hundreds of employees doing secret work. In secret.

You have cable and a Michael Moore book. As a professional evil person, let me give you some advice - you need a plan, people willing to do the work, and money to accomplsih your goals. Once you take over, you get everything you want. Getting there is the battle. I tell you this out of pity, of course.

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White House Cleans the Web 

We write the songs that make the whole world sing. Then we rewrite them:

"Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, administration Web sites have been scrubbed for anything vaguely sensitive, and passwords are now required to access even much unclassified information. Though it is not clear whether the White House is directing the changes, several agencies have been following a similar pattern. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID have removed or revised fact sheets on condoms, excising information about their effectiveness in disease prevention, and promoting abstinence instead. The National Cancer Institute, meanwhile, scrapped claims on its Web site that there was no association between abortion and breast cancer. And the Justice Department recently redacted criticism of the department in a consultant's report that had been posted on its Web site. "


Anyone with half a brain would know that we started this during the election. When we didn't like that Gore won, we re-wrote the news to say we won. When we failed to protect the US from hijacked planes being used as weapons, we re-wrote the news to say no one could have predicted such an event. When we want to pollute, we say "Clean Skies" and when we want to make kids dumber, we say "No child left behind".

We have mental problems, you see. We're greedy and selfish and only concerned about ourselves. We're maniacal about any information that contradicts our fairy tale that we are loved and respected and people who think otherwise are terrorists jealous of our freedom.

Yes, this is the era of lies. Not little, inconsequential lies, but really big, expensive, life-altering, control-freak lies.

Now, pardon me. I have to go. We're having a meeting about the report on CBS news that we all could have prevented 9-11. Seems the fools investigating it officially have found us to be responsible, and we could have easily prevented such an event. We can't let you know that. That would change everything. That would make our phony, patriotic plans for the GOP convention to be held on the souls of the 9-11 victims, uh, difficult.

Let's see. Maybe Reagan could die for us and we could have a huge patriotic funeral. Maybe we could bring Osama out of storage and re-activate him - we need a fresh enemy. Maybe we could announce going to the moon. Or maybe we'll just do our typical thing of saying "that's absurd" and "you're just angry" and "we're about hope and freedom" and you will fall for it like you always do. Nice sleepy Americans. Good sleepy Americans. Give us your money and your support and we'll take care of you. Really, we will.

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Letter from George Bush 

I received a letter from George Bush Sr. this morning. He asked us to stop it.

Here is his letter --


Dear Daily Travesty:

I think Watergate and the Vietnam War are the two things that moved journalism into this aggressive, intrusive, 'take no prisoners' kind of reporting that I can now say I find offensive.

The new young cynical breed wants to emulate you. But many of them, to do that, question the word and the integrity of all in politics. It is almost like their code is, 'You are guilty until proved innocent.' I gave a speech on the media in New York last fall and that is all I think I should say on the subject.

Having said the above, the bottom line is I really don't want to get into any of this with any reporter or writer any more than I want to discuss the weapons of mass destruction about which I would inevitably be asked to comment.

Barbara's memoir gave our family history and did it well. That's enough for me now. Oh, there may be a handful of additional interviews, but if they relive ancient history and reopen old wounds, I'm sorry but I want no part of it.

I told the truth on Iran-contra, but I have been plagued by a press determination to prove otherwise. I listen to revisionistic leftists flail away against our action in Panama. I see respected columnists constantly criticize me for not 'getting' Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War but now my son found him and we will bring him to justice. They, of course, are free to do their thing; and I am free to do mine. Mine is to stay the hell out of Dodge and do as the old Chinese mandarin adage says, 'Stand on sidelines hands in sleeves.'

I hope you do not find this letter personally offensive. Out of office now, out of national politics I have a freedom now that I treasure. I am turned off by what you appropriately call a 'climate of scandal and mistrust.' I am deeply offended by much of what I read, having tried to show respect for the offices I was proud to hold. But I know that comments by me would not help change things, indeed would probably be seen as piling on by a poor loser. So, we better leave things as they are.

I suppose it might have a ring of hypocrisy if I, unwilling to pitch in, wish you well on your new project; but I do.

Sincerely,

George Bush.


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Wednesday, December 17

You Didn't See This 

Damn Liberals. The LiberalOasis runs Bush's interview with Diane Sawyer. Here is an excerpt. Please don't read it.


SAWYER: -- Vice President Cheney said there is no doubt Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. Not programs, not intent.

(Shot of Bush shifting in chair, looking a bit annoyed.)

SAWYER: There is no doubt he has weapons of mass destruction.

Secretary Powell --

(Video clip of Powell at UN saying, “Iraq today has a stockpile -- ”)

SAWYER: -- said a hundred to five hundred tons of chemical weapons.

And now the inspectors say that there’s no evidence of these weapons existing right now.

(Video clip of Bush at the State of the Union address saying, “significant quantities of uranium --”)

SAWYER: The yellowcake in Niger. George Tenet has said that shouldn’t have been in your speech.

(Graphic of Tenet and the quote “This was a mistake.” Cut to Bush cocking his head, still annoyed.)

SAWYER: Secretary Powell talked about mobile labs, again the intelligence, the inspectors have said they can’t confirm this, they can’t corroborate.

(Video of Bush at the SOTU again, saying, “suitable for nuclear weapons production -- ”)

SAWYER: “Nuclear” suggested that he was on the way on an active nuclear program.

(Bush’s right leg starts to bounce anxiously)

SAWYER: David Kay: “We have not discovered significant evidence of an active -- ”

BUSH: Yet. Yet.

SAWYER: Is it, “yet?”

BUSH: But what David Kay did discover was he had a weapons program. And had that knowledge --

SAWYER: Missiles.

BUSH: Let me finish for a second. No, it was more extensive than missiles.

Had that knowledge been, uh, examined by the United Nations, in other words, had David Kay’s report been placed in front of the United Nations, he, Saddam Hussein, would have been in breach of 1441, which meant it was a casus belli.

And, uh, look --

(Bush’s voice begins to rise)

BUSH: -- There’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous person. And there’s no doubt we had a body of evidence proving that.

And there is no doubt that the president must act, after 9/11, to make America a more secure country.

(Look of self-satisfaction returns.)

SAWYER: Um, again I’m just trying to ask -- and these are supporters, people who believed in the war --

BUSH: Heh-heh-heh.

SAWYER: -- who have asked the question.

BUSH: Well you can keep asking the question, and my answer is going to be the same. Saddam was a danger, and the world is better off because we got rid of him.

(Raised voice cracks a bit on “rid.” A pause, then Bush shoots Sawyer an exasperated look as if to say “Get it?”, though with a bit of a smile.)

SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction, as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still --

BUSH: So what’s the difference?

(Smile's gone.)

SAWYER: Well --

BUSH: The possibility that he could acquire weapons. If he were acquire weapons [sic], he would be the danger. That’s the -- that’s what I’m trying to explain to you.

A gathering threat, after 9/11, is a threat that needed to be dealt with.

And it was done after 12 long years of the world saying, “the man’s a danger.” And so, we got rid of him.

And there’s no doubt the world is a safer, freer place as a result of Saddam being gone.

SAWYER: But, but again some, some of the critics have said this, combined with the failure to establish proof of elaborate terrorism contacts, has indicated that there’s just not precision, at best, and misleading, at worst. [sic]

BUSH: Y’know, uh, look (shakes head). What (chuckle) what we based our evidence on was a very sound National Intelligence Estimate.

SAWYER: Nothing should have been more precise?

BUSH: I – I – I – I made my decision based upon enough intelligence to tell me that the country was threatened with Saddam Hussein in power.

SAWYER: What would it take to convince you he didn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

BUSH: Saddam Hussein was a threat. And the fact that he is gone means America is a safer country.

(Pause, as both smile.)

SAWYER: And if he doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction --

BUSH: You can keep asking the question. I’m telling ya, I made the right decision for America.

Because Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction, invaded Kuwait.

But the fact that he is not there, is uh, means America is a more secure country"


And people say Bush is unelectable.

I'm just glad Perot isn't thinking about running. Oh wait.

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POPPY DID IT! 

I'm surprised, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, C-Span, MSNBC, CNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, and Czar NeoCon. Shame on you!

If you haven't guessed it by now, George H W Bush got Saddam Hussein. And George Herbert Walker Bush got France and Germany to agree to forgive a major portion of the debt owed to them by Iraq, and George Herbert Walker Bush got his son into office by getting him appointed by the United States Supreme Court. He didn't do it directly. No clever CIA spook ever does. Poppy Bush used an operative, a former Secretary of State no less, none other than his pal Jim Baker, Bush Sr.'s closest friend and confidant. And where do you think Jim Baker is right now? He's over there in Europe brokering the deal to get the Europeans to relieve the debt and he's been modestly successful. To hell with Colin Powell. Who cares about that guy? He's already decided he's quittin' next fall.

Back to Iraq. When the Iraqi government knew the game was up, that the U.S. would occupy their country starting in 2003, they did what any fearless Iraqi government did, they put their leader into hiding and then they gave themselves up.

George W. hasn't learned that a country about to be invaded by another country and lose always turns its back on its leader.

George W. doesn't know how to make the important phone calls to Chirac and Schroeder. He just doesn't get it. And he never will get it.

His father does get it. His father makes the calls, his father negotiates with those folks over there in Iraq hiding Saddam, his father gets that money taken care of, his father gets everything taken care of for his boy.

Then Poppy calls on all his wealthy billionaire friends that own the media in the world and tells them to call the directors of their companies and not mention his name. In other words, media blackout on the old Poppy.

We know there's a shadow government in this country, but we leave it to our allies to discuss the shadow government.

When George W. looked like he was going to lose in Florida, Poppy sent his Carlyle Group buddy Jim Baker down to fight Gore's lawyers every single step of the way. Baker got the matter solved in the Conservative-dominated Supreme Court and then boasted about it to Russian leaders later, "I got George Bush into office."

But the Bushes can't solve one big problem and that is preventing Ross Perot from running for President in 2004.

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Dean's Foreign Policy Experience 

Have you heard about the ad? You know the ad. The one that says Howard Dean can't compete with Bush on foreign policy.

"As the ad shows a Time magazine cover photo of bin Laden, the narrator says: 'There are those who wake up every morning determined to destroy western civilization. Americans want a president who can face the dangers ahead. But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience. And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy.' "


Finally some truth. Everyone knows that George Bush came into office with tons of experience as a governor for a few years and his state even bordered on Mexico. Just because he skipped out of his military service illegally and launches illegal wars is no reason not to keep him as Commander in Chief of the world's largest military.

Howard Dean was merely a governor for a longer period than George W. and Vermont only bordered on Canada. And Dean actually went to the draft office and was legally rejected for medical reasons. You'd trust someone like this with the world's largest military?

We need more dark, innuendo-filled hate ads, if you ask me. How else will we know what we want as a nation? If this election isn't polarizing to the point of death threats, our hope for freedom and equality may be forgotten. Bush unelectable? Impossible!

Just because he stumbled around and looked like a deer in the headlights when asked if he new about 9-11 beforehand, and could only muster up an unconvincing "There is a time for politics" as a defense after extended uncomfortable pauses... this shouldn't give us cause for worry.

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Tuesday, December 16

Welcome to the World of PR in Law 

The law is the law. And that requires PR. The very noble and upstanding DA going after Michael Jackson knows this, and hired a PR firm to help with the prosecution.

"In his release, Sneddon said reporters should call the firm, Los Angeles-based Tellem Worldwide, to 'reduce the number of calls coming into the District Attorney's office at this busy time.'

Tellem communications specialist Jason Karpf said crisis management was one of the firm's specialties, but that the focus on the Jackson case will be 'to use the firm's experience and ability to help with a media overload.'

'The best thing is not to look at this as a crisis-management situation,' he said. 'First and foremost we are a public relations firm, and that's what we are doing.'

Among the clients listed on Tellem's Web site are Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network, Universal Studios Hollywood and Warner Bros. Online."


Why a crisis management PR firm? (And why to all these cartoon networks need crisis management, anyway?) The DA says to handle the calls and the press. You must believe him.

Next time you plan to file charges, just call your lawyer. And PR firm.

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What? Take Kids Off Medication? 

The British say kids shouldn't take their antidepressants.

The British regulators said that for adults, the benefits of the antidepressants, most belonging to the class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or S.S.R.I.'s, clearly outweigh their risks.

But after reviewing 11 studies of the drugs in treating depressed children and adolescents, the regulators concluded that for most of the medications, the potential for harmful side effects — including suicidal thoughts and behavior, as well as hostility — was greater than the evidence for their effectiveness. Doctors should not prescribe the medications except in certain circumstances, the regulators said.

The drugs included Paxil, from GlaxoSmithKline; Zoloft, from Pfizer; Effexor, from Wyeth; Celexa and Lexapro, from Forest Laboratories Inc.; and Luvox, from Solvay. Prozac, by Eli Lilly, was exempted from the advisory. (Effexor is a serotonin-norepinephrine inhibitor.)


So it is dangerous. What's the big deal? Kids are a big market! How will we control them if they aren't medicated? We're only having limited success by making them eat crap and learn only certain things for standardized tests.

Luckily, American doctors subsidized by the pharmaceutical industry are getting involved. Our American psychiatrists say those old-Europe British regulators acted hastily and went too far. We'll continue to use them.

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Lieberman Joins Republicans 

We all had our doubts about Lieberman's claim that he was a democrat.

The truth emerges. Speaking of fellow Democrat Howard Dean, he had these kind words:

"If he truly believes the capture of this evil man has not made America safer, then Howard Dean has put himself in his own spider hole of denial. I fear the American people will wonder if they will be safer with him as president."


Now, Joe has correctly picked up on the term of the week - "spider hole." Just say spider hole and the name of an enemy and they are an evil person for all time henceforth. And we applaud Joe for continuing to make the case that a ragged old man in a hole is somehow a threat to everything we stand for as a country.

The one thing Joe doesn't realize is that we all ready have a right wing President in office, and he's running again. He should fear the American people will wonder why he is even running. We Republicans hope he wins the nomination, because he is, pardon my freedom, a pussy and we can beat him so easily it isn't even funny. Bush vs. Droopy Dog?

Oooh, Joe Lieberman. With polls as good as Sharpton and Braun, he does what anyone else in his situation would do - join forces with the other party. Thank you Joe Lieberman. Your Republican Secret Decoder Ring is in the mail.

And. if you can't win the nomination, you can always audition for the role of Dad in the broadway version of the sitcom "ALF."

Repeat and whine: "Alf, why do you alien life forms always support evildoers?"

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Monday, December 15

We Captured Him When We Were Ready 

Some people are questioning our timing. Some say we controlled the news of Saddam for 14 hours. Please!

We controlled the news for weeks, and deployed it when necessary.See, Saddam was not in hiding But a Captive.

"Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner.

After his last audiotaped message was delivered and aired over al Arabiya TV on Sunday November 16, on the occasion of Ramadan, Saddam was seized, possibly with the connivance of his own men, and held in that hole in Adwar for three weeks or more, which would have accounted for his appearance and condition. Meanwhile, his captors bargained for the $25 m prize the Americans promised for information leading to his capture alive or dead. The negotiations were mediated by Jalal Talabani’s Kurdish PUK militia.

These circumstances would explain the ex-ruler’s docility – described by Lt.Gen. Ricardo Sanchez as “resignation” – in the face of his capture by US forces. He must have regarded them as his rescuers and would have greeted them with relief.

From Gen. Sanchez’s evasive answers to questions on the $25m bounty, it may be inferred that the Americans and Kurds took advantage of the negotiations with Saddam’s abductors to move in close and capture him on their own account"


We didn't want anyone actually claiming the $25 million bounty, not in a week in which there was talk of Halliburton returning the $61 million it overcharged all of you silly people for gas. We pretended, then got our coordinates straight and got him ourselves. At precisely the right time.

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The Lesser of Two Evils Is Now Gone 

I would like to add to the New York Times' "timeline" ("The Capture Of Hussein: Ex-Dictator" 12/15/2003) of Saddam Hussein's rise to power. The timeline I have supplied is courtesy Greg Palast, reporter with BBC Newsnight and The Guardian.

1979: Seizes power with US approval; moves allegiance from Soviets to USA in Cold War.

1980: Invades Iran, then the "Unicycle of Evil," with US encouragement and arms.

1982: Reagan regime removes Saddam's regime from official US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

1983: Saddam hosts Donald Rumsfeld in Baghdad. Agrees to "go steady" with US corporate suppliers.

1984: US Commerce Department issues license for export of aflatoxin to Iraq useable in biological weapons.

1988: Kurds in Halabja, Iraq, gassed.

1987-88: US warships destroy Iranian oil platforms in Gulf and break Iranian blockade of Iraq shipping lanes, tipping war advantage back to Saddam.

1991: American victory in the Gulf War; George H W Bush decides against ousting Saddam, considering him to be the lesser of two evils:

"...a united Iraq with a weakened central government run by some of Saddam's cohorts. The second is the lesser evil for Iraqis and Americans. Mr. Bush does not have much power to bring about the lesser-evil solution, but he can make a difference." (NY Times, "A Unified, Weak Iraq", 3/20/1991)

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AS IF THIS WEREN'T POLITICAL 

The timing of the "capture" of Saddam on December 13th, which by the way if you hadn't noticed was not videotaped, could not have happened at a better time for Mr. Bush. Occurring just 37 days before the start of the Presidential primaries, in which all of the candidates, excluding Joe Lieberman, have criticized Mr. Bush strongly for his foreign policy, the political calendar for Mr. Bush begins with a non-issue.

Though Bush said that now isn't the time to be political and that there's plenty of time for politics beginning next year, Saddam's capture helps to take the wind out of the Democrats' sails just in time for the onslaught of negative advertising by the Republicans beginning on January 1st. In addition, the primaries will be in full-swing, and the Republicans will attempt to use the anti-war stance of any Democrat that emerges victorious on Super Tuesday to bash the Democratic nominee in negative ads to turn off thousands of potential voters in next year's election.

It is a cynical and somewhat nauseating strategy on the part of the Republican Party, but it has proven highly effective in past elections. Low voter turnout is the key to reelecting Bush next year and the Republicans will do everything in their power to make sure people turn off their television sets and go on serial sprees of shopping at Wal-Mart.

If I were Howard Dean, I would continue to engage as many Democrats in the process of next year's election as possible. Howard Dean, if he were to be the Democratic Presidential candidate to beat Bush next year, should continue to activate the electorate by pointing out that the Democrats have essentially been asleep for the past three years in Washington.

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If It Isn't Secret, We Aren't Interested 

The Post says Bush kept the Saddam news secret for 14 hours. He lied about his reasons for skipping church, and Rumsfeld and Cheney lied to Christmas party guests.

What parties, too! I almost went to Rummy's nog fest, but Tim Russert forgot to pick me up.

"Bush returned from Camp David by helicopter, as previously planned, arriving at the White House at 7:20. Cheney also returned to Washington and went to a holiday party at Rumsfeld's house along with other administration officials.

At the party, Tim Russert of NBC News told Tenet he had had a dream the night before that the United States had captured Hussein. 'Happy holidays, Tim,' Tenet replied, according to Russert's on-air account yesterday morning. "


Now watch carefully when Timmy "grills" this administration in the future. If you think he looks soft, it may be that he enjoyed himself at Rumsfeld's holiday shindig and doesn't want to be off the list next year.

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Sunday, December 14

Pillow Talk 

Sweetie, could you read me this morning's paper?

"When Condoleezza Rice, the US national security adviser, told the president, George Bush, before dawn today that Saddam Hussein had been captured, she was delivering news that was good for Mr Bush in a multitude of ways. "


Condi goes on the trip to Iraq. Condi wakes up the president with good news. Condi is the morning exercise partner. Condi looks like Laura, but is darker.

George + Condi sitting in a tree...

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