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Friday, March 26

Antigua and Barbuda Plan to Invade US 

The US is being bullied. By two itsy bitsy little islands.

"The Bush administration said Wednesday it would vigorously fight a preliminary ruling by the World Trade Organization that could open the United States to offshore Internet gambling.

The preliminary decision came in a trade dispute with Antigua and Barbuda. The tiny Caribbean nation had contended that U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling violated trade commitments the United States has made as a member of the WTO."


The wonderful WTO that lets us boss around other countries for our financial gain has a little loophole that allows other countries in the world to also use the WTO to boss around other countries. So little islands can force the US to do what they want. And vice-versa.

Fabulous system.

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Politics of TV 

The AP is reporting that Congress is mad at Cable companies, and may actually do something about it. Even the Republicans:

'This is fair warning: If you don't do something about it, we will,' said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., addressing cable executives waiting to testify. 'There is a point where people will rebel. They're going to holler at us and we're going to take it out on you.'

One way to hold down rates, lawmakers said, is for cable companies to let their subscribers pay for individual channels rather than forcing them to buy packages.

'I go down to buy a loaf of bread,' said committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz 'I don't have to buy broccoli and milk to go with it.'


McCain is right, to a point. There is no reason for me to pay for, say, ESPN if I don't want it and never watch it. But there are many things one must buy to purchase other items.

You can't get a car without buying insurance, even if you are a safe driver. You can't start a business and hire people without paying the insurance company. You can't buy a house without paying the insurance company. If you already have insurance for a business, you have to pay an additional anti-terrorism fee that doesn't actually insure you but contributes to a national fund.

If you'd like to make sure your package really arrives, you should buy insurance. If you'd like medications for your ailments, you should buy insurance. If you get a good job, one of your perks is insurance, paid for out of your salary allotment. You can also contribute additional money to insurance if you'd like.

Travelling somewhere? You need travel insurance. Renting a car? Don't forget to buy insurance!

One thing, though. Don't actually use your insurance, because if you do, you will be cut off and/or your rates will increase. Then you can no longer have that job, medication, trip, house, car, or life.

Cable companies should simply reclassify themselves as insurance companies. Those channels are there for the rare occasion when you might actually need one.

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Thursday, March 25

A Delay for DeLay 

Former Calpundit blogger Kevin Drum noticed that DeLay is in trouble. He discusses it a bit in his new column inThe Washington Monthly by quoting Roll Call:

"House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has begun quiet discussions with a handful of colleagues about the possibility that he will have to step down from his leadership post temporarily if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury investigating alleged campaign finance abuses. "


It seems there is a rule that says you can't be indicted of a felony and be the leader. Bastards. Technicalities.

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Your Daily Terror Briefing 

Recently I had a discussion with my comrade Napoleon, who is currently the Mayor of Hogsville. She asked me, "Do you think that the administration in the White House had some type of advance warning or at least, that they should have known that al Qaida was planning a major attack?"

So I called up my friend Dick Clarke on my cellphone. Luckily he had a few moments to answer the Honorable Napoleon's question.

Richard Clarke: Page 204 of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 noted
that "In May 2001, the intelligence community obtained a report that Bin
Laden supporters were planning to infiltrate the United States" to "carry
out a terrorist operation using high explosives." The report "was included
in an intelligence report for senior government officials in August [2001]."
In the same month, the Pentagon "acquired and shared with other elements of
the Intelligence Community information suggesting that seven persons
associated with Bin Laden had departed various locations for Canada, the
United Kingdom, and the United States."
[Joint Congressional Report, 12/02]


I replied that the administration is now trying to discredit Clarke and protect
themselves as you can see from this comment, "All the chatter [before 9/11]
was of an attack, a potential al Qaeda attack overseas." – Deputy National
Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, 3/22/04

And Condie Rice is also denying that the administration linked 9/11 to Saddam in
the media's pre-war game show: "The president returned to the White House and called me in and said, I've
learned from George Tenet that there is no evidence of a link between Saddam
Hussein and 9/11." – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

Richard Clarke: If this is true, then why did the President and Vice
President repeatedly claim Saddam Hussein was directly connected to 9/11?
President Bush sent a letter to Congress on 3/19/03 saying that the Iraq war
was permitted specifically under legislation that authorized force against
"nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or
aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11." Similarly, Vice
President Cheney said on 9/14/03 that "It is not surprising that people make
that connection" between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, and said "we don't know"
if there is a connection.

Napoleon cited this remark from Ms. Rice, "In June and July when the threat spikes were so high…we were at
battle stations…The fact of the matter is [that] the administration focused
on this before 9/11." – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

Richard Clarke: "Documents indicate that before Sept. 11, Ashcroft did not
give terrorism top billing in his strategic plans for the Justice
Department, which includes the FBI. A draft of Ashcroft's 'Strategic Plan'
from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the
department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and
drugs. By contrast, in April 2000, Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno,
called terrorism 'the most challenging threat in the criminal justice
area.'"
– Washington Post, 3/22/04

Ronald Reagan also called international terrorism the most challenging
threat to this country in 1981. Yet he funded the terrorists that are now
attacking us in Afghanistan. Members of the Saudi Royal family still fund
terrorists. Interesting that there were put options placed on United
Airlines stock and American Airlines stock several days before the attacks
on the WTC and the Pentagon. Put options are betting that a stock will go
down. And why did the stock market fall steadily over 400 points in the
weeks before 9/11? And why was the media like the New York Times and
Washington Post not told anything by disgruntled FBI and CIA agents who were
not getting through to the administration? And if the New York Times and
the Washington Post were getting inside information about a terrorist attack
in the U.S. why weren't they reporting it, or rather, which big editors were
not letting the stories be printed?


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This Pig Went To The Market 

Banks are doing just fine, NeoCon. In fact their profits are soaring. In times of mass unemployment, the working class still must consume, right Czar? And when they don't have a job and a steady income, how do they consume? They turn to credit. Then they can't pay the minimum balance on their maxed out Mastercard, and they have to pay late fees. And meanwhile, the banks, well, they're laughing all the way to the bank. And this piggy-wiggy can't even afford to go the market. Can you imagine a society in which every time somebody buys something, the bank takes a percentage? Now if there was only some way you could get your hands on some of those narco-dollars, Czar NeoCon.

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Wednesday, March 24

Bush Confused on Terror's Cause 

The AP quotes Bush today: "'I worry about terrorist groups targeting America,' he said. 'There are still serious threats because of what we stand for."

Poor Bush. Out of the loop. Told lies by his closest confidants. This is where everything falls apart. No one targets the US because of 'what we stand for' - it is what we do.

Likewise, they aren't targeting America, just centers of economic, military, and political power. Main Street USA should have no fears. Main Street is doing nothing to provoke worldwide anger. Washington is.

So Bush should really be worrying about centers of financial, political, and military power that do things to provoke people around the world. That would make us safer. Tell them to knock it off.

Why am I, Czar Neo Con, upset at dear leader? My big transnational business isn't getting anything but tax breaks and reductions of environmental oversight. Not anything about protection from terror. I worry about my multi-billion dollar NY bank, and worry that Bush doesn't know a terrorist from his own brother.

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Tuesday, March 23

Nader Joins Crawford Protest 

On Saturday March 20, midway through a ballot access tour of Texas and Oklahoma, Ralph Nader stopped by Crawford, Texas and spoke to a rally of 800 people to highlight the one year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The rally was part of a worldwide day of protest against the war and occupation of Iraq. In Crawford, Nader criticized the war as unconstitutional as Congress is the branch of government with the authority to declare war. He noted that citizen criticisms of the war were proven correct saying: "A lot of American people were proven right and the Bush Administration was proven wrong, plunging our nation into war with Iraq based on a platform of fabrications and deceptions."

Nader went on to call for the impeachment of President Bush noting that there is no higher crime than sending our nation to war based on faulty and false information.

Meanwhile in Ketchup, Idaho... Ketchum that is, John Kerry returned to the ski slopes Saturday, but found time to fire back at the strongest criticism he's gotten to date from President Bush.

"Today, George Bush proved to the American people that he is incapable of solving our economic problems for the simple reason that he doesn't see them," Kerry said in a statement issued as he enjoyed the Sun Valley ski country.

Kerry is spending most of his vacation time at the $4.9 million family home, emerging to ski or climb mountains. In the evenings, Kerry and wife Tereza Heinz dine on Pate de Veau et Port avec Foie, Pouding Alsacien, Oranges Glacees and Crème Saint-Honore.

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Monday, March 22

We Still Know Nothing 

The AP reminds us that we know nothing about the secret shadow government set up by Bush after 9-11.

"If there is a devastating attack on the capital, a shadow government of 75 to 150 government officials stands ready to take control under plans established by President Bush.

The officials, drawn from every Cabinet department and some independent agencies, would work out of two fortified locations in mountainside bunkers outside Washington. The officials would rotate in and out and be barred from telling anybody where they are and why.

Congress would gather at a Washington-area hotel and nearby military base.

Within the Cabinet agencies, Bush set by executive order in December 2001 the lines of succession, generally designating an undersecretary or general counsel to take the helm should a secretary and the deputy be killed or incapacitated.

-snip-

But how to keep Congress functioning if a large number of members are killed is not so clear.

-snip-

A government commission created after the Sept. 11 attacks to review succession procedures called for a constitutional amendment allowing for gubernatorial appointment of House members. The measure has stalled."

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