Monday, October 31, 2005

George W. Bush: Hypocrite

Last Friday, George W. Bush said about Lewis Libby, “In our system, each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial.”.

Really? comments:

What about Jose Padilla, the US citizen Bush is claiming he can have imprisoned for the rest of his life without trial?

If Bush wins the Padilla case when it goes to the US Supreme Court, he will have the power to label as many of us as he wants “enemy combatants,” and imprison us for life without trial.

Some people will be afraid to engage in dissent if Bush’s bizarre twist on American values in the Padilla case is affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Bush is obviously a hypocrite. But what else is new?

Too Rich!

Here's a laugh for you. Or maybe a cry. Blogger Angry Professor posted this:

Almost 10% of my class believes, "Ockham's Razor is used in the preparation of homeopathic remedies."

Hahahahahahahahaha! College students can be really dumb sometimes.

Draft Kreider Organization Meeting

This was posted in the comments section, but deserves a post of its own.

The first planning meeting for the Draft Kreider Organization will be on November 5, 2005 from 10:00 a.m. until noon. (That's this Saturday) It will be the pre-anniversary of the 2006 election. The meeting is being scheduled one year ahead of the 2006 Congressional Elections, (i.e. the organization is building a district wide campaign and is already up and running with over three hundred Team Captains). The location will be at The Library Center at 4653 South Campbell Avenue in Springfield, Missouri 65810. Additional meetings will be held in all 10 counties of the 7th Congressional District of southwest Missouri in November. For additional information please call 417-866-4453 or see

Monday, October 24, 2005

Pentagon DOES do Body Counts

From the beginning of the Iraq war the Pentagon has refused to provide enemy or civilian body counts. Officials have insisted such counts don't make any sense and are poor indicators. Evidently, that argument is no longer viable.
As noted in today's Washington Post, the military has once again started giving enemy body bag counts.

Eager to demonstrate success in Iraq, the U.S. military has abandoned its previous refusal to publicize enemy body counts and now cites such numbers periodically to show the impact of some counterinsurgency operations.

The revival of body counts, a practice discredited during the Vietnam War, has apparently come without formal guidance from the Pentagon's leadership. Military spokesmen in Washington and Baghdad said they knew of no written directive detailing the circumstances under which such figures should be released or the steps that should be taken to ensure accuracy.

U.S. soldiers near Baghdad can be bolstered by the release of enemy body counts, a Marine spokesman said.

Instead, they described an ad hoc process that has emerged over the past year, with authority to issue death tolls pushed out to the field and down to the level of division staffs.

So far, the releases have tended to be associated either with major attacks that netted significant numbers of enemy fighters or with lengthy operations that have spanned days or weeks. On Saturday, for instance, the U.S. military reported 20 insurgents killed and one captured in raids on five houses suspected of sheltering foreign fighters in a town near the Syrian border. Six days earlier, the 2nd Marine Division issued a statement saying an estimated 70 suspected insurgents had died in the Ramadi area as a result of three separate airstrikes by fighter jets and helicopters.

That Oct. 16 statement reflected some of the pitfalls associated with releasing such statistics. The number was immediately challenged by witnesses, who said many of those killed were not insurgents but civilians, including women and children.

Privately, several uniformed military and civilian defense officials expressed concern that the pendulum may have swung too far, with body counts now creeping into too many news releases from Iraq and Afghanistan. They also questioned the effectiveness of citing such figures in conflicts where the enemy has shown itself capable of rapidly replacing dead fighters and where commanders acknowledge great uncertainty about the total size of the enemy force.

Nevertheless, no formal review of the practice has been ordered, according to spokesmen at the Pentagon and in Baghdad. Several senior officers and Pentagon officials involved in shaping communications strategies argued that the occasional release of body counts has important value, particularly when used to convey the scale of individual operations.

"Specific numbers are used to periodically provide context and help frame particular engagements," said Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, director of communications for the U.S. military command in Baghdad. He added, however, that there is no plan "to issue such numbers on a regular basis to score progress."

During the Vietnam War, enemy body counts became a regular feature in military statements intended to demonstrate progress. But the statistics ended up proving poor indicators of the war's course. Pressure on U.S. units to produce high death tolls led to inflated tallies, which tore at Pentagon credibility.

"In Vietnam, we were pursuing a strategy of attrition, so body counts became the measure of performance for military units," said Conrad C. Crane, director of the military history institute at the U.S. Army War College. "But the numbers got so wrapped up with career aspirations that they were sometimes falsified."

The Vietnam experience led U.S. commanders to shun issuing enemy death tallies in later conflicts, through the initial stages of the Iraq war. "We don't do body counts on other people," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in November 2003, when asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether the number of enemy dead exceeded the U.S. toll.

Sounds like the Pentagon is desperate for any bit of information that somehow sounds like they're making progress in Iraq. Well, besides the news that 1,997 Americans (so far) have lost their lives in this illegal war.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


No, my pretties, I haven't abandoned you. I've been busy gathering some background information for two projects I'm working on. I'll have an announcement regarding those projects in a few days. More posts coming soon!

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing.

He concludes by saying: 'Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.'

'OH NO!' the president exclaims. 'That's terrible!'

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in his hands.

Finally, the president looks up and asks,

'How many is a brazillion?' "

Friday, October 07, 2005


From the Washington Post:

How many people have been appointed to the Supreme Court without prior judicial experience before becoming a justice?

(Answer below the fold)

The correct answer - 42. The last person nominated without prior judicial experience was William Rehnquist.

Why Does Sen. Bond Support Torture?

Wednesday night the U. S. Senate voted 90-9 to approve an amendment that would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held. Nine senators, all Republicans voted against the measure. Among them, Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri.

Why does Kit Bond support torture?

Friday Beagle Blogging

"Is it time to leave for Apple Butter Makin Days?"

Baxter, Mrs. DocLarry and I will make our annual trek to Mt. Vernon, Missouri tomorrow to enjoy the sunshine, do some people-watching, listen to some live music, buy Baxter a scarf, buy DocLarry a Christmas light bauble (he does love his light displays!), and buy some fresh-made apple butter.

Say hi if you see us there.

How Low Can He Go?

I'm not sure whether to celebrate or cry over the latest CBS News Poll. Dubya's overall job approval rating has dropped to the lowest it's ever been, 37 percent.

How bad is that? Richard Nixon’s approval rating in the summer of 1973 when the Watergate scandal was in full swing was 39%.

President George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has reached the lowest ever measured in this poll, and evaluations of his handling of Iraq, the economy and even his signature issue, terrorism, are also at all-time lows. More Americans than at any time since he took office think he does not share their priorities.

The public's concerns affect their view of the state of the country. 69 percent of Americans say things in the U.S. are pretty seriously off on the wrong track — the highest number since CBS News started asking the question in 1983. Today, just 26 percent say things are going in the right direction.

Lots of interesting details. Go read the whole thing. Then think about who you voted for in 2000 and 2004. Happy with your decision?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Indiana to Require Marriage for Parenthood

Read that headline again. The state of Indiana wants to make "unauthorized reproduction" a crime. Republican Senator Patricia Miller is both the Indiana General Assembly's Health Finance Commission Chair and the sponsor of new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood. The legislation includes specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

From a diary at DailyKos (emphasis mine):

According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.

Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.

Miller says she believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana and make parenting laws more explicit. Miller says the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.

"We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she explained.

When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill's intention, Sen. Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."

As one commenter put it, "a man better get laid if a baby is being made." A draft of the legislation is available in PDF form here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Kodak Moment?

AP photo captioned: Harriet Miers, at the time staff secretary, is seen on Aug. 6, 2001, briefing President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Yes, I know. I've been a neglectful blogger lately. Let me attempt to rectify that with this.

The photo and caption above accompanied this AP article about Dubya's latest crony nominee, Harriet Miers.

Gee, August 6, 2001. Why does that date sound familiar? Wasn't there a memo Dubya was supposed to have read on that date? I wonder, could this be a photo of that memo? What did the memo say again? Wasn't it something like....