Friday, July 09, 2004

I read this earlier on Atrios:
The global increase in HIV infection rates has been cited as "one of the greatest threats to U.S. and global security."

Yet the Bush administration has cut the number of US representatives to the international AIDS conference in Bangkok Sunday by 75% because poor Tommy Thompson was heckled last year:
The U.S. government will send only one-quarter as many people to the huge international AIDS conference starting Sunday in Bangkok as it sent to the last one in Barcelona.

The decision to cut attendance, which comes as the Bush administration is rolling out its five-year, $15 billion global AIDS treatment plan, was reached long after many government scientists had made plans to attend the conference, which is held every two years. Dozens of scientific presentations were withdrawn, about 50 will be published only as summaries and not presented publicly, and dozens of meetings -- many designed to train Third World AIDS researchers and foster international collaboration -- were canceled.

The move, which officials say is to save money, is interpreted by many AIDS experts as payback for the heckling of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson at the last AIDS conference and further evidence of a "go-it-alone" attitude in the administration's global AIDS program.

And now I just read this on my yahoo...
Bush to Skip NAACP Meeting Due to Hostile Comments
KUTZTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) - President Bush has decided not to speak to the country's largest civil rights group, the White House said on Friday, citing openly hostile comments by its leaders about the president.

The White House initially attributed Bush's decision not to accept the invitation to speak at the NAACP annual convention to a scheduling conflict. The convention opens on Saturday in Philadelphia.

But White House spokesman Scott McClellan, traveling with Bush on a campaign bus trip through Pennsylvania cited "hostile political rhetoric about the president" from the group's leaders.

Besides the obvious "we can't handle criticism" attitude, does anyone else notice a trend in the above two articles????
"Nice putt.....and it's par for the course!"

The Bush Administration is stepping up pressure on Pakistan to capture Bin Laden or other High Value Targets. Well, finally, that's good news, right?

This public pressure would be appropriate, even laudable, had it not been accompanied by an unseemly private insistence that the Pakistanis deliver these high-value targets (HVTs) before Americans go to the polls in November.....Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election.

What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Another official, this one from the Pakistani Interior Ministry, which is responsible for internal security, explains, "The Musharraf government has a history of rescuing the Bush administration. They now want Musharraf to bail them out when they are facing hard times in the coming elections."

Desperation? Pinning your election hopes on the Pakistani Army doesn't sound like a solid plan, but once again the Bushies concentrate more on political appearance than on policy itself.
No wait, not shocking... shocking for the Bushies would be disclosing something of real value.
Pentagon: Bush Military Records Destroyed
WASHINGTON - Military payroll records that could more fully document President Bush's whereabouts during his service in the Texas Air National Guard were inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon

In a letter responding to a freedom of information request by The Associated Press, the Defense Department said that microfilm containing the pertinent National Guard payroll records was damaged and could not be salvaged. The damaged material included payroll records for the first quarter of 1969 and the third quarter of 1972.

"President Bush's payroll records for those two quarters were among the records destroyed," wrote C.Y. Talbott, of the Pentagon's Freedom of Information and Security Review section. "Searches for back-up paper copies of the missing records were unsuccessful."

Fuck for Forest
Here's a new approach...
The environmental activists who claim they had sex on stage at a live music festival in Norway this week to help protect the world's rain forests say they won't pay fines doled out by police. That means the case will likely head for court...

Ellingsen claims the couple performed the surprise sex stunt during a set by the controversial band The Cumshots "actually to draw attention to the rain forests, which are in the process of disappearing."

The couple also runs a porno web site called "Fuck for Forest," which offers pornographic photos for money that they claim they donate to rain forest preservation groups. " We're idealists, call us 'environmental radicals,'" Ellingsen said. "Porn is just a means of reaching our goals."

They definitely get the thinking outside of the box award (as well as fucking outside of the box.)

Thursday, July 08, 2004


The Republican-led House bowed to a White House veto threat Thursday and stood by the USA Patriot Act, defeating an effort to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that helps the government investigate people's reading habits.

The effort to defy Bush and bridle the law's powers lost by 210-210, with a majority needed to prevail. The amendment appeared on its way to victory as the roll call's normal 15-minute time limit expired, but GOP leaders kept the vote open for about 20 more minutes as they persuaded about 10 Republicans who initially supported the provision to change their votes.

"Shame, shame, shame," Democrats chanted as the minutes passed and votes were switched. The tactic was reminiscent of last year's House passage of the Medicare overhaul measure, when GOP leaders held the vote open for an extra three hours until they got the votes they needed.

Interesting strategy. Maybe the Blazers could adopt a similar tactic and just keep extending the game until they get enough points to win.
Like clockwork

On the first full news day of the indictment of Bush's single largest campaign contributor... surprise, surprise... a new blanket terror alert, warning of a large-scale attack.

This is getting rifuckingdiculous.
Larry Flynt v. The People in Charge

The hustler's new book accuses the president of paying for an illegal abortion, the press of lying down on the job and Ann Coulter of being a "fag hag."

Worth watching a brief commercial on Salon to read the article.
Remember ANWR?
Well the Bushies hope you don't. Bruce Babbit, the Interior Secretary under Clinton, writes about more underhanded, under the radar behavior by the White House.
BARROW, Alaska — Thwarted by the public in its efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Bush administration and the oil companies are now quietly turning their attention to the balance of the Arctic region of Alaska, all the way west to the Chukchi Sea, within sight of Siberia. In advance of its efforts, the administration has jettisoned environmental safeguards and is now threatening the traditional-use rights of the Alaska Natives who have hunted caribou and waterfowl along the Arctic slope for thousands of years.

This plan was announced in Anchorage just as Congress recessed for the Reagan funeral. Outside Alaska it has received little notice, not even for its centerpiece — a proposal to lease rights for oil and gas development in Teshekpuk Lake, a body of water that is vital to the region. This shallow lake, which is about 30 miles across, is the biological heart of the western Arctic, the summer nesting and breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of black brant, spectacled eider, yellow-billed loons, white-fronted geese and other migratory birds that arrive here each year from 32 of the lower 48 states as well as countries as far south as Argentina.

The lake, however, isn't just for the birds. It is also a critically important subsistence area for the indigenous Inupiat communities on the Arctic slope. They go there to hunt and fish for food to sustain them through the long, dark winters...

In 1998 the Clinton administration took the first steps to open the reserve with a two-year study involving hundreds of scientists and representatives of the Inupiat communities. Two years later the scientific teams returned with a recommendation to begin oil leasing, with stipulations for setting aside approximately 13 percent of the study area, mostly rivers and lakes, including Teshekpuk, as protected areas. They also recommended a ban on permanent roads across the fragile tundra, based upon assurances from the oil companies that they could operate with temporary winter "ice roads" that would simply melt away as summer approached and waterfowl and migratory caribou began congregating at the lake.

The Bush administration now proposes to eliminate these safeguards intended to protect the lake, the wildlife and the Inupiat who depend on it. The decision is not yet final. During the summer there will be hearings in Anchorage and Washington. Then, Interior Secretary Gale Norton is expected to make a decision. In this land of endless summer days, there are bound to be a lot of sleepless nights.

Gale Norton's makin' the call? Bye Bye Inupiat...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Can you believe the nerve of Kerry?

Matthew Dowd:
What the choice says, Mr. Dowd added, is that Mr. Kerry was "reduced to picking someone who would help him win the election"

What's next? Campaigning like he wants to win. Unbelievable.
Portland in Top 10

The World’s Greenest Cities

Seventy-five percent of world energy consumption happens in cities, says Energe-Cites, a France-based organization, which acts as the voice of some 100 European cities committed to sustainable practices. This means that urban areas present rich opportunities for energy conservation. Indeed, a growing number of cities around the world are pursuing eco-friendly strategies. The 10 cities mentioned below are unique because of their innovative approaches to green energy usage.

Portland, Oregon, USA
While renewables now provide only about 10% of its electric load, this Pacific Northwest city (population: roughly 0.5 million people) has set its sights on an ambitious goal—to get 100% of its energy from renewables by 2010. As part of that effort, it depends on solar energy to power its parking meters. What’s more, it also employs fuel cells powered by waste methane, a micro hydro facility located in its drinking water system, and microturbines propelled by waste methane.

Other cities in top ten are: Vancouver, Canada; Chicago, IL, USA; Reykjavik, Iceland; Sacramento, CA, USA; Barcelona, Spain; Malmo, Sweden; Austin, Texas, USA; Freiburg, Germany; Sydney, Australia

John Grisham Novel?
No, John Edwards' life...

Courtesy of Atrios:
The defining case in Edwards' legal career wrapped up that same year. In 1993, a five-year-old girl named Valerie Lakey had been playing in a Wake County, N.C., wading pool when she became caught in an uncovered drain so forcefully that the suction pulled out most of her intestines. She survived but for the rest of her life will need to be hooked up to feeding tubes for 12 hours each night. Edwards filed suit on the Lakeys' behalf against Sta-Rite Industries, the Wisconsin corporation that manufactured the drain. Attorneys describe his handling of the case as a virtuoso example of a trial layer bringing a negligent corporation to heel. Sta-Rite offered the Lakeys $100,000 to settle the case. Edwards passed. Before trial, he discovered that 12 other children had suffered similar injuries from Sta-Rite drains. The company raised its offer to $1.25 million. Two weeks into the trial, they upped the figure to $8.5 million. Edwards declined the offer and asked for their insurance policy limit of $22.5 million. The day before the trial resumed from Christmas break, Sta-Rite countered with $17.5 million. Again, Edwards said no. On January 10, 1997, lawyers from across the state packed the courtroom to hear Edwards' closing argument, "the most impressive legal performance I have ever seen," recalls Dayton. Three days later, the jury found Sta-Rite guilty and liable for $25 million in economic damages (by state law, punitive damages could have tripled that amount). The company immediately settled for $25 million, the largest verdict in state history. For their part, Edwards and Kirby earned the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's national award for public service.

Ashcroft's ideal democracy...
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government issued a long-anticipated package of security laws Wednesday to help crush insurgents, including a provision allowing interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to impose martial law...

The new laws give Allawi the right to impose curfews, to conduct search operations and detain individuals with weapons, once he receives unanimous approval from the Presidential Council. They also give him the right to assign governors, including military leaders, in specific areas, and they empower him to freeze the assets of suspects and monitor their communications.

The Environmental President...
Bush Team Pushes Huge Timber Sale Under Guise of Fire Protection
Under the guise of preventing forest fires, the Bush administration is planning the biggest timber sale on public lands in modern history. The Biscuit Project would allow logging of 372 million board feet of timber across 30 square miles of southwest Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest—enough timber to fill 70,000 logging trucks. The logging would be done on wildlands of uncommon beauty and ecological diversity, far from any community that could be damaged in a fire.

"It's the biggest logging sale since World War II," says Steve Holmer, communications director with the Unified Forest Defense Campaign, a coalition of national and regional conservation organizations. "Timber companies have made huge contributions to the Bush campaign. This project is political payback."

Holmer tells BushGreenwatch that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) initially proposed a much smaller project. "When the Forest Service first started looking at the area, they planned maybe a 100 million board feet sale." That changed once Mark Rey, formerly a top lobbyist for the timber industry who is now the administration's undersecretary for natural resources and environment in the Department of Agriculture, began to work on the sale.

And par for the course...
Forest Service delays release of fire salvage project records

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Iraqi Political & Militia Groups.

Via Juan Cole. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has compiled a list of political and armed groups now operating in Iraq. Part 1. Part 2. Militias/Armed groups.
Chicks Dig the Edwards

If Mrs. Winger's opinion is shared, they sure do. Hell, I'm pretty attracted to the guy. I'm fine with that. Great choice though.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Only In Oregon

The Oregonian has three stories today about beavers, and only one is actually about beavers.
Beavers win with strong effort by Knott, Guzman, Oxspring

Beavers rebound, strengthen habitat

Bullpen is Beavers' biggest concern

Can you guess which one?