Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bush makes wild ass claims in 2007 State of the Union speech

In Bush shoots for ‘Jaws,’ delivers ‘Jaws 2’ Keith Olbermann delivers a withering criticism of President Bush's State of the Union speech this year. Most of what Olbermann said is directly lifted from a blog entry, Bush's Four Anti-Terror Successes All Fictional, by David Swanson.

Towards the end of the speech Mr Bush took a turn through the horror factory. He brought us into the valley of the shadow of death, with all the threats and horrors that is the War On Terror. I listened to that again wondering just who is being terrorized here? Are the Administration officials such as Cheney and Bush purposely terrorizing us, the American People, so that they can foist their nefarious plots?

In the horror show section of the speech he discussed, in 96 words, four "plots" which had been "foiled". His claim is that because no terror attacks have occurred on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001, that his administrations in the War On Terror have been a success.

It's awfully hard to prove anything by saying that something didn't happen. How can you prove that any threat existed when nothing happened? And more importantly when no threat exists how can you justify a continuation of a War On Terror?

What Mr. Bush offered were four plots which were stopped supposedly in the planning stage. But if you look only a short distance under the surface of each of the plots you find there's nothing there. Each of these plots were at best at the conceptual stage, and further the one which got the biggest splash in the media, and which have had the biggest effect on us, actually was scientifically impossible. I'm talking here about the large arrest in Britain in the summer of 2006 where 24 (or more) people of Islamic descent were supposedly making a plot where they'd smuggle specific chemicals on-board aircraft disguised in shampoo bottles and the like, then they'd mix the chemicals in the lavatory, and turn the chemicals into an explosive.

A dangerous plot .. but for one thing. It's basically impossible, and that's a scientific fact. Most of those arrested last summer have been released with no charges against them.

This is the kind of story which Mr. Bush has put forward to us to justify the War On Terror.

I laugh in his general direction. His mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries. Now, Mr. Bush, go away before I taunt you a second time.

President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address

United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.

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President's Remarks
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Fact sheet State of the Union 2007
Fact sheet 2007 State of the Union Policy Initiatives
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9:13 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own -- as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker. (Applause.)

In his day, the late Congressman Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. from Baltimore, Maryland, saw Presidents Roosevelt and Truman at this rostrum. But nothing could compare with the sight of his only daughter, Nancy, presiding tonight as Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Applause.) Congratulations, Madam Speaker. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush receives applause while delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007. Also pictured are Vice President Dick Cheney and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. White House photo by David Bohrer Two members of the House and Senate are not with us tonight, and we pray for the recovery and speedy return of Senator Tim Johnson and Congressman Charlie Norwood. (Applause.)

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour -- when decisions are hard and courage is needed. We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies -- and the wisdom to face them together.

Some in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate -- and I congratulate the Democrat majority. (Applause.) Congress has changed, but not our responsibilities. Each of us is guided by our own convictions -- and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we're all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this nation's prosperity; to spend the people's money wisely; to solve problems, not leave them to future generations; to guard America against all evil; and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us. (Applause.)

We're not the first to come here with a government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences, and achieve big things for the American people. Our citizens don't much care which side of the aisle we sit on -- as long as we're willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done. (Applause.) Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and to help them to build a future of hope and opportunity -- and this is the business before us tonight.

A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy -- and that is what we have. We're now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs -- so far. Unemployment is low, inflation is low, and wages are rising. This economy is on the move, and our job is to keep it that way, not with more government, but with more enterprise. (Applause.)

Next week, I'll deliver a full report on the state of our economy. Tonight, I want to discuss three economic reforms that deserve to be priorities for this Congress.

President George W. Bush enters the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol for his State of the Union address, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007. White House photo by David Bohrer First, we must balance the federal budget. (Applause.) We can do so without raising taxes. (Applause.) What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009, and met that goal three years ahead of schedule. (Applause.) Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years. (Applause.) I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the federal government, and we can balance the federal budget. (Applause.)

Next, there is the matter of earmarks. These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour -- when not even C-SPAN is watching. (Laughter.) In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate -- they are dropped into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You didn't vote them into law. I didn't sign them into law. Yet, they're treated as if they have the force of law. The time has come to end this practice. So let us work together to reform the budget process, expose every earmark to the light of day and to a vote in Congress, and cut the number and cost of earmarks at least in half by the end of this session. (Applause.)

And, finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements. Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience, and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound. Yet, we're failing in that duty. And this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits. Everyone in this chamber knows this to be true -- yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act. So let us work together and do it now. With enough good sense and goodwill, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid -- and save Social Security. (Applause.)

Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools that give children the knowledge and character they need in life. Five years ago, we rose above partisan differences to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, preserving local control, raising standards, and holding those schools accountable for results. And because we acted, students are performing better in reading and math, and minority students are closing the achievement gap.

Now the task is to build on the success, without watering down standards, without taking control from local communities, and without backsliding and calling it reform. We can lift student achievement even higher by giving local leaders flexibility to turn around failing schools, and by giving families with children stuck in failing schools the right to choose someplace better. (Applause.) We must increase funds for students who struggle -- and make sure these children get the special help they need. (Applause.) And we can make sure our children are prepared for the jobs of the future and our country is more competitive by strengthening math and science skills. The No Child Left Behind Act has worked for America's children -- and I ask Congress to reauthorize this good law. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush is applauded as he delivers his State of the Union Address Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007, at the U.S. Capitol. "We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals," said the President. "We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty." White House photo by Shealah Craighead A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care. (Applause.) When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children. And we will meet those responsibilities. For all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs. (Applause.) But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy.

And so tonight, I propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance. First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income on payroll tax -- or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income. With this reform, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills. At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job. For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, this proposal would mean a substantial tax savings -- $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year. And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach. Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making health care affordable for more Americans. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush greets Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi before delivering his State of the Union Address at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007. White House photo by Eric Draper My second proposal is to help the states that are coming up with innovative ways to cover the uninsured. States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and the sick. I have asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work with Congress to take existing federal funds and use them to create "Affordable Choices" grants. These grants would give our nation's governors more money and more flexibility to get private health insurance to those most in need.

There are many other ways that Congress can help. We need to expand Health Savings Accounts. (Applause.) We need to help small businesses through Association Health Plans. (Applause.) We need to reduce costs and medical errors with better information technology. (Applause.) We will encourage price transparency. And to protect good doctors from junk lawsuits, we passing medical liability reform. (Applause.) In all we do, we must remember that the best health care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors. (Applause.)

Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America -- with laws that are fair and borders that are secure. When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we're doubling the size of the Border Patrol, and funding new infrastructure and technology.

Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border -- and that requires a temporary worker program. We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in, and that will leave Border Agents free to chase down drug smugglers and criminals and terrorists. (Applause.) We'll enforce our immigration laws at the work site and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers, so there's no excuse left for violating the law. (Applause.)

We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals. (Applause.) We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty. (Applause.) Convictions run deep in this Capitol when it comes to immigration. Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate, so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush delivers his State of the Union Address Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007, at the U.S. Capitol. "For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger," said President George W. Bush. "Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that the terrorists can cause. We've had time to take stock of our situation. We've added many critical protections to guard the homeland. We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us -- unless we stop them." White House photo by Eric Draper Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America's economy running and America's environment clean. For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists -- who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy.

It's in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply -- the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power, by even greater use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power. (Applause.) We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. (Applause.) We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol -- (applause) -- using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes.

We made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies here in Washington and the strong response of the market. And now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we've done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next 10 years. (Applause.) When we do that we will have cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.

To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 -- and that is nearly five times the current target. (Applause.) At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks -- and conserve up to 8.5 billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.

Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it's not going to eliminate it. And so as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. (Applause.) And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (Applause.)

Dikembe Mutombo of the Houston Rockets is recognized by President George W. Bush during the State of the Union Address at U.S. Capitol Tuesday , Jan. 23, 2007. "Dikembe became a star in the NBA, and a citizen of the United States," said President Bush. "But he never forgot the land of his birth, or the duty to share his blessings with others. He built a brand new hospital in his old hometown. A friend has said of this good-hearted man: "Mutombo believes that God has given him this opportunity to do great things." And we are proud to call this son of the Congo a citizen of the United States of America. White House photo by Eric Draper America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change. (Applause.)

A future of hope and opportunity requires a fair, impartial system of justice. The lives of our citizens across our nation are affected by the outcome of cases pending in our federal courts. We have a shared obligation to ensure that the federal courts have enough judges to hear those cases and deliver timely rulings. As President, I have a duty to nominate qualified men and women to vacancies on the federal bench. And the United States Senate has a duty, as well, to give those nominees a fair hearing, and a prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. (Applause.)

For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger. Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that the terrorists can cause. We've had time to take stock of our situation. We've added many critical protections to guard the homeland. We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us -- unless we stop them.

With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed. Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions. Yet one question has surely been settled: that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy. (Applause.)

From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense. The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free flowing communications are long over. For the terrorists, life since 9/11 has never been the same.

Wesley Autrey receives a standing ovation as President Bush recognizes him during his State of the Union Address at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, 2007. "Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train," said President Bush. "With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks, pulled the man into the space between the rails, and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. He says: 'We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We have got to show each other some love.' There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey." White House photo by Shealah Craighead Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented, but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them. (Applause.)

Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in 9/11 is still at work in the world. And so long as that's the case, America is still a nation at war.

In the mind of the terrorist, this war began well before September the 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled. And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats, instruct with bullets and bombs, and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent.

Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty. They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

President George W. Bush greets people, shakes hands and signs his autograph after delivering the State of the Union Address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007. White House photo by Paul Morse These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah -- a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. Whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East, and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.

In the sixth year since our nation was attacked, I wish I could report to you that the dangers had ended. They have not. And so it remains the policy of this government to use every lawful and proper tool of intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, and military action to do our duty, to find these enemies, and to protect the American people. (Applause.)

This war is more than a clash of arms -- it is a decisive ideological struggle, and the security of our nation is in the balance. To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and to come and kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom

-- societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies -- and most will choose a better way when they're given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates and reformers and brave voices for democracy. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security, we must. (Applause.)

In the last two years, we've seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East -- and we have been sobered by the enemy's fierce reaction. In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution, they drove out the Syrian occupiers and chose new leaders in free elections. In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature. And in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections, choosing a transitional government, adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world, and then electing a government under that constitution. Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity that we should never forget. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush emphasizes a point during the State of the Union address Tuesday, January 23, 2007. The President told the nation, "We're not the first to come here with a government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences and achieve big things for the American people." White House photo by Paul Morse A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam -- the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia -- and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day.

This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in. Every one of us wishes this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. Let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory. (Applause.)

We're carrying out a new strategy in Iraq -- a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission. Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.

In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we're deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq. The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units. With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads. And in Anbar Province, where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them, we're sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. (Applause.) We didn't drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.

The people of Iraq want to live in peace, and now it's time for their government to act. Iraq's leaders know that our commitment is not open-ended. They have promised to deploy more of their own troops to secure Baghdad -- and they must do so. They pledged that they will confront violent radicals of any faction or political party -- and they need to follow through, and lift needless restrictions on Iraqi and coalition forces, so these troops can achieve their mission of bringing security to all of the people of Baghdad. Iraq's leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks -- to achieve reconciliation, to share oil revenues among all of Iraq's citizens, to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq, to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's civic life, to hold local elections, and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province. But for all of this to happen, Baghdad must be secure. And our plan will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

My fellow citizens, our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach. In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance for success. Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far-reaching.

If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country -- and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.

For America, this is a nightmare scenario. For the enemy, this is the objective. Chaos is the greatest ally -- their greatest ally in this struggle. And out of chaos in Iraq would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens, new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to harm America. To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September the 11th and invite tragedy. Ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East, to succeed in Iraq and to spare the American people from this danger. (Applause.)

This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now. I have spoken with many of you in person. I respect you and the arguments you've made. We went into this largely united, in our assumptions and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq, and I ask you to give it a chance to work. And I ask you to support our troops in the field, and those on their way. (Applause.)

The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. And that's why it's important to work together so our nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. It's why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. We'll show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory.

And one of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead. (Applause.) Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years. (Applause.) A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

Americans can have confidence in the outcome of this struggle because we're not in this struggle alone. We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism. In Iraq, multinational forces are operating under a mandate from the United Nations. We're working with Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the Gulf States to increase support for Iraq's government.

The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. (Applause.) With the other members of the Quartet -- the U.N., the European Union, and Russia -- we're pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. (Applause.) In Afghanistan, NATO has taken the lead in turning back the Taliban and al Qaeda offensive -- the first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area. Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we're pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. (Applause.)

We will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma -- and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur. (Applause.)

American foreign policy is more than a matter of war and diplomacy. Our work in the world is also based on a timeless truth: To whom much is given, much is required. We hear the call to take on the challenges of hunger and poverty and disease -- and that is precisely what America is doing. We must continue to fight HIV/AIDS, especially on the continent of Africa. (Applause.) Because you funded our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the number of people receiving life-saving drugs has grown from 50,000 to more than 800,000 in three short years. I ask you to continue funding our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. I ask you to provide $1.2 billion over five years so we can combat malaria in 15 African countries. (Applause.)

I ask that you fund the Millennium Challenge Account, so that American aid reaches the people who need it, in nations where democracy is on the rise and corruption is in retreat. And let us continue to support the expanded trade and debt relief that are the best hope for lifting lives and eliminating poverty. (Applause.)

When America serves others in this way, we show the strength and generosity of our country. These deeds reflect the character of our people. The greatest strength we have is the heroic kindness, courage, and self-sacrifice of the American people. You see this spirit often if you know where to look -- and tonight we need only look above to the gallery.

Dikembe Mutombo grew up in Africa, amid great poverty and disease. He came to Georgetown University on a scholarship to study medicine -- but Coach John Thompson got a look at Dikembe and had a different idea. (Laughter.) Dikembe became a star in the NBA, and a citizen of the United States. But he never forgot the land of his birth, or the duty to share his blessings with others. He built a brand new hospital in his old hometown. A friend has said of this good-hearted man: "Mutombo believes that God has given him this opportunity to do great things." And we are proud to call this son of the Congo a citizen of the United States of America. (Applause.)

After her daughter was born, Julie Aigner-Clark searched for ways to share her love of music and art with her child. So she borrowed some equipment, and began filming children's videos in her basement. The Baby Einstein Company was born, and in just five years her business grew to more than $20 million in sales. In November 2001, Julie sold Baby Einstein to the Walt Disney Company, and with her help Baby Einstein has grown into a $200 million business. Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America. And she is using her success to help others -- producing child safety videos with John Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Julie says of her new project: "I believe it's the most important thing that I have ever done. I believe that children have the right to live in a world that is safe." And so tonight, we are pleased to welcome this talented business entrepreneur and generous social entrepreneur -- Julie Aigner-Clark. (Applause.)

Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train. With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks, pulled the man into the space between the rails, and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. He says: "We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We have got to show each other some love." There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey. (Applause.)

Tommy Rieman was a teenager pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky, when he enlisted in the United States Army. In December 2003, he was on a reconnaissance mission in Iraq when his team came under heavy enemy fire. From his Humvee, Sergeant Rieman returned fire; he used his body as a shield to protect his gunner. He was shot in the chest and arm, and received shrapnel wounds to his legs -- yet he refused medical attention, and stayed in the fight. He helped to repel a second attack, firing grenades at the enemy's position. For his exceptional courage, Sergeant Rieman was awarded the Silver Star. And like so many other Americans who have volunteered to defend us, he has earned the respect and the gratitude of our entire country. (Applause.)

In such courage and compassion, ladies and gentlemen, we see the spirit and character of America -- and these qualities are not in short supply. This is a decent and honorable country -- and resilient, too. We've been through a lot together. We've met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead. Yet we can go forward with confidence -- because the State of our Union is strong, our cause in the world is right, and tonight that cause goes on. God bless. (Applause.)

See you next year. Thank you for your prayers.

END 10:02 P.M. EST

Monday, January 29, 2007

Large anti-war rallies last weekend. Where's the news coverage?

Large protests occurred around the U.S.A. on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007. The U.S. people voted overwhelmingly last November against the ruling party, in a loud voice shouting NO MORE WAR, proclaiming with the power of our vote that we have no confidence in the Republican Party and the idiots who have led us into this folly. We hoped that the President would listen. But he has made it clear this has simply firmed his resolve to abandon all reason and push on forward with this illegal and ridiculous war he has foisted upon us. No war is moral, but this war in particular is the height of folly and an absolute fraud perpetrated upon the American people and the world.

I bought the newspaper today, Monday, two days after the protest rallies, and there was zero coverage of them in the newspaper. Presumably there was coverage yesterday, on Sunday, but I didn't buy the paper that day. I just went through Google News, Yahoo News, CNN, New York Times, etc, all major news outlets, and there is no hint of any protest rally having happened just two days ago. Fortunately some coverage happened.

Let's start with Democracy NOW who provides extensive coverage:

The following were published by on Sunday.

Tens of Thousands in DC Demand Iraq Pullout

Tens of Thousands of Protesters Turn Out in Salt Lake City

War Opponents Say Rally Will Start Sustained Movement to Bring Troops Home

At Peace Rally, Fonda Reprises a Famous Role

Student Protesters, Fighting Image of Apathy, Call for a Cohesive Movement

Antiwar Demonstrators Say the Tide Is Turning

People Speak Out in Capital

Several Thousand Take Part in San Francisco Antiwar Protest

Mesa Official's War Protest Was Quiet Act, but Hostile Reactions Are Loud and Clear

Thousands March in Downtown Los Angeles in Anti-War Rally

Antiwar Protesters Rally in Downtown Austin

About 50 Protest in Terre Haute, Indiana

Antiwar Rally in Madison, Wisconsin

San Diego Protests Coincides With National Protest

Local Protesters Denounce War in Louisville, Kentucky

Veterans Protest Iraq War in Downtown Portland

Small Protest in Champaign, Il

Locals Protest in Northbridge Massachusetts

South Carolina Residents Protest Iraq War Locally and in DC

Thousands Rally in Seattle Against the War in Iraq

Monday, January 22, 2007

More sliming of Sen. Obama

CNN debunks false report about Obama discusses the truth regarding an allegation that's been circling among the talking heads the last few days. In Sen. Obama's youth he and his family lived for awhile in Indonesia, and while there he attended elementary school. In his books he described that school as "an Islamic school" and for another period he attended a "Catholic" school in Indonesia. Apparently some have decided to call that school a Madrassa, or those schools which teach the fundamentalist Wahabist form of Islam which is more-or-less at the root of the Islamic sects which are driving the anti-Western violence.

CNN sent a reporter to the school in question and found an average every day elementary school that has no bias towards any religion.

CNN Debunks False Obama ‘Madrassa’ Smear

Fox and Friends 'Corrects' Obama Madrassa Claim

On Fox News Sunday, Williams claimed Obama's Muslim father "presents a problem"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007



It's really hard to determine the source of diamonds, and the high pressure to obtain diamonds often leads to extreme measures to get them. Sometimes this leads to wars and criminal acts. The phrase blood diamond refers to those diamonds that come from illicit sources.

Most people are unaware of the role diamonds play in bringing real benefits to people in the countries around the world where diamonds are sourced. Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa. It is also in Africa that this same resource has been used to fund conflict. In 2000, a coalition of governments, non-governmental organizations and the diamond industry worked together to address this issue. In 2002, they established the Kimberley Process Certification System, a UN-backed process that has virtually eliminated the trade in conflict diamonds. Today, over 99% of the world's supply of diamonds is from sources free of conflict. is dedicated to presenting the facts about conflict diamonds, along with how diamonds are driving economic growth and prosperity in countries around the world.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Somalian conflict

Somalia? Most people barely remember the invasion of Somalia by the U.S. late in the Bush administration. They might remember the movie Black Hawk Down. But nothing much has been happening, in the American consciousness, in Somalia ever since. That's because the main stream media hasn't bothered to tell anybody what's been going on there. Other than to vaguely discuss warlords and turmoil.

Late in December 2006 Ethopia declared war on Somalia. Hmm... I thought that Newsweek or Time or that ilk would have a front page story about this, a new War being fought somewhere. But, no, not a peep. Well, probably there was a peep or two buried in the back but at $5 an issue I didn't want to go broke buying magazines just to get a little snippet of a story.

I'm really curious about is the genesis of this war. Especially as it seems Ethopia was told to invade Somalia by either the U.S. or U.N. This posting is drawing on the excellent archive at

I came to this study thinking it likely the war in Somalia was a ploy by the U.S. to extend further control. Turns out to be yet another round of Christian versus Islamic fighting. What happened is that an Islamic government friendly to al Qaeda took over in Somalia and pushed out the officially recognized government that had been installed by the UN. The Islamic government initiated Sharia law, etc. Ethopia is a Christian nation whose Christian history dates back nearly 2000 years. It's a little confusing but it appears both Ethopia and Eritrea were in some kind of power struggle to establish some control over Somalia. However Ethopia was basically employed by the U.S. to launch the war against Somalia's Islamic government so I suppose it's Ethopia who will come out on top.

November 4, 2006

Somali Islamists deny suicide attack order: The US is alleging the supreme leader of the Islamist movement had authorized suicide attacks in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. The Islamists deny the allegation.

November 16, 2006

UN Report Says 10 Nations Violating Arms Embargo in Somalia: A U.N. report lists a slew of countries with supplying arms to factions in Somalia. Eerily it also describes Iran supplying arms in exchange for access to Uranium mines.

November 19, 2006

UN Discusses Illegal Somali Arms: Both Ethopia and Eritrea have been funneling arms into Somalia to support their preferred factions. This is in violation of a U.N. embargo and in general the shipments are described as illegal. ... Egypt Rejects UN Report It Broke Arms Embargo on Somalia ... Libya Denies Arming Islamists in Somalia ... Syria Denies Arming Somali Islamists ... Uganda Denies Violating UN Arms Embargo on Somalia

November 20, 2006

Islamic Leader Urges 'Greater Somalia': An Ethopian convoy operating inside Somalia was ambushed and many Ethopian soldiers were killed.

November 21, 2006

Somali Puntland to Switch to Sharia: One of the Somali provinces decides to switch over to Islamic (Sharia) law.

November 22, 2006

EU Experts Fear US Move Could Spark Somalia War: The U.S. is pushing for an international peacekeeping force, but many are predicting this could lead to a broad war in the Horn of Africa.

Somali Leaders Seeking Way to Avoid War: Ethopia is leading a bloc of seven African countries known as the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and insists that the government it helped create is the only legitimate authority. The Council of Islamic Courts has close ties to the 22-nation Arab League. Given that Ethopia is largely a Christian country this is yet another instance of the war between Islamists and Christianists that is raging elsewhere.

November 24, 2006

Ethiopia 'Ready for Islamist War': Islamists, known as The Union of Islamic Courts, are said to have made "rapid gains" over the past year and have repeatedly declared Jihad against Ethiopia. Ethopia, the Somali government, and others, are claiming that The Union of Islamic Courts is linked to al Qaeda, which they deny. A UN report this month accused Ethiopia and Eritrea, among other countries, of breaking an international arms embargo by supplying arms to Somalia.

November 25, 2006

Somalia rivals massing troops: Ethopia has been sending troops into Somalia to support the "Transitional Government". The transitional government was established two years ago with the support of the United Nations to serve as a transitional body to help Somalia emerge from anarchy. But it includes some warlords linked to the violence of the past, and wields no real power outside Baidoa. The United States accuses the Islamic government of harboring al-Qaeda members involved with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but the Islamic government denies these allegations.

November 26, 2006

Ethiopia says seeks no permission to defend itself: Ethopia claims it has a right to self defense, and it does not need permission from the U.S. or others against aggression and threats from the Islamists leading Somalia. The Islamists for their part insist the U.S. has given Ethopia permission to conduct a war. Talks between the two sides collapsed in October, with the Islamists saying they would not negotiate unless Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia.

November 28, 2006

Letters that sparked US Somalia alert fake-Islamists: On November 2 the U.S. revealed two letters written by Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who appears on U.S. and U.N. terrorism lists. The letters ordered many assassinations of leaders in Somalia and Kenya, an uprising by ethnic groups in Kenya and Ethiopia and for militia fighters of the Islamists' feared Shabab arm to mass on the Kenya-Somali border. The Islamist government denies the letters and claims these "false" letters are being used to prop up the onrush to war.

November 29, 2006

Ethiopian Troops Clash With Somali Islamists: Fighting occurs between Ethopian troops and the Islamist forces in Bandiradley, a strategic town near semi-autonomous Puntland. The Puntland has strong ties with Ethopia.

December 2, 2006

US Seeks UN Backing for Somalia Force: The U.S. is proposing a regional peace-keeping force to "prop up" the shaky interim government. They'd also have to lift some of the embargo against arms shipments into Somalia, even though that embargo has been widely ignored to legal send military aid to Somalia the embargo restrictions would have to be eased.

December 3, 2006

Islamists Seize Key Somali Township: The Islamists seized another town about 270 km west of Mogadishu, expanding their area of control.

December 4, 2006

Ethiopians Meet Somali Islamists: The Ethopian government has met with the Islamists to discuss matters, presumably to try diplomacy rather than war.

December 13, 2006

Islamic Militants Surround Somali Govt's Last Town: Something like a final showdown with Islamists bringing in more fighters every day. Ethopian and Somali fighters wear the same uniforms making it hard to tell whether the troops in Baidoa, the "last town" held by the officially recognized government, are actually Ethopian or Somali.

December 14, 2006

Ethiopia Plays Down Somali Threat: The Islamists have demanded that Ethopian forces have seven days to leave Somalia or to face a battle. The Ethopians aren't worried.

December 15, 2006

UN: Looming Somalia War Menaces Whole Region: The UN is warning that the rising tensions are leading to a war that threatens to be pretty broad across the neighboring countries. The officially recognized government is described as being little more than a name, since that government really only controls a small part of Somalia, namely Baidoa and surrounding land. The Islamists are the real power in Somalia.

December 16, 2006

Somali Leader: Peace 'No Longer Possible': The leader of the officially recognized government has declared "We are no longer under the illusion that peace is possible with the [Islamists]". For their part the Islamists say they will not attack the officially recognized government, but instead the Ethopians. "Our country has been invaded by Ethiopia ... we should have thrown them out a long time ago."

US Insists al-Qaeda in Control of Mogadishu: The U.S. is insisting the Islamists are infiltrated with al Qaeda operatives who are in position to be in control of Somalia. So of course under the U.S. theory of the world, it is not permissible to give al Qaeda control over any country, so therefore a war must be launched to get them out.

December 23, 2006

Ethiopia Edges Closer to Somalia Invasion: The growing conflict between Ethiopia and Somali Islamists escalated further yesterday as Ethiopian tanks rolled towards the front line and the Islamists announced that ground troops would begin attacks today. Ethiopia, which has always rejected claims that it has combat troops operating in Somalia, last night hinted that it would be prepared to launch an official invasion. In a statement released by its Foreign Ministry, Ethiopia claimed it "has been patient so far". But, the statement warned, "there is a limit to this". Fighting in Somalia continued for a fourth consecutive day with each side hammering the other with heavy artillery and rockets. Two fronts have opened up near the town of Baidoa in central Somalia, where the weak transitional government is based.

Ethiopia Warns Somali Islamists

December 24, 2006

Ethiopian PM: Country at War With Somalia Islamists: Ethiopian fighter jets bombed Mogadishu International Airport in the middle of Somalia’s capital on Monday, witnesses said, in the first direct attack on the headquarters of an Islamic movement attempting to wrest power from the internationally recognized government...Ethiopia’s prime minister announced Sunday night that his country was “forced to enter a war” with Somalia’s Council of Islamic Courts after the group declared holy war on Ethiopia.

December 25, 2006

Ethiopia Declares War, Bombs Somalia Towns

Somalia's Rivals Battle in Sixth Day of Fighting

Eritrea: President Denies Sending Troops to Somalia

December 26, 2006

Ethiopia Intervenes in Somali Civil War

December 27, 2006

Airport Attack Opens New Chapter in the Miserable History of Mogadishu

Ethiopia Seizes Key Somali Town

Ethiopia Claims It Has 'Broken the Back' of Somalia's Islamists

UN Security Council Calls Emergency Meeting on Fighting in Somalia

December 28, 2006

Ethiopian Forces Advance on Mogadishu

Somali Pro-Govt Forces to Encircle Mogadishu

African Union Urges Ethiopia to Leave Somalia

Arab States Urge Foreign Forces to Leave Somalia

December 29, 2006

US-Backed Ethiopian 'Victory' May Return Chaos to Somalia

Somali Government Troops Enter Capital

Specter of Rival Clans in Mogadishu

December 30, 2006

Somali PM: Ethiopian Troops Will Remain

Islamic Leader Vows to Stay in Somalia

Anxious Times for Somali Capital

December 31, 2006

US Trainers Prepare Ethiopians to Fight

Hunt for al-Qaeda Men in Mogadishu

January 17, 2006

Parliament sacks Somali speaker: The speaker of the Parliament over his role before the war to try and broker peace. He suggested opening negotiations with the Islamists and had held meetings on his own. Due to this he fell out of favor with the Prime Minister of the officially recognized government, and now that the officially recognized government has won the war he is out of power.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

So begins the war against Iran...?

In Background material for the second Gulf "War" and Is Syria (or Iran) next? and Next: Iran? and Er... What's this about threatening Syria? I long ago noted that the launch of the Iraq invasion was exactly in line with the strategy outlined by the Project for a New American Century way back in the mid 1990's. All through the invasion of Iraq the administration has been demonizing both Syria and Iran, making not-so-idle threats, etc. The pattern of the administration in the past has, before launching a war, to demonize the designated target so that by the time you're ready to launch the war your populace already has a dim view of the target.

This: US to target anti-Iraq activity: "US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned that the US will take action against countries destabilising Iraq." ..and.. War With Syria and Iran = Peace With Iraq?

Paired with: U.S. forces raid Iranian office in Iraq ..and.. Iranians detained in raid on consulate in Iraq ..and.. U.S.-Led Forces Detain 6 Iranian Workers

Well, that makes for a dangerous combination. Attacking a consulate? Don't consulates get diplomatic immunity? In any case this warning shot of smacking at Iranian presence in Iraq, while on the same day raising the threats against Iran even further, just strikes me as being the opening salvo to a full attack or war against Iran.

Don’t Get Too Excited about the President’s Warning to Iran and Syria has Andrew McCarthy saying don't worry, "he"'s not saying we're getting ready to attack Iran for real. It's only about shoring up the territorial integrity of Iraq.

Hmmmph... Maybe so, but this administration has proved over and over that their statements have hidden agenda's drawn from the NeoCon plan proposed during the 1990's. The essence of the plan was to reestablish western supremacy over the Middle East and to do so by "installing" moderate democracies beginning with Iraq. Phase two was to be an invasion of either Iran or Syria. The supposed plan was that the effect of moderate democracies in the middle of the Middle East would influence neighboring countries away from radical Islamic thinking.

But we've seen so far in Iraq that it's done the opposite. That our very presence there has led the people to rise up against the intruders, namely us, filling the ranks of the forces that are fighting against the West. The war we launched to squash this movement towards radical Islam has turned into the biggest recruiting tool for those radical Islamic forces.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Blood borders

Blood borders offers an interesting take on the conflicts in the Middle East. Essentially we're seeing regional ethnic conflicts between ancient tribal areas .. for example Kurdistan is the home of the Kurdish peoples and spreads between Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and whatever the country is to the north. The Kurds in Iraq have managed to create for themselves an semi-autonomous region and at the same time the Turkish government has been squashing their Kurdish minority.

The borders in the Middle East, and in Africa, were drawn by outsiders during the Colonial times. In the case of the Middle East the borders were created following World War I when the Ottoman Empire crumbled to dust. The outsiders didn't have in mind the interests of the locals, but instead their interests was the most effective control of the region from the outside.

But the conflicts going on are trying to unravel the artificial borders, and let ethnic groups who clearly occupy given areas to have their own homelands. Except that there is this system of existing national borders which are being maintained.

A few years ago I had a map showing a similar situation in Europe. The European countries were made by gluing together formerly independent principalities or kingdoms or whatnot. The ETA separatist movement is sponsored by Basques who want their own homeland. There are dozens of other movements around Europe having the same idea, that old cultures in specific areas of Europe are being eclipsed by national identities they probably see as occupiers of their lands. That's the thinking which led to the Balkan Wars following the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

Eery big brother sign seen in London

This was posted on and is eerily like it's directly lifted from this little book by George Orwell.

The poster links to the Transport For London web site and uses their logo.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Re: The government is reading your mail

The government is reading your mail concerns a signing statement perpetrated by Pres Bush along with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. I haven't read the act but it's apparently a general, across the board, enactment of changes that cover a broad range of issues. At issue is one section of the President's Statement on H.R. 6407, the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act". A section which deals with the opening of first class mail.

Back in May 2005 the administration attempted to Expand the "PATRIOT" act and beef up the governments powers to snoop on first class mail. First class mail is the regular stamped envelope mail that we used to use to send letters to one another (before E-Mail).

There is a long-standing power the government has to record "mail covers". The mail cover is the outside of the envelope, things like names and addresses, etc. The government has long had the power to record this information, effectively to take a picture of every piece of mail going through the post office. And if you ponder it for a moment, clearly that much information can be of use to investigators to establish links between individuals.

The signing statement includes this paragraph:

The executive branch shall construe subsection 404(c) of title 39, as enacted by subsection 1010(e) of the Act, which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.

So.. the President is now asserting a new power, a power to open mail. The justifications are for hazardous materials inspection or to protect human life, noble causes no doubt, but also include "foreign intelligence collection". This is the administration who is already illegally wiretapping U.S. citizens and who knows what other illegal spying they're doing.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

18 Secret Armies Of The CIA

18 Secret Armies Of The CIA is an interesting rundown of 18 different CIA-backed armies.

The sliming of Barak Obama (Pt. 2)

It's time for another dip into The sliming of Barak Obama. This is a series of articles tracking efforts to slander and slime Sen. Barak Obama.

A couple days ago CNN showed a picture of Osama bin Laden with the caption saying "Where's Obama". This occurred on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room, which coincidentally is the same program on which other slimings occurred.

CNN apology over Obama name slip at least CNN has issued an apology.

Malice in the Middle: Barack Hussein Obama and the history of bad middle names in politics explains how it's unfortunate, image wise, that Sen. Obama has a middle name of Hussein and a last name that sounds much like U.S. Enemy #1's name. I say this is silly, that people should pay better attention.

Dennis Miller’s Insensitive Message For Obama: Being Vice President Worse Than Racial Disenfranchisement is from News Hounds, the project started by Robert Greenwald, the director of OutFoxed the documentary revealing how Fox News is largely a mouthpiece for the Republican Party. Apparently this Dennis Miller fellow is infamous for slanderous opinion pieces, and this one lays it on really thick slamming both Obama and Sen. Clinton.

Bill O'Reilly Uses Mike Tyson To Smear Barack Obama And the News Hounds also report on Bill O'Reilly joining in the smearing. Mike Tyson was arrested with some drugs, and was let free without even having to post bail. That was then used by Bill O'Reilly as pretext for launching into attacking Sen Obama.

Fox News Battering Obama Over Book's Admissions And the News Hounds are yet again discussing another slander piece on Fox News. During this bit of video someone calls Obama a dope addict. Fox News Alert: George W. Bush Admits Cocaine Habit Covers the same video clip with a different angle. Coverage on FoxNews Obama Admissions on Drug Use Could Signal New Era in Politics. And as a result currently this particular story is making the rounds.

Could Candor About Drug Use Hurt Obama? isn't a slanderous attack, but instead an insightful analysis of the political weight that Sen. Obama is carrying. Clearly the politically active Americans tend to be heavily anti-Drug because there's several decades of anti-Drug propagandizing and hype in this countries recent history. And any admission of Drug use tends to be a kiss of death, affirmed by Pres. Clinton's admission regarding Marijuana. Supposedly he tried it, but did not inhale, and didn't like it. Hmm... I don't know anybody who can believe that story, and in any case drug usage is extremely common among youth in America. The quotes from Sen. Obama's book sound very honest, said truthfully, and accurately portrays the youth culture of any time during the past 40 years. I applaud his honesty.

CNN Puts Obama In Split-Screen With Bin Laden and Hussein shows screen captures of from CNN showing Sen. Obama on the same screen as Osama bin Laden and Iraqi former Pres Saddam Hussein. The question CNN is asking us, what's in a name and I'm wondering why are they making a big deal of the name?

CNN’s Obama Infomercial This is also not a slanderous attack, but it's a strange article nonetheless. Most of the article is a history of racism and civil rights in America, pointing out that it was the Democratic Party who, in 1872, founded the Ku Klux Klan, and the Democratic Party that was very racist through most of its history. He also points out the Texas Republican Party was founded by Black people. Hmm, very interesting, and ought to be worth researching the history of this issue a little more deeply. But what's strange is he describes CNN as running an "infomercial" for Obama, fawning all over him, etc .. is he watching the same CNN the rest of us are watching? If CNN is throwing its hat into the Obama ring, then why is Wolf Blitzer multiple times sliming Obama?

White Guilt, Obamania, And The Reality Of Race is an interesting blog entry examining how Black is Obama. Does that matter? In any case the piece discusses how his upbringing is completely divorced from the typical African-American experience. He is described as a wigger, a word I did not know but which the Wikipedia defines as "a white person who emulates mannerisms, slangs and fashions stereotypically associated with urban African Americans". Obama's parentage is half-white, his father was a Kenyan, not an African-American, so he wasn't exposed to the lineage of Slavery, and he was raised in Indonesia and an area of Hawaii that's extremely culturally diverse. Clearly Obama has little real connection with the culture that, say, Jesse Jackson comes from.

Clinton-Obama Differences Clear In Senate Votes is a refreshing analysis of the issues and policy stances taken by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The typical political article just looks at polling data, political strategies, and the current one-up-man-ship. This article discusses the voting history of these two Presidential race front runners.