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Archive for July 2007

Truth, lies and Alberto R. Gonzales

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I’m a big fan of Al’s . . . I think Al has done a good job under difficult circumstances. The debate between he and the Senate is something they’re going to have to resolve. But I think he has testified truthfully.

— Vice President Dick Cheney during a July 30 interview with CBS Radio.

It is not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.

— Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales during his January 2005 confirmation hearings when asked whether the Bush administration would ever allow wiretapping of American citizens without warrants.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 31, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Saudi arms sale + campaign cash = profit?

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Controversy continues to emerge about the United States’ intent to develop a proposed $20 billion, 10-year arms sales package for Saudi Arabia.

Brighter minds than this one can dissect Israel’s concern about point-point, laser-guided weapons parked next door, whether the driving idea behind the proposal is meant “to act as a bulwark against Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East,” and whether the sale is the Bush administration’s way to make nice-nice with Arab nations as the United States plans to sell $30 billion in arms to Israel.

The more mundane issue explored here is cui bono financially? Given the few details reported so far about what weapons systems the Saudis might get, Raytheon, Boeing, Textron and Lockheed Martin may be salivating. Then again, they paid plenty for the privilege.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Quotabull

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Q: Is it in part a response to the Democratic criticism last night over Iraq at the debate?
MR. SNOW: No.
Q: Did he watch the debate?
MR. SNOW: I don’t think so. I don’t think he’s big on YouTube debates.

— White House spokesman Tony Snow aboard Air Force One, explaining the president’s speech schedule and topic the day after the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate.

Let me turn now to the report that’s being released today. Of the actions that were due at 12 months, we assess that 86 percent of those actions have been completed. That’s to be compared to a score of around 92 percent that we released at the six-month mark. There are about 14 percent of the actions that are not yet completed. We document those in the action-by-action detailed report. We anticipate those being completed in the 18-month time frame at the next six-month report. I’m not going to go through the accomplishments in great detail. Suffice it to say that on the international front, we’ve taken unprecedented action.

— Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, special assistant to the president for biodefense, explaining the administration’s actions on avian and pandemic influenza during a July 17 press briefing in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 26, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Presidential candidates raise big cash fast — but from whom? And why?

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A magician who seeks to retain his (or her) illusion for — and thus control over — the audience uses sleight of hand and misdirection. In the modern political era that began in earnest with the 1994 mid-term elections, a Republican majority in Congress mastered that art using the textbooks authored by former House speakers Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay. Although that majority has evaporated, the Democratic successors have continued to play three-card monte with the best of the GOP.

Terry Schiavo. Abortion. Stem-cell research. Gay marriage. Immigration reform. Osama. The “war on terror.” The Iraq war. Corruption (Cunningham and Jefferson et al.) Ethics reform. Sex scandals (the House pages and Vitter). Scooter Libby and Plamegate. Global warming (er, climate change). The dancing denials of Alberto Gonzalez. Vice President Cheney’s non-executive executive branch. Impeach the bastards, etc.

These are serious subjects, of course, or so intones The Media (a.k.a. the magician’s assistant), charged with telling the audience why it ought to be worried about them and why it ought to vote for The Right — or The Left — to make sure that Subject X doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t matter which party’s talking; each has a tall tale it sells, er, tells to the audience.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 24, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Quotabull*

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* Formerly “Recent statements from morons.”

We know, also, that [terrorists are] working feverishly to obtain ever more destructive weapons, and using every form of technology they can get their hands on. And this makes the business of fighting this war as urgent and time-sensitive as any task this nation has ever taken on. As the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Mike McConnell, said recently, “The time needed to develop a terrorist plot, communicate it around the globe, and put it into motion has been drastically reduced. The time line is no longer a calendar, it is a watch.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, commencement address at West Point, May 26.

I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk. Summertime seems to be appealing to them. We do worry that they are rebuilding their activities.

Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary, to the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, July 11.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Sen. Vitter, take II: Is the media missing the real story?

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I repeat: Forget Sen. David Vitter’s penis. I’ve already pontificated about following his money. Now let’s focus on his ability to do his job under the cloud caused by his wandering wanker.

Sen. Vitter and soulmate Wendy met the press Monday but took no questions about his use of a prostitute. Mrs. Vitter offered support for her husband; Sen. Vitter looked forward to the future of “continu[ing] my work in the U.S. Senate to help move Louisiana forward.” Specifically he said he wished to help “finalize a crucial water resources bill to provide much better hurricane and flood protection.”

Sen. Vitter had been a representative in Congress since 1998 before succeeding John Breaux in the Senate. If he wants better hurricane and flood protection for the Gulf Coast now, why haven’t reporters reviewed his House voting record on funding for same before Katrina? Would that reveal a greater hypocrisy?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 17, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Recent statements from morons

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 2669 and in support of the McKeon alternative. As the father of three college graduates and a college sophomore, I understand the financial burden higher education poses on families and students. That is why I am proud of Republican efforts, particularly those of Representatives Buck McKeon and Ric Keller to expand college access and increase affordability.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on July 11 in opposition to the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which the Democratically controlled House passed Wednesday. Supporters say the bill would lower student loan interest rates, increase Pell grants and offer tuition assistance and loan forgiveness. Nineteen months ago, Reps. Wilson, McKeon (R-Calif.) and Keller (R-Fla.) voted with the GOP majority (217-215) to approve the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which slashed nearly $13 billion from student-loan programs.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 13, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Forget Sen. Vitter’s penis: Follow his money

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They’re all over this guy — The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. Sex sells, so they’re selling it — and doing a disservice to their readers and viewers.

It’s a story played over and over again in Congress (Wilbur Mills, anyone? Fanne Foxe?) A senator or member of Congress paints himself (or herself) as a vision of moral rectitude and gets caught with his pants down (or her skirt up). Literally.

So Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) paid for sex. Big deal. All this “sex sells” coverage may drive ratings, but it detracts readers and viewers from far more important issues. Politicians would rather have the press focused on their sexual peccadilloes than on their financial affairs while in service to their constituents.

Sen. Vitter’s “serious sin” has nothing to do with sex. It’s the sin far too many senators and members of Congress seem to commit with corporate abandon: “Give me money to get elected and I’ll make sure you go to the head of the line for federal cash.”
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Civil liberties violations? Nope. ‘Typographical errors.’

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By now, thanks to The Washington Post, you’ve figured out that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, he of the minimal memory, can warp time itself. The Department of Justice, under his leadership, can also turn an FBI report of civil liberties violations into a typographical error.

The AG told Congress on April 27, 2005, that “[t]here has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.”

The Post today, however, reported that the FBI had notified Mr. Gonzales of such violations as much as three months before that:

Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 10, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Recent statements from morons

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I understand the embarrassment that it caused the party. I will work diligently to make sure that these things don’t happen again.

— John Irish, chair of the Lucas County (Ohio) Democratic Party, in an apology for hiring strippers to work a party fundraiser at a public golf course, an event at which at least one of the strippers “raised her top and lowered her shorts for a group of golfers.”

Here’s the thing, when you’re dealing with a world leader, you wonder whether or not he’s telling the truth. I’ve never had to worry about that with Vladimir Putin. Sometimes he says things I don’t want to hear, but I know he’s always telling me the truth.

— President Bush about the veracity of Russian President Vladimir Putin after their meeting this week in Kennebunkport, Maine.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 6, 2007 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized