I got the Weary Blues

Time is a little short today and I’ve got one of those headaches that I can’t seem to shake so we’re off to Linkville.

Mark Kleiman at The Reality Based Community with the day’s best word burst,

And it has burst in part, I submit, because Democrats (over Mickey’s vociferous protests) have been relentlessly — and, I would say, accurately — attacking his character for about four years now. If we’d started earlier, hit harder, and been more unified (e.g., had some help from Joe Lieberman and Mickey Kaus), he would now probably be even less popular than he is. The first rule of advertising is repetition. The second rule of advertising is repetition. And the third rule of advertising is repetition.

George W. Bush isn’t just an awful President; he’s also a miserable excuse for a human being. Saying so, back when he was popular, wasn’t an immediate vote-winner, but it paid long-term dividends. Saying it now — long, loud, and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again — isn’t just truth-telling, it’s also obviously good politics.

Fortunately for tender liberal consciences but unfortunately for the nation, there’s absolutely no need to distort or exaggerate. In the words of Harry Truman, just tell the truth, and the Republicans will think it’s Hell.

U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006

– Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
– While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
– Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
– Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
– Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
– Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment

The poll has a lot to offer both sides in the leave sooner or leave later camps, I did find this a little disturbing, but not much of a surprise,

While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”

Is it any wonder that after four years of disinformation many of the troops and many Americans believe the urban myths implied by the administration and spread by conservative talking heads from the Sunday discussion shows to Fox News to conservative blognuts.

As the 9/11 Commission recently reported, there was “no credible evidence” of a collaborative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Similarly, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. With U.S. casualties mounting in an election year, the White House is grasping at straws to avoid being held accountable for its dishonesty.

Since weve had years of Bush and the right conflating all of Islam into the Terror Boogieman its a wonder that most Americans, regardless of political loyalties oppose the UAE port deal. Shamelessly some of the most ardent Bush apologists are now trying to argue that any oppostion to the UAE deal is xenophobic, the very same crowd that has sung the praises of racial profiling. The righties keep pushing conspiracy theories based on dubious evidence that links this or that Muslim country or group to terrorists which hardly gives them credibility at this point to question the motives of more moderate conservatives and Democrats. Coast Guard Warned of Port Deal Intel Gaps

Republican congressional leaders had hoped to curtail bipartisan outcries over a United Arab Emirates-based company’s pending takeover of some U.S. port operations by brokering an agreement for a new investigation of the deal’s potential security risks.

Then came the disclosure that the U.S. Coast Guard had raised concerns weeks ago that, because of U.S. intelligence gaps, it could not determine whether the UAE company, DP World, might support terrorist operations.

Bush administration officials say those concerns were addressed and resolved.

Nevertheless, both Republicans and Democrats seized on the Coast Guard assessment, which was released by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing Monday, to launch a fresh round of criticism just as the furor over the ports deal appeared on the brink of subsiding.

“I am more convinced than ever that the process was truly flawed,” said Collins, the Homeland Security Committee’s chairwoman. “I can only conclude that there was a rush to judgment, that there wasn’t the kind of painstaking, thorough analysis that needed to be done, despite serious questions being raised and despite the involvement of a wide variety of agencies.”

“If this isn’t a smoking gun,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “it shows that there may be one undetected” by the multi-agency panel that approved DP World’s proposed purchase of London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. The panel signed off on the deal without doing a 45-day investigation into security implications, which critics say the law requires.

About this NSA news, NYT sues Pentagon over domestic spying Suburban Guerrilla writes,

Good. It’s about time the media stopped rolling over and playing dead

update: I wrote in this post that ,

It is pretty shocking that the administration seems to be saying that they are only scooping up intel on international communications in one program thus excluding domestic communications. This would imply that shockingly the administration is not putting any suspected domestic terrorists under watch or they have another program which they’re pretty sure is legal, but super secret and may or may not be legal, that they can’t talk about.

Admittedly not the world’s best prose, but other then that I thought to myself this is just getting too strange. I reread it three times. Did I really understand it to be that there are possibly multiple domestic spy programs going on and the administration thinks that it is legal and moral to carry out these programs without congressional or judicial oversight. Today we get the answer, Gonzales Seeks to Clarify Testimony on Spying

In a letter yesterday to senators in which he asked to clarify his Feb. 6 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales also seemed to imply that the administration’s original legal justification for the program was not as clear-cut as he indicated three weeks ago.

At that appearance, Gonzales confined his comments to the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, saying that President Bush had authorized it “and that is all that he has authorized.”

But in yesterday’s letter, Gonzales, citing that quote, wrote: “I did not and could not address . . . any other classified intelligence activities.” Using the administration’s term for the recently disclosed operation, he continued, “I was confining my remarks to the Terrorist Surveillance Program as described by the President, the legality of which was the subject” of the Feb. 6 hearing.

snip

“It seems to me he is conceding that there are other NSA surveillance programs ongoing that the president hasn’t told anyone about,” said Bruce Fein, a government lawyer in the Nixon, Carter and Reagan administrations.

Former CIA Director Woolsey continued the complete nonsense that FISA would not allow for instances where phones or computers are seized for intelligence services to act quickly. By giving them the 72 hour spy first, get a warrant later window FISA allowed for just that situation. As usual Unclaimed Territory has more as does Democracy Arsenal.

Call out to programmers, America may need your help to remove Republican spyware, GOP CD accumulates data, but data is not secured

Now that’s pretty basic stuff: what your IP is, what your CPU is, what your operating system is. But is it possible for me to find out how you vote in elections? What your position on abortion is? Or even how long it takes you to answer those questions? ? Can I get your private phone number, your address, your name, your spouse’s name, your IP?

UAE Govt confiscate text books from US school

“The text book dubbed Middle East as one of the most dangerous explosive areas in the world and the Muslim conquest of India as the most bloodiest in the world history,” a report in the Khaleej Times said.

Israel is one of a few democracies in north Africa and the Middle East today; the country of Syria has sponsored terrorism by giving aid to radicals in the Palestine Liberation Organisation”, excerpts from the book read.

Terming the text as ‘racist’, Juma Salami, Assistant Undersecretary to Foreign Private Education said the book, published by Silver Burdett Ginn, is insulting to the country’s religion and culture.

Everything in bold is true, so if the truth is racist, maybe we’re all racists now. Rather then censoring books Mr. Salami might work to start the long hard job of liberalizing his country, then they wouldn’t write books with inconvenient facts which he finds insulting.

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.

He played a few chords then he sang some more–

“I got the Weary Blues

And I can’t be satisfied.

Got the Weary Blues

And can’t be satisfied–

I ain’t happy no mo’

And I wish that I had died.”

And far into the night he crooned that tune.

The stars went out and so did the moon.

The singer stopped playing and went to bed

He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.

excerpt from The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes