"Many of us were taught that the president proposes and Congress disposes." - Bob Dole
"Surveying current politics, I find myself missing Richard Nixon." - Paul Krugman
"Crazy is a pre-existing condition” - Rick Perlstein
"you wouldn't want to have American fingerprints on it..."
I have not been kind to the CIA, saying some pretty derogatory things in my posts. Unfortunately, today's news only confirms my bad opinion. When Cheney's tools decided to restart the program of capturing or killing people in countries we had no intelligence or bad political relationships with, the CIA decided to outsource instead of doing it themselves. Even more unfortunately, they contracted with Blackwater USA: "With Blackwater's lucrative government security work and contacts arrayed in hot spots around the world, company officials offered the services of foreigners supposedly skilled at tracking terrorists in lawless regions and countries where the CIA had no working relationships with the government.
Blackwater told the CIA that it "could put people on the ground to provide the surveillance and support — all of the things you need to conduct an operation," a former senior CIA official familiar with the secret program told The Associated Press.
But the CIA's use of the private contractor as part of its now-abandoned plan to dispatch death squads skirted concerns now re-emerging with recent disclosures about Blackwater's role." Blackwater, or Xe, is still being contracted by the State Department for bodyguard service, and contracted by the Pentagon and CIA for use in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even still in Iraq, where they are not welcome for having murdered innocent civilians. Blackwater has been criticized for hiring extremist evangelicals to fight the Christian war against Islam, as described by its founder. His mother is also an extremely devout evangelical, and paid for the Focus on the Family headquarters here in Colorado Springs. I wonder if James Dobson has ever used Xe's services...
Allegations of fraud in the Afghan election have jumped from 270 to 550, and all will have to be investigated before the results can be certified, as reported in the NY Times. Many claims are typical of this: "A Kabul teacher assigned to run a polling station in this village arrived at 6 a.m. on Election Day to find the ballot boxes already full, well before the voting was to start. When he protested, the other election officials told him to let it go; when he refused, he was taken away by the local tribal chieftain’s bodyguards.
Now he is in hiding and receiving threats, he said. And the village’s polling place is under investigation in one of the most serious reports of fraud that officials worry could affect the results of the country’s Aug. 20 elections — in this case, as in many others, in favor of President Hamid Karzai." I wonder if Karzai has had Iranian consultants on how to conduct the election, it certainly has nullified James Carville's hired advice to his major opponent. Karzai is a Pashtun, as is the major Taliban group. His brother is accused of being involved in the ballot stuffing as well as being a major player in the heroin trade, which means that he is involved with the Talibans. Perhaps Karzai intends for the election to fail, leaving Afghans distrustful of all elections. Then, he can just keep his presidency and become a dictator, sharing with his fellow Pashtuns in running the government, a proposal he has already made...
Mr Olmert is pretty much screwed unless he can convince the jury that he is innocent because that's the traditional way for officials to conduct their business. The US is involved in one of the charges: "The most sensational of the three cases involved Morris Talansky, a Long Island businessman, from whom Mr. Olmert is alleged to have received more than $600,000, partly in cash-stuffed envelopes, from 1997 to 2005. Prosecutors accuse Mr. Olmert of hiding the money and failing to report it to the authorities. Though Mr. Olmert has not been charged with taking bribes in the Talansky case, he is accused of abusing his position as a government minister to promote Mr. Talansky’s private business interests in Israel and abroad, constituting a major conflict of interest." Oh, there's a lot more. Charges of him double-billing for trips taken abroad and setting up dummy corporations to funnel money caused him to resign in 2006. The current Foreign Minister is under investigation for similar charges...
And to add insult to injury, Mr Olmert's confidant and office manager has been arrested for bugging his office and listening to conversations that took place there. Maybe she was just getting the material for her new tell-all book, due out soon by a New York publisher...
"Declassified papers report that John Kennedy was taking eight different medications a day. He was so wasted, his Secret Service code name was Ted Kennedy." —Craig Kilborn
"You see Barack Obama at that rally surrounded by all those Kennedys? Man, I couldn't tell if he was running for president or bartender." --Jay Leno
"They say President Bush has started drinking again. Boy, he'll do anything to get Ted Kennedy's support for that Supreme Court nominee." --Jay Leno
"During Judge Alito's hearings, Senator Ted Kennedy accidentally referred to Sam Alito as Ali-oto. Kennedy said 'Forgive me, I'm sober.'" --Conan O'Brien
"It was a long, dull speech. Halfway through, Ted Kennedy sent drinks over to the Bush twins." –David Letterman, on Bush's State of the Union Address
"It's Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. This tradition began about 25 years ago down in Washington, D.C. by a quick-thinking Ted Kennedy who was spotted leaving his office with an 18-year-old." —David Letterman
"According to rumors, Ted Kennedy may have had a child out of wedlock. Well, who hasn't? But you know, something like this could damage Kennedy's image with women." --David Letterman
"The John Bolton nomination has cleared the committee. Larry Flynt has entered the fray. He said he has evidence Bolton bought tickets to a swingers club and forced his wife to have group sex. Today Ted Kennedy said he's heard enough -- he's voting yes." --Bill Maher
"What a nightmare I had last night. I dreamed I was at a Washington party and I had to choose between Dick Cheney taking me on a hunting trip or Ted Kennedy driving me home." --Jay Leno
"Patrick Kennedy crashed his car and said he doesn't remember anything about the accident, except a huge sense of relief when he came to and he wasn't soaking wet." --Bill Maher
"Ted Kennedy was stopped for going on an airline because his name somehow ended up on a no-fly list. Is this really safe for people — Ted Kennedy driving?" --Craig Kilborn
"Sen. Ted Kennedy is writing a children's book with his dog, from the dog's point of view. Sen. Ted Kennedy has a dog named Splash. Is that the best name for Ted Kennedy's dog? Isn't that like that Jack Abramoff guy naming his dog Bribe?" --Jay Leno