Tuesday, September 04, 2007


There's a chicken leg in here somewhere!

Picnic leftovers from a thoroughly enjoyable three day weekend, those not carried off by ants or eaten by pets, culinary delights on ice.



DEN said...


@ C&L:
August was a disastrous month for Republicans and the Romney campaign took a huge hit when it’s national finance committee co-chairman, Alan B. Fabian was charged in a 23 count indictment, including charges of money laundering, mail fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice. It’s reported Fabian, a former Bush Pioneer, allegedly ran a scheme that netted him millions of dollars which were used to purchase beach front property and travel. The Romney campaign said they would return Fabian’s $2,300 campaign donation, but not funds donated by others through him. Fabian stepped down from Romney’s campaign shortly after his August 9th indictment — but you may not have heard much about this scandal.

However, you may have heard of a scandal involving Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a less-than savory character named Norman Hsu. According to reports from the LA Times, Hsu skipped out on a 1991 plea agreement in San Mateo Co. CA, in which he was to serve three years for grand theft. Hsu, who turned himself in to authorities in CA on Friday and awaits a September 5th bail hearing, became a top Democratic fundraiser and contributor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well as other Democratic candidates, including Senator Barack Obama, much of which was laundered through others. The Clinton campaign has agreed to return $23,000 in campaign donations from Hsu, and Obama has agreed to donate his $2,300 donation to charity.

While both scandals hold equal potential for damage to the respective candidates involved, the media, for unknown reasons, gave Mitt Romney a pass, while devoting ample time to Hsu and the Clinton campaign. According to Media Matters, NBC, CNN and FOXNews all covered the Hsu scandal, but none of the aforementioned networks dedicated any time to the Romney/Fabian scandal that can be found in the Nexis database. More from Media Matters:

Summary: In recent days, NBC, CNN, and Fox News have all aired reports or discussed the case of Norman Hsu, who The Wall Street Journal suggested may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Clinton. However, when Mitt Romney’s national finance committee co-chairman Alan Fabian was charged with mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, the three networks did not report or discuss it during programs available in the Nexis database.

Oh yea liberal media alright, yea right.

micki said...

Well, I thought I was finished commenting about Mr. Wide Stance.


According to salon.com, his kids go on TeeVee and say he "was a victim of circumstance" and it's a case of "being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Oy. Plus Craig has hired a lawyer to see what can be done about "undoing" that guilty plea!

I bet the Repug Thugs are really pissed that he can't keep his mouth shut!

micki said...

Den -- The troll in the refrigerator?

micki said...

Well, General Rove got his photo-ops for his boyfriend on Labor Day.

But, if this trip was so damned important for the prez to see what's happenin' in Iraq, why is it only the 3rd trip since he started his illegal War of Choice? Besides, his toadies Crocker and Petraus are due to give their (honest - hahaha) appraisal of the situation to Congress very, very soon.

Yup.. It was all about photo-ops to give the false impression that bush isn't disengaged (read: out of it!)

Oh, BTW, they really annoy me.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- I'm confused. Who did you meet in TX that you wish you hadn't?


micki said...

Dr. B -- The SOB - Son of a Bush.

BTW, now I have a question for you...

What sort of labor were you engaged in on Labor Day? Global warming mitigation efforts? Just curious...

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Thanx.

No, unfortunately. I think I've done what I can to help along the Senate's 2007 Farm Bill version. I'm trying to find somebody to take up the bandwagon for reducing the concentration of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but so far nobody's organization is willing. Everybody seems focused on reducing the rate of growth.

Not good enough!

Hajji said...

Keeping Children Safe

Dude...really cute picture and I know you're no dummy, but I've seen it too many times in the past 8 years at the ER.

Most recently, two 3-year old twins stood on an open oven door to reach something on the stove top. One survived with bilateral femoral fractures. The other died from a flailed chest when the whole stove tipped over on them.

Sorry to be a bummer.

Pass the word.


DEN said...

Hajji, slam the door on that one!

I promise, no more child endangering pics.

As a parent that watched his toddler daughter go down the basement stairs, I am acutely aware of household dangers.

Kids move quick and get into trouble real fast, leaving distraught parents with real big hospital bills.

Best to put them in cages in the yard to keep them safe. (TIC)

Hajji said...

I like to put the grandbabies in little harnesses an hang them from the trees.

It takes away the fence-climbing danger, gives them a better view and occasionally a motherly bird will regurgitate into their hungry, little mouths, just to keep 'em quiet.


micki said...

Dr. B -- Perhaps you'll find someone on this site who will listen to your pleading about the need to reduce the concentation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere -- and take action!

Hope springs eternal!

micki said...

What about the goofuses who drive with their kids in their laps?

Or their dogs, for that matter...

micki said...

Global Research Technologies on future air-capture products

Sucking the CO2 straight out of the atmosphere

Are they real?

micki said...

Oh, one thing about a wish of mine...

When I read that L. Paul Bremer was ticked off at the reference in Robert Draper's book that put the monkey on his back for dismantling the Iraqi army, I momentarily fantasized that Bremer would be the catalyst for taking down bush. I mean he even released letters to the NYT showing that he (Bremer) had talked about the plan with Wolfowitz, Rummy, etc. etc. and had mentioned the plan to bush in a letter dated May 22, 2003.

Anything's possible....

micki said...

September 4, 2007
Envoy’s Letter Counters Bush on Dismantling of Iraq Army

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.

Mr. Bremer provided the letters to The New York Times on Monday after reading that Mr. Bush was quoted in a new book as saying that American policy had been “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”

The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents. In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.

“We must make it clear to everyone that we mean business: that Saddam and the Baathists are finished,” Mr. Bremer wrote in a letter that was drafted on May 20, 2003, and sent to the president on May 22 through Donald H. Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense.

After recounting American efforts to remove members of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein from civilian agencies, Mr. Bremer told Mr. Bush that he would “parallel this step with an even more robust measure” to dismantle the Iraq military.

One day later, Mr. Bush wrote back a short thank you letter. “Your leadership is apparent,” the president wrote. “You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.”

On the same day, Mr. Bremer, in Baghdad, had issued the order disbanding the Iraqi military. Mr. Bush did not mention the order to abolish the military, and the letters do not show that he approved the order or even knew much about it. Mr. Bremer referred only fleetingly to his plan midway through his three-page letter and offered no details.

In an interview with Robert Draper, author of the new book, “Dead Certain,” Mr. Bush sounded as if he had been taken aback by the decision, or at least by the need to abandon the original plan to keep the army together.

“The policy had been to keep the army intact; didn’t happen,” Mr. Bush told the interviewer. When Mr. Draper asked the president how he had reacted when he learned that the policy was being reversed, Mr. Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, “This is the policy, what happened?’ ”

Mr. Bremer indicated that he had been smoldering for months as other administration officials had distanced themselves from his order. “This didn’t just pop out of my head,” he said in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that he had sent a draft of the order to top Pentagon officials and discussed it “several times” with Mr. Rumsfeld.

A White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House is not commenting on Mr. Draper’s book, said Mr. Bush indeed understood the order and was acknowledging in the interview with Mr. Draper that the original plan had proved unworkable.

“The plan was to keep the Iraqi Army intact, and that’s accurate,” the official said. “But by the time Jerry Bremer announced the order, it was fairly clear that the Iraqi Army could not be reconstituted, and the president understood that. He was acknowledging that that was something that did not go as planned.”

But the letters, combined with Mr. Bush’s comments, suggest confusion within the administration about what quickly proved to be a decision with explosive repercussions.

Indeed, Mr. Bremer’s letter to Mr. Bush is striking in its almost nonchalant reference to a major decision that a number of American military officials in Iraq strongly opposed. Some senior administration officials, including the secretary of state at the time, Colin L. Powell, have reportedly said subsequently that they did not know about the decision ahead of time.

Gen. Peter Pace, then the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations in February 2004 that the decision to disband the Iraqi Army was made without the input of the joint chiefs. “We were not asked for a recommendation or for advice,” he said.

The reference from Mr. Bremer’s note to Mr. Bush is limited to one sentence at the end of a lengthy paragraph in a three-page letter. The letter devoted much more space to recounting what Mr. Bremer described as “an almost universal expression of thanks” from the Iraqi people “to the U.S. and to you in particular for freeing Iraq from Saddam’s tyranny.” It went on to recall how Mr. Bremer had been kissed by an old Iraqi man who was under the impression that Mr. Bremer was Mr. Bush. In his 2006 memoir, Mr. Bremer said he had briefed senior officials in Washington on the plan, but he did not mention the exchange of letters with Mr. Bush.

On Monday, Mr. Bremer made it clear that he was unhappy about being portrayed as a renegade of sorts by a variety of former administration officials.

Mr. Bremer said he sent a draft of the proposed order on May 9, shortly before he departed for his new post in Baghdad, to Mr. Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon officials.

Among others who received the draft order, he said, were Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense; Douglas J. Feith, then under secretary of defense for policy; Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, then head of the American-led coalition forces in Iraq; and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Bremer said that he had briefed Mr. Rumsfeld on the plan “several times,” and that his top security adviser in Baghdad, Walter B. Slocombe, had discussed it in detail with senior Pentagon officials as well as with senior British military officials. He said he received detailed comments back from the joint chiefs, leaving no doubt in his mind that they understood the plan.

“I might add that it was not a controversial decision,” Mr. Bremer said. “The Iraqi Army had disappeared and the only question was whether you were going to recall the army. Recalling the army would have had very practical difficulties, and it would have political consequences. The army had been the main instrument of repression under Saddam Hussein. I would go on to argue that it was the right decision. I’m not second-guessing it.”

General McKiernan reportedly felt unhappy with Mr. Bremer’s plan to slowly build a new Iraqi Army from scratch, as were other American officers. In his farewell meeting with Mr. Bremer in June 2003, he urged him to “go bigger and faster” in fielding a new military.

micki said...

oops...I meant to cut that down.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- I'll even try writing to the EPA administrator. Do you know how?

micki said...

How to contact the EPA

EPA Climate Change Site

Maybe instead of contacting the head honcho, Stephen L. Johnson, it'd be more useful to go through some regional offices. Some of the regional types might be less political and more practical about the crisis.

micki said...

I have an idea...for what's it worth.

How about contacting energy companies that offer Green Power, such as Puget Sound Energy, etc. and suggesting that they take a leadership role in educating the public on the critical necessity of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.....and also admonishing them (in a professorial manner) to take a leadership role in actually doing something about the concentrations, rather than focusing primarily on the rate of growth.

Just a thought....

micki said...

...send your thoughts to the Department of Transportation, too.

Big polluter ignorers. (I know that's not a real word.)

micki said...



micki said...

They say they answer EVERY SINGLE message @ DOT

Yeah, sure..."thank you for contacting us....blah blah blah"

But, I suppose it's worth a try.

DEN said...

When it comes down to it, if you want to actually reach a "Live" human, don't hold your breath.

Send a letter and wait, guaranteed nobody cares.

Old joke:
Our complaint dept. is run by Helen Waite,

Got a complaint? Go to Helen Waite.

DEN said...