By way of Corrente I found the interesting looking blog of John Gorenfeld (author of article that brought up said handkerchief) which focuses on Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Well known nutcase and Bush ally (do they go hand in hand?) that he is, this quote is still a bit freaky:
There are three guiding principles for the world to choose among: democracy, communism and Godism…It is clear that democracy as the United States knows and practices it cannot be the model for the world.
WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is seeking a big increase in spending for missile defense next year, setting the program on course to have a bare-bones system in place by the end of this year and up to 30 interceptors on land and at sea by the end of 2005.
The money is part of a proposed $401.7 billion Pentagon budget that doesn’t include money for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Officials last year went back to Congress for $87 billion beyond their budget to fund those missions, and documents obtained by The Associated Press show they expect to have to ask for money beyond this new budget as well.
BOO!! There’s no point to this, it’s just stupid. Is there anyone who thinks this is a good idea, that it’s actually worthwhile? Can’t we use this money for security at our nation’s ports, or the Coast Guard? It boggles the mind.
US Acknowledges Flaws in Iraq Intelligence
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Bush’s national security adviser acknowledged on Thursday there may have been flaws in prewar intelligence about Iraq but brushed aside calls for an independent investigation into the matter.
“I think that what we have is evidence that there are differences between what we knew going in and what we found on the ground,” Condoleezza Rice told CBS.
Um, ya think? It’s kind of obvious at this point isn’t it? And it seems weird to use “knew” in that statement.
In a series of television interviews, Rice defended Bush’s decision and said the United States may never learn the whole truth about Iraq’s arms capabilities because of looting, which U.S. forces failed to stop immediately after the invasion.
Yeah, those tons of weapons and nuclear missiles were carried off with the chairs and vases.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, deeply concerned about recent assassination attempts against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and a resurgence of Taliban forces in neighboring Afghanistan, is preparing a U.S. military offensive that would reach inside Pakistan with the goal of destroying Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, military sources said.
Such an operation almost certainly would demand the cooperation of Musharraf, who previously has allowed only a small number of U.S. Special Operations forces to work alongside Pakistani troops in the semi-autonomous tribal areas. A military source in Washington said last week, “We are told we’re going into Pakistan with Musharraf’s help.”
Yet a large-scale offensive by U.S. forces within the nuclear-armed Islamic republic could be political dynamite for Musharraf.
The army general, who took power in a bloodless coup in 1999, has come under growing political pressure from Islamic parties, and his cooperation with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts is widely unpopular among average Pakistanis. Nor can Musharraf count on the loyalty of all of Pakistan’s armed forces or its intelligence agency, members of which helped set up and maintain the Taliban in Afghanistan and are suspected of ties to militant Islamic groups.
Musharraf’s vulnerability is of deep concern to U.S. officials. If he were killed, Bush administration officials say, it is unlikely that any successor would be as willing to work toward U.S. goals to eliminate Islamic extremists.
As a joint effort between us and Pakistan, I’d say it’s a decent idea. The problem I have is that this could lead to another coup, putting in power someone who won’t work with us in hunting down al Qaeda and creating more hatred in the region. So unless this has a good chance of doing major damage to the group (say, catching bin Laden), I’m not sure it’s worth it. Also, there’s the question of troops – we’re already spread pretty thin.
John Kerry 38.6%
Howard Dean 25.9%
Wesley Clark 12.5%
John Edwards 12.0%
Joe Lieberman 8.7%
Dennis Kucinich 1.4%
Dick Gephardt 0.2%
Al Sharpton 0.2%
Sharpton loses to Gephardt. I think it’s time for him to go. Anyway, my predictions were better than for Iowa, I had Clark and Edwards flipped. I was pretty close on the Dean and Lieberman numbers.
Maybe NOW Kerry’s hair will become an issue again. It didn’t happen last time, and dammit, I want commentary on the hair!
So it’s the inagural Dennis Miller show on CNBC. He opened with an ape beside his side for some reason, and painted the show as moderate, but hard hitting in the opening. And maybe I’m paranoid, but it seemed like it contained jabs at O’Reilly, saying he wasn’t going to cut anyone off or anything. Of course, that could just be a jab at news shows in general. But then, he did make fun of him later by saying he was offering “Factor gear.” He had Ah-Nold on, who spoke with nice, empty rhetoric (deficits are bad!). And his stand-up news routine was bad. Something about no audience and just a few crew men laughing. And he’s also not funny anymore (loserjuice? Sheesh). And then the ever popular debate segment. Guests: David Horowitz, Naomi Wolf, and David Frum. Wolf did ok, and of course, Horowitz makes sure to get in a reference to liberals in universities and implies Democrats are traitors (the “aid and comfort” line).
All in all, a pretty damn boring for a show for a comedian. We’ll see how long it lasts.
After the, um, rousing success of my prediction of the outcome of the Iowa caucus, I’m sure you’re all waiting for my NH predictions. Well, here ya go:
Kerry – 30%
Dean – 27%
Edwards – 17%
Clark – 16%
Lieberman – 8%
Other – 2%
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations.
The ruling marks the first court decision to declare a part of the post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism statute unconstitutional, said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who argued the case on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project.
In a ruling handed down late Friday and made available Monday, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins said the ban on providing “expert advice or assistance” is impermissibly vague, in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments.
The Humanitarian Law Project, which brought the lawsuit, said the plaintiffs were threatened with 15 years in prison if they advised groups on seeking a peaceful resolution of the Kurds’ campaign for self-determination in Turkey.
The judge’s ruling said the law, as written, does not differentiate between impermissible advice on violence and encouraging the use of peaceful, nonviolent means to achieve goals.
Sounds good to me. Hopefully this starts a trend.
If you haven’t heard, on NPR (well, MPR, but it’s being carried by many NPR affiliates) there’s a program called Blogging of the President: 2004 coming on in about 10 minutes. Guests include Atrios, Josh Marshall, Andrew Sullivan, and Kevin Phillips. Should be interesting. Mostly because Sullivan and Atrios will be on together (maybe).