Tuesday, September 30, 2003
The Crisco Kid
FURTHER AGHAST AT ASHCROFT ABC news
By Beverley Lumpkin
W A S H I N G T O N, Jan. 15
Last week began with everybody just agog over the revelation in
the New York Times that Attorney General nominee Sen. John Ashcroft
has a practice of anointing himself with oil - specifically, a bowl
of Crisco oil - prior to beginning a new job.
Quoting from his autobiography, the Times said he anointed himself
before each of his terms as governor and before he was sworn in as
senator. And he did it because the "ancient kings of Israel, David
and Saul" had done so.
Reviewing John Ashcroft
from "The Rant"
Posted by Dietz Smith on December 31, 2002 12:40 PM
It is well known that John Ashcroft is a devout Christian and
active member of the Assemblies of God, but even that does not
explain the bizarre ritual in which he engaged upon entry in
to the Missouri Governors office and again when becoming US Senator.
According to his book "Lessons from a father to his son" Ashcroft
anointed himself with Crisco oil prior to beginning each of his
terms in the above-mentioned political offices. His reasoning
"the ancient kings of Israel, David and Saul were anointed as
they undertook their administrative duties." True, but they
were anointed by members of the Jewish priesthood and the duties
they assumed were recognized as both secular and spiritual.
Neither case holds here. Is this piety or arrogance, devotion
or just one more example of Ashcroft's extreme nature?
Who's to say? But I'm sure few would argue this is healthy
behavior much less what we are looking for in a government
 The Rant :
 Issues 2000 :
Ashcroft invites God on decisions
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General-designate John Ashcroft says he
tries to "invite God's presence" while making crucial decisions
and compares his political victories and defeats to resurrections
The former Missouri governor also wrote that he was anointed
before each of his gubernatorial terms and on the evening before
he was sworn into the U.S. Senate a friend brought out Crisco
cooking oil for anointing when no holy oil could be found.
From CNN :
Son of A Preacher, Quiet Pentecostal
THE ROOTS OF HIS FAITH
David Van Biema
January 15, 2001
On the day John Ashcroft was sworn in to the Senate in January 1995,
he met with his ailing father and some friends in a home near the
Capitol. After hymn singing and words of heartfelt advice, the
Rev. J. Robert Ashcroft, a titan in the Pentecostal Assemblies of God
denomination, knelt beside his son and anointed his forehead.
He used some Crisco cooking oil from the kitchen.
As Ashcroft notes in his 1998 book, Lessons from a Father to His Son,
Kings Saul and David were anointed in much the same way. So are
England's monarchs. Yet the ad hoc ceremony hints at the kind of
enthusiastic, free-wheeling worship that has historically marked
Ashcroft's branch of evangelical Christianity.
(Some Pentecostals anoint their houses and TVs.)
Pentecostalism first exploded onto the American scene in 1906,
when a black Holiness preacher named William Seymour conducted a
nightly, mixed-race revival in the humble Azusa Street area of
Los Angeles. Participants fell into trances, spoke in tongues and
otherwise experienced what they said were the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
like those bestowed on Jesus' Apostles. Separate black and white
denominations soon formed, but Spirit-soaked, "experiential"
Christianity took off.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Diebold takes down blackboxvoting.org
By Egan Orion: Wednesday 24 September 2003, 11:27
DIEBOLD ELECTION SYSTEMS has brandished lawyers' threats to take down that pesky citizens activist website blackboxvoting.org. It seems they charged copyright infringement regarding materials on other websites that blackboxvoting.org merely linked to, despite such links having been ruled legal by appellate courts in other instances.
This appears to be a public relations gaffe of staggering proportions on Diebold's part. It's not like bunging the terms "Diebold election fraud" into Google brings up only that blackboxvoting.org site -- just it and about 1,889 other hits, including a recent story at Salon, another at Wired, and two pieces here at the INQUIRER, as well as articles in major news publications. What can they be thinking? µ
Monday, September 22, 2003
George W. Bush
The White House, USA
Past Work Experience -------------------------------
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.
I produced a Hollywood slasher B movie.
I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas;
the company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal
that took land using taxpayer money.
With my father's help and name, I was elected Governor of Texas.
Accomplishments as Governor ----------------------------------------
I changed pollution laws in favor of the power and oil companies
and made Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
I replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog-ridden city in America.
I cut taxes and bankrupted Texas government to the tune of billions
in borrowed money.
I set the record for the most executions by any Governor in American history.
I became U.S. President after losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes
with the help of major Enron money and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court.
Accomplishments as President -----------------------------------------
I attacked and overtook two countries. I spent the U.S. surplus and effectivly
bankrupted the U.S. .
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.
My record for environmental issues is the least of my concerns.
I am the first president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one year period.
After taking-off the entire month of August, I then presided over the worst security failure
in U.S. history.
I am supporting development of a "Tactical Bunker Buster" nuke, a WMD.
I am getting our troops killed, under the lie of Sadam's
procurement of Yellow Cake Nuke WMD
components, then blaming the lie on our British friends.
I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. president.
In my first year in office over 2-million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues
every month. I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any president in U.S. history.
I set the record for least amount of press conferences of any president since the advent of
I signed more laws and executive orders effectively amending or ignoring the Constitution
than any president in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene
when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history and refused to use
national reserves as past presidents have done.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits
for active duty troops and their families -- in war time.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest
me in public venues (15 million people)shattering the record for protest against
any person in the history of mankind.
I've dissolved more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.
I've made my presidency the most secretive and unaccountable of any in U.S. history.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration
in U.S. history.
My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have almost all 50 states of the Union
simultaneously suffer massive financial crisis.
I presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in
any country in history.
I am the first president in U.S. history to order a pre-emptive attack and
the military occupation of a sovereign nation, and I did so against the will
of the United Nations and the world community.
I created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the
I set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases,
more than any president in history.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove
the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove
the U.S. from the Elections Monitoring Board.
I removed more checks and balances, and sustained the least amount of congressional
oversight, of any presidential administration in U.S. history.
I rendered the entire United Nations viewpoints irrelevant.
I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. "prisoners of war"(detainees) and
thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention. I am the first president
in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate
campaign donations. My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends,
(Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation) presided over the largest
corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. history.
My political party used the Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my
success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
I have spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and
less than a year later made the U.S. the most resented country in the world,
possibly the largest failure of diplomacy in World history.
I am actively working on a policy of "disengagement" creating the most hostile
of Israel-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
I am the first president in history to have a majority of Europeans(71%)
view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
I am the first U.S. president in history to have the people of South Korea
more threatened by the U.S. than by their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I set an all-time record for the number of administration appointees who violated U.S. law
by not selling their huge personal investments in corporations bidding for U.S. contracts.
I failed to fulfill my pledge to capture Osama Bin Laden, dead or alive.
I failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country
at the U.S. Capitol Building. Even after 18 months I have no leads and no credible suspects.
In the past 18 months following the World Trade Center attack I have successfully
prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history
of the United States.
I removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any president in U.S. history.
In a little over two years, I created the most divided country in decades,
possibly the most divided since the Civil War.
I entered my office with the strongest economy in U.S. history and have turned every
single economic category downward -- all in less than two years.
Records and References: ----------------------------------
I have at least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine.
My Texas driving record has been erased and is not available.
I was AWOL from the National Guard.
I refuse to take a drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.
All records of my tenure as Governor of Texas are now in my father's library,
sealed, and unavailable for public view.
All records of SEC investigations into insider trading or bankrupt companies
are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President,
attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
Please consider my experience when voting in 2004.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Clark's resume is formidable — Rhodes scholar, first in his 1966 class at West Point, White House fellow, head of the U.S. Southern Command and NATO commander during the 1999 campaign in Kosovo.
Monday, September 15, 2003
CNN Practiced Self-Censorship
CNN's top war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, says that the press muzzled itself during the Iraq war. And, she says CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."
As criticism of the war and its aftermath intensifies, Amanpour joins a chorus of journalists and pundits who charge that the media largely toed the Bush administrationline in covering the war and, by doing so, failed to aggressively question the motives behind the invasion.
On last week's Topic A With Tina Brown on CNBC, Brown, the former Talk magazine editor, asked comedian Al Franken, former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke and Amanpour if "we in the media, as much as in the administration, drank the Kool-Aid when it came to the war."
Said Amanpour: "I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."
Thursday, September 11, 2003
A Princeton University professor who pens a column for the New York Times, Krugman is probably the most visible mainstream media commentator, among a handful, who "gets it." He views the Bush Cartel as "revolutionary power...a movement whose leaders do not accept the legitimacy of our current political system." In short, Krugman understands that the Bush gang is anti-democracy at its core.
But, as an economics professor, Krugman is most on his game when he exposes the bumbling, tragic farce of the fraud known as Bush economics (something that might have been created by the Keystone Cops if they had turned sides and become robbers). A con artist on a riverboat gambling ship has more financial acumen than the Bush crew. Krugman reveals the Bush Cartel for the greedy, reckless, incompetent hustlers that they are. Like most BuzzFlash readers, he is amazed that the nation, as whole, hasn't caught on to the fact that we have the bank robbers running the bank
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
FCC Says Howard Stern Show Is News Program
Tue Sep 9, 6:56 PM ET
By DAVID HO, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - When you think about news shows, what comes to mind? There's "Meet the Press." And "Face the Nation." And now, Howard Stern's radio show.
That's right. The Federal Communications Commission (news - web sites) ruled Tuesday that Stern's raunchy radio program is a "bona fide news interview" program.
The decision was in response to a request made by New York-based Infinity Broadcasting Operations Inc., which wanted a ruling that its widely syndicated Stern show is a news program and exempt from equal time requirements for political candidates.
The decision will allow Stern to put actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (news) on the air without having to offer time to the scores of other candidates running for governor in California.
Monday, September 08, 2003
Bush to New Yorkers: Drop Dead
Tuesday 02 September 2003
George W. Bush has officially told the people of New York City that as far as he's concerned, they can drop dead. And thanks to his lies, many of them will.
With his latest attack on the Clean Air Act he's said the same to millions more.
Bush has used the 9/11 "trifecta" to build his popularity, fund the military and tear up the Bill of Rights. But the GOP's cynical uses of the tragedy have gone to a new level.
The White House directly interfered with planned Environmental Protection Agency warnings about the toxic fallout from the World Trade Center explosions. It had "competing considerations" that came before protecting the health of the people of New York. Among them were re-opening the stock exchange as quickly as possible, and limiting clean-up costs and liability claims.
Because of Bush's lies, thousands of Americans will suffer cancers, emphysema, heart attack, stroke, birth defects, stillbirths, sterility, eye/ear/nose/throat disease and much more.
There have been few toxic events to match the explosions that pulverized the two World Trade Center towers. The short-term deaths of three thousand people will be dwarfed over the long term by the lethal fallout.
These were two of the last big buildings constructed with asbestos, whose health effects are infamous. Once ingested, the fibers can and do make cells cancerous. Thousands of miners and others exposed to asbestos have filed lawsuits against Johns-Manville and others.
The EPA knew that spewing all that asbestos into New York's air was a horrific event, and that lives could be saved by taking certain public precautions. Bush stopped that from happening.
Friday, September 05, 2003
Dear President Bush,
August has been a difficult month for Americans. While you were vacationing at your ranch and raising millions of dollars for your re-election campaign, American soldiers kept dying in Iraq, the American economy continued to flounder, and new reports emerged describing just how little your administration cares about our environment. But at least someone got some good news: your friends at Dick Cheney's Halliburton have been awarded even more uncontested contracts for oil in Iraq.
We wanted to make sure that as you returned from your vacation, you were fully up-to-date. Please review the following stories below to learn what happened while you were clearing brush on your ranch.
Associated Press: "Bush Less Sure-Footed in Postwar Iraq as Casualties Mount."
Los Angeles Times: "US Military Strength Called Lacking in Iraq; Republican Senators Are Among Those Saying More Troops Are Needed to Speed Rebuilding Efforts."
New York Times: "Senators Assail Two Officials for Lack of Postwar Details."
Los Angeles Times: "US Suspects It Received False Iraq Arms Tips."
San Antonio Express-News: "VA Seeks to Care for More With Less."
Wall Street Journal: "The Economy: CBO Projects Deficit Next Year of $480 Billion."
USA Today: "Gas Costs a Record $1.74 a Gallon."
Wall Street Journal: "Medicare Legislation Said to Be in Danger Without Bush Push."
Los Angeles Times: "The Nation: Nation's Jobless Plight Worsens."
Newsday: "EPA Misled Public On 9/11 Pollution."
New York Times: "Draft of Air Rule Is Said to Exempt Many Old Plants."
San Jose Mercury News: "Bush Administration Says It Won't Regulate Carbon Dioxide."
Washington Post: "Halliburton's Deals Greater Than Thought"
Thursday, September 04, 2003
''National security' part of Bush plan to gut civil services'
By Helen Thomas, New Orleans Channel
The Bush administration is evoking "national security" as a powerful weapon to accomplish its twin goals of privatizing thousands of federal jobs and taking a whack at government unions.
The administration's sales pitch is to raise the specter of terrorism and 9-11 -- a surefire way to scare Congress into backing plans to gut the Civil Service system.
Congress passed the Civil Service Act in 1883 to end the spoils system, which based federal employment on nepotism and cronyism.
The bad old days may be returning. I note the lack of competitive bids on some government contracts to rebuild Iraq and the appearance of favoritism in the administration's decisions to award contracts to politically influential companies.
EPA leaders who worked on new rules take private jobs
By Seth Borenstein, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Two top Environmental Protection Agency officials who were involved in easing an air-pollution rule for old power plants have taken private-sector jobs with firms that benefit from the changes.
Days after the changes in the power-plant pollution rule were announced last week, John Pemberton, the chief of staff in the EPA's air and radiation office, told colleagues he would be joining Southern Co., an Atlanta-based utility that is the nation's No. 2 power-plant polluter and was a driving force in lobbying for the rule changes.
Southern Co., which gave more than $3.4 million in political contributions over the last four years while it sought the changes, hired Pemberton as director of federal affairs.
Ed Krenik, who had been the EPA's associate administrator for congressional affairs, started work Tuesday at Bracewell & Patterson, a Houston-based law firm that coordinated several utilities' lobbying for easing the power-plant pollution rule. The firm's Washington office also shares staff with the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, which was created by utilities, including Southern Co., to be the public voice favoring the EPA rule changes.
Democrats say Saudis curtailed oil exports (causing price spike)
Senate Democrats accused Saudi Arabia Thursday of deliberately curtailing oil exports in August, contributing to a record rise in gasoline prices in recent weeks. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said preliminary data obtained from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration shows that U.S. oil imports from Saudi Arabia dropped by 500,000 barrels a day in the first three weeks of August, a decline of 25 percent. "Oil exporting countries like Saudi Arabia would like us to believe that this historic gas price spike is the same price hike we see every year at this time, but it's not. Something else is at work here, and I think the Saudis know it," Schumer said. A letter to President Bush signed by 32 Democrats urges the administration to pressure the Saudis to boost oil exports. If the Saudis don't comply, the Energy Department should tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, releasing 15 million barrels of oil each this month and in October in order to bring prices down.
Facing the Truth About Iraq
By James Carroll , Boston Globe
The Bush administration's hubristic foreign policy has been efficiently exposed as based on nothing more than hallucination. High-tech weaponry can kill unwilling human beings, but it cannot force them to embrace an unwanted idea. As rekindled North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs prove, Washington's rhetoric of "evil" is as self-defeating as it is self-delusional. No one could have predicted a year ago that the fall from the Bush high horse of American Empire would come so hard and so quickly. Where are the comparisons with Rome now? The rise and fall of imperial Washington took not hundreds of years, but a few hundred days.
Sooner or later, the United States must admit that it has made a terrible mistake in Iraq, and it must move quickly to undo it. That means the United States must yield not only command of the occupation force, but participation in it. The United States must renounce any claim to power or even influence over Iraq, including Iraqi oil. The United States must accept the humiliation that would surely accompany its being replaced in Iraq by the very nations it denigrated in the build-up to the war.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
quote by Abe Lincoln:
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)
Hottest Scots summer ever
SCOTLAND enjoyed its hottest summer ever, it was revealed today.
June, July and August saw temperatures soar to the hottest on record.
The average temperature in the three-month period was 57.7F, an increase of 4F since 1961.
Bin Laden family's US exit 'approved' by Bush administration
Edinburgh Evening News Online
THE United States allowed members of Osama bin Laden’s family to jet out of the US in the immediate aftermath of September 11, even as American airspace was closed.
Former White House counter-terrorism tsar Richard Clarke said the Bush administration sanctioned the repatriation of about 140 high-ranking Saudi Arabians, including relatives of the al-Qaida chief.
"Somebody brought to us for approval the decision to let an aeroplane filled with Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, leave the country," he said.
Mr Clarke said he checked with FBI officials, who gave the go ahead. "So I said: ‘Fine, let it happen.’"
He first asked the bureau to check that no-one "inappropriate" was leaving.
"I have no idea if they did a good job," he added.
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
America Coming Together
Tax cuts to benefit the wealthy … More arsenic and mercury in the water; fewer parks, wildernesses and forests for our future … Turning back the clock on civil rights, on women’s rights, on workers’ rights.
It’s time to fight back against the extremist Bush agenda. It’s time for America Coming Together (ACT).
America Coming Together (ACT) will conduct a massive voter contact program, mobilizing voters to defeat George W. Bush and elect progressive candidates all across America.
"When your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession,
When you lose your job, it's a depression.
When George Bush loses his job, it's a recovery."
--Congressman Sherrod Brown