Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Rocky on Clarke 

I just had the opportunity to hear Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Jay Rockefeller (D-VV V) speak at a fundraiser, where he decided against discussing the supposed topic, Health Care, because he'd rather discuss how incredibly stupid Senator Frist and the other GOP attack dogs are to go after Richard Clarke.

After hearing Senator Frist's Senate Floor speech stating that Clarke may have perjured himself, Rockefeller went back and read the entire 5 hour testimony that Clarke had previously given. Not once did Clarke contradict himself, according to Rockefeller. He went on to say that Clarke is one of the most prepared people that he's ever met and is not into politics. Tim Russert backed up that claim this morning on Imus, by saying Clarke is the most prepared person he's ever interviewed. It seems that Richard Clarke has worked in Washington long enough to know that he's got to get everything in writing. President Bush and his allies may have picked the wrong person to mess with.


Monday, March 29, 2004

You Gotta Have Faith? 

Here's a good piece in the Atlantic about having "faith" in George W. Bush. How true it is. I just can't understand how he still has a good amount of support from some independents. I'm not sure if he's had an idea of his own yet, and everything about him seems so phony, from his being a "Rancher" (he bought the place in 98 and it has no animals or crops, and he's afraid of horses), to his "born again" status. He has always been a marketing tool for the GOP. If his last name wasn't Bush, he'd be a nobody. They new that from the start, and turned him into some straight shooter, who's life has totally changed from his wild days as a young man. Perhaps he really is a nice guy, but I have no reason to believe he is in touch with anything, nor really cares about anyone.


Saturday, March 27, 2004

A Leader? 

Josh Marshall breaks down the hypocrisy of yesterday's speech by Majority Leader Frist, on the Senate floor. Here's the best part, from

“Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath,” Frist said in a speech from the Senate floor, alleging that Clarke said in 2002 that the Bush administration actively sought to address the threat posed by al-Qaida before the attacks.

"Frist later retreated from directly accusing Clarke of perjury, telling reporters that he personally had no knowledge that there were any discrepancies between Clarke’s two appearances. But he said, “Until you have him under oath both times, you don’t know.”

If Clarke's testimony is released and isn't incriminating, we could be witnessing the beginning of the end of Majority Leader Frist. Remember, he originally pledged not to run again...


Thursday, March 25, 2004

A Russian View 

Iraq War, one year later, from a Russian point of view:

"By using antiwar rhetoric, but doing nothing to undermine the U.S.-led campaign to topple Hussein, the Kremlin did strain its relations with the Bush administration somewhat. But Russia's role in the diversification of world energy supplies, and its assistance in combating the influence of al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, helped limit the negative impact on U.S.-Russian relations."

"By taking a middle way, Russia took a calculated risk that the United States would need to retain cooperation on security and energy issues," Alfa's Weafer said. "Russia chose the best strategy of neither supporting nor too strongly opposing the war, while calling for a UN role. ... [This also] gave Russia a great deal of credibility and respect in Europe and the Arab world."


Dean Endorses Kerry 

John Kerry received the endorsement from Howard Dean today, as expected. That's the easy part. The question is, will Dean supporters go for Kerry? I think the vast majority will, but there are a number of Dean supporters who feel their votes are non transferrable, especially those who feel Kerry used dirty tricks against Dean to win Iowa. Frankly, dirty tricks are a part of the game and I hope Kerry and his advisors pull out all the stops over the next 8 months, becuase the Bush campaign will.

I don't think the small minority that will not vote for Kerry will have much of an impact, because many claim to be "independents" who were brought into the process because of Dean, but will the other Dean supporters be disapointed by Dean's endorsement of Kerry?


France Terror Alerts 

From Oxblog:

France has raised it's terror alert today, from "Run", to "Hide". Only 2 levels are higher: "Surrender" and "Collaborate".

Kinda funny at least?


Al Qaeda ally critiques Al Qaeda 

And they think Al Qaeda has it all wrong.


DeLay to Step Down? 

From Roll Call:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has begun quiet discussions with a handful of colleagues about the possibility that he will have to step down from his leadership post temporarily if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury investigating alleged campaign finance abuses.

...Republican Conference rules state that a member of the elected leadership who has been indicted on a felony carrying a penalty of at least two years in prison must temporarily step down from the post.

I'd be skeptical though, it's unlike DeLay to do anything that might seem ethical.


It seems that DeLay is using kids to help him raise money. With an indictment possibly soon to come, it appears DeLay's dirty deals might finally be catching up to him. I am surprised how little attention it has gotten up to this point. He's been notorious for extorting people to get campaign contributions, and there are more than one occasion of obvious quid pro quo. The "Hammer" might be too imtimidating to some, but finally a Texas law man is standing up to him.


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

One Finger Salute 

American Idol judge Simon Cowell, may be next to face the wrath of the FCC for his useage of his middle finger. Attorney General John Ashcroft, has reportedly contacted INS in hopes to have Cowell deported back to his native England.


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Let Me See Your Papers 

Interesting case being heard by the Supreme Court today.


Tribal Wars II or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Islam 

More on the hunt for Zawahiri, this time from the Asia Times. A couple key points:

"The way in which Islamabad has alienated the Pashtun tribals suggests that the whole operation may end up as a complete fiasco. The Pakistanis had to arrest the wives of some mujahideen to extract some kind of intelligence. Peshawar sources tell Asia Times Online that average Pashtun tribals have been the main victims all along. Local trucks and minibuses have been nowhere to be seen for days. The roads are sealed. Electricity has been cut off. Families fled heavy bombing of "strategic targets" - on foot for dozens of kilometers. Villagers were hit by mortar fire. The Pakistani army used 15 Cobra helicopters, two F-17 fighters and dozens of artillery batteries. Contrary to Islamabad's version, the mujahideen were not cornered in one area - but in eight villages around the cities of Wana and Azam Warsak: Kluusha, Karzi Kot, Klotay, Gua Khua, Zera Lead, Sarahgor, Sesion Warzak and Wazagonday."

"Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, chairperson of the Pakistan People's Party, grumbled that elected tribal leaders were not consulted about an operation which had been planned for three months: "Every high value target was allowed to escape months in advance while the tribal population was used as a sacrificial lamb to satisfy the power lust of the regime." Benazir added that "even the international media were duped into believing that al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri was besieged, when in fact Chechen and Uzbek fighters were said to be holed in the area."

A Parliament Member, from the tribal area believes this would lead to "more terrorism in reaction to the persecution of innocent civilians".

Like I said before, I'm glad Pakistan is taking some action, but how come any action we, or some of our allies, take, leads to an increase of terrorism? I can't help but think of what Richard Clarke said on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, regarding Bush's list of most wanted terrorists. He said something along the lines of: "I can picture Bush sitting in front of a fireplace, grinning as he crosses off another killed/captured member of the most wanted list, not realizing that another just takes his place." Killing or capturing the bad guys is great, but not letting the next generation to become terrorists is priceless.


Monday, March 22, 2004

Tribal Wars 

Much Ado About Nothing. Now we hear that the Al Qaeda bigs probably fled. I think it's great that Pakistan, for whatever their motivation, is getting serious about the lawless tribal area bordering Afghanistan, that is known to be an Al Qaeda hangout. The militants cannot be allowed to fester in the area too long, before it becomes another Tora Bora (if it hasn't already).

That being said, what was with the constant "breaking news" alerts at the end of last week, that said Al Qaeda's #2 may be caught? Pakistan obviously new how to play the propoganda game right, to draw attention to the fact that they are finally doing something to stop Al Qaeda. However, did our media really need to fall for it so easily? Maybe they should dig a tunnel to hide in.



Yesterday Isreal assasinated Hamas Founder Sheik Yassin , when the car he was driving was destroyed by a missile. Hamas vows to avenge Yassin's death, and claim Sharon has "opened the gates of hell" and will "cut off his head".


Sunday, March 21, 2004

ABC's This Week 

After watching This Week, hosted by Geroge Stephanopoulos, I learned two things:

1. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) are in love with each other.

2. President Bush may have a hard time getting support from some moderate GOP elected officials. Senator Hagel, a somewhat conservative Republican and someone who spoke out against the timing of the war, said something today that gave me the impression that he is very upset with and is no fan of President Bush. I'm waiting to track down the transcript, but it was enough even to surprise Stephanopoulos.


Sad Day 

Goodbye Vet.


Saturday, March 20, 2004


Be sure to watch 60 Minutes on Sunday night. Richard Clarke, Counter-terror chief for Clinton AND Bush until he quit b/c Bush was doing the wrong things, will be on discussing his new book, "Against All Enemies". From the 60 Minutes press release:

"on September 11, 2001 and the day after - when it was clear Al Qaeda had carried out the terrorist attacks - the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke.

The top counter-terrorism advisor, Clarke was briefing the highest government officials, including President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in the aftermath of 9/11. "Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq....We all said, 'but no, no. Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan," recounts Clarke, "and Rumsfeld said, 'There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.' I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with [the 9/11 attacks],'"

Clarke goes on to explain what he believes was the reason for the focus on Iraq. "I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection [between Iraq and Al Qaeda] but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there, saying, 'We've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke."

Sounds familiar.


Friday, March 19, 2004


I'm planning on seeing Spartan tonight. It's gotten rave reviews so far. I'll give it a review tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Update: Well, I saw Spartan last night and loved it. Great script by Mamet, solid performance by Val Kilmer and enought twist and turns to keep you guessing.


Pictures of Spain 

I had two brothers, Andrew and Chris, who were in Spain at the time the atrocities took place. Both are safe and weren't in Madirid until the day after. Here are pictures of rallies in Madrid, the day after the bombings, and here are some pictures of rallies in Cordoba and Sevilla, taken the day of the bombings.


Thursday, March 18, 2004

Free Speech Isn't Free Anymore 

The FCC's assault on indecency and the right to free speech, that began after Janet Jackson displayed her WMD's, continues. This time Howard Stern and Bono are the victims. I'd write more, but the FCC agent in the computer room is watching.........



Musharref to CNN: Pakistani forces surrounding what may be “high value target” defended by al Qaeda forces engaged in bitter combat around Kaloosha village in Waziristan. Target is alleged to be Al Qaeda #2 Zawahiri.

Update: Hopefully this story is true and we can rid the world of this scumbag, but it's interesting timing. First Spain announces they will remove their troops from Iraq, car bombs destroy a Iraqi hotel, Poland admits their frustration and more importantly, the U.S. names Pakistan as a major non-Nato ally. Since it's Pakistani troops that made the announcement and not ours, (I assume we have Special Forces with the Pakistani Army), it's probably just a coincidence, but you never know. How many times have we heard that Bin Laden may have been caught?

Update #2
: The Australian is reporting that Zawahiri may have slipped the net:

A BULLETPROOF LandCruiser at high speed bursting out of a tribal compound in Pakistan's South Waziristan region was just the latest infuriating setback in the US's quest to bring down the top of the al-Qa'ida tree.

The car, followed by two armoured vehicles and a phalanx of heavily armed militants able to wipe out dozens of crack troops sent to blast the terrorists from their nest, is believed to have contained Ayman al-Zawahiri, right-hand man to Osama bin Laden.


Green Hornet 

Donnie Darko star Jake Gyllenhaal appears set to play the Green Hornet, to be directed by Kevin Smith.


Poles Apart 

Poland is now voicing concern about the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq and claim they "were taken for a ride" by the Bush administration. However, Poland does not plan on pulling their troops out of Iraq.

There is an easy "Polish" joke there, but i'll ignore it.


NCAA Tournament 

Time is running out to fill out your NCAA Tourney bracket. I have a Kentucky Vs. Connecticut final, with Connecticut winning the whole thing. Sorry St. Joe's.

Update: One game finished and of course it's an upset-Florida goes down to Manhattan.



Check out Sidney Blumenthal's piece in the Guardian today.

"On every issue of domestic concern, Kerry defeats Bush. Only on foreign policy does Bush hold sway, so he must heighten and reinforce that difference. Kerry must be weak, Bush must be strong. Thus a new Bush ad: jets take off from an aircraft carrier, a female soldier hugs her family, and the voiceover: "Kerry ... wrong on defence." The ad claims that Kerry voted against an $87bn post-Iraq war appropriation, failing to note, of course, that he had proposed linking it to rescinding Bush's tax cut for the wealthy. "

I think we don't need to call Kerry the "presumptive nominee" any longer, unless Sharpton and Kucinich put their voters together. Oh wait, that's still only 2%.


Wednesday, March 17, 2004


WASHINGTON (AP) - Nuclear weapons plants have eliminated or reduced training for guards responsible for repelling terrorist attacks, leaving the government unable to guarantee the plants can be adequately defended, the Energy Department's internal watchdog said Tuesday.

Thank god for Homeland Security.


Scene From Hell 

A bomb blast destroyed the Mount Lebanon
Hotel today in downtown Baghdad. At this point there's 27 dead, 41 injured, some of the dead include children.

The hotel is known to be used by businnes people, and is located near the Palestine Hotel, which is ued by foreign journalists. The surrounding area is made up of Kurds, Shiites and Sunni Muslims.

Iraqi police and coalition soldiers cordoned off the area. U.S. soldiers from the nearby "Green Zone" attempted to go into the area to rescue victims but were driven back by angry Iraqis.

The Hotel is obviously a soft target, but not known to be used mainly by American or Coalition members. The Hussein/Al Qaeda sympathizers are either getting desperate or just want to kill as many Iraqis as possible, to provoke more Anti-American anger. Perhaps with Spain planning to withdraw it's troops in June, the terrorists think any terror there may be enough to get some other coalition members to remove their troops.


In sync? 

A Wang Chung reunion? No, it's those crazy South Korean Parliament members!


Kerry-Clark 04 

It is often overestimated about how important the Vice Presidential nominee is to the Presidential candidate. In my opinion, as long as the VP choice has some personal appeal, little or no baggage that would embarrass the Presidential candidate, and perhaps, comes from a State that can be put into play, he/she is a good choice. There are a lot of great people for Kerry to pick, Sen. John Edwards, Gov. Bill Richardson, Gov. Ed Rendell, Tom Brokaw, Sen. Evan Byah, etc., but nobody would be as good of a fit as General Wesley Clark. This is not the time to pick a VP surprise, like Mondale and Gore did. Yes, Clark ran for President and failed. However, he won a state (Oklahoma), he built a national organization in little time, and has a personal appeal that connected with people (more specifically vets). With Clark on the ticket, Arkansas, which is a conservative Democratic State, should be attainable as a Democratic pickup. He also should help a little in the more military friendly South.

Bush has been hammering Kerry on Kerry’s Defense and Intelligence voting record. Those of us who follow politics know that for the most part, Bush’s claims are a fraud However, many “average” Americans do not, and b/c of Kerry being a “Massachusetts Liberal”, they might believe them. With General Clark on the ticket, he adds the national security factor that cannot be argued. This ticket would be national security experience to the max and would make it nearly impossible for Republicans to say Democrats are weak on defense. Clark has more then his share of diplomacy experience, he knows foreign leaders, foreign policy, foreign cultures and our culture. He is a very intelligent man, with a Masters in politics, economics, and philosophy while he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

During the Vice Presidential debate, while Cheney rambles on about the WMD’s that he thinks will still be found in Iraq, Clark can say, “You’ve had your try, now it’s time to let the professionals take over.” The ability of Clark to be the bulldog on national security issues frees Kerry up to keep hitting Bush on jobs, education, etc.

Some may argue that General Clark wouldn’t be able to handle being the VP and in Kerry’s shadow. Yes, he was a high ranking General who’s used to giving the orders; however, he was also brought up through the military ranks, where he was taught to take the orders, as well. A good soldier knows his role.

We’re still 8 months away from election night, but Kerry already has Bush worried and on the ropes. Will he deliver the knockout blow?


Jimmy Hoffa 

On this St. Patrick's Day, we learn that an Irishman supposedly fired the shot that killed Hoffa, back in 1975. Frank "Big Irish" Sheeran claims he shot Hoff and disposed of his body in a Detroit incinerator. The FBI says this matches one of their theories.


Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Erin Go Bragh


Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Get Your War On 

It's very over the top, but funny as hell. This comic strip is also featured in Rolling Stone.



Fly Eagles Fly on the road to victory...


Monday, March 15, 2004

Key Endorsement 

Sharpton is set to endorse John Kerry for President. No word from the loveable moptop Dennis Kucinich.



Christ, that's a lot of money


What Kerry Should Do 

This weekend Josh Marshall said that it's time for John Kerry to start hammering Bush on the National Security Issue. I agree, and Kerry should look at what Counterspin has to say about it. The key point is:

WHAT JOHN KERRY MUST DO: He must make a public statement about the Spanish elections, in which asks Prime Minister Zapatero to hold off on pulling Spain's troops out of Iraq.

He must say to the new Prime Minister that once he is President, he will get that UN mandate, and that he wants Spain to be an important part of the coalition to stabilize Iraq, and make sure freedom takes root there.

I think the new Prime Minister will favorably respond to this request by Kerry. And, I think it will make Kerry look both Presidential, AND much more effective in dealing with our allies than Bush.

The Spanish people have given Senator Kerry an opening to use to attack Bush, he should take advantage of it immediately, the appearance of being "Presidential" and a strong leader on global events is what Kerry needs.

Spanish voters demonstrated their anger at being told ETA was responsible for the outrages, before an investigation was even started. Perhaps the Socialists were destined to defeat Aznar's Party anyway, but it doesn't help that they attempted to play politics with the blame game. Are American voters smart enough to know when politics is being played on them


Spanish Election 

An Al Qaeda victory?


Sunday, March 14, 2004

Who's Next? 

After the horrendous attacks on the Madrid subway this week, and the effort to figure out who is responsible, the next question that should be asked, is who's next? debka who has a good track record in predicting when terror will strike, is reporting that Italy may be next, due to the location of Vatican City and Al Qaeda's mass effort to recruit European Muslims (white muslims) to inflict terror.

However, in the letter claiming responsibility, Al Qaeda says an attack against the United States, using "winds of black death" is 90% ready to go. No doubt there's some bravado in those words, and this boast is from the same guy who claimed Al Qaeda was responsible for the Northeast blackouts and many of the recent forest fires. However, what if it's true and "winds of black death" (Perhaps anthrax or some other chemical/biological attack?) are on the way? We've already had anthrax attacks in this country that our Justice Department couldn't solve, (Ashcroft seemed more worried about the topless statue in the Justice building) and our President would rather throw money into a missle defense system that seems unlikely to ever work, then invest into ways to deal with a biological/chemical attack.

Since the war in Iraq is basically finished, and there's another Operation in Afghanistan under way (didn't we declare victory there long ago?) that is bound to make us safer, there should be no need for the Government to raise the threat level again. Let's just hope the threat of "winds of black death" is nothing but hot air.


Saturday, March 13, 2004

This Week 

This week the folks at Best of the Blogs were nice enough to allow me to guest blog on their site-bestoftheblogs.com, so look for some posts over there, and tell a friend!



I'd like to welcome my readers to Fake Plastic News! In case you don't know, the title is derived from the Radiohead song "Fake Plastic Trees". Look for a few posts each day and feel free to send me your comments.


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