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Thursday, November 17, 2005


-From The Anchorage Daily News 11/17/2005

Supporting the troops doesn't require suppressing dissent
Published: November 17, 2005 Last Modified: November 17, 2005 at 02:42 AM
President Bush used his stopover in Alaska to fire more shots at those who criticize his handling of the Iraq war. It was a disappointing exercise in diversionary tactics from a leader trying to rally the nation behind an increasingly unpopular war.

He all but accused his critics of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy, and that's irresponsible," he said.

What's irresponsible is the suggestion that the world's greatest democracy cannot abide questioning about a war launched under false pretenses.

The president claims his critics are trying to rewrite the history of how the war started. His charge is ironic, as it perfectly describes what he himself is doing. He convinced the nation that war was essential to protect Americans against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and was justified as retaliation against a regime that was connected to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Both rationales for war proved false.

President Bush defends the way things turned out, claiming his critics had the same intelligence he did about Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction. That's simply not true. As The Washington Post reported, "Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material."

President Bush claims that he didn't manipulate pre-war intelligence to steer the nation to war in Iraq, citing the findings of a commission he appointed. The Robb-Silberman Commission concluded that intelligence analysts didn't change their reports because of pressure from within the Bush administration.

However, "Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers," said commission co-chair Laurence Silberman. As The New York Times noted, "What Mr. Bush left unaddressed was the question of how his administration used that intelligence, which was full of caveats, subtleties and contradiction."

The Bush administration faced a problem making the case for war. "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran," according to the "Downing Street memo," a confidential British foreign service summary of discussions with the Bush administration in the summer before Congress voted to authorize the war. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action," the memo said. "The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Unfortunately, it should have been the other way around, with the policy based on the facts.
U.S. forces never found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And that wouldn't surprise anyone who listened to United Nations weapons inspectors.

As Scott Ritter, an inspector and former U.S. Marine officer who served under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in the first gulf war, recently stated: "We were monitoring Iraq ... with the most intrusive, technologically advanced, on-site inspection program in the history of arms control. ... We were unable to detect any evidence of either a retained capability or a reconstituted capability in weapons of mass destruction."

The New York Times wrote in an editorial: "It's obvious that the Bush administration misled Americans about Mr. Hussein's weapons and his terrorist connections. We need to know how that happened and why."

Now those pressing for a long overdue explanation are irresponsible?
The critics, and all Americans, including the brave service men and women on the front lines, deserve better.

BOTTOM LINE: President Bush insults the nation and the troops fighting and dying in Iraq when he questions the patriotism of those who question his leadership.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Record Of Lies Leading Up To The Iraq Invasion

...Today's Seattle PI is running a great Op-Ed by James Bruner. To access the House Committee on Government Reform document referenced in Mr. Bruner's article, please click on the header of this post.--m2k
Monday, November 14, 2005

So you want details about who lied

Marty McNett of Burlington (Letters, Wednesday) believes there is no proof that President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so we should lay off claims that he did.

I refer McNett and anyone else who is laboring under that misconception to read "Iraq On The Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements On Iraq," prepared by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform -- Minority Staff Special Investigations Division, March 16, 2004.

This 36-page report goes into great detail about outright false and deceptive public statements by Bush (55 misleading statements), Vice President Dick Cheney (51), former Secretary of State Colin Powell (50), former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (29) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (52) on the subject. These 237 misleading statements were made in a variety of forums (53 interviews, 40 speeches, 26 news conferences and briefings, four written statements and articles and two appearances before Congress) beginning at least a year before the war began, and their frequency peaked at key decision-making points.

Here are a few excerpts:

In October 2002, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research concluded in the National Intelligence Estimate that "the activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons." INR added: "Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, INR is unwilling to speculate that such an effort began soon after the departure of UN inspectors." The INR position was similar to the conclusions of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which concluded (in March 2003) that there was "no indication of resumed nuclear activities ... nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities."

These doubts and qualifications, however, were not communicated to the public. Instead, the five administration officials repeatedly made unequivocal comments about Iraq's nuclear program. For example, Bush said in October 2002 that "the regime has the scientists and facilities to build nuclear weapons and is seeking the materials required to do so." Several days later, Bush asserted Saddam Hussein "is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon." Cheney made perhaps the single-most egregious statement about Iraq's nuclear capabilities, claiming: "We know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." He made this statement just three days before the war. He did not admit until Sept. 14, 2003, that his statement was wrong and that he "did misspeak."

Bush and others portrayed the threat of Saddam waging nuclear war against the United States or its allies as one of the most urgent reasons for pre-emptively attacking Iraq. Administration officials used evocative language and images. On the eve of congressional votes on the Iraq war resolution (Oct. 7, 2002), Bush stated: "Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."

The words "mushroom cloud" echoed time and again in speech after speech by key members of the administration from that point on until the beginning of hostilities. If that isn't lying, I don't know what is.

(Emphases added)
James Bruner lives in Oak Harbor. He is a retired Air Force major and was a technical editor and writer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 11 years.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Irony, indeed, drips from each syllable of Bush's Veteran's Day Speech from Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.


Bush argues that independent commissions have determined that the Administration did not misrepresent the Intelligence...NSA Stephen Hadley, briefing reporters on 11/10/05, commented specifically that the "Silberman-Robb Commission have concluded that [manipulation of Intelligence] did not happen" Washington Post 11/12/2005, Bush Defense Of Iraq War Decisions, Milbank & Pincus.

TAURUS EXCRETA: In fact, Judge Laurence Silberman said, in releasing his report March 31, 2005, that:
"Our executive order did not directus to deal with the use of intellegence by policymakers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of the inquiry" Post, ibid.

Bush argues that Congress saw the same pre-war intelligence the White House did and "...voted to support removing Saddam from power."

TAURUS EXCRETA: Bush does not share his most sensitive intelligence such as the President's Daily Brief, with lawmakers. Also the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), given to congress only a couple of days before the vote, did not contain the doubts within the intelligence community, that we now know were circulated among Bush's inner circle and the neo-Cons promoting the war.

Bush, in his speech Friday, said, " is deeply irresponsible to rewrite history of how the war began." and then proceeds to do exactly that. He states: "When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bi-partisan support"

TAURUS EXCRETA: In fact, the October 2002 Joint Resolution authorized use of force but didn't directly mention removing Saddam from power. And the Resolution also called for exhausting diplomatic efforts to enforce the Resolutions and use armed forces as a last resort to "defend against the continuing threat posed by Iraq".

We now know, for example, that Saddam had offered to let the inspectors in and negotiate terms with Washington.

From: Failed Iraqi Peace Initiatives,

“...Later that month, Hage met with Gen. Habbush in addition to Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. He was offered top priority to US firms in oil and mining rights, UN-supervised elections, US inspections (with up to 5,000 inspectors), to have al-Qaeda agent Abdul Rahman Yassin (in Iraqi custody since 1994) handed over as a sign of good faith, and to give "full support for any US plan" in the Arab-Israeli peace process. They also wished to meet with high-ranking US officials. On February 19th, Hage faxed Maloof his report of the trip. Maloof reports having brought the proposal to Jamie Duran. The Pentagon denies that either Wolfowitz or Rumsfeld, Duran's bosses, were aware of the plan.

On February 21st, Maloof informed Duran in an email that Perle wished to meet with Hage and the Iraqis if the Pentagon would clear it. Duran responded "Mike, working this. Keep this close hold.". On March 7th, Perle met with Hage in Knightsbridge, and stated that he wanted to pursue the matter further with people in Washington (both have acknowleged the meeting). A few days later, he informed Hage that Washington refused to let him meet with [head of Iraqi Intelligence, Gen. Tahir Jalil Habbush al Takriti] to discuss the offer (Hage stated that Perle's response was "that the consensus in Washington was it was a no-go"). Perle told the Times, "The message was 'Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad."
(Emphasis Added)


When it appeared that the Iraqi back-channels for negotiations were going nowhere and it was evident that the Weapons Inspectors were going to be forced out of the country by the United States in advance of its immanent invasion, an unusual and not well-publicized effort was made by the Carnegie Endowment for the Peace to advance an alternative to war. Needless to say, the Bushniks and the Neo-Cons who were itching to invade laughed at this. Nevertheless, it is interesting to review it and, in light of what has transpired since, looks especially inspired.

The following is a transcript from an All Things Considered story on the Carnegie Plan.

Carnegie Endowment Proposal to Back Weapons Inspectors in Iraq With a U.N. Military Troop of 50,000

All Things Considered: September 5, 2002

Iraq: Inspections


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Jacki Lyden.

President Bush is considering whether to seek a UN Security Council resolution that would set a deadline for Iraq to allow inspectors to search for weapons of mass destruction. But Bush administration officials have made clear these inspections must be far more effective than earlier efforts, which were thwarted by Iraq. A group of policy analysts has come up with a new proposal for a UN military force to back any weapons inspections. That idea has sparked some interest in Washington, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.


If you listen to some of the hawks in Washington, the choice seems stark. Either the Bush administration goes it alone, mounting an all-out war to topple Saddam Hussein's regime, or it sits by as Iraq continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. Retired General Charles Boyd argues there is a way to force Saddam Hussein to make the choice, by sending in troops to back up weapons inspections.

General CHARLES BOYD (Retired): He can submit to effective, comprehensive inspections backed by military force or he can accept an inevitable invasion for the purpose of a regime change.

KELEMEN: Boyd and other analysts, ex-officials and former inspectors outlined their proposal in a report just released by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That organization's president, Jessica Mathews, says this third way or middle ground should appeal to those who want to focus on disarming Saddam Hussein but don't support unilateral US action to topple him.

Ms. JESSICA MATHEWS (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace): This says, `Sorry, we're not negotiating. There are no off-limit sites. The inspectors will go where they want, when they want. They will have operational security, which they did not have before. The Iraqis bugged them all the time and knew where they were going. And they will have force to back them up.'

KELEMEN: A force of about 50,000 troops and airpower, according to authors of the Carnegie proposal. That would be smaller than an invasion force, but large enough to establish no-fly and no-drive zones in areas that are under inspection. Mathews see is as a largely American force.

Ms. MATHEWS: We would have air cavalry forces, which is armored helicopter mobile troops that could accompany the inspectors that would be strong enough to do whatever they chose to do--that is, whether they chose to simply protect the inspectors, to protect themselves, to engage if there were direct opposition or to disengage.

KELEMEN: When White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was asked about the possibility of such coercive inspections, he would only say the president is considering various options.

Mr. ARI FLEISCHER (White House Spokesman): The bottom line, though, is that Iraq needs to live up to its commitments to disarm, not simply allow inspectors in, not to resume a cat-and-mouse game, not to put people in there in harm's way where Saddam Hussein would again use the powers of the state police to rough up inspectors and make their job impossible to do.

KELEMEN: And Fleischer has repeatedly insisted that regime change is still the US policy. Mathews of the Carnegie Endowment says her proposal would only work and Saddam Hussein would only be persuaded to accept inspectors if that goal were pushed aside.

Ms. MATHEWS: The crucial part of this proposal is to recognize that the US has to make a give, and that give is to say for as long as inspections are working we forgo action on a regime change. We may still believe regime change is the best preferable outcome. We have felt that way about Cuba, for example, for 40 years without doing anything about it. But we would have to make that explicit commitment for this to work.

KELEMEN: That may be difficult for some in the Bush administration to accept. The UN Security Council would also have to approve a military operation to back weapons inspectors. Mathews believes that council members will be interested in this new proposal, if only to stop the US from acting alone. Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.

Copyright ©2002 National Public Radio®.


The selective use of Intelligence by the NeoCons in DoD and the White House is, in the opinion of many, criminal and impeachable. But that doesn't let Congress off the hook. While Congress was not spoon-fed the information by the Administration, it had resources to get at the Truth.
But, in the post 9-11 political environment and the near total domination of the media by the Administration, the Congressional opposition was demoralized and weakened. With very few exceptions Congress seemed to be willing to go along with the White House on the WMD.

Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus, in today's (11-12-05) edition of the Washington Post write:

“Lawmakers are partly to blame for their ignorance. Congress was entitled to view the 92-page NIE about Iraq before the October, 2002 vote. But, as the Washington Post reported last year, no more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page executive summary." (Emphasis Added)

We get a sense of the divided opposition during that time in a story reported by the AP on October 4, 2002.

After a meeting with CIA Chief George Tenant, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said some information that could weaken the Bush administration's case against Iraq remains classified. He and others felt that the whole story wasn't being told. "It is troubling to have classified information which contradicts statements made by the administration," he said. "It is maddening to have classified information which contradicts classified information leaked by the administration."

But Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said he believed intelligence officials were "giving us the vast majority of what they know." Senator “Sponge” Bayh (my name for him) goes on to say: "They're giving us their best judgment, the facts that they have," he said. "But one of the difficulties in addressing this whole issue is that there is just a lot that is unknown and unknowable."

Ugh. I bet the late Senator Birch Bayh is spinning like an dervish in his grave!


We now know that the Bush administration dismissed peace overtures and buried them in the rush to go to war. Bush never entertained any alternatives to war, like the one proposed by the Carnegie Endowment for the Peace. And we know that Congress didn't do its job.

Bush’s ex-post facto spinning of the situation only adds to the layers of deception and lies that have become the hallmark of this Administration. And it makes some of the current criticism from the likes of John Kerry, who voted for extending war powers to Bush, turn to ashes in the mouth.

All of this makes Bush's use of Veteran's Day to dissemble before America and the world even more vile. He chose to go to war NOT because it was necessary, but because he wanted to and, thanks to a spineless Congress, he could!

The Bush administration continues to post now-discredited WMD analysis on the State Department Web Site. Are you nostalgic for a taste of the pre-war lies? Go back in time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Right-Wing Bloggers are getting sick of Alaska's freeloading!

The following is a current post from the Club For Growth (click Header)
Great Alaskan Editorial
Sage words from the Anchorage Daily News:
How would Alaskans feel about sending a big share of their federal taxes to another state whose residents keep taking more than they give to the federal treasury, insist on paying no state income or sales tax and receive hundreds of millions every year in payments from their state government for individual shares of their state’s resource wealth?
In Illinois and Louisiana and West Virginia and elsewhere, it’s logical to ask: More than $31 billion in the Alaska Permanent Fund, generating interest and dividends, and you want the rest of America to bankroll your bridges? Death grip on your state dividends and a zealot’s passion against taxes, and yet you demand the taxes of others to pay for things you won’t pay for yourself? How long do you think you can play this game?
We’re getting closer to the day when the rest of the country says: “You want the goodies? Pay for them yourselves.” [emphasis added]
Pay heed, Stevens, Murkowski, and Young. Pay heed.
Posted by Andrew Roth at 10:22 AM TrackBack (0) Print

Saturday, November 05, 2005


If you are not paying attention to the hearings being conducted by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, you should be!

Americans don't have to wait for the trials of Tom DeLay or Irwin Libby to get a deep look at Power Politics in the Bush-Era. Just look at the exhibits assembled by the Senate Committee.

Money was paid by various Indian Tribes to Jack Abramoff and his colleagues to lobby on their behalf. Instead, these documents reveal, they were overcharged for millions of dollars sent to intermediary companies, which Abramoff and partner Mike Scanlon skimmed, and thence to Republican affiliates and Evangelical Christian political brokers to do the work of Abramoff, not God.

In these documents, you will see how Ralph Reed used his connections to James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and many other evangelical Big-Shots to orchestrate outrage by the Faithful to deliver for Abramoff's Casino clients. Ralph Reed delivered protesting pastors in Louisiana and angry email from baptists in a targeted congressional district. Ironically, all of this Righteousness-For-Hire was done to aid what turns out to be a criminal enterprise. This was not done once, but it was done many times in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. There is a letter signed by Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum to Gale Norton opposing the interests of a Tribal competitor to Mr Abramoff's casino client. These documents show how easily these personalities access the highest eschalons of government. That should be of concern to every thinking American.

Please read and spread the word to your Christian friends. They need to know that they are being used like crack whores by the Republican D.C. Power Players!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ann Coulter Argues For The Impeachment of George W. Bush!

7 years ago, The National Review published a piece by a little known lawyer by the name of Ann Coulter. Ann had just published a book titled "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" about president Clinton. Right-Wing pulp factory Regnery Press promoted Ms Coulter's vituperations.

In light of what we now know about Libby, Rove, Cheney and President Bush's subversion of congress, lying to the American people and abuse of power , Ms Coulter proves herself a Prophet. Yes, 7 years ago, Ann Coulter made a well-stated argument for the impeachment of the president of the United States today!

Below is just a fragment of her entire article that ran September 14, 1998. I have highlighted a few phrases in bold. Just read those and it is clear that Ann saw clearly the basis for impeaching George W. Bush back in 1998!

ps--I enjoyed the comment made by Pat Buchanen at the end. Ironic, eh? ;)


For more than six hundred years, "high crimes and misdemeanors" has referred exclusively to conduct requiring impeachment. Though any serious felony will do, impeachment will not result in a prison sentence or beheading. An impeachment conviction in the Senate merely removes a statesman from his office of "honor, trust, or profit" with the United States. The criminal law is for personal punishment; impeachment is for keeping statesmen virtuous.
So, a "high misdemeanor" refers not, as it is commonly construed, to a criminal offense just short of a felony, but to simple misbehavior -- bad demeanor, if you will. As the Rodino Report during the Watergate investigation explained, "From the comments of the Framers and their contemporaries, the remarks of delegates to the state ratifying conventions, and the removal-power debate in the First Congress, it is apparent that the scope of impeachment was not viewed narrowly." Instead, impeachment has always been viewed as --among other things -- a guarantee of the moral behavior of public officials.

In the course of prosecuting one of the greatest impeachment trials in Anglo - American history -- that of Warren Hastings -- Edmund Burke said: "Other constitutions are satisfied with making good subjects; [impeachment] is a security for good governors." Burke meant "good" in the moral sense: "it is by this tribunal that statesmen [are tried] not upon the niceties of a narrow jurisprudence but upon the enlarged and solid principles of morality."

It is exactly this understanding of impeachment that underlies the phrase used in Article I of the Constitution. James Madison said the "first aim" of the Constitution was to ensure that men with the "most virtue" would become the nation's rulers. The Constitution's impeachment power was for "keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust." Or as Alexander Hamilton put it, "Men, in public trust, will much oftener act in such a manner as to render them unworthy of being any longer trusted than in such a manner as to make them obnoxious to legal punishment."

To be sure, there were differences in the practical application in Britain and the United States. Impeachments in Great Britain were often used as a weapon in the ongoing and turbulent power struggle between Parliament and the King. Consequently, impeachments tended to fall into ponderous, grand-sounding categories such as "abuse of power" or "encroachment on Parliament's prerogatives." These categories were expanded and reshuffled for use in a constitutional republic. Personal misconduct took on a larger role in impeachments, for example, and policy disputes were not areas of impeachable conduct.

Having just fought a war to get rid of a king, the framers had "the perfidity of the chief magistrate" clearly in their sights when they included broad grounds for impeachment. They discussed the Constitution's impeachment power in terms of removing a President who "misbehaves" or "behave[s] amiss," as two of the delegates put it. Madison wrote that impeachment was meant to remove Presidents for "incapacity, negligence, or perfidity."

WHAT does such presidential misconduct look like? We, of course, have a recent template. On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. The charges against him were neatly summarized near the bottom of the indictment: "In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."

To say that Nixon was forced to resign, as so many commentators do, for acting in a manner "subversive of constitutional government" is meaningless without knowing what acts comprised that "subversion." Nixon's subversion consisted of: One presidential lie, one invocation of presidential privilege, and zero criminal offenses. One month after Nixon resigned, a prosecutor said of some of Nixon's alleged crimes, "none of these matters at the moment rises to the level of our ability to prove even a probable criminal violation by Mr. Nixon."

As Nixon discovered, the President's obligations go far beyond the requirement that he not criminally obstruct justice. Nixon talked about political audits by the IRS, but no political audits were ever conducted (except of Nixon himself). Nixon invoked one privilege one time (and this was somewhat legitimate, since the Supreme Court did in fact recognize a brand new legal privilege). And Nixon permitted his subordinates to delay one investigation once -- for two weeks.

What really did Nixon in was his long-running campaign of public deceit. The Watergate special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, said of Nixon's disgrace and resignation: "What sank him was his lying." Even President Nixon's most loyal defenders abandoned his cause when they found that he had lied. "The problem is not Watergate or the cover-up," Pat Buchanan told Julie Nixon. "It's that he hasn't been telling the truth to the American people. . . . The tape makes it evident that he hasn't leveled with the country for probably eighteen months. And the President can't lead a country he has deliberately misled for a year and a half."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


...I've adopted a pig...he's a cute fellow. You'll find him over at the sidebar. No...NOT the one in the dark glasses! (everyone's a freakin' comedian!)

His name is 'Smokey', which is short for "Smoke & Mirrors". You can feed him and wash him. He's just like a Republican. His appetite is insatiable and his need for cleaning is endless.

For example,

The Senate is digging into a budget plan that would bundle Medicare and Medicaid spending cuts with a plan to open ANWR to oil drilling. (MUNCH-MUNCH, SLURP-SLURP)

Republicans are facing unanimous opposition from Democrats who contend it is part of an overall plan that will actually increase the deficit once a companion $70 billion tax cut bill is passed. (MUNCH-BURP-MUCH-MUNCH)

"When I went to Roosevelt grade school in Bismarck, North Dakota, I learned that if you reduced spending by $39 and you reduced your income by $70, you were deeper in the hole," said top Senate Budget Committee Democrat Kent Conrad. "You've added to the deficit. You haven't reduced it."

When congressional Republicans cut the federal budget for essential programs AND give a tax-cut to the Rich, they only shift the tax burden onto local government.

In an earlier post, I discuss--in an open letter to the citizens of Oregon--that it is irony, indeed, that Republican Dick Armey and his prized band of porkers are now getting fed the big apples to organize anti-tax initiatives in Oregon when Armey was an architect of the budget-and-tax cuts passed by congress during Chimp I. The result of this Republican smoke-and-mirrors in the state of Oregon has been burdensome for state and local governments.

Now they are at it again.

We are mindful of recent subsidies for oil refiners in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the only welfare program embraced by this congress.

We are mindful of the wasted billions in the hands of Halliburton et al in the reconstruction of both Iraq and the Southwest.

Cometh now the Corruptlicans, with a blueprint for a "balanced budget" that is just as fair and balanced as Fox News.

Do YOU trust them?

I didn't think so.

Give Smokey an apple--it's free.