A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Carpet Bagging" in Reverse 

The Texas Republican Party wants to remove the ever-corrupt Tom DeLay from the upcoming ballot and replace him with someone not under a cloud of suspicion and criminal indictments. The Democratic Party is opposing this saying DeLay withdrew from the race and his name should remain on the ballot.

So, enter Carpet Bagging in Reverse. According to Texas law, if a candidate is ineligible to be on the ballot, he/she may be replaced. Thus, DeLay moves to Virginia to make himself ineligible to represent Texas as a Congressman, a thinly veiled attempt to circumvent the spirit of the law.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Sets Bad Example for Young People 

How will I ever explain to my teenage son or daughter the propriety of abstinence when one of the leading conservative spokesmen, who is unmarried, is found with Viagra in his possession. There can be no doubt that Limbaugh had Viagra in order to engage in sexual activity. Again, I must note that he is unmarried. Isn't copulation outside the sanctity of marriage a sin in the eyes of God? Does Rush support or oppose the "abstinence only" teaching of sex education? Shouldn't he have the will power to refrain from sex until his union has been blessed in the house of the Lord?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The democrat counter to the charge that they are "divided" about what to do about Iraq should be to say that complex issues require substantive debate not lockstep adherence to slogans and rhetoric..

Friday, June 23, 2006

Transparent Hypocrisy 

GWB accuses North Korea of being non-transparent. This from the most secretive administration in history. This from an administration that hides behind "executive privilege" even though it's a privilege created by an activist court and is no where in the Constitution. This is an administration that has ignored requests under the Freedom of Information Act. This is an administration that has denied access to presidential papers from prior administrations. This is an adminstration that challenges civil law suits by claiming "State Secrets" another court created privilege. This is an administration that created a system of secret prisons. This is an adminstration that secretly monitors U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Yeah, those damn N. Koreans are non-transparent for sure. Bush promised us "transparency in government." About the only thing that is transparent is his disdain for the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens and our shared heritage of Constitutional guarantees.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Stay the Course" More Than Just a Slogan! 

Stay the course is also the preferred method of piloting ships commanded by Captain Joseph Hazelwood, Captain Edward J Smith and Captain Calamai who served on the Exxon Valdez, the Titanic and the Andrea Doria, respectively.

Supreme Court Decision Endangers Police 

Our laws have long reflected the notion that a "man's home is his castle." It is the last place of refuge which can be defended like no other. This was true prior to the recent ruling by the Supreme Court that police, armed with a warrant, do not need to "knock and announce" before entering the home. Recent state Supreme Court rulings that allow the police to enter the homes of suspected drunk drivers without a warrant at all, also diminish this cherish American notion.

Well anyway, why do I opine that this ruling will actually put police officers' lives in jeopardy. Suppose you're sitting in your house with your spouse and kids and suddenly there's a crashing sound and unknown people are entering your house. At this point, you don't know whether this is a now proper police procedure by officers with a warrant or a home invasion. If they haven't announced that they are law enforcement, wouldn't the natural inclination be to find something with which to defend yourself, your spouse, your kids? If you shoot an announced intruder to protect your spouse, kids and yourself, isn't that a pretty good justification to use in court?

The first time a suspect wounds or kills an officer who has not identified himself before entering a home, you can expect the defense to make this argument.
Michelle Malkin condemned as "ad hominen" the attacks by John Murtha on Karl Rove's girth. Of course, she didn't mention that Rove had called Murtha, a decorated, 37 year Marine veteran, a coward. I'd like to imagine this as Murtha's apology to Karl Rove.

Dear Mr. Rove:

Please accept my humblest apologies for characterizing you as someone who sits on his fat ass in an air-conditioned office while true Americans are dealing with extreme weather, equipment shortages, the constant threat of violence, and the uncertainty of whether some particular Iraqis are friends or foes.

Like most pasty-faced, armchair generals, you have a penchant for letting others do the fighting while you sit back and attack anyone who questions the wisdom of your policies, plans, or lack thereof. I understand you were able to avoid service yourself through the use of student deferments even when you were not in school. Like your boss, you had the chance to fight in a war you supported, yet you let others do the fighting. It must really be something when you, Bush and Cheney get together to reminisce about how you avoided going to Vietnam.

I was proud to serve my country for 37 years in the Marine Corp. I understand that kind of committment to country means nothing to someone whose sole committment is to a political party, regardless of the dire consequences to the nation. Marines are known to be tough and known to talk tough. We have little use for fools who are all talk.

You want to talk about "cutting and running" when the going gets tough. How in the hell would you know since you never been in the military and faced with life and death. Why don't you go to Iraq. I don't mean secretly, in the dead of night, unannounced. Tell em you're coming. Don't spend any time in the Green Zone. Get out there and observe the "progress we're making" first hand. Don't wear any body armor either, that's for cowards who would cut and run.

Again, my sincere apologies,

John Murtha

Turk's Other Thoughts:

So what's the big deal about North Korea testing a missile with a range that might reach the west coast? Don't we have a functioning missile defense shield commonly referred to as "Star Wars?" If not, where's that 43 billion dollars?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Throwing in the Towel 

Lisa, over at All Hat, No Cattle is considering hanging it up at the end of June. She estimates that 80% of her visitors don't donate. Like her, I get few donations. In fact, it's 5 total out of the 35,000+ who have visited my blog. There hasn't been a single donation since February of 2005. Granted, my ego is bruised but it can take it. My budget, however, cannot. The research and opinion, as well as orginal graphics, are all time consuming. When assholes like Rush or Coulter get millions to spew their hate, is it too much to ask for some modest donation. If it is, then so be it. Most of us in the liberal blogoshere find it distasteful to even mention donations, but the reality of mortgages, gas prices, and as Lisa puts, "putting food on the family" comes into play. So go visit her site as she does a fine job. Help keep her in the game.

Going for a 3 fer 

9/11, Katrina, and now the violence in Iraq. Cheney admits they were too stupid to predict an insurgency and the level of violence.

Q: Do you think that you underestimated the insurgency's strength?

Cheney: I think so, umm I guess, the uh, if I look back on it now. I don't think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered....

What's next? Nobody predicted that unguarded warehouses full of high explosive would be looted.

Nobody predicted that the indigenous population would see us as invaders when we didn't leave after the "liberation."

Monday, June 12, 2006

You Won't Be Seeing Any More "Selected Outtakes" 

To the contrary, you'll continue to see Zarqawi flawlessly firing his automatic weapon.

In an effort to turn Mr. Zarqawi's own propaganda against him by mocking him as an uninspiring poseur, the American military released the selected outtakes at a news briefing in Baghdad.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hey Chris Wallace, Why Don't You Mention This? 

On Fox News Sunday, General George W. Casey was interviewed with one of Saddam's palaces in the background. Chris Wallace, after the interview, made it a point to say the palace was built with funds from the "Oil for Food" program. No doubt to once again point out what a piece of shit Saddam is. Of course Chris, who likes to talk about character, failed to mention our current Vice President's business connection to Iraq when he was CEO of Halliburton and how that business was under the auspices of the "Oil for Food" program.

Character requires full disclosure, Chris!

See Truth Out for more.

Inconvenient Questions: A Challenge to Bush's Image Which Ann Coulter Must Protect 

Mindy Kleinberg, one of the 9/11 widows who Ann Coulter viciously maligned by suggesting Kleinberg ghoulishly reveled in her husband's death, made the statement below to the 9/11 Commission. If memory serves me correctly, this statement was made prior to Condoleeza Rice's admission about the August 6th PDB titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S" which GWB jumped on by going fishing. What Coulter and her defenders find offensive is the challenge to Bush's competence and leadership ability. The administration fought the formation of the commission and gave it ridiculous minimum funding. As history has shown, this administration is about image and anything that challenges that carefully orchestrated image must be dealt with forcefully and immediately. As such, Coulter is playing her part.

First public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Statement of Mindy Kleinberg to theNational Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United StatesMarch 31, 2003

My name is Mindy Kleinberg. My husband Alan Kleinberg, 39 yrs old, was killed in the WTC on September 11, 2001. As I testify here today about the 9/11 attacks, I will begin by saying that my thoughts are very much with the men and women who are involved in armed conflict overseas and their families who wait patiently for them to return.

This war is being fought on two fronts, overseas as well as here on our shores; this means that we are all soldiers in this fight against terrorism. As the threat of terrorism mounts here in the United States, the need to address the failures of September 11 is more important than ever. It is an essential part of "lessons learned".

As such, this commission has an extremely important task before it. I am here today to ask you, the commissioners, to help us understand how this could have happened; help us understand where the breakdown was in our nation's defense capabilities.

Where were we on the morning of September 11th?

On the morning of September 11th my three-year-old son, Sam, and I walked Jacob 10, and Lauren, 7 to the bus stop at about 8:40 a.m. It was the fourth day of a new school year and you could still feel everyone's excitement. It was such a beautiful day that Sam and I literally skipped home oblivious to what was happening in NYC.

At around 8:55 I was confirming play date plans for Sam with a friend when she said, "I can't believe what I am watching on TV, a plane has just hit the World Trade Center." For some reason it did not register with me until a few minutes later when I calmly asked, "what building did you say?" "Oh that's Alan's building I have to call you back."

There was no answer when I tried to reach him at the office. By now my house started filling with people--his mother, my parents, our sisters and friends. The seriousness of the situation was beginning to register. We spent the rest of the day calling hospitals, and the Red Cross and any place else we could think of to see if we could find him.

I'll never forget thinking all day long, "how am I going to tell Jacob and Lauren that their father was missing?"

They came home to a house filled with people but no Daddy. How were they going to be able to wait calmly for his return? What if he was really hurt? This was their hero, their king their best friend, their father. The thoughts of that day replay over and over in our heads always wishing for a different outcome.

We are trying to learn to live with the pain. We will never forget where we were or how we felt on September 11th.

But where was our government, its agencies, and institutions prior to and on the morning of September 11th?

The Theory of Luck

With regard to the 9/11 attacks, it has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time and the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value. Because the 9/11 terrorists were not just lucky once: they were lucky over and over again. Allow me to illustrate.


The terrorist's lucky streak began the week before September 11th with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The SEC, in concert with the United States intelligence agencies, has sophisticated software programs that are used in "real-time" to watch both domestic and overseas markets to seek out trends that may indicate a present or future crime. In the week prior to September 11th both the SEC and U.S. intelligence agencies ignored one major stock market indicator, one that could have yielded valuable information with regard to the September 11th attacks.

On the Chicago Board Options Exchange during the week before September 11th, put options were purchased on American and United Airlines, the two airlines involved in the attacks. The investors who placed these orders were gambling that in the short term the stock prices of both Airlines would plummet. Never before on the Chicago Exchange were such large amounts of United and American Airlines options traded. These investors netted a profit of at least $5 million after the September 11th attacks.

Interestingly, the names of the investors remain undisclosed and the $5 million remains unclaimed in the Chicago Exchange account.
Why these aberrant trades were not discovered prior to 9/11? Who were the individuals who placed these trades? Have they been investigated? Who was responsible for monitoring these activities? Have those individuals been held responsible for their inaction?


Prior to 9/11, our US intelligence agencies should have stopped the 19 terrorists from entering this country for intelligence reasons, alone. However, their failure to do so in 19 instances does not negate the luck involved for the terrorists when it comes to their visa applications and our Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS.

With regard to the INS, the terrorists got lucky 15 individual times, because 15 of the 19 hijackers' visas should have been unquestionably denied.

Most of the 19 hijackers were young, unmarried, and un-employed males. They were, in short, the "classic over-stay candidates". A seasoned former Consular officer stated in National Review magazine, "Single, idle young adults with no specific destination in the United States rarely get visas absent compelling circumstances."

Yet these 19 young single, unemployed, "classic overstay candidates still received their visas." I am holding in my hand the applications of the terrorists who killed my husband. All of these forms are incomplete and incorrect.

Some of the terrorists listed their means of support as simply "student" failing to then list the name and address of any school or institution. Others, when asked about their means of support for their stay in the US wrote "myself" and provided no further documentation. Some of the terrorists listed their destination in the US as simply "hotel" or "California" or "New York". One even listed his destination as "no".
Had the INS or State Department followed the law, at least 15 of the hijackers would have been denied visas and would not have been in the United States on September 11th, 2001.

Help us to understand how something as simple as reviewing forms for completeness could have been missed at least 15 times. How many more lucky terrorists gained unfettered access into this country? With no one being held accountable, how do know this still isn't happening?

Airline and Airport Security

On the morning of September 11th, the terrorists' luck commenced with airline and airport security. When the 19 hijackers went to purchase their tickets (with cash and/or credit cards) and to receive their boarding passes, nine were singled out and questioned through a screening process. Luckily for those nine terrorists, they passed the screening process and were allowed to continue on with their mission.

But, the terrorist's luck didn't end at the ticket counter; it also accompanied them through airport security, as well. Because how else would the hijackers get specifically contraband items such as box-cutters, pepper spray or, according to one FAA executive summary, a gun on those planes?

Finally, sadly for us, years of GAO recommendations to secure cockpit doors were ignored making it all too easy for the hijackers to gain access to the flight controls and carryout their suicide mission.


Prior to 9/11, FAA and Department of Defense Manuals gave clear, comprehensive instructions on how to handle everything from minor emergencies to full blown hijackings.

These "protocols" were in place and were practiced regularly for a good reason--with heavily trafficked air space; airliners without radio and transponder contact are collisions and/or calamities waiting to happen.

Those protocols dictate that in the event of an emergency, the FAA is to notify NORAD. Once that notification takes place, it is then the responsibility of NORAD to scramble fighter-jets to intercept the errant plane(s). It is a matter of routine procedure for fighter-jets to "intercept" commercial airliners in order to regain contact with the pilot.

If that weren't protection enough, on September 11th, NEADS (or the North East Air Defense System dept of NORAD) was several days into a semiannual exercise known as "Vigilant Guardian". This meant that our North East Air Defense system was fully staffed. In short, key officers were manning the operation battle center, "fighter jets were cocked, loaded, and carrying extra gas on board."

But, the terrorist's luck didn't end at the ticket counter; it also accompanied them through airport security, as well. Because how else would the hijackers get specifically contraband items such as box-cutters, pepper spray or, according to one FAA executive summary, a gun on those planes?

Let me illustrate using just flight 11 as an example.
American Airline Flight 11 departed from Boston Logan Airport at 7:45 a.m. The last routine communication between ground control and the plane occurred at 8:13 a.m. Between 8:13 and 8:20 a.m. Flight 11 became unresponsive to ground control. Additionally, radar indicated that the plane had deviated from its assigned path of flight. Soon thereafter, transponder contact was lost - (although planes can still be seen on radar - even without their transponders).

Two Flight 11 airline attendants had separately called American Airlines reporting a hijacking, the presence of weapons, and the infliction of injuries on passengers and crew. At this point, it would seem abundantly clear that Flight 11 was an emergency.

Yet, according to NORAD's official timeline, NORAD was not contacted until 20 minutes later at 8:40 a.m. Tragically the fighter jets were not deployed until 8:52 a.m. -- a full 32 minutes after the loss of contact with flight 11.

Why was there a delay in the FAA notifying NORAD? Why was there a delay in NORAD scrambling fighter jets? How is this possible when NEADS was fully staffed with planes at the ready and monitoring our Northeast airspace?

Flight's 175, 77 and 93 all had this same repeat pattern of delays in notification and delays in scrambling fighter jets. Delays that are unimaginable considering a plane had, by this time, already hit the WTC.

Even more baffling for us is the fact that the fighter jets were not scrambled from the closest air force bases. For example, for the flight that hit the Pentagon, the jets were scrambled from Langley Air Force in Hampton, Virginia rather than Andrews Air Force Base right outside D.C. As a result, Washington skies remained wholly unprotected on the morning of September 11th. At 9:41 a.m. one hour and 11 minutes after the first plane was hijack confirmed by NORAD, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. The fighter jets were still miles away. Why?

So the hijackers luck had continued. On September 11th both the FAA and NORAD deviated from standard emergency operating procedures .Who were the people that delayed the notification? Have they been questioned? In addition, the interceptor planes or fighter jets did not fly at their maximum speed.

Had the belatedly scrambled fighter jets flown at their maximum speed of engagement, MACH-12, they would have reached NYC and the Pentagon within moments of their deployment, intercepted the hijacked airliners before they could have hit their targets, and undoubtedly saved lives.

Joint Chief Of Staff

The acting Joint Chief of staff on Sept 11th was on the morning of September 11th, he was having a routine meeting . Acting Joint Chief of staff Myers stated that he saw a TV. report about a plane hitting the WTC but thought it was a small plane or something like that. So, he went ahead with his meeting. "Meanwhile the second World Trade Center was hit by another jet. Nobody informed us of that,"

Whose responsibility was it to relay this emergency to the Joint Chief of Staff? Have they been held accountable for their error? Surely this represents a breakdown of protocol.

Secretary of Defense

The Secretary of Defense, as reported, Secretary Rumsfeld felt the building shake, went outside, saw the damage and started helping the injured onto stretchers. After aiding the victims, the Secretary then went into the 'War Room'.
How is it possible that the National Military Command Center, located in the Pentagon and in contact with law enforcement and air traffic controllers from 8:46 a.m. did not communicate to the Secretary of Defense also at the Pentagon about the other hijacked planes especially the one headed to Washington? How is that Secretary of Defense could have remained at this desk until the crash? Whose responsibility is it to relay emergency situations to him? Is he then supposed to go to the war room?


At 6:15 a.m. on the morning of 9/11, my husband Alan left for work; he drove into New York City, and was at his desk and working at his NASDAQ Security Trading position with Cantor Fitzgerald, in Tower One of the WTC by 7:30 a.m.

In contrast, on the morning of September 11, President Bush was scheduled to listen to elementary school children read.
Before the President walked into the classroom NORAD had sufficient information that the plane that hit the WTC was hijacked. At that time, they also had knowledge that two other commercial airliners, in the air, were also hijacked. It would seem that a national emergency was in progress.

Yet President Bush was allowed to enter a classroom full of young children and listen to the students read.

Why didn't the Secret Service inform him of this national emergency? When is a President supposed to be notified of everything the agencies know? Why was the President permitted by the Secret Service to remain in the Sarasota elementary school? Was this Secret Service protocol?

In the case of a national emergency, seconds of indecision could cost thousands of lives; and it's precisely for this reason that our government has a whole network of adjuncts and advisors to insure that these top officials are among the first to be informed--not the last. Where were these individuals who did not properly inform these top officials? Where was the breakdown in communication?

Was it luck or No Fault Government

Is it luck that aberrant stock trades were not monitored? Is it luck when 15 visas are awarded based on incomplete forms? Is it luck when Airline Security screenings allow hijackers to board planes with box cutters and pepper spray? Is it luck when Emergency FAA and NORAD protocols are not followed? Is it luck when a national emergency is not reported to top government officials on a timely basis?

To me luck is something that happens once. When you have this repeated pattern of broken protocols, broken laws, broken communication, one cannot still call it luck.

If at some point we don't look to hold the individuals accountable for not doing their jobs properly then how can we ever expect for terrorists not to get lucky again?

And, that is why I am here with all of you today. Because, we must find the answers as to what happened that day so as to ensure that another September 11th can never happen again.

Commissioners, I implore you to answer our questions. You are the Generals in the terrorism fight on our shores. In answering our questions, you have the ability to make this nation a safer place and in turn, minimize the damage if there is another terrorist attack. And, if there is another attack, the next time, our systems will be in place and working and luck will not be an issue.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tony Snow dumbfounded by simple question from press about civil rights and gay marriage. Probably wishes he could go back to reading scripted talking points from the White House when he worked at Fox (Pravda).

Monday, June 05, 2006

Get a $300 Scholarship to Liberty University 

All you need is a credit card and $950.00 worth of credit. Here's how it works: You enroll in Liberty's two year study program which costs $1,250.00. If you pay $950.00 of this 'tuition' with your credit card, and Liberty gives you a $300.00 "scholarship." Perhaps you're one of those liberal heathens who think, "Hey, that sounds an awful lot like a discount for adding $950.00 to a credit card balance and not really a scholarship," but, as usual, your left-wing, traitorous ass would be mistaken. Or, you may wonder if this "scholarship" applies to upfront cash payments too.

I remember students earning academic scholarships based on achievement. I remember scholarships based on entry to certain professions. I remember scholarships based on athletic ability for the free "farm system" colleges provide to professional sports. I remember scholarships which were steered to members of particular minority groups. But I don't remember a discount of tuition being deemed a scholarship based on the prompt payment of that tuition by credit card.

I have to commend the thinkers at Liberty for this innovation. Perhaps this notion can be expanded to real universities nationwide. Then, graduates can pad their resumes with the claim that they were "scholarship recipients" which sounds much better than if it was called what it actually is.

So, if you've got a grand to spare that you haven't used up at the gas station, sign up now.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Condi is an idiot... 

The administration has been using the same methodology to provoke a conflict with Iran and they did with Iraq. Now, it's about Iran's nuclear program which Iran insists is for domestic power and the administration, and Tim Russert, insist is a pretext for nuclear weapon ambitions.

Additionally, the leadership of Iran has been portrayed as, shall we say, a little unhinged. Not to mention extremists who cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons and are religious zealots who promote terroism. All in all, a pretty bad bunch of guys of whom we must be deathly afraid.

So today, in an ratcheting up of tensions, Iran's religious leader threatened that an attack on Iran would lead to a disruption of the world supply of oil, most of which flows through the narrow Straights of Hurmuze which borders Iran. A tactic deployed successfully in the past.

When the brainiac Condi was asked whether this threat should be taken seriously, she was condescendlingly dismissive. Of course they won't do that because their country is dependent on oil for its economy. No mention that they've done it before and unhinged, religious zealots never, ever carry out the threats they make.

So, first we demonize the leadership of Iran as unstable and who cannot be trusted and then cavalierly dismiss a threat to the world's economy by suggesting these religious zealots will no doubt take the rational approach.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Displaying the mental acumen of a bowl of spaghetti, Snow tries to put absurd spin on comments by Iraqi Prime Minister.

Tony Snow Breaks Out the "I'm Just Too Stupid" Defense 

We were too stupid to stop 9/11. We were too stupid to distinquish between good intelligence and outright fabrication by persons with axes to grind. We were too stupid to anticpate the degree of the Iraqi insurgency. We were too stupid to anticipate the breach of the levees around New Orleans, and yada, yada, yada.

Now, Tony Snow is at at loss to explain what the new Iraqi Prime Minister said about U.S. forces and their conduct in Iraq.

"That is a little too complicated for me to try to read out," Snow said at a briefing where he was pressed to explain how al-Maliki's remarks were supposed to have been distorted. "It becomes a little convoluted and so I don't want to make a real clear characterization because it's a little hazy to me," Snow said.

Snow, just put on the clown suit now. Unless, of course, you still have some self-respect left. In that case, you should just resign.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Nobody Could Have Predicted... 

that if you spend hundreds of hours posting to a blog with original graphics, researched articles and opinion pieces without being compensated, you may have trouble paying your bills and give serious consideration to suspending or ending posting altogether.

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