December 3,  2003 Wednesday

Graphic by OZ

Toll on U.S. troops in Iraq grows as wounded rolls approach 10,000
BY ROGER ROY The Orlando Sentinel 11-28-03

ORLANDO, Fla. - (KRT) - Nearly 10,000 U.S. troops have been killed, wounded, injured or become ill enough to require evacuation from Iraq since the war began, the equivalent of almost one Army division, according to the Pentagon...

Iraq contract award delayed again
Houston Chronicle, TX - Dec 1, 2003
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has again pushed back the deadline for replacing Halliburton Co.'s work assignment in Iraq with a pair of competitively bid contracts....
US to delay releasing names of GI casualties
Arizona Daily Star, AZ - 12-3-03
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon plans to delay releasing the names of killed or injured military members for at least a day after notifying their families under a ...

While this CEO White House is busy cutting deals, Osama bin Laden is probably giddy with delight we are  distracted in Iraq.


Money and Medicine  


By Dan Tyler


A recent headline in the local daily caught my attention: “Flu Outbreak May Be Shot In The Arm For Hospital Profits.”   The article appeared on the business page and thus had a pro-business slant, as in, the more people get sick and the sicker they get the more money for HCA, the world’s largest for-profit hospital chain and one of Nashville’s biggest employers.

Click here

"He gave quite a stirring speech to the troops while in Baghdad and said we will stay until the job is done, and then hopped on a plane and went back to Texas." —Jay Leno

CIA Agent Valerie Plame Undercover In Vanity Fair
Washington Post, DC - 12 hours ago
Former ambassador Joseph Wilson has been quite protective of his wife, Valerie Plame, in the weeks since her cover as a CIA operative was blown. ...

FYI: Vanity Fair is not on the web, you must buy the magazine. I'm running out right after I post today's edition and buying a copy.  Last month's issue was quite good.

Graphic by Eric Maietta

Ralph Nader has a new Nader 2004 Exploratory Committee website with this e-mail address  . I wrote him this e-mail:

Don't run for President.

You won't win, and we don't need another four years of George Bush.

How about telling your readers to send Ralph Nader an e-mail telling him not to run?


Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks for writing.

LaHood: Hussein's capture imminent

Pantagraph Staff 12-2-03

BLOOMINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood held his thumb and forefinger slightly apart and said, "We're this close" to catching Saddam Hussein.
Once that's accomplished, Iraqi resistance will fall apart, said the five-term Republican congressman from Peoria who serves on the House Intelligence Committee.

A member of The Pantagraph editorial board -- not really expecting an answer -- asked LaHood for more details, saying, "Do you know something we don't?"

"Yes I do," replied LaHood....

I found this article on and they called it December Surprise?  Maybe The Bush Cartel Has Secretly Been Bunking Saddam with Manuel Noriega. A Nice Christmas Surprise.

"Donations to All Hat No Cattle is a good thing." -Martha Stewart Casey

click here


Muckraking writer chips away at US icons he once served
Seattle Times, WA - Nov 30, 2003
Roger Morris was on duty one weekend in the spring of 1969, his boss, Henry Kissinger, away in New York, when he received a package from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover....


Lately I've been reading articles on the web that have given me a distinctively uneasy feeling. These articles are from diverse viewpoints on diverse websites. In essence they are saying that George Bush will lose next years presidential election by several orders of magnitude greater than the last one and yet will be returned to office by a landslide victory in the Electoral College, a task facilitated by the majority of Republican governors. This made no apparent sense to me so I did a google search on the subject.

It turns out, yes; the state governors do have an inordinate and unhealthy effect on presidential elections. It is they who select the members of the Electoral College who are then certified by the secretary of state. I believe it is the later explanation that etched Katherine Harris on the national consciousness after the '00 contest. Should the Republican governors 'stack' the Electoral College with members sympathetic to the Bush there is no chance of removing him from office through the election process.

Should such an event take place, and given the tepid response of the opposition party there is no reason to believe it won't, I believe it will provoke a firestorm greater than the aftermath of the attempt of the colonial 'terrorists' (to use Bush's term) to brew tea in Boston Harbor.

Conversely, however, I believe the country faces a far greater threat than retaining Bush, his cronies and policies (if such a thing is possible.) The last three of four election cycles have seen the Republicans steadily picking and probing the law to see what they can get away with. Upon sensing no opposition they have become bolder each time. If they pull this one off it will sound the death knell of the American Experiment.

Today there is a massive effort to 'get out the vote' to defeat George Bush. People are being that told that their vote counts and it is necessary to get to the polls. I know this has been tried before with mixed results. This time, however, the people are more united against a single man and his policies than at any other time in our nations history. Should American's go to the polls in record numbers to defeat Bush only to have their will thwarted by the archaic Electoral College, these people will not be back. It will do no good for the Democrats or any opposition party to say 'We'll get them next time', there will be no next time.

Oracle Jones

Dear Oracle,

Thanks for writing.  Bartcop suggests that every Democrat send in an absentee ballot, but my fear is they won't count those either.

" We ' re air force pilots , not mafia"
Guardian, UK - 12-3-03

Israel's F-16 and Black Hawk refuseniks say why they

could not obey illegal orders and kill innocent Palestinians

For two months, a rebel group of Israeli Black Hawk helicopter and F-16 fighter pilots has been denounced as traitors for saying they will no longer bomb Palestinian cities...

All I like about Joe Lieberman anymore is his smile and voice.

"The trip, which took place while the president's family was gathered in Crawford, Texas, was the result of six weeks of meticulous planning. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice explained the reason for the intense secrecy [clip of Rice saying Iraq that it was a dangerous place]. Dangerous? You should see Thanksgiving in Crawford, Texas. You got Jeb Bush grabbing Percodan out of his daughter's mouth, there's the other brother Neil who is getting a divorce. Who knows what he picked up from the whores in Hong Kong? And you got Jenna into the cooking sherry. You know grandma is like 'Would you all shut the f--- up, I'm trying to have a nice Thanksgiving.'" —Jon Stewart on the Daily Show

Thanks Andrew B. and Casey.

Former Montana governor says bill isn't giveaway to timber industry
WRIC TV, VA -12-3-03

Washington-AP -- Former Montana Governor Mark Racicot (RAHS'-koh) says it's "flat untrue."
Racicot is denying the forest bill getting President Bush's signature today is a giveaway to the timber industry....
...But environmentalists say the bill is one big missed opportunity. Earth Justice says the legislation's "major failure" is that it doesn't force various agencies to work closely with communities who need help... Spokesman Marty Hayden says 85 percent of areas at risk aren't within federal land, and this bill won't help them at all.

Dubya is sure busy paying back his campaign contributors.

Today in History December 3

1621 Galileo invents the telescope.

1818 - Illinois (from an American Indian word meaning ‘tribe of superior men’) is the name of the 21st state to enter the United States of America.

1922 - The first successful Technicolor motion picture, "The Toll of the Sea", was shown at the Rialto Theatre in New York City.

1955 - Elvis Presley’s first release on RCA Victor Records was announced. No, it wasn’t "Hound Dog" or "Heartbreak Hotel". The first two sides were actually purchased from Sam Phillips of Sun Records: "Mystery Train" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget". Elvis was described by his new record company as “The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years.”

1967 - The world’s first successful heart transplant was performed. Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the operation at Cape Town, South Africa.

1984 - The world’s worst industrial accident occurred when gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. The deadly gas, methyl isocyanate, killed over two thousand people, and injured more than 200,000.

Survivor, Texas-Style

Network TV is reported to be developing a "Texas version" of "Survivor," the recent popular TV show.

Contestants must travel from Amarillo through Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and back to Amarillo, through San Marcos and Lubbock. Each will be driving a Volvo with a bumper sticker that reads: "I'm for Gore, I'm gay, and I'm here to take your guns."

The first contestant to complete the round trip is the winner.

The above joke can apply to my neck of the woods.



The long shadow of the Moon fell across the continent of Antarctica on November 23rd, during the second solar eclipse of 2003. (NASA/HO)