TGIF/Weekend edition - June 20-22, 2008
We are led by war criminals, says general
Guantanamo prisoner details sleep deprivation
Waterboarding, slapping, sensory deprivation – all on US
"In a recent interview, President Bush said that he might not be the last President Bush if his brother, Jeb, decides to run. Yeah, when he heard this, Jeb said, 'Please stop reminding everyone we're related. Shut up!'" --Conan O'Brien
US military deaths in Iraq war at 4101 The Associated Press
Afghan forces push Taliban militants from villages The Associated Press
Media: Iran president claims US assassination plot The Associated Press
Oily Contracts With Rice On The Side
Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said Thursday the US government was not involved in Iraq's
no-bid oil contracts that could see four major western oil firms start their
first commercial work there since the war began five years ago.
"The United States government has stayed out of the matter of awarding the Iraq oil contracts. It's a private sector matter," Rice said in an interview on Fox news network.
"Well, a new poll shows that less than 1 out of 4 Americans now think President Bush is doing a good job. 1 in 4. So that means when President Bush is having dinner with his wife and two daughters, he's the only one at the table that thinks he's doing a good job." --Jay Leno
More Veteran Abuse
The Veterans Affairs Department has granted only 6 percent of health claims filed by veterans of secret Cold War chemical and germ warfare tests conducted by the Pentagon, according to figures obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
And Barack Obama says that he will visit Iraq, or as John McCain still calls it, Mesopotamia. - Jay Leno
Here's A Letter To The Editor I Found Surfing (Tico Times, Costa Rica)
Here's Hoping Cianchette Is Up to the Task
Dear Tico Times:
Costa Rica has just welcomed a new American ambassador. His name is Peter Cianchette. With only seven and a half months left before the second Bush presidency crosses the finish line and trips into history, I can only imagine the vetting process Cianchette must have endured to secure the post.
Here's what I do know: Ambassador Cianchette is replacing Mark Langdale, a former Texas businessman, who relinquished the embassy to head the George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation. Ambassador Cianchette was the state of Maine's chairman of the 2004 Bush presidential campaign. His family is in the construction business, and he is a partner in CHK Capital Partners, a private investment firm. He is also the president of something called The Cianchette Group, which is described as a public affairs management and business-consulting firm.
He must be a very busy man, because before accepting the ambassadorship, he had never set foot in Costa Rica.
I hope he has studied up a bit to be the United States' primary diplomatic representative here. I wonder what his plan is to address Costa Rica's sluggish reluctance to embrace the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA) and what tactful diplomacy he has in mind to assist in creating a more trusting view of the U.S. version of “free” trade.
I am curious as to what technique he hopes to employ in the face of the ready aid and open checkbook that has been demonstrated by the People's Republic of China, which plans to build a new soccer stadium in downtown San José and provides emergency assistance after storms ravage the country.
Does Mr. Cianchette realize the opportunity to establish a back channel with Chinese diplomats through their involvement in Costa Rica ?
What preparations has he made to deal with the growing Iranian presence in the region? What briefings has he had on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's $200 million loan to Nicaragua for the construction of a hydroelectric dam?
Is he aware of the larger Iran-to-Nicaragua aid package that contemplates the construction of an assembly plant for farm equipment, delivery of 4,000 tractors, construction of milk processing plants, health clinics, thousands of houses and, in conjunction with Venezuela, a new deep-water port on the Caribbean ?
I am curious to know the search criteria that, when applied to the available talent pool, resulted in Mr. Cianchette's selection. What personal history or skill set or hidden accomplishment caused this man to stand out?
What are his plans for his short time here? Is it seen as an opportunity to shape a meaningful contribution? Or is it just a final plum political posting in paradise, a last hurrah for a wealthy contributor at the bottom of the list, an under-the-radar late term slap on the back to another loyalist, the ultimate demonstration of disdain for a longtime dependable ally or the echo of “heckuva job, Brownie”?
I trust the Ambassador knows that Ticos are highly literate, fiercely democratic, hard to fool, and have long memories. I hope the Ambassador enjoys his first trip to Costa Rica.
William D. Foster
Maine: Group Abandons Gay Law Campaign New York Times
"President Bush says he plans to publish a book once he leaves the White House. We have an advanced copy here. This won't be out till January. It's 'Iraq on $100 Million a Day.' It's a travel book." --Jay Leno
Airing The Dirty Laundry
A former Bush
spokesman said Friday he did not think the president knew about the leak of a
CIA agent's identity, but refused to give the same assurances about Vice
President Dick Cheney.
Former Bush spokesman Scott McClellan prepares to testify before the House Judiciary Committee Friday.
"I do not think the president had any knowledge" of the revelation of Valerie Plame Wilson's identity, Scott McClellan said at a House Judiciary committee hearing. "In terms of the vice president, I do not know."
McCain, Obama essentially tied in Georgia, poll says Atlanta Journal Constitution
Obama ad stresses values and patriotism Los Angeles Times
Great Photo Op Idea: Obama and Hillary Fist Bump!
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's campaign announced Friday that he will campaign with former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton next week, a step toward unifying a fractured Democratic Party after a bruising primary fight.
Mortgage Loans – Senate
Practice safe policy with Obama, McCain condoms
China spurs $4 drop in crude oil futures Chicago Tribune
Inventors: Solar Dish Could Revolutionize Energy Production LiveScience.com
Today’s Fuel-Saving Tip
EU Says Yes To Cuba, No To US
The EU last night scrapped five-year-old sanctions against Cuba despite appeals from the US to maintain a tough line against the new government.
The White House asked Congress for two billion for Iowa floods Wednesday. It's the worst disaster since Katrina. There have been so many plagues during the Bush presidency that by the end of his term he will have his own book in the Old Testament. -Argus Hamilton
A former U.S.
military official says U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney may have known military
personnel were using torture techniques on Iraqi detainees.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told a House panel he thought leadership failed "at the highest levels of the Pentagon, in the vice president's office and perhaps even in the Oval Office," The Washington Times reported Thursday.
“The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.” - Carl Gustav Jung Swiss Psychiatrist,and Founder of the Analytic Psychology, 1875-1961
Now, here’s something: anybody ever been to a place called Burger King, Burger King restaurant? There’s a Burger King, I guess it’s in London someplace, and they’re now offering a hamburger –- $200. Two hundred dollar hamburger at Burger King, and I’m telling you, there’s nothing like spending $200 on an entrée and then running right over to the ketchup pump. - David Letterman
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Canadian officials say 6th floating foot a hoax
Arts Panel Members Satisfied With Changes to King Statue Washington Post
Schoolgirls Strike Deal To Get Pregnant Boston Channel.com, USA
wine at the unveiling ceremony of an enema syringe in a sanatorium in the
southern Russian spa town of Inozemtsevo June 18, 2008. A health spa in Russia
has unveiled a bronze monument of three cherubs carrying an enema, a design
inspired by the 15th century Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli.