Thursday edition - July 20, 2006



Bush Turns First Veto Into Child's Play
Washington Post - 7-20-06
The somber tone of President Bush's first veto was somewhat betrayed by a little child's play at the White House. The president was surrounded by two dozen children as he announced ...

Bush administration refrains from shuttle diplomacy in the Mideast
San Jose Mercury News -  7-20-06
In a departure from almost 60 years of American Middle East policy, the Bush administration hasn't intervened to stop the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah ...

US officials defend the slow pace of evacuation as the correct ...
Houston Chronicle -  7-20-06
Military and diplomatic officials in Washington on Wednesday defended the deliberate pace of evacuating US citizens from Lebanon and side-stepped answering questions about whether troops will land as part of those efforts.


I wonder, will more people die from Bush's war on terror or his war on science?



Wouldn't it be nice to veto George W. Bush? -- Grant Gerver




The-World-Is-A-Safer-Place-Without-Saddam News


George Bush = George Custer -- Grant Gerver






Cheney, Condi Consult Catholic


Father Faouzi Elia of Peoria told Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Israel should turn its attack to Syria and leave Lebanon alone. ..Elia, pastor of the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church, sat in on individual meetings this week with Cheney, Rice and the national security adviser to talk about the U.S. government's role in the Middle East conflict.


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"More rockets were fired into Israel today. Israel responded by bombing more targets inside Lebanon. Now there's talk the U.S. might send some troops over there to help with border security. That's when you know the people over there are in trouble, when they start asking our advice on border security." --Jay Leno





Disturbing News


"A lot of people were offended by President Bush using a four-letter word at the G-8 Summit the other day. Were you offended? I was more offended by the way he eats a buttered roll in front of company." --Jay Leno



Katrina Karetakers


Wielding government-issued credit cards, Homeland Security employees racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in unjustified expenses last year, including booties for rescue dogs, iPods, designer rain jackets and beer-making equipment, according to a congressional audit released Wednesday.




Republican Shenanigans



Bill Clinton and Paris Hilton


During an interview with Secret Service agents, Williford denied threatening Clinton but said he believed Clinton was "a communist mole for the Red Chinese," the affidavit said.

Williford, of Oklahoma City,
also made violent remarks about celebrity Paris Hilton during the interview, the affidavit said.


A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile, not Bill Clinton thinking about Paris, is launched at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The United States will start deploying missile interceptors at a key air force base in Japan from this summer, as part of efforts with Tokyo to deal with the threat of North Korea's missile arsenal, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Photo/White Sands Missile Range



Rock-The-Voter News


Subject: Bush Incompetence and the budget


If W could cash in on incompetence, we'd have a budget surplus...

Dan in Austin







Bush and Condi In Love Music Video



Windows Media/5MB/3:19




They Shoot Buffaloes, Don't Those Wild & Crazy Republicans?


A senior Interior Department official was awarded his own buffalo to hunt on a billionaire's ranch a month before his office designated Houston as a port for exotic wildlife, a move that benefited the ranch owner.


David P. Smith, was deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks when he shot and killed the buffalo at a 5,000-acre ranch owned by Texas billionaire Dan Duncan.

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"So hot today down in Washington, D.C., President Bush said, 'Maybe there is something with the global warming s**t.'." --David Letterman







From Russia With Love Press Release


U.S. President George W. Bush was the only G8 leader who refused to talk to the press after the St. Petersburg summit.



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Subject: Zing!



When I read the following on your website (on July 19th):

Just let Bar develop Alzheimer's, or the twins diabetes, and see how fast Bush changes his mind on stem cell research. -- Zing!

It reminded me that president Bush's sister Robin died of Leukemia when he was young (she was 3). Stem cell treatment is one tactic that shows potential combating it.

Source for info on Robin:


Source for stem-cell relevance to Leukemia:

- Moe -



Instant Replay


Bush gives an unwanted backrub to German Chancellor Merkel -



Biz-Tech News



Condi Responds Like White On Rice



Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to New York to discuss the crisis in Lebanon with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the European Union foreign policy chief, Annan's top deputy said Wednesday.




Jon Stewart on Lebanon Coverage -





Subject: Dead Aide and Chandra Levy


What should be more of a story is the difference in media response to these two tragedies. Condit was hounded, accused of murder, vilified by the right-wing echo chamber and eventually defeated in his bid for re-election. Scarborough, may have suffered from some indignities, but nothing on the scale of what happened to Condit and his family.



Only one newspaper in the entire country covered the death of Joe Scarborough's aide from start to finish. That alone speaks volumes.


Subject: Joe Scarborough


Joe was a lousy US Congressman.  I'm from his old district and we still don't have a north 4 lane highway to evacuate from hurricanes that we begged him for after hurricanes Erin and Opal. We have to drive to Mobile (70 miles west I65 and almost 300 miles to the east I75) to get the closet northern super highway. Interstate 10 is slowed to a crawl trying to evacuate Pensacola.


He pumped up the military and played the good time Charlie role, then quit.


I'd hate to see what would happen if the military had to evacuate (Eglin, Hurlburt, Naval Air)  NORTH via I10, in a national emergency.


Yeah, like you, Lisa, I know Scarborough country too well.


I hear ya but let's give Joe a break -  he was busy doing three things at once -- pulling down Bill Clinton's pants AND in the middle of a messy divorce AND preparing his new wedding. No wonder he quit Congress after he was re-elected, he was exhausted.


Subject: Conspiracy


The only conspiracy theory I see with this Joe guy, is that a liberal media exists.




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by Greg Palast
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Don't check the casket. I know he's back. When I saw those lights flickering out at La Guardia Airport yesterday and heard the eerie shrieks and moans in the dark, broiling subway tunnels, I just knew it: Ken Lay's alive! We can see his spirit in every flickering lightbulb from Kansas to Queens as we head into America's annual Blackout season.

It wasn't always so. For decades, America had nearly the best, most reliable electricity system on the planet and, though we grumbled, electricity bills were among the planet's lowest. It was all thanks to Franklin Roosevelt and the Public Utility Holding Company Act which allowed for tough regulation of the power monopolies. They were told what they could charge, the maximum profit they could take and -- what I think about when the lights dim -- exactly how much they had to invest to keep the juice flowing.

But then, in 1992, a Texas oil man, George H.W. Bush, ordered to evacuate the White House by two-thirds of the US electorate, gave his Houston crony, Ken Lay, a billion-dollar good-bye kiss: Bush's signature authorizing deregulation of electricity.

But Lay's operation didn't pick up the really big bucks until after December 21, 1994, when the Enron chief wrote to the incoming governor of Texas, George W. Bush, asking the Governor-elect to grant him a special wish for Christmas:

"The Public Utility Commission appointment is an extremely critical one. We believe Pat Wood is best qualified…. Linda joins me in wishing you and Laura and the whole family a joyous holiday. - Sincerely, Ken."

And Georgie-Boy granted Kenny-Boy's wish, appointing Wood and thereby giving Texans an electricity regulator who stumped for Ken Lay's right to earn unlimited profits without any obligation to keep the lights on. Thus, by 1995, electricity deregulation had a foothold in the Lone Star state that would spread nationwide like Dutch Elm Disease.

But, unsatisfied with excessive profits, Lay and his team went for unconscionable profits, flickering the lights in California in the winter of 2000. "Let poor Aunt Millie … use candles," said one of Lay's minions as he deliberately schemed to engineer black-outs. When the public reacted with anger, Bill Clinton, by a December 2000 executive order, ended Enron's right to trade power. Lay's response was, that month, through a lobbyist, to tell President-elect Bush to promote Lay's puppet regulator, Wood, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Kenny-Boy wished it, and again, Georgie-Boy granted it.

Lay's hand-picked federal regulator Wood then kept the game going until, on August 14, 2003, the entire northeast, from Ohio to New York, went dark. Wood had to take the blame and resigned. Bush replaced him with Joe Kelliher, a regulator nominated by -- no points for guessing -- Ken Lay.

In the old, pre-Ken days of regulation, my fellow economists used to complain about something called the Averch-Johnson Effect. The A-J Effect was the result of regulations which gave companies incentives to gold plate the electricity system, making it way TOO reliable. Too much cash was spent on keeping the lights on.

Well, gone are the days of the A-J effect. The gold-plating is gone -- but not the gold. Under regulation, power sellers were limited by law to a profit of about 9%, what the law called a just and reasonable return. Now, the profits can be -- and are -- unreasonable, unjust and just out of sight.

For example, one company, Entergy, owns a nuclear plant in New York called, Indian Point. They get to charge for nuclear power as if it were produced by oil -- that is, they charge New York City residents at a price effectively set by OPEC, prices boosted by the war in Iraq. Not surprisingly, Entergy today reported a record rake-in of profits from their nuclear business. No 9% limit for these good old boys. On top of that, the power company is relieved of all obligations to keep the lights on in New York City.

… And in New Orleans. The same company supplies all of the electricity in the City that Care Forgot. Under deregulation, they hadn't gold-plated the system; they hadn't even water-proofed it. Last year, when the levees burst and the city flooded, Entergy simply turned off the lights and declared their New Orleans subsidiary bankrupt. Leaving New Orleans in the dark was a profitable decision. The company reported a 23% leap in earnings for the third quarter of 2005, the period including Hurricane Katrina, a profit boost they attributed to "the weather." Hey, are these guys droll, or what?

This year, Entergy's profits have stayed up in the clouds, no doubt helped by the cash the company saved by not bothering to restore electricity to a large number of their customers in New Orleans --who remain in the dark even today.

By now, you've got to ask: after the profiteering from Katrina, after the California power scandal of 2000, after the Great Black-out of 2003, even after the hand-cuffing of Ken Lay, why are we still under a deregulation regime that Ken Lay seems to rule from the grave? Why is it that we're still at the mercy of power vampires?

The answer, in part, is that the bloodsucking is a bi-partisan feast. Entergy, the New Orleans nuclear company, is well defended in the US Senate by their former lawyer, Hillary Rodham, who now protects them under her new alias, Senator Clinton.

Ken Lay's gone, but the ghost of Ken Lay -- the marauding ghoul called deregulation -- stays to haunt us.

For more on Ken Lay, Entergy, New Orleans and the politics of power, read Greg Palast's just-released New York Times bestseller, "ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War." (Penguin Dutton 2006.)

Palast is also co-author of a treatise on the power industry, "Regulation and Democracy" with Jerrold Oppenheim and Theo MacGregor (United Nations ILO 2000/Pluto UK 2002).

Go to .





"White House press secretary Tony Snow says that when President Bush was told he was recorded saying a four-letter word, he rolled his eyes and laughed it off, which is ironic. Bush is now reacting to himself the way everybody else does." --Jay Leno





Bush-Prison-Torture News



Saddam on Hunger Strike or Liquid Diet?


Saddam Hussein is receiving psychiatric counseling to convince him to start eating again after 12 days on hunger strike in a U.S. military prison.

Saying that the 69-year-old ousted Iraqi president
was still refusing food but taking liquid nourishment


Go-F*ck-Yourself News



Video To Come of Bush In His Underwear?


American officials are always wary of being spied on when they come to Russia. But on this visit, officials said they had very little doubt that their suspicions were correct: the attic and basement of Mr. Bush’s “cottage” were sealed off from him and his security detail.

American officials, granted anonymity in order to speak freely, joked that the rooms were filled with listening equipment.


"The situation in the Mideast is not looking good. Yesterday Vice President Dick Cheney said when it comes to war, Americans need to know where he stands. I don't even know where he stands with those seven deferments. I think it's near the back." --Jay Leno

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Odd News




A month-old male giraffe, yet to be named, is closely watched by his mother, Gezi, at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, Thursday, July 13, 2006. (Photo/Paul Sakuma)