Tuesday edition - August 1, 2006



On Cease-Fire, US Diplomacy Again Takes a Go-It-Alone Path
Los Angeles Times, CA - 8-1-06
... Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) said on the Senate floor Monday. "President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.". ...

Democrats Press Bush on an Iraq Troop Exit
Los Angeles Times, CA -
 Key Democratic leaders in the House and Senate released a letter Monday calling on President Bush to begin pulling US troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, citing an overtaxed military, billions of dollars spent and continuing ...

Two Koreas exchange gunfire along fortified border
Reuters - 8-1-06
North and South Korean troops along their heavily fortified border exchanged gunfire for the ...


If Bush isn't drunk then why would he act like it?



"Another day in the Middle East. Obviously the cease-fire fell through, talks fell apart, they lasted about two hours. Even the O.J. jury managed to meet longer than that." --Jon Stewart








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



Republican Laughs at Bush Middle East Policies


"This moment of conflict in the Middle East is painful and tragic," Bush said in his radio address Saturday. "Yet it is also a moment of opportunity for broader change in the region.....Haass, the former Bush aide who leads the Council on Foreign Relations, laughed at the president's public optimism. "An opportunity?" Haass said with an incredulous tone. "Lord, spare me. I don't laugh a lot. That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. If this is an opportunity, what's Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?"





Mel Gibson becomes honorary member of Hezbollah -- Grant Gerver




Lebanon Crisis, Week Three - Bush Agenda


MIAMI, July 30 -- With crucial midterm congressional elections just three months away, President Bush tried Sunday to return to his domestic agenda even while the latest eruption in the Middle East continued to dominate his administration's attention.

Bush flew here after going for a Sunday bicycle ride and hosting a children's T-ball game on the South Lawn of the White House to have dinner with Miami community leaders.


Thank goodness the Middle East Crisis didn't interfere with his bike ride and T-ball.



"President Bush hosted the 'American Idol' finalists in the Oval Office. Well sure, there's not really anything else going on. Bush is very, very busy. Tomorrow he meets with the Pirates of the Caribbean." --David Letterman




Disturbing News



"Hey, here's a very strange story. Police in St. Paul, Minnesota have caught the 81-year-old father of U.S. Senator Norm Coleman having sex in the parking lot of a pizza parlor with a 38-year-old woman. God, bless him. 81 years old. Police asked him why he didn't wait 'till he got home. He said 'At my age, I can't take a chance, I have to have it right now.'." --Jay Leno




Tequila Made Mel Do It



"The Passion of the Christ" director, who allegedly had an open bottle of Cazadores tequila in his Lexus when cops nabbed him on the Pacific Coast Highway


Republican Shenanigans







"And for the most ridiculous story of the week. This week, Ann Coulter said Bill Clinton is gay. I got to admit he hides it pretty well. Ann Coulter thinks Bill Clinton is gay? But she also thinks George Bush is smart, so you gotta take it with a grain of salt." --Jay Leno



by Greg Palast
For The Guardian, Comment Is Free
Monday, July 31, 2006

East Hampton, New York -- Anthony Marshall, the tabloids tell us, wouldn't buy his elderly mother her prescribed medicine, locked her poodles in the pantry and refused to buy her hair dye or her favorite make-up. His mom is Brooke Astor, the ultra-rich socialite, now frail, helpless and dependent on her son.

While others merely gossiped about this tragedy of dogs and cosmetics, George Bush acted. In a deft maneuver at the end of last week, Bush rammed through Congress a massive reduction in the inheritance tax. As a result of the tax change engineered by the White House, Marshall stands to save $9 million on the $45 million he expects to inherit from his mom.

George W. Bush could feel Anthony's pain. It's not easy being a child of incredibly wealthy parents. Indeed, as the President noted, "death taxes" are supremely unfair to those who've earned these millions. As Mr. Bush often mentions, he himself worked long hours his whole life to be born into a rich family.

Our President recently told the Detroit Economic Club that, in an era of government belt tightening, “Spending discipline requires difficult choices.” But this choice was easy as pie: the President chose to use our tax dollars to reduce the burden on the most deserving. And who could be more deserving than Barbara's kids? The President himself, who stands to inherit well over $76 million from his parents, will save at least $12.7 million. Talk about family values!

This year, the President's budget eliminated the $255 paid to widows of social security recipients. But who needs a measly $255 when you're going to save millions on the estate you inherit?

Here's how much your family will save, if your family is the Astors. Under current law, Anthony would have to pay the government 46% of his profits from his mother's death, after the first tax-free $2 million. Now, Anthony will get the first five million tax-free and the tax rate on the rest is cut in half.

Altogether, this reduction in inheritance taxes will cost, oh, a quarter trillion dollars over the next decade -- $267 billion, to be exact. To pay for it, besides eliminating the $255 widow benefit, the President's "difficult choices" included taking $12 million from the federal traumatic brain injury assistance program and $119 million from housing for the disabled.

But cripples looking for a government hand-out should stop thinking selfishly. They should have more sympathy for the Menendez brothers, whose parents were worth $14 million. The tax laws in 1989 reduced the net sum each of the two boys stood to inherit to just $2 million each, giving the young men no choice but to kill their parents for the additional insurance money.

Apparently, one of the single largest beneficiaries of the change will be Robert Durst. And now that he's out of jail (he dis-membered his 71-year-old neighbor), the heir to the Durst real estate billions can look forward to a bonus of, I'd estimate, at least a quarter billion bucks from the US taxpayers. (With the extra Treasury treasure, Durst can look for his wife who is, uh, missing.)

The President could have used the quarter trillion to buy every displaced family from New Orleans a one million dollar home. But, he reasoned, their kids would just end up paying estate taxes on it when their parents kicked the bucket.

Several newspapers deplored the way Anthony treated the elderly Mrs. Astor. But, let me note, it was the Tax-and-Spend policies of Big Government that forced him to dilute his mom's medicine. Let's face it: until our President's bold action to repeal death taxes, Mrs. Astor, hanging in there at 104 years of age, simply had no incentive to die.

The National Association of Manufacturers, the key lobby for the end of estate taxes, wrote every Congressman, "Why on earth should good, honest, hard-working people" -- like Durst, Marshall and the Menendez kids -- have to pay taxes while other Americans just slack it?

Until the Republicons took action this week, Americans have simply had no reason, said our president, to "accumulate wealth." I know that in my own dad's case, rather than become a multi-millionaire, he chose to work 65 hours a week in a furniture store, with no pension, just so my sister and I would never have to fear estate taxes.

Congress' vote last week would eliminate only 74% of the taxes on America's wealthiest. Our President is not satisfied. Mr. Bush will not rest in peace until we emulate one of the only nations on the planet without any death taxes, Saudi Arabia. There, our president could point to the example of the billionaire bin Laden family, whose scion, Osama, unburdened by estate taxes, has donated his entire inheritance to "faith-based initiatives."

Greg Palast is the author of the 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." To find out more about the book and to read Palast's reports go to www.gregpalast.com 






Israel agreed Sunday to suspend bombing of Southern Lebanon for forty-eight hours unless it sees preparation for attacks. Hezbollah needed the forty-eight hour break. They've got a stack of Mel Gibson movies they haven't had time to watch. -- comedian Argus Hamilton




PHOTOS: Rapture Art on the Internets


Rock-The-Voter News





Uh Oh - Bush Has Preemptive Strike Plan for Cuba


"If Fidel Castro were to move on because of natural causes, we've got a plan in place to help the people of Cuba understand there's a better way than the system in which they've been living under," he told WAQI-AM Radio Mambi, a Spanish-language radio station. "No one knows when Fidel Castro will move on. In my judgment, that's the work of the Almighty."










Biz-Tech News



Photo sequence of Bush's foothold on the road to peace





Subject: Yesterday's Jehovah Witness Pic



Boy do you know how to get to my ole heart! "How to keep Jehovah Witnesses etc."

My method is to tell the gals they have three minutes to vamoose. They don't and I say one minute up. Next minute I take off my clothes and minute after that I walk outside and get that hose over there and spray them with water. They usually leave.




Those people always bother me when I'm in the shower, so I snap 'em with my towel!


Here's a helpful sign




Bush-Prison-Torture News





Go-F*ck-Yourself News


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Odd News




In this photo released by the Australian Antarctic Division, the rare and spectacular nacreous cloud (top) is seen high in the stratosphere some 20 kilometers (12 miles) above Australia's Mawson station in Antarctica, on July 25, 2006. The extremely cold temperatures below minus 85 degrees Celcius (minus 121 degrees Fahrenheit) in the rarefied atmosphere show delicate Mother-of-Pearl shell colors produced when the fading light of the Antarctic sunset passed through tiny water-ice crystals blown along on a strong jet of stratospheric air. (Photo/Australian Antarctic Division, Renae Baker)