Friday, June 29
Comedienne Kathy Griffin Skewers NeoCon Poster Girl Ann Coulter
Ever in pursuit of The Outrageous to promote her liberal-baiting books and syndicated column, Coulter's guerrilla theater style caught up with her in 2006. In July, she was outed for plagiarism in her book Godless: the Church of Liberalism. That she could publicly show her face again in public after that one attests to the perceptiveness and attention span of her readership.
Then in November she was charged with electoral felony, i.e. voting in the wrong Florida precinct in the midterm elections; the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office cleared her in April, "concluding 'there was insufficient probable cause to determine that Ann Coulter willfully or deliberately' violated any laws." That finding in First Brother Jeb Bush's old pirate haunts reads as impartial as the Bush Justice Department.
Coulter's adolescence blossomed again his spring when called Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards "a faggot" as she shared the podium with a right wing U.S. Marine previously involved in gay porn. Just days ago (26 June), Edwards' wife Elizabeth called in to Chris Mattews MSNBC show Hardball on location to denounce Coulter's salacious mudslinging, much to the delight of Mattews and his audience.
But just before she was nailed for plagiarism, perhaps the nadir of the Coulter style was when she bashed on Fox TV wives of victims who perished in the Nine Eleven terrorist attacks, claiming they were "'self-obsessed' and enjoying their husbands' deaths." In her book Godless, she also wrote: “I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.”
In the clip below, Kathy Griffin sends up the NeoCon's favorite trailer trash girl with some language even Coulter can understand.
Tuesday, June 26
The High Court Votes: Fascists 5, Public 4
Supreme Court Limits Students' Speech Rights 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long ''Bong Hits 4 Jesus'' banner. Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.
Supreme Court bars taxpayers from suing over White House faith-based program 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court ruled Monday that ordinary taxpayers cannot challenge a White House initiative that helps religious charities get a share of federal money. The 5-4 decision blocks a lawsuit by a group of atheists and agnostics against eight Bush administration officials including the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Supreme Court ends ban on corporate-funded campaign ads 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court gave President [sic] Bush and Republican leaders two important victories today by clearing the way for corporate-funded broadcast ads before next year's 'election' and by shielding the White House's "faith-based initiative" from challenge in the courts. Both came in 5-4 rulings led by new Chief inJustice John G. Roberts Jr.
Supreme Court Rules Against Environmentalists 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court sided with developers and the Bush administration Monday in a dispute with environmentalists over protecting endangered species. The court ruled 5-4 for home builders and the Environmental Protection Agency in a case that involved the intersection of two environmental laws, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Tuesday, June 19
Senator Ted Stevens' No-Bid Contract for Eskimos to Eradicate Bolivian Blow
Words can't do justice of Frequent Looter Club member and Senator Ted Stevens' (R-AK) efforts to pillage from behind the protective curtain.
See Michael Scherer's 19 June Salon.com must-read story "What Ted Stevens, Bolivian cocaine and Halliburton have in common/Or, how the Alaskan Inupiat Eskimos got a no-bid contract in South America from the U.S. government"; Scherer does justice to Stevens' Jabba the Hud-ish nose for crime, sensibilities honed over an extended tenure as a--and I move my tongue to my other cheek before writing this--"DC lawmaker."
And don't you find it simply amazing that VP Dick Cheney's old company has an unfailing instinct to ferret out and involve itself in most of DC's post-9/11 no-bid contract abuses?
In 2006, apparently in an attempt to prevent disclosure of his Eskimo cocaine eradication plan, Stevens anonymously blocked fellow Republican Senator Tom Coburn's "porkbuster database bill"--also called the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act--that would have made the public more aware of how Stevens and his ilk spend tax dollars.
As part of its ongoing probe into Stevens, the FBI today also questioned the senator's aides about his relationship to "Bill Allen, a contractor who has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska legislators."
Here's a newsflash for the FBI's Capitol Hill corruption probe team: Many others sharing Ted Stevens' knack for looting remain too comfortably seated in the House and Senate--on both sides of the aisle.
Monday, June 11
Jeremy Scahill: Dems Disingenuous in Iraq Withdrawal Plan
Jeremy Scahill is an investigative journalist at The Nation and correspondent for Democracy Now!. In May, The Nation Institute published his book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, a dark parable on the Defense Department's burgeoning three-quarters of a billion dollar mercenary army effectively exempt from congressional oversight or compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
During Scahill's publicity tour to promote the book, he appeared on Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, dropping some zingers on Blackwater and the missing oversight by the Democrat-controlled congress.
- While Chile refused to join the White House's "coalition of the willing" to wage a war of aggression on an Iraq decimated by twelve years (1991-2003) of US-led economic sanctions, 750 Chilean mercenaries--some who served under General Augusto Pinochet to prop up his dictatorship--are Blackwater mercenaries.
- In Iraq, Blackwater mercs make $30,000 a month--roughly the annual pay of a U.S. soldier on the ground in the war zone.
- House Democrats, empowered by running anti-war campaigns to garner votes from the American majority opposing the war that has doubled since the March 2003 invasion, purposely omitted contract soldiers from negotiations with the White House on troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Sunday, June 10
Iconic Musicians Perform "A Song for You" in NYC
According to the marginal notes posted with the clip last February, "Included on the DVD Willie Nelson and Friends: Live & Kickin', it was performed during Willie Nelson's 70th birthday party at New York City's famed Beacon Theatre on 9 April 2003. Leon and Willie take a verse, of this Leon Russell original, and let Ray finish it up, as only Ray (one-take) could. Ray died shortly after the performance."
Saturday, June 9
Webster Tarpley Cites "Split" in Anglo-American Financial Oligraphy
THE SPLIT IN THE ANGLO-AMERICAN RULING CLASS: DANGERS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Webster G. Tarpley
28 May 2007
The end of 2006 and the first half of 2007 have brought to light an unusual situation – a more or less open faction fight in that Anglo-American finance oligarchy which has long viewed itself as the ruling class of the world. In the past few months we have seen the report of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group savagely attacked as the work of “surrender monkeys” on the front page of the Rupert Murdoch New York Post. We have seen an unprecedented struggle to oust the neocon fascist madman Paul Wolfowitz from his post as boss of the World Bank. Popular approval for the current tenant of the White House has fallen to 28% as of this writing, as US generals appear on television to denounce George Bush for lying about the reasons for the Iraq aggression. Both houses of the US Congress have voted to set time limits for the Iraq adventure, only to have the bill vetoed by Bush. One hundred seventy-one members of the US House of Representatives, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the number three personality of the regime, have then voted to begin a troop pullout from Iraq in 90 days, to be completed six months later. Lord Conrad Black, the neocon press baron of Hollinger Corporation, whose London Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph were the flagships of the Whitewatergating of Clinton, is now on trial for criminal embezzlement in Chicago. Irv “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s Cheney and a special assistant to Bush, has been convicted on felony charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and is facing three years in jail. Attorney General Gonzalez has become a punching bag for the Congress. Tony Blair, despite his “liquid terrorism” stunt of August 2006, appears about to be forced out as British Prime Minister. Bush the elder weeps in public about his errant son’s debacle. To top it all off, the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the White House to mark the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English colony in the New World has taken place in a climate of veiled hostility and visible tension and resentment. The Anglo-Saxon masters of human destiny are, it would seem, at each other’s throats.
An open brawl among these finance oligarchs constitutes an extraordinary situation. For many years, the US-UK oligarchs were able to suppress the innate tendency of thieves to fight among themselves, somewhat in the way that the Venetian oligarchy learned to do. In line with this desire, there has generally been one recognized spokesman for the entire Anglo-American ruling class, sometimes supplemented by secondary niche figures for special topics. We stress that spokesman here does not mean dictator or strongman – quite the contrary. We are dealing here not with a monarchy or a dictatorship, but with an oligarchy, a regime of the few, with wealth being the main, although not the only, criterion of oligarchical power and participation. The only things the oligarchy can agree on are that the oligarchy must be preserved, and a dictator, a Marin Faliero, avoided. And as Plato notes, the only time an oligarchy can be ousted is when there is a division among the oligarchs, and that is what we have today. But the division may lead to more adventurous behavior on the part of some oligarchs than we might find otherwise, increasing the danger of a new world war.
The Anglo-American finance oligarchy has existed in its present form since about 1895, when J.P. Morgan and his London backers were able to force U.S. President Grover Cleveland to his knees by organizing a run on the gold stocks of the US Treasury. The London-Morgan price for letting the gold-backed dollar survive was that the Morgan syndicate would assume dominance over the public finance and public debt of the United States. This arrangement of financier supremacy over the US government was merely codified into law with the Federal Reserve Act less than two decades later. It was this UK-US invisible government which probably arranged and certainly exploited the blowing up of the USS Maine in Havana harbor. The Hearst yellow press (the Fox of the era) used this event for a jingoistic campaign for war with Spain. The Spanish-American War which resulted gave the US control over the Philippines and Cuba, and founded the US world empire. The secret of the entire affair was that the British, knowing their own weakness in the Far East, needed the US to seize the Philippines to keep the German Empire out. In all this, US President William McKinley, who had succeeded Grover Cleveland as a result of the 1896 election, showed that he was not an enthusiastic imperialist. Accordingly, in 1900 McKinley was given Theodore Roosevelt as Vice President. Roosevelt represented a personal union between two key groups of the US financier establishment – the Wall Street financiers and the pro-slavery former Confederates. Roosevelt himself came from a family of Dutch patrons in the Hudson River Valley who had gone into high finance; his wife’s uncle, named Bullock, had been the London station chief of the secret intelligence service of the Confederate States of America and the prime mover of the CSA commerce raiders like the Alabama. McKinley was conveniently assassinated by a patsy run by Emma Goldman, and the two wings of the ruling class came together in the Theodore Roosevelt presidency; to top it off, a descendant of the Emperor Napoleon named Charles Bonaparte was made Attorney General and founded the FBI. Theodore Roosevelt himself was a rabid racist and an imperialist who exchanged letters about the needs of the Anglo-Saxon race with King Edward VII of Britain.
As a British diplomat noticed, TR had the attention span of a small boy, so he left the presidency to William Howard Taft of Skull and Bones in 1909. But even Taft did not possess sufficient criminal energy for the job, so the House of Morgan brought TR back from his retirement of hunting safaris to run as the candidate of the Bull Moose Party – in essence, liberal financier blue blood Republicans -- in 1912. By splitting the Republicans TR did better than Taft, but the presidency went to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, a Ku Klux Klan sympathizer who restored racial segregation to the federal bureaucracy. As a loyal asset of Morgan, Wilson did everything he could to bring the United States into the First World War. When Morgan made it clear in 1916 that the British and French were near collapse, and that Wall Street would go down in that collapse, Wilson was able to deliver a declaration of power against the Central Empires ninety years ago this spring, on April 10, 1917. A very large number of Americans were bitterly opposed the war, and there were over a million draft resisters; Wilson responded with the Espionage Act and a horrendous police state; Eugene V. Debs, a presidential candidate, was jailed simply for speaking out against the war. Under Wilson’s police state, opposition to Anglo-American financier rule was systematically destroyed.
It is perhaps during the years 1900-1910 that the spokesman for the ruling class appeared, as for example with Elihu Root. During World War I the South Carolina financier Bernard Baruch, whose father had been in the Ku Klux Klan, headed the economic mobilization for war, and was instrumental in bringing the great-grandfather of the current tenant of the White House up out of obscurity. The first real permanent spokesman may well have been Andrew Mellon, who was Secretary of the Treasury under Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover during the 1920s; it was rightly said that these presidents had served under Mellon. During the 1930s, Colonel Henry Stimson came forward increasingly as the spokesman; he was in the cabinet under Taft, under Hoover, and later became Secretary of War in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s national unity war cabinet during World War II. Stimson and his sidekick George Marshal bear much of the blame for the Pearl Harbor debacle. W. Averill Harriman, a virtual member of the Churchill family, for a time occupied the niche of spokesman for the British point of view within the alliance. For a time after 1945, General George Marshall, whose ties with Wall Street and London had always been strong, served as the spokesman, and gave his name to the European Recovery Program. Then came the turn of John J. McCloy, a Wall Street lawyer who had been, among many other things, the US High Commissioner for Germany. McCloy was active through the 1950s, although Dean Acheson, an associate of Harriman, was sometimes prominent on strategic matters. When John F. Kennedy became president, the niche task of selecting his cabinet was given to Robert Lovett of the Brown Brothers Harriman banking house, where Prescott Bush had also worked. The resulting Kennedy cabinet was a disaster, and Kennedy would have purged it had he lived to win a second term.
By the mid-1960s, it was clear that the spokesman had become McGeorge Bundy, formerly Kennedy’s National Security Council Director (and thus officially and formally responsible for the JFK assassination, if anybody was) and then the head of the Ford Foundation. As Bundy waned, there was an attempt by David Rockefeller, banker and founder of the Trilateral Commission, to assert spokesmanship, but David’s mental equipment was too meager; some saw this as the degeneracy of a noted family of the ruling class. By the end of the Cold War and the mid-1990s, it was no longer clear who the spokesman was. Bill Clinton had been brought to Washington by Pamela Churchill Harriman, Averill’s widow, and Clinton packed his administration with Harrimanites like Sandy Berger, the NSC Director, and Richard Holbrooke, the UN Ambassador. The impeachment of Clinton, ordered by the former rat exterminator Tom Delay, raised the question of whether the entire financier establishment were out to lunch. For a while it appeared that there was only Henry Kissinger, croaking away in the background.
By the time Clinton had escaped removal from office, a new spokesman was visible: George Shultz, who had been Secretary of Labor, Treasury, and State, and who now operated from the neocon Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Shultz had a great deal to do with putting the Bush-Cheney ticket together; there is no doubt that Shultz was the key arbiter of the Vulcans, the group of handlers, like Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleeza Rice, who would prepare the options for the boy tenant of the White House. A little later, Shultz and the billionaire financier Warren Buffet staged a public investiture or coronation of Arnold Schwarzenegger to be governor of California as part of an operation some compared to the Nazi coup in Prussia in July 1932, when Hitler’s lawyer had been Carl Schmitt.
But Vulcan was a cuckold of Mars, and now the post-9/11 military-strategic debacle wrought by the Shultz-Cheney-Bush-Rupert Murdoch-Tony Blair faction is evident in the eyes of the world; the financial-monetary debacle has yet to emerge with full force, but it is coming soon. An opposition grouping has appeared around the person of James Baker III, former White House Chief of Staff, Treasury Secretary, and Secretary of State, not to mention handler, idea man, and alter ego to Bush the elder. We note in passing that while the lower-level presidential types like the Bushes and Kerry went to Yale and joined Skull and Bones, the forces above and behind the Oval office are led by ruling class figures who both attended Princeton; Shultz even has the tiger, the Princeton mascot, tattooed on his rump.
The faction fight exploded behind the scenes in August 2006, when Prince Charles and Gordon Brown (closer to Baker) attempted to oust Tony Blair via a cold coup in the guise of a lightning no confidence vote of the House of Commons while Tony Blair had gone to the Bahamas for Bank Holiday. Rupert Murdoch (who was tapping Prince Charles’ phone) and Blair’s Home Secretary John Reid stopped the coup with the “liquid terrorism” farce and a stable of Pakistani patsies. But the cause of this terror scare was hidden away from the public at large. The split became public last December, when the Iraq Study Group or Baker-Hamilton Commission delivered its report, and was slandered as traitors and surrender monkeys by the neocon/Rupert Murdoch New York Post.
The world view of the Shultz group is essentially that there is a US-UK-Echelon (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.)-Israel alliance, and that this group will wage open war directly on the entire rest of the world until the end of time, possibly using a few weak-willed surrogates like India and Japan as cannon fodder along the way. This was the world view trumpeted by Bush and Blair at Tony’s farewell White House visit in late May 2007. First the Arab and Islamic world will be destroyed, then Russia and China, then the rest. The Baker group knows that the US is much too weak, overextended, and bankrupt for this, with a hollow army of 10 divisions, and with the ruined logistics the world saw after hurricane Katrina. The Baker group wants multilateralism, meaning by that coalitions of puppets in which other countries will be used as dupes, pawns, proxies, surrogates, cat’s paws, and stooges, just as the British played Russia and France as continental daggers against the Central Powers in 1914.As Baker made plain in motivating his report, he thinks it is better to train Iraqi puppet troops to fight and die for US-UK imperialism, rather than sacrificing GIs. Baker boasted that he had delivered Syria as an ally of the 1990 Desert Shield coalition, broadly hinting that he could do it again if given a chance to try. No secret was made of the desire of the Baker group to peel off Syria from Iran, thereby completing the encirclement of Teheran. If Musharraf were not amenable to helping to attack Iran, then rioting lawyers would bring him down. Then, an Arab and Sunni alliance of Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt would be played off against Iran, Hezbollah, and the Iraq Shiastan, with the Anglo-Americans becoming balancers and arbiters of the situation. That this recipe has many fantastic elements need not concern us further here.
US-UK FINANCIER OLIGARCHY FACTIONS
SPOKESMAN: GEORGE SHULTZ
BUSH-CHENEY, REPUBLICAN PARTY
LORD CONRAD BLACK
JOHN REED (UK Home Sec.)
SPOKESMAN: JAMES BAKER III
ROBERT RUBIN, CITIBANK (finances Hillary)
GEORGE SOROS (finances Obama)
FELIX ROHATYN (finances California Dems)
US STATE DEPARTMENT
The essence of the Baker method can be seen in the recent fate of Somalia. Here the Shultz-neocon recipe would be to bomb and invade the country to make sure it stays destroyed. The Baker group thinks it has a better way: don’t conduct the adventure yourself, but get Ethiopian puppet troops to do it for you. All the US needs to provide is some bombing. This method of Baker’s has the added advantage of destroying Ethiopia as well as Somalia in the process. Shultz might want to invade Sudan, but Baker, mindful of the terrible fate of General Gordon at Khartoum, would rather find proxies to do the job for him.
The Baker group evidently also has its eye on the death agony of the US dollar. Right now we may be in the early stages of hyperinflation, with the Dow and the price of gasoline at an all-time high, and the dollar at an all-time low to the Euro. We may be in a different kind of contraction, with the Wal-Mart chain reporting the lowest sales in 27 years. The sub-prime mortgage crisis rolls on, as Greenspan’s real estate bubble bursts. The Baker argument seems to be that a world monetary crisis of the kind now at the door will require the illusion of multilateralism so that others can be forced to pay for the world economic depression created by Wall Street and London; the US is far too bankrupt for unilateralism to have a chance in monetary matters. The neocon phalanx in the Bush regime is dwindling: Rumsfeld, Libby, Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Cambone, Bolton, and Crouch are gone; scoundrel Karl Rove and the hapless “Gonzo” are heavily damaged. The impeachment bill against Cheney has been brought before the House by Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, with indirect support from Congressman Murtha. Overseas, Aznar, Berlusconi, and Blair are gone or going, partly compensated by the arrival of puppet Sarkozy. In any case, Bush and Cheney might have until January 20, 2009 to stage a new 9/11, attack Iran, and start World War III. Part of the mix might be an Israeli attack on Lebanon or Syria in the summer of 2007. A brutal strategic confrontation with Russia is brewing over ABM sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, over the NATO puppet president in Ukraine, as well as over NATO’s project of an “independent” Kossovo under KLA auspices.
On the other hand, the Bush-Cheney regime could collapse around September, currently thought to be the breaking point for Bush’s support for the Iraq war from Republicans in Congress. Bush’s escalation or surge is breaking down with vastly increased losses, but Republicans are seeking to deny defeat and save face while the GIs loose their lives. General David Petraeus, who currently plays the role of resident military yes-man in Baghdad, pledges he will state in late August if the surge is working. The answer is already clear: defeat, as Gen. Sir Michael Rose of the British Army has made clear. If September continues to bring bad news, the Republicans may be forced to turn against Bush to save their own hides from angry voters. We might even have the encirclement and pocketing of the US forces with their water, gasoline, food, and ammunition cut off, meaning Dunkirk if they are lucky, and Stalingrad if they are not. Right now Bush-Cheney will have to choose between retreat and flight forward into Iran (under the cover of a new 9/11, as Brzezinski has warned), with impeachment looming. If hyperinflation or a dollar panic are evident by then, we will have a convergence of crises of the first magnitude. But this will be only a phase of the breakdown crisis of the post-1945 world in the metropoles of our planet that seems destined to peak about 2015-2020.
In all this, the eternally treacherous British are keeping open the possibility of cutting loose from the USA and returning to splendid isolation as the path to world domination. The idea will not surprise readers of some recent sallies in the London Economist. If the British leave Basra and the US supply lines are cut there, dooming the US expeditionary force, the pattern of betrayal will be clear. The scenario of the US in chaos and civil war, while Britain appears more or less intact, is present in the film V for Vendetta, and in some other recent movies. Could London arrange to make the pound sterling the big winner in dollar panic? We should certainly recall that Henry Kissinger has now emerged once again, meeting with Cheney every two weeks and Bush once a month. Kissinger, it will be recalled, was a key part of that CIA-Wall Street coup d’état to wreck the US presidency as an institution which is known as Watergate. This is the Kissinger who once boasted that he had often worked more closely with the British Foreign Office than with his own State Department. And L. Paul “Jerry” Bremer, the first US proconsul in Iraq who made so many disastrous decisions that doomed the occupation before it even started, is of course a creature of Kissinger. Are Kissinger’s and thus Bremer’s British ties the key to a British stab in the back of the US in some upcoming military and monetary extremities? If so, the rough treatment accorded by Ike to Britain in 1956 at Suez, and which still rankles in London, will have been avenged.
In a press conference just before Memorial Day 2007, Bush signaled that he now supported the Baker-Hamilton Commission. Miss Rice has met with her Syrian and Iranian counterparts, as Baker-Hamilton had demanded, and appeared to accept the idea of a Sunni and Arab front of puppet states. US forces in Iraq have announced a political strategy of making deals with some leaders while they sought to eliminate others. The weak point of this strategy is Muktada Sadr and the resurgent Mahdi Army, whom the US wants to eliminate, but who have the power of cutting the US supply lines between Basra and Baghdad. The other wild card is the Shultz-Cheney hard core neocon group itself. Will they go quietly, or will they try to stave off the twilight of the neocon gods with a new 9/11 war provocation and/or another summer Middle East conflict, leading to war with Iran, and a planetary slide towards World War III? The betting here is that Bush’s embrace of “plan B-H” (Baker-Hamilton) for Iraq is a pure deception posture, designed merely to relieve the pressure from Congress and from the collapse of his popularity polls.
The only defense the average person has against any of this is to make 9/11 truth center stage during the open field or retail phase of presidential primary campaigning which ends February 5, 2008. 9/11 truth squads need to confront Giuliani and Hillary and the other twenty contenders on their complicity in the original 9/11 and in the new 9/11 that is being prepared. A self-incriminating answer caught on video tape once posted on the internet can become a macaca moment, and knock out even the best-funded candidate. A few such moments, and the 9/11 myth comes tumbling down, opening the election contest to real issues of economic survival, and providing ways to weaken and break the hold of a degenerate ruling class on American life.