Monday, December 25, 2006

Murtha's PAID

When your ambition exceeds your ethics... else what's a lobbyist for.

Or that's the way it was in the House under the reign of dethroned Majority Leader deal-maker Tom Delay (R-TX) who set up his own charities "that became the focus of attention by businesses and lobbyists seeking to curry favor with him." (WaPo)

That is why it is more than little unsettling to read "Nonprofit Connects Murtha, Lobbyists."

This is the same Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) that incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) doggedly supported for Majority Leader, a political dust-up she lost. And just as well it seems, since the Democrats stated priorities are "ethics and budget restructuring"

Among the provisions in the Democrats' ethics package are "demands for more transparency in the doling out of federal funds to home-district projects and a required pledge that no earmarks benefit a member of Congress personally."

Such provisions may put wheeler-dealer Murtha in a sweat-producing spotlight since his nonprofit creation, PAID, has "become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists."

The voters are watching to see if the trust they placed in the new Democratically-controlled House and Senate is misplaced. For far too long, far too many senators and representatives have been flying too close to the sun of corruption.

They need their wings clipped.... and that applies to both parties, starting with Pelosi-favored Murtha.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

You Go 110th Congress!

At last a really good, a great, idea!.... "Democrats Freeze Earmarks for Now."

"Democratic leaders declared a temporary moratorium on special-interest provisions known as earmarks as they attempt to cope with a budget crisis left by the outgoing Republican-led 109th Congress." (WaPo)

The hordes of blood-sucking D.C. lobbyists worst nightmare.... "an accountable, above-board, transparent process for funding decisions and put an end to the abuses...." declared incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).

This is exactly the kind of action the electorate is looking for from the new Democratic leadership! We, the long-ignored taxpaying electorate, salute you!

At Last A Good Idea!

Three years too late.... "To Stem Iraqi Violence, U.S. Aims to Create Jobs."

It finally dawned on the Dim-bulb D.C. Deciders that it might be better to restore jobs in the nearly 200 abandoned factories in 70% unemployed Iraq than to continue to win hearts and minds by destroying lives and livelihoods.

Well, duh!

Now, if we can just convince the White House to also turn their elitist attention to our out-sourced, illegal-alien-cheap-labor flooded, NAFTA-negated under and unemployed workforce and rusting factories before China runs the IOU table and it's all over for the once-thriving USA.

Here is a shameful video on how we have been "liberating" Iraq. It is symptomatic of the arrogance and paucity of leadership infecting the D.C. Deciders and seeping down the chain of command.

We're living in the world Bush made "staying the course," and now "going forward."

How about a couple of slogans from the cheap seats..... "Yankees Go Home" and "Made in the USA!"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bush to Maliki... Kiss, Kiss

It's symbolically the new Mafia "kiss of death"..... The Decider's "you're doing a heck of a job" or words to that effect. Just ask Brownie, or Rummy.... and now Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki.

After the Iraq Study Group report took Bush to the tent-shed for a whuppin', a defiant Bush publicly assured Malaiki he was still his guy. In a joint press conference on December 7 with Iraq-policy-enabler, British Prime Minister Blair, both exclaimed "that supporting the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was central to efforts to help Iraq defend, govern and sustain itself."

Note to Maliki.... too bad about your new drapes.

Just three days later.... "Talks Under Way to Replace Iraq PM" .... to form a new parliamentary bloc that would seek to replace Maliki.... and the "new alliance would be led by senior Shiite politician Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who met with President Bush last week."

Bush missed his calling, he should have been a ring-kissed don. He has the necessary forked-tongue.

So, it is refreshing to learn that straight talk has a place in Iraq politics. In the words of Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani about Maliki's government.... "Why should we continue to support it? For its failure?"

Why indeed. If only....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Who Needs LeCarre

I'm not going to read spy novels anymore. LeCarre can't compete with the ongoing cloak-and-dagger mystery surrounding the polonium-210 murder in London of renegade Russian spy and Putin-government detractor, Alexander Litvinenko.

The stakes in solving this mystery are high. On his deathbed Litvinenko fingered the person he was sure engineered his poisoning.... Russia's Decider.... President Putin himself.

Why would Litvinenko be targeted?

Perhaps because Litvinenko was investigating the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, or because he claimed that the Russian government itself blew up Moscow apartment buildings in 1999, killing hundreds of civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war.

But this real-life thriller .... government-sponsored murder and dirty tricks, disgruntled spies, disinformation, polonium contamination everywhere from jet liners to the bowels of Moscow.... may never have a final chapter. State-ordered assassinations seldom do.

In "That Murder in London," Charles Krauthammer argues that the reason for the messy and brazen murder of Litvinenko was to send a message.... that this is what awaits anyone who goes against the Russian government. "They'll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they'll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.... It is the ultimate in deterrence."

Today, WaPo reports "Russian Tied to Ex-Spy Also Ill From Radiation." In true Mafioso style.... make sure no one talks. Dmitry Kovtun who met with Litvinenko just before he succumed to radiation exposure, now himself has "an acute form of radiation sickness, with internal contamination.... affecting the liver, the kidneys, and the intestines."

It would all make thrilling reading, if it was fiction. The only fiction is that Russia hasn't returned to its deadly ways.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Where's the Will?

Most point the finger of fault for our free-flowing Bush administration blunder in Iraq on a lack of will to subdue speedily and with massive force the insurgents and warring tribal and religious factions.... instead allowing chaos to build and build until it is now an unwieldy, and probably "unwinnable," deadly morass.... whatever winning is since there are no benchmarks to measure victory.

The same lack of will to secure our porous border with Mexico is allowing the illegal alien invasion to fester and grow into an overwhelming social, cultural and fiscal disaster for our nation state, while almost insuring terrorists a free pass into our homeland to do their deadly worst.

In "DHS Plan for 'Virtual' Border Fence Still Has Gaps," it is reported that "A Bush administration plan to build a 'virtual' fence along the Mexico border will cost $7.6 billion and be completed by 2011, but the government lacks clear benchmarks for success, according to a report to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security." (WaPo)

The DHS has a "goal" of controlling 345 miles of the 1,993-mile-border by the end of 2007, but admits there is no way to really judge "control."

Sound familiar? There is no will to secure the border, no way to benchmark progress, no "can do" spirit in the administration to get the job done.

However, the NAFTA super-highway from Mexico across the U.S. is already under way, there is a will to do this in the Bush administration.... The Decider wants a North American "community" and Congressional debate or the will of the people be damned.

Bush in just six years has forced his megalomanic ideology onto his increasingly dangerous world, and is dismantling our very nation.... right before our eyes.

Congress.... an outraged nation wants the runaway Bush dictates stopped and governing to commence. Do you have the will?

Monday, December 04, 2006


It took the Washington Post to tell me what was going on with my hometown newspaper, The Des Moines Register, owned by the mega 90-newspaper-chain Gannett.... "A Newspaper Chain Sees Its Future, And It's Online and Hyper-Local."

My first impulse is to cancel home delivery and just get the news online.... but then what would I read while waking-up with corn flakes and coffee?

It's not that we haven't noticed a trend.... as the weekend and hyped shopping days loom, Gannett's Register gets weightier and weightier.... with ads and ad inserts and ad slicks, and worst of all.... the side-of-the-page-long tear-off ad. I have sworn to never, ever buy anything advertised in a tear-off ad.

And, the news content has gone loco.... local. Articles on how Aunt Jane raises turnips in her window box are pushing aside "hard" news. I buy the newspaper for "hard" news which is now consigned to two-inch blurbs beneath "celebrity news" on page 2 or buried on the back pages.

When doing research on my family history and searching through newspapers from the 1800s I remember thinking how quaint the newspapers were. Filled with articles like Aunt Jane and her turnips, little national news, local gossip, and especially who died, and how they died.... the way you would tell an inquiring friend. When friends died, people cared.

Just goes to prove that everything new is really something old. The obit pages are starting to eat up the Metro news section in the increasingly thin Register news sections.... but most are dry, and must be paid for by the family.... unless the obit is just six lines thus diminishing the departed's life.... and are just another source of income for Gannett.

The new Gannett thrust is to feed the web constantly with new local "news" stories.... such as posted thus far on the Des Moines Register web site this morning:

Man says he was kidnapped while waiting for police 7:28 am
Dollar General robber passes up $1 bills 7:25 am
Warm-up beginning across Iowa 7:24 am

The "warm-up" is into the mid-30s this afternoon.... well, you can just read them for yourself if you're into jelly-soft news.

Just now, CNN announced that John Bolton has resigned, and if you don't know who John Bolton is, then you must get all of your news from a Gannett newspaper.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Webb's No Pretender

George is all in a snit..... no, not our president George who was stood-up by Iraq's prime minister Maliki on Wednesday.... I'm talking about George Will in his column "Already Too Busy for Civility" about Senator-elect Jim Webb's (VA-D) snub of The Decider at a White House reception when Bush asked Webb about his Marine son.

Seems like Webb won't pretend to make nice with the person who lied the country into a war that has cost thousands of U.S. lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Will is offended.... offended.... that Webb didn't want to "symbolically" honor such a person.

Maybe Will can't see past his snuff-stained stuffed-shirt to recognize a real person when he sees one. A father who is not interested in making small talk about his Iraq-serving son with the person who is keeping him, and all of the brave U.S. troops caught in the Iraq civil war, at deadly risk.

Webb published a column in the Wall Street Journal recently that sounded the alarm on our "steady drift toward a class-based system." Will took great offense at what he considered Webb's imprecise use of the English language, and even defended the notion that America is less, not more, "egalitarian".... guess the view of the real world isn't all that clear from Will's carriage.

If Will is so easily offended by Webb that he must parse Webb's words to justify rejecting the argument, Webb must be close to the mark indeed. Webb won't be a toady to the D.C. elite and they are out to hobble him.

We, in the nation's increasingly cheap seats, say.... "You go Webb!"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Goliath Doesn't Have to Win

What we have here are strong-arm tactics, "Sinclair, Mediacom huddle in D.C." (Des Moines Register)

The December 1 deadline looms. Sinclair Broadcasting will pull the plug on its relationship with Mediacom's cable retransmission on 22 stations throughout the country.... including KDSM-Fox in the Des Moines and KGAN-CBS in the Cedar Rapids viewing areas (450,000 Iowa households).... unless Mediacom caves in to demands that will increase subscription costs.

Basically Sinclair is saying, pay us the millions we demand or our 22 stations on the Mediacom network go black. Mediacom is saying, Sinclair's demands are exorbitant, devoid of market realities and not in line with similar agreements Mediacom has successfully negotiated with over 40 other national and regional broadcast groups representing over 475 stations nationwide.

But, all of these figures and arguments pale, when placed against the blackmailing reality..... the affected customers of the 22 stations involved represent less than 3% of Sinclair's national viewership, but over 50% of Mediacom's total subscriber base.

Not a fair fight.

So, can we expect D.C. to weigh in for Mediacom and keeping consumer costs in line?.... or, on the side of the bloated corporate Sinclair? Only Pollyanna would expect the Bush administration's FCC to do the right thing for the little guy, unless the little guy (who votes) fights.

Have you been wondering why the name Sinclair Broadcasting sounds familiar? In 2004 when Nightline decided to pay tribute to the 721 soldiers killed in Iraq, Sinclair decided to not allow the eight ABC stations it owned to broadcast the program. Sinclair's reason, "The action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq." Seems to be just one political agenda here, Sinclair's.

Sinclair also ordered all 62 of its affiliate stations to preempt prime time programming to air Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, a documentary critical of presidential candidate John Kerry.... to air just two weeks before the November 2004 election. Yes, Sinclair knows all about political agendas.

Mediacom has filed a denied anti-trust lawsuit against Sinclair, but the appeal won't be decided before the December 1 deadline.

In the meantime, what can be done about this blatant gouging?

Call the FCC (1-888-CALL-FCC), send an email ( ) or go to the FCC website ( ) .... call the station managers, in Des Moines: Mike Wilson 515 287-1717 or Cedar Rapids: Mike Sullivan 319 395-9060.

Make your feelings known. Otherwise, another large unchecked chiseling corporation will be chipping away at your pocketbook and your freedom of choice.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Heroic Aide Fired

"Nurse aide fired for alerting patient's family of poor care" (Des Moines Register).

Let's review.

A certified nurse aide reported to a nurse at Ravenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Waterloo, IA that an 89-year-old resident was complaining of pain, dizziness and cramps and asked the nurse to check on her.

Nothing happened.

The next night the resident appeared even more ill and was vomiting and still hadn't been seen by a nurse. The aide was alarmed. She called the resident's daughter who then asked to speak to the nurse on duty, and requested they get her mother to a hospital.

THE NURSE REFUSED! ...only after a legal threat did the nurse comply.

The resident was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition that resulted in surgery the next day, and was also diagnosed with pneumonia, dehydration and a urinary tract infection.

The aide undoubtedly saved the resident's life. Was she rewarded? No.

The aide was fired. And denied unemployment benefits because, the judge ruled that the aide had not acted in the COMPANY'S best interests.

What an outrage. Corporate policy overruling resident well-being. Are there no government regulations that say the care of the resident is paramount? Anything less is condoning abuse and euthanasia.

The agency reviewing this nursing home incident, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, is itself in need of a review, immediately. That's where someone should be fired.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Democrats Can Clean Up

Who do we have to thank for this headline?.... "Energy Firms Come to Terms With Climate Change."

Not Corporate-Buddy Bush and Oily Dick.

One person to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude is former Vice President Al Gore. He's been tirelessly tolling the alarm bells of global warming, trying without success to motivate the Bush administration and the GOP-controlled Congress to action.... even produced a top-notch movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" about this looming threat.

Now there's a new game in town.... the Democratic takeover, by a slim margin, of both Houses.

So, " executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable..."

You can bet your sooty smokestack on that!

The energy companies have been shameless in their efforts to mislead the public, even admitting... "Exxon Mobil Corp., the highest-profile corporate skeptic about global warming, said in September that is was considering ending its funding of a think tank that has sought to cast doubts on climate change." Maybe they remembered that they, and their children, have to live in this world too. Or, more likely, they realize that their lame-duck protectors will soon be history.

Still, George and Dick aren't going to give up their shtick... "the Bush administration's expected opposition might make the enactment of legislation unlikely in the next two years..."

It doesn't have to be this way.

As the last election shows, the roar of outraged voters can be heard even by The Decider.

When the Democratic leaders take over key committees on Capitol Hill, such as the Environment and Public Works headed by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).... who calls global warming "the greatest challenge of our generation".... the public can let the Bush administration know they don't want to "stay the course" on their current corporate-favoring disastrous environmental policies.

When effective climate-change legislation comes forward, would Bush then dare wield his veto pen....

Monday, November 20, 2006

O. J. is Squeezed

Chalk one up for the power of the people....

"Swayed by Public Opinion NewsCorp Cancels O. J. Book, TV Special."

Warms the cockles of your heart doesn't it.

Media mega-mogul Rupert Murdoch, who has ruthlessly elbowed his way into our daily lives.... controlling big chunks of our daily consumption of information and entertainment.... has cancelled the book and TV special in which O.J. Simpson describes how he would have killed his ex-wife, Nichole, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

And, Nichole was not just O. J.'s wife, but the mother of his children. Brutally, mercilessly murdered. A civil court found O. J. liable for their deaths, although a race-baited jury let him off in criminal court.

Murdoch, who is the Chairman and CEO of News Corp, said this was an "ill considered" project. But, without the outrage of the victims families and the public, you can bet this "ill considered" project would have gone forward.

The book, "If I Did It," (now recalled from booksellers) was published by ReganBooks (owned by Murdoch) and was scheduled to be promoted on the Fox broadcast network (owned by Murdoch). This was Murdoch's baby, start to finish, his judgment of "fair and balanced" entertainment.

To get an idea of the impact Murdoch has on our daily lives, here are some of the companies his News Corp owns and tightly controls:

Film Entertainment- 20th Century Fox and affiliated companies
TV- FOX Broadcasting, FOX TV Stations, MyNetwork TV, STAR
Cable- Fox News Channel, FOX Sports, FX, National Geographic
Direct Broadcast & Satellite TV- BSkyB, DIRECTV, FOXTEL
Newspapers- NY Post, UK Sun, UK The Sunday Times
Magazines- The Weekly Standard, Gemstar-TV Guide Intl.
Books- HarperCollins Publishers, ReganBooks
Other Assets- MySpace, News Interactive

The Fox TV broadcast had been scheduled for the November "sweeps" as a way to boost ratings. But Murdoch monumentally misjudged the public's sense of decency. The only thing that got swept was his purulent project.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bush's Lying Ways

The Deceiver is intent on trying to change the subject, to put a good face on the voters rejection of his administration and "staying the course".... so, he is using the tried and true presidential image booster.... the international grand tour with a summit thrown in for good measure.... "Bush, in Vietnam, Says Change Takes Time, On visit for Economic Summit, President Cites a Lesson for Iraq: 'We'll Succeed Unless We Quit'."

Of course, wherever he goes, he drags around his Iraq albatross. But ,by using inaccurate comparisons and rewriting history he tries to justify his globally-destabilizing war... the reasons for which he now says was to bring Iraq Vietnam-style peace and prosperity. A blatant lie since his often-stated reason when selling the war was WMD and deposing Saddam who "tried to kill my Daddy."

The latest example of Bush's truth-challenged pronouncements was quickly lost in the rush of election news and check-mate Congressional leadership scuffles.... it was The Deceiver's public statements surrounding the replacement of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

The week before the elections Bush unequivocally told a group of reporters that the widely unpopular Rummy and VP Cheney would "remain with him until the end of his presidency.... both of these men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them."

As Hurricane Katrina tsar "Brownie" found out, doing a fantastic or "heck of a job" means just one thing, better start packing. The day after the GOP election "thumping," and almost without ceremony, Rummy was history, his "job" a failure.

In a press conference later the same week, The Deceiver was queried: "Last week you told us that Secretary Rumsfeld will be staying on. Why is the timing right now for this, and how much does it have to do with the election results?"

The Deceiver answered: ".... the reason why [I said that] is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer." In other words, I CHOSE TO LIE TO THE PRESS FOR POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY.

As recent elections show, however, the public is no longer buying The Deceiver's lies .... and not just on Iraq and Rumsfeld.... he told them he was a "uniter, not a divider," a "compassionate conservative" against big government and for fiscal restraint.... all lies.

By now the press must need a "divining rod" to ferret out the truth of The Deceiver's statements.... to trust the utterances of a president who doesn't just lie.... but believes his lies are justified. He defends them.

We're calling on our new Democratic leadership on the Hill to bring the lies to a halt, to challenge everything.... and restore transparency and truth to our government.

With our Pinocchio President and his GOP stooges, a tall order.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's All About ME!

After their "thumping," the GOP Congress promised to get some things done in their lame fat-cat session before they hand the legislative milk bowl to the Democrats.

Don't hold your breath.

It's all about the "process," about THEM, not about you or the country's problems.

"McCain Prepares for '08 Bid With Appeal to Right." BIG NEWS! McCain is running for President. Pleeeeeze.... he's been running since 1999, at first as the anti-Christian-right knight, charging around on his Straight Talk bus. Then, after a Christian-right tar and feathering, he is now courting that very same "do-what-we-say-not-what-we-do" base.... like Rev. Jerry "Winky Dinky is Gay" Falwell.... his detoured bus now a honking-for-Jesus confessional.

In the few weeks before the Democrats take over his Senate, this does what for the electorate?

McCain's straight talk has devolved into the babble of "Debate Grows Over Beefing Up U.S. Force in Iraq, Military Leaders Oppose McCain's Push for Thousands of Additional Troops." Just like the GOP unfunded spending habits, McCain doesn't say where he'll get these thousands of additional troops. Send our National Guard back for their umteenth tour?.... or maybe he'll call on our mall and school crossing guards. But hey, he has to say something, he wants to be your president.

The electorate was promised everything and delivered nothing, they're tired of the constant political beat.... ME, ME, ME!

Our kingdom for an "America first" doer!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wise Men A-Leaping

The Wise Men.... James Baker's commission formed in March of this year by the GOP-majority Congress and charged with recommending a solution for the Iraq war debacle.... or more plainly put, to save Georgie's bacon.

As Michael Kinsley points out in "Get Jim in Here, Pronto," Baker is "duly bouncing around and staffing up and holding hearings and all the things that prestigious commissions do." Baker is the Bush family point man for sticky wickets, a political operative who famously in Florida's 2000 presidential "recount" ruthlessly secured the presidency for Junior.

So, who is on this "ten lords a-leaping" Baker Iraq commission?

Two turtle doves..... moderate conservative Reagan-appointed former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and former moderate Republican senator from Wyoming, Alan K. Simpson.

Five calling birds..... Lawrence Eagleburger, former Daddy Bush Secretary of Defense, (replacing James Baker when he became Chief of Staff). Eagleburger fills the vacated seat left by original commission member CIA Director Robert Gates who resigned after being named to replace Rummy at Defense.

On Iraq, Eagleburger had this to say in August of 2002... "I am not at all convinced now that this is something we have to do this very moment," and did not believe the administration was fully prepared for such a conflict. Even warning that if Georgie started something in Syria or Iran, "even I would feel he should be impeached." Whoa! The "I' word.

Other birds a-calling.... former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry; former Democratic Senator and Vietnam warrior, Chuck Robb of Virginia; former Clinton advisor and D.C. "power broker" Vernon Jordan; and, former Clinton Chief of Staff, "Balanced Budget" Leon Panetta, who also served in the U.S. Army as Second Lieutenant.

One goose a-laying....Ed Meese. Yes, President Reagan's "counselor" on the Iran-Contra Affair, even though Meese was then supposed to be serving as Attorney General for us all. The Iran-Contra Independent Counsel's Final Report details how Meese "ignored" the involvement of Reagan and Sec. of State Shultz in the criminal affair. As the newly Liberated Limbaugh might say, Meese "carries the water" for his political bosses.

The commission, or the Iraq Study Group, is co-chaired by Baker and Lee Hamilton, the partridge and his drummer drumming. Hamilton, a Democrat, was U.S. Representative from Indiana from 1965 to 1999, and is often Baker's "balance" choice for such endeavors. Hamilton served as vice chair for the 9/11 commission and on the Select Committee on Intelligence for Iran.

But unfortunately, Iraq isn't a pear tree. It's a 10-story cactus.

We'll soon know if this commission has been appointed for action.... to recommend policies that would be political suicide if proposed by the White House. Or, for inaction.... to appear to want to do something and thus "take it off the table," in effect to give cover for "staying the course."

It would seem a consensus report from this mixed group would be difficult to achieve. We'll soon know, hopefully for our over-extended brave troops, before the twelfth day of Christmas.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Paging Solomon

The illegal alien problem in the U.S. is akin to the Iraq war, neither have easy or all-satisfying answers. So, it is good that "Democrats May Proceed With Caution on Immigration, Explosive Issue Not A Top Priority For Incoming Leaders."

Wisely, the soon-to-be in charge Democratic leaders did not include the issue on their list of immediate priorities.

The resolution to an issue this complex will take deliberate, Solomon-like wisdom. To love this country enough to reject split-the-baby resolutions like the flawed immigration reform laws of 1986 and 1996.

Will the illegal aliens think about the good of the country? No, they have already shown their disdain for our foundational rule of law. The citizens of the United States? They have the good of their country at heart and reject the idea of rewarding law breakers. A good that illegal aliens still emotionally, financially and culturally tethered to their native countries lack.

The resolution must not harm the country, and should be decided for those who are the owners of its heritage, the citizens of the United States. The wisdom to guide the country to this resolution must come from our leaders.

Is this The Decider? His "amnesty" mind-set blinders are firmly in place, doing the bidding of his corporate raiders. So, the Solomon throne rests on the Hill.

The first thing that MUST happen, secure the borders to stem the illegal alien tide. This is a move that will be welcomed and celebrated..... except of course for drug dealers, criminals and terrorists. A swift move in this direction will bring calm. Only then can the issue of the illegal aliens already in the country be humanely addressed.

In the meantime, "lame-duck" employers taking advantage of the situation need to feel the heel of the law on their necks. If Attorney General Gonzales isn't doing his job and enforcing the law, the Hill will now be able to bring him to account.

This is a historic chance for the Democrats to get it right. To listen to their citizens and act wisely. Soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.... the future of your and our grandchildren depend on it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kiss, Kiss

After keeping the Congressional Democrats in the deep freeze for six years, the big thaw is on. "Bush Meets With Pelosi; Both Vow Cooperation."

Just what is behind all of this making nice.

For Bush it's simple, his last two years in office he wants to avoid the big "I'.... he's interested in his legacy, his place in history unmarred with impeachment hearings. Now he has his reassurance.

But ever devious, (and for his losing GOP, selfish) by waiting until the "day after" to give Rummy the boot, he sucked the oxygen out of the Democrats moment of glory. Pure Rovian.

And, by meeting with the winning Democratic leaders of both Houses Bush put on a public show of listening to the people. Responding to the "action" election.

But this Bush show will undoubtedly close soon after opening night in January when the Democrats take the legislative reins.

Remember, The Decider unsheathed his dormant veto pen for the first time to stop federal funding for stem cell research. The new Democratic Senate and House will "quickly challenge Bush on stem cell research." But his moralizing ideology is too ingrained.... his vision of the world put right by The Decider.... to recognize the humanitarian. His "my way or the highway" thermostat will plunge to Arctic.

While there may be some common ground on legislation.... a higher minimum wage (a no-brainer).... immigration (though if the Dems go along with amnesty they automatically negate their election gains and worse).... and education (Dems must refocus on public education and reverse "teaching for the test").... the devil is in the details, and collisions are inevitable.

Worse for the Bush administration, the GOP rob-the-piggy-bank era is over. Pelosi has promised that Democrats will "act immediately to reinstate lapsed budget rules, which mandate that any new tax cuts or spending increases be paid for with equal spending cuts or tax hikes. That would all but shut the door on Bush's main economic priority, making his first-term tax cuts permanent." (WaPo)

And, while there won't be impeachment hearings, the Hallilburtons of the world better take cover. Congressional oversight will be reinstated.

It's going to get frosty again in D.C......

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lame Duck Chases Off Hawk

What took The Decider so long to rid us of Rumsfeld? ("A Meek Departure From the War Cabinet," WaPo).

For over three years many had advised the "my way or the highway" Bush to do so.... Powell, Hadley, Rice, Card and many highly-regarded retired Generals. Why did it take a "thumping" election loss to prod Bush into action?

Because, by showing Rummy the door The Decider would have to admit that serious mistakes were made in the conduct of his Iraq war.

Only after the electorate rubbed his face in their outrage.... the WE WANT A NEW DIRECTION election.... did The Decider finally throw a heel-nipping Rummy under the bus.

It is now left to Daddy Bush and advisers from his administration, most notably Brent Scrowcroft and James Baker, to try to clean up the Iraq mess made by Georgie's finger-painting foreign adventures.

Three years of bloody carnage later Rummy is history.... his "Medal of Freedom" awaits.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

History-Making Election

The election of November 7, 2006 is now history, and made some history too.

The voters saw past the "only the GOP can keep you safe from terrorism" tactics, the smutty commercials, the babbling purveyors-of-the-politics-of-personal-destruction talking heads, the push polls. The electorate's message.... no more stay the deadly, corrupt, bankrupting course, WE WANT CHANGE!

As of this moment, the "Democrats Take House," and lead in the last two Senate races, giving them a one-vote edge.... and a majority of state Governors are in their camp too.

My home state of Iowa made an almost clean Democratic sweep..... Governor, majority in legislature and a shift in the U.S. House from one Democrat and four Republicans to three Democrats and two Republicans. Proving the "baby with the bath water" truism, anti-war moderate, "gentleman" Rep. Jim Leach (R) was thrown out of office. The Democrats are now in the tractor seat in this former GOP stronghold.... history making.

The winds of change blew through neighboring Kansas too.... Democrat Kathleen Sebelius took the Governor's race, bringing with her former Republican Mark Parkinson as her Lt. Governor. Another GOP cross-over to the Democratic party, Paul Morrison, won his Attorney General race. And Democrat Nancy Boda defeated incumbent Jim Ryun for the U.S. House 12th District seat. The very conservative Kansas is turning its sunflower face to the sun of moderation... history making.

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the probable new Speaker of the House. This blog has been hard on her, especially when she was throwing the "I" word around. Impeachment proceedings against The Decider, as gratifying as that would be, would divert the House from the many issues needing desperate attention. Impeachment proceedings and hearings are not what the electorate wants, they want action, they want their problems addressed.... NOW!

Happily, it seems Pelosi has listened to the mood of the country. The misconduct she is going to immediately address is lobbyist and other corruption in the House, the minimum wage, drug costs. She has already extended an olive branch to The Decider, wants to work in a bi-partisan way.

Not only can Pelosi make history as the first female Speaker, she can write history by presiding over a "do something for the middle-class and the country" House.

While the race is still up in the air, it appears that president-wanna be Sen. "Macaca" Allen misjudged his Virginia audience and will ride into the sunset of his political career, the miscast cowboy.

It also appears that Abramoff-tainted Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) can now retire to the "Big Sky" having avoided the "Big House" but not the odor of corruption.

Voters, you've done your job.... now your political representatives need to do theirs!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voter The Decider Today

Today The Decider awaits your decision.

Today the voter is The Decider.

Deciding on whether to "stay the course" with the GOP majority in both Houses.

Or, Deciding if the country needs a new direction.

As the "President Who Sees in Absolutes Awaits Voters' Definitive Answer," it is up to each one of us to send the definitive message.... VOTE!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Magic is Gone

The bewitching hours.... the last chance for each Party to cast a spell over voters before "turnout" Tuesday.

"Campaigns Implore the Party Faithful To Bring Their Loyalty to the Polls." While Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Bill Clinton spin their magic for the faithful, The Decider wanders the backroads of political relevancy, a pariah in his own time, but never in his own mind.

The GOP Merlins tout their special magic trick, their get-out-the-vote machine. Problem is, reaching voters isn't the same as mobilizing them. To crank up their much vaunted machine, in Ohio the GOP had to recruit.... "door-knockers from a temp agency for $12 an hour." (WaPo)

What? No enthused Republican volunteers?

And, while Bush got a "raucous" reception at his "Victory in the Heartland" rally in the very red Grand Island, Nebraska, he couldn't fill the hall.

Today in Florida, Bush will be the Great Wizard at a rally for Charlie Crist (R-FL), only Crist won't be there, he backed out and will be campaigning elsewhere.

But, "Hanging Chad" Harris (R-FL) will be there clutching at Bush's tattered coattails.... why not, with polls showing her in the twenties, what has she got to lose?

As Tuesday approaches, perhaps the apology of the adulterous meth-using pastor Ted Haggard also applies to the Bush-cast spell on the electorate.... "the darkness increased and finally dominated me."

The electorate can lift the Bush administration's dominating curse and emerge from The Decider's Congressional-enabled darkness.....

November 7. VOTE!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Derail the Bums

Random thoughts..... Far-right conservative talking head Sean Hannity encourages Democrats to "stay home on Election Day" because their vote "won't change who occupies the White House." Bush will still be president..... true, but a Democratic Congress will be able to apply the brakes to his administration's run-away-train policies.

And, while our election has become a consuming national fetish, Nicaragua's Marxist revolutionary, Daniel Ortega.... "Old U.S. Adversary Poised for Comeback"..... may succeed in today's election in Nicaragua. While the Bush administration fanatically focuses on Iraq, our own backyard is becoming increasingly dangerous.

And, while we all applaud the comeuppance for the murderous Saddam.... "Hussein Sentenced to Hang for Crimes Against Iraqis".... the sentence increases Iraq's boiling-point sectarian divisions. Saddam Sunnis protested shouting "We will avenge you Saddam."

While "Shites Praise, Sunnis Protest Verdict," our brave troops tread water in the deadly Iraq cauldron, hamstrung by their Demander-In-Chief's flatfooted policies.

And, recently Bush even reaffirmed his support for "Dead-end Don" and "Snarly Dick" Cheney.... "I'm pleased with the progress we're making" in Iraq.... Rumsfeld is doing a "fantastic" job.

Wow, another Katrina "Brownie you're doing a heck of a job" moment!

We can change things... we can put our country back on track....

November 7.... VOTE!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Deafening Silence and Chants

The Decider's campaign tour is one big pep rally, "Go GOP Go......Keeeeeeep Power." Followed by loud cheers from the faithful.

But when it comes to transparency in government, mum's the word.... "U. S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons.... Court Is Asked to Bar Detainees From Talking About Interrogations."

Shameful isn't it.

Of course, the administration cloaks their request that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternate interrogation methods" in scare rhetoric alleging "they are among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets." (WaPo)

What are they really afraid of revealing, torture? Why else keep their "methods" secret?

But The Decider is putting on a happy face for his hand-picked loudly-cheering GOP ditto-heads as "Bush Blasts Democrats During Missouri Visit." Our Commander in Fief is "on a 10-state blitz to save his congressional majorities -- and essentially the remainder of his presidency".... jetting to the dwindling number of places where he'll do the least harm.

But even with hand-picked GOP boosters his reception can be.... well, sobering. At his LeMars, Iowa rally someone in the crowd held up a sign that said "Impeach." The Decider's supporters quickly pulled it down, and then, "following instructions given before the rally for how to drown out hecklers, volunteers started chanting 'USA! USA!' "

So, will the electorate "stay the curse," or reject the GOP slogans and chants, ending the GOP secretive, corrupt and lawless approach to governing.

November 7, VOTE!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Haggard.... Heal Thyself

So, are we to have a tearful Jimmy Swaggart "I have sinned" moment from another influential Baton Rouge-bred evangelical pastor?.... "Church Leader Resigns After Gay Sex Claim" .... and there is more. Drug use, methamphetamine to be exact.

The pastor is Ted Haggard, the Colorado Springs megachurch, president of National Association of Evangelicals, Bush White House insider, that Ted Haggard.

Fed up with Haggard's outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage, paid gay escort Mike Jones revealed that he had a three-year sexual relationship with Haggard and witnessed the pastor using meth, and has voice-mail and other proof of the relationship.

After initial denials, an associate pastor at Haggard's New Life church now relates that Haggard has admitted to some of the charges.

Hypocrisy is nothing new in the sanctimonious evangelical world, but Haggard may have taken it to a jaw-dropping realm.

To quote Haggard, "If a person has homosexual tendencies... they need to practice abstinence."

A fawning Harpers article written in May of 2005, says of Haggard, "Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church..." said the spider to the fly.

Haggard preached about his perceived Underworld.... "an underworld of people. The tattoo crowd, the people into drugs, the people into sex. You find 'em.... in the Underworld." He wanted to save the people in the Underworld.... as it turns out, his world.

Haggard told Harpers, "I want my finances in order, my kids trained, and my wife to love life.... I don't want surprises, scandals, or secrets.... I want stability."

Surprises? Like the one your wife and the mother of your five children just got that undoubtedly sent her scurrying to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases? Those kinds of surprises?

Haggard is the evangelical political lynch-pin and staunch ally of the Bush administration. So... in these crucial few days before the elections the GOP religious conservatives are desperately trying to downplay the scandal. Saying it doesn't reverberate nationally, it's merely a Colorado Springs story...

Yet, according to Harpers, "Pastor Ted, who talks to President George W. Bush or his advisers every Monday.... presides over the NAE, whose 45,000 churches and 30 million believers make up the nation's most powerful religious lobbying group, and also over a smaller network of his own creation, the Association of Life-Giving Churches, 300 or so congregations," not to mention the 14,000 some membership of his New Life church.

Because of Haggard's influence, some call Colorado Springs the "evangelical Vatican." Just imagine the religious bombshell if it was discovered that the Pope was a practicing gay meth user. No, this isn't just an insignificant local matter, this rocks worlds.

"No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted.... what Pastor Ted has built in Colorado Springs is not just a battalion of spiritual warriors but a factory for ideas to arm them."

Among the ideas being manufactured in Haggard's factory is strident gay-bashing, to enshrine in our Constitution, and state Constitutions, an amendment that in effect denies equal rights to gays in their life choices. A moralizing amendment, drafted by moralizing "Haggards."

What better argument for separation of church and state!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Olbermann Draws the Line

The tactics of The Decider and his bully-boy administration can't be summed up any better than this, the essay Keith Olbermann delivered last night on MSNBC, "There is no line this President has not crossed."

Take a moment to watch and listen.

The GOP should be brought to account for their behavior. We can curb their Congressional excesses and corruption, and hopefully.... "Scandals Alone Could Cost Republicans Their House Majority".... is a bellwether, signaling the end of the GOP total grip, and reckless use, of power.

November.... vote!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Administration Ally Exposes Danger

We must once again ask ourselves, is The Decider just a puppet on a string? We could say that he has spring fever, but it isn't even spring....

Going "off-message," Richard Perle.... former Bush defense policy brain-truster and puppet master extraordinaire for going to war to find Iraq's WMD.... opines, "the administration is 'dysfunctional' when it comes to stopping someone from bringing 'a nuclear weapon or even nuclear material into the United States.' "

He chastises the Bush administration for not developing a system to detect nuclear materials entering the harbors "or what have you".... (like our porous Mexican border what have you?)

But, Perle went to great pains to assure that The Decider "isn't to blame" for this alarming state of affairs. He's quite sure the president would be shocked.... shocked.... to learn that his administration hasn't done the most rudimentary things to protect the country from terrorists.

Since the GOP is hanging their November campaign on the "we'll protect you from terrorists the best" peg, it's a good thing Sen. Kerry came along with his most recent gaffe to bury Perle's comments and a real campaign issue.

For six disastrous years The Decider's has held stage center, flippantly, cluelessly and evidently mindlessly deciding our fate for generations to come.

Where's the hook?....


Allen's Albatross

One can only be thankful that George "Macaca" Allen's (R-VA) bigoted underbelly was exposed before he was able to get his presidential campaign calliope with dancing money cranked up.... instead, his "Macaca" monkey has morphed into his political albatross.

Allen with his phony Marlboro man facade is now likely to lose.... not only his Senate seat, but any hope to be a considered a serious GOP presidential contender in 2008.

George Will in "Allen's Fumbles, Romney's Gain," seems to think this clears the playing field for Mitt Romney (R-MA), handing him most of the conservative majority who tend to resist Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who in Will's analysis is Romney's only real competition.

Will also thinks it's about money.... who can raise the most the soonest. " be competitive in the nomination contests that begin with the Iowa caucuses in January 2008, a candidate probably needs to have at least $60 million by December 2007." (WaPo)

The expensive, manipulative, misleading, sometimes downright obscene political spots the electorate endures every two years is the wrong way to elect the best and brightest to our highest offices.

Until this changes we risk our fortunes to the politicians with the biggest, loudest, brassiest calliopes.... inevitably making monkeys of all of us.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bush's Divisive Chants

"... the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.... "

Divisive words chanted by "I'm a Uniter, Not a Divider" Bush at his campaigning pep rallies, the latest fittingly in Sugar Land, TX, where the former GOP House majority leader "The Hammer" DeLay's seat is up for grabs after he slunk off amid the Abramoff scandal.

"Faced with potential GOP defeat in both chambers, Bush and Cheney aimed to avert that by convincing voters that they cannot risk giving the opposition party any power in Washington." (WaPo)

You've got to hand it to them, they say this with a straight face. Power, they mean the power of the GOP majority Congress which is on the line in November.

The record. The Bush administration and GOP Congress "....have abdicated their oversight responsibilities mandated by the Constitution, enacted a conscious policy of massive borrowing and unrestrained spending, and installed a host of semipermanent mechanisms for transferring legislative power to commercial interests...", not to mention their terrorist-friendly "open door policy" on our border with Mexico, and misleading the country into the quicksand of the lose-lose Iraq war.

The Decider wants to hold on to his dictatorial, unprincipled power. While he leads the anti-Democrat cheers from GOP hand-selected-attendees at his pep rallies, the silent majority.... the middle-class.... suffers under his "my way or the highway" approach to governing.

The silent majority can roar in November.... VOTE!

Monday, October 30, 2006

We've Got the Money Honey....

I was scanning "Midterm Vote May Define Rove's Legacy.... Big Losses Could Dim Aura of Bush Adviser," when I came across something so typical of how the Bush administration operates it begged attention.

The Decider's political guru "Turd Blossom" Rove made a recent campaign speech in Buffalo, NY arranged at the behest of embattled Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY).... "Before the speech, Reynolds said, he made sure Rove inspected the damage from an unexpected snowstorm and received a briefing from Federal Emergency Management Agency officials. A few days later, Bush declared a federal emergency, making the city eligible for up to $200 million in disaster aid." (WaPo)

This also highlights just one of the multitude of changes the Bush administration and GOP have made in our laws. Under the Stafford Act of 2005, the president has permanent powers to grant federal emergency funds without Congressional approval.

The Decider can use taypayer dollars as his personal piggy bank to spend at will.... this time buying goodwill for one of his Congressional ditto-heads.

If for no other reason, this is why the voters MUST wrest control of Congress from the corrupt grip of the GOP.... oversight.

There isn't any....

For where and how many tax dollars are spent, for bankrupting budget excesses, for oil-church-corporate-favoring regulations and laws, for lying us into war, for obscene lobbyist influence .... in the Bush administration, ethics is an antiquated concept, winning and retaining power is everything.

Rove is confident that the GOP will keep their majority in both houses of Congress.... "we have the capacity to move the resources in if we need to do more," Rove declared... "Incumbents are hard to defeat. Our candidates by and large have significantly more resources than they have."

"Resources" is the buzz word for $$$$. Thanks to Rove and The Decider, Reynolds now has an additional $200 million in public relations "resources."


Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Hunt Is On

The hunt for votes is far from over, "As Elections Near, Dueling With Dollars.... Party Operatives Try To Influence Races."

Campaign strategists with tens of millions to spend, "will decide the final images that many voters see in this campaign." (WaPo) And, most of these ads will be worse than negative.... it'll be a jungle out there.

Have the electorate been hibernating the last few years? The GOP operatives are counting on it.

Counting they won't remember that their sons and daughters are being maimed and dying for a lied-into war of choice, while their obdurate Commander in Cheat tries out new Iraq slogans on the campaign trail.... while Osama bin Laden remains at large.... while the war breeds more terrorists .... while Halliburton profiteers with no-bid contracts, and taxpayers spend hundreds of billions on this worst foreign policy blunder ever.

Counting they won't remember the unimaginable debt The Decider and his Congressional enablers are piling on our children.... the waste and corruption in the halls of Congress ....the middle-class disappearing and companies leaving the U.S. while illegal aliens by the millions cross our border with Mexico to demand their "rights."

Party operatives are on the prowl and distracted voters are their prey.... hoping the electorate won't trust their instincts.... won't fight for their survival, their right to be represented and heard.

It's time to strike out, to escape the savage GOP grip on power.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Aussies Govern, Bush Preaches

There is "Outrage as Muslim cleric likens women to 'uncovered meat.' ''

Australia's most senior Muslim cleric compared immodestly-dressed women not wearing the Islamic headdress to meat left on the street to be eaten by cats.

To a crowd of 500 worshippers in a Ramadam sermon on the topic of adultery, Sheik al-Hilali suggested that a group of Muslim men recently jailed for many years for gang rapes were not entirely to blame..... "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab [veil] no problem would have occurred.... women were weapons used by Satan to control men."

But our enlightened friends down under aren't going to allow this kind of medieval incitement against women and justification of rape to go unanswered.

"Australian politicians including Prime Minister John Howard, community leaders and a large number of Muslims condemned the mufti's comments amid calls that he should be deported to Egypt, his country of origin."

Australia is taking a pro-active stance against extremist Muslims and others who don't want to assimilate into their culture .... learn English, respect women, accept that Australia's laws are secular.... should leave the country.

But U.S. citizens can't depend on this type of clear-cut no-nonsense government policy.

The Decider and his religious right demanders want to put church.... let's be clear about this, their evangelical-dogma-adhering church.... not only into state, but running state and its treasury, and all of us in the process.

Are you ready to allow intelligent design to be taught as "science" in our public schools, or to give up rights of privacy guaranteed under our Constitution, to draw a veil over our legal protections and safeguards?

There's still time to pull the country back from The Decider's extreme-ideology brink and return the country to the rule of law....


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The GOP Shuffle

"First you say you will.... and then you won't.... then you say you do, and then you don't.... you're undecided now so WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?"

The voters want to know.

But, by now they realize, The Decider will do nothing except revise slogans, and spin with "politically motivated misstatements."

While "Bush Acknowledges Discontent on Iraq," he still tap dances to the off-key tune.... "absolutely, we're winning,".... and expresses confidence in both Iraq's prime minister and his defense secretary, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" Rummy.

Expressing confidence in Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is a good example of the Bush administration's Iraq war "do-don't" shuffle. Just today "U.S. and Iraqi forces raided the stronghold of a Shiite militia led by an anti-American cleric in a mission targeting a suspected death squad leader, only to have the operation publicly repudiated" by..... Maliki. (WaPo)

Confidence in this behavior by Maliki?

Bush, first you say "stay the course," and then you say "benchmarks," so WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Another Bush administration two-step has been the securing of our border with Mexico. First the GOP will build a border fence, and then they won't fully fund or act on it. All the while illegal aliens by the millions are pouring into the country, among them are drug smugglers, gangs, criminals and terrorists.

The GOP will-won't ballads.... Iraq war, border security, corporate profiteering, trade deficit, national debt, lobbyist corruption, Congressional ethics and "pork barrel" spending.

So what are the voters going to do?


Bush Engineers Halliburton's Gravy Train

The story today, "Halliburton Cited For Iraq Overhead.... Costs in Oil Contract Called Extreme," is just the tip of the Halliburton war and outlaw-nations-profiteering. The iceberg could sink the Titanic, or even our country.

The tip..... The Decider's administration, anxious to please Dead-Eye Dick and his corporate buddies, has allowed Cheney's old firm, Halliburton, to cart off obscene profits from their Iraq no-bid contracts.

A report released yesterday by the inspector general's office overseeing Iraq spending, found that in a key Halliburton contact to restore Iraq's oil industry "administrative overhead accounted for more than half the costs." (WaPo)

As obscene as Halliburton's contract abuse is in Iraq, there is a more deadly serious Halliburton offense taking place... the Iran iceberg.

Halliburton allegedly sold key nuclear reactor components to a private Iranian oil company called Oriental Oil Kish as recently as 2005, using offshore subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands to circumvent U.S. sanctions.

In 2004 and 2005 Halliburton had a close business relationship with Cyrus Naseri, an Iranian Oriental Oil Kish official and key member of Iran's nuclear development team. London's Financial Times confirmed that Naseri "a senior Iranian diplomat negotiating with Europe over Iran's controversial nuclear programme... [was]... at the heart of deals with US energy companies to develop the country's oil industry." (WaPo)

It was reported in January that Halliburton had won a tender to drill a huge Iranian gas field, and although some in the Iranian parliament attacked the deal, the Iranian government defended it, saying that the project, called South Pars, "served the interests" of the Islamic state.

According to Fortune Magazine, Halliburton has opened an unmarked office on the 10th floor of a Tehran office building, and since the South Pars project is expected to take 52 months to complete, Halliburton seems likely to remain in Iran through 2009.

So.... while even in today's press conference, The Decider seemingly attacks Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Tehran government reaps the benefits of doing business with a U.S. firm.... Halliburton.... where VP Cheney served as president.