Recent Entries in Politics

Singer Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas on the weekend after dedicating a song to liberal film maker Michael Moore and his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," a casino spokeswoman said on Monday.

Ronstadt, who had been hired for a one-show engagement Saturday night at the Las Vegas Strip casino, dedicated a performance of "Desperado" to Moore and his controversial documentary, which criticizes President Bush and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

That dedication angered some Aladdin guests who spilled drinks, tore down posters and demanded their money back, said casino spokeswoman Sara Gorgon.

According to a recent survey, 51% of American population believes it was not right to start the Iraq war. At last, I would like to say, the Americans wake up and realise their government has been misleading them for almost three years about the situation in Iraq. Before, during and after the war. George Bush�s popularity is now at some 44%, less than John Kerry�s 49%. George W. is going to face difficult months. Will he win the elections in the end? If it would be up to me, I hope not.

The main thing I strongly oppose to is his isolationist policy. When will he learn that his ideas of how the world should look like are not shared by hundreds of millions of people all over the world? And that he therefore should be more open to other opinions than his own? Never, I�m afraid. This has not only got to do with the war against terrorism, although it remains the most explicit example. Last week, we saw another proof of Bush�s rubbing the world up the wrong way.

A majority of Americans now say the United States should have stayed out of Iraq, a poll released Friday indicated.

The CBS-New York Times poll found just over one-half, 51 per cent, said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq, while 45 per cent said going to war was the right decision. Last month, people were evenly split on that question.

Sentiment on that question has slipped steadily since December, when the decision to go to war was supported by more than 2-1.

Bush better hope that there is no heaven, no hell and no judgment day.

Ron Reagan Jr. recently commented that while his father believed in God, he didn't wear his religion on his sleeve. While he did not mention Bush by name, most observers assumed that he was talking about the man selected by the Supreme Court to be our president. Bush often uses code words familiar to his critical evangelical base that fly under the radar of mainstream, moderate Christians. Still, it does not seem to be too cynical to believe that Bush's supposed religion is simply a ploy to gain votes from the rubes among fundamentalist Christians. Or if he is a religious man, few genuine Christians would believe that his God was the one they pray to.

What would St. Peter have to say to George Bush once he stands before the Pearly Gates of heaven on judgment day? Has he been a good Christian? Has he led a pious life according to the teachings of Jesus?


According to childhood friends, Bush used to blow up frogs with firecrackers and shoot them with BB guns. As several therapists have pointed out, this cruelty to animals is a trait he shares with many serial killers.

(And nine reasons why Kerry won't be much better)

If you're looking for reasons to be disgusted with George W. Bush, here are the top 10:

The format of a crime and terrorism database known as Matrix is being changed to allay privacy and legal concerns that led several states to drop out of the federally funded project.

As it stands now, the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange combines state vehicle and crime records with commercial databases owned by a private company, Seisint, giving investigators quick access to billions of pieces of information on potential suspects.

The $12 million pilot project originally was to include 13 states, covering half the U.S. population. Several dropped out because of privacy concerns or questions about the legality of sending state-owned records to Seisint's supercomputers.

Five remaining Matrix states -- Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- will now try a method in which each state will maintain its own records, said Mark Zadra, chief investigator for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which has official responsibility for the program. Software will search each state's records as necessary, he said.,1848,64263,00.html

President Bush accused Cuba's Fidel Castro on Friday of welcoming sex tourism and contributing to a global problem of human trafficking, as he courted Cuban voters in Florida, a pivotal state in the election.

"The regime of Fidel Castro has turned Cuba into a major destination for sex tourism," Bush said, adding that the Cuban president "welcomes sex tourism" as a source of hard currency for his government.

Addressing a conference on human trafficking, Bush quoted Castro as saying that prostitutes in Havana were the cleanest and best educated in the world.

Bush said that comment was evidence that Havana was encouraging sex tourism. Castro praised Cuban prostitutes for having a college education in a documentary interview by the U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone.

Cuba's government, born of a revolution against a corrupt U.S.-backed dictatorship that allowed Mafia-run gaming and prostitution to thrive in Havana in the 1950's, strongly denies tolerating sex tourism. Police have cracked down on the trade.

The Department of Justice-organized conference was aimed at touting the administration's efforts to crack down on the trafficking of people across borders for forced labor such as prostitution and sweatshop work.§ion=news

Lawmakers cheered as the House of Representatives voted on Thursday to strip financial assistance for Saudi Arabia from a foreign aid bill because of criticism that the country has not been sufficiently cooperative in the U.S. war on terror.

The vote was a stinging defeat for the Bush Administration which had strongly opposed the measure saying it would "severely undermine" counterterrorism cooperation with Saudi Arabia and U.S. efforts for peace in the Middle East.§ion=news

The Philippines began pulling troops out of Iraq Friday to save the life of a Filipino hostage, ignoring calls from the United States and other allies not to bow to kidnappers' demands.

Diplomats in Baghdad said a headless corpse found in the Tigris River was probably that of a Bulgarian hostage killed by militants linked to al Qaeda ally Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. Hopes of finding a second Bulgarian alive were fading, they said.

Speaking on television, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Albert said all of Manila's small force would leave soon.§ion=news

Martha Stewart, who built a catering company into a media empire, was sentenced on Friday to five months in prison for lying about a suspicious stock sale.
The judge could have sentenced her to a maximum of 16 months.

Stewart, 62, who has stepped down as an officer and board member of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , was found guilty in March of conspiracy, making false statements and obstruction of agency proceedings.;jsessionid=RFUQW5WUS2K3WCRBAE0CFEY?type=topNews&storyID=5692950

A bid by U.S. President George W. Bush to make opposition to gay marriage an election-year issue suffered a major setback yesterday when enough members of his own party ignored his entreaties that the issue died in the Senate.

Even though Republicans control the upper chamber of Congress, they could not force a vote on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to outlaw gay marriage . a gambit Democrats had dismissed as a political move to create an election-year wedge issue.

Also central to the Republican strategy was forcing presumed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and his running mate John Edwards off the campaign trail and into the Senate to vote against the amendment.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has had its say on the debacles leading up to the Iraq war, and America's intelligence agencies have come in for the lion's share of the blame. Some of the committee's findings were useful and constructive. But over all, the report's scathing indictment of American intelligence is seriously unfair. Leave aside the broader political issue, that of whether the report was designed in part to find a convenient scapegoat for the failings of political leaders. Simply on the technical merits of the case, the intelligence community's performance, while far from superb, was hardly as bad as the senators assert.

The Bush administration's eroded credibility on matters relating to terrorism, intelligence, and national security was further diminished this past week by the US Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the "US Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq."

The Senate report provided disturbing additional confirmation of the 9/11 Commission.s conclusions last month about the dangers resulting from the distortions and deceptions of "cherry picked" intelligence. The New York Times reported that the 9/11 Commission is nearing a final report that will stand unanimously by the staff conclusions dismissing the White House theories of an al Qaeda-Iraq working relationship and any possible Iraqi involvement in 9/11.

While all members of the Senate Intelligence Committee signed Friday's report on the way the Central Intelligence Agency presented key information to the Bush administration in the buildup to the Iraq war, a fiercely partisan debate has begun over whether or not the White House pressured the CIA to issue reports in a way that would justify its position.

President Bush used his Saturday radio address to urge support for the amendment. He called marriage between a man and a woman "the basis of an orderly society" and urged lawmakers to protect it from "activist judges" by enshrining it in "the only law a court cannot overturn." Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, say they will oppose the amendment if they are in town when the Senate votes.

Counterterrorism officials are looking into the possibility of postponing the November presidential election if there is a terrorist attack at election time, Newsweek reported Sunday.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned last week that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network may attack within the USA to try to disrupt the election.

The magazine cited unnamed sources who said the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department for advice last week.

Newsweek said DeForest Soaries, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, wants Ridge to ask Congress to pass legislation giving the government power to cancel or reschedule a federal election. Soaries said New York suspended primary elections on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks, but the federal government does not appear to have that authority.

George Tenet, whose seven-year run as head of the Central Intelligence Agency has come to a stormy end, leaves behind a crisis of confidence in American intelligence as the United States struggles with Muslim insurgents and the threat of catastrophic attacks.

A farewell tribute by his staff last Friday, a day ahead of his formal resignation, co-incided with the unveiling of a Senate Intelligence Committee report which is critical of CIA failures, from the September 11 attacks to its pre-invasion estimates of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that so far have failed to pan out.

Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee for their part warned last month that the agency for too long has been ignoring "its core mission activities," notably clandestine operations to recruit spies and penetrate organisations like al-Qaeda. The CIA, it said, "continues down a road leading over a proverbial cliff".

After hundreds of American soldiers have died and billions of U.S. dollars have been spent, a Senate panel is saying the justification for the war in Iraq was wrong.

"In the end, what the president and the Congress used to send the country to war was information that was provided by the intelligence community, and that information was flawed," said Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

Roberts said the war might have still been justified on humanitarian grounds. But Congress never debated going to war to stop Saddam Hussein's brutality. The debate was over Saddam's chemical and biological weapons, his ability to deliver them, his nuclear ambitions and his ties to terrorism.

The Bush administration told the American public - and the world - that Saddam had to be stopped before he used his weapons of mass destruction or before they fell into terrorists' hands.

The Central Intelligence Agency greatly overestimated the danger presented by deadly unconventional weapons in Iraq because of runaway assumptions that were never sufficiently challenged, the Senate Intelligence Committee said today.

In a long-awaited report that goes to the heart of President Bush's rationale for going to war against Iraq, the committee said that prewar assessments of Saddam Hussein's supposed arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, and his desire to have nuclear weapons, were wildly off the mark.

"Today, we know these assessments were wrong, and as our inquiry will show, they were also unreasonable and largely unsupported by the available intelligence," Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who heads the panel, said at a briefing on the 511-page report.

Israel has told the United Nations nuclear watchdog that Iran's atomic program is a front for developing nuclear weapons that could one day be used against the Jewish state, prompting angry reactions from Syria and Iran.

Mohamed ElBaradei, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, is on a three-day visit to Israel, which refuses to admit or deny having nuclear weapons under a policy of "strategic ambiguity".

International experts believe Israel has up to 200 warheads, based on estimates of the quantity of plutonium that has been produced at its Dimona desert reactor.

Spy chiefs were today facing accusations of "worldwide intelligence failures" over the case for war in Iraq.

A damning report by US senators is expected to lambast the intelligence that led to the conflict.

The American version of the Butler Inquiry is due to be published tonight. It will find the CIA distorted or misrepresented intelligence to conclude Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The findings are the most damaging attack yet on the intelligence used to justify the war and will be a blow for President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Details of the report were leaked less than 24 hours after Mr Blair admitted for the first time that weapons of mass destruction may never be found in Iraq.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to find that the CIA became an advocate of war, rather than an impartial adviser, giving President Bush only the information he wanted to hear.

Although it will find no evidence of direct political interference, it is expected to denounce US spy chiefs, whose conclusions on Iraq's arsenal have been thrown into doubt by the failure to find chemical or biological weapons in Iraq.

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