Friday, July 11, 2008


Patrick Donahue (Bloomberg News) reports AP is stating -- but the DoD has not confirmed -- that Alex Jimenez and Byron Fouty's corpses have been discovered. David Aguila (AP) cites Fouty's step-father as confirmation that the corpses of both were "found in the Iraqi village of Jurf as Sakhr."

O'Ryan Johnson (Boston Herald) reports:

Jimenez was assigned to the hard-charging 10th Mountain Division that was operating inside Iraq hot spots when the battalion was ambushed by insurgents in May 2007. Five men were killed and three captured.
"He always had the hope that he would return back to the city. But due to ther nature of where he was, it was difficult for him to return alive," said Ramon Jimenez, the soldier's father, through a translator.
The bodies of Alex Jimenez and Pfc. Brian Fouty were discovered in the Jurf As Sakhr region of Iraq and flown back to the United States, where their dental records were used to confirm the identities, a source close to the families said. The source said the bodies of both men are now at Dover Air Force Base. Prior to yesterday, the bodies of only one of the captured men, Pfc. Joseph Anzac, had been found and identified.

ICCC has moved the two over the total for deaths in Iraq since the start of the illegal war bringing that total to 4118.

A McClatchy Iraqi correspondent notes the rations program in "Corruption" (Inside Iraq):

Two days ago, I was talking about few house issues with my wife when she told me that my brother paid about 100$ just to buy flour to our family. I was surprised to know that because I usually never asked about the house needs since I know my youngest brothers take care of such things. I asked her about the reason because as far as I know, we get more than our need of flour through the ration food card. She told me that no family in my neighborhood didn't receive one kilo during the last three months because the agent of the ministry of trade who provide part of the neighborhood with the food hadn't receive any for the last three months.
At the same day (Wednesday), I attended a conference about fighting corruption in the governmental establishments. The officials talked about the big efforts they do to fight what they called (the cold terror) which according to their point of view funds the (hot terror).
I wonder why the officials don't start with the most important ministry, the ministry of trade since it is concerned with the most important part of Iraqis' life.

The Washington Post offers "Election 2008: Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader" which is a transcript of an online exchange:

Staten Island, N.Y.: Mr. Nader, what exactly is your plan for withdrawal from Iraq, and how long do you think it would take to implement it? Thank you.

Ralph Nader: The Nader/Gonzalez plan for the military and corporate withdrawl from Iraq would be on a six-month timetable. During that period, we urge UN-sponsored elections, continuation of humanitarian aid, since we owe it to the devestated Iraqi people, and negotiations with the three groups: Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds regarding a level of autonomy within the overall framework of a unified Iraq. All three groups want a unified Iraq but they want some autonomy. By returning Iraq and the oil back to the Iraqis, the bottom will fall out of the insurgency since its only objective is to evict the invader/occupier.


Pikesville, Md.: I am a 28-year-old father, husband, student and educator. Would you be in favor of repealing No Child Left Behind? Do you believe -- as many educators do -- that NCLB punishes lower-income students/schools while rewarding the schools that already have a wealth of money and community support? Explain.

Ralph Nader: The Nader/Gonzalez campaign favors repeal of the No Child Left Behind law. Narrowly-based multiple choice standardized tests rupture the relationships between teachers and students and forces the teachers to teach to the test which themselves are of poor design. States are gaming the law, violating it and the overwhelming number of teachers are opposed to it - for good reason. There are far better ways to stimulate higher qualities of education and their assesment.


New York: Many people I've spoken to have seen your presidential campaigns as nudging elections toward the republican candidate and not nearly achieving the votes needed to get third-party status. Can you explain why they're wrong, or why this time will be different?

Ralph Nader: As long as liberal voters continue to vote for the Democratic party no matter how badly the party behaves, so long as the Republicans are worse, the Democratic nominee will take these liberal votes for granted and move toward right-wing positions and also move toward the corporate interests that are tugging at the candidate. The only way this can change is if liberal or progressive voters signal to the Democratic nominee that they have somewhere else to go. That somewhere else can be the progressive Nader/Gonzalez campaign otherwise the liberal/progressive voters will be in a trap and will be taken for granted. This is already happening with the liberal progressive voters' relationship with Barack Obama. So it is up to these voters to generate leverage instead of surrender.

We'll come back to Iraq but while we're on Ralph Nader, who is running for president, Oliver notes Nader's "Hey Rush, Get Off Welfare:"

Hey Rush, Get Off Welfare .

Listen to Ralph Nader's audio message here

According to press reports, Rush Limbaugh will be making $38 million a year.

For eight years.

Rush is making this money by being a radio talk show host.

On public property.

That would be - the public airwaves.

Owned by the American people.

For which Rush - and his affiliated companies - pay no rent.

Rush Limbaugh is on welfare.

Corporate welfare.

The public airwaves belong to the American people.

The Federal Communications Commission is supposed to be our trustee.

The people are the landlords.

The radio and TV stations and the corporate giants who own them are the tenants.

Rush's show is syndicated on over 650 radio stations.

Rush has enormous leverage over these stations.

They pay no rent.

And therefore, he pays no rent.

Here's the problem:

Since the Radio Act was passed in 1927, the corporate tenants have been more organized and more powerful than the tens of millions of listeners and viewers.

The result?

Rush Limbaugh and his corporation get to use the public's valuable property for free.

No payment of rent.




This freeloading on the backs of the American people is called corporate welfare.

Rush Limbaugh is the Kingboy of corporatist radio.

And it's past time he set a corporatist example for his peers and -

pay rent to the American people for using their property.

It's past time Rush Limbaugh takes himself off the corporate welfare rolls.

Rush need not wait for the FCC and Congress to do the right thing and order him to pay.

He can lead by example.

And pay voluntary rent - for the hours and hours every month Rush occupies on the hundreds of stations that carry his show every weekday.

And by the way, this fits well within Rush's so-called conservative philosophy.

Payment of rent for the use of public airwaves owned by the American people is the conservative position.

Real conservatives oppose corporate welfare.

Note the Cato Institute's position.

Real corporatists feed off the public trough - from the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare gushing out of Washington, D.C. every year - your tax dollars.

So, Rush, today I ask you - which side are you on?


Or paying rent for the public property you have been using free for so many years?

Today, I mailed a letter to Rush asking him to get off welfare.

The letter is posted at

Take a look.

And then let Rush know what you think.

You can e-mail Rush at:

Tell him - hey Rush, I agree with Ralph Nader.

Get off welfare.

Start paying rent.


Ralph Nader

PS: We invite your comments to the blog.

Your contribution could be doubled. Public campaign financing may match your contribution total up to $250.


Lloyd notes Dana Milbank's "Putting Her Foot Down and Getting the Boot" (Washington Post):

When Gina Gray took over as the public affairs director at Arlington National Cemetery about three months ago, she discovered that cemetery officials were attempting to impose new limits on media coverage of funerals of the Iraq war dead -- even after the fallen warriors' families granted permission for the coverage. She said that the new restrictions were wrong and that Army regulations didn't call for such limitations.
Six weeks after The Washington Post reported her efforts to restore media coverage of funerals, Gray was demoted. Twelve days ago, the Army fired her.
"Had I not put my foot down, had I just gone along with it and not said regulations were being violated, I'm sure I'd still be there," said the jobless Gray, who, over lunch yesterday in Crystal City, recounted what she is certain is her retaliatory dismissal. "It's about doing the right thing."

Now mark your calendars so you remember the latest military brass claim. From Ann Scott Tyson and Dan Eggan's "U.S. General: Iraqi Forces to Be Fully Ready in '09" (Washington Post):

Iraq's army and police will be fully manned and operational by mid-2009, possibly as early as April, the top U.S. general in charge of building Iraqi security forces said yesterday, signaling the prospect that Iraqi forces could assume primary combat responsibilities in the country while U.S. troops shift to a supporting role.
Asked when Iraqi ground forces could handle security so U.S. troops would not have to, Lt. Gen. James Dubik told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the strength of Iraq's ground forces had grown significantly. "The ground forces will mostly be done by middle of next year; their divisions, brigades and battalions are on a good timeline," Dubik said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. "Could be as early as April. Could be as late as August," said Dubik, who until last week led the effort to train Iraqi forces.

Yes, you've heard it all before. No, it's never been true so far. By the way, to deal with something here, that doesn't make Ann Scott Tyson or Dan Eggan liars. They are reporters. There's apparently some barrier in Canada that allows dumb asses to think that reporters are psychics. The two did their job even if they stopped there. They didn't stop there. The next paragraph:

While U.S. commanders' predictions on Iraqi security forces have proven excessively optimistic in the past, the general's assessment is central to the debates in Washington and Baghdad over a timeline for when Iraqi forces can take charge of security, allowing the bulk of the approximately 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq to withdraw.

Had they left that off, they still would have done their jobs. Adding that paragraph, that perspective and information, makes them good reporters. But it's not their job to track down things that don't have to do with their story. For example, if someone gave them a quote and then later spoke to an attorney and found out that the quote they gave was wrong, that wouldn't be the reporters (or any reporter's) fault. There is apt media criticism. But to make it you probably need to understand what the media is actually supposed to do ideally.

If this isn't clear to you, you didn't e-mail about a stupid article last night. Check out Elaine tonight because I've been about as nice on this topic as I can be and Elaine will let it rip tonight. (And good for her.) I realize journalism is confusing -- especially with Panhandle Media, especially with Panhandle Media that employs Lyndon La Rouche-trained 'journalists' to cover Barack Obama. Bad enough The Nation prints them, CounterSpin interviews them. Lying is not new to someone trained by LLR and Panhandle Media has no standards. Skip the New York Times, nothing worth reading. Check out Rebecca's "british government pays for war crimes" and Mike's "More lies from The Progressive and the Falluja slaughter."

If you're confused as to the LaRouche-y, a friend asked that we note James Kirchick's "Robert Dreyfuss, Lyndon LaRouche, and The Nation" (The New Republic) and I'd forgotten until CounterSpin decided Drey-Drey was just the guy-guy to drool over. :

Robert Dreyfuss, a contributing editor to The Nation, has written a piece this week entitled "Hothead McCain." I wonder if Dreyfuss would use a similar descriptor for his longtime former employer, the convicted felon and political cult-leader Lyndon LaRouche. Though Dreyfuss officially left the employ of LaRouche (in the sense that he does not currently write for LaRouche's publications, at least not under his own byline), his politics clearly haven't changed much from the tinfoil hat variety characteristic of the 8-time fringe presidential candidate and conspiracy theorist. Dreyfuss still spends his days feverishly slumped over his keyboard warning of neocon conspiracies and shilling for authoritarian regimes--hallmarks of any good LaRouchite. Now, he just gets published in ostensibly respectable magazines like The Nation.

CounterSpin will have him on today -- along with the White woman who thought it was okay to appropriate the works of women of color. It's cute the way CounterSpin no longer just rolls around the gutter but actively rubs urine into its own flesh.

The e-mail address for this site is