Thursday, August 25, 2005

Fox News fighting the Terrist threat

Found at Political Animal -
A very disturbing story in the LA Times today about a family in California that has been living in fear for the past two weeks after the idiots at Fox News broadcast their address in a report that falsely claimed it to be the home of a terrorist connected with the recent subway bombings in London.

In what Fox News officials concede was a mistake, John Loftus, a former U.S. prosecutor, gave out the address Aug. 7, saying it was the home of a Middle Eastern man, Iyad K. Hilal, who was the leader of a terrorist group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London.
Hilal, whom Loftus identified by name during the broadcast, moved out of the house about three years ago.

This should give you an idea of the intelligence level of people that Fox News chooses to interview and have comment for their broadcasts.
Since that broadcast the Vorick’s have been afraid to go to work and leave their children at home....

A driver yelled a profanity at the family and called them terrorists as they barbecued on their patio Aug. 14. Some drivers have stopped and photographed the house, Randy Vorick said.
Last weekend, someone spray-painted "Terrist" on their home. Police, who have regularly patrolled their house since the day after the broadcast, now station a squad car across the street.

This should give you an idea of the intelligence level of the kind of people who get their news from Fox News.

Personally, I think Fox News should have to pay the overtime cost for the police officer who is now stationed across the street from the home to protect the Vorick family.

Punished for speaking the truth

President Bush has canned another member of his administration for daring to speak an unwelcome truth.

Lawrence A. Greenfeld, who was appointed by Bush in 2001 to head the Bureau of Justice Statistics, was demoted for resisting the administration’s attempt to downplay a study that highlights racial profiling during traffic stops.

Greenfeld was ordered to delete references to racial disparities in a news release prepared to announce a study on the treatment of different ethnic groups during police traffic stops.
The survey of 80,000 people, which was eventually issued in April without a news release, found that minority drivers were three times as likely to have their vehicles searched during traffic stops as white drivers.
Greenfeld fought the order and was eventually called to the White House and urged to resign six months before he was eligible for full pension benefits...

I’m trying to come up with a list of “Heroes of Conscience” from this administration - people who risked their jobs and their careers to stand up for the truth in the face of an administration that cares most about advancing its right-wing political agenda.

In addition to Mr. Greenfeld above, I’ve included:

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill who lost his job for disagreeing with Bush about the ill effects of his tax cuts which failed to boost the economy and have left us with record budget deficits once again.

Former economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey who was canned for having the audacity to suggest that the war in Iraq may cost as much as $100 billion - a figure we now know is at least three times and perhaps ten times too small.

Who have I left out?


I just noticed that Bob Herbert's column in the NYTimes today is about this topic.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Radical cleric

As if it wasn’t already obvious, Pat Robertson has completely flipped his lid. - Robertson: U.S. should assassinate Venezuela's Chavez - Aug 23, 2005

More here.

I still remember when a lot of people in Texas were ready to elect this guy as our president. Of course, I can't say that we are that much better off with George W. Bush.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Cost of the Iraq War

$1.3 trillion is the estimated cost of the war in Iraq over the next five years according to Linda Bilmes, a former assistant secretary of Commerce who now teaches budgeting and public finance at Harvard University.

That’s counting the $258 billion that has been spent so far plus:
* $460 billion for military operations through 2010
* $315 billion for veterans health care benefits just for those soldiers participating in the Iraq war.
* $220 billion to finance the additional debt all this spending will produce
* $119 billion impact on the economy due to the increase in oil prices resulting from the instability in the Middle East caused by the Iraq war.

Oh, and then there is the little matter of the 2,000 U.S. military personnel killed and 14,500 wounded.

All of this just because President Bush is such a big-hearted person and wanted to spread “peace and freedom” to the Iraqi people.