Swift Boat Vets Money

I have a post up at Patriot Project today, THE BUCK STOPS THERE – The Story Of Who Really Wins When The Right Wing Raises Money about tracing some of the Swift Boat Vets money.
It’s also at Huffington Post.
I’ll post it here tomorrow.

Fascinating Middle East News Coverage

I’m not sure how many people are aware of the LinkTV network. (You might have seen their coverage of YearlyKos.) LinkTV is available if you have satellite, like DirecTV and Dish — but you can also visit them online. Over at LinkTV there is a show called Mosaic, with some great Middle East news coverage offering perspectives you can not get from American corporate TV. You can watch the stream of last night’s Mosaic, with translated clips from Lebanese, Israeli, UAE, Al Jazeera, Algeria, Iranian and Gaza news broadcasts covering the fighting going on. It is fascinating to get these viewpoints and coverage of events so important to all of us and to the entire world. You can always watch archives of Mosaic at this page.
Recently there have been two extended coverage specials, and another extended coverage special tomorrow. highlight clips from the specials are available here.
From LinkTV:

Mosaic Special Report: Insight into the Middle East. This live call-in special showcases Link TV’s team of journalists and Middle East experts answering your questions and e-mails about what’s really happening in the current crisis. Wednesday’s program will be aired at 7 to 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) and 10 to 10:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on DIRECTV ch. 375 and DISH ch. 9410. The program will be followed by Link TV’s Peabody Award-winning original program Mosaic, which draws on reports from 28 Middle Eastern news broadcasts to provide context, analysis and a look at the stories you never see on American TV.
To watch the first evening of our extended Middle Eastern coverage, Mosaic Special Report: Insight into the Middle East from July 20, 2006, click here.
Daily episodes of Mosaic are available at no cost online.
Link TV is also offering a special emphasis on the Mideast throughout our daily schedule, including a rotation of reports and documentaries such as Me and the Mosque, Occupied Minds and International Dateline: An Eye For An Eye, which features a report from Dateline’s Thom Cookes from the city of Haifa and his on-the-spot assessment of why things have gone the way they have.

There’s also a new Mosaic blog.
(Disclosure – I am doing some unpaid consulting with LinkTV.)

Republicans Doing Fake Calls

Raising Kaine :: The Republican Dirty Tricks Have Begun — robo-calls to trick voters. They say they’re from Nancy Pelosi, but the Webb campaign isn’t doing any such calls.

I just heard back from the Webb campaign that they have no robo-calls in the feild, therefore these calls are counterfeit. If you receive one, please record it and contact the Jim Webb for Senate campaign so they can take appropriate action.
Unfortunately the Republican friends of Jerry Kilgore did this sort of thing repeatedly in the ’05 Governor’s race and just paid the fines when they got caught as a cost of doing business. Please be on alert for these dirty tricks and warn your family and friends.

And check out the Republican Dirty Tricks blog.


Mideast violence may raise odds of US attack: experts ,

The Bush administration’s tacit support for Israeli military strikes on Lebanon may have increased the danger of militant retaliation against the United States and U.S. interests abroad, some experts say.
… The Bush administration’s stance that calling an immediate ceasefire would not be productive has also angered many Arabs at a time when bombings in Lebanon are causing large numbers of Muslim civilian casualties, they added.


Site Back Up

The site is back up – it seems that “seeingtheforest.com” expired without anyone notifying me. But I just upgraded to a new version of Movable Type and am having some problems.
Meanwhile go see STF at Fox. Also, something interesting is coming for Patriot Project Wednesday.

Supply Chains

We invaded Iraq to overthrow the Sunni government and put Shiites in charge there. Now Bush is at war with Shiite Hezbollah, encouraging and assisting Israel in the destruction of Lebanon, and threatening Shiite Iran.
We have over 120,000 troops in Iraq, dependant upon a logistical supply chain through Shiite southern Iraq to Kuwait. One word from Iran – just one – and those troops are cut off. I wonder if the families of our troops understand how serious this whole situation is?

The Blogosphere National Anthem

Digby writes about The Dixie Chicks song I’m Not Ready To Make Nice.
It’s a song they wrote about right-wing intimidation. I nominate it as The Blogosphere National Anthem.
Digby writes,

I think this song expresses how many of us feel after 20 years of a non-stop assault from the right — and the eager capitulation of those who find us a convenient strawman from whom they can distance themselves.
[. . .] Did they think we were going to take their shit forever?
Don’t lose your nerve Democrats. I know you hate to be “unseemly” and loathe the idea that anyone will think you are “unreasonable.” I understand that having Rush say you are in thrall to the lunatic left fringe brings on a 60’s flashback that leaves you dripping in a cold sweat. But get a grip on your subconscious fear of being a feeling and breathing human being and recognize that this is a good and necessary thing for your country. (You might even come to “kinda like it” like those Dixie Chicks have.) You don’t have to be neutered farm animals anymore. If you’re ready to take it to them we’re here to get your backs.

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I’m not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I’m still waiting

Continue reading

Why Destroy Lebanon?

With Iraq, the question is why did we do it? Ask ten people why we invaded Iraq and you will get ten answers, which means there is no real reason which people understand. From Republicans you get a different answer every week…
Now the same question comes up about Lebanon. Why is Israel destroying Lebanon? Destroying the civilian infrastructure, bombing fuel depots and power plants and water pumping stations even in the northern part of the country… and Bush responds by rushing them more bombs. Of course this has nothing to do with the soldiers that were taken or the rockets shot into Israel. But even if it were just because of that, it is collective punishment, which is a war crime. One-third of civilian casualties so far have been children.
I think that maybe what is happening is a “show of force.” What I mean is maybe the Republicans and Israel think they are showing the world that even though the US is tied up in Iraq, we can still destroy a country any time we want to, and have no compunctions at all about law or humanity. But the “little people” like you and I aren’t going to be let in on the reasons things happen. THAT sort of thing is for old-fashioned democracies and republics. So we just have to speculate.

Going Around Congress On Taxes

Congress won’t completely kill the “Estate Tax” — taxes on income from money that is inherited. So what do the Republicans do? They get rid of the tax auditors, giving a green light to just skip paying the tax.
I.R.S. to Cut Tax Auditors,

The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans, specifically those who are subject to gift and estate taxes when they transfer parts of their fortunes to their children and others.
The administration plans to cut the jobs of 157 of the agency’s 345 estate tax lawyers, plus 17 support personnel, in less than 70 days. Kevin Brown, an I.R.S. deputy commissioner, confirmed the cuts after The New York Times was given internal documents by people inside the I.R.S. who oppose them.

Are these auditors necessary?

Over the last five years, officials at both the I.R.S. and the Treasury have told Congress that cheating among the highest-income Americans is a major and growing problem.
The six I.R.S. tax lawyers, some of whom were willing to be named, all said that clear evidence of fraud was pursued vigorously by the agency, but that when audits showed the use of complicated schemes to understate the value of assets, the I.R.S. had become increasingly reluctant to pursue cases.

Taxes – and laws – are for the “little people“.

A Post Everyone Should Read

Daily Kos: What Did You Expect, America?,

Would you hire a babysitter who hates children and thinks they should be eliminated? Or who declares for years in your hearing that children are irritants who should be starved to be small, unseen and mute?
Would you hire cops who think laws are stupid and useless and should be abolished?
Would you hire a conductor for your orchestra who believes music itself an abomination?
Then why would you hire – and you did hire them, America; they are your employees, after all, not your rulers, despite their grandiose pretensions – members of a political party who think government is useless, ineffective, bloated and untrustworthy?
[. . .] In electing Republicans, America, you put people in charge of institutions they overtly, caustically loathe and proudly proclaim should not exist.
[. . .] Kee-rist on a pogo stick.
If you put people in charge of running a project they are ideologically committed to proving a failure, it will fail.

Oh, go read the whole thing.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post

‘It Was Naive To Say, This Will Go On Forever’,

“Such a sharp decline in home sales has sellers in the area frustrated, and the number of additional homes coming on the market is only making matters worse. In June, another 19,300 homes received for sale signs in their front yards. With less than 9,000 homes selling last month, you can see what sellers are up against.”
… “‘I’m not buying your overpriced place on some silly discount. I’m buying at 2002 or earlier prices. If not from you, then from your bank when you forclose.’ Maryann Haggerty: ‘Who is sounding a little, well, smug and condescending now’?’
[. . .] ‘Things were tooling along beautifully for like the last 10, 15 years. Then all of a sudden, business dried up.”
“This is the kind of lull that often follows a boom, Waukesha developer Bryce Styza said. ‘We had a terrific 3, 4 years,’ Styza said. ‘It was naïve to say, ‘This will go on forever.’” [emphasis added]