Is Our "Fearless Leader" a Chicken or a Turkey?

Bush sneaks in and out of Baghdad airport in 2 hours under cover of darkness unlike some Presidents we remember
Since things are slow this weekend I took the time to catch up on reading the League of Liberals. Here is what I found from our illuminating and diverse membership:
Indigo Ocean has finished her first novel and ended a dead end
T-Rex Updates Where are they Now and explains why Republicans are bad for the economy
Our Democratic Veteran tracks the brother's Bush and takes two shots at a. sullivan
A MUST READ AND COPY - Natalie Davis All Facts and Opinions 10 Actions to Stop Bush and a few Dem Candidates are failing her test.
George is always a target rich environment says Dohiyi Mir, even with his stagecraft
The People's Republic of Seabrook has Tom Delay as Turkey of the Year and a nice shot at a Compassionate Conservative
Officially Unofficial covers the aftermath of the Shrubs shrubbery damage and other Orwellian happenings
Turkey and more Turkey is the T-Day offering of WTF is it Now?
Turkey at Pen-Elayne's looks appetizing during the Thanksgiving Day Parade which was not to some bigots.
The Cosmic Iguana covers a different Byrd while mentioning that the turkey has landed
Pharyngula found the Turkey in Iraq insulting but the timing of The Two Towers to be Turkey perfect
Cup O Joe ruminates on the recent L o L chat and reminds us that Repugnicans Hate Soldiers
Hammerdown gives us a few thousand words in pictures
The Happy Furry Puppy has T-day predictions
Concentration Camps and UN Resolutions are on the menu at Anarchy Xero
What can Bush do in IRAQ that Saddam can't asks 18 Minute Gap: answer - Nothing
If Byte Back had tallied the reactions of L o L blogs Ricky would have a very large tally although TPRS would have added to "the Left"
Why North Georgia Dogma is worth note I cannot devine. I make the L o L count about 20 to 2 on the side of "chicken little sneaks in under cover of darkness for photo op = Zero style points or more Mission Accomplished"
Rick's Cafe rates some sites for the King of Blogs and tells us the Marine Girl is back at Across the River
Bush V. the Troops Clareified by Bush Vs the Troops Again Pt II
Failure, babbler, and Blowhard are the 3 Screaming Points
Left is Right has Quotes of the Week and Friday Fun
The Gunther Concept on James Yee
Speedkill says it's serious when they don't tell Fox on the way home
The Poison Kitchen - President's in war zones and a new toy.
The Art of Worldy Wisdom Anonymoses - from Whom God Hid Nothing
Futurballa on Clinton's 21 books and a vote for Damage

The rest will wait until tomorrow


2 Million in Chinese Bonanza for Neil Bush + SEX

Bush Brother Business Deals Detailed in Divorce

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Neil Bush, younger brother of President Bush, detailed lucrative business deals and admitted to engaging in sex romps with women in Asia in a deposition taken in March as part of his divorce from now ex-wife Sharon Bush.

According to legal documents disclosed on Tuesday, Sharon Bush's lawyers questioned Neil Bush closely about the deals, especially a contract with Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a firm backed by Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, that would pay him $2 million in stock over five years.

Marshall Davis Brown, lawyer for Sharon Bush, expressed bewilderment at why Grace would want Bush and at such a high price since he knew little about the semiconductor business.

``You have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors do you?'' asked Brown.

``That's correct,'' Bush, 48, responded in the March 4 deposition, a transcript of which was read by Reuters after the Houston Chronicle first reported on the documents.

``And you have absolutely over the last 10, 15, 20 years not a lot of demonstrable business experience that would bring about a company investing $2 million in you?''

``I personally would object to the assumption that they're investing $2 million in me,'' said Bush, who went on to explain that he knew a lot about business and had been working in Asia for years.

Bush, who inked the Grace deal in August 2002, said he had not yet received any stock from the company, which built a plant in Shanghai that began production in September. He is supposed to consult for the company and be on the board of directors, he said.

He said he joined the Grace board at the request of Winston Wong, a co-founder of the company and the son of Wang Yung-ching, the chairman of Taiwan's largest business group, Formosa Plastics Corp. Bush never mentioned Jiang Mianheng in the deposition.

Wong, he said, also is an investor in his latest venture, Ignite!, an Austin, Texas, educational software firm.

A representative at Grace's U.S. office in California had no comment on the Bush contract.

Brown questioned Bush about numerous other business ventures that paid him well to be a consultant and fundraiser, and, in at least one case, for little work.

Bush said he was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation, but worked only an average of three to four hours a week. For that, he received $15,000 every three months.

Bush said he provided Crest ``miscellaneous consulting services.''

``Such as?'' asked Brown.

``Such as answering phone calls when Jamail Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice,'' Bush said.

Bush did not return calls to his Ignite! office and his divorce lawyer, Rick Flowers, was not available for comment.

Bush is the third of five children in the family of former President George Bush and wife Barbara.

He was involved in a business controversy in the late 1980s when he was director of Denver, Colorado-based Silverado Savings & Loan, which collapsed at a cost to taxpayers of $1 billion.

He denied any wrongdoing, but was sanctioned by the federal government for his part in the failure.

The Bush divorce, completed in April after 23 years of marriage, was prompted in part by Bush's relationship with another woman. He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and had sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.

``Mr Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her,'' Brown said.

``It was very unusual,'' Bush said.

Other presidential siblings of the past have generated controversy, among them Billy Carter, who marketed ``Billy Beer'' to cash in on brother Jimmy's presidency, and more recently Roger Clinton, who was accused of trying to broker pardons at the end of President Bill Clinton's administration.

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More required reading: The False Hero The Mahablog


At least 17 US Troops have Committed Suicide in Iraq

NEW YORK Nov 24 Since April, the military says, at least 17 Americans - 15 Army soldiers and two Marines - have taken their own lives in Iraq. The true number is almost certainly higher. At least two dozen non-combat deaths, some of them possible suicides, are under investigation according to an AP review of Army casualty reports.

No one in the military is saying for the record that the suicide rate among forces in Iraq is alarming. But Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top American military commander in Iraq, was concerned enough, according to the Army Surgeon General's office, to have ordered a 12-person mental health assessment team to Iraq to see what more can be done to prevent suicides and to help troops better cope with anxiety and depression.

Army spokesman Martha Rudd said the assessment team returned from Iraq two weeks ago, but that it will take several weeks to come up with recommendations. Until then, she said, no one on the team will have anything to say to the press.

Whether the suicide rate among the troops should be considered high is impossible to say because there is nothing to compare it with, experts say. What would be considered a ``normal'' rate for an all-voluntary military force of men and women on extensive deployments to the Middle East, under constant pressure from guerrillas who use terror tactics?

Rudd said that by the Army's calculations, its suicide rate in Iraq is roughly 12 per 100,000 - well below the civilian suicide rate for US men of 17.5 suicides per 100,000. The comparison is misleading, however.

The civilian rate is an annual figure, and the Iraq figure covers only about seven months. Furthermore, the troops have not yet spent their first holiday season in Iraq - a time when the risk of suicide is traditionally at its highest.

The troops in Iraq include thousands of women, who typically have a lower suicide rate than men. And the Army figure does not include possible suicides among the non-combat deaths yet to be explained.
Get your headlines at What Really Happened
From the Left:
SouthKnoxBubba __ another Mission Accomplished and the must read GOP Bizarro World Politics
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo ___ the CGI President and Culture Clashing with the Facts
Ruminate This ___ AARP; Just Another Insurance Agency and Another Vain and Vindictive Run
Required Reading from the Mahablog The Fog

I Know When Bush Is Lying: His Lips Move

New Statesman; November 21, 2003 Shortly before the disastrous Bush visit to Britain, Tony Blair was at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. It was an unusual glimpse of a state killer whose effete respectability has gone. His perfunctory nod to "the glorious dead" came from a face bleak with guilt. As William Howard Russell of the Times wrote of another prime minister responsible for the carnage in the Crimea, "He carries himself like one with blood on his hands." Having shown his studied respect to the Queen, whose prerogative allowed him to commit his crime in Iraq, Blair hurried away. "Sneak home and pray you'll never know," wrote Siegfried Sassoon in 1917, "The hell where youth and laughter go."

Blair must know his game is over. Bush's reception in Britain demonstrated that; and the CIA has now announced that the Iraqi resistance is "broad, strong and getting stronger", with numbers estimated at 50,000. "We could lose this situation," says a report to the White House. The goal now is to "plan the endgame".

Their lying has finally become satire. Bush told David Frost that the world really had to change its attitude about Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons because they were "very advanced". My personal favourite is Donald Rumsfeld's assessment. "The message," he said, "is that there are known knowns - there are things that we know that we know. There are known unknowns - that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns . . . things we do not know we don't know. And each year we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns."

An unprecedented gathering of senior American intelligence officers, diplomats and former Pentagon officials met in Washington the other day to say, in the words of Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and friend of Bush's father: "Now we know that no other president of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably . . . The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything."

And Blair and his foreign secretary dare to suggest that the millions who have rumbled the Bush gang are "fashionably anti-American". An instructive example of their own mendacity was demonstrated recently by Jack Straw. On BBC Radio 4, defending Bush and Washington's doctrine of "preventive war", Straw told the interviewer: "Article 51 [of the United Nations Charter], to which you referred earlier - you said it only allows for self-defence. It actually goes more widely than that because it talks about the right of states to take what is called 'preventive action'."

Straw's every word was false, an invention. Article 51 does not refer to "the right of states to take preventive action" or anything similar. Nowhere in the UN Charter is there any such reference. Article 51 refers only to "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs" (my emphasis) and goes on to constrain that right further. Moreover, the UN Charter was so framed as to outlaw any state's claimed right to preventive war.

In other words, the Foreign Secretary fabricated a provision of the UN Charter which does not exist, then broadcast it as fact. When Straw does speak the truth, it causes panic. The other day, he admitted that Bush had shut him out of critical talks in Washington with Paul Bremer, the US viceroy in Iraq. Straw said he was "not party to the talks, not a party to his [Bremer's] return visit". The Foreign Office transcript of this leaves out that Straw had complained that "the UK and US [are] literally the occupying powers, and we have to meet those responsibilities". The US disregard for its principal vassal has never been clearer.

Both are now desperate. The Bush regime's panic is reflected in its adoption of Israeli revenge tactics, using F-16 aircraft to drop 500lb bombs on residential areas called "suspect zones". They are also burning crops: another Israeli tactic. The parallels are now Palestine and Vietnam; more Americans have died in Iraq than in the first three years of the Vietnam war.

For Bush and Blair, no recourse to the "bravery" of "our wonderful troops" will work its populist magic now. "My husband died in vain," read the headline in the Independent on Sunday. Lianne Seymour, widow of the commando Ian Seymour, said: "They misled the guys going out there. You can't just do something wrong and hope you find a good reason for it later." The moral logic of her words is shared by the majority of the British people, if not by Blair's diminishing court. How decrepit the Independent's warmongering rival the Observer now appears, with its pages of titillation and hand-wringing, having seen off a proud liberal tradition.

"Out there", the Iraqi dead and suffering are still unpeople, their latest death toll not worthy of the front page. Neither is the Amnesty report that former Iraqi prisoners of war have accused American and British troops of torturing them in custody, blindfolding them and kicking and beating them with weapons for long periods. Investigators from Amnesty have taken statements from 20 former prisoners. "In one case we are talking about electric shocks being used against a man . . . If you keep beating somebody for the whole night and somebody is bleeding and you are breaking teeth, it is more than beating," said Amnesty's researcher, "I think that's torture." The Americans hold more than 4,000 prisoners - a higher figure, it is estimated, than those incarcerated at any time by Saddam Hussein.

With Bush in London, Baroness Symons, a Foreign Office minister, postponed a long-planned meeting with families of British citizens held in the American concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has made a habit of this. The families and their lawyers want to ask questions about the alleged use of torture, the deteriorating mental health of prisoners and the criminalising of the Muslim community in Britain. Held for two years without any due process, these British citizens have had their rights relegated to the convenience of the American warlord.

Blair's troubles are only beginning. There are signs that the Shia storm is gathering in southern Iraq, an area for which the British are responsible. A Shia underground army is said to be forming, quietly and patiently, as it did under the shah of Iran. If or when they rise, there will be a great deal more British blood on the Prime Minister's hands.

For 11 November, Remembrance Day, Hywel Williams wrote movingly in the Guardian about the exploitation of "the usable past - something that can be packaged into propaganda . . . [by those] with careers to build and their own causes to advance . . . We are now a country draped in the weeds of war . . . The remembrance we endure now is no longer a seasonal affair. It is a continuous festival of death as individual souls are press-ganged into the justification of all British-American wars. To this sorrow there seems no end."

Yes, but only if we allow it.