In His Own Words: Pat Robertson Is the Poster Child for Conservative Lies & Corruption

You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop… We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Pat Robertson, Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I didn’t say “assassination.” I said our special forces should “take him out.” “Take him out” could be a number of things including kidnapping.

Pat Robertson, Thursday, August 25, 2005

Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him.

Pat Robertson, later on Thursday, August 25, 2005

Why Hugo Chavez Hates the United States

The Chavez Code, by Eva Gollinger, explains why Hugo hates us and how the United States (specifically the Republican Party) has meddled in Venezuela since the September 11 attacks and during George Bush’s watch. Here’s an excerpt from a review on Political

Prior to Bush, Golinger remarks, the US was fairly indifferent to the Chávez administration. It was the extremism and the violent and irrational response of the Bush administration to the September 11th attacks that signaled a new direction in US foreign policy. Chávez opposed a series of Bush administration policy standards: the unilateral US “war on terrorism,” free trade agreements, US intervention in Latin America and so on.

But most ultra right elements in the US simply didn’t like the fact that President Chávez wanted to use his nation’s wealth to provide health care for children, feed starving people, create jobs, build homes for the homeless, and give the people a say in how their government runs. So, in the spring of 2001, the international arm of the Republican Party, the International Republican Institute (IRI), took a grant from the administration to step up its efforts to organize and mobilize an anti-Chávez opposition party. Where they had failed before, they gathered new momentum as 2001 wore on.

And despite their claims to being non-partisan, IRI funders met only with virulent anti-Chávez opposition leaders, many of whom would later be implicated in the illegal coup of 2002. Soon other US entities got involved: National Democratic Institute, American Center for International Labor Solidarity (AFL-CIO), and USAID, among others. These entities were either directly or indirectly funded by Congress, the administration, the CIA, and the notorious National Endowment for Democracy. Between 2001 and April 2003, the amounts distributed to opposition groups in Venezuela totaled about $4 million, more than three-quarters of which was distributed to opposition groups in the five months before the illegal coup.

Read the rest here.

Robertson Claims He Was Misrepresented on His Own Program

Pat Robertson is back-peddling harder than Lance Armstrong, trying to get around his blatant call for the murder of a head of state.


“I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things including kidnapping,” Robertson said of Venezuela’s leader on his “The 700 Club” television program.

“There are a number of ways of taking out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted,” added Robertson.

Let’s see. “Take him out” could mean take him out for a nice dinner and dessert. Or it could mean exposing him as a homosexual or a CIA agent, as in “take him out of the closet.” Now what were Robertson’s exact words on his own T.V. show on Monday again?

“If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.”

“We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.”

Not a lot of room to misinterpret that, buddy.

You would think the White House – which is leading the global struggle against violent extremism – would have been among the first to chastise Robertson.

The White House remained silent despite calls by Venezuela and religious leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson for Bush to repudiate Robertson’s remarks. However, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday said political assassination was against the law and was not U.S. policy.

Whew, strong stuff – “not U.S. policy.” Torture is against U.S. policy too, which is how we know it doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, the Venezuelans aren’t letting it go so easily.

Venezuelan officials said Robertson’s remarks, while those of a private citizen, took on more significance given his ties to President Bush’s Christian-right supporters.

“Mr Robertson has been one of this president’s staunchest allies. His statement demands the strongest condemnation by the White House,” Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez said.

Big, Fat, and Sweaty: Life in the South

Everyone knows Americans are getting fatter but a new study shows the problem is particularly huge in the South. In fact, the only state in the entire country that didn’t have to buy elastic-waist pants is Oregon, whose obesity rate, while not the lowest, didn’t increase.

Palm Beach Post:

Who would have guessed, y’all? There is a statistical correlation between being fat and living in the land of fried chicken, cornbread, grits with red-eye gravy, sweet iced tea, pecan pie, porch swings and Sunday afternoon naps.

The Trust for America’s Health released a report Tuesday showing that obesity is rising like a buttermilk biscuit all across America.

Mercifully, Florida was an exception to this rule, being out-leaned by only 12 other states.

Miami Herald:

Among the 10 states with the highest percentage of obese adults, seven were in the Southeast — Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky [Editor’s note: poor Kentucky — the only time they are considered in the Southeast is when someone wants to use them as a bad example] and South Carolina. More than a quarter of adults in those states are obese.

Mississippi’s 28.1 percent obesity rate was the nation’s highest; Colorado’s rate, 16.4 percent, was lowest.

Roughly 119 million adult Americans, or 64.5 percent of the population, are overweight or obese.

While complicated, the reasons for the fat epidemic boil down to: lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle.

“As we build cul-de-sac-type subdivisions, people can no longer just walk to school, walk to church, walk to work,” said former Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening, one of the report’s authors. “They can’t walk anyplace, so they have to get in the car and drive someplace.”

“It’s a toxic food environment,” said Sheah Rarback, a registered dietitian at the University of Miami. “Every gas station sells food. Every place we go, we’re stimulated to eat. It’s very hard to escape this constant stimulation for these quick grab-and-go foods, which are usually high calorie, low nutrition.”

What is it with this country and taking up maximum space? New houses are built right to the lot line, SUVs barely squeeze into parking places, and Enormous Omelet Sandwiches provide a day’s caloric intake (and a week’s worth of cholesterol) in one meal.

My theory: as public space like parklands and forests shrink, people try to take up all the private space they can. Might as well start with our own bodies. Can you move over, please? I need a little wider chair.

Antiwar Movement Gives Bush Reason to Rachet Up War in Iraq

If that headline creates cognitive dissonance in your brain pan, Norman Solomon’s article in the International Labor Communications Association’s on-line journal may give you some perspective.

Solomon points out that, while there appears to be increasing hand-wringing and breast-beating from a growing antiwar movement, it’s actually an “anti-lose” message that is the subtext. Much of the messaging in the media is focused on getting the hell out of Baghdad because we’re not winning or can’t win, and so can’t justify the ongoing loss of life or expense. That gives Bush an invitation to escalation, says Solomon.

A big ongoing factor is that George W. Bush and his top aides seem to believe in red-white-and-blue violence with a fervor akin to religiosity. For them, the Pentagon’s capacity to destroy is some kind of sacrament. And even if more troops aren’t readily available for duty in Iraq, huge supplies of aircraft and missiles are available to step up the killing from the air.

Back in the USA, while the growth of antiwar sentiment is apparent, much of the criticism — especially what’s spotlighted in news media — is based on distress that American casualties are continuing without any semblance of victory. In effect, many commentators see the problem as a grievous failure to kill enough of the bad guys in Iraq and sufficiently intimidate the rest.


Nine Out of Ten Venezuelans Agree: Robertson is Cracked

Pat Robertson calling for your murder can be a good thing. A South Florida newspaper is reporting a new spirit of unity among critics and fans of Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez. Both groups now agree on one thing: Pat Robertson is ape shit.

Sun Sentinel:

Some of Chávez’s most ardent opponents, who once led street marches back home but are now exiled in South Florida, said the comments were inappropriate and will further fuel tensions between the two countries.

“I think Chávez will grab this thread and make himself out to be the victim and justify the idea there are international groups that want to kill him,” said Carlos Fernandez, a Weston [Florida] resident and former opposition leader who helped lead a 2002 national strike that shut down Venezuela’s petroleum production.

…some wondered if Robertson was paid to make such an outlandish comment.

“I wonder if someone paid Robertson to say such a thing so Chávez could be vindicated,” said Ernesto Ackerman, founder of Independent Venezuelan American Citizens. “Otherwise those are the comments of a madman.”


9/11 FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley Is Running for Congress (MN-02)

FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley is running for the congressional seat in Minnesota’s Second District that is currently held by Rep. John Kline, a Republican. The district encompasses suburbs to the south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, and was reconfigured in the 2000 redistricting, but has elected Democrats in the past.

While hundreds of government officials dropped the ball prior to the 9/11 attacks, Rowley stands nearly alone as one who sounded the warning that terrorists were on the move within our borders:

In May of 2002, Coleen brought some of the pre 9/11 lapses in the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui to light. The 9/11 Commission subsequently described Moussaoui as an “Al Qaeda mistake and missed opportunity,” the investigation of whom may have led to the center of the Al Qaeda plot if it had been pursued in a timely and effective manner.

In June of 2002, Coleen testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the endemic problems faced by the FBI and the intelligence community.

In April 2003, following an unsuccessful attempt to warn the Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the invasion of Iraq, she “stepped down” from her legal position and returned to being an FBI Special Agent.

Official campaign website: MN-02 – Coleen Rowley for Congress .

Target Targeted for Its Donations to Gov. Gropenator

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article today about a consumer group that has mounted an advertising campaign against retailer Target for its nearly $300,000 in donations to groups supporting California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political initiatives. The group, California Consumers United, has spent $50,000 for a Bay Area radio campaign aimed at seniors to counteract Target’s recent ads intended to lure seniors and families to new pharmacies in its larger stores.

Oh, irony, thy name is Arnold!

The ad slams Schwarzenegger for taking money from drug companies and vetoing a bill that would have made it easier to bring lower-priced drugs into the state from Canada.

It also suggests that Schwarzenegger’s Proposition 76, which would give the governor more control over the state budget, would allow him to slash health care spending.

Since 2004, Target has given $100,000 to Citizens to Save California, which worked to qualify the governor’s initiatives for the special election ballot, and $210,000 to the governor’s California Recovery Team, which supports Schwarzenegger’s political aims.

Target also spent $250,000 to back a referendum that erased a law that would have required many California businesses to provide health care for their workers, $100,000 to the California Business Properties Association, another of Schwarzenegger’s backers, and tens of thousands of dollars to the state Republican and Democratic parties and legislators on both sides of the political aisle.