Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I got the pox!

So I get up this morning feeling worse than yesterday and sweating like a pig. I go to the bathroom and wonder what the heck happened to my face? I'm pimple city. Then I bump into Dad in the hall and he tells me those aren't pimples, they're pox!

I got chicken pox. Ma is pretty sure I had them when I was a kid, but maybe not. I got them now. They itch and you're not supposed to scratch. I can avoid scratching my face but there are some on my triceps that just itch like crazy and I am scratching those. I'm also scratching some on my ankles which Ma pointed out might not have spread all over my body if I hadn't been scratching to begin with.

Let's do Democracy Now!

U.S. Dismisses Iranian Letter to Bush as Ploy
The Bush administration is dismissing a diplomatic attempt by Iran to resolve the international debate over Tehran’s nuclear program. On Monday Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent President Bush an 18-page letter suggesting "new ways" to settle the dispute. The letter marked the first communication between the two countries leaders since the fall of the shah 27 years ago. The text of the letter has not been released but U.S. officials downplayed its significance. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said, "This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort." US intelligence chief John Negroponte suggested the letter was a ploy by the Iranians to undermine international pressure on the nuclear issue.
John Negroponte: "Given the fact that the issue of Iran is before the United Nations at this time, certainly one of the hypotheses you'd have to examine is whether and in what way the timing of the dispatch of that letter is connected with trying in some manner to influence the debate before the Security Council, but again having not read the letter I don't think I could comment further."

Meanwhile on Monday night ministers from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany and the European Union met in New York to discuss Iran. But they failed to reach an agreement on a possible UN resolution. The U.S. is pushing for a resolution to authorize sanctions and the possible use of force.

They got a lot of nerve talking about timing, huh? The ones who sent the UN inspectors packing in their rush to war (because they didn't want the world to know Iraq had no WMD). Now they're blowing off the letter from Iran and you have to remember if it has anything to do with the fact that oil prices dropped when news of the letter got out? As soon as Bully Boy and his cronies said, "So what!" the prices sky rocketed again. (Check out this "Oil up as Iran letter hopes fade." ) He works for them, not for us.

CIA’s Third Highest Official, Dusty Foggo, Resigns
The number three man at the CIA, Kyle 'Dusty' Foggo, has resigned just days after the unexpected resignation of CIA Director Porter Goss. The FBI is investigating whether Foggo helped defense contractor Brent Wilkes win government contracts. The two are childhood friend and so close they have named their children after each other. Wilkes has been accused of bribing former Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham with prostitutes, limos and hotel rooms and arranging private poker games attended by Foggo and others. Meanwhile a number of top Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, are voicing concern over President Bush's decision to nominate four-star General Michael Hayden to become the head of the CIA. Hayden acknowledged his critics during a brief ceremony at the White House.
Gen. Michael Hayden: "In the confirmation process I look forward to meeting members of the congress and better understanding their concerns and working with them to move the American intelligence community forward," Hayden said. "This is simply too important to get absolutely right."A spokesperson for House Speaker Dennis Hastert said the country "should not have a military person leading the CIA, a civilian agency." Republicans are also concerned that Hayden's confirmation hearing will center on his role at the National Security Agency where he approved President Bush's plan to illegally conduct domestic surveillance without court warrants. Earlier this year NSA whistleblower Russell Tice appeared on Democracy Now and criticized Hayden’s role in the spy operation. "Certainly General Alexander and General Hayden and Bill Black knew that this was illegal," Tice said.

Prostitutes, gambling? Gotta agree with my buddy Wally, "THIS JUST IN! THE TONE IS RED LIGHT DISTRICT!" But that's how it was under Poppy as well. It was a gay scandal here, a sex scandal there. Then Bill Clinton's in office and they all want to act like the previous administration was a bunch of choir boys.

Hayden's not qualified. And when Bully Boy calls him "Mike," that shows you how much he's not qualified. It's like when he tried to sell Harriet Miers on her personality because she didn't have any qualifications. I really think this was Elaine's point but she said I could use it and that I was the one -- I have no idea, I'm just waiting for my fever to break. But the way he kept saying "Mike" yesterday, Bully Boy saying it, it was like "Mike" had been kidnapped and he was trying to establish "Mike" as a person. Like in Silence of the Lambs, when the senator keeps saying her daughter's name to try to get the kidnapper to see the daughter as a person.

That's how lame Republicans are, they saw the movie (probably thought it was "dirty") on basic cable a few months back and are convinced that no one else could have seen it before them so they'll use that "trick."

Thanks to Rebecca who heard from Elaine I was sick and made a point of dropping by this evening. Sorry I was asleep during that but I do love the cookies (chocolate chip) and am eating them right now. Rebecca's strong and I think most people get that, but I hope they also get that she's a really caring person who always thinks about friends and stuff. I wish they'd woken me up when she was here. But I'm glad she visited (and really love the cookies, there's a CD and a book in her get well package too but I just grabbed the cookies because they were on top).

Also sorry to Elaine who called a lot earlier. I was asleep then too. I was asleep most of the day. I had the TV on and remember waking up during some cartoon I can't even remember now. I watched for like a few seconds and then rolled over and went back to sleep. Dad did try to wake me up when Elaine was on the phone but he said I would open my eyes and stare at him for a second and then go back to sleep. He tried like three times.

So Elaine ended up waiting until a little bit ago when I woke up and called her back. If that happens again (like if I get malaria next!) she can go ahead and pick the stuff from Democracy Now! and I'll follow her lead. She held off blogging so I we could pick the two together.

She also told me to get an ice pack for my crotch to make sure I don't scratch there! :D

So the boys are on ice which is good, that's the only spot that's not itching right now! Even the back of my neck is starting to itch. Let me post C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" tag this thing and hop in the shower:

Iraq snapshot.
Chaos and violence continue. And are you surprised?
Yesterday, a courthouse in Baghdad was bombed. Today, Judge Muhaimin Mahmoud Abbod "was gunned down . . . while he was driving his car." That took place in western Baghdad while elsewhere in Baghdad, three more Iraqis were killed by 'unknown gunmen' (a popular phrase in today's press reports). Amara saw the death of "a civilian and a political activist" from unknown assailants and Kirkuk was where an Iraqi soldier was shot dead and at least two others wounded. Reuters notes the deaths of four police officers in Ramadi.
Tal Afar was rocked by an explosion today. CBS and the Associated Press report that the explosion was another car bomb (though, in this case, a truck bomber) and at least 17 have died while at least 35 more are wounded. Baghdad was also the sight of bombings. Reuters reports a roadside bomb took the lives of two and wounded at least five more (including two police officers).
In what's become a day to day occurrence, corpses turned up across Iraq on Tuesday. Latifiya, as noted by Reuters, was the location for the discovery of three corpses (all had their hands tied, one wore a police uniform). CNN reports the discovery of ten corpses in Baghdad. Reuters reports that, near Suwayra, at least eleven corpses were found "dumped in the Tigris river" ("including the headless corpse of a 10-year-old boy"). On those corpses, CNN reports that at least three wore "Iraqi military uniforms" and had been beheaded. Reuters reports that of the eleven, at least nine were beheaded.
China's Xinhau reports the kidnapping of two Iraqi contractors in Tikrit and the attack on a taxi north of Tikrit that left at least one person dead and two more wounded.
As the chaos and violence become the norm, people continue to flee the country. The BBC reports that that 244 Palestinians, who were refused entry by Jordan, have been allowed to enter Syria.
The deployment of "roughly 3,500 [American] soldiers of the 2nd Brigade of the Army's 1st Infantry Division at their base in Schweinfurt, Germany" to Iraq remains on hold; however, the Pentagon (and Rumsfeld) stress that this just a delay not a drawdown.
Meanwhile, the laughable attempt on the part of someone (the US?) to create a sort of Tattler/Insurgency Exposed! on al Qaeda is met with skepticsm by experts who fail to see the document as a genuine one. Next up Rumsfeld, offers mash notes passed during al Qaeda study hall.
Finally, Scotland's Herald notes that Sarah Mulvihill, among the five British troops who died Saturday when the helicopter she and the other four RAFs were traveling in was brought down by a rocket, was "[t]he first British servicewoman to be killed in action for more than 20 years."

I almost forgot, check out Kat's "Kat's Korner: Richie Havens: The Economical Collection." I really love that CD. I know it wasn't something she was thrilled with and probably if you know Richie Havens' stuff, you're like, "Eh." But if you're new to him like me, you'll love it. It's probably like loving a Fleetwood Mac greatest hits if you've never heard Rumors. You get that they rock but you really don't get how much until you move beyond the greatest hits. Kat's doing another review tonight and Elaine told me what it was but I forgot. But look for it.