Friday, July 30, 2004
The Raw Story called a knowledgeable official about Paul Lukasiak's research,and confirms with a former DoD Secretary: Bush was AWOL and should have been called to active duty.
"If you don't show up. you're absent without leave by definition. You would be put on active duty and sent wherever they needed you."
As I pointed out February 11, 2004 - 'Code 22' the White House record release that claimed Bush wasn't AWOL had an over 6 month gap between service days. (The 1972 records showed an even larger gap, no days worked after April, but later Bush records for 1973 added days in October and November 1972.)
Paul researched and discovered missing two months service, two weekends could not be made up after the fact. There is a limited length of time days can be made up. He also decoded the material in the pay records which showed for what weekends Bush was being paid. Bush never made up five weekends.
Bush missed 5 out of 12 weekends in 1972. Bush superiors under DoD regulations did not have authority to absent him or even approve his first transfer request to Alabama. Weekends can only be made up in a certain amount of time which Bush did not do and his records show he never made them up. Bush should have been sent to Vietnam.
ADDED - The Raw Story articles imply this is research Paul conducted for Raw Story when this is not correct. Paul's site has the original research.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
I note that Media Matters can barely keep up with the GOP distortion machine in hyperdrive - over 25 instances regarding the Democratic national convention, so far.
One example reported by Columbia School of Journalism Review Campaign Desk - AP's David Espo lies about Heinz Kerry incident in this article.
David Espo: "She told a persistent reporter on Sunday to "shove it" when he urged her to expand on her call for more civility in politics."
1. An extremely conservative anti-Heinz Kerry editorial writer.
2. Asked her to explain a comment she made in an earlier speech
3. Who then initially misquoted Heinz Kerry, attributing to her the phrase "un-American activities" rather than the correct "un-American traits."
4. After Heinz Kerry learned his identity and when he continued to ask about it, she instructed him to "shove it."
Still, I think most people if they hear the story will be glad some strong independent woman tells a lying, (he was the source of the false story her foundation is funding anti-American groups), creep to shove it.
Thom Hartmann -- The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Warns: "It Can Happen Here"
In 2004, we again stand at the same crossroad Roosevelt and Wallace confronted during the Great Depression and World War II. Fascism is again rising in America, this time calling itself "compassionate conservatism." The RNC's behavior today eerily parallels the day in 1936 when Roosevelt said, "In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for."Molly Ivins -- Reality: irrelevant
It's particularly ironic that the CEOs and lobbyists who run the Republican National Committee would have chosen to put Hitler's fascist face into one of their campaign commercials, just before they launched a national campaign against gays and while they continue to arrest people who wear anti-Bush T-shirts in public places.
Two more books against Bush; are undecided voters a myth?
That so much of what passes for debate about our tax system is gross misinformation is not, unfortunately, the result of accident or ignorance. There are a lot of people blowing smoke in your ear who know much better. They get paid to lie.She mentions two books, one subtitled "The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else."
Krugman -- Rational Fear of Voter Fraud
It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.
When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.
This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, Calif..
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Texas Democratic delegation lauded U.S. Rep. Chris Bell
Bell, who addressed the delegation at a Tuesday morning breakfast, lost his primary race in March after his district was altered by a state redistricting plan engineered by DeLay.
"Tom DeLay is the most corrupt politician in America today," he told the group, eliciting a standing ovation.
Bell filed a complaint with the House ethics committee last month accusing DeLay of misusing his office to raise money for Republicans and to funnel government resources against Democrats. A Travis County grand jury also is investigating possible violations of state campaign finance law linked to DeLay during the 2002 state legislative elections.
Recommended Garrison Keillor: "Homegrown Democrat"
The fear of catastrophe could chill the soul but the social compact assures you that if the wasps come after you, if gruesome disease strikes down your child, if you find yourself hopelessly lost, incapable, drowning in despair, running through the rye toward the cliff, then the rest of us will catch you and tend to you and not only your friends but We the People in the form of public servants. This is a basic necessity in a developed society. Men and women make love and have babies in the knowledge that if the baby should be born with cerebral palsy or Down syndrome or a hole in its heart and require heroic care, the people of Minnesota and of St. Paul will stand with you in your dark hour. If you are saddled with trouble too great for a person to bear, you will not be left to perish by the roadside in darkness. Without that assurance, we may as well go live in the woods and take our chances.
This is Democratic bedrock: we don't let people lie in the ditch and drive past and pretend not to see them dying. Here on the frozen tundra of Minnesota, if your neighbor's car won't start, you put on your parka and get the jumper cables out and deliver the Sacred Spark that starts their car. Everybody knows this. The logical extension of this spirit is social welfare and the myriad government programs with long dry names all very uninteresting to you until you suddenly need one and then you turn into a Democrat. A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment.
"Homegrown Democrat; A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America."
• "Republicans have perfectly nice manners, normal hair, pleasant smiles, good deodorants, but when it comes right down to it, you do not want them to be monitoring your oxygen tube or running your child's school. Like the hall of mirrors at the carnival, they are all about perceptions, the party of Personal Responsibility, which conceals enormous glittering malice and is led by brilliant bandits who are dividing and conquering the sweet land I grew up in. I don't accept this."
• "Liberals stand for tolerance, magnanimity, community spirit, the defense of the weak against the powerful, love of learning, all American values worth conserving. The people who call themselves conservatives stand for tax cuts, and further tax cuts, annual tax cuts, the only policy they know. Cut taxes. Use the money you save to buy a gun and an attack dog to take with you when you drive the Hummer out of the security gate of Republicanville ..."
• "Lord knows we [liberals] can be earnestly boring. Oh God. We sermonize about the Unmet Needs of the elderly urban Indian and the dyslexic lesbian and the emotional disadvantaged Estrogen-American and we promise the moon on a string and it bores the eyeballs right out of people."
• "Defending the powerless against the powerful is a basic task of government, an article of faith in the America that I grew up in. Walking into the supermarket, you are powerless to investigate the meatpacker who packaged these Glo-Brite wieners so the government does it for you. The government is there to do battle with those who would sell you cars that are firebombs to TV sets that cause cancer in small children or vitamins that make hair sprout on your hands or hamburgers made from deceased springer spaniels."
• "Faith is private. It demonstrates itself in good works and love of neighbors but it doesn't need to puff up and blow a horn and bang on kitchen pans. ... When you try to find the love of Christ at work in the Republican Party, it may take awhile. The Christian Coalition was a Republican outfit with about as much to do with the Christian faith as the Elks Club has to do with large hoofed animals."
Today is another Texas Tuesdays and we have Kelly White running in Austin against another sticky-fingered Republican.
She is another example of someone who has scrambled up from close to the bottom to take on the new GOP Texas system.
There was a time in my life that I could have never imagined having a shelter named in my honor. A time when I stood at a payphone at a convenience store, my children in the car, calling a battered women's shelter, hoping against hope they would have space available for me and my three-month and two year-old sons. I was lucky, they had a shelter in my community and they did have space immediately available for my sons and myself.Interview here. Make a secure online donation at www.votekellywhite.com and remember to add 0.36 for online Texas Tuesdays.
Dispatches from the Culture Wars takes on the Christian Family Coalition fundraising letter on gay marriage.
1. Homosexual adoption will be instantly legalized and generations of children will be raised in unnatural environments - deprived of a mother and a father.
(Yes, entire generations of children! Because gay marriage is so incredibly powerful that once it is legalized, the 95% of the population that isn't gay will suddenly become gay and leave their husbands and wives and families to start "families" with other formerly-straight but suddenly-gay people. Why, even those Christian families that have formed this coalition will turn into "gay families", such is the overwhelming lure of being gay that is being restrained only by the lack of gay marriage at the moment)
The Christian Family Coalition, has fought and WON against the RADICAL HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA, whether it's special rights or homosexual indoctrination
of kindergarten children!
(no, really, we'll stop them. We've done it before. I mean, despite the fact that our winning percentage against gay rights is slightly lower than Wile E. Coyote's success rate against the Road Runner and gays are gaining more and more legal recognition for their rights every day, we're really very good at stopping them. We have mastered the use of the two most powerful weapons in this battle - random capitalization and "scare quotes".)
Reports of life on the red planet have been exaggerated (or are being downplayed).
Although Mars Express has been in orbit around Mars since December 2003, scientists have analyzed only a fraction of the data, so it may yet yield the discovery of ammonia. But as of right now, there is no confirmation.
The detection of ammonia would be a powerful indication of life on the red planet, perhaps the most powerful indication, short of discovering microbes or plant life directly.
Mars Express has provided the strongest hint so far of life on Mars, however, when its instruments detected -- and ground-based observations confirmed -- methane in the planet's atmosphere last March.
Monday, July 26, 2004
The New Yorker: Online Only interview has this: both his family sense of entitlement and his religion allow Bush to think that he has a kind of special dispensation from the accountability of democracy.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
The Secrets of Bush’s Payroll Records Revealed
On February 10, 2004, the White House released George W Bush’s quarterly payroll summaries for his last year in the Texas Air National Guard, claiming that they proved that Bush had “fulfilled his duties” as a member of the US Armed Forces. However, An examination of these records within the context of laws and policies of that time reveals that at least half (and as much as two thirds) of the pay and “points” credited toward Bush’s mandatory monthly training were fraudulent. When one deducts these fraudulent points from Bush’s records, Bush does not achieve the minimum number of points under the White House’s own (erroneous) criteria.Paul Lukasiak has provided the most accurate and comprehensive review of Bush's records and the regulations that were in effect at the time. In email conversations he has answered my questions and found that many other statements I had linked to where not accurate for 1972 - 1974.
It is likely that the White House is unaware of what the payroll records reveal, because the most damning information is buried in lines of “incomprehensible” data found at the bottom of the payroll reports. This article breaks that code, and shows that Bush repeatedly claimed credit and pay for performing “substitute training” for mandatory monthly drills with his unit that was well outside the time limits set for “substitute training.” And although he was required to get advance authorization for all training, the public record shows that Bush could not have received the necessary authorizations for “training” performed in Alabama.
There is little question that Bush’s payroll documents are a record of fraud.That pretty much would say it all except for the later destruction of records, a federal crime, necessary to cover up Bush's failure to perform his duties.
Each time more truth emerges about those last two years, Bush’s story changes. Bush never acknowledged that he lost his flight status until records were released in 2000 proving it had happened. At that point, Bush’s story changed to one where he chose to stop flying, as if it was within his authority (rather than that of the Air Force) to make that decision. Bush never acknowledged not showing up for any training for more than six months, and when that was revealed, Bush’s story changed to a claim that he had “made up” the time.I would also bring to your attention his footnote on Bush's obligations to the military at that time. An excellent well-researched review of Bush convicting himself with his own records release.
It is this refusal to acknowledge error and failure, and the creation of new narratives when the facts are completely inconsistent with his original story, that is most disturbing about George W. Bush. Just as he created a myth with regard to his military career, Bush created a myth to justify the invasion of Iraq. And just as Bush’s explanation of his military career changed as contrary facts were disclosed, so have Bush’s justifications for the Iraq invasion changed as information contrary to his justifications is exposed.
Orcinus and Salon Premium and corrente, (and here, and here,) have more on the Bush records.
Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman
"As you know the presidential conventions are coming up. You know how much time the major networks are going to devote to convention coverage? Three hours. Three hours total. One hour a night for three nights to pick a president. That's about one-tenth of the time we devote to finding an 'American Idol.'" —Jay Leno
"Campaigning in Iowa yesterday President Bush vowed he will not raise taxes in the next four years. He said I believe it is hard, very difficult to raise taxes when you are not president." —Craig Kilborn
"They released the 9/11 report today and President Bush wasted no time not reading it." —David Letterman
"The Bush administration announced this week they want to lift the ban on logging. This is part of their No Tree Left Behind program." —Jay Leno
"As John Kerry rides John Edwards charisma into the Democratic convention this week, Washington is abuzz that Vice President Cheney might be dropped from the Republican ticket. On the plus side if he doesn't run, Cheney can spend more time ignoring his lesbian daughter." —Craig Kilbnorn
"White House officials tried to talk to Cheney about softening his image, but have been told never to interrupt him when he's yelling at puppies." —Craig Kilborn
"President Bush says he does not want to be known as the war president. He'd prefer to be known as the peace president. It's like when they started calling used cars pre-owned." —Jimmy Kimmel
"President Bush's daughter Jenna is campaigning with the president now and today she stuck her tongue out at reporters. President Bush was so furious at Jenna's childish behavior that he called her a doodie head." —Conan O'Brien
"In a speech the other day to the Amish, President Bush said that God speaks through him. That's what he said. I don't know, do you think God would mispronounce that many words?" —Jay Leno
"The nation's top election official said the United States will not cancel or postpone the presidential election because of a terrorist attack. He said if there's a problem the Supreme Court will reappoint president Bush immediately rather than waiting two months like they did last time." —Jay Leno
"Big day in the Senate. Earlier today Republicans in the Senate failed to get enough votes to pass an amendment banning gay marriage. Afterwards Republicans said we're not giving up. If we can't ram it down your throats, we'll get it in through the back door." —Conan O'Brien
"I love that the Department of Homeland Security always tells Americans if you don't fly commercial airlines, 'the terrorists have won.' If you don't hold the Super Bowl or the World Series, 'the terrorists have won.' If you don't get out to the mall and do your Christmas shopping, 'the terrorists have won.' Comes time for the election, 'Oh, let the terrorists have that one.'" —Jay Leno
"President Reagan's son Ron Reagan is going to be a featured speaker at the Democratic convention. President Bush says he is not worried. He said, 'Who wants to listen to the son of a former president speak at a convention?'" —Jay Leno
Late-Night Political Jokes - Updated Daily
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Fournier pushes the GOP story
The electoral college has actually been leaning Kerry for a couple months. Based on the last seven polls, one scientist has calculated a 98% chance of a Kerry win and advises sending your money for Democrats to Senate and House races.
I disagree only in that polls change, people change their minds, people make up their minds.
Ammonia may have been found in Mars' atmosphere which some scientists say could indicate life on the Red Planet.
Researchers say its spectral signature has been tentatively detected by sensors on board the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft.
Ammonia survives for only a short time in the Martian atmosphere so if it really does exist it must be getting constantly replenished.
There are two possible sources: either active volcanoes, none of which have been found yet on Mars, or microbes.
(el - Scientists investigating also have privately indicated finding other chemical markers. "Dr. Formisano also hinted on Dreamland that formaldehyde and benzine molecules have been detected. If he confirms this, the conclusion would be inescapable: there is life on Mars.)
The tentative detection of ammonia comes just a few months after methane was found in the Martian atmosphere. Methane is another gas with a possible biological origin.
The importance of ammonia is that it is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen.
Nitrogen is rare in the Martian environment but because no form of terrestrial life can exist without it, the presence of ammonia may indicate that Martian microbial life is hoarding it.
"There are no known ways for ammonia to be present in the Martian atmosphere that do not involve life," the Nasa scientist said.
Wasn't Paid in Alabama
Some of President Bush's missing Air National Guard records during the Vietnam War years, previously said to be destroyed, turned up on Friday but offered no new evidence to dispel charges by Democrats that he was absent without leave.
The Pentagon, which had announced two weeks ago that the payroll records had been accidentally destroyed, blamed a clerical error for previous failure to find them.
In May 1972, Bush moved to Alabama to work on a political campaign and, he has said, to perform his Guard service there for a year. But other Guard officers have said they have no recollection of ever seeing him there.
The documents released on Friday by the Pentagon included two faded computerized payroll sheets showing Bush was not paid during the latter part of 1972 and offer no evidence to place Bush in Alabama during the latter part of 1972.
The Democratic National Committee called the "supposed discovery" of Bush's payroll records late on Friday -- on the eve of the Democratic National Convention -- "highly questionable."
"If the Bush administration continues to search, maybe they'll find answers to the long list of unanswered questions that remain about George W. Bush's time in the Air National Guard. Bush's military records seem to show up as randomly as he did for duty," said DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera. LA Times Reports White House Spin
Payroll records show that he wasn't paid for the five months in 1972 when he was assigned to an Alabama guard unit, indicating that he didn't show up for duty. But the same records show that he wasn't required to attend because he had already accumulated enough credits to meet his obligation for that year.If true this contradicts previously released records. This is a White House spin that ignores that payroll records were wanted for proof he served in Alabama. These records show he didn't.
Bush needed time in Alabama at the end of 1972 to be not AWOL but a deserter. Even in the reserves they don't let you go for over seven months without showing up. See my previous report on Bush approaching the 'Red Zone' which includes this link to "page 5 for the first quarter of 1973 in the same pdf show Oct. 28, 29 and Nov. 11-14 as code 22.
A RESERVIST WHO HAS NOT BEEN PAID FOR ANY TYPE OF DUTY FOR SEVEN MONTHS OR MORE IS CATEGORIZED IN THE RED ZONE AND IS CONSIDERED A NON-PARTICIPANT.His commanding officers must have known this as regulations state:
A RESERVIST WHO HAS NOT BEEN PAID FOR ANY TYPE OF DUTY WITHIN A WINDOW OF BETWEEN THREE AND SEVEN MONTHS IS CATEGORIZED IN THE YELLOW ZONE. IDENTIFICATION OF YELLOW ZONE MEMBERS SHOULD CAUSE UNIT COMMANDERS TO REVIEW THE STATUS OF THESE INDIVIDUALS TO DETERMINE IF CORRECTIVE ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN.This is from a Coast Guard reserve regulations document availablbe online but the requirements are the same for all reserves.
The AF and Army Reserve requires:
3.1.2. Training Requirements for Members of the Army and Air National Guard. Members of the Army and Air National Guard shall:Is there a statement from the Secretary of the Air Force excusing him from duty?
184.108.40.206. Assemble for IDT and instruction at least 48 times each year.
220.127.116.11. Participate in training encampments, maneuvers,or other exercises for not less than 15 days a year,unless excused by the Secretary concerned.
For more on my examination of previously released records see here.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Texas Tuesdays - The Race For River Oaks
If GOP candidates are too closely aligned with the religious right, as Smith was, look for Democrats to have an opening. The overall tendency in the district seems to be "Vote Republican unless given a reason not to." Smith gave them a reason not to. Orlando Sanchez gave them a reason not to. In both cases, the Democratic candidate (or 'relatively' Democratic candidate) won.That still leaves a tough task of defining ones self as the type of Democrat that voters in this district are willing to support, and that's the task at hand for Jim Dougherty.
One small step for Democrats to make in impacting this race is to donate to the Dougherty campaign. Be sure to add the .36 just so they know it came from TexasTuesdays.
Monday, July 19, 2004
There will be little posting this week so here are some thoughts to leave you with.
I am finding it fascinating to read the right wing blogs now: "
But let's not let them [neo-cons] off the hook with their political Nirvana fantasies: The disaster in Iraq is national greatness conservativism in reality. This is what it REALLY looks like: Dangerous and irresponsible imperialism; massive killing of civilians; hundreds of billions of tax dollars squandered; daily assassinations of young American soldiers; stepped up terrorism; the whole world hates us; we are less safe from terrorism now; thousands of American parents and siblings knowing their loved ones died in vein; the trashing of civil liberties; the media have become one big pack of liars and deceivers in support of the state; real conservativism has been replaced by mindless, imperialistic, FreeRepublic lapdogism; and a lying, unprincipled, creepy socialist from Massachusetts will probably be the next president."Who is still supporting Bush and keeping his poll numbers from free-falling? My most interesting anti-Bush email list is run by Charles Auld, who has voted Republican in every election since the 70's. Libertarians and their leaners have long abandoned Bush. If it is only the Evangelicals why is Bush now giving protesters the finger and Cheney using the f-word and saying it felt good? Are they trying to get back the Howard Stern vote?
Can Bush get a winning coalition with the hard-core GOP, militant cowboys, dividend clipping millionaires, mega-corporations, and Evangelicals waiting for the Apocalypse?
Blair's Oft Repeated Claim of '400,000 Graves' of Murdered Iraqis is Revealed as a Lie - Only 5,000 graves found
Are the Most Popular Adult Books in America Racist and Intolerant?
David Corn's new blog has opened with his defense of Wilson. He also defends him in The Nation. Wilson attacks the Washington Post here.
Fahrenheit 9/11 too fair and balanced and leaves out too much?
Halliburton did more business with Saddam between 1998 and 2000 than any other corporation
U.S. Hourly Wages Falling
Bush in charge of branding students at Yale. More of the Trudeau interview.
"We all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said "liberal" means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to. And instead of saying "Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, 'Leave it to Beaver' trip back to the fifties," we cowered in the corner and said "Please, don't hurt me." No more."
— The West Wing
The L-Word Battle Today
For thirty years the Democrats forgot the working man, can they find him again?
Iran rejects US claim of al-Qaida link
CIA rejects Administration claim of Iran al-Qaida link to 9/11
Iraqi Prime Minister Murdered Six Prisoners
Joseph Wilson vs. The Right-Wing Conspiracy
Media Hides that Bush was a deserter
Shorter USS Clueless - When faced with facts that are inconvenient, declare them irrelevant and point out that might makes right. An interview with TBogg.
Natasha on Iran saber rattling.
"I'm not strapping that bomb to my chest voluntarily. This limp-wristed lifenik is keen on dying in bed at an extreme age, surrounded by prosperous grandkids who can travel safely to any part of the world. And I'd wish that same fate for everyone else in America."An Emerging Catastrophe - Long-Term Unemployment
Molly Ivins - Drag God into politics, and you'll ruin his reputation in no time. More Molly.
Seymour Hersh's Speech to the ACLU
Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about. OK? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at [Abu Ghraib], which is about 30 miles from Baghdad — 30 kilometers, maybe, just 20 miles, I'm not sure whether it's — anyway. The women were passing messages out saying please come and kill me because of what’s happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been [video] recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking. That your government has, and they’re in total terror it’s going to come out. It’s impossible to say to yourself, how did we get there, who are we, who are these people that sent us there.
When I did My Lai, I was very troubled, like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened, and I ended up in something I wrote saying, in the end, I said, the people that did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed, because of the scars they had.
I can tell you some of the personal stories of some of the people who were in these units who witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers. And so we’re dealing with an enormous, massive amount of criminal wrong-doing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher. And we have to get to it, and we will. And we will, I mean, you know, there’s enough out there, they can't — [applause]
So — so, it’s going to be an interesting election year, it is. It’s going to be Bush vs. Bush, I think, largely, in my view, not that the Democrats, or Ralph Nader, won’t have something to do with it, but it’s really going to be, it’s Bush running against Bush.
Cheney’s Foul Mouth and Republican Values
Submitted by Democratic Talk Radio
Cheney’s use of the nasty F-word reflects some very deep problems in the values systems of many national leaders in the Republican Party. This value system problem was demonstrated this week regarding the sex scandal swirling around Illinois Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan before his resignation.
Cheney used an obscenity toward Senator Patrick Leahy publicly in the U.S. Senate. Leahy has been very critical toward Haliburton’s war profiteering in Iraq and the White House role in steering “no-bid” contracts to this company that Cheney headed just before assuming the Vice Presidency.
Cheney’s tenure as head of Haliburton was marred by many serious allegations including accounting irregularities similar to Enron’s, foreign Haliburton entities trading with Saddam Hussein in violation of the UN embargo and paying hundreds of millions in bribes to Nigerian officials to secure contracts in violation of US law. Despite this litany of wrongdoings, Haliburton has been growing very fat on our tax dollars under the Bush Administration. Largely based on “no-bid” Iraqi War contracts awarded by the Bush Administration (often with the close coordination of the Vice President’s Office), Haliburton has risen rapidly among the ranks of defense contractors. Before Bush, they were reported to rank 37th in receiving US tax dollars spent on defense. Now, they rank 7th!
The Associated Press reported in two different stories that George W. Bush thinks it is not an issue and the Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee is refusing to criticize Cheney for his obscene language. Cheney has refused to even apologize. In fact, he has publicly stated that he “felt better” after using the obscene word. Right wing talk radio has been militant in defending this obscene language. If Al Gore had used such language while Clinton was in office, they would have been trying to impeach him!
The Republican claim to support “family values” and Christian ideas looks insincere, based on this case and that of Jack Ryan in Illinois. Ryan, based on court papers arising from his divorce, pressured his former wife to publicly have sex with him in sex clubs. He was running for office as a “family values” Bush Republican when these incidents became public.
These are not isolated incidents. Anyone searching the Internet and visiting sites like Oped News.com, Buzzflash.com, Truthout.org, Democrats.com or any of the hundreds of non-Corporate Media news sources available there can find hundreds of other examples of Republican leaders making a mockery of “family values” or Christian beliefs. Examples of these behaviors being criticized or condemned by Bush Republican leaders are extremely rare to non-existent. How sincere can the public expressions of these Republican leaders be if they do not match private behaviors and are not condemned when Republicans engage in them?
Sunday, July 18, 2004
The very conservative Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel and LeeRockwell.com writes a column that a vote for Bush is really a vote for "that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers. I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory."
That was one item in Katrina vanden Heuvel's Good Things in Bad Times where she is highlighting good news for progressives in The Nation, picked up by Common Dreams.
Friday, July 16, 2004
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's national political committee accepted $25,000 in donations from Enron seven days after the federal government launched a formal investigation of the troubled energy giant.
A spokesman for DeLay, R-Sugar Land, said there was nothing improper about the donation and noted that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee accepted $50,000 from Enron almost a month after the Securities and Exchange Commission's probe began.
CPS caseloads under scrutiny
The chairman of the House Human Services Committee said Thursday the average child abuse and neglect investigator's caseload of 50 per month is "way too many" and stretches workers too thin. National child welfare groups recommend one investigator for every 12 cases.
Perry gives lobbyist pal's wife state part-time $40,000 job working from home
State health officials, at Gov. Rick Perry's request, created a $40,000 fitness-promotion job for the wife of a top-dollar lobbyist with close ties to the governor.
Martha "Marty" McCartt began directing Perry's physical fitness brainchild, the once-a-year Texas Round-up festival, at the Texas Department of Health on July 1, according to an employment document created Wednesday. This job was not posted out for applicants.
McCartt, formerly a volunteer in the fitness program at the governor's office, will now work from her Austin home 30 hours a week and get a salary, said Texas Department of Health spokesman Doug McBride.
The action comes during a year when state budget cuts have forced staff reductions of nearly 5 percent, which cost 230 full-time positions at the Health Department, according to the agency's budget documents.
The Front Porch Tour
John Kerry and John Edwards kicked off an election-long effort to take their shared vision and values to front porches across America. Dubbed the “Front Porch Tour: Hometown Values for a Stronger America,” Kerry and Edwards will use the events to talk with families and their neighbors about their plan to stand up for America’s values and build an America that is stronger at home and respected abroad.
"As president, my number one security goal will be to prevent terrorists from gaining weapons of mass murder. I have proposed an ambitious and aggressive plan for dramatically reducing the threats from nuclear terrorism." - John Kerry
el - Unlike this administration which has twice now placed petty political considerations above this goal.
Project was not on council agenda; opposition stirs
Pasadena's planned extension of Strawberry Road continues to draw opposition from some affected residents and at least one City Council member.
On Tuesday, Ruth Caskey of the 1200 block of Scott Street told the Pasadena City Council that she doesn't want to lose her home of 58 years.
"I'm getting very old and I don't think I could stand to move," said the 84-year-old widow who has been battling cancer for four years.
Under a plan the city has developed, Strawberry would be extended northward along the east side of Little Vince Bayou to intersect with Pasadena Boulevard at Park Lane, just north of Jackson. If completed, the project will take 33 houses on the west side of Scott, between Harris and Jackson. About a dozen businesses on Pasadena Boulevard also would lose some portion of their property, according to the plan.
Construction isn't scheduled to begin until 2007, but land acquisition is expected to begin this year, according to the city's Capital Improvement Plan.
The goal is to create a major north-south corridor through central Pasadena, a need that was identified in the mid-1990s, according to project engineers with Sparks-Barlow-Barnett Inc.
Councilman Jack Douglass, who earlier supported the project, has joined those who see the Strawberry extension as a bad idea.
"I don't think it should be done," Douglass said during council members' comments at the end of Tuesday's meeting. "It's going to displace a whole lot of people and will cause a bottleneck between Jackson and Park. We're going to spend multiple millions of dollars to widen Pasadena Boulevard to six lanes, and I don't see the need to extend Strawberry."
Sophia Garza, who lives in the 1100 block of Richard Street, would not lose her home, but told the council that extending Strawberry would create more traffic and noise and would pose a safety hazard.
"Why not apply that money to other things?" Garza asked the council through an interpreter. "The sidewalks on Richard are very bad."
The council's agenda Tuesday did not include any item related to the Strawberry extension, but last week at a meeting of the Second Century Corp., the board allocated $500,000 to the city to begin acquiring right of way for the project. Second Century Corp. is the city's economic development entity funded through a half-cent sales tax.
Douglass also spoke against the Strawberry extension at the Second Century meeting, but said Tuesday that he thought his comments "fell on deaf ears."
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Election Troubles Already Descending on Florida
Two government watchdog groups asked the House ethics committee Thursday to appoint an independent counsel to investigate a complaint that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay traded political contributions for legislative favors.
A spokesman said DeLay opposes the groups' request.
More Bush Family Ties to Money-Laundering
US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq
"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking."Natasha captures The Daily Show
JS: Rob, the government is now floating a plan to move the presidential election in the case of a terrorist attack. What have you heard about that plan?The U.K. Butler Report
RC: Well Jon, the plan is out there, it's a very smart move by the United States government, think about it. The terrorists are expecting us to hold our elections on election day. We'd be playing right into their hands.
JS: Rob, isn't changing the date of the election an, in some ways, a concession to the terrorists?
RC: It's not just changing the date, Jon. This administration has a number of proposals on the table, all designed to protect the sanctity of our democracy. One idea: the election shield.
Under the proposal, the states most vulnerable to terrorist disruption, those on the pereimeter, states like California, New York, Oregon, the whole New England region [each of these areas turns blue as he names them], and, these other states [the blue regions now match the map of states that went for Gore in 2000], they would form a protective shield. A no-voting buffer zone. Sacrificing themselves, to safeguard these states, designated by, let's say, the color red. [The rest of the states go red, and the picture of the 2000 election map is complete.] Who will then safely carry out the election, sending a clear message to terrorists: This red part of America will not be cowed.
"The intelligence: flawed, The dossier: dodgy, The 45-minute claim: wrong... Iraq's link to al-Qaeda: unproven, The public: misled, The case for war: exaggerated, And who was to blame? No one."MoveOn emails me that 11% of Presidential Voters Have Seen Fahrenheit 9/11
An additional 33% intend to see Fahrenheit 9/11, probably on DVD.Max Boot argues for a 'speak softly' kind of U.S. Imperialism and control
Sign the petition to Extend the Assault Weapons Ban which the GOP is letting expire
Coca-Cola uses child labor produced sugar
Tom DeLay's Tainted Ethics Panel
WW2 Veterans Denounce Bush at Opening of WW2 Memorial Jimmy Breslin, Another WW2 Vet., Chimes In
Bush Speech On Gay Marriage was 'Uncivil, Error-filled, and Dishonest'
An amendment simply stating that heterosexuals alone can get married has been rejected by Bush and his allies, in favor of a far more sweeping attack on the basic protections of gay people across the country. In this respect, the president is simply lying. And anyone who takes a minute to read the amendment will see this beyond the shadow of a doubt.Joe Trippi Interview -- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised excerpt -- Buy the Book on Sale at Amazon
Easter Lemming updates will slow down next week
CNN - Sen. John Kerry promised civil rights leaders Thursday he will be a "uniter," bringing opportunities and justice to those left out in the cold by the Bush administration.
Kerry received virtually a hero's welcome at the convention, which President Bush did not attend. Bush is the first president since the 1930s not to attend the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group.
Even before Kerry entered the packed convention hall, he was cheered. As his entry was announced, the song "We Are Family" blared throughout the room, and conventioneers swarmed the senator from Massachusetts. With a wide grin he shook dozens of hands and pumped his fist in the air as he approached the podium.
He used the event to announce a "Front Porch Tour," in which he and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, will visit with families nationwide.
"We're going to talk with them. And most importantly we're going to listen about the values that matter most to the people of this country -- the values that you live by every single day: family, responsibility, inclusion, opportunity, fairness, faith, and the most revolutionary value of all, that we are all created equal on this earth."
Rod Paige Blasts NAACP Leaders
Rod Paige, the nation's first black education secretary, condemned NAACP leaders Thursday for saying some black groups are fronts for white conservatives.
"You do not own, and you are not the arbiters of, African-American authenticity," said Paige, who rose from segregated Mississippi to become President Bush's education chief.
Paige's comments, in a Wall Street Journal column titled "Naked Partisans," appeared on the same day Bush's challenger, Democrat John Kerry, was speaking at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Philadelphia. Bush is at odds with the NAACP and has not spoken to the civil rights group since his 2000 campaign.
Paige took aim at two NAACP leaders, chairman Julian Bond and president Kweisi Mfume, for what he called "hateful and untruthful rhetoric about Republicans and President Bush." At the convention, NAACP officials have described some black organizations as mouthpieces of white conservatives and have said Bush's education law disproportionately hurts minorities.
Baltimore Sun: The Massachusetts senator was greeted with thunderous applause by more than 7,000 people who crammed the ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the pinnacle of this week's 95th convention of the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
"As a campaigner, I know about schedules and speaking to hostile audiences," he said. "But when you're president of the United States, you can pretty much say when and where you want to be. When you're president of the United States, you have to talk to all of the people.
"The president may be too busy to speak to you now, but he's going to have plenty of time to speak after November."
Joe Trippi on the people's fundraising revolution for the Democratic Party
36 Member Iraq Coalition down to 32 and falling fast
Gore won Florida under some recount scenarios - the SCLM (and the GOP) repeatedly lie about this.
Polls - Kerry leads CNN 51to 44 (so they revamped and 'weighed' results), Florida Today FL 48 to 44, AP - In PA now 46 to 41 (called 'slight' when Bush lead of 1 was called surging)
Single audio file containg Bush&Co statements about Iraq
Bob Herbert - You're standing at the graveside of common sense and reasonable behavior
Former employees speak up about Fair and Balanced Fox American Progress Report background
Molly Ivins - Bush Screwed Working Women - But Still Wants Their Votes
LATimes - Cheney gave Powell 38 lies to give to the U.N., Powell removed 28 of them
Arianna Huffington's "Not a Pretty Picture" (from Janette)
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Now, is that really pro-life?
Tom Coburn, a former member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma, who is campaigning to become the Republican party's candidate to replace retiring Senator Don Nickles, recently said he supports the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions.
"I favor the death penalty," Coburn told the AP last week, "for abortionists and other people who take life."
(More links available at the Center for American Progress.)
Attorney General John Ashcroft has repeatedly rebuffed requests by Congress and public interest groups for basic information about how the Patriot Act is being used. Now - in a cynical public relations ploy - Ashcroft has released a thirty-page piece of propaganda wrapped in the guise of public disclosure. The document does not contain information needed for members of Congress to make an informed decision about whether to extend provisions which expire in 2005. Instead, it avoids key issues, distorts basic law and presents a self-serving selection of Patriot Act "successes." Sign the petition calling for the removal of John Ashcroft.
DID ASHCROFT DELIBERATELY MISLEAD THE 9/11 COMMISSION?: In a loathsome attempt to discredit 9/11 commissioner Jamie Gorelick, Ashcroft publicly testified that a 1995 memo written by Gorelick created a "wall" between the intelligence community and law enforcement. Ashcroft said, "The 1995 guidelines and the procedures developed around them imposed draconian barriers, barriers between the law enforcement and intelligence communities. The wall effectively excluded prosecutors from intelligence investigations.The wall left intelligence agents afraid to talk with criminal prosecutors or agents." Ashcroft called the memo "the single greatest structural cause for the September 11 problem." Now, however, Ashcroft concedes that Gorelick's memo permitted "interaction and information sharing between prosecutors and intelligence officers" and allowed the FBI to use the fruits of an intelligence investigation "in a criminal prosecution." He attributes the lack of information sharing not to the Gorelick memo itself, but to "confusion" and "perception." Ashcroft still fails to mention that Gorelick's memo encouraged information sharing and was more lenient than the procedures put in place in August 2001 by Ashcroft's own Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson - which specifically reaffirmed the Gorelick memo and added additional requirements. Nevertheless, Ashcroft's dramatic reversal calls into serious question his sincerity during his April 13 appearance before the 9/11 Commission.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TERRORISM-RELATED PROSECUTORIAL ACTIVITIES: The central claim in the Justice Department report is that - presumably with the assistance of the PATRIOT Act - the Department has charged "310 defendants with criminal offenses as a result of terrorism investigations" since 9/11 "and 179 of those defendants have already been convicted." The carefully chosen language deftly avoids the central question, which is not how many people were convicted of routine criminal offenses, but how many were convicted of terrorist crimes. Without that information there is no way for Congress to evaluate whether the Patriot Act is an effective tool against terrorism.
REPORT IGNORES CONTROVERSIAL PROVISIONS: The report entirely avoids some of the most controversial sections of the Patriot Act. Specifically, there is no mention of Section 213 (which permits "sneak-and-peak" searches and seizures), Section 215 (which allows the government to seize any tangible thing from any person pursuant to a terrorist investigation) and Section 505 (which allows the Justice Department to compel the production of documents). With other controversial provisions, such Section 214 (which eased restrictions on wiretaps for non-terrorists), the report praises the value of the provisions but provides no information as to how or how often they have been used. Likewise, there is no actual information about how Section 206 (which permits vague authorizations for wiretaps) is being used - but the Justice Department does helpfully provide a hypothetical example of how it might be used.
REPORT MISSTATES BASIC LAW: The report credits Section 218 of the Patriot Act with allowing the Justice Department to adopt "new procedures designed to increase information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement officers." As result Ashcroft claimed that "to allow section 218...to sunset at the end of next year would be paramount to unilateral disarmament against al Qaeda." But "there was never any legal restriction on FBI intelligence investigators' authority to share evidence of criminal activity." This was the conclusion of the special federal appeals court convened to consider these issues in a November 18, 2002 decision.
REPORT REVEALS PATRIOT ACT IS OVERBROAD: Yesterday, Ashcroft said the report demonstrated the Patriot Act "has been our laser-guided weapon to prevent terrorist attacks." But Ashcroft's statements are belied by his own report. The report discusses how the Patriot Act has been used in a variety of criminal cases that have no relationship to terrorism. Not mentioned: the use of the Patriot Act to investigate a strip club owner suspected of bribing local politicians.
THE FALSE CHOICE: The report repeatedly implies our choices are to either extend the Patriot Act exactly as it exists now or revert back to the law as it existed before 9/11. But this is a false choice. There are legislative proposals that would preserve the provisions of the Patriot Act that are effective against terrorism while protecting civil liberties. Our favorites: The Civil Liberties Restoration Act and the SAFE Act.
The Daily Progress today also documents THE BIGGEST GIVEAWAY IN U.S. FORREST HISTORYbeing proposed that has environmentalists and hunters fuming. The timber industry is reportedly ecstatic about the rollback. And then it still continues:
MEDICARE - ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE RETIREES TO GET THE SHAFT: The New York Times reports, "New government estimates suggest that employers will reduce or eliminate prescription drug benefits for 3.8 million retirees when Medicare offers such coverage in 2006." Think about it - that's one out of every three retirees with employer benefits.
IRAQ – BLOOD MONEY: War can make you rich. The Los Angeles Times reports, the "vanguard of those who advocated war," are making a pretty penny off of their efforts.
TAXES – GOP CHILD CREDIT PLAN LEAVES POOR BEHIND AGAIN
AIDS – GLOBAL EXPERTS PAN BUSH'S PLAN: The Washington Post reports, "The Bush administration's prohibition against using money from its $15 billion global AIDS plan to buy foreign-produced generic drugs is complicating the delivery of medicine to some of the millions of poor people who badly need it, according to AIDS experts at an international conference" in Bangkok. The president's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief restricts unapproved generic drugs, even though the UN and other international aid groups have judged such drugs the cheapest and most efficient solution to the global epidemic. Experts said the Bush policy "slows the coordination" between the Bush plan and the people running treatment programs in the countries, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office "reached similar conclusions in a report issued this week." The New York Times reports Bush's inflexibility on generic drugs is one reason at least one supposed beneficiary of AIDS money has felt America's approach to be "arrogant and neocolonial."
INTELLIGENCE – STONEWALLING RELEASING A ONE PAGE SUMMARY OF CIA IRAQ INTEL. The CIA had prepared this for Bush (who doesn't like to read) and sent out 80 copies to people.
The DAILY PROGRESS REPORT, what an informative report to be e-mailed week days.
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America's] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. - John Quincy Adams - pointed out by Sam Smith
Orwell's Notes on Nationalism was pointed out by Peter who also recommends John McCarthy's comments on ideological tribalism (what does abortion have to do with nuclear power?)
Please call Texas Senators now and ask them to oppose the Gay Rights Constitutional amendment. You can also thank Hutchinson for opposing the sexist judge Holmes nomination for which she received prominent party criticism.
Please call your Senators now. Here are Texas Senators phone numbers:
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Direct: (202) 224-5922
Senator John Cornyn
Direct: (202) 224-2934
I am sure there are other things to talk about as well but MoveOn.org would like them to oppose the anti-love and discriminatory Constitutional Amendment. Which will fail.
Sen. McCain: Same-sex marriage ban is un-Republican
Citizens went to Tuesday's council meeting to plea to council not to force them out of their homes.
"I have lived in my house since 1946. I am getting too old, and I don't think I can survive a move," said Ruth Caskey of 1216 Scott Street.
In December, Assistant to the Mayor for Public Works Robin Green said between 30 and 35 homes on Scott Street near the bayou will be bought out for the expansion of Strawberry Road, as will a portion of the Second Baptist Church site. Property gained will be used as a right of way alignment.
Pat Van Houte, another resident of the area, but one who will not be losing her home, has been working on a petition to stop the land acquisition.
"This is unnecessary. Businesses on Pasadena Boulevard will hurt from the loss of traffic, and I have numbers here that show 921 signed 'no' to the Strawberry extension. I don't think it matters how many numbers I have; the project will continue," said Van Houte.
Her reasons opposing the extension are:
1- Negative impact on the Pasadena Gardens area
2- Neighborhood atmosphere would be destroyed
3- Property value would be lowered
4- Creates an obstacle for school children
5- Income loss for established businesses in the area
6- Not efficient use of tax dollars
In the petition signed by nearly 1,860 people who work or live in Pasadena, many left comments asking that the money be used to improve existing streets and sidewalks rather than building a new street.
"This is unnecessary. Businesses on Pasadena Boulevard will hurt from the loss of traffic, and I have numbers here that show 921 signed 'no' to the Strawberry extension. I don't think it matters how many numbers I have; the project will continue," said Van Houte.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
HouChron: Charges possible corruption by Perry cronies
Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn called Monday for a federal investigation into overpayments to a Children's Health Insurance Program contractor that she said had ties to the governor's chief of staff.
"We need an independent investigation to see if there's any fraudulent or illegal activity here," she said.
Strayhorn is questioning separately what she called an "incestuous" relationship between Gov. Rick Perry's Chief of Staff Mike Toomey and a Clarendon National Health Insurance Co. subcontractor Toomey lobbied for.
"This is a desperate attempt to divert attention from the ongoing investigation into Comptroller Strayhorn's tax decisions and her campaign contributions," said Perry spokesman Robert Black.
Strayhorn also complained that Perry's former chief of staff Mike McKinney once acted as the president of a company expected to take over the contract in September.
"I'm disturbed by with what appears to be a very incestuous relationship between Governor Perry's top men and the companies supposed to be taking care of our children," she said.
The Fourth Turning: an American Prophecy. In 1997 William Strauss and Neil Howe published this book that said America was in a period of culture wars that would end in a Millenium Crisis shortly after 2001. The precipitating event they said might be a terrorist war.
This was only their latest in a series of books on generational history, earlier one's being Generations and 13th Gen. The last was written about the X-generation. They had also expressed surprised that on one had written a biography about the G.I. generation shortly before "The Greatest Generation" became the media rave. The latest one is Millenials Rising which predicts a "Millennial makeover" of American popular culture.
For the next twenty years the country will be wrestling with choices on how to respond in the crisis time it finds itself. This will involve not only terrorism and taxes, but energy and the environment, and above all else defining the new American values. The last period of crisis was the Great Depression and World War 2. Note that this was the time of the great rise of the Democratic Party. In 2005 America will have a stark choice for the future, corporate safety first under the religious GOP or empowering people under the seperation of church and state Democrats. Right now this is a fifty-fifty nation, by November I pray it breaks the right democratic way.
The Hammer getting Hammered
Democracy Now: Tom Delay is Taking Secret Corporate Donations to Ensure Republican Control
Delay sought $100,000 in donations to his political action committee from Enron's top lobbyists in May 2001 so he could help bankroll the redistricting of Texas to ensure the Republicans gain more House seats in Texas. That is in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.
ABC News: Rep. Bell Wants Enron E-Mail on DeLay Examined
E-mails between Enron officials bolster his charges that DeLay illegally solicited and accepted political contributions and should be investigated.
CBS News: Tom DeLay's Amoral Code
DeLay's brazen attacks on democratic governance -- a tangled web of truly scandalous behavior -- are so outrageous that even conservative Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel has assailed the Republican leadership for fomenting an "anything goes" atmosphere: "I think we're on the edge of something dangerous if we don't turn it around ... It's like the Middle East. You just keep ratcheting up the intensity of the conflict." Real conservatives like Hagel believe that they should take responsibility for their actions. These conservatives actually value the rule of law, and they understand that the ends don't always justify the means in the pursuit of a radical right-wing ideology that serves corporate special interests above all.
Roll Call: DeLay's lawyer doubles as lobbyist for a corporate contributor being investigated (from Taking On Tom DeLay)
The ethics lawyer for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) faces a potential conflict of interest in the case due to his ties to a company caught up in an ongoing criminal investigation of Texas' 2002 state races, according to a House Democrat.
NY Times - Paul Krugman -- The DeLay Money Machine
You shouldn't conclude that the system is working. Mr. DeLay's current predicament is an accident. The party machine that he has done so much to create has eliminated most of the checks and balances in our government. Again and again, Republicans in Congress have closed ranks to block or emasculate politically inconvenient investigations. If Enron hadn't collapsed, and if Texas didn't still have a campaign finance law that is a relic of its populist past, Mr. DeLay would be in no danger at all.
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram - Petition Demands DeLay Ethics Investigation
An Austin-based advocacy group sent the House Ethics Committee a petition Monday with the signatures of 10,000 Texans demanding that the panel pursue an investigation into the activities of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land.
The Washington Post Front Page - DeLay's Corporate Fundraising Investigated
DeLay and his colleagues also face serious legal challenges: Texas law bars corporate financing of state legislature campaigns, and a Texas criminal prosecutor is in the 20th month of digging through records of the fundraising, looking at possible violations of at least three statutes. A parallel lawsuit, also in the midst of discovery, is seeking $1.5 million in damages from DeLay's aides and one of his political action committees -- Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) -- on behalf of four defeated Democratic lawmakers.
Documents unearthed in the probe make clear that DeLay was central to creating and overseeing the fundraising. What the prosecutors are still assessing is who knew about the day-to-day operations of TRMPAC and how its money was used to benefit Texas House candidates.
Several weeks ago, DeLay hired two criminal defense attorneys to represent him in the probe. He previously created a fund for corporate donors to help him pay legal bills related to allegations of improper fundraising, and is now considering extending its reach to include the fees for these attorneys.
“For far too long we Americans have not taken that right to vote seriously, and I think thats it’s time that America does come to the polls.”
Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
In our various oral and written presentations on Iraq, my veteran intelligence officer colleagues and I took no delight in sharply criticizing what we perceived to be the corruption of intelligence analysis at CIA. Nothing would have pleased us more than to have been proven wrong. It turns out we did not know the half of it.
Several of us have just spent a painful weekend digesting the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee on prewar intelligence assessments on Iraq. The corruption is far deeper than we suspected. The only silver lining is that corrupter-in-chief George Tenet is now gone.
el - I also heard him last night on Pacifica KPFT driving back from Carol and Peter's, a long drive, and thought he was devastating to anyone who believes this administration. If anything as a long-term CIA veteran, former daily briefer to Bush I, he is much more supportive of the agency than those outside of it. I think there was more political corruption earlier than he acknowledges. As an analyst he was less exposed to the more corrupt operations side. Not only did Cheney and Rumsfeld set up an outside shop to bypass the CIA, inside the CIA managers cynically played along.
Mike Hersh has more on the media taking this Whitewash Report to forgive the White House, Bush didn't know - the CIA was stupid. In another political decision the investigation of administration failures does not come until after the election.
Unfortunately the Senate Committee chose to blame the CIA and ignore the Bush administration's hand-picked intelligence mini-agency, the Office of Special Plans' active participation in this willful deception - at least until after the November 2 election. How convenient. Now reconsider the Senate "report" and the eager beaver media cover-up in lieu of real coverage.
Bush and most of his top-level national security team are guilty of manufacturing lies about Iraqi nuclear and other weapons programs to frighten Americans into backing his war. Bush himself certified dishonest "intelligence" under oath in his presentation to the Congress.
This remains largely unreported, left to small magazines and muckraking books. Not even Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11 mentioned these facts, and of course they have never seen the light of a cathode ray tube. ABC, CBS, NBC and the "Clinton News Network" just blithely blame the CIA and sit back as Bush and Cheney question others' national security credentials.
Anyone who considers the media "liberal" is raving. Bush is in office now - after getting away with his selection rather than election and not impeached for high crimes before and after seizing office - only because the corporate media protect Bush and his corrupt, inept administration.
"I am running for State Representative, District 99, because I believe we, as average people need average people to represent us. What we don't need is someone who has no idea of the day to day struggles we face. The loss of jobs, high costs of health care, good educations for our children, how we are going to take care of our elderly parents and the high cost of medications. I know about all those concerns because I too face them on a daily basis. I don't want the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. I want fair treatment for all Texans."
Here is her story. Here is her interview. Here is where to contribute to her campaign - add 0.36 for Texas Tuesdays.
"I decided to run for office because I could no longer sit idly by and watch as our state deteriorated into an empire, not governed but ruled. I knew from my own life experience that without a fair start a child probably wouldn't have a chance at success. I knew from the murder of my daughter, and the conviction and imprisonment of two innocent men for twelve years that our judicial system needed a serious overhaul. This case included police misconduct, coerced confession, and cost the states taxpayer's $14,000,000.00 in settlements to these men."
More on how the police forced false confessions out of the wrong men and how the police and Gov. Bush sat on the real killer's confession for years.
Newsweek Exclusive: Election Day Worries
American counterterrorism officials, citing what they call "alarming" intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, NEWSWEEK has learned.
Monday, July 12, 2004
How many will sit out?
When an influential group of conservatives gathers in downtown Washington each week, they often get a political pep talk from a senior Bush administration official or campaign aide. They don't expect a fellow Republican to deliver a blistering critique of President Bush's handling of the Iraq war.
Conservatives, the backbone of Bush's political base, are increasingly uneasy about the Iraq conflict and the steady drumbeat of violence in postwar Iraq.
Chief political adviser Karl Rove's formula for re-election is primarily to push Bush's conservative base to the polls.
Another administration official involved in Bush's re-election effort has voiced concern that angry conservatives will sit out the election.
But Matthew Dowd, the Bush-Cheney campaign's chief strategist, described the fear of losing conservative support as "just ludicrous."
Ron Reagan to Speak at Democrat Convention
Democrats have snagged a high-profile speaker — and a measure of political one-upmanship — for this month's convention: Ron Reagan.
The younger son of the late President Reagan will address the Democratic National Convention in Boston about stem cell research.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Drudge is reporting the Washington Post will lead with screaming headlines that Enron and other documents show Tom DeLay was soliciating corporate funds for political campaigns - illegal in Texas.
The report is out, seems to be rough draft, the dollar signs didn't come through correctly.
Karen Lundquist, the Ethics Commission's nonpartisan executive director, said all expenditures derived from corporate money -- whether for administrative purposes or not -- should have been reported. She also said the rules governing spending by political action committees are clear: Corporate money cannot be used for politically related expenses, such as fundraising and vote drives.
In other news coverage in Tom DeLay's district, Cable News 24 reports Tom DeLay gave money to his ethics investigators.
Records show that four of the five Republicans investigating an ethics complaint against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have received campaign contributions from DeLay's political action committee.
Typically the Houston Chronicle just runs the AP story. Austin American Statemen broke the story with great reporting.
The Houston Chronicle did have a another bit of great news: San Antonio's National LULAC meeting turned into a Kerry Rally. The Chronicle focus is on this prompting some GOP members to walk out. Bush had addressed the meeting by video as well to only tepid response.
San Antonio News has a bit more on the spirited response to Kerry's appearance, of Kerry's "Que America sea America para todos, sí se puede (America can be the America for all, it can be done)."
"We've got better vision. We've got better ideas. We've got real plans. We've got a better sense of what's happening to America, and we've got better hair." --Sen. John Kerry, campaigning with his running mate, Sen. John Edwards
"This Edwards guy, he's going to be trouble for the Bush-Cheney ticket. He's charismatic, and that's going to hurt Cheney. And he can speak, and that's going to hurt Bush." - Jay Leno
"This was nice, President Bush wished the Iraqis God's grace on their road to democracy. And then Vice President Cheney told them to go F-themselves." - Craig Kilborn
David Letterman, on Clinton's book -- "It's actually longer than the new Harry Potter book. And both of them, I believe, are about a boy and his wand."
Bill Clinton's Portrait Unveiling
Bill Clinton returned to the White House for the first time since he left office for a ceremony unveiling his official portrait. In remarks that left some people scratching their heads, he said he felt like "a pickle stepping into history."
"I don't get that at all," quipped "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart. "If I remember correctly, your pickle's already stepped into history."
Watch "The Daily Show's" coverage of the bizarre ceremony.
All from the incomparable Daniel Kurtzman's Political Humor Blog.
It is not exactly earth-shattering, of course, to learn that Fox is more conservative than other news networks. What "Outfoxed" does is detail the specific ways, both onscreen and behind the scenes, in which the network's conservatism shapes its news and opinion programs. The most stinging blow that ''Outfoxed'' delivers to Fox's "fair and balanced" claim comes in a segment of the film on the daily memos apparently sent to the entire Fox news operation by John Moody, Fox News's senior vice president for news and editorial. The memos, which Greenwald says were provided by two unnamed employees at the network, set the agenda for how events will be covered. One memo, thought to have been circulated at Fox in April, instructs employees how to report on the increasing number of American fatalities in Iraq: "Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives," it reads. Another memo outlines the approach to covering the United States military's siege on Falluja: "It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of 'excessive force,'" it says. "We won't be among that group." A third, on the 9/11 Commission, is equally firm: "The fact that former Clinton and both former and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not 'what did he know and when did he know it' stuff," it cautions. "Do not turn this into Watergate."
Greenwald is pleased with the finished product. "I wanted to use Fox's own words and images to show exactly what they do," he says. Fox is a Republican, not merely a conservative, network."
This follows Cheney's interupting a peaceful photo session to say "F*** you" to a Democratic Senator. I wonder if this might be a Rove campaign strategy to compete for the Howard Stern vote!
Can't find a link, I have it in an email. Added later, I was flipped off by Bush. Too bad the picture didn't come out.
OK, Surburban Guerrilla, Susan, mentions it at the end of this post.
Washington gays prepare to out GOP gay staffers and congressman as anti-gay vote debate starts. That seems like another type of finger. "For Years Our Silence Has Protected You. Today That Protection Ends."
New York Times calls for restoring the right to vote for ex-felons for the states that do not do so. Is taking the vote away from ex-felons who are black but not latino, as Jeb tried to do for his brother, giving democracy the finger?
While I discussing giving the finger how about if the American people gave one to the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy who use some of your tax money to support foreign political parties Republicans like and finance the overthrow of governments that they dislike.
How about giving American journalists the finger for using the 9/11 Commission reports to try to finger ambassador Wilson for lying and ignore that the report fingers Rumsfeld and Cheney for setting up a Pentagon intelligence cell to bypass the CIA and feed false information to officials and the press. You have to turn to the British press to find that out.
Steno Susan Gives GOP Blame of Plame
Susan Schmidt, Washington Post reporter known for regurgitating GOP talking points, has an article saying the 9/11 Commission accuses former ambassador Wilson of lying about many things.
As usual, a Knight-Ridder reporter has a much better story clearly stating who is putting out the story, the GOP members of the committee, and Wilson's key point - it was impossible for Iraq to acquire uranium from Niger. Note this is not even mentioned in Schmidt's story.
Susan's story says Wilson did not disprove Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Niger and that he lied about that, about his wife recommending him to investigate this, and lied to the Washington Post about when he learned some documents were forged.
Josh Marshall notes where Susan was lied to in her article and she didn't check and another case where she was either lied to or made a mistake to make Wilson look bad.
Parts of my letter to the Washington Post ombudsman:
In this latest article she seems to be going out of her way to accuse former ambassador Wilson of lying to extent of bungling basic facts in her article.
It has been well known that she often merely parrots back what she is told by GOP officials but should she or her editor be doing more fact checking and shouldn't she be more forthcoming about her sources?
The key point that Wilson made was that it was impossible for Iraq to acquire uranium from Niger. This is nowhere mentioned in her article. Instead she claims that Wilson supported the claims that Iraq tried to acquire uranium and then lied and said he didn't. It also purports to say that Wilson lied about his wife Plame, the outed deep-cover CIA agent preventing nuclear material from falling in the hands of terrorists and non-nuclear states, recommending him for the job. It then says Wilson lied about when he discovered the forged documents. It then says Wilson himself said Iraq tried to get 400 tons of yellow-cake from Niger. She speculates about how this will help the White House in someone's defense of outing a CIA agent. She states the CIA did not tell the White House about problems with the Niger claims.
Iran tried to get the 400 tons of yellow-cake, not Iraq.
No where is there any indication she talked to anyone to get the other side of any of this.
Does she read your own paper about the times the CIA removed the claims from speeches?
It is only by going to the Knight Ridder newspapers report that I find the likely source of her information - GOP members or their staff on the 9/11 Commission.
Did she talk to anyone about the reasons for outing a CIA agent might play good politics but has nothing to do with the legality or our nation's safety?
With all of this I have to reserve judgment on her other claims.
In conclusion I think this article is uninformative, mistaken, one-sided and seems to have a biased political agenda.
Here is his address: firstname.lastname@example.org