I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Those who speak the truth are heroes, anything less is a lie.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Something to be proud of ?

Do you ever watch the news and wonder what caused someone to do something. You know what I mean. When the news is on and the top story is so senseless that you just wonder what motivated the criminal to do it.

Sunday, I had that feeling. The funny thing about it was that it was from reading the newspaper. The feeling wasn't from a criminal - it was from a person's opinion piece. I was flipping through the pages of the Star Tribune and stopped on a page with an opinion piece wrote by Katherine Kersten. It was about Paul Wellstone. I read it and felt a sinking unbelief and sadness drop inside of me, like it was a lead ball.

Here's a link to the article (read it):
Event was proof that the personal isn't always political

The opinion piece left me wondering what would cause someone to write such a unfeeling, unkind article? What would motivate the writer?

Those questions led to more:

If Katherine has children, would they be proud of Mom's article?
(a thought) If Katherine truly listened to the memorial with her heart she would have heard what Wellstone's sons thought of their parents - the love and respect they had and showed.

I can only hope that Katherine knows such love and respect.

(more questions came)
Did Ms. Kersten truly know the hearts of those at the memorial - those who planned the event?
Did she try to understand the memorial? Understand the people?
Did she have empathy?

(another thought)
Paul was Ms. Kersten's Senator as well. I'm sure, if roles were reversed, Paul would have treated her memory with respect and honor. I'm sure Paul would have attended her memorial service and if things went a little off course - I'm sure he would of understood and empathized with the people and situation.

Thoughts and questions ran through my mind all day. It ate at me.
I wanted to understand what the motivation was...

I got online and looked the article up on Star Tribune's website. I noticed a letter from a reader in response to Ms. Kersten's opinion piece.

Here's its link:
Right won't end its jabs at those who mourn

Susan's response said it perfectly. Not only was it a perfect response, it was also truthful, heartfelt and respectful.

I really feel sorry for people who think the worst of others. How lonely and empty they must be.

There's a popular country song which always makes me reflect on the respect and pride I have for loved ones - it's called "Something to be proud of"

I just wonder if Katherine Kersten feels her words in the above opinion piece are something to be proud of?

Coleen Rowley, 'The Real Deal'


Rowley announcing her run for Congress in July

Over at MDE, Coleen Rowley is criticized for her fashion sense (or lack there in)...but you'll get substance from the Truth Surfer..
'The Truth Ultimately Will Win'
Coleen Rowley on changes in the post-9/11 FBI and her run for Congress in Minnesota on the Democratic ticket.
Ann Heisenfelt / AP

Web Exclusive
By Bao Ong
Newsweek

Oct. 29, 2005 - After 24 years of service, Coleen Rowley has retired from the FBI. But the woman who moved into the spotlight as the agency's 9/11 whistle-blower is still scrutinizing issues of national security—and how the government is handling them. She takes a measured view of this month's 9/11 Commission's follow-up report criticizing the FBI, Congress and the Bush administration for failing to act on the panel's antiterror recommendations, describing some of the charges leveled at the agency as "unfair" and arguing that the panel was too lenient on the administration.

A longtime Republican voter, Rowley has switched political allegiances by running as a Democrat in a Minnesota congressional race against GOP incumbent John Kline. She spoke with NEWSWEEK's Bao Ong about the race in the state's Second Congressional District, ethical decision making and changes at the FBI. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: What are your thoughts on the 9/11 Commission's follow-up report saying that the FBI has failed to overhaul its antiterrorism programs and resists institutional change?
Coleen Rowley: Some of it is unfair. Their intelligence and analysis has been greatly changed [since September 11]. It was completely beefed up. If you follow the news, the FBI's criminal cases have declined in half. The reason for that is that [more] personnel and efforts have been placed on terrorism. There's also been a huge change into much more proactive prevention. The other thing that is unfair about the 9/11 panel is that they do very little criticism of the administration....

My opinion is that [one of] the top lingering problems in the FBI [is] the fact that they've never been able to deal with the careerism, which is that unfortunately you promote people in any bureaucracy not based on their merit but on their ambition. The other problem is recruiting translators and linguists and providing the best training for people.

You were called a whistle-blower for your decision to expose FBI shortcomings before the 9/11 attacks. You subsequently wrote to the FBI director warning that the bureau was not prepared to deal with new terror attacks that could follow a war with Iraq. Any regrets?
My actions and contribution in being a so-called whistle-blower about some of the pre-9/11 issues has gotten greatly distorted in the media. You'll read lots of articles that say something like "Coleen Rowley tried to warn the FBI pre-9/11 about a terrorist who's now the 20th hijacker" or something like that. That's way off base ... I had a peripheral legal-counsel role. Nowhere in my memo [that bureau supervisors blocked Minneapolis agents trying to investigate 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui before the attacks] do you see me giving [a] warning. I've tried to set the record straight that I actually fault myself for not having done more pre-9/11. The impact it had was everyone was hiding behind this gigantic blanket defense that nothing could've prevented [the attacks.] It protected everyone from unraveling their mistakes ... I was actually one of the people protected by this. I'm really proud that I wrote that letter. It's awful to be credited for something you actually blame yourself for!

Have threats of terrorism become politicized?
The pre-election Orange alert was used for political purposes. President Bush called off the Orange alert soon after the [2004] election. Instead of combating and fighting the true terrorist threat, the Bush administration chose to exploit 9/11. They chose to turn it into something they could use for political purposes. If you don't do it [national security] right, you make it worse.

You say the country has "blind loyalty" to the Bush administration?
Bank robbers keep going back many times to the same bank they've already robbed. If it works the first time, they'll try it again and again. Until we can stop this use of bullying tactics, marketing stratagems and blind loyalty, it's going to continue. I have to really applaud the Republicans who have stood up against this strong pressure to speak the truth.

You describe yourself as a conservative. Why are you running as a Democrat?
In an ideal world, we perhaps could move beyond the two-party system. In Minnesota, Jesse Ventura's win as an independent set a precedent. But unfortunately, we still are not there unless you are Jesse Ventura or Arnold Schwarzenegger with that name recognition. Most other people still need that party assistance. I voted for Bush and Cheney the first time. Votingwise, I probably voted Republican much of my life up until 2002. Beginning in September 2002, I saw the Bush administration doing the absolute worst thing in the world by selling a completely unjustified war. They used very deceptive marketing. I always give a quote in my civil-liberty talk: "The bedrock of democracy rests upon the informed consent of the governed." The key word there is informed. That's one of the reasons why I think the only hope now is to get a Democratic reversal of the situation by getting the seats they need in Congress.

Al Franken calls you his hero. Howard Dean has given you his support.
I have to confess, I don't have the time to listen to talk radio. It's almost certain that I probably wouldn't agree with them on everything. I greatly admire Al Franken's ability to get his points across, especially when we're in a situation where people are very fearful and intimidated from even stating the obvious criticism. Doing it with humor helps. Actually, Howard Dean is one of my heroes. In the presidential campaign, he was speaking the truth about the Iraq war. He was doing it in an effective way. Maybe it's naive but I just have the strongest belief that telling the truth ultimately will win.

What are your chances of winning in such a strongly Republican district?
I would like to think we have a real good chance despite the last election [results.] I don't think it's impossible. I'm hoping there will be enough independent thinking people. What's happened in the last couple of years and especially the last few months is the veil has been lifted from the horrendously bad policies.

You've focused your campaign on "ethical decision-making." What other issues are important to you?
National security. That would be my top one. The Iraq war was the absolute worst approach to minimize terrorist threat. It has produced more terrorism and made us less secure.

Is there now an environment where other FBI agents or whistle-blowers will speak out about faults?
Nope. It's worse. I was probably one of the last so-called whistle-blowers to not be fired.
© 2005 Newsweek, IncUED

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"America First" - A song to rally around!

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New Merle Haggard CD includes 2 must have songs for the politically minded!

Those two songs are:
"America First" and "Where's all the Freedom"

If you are a country music fan, you'll love the entire CD. If you are not a fan, the lyrics on the 2 songs above are worth reading!

"America First" is the first radio single being released to radio.

Everyone needs to hear this song, it is so fitting to the current situation we are in. Please call your local Country Radio station and request it! I am planning on buying more copies of this CD to give to friends and other activists.

These songs really become meaningful after the horrible milestone that we hit this past week. 2,000 courageous men and women (Americans) died in the Iraqi war. God bless them and their families, our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Let's get "America First" heard by all!

Here's a link to Amazon.com (please get at least 2 copies - keep one for yourself and give the other to a friend)
Amazon.com

P.S. - If you don't know how Country Radio works, let me fill you in. They love playing new artist's music. New being defined as anyone from 1989 to the present. Those Country legends who are still putting music out get ignored by country radio (this includes - George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and yes - Merle Haggard). Other newer artists have also been black listed from Country radio. I am worried that "America First" won't be played unless the radio stations get inundated with requests.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Man of Principles???

President Bush is no longer his “own man”. Throughout his 1st term and into his second, President Bush touted that he stood by his convictions, a man of principle. He ran for re-election as a President who claimed that he’d never waver when he sets his mind to something. He has said that he’ll say what he means and mean what he says…

However, Thursday, October 27, 2005 – proved that he lied about that as well. President Bush is no longer “his own man”, and now it can be argued that he never was his own man. He is now under control of the religious right with his acceptance of Harriet Miers resignation of nomination to the Supreme Court. You know you have problems when your own party won’t back your decision-making.

Many people would claim that President Bush has always been a puppet of various groups or people (i.e. – Karl Rove). Maybe, due to the corruption that has been running rapid through Bush’s administration – maybe his puppeteers were so preoccupied with being investigated that they dropped the strings of Puppet Bush, I mean President Bush. In doing so, Bush took some liberties with his Supreme Court Nomination (i.e. – nominating a friend). The Republican Party and “religious” right are foaming at the mouth for a fight over a Supreme Court Nominee. They want, in the worst way, to push the nuclear button and invoke the nuclear option. They want to have nothing but rubble and devastation left of our government. Once that occurs they will turn the reins over to corporations. We will be a country of the CEO’s for the CEO’s and by the CEO’s.

Bush has lost control of his own party. How can he lead?
We are starting to see the cracks in the foundation of lies Bush and his administration have built.

What is next for our President?

I remember back to Clinton’s impeachment. They impeached a President for lying under oath about a personal matter that didn’t affect the country. Our current President has been telling lie after lie and it has cost us all greatly. He claimed that he’d restore integrity to the White House… He hasn’t and he won’t. Corruption breads corruption. Karl Rove was corrupt and has bread corruption through Bush.

Goodbye Kissy Butt!

Can you say 'goodbye best friend kissy butt'?
Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications....

Oh yeah, and there was also that money scam that she was involved with but hey...Bu$hCo can't help himself, he's ethically impaired.

Bring on the indictments!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blame Game?

Senator Thomas Neuville (Senate District 25) continues to play blame game at a community forum held in Lonsdale (Oct. 17).
Tom looked tired. Tom looked impatient. Tom looked upset.

Senator Neuville played the blame game on Monday, October 17th at a community forum held by the Lonsdale Area Chamber of Commerce. The forum was held to mainly highlight the local mayoral and city council races. Senator Thomas (Tom) Neuville and Stat House Rep. Ray Cox were also invited to give a report on last sessions activities and then answer questions.

Neuville was asked to come up to the podium first. He insisted that Rep. Cox join him, but the moderator said no Mr. Cox will come up next. Neuville gave a lack luster report and when he ran out of things to say he asked for Mr. Cox to join him and answer questions (the question period of the forum wasn't supposed to take place till the end of the forum) - the moderator quickly jumped in and said that the question part was at the end and right now Mr. Cox would give his report.

Jumping forward to the questions period...
The first question was asked to both Rep. Cox and Senator Neuville. A woman stood up with a statement that was followed by her question: The State shutdown didn't really affect myself or my family, but I know that there were families that were really impacted by the Shutdown - State Employees. Did either of you take pay during the shutdown. Mr. Cox took the lead and explained how they get paid: salary, paid over a 12 month period. During a shutdown we are given a perdium. "I did not take it"... (but they still got paid the salary) - Neuville added that he didn't take the perdium neither. Cox did mention that they got reimbursed for expenses during that time.

Neuville blamed the "leadership" for the shutdown. Latter after that statement he admitted "I'm second in command of the Republican caucus"... he mentioned that he and his caucus were working on a promissory note that a shutdown would not happen again. Why would you need to promise that something won't happen again if you weren't a part of the reason for it???

All throughout the forum Neuville defended the Governor, blamed the Democrats - at one point saying "it was the Senate Democrats fault".

Another highlight was when Neuville mentioned the numerous "ugly" e-mails he received. "I added them all to my list and have sent them updates throughout the shutdown"... During the shutdown I sent Mr. Neuville an e-mail and haven't been added to his list nor have I been given the respect of a response ... Oh by the way it was a very nice e-mail, not ugly at all.

Both Neuville and Cox said that they would support a Twins Stadium if brought back in a Special Session. Neuville invoked the anti-gay unions amendment that "would more than likely come up in a special session"...

Senator Neuville took no responsibility for the Shutdown. He stood on partisan lines. When I think of what I'd like to see my Senator do, it surely doesn't include playing a childish game of blame.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Double Damn Good Democrat

In the Sherrod Brown/Paul Hackett Senate primary fight in Ohio, but if Brown keeps coming up with class acts like his latest blog ad campaign, it's going to be real hard not to choose up sides.

Look at this…


…give it a click if you want to reward good behavior and help secure a Democratic victory in Ohio.

That's right, Brown is paying for ads (this one's a comp) that feature photos of both candidates, to raise money for a fund that will support the primary winner, whoever it may be.

Sherrod Brown. Democrat.

Damn Good Democrat. Let's see if this starts something with other damn good Democrats working together!

Hat tip to another damn good democratic blogger Upper Left

Endlessly Miered in Luck

The Miers family received 'excessive' sum in land case
* I'm positive this is just a fortunate series of lucky coincidents and not anything else...not!

Supreme Court nominee Harriet 'kissy butt' Miers collected more than 10 times the market value for a small slice of family-owned land in a large Superfund pollution cleanup site in Dallas where the state wanted to build a highway off-ramp.

The windfall came after a judge who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Miers' law firm appointed a close professional associate of Miers and an outspoken property-rights activist to the three-person panel that determined how much the state should pay.

Reporting or Stenography?

Best line on 'kissy face' Miller goes to Maureen Dowd at truth out,,,
Judy admitted in the story that she "got it totally wrong" about WMD "If your sources are wrong," she said, "you are wrong." But investigative reporting is not stenography.

I love this the last part...
But investigative reporting is not stenography.
They should teach that to every first year journalism student and ban any hacks who don't get it...which based on the last four years...is the majority!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Dear Texas Sheriff


Okay I just can't bring myself to post up Delay's ugly mug with his evil grin that's already posted up everywhere...but I do so like this one!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Surfing the Wild Blue Yonder

Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has just launched his own brand-new Web site.

I believe that's a sign we have 'lift off'. It's certainly not the action of an office about to fold up its tents and slink back into the desert. While Fitzgerald says 'not to read anything into it...either way'...I'm taking it to mean there's a need to post up and desiminate information (indictments?). Just thinking about it makes me smile...

Oink Oink!

Senator Ted Stevens (R Alaska) vehemently claimed that after 37 years in the Senate he would resign and "be taken out of here on a stretcher" if the Senate killed funding for two Alaskan bridges.

The so called Bridges to Nowhere, $223 million in federal funds – will connect Gravina Island (pop. 50 people) to Ketchikan(pop. 14,000 and dropping). Another dog..er pig is the Knik Arm Bridge, which is set to receive $231 million, and would destroy a historic Anchorage neighborhood to connect with an area so remote it boasts only three dirt lanes.

The bridges are perhaps the most egregious of approximately $1 billion worth of special earmark funding set aside for Alaska in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act. The pork they represent could buy a whole lot of Hurricane relief.

Frankly I think it's high time the Senator did exit on a stretcher and save us the cost of two unnecessary bridges to nowhere.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

12 Minutes

INTREPID IRAQ REPORTER SAYS THINGS ARE NOW SO DANGEROUS HE ONLY ALLOWS HIMSELF 12 MINUTES TO COVER A STORY

The Independent's famously intrepid Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk has revealed that the situation in Iraq is now so dangerous that he doesn't know whether he can go on reporting from the country. Fisk, who has previously accused colleagues of practising "hotel journalism" in Iraq, said that "mouse journalism" is now the best he can do in the country.

Fisk, whose new history of the Middle East, The Great War for Civilization, has just been published, described mouse journalism as the practice of popping up at the scene of an event and staying just long enough to get the story, before the men with guns arrive.

Speaking at a bookshop in Golders Green, he said: "You cannot imagine just how bad things are in Iraq. A few weeks ago, I went to see a man whose son was killed by the Americans, and I was in his house for five minutes before armed men turned up in the street outside. He had to go and reason with them not to take me away. And this was an ordinary Baghdad suburb, not the Sunni Triangle or Fallujah.

"It has got to the stage where, for example, when I went to have a look at the scene of a huge bomb in a bus station, I jumped out of the car and took two pictures before I was surrounded by a crowd of enraged Iraqis. I jumped back in the car and fled. I call that 'mouse journalism' - and that's all we can do now.

"If I go to see someone in any particular location, I give myself 12 minutes, because that is how long I reckon it takes a man with a mobile phone to summon gunmen to the scene in a car. So, after 10 minutes I am out. Don't be greedy. That's what reporting is like in Iraq."

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/article/131005/mouse_journalism_is

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Don't be against Republicans...

In 2004’s Presidential race I heard the cry “anyone but Bush! Anyone but Bush!!!”. Unfortunately it was Bush.

After the election all those who were involved (well, ok most) disappeared back into their lives. As a new person to the political process I found myself working harder and with more passion after the election. Sure we lost the big one, but we had many small victories along the way. These victories I considered to be the foundation of what was to come.

Having Bush in for a second term had me more focused and ready to combat what lay ahead. But as I stood there with my sleeves rolled up ready to get back to work, I noticed the emptiness of it all. Where did all of those passionate volunteers go? What they believed during the election was now more important than ever. Where were the flag bearers? Where were those who had worked so hard and worked so passionately? Surely they didn’t feel that all of that work was for nothing or did they?

I realized as time went by that maybe most of those who came out to volunteer and help had the mentality of anyone but Bush. Maybe they were so against the opposition that they didn’t realize or see the victories in the election of 2004.

So now we stand on the edge of another important election year – 2006. What will be the rally cry this coming year? We all know that our country hasn’t been doing that well (underestimation). But what will be the focus?

I’d like to suggest what the rally cry should be – “Don’t be against Republicans, be FOR Democrats/DFLers!” Let’s focus on our candidates, and our ideas. Let’s choose candidates because we feel passionate about who they are and what they stand for. Let’s not choose candidates because they are the safe choice – the ones we feel can beat the opposition. Let’s take a chance on candidates. Lets listen to our hearts not our minds. If we focus on why people should vote for our Democratic/DFLer candidates and not why they should vote against the opposition then maybe we will build a community of people willing to be involved throughout the year – a strong and reliable base.

Let us be for Democrats and DFLers!
Together we can build a stong and positive party.

sg05

Ms. Kissy Butt Redux

When Miers(Kissy Butt to Dubya) was campaigning for a seat on the Dallas City Council in 1989, she promised an anti-abortion group that she would support a constitutional amendment banning abortions except in cases when a mother’s life was threatened. Miers also promised to participate in anti-abortion rallies and to try to block public money from going to clinics where women could have an abortion.

Yep, she drank the coolaid.

News!! Fox gives GOP Talking Points!

Well I guess this isn't new (or news), and it certainly isn't a surprise. Wonder how much they make on the bush payroll?

Fox News Pushing “Criminalization of Politics” Talking Point
Conservative defenders of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have settled on their No. 1 talking point: the grand jury investigation into the CIA leak scandal represents the “criminalization of politics.”

In other words, they say, the outing of a covert CIA agent in a time of war to punish a whistleblower is just everyday “politics” — nothing out of the ordinary, certainly nothing criminal. In fact, according to conservatives (as articulated by the National Review), the “criminalizing of politics” is actually “the most dangerous fire of this ordeal.”

To spread this talking point across the nation, the right has received a major assist from Fox News. According to a database search, every single television reference to the CIA leak scandal as the “criminalization of politics” in the last 30 days has been on Fox. Even more stunning: on every occassion, the phrase was introduced into the segment by a Fox News anchor or correspondent, never by a guest.

more at Think Progressive

Monday, October 17, 2005

Iraq Constitution Won't Feed the Kids..

Unlike other established democracies the Iraq draft constitution doesn't act as the supreme law of the land. Islam is the supreme law of the land. It is clearly labeled as such.

Because of this the constitution is lacking in the necessary elements to establish equal rights. Islamic law still controls women's lives. They are forbidden to have a passport or travel without a family male escort, forbidden to divorce without permission from a husband (rarely granted), and are still beaten for wearing bare arms, beaten for a lack of escort, beaten for any infraction of Islamic law.

Iraq needs a secular not religious government to be a functioning 'democracy'. Only then will women be equal. Besides the vast majority of Iraqis are more concerned with when they will have jobs, electricity, clean water, healthcare...players...no one else will benefit.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Bush's (et al) Rap Sheet

It's been a long...very long Bush reign...
Have I've mentioned GOP stands for GO TO OUR PRISONS?

Upper Left is keeping score:

1. Cheney's secret Energy Task Force

2. Ashcroft's illegal campaign contributions in 2000

3. Boeing I - the $23 billion tanker lease deal

4. Boeing II - the $1.3 billion surveillance aircraft boondoggle

5. Bush-Cheney 2000's failure to report $14 million spent on "recount" activities

6. Haliburton in Iraq

7. Haliburton in Nigeria (*2005 Haliburton in Louisana!)

8. The Valerie Plame outing (Is it Rove or Cheney that's a traitor...more likely both!)

9. Withholding information about the Medicare bill costs

10. Daniel Montgomery, Director of the ATSB, accepting illegal gifts from airlines.

11. John Korsmo, FHFB chair and his wife Michelle, a DOL official, involved in illegal political fundraising.

12. The suspension of Parks Police Chief Teresa Chambers in violation of Title 5 whistleblower protections.

13. The Iraqi National Congress' use of government funds to lobby for war. (This has yet to be fully disclosed...CIA Covert Plan+ Puppet Gov = US Foreign Policy)

14. Misuse of the Secret Service and other security to shield the President and Vice President from dissent on the campaign trail. (and the media's buy in!)

15. Abuse of the Presidential Records Act, to shield Reagan, Bush I and Bush II from scrutiny, and leaking information about Clinton pardons. (it's a secret because I say so! National security? I don't think so,)

16. DOJ and Interior blocking the investigation of oil leases that cheated American Indian nations.

17. Charges by John Dean that Bush knowingly violated the terms of the Iraq war resolution.

18. Diversion of $700 million in Afghan war funds to preparations for Iraq invasion.

19. Failure to account for $40 billion in 9/11 emergency response funds.

20. Use of IRS web site to disseminate political messages from RNC press releases. (plus gov produces stories presented as independent media!)

21. Administration appointees with fraudulent academic credentials, including an Assistant and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and a member of the National Commission on Presidential Scholars.

22. HHS ethics investigations, including Thomas Scully negotiating a new job representing companies that directly benefit from his work as Medicare chief.

23. The non-partisan General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the administration engaged in illegal propaganda with its fake news segments about the new Medicare law.

24. Rumsfeld's phony list of Iraqi contractors, provided to Rep. Ike Skelton, that doesn't include key Abu Ghraib players Titan and CACI, or Vinnell, MPRI Int., SAIC, Eagle Group, etc.

25. The Defense Department failure to submit the required quarterly reports on how supplemental authorizations have been spent since May 9, 2003, a report that covered spending through February 28, 2003.

26. A dozen current and former truckers say they risked their lives driving across Iraq in empty trucks more than 100 times while "dodging bullets, bricks and homemade bombs" -- trips their employer, a Halliburton subsidiary, billed to the U.S. government.

27. Deputy AG James Comey's attempt to improperly influence the Supreme Court deliberations and/or poison any potential jury pool in the Jose Padilla 'unlawful combatant' case.

28. The DoD/DoJ coverup of the chain of command responsibility for Abu Ghraib tortures. As of 6/9/04, no commissioned officer is facing Court Martial charges for the events at the prison.
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29. Attorney General John Ashcroft's obstruction of Congressional investigators by refusing to provide an unclassified memorandum reported to instruct Administration officials on methods to avoid culpability for torture and other war crime violations against prisoners.

30. Using Doug Feith, a political employee, to award no-bid contracts, coordinated with the Vice President's Chief of Staff, to the Vice President's former firm, Haliburton.

31. Bush's putting ideology above science in policy development, resulting in, among other things, allowing a Cabinet Secretary to withhold evidence in a Congressional Hearing and permitting idustry lobbyists to write mercury pollution legislation according to their profit desires instead of sound science.

32. Attorney General John Ashcroft giving false evidence under oath, according to the testimony of two FBI agents.

33. The Justice Department release without trial of terror suspect Nabil al-Marabh for deportation to Syria.

34. The Department of Homeland security awarding a high-level security clearance to Faisal Gill despite his submitting an application that concealed his association with indicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi.

35. John A. Shaw, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security, conducting "...unauthorized investigations of Iraq reconstruction efforts," and using the results "...to push for lucrative contracts for friends and their business clients."

36. Bush officials editing the EPA report on NYC air quality after 9/11 in a way that "added reassuring statements and deleted cautionary statements."

37. Misuse of a technology contract with Affiliated Contract Services to employ interrogators at Gitmo.

38. Leaking the identity of Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan, the al Qaida double agent in Pakistan.

39. The EPA delivered an advance copy of a rule for commercial laundries to industry representatives for editing, letting the industry define the regulation.

40. A GAO audit finds the Defense Department has an error rate of 95% in payroll accounting for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

41. The neo-con cabal operating out of Doug Feith's DoD office, ranging from the espionage investigation of Larry Franklin through the House and Senate investigations of a broader pattern of misbehavior surrounding Feith's operation.

42. The GAO reports that corporations are permitted to bid for US government contracts while using subsidiaries in foreign tax havens to gain a competetive bidding advantage.

43. HHS deleting a chart from its annual report that revealed the cost increases for Medicare recipients until Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) noticed its absence and demanded disclosure.

44. John Ashcroft's publicity tours to support passage of the PATRIOT, which, as Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) points out, apparently violate laws that prohibit lobbying by executive branch officials.

45. Conditions in the prisons operated by the BIA, which Interior officials report have produced at least 11 fatalities, 236 suicide attempts and 632 escapes since the Bush administration took office.

46. Department of Interior mismanagement of the Indian land trusts, and their legal battles against tribal efforts to gain compensation, despite repeated judical sanctions for misconduct and malfeasance.

47. The GAO found the Bush administration vioalted the law by allowing the insurance industry to impose illegal limits on Medicare recipients under a managed care trial program.

48. A serious breach of homeland security reponsiblities has occured as the Bush administration has sent an aging fleet of Coast Guard vessels into an expanded mission with an understaffed, inexperienced corps of Coasties.

Congress:


49. The NRCC's illegal transfer of $500,000 in soft money to ineligible recipients during the 1999 primary season.

50. The House leadership censored the C-SPAN cameras in the chamber during the three hours the they were harassing members to switch their votes, locking the cameras on the Democratic side of the chamber.

51. DeLay selling influence to Westar Energy.

52. DeLay using the FAA to chase the Texas "Killer D's."

53. Rep. Tom Davis using his chairmanship of the House Government Reform Committee to block the Haliburton investigations.

54. Rep. Joe Barton using his franking privelege to contact voters outside the District he was elected to represent.

55. DeLay's PAC contributions to House Ethics investigators.

56. DeLay directing Texas Republican Peter Cloeren to channel contributions to out of state PACs in order to evade FEC contribution limits in a Texas Congressional race.

57. The Republican Congress not only failed to tighten of the rules requiring pensions to set aside enough money to meet their obligations, but actually loosened them, giving the biggest flexibility was given to the most troubled industries.

58. Senate Judiciary Committee computer theft.

59. The Nick Smith bribe.

60. Tom DeLay's illegal Texas legislative contributions.

61. Tom DeLay's bogus “Celebrations for Children” charity, used as a front for political receptions.

62. Tom DeLay's abuse of Treasury Department personnel for political puposes by ordering a a partisan analysis of John Kerry’s tax plan.

63. Bill Frist's financial stake in a medical malpractice insurer, while pushing malpractice "reform" in the Senate.

64. Rep. Henry Bonilla's American Dream PAC, which has contributed less than 9% of its funds to the minority candidates it was chartered to assist.
65. The payola scandals - Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and any other "journalist" on the public payroll for propaganda purposes.

66. The Justice Departments demand for nearly $400,000 from People for the American Way in order to fulfill a freedom of information request, a tab described by the New York Times as "...well beyond established criteria and amounts to an insult to the law's intent.

67. The Bush Administrations budget request for their Medicare scam came in at triple the cost they promised Congress in order to secure passage.

68. Bushco Health Secretary Mike Leavitt concealing the names of states he accuses of $40 billion in Medicare fraud.

69. Falsified reports submitted for Tom DeLay's 2000 golf junket to Scotland.

70. Tom DeLay accepted illegal funding from a registered foreign agent for a 2001 junket to South Korea.

71. New evidence in the TRMPAC case point to Tom DeLay's direct involvement in soliciting corporate cash that was to be used to illegally finance campaign activities.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

'Threat of Terror' or 'Terror of the Threat'?

Yep I'll buy coincidences...just not every single time...

Number One: May 18th, 2002. The first details of the President’s Daily Briefing of August 6th, 2001, are revealed, including its title - “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.” The same day another memo is discovered - revealing the FBI knew of men with links to Al Qaeda training at an Arizona flight school. The memo was never acted upon. Questions about 9/11 Intelligence failures are swirling.
May 20th, 2002. Two days later, FBI Director Mueller declares another terrorist attack “inevitable.” The next day, the Department of Homeland Security issues warnings of attacks against railroads nationwide, and against New York City landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

Number Two
: June 6th, 2002. Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent who tried to alert her superiors to the specialized flight training taken by Zacarias Moussaoui, whose information suggests the government missed a chance to break up the 9/11 plot, testifies before Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Graham says Rowley’s testimony has inspired similar pre-9/11 whistle-blowers.
June 10th, 2002. Four days later, speaking from Russia, Attorney General John Ashcroft reveals that an American named Jose Padilla is under arrest, accused of plotting a radiation bomb attack in this country. Padilla had, by this time, already been detained for more than a month.

Number Three: February 5th, 2003. Secretary of State Powell tells the United Nations Security Council of Iraq’s concealment of weapons, including 18 mobile biological weapons laboratories, justifying a U.N. or U.S. first strike. Many in the UN are doubtful. Months later, much of the information proves untrue.
February 7th, 2003. Two days later, as anti-war demonstrations continue to take place around the globe, Homeland Security Secretary Ridge cites “credible threats” by Al Qaeda, and raises the terror alert level to orange. Three days after that, Fire Administrator David Paulison - who would become the acting head of FEMA after the Hurricane Katrina disaster - advises Americans to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect themselves against radiological or biological attack.

Number Four: July 23rd, 2003: The White House admits the CIA -- months before the President's State of the Union Address -- expressed "strong doubts" about the claim that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium from Niger. On the 24th, the Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks is issued; it criticizes government at all levels; it reveals an FBI informant had been living with two of the future hijackers; and it concludes that Iraq had no link to Al-Qaeda. 28 pages of the report are redacted. On the 26th, American troops are accused of beating Iraqi prisoners.
July 29th, 2003. Three days later, amid all of those negative headlines, Homeland Security issues warnings of further terrorist attempts to use airplanes for suicide attacks.

Number Five: December 17th, 2003. 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Thomas Kean says the attacks were preventable. The next day, a Federal Appeals Court says the government cannot detain suspected radiation-bomber Jose Padilla indefinitely without charges, and the chief U.S. Weapons inspector in Iraq, Dr. David Kay, who has previously announced he has found no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, announces he will resign his post.
December 21st, 2003. Three days later, just before Christmas, Homeland Security again raises the threat level to Orange, claiming “credible intelligence” of further plots to crash airliners into U.S. cities. Subsequently, six international flights into this country are cancelled after some passenger names purportedly produce matches on government no-fly lists. The French later identify those matched names: one belongs to an insurance salesman from Wales, another to an elderly Chinese woman, a third to a five-year old boy.

Number Six: March 30th, 2004. The new chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Charles Duelfer tells Congress we have still not found any WMD there. On the 31st, after weeks of refusing to appear before the 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice finally relents and agrees to testify. On April 1st: Four Blackwater-USA contractors working in Iraq are murdered, their mutilated bodies dragged through the streets and left on public display in Fallujah. The role of civilian contractors in Iraq is widely questioned.
April 2nd, 2004. The next day, Homeland Security issues a bulletin warning that terrorists may try to blow up buses and trains, using fertilizer and fuel bombs - like the one detonated in Oklahoma City - stuffed into satchels or duffel bags.

Number Seven: May 16th, 2004. Secretary of State Powell appears on “Meet The Press.” Moderator Tim Russert closes by asking him about the “enormous personal credibility” Powell had placed before the U.N. in laying out a case against Saddam Hussein. An aide to Powell interrupts the question, saying the interview is over. Powell finishes his answer, admitting that much of the information he had been given about Weapons of Mass Destruction was “inaccurate and wrong, and, in some cases, deliberately misleading.”
May 21st, 2004, new photos showing mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison are released. On the 24th - Associated Press video from Iraq confirms U.S. forces mistakenly bombed a wedding party - killing more than 40.
Wednesday the 26th. Two days later, Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Mueller warn that intelligence from multiple sources, in Ashcroft’s words, “indicates Al-Qaeda’s specific intention to hit the United States hard,” and that “90 percent of the arrangements for an attack on the United States were complete.” The color-coded warning system is not raised, and Homeland Security Secretary Ridge does not attend the announcement.

Number Eight: July 6th, 2004. Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry selects Senator John Edwards as his vice presidential running mate, producing a small bump in the election opinion polls, and a huge swing in media attention towards the Democratic campaign.
July 8th, 2004. Two days later, Homeland Secretary Ridge warns of information about Al-Qaeda attacks during the summer or autumn. Four days after that, the head of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, DeForest B. Soaries, Junior, confirms he has written to Ridge about the prospect of postponing the upcoming Presidential election in the event it is interrupted by terrorist acts.

Number Nine: July 29th, 2004. At their party convention in Boston, the Democrats formally nominate John Kerry as their candidate for President. As in the wake of any convention, the Democrats dominate the media attention over the ensuing weekend.
Monday, August 1st, 2004. The Department of Homeland Security raises the alert status for financial centers in New York, New Jersey, and Washington to orange. The evidence supporting the warning - reconnaissance data, left in a home in Iraq - later proves to be roughly four years old and largely out-of-date.

Number Ten: Last Thursday. At 10 AM Eastern Time, the President addresses the National Endowment for Democracy, once again emphasizing the importance of the war on terror and insisting his government has broken up at least 10 terrorist plots since 9/11.
At 3 PM Eastern Time, five hours after the President’s speech has begun, the Associated Press reports that Karl Rove will testify again to the CIA Leak Grand Jury, and that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has told Rove he cannot guarantee that he will not be indicted.
At 5:17 PM Eastern Time, seven hours after the President’s speech has begun, New York officials disclose a bomb threat to the city’s subway system - based on information supplied by the Federal Government. A Homeland Security spokesman says the intelligence upon which the disclosure is based is “of doubtful credibility.” And it later proves that New York City had known of the threat for at least three days, and had increased police presence in the subways long before making the announcement at that particular time. Local New York television station, WNBC, reports it had the story of the threat days in advance, but was asked by "high ranking federal officials" in New York and Washington to hold off its story.
Less than four days after revealing the threat, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says "Since the period of the threat now seems to be passing, I think over the immediate future, we'll slowly be winding down the enhanced security."
While news organizations ranging from the New York Post to NBC News quote sources who say there was reason to believe that informant who triggered the warning simply ‘made it up’, a Senior U.S. Counter-terrorism official tells the New York Times: "There was no there, there."

The list of three additional examples follows.

Number Eleven: October 22nd, 2004. After weeks of Administration insistence that there are terrorist plans to disrupt the elections, FBI, Law Enforcement, and other U.S. Intelligence agencies report they have found no direct evidence of any plot. More over, they say, a key CIA source who had claimed knowledge of the plot, has been discredited.
October 29, 2004. Seven days later - four days before the Presidential election - the first supposedly new, datable tape of Osama Bin Laden since December 2001 is aired on the Al-Jazeera Network. A Bush-Cheney campaign official anonymously tells the New York Daily News that from his campaign’s point of view, the tape is quote “a little gift.”

Number Twelve: May 5th, 2005. 88 members of the United States House of Representatives send a letter to President Bush demanding an investigation of the so-called “Downing Street Memo” - a British document which describes purported American desire dating to 2002 to "fix" the evidence to fit the charges against Iraq. In Iraq over the following weekend, car bombings escalate. On the 11th, more than 75 Iraqis are killed in one.
May 11th, 2005. Later that day, an instructor and student pilot violate restricted airspace in Washington D.C. It is an event that happens hundreds of times a year, but this time the plane gets to within three miles of the White House. The Capitol is evacuated; Vice President Cheney, the First Lady, and Nancy Reagan are all rushed to secure locations. The President, biking through woods, is not immediately notified.

Number Thirteen:
June 26th, 2005. A Gallup poll suggests that 61 percent of the American public believes the President does not have a plan in Iraq. On the 28th, Mr. Bush speaks to the nation from Fort Bragg: "We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we'll fight them there, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won."
June 29th 2005. The next day, another private pilot veers into restricted airspace, the Capitol is again evacuated, and this time, so is the President.
--

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

More on Kissy Butt Cronyism Payoff....

cronyism and bush

Don't Be Afraid...Very, Very Afraid

Bloggers seem to be scoring this more often than not lately. Here's Oliver's comment ...

"John Kerry was the left of me, the next candidate might be to my right - I really don’t care about pushing the party any direction besides forward."

AMEN! Of course, there's a chance the next candidate might be that Kerry fella…who's NOT actually to the LEFT of me, he's tacting to the right in a strong gusty wind.

Now That's Kissing Butt!

...All the way to the Supreme Court!
Who knew Bush is a vain as a dragon. I'm willing to bet the Supreme Court on it...

AUSTIN, Tex., Oct. 10 - "You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect," Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him "cool," said he and his wife, Laura, were "the greatest!" and told him: "Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed."

Ms. Miers, President Bush's personal lawyer and his selection for a Supreme Court seat, emerges as an unabashed fan in more than 2,000 pages of official correspondence and personal notes made public on Monday by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in response to open-records requests.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mired in Miers

The very best thing about Howard Dean...

"Well, certainly the president can claim executive privilege. But in the this case, I think with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, you can't play, you know, Hide the Salami, or whatever it's called."
--Howard Dean on Hardball

Enough Said...

The Washington Post story headline says it all, "A Deep Dedication to the President."

NO No No NO NO NO NO...blind loyalty to an Idiot President is not enough to be a Supreme Court Judge...write your respresentatives today. NO NO NO NO NO

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Defcon


Picked this up at Coldflame...

Check out this site, Defcon America, if you believe in the value of the separation of church and state to our country.It includes updates on measures to teach certain religious speculations or ideology as science