Wednesday, May 31, 2006
O’Reilly Defends Marines, Attacks Murtha
O’Reilly debates General Wesley Clark regarding the recent allegations that marines in Iraq slaughtered innocent civilians. O’Reilly chalks the alleged incidents up to stress, and attacks Congressman Murtha for “indicting” the military on national television....more
Key Race Is Seen as a Test of GOP's Vulnerability
Normally, this district is so Republican that Democratic strategist Donna Brazile says it's not just red, but "ruby red."However, with Bush's approval ratings severely hobbled by Iraq and other issues and Cunningham in prison for the biggest corruption case in congressional history, the GOP is running concerned, if not downright scared.....more
FRANCINE BUSBY FOR CONGRESS
McCain Bails on Bilbray (05/30/2006) (press release)After Bilbray Spends Hundreds of Thousands Attacking McCain Immigration Plan, McCain Cancels Fundraiser
Democrats prepare to welcome Howard Dean
Alaska Democrats are getting ready to welcome their outspoken National Committee chairman. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean will speak at a hundred-dollar-per-head dinner Wednesday at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel. Dean sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2004. He was elected party chairman a year later. He will speak on his 50-state strategy for making the Democratic Party competitive in every state and district across the country.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. This afternoon on Fox, Burnett compared watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany. Watch it:
NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS
Providing Accurate Information on Energy & Environment Issues
The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep........................ Woody Allen
The next Democratic convention will begin on August 25, 2008. While it's not clear where it will be held, at the moment Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite to be the presidential nominee. She has by far the most money and has cornered the market on big-bucks donors. Nonetheless, she's not the favorite of the Democratic rank-and-file, who've united in opposition, if not an alternative.....more
Monday, May 29, 2006
Claiming that marriage "is under attack today," Bill Frist confirmed on Fox News Sunday yesterday that when Congress returns from Memorial Day recess he will use his power not to address critical priorities like the war in Iraq, skyrockeing health care costs and gas prices, the need to protect workers' pensions or raising the minimum wage, but rather will instead pander to the conservative base with a divisive measure.
Instead of finding solutions for the high cost of gasoline, or addressing the crippling costs of health care and the tens of millions of uninsured, Bill Frist and the Republican Senate will bring the divisive Federal Marriage Amendment to the floor of the Senate for a vote, using marriage as a wedge issue, and scapegoating LGBT Americans once again for political gain.....more
Statement by Howard Dean
"America has always been fortunate to rely upon the courage and fortitude of brave men and women of all backgrounds who have answered the call to service. These, the best and bravest our nation has to offer, are true patriots who have served with honor and distinction all over the world-a tradition that continues today, with the men and women fighting the war on terror and serving in Iraq'"Memorial Day is also a stark reminder that gratitude is not enough. Our men and women in uniform deserve civilian leaders who listen to military commanders and provide them the resources they need to complete their mission and come home safely.....more
4 Memorial Day's Later
"When Congress approved the President’s authorization to go to war in Iraq – no matter how well-intentioned – it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list".....Howard Dean April 17, 2003
By Allan Uthman May 29, 2006
Is the U.S. becoming a police state? Here are the top 10 signs that it may well be the case.
1. The Internet Clampdown
One saving grace of alternative media in this age of unfettered corporate conglomeration has been the internet. While the masses are spoon-fed predigested news on TV and in mainstream print publications, the truth-seeking individual still has access to a broad array of investigative reporting and political opinion via the world-wide web. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the government moved to patch up this crack in the sky.....more
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Democratic neocons want to beef up the military and won't run from a fight.
These Democrats want to be seen as anything but the squishes who have led the party to defeat in the past. Interestingly, that's how the early neocons saw themselves too: as liberals fighting to reclaim their party's true heritage — before they decamped to the GOP in the 1980s. Their political champions include Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and such likely presidential candidates as former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. ....more
Will 2008 bring the first Internet president? The Internet lets candidates who catch fire raise millions in small donations practically overnight. That's why all the talk of Hillary Clinton's "war chest" making her the front runner for 2008 is the most hackneyed punditry around.....more
Unfortunately, there is no opposition party in Washington.
There is, instead, a Democratic Party that, when push comes to shove regularly allows itself to be shoved.
So it come as little surprise that Hayden's nomination has sailed through the Senate, winning approval Friday by a 78-15 vote. Most Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, joined the vast majority of Republicans in rubberstamping George W. Bush's poke-in-the-eye pick to head the CIA......more
In this weekend’s Washington Post magazine, meteorologist Bill Gray – one of the most prominent climate skeptics – directly compared Al Gore to Adolf Hitler:Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews.It’s telling that so many of the attacks on Al Gore and his movie are ad hominem, not substantive. There really is no credible scientific rebuttal to An Inconvenient Truth, so people are forced to attack the messenger.....more
"Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy”. – Ann Coulter
It infuriates me to hear hypocritical Republicans spout off about how “liberals hate America”. In the first place, it’s a meaningless and stupid thing to say, because the phrase “hate America” (or “love America”) can mean so many different things. But saying that “liberals hate America” makes a damn good sound bite, and there are many voters who are swayed by that phrase, under the principle that if you hear something said enough times it must be true. And anyhow, what else do Republicans have to talk about?.....more
Saturday, May 27, 2006
"This is a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party," said Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. "It will have repercussions for the 2008 presidential campaign and whether centrists will feel comfortable within the Democratic Party." ......more
The Law of Competitive Balance, Howard Dean, and the Democratic Party's Washington Establishment
Dean is the first Democrat to think "globally" by acting "locally." The key to power and a better nation is by strengthening state parties and taking the country back one precinct at a time. It's basic blocking and tackling in the ground game that has eluded the Democrats for a generation, as the establishment prefers to mobilize the same special interests coalition and rally behind the politics of expediency......more
I highlighted MAF's idiotic ad campaign to censure Jimmy Carter the other day. We have big problems in this country and Melanie Morgan handles it by going after Carter. R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., who is the founder of American Spectator magazine, just wrote a piece called Jimmy Carter pens the worst book of 2005. It seems that there is a concerted effort to attack him. I guess we can call them the "Blame Carter Coalition."......http://www.crooksandliars.com/
Friday, May 26, 2006
Thanks for the great picture of our fearless, gun-toten number 2 guy. I
you to step away from the mushroom tea and get real!!!!
I had a good laugh, but I'd like to see you socialists/communists help
nation get a fair tax installed so we rich, money making Republicans
the same tax as you rich, money making (ie Howard Dean) leftist do and
neither side can complain about "tax breaks". Check it out, dude....
Is it Football season yet?
First: The Stogie is getting old. the only tea Stogie drink's now is Green Tea.
Second: What would give KT the idea The Stogie is a socialist or a communist? I think The Stogie makes it very clear where he is coming from.....is this just a typical right wing response?....The GOP, and everyone else is a communist?......In case KT forgot, there use to be a strong second party in this country. and by the looks of things they might be on their way back.Third: Tax Cuts? Who are you fooling? You guys have been putting it to the rest of us since 2000. The latest here ......The last 6 years here. Thanks for looting the treasury and putting our children's future in debt.
Fourth: The Stogie has been to many DFA meeting's, and he doesn't remember many rich folk's there.
As for http://www.fairtax.org/
Stogie is still researching
luv ya, The Stogie
"We congratulate Senate Democrats for their continued leadership, led by Leader Harry Reid, on the important issue of comprehensive immigration reform. Democrats have consistently fought for immigration reform that strengthens our borders, protects U.S. workers and their wages, reunites families and allows hard-working immigrants who pay taxes and obey the law the opportunity to earn the right to apply for the responsibilities of citizenship......more
Mary Cheney:What the fuck are you talking about? In "Now I'm Turned On", I say how–
Mary Matalin:"Now It's My Turn."
Mary Cheney:No, it's my turn to talk, bitch!
Mary Matalin:No, that's the title of the book I, ur, you wrote. "Now It's My Turn." ....more
"It was shocking. I would not have believed they could stoop so low. I thought they going to do it decently, to do it through the courts, when they came like thugs in the night. They have completely destroyed all the expressions of people who opposed the war in Iraq," he said."It seems I am going to die in this place now because I'm going to be fasting and praying. What else can I do as a Christian?......more
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Randy HallStaff Writer/Editor(CNSNews.com) -
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Wednesday that there is no comparison between the ethical problems faced by U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D- La.) and what he termed the Republican "culture of corruption" in the nation's capital. A GOP spokesman dismissed Dean's criticism as "trying to sell a fundamentally flawed campaign slogan.""There's a difference between the involvement of Congressman Jefferson in activities for which there's been no indictment and the culture of corruption that extends throughout the White House, the vice president's office and both houses of Congress," Dean said during a press conference at the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C......more
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history. He was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term. He could point to the lowest unemployment rate in modern times, the lowest inflation in 30 years, the highest home ownership in the country's history, dropping crime rates in many places, and reduced welfare rolls. He proposed the first balanced budget in decades and achieved a budget surplus. As part of a plan to celebrate the millennium in 2000, Clinton called for a great national initiative to end racial discrimination......from whitehouse.gov....click here
"Today, we mourn the loss of Senator Lloyd Bentsen, a great Democrat, dedicated public servant, war hero and family man. A favorite son of Texas, Senator Bentsen never hesitated to say what he believed in and showed that Democratic values can resonate anywhere and everywhere in the country......more
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
DNC communications director Karen Finney said the move came only after the Committee's lawyer had penned a note to Drudge asking him to take the story down.
"Because of the seriousness of the inaccuracy and the reckless disregard of the facts I did ask our lawyer to send a note to Drudge asking him to take the story down," Finney told...More
Roger roger do you here me over!!!! the U.S immigration wont let me in!!!!! …Now Im strictly making my album outside the borders!!!!
"so il see you all one day, for now ill keep reportin from the sidelines. to my people who walk wiv me in the America, dont forget we got the internet! Spread the word! or come get me!!!!!! ill be in my bird flu lab in china! liming and drinkin tiger beer with my pet turtel.....More
Some Republican Candidates Avoid Ties With Unpopular President
By John D. McKinnon / Wall Street Journal
President Bush goes to Pennsylvania tomorrow to campaign for embattled Republican House members in the Philadelphia suburbs. But one of the candidates isn't expected to be there.
Mr. Bush "is really doing poorly in our state," says Rep. Curt Weldon, explaining why he won't be on hand and hasn't asked for the president's help. "I've got to win this by myself."
Well, almost. Mr. Weldon did invite Arizona Sen. John McCain to his district last month to help him campaign and raise money, and he is thinking about doing it again.....More
On Sale Now
I'd rather have a smaller following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith. We don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do.".....Martie Maguire
"They will sell 2m copies, tops".......Bill O'Reilly
Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Florida's Coral Reef
by Rick Lyman
KEY LARGO, Florida - If global warming summons images of polar bears clinging to shrinking ice floes, this is its face in the Florida Keys: a sun-dappled stretch of shallows along the turquoise reef line, where scientists painstakingly attach russet polyps of regenerated coral to damaged reefs.
"When I first came here snorkeling, in 1985, it was amazing, the forest of coral was so thick," said Bill Goodwin, a resource manager for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "Just look now," he said, gesturing to the few small brown patches amid an elephant's boneyard of skeletal remains at the foot of the Carysfort light tower in the roiling Atlantic waters seven miles off Key Largo......More
Monday, May 22, 2006
By Dana Blanton
NEW YORK — If the 2008 presidential race were between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain, the country could be in for another nail-biter. The next presidential election may be more than two years away, but the politicking has already started and many consider Clinton and McCain the front-runners for their respective political parties.
In the latest FOX News national registered voter poll, McCain bests Clinton by a slim 4-percentage point margin — 46 percent to 42 percent — in a hypothetical matchup. Given the poll’s 3-point margin of error, that means this race could go either way......More
By Molly Ivins, AlterNet
I hate to raise such an ugly possibility, but have you considered lunacy as an explanation? Craziness would make a certain amount of sense.
I mean, you announce you are going to militarize the Mexican border, but you assure the president of Mexico you are not militarizing the border. You announce you are sending the National Guard, but then you assure everyone it's not very many soldiers and just for a little while.
Militarizing the border is a totally terrible idea. Do we have a State Department? Are they sentient? How much do you want to infuriate Mexico when it's sitting on quite a bit of oil? Bush knows what the most likely outcome of this move will be. He was governor during the political firestorm that ensued when a Marine taking part in anti-drug patrols on the border shot and killed Esequiel Hernandez, an innocent goat-herder from Redford, Texas.
That's the definition of crazy -- repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result. ......More
Tom Bevan Mon May 22, 9:13 AM ET
Sherman Frederick, the publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, writes that Harry Reid's kowtowing to the Pelosi wing of the Democratic party has made him unelectable in Nevada:
And finally, Harry Reid has never been a thoroughbred racehorse on the track of Nevada politics. He's been more like a stubborn mule who never gives up, never gives in. And, in the heat of past races, he's been known to kick a few opponents in the head.
"Landslide Harry" is used to close races. Races that can be decided by a few thousand, and even a few hundred votes. But those were races before Harry became the top Democratic dog in the U.S. Senate. Before he disappeared as a conservative Democrat from Nevada. Before he started eyeing Nancy Pelosi's wardrobe.
Nevadans elected the Harry I've hiked the desert with in blue jeans and dusty work boots. But on national TV they see a guy in a capri and sandals.
No love was lost between Hillsborough's school leaders and County Commissioners Brian Blair and Ronda Storms during Wednesday's debate over raising assessments on new homes to pay for schools.Storms and Blair, on the losing end of a 4-2 vote to raise impact fees from $196 to $4,000 over the next two years, fired off scathing shots at school officials."I have no faith in any of its numbers or any of its spending habits," Blair said......More
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Debbe Kelley is one of the organizers of DFA Tampa Bay.
The Tampa DFA Team got lots of support for two great candidates who will be on the ballot here in November. Charlie Justice is a Democrat currently serving in the Florida House and running to represent us in the heavily Republican Florida Senate. We're counting on Charlie take this open seat away from them.
Mary Mulhern, also a Democrat, is running for an open seat on the Hillsborough County Commission. This group of local law-makers has made the national news lately for its track record of intolerance and Mary is just the person to represent the enlightened voters of Hillsborough.
There are many of us here and we were out in force Saturday morning! We collected signatures to get Charlie and Mary on the ballot, registered several new voters and celebrated to hear from the many Republicans and Independents who said "It's time for a change" and "Enough is enough!" We had such a great time that we're having another event this Saturday. Can't wait to get back out there!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The last member of the Vermont Human Rights Commission appointed by former Gov. Howard Dean has resigned over the veto by Gov. James Douglas of a bill that would have outlawed discrimination against people based on their gender identity of expression.
In a letter to the governor, Charles Kletecka said he resigned to protest the veto.
"Vermont has a long and proud tradition of protecting the rights of those among us who are most vulnerable to discrimination," Kletecka wrote......More
Ned Lamont: 505
Joe Lieberman: 1004
Total Needed for Ballot: 15%
Ned Receives: 505 (33.4%)
Friday, May 19, 2006
Democratic activist groups that mounted an aggressive campaign against President George W. Bush in the 2004 election have a new target: Democrats who support his policies.
A loose network of organizations, ranging from women's groups to Internet bloggers, is pressuring incumbents such as Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Representatives Jane Harman of California and Melissa Bean of Illinois, in some cases by backing insurgent candidates in primary elections.
The groups charge that these and other Democrats have been too supportive of Bush on issues like Iraq and trade, and say they're trying to energize voters disillusioned with a party that has failed to draw clear distinctions with Republicans.....More
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Analysts looking at Tuesday's shocking primary -- a day in which an astounding 15 state legislative incumbents lost their primaries (nearly all Republicans) -- could be a bad omen in the state for Republicans in November. The vote was largely a backlash by GOP primary voters against GOP incumbents who backed unpopular, hefty payraises for themselves. Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer (R), who lost his primary, called Tuesday "a dramatic earthquake in Pennsylvania." Club for Growth President Pat Toomey (R-PA), a former Congressman, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the "message you have to take away is that rank-and-file Republican voters are very angry with incumbents. It's a mistake to conclude this was all about the pay raise. This has been brewing for some time and it's about dissatisfaction with elected Republicans who have abandoned a commitment to limited government." Toomey went on to explain to the New York Times that angry Republicans were free to express their disgust with Republican incumbents in the primary by voting for challengers -- but that he expected many of these angry Republicans to simply stay home in November because they don't want to vote for Democrats. Toomey also added that many Republicans serving in Congress had "lost their way" by backing "a fiscal culture of deficits and pork barrel spending." In another interesting development, it appears over 21,000 Republicans who voted on Tuesday skipped the top of the ballot by declining to vote for US Senator Rick Santorum (R) in his unopposed primary -- although these same voters cast ballots for Lynn Swann for Governor in his unopposed primary.......More
Mayor Pam Iorio’s Riverwalk
project is in full swing and after ballparking anticipated expenditures, officials have slapped on a price tag of about $40 million. Although intimidating at first glance, the investment could yield immense profit for downtown Tampa, but who will carry the cost?.....more
New voter registration statistics are burnishing the Tampa Bay region's reputation as the home of swing voters, the persuadables who are independent-minded and not tethered to either party.
Since Feb. 26, when the state state kicked off an aggressive effort to register voters, more than 19,000 people have signed up in the five-county region that includes Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando and Citrus counties. In all, new Democrats outnumber new Republicans by 7,106 to 6,844, but the total number of voters who registered as NPAs, or no party affiliation, is 5,781, far above the statewide NPA average of about 20 percent......More
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
by Robert Kuttner
Shame on Hillary Rodham Clinton. Rupert Murdoch, the right-wing publishing mogul, is hosting a fund-raiser in July for her Senate reelection campaign. Her explanation is that Murdoch, based in New York, is an important constituent: ''I'm very gratified that he thinks I'm doing a good job."
Murdoch runs Fox television, home of Bill O'Reilly and company. No far-right media enterprise has been more relentlessly dishonest in its efforts to destroy American liberalism in general and the Clintons in particular. Fox was prime cheerleader for the bogus Whitewater investigation and the impeachment campaign against Bill Clinton. Fox exists to oppose every liberal principle that Senator Clinton is accused, perhaps falsely, of standing for.
Murdoch also publishes the tawdry, viciously anti-Clinton New York Post and the more sober ideological print organ the Weekly Standard. You can't imagine the opposite kind of deal happening in American politics, because a left-wing Murdoch doesn't exist. That's why the man is so powerful, and such a nemesis to principled liberals.
Politics may make strange bedfellows, but for sheer cynicism and mutual expediency it's hard to beat this alliance. Maybe the Hitler-Stalin pact.
What's in it for Hillary? First, obviously, the money. By raising mountains of campaign cash, she hopes to make herself the inevitable 2008 nominee........More
by David Rossie
There is this television commercial in which a boy standing in a wooden tree hut asks a man playing an exterminator if it's true that termites eat wood. When the exterminator says it is indeed true and describes the little pests' appetites, the kid replies: "We're doomed."
"Not necessarily," the man says, reassuringly, and explains how he can prevent it.
In a case of life imitating art, I was approached by a woman following a talk last week. She began reciting a litany of all the ills that have beset this once proud and respected country since the Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld Gang took it hostage, and concluded by saying: "We're doomed."
Not necessarily," I replied, although not reassuringly, because I'm far less confident than that pretend exterminator.
"But we've got to put up with them for two-and-a-half more years," she protested.
"Not necessarily," I said again, starting to sound like a stuck record......More
Saturday, May 13, 2006
The Times and USA Today have Missed the Bigger Story -- Again
I know you're shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that George Bush is listening in on all your phone calls. Without a warrant. That's nothing. And it's not news. This is: the snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration's Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government. You can call it the privatization of the FBI -- though it is better described as the creation of a private KGB.
The leader in the field of what is called "data mining," is a company called, "ChoicePoint, Inc," which has sucked up over a billion dollars in national security contracts. Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain't nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration. Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint had already gathered 16 billion data files on Americans -- and I know they've expanded their ops at an explosive rate. They are paid to keep an eye on you -- because the FBI can't. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you're suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect it for "commercial" purchases -- and under the Bush Administration's suspect reading of the Patriot Act -- our domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint. Who ARE these guys selling George Bush a piece of you? ChoicePoint's board has more Republicans than a Palm Beach country club. It was funded, and its board stocked, by such Republican sugar daddies as billionaires Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone -- even after Langone was charged by the Securities Exchange Commission with abuse of inside information. I first ran across these guys in 2000 in Florida when our Guardian/BBC team discovered the list of 94,000 "felons" that Katherine Harris had ordered removed from Florida's voter rolls before the election. Virtually every voter purged was innocent of any crime except, in most cases, Voting While Black. Who came up with this electoral hit list that gave Bush the White House? ChoicePoint, Inc. And worse, they KNEW the racially-tainted list of felons was bogus. And when we caught them, they lied about it. While they've since apologized to the NAACP, ChoicePoint's ethnic cleansing of voter rolls has been amply rewarded by the man the company elected. And now ChoicePoint and George Bush want your blood. Forget your phone bill. ChoicePoint, a sickened executive of the company told us in confidence, "hope[s] to build a database of DNA samples from every person in the United States ...linked to all the other information held by CP [ChoicePoint]" from medical to voting records. And ChoicePoint lied about that too. The company publicly denied they gave DNA to the Feds -- but then told our investigator, pretending to seek work, that ChoicePoint was "the number one" provider of DNA info to the FBI. "And that scares the hell out of me," said the executive (who has since left the company), because ChoicePoint gets it WRONG so often. We are not contracting out our Homeland Security to James Bond here. It's more like Austin Powers, Inc. Besides the 97% error rate in finding Florida "felons," Illinois State Police fired the company after discovering ChoicePoint had produced test "results" on rape case evidence ... that didn't exist. And ChoicePoint just got hit with the largest fine in Federal Trade Commission history for letting identity thieves purchase 145,000 credit card records. But it won't stop, despite Republican senators shedding big crocodile tears about "surveillance" of innocent Americans. That's because FEAR is a lucrative business -- not just for ChoicePoint, but for firms such as Syntech, Sybase and Lockheed-Martin -- each of which has provided lucrative posts or profits to connected Republicans including former Total Information Awareness chief John Poindexter (Syntech), Marvin Bush (Sybase) and Lynn Cheney (Lockheed-Martin). But how can they get Americans to give up our personal files, our phone logs, our DNA and our rights? Easy. Fear sells better than sex -- and they want you to be afraid. Back to today's New York Times, page 28: "Wider Use of DNA Lists is Urged in Fighting Crime." And who is providing the technology? It comes, says the Times, from the work done on using DNA fragments to identity victims of the September 11 attack. And who did that job (for $12 million, no bid)? ChoicePoint, Inc. Which is NOT mentioned by the Times. "Genetic surveillance would thus shift from the individual [the alleged criminal] to the family," says the Times -- which will require, of course, a national DNA database of NON-criminals. It doesn't end there. Turn to the same newspaper, page 23, with a story about a weird new law passed by the state of Georgia to fight illegal immigration. Every single employer and government agency will be required to match citizen or worker data against national databases to affirm citizenship. It won't stop illegal border crossing, but hey, someone's going to make big bucks on selling data. And guess what local boy owns the data mine? ChoicePoint, Inc., of Alpharetta, Georgia. The knuckleheads at the Times don't put the three stories together because the real players aren't in the press releases their reporters re-write. But that's the Fear Industry for you. You aren't safer from terrorists or criminals or "felon" voters. But the national wallet is several billion dollars lighter and the Bill of Rights is a couple amendments shorter. And that's their program. They get the data mine -- and we get the shaft. **********
Friday, May 12, 2006
Big Brother's Secret Calling Plan
Disclosure of the NSA's illegal database of Americans' telephone records has brought outraged demands for an investigation -- and for legal action against the government.
With the revelations Thursday in U.S.A. Today that the National Security Agency has compiled a vast database of every telephone call made in the U.S., President George W. Bush, who took pains yesterday not to deny the program's existence, is now fighting for his political life. The outraged reaction to the program by members of the U.S. Senate, including from some Republican members, even suggests that impeachment proceedings could be brought against the President should Democrats gain a majority in November.......More
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Turns out the NSA, with the collaboration of every phone company except Qwest, is monitoring all of our calls -- not to listen in to what's being said, but simply to gather data about the calls and draw inferences from that. It's important to link this up to the broader chain. One thing the Bush administration says it can do with this meta-data is to start tapping your calls and listening in, without getting a warrant from anyone. Having listened in on your calls, the administration asserts that if it doesn't like what it hears, it has the authority to detain you indefinitely without trial or charges, torture you until you confess or implicate others, extradite you to a Third World country to be tortured, ship you to a secret prison facility in Eastern Europe, or all of the above. If, having kidnapped and tortured you, the administration determines you were innocent after all, you'll be dumped without papers somewhere in Albania left to fend for yourself. --Matthew Yglesias
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
A furor erupted Tuesday over Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson's recent suggestion that Bush critics should forget about winning government contracts. After Democrats demanded an investigation into violations of federal procurement law and accused the administration of playing favorites, a Jackson spokeswoman said he'd made up a story about a would-be contractor who was rejected after saying he didn't like President Bush."It's not a true story. It's a made-up story," said Jackson spokeswoman Dustee Tucker, adding that he was only trying to make a point about how Washington works.
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Bush @ Sun City Center
President Bush has heard pleas for an extension of the deadline to sign up for new Medicare drug coverage from lawmakers, seniors advocacy groups and finally two women in his audience Tuesday. He's rejected them all.
"Deadlines are important," the president said at a retirement community, less than a week before the last day for most seniors and the disabled to enroll in the program without facing higher prices. "Deadlines help people understand there's finality and people need to get after it."
The new program allows 43 million Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in a private plan that will subsidize the cost of their prescription medications. With about 37 million people now either signed up or automatically enrolled, federal officials from Bush on down have engaged in an all-out push to spread the word to those remaining and help them navigate the Byzantine process of choosing a plan by Monday..........yada, yada, yada...more
Halliburton's Immigrant Detention Centers
by Ruth Conniff
While thousands of people were celebrating the contribution America's undocumented immigrants make to our economy, and demanding justice and recognition for workers who are denied basic rights, the government was making plans for large-scale detention centers in case of an "emergency influx" of immigrants.
KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary recently reprimanded for gross overcharging in its military contracts in Iraq, won a $385 million contract to build the centers. According to the Halliburton website -- www.Halliburton.com -- "the contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
What new programs might those be?
The web was abuzz with speculation after the contract was awarded on January 24. Pacific News Service gave the most detailed analysis.
It connected the new "immigration emergency" plans with older plans that involved imposing martial law.
Certainly the detention centers raise the specter of WW II Japanese internment camps.
The new facilities could be used for round-ups of Muslim Americans or other American citizens tagged as "enemy combatants.”
The use of military personnel and military contractors in the event of a Katrina-like disaster, which the Halliburton contract provides for, brings us closer to martial law, whether it is officially declared or not.
It also means record profits for Halliburton, which declared 2005 "the best in our 86-year history." David Lesar, Halliburton's chairman, president and CEO, declares on the company website, "For the full year 2005 we set a record for revenue and achieved net income of $2.4 billion with each of our six divisions posting record results."
Not bad for a company that has been repeatedly cited for inflating charges and wasting taxpayer money in Iraq.
The immigration detention centers ought to raise a red flag, not just about nepotism and waste among military contractors, but about what our government has in store for us.
Perhaps the same energy that propelled immigrant rights into the national headlines could be harnessed to demand an explanation for what, exactly, Halliburton is helping to prepare for with this latest big chunk of taxpayer largess.
Ruth Conniff covers national politics for The Progressive and is a voice of The Progressive on many TV and radio programs.
© 2006 The Progressive
Battling a report that she had a $2,800 dinner with a man later convicted of bribing a congressman, Katherine Harris wrapped up a weeklong tour of North Florida with a message of hope for the future of her beleaguered U.S. Senate campaign.Harris said she made amends for her previous failure to pay for her dinner with a $100 donation to a Jacksonville-based religious group that claims its crusades have resulted in "supernatural deliverance from demonic possessions."Speaking to Republican leaders in the IMAX Theater just blocks from the state Capitol Friday afternoon, the Republican congresswoman......more
Monday, May 8, 2006
The Vatican stepped up its offensive against "The Da Vinci Code" on Friday when a top official close to Pope Benedict blasted the book as full of anti-Christian lies and urged Catholics to boycott the film.
The latest broadside came from Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office which was headed by Pope Benedict until his election last year.
Amato, addressing a Catholic conference in Rome, called the book "stridently anti-Christian .. full of calumnies, offences and historical and theological errors regarding Jesus, the Gospels and the Church."
He added: "I hope that you all will boycott the film.".....more
White House Press Release 5-7-06
...It's been a tough time for the agency...and missed 9/11 and obviously were criticized for that. The report about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the Gulf War -- before the war in Iraq was another instance where there was a breakdown in the system...does anyone believe what this guy is saying anymore? .....more