Saturday, September 24, 2005
GOP American Dream
The evacuation away from the Texas coast has again laid bare the class divisions in America. Here’s how the exodus looked for people of different income levels –
Meanwhile, the governor said that among the 1.3 million evacuees are his parents — Houston resident and former President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush.
“They’re in Washington,” Gov. Bush said. “Their house (in Houston) is all boarded up.”
The storm’s march toward land sent hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the nation’s fourth-largest city in a frustratingly slow, bumper-to-bumper exodus.
“This is the worst planning I’ve ever seen,” said Judie Anderson, who covered just 45 miles in 12 hours after setting out from her home in the Houston suburb of LaPorte. “They say we’ve learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina. Well, you couldn’t prove it by me.”
Houston’s public housing officials were on hurricane alert Wednesday as Rita barreled toward the Texas coast, while transplanted New Orleans officials began leaving their temporary quarters in Houston.
Local officials said public housing residents are not being evacuated.
The rich are safe and sound, the middle class is struggling, and the poor are left behind. It’s the story of the Bush presidency.
Friday, September 23, 2005
First going down for insider trading...
Not only Frist but others at his family's company cashed in their stocks for a total of $120 million dollars. This could be the largest insider trading scandal in US history.
Sen. Frist will say anything to convince the American public that he isn’t corrupt. (Especially to convince us of the “coincidence” that he sold his shares in the family business right when the stocks were at a peak. Looks like Frist will now need to convince the SEC as well.)
Frist on his blind trusts in 2003:
Right now, I don’t know if I own HCA [stock] because it’s a qualified blind trust. [National Journal, 1/4/03]
This week, Frist admited that he knew he owned HCA. In fact, he directed his trustees to sell the shares. Office of Senator Bill Frist press statement, 9/22/05:
Senator Frist had no information about the company or its performance that was not available to the public when he directed the trustees to sell the HCA stock.
The lesson: when Frist talks about his stock holdings, you can never be completely certain he’s telling the truth.
What's next a tax on churches? They use town services too!
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. --Town officials say the MacDowell Colony should be paying property taxes and plan to take the internationally known artists' retreat to court.
Selectmen voted this week to file a lawsuit in Hillsborough County Superior Court.
The MacDowell Colony, which hosts more than 250 artists each year, has been considered a charitable organization for the last 100 years, and officials there argue that should not change.
Well known writers who have stayed at the colony include James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Barbara Tuchman and Alice Walker.
Aaron Copland composed parts of "Appalachian Spring" at the Colony; Leonard Bernstein completed his "Mass" and Thornton Wilder wrote the play "Our Town."
"We're not in business," MacDowell Resident Director David Macy said. "We always have a funding deficit every year."
"They're a wonderful nonprofit," Town Administrator Pamela Brenner said, but "they do still utilize town services."
Don't Kill White People, unless you absolutely have to!!
A new Santa Clara Law Review study finds that in California murder trials, a victim’s race significantly affected the likelihood of a defendant receiving the death penalty. Specifically, those who murdered whites were four times more likely to receive a death sentence than those who killed Hispanics, and three times more likely than those who killed blacks. The study’s co-author concluded, “To put it bluntly, there’s apparently different values being placed on victims from different racial and ethnic groups.”
While the Santa Clara study dealt only with California, the problem is a national one. Studies in Ohio, Illinois and New Jersey have made similar conclusions about the role of the victim’s race in murder trials:
Ohio: “Offenders facing a death penalty charge for killing a white person were twice as likely to go to death row as if they had killed a black victim. Death sentences were handed down in 18 percent of cases in which the victims were white, compared with 8.5 percent of cases when victims were black.” [AP, 5/7/05]
Illinois: “When certain facts in aggravation, such as previous criminal history of the defendant, are controlled for, there is evidence that the race of the victim influences who is sentenced to death. In other words, defendants of any race who murder white victims were more likely to receive a death sentence than those who murdered black victims.” [Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment, 2002]
New Jersey: “Killers are more likely to be sentenced to death in New Jersey if their victims were white rather than black, a new judicial report has found. ‘There is unsettling statistical evidence indicating that cases involving killers of white victims are more likely to progress to a [death] penalty phase than cases involving killers of African-American victims,’ the report found.” [The Bergen County, NJ Record, 8/14/01]
I think the death penality should only be used on journalists who bring us non-stop coverage of missing white women.
What a difference who a disaster will effect makes....
Rush Limbaugh’s website, 9/22/05:
Rush forgot to include the full, accurate photo captions:
Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina raged ashore, Gov. Kathleen Blanco still wants one question answered.
Where were the buses?
Hours after the hurricane hit Aug. 29, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a plan to send 500 commercial buses into New Orleans to rescue thousands of people left stranded on highways, overpasses and in shelters, hospitals and homes.
On the day of the storm, or perhaps the day after, FEMA turned down the state’s suggestion to use school buses because they are not air conditioned, Blanco said Friday in an interview. [Baton Rouge Advocate, 9/18/05]
Government officials eager to show they had learned their lessons from the sluggish response to Katrina sent in hundreds of buses to evacuate the poor. An Army general in Texas was told to be ready to assume control of a military task force in Rita’s wake. [AP, 9/22/05]
Rush, we agree — what a difference competent leaders make.
Chronic suspended sentecnes and lapses in good behavior
After extensive investigation of court records, the New Hampshire Union Leader has learned that Burton paid Mark Seidensticker, 45, for campaign work just weeks after some of the aide's convictions. The councilor has admitted that he had been aware of some of Seidensticker's criminal record while paying him.
The NH non-Union Leader puts this story together here. Time for the Dems to get their heads out of their chandlers and run someone against Mr. Burton. Mada fack, maybe I'll switch up and run myself as that ever-loving INDIE... HMMM... I'll get back to you on that thought. Read this tragic tale and think how loudly the uproar would be if it were someone on the other side of the aisle. Where are the Radical Right Christian Moral Value salesmen here??? Tragic!!!
BUSH MO CONTINUES: Former Lawyer for Chevron overseeing investigation in Gas Price gouging.
Early evidence suggests there’s plenty of dirt to find. A new Government Accountability Office report shows that retail gas prices have risen faster than crude oil prices, and local Exxon dealers have complained anonymously that higher prices are being “decreed from the top.”
Unfortunately, the person charged with getting to the bottom of it all is FTC Chairwoman Deborah Majoras. Her old job? Representing Chevron-Texaco and “other major oil and gas interests” (though you won’t learn that fact in her official bio).
Destroying America, one tax cut at a time.
The Republicans have put their cutting efforts in military terms, calling it "Operation Offset" - a further insult to the men and women in uniform they are now trying to screw over. The specifics are ugly. They are, for instance, asking troops to "accept reduced health care benefits for their families." Additionally, "the stateside system of elementary and secondary schools for military family members could be closed." In the past, this idea "has faced strong opposition from parents of children attending the schools because public schools [in and around bases] are seen as offering lower-quality education."
None of this, I suppose, is all that surprising. In the past, we've seen tax cuts put before making sure troops have adequate body armor heading into war - a tax/budget decision that very likely increased U.S. casualties. We've also seen Republicans vote down efforts to reduce tax cuts for the very wealthy in order to restore cuts to military family housing. And we've seen tax cuts come as the White House has refused to adequately fund a variety of other programs for troops. The truth is, the GOP has in moments of candor admitted that they care about cutting taxes for the wealthy far more than they care about the troops.
As you may recall, it was Tom DeLay who said before the Iraq invasion "Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes." Apparently to the Republicans, nothing is more important in the face of a war AND massive destruction to the homefront than cutting taxes.
from sirota blog
More reasons why no Democrat should have voted for Robert's.
They all wanted Democrats to oppose Roberts.
The opposition to the Roberts nomination in Democratic circles is vocal, widespread and not confined to the party's left; Bruce Reed, the president of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, urged a no vote this week [...]
Ellen Malcolm, a leading fund-raiser who heads Emily's List, a group that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights, said Democrats at the grass roots wanted to see their senators fighting back, even if they lacked the numbers to prevail.
"I'm a realist here. They've got their 55 votes," Ms. Malcolm said of the Republicans. "But people want to see a show of strength and leadership from Democratic senators." [...]
"The only thing that Karl Rove and George W. Bush respect is power, and those who have the courage to stand up to them," said Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, the liberal advocacy group and leading opponent of the Roberts nomination.
Honestly, this was an encouraging piece. It means consensus on becoming an effective opposition party may finally be building. Even at places like the DLC. And eventually, that can't help but filter down to elected Democrats and eventually pierce their Capitol Hill bubbles.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Philips Brook future
One small piece, on the pond where the lodge is currently located, is an 11 acre chunk the new owners are cutting out to build on. The rest has an unclear future. At least the plans are not so public as of yet. I am hearing that several groups are interested in completing the contiguous trail system to the far North area, Coos Commish and ATV access big mouth piece, Bing Judds back yard, to link up with the 171,000 acres purchased and issued a conservation easement by the state last year (or so).
If you want input, enjoy your non-motorized, stinking exhaust free Nature, put your pen in your date book and I'll see you next week at the public hearing.
Glad we have 2 Oil Men in the White House...
from Air America Homepage
Weather and energy experts say that as bad as Hurricane Katrina hit the nation's supply of gasoline, Hurricane Rita could be worse.
Katrina damage was focused on offshore oil platforms and ports. Now the greater risk is to oil-refinery capacity, especially if Rita slams into Houston, Galveston and Port Arthur, Texas.
"We could be looking at gasoline lines and $4 gas, maybe even $5 gas, if this thing does the worst it could do," said energy analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover. "This storm is in the wrong place. And it's absolutely at the wrong time," said Beutel.
Same Old Shit...
Some would argue that any investigation - no matter how rigged - is better than no investigation. But, then, I'm not so sure, especially when we inevitably see in a few weeks an oil-industry-written FTC report that gives a government stamp of approval to oil industry profiteering. Undoubtedly, that's in the Bush administration's calculation: the White House's use of the FTC (instead of an independent commission) to be the government's one and only public face in dealing with this issue clearly has something to do with that agency being headed by an oil industry crony.
Thus, the question of the day: Will Majoras recuse herself from being involved in the probe?
frim sirota blog
GOP government is as bad as they want it to be.
Media outlets around the country are reporting that trucks loaded with millions of pounds of ice meant for the Gulf region are popping up nationwide. FEMA redirected the trucks away from the South after realizing they had ordered too much ice, but the agency is paying truckers up to $900 a day to sit idly in their trucks far away from the affected areas.
“The $9,000 they’re paying me to move this load should have gone to some family down there,” one disgruntled trucker said. “There is definitely millions being wasted that could go to people who need it.”
Here’s where the FEMA “Icecapades” tour has been so far:
Look for it in a town near you!
The "Free Market" strikes again!
Rita a Catagory 5 now...
Katrina weakened to a Category 4 just before landfall.
The National Hurricane Center expects that Rita will go through a number of cycles, strengthening and weakening, in the 3 days before it strikes land.
from Air America Homepage
The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee refused to rule out increasing taxes yesterday as he and many of his GOP colleagues called for offsets to temper the effect of the next round of federal spending for disaster relief in the Gulf Coast.
"We've got two sides to the ledger," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). "I'm willing to look at a revenue solution ... as part of a package."
Meanwhile, DeLay called for continued underfunding of disaster response agencies because, um, the underfunded agencies staffed by political hacks stunk it up after Katrina. (At least I think that's his argument.)
"The so-called Katrina tax hikes are not about Katrina; they're about tax hikes and will only serve to balloon the oversized, under-responsive emergency-management system that broke down three weeks ago in the wake of the hurricane," DeLay said in a House floor speech, according to prepared remarks provided by his office.
Despite the debate over funding reconstruction on our home soil (which threatens to split the GOP, interestingly enough), fact is they would rather spend hundreds of billions of dollars rebuilding Iraq than rebuilding America.
It's clear the new GOP slogan is "America Second!"
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Politicians like Patrick Leahy make me ashamed to be a democrat.... [small d]
Why do I say this? Because they have just indicated that any nominee Bush sends up need not answer any questions, the White House can withhold critical documents and generally that the Democrats have no stomach for a fight on this. Is the threat of a Democratic filibuster in any way credible now? Remember, Bush has the votes, 55 of them for any nominee he chooses, including Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, Michael Luttig or any one he cares to choose.
So the vote goes 55-45 at worst for such a nominee. So what? Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court the last I looked. He was voted in by 52-48.
Roberts will get 80 votes now. And we know nothing about his judicial philosophy. Nothing.
Let me be clear. I had no illusions that John Roberts would not be confirmed. The fight NOW was for the NEXT fight. Dems needed to show spine now so that Bush would fear what they might do on the next one.
Who in their right mind would have any fear of the Democratic Senators now? No one. Even an idiot like Bush can see that.
One line that annoys me that I hear bandied about is that somehow this shows that "Dems will approve 'reasonable' nominees." For the life of me I don't understand that comment. Roberts may well be "reasonable," but how in the hell does anybody know?
Imagine this scenario. Bush nominates a conservative appellate court judge who has only 2 years of judicial experience, a history as a Republican partisan, worked at the Reagan White House and then in the Solicitor General's office. This nominee then basically cribs his "answers" from those provided by Roberts. Then what do Dems do? Because if you think Roberts is the only one of these Stepford judges they can find, you are sadly mistaken.
Believe it or not, Dems are left really with one argument - they approved of Roberts because he was Rehnquist's replacement and therefore did not need more information and would give the President more latititude on Roberts. On the O'Connor replacement, the Dems might argue, they need to be sure the nominee is in the O'Connor mold to retain the balance of the Court.
And with that argument, they MIGHT muster 40 No votes, maybe. But threaten a filibuster? After this surrender on Roberts? Please.
Bush now has a free hand to nominate whatever wingnut he pleases. What are the Dems gonna do? Fight? Don't make me laugh.
So, so long the right to choose. So long Congress' Commerce power. So long checks on Presidential power. So long civil rights laws.
And by the way, so long to the Politics of Contrast and Fighting Dems on social issues. The DLC has won by default. We are all "values" voters now.
Women's is smart.
[A] scientific study just published in American Psychologist provides strong reasons to doubt that there are many inborn differences between genders. Janet Shibley Hyde, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has shown that in most cases psychological differences are small or nonexistent. It turns out that there is no difference in how good girls and boys are at maths. Girls' self-esteem is widely believed to nosedive on entering puberty; in fact, that of boys does so as well. In most respects, the genders communicate in the same way - forget all that stuff about men interrupting more and being less self-revealing.
Only a handful of the nostrums of evolutionary psychology survive Shibley Hyde's scrutiny. It's true that women can't throw things as hard or as far; they do not masturbate nearly as much, and are not up for casual shagging to the same degree; and they physically attack others dramatically less often. Taken overall the study shows that, to a very large degree, in terms of gender difference, we do start as blank slates, and it provides one of the strongest ever scientific foundations for equal-sex social policies. But then how could we ever have doubted it?
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that woman deserve the right to vote. Unless of coarse they are known homosexuals OR unpatriotic.
The Compassionate Conservatives.
Young is chairman of Congress’s Transportation and Infrastructure Commitee and has ensured that the six-year $295 billion transportation bill is “stuffed like a turkey” with $721 million in projects for Alaska. Projects include:
$223 million for a bridge larger than the Brooklyn Bridge and almost as long as the Golden Gate, to connect a town with 8,900 people to a town with 50 people.
$200 million for another “bridge to nowhere,” which will connect Anchorage to a town with one tenant and a handful of homes.
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has raised the idea of “charitable pork” — lawmakers giving up pet projects to help Hurricane Katrina victims — and Montana is considering giving up the $4 million it received in a federal bill for a downtown parking garage.
Young’s response to his state giving up some money?
“They can kiss my ear!…That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard….I raised enough money to give back to them voluntarily and that’s it!”
GOP run government steadily working that good ole black magic...
House Bill Would Limit
By FELICITY BARRINGER
The proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act also increase the obligation of government agencies to tell landowners quickly if the law limits their development options, and to compensate them.
From google news:
House Bill Would Limit US Power to Protect Species New York Times -
Rewriting Endangered Species Act
Changes to Endangered Species Act Mulled
Stupid hicks come to the North East.
In Northeast, Minuteman Project finding few takers
By Cara Anna, Associated Press Writer
Co-founder Chris Simcox says simply, "People on the East Coast couldn't care less."
An organizational meeting on
"We've seen some aggressive opposition in the New York area," Simcox said during a phone interview. "It's a sign that terrorism is alive and well in this country."From Boston.com
Let me get this straight. Since North East people actually have a brain and don’t just automatically hate anyone who isn’t, as George Bush would say, “our color” that means terrorism is “alive and well?” Go back to your third world quality public schools and teenage pregnancy you bunch of dumbass hillbillies. Don’t have ideas about national policy issues. Whether or not to watch Hee Haw at your mama’s trailer or at the bar is about the only decisions you are qualified to make. They may have trouble finding recruits but I bet you I know a couple of police officers in NH that will be there.
Democratic Traitors in the Senate
Montana Senator Max Baucus announced today he will vote to confirm President Bush's pick for Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
"After reviewing Judge John Roberts' credentials and meeting with him privately, I have found that he meets my criteria for judges. And that is: only the brightest, most objective minds shall serve on the bench," said Baucus, who acknowledged the decision was not an easy one.
"I call 'em as I see them," he said. "Judge Roberts indicated to me personally that he has a healthy respect for precedent and the hard-won rights of Americans. My only yardstick or litmus test is whether or not Judge Roberts is right for Montana and America. I've determined that he is." . . . "Throughout my career, I've always tried to reach across party lines to do what's right," Baucus said. "This isn't about being a Democrat or Republican; it's about being a Montanan and American."
Well, I call em as I see them too. And I have found that Max Baucus meets my criteria for a gutless son of a bitch. Baucus demonstrates a healthy disrespect for his Leader in the Senate and for the values and principles that define the Democratic Party.
Throughout his career, Max Baucus has been kissing Republican rings and can not seem to break that habit, even with George Bush at the nadir of his Presidency.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Halliburton... poisoning our troops....
But the outrage apparently doesn't end with spoiled food. Former KBR employees and water quality specialists, Ben Carter and Ken May, told HalliburtonWatch that KBR knowingly exposes troops and civilians to contaminated water from Iraq's Euphrates River. One internal KBR email provided to HalliburtonWatch says that, for "possibly a year," the level of contamination at one camp was two times the normal level for untreated water.
from Halliburton Watch
North County Tales of Interest....
Ex-officer charged in boy’s kidnap try
By LORNA COLQUHOUN
WHITEFIELD — The man charged last week with using a chain to force a 15-year-old
George Nugent, 56, is being held without bail in the Coos County House of Correction in West Stewartstown as a fugitive from justice while he awaits extradition to
According to the state’s Police Standards and Training Council, he was a part-time
Nugent was arrested last Wednesday morning at his rented home on the
Authorities said Nugent met a boy who was riding a bike near the boy's Galloway Township home on Aug. 21 and tried to chain him to the inside of Nugent's Jeep.
The boy fought Nugent off, police said. But it took bolt cutters to remove a 4-foot chain the man had allegedly locked around the youth's neck.
Republicans: Corrupt as the day is long....
What we really need is publicly funded elections so political office can't be purchased in the first place. I get tired of giving the Democratic Party and other progressive PACs money just so they can competing the aution process.
FEC Sues Pro-Republican Political Group
By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer
Federal election regulators have taken a political group to court in what could serve as a test case for how the government will address complaints over millions of dollars in big contributions poured into last year's presidential race.
The Federal Election Commission filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in
Older Votes by "The Toad" we shouldn't forget....
Dominican Republic-CAFTA Implementation Act - Vote Passed (217-215, 2 Not Voting)
The House gave approval to an agreement intended to strengthen economic ties between the U.S. and Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Rep. Charles Bass voted YES......send e-mail or see bio
HEALTH Act of 2005 - Vote Passed (230-194, 2 Present, 7 Not Voting)
This medical malpractice reform bill would limit non-economic damages, or "pain and suffering" damages, in malpractice lawsuits to $250,000.
Rep. Charles Bass voted YES......send e-mail or see bio
oh., yeah... so vote for Paul Hodes. Paul Hodes made the top 10 in the Democracy for
Vote for Paul Hodes here:
Recent Congressional Votes
Recent Senate Votes
Mercury Resolution - Vote Rejected (47-51, 2 Not Voting)
Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act, FY2006 - Vote Passed (91-4, 5 Not Voting)
Recent House Votes
Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2005 - Vote Passed (415-0, 18 Not Voting)
Hurricane Katrina Investigation - Vote Passed (224-188, 21 Not Voting)
But these numbers don't include Haliburton's profit margin....
This morning, the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore makes an interesting point:
When President Bush announced last Thursday that the feds would take a lead role in the reconstruction of New Orleans, he in effect established a new $200 billion federal line of credit. To put that $200 billion in perspective, we could give every one of the 500,000 families displaced by Katrina a check for $400,000, and they could each build a beach front home virtually anywhere in America.
To add some more perspective, we’ve already spent $200 billion on a war of choice on Iraq. Each month, we are spending an additional $8 billion in Iraq — enough to provide each family displaced by Katrina with $16,000.
Instead, we are making them live in old shipping containers.
Walmart wins an award!
from think progress
In any case it won't die: the idea that Alaska, to help Hurricane Katrina victims, should forfeit the dough it got in the federal highway bill for the Knik and Gravina bridges.
The New York Times: "Surely Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican who is chairman of the transportation committee, might put off that $223 million 'bridge to nowhere' in his state's outback. It's redundant now -- Louisiana suddenly has several bridges to nowhere."
The Wall Street Journal: "That same half a billion dollars (for the two Alaska bridges) could rebuild thousands of homes for suffering New Orleans evacuees."
No doubt to make Alaskans look bad, city leaders in Bozeman, Mont., are investigating whether they can give Katrina victims the $4 million they got in the federal bill for a downtown parking garage.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised the charitable pork idea on the Senate floor last week, although he stopped short of endorsing it.
So, how about it, Mr. Chairman?
"They can kiss my ear!" Young boomed when Sam Bishop, Washington correspondent for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, asked him about the many pleas to redirect the bridge money.
"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard," Young went on, noting that Louisiana did quite well in his highway bill.
And, the congressman said, he helped the seafood industry donate more than $500,000 for hurricane victims. (That was at the "Seafood Invitational," a charity golf tournament Sept. 9 in Roslyn, Wash., Bishop reported Friday.)
"I raised enough money to give back to them voluntarily," he said, "and that's it!"
It's particularly important to note just how useless those Bridges to Nowhere are.
Yet due to funds in a new transportation bill, which President Bush is scheduled to sign Wednesday, Sallee and his neighbors may soon receive a bridge nearly as long as the Golden Gate Bridge and 80 feet taller than the Brooklyn Bridge. With a $223 million check from the federal government, the bridge will connect Gravina [population less than 50] to the bustling Alaskan metropolis of Ketchikan, pop. 8,000.
"How is the bridge going to pay for itself?" asks Susan Walsh, Sallee's wife, who works as a nurse in Ketchikan. She notes that a ferry, which runs every 15 minutes in the summer, already connects Gravina to Ketchikan. "It can get us to the hospital in five minutes. How is this bridge fair to the rest of the country?" [...]
Included in the bill's special Alaska projects is $231 million for a bridge that will connect Anchorage to Port MacKenzie, a rural area that has exactly one resident, north of the town of Knik, pop. 22. The land is a network of swamps between a few hummocks of dry ground. Although it may or may not set the stage for future development, the bridge, to be named "Don Young's Way," will not save commuters into Anchorage any time, says Walt Parker, a former Alaska commissioner of highways.
Dems Kill Fake Katrina Probe
Congressional Republicans signaled today that they have abandoned their plan to conduct a joint House-Senate probe of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.
In announcing a joint probe this month, the Republican leadership had said it would be the most efficient way to investigate the administration's much-criticized initial response to the hurricane. But today, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) conceded that he could not overcome Democratic opposition to a joint investigation.
The Democratic leadership has refused to appoint members to a joint committee, citing the lack of equal representation of Democrats on the panel, and the lack of power to issue subpoenas that the majority opposed. Democrats also have insisted on an independent inquiry.
Democratic opposition has left Republicans little maneuvering room for mounting a credible probe. With the joint investigation apparently off the table, Republicans can only hope that Democrats will participate in each chamber's separate investigation. It was far from clear today that Democrats would do that.
Millions of Dollars in rations for Katrina Victims to be incinerated.
US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees.
Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption.
And unless the bureaucratic mess is cleared up soon it could be sent for incineration.
One British aid worker last night called the move "sickening senselessness" and said furious colleagues were "spitting blood".
The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed.
Scores of lorries headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant.
The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.
But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.
The aid worker, who would not be named, said: "This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Here comes Hurricane Rita!
George's prime time speech HURT him!
The number of Americans who now approve of the President's response to Hurricane Katrina is down: 40% today compared to 42% before he announced the Gulf Opportunity Zone. The number of Americans who disapprove of the President's response to Katrina is up: 56% today compared to 52% before the speech. Bush went from "Minus 10" on his Response to Katrina before the speech to "Minus 16" today.
Election commission recommends keeping N.H., Iowa first
By Will Lester, Associated Press Writer
Former President Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, the panel's co-leaders, cited the loss of confidence in a report they were to deliver Monday to President Bush and Congress.
Among the commission's recommendations:
--Congress should pass a law requiring voter-verifiable paper audit trails on all electronic voting machines.
--States should require voters to present photo IDs and offer free photo IDs to those who don't have drivers' licenses.
--The presidential primary system should be reorganized into four regional primaries, held after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. A regional primary would take place each month from March to June.
--All "legitimate domestic and international election observers" should be granted unrestricted access to the election process, within the rules of the election.
--News organizations should voluntarily refrain from projecting any presidential election results in any state until all polls have closed in all states but Alaska and Hawaii.
--States should prohibit senior election officials from serving or assisting political campaigns in a partisan way.
--States should establish uniform procedures for the counting of provisional ballots, which voters can use when there are questions about their registration.
full story @ bostom.com
Iraq wasn't so much about going to war, as about going to War profiteering.
One billion dollars has been plundered from
The money, intended to train and equip an Iraqi army capable of bringing security to a country shattered by the US-led invasion and prolonged rebellion, was instead siphoned abroad in cash and has disappeared.
"It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," Ali Allawi,
"Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."
Most of the money was supposedly spent buying arms from
entire article here
Bad News: Corperate Media Monopoly
Is there anyone that actually believes what they hear on TV news anymore? Below Excertps from LA Times editorial:
That same day, CNN's parent company, Time Warner, announced the hiring of DeLay's chief of staff as a top
lobbyist. This news, and its timing, prompted Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy to tell the L.A. Weekly: "Time Warner aligning itself with the right-wing DeLay machine should send shudders [down] CNN and HBO." Washington
At least that wily old codger Sumner Redstone, head of Viacom, parent company of CBS, has admitted what everyone already knows is true: that, while he personally may be a Democrat, "It happens that I vote for Viacom. Viacom is my life, and I do believe that a Republican administration is better for media companies than a Democratic one."
As for Immelt, he publicly wishes his MSNBC could be a clone of FNC. Not surprising, since he let his network and cable news cheerlead the run-up to the Iraqi war without ever bothering to tell viewers GE had billions in contracts pending. More than half of
's power grid is GE technology. Iraq
Disney, parent company of ABC, has turned most of its extensive radio network and owned-and-operated stations into a 24/7 orgy of right-wing talk. (Sean Hannity is their poster boy.)
Goods News from Korea
By Gerard Young
It's been almost three years since a crisis erupted over North Korea's nuclear ambitions but Monday Pyongyang finally agreed to give up its nuclear weapons programs and return to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The question now is whether North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is serious or stalling for time.
"All six parties emphasized that to realize the inspectable non-nuclearization of the
treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency.''more info @ asia times.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Bush kids aren't the only ones drunk and in trouble....
Gov. Lynch-Daughter Arrested
UNH police say Jacqueline Lynch, 19, a sophomore, was arrested shortly after midnight Thursday night and charged with unlawful possession of alcohol and having an open container of alcohol. She and another 19-year-old student were walking on campus at the time. The other student also was charged.
The governor said he is disappointed and that they will deal with it as a family.
Health Care "savings account" scam begins.....
New plans shift health costs to workers
Mark Galvin, founder of Whaleback Systems Corp., bypassed the traditional low-deductible health insurance plans he used for his three previous companies and bought a health savings account plan from Patriot Healthcare.
Gavin found he could save money for his high-tech
The Independence Party Chair Anti-semitic?
By MARC HUMBERT, AP Political Writer
The chairman of the state's Independence Party planned to seek the removal Sunday of Lenora Fulani, accused of making anti-Semitic remarks, and her supporters from the group's executive committee.
"The state committee has overwhelmingly requested this," party Chairman Frank MacKay had said earlier this month as he announced Sunday's meeting. "She can't keep the opinions about the Jewish people to herself ... She has disturbing views on the Jewish people that are unacceptable to us."
New GOP PAC "Katrina Corpses for Repeal of Estate Tax."
Only a tiny percentage of people are affected by the estate tax--in 2001 only 534 Alabamans were subject to it. And for Hill backers of repeal, that's only part of the problem. Last year, the tax brought in $24.8 billion to the federal government. With Katrina's cost soaring, estate tax opponents need to find a way to make up the potential lost income. For now, getting repeal back on the agenda may depend on Apolinsky and his team of estate-sniffing sleuths, who are searching Internet obituaries among other places. Has he found any victims of both the hurricane and the estate tax? "Not yet," Apolinsky says. "But I'm still looking." (Emphasis added.)
Good News from the BlueGrass State
A whole bunch of people on Republican Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher's staff were implicated in a major hiring scandal, centered around violations of the state's merit-based employment laws. Several were even indicted.
Fletcher decided to do the upstanding thing in response: He pardoned everyone involved, declaring that the state Attorney General's investigation was "politically motivated."
Despite the pardons, the AG (Greg Stumbo) has kept up with his investigation. E-mails filed with court documents to get a search warrant for the office of Fletcher's chief-of-staff indicate that it might go as high as Fletcher himself.
With the walls closing in around him, Fletcher belatedly announced he was firing nine staffers. Fletcher also called for the head of the state Republican party, one Darrell Brock, to resign.
Today, the Kentucky Republican Party delivered a major "fuck you" to Ernie Fletcher: They refused to ask for Brock's resignation. That's pretty astounding, for a state party to utterly ignore the wishes of its governor.
Fletcher, as of July, had a 34-57 approval rating - good enough for 48th-best out of all fifty governors.
Win a vacation with Bush!!!