FINALLY …. FRANKEN!!

July 1, 2009

ANOTHER CELEBRATION!!

Al Franken refused his rival’s calls for an election night concession last November, choosing instead to begin vote counting and courtroom haggling that stretched almost eight months and ultimately landed him a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Franken’s victory over Republican Norm Coleman gives Democrats 60 Senate seats, the critical number needed to overcome Republican filibusters. When Franken is seated, which could come as early as next week, his party will have a majority not reached on either side of the aisle in some three decades.

Coleman conceded the election hours after a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Franken — who moved into politics with books poking fun at conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh — should be certified the winner. In doing so, Coleman pulled the plug on a bitter election that was decided by 312 votes out of almost 2.9 million cast.

“When you win an election this close, you know not one bit of effort went to waste,” Franken told reporters outside his downtown Minneapolis town house, accompanied by his wife. “The way I see it, I’m not going to Washington to be the 60th Democratic senator, I’m going to Washington to be the second senator from Minnesota.”

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Obamaland – James Delingpole

February 5, 2009

Virginia asks: Are they still here?
Yes Virginia and they still appeal the our lowest intellectual common denominator in American. 

James Delingpole, the Brit, was gloating like a child with a lollipop while whoring his book “Obamaland” on C-Spans Washington Journal. He claimed while the conservative right  are “pragmatic adults,”  the liberal left are adolescences that are about to ruin the fine nation George Bush created.  If I didn’t hear it with my own ears, I wouldn’t have believed it.
With his face sweating, glossy childlike glee, Delingpole was so giddy I though he would make out with the camera. 

The Neo Con right are such pragmatic adults they embrace the likes of Ted Haggard ( you remember him from Larry King and his pimp) left a 10 trillion dollar debt (did I say billion?), 2 failed wars and all that implies, torture (we don’t – we do and it’s ok), Katrina, Plame, a culture of corruption that led to years of jail time for the pragmatists  … Delingpole’s book should have been titled  … “The Very Best of  Conservatism – VOL I” 

Lunatic right fringe cave men, like Delingpole, throw us back into the Bush stone age with his never ending fear mongering that obviously still appeals to the stuck on stupid. Ho Hum.

 Ah, what depths one will sink  to be embraced by a fringe right part of our American culture with money to burn and Delingpole is hoping they’ll toss some coin his way.  Good on ya James! You worked the right fringe beautifully and they will reward you for your loyalty, I guarantee it.  Look at Scooter. 

If Obamaland is Delingpole’s idea of being a pragmatic adult … I’d rather be adopted by a commie – pinko – welfare grabbin – government cheese eatin – crack ho.

Intelligent design … I beg you to please, PLEASE save us from the Neo Nazi Lunatic Right!
We’re counting on you.

NAB (National Broadcasters Association) David K. Rehr 2008 Campaign Donations Favors Republicans

October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008

We were hoping the National Broadcasters Association was above reproach. Apparently not. Ex-Beer governor, and current head of National Broadcasters Association President David K. Rehr, released their political compaign donations for the 2008 cycle.

Although the following numbers don’t add up on Mr Rehr’s official report, out of the $26,911.00 allotment;
$18,300.00 went to 16 Republicans or Republican organizations
$6,000.00 went to 5 Democrats.
$1,500.00 went to 2 miscellaneous organizations
$1111.00 is unaccounted for on the report.

2008 National Broadcasting Association Contribution Totals:

Rehr, David $1,000 05/12/2008 DUNCAN D HUNTER FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 05/01/2008 WOODY JENKINS FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $500 04/01/2008 WOODY JENKINS FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $2,000 03/25/2008 JOHN D. DINGELL FOR CONGRESS – Democrat
Rehr, David $2,000 03/13/2008 LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART FOR CONGRESS – Republican
REHR, DAVID $2,000 03/12/2008 WICKER FOR SENATE – Republican
Rehr, David $2,300 01/04/2008 DAVID WOODS FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 12/20/2007 DAVID SCOTT FOR CONGRESS – Democrat
Rehr, David $1,000 12/18/2007 GENE GREEN CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN – Democrat
Rehr, David $1,000 11/23/2007 CONGRESSMAN JOE BARTON – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 11/08/2007 BACHMANN FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $500 08/01/2007 FREEDOM AND SECURITY PAC
Rehr, David $1,000 06/28/2007 COLE FOR CONGRESS – Republican
REHR, DAVID $1,000 06/25/2007 COLEMAN FOR SENATE 08 – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 06/22/2007 PROFESSIONALS IN ADVERTISING POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
REHR, DAVID $1,000 06/20/2007 FRIENDS OF MARY LANDRIEU INC – Democrat
Rehr, David $1,000 06/08/2007 DAVID SCOTT FOR CONGRESS – Democrat
Rehr, David $1,000 05/17/2007 STEVE CHABOT FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 05/09/2007 SENSENBRENNER COMMITTEE – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 05/04/2007 KLINE FOR CONGRESS – Republican
Rehr, David $500 04/27/2007 EVERY REPUBLICAN IS CRUCIAL (ERICPAC)
Rehr, David $1,000 03/26/2007 CONGRESSMAN JOE BARTON – Republican
Rehr, David $1,000 12/11/2006 TEXANS FOR HENRY BONILLA – Republican

IYFR: The dead give away to Mr. Rehr favorites is the Every Republican is Critical donation. Tsk Tsk Mr. Rehr. Shame on you and your fuzzy math. You’re on the wrong side of history and it’s not money well spent

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/david-rehr.asp?cycle=08

John McCain’s Brother Drops Out of Campaign for Phoney 911 Call

October 25, 2008

The brother of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said Friday he’ll withdraw from campaign activities after calling 911 to complain about traffic. Joe McCain also apologized for making the call.

The GOP candidate’s younger brother, who lives in Alexandria, Va., told Washington radio station WTOP he was returning from a campaign event in Philadelphia around 2 a.m. on Oct. 18 when he got stuck in traffic on Interstate 495 at the Wilson Bridge.

Frustrated because of the traffic, he called 911 to find out what was going on. The operator asked him to “state your emergency.”

“Well, it’s not an emergency, but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95 traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic’s coming the other way?,” Joe McCain said.

The operator asked him if he was calling 911 to complain about traffic. McCain then uttered an expletive and hung up the phone.

The 911 Operator called back and got Joe McCain’s voice mail. Eventually, Joe McCain answered his cell phone and was busted by the 911 operator.

My Space – Friend or Foe?

August 4, 2008

My Space … Friend or Foe? You decide.

Unauthorized History of My Space (Part 1 of 2)

Unauthorized History of My Space (Part 2 of 2)

ROVE IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS

July 10, 2008

Karl Rove ain’t coming to the party. And he ain’t talking.

Despite being subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee to testify on his role in politicizing the Justice Department the erstwhile Boy Genius has announced that he isn’t showing up today

He claims that the president’s assertion of executive privilege “obligates” him to disregard the Congressional order.

By doing so, Rove is thumbing his nose at Congress, legal precedent, the public’s right to know the truth — about, among other things, the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and the blackballing of Justice Department hires — and the Constitution.

Rove’s refusal is, of course, part and parcel of the Bush White House’s ongoing efforts to keep its actions cloaked in secrecy. But beyond that, it is further evidence that for Bush/Cheney and company the ultimate power in America lies in their hands, not in the hands of the people or the laws that govern us.

This is no petty partisan squabble; this is a fight about the foundations of our democracy.

True to form, Rove has offered to meet with the Judiciary Committee — but only in private, without being under oath, and with no transcript kept. Shades of the conditions imposed on the 9/11 Commission by Bush and Cheney, who only agreed to meet with the Commission members in tandem and with no record kept (indeed the members’ notebooks were confiscated).

Rove has been cited for contempt by the Senate Judiciary Committee for refusing to testify about the U.S. Attorney scandal.

In theory, according to the Congressional Oversight Manual, Rove could be arrested, “brought before the House or Senate by the Sergeant-at-Arms, tried at the bar of the body, and can be imprisoned in the Capitol jail.”

But that’s not going to happen. Odds are the Committee will move to hold Rove in contempt. The matter will then be turned over to the Justice Department — the same Justice Department Rove is accused of politicizing — which will likely do the same thing it has done with Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton, i.e. nothing. The matter will then be tossed to the courts… and Rove will go on pontificating on Fox and advising John McCain. Pretty sweet set up.

The Manning Memo

June 27, 2008

SECRET – STRICTLY PERSONAL

FROM: DAVID MANNING
DATE: 14 MARCH 2002

CC: JONATHAN POWELL

PRIME MINISTER

YOUR TRIP TO THE US

I had dinner with Condi on Tuesday; and talks and lunch with her and an NSC team on Wednesday (to which Christopher Meyer also came). These were good exchanges, and particularly frank when we were one-on-one at dinner. I attach the records in case you want to glance.

IRAQ

We spent a long time at dinner on IRAQ. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option.

Condi’s enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties and political risks. (See the attached piece by Seymour Hersh which Christopher Meyer says gives a pretty accurate picture of the uncertain state of the debate in Washington.)

From what she said, Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions:

— how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified;

— what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition;

— how to coordinate a US/allied military campaign with internal opposition (assuming there is any);

— what happens on the morning after?

Bush will want to pick your brains. He will also want to hear whether he can expect coalition support. I told Condi that we realised that the Administration could go it alone if it chose. But if it wanted company, it would have to take account of the concerns of its potential coalition partners. In particular:

— the Un dimension. The issue of the weapons inspectors must be handled in a way that would persuade European and wider opinion that the US was conscious of the international framework, and the insistence of many countries on the need for a legal base. Renwed [renewed?] refused [refusal?] by Saddam to accept unfettered inspections would be a powerful argument;

— the paramount importance of tackling Israel/Palestine. Unless we did, we could find ourselves bombing the Iraq and losing the Gulf.

YOUR VISIT TO THE RANCH

No doubt we need to keep a sense of perspective. But my talks with Condi convinced me that Bush wants to hear you [sic] views on Iraq before taking decisions. He also wants your support. He is still smarting from the comments by other European leaders on his Iraq policy.

This gives you real influence: on the public relations strategy; on the UN and weapons inspections; and on US planning for any military campaign. This could be critically important. I think there is a real risk that the Administration underestimates the difficulties. They may agree that failure isn’t an option, but this does not mean that they will avoid it.

Will the Sunni majority really respond to an uprising led by Kurds and Shias? Will Americans really put in enough ground troops to do the job if the Kurdish/Shi’ite stratagem fails? Even if they do will they be willing to take the sort of casualties that the Republican Guard may inflict on them if it turns out to be an urban war, and Iraqi troops don’t conveniently collapse in a heap as Richard Perle and others confidently predict? They need to answer these and other tough questions, in a more convincing way than they have so far before concluding that they can do the business.

The talks at the ranch will also give you the chance to push Bush on the Middle East. The Iraq factor means that there may never be a better opportunity to get this Administration to give sustained attention to reviving the MEPP [Middle East Peace Process].

DAVID MANNING

Bush To Invade Iran in August 2008?

June 17, 2008

Surprised?? Stuff our main stream media doesn’t tell us.

Bush ‘plans Iran air strike by August’
By Muhammad Cohen

NEW YORK – The George W Bush administration plans to launch an air strike against Iran within the next two months, an informed source tells Asia Times Online, echoing other reports that have surfaced in the media in the United States recently.

Two key US senators briefed on the attack planned to go public with their opposition to the move, according to the source, but their projected New York Times op-ed piece has yet to appear.

The source, a retired US career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state still active in the foreign affairs community, speaking anonymously, said last week that the US plans an air strike against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The air strike would target the headquarters of the IRGC’s elite Quds force. With an estimated strength of up to 90,000 fighters, the Quds’ stated mission is to spread Iran’s revolution of 1979 throughout the region.

Targets could include IRGC garrisons in southern and southwestern Iran, near the border with Iraq. US officials have repeatedly claimed Iran is aiding Iraqi insurgents. In January 2007, US forces raided the Iranian consulate general in Erbil, Iraq, arresting five staff members, including two Iranian diplomats it held until November. Last September, the US Senate approved a resolution by a vote of 76-22 urging President George W Bush to declare the IRGC a terrorist organization. Following this non-binding “sense of the senate” resolution, the White House declared sanctions against the Quds Force as a terrorist group in October. The Bush administration has also accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, though most intelligence analysts say the program has been abandoned.

Rockin’ and a-reelin’
Senators and the Bush administration denied the resolution and terrorist declaration were preludes to an attack on Iran. However, attacking Iran rarely seems far from some American leaders’ minds. Arizona senator and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain recast the classic Beach Boys tune Barbara Ann as “Bomb Iran”. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton promised “total obliteration” for Iran if it attacked Israel.

The US and Iran have a long and troubled history, even without the proposed air strike. US and British intelligence were behind attempts to unseat prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company, and returned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power in 1953. President Jimmy Carter’s pressure on the Shah to improve his dismal human-rights record and loosen political control helped the 1979 Islamic revolution unseat the Shah.

But the new government under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned the US as “the Great Satan” for its decades of support for the Shah and its reluctant admission into the US of the fallen monarch for cancer treatment. Students occupied the US Embassy in Teheran, holding 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days. Eight American commandos died in a failed rescue mission in 1980. The US broke diplomatic relations with Iran during the hostage holding and has yet to restore them. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric often sounds lifted from the Khomeini era.
The source said the White House views the proposed air strike as a limited action to punish Iran for its involvement in Iraq. The source, an ambassador during the administration of president H W Bush, did not provide details on the types of weapons to be used in the attack, nor on the precise stage of planning at this time. It is not known whether the White House has already consulted with allies about the air strike, or if it plans to do so.

Sense in the senate
Details provided by the administration raised alarm bells on Capitol Hill, the source said. After receiving secret briefings on the planned air strike, Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, said they would write a New York Times op-ed piece “within days”, the source said last week, to express their opposition. Feinstein is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Lugar is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

In a statement received by Asia Times Online from Feinstein’s office, the senator said she “has not received any briefing, classified or unclassified, from the administration involving any plans to strike Iran”.

Given their obligations to uphold the secrecy of classified information, it is unlikely the senators would reveal the Bush administration’s plan or their knowledge of it. However, going public on the issue, even without specifics, would likely create a public groundswell of criticism that could induce the Bush administration reconsider its plan.

The proposed air strike on Iran would have huge implications for geopolitics and for the ongoing US presidential campaign. The biggest question, of course, is how would Iran respond?

Iran’s options
Iran could flex its muscles in any number of ways. It could step up support for insurgents in Iraq and for its allies throughout the Middle East. Iran aids both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Israel’s Occupied Territories. It is also widely suspected of assisting Taliban rebels in Afghanistan.

Iran could also choose direct confrontation with the US in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, with which Iran shares a long, porous border. Iran has a fighting force of more than 500,000. Iran is also believed to have missiles capable of reaching US allies in the Gulf region.

Iran could also declare a complete or selective oil embargo on US allies. Iran is the second-largest oil exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and fourth-largest overall. About 70% of its oil exports go to Asia. The US has barred oil imports from Iran since 1995 and restricts US companies from investing there.

China is Iran’s biggest customer for oil, and Iran buys weapons from China. Trade between the two countries hit US$20 billion last year and continues to expand. China’s reaction to an attack on Iran is also a troubling unknown for the US.

Three for the money
The Islamic world could also react strongly against a US attack against a third predominantly Muslim nation. Pakistan, which also shares a border with Iran, could face additional pressure from Islamic parties to end its cooperation with the US to fight al-Qaeda and hunt for Osama bin Laden. Turkey, another key ally, could be pushed further off its secular base. American companies, diplomatic installations and other US interests could face retaliation from governments or mobs in Muslim-majority states from Indonesia to Morocco.

A US air strike on Iran would have seismic impact on the presidential race at home, but it’s difficult to determine where the pieces would fall.

At first glance, a military attack against Iran would seem to favor McCain. The Arizona senator says the US is locked in battle across the globe with radical Islamic extremists, and he believes Iran is one of biggest instigators and supporters of the extremist tide. A strike on Iran could rally American voters to back the war effort and vote for McCain.

On the other hand, an air strike on Iran could heighten public disenchantment with Bush administration policy in the Middle East, leading to support for the Democratic candidate, whoever it is.

But an air strike will provoke reactions far beyond US voting booths. That would explain why two veteran senators, one Republican and one Democrat, were reportedly so horrified at the prospect.

I’m Voting Republican

June 14, 2008

Bush “Regrets” Tough Talk On Iraq

June 11, 2008
June 11, 2008
LONDON (Reuters) – President George W Bush admitted on Wednesday that his tough rhetoric had given the world the impression was a “guy really anxious for war” and said he now wished he had used a different tone on the global stage.

Bush voiced regret at divisions in the international community created by the war in Iraq, adding: “I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric.”

He admitted that his use of phrases such as “bring them on” and “dead or alive” had “indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace.”

FROM CRAIG:
Dear Failure in Chief
 
This story on your alleged “regret” for tough guy talk on Iraqnam seems to be a little late at this point doesn’t it?
 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080611/pl_nm/bush_europe_rhetoric_dc
 
If you had half the brains that Allah gave a sea slug you’d regret the fact that you demanded intelligence agencies produce data that fit your preconceived notion of reality so you could illegally invade and occupy a nation that never ONCE posed a threat to the United States. 
 
Instead you and Dick “The Shit I Took Yesterday” Cheney demanded that the books be cooked so you could act like a tough guy. Now, more than 4,000 dead American kids and untotalled billions of dollars later you “regret” your talking tough before leading us to war.  You have failed at every god damned thing you have attempted in during the more than 60 years of your wretched existence.  You thought if you acted tough on this sure thing “victory” in Iraqnam you’d redeem yourself.  Tell that to the more than 4,000 American mothers out there whose son or daughter will never sit at a Thanksgiving dinner table again because of your “regret.”
 
Fuck you and your regret, asshole.  The real regret should come from Faux News and the rest of the conservative-biased media who believed you rather than doing their jobs.  Now we are a nation laughed at on the world stage. Our economic might has been reduced to rubble and our economy stinks. But the Failure in Chief feels “regret.”
 
Heckuva job, asshole.
Craig

Obama Confronts Lieberman on McCain Advocacy, Tone, on Senate Floor

June 7, 2008

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the self-described “Independent Democrat” who caucuses with the Democratic party in the Senate even though he has endorsed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, got some tough talk from Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, yesterday about his advocacy for the presumptive Republican presidential candidate and the general tone of the campaign, Democratic sources tell ABC News. Returning to the Senate after his securing the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama and Lieberman greeted each on the Senate floor in the Well as they were voting on the budget resolution.

They shook hands. But Obama didn’t let go, leading Lieberman – cordially – by the hand across the room into a corner on the Democratic side, where Democratic sources tell ABC News he delivered some tough words for the junior senator from Connecticut, who had just minutes before hammered Obama’s speech before the pro-Israel group AIPAC in a conference call arranged by the McCain campaign.

    The two spoke intensely for approximately five minutes, with no one able to hear their conversation. Reporters watched as Obama leaned closely in to Lieberman, whose back was literally up against the wall.

  Neither party is officially talking. But while Lieberman spokesman Marshall Whitman says the conversation was “a cordial and friendly discussion” and Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton says it was “private and friendly,” Democratic sources tell ABC News that the conversation was a stern rebuke to Lieberman for his criticism of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee on the conference call, as well as a discussion about how far Lieberman is willing to go in his advocacy of McCain, and the tone of the campaign.

    “It’s one thing to support McCain,” said one Democratic source, “but many think Uncle Joe has gone too far.”

    Obama campaigned for Lieberman in 2006 when he was challenged (and ultimately defeated) in his primary race for his Senate seat. When Lieberman opted to run as an independent, Obama wrote a supportive email endorsing Democratic nominee Ned Lamont, but he did not appear in person for him, unlike other Democrats, such as Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

    On the McCain conference call yesterday, Lieberman congratulated Obama “in securing the Democratic nomination and to express my own hope as a supporter of John McCain that this will be a civil and constructive campaign debate from here to November.”

    The only Orthodox Jew in the U.S. Senate then criticized the White House hopeful’s speech to the Jewish pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, saying, “I would say respectfully that I thought in this speech that there was a disconnect between things Senator Obama said today in particularly with regards to Iran and things that he has said or done earlier either in the campaign and senate. To be specific, I was troubled earlier in the year during the campaign season when Senator Obama referred to, I guess compared Iran and other rogue and terrorists states to the Soviet Union and minimized the threat represented by Iran. I think that is wrong.”

    Lieberman also criticized Obama for voting against an amendment he offered with Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., that designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group, and included other language that Obama said linked the war in Iraq to Iran in a way that troubled him. “Senator Obama opposed it saying it was saber rattling and referring to the possible threat of military force,” Lieberman said. “But if you look at the Kyl-Liebermann Amendment as it was passed, it has none of that in it, regarding military action. I was hoping and I still hope that he will say that that vote was a mistake, and that he would support that resolution.”

“Obama today argued that American foreign policy in recent years has essentially sort of strengthened Iran,” Lieberman continued. “At one point, he almost seems to suggest that it helped to elect us Ahmadinejad, and has made Israel safe. I just disagree with that. Iran elected Ahmadinejad for their own reasons. If Israel is in danger today, it’s not because of American foreign policy which has been strongly supportive of Israel in every way, it is not because what we have done in Iraq, it is because Iran is a fanatical terrorist, expansionist state and has a leader and a leadership that constantly threatens to extinguish the state of Israel.”

    “Its a difficult situation,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the Senate Democrats’ Assistant Majority Leader and a major Obama backer, told reporters Wednesday, according to Roll Call. “Joe is my friend … but I hope he doesn’t become the lead attack dog. Of course it’s a concern when someone in your Caucus is supporting the other party’s candidate. Let’s not try and sugarcoat it.”

    Lieberman agreed to caucus with the Democrats, who need his vote in the narrowly-divided Senate, in order to maintain power. But the Nutmeg stater is testing the patience of Democratic leaders by endorsing McCain and agreeing to speak at the Republican National Convention in September. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told MSNBC they would “watch very closely” how far Lieberman takes his advocacy.

    But Obama may feel Lieberman has already taken it too far.

Bush/McCain “Cousin” from Moveon.org

May 28, 2008

IYFR: Thanks you guys … you made our day!

9/11 Revealed Host Gives It A Voice

May 22, 2008

IYFR: No one loves his country more or is more of a patriot then the host of Thursday night’s 9/11 Revealed – MIKE BONO!! We love ya Mikey. Keep giving them HELL!

As Homes Foreclose in U.S., Squatters Move In

May 19, 2008

A new generation of squatters emboldened by America’s housing foreclosure crisis.

For squatters, foreclosed homes like this are like a camp-ground with free camping,” says real-estate broker Marc Charney, a foreclosure specialist, as he enters the home in Brockton, Massachusetts, and shines a flash-light at a mattress where homeless people have been sleeping each night.

Squatting is on the rise across the United States as foreclosures surge, eviction notices mount and homes go unsold for months, complicating the worst U.S. housing slump in a quarter century and forcing real-estate brokers to enlist the help of law enforcement and courts to sell empty houses.

IYFR: Back in 2000, when George Bush stole the White House, we said this will be the worst Presidency in history. Our off the cuff, on air, comments included a potential disaster in housing, a possible war, rising gas prices. We even joked about food and water shortages.

In retrospect, we’re sorry to the American people for putting that out there.  While little consolation, at least we didn’t vote for this clown … twice.   

Vito Fossella NY Rep – Adulterer/Drunk/Liar – Breaksdown On House Floor

May 9, 2008

IYFR: Add another REPUBLICAN POLITICAL LEADER to the YOU FILTHY PIG list.

Disgraced New York Congressman Vito Fossella broke down in tears on the floor of the House of Representatives today, apparently under the emotional weight of his recent behavior.

Fossella acknowledged on Thursday that he had fathered a daughter, now three years old, with a woman who wasn’t his wife. News of his adultery came just a week after the Staten Island Republican was arrested for drunk driving in suburban Virginia.

Appearing on the House floor today, Fossella broke down when talking with House Chaplain, Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin, a Hill source who witnessed the event told The Huffington Post. The episode occurred shortly after the congressman voted against the Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008, a housing bill that passed through the House by a 239 to 188 vote.

Fossella’s political and legal future is currently up in the air. He is expected to appear in court next week and could face jail time if convicted for his drunk driving charge.

According to the New York Times:

“A police report in Alexandria, Va., a suburb of Washington, said that Mr. Fossella ran a red light on Thursday just after midnight and had a “strong smell of alcoholic beverage” when he was pulled over. According to the report, Mr. Fossella told the officer that he was on his way to pick up his daughter, who needed to go to the hospital, although on Friday he said that he had been on his way to visit friends.

The report said Mr. Fossella failed several sobriety tests on the street, including a preliminary breath test on which he registered a blood alcohol level of 0.133 percent. After he was arrested, he recorded a level of 0.17 percent on another machine. The legal limit in Virginia, as in most states, is 0.08 percent.”

Army Ships Contaminated Kuwait Sand to Idaho

May 2, 2008

By Jill Kuraitis, 4-30-08

 The U.S. Army is shipping 6,700 tons of contaminated sand to Idaho from Kuwait.  It will arrive at American Ecology in Grandview, Idaho, sometime in May. 

Grandview, population 470, is 42 miles south of Boise in Owyhee County.

The sand is from Camp Doha in Kuwait, a former Army warehouse complex used by Army Forces Central Command.  The sand absorbed depleted uranium when some spent ammunition was caught in a fire (addition May 1:during the first Gulf War.)

It’s also contaminated with hazardous levels of lead, according to the two military guys who told me the story, whose branch and names won’t be used for obvious reasons. However, it’s no secret, since the story had already been written by Erik Olson in the Longview, Washington Daily News.

Chad Hyslop, spokesperson for American Ecology, did not return New West’s phone calls, but he told Olson that all the sand will be at the disposal site in Grandview sometime in May. 

It will take 76 rail cars to run half the sand to Idaho, and then a second trip will be required for the rest.  152 of the smallest size rail cars would build a four-story structure about the size of half a football field.

Andrea Shipley, the executive director of the Snake River Alliance, an Idaho-based grassroots group with a mission to watchdog the energy industry and energy-related government departments, doesn’t like the idea of the sand coming to Idaho.  She told New West that “this is a major concern. Depleted uranium is both a toxic heavy metal and a radioactive substance creating health risks that may be far more varied than is recognized in federal regulations today.  Safe and responsible clean-up is critical to safeguard the health of Idahoans and our environment.”

The lead contamination, which the Army discovered before the ship carrying the sand to the Port of Longview arrived there, was nearly four times higher than the EPA standard for designating it “hazardous.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, even very low levels of exposure to lead in children can cause learning disabilities, and may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes or heart attacks.  Lead is also associated with impaired visual and motor function, growth abnormality, neurological and organ damage, hearing loss, hypertension and reproductive complications.

Whether or not humans might be exposed to the contaminated sand, either during transport, unloading, or processing at American Ecology’s Grandview landfill is not clear.  No Army official returned calls. Follow-ups to this story will be posted.

Addition May 1:  The full post about depleted uranium on Wikipedia can be found here, but here are two relevant paragraphs.

Depleted uranium (DU) is uranium primarily composed of the isotope uranium-238 (U-238). Natural uranium is about 99.27 percent U-238, 0.72 percent U-235, and 0.0055 percent U-234. Because U-235 is used for fission in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons, natural uranium is enriched in U-235 by separating the isotopes by mass. The byproduct of enrichment, called depleted uranium or DU, contains less than one third as much U-235 and U-234 as natural uranium, making it less radioactive due to the longer 4.5 billion year half-life of U-238. The external radiation dose from DU is about 60 percent of that from the same mass of natural uranium.

Depleted uranium munitions are controversial because of numerous unanswered questions about the long-term health effects. DU is less toxic than other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury, and is only very weakly radioactive because of its long half life.  While any radiation exposure has risks, no conclusive epidemiological data have correlated DU exposure to specific human health effects such as cancer. However, the UK government has attributed birth defect claims from a 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to DU poisoning, and studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents continue to suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, and neurological effects from chronic exposure. Until such issues are resolved with further research, the use of DU by the military will continue to be controversial.

Updates to this story will continue to be posted.

Update May 1:  NewWest blogger Irwin Horowitz of 6degrees – named because of his six college degrees including a B.S. from MIT in physics, an M.S. in astronomy and another M.S. in electrical engineering, has a strong interest in nuclear issues and follows them regularly.  He told New West that the primary issue with the sand from Kuwait is the heavy-metal toxicity more than the U-238, and the radiation, in the form of alpha particles, doesn’t penetrate skin. Lead, said Horowitz, gets into the soft tissues of the body.  “Depleted uranium could enter the body from ingesting it, breathing it in, or through surface skin cuts, so you’d almost have to play in the sand.”

More calls to American Ecology have not been returned.

“Veterans Against The War” – Trailer

April 30, 2008

“Veterans Against The War” … A documentary produced and directed by Katherine Niemczyk about soldiers speaking out about past and present war experiences. Look for the completed documentary at the end of 2008!

HIT PLAY

 

Lurita Doan of GSA Finally Steps Down

April 30, 2008

At the request of the White House, General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan resigned last night as head of the government’s premier contracting agency, ending a tumultuous tenure in which she was accused of trying to award work to a friend and misusing her authority for political ends.

“It has been a great privilege to serve our nation and a great President,” Doan said in a statement released this morning by the agency.

A White House spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Doan’s resignation came almost a year after Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he believed Doan could no longer be effective because of the allegations about her leadership.

Waxman’s committee began investigating Doan after stories in The Washington Post showed that she had approved a $20,000, no-bid arrangement last July with a business run by a friend and had tried to reduce the budget of the agency’s inspector general.

Doan had been under scrutiny by the inspector general, Brian Miller, as well as members of Congress and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which protects federal employees from prohibited personnel practices.

The committee investigation turned up evidence that Doan might have violated the Hatch Act in January 2007 by asking political appointees how they could “help our candidates” at an agency briefing conducted by a White House official, according to several of the appointees present for the briefing. After a more extensive probe, the Office of Special Counsel concluded that those remarks violated the Hatch Act. The act generally prohibits employees of federal agencies from using their positions for political purposes.

In a letter in June, Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch urged President Bush to discipline Doan “to the fullest extent,” which would include removing her from office. In the ensuing 10 months, the White House said it was considering Bloch’s recommendation but made no further comment.

During a hearing of the oversight committee in June, Doan testified that she did not recall asking the political appointees to help Republican candidates. She asserted that she operated her agency without regard for political concerns.

“I’m not engaged in partisan political activities,” she told lawmakers at the time. “And I haven’t directed anyone to do anything.”

In the GSA statement, Doan expressed satisfaction with her tenure at the agency.

“The past twenty-two months have been filled with accomplishments: together, we have regained our clean audit opinion, restored fiscal discipline, re-tooled our ability to respond to emergencies, rekindled entrepreneurial energies, reduced bureaucratic barriers to small companies to get a GSA Schedule, ignited a building boom at our nation’s ports of entries, boldly led the nation in an aggressive telework initiative, and improved employee morale so that we were selected as one of the best places to work in the Federal government,” she wrote.

IYFR: It only took a whole YEAR Henry Waxman!! Shame on you.

San Diego Challenges Blackwater

April 28, 2008

San Diego officials will challenge Blackwater Worldwide’s permit for an indoor military training facility in South County, saying the public didn’t know about the plan.”Residents deserve to know when a facility like this is approved – before it is approved,” San Diego City Council President Scott Peters said.

The North Carolina company received a permit in March for a training site in Otay Mesa, an industrial section of south San Diego, shortly after abandoning its controversial proposal to build a larger facility in Potrero in East County.

The city Development Services Department granted the permit without public hearings. The site was already permitted for a vocational school, and city staff members decided Blackwater’s training of Navy personnel qualified. The facility will have a shooting range, a simulated Navy ship and classrooms.

Brian Bonfiglio, a Blackwater vice president, said the opposition seems to originate from anti-war sentiment, not animosity toward the facility itself.

Bonfiglio said the company has been conducting military training for five years at several facilities in San Diego County, including the American Shooting Center on Ruffin Road in Kearny Mesa.

“If they go after our range, they are getting ready to take on every other firearms business in the county,” he said. “They’re asking something of us that they are not asking of any other business, and quite frankly it’s inappropriate.”

Yesterday, Peters, San Diego Councilman Ben Hueso and Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, held a rally in Otay Mesa to oppose the permit. They were joined by about 30 community activists.

Mary Ussery of Coronado wore a “Stop Blackwater” T-shirt. She said military activity belongs on military bases, not private property.

“Although it’s not my backyard, it’s close enough,” Ussery said. “It’s still my country.”

Peters said Blackwater wasn’t upfront about its plans to operate out of a 61,600-square-foot building owned by Los Angeles company Hometex in a business park on Siempre Viva Road, just south of Brown Field.

“They filed for a permit under the name of a subcontractor as a deliberate dodge to keep our city and community in the dark,” Peters said. 

IYFR: Courage Campaign in California has a web site ‘BlockBlackwater’ up to fight Blackwater’s domestic mercenary base.  Ultimately, this company needs to stop getting Federal contracts.

IMPEACH OR STRIKE – ILWU & National Truckers to Strike

April 18, 2008

With the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union passing the resolution to oppose the war by stopping work on May 1, 2008, and doing so by a 90% margin, PTI finally has a solid and powerful partner in forging solidarity between labor and activist organizations. 

It is clear that we must build solidarity among the millions of Americans who oppose the current direction our government is taking us, before we can even hope to bring sufficient pressure upon the heads of Congress to compel our representatives to do the will of the people and impeach Bush/Cheney and scrap their aggressive war policies.

The ILWU action is an opportunity for us to begin building that solidarity, and one we must not squander.

PTI will be submitting our statement of solidarity to the ILWU by April 4th.  We would like this statement to include every peace and impeachment group in America, all pledging to advise their members and anyone within earshot to participate in staying home from work and shopping on May 1, 2008. Though the one day of action is the extent of the ILWU action, PTI sees it as an initial warning to Congress, that if we can do it for one day we can do it again, and for as long as it takes to win back our democracy.  

As anyone familiar with PTI will know, our organization has always refused to endorse actions we felt did not hold promise of success, or we felt were not sincere.   After speaking to persons at the ILWU National office in San Francisco and the locals in Los Angeles, we are confident that this event will take place, and have determined that unless we learn something different, we will call our strike for that day as well.  This means that the thousands of people across the country who have signed PTI pledges to strike, will now make plans to stay in their home on May 1.  Our job between now and May is to expand that number to include every American who wants to preserve the free American way of life by returning a balance to power.  

If you plan to participate in this day of national solidarity sign a pledge on the home page and contact every activist list and group organization leadership urging them to join the campaign to build unity through this action.  Time is running short and we may not get another chance like this to prove to this government that the people are united and it is time for the traitors to get out of our White House and
Congress.

To learn more about the PTI guidelines for the strike – go to The Plan.

In solidarity: the staff at IYFR

Will Bunch Asks Obama To Invesigate Potential WH Crimes

April 15, 2008

Philadelphia Daily News
April 14, 2008

Will Bunch

Tonight I had an opportunity to ask Barack Obama a question that is on the minds of many Americans, yet rarely rises to the surface in the great ruckus of the 2008 presidential race — and that is whether an Obama administration would seek to prosecute officials of a former Bush administration on the revelations that they greenlighted torture, or for other potential crimes that took place in the White House.

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted — but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as “a partisan witch hunt.” However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because “nobody is above the law.”

The question was inspired by a recent report by ABC News, confirmed by the Associated Press, that high-level officials including Vice President Dick Cheney and former Cabinet secretaries Colin Powell, John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld, among others, met in the White House and discussed the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques on terrorism suspects.

I mentioned the report in my question, and said “I know you’ve talked about reconciliation and moving on, but there’s also the issue of justice, and a lot of people — certainly around the world and certainly within this country — feel that crimes were possibly committed” regarding torture, rendition, and illegal wiretapping. I wanted to know how whether his Justice Department “would aggressively go after and investigate whether crimes have been committed.”

Here’s his answer, in its entirety:

What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.

So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.

The bottom line is that: Obama sent a clear signal that — unlike impeachment, which he’s ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility — he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush White House. To many, the information that waterboarding — which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past — was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.

‘George W Bush Sewage Plant’ Proposed In San Francisco

April 3, 2008

“Looking to honor the forty-third President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, the recently formed Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is looking to change the name of the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility. It seems the group would like to rename the SF Zoo adjacent facility to the ‘George W Bush Sewage Plant,’ SFist reports.

The grassroots movement is “proposing an ordinance initiative for the November 2008 San Francisco ballot” — check out their web site here

Campaign to Defend America – John McSame

March 19, 2008

 Campaign to Defend America put out a pithy TV Ad:
“McSame as Bush”

We found most of the claims to be true.

 “Where does John McCain stand on the issues? A trillion dollars in Iraq over the next 10 years. McSame as Bush.  TRUE

“A millionaire who’s for tax cuts for millionaires. McSame as Bush. TRUE

“Oil companies, they get tax breaks while we pay at the pump. McSame as Bush.  ALMOST TRUE
(note: McCain was initially opposed to the 2005 Energy bill. He voted against. Hillary voted against it, while Obama voted for it.)

“Absolutely no plan for universal health care. McSame as Bush.  TRUE

“We need a new direction. Not the McSame old thing.” VERY TRUE 

Walmart Loves Pakistan – By Craig

March 18, 2008

Sleeping with the enemy?

IYFR contributors (Craig) recently wrote a moving letter to Walmart.

 Dear Walmart,

I usually do not enter Wal-Marts as my personal protest against the slave-labor wages you pay your employees (check out “The Facts About Walmart” if you don’t believe me). However yesterday I made an exception because your store was on my way home.  Whilte there I purchased a queen bed sheet/comforter set in your supercenter on Collier Blvd in Naples Florida.

Imagine my surprise and shock when I returned home, opened the packaging and saw a tag on comforter that read “Made in Pakistan for Walmart Stores.”  I was shocked because this to me was prima facia evidence that, in addition to everything else that is wrong with Walmart, you support terrorists!  After all, Pakistan is likely where Osama bin Forgotten has been hiding out since 2001 with the full knowledge and support of the Bush-supported former President General Musharef.  Pakistan and its president have been one of the greatest state sponsors of terrorism in the world (but they buy weapons and armaments from the Bush Administration so the Chimp looks the other way). Pakistan is rapidly becoming one of the Axis of Evil that your president talks about.

And Walmart does business with them? You bastards will go anywhere to get products at a rock-bottom price wont you?
I wonder if the generally uneducated, Budweiser drinkin’, Nascar-watchin’, Church-goin, “god”-fearin’, coon-huntin’, gun-totin’ Republican-votin’, George Bush-lovin’ clientele usually associated with shopping at Walmart knows that their little Mecca of conservative thought (their local Walmart)not only supports but also trades with terrorists!  Mission accomplished?

I’m going to send a few letters to a few local southwest Florida newspapers to let them know that Wally World is a sponsor of terrorists. Not to worry since most of your customers can’t read, but for the few who can, it will be interesting to see their responses.

Here’s to “fightin em over there” before we buy them out over here.

‘Signs Of Torture’ You Can’t Imagine

March 14, 2008

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The pain here is choking — it’s a dark, suffocating sorrow.

“They took my husband away in front of me. I found his body in the morgue a few days later. He had multiple bullet wounds and his eyes had been gouged out,” one woman tells me, forcefully twisting a tissue in her hands as if it somehow could ease her agony and erase the chilling memory.

She didn’t want her story told, too afraid that she would meet the same fate as the man she loved.

Her husband’s body bore the “signs of torture.” How many times has that phrase been used? It’s such a common phrase it’s as if what really happened gets glossed over: skin scraped off their bodies, fingernails ripped out, horrifying screams of pain before death.

How many times have we reported death tolls from one horrific bombing or another and not been able to get across that these are lives that literally were blown apart? No matter how hard we in the media try, Iraq remains a nation filled with untold tragedies, the scope of which so often is overwhelming.

And no matter how hard Iraqis try to shield themselves and those they love from the horrors here, more often than not they fail. Yet they keep fighting.

Nahla works at a radio station and is one of those women. She’s tall, slender, elegantly dressed and has a firm handshake. I look at her and it’s nearly impossible to imagine what she’s been through.

“This numbers game, you always think that you are exempt from the numbers,” Nahla tells me, referring to the daily death toll. “You’re pained by them, but you are outside of them.”

Where do they find the strength to keep going?

Some don’t and choose to live out their lives as hollow shells, just waiting for this wretched existence to be over. But so many others refuse to be beaten down, refuse to allow the horror that is Iraq to win and kill their spirit.

“If I want to see Baghdad again from before the war, I have to do my part while the other person will do his part and the other person will do his part,” says Dr. Eaman, a children’s doctor, as her bright smile seems to shine unnaturally in Baghdad’s grim atmosphere.

“This is the dream, and I wish everybody would believe it and it will happen, I’m sure, and this is what is keeping me here,” she continues. “I have been attacked by three insurgents and was going to be kidnapped.”

She now lives at the hospital, choosing to disassociate herself from her 8-year-old son to keep him safe.

FULL STORY
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/03/12/iraq.women/index.html