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Saturday, May 10, 2008

McCain's Pastor Problem: The Video

By David Corn
May 8, 2008

Washington Dispatch: In a taped sermon, the preacher McCain calls a "spiritual guide" calls on America to see the "false religion" of Islam "destroyed." Still, the candidate won't reject Rod Parsley's endorsement.
During a 2005 sermon, a fundamentalist pastor whom Senator John McCain has praised and campaigned with called Islam "the greatest religious enemy of our civilization and the world," claiming that the historic mission of America is to see "this false religion destroyed." In this taped sermon, currently sold by his megachurch, the Reverend Rod Parsley reiterates and amplifies harsh and derogatory comments about Islam he made in his book, Silent No More, published the same year he delivered these remarks. Meanwhile, McCain has stuck to his stance of not criticizing Parsley, an important political ally in a crucial swing state.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Plame Seeks to Resurrect Lawsuit in CIA Leak Case

Matt Apuzzo reports for The Associated Press, "Former CIA operative Valerie Plame is trying to resurrect a lawsuit against those in the Bush administration she says illegally disclosed her identity."

Military considering new cremation policies

Friday, May 9, 2008
The Pentagon is recommending changes in the handling of troops' remains, after it was revealed that a crematorium contracted by the military handles both human and animal cremations.
A military official said there have been no instances or charges that human and pet remains were mixed. But officials are now recommending that troops' remains be incinerated only at facilities that are dedicated entirely to humans, in order to avoid any appearance of a problem. Or, officials said, families can opt to have a relative's remains sent to a local funeral home for cremation, which would be paid for by the military.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates believed the earlier situation was "insensitive and entirely inappropriate for the dignified treatment of our fallen," said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.
"Our heroes deserve to be better treated than that," Morrell said, adding that a sign at one of the crematoriums noted that it also does pet cremations. He said Gates offered an apology to military families for the insensitivity.
Morrell said there is "absolutely no evidence whatsoever at this point that any human remains were at all ever mistreated, or ever not cremated where they were supposed to be cremated. That said, the secretary believes that is it inappropriate, even if permissible under the rules and regulations, to cremate our fallen, our heroes, in a facility that also cremates pets."


Blackwater unlikely to face charges in Iraq shooting

Blackwater spared from charges?
May 09, 2008 16:30 EST
Blackwater Worldwide, the security contractor blamed by an angry Iraqi government for the shooting deaths of 17 civilians, is not expected to face criminal charges — all but ensuring the company will keep its multimillion-dollar contract to protect U.S. diplomats.
Instead, the seven-month-old Justice Department investigation is focused on as few as three or four Blackwater guards who could be indicted in the Sept. 16 shootings, according to interviews with a half-dozen people close to the investigation.
The final decision on any charges will not be made until late summer at the earliest, a law enforcement official said. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.
The State Department publicly raised the question of Blackwater's corporate liability last month when it extended the company's contract by one year. The contract could still be canceled if criminal charges are brought, but the department said it was unlikely to penalize the corporation if only its employees were charged.
"I think that's really what the FBI investigation needs to look at: Is the company culpable or are the individuals culpable?" Greg Starr, the department's top security officer, said last month.

McCain Revealed: The Briefing Book

The AFL-CIO link here

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rattling the Cage

"We Americans cannot continue to bear the consequences of our government's actions, such as the unconditional support given to the State of Israel. Twenty-four uses of the veto power to justify massacres of children. And the support for the dictatorial regimes in the Arab and left-wing world. And also the continued American military presence in Afghanistan

Brutal attack by cops

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey who saw the video, said, "On the surface it certainly does not look good, regarding the amount of force that was used. But a full investigation is underway."

“Iran: The Next War”

By Glenn Greenwald
This isn’t just a matter of documenting guilt with regard to what happened with Iraq. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius today became just the latest establishment spokesman to warn (or celebrate) that “judging from recent statements by administration officials, there is also a small, but growing, chance of conflict with Iran.”

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Newspaper Criticized For Publishing Photo
By Helen ThomasAmericans should be aware of their own responsibility for inflicting death and pain on the innocent.
Contractors moving offshore to hide piles of taxpayer money; lawmakers irate.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Back to Square 1 on soldiers' safety?:

New weapon penetrates pricey vehicle, kills 2 GIs
The deaths of two U.S. soldiers in western Baghdad last week have sparked concerns that Iraqi insurgents have developed a new weapon capable of striking what the U.S. military considers its most explosive-resistant vehicle.

Rattling the Cage

By LARRY DERFNER "We Americans cannot continue to bear the consequences of our government's actions, such as the unconditional support given to the State of Israel. Twenty-four uses of the veto power to justify massacres of children. And the support for the dictatorial regimes in the Arab and left-wing world. And also the continued American military presence in Afghanistan."

GOP leaders warn of election disaster

Source: Politico
Shellshocked House Republicans got warnings from leaders past and present Tuesday: Your party’s message isn’t good enough to prevent disaster in November, and neither is the NRCC’s money.
The double shot of bad news had one veteran Republican House member worrying aloud that the party’s electoral woes — brought into sharp focus by Woody Jenkins’ loss to Don Cazayoux in Louisiana on Saturday — have the House Republican Conference splitting apart in “everybody for himself” mode.
“There is an attitude that, ‘I better watch out for myself, because nobody else is going to do it,’” the member said. “There are all these different factions out there, everyone is sniping at each other, and we have no real plan. We have a lot of people fighting to be the captain of the lifeboat instead of everybody pulling together.”
And in a closed-door session at the Capitol, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told members that the NRCC doesn’t have enough cash to “save them” in November if they don’t raise enough money or run strong campaigns themselves.


Marines ignore Afghan opium so as not to upset locals

Associated PressPublished:
Wednesday May 7, 2008
GARMSER, Afghanistan — The Marines of Bravo Company's 1st Platoon sleep beside a grove of poppies. Troops in the 2nd Platoon playfully swat at the heavy opium bulbs while walking through the fields. Afghan laborers scraping the plant's gooey resin smile and wave.
Last week, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit moved into southern Helmand province, the world's largest opium poppy-growing region, and now find themselves surrounded by green fields of the illegal plants that produce the main ingredient of heroin.
The Taliban, whose fighters are exchanging daily fire with the Marines in Garmser, derives up to $100 million a year from the poppy harvest by taxing farmers and charging safe passage fees — money that will buy weapons for use against U.S., NATO and Afghan troops.
Yet the Marines are not destroying the plants. In fact, they are reassuring villagers the poppies won't be touched. American commanders say the Marines would only alienate people and drive them to take up arms if they eliminated the impoverished Afghans' only source of income.
Many Marines in the field are scratching their heads over the situation.
"It's kind of weird. We're coming over here to fight the Taliban. We see this. We know it's bad. But at the same time we know it's the only way locals can make money," said 1st Lt. Adam Lynch, 27, of Barnstable, Mass.
The Marines' battalion commander, Lt. Col. Anthony Henderson, said in an interview Tuesday that the poppy crop "will come and go" and that his troops can't focus on it when Taliban fighters around Garmser are "terrorizing the people."
"I think by focusing on the Taliban, the poppies will go away," said Henderson, a 41-year-old from Washington, D.C. He said once the militant fighters are forced out, the Afghan government can move in and offer alternatives.
An expert on Afghanistan's drug trade, Barnett Rubin, complained that the Marines are being put in such a situation by a "one-dimensional" military policy that fails to integrate political and economic considerations into long-range planning.
"All we hear is, not enough troops, send more troops," said Rubin, a professor at New York University. "Then you send in troops with no capacity for assistance, no capacity for development, no capacity for aid, no capacity for governance."

Obama lawyer: Bush fixing FEC for McCain

Obama counsel Bob Bauer, on his always-punchy personal blog, considers the newest appointments to the FEC and writes that the regulatory body is being put back together to exclude a Republican commissioner who had taken a critical stance toward McCain's attempt to thread the needle on public financing.
In this one move, the White House ended McCain's accountability for his use or abuse of the primary public financing system while putting him in position to take money for the general. For this maneuver to have been arranged for the benefit of Senator McCain, of all people--the John McCain who has regularly, severely criticized the FEC as a "corrupt" agency--is a remarkable turn in his career as a reformer. A Commissioner who acted to enforce the law, to just raise an important question of enforcement, has been stripped of his post. This was clearly in Senator McCain's interest, this raw power play. It is also in his interest to have the FEC, back in business minus Mason, arrange for his money for the fall campaign.
He goes on to make a case that's going to be central to Obama's logic for forgoing public financing, despite his pledge to join the system: That McCain is a hypocrite on this reform issue.
For all the time that McCain has savaged the performance of the FEC, he has led the sizeable crowd of critics who believed that the agency is too beholden, on the whole, to the narrow interests of parties and their candidates. Yesterday, Republicans could not have acted more narrowly in just this vein: effectively firing a Commissioner to immunize their Presidential nominee from enforcement action in a pending case but making sure that there is enough of an agency left to get him the money needed to finance his campaign.
(h/t Ken Vogel)


Even though he is the GOP nomination, He can't even get his own parties vote. Hahahahahah

McCain's Rough Night Overshadowed By Clinton's
As the battle over Indiana progressed between Sens Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, a set of depressing polls numbers were finalized for John McCain.
In the GOP primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, the basically uncontested Republican nominee did not gain more than 80 percent of the vote.
In Indiana, McCain earned the backing of 78 percent of Republican primary voters, with exited candidates Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney gaining 10 percent and five percent respectively. Congressman Ron Paul, who is still in the race, has received seven percent of the vote.
The numbers were even worse in North Carolina, where McCain won 74 percent of the vote, with Huckabee earning 12 percent, Paul earning seven percent, and four percent of Republican primary goers simply voting "no preference."
None of these totals, to be sure, will affect the Arizona Republican's almost certain path to the nomination. But it has been more than two months now since McCain became the presumptive GOP candidate, and in each state election since he achieved that measure he has continued to lose a relatively substantial chunk of Republican support. In Pennsylvania, for example, McCain won 73 percent of the vote, with Paul pulling in 16 and Huckabee 11.
The troubling figures, however, may be the popular vote totals - individuals who McCain will theoretically have to woo back into his good graces. In North Carolina more than 105,000 Republicans did not vote for McCain. And in Indiana, 85,000 voters - whether they were Republican, Democrat or Independent - cast their ballots for someone other than the Arizona Republican. The totals reflect roughly 90+ percent of the totals reported in each state, and will likely change, but not by much.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Action coincided with dock worker's strike to protest the Iraq war.
Investigate the Pentagon Pundit Program
John Kerry, 05.06.2008
Now that the Pentagon has announced this program has been suspended, what steps are being taken to make sure it never happens again?

Post-War Suicides May Exceed Combat Deaths, U.S. Says (Update1)

By Avram Goldstein
May 5 (Bloomberg) -- The number of suicides among veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may exceed the combat death toll because of inadequate mental health care, the U.S. government's top psychiatric researcher said.
Community mental health centers, hobbled by financial limits, haven't provided enough scientifically sound care, especially in rural areas, said
Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He briefed reporters today at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in Washington.
Insel echoed a Rand Corporation study published last month that found about 20 percent of returning U.S. soldiers have
post- traumatic stress disorder or depression, and only half of them receive treatment. About 1.6 million U.S. troops have fought in the two wars since October 2001, the report said. About 4,560 soldiers had died in the conflicts as of today, the Defense Department reported on its Web site.
Based on those figures and established suicide rates for similar patients who commonly develop substance abuse and other complications of post-traumatic stress disorder, ``it's quite possible that the suicides and psychiatric mortality of this war could trump the combat deaths,'' Insel said.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, is the failure to cope after a major shock, such as an auto accident, a rape or combat, Insel said. PTSD may remain dormant for months or years before it surfaces, and in about 10 percent of cases people never recover, he said.

Link Here

McCain is on full tax-free Disability / Hillary failed to disclose $24 million of Bill's income

Monday, May 05, 2008

Waiting for Stevie Wonder & Obama


Finally the Indiana papers are coming out, & even the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe - 21,000 people in Indianapolis, in the rain:
Wonder opened his act by doing musical scales unaccompanied, using Obama's name as he went up and down the register before encouraging the crowd of thousands to join and follow him."Barack Obama inspires me to write songs ... and encourages me that we can come together and be a far greater country than ever before," Wonder said. He sang a series of hits, including "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," one of the Obama campaign theme songs.
“We live in a time in the world where everyone in the world must understand that prejudice is a sickness,” Wonder, who is blind, told the crowd before he started with a three-song set that was cut short by rain. “I’m saying this to you as a man who has the vision of the heart because I am color free.”


Siegelman whistleblower run off road, home caught fire

by BruinKid
Sun May 04, 2008 at 07:58:39 AM PDT
Wow, this happened in February, and yet did anybody hear about this? Whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson's home
caught fire, and then a few days later, her car was run off the road by a former police officer! This is all in addition to Don Siegelman's home being broken into twice, as was his lawyer's office.
What the hell is going on?
These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.
In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman's home office.
Siegelman's attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office.
The incidents are not limited to burglaries. In Mississippi, former Judge John Whitfield was the victim of arson at his office. In Alabama, the whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case, Dana Jill Simpson, had her home burned down, and shortly thereafter her car was allegedly forced off the road.


Rove attorney blames MSNBC for subpoena threat

My Friend's Son Killed in Iraq: By Contractors and U.S. Agency?

Last night, I was surprised and happy to find a photograph of my friend Cheryl Harris at the top of the New York Times' web site. She was hugging her young son, Ryan Maseth, an Army sergeant who was dressed in his uniform and cap. The were both smiling broadly. A few months later he was dead. The military told her this past January that he had foolishly carried an electrical appliance into a shower in Baghdad.
That was a lie.
It turned out the fault was an improperly grounded water pump. With a little help from me, she found out that at least 10 other military personnel have been electrocuted in Iraq in recent years. Now she is suing the contractor KBR, though there is evidence that the military and the Defense Contracting Management Agency are also to blame for being lax in its own inspections. The Times article carries word of early alerts about this, which were ignored.
Cheryl Harris is quoted by the Times today, asking, "My biggest question is really, why would KBR do a safety inspection, know about the electrical problems and not alert the troops?" The article, still on the paper's home page, is headlined, "GIs Electrocuted in Iraq Despite '04 Alert on Wiring."
Just after I reported on the Maseth electrocution for Editor & Publisher back in January -- no one else in the national media bothered to do so -- Cheryl, who lives in western Pennsylvania, contacted me wondering how she could find out how many others had met his fate. She was especially concerned because -- unmentioned in the Times story today -- she has another son in Iraq and yet another in the military serving elsewhere. I directed her to some sources and we have corresponded often ever since then, most recently today.
Of course, the Bush administration aptly catches plenty of blame in the Times article for outsourcing so much work in Iraq (directing billions to the KBRs of the world) and then not providing enough oversight.
Two months ago I wrote, "Rep. Henry Waxman and Pentagon chief Robert Gates are looking into reports that the 12 deaths, and probably more, were caused by shoddy wiring and construction where our troops are housed. It is not known how many of these cases involved KBR. Cheryl Harris's lawyer has obtained military documents indicated that KBR told the Defense Contracting Management Agency there were wiring problems in the building before Maseth's death, and nothing was done about them. The question is: Who is to blame? And what about all those other cases.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Obama takes business donor lead from Clinton

Obama taps deep pockets, overtaking Clinton in business donations
John ByrnePublished: Saturday May 3, 2008
Employees in nine major industries are beginning to turn their money toward Barack Obama's campaign -- a potential new sign that US business is placing their bets on Obama to win the Democratic nomination.

Plotters Freed in Yemen; U.S. Efforts Frustrated

Probe of 'USS Cole' Bombing Unravels
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign ServiceSunday,
May 4, 2008; A01
ADEN, Yemen -- Almost eight years after
al-Qaeda nearly sank the USS Cole with an explosives-stuffed motorboat, killing 17 sailors, all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.
Jamal al-Badawi, a Yemeni who helped organize the plot to bomb the Cole as it refueled in this Yemeni port on Oct. 12, 2000, has broken out of prison twice. He was recaptured both times, but then secretly released by the government last fall. Yemeni authorities jailed him again after receiving complaints from Washington. But U.S. officials have so little faith that he's still in his cell that they have demanded the right to perform random inspections.
Two suspects, described as the key organizers, were captured outside Yemen and are being held at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Many details of their alleged involvement remain classified. It is unclear when -- or if -- they will be tried by the military.
The collapse of the Cole investigation offers a revealing case study of the U.S. government's failure to bring al-Qaeda operatives and their leaders to justice for some of the most devastating attacks on American targets over the past decade.
A week after the Cole bombing, President
Bill Clinton vowed to hunt down the plotters and promised, "Justice will prevail." In March 2002, President Bush said his administration was cooperating with Yemen to prevent it from becoming "a haven for terrorists." He added: "Every terrorist must be made to live as an international fugitive with no place to settle or organize, no place to hide, no governments to hide behind and not even a safe place to sleep."
Since then, Yemen has refused to extradite Badawi and an accomplice to the United States, where they have been indicted on murder charges. Other Cole conspirators have been freed after short prison terms. At least two went on to commit suicide attacks in
"After we worked day and night to bring justice to the victims and prove that these Qaeda operatives were responsible, we're back to square one," said Ali Soufan, a former
FBI agent and a lead investigator into the bombing. "Do they have laws over there or not? It's really frustrating what's happening."
To this day, al-Qaeda trumpets the attack on the Cole as one of its greatest military victories. It remains an improbable story: how two suicide bombers smiled and waved to unsuspecting U.S. sailors in Aden's harbor as they pulled their tiny fishing boat alongside the $1 billion destroyer and blew a gaping hole in its side.
Despite the initial promises of accountability, only limited public inquiries took place in Washington, unlike the extensive investigations that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Basic questions remain about which individuals and countries played a role in the assault on the Cole.
Some officials acknowledged that pursuing the Cole investigation became less of a political priority with the passage of time. A new administration took power three months after the bombing. Then came Sept. 11.
"During the first part of the Bush administration, no one was willing to take ownership of this," said Roger W. Cressey, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations who helped oversee the
White House's response to the Cole attack. "It didn't happen on their watch. It was the forgotten attack."
By AFPIraq said on Sunday it has no evidence that Iran was supplying militias engaged in fierce street fighting with security forces in Baghdad. Continue

Shadowing Slaughter in Sadr City

As the first UK journalist to be embedded with the rebel Mahdi Army, Hala Jaber reports on its terrifying battle

By Hala Jaber 04/05/03 "The Times" -- --

On a bare patch of ground outside the entrance to Sadr general hospital, 15 women clad from head to foot in black squatted in a sandstorm, wailing and waiting for their dead. Lightning flashed, thunder rolled and the women’s robes were spattered with mud falling from a sky filled with rain and sand, but they did not notice. “Ya’mma, Ya’ba” (“Oh mother, oh father”), cried Amira Zaydan, a 45-year-old spinster, slapping her face and chest as she grieved for her parents Jaleel, 65, and Hanounah, 60, whose house had exploded after apparently being hit by an American rocket. “Where are you, my brothers?” she sobbed, lamenting Samir, 32, and Amir, 29, who had also perished along with their wives, one of whom was nine months pregnant. “What wrong have you done, my children?” she howled to the spirits of four nephews and nieces who completed a toll of 10 family members in the disaster that struck last Tuesday. “Mothers, children, babies; all obliterated for nothing.” The keening of Zaydan and her distraught circle of friends was drowned out briefly by sirens shrieking as ambulances sped through the hospital gateway with the latest consignment of casualties from a brutal battle that has been raging for the past month in Sadr City, a slum of more than 2m souls on the eastern side of Baghdad. Doctors and nurses with pinched faces darted out of the dilapidated hospital to greet the wounded and dying, while administrators stared at the weeping women and saw that they were beyond comforting. Zaydan had hardly moved from the hospital for 24 hours since her family’s home was demolished as she and her sister Samira, 43, prepared lunch. Neighbours were trying to dig bodies out of the debris when another rocket landed, killing at least six rescuers. Apart from the two sisters, the family’s only survivor was their brother Ahmad, 25, who arrived at the hospital with leg injuries and shock. “I lost everybody,” was all he could say. On Wednesday afternoon, Zaydan was still waiting for seven family members to be disinterred from the rubble and delivered to Sadr general. The other three were in the morgue, among them a nephew, aged three, lying on a trolley in a puddle of blood from a head wound.

Two-year-old Ali Hussein is pulled from the rubble of his family's home in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, April 29, 2008.(Karim Kadim/AP Photo)
A baby’s life ebbs away in Sadr City
TWO-YEAR-OLD Moqtada Raed never stood a chance of ecovering from the shrapnel wound to his leg. At the Imam Ali hospital in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City last week, he writhed on his thin plastic mattress and whimpered to his father, Ahmad, who knew that nothing could be done to save him.
Moqtada’s thigh had been cut deeply when the family home was struck, apparently by a US rocket, on Tuesday afternoon. He was bleeding profusely.
Eventually his eyes fluttered and began to close, and doctors rushed to his bedside, gently slapping his face to keep him conscious. He died that evening.
The boy was one of the youngest victims of fighting that has killed nearly 1,000 people in Sadr City over the past month.
Related Links
Hospital officials estimate that of at least 935 who have died, about 700 were civilians. Most were killed by bombs, artillery and sniper fire.

"You mean he embargoed all the copies of the report?"

By John ByrneIn a new memoir set to be published May 6, the former commander of US forces in Iraq provides new intimate details of the goings-on at high levels of the Bush Administration in the first year of the Iraq war.

Ron Paul Favors Obama Over McCain

Clinton Claims She Won't Send Military Contracts Overseas -- But She Did

On Sunday, Sen. Hillary Clinton was asked to opine about the loss of jobs in Indiana and elsewhere, and whether that economic trend was irreversible. Her answer, which included a call to have manufacturing at the center of any economic revitalization, ended with the New York Democrat warning about the perils of sending military production overseas.
"If we're going to have a half-a-trillion-dollar defense budget, then I want to see American workers do what is necessary to produce the defense, materials and goods for our country," said Clinton.
It was strong line, combining a protectionist sentiment with national security emphasis. But Clinton's record on "outsourcing" defense jobs is a mixed bag.
In January 2005, Clinton deftly maneuvered -- from her perch on the Senate Armed Services Committee -- a multi-billion-dollar contract to buy presidential helicopters from a consortium including European companies.
That deal involved rewarding a $6.1 billion contract to the England based AgustaWestland and Lockheed Martin to build 23 high-tech Marine One helicopters -- the President's chopper. Clinton pursued the measure, doggedly, because it meant more than 700 new jobs for her home state.
She called the new aircraft an "Oval Office in the sky." She took test flights, met with navy administrators and even called then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair to figure out how to secure the deal.
"Lockheed Martin won it fair and square," she said at the time, "and the people at the Owego [New York] plant worked their hearts out for this project."
Lockheed Martin, in turn, contributed $10,000 to Clinton's Political Action Committee and, more recently,
$20,000 to Bill Clinton's foundation. In addition, the company, from October 2001 through January 2005, sponsored ten Clinton trips - often to visit the company's headquarters or the proposed site of the new plant - for a cost more than $8,000.
The Huffington Post first reported on the deal
last month.
To be sure, about 70 percent of the jobs created by the deal ended up being domestic. And in the case of Marine One, the Lockheed Martin consortium was offering new and better technologies. But there were national security concerns to the transaction that mimicked those reflected by Clinton this Sunday.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. the company that lost out on the Marine One contract, lamented the fact that the President would be flying in a foreign made vehicle.
"Made in America should mean something," she said. "The Defense Department has some explaining to do."
While Sen. Chris Dodd, whose jurisdiction also includes the Sikorsky plant, offered an amendment that would have made foreign companies who developed the Marine One helicopter pledge to not conduct business with state sponsors of terrorism. AgustaWestland officials had attended an air show in Iran. Clinton, along with Sen. Chuck Schumer, however, maneuvered to kill Dodd's amendment.
On the campaign trail, the former first lady has proven far more protectionist about Defense contracts. In addition to her comments this Sunday, she came out in March against a $40 billion defense contract to build mid-flight refueling tankers to a team consisting of Northrop Grumman and EADS, a European company.
"I am deeply concerned," she said, "about the Bush administration's decision to outsource the production of refueling tankers for the American military."


Dems add to majority with Cazayoux win in La.

By J. Taylor Rushing
Posted: 05/03/08 11:17 PM [ET]
House Democrats continued to expand their majority Saturday night after Louisiana state Rep. Don Cazayoux emerged victorious in a special election for retired Rep. Richard Baker’s (R) district.

The win comes two months after Democrats picked up their first seat of the year. In March, Democrat Bill Foster won the Illinois seat of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R). That seat, like the Louisiana contest, was in solidly Republican areas. President Bush carried the Illinois district with 55 percent and the Louisiana district with 59 percent in 2004.
Cazayoux benefited from a strong fundraising advantage over Woody Jenkins — $810,000 to $490,000 — with much of the help coming from national Democrats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spent $920,000 on the contest.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) only spent $440,000 on the race and Jenkins received less than $40,000 from GOP members.


The All-White Elephant in the Room

"BORED by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive."
"What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” That’s because the Great Whore represents “the Roman Church,” which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust."
"Mr. Hagee is not a fringe kook but the pastor of a Texas megachurch. On Feb. 27, he stood with John McCain and endorsed him over the religious conservatives’ favorite, Mike Huckabee, who was then still in the race."
"Are we really to believe that neither Mr. McCain nor his camp knew anything then about Mr. Hagee’s views? This particular YouTube video — far from the only one — was posted on Jan. 1, nearly two months before the Hagee-McCain press conference. Mr. Hagee appears on multiple religious networks, including twice daily on the largest, Trinity Broadcasting, which reaches 75 million homes. Any 12-year-old with a laptop could have vetted this preacher in 30 seconds, tops."
"Since then, Mr. McCain has been shocked to learn that his clerical ally has made many other outrageous statements. Mr. Hagee, it’s true, did not blame the American government for concocting AIDS. But he did say that God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled “homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.”
"Mr. Hagee didn’t make that claim in obscure circumstances, either. He broadcast it on one of America’s most widely heard radio programs, “Fresh Air” on NPR, back in September 2006. He reaffirmed it in a radio interview less than two weeks ago. Only after a reporter asked Mr. McCain about this Katrina homily on April 24 did the candidate brand it as “nonsense” and the preacher retract it."


John Hagee compares † Roman Church † to Hitler

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