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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just got this email, if anyone wants to ring.

Hello Kangaroo,
I'll almost never send you two emails in a day, but there's one thing I just found out. Jerome Corsi is going to be on C-SPAN's Washington Journal tomorrow morning from about 8:30 ET to 9:15 ET. And Washington Journal takes phone calls.
Yes, this is your chance to call in and ask Jerome Corsi anything you'd like!
I'd suggest going to the smear page for the Corsi book on TruthFightsBack.com, and clicking on the link to the Barack Obama campaign's PDF of all the inaccuracies in Corsi's book, plus some details on his past. Find something that you think is important, and pound Mr. Corsi on it. He'll try to come up with another explanation for what he wrote, but don't let him get away with it.
And let everyone watching Washington Journal know what you think about politics like this, and what you think the real issues of this campaign should be.
If we make our voices heard at every opportunity, let everyone know we won't stand for politics like this, we'll turn this around.
Thanks again! Sorry for the second email.
Brian Young
PS: Here are the call-in numbers:
Democrats: (202) 737-0002

Republicans: (202) 737-0001

Independents: (202) 628-0205

Outside U.S.: (202) 628-0184

Dept. of Homeland Security has deported over 90,000 children under the age of 17 to Mexico without a parent or caregiver

It goes without saying that the saddest element in the current enforcement of immigration laws is the apprehension, deportation or abandonment of children.
Stories surface every day of parents who were apprehended and fearing the same for their children, say nothing about their children at home. They hope a relative or neighbor will eventually realize their children are alone and will take care of them until they can be reunited.
According to a new report released this week in Mexico City by the Population, Border and Migrant Affairs Commission, for every three adults deported from the United States there is one child abandoned and left behind.
But what is even more shocking and deserves further scrutiny from Congress and the American people is the documentation in the report that cites how in the first 7 months of the year the United States has deported 90,000 children to Mexico — children without their parents and who are alone.
The U.S. government has elected to disregard the safety and welfare of these children in the name of immigration enforcement.

Obama's Faith Pushed To The Front In New Ad

Throughout his entire career Sen. Obama has stood by families, including his own. And as president he'll stand by yours."

A young, politically progressive religious organizations is out with a highly personalized television ad propping up Barack Obama on issue of faith and values.

The Matthew 25 Network will air their spot, "Families," on national cable during Saturday's values forum between the presidential candidates. The ad, which will appear on CNN and possibly MSNBC, plays up Obama's marriage, his Christianity and his intrinsic understanding of family issues.

"As a pastor I knew you could learn a lot about a man's character based on how he treats his family. Barrack is a strong man of Christian faith who has been married to his wife Michelle for 16 years. And he is the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He understands the pressure families are under and what it takes to help families thrive. Throughout his entire career Sen. Obama has stood by families, including his own. And as president he'll stand by yours."


Friday, August 15, 2008

Lawsuit Filed Against Gonzales & DOJ Officials

Six attorneys rejected from civil service positions at the Justice Department filed a lawsuit...
Six attorneys rejected from civil service positions at the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Monica Goodling, and other top officials for allegedly violating their rights by taking politics into consideration in the hiring process. (ABC News/AP)

Lawsuit: DOJ Officials Should be Held Accountable for Politicizing Hiring Practices

The suit is an attempt to hold top officials accountable for the hiring scandal that ultimately led to Gonzales' resignation last year, said Daniel Metcalfe, the attorney for the plaintiffs who is also executive director of its Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law.
"My clients wish that they hadn't had to bring this lawsuit -- they would have greatly preferred to be working inside the Justice Department, where by all rights they deserved to be, defending the government in court rather than standing as victimized examples of government wrongdoing," said Metcalfe, a former longtime Justice Department official.
One of the rejected attorneys -- Sean Gerlich -- first filed suit against the department in June. Today's amended complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, broadens the suit to include Gonzales; Monica Goodling, former White House Liaison; Michael Elston, former chief of staff to then-Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty; and Esther McDonald, former counsel to Gonzales.

Obama Plane Emergency: Tapes Show Pilots' Calls For Help

US Troops in Georgia; Russia Not Backing Down
Ellen Barry and C.J. Chivers, The New York Times: "President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia on Thursday said that Russia would act as an international guarantor of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two pro-Russian enclaves at the center of the crisis that have long desired separation from Georgia. As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed to the region for discussions on the crisis and to show support for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the Russian position seemed to be a direct challenge to President Bush who said a day earlier that he 'insists that the sovereign and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected'.... On Wednesday, the United States and Georgia called the Russian advances into Gori and another strategic Georgian city a violation of the cease-fire agreement struck only hours earlier. In response, Mr. Bush sent American troops to Georgia to oversee a 'vigorous and ongoing' humanitarian mission, in a direct challenge to Russia's display of military dominance over the region. Mr. Bush demanded that Russia abide by the cease-fire and withdraw its forces or risk its place in 'the diplomatic, political, economic and security structures of the 21st century.' It was his strongest warning yet of potential retaliation against Russia over the conflict."

How to Stop the Smears Against Obama

Tell the media that when it comes to news on Obama, don’t trust FOX

Fox is a Republican mouthpiece, not a legitimate news organization. Real news organizations must reject Fox's smears of Barack Obama and get the real facts out.

Sign the protest

War crimes closer to home

Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 1:00 a.m
Why is it that only foreigners are prosecuted for war crimes? It's certainly not because Americans don't do prisoner abuse.
An expert on detainee mistreatment, Deborah Pearlstein, testified recently before the House Judiciary Committee that, as of 2006, the U.S. government had documented 330 cases of detainee abuse at the hands of U.S. personnel, including 34 reported to be homicides. The witness testified that at least eight "were tortured to death."
The testimony received scant attention, at least in this country. Meanwhile, a great deal of attention was paid to the war-crime trial of Salim Hamdan at Guantanamo Bay. Hamdan, a Yemeni captured in Afghanistan, was a driver for Osama bin Laden. Waiting in the wings for war crimes prosecution are some 80 other Guantanamo detainees.

Mikheil Saakashvili: War Criminal

A politician's hubris causes untold human suffering
by Justin Raimondo
Amid all the geopolitical analyses and ideological posturing on the occasion of the Three-Day War between Russia and Georgia, we are losing sight of the very real human costs of this conflict: thousands of civilians killed and grievously wounded, a city, Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, in ruins, and the hopes and dreams of the inhabitants of this largely overlooked backwater dashed on the rocks of a politician's hubris.
That politician is Mikheil Saakashvili, the all too glib president of Georgia, whose slickness is so apparent that it seems to leave an oily residue on every word he utters. The decidedly apolitical, non-ideological Web site Reliefweb put it this way:
"The place that has suffered most is South Ossetia which is home to both ethnic Ossetians and Georgians, the latter accounting for about a third of the population. The destruction there has been appalling and it looks as though many hundreds of civilians have died, in the first place as a result of the initial Georgian assault of August 7-8. Gosha Tselekhayev, an Ossetian interpreter in Tskhinvali with whom I spoke by telephone on August 10 said, 'I am standing in the city center, but there's no city left.'
"Ossetians fleeing the conflict zone talk of Georgian atrocities and the indiscriminate killing of civilians."
They may be talking of Georgian atrocities, but we in the West have not heard them – nor will we, given the bias of our media, which is in thrall to the Georgia lobby and its U.S. government sponsors. The "mainstream" has already settled on a narrative to explain events in the Caucasus, and nothing short of a South Ossetian holocaust will wake them from their hypnotic state. The Russians, in their view, have got to be the bad guys, i.e., the aggressors. Anything that doesn't fit into that
Rivals say they plan to remove Georgian president
GEORGIAN OPPOSITION politicians have wasted no time in trying to undermine president Mikheil Saakashvili, who remains broadly popular in Georgia but is still widely perceived in the country as having started the war with Russia.
Levan Gachechiladze, Mr Saakashvili's former campaign manager, who ran against him in January's presidential elections, said Georgia's political opposition would campaign for elections to be held "at the earliest opportunity", perhaps within two months.
"This government has no chance of establishing trust with Georgians," he said.
Kakha Kukava, secretary-general of the opposition Conservative party of Georgia, similarly criticised the president for the war.
"Saakashvili was personally responsible for the military operation, and for starting a war we could not win," he said, adding that his party would wait until the situation had cooled and then call for mass demonstrations aimed at removing the government.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: FAA Tapes Reveal Drama of Obama Jet Incident

Audio Contradicts FAA Account of "No Emergency"
August 14, 2008—
The incident involving Sen. Barack Obama's campaign plane last month was much more serious than the airline or the Federal Aviation Administration said, according to FAA control tower tapes obtained by ABC News.
At the time, an FAA spokesperson said the pilot did not declare an emergency and the airline owner, Midwest Airlines, said safety "was never an issue."
The tapes, to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' World News with Charles Gibson, show otherwise.
Just 41 seconds after discovering he no longer had full control of the plane's up and down movements, the pilot told an FAA air traffic controller "at this time we would like to declare an emergency and also have CFR [crash equipment] standing by in St. Louis."
An FAA spokesperson acknowledged today that its statements at the time of "no emergency" were wrong, based, the spokesperson said, on erroneous reports from FAA air traffic managers.
"We later learned there was an emergency declared," FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Cory said. The FAA had not publicly corrected the record until today, after being contacted by ABC News.
Obama's plane, an MD-81 chartered from Midwest, was diverted to St. Louis, shortly after takeoff from Chicago on July 7. Over the plane intercom system, the pilot told Obama and campaign staff and reporters there was "a little bit of controllability issue in terms of our ability to control the aircraft in the pitch, which is the nose up and nose down mode."
In contrast, the FAA tapes reveal the pilot reported he no longer had 100 per cent control, with only "limited pitch authority" of the aircraft.
A few minutes later, the pilot formally declared an emergency situation. (click here to listen to an edited version of the audio)
Asked by the St. Louis tower controller which runway he wanted to land on, the pilot responded, "Well, which one is the longest?"
The pilot then reported, "We have Senator Obama on board the aircraft and his campaign."

BUSHED! 2008 08 12

American Girl on Fox News: “I was running from Georgian troops, I want to thank the Russian troops”

McCain - Unfit To Lead (final version)

Siegelman to Speak at Democratic Convention

Only on 19: Siegelman Invited to Speak at Democratic Convention

NewsChannel 19's Greg Privett reports

August 13, 2008

Don Siegelman will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Siegelman tells NewsChannel 19 he has accepted an invitation extended by the Colorado delegation. Targeted by Republican prosecutors, Alabama's former governor says he will talk, in particular, about the critical need to reveal former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove's role in politicizing the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ, under Bush, has gone after Democrats seven times more than Republicans.

In the Siegelman case, the prosecutors -- then Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor followed by U.S. Attorneys Alice Martin and Leura Canary -- along with Federal District Judge Mark Fuller have personal, political, or in some cases, business ties to the Bush administration. Siegelman tells us it's not just his case he'll be talking about in Denver. The Governor explains he'll be advancing the cause to seek the truth about who hijacked the Justice Department.

Even though President Bush leaves office in January, Siegleman insists Congress must take action now. "I think you can have an election," Siegelman told NewsChannel 19 in an exclusive interview.

"You can elect a president," he said. "And you can put in new people. But unless Congress speaks loudly on this issue and unless people are held accountable for their violations of the law, for their abuse of power, and their misuse of the Department of Justice -- using it as a political weapon, using it as a political tool which subverted peoples rights to a fair trial, which jeopardized our democracy -- if we don't speak loudly on this issue and hold people accountable, then those new U.S, Attorneys are not going to take this thing as seriously as they should. And it's likely to happen again. This country doesn't need that."

John McCain on Russia: Angry, Bellicose, Belligerent and Extreme

(Brent Budowsky)
@ 9:42 am
John McCain needs to calm down, stop telling the world he speaks for the American people, stop escalating his warlike rhetoric almost by the hour, and stop the phony tough talk that makes a bad situation worse and would only heighten the danger at a dangerous enough moment.
McCain takes too much advice from a lobbyist who makes money paid for by Georgia. He takes too much bandwidth making threats that neither he nor President Bush nor any American president can back up without creating even more damage to American security and more danger to world security.
John McCain should stop talking as though he is the president, and Americans should and I predict will take note of the dangers he would bring, if he ever is the president.
This is true: The Georgians overreached and may have been misled, deliberately by misjudgment or accidentally by mistake, by George Bush and John McCain, into believing that the American military would support them, whatever they did.
This, too, is true: Vladimir Putin is a dangerous man indeed who wants to reconstitute as much of the Soviet empire as he can. We should have no illusions about the dangers caused by this former henchman of the KGB who has adopted repressive tactics at home and launched cruel actions and threats against democratically elected governments in what he believes should be Russia's sphere of influence and control.
This, too, is true: The Bush and McCain obsession with Iraq and Iran has not only done grave damage to our military force structures and deterrent, they have warped our international policy, endangered our national security and created a crisis of inattention from Pakistan to Russia that makes the world a far more dangerous place.
John McCain increasingly sounds like a right-wing blogger. His arrogance in claiming that he speaks for the American people during a dangerous crisis demonstrates greater hubris than anything he will accuse Obama of doing.
McCain's belligerence, bellicosity and bluster on Iraq and Iran and now Russia demonstrate clearly the dangers he would pose as commander in chief when his right-wing blog-like rhetoric could become American military policy in a dangerous world.
Let’s elect John McCain the president of the right-wing base of the Republican Party, where he can talk his talk of World War III while calmer, cooler and wiser heads walk the walk of protecting our national security.

US And UK Trying To Nudge Pakistan's Musharraf Out The Door

Musharraf being nudged to quit before impeachment
By Saeed Shah McClatchy Newspapers
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Americans and British diplomats are trying to encourage a quick exit from office for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, a staunch Western anti-terrorism ally, before he suffers the disgrace of impeachment, Pakistani officials said Wednesday.
In recent days, Musharraf has seen a collapse in support, as three of Pakistan's four provincial parliaments overwhelmingly have approved resolutions that declare him unfit for office. The fourth is expected to follow shortly.
The provincial votes were symbolic, but early next week the formal prosecution will begin with an impeachment motion in the national parliament. It's now clear that Pakistan's ruling coalition has the two-thirds majority needed to impeach Musharraf.
Musharraf, a former army chief who took power after a military coup in 1999, became an international linchpin in the United States' fight against al Qaida after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
His departure probably would trigger a fundamental shift in Pakistan's approach to militants, and some are lamenting it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pelosi blasts Lieberman

Pelosi: After Election Senate Dems Won't Need Lieberman
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Sen. Joe Lieberman today for making what she called "totally irresponsible" remarks about Democrat Barack Obama, which she warned could prompt Senate Democrats to strip him of his committee chairmanship.
In a wide-ranging interview with Bay Area radio talk show host Ronn Owens, Pelosi also chastised some of Hillary Clinton's supporters for being "less than gracious" toward Obama, although she praised the New York senator for rallying behind the party's nominee.
Pelosi's remarks are certain to anger Clinton backers, especially those seeking to have Clinton's name placed into nomination at the party's convention in Denver later this month. But the House speaker's comments about Lieberman may please Democratic activists, who've grown frustrated at the Connecticut senator's sharp jabs at Obama.
Campaigning for Republican John McCain in York, Pa., Tuesday, Lieberman appeared to question Obama's patriotism when he called the election a choice "between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put his country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate that has not."
Pelosi was asked by a caller on Owens' show what could be done about the attacks from Lieberman, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in 2000 who is now an independent but still caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.
"You're right," Pelosi said. "Joe Lieberman has said things that are totally irresponsible when it comes to Barack Obama. Here we have a leader for the future, really a great leader for the future and one that comes along only every now and then, and they know it so they have to undermine him. And one of their best weapons, of course, is someone who is considered by some to be a Democrat."
Pelosi bluntly explained that Senate Democrats are leery of challenging Lieberman because his vote is crucial to maintaining the Democrats' 51-49 majority in the Senate. But she warned that Lieberman's top spot on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee could be in jeopardy next year if the Democrats gain seats in the Senate in November.
The barbecue media script for this election, a work of unabridged fiction and co-written by the modern Rove Republicans, has crow-barred Sen. Obama into the incongruous frame of the exotic effete elitist, irrespective of the fact that, on all counts, he's absolutely none of those things. It's the same script that's been wheeled out during the last several presidential elections -- designed as a way of sculpting reality into a neatly packaged prime time dramatic narrative that both reinforces and exploits fear-based stereotypes. Despite griping from the McBush Republicans, the truth is that Sen. McCain is far and away the more elitist and exotic of the two candidates.

Federal law expressly prohibits political meddling in the civil service hiring process.

Paul C. Light, 08.13.2008
Mukasey declared the Justice Department hiring scandal closed yesterday. There was no criminal harm, he told the American Bar Association, therefore no foul. He is absolutely wrong.

Excuse Me?

McCain: "In The 21st Century Nations Don't Invade Other Nations"
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,252,595"

They can tell you how to make $50 million dollars and not pay taxes.

The Great Corporate Tax Heist
Remember the old Steve Martin routine on how to make a million dollars and not pay taxes: "First, make a million dollars... Second, don't pay taxes." Turns out Martin's joke is standard operating procedure for corporations in the United States -- only, in comparison, Martin was a piker.
Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study on taxes paid by corporations. In what Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) mildly called "a shocking indictment of the current tax system," the GAO found that about two-thirds of corporations operating in the US did not pay taxes annually from 1998 to 2005.
Now most corporations in America are start-ups or small, mom and pop operations that have adopted a corporate form to lower their tax rates. And a greater percentage of large corporations do pay some taxes. But in 2005, with corporate profits reaching new heights as a percentage of national income, the GAO found that over one-fourth -- 28% of large corporations paid no taxes. (It defined large corporations as those with assets of at least $250 million dollars or gross receipts of at least $50 million dollars.) They can tell you how to make $50 million dollars and not pay taxes.
Not surprisingly, the income collected from corporations has been declining as a percentage of GDP, with the burden transferred to your income and payroll taxes. According to a study by the Treasury Department, from 2000-2006, an average of 2.2% of GDP was collected in corporate taxes. This compares to an average of 3.4% in other industrial countries. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current law, corporate revenues will decline to 1.9% of GDP by 2017.
Why is this important? Well, the Bush administration, led by Treasury Secretary Paulson and conservatives led by John McCain are mounting a major campaign to cut the corporate tax rate even more, arguing that we are crippled competitively by having a US rate higher than any industrial nation other than Japan. "America has the second highest business [tax]rate in the entire world," says John McCain. "Is it any wonder that jobs are moving overseas? We're taxing them out of the country." But the GAO study confirms what we already knew: whatever the nominal tax rate, US corporations pay an effective rate among the lowest in the industrial world.

Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Killed By Gunman

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A man barged into the Arkansas Democratic headquarters and opened fire Wednesday, fatally shooting the state party chairman before speeding off in his pickup. Police later shot and killed the suspect after a 30-mile chase.
Police said they don't know the motive for the 51-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released.
They said Chairman Bill Gwatney, 49, died four hours later at University Hospital in Little Rock after the midday shooting near the state Capitol


WASHINGTON — John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann's personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.
McCain warned Russian leaders Tuesday that their assault in Georgia risks "the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world."
On April 17, a month and a half after Scheunemann stopped working for Georgia, his partner signed a $200,000 agreement with the Georgian government. The deal added to an arrangement that brought in more than $800,000 to the two-man firm from 2004 to mid-2007. For the duration of the campaign, Scheunemann is taking a leave of absence from the firm.

Omid Memarian, 08.13.2008
One of the lessons the U.S. could learn from the conflict is that America is no longer the most effective nation when it comes to interfering, influencing and finally resolving conflicts among nations.

Georgian president to McCain: Move 'from words to deeds'

(CNN) – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.
“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.”

Barack Obama leading John McCain by a substantial margin among Christian voters

For the most part, the various faith communities of the U.S. currently support Sen. Obama for the presidency. Among the 19 faith segments that The Barna Group tracks, evangelicals were the only segment to throw its support to Sen. McCain. Among the larger faith niches to support Sen. Obama are non-evangelical born again Christians (43% to 31%); notional Christians (44% to 28%); people aligned with faiths other than Christianity (56% to 24%); atheists and agnostics (55% to 17%); Catholics (39% vs. 29%); and Protestants (43% to 34%).
If the Barna Group's findings hold true, "this would mark the first time in more than two decades that the born again vote has swung toward the Democratic candidate."

The political world, and the Democratic Party in particular, is in a buzz over news that John McCain will attend a fundraiser hosted by Ralph Reed, th

The Obama campaign released a new attack ad on Wednesday that -- as the Senator has tried to do during the debate over the surge -- ties economic troubles at home to McCain's support of the Iraq war
Titled "Book," the spot reads: "Economics by John McCain. Support George Bush 95 percent of the time. Keep spending $10 billion a month for the war in Iraq, while the Iraqis sell oil for record prices, giving Iraq a $79 billion oil surplus and hurting our economy."

McCain Lobbyists' Prize: $1 Billion, Study Says

McCain's Lobbyists Raked In $1 Billion From U.S. Clients, Study Says

The non-partisan group Campaign Money Watch has come up with another startling figure for those who follow the presidential money chase.
According to an analysis performed by the group, McCain's top fundraisers and aides have collected nearly $1 billion in fees from U.S. companies in the past decade -- specifically, $930,949,819. Using numbers provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, the group also found that officials of those very same companies have given nearly $12 million to McCain's presidential campaign, so far.
"The McCain campaign relies on big money lobbyists, and they'll rely on him," said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. "In the 'you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours' world of Washington, $931 million gets the special interests the best government money can buy. But just think of the payday these lobbyists might expect in a McCain Administration."
Donnelly's group previously launched a website called McCainsLobbyists.com, in which users can track the special interests represented by 40 of John McCain's top fundraisers and advisers.
John McCain
"The McCain campaign relies on big money lobbyists, and they'll rely on him," said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. "In the 'you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours' world of Washington, $931 million gets the special interests the best government money can buy. But just think of the payday these lobbyists might expect in a McCain Administration."
Donnelly's group previously launched a website called McCainsLobbyists.com, in which users can track the special interests represented by 40 of John McCain's top fundraisers and advisers
McCain Fundraiser Revives Abramoff Questions
The political world, and the Democratic Party in particular, is in a buzz over news that John McCain will attend a fundraiser hosted by Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition who fell from grace during the Jack Abramoff scandal.
'The Senator has come full circle,' goes the most common refrain -- a reference to both McCain's claim to scorn Washington's seedy lobbyists culture and the fact that his investigation into Abramoff effectively derailed Reed's political ambitions.
But there is, in fact, a far more curious and potentially damaging tie that connects the Arizona Republican and the religious right figure.
One of the projects on which Reed aided Abramoff was an effort financed by the Mississippi Choctaws to shut down other casino games in Alabama. The issue lingered well into 2002. And Abramoff's reach extended all the way into the state's gubernatorial election, when he wrote an aide about the legislative favors the Choctaws wanted in return for their support of then-candidate Bob Riley.
The latter revelation McCain covered up. That email, which the Senator had access to during his investigation, never made it into his Abramoff report. McCain claimed it was not his prerogative as chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to "involve" himself "in the ethics process [of members of Congress]." And others felt the same way. The report passed the committee by a bipartisan 13-0 vote.
But the implications of McCain's decision were far reaching. Riley was able to beat the incumbent in that election -- a governor by the name of Don Siegleman, who was weighed down by seemingly politically-motivated leaks that federal prosecutors were looking into corruption charges -- by a mere 3,000 votes.

DNC Ad: Better Off?

McCain : No Change

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Will it be the Flyswatter or the Blunderbuss?

Bush's War in Georgia

By Mike Whitney
Sometimes war provides clarity. That's certainly true in this case. After this weekends fighting, everyone in the Russian political establishment knows that Washington is willing to sacrifice thousands of innocent civilians and plunge the entire region into chaos to achieve its geopolitical objectives.

Washington Risks Nuclear War by Miscalculation

Russia Georgia War
By F William Engdahl
The dramatic military attack by the military of the Republic of Georgia on South Ossetia in the last days has brought the world one major step closer to the ultimate horror of the Cold War era-a thermonuclear war between Russia and the United States-by miscalculation. What is playing out in the Caucasus is being reported in US media in an alarmingly misleading light, making Moscow appear the lone aggressor.

Call McCain's bluff on Obama attacks


John McCain and the Republicans think demonizing Obama and the Democrats over high gas prices is their ticket to victory.

McCain: Get to Work


Barack Roll

"America's moral authority is bled away and how we need to restore it."

Suskind: White House needed forgery to fix 'political dilemma'
Author Ron Suskind said on Monday's Daily Show that the real significance of the forged letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence revealed in his new book is not precisely who created it, but why.
Suskind told Jon Stewart that following the invasion of Iraq and the failure to find WMD's, "the White House orders the CIA to fabricate a letter from this guy Habbush which clears them of their political dilemma of going to war under false pretenses."
Suskind explained that as early as January 2003, months before the invasion of Iraq, "There's a relationship to the Iraq intelligence chief. ... We made him our source. ... He tells us there are no WMD." However, the administration blew off the CIA's reports on Habbush, preferring to believe the claims by a low-level informant, known as "Curveball," that Iraq was actively producing WMD's.
As a result, once the war had started, Habbush became an embarrassment. "We end up paying him $5 million and hiding him," Suskind stated. "He's kind of radioactive as that summer unfolds and it's clear there are no weapons."
According to Suskind, even though the Habbush letter was not released until December 2003, it was created in direct response to Joseph Wilson's debunking of the earlier Niger forgeries in July 2003. Not only does the Habbush letter tie Iraq to al Qaeda, but it also refers to an Iraqi purchase of uranium from Niger and its shipment across Syria.

VINCENT BUGLIOSI. Famed prosecutor: 'Impeachment alone too good for Bush.'
Impeachment? Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Never Mind That - Haul George Bush into a Court of Law, Part 1


Appeals court denies Plame's attempt to sue US officials
federal appeals court said Tuesday it would not resurrect a lawsuit that former CIA operative Valerie Plame brought against members of the Bush administration.
Plame accused Vice President Dick Cheney and several former high-ranking administration officials of revealing her identity to reporters in 2003. She and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, say that violated their constitutional rights.
It was an unusual case and even some on Plame's legal team acknowledged the case was an uphill fight from the start.
A federal judge dismissed the case last year and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld that ruling Tuesday.
The appeals court said there was no constitutional basis for the court to step in and it declined to create one. The judges said Plame and Wilson could bring their case under the Privacy Act, though it does not cover the president or vice president's offices. The court also said it must be reluctant to wade into national security issues.
Melanie Sloan, Plame's attorney at the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Plame was considering an appeal.
"It is simply unacceptable for top government officials to be unaccountable for such a gross abuse of their power," Sloan said.
Exxon John

Big Oil Fuels John McCain's Straight Talk Express

John Cornyn - 2008 Senate - Big John TX GOP Convention Video

Big BAD John

It goes to his credibility.

A group of prominent Republicans supporting Barack Obama took to a conference call Tuesday morning to tout their preferred candidate, make the case for other GOPers to cross party lines, and warn about the dangers of John McCain's foreign policy.
Hoping to fill a void in news with Senator Obama on vacation, former Rep. Jim Leach, former Sen. Lincoln Chafee and Rita Hauser (a national intelligence expert who served in the Bush administration), offered at times sharp lines of criticism for the presumptive Republican nominee. "I served with Sen. McCain, and he and I were the only two to vote against the Bush/Cheney tax cuts," recalled Chafee. "During this campaign it is a different John McCain. He is saying he would make the tax cuts permanent. He is advocating more drilling whereas he voted against drilling in ANWR. It goes to his credibility. And that is such an important issue for this country... plus his foreign policy has been consistently with Bush/Cheney and I know from my perspective that is a huge issue for the United States."
McCain: McSame as Bush


Mukasey: "Not Every Wrong, Or Even Every Violation Of The Law, Is A Crime"
NEW YORK — Former Justice Department officials will not face prosecution for letting improper political considerations drive hirings of prosecutors, immigration judges and other career government lawyers, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Tuesday.
Mukasey used his sharpest words yet to criticize the senior leaders who took part in or failed to stop illegal hiring practices during the tenure of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales.

Use of Iraq Contractors Costs Billions, Report Says

US Has Spent $100 Billion On Private Contractors Since Iraq Invasion
Published: August 11, 2008
WASHINGTON — The United States this year will have spent $100 billion on contractors in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, a milestone that reflects the Bush administration’s unprecedented level of dependence on private firms for help in the war, according to a government report to be released Tuesday.
The report, by the Congressional Budget Office, according to people with knowledge of its contents, will say that one out of every five dollars spent on the war in Iraq has gone to contractors for the United States military and other government agencies, in a war zone where employees of private contractors now outnumber American troops.
The Pentagon’s reliance on outside contractors in Iraq is proportionately far larger than in any previous conflict, and it has fueled charges that this outsourcing has led to overbilling, fraud and shoddy and unsafe work that has endangered and even killed American troops. The role of armed security contractors has also raised new legal and political questions about whether the United States has become too dependent on private armed forces on the 21st-century battlefield.
The budget office’s report found that from 2003 to 2007, the government awarded contracts in Iraq worth about $85 billion, and that the administration was now awarding contracts at a rate of $15 billion to $20 billion a year. At that pace, contracting costs will surge past the $100 billion mark before the end of the year. Through 2007, spending on outside contractors accounted for 20 percent of the total costs of the war, the budget office found, according to the people with knowledge of the report.
Several outside experts on contracting said the report’s numbers seemed to provide the first official price tag on contracting in Iraq and raised troubling questions about the degree to which the war had been privatized.
Contractors in Iraq now employ at least 180,000 people in the country, forming what amounts to a second, private, army, larger than the United States military force, and one whose roles and missions and even casualties among its work force have largely been hidden from public view. The widespread use of these employees as bodyguards, translators, drivers, construction workers and cooks and bottle washers has allowed the administration to hold down the number of military personnel sent to Iraq, helping to avoid a draft.

Monday, August 11, 2008

McCain’s attacks on rival fall flat with vets group

Republican offers plan to let some get care outside VA
By J. Patrick Coolican, Michael Mishak
Sun, Aug 10, 2008 (2 a.m.)
Sen. John McCain, speaking to disabled veterans Saturday in Las Vegas, attacked his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, for his foreign policy record, while also proposing a program that would allow veterans to acquire health care at private hospitals and not just through the Veterans Affairs Department.
The veterans, at Bally’s for their national convention, gave him a tepid reception, especially considering McCain’s life story. The Arizona senator was a Navy pilot shot down over Vietnam, tortured and held as a prisoner of war for 5 1/2 years.
Just one of 14 veterans interviewed by the Sun after his speech said he is a certain McCain voter, and the nonpartisan group’s legislative director expressed concerns about McCain’s proposed “Veterans’ Care Access Card.”

Bush Veterans Affairs Department bans voter registration drives at veterans facilities.»

This past May, the Veterans Affairs Department, led by Secretary James Peake, issued a directive prohibiting nonpartisan voter registration drives “at federally financed nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and shelters for homeless veterans.” In today’s New York Times, Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz writes, “What is the secretary of Veterans Affairs thinking?“:
The federal government should be doing everything it can to support our nation’s veterans who have served us so courageously. There can be no justification for any barrier that impedes the ability of veterans to participate in democracy’s most fundamental act, the vote.

The Pipeline War: Russian Bear Goes for West's Jugular

By Svetlana Skarbo and Jonathan Petre

The war in Georgia escalated dangerously last night after Russian jets reportedly bombed a vital pipeline that supplies oil to the West.
Petraeus: US is flying Georgian troops into battle zone

Exclusive: Deborah Haynes, Baghdad

US aircraft have started to fly some of Georgia's 2,000 troops in Iraq back home to join the fight in the breakaway province of South Ossetia, General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq said today.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

President Bush Not So Good With American Flags

"LOL OMG the look on his daughter's face is priceless! "Yep.
She is like " Who is this Dumb One I call a Dad " ???

So, apparently, even after seven years, President George W. Bush still hasn't learned how to correctly display the American flag. Glorious. We still have to pay him a salary, out of our stimulus packages, apparently.
It's times like this that you just sort of have to say, "Know what? On second thought, Mr. President, please don't make an effort to resolve the crisis in Georgia, okay? I think we'll all be better off."

How Many Private Contractors In Iraq?

Monitoring contractors in Iraq is an enormous problem for DoD. ... works closely with contractors, the U.S. military, and the Iraqi Government, listed 177 ...
PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS IN IRAQ. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. On February 7, 2007, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a ...
The number of US-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of ... Military officials say contractors cut costs while allowing troops to focus on ...

Military jurors timed sentence to give bin-Laden's driver a shot at freedom.

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba - It was no coincidence the U.S. military jurors at Guantanamo timed the prison sentence they gave Osama bin Laden's driver to end just before President George W. Bush's term does, legal analysts say.
The timing seems intended to give the next U.S. president who takes office on January 20 a chance to override the Bush administration's announcement that it will continue to hold convicted Yemeni captive Salim Hamdan as an "enemy combatant" in the war against terrorism after he finishes his sentence.
"My inference is that they concluded that this administration would not release Hamdan at the end of his sentence, but the next one might," said David Glazier, a national security expert who teaches at Loyola Law School.

FBI admits spying on 4 US reporters

Offers no explanation for spying
We're sorry.

That's the message from FBI Director Robert Mueller to the executive editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, after an inspector general discovered that the agency had seized telephone records from four US reporters without a grand jury.
Mueller called Times' editor Bill Keller and Post chief Len Downie Friday, "expressing regret" that agents had not followed "proper procedures. The "lapse" occurred nearly four years ago and involved four staff members of the papers.
"The FBI discontinued use of the emergency letters after privacy advocates and internal watchdogs cited hundreds of cases in which agents intentionally, or out of sloppiness, did not follow up their 'exigent' requests with paperwork that linked the submission to a genuine matter of national security," Washington Post reporter Carrie Johnson wrote in an article Saturday.
The bureau obtained phone records for a Post reporter and a researcher in Indonesia, and Times reporters Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, also in the country at the time.
The records were obtained through what is called an exigent circumstances letter, a demand made by the agency in a practice that skirts civil liberties protections that has flourished in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.

GOP Comes Up $10 Million Short For Scaled-Back Convention

GOP convention officials discover deficit just in time
They recently found they were $10 million short, but have since scrambled to make up much of the gap.
ST. PAUL, MINN. -- Republican Party officials have developed a well-deserved reputation for planning evermore extravagant national conventions, each built on the party's ability to secure abundant cash.But just six weeks before the convention, where Arizona Sen. John McCain is to accept his party's nomination, executives found they were about $10 million short of what they needed for a celebration they had already scaled back.

Author Of Book Claiming Forged Iraq Intel Posts Evidence

Tape: Top CIA official confesses order to forge Iraq-9/11 letter came on White House stationery
In damning transcript, ex-CIA official says Cheney likely ordered letter linking Hussein to 9/11 attacks

A forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was ordered on White House stationery and probably came from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a new transcript of a conversation with the Central Intelligence Agency's former Deputy Chief of Clandestine Operations Robert Richer

The transcript was posted Friday by author Ron Suskind of an interview conducted in June. It comes on the heels of denials by both the White House and Richer of a claim Suskind made in his new book, The Way of The World. The book was leaked to Politico's Mike Allen on Monday, and released Tuesday.

Suskind says decision to post transcript unusual

Suskind posted the transcript at his blog, saying, "This posting is contrary to my practice across 25 years as a journalist. But the issues, in this matter, are simply too important to stand as discredited in any way." It was first picked up by ThinkProgress and Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein.

Darn Him, Hey guys will you get that friking Wanker back home on American soil?

Hey guys will you get that friking Wanker back home on American soil, he is friking spoiling my Olympics, everytime I sit down to watch the games, the wanker is in the stands, and off goes the games, trust him to even spoil the Olympics for me.
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