Tuesday, February 28, 2006

UAE gave $ to Bush library

Why does President Bush like the people of the United Arab Emerates? The UAE owns the Dubai Ports company and the UAE is very, very special to Bush:

A sheik from the United Arab Emirates contributed at least $1 million to the Bush Library Foundation, which established the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station...
The list of donors names Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan al Nahyan and the people of the United Arab Emirates as one donor in the $1 million or more category.
The amount of the gift grants them recognition on the engraved donor wall in the library entrance or on the paving bricks that line the library's walkways, according to library documents.
Roman Popaduik, chairman of the Bush Library Foundation that collects donations, said he could not discuss details of the gifts except to say the amount category and whether it was before or after 1997....

How nice. If you give money to the Bush family, you get special privileges, even if you are a foreign country with ties to terrorists.

Senator Hillary Clinton (NY-D) says that Karl Rove is obsessed with her. I bet someone has given her some of the e-mails and notes that Rove has written about her. Do you think that Rove has a picture of Senator Clinton in his wallet? Rove's problems have to do with the fact that he is the man behind the lies and misdeeds of this administration. With Bush's sinking approval rating, Rove is looking for someone to blame other than himself. Perhaps Rove is obsessed with Sen. Clinton because he is afraid of her and the Democratic Party.

Numbers and Money

According to CBS News, President Bush has an approval rating of 34%. Cheney had an 18% approval rating. Whoa!

It seems like Halliburton and its subsidiaries can get any money they want from the Bush-Cheney administration. Even though an audit found some overcharges, they'll get most of their money anyway. The New York Times has the story.

Veterans face more medical benefit cuts. An administration that says it supports the troops is so willing to cut benefits for the vets. Shouldn't they honor their service and sacrifice? Shouldn't money be given to our troops instead of Halliburton?

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is the center of controversy again. This time it involves his "charity" and the mortgage on his house in Virginia.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Republican Failures in National Security

We need to remind ourselves that major failures of national security have come under this Republican controlled government.
(1) September 11th occurred during this Bush administration. The Clinton administration, including Madeline Albright, had warned the Bushies about Bin Laden. However, the Bush administration said they were not concerned about Bin Laden. Despite the numerous PDB's and numerous warnings, they failed to secure our country's airports prior to 9/11.

(2) This administration's failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina shows that it is unable to move quickly to an emergency. Placing incompetent people like Heckuva Job Brownie, in highly responsible areas, shows their disdain for our people and our government.

(3) Allowing a country who supports terrorists to take over American ports, shows that this administration has stronger allegiances to their oil-rich buddies than the American people.

(4) The deaths of firefighters and police officers in New York on 9/11 had to do with the fact that Rudy Guiliani, had failed to act on earlier recommendations to upgrade the communications systems of first responders.

(5) Our young men and women have been sent to fight in a foreign war without proper equipment. Our president has not responded to the needs and requests of the "boots on the ground" in Iraq. Instead Bush and his people are more concerned in promoting their neo-conservative agenda. Even after Bush declared "mission accomplished," we still do not have an exit strategy. This war continues to be planned by people within this administration who have no experience with being in the military (chickenhawks: avoided war but are willing to let your son/daughter go to war).

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Clean Air and Clean Water? Not under this administration!

The Bushies are no fans of the Clean Air Act and now they appear not interested in clean water either. The EPA, under this administration, just lets businesses dump whatever they please into America's waters and air. This time, though, it is a nerve agent. This type of behavior is appalling. Here is the story at Philly Burbs.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

We won't travel to South Dakota

It looks like our family will cancel our planned summer vacation to South Dakota. Since the legislature of South Dakota has decided to restrict a woman's right to control her own body, we won't take our family to South Dakota. We'll take our money to another state.

I'm inviting other families, conventions, and groups to also cancel their trips to South Dakota.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Worse than we were told

Just a few days ago, we learned that 6 American ports were to be taken over by the UAE. However, that number is wrong. There are actually 21 ports involved in the agreement. When were we going to be told? My question is----What the hell is going on?????

According to UPI: A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

President George W. Bush on Tuesday threatened to veto any legislation designed to stall the handover.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. said after the briefing she expects swift, bi-partisan approval for a bill to require a national security review before it is allowed to go forward...

Dowd Writes About the Ports

How does she do it? Maureen Dowd knows how to express exactly what so many of us are thinking. Dowd lets the President know where we stand. Here are some excerpts from the Lowell Sun Online:

It's enough to make you nostalgic for those gnarly union stevedores in On the Waterfront, the ones who hung up rats on hooks and took away Marlon Brando's chance to be a contend-ah.

Maybe it's corporate racial profiling, but I don't want foreign companies, particularly ones with links to Sept. 11, running American ports.

What kind of empire are we if we have to outsource our coastline to a group of sheiks who don't recognize Israel, in a country where money was laundered for the Sept. 11 attacks? And that let A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist, smuggle nuclear components through its port to Libya, North Korea and Iran?

It's mind-boggling that President Bush ever agreed to let an alliance of seven emirs be in charge of six of our ports. Although, as usual, Incurious George didn't even know about it until after the fact. (Neither did Rummy, even though he heads one of the agencies that green-lighted the deal.)

Same old pattern: A stupid and counterproductive national security decision is made in secret, blowing off checks and balances, and the president's out of the loop.

Was W. too busy not calling Dick Cheney to find out why he shot a guy to not be involved in a critical decision about U.S. security? What is he waiting for -- a presidential daily brief warning, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack U.S. Ports"?

Read the rest at the link at the top of the page.

David Letterman had something to say about Bush's declaration that the port agreement would not endanger our security. Letterman said, "This is from the same man who told us mission accomplished."

The people of New York City endured so much on 9/11. They should let their elected officials and the White House know how they feel about this UAE port agreement that the Bush administration has approved.
Have you noticed that the Pentagon and the White House refuse to use the words "civil war" to refer to the recent mosque-burnings, random killings, and roadside attacks that are sweeping across Iraq???? Guess what--it is now a civil war and Rep. Murtha predicted it in January. Now our military is caught in the middle of a civil war. Is this part of Bush's plan for victory in Iraq?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"OUR" Government

Why does President Bush continue to refer to our government as "my government"? From News Net 5:
"The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government," Bush said, "the more they'll be comforted that our ports will be secure."

This is not the first time he has used those words. Can't he say 'our' government instead?

Remember this?

Do you you remember this quote from the Kerry/Bush debate : "...I'll never turn over America's national security needs to leaders of other countries..." This was said by George W. Bush.
Should we hold our leaders to their campaign promises? Does he even remember saying this?

How Republicans Have Hurt Us

Raw Story has a report by Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter that shows how the Republicans have hurt average Americans. Raw Story's has a summary: The report, available here, blames lawmakers' ties to lobbyists -- who, they say, make an average of $650,000 a year....

Keep an eye out for a fairy tale put out by the White House: The Rescue and Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast by Karl Rove. Actually, I'm just kidding about the title. The White House does plan to issue their own report about their responses to Hurricane Katrina. I predict it will be in the fiction section of your bookstore.

This entire port agreement that the Bush administration has made with Dubai Ports World is just wrong. Read the article at MSNBC and I am positive that you'll agree with me. (Remember--this administration was warned that Bin Laden was determined to strike the U.S. prior to 9/11. What did Bush do? He went on vacation.) We should control our own ports and their security. Why can't we have American companies do such jobs? Do we have to outsource everything?????

According to an audit, Tom Noe, Republican fundraiser and coindealer, owes the state of Ohio $13.56 million. The Dayton Daily News has the details. (Tom--The citizens of Ohio want you to pay us back pronto!)

Steven Colbert just said that Bush is not a brain thinker---he feels things. Colbert is almost as good as Jon Stewart.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cheney and the Jokes

Over at the Huffington Post, Al Franken has written his observations about how Dick Cheney is being treated by the late night comics. Here is an excerpt:
When the Lettermans and the Lenos and the Jon Stewarts start going after you, you know you’re in trouble. Of course, the late night comics had a field day last week about Cheney.

But the jokes this week might be even more disturbing for the Vice President. Because when the late night comics define you, it’s how the whole country sees you....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oprah Asks: Where is the leadership?

Today Oprah brought her viewers up to date with the rebuilding and conditions on the gulf coast. Her guests included reporters Lisa Ling and Anderson Cooper. The stories today showed families living in many locations--- in the remains of buildings/homes, small campers, and hotels. Lisa Ling tried to investigate why thousands of FEMA campers have been sitting for months at a site, while families and the elderly are living in the most horrible situations (10 to a hotel room, an elderly woman in a apartment without a roof and water, families in a tent city).

One question Oprah had was, "Where is the leadership?" Unfortuately, we have not been able to count on our government for leadership. It is just incredible that our government has done little to help Americans along the coast. Shame one this administration.

ZERO VETOES (All Talk---No Cattle)
President Bush has promised to veto any legislation that would stop the sell of U.S. ports to a foreign country. Bush has threatened vetoes before, but he has not used one veto. Not one veto!!!!! I never, ever, ever agree with Republican Rep. Peter King of New York because I think he is an arrogant GOP fool. However, as hard as this is to say, ....I agree with him on this: Our country does not need a foreign country associated with terrorists to control our ports. Let Bush veto a bill to stop the sale. Americans will force their elected officials to override his veto. I think Karl "dirtbag" Rove said something like this----Bush is using "pre-9/11 thinking."

(I have to go wash out my brain now because I have agreed with Peter King and Rove. Ewwwwww! I feel dirty.)

Republicans Won't Do Lobbying Reform

The Republican leadership has tired of talking and working on lobbying reform and so they just aren't going to do too much with it. We don't want to see the poor Republicans work too hard. They have luncheons, golf fundraisers, and other campaign activities to attend and they can't be bothered with reform. Basically, Boehner and Hastert's promises were a bunch of B.S. Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune:
...Lawmakers reluctant to give up free meals, tickets to sports events and other lobbyist-provided perks may need to see more indictments before agreeing to move forward, said Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan watchdog group.

"Right now, a number of members are betting on the public losing interest and getting away without any new reforms," Noble said....

If the Republicans don't want to do the reforming, Democrats can take care of it when they take over the Congress.

More Security Problems

*Democrats and Republicans are voicing their opposition to an Arab company's control of major U.S. ports. Many security experts have stated that this is a major security risk. Even though Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff asks us to trust him and his department, we remember how well the department did before, during, and after the recent gulf coast hurricanes. We need to urge our elected officals to do something to reverse the decision of this administration.

***Originally posted at the Left Coaster: The president's approval rating falls with his base, according to Zogby:

...What is remarkable in this latest poll, conducted Feb. 15-18, 2006, is that President Bush shows weakness among the demographic groups that have comprised the heart of his political base over the past five years, according to Pollster John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International (Mr. Zogby’s commentary on the poll is included below).

Bush performs best in the South, where 45% give him a positive rating, and the West, where 43% approve of his work. In the Central and Great Lakes region, he wins approval from 39%, while just 34% in the East give him passing marks....

Hmmm. Too bad the last presidential election was over a year ago. For those of us who voted for John Kerry and John Edwards----we told you it would end up like this, but you wouldn't listen!!!!!

*Bush is pushing his alternative energy initiatives, even though he has cut funding for the area. In an effort to not look like complete hypocrites, the administration is scrambling to restore their recent cuts, including dozens of job cuts, to the National Renewal Energy Laboratory. According to the New York Times:

...A statement released Monday by the Energy Department said that Samuel W. Bodman, the energy secretary, ordered the transfer of $5 million over the weekend to immediately restore the jobs, which had been eliminated because of past budget cuts, thereby avoiding a political embarrassment for the president. Mr. Bush is to visit the laboratory, in Golden, Colo., on Tuesday morning....

How about if this administration did something that would really help, like signing and abiding by the Kyoto Treaty???? Global Warming is a fact, whether or not the administration believes it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

NJ's Sen. Menendez Standing Up for Americans

Although he only recently became a Senator from the state of New Jersey, Robert Menendez is already working hard for his constituents and all Americans. With the recent disclosure about major U.S. ports to be controlled by a foreign country, Sen. Menendez boldly spoke up against the deal. The Casper Star Tribune has the story:
"...We wouldn't turn over our customs service or our border patrol to a foreign government," New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said during a news conference. "We shouldn't turn over the ports of the United States, either."

Menendez said he and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of port operations to foreign governments.

Elected officials from both parties have criticized the government's approval of last week's purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates, or UAE. Peninsular and Oriental runs major commercial operations in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia...

Thank you, Senator Menendez, for speaking out against this move by the Bush administration.

Negatives and Positives

Would you ever believe Republican Sen. Bill Frist? Not me. Frist, who once diagnosed Terri Schiavo's mental capacity from a videotape, and is under investigation for insider trading, now has something else to say. You may want to believe him, but I don't. According to USA Today, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, standing firmly with the White House on the administration's eavesdropping program, said Sunday he doesn't think new or updated legislation is needed to govern domestic surveillance to foil terrorists...

Thank you for your opinion, but we are not interested in it. According to the Washington Post, there are 325,000 on the terrorist list. I am sure that includes about 50,000 infant names. Something needs to be done to stop our government's domestic spying without warrants. However, with the Republicans in control in the White House and the legislative branch, nothing will get done to safeguard our liberties.

MSNBC has an encouraging story about UPS and those big brown trucks. UPS, the package delivery company, is taking real leadership in the areas of saving energy costs and helping the environment. UPS will be adding hybrid electric trucks to their fleet. Way to go, UPS! We can only hope that this bold move by UPS will inspire other companies to take on similar initiatives.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wal-Mart Employees Cannot Express Opinions

Why I don't shop at Wal-Mart: Reason No. 27
According to the New York Times, a Wal-Mart manager was told he was disloyal for questioning the company's policy on some benefits:

In a confidential, internal Web site for Wal-Mart's managers, the company's chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr., seemed to have a rare, unscripted moment when one manager asked him why "the largest company on the planet cannot offer some type of medical retirement benefits?"

Mr. Scott first argues that the cost of such benefits would leave Wal-Mart at a competitive disadvantage but then, clearly annoyed, he suggests that the store manager is disloyal and should consider quitting....

Wal-Mart might have more loyal employees if they were treated with respect, better pay, benefits, and regarded as people, instead of slaves/serfs. It is no wonder the company has a very high employee turnover.

Incredible News

>>>Hold onto your hats, Pilgrims, because you're going to hear something incredible.
Newsweek: Donald Rumsfeld and Michael Chertoff DO NOT USE E-MAIL! Astounding! I know people, who will remain nameless, who are completely inept around computers. However, they thave learned to do 2 things: Google and use e-mail. Unfortunately, Rumsfeld and Chertoff have not.

The Newsweek article has a reaction from a professor about Rumsfeld and Chertoff's lack of e-mail knowledge:
...Dr. Irwin Redlener, a disaster-preparedness expert at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, expressed surprise that two officials in such critical positions would not be adept at routine methods of modern communication. “This can’t be true,” he said, only half-jokingly. “It’s almost inconceivable in 2006 for officials at that level of government not to be directly connected to systems of communications...”

The next time there is a presidential press conference, I'd like a reporter to ask the president to name his favorite search engines.

>>>Even though the Bush administration doesn't believe in global warming, there is more evidence that it is really happening. It really is sad when so-called educated people don't believe in scientific proof.
MSNBC reports that "Satellite observations indicate that Greenland's glaciers have been dumping ice into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate that's doubled over the past five years, researchers reported here on Thursday. The findings add yet another factor to the long-running debate over the effect of climate change on the world's ice sheets and sea levels...."

Security Risk?
They say that the Bush family is very close to these Arab oil companies. Now we have proof that they are willing to trade our security for their friendship:

The Bush administration on Thursday rebuffed criticism about potential security risks of a $6.8 billion sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over significant operations at six major American ports.
Lawmakers asked the White House to reconsider its earlier approval of the deal.
The sale to state-owned Dubai Ports World was "rigorously reviewed" by a U.S. committee that considers security threats when foreign companies seek to buy or invest in American industry, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said....
....The world's fourth-largest ports company runs commercial operations at shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.
Four senators and three House members asked the administration Thursday to reconsider its approval. The lawmakers contended the UAE is not consistent in its support of U.S. terrorism-fighting efforts....

David Letterman--"The comic book people have announced that Batman will go after Osama Bin Laden. Looks like Bush does have a plan."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Harris Gaining Ground? I hope not!

Considered by many Democrats as the "Wicked Witch of the South," Katherine Harris is supposedly gaining in the Florida polls. Some people must have forgotten that Harris was responsible for giving Bush the 2000 election by stopping the vote count. This is the same woman who complained that the "liberal" media had altered her photographs to make her look older in 2000. (There is no liberal media. The media outlets are owned by corporations. Besides, her recent facelift and new boobs dramatically changed her appearance.) Harris cannot change the fact that she is a Bush family puppet who denied the votes of thousands of people!!!!!

On a recent trip to Iraq, Harris said all of the soldiers she met wanted the U.S. to stay in Iraq to finish the job. I think she is full of crap. What else were they going to say in front of their commanders and someone, like Harris, that they do not know or trust?

The war in Iraq continues without goals, plans, and without an exit strategy. Our young people are still being killed everyday and there is still only ONE trained Iraqi battalion. Billions of dollars have gone into the Iraq money pit, while our own gulf coast cannot be rebuilt because of a lack of funds (and leadership). The only winners in this neverending war are the Halliburton stockholders. If we are ever going to get out of Iraq, put this country back on the right path, we must elect Democrats like Senator Nelson. The last thing this country needs is someone like Katherine Harris in the U.S. Senate.

(Note: I do not work for Nelson's campaign. I have never met him. Obviously, I don't work for Harris either.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Getting the Message

Propaganda Pays
The Bush administration has paid for public relations to promote their message on the Iraq War. I'd call it propaganda. The Lincoln Group has made a bundle of money working to push fabricated good news about Iraq. The New York Times has the story.

The cover-up on V.P. Dick Cheney's hunting accident is big news. Hunters and gun owners are weighing in on what could have gone wrong on that Texas quail hunt. There is even a suggestion that Cheney should give up hunting and take up golf. From Tim McDonald:

Vice-President Dick Cheney has always promised he'd shoot straight with the American people. He just didn't tell us it would be one at a time.

Cheney needs to replace his hunting hobby with golf. Golf clubs aren't loaded, and it's more humane to bring down a lawyer with a 5-iron than a shotgun....

Until Cheney takes up another sport, he may find it difficult to get other hunters to join him on his next outing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dick and Kenny Boy

Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting accident is all over the news. Do you think that Cheney and his hunting friends were drinking before they picked up their guns? What kind of hunting is it when Cheney and pals go hunting in cars? From the WSJ:

Jon Stewart and the Daily Show--
The other player in the drama? Ranch owner and eyewitness Katharine Armstrong.

Katharine Armstrong: "We were shooting a covey of quail. The vice president and two others got out of the car to walk up the covey."

Jon Stewart: "What kind of hunting story begins with getting out of your car? As I sighted the great beast before us, my shaking hands could barely engage the parking brake. Slowly, I turned off the A/C and silenced my sub-woofers…"

David Letterman (go to Dave TV monologue) and Jon Stewart had some great pieces on V.P. Cheney's accidental shooting.

Raw Story has gathered some news: Paul Begala has his say about Cheney's hunting expedition.
Jack Abramoff says he had connections with Karl Rove.

If you are trying to figure out how Ken Lay, Skilling and the rest of the buzzards ruined the lives of Enron employees and retirees, you must watch the video, Enron-The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Republican News

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a hunting companion on Saturday. However, the right wing controlled media, did not release this information until Sunday. Just two weeks ago, Cheney was having difficulty walking.

Why do Republicans hate women leaders? Last week, Republican Party chair, Ken Mehlman, attacked Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton of New York. This week, the House Republicans are attacking Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi of California. Do they just hate any woman that challenges their 'good ole boy' mentality?

The President said that the FISA law was outdated because it was passed in 1978. Following that line of thinking, is this administration considering ignoring any other laws? The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote, became law in 1920. Do the Republicans think it is outdated because women are gaining too much power?

How can some Republicans know their constituents, when they don't even live in the district/state they represent? Rep. Paul Gillmor (OH-5) lives in Dublin, Ohio, instead of Old Fort, Ohio, which is in the 5th district. (Gillmor uses his son's home address in Old Fort as his address). Sen. Rick Santorum, his wife, and umpteen children, live in Virginia. He doesn't even reside in Pennsylvania. How do these guys get away with it? By living in your district/state, you get to "hang out" with your people. You see them in the market, the gas station, at church, and at community events. You'd get to hear about the daily concerns of your constituents. Obviously, Gillmor and Santorum have forgotten about the regular people who voted for them.

I hope someone in Ohio designs a bumper sticker that supports four more years of having a Republican governor (Blackwell or Petro). It should say: VOTE FOR 4 MORE YEARS OF REPUBLICAN CORRUPTION--Elect Blackwell or Petro!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bush coming to central Ohio

According to the Dispatch, President Bush will be speaking at the Wendy's International Headquarters on Wednesday, 2/15/06, at 12:15 pm. Please come to greet the President and wave your bankruptcy notices, unemployment checks, high heating bills, tax bills, pictures of Abramoff, "Fire Karl Rove" signs, and other greetings. Wendy's HQ's is located next to the Hummer dealership, on Rt. 161 between Dublin Road and Sawmill Rd. I'm sure that many of our corrupt state/local Republicans will be there.

Blackwell and Petro
Ohio Republican candidates for governor, Jim Petro and Kenneth Blackwell are going around the Ohio trying to gain voters' support. Both candidates offer nothing to get Ohio out of this dismal economic funk that we have been experiencing for years. Besides, isn't it possible that both of these guys had some hints about all of this corruption in the Ohio government? How would they not know? Ohio needs a fresh start, and neither Petro nor Blackwell have the capacity to do that. The election of either of them would bring us more of the same and we cannot allow that to happen.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

More Republicans Tied to Abramoff

AP story reported by Breitbart:
Three More Republicans Lawmakers Tied to Lobbyist Abramoff: Steven LaTourette, Don Young, Shelly Moore Capito

Three members of Congress have been linked to efforts by lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a former General Services Administration official to secure leases of government property for Abramoff's clients, according to court filings by federal prosecutors on Friday....

...Two of the elected officials referred to in Friday's filings have been identified in published reports as Reps. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Don Young, R-Alaska. According to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, the two representatives wrote to the GSA in September 2002, urging the agency to give preferential treatment to groups such as Indian tribes when evaluating development proposals for the Old Post Office.

LaTourette maintains he did nothing improper by advocating special opportunities for certain small businesses in areas known as HUBzones, or Historically Underutilized Business zones. His spokeswoman, Deborah Setliff, said that the letter was reviewed by Young's chief of staff and counsel and that it did not advocate any particular business over another....

...Friday's filings by prosecutors refer to a third member of Congress, Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va. Her name appears in e-mails that suggest she was trying to help Abramoff secure a GSA lease for land in Silver Spring for a religious school....

WILL THESE SCANDALS EVER END? Here is more information on LaTourette. LaTourette is another Republican family values guy who is a hypocrite. He voted to impeach Clinton, but Steven is no "altar" boy.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Jack, Leaks, and Layoffs

Poor Jack Abramoff used to rub elbows with President Bush and other high-ranking Republicans. Abramoff gave them political donations and introduced his clients who also gave checks for these Republicans. Now Abramoff feels disrespected because no one wants to acknowledge their friendships, photographs, and business associations. It just makes you want to cry. Boo hoo!

Cheney gave the okay for Scooter to leak classified information.

Unemployment claims are lower in other states----except in Ohio. The Sun News has this quote from an article:
.......The rise in layoffs was led by Ohio, followed by Georgia...

>>>>Our state is #1 (in layoffs). Thanks, Ohio GOP, for working on filling your campaign chests instead of filling our state with jobs opportunities. We'll remember all you've done for us in November while we are standing in a voting booth.

****This just in from Raw Story-----Montana's news station reports about something the president said while meeting with Republicans:
....Bush made a brief public speech to lawmakers at their retreat on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He then shooed out reporters and photographers, saying, "I support the free press, let's just get 'em out of the room."Once they were gone, Bush -- not realizing he was still audible -- said, "I expect this conversation we're about to have to stay in the room." He added, "I know that's impossible in Washington..."

Democratic candidate Duckworth (IL-6)

Iraq war veteran, Tammy Duckworth, is attracting a lot of positive press and the all important campaign contributions. Duckworth is a Democratic candidate for the 6th congressional district of Illinois. Here are some excerpts from an article about Duckworth:

An Iraqi war vet and a veteran state senator are off to a fast start collecting campaign funds for the 6th District congressional race to succeed Republican Henry Hyde, according to their staffs.
Tammy Duckworth, the Iraqi war veteran and neophyte political candidate, is running as a Democrat. Her campaign people say she raised more than $120,000 in the two weeks between Dec. 18, when she declared her candidacy, and Dec. 31, calling that an "incredible accomplishment."
"(The contributions) were generated by people who have seen or heard Tammy and agree with her stance on health, education, retirement security and the environment. It's an incredible accomplishment and puts us on track to be competitive against the presumptive Republican nominee, Peter Roskam," said Billy Weinberg, Duckworth's campaign spokesman....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

"I take a back seat to nobody...."

Who said that? Senator Hillary Clinton had a few things to say to the Republican attack squad: North Jersey Media Group:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused Republicans of "playing the fear card" of terrorism to win elections and said Democrats cannot keep quiet if they want to win in November.

The New York Democrat, facing reelection this year and considered a potential White House candidate in 2008, said Republicans won the past two elections on the issue of national security and "they're doing it to us again."

She said a speech by presidential adviser Karl Rove two weeks ago showed the GOP election message is: "All we've got is fear and we're going to keep playing the fear card."

In that speech, Rove suggested Republicans can prevail in 2006 by showing Democrats had undermined terrorism-fighting efforts by questioning Bush's authority to allow wiretapping without getting court approval first.

Clinton said at a convention of United Auto Workers that Democrats should not be afraid to question Bush's handling of the war.

"I take a back seat to nobody when it comes to fighting terrorism and standing up for national homeland security," she said.

Referring to fugitive al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Clinton said, "You cannot explain to me why we have not captured or killed the tallest man in Afghanistan."

She added, "Since when has it been part of American patriotism to keep our mouths shut?"

Read the rest of the article. To Sen. Clinton: You go, girl!

Republicans and Their Family Values Scandals

Right wing hypocrites on the march:
New addition to our collection of Republican corruption: I found this at Raw Story. They found it at Tennessean.com
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert engineered a backroom legislative maneuver to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits, say witnesses to the pre-Christmas power play.

The language was tucked into a Defense Department appropriations bill at the last minute without the approval of members of a House-Senate conference committee, say several witnesses, including a top Republican staff member....

I'm not surprised at this level of corruption. It just makes me sick.

>John Spencer, former mayor of Yonkers, New York, is a Republican candidate for Senate from NY. Spencer has some problems. Here is some info from the Daily News:

....Critics accused him of padding the city payroll with pals and made hay of the $1.1 million in retroactive raises he gave top managers on his way out the door.

The biggest controversy of his tenure was his highly paid chief of staff, Kathy Spring, a savvy political operator who became his mistress.

Spencer, a devout Catholic who was married with two children, lived with Spring for five years and had three children with her before divorcing his wife, Eileen Looney, in 2003. He married Spring a month later.

For years he wouldn't answer personal questions but now simply says, "I have nothing to be ashamed of. I went through a separation and then I remarried."

...After an arrest in the early 1970s for drunken fighting with cops, he went on the wagon and has been sober since....

>Looks like Karl Rove is feeding the Spencer campaign some lies about Sen. Clinton. With Spencer's background, he should not be throwing mud.

>The Toledo Blade has an update on the Republican County Commissioner, Steven A. Baden, who was arrested after an abduction attempt.

>However, Baden is not the first Republican county commissioner to be arrested in Ohio. From the News Journal March 4, 2004:
Former Richland County Commissioner David Swartz is under investigation after being accused of sexual involvement with a second child for five years, according to the sheriff's department.

Swartz, 66, ..., pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery Feb. 2 and awaits sentencing that could land him in prison for up to 10 years.

Swartz resigned his position as commissioner Jan. 19, the same day he was forced to make an initial court appearance to face those charges. He was accused of sexually abusing a now-17-year-old girl for more than a decade....

Believe it or not, there will be another probe of illegal Ohio Republican donations. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that...
The executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission expects to recommend today that a complaint against a former governors’ aide involving illegal campaign contributions be referred to prosecutors.

H. Douglas Talbott, who previously worked for Govs. George V. Voinovich and Bob Taft, took cash from former Maumee coin dealer Thomas W. Noe in 2004 and made contributions in his own name to three Ohio Supreme Court justices, according to a complaint referred to the commission by investigators.....

These scandals within the Republican Party are just disgusting: adultery, cronyism, attempted abduction, sexual involvement with a child, and illegal contributions. How can they talk about family values with this list of scandals and arrests?

Republican County Commissioner Arrested

Awful stuff. The Toledo Blade has the article:

Henry County Commissioner Steven A. Baden was arrested in the commission office today on a warrant from Toledo police for attempted abduction of a 14-year-old girl in Toledo on Jan. 31.
“This is a first,” Henry County Sheriff John Nye said of the arrest of a county official during his 25 years in the sheriff’s office.
Mr. Baden, 39, of Hamler in southeastern Henry County, was turned over to Toledo police and held in the Lucas County Jail, sheriff Nye said.
Mr. Baden is accused of following two teenage girls who were walking home from school in SouthToledo. He allegedly waited in his car until one of the girls was alone and then chased her on foot. She ran to a friend's home and called 911...
...Mr. Baden was president of the county commission last year and had been a commissioner since 2003 when he was appointed by the Henry County Republican Central Committee to replace Richerd Bertz, who resigned because of ill health.
Mr. Baden was previously mayor of Hamler from 2000 to 2003. His term on the county commission expires in 2008.

Will we ever get the truth about anything?

Republican Rep. Henry Hyde doesn't want to investigate if the Bush administration is torturing anyone.
Why does Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts still refuse to finish the 9/11 inquiry?
Why does Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sensenbrenner refuse to allow Democrats to use hearing rooms for meetings? Why did he get up and take his gavel in a June 2005 committee meeting? Does he have an anger problem?

Don't you think it is time to vote out these Republicans who refuse to do their jobs?

This just in from the Chicago Tribune:

Claude A. Allen, the president’s domestic policy adviser, turned in his letter of resignation today at the White House, the Bush administration acknowledged tonight.

This may have been an inauspicious week for the highest-ranking African-American staffer in the White House to call it quits - the day after the president appeared at the memorial service for Coretta Scott King, and at a time when Bush is attempting to improve his administration’s relations with the black community.....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Is my representative on the take?

In the coming months, incumbent Republicans will be out there in communities doing some meeting and greeting. They'll be letting the audience ask questions. If you attend one of these sessions, go ahead and ask a question. What type of questions? Here are some samples:

Are you on the take?
Do you receive money from lobbyists?
How often do you dine and travel with lobbyists?
This week, how many lobbyists met with you?
Did you dine at Jack Abramoff's restaurant? How often? Have you met Abramoff?
Have you ever attended an event with Tom DeLay?
What special events (sporting events, concerts) have you attended as a guest of a lobbyist?
Do you have any registered lobbyists working on your staff?

It is a shame we have to ask these questions. However, as constituents, we have the responsibility to ask anything of our elected officials.

Republicans Representatives Drunk with Power

Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez of Colorado said today that all of his seniors love the new Medicare Drug Benefit. Rep. Beauprez needs to hear from you on your opinions. Beauprez also likes to appear in military uniforms even though he had 3 deferrments. Apparently, Beauprez has appeared in a military uniform in 2003 and 2004. You may want to share your opinion of him appearing in military uniforms.

The administration's new budget calls for the elimination of the $255 social security death benefit. Why does this administration hate senior citizens? Why is Beauprez supporting all these cuts to senior citizens?

Republican Rep. Phil English of Erie, PA, certainly likes to travel, as long as someone else is paying. Which lobbyists are paying for his trips? Here is some information about English's travels:

U.S. Rep. Phil English, a six-term Republican from Erie, Pa., ranks eighth among 637 current and former federal lawmakers who have traveled the globe at private expense, according to the campaign finance experts at politicalmoneyline.com, who have compiled lawmakers' travel records for the past five years.

English has accepted more than $160,000 worth of free travel and lodging for 28 different excursions since 2000, including trips to Paris, Istanbul and Casablanca.

Holy cow! Shouldn't English be spending more time with constituents than lobbyists?

Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut: Why is she so hostile? Doesn't she want to hear the truth about the failures of the Medicare Drug Program?

Where is the outrage?

I'm just wondering about things.

If the law forbids the importation of Cuban cigars, how is it possible that right-wing, draft dodger, former pill popper, Rush Limbaugh smokes Cuban cigars?

What has happened to Chris Matthews? Matthews, who once worked for Democrats, now criticizes Democrats every chance he gets. Why does he have to put in a dig to Senator Hillary Clinton nearly everyday? Why does Matthews support former NY mayor, Rudy Guiliani (a 3 time married, adulterer)? How is it possible that Matthews does no research on his topics?

Why haven't we heard Republicans cut all their ties with lobbyists? All this talk about reform, doesn't get it done. Doesn't anyone see a problem with Republican Rep. John Boehner's relationship with a lobbyist.

Why aren't we seeing a release of information on the number of visits Jack Abramoff made to the White House?

Who did fake reporter/male escort Jeff Gannon/Guckert visit in the White House almost 200 times?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ohio and Georgia Politics

Swiftboaters to help Blackwell

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer: GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has teamed up with Jerome Corsi, author of the Swift Boat veterans' book that attacked Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, to write a new book blasting the welfare state. Though it promises to provide a blueprint for a new war on poverty, Corsi could be a liability to Blackwell.

Although he has since apologized, Corsi once referred to Muslims as "ragheads," to Islam as "a cancer that destroys the body it infects," to the late Pope John Paul II as "senile" and to Hillary Clinton as a "fat hog" who could not keep her husband satisfied. Corsi told The Washington Post that such comments "were written to be provocative, to stimulate debate," and did not reflect his true beliefs.

The new book is called "Rebuilding America: A Prescription for Creating Strong Families, Building the Wealth of Working People and Redeveloping Our Cities."


The battle begins for the Republican governor candidates---Petro vs. Blackwell. Hopefully, after they are finished tarnishing each other's image, they'll be out of money for the general election.

Blackwell picked his lt. governor running mate. According to the Cincinnati Post, Tom Raga is from the more conservative southwestern part of the state. This in itself could be a problem. Northeastern Ohio is more Democratic, and central Ohio, particularly Franklin County, has been going more Democratic. (The Democratic Party growth in Franklin County scares the hell out of supporters for Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce OH-15).

Republican Ralph Reed, friend of gambling, is have some difficulty in his bid for lt. governor of Georgia. It appears that Georgians do not like his association with gambling concerns. According to the Walton Tribune:
Thirty-eight percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Ralph Reed, with 42 percent viewing him unfavorably.


As I watch these national news programs, I've noticed that less and less is being reported about events in Iraq. It might be that there are fewer reporters on the ground there, or is it just that networks have lost interest in the war. This administration would prefer that we ask no questions about the war, the injured, and the fatalities. This is why we do not have pictures of the coffins coming back home. They think that if we don't see the coffins, we will forget about it, and they can do what they want. In case you are interested, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualties site, 2254 Americans have died in Iraq.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hillary Clinton Smacksdown Mehlman

Today Attorney General Gonzales is talking before the Senate committee on NSA Surveillance and Presidential Wartime Powers. However, he is NOT TESTIFYING because he WAS NOT sworn in under oath to tell the truth. Republican Senator Arlen Specter said it wasn't necessary for him to be sworn in under oath. Do you know what I think of this? It is a waste of everyone's time. The Republicans are just letting this entire administration and their friends (like the oil executives who were not sworn in by Stevens) get away with lying. I am extremely disappointed in Specter, but I guess I am not surprised. This is absolutely disgusting.

According to the UPI---A legal opinion in the Valerie Plame leak case includes new information about how I. Lewis Libby learned she was a CIA officer.

Libby, the only person charged so far, told prosecutors he heard about her from his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, the New York Times reported.... (My comment: Told ya!)

Republican Sen. DeWine might be a nice person, but his "questions" today in the Gonzales talk/hearing were weak, at best. How the hell was this guy elected? I did not vote for him.

NYT: ..."I would suggest that the Washington Republicans worry about these devastating budget cuts, the confusion and bureaucratic nightmare in the prescription drug benefit — that that's where they should be spending their time and energy, instead of trying to divert attention away from their many failures and shortcomings," Mrs. Clinton said...

...Mrs. Clinton said at the news conference that Mr. Bush's budget, if approved, would force layoffs of teachers and new limits on enrollment of children in Head Start programs like the one she visited today at University Settlement, where most of the 300 children are Asian and Hispanic and live in working-class homes.

"The message to children and families could not be clearer: you're on your own," Mrs. Clinton said.

She said the budget would result in $1.24 billion less money for New York under the No Child Left Behind Program and $404 million less in special education money, which, she warned, could lead school districts to try to raise property taxes to cover shortfalls. At the same time, she assailed giving more money for a small-scale program that would provide government assistance for students to attend private schools...

Right on, Hillary. We have witnessed a smackdown!!!!!

The American People are Angry at Republicans

I just don't understand the Republicans. They are always attacking women who speak out. Now Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee is attacking Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton. (In my opinion, this is just Mehlman's way of trying to take our focus off the overwhelming corruption growing like a fungus throughout the Republican Party, especially here in Ohio. It is another example of "don't look over there at the problems, look over here at the pretty sparkles" mentality.) Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:
The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, offered a broad attack on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York today, describing her as a Democrat brimming with anger and a representative of the far-left wing of her party.

Mr. Mehlman disputed the suggestion that Mrs. Clinton had moved to the center of her party. And while he declined to say, in response to a question, if he thought Mrs. Clinton, a former first lady, would be the Republicans' "dream candidate or the Democrat you must dread," he left little doubt that Republicans had settled on new lines of attack on one of the party's leading contenders for the 2008 presidential nomination.

"I don't think the American people, if you look historically, elect angry candidates," he told George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" on ABC....

Mehlman and his party are hurting. They have many candidates with ties to Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Scooter Libby, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Tom Noe, lobbyists, and scandals. Mehlman, has to go on the attack because they don't want people to discuss the Republican Party's lack of ethics.

The American people are angry at the Republicans. Republicans are cutting aid to college students, raising interest rates for college loans; cutting aid to single moms, the elderly, the sick, foster parents; scaling back conservation programs and environmental clean up operations; cutting research in agriculture; cutting medical research. This is all being done because they want to keep those tax cuts in place for the rich. The Republicans also want to keep the war going in Iraq. Republicans think that building roads in Iraq seems to be more important than helping Americans along the gulf coast.

Raw Story has the headline from The Guardian: Britain defies US with funding to boost safe abortion services

The British government will today publicly defy the United States by giving money for safe abortion services in developing countries to organisations that have been cut off from American funding.

Nearly 70,000 women and girls died last year because they went to back-street abortionists. Hundreds of thousands of others suffered serious injuries.

Critics of America's aid policy say some might have lived if the US had not withdrawn funding from clinics that provide safe services - or that simply tell women where to find them.

The "global gag" rule, as it has become known, was imposed by President George Bush in 2001. It requires any organisation applying for US funds to sign an undertaking not to counsel women on abortion - other than advising against it - or provide abortion services.

The UK will today become the founder donor of a fund set up specifically to attempt to replace the lost dollars and increase safe abortion services.....

Approximately 70,000 women and girls died because safe, clean, medically supervised abortion clinics were not discussed when the women needed help. These 70,000 women and girls suffered and died needlessly. This is just awful and it is this administration's fault.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Rolling Stone Magazine: Cuts Hurt Us All

Rolling Stone Magazine has an excellent article that shows how the Republican budget cuts are really going to hurt regular folks while saving those tax cuts for the rich. The article explains who will feel the impact of the cuts: College students, single moms, sick, foster parents, and the working poor. The article is worth reading.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Republicans Against Personal Rights and Privacy


Republican candidates for Ohio governor, Jim Petro and Kenneth Blackwell, have come out firmly against a woman's right to choose. Women do not need Petro and Blackwell involved in their life changing decisions, but apparently, they both want to be there. Here are some excerpts from the Columbus Dispatch:

...Long an opponent of abortion rights, Blackwell would preclude abortion even if the life of a mother is at stake. In his 2002 re-election campaign, Blackwell took a position to permit an abortion if it were necessary to save a mother’s life.

Petro, who in 2000 switched from favoring abortion rights to opposing them except in cases of rape or incest or when the life of a mother is threatened, now would oppose it in all circumstances except to save a mother’s life. When he ran for attorney general in 2002, Petro retained the three exceptions....

....Blackwell acknowledged this week that he had changed his position, contending that medical advancements have rendered making a choice between a mother’s or a baby’s life extremely rare.

"Medical science proved that doctors don’t make that decision," Blackwell said in an interview Wednesday. Doctors "don’t make decisions, ‘Do we take the mother’s life or do we take the baby’s life?’ The fact is, they make decisions on how to save both lives......"

Blackwell is wrong and he has no medical evidence to support his opinion. There are some rare instances when a woman's pregnancy could endanger her own life. This might include a woman getting pregnant when she has been diagnosed with cancer or women who have had severe complications with previous pregnancies, and have been told not to get pregnant again.

What if your daughter was brutally raped? Your sister? An abortion in a clean, safe, medical center might save her emotional well-being, and her life. Blackwell and Petro are so removed from a typical person's life, they have no business telling us how to live. No one likes abortion, but it must remain safe, legal, and available for women who need it.

I am highly insulted that these men are telling women what they can/cannot do with their bodies. What if I asked personal questions of Petro and Blackwell: Have they taken Viagara, or Cialis? If they have, how often? Have either of them had vasectomies? Have the vasectomies been successful? I think both men would squirm a bit if I asked them those highly personal questions. However, they can't see that they are doing the same thing to women. Democrats must emphasize that Republicans are taking away our rights and our privacy.


Another story in today's Dispatch is about some extreme right wing Kansas Attorney General who wants to investigate the records of abortion clinics. We live in an electronic age. It is possible that this Kansas Atty. Gen'l is fishing for information that could ultimately result in the release of names of abortion patients by "accident" and those names would end up on the internet.

The Kansas Supreme Court yesterday temporarily stopped the state attorney general from looking at records from two abortion clinics, saying such a review could violate patient privacy.

The court ordered a lowercourt judge to make sure that Attorney General Phill Kline has the right to see the documents in his investigation of potential violations of state restrictions on abortion and suspected rapes of children.

If Judge Richard Anderson determines Kline does have that right, the attorney general still must ensure that the patients’ privacy is protected, the court said.

In 2004, Anderson issued subpoenas at Kline’s request for the records of a clinic in Wichita operated by Dr. George Tiller and one in Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb, operated by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. The records involve 90 women and girls.

The Supreme Court said the subpoenas could infringe on the patients’ rights to maintain privacy about personal and sexual matters, to receive confidential health care and to obtain a lawful abortion without an undue governmental burden....

What the hell is the matter with Kansas--they promote intelligent design in their schools and now they are trying to get personal medical records of abortion clinics?????? Is there something in the water???

Friday, February 03, 2006

Don't overheat the shredder!!!!

Spotted at the Democratic Underground: From Rock River Times ---
A source inside the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation told Insider magazine that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered the shredding of documents and public records, a clear violation of Florida law.

The department has oversight and approval of state gaming licensees, slot machines, dog and horse tracks, and jai-alai games.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said the governor also has brought in personnel from Texas to replace key members of his staff in Tallahassee. The Texans are overseeing the destruction of state documents, according to the source....

Paper shredding must be a favorite of Republicans: Iran-Contra had paper shredding. G.W. Bush's national guard records allegedly shredded. "Kenny-boy" Lay, of Enron, had documents shredded to cover the company's illegal activities. Now Jeb is shredding.

Air Quality, War Money, and Boehner

Former director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christie Todd Whitman, was criticized by a federal judge for her "misleading statements of safety" about the air quality near the World Trade Center in the days after the Sept. 11 attack and may have put the public in danger. NYT

Bush will request $120 billion for war funding: Yahoo News What if the Senate and the House refused to fund the war and only provided enough money to bring our service members home? We know that won't happen with the corrupt Republicans in power.

>>>>Fun facts about the new Republican leader, John Boehner:

(1) Rep. John Boehner (R), the Ohio Congressman who is seeking a leadership position among Republicans on Capitol Hill, leads members of Congress from both parties in the number of trips taken since 2000. The trips, paid for by private foundations, companies or organizations, are at the heart of the Jack Abramoff/Bob Ney lobbying scandal. Abramoff pleaded guilty to using free trips in an attempt to get official favors. Ney is believed to be under investigation for trip to Scotland to golf, paid for by Abramoff. Boehner has logged thousands of miles on 39 trips to resort communities like Rancho Mirage, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, Boca Raton, FL, Pebble Beach, CA, West Palm Beach, FL, and St. Petersburg, FL.
Boehner has also traveled extensively overseas to places like Rome, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, and two trips to Edinburgh, Scotland. See Boehner's trips here: http://www.politicalmoneyline.com/cgi-win/x_PrivateMember.exe?DoFn=H0OH08029

(2) Boehner thinks "intelligent design" should be taught in Ohio's schools.

(3) Boehner has promised to move a human cloning ban, the Marriage Protection Amendment, and a fetal pain bill through the House if he gains the post...

Summary: Republicans are doing their part to totally mess up our air, our national debt, and our future.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bush Cutting Budget for Bureau of Indian Affairs

I just saw this posted at Daily Kos. It originated at Indianz.com.
The Bush administration has made an across-the-board cut to the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget, blaming the reduction on the Cobell trust fund lawsuit.
In an unprecedented letter to tribal leaders, associate Interior deputy secretary Jim Cason announced a $3 million cut to the BIA budget. He said the administration failed to plan for attorney's fees awarded as part of the Cobell case even though the request for fees was pending for more than a year.
As a result, Cason said the BIA forked over $2 million from an account used to "reimburse tribal attorney's fees" and an additional $1 million came from an across-the-board rescission of tribal programs.
Additionally, the Office of Historical Trust Accounting and the Office of Special Trustee -- whose budgets have exploded since the start of the administration while BIA funding has remained flat -- contributed, Cason said. But their share only amounted to $2.3 million, according to the January 26 letter.
Finally, the Department of Treasury -- a named defendant in the suit whose officials were found in contempt of court and whose actions violated the trust responsibility -- contributed about $1.8 million, leaving the BIA to bear the brunt of the administration's failure to plan for the attorney's fees, which totaled $7.1 million....

These cuts just keep coming: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Medicaid, college loans, help for the elderly, etc., etc. This administration and their appointees have no heart or common sense.

Horse Lovers Don't Love Conrad Burns

Everybody LOVES horses, except Conrad Burns. Republican Sen. Conrad Burns has a reputation that puts him solidly against horse lovers. Just do a GOOGLE search with the terms conrad burns horses, and you'll find a wealth of information. Check here and here and here. Tell Burns, who is running for re-election in Montana, your opinions by visiting his contact page.

Republicans Pay Republicans for Votes

Things are so desperate in the Republican House leadership, that candidates have to pay other representatives for their votes. I find this incredible. Apparently, the Republicans have to be paid to vote for their leader. Why aren't they voting for the best qualified person? Where the heck are they getting all this money? The Hill has the story and you may wish to read the entire article. Here are some excerpts:

Acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Education and the Workforce Chairman John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave nearly $270,000 to colleagues from their leadership political action committees less than a month before Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) renounced his claim to the post of majority leader....

Boehner gave $150,000 to 30 Republican colleagues on Dec. 15, according to his filing for the Freedom Project, his leadership PAC. He also gave contributions of $5,000 each to Republican candidates John Gard of Wisconsin and Jim Jordan of Ohio....

And 14 Republicans receiving money from Boehner have declared their intention to vote for him. They are Reps. Gresham Barrett (S.C.), Charles Boustany (La.), Steve Chabot (Ohio.), Melissa Hart (Pa.), Joe Knollenberg (Mich.), Steve LaTourette (Ohio), Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Porter, Pombo, Dennis Rehberg (Mont.), Jean Schmidt (Ohio) and Lee Terry (Neb.)....

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Got money? Meet the Republican Leadership!

Raw Story has an article about how one Abramoff client met Republican leaders, including Bush, and gave big money. There are pictures this time! Here are some excerpts:

Abramoff firm gave $50,000 more to GOP congressional campaigns seven months after visits

Eleven million dollars can buy a lot of access in Washington. Especially if your lobbyist is Jack Abramoff.

Take Beningo Fitial, the current governor of the Northern Marianas Islands, a U.S. territory in the Pacific. He and his company, along with their trade lobby and funds doled out by the islands at his prodding, spent $11.5 million dollars lobbying Washington between 1995 and 2002. Now he says he wants his money back -- but he continues to maintain that Abramoff protected his island's interests...

In January 2001, Fitial enjoyed the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

Three months later, in April, Fitial met Bush a second time. He also met then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS). Then he stopped in for visit with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL).

In other words—Abramoff seems to have arranged for a non-head of state for a tiny island in the Pacific to meet with the three most powerful men in the United States of America. But that’s not all: Fitial also met with then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Senate Interior Department Appropriations Chairman Conrad Burns (R-MT). Fitial appears in photographs with Burns and Delay....

...Six months after his visit to Capitol Hill, Fitial’s family’s companies donated $50,000 to the National Senatorial Campaign Committee...

Here is another little story about DeLay.

My take on all this: The Northern Marianas Islands bring in workers, mostly women, from the Philippines and South East Asia. The prospective workers pay a finders fee for the jobs, up to $7,000, and are told they are going to work in the United States. Unfortunately, the workers are brought to the Northern Marianas Islands where they work long hours seven days per week and are housed in substandard barracks. Women have been forced into prostitution and have been forced to have abortions. These conditions have been supported by Tom DeLay and every person who met with Fitial. Why haven't we heard from the far right Christian conservatives about the plight of these workers?

Senator Obama

There is an excellent article in the American Prospect about Democratic Senator Barack Obama. Here is an exceprt from the article:

...Obama wants nothing less than to redefine progressive values, make them more universal, and unite the country around them. His staggering 72 percent approval rating in Illinois -- a number that reflects strong support not only in and around Democratic Chicago, but from Republican downstate as well -- shows he may be figuring out how to do that. His first year in the Senate suggests a man on a long, ambitious, and intricate journey. It’s not too much to say that the future of the Democratic Party, and maybe even the country, could be profoundly affected by where that journey ends...

.....And other stuff-----
The following comments about the president's speech are from The Akron Beacon Journal:

"A former oil executive telling us we are addicted to oil is like a tobacco company executive complaining that their employees take too many smoke breaks. Exxon made almost $11 billion last quarter, while Americans are paying surging prices to fill their gas tanks and heat their homes." - Paul Hackett, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

"The economy is not good, and I don't know how anyone can say it is." - 29-year-old Angela Newberry of the middle-class Dayton suburb of Huber Heights; Newberry is a Democrat and union member who works at auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. along with her husband, Shawn

(**Note: Bush was an oil executive before he was elected to office in Texas.)