Saturday, October 22, 2005


Syria Steals Tom DeLay's Defense

Syria's comment on whether they were involved in Lebanon's ex-PM Hariri:
Syria's Information Minister Mehdi Dakhlallah condemned the findings as "politically biased" deceptions and said the report was "far from the truth."
(Source:BBC News US demands action on Syria report Oct. 22, 2005

Tom DeLay's comment on his own indictment:
Mr. DeLay said he was pleased to have the "opportunity to go before a court and refute these baseless charges that are the result of a political vendetta being acted out by Ronnie Earle."
(Source: New York Times DeLay Appears in Court in Money Laundering Case Oct. 22, 2005

Question for the next White House Press Conference: Why do the accusations against Syria demand immediate action while the accusations against Karl Rove and Tom DeLay demand patience while "the legal process works?"

Friday, October 21, 2005


Pork Trumps Patriotism

Heck with the country - bring home the pork:
The amendment became a cause celebre on the left and the right, with watchdog and conservative groups reporting updates on their Web sites throughout the day. The Club for Growth alerted readers early yesterday on its Web log, or blog: "As of last night, the opposition is putting up a big fight. They sense this amendment, if successful, as establishing a precedent. A precedent where all pork is vulnerable and no lawmaker is safe."

Later in the day, the Heritage Foundation circulated a paper, "The Bridge to Nowhere: A National Embarrassment," and noted, "fiscally responsible members of Congress should be eager to zero out its funding." Even the Sierra Club backed the amendment, noting, "We must fix the nation's existing infrastructure first."
(Source: Washington Post For a Senate Foe of Pork Barrel Spending, Two Bridges Too Far, October 21, 2005.
Your tax dollars at work - electing immoral, greedy scumsuckers.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Don't You Feel Safer With Republicans in Charge?

How many bad apples does it take before the public perception of Republicans as competent leaders goes away?
Chertoff says ex-FEMA director was `commander' during Katrina
(Wed, Oct. 19, 2005)

By Alison Young

Knight Ridder Newspapers

...Chertoff also deflected an aggressive string of questions by Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., about why Chertoff waited to designate Brown the "principal federal official" in charge of the response until nearly 36 hours after the storm hit.

According to the National Response Plan and a 2003 Presidential Directive, the secretary of Homeland Security is the principal federal official responsible for handling major and catastrophic disasters. It's the secretary's responsibility to coordinate the federal government's resources in responding to these events.

Only after Buyer left his seat and directly approached Chertoff at the witness table with a section of the plan did Chertoff acknowledge that he was the principal federal official until he transferred that title to Brown.

But Chertoff said the title made no difference and that, as director of FEMA, Brown had full authority to take action without it.

Michael Greenberger, a law professor and director of the University of Maryland's Center for Health and Homeland Security, disputed that Brown had adequate authority prior to Chertoff's designating him the principal federal official.

"I think to this day Michael Chertoff still doesn't know what the National Response Plan calls for," Greenberger said. "Look, if Michael Brown was supposed to be effectively the principal federal official in charge of this, the National Response Plan would have made the PFO the FEMA director."
(Emphasis added.)

It's like watching retired union members talking about how the public "doesn't want to pay for retirees' pensions" without asking why that same public doesn't mind paying billions for bloated executive salaries, golden parachutes, pensions, etc. General Motors' executives claim sky-high salaries while running their company into bankruptcy, yet nobody blinks. Bizarre.


Walking the Perp Walk (Part 1 of ??)

Too cool for words... besides, I want pictures!
Texas Court Issues Arrest Warrant for DeLay

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 19, 2005; 5:09 PM

A Texas court today issued an arrest warrant for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), the powerful former House majority leader, ordering him to appear for booking at a county jail in his home district.
Stay tuned for more Republicans "walking the walk" - indictments in the Plame case seem imminent. They are, after all, the "party of values."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

Or a few billion dollars...
Billions of dollars short, U.S. must scale back Iraq reconstruction

By Seth Borenstein

Knight Ridder Newspapers
Posted on Tue, Oct. 18, 2005

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration cannot fulfill all its grand promises to rebuild Iraq because soaring security costs, mismanagement and poor planning have cost billons of dollars, federal auditors said Tuesday.

Some projects - including those to provide clean water for Iraqis - have been cancelled as a result.

In one case, security costs for a U.S. Agency for International Development program on economic reform increased from $894,000 to $37 million, an auditor told Congress. And hundreds of millions of dollars is being diverted to pay for training for Iraqis and for the maintenance of new facilities - expenses overlooked in the initial U.S. planning for the reconstruction, auditors said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Oh The Times, They Are A-Changing...

But was Judith Miller wearing a blue dress?
Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case
Sources Cite Role Of Feud With CIA

By Jim VandeHei and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 18, 2005; Page A01

As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials. The prosecutor has assembled evidence that suggests Cheney's long-standing tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Values or Value Added???

Looks like the only "values" these folks believe in are Franklin ($100), Grant ($50), Jackson ($20)...
Abramoff quietly arranged for eLottery to pay conservative, anti-gambling activists to help in the firm's $2 million pro-gambling campaign, including Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. Both kept in close contact with Abramoff about the arrangement, e-mails show. Abramoff also turned to prominent anti-tax conservative Grover Norquist, arranging to route some of eLottery's money for Reed through Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform.

At one point, eLottery's backers even circulated a forged letter of support from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).
Source: Washington Post How a Lobbist Stacked the Deck Oct. 16, 2005.
Remember, it's for the Children - and to support our troops in Iraq - and to keep the terrorists from winning...


Democrats: Push Pension Fears & Win Red States

While discussing yet again why enough Red State folks vote against their own self interest that Republicans can steal elections they don't win fairly, a friend observed: "Middle Americans vote their fears..."

This isn't a new observation, or one unique to Republicans. It is always easier to unify folks in the face of a common threat if that threat is seen as "imminent." Modern examples range from Hitler's "Zionist Conspiracy" to Joe McCarthy's "Red Peril" to the "joint mutual threat" agreement between Ronald Reagan and Ayatollah Khomeini. (Reagan used the Iranian Peril to silence domestic opponents and pass his radical agenda, Ayatollah Khomeini used the Great Satan in the same way.)

The problem for Democrats in recent years has been that the policies Republicans pushed didn't pose an immediate threat to Joe & Jane Sixpack - until recently. Losing the right to an abortion isn't taken seriously by Middle America anymore - and won't be until it actually happens. (Next year?) Theft of workers' pension benefits to pay bloated executive salaries, however, is front page news today.

Let's all write our congresscritters about pension plan reform once a month or so. One easy topic: reform bankruptcy laws so that executive pension plans must be treated the same as worker pension plans. Molly Ivins has more...


Now, where was I...

So now I'm back
From Outer Space...

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