Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rudy’s top fundraiser sole backer of California electoral vote initiative

 


  
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Limbaugh Calls Iraq Vet : Staff Puke

Members Of Congress Denounce Limbaugh 

On September 27, several members of Congress denounced Rush Limbaugh for, as Media Matters for America documented, calling service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers" on the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) made speeches on the House floor responding to Limbaugh; Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) made his comments on the September 27 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann; and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Patrick J. Murphy (D-PA) issued statements denouncing Limbaugh's comments.

Audio has surfaced of Rush Limbaugh viciously attacking another Iraq war veteran who was critical of President Bush's war policy.
 
Paul Hackett served in the 1st Marine Division in Ramadi and Fallujah during 2004 and 2005. When he returned home, Hackett was a vocal war critic and ended up running for Congress in a special election against Republican Jean Schmidt.
 
Audio of Limbaugh smearing Hackett on his radio show in 2005. Limbaugh calls Hackett a "staff puke," claims he went to Iraq "to pad [his] resume," and attacks him as "a liberal hiding behind a military uniform." Listen:

Dem Rep To Introduce House Resolution Condemning Limbaugh On Monday

Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) will be introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday condemning Rush Limbaugh for his "phony soldiers" remark.
 
This is significant because it has the potential to dramatically up the stakes in this fight. If the Democratic leadership allows it to go for a vote, it will force all the Republicans in the House to either vote for it, against it, or skip the vote -- and to pass judgment on the powerful conservative talk show host's contention that troops who don't support President Bush's war policies are "phony soldiers."
 
It will also potentially present the Dem leadership with a not-so-easy choice. Many people will naturally call on the leadership to allow the resolution to come to a vote, which is not necessarily something the leadership might want, since it could look like a tit-for-tat reso in retaliation for the measure condemning MoveOn. It also is potentially problematic for some in the leadership because there is an internal sentiment that it's not Congress' job to go around denouncing the remarks, however reprehensible, of private citizens.


  
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Bill Clinton: GOP hypocritical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper Wednesday, the former president said Republicans who condemned MoveOn.org for their recent ad in The New York Times attacking Petraeus are "disingenuous." He also highlighted a string of past questionable campaign commercials targeting Democrats, and suggested Republicans are acting hypocritically.
"These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with [former Sen.] Max Cleland — who lost half his body in Vietnam — in the same ad with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein," Clinton said. "That's what the Republicans did. And the person that rode to the Senate on that ad was there voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad.
"I mean, these are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And the president appointed one of the principal founders of the Swift Boat ads to be an ambassador," he continued. "But they're really upset about Petraeus. But it was okay to question [Massachusetts Sen.] John Kerry's patriotism on a blatantly dishonest play that had dishonest claims by people that didn't know what they were talking about."

WHO'S YOUR CADIDATE IN '08

The following is an interesting exercise.... You answer a few questions then click the "find your candidate button" and the program selects the candidate who's position on the issues is most like your own... You may be surprised at what you find...Click the link below...

CLICK HERE FOR THE QUIZ

Friday, September 28, 2007

NY Times Out Polling The GOP In A Fox News Poll

 Check out this fascinating number buried in the new Fox News poll:
I'm going to read you the names of several institutions or organizations. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each one...
The U.S. Military: Favorable 86%; Unfavorable 10%
The Democratic Party: Favorable 50%; Unfavorable 40%
The New York Times: Favorable 47%; Unfavorable 22%
The Republican Party: Favorable 44%; Unfavorable 47%
MoveOn.org: Favorable 11%; Unfavorable 22%

Romney Hypocrisy on Venezuela and Iran

Mitt Romney has been trying to court Republican voters by attacking the
Governments of Venezuela and Iran and, in the case of Iran, urging
divestment. It seems that Romney hasn't been as forthcoming about his ties
to Hugo Chavez and Venezuela's oil company.
On the campaign trail, Republican Mitt Romney has been harshly critical
of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. But that hasn't stopped his
campaign from taking donations from lobbyists who receive millions of
dollars from a Venezuelan government-linked oil company.
Thursday night, supporters of the former Massachusetts Governor hosted
'Rallies for Romney' all over the country. The Washington, DC-event was
hosted at Dutko Worldwide, a lobbying firm whose chairman, Ronald
Kaufman, is a major Romney advisor. Dutko's president, Craig Pattee, is
also a national finance co-chair for the campaign. Furthermore, Dutko
employees have donated at least $15,400 to Romney's campaign, according to
Federal Election Commission records.
The firm is the only registered federal lobbyist for Citgo, a US-based
subsidiary of the Venezuelan government-owned Petroleos de Venezuela,
according to the Senate Office of Public Records. Citgo has paid Dutko
more than $3 million in fees since 1998.
Romney has also been calling for divestment from Iran. Last week it was
reported that Romney had more than $250,000 invested in Iran. Just
another set of flip-flops from Romney?


  
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Mike Rogers set to out, Rep. Patrick McHenery today.

 
 
 
IMO never- dump bad news on Friday, Always on Monday or Tuesday

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rush Limbaugh Attacks U.S. Soldiers

Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that soldiers who favor U.S. withdrawal from Iraq are "phony soldiers."
The assertion -- reminiscent of MoveOn's attack on Petraeus, which generated enormous controversy when Republicans attacked the group -- has the potential to be equally explosive, since some troops who are currently fighting in Iraq, and a handful who have died there, have questioned the war in the media.
Now Dems are stepping forward to blast his remark. First up: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Here's the statement just released by DCCC chief Chris Van Hollen:

"Rush Limbaugh's personal attack on our men and women in uniform is reprehensible. It minimizes the sacrifice our troops in Iraq and their families are making and has no place in the public discourse. Rush Limbaugh owes our military and their families an apology for his hurtful comments that minimize their service to our country."
More on Rush's radio appearance here.

John Kerry's statement:

"This disgusting attack from Rush Limbaugh, cheerleader for the Chicken Hawk wing of the far right, is an insult to American troops. In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air conditioned studio peddling hate. On August 19th, The New York Times published an op-ed by seven members of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division critical of George Bush's Iraq policy. Two of those soldiers were killed earlier this month in Baghdad. Does Mr. Limbaugh dare assert that these heroes were 'phony soldiers'? Mr. Limbaugh owes an apology to everyone who has ever worn the uniform of our country, and an apology to the families of every soldier buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He is an embarrassment to his Party, and I expect the Republicans who flock to his microphone will now condemn this indefensible statement."
Rep Patrick Murphy, an Iraq war vet himself.

"Someone should tell chicken-hawk Rush Limbaugh that the only phonies are those who choose not to serve and then criticize those who do. I served proudly, so did two of my fellow paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne who spoke out and died just weeks ago. Generations of American veterans have worn the uniform with pride and we know it is no contradiction to serve your country and still disagree with the Bush-civilian leadership that mismanaged this war."

to listen to the audio click here.

Take Action!

Contact information:
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Main: (818)377-5300 Fax: (818)377-5333 Toll Free: (800)533-8686

The Rush Limbaugh Show1-800-282-2882 rush@eibnet.com
fax: 212-563-9166

The Rush Limbaugh Show 1270 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020

When contacting the media, please be polite and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and be sure to indicate exactly what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.





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State Dep't Classifies Publicly-Available Corruption Document

yesterday, Rep. Henry Waxman wrote to Condoleezza Rice to complain, among other things, that her department promptly classified internal assessments of corruption in the Iraqi government when it learned that his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sought them out. Among those documents: an 80-page U.S. Embassy-Baghdad report on pervasive Iraqi corruption leaked to The Nation's David Corn.
As it turns out, Steve Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists obtained a copy of the document last week -- before State had it classified -- and posted it on the FAS webpage. Click here to read the document that State doesn't want Waxman -- or, for that matter, you -- to read.
 
 
Here's a characteristic excerpt:
In his letter yesterday, Waxman called State's newfound realization that the document's release will jeopardize national security "absurd."


  
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Caging Operations Suppress Minority Vote in Florida and Nationwide

For Immediate Release: Sept. 27, 2007
Contact: Charles Jackson, 504-994-4669 or Laura Goodhue, FL Policy Director, 561-512-7579

 
 
Report: "Caging" Operations Suppress Minority Vote in Florida and Nationwide

To obtain a copy of the complete report, visit www.projectvote.org 
 
 
    Leaders of ACORN, the nation's largest grassroots community organization, reacted with deep concern to the findings in a report released by Project Vote on Sept. 27th  titled, "Caging Democracy: A 50-Year History of Partisan Challenges to Minority Voters."
"The report details a systematic effort by a number of state and national Republican officials to employ the practice of 'voter caging' to stifle minority participation in elections," said Florida ACORN Board Chairwoman Tamecka Pierce. "Disenfranchising or intimidating legitimate voters is wrong and un-American."

    In vote caging schemes, political operatives obtain a list of registered voters and send them a piece of non-forwardable direct mail. The vote cagers then compile a list of names associated with pieces of returned mail onto "caging lists," which are used to challenge voters' eligibility to cast ballots. These mailings overwhelmingly target voters of color, residents of cities and likely Democratic voters.

    In the lead-up to the 2004 election, Florida Republicans with the support of the national party compiled caging lists that included the names of military personnel deployed in Iraq and sent poll watchers to challenge voters in disproportionately minority, urban communities. Fifty-nine percent of precincts in predominantly African-American districts in Miami-Dade County, for example, were scheduled to have at least one Republican poll watcher armed with caging lists, compared with only 37 percent in predominantly white precincts.

    "A single returned letter from a political party does not serve as evidence upon which to challenge a citizen's right to vote," said Pierce. "Those who use voter caging to discourage and suppress minority voters would obviously rather disenfranchise these people than campaign for their support. States must protect all voters from frivolous challenges and partisan intimidation."

    Partisan operatives use the lists they generate to demand that boards of elections remove voters from the rolls, to intimidate voters in person, and to generate media stories that give the false impression that a large number of people are attempting to commit "voter fraud," the Project Vote report says.

    ACORN's voter registration drives have submitted over 1.6 million new voter registration applications from low-income and minority Americans since 2004. ACORN has been repeatedly attacked in the press by partisan officials eager to counteract this success.

    Permissive state voter challenge statutes allow partisan individuals to challenge and disqualify voters, frequently without providing clear grounds on which such challenges are allowed. The Project Vote report chronicles how many of these state laws originated in Post-Civil War effort by Southern Democrats to disenfranchise newly emancipated blacks.

    Challenging a voter's right to cast a ballot on the basis of racial or ethnic profiling violates the First, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution. It also violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race or language. The Project Vote report recommends that states provide better training for poll workers, that states appoint elections observers representing all political parties, that no voter challenge be permitted within 30 days of an election and that grounds for challenges be narrowed to age, residence and citizenship.

    ACORN is calling on partisan leaders to renounce the practice of voter caging and on state Legislatures and the United States Congress to enact laws prohibiting political parties from compiling caging lists based on returned, non-forwardable mail.
 
To obtain a copy of the complete report, visit www.projectvote.org or contact Laura Goodhue at flacornmw@acorn.org
 

#####
ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)  is the nation's largest community organization of low- and  moderate-income families, with over 350,000 member families  organized into 800 neighborhood chapters in 103 cities across the  country.  Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on   issues of concern to our members, including better housing for  first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage    workers, more investment in our communities from banks and    governments, and better public schools.  ACORN --  an acronym for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – should be used on first reference.)

 
 


  
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Bill Clinton Responds to The GOP's MouthPiece ,The Media's Harping On MoveOn.org

Former president Bill Clinton passionately shared his thoughts on the House vote to condemn progressive group MoveOn.org (More at this link)) over a controversial newspaper ad on CNN's Situation Room.
"There was something completely disingenuous about the feigned outrage of the Republicans and the White House and then the Congress about this. This was classic bait and switch," Clinton said, later adding, "focus on that as opposed to focusing on what's happened [in Iraq]."
Clinton's charges of political posturing reached a high level of specificity in his discussion of the elections in 2002 and 2004. Both years saw the Republicans expand their majorities in Congress and then the re-election of President Bush.
"These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with [former Senator] Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam, in the same ad with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That's what the Republicans did, Clinton said. "And the person that rode to the senate on that ad was there voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad. I mean, these are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."
The following video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast on September 26.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

53 Percent prefer, Dems In Congress Comared to GOP

prefer
Most of the recent national polls have shown widespread discontent with politicians in Washington. Both the White House and Congress are wildly unpopular, leading a lot of conservatives to boast that the new Democratic congressional majority has already lost the electorate. After all, if Americans liked what they saw from the new Democratic Congress, the institution’s approval ratings wouldn’t be so dreadfully low.
As Republican talking points go, this might sound vaguely persuasive, if it weren’t completely wrong.
Public attitudes toward the two major political parties have not changed much in recent months. That’s good news for the Democratic Party, which moved into a superior image position when compared to the Republican Party more than a year ago. Americans not only continue to view the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party in general terms, but they also choose the Democratic party as the preferred party for maintaining the nation’s economic prosperity. And, in a departure from recent history, Americans see the Democrats as the political party better able to protect the country from terrorism.
 
A new Gallup poll finds the Democratic Party's public image in much, much better shape than the Republicans'. The Dems have a 53% favorable rating and 43% unfavorable, compared to the GOP's dismal 38%-59% figure.
On the issues, the Dems are ahead, too. Asked which party would do a better job keeping the country prosperous, the Democrats holds a 54%-34% advantage over the Republicans. And when asked which party would do a better job protecting the country from terrorism and military threats, the Dems win 47%-42%, just barely inside the polls ±3 margin of error.
The reason? The GOP's favorability has tracked almost exactly with President Bush. Right now they're at 38% favorable, and he's at 36%, a statistically indistinguishable difference.
 
 
cross posted at http://RonMills.us


  
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Veterans still getting shoddy treatment

Veterans still getting shoddy treatment -
A government investigation finds that too little has changed since the
Walter Reed revelations.

Read The Story......

Democrats Who Voted, Against Insurance For Children

As expected, the House passed the SCHIP bill 265-159, a far greater margin than the 225-204 by which it originally passed (before all the publicity and the pressure from constituents). The Democratic leadership was able to rein in 4 of the 10 reactionary knee jerkers who originally voted with the Republicans:
Jim Cooper (D-TN), Heath Shuler (D-NC), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Brad Ellsworth (D-IN). The other six renegades [Dan Boren (OK), Bob Etheridge (NC), Baron Hill (IN), Jim Marshall (GA), Mike McIntyre (NC), and, of course, Gene Taylor (MS)] all stuck with their soulmates in the GOP-- even as far more Republicans (45) abandoned their sinking party leadership to vote with the Democrats.
 


  
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

War Monger And Hate Merchant Rep. Marsha Blackburn

War Monger and Hate Merchant, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) TN
Knows Chapter and verse about the moveon.org Ad, Does NOT know the name of a
 Soldier Killed in Iraq, from her district.
 
 
Extremist Republican Iraq War Cheerleader Taken to the Woodshed

David Schuster: Pro War GOP, Hiding From The Media

singling out GOP Senators like Norm Coleman and John Sununu, said:
"If you've been watching cable news programs lately, you may have noticed the disappearance of a certain breed of guest: Specifically, Republican Senators who are up for reelection...
"Interview invitations that we provide almost daily to these Senators are now routinely turned down. The answer appears to be Iraq. These lawmakers have voted to keep the war going but when it comes to explaining their votes on programs like this one, well, forget about it...
"They've come out with public statements and press releases, but when it comes down to brass tacks, they have voted to keep the war going indefinitely."
Watch the video:

Rudy Giuliani: Lie After Lie After Lie

"I'm probably one of the four or five best-known Americans in the world."

Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 in a comment to reporters in London.
 

Spec. Donald E. Valentine III

Hometown: Orange Park, Florida, U.S.
Died: September 18, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.
Incident: Died when a makeshift bomb device detonated near his unit during combat operations in Muqdadiyah.
Related Links:

Spec. Joseph N. Landry III

 

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
Died: September 18, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.
Incident: Killed when a makeshift bomb detonated near his unit during combat operations in Muqdadiyah.
Related Links:

911 Families Confront Giuliani, Calls Him A Scumbag

In the name of the victims of September 11 and their families, activists Luke Rudkowski and Sabrina Rivera of WeAreChange.org confronted Giuliani on his unfathomable disregard for human life-- and attempted to bring accountability and justice for his criminal neglect.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lawsuit Targets Florida Elections Law Loophole

Lawsuit Targets State Elections Law Loophole

OCALA | Year after year, state Sen. Dave Aronberg fights what sometimes feels like a one-man battle. His target: an elections law loophole that, in his view, has disenfranchised more voters than hanging chads, butterfly ballots and ex-felon lists ever did.
At issue is a state Division of Elections advisory opinion that interprets a 1998 constitutional amendment. It says that party primaries are open to all voters when every candidate in a race is from the same party; however, primaries are closed if a write-in candidate runs in the general election.

A spring study by the Florida Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections showed that, through 2006, a write-in had filed to run and thus "closed" a primary in a state legislative race 38 times since the advisory opinion was issued.

The average margin of victory over those write-in candidates was 99.8 percent. Seven times, write-in candidates did not even vote for themselves.

Critics say this proves that many write-in candidates are just spoilers. They enter the race with no intention of campaigning, much less winning. They simply want to shut out non-party members from voting. Typically, the dominant party in a county uses the strategy when the other party cannot field a candidate with a chance of success.

Read More.....

O’Hanlon’s Conflict Of Interest Revealed On Fox News’ One-Hour Petraeus Special

Yesterday, Fox News aired "American Commander: Gen. David Petraeus," a one-hour biographical account of the top commander in Iraq. The program, a narrative of Petraeus's life from birth until his controversial Congressional testimony, featured stories from old neighbors to high school buddies to fellow military officials.

One of the most prominent interviewees was Brookings Institution analyst Michael O'Hanlon. Fox highlighted the fact that O'Hanlon has enjoyed a 20-year personal relationship with the general, extending back to graduate school.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Florida Democrats launch drive to defend early primary date

 
 

The press conference held by state party chairwoman Karen Thurman and more than a dozen other party leaders and elected officials capped a monthlong, ultimately fruitless negotiation between Florida Democrats, the DNC and the four sanctioned early primary states.

John Grisham Endorses Clinton

 
John Grisham: Bush Administration Always Had Evil Intend
    John Grisham Endorses Clinton

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Honor of the out going Sen. Ted Stevens (R) AK

Sen. Ted Stevens explains the internets to us "Tubes"



Alaska senator taped in FBI corruption sting

 
 
The secret recordings suggest the Justice Department was eyeing Stevens long before June, when the Republican senator first publicly acknowledged he was under scrutiny. At that time, it appeared Stevens was a new focus in a case that had already ensnared several state lawmakers.
 
The recorded calls between Stevens and businessman Bill Allen were confirmed by two people close to the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way. They declined to say how many calls were recorded or what was said.
Allen, a wealthy businessman and Stevens' political patron, agreed to the taping last year after authorities confronted him with evidence he had bribed Alaska lawmakers. He pleaded guilty to bribery and is a key witness against Alaska legislators. He also has told prosecutors he paid his employees to renovate the senator's house.
In July, FBI agents raided that house in the Anchorage suburb of Girdwood. Stevens has denied any wrongdoing and said he paid every bill he received for the project. Spokesman Aaron Saunders declined to comment Thursday. Stevens has said he won't discuss the investigation for fear it will look like he's trying to influence it.
Allen testified in federal court last week that he called several people at the FBI's behest.
"It's been a lot of work," Allen said of his efforts for the FBI.
A judge had previously ruled that Allen could not discuss politicians currently under investigation.
Allen is the founder of VECO Corp., an oil services firm that made nearly $1 billion in annual revenue. The company was a powerful lobbying force and its employees donated heavily to federal and state campaigns.
One example of Allen's calls surfaced last week in the trial of former Alaska House Speaker Peter Kott. While working with the FBI, Allen called Kott and asked how Kott's son resolved his financial problems. Kott replied: "It was your check."
Kott, like Stevens, is Allen's longtime friend. Kott's corruption trial is under way in Anchorage.
Beyond the calls Allen made while cooperating, prosecutors also have thousands of conversations the FBI recorded while secretly wiretapping phones belonging to Allen and fellow VECO executive Rick Smith. Agents also secretly videotaped meetings between contractors and state politicians at a hotel suite in Juneau, Alaska's capital.
 

50% Favor Government Guaranteed Health Care Coverage



Half (50%) of American voters favor government guaranteed universal health care coverage. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey also found that a plurality (43%) believe such a program would be better run by private companies than by the government.
The survey was conducted shortly after Senator Hillary Clinton unveiled her health care proposal to the nation. Clinton's plan would require every American to purchase health insurance and provide financial assistance through tax breaks and other means to help keep in affordable.

Pfc. Brandon T. Thorsen

 

Hometown: Trenton, Florida, U.S.
Died: September 15, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, Tex.
Incident: Died in a non-combat related incident in Baghdad.

From Schiavo to To Moveon, Does The GOP Speak For America?

Texas Republican Senator, John Cornyn, is offering a resolution
criticizing  MoveOn.org  for running an ad that mocked General Petraeus. Is
there anything that better exemplifies just how out of touch the
Republican Party has become, more than its unhealthy obsession with MoveOn and
Petraeus? One would have thought that the Schiavo fiasco would have
provided Cornyn and his Republican colleagues a clue as to just how
clueless they really are.
 
If Schiavo didn't make the GOP aware of their out-of-touch state then, in 2006, their delusional belief that they would retain control of both Houses of Congress and the ensuing Democratic landslide, should have provided at least a hint. Still, if not Schiavo and
not the election ... how 'bout their ongoing communal delusion that
Iraq is a big political winner for them...?


  
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Grand Obstructionist Party Blocks Pro-Troop Amendment

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report
 
Looking over today's posts thus far, a trend emerges -- Republican blocked a habeas corpus bill from coming to a vote. They also blocked a bill to give DC residents a voice in Congress from coming to a vote. Jim Webb's amendment to give troops equal time off for the time they spend in combat will be blocked from coming to a vote. The Senate Democratic leadership is working on a funding bill for Iraq that includes a withdrawal timeline, which Republicans will block from coming to a vote.
And that's just from news items today. Kevin Drum highlights the problem we've been watching all year.
Republicans aren't just obstructing legislation at normal rates. They're obstructing legislation at three times the usual rate. They're absolutely desperate to keep this stuff off the president's desk, where the only choice is to either sign it or else take the blame for a high-profile veto.
As things stand, though, Republicans will largely avoid blame for their tactics. After all, the first story linked above says only that the DC bill "came up short in the Senate" and the second one that the habeas bill "fell short in the Senate." You have to read with a gimlet eye to figure out how the vote actually broke down, and casual readers will come away thinking that the bills failed because of some kind of generic Washington gridlock, not GOP obstructionism. [...]
Would it really be so hard for reporters to make it clear exactly who's responsible for blocking these bills?
This isn't a new problem, but it is an unprecedented (and undemocratic) one. Indeed, senators have been taking advantage of filibusters for generations, but we've never had a Senate minority that is as reckless and obstructionist as Senate Republicans in 2007.
For years, Republicans, with a 55-seat majority, cried like young children if Dems even considered a procedural hurdle. They said voters would punish obstructionists. They said it was borderline unconstitutional. They said to stand in the way of majority rule was to undermine a basic principle of our democratic system.
And wouldn't you know it, the shameless hypocrites didn't mean a word of it.
The Republican minority has created a de facto 60-vote minimum to do anything of substance in the Senate. They'll allow routine up-or-down votes on renaming post offices, or those rare bills that enjoy near-unanimous support, but otherwise, it's filibuster time on the Senate floor. And while the number of filibusters has been going up pretty consistently for 20 years, these Republicans appear to be in a league of their own.
Their excuses are pretty pathetic.
"You can't say that all we're going to do around here in the United States Senate is have us govern by 51 votes -- otherwise we might as well be unicameral, because then we would have the Senate and the House exactly the same," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
To which Reid responds: "The problem we have is that we don't have many moderate Republicans. I don't know what we can do to create less cloture votes other than not file them, just walk away and say, 'We're not going to do anything.' That's the only alternative we have."
McCain's rationale is pretty absurd. He's effectively arguing: Water down bills or we'll bring the chamber to a halt. This from a man who used to say "elections have consequences."
If Republicans don't like a bill, they can vote against it. If it passes anyway, they can urge the president to veto it. But holding the chamber hostage just further demonstrates why the modern GOP is unwilling to govern responsibly.
Besides, this isn't about the GOP waiting for bipartisan bills; it's about obstructionism. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said a Republican colleague of his told him that a strategy has been adopted by the minority to "prevent any accomplishment" by the new Congress:
"I had a Republican colleague tell me it is the Republican strategy to try to prevent any accomplishment of the Democratic Congress. That is set in their caucus openly and directly that they don't intend to allow Democrats to have any legislative successes, and they intend to do it by repeated filibuster."
The only resolution is public outrage, which might encourage the GOP to allow the Senate to start voting on bills again, and which might happen if reporters would do their jobs.
In April, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said, "The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail ... and so far it's working for us."
And it's failing for the rest of the country.


  
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GOP Avoding Blacks And Hispanics Again

In the category of What Are They Thinking?: all the principal Republican presidential candidates have decided to skip a major televised debate next week on minority issues. The absentees will be noted by nameplates at empty lecterns, and some party leaders warn that the perceived disrespect will prove costly at the polls.
 
Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is urging the candidates to reconsider their rejection of the debate on the PBS network and "lay out their vision," according to The Washington Post. Jack Kemp, the party's 1996 vice presidential candidate, is more blunt in his dismay: "What are we going to do, meet in a country club in the suburbs one day?"
 
The candidates insist that their absence next Thursday is dictated by scheduling conflicts. But it's important to note that the invitation to the debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore was sent out in February. "Baloney," said Newt Gingrich of the scheduling excuse, warning of the "enormous error" in ducking the event. The Democrats' comparable debate at Howard University in June was attended by all the major contenders.
 
 


  
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dan Rather Files $70M Lawsuit Against CBS

Dan Rather Files $70M Lawsuit Against CBS; Moonves, Redstone, Heyward Named In Suit

UPDATE: here is the suit filed by Rather in *pdf


The NYTimes' Jacques Steinberg breaks news about former CBS News anchor Dan Rather. Rather "filed a $70 million lawsuit this afternoon against the network, its corporate parent and three of his former superiors."

Rather, Steinberg writes "asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on 60 Minutes after forcing him to step down as anchor of the CBS Evening News in March 2005. He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a 'biased' and incomplete investigation of the flawed [National] Guard broadcast and, in the process, 'seriously damaged his reputation.'"
The suit names CBS CEO Les Moonves, Viacom head Sumner Redstone and Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News.
Developing...
Click continued to read The New York Times story...



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Moveon.org Wars

Washington Times' Sean Lengell and Jim McElhatton: "Davis calls for probe of ad rate for MoveOn" LINK
 
New York Post's CHARLES HURT and CARL CAMPANILE: "POL: MAKE FEDERAL CASE OF TIMES' MOVEON DISCOUNT" LINK
 
ABC News' Jan Simmonds: "Ads War Escalates Between Giuliani and MoveOn.org" LINK
 
 
Mean while,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sgt. John Mele

 

Hometown: Binnell, Florida, U.S.
Died: September 14, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Incident: Killed when a makeshift bomb detonated near his unit during combat operations in Arab Jabour.
Related Links:

Tom Feeney named among most corrupt members of Congress

From CREW, the 22 most corrupt members of Congress are:
Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-CA)
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA)
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)
Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL)
Rep. Heather A. Wilson (R-NM)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK
Dishonorable mentions we should watch are:
Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-ID)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
 
To learn more about how each one made it onto this list, visit here.
 


  
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Republican prosecutor from Florida caught in child sex sting

UPDATE:

A copy of the criminal complaint against Atchison (PDF)

A federal prosecutor from Florida was ordered held in custody Monday after he appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit on a charge that he flew to Detroit intending to have sex with a 5-year-old girl.

John David R. Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., an assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida's northern district, is expected to appear again in court for a detention hearing today.


A federal prosecutor from Florida was ordered held in custody Monday after he appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit on a charge that he flew to Detroit intending to have sex with a 5-year-old girl.

John David R. Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., an assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida's northern district, is expected to appear again in court for a detention hearing on Tuesday.
He was caught in an Internet child sex sting run by the Macomb County Sheriff's Department and the FBI and arrested Sunday when he flew into Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Pensacola, Fla., according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Detroit.
A sheriff's deputy posed as a mother who was interested in finding someone to have sex with her children, in a sting that has already netted a California paramedic and numerous other alleged pedophiles from around the country.
According to the complaint, Atchison reassured the sheriff's deputy who was posing as the child's mother that he would not hurt the 5-year-old because he goes "slow and easy," and "I've done it plenty."

UF Student Tasered at Kerry speech

 
According to the Gainseville Sun, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications student Andrew Meyer "approached an open microphone at the University Auditorium and demanded Kerry answer his questions. The student claimed that University Police Department officers had already threatened to arrest him, and then proceeded to question Kerry about why he didn't contest the 2004 presidential election and why there had been no moves to impeach President Bush."
"A minute or so into what became a combative diatribe, Meyer's microphone was turned off and officers began trying to physically remove him from the auditorium," the Sun said. "Meyer flailed his arms, yelling as police tried to restrain him."
Six officers then pushed him to the ground. He yelled, "What have I done? What I have I done? Get away from me. Get off of me! What did I do? ... Help me! Help."
Officers then threatened to use a Taser on Meyer if he did not comply; he resisted being handcuffed and was then "Tased," "which prompted him to scream and writhe in pain on the floor of the auditorium," according to the Sun.
An internal investigation into the incident was launched this morning, according to NBC News.
The following video is from MSNBC's TUCKER, broadcast on September 17, 2007
This second video was posted on LiveLeak.
The third video, posted at YouTube, features the entire question:
 
 
 
 
 
posted at raystory.com


  
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Cpl. Christopher L. Poole Jr.

Hometown: Mount Dora, Florida, U.S.

Age: 22 years old

Died: September 6, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
Unit: Marines, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine
 
Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
 
Incident: Killed while conducting combat operations in Anbar province.
 
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Value Voters Debate: Wrapup

So-called "values voters" gathered in Fort Lauderdale Monday night to hear Republican presidential candidates' answers to their most burning questions.

But the forum was most notable at its start for its empty lecterns.

The biggest GOP names, Rudy Giuliani, who was speaking in Broward County earlier in the day, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson all sat out the Values Voter Presidential Debate, citing scheduling conflicts.

The 2,688-seat Broward Center for Performing Arts was predicted by organizers would be so full they started a waiting list instead had several hundred empty seats.

Still, the debate went on with seven second-tier Republican candidates participating and hoping to secure the support of a largely evangelical Christian audience.

Organizers say the front-runners' absence will doom their support among social conservatives. But with the debate only broadcast on a satellite TV station, radio and the Internet, it's unclear how great its reach will be.
Many of the attendees were there to see Ron Paul, not the hate mongers.
 
The Opening song was " Why God Does Not Bless America"
If any anti-war group, were to sing that song, the right wing hate groups would be all over them in the media today. Note the stillness of the media on the subject today.
 
Watch The Clips Below:
 
Values Voters Debate
"The Homosexual Agenda"
 
 
Ron Paul at the Value Voters Debate
 
 

Monday, September 17, 2007

Matt Drudge Backing Hillary?

  But Drudge's political philosophy is more mysterious than that, given that, currently, the one person Drudge seems to believe can lead is Hillary Clinton. Though Drudge often savages Hillary, he is convinced that she will make history, and he seems determined, in spite of himself, to empower her. HILLARY ON SURGE? "IT'S WORKING" was a recent lead headline. The Clinton scandals of yesteryear bore him, Drudge has said. Right-wing fans have begun to complain about the pattern, calling him "Hillary-obsessed." What an irony that the gossip who almost destroyed Bill Clinton's presidency might propel his wife to the Oval Office. "That House is going pink," says Drudge.
 
Philip Weiss , has the whole story in NY Magazine  Watching Matt Drudge
 
Warning it is 10 pages long

McCain Caught Lying About Progress In Iraq



General James Jones recently returned from a Congressional-mandated trip to Iraq and reported that political reconciliation “is absolutely the key to measurable and rapid progress” and needed to happen before any significant reduction in violence could happen. On Meet The Press today, John McCain incorrectly claimed that General Jones did not conclude in his recent Iraq report that political reconciliation needed to happen before a drawdown in violence can be achieved:
MCCAIN: Tim, I’ve known Jim Jones for 30 years. That’s not what he’s saying.
In reality, this was exactly what Jones said, both in his report and on Meet The Press a week ago. Below are two clips from Meet The Press, first with McCain today disputing what Jones said, and second with Jones agreeing with Russert’s categorization of his report the week before:
Partial transcript of Jones and Russert on Meet The Press on September 9th:

Please Join Me

 
 
 
Jim Stork
                                                               
along with the Host Committee*
                                                                       

Justin Flippen
Dean Trantalis 
John Castelli 
Michael Albetta 
Hon. Joe Angelo
Stephen Gaskill 
 
 
Hon. Larry Gierer 
Julia Davis
Edie Hambright
Mark LaFontaine 
Dan Hellman 
Ron Mills 
 
Hon. Scott Newton 
Adriane Reesey 
Danielle Sylvester 
 
Ray Rideout
Larry Wallenstein 
Nick Boyko

 

 
*Host Committee in formation
 
Cordially invite you to join them
 
For a luncheon and an introduction to and campaign briefing on
 
FLORIDA RED AND BLUE
 
the bi-partisan effort to defeat the so-called "Florida Marriage Protection Amendment"
 
Friday, September 28
12:00 PM
GLCC, 1717 N. Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale
 
Contribution Opportunities:
Hosts pledge to give or raise a minimum of $250
Suggested minimum contribution to attend: $25
 
Checks payable to: Florida Red and Blue, 12864 Biscayne Boulevard, #314,
North Miami, FL, 33181, or contribute on the web at www.floridaredandblue.com
Please Let Amy Know You Will Be Attending through Ron Mills
Thank You,
Ron Mills
For more information or to R.S.V.P. please contact Amy Rose at 954-593-8826