Mitt Romney admits using Chinese slave labor @ Bain. (Leaked Video)
Paul Ryan's 6 Lies in his Convention Speech
Georgetown Letter to Rep. Paul Ryan
Dear Rep. Paul Ryan, Welcome to Georgetown University. We appreciate your willingness to talk about how Catholic social
teaching can help inform effective policy in dealing with the urgent challenges facing our country. As members of an academic
community at a Catholic university, we see your visit on April 26 for the Whittington Lecture as an opportunity to discuss
Catholic social teaching and its role in public policy. However,
we would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching
to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly
and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in
several letters to Congress – “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential
services to poor persons.” Catholic bishops recently wrote that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to
meet these moral criteria.” In short, your budget
appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to
selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love. Cuts to anti-hunger programs have devastating consequences. Last
year, one in six Americans lived below the official poverty level and over 46 million Americans – almost half of them
children – used food stamps for basic nutrition. We also know how cuts in Pell Grants will make it difficult for low-income
students to pursue their educations at colleges across the nation, including Georgetown. At a time when charities are strained
to the breaking point and local governments have a hard time paying for essential services, the federal government must not
walk away from the most vulnerable. While you often appeal
to Catholic teaching on “subsidiarity” as a rationale for gutting government programs, you are profoundly misreading
Church teaching. Subsidiarity is not a free pass to dismantle government programs and abandon the poor to their own devices.
This often misused Catholic principle cuts both ways. It calls for solutions to be enacted as close to the level of local
communities as possible. But it also demands that higher levels of government provide help -- “subsidium”--
when communities and local governments face problems beyond their means to address such as economic crises, high unemployment,
endemic poverty and hunger. According to Pope Benedict XVI: "Subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle
of solidarity and vice versa.” Along with this letter,
we have included a copy of the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, commissioned by John Paul II,
to help deepen your understanding of Catholic social teaching. Respectfully,
Fact Check Republican Lie of year 2010: “Government Take Over of Healthcare”
thesoapboxroadshow.com— PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen "government takeover of
health care" as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and pundits, it played an important role
in shaping public opinion about the health care plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats' shellacking in the
November 2010 elections. 2 days ago
healthcarereform.procon.org — Republicans oppose the Mar. 2010 health care reforms for many reasons, especially the provision creating an individual
health care mandate which many of them find unconstitutional. However, the idea of an individual mandate originated with
the conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989, and in 1993, two different Republican-introduced health care reform bills
contained an individual mandate. Feb 25, 2011
http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/republicans_oppose_their_own_idea FTA The concept of the individual health insurance mandate is considered to have originated in 1989 at the conservative
Heritage Foundation. In 1993, Republicans twice introduced health care bills that contained an individual health insurance
mandate. Advocates for those bills included prominent Republicans who today oppose the mandate including Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
Charles Grassley (R-IA), Robert Bennett (R-UT), and Christopher Bond (R-MO). In 2007, Democrats and Republicans introduced
a bi-partisan bill containing the mandate.
Sign Petition to amend "Citizens
On Memorial Day, let’s remember that 1,985 U.S. soldiers, 1,031 other foreign troops, and tens to hundreds of thousands
of Afghans have died in the futile Afghanistan war, which continues to claim lives nearly
every day with no end in sight.
President Obama has promised to bring the troops home by 2014, but in reality his
administration plans to leave a “residual force” estimated at 16-20,000 troops in Afghanistan
for another ten years – until 2024. Meanwhile, the Republican House is pushing for legislation that seeks to
slow down the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, keeping 68,000 through 2014. In good conscience, how
can anyone ask the troops, to continue to risk their lives, limbs and emotional well being for this endless, futile war?
Our military policy has failed.
In every year since Obama took office, the toll of dead and injured U.S. and NATO troops has increased. Similarly
the number of dead and wounded Afghans has increased. The number of suicides and cases of post-traumatic stress among
our troops has increased. The number of green-on-blue attacks (in which Afghans turn their weapons on their
foreign “partners”) has increased. The level of corruption has increased. The size of the poppy
crop and drug smuggling has increased. The number of roads on which the U.S. military must bribe local war lords
to assure safe passage of supply trucks has increased. The number of attacks on Afghan public officials has increased.
If this is a definition of progress, I’d hate to see what defeat looks like!
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, a highly respected military officer, who recently returned from Afghanistan, has written a declassified
report detailing the actual state of affairs in Afghanistan. His report illustrates that talks of progress in Afghanistan
are flawed and nothing like the story our soldiers have experienced on the ground. The National Intelligence Estimate,
signed by all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, also clearly illustrates the quagmire in Afghanistan. Read Lt. Col. Davis’ full report and watch his interview on Democracy Now.
It is Congress’ duty to provide military oversight – it is their responsibility to be well informed
before funding more war.
Representative Barbara Lee has invited Lt. Col. Davis to hold a briefing on
Afghanistan for members of Congress and their staff on Thursday, May 31, at 2 pm in B-318 Rayburn (Ways and Means Committee
room). Click here to tell your Senators, House Representative, and staff, to attend Lt. Col. Davis’ Afghanistan briefing. It
is Congress’ duty to provide oversight and to be well informed before continually funding war. Or
call your members of Congress toll free at 877-429-0678 (courtesy of FCNL).
Ending war does not mean abandoning the Afghan people who have suffered so much in this almost 11 year old war.
As the U.S. withdraws we must provide constructive, humanitarian assistance to independent agencies focused on making a
stronger, safer and self-reliant Afghanistan.
There is no military solution in Afghanistan - 2 more years or
12 more years is not going to change that fact. On Memorial Day, let’s remember that the time for our troops
to come home is now.
Also, please donate to UFPJ using the link below, so we can continue the struggle to bring
them home for as long as it takes.
Mary Hladky Member, Military Families Speak Out and mother
of a soldier serving in Afghanistan Co-Convenor, UFPJ Afghanistan Working Group
truth-out.org— The Republican Party is becoming less and less like a
traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely
ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.
6 days ago
nytimes.com— A quick guide to unmaking the American dream. Phase
1 If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, ignore the first sacrament of a democracy and suspend the counting of
ballots in a presidential election. Appoint the candidate of your choice as presiden 5
mdjonline.com— At every campaign debate, the mere mention of “Obamacare”
has caused Republican presidential hopefuls to morph into pro-wrestlers — pounding the mat in feigned pain, wailing
about its mandate that all Americans must have health insurance. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and Ron
Paul grappled and clamored to be the first to denounce President Obama’s mandate as “liberal.” Also “socialist.”
And in their zeal to mold your minds, the Grand Old Party’s Obama-denouncers seem to ha... 4
freewoodpost.com— Just last week, a new journal written by former President
Ronald Reagan was revealed and released to the public through the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. Inside the journal
was a passage many were not expecting to find. 15 hr 41 min ago
at the time I felt I could more effectively get my ideas of a collective philosophy accomplished as a Republican more so
than a Democrat, I realize now that the Republican Party was indeed the party of purely individual rights, not the Democrats.
When I worked as the president of the Screen Actors Guild I understood the need for people to stick together for the greater
good to get their goals accomplished. I admired other great presidents of the past such as Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight
Eisenhower who knew that in order for the nation to thrive, we must all thrive.
blog.sfgate.com— The discourse of disdain is not about critique but contempt.
It seeks not to interrogate but to insult. This is a problem on many levels, but among the most worrisome is how such discourse
tries to shut off interaction and honest deliberation. 23 hr 32 min ago
Smiley moderated a conversation on solutions for restoring America's prosperity. Topics included the White Paper from
Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), released the previous day, titled [At Risk:
America's Poor During and After the Great Recession], which ...
ABC debate on Big Govt.; Barney Frank, Robert Reich, Rep. Paul Ryan, George Will,
usatoday.com— Retirement programs for former federal workers —
civilian and military — are growing so fast they now face a multitrillion-dollar shortfall nearly as big as Social
Security's, a USA TODAY analysis shows. 3 hr 27 min ago
youtube.com— The budget problems facing the Super Committee Federal
retirement plans almost as costly as Social Security http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/201...
2 sec ago
Economic Charts and graphs - click on image
October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012
federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world
in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions. Read more.
"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan
on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention
of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by
occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead
of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning."
Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the state of the two political
parties in contemporary America. Both parties are rotten - how could they not be, given the complete infestation of the political
system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to ...
The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. The party has built a whole catechism on the protection
and further enrichment of America's plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con
the public. Whatever else President Obama has accomplished (and many of his purported accomplishments are highly suspect),
his $4-trillion deficit reduction package did perform the useful service of smoking out Republican hypocrisy. The GOP refused,
because it could not abide so much as a one-tenth of one percent increase on the tax rates of the Walton family or the Koch
brothers, much less a repeal of the carried interest rule that permits billionaire hedge fund managers to pay income tax
at a lower effective rate than cops or nurses. Republicans finally settled on a deal that had far less deficit reduction
- and even less spending reduction! - than Obama's offer, because of their iron resolution to protect at all costs our
The Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States
Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act of 2011
1) States that is U.S.
policy to begin the phased redeployment of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan by July 1, 2011.
2) Requires the President's administration submit a plan to Congress, by July 31, 2011, for
the phased redeployment of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan
the plan include a date certain for completion of redeployment.
To provide for the safe and responsible redeployment of United
States combat forces from Afghanistan.
THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 25 (legislative day, January 5), 2011
Mrs. BOXER (for herself, Mr. DURBIN, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, and Mr. BROWN of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which
was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
This is a critical moment for the war in Afghanistan.
Over the next few weeks, President
Obama will be making his decision on U.S. strategy in the region.
Together, we can amplify our voices. Together, we can influence the debate
in Congress and the Administration.
On Tuesday, May 24, join us for a Day of Action to Exit Afghanistan.
Following the killing of
Osama bin Laden, the debate over the war in Afghanistan rages on within the Administration
and on Capitol Hill:
Former State and Defense Department
officials are speaking out because they know it is decision time. In a recent Wall Street Journal oped, Leslie Gelb said, "the United States simply cannot afford to squander more time and resources for
a nonvital Afghanistan before the core of U.S. power and freedom—the American economy—begins an irreversible
In the House, Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
and Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced H.R. 1735, the Afghanistan Exit and Accountability Act,
which, among other things, calls for a concrete plan from the President on the accelerated transition to the Afghan government
of U.S. military and security operations in Afghanistan.
Any decision made must have the full input from us. That's why on Tuesday, May 24, we're
making our voices heard together by teaming up with a dozen other peace and justice organizations to keep the Congressional
phones off the hook!
Take a minute to stir up the majority who believe it's time to exit Afghanistan:
We've received tens of thousands of signatures in just 24 hours, and we've caught the attention of Washington,
D.C. Here's what U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) had to say about it on Democracy
“[T]his petition...really does give us the wind beneath our wings that we need here in
Congress to begin to exercise our leadership responsibilities and to say no more combat operation in Afghanistan. And so,
I really want to commend Robert and all those who have begun this.”
With Bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda driven
from Afghanistan, there's no good reason to continue spending $2 billion a week on this war.
Please join the tens of thousands of others calling for the return of our troops to the U.S. after the death
of Osama Bin Laden. Sign our petition today.
Derrick Crowe, Robert Greenwald and the Brave
New Foundation team
The average price for regular gas is now well above $4 a gallon in seven states, and some
analysts say we could reach $6 a gallon in some parts of the country as the summer driving season approaches. Host Scott
Simon talks with John Hofmeister, founder and CEO of the non-profit group Citizens for Af
An election campaign for the state's Supreme Court is normally a quiet affair. But
the fight over collective bargaining has turned the officially nonpartisan race into a referendum on the governor. With the
contentious bargaining bill likely headed to the court, union advocates are trying to flip it
83 of the US’s 100 corporations hide fortunes in tax havens, even as many of
those corporations were receiving federal dollars from the government’s TARP bailout. Why were these corporations receiving
taxpayer money when they weren’t even paying their own taxes?
Plenty of corporations not on this list
didn’t get bailout money, but are still robbing Americans of tax revenue that should rightly be all of ours—massive
pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and retail companies like Apple, BestBuy, ExxonMobil, FedEx, McDonald’s and Safeway
are just a few of the more recognizable corporations funneling money through tax havens.
As you probably heard, last week Wisconsin lawmakers stripped state workers of their rights in a grossly undemocratic process.
But what you may not have heard is that those same lawmakers are coming to Washington, DC tomorrow to
get their corporate pay...off. That's right, they're
coming here to have a fundraiser with one of the largest corporate lobbying firms in the country! Please join us
tomorrow (Wednesday, March 16) at 5:00pm at the Homer Building in downtown DC to protest the Wisconsin Republican leaders'
fundraiser with big money corporate DC lobbyists. The Homer Building is located at 601 13th Street NW, just outside
the Metro Center stop on the red line. Hope to see you there! See
M & I Bank of Wisconsin has committed an unpardonable offense. This
bank took bailout funds and thanks to the magic of Citizens United our own tax dollars flowed through their executives hands
into the coffers of Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign. We haven't dug deeply yet, but I think when
MADISON, Wis. -- The fallout from Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill has shifted
to the private sector as upset citizens begin boycotts of business owners who contributed money to the governor. Monday,
March 14, 2011.
WASHINGTON -- Members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) gave President Obama
a rare push on Saturday, adopting a resolution attempting to encourage the administration to move toward a speedier withdrawal
Bring the Troops Home Now! Out of Afghanistan
– End the War – Don’t Extend it! All U.S. Troops Out of Iraq Say No to new U.S. wars in Pakistan, Yemen,
Iran, Africa, Korea… End U.S. aid to the occupation of Palestine Opposing War is Not A Crime – Being Muslim
is Not a Crime Stop Attacks on Civil Libe
Average Floridians are fed up with politicians
who balance the budget on the backs of hard-working Floridians. Florida cannot afford more cuts to education, health care,
economic infrastructure, and environmental protection while at the same time ...
In a recently released budget proposal, House
Republicans announced plans to zero out all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the nonprofit responsible
for funding public media including NPR, PBS and more. Take action now to stop Republicans from destroying public media.
Wisconsin Gov. Walker has threatened to
call out the National Guard against workers who protest his radical plan to cut benefits of middle class workers and strip
them of their rights. Stand in solidarity with workers -- sign the open letter.
Already multiple members of the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers have taken
public stands against the frightening, dictatorial, anti-union rampage of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. These pro athletes
have chosen to link arms with the tens of thousands of nurses, teachers, and firefighter
Airing Date Feb.17, 2011 Yes Bill Hemmer offered up a pretty weak excuse for what they
did in an interview with Ron Paul Tuesday, they claim the reason they aired the wrong clip was the two clips of the CPAC
victory announcements looked to similar. The winner (Ron Paul) was announced February 12, 2
Fox News caught
using 2010 CPAC footage with booing when repor...Fox News caught using
2010 CPAC footage with booing when reporting that Ron Paul won the 2011 CPAC Straw Poll. Watch and compare the video We
Are Change Oklahoma shot at CPAC 2011 as the straw poll results were read. This may contain copyrighted material the use
of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in
an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social
justice issues, etc. we believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in
section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed
without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational
purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
The Republicans just released their budget proposal,
and it zeroes out funding for both NPR and PBS--the worst proposal in more than a decade. Tell Republicans that cutting
off funding was unacceptable last time they were in charge, and it's unacceptable now. Sign the petition to save NPR
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans proposed ending more than 60 government programs
and cutting hundreds of others Wednesday in a $35 billion down payment on their promise to rein in federal deficits.
Facebook.com/Cuentame - with the help of fans' donations has placed a billboard in
Salt Lake City, UT reading 'God doesn't discriminate, why should Utah?' Find it at 4055 S. 1-15 Northbound.
'Like' us at Facebook.com/Cuentame
Go to: http://facebook.com/cuentame. Brave New Foundation's Cuentame partners with other groups in Utah to rally against the new immigration legislation
that is comparable to Arizona's discriminatory new law, SB1070. Utah's NBC affiliate, KSL-TV covered the event.
For more information and to help
God bless John Boehner, God bless the
Republicans, and God bless the Tea Party for finally taking our country back! Back to the days when and a few rich white
guys were making the rules for everybody else. And thank you for spitting on Roe Vs. Wad...
In 2001, in a profile of Grover Norquist I wrote for The Nation, the conservative activist
and president of Americans for Tax Reform proclaimed that he’d like to shrink the government “down to the size
where we can drown it in a bathtub.” It now appears that Norquist—with a growing alliance of liber
www.nytimes.comRepublican lawmakers at the state level have introduced a plethora of bills on hot-button issues that single out minorities,
women, gays and the poor. The Republican Agenda. by Charles Blow
President Obama’s State of the Union speech was as jumbled as the seating plan on
the House floor; Republicans and Democrats sat side by side, often uncomfortably, and so did the conservative and progressive
ideas in Obama’s address. If the president didn’t deliver the FDR-style call for a New Deal
http://www.thesoapboxroadshow.com/ Are you ready for a huge number? The total national debt now stands at over $12 trillion. Much of this national debt
began accumulating during President Ronald Reagan's administration. Reagan cut taxes but increased military spending.
In fact, Reagan never submit
Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. against the "triple evils
of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism." Audio. This speech was released by Black Forum records, a subsidiary
of Motown, and went on to win a Grammy in 1970 for the Best Spoken Word Recording. Excerpts of a Sermon at the Ebene
Bill Maher was
back on the air this weekend with the 2011 premier of Real Time and he had a few things to say about what the Founding Fathers
might have thought of this anti-intellectual teabagger movement in his New Rules segment.
"Citizens United" anniversary sparks
FOR THE PEOPLE SUMMIT
Trans-partisan, populist rejection of "Citizens United" kicks off Jan. 20
Washington DC (Jan. 13, 2011) — Planners of the For the People Summit an
anniversary sparks D.C. summit, rally, national meetings (Edit) FOR THE PEOPLE Summit convenes in Washington D.C.
Jan. 20 to 22
WASHINGTON D.C. Jan. 14, 2011 — To mark the first anniversary of the controversial "Citizens
United" Supreme Court ruling, a coalition of advocacy groups and concerned citizens will host the For the People Summit,
including a strategic conference at the Washington Plaza Hotel and a "We the Corporations" vs. "We the People"rally
at the U.S. Capitol.
In Washington, Summit events will include: * Lobby Day on Capitol Hill (Jan. 20) supplemented
by Lobby Days around the country * Party For the People Jan 20, 6 to 9 PM at K Street Lounge * "We the Corporations
vs. We the People" Rally (Jan. 21 at 11 AM at the U.S. Capitol Area 9) * Two-day Summit (Jan. 21 and 22 at the Washington
Plaza Hotel at Thomas Circle)
CLICK HERE for updated list of speakers.
Bill Moyer of the Backbone
Campaign and Annabel Park of the Coffee Party are two of the principal organizers. "It's very hard to make progress
on any issue without addressing the problem of money in politics," Park said, "because right now it takes a nearly
impossible amount of effort for ordinary people to compete with the daily influence that entrenched lobbyists enjoy. To
succeed, we need to step outside the traditional left-right-center framework and find common cause across the political
"The greatest political reform of our time will be to abolish the legal concept of 'corporate
personhood' and the inherently anti-democratic equation of money with political speech," Moyer said. "I believe
this monumental task will be achieved in the coming years built on a foundation of community-based battles to return power
to the People."
Nancy Price, Co-chair of the Alliance for Democracy, said she is impressed with the emerging
coalition, for which she has served as an adviser. "The Summit will be an open discussion putting aside political,
cultural, and ideological differences because the problem of money in politics is uniting America like few issues can,"
she said. "80% of us disapprove of the Citizens United decision. 87% disapprove of the job Congress is doing. The American
public will not accept a future in which we are no longer a self-determining people."
Lisa Graves, Executive
Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, is also advising and will be
speaking at the Summit. "Nearly a million Americans have signed petitions against the Supreme Court's decision
to expand corporate rights," she said. "We are coming together on the anniversary of this terrible because,
regardless of party labels, we are Americans first and foremost and we must reject the Court's efforts to undermine the
power of We the People in our democracy."
From a year of enormous whoppers—like the president's
alleged $200 million-a-day trip to India and the claim that the stimulus created not one job in the private sector—the
editors at Politifact have identified the biggest deception of all.
Our friends at the nonpartisan Politifact watch American politics in the way that would make most people’s stomachs churn. All year, they chronicle every bit
of political discourse, every hysterical pundit and every government vow or rally cry in a sometimes quixotic effort to separate
truth from fiction.
Dec 19, 2010 ... The U.S. military will for the first time in history allow gays to serve
openly after the Senate voted Saturday to repeal "don't ask, don't... www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/.../AR2010121801729.html
Senate Votes to Repeal DADT. December 18, 2010. Associated Press. In a landmark vote
for gay rights, the Senate on Saturday voted to advance legislation ... www.military.com/news/article/senate-votes-to-repeal-dadt.html
Finally the repeal is done and over with. The DADT has
passed, now just President Obama's signature. Senate vote was 65-yes 31-no.
Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs,
audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925
For fifty years, Americans have regarded Eisenhower’s Farewell Address with a mixture
of awe and bewilderment. Speaking three nights before the end of his Presidency, in 1961, Eisenhower warned of a “scientific-technological
élite” that would dominate public policy, and of a “military-industrial complex” that would claim
“our toil, resources, and livelihood.”
Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, who befriended President Obama’s parents when they were university students here, has been
in office for less than three weeks.
But he is so incensed over “birthers” — the conspiracy
theorists who assert that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and was thus not eligible to become president — that he is seeking
ways to change state policy to allow him to release additional proof that the president was born in Honolulu in 1961.
“It’s an insult to his mother and to his father, and I knew his mother and father; they were my friends,
and I have an emotional interest in that,” Governor Abercrombie said in a telephone interview late Thursday. “It’s
an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president; it is disrespectful to the office.”
a Democrat and former congressman, said he has initiated conversations with the state’s attorney general and the chief
of its Health Department about how he can release more explicit documentation of Mr. Obama’s birth on Aug. 4, 1961,
at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital.
Dec 21, 2010 ... This story has been updated with additional reporting by Ryan Grim WASHINGTON
- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a licensed physician long known ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../tom-coburn-911-responders-bill_n_799699.html
Dec 22, 2010 ... Congress passed a bill to provide health benefits and compensation
to 9/11 first responders after Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., ... abcnews.go.com/Politics/exclusive-senate...911-responders-bill/story?id...
The Environmental Protection Agency just
sent out this statement on its standards for chromium in drinking water. The Environmental Working Group is pressuring the agency to tighten its standards for a specific kind of chromium, chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium, which can have negative health impacts if ingested.
From the EPA:
“EPA absolutely has a drinking water standard for total chromium, which includes chromium-6
(also known as Hexavalent Chromium), and we require water systems to test for it. This standard is based on the best available
science and is enforceable by law. Ensuring safe drinking water for all Americans is a top priority for EPA. The agency
regularly re-evaluates drinking water standards and, based on new science on chromium-6, had already begun a rigorous and
comprehensive review of its health effects. In September, we released a draft of that scientific review for public comment.
When this human health assessment is finalized in 2011, EPA will carefully review the conclusions and consider all relevant
information, including the Environmental Working Group’s study, to determine if a new standard needs to be set.”
On the New York Times Green blog, two experts weigh in with different conclusions on whether we should be worried about the levels of hexavalent chromium in tap water tested by the Environmental Working Group. One says the public shouldn’t be concerned about the low levels the group
detected, another says the findings are “disturbing” and states should strive to remove the chemical entirely
from drinking water.
The group found the probable carcinogen chromium-6 in Bend’s drinking water – the
only city in Oregon that was tested. But it’s still unclear what level is safe to ingest. California has a public health
goal of .06 parts per billion (not binding), and Bend’s water sample showed levels of .78 parts per billion. Should
Bend residents be worried (or maybe just investing in reverse-osmosis water filtration systems)? Continue reading →
A 2002 Garbage strip
B 2000 Plastic bag spill
C Shoes found
D Eastern Garbage Patch At the eye of the
gyre, plastic reaches concentrations of a million pieces per square mile. Researchers have mapped a giant spill
of bags and a mile-long strip of wind-driven garbage.
E Caught in a gyre Some of the plastic drifting in the North Pacific is swept to shore, like
the thousands of Nike shoes that washed up in the Pacific Northwest. But much is trapped by calm winds and sluggish water
within the North Pacific's loop of currents.
in the Pacific Ocean
Tea Party/ Fox News/ Racism
“Those of us
who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in
a state of shocked disbelief,” “Yes, I’ve
found a flaw(in my economic theories). I don’t know how significant or permanent
it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, 2008
"Tax breaks for corporations (and their investors, particularly large ones) were a major part
of the Administration's 2002 and 2003 initiatives. If class
warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning."
-Investor Warren Buffett
"One year after his massive tax cut, Reagan agreed to a tax increase to reduce the deficit that restored fully one third of the
previous year's reduction. (In a bizarre bit of self-deception, Reagan, who never came to terms with this episode of ideological
apostasy, persuaded himself that the three-year, $100 billion tax
hike - the largest since World War II- was actually 'tax reform' that
closed loopholes in his earlier cut...) Faced with looming deficits, Reagan
raised taxes again in 1983 with a gasoline tax and once more in 1984, this time by $50 billion over three years, mainly
through closing tax loopholes for business."
... George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton also raised taxes to
deal with the ongoing deficit problems..
Warren Buffet is a billionaire businessman
who once asked California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to raise taxes on the rich. The wealthy governor ignored
him. This week the Berkshire Hathaway CEO inserted himself into the contentious debate over the Bush tax cuts. In an interview
Obama’s only real hope to be an effective president and secure his legacy:
talk straight about the looming economic disaster facing the country.
Politically, Obama will have to appeal to -bipartisanship—ideally, nonpartisanship.
He will have to persuade Congress—which means getting Democrats to defy party orthodoxy by voting to cut entitlements
and Republicans to do likewise by voting to raise taxes. There is an obvious and logical compromise, or at least an opening
bid for bargaining: one dollar of spending cuts for every dollar of taxes raised.
To overcome opposition in both parties, Obama will have to go the people and win a national
mandate. This is not a bad time to defy the political parties, which are in low repute. Fewer people identify themselves
as Republicans or Democrats than at any time since polling began during World War II. The Republicans did well in the recent
elections, but not so much because people flocked to the GOP. Rather, independents who voted for Obama in 2008 voted against
It’s true that one can look in vain in the history books for examples of presidents who
boosted their popularity by demanding sacrifice. With the possible exception of FDR in wartime, presidents have been careful
not to demand too much. And broadly speaking, American popular culture is not very amenable to sacrifice,
A New Era
Read our 2009 report, "Campaign Finance Reform: A New Era," which lays out the action steps to end pay-to-play politics by eliminating the dominant role of large campaign contributors,
amplifying the voice of small donors, increasing transparency in the way campaigns are funded, and adding teeth to
The problem is not so much the amount we spend on political campaigns—columnist
George Will likes to remind us that we spend more on potato chips each year—as it is who pays for them, what they get
in return, and how that distorts public policy and spending priorities. Keeping our elected officials dependent on the very
same wealthy special interests they are supposed to regulate undermines public confidence in their government and its ability
to tackle the tough issues that face the nation.
Clean Elections give citizens a greater
voice in their government, while greatly reducing the undue influence of special interest money in politics. Clean
Elections-style reforms in Maine, Arizona, New Mexico, Connecticut, North Carolina, and New Jersey have proven effective
and popular with voters and candidates alike.
Recent Common Cause-backed victories include:
Mexico enacted Clean Elections for judicial races, and Albuquerque did it for municipal races.
New Jersey improved
and reauthorized its Clean Elections pilot project for a handful of legislative races.
North Carolina passed
a Clean Elections pilot project for down-ticket statewide offices.
Instead of focusing on their constituents and the important issues of the day, elected officials
in Washington spend too much time raising money from wealthy donors and lobbyists – often from the very industries
they’re supposed to oversee!
It’s time to get our leaders out of the fundraising game and let them
do the jobs we’ve elected them to do.
The best way to do that is to pass the Fair Elections Now
Act. Under such a system, qualified candidates who take no contributions larger than $100 can run for Congress
on a blend of small donations and public funds.
This bill already has more than 150 cosponsors. If your Representative is one of them, please thank him or her. If your Representative has not yet signed on as a cosponsor,
please ask him or her to do so right away! (When you enter your address below, our system will look up the name of your
Representative and his/her co-sponsor status.)
The presidential public finance system has
become out of sync with modern presidential campaigns, leaving the incentives to opt into the system too weak for most candidates.
It's time to reboot the system.
WHEREAS the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech
rights of people, not corporations;
WHEREAS, for the past three decades, a divided United States Supreme Court has
transformed the First Amendment into a powerful tool for corporations seeking to evade and invalidate democratically-enacted
WHEREAS, this corporate takeover of the First Amendment has reached its extreme conclusion in the United
States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United v. FEC;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s
ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general
treasury funds in our elections;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC
will now unleash a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in United
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC presents a serious
and direct threat to our democracy;
WHEREAS, the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional
amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of
our democracy and self-government;
NOW HEREBY BE IT RESOLVED THAT WE THE UNDERSIGNED VOTERS OF THE UNITED STATES
CALL UPON THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PASS AND SEND TO THE STATES FOR RATIFICATION A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO RESTORE
THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND FAIR ELECTIONS TO THE PEOPLE.
businessweek.com —Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose endorsement of George W. Bush's
2001 tax cuts helped persuade Congress to pass them, said lawmakers should allow the cuts to expire at the end of the year.
David Stockman, President
Reagan OMB director in 1980s. He wrote an impressive article, Four Deformations Of The Apocalypse in the NYT that everyone
including those in the media should read carefully. For him to make these statements now shows the fear he has that we may
return to the irresponsible ...
wonkroom.thinkprogress.org —For years, right-wing lobbyist Grover Norquist has pressured candidates to sign a pledge
promising never to repeal expensive tax subsidies for oil companies and other special interests, hundreds have complied.
Earlier this week, however, Norquist lost a major ally in his quest to protect hundreds of billions of $ worth of special
Economic Information by graphs (click on image to enlarge)
Corporation, the Rupert Murdoch media empire that serves as the parent corporation of Fox News and other properties, is
now throwing its monetary weight around in politics with a big contribution to the Republican Governors Association.
marketwatch.com —How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy. Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President
Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, 'Four
Deformations of the Apocalypse.'
cbsnews.com —Social activists and civil rights leaders, among them the Rev. Al Sharpton, are planning
marches and demonstrations -- including the unveiling of a nearly four-story-tall original sculpture on the Mall -- on Aug.
28 to coincide with a rally organized by Fox News personality Glenn Beck. Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally,
with former vice presidential..
President Bush opened the floodgates for outsourcing government
jobs, and we're still reeling from the effects.
Blackwater (now known as Xe), Halliburton, DynCorp, KBR, and Triple Canopy are just some of the multitude
of private, for-profit corporations that became integral parts of the American war machine
during the simultaneous Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
There is already legislation
that has been introduced to tackle some of this problem. The Stop Outsourcing Security Act would prohibit the American government
from using mercenaries to fight our wars.
But military contractors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reckless government outsourcing.
an opportunity to change direction. The Obama administration is seeking public comments on the definition of "inherently
governmental" functions, which sets the parameters government-wide for what can and cannot be outsourced.
of Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan offers a clear picture of the rot that infects our government when we outsource important
functions to private entities that only care about their own bottom lines.
When we use private contractors,
we sacrifice even the insufficient transparency and accountability we have over our military. Meanwhile, our reliance
on greedy and shameless entities magnifies both the human and monetary cost of war.
In 2007, Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, testified before Congress that over
90 percent of Blackwater's contracts were with the federal government (and publicly available data shows over 2/3 of
those government contracts were awarded as no-bid contracts).
Weeks before Prince's testimony, Blackwater
mercenaries needlessly slaughtered 17 civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad while guarding American State Department officials.
Despite massive and widespread outrage in Iraq and elsewhere, the State Department still has a contract with Blackwater to
provide protection for its personnel.
There's no justifiable reason why our government ought to outsource the decision to pull the
trigger and take another life in our name. And what's true for shooting a gun and taking a life is also true for a whole
host of broad areas where our of government should act directly, not through a company looking to squeeze a buck out of the
This issue is, of course, about more than Blackwater, and it's about more than military contractors. The lack of clarity
about what can and cannot be outsourced and the willingness of the American government to outsource as much as possible has
allowed the role of federal contractors to metastasize and transform in horrific ways.
It's even gotten to the point that we cannot adequately
oversee contracts and have contractors evaluating the performance of other contractors on behalf of the American government.
no longer allow the government to abdicate responsibility of core government functions based upon the unfounded hope that
the profit motive will somehow ensure everything will turn out okay.
Most news accounts of this spill are repeating a much lower estimate of 210,000 gallons (5,000
barrels) per day, an unexplained number that NOAA and the Coast Guard were using for a few days until they admitted a week
ago that they couldn't accurately estimate the flow rate. We estimate this well is...
A document fished out of a California state university trash bin last week has prompted a state
investigation into the university's foundation arm and its refusal to disclose details related to Sarah Palin's
upcoming speech at the school.
Much has been made about Senate Republicans’ abuse of the filibuster, which has skyrocketed
in recent years. But less attention has been devoted to how Republican obstruction has held up hundreds of other ...
Note about the ad below: Coffee Party USA is a grassroots effort, and
we use Google AdSense to defray our web hosting costs. Please Donate Now to support this fledgling movement so we don't
need to run ads.
There are issues that are neither the domain of the Democratic nor Republican Party. They are national issues.
Health care should be one of these.
"The New York Times, in a remarkable background piece, revealed that the Republican Party, with McConnell
as a prime leader, decided - two weeks before President-elect Obama's inauguration - to go for gridlock as a path back to power."
Quarter of Republicans Think Obama May Be the Anti-Christ - Yahoo! News
Americans have some extreme views of President Obama, with a new survey revealing 40 percent
of adults believe he is a socialist, and about a quarter of survey participants thinking the president is a racist, anti-American
and even doing things Hitler did.
The far rightwingers...
in the Republican party
News Desk: Glenn Beck, Eugenics, and History : The New Yorker
On Friday, former militia leader Mike Vanderboegh
called for anti-Democratic vandalism across the country to protest the health care bill. Vanderboegh posted the call for
action Friday on his blog, “Sipsey ...
to healthcare bill
Tea Party Protests: 'Ni**er,' 'Fa**ot'
Shouted At Members Of Congress
Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters
on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock. Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, ...
Cigna Gives $110.9 Million Compensation
Package To Ex-CEO
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, already one of Washington's
largest lobbying groups, is gearing up to play a major role in this year's midterm elections on a scale that rivals the
nation's two main political parties.
Rubio's campaign image belies history of $250 million in
pork requests - St. Petersburg Times
Former House Speaker Marco Rubio racked up roughly $250 million in budget requests for hometown
spending, which could become an issue in a Republican Senate race where government spending is taking center stage.
Boxer the Blimp: The Most Ridiculous Campaign Ad Ever
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- who has gone to great lengths to hype the supposed dangers of
a big government takeover of American health care -- admitted over the weekend that she used to get her treatment in Canada's
single-payer system. ...
In California, Exhibit A in Debate on Insurance - NYTimes.com
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) accused his Republican colleagues in Washington on Sunday
of blatant hypocrisy on the stimulus package -- railing against the jobs bill in public while poising for stimulus-related
projects and ceremonies in their home districts.
take the stimulus money
BANKS merger-mania: Too Big To Fail
Sens. Cochran, Collins, and Shelby December Porkers of the Month
(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Sens. Thad Cochran
(R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) its December Porkers of the Month. The three ...
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Tea Party
Will "Twinkle And Disappear"
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night that he expects
the tea party to "twinkle and disappear" as the economy improves. Van Susteren tried to get Schwarzenegger ...
AllGov - News - Six Republicans Vote Against Deficit Bill They Sponsored
Congress often is loath to make tough fiscal decisions that may spur anger from constituents, which
is why a plan was devised to create a special bipartisan commission that would craft a solution to reduce the nation’s
ballooning deficit. ...
Jan 26, 2010 ... Majority of Republicans
vote against deficit commission. Republicans in the Senate shot down an amendment that would have created
a ... pwtenny.newsvine.com/_.../3813056-teabaggers-beware-majority-of-republicans-vote-against-deficit-commission
- Cached -
Jan 28, 2010 ... Six Republicans Vote
Against Deficit Bill They Sponsored ...Senate Rejects Deficit Commission (by David
Rogers, Politico) ... allgov.com/.../Six_Republicans_Vote_Against_Deficit_Bill_They_Sponsored_100128
- Cached -
Newsvine - Teabaggers beware: Majority of Republicans
vote against deficit commission
This will be short and to the point; teabaggers who think we're all stupid enough to believe
that they care about the national debt and budget deficits (yet were silent while Republicans doubled the national debt with
nearly two trillion in tax cuts for the rich and two concurren…
WASHINGTON -- One year after being swept into the White House and bestowed huge majorities in Congress,
Democrats have seen their towering lead over Republicans evaporate. Why? According to previous DNC chairman Howard Dean, they're
just not tough enough.
On Thursday, Tancredo delivered the opening remarks at the national Tea Party convention, and,
as I watched the clips, I was struck by two things. First, it was oddly gratifying to see Tancredo take the next step in a
long personal journey toward Crazy Land. ...
Sarah Palin emails reveal an
attempted tanning bed coverup and blacklisting of journalist - Politica
The emails from Sarah Palin's reign as Governor of Alaska have finally been made public. As
expected the press is now looking through over 3,000 pages of emails and some interesting discoveries are being made.
SARAH TANNED ENOUGH?
skipped paying property taxes on cabins, records show
Democrats should take another look at what really happened in
Massachusetts and then summon the nerve to enact comprehensive health care reform.
reform: a poll found that a surprising 68 percent of those who had voted said that they supported their own state’s
plan, including slightly more than half of those who had voted for Mr. Brown.
Decade In Review: Corporate Scoundrels And Scandals : NPR
The business world has been rocked by one scandal after another in
the past decade. From Martha Stewart to Bernie Ebbers and Bernie Madoff, it's been a confusing and angry time for investors.
The era also saw a 777-point one-day plunge in the Dow and some 7 million job losses.
has a very bad decade.
Huff TV: Arianna: Move Your Money And Make Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Smaller (VIDEO)
Arianna appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann Thursday to explain Move Your Money, a project
that encourages Americans to fight back against Wall Street's too-big-to-fail culture by moving their money from bailed
out big banks to smaller, better-managed community banks. ...
Huff Post group
Inauguration of Gay Mayor: "God Hates
Fags" Signs (PICS)
Fred Phelps and his family of hate mongering nut jobs protested the otherwise uneventful inauguration
of Annise Parker on Monday, Houston's first gay mayor and the first gay mayor of a large city in the United States.
of the same old junk...
Fox spent weeks promoting apparent tea party scam | Media Matters for America
TPM Media's Zachary Roth reported earlier in the week that
the political action committee that organized the Tea Party Express -- Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- funneled almost
two-thirds of its spending ...
Tea Party Express
("Our Country Deserves Better PAC") funneled almost two-thirds of its spending back to the political consulting
firm from which it was spawned. More than $850,000 of the money the "grassroots"
California Will Begin 2010 With Massive Budget Gap : NPR
California's dismal financial straits this year are just a prelude
to what the state can expect in terms of budget woes in 2010. Legislators and the governor battled through much of 2009 to
close a $60 billion budget gap. ...
Pentagon spending more for war than all 50 States combined
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore is threatening to organize a boycott of
Connecticut in response to Sen. Joseph Lieberman's opposition to key parts of federal health care legislation. ...
dailykos.com — Howard Dean on Countdown, making a clear and compelling case for saying no to the Lieberman-wrecked
Senate bill. Bottom line: Don't give up on the fight for real reform. Say no to the Senate bill, and get something real
The real inconvenient truth
whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy
Diane Francis, Financial
Post Published: Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The "inconvenient truth" overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate
is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.
A planetary law,
such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million
births every four days.
The world's other species, vegetation, resources, oceans,
arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity's soaring
Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests - NYTimes.com
washingtonexaminer.com —Howell explains that seven years of military and civilian aid have neither destroyed Al Qaeda
in Afghanistan nor the Taliban. "There can be no guarantee," Howells writes, "that the next seven years will
bring significantly greater success and, even if they do, it is salutary to remember that Afghanistan has never been the sole
location of terroris
of the James Younger Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2006.] Looking into the background of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South
Carolina, after his heckling of President Obama last night, I came across this: Joe also has been a member of
npr.org —U.S. officials say the window to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon could close as
early as 2013. The Obama administration wants to use diplomacy to stop that, but it also reserves the right to use military
scrippsnews.com —The House chalked up a signal success by passing the 12th and last spending bill to fund the
government next year on schedule. But that rare feat came at a cost -- a $636 billion military spending bill filled with planes
and weapons that Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Pentagon doesn't need or want.
npr.org —Carbon dioxide isn't just affecting our climate, it is also increasing the acidity of
our seas. Scientists worry that corrosive conditions will harm marine life, and could change our oceans in ways they're
just now starting to understand.
global-warming.accuweather.com —AccuWeather.com's global warming center offers a daily blog of news related to the topic
of global warming. An unbiased look at myths, articles, and anything related to global warming
nytimes.com —In a few weeks, the Treasury Department’s czar of executive pay will have to answer:
Should Andrew J. Hall get his bonus? That suggests that last summer, drivers paid more at the pump, at least in part, because
of people like Andrew J. Hall. How do you hand $100 million
to a guy who may have profited because gas hit $4 a gallon
reuters.com —By Steve Eder - Analysis NEW YORK (Reuters) - Under normal circumstances,
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) might be afforded a moment of gloating as it struts toward what could be a banner earnings
announcement just nine months after being roiled by..
New York Times:::::
YORK — Even on Wall Street, the land of six- and seven-figure incomes, jaws dropped at the news Tuesday: After all that
federal aid, a resurgent Goldman Sachs is on course to distribute bonuses that could rival the record paydays of the heady
Goldman posted the richest quarterly profit in its 140-year history and, to the envy of its rivals,
announced it had earmarked $11.4 billion so far this year to compensate its workers.
At that rate, Goldman workers
could, on average, earn roughly $770,000 each this year — or nearly what they did at the height of the boom.
npr.org —NPR turned the camera on the lobbyists> attending a recent Senate hearing on health care reform,
instead of the senators. Whatever health care bill emerges from Congress will affect one-sixth of the economy, and the profiteers
were out in force. Know any? Help identify them: Have a look, then email email@example.com.
huffingtonpost.com —Never has it been more clear that Bush II's war in Iraq was a pre-decided war in desperate search of a public
rationale. In this Wednsday segment of Olbermann's "Worst Person's in the World." Keith decimates Bush and
years of public demand, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced the launch of an inquiry into Britain's role
in the Iraq War. But will it provide answers or just more questions?
huffingtonpost.com —No one should be surprised that the ACLU would issue a call to prosecute those who authorized torture on detainees.
But what grabs my attention, is the thorough argument presented by ACLU executive director Anthony Romero to hold accountable
everyone from President Bush, to Cheney, Condolezza Rice, VP Chief of Staff Addington, plus many more.
plan would give the government new powers to seize key companies whose failure jeopardizes the financial system, as well as
creation of a watchdog agency to look out for consumers' interests. The Obama administration this week will propose the
most significant new regulation of the financial industry since the Great Depression, including a new
nytimes.com —Representative Peter Visclosky should step down as chairman of his defense subcommittee until the PMA investigation
is completed. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly at odds with her majority leader, Steny Hoyer, who wants to defuse Republican
criticism with an ethics committee resolution. The speaker would be wise to get ahead of the scandal
Obama administration appointed Kenneth R. Feinberg to the new post, giving him broad discretion to set pay for 175 top executives
at seven of the nation’s largest companies.
Published: June 10, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s sweeping new proposal to restrict executive pay is likely to be a humbling exercise for seven of the nation’s largest companies, which have received billions of dollars
in federal assistance to survive the economic crisis.
greencarreports.com —It appears the Senate and House have agreed to include $1 billion to fund the program through September 30. The
funding is part of a $106 billion wartime spending bill that's expected to pass next week.
gov.ca.gov — "Just today,
a total of 30 governors acting as the Governors’ Energy and Climate Coalition, the largest, most diverse group ever
assembled, called on Congress to pass this kind of legislation. I congratulate the House members of both political parties
that today voted to move America toward a more energy secure and sustainable future.
today’s bipartisan vote in Congress to move forward the Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act. I will work with
the California delegation to improve it further, this Act represents the kind of strategy to use energy more efficiently,
produce more clean energy here at home
stalled clean energy bill needs to be revised, and quickly, if there is a chance for comprehensive climate change legislation
to be passed by this Congress.The heart of the bill is a provision to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent from 2005 levels
by 2020 and 83 percent by midcentury — cuts scientists say are necessary to avert the worst cons
(Reuters) - Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to fight terrorism elsewhere has reached $685.7 billion
since 2001, a U.S. government watchdog agency said on Monday. The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, said...
Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez was in charge of the ground forces in Iraq when some of those techniques were used
at the Abu Ghraib prison. The recent release of the so-called "torture memos" detailing some of the Bush administration's
reasons for using harsh interrogation techniques has opened the floodgates. Human rights organiz
Air Force officials said Monday that they supported the Obama administration’s decision to buy only four more of the
advanced F-22 fighter jets, making it less likely that Congress will insist on extending its production.
Secretary Robert Gates on Monday recommended halting production of the F-22 fighter jet and scrapping a new helicopter for
the president as he outlined deep cuts to many of the military's biggest weapons programs.
news.yahoo.com —The money announced Wednesday will pay to excavate contaminated soil from hundreds of residential lawns in Evansville,
Ind., Minneapolis, Minn., Madison County, Mo. and Omaha, Neb. Up to $25 million will connect 180 houses in southeastern North
Dakota to public drinking water. Their wells were tainted with arsenic from bait applied to control gra
autobloggreen.com —A bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this month that seeks to offer a $10,000 incentive for low-income families
to trade in their old cars for newer, more fuel efficient models. First, a few details: eligible individuals are those who
earn less than $25K per year. Autos must be rated at 25 miles per gallon plus and are 4.9 mpg better than th
fora.tv — "At least 75% of the
American people want an investigation as to what happened on Wallstreet. I'm not saying a criminal investigation, they
just want to know. In order for us to make the right decisions going forward, we need to know what happened to get us here."
independent.co.uk —Whether it's a credit crunch to fix or an Olympics to plan, the list of Goldman Sachs alumni is sure to have
a candidate. Almost whatever the country, you can find Goldman Sachs veterans in positions of pivotal power.
marketplace.publicradio.org —A congressional committee is discussing criteria to use in determining if a financial institution is too
big to fail. Duke law professor Zephyr Teachout talks to Bob Moon about whether antitrust laws can be used to break up the
oxdown.firedoglake.com —"Stiglitz: ‘The Too-big-to-fail Institutions Have Succeeded in Managing Their Risk’"
Just starting now, JEC hearing: Too Big to Fail or Too Big to Save? Examining the Systemic Threats of Large Financial Institutions
(live webcast at the link) Witnesses: Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize recipient, 2001; University Professor, Columbia University;
thedailybeast.com —Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. attorney general
Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo,
several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be an
youtube.com — Nobel
prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains what drove the US economy off a cliff and what steps need to be taken to
rectify the situation during a Nation Institute panel discussion held to mark the release of a new book: "Meltdown: How
Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover"
marketplace.publicradio.org —Tim Geithner says he might fire the heads of big banks that are being bailed out, just as he disposed of
Rick Wagoner, the former CEO of General Motors. And before Wagoner, the old heads of AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Geithner's
tough talk is designed to reassure a public that's lost all faith in the bank bailout. At the rate the bailout m
an explosive interview on PBS' Bill Moyers Journal, William K. Black, a professor of economics and law with the University
of Missouri, alleged that American banks and credit agencies conspired to create a system in which so-called "liars loans"
could receive AAA ratings and zero oversight, amounting to a massive "fraud" at the epicenter.
In its last days as an independent company, Merrill gave performance-based bonuses exclusively to employees earning $300,000
a year or more and holding a rank of vice president or higher, according to their financial statements. $3.62 billion was
handed out to these executives - a sum equal to 36.2 percent of the $10 billion in taxpayer funds th
Barack Obama’s bank rescue plan fails, it is unlikely that Congress will come up with more funds to do what should have
done in the first place.
But the real problem with this plan is that it won’t work. Yes, troubled assets
may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there
was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that
bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that
of America CEO Ken Lewis received a subpoena from New York state officials who want to know about bonuses paid to Merrill
Lynch employees. The investigation focuses on whether the bank withheld information from investors during its acquisition
pubrecord.org —Rep. John Conyers has recommended that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to launch a criminal
inquiry to investigate, among other things, whether “enhanced interrogation techniques” used against alleged terrorist
detainees violated international and federal laws against torture.
reporter Seymour Hersh ’s bombshell earlier this week that Vice President Dick Cheney controlled an “executive
assassination ring” continues to reverberate throughout Washington, with Nixon aide John Dean going so far as to accuse
the former VP of murder if the charges are true.
the successful campaign to keep Amb. Charles "Chas" Freeman out of a top intelligence post marked a surface victory
for the pro-Israel hardliners who opposed him, the long-term political implications of the Freeman affair appear far more
Freeman states the obvious: the ‘Israel lobby’ torpedoed his nomination because he didn’t embrace the ubiquitous
pro-Israel bias required of those operating in U.S. foreign policy circles.
to a poll by Gallup the majority of Americans Want Investigations on Possible attempts to use Justice Dept. for political
purposes,use of telephone wiretaps without a warrant use of torture in terror interrogations
huffingtonpost.com —Proposing the idea of a
truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses during the Bush-Cheney administration, which may include the use
of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws.
Shortly after Merrill Lynch was purchased by Bank of America, CEO John Thain was publicly demonized for
requesting a $10 million bonus and spending $1.2 million on office renovations while his company faced a $15.3 billion loss in the fourth quarter.
Several weeks after that agreement was struck, a top deputy to Mr. [Kenneth]
Lewis met with Mr. Thain and asked him to lower the bonus pool below $3.5 billion and to increase the portion paid in cash.
Mr. Thain agreed to do so, according to two people familiar with the meeting.
Mr. Thain, meanwhile, lobbied for a bonus
of his own until December, according to people familiar with his board discussions. The initial $40 million suggestion floated
on his behalf was no longer viable and Mr. Thain himself suggested a figure of $5 million to $10 million. After that number
was pilloried in public, he formally asked the board to award him nothing.
soapboxroadshow.blogspot.com —Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla) $45,900; Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) $41,375; Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) $28,200; Sen.
John McCain (R-Ariz)* $28,150; Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) $27,500; Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) $20,100; Sen. John Cornyn
(R-Texas)$19,700; Sen. Charles E. Schumer $17,000 Rep. Charlie A. Gonzalez (D-Texas) $15,500; Rep. Max Sandlin
alternet.org — During the election, the Mormon Church pumped hundreds of
thousands of dollars into the push to ban same-sex marriages in California -- a campaign that deprived people in a different
state of a fundamental civil right.
—Obtuse hardly does justice to the social stupidity of our late, unlamented financial overlords.
John Thain of Merrill Lynch and Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, along with an astonishing number of their fraternity brothers,
continue to behave like so many intoxicated toreadors waving their capes at an enraged bull, oblivious even when gored.
news.yahoo.com —President Barack Obama on Wednesday imposed $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial
institutions receiving federal bailout money, saying Americans are upset with "executives being rewarded for failure."
news.yahoo.com —Iraq said Thursday it will bar Blackwater
Worldwide from providing security protection for U.S. diplomats because its contractors used excessive force, sanctioning
a company whose image was irrevocably tarnished by the 2007 killings of 17 Iraqi civilians. The move will deprive American
diplomats of their main protection force in Iraq.
blogs.moneycentral.msn.com —Investors may not be happy with the performance of bank executives and their top employees these days, but,
apparently, compensation committees are satisfied. The NYT kicks off its business coverage today with some numbers that are
hard to swallow. New York's financial institutions paid out a gaudy $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008
huffingtonpost.com —God Wall Street is so disgusting. President Barack Obama issued a withering critique Thursday of Wall Street
corporate behavior, calling it "the height of irresponsibility" for employees to be paid more than $18 billion in
bonuses last year while their crumbling financial sector received a bailout from taxpayers. "It is shameful," Obama
said from the Oval Office. "And part of what we're going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for
help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility."
editorial.autos.msn.com —U.S. cars emit 85 percent more carbon dioxide and consume twice as much fuel as European and Japanese cars.
The average year-to-date fuel consumption figure for cars, minivans and SUVs in the U.S. market stands at 22.6 mpg, compared
with 40.3 mpg in Europe and 40.6 mpg in Japan. Those are staggering differences, and they make us wonder why it will
take American automakers until 2020 to reach a mandated average fuel-efficiency rating of 35 mpg, when European and Japanese automakers already do. (That's food for thought, folks.)
What Recession?? Dubya's new Digs in Dallas
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Letter regarding the election of Barack
Dear IVAW Supporter,
On November 4th Americans came together across lines of race,
gender, class, and religion to elect Barack Obama as President of the United States, marking an historic moment for our
Over the course of President-elect Obama’s campaign, many were ignited with the hope that change
is possible, and we share that hope. As we take a moment to reflect on the significance of this vote, it is important
for us to remember that our struggles did not end on election night. Real change has never come because of the actions
of any one person, but only through the combined efforts of grassroots organizing by people with the courage and conviction
to see their struggle through to the end.
Over the last four and a half years, Iraq Veterans Against the War
has brought our message of change to our fellow veterans and members of the military, the American public, and
indeed the world. Our message remains the same: it is time to immediately withdraw all occupying forces from Iraq;
it is time to end the death and destruction facing the people of Iraq and address the needs of the Iraqi people; and it
is time to provide our veterans with the care and benefits that they need and have earned through their service to our country.
In recent months, we have expanded our focus to address the political parties, and we look forward to continuing
an open dialogue with our new President and his staff in the months to come. We will remind President-elect Obama
of his statement in August 2007, that “ending this war will be my first priority when I take office.” While
we understand and share concern that addressing our economic crises must be a top priority, we know that we cannot repair
our economy if we continue the costly occupation of Iraq – an immense financial burden which is simply unsustainable.
We acknowledge the shift in focus from the war in Iraq to the war in Afghanistan, and we encourage President-elect
Obama to listen to the Afghan people and U.S. veterans of that conflict before making any decision to escalate the occupation
As veterans of these wars, we have seen through our experiences that the first casualty in
war is the truth. We have also seen the power that exists when soldiers and veterans find their voices and tell their stories,
resurrecting the truth that has been lost in the false glory and heroism of war.
These are messages that Iraq
Veterans Against the War will continue to spread, because we know that one leader, one Administration, or one political
party is not going to make the change we need. Rather, it is up to us collectively to continue organizing for that
change. The election of Barack Obama affords us a fresh opportunity in our struggle, but as our history tells us when
it comes to ending wars and occupations, the power is truly in the hands of the people and our military. We will continue
to keep fighting for our goals and ask that you join us.
To read IVAW’s open letter to President-elect Obama,
In order to continue organizing troops and veterans to end the occupation of Iraq, we need your help. Please donate today to help us amplify the voices of our over 1,400 members.
Huge jump in the third quarter over the same
period last year
updated 8:18 a.m. ET,Thurs.,
Oct. 23, 2008
WASHINGTON - The number of homeowners ensnared in
the foreclosure crisis grew by more than 70 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2007,
according to data released Thursday.
Nationwide, nearly 766,000 homes received at
least one foreclosure-related notice from July through September, up 71 percent from a year earlier, said foreclosure listing
service RealtyTrac Inc.
By the end of the year, RealtyTrac expects more than a million
bank-owned properties to have piled up on the market, representing around a third of all properties for sale in the U.S.
Six states — California, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan and Nevada — accounted for more
than 60 percent of all foreclosure activity in the quarter, with California alone making up more than a quarter of all U.S.
Joe The Plumber, famous, unlicensed
Thomas Joseph, the business manager of Local
50 of the United Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters and Service Mechanics, based in Toledo, said Thursday that Mr. JOE
Wurzelbacher (pictured above) had never held a plumbers license, which is
required in Toledo and several surrounding municipalities. He also never completed an apprenticeship and does not belong to
the plumbers union, which has endorsed Mr. Obama. On Thursday, he acknowledged that he does plumbing work even though he does
not have a license.
A review of "State of War" by James Risen
Damning and dismaying... As a national
security reporter for the New York Times, Risen has produced some of this era's
best journalism on the Central Intelligence Agency and the dysfunctional relationship between
the White House and the U.S. spy community... As one of the Washington press corps' best reporters on national
security issues, Risen has a record of being right... State of War is a welcome reminder that American hournalism has a higher purpose than shallow pandering
to the lowest pop-cultural denominator. Somewhere, beyond celebrity, there are issues and ideas that matter. James
Risen's book as an urgent contribution to the country's common good by a skillful and courageous reporter."
- Los Angeles Times
Bailout: AIG Executives
go to Spa, St. Regis
See the bill below:
Pork barrel Spending in Alaska
and Wasilla, Alaska
Palin SUPPORTED the $200,000,000
Bridge to Nowhere before she
OPPOSED it. -
The Double Talk Express
Palin Was a Director of
Embattled Sen. Stevens's 527
Conyers to launch probe into
forged CIA letter
For Immediate Release: Monday, August 11, 2008
Conyers Announces Review of Allegations of Bush Administration's
Forged Iraq Intelligence
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today announced plans to
review allegations that senior Bush Administration officials ordered the forgery and dissemination of false intelligence documents
as reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Ron Suskind, in his new book, "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth
and Hope in an Age of Extremism."
"Mr. Suskind reports that the Bush Administration, in its pursuit of war,
created and promoted forged documents about Iraq," said Conyers. "I am particularly troubled that the decision to
disseminate this fabricated intelligence is alleged to have come from the highest reaches of the administration. The administration's
attempt to challenge Mr. Suskind's reporting appears to have been effectively dismissed by the publication of the author's
interview recordings and transcripts. I have instructed my staff to conduct a careful review of Mr. Suskind's allegations
and the role played by senior administration officials in this matter."
A number of issues raised in Mr. Suskind's
book to be reviewed include:
The origin of the allegedly forged document that formed the basis for Bush's
2003 State of the Union assertion that Iraq sought yellowcake uranium from Niger;
The role of this document in creating
the false impression that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had a working relationship with Iraq;
The relationship between
this document and other reported examples of the Bush Administration considering other deceptive schemes to justify or provoke
war with Iraq, such as the reported consideration of painting a U.S. aircraft with UN colors in order to provoke Iraq into
Allegations that the Bush Administration deliberately ignored information from Iraq's
chief intelligence officer that Iraq possessed no WMDs;
The payment of $5 million to Iraq's chief intelligence
officer and his secret settlement in Jordan, beyond the reach of investigators;
The September 2007 detainment and
interrogation of Mr. Suskind's research assistant, Greg Jackson, by federal agents in Manhattan. Jackson's notes were
More on the Ron Suskind book
"Way of the World"
Author Ron Suskind says his sources are under "enormous pressure" to change their stories after revealing to him
that the Bush administration had ordered the CIA to forge a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence connecting Iraq to the 9/11 hijackers.
On Tuesday, former
CIA official Robert Richer, who is one of Suskind's sources, sent a statement to news outlets in which he wrote, "I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document from Habbush
as outlined in Mr. Suskind's book."
Richer's statement also quoted Suskind's other source, former
CIA officer John Maguire, as saying, "I have no knowledge to the origins of the letter."
Suskind told NBC's
Meredith Vieira on Wednesday morning, "It's interesting. ... Rob Richer talked to me, and actually other reporters
too, yesterday morning. He was fine, he'd gotten the book Monday night, read it. And then something happened yesterday
"It's one of these instances where you've got a few people whose testimony could mean
the impeachment, ostensibly, of the president," Suskind explained. "It's enormous pressure on both men."
Suskind had appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann the previous evening, where he had explained, "They've
got to feed their families. They really survive off the government, they're contractors, both of them. ... They can be
brought into a moment of crisis by the government saying, 'You'll never work again.'"
to Vieira, however, that "I'm actually not concerned," telling her, "I've spent a lot of time with
them. Their interviews are taped. ... They talked to me at length, hour after hour ... and all of that is on the record."
Suskind emphasized to Olbermann that "Maguire, I think, will still stand up in daylight." He noted that
Maguire recently said he understands why the first and second amendments appear in that order, because "the first amendment
is the most important amendment. If they take that one away, then you should start loading your weapons."
The Beginning of the End in
Dear MoveOn member,
Three big things happened on Iraq this week. They could mean the beginning of the end of the war.
But since the media have mostly ignored them, I wanted to make sure you
saw what's going on.
Here's the scoop:
Iraqis want U.S. Troops out. No one was expecting
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to speak up in favor of withdrawal—after all, he's close with the Bush administration.
But with elections in Iraq coming up, and a great majority of Iraqis opposed to a prolonged U.S. occupation, Maliki can't
afford to toe the Bush line. So he's surprised everyone by standing up this week for a timetable for troop withdrawals
and a date certain to end the war. The LA Times headline reads, "Iraqi prime minister advocates withdrawal
As a result, the "endless
war agreement" Bush has been pushing fell through. Since January, hundreds of thousands of us pushed Congress
to stand up to President Bush's proposed treaty with Iraq, which would have tied the next President's hands and made
it much harder to get out. This week, the Washington Post reported that that agreement has fallen through—Iraqi
leaders are putting their feet down and demanding a much shorter agreement.2
And now even the Pentagon is considering faster timelines. According to reporter
Michael Hirsh at Newsweek, "a forthcoming Pentagon-sponsored report" will recommend a big drawdown of
troops—suggesting "that U.S. forces be reduced to as few as 50,000 by the spring of 2009, down from about 150,000
In other words, it's now clear:
Most Americans are for a timeline, and so are most Iraqis. And even experts in the Pentagon agree.
For his part, Barack Obama is using these developments to hammer home the point
that John McCain and President Bush are now isolated in their resistance to any kind of timeline for withdrawal. He wrote
an Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday that reaffirmed his commitment to a timeline that would have all combat
troops out of Iraq in 16 months.
It concludes, "Unlike
Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South
Korea. . . [F]or far too long, those responsible for the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign
policy have ignored useful debate in favor of making false charges about flip-flops and surrender. It's not going to
work this time. It's time to end this war."4
important that we all work to get the word out about these developments. You can even start by just forwarding this email.
Most Americans still don't know that the Iraqis want us out. And that may be the single most important fact to share
at this point in time.
I'm always shocked when someone
points out that it's been six years since we first started working together to prevent an Iraq war. This week, we're
turning a corner in that fight. Bush's permanent war agreement has fallen through. The Iraqi politicians are speaking
up. And if we keep working together, we just might see the remaining holdouts in Washington coming around as well.
Thanks for all you do,
PS. Minutes ago, Barack Obama finished
making a major speech on Iraq and foreign policy. Here's how he described the Bush-McCain approach:
George Bush and
John McCain don't have a strategy for success in Iraq—they have a strategy for staying in Iraq. They said we couldn't
leave when violence was up, they say we can't leave when violence is down. They refuse to press the Iraqis to make tough
choices, and they label any timetable to redeploy our troops "surrender," even though we would be turning Iraq over
to a sovereign Iraqi government—not to a terrorist enemy. Theirs is an endless focus on tactics inside Iraq, with no
consideration of our strategy to face threats beyond Iraq's borders.
Another Critical Expose
of the Bush administration:
How the War on Terror turned into a war on
By Jane Mayer
700 Page official U.S. Army history
details Iraq war blunders
The Army's new official history of the Iraq war says its senior leaders failed to properly plan for the aftermath of the
2003 invasion. It's a conclusion that others have reached before. But this time, the Army — in a 700-page book released
today — is criticizing itself.
Shortly after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, the top U.S. commander in the Middle
East, Gen. Tommy Franks, may have sealed the U.S. military's fate in Iraq for the next four years.
the team that led the invasion — the Coalition Forces Land Component Command, or CFLCC — to leave Baghdad and
to set up shop in Kuwait.
CFLCC was an operational unit run by some of the Army's most experienced commanders, known
as "the dream team" among senior officers including Gen. Jack Keane, who was the Army's vice chief of staff
at the time.
"They had been together for about eight or nine months, almost a year, in preparing for the war, then
executed the invasion, and now they were going to move to Kuwait and essentially just be a support headquarters. It seemed
to be, in my judgment, very ill-advised to do something like that," Keane said.
With CFLCC in Kuwait, Franks assigned
the Army's Fifth Corps to take its place. The only problem was that Fifth Corps was a tactical unit, trained to fight
and defeat Saddam Hussein's army.
"It was a very conscious decision that was made by General Franks to do
that, because in my assessment, he believed that the war was over and that most of the forces would be out by August. And
therefore he just needed a caretaker headquarters, if you will, on the ground to manage the re-deployment of forces,"
said Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the Fifth Corps commander at the time.
Sanchez's headquarters was understaffed and
ill-equipped to handle what unfolded in Iraq.
"It did put us on a path during the first 18 to 24 months of having
tremendous difficulties. It led to the enhanced insurgency, and to the tremendous instability that we faced in the country,"
The decision to place Sanchez's Fifth Corps in charge of Iraq may have been the single biggest military
blunder after the fall of Baghdad, according to the Army's new official history of the war.
Franks was not available
The book, released today, is based on interviews with 200 senior Army officers involved in the invasion
and its aftermath.
It's an attempt to expose the mistakes that were made — in the hope that they won't
be repeated by future officers.
Retired Gen. Bob Scales, a former Army historian himself, says the book is remarkably
candid. He calls it a "chronicle of failure."
"The Army's got a strong internal culture of self-criticism.
Hidden from the general population is the passion and often the vitriol that goes on, particularly among and between officers,
particularly general officers, over the conduct of operations," Scales said.
While the book doesn't single
out specific officers for criticism, it is hardly a ringing endorsement of the general officer corps — generals, the
report implies, who failed to insist on better post-invasion planning.
"I think we could have asked tougher questions.
... Why didn't we ask 'What happens if the regime doesn't surrender?' " Keane said.
The next installment
of the Army's official Iraq war history is due out in about a year.
The WMD Intelligence "Failure"
Press Release of Senate Intelligence Committee re.
(WMD WEAPONS OF MASS
Senate Intelligence Committee Unveils Final Phase II Reports on Prewar
-- Two Bipartisan Reports Detail Administration Misstatements on Prewar Iraq Intelligence,
and Inappropriate Intelligence Activities by Pentagon Policy Office --
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Washington, DC -- The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,
John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and a bipartisan majority of the Committee (10-5), today unveiled the final two sections of
its Phase II report on prewar intelligence. The first report
details Administration prewar statements that, on numerous occasions, misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from
Iraq. The second report details inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities conducted by the DoD’s Office of the
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department.
“Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100
percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration
made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,” Rockefeller said. “In making the case
for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted,
or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater
than actually existed.”
“It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and
used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa’ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration
officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq
played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses.
“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference
between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not
“These reports represent the final chapter in our oversight of prewar
intelligence. They complete the story of mistakes and failures – both by the Intelligence Community and the Administration
– in the lead up to the war. Fundamentally, these reports are about transparency and holding our government accountable,
and making sure these mistakes never happen again,” Rockefeller added.
The Committee’s report
cites several conclusions in which the Administration’s public statements were NOT supported by the intelligence. They
Ø Statements and implications by the President and Secretary
of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons
training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to
terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
Ø Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation
in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the
Ø Statements by the President and Vice President
prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and
activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
Ø The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government
operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and
deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice
President repeatedly claimed.
Additionally, the Committee issued a report on the Intelligence
Activities Relating to Iraq conducted by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group and the Office of Special Plans within
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The report found that the clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials
and Iranians in Rome and Paris were inappropriate and mishandled from beginning to end. Deputy National Security
Advisor Steve Hadley and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz failed to keep the Intelligence Community and the State Department
appropriately informed about the meetings. The involvement of Manucher Ghobanifer and Michael Ledeen in the meetings
was inappropriate. Potentially important information collected during the meetings was withheld from intelligence
agencies by Pentagon officials. Finally, senior Defense Department officials cut short internal investigations of the
meetings and failed to implement the recommendations of their own counterintelligence experts.
reports are the culmination of efforts that began in March 2003, when, as Vice Chairman, Senator Rockefeller initially requested
an investigation into the origin of the fraudulent Niger documents. In June 2003, he was joined by all Democrats on
the Committee in pushing for a full investigation into prewar intelligence, which was eventually expanded by the Committee
in February 2004 to include the five phase II tasks.
The Committee released its first report on July 9,
2004, which focused primarily on the Intelligence Community’s prewar assessments of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction
programs and links to terrorism. Those findings helped lay the foundation for some of the intelligence reforms enacted into
law in late 2004.
In September 2006, the Committee completed and publicly released two sections of Phase
II: The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress; and Postwar Findings
About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments.
May 2007, the Committee released the third section of Phase II: Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq.
Separately, in early 2007, the Pentagon Inspector General released its own report on the intelligence activities conducted
by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and also concluded that those activities were inappropriate.
Your Daily Politics Video Blog: There's been a lot of chatter over the last few days about John McCain's
embrace of Pastor John Hagee, who's well-known for a history of anti-Catholicism and claims that God will send terrorists
to create a "bloodbath" in America for its support of a two state solution in Israel/Palestine. So what is it exactly
that Hagee's said and just how much has McCain cozied up to him? We thought we'd put all the choicest moments into
one quick video so you could take a look and make up your own mind.
According to the Form 990 that GETV filed for tax year 2003, Hagee received almost a million dollars in compensation
for his work for GETV that year, which amounted to approximately 16 hours per week . (The GETV Board of Directors, which determines his pay, consisted of John Hagee himself, his wife, his son, and a
Cornerstone Church member.) However, because he claimed that he worked "80 hours a week" writing books, singing
songs, meeting international dignitaries and answering the call to preach the word of God, John Hagee argued: "I deserve every dime I'm getting".
Other observers, including many evangelical Christians, criticize Hagee's handling of finances . Considering his combined pay from both donor-supported ministries (his separate church and TV ministries), his pay
has been over $1 million per year.
Hagee said he was certain his finances complied with requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) because he hired tax lawyers and accountants to make sure that his books complied with tax laws. Hagee said, 'We want a set of books so that when the IRS comes in
here and looks they'll say, those people are clean'", Hagee said. "And I am waiting for the day that the
IRS is going to come look at our books. I have spent a chunk of money waiting for them" .
In September 2004, Hagee re-registered GETV as a church under the name Grace Church of San Antonio, and became
exempt from filing detailed returns with the IRS. A further reorganization in July 2006 moved all assets into Cornerstone Church.
Above, Rev. Wright meets with President Bill Clinton in 1998.
NPR Responds to "Pentagon Pundits" controversy and
their pundit, General Scales
Pentagon recruited "stealth" spokesmen for media campaign
"Responsible Plan for Iraq" Challengers
running for Congress
By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
BOSTON - Former Clinton Cabinet member Robert Reich on Friday endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the
battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Two other Democratic elder statesmen, former Sens. Sam Nunn of Georgia and David Boren of Oklahoma, also said they were
supporting the Illinois senator.
Reich, who served as Labor secretary under Bill Clinton, said in a blog post that "although Hillary Clinton has offered
solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so."
Reich also said Obama's plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding, and his
approach to the nation's housing crisis and financial market failures are sounder than the New York senator's.
Reich is a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He ran for governor in Massachusetts in 2002 and now is a professor
A number of other former Clinton cabinet members have endorsed Obama. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who was U.N. ambassador
and energy secretary under Clinton, endorsed former rival Obama in March despite heavy wooing by the former president. Former
Denver Mayor Federico Pena, who headed the transportation and energy departments under Clinton, became a co-chair of Obama's
campaign last September. Former Clinton Commerce secretaries Norman Mineta and William Daley also have endorsed Obama.
Nunn and Boren will serve as advisers to Obama's National Security Foreign Policy Team.
Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1987-95, while Boren was the longest-serving chairman
of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
- Lord Acton
"Wars begin when you will but do not end when you please."
"Old men start wars, young men fight and die in them."
"Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most dreaded."
- James Madison
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those
who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
- President Eisenhower
Jefferson's quote on "standing armies" for 1802
Sec. of State Condi lied about torture program..
Another KBR Employee Alleges Rape in Iraq
See the article online in the Nation - written by Karen Houppert
FRONTLINE Bush's War Mar 24 & 25 @ pbs.org/frontline
On the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, FRONTLINE presents the definitive documentary analysis of "Bush's War"
From the horror of 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq; the truth about WMD to the rise of an insurgency; the scandal of Abu
Ghraib to the strategy of the surge—for six years, FRONTLINE has revealed the defining stories of the war on terror
in meticulous detail, and the political dramas that played out at the highest levels of power and influence.
Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga unfolds in the two-part FRONTLINE special Bush's War,
airing Monday, March 24, from 9 to 11:30 P.M. and Tuesday, March 25, 2008, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).
Veteran producer Michael Kirk ("The Torture Question," "The Dark Side") draws on one of the richest archives
in broadcast journalism—more than 40 FRONTLINE reports on the war on terror. Combined with fresh reporting and new
interviews, "Bush's War" will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the
Following the broadcast: a new TV/Web experience. View the entire "Bush's War" online, integrated with more
than 100 video clips of key moments since 9/11, drawn from FRONTLINE's robust online video archive and integrated into a master
annotated chronology of the war.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Sally Kern
Capitol: (405) 557-7348
Kern Responds to Activist Criticisms
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City) issued the following statement today in response to
the criticisms of homosexual activists who have objected to a recent speech she gave on their efforts to promote their agenda
at both the federal and state level.
“To put this simply, as a Christian I believe homosexuality is not moral. Obviously, you have the right as an
American to choose that lifestyle, but I also have the right to express my views and my fellow Oklahomans have the right to
debate these issues.
“In recent years homosexual activists have begun to aggressively promote their agenda through the political
process, often providing substantial financing to candidates who agree with their views, including many running for state
legislative races. National publications such as Time, The Atlantic and USA Today have noted that trend. That is their right,
just as it is my right to voice opposition to their agenda, which I have been asked to do at several public forums in recent
months. That’s what democracy is all about. It appears some homosexual activists believe only one group is allowed
a voice in this debate. I disagree.
“A vigorous debate on an issue is not ‘hate speech’ – it’s free speech.
I have made clear my opposition to the agenda of homosexual activists, but I have never endorsed or supported any hateful
action targeting individuals on the other side of this debate and never will. The fact that many gay rights activists claim
anyone opposing their agenda is engaging in ‘hate speech’ says more about them than me.
“Most Oklahomans are socially conservative and believe marriage is a sacred institution, the union of one man
and one woman, and that the traditional family is worth protecting and preserving. When I campaigned for office, I promised
my constituents to stand up for those values, and I do not apologize for keeping my word.”
Top U.S. Defense Contractor registered its shell
companies as "foreign owned company"
CAYMAN ISLANDS: Top Iraq contractor skirts US taxes offshore
Shell companies in Cayman Islands allow KBR to avoid Medicare, Social Security deductions
CAYMAN ISLANDS - Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton
Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers
through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.
When Texas pipe-fitter Danny Langford applied for unemployment compensation after being let go by Service Employers International
Inc., he was rejected, he was told, because he worked for a foreign company.
More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies
that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither
company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.
The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as
employees of Cayman Islands shell companies, and officials said the move allowed KBR to perform the work more cheaply, saving
But the use of the loophole results in a significantly greater loss of revenue to the government as a whole, particularly
to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. And the creation of shell companies in places such as the Cayman Islands
to avoid taxes has long been attacked by members of Congress.
A Globe survey found that the practice is unusual enough that only one other ma jor contractor in Iraq said it does something
"Failing to contribute to Social Security and Medicare thousands of times over isn't shielding the taxpayers they
claim to protect, it's costing our citizens in the name of short-term corporate greed," said Senator John F. Kerry, a
Massachusetts Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee who has introduced legislation to close loopholes for companies registering
With an estimated $16 billion in contracts, KBR is by far the largest contractor in Iraq, with eight times the work of
its nearest competitor.
The Boston Globe
March 6th, 2008
Defense contractor KBR charging triple for monogrammed white towels
In a hearing today on waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said the defense contractor KBR, formerly of
Halliburton, has been stamping its logo on towels given to U.S. troops. Dorgan said a contractor told him that he ordered
plain white towels for troops, but the "superviser" said the towels must have the KBR logo on them — despite
the cost to taxpayers: He said the problem is, that will triple or quadruple the price. His superviser said, 'doesn't matter.
This is a cost-plus contract. Taxpayers pay for that.' So this is the towel the troops got, with KBR embroidered on it
ABOVE: "Enduring" or permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.
The Don Siegelman Case
Television Black-out in Alabama
Kerry Requests FCC Investigation of Alabama Media Blackout of CBS's 60 Minutes
WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Kerry sent a letter to Kevin Martin, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission today,
asking him to investigate an Alabama television station that "blacked out" during a controversial segment of 60
Minutes. Allegations have been raised that the blackout, which the station blames on "technical difficulties", was
an example of censorship.
"The airwaves belong to the American people, and they have a right to know whether this blackout was the result of
technical difficulties, or whether it was an act of censorship," said Sen. John Kerry. "I think a full and thorough
investigation by the FCC is owed to the public, especially those in Alabama who, for whatever reason, tuned in to watch 60
Minutes and didn't get a chance to evaluate the fairness of this story on their own that night."
March 5, 2008
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
Dear Chairman Martin:
According to recent press reports, on Sunday, February 24th, a segment of “60 Minutes” addressing
the conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman failed to air on WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama. Instead of the regularly
scheduled segment, viewers were subjected to several minutes of dead air. Following the completion of the segment, the station
resumed its broadcast of “60 Minutes” without further incident.
Although the station reportedly blamed the black out on a technical malfunction, questions have been raised as to whether
the nature of the content played a role.
I understand that you will be looking into the details of this incident, including the reason for the station’s
failure to broadcast this segment. Upon the completion of your inquiry, I ask that you share your findings and conclusions
with interested members of the congressional committees of jurisdiction, so that we will know that a complete inquiry has
It is a fundamental responsibility of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that broadcasters fulfill their
duties as trustees of the public airwaves. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I will be monitoring this situation
closely, and I look forward to the resolution of your inquiry.
Cc: The Honorable Michael J. Copps, FCC Commissioner
The Honorable Jonathan S. Adelstein, FCC Commissioner
The Honorable Deborah T. Tate, FCC Commissioner
The Honorable Robert M. McDowell, FCC Commissioner
CLICK THE ABOVE LINK
WHY THIS WEBSITE???
(written in December 2007)
This is a new and experimental attempt at a pre-emptive and grassroots campaign within the Democratic, liberal and progressive
circles of the American electorate. People in these Democratic and progressive circles are witnessing, seemingly, a troubling
and hasty effort by the mainstream media and other powerful types to nominate Hillary Clinton for president even before a
single primary has taken place or before a single vote has been cast. The presidential primary system that used to be open,
democratic and deliberative, and that used to winnow out candidates and select the front-runners, has given way to a media-driven,
beauty-contest, horse-race frenzy that selects the front runner/nominee after just one or two primaries - this is the bad
(and corrupting) system we have today.
Hillary is already amassing the monies for her Big Campaign. But rather than hold this fund-raising contest, let's hold
an election!!! It would seem to me that a healthy debate and discussion of the issues facing the country within the Democratic
Party and during the presidential primaries, would be much better for the party, the voters and the nation. Just a thought....