Wednesday, May 31, 2006

FAT RATS IN OHIO WHO WHORE FOR BUSH

AND THEY ARE ALL CARD CARRYING MEMBERS OF THE GRAND OLD PARTY.

An article written by Bobby Kennedy Jr. will blow the lid off the smoldering perception of voter fraud in 2004 in the forthcoming issue Rolling Stone magazine. Bobby’s piece documents evidence of voter fraud in Ohio 2004. The corruption is said to have started with Kenneth Slime Blackwell and went all the way to the White House – probably straight to evil doing Rove, then Cheney, the Puppet Master, then to Bush, the Puppet. I found this information on Brad's Blog. Brad Friedman has been a voters' rights activist since the "election" of 2004. He smelled a huge stinking rat, as did many of us did, with the Ohio count, or non-count, really. Over 350,000 votes somehow "disappeared."

Does anyone care?

When some of us turned to the local and national media to express alarm over the obvious fraud, we were labeled conspiracy theorist crazies and nut jobs. Once again, the mainstream media abysmally failed the American people and of course, Democracy.

Think about life in America without Bush as president. Consider how different our lives would be today without Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Reflect on the lives of the thousands of our children who have been killed and maimed by the Bush’s neoconservative, twisted and sick will to dominate the globe for oil and money. Consider the dead and maimed soldiers’ families. How do they feel? Think about all of those we have killed in doing Bush’s bidding. I won’t comment on the recently revealed massacre in Iraq because about 25 years ago I wrote a paper as a college student on the My Lai massacre in Viet Nam. Shit happens when you have shits for leaders. Shits are those who don’t get the fact that war should be declared only when you have a nuke locked onto you. Shits normally don’t get it and most unfortunately, we historically let them get away with it. LS

BRAD BLOG ON THE STOLEN ELECTION IN OHIO 2004

ANOTHER CORRUPT FAT RAT IN OHIO

FORMER GOP FUNDRAISER IN OHIO, NOE, PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGALLY FUNNELING DONATIONS TO BUSH'S CAMPAIGN

RAW STORY ON NOE'S GUILTY PLEA HERE

AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK THERE ARE NO MORE RATS TO WRITE ABOUT IN OHIO, VOILA! HERE IS A THIRD. I found this on The Huffington Post.com

"HOW ABRAMOFF DID IT: FIRST PHOTOS MADE PUBLIC" From ABC News: The Blotter.

Excerpt:

Included in the photos is Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), who law enforcement officials say is facing possible indictment. Ney has denied any wrongdoing.

PHOTOS OF ABRAMOFF'S GOLFING BUDDIES

Monday, May 29, 2006

BUSH LIED WHEN HE SAID HE DID NOT TRY TO SAVE ENRON AND KENNY BOY

BUSH WAS SO BUSY TRYING TO SAVE KENNY BOY'S HIDE THAT HE IGNORED WARNINGS FROM AL-QAEDA PRE-9/11.

Bush lied when he told the American people that he did not bail out his great buddy from Texas, Kenny Boy, when Enron crashed and burned. This is a lie. Dubya was helping his great pal all along. So was our V.P. Cheney and then National Security Advisor, Condi Rice. Indeed, when Condi's office received warnings of the impending 9/11 horror, they went unnoticed because our National Security Advisor was fixated on the Bush/Cheney imperative to save Kenny's pet plant project in India. And, while Bush/Cheney/Rice were consumed with saving Kenny Boy's Enron projects, folks in California were being royally ripped with electricity blackouts and costs. Ken sent this mind-blowing piece on Friday night, written by Mr. Robert Parry for Consortium News.com. Because of copyright laws I cannot post the entire piece. If it can no longer be found by the link below, try TRUTHOUT.ORG

Excerpt:

Throughout summer 2001, while intelligence warnings about an expected al-Qaeda terror attack went unheeded, the NSC staff met frequently to coordinate U.S. pressure on India over Enron's plant, drawing in the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative and the Overseas Private Investment Corp., which had committed $360 million in risk insurance to the Dabhol project.

While the NSC held no follow-up meetings on the Aug. 6, 2001, intelligence warning entitled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S.,” national security adviser Condoleezza Rice organized and led the “Dabhol Working Group.”

The working group sought to broker meetings between Lay and senior Indian officials, including Brajesh Mishra, the national security adviser to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. During a trip to India, a senior State Department official delivered a “demarche” or official warning to the Indian government, but New Delhi still resisted the U.S. pressure.

Also in the summer of 2001, Enron was consolidating its influence at FERC.

"BUSH'S LIES ON ENRON" BY ROBERT PARRY

SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL. HOW THE GOP CONGRESS IS MARRIED TO THE DARK SIDE OF CAPITALISM AND TO ITS CORPORATE GREED MONGERING ETHOS.

Below is an astonishing and thought-provoking article written by Mr. William Greider of The Nation, courtesy of Truthout.org. He writes about the rise and fall of the "Enron boys." Mr. Greider links Lay's and Skilling's greed and corruption to an enabling and tacitly complicit Congress. LS

Excerpts:

These two thugs looted pension funds and destroyed the personal savings of families. They stole money from the rest of us, not to mention from government and other non-glamorous business enterprises. They rigged energy markets to drive up prices and bilk defenseless consumers (an old-fashioned swindle borrowed from nineteenth-century robber barons and newly decriminalized by deregulation). They swallowed viable, productive companies and wrecked them, especially wrecking the livelihoods of their employees. And, worst of all, they were best pals with politicians and political leaders as well as the most prestigious names in banking and finance - connections the Mafia would die for! (Remember, Bush/Cheney/Rice were hard at work to save Enron while Al-Qaeda prepared to attack us. LS)

Sorry, am I shouting? My exuberance over this verdict is a mixture of joyous fulfillment and lingering doubts about the impact. Since the meltdown of the stock market in 2001 and the avalanche of scandalous revelations that followed from hundreds of corporations, I have thought the political system and the financial system and even the public at large did not sufficiently get the message. The pervasive rot in American capitalism is much deeper than acknowledged. The various forms of fraud by which millions of people are separated from their money continue in practice, often blessed by law itself. (“Law” of course is Bush/Cheney and the GOP Congress, with a few Dems thrown in with the rest of the mix of evil doing greed mongers. LS)

MR. WILLIAM GREIDER: "RISE AND FALL OF THE ENRON BOYS"

BUSH AND CORPORATE AMERICA TRICK US WITH FAKE NEWS, ALSO KNOWN AS PROPAGANDA

I thought propaganda was illegal. Apparently not, under Bush. LS

Found where else but in a foreign new source: The UK's Independent News Online.com.

Excerpts:

Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.

The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items.

INDEPENDENT NEWS.COM ON FAKE NEWS IN THE US

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

GOP FAVORITE PAST TIME: MANIPULATING LANGUAGE TO TRICK AND SCARE VOTERS

I caught the head cheerleader for Bush's anti-American and twisted policies - you've guessed correctly - it was none other than Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, in a very fashionable blue suit, by the way, on CSPAN, while I worked out on a cardio machine at the gym today. Trying hard not to go into cardiac arrest or stroke mode while viewing Madame La Slippery Snake Oil Dealer, I finally caught on to what she does.

With proposed legislation on immigration Kay Bailey Hutchison is trying to sneak in an amendment to push through Bush's guest worker program. The Senator begins by distracting folks with a passionate plea for border security, and then went on to say that most immigrants from south of the border are good people who need to work here because they lack the education and skills to work in their home countries. According to Senator Hutchison, these immigrants believe our borders should be secure. She also said employers she knows in Texas who are trying to do the "right thing" also want border security. The Senator transitioned from border security and an unskilled labor force to Canada's "wonderful" guest worker program, how we should adopt it and blah, blah, blah, yaddy ya ya. I quite frankly lost interest in what the Senator said about this program because 1. I did not believe her. 2. She is rubbing stamping yet another Bush policy.

After extolling the virtues of Canada’s guest worker program, Mrs. Hutchison went on to say that said many if not most immigrants send money back to family in their home countries so dollars earned in the US are shipped out of the US and generate spending in other countries. This is apparently a good thing, according to Senator Hutchison.

OK - so - some countries south of the border don't have jobs for unskilled laborers who are so poor that they must send their to children work instead of school, thereby creating an endless cycle of abject poverty. They try to come here to work, educate their kids and send money back home.

Immigration is one issue. Border security is another entirely separate one. The people who are fleeing their countries to work here do not pose an imminent threat or danger to us. They come here to survive. (Of course, the criminals, drug dealers and human traffic slime are a different story, but they are a minority.)

Immigration today is more about a huge humanitarian crisis and politicians like Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison are masking this reality with rhetoric whose ultimate goal is to create a cheap labor force, with folks who cannot vote and will work at or below minimum wage, for corporate America so CEO's will get fatter and richer and politicians like Senator Hutchison will have their pockets lined with more donations from these very same companies. Somehow in this mix of evoking emotion and manipulating language, the guest worker program makes our borders more secure.

Quite a leap isn't it?

As Professor Lakoff at UC Berkeley wrote in an article (posted recently below on how politicians use language to trick voters): "Can the mass migration and displacement of people from their homelands at rate of 800,000 a year be understood as anything else (than a humanitarian crisis)? Unknown numbers of people have died trekking through the extreme conditions of the Arizona and New Mexico desert. Towns are being depopulated and ways of life lost in rural Mexico. Fathers feel forced to leave their families in their best attempt to provide for their kids. Everyday, boatloads of people arrive on our shores after miserable journeys at sea in deplorable conditions." The professor suggests that the solution involves the UN or Organization of American States, the Secretary of State, conversations with Mexico and other Central American countries, a close re-examination of NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank to raise standards of living around the globe.

This is a highly complex issue and one that I am not sufficiently informed about to discuss at length… The point I am trying to make is Mrs. Hutchison and other GOP Senators are both dumbing down and masking the issues of immigration. They are linking illegal immigration to border security by stage-managing both language and emotion to drive through legislation that will benefit themselves and a few other high rollers in corporate American and in Congress.

This is shameless, absolutely shameless. But it is business as usual for the Bush Administration and all of its rubber stamping GOP Congress.

Politicians like Senator Hutchison are also using illegal immigration and border security to make us angry, scare us and take our attention away from the fact that Iraq is a colossal failure and nightmare that won't go away, our soldiers are being killed and maimed on a daily basis, benefits normally extended to our military have been slashed, the upper 1% of wage earners get the biggest tax breaks, our country is going bankrupt with the huge and ever expanding deficit that our great, great grandchildren will have to pay for, and we probably have more corrupted lawmakers now than ever before in our history.

I tried to look up Senator Hutchison’s amendment in the Library of Congress through the Thomas search engine tonight but it apparently isn't posted yet. I'll post it when I find it.

Keep on trekking and never give up the fight. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. LS

SHOCKING! ANOTHER GOP CONGRESSMAN UNDER INVESTIGATION.

Excerpt:

Despite a flat denial from the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement sources tonight said ABC News accurately reported that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is "in the mix" in the FBI investigation of corruption in Congress.

Speaker Hastert said tonight the story was "absolutely untrue" and has demanded ABC News retract its story.

ABC NEWS PIECE ON HASTART HERE

Monday, May 22, 2006

ON SOYBEANS AND THE GOP BLUES

No news has surfaced so far on a potential Rove indictment. Either Mr. Leopold's sources were misinformed or Mr. Fitzgerald is taking his time.

THE STEPFORD WIFE SENATOR FROM THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS

I caught our Texas U.S. Senator (R of course) Kay Bailey Hutchison on Larry King Live last night. Our Senator was patently pathetic in that she exuded and extolled GOP politics instead of addressing head on an issue that is so crucial and extraordinarily important to our state's and national well-being: i.e., a comprehensive and realistic policy on energy. Naturally the Senator is the largest recipient of oil contributions among all members of the Senate and House but she has done zip, nada and rien to help ease the cost of fuel for Americans.

In my opinion, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison gets a F- on energy policy.

I mean, talk about a Stepford wife type Bush and Big Oil Supporter. I was both mortified and appalled when I saw Mrs. Hutchison blatantly pander to the big daddy CEO of Chevron, who was also a guest on Larry King Live last night. I cringed, friends, I cringed. Talk about sleazy, if not street walking tactics......and, worse, soul selling.....

Senator Hutchison oozed, gushed and celebrated Mr. Chevron's virtues in establishing some sort of "bio" soybean oil energy factory in "my home state of Texas in Galveston." This is a new twist. I haven't caught soybeans on any radar screen so far as being a viable alternative fuel source. Have you? And Galveston!? I do not believe soybeans are grown in Galveston, which is located on the Gulf coast and therefore has a very humid sub tropical climate.

I have sent out feelers on the soybean fuel possibility to the volunteers (who live across the state) for the Barbara Ann Radnofsky for U.S. Senate Campaign (BAR Campaign Site Here) and so far no one has heard about soybeans as an alternative source of energy, even those who live in parts of Texas that actually grow soybeans. I have also contacted a Ph.D geologist who works for an oil company in Houston about this matter and am waiting for his input.

I wonder if indeed soybeans are a viable derivative source of energy and if so, how long will it take to process it, how much will it cost and how will it impact our environment? Is this a possible reality or more GOP make believe and spin? Float the idea and then pull it after an election? Framing soybeans? I will let you know when I learn the answers to the questions. LS

MOVING ON TO THE GOP BLUES

HUNDREDS OF ABRAMOFF EMAILS TO SURFACE IN SAFAVIAN TRIAL. Found on Bloomberg, courtesy of The Huffington Post

Ought to make for some very interesting reading indeed. One no longer has to cast furtive glances at the tabloids while waiting in grocery story lines. There is better stuff waiting for you on line. LS

BLOOMBERG.COM "Abramoff E-Mails to Get First Courtroom Airing in Safavian Case"

Ken sent the piece below on the growing rebellion within the GOP ranks. By the way, I can no longer post entire pieces since I had my hands slapped for copyright violations recently. I was shocked, really, when I received the warning because I didn't think anyone outside a small group of family, friends and acquaintances read this blog. Guess I was wrong. LS

Excerpts:

In the Rocky Mountains, a registered Republican was so dissatisfied that he wrote a $26,700 check to the Democrats' Senate campaign committee.

In San Diego, Republicans worry that conservatives unhappy with the GOP candidate for a vacant House seat will stay home rather than vote in the June special election.

In Pennsylvania's primary last week, conservative Republicans unseated more than a dozen state legislators, in large part because critics believed the party establishment had abandoned GOP fiscal principles. "It's time for Republicans to start acting like Republicans," said John Eichelberger, a conservative who defeated the state Senate's GOP president.

That is a complaint increasingly heard across the country when conservatives outside Washington talk about the national GOP establishment.

"I voted for President Bush twice, but in my opinion we have no leadership in Washington from the president or the Congress," said Warren H. Ingram Jr., a Missouri libertarian.

Some Republicans are so discouraged by the direction of the country and the record of their party —including the growth of federal spending, turmoil in Iraq, and Bush's immigration policy — that they have begun wondering if Republicans might be better off losing control of Congress.

"Two years in the political wilderness would do us a lot of good," said one Republican member of Congress who asked not to be named because of his heretical view.

The L.A. TIMES "A Restive Base Throws the GOP Off Balance"

HOW THE GOP USES LANGUAGES TO SELL ITS AGENDA

This is a very long and scholarly article. It is well worth reading if you want to know how politicians use language to trick you. (Well, it is far more complex than that!) Seriously and most importantly, this article will help you gain a better grasp of the extraordinarily complex question of immigration and lobby reform. The piece also reveals how conservative politicians are more likely to use framing language to advance their ideology to voters. And/or misinform us. I found the piece on Buzz Flash.com.

Dr. George Lakoff is a Senior Fellow at the Rockridge Institute and a Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. I did not see a bio on Mr. Ferguson and therefore assume that perhaps he is one of Dr. Lakeoff's graduate students or research assistants. LS

Excerpt:

“Immigration reform” also evokes an issue-defining frame. Bush, in his speech, pointed out the problems that this frame defines. First, the Government has “not been in complete control of its borders.” Second, millions are able to “sneak across our border” seeking to make money. Finally, once here, illegal immigrants sometimes forge documents to get work, skirting labor laws, and deceiving employers who attempt to follow the law. They may take jobs away from legal immigrants and ordinary Americans, bear children who will be American citizens even in they are not, and use local services like schools and hospitals, which may cost a local government a great deal. This is his definition of the problem in the Immigration Reform frame.

This definition of the problem focuses entirely on the immigrants and the administrative agencies charged with overseeing immigration law. The reason is that these are the only roles present in the Immigration Problem Frame.

Bush’s “comprehensive solution” entirely concerns the immigrants, citizenship laws, and the border patrol. And, from the narrow problem identified by framing it as an “immigration problem,” Bush’s solution is comprehensive. He has at least addressed everything that counts as a problem in the immigration frame. But the real problem with the current situation runs broader and deeper. Consider the issue of Foreign Policy Reform, which focuses on two sub-issues:

How has US foreign policy placed, or kept, in power oppressive governments which people are forced to flee? What role have international trade agreements had in creating or exacerbating people’s urge to flee their homelands? If capital is going to freely cross borders, should people and labor be able to do so as well, going where globalization takes the jobs?

Such a framing of the problem would lead to a solution involving the Secretary of State, conversations with Mexico and other Central American countries, and a close examination of the promises of NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank to raise standards of living around the globe. It would inject into the globalization debate a concern for the migration and displacement of people, not simply globalization’s promise for profits. This is not addressed when the issue is defined as the “immigration problem.” Bush’s “comprehensive solution” does not address any of these concerns. The immigration problem, in this light, is actually a globalization problem.

BUZZ FLASH.COM GUEST CONTRIBUTION">THE FRAMING OF IMMIGRATION

BIG BROTHER IS LISTENING TO AND WATCHING YOU: AT&T WHISTLE BLOWER EVIDENCE UNCUT

Ken just sent this bombshell a few moments ago. LS

This is the evidence compiled by former AT&T technician Mark Klein on just how the NSA Domestic Surveillance Program works. -K

FROM WIRED NEWS.COM: AT&T WHISTLE-BLOWER'S EVIDENCE UNCUT

HOLY MACKERAL. ANOTHER BOMBSHELL SENT BY MY FRIEND KEN IN CALI. AND IT IS GOOD NEWS THIS TIME! LS

DEMOCRAT WINS ELECTION IN A HARD CORE REPUBLICAN DISTRICT OF PENNYSLVANIA THAT HASN’T HAD A DEMOCRAT ELECTED TO OFFICE FOR AN ENTIRE CENTURY.

Excerpt:

Chester ranks as one of the most invulnerable Republican counties in the Keystone State, historically perhaps the most invulnerable. Until recent years, Democrats were lucky even to find credible candidates for local office; election victories were rare. The Democratic nomination in most instances was a kamikaze mission; only the parting sake wine toast was missing.

But Tuesday in a special election to fill the vacant state Senate seat covering Chester and a part of neighboring Montgomery County, a Democrat, Andrew Dinniman, routed Carole Aichele, the Republican favorite who had been dubbed by local GOP leaders "a slam-dunk candidate."

THE STAR LEDGER.COM “FARMER: IN PENNSYLVANIA, AN OMINOUS SIGN SIGN FOR THE GOP

Friday, May 19, 2006

ME TO BUSH: RIDE INTO THE SUNSET AND GO AWAY FOREVER

I am back at home in Texas after having spent several days in Washington, D.C. I highly recommend a visit to the Smithsonian Museums, by the way, if you want to reconnect with who we are as a people, that is, before the Bush GOP twisted and distorted our ethos.

Moving on....

Below is a piece sent from a Barbara Ann Radnofsky (Texas candidate for US Senate 06) campaign volunteer on Bill Maher's closing remarks on his show. Remember, Barbara Ann Radnofsky is running against a Bush policy rubber-stamping and ethos distorting Kay Bailey Hutchison. LS

Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money
to spend- you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you
used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become
the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The
cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one is speaking to you.
Mission accomplished.

Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk
away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the
baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How
about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many
other things that you as President could involve yourself in.

Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with
Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts, Turning the space program
over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the
vote.

But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like
Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you
haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man.
Herbert Hoover was a shifty president, but even he never conceded an entire
city to rising water and snakes.

On your watch, we have lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four
airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New
Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this
country. I am just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the
other side.

So, God speaks to you. What he is saying is: Take a hint

Sunday, May 14, 2006

GOP IMPLODES WITH INDICTMENTS WHILE ITS ABUSE OF POWER EXPLODES

Friends and readers, I will be in Washington, D.C. next week on professional (not political) and personal business. I will be out of blog pocket for most of the week. LS

BUT MY FLIGHT DOES NOT LEAVE UNTIL TOMORROW MORNING AND BELOW IS BREAKING NEWS FOUND ON TRUTHOUT.ORG: "ROVE INFORMS WHITE HOUSE HE WILL BE INDICTED"

BONE CHILLING AND MIND NUMBING

WHITE HOUSE MAY HAVE USED SATELLITES TO SPY ON US

NSA Whistleblower To Expose More Unlawful Activity: ‘People…Are Going To Be Shocked’

I have simply run out of adjectives and adverbs to describe the level of abuse and corruption visited upon us by the Bush GOP. LS

From THINK PROGRESS courtesy of RAW STORY.COM

Excerpt:

[Tice] said he plans to tell the committee staffers the NSA conducted illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens while he was there with the knowledge of Hayden. … “I think the people I talk to next week are going to be shocked when I tell them what I have to tell them. It’s pretty hard to believe,” Tice said. “I hope that they’ll clean up the abuses and have some oversight into these programs, which doesn’t exist right now.” …

USING SATELLITES TO SPY ON AMERICANS

NEW YORK TIMES AND US NEWS TODAY DON'T GET IT ON ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING

Greg Palast wrote the editorial posted below on BUZZ FLASH.COM

THE SPIES WHO SHAG US

The Times and USA Today have Missed the Bigger Story -- Again

IN CASE YOUR BONES ARE NOT YET FROZEN AND YOU CAN STILL THINK, THIS REVELATION BY MR. PALAST WILL TERRIFY YOU AND MAKE YOU CHOKE WITH RAGE. LS

(For those who don't know, Greg Palast is author of Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War, out June 6.) LS

Excerpt:

This is: the snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration's Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government. You can call it the privatization of the FBI -- though it is better described as the creation of a private KGB.The leader in the field of what is called "data mining," is a company, formed , called, "ChoicePoint, Inc," which has sucked up over a billion dollars in national security contracts.

Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain't nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration. Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint had already gathered 16 billion data files on Americans -- and I know they've expanded their ops at an explosive rate.

They are paid to keep an eye on you -- because the FBI can't. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you're suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect if for "commercial" purchases -- and under the Bush Administration's suspect reading of the Patriot Act -- our domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint.

Who ARE these guys selling George Bush a piece of you?

GREG PALAST: THE SPIES WHO SHAG US

It will most certainly be an interesting week to be in Washington, D.C. LS

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

THE OIL PUSHER MAN STICKS IT TO AMERICANS WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THE BUSH GOP

Ken sent the article posted below this evening. Seems that the pusher man wanted to get richer all along, at our expense, naturally. I wonder how much the pusher man's enablers (the Bush, Cheney and the GOP Congress) are reaping from this unparalleled rip-off. Think about it as you fill your tank. LS

EVEN AS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION CITES A LACK OF REFINERIES AS A CAUSE OF ENERGY SHORTAGES, OIL INDUSTRY SHOW THAT FIVE YEARS AGO COMPANIES WERE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO CUT REFINERY OUTPUT TO RAISE PROFITS. (And that they did indeed. LS)

This story from 2001 is rather eye opening given today's gasoline prices. -K

Leaked Oil Industry Memo Suggests Bid to Curb Refinery Output

Published on Friday, June 15, 2001 by the Associated Press by H. Josef Hebert

Even as the Bush administration cites a lack of refineries as a cause of energy shortages, oil industry documents show that five years ago companies were looking for ways to cut refinery output to raise profits.

The internal memos involving several major oil companies were released Thursday by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., whose office obtained them from a whistleblower. He said the materials did not necessarily reflect any illegal activities but said some of them "sure look very anticompetitive." In response, Red Cavaney, the president of an industry trade group, said: "This finger pointing six years into the past serves no useful purpose."

Wyden was turning the material over to the Governmental Affairs Committee, which plans hearings on oil industry practices and energy prices. Tight gasoline supplies have been cited repeatedly by the industry and the White House as a primary reason for soaring gasoline prices this year. While pump prices have eased recently, the cost of gasoline jumped an average of 31 cents a gallon nationwide during the seven weeks ending in mid-May, according to government figures presented at a House hearing Thursday.

Because it takes about four years to build a large refinery, planning for a new plant would have had to begin by the mid-1990s, energy experts say. There has not been a new refinery build in the United States in 25 years; in the meantime, dozens of small ones have closed. The documents obtained by Wyden's office suggest that in the mid-1990s oil companies had no interest in building refineries because of low profit margins. In fact, companies were discussing the need to curtail refinery output in order to make more money, the documents suggest.

"If the U.S. petroleum industry doesn't reduce its refining capacity, it will never see any substantial increase in refinery margins (profits)," said an internal Chevron document in November 1995, citing views presented by participants at an American Petroleum Institute conference. A year later, an official at Texaco, in a memo marked "highly confidential," called concerns about too much refinery capacity "the most critical factor" facing the refinery industry. Excess capacity is producing "very poor refining financial results," the memo said.

Wyden said the documents "raise significant questions about whether America's oil companies tried to pull off a financial triple play – boosting profits by reducing refinery capacity, tagging consumers with higher pump prices and then arguing for environmental rollbacks." The institute produced statistics showing refinery capacity has increased since 1996 as refineries became more efficient and some expanded. The figures also showed capacity increasing slower than demand. Cavaney, the institute's president, said the industry's reluctance to invest in new refinery capacity when profit margins are low and supplies are adequate – as was the case in the mid-1990s – was "a normal response in a commodity market."

Wyden singled out a 1996 memo from Mobil Corp., which has since merged with Exxon, that suggests that Mobil was ready for a "full court press" to make sure an independent California refinery, which had closed in 1995, would not reopen. At the time Mobil was concerned that if the refinery, owned by the Powerine Oil Co., resumed production it might force down the price of a special, cleaner burning gasoline by as much as 3 cents. "Needless to say, we would all like to see Powerine stay down," the memo said. "Full court press is warranted in this case." The refinery remained closed.

Texaco spokeswoman Keelin Molloi said Wyden's allegations "divert attention away from legitimate policy questions" about energy needs. As for the 1995 Texaco memo, she said: "Within any company, discussions about the margins and capacity are conducted in a normal course of business and in no way constitutes inappropriate or illegal behavior." Chevron spokesman Fred Gorell said the company "flatly denies any improper conduct involving refinery production levels or gasoline pricing."

Attempts to reach ExxonMobil were unsuccessful.

The need for more refinery capacity has been the focus of President Bush's energy plan. Vice President Dick Cheney has blamed gasoline prices increases on tight supplies caused to a large part, he contends, by the fact that the last new U.S. refinery was built in 1976. In fact, 24 refineries – many of them small independents – have shut down since 1995, according to the Energy Department. That has accounted for the loss of 831,000 barrels a day of refining capacity. Individual refinery expansions at the same time have added 1 to 2 percent of capacity annually.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

IS GOP RULE CLOSE TO TOAST?

Before I begin, I must correct an error made in my post last night on Porter Goss. Friends and readers, in addition to a piece I read in the New York Times this morning, informed me that Mr. Goss had indeed worked for the CIA previously in the clandestine division. Now that the correction has been made, it still doesn't matter in my view, whether or not Mr. Goss did or did not work for the CIA. The fact of the matter is he is not qualified to be the agency's head because, for reason numero uno, he did not accept the position to work, really, for the CIA. He was appointed as its head merely and simply to impose Bush/Cheney's sick and twisted policies on the agency. Goss did not give a rat's derriere about the agency’s capability in delivering quality and relevant intelligence so necessary for our national security. It was all and only about politics. LS

BACK TO GOP TOASTHOOD

Rove doesn't think the administration and the party of unparalleled corruption is doomed. But then the Bush people live in an alternative reality, don't they? Raw Story.com is developing a piece on Turd Blossom and how he believes Democrats will not win in 2006. I'll post the piece as soon as it is published.

A MORE CREDIBLE AND RELIABLE SOURCE, A GOP POLLSTER WHO IS NOT A BUSH HIRED HACK AND POLICY ENFORCER, BELIEVES BUSH'S MOVES ARE TOO LITTLE AND TOO LATE

Ken sent the article posted below from The Washington Post.com today. LS

All kinds of good news here. Of interest is that it turns out Al Gore is turning into the best fundraiser the party has. He just raised a bunch of money for congressional campaigns in a single mailing. His name resonates with Democrats. -K

Pollster Suggests Bush Moves Might Be Too Little, Too Late

By Eric Pianin and Chris Cillizza
Sunday, May 7, 2006; A05

FROM THE WAPO: "BUSH MOVES MIGHT BE TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE"

GOSS WAS INDEED FORCED TO RESIGNED BECAUSE OF HOOKERGATE

From the New York Daily News, compliments of Raw Story

THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: "BEHIND THE GOSS TOSS"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

AND NOW A GOP HOOKERGATE OF ALL THINGS

Mon Dieu! How many GOP criminal and sleaze GATES are there!? We will run out of courtrooms, judges and prosecutors. Citizens will have to quit their jobs to serve as jurors. This does not bode well for our country, folks. Retired generals and former CIA officials are breaking code, so to speak, and are tearing openly and publicly into Bush's destructive policies. I would venture to say such action on the part of generals and CIA officials is unprecedented. Things are getting rather desperate in Washington. LS

MOVING ON TO THE HOOKERGATE SCANDAL AT THE WATERGATE HOTEL

Apparently Goss and Foggo were frequent guests at the Wilkes/ Cunningham gambling and prostitution suite at the Watergate Hotel, but they insist they only went for the poker and expensive cigars.

Found on The York Daily News.com via Raw Story.com

"NY DAILY NEWS: CIA BOSS GOSS IS COOKED

MORE ON GOSS AND HOOKERGATE

From Pensitorreview.com

ON CIA PORTER GOSS AND HOOKERGATE

MAUREEN DOWD OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ON POKER, HOOKERS AND SPOOKS

A great piece written by Maureen Dowd in her usual witty, ironic and brilliant fashion.

Raw Story.com has excerpts. To view the entire piece, if one does not subscribe to the NYT, a registration fee has to be paid to access NY Times Select.com., unfortunately. It is well worth subscribing.

Here are a few more excerpts if you do not want to subscribe. LS

Yesterday, Porter Goss lost the job he never should have had in the first place. After John Negroponte gave Mr. Goss the ax, W. went biking in Beltsville, Md.

When spooks get spiked, W. spins the spokes.

The C.I.A. missed 9/11 and W.M.D., so you'd think President Bush would want a superstar in the job. Instead, he put in a Cheney lackey whose first move was to warn agency employees to get in line, that their job was to "support the administration and its policies." Mr. Goss's last move was to fire a top C.I.A. officer, Mary McCarthy, who was accused of, but denied, leaking the secret C.I.A. prisons story.

Mr. Goss got the job even though the 9/11 commissioners had declared that Congressional oversight of intelligence was "dysfunctional" at a time he ran the House intelligence panel.

He got the job even though he tried to help the vice president suffocate the 9/11 commission. At the C.I.A., he relied on so many cronies, he made Brownie look professional.

The benign but still disturbing explanation for his abrupt termination ˜ given all the home videos that Qaeda terrorists are brazenly sending out ˜ is that he and John "10 Fingers" Negroponte were fighting over access to W., like teenage girls over the prom king. (Wasn't Mr. Negroponte's position created to quell turf battles?)

Even conservatives found yesterday's chain of events suspicious. Bill Kristol said on Fox News, "I think there were either serious disputes or some internal problem at the agency or some scandal conceivably involving an associate of Goss's."

The president is supposed to announce Mr. Goss's successor on Monday. It's clear that the White House is again making policy on the fly.

With all these loony threads, conspiracy theorists are having fun weaving dime-novel scenarios.

MAUREEN DOWD OF THE NYT: POKER, HOOKERS AND SPOOKS

TOM DELAY KNEW ABRAMOFF ARRANGED SCOTLAND GOLF TRIP

UH OH! Another GOP lie surfaces. I wonder if Tommy Boy hung with his colleague-in-crime Cunningham and the spooks in the gambling and whoring suite, ironically, at The Watergate Hotel. LS

From Yahoo.News.com viaThe Huffington Post.com

DELAY KNEW ABRAMOFF FUNDED TRIP TO SCOTLAND BUT WENT ANYWAY

Thursday, May 04, 2006

ON DANGEROUS WHORES, COWARDS AND EVIL DOERS

No commentary tonight folks. The articles posted below say it all. LS

RIDICULE AND CONTEMPT
By Sidney Blumenthal of the UK Guardian, courtesy of Truthout.org

Except:

The most scathing public critique of the Bush presidency and the complicity of a craven press corps was delivered at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday by a comedian. Bush was reported afterwards to be seething, while the press corps responded with stone-cold silence. In many of their reports of the event they airbrushed out the joker.

RIDICULE AND CONTEMPT

NO MERCY
By Jane Smiley of The Huffington Post

Excerpt:

Make no mistake about it--George W. Bush has a thick thick skull. He finds it very difficult to learn anything. But he is thin-skinned and easily offended. It is time to offend him! He needs to be offended every minute of every day! Stephen Colbert did a pretty good job, but then all the kids on the playground rallied around the bully and soothed his hurt feelings. No No No! Don't these people know what a
collaborator is? A collaborator isn't merely the guy who pulled the trigger with the perpetrator, it is also the guy (and the gal) who made him feel comfortable and happy, just one of the gang, when he was getting ready to pull the trigger. Why show George W. Bush any mercy? He hasn't apologized for the crimes he's already committed and he proposes to commit more! He is preparing and intending to commit more!


NO MERCY

"LAPDOGS: HOW THE PRESS ROLLED OVER FOR BUSH"

Below is an expose of a book recently written by Mr. Eric Boehlert. It examines the inside-the-beltway (I am beginning to hate that place) media's responsibility during the Swift Boat smear campaign directed against Kerry. The media's role as cowardly, timid, lazy and tacit facilitators delivered Bush the cushion he needed to win the 2004 election, according to Mr. Boehlert. This piece will make you shake with rage, I am afraid. LS

From The Huffington Post.com

Excerpt:

For several crucial weeks during the campaign, journalists turned away from the pile-up of Swift Boat falsehoods and contradictions, rarely daring to call the Swift Boat attack out for what it really was--a farce. An elaborate, well-choreographed, well-funded farce that not only dragged down the Kerry campaign, but played the press for fools. At every turn, military records proved the Swift Boat veterans to be untruthful. But Beltway reporters and pundits for the most part remained hesitant, too timid to speak up, as they propped up the veterans as serious men. Their conduct during the manufactured Swift Boat scandal, which likely delivered Bush the cushion he needed to win in November, represented an embarrassing new benchmark for campaign season reporting. Rather than uncovering the obvious gaps in the veterans' wobbly allegations and holding the accusers accountable, the press, spooked about being tagged as too liberal, played dumb on an unprecedented scale, much to the White House's delight.

LAPDOGS BY ERIC BOEHLERT

MOVING ON TO OTHER GOP RELATED SLEAZE AND EVIL DOING HIGH CRIMES

unnoticed, naturally by the mainstream media whores who are as contemptuous and as cynical as Bush. Or maybe they are just plain dumb and lazy. LS

ABRAMOFF TEAM VISITED BUSH WHITE HOUSE OVER 200 TIMES DURING HIS FIRST 10 MONTHS IN OFFICE.

I thought Bush didn't know Jack Boy. LS

From Pensitoreview.com via Buzz Flash.com

WHITE HOUSE LOG SHOWS ABRAMOFF VISITED BUSH 200 TIMES

AND ABRAMOFF MONEY IS LINKED TO NEW HAMPSHIRE PHONE JAMMING SCHEME

Found Raw Story.com

ABRAMOFF MONEY LINKED TO N.H. PHONE JAMMING SCHEME

ALAS, LEST YOU BE DRIVEN TO THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR BY THE EVIL DOINGS OF A CYNICAL, CONTEMPTUOUS, DANGEROUS AND CORRUPT GOP. THERE IS HOPE. BIG GUY MEHLMAN WARNS GOP FOOT SOLDIERS AND HIRED HACKS THAT THEY FACE A POSSIBLE CATASTROPHE IN NOVEMBER.

Quite frankly, every second the GOP stays in power is a catastrophe for the United States. The GOP is getting really worried, if not downright afraid, and they will get reckless, as most desperate criminals normally do when backed into a corner.

From my friend Ken who keeps me well informed, especially in moments when I feel like taking down this blog and running away from it all. LS

STATE OF THE PARTIES

State of the Parties:

Republicans: RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman met with Republican members of Congress this week to impress upon them just how bad the opinion polls are looking for them, and warning that they face a possible catastrophe in November.

1) This warning contributed to GOP determination to pass a tax reconciliation bill that will extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts beyond their current expiration dates at the end of the decade.

2) On Tuesday, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) were supposed to meet with President Bush in the Oval office to discuss the tax bill, which, if passed, will be one of the most important Republican accomplishments of 2006 leading into the midterm elections. But Grassley bowed out, giving the excuse that he had constituents in town from Iowa. Even in the face of disaster, Republicans seem unable to get their act together.

3) Despite all the media coverage given to the issues of immigration and "corruption," polls show that the issue currently concerning voters the most -- even more than immigration -- is the wasteful spending by the Congress. With its vote on Thursday in favor of the rule for the lobby reform bill, the House has taken its first step toward patching up damaged Republican credibility. (Ha ha ha. If they pass it, which is deeply unlikely, it'll be like saying 'we're sorry for being so corrupt until now. And if they don't pass it the media will make a big deal about it, as they have been for a few months now. -K)

4) Republicans will focus in their campaign on the danger of electing Democrats to a majority in Congress. Their catchword is "dangerous," a word taken from an ill-considered appearance by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on the Senate floor next to a sign (color-coded to match her outfit) stating "Dangerously Incompetent" in large letters. The Stabenow appearance was meant to highlight the administration's incompetence.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

BRING OUT THE LAUGH METER TO MAKE COLBERT GO AWAY

My friend Ken, by the way, is the one who brought Colbert's presentation at the White House Press Whore Dinner to my attention. He sent me the two pieces posted below on the Colbert fall out tonight. LS

This Colbert thingy is turning out to be an eye-opener. It's like night-vision goggles, exposing alot of stealth Bush apologists for what they are. -K

"MAKING COLBERT GO AWAY"

JOAN WALSH ON SALON.COM: "MAKING COLBERT GO AWAY"

The docile press corps was offended when Stephen Colbert dared to expose Bush's -- and their own -- feet of clay. But how to respond? VoilĂ : "He wasn't funny."

By Joan Walsh

Stephen Colbert performs at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington Saturday.

May 3, 2006 | The only thing worse than the mainstream media's ignoring Stephen Colbert's astonishing sendup of the Bush administration and its media courtiers Saturday night is what happened when they started to pay attention to it.

The resounding silence on Sunday and Monday was a little chilling. The video was burning up YouTube, and Salon hit overall traffic heights over the last few days surpassed only by our election coverage and Abu Ghraib blockbusters. But on Monday, Elisabeth Bumiller's New York Times piece on the White House Correspondents' Association dinner kvelled over the naughty Bush twin skit but didn't mention Colbert. Similarly, other papers either ignored the Comedy Central satirist or mentioned him briefly. Lloyd Grove in the New York Daily News pronounced that he had "bombed badly."  (And yet magically, roars of laughter from the audience. -K)

Three days later, the MSM is catching on to Grove's tin-eared take on Colbert's performance. Belatedly, it's getting covered, but the dreary consensus is that Colbert just wasn't funny. On Tuesday night, Salon's Michael Scherer, whose tribute to Colbert is everywhere on the blogosphere (thank you, Thank you Stephen Colbert), got invited to chat with Joe Scarborough and Ana Marie Cox, who showed themselves to be pathetic prisoners of the Beltway by passing along the midweek conventional wisdom: The lefty blogosphere can argue all it wants that Colbert was ignored because he was shocking and politically radical, but the truth is, he wasn't funny, guys! And we know funny!

Regular Joe told us he normally races home to watch Colbert. So the problem isn't Joe's conservatism -- Joe's a congenial conservative, a fun-loving conservative, which is why he has Salon folks on all the time (thanks, Joe!). Cox showed why she's the MSM's official blogger by splitting the difference. She pronounced Colbert's performance "fine" but giggled at the left for its paranoia that he'd been ignored for political reasons. Cox and Scarborough mostly just congratulated themselves on being smart enough to get Colbert every night at 11:30, but savvy enough to know he wasn't completely on his game last Saturday. They barely let Scherer speak.

Similarly, the sometimes smart Jacques Steinberg must have drawn the short straw at the New York Times, where there had to be some internal conversation about the paper's utter failure to even mention Colbert on Monday. After all, his sharpest jokes involved the paper's laudable NSA spying scoop, and a funny bit where Colbert offered to bump columnist Frank Rich if Bush would appear on his show Tuesday night -- and not just bump him for the night, but bump him off. How could the Times not notice?

In Wednesday's paper, Steinberg wrote about Colbert's performance with the angle that it's become "one of the most hotly debated topics in the politically charged blogosphere" -- and only quotes Gawker as an example. He also wanders into the land of comedy criticism to explore the assertion that Colbert wasn't funny, but quotes not a comic, but New Republic writer Noam Scheiber. Scheiber (who has contributed to Salon) takes a liberal version of the Scarborough approach. "I'm a big Stephen Colbert fan, a huge Bush detractor, and I think the White House press corps has been out to lunch for much of the last five years," he wrote on the magazine's Web site. "I laughed out loud maybe twice during Colbert's entire 20-odd minute routine. Colbert's problem, blogosphere conspiracy theories notwithstanding, is that he just wasn't very entertaining." Chris Lehman makes the same point in the New York Observer, arguing it was a comic mistake for Colbert to f ail t o break character.

It's silly to debate whether Colbert was entertaining or not, since what's "funny" is so subjective. In fact, let's even give Colbert's critics that point. Clearly he didn't entertain most of the folks at the dinner Saturday night, so maybe Scheiber's right -- he wasn't "entertaining." The question is why. If Colbert came off as "shrill and airless," in Lehman's words, inside the cozy terrarium of media self-congratulation at the Washington Hilton, that tells us more about the audience than it does about Colbert.

Colbert's deadly performance did more than reveal, with devastating clarity, how Bush's well-oiled myth machine works. It exposed the mainstream press' pathetic collusion with an administration that has treated it -- and the truth -- with contempt from the moment it took office. Intimidated, coddled, fearful of violating propriety, the press corps that for years dutifully repeated Bush talking points was stunned and horrified when someone dared to reveal that the media emperor had no clothes. Colbert refused to play his dutiful, toothless part in the White House correspondents dinner -- an incestuous, backslapping ritual that should be retired. For that, he had to be marginalized. VoilĂ : "He wasn't funny."

This is a battle that can't really be won -- you either got it Saturday night (or Sunday morning, or whenever your life was made a little brighter by viewing Colbert's performance) or you didn't. Personally, I'm enjoying watching apologists for the status quo wear themselves out explaining why Colbert wasn't funny. It's extending the reach of his performance by days without either side breaking character -- the mighty Colbert or the clueless, self-important media elite he was satirizing. For those who think the media shamed itself by rolling over for this administration, especially in the run-up to the Iraq war, Colbert's skit is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Stephen Colbert!

"COLBERT'S CRITICS SHOULD PUT AWAY THEIR LAUGH METERS"

By Scott Rosenberg of Salon.com

SALON.COM: SCOTT ROSENBERG ON "COBERT CRITICS SHOULD PUT AWAY THEIR LAUGH METERS

Colbert's critics should put away their laugh meters
Today the agenda for discussing Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner is, "Was he, or wasn't he, funny?"

As any performer knows, humor is intensely subjective; it is brittle, circumstantial; it depends on the moment, what came before, who's in the room, how much they drank. I wasn't there in that banquet room. It seems that Antonin Scalia found Colbert's jokes hilarious; President Bush, along with much of the crowd, apparently did not. Viewing the video after the fact, I happened to find much of it funny. So have millions of downloaders and Bittorrent-ers and Youtube-sters.

But none of that really matters. Evaluating this event on laugh-meter scores is absurd -- it's just one more way of marginalizing and dismissing what actually happened that night. Just for a moment, Colbert brought a heavily sheltered President Bush face to face with the outrage and revulsion that large swathes of the American public feel for him and what he has done to our country. He did so at an event in which a certain level of jovial kidding is sanctioned, but he stepped far beyond. His caricature of a right-wing media toady relied on irony, and irony rarely elicits belly laughs, but at its best, it provokes doubt and incites questions. The ultimate goal of Colbert's routine was not to make you laugh but to make you think; it aimed not to tickle but to puncture.

In that sense, those observers who have criticized Colbert for being rude to the president are absolutely right. As I wrote yesterday, the performance was a deliberate act of lese majeste. That means it was meant to pop the balloon of protective ritual around Bush and let reality in, so we can see him -- along with those in the press who have been complicit with him -- for what he is.

Inside the Beltway, humor is supposed to be disarming, "humanizing." Ever since Richard Nixon appeared on "Laugh-in" and said "Sock it to me!," suggesting that he was not quite the conservative gorgon that he seemed to be, politicians have wanted to use comedy as a prop in their own campaigns of self-promotion. But that's a late-20th-century degradation of comedy. There's an older tradition -- stretching back to the commedia dell'arte and beyond, into the medieval court and its "all-licensed" fools -- in which the comic seeks the discomfiture of the powerful.

Colbert's act had less in common with cable-channel comedy shows than with the work of Dario Fo, the Italian iconoclast who specializes in lese majeste (he likes to poke fun at the Pope). In this it resembled Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, but it was smarter than that propagandistic montage, and braver -- delivered live, as it was, in the belly of the press-corps beast it was skewering.

So now we have the sad spectacle of the media desperately puffing air back into the popped balloon of the president's dignity, pretending that nothing happened. The Bush impersonator was funnier! cry the pundits. Colbert bombed! Well, they can sneer all they want about whether or not he slayed 'em in D.C. Out here in the reality-based community that increasingly encompasses the American electorate, Colbert hit his targets. And they will never look quite the same.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

ON COWARDICE AND IMPOTENCE

CHENEY KNEW PLAME WORKED ON SENSITIVE INTEL

But he instructed Libby to blow her cover, despite the threat to our national security. And Libby dutifully obeyed. Heil Cheney. Heil Bush. Heil Bush/Cheney appointed hacks. Heil politics over policy. Heil lies. Heil cowardly lawmakers and journalists. LS

From RAW STORY.COM

Excerpt:

As MSNBC first reported yesterday, Wilson was not just undercover... but was, according to intelligence sources, part of an effort three years ago to monitor the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown, part of the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.

CHENEY KNEW PLAME'S WORK AT THE CIA WAS SENSITIVE BUT HE OUTED HER ANYWAY

BUSH NOT HAPPY WITH COLBERT'S PERFORMANCE AT THE WH PRESS WHORE DINNER

Read the pathetic, non-existent and cowardly kiss Bush's sorry butt coverage of Colbert's performance on US News.com below. Perhaps you should not waste your precious time. Alas, have no fear, this sorry excuse of an online non-newspaper heard from yours truly today. LS

US NEWS NON COVERAGE OF COLBERT'S PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS WHORE DINNER

EVEN A RESPECTED AND SENIOR MEMBER OF THE GOP KNOWS BUSH IS OUT OF CONTROL

From Bloomberg.com via the SOMEBODY NEEDS TO STAND UP TO THE PRESIDENT

UM, since the press and elected officials seem to cower and are obviously rendered completely impotent and powerless under Bush, a comedian had to step forward to try to set the record straight. And yet, no one in Washington seems to be willing or able to talk about what the comedian had to say. What is it with you people inside the so-called freaking beltway? 98% of Americans, at the very least, dwell outside of your revolting "beltway" of cowardice and corruption.

Excerpt:

Now, Specter is questioning the legality of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance of suspected terrorists without court warrants. He called Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Judiciary Committee and has repeatedly voiced dissatisfaction with what he called the attorney general's refusal to provide answers.

Specter also convened a hearing on a Democratic senator's plan to censure Bush for authorizing the eavesdropping and has proposed a special court to oversee counterintelligence wiretapping and review the legality of the spying. To pressure the president to give lawmakers more details about the surveillance, Specter floated the idea of cutting off the program's funds.

``The party needs somebody to stand up to the president,'' Specter said in an interview in his corner seventh-floor office of the Philip Hart Senate Office Building that overlooks the Supreme Court. ``I do that, by the way, in a very respectful way.''

ARLAN SPECTER SAID SOMEONE NEEDS TO STAND UP TO BUSH

Monday, May 01, 2006

THE MOST CORRUPT, CONTEMPTUOUS AND CYNICAL ADMINISTRATION EVER

Naturally the mainstream media kept true to its form and were too cowardly, dumb or lazy to report much of substance on Stephen Colbert's brilliant and courageous performance at the White House Press Corps dinner the other night. CNN's morning crew on American Morning (aka Faux News Lite) showed footage of the Bush friendly double piece. Aside from a lot of giggling on the part of the anchors, not much else transpired. Disgusted, I switched to CSPAN’s Washington Journal. The mainstream media is beyond pathetic. At the end of today's post is an article written about the Colbert non-coverage sent by Ken from Salon.com. LS

Despite what you will read in the mainstream about Rove, there are competent journalists who seem to know what is really going on with his case. Like journalists who actually do research. Ken also sent this piece written by Mr. Jason Leopold of Truthout.org

JASON LEOPOLD ON ROVE

Here's a lighter weight article on Rove on Newsweek.com

NEWSWEEK: "BACK ON THE STAND"

Robert Scheer gave an incredible and bone chilling interview with a reporter for Truthout.org recently. Scheer has been interviewing presidents for 30 years, (Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and finally W.). Mr. Scheer said nothing prepared him for Bush. Never in his dreams did he expect the lies and cynicism of the man. LS

SCHEER ON HOW BAD BUSH REALLY IS

Another journalist of character and substance, Mr. Frank Rich, of the New York Times, says Downing Street Memos have been proven to be accurate.

MR. FRANK RICH: DOWNING STREET MEMOS PROVE TO BE ACCURATE

OHIO IS FED UP WITH THE GOP (Aren't we all? LS)

Ken sent this wonderful piece yesterday from The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

This is a really big deal. The GOP has done so many illegal things in Ohio that they must be terrified of losing the state to us. Since they can steal elections at will, it is going to be quite a specatcle when they try to do it in November. -K


Ohio voters down on GOP
Blackwell leads Petro, but Democrats hold edge in governor's race Sunday, April 30, 2006 Mark Naymik Plain Dealer Politics Writer

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has an imposing 21 percentage-point lead over Attorney General Jim Petro in the Republican Party's expensive and divisive gubernatorial primary, a Plain Dealer survey of party members shows.

But while Blackwell's advantage, 50 percent to Petro's 29 percent, strongly suggests he will win the party's nomination, it may not be much of a prize beyond Tuesday's primary.

Ohio voters say they are unhappy with Republicans -- from Gov. Bob Taft to President Bush -- and prefer to see a Democrat occupy the governor's mansion, a broader survey of frequent voters shows.

Underscoring that point, voters say Democrats are better suited than Republicans -- 41 percent to 28 percent -- to deal with the issue of taxes and government spending, typically the GOP's bread-and-butter issue.

"When Democrats are winning that question, that's not a good sign for Republicans," says Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., the Washington, D.C., firm that conducted the polls.
"Whichever Republican comes out of the primary will have an uphill fight."

Support for the Republican Party, which controls the statewide offices and the legislature, has been waning for more than a year, thanks to a weak state economy, growing discontent with President Bush and a major scandal involving party fund-raiser and coin dealer Tom Noe.

Taft pleaded guilty to four ethics violations last year related to the Noe controversy.

The Plain Dealer poll of frequent voters shows that even two-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, who has nominal opposition in the primary and has no connection to the party scandals, appears vulnerable heading into November.

While he holds an 11-point lead over his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep.
Sherrod Brown of Avon, less than one out of every two voters surveyed have a favorable opinion of him.

"His lead is probably just a name-recognition advantage outside of Cleveland," Coker says. "He has a 41 percent favorable rating, and that's always dangerous for an incumbent."

"There wasn't too much good news in the poll" for Republicans, Coker says.

Kari Sharpe of South Euclid, who participated in the survey and plans to vote for a Democrat, says she is doing so because "we are definitely headed in the wrong direction under a Republican governor."

Sharpe's sentiment is reflected in Taft's abysmal approval rating.

Sixty percent of voters surveyed say Taft is doing a "poor" job in office.

In a head-to-head contest between the Democratic Party's likely nominee, U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lisbon, and Blackwell, voters favor Strickland by 10 percentage points, 47 percent to 37 percent.

Petro, whose voter appeal is potentially broader because of his positions on social issues, fared better than Blackwell in a head-to-head match-up with Strickland, trailing him by only 6 percentage points.

Despite his strong showing among Republican voters, Blackwell barely tops Democrat Bryan Flannery, who stands little chance against Strickland in the primary.

Democratic voters prefer Strickland to Flannery 64 percent to 11 percent.

The polls were conducted April 24-26. The broader poll surveyed 625 frequent voters and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Mason-Dixon also asked 400 likely Democratic primary voters and 400 likely Republican primary voters specifically about their respective party candidates. The primary survey has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

The polls were taken during a week in which Blackwell and Petro began airing negative commercials about each other; the Democrats were virtually silent.

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, says the results are encouraging.
"But we are not taking anything for granted, and we have a full day of campaigning Sunday and Monday planned," he says.

Blackwell is the party's most prominent conservative, an issue that appears to have mattered to some voters surveyed.

Connie Moore of Circleville, who participated in the Plain Dealer primary poll, says she and her husband believe Petro would be a better candidate in November. But, she says, they lean toward voting for Blackwell because he more strongly supports gun rights, anti-abortion laws and a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

"He's very consistent on those, and that will probably be our deciding factor," she says. "The gun issue is probably No. 1, the abortion issue and same-sex marriage."

Blackwell touts his anti-abortion and gay-marriage positions in commercials and at campaign stops more so than Petro. He also benefits from an association with influential evangelical ministers, who support him.

Bob Paduchik, Petro's campaign manager, downplays the polls' results.

"This campaign is not focused on polls but on working hard the next three days to get out the vote, and we are looking at the final poll on May 2,"
he says.

Several statewide issues headed for the November ballot could also influence the election, the poll shows.

Frequent voters say they support Blackwell's proposal to limit state spending, known as the Tax Expenditure Limitation Amendment, 51 percent to
27 percent.

Though the amendment has strong opposition from Republican leaders, who fear it will hamstring local governments, it has remained popular among voters, according to the Plain Dealer poll and earlier surveys by other media outlets.

Democrats could see a boost in turnout related to an amendment they are pushing that would increase the state's minimum wage to $6.85 per hour.

Voters overwhelmingly support the idea, 76 percent to 21 percent.


© 2006 The Plain Dealer

A MEDIA THAT IS BEYOND LAME, COWARDLY, DUMB AND LAZY. THEY ARE LIKE BUSH - THEY ARE CYNICAL AND CONTEMPTUOUS

On the other hand, there was a stunning amount of no-Colbert in most of the other outlets. Here's a piece that was in SALON.COM -K

Ignoring Colbert: A Small Taste of the Media's Power to Choose the News - The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner was televised on C-Span Saturday evening. Featured entertainer Stephen Colbert delivered a biting rebuke of George W. Bush and the lily-livered press corps. He did it to Bush's face, unflinching and unbowed by the audience's muted, humorless response. Democratic Underground members commented in real time (here, here, and here). TMV posted a wrap-up.

On Colbert's gutsy delivery, watertiger writes, "Stephen Colbert displayed more guts in ten minute of performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner than the entire Bush family. He, along with the ever-feisty Helen Thomas, deftly exposed the "truthiness" to the world (or at least those who were watching) that Bush AND the D.C. press corps are indeed a naked emperor and his gutless courtiers."

Mash at dKos says, "Standing at the podium only a few feet from President Bush, Colbert launched an all out assault on the policies of this Administration. It was remarkable, though painful at times, to watch. It may also have been the first time that anyone has been this blunt with this President. By the end of Colbert's routine, Bush was visibly uncomfortable.
Colbert ended with a video featuring Helen Thomas repeatedly asking why we invaded Iraq. That is a question President Bush has yet to answer to the American public. I am not sure what kind of review Stephen Colbert's performance will get in the press. One thing is however certain - his performance was important and will reverberate."

It appears Mash's misgivings about press coverage are well-placed. The AP's first stab at it and pieces from Reuters and the Chicago Tribune tell us everything we need to know: Colbert's performance is sidestepped and marginalized while Bush is treated as light-hearted, humble, and funny.
Expect nothing less from the cowardly American media. The story could just as well have been Bush and Laura's discomfort and the crowd's semi-hostile reaction to Colbert's razor-sharp barbs. In fact, I would guess that from the perspective of newsworthiness and public interest, Bush-the-playful-president is far less compelling than a comedy sketch gone awry, a pissed-off prez, and a shell-shocked audience.

This is the power of the media to choose the news, to decide when and how to shield Bush from negative publicity. Sins of omission can be just as bad as sins of commission. And speaking of a sycophantic media establishment bending over backwards to accommodate this White House and to regurgitate pro-GOP and anti-Dem spin, I urge readers to pick up a copy of Eric Boehlert's new book, Lapdogs. It's a powerful indictment of the media's timidity during the Bush presidency. Boehlert rips away the facade of a "liberal media" and exposes the invertebrates masquerading as journalists who have allowed and enabled the Bush administration's many transgressions to go unchecked, under-reported, or unquestioned.

A final thought: Bush's clownish banter with reporters - which is on constant display during press conferences - stands in such stark contrast to his administration's destructive policies and to the gravity of the bloodbath in Iraq that it is deeply unsettling to watch. This may be impolitic, but wouldn't refraining from frat-style horseplay be appropriate for this man? Or at the least, can't reporters suppress their raucous laughter every time he blurts out another jibe... the way they did when Colbert put them in their place?