discarded lies: friday, october 31, 2014 1:43 pm zst
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zorkmidden
One Bush, Two Bush, Three Bush, Four
A 3rd President Bush? First 2 All for It. Wow, George Bush and George Bush supporting Jeb Bush for President? Shocka!
Could there be a third President Bush? The current chief said Wednesday that younger brother Jeb would make a great one, too, and has asked him about making a run. The first President Bush likes the idea as well.

Jeb Bush, the Republican governor of Florida, has one asset that his presidential brother doesn't right now — approval from most of his constituents. While George W. Bush's approval ratings are in the low 30s, some 55 percent of Florida voters surveyed last month by Quinnipiac University said Jeb was doing a good job.

The governor has repeatedly said he won't be a candidate for president in 2008, but that doesn't stop his family from encouraging him to go for it some day.
So does anyone think he'll run? And if so, would he win?
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evariste
Vote For Us, Or We'll Lose Power
Are you motivated to vote in this year's midterm elections? If you do vote, and you've been voting Republican recently, are you still going to vote for a Republican candidate?

To tell the truth, this is the first election in a long time that has me totally uninterested in either side. I don't really care if the Democrats take over the House. What's the danger? That we'll get no entitlement reform, no immigration reform, no permanent tax cuts? What's the point of voting this year?

I don't see President Bush pulling out of his funk any time soon. Nor do I see him dealing with Iran vigorously any time soon. I recently read something about how Bolton has been reassuring the Russians and Chinese that the UN Security Council resolution we seek will not be used as a justification for sanctions. Bolton! The guy who's supposed to be our ass-kicker at the UN! And there's been so much sickening corruption among our legislators. The Republican response has been limited to "oh good, a Democrat got caught on the take too, that means they can't nail us on this one". Geez, how principled. How about cleaning house, guys?

This is a very moribund moment in American politics, and I want to hear promises that something vaguely resembling a conservative agenda will be enacted if I come out and vote for the GOP. I don't hear anything compelling, and I'm not interested in what the Democrats are selling, so I think I might stay home this fall. I'm not a Republican voter for the sake of being a Republican; I'm a Republican voter because Republicans claim to want to enact policies that I believe in more often than do Democrats. When they're not enacting policy, when they can't control spending, when they won't take any fucking initiative or get anything substantial done in Washington, I have no reason to vote for them. I'll wait till 2008. Or beyond.
What do you do to get voters to the polls? If you're the ruling party do you point to your record? To how you handled the nation's finances, security, border security, or your perception of your foreign policy accomplishments?

You'd think so, but this year the GOP's slogan to other GOPers apparently is "Vote For Us — Because Otherwise We Could Lose."

It's apparently the pitch being made to Republicans in Congress by party bigwigs and to party partisans by the party.
The Moderate Voice - GOP's New Message: Vote For Us Because We Could Lose
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evariste
NBC's Andrea Mitchell whines that CIA employees might now think twice before leaking to her
God forbid CIA employees should feel the slightest twitch of fear for violating the terms of their employment when they're endangering national security, helping our enemies, putting the lives of our troops in danger, and acting with political motives to bring down those whom the American people elected. Even the world's smallest violin isn't small enough to play in sympathy with Andrea Mitchell:
NBC's Andrea Mitchell complained Monday night, on MSNBC's Countdown, about how the CIA's firing of a staffer ostensibly for leaking top secret information to a reporter, will mean CIA officials will no longer have the "courage or the stupidity" to talk to reporters. After relaying how, through friends the fired staffer, Mary McCarthy, had denied being a source for the Washington Post's secret CIA prison story, though she conceded having unauthorized interaction with journalists, Mitchell contended that intimidation of the rest of the staff was the real motivation for firing McCarthy: "The purpose is don't even have lunch with reporters. The purpose is don't have dinner with reporters. Don't pick up the phone if a reporter is calling. It doesn't matter what you say, you're not supposed to have contact with reporters without telling the higher-ups." Maybe the CIA wouldn't have such concerns if they had any faith in journalists to act more responsibly than did the Washington Post's Dana Priest.
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evariste
Mary McCarthy, Far-Left Operative
Move America Forward has dug up some intriguing dirt on Mary McCarthy. Her political donations are one whammy. The other is her links with WaPo's Dana Priest, who recently won a Pulitzer for her story that Mary McCarthy illegally leaked to her.
The nation’s largest pro-troop grassroots organization, Move America Forward (website: www.MoveAmericaForward.org) has uncovered new ties between disgraced CIA leaker, Mary McCarthy, and Washington Post reporter, Dana Priest.

Priest was the reporter who received a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on classified information on the war on terrorism that CIA analyst Mary McCarthy leaked to her in violation of U.S. law.  The case has been referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

Move America Forward has learned that McCarthy and Priest had other intersecting interests.
McCarthy’s political involvement suggests a coordinated effort by former Clinton Administration officials to proactively undermine the war on terrorism to advance their political interests. 

“This cast of characters also has a bad habit of breaching U.S. security when it serves their own political agenda, and that is disgraceful behavior,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of the Move America Forward.


Mary McCarthy has a well-documented history of making political contributions to individuals opposed to the Bush Administration’s anti-terrorism policies.  The most recent political contributions by McCarthy were made just last month – two contributions made to Democrat Joseph Sestak, who is challenging Republican congressman Curt Weldon for Congress.
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evariste
Lefty hero Risen details how Clinton-Gore destroyed the CIA
The Loony Left is going to have a hard time explaining this one away. Essentially, James Risen, who broke the wiretapping scandal, is saying in his book that the Clinton administration shares a huge share of the blame for the CIA's shabby state. As soon as Clinton/Gore took power, the CIA was lobotomized by the loss of its very best operatives, who didn't want to work for them. Then, Al Gore briefly succeeded in making the environment one of the CIA's missions. The fucking environment.

National Democrats are irresponsible clowns. Even when they pretend to be responsible centrists, they're just buffoons. I'll exclude Southern Democrats from this assessment.
Author James Risen won the Pulitzer Prize on Tuesday for his much ballyhooed New York Times report last December that revealed President Bush's previously secret terrorist surveillance program - a revelation he uncovered while researching his book "State of War."

In the same book, however, Risen makes an equally explosive claim about President Clinton's relationship with the CIA - which his editors at the Times have so far declined to cover.

Upon taking power in 1993, Risen reports, the Clinton administration "began slashing the intelligence budget in search of a peace dividend, and Bill Clinton showed almost no interest in intelligence matters."

The agency cutbacks combined with presidential disinterest took their toll almost immediately.

"Over a three-or-four-year period in the early-to-mid 1990s," reports Risen, "virtually an entire generation of CIA officers - the people who had won the Cold War - quit or retired. One CIA veteran compared the agency to an airline that had lost all of is senior pilots . . . "

After Clinton CIA Director John Deutch cashiered several senior officers over a scandal in Guatamala, the situation got even worse.

"Morale [at the CIA] plunged to new lows, and the agency became paralyzed by an aversion to high-risk espionage operations for fear they would lead to political flaps. Less willing to take big risks, the CIA was less able to recruit spies in dangerous places such as Iraq."

The Clinton era of risk aversion also hobbled CIA efforts to get Osama bin Laden. In early 1998, Risen says, the agency was prepared to launch a special operation to kidnap the al Qaeda chief in Afghanistan.

"To be sure the operation was high risk, and there was a strong possibility that it would be so messy that bin Laden would be killed rather than captured. [CIA Director George] Tenet and the CIA's lawyers worried deeply about that issue; they believed the covert action finding on al Qaeda that President Clinton had signed authorized only bin Laden's capture, not his death."

Frustrated by restrictions that made dealing with the big challenges too difficult, the agency turned its energy to lesser problems.

Reports Risen: "Thanks to Vice President Al Gore, for example, the CIA briefly made the global environment one of is priorities."
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zorkmidden
A compassionate nation of law
George Bush may be a Republican president but I think he's a liberal at heart, at least on some matters. He's pretty much in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens and he said that massive deportation of illegal immigrants is not going to work. I agree with his guest worker program initiative and I would like to see that expanded, but the idea that people can arrive here illegally and become legal residents if they manage to avoid the law for five years, does not appeal to me at all.
"I know this is an emotional debate," Bush told the Orange County Business Council. "But one thing we can't lose sight of is that we are talking about human beings, decent human beings."

Several hundred demonstrators from both sides of the immigration issue protested outside Bush's speech.

More than an hour before Bush arrived, protesters from the Minuteman Project — the volunteer border patrol group whose co-founder ran for Congress in Orange County — were chanting "Go back to Mexico" and "God Bless America."

Across a driveway, a cluster of demonstrators also chanted and waved peace signs to protest the Minuteman group, Bush's immigration policy and the war in Iraq. In all, there were about 250 protesters, split evenly between both sides.
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evariste
Economy adding better jobs
This will make Democrats sad. The US economy continues to roar along nicely:
The US economy isn't just producing jobs these days, it's also producing good jobs. Alongside the ads for jobs handling a cash register or a spatula are these new opportunities:

• In St. Louis, AFB International is enlisting both technicians, paid $30,000 to $40,000, and PhD scientists, offered $80,000 to $100,000, in its quest for the perfect pet food.

• In Delaware, Honeywell plans to hire people at $40,000 to $100,000 to work in a data-storage center.

• In southern California, some of the latest openings involve working on the railroad, for $35,000 to $70,000 a year. Union Pacific plans to add 2,000 employees altogether.

These reports in the past month symbolize a welcome trend during an economic expansion that at first offered only tepid job gains, both in quantity and quality.

This good news about the breadth of job creation comes against a backdrop of labor-market anxiety that has persisted despite the economy's solid overall footing. Competition from imported goods, the threat of outsourcing services abroad, and a controversial influx of illegal laborers are just some of the forces that make many workers worried about their future.

Creating good jobs - the kinds that can keep American living standards rising - appears likely to remain a challenge. But the current employment picture at least indicates movement in a positive direction.

"We're creating lots of all kinds of jobs, across many industries, occupations, and pay scales," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. But he adds: "If your skill sets are rusty, or at the low end of the skill range, you're going to have a tougher time."

The economy added 211,000 jobs in March, according to a Labor Department report Friday - a solid showing about on par with expectations. The unemployment rate fell a notch, to 4.7 percent.

The new jobs still include plenty at the low end: An analysis by Merrill Lynch finds that some 40 percent of the net gain in March came in two areas known for low pay: retail services and leisure/hospitality, which includes restaurants.

But this is just part of a broader tapestry. Management and professional occupations are employing 1.2 million more people this month than a year ago - or about 1 in 3 new jobs in America. This is the highest-paying of five broad categories tracked by the Labor Department. Not all of them are CEOs or engineers, but the median paycheck for full-time workers in this category is $937 a week, far above the US median of $651.

The construction industry continues to hammer out more than its share of new jobs. It accounts for about 6.4 percent of US jobs, but has provided 14.4 percent of the past year's job growth. The quality of construction jobs is mixed - often offering higher hourly pay than the US median but with lower benefits.

Even the manufacturing sector, which has long offered blue-collar workers a measure of middle-class prosperity, appears to be stabilizing after a period of heavy job losses. Despite downsizing in the automotive industry, 175,000 more people are employed in production occupations today than a year ago.

"As this recovery gets under way, professional services have begun adding jobs fairly broadly," says Jared Bernstein, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington.

EPI tracks the weighting of higher- versus lower-paying jobs that are being added to the economy. For much of the current expansion, which began at the end of 2001, that indicator has been negative.

In the past year, however, it has turned positive, meaning that the new jobs in the economy are the kind that tend to pull average wages up, not down.

Beyond professional services, one example may be construction. The housing market is cooling, but commercial building is heating up.

"More of the work will be in nonresidential construction," predicts Michael Carliner, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders. That could mean demand for higher skills, such as equipment operation, that boost pay.
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evariste
Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Here are some proposed Constitutional amendments from Frank Gaffney, via Steve Antler:
First, disallowance of immigrant participation in US political affairs. This incluces a ban on participation in demonstrations and other public expression of political opinion.

Second, an "Americans first" employment policy, native born Americans having priority over foreigners for all positions in which status of citizenship is not deemed "indispensable."

Third, a ban on all immigrant or naturalized citizens' service as (a) federal elected officials, (b) members of the cabinet, or (c) justices of the Supreme Court.

Fourth, a ban on immigrant service in the clergy.

Fifth, a ban on immigrant ownership of land or aquisition of any rights to natural resources.

Sixth, authorization of private individuals to make citizen's arrests of any individuals suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Seventh, unconditional right of federal officials -- whenever they deem such action appropriate -- to deport immediately and without due process any noncitizen.
These aren't really proposed Constitutional amendments; they are all drawn directly from the Mexican constitution.

Makes ya think.
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evariste
ANSWER is in the thick of illegal immigration rallies
The Stalinist front ANSWER's involvement in organizing the mass rallies by illegal immigrants, more than anything else, have hardened my opinion against that cause. Now they're calling for a day of boycott on the 1st of May; illegal immigrants are supposed to refuse to work, buy things, go to school, or anything else except be useless tools.

Fun. Too bad it will be totally ineffective, like it was the last time they tried this (the country didn't even notice).
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evariste
Seymour Butts Into Iran War Planning
Seymour Hersh is up to his usual tricks, mixing a potent cocktail of speculation, half-truth, rumor and anonymous sources. He says the Bush administration is feverishly planning for a bombing campaign against Iran, to include the use of tactical nuclear weapons on their hardened facilities; would that it were so. Sometimes I wish I lived in Sy's world.
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium. [...]

There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. “That’s the name they’re using. They say, ‘Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?’ ”

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”
For once, I hope Seymour Hersh is telling the truth (he is, of course, against the developments that he's reporting, as you can tell from his sneering tone throughout).
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evariste
Panel of FISA judges to Senate: wiretaps were legal
Do you think this'll snap the Democrats dreaming about impeachment out of their reverie? Or will they continue to cling to the one opportunistic, partisan FISA judge who only thought it was necessary to resign and denounce Bush after the Democrats tried to turn the President discharging his duties into a criminal?
A panel of former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges yesterday told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that President Bush did not act illegally when he created by executive order a wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).
The five judges testifying before the committee said they could not speak specifically to the NSA listening program without being briefed on it, but that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not override the president's constitutional authority to spy on suspected international agents under executive order.
"If a court refuses a FISA application and there is not sufficient time for the president to go to the court of review, the president can under executive order act unilaterally, which he is doing now," said Judge Allan Kornblum, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and an author of the 1978 FISA Act. "I think that the president would be remiss exercising his constitutional authority by giving all of that power over to a statute."
The judges, however, said Mr. Bush's choice to ignore established law regarding foreign intelligence gathering was made "at his own peril," because ultimately he will have to answer to Congress and the Supreme Court if the surveillance was found not to be in the best interests of national security.
Judge Kornblum said before the 1978 FISA law, foreign surveillance was done by executive order and the law itself was altered by the orders of Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan.
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evariste
Nick Berg's dad running for Congress
My first instinct at the news that Michael Berg is running for Congress on a Green Party "cut and run from Iraq" platform was dismay at his naïvety and fury at his opportunism. However, I guess grief makes people crazy, and I refuse to judge too harshly a man who had to watch his own son's head being sawn off by Zarqawi. That he wants us to give up and let the man who killed his son have his way with all of Iraq-and eventually, the region-strikes me as a really odd reaction, however — you'd think any red-blooded man would demand a cold vengeance.
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evariste
The time has come for Southern states to regain their sovereignty
Whiny activists are demanding that a Georgia law imposing the only possible effective measure against non-citizen voting, a photo ID requirement, be disallowed by the Justice Department. This curious Federal intrusion into State sovereignty is an anachronism of the Reconstruction/Civil Rights era, when Southern states enacted many measures designed to block blacks from voting. In an age when the Southern states are among the most economically dynamic, and blacks are moving from the North to the South in droves, it's clear this is no longer a necessary or useful intrusion. It should be repealed. And common-sense measures like this, to prevent those who have no right to vote in our elections from voting, should be required in every state.
(AP) Civil rights groups have asked the U.S. Justice Department to block a new Georgia law that requires a photo ID to vote.

More than two dozen civil rights, community, religious and citizen advocacy groups sent a letter to the department on Tuesday.

The law was signed by Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue in January but needs Justice Department approval before it can be enforced.

Even if the department approves it, a federal judge could stall the law. An earlier version of the law was blocked by a federal judge in October.

It makes Georgia one of seven states that require a photo ID such as a driver's license to cast a ballot. The law eliminates several forms of identification previously accepted at the polls, such as Social Security cards, birth certificates and utility bills.

Unlike last year's version, the new law would provide a free state-issued photo ID card to anyone who needs one.

Perdue and others say the measure will help crack down on voter fraud. Democrats claim the Republicans are trying to suppress voting among blacks, poor people and the elderly, who are less likely to have driver's licenses.

Under the federal Voting Rights Act, the South and other parts of the country with a history of discrimination need federal approval for changes in their election laws.
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zorkmidden
Shut up, honey
Haha! Get used to the muzzle, Bill!
After being surprised by her husband's role in the Dubai ports deal, Sen. Hillary Clinton has insisted that Bill Clinton give her "final say" over what he says and does, well-placed sources said.

The former President agreed to give his wife a veto to avoid his habit of making controversial headlines that could hurt her chances of returning to the White House, multiple sources told the Daily News.
...
While she was blasting the Bush administration for allowing Dubai to run six of the country's ports, he was advising Dubai on how to sell the deal.
Can you imagine the fight over that one? I'm boss, Hil tells Bill
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evariste
Curt Weldon, America's Foremost Alarmist
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Curt Weldon, Able Danger leaker: Is he well-intentioned and credulous, or just another irresponsible attention whore? I think it's a little of both, given his more prescient predictions; I also think a US congressman shouldn't be going off half-cocked after every harebrained theory he hears.
He now says that he's not sure the chart had a picture of Atta, as he has sometimes maintained, and that he has been relying on the memory of an intelligence analyst who helped produce it.

Meanwhile, other key players in the story, including Hadley, contradict Weldon, saying they never saw Atta's picture. Moreover, several government investigations have failed to find any documentation so far that the program had identified hijackers before the attacks, and Weldon has begun to allow that there are parts of his story that may not be proven.

Yet even as his story triggers more and more questions, Weldon is making explosive new allegations. He says a high-level source has told him that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has died in Iran, where he has been in hiding.

He also maintains that the Bush administration suppressed information about the Able Danger program out of concern it might be embarrassed by disclosures that it failed to follow up leads that might have helped avert the plot.

"Am I going to take on something that is a challenge? Absolutely," Weldon said in a lengthy interview last week. "I'm not here to kiss people's butts. I'm here to do what's right. And if sometimes that means I have to push someone, well what are we here for?"

Weldon's allegations are the latest in a long skein of alarming scenarios that the Delaware County congressman has unspooled as he has sought to draw attention to what he seems to fervently believe are the nation's military and intelligence vulnerabilities.

On occasion, Weldon has turned out to be well ahead of the curve, as he was in the mid-1980s when he contended that the Soviet Union was violating an antiballistic-missile treaty by deploying a radar system that could be used as part of a defense to shoot down enemy rockets. And he appeared prescient with a prediction that the Russians would threaten to cut off access to their vast energy supplies as a way of pressuring neighboring states to toe their strategic political and policy lines.

He made the prediction in 2004, nearly two years before the explosions in January that disrupted gas supplies to Georgia, sabotage for which the Russians were prime suspects.

But often Weldon's nightmare scenarios seem little more than daydreams.

That was the case last year when he said a source told him that the Iranian government had set in motion a plot to crash hijacked planes into the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire. The CIA quickly debunked the story, saying Weldon's source was unreliable.

It was also the case in the mid-1990s when Weldon, working off information he obtained from a former Russian general, said the United States was potentially under threat from suitcase-size nuclear weapons that had been pilfered from the Soviet military. No proof has ever been found of the claim.

But Weldon's allegations regarding Able Danger have been particularly explosive. They are fuel to conspiracy theorists who believe that the 9/11 commission and the government suppressed information about the plot.
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evariste
Federal judge dismisses gun suit, invoking new law for first time
The repeated attempts of gun-grabbers and enemies of the Second Amendment to try to eliminate guns by suing their manufacturers for the actions of criminals led the Congress to pass, and President Bush to sign, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act last October. That law has now seen its first application by a federal judge, directly demonstrating the need for the law in the first place.
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evariste
Take Your Gun To Work Day
The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence Ban Guns is having a hissy fit because the NRA is campaigning across the nation for lawmakers to pass laws allowing employees to take their guns to work. I applaud the NRA's action. I don't like ninny corporations telling people they can't have self-protection when they're incapable of preventing workplace shootings themselves. And you never see corporate security personnel not wearing their guns conspicuously. If the company property deserves to be protected by firearms and lethal force, so do the employees' lives. Is the rent-a-cop gonna risk his life to stop a workplace shooting at his $10/hr job, or is he just gonna run away?

Furthermore, corporations which restrict their employees from bringing guns to work on pain of losing their jobs should face laws that heighten their liability exposure-maybe a if a workplace shooting should happen.
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evariste
The Port Mafia
Things I didn't know about US ports:

1. The International Longshoreman's Association, a union, controls all hiring.

2. They are heavily mafia-entrenched, even more so than most labor unions.

3. The Justice Department is suing 31 ILA leaders, their entire executive board, since 06/2005, for violating the RICO act.
In July 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against the ILA, which targets the entire 31-member ILA executive council, including the president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president, general vice president and more than two dozen others.

In a press release accompanying the suit, the Justice Department notes, "For decades the waterfront has been the setting for corruption and violence stemming from organized crime's influence over labor unions operating there, including the ILA and its affiliated locals, as well as port-related businesses. Since the late 1950s, two organized crime families -- the Gambino family and the Genovese family -- have shared control of various ports, with the Gambino family primarily exercising its influence at commercial shipping terminals in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Genovese family primarily controlling those in Manhattan, New Jersey and the Port of Miami."


Now isn't it awfully convenient that they give millions of dollars a year to Democrats, $7 million in 2004 alone?
Union bosses who would rob their members of pensions and health benefits, extort money to secure jobs on the docks, and use the docks to run gambling, loan sharking and other illegal enterprises could just as easily facilitate terrorists hoping to slip agents or weapons into the country, perhaps unwittingly, for the right price. But few in Washington seem to have considered the risk. The Dubai deal is not the only port issue that deserves more congressional scrutiny; ILA corruption surely deserves a close look as well.
What a perfect storm this Dubai ports deal was for the Democrats, a grand opportunity to throw their generous mobster benefactors a bone by embarrassing the President who's threatening to put them out of business.
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evariste
NYT counterattack to DoJ probe: Sues Pentagon for national security secrets
I sure hope the Grey Whore's latest attempt at committing treason ends up a dud. I like how they went out of their way to deny that the Justice investigation into whether they broke the law (yes) in publishing national security secrets has anything to do with this. The Pentagon hasn't even denied their FOIA request from December yet, just said "we're working on it".
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evariste
Rove obsessed by Hillary, Mugabe obsessed by homos
Hillary Clinton recently made some odd statements, implying that Karl Rove spends all his time obsessing over her in response to an accurate offhand comment by Rove that she was the Democrat frontrunner. The thing to look for here is "positioning"-she wants to run against Karl Rove, not against the far-leftists in her party. If she's forced to appease them to win the primaries, her chances of mainstream success are torpedoed; she hasn't failed to learn John Kerry's lesson. Since she has no war-hero past to fall back on, if she is forced to tack hard-left, she will cement her lack of appeal to a broad majority of Americans, Democrat and Republican alike. Therefore, "I'm Karl Rove's nemesis! Everyone agrees Karl Rove is bad, right? So, I'm awesome." TigerHawk makes the same conclusion as I do.

In other socialist politician news, Robert Mugabe, may his name be wiped, had nothing to say on his birthday, may it be his last, other than "fags are bad". He spent an hour haranguing some of the savages who support him and benefit from his brutal misrule against the dangers of homos. "I am the nemesis of homosexuals! Everyone knows homosexuals are bad, so, pay no attention to the chicken that is so conspicuously missing from your pot."
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evariste
NYT hissy fit over classified papers
The New York Times has a two-page article that is one of its 5 most read today, and it's much ado about nothing at all. They're complaining that after Clinton released millions of pages of formerly classified documents to the National Archives in 1995, national security agencies asked for some of them to be reclassified because they were still too sensitive. This withdrawal effort began under Clinton, in 1999, when the economy was still in its heyday and one could reasonably expect Al Gore to be the next President. The NYT complains that the effort has "accelerated" under Bush, and that therefore, the Bush administration is being unreasonably paranoid and secretive. A look at the numbers dispels this notion.

The CIA is only one of the several agencies that release documents to the National Archive. It has released 26 million pages since 1998 alone.

55,000 pages in 9,500 documents have been reclassified since 1999. 1,500 under Clinton, and 8,000 under Bush. That's about 1,600 a year under Bush. Considering the relatively tiny numbers we're looking at here, it is ridiculous for the NYT to try to paint this as some dramatic "acceleration" in government secrecy. The best part is how they interview self-interested historians, who want documents to, you know, write histories about, while not asking any of the officials involved why they're reclassifying sensitive documents released by Clinton. Yes, let's only ask those who have a vested interest in declassification!

Such transparent one-sidedness!

Throw in a few seemingly-ludicrous, chewy anecdotes of harmless documents that were reclassified, and you have the mental image of an out-of-control, sinister, paranoid presidency that the New York Times is so eager to paint for you. Never mind the numbers, it's the feelings that count.
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zorkmidden
The Kinkster
What's not to like about Kinky Friedman? He's funny, he's Jewish, he loves dogs and he's a breath of fresh air in the political arena. Okay there's one bad thing about him: he has no internet access! He doesn't even own a computer! Kinky! ‘Ride ’em Jewboy’: Kinky Friedman takes aim at governor’s job in Texas
Friedman’s new-broom-sweeps-clean appeal has struck a chord. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to help with the campaign. Strangers come up to him on the street to declare their support.

Celebrities such as the country star Willie Nelson have joined the bandwagon, and campaign advisors include consultants who worked on pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura’s surprise win as Minnesota governor in 1998.

“The Democrats and Republicans are not putting up any decent candidates," said Fort Worth lawyer Herman Morris, 78. Referring to Texas’ capital, he says, “We need a breath of fresh air in Austin, not just someone who will march in lockstep with the national parties."

Despite the apparent momentum, Friedman’s campaign, financed on a shoestring, still faces an uphill battle.
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evariste
Gore: won't somebody *please* think of the Arab illegal immigrants?
Al Gore turned in a half-responsible performance in his appearance at the Jeddah Economic Forum. On the one hand, he chided Arab countries for leaving it to the West to tackle Iran's nuclear quest when they themselves should be taking a lead. He also refused to get drawn into the usual "but what about those Jews" that Arabs keep pestering visiting American personalities about.

On the other, he whined on command for his hosts that the Bush administration kicked Arabs who overstayed their visas or otherwise violated immigration law out of the country, and he complained that the Bush administration had stopped freely handing out visas to Saudis. Gee, I wonder why the nation that produced 15 of the 19 hijackers would find a closed door the next time they stopped by. The last thing we need is more inbred Saudi jackasses running around demanding that no female flight controllers handle their flights.

I give him a B, because I would have expected him to behave much worse than he did, and he seems to have managed to avoid mentioning global warming, for once.
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evariste
Katrina Victimology evolves into a refined social art
Thousands of Katrina Victims Evicted! blares the AP headline. Bush administration makes thousands of victims homeless! OMFGWTF!

If you manage to read a few more paragraphs before rushing off to post this on your Daily Kos diary as the latest example of the Bush administration's heartless, callous disregard for the victims of an epic natural disaster, you will discover that these poor victims ignored, avoided, and stonewalled FEMA officials trying to help them for a very long time. FEMA went to each and every hotel room that it was paying for six times trying to help those in danger of eviction file for an extension of their federal help. 80% of these "thousands" have already made other living arrangements, which I suspect would have turned this sensational headline into "a couple of hundred Katrina evacuees refuse to accept further help from the government." But that wouldn't be very useful to bash the administration over the head with.

In Washington, Arabian horse judge and all-around incompetent crony appointee Michael "I got it at Nordstroms, are you proud of me?" Brown has been licking his wounds, and has decided that he will lash out at Bush to save his own bacon on the Hill. Hey Brownie-yes, you can go home now. Stick to what you know, horse-boy.

Bush is the real terrorist hurricane.
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evariste
Sen. Feinstein wonders if Bush can kill terrorists on American soil
I am seriously gobsmacked here. Not known as the highest-wattage lightbulb in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein still managed to stun me with her stupid question to Justice Department official about whether or not the President can authorize killing terrorists who are planning an attack inside the United States. Funny, considering she was part of the Senate when it voted to give President Bush the authority to use military force against Al Qaeda after 9/11. Do you remember that terrifying autumn when we thought 9/11 was just a prelude to a series of mass-casualty attacks, possibly with biological or chemical weapons, and when anthrax was in the mail? That was the context our country was in when the Senate gave that authorization. We didn't know what was coming next. Now this moronic harridan wants to know if the President is allowed to kill terrorists in the United States? He damned well better be allowed!

If the Democrats make an issue of the President's right to order the killing of a terrorist on American soil the way they've made an issue of his wiretapping of Al Qaeda's US rolodex, they'll be playing right into Rove's hands. I really hope they do. It'll be just another bend in the Democrats' monorail ride to electoral oblivion. The Democratic Party: proudly protecting terrorists from getting what's coming to them, because as everyone knows, Bush is the real terrorist.
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zorkmidden
Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up
Do people really only hear what they want to hear? Yes, and brain scans confirm this: Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases
Emory University psychologist Drew Westen put self-identified Democratic and Republican partisans in brain scanners and asked them to evaluate negative information about various candidates. Both groups were quick to spot inconsistency and hypocrisy -- but only in candidates they opposed.

When presented with negative information about the candidates they liked, partisans of all stripes found ways to discount it, Westen said. When the unpalatable information was rejected, furthermore, the brain scans showed that volunteers gave themselves feel-good pats -- the scans showed that "reward centers" in volunteers' brains were activated. The psychologist observed that the way these subjects dealt with unwelcome information had curious parallels with drug addiction as addicts also reward themselves for wrong-headed behavior.

Another study presented at the conference, which was in Palm Springs, Calif., explored relationships between racial bias and political affiliation by analyzing self-reported beliefs, voting patterns and the results of psychological tests that measure implicit attitudes -- subtle stereotypes people hold about various groups.

That study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did.
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zorkmidden
Blondie vs Condi
Do you think Condi would run against Hillary in 2008? I don't believe that Rice will run in the next presidential campaign, she has never run for office and she's repeatedly said she has no plans to, but she would be the most logical candidate for the Republican nomination if Clinton runs. I'm really curious to see who our next presidential candidates will be.
The "Condinistas" want to draft her for the presidential race in 2008, pointing to the way Dwight Eisenhower was eventually persuaded after World War II.

They have set up websites where you can sign a petition to "draft" her, buy Condi Rice badges, T-shirts - even lookalike dolls.

They have also taken out radio and television adverts. All without the approval of Ms Rice herself, of course.

But little is known about Ms Rice's own political views outside the field of foreign affairs.
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zorkmidden
Hillary, Harry and Barack
There are Democrats who don't think Bush is a terrorist or don't believe he's the worst president in history? What is this country coming to? Obama won't join Belafonte's chorus.
In his first appearance on the high-profile Sunday talk show since being sworn into office, Obama also was asked to respond an assertion last week by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) that the Bush administration "will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."

While he criticized the response to Hurricane Katrina and its Iraq policy, Obama disagreed with Clinton's assessment of Bush.

"That's a tough standard to meet," Obama said. "We've had some pretty bad ones, so I don't prognosticate in terms of where George Bush will place in American history."
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evariste
Democrats make Alito's wife cry
Sam Alito has been totally unflappable while senators from both sides of the aisle bloviated endlessly, and the Democratic ones attacked him relentlessly on day three, to the point that his wife was in tears.
On Wednesday, during a contentious Day 3 of hearings that at one point left Alito's wife in tears, the federal appeals court judge remained unflappable under persistent questioning by Democrats who attacked his credibility.
Orrin Hatch nailed it:
Bristling at the Democratic focus on what he called "phony issues," Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said, "I don't think you've been fairly treated and it makes everybody wonder why would anyone want to do these jobs."
Why, indeed. The Republicans are in no way innocent of this oafish attack behavior, of course. I still resent the way Harriet Miers was treated.
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evariste
DeLay steps down as majority leader
After a long, sordid series of scandals, House majority leader Tom DeLay has decided to step down in the interests of the Republican party. The last straw was his involvement with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has turned out to be little more than a small-time crook cum mobster. The Republicans really needed to clean house.

I note that the Ap story quotes a facetious AP/Ipsos poll to the effect that most Americans would prefer a Democratic Congress. DB at Sweetness & Light has ably debunked this bullshit rigged poll.
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evariste
Penn & Teller Expose PETA
Penn and Teller spend a 15-minute segment of their show, BULLSHIT!, on a devastating exposé of the lunatics at PETA. As much as I've read about them, I didn't know some of their loonier exploits, and this was definitely very educational. Did you know that PETA is against seeing-eye dogs for the blind? Go watch it at Google Video! (Some language used in the show is not safe for work).

Peta BULLSHIT! - Google Video
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zorkmidden
The best and worst of presidents
I read this article on whether George Bush is the worst president ever and I noticed that even though the author admitted that it's too early to evaluate Bush, he nevertheless went on to do just that. I believe that only history can show who has been a good president and who hasn't and history will show if George Bush did a good job or not. In your opinion, who has been the worst American president ever and who has been the best?
Poor James Buchanan, the 15th president, is generally considered the worst president in history. Ironically, the Pennsylvania Democrat, elected in 1856, was one of the most qualified of the 43 men who have served in the highest office. A lawyer, a self-made man, Buchanan served with some distinction in the House, served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and secretary of state under President James K. Polk. He had a great deal to do with the United States becoming a continental nation -- "Manifest Destiny," war with Mexico, and all that. He was also ambassador to Great Britain and was offered a seat on the Supreme Court three separate times.
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zorkmidden
Because the world needs a president
According to Esquire magazine, Bill Clinton is the world's "most influential man".
Esquire editor David Granger argued that Clinton was poised to become "something like a president of the world or at least a president of the world's non-governmental organizations."
Lucky us. I thought that at worst Clinton could go work with Jimmy, hold the nails for him, pass him the hammer, boil the peanuts, instead it looks like he's going to be pulling a Bilderberg.
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evariste
Morris's Synthesis
Donald Sensing heard Dick Morris on a radio talk show pimping his new book, Hillary v. Condi. Dick is a very perceptive political operator, here's Donald's summary of what he said:
His thesis, as he explained on Steve Gill’s radio talk show this morning in Nashville, is (1) that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination unless she inexplicably decides not to run, and (2) there is no potential Republican candidate who can beat Hillary except Condoleeza Rice.

Without taking a stand on either potential candidate, here is what Morris said:

A. All the white men who are going to vote Republican in 2008 already voted Republican in 2000 and 2004. There is no slack in white men’s votes that can make a difference in the election for a male Republican candidate in 2008.

B. The only way the Republicans can beat Hillary in ‘08 is to take away female white voters from her. Morris said that the white women’s vote went for Al Gore on 2000 by enough votes to give Gore the popular vote. In 2004, Bush very comfortably commanded white women’s votes over John Kerry, and so won the popular vote by a few points. White women, said Morris, are the swing voters who will determine ‘08 election.

C. If Hillary gains the nomination, as Morris is convinced she will, she will take an insurmountable lead of many points in white women’s votes running against any male Republican candidate. Because of this, it will simply be impossible for any male opponent to defeat her.

D. Realistically, the only possible female Republican nominee in 2008 is Condoleeza Rice. No other Republican woman has a decent chance of winning the nomination over its potential male candidates. Morris says that the number of white men who would decline to vote for Rice just because of her race or sex is insignificant and would be actually overcome by the number of white men who would vote for her specifically because of her race (they would be alleviating white guilt in the polling station, Morris said). Also, Morris is convinced that Rice would garner white women’s votes overwhelmingly in her favor over Hillary.

E. What about the votes of black Americans? Morris said that right now the Democrats command the black vote so solidly that no male Republican candidate can change that in ‘08. But he says that with Rice running, at least a third of the black vote, men and women, would go to Rice. Morris said that some prominent, liberal black leaders told him privately as he was writing the book that Rice could actually take 60-80 percent of the black vote.

Dick Morris on Hillary vs. Rice
I have to say that I would hold my nose and vote for Condi if the alternative was Hillary, but I really wouldn't enjoy it very much or feel that good about it. Sounds like a snoozer of an election.
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evariste
Unmitigated Gall: Democrat Trickery Shuts Down US Senate
In wartime, this is how trustworthy Democrats are: not very. They'll throw the nation's business into the trash while they perform a public temper tantrum.

Senate Goes Into Rare Closed Session
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate prepared to go into closed session Tuesday after Democrats enacted a rare parliamentary rule forcing the shut down of the Senate so senators could speak in a classified session about the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

(...)

Durbin said Democrats want to discuss launching "phase two" of a committee investigation into whether Bush and the administration misused data to justify war in Iraq.

"The purpose of this closed session in the Senate chamber is to finally give the truth to at least the members of the Senate, to finally call to task the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee," said House Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois.

A closed session is called when any senator demands one and a second motion is made. No vote is taken on whether to close the session. The last time a closed session was held was 25 years ago, Rockefeller said.

Republican Sen. Trent Lott, the former majority leader, said that the rule had been invoked two or three times under his tenure as majority leader, but only after a pre-arranged, negotiated discussion.

"This is not the way it has been done," Lott said. "We would never surprise each other ... This is very unfortunate for the Senate. It's not to say there isn't important information to be discussed ... but I'm astounded by this."

During a closed session, the chamber is shut to cameras, a security sweep is performed, and then Reid introduces a resolution calling for the launch of "phase two" of the intelligence committee's investigation.

"It is within the power of the majority to close down the closed session. They can do it by majority vote to return to the legislative calendar," Durbin said. "We're serving notice on them at this moment: be prepared for this motion every day until you face the reality. The Senate Intelligence Committee has a responsibility."
This is a great way for them to tie up the Senate in partisan bullshit and keep Alito from receiving a vote. They've discovered a way to filibuster him without seeming to, thus keeping the filibuster itself safe. At the same time, they get to score points against Bush.

UPDATE: James Joyner has this too, and one of his readers has a very funny, pointed observation:
Perhaps Reid should investigate the intelligence leading Clinton to bomb Saddam’s alleged WMD facilities in 1998?
Posted by: Atm at November 1, 2005 15:43


UPDATE 2: I'm very disturbed by the Republican disarray on this. They don't sound like they know what to do yet. They sure don't have a coherent message for the troops and the media yet. I hope that changes fast. I just visited rnc.org and they had nothing on this. Here's snippets of the disorganized and stunned response so far, from the original article:
"This is not the way it has been done," Lott said. "We would never surprise each other ... This is very unfortunate for the Senate. It's not to say there isn't important information to be discussed ... but I'm astounded by this."
Republicans, who were clearly caught off-guard by the maneuver, called the move "gutter" politics. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said the chamber was "hijacked" by Democrats.

"Once again, it shows the Democrats use scare tactics. They have no conviction. They have no principles. They have no ideas," Frist said. "But this is the ultimate. Since I've been majority leader, I'll have to say, not with the previous Democratic leader or the current Democratic leader have ever I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution."
Grand, shmand. Shut this down, fast. Get moving. Don't let the whole world see your ass.
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zorkmidden
'Scalia-lite'
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evariste
US economic & job growth:
TigerHawk says:
The American economy continued its relentless growth in the third quarter. The gross domestic product of the United States grew 3.8% July through September, up from 3.3% in the second quarter.

Unbelievable.

How unbelievable? The Euro zone, which did not suffer a single destroyed city all year, expects that its GDP will grow at substantially less than half the pace America set in the third quarter. Imagine how much faster the American economy might have grown had Europe's been stronger.
That's pretty damn funny right there, Tigerhawk. I'm not sure you were trying to be funny, but I was not expecting to read that sentence.

Meanwhile, QuickRob points out that we're finally creating jobs at pre-9/11 rates again. He has charts that he made himself, out of BLS spreadsheets (the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and they show impressive acceleration.
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zorkmidden
Libby Resigns
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evariste
Nightmare on First Street
Here's a scenario that popped into my (uninformed and ignorant) head last night, while reading and responding to comments on my Harriet Miers thread.

What if:

  • Bush nominates someone to the bench whom conservatives love.

  • Democrats filibuster

  • Republicans try and fail to overturn the filibuster, thanks to the Gang of 14

  • No Supreme Court justice is appointed during this Congress-Sandra Day O'Connor remains seated

  • The 2006 elections give the Republicans a much stronger hand and eclipse the Gang of 14

  • The new Congress confirms a conservative justice

  • Sandra Day O'Connor changes her mind and refuses to step down after all, because she was expecting someone like her to replace her and won't step down for someone who will change the character of the court



Would we be in a Constitutional crisis? How might we get out of it? It's clear the legislative branch has approximately zero appetite to impeach a sitting judge, the only way other than death or resignation to get rid of one. What happens next? Stalemate until another sitting justice dies or resigns?

Does the confirmed nominee get to sit on the Supreme Court and expand its membership to 10, or does he exist in a Constitutional limbo? There's nothing in the Constitution that says there will be exactly 9 justices. It doesn't even say there should be an odd number of them.
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evariste
Harriet Miers withdraws, and the bullies win their way
I've never been so ashamed to be a conservative as I am right now. A woman with stellar qualifications and an amazing personal history of accomplishment against long odds, one who would most likely have made a fine Justice, was booed off the stage by a bunch of unelected boors with megaphones in a trial-by-blog/opinion column. The Senate never even got a chance to interview the President's nominee correction before the mob tore her to pieces and she withdrew, her morale and self-respect in tatters.

Seriously, fuck you. You know who you are, all of you. Shame on you.

[The American Thinker has extensive (and more thoughtful) coverage. I'm just pissed off.]
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zorkmidden
'Kinky for governor! Why the hell not?'
Some people run for high political office because it appeals to their vanity. Some run because they believe they can really win. When Kinky Friedman, hitherto known as an eccentric Jewish cowboy singer turned mystery novelist, is asked why he is campaigning as an independent in next year's Texas governor's race, he likes to respond with a question: "How hard can it be?"
I can't resist politicians with a sense of humour, they're a rare phenomenon: Kinky, a good ol' cigar-chomping, Jewish cowboy, might soon be running Texas
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zorkmidden
Giuliani For President!
Giuliani Not Thinking About 2008 Race Yet.

Don't listen to him, he's gonna run, I know it.
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evariste
Michael “Tikkun" Lerner teams up with Mother Sheehan to shamelessly exploit Yom Kippur for politics
Judith Apter Klinghoffer has this:
I have just received the following from Michael Lerner:

We are pleased to announce that Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at Beyt Tikkun’s Yom Kippur service on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 3:30 p.m. (the time the break begins). Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey who died in Iraq, is one of the most compelling, passionate and outspoken family members protesting the Iraq War. She created Camp Casey near Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.


He goes on to argue that "We are not organizing a political rally during Yom Kippur services, but a discussion of our responsibility as Americans." But, of course, an anti-war rally is precisely what this person is organizing. He is politicizing the holiest day of the Jewish calendar in the most self aggrandizing and divisive manner. I am Sorry, I am so furious I cannot think straight. It is difficult for me to believe he would sink this low.

But read his complete message bellow and decide for yourself if this is a message delivered by a man preparing to seriously examine and atone for his own transgressions and mistakes during the past year or a man pointing a finger at others and attributing to them the basest of motives.

I am sure of one thing, his is not the authentic spirit of Yom Kippur. By the way, in my synagogue, unlike in his, there are no charges or tickets but only donations.
"Tickets" are something between $65 and $185. Ugh!
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zorkmidden
Kennedy and Kerry, Sitting in a Tree
I can't believe I'll have to put up with another Kerry campaign again: Kennedy: I'll Support Kerry in 2008 Race
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evariste
Republicans: they get things done, no whining
Buddy Story is a must-read about Mississippi governor Haley Barbour's response to Hurricane Katrina. The contrast with Louisiana governer Kathleen Blanco couldn't be clearer.
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evariste
Senate hearings Oct 25th on Saudi jihad incitement
WorldNetDaily reports that the Senate is to probe Saudis' jihad propaganda in the USA. It's about goddamn time.
As the Senate prepares an investigation, the U.S. State Department is demanding Saudi Arabia account for its distribution of hate-filled, jihad propaganda through American mosques.

The developments are based on a yearlong study by a Washington human-rights group asserting the government of Saudi Arabia is disseminating propaganda through American mosques that teaches hatred of Jews and Christians and instructs Muslims that they are on a mission behind enemy lines in a land of unbelievers.

The 89-page report by Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom, "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques," concludes the Saudi government propaganda examined reflects a "totalitarian ideology of hatred that can incite to violence."

The report says the fact it is "being mainstreamed within our borders through the efforts of a foreign government, namely Saudi Arabia, demands our urgent attention."

In response to the report and the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings Oct. 25, the New York Sun reported.

The Accountability Act, introduced in June by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., sharply criticizes the Saudi regime for its support of terrorist activity and, citing the Freedom House report, its part in spreading the radical Wahhabist ideology shared by Osama bin Laden and the 9-11 attackers.

The act's purpose is "to halt Saudi support for institutions that fund, train, incite, encourage, or in any other way aid and abet terrorism, and to secure fully Saudi cooperation in the investigation of terrorist incidents."

Specter has held Judiciary Committee hearings into Saudi financing of terrorism and Riyadh's role in injecting ideology into textbooks for Palestinian Arab schoolchildren, the Sun said.

The hearings this month likely will include testimony from the State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Freedom House and terrorism experts, said William Reynolds, a spokesman for Specter.

The State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, Karen Hughes, also is demanding answers from the Saudis, the New York paper reported.

In a visit to Saudi Arabia last week, Hughes raised the issue in private meetings with government officials. She also referred to it publicly in a meeting with Saudi journalists.

"We had been raising the issue privately," Hughes explained, "and as part of raising difficult issues that we need to discuss, I felt it was appropriate."

Reynolds said the degree to which Saudi Arabia is making efforts to stop the propaganda will be a subject of the Senate hearings.



In March, 15 senators responded to the Freedom House report with a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanding the Bush administration take stronger action against Riyadh.

Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, were among the signers of the letter, which called for the U.S. to define its relationship Saudi Arabia more clearly.

Schumer stated: "It is a massive contradiction that a country we call an ally could be both so regressive in their own country and so brazen in its propagation of anti-American, anti-women, anti-Semitic books, publications, and practices. American security is undermined as the Saudi government exports these hateful commodities to millions beyond its borders, planting the seeds for new generations of terrorists and totalitarian Wahhabi leaders."

Collins said the report "raises some disturbing concerns about the spread of extremist materials in American mosques and Islamic centers."

"If we are going to win the war on terrorism, these types of actions cannot be tolerated," she said. "It is important that the Saudi Arabian government join us in this fight and stop supporting the spread of ideologies that promote hatred and intolerance around the world."

The Freedom House report cited samples of more than 200 books and other publications from American mosques used to educate its members that preach a "Nazi-like hatred for Jews" and "promote contempt for the United States because it is ruled by legislated civil law rather than by totalitarian Wahhabi-style Islamic law."

One highlighted document, distributed through the Saudi Arabian Embassy's Cultural Department in Washington, is a fatwa against the taking of American citizenship by Muslims and thereby "acquiescing to their infidelity and accepting all their erroneous ways."
Thanks for springing into motion, Senate! You're truly a responsive legislative body. It's only been, what, four years since a bunch of Saudis flew airplanes into the Pentagon and World Trade Center? Am I alone in being incredulous that Arlen Specter of all people is spearheading this? Why haven't the conservative Republicans been on the ball with this?
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evariste
Young blacks moving away from Democrats
John Hawkins at Right Wing News points out an article at RealClearPolitics that says young black people are moving away from the party of segregation and towards the party of liberation. About time.
It must be fun for liberals to watch all the bloody infighting that's happening on the right these days. But, enjoy it while you can, fellas, because the future belongs to conservatism. Read these numbers and despair, you liberals!

"A national analysis of shifts in the black community shows that the move away from the Democratic Party and towards political independence is strongest among young African-American voters. According to a paper titled "The Political Orientations of Young African Americans" by David A. Bositis published in the journal Soul, this year, underwritten by the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, one quarter of African American voters under the age of 35 now identify as political independents, in contrast to 10% of senior citizens.

The growing trend is broad as well as deep - in 1998 only 5% of African-American voters between the age of 51 and 64 identified as independents, but by 2002 that number increased fourfold to 21%. This analysis shows that 25% of young black voters are self-described conservatives, while 31% are moderates. On education policy, 66% support school vouchers for public, private or parochial school - a major point of policy difference between the Republican and Democratic Party - while nearly 80% favor partial privatization of Social Security. This is in sharp contrast to African-American elected officials in particular, of whom 70% over the age of 40 oppose school vouchers."


Granted the GOP isn't reeling all these black conservatives and moderates into the Party...yet. But, eventually, it will happen. The Democrats can only keep tricking people with their "Republicans hate black people" propaganda for so long. As the GOP continues to reach out to black churches and as more black conservatives become prominent on the right, it'll become harder and harder to keep up the lies.

It may not happen in the next Presidential election or even in the one after that, but eventually the day is going to come when a Republican President will be pulling 25%-35% of the black vote, instead of 8%-12%. When that day comes, today's Democratic Party will have to move significantly to the right on a number of issues to avoid fading into irrelevance.

Conservatives may lose some battles before that day comes, but we will win the ideological war and pull the country to the right.
I hope so. The declining relevance of the hate-America, divisive wing of the Democratic party is really fun to watch. If they're forced to move to the center and abandon their socialist dreams, all the better.
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evariste
Harriet Miers roundup (Updated!)
Betsy's got a few of the conservative blogosphere's more interesting pro-Miers posts in one convenient place, such as this from Patrick Ruffini:
As our picture of Miers comes into clearer focus, the Souter II narrative begins to strain credulity. It requires us to believe that the President who gave us Janice Rogers Brown, Michael McConnell, Bill Pryor, Priscilla Owen – and no RINO that I could name at the Circuit or District Court level, who fought the fight on Miguel Estrada, and who had originally orchestrated the masterful trade of Roberts-for-O'Connor, would suddenly punt at this critical moment. It also requires us to believe that Miers, who has worked with Bush for a decade, who is the White House staffer most intimitately involved with vetting nominees' judicial philosophies, and is one of the people Bush knows best, has been able to hide her true beliefs from her boss until – Ah, ha! – she donned the judge's robe. I'm sorry, but I don't think this is the same thing as an unknown from New Hampshire handpicked by Warren Rudman.
Check out the rest over at Betsy's Place.

On the other hand, Leon H. at Redstate has this caution:
Let us suppose, just for a moment, that you are willing to drink the Bush Flavor-Aid and just automatically assume that Miers is, in fact, the second coming of Scalia. I won't drink it with you, but I respect your right to believe as you wish. I'd only point out that this is STILL a horrible nomination, because of the message it sends. The federal court system is filled with dozens and hundreds of judges, all of whom have a desire to move up in stature and pay grade, and for a judge, being on the SCOTUS is the top of the heap. You can pooh-pooh those considerations if you want, but they're real.

By passing over Luttig, Garza, JRB, and Jones, a clear signal has been sent to the lower judges that judges who rule from a strong conservative perspective will not be nominated to the SCOTUS. It goes without saying that such a test is not applied to liberals.

You tell me what kind of incentive that creates for federal court judges at the appellate and trial levels - considering that they hear thousands more cases a year than the SCOTUS does.
And Thomas Lifson is a must-read on Harriet Miers.
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evariste
Political Motivations, Personal Ambition & Prosecutorial Discretion: Reading Fitzgerald's Tea Leaves
Plame Leak Prosecutor May Pull A Rabbit Out Of His Hat-Will Human Nature Defeat Common Sense?


The grand jury in the CIA leak case expires Oct. 28th, and people expect Fitzgerald to signal his intentions later this week. Given that basically no criminal action has been established, you'd think the most likely event would be that the whole thing gets dropped. You might be wrong. This kind of thing makes me really wonder about the way the system works sometimes.
Many lawyers in the case have been skeptical that Fitzgerald has the evidence to prove a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which is the complicated crime he first set out to investigate, and which requires showing that government officials knew an operative had covert status and intentionally leaked the operative's identity.
No proof that a crime has been committed. Great. Let's drop the whole thing. Right? Wrong!
But a new theory about Fitzgerald's aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.

Lawyers involved in the case interviewed for this report agreed to talk only if their names were not used, citing Fitzgerald's request for secrecy.

One source briefed on Miller's account of conversations with Libby said it is doubtful her testimony would on its own lead to charges against any government officials. But, the source said, her account could establish a piece of a web of actions taken by officials that had an underlying criminal purpose.

Conspiracy cases are viewed by criminal prosecutors as simpler to bring than more straightforward criminal charges, but also trickier to sell to juries. "That would arguably be a close call for a prosecutor, but it could be tried," a veteran Washington criminal attorney with longtime experience in national security cases said yesterday.

Other lawyers in the case surmise Fitzgerald does not have evidence of any crime at all and put Miller in jail simply to get her testimony and finalize the investigation. "Even assuming . . . that somebody decided to answer back a critic, that is politics, not criminal behavior," said one lawyer in the case. This lawyer said the most benign outcome would be Fitzgerald announcing that he completed a thorough investigation, concluded no crime was committed and would not issue a report.


The incentives here are kind of messed up, and they make it pretty easy to predict what's going to happen, based on human nature.

If he decides to go ahead with the conspiracy charges, the worst case scenario for Fitzgerald is months to years of political paralysis as the Democrats and the media make hay while the sun shines, until a complicated court case based on hearsay and an imaginary conspiracy winds down to a deadlocked jury or a "not guilty" verdict.

In the best case scenario for him, Fitzgerald succeeds in selling a jury on nebulous bullshit charges of conspiracy, and goes down in history as the man who brought down the Bush administration.

Whether he gets his verdict or not, he can then spend the rest of his life living off the book sales and public speaking fees, possibly running for office in a Democrat-heavy constituency later.

If he decides to drop the whole thing because there is no evidence that a crime was committed (which of course there isn't), he's a footnote.

What do you think he's going to do? Rise above petty ambition and do the right thing, or be a fame whore? I'd like to predict he'll do the right thing, but I'm afraid I don't know a thing about the man's character, and I have to assume the worst.

The fact is, the lawyers who spoke to WaPo (anonymous sourcing, ironically enough the thing that got Miller in trouble in the first place) probably know what they're talking about.

A "web of actions" with a "underlying criminal purpose"-how in the hell do you disprove something like that? This trial has boring, long, painful and messy written all over it.

No matter how long, pointless and messy the trial is, and no matter how much it hinders the conduct of the nation's business, do you think the media will ostracize him and turn him into a hated pariah, what they did to Ken Starr? Of course not, silly. He's going to be lionized as the lone hero speaking truth to power, the Archibald Cox of our times.

PowerLine has some convincing arguments that the NYT's Miller is lying about the whole rationale for why she wouldn't testify and finally agreed to. Here's their conclusion:
It seems clear that Judith Miller and her lawyers aren't telling the truth. What isn't obvious, is why. Three possibilities: 1) Miller went to jail because she wanted to pose as a martyr, and she just needs an excuse for why she now wants to go home. That's plausible as far as it goes, but it doesn't explain why Miller stayed in jail for another week and a half after getting Libby's "clarification," while her lawyer negotiated with the prosecutor. 2) Miller went to jail because she didn't want to answer questions about her tipping off a terrorist-supporting group that the FBI was about to execute a search warrant, an episode that also could have come before Fitzpatrick's grand jury. She and her lawyer laid the blame on Libby so that the public wouldn't learn about the other episode, which is pretty much unknown. Plausible, and consistent with what we've been told about her lawyer's deal with the prosecutor--if, indeed, the terrorist tipoff was something that Fitzgerald could have pursued. I'm not sure whether that's correct or not. 3) The third alternative is the most sinister: Miller went to jail to protect not Libby, but another source or sources, and the prosecutor has agreed not to ask her about those other sources. If that's true, it suggests that someone in the administration--presumably, either Karl Rove or Scooter Libby--is being set up.
(thimbleful of cognac to Michelle Malkin). Now, if the third alternative is true, doesn't that paint Fitzgerald's motives and character in an awfully poor light?
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evariste
Judith Miller released; Scooter Libby was her source
NYT reporter Judith Miller was released from prison after obtaining Scooter Libby's permission to reveal that he was her source in the Plame leak case.

Unsatisfyingly, the press has still not been handed a resounding defeat to their dubious claim that the Constitution protects their right to stonewall judges and defy our nation's legal justice system by refusing to testify to the courts.

The media elite's most cherished delusion is that they have a Constitutional right to keep their sources secret just because they promised secrecy to them.

I say there is no such right, they pulled it out of their ass and they should have their asses handed to them by a court over it.

The "Fourth Estate" isn't really a branch of government, however much they'd like to pretend to be. They have no Constitutional right to obstruct a criminal investigation.

I can't even begin to express how sick I am of this pathetic special pleading, disguised as honorable defense of our ancient liberties. There is no ancient liberty to obstruct justice.

Period.
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