Saturday, April 30, 2005
The African Union has agreed to more than double the number of its peace monitors in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur.
By September, the force should be 7,700-strong, which could be further increased to 12,000, an official said.
There are currently just 2,200 troops, with another 1,000 expected next month, to monitor an area the size of France.
The UN's Sudan envoy says the peacekeepers have made a difference where they are present but they are too few to cover such a large area.
Jan Pronk also submitted a report saying that 12,000 troops were needed in Darfur by early next year - but they should have a stronger mandate.
**GOI Comment: I am glad that the number of peace keepers is going to increase but it is still too low. 7-12,000 is too small to monitor an area the size of France. We need former colonial states such as France to send troops to help buffer this area. I would also like to see U.S. troops but that probably will not happen because we are so over-extended in Iraq. Hopefully though we can see soldiers from the UK and other European countries such as Italy. The U.N. is making a difference for those who claim that the United Nations never makes a difference.
The problem in Sudan is that the government in Khartoum has said it would take "logistical and financial" support from NATO but not the presence of non-African troops.
The bottom line is that we have to act and act quickly in Sudan to prevent another Rwanda and further genocide. As peaceful countries we have a responsibility to help countries such as Sudan and Congo from sliding down the slope of peace and stability. This is why I believe that we should stay in Iraq until they can take care of themselves (even though I opposed the war to begin with) because I believe in "You broke it, you fix it."
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Friday, April 29, 2005
Believe it that this IS a civil war and has been for awhile. We have Iraqi's killing Iraqi's. That is the prime definition of a civil war.
"Why are they killing innocent Iraqis? Why are they trying to set Sunnis and Shias apart?" one man inspecting the damage, Adnan Aziz Salman, said to Reuters news agency. **GOI Comment: Because you (Iraqi's) are in the middle of a growing civil war and it is the worst kind of civil war. One based on religious beliefs as well as political beliefs. Sadly, it is George W. Bush and his Neo-Con's who have brought all of this violence to your country.
Webster's New Wold Dictionary defines "Civil War" as: War between different factions of the same nation.
In similar news, Gen Richard Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff stated that the rebels "staging attacks in Iraq are as strong now as they were a year ago." He quickly insisted, however, that "we" were still winning.
Of course he did.
Mr Rumsfeld said he did not believe it would be the efforts of US and coalition forces that proved decisive in the battle against the insurgents.
"The people that are going to defeat that insurgency are going to be the Iraqis," he said.
**GOI Comment: Yeah, Hey Rumsfeld!!! That's called a CIVIL WAR!!! It's not a step forward it is a total collapse backward and into a very deep pit.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The Bush Administration hates the press. This is not exactly news to those who have been following these "Banana Republicans" but I found a couple of nice, juicy quotes from an article in the May 9th copy of, The Nation.
As and unamed Bush official told reporter Ron Suskind:
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
For those who didn't like it, another Bush adviser explained, "Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered two to one by folks in the big , wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read the New York Times or Washington Post or the L.A. Times."
**GOI Comment: First of all I am a historian and I can already tell you that GWB will not be looked upon in a favorable light in historical journals and monographs. Not only that but it really isn't that difficult to read the NYT, the WashPost or the L.A.T. All you have to do is go online, register and you can read it all you want.
It's that simple.
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Thursday, April 28, 2005
In a rare retreat, the Republican-led House on Wednesday overturned contentious rule changes made to the House ethics process, with Republicans saying they surrendered to the Democrats to try to restore a way to enforce proper conduct in the House.
"I am willing to step back," said Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the moving force behind ethics revisions forced through by the majority in January.
This is a partial victory, however, until the all five of the Republicans on the House ethics committee are replaced (or recuse themselves) because their financial links to Tom DeLay bias them.
I just called Hastert's office to give him a comment of support for moving to overturn the contentious rule changes but to also urge him to replace these Republicans with ones who do not have a financial link to Tom DeLay in order to avoid any bias of the panel.
Here is the phone number if you want to call Speaker Hastert's office to leave a message on this issue: (202) 225-2976
I urge you to call because they DO actually listen to what people are saying. Americans have power in numbers and I assure you if we clog Hastert's office with comments, he will listen.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005
All five Republicans on the House ethics committee have financial links to Tom DeLay that could raise conflict-of-interest issues should the panel investigate the GOP majority leader.
Public records show DeLay's leadership political action committee (PAC) gave $15,000 to the campaign of Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pa. — $10,000 in 2000 and $5,000 in 2002. Hart would chair a panel to investigate DeLay if the committee moves forward with a probe.
The same political committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, also has donated to the campaigns of ethics Chairman Doc Hastings of Washington, Judy Biggert of Illinois and Tom Cole of Oklahoma. They are among scores of Republicans DeLay has contributed to. Cole and the remaining committee Republican, Lamar Smith of Texas, contributed to DeLay's legal defense fund.
There is precedent for ethics panel members recusing themselves when such conflict issues arise. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., stepped aside in 2002 in the case of then-senator Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., accused of financial misconduct. Reid had given $500 to Torricelli's legal defense fund. "Recusal is pretty much an individual choice, if there is any possibility of a conflict of interest," said Donald Ritchie, a Senate historian.
***GOI Comment: These Republicans need to follow the example of Sen. Reid and recuse themselves from the ethics committee due to a conflict on interests. Otherwise this ethics committee will never be taken seriously should they ever meet to investigate DeLay. I think that it is pretty obvious now that DeLay has packed the ethics committee with ardent supporters who have changed the rules of the committee to favor DeLay and his unethical actions.
Kenneth Gross, an attorney who has represented Democrats and Republicans on ethics issues, said the financial ties on the committee could be a problem. "I would advise the committee not to use a member who had received contributions from DeLay's leadership PAC to head the investigation," he said.
**GOI Comment: The Republican party is dripping with corruption and abuse of power with Tom DeLay and with President Bush yesterday putting his full support behind DeLay. Bush and his cronies are totally out of touch with Americans. Poll numbers now show that 64% do not support the Bush social security boondoggle. 56% believe that the economy is still getting worse and gas prices have never been higher. 54% disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq. Not to mention the Bush approval rating is @ 45% which is the lowest of his presidency and "well below that of other recent second-term presidents." It is time to shake up the corrupt, out of touch right-wing Republicans who support Bush and his disasterous agenda.
IN OTHER NEWS: Bill Frist and Republicans reject compromise.
This from the Washington Post:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Tuesday rejected compromise offers that would allow minority Democrats to continue to block judicial nominees, saying all of President Bush's past and future court choices deserve confirmation votes from the GOP-controlled Senate.
Republicans in turn have threatened to use their majority to change senatorial rules to require a simple majority vote for confirmation, in part because they fear a Democratic blockade could affect a Supreme Court vacancy if a high court seat opens in Bush's second term.
To avoid that showdown, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he had offered Frist a compromise. The Nevada Democrat refused to give full details but said part of that compromise would require Republicans to back away from attempting to ban judicial filibusters.
Democrats say their compromise is aimed at the 10-to-12 undecided Republicans who want to avoid a showdown. "This compromise is aimed at showing them that we really don't want to come to this, " said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
***GOI Comment: Republicans are playing partisan games with the Constitution and refuse to compromise with the Democrats. The Republicans have gotten some 95% of their judges approved but is that enough? No, they want more. They are acting like spoiled, "silver spoon fed" brats.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Meanwhile, apologists for "The Bush doctrine" still claim that the WMD's were shipped outside the country and can be found in Syria. Not only does this sound like the plot of a terrible Hollywood movie but this last CIA report has found NO EVIDENCE toward this end.
This from the New Zealond news group, Stuff:
"Indeed, they uniformly denied any knowledge of residual WMD that have been secreted to Syria," the report said.
Bush has been wrong about everything. The only thing that he has done successfully wast the bankruptcy bill which hurts average Americans.
Once again, thanks George
Ironically, however, the only new agencies which seem to be talking about this final report are outside the United States. Except the lonely CBS News the American news agencies can not seem to be bothered with this massive story.
Too bad because the bloggers are all over this one. Again proving the arrogant, partial and irrelevant nature of the American Main Stream Media.
In other news: Bush and DeLay are as thick as theives.
This from The Guardian:
President Bush on Tuesday gave embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay a high-profile, in-person show of support, warmly thanking the Texas Republican, who is facing allegations of ethical improprieties, for his leadership in Congress.
I'm not the least bit shocked that fellow Texan, crook and liar GWB supports this bag of sleaze. Thieves, criminals and liars often seek out the same.
Tom Delay now travelling with Bush on his failure of a "social security tour." Given the lastest poll numbers on the social security over-haul plan, Tom DeLay is the only one willing to still support this disaster.
Again from the Guardian:
But a Washington Post-ABC News poll out Tuesday showed that despite all of Bush's efforts, nearly two-thirds now disapprove of his performance on Social Security and public support has declined for his plan to allow younger workers to put a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into the stock market.
Bringing Represenative Tom DeLay on the "social security tour" is about as effective as the "Abstinance Only" program bringing porn starlette Jenna Jameson on board.
Tom DeLay probably is running things more then Bush anyway. DeLay seems to have everyone terrified of him because of the dirt that he has and blackmails over people.
Either that or Bush just loves, rewards and sees Tom DeLay as a "captain" in his "Bush mafia crime family."
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Sunday, April 24, 2005
The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.
DeLay's expenses during the same trip for food, phone calls and other items at a golf course hotel in Scotland were billed to a different credit card also used on the trip by a second registered Washington lobbyist, Edwin A. Buckham, according to receipts documenting that portion of the trip.
Buckham, a former chief of staff to DeLay, was at the time a registered lobbyist for AT&T, Enron Corp., and the Nuclear Energy Institute. DeLay's wife was employed, at the time of the trip, by Buckham's lobbying firm, the Alexander Strategy Group, and was receiving a salary from it, according to DeLay's personal financial disclosure statement for that year, on file with the House clerk.
**GOI Comment: Let's not forget that the, "The Alexander Strategy Group" at one time employed the Sen. Mel Martinez aide who drafted the infamous "Terri Schiavo memo" which stated that the tragedy should be exploited by Republicans.
House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists. DeLay, who is now House majority leader, has said that his expenses on this trip were paid by a nonprofit organization and that the financial arrangements for it were proper. He has also said he had no way of knowing that any lobbyist might have financially supported the trip, either directly or through reimbursements to the nonprofit organization.
**GOI Comment: "He has also said he had no way of knowing that any lobbyist might have financially supported the trip, either directly or through reimbursements to the nonprofit organization." Of course he knew.
Politicians are very mindful of one thing to be sure and that is money. Money is what runs their campaigns and money is what runs the government that they work for.
So, for DeLay to claim he does not "know" the workings of a high governmental office such as U.S. House Representative is either amazingly naive or a obvious lie. Politicians know exactly how far they can go when financial laws are in question and if DeLay honestly does not understand the laws that he can not break then he is amazingly stupid and does not belong in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Friday, April 22, 2005
"He should not have to choose."
Well, of course. It was Jesus himself who said,"Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's." SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!!!! Plus, this poster is infering that "people of faith" are only Evangelical Christians which is ABSURD!! There is a seperation of church and state to protect BOTH the state AND religion!!
Not to mention the fact that America was pretty much founded by people who were fleeing religious persecution and a state religion!!! It's all in your basic history book.
The Family Research Council, James Dobson and the "Rev." Dr. Senator Bill Frist will engage in a disgusting attack on one of our most basic rights as Americans this coming sunday. That being our freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion.
This from the FRC website:
Justice Sunday, scheduled for April 24, 2005, is a unique event designed to remind our U.S. Senators that the opportunity of public service must be fully open to people of faith.
When were "people of faith" ever denied a right to serve in the public sector??? And since when did conservative Republicans have the lock on "faith." Last time I checked the democratic leader of the House of Representatives is a Mormon and believe me that is very much a faith and a very conservative one at that. Yet, here is Harry Reid (a democrat) and a Mormon. Hmmm. I guess he isn't a true "person of faith"??
He of course is not the only democrat who is a "person of faith." Hell, I'm an extreme liberal and I'm still a "person of faith." Unless of course Buddhism is no longer considered a religion (and I would not be at all surprised if James Dobson, FRC and Sen. Bill Frist felt that way).
Now, regarding these judges.
Let's remember that the United States Senate has approved 204 of Bush's nominee's out of 210. So, the democrats are only talking about filibustering 10 extreme candidates. The President and his fundamentalist Christian base have been granted some 95% of their judges and yet they scream that the democrats are "obstructionists." Not to mention that the Republicans used the filibuster to block certain judges under the Clinton administration. Now all of a sudden the filibuster is "unconstitutional."
There should not be a religious test for our judges. It does not matter what religion that you claim as a judge because your religion should not color your judgements as a defender of the United States Constitutional law. Which is so wonderful and has worked for over 200 years because government and religion have not mixed.
I think that most of us like our religion and like our government but not the two at the same time.
To paraphrase radio talk show host Randi Rhodes, "We have tax-exempt churchs wanting to tell us how to spend our tax dollars. So maybe what we should do is walk into their churchs and say how they should use their "collection plate money!!"
I am a Buddhist and an American but I certainly do not want a Buddhist judge to use his/her beliefs to legislate and influence his/her judicial decisions.
This "Judicial Sunday" is outrageous and everyone of faith (and I do mean every faith, not just evangelical Christians. This includes: Catholic, Baptist, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Pagan, etc.) should stand up against this and the politicians who support this kind of action.
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Thursday, April 21, 2005
Populist (D) House Rep. Dennis Kucinich???
Good guess but no.
Consumer and citizen advocate Ralph Nader?
House majority leader (R) Rep. Tom DeLay. Who delivered that "spine-tingling" message on the House floor on November 16, 1995.
You're not surprised either huh?
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Via Lloyd Grove's "Lowdown" in the New York Daily News:
If the conservative guests on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes" sound especially on-message, that's because they're being coached by the best:
Sean Hannity himself.
On the March 31 installment of the shouting-head show, the guests included two of the late Terri Schiavo's former nurses, Trudy Capone and Carla Sauer Iyer, arguing that their patient wasn't brain-dead.
Between commercials, according to an off-air audiotape obtained by investigative comedian Harry Shearer for last Sunday's episode of his weekly radio program, "Le Show," Hannity coached the women on exactly how to respond when liberal co-host Alan Colmes cross-examined them.
"Just say, 'I'm here to tell what I saw,'" Hannity can be heard instructing his guests. "No matter what the question, 'I'm here to tell you what I saw. I'm here to tell you what I saw.'"
Hannity adds helpfully: "Say, 'I'm not going to be distracted by silliness.' How's that? Does that help you? Look into that camera. Look at me when I'm talking."
On the air, Iyer performs beautifully. "I don't have any opinions or judgments. I was there," she declares
After the segment ends, Hannity gushes off the air to the nurses: "We got the points out. It's hard, this isn't easy. But you did great, both of you. Thank you, guys. Those nurses are powerful, aren't they?"
On his radio show, Shearer injected: "Yeah, especially when they do what you tell 'em to do. Very powerful when they follow instructions from the host!"
A Fox News flack didn't respond to Lowdown's detailed message yesterday.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
This from Reuters:
As John Paul's doctrinal overseer, Ratzinger disciplined Latin American "liberation theology" theologians, denounced homosexuality and gay marriage and pressured Asian priests who saw non-Christian religions as part of God's plan for humanity.
In a document in 2000, he branded other Christian churches as deficient -- shocking Anglicans, Lutherans and other Protestants in ecumenical dialogue with Rome for years.
ReligiousTolernace.org website speaks more of his intolerant views:
The prayers and rituals of other religions may help or hinder their believers. Some practices may prepare their membership to absorb the Gospel. However, those rituals which "depend on superstitions or other errors... constitute an obstacle to salvation."
Members of other religions are "gravely deficient" relative to members of the Church of Christ who already have "the fullness of the means of salvation."
**GOI Comment: I hope that he changes his views on accepting other religions as valid. The last thing that we need in this modern world is more religious tension between the faiths. We already have a huge problem with Islamic and Christian extremism and I hope that this new Pope will not through more fuel on these fires.
Meanwhile, at least 12 people are dead in new violence and possible high casualties as one suicide bomber set off a bomb next to a U.S. convoy but I doubt that you'll hear any of this news on the cable channels in the next 24 hours at least.
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Monday, April 18, 2005
New allegations suffaced today that Bolton not only intimidated people but chased a woman across a hotel lobby, insulted her wardrobe and questioned her sexuality in a pajorative manner.
Horrifying, Personal John Bolton Story By Melody Townsel
Dailykos.com Friday 15 April 2005
Melody Townsel was stationed in Kyrgyzstan on a US AID project. During her stay there, she became embroiled in a controversy in which John Bolton was a key player. She described the incident in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee members who are reviewing the Bolton nomination.
Here's the entire text of her letter:
Dear Sir: I'm writing to urge you to consider blocking in committee the nomination of John Bolton as ambassador to the UN. In the late summer of 1994, I worked as the subcontracted leader of a US AID project in Kyrgyzstan officially awarded to a HUB primary contractor. My own employer was Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, and I reported directly to Republican leader Charlie Black.
After months of incompetence, poor contract performance, inadequate in-country funding, and a general lack of interest or support in our work from the prime contractor, I was forced to make US AID officials aware of the prime contractor's poor performance. I flew from Kyrgyzstan to Moscow to meet with other Black Manafort employees who were leading or subcontracted to other US AID projects.
While there, I met with US AID officials and expressed my concerns about the project - chief among them, the prime contractor's inability to keep enough cash in country to allow us to pay bills, which directly resulted in armed threats by Kyrgyz contractors to me and my staff. Within hours of sending a letter to US AID officials outlining my concerns, I met John Bolton, whom the prime contractor hired as legal counsel to represent them to US AID. And, so, within hours of dispatching that letter, my hell began.
Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel - throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman. For nearly two weeks, while I awaited fresh direction from my company and from US AID, John Bolton hounded me in such an appalling way that I eventually retreated to my hotel room and stayed there. Mr. Bolton, of course, then routinely visited me there to pound on the door and shout threats.
When US AID asked me to return to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in advance of assuming leadership of a project in Kazakstan, I returned to my project to find that John Bolton had proceeded me by two days. Why? To meet with every other AID team leader as well as US foreign-service officials in Bishkek, claiming that I was under investigation for misuse of funds and likely was facing jail time. As US AID can confirm, nothing was further from the truth. He indicated to key employees of or contractors to State that, based on his discussions with investigatory officials, I was headed for federal prison and, if they refused to cooperate with either him or the prime contractor's replacement team leader, they, too, would find themselves the subjects of federal investigation.
As a further aside, he made unconscionable comments about my weight, my wardrobe and, with a couple of team leaders, my sexuality, hinting that I was a lesbian (for the record, I'm not). When I resurfaced in Kyrgyzstan, I learned that he had done such a convincing job of smearing me that it took me weeks - with the direct intervention of US AID officials - to limit the damage. In fact, it was only US AID's appoinment of me as a project leader in Almaty, Kazakstan that largely put paid to the rumors Mr. Bolton maliciously circulated. As a maligned whistleblower, I've learned firsthand the lengths Mr. Bolton will go to accomplish any goal he sets for himself. Truth flew out the window. Decency flew out the window. In his bid to smear me and promote the interests of his client, he went straight for the low road and stayed there.
John Bolton put me through hell - and he did everything he could to intimidate, malign and threaten not just me, but anybody unwilling to go along with his version of events. His behavior back in 1994 wasn't just unforgivable, it was pathological. I cannot believe that this is a man being seriously considered for any diplomatic position, let alone such a critical posting to the UN. Others you may call before your committee will be able to speak better to his stated dislike for and objection to stated UN goals.
I write you to speak about the very character of the man. It took me years to get over Mr. Bolton's actions in that Moscow hotel in 1994, his intensely personal attacks and his shocking attempts to malign my character. I urge you from the bottom of my heart to use your ability to block Mr. Bolton's nomination in committee.
Plus, "The Washington Post said Monday that Bolton withheld sensitive information on Iran from his State Department bosses, former secretary of state Colin Powell and current secretary Condolezza Rice."
(R) Sen. Chuck Hagel is the latest Republican to have doubts about Bolton:
With a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote expected Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was asked whether he would endorse Bolton.
“At this point, I will … but I have been troubled with more and more allegations, revelations, coming about his style, his method of operation,” said Hagel, the committee's No. 2 Republican.
“We need a uniter,” he told CNN's “Late Edition.” “We need a builder. We need someone who will reach out to our friends and our allies at the United Nations.”
Hagel said he was disturbed to learn of allegations that Bolton tried to intimidate a State Department analyst who is now a temporary staffer in the senator's office.
Bolton and Rexon Ryu reportedly clashed in 2003 when Ryu allegedly failed to provide a document for Bolton's chief of staff. Bolton allegedly accused Ryu of hiding information.
Hagel deemed the allegations “a disturbing pattern of things that have come out about Bolton's management style, this intimidation. We cannot have that at the United Nations. That should not be anywhere in our government.”
***GOI Comment: So, Hagel is the new Senator to target on this issue. Here is the link to his contact form. Flood his email with comments and let's get rid of the Bolton character once and for all. Not sure what to say in the form? Just do what I did and copy and paste parts of the above letter into the form and say, "I want you to vote to get rid of John Bolton."
Also, we need to still flood Sen. Lincoln Chaffee's office about this. Here is the link to his contact form.I'm out.
---End of Transmission---
DeLay addressed the association with the following statements:
"When a man is in trouble or in a good fight, you want to have your friends around, preferably armed. So I feel really good."
What the F*CK?!
It sounds like the man is insuating some "final showdown" where he and his friends will have an, "old west" style shoot-out with his accusers!!
You would think that he would be smart enough to just shut up but you'd be assuming too much apparently.
Even Newt Gingrich had concerns about Tom DeLay ethics:
"I don’t want to prejudge him and my hope is that Tom will be able to prove his case," said Gingrich, who engineered the Republican takeover of the House in 1994. "But I think the burden is on him to prove it at this point." Is he doing that? "I don’t know yet. I think the jury's out," said Gingrich.
"In an exclusive interview with CBS News Correspondent Gloria Borger, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it's time for DeLay to stop blaming a left-wing conspiracy for his ethics controversy and to lay out his case for the American people to judge. "
"DeLay's problem isn’t with the Democrats; DeLay's problem is with the country," Gingrich continued. "And so DeLay has a challenge: to lay out a case that the country comes to believe, that the country decides is legitimate. If he does that he's fine."
**GOI Comment: Newt Gingrich faced his own ethics violations when he was speaker of the House and so to have even him making these comments is really something. Its like Gingrich is saying "Whoa, damn!! Now that guy is corrupt!!!" You know you're in trouble when even fellow scandalous allumni won't defend you.
Fellow conservative (R) Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado has had critical comments about DeLay as well:
Rep. Tom Tancredo says it is "probably not the worst idea" for embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to step down while he deals with ethics allegations.
See, DeLay even other people named "Tom" won't come to your defense.
---End of Transmission---
Saturday, April 16, 2005
We just finished watching this powerful documentary and I HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE and EVERYONE.
This from a review on Amazon by Allan A. Scott of Bloomingdale, IL:
So, in its intent and construction and execution, it is brilliant- the type of film I would sacrifice 100,000 typical films if only we could encounter its type more often. I dream of seeming and sharing this type of film and in this instance, my dream has manifested.
I couldn't agree more.
We as human citizens of Earth have been brainwashed by massive corporations into going against our best interests and especially our physical and mental health.
Corporations have one goal in mind and that is the bottom line. They do not care about the environment and they do not care about morality. Companies like Nike and Wal-Mart and allowing child labor @ 8 cents and hour in some cases!! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!
The movie goes through a checklist of mental illness symptoms that most corporations embody and in the end we find out that the diagnosis is that of a psychopath.
Thus, we realize that our corporations have WAY too much power. Watch this movie and prepare to be blown away, enraged and enboldened to do something to take back the power to the people.
I found it to be the most important movie that I have seen in MANY, MANY years. I plan to buy the 2-disc dvd and give out to my family and friends to watch/borrow. If you ever wanted to do me a favor or buy me a present then this it it....
Just watch the movie.
This from Edward Cody @ The Washington Post:
Thousands of young Chinese protesters massed in front of the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai Saturday, shouting "Japanese must die" and lobbing eggs, bottles and stones in spite of a sizable security force and official appeals for order.
The crowd, small at first, grew to more than 10,000 people as several streams of marchers converged on the consulate during the day. Police tried to prevent them from approaching the consulate, but some of the angry, chanting youths pushed their way through. At least one window was shattered and several were cracked.
Resentment against Japan, never far from the surface here, has surged in recent days because of a newly approved textbook in Japan that, according to Chinese nationalists, falls short of the truth in recounting what Japan did during its World War II occupation of China. The Communist Party government, which keeps tight control over any political manifestation in China, has allowed the demonstrators to let off steam, citing them as proof of its insistence that Japan must more frankly deal with its past.
The tension rose further Wednesday when Japan announced it will allow private companies to begin exploratory drilling for petroleum in a disputed area of the East China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the decision as a provocation and reserved the right to undefined further steps. "The consequences depend on Japan," said a ministry spokesman, Qin Gang.
China already has begun drilling in a nearby area that is not under dispute. But Japanese authorities said the Chinese may be sucking petroleum from underwater deposits that straddle the contested demarcation line, which Japan insists should be halfway between Okinawa and the Chinese coast.
Researcher Jason Cai in Shanghai contributed to this report.
**GOI Comment: This one to keep an eye on. Anytime China has massive protests it is news worthy because they are such a massive power in the world. Not to mention that Japan is one of America's biggest allies and thus we are very much tied to this China/Japan tension. It doesn't help that North Korea sits inbetween China and Japan. That region is a "powder keg" with too many nuclear weapons in the mix. India and Pakistan are not far away and they both have nukes as well.
This from The Associated Press and MSNBC:
Sunni militants took about 70 Shiite males hostage in the central Iraqi town of Madain and threatened to kill them unless all Shiites left the town, government officials and a Shiite political group said Saturday. Bombings around the country killed a dozen Iraqis.
Iraqi security forces were surrounding the area, trying to contain the situation, a Defense Ministry official said.
“There were about 100 masked men, riding in cars, roaming the city. They took hostages from the Shiite youth and old men, and demanded the Shiites leave the city,” said Haitham Husseini, spokesman for the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution, Iraq’s largest Shiite group. “The families contacted us yesterday and they asked for our help. There is a fear now among the women and children.”
**GOI Comment: Sectarian violence is the last thing that Iraq can take right now. A civil war based on religious differences would devastate the country and possibly pludge the Middle Eastern country into a bloody and bitter civil war.
In other Iraq War news, two American soldiers were killed in seperate attacks bring the total of American soldiers killed during the war to at least 1,549
Iraqi policemen continue to be the main target of attacks as five died saturday in an attack in Baquoba.
In Northern Kirkuk a policman and an two Iraqi soldiers were killed in seperate "drive by shootings."
The violence seems to be never ending in Iraq it simply ebbs and flows and probably will do so for many, many years to come. Especially as long as the Iraqi government remains as weak as it is right now. The police and military are basically incapable of handling anything other then keeping moderate peace and that will not work to maintain stable and long lasting peace without American soldiers.
That tension between the United Nations, The United States and the rest of the world continued today with harsh comments from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice about the U.N. and that the nomination of John Bolton to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the International governing body would be a postive step.
This from the BBC News:
She said John Bolton, a long-time critic of the UN and nominated as the next US ambassador to the body, would help update, reform and strengthen it.
**GOI Comment: Given Boltons history of negative and anti-United Nations comments it seems that he would "help update, reform and strengthen" the body only to favor the United States rather then favor a balanced body of international checks and balances. Given Boltons nomination and Rice's statements today it certainly seems that the United States under the Bush Republicans want to "take over" the U.N. to make it fit their desires and plans.
And that's the round-up.
---End of Transmission---
Friday, April 15, 2005
The White House said today that President Bush considers House Majority Leader Tom DeLay a friend but suggested he's more a business associate than a social pal.
"I think there are different levels of friendship with anybody," presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Last week, Bush put some distance between himself and DeLay after the majority leader suggested judges should be penalized for their decisions in the Terri Schiavo case. Bush said he believed in an independent judiciary.
**GOI: Wow, things must be getting bad for DeLay if even Bush does not consider him a social pal. Obviously DeLay is "radioactive" right now and he can not beat back the storm. The conservatives are walking a tight-rope with DeLay. They are saying things in public that are somewhat supportive of him while they also distance themselves from his "time-bomb" nature. No one wants to be connected to this guy when it all blows up. The Republicans better ditch DeLay before we get any closer to the 2006 mid-term elections or I think that he [Delay] will drag the party down and the democrats will clean-up.
---End of Transmission---
Thursday, April 14, 2005
He claimed that there are plans to attack Iran sometime this summer that the President has signed off on.
Which is really interesting given comments by Secretary of State Condolezza Rice in an interview granted to the Wall Street Journal and picked up by Reuters News Agency.
This from the Reuters article:
The United States will decide this summer whether to pursue a tougher stance on Iran's nuclear program at the United Nations Security Council, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Thursday.
Rice said Washington has faith in European-led negotiations aimed at ensuring that Iran's nuclear program remains non-military, and that what matters most is "a unity of purpose" among all the nations involved.
Her remarks come shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urged President Bush to take a tougher line on Iran and said the country was approaching a point of no return in its quest for nuclear weapons.
**GOI Comment: This makes the two latest Bush nominations of John Bolton and John Negroponte VERY interesting indeed.
The following is a rough outline of what Randi Rhodes theorized about the purpose behind these two nominations:
The Bush administration is going to start "banging the drums of war" against Iran by stating they have the technology to produce nuclear weapons and therefore they basically have weapons of mass destruction and a tougher stance needs to be taken (Sound like Rice's statements??).
John Bolton is needed and wanted by Bush because he has a history of "strong-arming" people into doing what Bush wants and Bush now wants him to "strong-arm" other member nations at the United Nations to follow his plan on Iran.
John Negroponte will be the Director of National Intelligence and thus in charge of all intelligence and certainly another "yes" man for Bush. He will be in charge of funneling all intelligence to the Congress and Senate regarding the Bush plan on Iran.
So, these two nominations make Rice's statements all that more interesting, don't you think??
We shall see what happens come this summer.
---End of Transmission---
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
I am sure that news program directors won't cover the story because it is too "graffic."
Sure, this is a rather graffic story but it must be told and repeated until we as a global community decided to step-in and help.
There has been a long and vicious civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and despite a peace treaty signed two years ago ghastly violence continues in the eastern part of the country.
This is the same geographic area that hosted the violence in Rwanda and the on-going violence in Sudan.
Yet, hardly anyone knows that anything is going wrong.
This from the BBC's Africa correspondent Hilary Andersson:
But the region in and north of the forests of central Africa has hosted Rwanda's genocide, the massacres in Burundi, the devastation of southern Sudan, the mutilations in Uganda, and the atrocities of the north-eastern Congo.
In the north-east, at least seven warlords are locked in brutal scramble for personal power and control.
Lots of the fighters are children.
Rape is more widespread than possibly anywhere else on Earth (GOI: Bush was SO concerned about the "rape rooms" of Saddam's Iraq but you don't hear a peep from the Prez about this one).
And the war is not about any principle at all, violence has just moved in where there is no authority.
GOI: Mutilation here has been the norm according to Andersson:
Their relatives had their hearts ripped out, their heads cut off, their sexual organs removed.
This, it seemed, was the standard way of killing here.
You want to know why?
Yes there is war, but this is different.
This is not just killing, or taking territory.
It is deliberate mutilation on a scale that makes you reel with horror.
We met a woman whom I will call Kavuo, not her real name.
To talk to her about her story we had to travel to a remote location in the jungle, where we could not be seen or heard by others.
What she had to speak of is an atrocity shrouded in secrecy here, an atrocity. It is taboo to even speak of it.
The events she told me about happened two years ago and hers was one of the first public testimonies of its kind.
Kavuo was on the run with her husband, her four children and three other couples.
They had spent the night in a hut, and got up in the morning to keep moving.
But they had barely left the hut when six militia men accosted them.
Kavuo and the women were ordered to lie with their faces on the ground.
The militia ordered Kavuo's husband and the other men to collect firewood.
Then the women were told to say goodbye to their husbands.
The militia then began to kill the men one by one.
Kavuo's husband was third.
Her testimony is that the militia men lit a fire and put an old oil drum, cut into two, on the flames.
I will omit other details. But Kavuo says the militia cooked her husband's parts in the drums and ate them.
Fighters told us that those who carry out such acts believe it makes them stronger.
Some believe they are literally taking spiritual power from their victims. That once they have eaten, they have the power of the enemy.
These atrocities are also designed to instil utter fear into the enemy.
It is estimated that four million people have died in the Congo as a result of the long running war.
That is truly staggering. It is more than those killed by Cambodia's Pol Pot and more than those killed in Rwanda.
**GOI Comment: This story made my blood boil with anger toward the great western powers but especially toward my home country of America and our Presidents. Clinton did nothing about this OR Rwanda and Bush is carrying the torch of turning a back to these atrocities which in my view makes them accomplices.
Surely the Bush Administration knows what is going on there for the President receives daily briefs about troubled spots from all over the globe. Yet, he chooses to do nothing or to even say that anything is going wrong over there. Certainly our tabloid journalism is never going to say anything about this.
The only reason that Bush and Blair and other western powers are not doing anything is that there is nothing in it for them. If Congo had vast oil reserves then you better believe that Bush would have sent troops into there long ago.
Africa should be known as the "Forgotten Continent" because no one cares what goes on there. Thank GOD for the BBC and Reuters for reporting the events of this troubled continent.
Everyone talks about how troubled the Middle Eastern region is and I do not doubt this but with Africa you have an entire CONTINENT in trouble and (for the most part) these matters are being blown off.
Please, PLEASE do not forget Africa.
---End of Transmission---
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Here is what I wrote:
I am not a citizen of Rhode Island but I am a concerned American citizen.
I have been watching the debate on the nomination of John Bolton to the United Nations and I am very, very worried.
Past remarks from Bolton make it clear that he does not hold the UN in high regard. I worry that his nomination as ambassador to the United Nations will be a signal to the rest of the world that we could care less about them or international co-operation. Bolton is an unilateralist and is not the kind of person we need representing us to the rest of the world.
I am sure that you and your colleagues can find a better candidate then John Bolton.
I hope that I can count on you voting NO on John Bolton.
GOI: Feel free to use any of my words in your message to his office.
Here is the link to send him a comment.
---End of Transmission---
Monday, April 11, 2005
Here is a sampling of Bolton's comments on the United Nations compiled by William Douglas from the Knight Ridder Newspapers and the Kansas City Star:
"There is no such thing as the United Nations ... There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world and that is the United States when it suits our interests and we can get others to go along. And I think it would be a real mistake to count on the U.N. as if it is some disembodied entity out there that can function on its own." _Global Structures Convocation, Feb. 3 1994.
The European arguments against the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act demonstrate that "some Europeans have never lost faith in appeasement as a way of life. It is clear that Iran is cynically manipulating gullible ... Europeans to advance the development of weapons of mass destruction." _New York Times, July 28, 1996
"The (United Nations) secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today it wouldn't make a bit of difference." _Global Structures Convocation, 1994.
Now why would a man who claims that there is "no such thing as the United Nations" want to work there??? And why would we allow such a man to represent us?!! What if he had to work on the 38th floor? Would he freeze up in the elevator?!! I mean MY GOD!!! What does this nomination say to those from all over the world who DO work in those upper 10 floors??? With these comments I wouldn't be the least be shocked if John Bolton's first goal @ the U.N. would be to try and blow off the top 10 floors!!
If John Bolton gets the nomination then we might as well just put a big bold middle finger in the middle of the stars on the American flag.
The ironic thing about this nomination is that George W. Bush claimed the right to invade Iraq based on U.N. mandate 1441. And he is also invoking U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 in pushing for Syria to pull it's troops out of Lebanon.
This from CNN:
Commenting after Syria's announcement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Darla Jordan said in a statement Assad's plans were "not enough."
"The international community has made clear that Syria must withdraw completely and immediately all of its military forces and intelligence services from Lebanon in accordance with [U.N. Security Council Resolution] 1559."
So, if GWB likes to invoke the United Nations then why in the great glory of God does he want this guy (who doesn't think the U.N. exists outside the U.S.) in there as our representative?!
The nomination of John Bolton to the United Nations would be a sign to the rest of the world that we could care less about any other country. This is what John Bolton represents. He believes that the United States and the United States alone should make decisions for the world.
The Bolton nomination makes it looks as though Bush wants Bolton in there so that he can manipulate the United Nations and force the rest of the world to bend to the Bush doctrine.
After all John Bolton said himself that the only purpose of the United Nations is to use them "when it suits our [America's] interests and we can get others to go along."
I can not believe that there is even an arguement about this guy. His own statements over the years should destroy his nomination.
It's like considering a "gun for hire" mercenary to head up your local peace group!!
I am honestly starting to think that Bush and his administration and literally INSANE.
---End of Transmission---
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Tom DeLay yucking it up with fellow "Robber Baron" Dick Cheney.
Laugh it up Tommy the American people are on to you.
This from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The No. 3 Republican in the Senate said Sunday that embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay needs to answer questions about his ethics and "let the people then judge for themselves."
*GOI Comment: Well, it's about damn time that Republicans hold DeLay accountable for his actions. It is a good sign that even conservative Senators like Santorum are finally concerned* about DeLay's ethics.
Moderdate Republicans are already thinking that DeLay's days are numbered:
At a town hall meeting Saturday in Greenwich, Conn., GOP Rep. Christopher Shays told constituents that he did not think DeLay "is going to survive."
Shays, a moderate who has irked Republicans by bucking party leaders on some prominent issues, described DeLay "as an absolute embarrassment to me and to the Republican Party," according to the account Sunday in The Advocate of Stamford.
A senior Democratic senator, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, had this advice for the Republicans who control both the House and Senate: "Be careful about how closely you embrace Mr. DeLay."
Dodd cited the new rules for the ethics committee that House Republicans rammed through in the wake of DeLay's difficulties. Those rules require a bipartisan vote before an investigation can be launched. DeLay's office also helped mount a counterattack last fall against Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., who was the ethics committee chairman when it came down against DeLay.
"Unfortunately, in his particular case, there's a process that he's tried to change so they could actually reach a determination as to whether or not he's innocent or guilty of the things he's been charged with," Dodd said. "But this is not going to go away."
*GOI Comment: You're damn right it's not going away. DeLay may have changed the rules in the ethics committee but he can not avoid the masses of the people. We want answers, the chorus is growing louder and this tide can not be stopped.
This is America and we are tired of our politicians using the Constitution as their own personal toilet paper. Corruption is not in the Bill of Rights and we the Americans (especially the bloggers) are watching and we are going to take our government back.
This is a country with a long and strong history of checks and balances and the hard right Republicans like DeLay seem to want this country to be a one party state that gets whatever it wants.
Call your U.S Congressman/woman and Senators and tell them that you are upset over the actions of Tom DeLay and you want and IMMEDIATE inquiry.
You can not stop the power of the people.
---End of Transmission---
Friday, April 08, 2005
I'm back, however, dumping the garbage in my brain from the safe confines of the rubber walled room.
See ya there.
---End of Transmission---
No, I'm not talking about Iraq.
I'm talking about Sudan.
According to CampusProgress 300,000 people have died in the genocide currently taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The world is basically turning their backs on the Sudanese just like they did during the Rwanda genocide. Yet, President Clinton and other American and European politicians regret not having done anything to stop the Rwanda massacre.
And President Bush??
So far he has only sent former Secretary of State Colin Powell to tell them to basically "stop." Now, he is only sending over the Deputy Secretary of State. Pretty soon we will be putting Dafur on the back burner to the point that we will be sending Bozo the Clown over there.
Remember when Bush was saying that Saddam had to go because he was killing his own people with lethal gas?? REMEMBER???
Well, where is Bush on Sudan??
I thought that he stood for a "culture of life???"
I was not necessarily opposed to going into Iraq to help the dying citizens of Iraq but I am very pissed off that we went in there based on lies about "weapons of mass destruction."
If the main arguement Bush used to go to war was that Saddam was committing genocide then I think the rest of the world might have been more supportive with troops and finances.
So, here we are watching the Sudanese kill each other and we could care less.
So, where is Bush?
In Rome hoping for a photo op mourning the body of Pope John Paul II.
I wonder if Sudan is a major oil producing country?
You know what?
I bet not.
That's why you don't see the Bush administration moving the troops to act on this one.
---End of Transmission---
Thursday, April 07, 2005
The now infamous "Terri Schiavo memo" which stated that the Terri Schiavo case would be beneficial to the Republican party has finally come home to roost.
This from Mike Allen @ The Washington Post:
The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.
Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.
Martinez claims that he did not look at the memo but just handed it to Sen. Harkin.
What senator passes off a memo and does not look at it??
The interesting thing is that the Alexander Strategy Group is headed up by former political aides to Tom DeLay. Now don't you find that ironic??
The conservative bloggers and pundits have pointed fingers at the Democrats accusing us of "skullduggery" (I thought you'd like that word. It's personally one of my favorites) and making up the memo. Whoops!! Guess you all got that wrong!!
According to the WashPost story, Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said he believed that the memo originated with the GOP because it is "totally consistent" with how the Republicans have operated for the past four years.
Tom DeLay's finger prints are all over this one and I wouldn't be the LEAST bit astounded to find out Karl Rove's finger prints on this either. The Republican Party is finally having to own up to it's lies and corruption that have dominated their party for the last 6 years or so.
I invite all Republicans who are fed up with this shit from the "Neo-cons" to come over to the Democratic Party and give us a chance. I think that you'll find a party that stands for personal rights and a party that is very open and willing to accept different opinions and values.
Yes, we have moral values they are just different and diverse values then these miopic "Neo-con jobbers" persue.
Yes, we are a party of religion. Just not one version of one religion. We celebrate ANY religion that you wish to follow. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Wicca, Animism, etc.
Yes, we are a party of strength on national defense. We are the party of WWII Presidents FDR and Truman. Our last candidate for president (John Kerry) served honorably in Vietnam.
We are the "Big Tent" party. A party of diverse ideas, values and opinions. Because the truth is not that there are red and blue states but rather purple states full of Americans who are more alike then seperate.
Don't let Mel Martinez, Tom DeLay and his merry band of corrupt lobbyists talk for you. Follow someone who is willing to speak about and back up your best interests and support your job.
Not someone or a party that is willing to go down into corruption just to hold onto power. Because to me it seems that many of these Republicans are more willing to line their pocket books and satisfy their "blood lust" for power then help you, the average American.
Think about it.
---End of Transmission---
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
It appears that the corruption of (R) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay knows no bounds. The big story this week is that DeLay took a 7 day trip to Moscow in 1997
that was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements, the New York Times and Washington Post reported Tuesday.
DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay’s trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.
The expense-paid trip by DeLay and four of his staff members cost $57,238, according to records filed by his office. During his six days in Moscow, he played golf, met with Russian church leaders and talked to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, a friend of Russian oil and gas executives associated with the lobbying effort.
**GOI: Wow, What a shock that DeLay would meet with "friends of Russian oil and gas executives." Shame shame Tom. The dealings of Tom DeLay smack of old day politics and the scandals of "Boss Tweed" and Tammany Hall corruption machine. It is obvious to me and many others now that Tom "Boss Tweed" Delay is engaged in down-right thievery. The Tom DeLay corruption could (and probably is) the "tip of the iceberg" of corruption in the GOP party and this current administration.
DeLay also dined with the Russian executives and two Washington-based registered lobbyists for the Bahamian-registered company, sources say. One of those lobbyists was Jack Abramoff, who is now at the center of a federal influence-peddling and corruption probe related to his representation of Indian tribes.
House members bear some responsibility to ensure that the sponsors for their travel are not masquerading for registered lobbyists or foreign government interests, U.S. legal experts say. House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.
In addition, It now seems that Tom isn't the only one in his family who is involved in corruption. This story from the New York Times:
WASHINGTON, April 5 - The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state of Texas.
Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" or "payroll," with no additional details about how they earned the money. The payments appear to reflect what Mr. DeLay's aides say is the central role played by the majority leader's wife and daughter in his political career.
Mr. DeLay's national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, said in a statement on Tuesday that the two women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments: "Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists Armpac in arranging and organizing individual events."
United Parcel Service provided a chartered flight between Washington and Las Vegas for between 50 and 60 people--including lobbyists, top aides and political supporters--at DeLay's request, according to a company spokesman. DeLay flew separately on a Federal Express corporate jet. Lobbyists with the National Association of Manufacturers, the D.C. law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, and the National Association of Convenience Stores were among those present for the weekend.
The weekend included a late-night party Saturday in DeLay's suite at the Rio Hotel and Casino, which featured a living room, bar and hot tub on the balcony. DeLay was not present, aides said; the event was hosted by his daughter, Dani Ferro, the campaign manager for DeLay's reelection campaign. After the party, Ferro told associates that a lobbyist poured champagne on her while she was in the hot tub.
**GOI: The only thing that DeLay hasn't done it seems is committ murder although I wouldn't doubt it if we soon found a body with his finger prints all over it. I just don't understand how DeLay can get away with SO much without being held accountable for it. I have a feeling though that DeLay's "house of cards" will come crashing down soon. Hopefully he will be going down in this next election.
---End of Transmission---
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
This from The Denver Post:
(Conservative)Gov. Bill Owens vetoed a bill today that would have forced hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraception, saying it would "violate fundamental constitutional principles."
GOI: Catholic hospitals lobbied Owens (who ironically is himself a Roman Catholic) to veto this bill.
The article goes on:
Rep. Fran Coleman, D-Denver, a supporter of the bill, said she was disappointed.
"This was about emergency contraception. Rape victims didn't ask for that procreation," she said.
During the House debate on the bill, she likened emergency contraception for rape victims to having a bullet removed.
Cynthia Stone, spokeswoman for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said hospitals that refuse to provide information on contraception to rape victims are imposing their own moral values on patients who may not share their values.
"This was a commonsense bill about giving a woman information so she could make her own choices," Stone said.
Timothy Dore, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, said lawmakers had no business telling church hospitals they had to refer rape victims to abortion clinics.
"That was a cooperation with evil we could not tolerate," he said.
GOI: O.k., I guess that helping rape victims is now evil?? Is that what the Colorado Catholic Conference and Bill Owens are insinuating??? Because that's sure what it sounds like. This is not an issue of the government imposing something illegal on religious hospitals. It is more an issue of providing CHOICES and INFORMATION to these victims. The VICTIMS are the ones who have the right to CHOOSE if they want the information or not. It is not the right of the religious backers of the hospital to say. Are they a hospital first or a church??
So, I guess another message is that if you were raped you better pick the right hospital. Do not go to a religious hospital!! The problem is that the veto makes it illegal for ANY hospital to provide this information. It seems to me like this is more an issue of religious theocratic oppression then anything else.
Just wait until it is their own daughter who is raped and then we shall see if they still advocate this position.
---End of Transmission---
Senator Cornyn of Texas had this to say on the Senate floor:
"It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions," he said. Sometimes, he said, "the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people."
"I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."
GOI: This is UNACCEPTABLE talk coming from a member of the Senate. This is an underhanded way to somehow link the recent courthouse violence to judges that he and other Republicans disagree with.
First Tom DeLay and now Cornyn.
This from AMERICAblog concerning Cornyn's comments:
"We now have Republican Senators making excuses for terrorists. Explaining why terrorism is understandable. Why terrorists have legitimate concerns. Justifying why the victims of terrorism are really to blame for these heinous crimes. Wonder what Senator Cornyn thinks of rape victims?"
GOI:We have Republican senators and representatives crying that these judges need to be held accountable. Then you have this Cornyn basically saying that the recent violence we have seen against judges can be seen as understandable because the judges had it coming because they are "out of control." It also appears that "out of control" is code talk for disagreeing with their rulings. So, I guess what the Republicans are saying is that if you disagree with judges you can kill them??
The Republican party is out of control and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want. The Republicans are now wanting to get rid of the 200 year old filibuster rule that allows the minority party it's last vestige of power to prevent total domination of one party.
It's not like the Republicans have not used the filibuster themselves. They used it many times during the Clinton administration and now they want to change the rules so that they can shove their judges through the Senate without so much as a peep of debate from the minority party.
The Republicans are wanting to unravel the Constitution with this dangerous plan to destroy the filibuster.
These are the "law and order" people and the "family values" people. I guess it is the law according to these handful of politicians. They seem to want the law of the "old west" where mobs and vigilantism were the "enforcers."
---End of Transmission---
Monday, April 04, 2005
I have voted for the British Labour Party in every election since I was 18. In every Council Election, Euro Election, General Election, London Mayoral Election and referendum, since I was 18, (we’re not short of democracy in Britain) I have voted for the same party.
On May the 5th we have the General Election, and I have a problem. The leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is a man who I would like to punch in the face. Quite hard. His brand of faith-based self-belief carries with it a total contempt for cabinet government, constitution (“bugger, maybe we should have written it down”), international law and, err… truth.
I’m told there was a time when British politicians offered us an optimistic view of the future, loosely based around moderate left/right leanings. Now they compete to frighten us into voting for them. An uncritical mind would cower behind the sofa given the bellicose crap we’ve been served up so far. RUN FOR THE HILLS! Because: The bogus asylum seekers are swamping us, teenage hooligans are on the march, gypsies want to park their caravan in your back garden, there’s a murderous Islamic fundamentalist on every corner, go to hospital and the latest ‘superbug’ will get you, and don’t think you can stop working: There’s a black hole in the pension fund and you’ll be working until you drop dead.
This is all deeply depressing, but I’m voting Labour. Again.
Why? Because if you delve into the actual facts and concrete achievements of the British government, you uncover some moderate achievements. As I see them, they are:
1) The introduction of a minimum wage
2) Taking the lead in cancelling third world debt
3) Heavy investment in health and education
4) If I’m going to complain about a presidential style in our Prime Minister, it’s a contradiction if I then personalise my vote as ‘anti-Blair’
5) Rich people feel they are being over-taxed, so they must be doing something right (the words ‘re-distribution of wealth’ always bring me out in a smug grin).
So with a heavy heart, I’ll go in to the voting booth next month, and do exactly the same thing as I always do.
And I promise to write something more optimistic myself for my next post
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Well, count this Insane Genius in the "enemy" column.
This DeLay guy is about as corrupt as a politician can get and as crooked as a coat-hanger. He makes George W. Bush look like the Pope.
Texans, make Tom DeLay, Tom De-feated in 2006
UPDATE: O.k., I guess I do kind of pray for him. I pray that he see's the errors of his ways and/or I pray that Texans vote him straight out of office. What is it about Texas that brings us these crooked politicians??? Lyndon Johnson, Bush Sr., Bush, Jr., Tom DeLay.
---End of Transmission---
Saturday, April 02, 2005
According to the Washington Post, DeLay's exact quote is as following: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." The Post article goes on to say that DeLay wants to form a committee to look into the rulings of these judges. Oddly enough though Representative DeLay does not seem to want a committee to form in Congress to look into his OWN ethical behavior in regards to campaign finance laws. Hmmm. Now don't you find that interesting?
(D) Senator Frank Lautenberg was so bothered by DeLays comments against the judges in the Schiavo case that he sent a stern leader to the Republican leader saying the following:
April 1, 2005
Majority LeaderHouse of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Majority Leader DeLay,
I was stunned to read the threatening comments you made yesterday against Federal judges and our nation’s courts of law in general. In reference to certain Federal judges, you stated: “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.”
As you are surely aware, the family of Federal Judge Joan H. Lefkow of Illinois was recently murdered in their home. And at the state level, Judge Rowland W. Barnes and others in his courtroom were gunned down in Georgia.
Our nation’s judges must be concerned for their safety and security when they are asked to make difficult decisions every day. That’s why comments like those you made are not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous. To make matters worse, is it appropriate to make threats directed at specific Federal and state judges?
You should be aware that your comments yesterday may violate a Federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. §115 (a)(1)(B). That law states:
“Whoever threatens to assault…. or murder, a United States judge… with intent to retaliate against such… judge…. on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished [by up to six years in prison]”
Threats against specific Federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress. In my view, the true measure of democracy is how it dispenses justice. Your attempt to intimidate judges in America not only threatens our courts, but our fundamental democracy as well.
Federal judges, as well as state and local judges in our nation, are honorable public servants who make difficult decisions every day. You owe them – and all Americans – an apology for your reckless statements.
Frank R. Lautenberg
**GOI Comment*** Special thanks to Raw Story for posting the letter. If I was a Republican I would be utterly and completely ashamed that this reckless, and dangerous man was leader of the Republican party in the House of Representatives. I urge all my Texas readers to vote this man out of office in the coming election of 2006. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian or Green, this guy needs to go.
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Friday, April 01, 2005
You may be aware that us Brits like to sneer at the American political climate: With its semi-literate president, corporate democracy and environmental naval gazing ("Do you know how much Kyoto will cost?!"), America is an easy target.
We patronise you don't we!? And we forget to mention that we lap up your popular culture, borrow your nuclear bombs, and here's my own pet favourite; could learn a lot from America about immigration.
While America had it's open door policy, its melting pot, we Brits were empire building, oppressing and trying ever so hard to sustain Kipling's White Mans Burden. America, very wisely wanted no part in this absurdity. Now we're all Little Englanders: The empire is gone, we've retreated to our island and pulled up the drawbridge. We have a general election in a month and the main issue is immigration. Let me re-phrase that: We have a left of centre government following a pre-emptive war doctrine, an uncertain relationship with the European Union, a crumbling national health service, under-funded schools, an ageing population, a fatter population, and inadequate environmental policies, but the main issue is immigration.
We seriously need to grow up. America realised long ago that a culture is enriched when subject to outside influences. He may be a chimp, but even Dubbya embraces the diversity of America in his administration. The melting pot produces a tasty soup! Britishness is not under attack, it's evolving each day as it must, augmented and tweaked by Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Nigerians, Bosnians.
So far, so simple.
Now the contentious bit. Globalisation has helped keep Britain and America rich. A single global system of finance and culture is taking over the world. That system is our system, the American and British system, and we haven't given it for free; we sold it to the rest of the world. From Manchester United Football Club shirts through BBC World and CNN to Baywatch and Friends, we sell our shiny comfortable institutions to poorer countries (Evidence? The most watched TV program in Beirut during the war was... The A-Team). We sell them an idealised view of our culture, put the money in the mpv fund, then wonder why the untapped markets, I mean poorer countries want to sample the real thing for themselves. No western democracy seems to be entirely comfortable with this notion yet, but Britain seems years behind the US.
I say "Immigrants, come one, come all!" : You're welcome to sample our country, if you can stomach the hideous tabloid press, constant rain and tiny, tiny minds.
To quote West Side Story: "Smoke on your pipe and put that in!"
A Guide to the Ethics Violations, Abuses of Power, and Corruption of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
Meet Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), the man Republicans have chosen as their Majority Leader in the House of Representatives.
Tom DeLay is at the center of a bewildering array of investigations into corruption, abuse of power, and ethics violations.
As the courts and committees investigate DeLay's misdeeds and hand down indictments, keeping track of all the scandals can be a full-time job. So we thought it would helpful to offer folks this quick and easy guide.
The Westar Scandal
In 2002, executives at Kansas energy company Westar wrote a memo outlining how they could purchase a "seat at the table" with $56,500 in contributions to political committees associated with Tom DeLay and the GOP. DeLay was later admonished by the House Ethics Committee for creating the appearance of impropriety.
The House Medicare Vote Bribery Scandal
Tom DeLay and the Republican leadership kept open the vote for the Medicare bill for three hours -- long past the 15 minutes specified in House procedures -- in order to pressure Republicans to vote for the bill. Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) said GOP leaders offered "bribes and special deals," leading to an investigation by the Ethics Committee, which admonished DeLay.
The Texas Redistricting Scandal
When DeLay and his fellow Republicans were redrawing the Congressional districts in Texas to push Democrats out of the House, he used the Federal Aviation Administration to try and track a plane containing Democratic state legislators. The House Ethics Committee investigated DeLay's actions and once again admonished him.
The K Street Scandal
Tom DeLay has pushed lobbying firms to deny jobs to Democrats, and hire only Republicans, resulting in another Ethics Committee admonishment for inappropriately pushing a lobbying firm to hire a former GOP congressman. DeLay has pressured GOP lobbyists to make contributions to Republican candidates and the RNC.
The TRMPAC Scandal
In Texas, it's illegal for corporations to make donations to fund political campaigns. So Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee (TRMPAC) took $190,000 in corporate contributions and funneled them to the RNC, which then donated exactly $190,000 to TRMPAC-supported candidates. DeLay and TRMPAC are currently under investigation by a grand jury.
The Travel Scandal
An investigation by the Justice Department showed that Tom DeLay accepted a trip financed by the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, breaking House rules that prohibit accepting travel expenses from "a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal."
The Ethics Committee Scandal
Knowing that he faced investigation for a growing pile of scandals, Tom DeLay and the GOP House leadership purged the Ethics Committee of Republicans -- including Chairman Joel Hefley (R-CO) -- who weren't willing to overlook charges against DeLay, replacing them with members loyal to the leadership. They then changed the Committee rules to make it more difficult to begin investigations. Democrats on the Committee have refused to take any action in protest until the rules are restored.
-Now I am getting word that DeLay is calling for the impeachment of many of the judges who ruled against the Schindler family in the recent Terri Schiavo case. He wants impeachment of these judges simply because he did not like the ruling of the court. This is a dangerous man who will say and do anything to avoid the law and responsibility in general. People like DeLay are the sort of politician who have hi-jacked the Republican Party and the American government. He was the main politician who wanted to upset the Constitutional "balance of powers" by inserting Congress into a "state" and "family" issue. So much for the traditional Republican values of protecting "state's rights" and the "sanctity and rights of the family."
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