Thursday, January 12, 2006
US Army in Iraq Institutionally Racist, Claims British Officer
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Rep. Tom DeLay’s reelection campaign sent out a fundraising letter today signed by his daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro. (Read the letter here.)
It’s quite touching:
On behalf of my mom and dad, I want to express their most heartfelt appreciation for all of the calls, e-mail, and notes of support they have received over the past forty-eight hours.
As he has done throughout his time serving in our region, Congressman DeLay once again displayed his deep commitment to the people who have elected him as their representative.
Presumably DeLay was trying to present a scandal-free face to his constituents. Dani DeLay is not the messenger to do that.
Dani DeLay has received hundreds of thousands of dollars as a paid consultant to DeLay’s political action committees, ARMPAC and TRMPAC, over the last four years. No details were provided in tax statements about what Dani did to earn her salary, and the payments were described by analysts as “unusually generous.”
But we do have some idea of what Dani was up to. In 2002, she helped organize the DeLay fundraiser for energy executives (held just before a vote on major energy legislation) that earned DeLay a censure from the House ethics committee.
She also organized a 2004 fundraiser for DeLay’s charity “Celebrations for Children,” advertised as a benefit for “abused and neglected children.” DeLay aides later admitted that “part of the money would go to pay for late-night convention parties, a luxury suite during President Bush’s speech at Madison Square Garden and yacht cruises.”
Even Dani’s 2002 baby shower was investigated: it was held at the Washington offices of Texas-based Reliant Energy, and attended by Jack Abramoff.
Clearly, DeLay family values run deep.
WARNING: Big Republican Government at Work!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
posting annoying e-messages is now against the law
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.
Take that, anonymous! Big Bro Bush is gonna get you!
More Gomer Piles.... This is a fascinating read.
The bad news is twofold. First, the number of Category IV recruits is starting to skyrocket. Second, a new study compellingly demonstrates that, in all realms of military activity, intelligence does matter. Smarter soldiers and units perform their tasks better; dumber ones do theirs worse.
In response to the tightening trends, on Sept. 20, 2005, the Defense Department released DoD Instruction 1145.01, which allows 4 percent of each year's recruits to be Category IV applicants—up from the 2 percent limit that had been in place since the mid-1980s. Even so, in October, the Army had such a hard time filling its slots that the floodgates had to be opened; 12 percent of that month's active-duty recruits were Category IV. November was another disastrous month; Army officials won't even say how many Cat IV applicants they took in, except to acknowledge that the percentage was in "double digits."
Smarter also turns out to be cheaper. One study examined how many Patriot missiles various Army air-defense units had to fire in order to destroy 10 targets. Units with Category I personnel had to fire 20 missiles. Those with Category II had to fire 21 missiles. Category IIIA: 22. Category IIIB: 23. Category IV: 24 missiles. In other words, to perform the same task, Category IV units chewed up 20 percent more hardware than Category I units. For this particular task, since each Patriot missile costs about $2 million, they also chewed up $8 million more of the Army's procurement budget.
Much much more @ The News Blog
Another CSPAN day for political junkies
Corporations purchasing politicians by the numbers.
With the Jack Abramoff scandal making headlines across the country, the issue of lobbying and other forms of influence peddling at the federal level has reemerged. Below are a few quick facts showing the size and scope of this burgeoning Washington, DC industry.
|Amount spent on federal lobbying, 1999||$1.5 billion|
|Amount spent on federal lobbying, 2004||$2.1 billion|
|Percent increase in federal lobbying from 1999-2004||40|
|The amount Interpublic Group of Companies, the top lobbying firm from 1998-2004, spent during that time||$265 million|
|Number of federal lobbyists, 2000||16,000|
|Number of federal lobbyists, 2005||35,000|
|Percent increase in the number of federal lobbyists, 2000-2005||119|
|Number of companies that lobbied the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998-2004||17,300|
|Number of companies that lobbied the U.S. Senate from 1998-2004||17,200|
|Number of former members of Congress or heads of federal agencies now working as lobbyists||240|
|Number of former senior government officials now working as lobbyists||More than 2,000|
|Average salary for a lobbyist||$89,944|
|Number of congressional earmarks, FY1996||958|
|Number of congressional earmarks, FY2005||14,000|
|Total value of congressional earmarks in 2004||$32.7 billion|
Monday, January 09, 2006
Bass Town Hall in Littleton
I will be there, with black and yellow signs that say things like "Don't cut student loan programs to fund tax cuts for millionares." We need a big crowd - so join us!
Big Media Tied Up With Abramoff…
The press has spilled plenty of ink writing about Jack Abramoff, the powerful Washington lobbyist at the center of an extensive corruption scandal. But little noticed is that among Mr. Abramoff's many clients was the press itself, at least part of it. In 2000, he represented the Magazine Publishers Association, and it turns out that some of the association's money may have been funneled to Mr. Abramoff's political allies.
In documents last week in which Mr. Abramoff pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy to bribe public officials, he revealed that he and an unidentified Congressional aide worked to stave off an increase in postal rates - a significant benefit for an industry that depends on the postal service.
They died because of LACK of equipment... and the rich got tax breaks.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
The Photo-Op President at work!
President Bush's conference with 13 former secretaries of state and secretaries of defense on Iraq. How long was the discussion? About 10 minutes, but it provided this lovely photo opportunity.
Lieberman Watch: Democrat Traitor-at-Large
Lamont has apparently promised to spend over a million dollars of his own money on the race. Lowell Weicker will support his campaign and should be present at the announcement. Kiki Kennedy, Ted's wife, has been promoting Lamont to her personal circle -- the Lamonts and Kennedys apparently have long had a warm relationship. Connecticut Citizen Action Group is apparently aboard.
The big questions are whether DFA and MoveOn get involved as they've been threatening the past couple of months. DFA's Jim Dean is being lobbyied hard by Lieberman on Monday. We'll see how that goes. MoveOn's involvement (which would equal money and boots on the ground) would also be crucial to Lamont's chances.
Bush's Iraq Mistake = $2 TRILLION.. opps
The Guardian is running a story today on a report completed and released by Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and Harvard budget expert, Linda Bilmes, which claims the real cost of the War in iraq is likely to cost between one and two trillion dollars.
If anyone heard last night's town hall with Rep. Moran and Rep. Murtha, you may remember one questioner raising this cost projection and Rep. Moran claiming he had never heard it. (CSPAN has the meeting up)
I guess he will just have to resign in disgrace and take a multimillion dollar lobbying job... not bad for a bug killer
Fox News has the story.
Tom DeLay said this wasn’t going to happen. From the AP, 10/3/05:
The criminal charges are “so frivolous, so over-the-top, so embarrassing to the judiciary that we ought to be able to get it out of here pretty quickly,” DeLay told “Fox News Sunday.” “It will be over and be over very, very soon. And I think I will go back to be majority leader.”
UPDATE: The AP has more.
UPDATE II: DeLay releases his official resignation letter.
No Longer House Leader, but not resigning... yet.
“DeLay told the Chronicle Saturday that in recent days he discussed his situation with GOP leaders, including Hastert, and considered several options, including resigning from Congress. In the end he decided against quitting Congress because ‘I still have a lot to contribute to the Houston-Galveston area.’”
You can find statistics to prove anything... 73% of people know that.
A little more than a week ago, the right-wingers heralded the results of a poll that they claimed showed a majority of Americans supporting Bush’s illegal warrantless wiretapping policy. Here’s what that poll found:
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States.
But there was a big problem with the poll question — it failed to say that President Bush was conducting the wiretapping without a warrant. Today, a new AP poll was released showing what Americans truly think of Bush’s policy:
56 percent of respondents in an AP-Ipsos poll said the government should be required to first get a court warrant to eavesdrop on the overseas calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens when those communications are believed to be tied to terrorism.
Jon, are you out there???
Jon, are you out there??? RISE UP my bruthah.