Monday, December 29, 2008

The Accountablility Question...

1st Chicken Little the Sky is Falling!!!!
Government needs $700 Billion to Bailout Banks!

2nd Yes Dorothy there is Oversight in the Bailout
The Treasury Department, the architect of the plan, reportedly agreed to modifications to include strong congressional oversight.

3rd Oversight, There’s No Stinking Oversight
An Inconvenient Fact: Congress had not required the Treasury to follow the money!

4th Hey You Get Off of My Cloud
Despite the fact that Congress wrote more than one hundred pages about oversight in the bailout bill, they left a gaping hole.
This "bailout" was just carte blanche to corporate greed-mongers and friends of Bush and Cheney who stuffed it in their pockets and helped nobody but themselves.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Damage that Can Be Done

Coal Mining Debris Rule Is Approved

Yesterday, the White House approved "one of the most contentious" regulations officials are trying to push through in Bush's final weeks in office, making it "easier for coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys."

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson claimed that the new rule would "protect fish, wildlife and streams."
But a coalition of environmental groups said the rule would accelerate “the destruction of mountains, forests and streams throughout Appalachia.”

Edward C. Hopkins, a policy analyst at the
Sierra Club, said: “The E.P.A.’s own scientists have concluded that dumping mining waste into streams devastates downstream water quality. By signing off on this rule, the agency has abdicated its responsibility.”

Mr. Bush has boasted of his efforts to cooperate with President-elect
Barack Obama to ensure a smooth transition, but the administration is rushing to complete work on regulations to which Mr. Obama and his advisers object. The rules deal with air pollution, auto safety, abortion and workers’ exposure to toxic chemicals, among other issues.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another View

From Daily Kos

Makes sense to me

The Rude Pundit
gets chill:

[L]et's just say this as Barack Obama introduces his national security team and people huff and puff about whether they're hawks or not progressive enough or problem children or disappointing or what the fuck ever: Ultimately, the cabinet does the bidding of the president. Sure, they offer ideas and guide the departments. But they are policy implementers. Nothing less and nothing more. You have to be willing to go along with the boss to do the job, or you don't take it. And it's all a political game. If we know anything at all about Barack Obama, it's that he's one crafty motherfucker in the realm of politics.

If you wanted to, say, change the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our strategic relationships around the globe, who's gonna do it without pissing people off? Secretary of Defense Dennis Kucinich? Fuck no. You get the guys and gals who were proponents of the war in at least some way or have cozy goddamn Capitol Hill relationships. If the great and glorious David Petraeus and the shiny Robert Gates are saying, "Bring the troops home," then you've defused your enemies. It ain't Clintonian triangulation, which involved embracing a watered-down version of your opponents' beliefs. It's just fuckin' smart. The same goes for economic policy and it will go for domestic.

Yeah, if Obama lets his hawks run the place and make him break his promises, then we can squawk. But for now, can we just take a breath and see how it all works

Some Federal Workers Lose Bargaining Rights

President Bush issued an executive order on Monday that denies collective bargaining rights to about 8,600 federal employees who work in law enforcement, intelligence and other agencies responsible for national security.

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 gave bargaining rights to federal employees, but allowed the president to exclude groups of employees from coverage.

Mr. Bush’s order affects certain employees at the Energy Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Air Marshal Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Real Rivalry In the Team: The Cabinet vs. The Campaign Promises

By David Sirota

Just as an add-on to my column this week, I wanted to add two more macro thoughts about Obama's appointments, and progressive unrest about those appointments.

First, I think there's a psychological aspect to what bothers progressives about Obama's refusal to appoint movement progressives to key positions. The
public opinion data overwhelmingly confirms that Obama won with a clear progressive mandate - to argue otherwise against cut-and-dry numbers is to mimic an ostrich shoving its head in the sand, or to mimic the Braindead Megaphone's insistence that this is a "center-right nation." Additionally, nobody argues that his victory wasn't the product of huge progressive grassroots support. So in light
of that, there's a perception that he's delivering the spoils of that victory to those who embody what the election rejected.

In that sense, there's a Rodney Dangerfield harrumph - we progressives get no respect. That's understandable, but we're going to have to keep our eye on the policy, understanding that personnel impacts policy, but isn't policy itself. And the policy is ultimately what defines true respect (and disrespect).

Second, the meaningless "pragmatic Team of Rivals" nonsense - and it
truly is media-created nonsense - is clearly being used as a rationale to pack the incoming administration with Establishment figures.

Indeed,the "rivalry" isn't between the "team" of appointees (most of them come from the same team - ie. the center-right team of permanent Washington). The "rivalry" is between the positions/ideology of the appointees and the positions/ideology Obama explicitly campaigned on.

It's certainly possible that Obama will not be affected at all by the voices he puts around him, and that -
as I wrote earlier - he is banking on getting center-right Establishment figures to carry center-left Establishment-challenging policy. We should withhold final judgment until we see the policies come January 2009 and beyond. We don't know that this conservatives-carrying-progressive-legislation strategy is his goal, but we can certainly hope, and we can additionally hope that he didn't appoint center-right Establishment figures to carry a center-right Establishment agenda.

That said, I think those who say that the latter isn't possible and that the only rationale thing to do is simply trust
Obama's "buck stops here" promise yesterday are being willfully stupid and dishonest - both to themselves and to those they are arguing with.

The truth is, we all want Obama to do well - but there's nothing
disloyal, silly or uniformed about looking at his appointments and asking why many of them seem to individually represent positions and ideologies at odds with the positions and ideologies he campaigned on.

It’s no accident that the conservative noise machine from
Karl Rove on down is praising Obama's appointments, and effectively creating that
rightward pull. If there isn't similar progressive pressure now, don't be
surprised if the debate - and thus the policy - starts slowly creeping



Monday, September 1, 2008

Who Chose Sarah Palin

Via Talk To Action

Last week, while the media focused almost obsessively on the DNC's spectacle in Denver, the country's most influential conservatives met quietly at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis to get to know Sarah Palin. The assembled were members of the Council for National Policy, an ultra-secretive cabal that networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.

CNP members have included Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Grover Norquist, Tim LaHaye and Paul Weyrich. At a secret 2000 meeting of the CNP, George W. Bush promised to nominate only pro-life judges; in 2004, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told the group, "The destiny of the nation is on the shoulders of the conservative movement." This year, thanks to Sarah Palin's selection, the movement may have finally aligned itself behind the campaign of John McCain.

The members of the Council for National Policy are the hidden hand behind McCain's Palin pick. With her selection, the Republican nominee is suddenly -- and unexpectedly -- assured of the support of a movement that once opposed his candidacy with all its might. Case in point: while Dobson once said he could "never" vote for McCain, he issued a statement last week hailing Palin as an "outstanding" choice. If Dobson's enthusiasm for Palin is any indication, he may soon emerge from his bunker in Colorado Springs to endorse McCain, providing the Republican nominee with the grassroots support of the Christian right's single most influential figure.
Read More>>> HERE

Monday, August 11, 2008

Who's the Real Celebrity?

McCain's latest campaign line: Barack Obama “is the biggest celebrity in the world.”
At fundraiser last week, McCain even declared, “He is a celebrity and I am not.”

But the truth is, up until this presidential contest, McCain has been one of America’s biggest celebrity-politicians.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

If You Haven't Figured it Out.....


Russia Targets Georgia's Capital In Expanded Bombing Blitz

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad

An ad for The Paris Hilton Presidential Campaign. Paid for by Funny Or Die.

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, July 17, 2008

McDumb As Bush

Can we afford another president who thinks it's smart to be dumb?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is it 'Satire' or just 'Incendiary'


If it is satire and you want to be fair, then do the same for McCain.

New Yorker Magazine’s 'Satire' Cover

Barack Obama's campaign lashed out Sunday at the editors of The New Yorker magazine for a cartoon cover that depicts the Democratic candidate and his wife as fist-bumping terrorists.

The magazine's editor described the cartoon, called "The Politics of Fear," as satire. The Obama campaign called it "tasteless and offensive."

The McCain campaign joined in piling on The New Yorker. "We completely agree with the Obama campaign that it's tasteless and offensive," said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.

When asked by a reporter about the cartoon Obama, shrugging incredulously, replied: “I have no response to that.”

Cover of July 21 issue of The New Yorker depicts Barack and Michelle Obama in extremist roles.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It Makes Sense...

The US government continues to deny the need to reduce global warming; reinstate habeas corpus; end the war in Iraq and respect the 4th Amendment of the Constitution etc, etc…

So why would anyone be shocked to find out that the
US Environmental Agency has lowered the value of a human life.

It sounds like a spot of gallows humour, but the numbers are no joke: the US environmental protection agency (EPA) has lowered the value of a human life by nearly $1m under George Bush's administration.

The EPA's estimate of the "value of a statistical life" was $6.9m as of this May - down from $7.8m five years ago - according to an Associated Press study released today […]

The less a life is worth to the government, the less the need for a regulation - such as the tighter restrictions on pollution that the EPA refused to impose today, effectively postponing any action on climate change until after Bush leaves office.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

FISA Capitulation

Rachel Maddow on Countdown while filling in for Keith Olbermann discussed the FISA legislation with George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley.

Maddow: What do you think of the arguments for granting these companies retroactive immunity.

Turley: What the Democrats are doing with the Whitehouse is they’re trying to conceal a crime that is hiding in plain view, that everyone can see it. So the argument for it is quite simple. Nobody wants to have a confrontation over the fact that the President committed a felony not once but at least 30 times. That’s a very inconvenient right now in Washington.

Maddow: Senator Obama says he does not like this bill but he says heis supporting it as a compromise. Is iit a comprome?

Turley: I am completely astonished by Senator Obama’s position and obviously disappointed….this is not a compromise, it is a cave in….the 4th amendment is going to be eviscerated tomorrow.
See the complete interview

And the Capitulation is Complete

Senate Passes Eavesdropping Bill
Grants Immunity To Phone Companies That Listened In On Americans

Just under a third of the Senate, including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, supported an amendment that would have stripped immunity from the bill. They were defeated on a 66-32 vote. Republican rival John McCain did not attend the vote. Obama ended up voting for the final bill, as did Specter. Feingold voted no.

Remember When the GOP Counted Flip-Flops?

John McCain -- 61 Flip-Flops and Counting

McCain argues that flip-flops are an example of a political leader who can't be trusted -- so he might as well drop out of the race.

Via Alternet: Writer Steve Benen has graciously compiled a comprehensive tally of John McCain's flip-flops on issues ranging from national security to energy. The following is Benen's list of 61 clear 180-degree switches by McCain on the biggest issues of the day.

National Security Policy

1. McCain thought Bush's warrantless wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.

2. McCain insisted that everyone, even "terrible killers," "the worst kind of scum of humanity," and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, "deserve to have some adjudication of their cases," even if that means "releasing some of them." McCain now believes the opposite.

3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

4. In February, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.

5. McCain favored closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.

6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with Predators, McCain criticized him for it. He's since come to the opposite conclusion.

Foreign Policy

7. McCain was for kicking Russia out of the G8 before he was against it.

8. McCain supported moving "toward normalization of relations" with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.

9. McCain believed the United States should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.

10. McCain believed the United States should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.

11. McCain is both for and against a "rogue state rollback" as a focus of his foreign policy vision.

12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty's behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.

13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.
Military Policy

14. McCain recently claimed that he was the "greatest critic" of Rumsfeld's failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as "a mission accomplished." In March 2004, he said, "I'm confident we're on the right course." In December 2005, he said, "Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course."

15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good idea and a bad idea.

16. McCain said before the war in Iraq, "We will win this conflict. We will win it easily." Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was "probably going to be long and hard and tough."

17. McCain has repeatedly said it's a dangerous mistake to tell the "enemy" when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.

18. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.

Domestic Policy, 19-30;

Economic Policy, 31-38;

Energy Policy, 39-43;

Immigration Policy, 43-46;

Judicial Policy and the Rule of Law, 47-49;

Campaign, Ethics, and Lobbying Reform, 50-52;

Politics and Associations, 53-61.

Read the complete list HERE.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quintessential Oxymoron

Pentagon to build 'safer' cluster bombs

Bush at Work


Bush sorry over Berlusconi Insult – 7/8/08 at G8 Summit

The White House has apologized to Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi for a briefing describing him as a political "amateur" who is "hated by many".

The "insulting" biography was included in a press kit distributed to reporters travelling with President George W Bush to a meeting of world leaders in Japan.

He was "one of the most controversial leaders" of a country "known for governmental corruption and vice".

Only last month, Mr Bush visited his old ally, calling him a "good friend".

The four-page description of Mr Berlusconi had been taken from the Encyclopedia of World Biography.

Berlusconi has been a staunch supporter of Bush's war in Iraq

Via Reuters

Bush summons Canadian leader with a "Yo Harper!" - 7/7/08 at G8 Summit

At a G8 summit in 2006, Bush landed ally Tony Blair in some trouble by calling out "Yo Blair!"

McCain Style Democracy = Bush Style Democracy

John McCain kicks librarian out of town hall event

On orders from Senator John McCain's security detail, Denver police escorted a 61-year-old woman away who was waiting in line to attend a so-called town hall meeting with McCain that was billed as open to the public.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Broken System

The Real Problem with Voter I.D. Legislation is that the System is Broken

According to Firedoglake: It’s a Catch-22.

Imagine being stuck in a Kafkaesque nightmare like the one my pal Eric Ward faces:

I’m African-American and my family moved to California almost a hundred years ago after a lynching took place outside their hometown in Kentucky.

I’m also undocumented, or in the current anti-immigrant vernacular, “illegal.” I don’t have the necessary documents to prove my identity. Therefore, within four years, I won’t be able to vote, have access to social services, or receive state identification to travel.

It's not just African Americans who are being swept up in this hysteria, and it isn't just this misbegotten measure that is victimizing ordinary American citizens. You can also include Native Americans and senior citizens among those whose status as voting citizens is now considered dubious.

This is happening right now to my 93year old mother-in-law. She moved from Chicago, IL to Seattle, WA to be closer to her daughter. She let her driver’s license expire since she decided to stop driving. Now she is trying to get a state I.D. and is having difficulty. This is because the birth date on her birth certificate is different than the birth date listed on her social security card, her expired driver’s license and her Medicare card.

It’s enough to make your head spin!!!

The Real Enemy is "Absurdity"

Radio talk show host Ed Schultz has taken all he can take and he can’t takes no more. On Anderson Cooper 360 yesterday, he blew up when PNACer Cliff May, Director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, suggested that the left wants us to lose in Iraq as a way to teach the US a lesson on the evils of imperialism.

MAY: Yeah, I think also on some of the left wing blogs, Obama is taking some hits. But this does move him to the center and look, I want to put the…I’m not a big fan of his, but I’m going to put the best spin on it, which is that he understands the situation…fairly…well. Certainly better than the Daily Kos does and some of those on the left who would like to see America defeated in Iraq as a demonstration exercise that US power can never, never be used for good.

SCHULTZ: That I am…whoa, whoa! That is absolutely outrageous! That is outrageous for you to say people on the left want to lose in Iraq. I’m not going to sit here and listen to that. This is the Fourth of July, we are Americans, we don’t believe in fighting in Iraq the way we are doing. We are depleting our resources. That’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

I totally agree with the analysis below. Democrats, Liberals, Progressives…however the left is defined… we need to stop arguing against absurd statements. We need to set the frame, not argue against the right-wing frame. It is time for us to set the tone:

Now this kind of cheap shot with no foundation infuriates me as much as it does Schultz, and his anger is certainly understandable and justified. But this is where I have to split from Big Ed and suggest that we on the left have to get a whole lot smarter about these kind of appearances. The key to these kind of exchanges is not to get angry, but to rob them of their framing and put them on the defensive. May’s assertion is absurd on its face, so put that back in his lap and ask him to prove it–name these mythical leftists. And then ask him how he defines “winning” in Iraq. I mean, you have a signatory to the infamous PNAC letter to Clinton recommending that he take out Saddam, how well have any of their premises turned out in reality? Don’t dignify this guy who has been on the wrong side of every argument by accepting his frame, Ed. Show him for the chump he is.

Read the rest of this story…

'Earning' a Seat on the Straight Talk Express

Reporters ‘have to earn’ special interview area seat on new ’straight talk’ airplane.

McCain has refurnished his airplane with
a VIP section for the most obedient reporters.

Top McCain aide Mark Salter said "‘only the good reporters’ would get to sit in the specially-configured section for interviews. ‘You’ll have to earn it,’ he said." So how can these reporters "earn" a seat? Never challenge the Senator…

Judging candidates based on their consistency…

The “Straight Talk Express” morphed into the “Bull-Shit Express,” and finally “evolved” into the “Flip-Flop Express.”

Via Daily Kos
McCain's Greatest Flips:

And Finally....

McSame tries his Jedi Mind Trick to hide his flip flops on economic expertise, but the tape doesn't lie

This has been another small sample of John McCain's Flip-Flops and dishonesty that the traditional media lapdogs refuse to tell you, lest they lose their comfortable airplane seating or miss out on some great BBQ at his home.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

IRAQ: Journalist Charges Censorship by U.S. Military in Fallujah

Via Dahr Jamail

An embedded U.S. journalist said the military tried to censor him after he posted photos from Fallujah.

U.S. journalist Zoriah Miller says he was censored by the U.S. military in the Iraqi city of Fallujah after photographing Marines who died in a suicide bombing.

Miller wanted people in the U.S. to understand what is really happening in Iraq and the devastating effects of war.

"I thought, 'Nobody in the U.S. has any idea what it means when they hear that 20 people died in a suicide bombing.' I want people to be able to associate those numbers with the scene and the actual loss of human life. And to show why soldiers are suffering from PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]," Miller told IPS News.


Miller explained to IPS that he meticulously showed his photos to the Marines he was with to make sure he was not going to show any photos that would upset the family members of the deceased Marines. "They were all okay with them, so then about 96 hours after the bombing I published the photos on my blog."

Then things got interesting.

Miller said the PAO claimed he was not allowed, by the embed contract, to show dead or wounded U.S. citizens or soldiers in the field. "I never signed any contract for that," Miller said.


The letter he was given stated reasons for his dismissal as "you photographed the remains of U.S. soldiers", "you posted these images along with detailed commentary", and "by posting the images and your commentary you violated 14 H and O of the news media agreement you signed." […]

In addition, "By providing detailed information of the effectiveness of the attack and the response of U.S. forces to it, you have put all U.S. forces in Iraq at greater risk for harm."

Miller feels the reason for his dismissal is otherwise.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Elitism Problem?

As everyone knows, Democrats have struggled for generations with the perception that they're out of touch elitists. Barack Obama is no exception. He lives in Hyde Park, Chicago and ever since his book became a best-seller he's made a whole bunch of money. As a part-time professor at the University of Chicago he came to be acquainted with various pointy-headed professor types and he even ordered an orange juice at breakfast once which is the exact same kind of juice they serve at breakfast at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

By contrast, John McCain is an all-American regular guy who, like most people, earns his keep by marrying an heiress. Like average, everyday folks the McCain's rely on credit cards to make ends meet month-to-month "Cindy McCain charged as much as $500,000 in a single month on one American Express card and $250,000 on another, while one of their two dependent children had an AmEx card with a monthly balance as large as $50,000."

Yes it's true, one of McCain's dependent children spent approximately the median annual household income of the United States in a single month and that's how McCain knows how to connect with regular people.

Similarly, Mrs. McCain "favors suits made by the German designer Escada, which typically retail for around $3,000 a pop" so she understands that most Americans welcome Wal-Mart's discount prices.

And like many Americans, the McCains are very effected by developments in the real estate market, since "trusts and corporations controlled by her and her children spent nearly $11 million between the summer of 2004 and February 2008 on three condominiums in Phoenix and a pair outside San Diego."

The McCains understand that these days many young people graduate from college saddled with debt and need a helping hand, that's why they spent "$700,000 for a 1,900-square foot, three-bedroom loft condo for her then-22-year-old daughter Meghan McCain" after she graduated from Columbia.

Similarly, they know all about problems with inflation since they "increased their budget for household employees from $184,000 in 2006 to $273,000 in 2007, according to John McCain’s tax returns."

Threat of Celebrity Exodus

This time, exit stage... Right...

Stephen Baldwin On Fox News: If Obama Wins, I'll Leave The Country

Fox News Airs Altered Photos of NY Times Reporters

Via Media Matters:

Summary: During a segment in which Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe "attack dogs," Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered -- the journalists' teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and portions of Reddicliffe's hair moved further back on his head. Fox News gave no indication that the photos had been altered.

Fox News gave no indication that the photos had been altered.

Obama "Dignity" TV Ad

Barack-Iraq-Gate: Anatomy of a Media Smear

Via Jed Report

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trying to Peg Obama

Obama as Dr. No

Via Jake Tapper

Today McCain launched a web video that dovetails with his new talking point that when it comes to energy proposals, Obama is "Dr. No."

"No To Drilling Offshore Oil," the web video says, "No To A Gas Tax Holiday….No To Innovation. No To The Electric Car….No To Clean, Safe, Nuclear Energy...Barack Obama Truly Is The Dr. No Of Energy Security."


But unless one is over a certain age, a Sean Connery fan, or a member of Ian Fleming's immediate family, is the first James Bond film -- one that then-President John F. Kennedy heralded as a fave -- really the best reference for a 71-year-old candidate to be making?

Dr No - The Original

Dancing Through Life

McCain News Flash!!

McCain is 'AWARE' of Internet

From Personal Democracy Forum 2008:

During the internet campaign directors' plenary, Mark Soohoo of the McCain campaign and Tracy Russo of the Edwards campaign argued about how important it was for the next president to understand the internet.

It's Baruch Obama

Jewish Democrats Rally Around Obama

PINNING THEIR HOPES: Jewish Obama supporters have taken to wearing their allegiances on their sleeves — and lapels.

As the general election campaign gets under way, some Jewish liberals say they are working to ensure that 2008 doesn’t go down in history as the year that Barack Obama got “schvitz-boated.”

A small, grass-roots-powered group of Jewish Democrats called Jews for Obama is quietly rolling out an independent campaign to bolster its party’s presumptive presidential nominee. With a dozen board members but limited money and manpower, the group hopes to use the Internet to lance Republican attacks on Obama and to help the Illinois senator win over Jewish voters.

The new group, which is unusual in the scope of its efforts, has a fundraising goal of $500,000 with a gala planned for New York in September and current outreach efforts to major donors.

“In 2004, [Senator John] Kerry did not answer quickly enough and strongly enough when he was attacked,” said Gidon D. Remba, one of the group’s founders, in an interview with the Forward. Referring to the now-infamous ads run against Kerry in 2004 by the independent group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Remba said his current effort is needed because Obama is, like Kerry, being “swift-boated — or, as some like to call it, ‘schvitz-boated,’— every day.”

Read More HERE

Telecom Donations Tied to FISA Vote

Via The Washington Independent

Supporters of the spying bill received twice the contributions as those against it.

When scores of House Democrats joined Republicans last week to reauthorize a controversial White House spying program, many critics attributed that support to election-year jitters. But as liberal voters continue to bash Democrats on the issue, some campaign finance reformers charge that political contributions from the telecom industry, which benefited handsomely under the bill, probably also swayed votes.

In an analysis released Tuesday,, a nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group, found that lawmakers voting Friday in support of the wiretap deal averaged roughly twice the donations from the nation's leading telecoms - Verizon, Sprint and AT&T - over the last three years as those voting against it.

The figures might not have raised eyebrows except that the proposal contained a gift for the industry, effectively granting retroactive legal immunity to the telecoms that enabled the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program. The immunity provision - blasted by civil libertarians for putting industry concerns above Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure - rescues the companies from the roughly 40 lawsuits pending against them. Some money-in-politics watchdogs say the connection between the contributions and votes is no accident.


"This is all part of the abuse of power that we've seen out of this White House, as well as Congress' refusal to stand up and perform its constitutional duty to check the executive branch," said Boyle of Common Cause. "Congress is complicit here."


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Like Reagan with Less Memory

FISA Vote May Be (Temporarily) Blocked

Dday explains-

Senator Reid just informed his colleagues on the Senate floor that, because of all the other bills in the queue (like the housing bill, and the Iraq supplemental), FISA may not get a vote until after the July 4 holiday recess.

This is honestly the best we can hope for right now. Sens. Dodd, Wyden and Feingold are ready to filibuster and gamely trying to get colleagues to do the same (Sen. Dodd's speech tonight was a bravura performance), but realistically the numbers to stop cloture aren't there. However, that could change if the delay continues. And getting this to the recess means being able to get in a lot of Senators' faces on their trips back home. In addition, there's going to be a very short window in August where a ton of must-pass bills have to get through Congress, and throwing FISA in with that mess means that anything can happen.

Call your Senators first thing in the morning- phone numbers here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Uncontrollable McCain

He Said It First

Dedicated to those too squeamish to discuss an incident related to the temperament and character of a guy who'd like to be President.

A "safe for work" version is here:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Smart move: Who needs the “hanging chad’ problems of Florida and the “voter disenfranchisement” of Ohio?

Obama camp: We can win without Ohio, Florida

Barack Obama's campaign envisions a path to the presidency that could include Virginia, Georgia and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections — Florida and Ohio.

Read more: