January 31, 2006

Coretta Scott King Dies At Age 78.

Photo By: John Bazmore
Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died at age 78.

Over the years, Coretta King was with her husband in his finest hours. She was at his side as he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Sporting flat-heeled shoes, she marched beside her husband from Selma, Ala., into Montgomery in 1965 for the triumphal climax to his drive for a voting rights law.

Only days after his death at the hands of sniper James Earl Ray, she flew to Memphis with three of her children to lead the march of thousands in honour of her slain husband and to plead for his cause. Her unfaltering composure and controlled grief during those days stirred the hearts of millions.

January 30, 2006

Republicans Call for Bush to Reveal All on Abramoff.

Republicans Call for Bush to Reveal All on Abramoff.
Three GOP lawmakers say the president should publicly release records of the White House's contacts with the now-disgraced lobbyist.
Three Republican lawmakers Sunday urged President Bush to disclose who in the White House had met with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and what was discussed in those meetings.
Read The Full Story…

Frist Says He Got `No Nods, No Winks' Before HCA Stock Sale
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he got ``no tips, no nods, no winks, ever'' before selling his stock in HCA Inc. in 2005, one month before a company earnings report sent share prices tumbling.
Frist, who held his shares in a Senate-approved trust, said today on NBC's ``Meet the Press'' that he had no inside information about the company, Bullshit... a hospital chain founded by his father and brother. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department both are looking into the 2005 sale.
``I acted properly every step along the way,'' the Tennessee Republican said, adding that ``of course I will'' abide by the decisions of federal investigators.
Read The Full Story…

Top NASA Scientist Says He's Being Silenced on Global Warming
Claims Backlash Is Part of Bush Administration Effort to Downplay Climate Change
A top government scientist is speaking out about what he says is an effort to keep him quiet about global warming.
NASA's chief climate scientist James Hansen says the space agency's backlash is part of a Bush administration effort aimed at those trying to sound the alarm on climate change.
Read The Full Story…

All the Presidents Dodges
How George Bush ducks questions.
George Bush is a quick wit. When a camera fell and dangled from the briefing room ceiling at his Jan. 26 press conference, he quipped to those seated below: "Are you wearing your helmets?" Later, a radio reporter prefaced his question about the Jack Abramoff scandal by saying he wasn't interested in pictures of Bush and the disgraced lobbyist. "Easy for a radio guy to say," Bush interjected.
I wish the president's serious answers were as tart and on point. Dealing with delicate issues on camera, Bush's mind may work just as quickly, but he keeps his mouth shut. The pause to think gives him away. When he doesn't punch out a response, he's not puzzling out the answer. He's puzzling out the spin.
Read The Full Story…

January 26, 2006

How Hitler Became a Dictator

The overwhelming majority of Germans did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of culture had been destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work had become regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation.... The Nazi terror in the early years affected the lives of relatively few Germans and a newly arrived observer was somewhat surprised to see that the people of this country did not seem to feel that they were being cowed.... On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.

Read the full story...

A Ghost Town Called K Street

The canyon is deserted and motionless, except for a chill wind whipping in from the west that is sending a few stray tumbleweeds tumbling along the valley bottom.

The tumbleweeds are bouncing along the concrete canyon floor, along the double-yellow line up the middle, across the empty crosswalks _ a desolate journey witnessed only by the canyon's glass-and-steel walls.

Today this lifeless canyon is surely nature's most unnatural place. But once it teemed with life forms. It was known as K Street, and its inhabitants were cunning and resourceful predators _ a species known as "lobbyists."

Back then, K Street was Washington's Factory Row. Behind those glass-and-steel walls were sweatshops where overpaid lawyers worked ungodly hours churning out Washington's only manufactured product: Loopholes.

Read The Full Story…

January 25, 2006

The Criminal Conspiracy That Destroys America.

I’ve come to the sad conclusion that the President of the United States is a madman, a raving lunatic driven by an insane lust for power, given to frequent outbursts of temper and out-of-control tantrums.

Bush has plunged this nation into a deepening Constitutional crisis, one that demands immediate action if we are to save what was once a great nation.

The last President to precipitate such a crisis, Richard M. Nixon, failed to destroy this nation because Congress, led by an opposition party, stepped up and took the actions necessary. But today’s Congress is ruled by criminally-complicit thugs who share Bush’s fanatical views.

Together, Bush and his Republican cronies in Congress have led America to ruin. Unfortunately, too many in this country have sat on their asses and let it happen.

Read the full story…

January 21, 2006

How Dick Cheney Used The NSA For Domestic Spying Pre-9/11

In the months before 9/11, thousands of American citizens were inadvertently swept up in wiretaps, had their emails monitored, and were being watched as they surfed the Internet by spies at the super-secret National Security Agency, former NSA and counterterrorism officials said.
The NSA, with full knowledge of the White House, crossed the line from routine surveillance of foreigners and suspected terrorists into illegal activity by continuing to monitor the international telephone calls and emails of Americans without a court order.

January 20, 2006

Want Fries With That? Don't Bet on the GOP Super sizing Lobbying Reform.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert wants you to know he is shocked to learn that fellow Republicans have been running a den of iniquity right under his nose. It has come to Hastert's attention that some man named Jack Abramoff, never heard of him, who apparently is something called a "lobbyist," whatever that is, has confessed to purchasing the vote of at least one GOP congressman and is singing sweetly to prosecutors about others.

Hastert says we shouldn't worry though, because we're not sure anything really happened and anyway he's going to make sure it never happens again, and blah blah blah blah blah, just move along, folks, there's nothing to see here.

But there's certainly something to smell . In "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Big Daddy called it "the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity."

Don't be fooled by the chorus shouting "The Democrats did it, too!" -- from Tom DeLay's multiple troubles to Duke Cunningham's antique commode to Abramoff's spider web of tainted links, this is a Republican scandal, period.

Read the full story...

January 18, 2006

Gunmen Kill 10 Security Guards in Baghdad

Gunmen Kill at Least 10 Security Guards in Baghdad; African Engineer Abducted in Ambush
Baghdad, Iraq. A security convoy of four-wheel drive vehicles was attacked in Baghdad's Jami'a district, sparking a fierce gun battle between heavily armed insurgents and security personnel. Police said gunmen killed at least 10 security personnel and seized an engineer from Malawi in the ambush.

These are not Security Guards they are Mercenaries from a company called Blackwater. Read the full story about Mercenaries in Iraq.

Mercenaries never die they just go to hell to regroup.

January 17, 2006

And the pin heads are starting to fly. Randy Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Bob Ney.

Ohio congressman Bob Ney identified in Abramoff lobbying scandal

Bob Ney gave up his chairmanship of the House Administration Committee on Sunday amid an influence-peddling probe that has roiled the Republican Party.

Ney, a six-term Ohio Republican, was under heavy pressure from House Speaker Dennis Hastert to give up his chairmanship after Ney was implicated in the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges January 3.

GOP sources said Friday that Hastert, an Illinois Republican, was moving to push the embattled Ney from his post.

And the heads are starting to roll. Randy Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Bob Ney. Good start, keep up the good work. Don’t worry Bush we haven’t forgotten you and your lying gangster crony’s.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed skepticism Sunday over President Bush's domestic eavesdropping program, joining a chorus of Republicans and Democrats who are questioning its legal justification.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, who will hold hearings next month on the decision to allow the National Security Agency program without court approval, said he has told Bush administration officials that he believes they are on shaky legal ground.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore called on Monday for an independent investigation of President George W. Bush's secret domestic eavesdropping program, which he descried as "a threat to the very structure of our government." Thank you, Al Gore.

Gore says Bush broke law in wiretapping.

Gore Calls for an Investigation of Warrantless Spy Program In his latest speech criticizing Bush, he says a special counsel should examine the issue.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, You are a disgrace to your office, you are nothing but Bush’s little crony puppet. You’re trying to tell me Bush is not breaking the law! Bullshit, I suppose Randy Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Bob Ney are innocent to. I have a nickname for you, PUPPET.
~ BackyardPit

January 16, 2006

Bush could seize absolute control of U.S. government.

President George W. Bush has signed executive orders giving him sole authority to impose martial law, suspend habeas corpus and ignore the Posse Comitatus Act that prohibits deployment of U.S. troops on American streets. This would give him absolute dictatorial power over the government with no checks and balances.

Blackwater USA, in its promotional materials, describes itself as “the most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world,” adding that “we have established a global presence and provide training and operational solutions for the 21st century in support of security and peace, and freedom and democracy everywhere.”

Blackwater is also a major U.S. contractor in Iraq and has a contract with the Bush White House to provide additional security work “on an as-needed basis.”

The Department of Homeland Security established the “Northern Command for National Defense,” a wide-ranging program that includes FEMA, the Pentagon, the FBI and the National Security Agency. Executive orders already signed by Bush allow the Northern Command to send troops into American streets, seize control of radio and television stations and networks and impose martial law “in times of national emergency.”

The authority to declare what is or is not a national emergency rests entirely with Bush who does not have to either consult or seek the approval of Congress for permission to assume absolute control over the government of the United States.

The White House press office would neither confirm nor deny existence of Bush’s executive orders or the existence of the Northern Command for National Defense. Neither would the Department of Homeland Security.

Plans are in place, ready for implementation when the command comes from the man who keeps telling the American public that he is a “war time president” who will “do anything in my power” to impose his will on the people of the United States.

And he has made sure that power will be absolute when he chooses to use it.

Read full story by DOUG THOMPSON

Blackwater USA is a United States private military contractor and security firm based in North Carolina. The company describes itself as providing support to "military, government agencies, law enforcement and civilian entities in training, targets and range operations."
Blackwater USA Mercenaries

With the casualty toll ticking ever upward and troops stretched thin on the ground, the Bush administration is looking to mercenaries to help control Iraq. These soldiers-for-hire are veterans of some of the most repressive military forces in the world, including that of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and South Africa's apartheid regime.

In February, Blackwater USA, a North Carolina-based Pentagon contractor, began hiring former combat personnel in Chile, offering them up to $4,000 a month to guard oil wells in Iraq. The company flew the first batch of 60 former commandos to a training camp in North Carolina. These recruits will eventually wind up in Iraq where they will spend six months to a year.

"We scour the ends of the earth to find professionals -- the Chilean commandos are very, very professional and they fit within the Blackwater system,"

Business has been booming for Blackwater, which now owns, as its press release boasts, "the largest privately-owned firearms training facility in the nation."

Blackwater USA Mercenaries

Mercenaries R Us

January 15, 2006

No people ever recognize their dictator in advance.

He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument of the "A Free America," "Service to the Lord," or some other useful, supercilious buzzwords.

You can depend on the fact that our Dictator is one of the boys, and he stands for everything traditionally American. And although nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor call him 'Fuhrer' or 'Duce,' they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'

What's happening in America is the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government has to act on information which the people cannot understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it cannot be released because of national security.

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, is taking place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real security purposes. And all the crises and safeguards (occasionally real safeguards, too) so preoccupy the people that they cannot not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most ever have occasion to develop. Each step is so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that, unless one is detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understands what the whole thing is in principle, what all these 'little measures' (that no 'reasonable, patriotic American' could resent) must some day lead to, one no more can see it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head. One day, the government can do anything (and does) that it sees necessary, law or no law.

One doesn't see exactly where or how to move. Each Neocon outrage, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a *little* worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in dissenting somehow. You don't want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not? -- Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, everyone is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Britain there will be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in the U.S., even in the largest cities, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, 'It's not so bad' or 'You're seeing things' or 'You're an alarmist.'

And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end?

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does fascism. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight -- or we all become unwitting victims of the darkness.
~ Anonymous said...

Blog on...
~ BackyardPit

January 13, 2006

The Federal Election Commission is a failed agency.

Democracy 21 Statement Attacking Federal Election Commission Recess Appointments by President Bush
Thursday, January 05, 2006

Statement of Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer on Recess Appointments
Made Yesterday by President Bush to the Federal Election Commission

President Bush's three recess appointments yesterday to the six-member Federal Election Commission are a scandalous effort to ensure that the nation's campaign finance laws remain uninformed and the Federal Election Commission remains a captive, feckless agency.
The Federal Election Commission recess appointments also represent a gross abuse by President Bush of his recess appointment powers, replacing half the members of the agency without giving the Senate or the public any opportunity to consider their qualifications for the job.

At a time when government corruption scandals are exploding in Washington, President Bush and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders have joined together to seriously undermine the country's anti-corruption campaign finance laws.

President Bush and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders acted to rig the campaign finance enforcement system by again sending new Commissioners to the Federal Election Commission with a clear mandate to protect incumbents and party officials, at the great expense of the American people and their interest in strong enforcement of the laws.

Yesterday's recess appointments only confirm that the Federal Election Commission is a failed agency that must be abolished and replaced with a new effective enforcement agency, if citizens are to have effective campaign finance laws that protect against government corruption.

Common Cause.org


Political Money Line

January 12, 2006


Soldiers serve under a code of honor, something they say Bush lacks. “Bush is of a kind with the dictators; a strutting, sanctimonious buffoon who talks democracy but acts like Saddam Hussein”. “Bush might differ in degree from Hussein, not having been in power as long, but in behavior, with torture and the corruption of government, they are of a kind. “While al-Qaida is an enemy of the values and principles of the United States and Western civilization and must be confronted, it can do no more than kill people and destroy property. “Bush can subvert our principles and institutions. He is the greater enemy.”

Cry havoc, and let's slip the dogs of war!

~ BackyardPit

If these three ladies were running for President, who would you vote for?

The Mysterious Hillary Clinton

Bunnatine H. Greenhouse

Condoleezza Rice

O-boy, some more bullshit coming out of Washington.

Lawmakers move to cut lobbyists' influence
By Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — A scramble is on to write new rules restricting how lobbyists ply their influence trade as the capital is embroiled in a spreading corruption scandal.

My comment about your bullshit laws. You can pass all the bullshit laws you want, we know all you lying gangster politicians do is poke holes in them. We know who you are and with this investigation we will be well-informed. You lying gangster politicians better find a new trade! Starting with you Bush and down to the last rotten apple.
~ BackyardPit

January 10, 2006

The System Is Rotten To The Core.

Some say serious campaign finance reform is the answer but the current system grew out of the post-Watergate "reforms" of the 70s. Reform will not fix our problems and neither will a few resignations or a handful of convictions. The system is rotten to the core and the rot is too widespread to just be cut out and thrown away. This is no longer just a case of one rotten apple spoiling the bushel. The whole damn orchard is infected and the only answer may be to bulldoze the place and start over.
Read the full story by Doug Thompson.

January 09, 2006

“Hastert Moves to Tighten Rules on Lobbyists”

O-boy, some more bullshit coming out of Washington. “Hastert Moves to Tighten Rules on Lobbyists”. Bullshit, you lying gangster politicians. We have laws now you lying gangster politicians find loop holes in them. I’ll believe it when I see it! What about ethics rules, moral values? The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'. Hastert, didn’t you sell out to Abramoff for $81,750.00? And you want to tighten rules on lobbyists. Bullshit, we need to hire a Sheriff to clean up Washington and put you lying gangster politicians in jail where you belong.
Whiskey Ring
~ BackyardPit

GOP selling U.S. to 'highest bidder'

Corruption may be worst in Congressional history.

O-boy some more bullshit coming out of Washington, lyres’ lyres’ lyres’. You lying gangster politicians can talk the talk but you cannot walk the walk. You gangster Democrats are just as bad as the gangster Republicans, so don’t think you are home free. You lying gangster politicians are trying to tell me you’re going to do something about the gangster lobbyists in Washington who have been lining your pockets in return for political favors for years? BULLSHIT.
We don’t need you Democrats or Republicans to clean up Washington.
We need to hire a Sheriff to clean up Washington and put you lying gangster politicians in jail where you belong.
"Unfortunately, the recent scandals have caused some to question whether we have lost our vision and whether the faith they have placed in us is justified," Blunt wrote in a letter to the conference.
"While I have no doubt that it is, it will be difficult to move forward with our platform until we regain the trust and confidence of our constituents by enacting new lobbying reforms and enhanced penalties for those who break the public trust."
Boehner, in a letter to the Republican conference Sunday, seemed to offer a theme for his campaign. He said he was focused on "renewal. Renewal in spirit, renewal in principles, renewal in commitment."
Political fallout
Leaders on both sides of the aisle plan to announce efforts to combat corruption in the coming days, as each side jockeys to come across as the party cleaning up Washington before the November elections.
"We Democrats stand for change, not only in trying to clean up this lobbying and corruption, but on the meat-and-potato issues like energy costs and prescription drugs and health care," he said.
Anti-corruption initiatives are expected to be announced in coming days.
Hastert issued a statement Sunday saying, "I intend to move forward aggressively and quickly to have the House of Representatives address lobbying reform."
Meanwhile, Schumer said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid "next week" will unveil a plan "to clear up the corruption, particularly with lobbyists in Washington."
An old Indian Chief sat in his hut on the reservation, smoking a ceremonial pipe and eyeing two US government officials sent to interview him. "Chief Two Eagles” asked one official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his material wealth, seen his progress, and the damage he's done. The Chief nodded that it was so. The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?" The Chief stared at the government officials for over a minute and then calmly replied, "When white man found the land, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, women did all the work, medicine man free, Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing, all night having sex." Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, "White man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that!"
~ BackyardPit

January 08, 2006

What Lobbying Can Come To.

Abramoff pleaded guilty in Washington to charges of bribery, fraud and tax evasion and on Wednesday when he admitted having conspired to purchase casino boats fraudulently. The charges were brought after a federal investigation into influence peddling at the White House. The results pointed the finger of guilt at Abramoff. The scandal is sending more shock waves among the Republicans than through the media, as the investigations are likely to reveal more names in the coming days. Abramoff could implicate some lawmakers who accepted bribes. Those found guilty are certain to find themselves in jail in the coming months. The most damning comment on this affair came from David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute think tank. He said that Abramoff represented "what lobbying can come to". The game of politicians lining their pockets in return for political favors is not a new one; nor is it likely to end with the arrest and prosecution of Abramoff.

Abramoff and Indian Tribe money, 80,000,000 went to lying gangster Republicans and Democrats. This money could have gone to Indian kids and their families. And this is just one of Abramoff’s rip-offs. There are about 35,000 Lobby’s in Washington doing the same. The lying gangster politicians lining their pockets in return for political favors needs to stop now! These lying gangster politicians need to do some real jail time, not no slap on the hands.

The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff

January 06, 2006

"We need to clean up our House here very quickly or a year from now we'll be the minority party,"

Tom DeLay's bid to return as majority leader of the House of Representatives was in mounting jeopardy on Thursday as fellow Republicans feared his ties with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff have made the Texan too much of an election-year liability. "I would not support him for majority leader," Rep. Ray LaHood told Reuters in a telephone interview from his central Illinois district. LaHood, a conservative Republican with close ties to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, also from Illinois, added that elections for a new majority leader ought to be held when the House reconvenes on January 31. "We need to clean up our House here very quickly or a year from now we'll be the minority party," said LaHood, initially elected to Congress in 1994 when his party won control of the House for the first time in 40 years. DeLay's legal problems deepened this week when his self-described close friend Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud charges in Washington and Florida. An ex-aide to DeLay who later worked with Abramoff also has pleaded guilty to felony charges. On Wednesday, aides to DeLay said his campaign committee would "redirect" $15,000 in donations from Abramoff and his wife to Texas charities. Under House Republican rules, DeLay was forced to step down in September after a Texas grand jury indicted him in an unrelated case on charges of conspiracy and money laundering. DeLay, an 11-term congressman, has predicted he would be exonerated in Texas, clearing the way for his return as majority leader. But a former House Republican leadership aide turned lobbyist predicted DeLay might renounce his intention to seek reinstatement before it comes to a leadership vote. "He will probably, in the course of the next few weeks, take the temperature in private of (Republican) caucus members," the former House aide said.
All you Christians who have been on T.V. trying to tell me and the American people how innocent these lying gangster Republicans are. What do you have to say for yourselves now? Don’t think you Christians can crawl away into some corner and hide and pray that this will all go away! You need to clean house to! You need to get out of bed with these lying gangster Republicans and do what you do best. Teach the Bible not politicks. I’ am glad I’ am not a T.V. Christian. I’ am a Bible reading Christian! I don’t let some joker on T.V. tell me his translation of the Bible.

~ BackyardPit

January 03, 2006

Prominent US lobbyist pleads guilty.

Jack Abramoff, a prominent lobbyist in the U.S. capital, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three federal charges and agreed to cooperate in a corruption investigation that could implicate a number of lawmakers. Top Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, admitted conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion, in a plea deal which could lift the lid on one of the most explosive US political corruption cases in decades. Abramoff pleaded guilty to all the three charges, which included conspiracy to commit fraud, tax evasion and mail fraud. If convicted, Abramoff could face 30 years in jail. The corruption investigation could involve as many as 20 members of Congress, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Republican lawmaker who was forced to quit the leadership post last September in an unrelated case. Abramoff was also expected to plead guilty in Florida to two of the six charges in a federal indictment. During a court appearance, Abramoff agreed with federal judge Ellen Huvelle that he had engaged in a conspiracy involving corruption of public officials and that he and others had engaged in a plot to provide campaign contributions, trips and other items in exchange for certain official acts. Abramoff and his lobbying partner, Michael Scanlon, who pleaded guilty in November last year, were accused by prosecutors of conspiring to defraud Indian tribes in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas of millions of dollars. A number of lawmakers from both parties received campaign donations and other favorites from Abramoff, and voted in Congress in favor of the lobbyist's clients, news reports said. The Bush administration's former chief procurement official, David H. Safavian, was charged last year with making false statements and obstructing investigations in the Abramoff case. Enditem

Happy Birthday Daniel.

This is my son-in-law Daniel.

I Have a Dream

January 01, 2006


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Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan. For all practical pur! poses their plan works like this: When they retire, they contin ue to draw the same pay until they die. Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments... For example, Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries. Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age will receive much more during the rest of their lives. Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA..! ..ZILCH... This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds; "OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK"! From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into,-every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)-we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator! Bill Bradley's benefits! Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to: Jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us then sit back.....and see how fast they would fix it.

It Was A Heckuva Thing To Say

George W. Bush has a history of mangling the English language as much as he mangles the law of the land. Call it the wrong phrase at the wrong time but "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" was named on Thursday as U.S. President George W. Bush's most memorable phrase of 2005.
The ill-timed praise of a now disgraced agency head became a national punch line for countless jokes and pointed comments about the administration's handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and added to the president's reputation for verbal gaffes and clumsy turns of phrase.
Paul JJ Payack, president of Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that monitors language use, says Bush's statement in support of the then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be remembered for years to come.
"The 'Brownie' quote leads our 2005 list of Bushisms -- memorable phrases or new words coined by the president," Payack said, adding that Bush may be the foremost White House creator of new words, citing such past efforts as "misunderestimate" (to seriously underestimate) and "embetter" (to make emotionally better).
Ten days after Bush verbally patted Michael Brown on the back before the TV cameras, Brown resigned amid a public uproar over his qualifications and the administration's failure to get aid to New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Although the president did not originate any new words this year, he had several notable statements, Payack said, citing the following:
-- "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda," Bush said in explaining his communications strategy last May.
-- "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" Bush asked in a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting in September.
-- "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table," Bush said in Brussels last February.
-- "In terms of timetables, as quickly as possible - whatever that means," the president said of his timeframe for passing Social Security legislation in March.
-- "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law," Bush said in describing illegal immigrants in Tucson, Arizona, last month.
Global Language Monitor uses an algorithm to track words and phrases in print, electronic media and the Internet. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

A Vet Speaks Out About Bush

Tim Abbott is a Vietnam veteran who lives in the Southwestern Virginia town of Hillsville, a conservative, blue-collar community that tends to vote Republican and bleed red, white and blue.
But, like an increasing number of veterans, Abbott is fed up with President George W. Bush.
“Bush talks a lot about freedom, courage, transparent government and the rule of law. He talks,” Abbott says. “His speeches are carefully choreographed before audiences of his faithful -- often Christian fundamentalists or, to paraphrase Bush, Christian-fascists -- and they must sign loyalty oaths to Bush. He speaks before audience after audience of soldiers and sailors who cannot speak except as directed by the White House.”
Normally, such comments would be risky in a mountain town where Patriotism rules supreme but Abbott expressed his views this week in an op ed article for The Roanoke Times and found many people agreeing with him.
“When I think of Bush, I do not think of liberty and courage, compassion and justice. No, I think of arrogance, greed and lies,” Abbott wrote. “He is a thug, a buffoon and a coward. Not only is he incompetent, he is corrupt.
In normal times, these would be fighting words and Abbott would do well to avoid lunch at the Hillsville Diner, the Main Street eatery where the locals gather to discuss politics. But George W. Bush’s times are not normal times and Abbott is greeted warmly on the streets of Hillsville.
“In his Mission Accomplished foray, (Bush) wore a military uniform, something no president has done since Washington, and Washington only wore the uniform to quell a rebellion,” Abbott says. “Around the world he has replaced the Soviet Gulag with the Bush Gulag, where men may be tortured.”
Abbott’s comments come when this web site revealed that the Pentagon has ordered soldiers home from Iraq for holiday leave to give pro-war interviews to their hometown newspapers and television station. This does not surprise a veteran who learned about military duplicity in Vietnam.
“Others before whom he speaks may ask no questions. He runs from journalists, as we have seen in China, even on those rare occasions that he speaks before them,” Abbott says of Bush. “Even worse, he has paid journalists to say good things about him and his policies. He also produces propaganda from government offices that he offers as news reports. And any protests against his policies are diverted well away from his sight and hearing.”
In recent weeks, I’ve spoken with dozens of vets of Vietnam, Desert Storm and the present invasion of Iraq and most speak with anger towards Bush and his policies.
Soldiers serve under a code of honor, something they say Bush lacks.
“Bush is of a kind with the dictators; a strutting, sanctimonious buffoon who talks democracy but acts like Saddam Hussein,” Abbott says. “Bush might differ in degree from Hussein, not having been in power as long, but in behavior, with torture and the corruption of government, they are of a kind.
“While al-Qaida is an enemy of the values and principles of the United States and Western civilization and must be confronted, it can do no more than kill people and destroy property.
“Bush can subvert our principles and institutions. He is the greater enemy.”

By DOUG THOMPSON, Who is this Thompson guy anyway?