July 18, 2012
In Bain's SEC Filings I wrote, "Key point: those SEC forms reassure Bain partners that Romney WAS running things after 1999. Tons of $$ involved. If he wasn't that's fraud." On Sunday's Up With Chris Hayes a former Bain partner seems to have confirmed my theory.
In 1999 Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to run the Olympics. But SEC filings and many other documents have turned up that claim Romney was still running Bain. This matters because after stories started to circulate that Bain was heavily involved in offshoring jobs to China, Romney has been insisting that he wasn't there when Bain was doing the offshoring. (Never mind that he never asked them to stop doing that...)
My thinking is that the partners at Bain Capital insisted on maintaining the appearance that Romney at the helm to reassure their partners -- investors, banks and buyout targets -- that they were stable after Romney left when really they were not. They trusted Mitt and maybe there was a big danger of them pulling out of deals if they thought Mitt was not coming back. If Romney wasn't there and they were assuring these companies that he was (and Romney insists he wasn't there), that's fraud (and conspiracy, with Romney signing the forms), never mind false signing of SEC forms. Fraud by Bain and fraud by Romney. And big money was on the line, so there was a lot of motive there.
As I wrote the other day, I interviewed Bain partner Ed Conard on the Fairness Radio program on May 16. I was pinning him down on how much risk Bain was taking to justify the huge returns they received, and he started talking about how their reputation is what holds all their partners to Bain. I wrote about this here, including links to the audio.
Then on Chris Hayes' show this last Sunday Conard was on, and said quite a few things that I think might confirm what I was thinking. If you look at this as Romney suddenly leaving the firm to take on the Olympics job, which Conard talks about, and the firm scrambling to figure out what to do about this sudden departure which has left all the bankers, investors and buyout targets hanging, and the firm trying to reassure them things were stable, you see what I am talking about. Conard talked a few times on Hayes' show about Romney's "franchise value." In other words, he means those partner companies wanted to see the name Romney at the helm of the firm.
So you see the motive for the double answers here -- that he was and he wasn't. The firm's partners had a huge financial motive at the time to tell people Romney was there, and Romney went along with that ruse by signing things, and now Romney has a big motive to explain that he wasn't really there. He's calculating that public anger over offshoring (see Bain "Offshoring" Is A Big Deal Because Voters Want American Manufacturing) is a greater risk to him than people figuring out that he and Bain were committing fraud ten years ago.
Also by the way the fact that the firm didn't put someone else at the helm, and as they say were running it with some kind of council of the firm partners, also tends to confirm what I suspect. If they officially put someone else in charge the people they were doing business with would learn that Romney (with all his "franchise value") was not there running things. So the big question "so who was running Bain after Romney left?" really is the question, and they were hiding the fact that Romney had left, because various people they were doing business with might have pulled out.
Once again, if I am correct this was a fraud on those investors, banks and buyout targets. The statute of limitations has run out on this, but there is conspiracy, and there is Romney's campaign still.
Here is Ed Conard on Up With Chris Hayes. With the above in mind, watch Ed Conard explain things, and tell me this doesn't appear to confirm what I think is/was going on.
November 28, 2011
Very rare these days - an unbought public official: NYC judge rejects $285M SEC-Citigroup agreement - Yahoo! News
September 30, 2011
A recurring question in today's economy that rewards con artists and psycopaths: " Why aren't they in jail?" Torturers, banksters, fraudsters (ratings agencies), bribers, professional climate deniers, and of course tobacco executives. Tobacco is still killing over 400,000 Americans every single year. Remind me, HOW many were killed by al Queda?
Today's news, tobacco companies knew since 1959 that there was concentrated radiation in the smoke, increasing the liklihood of cancer, could have taken it out but the process would have made it less addictive.
April 5, 2011
Silicon Valley’s crown jewel, Palo Alto just got mowed down last evening by AT&T. To be specific AT&T effectively tied the hands of many of the City policymakers, and then plowed through the City Council and over 35 residents leaving their bodies scattered on the sidewalks in their wake. Using the big stick approach, they bullied and threatened action in the Federal court system if their addendum to their existing site permit was not approved; and the Council caved to the mighty sword sacrificing many of their downtown rental residents. Most troubling is that with these actions of passing this addendum for the mounting of two AT&T antennas on this residential building, this City Council may have set a precedent to severely limit tenants’ rights going forward in this particular city and longer term in the state. Commercial building owners may now have enlarged rights that grant them the ability to railroad their tenants with whatever side businesses they choose. If this decision by Palo Alto holds, California may be able to rewrite the Civil Codes that govern the rights granted to landlords by allowiing them to enter the premises far beyond the scope of maintenance and/or emergency. You see the only way to get to this balcony is by gaining access through the bedrooms of the residents.
Effectively this City Council has opened a hornet’s nest that may continue to sting them as this decision raises questions of social justice for over 40% of the City’s residents, of which over 70% are management or other professionals in the tech industry. We all know that we live in a society that is fraught with corporate collusion, fraud and bad behavior. Yet it is troubling to see this kind of reprehensible behavior in our own backyard without tacit consideration for the privacy, health and/or safety of the rental residents. Palo Alto is a city that is full of bright entrepreneurs willing to risk it all to create technologies that can change the world. Sadly, none of them signed up to give away their rights. Who would have thought that liberal Palo Alto, the place of big dreams, would sink to this level! Most importantly, what is to prevent other such activities that suggest some degree of collusion between the private and public sectors? Not much with this precedent setting action, huh? Will Palo Alto become a city that only protects their landed gentry? With this decision, they are certainly well on their way to solely protecting property owners over the serfs that rent.
Taking this further, can building owners throughout the City now run either brothels or daycare centers while residents are working during the day or evening? After all given this recently enacted City precedent – building owners now have the right to discount the objections of their tenants to cut whatever side deal that want. This means that building owners can engage in mixed use and side deals regardless of the vocal protests of their tenants. As outrageous as this may seem, this is the box that has been pried open with last evening’s decision and it may prove to a gift that keeps on giving. The young, the bright and the able may now choose to take their start-ups elsewhere and be treated far better in the short and longer term. Maybe there were bigger reasons that Facebook, the symbol of all that is good in Palo Alto, has chosen to jump ship and move to a neighboring city.
Note: This post will appear in other blogs.
July 14, 2010
The American Dream is what is at stake for the Obama Administration, and they know it. This is the dirty, little secret that can longer be contained -- it is escalating, cannot remain hidden, and may have significant political ramifications for the 2010 elections. The atrocity of the past years is this broken promise with the people, and it is deeply affecting the way they think, behave, vote and live. Moreover, it could begin to explain the groundswell response to candidate Barack Obama in 2008. The power of his words helped them believe that the dream was recoverable. He exemplified what was possible through education and hard work in his meteoric rise through American politics to the Oval Office. Further and more importantly, it also explains why we are now suffering such profound political despair reflected in the dropping poll numbers.
The middle class, for its survival, needs life to return to a semblance of "normalcy" - a time when they didn't know how to spell the word "deficit" and didn't have to care. They want their retirement savings back so they don't have to work until they drop. They want a bank account that makes more then one percent interest. They want to know what their health insurance premiums will be this year and in ten. They want to know if their kids study, and if they save and sacrifice, that their lives will be better. They want their kids to get good jobs, and they want to hold onto our own jobs. And with despair and anger they realize that despite the heroic work of the Congress with this President in passing landmark legislation in all of these areas -- they still are not safe. Economic ruin may still be right around the corner, and makes it hard to sleep at night.
You know we've all been hoodwinked and sold a bill of goods about the sanctity of the middle class in this country. It is a basic tenet of our lives, and made us different from other countries. The ranks swelled over the last decades after FDR to the present. But now for the first time since the Great Depression, the middle class is at risk of tipping over once and for all. They are not coming out of the financial, housing and environmental crises intact. Interest rates have ratcheted up on the family home, maybe there's a balloon payment on the mortgage and its impossible to refinance under the "new" programs; savings have virtually no interest and are drying up; pensions have evaporated; health insurance premiums are basically unaffordable until 2014 if then; schools are overcrowded and on the decline; there are no jobs except in China and they don't speak Mandarin; and unemployment is still at 9.5% -- higher in key areas throughout the country. The new legislation is riddled with loopholes, as all legislation can be after laborious compromises and extensive details. What is different is that each of these loopholes is flagrantly being exploited by the banks, the credit card companies and the health insurance companies. For example, many of the unemployed cannot qualify for COBRA because their companies failed which is code for closed their doors. COBRA is not available when a company terminates their health insurance plan, and 2014 is a long way off when you need health insurance coverage now.
Frankly, this is not what the middle class signed up for. It was not part of the implicit promise made to them. As a result, they are angry (enter stage right the Tea Party to exploit this vulnerability), and depressed (evidenced in the lackluster June election voter turnout). This is a deadly combination that could seal the deal on the November elections for the big, bad guys. Yet somehow the middle class and its Democrats must rally again and rise above the collective depression (no pun intended). We cannot let the brilliant and effective message machine of the Republican Party lull them into universal amnesia -- forgetting all the wrongs of the past. Remember these are the same guys (Bush and Cheney) that put the nails in the coffin cementing the potential extermination of the middle class. These same guys two weeks ago even blocked the extension of unemployment benefits while they frolicked on vacation. How could they do that to working families in this country? The extension passed the House before the break, but was filibustered in the Senate. And given all that, imagine life when we essentially give away the House because we are too depressed to vote or disorganized to keep these seats.
I will take liberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi any day over anti-choice, sanctimonious Republican Representative John Boehner as Speaker of the House. That would be a bad dream that just keeps on giving. This threat should be enough for the White House to saddle up and come out with a plan, a message (remember "hope and change"), and leadership to deliver - not the White House Press Secretary Gibbs message yesterday. David Gregory of Meet the Press has gotten so very good and Gibbs just walked into a fiasco announcing the potential lose of seats in the House. It was as bad as giving away candy instead of feeding the homeless, and maybe that's why White House Special Advisor, David Axelrod, was so snarky with CNN's Candy Crowley during the next hour on the Sunday morning political shows because it sure didn't make any sense.
Snarky or not, we all know Obama and his team are awful busy with the economy, the oil spill and a few dozen Russian spies, but we need them to reach out to that disenfranchised middle class again, aka big voting block. After all, Obama is the master communicator and we know that he can do it because he has done it before to win in 2008. And now the stakes may even be higher. If we allow 40 seats in the House to go asunder and a few more in the US Senate -- we can start waving bye-bye to the American Dream, the middle class, economic recovery, and maybe the Supreme Court for the next couple of decades.
Please see my Pearltree for some of the reference materials with more to come. This is a new tool to organize and share materials on the web. In full disclosure, I advise them as they build out the new features of this platform.
Note, an earlier version of this article appeared this week on the Huffington Post.
February 28, 2010
Tobacco is still killing over 400,000 Americans each year.
Does anyone remember lawsuit by the US Government against tobacco companies, and the Justice department asked for a huge damages award? Then with their usual corruption the Bush administration set that aside and asked for only $10 billion? See Prosecutor Says Bush Appointees Interfered With Tobacco Case.
Well guess what?
The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to allow the government to seek nearly $300 billion from the tobacco industry for a half-century of deception that "has cost the lives and damaged the health of untold millions of Americans."
But the tobacco companies know that 5 of those Supreme Court justices are likely to dance with the once that got them there. They are now claiming it was all just "free speech":
The companies also say the courts' decision to brand their statements about smoking as fraudulent unfairly denied them their First Amendment rights to engage in the public-health debate about smoking.
January 24, 2010
The first problem I have with President Obama stems from his refusal to uphold the rule of law and hold the Bush administration accountable for possible criminal activity. It doesn't matter if we need to look forward, have big problems on the table, whatever. The first job of government is to uphold the rule of law, or the legitimacy of that government is undermined.
The conspiracy to invade Iraq needs to be investigated. If it is determined that these people lied, planted evidence, etc. in order to cause us to invade that country, this is the most serious crime imaginable. Enough people in this country and the world think this is a possibility that it undermines law and democracy not to look into this and see what we can find out.
Next move on to torture. This must be investigated, or else everyone will come to believe first that there are different standards in the law for people in power, and that it is the accepted policy of our country.
Now move on to the appearance of bribery, embezzlement, cronyism, favors to campaign contributors, selective prosecutions, no-bid contracts, improper political appointments, etc. These, if fond to have actually occurred, are all crimes. They are all supposed to be investigated and prosecuted. The rule of law demands that this is done. If they did these things and get away with it, then these things will happen again, with the bush administration as only a starting point next time.
President Obama's failure to uphold the rule of law is inexcusable.
January 6, 2010
How many have gone to jail after the biggest financial crisis since the great depression? Bernie Madoff doesn't count, so that make's ... zero, I think.
But how many got bailed out with our money and continue to make million-dollar bonuses while people are being thrown out of their houses and jobs because of what they did?
And Democrats think that ANYONE is going to vote for them in 2010????
May 4, 2009
Is there any accountability yet? Have any major financial thieves been put in jail and/or made to give the money back yet? (I don't mean the Madoffs, I mean the ones who talked people into mortgaging their houses so they could sell CDOs.) Have any corrupt government officials from the Bush years been prosecuted yet? Have any lobbyists been indicted for giving bribes - or politicians indicted for taking them? Have any government officials been prosecuted for doing bug companies a favor and then leaving the governemnt and taking huge-paying jobs from those companies?
How about has anyone been held accountable for torture people and launching wars that killed tens of hundreds of thousands? Or how about just having pallettes of money shipped to Iraq for distribution?
How about something simple, like getting bonuses back from people who made millions and millions defrauding people and ruining the economy and destroying millions of people's retirement? Or maybe even just making them pay their taxes? Or how about just asking people making tens of millions to pay at least the same taxe rates that the rest of us pay?
Nope. Nada. Not that I have seen. No accountability yet. Nothing. The rich and the powerful can get away with anything. Anything. We have a two-tiered justice system in America now and no one bothers to deny it.
Is the new boss same as the old boss? Or will things change?
Why is Merck allowed to continue to operate?
Merck cooked up a phony, but real sounding, peer reviewed journal and published favorably looking data for its products in them.From the linked article in The Scientist, Merck published fake journal,
Merck paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles--most of which presented data favorable to Merck products--that appeared to act solely as marketing tools with no disclosure of company sponsorship.
. . . The issues contained little in the way of advertisements apart from ads for Fosamax, a Merck drug for osteoporosis, and Vioxx.
. . . The claim that Merck had created a journal out of whole cloth to serve as a marketing tool was first reported by The Australian about three weeks ago. It came to light in the context of a civil suit filed by Graeme Peterson, who suffered a heart attack in 2003 while on Vioxx, against Merck and its Australian subsidiary, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Australia (MSDA).
They invented a phony "scientific" "peer-reviewed" journal to public marketing articles promoting their products, making it look like "science" validated them!
How many people did Vioxx kill? Question: Does this "pharmaceutical" company, like others, refuse to develop antibiotics - even though we (humanity) are running out of effective antibiotics - because they don't make enough profit?
Why are they allowed to call themselves a pharmaceutical company? Why are they allowed by our laws to be a corporation?
It is time to put a stop to all corporate lobbying of all types, and get a handle back on control of our own government!
April 16, 2009
I have to say, it is striking that the day after the Governor of Texas talked about his state seceding from the United States, I have seen no reports or discussion in the news! This should be a huge, huge story. The historical precedent for the impact of such statements could not be more alarming. Yet, nothing.
What is the reason for this? Why are the editors of the corporate media, who decide what will eb on the nation's agenda, hushing this up?
This reminds me of the silence last year after when it came out that the Republican Vice Presidential candidate was associated with a group calling for Alaska's secession from the United States. There was also little discussion of the implications of such a position.
I thought the media loved to cover controversy and hypocrisy? What could be more controversial than a Governor calling for his/her state to leave the United States? What could be more hypocritical than supposed "patriotic" conservatives hating the country so much they want to disband it?
January 8, 2009
Doctors did a study in Peublo, Colorado after the city banned smoking in workplaces and indoor public areas. They compared hospital admissions for heart attacks for a year before and three years after the ban, and compared the results with two nearby areas that did not have similar bans.
The study found a 41 percent drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks resulting from the public smoking ban.
It turns out that tobacco companies started studying this in 1971 and knew about these results. But instead of doing something about it "Philip Morris masterminded a massive global effort to confuse and deceive the public about the health hazards of secondhand smoke and to delay laws restricting smoking in indoor public places."
Read about the techniques they used to prevent smoking bans at: Deadly Deception: The Tobacco Industry's Secondhand Smoke Cover Up | Center for Media and Democracy
December 23, 2008
Ford pardoned Nixon, which led to the crimes/bribery/theft/fraud/lies/wars of the Reagan/Bush I administration. It also led to a common understanding that in America the big fish operate under different rules and are held to a different standard.
Reagan was let off the hook for Iran/Contra and Bush I pardoned everyone who otherwise might have testified against him. Then under Clinton they let bygones be bygones, bribery remain unpunished and stolen money stay stolen which led to the crimes of Bush II. (It also paved the way for Clinton's impeachment because they knew the Dems would let them get away with anything and the public was ready for a story about people at the top not being let off the hook.)
If you don't prosecute lawbreaking and hold accountable the lawbreakers, it will just happen over and over, worse each time. Throughout the Bush II administration the Dems refused to hold anyone accountable and look what's happening today.
November 9, 2008
In case you missed this, because of the election news. I apologize in advance for making it bold type, but I am really pissed off and want to be sure everyone sees this.
... nine banks about to be getting a total equity capital injection of $125 billion, courtesy of Phase I of The Bailout Plan, had reserved $108 billion during the first nine months of 2008 in order to pay for compensation and bonuses...CALL your Congressperson's office and demand to know why the taxpayer bailout money is being used for bonuses.
The country's top investment bank (which since Sept. 21 calls itself a bank holding company), Goldman Sachs, set aside $11.4 billion during the first nine months of this year -- slightly more than the firm's $10 billion U.S. government gift -- to cover bonus payments for its 443 senior partners, who are set to make about $5 million each, and other employees.
October 17, 2008
The Obama campaign today sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey asking that he expand the scope of the ongoing investigation into Justice Department politicization to "include a review of any involvement by the Justice Department and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC)'s systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud."
Briefly, the DOJ politicization scandal stems from Republican efforts to conduct partisan vote fraud investigations before the 2006 election. Prosecutors who refused were fired, prosecutors who played along were not fired (and are still there). After an outcry and the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales the new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, appointed a special prosecutor to look into the politicization. The current vote fraud accusations and accompanying Justice Department, FBI and White House involvement follow the same pattern, and are based on no credible evidence, so the Obama campaign believes that it may be related to the ongoing partisan politicization of the government's law enforcement.
Update - Ari Melber at The Washington Independent has more,
Citing an “unholy alliance” between Republican operatives and potentially illegal conduct by law enforcement targeting voter fraud, the Obama campaign demanded Friday that the U.S. special prosecutor looking into the U.S. attorney scandal investigate the matter.
General counsel Bob Bauer sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey charging that coordinated “misconduct” by McCain campaign representatives and GOP officials were relevant to the special prosecutor’s work, because the activities may relate to the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys in late 2006.
The letter requests that the special prosecutor’s inquiry “include a review of any involvement by Justice Dept. and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign [and RNC's] systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.”
October 16, 2008
This in the news today: Officials: FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud,
The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election. A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.First, it is ILLEGAL for anyone in the government to leak news of an FBI investigation. That by itself should be a tipoff to what is going on here.
A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.
Second, this is what the Justice Department politicization scandal was about: prosecutors fired for refusing to involve themselves in phony pre-election investigations of vote fraud, and others who were not fired because they played along. Those prosecutors are still on the job. Get it yet?
I am seeing 24.7 hysteria in the media that ACORN is engaged in a conspiracy to steal the election. But once you look into it there is not a single fact behind the charges. In fact, there were a total of 26 cases of voter fraud in the United States in a 5-year period studied.
Meanwhile the Republicans are fighting to purge millions of citizens from the voting rolls before the election. Do you not get it yet?
August 12, 2008
The court ruled Cheney and the others were acting within their official capacity when they revealed Plame's identity to reporters.Oh, and by the way,
Chief Judge David B. Sentelle wrote the opinion and was joined by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. Sentelle was appointed by President Reagan and Henderson by the first President Bush.Sentelle ...
In 1992, for reasons that have never been explained, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist replaced MacKinnon with one of the most right-wing judges in the federal judiciary, U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle.
By naming Sentelle, Rehnquist altered the political climate surrouding the selection of special prosecutors, effectively injecting conservative ideology into the process in a way that had been avoided during the previous 14 years.
. . . A North Carolina Republican, Sentelle was seen as a hard-line conservative, a protege of Sen. Jesse Helms and a close ally of Sen. Lauch Faircloth, two of the Senate's most conservative members.
Before donning black robes, Sentelle also had been a Republican Party activist.
. . . Even after his appointment to the federal bench, Sentelle engaged in public writings harshly critical of liberals. In one article, Sentelle accused "leftist heretics" of wishing to turn the United States into "a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state."
. . . Since his appointment, Sentelle has steered nearly all sensitive investigations into the hands of partisan Republicans.
In late 1992, when the Bush administration was caught searching Clinton's passport files looking for derogatory information, Sentelle's three-judge panel handed off the investigation to GOP stalwart Joseph diGenova, who found no wrongdoing by his Republican associates.
After Clinton's inauguration, Sentelle's panel kept picking Republicans for high-profile cases. David Barrett, head of Lawyers for Reagan in 1980, was named to pursue allegations that Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros had understated how much money he had paid a mistress.
. . . But Sentelle's most controversial special prosecutor was Kenneth Starr.
August 9, 2008
A new group called Accountable America is warning conservative donors about staying within election laws. The New York Times wrote about this the other day with the misleading headline, Group Plans Campaign Against G.O.P. Donors.
Of course it isn't a "campaign against GOP donors" it is a campaign warning against unlawful and unethical activity. But stopping unlawful activity just might dry up a lot of the Republican Party's -- and the right's supporting infrastructure's -- cash flow. This includes 501c3 tax-free "charity" think tanks and 501c4 "issue" organizations that are really illegally engaged in candidate activity, or otherwise acting as conduits for corporate money or for those who have "maxed out" (reached the legal limit) for political donations.
The other day I wrote about,
... companies intimidating workers to vote a certain way, churches, think tanks, front groups incorporated as c4s but doing candidate work, campaigns violating election laws, etc.So I guess great minds think alike. Heh.
... Suppose [we could create] some concern among the Wal-Marts and the Sheldon Adelsons that they had better think about following the law?
What would this do to the funding sources of the right's machine?
There is plenty of need for an effort to get conservative and corporate donors to follow the law. Just for example -- last week's news about "curious" bundled political contributions made by employees of oil companies receiving billion-dollar contracts from the government to McCain and Republicans. Some of these donations came from people clearly unable to make such a donation on their own. This makes it appear that the companies may have illegally given these people money to give to McCain and the Republican Party and groups are demanding an investigation (that will never happen).
[Public interest groups] want the Justice Department to investigate whether bundlers for John McCain's presidential campaign are using "straw" donations -- those made in the name of someone else to evade contribution limits.A story at TPM elaborates,
"An executive from a company that has a billion dollar contract to deliver oil to U.S. bases in Iraq possibly violated election law to funnel contributions to McCain. We think that warrants an investigation."Now that Accountable America is on the scene maybe corporations and big donors who are thinking about engaging in illegal activities will think twice.
And on the Hess matter ... : "An office manager for an oil company that stands to gain millions in profits from offshore drilling makes donations for the first time this cycle to McCain, and did it at the same time nine other Hess donors do. That's worth an investigation."
If you want to help this effort you can donate by clicking here.
* The new group will offer a $100,000 reward to those providing information that leads to the conviction or judgment against a conservative or business-related organization that violates the law.
* Accountable America will provide information to the public through television ads, mailings, phone calls and its Web site.
* Next week the organization plans to send a mailing warning nearly 10,000 Republican donors of the consequences of funding organizations that break or skirt the law.
April 29, 2008
Note that "Pentagon" means the Republican Party appointees in the administration who run the Department of Defense, which resides in the Pentagon.
The Pentagon was conducting "information operations" targeting the American public. This program was blatantly illegal.
Note that almost NO news outlets involved are reporting on this story at all. What does that tell you?
January 2, 2008
Funny how all those corruption investigations stopped when all those prosecutors got fired, isn't it? Here's another: Burns no longer part of Abramoff probe,
Former Sen. Conrad Burns is no longer part of a federal investigation of jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Justice Department said Wednesday.I'm not saying Burns was involved with Abramoff or not. I AM saying that there is no reason to have any confidence that anyone in this Justice Department is interested in finding out. He's a Republican, so the case is dropped. We know that the reason those prosecutors who were fired was they wouldn'[t "play ball" with the politicization, and we know the ones who did and dropped investigations of Republicans and/or initiated investigations of Democrats kept their jobs. They are still there, the Congress isn't doing their job of getting to the bottom of this, so we're left with the assumption of political interference and corruption.
Burns, R-Mont., narrowly lost re-election to a fourth term in 2006 after Democrats made his relationship with Abramoff a central issue. Abramoff is the key figure in a corruption investigation that has led to convictions of a former congressman, legislative aides, lobbyists and officials in the Bush administration.
December 17, 2007
Governor Richardson said Friday if elected he will investigate and prosecute the torturers - all the way to the top. And Senator Dodd is filibustering right now against retroactive immunity for crimes committed at Bush administration request. Now we should ask the rest of the candidates if, once elected, they will also hold Bush administration officials accountable for crimes they committed in office.
We learned this week that the CIA destroyed tapes of American officials committing torture. The American people deserve to know whether laws were violated and whether the President was directly involved in illegal activities. Torture is a black and white moral issue. A failure to act decisively in this case will be an unacceptable failure of leadership.
Torture is un-American, it violates international law, and it is wrong. And when I am President, I will make sure that those who are responsible for torture are held accountable for their actions.
And yet, in the thirteen months since winning back the House and Senate, Democrats in Congress have done too little to force this administration to stop torturing.Go read the rest.
Perhaps one reason that Bush and Cheney have been so comfortable with torture is that they feel they will never be held accountable for their actions.
Indeed, despite consistently stating that they can't accomplish anything because they lack a filibuster-proof majority, Senate Democrats failed even to block an Attorney General who equivocated on torture.
They have taken no action on the International Criminal Court.
They have failed to appoint a Special Prosecutor to provide for high-level accountability.
They failed to restore habeas corpus.
They have done nothing to enforce the Constitution or any of our laws against torture.
This must change. If Congress won't act, then our next President must.
The next President must be clearly and unequivocally committed to changing our country's stand on torture, and that is exactly what I pledge to do. Strong leaders are not afraid to be held accountable, nor are they afraid to hold others accountable for acts that we all know are wrong.
As soon I am inaugurated, I will order investigations to find out who is responsible for torture -- those who allowed it, those who sanctioned it, and those who carried it out. We can and will find out who is responsible.
And, once we've completed those investigations -- and if we find cause for prosecution -- I will insist on criminal prosecutions of anyone we find responsible for torture in this current administration. No one will be given a pass. NO ONE is above the law.
Full disclosure - I have been doing some consulting with the Richardson campaign.
November 20, 2007
Chris Dodd today released the following statement in response to the claims of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he "unknowingly passed along false information" to the American public and that "the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in [his] doing so," including the Vice-President and the President:
"Today's revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.
"During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew and when he knew it."
July 3, 2007
Here is more reaction from the authoritarian right.
According to their [liberal media]] logic President Bush should have looked away at what he saw as an injustice because Libby worked in the White House. Because Bush hasn’t commuted others that means Libby should be denied this action? How is that fair to Libby?
The two most important factors are Libby's public service and the fact that, at the time Libby made the false statements in question, the prosecutor already knew the answer to the question he had come to Washington to investigate. Indeed, it seems likely that but for the high profile and political context of the investigation, the prosecutor would not have asked Libby these questions.
Not only was no crime committed, but Joe Wilson comes out looking even worse than he already looks. ... And the whole incident started because Joe Wilson was more than willing to lie in an effort to get the Bush administration.
The case against "Scooter" Libby was a total fraud. Completely bogus. The publicity-mad demoness Valerie Plame was not a covert overseas agent at the time the whole megillah about her erupted. So there was no, none, nada, law breaking by reporting that she was a CIA employee.
Second, there was no reason for the special prosecutor, the full on publicity hound Mr. Fitzgerald, to have even gone on with the investigation for a week or even a day.
June 16, 2007
Right now the public 'knows' that in the last few years Congress went way out of control with the spending. And Republicans understand that the public 'knows' that Democrats tax and spend.
I'm not sure that the public knows - or cares - that it was the Republicans who controlled Congress who were the spenders. I am sure that they won't remember that for very long because it is not being repeated and is not being tied to a larger narrative about Republicans.
What is being repeated is that Democrats tax and spend. And the Republicans are busy reinforcing that: Bush blasts Democrats over budget spending,
"I will use my veto to stop tax increases and runaway spending that threaten the strength of our economy and the prosperity of our people," Bush said in his weekly radio address. He was spending the weekend at his Texas ranch.I wonder if the Democratic leadership understands what is happening. Everything that the public is upset about after years of Republican government is being transferred - in the public mind - over to them.
"By keeping taxes low and restraining federal spending, we can meet my plan to have a balanced budget by 2012," he said. "The Democrats in Congress are trying to take us in a different direction."
May 29, 2007
The cover-up continues. In a court filing the CIA-leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald makes it clear that "Scooter" Libby obstructed the investigation to discover who was behind the leak. That is the reason Libby was convicted of obstruction, and the reason no one has yet been indicted for the leak itself.
Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.And just WHO is the prosecutor talking about?
[. . .] Libby's lies, Fitzgerald wrote, "made impossible an accurate evaluation of the role that Mr. Libby and those with whom he worked played in the disclosure of information regarding Ms. Wilson's CIA employment and about the motivations for their actions."
Not clear on the concept yet? Fitzgerald adds: "To accept the argument that Mr. Libby's prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."
May 25, 2007
A new prescription:
May 18, 2007
So now the word seems to be rippling out about what has been going on in the Justice Department. Of course, bloggers have been shouting about how it was also going on in every department all along... And for once it seems like a few people beyond the bloggers actually care this time. I think at this point a majority of the informed opinion-leadership - all the liberals and even some of the conservatives (David Brooks on the NewsHour tonite, for example) - understand that the Bush administration has, basically, thrown away rule of law. The word "lawlessness" is coming up a lot.
But so what? We knew that. Great. Now more people know it. So what?
That's pretty much what Bush is saying, too. "So what? What are you going to do about it?"
And that's the question, isn't it?
Meanwhile, what does the public "know?" - in contrast to the opinion-leaders I mentioned. I scanned all three network news shows tonite and there was no mention of this supposedly huge scandal on any of them (unless I missed it.)*
But even if the public found out about all of this bruhaha -- and cared -- again, so what? No one is going to prosecute anyone for anything. I mean, they own the Justice Department and that's part of what this is about -- blocking prosecutions. They replaced everyone with Pat Robertson graduates like Monica Goodling, and fired prosecutors who were going after Republican corruption so, please, don't try to tell me anyone is going to be prosecuted.
The only "rule of law" solution available is impeachment. That ain't going to happen -- there are enough "movement" Republicans in the Senate to block impeachment even if it got that far.
So ... so what? Rule of law was so 20th-century.
May 7, 2007
When I started covering the pet food recall ... I thought that if this had happened to human food, it would have been taken more seriously.But no, now we know it IS in the human food chain, and it is NOT being taken seriously. We haven't even banned grain and other food imports from China until this is sorted out!
May 3, 2007
But remember: The FBI has de-emphasized right-wing extremist crimes and displaced them with an emphasis on "eco terror" as far as its chief domestic-terror concern. This is in no small part because this administration is being run by people who don't consider bombings and arson against abortion clinics to be terrorism.
[. . .] Of course, acknowledging that this is the case would require a major readjustment of the media's constructed narrative about the "war on terror." So it continues to turn a blind eye, and in the process it profoundly misinforms the public.
April 20, 2007
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales can resign or not - so what? The PROBLEM will remain. The PROBLEM is that we have 93 US Attorneys who have already proven - by not being fired - that they will indict innocent Democrats and ignore Republican corruption and criminality. THAT is the problem we have to do something about!
The Republicans learned in the 2006 election that lots of headlines about corruption influences votes. So the plan is to start investigating and indicting lots of Democrats - guilty or not - to provide plenty of 2008 election-time headlines. And the plan is to block as many investigations and indictments of corrupt Republicans as they can. (That brings other benefits to them as well...)
So Gonzales can resign or not - don't be distracted from thinking about how to stop what is coming.
Watch your backs!
April 14, 2007
This looks like it might be yet another political prosecution. This time it isn't a US Attorney engaging in a political prosecution in order to keep the job -- instead it involves one of those NEW, Rove-approved US Attorneys who replaced those US Attorneys fired for failing to engage in political prosecutions. This prosecution shows us what to expect from now on. This one is prosecuting a guy entirely for political and not legal reasons, AFTER the courts threw out the case AND after the judge said they should drop the charges.
This case is about medical marijuana. California voters passed an initiative allowing the use of marijuana for AIDS, cancer and other patients because it helps them to eat and reduces symptoms. The Christian Right doesn't like that so the Bush administration has been prosecuting people for Federal crimes - even though they are legally operating according to state law.
From the article, Prosecutors will retry Ed Rosenthal, known as the `guru of ganja',
Federal prosecutors said today they would retry marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal on cultivation charges, even after a federal judge urged them to drop the case and chastised the government for lodging charges solely to punish the self-proclaimed "guru of ganja."So here we go, another political prosecution from a Rove-connected prosecutor?
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer demanded to know who in the Department of Justice made the decision to continue pursuing Rosenthal, who had his original conviction overturned last year.
... Newly appointed U.S. Attorney Scott Schools made the decision, said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan, but he was not sure if Department of Justice officials in Washington were involved. [all emphasis added]
April 12, 2007
Here is how e-mail is typically stored: There are at least three hard drives where an e-mail is located: The sender, the server and the recipient. If there is more than one recipient of an e-mail the other recipient's hard drives will also have copies. (Webmail is another story...)
Even supposedly-deleted data would still be on each of these hard drive - marked as deleted but still there - unless it has been overwritten. That is not as likely these days with very large-capacity hard drives. A data recovery effort would locate the e-mails or report why not. If the erasure was due to normal file overwriting, this would be apparent. And if it was due to intentional erasure, this would also be apparent.
Media note: Suggested scandal nickname, DogAte.It's the crime and the coverup.
April 11, 2007
The background is that the law requirs the White House to preserve all official e-mails. So Rove and others instead used an e-mail server at the Republican Party (RNC) to try to get around this requirement. When Congress learned of this they asked for these e-mails. The White House now claims these were accidentally lost.
April 7, 2007
Is it just me, or does it seem to you like the media is much more in the tank for Bush and the right since the election?
On another subject, does it seem to you that the US Attorney scandal has faded from the news with nothing being done, leaving in place US Attorneys who let Republicans and corporate criminals off the hook, while investigating or indicting Democrats? My prediction - if these US Attorneys stay in place, the lead-up to the 2008 election will include LOTS of news stories about Democrats being investigated and indicted, and no stories about Republicans being investigated at all.
April 4, 2007
The Bush administration - again too clever by half.
Clever once: Recently Bush claimed that "executive privilege" prevents staff e-mails from being turned over to Congress. Except in an attempt to keep the e-mails away from legal scrutiny many were illegally routed through the Republican Party, which means they aren't privileged. Too clever by half.
Clever again: When the Bush administration fired US Attorney Iglesias because he didn't indict enough Democrats, they tried to explain it with a cover story claiming he was fired because he took too much time away from the office. Well, you see, Iglesias is a captain in the Navy Reserve. And there is a law that says you can't fire someone because they have to attend Reserve duty.
So Newsweek is reporting that,
Iglesias confirmed to NEWSWEEK that he was recently questioned by lawyers for the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal watchdog agency, to determine if his dismissal was a violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), a federal law that prohibits job discrimination against members of the U.S. military.
At the encouragement of Office of Special Counsel director Scott Bloch and his deputies, Iglesias said he is this week filing a formal legal complaint with OSC against the Justice Department over his dismissal on this and other grounds.
I learned about this through TPMmuckraker April 4, 2007 04:56 PM
March 15, 2007
The US Attorney scandal is not about miscommunication of the reasons for the firings. This is what the US Attorney scandal is about:
Bush fired US Attorneys:
1) To block investigations into Republican corruption.
2) For refusing to launch sham investigations of Democrats who were innocent of any and all accusations.
For example, the prosecutor who indicted Duke Cunningham was fired.
And before THIS round of firings, there was this: Bush picks Abramoff prosecutor for federal judgeship / Democrats wonder about the timing of president's move,
..Hillman's departure from the Justice Department creates a vacancy at the top of the Abramoff investigation only three weeks after Abramoff, once one of the city's most powerful Republican lobbyists and a major fund-raiser for Bush, announced his guilty plea and agreed to testify against others, possibly including members of Congress.And how many indictments of others, based on Abramoff's testimony, followed the exit of this prosecutor?
There are serious Republican corruption scandals out there, but now there are no US Attorneys who will investigate them. And here's the thing - if things do not change, in the months before the 2008 elections the public will be hearing about lots of Democrats being indicted for corruption.
Watch your backs!
March 14, 2007
The other day I wrote about the "Clinton fired 93 US attorneys" nonsense. It must have "tested well" with an important target group that the right wants to bamboozle, because now you're hearing it repeated everywhere.
First, in the current scandal Bush fired US Attorneys: (according to the fired US Attys themselves, as well as White House e-mails obtained yesterday)
1) Specifically to block investigations into Republican corruption investigations.
2) For refusing to launch sham investigations of Democrats who were innocent of any and all accusations.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AGAnd tell friends and relatives about this as well.
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2001
TDD (202) 514-1888
WHITE HOUSE AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
BEGIN U.S. ATTORNEY TRANSITION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Continuing the practice of new administrations, President Bush and the Department of Justice have begun the transition process for most of the 93 United States Attorneys.
Attorney General Ashcroft said, "We are committed to making this an orderly transition to ensure effective, professional law enforcement that reflects the President 's priorities."
In January of this year, nearly all presidential appointees from the previous administration offered their resignations. Two Justice Department exceptions were the United States Attorneys and United States Marshals.
Prior to the beginning of this transition process, nearly one-third of the United States Attorneys had already submitted their resignations. The White House and the Department of Justice have begun to schedule transition dates for most of the remaining United States Attorneys to occur prior to June of this year. President Bush will make announcements regarding his nominations to the Senate of new United States Attorneys as that information becomes available. Pending confirmation of the President's nominees, the Attorney General will make appointments of Interim United States Attorneys for a period of 120 days (28USC546). Upon the expiration of that appointment, the authority rests with the United States District Court (28USC546(d)).
BUSH fired all the US Attorneys when he came into office. So does EVERY President. It has nothing to do with the current scandal.
March 13, 2007
The fact is that EVERY President changes the US Attorneys when taking office. Bush also did the same thing when he took office. That is different. This has never happened before. THIS scandal is about Bush using the federal prosecutors to only go after Democrats, and to ignore crimes by Republicans.
And here's the thing. The ones that were fired were let go because they wouldn't "play ball." So the question is, what about the ones who were not fired?
It is one more example of how the entire government has been converted into a Party apparatus - as well as working to further the interests of the K-Street/Abramoff corruption machine. You hear about Interior Department employees ordered not to discuss global warming. You hear about the head of HUD telling underlings not to give contracts to Democrats. You hear over and over about "conected" companies getting huge no-bid contracts with no accountability...
IF Bush gets away with this - if the current prosecutors, Attorney General, Bush, etc. remain in place - come election time 2008 the only news the PUBLIC will be hearing is news about federal indictments of corrupt Democrats. That's what this is about.
Update - CREW calls for a Special Prosecutor because obviously the Bush Justice Department isn't going to investigate. But who appoints the special prosecutor?
CREW wants the immediate appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate potential criminal violations related to the recent dismissals of eight U.S. Attorneys. Recent revelations indicate that a top-ranking Department of Justice official knew that statements made by top Department officials were not true. Clearly, the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself and prosecute the misconduct of DOJ officials. CREW also asked the Department of Justice’s Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate the situation.
March 12, 2007
The current scandal over political use of US Attorneys is not the first one. In 2002 Bush blocked a corruption investigation into Jack Abramoff by firing the US Attorney just as he was closing in. Bush replaced him with a cousin of one of the targets -- who had been recommended by the local Republican Party.
A 2005 story, Bush removal ended Guam investigation,
A US grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor, and the probe ended soon after.Go read about it.
The Republican corruption machine was in full operation by 2002. Here was Bush covering up Abramoff's crimes by firing a prosecutor.
The statute of limitations has not yet run out on this.
January 12, 2007
Bush is still president, and still has the power to fire prosecutors who go after Republican corruption.
Carole Lam, the San Diego U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the corrupt former lawmaker, is being quietly pushed out by the Bush administration.
January 7, 2007
The question that has never been satisfactorily answered - WHY did we invade Iraq? If you ask 100 people you will get 50 different answers - which means that no one really understands.
Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.Maybe that explains this, from the "Energy Task Force" that did its work BEFORE the invasion, Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Detail Iraqi Oil Industry:
The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.
The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.
Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq's oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.
Judicial Watch (search), a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq's oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled "Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."
January 4, 2007
Energy giant ExxonMobil borrowed tactics from the tobacco industry to raise doubt about climate change, spending $16 million on groups that question global warming, a science watchdog group said on Wednesday.
"ExxonMobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile , Research) has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists said at a telephone news conference releasing the report.
An ExxonMobil spokesman did not respond immediately to calls for comment.
... U.S. tobacco companies used these tactics for decades to hide the hazards of smoking, and were found liable in federal court last year for violating racketeering laws. [emphasis added]
See also AP - Group: ExxonMobil paid to mislead public
Finally, see this from September, The Denial Industry,
ExxonMobil Corp. gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in an effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted Wednesday.
The report by the advocacy group mirrors similar claims by Britain's leading scientific academy. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the oil company asking it to halt support for groups that "misrepresented the science of climate change."
... ExxonMobil lists on its Web site nearly $133 million in 2005 contributions globally, including $6.8 million for "public information and policy research" distributed to more than 140 think tanks, universities, foundations, associations and other groups. Some of those have publicly disputed any link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' strategy and policy director, said in a teleconference that ExxonMobil based its tactics on those of tobacco companies, spreading uncertainty by misrepresenting peer-reviewed scientific studies or emphasizing only selected facts.
Dr. James McCarthy, a professor at Harvard University, said the company has sought to "create the illusion of a vigorous debate" about global warming.
For years, a network of fake citizens' groups and bogus scientific bodies has been claiming that science of global warming is inconclusive. They set back action on climate change by a decade. But who funded them? Exxon's involvement is well known, but not the strange role of Big Tobacco. In the first of three extracts from his new book, George Monbiot tells a bizarre and shocking new story.
December 27, 2006
Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, which prevented a full criminal investigation and trial. He felt it would help to heal the country, which had been through assassinations, riots and the divisive Vietnam war. But the pardon had the unintended consequence of creating an impression that those in the highest office really aren't accountable to the public if their actions violate the law.
Four years later the Reagan administration picked up right where Nixon's had left off, and got caught. Other select insiders made the decision not to pursue Reagan.
As chair of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, Hamilton chose not to investigate President Ronald Reagan or President George H. W. Bush, stating that he did not think it would be "good for the country" to put the public through another impeachment trial.At a time when thousands were being sent away for years for smoking a joint or doing a line, the country was learning that things really are different for those at the very top.
Bush1 then pardoned everyone involved, especially those being pressured by Lawrence Walsh to testify against him for his own possibly criminal part in it. The public got the message clearly that time.
So by the time Clinton took office the public was ready to believe that all of the country's leaders are corrupt and pay no price for it. The conservatives had an opening to demand that a President finally be held to account. It's the old Seeing the Forest Rule: Republicans accuse others of what they are in fact doing themselves. They accused Clinton of everything, but the investigations found nothing. They impeached him anyway. Now the public understood just who the rules were for and not for. After what Nixon, Reagan and Bush1 had gotten away with, Clinton didn't even have to break any rules, yet he was impeached.
And so here we are. Bush2 can do anything with impunity - and says so with a smirk. His cronies loot, lie and steal. The public and especially the Washington insider class are conditioned to accept that this is the way things are done. All partly tracable back to Ford's subversion of accountability. A mistake. A big one.
Let's learn from Ford's mistake. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE! Demand that the actions of those in power in the last six years are investigated and any crimes discovered are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Let's set the country and democracy back on course.
November 3, 2006
In years past this alone would have been a major story and the corruption involved would not be tolerated. But this year it's just one more thing - a relatively small thing. We all know what is behing it - payments from lobbyists. The people involved will be leaving the government soon to "work" at the oil companies for unusually high pay. Gov't drops demand for Chevron royalty,
The department's Minerals Management Service had maintained that Chevron owed an additional $6 million for gas it took under federal leases in the Gulf between 1996 and 2002 and sold to Dynegy Inc., a company Chevron partially owns.The story comes on the same day as a larger story about the Republican Congress getting rid of the only agency conducting ANY oversight of Iraq spending. This is just two stories about corruption today. There will be two more tomorrow and the day after...
Essentially, the government argued that Chevron undervalued the gas it sold to Dynegy. Chevron paid royalties based on a price that didn't represent fair market value, the government auditors said.
But last summer, the government quietly rescinded its demand for the additional royalties. That decision was reported Tuesday by the New York Times, based on documents the newspaper obtained through a freedom of information request.
October 18, 2006
Here's something very important that dropped out of the news. After ignoring bin Laden from the time they came into office, the Bush administration also ignored very clear warnings that an attack was imminent. (Except Atty. General Ashcroft didn't ignore them - he started chartering jets instead of flying on commercial airlines.)
Remember this? Two Months Before 9/11, an Urgent Warning to Rice,
On July 10, 2001, two months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet met with his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, at CIA headquarters to review the latest on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Black laid out the case, consisting of communications intercepts and other top-secret intelligence showing the increasing likelihood that al-Qaeda would soon attack the United States. It was a mass of fragments and dots that nonetheless made a compelling case, so compelling to Tenet that he decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately.And this?
Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from the car and said he needed to see her right away. There was no practical way she could refuse such a request from the CIA director.
For months, Tenet had been pressing Rice to set a clear counterterrorism policy, including specific presidential orders called "findings" that would give the CIA stronger authority to conduct covert action against bin Laden. Perhaps a dramatic appearance -- Black called it an "out of cycle" session, beyond Tenet's regular weekly meeting with Rice -- would get her attention.
A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.And this? Think Progress: Intel Officials: Rice’s July 2001 Briefing Described Urgent Threat, ‘10 On a Scale of 1 to 10′
... Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.
According to two former intelligence officials, Mr. Tenet told those assembled at the White House about the growing body of intelligence the Central Intelligence Agency had collected pointing to an impending Al Qaeda attack.
Simon Rosenberg is launching NDN :: Campaign to Get Condi to Come Clean
Go read the rest.
Four Questions Secretary of State Rice must answer about the July 10th Meeting
Over the last two weeks conclusive evidence has emerged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received warnings
about imminent Al Qaeda attacks well before September 11th 2001.
Bob Woodward’s State of Denial provides specific details of an emergency meeting held on July 10th between Rice and CIA Director George Tenet and Director of the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center Coffer Black. In his crisis briefing Tenet warned of an imminent Al Qaeda strike, possibly in the United States.
Yet in statement after statement Rice has implied that she was not adequately warned about possible Al Qaeda attacks, and that she was not told of a possible attack on the United States. Meanwhile, details of this emergency meeting did not appear in the official report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (the 9/11 commission,) despite being covered in depth by Tenet in his sworn testimony and reported by Time Magazine in 2002.
NDN believes that the Secretary of State must answer these four critical questions about the July 10th meeting. If she does not provide honest and adequate answers to these four questions, the American people will be forced to conclude that she and others lied about what they knew to cover up their inadequate response to the Al Qaeda threat.
Question 1: Why do you continue to deny that an “emergency meeting” took place on July 10th 2001 between yourself, CIA Director George Tenet and Director of the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center Coffer Black?
AND Go sign this petition, demanding Declassification and Release of Documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting!
From October 12-17, CNN aired 3,361 words about allegations that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) improperly reported a land deal in which he made $700,000.
Seventeen different CNN transcripts in the Nexis database include mention of the Reid land deal -- and that doesn't even count October 18, when CNN has aired at least one more lengthy segment on the deal.
By comparison, CNN has aired only 65 words about a land deal in which House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) made nearly $2 million, a story which was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times on June 15. By contrast, the Reid land deal first broke a week ago, when the Associated Press reported on October 11 that Reid had made $700,000 "on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years."
October 3, 2006
Heh, this is good. What do you do when you have a big problem with a Congressman, and it threatens your party in the upcoming election? The answer is so easy ... just say he ISN'T in your party - he's in the OTHER party! Heh. Heh. Man, they're good.
See the photo at the b side: FOX NEWS LIES!
Heh. Man, they're good.
WHile we're talking about REPUBLICAN Congressman Foley, I saw my favorite-ever first line in a newspaper story today:
Five weeks before a midterm election, when Republicans are already on the ropes, the last thing the GOP needed was a homosexual pedophilia scandal.Heh.
Think about this. The conservatives have been pounding the public with propaganda for more than thirty years, and progressives have not responded at all. So there are people under a certain age who have never - repeat never - heard the case for why someone should vote for a Democrat.
Josh writes,Is it me or is all hell breaking loose in this country's politics? We're in the last month of an election cycle and there are maybe four or five stories, each of which could totally dominate the national political news on their own. And each is flaming out of control at once. You've got the Foley debacle. The revelations in the Woodward book. The NIE revelations that almost seem like old news now. A major part of the pre-9/11 story that somehow never saw the light of day and may bring down Condi Rice. And did I mention the election?Don't forget the polls.
But, will it matter?
First, we have Congressional districts drawn in a way that makes it nearly impossible to oust an incumbent. Next, the public is seriously tuned out with very few voting. The Republican strategy of pounding the public with negativity only reinforces that. Finally, while there are a lot of things in the news that would make one think Republicans aren't going to get votes, I have not seen anything to inspire people to vote for Democracts. In fact, my reading of the public is that they think the problem is that the Republicans are not conservative enough.
Remember the story that Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial airliners a couple of months before 9/11?
Now we learn that there was a CIA warning in July - a meeting at the White House where the head of the CIA tried to get the Bush administration TO DO SOMETHING. And they did nothing. Except Ashcroft -- he stopped flying on commercial airlines.
The Mahablog ｻ Moment of Truth? lays it all out for you. Go read.
October 2, 2006
Republicans have been trying to make a case that Foleygate was planned by Democrats because CREW had the e-mails some time ago, yet nothing was investigated. However, CREW gave the e-mails to the FBI. So CREW fires back: Breaking: CREW asks DOJ to find out why the FBI did not investigate Foley emails | Citizens Blogging for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington,
Today, CREW asked the Inspector General at the Department of Justice to investigate why the FBI did not pursue an investigation of the Foley emails. CREW received copies of the emails on July 21, 2006 and immediately forwarded them to the FBI. It appears that no investigation took place and CREW wants to know why.
One question stands out -- WHY did the Republican leadership keep Foley in place after they learned what he was doing? Mary at Pacific Views asks,Was It Blackmail?,
My answer is what better way to make sure someone does your bidding?Of course go read the whole thing.
After all, this is the Republican Party built by Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed. ... How he was able to hammer the Republicans into doing his bidding. Then consider, what are some things that make people do things that they might not normally do?
Another question to get more insight what might be happening: what did the KGB do when they wanted to turn a spy? They used a couple of approaches: they found something in the private life of the spy to hold over them or they found a way to compromise them with something they wanted. It's one of main reasons that spies are watched for affairs (and being a closeted gay was considered to be a major security risk) or for spending extra money.
August 29, 2006
The summary of the ... inspector general’s report said the United States attorney’s office in Washington had been given the report and decided not to conduct a criminal inquiry into the matter.
- ... improperly hired a friend on the public payroll for nearly $250,000...
- ... used his government office for personal business, including running a “horse racing operation” in which he supervised a stable of thoroughbreds he named after leaders from Afghanistan, including President Hamid Karzai and the late Ahmed Shah Massoud...
- ... repeatedly used government employees to do his personal errands and that he billed the government for more days of work than the rules permit...
- ... hiring of phantom or unqualified employees...
- ... violated rules meant to insulate public television and radio from political influence...
His renomination by President Bush to another term ... is pending before the Senate. ... Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman, said President Bush continues to support Mr. Tomlinson’s renomination.
Read this story, written by Bob Johnson, running for Congress in New York's 23rd CD, about extensive corruption in US Government contractiing in Iraq (and follow the links). Daily Kos: Judge: Contractors Are Above the Law; We Can Fight Back. And here's the key line:
And the Republican government has actively blocked all efforts at investigating this in any way.And how can this continue?
The committees responsible in the House, especially the Armed Services Committee ... have, to my knowledge, not held a single hearing on this matter. Every attempt at even holding hearings gets bottled up in the Rules Committee in the House. The corruption is so obvious and blatant, and the efforts to block looking into it so complete, it's hard not to get the feeling that it's deliberate.Here's one part of the problem: The corruption is so extenive and so profound, and so un-reported in the media, that YOU sound like a crazy person, a fanatic, if you try to tell people what is going on!
The Republican Congress blocks oversight hearings into the corruption. The Republican Justice Department blocks investigations and harasses whistleblowers. Republican judges throw the cases out of court. And the corrupt contractors kick back a portion of the tax-dollars they are paid to fund the machine that keeps them in office.
August 12, 2006
Remember how Bush received an August, 2001 CIA warning that bin Laden was going to use airplanes to attack America -- and went on vacation instead of acting on the warning? Here we go again: AMERICAblog: With America under "imminent attack," Bush stays on vacation and holds a BBQ at his ranch for rich Republican donors
March 2, 2006
In case you missed the importance of the Katrina Video story, Video: Bush knew of levee risk, after the hurricane, when FEMA and the Bush administration were being criticized for their (lack of) performance, this was Bush's statement:
Bush, in post-hurricane comments, insisted that his administration had no warning that the levees were in danger.But the videotapes tell a very different story:
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees,'' Bush said Sept. 1. "They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And, as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded.''
President Bush was warned about Hurricane Katrina's devastating impact on New Orleans' levees before the storm hit, according to transcripts of emergency briefings that Bush received. The transcripts appear to contradict his assertions that no one anticipated the failure of levees that flooded the city.Bush, caught in a flat-out lie.
Transcripts of the briefings, first reported by the Associated Press and also obtained by Knight Ridder, show that Bush was told in stark detail about Katrina's potential deadly impact and that he heard a top hurricane expert express "grave concerns'' about the ability of the levees to withstand what turned out to be a catastrophic hurricane. They also show that Bush asked no questions.
Former FEMA Director Michael Brown said that before the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast, he and the nation's top hurricane scientist did all they could to convince Bush, the White House staff and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that "the big one'' was about to happen.
"I don't know how he couldn't understand how bad it was or bad it could be,'' Brown said in an interview with Knight Ridder, referring to Bush.
National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield worried about breached levees, and Brown talked about how the Superdome, which was destined to be the home for thousands of evacuees, was below sea level and at risk of flooding. He also talked about trouble evacuating prisons and hospitals -- all before Katrina hit.
And with all those warnings, why didn't Bush or his administration do anything to prepare, to make sure everything was in oace, to get resources where they were needed, or to help the victims after the hurricane hit? Because Bush was on vacaton and was not paying any attention.
The news that Bush was warned in advance about Katrina's destructive power is another blow to an administration whose integrity and competence has come under fire for its response to the hurricane, the ill-fated Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination, its handling of a transaction that would let a United Arab Emirates company manage cargo terminals at six major U.S. ports, and its conduct of the war in Iraq.Yep.
"It's devastating that the president would ask no questions,'' said David Gergen... "If he sat there mum in a full briefing . . . that will only confirm the suspicions of a lot of opponents.''
February 22, 2006
Dick Cheney, kicked out of college for drinking, convicted twice for DUI, who says he "only had one beer" before shooting a guy in the face with a shotgun and then not following his friend to the hospital after, then described as fixing himself a cocktail after the shooting before going to a dinner party, and then using the Secret Service to keep the sherriff away until at least the next day...
Capitol Hill Blue - Secret Service agents say Cheney was drunk when he shot lawyer. Is this POSSIBLE???
A written report from Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago says Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.
February 19, 2006
Think Progress catches something from the Sunday-morning talk shows. A top Cheney advisor won't answer whether Cheney had MORE than one beer before shooting his friend in the face. Go read.
February 17, 2006
Political analyst Brian Darling from the Heritage Foundation says the accident [Cheney shooting] is just being used for political purposes.
BRIAN DARLING: As you can see these ethical controversies and this accident is being used for political purposes and it detracts from the real issues that the American people care about.
Picked up from satellite after broadcast feed cut off...
Parrot: "Awk! Used for political purposes! Awk! Detracts from the real issues!"
Producer: "O.K. We're off the air!"
Parrot: "Awk! Where's Big Time and the Boy Genius?!? Awk! Polly wanna cracker and a beer! Awk! Spin spin spin! Awk! Awk! Awk! Conflate ethical scandal with accident, dismiss both! Awk! Polly want a tenured fellowship with six figure stipend! Awk!"
Producer: "What?!? Cut the feed you dolt! Turd Blossom is going to..."
In case you are interested, the source for the quote above is a transcript from an Australian radio show, "The World Today"... one of the most ridiculously lousy excuses for "journalism" I've seen in a long time.
February 15, 2006
He was drinking all day:Cheney drank before shooting his pal,Cheney said he drank a beer with lunch the day of the shooting, according to his interview. ... after the accident occurred, [he] fixed himself a cocktail."...the secret service "made an appointment" with the sheriff's office for the next day and ran off the deputy who showed up to interview Cheney at the ranch.
Cheney must consume a virtual cocktail of drugs every day because of his heart condition. I wonder what kind of reaction throwing alcohol into the mix might have.Dick Cheney's Delay,
What is the most likely thing to happen during a 14 hour delay that is worth the negative publicity? One possibility is that it takes approximately that period of time for alcohol to dissipate in the body and no longer be subject to accurate testing. It is fairly common for people involved in alcohol-related accidents to delay reporting them until the alcohol has left the body.If The Shooter Was Tight, You Must Indict
From the NRA website:Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
February 14, 2006
If the hospital equipment is accurate, however, then someone using a shotgun other than a Perazzi Brescia 28-gauge fired the shot that wounded Harry Whittington.Note - almost certainly a mistake in reporting the size of the pellet.
While gunshot-victim Whittington's children wait to see if their father lives or dies from pellets in his heart, Republican Congressman Stacey Campfield "jokes" about it, and advocates shooting lawyers and Democrats:
Dead eye Dick CheneyFrom Crooks and Liars
"Our VP is now clearly pro gun and anti lawyer. I say not a bad start. I am taking up a collection to send a few democrats off on a hunting trip..."
he White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting accident is to joke about it.And now this news:
President Bush's spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn't be confused for hunter's safety wear.
"The orange that they're wearing is not because they're concerned that the vice president may be there," joked White House press secretary Scott McClellan, following the lead of late-night television comedians. "That's why I'm wearing it."
The president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, took a similar jab after slapping an orange sticker on his chest from the Florida Farm Bureau that read, "No Farmers, No Food."
"I'm a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in," the governor cracked during an appearance in Tampa Monday.
The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice PresidentSometimes reality just gets in the darn way of a good propaganda point.
Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday.
Meanwhile on Limbaugh people were calling and actually CRYING because of the terrible mean way the liberalmedia is treating this great man Dick Cheney.
February 13, 2006
Someone on CNN just said all this is just an attempt to "get" Dick Cheney, that all the liberals can be expected to make this a big deal and mock him.
Someone else was talking about how Cheney is such a good hunter, that he's seen him actually raise his gun when a car drives by in the line of fire, even a dog!
And another was on saying that the idiot that got shot had walked behind Cheney without announcing himself. Maybe I should have named the post "Assclown With Gun - Beware!"
More questions, maybe more lies. Secret Service keeping the legal authorities away from Cheney? Sounds like someone might have been drunk. But even that doesn't explain keeping the whole thing a secret for almost a day. CBS News | Reporting Lag In Cheney Shooting ,
CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer reports Texas authorities are complaining that the Secret Service barred them from speaking to Cheney after the incident. Kenedy County Texas Sheriffs Lt. Juan Guzman said deputies first learned of the shooting when an ambulance was called.And then there is the story that it was not reported because Cheney was too concerned about the guy he shot to be reporting things. That would be Cheney, all the others present, the Secret Service, the entire White House staff, etc. all crowded around the guy, all too concerned to tell anyone. Sheesh.
But the Secret Service told a different story, saying agents had informed the local sheriff of the shooting about an hour after it happened and that the vice president had been interviewed about the accident by local authorities on Sunday morning, CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante reports.