Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Hammer keeps going

In a move borne of what could only be either colossal stupidity or amazing loyalty, Tom DeLay, the money launde...er, I mean, the alleged money launderer, won the Republican primary election in Texas for his House seat.

DeLay, 58, held on to his ballot position by avoiding public discussions of his considerable political problems _ a felony money-laundering indictment, close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the loss of his leadership position.

Instead, DeLay campaigned at carefully orchestrated events, avoided direct interviews with reporters and largely focused on his hometown of Sugar Land. It paid off with a 2-to-1 victory margin over lawyer Tom Campbell, who had ties to the first President Bush's administration, and two other candidates.
You know, sometimes words fail me. This is almost one of those times, but I just had to mention that at least Ohio voters had the good sense to get rid of Rep. Jim Traficant, who ran as an independent after he was sent to a federal prison in White Deer, Pennsylvania. (That he still received 15% of the vote in that election amazes me, though.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Yessiree, the USA PATRIOT Act is nothing to be afraid of...

Unless you happen to have some credit card debt, that is. Yes, really.

This is what they call in the television and radio news biz a "teaser"...

[Walter and Deana Soehnge] paid down some debt. The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.

And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable.

And all they did was pay down their debt. They didn't call a suspected terrorist on their cell phone. They didn't try to sneak a machine gun through customs.

They just paid a hefty chunk of their credit card balance. And they learned how frighteningly wide the net of suspicion has been cast.

Read the rest if you think you're safe from investigation. Read it even if you don't.

(Found originally at J. Francis Lehman's blog.)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A civic duty

I feel that I would be remiss if I did not pass this along. It is, originally, from ColorOfChange.org and it's been slightly edited, not for content, but just to stick the links inline with the text rather than putting them on separate lines.

I'm not sure if you've heard, but President Bush has been exposed as a liar. It's because of video footage just released by the Associated Press that proves he deceived the public when he claimed to have had no idea what Katrina could do.

I've joined ColorOfChange.org's campaign to call on Congress to censure the President for misleading the American people.

The day before Hurricane Katrina hit, experts personally warned Bush about the coming disaster. He knew the levees might fail, and he knew the Superdome might not be safe. But he did nothing.

Four days later, Bush pretended that there was no way to know the devastation Katrina would bring. He said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." While Bush failed to act, 1,300 people died, and thousands more suffered unimaginable trauma and loss.

It's unacceptable. Using the ColorOfChange.org website, I just sent a letter to my representatives in Congress demanding that they censure President Bush. This means Congress would officially denounce the President for his failure to protect the people of the Gulf Coast – and his failure to be honest about it afterwards.

I wanted you to know about this effort, and wanted to invite you to join me. It's easy, and together we can make a big difference. Just click here:


There are more details in this New York Times article. It seems that former head of FEMA Michael Brown really may have been a scapegoat after all.

All of this just makes me absolutely sick. Perhaps after I've let it sink in for a bit, I can post up more details for those who don't feel like reading other articles.

More on the issue that just won't die

Two more interesting connections between Dubai Ports World and the Bush administration that just came before me today.

Secretary of Treasury John Snow was the chairman of CSX, which, as I stated in a previous post, sold its port services to DPW for $1.15 billion in 2004. Also, David Sanborn, who leads the US Maritime Administration, runs DPW's European and Latin American arms.

According to the preceding link to the San Jose Mercury News,

"It always raises flags" when administration officials have ties to a firm, Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., said, but insisted that stopping the deal was more important.

The New York Daily News has learned that lawmakers also want to know if a detailed 45-day investigation should have been conducted instead of one that lasted no more than 25 days.

According to a 1993 congressional measure, the longer review is mandated when the company is owned by a foreign government and the purchase "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S."
All of this has been taking a toll on GOP support for President Bush. From the Washington Post:

The first heading on the issues page of Rep. Mark Foley's Web site brags that he is "one of President Bush's strongest supporters in Congress." The Florida Republican voted for the president's legislation 90 percent of the time, according to the Web site, "the 3rd highest ranking among the Florida delegation."

Now the Florida delegation's third-strongest Bush supporter is on the front lines of the Republican revolt against the president on the deal to turn over key operations at six U.S. ports to a United Arab Emirates company. Republicans who once marched in lock step behind their president on national security are increasingly willing to challenge him in an area considered his political strength.
Of course, I can't help but think that their distance from Bush has nothing to do with a sudden grip on morality and everything to do with looming elections, but then again, nobody has ever accused me of not being cynical.