Monday, December 31, 2007

John Edwards on Labor

John Edwards on Selecting a VP and Cabinet Members

Edwards sees cash bonus from Iowa win

By MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer ;

DENISON, Iowa - John Edwards predicts his financial disadvantage against Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama would be quickly overcome if he were to pull off a victory in the Iowa presidential caucuses Thursday.

"It's just reality that if you win the Iowa caucuses, the money pours in," Edwards said in an Associated Press interview Sunday. "It's almost like you cannot process it because it comes in so fast. There will be plenty of money to run the campaign."

After months of being seemingly stuck in third place in most polls, Edwards has climbed into a virtual tie in recent surveys and has drawn large, enthusiastic crowds on a well-trod route through the state since his second-place finish here in 2004.

"Everything's very encouraging. I think more important than the polling, the tremendous energy," Edwards said Monday. "There's lots of excitement, clearly good things are happening and there's a lot of energy and momentum here in Iowa."

After a Son’s Death, a Shared Mission in Politics

From The New York Times By KATE ZERNIKE;

In an instant, a world in which everything seemed right suddenly seemed all wrong. John and Elizabeth Edwards’s 16-year-old son, Wade, their first-born, was dead, with nothing to blame but the gust of wind that had flipped his car off a wide-open road.

As the couple walked down the aisle of the church for his funeral, they braced each other, friends recalled, as if they could not stand alone.

In the bleak months that followed, the Edwardses looked for ways to keep Wade’s name alive, taking comfort even in seeing it printed on credit-card offers that arrived in the mail. Determined to honor their son publicly and fill their life with meaning, they created a learning center named after him. They chose to have more children. And they decided Mr. Edwards would enter politics, a path that took him first to the United States Senate and now to his second run for the presidency. Read Full Article.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Hampshire Race Tightens as Edwards Surges

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire;

A new American Research Group poll in New Hampshire finds the Democratic presidential race tightening and the Republican race deadlocked.Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads with 31% followed by Sen. Barack Obama at 27% and John Edwards at 21%. The poll has a margin of error of 4 points.Key finding: Clinton has dropped 7 points in two weeks while Edwards has gained 6 points and Obama has gained 3 points. Undeclared voters provide positive playback for Edwards based on his television advertising running in New Hampshire and this is reflected in the ballot results. Edwards now leads Obama among undeclared voters 38% to 23%.

Edwards: Fighting Corporate Greed Will Rally Democrats, Republicans, And Independents

On day four of his "America Rising" tour, Edwards says corporate greed hurts everyone and Democrats, Republicans and Independents will work to wrestle power back to the middle class

Boone, Iowa – Today at a community meeting in Boone, Iowa, Senator John Edwards said that Democrats, Republicans and Independents must work together to fight the corporate greed that is destroying the middle class. Edwards' remarks calling on politicians to work across party lines to fix the broken system in Washington come on day four of his "America Rising: Fighting for the Middle Class" bus tour across Iowa. During the final days leading up to the caucuses, Edwards is visiting 38 counties and meeting with thousands of caucus goers to share with them his plans to stand up to powerful interests and make sure hard-working middle class families can get ahead.

"To get real change, we need a president who will stand up against the big corporations and powerful interests who control Washington," Edwards said today at his "Countdown to Caucus" event in Boone. "We need somebody who is going to fight this fight and win this fight. But I'm not talking about going to Washington as president and fighting politicians.

"I want to be absolutely clear that the corporate greed that is destroying the middle class of this country and stealing your children's future, it is stealing the future of Democrats' children, Independents' children, Republicans' children, " Edwards continued. "I'm telling you, this is a message and a cause we can unite America around."

Edwards comes from a working class family and has spent his life standing up to powerful interests and fighting for regular Americans like the ones he grew up with. As president, he will continue to stand up to these interests and bring change to America. He believes every time we fight for jobs, families, the middle class, universal health care, and an end to poverty, America rises.

AP Interview: Edwards on populist theme

CARROLL, Iowa - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Sunday defended his relentless assault on corporations and special interests, dismissing criticism that his pointed populist message is too divisive.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the 2004 vice presidential nominee argued that his oft-repeated theme would unite the nation and force a political realignment heading into November's general election. Edwards explained that he offered this argument during campaign stops in Iowa on Sunday to ease fears about his electability.

"I believe it's true," Edwards said. "It's not divisive at all, it's uniting. Most Americans feel that the economy, the government is not working for them because corporate greed and influence have far too big an effect on issues that affect their lives." Read More

Elizabeth Edwards - Boone, Iowa

Elizabeth introduces John Edwards in Boone, Iowa.

Iowa: Edwards Surges

DES MOINES, Iowa — John Edwards has clawed his way into contention to win Iowa's caucuses on Thursday in the first vote for the Democratic presidential nomination, gaining strength even as rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have lost ground, according to a new McClatchy-MSNBC poll. Read More.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Edwards Campaign Unveils Unprecedented "Ask John" Program To Reach Undecided Iowans In Final Week

Independence, Iowa – On day two of John Edwards' 38-county "America Rising: Fighting for the Middle Class" tour, the Edwards campaign announced the "Ask John" program -- giving undecided Iowans the opportunity to ask questions about any issues that concern them and get answers before they caucus. With just one week to go before caucus night, the program reflects Edwards' commitment to discussing his bold, specific agenda directly with Iowa caucus goers and answering their questions about the issues that are important to them.

"I believe that anyone running for president has an obligation to listen to the voices of regular people and answer their questions directly," Edwards said. "In these final seven days, I want every Iowan who has a question to know exactly where I stand and what I'll do to take on the special interests and give middle class Americans a voice in Washington."

While other candidates are sending out-of-state surrogates to counties the candidates themselves have never seen, Edwards is making the commitment to respond to questions from Iowans in all 99 counties. Edwards is the only candidate in the race who has visited and answered questions in every county in Iowa. The campaign designed the "Ask John" program to answer as many questions as possible, from as many places in Iowa as possible, in the final days before the caucuses.

"I strongly believe that whether you're from Des Moines or Harlan, every caucus goer deserves to hear from each candidate about what that person will do as president to fix the broken system in Washington that puts corporate interests ahead of working Americans," Edwards said.
Undecided Iowa caucus goers can "Ask John" in one of three ways:

At events during Edwards' on-going 38 county tour

Through a new Web site the campaign launched today -- www.johnedwards.com/askjohn

By calling Edwards' Iowa Campaign Headquarters at (515) 288-0766

The "Ask John" program will allow Edwards to answer questions from all 99 counties -- an extension of his status as the only candidate who has personally answered questions from Iowans in all 99 counties. As part of the campaign's focus on undecided voters, Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, and senior campaign staff members will also answer questions by phone and email -- including organizing special phonebanks to answer questions from "Ask John" questioners.
The campaign will ensure that every questioner receives a response by caucus night.

John Edwards - On the Road with James Lowe

John Edwards met James Lowe on the campaign trail several months ago in Wise, Virginia. James was born with a cleft palate and -- because he couldn't afford health care -- was unable to speak for 50 years. In this video, James Lowe joins John Edwards in Iowa.

Lee poll shows 3-way race among Democrats

From The Quad City Times;

" DES MOINES — A new Iowa caucus poll for the Quad-City Times and Lee Enterprises newspapers shows the Democratic race is a virtual three-way tie, with John Edwards rising to tie Barack Obama for the lead and Hillary Clinton rising to just one point behind...."

"The poll, conducted with 500 likely caucus-goers from each party on Wednesday and Thursday, showed Edwards and Obama tied with 29 percent to lead Democrats, followed by Clinton with 28 percent. Bill Richardson was fourth with 7 percent. Joe Biden was fifth with 3 percent. Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich both had 1 percent, and 2 percent were undecided...."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hillary Clinton and Iran: "Trust"

Can we trust Hillary Clinton to stand up to Republicans on war with Iran? If she can't even stand up to their war propaganda, how can we trust her to stand up to their war policies?


Under Attack, Drug Maker Turned to Giuliani for Help

From The New York Times;

In western Virginia, far from the limelight, United States Attorney John L. Brownlee found himself on the telephone last year with a political and legal superstar, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

For years, Mr. Brownlee and his small team had been building a case that the maker of the painkiller OxyContin had misled the public when it claimed the drug was less prone to abuse than competing narcotics. The drug was believed to be a factor in hundreds of deaths involving its abuse.
Mr. Giuliani, celebrated for his stewardship of New York City after 9/11, soon told the prosecutors they were wrong. Read More.

John Edwards - "Born For" Ad

latest ad in New Hampshire

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Democrats deadlocked in Iowa

With a week to go, Iowa is a dead heat on the Democratic side. Obama leads with 30%, Clinton has 29% and Edwards is at 28% according to a Strategic Vision poll. If the first choice does not garner 15% in a caucus, the second choice gets the vote. John Edwards according to polls is the second choice of a majority of caucus goers. Rural Iowa where Edwards can appeal will also have an impact on the Democratic race in Iowa.

Mike Huckabee's Message to Iowa

Barry McGuire: Eve of Destruction -1965

Today seemed to call for another view of Barry Maguire's prophetic song. The song was written by P.F. Sloan who also wrote You Baby sung by The Turtles and Secret Agent Man sung by Johnny Rivers.


Edwards Comments On Pakistan And The Assassination Of Benazir Bhutto

Decorah, Iowa – Today in Decorah, Iowa, Senator John Edwards made the following statement:

"I want to say a word about the terrible tragedy that occurred in Pakistan earlier today. It's a terrible thing for the process of democratization in Pakistan, it's a terrible thing for the stability of Pakistan, and it's very important that we, America, and those of us who are running for
president of the United States, be a strengthening and calming influence in these kinds of times.

"I met the former Prime Minister a few years ago. We spoke together at a conference. And she spoke then about the importance of the democratization process, her personal commitment and risk of her own life, which she recognized, and how the democratization process in Pakistan was, I think her words were, 'baptized in blood.'

"I spoke to President Musharraf a few minutes ago and I urged him to continue the democratization process because of how important it is to the Pakistani people and how important it is to his country. I also urged him to allow international investigators into Pakistan so that, for the rest of the world, there can be credibility in determining what the facts were and what actually occurred.

"It's very important for the Pakistani people, for the stability of the world and for America's interests, that the democratization process continue, and I believe this is the time for America to be a strong and calming influence in a difficult and unstable environment."

Impeach Cheney now

From The Philadelphia Inquirer;

The allegations that he abused power are credible.

U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler (D., Fla.), Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.)
are members of the Judiciary Committee

Last month, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.

The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that, if proven, may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under the Constitution. The allegations against Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the vice president and his staff purposely gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to "unknowingly [pass] along false information." In addition, recent revelations have shown that the administration, including the vice president, may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction - this time about Iran's nuclear capabilities.

Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about Clinton's personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquiries. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment - where the GOP pursued trumped-up and insignificant allegations - would be if it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.

The charges against Cheney are not personal. They go to the core of the actions of this administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority supports hearings, according to a Nov. 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70 percent of voters say the vice president has abused his powers, and 43 percent say he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.

Some people argue that the Judiciary Committee cannot proceed with impeachment hearings because it would distract Congress from passing important legislative initiatives. We disagree. First, hearings need not tie up Congress for a year and shut down the nation. Second, hearings will not prevent Congress from completing its other business. These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the vice president - not of our commander in chief - and the resulting impact on the nation's business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton presidential impeachment hearings. Also, even though President Bush has thwarted moderate Democratic policies that are supported by a vast majority of Americans - including children's health care, stem-cell research, and bringing our troops home from Iraq - the Democratic Congress has already managed to deliver a minimum-wage increase, an energy bill to address the climate crisis and bring us closer to energy independence, assistance for college tuition, and other legislative successes. We can continue to deliver on more of our agenda in the coming year while simultaneously fulfilling our constitutional duty by investigating and publicly revealing whether Cheney has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence - not politics - should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an administration that has consistently skirted the Constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.
E-mail Rep. Wexler at reprobertwexler@gmail.com.

Behind the Edwards Surge: Right Message at the Right Time

From The Nation By John Nichols;

" What could turn out to be the most critical comment of the campaign came from John Edwards in the last debate between the Democratic contenders -- and the former senator from North Carolina may well claim the caucus-night victory that is the reward for delivering the right message at the right time.

It wasn't a great rhetorical flourish. It wasn't even a new statement. Rather, it was a particularly pointed and effective restatement of the core anti-corporate message of his campaign.

But it came precisely when Iowa Democrats were getting serious about the caucuses. And it gave Edwards the boost he needed to get back in the competition -- and, he is, very much in the competition now.

No serious observer of the December 13 debate in Des Moines doubted that the standout performance, and the standout message, was that of Edwards.
Indeed, undecided voters assembled in focus groups that watched the debate for the major television networks rated Edwards off the charts. That's going to help the 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president as the Iowa caucuses approach. Despite the intense focus on the campaigns of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, most polls suggest that Edwards is very much in the running in Iowa. And rightly so.
To a far greater extent than Obama or Clinton, Edwards has struck at the heart of issues " Read More.

Pakistan's Bhutto assassinated at rally

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack at a campaign rally that also killed at least 20 others, aides said.

Bhutto's supporters erupted in anger and grief after her death, attacking police and burning tires and election campaign posters in several cities. At the hospital where she died, some smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf.
The death of the charismatic 54-year-old former prime minister threw the campaign for the Jan. 8 parliamentary elections into chaos and created fears of mass protests and violence across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.
*****************************************************************************
Musharraf is a stone cold dictator and hardly an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. Just what war is it that the U.S. is fighting against Terrorism anyway. Is it the destruction of Iraq which had no link to 9/11 and who Bush and friends have turned into the killing fields. Musharraf must be smiling today. He has played Bush like a good violin. It will take us years if ever to recover from the Bush regime. See Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson.
From the DVD "Willie Nelson and Friends - Live & Kickin", it was Willie Nelson's 70th birthday party at New York City's famed Beacon Theatre on April 9, 2003. A good friend turned me on to this video by three of the greats.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Edwards Campaign Memo: Beware the Fear Factor

Form The New York Times Political Blog By Julie Bosman;

The Edwards campaign e-mailed a memo to reporters today, outlining its strategy for the final eight days before the Iowa Democratic caucus on Jan. 3.

Written by deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince, the memo says Mr. Edwards is in a statistical tie with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama in Iowa and is drawing ever larger crowds on the campaign trail.

In his last campaign swing through Iowa, beginning tomorrow, Mr. Edwards will focus on kitchen-table issues that matter most to people: jobs, health care, trade, education and financial security, the memo says.

“Edwards will discuss his plans to stand up to corporate greed and make sure hard-working middle class families can get ahead,” Mr. Prince wrote. “Edwards will hold small round table discussions and community meetings, meet with Iowans at local diners, and hold ‘America Rising’ rallies to encourage Iowans to caucus for him and help change America.”

Near the end of the memo is a section titled: “What we expect from others this week.”

“We know that Senator Clinton will spend the week touting her national security credentials in a move that echoes George Bush’s 2004 campaign,” Mr. Prince wrote. “We believe Democrats will not be fooled by efforts to play on their fears.”

“We also expect Senator Obama to continue his attacks on Senator Edwards,” Mr. Prince added.
And beyond Iowa, Mr. Prince wrote, the campaign is “ready to use the momentum from a strong Iowa finish to propel us in New Hampshire and beyond.”

Monday, December 24, 2007

Edwards Responds To Giuliani's Attack On Economic Stimulus Plan

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Today, Senator John Edwards released the following statement in response to Rudy Giuliani's comments about Edwards' economic stimulus package on "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos:

"The average family's income has actually decreased over the last seven years, at the same time the costs of health care, energy and housing are skyrocketing. But while hard-working families on Main Street are struggling to make ends meet, Giuliani is only concerned about the profits of his Wall Street buddies.

"The truth is our economy is slowing under the weight of stagnant wages, a major housing crisis and a spike in energy costs. Before things get worse, we must take action to strengthen our economy and create new jobs. By taking action now, not only will we promote economic growth and shared prosperity in the long run, but these investments will create jobs and cushion the expected economic slowdown."
*** **********************************************************************
Yesterday, John Edwards proposed an economic stimulus package to strengthen our economy and create new jobs. He called on Congress to pass at least a $25 billion jobs plan in early 2008 and be ready to pass $75 billion more if there are more signs of an economic recession. The Edwards plan will invest in clean energy infrastructure, help states avoid cutting programs that fight poverty, reform unemployment insurance, and tackle the housing crisis. Together, these steps will make important investments in fighting global warming and poverty, provide a much-needed boost to a weak economy, and lay the groundwork for a larger jobs package if it proves necessary.

Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul warns of 'soft fascism'

From Raw Story;

"It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said, he says: 'When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.'"

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) argues to Meet the Press' Tim Russert that in the statement above, he is not calling presidential contender and Republican competitor Mike Huckabee a fascist, but what could be the image of a cross planted in a recently released Huckabee campaign ad brought the quote to his mind.

Paul does, however, believe that the United States has adopted fascist leanings. Changes in the country's tone, says the Congressman, such as the PATRIOT Act, questioning dissenters' patriotism during the war, and civil liberties abuses indicate corporatism, or "soft fascism," namely a stronghold by the military-industrial complex on society.

John Edwards - "Season" TV Ad

In this latest television spot, John Edwards promises to speak for those Americans who are too often forgotten, especially during the holiday season.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Statement From Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, Iowa State Director For John Edwards For President

Des Moines, Iowa – As polls show John Edwards gaining momentum in Iowa, New Hampshire and across the country, Senator Obama continues to make increasingly harsh, negative attacks against John Edwards - including today in Iowa. Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, Iowa State Director for John Edwards for President, made the following statement:

"It's no coincidence that as John Edwards rises in the polls in Iowa, Senator Obama is resorting to harsh attacks. But Senator Obama's attacks can't hide the fact that for John Edwards, refusing PAC and Washington lobbyist money wasn't an election year conversion – it's something he's done from the beginning of his career. John Edwards is the only candidate with the courage and backbone to urge the Democratic Party to stop taking lobbyist contributions. If Senator Obama is serious about reform, he should join John Edwards in this challenge.

"John Edwards understands that if you give the powerful interests and Washington lobbyists a seat at the table, they'll eat all the food. That's why he helped lead the fight against insurance company lobbyists to get a Patients' Bill of Rights passed in the Senate."

Edwards Responds To Senator Obama's Attacks

Des Moines, Iowa – Today, Senator John Edwards released the following statement in response to attacks from Senator Obama:

"Senator Obama's attacks seem to increase as momentum for our campaign grows. The truth is I am the only candidate in this race who has never taken a dime of PAC or Washington lobbyist money – ever. And, it's why I support public financing of federal elections.

"As for outside groups, unfortunately, you can't control them, but let me make it clear – I think money has corrupted our politics and these groups should not be a part of the political process.
"Of course, if Senator Obama is serious about real change, I hope he and Senator Clinton will finally end their silence and join with me in calling on the Democratic Party to end the influence of Washington lobbyists by once and for all rejecting their money."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

GEORGE BUSH- ARMAGEDDON ON YOUR MIND

9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes

From The New York Times;

WASHINGTON — A review of classified documents by former members of the Sept. 11 commission shows that the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and were told by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had “produced or made available for review” everything that had been requested.

The review was conducted earlier this month after the disclosure that in November 2005, the C.I.A. destroyed videotapes documenting the interrogations of two Qaeda operatives.
A seven-page memorandum prepared by Philip D. Zelikow, the panel’s former executive director, concluded that “further investigation is needed” to determine whether the C.I.A.’s withholding of the tapes from the commission violated federal law.
In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.

EDWARD R. MURROW -JOURNALISTIC COURAGE

Romney in trouble in Michigan

A new poll shows Mitt Romney barely leading in the Michigan Republican primary. Romney leads with 21%, followed by the surging Mike Huckabee with 19%, Rudy Giuliani with 12% and John McCain with 10%.

Romney's father George was Governor of Michigan and Romney announced for President in Michigan. Romney is in trouble, deep trouble and I think he's beginning to see it. He trails Huckabee in Iowa by a decent margin, barely leads John McCain in NH, trails Huckabee in South Carolina, behind Huckabee and Giuliani in Florida and now he is barely leading in Michigan.

The Republican race for President has never been so unorganized and unpredictable. For political observers, the next four weeks should be very interesting.

Sununu gains momentum

In New Hampshire, Senator John Sununu has been on the endangered list for months but it appears as though the freshman Senator might be gaining some momentum. A new poll shows Sununu leading former Governor and Democratic candidate Jeanne Shaheen 52%-41% in a re-match for the US Senate.

I have to wonder if Shaheen's husbands comments regarding Barack Obama have anything to do with her slip in the polls. After all, Sununu has not done anything great in the last two months.

Friday, December 21, 2007

BB King Eric Clapton Buddy Guy Jeff Beck Albert Collins

Sweet Little Angel" at the Apollo Theater June 15, 1993 Bill Cosby hosting BB King Eric Clapton Buddy Guy Jeff Beck Albert Collins. A Little Friday Night Blues.


Sandy Lakey Introduces John Edwards

Sandy Lakey introduces John Edwards at an event in West Des Moines, Iowa. John represented Sandy and David Lakey, and their daughter Valerie, when Valerie was five-years-old after she was injured on a defective swimming pool drain cover that the manufacturer knew was dangerous.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

For-profit insurance company CIGNA denies Nataline Sarkisyan's liver transplant. Family and friends protest and raise hell at CIGNA. CIGNA changes its mind and approves treatment, but it's too late. With the transplant she needed delayed and the window of opportunity already closed, Nataline Sarkisyan dies.v

I Am A Patriot -John Edwards

Lawsuit promised in transplant case

LOS ANGELES - The family of a 17-year-old girl who died hours after her health insurer reversed a decision and said it would pay for a liver transplant plans to sue the company, their attorney said Friday.

Nataline Sarkisyan died Thursday at about 6 p.m. at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks, said her mother, Hilda.
Attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare in the case. The insurer "maliciously killed her" because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said.
Nataline had been battling leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. She developed a complication that caused her liver to fail.

Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to Cigna Corp.'s Cigna HealthCare on Dec. 11. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant, saying the procedure was experimental and outside the scope of coverage.
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And Hillary Clinton thinks you can sit down and negotiate with the insurance industry. My ass you can. Obama thinks the same thing. She is a liar he is naive. John Edwards knows you have to take them on having learned this in his years of representing victims against them and their cadre of lawyers. If you want real change John Edwards is the only choice. He has proven himself over years of battling the big corporations and insurance carriers. They will never compromise and Hillary will sell out the middle class. As for Obama he has no experience in battling them.

Another Iowa Poll Shows Deadlocked Race

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire;

Political Wire got an advance look at a new Strategic Vision poll in Iowa that also shows the Democratic presidential race in a statistical tie. Sen. Barack Obama leads with 30%, followed by John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton tied at 27%.For Republicans, Mike Huckabee leads with 31%, followed by Mitt Romney at 25%, Fred Thompson at 16%, Sen. John McCain at 8%, Rudy Giuliani at 6%.The survey's margin of error is 4.5% and will be formally released tomorrow.

AP IMPACT: Giuliani secretive as mayor

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writer;

When a mayor of New York leaves office, little goes out the door but memories — unless he's Rudy Giuliani. Government rules discourage the city's most powerful officeholder from departing with more than token gifts collected on the job. ....

Under an unprecedented agreement that didn't become public until after he left office, Giuliani secreted out of City Hall the written, photographic and electronic record of his eight years in office — more than 2,000 boxes.

Along with his own files, the trove included the official records of Giuliani's deputy mayors, his chief of staff, his travel office and Gracie Mansion — the mayor's residence that became a legal battlefront during his caustic divorce.

The mayor made famous — and very wealthy — in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has long described his City Hall as an open book.

In a Republican presidential candidates' debate last week, Giuliani asserted: "My government in New York City was so transparent that they knew every single thing I did almost every time I did it. ... I can't think of a public figure that's had a more transparent life than I've had."
But the public record, as reviewed by The Associated Press, shows a City Hall that had a reputation of resistance — even hostility — toward open government, the First Amendment and the public's access to simple facts and figures.

"He ran a government as closed as he could make it," said attorney Floyd Abrams, a widely recognized First Amendment authority who faced off against city lawyers when Giuliani sought to shut the Brooklyn Museum of Art because the mayor considered a painting sacrilegious.
Giuliani's decision to commandeer his historical records in late 2001, as he prepared to leave office, was just one of many episodes during his term, both in and out of the courtroom, that demonstrate his efforts to control, withhold or massage information to advance his agenda and hobble critics.

White House faces hearing on CIA tapes

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has made its position clear in legal filings and now gets a chance to say it to a judge in open court: Hold off on inquiring about the destruction of CIA videotapes that showed suspected terrorists being interrogated.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy ordered the hearing Friday over the objection of the Justice Department after lawyers raised questions about the possibility that other evidence also might have been destroyed.
Kennedy, appointed to the trial court by President Clinton, is considering whether to delve into the matter and, if so, how deeply.
The hearing marked the first time that administration lawyers were to speak in public and under oath about the matter since the CIA disclosed this month it destroyed the tapes of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects.
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If Judge Kennedy follows in the steps of Judge John Sirica this could be the beginning of the end for the Bush Crime Family. Sirica was Time Magazine's Man of The Year in 1973 for his role in Watergate and ordering the Nixon White House to disclose the tapes which hung him. In naming him Man of The Year Time wrote;

"One judge, stubbornly and doggedly pursuing the truth in his courtroom regardless of its political implications, forced Watergate into the light of investigative day. One judge, insisting that not all the panoply of the presidency entitled Nixon to withhold material evidence from the Watergate prosecutors, brought the White House tapes and documents out of hiding. For these deeds, and as a symbol of the American judiciary's insistence on the priority of law throughout the sordid Watergate saga of 1973, TIME'S Man of the Year is Federal Judge John Joseph Sirica." Lets hope that Judge Kennedy will have the courage of Sirica. The early signs indicate he will.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just Another Day for the Department of Justice

By Scott Horton Harper's Magazine;

Wednesday, December 19, 2007. The House Judiciary Committee convenes a hearing to look into the Justice Department’s handling of allegations of crime involving contractors in Iraq. It started with the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, and we quickly learned that this was just one of a substantial number of cases involving rape and sexual assault. The Justice Department is invited to send a witness to explain its policies and inaction. At the last minute, the Justice Department’s congressional liaison sends a poorly informed letter claiming that the cases the committee will investigate are “under investigation” though, as we learn, the Department of Justice’s “investigation” got launched just about the time the Department learned that Congress was going to take a look. The Justice Department said it would be improper for the Justice Department to respond. Mind you, the Committee’s request was not for the Department to talk about any particular case, but about how it dealt in concept with contractor crimes.

Committee chair John Conyers was outraged. And he wasn’t alone. A group of Republican representatives who participated in the hearing were equally miffed. Everyone agreed, of course, that the Justice Department shouldn’t discuss on-going investigations. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was the how the Department was addressing criminality involving contractors in Iraq generally.

But as became clear from the evidence presented at the hearing, the Department doesn’t deal with crimes involving contractors. It has a policy of official indifference to them. So here we see a clear-cut case where the Justice Department has a law enforcement mandate to deal with serious violent crimes such as murder, assault and rape, and chooses to do nothing. A question of resource allocation, evidently. You see, for the Bush Administration, murder, assault and rape are not as important as other things. Read More.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Senate Majority Leader Dodd?

The Huffington Post reports:


"Momentum is building for Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) to para lay his Presidential campaign into a bid to challenge Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) for Majority Leader".

"Almost all of the support for this effort comes from the net roots, much of which favors such a move. But talk of Dodd making a run at the post has slowly crept into the corners of Capitol Hill as well. And in light of the Connecticut Democrat's successful filibuster threat this week over granting immunity to telecommunications firms that conducted wireless surveillance, some in the progressive community see the framework for a potential shakeup".

Chris Dodd would be a great Senate Majority Leader. Reid has been spineless and lacks the umph to lead the majority in the Senate. I hope Dodd runs.

Chertoff Concealed Role in Tape Destruction

From t r u t h o u t;

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff advised the CIA between 2002 and 2003 that its agents had the legal authority to use techniques that included waterboarding on one of the agency's so-called "high level detainees," according to a little-known report published in January 2005.
That interrogation was videotaped and the tape later was destroyed.Chertoff was head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division when CIA officials inquired whether its agents could be charged with violating the federal anti-torture statute for employing interrogation methods such as waterboarding. The tactic is intended to make detainees feel as if they are drowning......

During his Senate confirmation hearing in February 2005, Chertoff maintained that he provided the CIA broad guidance in response to its questions about interrogation methods and never specifically addressed the legality regarding waterboarding or other techniques.

Edwards takes lead in InsiderAdvantage Iowa poll

By Tom BaxterSouthern Political Report;

John Edwards has leapfrogged over his rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and leads the Democratic field in Iowa, according to the latest InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll. In the Republican caucus race, Mike Huckabee continues to hold a narrow lead over Mitt Romney.
The race among the three top Democrats is extremely close, with the potential for any of them to finish first – or third.

Edwards leads with 30 percent in a poll of Democratic voters who said they intend to participate in the Jan. 3 presidential caucuses, followed by Clinton with 26 percent and Obama with 24 percent. When the sample was narrowed to the most likely caucus-goers, based on several questions, Obama leads Edwards by less than a percentage point with 27 percent, with Clinton in third place at 24 percent.

Edwards holds a significant advantage, however, among a group who could be key to the first contest of the presidential year: those who say their first choice is someone other than the top three. Under Iowa Democratic Party rules, candidates who poll less than 15 percent in the first vote at each caucus around the state are eliminated, and their supporters get a second chance to vote for another candidate.

Under both screens, Edwards leads as the second choice of these voters, with Clinton trailing Obama.

“If Edwards is the second choice at this stage of those who intend to vote for other Democrats, then it would not be surprising if he produced a bit of a shock in Iowa,” said InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Judge Orders Hearing on CIA Videos

From The Huffington Post;

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration must answer questions about the destruction of CIA interrogation videos of two al-Qaida suspects, a federal judge said Tuesday, rejecting the government's efforts to keep the courts out of the investigation.
U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy ordered Justice Department lawyers to appear before him Friday at 11 a.m. to discuss whether destroying the tapes, which showed two al-Qaida suspects being questioned, violated a court order.
The Justice Department has urged Congress and the courts to back off, saying its investigators need time to complete their inquiry. Government attorneys say the courts don't have the authority to get involved in the matter and could jeopardize the case.
For now, at least, Kennedy disagreed. Attorneys in unrelated cases, meanwhile, began pressing other judges to demand information about the tapes.

Karl Rove, William Canary, and the Siegelman Case

From Harper's Magazine by Scott Horton;

A trio of reporters at Raw Story has just published further details relating to the involvement of Karl Rove in the campaign of Alabama Governor Bob Riley and in the effort to eliminate his chief rival, former Governor Don E. Siegelman, through a criminal prosecution. The story traces Rove’s involvement, largely via his long-time friend William Canary, in the 2002 Alabama gubernatorial race. Canary had initially advised the campaign of Lieutenant Governor Steve Windom, and only after his primary defeat turned to the Riley campaign.

Edwards Has Strong Support in Iowa

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire;

The Wall Street Journal says John Edwards "remains well within striking distance" of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses. "A second- or first-place finish for him on Jan. 3 could shake up the field in the states that follow.""Edwards has spent six years of working the farms and small towns of Iowa -- a virtually uninterrupted string of campaigning that started when he began running for president in 2002. He has a bank of seasoned supporters that polls consistently show are more likely to turn out on caucus night, even if the weather is poor. Indeed, Mr. Edwards seems to be hoping for a winter storm."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Waylon Jennings - Good hearted woman

With Ralph Mooney on steel. Waylon was one of the great Country Music Singers of all time. I was lucky enought to see him Jessie Coulter, Willie and Kris Kristofferson in Toronto in 1982 or 1983. This video must be from the late sixties. For more on Waylon see http://www.waylon.com/home.asp



Dodd filibuster threat causes Reid to withdraw FISA bill.

From THINK PROGRESS;

Chris Dodd won a temporary victory today after his threats of a filibuster forced Democratic leadership to push back consideration of a measure that would grant immunity to telecom companies that were complicit in warrantless surveillance.”

A Reid aide tells Greg Sargent that “Reid refused to jam this bill through the Seante because he believes it’s an important bill that deserves to be debated thoroughly.” FireDogLake writes, “Well played, Senator Dodd.”

Chris Dodd proved once again that he is a man who will stand up for principle rather then political expedience. Thanks Chris we owe you. Reid is full of it. The only reason the bill was pulled is because Chris Dodd engineered a massive groundswell of support with numerous petitions on the Internet and hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans supporting him and contacting their representatives. Harry Reid was an obstacle to be overcome and Dodd did just that. He would make a great majority leader. Reid must go.

John Edwards - "Fight" TV Ad - New Hampshire

See Paul Krugman's Column in Today's N.Y. Times Big Table Fantasies;

"At one extreme, Barack Obama insists that the problem with America is that our politics are so “bitter and partisan,” and insists that he can get things done by ushering in a “different kind of politics.”
At the opposite extreme, John Edwards blames the power of the wealthy and corporate interests for our problems, and says, in effect, that America needs another F.D.R. — a polarizing figure, the object of much hatred from the right, who nonetheless succeeded in making big changes.
Over the last few days Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have been conducting a long-range argument over health care that gets right to this issue. And I have to say that Mr. Obama comes off looking, well, naïve. "


Iowa First Lady to endorse Edwards

Iowa First Lady Mari Culver is expected to endorse John Edwards for President on Monday. Having a member of the First Family will certainly boost Edwards in this critical early state.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Hampshire Congresswoman endorses Obama

In another blow to the Clinton campaign in New Hampshire where the candidate is losing ground, Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Shea Porter who ran for Congress as an anti-war candidate in 2006 praised Obama for his strong early opposition to the war and will serve as national co-chair for the Obama for President campaign.

McCain picks up two key endorsements

John McCain picked up two key endorsements over the weekend.

In Iowa, John McCain is the Des Moines Register's choice for the Iowa Caucus on the GOP side. I doubt it will make an impact. McCain skipped the Ames Straw Poll in August and wrote the state off in 2000.

The Boston Globe has endorsed McCain's candidacy for President and this could influence the race in New Hampshire where McCain is very much in it. McCain runs second behind Romney in most polls and with strong support among Independents and Democrat's who can vote in the GOP primary in New Hampshire, McCain could pull it off in the Granite State.

According to Bill: "Hillary need's a miracle"

The New York Daily News reports that former President Bill Clinton thinks his wife needs a "miracle" in order to win the Iowa Caucus next month. The former President said on the "Charlie Rose Show", "It would be a miracle if Hillary wins in Iowa, and I'm not just low bailing you". Bill Clinton also indicated that John Edwards might very well win Iowa.

Clinton also threw a hit at Obama saying, "When is the last time we elected a President based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running"?

The Clinton campaign knows she is in trouble in Iowa and losing ground to Obama in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The Boston Globe has endorsed Obama for President which could have a serious impact on the NH race. Things will certainly heat up in the next few weeks.

Sharpton to run for President in 2012

According to Politics1.com, at least one Democrat is making plans to run for President in 2012: The Rev. Al Sharpton.

Politics1.com reports, "A source close to Sharpton told Politics 1 that Sharpton skipped the 2008 Presidential race because he had already decided instead to run in 2012--even if it amounts to a primary challenge against an incumbent Democratic President".

Sharpton is currently the target of a federal corruption investigation in relation to his 2004 Presidential campaign, six Sharpton business ventures and the National Action Network. The issue is whether Sharpton inflated his 2004 contributions to qualify for federal matching funds. The IRS and FBI have issued subpoenas for documents going back to 2001 and for individuals related to Sharptons groups.

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As for the 2012 Presidential race, I think a Democratic President will be seeking
re-election. In the event a Republican is elected, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is the name that comes to mind for me as a Democratic candidate for President. O'Malley is the former Mayor of Baltimore serving his first term as Governor of Maryland. He has tremendous public appeal, he knows how to raise money. Time Magazine named O'Malley one of America's "Top 5 Big City Mayors".

Huckabee passes Giuliani in Florida

The Huckabee surge that began with a strong second place showing in the Ames August Straw Poll has not stopped. Huckabee has passed Mitt Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire. With a solid campaign organization in South Carolina he has managed to stop any momentum the Fred Thompson campaign had and now leads in South Carolina. According to new poll Huckabee now leads in Florida, a Giuliani stronghold in the early primary calendar.

Huckabee now leads the Republican field in Florida with 25% followed by Rudy Giuliani at 21%, Mitt Romney at 19%, John McCain at 10% and Fred Thompson at 9%.

The ironic thing is that Huckabee hasn't even worked the state that hard. Romney has made several appearances in Florida, he's even run TV ads and hired a staff here. Giuliani is the former Mayor of New York City and has spent a considerable amount of time in south Florida courting New York transplants. Fred Thompson has made several high profile visits to Florida.

A Huckabee win in Florida is not out of reach. The Speaker of the Florida House is backing Huckabee for President. Senator Dan Webster a prominent social conservative from Orlando is behind Huckabee. Webster has major contacts with the Florida Christian Coalition and Right to Life groups through the state.

Losing Florida would be a major blow to Giuliani's campaign. Soon enough Giuliani will be back in Manhattan consulting or practicing law aside other former Mayors like Ed Koch and David Dinkins.

Lieberman to endorse McCain

"A source familiar with the endorsement said that the two will appear on NBC's Today Show tomorrow morning and at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. The endorsement could help McCain with independents in the state".

Lieberman is pathetic. He has sold out to the Bush administration and now McCain. I can only hope the Democrat's defeat him in 2012.

Why Edwards Can Win Iowa

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire;

For months, John Edwards "has been rounding up support" in Iowa's "rural precincts where the front runners have paid less attention," Newsweek reports. "While Obama and Clinton have drawn crowds in the thousands in places like Des Moines and Ames, Edwards has been winning over people in tiny towns like Sac City (population: 2,189). That's important, the strategists say, because under Iowa's arcane caucus rules, a precinct where 25 people show up to vote gets the same number of delegates as a place that packs in 2,500. In other words, even if he loses to Obama and Clinton in the state's bigger cities, he can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts that other candidates have ignored."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Romantics - What I Like About You

A little Dancing Music for a Satursday night.
The original clip from 1980.All the info you could ever want: http://www.romanticsdetroit.com/


Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe

Jimi Hendrix performing Hey Joe at Monterey 1967. Undeniably the best guitarist that ever lived.

Hillary Farts During Live Debate

This may not be in good taste but it is too funny not to share.

Countdown: Giuliani..Follow the Money

Keith gives his report on Giuliani's firm's conflict of interest and illegal activities making money lobbying from Homeland Security contracts doing data mining to spy on American citizens. Arianna Huffington weighs in.

Abrams: Bush League Justice: Don Siegelman

Dan Abrams's last edition of Bush League Justice. The topic for tonight, the conviction of Don Siegelman and Karl Rove's involvement. Scott Horton from Harper's and Rep. Artur Davis discuss the case with Dan.

Congress authorizes war funds and sends bill to Bush

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic-led Congress authorized more Iraq war spending on Friday, sending President George W. Bush a defense bill requiring no change in strategy after failing again to impose a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals.

The defense policy bill, approved 90-3 by the U.S. Senate, also expanded the size of the U.S. Army and set conditions on the Bush administration's plan to build a missile defense system in Europe.
The measure already had passed the House of Representatives and now goes to Bush, who is expected to sign it into law. It authorizes Pentagon programs expected to cost $506.9 billion during fiscal 2008, which began in October.
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How many times do we here tough talk from Reid and Pelosi only to see them totally cave to Bush. This has become a total joke and another reason it is better to give to progressive canidates directly rather than through the DSCC or DCCC. It is also another reason to vote for John Edwards who has consistently urged congress to defund this horrible war. The Democratic congress is a disgrace and has betrayed our trust.

Mukasey rejects congressional request on CIA probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Friday rejected a congressional request for information about a Justice Department probe into the CIA's destruction of videotapes of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists.

The Democratic-led Congress has begun its own investigations of last week's disclosure that the CIA destroyed some tapes in 2005, with critics charging a possible cover-up of illegal torture.
In refusing to release information that federal investigators have dug up so far, Mukasey wrote: "The department has a long-standing policy of declining to provide non-public information about pending matters."
"This policy is based in part on our interest in avoiding any perception that our law enforcement decisions are subject to political influence," Mukasey added in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the panel's ranking Republican.......

He also rejected Leahy and Specter's suggestion that he name an independent prosecutor to investigate.
"I am aware of no facts at present to suggest that department attorneys cannot conduct this inquiry in an impartial manner," Mukasey wrote.
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To quote Billy Pilgrim, And So It Goes. Mukasey has the nerve to say "This policy is based in part on our interest in avoiding any perception that our law enforcement decisions are subject to political influence." Tell Don Seigelman that. Tell that to the purged U.S. Attorneys. This Justice Department's decisions are based Solely on Political considerations including this decision by Mukasey. A whitewash is coming. We can thank Chuck Schumer for Mukasey. He sold us out when he could have killed his nomination. I will never forgive him for this. Like John Morgan I will not contribute to The DSCC as long as Schumer is in charge. Better to give directly to individual candidates directly. Schumer, like Hillary is a Beltway insider who acts based on political expediency rather than principle. He is part of the problem not the solution.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe in Magic?

An obviously live performance in the Big TNT Show! ALSO... "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sen. Kit Bond: Waterboarding Is Like ‘Swimming’

From Think Progress;

Yesterday on PBS’s Newshour, host Gwen Ifill asked Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) whether waterboarding constitutes torture. Bond replied that the technique is actually more like “swimming“:
GWEN IFILL: Do you think that waterboarding, as I described it, constitutes torture?

SEN. KIT BOND: There are different ways of doing it. It’s like swimming, freestyle, backstroke. The waterboarding could be used almost to define some of the techniques that our trainees are put through, but that’s beside the point. It’s not being used.
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Kit Bond like the rest of the Republican congress is a lying Sack of S..t. Why not Water Board him so he could have a nice swim. Mother Fu..er.

Are Americans 'Better Than That'?

By Ray McGovern Consortiumnews.com;

A boyish, inquisitive face with an innocent look peered out from the Washington Post’s lead story on torture. It was well groomed, pink-shirted John Kiriakou, a CIA interrogator who could just as easily pass for the local youth minister.

The Dec. 11 report by the Post’s Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen, which describes Kiriakou’s experience in interrogating suspected terrorists, raises in an unusually direct way an abiding question: Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?

Nowhere is the mood of that infamous period better portrayed than in the famous Grand Inquisitor chapter of Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. Dostoevsky was unusually gifted at plumbing the human heart.

While it has been 127 years since he wrote Brothers Karamazov, he nonetheless captures the trap into which so many Americans have fallen in forfeiting freedom through fear.
His portrayal of Inquisition reality brings us to the brink of the moral precipice on which our country teeters today. It is as though he knew what would be in store for us as fear was artificially stoked after the attacks of 9/11.

Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death

By Robert Parry Conortiumnews.com;

U.S. forces in Iraq soon will be equipped with high-tech equipment that will let them process an Iraqi’s biometric data in minutes and help American soldiers decide whether they should execute the person or not, according to its inventor.

"A war fighter needs to know one of three things: Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?” Pentagon weapons designer Anh Duong told the Washington Post for a feature on how this 47-year-old former Vietnamese refugee and mother of four rose to become a top U.S. bomb-maker.

Giuliani No Lobbyist? Depends on What You Mean by "Lobbying"

From TPM Muckraker By Paul Kiel - December 13, 2007,

Rudy Giuliani and his cohorts at Giuliani Partners have insisted he's no lobbyist. But there's mounting evidence to the contrary. Maybe he's so averse to the term because his firm lobbied illegally.

Exhibit A is today's Time story, which for the first time reveals details about just what Hank Asher, Giuliani's troubled buddy, paid him so much money to do.
As we laid out in a series of posts last week, Giuliani struck a pretty sweet deal with Asher during his first year of business. Asher's Seisint was hocking its data-mining software, code-named MATRIX, to the government. Rudy's job was to serve as a kind of front man for the company, in part so that Asher's drug-running past wouldn't be an issue. The contract, for a previously untold amount of money, was based on a $2 million yearly fee, commissions, and stock options. A stock holder in the company was so alarmed by the giveaway that he sued Seisint; the case was settled.

Today, Time puts a price tag on all that: $30 million, $24 million of that from stock options. And what did Rudy do for the money? It turns out, plenty. READ MORE.

Budget deal would probably give Bush victory on war funding

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic lawmakers and staffers privately say they're closing in on a broad budget deal that would give President Bush as much as $70 billion in new war funding.

The deal would lack a key provision Democrats had attached to previous funding bills calling for most U.S. troops to come home from Iraq by the end of 2008, which would be a significant legislative victory for Bush.

Democrats admit such a move would be highly controversial within their own party. Coming just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, vowed the White House would not get another dollar in war money this year, it would further antagonize the liberal base of the party, which has become frustrated with the congressional leadership's failure to push back on Bush's Iraq policy.

"The base will not be happy," said one senior Democratic aide, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss budget negotiations that have not been completed.
The Democratic aide acknowledged the president is likely to get new money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before Congress adjourns for the year. "Yes, in the end, that's where we will be," the aide said.
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So the Dems Cave again. This has become nauseating. The Dems are useless and now complicit in this illegal war. Pelosi is a coward and must go. Same for Harry Reid. They are useless. This sickens me. Don't forget Hillary is one of them. John Edwards is not. Hopefully he can pull it out.

John Edwards - CNN Focus Group Winner

House votes to outlaw CIA waterboarding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defying a White House veto threat, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to outlaw harsh interrogation methods, such as simulated drowning, that the CIA has used against suspected terrorists.

On a largely party line vote of 222-199, the Democratic-led House approved a measure to require intelligence agents to comply with the Army Field Manual, which bans torture in compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war.
The measure, part of a sweeping intelligence bill, passed amid a congressional probe into the recent disclosure that the CIA destroyed videotapes of al Qaeda suspects undergoing waterboarding, a simulated drowning.
Many countries, U.S. lawmakers and human rights groups have accused the United States of torturing terror suspects since the September 11 attacks.
*****************************************************************************
Stupid me. I thought water boarding was already illegal. Why do we need a vote. This is simply political theater. Where is the outrage. Have we become so complacent that we don't really care. Bush and Company are guilty of war crimes. Yet the Democrats can only resort to a pathetic vote on something that is clearly already illegal. What about a special prosecutor? What about hearings? When will the Democrats show some spine and stand up to The Bush Crime Family. Don't hold your breath.

Lawmakers vote to hold Bolten and Rove in contempt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to hold two top aides to President George W. Bush in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate in a probe of the firing of federal prosecutors.

On a largely party-line vote, the Democratic-led panel sent contempt citations against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to the full Senate for consideration.
In a battle dating back to shortly after Democrats took control of Congress in January, Bush has claimed executive privilege to protect aides from complying with subpoenas demanding documents and testimony in a congressional probe into the firing last year of nine federal prosecutors.
Setting the stage for a possible lengthy court fight, the committee rejected the privilege claim as unfounded.
In July, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee also approved along party lines contempt citations against Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.

Clinton adviser out after Obama comment

CONCORD, N.H. - Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday accepted the resignation of a top adviser who a day earlier suggested voters should ask rival Barack Obama if he were a drug dealer.

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman for the Clinton campaign, raised the issue during a Wednesday interview with The Washington Post, posted on washingtonpost.com.
"I made a mistake and in light of what happened, I have made the personal decision that I will step down as the co-chair of the Hillary for President campaign," Shaheen said in a statement released by the campaign. "This election is too important and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country. That candidate is Hillary Clinton."
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In the immortal words of Michael Ray Richardson, The ship she be sinking.

Citing Destruction of Torture Tapes, ACLU Asks Court to Hold CIA in Contempt (12/12/2007)

NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a motion asking a federal judge to hold the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in contempt, charging that the agency flouted a court order when it destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the harsh interrogation of prisoners in its custody. In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the ACLU and other organizations in October 2003 and May 2004, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the CIA to produce or identify all records pertaining to the treatment of detainees in its custody. Despite the court’s ruling, the CIA never produced the tapes or even acknowledged their existence. Last week, in anticipation of media reports concerning the tapes, CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged that the CIA had made the tapes in 2002 but destroyed them in 2005.
“The CIA’s secret destruction of these tapes displays a flagrant disregard for the rule of law,” said Amrit Singh, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “It must be sanctioned for violating the court’s order and the obligation to preserve records that fell within the scope of our Freedom of Information Act requests.”

Clinton insiders question top aide's approach

BY GLENN THRUSH, Newsday.com;



On the eve of the final Iowa debate before the Jan. 3 caucuses, Clinton campaign insiders are increasingly questioning the cautious, poll-driven approach taken by Mark Penn, Hillary Rodham Clinton's top political aide, sources familiar with the situation say.With Clinton barely holding her own against Barack Obama and John Edwards in Iowa, dissatisfaction is growing with Penn, who some say has mistakenly run Clinton as a de facto incumbent."There are two people who have come up with this strategy -- one Hillary Clinton and one Mark Penn," said a top Clinton ally, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Mark wanted to run her, basically, for re-election, and we are seeing what happened."Said another Clinton camper: "The heat's on Mark. ... He's got a lot of enemies."

Edwards Statement On Bush's Veto Of Children's Health Care Legislation

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement following President Bush's veto of legislation to provide health care to uninsured children:

"Today, we have witnessed for a second time President Bush turn his back on health care for children. Rather than fight for the health and welfare of our children, Bush has decided to defend the status quo in Washington – a status quo that leaves countless of families and children without the affordable health care they need.

"There's something very wrong when in a country of so much wealth, our president has chosen to ignore the 9 million American children – including nearly 50,000 in Iowa – who lack health care.

"President Bush's second veto of the S-CHIP bill just goes to show why it's so important that our next president has the strength and courage to stand up and fight the lobbyists and special interests who have stood in the way of truly universal health care for decades.

"This has to stop. When I am president, I will unite the nation in an effort for truly universal health care where no family or child is left behind, and I will not rest until every American has the quality, affordable health care they deserve. That is the One America I believe in, and that is the America I will fight for when I am president."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Obama leads among Independents in New Hampshire

According to CNN, the race in New Hampshire is tight, very tight with Hillary Clinton at 31%, Barack Obama at 30%. A few months ago Clinton led in New Hampshire by a wide margin. What has given new momentum to Obama? Independents who can vote in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire 36% of them favor Obama, while 26% favor Clinton.

If Clinton loses Iowa, she has to win New Hampshire to keep her campaign going. Independents could derail her strategy. Independents gave New Hampshire to McCain in 2000, Buchanan in 1992 and could swing the state to Obama in 2008. Independents favor the agent for change, the anti establishment candidate. They went with Gary Hart.

If Obama wins New Hampshire, it's Independents he should thank.

Dodd a no show on NY ballot

Senator Chris Dodd has failed to file to appear on the February 5th New York ballot. Dodd is the Senator from neighboring Connecticut and it is evident that he is trailing badly in polls and probably will not even make it to New York.

Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich all plan to appear on the New York ballot where Hillary is heavily favored to win.

Clinton's campaign is pathetic

The Clinton campaign is losing momentum. According to the NY Daily News former President Clinton is furious with how the Presidential campaign is being run. One top Clinton supporter has told the NY Daily News, "She's in big trouble and he knows it". Today the Clinton campaign went from desperate to pathetic in my opinion.

Bill Shaheen who is a top Democratic operative in New Hampshire not to mention the husband of US Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen said today that Democrat's should give more thought to Barack Obama's admission of drug use before they pick a presidential candidate. Shaheen said, "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Is this guy for real??? He's not an Internet supporter, Shaheen is a well respected attorney, husband of the former Governor and top political organizer in the first in the nation primary state, you would think he would use better judgement and common sense.

Do you really think the GOP will go after Obama for past drug use?? What, like the Democrat's made an issue of Bush's past drug use? As a Democrat I'd rather deal with the issue of past teenage drug use, then the First Lady's involvement in Whitewater. Or better yet the Monica Lewinsky case? Or Travel gate? Anyone remember Vince Foster? Obama's problems are nothing compared to Clinton's.

First Clinton's campaign goes after Obama because of his Kindergarten years and now the focus is on his teenage years. Make no mistake about it. Roughly three weeks are left until Iowa votes, four until New Hampshire votes, maybe five to six unil South Carolina votes, the poll's aren't looking good and Clinton has moved beyond desperation, she is now simply pathetic.

Ike and Tina Turner

In Memorium to IKE. R.I.P This was Tina at her very best. Sounds allot like Janis or I should say Janis like her. Awesome! This had to be circa 1962. Anyone Know?

Napolitano ahead of McCain in potential 2010 Senate race

Arizona Senator John McCain wants to be the next President however if McCain's campaign falters indications are that McCain will be a candidate for his Arizona Senate seat in 2010. Recent poll's indicate that McCain could be a vulnerable candidate for re-election.

Polls in Arizona show popular Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano ahead of McCain 47% to 36%. Another poll shows the Governor defeating McCain 46% to 45%.

If the two term Governor and former state Attorney General jumps into the race she could give McCain a spirited race and possibly even topple him.

The Father of Rock N Roll dies

Ike Turner dubbed the Father of Rock N Roll died today at the age of 76. Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2001 was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Turner was married to Tina Turner and together they were known as the Ike and Tina Turner duo.

See the December 1 post by G MAN, "Ike and Tina Turner-Nutbush City Limits 1974". The music industry loses a legend today.

Obama inches behind Clinton in New Hampshire

The latest CNN poll shows Senator Barack Obama inches behind Hillary Clinton in the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire. Clinton leads with 31%, Obama trails with 30% and John Edwards is in third with 16%.

John Edwards must win Iowa in order to even be considered a player in New Hampshire. John is currently locked in a three way dead heat with Obama and Clinton in Iowa, if he can pull of a win in Iowa, I think he can bounce into New Hampshire with a win. Everything with Edwards right now is depending on Iowa. Edwards has been if you count 2003, five years in the state, he has built a solid campaign organization and he must win.

Barack Obama is in the best position of all the candidates. He has shot into first place in some Iowa polls, leads in South Carolina and is in a dead heat with Clinton in New Hampshire. Even if Obama were to finish second in Iowa behind Edwards, the big story would be Edwards wins, Obama finishes second and Clinton lost Iowa. Obama is in a good position.

Hillary is a very dangerous position. When you start out as high as she did early on, either you stay high or you drop and she has dropped. Clinton made some big mistakes in recent debates which has tarnished her campaign. Her early support of drivers licenses for illegals has ruined her standing in Iowa. Interestingly, Obama leads Clinton among women in Iowa and has picked up significant African American support in South Carolina, a key constituency of Bill Clinton.

Joe Biden is not out of the race in Iowa or South Carolina, Biden runs in some polls fourth in Iowa, if he finishes a close fourth to Clinton or by some miracle inches into third in Iowa ahead of Clinton, he becomes a formidable candidate. Biden also has Fritz Hollings in South Carolina. Biden has worked South Carolina and can't be count out in the Palmetto state.

Spitzer ratings down

Governor Eliot Spitzer ends his first year in office on a low point. 48% of New York voter's disapprove of the New York Governor's job performance in office.

As of date the Spitzer tenure has been a disaster. Spitzer is vulnerable and I believe Andrew Cuomo will mount a formidable campaign against him in 2010.

A Tale of Two Giulianis

From Vanity Fair, A Must Read Article by Michael Shnayerson exposing Rudy for what he really is, a corrupt, lying amoral man who would establish the ultimate pay for play presidency;



On the back of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani refashioned himself as a national hero, a top presidential candidate—and, through his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, became a very wealthy man. But the questionable backgrounds of some of the firm’s clients make one wonder what Rudy wouldn’t do to make a buck. As Giuliani’s former crony Bernard Kerik faces trial, the author uncovers troubling signs of greed, poor judgment, and conflict of interest.



Giuliani has done an astounding number of business deals in the last six years—so many that the sheer volume may be the real reason they’ve evaded much serious scrutiny so far. But, taken together, they begin to suggest a not very attractive shape, and you don’t have to be a Democrat to see it. All you have to do is pick up a pencil and start to connect the dots. Read Full Article.

The 1992 version of Mike Huckabee

Now that Mike Huckabee is the national Republican front runner and could very well pull of the biggest political upset of the year and win the Republican nomination, his past comments and views are noteworthy.

In 1992 Huckabee was a candidate for the US Senate against Dale Bumpers. His comments are interesting. No women in combat. No gays in the military. Huckabee has said and continues to advocate isolating AIDS patients from general population. He opposed increased funding for AIDS research. He said homosexuality could pose a public health risk. As a Senate candidate Huckabee opposed Family and Medical Leave.

My only question for Pastor Huckabee, "What would Jesus say about all this"? These people never seem to amaze me.

Obama on Clintons heels in South Carolina

According to a new poll out of South Carolina, the Democratic primary to be held January 29th is shaping up to be a tight race between Senator's Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Obama trails Clinton in South Carolina 44%-40% with a little more then a month to go.

Hillary is sinking and sinking fast.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Big Brother And The Holding Company-Ball And Chain

BigBrother And TheHoldingCompany-Ball And ChainThe Monterey Pop Festival 1967.

Republican Strategist: "Edwards scares me the most"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Perino's 'Missile Crisis' Confession

From washingtonpost.com;

Still looking for that last-minute Christmas gift for White House press secretary Dana Perino? May we recommend a gift certificate for the forthcoming book on the Cuban Missile Crisis by our colleague Michael Dobbs, "One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War," due out next summer?
Appearing on National Public Radio's light-hearted quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me," which aired over the weekend, Perino got into the spirit of things and told a story about herself that she had previously shared only in private: During a White House briefing, a reporter referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis -- and she didn't know what it was.
"I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis," said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."
So she consulted her best source. "I came home and I asked my husband," she recalled. "I said, 'Wasn't that like the Bay of Pigs thing?' And he said, 'Oh, Dana.' "
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'Oh, Dana, words elude me, "Obtuse" Insipid" Moron" No, Me thinks Obtuse insipid moron. In her case this isn't redundant.

John Edwards - "Heroes" Ad - South Carolina

Frank Zappa - Hungry Freaks, Daddy-1967

This calls for a replay of Hungry Freaks from my all time favorite Zappa Album Freak Out. Zappa was a genius.

Disgraced football star Vick sentenced to 23 months

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Disgraced U.S. football star Michael Vick was sentenced on Monday to 23 months in prison for his role in an illegal dogfighting ring in which he had admitted he was involved in the killing of at least eight dogs.
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Expect the Chimp to Pardon him any day. What a pathetic, hypocritical society we live in. Scooter Libby outs a covert CIA agent and is convicted of perjury sentenced to jail time and does not a day. How many people died because of the outing of Valerie Plame? We will never know. Now I like dogs as much as the next guy but where were all these righteous dog lovers when Bush pardoned Libby? Why aren't they out in the streets protesting over the hundreds and thousands of murdered Iraqis who were just as helpless as those poor dogs. We all have our priorities I guess and loving dogs and people is obviously not mutually exclusive. But I guarantee you this the majority of these dog lovers have not raised their voices in protest over the genocide committed by the U.S. in Iraq. After all these are the same people (PETA) who protest the experiments on animals to develop vaccines that will save countless thousands of lives. Their priorities are twisted. How about PETP; People For The Ethical treatment of people.
Vick killed 8 dogs. Bush is responsible for killing over one million Iraqis, 4,000+ U.S. Troops and maiming thousands more and Impeachment is off the table. Screw impeachment his ass belongs in jail, preferably in Texas with the brothers he put in there and in general population. One can only dream. How sweet it would be. It makes me sick. WAKE UP AMERICA

Rolling Stones "It's Only Rock N Roll But I Like It"

A Musical Interlude
Mick Taylor era Stones (1974)

Edwards Statement On Gore Receiving The Nobel Peace Prize

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Today, Senator John Edwards released the following statement:
“Today’s award by the Nobel Committee recognizes three decades of Vice President Gore’s prescient and compelling advocacy for the future of the Earth. His passionate voice and calls for change have echoed throughout America and the world and sparked a true movement to save our plant from global warming. Now, more than ever, we must be stand united as one nation and meet the moral test of generation that compels us to leave a better America and a better world to our children and all future generations.”

Edwards delivers new remarks at launch of eight-day "Main Street Express" bus tour across Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa – Today, as the campaign kicked-off its "Main Street Express" bus tour in Des Moines, Senator John Edwards delivered new remarks relating the challenges and triumphs of his own life to those the country faces right now, and made the case that in the face of powerful interests holding the country back, we will right the wrongs and make our nation the way we want it to be. During the eight-day tour, Edwards will discuss his plans to stand up to the special interests on Wall Street and help hard-working families on Main Street.
"I grew up in a family where my grandmother walked to work at the mill every day wearing her apron," Edwards said. "My grandfather, who was partially paralyzed, hauled rolls of cloth using one arm. My dad worked in those mills for 36 years, my mom worked too – all of them for one reason – to give us a chance to rise up and have a better life.
"That's the greatness of America – the promise that every generation will give its children the chance to rise higher, dream bigger, live greater," Edwards continued. "I took the chances my parents gave me and spent my life fighting to make sure that people just like the people I grew up with had a real chance in the world.
"And that's what drives me now. When I talk about the Two Americas, this is what I mean – the very wealthiest and most powerful have manipulated our government for their own ends. They use their wealth and their power to keep themselves wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. And when they do that, they're holding America back.
"But that's about to change. You can feel it here in Iowa. Because America can't be held back. Because America belongs to us. When we face obstacles, you know what we do? We get up. We rise up. We right wrongs and we make our nation the way we want it to be. That's what's happening in this election. That's what's happening here in Iowa. That's America Rising."
Tuesday, the "Main Street Express" makes stops in Clinton, Davenport and Muscatine. Wednesday, Edwards will hold events in Iowa City, Grinnell and then back in Des Monies. Thursday, he'll participate in the Des Moines Register Presidential Debate in Johnston, Iowa, followed with a community meeting in Indianola. On Friday, the "Main Street Express" stops in Manchester and Elkader, and on Saturday, in Dubuque, Cedar Falls and Mason City. Sunday and Monday, Edwards will hold community meetings in Ames, Colfax, Ottumwa, Fairfield and Cedar Rapids.
Edwards has outlined a clear vision for America with bold plans to help middle-class and working families achieve the American Dream. From guaranteeing universal health care to revitalizing rural communities and making sure trade policies help, not hurt, workers, Edwards has proposed specific ideas to build One America, where all Americans can get ahead. Edwards has laid out his plans in an 80-page book, "The Plan to Build One America," which allows caucus goers to learn more about his ideas and find out exactly where he stands on the important issues facing our country.
Edwards will be joined during portions of the trip by acclaimed actors Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. Robbins will join Edwards on Wednesday and Bacon will join Edwards and perform at events on Saturday and on Sunday in Ames.
For a complete list of events, please visit http://www.JohnEdwards.com/Iowa.