Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Sweet and Delicious Irony
In a recent e-mail, NARAL ProChoiceAmerica announced good news for pro-choice Americans from South Dakota.
Thirty eight thousand voters, more than double the number of signatures needed, signed a petition to rescind the recent state legislation that bans ALL abortions in South Dakota.
Pro-choice supporters only needed 5 percent of total votes for governor during the last election to place the voter referendum on the ticket. Sweet victory is at hand with a simple majority.
You see, South Dakota ranks at the near top of all states in voter turnout, but with 38,000 signatures, or nearly 10 percent of total voter turnout during a presidential year, the referendum has an excellent chance of winning.
To begin with, supporters of the referendum probably only need 175,000 votes, maximum.
This number is based on voter turnout ratio equal to 2004, with an added margin for growth (i.e. 394,930 voters in 2004 times 5.5 growth based on voter registration differential between 2002 and 2004).
Gosh, Howling Latina feels wonky!
Supporters already have more than 20 percent of the needed total; and according to a San Francisco Chronicle article in April, “[a] statewide poll commissioned by abortion-rights activists last month found that 57 percent of voters want to overturn the ban.”
Oh how perfectly delicious!
The House and Senate in safe Democratic hands and the nutwing "religionist" faction of the Republican Party spanked by the very state that framed the media meme after Sen. Tom Daschle’s gut wrenching loss.
Last Minute Slapdown by McCain
Oh goodness. DailyKos reports that Sen. John McCain cancelled his scheduled fundraiser for Brian Bilbray, the guy who is trying to win the ol’ Dukester's California seat in next Tuesday’s special election against Francine Busby.
Fox 6 in San Diego writes that McCain's "proposal to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship was incorporated into the final version of a bill approved by the Senate last week. And very unwisely Bilbray "called the bill 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants."
Since McCain agrees with Busby's position, it looks like Mr. Straight Talk didn't like all that nasty talk about the Senate’s version of how best to stop folks from crossing our borders; and pulled the plug to his "Express" cash register right out.
Oh yes, Howling Latina can clearly see how the illegal immigrant issue is a political boon for Republicans. After all, it was the perfect blessing for former Republican candidate for governor Jerry Kilgore last fall!
Supplication for $$$
Well, Howling Latina finally received Sen. Elizabeth Dole's supplication to save America from the abyss.
You see, the Democratic Party has an evil stealth plan to win Congress in '06 and gasp, "initiate a long series of investigations and possible impeachment" of junior with an eye toward the presidency in '08.
Hmmm, no that's actually a page from the Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich and other fine GOP luminaries' dirty book of politics.
What Democrats really want is a solution to Bush's quagmire in Iraq, pro-active diplomacy in the Middle East, health insurance for all Americans, a safe environment, a real energy program, and accountability in the White House and Congress.
Dole's agony and anguish about her party's prospect is evident from her e-mail. She uses smoke and mirrors to project the truth about Republicans onto her political opponents.
Yes, according to Dole, Democrats "want to roll back the tax cuts." And what's more, these very same tax cuts are what "restored [the] economy and put an end to the Clinton recession."
What frigging recession?!? And what frigging gall!
Every economist agrees the United States during the 90s had a period of unprecedented growth. But when you have five years of dismal national and international policy failures, what else can you do but lie?
When Dole claims Democrats have "no legislative agenda" and then proceeds to beseech GOPers to contribute in order to stop any future Congress from oversight, HL agrees, Republicans need immediate help.
It is the kind Democrats will happily bestow next January. Democrats will show Republicans exactly how political parties should govern. Governance without tyranny. Solutions without sell-outs to corporate interests; and oversight without overreach.
Something totally lost in the current crop of GOPers in Congress; and something the gentle lady from North Carolina might want to deliberate with Republicans from a different political era for pointers.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
GOPers Switching to Democratic Party
Yes, it's true; and in Kansas.
As they old adage says, as Kansas goes, so goes the nation.
The Associated Press via Raw Story reports that the "former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party jumped ship in a big way Tuesday, switching his affiliation to Democrat."
It seems Mark Parkinson, the head of the GOP from 1999 to 2003 changed his allegiance, hoping to run as popular Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' running mate.
Johnson County Elections Commissioner Brian Newby confirmed that Mark Parkinson, the state GOP chairman from 1999 to 2003, came to the office and switched his party affiliation shortly before noon.Just you wait. Howling Latina is betting Francine Busby is going to win the special election in California's 50th district next Tuesday; and after that, expect more switching from folks that just don't like the Republican Party of Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and his merry band of corrupt dunces.
And yes, my previous post about Majority Leader Harry Reid is a bit of premature hyperbole, but prophetic in scope.
Now that the president's poll numbers are in the toilet, moderate Republicans are bolting; and the ones who stay want control.
When his current term expires in 2007, Lt. Gov. John Moore , yet another ex-Republican from Kansas, has decided to not seek reelection.
Republican House Speaker Doug Mays said he was disgusted by Parkinson's lack of loyalty to the party that made him chairman, but he isn't surprised by the rift.
The Republican Party, which has dominated Kansas politics since
statehood, has shifted to the right in recent years and it inevitably will shift back to the left, he said. Instead of defecting to challenge one another, though, Republicans need to find common ground, he said.
Well, starting with phone banking for Jim Webb, guys let's rock and roll; and make sure Virginia is on the list of Democratic pickups in the fall.
The time has come; the future is now. Si se puede!
Our Non-Corruptible Majority Leader
During the last couple days, bloggers with elephant ears have been ecstatic about the latest news from an Associated Press shill.
The latest brouhaha stems from the fact that Sen. Harry Reid accepted ringside seats at several boxing matches, "as he was pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport, including the creation of a federal boxing commission that Nevada's agency feared might usurp its authority."
But guess what? We now learn that Reid took the seats all right, and then voted against the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Just as when he took the cash from Abramoff's client, "on behalf of sweatshop owners in the Northern Marianas," and then proceeded to vote against the legislation "Abramoff was pushing."
Of course, these pesky details were omitted in the article by the A/P hack hound. Blessedly, progressive blogger/journalist Paul Kiel sets the record straight.
The recent op-ed by Richard Viguerie in the Washington Post created major buzz that a staunch conservative should label Pres. George Bush as a traitor to the conservative movement.
You see, Viguerie served with Ronald Reagan. Viguerie knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of his; and Dubya, you ain’t no Ronald Reagan!
Any lucid person who reads Viguerie’s verbal slap down has to realize that he has no one to blame for his disappointment but himself; especially since according to Viguerie, he never fully supported Bush; it was merely a political wedding of expediency.
Republicans were desperate to retake the White House, conservatives were desperate to get the Clinton liberals out and there was no direct heir to Reagan running for president. So most conservatives supported Bush as the strongest candidate -- some enthusiastically and some, like me, reluctantly.Oh dear rabid Republicans, don't cha know, marrying for money or power usually brings heartbreak!
And as for the electoral wins in ’04, social conservatives pad themselves a little too much on the back for the wins. Had it not been for 9/11, does anyone truly think that the GOP would have picked up Senate seats and the White House?
Even then, it took a little chicanery of the DeLay kind to pick up seats in the House. Lest not forget but for DeLay’s redistricting ploy, GOPers actually lost a House seat in ’04.
Sometimes Howling Latina is baffled by the undue influence of Dixie on the electoral map; it seems every Democratic presidential candidate has to bow at the “bubba” feet of Dixie in order to be anointed and then go on to lose anyway.
Just for once, HL would like to see a Democrat run as a progressive and tell flag-waving, beer-guzzling, wife-beating Jim Crow to kiss his or her Yankee, Midwest or Pacific ass.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Russert Loses to Stephanopoulos
Poor Timmy, he's losing his mojo.
TVNEWSER reports that for the first time since 1999, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" beat "Meet the Press with Tim Russert" in the critical 25-54 demographic group on May 21.
Oh yea, and they also beat-out CBS's "Face the Nation."
Staffers on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos are thrilled about last Sunday's ratings...
"This was 'This Week's' first win over 'Meet' -- with full coverage -- since August 1999 and the program's biggest A 25-54 lead over 'Face' since May 2, 2004," a press release said. ABC had 1,080,000 demo viewers, compared to NBC's 1,020,000, CBS's 950,000, and Fox's 570,000. Among total viewers, NBC had 3,380,000, ABC had 2,640,000, CBS had 2,610,000, and Fox had 1,410,000....
Condoleeza Rice was making her millionth appearance on "Meet the Press" that Sunday. Russert's other guests were Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Republican Rep. Charlie Norwood of Georgia.
That's right, Timmie, keep putting all those GOP government officials and Republican shills and before you know it, you'll be relegated to Cable-land.
Virginia, We've Got a Problem...
Help, Virginia Political Blogger is down.
Howling Latina has really enjoyed reading posts from the "dark" side and gasp, the blog keeps blinking and gyrating but won't come up on the screen.
Our Veteran Heroes
This weekend Americans honored their veterans from past and current wars; the men and women who answered the call to duty and country, no matter what other priorities they may have had.
The fallen in Iraq total at least 2,485 American soldiers; and at least 18,184 soldiers have also been wounded.
Today more carnage from Iraq visited three journalists, killing two of them; a U.S. soldier was killed as well.
Since the start of the Iraq War, more journalists have died in the conflict than in the 20 years of the Vietnam strife.
Mr. President, I hope you can sleep well; you too, DICK!
The Da Vinci Bore
After all the hoopla about the Da Vinci Code, Howling Latina yesterday went to see the movie.
And guess what?
The movie critics are right. Save your $$$$$.
The movie is way too long, way too preposterous and way too boring, with plot gaps wide enough to drive an entire brigade of monastery monks.
Trying to live up to the much hyped and overwhelmingly successful previous model set by "The Passion of Christ," gratuitous blood and gore is immediate and lasting.
In the opening scene, a robed man brutally kills an older man at the Louvre Museum in Paris; and the audience gets to see him lying on the floor naked for the first 30 minutes or so.
Now without giving the inanely absurd story line away, suffice it to say the rest of the movie is filled with a montage of highly dubious characters and plot arcs with contrived music of crescendo and decrescendo fade-outs, which only serve to underscore the unintentional suspense in the action: When will this trash of a movie finally be over?
Folks, don't be alarmed if the person next to you whispers some jocular aside to you; this cliché-filled movie is a tedious grind to sit through.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
News Hacks on Steroid
Weighing in this morning, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a column about the distasteful tone of the Senate Democratic primary campaign.
Just as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, bears shit in the woods and fish swim in water, each and every campaign cycle elicits the same tired bag of clueless garbage from some newshound.
The latest incantation came by way of a recent column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Now considering how the newspaper endorsed the Republican candidate at the top of every Republican ticket for statewide office since forever, please forgive Howling Latina if she’s a little cynical about their latest faux outrage.
Jerry Kilgore for governor in 2005? Check
John Warner for senator in 2002? Check
James Early for governor in 2001? Check
George Allen for senator in 2000? Check
James Gilmore for governor in 1997? Check
John Warner for senator in 1996? Check
And sprinkled between their endorsements were calls for civility, of course.
The paper's credibility for "fair" reporting is more than a little skewed when the only examples cited in the column are Webb slapping down Miller for interrupting. You know, kinna like when Ronald Reagan had his "grab the microphone incident" on his way to the White House.
Yes, mean nasty Webb and his supporters are mean and nasty to Harris Miller and his gang of toadies; never mind that Schumer directed his initial arrow of ire straight at Miller's dissembling heart.
Well add Howling Latina to the hall of bad manners when she proudly proclaims that the hatchet job, er, I mean column by Times-Dispatch, is like steroids in print, an extra muscleman by ringside pounding the dog crap out of an opponent; and in plain site of the audience.
Virginia bloggers are passionate about James Webb and will not suffer fools or liars gladly by Miller or anyone else.
Great News for Webb
The latest Survey USA poll has grrreat news for James Webb, in spite of what Spark it Up has to say on the subject.
It shows Republicans are petrified of him.
Spark it Up points to the increase in Webb’s unfavorable rating by 7 percent during the past month; and professes to devine the numbers show that the better people get to know Webb, the less they like him.
Yep, especially all those partisan GOPers.
Sparkie's post reminded Howling Latina of a Miller supporter who came to her site and chastised HL for not quoting the full Tom Davis commentary in an earlier post.
The missing comment was Davis saying how surprised he was that Webb was running for the Senate seat.
Sure he was, in the sense that Davis didn’t give the Democratic Party enough credit to be able to recruit such an eminently qualified candidate whose strengths directly scored against Allen's weaknesses.
Oh, and that I had failed to write about how worried Davis was that poor Webb was "completely unfamiliar" with the harsh realities of a statewide campaign; please save the phony concern.
Before John Warner ran and won his current Senate seat, the senior senator from Virginia pretty much had the same credentials as Webb, minus the metals on his chest.
Dollars to a donut, any Republican who votes in the Democratic primary against party dictum and threat of future voting privilege loss, will vote for Miller.
Fortunately, many GOP voters don't even know there is a Democratic primary in June; or who the strongest candidate against Allen is; we'll make our direct pitch to them after the primary!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
A Richmond Times-Dispatch journalist was fired for lying and plagiarizing.
An earlier story about public reaction to Bush’s immigration speech had quoted Bill Threlkeld, site director for Project Hope and Harmony of Herndon as if the reporter had actually interviewed him.
But the reporter never interviewed Threlkeld and background for the article was stolen right out of an earlier item by the Washington Post.
What’s more, a “pavilion that the story described as protecting the workers from the elements has been planned but not built, Editor and Publisher reports.
Oops, can’t have any observable factual errors in a contrived story, folks.
The Problem with Justice
Right after Lee Boyd Malvo was captured in the Washington Metropolitan sniper case, Howling Latina wrote letters to editors decrying the circumstances which allowed a youth to be lost in the social system that was supposed to protect him.
And allowed to traipse across the country with a maniacal killer.
At the time, news stories revealed that Malvo was not attending school and had been living at homeless shelters. No local, state or federal government cared enough to delve into Malvo's despicable life condition.
And if the commonwealth of Virginia had had its druthers, and the Supreme Court had not inconveniently weighed in against executing minors, and the verdict headed by my Baptist brethren had not provided mercy, Malvo would now be sitting in prison waiting to be executed, just like Justin Wolfe, who was only 19-years old when he was charged in the death of his friend, a person shot and killed not by Justin, but the state nonetheless insisted he had to die in order for justice to be served.
Last Thursday, the Washington Post had a mesmerizing story about "the chilling alchemy...between...two killers...father figure and pliant protégé." Through psychological contortions and control, the Court saw an initial defiant young lion reduced to courtly submissive lamb.
Read what the reporter writes:
So next time any person argues for the ultimate punishment in the case of a young person, just remember the story of Lee Boyd Malvo who turned from a good natured and obedient boy "during his childhood and adolescence -- before he met John Allen Muhammad" into a cold-blooded killer after he came under Muhammad's influence.
This was like watching one of those educational films about child abuse. Muhammad was the classic abusive father, switching from harsh, pedantic disciplinarian to calm, sweet, loving friend. Though it was sickening to watch, you could see Malvo involuntarily softening each time Muhammad changed gears.
With each question, both men's voices grew softer. The anger seemed to lift from Malvo. He slouched, and his head slumped. The defiant lip disappeared, and Malvo began to answer in a child's voice...
The theater on view in Rockville was breathtaking, an advanced course in the dynamics of the criminal mind. Just don't pretend it's about justice. They took care of that in Virginia already.
In other words, when you are a youth, your core values and belief system are not fully formed and subject to manipulation by someone older and evil. Or a movie. Or a rap song. Or ANYTHING!
In the case of Justin Wolfe, the nine women and three men of the jury failed to recognize that "but for the grace of God" any of them could have been in the same situation as the poor luckless mom of the young man before them; and mercy should have been accorded.
And as far as Lee Boyd Malvo, his lawless carnage is by measure the fault of reckless indifference and negligence by government officials who oversee the welfare of our children.
"Meet the Press"
The show will also show excerpts from an earlier interview with Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi's new prime minister.
Russert will also have a gabfest with David Brooder, David Ignatius and Eugene Robinson, columnists of the Washington Post; and Kate O'Beirne, Washinton editor of National Review.
They'll be discussing the recent mayhem in Congress over the FBI raid of Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana and Bush's long-awaited admission that things did not go as initially planned in Iraq and his obvious miscues.
Finally, the program will take a look back at the life of former Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Democratic party nominee for vice presidential in 1988.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Howling Latina received an e-mail from my congresswoman, Jo Ann Davis who will go down to defeat in the fall.
Shawn O'Donnell, an excellent Democratic candidate is running against her.
At first glance, HL thought Davis wrote, "I hope that you are enjoying spying..."
But actually she was wishing me a super spring; and then started talking about all the wonderful things she's been up to on the Hill.
She supported H.R. 3893, the Gasoline for America's Security Act, which would make it illegal for oil companies to gouge the public; but alas, the Senate stalled the bill.
Davis also supported H.R. 5253, the Federal Energy Price Protection Act, which bans " price gouge for crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, or any bio-fuel. "
Hmmm, didn't see a whole lot of difference between 3893 and 5253, anyone?!?
Davis has also been busy supporting President Bush's instruction for the Department of Justice to investigate "possible manipulation of gasoline prices."
Lady, there ain't no question about it. The oil and gas companies have been gouging the public for the last year.
Davis also supports extending the deadline for seniors without paying any penalty.
Oh yea, and she loves me. I'm a person in her district who ALWAYS votes!
Musings from a Liberal
Howling Latina has the core belief that if criminals pose no threat to society, there are better ways for society to exact justice than hard prison time for every law breaker.
And in keeping with my worldview, HL hopes the judge in Houston shows mercy to Kennie-boy and his pal Jeffey Skilling.
Although millions of lives were affected by the implosion of Enron, and thousands of people lost their life savings, plenty of folks who did a whole lot of worst (like lie us into war, order-up torture, trash the Constitution, and so on) are still walking the free earth.
Personally, I think Lay and Skilling should have to do community service and no hard prison time; for what does vengeance profit a society when true justice is better served through mercy?
My thoughts on the matter are that every individual possesses a redemptive spirit; and each person should have the chance to amend past wrongs through atoning good deeds.
There are ample ways Lay and Skilling can put their knowledge to work on behalf of people in Harris County, Texas and America.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Republicans in 2006 Look Like The Democrats of 1994
Republicans in the 2006 election cycle look like the Democrats of 1994 who lost the House and Senate, according to an article in today's Roll Call.
And to learn about the political climate in 1994, Howling Latina took a troll down memory lane and here's what Charlie Cook of Roll Call was saying back in May 2004.
As Democrats try to regroup from the losses of long-held seats in two back-to-back Congressional special elections, many of them are busy trying to figure out what happened and what it will mean in November.Looks like Democratic candidates were losing special elections in Kentucky and Oklahoma, kinna like GOPers in '06 if Democratic Francine Busby should win in the 50th district in California.
In the article, Roll Call zeroes in on Rep. Charley Taylor's race in North Carolina's 11th district and writes:
In fact, Roll Call has been busy of late forecasting stormy weather for Republicans, which Terry, Cindy and Katrina clouds from last year helped form atmospheric pressure and gale wind forces of the Kenny, Dukester, Scooter, Shooter and Karl variety.
The best evidence that the national GOP meltdown is affecting individual Republicans may well be North Carolina's 11th district, where Taylor is facing Democratic challenger Heath Shuler.
As Bush's numbers have fallen and the generic ballot has turned in favor of the Democrats in the district, Taylor's numbers have also dripped. I'm betting that's not a coincidence.
In February of this year, Anzalone Liszt Research polling showed Taylor holding a 47 percent to 40 percent lead over Shuler. Three months later, in a May 9-13 survey, the Democrat reversed that, pulling ahead (albeit narrowly) by a 45 percent to 43 percent margin. During the same time period, Taylor's 46 percent "re-elect" score in February dropped to 42 percent in May.
John Anzalone, president of the well-respected and often quoted polling firm of Anzalone Liszt Research, believes, "It's all about the environment, not the challenger...Every Congressional poll that we have done for months has been good for Democrats and bad for Republican incumbents."
"Now, merely because of the environment, Democratic candidates can be at 10 percent in name ID and still be sitting in the mid-30s in [ballot tests]. That's a huge difference from past years."
More GOPers in the Pardon Queue
The line just got longer by two more bodies.
Major media news outlets report that a Houston jury found Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling guilty of all charges in the Enron conspiracy and fraud trial.
The Associated Press via CBS writes:
Didn't take them long to whip out a story. Like obituaries of famous people, looks like journalists had a guilty verdict story all lined up.
Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in a case born from one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.
The verdict put the blame for the demise of what was once the nation's seventh-largest company squarely on its top two executives. It came in the sixth day of deliberations following a trial that lasted nearly four months.
Update and Correction: Only Kennie-boy was guilty of all counts. Skilling was not convicted of nine of the criminal counts; the jury rendered a guilty verdict in "19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and making false statements which, combined, carry a maximum sentence of 185 years."
The Die-Tech Candidate in Virginia
Like the mortgage guy who keeps losing to Die-Tech in those TV ads, Harris Miller keeps losing more and more political ground to James Webb as the primary date draws closer.
Poor Miller, he can’t get any respect!
Only yesterday, Tom Davis in an interview about GOP chances to hold power in Congress “was coaxed to offer his thoughts on the US Senate race”, according to MSNBC's "First Read."
And guess whose name was the focus of his comments?!? James Webb, of course.
Here’s what Davis had to say on the subject:
Starting with the caveat that both incumbent GOP Sen. George Allen and Democratic candidate Jim Webb are friends of his, Davis said he was "surprised" to see Webb, former US Navy Secretary under President Reagan, get in the race. He said that campaigns require discipline..."Let's see how that works out" for Webb...And Davis wasn't referring to the Democratic primary, either.
Providing war hero Webb as a Senate choice in November for Virginians is a no-brainer for Democrats. Against the junior do-nothing who is more concerned about '08 than serving his adopted state, Webb will get major press and major $$$$; and then go on to whip Allen's phony butt.
In an interesting sidenote, Davis offers an interesting quote from the Christian Science Monitor that speaks of Allen as well as his own chances in the fall.
"The members who are most likely to lose may not be the guys who are targeted.... [I]t is the guy who has been voting with the party for years and who hasn't paid that much attention to what is going on back home ... and all of a sudden the electorate changes and these are the guys who get surprised."Well, at least Davis is AWARE. Allen is too delusional to see the writing on the wall!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Prosecutor Says Cheney May Be Called to Testify
MSNBC and ABC News are reporting that Vice President Cheney “may be called to testify” by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
And folks, that’s under oath.
Oh my, we're now down to "state of mind." Call me a kook, but to Howling Latina, that's dangerous territory.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald suggested Cheney would be a logical government witness because he could authenticate notes he jotted on a July 6, 2003, New York Times opinion piece by a former U.S. ambassador critical of the Iraq war.
Fitzgerald said Cheney's "state of mind" is "directly relevant" to whether I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's former top aide, lied to FBI agents and a federal grand jury about how he learned about CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity and what he subsequently told reporters.
It's been a well document fact that Fitzgerald's modus operandi is to work up the chain of command; and "truthiness" only buys you an indictment.
The way things are shaping up, forget last minute pardons like his father; look for Junior to pardon everyone right after the November elections.
Democrats take over the House and Senate; yeah, that would definitely make it less likely.
Speaker Hastern Possibly Snagged in House Culture of Corruption?!?
In breaking news, ABC News via AMERICAblog and Raw Story has reported that House Speaker Dennis Hastert is being investigated by the FBI.
It seems information from a few of Jack Abramoff’s friends “implicated” the distinguished gentleman from Illinois.
Ohmygod, no wonder Hastert went ballistic when the government raided the congressional office of Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana last Saturday; and poor Nancy Pelosi unwittingly fell for his so-called constitutional outrage.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives…is under investigation by the FBI, which is seeking to determine his role in an ongoing public corruption probe into members of Congress, ABC News has learned from high level government sources.
Part of the investigation involves a letter Hastert wrote three years ago, urging the Secretary of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with other tribes.
Howling Latina wonders if the Justice Department under Bush's bestest pal is sending a J. Edgar Hoover-like warning to Congress. Hey, investigate me, and investigations are likely to turn up in the strangest places.
In rare, election-year harmony, House Republican and Democratic leaders jointly demanded on Wednesday that the FBI return documents taken in a Capitol Hill raid that has quickly grown into a constitutional turf fight beyond party politics.
"The Justice Department must immediately return the papers it unconstitutionally seized," House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.
Tom DeLay for Alexandria Councilman?!?
Roll Call via Raw Story reports that disgraced Tom DeLay wants folks in Alexandria to show him some love!
Well, the city of Alexandria is as blue as DeLay's former district in Texas was red. Let's see how well Tommie likes the view from the outside looking in.
HOH recently discovered an e-mail that was circulating in GOP circles just prior to the Alexandria City Council election earlier this month.
The subject: "Tom DeLay for Alexandria City Council.
"The e-mail, from "citizen kane" read:
"EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE on May 2nd in Alexandria's local election.
"More importantly, send a message to the socialists on the City Council and EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO WRITE IN A CANDIDATE'S NAME.
"The 'Right' Candidate for Alexandria City Council.
"He was also able to defeat Marxism in Eastern Europe; perhaps he can help us defeat Marxism west of the Potomac in Alexandria. Let's drop the 'Hammer' on Alexandria's Politburo!
"Please, write in the name of new Alexandria, VA resident, and former House Majority Leader TOM DELAY!!! Tom DeLay for City Council!"
The sender urged recipients to forward to all Alexandria voters.
In the meantime, Alexandria GOPers; you have your "Mission Impossible" order: Make total fools of yourselves as you answer the absurd call to arms.
Like Raw Story reports, no telling how many "write-in votes DeLay wound up getting, since write-in votes were not officially tabulated. "
Obviously DeLay didn't win. But hey, there's always tomorrow, right?!?
More on Plamegate and Jason Leopold
Finally, the transcript for “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” from last night dealing with Plamegate and Jason Leopold; and once again, the newspaper that breaks a previously reported Leopold story is The New York Daily News.
As Olbermann noted, Leopold “more than two months ago…reported that Scooter Libby had discussed Valerie Plame in June 2003 with two CIA officials, including the man the agency would fire as its chief counterterrorism officer.”
Yes, he did; and sure enough, that’s exactly what happened!
The New York Daily News reported yesterday that two CIA officials have “bolster[ed] prosecutors' charge that Vice President Cheney’s chief aide lied to them. Moreover, one of the officials, Robert Grenier was unceremoniously fired as “CIA counterterrorism chief” back in February.
Howling Latina has previously warned folks not to dismiss Leopold's heart-thumping breaking news. For more than a while, HL has had the sneaky suspicion that Leopold’s source is another journalist, specifically someone at the New York Daily News.
And as for all the gnashing of teeth about the seedy former journalist, Howie, you may have to eat more than a little crow if it turns out Leopold was right after all. Rove has already been indicted.
Allen Burnishing His Credentials with the “Lou Dobbs” GOP Wing
Sen. George Felix Allen is not going to vote for no compromise immigration bill, got it?
Yes, even though Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a 2008 presidential hopeful told The Hill in a recent interview that he will likely support the measure.
But not our principled law and order, Confederate flag-waving, tough-on crime senator (except when it’s a GOPer). It’s all about the rule of law.
Our suddenly bashful, reticent senator gave a “short interview” with little to add to the discussion:
“It rewards illegal behavior,” he repeated yet one more time, "emphasizing that the borders need to be secured first.”
Oh what a bunch of dog dung!
The borders will never be secure. Build a wall, they’ll dig a tunnel. Slap heavy penalties on employers, watch your corporate bankroll halt. Jail immigrants, watch border states go Democratic; and yes, that includes all-important Florida.
In other words, immigration hysteria is the racial dog that just won’t hunt no more! Hell, even nutwing Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas plans to vote for the bill.
Well, for Allen’s sake, let’s hope this nasty Senate immigration business is over with by mid-June so he can show his smiley face and schmooze and grovel with Iowa Republicans; and try to win their racist heart for his would-be presidential run.
But only one problem. Just like former Gov. Mark Warner said at a recent James Webb’s fundraiser, "We can't get rid of this president in 2006…[b]ut we can make sure that we ... replace those members of Congress who vote with this president in an overwhelming majority of the time with new fresh members of the Congress and the United States Senate who will set this country in a new direction."
And that’s why Allen WILL BE defeated in November; his tired campaign strategy of dividing the electorate by race has grown exceedingly stale and old.
Don't be too surprised if farmers and small business owners pony-up ($$$$) for James Webb in the fall.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Let's See If This Amendment Ever Makes Its Way Into Law
As Howling Latina has been griping for the last few days, if folks were truly serious about stemming the flow of illegal immigrants, they would do something about the fat cats who employ them.
Well, it looks like the Senate has been listening to like-minded spirits.
The Associated Press via the Washington Post reports that the Senate passed an amendment to the immmigration bill that would fine employers "up to $20,000 for each unauthorized worker".
Employers would have to check Social Security numbers and the immigration status of all new hires within 18 months after money is provided to the Homeland Security Department to expand the electronic system for screening workers.Oh goodness, Howling Latina wonders just exactly when the electronic system will be up and running; or if the amendment will ever make it out of the Senate-House conference committee; or if ANY bill will make it to the president's desk?!?
The amendment passed the Senate, 58-40. And of course, "[o]pponents said the verification system would take years to implement" and their only concern was that "workers deemed illegal could still hold onto jobs until their appeals [were] exhausted."
HL is trying to get the actual roll call, but it's not made its way to the Senate Web site.
Here's what's being reported.
Employers who don't use the new computerized system could be fined $200 to $600. The system would include information from the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security Department.
The $20,000 fines for hiring illegal immigrants once the new screening system is in place would be double the present level. Repeated violators could be sentenced to prison terms of up to three years.
What a Bunch of Frigging Progressive Sexists
After reading a recent poll posted in Daily Kos about whether readers approve of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Howard Dean, guess who polled the worst?
The female, of course. I mean, I can understand Dean's astronomical approval rate of 87 percent, but what grave sin has the Democratic minority leader committed against progressives?!?
Well, she took impeachment off the table is the lame excuse.
So Nancy gets a 30 percent approval rate and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid gets 66 percent, even though Reid didn't even support the frigging censure motion by Sen. Russ Feingold, for crying out loud!
As usual, women are held to a higher standard; and yes from both women and men.
Disgraceful and shameful!
Harris Miller Missing
In the latest Wall Street Journal poll via MyDD, the only poll numbers on the front page are for Webb and Allen. To see Miller's numbers, you have to click one additional time.
Allen leads Webb by a measly 7.2 percent, 48.9 percent to 41.7; and that's without Virginians knowing a whole lot about James Webb.
Allen leads Miller 49.9 percent to 38 percent.
Stick a fork, Webb's winning, ALL THE WAY!
An amendment that would have allowed immigrants to stay in the country, work and eventually become citizens was shot down.
The Washington Post reports that a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein lost in the Senate by a vote of 61-37.
Some legislators who supported the Feinstein amendment nonetheless voted against it because the current immigration legislation is too fragile and would never have survived the change, or at least that's their talking point.
"This legislation is on the edge of the ledge as it is," said Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, one of the Republicans supporting a delicate compromise that has kept the bill alive _ letting two-thirds of illegal immigrants stay but making the other third leave.The current proposal would force [t]hose in the country two to five years...[to] exit and file an application to return as a guest worker." Those in the country less than two years would have to go home, apply to enter as guest workers and wait for a visa.
"I have come to believe that the three-tiered system is unworkable, that it would create a bureaucratic nightmare and it would lead to substantial fraud," Feinstein said Tuesday.To say nothing of permanent second-class denizens that have created all that nasty business in France, Britain and Israel.
Like bloggers have noted before, so-called moderate Republicans never side with progressives during difficult votes; and can be counted to side with liberals when their vote is absolutely meaningless.
Oh and one more item. The Senate just loves the president's idea to send our National Guard to secure the border; just as soon as they return home from Iraq.
Fear not, Sister Ruth
In today's Washington Post. Ruth Marcus has an article about the Democratic Party's attempt to court centrist or progressive evangelicals.
You know, folks like me!
And yes, I think she made a wonderful choice in using Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston as an example for the flourishing shepherd leading a flock of Christians.
Again, that would be me!
Listen to Osteen on any Sunday morning (Washington Metropolitan area airs him on Fox right after the Chris Wallace's gabfest opposite Chris Matthews and Gordon Peterson), and you won't hear anything about tax cuts, abortion, gays or illegal immigrants.
What you will hear is the message of God's grace; and gentle nudges of encouragement to open prayer channels that allow one to discern His voice.
Howling Latina posted earlier that Democrats are targeting a few GOP House members and advertising in religious radio stations.
Marcus now writes about the perils in the new strategy, "[B]y all means, let Democrats woo evangelicals and cast the message in a way that speaks to religious voters. But in doing so, keep in mind: What does it profit a party to gain a demographic but lose its soul?"
Well Ruth, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little Faith?" It's time for Democrats to come out of the wilderness and express their spiritual conviction without shame or fear.
Monday, May 22, 2006
"First Secure Our Borders"
Sen. George Allen will will no longer be called George "Goober" Allen. Henceforth, Howling Latina will call him by his name proper.
Sen. George Felix Allen.
And what an appropriate name for him.
It seems Allen took the political playbook right out of Felix movie scripts and has much in common with the feline hero.
Yes, both the senator and his feline namesake lived a storied life in California; and "Felix in Hollywood" became enraged Felix in "Felix Misses His Swiss," which invariable led to delusional "Felix Dines and Pines."
Both Felixes are a calamity waiting to happen!
In the latest tale, Felix the senator growls, "Secure them borders," but has no real game plan (to borrow from his gamely metaphors) on how to do so.
In a press release last Wednesday, he shared with the public:
"My mother came to this country legally after World War II from Tunisia. I personally realize that America is a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws and should remain both. As we go forward in this debate, my guiding principle continues to be that we must first and foremost secure our borders because I believe that a nation that can not control its own borders can not control its own destiny."But my dear Felix, you must have had way too much catnip, for building a wall is no way to keep out illegals, they'll just build a tunnel.
Now if all you GOPers really want to close the nation's borders and stymie the monsoon of illegal immigrants, how about some prison time for the fat cats who employ them?
This is no cat and mouse game; it's quite simple.
Every employer deducts social security and then sends the funds to the Social Security Administration; and every year, the federal government notifies employers of workers who do not match their listed social security number.
Now an invalid social security number usually means one of two things: either the number was inadvertently copied down wrong; or the worker is using somebody else's social security number.
So for every fat cat who habitually submits, let's say more than 100 wrong social security numbers a year, the government audits them; and if they find illegal aliens working, they fine them; and if the company is fined more than once, it's mandatory prison time for the corporate fat cats.
Now that's what you call real immigration reform; and real truth in sentencing law. But dollars to fresh cream, our tomcat about the nation would never support such a bill.
Did Mark Warner Endorse Webb?!?
In trying to catch up with the news from last week, Howling Latina came across an article by The Frontrunner of Bulletin News Network, Inc.
The article dated May 16 recaps an Associated Press story and says:
Sen. George Allen "had hoped for an easy slide to re-election and, from there, a launching pad to the presidency. So far, it hasn't worked out that way." Allen "faces a surprisingly tough re-election campaign that is keeping him pinned down in his state while other Republican presidential hopefuls traverse Iowa, New Hampshire and other important places in the 2008 nomination fight. Just as worrisome, the Senate campaign has already dredged up a few unpleasant issues - both personal and political - that could shadow his plans for 2008."Hmmm, must be referring to that nasty business with the flag, whips and all.
The Vienna Virginia news wire service then goes on to recap an earlier Washington Post story and writes:
Webb convincing the national Democratic leadership that he offers the best chance to defeat" Allen, "and Miller calling in chits among party activists with whom he has served for decades to show he represents the constituencies necessary for Democrats to win in the fall." Webb has received the backing of, among others, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) and ex-Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D).Does anyone know if this is accurate? Did I miss something while diligently working on a couple of end-of-semester research papers?!? Or this a monumental factual error by the news organization?!?
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Silver Wedge Bullet Is a Dud
Howling Latina has been shouting from every mountaintop; the GOP ploy of using immigration as a wedge issue was going to boomerang right in their racist face.
The maxim that you can’t please all the people some of the time, or some of the people all the time has come to roost.
Bush can’t seem to please ANYONE! His position is too nuanced, you know, something John Kerry might have divined in '04.
So Latinos are now mad at Republicans for the Draconian bill recently passed by the GOP House; and the over-the-top racist rhetoric used by some of their members.
Conservatives are ticked off because Junior is too much of a "compassionate conservative" when it comes to them nasty brown "fehreigners."
Like Al Frankin, HL finds herself in unusual agreement with Bush; and like Frankin noted on his radio show, if conservatives truly want to stem the flow of illegal aliens, just have the Social Security Administration look up businesses with more than 100 unmatched social security numbers, year in and year out, audit them, fine them, and if they must, jail a few.
Too harsh? Then GOP wingnuts, don't say another damn word about illegal aliens!
Racist GOP Target Marketing
Earth to GOPers, your national party is racist; and if you don't believe me, read on.
The latest proof is the story of Bennie Thompson, an African-American legislator in an overwhelmingly Democratic district in Mississippi; his light skinned opponent is the GOP favorite.
You see, rather than run a Republican who would surely lose, the GOP is running a "Democrat" better to their liking.
Nothing wrong with that, HL supposes; every person has a right to run and root for their own dog in whatever political fight they choose.
But what is truly inescapably racist and evil is that some newly GOP spawned group, calling itself Citizens for Better Representation, is now straight-out asking "all registered Republican white voters to vote against Thompson in the primary."
And for good measure, they also decided to send a lovely mailing featuring a "white farmer" and a "white business woman" to African-Americans with incomes over $50,000.
Read it and weep, fellow Democrats and believers in the divine spirit of all humanity.
Well, here's a few questions from Howling Latina about the white farmer and the white businesswoman.
Objective: Defeat Bennie Johnson in the June 6 Democratic Primary.
This election will determine who will represent the 2nd Congressional
District for the next two years.
Strategy: Call on all registered Republican white voters to vote in the June 6 Democratic Primary. The following marketing tools will be utilized.
1. Approximately 100,000 8" X 12" full color postcards will be mailed 2 times to households with a $50,000 + income. Using this income level will target our defined market.
A. The first mailing will be a white farmer testimonial emphasizing the key talking points.
B. The second mailing will be a white business woman testimonial emphasizing the key talking points.
What in the name of heaven has the GOP done for businesswomen who still make 50 percent less than men? Or for the white farmer, who saw his income go up by the measly sum of $763 during the last four years?!?
(The GOP talking points came from a post by The Stakeholder.)
Congress to Investigate Report of Marine Massacre
Howling Latina earlier noted as a sidebar that eyewitness accounts of Marines killing innocent Iraqis had initially been reported as a sad incident involving a sideroad bomb.
Rep. John Murtha created a tempest last Wednesday during a press conference when he broke the story. MSNBC later confirmed it.
Now it looks like Congress wants to get in the action. After ignoring every scandal down the pike, the GOP has finally decided during an election year to hold an oversight hearing.
Someone fairly cynical might wonder if the fact that major news organizations are predicting the political Apocalypse for Republicans in the fall has more than a little something-something to do with it.
You know, anything to help Thelma and Geoff; and Nancy and Chris and other imperiled GOPers; but naaah, perish the thought!
Editor and Publisher reports that House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter of California is making noises about a hearing, not to find out exactly what happened, but to learn how the military investigation was carried out.
Hunter...said Friday that the results of the investigation are expected to be delivered to Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, commander of Multi-national Corps Iraq, late next week, and a hearing could occur shortly thereafter.The government has never denied Murtha's accusation; and the Pentagon investigation, according to Murtha, "will show that U.S. Marines 'killed innocent civilians in cold blood'".
In the meatime, there is an all-telling video, MSNBC reports.
Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps' own evidence appears to show Murtha is right.
A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.
The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.Well, let's hope any hearing is more substantive than the horse-and-pony show of Arlen Specter's Judiciary Committee hearing last February into government spying, although Howling Latina is not going to hold her breath.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Stale News on the Miller front
During the last week, Howling Latina had to finish two 18 to 20-page papers with little time to post on the goings-on of last weekend.
Yes, my candidate Shawn O'Donnell won the vote in Williamsburg and is going to be the Democratic candidate for the 1st district. But that was only part of the story.
Like a mad stalking boyfriend who won't go away, Harris Miller stayed for the entire affair, dinner and all; and he indelicately placed Miller bumper stickers on top of each table, as folks privately and not-so privately kept asking for Webb.
In fact, Howling Latina took a very informal poll in the lady's room and every person was a Webb supporter.
And after having to listen to Miller speak twice in one day on Saturday, HL was not looking forward to the pleasure of hearing Miller once again bloviate, this time at Fauquier's Supper Club meeting on Sunday.
Packed with a spread of shrimp, HL made it to the front of the yard. But with all those Miller signs, I just couldn't force myself on Mother's Day, my day, to have to endure any phony tete-a-tete with Miller.
So for the last week, HL has been munching on shrimp and furiously writing about the symbolism of a rosebush, white pearls and Lord knows what else for school.
So folks, that's all HL has to report.
Oh wait, for Webb fans, an e-mail is making its round to Fauquier Democrats asking them not to buy the slick outsourced donkey from Harris Miller; and yes, it paints a gory picture of his past statements and lobbying.
But more on the e-mail tomorrow.
Driving While Mexican
Driving while Mexican can be deadly!
The Associated Press via The Washington Post reports that two federal agents shot and killed Oscar Abraham Garcia, 22, of Tijuana, Mexico at a border crossing stop.
The official government version is that the driver looked suspicious, a federal agent asked him to get out of his car, he refused, "put the petal to the metal" (to borrow our goober senator's favorite phrase) and "nearly pinned an agent standing next to the vehicle," which of course garnered the swift response of a hail of bullets from the border patrol.
The Mexican government called for an investigation Friday into a shooting by two federal agents that left one person dead at the world's busiest border crossing. A union representing the Border Patrol agent involved in the shooting defended the officer's conduct.Fortunately, there is "footage from security cameras at the border."
I mean, after recent news stories about the roadside bomb that was reputed to have killed some Iraqis back in November and is now under investigation, please forgive Howling Latina for being a little leery of the official government line.
In that incident, eyewitness accounts disputed the initial military version; and have told military officials that the Marines opened fire without provocation.
Here are a few lines from the CNN story:
Like the Iraqi soldiers who were poorly trained to gather intelligence, looks like border guards are going to need some fresh training; and told to not shoot at some guy who poses no lethal threat just 'cause they think he might be getting away.
Citing an ongoing investigation, the Marine Corps said, "Any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process."
The Iraqi civilians were killed while troops from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines were looking for insurgents who planted a roadside bomb that killed a member of their unit.
At first, the Marines said the civilians were killed by a roadside bomb. Later, they suggested the victims may have been caught in a firefight.
An Iraqi human rights group, Hammurabi Human Rights Association, caught the scene on video, which was obtained by Time magazine. A criminal investigation ensued.
Last month, the battalion commander and two company commanders were relieved of their commands and reassigned to staff jobs at Camp Pendleton in California.
News accounts report that no guns were found in the sports utility truck that was stopped 75 feet from the border.
Hmmm, probable cause, anyone?!?
The US Constitution and Three Branches of Government
My Cuban-American "hermano" in the Senate is mulling over the bill introduced by Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin to censure the president.
Atlanta Progressive News is reporting that in an interview Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey along with several other senators is "looking closely at the bill, S Res 398" and supporing it.
So far, Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Harkin of Iowa and John Kerry of Massachusetts have signed on as co-sponsors.
As progressive bloggers have previously noted, Democrats should not back away from the issue of presidential oversight; and yes, if laws were broken, censure is eminently appropriate.
As Digy of Hullabaloo writes, the GOP has "got big brass ones..."
They behaved like a slavering lynch mob for six solid years and now evoke that image against the party they lynched.Under President Clinton, there wasn't a whisper, innuendo, fantasy or lie that didn't warrant a special counsel; and yes, the public was appalled.
But guess what? The public fully supported the Nixon House impeachment hearings because real laws were broken. It wasn't about some seedy affair in the Oval Office, which Congress and the public had no business tracking down.
People know the difference between public and private acts. So in the words of our fearless leader, "Bring them on!" And the next time the press starts blabbering about impeachment, Democrats needs to remind them that it's all about the constitution, legislative oversight and the rule of law!
GOP Sunday at "Meet the Press"
First up at bat is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to spin, er, I mean talk about the goings-on in Iraq, the Iranian menace and government snooping.
In the second segment Republican Sen. Lindsey Grahma of South Carolina and Republican Rep. Charlie Norwood of Georgia will duke it out with their different versions of how to fix the illegal immigration problem (that until recently was not perceived as a problem at all).
This contrived crisis is a bunch of malarkey. Why if every illegal alien were to be deported, Wall Street would plunge; and a few crimson red states like Texas would lose House seats; and the GOP faithful would cry.
Like my brethren Sen. Robert Menendez said in a recent interview, if you're really interested in protecting the border against terrorists, you better send out the National Guard up North.
“Why not send the National Guard to the Canadian border, too? All the 9/11 terrorists entered our country through Canada, not Mexico”.Muy inteligente este senador.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Dems Target GOP Christian Voters in Drake District
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has purchased ads at several Christian radio stations and are targeting four House members, including Rep. Thelma Drake.
As a progressive Christian who sometimes listens to Christian radio, Howling Latina can only remark that it's about damn time!
In an advertisement scheduled to begin running Wednesday in five House districts in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia, an announcer says that "retirement has become an uncertain time for many of us." The commercial goes on to suggest that the Social Security approach championed by Mr. Bush and many Congressional Republicans could undermine the stability of the retirement program while adding $2 trillion in federal debt.Let the Holy Spirit do His work on good-hearted Christians who rarely follow the news but follow the Word of God.
Mr. Emanuel said the advertisement raised the debt issue to spotlight another sore spot among conservatives — the level of spending overseen by Republicans in Congress. The rise in the debt limit and criticism of the growth in federal spending bills is adding to unrest among conservatives that is contributing to low public support for Congress. Even if the party is unable to convert conservatives, the advertisements could help hold down Republican support in districts where races could be tight.
Surely they know the Biblical tenet commanded by Jesus for fellow Christians, "Feed my sheep." (John 21:15).
Monday, May 15, 2006
Snug in thet Blanket
Howling Latina has had the overwhelming suspicion that the federal government has been eavesdropping on journalists all along; and now my darkest fear has been confirmed by ABC News.
ABC News today reports that a "senior federal law enforcement official t[old] ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers" of two journalists, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito "in an effort to root out confidential sources."
Ain't America great! Now the White House is trashing the First Amendment!
Can we at long last see some righteous outrage from the media with this latest power grab by the Bush administration? The breaking news is just another example of White House shenanigans aimed to silence critics and whistleblowers who would unmask their most recent Big Lie, that no "regular citizen" needs to worry about the phone mining program; their civil liberties are safe and snug with this crowd.
But HL's ear, the hound dog that she is, perked up when she heard Bush defend the program by proclaiming that "regular" people didn't need to worry; for with those words, HL saw a loophole as wide as the space beween Bush's two ear lobes; in fact, wide enough to drive a fleet of his non-existent mobile tubes through it as well.
But what's alarming is that if King George can unitarily decide who is or is not an enemy combatant, with just the teeneest wee of leeway, he can surely decide that a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist does not fall under the "regular Joe" moniker and is eligible for special attention from his goons under Negroponte.
So when "[s]ources [tell journalists] that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation", folks it's time to be seriously worried; and seriously scared.
"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told [the journalists] is in an in-person conversation.Yes, get new cell phones under an alias name, like yesterday!.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Rove Has Already Been Indicted
And before you discount Leopold's story, you might want to check out what another blogger discovered. Rove is busy cancelling appointments.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.
During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.
Democratic Underground reports that a previously posted Rove speech to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy and Research was deleted from the "coming events section at [the] AEI Web site."
Indeed, Howling Latina remember how Rove cancelled a fundraiser for Jerry Kilgore last fall, just before Libby was indicted and he was trying to save his slimy hide.
The day of reckoning for Karl Rove is coming soon. Matthews of "Hardball" thought it was going to be this past Friday. Well folks, the day and hour is not certain, but it's-a-coming.
Bogus WaPo Poll
From the beginning, the Washington Post/ABC poll front-paged on Friday and then repeated adnauseum throughout the rest of day as gospel was bogus.
The survey was prematurely taken only hours after the breaking news; and apparently as people learned more about the program, they had a quick change of heart.
So much for breaking news polls.
But be that as it may, the Post breathlessly told its readers that 63 percent of Americans (margin of error not listed) said it was acceptable for the government to look at private phone records "to investigate terrorism."
I guess after thinking about it, and the hundreds of millions of private billing records being mined, folks came to their senses.
Newsweek now paints an entirely different picture:
The Newsweek results were pretty stark: 57% of Americans say the administration has gone too far in expanding presidential power, while only 38% say they have not. The president's job approval rating in this poll declined one point to 35%.And so much for their ballyhoo analysis based on faulty raw poll numbers. Garbage in, garbage out.
Now let's see if the Sunday talk shows talk about the huge discrepancy between the two polls; especially since all day Friday every talking head kept repeating over and over how Americans don't really care about their constitutional civil liberties.
Looks like they do!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Kicking Butt in Williamsburg
The final vote was three votes for no one, 36 votes for Dr. Alonzo Grant and 143 for SHAWN O'DONELL.
Harris Miller was trying to drum up votes; all the while Webb yard signs were disappearing faster than you could say, Bottoms UP!
More tomorrow on Harris Miller and my candidate for Congress.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Rove Informs White House
Oh boy, in the latest missive from investigative reporter Jason Leopold via TruthOut, Karl Rove has told the White House he will soon be indicted.
Within the last week, Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him, according to sources.
If this is true, no wonder Bush looked so haggard at yesterday's impromptu press conference. When it rains, the law of karma pours.
And chatty Robert Lukin ain't talking!
Details of Rove's discussions with the president and Bolten have spread through the corridors of the White House where low-level staffers and senior officials were trying to determine how the indictment would impact an administration that has been mired in a number of high-profile political scandals for nearly a year, said a half-dozen White House aides and two senior officials who work at the Republican National Committee.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources confirmed Rove's indictment is imminent. These individuals requested anonymity saying they were not authorized to speak publicly about Rove's situation. A spokesman in the White House press office said they would not comment on "wildly speculative rumors."
Guests at "Meet the Press"
This Sunday Newt Gingrich is going to be on "Meet the Press" to talk about what's wrong with the Republican Party.
Hmmm, kinna hard to squeeze all that slime into one tiny half-hour segment.
And it looks like Russert is going to ask Newtie about immigration, domestic surveillance and Iraq.
Oh...and ethics in Congress.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. This should be real interesting! That's like asking Arnold of his views on steroid abuse in sports.
Later in the program, Wall Street Journal's chief Washington correspondent and columnist John Harwood, Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham, and PBS special correspondent Judy Woodruff will join Russert to talk about Gen. Michael Hayden and the recent astonishing news that the phone records of private citizens are being mined by the Bush administration.
Why the Dukester Won't Talk
In reading the latest news about convicted felon Top-Flight Dukester and how he is refusing to cooperate with Pentagon investigators, Howling Latina has two schools of thoughts on the subject.
My first thought is that former Congressman Duke Cunningham is scared out of his gore. He’s afraid of something. If he talks, bad things are likely to happen to him...
Which directly leads to my second thought, a Bush pardon.
With the huge number of GOPers in criminal trouble, the White House will surely need to hold a raffle of some sort; and in the game of chance, does the Dukester feel lucky?!?
Why risk a turn at the card table along with Scooter, Karl, John, Tom, David, Jack, Claude, Bob, Ralph, Ernie, or any other GOPer damned to the web of illegality before the end of Bush's term?
Better to remain silent and hope that your bottomed up lips buy you more than a few trump cards in the pardon game.
Update: Add the names of Republican Rep. Lewis of California, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and Kyle "Dusty" Foggo to the list.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Webb is the '06 Cinderella Story
Folks in the Democratic Party are getting excited about the prospects of knocking George Allen off his phony high-horse.
The Hill reports today that Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer of New York is sanguine about our chances of a Virginia Senate win.
And folks, that's as close to an endorsement as it gets; because you can bet your last shiny penny that Schumer wasn't talking about Harris Miller.
Giving a quick overview of those races in red states, Schumer said that he hopes to find a “Cinderella” in Virginia, a solidly Republican state that Schumer argued “under reasonable circumstances is winnable.”
Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) has been hampered by remarks he made last month that he is bored in the Senate and a recent story in The New Republic that revealed his past affinity for Confederate memorabilia.
Scarborough Goes Ballistic
Oh my Lord. Joe Scarborough is going ballistic over the USA Today news story about NSA mining the phone records of at least 200 million Americans.
"This is an imperial president!" He growled.
And that's what a GOPer had to say on the subject.
Here are a few more quotes from our public servants.
And CBC has this quote from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont:
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, vowed to summon the phone companies that reportedly have cooperated with the NSA - AT&T, Verizon Communications and BellSouth - to explain "exactly what is going on."
A Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, warned of a "major constitutional confrontation" over the program, and said it might create a "growing impediment" to Hayden's confirmation.
It is our government, our government. It is not one party's government. It's America's government. Those who are running it, entrusted with great power have a duty to answer to Americans and answer to the American public about what they are doing," said Patrick Leahy, Democratic senator from Vermont.Can't wait to see the next poll number for our Commander in Chief; and all this talk of conservatives abandoning the sinking ship that is the Bush administration because of this or that, forget about it. It's all hogwash!
The major reason is that conservatives cannot cotton a loser. That's why they despise the poor saps who fall on the economic short stick; and vote for the GOP ticket of megatax cuts for the super, super rich. They can vicariously join the winning rich team; and delusionally fancy themselves shades apart from the underdogs, even when only a mere paycheck away from them.
Oh yes, they'll accept stagnant wages, loss of jobs, lousy health care, poor schools, nonexistent tax cuts, but what they WILL NOT accept is a loss.
What this means is that they'll stay home in November. No way, no how will they be a part of any losing team; and after the Democrats take over the House and Senate, do a little digging around and show the country the merry making of the last five years at the White House, expect poor Joe to truly go ballistic.
Nancy Pelosi - Smart Like a Fox
Republican and mainstream media keep telling folks that Democrats need to stay away from investigating GOP high crimes and misdemeanors of the past five years; and they should stay away from the subject as they run for reelection.
Howling Latina disagrees; and guess what? She's not alone.
Here's what Digby of Hullaboo has to say on the subject:
I certainly hope that Democrats aren't going to follow John Dickerson's tepid analysis that concludes they shouldn't mention investigations or risk losing in November. They are being played.Digby helpfully links to other bloggers: Zachary Roth of Political Animal writes:
It's also worth noting that Republican attempts to highlight the investigations issue have come almost exclusively in fundraising emails. In other words, they're using it as a tactic to gin up their plugged-in supporters, but not, so far, as a part of their broader message to ordinary voters. And when you think about it, you can see why they might not be too enthusiastic about a campaign message that draws voters' attention, even obliquely, to the slew of scandals and screwups of the Bush years. After all, it's not exactly inconceivable that voters might welcome the prospect of a party pledging to look into, and then fix, the policies of a president with a 32 percent approval rating.And then Digby concludes:
Many in the establishment believe that Democrats are in grave danger if they ever show they give a damn about anything. It's one of the reasons why people don't feel anything for the Democrats. And for some, the strategy is always the same no matter what the circumstances: when the Republicans are popular, don't make waves. When the Republicans are unpopular, don't make waves. But think about this.
Do the Republicans really want all these scandals being brought up constantly during the campaign? I don't think so. That's why they are trying to manipulate the Democrats into keeping quiet about them. Any six year old could see through this cheap ploy.
Update: Dana Milbank on "Hardball" confirmed Democrats getting traction on the "I" word.
Kicking Mule Ranch - Miller Must Withdraw
Almost a month ago, Howling Latina beseeched Mr. Miller to withdraw from the Senate race "for the good of the party."
Since then we've learned about some political hack Allen hired to shadow Webb's campaign, and have observed conservative bloggers trash Webb for his "Confederate problem" (as if that ever stopped them from supporting bigots).
Prescient or presumptuous?
Larry Sabato is quoted in a Washington Post article via HL saying, "Jim Webb is George Allen's worst nightmare: a war hero and a Reagan appointee who holds moderate positions...Allen tries to project a Reagan aura, but Webb already has it."
And the Virginia blogosphere was abuzz yesterday, with mainstream and state media reporting that more than a few Democratic leaders had publicly announced their support for Webb.
Former Sens. Tom Daschle and Max Cleland, Democratic Whip Richard Durbin (Ill), former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Sen. Christopher Dobbs, Sens. Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Ken Salazar (Colo.) joined the chorus of support. And yes, as HOTLINE ON CALL writes, it would seem a "tacit recognition that nat'l Dems want Webb as their nominee."
Senate Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid and other top Democrats yesterday announced their support for Senate candidate James Webb, signaling the national party's growing belief that the antiwar crusader and former Navy secretary is the party's best bet against Republican incumbent George Allen in Virginia.
But the blockbusting straw that should break the Miller candidacy's back is putting into words what is obvious to any but the most mule-headed Virginia Democratic hack, "National Dems want Miller out of the race, and soon."
And the sooner the better, Harris.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Shhhh....Don't Breathe a Word
A former inmate found the "minute-by-minute" schedule for Bush's Florida itinerary.
WUSA in Washington reports that Randy Hopkins, a sanitation worker, found the documents inside a trash can.
But shhhhh....don't tell his employer.
Maybe they'll have the poor sap on "The Early Show" tomorrow morning. But shhhh....don't tell Randy Hopkins' boss, okay?!?
There on the floor next to a big trash truck was a thick sheaf of papers with nearly every detail of the President's voyage.
“I saw locations and names and places where the President was going to be. I knew it was important. And it shouldn't have been in a trash hole like this,” he said.