Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Republican Who Is Absolutely Not Gay

Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny flagged the news that Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, was caught in a blackmail scheme after his little jaunt with a male prostitute.

Omigod, not another one! Here are the juicy details.
A.P. is reporting that Curtis and the hooker met at one of those porno video shops (the Hollywood Erotic Boutique) at 12:45am and then went back to Curtis' hotel room at 3:30am for sex. They don't say who did what to whom but the trick, Cody Castagna, demanded a grand to not blab that Curtis, who is married, is also enjoying the company of young men, and Curtis called the cops.
And that ain't all. Howie writes that a local radio station, "KXLY reports that GOP Rep. Curtis was not just into picking up young men for sex, he was also into wearing lady's clothing."

Not to worry, though; this story has no legs for Curtis has assured the media, "I am not gay...I have not had sex with a guy."

No siree; just another happily married guy who likes to cross dress and hire male prostitutes when he's not voting "against domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples" or obstructing "a gay rights bill that [would have banned] discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

Gotta love the way Curtis daintily holds up his pinkie as he fondles his "Legislator of the Year" award from the Washington State Fire Fighters Association in the picture.

Largest Texas Baptist Chapter Elects First Woman President

The Baptist General Convention in Texas elected former missionary Joy Fenner president on Monday, the CR Online reports. It is the "the state's largest Baptist group with 5,600 affiliated congregations and more than 2.3 million members."

This is truly a remarkable turn of events, especially since less than 1 percent of its pastors are female.

The convention also made national headlines the last few years when it elected its first Hispanic president in 2004 and a year later its first black president.

The [moderate] organization has distanced itself from some Southern Baptist leaders who have issued declarations that women should not be pastors and that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands.
Howling Latina recalls when her former pastor at Westover Baptist Church told her that members of the Texas Convention had been decried as heathens by their more conservative brethren when the fundies took over leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Conservative supremacy began to wane in July 2006 when SBC selected Frank Paige over a fundie as president. Paige had promised to go back to basics and leave politicking to politicans. In other words, stop operating as an arm of the Republican Party.

The lady missionary started her walk with Christ as church secretary in the 50s then became a missionary in Japan. More recently, Fenner was executive director-treasurer of the Texas Woman's Missionary Union. Fenner won by 60 votes over David Lowrie, pastor of First Baptist Church.

The Baptist Press writes that the convention is currently in transition with recent "reports of the misuse of more than $1 million BGCT mission dollars by church planners."

Fenner, a layperson from Gaston Oaks Baptist Church in Garland, will preside over a state convention whose staff is in transition and budget is tightening.

BGCT Executive Director Charles Wade will retire in January, Chief Operating Officer Ron Gunter's resignation takes effect at the end of November and last month the BGCT terminated the employment of 29 convention staff members due to budget cuts.

Oh dear, looks like Fenner has her work cut out for her.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bush Stops Going to Church

Every person has heard the tale of Bush being redeemed from the depths of sin and vice and hell. Indeed, Christ redeemed our dear president through the power of His blood; and ever since that holy redemptive day, Dubya has tried to faithfully live his life unto the Lord -- wanting only to obey and be an instrument of His glory.

But alas, on his way to Zion something has happened. Bush lost his mojo. Or at least the magic fruit of faithfulness. Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle reports that no one has seen Bush attend worship services on Sunday in a very long time and his Bible is getting mighty "dusty."

Another Sunday and President Bush skipped church. We can't remember the last time he went. He never used to miss church -- and we know, because we get Sunday pool duty all the time and have to get up in the dark and go with him.
Oh dear. Looks like the Prez must be under a full demonic attack. How else to explain Bush breaching one of the Ten Commandments, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy"?

Yes, Howling Latina has the strong suspicion that the Evil One has used his wily charms on poor Bush and he ultimately succumbed under the weight of all the sinning and inequity of his world.

Or...perhaps it is exactly as one eagle-eyed reader observed, "He doesn't have to impress the fundamentalist right wing any more, so he can stop with the phony man of God act. "

Either way, Bushworld is of his own making; a world of pestilence, fire, hunger, drought, anarchy, death and profane war. Now let's see Chris Matthews of "Hardball" do a month's worth of clips on why poor Laura opted to stay in her marriage to the impeachable prez.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

About Jill Holtzman Vogel's Spark

Any voter who cares about the integrity and character of their public servants should steer clear of Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel's "spark and command of state issues" that were so critical in stealing the 2000 election for Bush-Cheney even though Al Gore won.

Yes, Holtzman Vogel knows all about hardball politics as evidenced in her slime campaign against GOP opponent Mark Tate during the primary that precipitously landed him in trouble with the law.

Here's a citizen's musing on the "hatchet job" by Holtzman Vogel as published in Clarke Times Courier.

During the Republican primary, Ms. Vogel, by proxy, did a classic hatchet job on her opponent, Mark Tate. Perhaps he was culpable or perhaps he was not, but the technique employed leaves a cloud of doubt around her campaign. Interesting that after her primary "victory", the charges against Mr. Tate have now been dropped. As a result, several of my Republican friends have decided they cannot vote for Ms. Vogel. By contrast, Karen Schultz has pursued an honorable and principled path of political discourse throughout this campaign.

Come Election Day, Howling Latina will be voting for Democrat Karen Schultz, the "respected, hardworking educator, school board member and community leader," as the Washington Post opined.

Ghost of Tricky Dicky or just good ol' character assassination of the Rovian kind; the woman in red is toxic -- as she hides in blue behind her signs.

Fundies Wackview...Diamonds are a Gal's Best Friend

Howling Latina could not stop, well, howling when she came across this image of moral virtue courtesy of Pandagon.

It's an image that originated with the Abstinence Awareness Campaign by fundies designed to teach youn'ns to store their precious family jewel away.

¡Ah Dios mio! What century do we live in that women are still fetishized and objectified as mere sexual receptacles for men and whose godly pinnacle in life is to be chaste brides?!?

Absolutely no sex education in school, for crissakes! Leave that task to wackjobs.

That's right, send us your maidens for a quickie seminar and watch how fast we can teach them the noble art of lying to parents. And by the bye, don't be too surprised when Missy turns up with a sexually transmitted disease and/or a few months pregnant.

Don't believe? Well, just go and check out Falwell's very lucrative home for unwed mothers, Godparent Home. Lots of diamond babies to good Christian homes because abstinence works, oh, so very well. And heavenforbid if as a reader noted, the mother's "hymen" was "[gasp, horror] only rhinestone"!

Christians Turning Against the GOP

As progressives of faith have been praying and hoping for a very long time, mainstream Christians are wizening up and leaving the party of Pharisees.

In an article this morning, The Washington Post notes that a survey released this year by Pew Research Center shows that white Christians are leaving the party of Bush, Cheney, Gonzo, Rove, Rumsfeld, Giuliani and their ilk in droves since the last presidential election.

Among weekly-attending white Catholics, the percentage dropped from 61 percent to 38 percent; among weekly-attending white mainline Protestants, from 57 percent to 36 percent.

But stop the presses. Omigod! Even uber right wing evangelicals are renouncing their oath of fealty to Republicans.

While exit polls showed that 82 percent of white evangelical Protestants who attend church weekly voted for President Bush in 2004, only 60 percent of the same group said they expected to vote GOP in 2008.
Guess the million of lives killed in Iraq didn't sit too well with devout Christians who think "Thou Shall Not Kill" applies to those with dark skin as equally as folks with white one.

Or the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount preclude immigrant bashing and warmongering. And that social justice and the constitution are not arcane precepts that can be discarded at the whim of whoever occupies the White House.

Now here's what a 56-year-old real estate executive from Bubba George's home state of Texas(who cheerfully voted for every Republican on the presidential ballot since he was 18) has to say on the subject of "morality issues" and Christian fascists:
Today, Hopkins is bracing himself to vote for a Democrat for president for the first time in his life. He is livid with the GOP for a long list of reasons, including turning its back on immigrants, facilitating the Iraq war and catering to religious conservatives, who he says "are the same level of fanatics as in the Middle East."

"The religious right has as much reason [as Bush] to be guilty; they took this country too far the other way," he said.
Uh, oh, trouble in paradise. Now the only thing Howling Latina has to add is what the hell took Christians so long to wake up from their self induced stupor???

Update: The howler's ethnocentricity is showing in this post. Propensity to vote Republican applies to Jewish temple attendees as well, even if the WaPo did not feature any in their story.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Colbert for President Kicking Butt

As many of you now, Stephen Colbert, "[a]fter nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching...heard the call." He is running for president in South Carolina as both a Democrat and Republican.

Rasmussen reports that Colbert has 13 percent of the vote locked up against Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Clinton leads with 45 percent and Giuliani follows with 35 percent, but there's still plenty of time before South Carolinians go to the polls.

Colbert's poll numbers aren't too shabby considering he has no big-name endorsements (besides Jon Stewart) and little, if any cash, in the bank.

Hey, if Arnold can win the governor's race in California, the sky is the limit for Colbert.

Bush Text on Cuba

Courtesy of the Associated Press via The Washington Post, here's today's text of Bush's speech on Cuba at the State Department.

For your pleasure, here are a couple of passages:
I...urge our Congress to and solidarity for fundamental change in Cuba by maintaining our embargo on the dictatorship until it changes.

Cuba's regime uses the U.S. embargo as a scapegoat for Cuba's miseries. Yet presidents of both our political parties have long understood that the source of Cuba's suffering is not the embargo, but the communist system.
Well, actually, it's been the long held hunch of HL that secret CIA files and Kennedy's death have more to do with the embargo than Dems and Repugs accord on the subject.

In the speech, Bush talks of a journalist typing articles with ink from shoe polish because the country doesn't have any ink ribbons. And in yet another article about the speech, the WaPost notes how administration plans about Cuba's future no longer hinge on Castro dying soon -- especially since Castro "turned over power to his brother Raul in July 2006."

All in all, it's a sad, sad state of affairs, no doubt about it; and Howling Latina is sure that without the idiotic Cuban embargo, typewriter ribbons would likely find their way into the marketplace.

Dream is Killed Off by Democrats

The cloture motion to move the Dream Act failed in the Senate by 52-48.

Voting with GOPers were Democratic Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mary Landreau of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Jon Tester of Wyoming.

Yep, the eight votes Dems needed to bring the bill to the Senate for an up or down vote.

Read it and weep, lefties; and please don't ask the howler to help elect Democrats any time soon; count her as a share in the Congressional 65.5 percent disapproval rate.

For crying out loud, Republican Sens. Tent Lott, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Larry Craig voted for the motion!!!

Thankfully, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia joined the Dems and Virginia voters can hold their heads high for having the discernment to elect a true leader and patriot.

Unfortunately, Virginia's senior senator, retiring John Warner, didn't see fit to help poor innocent children realize the American dream; and it's a shameful disgrace, too.

Politicians love to talk about blameless children when demagoguing a woman's choice. But let them face a vote to put empty rhetoric into deeds and they're all hat and no cattle.

Live at the Improv: Funny Man Arlen Specter

It's actually quite funny.

Dream Act

For the children of undocumented workers, the future is bleak. No green card, no in-state tuition and no opportunity for better tomorrows

But now it looks as if the Senate might pass the Dream Act which gives immigrant children who've been in the United States before the age of 16 and graduated from high school a chance to dream.

The New York Times reports that approximately 65,000 children "would receive conditional legal status for six years, during which they could work, go to college [or] serve in the military. If they completed at least two years of college or military service, they would be eligible for legalization."

In order to qualify, they must also be of good moral character and have continously lived in the states for five years

Of course, for the Jackson Millers and Corey Stewarts of the world, this represents immunity for past lawlessness. Never mind that kids had no sway in convincing their parents to come to America.

The Dream Act was initially sponsored by Republic Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and has bipartisan support. A bill killing procedural vote is scheduled today.

Hmmm, let's see, we can probably expect Sens. Mel Martinez, Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter, John Sununu and Olympia Snowe to vote with the Democrats.

How will Sens. Susan Collins, Pete Domenici, Norm Coleman, Gordon Smith, John Warner, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley and Chuck Hagel vote? How about Arlen's bestest bud, Larry Craig???

As Times writes, the bill "rejects that unacceptable waste of young talent." A noble imperative in keeping with our moral constitution. Now let's hope enough Republicans view the compelling logic the same way.

Bush Demands Democracy for Cuba

Not satisfied with spreading love and democracy in the Middle East, The New York Times reports that President Bush will sending a "stern warning" to Cuba that anything less than full democracy is unacceptable.

In a speech to be given at the State Department, Times reports that "Mr. Bush is expected to make clear that the United States will oppose an old system controlled by new faces."

You see, "nothing in Raúl Castro’s past gives Washington reason to expect democratic reforms soon." So the United States will continue on its tried and true path of "uphold[ing]...tough economic policies against the island." Yes, the very ones in place since forever to such great success.

Guess it's hunky-dory when a ruthless leader, oh, like let's say Hosni Mubarak of Egypt rigs a presidential election or two and wins; and then makes assiduous preparations for his son to succeed him when he finally leaves office. That's democracy on the march in Bush-world.

Now, Howling Latina doesn't mean to imply the United States should stand idly by once Castro dies. However, she definitely does not want the hard line policies that devastated the Middle East to have a chance to work their poison on the island nation.

America needs to butt out of countries affairs and let them work out their destiny. As for the gang of moneychangers in Miami salivating at the bit for the spoils in the aftermath, let them wait.

Cubans who stayed behind all those years and contributed to making Cuban society should be first in line. In other words, why should HL and her kinfolks displace someone in laying claims to assets for which they did not toil???

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rock to Banned Cuban Band

Cuban rock band, "Moneda Dura," rocks the island nation with their banned song, "Mala Leche," local colloquialism for "evil intentions."

Video taped in Cuba, natives have been downloading from YouTube and forwarding to friends.

Here's the translation of the "Mala Leche" lyrics:

Evil Intentions

It’s 4 o’clock, the bus is still not here

People around me won’t stop talking

and they drive you nuts

Sweat rolls down my ears

I’m talking about just another typical day

It’s 6.45, I get on the crowded bus

Nauseated by the bad smell of the guy beside me

People pushing all the time

People with evil intentions

Others who hammer my ears

We’re a mixture of grease and iron

We’re like cows hurrying to the slaughter-house

We’re like ants going into a hole

We’re a ball of fire

I find people who live to make things worse for me

People who don’t talk, only bark

People who spit words

If I don’t hurt you, don’t pick on me

If I don’t hurt you, why your evil intentions?

Ah! Tell me what I did to you to make you target me

Relax and cooperate,

Can't operate on the fat in your brain

Don’t take it so hard, your shouting unnerves me

Ah! But tell me, tell me

Why your evil intentions?

7 o’clock in the morning, I slowly eat breakfast

As if I lived in a palace

(Instead of) this tenement and its noise

The lights are still not on

Without a doubt, today will be fun

I spend 15 minutes spying on my neighbour

I get turned on and she doesn’t even look at me

The electricity bill is killing me

But what can I do, if living is also killing me

Now my brain is in a coma

Now my life is a car without tires

Now I was so happy with my vices

All is well when I'm immoveable

I don’t bring solutions, I don’t give surprises

Why am I to be blamed because of your headaches

If we're doing the same, don’t obsess on me

Give your brain a chance to relax

We come from a unique lineage

If we're the heat that burns deeply,

Why don’t we treat each other as brothers

My heart beats when they call me Cuban

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Colbert Nation Update...

The list of vice presidential candidates for the presidential ticket of Stephen Colbert (I-am-America-and-so-can-you, SC) are as follows:

Jon Stewart
Vladimir Putin
Mike Huckabee
Stephen Colbert
No Running Mate
Courtesy of BartCop, Colbert's own words as to why he thinks he will win.
"I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina — those beautiful, beautiful people.
H/T BartCop for image.

Why is Stephen Colbert Running for President...???

On the mind of many political pundits is the seminal question of why comedian extraordinaire Stephen Colbert is running for president, albeit, only in South Carolina.

This Sunday on "Meet the Press," Colbert is the marquee guest; and already media elites are wondering whether Colbert will "bomb" just as he did at last year's White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Yes, ever since the disgraceful display of pandering by media elites after Colbert nailed them with his right-on brutal truth, uptight Beltway insiders have never been the same without their royal robes.

But give it to NBC, though, at least they know an audience-nabbing guest when they come across one. As an astute blog reader noted on Politico, perhaps this week, MTP "will have an audience that is younger than 75 years old."

Call it a hunch, but Howling Latina thinks that perhaps Colbert is running for president to show just how easy it is to create buzz and manipulate folks to vote for you, especially when people are either totally ignorant or jaded.

That's right. South Carolinians will have a chance to vote for Mickey Mouse; only this year's Mickey is under 'el nombre del cómico' Stephen Colbert.

Colbert is currently fashioning a party platform for his Colbert Nation and is asking supporters to please help him select a running mate.

On a personal level, the howler likes phony Christian Pat Dobson for this dubious honor.

SCHIPS & Miami Politics

Swing State has a post about South Florida districts where Democrats are targeting vulnerable Republicans who failed to try to override the president's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program last Thursday.

In particular, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, F-18, could be especially vulnerable to a strong challenge by former Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez.

As a Cuban-American intimately familiar with the Miami culture, Howling Latina can easily see how voting with the Bush administration on an issue of health care for children might not sit well with members who remember their own health care safety net as newly arrived émigrés to the United States.

Martinez, a Cuban-American like Ros-Lehtinen, was mayor of Hialeah for 25 years and remains very popular with up until recently his own radio show.

Okay, the gig only lasted a week or so, but that's only because the radio station insisted that Martinez sign a statement avowing not to run for public office in the future.
Democrats are hopeful that, with strong challengers at the helm, the political landscape will shift...They're already touting polls that show Iraq and health care as the top concerns in the Diaz-Balart districts. It's worth noting that all three of these incumbents voted against the recent S-CHIP expansion package, and in support of the president's veto of the bi-partisan legislation. The DCCC is sensing an opportunity: they've begun airing Spanish-language radio ads in all three districts, hitting the incumbents hard over their unconscionable votes.
¡Si se puede!

Ros-Lehtinen came to Congress in August 1989 in a special election after Democratic Claude Pepper passed away. The district has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of +R4.3. The other two districts under DCCC's watchful eye are FL-21 and FL-25 with a PVI of +R 6.2 and +R4.4, respectively.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Supreme Court Halts Execution of Christopher Scott Emmett

Only hours before his scheduled execution, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of Christopher Scott Emmmett. For all practical purposes, a moratorium based on the legality of lethal injection executions exists in the United States.

As The Washington Post observes the "stay of execution is the latest reprieve granted nationwide since the high court recently announced that it would review lethal injection to determine if it is cruel and unusual punishment."
Since the Supreme Court decided to review lethal injections, executions by that method have been delayed in states such as Texas, Arkansas and Nevada. Overall, more than a dozen courts, state commissions and governors have delayed lethal injections nationwide over the past several years, some before the recent Supreme Court action.
The Court's ruling was unanimous.

Mr. Emmett came within hours of being executed last June but Gov. Tim Kaine intervened to allow the High Court time to rule on the merit of his argument that he did not have adequate defense. On Oct. 1, the Court declined to hear the case; one remaining defense is that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

WaPo Correspondent Shot in the Head & Killed

The Washington Post reports that a veteran correspondent with the newspaper was shot and killed earlier today in Iraq.

Salih Saif Aldin, 32, was reporting on the violence that has plagued Baghdad's Sadiyah neighborhood Sunday afternoon when he was shot in the forehead. According to residents of the neighborhood and the Iraqi military officers at the scene, he was taking photographs on a street where several houses had been burned when he was killed. His wounds appeared to indicate he was shot at close range.

"Courageous beyond imagination, Salih was determined to unveil the truth," said Sudarsan Raghavan, The Post's Baghdad bureau chief. "He was instrumental to The Post's coverage of Iraq. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues."
Although as many as 118 journalists have been killed in the Middle East conflict, the Post writes that Aldin is the first reporter for the Post to die.

Perhaps conservative gorgan Ann Coulter would now like to rethink how Baghdad is "just like Los Angeles, with the Crips and the Bloods." Can't recall any gangbanger killing a journalist with a bullet to the head in the City of Angels.

Qwest Communications Scandal in a Nutshell

In a nutshell, here's a breakdown and timeline of the Qwest Communications scandal.

According to former Qwest chief Joseph P. Nacchio, the National Security Agency asks him to illegally eavesdrop on Americans back in February 2001 --months ahead of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Administrations officials discuss with Nacchio a no-bid contract for a program called Groundbreaker and another undisclosed project, redacted in court documents. Qwest earlier "receives two classified contracts valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, without a competitive bidding process."

Qwest refuses to play ball and voila, government contracts vanish. The WaPo helps explain with a quote:
Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: "It's inappropriate for the government to be awarding a contract conditioned upon an agreement to an illegal program. That truly is what's going on here."
Qwest stocks start to drop in May and plunge as low as $2 by the following summer. Amidst rumors of insider trading, Nacchio is forced to resign as chief in June 2002; and nearly three years later, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission indicts him and six former Qwest executives.

Interim U.S. attorney for Colorado, William Leone, initially leads the investigation but White House fails to permanently nominate him; he officially leaves office in October 2006.

The case is prosecuted by incoming U.S. Attorney Troy Eid and on April 19, 2007, a jury convicts Nacchio of 19 of 42 counts of insider trading. Nacchio is sentenced to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $19 million fine as well as relinquish $52 million gained from selling shares at $38.31 to $41.12.

Attorneys for Nacchio appeal the verdict, claiming stocks for Qwest fell after the government withdrew promised contracts in retaliation for the firm's refusal to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant. Defense further argues Nacchio had no inside knowledge that Qwest stocks would plunge -- even as he was selling his personal shares -- because of his belief that undisclosed future government contracts would soon be forthcoming.

Eid is tangentially linked to Abramoff scandal on May 19, 2007.

Speculation of selective prosecution in Qwest case surfaces in August 2007 that is eerily clairvoyant.

Update: Truthdig reposts hair-raising article, "Inside the Data Mine."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Immigration Discourse at WaPo

In reading the latest immigration article in the Washington Post, Howling Latina decided to publish three posts from readers to illustrate how explosive and racist the issue has become.

Here are the gems:

Post #1 - Easy to solve another one of the WAPO puff piece "Oh poor little illegal immigrants and the hard time they face..." If you are not a legal U.S. Citizen. GET OUT. I dont care if you are a mom, father, son, daughter. Illegal means illegal.

Post #2 - I'm really tired of criminals trying to use our legal system to get away with their crimes. The nerve of all of them - marching, declaring their "rights". They have ZERO rights - they entered our nation illegally and must go home. They can decide whether to take their American citizen families with them or not. They've known since day one when they crossed the border or overstayed their visas that some day they might get caught. Now, instead, they sue! go figure.

Post #3 - Lets go steal some cars. Apparently felonies aren't being enforced anymore.

To post #1, if illegal means illegal, does that apply to Supervisor Chairman Corey A. Stewart's possible recent criminality as well? To post #2, the howler hates to break it to you, but the constitution provides mininal rights to every person in the land -- whether citizens, residents or undocumented workers. To post #3, ever since Republicans started giving their buddies get-out-of-jail-free cards, felonies stopped being enforced.

Anyone remember Ollie? Well how 'bout Cap?? Surely you remember Scooter???

What Does it Take for a Little Outrage???

A quick stroll through the progressive blogosphere and very little pushback on the Washington Post story about Bush trying to eavesdrop on Americans way before 9/11.

Well, thankfully tristero of Hullabaloo shares enough of Howling Latina's outrage to devote a full post.
Within five weeks after George W. Bush moved into the White House (after a stolen election, let's not forget), his dministration sought to wiretap without any legal oversight whatsoever, severely punishing those that insisted on obeying the law.* Not work to change the law, mind you, but rather to disobey the laws of this country with total impunity. Within five weeks. Long before 9/11. Kee-rist.
Update: Well, thankgod, national outrage is forging.

Update II: Huffington Post is front-paging the story above the fold.

More Bad News for Prince William County

It's not bad enough the Prince William County housing market is imploding faster than a neglected stadium after a few pounds of friendly explosives, but now we learn that mainstream business is down as well.

Potomac News reported that business is off for some business owners by as much as 60 percent.

Marco Blacutt, a manager at Manassas Park’s El Mercado Hispano, is down nearly 60 percent due to the resolution passed by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors in July that aimed to deny illegal immigrants county services.


Brin Staggs, manager at Casa de Empero pawn shop in the same shopping center as El Mercado Hispano, said business has been down around 30 percent since the resolution was proposed.

Citizens of Prince William County, the wonderful economic news is courtesy of Jackson Miller, Scott Lingamfelter, Corey Stewart, Bob Marshall and the GOP leaders in Richmond.

¡Vaya con Dios, mis amigos! You're going to need it.

Oh yea, as wealth is destroyed, PWC citizens better get ready for taxes to go up to offset loss of revenue and cost of defense counsel -- thanks to area GOP leaders and HelpRuinManassas.

Corey Stewart Wastes Taxpayers $$$$

Republican Supervisor Chairman Corey A. Stewart is on a quest to bring Prince William County back from the abyss of run-away immigration and the frittering away of taxpayers money. To a time before land when the county was aflush with cash and whites.

But like most things in GOP-land, it's an upside down world where Stewart's guidance has had a mirror effect: daily negative headlines; real estate prices plummeting; county coffers drying up. to add insult to agony, Stewart has unilaterally squandered $$$ in campaign style mailouts just weeks before his tight reelection -- possibly doing what he claims to abhor -- breaking the law.

The Potomac News reports that Stewart paid "$30,937 out of his discretionary funds to mail...white, 8 x 5 cards which stopped short of asking residents to encourage the board to pass [a] resolution," which is the "cornerstone of [his] campaign."

Supervisor Hilda M. Barg, D-Woodbridge, called Stewart "unethical" for sending out a mailing that looked so much like a campaign piece just weeks before the election.


"This is misleading the public. This is spending almost $31,000 of taxpayers' money when he's standing up here talking about how we've got to cut costs," she said.

Barg was also incensed that Stewart didn't check with the other board members, as is the custom before they spend iscretionary funds.

"Not one board member knew this was coming out," Barg said.

To anyone whose been listening to Stewart's campaign, his raison d'être has been to rid the county of illegal immigrants who broke the law; a theme that feels more than a bit contrived when measured against his own possible criminality in averting laws that apply to him.

Indeed, "Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert has questions about [the] mailer."

"It doesn't smell good," Ebert said of the mailer notifying residents that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors will vote Tuesday on its policy to crackdown on illegal immigration and to cut off taxpayer-funded services to illegal immigrants.
H/T to NLS and local newspapers that are reporting GOP misconduct and illegality on immigration. Pot, why must you insist on calling the kettle black?!?

White House Initiated Widespread Spying by Telecommunications Before 9/11

After all is said and done, it looks like the terrorists attacks of 9/11 had nothing to do with Bush & Company strong-arming telecommunication firms to spy on Americans.

The Washington Post front-pages a story of withdrawn "contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate" in illegal eavesdropping and in the process chillingly reports that Bush had been asking phone companies to snoop on Americans even before 9/11.

The trial transcripts of former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio of Qwest definitively disclose that Bush was gaming to trample on the constitution nearly from the moment he meaningless swore on a Bible to uphold it.

The newly released court documents say that, on Feb. 27, 2001, Nacchio and James Payne, then Qwest's senior vice president of government systems, met with NSA officials at Fort Meade, expecting to discuss "Groundbreaker," a project to outsource the NSA's non-mission-critical systems.

The men came out of the meeting "with optimism about the prospect for 2001 revenue from NSA," according to an April 9, 2007, court filing by Nacchio's lawyers that was disclosed this week.

But the filing also claims that Nacchio "refused" to participate in some unidentified program or activity because it was possibly illegal and that the NSA later "expressed disappointment" about Qwest's decision.

Folks, invite the Feb. 27, 2001 date to seep into your cognitive mind and into the the cozy cranial nerves of your brain.

All that business about how everything changed after 9/11??? Forget about it; just more lies to advance the preemptive illegal thuggery that had been on the neocon drawing board for years. Now try to act as if you're surprised.

Monday, October 08, 2007

WaPo Agrees with Howling Latina

In an earlier post, Howling Latina wrote about the ridiculous hope by Jeannemarie Devolites Davis that Hillary Clinton's campaign will help her win.

Tim Craig of the Washington Post shows exactly how absurd the premise is -- especially since Kaine, Webb, Gore and Kerry won in her district.

State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) thinks U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is saving her reelection campaign against Democrat J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen.


If the 2008 presidential contest was held today, would Clinton beat the Republican nominee in the 34th district?

If the answer is yes, Davis could be in a lot of trouble come Election Day.

Folks, let's not forget that "[i]f the Democrats retake control of the least three senior Northern Virginia senators -- Richard L. Saslaw, Charles J. Colgan and Mary Margaret Whipple -- would assume key leadership positions," as the Post helpfully points out.

The Hope of Northern Virginia

Couldn't help but post and blog about a story in Daily Press on Dems winning back the state Senate in November. As most folks know, Northern Virginia is pivotal.

Winning the Senate is critical for both parties because it's the last state Senate election before the General Assembly redraws Virginia's legislative and congressional district boundaries in 2011. The party in control can tailor the lines with computer precision to lock in or expand its advantage for another 10 years. The Democrats are desperate to establish a beachhead in the Senate, and the GOP is marshaling its money and strength to deny them one.

The key battleground is the Washington, D.C., suburbs, one of the nation's fastest-growing regions, where Democrats have done better with each election since 2001.
What's more, if Northern Virginians want to have Richmond address their concerns, well, they have only one choice: vote for the Dem. Their problems will be hammered away in the General Assembly with leaders from the area who actually care.

Dems only need to pick up four seats in the Senate, and poof, no more gerrymandered districts and GOP neglect and obstruction. Bye-bye safe districts for state officials that ignore the interests of Northern Virginia.

And yes, this list especially includes Scott Lingamfelter, Jackson Miller, Bob Marshall, Ken Cuccinelli, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and Jay O'Brien.

Of course from news accounts we learn that GOPers are not in the least bit worried. For instance, Devolites Davis is certain that Hillary's campaign for president will return Republicans to the fold into her embracing arms.

"[Hillary] is a very polarizing figure and in her own way she is moving Republicans back to the Republican way of voting," Devolites Davis said.
Scottie, Jackson, Bob and Jay are banking on the Great White Hope (immigration) to bring them victory. But with abuser driver fees and plummeting real estate prices, hmmm...that remains to be seen.

The Washington Post writes, "JITTERY VIRGINIA Republicans, whose grip on state politics has been weakening steadily for several years, are facing further setbacks in this fall's elections for the General Assembly."

Oh dear, poor Jeanmarie, even her big shot hubby is helpless; you know, with all those "newcomers" (naturalized citizens) that Speaker William Howell is so worried about.

The Washington Post has been reporting on the not-so-hidden agenda by Republicans to resurrect Brown Willie Horton and drum up votes.

[Howell] unveiled the GOP's immigrant-bashing agenda for the legislative session that will begin in January. Among other measures, it would bar publicly funded colleges and universities from accepting undocumented aliens -- even those who have graduated from state elementary, middle and high schools. To Mr. Howell and his cohorts, it is a mere detail that most public colleges in Virginia already deny entrance to such immigrants. In fact, the Republicans could not cite a single example of an illegal immigrant gaining access to public institutions of higher learning. No matter. The Republicans' point here is to stick it to the culturally distinct "other" by hook or by crook, even to the point of suggesting -- again without proof -- that some of the 36 percent of applicants rejected by four-year public colleges in the state had been denied a place because of the supposed tide of illegals also seeking higher education.
But let's face it, with years of cavalier disdain, Republicans have shown that they do not know how to govern. Not to be concerned; here's how they hope to entice voters.

Rather than dwelling on their dubious transportation achievement, Republicans in Northern Virginia have turned their attention to illegal immigrants. They hope to capitalize on legitimate concerns on the part of neighborhoods uneasy with the presence of illegal immigrants living in group houses, and of local governments struggling to provide education and other services to undocumented workers and their families. But the bitter truth is that the state can do relatively little about a problem whose causes lie squarely with the federal government's, and Congress's, failure to devise a workable national immigration policy. Rather than presenting a platform to improve education, public safety and health care in Virginia, many Republicans are hoping that a program of hounding illegal immigrants is the key to electoral success. It shouldn't be.
How pathetic and embarrassing. It didn't work for Jerry Kilgore; it certainly didn't work for George Allen. Virginians know the man hiding behind the curtain has no clothes, only a tin foil hat over his racist crotch.

Bubba's Back

Rumors of a George Allen (R-Racist) tossing his ten-gallon hat into the political ring and making a comeback are all the latest buzz.


Now here's a juicy tidbit. It seems Hollywood Fred (you know the actor with a very agreeable income from the movie industry -- the very same industry that Bubba Allen violently tongue-lashed during last year's Senate race) thought he had landed the former junior senator from Virginia to help him spin after tomorrow night's Republican debate.

Chuck Todd of
First Read writes that Thompson "requested Spin Room credentials for one-time presidential hopeful/former Virginia Sen. George Allen" along with Darth Cheney's not-gay daughter, Liz Cheney.

Todd also notes that two of the three top candidates during last year's Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll (before reality smacked Allen with a two-by-four) have joined Thompson's campaign: Bubba Allen and Catman Bill Frist.

But alas, a recent First Read update
reports that Allen and Cheney have been hit by schedulitis.
Liz Cheney and George Allen will now NOT be coming to Dearborn to spin for Thompson after tomorrow night's debate. The campaign had initially planned to have both here but scheduling conflicts prevented both from coming.
Gosh, Howling Latina was really looking forward to seeing Allen's phony smiley Bubba face back on the tube.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Manassas Park's Rise - PWC's Loss

Manassas Park recently made news when they refused to spew vile anti-immigration vitriol against Latinos who live in their fair city -- unlike public voices in Prince William County.

Well, the little city that stood tall against its insolent and overbearing neighbor is reaping the divine emanations of the universe. The erstwhile city of modest homes and working class families has been transformed into the jewel of the county.

New tax revenues have ushered a brand spanking new high school and middle school with low student to teacher ratio and state-of-the art resources. Public officials govern without the histrionics of Latino hysteria; and as a result, no negative headlines; people live agreeably with one another -- and are very happy with their diverse community.

To illustrate, a recent real estate listing proudly tells would-be buyers, hey, this home is in the City of Manassas Park -- with its own government, school and libertarian worldview -- not fractious PWC that thinks it's a fine idea to stop children at bus stops and mom and dad at the 7-Eleven, you know, just to make sure no illegals are in their midst.

[O]wn this home for less than $500 down! Call chris for details @ 571-228-8828**2 car garage! Beautifully updated...New outlets & switches,carpet, tile,etc...Condo assoc.Is responsible for maintaining the exterior of house,the water & sewer bill,the trash & the landscape/lawn!Community also has pool & park areas.Wayens coating,crown molding etc....**this home is located in manassas park not pwc**
Howling Latina has been blogging about the devastating real estate meltdown in PWC as a result of the harebrained notion by some racist GOPers that singling out Latinos for special unconstitutional attention would be a good idea. With news stories almost every day about the overblown immigration crisis and county officials response, the county's brand is in the trash.

Just last Tuesday, Manassas Journal Messenger, a local newspaper, reported what commonsense should have foretold -- negative headlines have "sullied" and stunk up the joint.
The Prince William County Human Rights Commission drew a direct link between the anti-immigration resolution and a recent increase in Ku Klux Klan activity in the area, attempted fire bombings and protests.

The report that took three months to complete stated that since the resolution was proposed in July, the county has been "fractured in ways not seen since the 1950s."

The commission also said the resolution has created a "climate of fear and mistrust" in the county.
Pssst...wanna stop all that hemorrhaging of your assets??? Well, here's what Manassas Park has to say on the subject of immigration after false impressions were perpetrated by the windbags at HelpRuinManassas.

Recently, a small faction of citizens crafted public statements that mislead others on the City of Manassas Park’s position on illegal immigration. This group’s false representation of the City’s position serves only to support a vigilante agenda that the City believes is irresponsible and offensive to everyone who productively serves the community in volunteer, elected and paid positions.

The City’s position is no secret to those who take the initiative to get informed. Federal and state authorities, on the law making and enforcement sides of the house, recognize Manassas Park as one of the first jurisdictions to request legislation that would legally support municipalities’ efforts to combat illegal residency. Manassas Park will continue to work aggressively with federal and state agencies to address all criminal activity, including illegal residency. In the interim, the City will monitor neighboring jurisdictions’ initiatives to identify individuals as illegal and will implement similar approaches if these measures prove legal and effective. A recent decision by a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania struck down efforts by the City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania to enact ordinances that regulate the presence and employment of illegal immigrants. While not binding in Virginia, this decision serves as a sobering reminder that we must proceed with diligence.

The City of Manassas Park is proud of its diversity. Our efforts will make clear the distinction between illegal residency and a varied cultural presence within our borders. The City believes most residents in Manassas Park are legally present and moved to this area to create a better life for their respective families. The City will continue to provide resources and services to support all legal residents.

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis - RIP

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis passed away this morning, the Associated Press via the Washington Post reports.

The news clip highlights Davis's career. She introduced legislation in Congress that "increased the life insurance benefit paid to survivors of military members killed on duty."

The article unfortunately also claims that she was "Virginia's first woman elected to Congress in 2000." This assertion is incorrect. Leslie Byrne, a Democrat, was elected to the House in 1992.

Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine helpfully clarifies via Daily Press.
"Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis made history when she became the first female Republican elected to the House of Representatives from the Commonwealth in 2000.
Even though Howling Latina tried to help elect Shawn O'Donnell in '06, she always felt that at least Davis didn't belong to the batwing faction of the Republican party. Davis could be an independent voice, breaking from party dogma on issues of health care.

As HL noted in an earlier post this year, Davis, who was her representative in Congress, voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act; she also "introduced a bevy of bills in the 110th Congress that 'cover[ed] a wide range of issues including the health care, national security, veterans, first responders, interstate waste, and Native American recognition.'"

Gov. Tim Kaine issued some kinds words about her.
"She inspired Virginians as she battled breast cancer while continuing to serve the commonwealth," Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Kaine will have to set a date for the special election to fill her seat. A logical choice would be Nov. 6, when Virginians go to the polls to elect the Geneal Assembly; however, under Virginia law, if he chooses another date, citizens will have to wait at least 30 days thereafter.

Davis is survived by her husband, two sons and a granddaughter.

WaPo Story on Falling Real Estate Prices & Latinos

Glad to see the story of falling real estate prices in Prince William County has hit mainstream media and one of the top progressive blogs in Virginia. Especially since Howling Latina has been trying to call attention to this phenomena in several posts on Aug. 29, Sept. 3, and Sept. 26.

Yep, she sure is glad to see the Washington Post thought it was something the denizens in Prince William County might want to consider when going to the polls in November, even if the blogging community to date had ignored the plummeting prices.

Shout it from every roof top, lefties. Latinos drove the real estate boom in PWC since 2000; and now GOPers with their mean spirited and boneheaded proposals for a lily white county are responsible for the melting housing market that cost millions and millions of dollars in lost equity to homeowners and tax revenue to county government.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Clear Channel Disses Veteran

VoteVets wanted to air an ad against conservative blowhard Rush Limbaugh in Florida. But Clear Channel refused the ad, Think Progress reports.

Rush Limbaugh’s hometown radio station that broadcasts his show — WJNO AM in Palm Beach, Florida — has refused to air a VoteVets ad by Brian McGough, the Iraq war veteran who was compared by Limbaugh to a suicide bomber.

John Hunt, the vice president/market manager for Clear Channel in Palm Beach, wrote a letter yesterday explaining his station’s decision not air McGough’s ad. Hunt’s rationale was not that the ad was inaccurate or that it posed legal issues, but rather, the ad presented information that “would conflict with the listeners who have chosen to listen to Rush Limbaugh.”

Well, here's the phone number to WJNO. Call and express your outrage at 561.616.660; or write directly to Mr. Hunt at

Christopher Scott Emmett Update

Based on the claim of inadequate counsel, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal of Christopher Scott Emmett who is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 17.

The Court did not rule on the question of whether lethal injection is cruel and unsual punishment under the Eighth Amendment; however, after agreeing to rule on the argument in a Kentucky case, Emmett will not likely be executed.

The Washington Post reports that Emmett's attorneys are trying to stave the execution by petitioning Gov. Tim Kaine to grant him clemency; they also appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to declare lethal injection unconstitutional as it is carried out in Virginia.

It will be interesting to watch how the Fourth Circuit rules with "five of 15 active seats vacant" and its conservative composition no longer a force.

Innocence Project Exonerates Another Inmate

From the county with the highest death row population in the number one state for executions, Harris County has absolved yet another inmate in Texas who'd been wrongfully convicted through a faulty eyewitness account.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that the "scandal-plagued Houston Police Department crime lab was responsible for sending yet another wrong person to prison." At the time of 47-year-old Ronald Gene Taylor's conviction for rape, Houston's crime lab asserted that a bed sheet from the crime scene did not contain any semen; they were WRONG!

And this incorrect pronouncement "led an appeals judge to deny a request for additional testing." Without any forensic evidence, when the victim picked Taylor out of lineup, he was a doomed dead duck -- especially since he'd suspiciously and revealingly lived nearby.

New tests on the sheet, done this summer by ReliaGene Technologies, yielded the DNA profile not of Taylor but another convicted sex offender serving time in Texas prisons. The statute of limitations for prosecuting that case has expired, Rosenthal said.
Oops. Well, thankgawd at least he wasn't fried.

Of course the prosecution's office is just sick with remorse that another poor black man had to waste away in prison for a crime he didn't commit. In the case of Taylor, just a mere 14 years.

"I feel awful, " District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal told the press, "Nobody wants to have an innocent person wrongfully convicted and sent to prison. It's a very regrettable thing."

"They got lucky when the Innocence Project agreed to take the case," the Chronicle characterizes. Lucky, if you can call 14 years of sheer hell luck. Mr. Taylor stands to receive at least $600,000 from the state. Texas law reimburses wrongfully convicted inmates $50,000 for each year served.

Confident that Mr. Taylor was innocent, his family had contacted the Innocence Project and pleaded with them to take the case. Two other inmates from Harris County have also been exonerated through DNA evidence.

Josiah Sutton was released from prison in March 2003 when DNA tests challenged the HPD work that helped secure his conviction in a 1998 rape. Sutton received a pardon on the basis of innocence and the state has compensated him with more than $118,000 for the time he served.

George Rodriguez served more than 17 years in prison in the 1987 rape of a 14-year-old girl before new forensic evidence discredited the HPD crime lab work on his case and led prosecutors to dismiss the case against him.
Even for hardcore death penalty proponents, it's kinna hard to argue that faulty lab work and false eye witness accounts have not been responsible for the wrongful execution of an innocent inmate. But of course, dead bodies tell no tales to an uncaring society.

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