Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for February 15th, 2007

“Republican Ethics” Is an Oxymoron

Posted by MEC on February 15, 2007

Feds’ Top Environmental Prosecutor Built Home With Big-Oil Lobbyist

A House committee will investigate and request documents on a real estate deal involving the government’s top environmental prosecutor and ConocoPhillips’ top lobbyist, and legal agreements between the government and the oil company.

The inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was announced hours after The Associated Press reported that the prosecutor, Sue Ellen Wooldridge, bought a $1 million vacation home on Kiawah Island, S.C., with ConocoPhillips Vice President Donald R. Duncan, nine months before agreeing to let the company delay a half-billion-dollar pollution cleanup. It was one of two proposed consent decrees Wooldridge signed with ConocoPhillips just before resigning last month.

[…]
The third buyer of the beachshore getaway was former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles, the highest-ranking Bush administration official targeted for criminal prosecution in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe.

Henry Waxman’s comment on the situation: “There appears to be a breakdown of ethics at the Justice Department.” The Honorable Mr. Waxman has a gift for understatement.

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Posted in BushCo malfeasance, corruption, government malfeasance, Republicans acting badly, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Just Another Republican

Posted by MEC on February 15, 2007

Nevada Governor Facing FBI Probe

The FBI is investigating whether Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons failed to properly report gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Investigators are looking at whether federal contracting rules were violated or whether gifts or payments were offered in exchange for official acts by Gibbons, the newspaper said.
[…]
The Journal reported new evidence had emerged in a lawsuit in Reno, including e-mails to Trepp discussing a payment or gifts to then-Rep. Gibbons. The e-mails also show Gibbons using his congressional office to help the company seek classified military and civilian contracts, the newspaper said.

“Please don’t forget to bring the money you promised Jim and Dawn,” Trepp’s wife, Jale Trepp, said in a March 22, 2005, e-mail days before Trepp and his wife embarked on the Caribbean cruise with Jim Gibbons and his wife, Dawn, a former Nevada state assemblywoman.

According to the Journal, Trepp responded minutes later saying: “Don’t you ever send this kind of message to me! Erase this message from your computer right now!”

Sounds to me like the wrongdoing goes way beyond failure to report the gifts.

Posted in corruption, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 4 Comments »

Where Were You on February 15, 2003?

Posted by MEC on February 15, 2007

Four years ago today, the world showed what it thinks of Bush’s determination to invade Iraq: “It stinks.”

More than 10 million people on every continent including Antarctica, in more than 600 communities, took to the streets to tell Bush “NO!” Were you there?

February 15, 2003

Posted in antiwar movement, Good Things, history, international, Iraq war | Comments Off on Where Were You on February 15, 2003?

A Republican Tells the Truth

Posted by MEC on February 15, 2007

No wonder Republicans lie all the time. When they tell the truth, they reveal their contempt for democracy.

Case in point: Saul Anuzis, recently re-elected chair of the Michigan Republican Party, who has been traveling around the state admitting that the only reason Michigan Republicans kept all their Congressional seats and barely maintained a majority in the state senate was that the Republican-dominated state legislature carried gerrymandering to new extremes.

“And we still held on to the (State) Senate, although we lost the (State) House. One of the reasons – it shows how good our gerrymandering plan is. When the Democrats blame us for gerrymandering the districts, they’re right, we did and we will do it again if we can.”

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“We have good Republican seats. We have nine Republican gerrymandered (Congressional) seats. Let’s be honest, we gerrymandered them for Republican advantage and they worked.”

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“Every Midwest state in the country that had a competitive seat, lost seats except for us. I think it’s both an indication of A – We did a good job gerrymandering the (Congressional) districts.”

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“Now we had a deficit of 316,000 votes statewide but we kept a (State Senate) majority which again is due to our gerrymandering, which we have done for two decades.”

Even the Republicans themselves know they can only win by cheating.

Posted in Republicans | Comments Off on A Republican Tells the Truth

I’m Spartacus.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 15, 2007

I’m here to represent in the Spartacus Army. (For Amanda as well as Melissa.)

shakes13logo.jpg

Thanks to Driftglass (via Tild) for the concept.

Posted in Amanda Marcotte, Good Things, Melissa McEwan, Pandagon, Shakespeare's Sister, William Donohue | 3 Comments »

Donald Rumsfeld, Economic Hit Man

Posted by Charles II on February 15, 2007

Tom Englehardt presents an important piece written by Roger Morris.

Bipartisan collusion rescued [Rumsfeld]. By 1968, President Lyndon Johnson’s four year-old Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), the heralded antipoverty program with its grassroots “Community Action” and its Legal Services for the poor, had become a potential success story — and thus anathema for powerful Democrats as well as Republicans. … OEO was ultimately doomed when the nascent political, economic, and legal assertiveness it nurtured among the thirty to fifty million dispossessed threatened the hold of vested-interest donors and the mingled power bases of governors and mayors, congressmen and legislators of both parties.

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With Nixon’s victory over Humphrey, OEO’s death became a certainty, though a tough infighter was needed as director to take out the agency’s life support systems. Nixon first ignored the appointment; then, later in 1969, at the urging of ranking Senate and House Democrats as well as Ford and Ellsworth, named Rumsfeld to the post. He, in turn, chose as his deputy Princeton pal Frank Carlucci, already off to a buccaneering start in the Foreign Service amid early 1960s CIA coups and assassinations in the Congo. The writ was plain. On Capitol Hill, they called Rumsfeld “the undertaker.”

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So it was that a slight, already balding 28 year-old Republican Congressional intern, Richard Bruce Cheney, soon steered to the new OEO Director a 12-page memo setting out how to run the agency in a way that would kill what they all deplored. …

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The hiring brought three future Secretaries of Defense — Rumsfeld, Carlucci, and Cheney — into the same office, toiling to abort the unwanted embryonic empowerment of the poor.

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[Cheney and Rumsfeld] shared something rarely then so openly admitted on the right: an abhorrence of the liberations sweeping the 1960s, not just the right’s pet scourges of bureaucracy, crime, drugs, social fragmentation, and (however suitably coded) racial integration, but the unsettling ferment of newfound freedoms and honesty, the defiance of cultural and institutional oppressions — especially by minorities and women….

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OEO began the Rumsfeld myths. “He saved it,” Carlucci would blithely tell oblivious post-9/11 reporters hardly apt to check the actual fate of the agency. Carlucci would spin an image of an ever-energetic Rumsfeld taking up the cause of the needy, streamlining and fortifying the laggard agency despite the funeral that had been ordered. It was a blasé postmortem lie. Community Action, Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, and most decisively Legal Services (whose leadership Rumsfeld and Cheney together decapitated in 1970) — one by one, each of these beleaguered efforts was stifled or sloughed off to political sterility. This mission, at least, was accomplished. By the time the burial was complete — with the agency’s quiet extinction in 1973, unmourned by the powers of either party — the undertaker had moved on to higher office.

The key lessons here are (1) that the reason the Republicans so greatly hate and fear the 1960s is because that era threatened to bring the freedoms this country boasts about to the poor and marginalized, and (2) conservative Democrats were just as eager as Republicans to bury the poor.

The rest of the article, about Rumsfeld rise to being the horseman on the dark steed, is well worth reading.

Posted in history, poverty | 5 Comments »

“Religious Voters”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 15, 2007

Over at Atrios’ shop, the whole Donohue hoo-ha has led to an interesting discussion between Atrios and Mark Kleiman concerning the insistence of Kara Vanderslice (who interestingly was one of Donohue’s victims in 2004, when he forced her off the Kerry campaign) on the Democrats’ alleged need to reach “religious voters”.

As Steve Gilliard notes (echoed by The Angry Black Woman in a discussion of Tucker Carlson’s trying to pretend that Barack Obama somehow isn’t a Real Live Christian because, well, he’s not white), the Democrats have PLENTY of “religious voters”. Gobs and gobs and GOBS of them.

They’re called BLACKS and HISPANICS.

But to people like Vanderslice on the left and Tucker Carlson on the right, they’re invisible. Only white racist nutball Fundies are “religious voters” as far as they’re concerned.

As Steve says: “White evangelicals are not Democrats because they largely dislike blacks and hispanics. You can pander to them all you want, but the core of their church has a racial undertone. The leading evangelicals were once leading segregationists.”

Egggsacktly. I call them “the religio-racist right” (or r3 for short) for that very reason.

Here’s a quickie quiz:

1) Why are there such things as Southern Baptists? Because the Southern Baptist Convention broke with the rest of the Baptist church in the 1840s.

2) What caused the break? The Southern Baptists favored slavery, while the rest of the church was working to abolish it.

3) Why didn’t the SBC rejoin the rest of the Baptist church once slavery was abolished? Because they still hope to turn back the clock to before 1863.

And as Marx and Lenin points out at Steve’s place, the r3s are wired to the corporate arm of the GOP. Both the corporates and the r3s don’t like paying taxes — the corporates just don’t like ’em, and the r3s live in mortal terror that somewhere, somehow, their tax dollars are going to support blacks and (Catholic) Hispanics.

And Marx and Lenin points out another thing: Abraham Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League freaks out when Jimmy Carter — taking a cue from various Israelis — uses the word “apartheid” to describe the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians. Yet they don’t have a single word of criticism — not one — for William Donohue, who unlike Carter is a genuine anti-Semite. Why is this? Is this because of the growing alliances between conservative Christian evangelicals and various American Jewish groups?

Posted in Barack Obama | 3 Comments »

 
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