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Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 20th, 2007

‘Burglars use crowbars, robbers guns. He used memos and lies’

Posted by Charles II on March 20, 2007

 

 (Image by Aaron Harris, CP Photo from Canada.com)

You know you’re in trouble when your own lawyer says that you are “fond of a ‘rhetorical’ style which sometimes made [you] sound ‘arrogant’ and ‘snotty.‘”

From The Guardian:

For all his wealth and influence, media mogul Conrad Black is little more than a common thief – except he used arcane financial documents rather than crowbars and guns to seize his loot of $60m according to American prosecutors.

…The theft began, according to prosecutors, when Lord Black’s Hollinger empire was struggling under a burden of debt in 1998. Lord Black and his colleagues shrunk the company by selling its 400 smaller papers, but wanted to keep up the lifestyles of multinational company executives. “

Some of his buddies: “Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Michael Bloomberg and [the late] newscaster Peter Jennings…”

 Oh. And George H. W. Bush, though people tend not to talk about that now.

Posted in Bush, corruption, Media machine | 1 Comment »

What Liberal Said This?

Posted by MEC on March 20, 2007

“Fighting over there has nothing to do with preserving our freedoms at home.”

.

Actually, it wasn’t a liberal. It was Ron Paul (R-TX), during debate today on a supplemental appropriation.

Posted in Iraq war, Republicans, Ron Paul | 2 Comments »

Shorter George W. Bush

Posted by MEC on March 20, 2007

Summary of his press conference today: “I can do whatever I want because I’m in charge.”

Posted in madness of King George | 3 Comments »

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

Posted by MEC on March 20, 2007

Somebody vandalized the Lansing office of Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) apparently to express opposition to the Iraq War.

Vandals splattered red paint on the front of lawmaker Mike Rogers’ Lansing office Monday night and plastered a sign in the front window claiming the Brighton Republican has “blood on his hands” for the war in Iraq, which marked the fourth anniversary this week.
A “Support Our Troops” sign was defaced with red paint as well as the front door of the building on Michigan Avenue being glued shut.

Rarely do I agree with a Republican spokesperson, but I fully endorse this statement:

“There are a lot of opinions about the Iraq war but that doesn’t give anyone the right to vandalize property or threaten anyone,” said Sylvia Warner, press secretary for Rogers. “This is the taxpayer’s money. It’s classified as federal property. It belongs to the people of 8th District so basically these people are attacking the people of 8th District.”

Committing a crime is not the appropriate way to protest.

(It’s also really stupid to give the rightwing ammunition to use against the antiwar movement.)

 [Added March 21]: In a comment, Doran Williams points out that it wasn’t necessarily an antiwar protester who vandalized the office. That’s a good point. We have enough verified reports of “infiltrators” in demonstrations acting as provocateurs (like this one and this one).

Posted in antiwar movement, Michigan, Mike Rogers, wrong way to go about it | 5 Comments »

I Could Be Wrong

Posted by MEC on March 20, 2007

In this post the other day, I said of Abu Gonzales, “Now, really, would Bush fire somebody who knows where all the bodies are buried?” It’s looking more and more like I might be wrong about that.

Even Tom Tancredo is calling for Gonzales to resign.

Mind you, he’s not upset about the political purge of U.S. attorneys. He’s upset that Gonzales isn’t doing a good enough job attacking illegal immigration. The effect is pretty much the same. The ledge Gonzales is standing on is definitely crumbling.

I’m not convinced that Gonzales leaving would be the desirable outcome, however. The longer he hangs on, the more he undermines support for the Bush Administration. And the trend has always been for Bush to appoint a new official who’s even worse than the departed official. My mind recoils from imagining an Attorney General who’s as much worse than Gonzales as Gonzales is worse than John Ashcroft, but I’m not going to say it’s impossible.

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, Tom Tancredo | 2 Comments »

Pawlenty’s Own Revenue Department: Pawlenty’s Tax Structure In Minnesota Favors Wealthy, Businesses

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 20, 2007

Marty Seifert has GOT to be howling right now. Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty can’t be too happy, either. And David Strom’s probably grinding his teeth like crazy.

They woke up this morning to find this staring at ’em from above the fold on the front page of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press:

Taxes favor Minnesota’s wealthy, businesses
Study strengthens DFLers’ resolve to turn the tide that puts burden on middle class

BY BILL SALISBURY
Pioneer Press

It was just the kind of political ammunition Democratic legislators were seeking.

And Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s administration handed it to them.

A state Revenue Department study presented to the Senate Tax Committee on Monday showed wealthy Minnesotans are paying a slightly smaller share of their incomes in state and local taxes, while tax burdens for middle-class households are increasing.

The biennial “tax incidence study” also showed taxes are shifting away from businesses and toward individuals.

Overall, the study projected Minnesota’s state and local taxes will become somewhat more regressive by 2009. That means the percentage of income a person pays in taxes declines as his or her income rises.

Those findings provide good reasons for increasing income taxes on high earners and boosting business property taxes, Tax Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said after a hearing on the study.

Bakk strongly hinted he would propose higher income taxes for top earners this week when his committee assembles its major tax bill for this session. He said he would use the additional revenue to buy down homeowner property taxes.

“This (study) shows the people at the top are not paying their fair share,” he said.

This is a big boost to Mindy Greiling, who is the State Rep behind the DFL plan to undo Pawlenty’s ruinous tax giveaways to the rich. Take a bow, Representative Greiling!

Posted in big money, Democrats, Democrats with spines, real journalism, taxes, tutu-less Democrats | Comments Off on Pawlenty’s Own Revenue Department: Pawlenty’s Tax Structure In Minnesota Favors Wealthy, Businesses

What A Difference A New Congress Makes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 20, 2007

Guess what? Gonzo no longer can hire/fire at will!

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to end the Bush administration’s ability to unilaterally fill U.S. attorney vacancies as a backlash to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ firing of eight federal prosecutors.

[…]

With a 94-2 vote, the Senate passed a bill that canceled a Justice Department-authored provision in the Patriot Act that had allowed the attorney general to appoint U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation. [PW butts in: And who was the Senator who put that provision there, back in December of 2005? Why, Arlen “Magic Bullet” Specter, of course, when he ran the Senate Judiciary Committee. Officially, it was done by Brett Tolman, the GOP counsel for the committee at the time, but Specter signed off on it.] Democrats say the Bush administration abused that authority when it fired the eight prosecutors and proposed replacing some with White House loyalists.

“If you politicize the prosecutors, you politicize everybody in the whole chain of law enforcement,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

The bill, which has yet to be considered in the House, would set a 120-day deadline for the administration to appoint an interim prosecutor. If the interim appointment is not confirmed by the Senate in that time, a permanent replacement would be named by a federal district judge.

Essentially, the Senate returned the law regarding the appointments of U.S. attorneys to where it was before Congress passed the Patriot Act, including the unilateral appointment authority the administration had sought in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Wooo-hooo!

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, Congress, Democrats with spines, Patrick Leahy, PATRIOT Act, US attorney firings | 1 Comment »

The End Of The Doc Dump

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 20, 2007

This is the end of the document dump as a delaying tactic.

Folks over at DKos are worried that the Bushies have already gone through and removed all the really juicy stuff before dumping. But the thing is, if they really are vetting the stuff prior to dumping, they don’t have the warm bodies needed to get it done in a timely and effective manner.

This is where their lack of trust comes around to bite them in the ass: There aren’t that many Bushistas that would a) know what to leave out and b) could be trusted not to blab. (Can you imagine the Bush Junta farming out the vetting job to outsiders, no matter how ideologically friendly? Neither can I.)

By contrast, we don’t have the trust problem — and even overnight, as TPM Muckraker has shown, we can throw a LOT more bodies at picking apart the docs than they can muster trustworthy gunsels to sanitize them. And if they make mistakes in the sanitizing, we can capitalize on them.

Another thing: How pathetic does your situation have to be for you to do a document dump on a Monday?

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, blogs and blogging, distributed reporting and research, madness of King George, Real Americans, real journalism, Republicans | 4 Comments »

 
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