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Archive for December 15th, 2007

Mexico, December 15th 2007

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2007

An interesting book has been authored by Juan Alberto Cedillo. It deals with Nazi machinations in Mexico, including promotion of the drug trade and the involvement of Veracruz governor and later president Miguel Alemán Valdés in the cartel.

Proceso reports that the teachers took over the streets of Oaxaca to protest the failure of the government to pay two biweekly checks for December and the Christmas bonus. At 3PM, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz relented, but the trouble is not over. A spokesman for the union (SNTE 22) promised to take over a refinery if they weren’t paid the second installment in early January.

From Mexico Solidarity Network newsletter:

     The Senate approved a controversial election reform that would remove small parties from effective electoral competition and consolidate the power of the big three parties – the PAN, PRI and PRD.  The reform would also severely limit the influence of media giants Televisa and TV Azteca by making most campaign advertising free and by limiting the ability of television stations to endorse particular candidates.  Mexico’s major business groups opposed the reform because it would restrict their ability to run independently financed campaign commercials. 

     The PAN and PRI voted unanimously in favor of the reform while the PRD divided its votes.  The PRD is aligned with two smaller parties, the Workers Party (PT) and Convergencia, which may cease to exist if they don’t receive at least 2% of the vote in the next round of elections.  The reform would also prohibit coalitions, which have been the foundation of recent elections, allowing smaller parties to gain a presence in the Senate and lower house by aligning with the more established parties.  The reform is widely interpreted as a way to remove Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from effectively campaigning for the presidency as a coalition candidate in 2012.  Professional politicians from the three major parties don’t like the current coalition system because it forces the major parties to share proportionately awarded electoral posts with their minor partners.

Former DEA Agent Michael Levine has a piece on Expert Witness  on the crash of a cocaine-filled plane in Mexico, with a direct link here and the article on which it is based here. The jet involved had done black flights to Guantanamo. One of the owners was a DEA operative who flew regularly to Colombia on anti-narcotics missions… or whatnot.

Posted in corruption, Mexico, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Another Fox Flees the Henhouse

Posted by MEC on December 15, 2007

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John Tanner, the Bush Justice Department’s head of so-called voting-rights enforcement, resigned.

I say “so-called voting-rights enforcement” because — as you can guess, given he’s a Bush appointee — he seems to have spent his time in office doing exactly the opposite of the job’s official responsibilities.

In recent months, McClatchy has reported on a pattern of decision-making within the department’s Civil Rights Division, of which the Voting Rights Section is a part, that tended to narrow the voting rights of Democratic-leaning minorities.
 

[…]
 

In addition, the Justice Department opened an internal investigation into allegations that Tanner unfairly had deprived two veteran African-American staffers of bonuses and that he and a deputy had misused tax dollars on official trips.
 

[…]

Shortly after he became section chief in 2005, Tanner reversed the recommendation of the career staff that the department object to a Georgia law requiring voters in that state to produce photo identification cards. The staff had argued that the law would disenfranchise minority voters.
 

[…]
 

Tanner also drew harsh criticism for directing a crackdown to force states to purge hundreds of thousands of names from voter registration rolls, an initiative that critics charge was aimed at disenfranchising minority voters, who move frequently.

Unfortunately, we’re not completely rid of him:

Department spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement that Tanner, of his own accord, “made the decision to pursue (an) opportunity” to work in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

It’s not much of an improvement that he’ll be suppressing workers’ rights instead of suppressing voting rights. But his abrupt departure from his DoJ job may be a sign that investigations into the politicization of the Justice Department are limiting the culprits’ opportunities to subvert the Department’s real purpose.

Posted in Department of Injustice, DoJ | Comments Off on Another Fox Flees the Henhouse

Kenneth Wainstein and the man wanted by Interpol

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2007

Ah. It’s Kenneth Wainstein Day. He pops up again, this time in an investigation of an alleged payoff to the newly elected Cristina Fernández de Kirchner government of Argentina.

The story, via David Brooks of La Jornada (not the NYT’s Bobo Brooks) or Kirchgaessner and Dombey of the FT,  seems unlikely. On August 4th, a Cessna Citation carrying 8 passengers landed in Buenos Aires. One of the passengers, a US citizen, Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, was in the possession of 800,000 dollars. Wilson was shipped back to Miami.  The criminal complaint alleges that Moisés Maionica, Antonio José Canchita Gómez, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, Franklin Durán and Carlos Kauffmann conspired with Antonini regarding the payoff. Antonini was not charged.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bush Family Evil Empire, corruption, Venezuela | 4 Comments »

The Mukasey Payoff

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2007

How many liars can you find in this picture? From Johnston and Mazzetti, NYT (via t/o): So now Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, is furious because Mukasey is refusing to provide any information regarding the destruction of torture tapes at the CIA on the grounds that the CIA would refuse to cooperate with DoJ. The …investigator— that’s the guy with a portable shredder– is a Bush I/Bush II appointee, Kenneth Wainstein. The Congressional oversight is supplied by the Hoekstra and Reyes Comedy Team. Meanwhile, the CIA is promising to cooperate with both DoJ and Congress.

So, exactly why did the Congress believe that Mukasey would be an improvement on Alberto Gonzales?  And exactly what function does Congress serve if it does not immediately cite Mukasey for contempt and then (as soon as he refuses to surrender) impeach him?

Posted in Department of Injustice, Michael Mukasey, pink tutus | 1 Comment »

HAHAHAHAHA

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 15, 2007

Okay, I assume y’all know about James “blacks aren’t smart” Watson’s being such a friggin’ lyin’ racist pig that he is no longer considered a reputable scientist?

What about that crack about black employees? I ask. Are we just genetically predisposed to the bucket and broom? “Behavior as Watson describes it is not genetic,” Pollack responds. “That too has been tested, reproduced, published, established. He’s not been honest about the data already in hand, and that to me is the one failing no serious scientist can let pass. I wish he would say he’d gotten the facts wrong, and then his apologies might lead to social changes that would give them some force. So far, he’s gone down another path: he’s made his initial remarks even worse by suggesting that data on the role of childhood experience, as shaped by nature versus nurture, are not yet in, and that when they will be in, we will know that one’s DNA is indeed one’s fate. But the facts are in, and the results are just the opposite. Watson is just wrong. And what’s alarming–shocking even–is that he ought to know he’s wrong.”

Well, guess who probably had a black great-grandparent:

JAMES WATSON, the DNA pioneer who claimed Africans are less intelligent than whites, has been found to have 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.

An analysis of his genome shows that 16% of his genes are likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1%.

The study was made possible when he allowed his genome – the map of all his genes – to be published on the internet in the interests of science.

“This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African,” said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. “It was very surprising to get this result for Jim.”

My guess is that it’s probably from his father’s side of the family, as they would have more opportunities to meet black people in the 19th century; his mother’s family came from Ireland and Scotland, and Ireland for one had comparatively few black people prior to the 1990s. (Though I do like the idea that Watson could be related to this famous black Scotsman, also named Watson.)

Posted in eedjits, getting a clue, racism, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

Gee, Wasn’t Arnold All About Fixing California’s Deficit?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 15, 2007

I mean, that’s what he kept telling us back in 2002, when Darrell Issa bought him a shot at Gray Davis’ governorship.  

He was talking non-stop about The $38 Billion Deficit, and most of the mainstream press swallowed it whole, not bothering to analyze Schwarzenegger’s howlingly bogus proposed budget until after the election that made him governor.  Few of them noticed that Davis had actually had the deficit paid down to $8 billion by the time anybody’d noticed that there was a deficit in the first place.

Now, guess what?  The deficit that was $8 billion and dropping when Davis was in office five years ago has now grown to nearly double that (h/t Atrios):

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) — California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will declare a state of fiscal emergency under never-before-used rules that would force lawmakers into a special session to address a $14 billion deficit.

The governor, touring a hospital in Long Beach, said he will declare the emergency in January when lawmakers return from recess. Under the action, the Legislature would have 45 days to find ways to plug the shortfall. If they fail to find a solution in that time, they are barred from doing any other legislative work or adjourn until they do.

Uh-huh. Yeah, blame the Lege, Arnold.

Posted in 'starving the beast', infrastructure, mythmaking, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, taxes, wrong way to go about it, WTF? | Comments Off on Gee, Wasn’t Arnold All About Fixing California’s Deficit?

 
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