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Archive for March 8th, 2008

Vote buying scandal in New Mexico

Posted by Charles II on March 8, 2008

Bradblog has links to audio of Peter B. Collins interviewing Brad, reporter Laura MacCallum and former NM governor David Cargo on voters paid to attend convention (and, presumably, vote) for Representative Heather Wilson, who would like to succeed Senator Pete Domenici. Some people were voting outside their congressional districts.

Posted in corruption, real journalism, Republicans acting badly | 3 Comments »

Democrat Wins Illinois Special Election

Posted by MEC on March 8, 2008

Photobucket

Democrat Bill Foster has won the special election in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District to fill the seat that Dennis Hastert vacated so hastily.

The district hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1974.

Dare we hope it’s a sign of things to come?

Posted in 2008, Democrats | 4 Comments »

And in Other News, Satire Is Still Dead

Posted by MEC on March 8, 2008

Zeus

Former British prime minister and warmonger Tony Blair has been hired by Yale University to teach a seminar on “faith and globalisation”.

He plans to set up the Blair Faith Foundation before taking up his post, the university said. The foundation aims to examine the role of religion in the world and promote understanding among Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Oh, yeah. Because the war Blair supported so ardently has done so much to promote understand among those faiths in Iraq and the Middle East.

Moon of Alabama has a proposed syllabus for Blair’s seminar.

Next I expect to hear that Yale has hired Karl Rove to teach a course on “ethics and public service”.

(H/T Jo in Salon’s Table Talk)

Posted in Tony Blair, WTF? | 1 Comment »

The NYT, delivering ancient history as news

Posted by Charles II on March 8, 2008

The NYT has long been famous for producing excellent news reports on events… a decade or so after it would have mattered. Now Philip Shenon of the NYT has produced a book that tells us the critical information that would surely have kept Bush to one term… and, since we have a free press, you can read about it– in the Sydney Morning Herald (via Raw Story)

  • ” “more than 40 presidential briefings presented to Bush from January 2001 through to September 10, 2001, included references to bin Laden….”
  • ” [911 Commission Chief of Staff] Zelikow made it clear to the team’s investigators that Clarke should not be believed, that his testimony would be suspect.”
  • ” Repeatedly in 2001, Clarke had gone to Rice and others in the White House and pressed them to move… The threat, Clarke was arguing, was as dire as anything that he or the CIA had ever seen.”
  • “[Commission historian Warren] Bass told colleagues that he gasped when he found a memo written by Clarke to Rice on September 4, 2001… in which Clarke seemed to predict what was just about to happen. … The note was terrifying in its prescience.”
  • “Bass made it clear to colleagues that he believed Zelikow was interfering in his work for reasons that were overtly political – intended to shield the White House, and Rice in particular…”
  • ” Much as the staff felt beaten down by Zelikow, so did the other Democratic commissioners. By the end, they had given up the fight to document the more serious failures of Bush, Rice, and others in the Administration in the months before September. Zelikow would never have permitted it. Nor, they realised, would Kean and Hamilton. “

Although the SMH is not specific on when Warren Bass discovered the Clarke memo and threatened to resign over Zelikow’s politically-motivated suppression of key facts, we know it was before July 22, 2004, when the Commission released its report… plenty of time for the American people to be informed that one of the candidates for president was a complete incompetent who was gifted only at suppressing facts that would have cost him the election. And the American people owe special thanks to Lee Hamilton– and the New York Times– for having helped him in that.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Media machine, mediawhores, September 11, World Trade Center | 1 Comment »

Ha Ha Ha

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 8, 2008

This just cracks me up:

Russ Bennett, a board member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, rose to speak last week at the local Lions Club meeting about the chamber’s support of the $6.6 billion, 10-year transportation package that was made law over Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto.

“I figured I would be bloodied,” said Bennett, a small-businessman from Willmar.

“I got applause, and a lot of it.”

Mike Wigley, the founder of the decade-old Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a vocal anti-tax lobby, this week encouraged like-minded folks to drop their chamber memberships in retaliation for the organization’s helping write legislation that includes a 5-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike by the end of this year and 8.5 cents by 2013.

Chamber CEO David Olson said that he’s aware of two cancellations from the 2,400-member group.

“I expected more,” he said.

No wonder Marty Seifert — GOP Minority Leader and (Rich) Taxpayers League button-man — has been looking so pissed off lately. Minnesota businesses have seen the effects of two decades’ worth of Grover Norquistian “starve the beast” tax slashings on state and local government and infrastructure (collapsing bridges anyone?), and even the members of the normally tax-phobic local Chamber of Commerce realize that they don’t like seeing Minnesota going from first-world to third-world status:

And remember: The gas tax hasn’t been raised in 20 years. Inflation has eroded the current 20-cent-per-gallon tax, as construction costs have climbed. Congestion, bad roads and weak bridges have become a priority for employers who say transporting workers and products wastes too much time and contributes to lost productivity.

The bill also allows the seven-county metro are to impose a quarter-cent sales tax to fund more mass transit to the tune of about $100 million annually. Chamber lobbying kept this to half of what transit proponents wanted. Still, that funding will help take more people out of cars and put them on buses and trains. Mass transit ridership is rising in the Twin Cities area.

Moreover, raising the gas tax slightly will allow Minnesota to tap into millions of federal matching dollars for road improvement and congestion-reduction projects that it has missed in the past.

The chamber also worked in a provision that permits study and review of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s planning, bidding and construction to ensure that the agency and vendors are delivering value at reasonable cost.

“We did a lot to make this bill better,” said the chamber’s Olson, who took political heat for supporting a veto override of the Republican governor. “The all-or-nothing strategies of the last few years weren’t working.

“Our members told us that the cost of doing nothing was more expensive than doing something.”

No kidding.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, getting a clue, Good Things, GOP bullying, Grover Norquist, infrastructure, Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, when government is a good thing | 4 Comments »

News Flash: Republicans Lie (Minnesota Version)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 8, 2008

WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler does an excellent takedown of Minnesota GOP party chair Ron Carey’s ad attacking Democrats over the gas tax increase:

It’s true that the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode the governor’s veto of a gas tax hike. However, it would never have happened without six Republican votes in the House and two Republican votes in the Senate.

In fact, House Republican leaders were so irritated they publicly rebuked their members who voted yes.

So what about the deficit that the ad talks about? Take another look…


[…]

It’s not fair, or accurate, to link the gas tax hike to the budget deficit. The two have nothing to do with one another.

The gas tax hike — by law — is money used only for roads and bridges. It’s a separate budget that has nothing to do with the deficit.

[…]

Minnesota ‘s gas tax will go up 5-and-a-half cents this year which is the first gas tax hike since 1988. It’ll go up another 3 cents, and by 2012 Minnesota’s gas tax will be 28.5 cents a gallon.

This year the national average gas tax is 28.6 cents.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, 2008, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on News Flash: Republicans Lie (Minnesota Version)