Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 15th, 2010

1. Corruption in the National Guard and 2. Justice DeLayed

Posted by Charles II on November 15, 2010

The Washington Spectator is an itty bitty four page semi-monthly (Lou Dubose, editor) that you can get for $15.

It’s worth a lot more.

From their lead story about corruption in government contracting, by Shawn Martin and Lou Dubose (by subscription):

“It’s a closed society, run from inside,” said a National Guard source who has been involved with the Guard for more than 20 years. “It’s the rabbits watching the lettuce. [Whistleblower Thomas Ubl’s] suit cracked it open….That’s why I am talking. The only thing that has the potential to change this right now is the [qui tam] lawsuit. It’s money. It would sting them. It’s reporters looking at a corrupt system.”

Basically, contractors hire retiring National Guard officers involved in procurement at extraordinary salaries, as well as their family members. For example, the wife of a procurement officer was hired at almost $60/hour.

Thomas Ubl filed a qui tam suit for false claims. The firm had agreed to settle with Ubl for $11M. But the DoJ forced the case to trial, where it managed to lose, despite the fact that there were some pretty obvious examples of false claims. The company, for example, produced a statutorily-required sheet for labor rates dated 2000, but conceded in court that the sheet was backdated. The company also had some interesting labor practices, paying the daughter of the owner for 394 hours of work she did not perform “to max out [her] 401(k).” The son was paid as a college graduate even though his only post-high school training was a five month National Guard course. The judge, Liam O’Grady, is of course a Bush appointee.

And, one would guess from his rulings, on the gravy train.
_____________________________

The other story of interest is that DeLay’s trial began in early November in Austin. He was indicted in 2005.

What was that saying about justice DeLayed is justice denied?

Posted in activist judges, Busheviks, corruption, Department of Injustice | 1 Comment »

Chris Bowers Examines American Popular Opinion On Wars, From WWI Onward

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 15, 2010

And makes some interesting findings:

3. Reports on violence in Iraq decreased support for troop withdrawal.

Finding these older polls also reminded me of some more recent, surprising polls on our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Take, for example, this poll from Time in mid-2007:

Q 83) As you may know, a report about the situation in Iraq by General David Petraeus, the Commander of U.S. forces, and others is scheduled to be released next week. If the report says that the situation in Iraq is IMPROVING, what should the U.S. do next: should the U.S. increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, keep the same number of U.S. troops in Iraq as there are now, decrease the number of troops in Iraq, or remove all its troops from Iraq? QUESTIONS 83-84 WERE ROTATED.

Increase: 6%

Keep the same: 32%

Decrease: 39%

Remove All Troops: 17%

DK / NA: 6%

Q 84) If the report says that the situation in Iraq is GETTING WORSE, what should the U.S. do next: should the U.S. increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, keep the same number of U.S. troops in Iraq as there are now, decrease the number of troops in Iraq, or remove all its troops from Iraq? QUESTIONS 83-84 WERE ROTATED.

Increase: 16%

Keep the same: 27%

Decrease: 25%

Remove All Troops: 22%

DK / NA: 9%

Americans were much more supportive of withdrawing troops from Iraq in 2007 if they were told things were going well in the country. As such, media reports on violence, which were often echoed and emphasized by online progressives to help make the case for withdrawing troops, were actually decreasing public support for withdrawal. At the same time, pro-escalation Republicans attacked the news media for focusing too extensively on violence in Iraq. They did so in the mistaken belief that such stories would increase public support for troop withdrawal.

As it turns out, the media strategy on both sides of the debate was self-defeating.

Similar polling from the NYT in 2007 shows similar results.

Posted in Iraq war | Comments Off on Chris Bowers Examines American Popular Opinion On Wars, From WWI Onward

Emmer’s Act Wearing Thin In Southeastern Minnesota

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 15, 2010

Per Sally Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie, it seems that the good citizens of Olmsted and Goodhue counties are getting fed up with the post-election antics of the guy for whom a plurality of them voted.

Here’s a letter written by Cheryl Winters that was prominently featured in the Rochester Post-Bulletin:

I cannot believe the Republican Party of Minnesota would allow the likes of Tony Sutton to even approach a microphone. . . .

He will throw everything including the kitchen sink into the election machine just to screw it up, cause a recount and litigation to make sure his candidate wins. . .

He does not reflect the attitude of my Republican friends and neighbors. The Minnesota Republican Party would do well to show Sutton the door.

Furthermore, the Post-Bulletin reports on the extreme headaches the massive, prankish data requests made by Team Emmer and Tony Sutton’s Republican Party of Minnesota have given the already shellshocked clerks of various southeastern Minnesota counties:

As Olmsted County elections administrator Pam Fuller prepares for the gubernatorial recount, her office faces another huge challenge — a deluge of data requests related to the election that she estimates will require at least 60 hours of work.

“They are asking for almost every record we have for Election Day,” she said.

[…]

Mower County Auditor-Treasurer Doug Groh said he is concerned about the level of data being requested. He said the county attorney has sent a letter responding to threatened legal action against the county for not getting the information together fast enough.

“I find their requests, actually, at this point in time, very burdensome and very troublesome, and it impedes the process of the election,” Groh said.

Goodhue County finance director Carolyn Holmsten said the county is struggling to meet the data requests. She said some of the easier requests have been completed but that there’s still a lot of photocopying to do. She said smaller counties like Goodhue County do not have full-time election staff to handle the requests. The six employees in the auditor-treasurer’s office will have to do what they can.

She said,”We can’t devote 100 percent of our time. So everybody chips in as best they can, juggling it amongst the other jobs they have to do, too.”

That Eric Magnuson — who knows better — is a party to Sutton’s and Emmer’s shamefulness defies belief.

Posted in 2010, Minnesota | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Emmer’s Act Wearing Thin In Southeastern Minnesota

 
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