Saturday, February 23, 2008

In Tucson, Thousands May be Infected With Measles

   A sure sign of the times that you and I live in!

   In Tucson Arizona it appears that many of the fine cities residence may have been exposed to a case of measles at a Northwest area hospital.

  Any patient or visitor to the Northwest Medical Center between February 12th and 15th might have been in contact with a visitor from Europe who can down with this disease, which is very contagious.

  The unidentified infected patient was an adult visiting Tucson from Switzerland who became ill on Feb. 12 and went to Northwest's emergency room that day to obtain medication. The patient, feeling no better, returned the next morning and was admitted to the hospital.

But infection with measles was not confirmed until late Feb. 15, when the patient was finally placed in isolation, ending exposure to others at the hospital. 

In addition to the thousands of patients and visitors to Northwest during this period, as many as 1,800 staff members at the hospital may have been exposed to measles and are being monitored for symptoms.  Arizona Daily Star

  The adult has since recovered and went back to their home country. In the mean time, Tucson is in the midst of flu season with many people going to the ER's for treatment. Possible contact with a carrier of measles will certainly send the admittance rate up at all of the area hospitals even though residents  are being told to call the health department if they suspect that they may have measles.

    Measles is very rare in the United States so if you are not up on the illness, please go check it out Here.

Bush Administration Says U.S. Intelligence Agencies Having Problems Spying With No FISA Bill ( Amnesty )

   Bush, ATT, Verizon and others must be crying in their crib because the U.S. House didn't give them ( telecoms ) amnesty for all of the illegal spying that they did under orders from Bush. FISA got no extra time for debate because Bush and his Republican assholes wouldn't allow the extension (21 days ) to go forward, so it is Bush who is helping those mean ole terrorist out. I'm not sure about you, but I think that I was not killed after the FISA bill expired last Saturday. I feel pretty much alive still, don't you?

  Back to point.

   On Friday, Silvestre Reyes ( House Intelligence Committee Chairman ) received a  letter ( PDF ) from two of our favorite terrorist fear-mongers, Mike McConnell and Michael Mukasey stating that since the temporary Protect America Act expired last week that some of their partners ( telecoms ) in intelligence operations have become less cooperative. We all know that that is a bunch of crap but I guess that we have to let the children amuse themselves once in a while.

  Both McConnell and Mukasey say that after the PAA stopped being in effect, partners ( telecoms ) "have delayed or refused compliance with our requests to initiate new surveillances of terrorist and other foreign intelligence targets under existing directives issued pursuant to the Protect America Act."

  We all know this is crap since the telecoms have no choice when requested by the government to help as long as the request and the help is a legal request. It would appear that only Qwest's lawyers understood that the Bush Crime Syndicate was doing something illegal so Quest did the right thing and told the government to come back with the proper warrants.

  More of this letter from the two hoods:

"Although most partners intend to cooperate for the time being, they have expressed deep misgivings about doing so in light of the uncertainty and have indicated that they may well cease to cooperate if the uncertainty persists."
Mukasey and McConnell say that they are currently "working to mitigate these problems and are hopeful that our efforts will be successful." But they add that unless Congress passes a version of a new electronic surveillance bill, approved by the Senate, which includes the controversial retroactive lawsuit immunity for telecom companies, "the broader uncertainty caused" by the temporary spy law's expiration "will persist." The letter adds that: "This uncertainty may well continue to cause us to miss information that we otherwise would be collecting."    Newsweek

  Keep in mind that...

The claim that telecoms will cease to cooperate without retroactive immunity is deeply dishonest on multiple levels, but the dishonesty is most easily understood when one realizes that, under the law, telecoms are required to cooperate with legal requests from the government. They don’t have the option to “refuse.” Without amnesty, telecoms will be reluctant in the future to break the law again, which we should want. But there is no risk that they will refuse requests to cooperate with legal surveillance, particularly since they are legally obligated to cooperate in those circumstances.


  Remember what the main issue is with the Protect America Act

Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, told Renee Montagne the main issue is liability protection for the private sector.  ( emphasis mine )    Source

      Silvestre Reyes, Jay Rockefeller, who voted yes on the Senate Version of FISA, and others had something to say about this letter from the two clowns in the hood.

  "Further politicizing the debate, the administration today announced that they believe there have been gaps in security since the Protect America Act expired. They cannot have it both ways; if it is true that the expiration of the PAA has caused gaps in intelligence, then it was irresponsible for the President and congressional Republicans to openly oppose an extension of the law. Accordingly, they should join Democrats in extending it until we can resolve our differences."      Source

   As noted once before, this wouldn't be an issue had Senator Harry Reid and the others passed the House version in the first place instead of bringing forth their own " junk "  bill.

   Bush's arrogance, and the Senates need for telecom cash is the only reason that we are having this discussion. If a few of the Senate Democrats had had some balls ( Rockefeller is one ) and actually believed in protecting your rights as an American, this would all be on just Bush's lap for what would have put aside ( veto ) by Bush.

Friday, February 22, 2008

John McCain And The Lobbyist Group

In 2000, when McCain set out to seek the Republican Party's presidential nomination, his campaign charter jet landed in New Hampshire early on with some lobbyists aboard.
David Broder, dean of the political writers, was aboard that plane. And he duly noted the presence of Ken Duberstein, the lobbyist and former chief of staff for Ronald Reagan, aboard the plane of the senator running as the anti-establishment candidate.

Yours truly was on that plane, too, and duly noted the presence of Tom Panza, a Florida-based lobbyist for GTech, the lottery-management company that has mopped up contract after contract in the states running lotteries and provided lucrative employment for a lot of former state workers in the process.  Source

  Want to know who has the most lobbyist and who those lobbyist represent in the corporate world? Then go to The Swamp

Renzi Indicted For Land Scheme And Money Laundering

      Another corrupt Republican politician on the indictment list. This time it is Arizona Republican Rick Renzi who was indicted.

    Northern Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi was indicted today on charges of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other matters in a scam involving an Arizona land swap.

The indictment says that as part of the alleged scam, Renzi and James Sandlin concealed at least $733,000 that the congressman took for helping seal the land deals.

Renzi and another business partner, Andrew Beardall, are accused of embezzling more than $400,000 in insurance premiums to fund Renz's first congressional campaign.    AzFamily

  He's not running for reelection as he announced last August that he would not seek another term. That's probably a good thing for him since it would be just a little difficult to serve in Congress while you are serving in prison.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Republicans Abort FISA Meeting

   Let's get back to the ongoing FISA bill, shall we. I mean, we night as well get back to it because the Republicans most certainly aren't going to do it.

  Today was supposed to have been a bipartisan working meeting on FISA but the Republicans stopped their staff from attending the meeting. The meeting was about modernizing the FISA, and Majority Leader Hoyer had something to say about the Republicans not allowing their people to be present.

           Steny Hoyer

    “I am disappointed that House and Senate Republicans apparently instructed their staffs not to participate in today’s bicameral meeting on modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The decision to not participate, coupled with their vote against an extension of their bill - the Protect America Act - only serves to reinforce the perception that Republicans prefer to have a political issue rather than a strong new FISA bill in place as quickly as possible. Certainly Republicans do not really believe that the role of the House is to simply rubberstamp whatever bills the Senate passes.

    “I am hopeful that Republicans will reconsider and join us in crafting a bipartisan FISA bill that protects our nation and our civil liberties. It is time to come together and work in the best interests of our nation’s security.”

    The Judiciary Committee chimed in with their own statement also, as did the House and Senate Chairmen.

     “In what should have been a bipartisan, bicameral meeting, staff members of the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees met today to work in good faith to reach a compromise on FISA reform. As we have said, we are using this week to work on a compromise that strengthens our national security and protects Americans’ privacy. Unfortunately, we understand our Republican counterparts instructed their staffs not to attend this working meeting, therefore not allowing progress to be made in a bipartisan, bicameral way. While we are disappointed that today’s meeting could not reflect a bipartisan effort, we will continue to work and hope Republicans will join us to put our nation’s security first.” Source

   For one thing, I think that for Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to be a part of this statement is sort of a two-faced put-on by this man. Let us not forget that Rockefeller did vote for amnesty for the telecoms and if he and a few other democrats had done their jobs right in the first place, this shit wouldn't be an issue in the first place!

The Woes Of John McCain Continue

  I'd really hate to be Senator John McCain today, or tomorrow, or the next day for that matter.

  It is bad enough that the NYTIMES put out the story on what might have been an improper relationship with a lobbyist. Of course, this was denied by McCain

  Bit now it seems that Senator McCain's people have been incompetent when it comes to getting him on the Indiana primary ballot.  BlueIndiana blogger  Thomas noticed that McCain was a little short in some districts when it comes to getting 500 signatures from each to be placed on the ballot.

  To my surprise, I noticed that John McCain -- the presumptive front-runner for the GOP nomination -- was just a little short in a few districts, including my precious 4th, despite the fact that Attorney General Steve Carter had already turned in their petitions. I made a few phone calls, and one by one I found out that the McCain camp had got the job done across the state.

Except in the 4th District.

In the 4th District, they are short.      Read More

    The DNC had something to say about this as well.


Despite the fact that the McCain campaign clearly failed to qualify for the ballot, Republican Attorney General Steve Carter and Republican Secretary of State Todd Rokita (who recently endorsed McCain) rubberstamped it anyway, trying to sneak McCain onto the ballot. Clearly, the Republican Culture of Corruption is alive and well within the McCain campaign.

  Do we need another half-assed Republican and his buddies running this country when they can't even run an election right? I think not.

John McCain's Economy

  There is no story here. I thought that I would put this picture up just for the hell of it so that you would know what our economy will be like under a McCain presidency. Plus, I thought that it is funny and that we can all use a good laugh!

McCains Economy  2


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News In America: In Case You Missed It

   The following are some links to news story's that you may be interested in reading.

   In Mesa, Arizona the Arizona State University committee is thinking about requiring that students submit their mental health histories in order to combat acts of potential violence on campus. This is one of several new programs being considered.    Source

  Another one from Arizona, this time in Tucson where one of the country's top fighting pit bull breeders has been arrested and 110 of his dogs confiscated Mahlon T. Patrick has been charged with dog fighting.

"We have dismantled a group of people at the upper echelon of dogfighting," said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for the Humane Society of the United States. "This will be felt by people in the blood sport nationwide."   Tucson Citizen

The Associated Press
OAK PARK, Mich. --

A former TV news anchor in Detroit and Lansing, Mich., was arrested Wednesday and charged with embezzling $149,000 from a man she had dated and advised financially.   Source

   In North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole (R) has decided to run for a second term in the U.S. Senate. She has no Republican challengers but there are 4 Democrats seeking nomination from their party to take her on.  Source   I hope that this woman gets her ass handed to her on a rusted platter!

John McCain Have An Affair With Telecom Lobbyist?

  If this is true then John McCain may be in a world of shit.

     From the NYTIMES

   A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship.  Read more

  It is funny how all of these so-called ethical Republicans keep messing around and getting called on it. What else would McCain do but deny everything? At the least, Iseman was to influential with McCain and probably got many telecom deals settled for her clients.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Will Firefighters Be Spying On You?

  Only in a United States democracy could this happen.

   Keep in mind, after reading the following article, that it is rumored that amnesty for the telecoms isn't the only kind of amnesty that will be happening if this piece of legislation is left in the FISA Bill. It is noticed that anyone, or any entity that helps the government with spying activity, will not be able to be sued or prosecuted for the help even if done without the proper warrants. That could be your neighbor, landlord, pest control professional, or whatever.

February 18, 2008

FDNY Spies

By Colin Meyn

    In New York City, the Department of Homeland Security is training New York City firefighters to assist in gathering intelligence information during routine inspections and emergencies.

In November, the Associated Press reported that in New York, Homeland Security was testing a program called the Fire Service Intelligence Enterprise (FSIE) to help identify “material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities.”

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Homeland Security hosted a September 2007 conference in New York City to discuss plans for the new intelligence program. There, chief officers from fire departments in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and 12 other U.S. cities met with NYC fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and officials from the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Surveillance. “Real-time intelligence and information leads to a heightened state of situational awareness,” Scoppetta said at the conference. “And situational awareness is key to saving lives.”

“We are not training firefighters to be intelligence gatherers or special agents,” says Jack Tomarchio, Homeland Security’s deputy undersecretary of intelligence and surveillance. “We are helping to provide crucial information to those people who are often the first responders.”

In 2002, the Bush administration proposed having bus drivers, mail carriers and telephone repair personnel spy on the American public as part of Homeland Security’s “Citizen Corps” initiative. The program, called TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System), never made it past Congress. But because the FSIE is managed at the city level, it has bypassed federal regulation altogether.

The FDNY says the program is demanding nothing new from firefighters. “There has always been an expectation that if they see suspicious behavior they should report it,” says FDNY Press Secretary Jim Long. “Now we are just trying to share information between other cities with the help of Homeland Security. If we know that they are convenience store owners, and they have maps and blueprints of the Empire State Building, it is obvious that something isn’t right.”

But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) are troubled by the program. “When you start recruiting from every government agency for super intelligence, I think we run the risk of lots and lots of false alarms and distracting our firefighters from the job at hand,” says Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. “If there is a fire in their homes, and people have to make sure there is nothing that will give rise to suspicion—like, in some people’s eyes, perhaps the Quran, or in other people’s eyes, a left-wing newspaper—that is a matter of concern.”

Civil liberties experts say this method of gathering intelligence may violate the right to proper search and seizure. Mike German, a former FBI agent and current ACLU Policy Council on National Security, said on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “There is actually still a Fourth Amendment.”

John McCain for President? Let's Hope Not

    John McCain says that he is the only one of the presidential candidates who has the experience which is needed to be a wartime commander in chief and that he is the only one who can reform Washington, D.C. ( LMFAO )

   This from the man who pretty much did a back-flip because outgoing President Bush's daddy is supporting McCain as the next president. What is even worse than this is McCain getting all giddy because the Idiot in Chief, young George, is also going to help him out to win the White House. I'd like to know how McCain intends to reform Washington when most of his advisors and certainly all of his incoming campaign money will be coming from those same people and groups who need to be reformed in the first place. Is McCain going to lock soon to be former President Bush and Dick Cheney up for the massive crimes which they have committed against our own country and others around the world? I think not. If McCain wishes to reform Washington then he should take his old, sorry ass back to the state of Arizona and then stay the fuck there! That would be one corrupt creep who wouldn't be in Washington any longer.

    And what's this shit about being the only one with experience to be the wartime prez? Hate to tell you this John, but being a P.O.W. for five or six years does not give you the experience to lead a country. Not this one! On top of that, we wouldn't need a wartime president if you and your bosses hadn't cooked up info and lies about Iraq and WMD  to get us into this mess in the first place. What this country now needs is an anti-wartime president, not some washed up Bush ass kissing old coot from the desert. No one with an IQ over 1 would want another 4 years of Bush and the rest of you criminals. Eight years was more than enough, thank you!

He wasted no time going after Democratic front-runner Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois, promising to "fight every moment of every day ... to make sure that Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history and return to the false promises and failed policies of a tired philosophy that trusts in government more than the people."    Source

  Is this old piece of crap serious? McCain must be a little light on his meds again! Reader, I do not know about you, but for the last eight years I have seen nothing but false promises and failed policies from McCain's Republican Party. It has been one lie after another on an almost daily basis along with what seems to have been one crime after another, also on a daily basis. You Mr. McCain, are the " empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history..."

    A vote for John McCain is an absolute vote for absolute stupidity.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cuba's Fidel Castro Resigns

  Ole Fidel has finally called it quits and has resigned the Cuban Presidency  at the age of 81.  Castro has been in power for 49 years.

"My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath," Castro wrote in a letter published Tuesday in the online edition of the Communist Party daily Granma. But, he wrote, "it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer."

The end of Castro's rule — the longest in the world for a head of government — frees his 76-year-old brother Raul to implement reforms he has hinted at since taking over as acting president when Fidel Castro fell ill in July 2006. President Bush said he hopes the resignation signals the beginning of a democratic transition. YahooNews

    Of course, our own President Bush has promise the Cuban people to "help the people of Cuba realize the blessings of liberty."

"The international community should work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions that are necessary for democracy," he said. "Eventually, this transition ought to lead to free and fair elections — and I mean free, and I mean fair — not these kind of staged elections that the Castro brothers try to foist off as true democracy."  

    As if Bush would know anything about a true democracy in the first place.

   Not to sure how this will play out in Cuba since Fidel's brother Raul will more than likely be taking over things as of this coming Sunday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Superdelegates? Lay Them To Rest

   I ran across an interesting article at  CommonDreams that deals with the history of the Democratic Party's superdelegates. Some very interesting information to be had.

   For instance:

   Walter Mondale is the principal creator of the superdelegate system which was created in 1964.

The superdelegate system, as we know it, came from the backlash of the 1980s. In January 1982, supported by Mondale, the Hunt Commission and Democratic National Committee reversed grassroots reforms. They rewrote the rules, not to make elections open and fair, but to make sure that centrist (right-wing) candidates maintained hegemony over nominees and party affairs. It was out of fear of new uncontrollable voters that the Commission created a block of uncommitted delegates drawn from a primarily white, male establishment. Mondale, the same insider who prevented elected Mississipppians from taking their seats in 1964, played the pivotal role in creating hundreds of unelected delegates in 1984. Superdelegates comprised 14 percent of the convention in 1984, and eighty-five percent of the superdelegates picked Mondale. Not long after superdelegates picked “the sure winner,” Mondale was trounced in the presidential election. Nevertheless, the superdelgate number passed the 600 mark by 1988. The Jesse Jackson campaign, especially the massive victory over Dukkakis on Super Tuesday, electrified the party and the country. Jackson won 7 million primary votes in 1988, more than Mondale won as the nominee in 1984. Many party regulars were gripped with panic, and some superdelegates organized a stop-Jackson movement within the party. Jackson protested the role of superdelegates, but his challenge went unheeded. Party leaders continued to look for ways to blunt the growing power of grassroots movements. While they could not stop voters from voting, they could dilute the impact of the reform movements by manufacturing added voters as a countervailing force.

Mondale was quite open about the undemocratic aims of the superdelegate system. In a number of talks, he acknowledged that superdelegates were created with the explicit aim of preventing voter insurgencies. He espoused his anti-democratic sentiments in the New York Times, February 2, 1992, where he called for expansion of superdelgate numbers:

“The election is the business of the people. But the nomination is more properly the business of the parties….The problem lies in the reforms that were supposed to open the nominating process….Party leaders have lost the power to screen candidates and select a nominee. The solution is to reduce the influence of the primaries and boost the influence of the party leaders….The superdelgate category established within the Democratic Party after 1984 allows some opportunity for this, but should be strengthened.”  Source

  I love that last paragraph. What you read here is basically Walter Mondale telling both you and I that we are to stupid to choose who our nominee's should be, so the superdelegates may have to do it for us.

   This would mean that no matter how many regular delegates Senator Obama may end up with, and even if he wins the primary, that our smarter superdelegates may decide that Senator Clinton is the one that they wish to run as Presidential nominee, because, after all, they know what they're doing and you and I do not.

Today, faced with enthusiastic, grassroots support for Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton now espouses the old Mondale position (in the guarded, euphemistic language of a candidate), pitting the party regulars against the danger of the popular vote. I do not intend here to compare the merits of the candidates. But there is a question of principle involved in the superdelgate controversy. The very integrity of our elections is at stake. No vote is safe when a self-appointed group can nullify the results of a primary election that displeases them.

All Democratic members of the House and Senate become superdelegates automatically. Let us not forget that George Bush led the vast majority of Democrats by the nose into pre-emptive war, implicating most of the current superdelegates in the biggest catastrophe of recent decades. What makes these individuals wiser than nurses, technicians, custodians, lawyers, teachers, athletes, fire fighters, proprietors-all who voted in good faith in the recent primary? Why don’t the superdelegates do the job they were elected to do-end the war-and let the voters do their job in the primaries-select the next nominee?

   I would hope that our so-called superdelegates are at least moral enough to do the right thing and to let the people's wishes stand. If Obama wins with the popular support and the superdelegates choose Clinton, the shit it going to hit the fan and you can bet your asses that John McCain will be the next president, not Clinton. Not to mention the fact that all of the new, younger voters will be totally turned off by politics once again, and if they do decide to vote, they will run to the Republican side of the fence. The Democratic Party will be finished as a legitimate political entity.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Barack Obama: ”We are who we’ve been waiting for.”

    I am not here to push Barack Obama as the next President of the United States. But, I will say that the more that I listen to this man and the more that I research him, the more that I am beginning to like him. If you think about it, it has been ages since the American people have had anyone who has wanted to be the President speak the way that Barack Obama has and still does.

   That being said, the following are some of the quotes from Senator Obama. you'll never hear anything like this from Hillary Clinton and certainly not from old man John " Bush Republican " McCain.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

BARACK OBAMA, speech, Feb. 5, 2008

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.   Here

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.    Here

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.  Here

What Washington needs is adult supervision.

BARACK OBAMA, fundraising letter, Oct. 2006

Americans ... still believe in an America where anything's possible -- they just don't think their leaders do.

BARACK OBAMA, fundraising letter, Sep. 1, 2006

Who Will The Superdelegates Vote For? Follow The Money

   While I was browsing around the Internet, I ran across some interesting pieces on the superdelegates and the part that they may end up playing in the nomination of either Clinton or Obama.

  In particular. I came across the money that both Clinton and Obama have given to them in the 2006 and 2008 campaigns that many have had/having.

  And while it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials who are superdelegates have received at least $904,200 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama, who narrowly leads in the count of pledged, "non-super" delegates, has doled out more than $698,200 to superdelegates from his political action committee, Hope Fund, or campaign committee since 2005. Of the 82 elected officials who had announced as of Feb. 12 that their superdelegate votes would go to the Illinois senator, 35, or 43 percent of this group, have received campaign contributions from him in the 2006 or 2008 election cycles, totaling $232,200. In addition, Obama has been endorsed by 52 superdelegates who haven't held elected office recently and, therefore, didn't receive campaign contributions from him.

Clinton does not appear to have been as openhanded. Her PAC, HILLPAC, and campaign committee appear to have distributed $205,500 to superdelegates. Only 12 percent of her elected superdelegates, or 13 of 109 who have said they will back her, have received campaign contributions, totaling about $95,000 since 2005. An additional 128 unelected superdelegates support Clinton, according to a blog tracking superdelegates and their endorsements, 2008 Democratic Convention Watch.      Capital Eye

  So who has gotten the money?  Go HERE to see