Friday, July 18, 2008

John McCain's Newest Campaign Worker

  In case you have not noticed, John McCain seems to like having lobbyist and corrupt officials working and/or managing his campaign. Once a Republican crook, always a Republican crook.

  Here is McCain's latest addition to the family.

Daily Kos

John McCain is either stupid, senile, or just doesn't care about how he gets the money, just as long as he can swindle people into it.  Witness his latest hire in Ohio of none other than disgraced Ohio Treasurer of State Joe Deters, who resigned in disgrace in 2005, to head his campaign efforts in Southwest Ohio.  Will the press give it notice?  Judging by there "attack Obama, give OLD John a pass" type of reporting, it is for we, the grassroots voter to continue to publicize the truly shady cast of characters that litter the McCain Campaign "twisted talk express".

For those of you that have no idea who Joe Deters is, here are a few tidbits.

2002: Deters Awarded Out-Of-State Company Millions In State Work, Affiliated PAC Gave Hamilton County GOP And Other Deters Supporters Nearly $60K. State Treasurer Joe Deters gave lucrative work to a Pennsylvania firm that splits its fees with another company owned by a pair of generous donors to Ohio Republicans. Valley Forge Asset Management Corporation was among 14 companies picked to invest $347 million of Ohio's tobacco settlement money; Valley Forge was assigned to handle the largest piece- $40.3 million- and was expected to be paid over $200,000 in annual fees. Valley Forge had an agreement with VFIM Inc. and gave 50 percent of fees for helping land clients. VFIM is owned by Richard Ireland and Brian McElwee, who are the sole contributors to the Concerned Citizens Political Action Committee. Since 2000, they have given over $370,000 to the PAC and, in turn, the PAC gave $58,000 to the Hamilton County GOP and other Ohio GOP accounts that have supported Deters' campaign. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/31/02; Dayton Daily News, 6/1/02]

2002. Fifth Third Securities Received Largest Ever Fine For Pay-To-Play; Deters Linked To More Than $250K In Employee Contributions. The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Fifth Third Securities Inc., a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, $1 million for violating federal rules aimed to curtail "pay to play," the practice of using campaign contributions to curry favor with those awarding municipal bond business. The fine was the largest ever issued by the SEC to end pay to play politics. The SEC would not say which elected officials were involved, but a federal source said they key figure was State Treasurer Joe Deters. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Fifth Third employees and associates gave more than $250,000 since 1998 to Deters' campaign or to Republican Party funds that supported him. Additionally, Executive Vice President Robert J. King, Jr. co-hosted a Deters fundraiser that raised $38,000 in Cleveland. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/19/02]    The Article

  The list goes on and on, but you get the picture by now. If the choices that John McCain are making right now about who is involved in his campaign are an indication of what his staff will look like if he makes it into the White House, then this will indeed be a third Bush term. We do not need that again. It is bad enough that Barack Obama is starting to sound more like a Republican in some instances.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gmail Flaw Reported

  This has nothing to do with politics but plenty to do with your privacy if you have an Gmail account through Google.


Via Slashdot: Your Rights Online:

ihatespam writes "Have you ever wanted to know the name of Now you can. Through a bug in Google calendars the names of all registered Gmail accounts are now readily available. All you need to find out the names of any gmail address is a Google calendar account yourself. Depending on your view this ranges from a harmless "feature" to a rather serious privacy violation. According to some reports, spammers are already exploiting this "feature"/bug to send personalized spam messages."

Technorati Tags: ,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

" The Surge " Is Working Only Because..

   All that we hear from John McCain is that we are winning in Iraq and that the " surge " is working. So what is it that is making the " surge " work?


Bush: Appeasement, Capitulation, Cowardice

by BenGoshi   Tue Jul 15, 2008

 In today's Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, my attention was called to Michael Barone's jingoistic, bullshit fluff piece on "the surge" in the Moonie Times.  What neither Barone, nor McCain, nor Bush, nor Hannity, nor Limbaugh, nor Lindsey Graham, nor Lieberman, nor McConnell, et mal mention is Bush's program to bribe insurgents to stop killing U.S. Troops.

Bottom line:  paying former "insurgents" to switch sides and stop killing our troops is, it seems, working.  I am troubled by the amnesty given to many (dozens, hundreds, thousands?) who were just a year or two ago killing Americans, or damn-sure trying to.  However, if it ends up saving American Soldiers' and Marines' lives, and getting us the hell out of Iraq, then I suppose it's the lessor of Bush-initiated evils.

What infuriates me is that this (it seems) "successful" program is RARELY brought up by the media and NEVER brought up by McCain or the Republicans because they KNOW that (a) it undercuts their "the surge is working" meme, and (b) makes families of KIA American troops wonder, "You're paying/-off/bribing whom to lay-down arms and join our side?!!!"

       "The deals were mediated by tribal leaders and consisted of payments of $360 per month per combatant in exchange for allegiance and cooperation. Initially referred to by the United States as "concerned local citizens," the former insurgents are now known as the Sons of Iraq. The total number across Iraq is estimated at over 90,000. Although the insurgents turned allies generally come well armed, at least one unit leader, Abu al-Abd, commander of the Islamic Army in Iraq, who controls Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad, has said that he receives weapons as well as logistical support from U.S. units. His arrangement is probably typical. In November 2007, he agreed to a three-month pact, open to extension.

       "This strategy has combined with other developments -- especially the fact that so much ethnic cleansing has already occurred and that violence in civil wars tends to ebb and flow, as the contending sides work to consolidate gains and replenish losses -- to bring about the current drop in violence. The Sunni sheiks, meanwhile, are getting rich from the surge. The United States has budgeted $150 million to pay Sunni tribal groups this year, and the sheiks take as much as 20 percent of every payment to a former insurgent -- which means that commanding 200 fighters can be worth well over a hundred thousand dollars a year for a tribal chief. Although Washington hopes that Baghdad will eventually integrate most former insurgents into the Iraqi state security services, there are reasons to worry that the Sunni chiefs will not willingly give up what has become an extremely lucrative arrangement."

Bush's Cave Bigger than Bin Laden's

What, pray tell, was at the top of the list of Osama bin Laden's gripes with the U.S.?  How about this:

"The son of a Saudi Arabian businessman, bin Laden has called for a Muslim jihad, or holy war, against the United States. He has encouraged Muslims to kill all the Americans -- civilian or military -- they can.

"His rage stems from the decision by Saudi Arabia to allow the United States to use the country as a staging area for attacks on Iraqi forces in Kuwait and Iraq. After the victory, the U.S. military presence became permanent.

"To fundamentalists like bin Laden, the U.S. presence is anathema because Saudi Arabia is home to "the two most holy places" in Islam -- Mecca and Medina. Mecca is the birthplace of Mohammed and the location of the Great Mosque of Mecca, considered by Muslims to be the most sacred spot on Earth."


So, what did Bush do in 2003?  He caved to bin Laden, while invading a country (that would be Iraq) that had nothing to do with the horrors perpetrated on 9/11.

Was caving to bin Laden's call to rid Saudi Arabia of U.S. Troops the right thing to do?  I'll not make that call.  However, that Bush (and his dumbass and/or chickenhawk apologists) would "talk tough" while, in fact, appeasing and caving to this mass murderer of Americans is, well, ironic.  Or not.

So, the point of this diary?  Next time you read or hear of some McCain or Bush supporter or apologist talking the talk about how bad-ass these they and the GOP are, remind them of who the appeasers REALLY are.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who is Threatening American Democracy?

  This little story comes from a Swedish paper by way of one of my favorite sites, Watching America.

Who is Threatening
American Democracy?

By Andreas Gustavsson
Translated By Magnus Akesson
7 July 2008
Sweden - Kommentera - Original Article (Swedish)
Max Sanders, 19, just wanted to joke a bit when he posted a new “for sale” ad on eBay. There, he sold his vote in the coming American election. He wanted at least 10 dollars to vote according to the buyer's wish.
Now he is risking five years in prison. When attorneys in Minnesota heard about it in the bidding they invoked a 1983 law that makes it illegal to commoditize a vote.
"We are taking this very seriously. It is fundamentally wrong to sell your vote. People have died to defend this right. To then say 'I’m for sale' is shameful and wrong," a spokesman for the [Hennepin County] Attorney's Office stated.
True indeed, true indeed.
The bigger question is if the American Attorney's office is not trying to set an example with Sanders case. Wouldn’t it be better to save that energy to investigate how the American democracy is affected by powerful interests that spend an average of $16,279,069 (almost 100 million kroner) lobbying Congress every day they meet.



Monday, July 14, 2008

U.S. Military To Patrol The Internet

  Some of us already knew that this was coming, so we aren't a bit surprised at this latest development, what with the reading of our emails and the listening in on our phone chats, among other things.

  What is surprising about this development is that the Pentagon is going to contract this work out.

  What the contractor will do is to patrol the Internet looking of signs of an upcoming terrorist attack or some other kind of hostile web activity. This part of the deal is what has me concerned as our government can classify all sorts of activity as hostile. Free speech is one which comes to mind right off hand.


In a solicitation posted on the Web last week, the command said it was looking for a contractor to provide "Internet awareness services" to support "force protection" -- the term of art for the security of U.S. military installations and personnel.
"The purpose of the services will be to identify and assess stated and implied threat, antipathy, unrest and other contextual data relating to selected Internet domains," says the solicitation.

Hembrook was tight-lipped about the proposal. "The more we talk about it, the less effective it will be," he said. "If we didn't have to put it out in public (to make the contract award), we wouldn't have."

  Here comes the best part of this job.

The solicitation says the successful contractor will "analyze various Web pages, chat rooms, blogs and other Internet domains to aggregate and assess data of interest," adding, "The contractor will prioritize foreign-language domains that relate to specific areas of concern … (and) will also identify new Internet domains" that might relate to "specific local requirements" of the command.
Officials were keen to stress the contract covered only information that could be found by anyone with a computer and Internet connection.

   I seriously doubt that last comment.  I may just apply for the job myself since I spend time all over the Internet. Wonder if I could get the contract under a " no-bid " deal like the rest of Bush's cohorts?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Those Damned Republicans

  First they have been living in the " State of Denial " and it would seem that now they have created their own new state, the " State of Disarray." I like them in this state.

  Richard Viguerie says that the GOP is preparing for the worst in November.

   Hotline On Call

"You even have some conservatives who are considering voting for Barack Obama, because they fear McCain as president would destroy what's left of the Republican brand and would finish off the conservative movement," said Viguerie. "Their mood is that of the fatally ill patient who says 'Let's get this over with.'"

"Senator McCain has never been a conservative, is not one now, and will not govern as one. From McCain-Feingold to cap-and-trade, he is a supporter of one Big Government scheme after another. History shows that, in the Oval Office, where almost all the political pressure comes from supporters of Big Government, he would only get worse."

Viguerie has also called for the resignation of the Republican leadership in Congress.

"After this year's expected blood bath in the November elections, the voters will bring about a massive housecleaning of GOP leaders in favor of principled conservatives," he said.

Freedom Fest, at which Viguerie spoke, is a gathering of prominent advocates for free markets. Other speakers this year include Steve Forbes, George Gilder, Bob Barr, Dinesh D'Souza, Christopher Hitchens, and Congressman Ron Paul.


Wexler had this to say

"Who would want to join a failed party? And that's what the Republican Party is today, a failed party," said U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D- Delray Beach, co-chairman of Obama's Florida campaign.

  And John McCain is certainly no help for the GOP Brand after his week of stupid stupid statements.