Monday, October 30, 2006

Mean Jean creates jobs, and three eyed fish

I think she should have kept padding her resume. It seems when she actually gets down to doing her job, she has some bad ideas.

The Enquirer - Schmidt considers nuke waste

Schmidt has signed on to an effort by the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) and a Cleveland-based company called SONIC to seek a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant of up to $5 million for a study of whether the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion plant should be a site for temporary storage and recycling of spent nuclear fuel rods. (...)

"All I can tell you is that when it became known that she supports this, every Jean Schmidt yard sign in the county went down overnight," said Geoffrey Sea, a writer whose home abuts the Piketon plant.

Now I'm all for creating jobs, but I doubt this is the best way to go about it. It's good to see that local Schmidt supporters are taking their signs down, hopefully this is the straw that breaks her political career.

In a related note, what's Paul Hackett doing these days, probably not supporting nuclear waste dumps in Ohio. I'm just sayin.

White House reporter's credentials questioned (Whatever became of this story?)

This is an old story, but I was reminded recently that it also never got the attention (or resolution) it warranted. When I first read this I thought an ongoing dialog, if nothing else, would erupt. Instead, the story was buried on the back pages and quickly died.

White House reporter's credentials questioned
Man worked for Web site owned by Republican activist

Thursday, February 10, 2005

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A New York congresswoman asked the White House to explain Wednesday why a man who worked for a news Web site owned by a GOP activist was able to obtain White House press credentials under an assumed name.

James Guckert, who reported from the White House for the Talon News Service under the name "Jeff Gannon," announced he was quitting the business "in consideration of the welfare of me and my family."

"Because of the attention being paid to me, I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a reporter for Talon News," he said in a statement posted Wednesday on his Web site.

In a letter to President Bush, Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat, questioned why Guckert routinely received credentials for White House news briefings.

Slaughter linked Guckert's case to recent revelations that two conservative columnists who supported Bush administration policies had received government money.

"It appears that 'Mr. Gannon's' presence in the White House press corps was merely as a tool of propaganda for your administration," Slaughter wrote.

The White House had no comment.

The House and Senate press galleries declined Guckert's request for credentials in 2003.

Julie Davis, chairwoman of the Senate press gallery's executive committee, said Guckert could not demonstrate any separation between Talon News and GOPUSA, a Republican consulting group.

Both organizations are run by Bobby Eberle, a Texas GOP activist. Many Talon News articles also appeared as news releases on the GOPUSA Web site, said Davis, a reporter for The Sun newspaper of Baltimore, Maryland.

In a statement on the Talon Web site, Eberle referred to "Gannon's" resignation and said, "I understand and support Jeff's decision."

Slaughter said she was writing at the request of senior editors of the Niagara Falls Reporter in her Buffalo-area district.

The newspaper ran an open letter questioning "how a partisan political organization and an individual with no credentials as a reporter -- and apparently operating under an assumed name -- landed a coveted spot in the White House press corps."

During White House press secretary Scott McClellan's regular briefings, Guckert routinely offered administration-friendly questions.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Utah Democrats Accuse Republicans of Running Dirty Campaigns

October 27th, 2006

(KSL News) -- Utah Democratic Candidates today accused Republicans of bringing in big money from out of state in order to run campaigns distorting voting records in legislative races.

The candidates say parties from outside the state have given large amounts of money to Republican candidates in hopes of pushing their agendas after the election.

Wayne Holland, Utah State Democratic Party Chair: "Trying to spend Utah taxpayer dollars to privatize Utah's education system. It's a dirty, sleazy campaign they are running against many of the finest individuals in the state."

Jeff Hartley of the Utah Republican Party said the Democrats are upset because they "don't want to be held accountable for their voting records" but that the "voters have a right to know."

Kansas City Star | 10/27/2006 | What’s on Greenspan’s mind? Just ask

Kansas City Star | 10/27/2006 | What’s on Greenspan’s mind? Just ask:

On homeland security — including that at airports — Greenspan said: “Well, I’m not one who is overly impressed with a lot of the things that we are doing.” He went on to say, “It is not clear to me whether any of that stuff works,” a remark that provoked laughter from the audience. “In fact, I’m reasonably sure it doesn’t.” (...)

“If you get beyond the political rhetoric” and assembled a group to solve Social Security, “it would take them 15 minutes. It would take them 15 minutes only because 10 minutes was used for pleasantries.”

Thursday, October 26, 2006

O-Fence-ive

President George W Bush has signed into law a plan for 700 miles of new fencing along the US-Mexico border.

Does your heart not swell with national pride? Wait, there's more. He named it. He calls it the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Blushing yet? Wait wait, before you burst into an emotional rendition of our national anthem, there's even more. He defended it. With words. "Ours is a nation of immigrants - we're also a nation of law. We're modernizing our southern border," he said. Out loud. In public.

What a proud day to be an American this is! Our first fence! Hoo Boy!

But alas, there are nay-sayers, raining on Bush's parade (or pissing on his fence, if you will).

TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, assures us, "A fence will slow people down only by a minute or two."

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy in Mexico City says the fence has united Mexican politicians in opposition and outrage.

And across the political divide, politicians have come together to condemn what they see as an unnecessary and offensive barrier. They accuse the United States of hypocrisy for enjoying the benefits of cheap Mexican labour but not being prepared to offer Mexican people a chance to cross the border legally.

Part of the funding for the fence is likely to come from the $1.2 Billion set aside for it in a recent Homeland Security Bill, but the full cost may be greater and the source of the funding is still unclear.

Just about brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

Ohio GOP Smears Al Franken

A little something from Think Progress that I thought was humorous, as well as fitting in light of recent comments posted:

Yesterday, the Ohio Republican Party sent out a news release attacking Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) for enlisting the support of comedian Al Franken:


It is not surprising that Sherrod Brown is enlisting the help of a Hollywood liberal, who like him, is so far out of the mainstream of Ohio values. What is troubling is that Brown would solicit support from someone [Franken] who compared conservatives to Nazis “who should drink poison and die.”


The quote used in the news release is taken from Bernard Goldberg book, 110 People Who Are Screwing Up America, in an alleged interview between Goldberg and Franken.But in his book, Goldberg makes it clear that the exchange is completely fictional. The Ohio Republican Party represented it as fact.

The news release was accompanied by this photograph, showing Franken dressed up like a baby bunny, wearing adult diapers and clutching a fluffy white teddy bear.

Andy Barr, director of Franken’s Midwest Values PAC, confirmed, “The picture is a fake.” The Ohio Republican Party used a 2004 AP photo of Franken for the doctored image.

'NYT' Hails Stephen King -- As He Boosts MoveOn.org

October 23, 2006

NEW YORK Sometimes -- okay, nearly always -- timing is everything. So it seemed for the liberal political action group MoveOn.org today. Just hours after his latest book got a rare rave in The New York Times, horror novelist Stephen King emailed a big election year pitch for MoveOn.

You'd almost think it was a liberal conspiracy.

"If I know anything, I know scary," King emailed. "And giving this president and this out-of-control Congress two more years to screw up our future is downright terrifying. Thankfully, this national nightmare is one we can end with—literally—a wake up call.

"My friends at MoveOn.org Political Action are organizing pre-Halloween phone parties this weekend, Oct. 28th & 29th....And since it's almost Halloween, we'll celebrate with an optional costume contest, some pumpkin carving (I'll be making a Jack-Abramoff-O'-Lantern) and—of course—plenty of candy."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Barney Frank

A New Direction For America

Monday, October 23, 2006

'Have you no sense of decency, Sir?'

Keith Olbermann comments on Bush's Rose Garden press conference

It is to our deep national shame—and ultimately it will be to the President’s deep personal regret—that he has followed his Secretary of Defense down the path of trying to tie those loyal Americans who disagree with his policies—or even question their effectiveness or execution—to the Nazis of the past, and the al Qaeda of the present.

Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 -- without ever actually saying so—the President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, “a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”

Make no mistake here—the intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the “media.”

The President and the Vice President and others have often attacked freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press.

Now, Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle:

The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word—“media”—the honest, patriotic, and indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of Al-Qaeda propaganda.

That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American.

Mr. Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters.

We will not drink again.

And the President’s re-writing and sanitizing of history, so it fits the expediencies of domestic politics, is just as false, and just as scurrilous.

“In the 1920’s a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews,” President Bush said today, “the world ignored Hitler’s words, and paid a terrible price.”

Whatever the true nature of al Qaeda and other international terrorist threats, to ceaselessly compare them to the Nazi State of Germany serves only to embolden them.

More over, Mr. Bush, you are accomplishing in part what Osama Bin Laden and others seek—a fearful American populace, easily manipulated, and willing to throw away any measure of restraint, any loyalty to our own ideals and freedoms, for the comforting illusion of safety.

It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administration’s recent Nazi “kick” is an awful and cynical thing.

And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush:

“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

Saturday, October 21, 2006

What's your political platform?

Want to know where you stand - Take the quiz

Reinventing Democrats

If Democrats want to win in 2006 and 2008, they should stop fetishizing the 1994 Republican takeover. It resulted from a once-in-a-lifetime convergence of institutional changes, historical trends, and some blind luck. With the ground less fertile in 2006, a new Contract with America containing simple, poll-tested nostrums won't be enough (and, in fact, most studies show that the 1994 Contract contributed little to the GOP win). What's needed is a coherent agenda, built around deeply held principles, that speaks to the challenges Americans face today: Islamo-fascist terrorism, a global and interdependent economy, underperforming schools, an inefficient and increasingly ineffective health care system, and a looming fiscal crisis. Put answers to these problems in a contract, and voters will readily sign.

Kenneth Baer , former Senior Speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore and author of Reinventing Democrats: The Politics of Liberalism from Reagan to Clinton, runs Baer Communications, a Democratic consulting firm.