While the New McCarthyites scream about Russ Feingold aiding the terrorists and endangering national security by pointing out that Bush broke the law (and having the temerity to actually try to do something about it), some of their own actually ARE damaging national security. House Republicans today blocked funding for port security and disaster preparedness. From Think Progress:
The Sabo amendment included:
- $300 million to enable U.S. customs agents to inspect high-risk containers at all 140 overseas ports that ship directly to the United States. Current funding only allows U.S. customs agents to operate at 43 of these ports.
- $400 million to place radiation monitors at all U.S. ports of entry. Currently, less than half of U.S. ports have radiation monitors.
- $300 million to provide backup emergency communications equipment for the Gulf Coast.
Meanwhile, the Bush budget - which most of the members who voted against this bill will likely support - contains an increase of $1.7 billion for missile defense, a program that doesn't even work.
Update [2006-3-16 22:57:6 by mcjoan]: georgia10 adds this:
Lieberman Amdt No. 3034; To protect the American people from terrorist attacks by providing $8 billion in additional funds for homeland security government-wide, by restoring cuts to vital first responder programs in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, by providing an additional $1.2 billion for first responders, $1.7 billion for the Coast Guard and port security, $150 million for chemical security, $1 billion for rail and transit security, $456 million for FEMA, $1 billion for health preparedness programs, and $752 million for aviation security.
REJECTED by Republicans.
Menendez Amdt. No. 3054; To provide an additional $965 million to make our ports more secure by increasing port security grants, increasing inspections, improving existing programs, and increasing research and development, and to fully offset this additional funding by closing tax loopholes.
REJECTED by Republicans.
Stabenow Amdt. No. 3056; To provide $5 billion for our emergency responders so that they can field effective and reliable interoperable communications equipment to respond to natural disasters, terrorist attacks and the public safety needs of America's communities and fully offset this by closing tax loopholes and collecting more from the tax gap.
REJECTED by Republicans.
“A new U.N. report said Wednesday that al Qaeda in Iraq is aiming ‘to launch attacks wherever targets are available’ and that some ‘senior fighters have left Iraq to gather existing supporters and these fresh recruits into new cells.’ The report…said that both the core al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and the more active leadership in Iraq are making efforts to extend their influence.”
Meet our newest Lemming. BushCo. is on the ropes, but Evan Bayh offers them a helping hand:But the first thing Democrats need to do, Bayh said, is take Republicans on in an area they've dominated: national security."It's a threshold issue for us, and it's a threshold issue for America," Bayh said. "People aren't going to trust us with anything else if we first can't convince them to trust us
Read The Full Article:
Democracy 21 writes in a press release:
We also greatly appreciate the strong leadership exercised by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with her House Democratic colleagues in support of Internet users and the campaign finance laws.
Yup. Pelosi is fighting hard to defeat HR 1606. As are a bunch of other congressmen.
Like Maine's Tom Allen (D):
Two of the Web's most famous blogs, the liberal Daily Kos and the conservative RedState, have trumpeted the Hensarling bill since it failed on the suspensions calendar during a November vote, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage but snagging more than half of the House. The bloggers of Daily Kos, RedState and other online forums argue that the Allen-Bass alternative, which would provide targeted exceptions from the law for individuals and some websites, would force them to register as political committees.
Allen did not dispute that possibility. He noted that his bill would allow websites unrestricted operations as long as their annual expenditures did not exceed $10,000.
"They might well have to file," Allen said of blogs as large as Daily Kos, "but that's the point. If the Internet becomes more important, the types of financial abuses that occurred within the campaign-finance system in general" are more prone to occurring.
For all the talk about "protecting bloggers", we now have proof that their agenda is none of that sort.
This is intended to squash citizen media. Pelosi and company are complicit, no matter how much they lie about their intentions.
And then Allen wraps up with his laugher:
“We want [the Web] to become as free as it possibly can without undermining the entire campaign-finance-reform legislation,” he added.
When they can point to an example of this undermining of the entire campaign-finance-reform legislation -- an undermining so drastic that the blogosphere's freedom must be compromised, then we'll talk.
Right now, they've got nothing.
(415) 556-4862 (SF)
(202) 225-4965 (DC)
The Swami of Crawford has been peering into his crystal ball lately, trying to develop a strategery that'll pull his turban out of the couscous. Polls are down, tensions are up at home an abroad, and the Swami is playing a quick little game of "I spy, with my little eye...": * Nearly three years into the War Against Terror, For Freedom, and Against Accountability (WATFFAA), the swami is seeing a hazy ball. The flowers that were to have been thrown at the feet of our brave boys have, embarrassingly, turned out to be improvised explosive devices (IEDs). So, with poll numbers crashing like a lead-filled quail, he's decided to do something bold and decisive. He's launched Operation Swarmer - the largest military operation since Mission Accomplished. He's rooting out bad guys and probably a few family goats and camels as we speak. He's sent his minions of PR out to let everyone know this is an operation being waged in large part by Iraqis and based on Iraqi intelligence. However, he's again asking us to trust him because he forbade any media from actually seeing the Iraqis in operation. Need to know and all that you understand. Besides, when it turns out he attacked the wrong country or something equally inept, he can blame it all on the Iraqis and no one will ever be the wiser. The first rule of Swamidom - always leave yourself an out. * He also sees a flourishing Iraqi democracy that grows stronger by leaps and multi-ethnic democratic bounds. Aside from a nascent civil war, the inability for any two Iraqis to agree on how many cubes of sugar to put in the tea, and the Parliament closing itself after a 30 minute debate on what to have for lunch, things are going swimmingly. The Swami says, "just keep saying it's a success. Sooner or later they've got to believe me." * The Swami is also concerned about Iran. He's taken to telling them they better watch out or he'll poke 'em real hard with his magic, unending army. The Iranians, obviously cowed by this impressive display of sabre-rattling say, "OOOOOO! You and who else's army? If you want, we'll talk to you about taking Iraq off your hands, but we're not letting any nukes go. The reactors make dandy popcorn poppers." * The Swami wants to keep our "coalition partners" in the loop, so he sent Assistant Swami and Dominatrix Condi on a swing down Sydney way. We can see why he sent her. She cracks a mean cat-o-nine tails, looks great in vinyl, and she's one smart lady. She says the Iraq transition will, "take time". No shit. That Condi is smart as the whip she wields in her private moments with the Prez.But, we shouldn't be so hard on him, even if his turban is wrapped a little loose. He's new to this omnipotent biz and we've been around a long time. We know how hard it must be to gaze into your crystal ball and see anything when the twins have been using it as a munchie tray at frat parties and Barney and Mizz Beasley have shed hair all over it.No worries though. We expect he'll be getting the hang of things real soon and if he doesn't there's always 2008. Nearly 36 percent of the population says he's right on top of things. It's true that most of them live in Crawford or are on the payroll, but that's no reason to judge.
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Attorneys for Zacarias Moussaoui filed this objection (pdf) today to the Government's request (discussed here and here) that Judge Brinkema reconsider her ruling to exclude aviation evidence and witnesses from the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. They say the Government has inaccurately minimized TSA lawyer Carla Martin's involvement with the case.
It is worth noting that Ms. Martin, at least, has worked with the prosecution team itself, as well as with the aviation witnesses in reference to this particular case. That is more evidence of direct involvement with the misconduct at issue here than the Government will adduce about Mr. Moussaoui's involvement with the hijackers, yet it considers that connection sufficient to actually execute him.
Do you favor or oppose the United States Senate passing a resolution censuring President George W. Bush for authorizing wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining court orders?
3/15/06 Favor Oppose Undecided All Adults 46% 44% 10%
Voters 48% 43% 9%
Republicans 29% 57% 14%
Democrats 70% 26% 4%
Independents 42% 47% 11%
Premature? Nope. It is past time.
On November 19, 2005, one marine and 15 Iraqis were killed after an explosive device detonated in Haditha, about 140 miles north of Baghdad. Today, defense officials said the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service which has jurisdiction over Marine malfeasance has launched an investigation into the deaths.
The statement said the powerful roadside bomb detonated as a U.S. military convoy was passing through the town. After the detonation, gunmen opened fire on the convoy, and Americans and Iraqi government forces returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another, according to the military statement in 2005. A cameraman working for Reuters in Haditha at the time said bodies were left lying in the street for hours after the attack.
This Islamonline article puts a very different slant on the incident, which if even remotely true, may explain the need for an investigation.
I'm going to give you a marketing tip, Joe. Take it for what it's worth.If your polling indicates that your opponent only has 7% name recognizability factor among Democrats in your state, you do not mention his name. Ever. You don't do his work for him. You certainly do not go running to the Associated Press three days after he announces his campaign and accuse him of "angry name calling"
Read The Full Article:
Bush has chosen the emptiest of empty suits, Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne as Gale Norton's replacement as Secretary of the Interior. Kempthorne rose quickly in Idaho Republican ranks from mayor of Boise to the U.S. Senate before returning to Idaho to run for governor, the seat he has held since 2001. Kempthorne's success can be attributed largely to his strong ties to developers, having served as executive vice president to the Idaho Homebuilders Association until he began his political career.
As should come as no surprise, Kempthorne's environmental record as governor has been less than stellar.
Kempthorne, a former U.S. Senator who decided to run for governor instead a second term in the Senate, has consistently received a zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters--except once, when he soared up to a 6 percent rating, getting one vote correct, something about funding a rocket for the space program that nobody remembers. But he has always received a 100 percent rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce....
Recently, Kempthorne created quite a stir with Idaho's contentious wolf-killing plan, and he opposed the Roadless Rule, even sued in an attempt to stop its implementation. He considers the rule a "federal edict," forgetting that these are public lands belonging to all people in all states, not some people in Idaho.
Kempthorne prides himself as a consensus builder, but a few years ago, an amazing committee of timber companies and environmentalists reached a consensus and hatched a plan to restore grizzly bears in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, but Kempthorne was primarily responsible for influencing Norton to kill it, even though her own scientists in her own agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, favored it.
Contrast that with the first Idaho governor to ascend to the Interior position, Cecil Andrus. A passionate conservationist, Andrus won the gubenatorial election in 1970 largely on an environmental issue, preserving the central Idaho White Cloud Mountains from molybdenum mining. As Interior Secretary, his greatest accomplishment happened after he left office, but was the result of his actions--the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act:
One of the most important conservation enactments of the 20th century, "ANILCA" added more than 47 million acres to Interior's National Park System and nearly 54 million acres to its National Wildlife Refuge System.
It's hard not to take this one personally. I've known Cece Andrus most of my life. My father managed that winning gubenatorial campaign. His reputation in Idaho, even now, is larger than life. He returned to Idaho after serving as Interior secretary, and was elected to two more terms as governor. He's the prototype for the winning Western Dem, and his environmental legacy to the nation and to Idaho is unparalleled. That Kempthorne succeeded Andrus to the governor's chair was hard enough to swallow. This is just downright depressing.
Update [2006-3-16 18:3:11 by mcjoan]: More in FlawedAI's diary.