Missouri Voter Refuses Illegal Demand to Show Photo ID at Poll, Gets Thrown in Jail

August 8th, 2008

Missouri Voter Refuses Illegal Demand to Show Photo ID at Poll, Gets Thrown in Jail

A voter was arrested on Tuesday in Missouri after he refused an illegal demand to show photo ID when trying to vote. The Election Integrity advocate had perfectly legal ID, as he’d confirmed with officials before heading to the polls.

The charge (which is inaccurate, since he had perfectly “proper I.D.”): “Did knowingly cause a disturbance/disorderly conduct to wit: acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another, placing such person(s) in fear of safety by refusing to show proper I.D. when voting”.

Instead of being allowed to cast a ballot, he went to jail in a chilling Show Me State precursor to November. Though she didn’t get arrested and thrown in jail, a similar incident happened to the Missouri Secretary of State herself during the 2006 election…

FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6252

A Slow-Mo Meltdown

August 6th, 2008

A Slow-Mo Meltdown

Published: August 4, 2008


A year ago, as the outlines of the current financial crisis were just becoming clear, I suggested that this crisis, unlike a superficially similar crisis in 1998, wouldn’t end quickly.

The good news, I guess, is that we’ve been experiencing a sort of slow-motion meltdown, lacking in dramatic Black Fridays and such. The gradual way the crisis has unfolded has led to an angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin debate among economists about whether what we’re suffering really deserves to be called a recession.

Yet even a slo-mo crisis can do a lot of damage if it goes on for a year and counting.

Home prices are down about 16 percent over the past year, and show no sign of stabilizing. The pain from this bust is widely spread: there are millions of American families who didn’t buy mortgage-backed securities and haven’t lost their houses, but have nonetheless been impoverished by the destruction of much or all of their home equity.

Meanwhile, the job market has deteriorated even more than you’d guess from the jump in the headline unemployment rate. The broadest measure of unemployment, which takes into account the rapidly rising number of workers forced to take cuts in paid hours and wages, has risen from 8.3 percent to 10.3 percent over the past year, roughly matching its high point five years ago.

And there’s no end to the pain in sight.

Ben Bernanke and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve have cut the interest rates they control repeatedly since last September. But they haven’t managed to reduce borrowing costs for the private sector. Mortgage rates are about the same as they were last summer, and the interest rates many corporations have to pay have actually gone up. So Fed policy hasn’t done anything to encourage private investment.

The problem is fear: private-sector finance has dried up because investors, burned by their losses on securities that were supposed to be safe, are now reluctant to buy anything that isn’t guaranteed by the U.S. government. And the proliferation of special rescue packages — the TAF, the TSLF, the Bear Stearns deal, the Fannie-Freddie thing — may have staved off blind panic, but has fallen far short of restoring confidence.

Oh, and those tax rebates Congress and the White House agreed to mail out have already done whatever good they’re going to do. Looking forward, it’s hard to see how consumers can keep spending even at their current rate — which means that things will probably get considerably worse before they get better.

What more can policy do? The Fed has pretty much used up its ammunition: nobody thinks that additional interest-rate cuts would accomplish much (and there’s a faction at the Fed that wants to raise rates to fight inflation).

And nothing much can or should be done to support home prices, which are still much too high in inflation-adjusted terms. Nor can Washington prevent a continuing credit crunch: overextended, undercapitalized financial institutions have to rein in their lending, and it’s not realistic to expect the public sector to pick up all the slack — especially when quasipublic institutions like Fannie and Freddie are also in trouble.

There is, however, a case for another, more serious fiscal stimulus package, as a way to sustain employment while the markets work off the aftereffects of the housing bubble. The “emergency economic plan” Barack Obama announced last week is a move in the right direction, although I wish it had been bigger and bolder.

Still, Mr. Obama is offering more than John McCain, whose economic policy mainly amounts to “stay the course.”

Incidentally, it’s surprising that the lousy economy hasn’t yet had more impact on the campaign. Mr. McCain essentially proposes continuing the policies of a president whose approval rating on economics is only 20 percent. So why isn’t Mr. Obama further ahead in the polls?

One answer may be that Mr. Obama, perhaps inhibited by his desire to transcend partisanship (and avoid praising the last Democratic president?), has been surprisingly diffident about attacking the Bush economic record. An illustration: if you go to the official Obama Web site and click on the economic issues page, what you see first isn’t a call for change — what you see is a long quote from the candidate extolling the wonders of the free market, which could just as easily have come from a speech by President Bush.

Anyway, back to the economy. I titled that column about the early stages of the financial crisis “Very Scary Things.” A year later, with the crisis still rolling, it’s clear that I was right to be afraid.

Allentown (PA) City Council President Michael D. D’Amore Fundraiser

August 5th, 2008

You are cordially invited to the home of
Rich and Sandy Gawlik
To support the City Council re-election campaign of
Council President
Michael D’Amore
Picnic food and beverages will be provided

Including craft beer from the Allentown Brewworks

Date: Thursday August 21, 2008
Time: 5:30pm – 8pm
Location: 518 South Glenwood St. Allentown 18104
Directly adjacent to the northeast corner of Hamilton Park

There is a suggested donation of $35 per person; $50 per couple
Make checks payable to “Friends of Michael D. D’Amore”
750 North Irving St. Allentown 18109

RSVP to Mike D’ at 610-393-5591 by August 14th

No corporate checks please

Why Democrats should organize boycotts of Wal-Mart, picket their stores and challenge all store openings

August 5th, 2008

Wal-Mart Wants to Make Sure Its Employees Don’t Vote Democratic

by Tula Connell, Aug 1, 2008


Wal-Mart and all its $13 billion in 2007 profits are quaking. The retail monolith is scared that Democrats will be elected to office this fall—and might pass legislation that would level the playing field for workers seeking to join unions.

The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB121755649066303381.html reports on Wal-Mart’s corporate tremors today, noting that

in recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.

Downsides, huh? Like getting paid enough to support yourself and your family. Or maybe even the real big downside of having affordable job-based health insurance so that the emergency room isn’t the only option when your child has the flu. Because by not paying its employees enough to afford the company health plan, Wal-Mart dumps the cost of health care onto all taxpayers http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/walmart/upload/walmart_tax_memo.pdf , even making it a corporate policy to encourage new hires to use public emergency rooms, according to author Barbara Ehrenreich.

(You can tell Wal-Mart to stop its unfair and immoral workplace intimidation by signing a petition here http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/wal_mart_petition .)

Wal-Mart has been so intent upon piling up its billions in annual profits, it has created a mini-industry of anti-unionism to ensure it keeps its employees at everyday low wages. So, Wal-Mart is stepping up its efforts to prevent Democrats from being elected this fall, by telling employees http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB121755649066303381.html that “voting for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama would be tantamount to inviting unions in.” And Wal-Mart employees report feeling pressured to vote for candidates who oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.

Wal-Mart is doing even more arm-twisting workers on their way to the ballot box. Rather than pay its employees a decent wage and provide affordable health care, Wal-Mart is putting mega bucks into front groups that are spearheading a multi-million dollar ad campaign to slam workers, their unions and their efforts to pass the Employee Free Choice Act http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/voiceatwork/efca/ .

For instance, Wal-Mart is the largest member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, one of the main funders of the $30 million anti-union campaign called “Coalition for a Democratic Workplace http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/the-anti-union-network/chamber-of-commerce/coalition-for-a-democratic-workplace-exposed-20080424-557-273.html .”

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says this latest revelation of Wal-Mart’s egregious meddling into its employees’ voting preferences

goes to show the extent that companies like Wal-Mart will go to maintain the status quo, which allows them to exploit workers to maximize profit. It’s clear the business community intends to spend heavily to protect its interests but working people know this election is about creating real, lasting economic change.

Wal-Mart is ready to use its corporate power as America’s largest private employer to corrupt the political system to safeguard its profits. American Rights at Work has lots of info on Wal-Mart’s actions attacking the Employee Free Choice Act here http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/employee-free-choice-act/latest-updates/wal-mart-mobilizing-against-the-employee-free-choice-act-20080801-605-83-83.html and has a detailed report here http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/wal-mart/wal-mart/wal-mart-rolling-back-workers-wages-rights-and-the-american-dream.html on how Wal-Mart rolls back workers’ wages in an assault on the American Dream. Plus the worker advocacy organization also tracks the front groups behind the Employee Free Choice Act smear campaign, with info here http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/the-anti-union-network/chamber-of-commerce/coalition-for-a-democratic-workplace-exposed-20080424-557-273.html .

Take action now and tell Wal-Mart stop intimidating its employees http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/wal_mart_petition . Sign the petition here http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/wal_mart_petition .

USW President Gerard Calls for Democratic Platform to be United on Trade

August 3rd, 2008


‘We must confront need to reject status quo approach, adopt new framework’ - USW President Leo W. Gerard

USW International President Leo W. Gerard today presented a series of questions on trade policy at a national hearing of the Democratic National Platform Committee, challenging the panel drafting the document for the upcoming nominating convention to find answers for inclusion.

“These questions revolve around our nation’s international trade policy — one significant area of debate within our party. While the public has increasingly shown its concerns with the direction of our nation’s trade policies, our elected leaders do not stand united on what course to pursue.

“We must confront the need to reject the status quo approach to trade and adopt a new framework that is pro-worker, pro-trade, pro-growth, pro-equity,” he declared.

Read more about Gerard’s presentation here http://www.usw.org/media_center/releases_advisories?id=0060 . The full text of the USW President’s remarks presented to the Democratic National Platform Committee can be found here http://assets.usw.org/Releases/LeoTradePlatform/gerard_dem-platform-cmte-clev_usw080108.pdf .

Strange media coverage of Anthrax Killer story

August 3rd, 2008

Washington Post Scrubs Own Story Questioning Case Against ‘Anthrax Killer’

After a Friday story from Washington Post raised series questions about the ability of Bruce Ivins to have carried out the anthrax attacks — he reportedly “had no access to dry, powdered anthrax” according to experts quoted in their report — the paper inexplicably spiked their article, without explanation, and replaced it with a wholly different story. Yet, on Sunday, the paper revived the same troubling questions. What the hell is going on here?


Related from Friday…
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Not One’ Reporter Bothered to Ask Brother About Political Leanings of ‘Anthrax Killer’
Corporate Media Coverage of Now-Deceased U.S. Army Bio-Researcher/Suspect Fails to Note Obvious ‘Liberal’ Targets of Deadly Post-9/11, Pre-War Letter Campaign

ALSO: ABC News Continues to Protect ‘Sources’ Who Lied About Iraq Connection to Anthrax…

FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6237

DEMOCRATS REFORM WASHINGTON, Republicans Lawyer Up and Plead the Fifth

July 31st, 2008

The House has brought back its 2006 ethics reform package that was killed by the Republican Leadership in that year. Democratic leadership recognizes that ethics reform and the issue of corruption are front and center as to why they won back the House and Senate in November of that year.

Following is an incomplete list of the Republican Future Felons Club:

Lewis “Scooter” Libby was sentenced to 2 ½ years for lying and obstruction of Justice in the “Treason-Gate Scandal,” that exposed the identity of one of the CIA’s covert spies. Libby’s sentence was commuted by President Bush. By commuting rather than pardoning Libby, Bush has allowed Libby to avoid testimony before Congress for the remainder of his term, thus stopping the Peter Fitzgerald led investigation from exposing Vice President Dick Cheney’s role in the scandal.

Judge Alex Kozinski, It has been revealed that the Honorable Alex Kozinski, who is presiding over an obscenity case against a pornography distributor, has posted pictures on his personal website of women on all fours, painted as cows and men in the company of farm animals. The former Reagan White House Counsel was appointed by Reagan to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1985 at age 35, making him the youngest appeals court judge in the nation. Kozinski was rumored to have been on the short list of George W. Bush for appointment to the Supreme Court. Kozinski has a reputation of being “colorful.” It now appears that no one remotely understood just how colorful the Republican jurist actually is.

Representative Vito Fossella ® NY, The conservative, family values congressman was arrested for drunken driving in May of 2008. Representative Fossella explained to the officer that he was traveling to visit with his mistress and his illegitimate daughter. After a firestorm of press over the details of Fossella’s arrest the Congressman withdrew his name for re-election on November’s ballot.

Randall Tobias, a 69 year old, married grandfather and head of the Bush administration’s foreign aid programs, who was en-charged with anti-prostitution efforts, has abruptly resigned after his name surfaced in an investigation into the “Washington DC Madam Scandal.”

Senator David Vitter ®-LA the “family values conservative” admitted, after he was exposed, that he had frequented the “Pamela Martin Escort Service,” in the infamous “Washington DC Madam Scandal.” Days later, according to the Madam at the equally infamous New Orleans “Canal Street Brothel,” Vitter was identified as a steady customer. She stated that Vitter “wasn’t a freak or anything and didn’t do drugs.”
It is good to know that the Senator has some redeeming qualities.

Robert Somma ® MA The Bush appointed Federal Judge crashed his Mercedes Benz into the rear of a pickup truck on a Massachusetts road. The married, 63 year old, had difficulty removing his driver’s license from his purse according to the arresting police officer. Judge Somma was wearing fishnet stockings, high heels and a woman’s cocktail dress at the time of his arrest. On 2/15/2008 Judge Somma pled no contest to the DUI charge. He resigned his judgeship effective 4/1/2008. Mr Somma’s wife told reporters that her husband was not interested in talking with the press about the incident.

Donald Fleischman ® WI The chairman of Wisconsin’s Brown County Republican Party resigned after it was revealed he provided beer and alcohol to a 16 year old boy and then masturbated on the boy’s feet. Unable to find a capable replacement for Mr. Fleischman, the Brown County Republican Party has disbanded.

Jeffery Ray Nielsen ® CA, A prominent conservative activist of California’s Orange County Republican Party, has pled guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison for engaging in lewd sexual conduct with two boys, aged 12 and 14 years of age. Nielsen, a church youth counselor, met his first victim while in Washington DC working as an aide to Dana Rohrabacher ® CA. Nielsen had, until his guilty plea, blamed his legal woes on a “witch-hunt,” by liberal media.

Ted Klaudt ® SD State Representative Klaudt was found guilty on two counts of rape of his foster children. Klaudt “performed” breast and vaginal exams on the two young victims with a promise to harvest viable eggs to sell on the open market.
Klaudt awaits trial for three additional rape charges on other victims.
This case stands out as the textbook model for Republican sexual scandals, combining violation of trust and authority, deception, perversion, AND greed.

Richard Curtis ® of La Center WA, has resigned after admitting to having sex with a man he met in an erotic video store. Curtis, married, with children, has repeatedly voted against gay rights bills that have come before the Washington State legislature.
Curtis attempted to cover-up the details by reporting the account to the Washington State Police, hoping they would keep details out of the press
In Curtis’ account he said he met a man named “Stallion,” in an erotic video store. Curtis claimed he spent the night with “Stallion,” woke up in a motel bedroom dressed as a woman, and found his wallet missing.
“Stallion’s” account differed. He stated that Curtis offered him $1000.00 for a night of sexual bliss but only came up with $200.00 bucks the next morning. “Stallion” said he took Curtis’ wallet and a photo of Curtis in a compromising position to settle the debt.
Curtis chose not to press charges and expressed the desire to keep the report confidential.

John D.R. Atchison ® FL, an assistant Federal Prosecutor and local children’s sports leader from northern Florida, was arrested as he arrived in Michigan to have sex with a five year old.
Mr. Atchison wrote over the internet to the undercover officer posing as the young girl’s mother that he had experience and had done this sort of thing many times before. Atchison expressed interest in oral, vaginal and anal sex with the fictitious 5 year old child. He promised to be, “loving and gentle.”
When arrested, Mr. Atchison was carrying a Dora the Explorer doll and a jar of petroleum jelly. Atchison faces 40 years in prison.

Dennis Gallagher ® NY A City councilman was arraigned Friday on charges that he raped and assaulted a woman in his office just hours after they met in a bar. Gallagher, married, father of two, turned himself in after a grand jury came back with the 10-count indictment on rape and assault charges. Gallagher is one of 3 Republicans on the 51 person council.

Bob Allen ®-FL The “family values Republican” state Representative was arrested on July 10th, 2007 officer in Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville, FL. Allen offered $20 to an undercover male police in exchange for the officer allowing Allen to perform oral sex on the officer. Allen, married, and father to a young daughter has authored numerous bills relating to sexual crimes and misconduct.

Glen Murphy Jr. For the second time in 9 years charges of forced/unwanted sexual acts were filed against Glen Murphy Jr., president of Young Republican National Federation and Chairman of Indiana’s Clark County Republican Party.
A 22 year old man claimed that on July 31, 2007, Murphy attempted to perform a sex act on him while he was asleep. A similar charge was filed against Murphy by a 21 year old man in 1998.

Michael A. Flory The former chairman of a Michigan Young Republican Federation has pled guilty and faces 1 to 5 years in prison or probation and will be registered as a sex predator for sexual battery against a young woman committed while Flory was attending a Young Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rep. Mark Foley ®-FL Congressman McCreepy, resigned in disgrace after it was revealed that he had engaged in predatory practices against young male Congressional aides. The scandal and lack of oversight by the then Republican leadership played a leading role in the Democratic tidal wave in November of 2006.

Senator Larry Craig ®-ID became the second Republican legislator in as many months to soil our nation’s public restrooms. Craig pled guilty in June, 2007 to charges related to solicitation of sex from an undercover police officer in a public restroom.

Gov Jim Gibbons ®-NV helped secure federal contracts for business associates while a member of the House. Gibbons is now reportedly under FBI investigation for fraud.

Mike Carona ® CA Orange County’s Sheriff has been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a lengthy investigation into allegations that he had misused his office for financial gain, according to law enforcement officials. Carona had been a rising star in California Republican politics.

Bernie Kerik, a Rudy Giulliani recommended, Bush nominee to head the “Homeland Security Agency,” is facing several felony charges including income tax evasion and conspiracy to wiretap.

J. Steven Griles Former Deputy Secretary of Interior pled guilty to obstruction of justice in a Senate committee’s investigation, becoming the highest-ranking Bush administration official convicted in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.

Italia Federici pled guilty on 6/9/2007 to charges of lying, fraud, and income tax evasion in the Jack Abramoff scandal. The Republican head of an environmental advocacy group admitted a romantic relationship with J. Steven Griles and was linked to Gale Norton, Interior Department Secretary and Republican activist Grover Norquist. She is the 12th Republican to be convicted in the Abramoff sleaze-fest.

Jared Carpenter, a Republican Environmental activist (an oxymoron if ever there was one), connected to convicted felons Italia Federici, and J. Steven Griles, former Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton and uber conservative Grover Norquist, has pled guilty to fraud and tax evasion. Carpenter faces 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and over $71,000 in back taxes. Carpenter becomes the 13th (all Republican) person to be convicted in the Jack Abramoff K Street Scandal.

David Safavian, Chief of Staff for the General Services Administration under President Bush, was sent to prison for lying and obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff Scandal.

Mark Zarchares, former aide to Don Young ® AK has pled guilty and is co-operating with authorities in the ongoing Jack Abramoff scandal.

Lurita Doan, General Services Administrator, according to The Office of Special Counsel, in a letter to President Bush released 6/12/2007, engaged in “the most pernicious of political activity” banned by the 1939 Hatch Act when she asked, at a meeting of General Services Administration political appointees, how they could help Republican candidates.

Senator Peter Domenici ®-NM and Representative Heather Wilson, ®-NM, are under investigation for attempting to influence Federal Prosecutor David Iglasias.

Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, is under investigation by Congress and his own Justice Department for his role in the firing of 9 Federal prosecutors.

Michael Battle, the director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, caught up in the “Gonzales 9 Scandal,” resigned on March 16, 2007.

Kyle Sampson, Chief of staff to Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, Sampson resigned over his role in the political hatchet job that fired 9 Federal Prosecutors.

Tim Griffin, chief aide to Karl Rove, resigned 12 hours after John Conyers’ (D) MI, request for BBC documents and e-mails mistakenly sent by Karl Rove to reporter Greg Palast. These e-mails detailed Republican “caging” of Democratic voters.

Monica Goodling, a Justice Department official, resigned, pled the fifth, and then under immunity admitted she had “crossed the line,” in hiring practices at the US Dept. of Justice.

Paul McNulty, a senior Justice Dept. Official has become the 4th official to cut and run from the swamp of lies surrounding the “Gonzales 9 Scandal.”

Michael Elston, Chief of Staff. To Deputy Attorney General, Paul McNulty, resigned on 6/15/2007, becoming the 5th senior level Justice Dept. official to cut and run from the “Gonzales 9 Scandal.” Elston was accused of threatening a number of the dismissed Federal Prosecutors in an attempt to silence them.

Bill Mercer, the number 3 man at the Dept. of Justice, became the 6th person to cut and run just days before he faced further questions about his role in the “Gonzales 9,” scandal. One of the Bushwhacked prosecutors, Daniel Bogden of Nevada stated that Mercer told him the prosecutors were being fired to make way for Republicans so that they might be eventually positioned to stack the Federal Judicial system.

Scott J. Bloch of the White House Special Counsel, who has announced he is opening an investigation into Karl Rove’s political machinations in the “Gonzales 9″ scandal is himself under investigation for a number of charges, including purging a Washington office to fill it with people that agree with his political views.
Sound familiar?

Ted Stevens ®-AK, the in-famously grumpy, poster boy for unhinged right-wing lunacy, has been linked to a corruption probe that has resulted in the indictment of 3 Republican Alaskan State legislators. Steven’s involvement revolves around the recent $100, 00.00+ remodeling of his Alaskan home.
Rep. Victor Kohring of Wasilla, and former state Reps. Pete Kott of Eagle River and Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau, were arrested but deny wrongdoing. Kohring was charged with extortion, attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Friday. Kott and Weyhrauch each entered their pleas to four counts, including conspiracy to commit extortion, extortion, bribery and fraud. If convicted of all charges, each of the men could face up to 55 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Don Young ®-AK The FBI has started an investigation into bribery charges against Representative Young in the scandal linked to Senator Stevens.

Rep. John T. Doolittle ®-CA, has disclosed that the FBI raided his home and business belonging to his wife. Named one of the top 20 most corrupt members of Congress in 2007, facing serious charges of corruption in the Jack Abramoff Scandal, Doolittle cut and run rather than face the judgment of voters in 2008. It is not clear however whether or not he escapes the long arm of the law.

Rick Renzi ®-CA On 2/22/2008 Renzi was charged with extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and other related criminal offenses in an indictment that comprised 26 pages.

Rep. Ken Calvert ®-CA, had his financial disclosure forms seized by the FBI.

Rep. Gary G. Miller ®-CA, is under investigation by the FBI for a series of suspicious land deals.

Rep. Jerry Lewis ®-CA and Rep Tim Murphy ®-Pa are both under investigation for using taxpayer-funded congressional staff and resources to do political work.

Rep. Randal “Duke” Cunningham ®-CA, and Robert Ney ®-OH, are settling into their new digs in the Federal Penal System. Both were convicted of accepting bribes.

Tom Delay ®-TX resigned in disgrace and is under indictment for numerous charges of corruption, criminal malfeasance and misconduct.

Johnnie Frazier, of the Inspector Generals Office, is under three separate investigations, including misappropriation of government monies, destruction/alteration of official documents, firing of whistle blowers in his office, and the awarding of a no-bid $150,000 contract to a person connected to his staff.

Michael Aaron Lay, a field coordinator in Congressman Patrick McHenry’s (R-NC) 2004 campaign has been indicted for voter fraud in North Carolina.

Julie McDonald cut and run a week before a House Committee investigating her activities as a Deputy Assistant for Fish, Wildlife and Parks began.
Among allegations against McDonald, who had no educational or professional history in her field before her appointment, are that she is accused of pressuring scientists to alter their findings, violating the Endangered Species Act, and mistreating her staff. Her tenure has been characterized as, “a reign of terror,” and “a betrayal of mission.”

Below is an excellent resource to follow the rotten trail of Congressional crooks and charlatans under investigation, indicted or convicted of crimes.

Ten former members of the 109th Congress, the aptly named Doolittle & Delay Congress, all Republicans, are featured along with 12 current members.

Of the 12 current members, 8 are Republicans. The remaining four, Bob Menendez (D) NJ, had the charges involved cleared by the Ethics Committee in advance. Allan Mollohan (D) WV, resigned his seat on the House Ethics Committee and William Jefferson (D) LA, has been removed from his committee assignments by Nancy Pelosi until investigations are complete. This stands in stark contrast to the attempts of the 109th Congress to change the rules and squash the investigations into the now indicted and disgraced Tom Delay.
On 6/6/07 the House voted 387 to 10 to bring within 30 days of an indictment of a sitting Representative, a House investigation of that individual. Immediately afterward the House voted 373 to 26 to begin an investigation of recently indicted William Jefferson (D) LA, indicating a willingness on the Democratic Leadership to pursue reform even when one of their own members has his head on the chopping block of justice.
And in what may the most important sign of all, Nancy Pelosi is supporting efforts to allow ANYONE to bring ethics complaints against members of Congress. Currently only fellow members of Congress can file ethics charges against their colleagues. Having the fox guard the henhouse is always a bad idea. Speaker Pelosi is determined to end the insanity.
Resource link: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Members_of_Congress_under_investigation
Written by mike kohr 6/16/2008

Sam Bennett Challenges Congressman Charlie Dent to Gas Prices Debate

July 30th, 2008

News from Sam Bennett for Congress

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2008

Contact: Kathryn Seck, 610-770-3280

Bennett Challenges Dent to Gas Prices Debate

ALLENTOWN, PA. – With gas prices at $4 a gallon and Big Oil companies like BP reporting 28 percent higher profits than a year ago, today Sam Bennett called on Congressman Charlie Dent to meet her and debate energy and gas policies.

“For four years Charlie Dent has voted with George Bush on energy policies that have rewarded their Big Oil friends and done nothing to lower gas prices. We need an advocate in Congress who will enact policies that will hold Big Oil accountable, invest in renewable fuels, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Bennett, a community leader and small business owner. “If Charlie Dent is serious about reducing gas prices, he’ll meet me to discuss the issue in August.”

Dent has taken more than $100,000 from Big Oil and energy executives and voted repeatedly for the interests of the oil and gas industry instead of for real solutions to lower gas prices for working families. Just last week, Dent voted against the temporary release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that historically has reduced gas prices by 20% [H.R. 6578, roll call voted #527, 7/24/08]. In February, Dent voted to provide $13.6 billion in tax breaks to oil and gas companies [H.R. 5351, roll call vote #84, 2/27/08].

Bennett called for the debate to be held the week of August 11th when Congress is scheduled to begin its summer district work period.

Below is the letter to Congressman Dent:

July 30, 2008


The people of the Lehigh Valley deserve to know where we stand on the issues. That’s why I would like to invite you to join me the week of August 11th to a public debate about energy and gas policies.

I believe a debate would provide an ideal forum for us to each discuss our energy plans and highlight our different approaches to the skyrocketing cost of oil and gas.

Please have your staff contact my campaign at 610-770-3280 to make the arrangements.

Warm Regards,

Sam Bennett

Obama Doesn’t Sweat. He should- by Greg Palast

July 28th, 2008

Obama Doesn’t Sweat. He should.

by Greg Palast

In swing-state Colorado, the Republican Secretary of State conducted the biggest purge of voters in history, dumping a fifth of all registrations. Guess their color. In swing-state Florida, the state is refusing to accept about 85,000 new registrations from voter drives - overwhelming Black voters.

In swing state New Mexico, HALF of the Democrats of Mora, a dirt poor and overwhelmingly Hispanic county, found their registrations disappeared this year, courtesy of a Republican voting contractor.

In swing states Ohio and Nevada, new federal law is knocking out tens of thousands of voters who lost their homes to foreclosure.

My investigations partner spoke directly to Barack Obama about it. (When your partner is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., candidates take your phone call.) The cool, cool Senator Obama told Kennedy he was “concerned” about the integrity of the vote in the Southwest in particular.

He’s concerned. I’m sweating.

It’s time SOMEBODY raised the alarm about these missing voters; not to save Obama’s candidacy – journalists should stay the heck away from partisan endorsements - but raise the alarm to save our sick democracy.

And that somebody is YOU. Joining with US, the Palast investigative team. Here’s how:

We have been offered an astonishing opportunity to place the Kennedy-Palast investigative findings on a national, prime-time, major-network television broadcast. Plus, separately, we have an extraordinary offer to create a series of reports for national network radio.

But guess what? The networks will NOT PAY for our public service reports. We have to raise the start-up funds in the next two weeks to film it, record it and get it on the airwaves.

WE need YOU to fund the reports, DISSEMINATE the findings as we post the print, audio and video on the web– and ACT on it.

So, for only the second time this year, I am asking each one of you to make a tax deductible donation to the non-profit, non-partisan Palast Investigative Fund of $500, $150 or $100.

Progressives have complained for years of no opportunity to get the hard, cold sweaty truth on the air. Well, put your money where your heart and soul is.

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I know you’re ponying up for your favorite candidates. But what’s the point of winning folks’ votes IF NO ONE COUNTS THEM?

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Donate today (for $1,000 minimum, we’ll list you as a Producer of our next DVD, in gratitude). Why? Because the only way to get the vote-chewing cockroaches out of the voting machinery is to turn on the lights – tell the truth on them. On prime time.

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Greg Palast is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the Nation Institute, New York. Read and view his investigations for BBC Television at http://www.GregPalast.com.

Future Liar-in-Chief McCain and his BS Express

July 26th, 2008

Future Liar-in-Chief McCain and his BS Express

The fear that Republican Presidential candidate will be soundly defeated by Obama in November has generated a massive barrage of outright lies and some very smelly BS. Some of the lies and BS come from the usual disreputable sources like Right Wing talk radio hosts, Republican bloggers, Ann Coulter clones and certain Fox News commentators. These are to be expected.

Right Wing Republican Congressional candidates have been using slash and burn campaigns and outright lies routinely since at least the 1994 election. The recent negative comments by Congresswoman Heather Wilson falsely smearing Obama are a prime example of this low road campaign style. Republican Congressman Charlie Dent has been trying to defend his close ties to the oil industry and the huge amount of money they have donated to his campaign by blaming his Democratic challenger Sam Bennett for high fuel prices. Wilson and Dent sound just like McCain. They are just frightened of the voters and trying to hide their roles in creating the current economic mess.

However, the Republican Presidential candidates usually have not been nearly as vicious or desperate as John McCain. McCain seems to have become as divorced from the truth or civil political discourse as Dick Cheney. Smears and attack lines cannot conceal the truth forever.

Only about a half dozen years ago, I remember talking about the respect I held then for John McCain, as an independent-minded Republican, on my talk radio show. While I respected the McCain of Bush’s first term and admired the soldier McCain of the Vietnam era, I have little respect for McCain’s behavior as a Presidential candidate in 2008.

I admit that I would not have voted for John McCain at any point in his political career because he has always been a political enemy of working Americans and a powerful tool of the Corporate forces crushing us as workers, taxpayers and consumers. Those differences were ones of policy.

The problem with McCain in 2008 is that his character has apparently been corrupted by his lust for the Presidency. His nasty tone and negative personal attacks on Obama show how much of a failure McCain has been as a Presidential candidate trying to defend on the failed policies of Bush Republicanism!

McCain has falsely blamed Obama for high gas prices. McCain has been receiving huge campaign donations from Big Oil. He has done absolutely nothing to promote more competition in the oil industry. He has opposed oil windfall taxes that would have been used to promote alternative energy development.

McCain has done nothing to pressure the oil industry to actually drill on the 68 million acres of offshore drilling rights leased from the federal government. He has only attacked Obama for not supporting more leases that would probably not be drilled on by Big Oil.

Why would the oil industry expand production when it would lessen their ability to price gouge the American public? They make huge profits by keeping oil production as low as possible and supplies tight. They have been buying out competitors and closing refineries ever since Bush and Cheney took control of the White House in 2001 just to drive up prices!

McCain has offered meaningless gimmicks like the temporary, dangerous proposal to suspend the federal fuel taxes this summer. The price gouging by the oil industry dwarfs the temporary relief of 18.4 to 22.4 cents per gallon. These fuel taxes are used for roads and bridges repairs, maintenance and safety. We all remember the Interstate bridge collapse in Minnesota when the Republican Governor cut the funding for safety inspections and needed repairs. We need a President willing to stand up for consumers against Big Oil instead of a Liar-in-Chief trying to sell us on Big Oil talking points.

The Iraq War is another example of McCain following in the unethical footsteps of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The similarities are not just policy positions but also political ethics. The terrible mistakes of Bush, Cheney and McCain got us into this disaster of a war. It was launched based on lies told to the American public that they knew were lies.

We have wasted the lives of over 4,000 brave American soldiers and at least a trillion dollars of current and future taxpayers’ money in an unnecessary war. The oil did keep Iraqi oil off the world market and made worldwide price-gouging by Big Oil possible. It made it possible for Republicans to give no-bid contracts to the large corporations providing them with campaign donations.

If Bush, Cheney and McCain had not pushed us into invading Iraq, there would have been no need for a troop surge. Without this colossal failure of judgment by Bush, Cheney and McCain, we would not have over 4,000 dead American soldiers, trillions of wasted taxpayer dollars undermining the American economy and a likely post-War dominance of Iraq by Iran.

The invasion of Iraq has vastly increased the likelihood of Iran becoming a nuclear power. It has increased the appeal of Islamic terrorists on the Moslem street around the world. It has increased the chances of war with Iran. The Iraq policies of Bush, Cheney and McCain have undermined our real fight against the Bin Laden terrorist organization in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These policies concerning war and terrorism demonstrated that McCain shares Bush’s serious character flaw of never admitting he has made a serious error of judgment even when the results have been a disaster. We had 8 years of dealing with this character flaw. We do not need 4 or 8 more years of the same. The past Liar-in-Chief lied to the American people and himself. I believe McCain will do the same.

It is time to cut through the bull droppings and spin of the McCain campaign and look at the facts. McCain falsely claims that Obama will increase taxes on most Americans. In truth, Obama will only slightly increase taxes on those have taxable incomes over $250,000 a year. The overall tax levels for most Americans will likely be slightly reduced.

McCain will do nothing to protect American jobs. He will do nothing to curb excess Corporate control over government. McCain is likely to start more needless wars. He is a hothead. McCain is not competent when it comes to dealing with the economy and has publicly stated as much. He cannot be trusted with this important responsibility. McCain supports basically 95 percent of the Bush Agenda.

John McCain is a Super Rich guy with the political opinions of a Super Rich guy. Most of us do not own a dozen homes or measure our wealth in the hundred millions. He is not really one of us. We would not have voted against giving returning Iraq War soldiers the same education benefits that our Vietnam-era soldiers once had like John McCain did.

McCain might have been one of us during Vietnam but that was a long time ago. It was before he spent around 30 years in Washington, D.C. screwing up the country. It was before he climbed aboard his BS Express and started seeking the position of Liar-in-Chief.

Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio http://DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com ). Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 443-907-2367.