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Friday, February 24, 2006

Head of the 9/11 commission says no to port deal

I guess Lieberman thinks the head of the 9/11 commission is wrong when it comes to the UAE controlling our ports.

The Bush administration said Friday it won't reconsider its approval for a United Arab Emirates company to take over significant operations at six U.S. ports. The former head of the Sept. 11 commission said the deal "never should have happened."

[...]

Thomas Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey who led the bipartisan probe of the Sept. 11 attacks, said the deal was a big mistake because of past connections between the 2001 hijackers and the UAE.

"It shouldn't have happened, it never should have happened," Kean said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The quicker the Bush administration can get out of the deal, the better, he said. "There's no question that two of the 9/11 hijackers came from there and money was laundered through there," Kean said.

[...]

"I think this deal is going to be killed," Kean said. "The question is how much damage is this going to do to us before it's killed."

Kean's comments threatened to overshadow moves by the company and the White House to appease critics by delaying the takeover.

"Governor Kean knows as much as anyone how risky it is to deal with the United Arab Emirates," said Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a leading opponent.

"This just proves that no real investigation was ever conducted, and it's unfortunate that he and the other 9/11 commissioners were not contacted before the government approved this."
Here's the money quote...

The former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit joined in the criticism.

"The fact that you are putting a company in place that could already be infiltrated by al-Qaida is a silly thing to do," said Mike Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit until 1999.
Bingo...they get it while Bush and Lieberman don't have a clue.

Lieberman loves the UAE

While the entire country is against allowing the UAE the ability to control our major ports, Joe once again shows his strong loyality to Bush and Co..

This guy is just too much.
As the political firestorm was building over the Bush administration's decision to hand over control of six major U.S. ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, Sen. Joseph Lieberman was urging caution.

"Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are allies of ours in the war on terrorism," the Connecticut Democrat said, in little noticed comments three days ago on ABC's "This Week."

"So I don't think we want to just because it's a Dubai company, even owned by the government, we want to exclude them from doing business here," he added.

Lieberman reminded: "The more you look at it, the fact is that a lot of terminals in America are already owned by foreign companies."
Yes, but there is a big difference between a country like England and a country that has ties to terrorist groups controlling our ports.

The former vice presidential candidate's position contrasted sharply with other members of his party - like Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer - who immediately saw the ports deal as an opportunity to undermine President Bush's image of strength in the war on terror.

But Lieberman insisted that the Dubai deal did nothing to increase the vulnerabilities of an already under-protected U.S. ports system.

Okay, a country that has ties to terrorist groups and the country where several hijackers from 9-11 originated and Lieberman has no problem with a company (which is controlled by the UAE government) controlling our ports? Is he kidding?

Here's a scenario Joe, tell me what you think:

1. Bush gives control of our ports to DPWorld (a company controlled by the UAE government).

2. The blueprints of our ports somehow are smuggled from the UAE and somehow lands into the hands of Bin-Laden and his crew (remember him, he'e the guy who blew up the twin towers and the guy your buddy Bush can't seem to find because he's wasting his time in Iraq).

3. The terrorists (who want to kill us) study and carefully plan to sneak a nuclear device into a US port (give it 3-5 years).

4. The terrorists (who want to kill us) get the nuclear device into the US and BOOM.

5. Joe will be quoted as saying "There is no way the Bush administration could of anticipated that giving away control of our ports to the UAE would contribute to another terrorist attack happening on American soil."

Two words: Ned Lamont.

Lieberman greatest hits

In celebration of Joe Lieberman's birthday, we offer you Joe Lieberman's greatest hits from our blog.

Also, since the CT-NOW story is gaining legs around the blogs again, it's only fair that we do alittle Lieberman-Alito flashback regarding his Alito vote.

Shame on Planned Parenthood and NARAL for giving Lieberman a pass. Jane Hamsher from Firedoglake has a great idea.
Contact NARAL and Planned Parenthood and tell them you are cutting them off until they denounce the members of the Gang of 14, yank their funding and use that money to support Senate candidates who will actually stand up to George Bush and the bullies of the Republican party next time there is a Supreme Court vacancy.
Sounds good to me. I'm putting their numbers in my speed dial now.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

CT-NOW loves Lamont

Joe needs to go and he needs to go now.

From Daily Kos
With the news out of South Dakota, it's obvious that a woman's right to choose is in graver danger today than it has been in decades. (SD has passed an outright ban on abortion, as opposed to the "partial birth" case which the court will hear in the next session.) And one of those reasons is the replacement of pro-choice Justice Sandra Day O'Connor by Samuel Alito.

Joe Lieberman had the chance to take a stand on behalf of critical privacy issues, but abdicated.

With respect to the filibuster vote, as you may know, I was a member of the Senate "Gang of 14" that last year worked together to save the right of Senators to filibuster judicial nominations. As part of that agreement, I agreed to filibuster only in extraordinary circumstances. To me, this situation did not meet this extraordinary circumstances standard.

Lieberman then went on to cast a meaningless vote against Alito. Shockingly, NARAL couldn't contain its excitement at Lieberman's meaningless "no" vote.
On Tuesday, January 31, 2006 the Senate voted to confirm Samuel Alito, Jr. 58-42 as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice after failed efforts by Senate Democrats to filibuster his nomination. Take time to thank Senator Chris Dodd and Senator Joseph Lieberman for opposing Samuel Alito's nomination. We thank all our supporters and activists for their energy and effort to defeat this nomination.

Of course, those "failed efforts" to filibuster included the courageous efforts of just Chris Dodd. Lieberman, as we saw above, cast the only vote that mattered in the case the wrong way. For some reason, NARAL was incapable of seeing this. (As it has been in regards to Chafee in Rhode Island.)

The Connecticut chapter of the National Organization of Women, on the other hand, seems to understand the Lieberman betrayal.

LIEBERMAN HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON WOMEN

Senator Lieberman turned his back on this country''s women by refusing to support a filibuster against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Judge Alito was confirmed yesterday by a vote of 58-42. While Connecticut NOW recognizes the 42 senators who voted against confirmation, the crucial vote happened the day before, when senators voted on whether or not to end debate on this nomination. Since the Republican leadership had enough votes to confirm Alito, a filibuster was the only way to prevent his confirmation.

Connecticut NOW applauds Senator Dodd for his support of the filibuster. Shamefully his colleague, Senator Lieberman, demonstrated a lack of respect and concern for the women and girls of Connecticut and the nation by his refusal to support the filibuster. Senator Lieberman pointed out that he had studied Samuel Alito''s record carefully and so he was aware of the threat Alito poses to a woman's most basic constitutional right: to control her own body and decide whether or not to bear a child. As reported by The Hartford Courant, Senator Lieberman stated that he did not support a filibuster because Alito's confirmation vote did not meet the standard of "extraordinary circumstances" decreed by the Senate "Gang of 14." "This is a slap in the face to every woman of this state, no matter her political beliefs, economic status or race," stated Rosemary Dempsey, President of CT NOW. ""What could be a more '`extraordinary circumstance'' than when a woman''s right to make her own reproductive health decisions is seriously threatened?"

And then there's the key passage:

His failure to support women''s rights at a time when they are most severely threatened by a Supreme Court Justice whose record is replete with contempt for same, makes it highly unlikely that CT NOW will support Lieberman in his bid for re-election.

This isn't Nebraska or Arkansas or Louisiana. This is Connecticut, and there are viable alternatives. Jane Hamsher wrote:

I'm flabbergasted. And thrilled. I thought there was some sort of collective brain atrophy going on in the institutional "pro-choice" world that caused people's capacity for critical thought to disolve. What is it that Planned Parenthood and NARAL don't understand about this? Why are they both asking their memberships to thank Joe Lieberman for throwing them yet another beating?

Hamsher is urging her readers to contact the CT NOW chapter and urge that they support Ned Lamont in the senate primary. I think it's a great idea.

Connecticut National Organization for Women
135 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105
860.524.5978
860.524.1092 fax
www.ct-now.org
ct_now@yahoo.com

Kathleen Sloan, Executive Director
Rosemary Dempsey, President

We think what NOW is doing is a great idea also Kos. Planned Parenthood and NARAL will regret their words of support towards Lieberman's vote.

Thoughts regarding the Lieberman-Dodd debate last night

Who cares and why should I (or anyone) give a shit about what these two seasoned political talking heads say on camera! The whole thing was meaningless and a complete waste of time. It might make for good television but that's about it.

Look, do you think Chris Dodd is going to throw Lieberman under a bus? You have to be kidding me right. For those who hoped Dodd would rip into Lieberman, here is some good advice:

1. Contain your anger.
2. Find out where the Democratic Town Committee (DTC) meets in your area
3. Jump in your car and go to the VERY next DTC meeting in your area and give them a piece of your mind reagrding Lieberman and express your support for Ned Lamont.

You see, it doesn't matter what politicians say on television, the only thing that matters is getting to the people who faithfully come out and vote and giving them a piece of your mind. The people who take the time out of their day to participate in their Democratic Town Committees are the only people who matter especially when it comes down to a primary and these are the people you need to reach, not people who only watch television. In fact, forget all the television stuff; leave that for the talking heads and political television junkies. Most of these knee-jerking zombies are all talk and little action (ask anyone of these idiots where their political party headquarters are located and you'll get a blank stare). The people you want to reach are those who back up what they say with their actions and most of these people will appreciate it if you come down and give them your opinion so let them know how you feel about Lieberman.

You never know, your words can encourage a town committee to invite Ned Lamont to their area and hear what he has to say. The ultimate goal for any Lamont supporter is to get his message out there to the public if he is to have a chance in beating Lieberman in the primary.

Keep your eyes on the prize and ignore the talking heads. They have their agenda; you have yours. Get out the vote!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lieberman rushes to Bush's defense over port deal

Two words: Ned Lamont. If anyone questions why Joe has to go, forward this article to them.
Legislators from both parties continued today to sharply criticize the Bush administration's approval of a recent sale that would give a Dubai company control over shipping facilities at six leading American ports, saying that it raised fundamental security issues.

A range of Democrats criticized the port takeover in stinging terms, implying that it showed poor judgment by an administration that has made national security its top priority. They said security at American ports — where only 5 percent of incoming cargo is inspected — is one of the country's biggest vulnerabilities.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who last week had asked Mr. Chertoff and the Treasury Department to review the sale, called President Bush today to override the committee's approval. Appearing at a news conference with family members of people killed on Sept. 11, he called for a 90-day investigation into all contracts with foreign governments at American ports.

Several Republicans also expressed doubts about a transaction that appears to pit security concerns against the Bush administration's strong support for free world trade.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said the administration's approval of the transaction was "unbelievably tone-deaf politically." He told Fox News, "I don't think now's the time to outsource major port security to a foreign country."

Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, called it "ridiculous" for the administration to say it had taken undisclosed steps to ensure there was no problem "for a nation that had ties to 9/11 to take over part of our port operations in many of our largest ports."

[...]

Representative Jane Harman of California, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said of the transaction, "I think it's stunning and I'm very disturbed about it."

Ms. Harman, whose district encompasses the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, told CNN, "I would not like Dubai or some other foreign government running those ports."

She urged the administration to provide Congress with classified briefings on the port takeover.

Several other Democrats questioned the deal earlier, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

"It's suspicious on its face," said Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, a member of the intelligence committee. "But is it the right decision? It's difficult to say."

Another Republican, Representative Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey, has called for legislation to require that United States port security officials be American citizens. Mr. LoBiondo, chairman of the Coast Guard and maritime transportation subcommittee, part of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the sale raised "significant" security concerns.

And two Pennsylvania legislators wrote President Bush on Friday to express "extreme concern" about the transaction. Representative Curt Weldon, a Republican, and Robert Brady, a Democrat, urged Bush to "closely examine this decision, and to act to prevent its implementation."
Taking a quote from Ned Lamont, "where's Joe?"
One of the few legislators to come close to defending the transaction was Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, who is considered a security hawk among Democrats.

He told ABC News that he was "not yet" prepared to try to block the sale. He noted that many port terminals in the United States are foreign-owned.
Lieberman is insane. The President is handing over soem of the nation's largest ports to a country that has ties to terrorism and shameless Joe doesn't see the problem with this?

Enough is enough. Joe has to go.

Lieberman: bad for Connecticut, bad for the Democratic party, bad for this country.

Lieberman approval numbers falling

I was checking out my favorite sites today when I came across this very interesting post from Kos about Joe Lieberman's poll numbers.

(Hat tip to DailyKos)
SUSA has its latest 100-senator poll, and by "net approval", Conrad Burns still brings up the rear (though he now has the company of Frank Lautenberg).

However, I was most interested (for the sake of this post) in Lieberman's numbers:



That's a swing of +41 to +27 in just three months.

Among Democrats, Lieberman's numbers are also dropping, from 58/36 last month to 56/37 this month. Among independents, Lieberman went from 64/28 in January to 58/31 in this poll. While he also lost support among Republicans, they're still the bullwark of his support -- from 71/25 to 67/27.

And among Liberals, the kind of people who turn out for primaries? Lieberman went from 57/39 in January to 52/40 in this latest poll.

Vance bows out of Congressional race

Paul Vance offically ended his campaign for the 5th District Congressional seat today.

From Paul Vance Press Release:

“I have enjoyed meeting with people throughout the 5th Congressional District and have been energized by the support that I have been given, but mostly I am blessed to have become friends with many very caring people who are concerned about the direction of our country,” said Vance.

“While Sen. Christopher Murphy and I may have disagreed over issues,” said Vance, “we both agree that we need a change in the direction of this Country and in the Fifth District of Connecticut. I will endorse and work for the Democratic nominee, and have released my committed convention delegates asking that we all come together to support the nominee.”
Vance withdrawl allows Chris Murphy to focus his energy on defeating Nancy Johnson in an election that could decide which political party controls Congress.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lamont to Southbury: Where's Joe?

[Southbury residents offer their support to Ned Lamont: ctblogger photo 02.20.06]

Ned Lamont addressed the Southbury Democratic Town Committee last night and wasted no time explaining his displeasure with Joe Lieberman and why he's challenging the fellow Democratic senator this year.

Saying that "the people who got us into this mess (Iraq) should be held accountable," Lamont used a majority of his speech ripping into Joe Lieberman for his supporting Bush's Iraq war strategy and his failure to hold the adminsitration accountable for their failed forgein and domestic policies.

The following videoclip shows Ned Lamont at his best as he goes through a laundry list of blunders by the Bush administration and after each blunder, he asked the audience "Where was Joe" during these times.

Videoclip (7.4 Meg:Quicktime)


After his speech, Lamont answered a variety of questions from the audience ranging from his opinion on the medicare plan, to raising enough money to challenge Lieberman with the small amount of time until the primary. In all, the memebers of the committee and audience seemed rather pleased with what they heard from Lamont and appreciated that fact that he came to speak to them and hear their concerns.

Additional video footage including the question and answer portion of Lamont's apprearence and the interesting discussion the committee had after Lamont left will be posted later.

UPDATE 02.22.06:Photographs of Lamont's visit to the Southbury Democratic Town Committee can be viewed here.

Light posting and Lamont update

Sorry for the lack of posting these last few days but since Monday was President's Day (which means I had the day off), I decided to make some upgrades to the site. The code for this blog needed to be cleaned up a bit and links needed to be fixed.

We're going to use the free video service from Google for a majority of our video clips. This will save us valuable web space which can be used for other features which will be available later this year.

...and hold on to your heads Lamont junkies, I'm processing the video from Lamont's appearence in Southbury yesterday which is taking some time to compress. I happened to stay at the meeting after Lamont left and was able to videotape some other interesting stuff reagrding Southbury Democrats' disapproval with Senator Lieberman. Is another democratic town committee on the verge of giving the thumbs down to Lieberman? You'll be able to watch the video and judge for yourself.

FYI: Was anyone aware that a reporter from USA Today was at the town committee meeting doing a story on Lamont and the Connecticut senate race? She interviewed several people who came to hear what Lamont had to say and none of them hade nice things to say about Lieberman. I don't know when the story will make the paper but it's fair to say that Lamont's campaign has generated a great amount of interest.

Ned Lamont does Southbury

Just came back from the Ned Lamont's appearence in Southbury. I'll post video, photos, and analysis on Lamont's presentation to the Southury Democratic Town Committee later.