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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jonathan Turley comments on NSA story

Pay close attention and learn something (FYI: Turley is a well-known constitutional law expert).

Rove getting fitted for bracelets?

Next week could be interesting...
Within the last week, Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him, according to sources.

Details of Rove's discussions with the president and Bolten have spread through the corridors of the White House where low-level staffers and senior officials were trying to determine how the indictment would impact an administration that has been mired in a number of high-profile political scandals for nearly a year, said a half-dozen White House aides and two senior officials who work at the Republican National Committee.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources confirmed Rove's indictment is imminent. These individuals requested anonymity saying they were not authorized to speak publicly about Rove's situation. A spokesman in the White House press office said they would not comment on "wildly speculative rumors."

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, did not return a call for comment Friday.

Friday, May 12, 2006

More stonewalling by the state GOP

This is just nuts.
Partisan disputes and a lack of focus prevented a legislative committee from gaining much momentum Thursday as it continued its probe into whether a state watchdog agency mishandled alleged campaign-financing violations by top Rell-administration appointees.

Republicans mounted a determined resistance to inquiries by majority Democrats at the government administration and elections committee's second day of hearings. The panel is looking into the possible compromise of a State Elections Enforcement Commission case by Executive Director Jeffrey B. Garfield, who gave confidential information to the campaign manager for Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.


GOP lawmakers accused Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, the committee co-chairman, and Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, acting co-chairman, of running a kangaroo court, bungling their questioning of witnesses and unfairly overruling minority objections. They said Democrats unearthed no new facts in more than three hours of questions directed at two Rell aides: former campaign finance director Peggy Deschenes and Daniel Moreland, former executive assistant to chief of staff M. Lisa Moody.

"I think that the Democrats have made clear that this is a partisan fishing expedition intended to embarrass the governor," said House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward, R-North Branford, who attended as a GOP leader.

But Caruso said the GOP was being "obstructionist ... every step of the way" in a legitimate inquiry. The panel must "determine whether or not our watchdog agencies have been compromised," he said.
I hope the Democrats can pick up the pace so we can get to the bottom of this matter. The Republicans are pulling the same tricks they did during the Rowland scandal and should put an end to the delay tactics. If Gov. Rell did nothing wrong, then there is nothing to hide so why are we dealing with the typical GOP stonewalling?

Cheney falls asleep again

Boy, this guy can't seem to stay awake. I'm beginning to think he's related to Colin McEnroe.

Nancy Johnson receives a big check

(cross posting from Hat City Blog)


Nancy Johnson received some visitors at her Danbury office yesterday.


Voters from the 5th district came to Nancy Johnson's office on Main Street yesterday afternoon to express their opposition to the Medicare Plan D and also handed her a really generous check.


Wow, that was really nice of them to give Johnson a check…well, not really.


You see, Johnson is the number one House recipient of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry and the check they brought with them represents the amount of money she received from drug companies.


Now, lets go back into the time machine and learn why this is really bad for seniors.

The MediScare Plan D for those that do not know was a crappy piece of legislation which was pushed and written by the Pharmaceutical Drug and Insurance industries. They paid out millions to congresspeople and wrote the legislation which Tom Delay and other Republicans then rammed through the House by keeping the vote open (in violation of House laws), bribing other politicians on the House floor and lying about the costNot coincidentally a few people who worked on the legislation, such as Billy Tauzin, Republican of Louisiana, got lucrative jobs working for the same industry that benefited the most from the MediScare Plan D. Some key negative features of the plan include the infamous donut hole where seniors will have to pay 100% of all the costs between $2250 and $5100 and the fact that negotiating with the drug manufacturers is prohibited. Also, the deadline for signing up is Monday. After that, seniors will be paying a fine.
Seniors paying a fine? Doesn’t sound very American to screw seniors does it? Thankfully, these people came to Johnson's office and gave her a piece of their mind. Unfortunately, Johnson's office was closed (how ironic).


Enjoy the show!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How low can he go?

Oh my.
President Bush’s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an “excellent or pretty good” job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January.

Roughly one-quarter of U.S. adults say “things in the country are going in the right direction,” while 69% say “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” This trend has declined every month since January, when 33% said the nation was heading in the right direction. Iraq remains a key concern for the general public, as 28% of Americans said they consider Iraq to be one of the top two most important issues the government should address, up from 23% in April. The immigration debate also prompted 16% of Americans to consider it a top issue, down from 19% last month, but still sharply higher from 4% in March.

The Harris poll comes two days after a downbeat assessement of Bush in a New York Times/CBS News poll. The Times, in analyzing the results, said “Americans have a bleaker view of the country’s direction than at any time in more than two decades.

Senator Dodd reacts to latest NSA story

As I'm sure everyone is aware (unless you live in a cave), we learned today that the NSA (under the orders of the Bush administration) has been secretly collecting the phone records on tens of millions of Americans citizens. If you're like me, you should find this revelation extremely troubling and President Bush saying "trust me" just doesn't cut it (I mean, at this point, no one in this country believes anything that comes out of his mouth).

Here's a statement from Senator Dodd regarding today's USA Today story on the NSA secretly collecting American citizens' phone records.
“Our nation needs to be vigilant in protecting our citizens from terrorist attacks. There should be no greater responsibility than working to keep our nation safe from harm. But I also believe that we need to protect and preserve the basic freedoms and liberties that define our nation and our national character. The fact that a massive and secret collection of personal information about average Americans all across the nation apparently is taking place without any oversight or scrutiny is troubling, to say the least. Given this Administration’s long and checkered record, it isn’t enough for the President to just say ‘trust me.’ The President needs to immediately and clearly spell out whether this secret effort has been egregiously infringing on the American public's right to privacy, and if not, what safeguards exist to give the American people confidence to believe that their rights to privacy are being fully protected.”
No word from President Bush's favorite Democrat (why am I not surprised).

ACTION ALERT!

From ctkeith at My Left Nutmeg:
70% of Ct voters are against the Iraq War and cite it as THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE that will determine their vote but since Joe Lieberman is on the WRONG SIDE of the issue, Nancy and Co. decided it wouldn't be in the CT. Democratic State Platform.

SHAME IS ALL I CAN MUSTER ABOUT BEING A CT DEMOCRAT TODAY.

We've just received confirmation that the planned State Democratic Platform for the 2006 elections has no mention of the War!

70% of CT residents oppose the war and CT kids are dying there. What's the Democratic Party going to do about it?

It's time for COW to mobilize. Please FORWARD this message to ctopposeswar@yahoo.com to let us know you can come to one or both of these events:

THIS Thursday, May 11, 7:00 PM
State Democratic Party Platform Discussion:
179 Allyn Street, above Coach's bar, Hartford.
This meeting is open. Let's be there to insist that the platform include a call to end the war in Iraq!

Friday, May 19, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
Kickoff for State Democratic Party Nominating Convention
Hundreds of anti-war party activists will be inside the convention urging and organizing for anti-war candidates to be nominated, and for the Party to adopt an anti-war plank in the platform.

US Labor Against the War and COW will be demonstrating outside to support that fight.
People are needed both before and after this time slot, so if that hour isn't perfect for you, or you have more time to offer, we'll be there from about 5:00 PM to about 7:30 PM. But do your best to be there 5:30 to 6:30.

Please forward, and CALL YOUR FRIENDS to urge them to attend the convention demonstration with you!

Floyd Patterson

RIP

Stonewalling

Why do I feel like I viewing the Rowland hearings. The Republicans are up to their old tricks again delaying the inquiry into the now infamous Marco Polo fundraiser. In case you need a memory refresher...
The legislature's government administration and elections committee is reviewing how a state watchdog agency settled a complaint that 16 Rell appointees violated a state law barring them from soliciting campaign contributions.

Thirteen commissioners and three deputies distributed invitations handed them by Rell's chief of staff, M. Lisa Moody. The Rell campaign returned the contributions raised at the Dec. 7 fundraiser, and the 16 appointees each paid a $500 fine without admitting guilt.

The committee's co-chairman, Rep. Christopher L. Caruso, D-Bridgeport, and acting co-chairman, Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, say they want to know why the State Elections Enforcement Commission first shared a confidential proposed settlement with Rell's campaign manager, Kevin Deneen.
The public has a right to know what happened as it sounds like shady business as usual for the Rell/Rowland administration and the Republicans are doing the same thing they did during the Rowaland scandal...delay, delay, delay.

I thought these days of political corruption and dirty partisan tricks in Connecticut was a thing of the pass.

Lamont / Lieberman debate tonight?

The NAACP will be candidate forum tonight at Central Connecticut State University which will include Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman.

Rumor has it that Joe might be a no-show. ConnecticutBLOG will be there to see what happens.

Developing...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You can't make this stuff up

Good grief.
How much do you think Osama bin Laden would pay to know exactly when and where the President was traveling, and who was with him? Turns out, he wouldn't have had to pay a dime. All he had to do was go through the trash early Tuesday morning.

It appears to be a White House staff schedule for the President's trip to Florida Tuesday. And a sanitation worker was alarmed to find in the trash long hours before Mr. Bush left for his trip.

It's the kind of thing you would expect would be shredded or burned, not thrown in the garbage. Randy Hopkins could not believe what he was seeing.

There on the floor next to a big trash truck was a thick sheaf of papers with nearly every detail of the President's voyage.

“I saw locations and names and places where the President was going to be. I knew it was important. And it shouldn't have been in a trash hole like this,” he said.

Hopkins works in sanitation. He's an ex-con, and he's worried about fallout from talking to us, so he's asked us not to say exactly where he's employed. But he also felt it was his civic duty to tell somebody about what he'd found.

“We're going through a war, and if it would have fell into the wrong hands at the right time, it would have been something really messy for the President's sake,” he said.

The documents details the exact arrival and departure time for Air Force One, Marine One and the back up choppers, Nighthawk 2 and Three.

It lists every passenger on board each aircraft, from the President to military attaché with nuclear football. It offers the order of vehicles in the President's motorcade.


We faxed a copy to the Secret Service, which as usual rule declined to say much, other than insisting that it was a White House staff document, not a Secret Service document.

A spokesman traveling with President Bush says officials are still trying to learn more about the papers. The White House confirms the 9 News story and says many White House offices have "burn bags" that are used to discard sensitive documents like the schedule. However, it appears this one ended up in the general trash.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The hypocrisy of Joe Lieberman

Just when you think Joe Lieberman can no longer surprise you, he does something to prove you wrong.

BrandfordBoy at My Left Nutmeg has an interesting post that details the hypocrisy of President Bush's favorite Democrat. One thing that sounded off alarm bells in BrandfordBoy's head is the fact that Joe Lieberman is collecting money from the company that assisted in defeating him during the 2000 election. What little shred of respect I had for Lieberman quickly disappeared after reading this article.
Executives at ChoicePoint Inc. - which bought the company whose list Florida officials used to prevent thousands from voting in the 2000 presidential election - were among he biggest contributors to U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's re-election campaign from January to March, records show.

Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000 who often quips that he actually was elected despite the bitterly disputed Florida results, reported to the Federal Election Commission that over a two-week period in March he collected a total of $11,700 from 14 ChoicePoint officials, only one of whom resides in Connecticut.
[...]

At long last, Senator, have you left no sense of shame?
After reading his post and this article, I' think I can answer BranfordBoy's question with one word...NO.

Why would any honest Democratic in Connecticut continue to support this dishonest man?
Lieberman is the ranking Democrat on the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

ChoicePoint is a giant data collection company that began by selling credit data to the insurance industry and now is among the private companies that "increasingly occupy a place in homeland security and crime-fighting efforts," according to the Washington Post.

The suburban Atlanta company in January agreed to pay a record $10 million fine and an additional $5 million to consumers to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations after a security breach of its computer databases led to at least 800 cases of identity theft.

[...]

The FEC records reveal that similar but smaller "bundles" of campaign cash were delivered to Lieberman, a member of Senate's Armed Forces Committee, by groups of contributors associated with defense contractors, including General Dynamics Corp. and its Groton-based subsidiary, Electric Boat, and by Northrop Grumman, whose Norden Systems division is based in Groton. They show that 41 individuals who listed General Dynamics or Electric Boat as their employer gave the senator a total of $13,050, while 11 employed by Northrop Grumman gave a total of $3,500.

Lieberman, who also sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee, got more bundles from officials and employees at Dominion Resources Inc., the Virginia-based gas and electric utility holding company that owns the Millstone nuclear station in Waterford, and from Berlin-based Northeast Utilities and its Connecticut Light & Power division.

Lieberman collected a total of $13,600 from 23 contributors who said they work for Dominion, and a total of $8,100 from 13 who listed NU or CL&P as their employer.

Dominion's corporate political action committee, meanwhile, made the single-largest political action committee contribution to Lieberman in the first quarter - $9,000.

The senator also collected $1,000 from the Northeast Utilities PAC.

Lieberman's previous campaign finance reports showed that he collected $10,000 in contributions from four top executives and the corporate PAC at Southwest Airlines three months after he sponsored a bill to lift restrictions on the Texas airport where the company is based.

Last summer, the senator also reported a bundle of $51,000 in contributions from dozens of officials at Tennessee-based Guardsmark LLC, one of the nation's largest private security firms. He had co-sponsored a bill requiring the FBI to help companies like Guardsmark two years earlier.
Then, proving once again that his hypocrisy knows no bounds, comes this little tidbit:
In a "Dear Friend" e-mail sent to his supporters two weeks ago, the three-term incumbent, who faces a challenge for his party's nomination and had made a last-minute pitch to boost his campaign warchest before the FEC's March 31 reporting deadline, emphasized his support from individuals.

The senator skipped any mention of the companies that employ those individuals - the usual practice when politicians discuss contributions that are supposed to have been made independently.

"I'm grateful for this incredibly strong show of support at every level, especially from the many people who took the time to write the small checks," Lieberman wrote. "I'm humbled to know that hard-working men and women are making a real sacrifice for our campaign."

But the senator got plenty of big checks. His latest filing shows he collected 427 contributions of at least $1,000 - including 90 for $2,100 - which together added up to $589,420, or 80 percent of the total he reported from individuals.

You had enough? Good, now dig into your pockets and give to Ned Lamont's campaign.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Colin McEnroe gives the smackdown to Lieberman

Oh, check out this gem of a quote from Colin "Lieberman puts me to sleep" McEnroe. I think it's fair to say that Joe isn't inviting Colin over for dinner any time soon.
Colin McEnroe, a popular radio host who has tangled with Lieberman, said the other day: "I've known Joe since I was 14. You'd probably need a psychologist to address this, but I think Joe has had an emotional merging with the Bush administration. There's a sense here that he has drunk the Kool-Aid.

"He has completely refused to back away from the prewar fabrications about [mass weaponry], the 'ties' between Hussein and 9/11, the torture at Abu Grhaib... . His idea of bipartisanship on the war is for Democrats to shut up. It's his level of fervent commitment that troubles a lot of people."
Oh, that's good!

Guilty as charged

(Cross posting from Hat City Blog)
Justice is served.
A jury has found Keith M. Foster guilty for his role in the gruesome 1997 killing of 13-year-old Maryann Measles of New Milford.

The jury returned its verdict this afternoon in Superior Court in Waterbury. Foster, 29, was convicted of felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, three counts of first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping, tampering with a witness and tampering with physical evidence. He was found not guilty of murder.

Foster said nothing, but sobbed as the jurors announced their verdict.
Save your tears Foster. The only person who should sob are the family members of this poor girl.

For those who don't know the details behind the killing of Maryann Measles, let's take a look at today's article in the Hartford Courant as it takes a brief trip down memory lane.
The jury believed the state's contention that Foster was a key player in a conspiracy to silence Maryann after she filed statutory rape complaints against him and another man, Alan M. "A.J." Walter Jr.

Those complaints to New Milford police put into motion a plan that led to Maryann's kidnapping from a grocery store parking lot while her mother shopped and her transit to a secluded pull-off along the Housatonic River north of New Milford. There she was terrorized, brutalized, gang-raped and murdered.


While Foster was not accused of physically killing Maryann, his participation in the conspiracy and acts that led to her death made him culpable for felony murder and murder.

He faces life in prison.
Like I said, don't shed a tear for Foster. Life in prison is the least he deserves...

Malloy/DeStefano highlights from Sunday morning

To my delight, Mayors John DeStefano and Dan Malloy had an interesting debate on WTIC's Beyond the Headlines Sunday morning (which is by far, the best political program in Connecticut).

The two Democratic Gubernatorial candidates answered a wide range of questions from host Shelly Sindland and The Hartford Courant Capital Reporter, Chris Keating which were informative and useful for those who are still unsure about their primary choice. The two mayors even answered questions that were submitted from voters which I thought was a rather refreshing change from the usual questions from the political pundits.

If you're like me, your probably undecided when it comes to picking which one of these two guys should challenge Jodi Rell for the top spot in the state. In that case, this program might be informative and in case you missed it, here are some highlights from Sunday's program.

NOTE: the video clips are rather large so if you're experiencing any playback problems, pause the video and give your computer a couple of minutes to download the clip.

Enjoy!

Segment 1:

Segment 2:

Segment 3:

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Nancy Johnson cares about seniors?

Shame on you Nancy.