Topic: General News.
Thanks to the Free Library of Philadelphia I haven’t been able to post for almost a week because the computers have been down and no one seems to know why they’re down or when they’ll be back up.
This is kind of ironic since the Library system just had a big to-do about the great new web site they put up. It’s a shame the people who use the library the most, the people without computers, which is probably the majority of people in Philly, since it’s the 6th poorest city in the US, can’t actually see the great new Library web site. They probably could have used the money it took to create this great new web site for better things like extending hours and being open on the weekends and more computers. But that’s just me, what do I know?
Stop the presses!!!
As I'm posting this news has come that shithead Tom DeLay has been indicted by a Texas grand jury investigating campaign rules violations in the 2002 elections. Glory Hallelu!
AP reports: "A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post."
Scott McClellan says,"Congressman DeLay is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people. I think the president's view is that we need to let the legal process work." Right, like he's letting the Plame investigation work its way through the legal system before he fires Karl Rove.
Boy, what a horrible month for Bush & Co.! I'm lovin' it!
In a nutshell, this indictment revolves around DeLay taking corporate donations for his PAC "Texans for a Republican Majority," sending $190,000 of it to the republican party in Washington and then laundering it back to Texas. You'd think they could use a different amount just to hide it a bit. The Texas prosecutor, Ronnie Earl, even has the check!
Kevin Madden, DeLay's spokesperson says, "This indictment is nothing more than prosecutorial retribution by a partisan Democrat." Right, Earl has tried 4 republicans and 12 democrats for coruption. Very partisan.
Looks like someone must have fingered deLay because he's being charged with conspiracy and you need two to tango, so I wonder who broke.
And speaking of corruption what about one of Tom DeLay's closest friends Jack Abranoff?
There’s a lot in the news the past few days about the rampant cronyism going on in the Bush administration but that hasn’t stopped Bush & Co. from going right ahead with doling out government largess to their monied clients.
All the big contractors are racking in the taxpayer money from the noble efforts of the former head of the government procurement office David Safavian who was arrested on the 19th in relation to yet another Jack Abramoff investigation.
Safavian, who has been called the most unqualified person for the head of the office of government procurement, made it much easier for the likes of Shaw Group and Halliburton to get no-bid contracts for hurricane reconstruction.
He may have been unqualified to manage over $300 billion in government contracts, but that wasn’t really his job. Giving it all away to well-connected corporations was the real job and he did a heck of a job.
Speaking of a heck of a job, Brownie the Clownie was at it again yesterday at the House select committee on whitewashes. The hearing on the Katrina disaster being conducted by the mainly republican committee, because democrats are boycotting it, focused on blaming Louisiana governor Blanco and New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin.
Brown said his only failure was not getting Blanco and Nagin to stop bickering and order an evacuation in time. He didn’t realize Louisiana was so “dysfunctional,” he said. That’s a good one, who doesn’t know Louisiana is a poor state run by political hacks?
In any case, the real issue is why it took so long for Michael Chertoff to issue the proper orders for the federal government to come in and why it took so long for W. to call up the 82nd Airborne. It took three days for them to get there, when they could have deployed within 8 hours anytime after the hurricane passed. But that’s not what these hearings are about. It’s all about placing the blame somewhere else.
Meanwhile FEMA has announced they’ll be giving taxpayer money to faith based charities for all their good works.
According to the WaPo “after prodding from Republican lawmakers and the Red Cross, FEMA said yesterday that it would reimburse churches and other religious organizations that opened their doors to provide shelter, food and support to survivors of hurricane Katrina.”
I think it says somewhere in the Bible that the good Samaritan got the Roman Senate to pay him back for helping that guy on the road. The next time you think about giving to the Red Cross, just remember they pushed for this. Do they really need your donations after all? If we’re going to be footing the bill out of our pay checks anyway, let’s just get the government to actually do their damn job the right way to begin with, then we won’t need these religious charities asking for a hand out for something they should be doing out of the goodness of their own hearts. Douche bags!
Speaking of Douche bags:
How about this Jack Abramoff? Two more stories about him have come to light in the past day or so. We already know about his ripping off the Indians on their casino deal, which involves all the big neo-con players in Washington, including Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, and you’ve heard about his Sun Cruz Casino deal with Gus Boulis, which involved not paying for the deal, but have you heard about the effort by John Ashcroft to stop a prosecutor in Guam from investigating him?
The FBI is looking into whether the demotion of prosecutor Federick A. Black was related to his 2002 alert to the Justice Department that he was opening an investigation into Abramoff relating to his lobbying for some judges in Guam.
Philip Shendon writes in the NYT that, “ Mr. Abramoff’s internal email messages show he boasted to his clients about what he described as his close ties to John Ashcroft…and others at the department.” Just days after Black informed his superiors about his inquiry into Abramoff’s shady dealings he was reassigned and taken off public corruption cases. Democratic representative of California George Miller, whose special interest is US territories, said, “What this starts to suggest is that Abramoff’s ability to corrupt the system was far more pervasive.” This isn’t even the half of it I’m sure.
In a related story involving Gus Boulis and Jack Abramoff:
This Abramoff investigation has the potential to blow the Bush administration and the whole Republican take over of the country into smithereens. This is political dynamite!
Gus Boulis, a Ft. Lauderdale businessman, restaurateur and gangster was gunned down in 2001. At the time he was having a feud with Jack Abramoff and his business partner Adam Kidan over the sale of the SunCruz fleet. Ft. Lauderdale prosecutors have finally brought a case against three reputed gang members of the Gambino crime family in Boulis’ killing.
As of yet, Abramoff hasn’t been named in connection in this case, even though he has been indicted in the ship deal in Ft Lauderdale, but Kidan gave two of the three gangsters $250,000 right after Boulis was killed, which, of course, was just a legitimate business expense related to the running of the gambling ships. Kidan says, “ There was never any secret about these payments. If I’m going to pay to have Gus killed, am I going to be writing checks to the killers? I don’t think so.” Well, maybe so, if you thought they wouldn’t be caught. I’m sure Abramoff had nothing to do with this, right?
And in regard to putting people into important government positions based on how much they gave versus how much they know, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has a new boss.
Cheryl F. Halpern, who is one of the biggest hard money contributors to the Republican Party, has been elected to the chair of the CPB. Of course, she’s a right wing ideologue; of course she thinks NPR and PBS are infested with liberals.
In particular, she thinks NPR is anti-Israel and has said she believes the CPB should have the authority to penalize broadcasting journalists who air biased programs. Paul Fahri for the WaPo writes, “When she was a member of the federal agency that oversees Voice of America and Radio free Europe, she said during her confirmation hearing: ‘We were able to remove physically somebody who had engaged in editorialization of the news.’”
The CPB board also elected another right wing nut, Gary Hart Gaines, who worked for Newt Gingrich back in the GOPAC days. So, look forward to NPR becoming the domestic version of VOA in the near future. David Brocanccio better watch out, because they’re going to be coming for him!
I apologize for all those nasty letters I’ve written to NPR, except for the ones on the outrageous, over the top, coverage of the Reagan funeral.