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Archive for June 9th, 2008

GEF @ 5:28 PM MST

Kucinich presents Bush impeachment articles

06/09/2008 @ 8:01 pm

Filed by David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
An Ohio Democratic lawmaker and former presidential candidate has presented articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush to Congress.

Thirty-five articles were presented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to the House of Representatives late Monday evening, airing live on CSPAN.

Kucinich, a 2004 and 2008 Democratic candidate for the White House, abandoned a prior attempt to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush in January of this year.

In April of 2007, Kucinich presented impeachment articles against Vice President Dick Cheney, but the effort went nowhere. Kucinich exclaimed that “impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran.”

Before leaving office in January 2007, Rep. Cynthia McKinney–currently a Green Party presidential candidate–introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush as her last act in Congress, but that effort also was fruitless.

This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast June 9, 2008.

Video and More on Link—>

Wayback Machine—>January 2008 Cafferty File

McGovern Calls for Bush & Cheney Impeachment

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By- Suzie-Q @ 5:00 PM MST

The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind

From: Daily Mail

By Sharon Churcher
Last updated at 1:45 AM on 08th June 2008

Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’

~~~~~~

Now that Hillary Clinton has at last formally withdrawn from the race for the White House, the eyes of America and the world will focus on Barack Obama and his Republican rival Senator John McCain.

While Obama will surely press his credentials as the embodiment of the American dream – a handsome, charismatic young black man who was raised on food stamps by a single mother and who represents his country’s future – McCain will present himself as a selfless, principled war hero whose campaign represents not so much a battle for the presidency of the United States, but a crusade to rescue the nation’s tarnished reputation.

McCain likes to illustrate his moral fibre by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children.

But there is another Mrs McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator’s presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children.

And yet, had events turned out differently, it would be she, rather than Cindy, who would be vying to be First Lady. She is McCain’s first wife, Carol, who was a famous beauty and a successful swimwear model when they married in 1965.

She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam’s infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.

But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter.

Through sheer hard work, Carol learned to walk again. But when John McCain came home from Vietnam, she had gained a lot of weight and bore little resemblance to her old self.

Today, she stands at just 5ft4in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.

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GEF @ 4:28 PM MST

Countdown Redux: Richard Clarke On Bush Administration – “We Can’t Let These People Back Into Polite Society”

C&L covered this segment from last Friday’s Countdown, but I thought an emphasis on Richard Clarke’s scathing remarks about the lack of, and the need for, accountability from the Bush administration for the countless lies they told their country and the world about pre-Iraq invasion intelligence, was well deserved.

I have been telling anyone who will listen, that we must watch out for these bad pennies when their names start to creep back into the political arena – names like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who both worked in the Nixon administration. Looking back, we find ourselves wondering how we didn’t see this disaster coming, or why more people didn’t speak out at the time. I fully agree with Richard Clarke’s statements; we must not allow these thugs back into civilized society — they should not be rewarded for perpetrating so many horrific and destructive crimes against their own people, and other places around the globe.

Clarke: “Well, there may be some other kind of remedy. There may be some sort of truth and reconciliation commission process that’s been tried in other countries, South Africa, Salvador and what not, where if you come forward and admit that you were in error or admit that you lied, admit that you did something, then you’re forgiven. Otherwise, you are censured in some way.”

“Now, I just don’t think we can let these people back into polite society and give them jobs on university boards and corporate boards and just let them pretend that nothing ever happened when there are 4,000 Americans dead and 25,000 Americans grievously wounded, and they’ll carry those wounds and suffer all the rest of their lives.”

You can rest assured, the day that names like Karl Rove, Tom Delay, Condoleeza Rice or those of anyone who served in the Bush administration creep into the public or political sphere, we, and the rest of the blogosphere, will sound the alarm to make sure none of these people are able to damage our country ever again. More from Think Progress.

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by Geezer Power…4:34 pm


Well I’ve always thought that Source Watch contained reliable information, but being a Wiki based format it is controlled by the editors. The Presidential Prayer Team was obviously not an urban legend,as they claim, but formed by the Bu$h administration. They then claim the the Presidential Prayer Team is not sponsored by the Office of President of the United States or the federal government, but is a private foundation whose promotion is being handled by The Envoy Group, a self-described “new kind of Christian advertising agency”. Well, the problem with this is that The Envoy Group is involved with Bu$co, and the Christian ad agency just a convenient sideline. I won’t bother to attempt an expanation for all of this, because it is a typical Neocon operation. If you follow the links I believe that you will agree that there was way more Bu$hite going on immediately after the WTC disaster than we’ll ever know…G:

Presidential Prayer Team

From SourceWatch

The Presidential Prayer Team (PPT) describes itself as an “independent, nonprofit organization” with the “singular purpose … to encourage Americans to pray daily for the President.” Membership in the PPT is fee- and obligation-free.

In response to the Urban Legend that President George W. Bush was behind the formation of the Presidential Prayer Team , snopes.com responded: “After the events of September 11, 2001 President Bush declared Friday, September 14, a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, and he has been open in asking White House guests to join him in prayer. He has not, however,
called for the creation of a ‘Presidential Prayer Team’, but an organization with that title operates a web site which many of our readers were misled into believing had government endorsement and approval for a variety of reasons:

* “A title and logo designed to imitate the name and official seal of a government agency.
* “Messages inviting prospective members to join sent from ‘The Office of the Presidential Prayer Team’ with a subject line of ‘The President of the United States needs you!’
* “The lack of any information on the site informing visitors that the organization is not sponsored or funded by the President or any agency of the federal government.

* “The Presidential Prayer Team is not sponsored by the Office of President of the United States or the federal government; it is a private foundation whose promotion is being handled by The Envoy Group, a self-described ‘new kind of Christian advertising agency.'”

As of October 14, 2001, “the Presidential Prayer Team placed a disclaimer on its site stating that it ‘is an independent, nonprofit, non-partisan effort designed to encourage a national outpouring of daily prayer for the President’ and that it ‘was not formed by an agency of the government, nor does it receive funding from the government.”

David Bolthouse & the Presidential Prayer Team

David Bolthouse of The Envoy Group, who responded to the query about the Presidential Prayer Team, is President and Partner with Karl Schaller, Senior Vice President/Partner. Other Principals of the Envoy Group are Randy Cantrell, Vice President, Corporate Sponsorships & Capital Campaigns; Lisa Chastain, Vice President, Promotions and Publicity; Jeff Lane, Art Director; Meagan Gillan, Copy Editor and Manager; Deborah Coult,

“….David served as the Development Director of a major nonprofit Christian radio network and later took a position with a leading Christian agency in Seattle, where he managed fundraising and marketing for such national accounts as Focus on the Family, Tyndale House Publishing, World Concern, and David C. Cook Publishing. In 1993, he founded The Envoy Group, Inc. (previously named DirectMedia Communications)….

20 Years Serving Ministries and Publishers

The Envoy Group closed its doors to consulting and agency work in 2005, choosing instead to put our knowledge to work marketing our own projects to the Christian community under the banners of SurfVantage, EnvoyInteractive andPraise Store.
We consider it an honor and privilege to have served so many quality organizations and businesses throughout theyears.

Sincerely,

David Bolthouse
Founder and CEO

I’ve gotta ask…does this look like a “new kind of Christian advertising agency”?

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By- Suzie-Q @ 3:00 PM MST

Abramoff, White House Connection Detailed In House Report

The Huffington Post | June 9, 2008 02:04 PM

*** UPDATES BELOW ***

Reps. Henry Waxman and Tom Davis have released a draft of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Jack Abramoff scandal. Despite facing some restraints in their capacity to gain information (largely in part because the Justice Department is pursuing concurrent investigations), the report offers a few jems to those following the story.

It turns out that Abramoff was indeed fairly friendly with the Bush White House. He was thought well of by senior officials, helped guide the hiring and firing process of federal employees and provided gifts for White House staff (at least one of whom is now an economic adviser to John McCain).

Check out a few experts from the report below, or read the entire thing here. (pdf)

FIRING: The report confirms that Abramoff used the White House to remove a government official that opposed his client:

One action that White House officials took at the request of Mr. Abramoff was to intervene to force the removal of a State Department official, Alan Stayman. In a previous position at the Office of Insular Affairs in the Department of the Interior, Mr. Stayman had advocated positions opposed by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, then a client of Mr. Abramoff. Mr. Stayman was appointed to his position at the Department of State during the Clinton Administration.
In a recent Committee deposition, Monica Kladakis, then-Deputy Associate Director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel (OPP), confirmed that OPP became involved in Mr. Stayman’s removal after White House officials were contacted by Mr. Abramoff’s team.

HIRING: Abramoff had insight into hiring decisions facing the White House, and was able to provide (and in some cases was solicited for) his opinion on nominees:

One of the main Administration offices of interest to the Abramoff team was the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) at the Department of the Interior, which handles issues relating to Pacific Island territories where Mr. Abramoff had clients. The Greenberg Traurig documents showed and the White House documents corroborate that the Abramoff team succeeded in obtaining information from White House officials regarding the status of the nomination process for OIA posts. In addition, the White House records and testimony of White House officials show that top White House aides solicited and considered the views of Mr. Abramoff and his associates in deliberations over OIA appointments.
One example of the Abramoff team’s access to the White House regarding the nomination process is a February 20, 2001, e-mail from Susan Ralston to Matt Schlapp to let him know that Jack Abramoff had called Karl Rove a few days earlier to discuss appointments at OIA. According to this e-mail, Mr. Abramoff had heard that Esther Kia’aina was going to be considered for a position and “wanted to let Karl know that he didn’t think this was a good idea.” Ms. Ralston continued, “Karl asked that you return his call.” Ms. Kia’aina was not appointed to a position at OIA.

POLITICAL APPOINTEES: Abramoff influenced White House decisions on political appointees:

Mr. Abramoff and his team also succeeded in persuading the White House to refrain from issuing a presidential endorsement of Juan Babauta, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in 2001, who was running against a third party candidate favored by Mr. Abramoff. According to the Greenberg Traurig documents, on October 26, 2001, Mr. Abramoff sent a memo to Mr. Mehlman arguing against an endorsement, spoke with Mr. Mehlman over the phone about this issue in the same time frame, and received an e-mail from Susan Ralston on October 31, 2001, stating: “You win :). KR said no endorsement.”

GIFTS: As TPMmuckraker points out, at least one White House official who received gifts from Abramoff is now playing a role in the McCain campaign:

On October 18, 2001, Kevin Ring sent an unknown number of tickets to an unknown event to Mr. Bonilla by courier. In addition, in response to an offer from Kevin Ring, Mr. Bonilla requested and was provided with two tickets to sit in the Abramoff suite for the November 20, 2001, Washington Wizards game.

(Late Update: The McCain camp has reported that Mr. Bonilla left the campaign a few weeks ago during the implementation of the campaign’s conflict-of-interest policy. The McCain website has now been updated to reflect this.)

TPMmuckraker details several cases of White House staff seeking “fruit,” or sporting tickets, for their work with Abramoff:

On December 12, 2002, Ms. Farley asks Mr. Ring, “Do you have any kind of fruit tonight?” Mr. Ring responds, “No games tonight.” In another e-mail exchange about an issue of interest to one of Mr. Ring’s clients, Ms. Farley stated, “Let me know about the fruit in the middle of the basket.” Mr. Ring responded, “The fruit is going to happen. Just trying to make sure it is picked on the right day.”

UPDATESMEETING BUSH: Abramoff met Bush six times, four more than the White House has previously admitted:

President Bush met Abramoff on at least four occasions the White House has yet to acknowledge, according to the draft report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 2:25 PM MST

From: Huffington Post

By- Sam Stein

McClellan To Testify Before Judiciary Committee

June 9, 2008 04:50 PM

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, whose scathing memoir about his time in the Bush administration sent waves through Washington D.C., has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, a senior committee official told The Huffington Post.

McClellan’s book “What Happened” detailed the “propaganda campaign” that led up to the Iraq war. His hearing is expected to focus heavily on the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, an episode that McClellan has said was driven by political motivations from within the Oval Office. But the committee could press the former press secretary on other matters within its jurisdiction, including the possible authorization of torture by administration officials (though it remains to be seen how much knowledge McClellan has of that topic).

Earlier on Monday, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers sent an letter to McClellan requesting his testimony.

“I have extended an invitation…after discussions between Committee staff and his attorneys,” wrote Conyers. “In his book, Mr. McClellan suggests that senior White House officials may have obstructed justice and engaged in a cover-up regarding the Valerie Plame leak. This alleged activity could well extend beyond the scope of the offenses for which Scooter Libby has been convicted and deserves further attention.”

The date on the invitation, June 20, was set in advance to accommodate McClellan’s schedule, the official said.

McClellan will be the highest-ranking Bush administration official to be pressed by Congress on the Plame affair. Former Bush strategist Karl Rove has refused to testify, citing executive privilege.

And as such, the testimony could be extremely revealing. According to McClellan, the decision to leak Plame’s covert identity emanated from the very top of the Bush White House. The move, he wrote, was politically motivated, as officials were peeved at the critical statements about Iraq coming from Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. While McClellan said that the president was ultimately misled by his advisers on the matter, he asserted that the episode itself was a stain on the Oval Office – one that led to his disillusionment.

“It’s…clear to me that Scooter Libby was guilty of the perjury and obstruction crimes for which he was convicted,” McClellan wrote. “When the president commuted Libby’s prison sentence and thereby protected him from serving even one day behind bars, I was disappointed. This kind of special treatment undermines our system of justice.”

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Iraq War, Peak Oil, Rummy, and the PNAC

by Geezer Power…1:35 pm

The American Conservative

March 10, 2008

Oil for War

After invading one of the most petroleum-rich countries on earth, the U.S. military is running on empty.

by Robert Bryce

Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. That may have been true for his 19th-century force. But the modern American military runs on jet fuel—and lots of it.

Today the average American G.I. in Iraq uses about 20.5 gallons of fuel every day, more than double the daily volume consumed by U.S. soldiers in Iraq in 2004. Thus, in order to secure the third-richest country on the planet, the U.S. military is burning enormous quantities of petroleum. And nearly every drop of that fuel is imported into Iraq. These massive fuel requirements—just over 3 million gallons per day for Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Energy Support Center—are a key reason for the soaring cost of the war effort.

Controlling Iraq’s oil has historically been a vital factor in America’s involvement in Iraq and was always a crucial element of the Bush administration’s plans for the post-Saddam era. Of course, that’s not how the war was sold to the American people. A few months before the invasion, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared that the looming war had “nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.” The war was necessary, its planners claimed, because Saddam Hussein supported terrorism and, left unchecked, he would unleash weapons of mass destruction on the West.

In 2007 alone, the U.S. military in Iraq burned more than 1.1 billion gallons of fuel. (American Armed Forces generally use a blend of jet fuel known as JP-8 to propel both aircraft and automobiles.) About 5,500 tanker trucks are involved in the Iraqi fuel-hauling effort. That fleet of trucks is enormously costly. In November 2006, a study produced by the U.S. Military Academy estimated that delivering one gallon of fuel to U.S. soldiers in Iraq cost American taxpayers $42—and that didn’t include the cost of the fuel itself. At that rate, each U.S. soldier in Iraq is costing $840 per day in fuel delivery costs, and the U.S. is spending $923 million per week on fuel-related logistics in order to keep 157,000 G.I.s in Iraq. Given that the Iraq War is now costing about $2.5 billion per week, petroleum costs alone currently account for about one-third of all U.S. military expenditure in Iraq.

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And all this from a Conservative magazine. It looks like peak oil has finally became a reality to the Conservatives, why even the Neoconservatives are now fleeing the scene that is evolving in the White House. As noted by GEF the other day. they have shut down their website, ” Project for the New American Century”, which is increasingly coming under fire for the statements in some of their documents. Like this famous one…

“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”

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