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Archive for October 14th, 2007

I Went Back To Ohio… But My City Was Gone…

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:45 PM MST

In June of 2005, John Tanner, the chief of the voting rights section, wrote Columbus, Ohio’s election officials to publicly assure them that the Justice Department had found no evidence of intentional African-American voter disenfranchisement in the 2004 election.

Not only was that an unprecedented move, former Department lawyers say, but the letter is another, and particularly galling, example of Tanner using the force of the Department to further Republican aims — in this case, to hamper future lawsuits or investigations concerning the problems in Columbus.

“It really looked like the Civil Rights Division was used to run interference for Republican election officials in Ohio,” former voting rights section deputy chief Bob Kengle told me.

At issue was the experience of thousands of voters in Franklin County, Ohio, in the 2004 election. Voters in mostly African-American precincts were forced to wait hours in long lines to vote. An investigation by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) found that voters often waited as many as four to five hours, some as many as seven, deep into the night. The Washington Post reported that “bipartisan estimates say that 5,000 to 15,000 frustrated voters turned away without casting ballots.” The culprit, of course, was a scarcity of voting machines in those districts, one that seemed to follow a suspicious trend: “27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush” and “six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry.

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has issued a statement in in response to Paul Kiel’s reporting earlier today on the unprecedented written public assurance that DOJ voting rights chief John Tanner gave to election officials in Ohio that the Justice Department had found no evidence of intentional African-American voter disenfranchisement in the 2004 election.

As Paul reported, Tanner wrote a June 2005 letter to election officials in Columbus, Ohio, offering a lengthy explanation for why the Department had not discovered sufficient evidence of discrimination, the effect of which was to “poison the well” for future litigation or investigation of the alleged election improprieties.

In his statement, Conyers says:

“I am concerned about the extreme lengths Mr. Tanner went to in order to justify the reasons African-Americans were not treated equally in the 2004 Ohio election. The committee needs to consider this matter. I am aware of no precedent for the Department acting in this capacity in the past.

Tanner has been asked to testify before Conyers’ committee, though no date for his testimony has been set.

The full text of Conyers’ statement:

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WASHINGTON — Rep. David Hobson, a nine-term Republican from Ohio, announced plans to retire Sunday, the 12th member of his party to do so since the beginning of the year.

“I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. He would have faced token opposition at best had he sought a new term.

The 71-year-old Hobson became the third member of the Ohio delegation to announce retirement plans. Rep. Ralph Regula, who has been in Congress since 1973, announced recently he will not run again. Rep. Deborah Pryce, who narrowly won re-election in 2006, had previously said her current term will be her last.

Hobson served two terms from his west-central Ohio district before Republicans gained control of the House in 1994. His seniority soon enabled him to become one of the so-called cardinals, chairmen of Appropriations subcommittee with great authority over selected programs. He served as chairman of the panel with jurisdiction over military housing, then over energy and water programs until Democrats gained their majority last year.

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Pretenders- My City Was Gone

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The Other Shoe is About to Drop Peeps!

by GEF @ 6:32 PM MST

French Say Iran attack Oct 15, NORTHCOM Plans 5 Day Martial Law Exercise The Same Day
Do you believe in coincidences? Of course, they happen all the time, and with this government, coincidence and incompetence are the bread and butter of the Bush administration. When I quoted “Le Canard Enchaîné” which I found in The New York Sun that predicted an attack on Iran would occur on October the 15th, I was then unaware that NORTHCOM was Planning a 5 Day anti-terrorism exercise called Vigilant Shield 08. I noted that members from the site George W. Bush – Terrorist in the White House were following a link to my article on the subject, Attack On Iran Slated For October 15th, Prepare For Disaster. Being my usual curious self, I went to their site, and I found this link staring me in the face – and when I read it, a chill ran up my spine as I attempted to grasp the magnitude of the “coincidence.”:

NORTHCOM Plans 5 Day Martial Law Exercise

Read Full Op Ed–>

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Kucinich: Bring Bu$hCo to Justice

anthony @ 21:40 BST

Kucinich

Excerpt:

Kucinich: “If Congress does not impeach President Bush for intentionally misleading the public, the next president should hand over Bush and his administration to law enforcement officials”

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has urged Congress to put an end to the war he says is a “gross immorality.”

“The way to end the war is this: The leaders of Congress must go to the president and say, ‘Mr. President, we are not going to give you another dime. Use the money you have to bring the troops home,”‘ the Ohio congressman said.

Kucinich told the crowd of more than 500 people that if Congress does not impeach President Bush for intentionally misleading the public, the next president should hand over Bush and his administration to law enforcement officials – a suggestion that was answered with cheers and a standing ovation from the audience.

(more…)

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AL GORE: OSCAR + NOBEL = POTUS?

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:30 PM MST

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Many Americans Don’t Realize Iraq War Is Illegal

Sudhan@21:00 CET

By Sherwood Ross

Opednews.com, October 13, 2004

Mistakenly, many Americans still believe President Bush’s war on Iraq is justified because Congress supported it and funds it.

Yet, as international legal authority Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois points out, President Bush got congressional backing by lying that Hussein had W.M.D. and that Hussein was connected to 9/11.

That’s fraud, probably the bloodiest, costliest lie in White House history.

Also, to start a war, a country needs UN Security Council approval, which Bush failed to get. Otherwise, a nation can fight only in self-defense when attacked.

By attacking Iraq, Bush violated the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact of 1928, the UN Charter, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals, and the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles, Boyle said.

As all treaties become the supreme law of the land under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, the Bush-Cheney presidency is guilty of breaking all of the above, warmongering in spades.

In testimony defending U.S. soldiers who have refused to fight in Iraq, Boyle noted that, under Nuremberg, “a soldier has a right to absent himself or herself from committing international crimes.”

In short, if given a criminal order, the defense used by Adolf Eichmann, Hitler’s master killer, that he was only doing his job, is a phony.

Boyle testified that First Lt. Ehren Watada had the right, “if not the obligation,” to say, “I don’t want to participate in this.” Watada faced an army court martial for not deploying with his unit for Iraq. Watada won a victory when the judge ruled a mistrial.

Keep reading . . .

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Larry Craig’s New Music Video

 By- Suzie-Q @ 9:38 AM MST

From Crackle: Sen. Craig’s New Music Video

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by GEF @ 8:40 MST

Embattled Sen. Craig Honored in Idaho

JOHN MILLER | October 14, 2007 10:23 AM EST | AP

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Compare 10:23 AM EST03:09 AM EST01:03 AM EST and 10:23 AM EST03:09 AM EST01:03 AM EST versions


BOISE, Idaho — Sen. Larry Craig was named Saturday night to the Idaho Hall of Fame, marking the Republican lawmaker’s first ceremonial appearance back in his home state since his arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting became public in August.

Craig, 62, seated near the front of the banquet room, received polite applause and a few encouraging hoots when he was introduced.

“I hope in a very sincere way that the attention that’s been brought to me has not lessened the honor you receive,” Craig told the other nominees and about 200 people who attended the dinner.

He was chosen for induction last spring, well before his arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in June. Among the other inductees are Chris Petersen, coach of the Boise State football team, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, who is vying to replace Craig in 2008.

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You Don’t Bring Me Flowers

anthony @ 12:15 BST

Truthdig | Posted on Oct 12, 2007

George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin used to have a loving relationship, but the two have grown cold and distant in recent years. Bush blames Russia’s deteriorating democratic process, while Putin is upset because the U.S. wants to build a missile shield on his doorstep. Bush’s friend Condi stopped by Moscow to try to smooth things over, but it looks like it didn’t go too well.

Just read this curt and hurt response from the Russian president: “One day you and I may decide that missile defense systems can be deployed on the Moon, but before we get there the possibility of reaching an agreement may be lost because you will have implemented your own plans.”

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De Menezes officer knew he wasn’t bomber

anthony @ 11:30 BST

By Caroline Gammell | London Telegraph | Last Updated: 1:30am BST 13/10/2007

The Metropolitan Police commander who ordered the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes knew the Brazilian was not one of the wanted July 21 bombers some time before he was killed, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Surveillance officers following the 27-year-old formally identified him as not being Hussain Osman, who they were hunting over the failed suicide attempts on London’s transport network the day before.

Commander Cressida Dick, who oversaw Operation Theseus, ordered the surveillance Grey Team to stop Mr de Menezes and question him about the area in which he lived.

He had been spotted in Scotia Road in Tulse Hill, south London, which was linked to 28-year-old Osman after the terrorist’s gym card was found bearing the same address.

But despite being negatively identified “in minutes”, Mr de Menezes was followed from his home, onto a bus and into Stockwell Tube station where he was killed on July 22, 2005.

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Spies, Lies and FISA

anthony @ 09:45 BST, updated @ 11:00 BST

New York Times 

Editorial | Published: October 14, 2007

Excerpt: Ever since 9/11, we have watched Republican lawmakers help Mr. Bush shred the Constitution in the name of fighting terrorism. We have seen Democrats acquiesce or retreat in fear. It is time for that to stop.

As Democratic lawmakers try to repair a deeply flawed bill on electronic eavesdropping, the White House is pumping out the same fog of fear and disinformation it used to push the bill through Congress this summer. President Bush has been telling Americans that any change would deny the government critical information, make it easier for terrorists to infiltrate, expose state secrets, and make it harder “to save American lives.”There is no truth to any of those claims. No matter how often Mr. Bush says otherwise, there is also no disagreement from the Democrats about the need to provide adequate tools to fight terrorists. The debate is over whether this should be done constitutionally, or at the whim of the president.

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Former Phone Chief Says Spy Agency Sought Surveillance Help Before 9/11

The phone company Qwest Communications refused a proposal from the National Security Agency that the company’s lawyers considered illegal in February 2001, nearly seven months before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the former head of the company contends in newly unsealed court filings.

The executive, Joseph P. Nacchio, also asserts in the filings that the agency retaliated by depriving Qwest of lucrative outsourcing contracts.

The filings were made as Mr. Nacchio fought charges of insider trading. He was ultimately convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading and has been sentenced to six years in prison. He remains free while appealing the conviction.

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Qwest CEO’s ‘classified defense’ raises question on NSA surveillance

Nick Juliano | Raw Story | Published: Friday October 12, 2007

A former CEO who stood up to the Bush administration’s demands that he assist in the warrantless surveillance of Americans suggests in court documents that the National Security Agency withdrew a lucrative contract in retaliation for his refusal.

Documents released as part of Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio’s insider trading trail also seem to indicate that the NSA was discussing the secretive, possibly illegal, surveillance of Americans several months before the 9/11 attacks President Bush used to justify the program.

[More…]

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