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Archive for February 21st, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:55 PM MST

MCain’s Ties To Lobbyists = Telecom Immunity

By- Anacher Forester

Everyone’s all a titter about Sen. John McCain’s “inappropriate relationship” with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. I personally could care less whether or not the self-confessed Senior Adulterer from Arizona and Iseman are romantically entangled (other than the mere thought of McCain entangling anything with anyone completely creeps me out).

As the Amazing Digby points out It’s Not About The Sex…it’s about the favors. McCain’s unswerving support of Iseman’s telecom clients included championing bills to end big time evangelical Bud Paxson’s (Ion Television formerly Paxson Communications) and others’ fight to force cable to run his broadcast stations or to provide minority ownership tax breaks for Cunningham Broadcasting (née Glencairn, LTD — the shell corp. owned and operated by the evil John Kerry-swiftboating Sinclair empire to avoid FCC ownership regs). McCain not so coincidentally spearheaded a ton of broadcast industry deregulation that led to the MSM mess we now endure.

However, this goes deeper than McCain’s favoritism and reciprocal of use of their corporate jets and other stuff. The aforementioned NY Times piece points out just how far Johnny Boy’s super-cozyness with lobbyists goes:

Like other presidential candidates, he has relied on lobbyists to run his campaigns. Since a cash crunch last summer, several of them — including his campaign manager, Rick Davis, who represented companies before Mr. McCain’s Senate panel — have been working without pay, a gift that could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

In recent weeks, Mr. McCain has hired another lobbyist, Mark Buse, to run his Senate office. In his case, it was a round trip through the revolving door: Mr. Buse had directed Mr. McCain’s committee staff for seven years before leaving in 2001 to lobby for telecommunications companies.
(my emphasis)

Shee-it! As HuffPo noted last year McCain’s team is fucking riddled with lobbyists! Forget about any rumored romance with Iseman, even at work Johnny beds lobbyists! Mark Buse is notorious as one of the two lobbyists secretly hired by former CPB Chair/Karl Rove amigo/Republican tool Ken Tomlinson to quash attempts to seat more actual broadcasters on the PBS board.

It turns out McCain 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis is even more controversial. Last month the WaPo hit Rick Davis for setting up a McCain meet with gangster-linked Putin-pal billionaire Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska. At the time Davis was still at his own lobby firm Davis Manafort where his biggest clients were telecom giants SBC Global AT&T and Verizon. According to Open Secrets between 1998-99 & 2003-05 Davis Manafort raked in at total of $670,000 SBC Global AT&T bucks. From 2003-2005 Verizon tossed him a cool $540,000.

While Iseman and Buse do not seem to have di interest in telecom immunity, McCain 2008 Campaign Manager Rick Davis sure does. “Straight Talk” McCain’s recent vote to keep telecom immunity in Bush’s wiretapping bill appears not like a vote to keep us safer but a vote for Davis‘ once and future clients. McCain’s continued support of telecom immunity is a fait accompli.

This raises the question: In what other ways would “Honest Johnny” McCain favor the special interests he used to rail against once he’s President and at what cost to the average citizen?

Let’s all agree right now to not find out. Please.

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Pentagon: “Target that Space Satellite and Fire!”

GEF @ 5:18 PM MST

US 193 Terminated Satellite 130 Miles Above the Pacific… Next Stop for the MIC(Military Industrial Complex)… Star Wars Empire!

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By- Suzie-Q @ 5:15 PM MST

Federal agents are investigating whether former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott knowingly played a role in an alleged conspiracy in 2006 to influence a Mississippi judge presiding over a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against famed plaintiff attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, according to people familiar with the situation.
Mr. Scruggs and several associates are scheduled to stand trial March 31 on charges that they offered $40,000 in bribes to State Court Judge Henry L. Lackey in return for a favorable ruling in a lawsuit against Mr. Scruggs over $26.5 million in legal fees.

Mr. Lott, who is a brother-in-law to Mr. Scruggs, unexpectedly …

More

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Iraq, Israel and WMD dossier

Sudhan @23:20 CET

Chris Amis | New Statesman, February 21, 2008

A scribbled reference to Israel in the margin of a withheld draft of the Iraq dossier is revealed. Chris Ames who has doggedly pursued the government on the issue responds

The Guardian has today revealed the contents of the margin note that the Information Tribunal allowed to be removed when ordering the Foreign Office to publish the John Williams draft of the Iraq dossier.

It reveals that a senior government official or minister suggested at the time of the dossier (September 2002) that Israel had brazenly flouted the UN’s authority in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. A reference to Israel in the margins of the Williams draft is linked to an assertion in the text that Iraq is unique in this respect. It is clear that the author of the reference thought that the same charge might be levelled against Israel.

The Guardian has obtained a copy of the witness statement given to the Tribunal by Neil Wigan, Head of the Foreign Office’s Arab, Israel and North Africa Group. He told the Tribunal:

“I interpret this note to indicate that the person who wrote it believes that Israel has flouted the United Nations authority in a manner similar to that of the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.”

Wigan asserted that the comment would ‘seriously damage Britain’s bilateral relationship with Israel’. He stated that Israel would believe that the FCO had compared it with Saddam Hussein’s regime and that this would confirm its view that elements of the FCO are prejudiced against it.

I attended the Tribunal hearing in December and was aware that Wigan was giving evidence in secret. When the Tribunal issued its decision last month it ordered that the note should be removed from the document, which was finally published on Monday. It also kept secret its reason for doing so, although it stated that it related to the exemption under Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act, that publication would damage international relations.

When Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary, originally blocked my 2005 FOI request for the Williams draft, he made no mention of this exemption, relying instead on the Section 36 exemption relating to government confidentiality.

The Foreign Office has refused to say who wrote the marginal note, saying that it does not comment on leaked documents. It is clear from documents on the Hutton Inquiry website that Straw was one of a small number of people within the Foreign Office who followed the drafting of the dossier at this time. He almost certainly saw the Williams draft, which the FCO described as ‘advice to ministers’.

Labour MP Lynne Jones said: “The Government’s timid refusal to make an accurate reference to Israel’s flouting of UN authority over its WMD shows their lack of objectivity on breaches of international law, which damages our Country’s moral authority.

“The reticence over this issue is mirrored by the unwillingness to push for enforcement of human rights provisions of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.”
Plus don’t miss Martin Bright’s analysis The truth is more tawdry than the lies

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Cindy McCain Is No Barbie

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:00 PM MST

She has a name and it’s not Barbie

From: 23/6

February 20, 2008

There’s more to Cindy McCain than meets the serial-killer blue eye

Cindy McCain inserted herself into the flap over Michelle Obama’s supposedly anti-American comments, telling supporters in Wisconsin, “I’m proud of my country, I don’t know about you, if you heard those words earlier.” Left-wing blog Daily Kos returned fire with a detailed history of Cindy McCain’s problems with Percocet.

Since this is the first time Cindy has piped up in this campaign, it’s time to ask—who is this GOP frontrunner’s wife? And how can she be distinguished from her doppelgangers, which include every man’s second wife and Jessica Lange’s character in “Blue Skies”? 23/6 investigates.

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Bush’s Life of Constitutional Crime: Lies and Spies

anthony @ 19:55 GMT

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS | Counterpunch | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

President George W. Bush and his director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, are telling the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. Without the Protect America Act, Bush and McConnell claim, the executive branch will not be able to spy on terrorists, and we will all be blown up. Terrorists can only be stopped, Bush says, if Bush has the right to spy on everyone without any oversight by courts.

The fight over the Protect America Act has everything to do with our safety, only not in the way that Bush and McConnell assert.

Bush says the Democrats have put “our country more in danger of an attack” by letting the Protect America Act lapse. This claim is nonsense. The 30 year old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act gives the executive branch all the power it needs to spy on terrorists. (more…)

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By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 AM MST

The 2008 presidential race must be an incredibly welcome development for President Bush and his White House. That’s because the American body politic can only really focus on one thing at a time, and so there’s little time for anything else aside from the madcap antics of of Gilligan, the Skipper, the Millionaire and his wife, the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann…and the rest. Some liberal blogs and right-wing talk radio are lined up in circular firing squads, and the op-ed columnists have trained their fire on Hillary’s lonely teardrops or Barack’s Church of the Poison Mind.

While no one was looking, the economy nosedived, gas prices have soared, the war in Iraq is as unpopular as ever and Osama bin Laden is still on the loose. And so while none of us were paying attention, our 43rd president just hit a major milestone.

George W. Bush is now the most unpopular president in recorded American history. (h/t Atrios)

Worse than Richard Nixon in the days before he resigned in disgrace during Watergate, worse than Jimmy Carter during the Iran hostage crisis, much worse than Bill Clinton when he was impeached. Just as Roger Bannister raced through what once seemed the unreachable 4-minute mile, Bush has burst through a barrier once also thought impossible, below the 20-percent mark.

(more…)

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