Archive for February 26th, 2008

Ashcroft: Will He Testi-lie?

By- Suzie-Q @ 5:00 PM MST

Ashcroft agrees to testify

February 25, 2008 10:01 pm

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft agreed today to testify before Congress, a day before a House Judiciary subcommittee was scheduled to discuss subpoenaing him. Ashcroft will “appear at a federal hearing looking into no-bid contracts he and others received to monitor out-of-court corporate settlements, including a New Jersey deal in which Ashcroft stood to make millions of dollars. ” Chris Christie — the U.S. Attorney who awarded Ashcroft his sweetheart deal — has not agreed to testify.

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Evening Jukebox… Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:45 PM MST

Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker- Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong

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Renzi Says He Will Not Resign

By- Suzie-Q @ 3:30 PM MST

Renzi: I Will Stay and Fight!

By Paul Kiel – February 25, 2008, 6:44PM

From Justin over at ABC:

Thirty-five counts won’t keep Rick Renzi down.

The Arizona congressman will not step down in the face of a federal indictment handed down last Friday, he announced in a press release late Monday evening.

““I will not resign and take on the cloak of guilt because I am innocent,” the statement read. “My legal team. . .will handle these legal issues while I continue to serve my constituents.”

Renzi is scheduled to be arraigned on March 6th.

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More on Mack & Straight Talk Express

by Geezer Power ….2:10 pm

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Mack Withheld Jack’s Email…

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:30 PM MST

From: Cliff Schecter Brave New Films

More hot water: John McCain withheld Abramoff e-mail

by GottaLaff · Monday February 25, 08:20 PM

Connect the names: Abramoff, Rove, Riley, Siegelman, and… McCain:

A little-known document, however, shows that McCain may have taken steps to protect his Republican colleagues from the scope of [the Jack Abramoff] investigation. […]

And yet, despite the implications of the information, McCain and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee sat on the controversial portion of the email. According to an official familiar with the investigation, McCain also subsequently refused to make the email public after the report was released.

You’ll have to read the whole piece to understand all this. I’m just providing a few excerpts.

For critics, however, the senator’s decision not to include the email in his report underscores not only a glaring shortcoming of his investigation, but also a chink in his political veneer. Indeed, they claim, the Arizona Republican often takes overt steps to protect Republican colleagues from his anti-corruption dragnets.

Although Sen. McCain has long bragged of his role in the Abramoff investigation, he let Tom DeLay and the other members of Congress who were doing Abramoff’s bidding completely off the hook. The sole exception was Rep. Bob Ney, who served time in prison,” Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington told the Huffington Post recently. “Sen. McCain knew what his colleagues were up to, he chose to take the easier path and give them a free pass.”

Faced with this criticism in the past, McCain has claimed that it was not his responsibility to “involve ourselves in the ethics process [of senators].” Others have defended McCain by pointing out that the committee approved the report by a bipartisan 13-0 vote.

But it is hard to ignore the political consequences of not exposing the Abramoff-Riley connection.

It keeps coming back to the Siegelman case:

The inquiry, detailed in an extensive 60 Minutes report last night, raised many ethical red flags, mainly over political interference from the Bush administration, specifically Karl Rove. On June 22, McCain issued his Senate report without mentioning Riley’s name. And one week later, Siegelman was convicted without the Abramoff email ever being made public.

“If you had a document that showed something that had not been reported about the financial reports and the direct expectations for that money,” said a source familiar with the case, “that certainly would have called into attention the government’s case against Siegelman.”

The plot sickens.

UPDATE: Apparently, Gramps McAbramoff will be a formidable opponent. I’m not so sure his fellow inmates will agree.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 12:30 PM MST

Motorists try to navigate an intersection after traffic lights go dark.

From: CNN

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Massive power outages struck Florida on Tuesday afternoon, with power reported out from Miami to Palm Beach County, police and utility officials said.

About 4.4 million customers across South Florida were affected, Florida Power and Light officials said.

The outage struck shortly after 1 p.m., as scattered thunderstorms passed through the region. But the cause of the outage was not immediately known.

In Washington, officials at the Department of Homeland Security said there was no immediate concern that terrorism was behind the outage.

Stan Johnson, a spokesman for the North American Electric Reliability Council, said eight power plants were off-line across the region, but officials believe the outage has been contained.

Detective Robert Williams, a Miami-Dade County police spokesman, said power was out across the entire county.

Outages stretched into neighboring Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, he said.

In Palm Beach County, spotty outages ranged from Riviera Beach to Boca Raton, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera.

Those three counties are home to nearly 6 million people.

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Afternoon Jukebox… CC Rider

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:15 PM MST

Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels – CC Rider

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Canada in Afghanistan: The New Conquistadores

Sudhan @18:00 CET

By David Orchard | Global Research, February 23, 2008
The Harper government is seeking to prolong Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan. So far, Canada has spent six years, billions of dollars, 78 young lives (many more wounded) and inflicted unknown casualties on that country.
The terms used to describe our occupation and ongoing war are remarkably similar to those used over a century ago by colonial powers to justify their ruthless wars of colonization. Then, it was the white man’s burden to “civilize” the non-whites of the Americas, Africa and Asia. As cub scouts we were taught Kipling’s unforgettable prose about the “lesser breeds,” but nothing about the real people who paid horrendous costs in death, suffering, destruction and theft of their land and resources.

Today, we are involved in a “mission” in Afghanistan to “improve” the lives of women and children, to install “democracy,” to root out corruption and the drug trade.

Waging war with bombs and guns is not helping women or installing democracy. It is, however, strengthening the Afghan resistance — hence our increasingly shrill cries for more help from NATO.

The U.S. is involved in a similar “mission” in Iraq. So far, over a million Iraqis — many of them children — have died, some two million have fled the country, another two million are “internally displaced,” untold hundreds of thousands wounded in an endless war waged by the world’s most advanced military almost entirely against civilians.

The toll of dead, wounded and displaced for Afghanistan is not being published.

Continued . . .

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Obama raps Clinton on NAFTA

anthony @ 17:00 GMT

Boston Globe | Monday, February 25, 2008

Barack Obama pressed Hillary Clinton yesterday on the issue of foreign trade, accusing his Democratic rival of trying to walk away from a long record of support for NAFTA, the free trade agreement that he said has cost 50,000 jobs in Ohio, site of next week’s primary.

At the same time, Obama said attempts to repeal the trade deal “would probably result in more job losses than job gains in the United States.”

One day after Clinton angrily accused him of distorting her record on NAFTA in mass mailings, the Illinois senator was eager to rekindle the long-distance debate, citing passages from the former first lady’s book as well as her own words.

“Ten years after NAFTA passed, Senator Clinton said it was good for America,” Obama said. “Well, I don’t think NAFTA has been good for America – and I never have.

“The fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for president,” Obama told an audience at a wall-board factory in Lorain, Ohio, a working-class community west of Cleveland.

Later, at a rally in Toledo, he rebutted Clinton’s statement that her husband had merely inherited the trade agreement when he won the White House from former president George H.W. Bush. President Clinton “championed NAFTA,” passed it through Congress, and signed it into law, Obama said.

Phil Singer, a spokesman for Clinton, said the senator from New York was critical of the agreement long before she ran for president. He cited remarks from March 2000 in which she said, “What happened to NAFTA I think was we inherited an agreement that we didn’t get everything we should have got out of it in my opinion. I think the NAFTA agreement was flawed.”

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Pentagon Official William Haynes Has Resigned

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:00 AM MST

Controversial Pentagon Official Resigns

By Paul Kiel – February 25, 2008, 6:47 PM

Last week, Col. Morris Davis, the former prosecutor told reporters that he’d had a conversation with the Pentagon’s general counsel William Haynes, during which Haynes had said about the Gitmo tribunals that “We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions.”

It made Haynes, already a controversial figure because of his role crafting the Pentagon’s interrogation policies, even more controversial. Davis said that he resigned when he was put under Haynes’ chain of command.

And now Haynes is gone.

A press release this afternoon from the Department of Defense:

The Department of Defense announced today that General Counsel of the Department of Defense William J. Haynes II is returning to private life next month.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said of Haynes, “I am sorry to see Jim leave the Pentagon. I have valued his legal advice and enjoyed working with him. Jim held this important post longer than anyone in history and he did so during one of America’s most trying periods. He has served the Department of Defense and the nation with distinction.”

Said Haynes, “I thank the President and the Secretary of Defense for their confidence and for the opportunity to serve. I leave the Pentagon humbled and inspired by the selfless sacrifices of the men and women, uniformed and civilian, who defend our country. And, I thank their families.”

Haynes had already tried to move out of the Pentagon once — the White House nominated him to be a federal appeals court judge, a nomination that ultimately failed due to Democratic opposition.

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