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Archive for May 18th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 AM MST

From: Politico

By Jonathan Martin 07:29 PM

McCain, Bush to appear together in Phoenix for fundraiser

President George W. Bush will join John McCain for a fundraiser in the Arizona senator’s hometown later this month, McCain’s campaign confirms.

The reception, to be held in Phoenix on May 27, will mark the first time the two have appeared together at a campaign event this year and the first time Bush has lent his fundraising skills to McCain.

It will be a two-tiered event with an early high-dollar reception followed by a general reception.

As with all McCain fundraisers now, the money will be split between funds set up by the campaign and RNC.

McCain and Bush have not appeared together in a political capacity since March 5, the day McCain went to the White House for lunch and a brief press conference after wrapping up the GOP nomination the night before.

Bush will raise money for McCain the following night in Salt Lake City, but McCain will not be present there.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 10:00 AM MST

Unearthed: News of the Week the Mainstream Media Forgot to Report

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle

Posted May 9, 2008 | 12:32 PM (EST)

EPA Official Ousted For Offending Dow Chemical

At the request of Dow Chemical, the Bush administration forced out one of its own hand-picked EPA regulators on May 1st because she naively attempted to do her job by enforcing the law against Dow. EPA officials told Mary Gade, the federal agency’s top Midwest regulator to step down from her post or be fired by June 1. Bush appointed Gade in 2006, but Gade ran afoul of the White House when she pressured Dow Chemical to clean up dioxin pollution extending 50 miles downstream from the company’s Michigan headquarters. Dow asked EPA headquarters to intervene. In response EPA chief Stephen Johnson’s top deputies repeatedly grilled Gade about the case. When she refused to lay off Dow, they stripped her of her authority and told her to quit or be fired. “There is no question this is about Dow,” Gade said. “I stand behind what I did and what my staff did. I’m proud of what we did.”

Gade was formerly a loyal George W. Bush supporter and adviser. In 2000, she praised then-governor and candidate Bush for his “fresh approach” and “strong leadership.” But her loyalty couldn’t shield her from an administration bent on insulating its chemical industry cronies from public health laws.

Bush’s Misleading Claims About the Arctic Refuge Denied by Federal Officials

President Bush last week repeated his claim that if only Congress had approved his 2002 plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge it “would likely mean lower gas prices” today. However, oil industry experts and Bush’s own Energy Department officials say that Bush is greatly exaggerating the theoretical impact that opening the refuge would’ve had on current gas prices. They explained that it takes over a decade to find and develop a new oil field. Furthermore, the oil available in ANWR — even under the most optimistic projections — could supply less than 2% of U.S. demand, an amount that would have a negligible impact on prices at the pump.

(more…)

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By- Suzie-Q @ 8:45 AM MST

From: Politico
Another top McCain official resigns

By | 5/18/08 10:36 AM EST

Former Rep. Thomas G. Loeffler, a Texan who is among the McCain campaign’s most important advisers and fundraisers, has resigned as a national co-chair over lobbying entanglements, a Republican source told Politico on Sunday.

It’s at least the fifth lobbying-related departure from the campaign in a week.

The McCain campaign, already facing the prospect of being badly outgunned in the general election, now also must cope with the disruption of the lobbying shakeout.

The McCain campaign’s stringent approach to the issue is provoking a bit of grumbling from some of its Washington allies, who point out that a lobbyist’s function is enshrined in the Constitution.

“No one in real America cares,” said one key Republican. “But McCain cares.”

The senator, whose appeal to independent voters rests in part on his reformist image, recognizes that he will be held to a high standard in the coming campaign and wants to clean house before the general election formally kicks off, sources say.

The McCain campaign last week announced a restrictive “McCain Campaign Conflict Policy” that included a questionnaire to be returned to the campaign’s legal department as part of a re-vetting of all staff.

“No person working for the Campaign may be a registered lobbyist or foreign agent, or receive compensation for any such activity,” the policy says.

Officials say Loeffler’s resignation shows that McCain and his campaign is going to be serious about enforcing the policy, which was implemented following revelations about the lobbying ties of several campaign officials.

“Everyone will have to become compliant with the policy or they’ll have to make a similar choice,” a campaign official said on condition of anonymity. “But we’re not going to discuss every person affected.”

The officials who have left include Doug Goodyear, who was McCain’s top liaison to the Republican National Convention; Doug Davenport, regional campaign manager for mid-Atlantic states; Eric Burgeson, an energy policy adviser; and Craig Shirley, a prominent Republican consultant who was a member of McCain’s Virginia Leadership Team.

Loeffler was part of the rescue mission for the campaign last year after its spending badly outstripped its fundraising, leading to a contraction of the campaign that left McCain running a bare-bones operation in the lead-up to his breakout New Hampshire primary victory.

Loeffler’s departure followed a report this weekend by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff that Loeffler’s “lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests, including a French aerospace firm seeking Pentagon contracts.”

Isikoff wrote: “Loeffler last month told a reporter ‘at no time have I discussed my clients with John McCain.’ But lobbying disclosure records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show that on May 17, 2006, Loeffler listed meeting McCain along with the Saudi ambassador to ‘discuss US-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations.’ ”

A Republican source who has talked to Loeffler played down the revelation, saying: “I doubt he meant he had never lobbied McCain in his life. And if it were only the one time pre-campaign, that’s pretty remarkable considering they’ve been friends for many years.”

Campaign Manager Rick Davis told his staff in a memo dated Thursday announcing the policy: “Those staff members who have been registered lobbyists or foreign agents must ensure that their registrations have been formally terminated by asking their former employers to terminate their status and by filing the necessary paperwork with the appropriate authorities. …

“Those staff members who have been registered lobbyists or foreign agents must certify with their Division Directors that they have given the Campaign a complete and accurate list of former lobbying employers and clients and that they have filed the necessary paperwork to terminate their status.”

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Want Cheaper Gas and Oil? End the Damned Wars!

Sudhan @11:10 CET

by Dave Lindorff | The Smirking Chimp, May 17, 2008

Americans are in a panic over rising gas and heating oil prices, and with reason. For months, the price of a barrel of crude oil has been rising steadily, hitting a record $127 yesterday.

Analysts keep getting trotted out on TV and in print, attributing the dramatic price rise to everything from “peak oil” — the idea that producing countries have reached their peak of productive capacity, and that the only direction for oil supplies looking forward is down, while demand continues to rise — to increasing demand in China and India, to supply bottlenecks, to specific news events, like a pipeline break in Nigeria, or a closed refinery in California.

Politicians, like Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, have called for a two-month moratorium on federal gas taxes, but with taxes running at something on the order of 18 cents a gallon, this is not going to do much to bring prices down-in fact it might do nothing, since retailers would be free to just raise prices to match the tax break, and pocket the profits.

Continued . . .

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