Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chris Christie: A gift that keeps on giving

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, R-N.J., loves to give New Jersey bloggers somethin' to talk about.

This time, it's because he may be getting gifts -- tickets to Bruce Springsteen concerts in London and in Paris, and plane fares and hotels for six, count 'em six. The Star-Ledger's Auditor column says Christie "scored the tickets courtesy of Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg, whose late father was an assistant U.S. attorney before Christie took over the office in 2002."

Christie, the federal prosecutor who earned the seal of approval from disgraced ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, told The Auditor the source of funds for his vacations is none of our damned business:

"Your readers should not be concerned about who paid for the concerts or my vacation."
Take that, constituents!

But, wuh? Since when is a federal political appointee not required to report gifts? Apparently all this wasn't on Christie's personal tab, or he would have just said that a week ago and averted speculation.

I guess since George Bush started making the laws in his kingdom of America, the "unitary executive theory" now extends to every Republican who can get away with similar arrogance.

Thank you, Blue Jersey, for being the only media in New Jersey to care about the news rather than the fiction about crusading corruption-buster (only Democrats need worry) Christie. Another fine job by huntsu:
" ... We now have, in just a month, Christie twice responding to media inquiries with the equivalent of a slimy used car salesman saying, 'Trust me.'

"So I am pretty sure this is more of Christie's arrogant, egotistical indignancy, the same personality trait that caused him to lose his Freeholder seat in a Republican primary.

"But the other reading, that there is something a little off happening here, is also a reasonable one. Christie opened the door himself by admitting he received a personal favor from the son of a former assistant US Attorney and then hiding the source of funding for his trip. ..."

Catching up on sleep for New Year's

Have you ever heard a snoring cat?

Enemy combatants not all that's "disappearing"

Birds are disappearing across North America, which could spell bigger environmental devastation than the climate crisis caused by greenhouse gasses.

See the CBC News video here.

It's a devastation that could be harder to reverse, too, especially because no one seems to know why birds have gone missing. It's not unreasonable to wonder if the climate crisis is a cause.

And don't forget recent news accounts equally disturbing about disappearing bees and disappearing butterflies." In fact, Korean scientists link the loss of butterflies to global warming. If you Copernic search on disappearing birds, bees and butterflies, you'll read concerns around the world.

Look to Brattleboro for some balls

Finally, some common sense and a bit of spunk.

Brattleboro, Vt., may consider a petition for the town to make President Bush and Veep Cheney subject to arrest and indictment for "crimes against our Constitution" if they step foot in town, which Bush never has as president, anyway.

"This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they're supposed to do," said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.

... Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, a Democrat whose office has repeatedly sued the Bush administration over environmental issues, called the move "of very dubious legality."
"Dubious legality"?

The Boston tea party and the Declaration of Independence were of "dubious legality."

The fundamental promise of the Declaration of Independence is the right of the people to redress grievances. The U.S. Constitution lays the groundwork for redress. Nothing in it prohibits radical avenues to achieve the promise when the Constitution fails.

The very point of the measure is the Constitution has been perverted and is failing to serve its purpose. Isn't it better a town uses judicial means to protect its people from virtual dictators rather than taking up arms, as the Second Amendment provides?

If that shocks anyone, consider changes in our "laws" under the Bush administration and Bush's extralegal adaptations of it allow him to pluck any or all Brattleboroans off the street and imprison them secretly, without allowing them to speak to anyone -- even a lawyer or their family, to tell loved ones where they are -- simply if he and he alone were to decide they are "enemy combatants." He and his corporate buddies can and do spy on their communications, "papers and property," without the warrant required by the Fourth Amendment.

And, so far, the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS are getting away with their perverted notions they don't have to explain what they do to anyone, ever. When challenged in the now-impotent federal judicial and legislative branches, they simply tell judges and Congress, "National security"; case closed. Or lose those public records in mysterious office fires and seven-layer computer wipes.

Radical times call for radical solutions.

(Flickr pictr by Professor Bop)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hitting the nail on the head

Or is it the hammer being hit on the head?

Politicker's Year in Review describes Boss of the Year U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, R-N.J.

"Christie's ability to deliver no-bid contracts worth huge amounts of money to his friends and former colleges -- like a deal worth up to $50 million for John Aschcroft, and mega million dollar contracts for Herbert Stern and John Inglesino at UMDNJ, GOP ex-N.J. Attorney General David Samson and David Kelley, a former U.S. Attorney in New York -- might make party leaders like George Norcross, Glenn Paulsen, Charlotte DeFilippo and Joseph Ferriero envious. It's possible that Christie gives out more contracts than several of the party bosses.

"Like an effective boss, Christie has been able to avert public criticism -- maybe because his name doesn't actually appear on a ballot (although that may change in 2009.)"
Politicker forgot to give a kudo to brother Todd Christie for moving the Christie money into the right (pun intended) coffers to keep Chris' clandestine gubernatorial campaign going without revealing the appearance of violating quid pro quo and the same anti-corruption laws Chris Christie is using to get powerful Democrats out of his way.

Indeed, Chris Christie may be the new Norcross and beyond, because Christie holds the powerful tools of a potential coming autocracy that'll sell New Jersey to his party's benefactor contractors.

Hat tip and good discussion going on over at Blue Jersey. And congratulations to its editor, Juan Melli, for making No. 17 on Politicker's N.J. Power List and Asbury Park Press editor William "Skip" Hidlay, No. 39. Well earned.

There's also an interesting comparison of Gov. Corzine to former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley on page 25 of the Year in Review.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"No Muslim can attack a woman."

Update Dec. 30: Fox News, of all sources (credit where credit is due), is showing a video still of the gunman or woman shooting at assassinated one-time elected prime minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. The trumped-up official account that Bhutto died merely after hitting her head on the car casts suspicion on dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government. UK Channel 4 TV ran fuller video:


Benazir Bhutto, the world's first elected Muslim woman head of state, was assassinated today at an election rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

In an interview with Sir David Frost on Nov. 2, Bhutto mentioned "anti-democratic forces" including someone who "had dealings with Omar Shiekh, the man who murdered Osama bin Laden." Could the Omar Shiekh she referred to be the British MI6 agent convicted of killing Princeton-born Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl?

I wonder why this hasn't been on network TV in America:


The "man who murdered Osama bin Laden" is at minute 6:10. Some say she must have misspoken. That's almost impossible to imagine, first because she was an expert on the radical Islamic militant underground, and second, neither she nor Frost appear to have attempted to retract, correct or clarify the statement.

Blue Jersey has New Jersey leaders' words about the assassination and what it says about the Bush administration's post 9/11 failure. Are Bush and his crew perpetrating a hoax on the American public with frequent "new videotapes" they say are bin Laden to create a perpetual boogie man to terrorize us, so we'll continue to relinquish our civil liberties and let him operate as a dictator, himself?

And with Pakistan's political turmoil spiraling, the prospect of a nuclear war becomes more foreboding as radicals come closer to having control of nuclear weapons.

Bhutto preached what it means to be Muslim after a failed assassination attempt:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Defensive Voting 101

If we ever get secondary schools to renew teaching civics, they should include "How to Avoid being Duped as Voters" in the curriculum.

Allen Raymond, one of the Republicans who went to jail for phone jamming on election night 2002 in New Hampshire to block the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort, while the Republicans conducted their GOTV, is publishing a confession book, "How to Rig an Election."

Figures Raymond would be proud of smacking democracy in the face. He's miffed the GOP "threw me under the bus," but, really, when you sleep with snakes you have to figure you're going to get bit, no? So, Raymond seems to be dishing some dirt that includes duping New Jersey voters, too. Jamestown Associates employed Raymond to use phone dirty tricks in the barely failed attempt to get Dick Zimmer into the House seat Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., won.

"Back in 2002," he writes, "just about every Republican operative was so dizzy with power that if you could find two of us who could still tell the difference between politics and crime, you could probably have rubbed us together for fire as well."
It has hit my radar a time or two that former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman's daughter, Kate, who now has put her hat in the political ring, was the communications director for the N.H. GOP at the time the phone-jamming crime took place. And I remember Mamma's campaign director Ed Rollins paid black ministers to supress minority voters who typically vote for Democrats to win her squeaker '93 election.

Paul Kiel put pieces together in a 2006 post at TPMcafe. It's time to revisit some of that, particularly how the matrix moves around Raymond's work for the convicted U.S. Senate candidate James Treffinger, the only big GOP kill wannabe caped crusader U.S. Attorney Chris Christie wants to give himself credit for even though it most likely was a done deal before he and brother Todd bought Christie's job to boost his own political career.

(Flickr photo, right, by kelldar)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ending ignorance of historical wrongs

The Lakota tribe has withdrawn from all U.S. treaties, calling them the worthless pieces of papers they are. Long overdue. I'd love to see all native American tribes follow suit, quickly.

I predict you won't see this news in prime time, though, unless it's to put the tribe up for ridicule and to villify Venezuala President Hugu Chavez and other South American leaders not exhalted by our CIA.

The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means (right, Flickr photo by Allan Vogue) said.

A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S., some of them more than 150 years old.

The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.
Ready for a third battle of Wounded Knee?

Don't forget Leonard Peltier remains unjustly imprisoned.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just in time for Christmas

This is interesting. Abotex Enterprises of Michigan has come up with a do-it-yourself Lead Inspector Test Kit. It probably would be a good investment for parents who couldn't wean themselves from cheap and colorful Chinese merchandise again this year. Sigh.

National Public Radio interviewed the inventor last week.

Questioning the questioners

Back in August, On Our Radar linked to reporting on what seems to be the U.S. Justice Department's atrocious political prosecution of Alabama's ex-Gov. Don Siegelman, a rare popular Democrat there. Corporate media apparently has decided its news teams can't compete with Raw Story in reporting this news. The funny thing is, it's not even "investigative reporting," because the facts are all right there, so it's hard to digest why MSM has such a hard time ferreting out this remarkable news.

Now, a reader of Joe Cannon's Cannonfire blog anonymously posted he or she has inside knowledge of the case and made two claims that raised my eyebrows.

... (T)he three largest newspapers in his own state have been a big part of this conspiracy. The newspapers are owned by the media giant, Advance Publications Inc. Whose writers have (specific) orders on how to write news articles that involve Democrats. These newspapers are feeding this same false information to the AP Associated Press and the TV and radio media. ... I have requested that the FBI conduct an investigation of Advance Publications Inc.
The Newark Star-Ledger is an Advance company. I don't see any attributed source for the above claim, but at a minimum it raises a separate issue on media consolidation. If one company owns all the biggest news outlets in the state, only one corporate voice is making it to the outside traditional media via Associated Press wire service, which itself operates today without viable competition. The FCC will vote tomorrow on another disastrous foregone move to relax limits on corporations owning both newspapers and broadcast outlets with the same audiences.

Then this:
2002 election night. All the polls had reported in and Siegelman won by over 6,000 votes. Dan Gans, who had programming, computer system administration training and trained to work on the Diebold Election Systems Inc and the ES&S central voting tabulator, was about to be fired by Bob Riley when he decide to get online with Bay Minette located in Baldwin County, Al. He made several attempts to take votes from Siegelman’s total vote count and switch them to Riley’s; however, there was a third candidate that was running for governor that he forgot about. Gans had trouble making the total votes equal the number of voters that had voted.
Aren't Ocean County's voting machines counted on ES&S tabulators? I wonder if New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, who is now scrutinizing voting machine company equipment to comply with a new law requiring paper proofs of each vote, is aware of this alleged vulnerability. I wonder if she has looked into how much of those companies' proprietary information might ever have been available to New Jersey election law experts, such as Angelo Genova and John Carbone. Carbone is the Republican lawyer Brick's GOP-controlled council hired to ensure Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore would remain township attorney, and that town's political control flunks any smell test.

Just pondering food for thought. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good Christmas list



But her support of this was uncalled for, I think. I don't see anyone persecuting Christians in America. If anything, it's the other way around.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A tribute to Michael Vick

Why is it American soldiers and mercenaries in Iraq can amuse themselves killing dogs, but Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick goes to jail for almost 2 years in America for deadly dog fights? Is it that Vick is a black man who had the audacity to get rich?

Vick's sentencing reminded me of Dr. Demento, thanks to Mike Malloy's background music on the Vick news. Thank God for YouTube.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A word on feeding the hungry

A group, Poverty.com, has put together this nifty vocabulary quiz that lets you send 20 grains of rice where it's needed through the United Nations. The advertisers on each quiz answer page pays for the rice.

You may have seen it already, because it seems to be a hit in the blogosphere. I acquired more than 6,000 grains of rice in about 15 minutes. I suppose that's only a couple of cups, actually, but the quiz is fun and educational -- and endless.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Too little, too late

The Record's Herb Jackson, formerly of the Asbury Park Press, gives the best rundown on Thursday's 235-181 energy bill vote in the House that would move a little -- not enough -- money from oil subsidies to renewable fuel incentives. Senate gamesmanship on Friday seemed pretty clear it won't get through there unless Big Oil gets its payday, so it's anyone's guess this where it will stand now. I'm not optimistic.

Also will update what whistleblowing FBI translator Sibel Edmonds knows and why it matters to New Jersey.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ah, the flashbacks

Thank you, Mike Gravel, for keeping this presidential campaign interesting.

Power to the people, and give peace a chance.



More on Gravel's candidacy and background here.

Christian Girls Gone Wild

The next video ad for late-night TV, perhaps?

This sermon clip is poor quality, but it gives a hint where the CIA may be selling the good drugs these days.

"...a holy ghost enema right up your rear end, because God won't tolerate anything else."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chris Christie as media magician

Debbie Holtz at Politicker NJ put together a nice timeline on the fortuitous "leaks" -- again -- from U.S. attorney Chris Christie's office this week that bumped his class-action scandal to lesser news holes.

On Monday, 11/19, a spokesman for former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft responds to the Star Ledger's questions about the no-bid federal monitoring deal. By Monday evening, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie provides comments to the Ledger.


Monday, 11/19, Star Ledger, Internet, 10:01pm: $52M-plus payday for Christie's old boss


Tuesday, 11/20, Star Ledger, Print Edition: 52M-plus payday for Christie's old boss


Sometime before 9:00 am on Tuesday, an exclusive leak to The Record reveals an ongoing search being conducted at both the office and home of state Senator Joseph Coniglio. The Record arrives at both locations with a reporter, photographers and videographer to capture live footage of the raid.


Tuesday, 11/20, The Record: Federal agents search Coniglio's home


Tuesday, The Record, Live Video Feed of the event on 11/20: Feds seize documents from Coniglio's home and office

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Can you say "dollar store"?



I like the "dapper-dressed rabbits" and Bush as the ironically saluting squirrel.

And, "John Madden, how would your parents feel if they knew they gave birth to such an ass?"

Give thanks today to Bric-a-Brac Theatre.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Smooth move, future guv'na

I can't get over how starved people are for a political rock star that most of the public and the media don't see U.S. Attorney Chris Christie for the ever-so-partisan politician he is. He's smart, sure enough, but deceptive.

Last night, the Star-Ledger broke a peek at reality by reporting how Christie is using the $311 million settlement he got against the four biggest companies in the knee/hip replacement industry to kick back a record $52 million to his old boss, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who could go on the campaign trail himself again in his home state of Missouri just as Christie is expected to be the Republican savior for the 2009 gubernatorial ticket here.

And Ashcroft's is one of several law firms the settlement is employing, which seems to leave little of that $311 left to compensate the actual victims.

The complexity of how this money gets laundered (my opinion, not a legal judgment) from the corporations to Ashcroft's bank account -- $750,000 of it literally -- is quite fascinating. I can't help but imagine this might have been a point of discussion in Christie's legal negotiations. Because of confidentiality of lawyers and investigators, I'm guessing we'll never know exactly how this deal went down, even though it was our tax money.

Watch for these companies and their top dogs as contributors to Ashcroft's or Christie's political campaigns down the road: Stryker Orthopedics of Mahwah; the Biomet division of Johnson & Johnson; Zimmer Holdings of Indiana; and Smith & Nephew, a British company operating here from Memphis, Tenn.

Oh, the irony of this settlement being to end "a probe into kickbacks" by these companies. The best place to hide something really is right under someone's nose.

Let's see how much each actual victim receives in the end. If it's like consumers in many class-action "settlements," it'll be pennies -- and will be paid only after the victim signs a convoluted indemnity contracts promising never to get wise and sue the companies on their own.

Hat tip and discussion over at Blue Jersey. Flickr photo by Steve Lubetkin.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Awesome first lady in waiting

Michelle Obama has struck me in every interview as being smart and unpretentious. She hit the nail on the head again in this interview with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski

When Brzezinski related a personal anecdote about an African American flight attendant who had said Sen. Obama couldn't win "because he's black," the candidate's wife sympathized.

"That's right. That's the psychology that's going on in our heads, in our souls, and I understand it," she said. "I know where it comes from. You know, and I think that is one of the horrible legacies of racism and discrimination and oppression."
But she's confident husband Barack will overtake frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, even though Clinton polls higher in African American communities.
"Black Americans will wake up and get it," Obama said. "But what we're dealing with in the black community is just the natural fear of possibility. When I look at my life, the stuff that we're seeing in these polls is played out my whole life: always been told by somebody that I'm not ready, you know, I can't do something, my scores weren't high enough."
(Flickr pictr by lynnereneephoto)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Did you ever wonder ...?

Who makes up digital amusements like "Tater People" and why?

Why don't they sign it and get credit for their work? Maybe they create these things goofing around on company time. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

XXX sermon

Ah, this classic Oral Roberts tape is growing legs in the blogosphere. I guess they don't call his movement charismatic for nothing. Talk dirty to me, Big Boy:



My favorite part is his denouncement of "INSANE" hOmoooosexxxuals who "D-I-E die":

"I go to church too, but it didn't, you know, make me queer. Well, I wouldn't buy that 100%. Please erase that from the tape. Let's edit that part out, OK?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Too close for comfort

Philadelphia has a judge who thinks it's just fine for men to gang rape a working girl at gunpoint. Because the 20-year-old single mom agreed to certain sexual acts for money, it's only "theft of service" when the home she agreed to go to turned out to be an abandoned building where she was held at gunpoint and raped by 4 men, says Judge Teresa Carr Deni. Deni dropped, for no legal reason, all the sexual and assault charges, including assault with a deadly weapon. Feministe has the story.

When some of the same guys did the same thing a few days later in a completely separate case with another woman, prosecutor Rich DeSipio didn't even bring the case because he "wouldn’t demean her that way,” calling the earlier case "a farce." And did he try to prosecute any of them on prostitution charges? Apparently, Philadelphia officially condones that.

Shame on both of them. It's open season on women in Philadelphia.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Merry War-mass

The War on Christmas comes earlier every year -- now as soon as we're done worshiping Chris Columbus.

And what would Jesus, prince of peace and preacher on the Mount, love more than this bumper sticker?

"This is America! And I'm going to say it: 'Merry Christmas!'"
In the words of Eddie Murphy, "I'm Gumby, dammit."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blog of the week

Interesting blog of artists and poets, Exterminating Angel Press, has this Floyd Webster Rudmin editorial.

Conspiracy theory is "deconstructive history" because it is in rebellion against official explanations and against orthodox journalism and orthodox history. Conspiracy theorists cast out demography, market forces, technological development, social evolution, and other abstract, constructed categories of explanation. Conspiracy theory is radically empirical: tangible facts are the focus, especially facts that orthodox doctrine tries to make disappear. There is a ruthless reduction down to what is without doubt real, namely, persons. Conspiracy theory presumes that human events are caused by people acting as people do, including cooperating, planning, cheating, deceiving, and pursuing power.

Quote of the week

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

“In any country, if you don’t have countervailing institutions, the power of any one president is problematic for democratic development.”
Was she really just talking about Russia in this New York Times piece?

Flickr photo: Buddy Stone

Friday, October 12, 2007

Let's see them call him a fibber now

The right-wing propagandists managed to twist Vice President Al Gore's rightful statements that he had a role in initiating the Internet as we know it and that his friendship with Erich Segal was one of the inspirations for the author's tear-jerker, "Love Story."

The Nobel committee has awarded its annual Peace Prize to Al Gore, and that's about as clear and absolute as claims to fame get.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Can't be a little bit pregnant

And New Jersey's U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, a Bush Pioneer eyeing Drumthwacket, can't be a little bit partisan.

His office issued three press releases yesterday about indictments against Democrats around the state but failed to mention the FBI caught a pretty big Republican fish.

Frank Barbera, the former Treasurer of the Atlantic County Republican Party and a political ally of County Executive Dennis Levinson, was arrested by FBI agents this week on bribery charges ... Barbera is accused of offering a $5,000 bribe to Craig Callaway in 2005, while Callaway was serving as the Atlantic City Council President. Callaway is now serving a 40-month sentence following his own bribery conviction.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Where's Rudy?

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald comes through again.

Friday, September 28, 2007

And Pallone makes a trifecta for man week here

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-Monmouth, did a terrific job speaking for me, complete with snark (you go, Frank!) at the end of his speech asking for Rush Limbaugh to be held to the same standards as MoveOn.org. (I'd actually have had him add Ann "poison Justice Stevens' creme broule" Coulter to that speech.)



Blue Jersey has more of the story and links to Media Matters' as-ever fabulous work in speaking truth to power.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

So our Jersey Boy is a "bear"?

I can't top Steven Hart's post at BlueJersey and cross-posted at Opinion Mill:

In today's news from the socio-cultural front, New Jersey-bred auteur Kevin Smith is slated to become a magazine-cover sex symbol.
The creator of Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jersey Girl is going to be featured on the cover of A Bear's Life, a magazine for broad-beamed hirsute fellas and the men who dig them. As Smith explains:
Within that community there are bears - guys who look like me - and dudes who are really into them, who are called cubs. And, apparently, I'm the focus of a lot of admiration in this community. I'd be considered something of a coup, a score for a cub - the ultimate bear to get.
And they called and said, "Do you want to be on the cover of a magazine?" I was like, "Are you telling me there's someone out there who sexualizes me? I'll be on that magazine, totally."


More at Queerty.com.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I (heart) Evo Morales

Isn't Bolivia's first indigenous president adorable? I want to bring him home so he can nationalize our oil industry and give the land back to the people to use productively, instead of industry polluting it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

She's right, you know

If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn't be any more goddamn wars. Go Gidget.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The 9/11 memory hole

Poignant is the talking point of the day, but factual reality is what's on our radar.

That's why this piece today in Raw Story by Peter Lance, author of "1000 Years for Revenge," is a fascinating read. It's a narrative, so open the link when you have time to read it in entirety.

I didn't know Lance was gagged. Did you? I've been wondering why a top investigative reporter on al Qaeda would participate in the made-for-TV propaganda, "Path to 9/11," and never explain why.

Our former N.J. Gov. Thomas H. Kean's role in this narrative is significant, and Lance leaves me thinking there's more to the Kean story than he tells us here. We should be more curious about these things.

Cyrus failed to underscore the significance of the two fighters being scrambled out of Otis Air National Guard (ANG) base on Cape Cod, 188 miles from Ground Zero; arriving too late to interdict UA #175 which had hit the South Tower.

By the time he’d written the script, Nowrasteh had read my second 9/11 book Cover Up and he knew – per a Dec. 5, 2003 Bergent (sic) Record story quoting his advisor Gov. Tom Kean - that there were two F-16’s from an identical ANG base in Atlantic City which could have reached Manhattan in under eight minutes that day.

But they were never scrambled by NEADS or NORAD; a glaring omission left out of Kean’s 9/11 Commission Report that any desk assistant for ABC News could have uncovered with a simple search on Google.
The video I'm recommending for those who want to remember the truth, not the "1984"ed version of Sept. 11, 2001, is a documentary DVD featuring our own 9/11 widows dubbed the Jersey Girls, "9/11: Press for the Truth."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jersey boys: like white on rice


The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., better known as A&P supermarket, is suing a pair of college students who shot this clever gansta rap parody in their off hours at the A&P in Califon, where they (cough) used to work. From the sounds of the updates on their website, brothers Mark and Mike D'Avella from Glen Gardner are taking in stride that they were relieved of duty earlier than expected this summer.

It's A&P's $1 million minimum lawsuit against them for the floundering company's self-proclaimed defamation (I thought only live people could be defamed) and loss of business. The lawsuit, itself, must be a parody, because at the time the company filed it, only 200 people had hit "Produce Paradise" on YouTube. And, let's face it: Two college students' pockets aren't deep enough to buy A&P's lawyers coffee.

Now, many thousands have viewed the Fresh Beets video and are saying they won't shop at A&P because of the lawsuit. Ooops, big ooops, perhaps, A&P?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

He can pick his friends, he can pick his nose, but can he find a friend to pick his nose?

So, 58% of New Jerseyans wouldn't even want to have a cup of coffee with George W. Bush. Go figure.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and ex-President Bill Clinton came out on top as folks we'd most like to meet. No surprise, both personable intellectuals.

That was an unrelated question in a Zogby poll commissioned by Garden State Equality that found 63% of us support gay marriage. That would surprise only people who listen to the right-wing noise machine.

This is must-see TV

Dan Rather seems to be starting his new journalism road hitting the ground running.

One of his first reports on HDNet television is "The Trouble with Touch Screens," and the venerable journalist doesn't disappoint.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Buh bye, KKKarl

The thing is, I think we haven't seen the worst of him yet. He's just going to San Antonio County, Texas, to plot the theft of the '08 elections in unobstructed peace and obscurity, and for an excuse not to answer Congress' subpoenas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mail bag

The New Jersey NOW is marching Saturday, Aug. 25, in Newark as part of this year's People's March for Peace, Equality, Jobs and Justice. U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is scheduled to speak there.

The march commemorates the 44th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led in Washington, D.C., the 40th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion and the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Details here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Censorship sure is a "mistake"

Pearl Jam isn't taking this sitting down. Good.

AT&T Blue Room, which apparently had the contract for live webcast from the Lollapalooza concert, scrubbed two lines from Pearl Jam's song, "Daughter," because they were anti-George W. Bush ("George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home").

After questioning AT&T about the incident, Lollapalooza was informed that material was indeed missing from the webcast, and that it was mistakenly cut by AT&T's content monitor. Tiffany Nels of ATT told CMJ that they are working the matter out with the band. "We regret the mistake," she explains. "This was not intended and was an unfortunate mistake made by a webcast editor." She went on to explain that AT&T has a policy for any excessive language, and that it was set up because of its all-ages audience.
Can you say, "Third Reich"? Or rather, "Fourth Reich"?

And, a clue for AT&T: Senior citizens hate Bush, too. Remember Bush's bungled Medicare prescription plan and his attempt to pull the rug out from Social Security forever (he already stole the trust fund baby boomers paid to pay for a couple of days of this Iraq invasion)? He's quantifiably the worst president of all time, having the lowest sustained favorability polling of any in modern history.

We need to speak loudly about Part 2 of the outrageous crush-FISA legislation coming quickly down the pike next month. From Balkinization:
From the President's Message on signing the FISA fix: "When Congress returns in September the Intelligence committees and leaders in both parties will need to complete work on the comprehensive reforms requested by Director McConnell, including the important issue of providing meaningful liability protection to those who are alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001."

Note the key item on this wish list: legal immunity for having participated in the illegal NSA program.
That would be our own Verizon and AT&T, among other Big Telecoms.

Was this just cocky overreach by a big lobbying corporation, or a corporation that already believes it controls the people's government and gets to call the laws and contracts to suit it? I think the latter, and the latter = fascism, Italian style, by its very definition.

I'm not trying to be alarmist, but I'm going to say so when the emporer has no clothes.

Save the Internet reminds us:
AT&T routinely rails against Net Neutrality as a “solution without a problem.” They say Net Neutrality regulations aren’t necessary because they wouldn’t dare interfere with online content. At the same time they tout plans to become gatekeepers to the Web with public relations bromides about “shaping” Web traffic to better serve the needs of an evolving Internet.

Such spin needs to be held up to the light of experience. AT&T’s history of breaking trust with their customers includes handing over private phone records to the government, promising to deliver services to underserved communities and then skipping town, pledging never to interfere with the free flow of information online while hatching plans with the likes of Cisco, Viacom, RIAA and MPA to build and deploy technology that will spy on user traffic.

The moral of this story is never trust AT&T at their word.
And, in another censorship outrage, the Michigan Senate majority leader blocked the blog Blogging for Michigan from all Senate computers because he didn't like the constituent's opinion and deemed no one there would read it. Imagine, a state Senate majority leader thought this was reasonable. Has the slow and methodical erosion of the civil liberties embodied (literally with blood of our original, REAL patriots) in our U.S. Consitution brought us to a point where anyone can think for a moment -- let alone a whole week -- that such a thing is acceptable in America?

Think about that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's about time

On the "more later" front:

Ocean County Republican Reps. Jim Saxton and Chris Smith are both feeling the heat on their pitiful support of the Iraq war and may be prepared to switch their votes to withdrawal, along with Reps. Frank Lobiondo and Mike Ferguson next time the pullout vote comes around.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And yet, women still get screwed

Cara, a New York feminist blogger who runs Curvature, cross-posted a diary at Feminsting that cuts through the military spin to figure out what's what with Airman Cassandra Hernandez' rape case.

It's stomach-turning outrageous.

Trifecta: Yet another clever girl -- two more, in fact

Maybe we're a bigger force for leadership than the mainstream mindset imagines.

Even I am warming up to Sen. Hillary Clinton, even though it still is irrationally distasteful to me to have another family dynasty designated to resume White House duties. But how prescient was she in May in an interview including Robert Murray, the owner of a Utah coal mine where six trapped miners are missing, to say it's time for a president (her) who is "pro-labor and will appoint people who actually care about workers' rights and workers' safety"?

Murray's bungling banter is truly mind-boggling, but it probably seemed normal to most viewers because this exchange was on Fox not-News.

"Bob, do you view this rhetoric as pro-labor, anti-business, what?" (Neil) Cavuto asked Murray.

...Murray responded, "I view it as anti-American. These people should -- are misleading the American worker then they talk about jobs. These are the people advocating draconian global warming conditions that are going to drive American jobs to foreign countries and raise electric rates for everybody on fixed incomes."

... Murray also testified before Congress two months ago that his safety record with all of his mines "is one of the best in the coal industry anywhere."

In a testy exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Murray said a story reporting two of his Ohio mines showed injury rates a fourth higher than the national average was "propaganda" by a mine union.

"You are flat out wrong," Murray told Boxer when she raised the story in the Columbus Dispatch saying Murray's mines have the biggest fines against him versus any other mine in Ohio.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited Murray's mine in central Utah with more than 300 violations since January 2004, including 118 "significant and substantial" violations that are considered serious enough to cause injury or death.

Murray, who testified against regulation of the energy industry as part of effort to combat global warming, said the changes to the coal industry would cause losses of high-paying mining jobs and would be "extremely destructive" to the nation.
Yeah, I'm sure right now those six fated miners and their families are so thankful for their "high-paying" mine jobs. They might clear a whole $1,500 a month after taxes. Must be grateful.

Another clever girl

Rudy Giuliani's daughter, Caroline, is -- or was -- supporting Barack Obama for president. She seems to have been compelled to removed Obama's campaign from her "friends" list as of Aug. 6, but she still calls herself "liberal," unlike the dear old dad she reportedly doesn't speak to.

Click on the picture to read the screen.

Monday, August 6, 2007

What a clever girl

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in U.S. history, and yet, she manages to find a way around it:

"I assumed the enemy was foreign."
"I had taken the oath to protect my new country, against all enemies, and this was my chance to serve my country. I assumed the enemy was foreign. ...

Within a few months, I came across some serious issues. Wrongdoing. Some of those would be considered criminal, within the FBI. Some of those involved security breaches, 911 related coverups, and sabotaged intelligence operations. In one case, due to the pressure of the State Department and Pentagon, the FBI was prevented from criminally investigating certain U.S. officials who were engaged in actions against our national security, having loyalties to other governments."
Among the things she knows is the names of four sitting members of Congress who are being bribed by the Turks. Much, more more at Monosyllabic Fish.

Very creative


I found this at Delilah's blog, but I dunno where it is or who to credit.

Wow

George W. Bush wasted no time throwing his weight around with his new warrantless spying power. What the hell were those Blue Dogs thinking, by God!?

Within a day or so of getting the power he claimed to need to secretly eavesdrop on international phone calls, Bush had the FBI use a secret warrant to raid the home of an American, former Justice Department lawyer Thomas M. Tamm. Looks like he just wants revenge on an honest civil service professional who may have told the truth about Bush's illegal warrantless wiretapping before Congress legalized it for him last Friday. Bush will have to go after former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, too, I guess, because they were critical of the Bush administration about this at the same time as Tamm.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Yo, Krankor

The fabulous Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back with a DVD!

Melevision has more fan trivia:

The series ran from 1988-1999 featuring a man and his robots who were trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch really bad movies, especially (but not limited to) those of the science fiction. The man and his robots make a running commentary on the film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking their way through the film in the style of a peanut gallery. During its eleven years and 198 episodes, MST3K attained a fiercely loyal fan base, and much critical acclaim. The show was nominated for a writing Emmy in 1994 and 1995.
If you like MST3000, you'll love What To Do In A Zombie Attack, from movie archives.

If only we knew what Sibel knows

Monosyllabic Fish puts together some big pieces of the illegal spying/Gonzales puzzle with the help of whistleblowing translater Sibel Edmonds, speaking here:


More Sibel:


Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Call Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Demand public open hearings:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Who knew Alabama was so intriquing?

Yankee news scrubbed this, but I find it interesting that, after Alabama attorney Jill Simpson last month told all about how Karl Rove manipulated the U.S. Department of Justice prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, Simpson's house burned clean to the ground. Alabama blogger Robby Scott Hill, in a take off Eugene Debs' famous speech, gives his courageous take on it.

Until Jill Simpon's (sic) house is rebuilt, I am homeless. So long as my attorney colleagues are made into political prisoners and placed in the criminal element, I am in it and as long as Don Siegelman, Larry Sutley and Steve Russo remain in prison, I am not free.

Who would want to be a member of a Bar Association that allows prosecutors to tread upon The Bill of Rights, inflict these injustices and go unpunished? We fought a war against Great Britain to be free from such tyranny. National Security is the age old cry of the tyrant and is just another way of depriving us of our liberties. These men have been framed like my mother.
New York lawyer Scott Horton wrote a good recap on the whole Siegelman case this month at Harper's magazine, but you have to subscribe to read it all.

And speaking of fascism, Scott Horton also wrote a fascinating piece July 16 about philosopher Leo Strauss and the media for Balkinization, a legal blog I like a lot.

And speaking of Leo Strauss, the guru of fascism was the impetus for the hysterically funny play, "Embedded," that Oscar winner Tim Robbins wrote, directed and acted in on off-Broadway a few years back. "Embedded" now is on DVD -- not as crisp as the real thing on stage, but very well worth the $18.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Over the buttoned-down top


This is George W. Bush on vacation. ----->


And this is George W. Bush during his leisure time while on a recent business trip.

He thinks he can dress as he wants when he travels to our home turfs, but when we visit our White House, where he resides temporarily, we now must dress by his dress code -- no jeans, no sneakers, no T-shirts and no flip-flops. After all, if he is expected to dress up on duty there, we all should have to. That's the childish behavior we've come to expect of Bush.

But, that means we should behave as he and his family do when we're there, right?

Decorum in this White House. Absolutely.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

N.J. joins the Resistance

Former N.J. Attorney General Robert Del Tufo is among a bipartisan group of 44 former AGs who asked the Senate and House Judiciary Committees July 13 to investigate the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman for its "potential inappropriate political interference in the offices of United States Attorneys," Wayne Madsen (subscription only) is reporting. Our radar honed in on Siegelman June 1 and also here.

The evidence that Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush, used the U.S. Department of Justice to orchestrate the prosecution from the White House for the National Republican Committee so Siegelman would lose the election, even though it seems as if he actually won, is growing. Madsen reports it turns out a "dinner party" at Rove's D.C. home March 7 and his Florida vacation home on another date actually included others on the Siegelman prosecution team. It's not a stretch to assume these were partisan strategy sessions.

Madsen further reports:

We have also learned that a number of FBI field agents have been deterred in investigating the interference by the White House in the Siegelman case. That has resulted in a schism between FBI field offices and politically-motivated U.S. Attorneys offices, particularly federal prosecutors who are considered "loyal Bushies." The interference is reportedly being directed by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove.

Upon sentencing, Republican federal judge Mark Fuller denied Siegelman bail pending appeal and did not even grant the ex-governor the cusromary 45-day window to report to jail�in order to put his affairs in order. Furthermore, Siegelman was ordered handcuffed and shackled in leg irons as he was immediately taken to prison after his sentencing.
Yet, Bush deigned jail too harsh for poor little I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to spend even a day there on his conviction of perjury and obstruction of justice in the conspiracy to leak the name and cover company of highly classified CIA NOC Valerie Plame Wilson and Brewster-Jennings Co. Siegelman's crime must be terrible if Bush didn't also commute his sentence, right? His crime was that as governor, he reappointed a hospital executive to an unpaid state health care panel, as did the three governors before him, coincidentally to the executive giving money to a charity so loosely tied to Siegelman that I can't remember how. What a danger to our national security, right?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It must never happen again

It's bad enough unknown Bushies secretly wrote an unrequested document on how an undemocratic America would operate ... in emergency, right.

Quickly we now learn there's a classfied portion someone in the White House forbids even the House Homeland Security Committee to know.

Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: "We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails.[WTF?!] It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive."

Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he "cannot think of one good reason" to deny access to a member of Congress who serves on the Homeland Security Committee.

"I find it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual, knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House," Ornstein said.

This is the first time DeFazio has been denied access to documents. ... "Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio said.
This White House is an anarchy that has to go, ASAP. It has operated for years in violation of the Constitution, so there's no reason as far as I can see why the people should wait for validation of constitutional grounds to evict them.

Meanwhile, the White House is telling the Washington Post the Department of Justice we all pay for works only for "the commander guy" already. The DoJ can't investigate suspicions if "the decider" George W. Bush has decided it's not a crime.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back in the box

Rep. Rush Holt's, D-N.J., flawed voter integrity bill is back to committee for rewrite. Let's hope it comes out fixed this time.

Update July 21: The Star-Ledger is reporting NJIT found 33 flaws in three printer models expected to be used next time around under a new state law designed to ensure accuracy of electronic voting machines across New Jersey. The experts say these flaws could compromise voter privacy and election security.

Meanwhile, Bradblog found out the disabilities "advocate" who's a big proponent of the corruptable DRE-only machines was paid $26,000 last year by the DRE companies that want us to just shut up and let them tell us how we voted ... and we'll be expected to believe them, for no good reason.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't feed the troll

Find them and out them:

If you click on the magazine ad, you can see it a little bigger. One headline on Alan Locke's site, www.winningcampaigns.org: "House parties must become $$$ makers."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Did she or didn't she?

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., spoke briefly at a press conference yesterday about his infidelity with cheap hookers but didn't answer questions. He let his wife do is talking -- the same wife that around 2000 said she'd Lorena Bobbitt him if he cheated on her, unlike the pansy forgiver Hillary Clinton when her husband had a consensual relationship with an intern (not committing the crime of prostitution). In fairness, he denied doing cheap hookers, only admitted to the expensive ones. Family values indeed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Well, whad'ya know?

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is the favorite of military Republicans in the GOP pack for president.

Paul has received 23,465 donations, compared with traditional favorite Sen. John McCain's 15,825 military supporters. Of military donations, Paul takes almost 53% to McCain's 34%. Crikey, mate!

As I recall, the MSNBC.com poll showed Paul won both GOP debates by a landslide in its polls, too.

Karl Rove may have misunderestimated Paul when he ordained the actor-with-loose-britches Fred Thompson the yet undeclared king of the hill.