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Bravo! We sent our message to the admin!

There was alot of changes in the House and Senate.  Still waiting on two Senate seat in Virginia and Montana, but they both are looking fairly good at this point.

 Sorry I haven’t been posting but I have been an election judge and have had two greuling days.

 Congrats to all the new Congressmen and Senators and the ones that held their office. Now it’s time to work hard for change in this country. Be ever vigilant even on these new members.  Don’t let up or they will get too comfortable and we will have corruption sneaking in again.

More posts once I catch my breath and my mind clears from election overload!

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November 8, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Elections, Op Ed, Polls | 3 Comments

This Administration doesn’t like oversight!

Now why would they do this?

Congress Closes Federal Accounting Agency In Iraq…

Was it because they were finding too much graft, incompetence and mismanagement of money!?!

Here’s more from CQ:

Investigators Say Appropriations Panel Lost Appetite for Oversight

Last month’s mass firing of House Appropriations Committee investigators followed years of declining appetite for tough oversight and partisan squabbles that the investigators say often stalled their work.

Several members of the team, some of whom spoke on the condition that they not be identified by name, defend their record against committee spokesman John Scofield’s charge that recent work was not good. They suggest instead that majority Republicans had no appetite for oversight of the Bush administration.

The investigators said they identified billions of dollars in potential savings every year, particularly in the Defense budget, and that they heard no complaints until Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., dismissed 60 contractors on Oct. 16.
Joseph Stehr, a retired FBI agent who had been a member of the team off and on since 1985, said he remains stunned by Lewis’ action. “It reeks, it really does,” he said. “It just amazes me that after 60 some years, that just with the swipe of a pencil the thing could all go away.”

Stehr said the team gave the committee a unique window into Defense programs. “Who is going to look into all of this? GAO? I don’t think so. They’re slow-pitch Wiffle ball, where we throw 90 miles an hour.”

Scofield said the dismissals were part of a review of the team, and that the investigators might be rehired.

But Stehr, who worked on a now-stalled study of Katrina relief spending as well as on Pentagon budget scrubs, said many of the former investigators are so disillusioned that they would not return if the committee decides to reconstitute its investigative team in the 110th Congress.

Much more to this article here:

This admin has been secretive, lying, scandal ridden, and has morphed into arrogant.

Wake up America!!! Please!

November 4, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Iraq, Op Ed, Scandals, World News | Leave a comment

VFW Disses one of their own!

What were they thinking and who made this decision?  Two lost limbs and they endorse a Chickenhawk who likes to ban books! I think it is time for vetting some of the vets in the VFW!

From the AP:

VFW passes over veteran in Illinois

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer 54 minutes ago

The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ political action committee Friday endorsed a Republican congressional candidate with no military experience over a Democrat who lost her legs in combat in Iraq.

The endorsement of GOP state Sen. Peter Roskam over Tammy Duckworth angered some Illinois veterans, as well as national figures such as former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a veteran who lost a leg in Vietnam.

“They should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “They have some explaining to do to their members.”

Duckworth is a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot with the Army who lost her legs when her aircraft was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Flanked by more than 20 veterans at a news conference, Duckworth said she was never contacted by the organization or asked to fill out a questionnaire, as typically happens when organizations are deciding which candidates to endorse.

“I think it’s unfortunate they did this,” she said.

Duckworth has said that invading Iraq was a mistake but now that American troops are there, withdrawal should be tied to an aggressive training plan for Iraqi forces.

Roskam has repeatedly said the military needs to “finish well” in Iraq. He caused a stir during a debate when he said the district wasn’t a “cut-and-run district” — something Duckworth supporters called inappropriate, given her injuries.

Here’s the Link

November 3, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Op Ed, Veteran Affairs | Leave a comment

Why are politicians allowed to use Campaign funds for legal fees?

Good question.  This has to be changed just as eliminating the benefits from indicted Congressional office holders. I wouldn’t want to donate money for a campaign only for it to be used as a defense fund for wrong doing.  Those funds should be stipulated to be used only for what it is intended.

From TPM Muckraker:

Burns’ Legal Fees Top $90,000
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) has spent at least $91,500 in campaign funds on a white collar defense lawyer this year.

Last November, both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported that Burns is on the short list for Abramoff investigators. Burns finally hired defense attorney Ralph Caccia of Powell Goldstein in April of this year. At the time, Burns’ spokesman said that Caccia had been retained to “[help] review all the facts in this matter.”

The review must be continuing, as Burns’ recent FEC disclosure shows a $27,460 payment to Caccia’s firm in September. Together with the $64,000 that Burns had paid out since April, that makes approximately $91,500 in fees.

Burns joins Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), his companion on the Justice Department’s short list (which also includes former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and soon-to-be-former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH)), in both shelling out money for a top-flight defense lawyer and publicly proclaiming that he’s not a target of the DoJ’s probe. To see why Burns has got investigators so interested, see our reference section.

Recent polls show Burns trailing his Democratic challenger, Jon Tester.

What are your thoughts?

October 23, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Op Ed, Scandals | Leave a comment

Yellow Magnets Ribbons – Just Words!

Yellow Magnet Ribbons on all the conservatice cars and SUVs. “Support Our Troops”!  And how did this administration support our troop?  Let’s ask how they didn’t support our troops.  And this is over and above the reason of attacking Iraq in the first place.

Older gear and guns from Viet Nam. Not enough flak jackets, the wrong kind of helmets, Jeeps and Humvees not fitted for protection from the bombs. Then of course they cut the Vets budget and are not taking care of our returning vets.

Now the Bush Admin, Big Pharma lobbies and our Conservative House of Representatives have another surprise for the vets.

From Stars & Stripes:

Military Update:

Move to cut Tricare drug costs fails in Congress


Discount dropped from defense bill after House balks at measure

By Tom Philpott, Special to Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Thursday, October 19, 2006
Pressured by the White House and drug industry lobbyists, Congress has killed a Senate-passed provision that would have forced pharmaceutical manufacturers to grant the Department of Defense deep discounts on drugs dispensed through the Tricare retail pharmacy network.House Republicans were under enormous pressure last month to sideline a provision inserted in the 2007 defense authorization bill that would cut 40 percent or more off the cost of many drugs available to Tricare beneficiaries through retail network pharmacies and stores.DOD officials contend that the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 requires drugmakers to include Tricare retail drugs in Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) discount agreements negotiated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The discounts already apply to drugs dispensed through base pharmacies, the Tricare mail order program and VA pharmacies.To avoid having to grant more discounts, drug manufacturers have filed a lawsuit challenging DOD’s contention. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted to make that lawsuit moot with clarifying language in its defense bill that federal discounts are to apply to Tricare retail drugs, too.After the Senate passed its bill, White House politicos began to pressure House Republicans to fight the Senate provision in final negotiations over the defense bill, in effect, undercutting their own Defense Department as it strives to curb soaring drug costs.

“Tremendous forces” targeted conferees from the armed services committees as they began to negotiate over the bill, said a staff member. “Pharmacies, drug manufacturers … the politics went right through the roof.”

Given that pressure, Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, introduced a “motion to instruct” House conferees to accept the Senate’s drug discount provision when negotiating behind closed doors. Edwards, joined by several Democratic colleagues, argued that applying FSS discounts for Tricare retail drugs would save $251 million in 2007 alone. It also would suck the wind out of plans to hold down Tricare costs by raising co-payments on military retirees and others who use the more costly retail network.

Opposing Edwards’ motion was Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., chairman of House Veterans Affairs Committee and a friend to drug manufacturers. Eli Lilly & Co. has its headquarters within miles of Buyer’s district. The company this year is his second largest campaign contributor, providing $10,000.

Read more here

Hardly surprising is it! Not with this admin and this congress. Has anyone even heard about this before? Has it been on Main Stream Media?

October 21, 2006 Posted by | blog roll, Current News, Government Policies, Op Ed, Veteran Affairs | 3 Comments

Congressional Pensions – There has to be a law

There have been indictments and congressmen going to jail or had to quit because of a scandal or two or three. Yet they get to keep their pensions. This has to change and soon.  They are working for “We  the people” and “We the people” want it changed!

Here, again from ABC’s the Blotter:

Foley Keeps Pension Despite Scandal

Former Congressman Mark Foley may have stepped down in disgrace, but he will be eligible for his congressional pension no matter what, even if he faces jail time, according to Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayer’s Union, a non-partisan taxpayer advocacy group.

snip

In May of this year, the House proposed legislation taking pensions away from members convicted of bribery and corruption, but that bill has been stalled in “conference negotiations” before going to the Senate, meaning that two recently convicted congressmen, Congressman Bob Ney, who is still collecting his full salary, and former Congressman Randall “Duke” Cunningham, will also get their pensions “no matter what,” according to Sepp.

Foley and Ney’s service records are almost identical. Ney will start with $29,000 annually, slightly lower than Foley’s because he is married.  Both can opt for a reduced pension starting at 56, which means they can start collecting their checks in just four years.

Cunningham, who is 64 and now in prison for accepting bribes, immediately began collecting $64,000 annually when he stepped down in November of 2005, after racking up twenty years of service in the military and Congress.

Now is the time to contact your congressman or woman and let them know how you feel about this issue.  This law to take away their pensions will make future congressmen watch their steps.  I also believe that if they are made to leave the congress without being indicted, they should also lose any benefits. The corruption we are hearing from this administration is unbelievable.

October 20, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Op Ed, Scandals | 2 Comments

CREW gets damning Weldon emails

From the CREW blog:

CREW asks DOJ to investigate Weldon for e-mails outlining possible threats of retaliation against his opponent’s contributors

E-mails received by CREW have prompted us to ask the Department of Justice to investigate whether Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) violated the law by intimidating government personnel “in the national security field” who support his opponent, Joe Sestak.

The first e-mail describes a “hit list” compiled of Weldon opponent’s supporters. In addition, that e-mail notes the Weldon said something to the effect of “If they don’t think there will be retribution before or after the election, they’re kidding themselves.” The second e-mail states that Weldon had his staff contact Navy personnel to get information on Sestak.

CREW has asked the Department of Justice to investigate this very serious matter. The e-mails, which are provided below, detail a disturbing, and potentially unlawful, abuse of power. 18 U.S.C. §600 and 18 U.S.C. §610 are implicated with this kind of behavior.

Melanie Sloan stated that, “Not only has Rep. Weldon abused his position to financially benefit his daughter, he has threatened to misuse his position to punish those who support his political opponent. Rep. Weldon needs to learn that no one, not even a powerful member of Congress is above the law.”

Go to the site link to read the emails.

These people think they own the world! They can do whatever they want and think they won’t be caught.  Thank you CREW for staying on top of this.

October 20, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Op Ed, Scandals | Leave a comment

Crooks and Liars has a post about Tony Snow Today

I wrote a post on this earlier but it got lost in the blog-0-sphere somewhere so I am glad C&L caught it. From C&L:

The name games that this administration is playing borders on the surreal. Strategy–tactics–blah, blah. blah. Susan Malveaux tries to get Tony Snow to make sense, but really—there is no sense to be made in Iraq.

Transcript:

MR. SNOW: No, what I’m trying to do is to come up with some way in which you and I can talk the same language so that we don’t all go cross-eyed in total bewilderment and confusion. And so perhaps — look, you guys, why don’t you email me the labels you want me to use for these various groupings that I’ve given to you.

Q I just want to know, James Baker is using — will look at strategy, and you’re saying you’re going to listen to James Baker and Lee Hamilton and this bipartisan report –

MR. SNOW: Well, I think what they’re talking –

Q — then what’s strategy in your definition?

MR. SNOW: I think they will agree with what I described as “strategy,” which is –

Q But you just said you’re not even considering a change in — no, Tony, sorry.

MR. SNOW: No, that’s because I’m not going to — we are not going to change our belief that you require — this is the strategy — this is the strategic picture that requires an economic, political and security component. And I guarantee you people on that commission agree. So what we’re talking about they describe as strategy, I’ll describe as tactics. Sorry, we’re talking different languages; I’m trying to harmonize for the purpose of answering your question.

Q Okay. So James Baker is doing what the President says he relies on his generals to do, which is tactics.

MR. SNOW: Well, I think he’s really — the generals also engage not merely in — yes, to some extent, yes; but the generals also have a much more detailed ground-level view of how to achieve these things. Maybe we need to come up with a fourth label.

But Secretary Baker and Lee Hamilton and others are going to take a close look at ideas that they think are going to be more effective to achieve that strategic goal of an Iraq that can defend itself, sustain itself, and govern itself, and to do so in a way that involves security, economic and political components.

I think all of that is agreed upon. So now the question is, what is your mid-level goal? They’re going to take a look at the various goals and try to proceed. I know, we’re getting into a linguistic swivet here.

Q I know, I know. But it’s like we’re changing the goals — it’s almost like you’re trying to hide behind the term “tactics” to change strategy.

MR. SNOW: No. No. Because I think the strategy is real clear. You try to use all three of those modalities to achieve an end.

Q Can we talk about — speaking of generals, General Caldwell, yesterday — you said you called him right before you came out here.

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q Why is that?

MR. SNOW: Because I try to touch base with him. I actually –

Q Every day? Do you always, every day, or just when he says something that you may not agree with?

MR. SNOW: No, I actually — no, I didn’t say anything — he didn’t say anything I disagree with. I mean –

There is more at this link and a video too.

October 20, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Op Ed | Leave a comment

McCain really needs some meds!!

Senator McCain is really getting way out there with his comments.  I couldn’t believe this when I read this at Hines Sight:

  McCain: ‘I’d just commit suicide’ if Democrats take over

While campaigning for Republicans in Iowa today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) jokingly said “I think I’d just commit suicide,” when he was asked how he would react if the Democrats gained majority control of the United States Senate.

 He hugs Bush after Busco went after his wife and family but he doesn’t trust the Dems? Many of the Dems admired McCain for many years.  Not any more!

 I don’t think I want him as President!  I never thought I’d see him become a butt kisser.

Supposedly it was a joke but it’s definately freudian!

October 18, 2006 Posted by | Current News, Op Ed | 3 Comments

The Odor From Capitol Hill

An Editorial from the New york Times:

Congressmen caught in wrongdoing at this time of year like to complain that they’re the victims of election-eve politics. If the looming elections inspire whistleblowers, we say bravo.

As predicaments go for champions of family values, few can top the embarrassment suffered by Representative Curt Weldon when federal agents raided the home of his daughter, a Washington lobbyist, in search of evidence that the powerful lawmaker helped her with lucrative clients. The grand jury is still out on the investigation, and Mr. Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican, says he is innocent. But with each fresh scandal, the tattooing of the G.O.P.-run 109th Congress continues in pre-election polls.

 Voters had no sooner adjusted to the shock of seeing Representative Mark Foley, Republican of Florida, disgraced from office by his come-ons to Congressional pages than Bob Ney took his turn on the pre-election scandal smorgasbord. Representative Ney, Republican of Ohio, pleaded guilty to being a principal in the quid-pro-quo insiders’ market run by Jack Abramoff, the corrupt Republican lobbyist who is cooperating with investigators about his ties to Congress and the White House. Another Republican, former Representative Randy Cunningham of California, is already doing time. He sold his office in steering $70 million in contracts to companies that offered bribes ranging from a Rolls-Royce to a carpet emblazoned “Global War on Terror.”

It should be remembered that Speaker Dennis Hastert, now under fire in the Foley scandal, helped dampen any chance of in-House ethical controls in his failed attempt to save the career of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, an Abramoff ally who is accused of political money laundering and is awaiting trial. The sight of the ossified ethics committee forced back to life by the Foley scandal is more pathetic than heartening. It’s small wonder that lawmakers feel empowered to make ethical stretches — like Representative John Doolittle’s boosting his own family’s value by having his wife designated a consultant and paying her a 15 percent commission off the top of his campaign kitty.

Read more here.

October 18, 2006 Posted by | Op Ed, Uncategorized | Leave a comment