January 2006 Archives

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January 30, 2006

al-Zawahiri: "Neener, neener"

You gotta admit, these are some lucky scumbags....

Link: News One Article | Reuters.com.

Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said he had survived a U.S. air strike targeting him in Pakistan earlier this month, in a video tape aired by Al Jazeera television on Monday.

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January 27, 2006

Reid admits defeat on Alito

Link: Politics News Article | Reuters.com.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted on Friday he and fellow Democrats lack the votes to block President George W. Bush's nomination of conservative appeals judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court."Everyone knows there is not enough votes to support a filibuster," Reid said, referring to the procedural roadblock that some Democrats said should be used to put off a vote on Alito.The Nevada Democrat said, however, he would vote for such a measure to at least send a message of opposition to the nominee. That vote will come on Monday with final confirmation set for Tuesday."I think it is an opportunity for people to express their opinion as to what a bad choice it was to replace (retiring Justice) Sandra Day O'Connor" with Alito, Reid told reporters after a speech at a Washington hote

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January 26, 2006

2 More Democratic Senators Back Alito - New York Times

Link: 2 More Democratic Senators Back Alito - New York Times.

The two new Democratic backers, Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia and Tim Johnson of South Dakota, joined Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, in crossing party lines to endorse Judge Alito, whom many Senate Democrats have assailed as so conservative as to be out of the judicial and social mainstream.

"I make up my own mind," Mr. Byrd said. He said he had become convinced that Judge Alito was "an honorable man who loves his country and loves his Constitution. Can we really ask for more?"

Uh, yeah, we could. We could ask for someone with moderate balance and a sense of decency.

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I have confirmed reports that Kerry wants to filibuster Alito, and he is talking to his colleagues to round up the 41 votes he needs. Only�two Democrats (Ben Nelson and Tim Johnson) support Alito. Only two others (Mary Landrieu and Ken Salazar) say they oppose a filibuster, but are expected to vote against Alito. So right now, without the support of any Republicans, we still have 41 possible votes for a filibuster. There are roughly 6 moderate Republicans who should also be targeted (Lincoln Chafee, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bob Smith, Olympia Snowe, George Voinovich). And we should work as hard as we can to persuade Landrieu and Salazar that a vote against Alito is meaningless if they don't support a filibuster.

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January 23, 2006

Bush nominee broke law

Another fine Bush nominee...

Link: Salon.com News | Bush nominee broke law.

A judge nominated by President Bush to one of the highest courts in the nation apparently violated federal law repeatedly while serving on the federal bench. Judge James H. Payne, 64, who was nominated by Bush in late September to join the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, issued more than 100 orders in at least 18 cases that involved corporations in which he owned stock, a review of court and financial records shows.

Federal law and the official Code of Conduct for U.S. judges explicitly prohibit judges from sitting on cases involving companies in which they own stock -- no matter how small their holdings -- in order to uphold the integrity of the judicial system. (Judges' financial filings typically don't differentiate ownership between the judge and immediate family members.) The clear-cut, objective standard aims to prevent even the appearance that a judge may be taking into consideration his or her personal financial interests.

Payne's financial filings show holdings of up to $100,000 in SBC Communications stock, up to $50,000 in Wal-Mart stock and up to $15,000 in Pfizer stock, among others, while he presided over lawsuits involving the companies or their subsidiaries. In fact, it appears that since he was appointed by Bush in 2001 as a federal district judge in Oklahoma, Payne has been sitting inappropriately on at least one case at any given moment for nearly his entire federal judgeship.

Last fall, Payne's nomination to the 10th Circuit got little public attention while the media focused on the president's Supreme Court nominations. But Chief Justice John Roberts and current nominee Samuel Alito have tripped over the conflict of interest issue as well. Roberts, who holds an array of blue chip stocks and has unprecedented corporate ties for a sitting Supreme Court justice, has already recused himself from numerous cases and admitted a mistake in not recusing himself earlier from another. Alito was grilled in Senate hearings this month about why in one instance he didn't follow through on a pledge to recuse himself from any case involving the mutual fund company Vanguard, in which he held investments.

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Pix of the Pres and Jack... woopsy.

Link: TIME.com Print Page: TIME Magazine -- When George Met Jack.

The President's memory may soon be unhappily refreshed. TIME has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush's aides have downplayed. While TIME's source refused to provide the pictures for publication, they are likely to see the light of day eventually because celebrity tabloids are on the prowl for them. And that has been a fear of the Bush team's for the past several months: that a picture of the President with the admitted felon could become the iconic image of direct presidential involvement in a burgeoning corruption scandal like the shots of President Bill Clinton at White House coffees for campaign contributors in the mid-1990s.

In one shot that TIME saw, Bush appears with Abramoff, several unidentified people and Raul Garza Sr., a Texan Abramoff represented who was then chairman of the Kickapoo Indians, which owned a casino in southern Texas. Garza, who is wearing jeans and a bolo tie in the picture, told TIME that Bush greeted him as "Jefe," or "chief" in Spanish. Another photo shows Bush shaking hands with Abramoff in front of a window and a blue drape. The shot bears Bush's signature, perhaps made by a machine. Three other photos are of Bush, Abramoff and, in each view, one of the lobbyist's sons (three of his five children are boys). A sixth picture shows several Abramoff children with Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is now pushing to tighten lobbying laws after declining to do so last year when the scandal was in its early stages.

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The War for Domestic Spying

Here come the speeches... but, Rove is the first one out with this tired doozy...

Link: USATODAY.com - White House steps up defense of domestic spying.

"President Bush believes if al-Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why," Rove said.

He said later that "Democrats have a pre-9/11 view of the world."

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Halliburton gives contaminated to troops.

Link: A-P Enterprise: U-S troops exposed to contaminated water in Iraq, Halliburton documents say.

Halliburton employees say they told the defense contractor that contaminated water was being used by U-S troops and civilians at a U-S military base in Iraq. But the employees say they couldn't get Halliburton to inform camp residents of the problem.

The contaminated water came to light in internal company documents The Associated Press obtained from Senate Democrats who are holding a public inquiry tomorrow.

One of the memos was written by the official for Halliburton's K-B-R subsidiary, which was in charge of water quality in Iraq and Kuwait. He writes -- quote -- "we exposed a base camp population to a water source that was not treated."

Bottled water was used for drinking, but a water expert says the tainted water was used for everything else, including making coffee. Someone who worked at the base in Ramadi says he was among many people who got sick.

A Halliburton spokeswoman says the company did not find any contaminated water nor medical evidence of illnesses.

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January 16, 2006

Air America suffering from "Listener Erosion"

Well, we could've called that the minute Jerry Springer came on board. What a joke.

Air America is becoming more and more of what the Right Wing nutjobs said it would become... unstructured and out of touch.

Link: Air America & IRN Break Off Talks for African-American Talk Radio Show: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance.

As Arbitron continues to release radio ratings from the recently completed Fall 2005 survey period, affiliates of Air America, the progressive radio network, which launched behind one of the most heralded promotional pushes in radio history are showing continuing signs of listener erosion.

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Brokeback White House

Lest we forget, it was a year ago that Jeff Gannon Guckert Studly Bulldog was outed as a plant in the White House.

Wonder if he's going to be on the new Q Network;

Link: Washington Blade Online.

Top Ten Shows on the new gay cable network:

10. ‘Everybody Loves Raymond — Especially Steve’
9. ‘CSI: San Francisco’
8. ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio Apartment in the West Village’
7. ‘Law & Order: Special Antiquing Unit’
6. ‘King of Queens’
5. ‘Desperate Houseboys’
4. ‘Stone Phillips — Unleashed’
3. ‘Malcolm in the Middle’
2. ‘My Wife & Kids — Have No Idea’
1. ‘Press the Meat’”

David Letterman’s Top 10 suggestions for the Q Television Network, one of several gay cable channels launched in 2005 (CBS’ “Late Night,” Jan. 10)

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