"Speaking truth to the powers that be..." is our most powerful weapon. "Trading liberty for security results in the loss of both" "Give me liberty or give me death - Patrick Henry" "Government of, by and for the people"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bush & Cheney's Tax Returns... A Closer Look??

At times in American history the level of corruption has reached such epic proportions that it becomes almost impossible to reveal the truth about the massive corruption that is ongoing to the American people. They just refuse to believe it. That it could be that bad.

However, one thing that gets the attention of the American people, and they will believe it, is the amount of money being "skimmed, embezzled" by their leaders.

Al Capone owned just about every arm of government, and jury trials were exercises in futility. However, his downfall was his "tax returns", the failure to report all of his income.

The same could apply to Bush and Cheney with the recent release of their tax returns. There is no way the figures presented are an accurate reflection of the money made over the last year.

Maybe Bush and Cheney's downfall will begin with a close review of their tax returns.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Time Is Right To Speak Truth And Call Bush's Hand

Senator Feingold was "gold" today ..... putting the truth on the line and calling Bush's hand.

His presidential stock definitely went up today, and not just among liberal Dems ... true conservatives do not like big government listening in on them any more than liberals.

Feingold has taken the initiative, and will reap the rewards that any Democrat could have had if they had gone to the floor of the Senate first and delivered this message.

It takes a clear voice and clear message to connect with the American people, and until they hear both they are likely to remain confused, and unwilling to make any big changes.

Democrats need to step out and be bold. People are waiting to hear an alternative --even if it will require their sacrifice, to get this country back on track.

We need to go hard against the corrupt, including not giving our own a free pass if they have engaged in wrongdoing. Integrity comes from doing the right thing, and doing the right thing is never wrong.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the time is right to step out, be bold, and provide an alternative to Bush and the neo-cons, not be Republican-lite.

Another point worth noting .... in this culture of corruption that Congressional leaders have allowed, it is pretty clear that people like Sibel Edmonds(national security whistle blower) who have information on members of Congress and the WHite House should be free to disclose that information to any member of Congress, and not subject to a "state secrets" gag order.

Evidence is evidence. Either it is trustworthy and reliable or it is not. What member of Congress is going to avoid clearing his name with an allegation of bribery pending against him? Does it instill confidence in that member of Congress when they stand silent?

This really cuts to the heart of the corrupt practices allowed to go on in Congress today.

The Bradblog.com has an exclusive on Edmonds and the $500,000 Speaker Denny Hastert received from Turkish interests in amounts less than $200 each, so that they would not be required to report them.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


To hear President Bush, you would think the tax cuts are helping to lift all Americans prospects, and fight poverty by reinvigorating our economy.

However, as these fast facts show, the truth is just the opposite ....

FACT — POVERTY RATES HAVE INCREASED UNDER BUSH: The poverty rate has risen each year since 2001, with 12.7 percent of the population now living in poverty. African-American poverty has risen from 22.7 percent in 2001 to 24.7 percent in 2004, and child poverty has gone from 16.3 percent in 2001 to 17.8 percent (1.3 million children under the age of 18). [U.S. Census Bureau, Aug. 2005, Tables B-1 and B-2]

FACT — BUSH TAX CUTS TARGETED AT HIGH-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS: The tax bills enacted since 2001 “have helped high-income households far more than other households,” according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Households with incomes exceeding $1 million have received average tax cuts of $103,000, “an increase of 5.4 percent in their after-tax income.” But in 2005, the bottom fifth of households “will receive an average combined tax cut of $18 from these bills, raising their after-tax income by 0.3 percent.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/17/05]

It is hard to argue with these findings. Did anybody tell President Bush??

Tip of the hat and thank you to thinkprogress.com for bringing these facts to our attention.

Let's Take A Status Check

You decide to show up and petition your government leader, say George W. Bush, and
--you cannot get in without being prescreened and determined to be a supporter of the president, signing a loyalty oath, and having received a ticket;
--you have a ticket and decide to attend to hear the president speak, but you drive your car with the democratic bumper sticker, and you are stopped and ejected from the event;
--you decide to appear and hold your sign which says impeach Bush,
so you are ushered to a metal caged area several blocks away, labelled a "free speech zone", out of sight and voice range, and placed under video surveillance;
--you decide to show up early to the site where Bush will speak to scout out a good location to protest, and you accidentally step inside an area the secret service has deemed a security zone, and you are arrested and charged with a felony under the Patriot Act, even though no one you wish to protest is even on the premises;

So your right to petition your government and engage in constitutionally protected protest is effectively suppressed.

YOu decide to watch the press use their 1st Amend right to ask the president questions, and get answers to those questions:

--Bush does not do unrehearsed press conferences;
--Bush does not answer questions he does not know about and filter in advance;
--Bush does not allow access to press members who do not report favorably about him;
--Bush refuses to allow Mike Wallace to interview him, or even speak to him;

So since you cannot effectively petition your government, and the press cannot effectively ask Bush questions, you decide to organize with others who are concerned like you:
--your telephone conversations are secretly listened to by NSA and other government agents without a warrant;
--your mail is opened by homeland security and read before being taped shut, stamped opened by the government, and delivered to you;
--your organization is infiltrated by government undercover spies, most recently if you were vegetarian, a librarian, or a peace activist associated with the Quaker religion.
--you decide to use the internet to discuss your interests and concerns, and your web surfing and emails are turned over by your isp to the government;

So you decide to use your right to vote to express your will in the democracy you call home:

--you are turned away from voting because you are wrongly identified as a felon in Florida;
--you are turned away from voting in Georgia because you do not have a picture ID card;
--your voting precinct has only 2 voting machines for thousands of precinct voters, which takes hours of standing in line to use, and which machines break down several times during the day;
--you use a touch screen voting machine which continuously registers your vote for Bush even though you are trying to vote for Kerry, and you cannot get a paper receipt showing how your vote was counted;
--you are given a provisional ballot to use and later the provisional ballot is not counted;

So how do you like the status of your constitutional rights so far?

If you said just fine, you are just the kind of citizen our present Administration is looking for.

If you said not at all, you might be still living in the past when the government existed to serve the people and we all had constitutional rights preserved to us.

It is good to take a status check every now then to realize just how many of our constitutional rights have been whittled away.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Corrupt to the Core .... Is more than a Partisan Issue

This is not a novel concept, but one that some of the oppressed find unnecessary in order to right the ship.

We cannot hold accountable the extreme corrupt who are in control of the Bush Administration and have taken over the Republican party and trashed our country and its reputation UNLESS we also hold accountable Independents and Democrats who also have engaged in corruption. Why? Because there is always the extortion element to deal with when we look to Dems and Independents to do their job and hold corrupt Republicans to account when they have their own corrupt practices to hide.

Without "clean hands" it is hard to point the accusatory finger at those who have to go.

Partisanship is definitely an issue here and as a party the Republicans must be dislodged from the levers of power. But if Dems want to RETAIN power once we retake it, we had better be prepared to hold our own candidates and representatives to a higher level of responsibility and demand that the corruption cycle end or they are out as well.

As a thirty year Democrat my political allegiance is unquestioned. However, people of both parties have been corrupted by the influence of corporate money, and we will never get our country back until we live out our commitment to root out corruption wherever it is found, and not just in a partisan way in the Republican party.

Speak truth to power, hold the corrupt accountable, ensure fair and transparent elections, and stop the unfettered flow of corporate money campaign contributions to our congressional representatives, and we will be well on the way back to returning this country to the people.

One more comment ...........when the Democrats retake the WH and Congress, the first action that should be taken is to completely open ALL of government records and documents to the public which Republicans have classified as secret, except for those legitimately tied to national security.

The sunshine of open and transparent government is kryptonite to corruption.

It just might revive the last surviving vestiges of a free press in this country as the evidence of such pervasive corruption is laid bare for public perusal.

You can be sure that history will not treat Bush kindly when the truth comes out, and it just might result in a public vaccination against reelection of such corrupt leaders again for quite a while.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Quick Quiz #1 - What Do They Have In Common?

Today's quick quiz: What do Abramoff, Delay, Ney, Coushatta Indian Tribe, Noe of Ohio, Cheney, and Rove and ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

Answer: All are directly involved in raising and/or receiving and/or redistributing massive illegal campaign contributions to Republicans.

Bonus Question: In which State has a sitting Governor pled NO CONTEST to criminal charges earlier this year and still in office?

Answer: Ohio

When Democrats Take Back Power .....

When Democrats take back power in 2006, I think it would be a monumental mistake to publicly announce how Democrats are going to reach out to Republicans and work with them in a "spirit of bipartisanship" to address the problems facing our country.

An alternative approach that is well deserved and likely to be much more effective would be similar to the following:

"Democrats have been completely shut out of power in both houses of government, and the White House, since 2000, and in that time irreparable damage has been visited upon this country and its people, by corrupt influences and corrupt leaders in the Republican Party. There has been so much damage done to our country that it cannot be repaired all at once. However, the one thing we can do today is begin to restore the power of government to the people and deny that power to those corrupt corporate interests who have looted our treasury, and deny that power to those corrupt ideologues who have squandered the goodwill of our country and damaged our nation's reputation in the world by leading us into an unnecessary war in Iraq.
In the coming days be prepared to hear the cries of abuse and partisanship from out-of-power Republicans as we set about repairing the damage they have done to our country. Do not be misled, we are prepared to stand firm and not be swayed by empty platitudes when there is so much that needs to be done to return America once again to the service of her people. Once we rid the houses of government and the White House of the corrupt interests that have seized control during the reign of Republicans, we will be glad to work in a bipartisan way for the good of our country. Until that time, Democrats will be about addressing the needs and interests of the people and of this great country, and those who have caused the damage need not expect there to be a sharing of power with them just because they have now rediscovered the word "bipartisanship." The tide has turned, there is a new day in
America, once again the people have control of their government and as their duly elected representatives we are committed to "cleaning house" and putting our country back on course. America belongs to its people, and we will not stop until its Government has been returned to her rightful owners."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Where Does Fitz Go From Here?

Rove is in real trouble for basically the same reasons Libby was indicted. His date with indictment is not avoided, just delayed.

The real target here is Cheney, which is clear from the factual recitation in the Libby indictment. Cheney was a source for Libby, knew Libby was lying for 2 years and said and did nothing. Cheney headed up the WHIG. Cheney is in this game in a big way.

Then the real issue becomes clear, what did Bush know and when did he know it, and who will "roll over" on him for their own self-interest.
The prospect of serving prison time has a way of helping you make up your mind about cooperating with the prosecutor. This would explain why Bush is in such a foul mood --he knows what he did, and how much trouble he could be in if his house of cards does not hold up.

So how does Fitz get from here to "there?"

Here is one plan. Offer Libby a deal he cannot refuse, reduced prison time, and squeeze him for every factual tidbit and get him on record under oath before the grand jury. Take that information and turn another top WH official with knowledge who has not been indicted for perjury and false statements like Libby, and get them on the record under oath, and squeeze them for their contacts.

Slowly build the framework of those who informed and observed Cheney and Bush first hand, who can testify to what was said and done consistent with what we know to be true.

Libby is toast. Rove is next. Cheney will likely resign. The big question is whether Bush can stay insulated. Right now his only card to play is the "dumb" defense, that "I was out of the loop." IF it works to avoid criminal charges, it makes Bush look incredibly out of control as President and very weak.

The story is gonna come out, the question is will anyone other than scooter take the fall. I think they will, and sighs of relief that certain people were not indicted yesterday are way too premature.

One indisputable fact that should send a chill through Rove and all the other Plamegate targets --Fitzgerald has rented office space across the street from the courthouse where Scooter will be tried and/or sentenced.

Fitz misses his bed in Chicago, but he is planning to be in Washington for an extended period of time to wind up this affair. The fact Fitz is securing office space cannot be spun, and should scare everyone with potential liability in this matter.

This is very bad news indeed for the WH and the inhabitants thereof.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Like a Jigsaw Puzzle, Obscure Pieces Reveal a Lot

Names and events mentioned in passing during the speculation on the Plamegate Leak case may hold forth more merit than initially thought. John Hannah, Mary Matalin, Cheney's PR guy sent to Iraq, Bolton visiting Judy Miller in prison, Jennifer Millerwise, Tim Russert, and Bob Novak. So how do all these pieces of the puzzle fit together? Here is one theory .....

John Hannah is now being reported as having "flipped" early on in the investigation. As a member of the Cheney staff borrowed from John Bolton's Office, he would have been in a position to know about the true motives for silencing Joe Wilson and outing his wife. With that information held close to the vest Fitzgerald would have been armed with the information needed to ask the right questions, and know when people were being untruthful. Mary Matalin, married to James Carrville, would have been part of the WHIG and as such would have had inside information as to the role other members played in the outing of Plame. She has held such a low profile, she most likely could have agreed to cooperate with Fitzgerald early on and no one would have been the wiser. So Bolton gets on the visitor list to see Judy Miller while in prison. Hmmm.... sounds like somebody needed to get their stories coordinated. We know from Bolton's failed confirmation hearings that there were intercepts of communications recorded by NSA that Bolton had access to, that were requested by the Senate, that were never revealed to the full Senate --but most likely were reviewed by Sen. Roberts and Sen. Rockefeller. They would know who he was listening in on and how it related to the Plame affair. Tim Russert appeared before the grand jury, but has not commented further on his role. Russert most likely has been cooperating with Fitzgerald just like Bob Novak. Cheney's PR guy is sent out of the country to Iraq for the next 6 months "to help" over there, and to be outside the reach of Fitzgerald's grand jury. And Millerwise as the CIA communications dir. most likely has been feeding CIA info to Fitzgerald, since she was never called to testify before the grand jury.

So how do the pieces fit? Each of these individuals know a lot more about who did what in Plamegate than they have disclosed publicly. With the exception of Hannah and Bolton, they each are likely to draw lenient sentences if charged, but they have no reason to risk being charged and sentenced to cover for the higherups. However, each was in a position to know a significant part of what was going on. Millerwise would have no liability, but would have played a huge role in pushback against the Whitehouse.

A good guess is that this investigation has centered on Cheney from the very beginning, and how Libby assisted Cheney in carrying out the orders. Plea arrangements have most likely included a provision that no leaks about cooperation could be exposed or the deals are off. THis has allowed Fitzgerald to put people over a barrel for lack of truthfulness and possible charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and thereby dig deeper. Now reports are circulating that Bush knew 2 years ago about the role Rove played in the outing, and lambasted him for it while telling the public he did not know. So is Bush in range for a "money shot" as an unindicted co-conspirator?

Most likely we are in the final hours of plea offers remaining on the table for likely defendants. Depending on who "flips" and who does not will likely determine whether Fitz takes a shot at indicting Bush, or merely refers to him as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Too many people inside and outside the White House know too much for the critical information regarding Cheney and Libby to leak out. In the end, the rest of us will be surprised at how much was known for so long by so many, and yet not made public until that time.

If Fitzgerald does his job, we may receive a second chance to remove the evildoers and reclaim our government.