You'd think that this would be big news

Rove-Plame: The Word from Aspen
By Arianna Huffington

How is it that the second most powerful man in America is about to take a fall and the mainstream media are largely taking a pass? Could it be that the fear of Karl Rove and this White House is so great that not even the biggest of the media big boys are willing to take them on? Does the answer to that one go without saying?

Chatter about the Rove story has come to dominate the downtime at the Aspen Institute’s five-day Ideas Festival. Whenever participants are not in sessions, they’re gathering in small groups and dissecting, analyzing, and speculating about the outcome of this surprisingly slow-breaking scandal.

Read more.

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The One Very Good Reason Karl Rove Might Be Indicted
By Lawrence O’Donnell

Two years ago, when I first read the federal law protecting the identities of covert agents, my reaction was the same as everyone else who reads it — this is not an easy law to break. That’s what I said on Hardball then in my first public discussion of the outing of Valerie Plame, and that’s what I said on CNN the other night. Let’s walk through the pieces that would have to fall into place for Karl Rove to have committed a crime when he revealed Plame’s identity to Matt Cooper.

First, and most obviously, Valerie Plame had to be a covert agent when Rove exposed her to Cooper. It’s not obvious that she was. The law has a specific definition of covert agent that she might not fit — an overseas posting in the last five years, for example. But it’s hard to believe the prosecutor didn’t begin the grand jury session with a CIA witness certifying that Plame was a covert agent. If the prosecutor couldn’t establish that, why bother moving on to the next witness?

Second, Rove had to know she was a covert agent. Cooper’s article refers to Plame as “a CIA official.” Most CIA officials are not covert agents.

Read more.

Another study casting doubt on Bush's "re-election"

UIC Prof’s Statistical Analysis Casts Doubt on ’04 Election Result
July 4, 2005

By Gigi Wasz
Gazette news magazine, Chicago

A University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) professor recently issued a report calling into question the results of the 2004 presidential election.

In the 30-plus page report, Ron Baiman, PhD, of UIC’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs, along with eleven other colleagues from other prestigious universities, applied quantitative data to explain the discrepancy between exit poll projections and votes actually recorded in the November election and to understand the analysis given by Edison Media Research & Mitofsky International (E/M), the pollster of record for the national election.

E/M’s poll projections predicted a win for Democrat John Kerry by 3%, however, when votes were tallied, Republican President George W. Bush was given the win by 2.5%-the largest discrepancy in the poll’s history. In its post-election analysis and report, E/M discredited its own poll projections, claiming the official vote was not corrupted and that “Kerry voters were more amenable to completing the poll questionnaire than Bush voters.”

“Using their (E/M’s) data tables, we demonstrated that their hypothesis of outspoken Kerry supporters is implausible,” explained Baiman. “If the polls were faulty because Bush voters were shy in the presence of Kerry voters and less likely to cooperate with pollsters, the polls should be the most accurate in the precincts where Bush voters were in the overwhelming majority and where exit poll participation was also at its maximum. What we find is just the opposite. In fact, the mean exit poll discrepancy was dramatically higher in Bush strongholds than in Kerry strongholds.”

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What's a true patriot?

Ten Characteristics of A True US Patriot

A True US Patriot

We, the People of the United States of America, finding ourselves repeatedly misled by those charged with the care and governance of our nation, know that partisan politics have resulted in a serious breach of the public trust.

We have suffered attacks against our Constitutional rights and the founding tenets of this Democratic Republic. We have suffered the infringement of our freedoms. We have suffered insult to our honor and integrity as proud citizens.

We will no longer suffer in silence this continued assault that has now passed beyond intolerable.

We do hereby now and forever reject the bastardization of this nation’s core principles through this proclamation, and define this reminder to our wayward leaders just what it takes to be a True US Patriot:

1. A True US Patriot realizes if the rights of one are violated, the rights of all are at risk, and objects to any attempt to alter the Constitution in order to specifically undermine the rights and freedoms of others, ensuring that the Constitution will never be amended to endorse discrimination of any kind.

2. A True US Patriot holds the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence to be self-evident, and defends the Constitutional rights of others even when those rights conflict with personal and religious beliefs; believing that all men are created equal, even in times of war, the basic principles of humanity apply not only to one group of people or nation, but to all.

3. A True US Patriot supports the checks and balances within the three branches of government and rejects any attempts to circumvent or undermine them.

4. A True US Patriot exercises the right to openly challenge and hold accountable at all times, even and most particularly in times of war, those who do not honor their oaths of office, who purposely mislead the nation, who abdicate responsibility when those in their employ are caught engaging in criminal and unethical activities, and who fail to serve the nation with integrity.

5. A True US Patriot recognizes the contributions of the older generation and values the potential of the next, and that in order to promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves, our elders, and our Posterity, we must ensure that the basic rights of those we hold dear to access quality healthcare and education is steadfastly supported, uncompromisingly and without discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, or orientation.

6. A True US Patriot believes that human rights are inherent to the human condition and should not be given to non-living entities; the rights of corporations should not equal or exceed the rights of any individual, and the right to fair and equal trade as well as fair and equal pay are a vital part of those expectations.

7. A True US Patriot recalls that our citizens consist of the tired and the poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the ‘wretched refuse’, and homeless, tempest-tossed people, and welcomes fair and balanced immigration with managed borders to ensure an open policy while maintaining and increasing security for both those who would call this land their home as well as those who already dwell within.

8. A True US Patriot respects the personal religious choices of others, refrains from imposing their own beliefs upon others, refuses to support war in the name of religion, and offers foreign humanitarian aid unconditionally without tying it to religious dogma.

9. A True US Patriot knows that due process of law and the protections against illegal search and seizure are core principles upon which our nation is founded, and the respect of an individual’s right to privacy and security within their own home is critical to the preservation of our freedom.

10. A True US Patriot respects the diversity and culture of all nations, recognizing that our continued success lay not in spite of other nations but in alliance with them in a uniform approach toward promoting the global general welfare.

These ten basic tenets characterizing a True US Patriot can perhaps best be summed up in the words of Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune, paraphrased below:

“A True US Patriot loves what his country stands for, not necessarily what his country does, and will not shrink from holding America to her ideals.”

© Eric Zorn, The Chicago Tribune, “Durbin should have stood up for his opinion”, June 23, 2005.

__________________

Our ‘leaders’ have taken to calling each other ‘un-American’ and ‘un-Patriotic’ a lot lately. This list of ten characteristics of ‘A True US Patriot’ was compiled by a group of US Citizens both here and abroad. Let this list serve to help remind those who serve us that these terms were not meant to be bandied about like a club, bludgeoning opponents into submission.

Write or call the toll-free numbers of all your elected officials- from your local town/city council members to the President of the United States- and tell them about A True US Patriot. Let them know about this blog. Tell them that True US Patriots created this list, together. Ask your newspaper why it hasn’t published an article on this subject. Let your friends and neighbors know about it.

Pass it around!

It’s time for our elected representatives to be reminded – this is our country, our nation, and they serve both it, and us.

It’s time to tell the media that it must live up to the role of champion of the truth, and ask the tough questions.

What's up, Doc? (It can't hurt to ask)

From Ilene Proctor:

From: David Donnelly, Public Campaign Action Fund
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 10:53 AM
To: Ilene Proctor
Subject: House Ethics: Stranger than Fiction

Dear Ilene,

In this Congress, the truth about ethics is stranger than fiction. And often, more elusive.

A congressman took a trip paid for by a corporation that he helped get a government contract, but he didn’t to disclose it – an apparent violation of House rules. And, what’s worse, the corporation’s employees were the congressman’s top contributor in the 2004 election.

Does that sound like reason enough to have the House Ethics Committee investigate him?

But what if that member of Congress was Doc Hastings of Washington state, the chairman of the Ethics Committee?

This is the man that is, so far, refusing to appoint an outside counsel to investigate Tom DeLay.

Enough is enough. Doc Hastings should step down from his Ethics Committee chairmanship and support the appointment of an outside counsel to investigate the House lobbying scandals.

Call him today at (202) 225-5816.

Hastings is standing in the way of an independent investigation into DeLay, who has given him $5,930 in Political Action Committee contributions, and trying to appoint his chief of staff from his congressional office to head the nonpartisan Ethics Committee staff, contrary to Committee rules.

Now we find out he’s failed to disclose trips paid for by a corporation to which he’s steered lucrative government contracts and from whose employees he’s received $10,200 for his 2004 election.

He should resign as chair immediately and support the appointment of an outside counsel. No ifs, ads, or buts. Call Hastings’s office today at (202) 225-5816.

After you’ve called, give us a sense of how the call went at the Daily DeLay.

Thanks,

David Donnelly
Public Campaign Action Fund

More from the party of "states' rights"

Senate Gives Feds Power to Approve LNG Terminal Sites
By Richard Simon and Miguel Bustillo
Times Staff Writers
7:16 PM PDT, June 22, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted on Wednesday to give federal regulators authority over the location of liquefied natural gas terminals, despite objections from governors that states should be have an equal say in deciding where such projects are built.

Republican and Democratic officials from city halls to Capitol Hill have expressed concern that the terminals could become targets of terrorist attacks or pose other safety risks, and they have sought a role in siting them.

Read more.

Cheney in the hospital (but don't tell anyone)

From http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Is Cheney Alright?

I just landed at Vail airport, right next to the Vice President’s Gulfstream jet (actually, there were two Vice Presidential planes, not one… how much of an entourage does one VP need?). He’s here to speak at the World Forum at Beaver Creek, sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, and held, of course, behind closed doors. The guy sent to pick me up by the Vail Valley Institute (where I’m speaking) told me that he had seen the VP’s motorcade speed towards the local hospital. Being an intrepid HuffPost reporter, I asked him to take me straight there. Upon our arrival, we encountered a high level of security — and a lot of zipped lips: “We cannot tell you anything,” “No comment,” “That information is not available…” But one hospital staffer, obviously not schooled in the secretive ways of Cheney, let it slip: “He’s no longer here”. And since you cannot “no longer” be someplace you’ve never been, we can deduce — though not confirm — that Cheney did, in fact, pay a visit to the local hospital. The reason? Over to you AP…

We ain't seen nothin' yet

….and soon that’s all we’ll see, on PBS at any rate.

June 23, 2005
Public Broadcasting Names New President
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 2:48 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, already embroiled in controversy over allegations of a liberal-leaning bias in PBS programming, chose a former Republican Party co-chairman Thursday as its president and chief executive.

Patricia S. Harrison, the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, was selected following three days of closed-door meetings by the corporation’s board of directors.

Democratic lawmakers last week urged the CPB to put off choosing a new president, citing concerns about political interference by the corporation’s chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson. A Republican, Tomlinson, has been critical of public affairs programming at PBS, alleging that it’s too liberal.

In a statement, PBS said it looked forward to working with Harrison. It added: ”We have every expectation that she will execute her responsibilities with nonpartisan integrity.”

Read more.

Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes

By HOPE YEN
The Associated Press
Thursday, June 23, 2005; 10:50 AM

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court ruled that local governments
may seize people’s homes and businesses against their will for
private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities
where economic growth conflicts with individual property rights.

Read more.

Conyers' kick-ass letter to the Washington Post

From R. Miller:

RAW STORY REPORTS: Conyers doesn’t take Milbank’s hit piece lying down!

Write to the Post and help Conyers kick Tory ass! Milbank is a SKULL & BONES brother of Bushie.

Below:
================
LINK
Conyers letter
sample letter to Wash Post and their contact info
==================

The following letter was carbon-copied to RAW STORY.

June 17, 2005
Mr. Michael Abramowitz, National Editor; Mr. Michael Getler, Ombudsman; Mr. Dana Milbank;
The Washington Post,
1150 15th Street, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20071

Dear Sirs:

I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank’s June 17 report, “Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War,” which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post’s only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious.

In an inaccurate piece of reporting that typifies the article, Milbank implies that one of the obstacles the Members in the meeting have is that “only one” member has mentioned the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of either the House or Senate. This is not only incorrect but misleading. In fact, just yesterday, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, mentioned it on the Senate floor. Senator Boxer talked at some length about it at the recent confirmation hearing for the Ambassador to Iraq. The House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently signed on to my letter, along with 121 other Democrats asking for answers about the memo. This information is not difficult to find either. For example, the Reid speech was the subject of an AP wire service report posted on the Washington Post website with the headline “Democrats Cite Downing Street Memo in Bolton Fight”. Other similar mistakes, mischaracterizations and cheap shots are littered throughout the article.

The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats “pretended” a small conference was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.

In what can only be described as a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing, Milbank quotes one of the witnesses as making an anti-semitic assertion and further describes anti-semitic literature that was being handed out in the overflow room for the event. First, let me be clear: I consider myself to be friend and supporter of Israel and there were a number of other staunchly pro-Israel members who were in attendance at the hearing. I do not agree with, support, or condone any comments asserting Israeli control over U.S. policy, and I find any allegation that Israel is trying to dominate the world or had anything to do with the September 11 tragedy disgusting and offensive.

That said, to give such emphasis to 100 seconds of a 3 hour and five minute hearing that included the powerful and sad testimony (hardly mentioned by Milbank) of a woman who lost her son in the Iraq war and now feels lied to as a result of the Downing Street Minutes, is incredibly misleading. Many, many different pamphlets were being passed out at the overflow room, including pamphlets about getting out of the Iraq war and anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement, and it is puzzling why Milbank saw fit to only mention the one he did.

In a typically derisive and uninformed passage, Milbank makes much of other lawmakers calling me “Mr. Chairman” and says I liked it so much that I used “chairmanly phrases.” Milbank may not know that I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee from 1988 to 1994. By protocol and tradition in the House, once you have been a Chairman you are always referred to as such. Thus, there was nothing unusual about my being referred to as Mr. Chairman.

To administer his coup-de-grace, Milbank literally makes up another cheap shot that I “was having so much fun that [I] ignored aides’ entreaties to end the session.” This did not occur. None of my aides offered entreaties to end the session and I have no idea where Milbank gets that information. The hearing certainly ran longer than expected, but that was because so many Members of Congress persevered under very difficult circumstances to attend, and I thought – given that – the least I could do was allow them to say their piece. That is called courtesy, not “fun.”

By the way, the “Downing Street Memo” is actually the minutes of a British cabinet meeting. In the meeting, British officials – having just met with their American counterparts – describe their discussions with such counterparts. I mention this because that basic piece of context, a simple description of the memo, is found nowhere in Milbank’s article.

The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn’t make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.

To reach Milbank and the Post:

milbankd@washpost.com

webnews@washingtonpost.com

Main Phone: 703-469-2500