CIVIL RIGHTS — CHANGES IN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAPS OFFICE MORALE: Since 2002, the Bush administration has quietly filled the ranks of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division — the nation’s top enforcer of anti-discrimination laws — with lawyers who have “strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights.” The result, according to William Yeomans, a 24-year division veteran who retired last year, is that “morale among career attorneys has plummeted, the division’s productivity has suffered and the pace of civil rights enforcement has slowed.” Although a committee of career veterans had made hiring decisions for decades, former Attorney General John Ashcroft changed the rules in 2003 to minimize input from staff, allowing the process to be handled completely by political appointees. Consequently, the “clear emphasis” has been to hire individuals with conservative backgrounds. Only 42 percent of employees hired since 2003 have experience in civil rights, as compared to 77 percent of those hired in the two years before the change. There has also been a “sea change” in the types of cases brought by the division: fewer voting rights abuses are being prosecuted, and instead, more interest has been shown in cases of “reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians.” While this was somewhat expected, says Richard Ugelow, who also recently retired, no one “anticipated that it would go this far, that enforcement would be cut back to the point that people felt like they were spinning their wheels.”
Comment on Bradblog today….
Hey! I woke up to some awful and creepy news in my inbox this “morning”:
After more than a decade of working with The Moscow and St. Petersburg Times, Chris Floyd was “let go” today by the new editor – a young lad fresh out of business school who wrote Chris;
“The column no longer fits in with our plans.”
That’s it, after 10 years of the column, 12 years overall with the paper. One day to the next.
After August 11, Floyd will no longer be published in The Moscow or St. Petersburg Times.
Chris Floyd, whose webpage Empire Burlesque many of us know and love, would seem to be getting the treatment, the old clean-the-media-of-that-subversive-truth-stuff treatment, at workâ€¦ on the very same day he publishes the third edition of Empire Burlesque â€” High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium.
I’m gonna email the editors[at]themoscowtimes[dot]com and tell them how I feel about this. I’m not going to swear. I’m pretty sure I won’t use profanity. But I am SO sick of this stuff. Maybe I’ll let the young lad know that it stepping straight into fascistic conformism isn’t the best way to start one’s career.
Damn! Double damnâ€¦ Quintuple damn!!!!!
While sitting here in Israel, watching another day of 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage of the “war,” it occurred to me that if the western media devoted 10% of this effort to coverage of Iraq, the resulting public outcry would likely bring America’s occupation to a speedy conclusion.
Additionally, this obvious effort to push Iraq off of the front page has impacted me, personally. My son’s August Bar Mitzvah plans are in shambles now that most of our anticipated visitors from America have been terrorized out of traveling to Israel. I am also forced to field seemingly endless phone calls from well-intentioned friends back home who see the media’s version of what is happening here and erroneously assume the entire country is under attack.
Forget about Hezbollah and their over-hyped “army,” what will truly help return everything here to normal (or as normal as things can be) will be sending Shepard Smith and company packing. They are all seriously misrepresenting what is happening here. Unfortunately for them, it seems as if WW lll will have to wait.
See: www.baiman.blogspot.com for a link to this powerpoint presentation.
It includes new evidence just found in Ohio.
I haven’t yet been able to scan in all of the supporting documentation (mostly the absentee audit and certified vote reports – but have all of this available as backup and will scan this in as soon as I can.
We need funds now to continue gathering data and trying to launch a campaign to save the ballots that will be destroyed in many counties on Sept. 3, 2006. See pictures from Darke County at the end of the spreadsheet.
Dear Professor Miller,
I thought of you, and your analysis of the Democratic leadership’s avoidance/denial of the seriousness of our electoral crisis (Al Gore excepted), when I was at Democracy Fest 2006 in San Diego last weekend. Howard Dean was disseminating the DNC talking points about happy-talking our way into the hearts and minds of Republicans and Independents. Someone in the audience punctuated Dean’s remarks with shouts of “Count the vote!” several times, to cheers and applause by the crowd. Dean’s reaction was to brush that off telling us that those whose votes we are courting don’t want to hear about that kind of negative stuff this year. To which the same man replied “Count the vote!” More cheers.
Have mercy on our democracy. Americans should have taken to the streets the day after the last two presidential elections.
Thank you for keeping our electoral crisis on the national radar screen, and for your passion, which is the only sane way to feel about this situation.
Published on Saturday, July 22, 2006 by the New York Times
From 2002 until this year, NASAâ€™s mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: â€œTo understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers … as only NASA can.â€
In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase â€œto understand and protect our home planetâ€ deleted. In this yearâ€™s budget and planning documents, the agencyâ€™s mission is â€œto pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.â€
David E. Steitz, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said the aim was to square the statement with President Bushâ€™s goal of pursuing human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars.
But the change comes as an unwelcome surprise to many NASA scientists, who say the â€œunderstand and protectâ€ phrase was not merely window dressing but actively influenced the shaping and execution of research priorities. Without it, these scientists say, there will be far less incentive to pursue projects to improve understanding of terrestrial problems like climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
Fair http://www.qbr.com speaking on a panel on “A Matter of Trust:
Integrity and the US Electoral System” http://www.qbr.com/page6035.asp.
Time: 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The event takes place at the Schomburg Center (Langston Hughes
Auditorium) 515 Malcolm X Blvd. @ W.135th Street
Other panelists are:
John McWhorter (Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America),
Paul Robeson, Jr. (A Black Way of Seeing),
It will be covered live by CSPAN.
I didn’t even know that I’m a candidate!
But I love Kurt’s sense of humor!
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2006 4:38 PM
I really like your work, Mark. It’s nice to see a loser so prepared to explain not only his last defeat but his NEXT one as well.
Congratulations and be sure to have the legal team ready for the Fall!
RFK Jr. Blows
the Whistle on Diebold
By John Ireland, In These Times
Posted on July 21, 2006, Printed on July 21, 2006
On July 13, the Pensacola, Fla.-based law firm of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed a “qui tam” lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that Diebold and other electronic voting machine (EVM) companies fraudulently represented to state election boards and the federal government that their products were “unhackable.”
Kennedy claims to have witnesses “centrally located, deep within the corporations,” who will confirm that company officials withheld their knowledge of problems with accuracy, reliability and security of EVMs in order to procure government contracts. Since going into service, many of these machines have been linked to allegations of election fraud.
In the wake of alleged vote count inconsistencies and the “hanging chad” debacle of 2000, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002. HAVA appropriated $3 billion to replace voting equipment and make other improvements in election administration. Diebold, Election Systems & Software and Sequoia Systems secured the lion’s share of nearly half that sum in contracts to purchase EVMs. All 50 states have received funds and many are hurriedly spending it on replacing lever and punch card machines in time for November.
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