Gannon's role in Plamegate

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The Rove That Dare Not Speak Its Plame

Did the Cheney-Rove effort to discredit Joseph Wilson include dispatching a surrogate posing as a reporter, quondam male escort Jeff Gannon, to interview Wilson? And does the White House relationship with Gannon continue today?

I’ve pointed out before that Gannon’s blog sounds very much as if it originates from the keyboard of Karl Rove. Rife with dated turns of phrase, political history arcana, and pats on the back for Rove, it’s not always plausible as the voice of a man who never wrote a word or took part in politics until his late 40s.

The blog’s preoccupations and elisions are also telling. Although it came into existence over Plamegate, it hasn’t taken note of Rove’s or Libby’s fresh worries. Nor has it mentioned Judy Miller’s release from jail, despite having called impatiently last summer for Miller to give testimony that the blog was somehow then sure would “clear” Rove. That was back when it looked as if it all might fall on Libby, if only Miller would talk.

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BushCo's convenient "terror alerts"

The Nexus of Politics and Terror (Keith Olbermann)

Secaucus – Last Thursday on Countdown, I referred to the latest terror threat – the reported bomb plot against the New York City subway system – in terms of its timing. President Bush’s speech about the war on terror had come earlier the same day, as had the breaking news of the possible indictment of Karl Rove in the CIA leak investigation.

I suggested that in the last three years there had been about 13 similar coincidences – a political downturn for the administration, followed by a “terror event” – a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning.

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Dobson projects his own agenda onto those who don't have one

From David Kaiser:

Mark–feel free to circulate this–I am going to put it on my own blog but I want it to be as widely circulated as possible.

The Reverend James Dobson discussed his conversation with Karl Rove about Harriet Miers on his radio show a few days ago. During the conversation he let more of the cat out of the bag than he perhaps intended regarding the code that is being used between the White House and its supporters. Initially, he said:

“Well, my reasons for supporting her were twofold, John. First, because Karl Rove had shared with me her judicial philosophy, which was consistent with the promises that President Bush had made when he was campaigning. Now he told the voters last year that he would select people to be on the Court who would interpret the law rather than create it and judges who would not make social policy from the bench. Most of all, the president promised to appoint people who would uphold the Constitution and not use their powers to advance their own political agenda. Now, Mr. Rove assured me in that telephone conversation that Harriet Miers fit that description and that the president knew her well enough to say so with complete confidence.”

Nothing too new there. But some time later, he dropped the other shoe.

“We did not discuss Roe v. Wade in any context or any other pending issue that will be considered by the Court. I did not ask that question. You know, to be honest, I would have loved to have known how Harriet Miers views Roe v. Wade. But even if Karl had known the answer to that, and I’m certain that he didn’t because the president himself said he didn’t know, Karl would not have told me that. That’s the most incendiary information that’s out there and it was never part of our discussion.

“One thing is clear. We know emphatically that Justices Souter and Kennedy and Breyer and Ginsburg and Stevens have made up their mind about Roe v. Wade by politicizing their decrees on that issue and others. They have usurped the right of the people to govern themselves and they imposed a radical agenda on this country.”

Now it is important to note, in this connection, the Souter, Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsbrug and Stevens were not on the bench when Roe v. Wade was initially decided. All they have done is to uphold it. But to Reverend Dobson, that alone qualifies as “imposing a radical agenda on this country,” “usurping the right of the people to govern themselves,” and, in effect, “making social policy from the bench”–exactly what President Bush has claimed his judges would not do.

In other words, Rev. Dobson seems to believe that when the President says he won’t appont judges who will legislate from the bench, he is saying he will appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Shouldn’t some one ask Scott McClellan or the President if the President feels the same way?

Keep FEMA's feet to the fire!

KatrinaAction.org Update from the Katrina Information Network (KIN)

Thanks to the many people who have been writing letters and keeping the pressure on, FEMA has been forced to reassess contracts given out in Katrina’s aftermath. Read about this and more at www.KatrinaAction.org. To take FEMA to task is a real victory but we need to keep to it going. Here’s a few ways:

1) Join Katrina Information Network (KIN) folk and send letters weekly. Here’s a link to the FEMA letter

2) Encourage family and friends to keep the pressure on in Washington and send easy form letters (or compose their own from the site).

3) Broaden the Katrina Information Network reach by sharing it with organizations you belong to, keep posting it to list serves, following up and making it happen.

KIN folk are committed to win Real Relief, A Just Recovery, And Nothing Less! If you have any questions or ideas about the site or KIN, do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for continuing to take action together at www.KatrinaAction.org

On behalf of KIN,
Sangita Nayak
Policy/Communications Director
www.KatrinaAction.org :Real Action for Real Relief. A Just Recovery. And Nothing Less!
The Praxis Project
1750 Columbia Road, NW
Second Floor
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (414)412-4518/(202) 234-5921
Fax:(202) 234-2689
www.thepraxisproject.org

Arizona's Katherine Harris ordered to appear in court!

Jan Brewer in the hot-seat for electoral shenanigans!

Help out with this important lawsuit!!

From Dave Griscom:

A right-wing Republican Secretary of State has actually been ordered to appear in court for failure to perform her duty vis-à-vis assurance of fair and reliable elections!!!

We have heard that the lawyer who filed the case, Bill Risner, has no fear of not being paid. His view is that Brewer’s illegalities are so well documented that the plaintiff (Tom Ryan) can’t lose, while Arizona’s mandamus action laws automatically award legal — and research — expenses to any party that “.prevails by an adjudication on the merits in a civil action brought by the party against the state.”

Below is a press release issued Friday, 7 October 2005. Attached is an html copy of same with hyperlinks added by John Brakey, followed by the actual lawsuit (also with hyperlinks by John) and materials referenced in the lawsuit, plus some ancillary materials.

Our group, AUDIT AZ, catalyzed this suit. It was John Brakey who discovered on the web the vulnerability of the 1.94w memory card used in so many Diebold optical scanners last November. Tom Ryan took over from there when John told him about it.

Since last November AUDIT and Tom Ryan have been in constant communication. But we arrived at a tacit understanding that we should have no official affiliation. That way Tom, who is less given to conspiracy theories, can maintain himself and his outfit, Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections, as a separate, less-biased persona. Now that he is the plaintiff in this case, AUDIT is in the peculiar position of wanting to publicize Tom’s suit without conferring with him. And clearly publicity is something that we dearly want to get.

We are laden with materials but for the moment we’re on our own to devise blogs and blasts. How best to compose them? What kind of things should we say, and what should we avoid saying?

Can you advise us?

We are (still without funding) trying to obtain a meeting hall or hotel ballroom to re-present to the general public the PowerPoint presentations that State Representative Ted Downing, Tom, and I presented to the Democratic State Committee in Flagstaff on August 20th. (Mine is an evolution of my presentations at the Nashville and Houston election reform hearings.) The date we have in mind is the 18th, the evening of Brewer’s hearing. Would you be interested in speaking too at that time (and maybe do a book signing)? Do you have any funding that could help pay for the meeting room?

Help! I’m only a retired physicist and John Brakey is momentarily broke.

Dave
—– Original Message —–
From: Bill Risner
To: john R Brakey johnnymingo@comcast.net
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 2:07 PM
Subject: Jan Brewer Ordered to Appear in Court

Press Release:
Secretary of State Jan Brewer ordered to appear in court for failure to perform duty to adopt voting equipment decertification standards. Secretary of State Jan Brewer has been ordered to appear in Pima County Superior Court on October 18, 2005 at 9:00 am to explain why she has not complied with Arizona law that requires adoption of voting system decertification standards. This order is the result of a Complaint for Special Action filed on October 6, 2005 for plaintiff Thomas W. Ryan, head of Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections. A.R.S. §16-442C states “the secretary of state shall adopt standards that specify the criteria for loss of certification for equipment used at any election for federal, state or county offices and that was previously certified for use in this state.” In response to a public records request, State Election Director Joseph Kanefield, in a letter to plaintiff dated September 9, 2005, stated that “based on a review of our records we do not have any of the specific records you request.” It is clear that the secretary of state has not complied with the statute.

With Arizona lacking standards for loss of certification, there is no criteria for determining that voting equipment should be evaluated for failure to accurately count every vote, as required in A.R.S. §16-446B(6). In a close September 2004 Republican primary election in LD20, optical scanners in Maricopa County produced a significantly different result when ballots were recounted; the recount resulted in nearly 6% more absentee votes read from the same set of ballots. The inability of these machines to repeat the count within a reasonably small error is convincing evidence that either; a) the ballots were mishandled between the original count and recount, or b) the machines malfunctioned. Election officials claim the ballots were handled properly. If this is the case, the machines are defective, yet Maricopa County has used them in subsequent elections. The optical scanners in Maricopa County use antiquated technology and should have been replaced or upgraded long ago, especially since similar equipment behavior was observed in the 2002 LD11 Republic State Senate primary election recount. The fact that there are no standards for decertification of the machines allows the County to continue to employ defective vote-counting machines.

The Secretary of State’s standards for decertification should include standards for equipment performance based on the most recent federal voting system standards and should provide a means by which Arizona voters can require that the machines be evaluated by an independent laboratory.

David L. Griscom
Residence: San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico (not mailing address)
We receive snail mail sent to the following address:
3938 E Grant Rd #131
Tucson, AZ 85712-2559
Phones in Mexico:
52 622 226 1495 (Mexico country code = 52)
1 520 829 4601 (VoIP: This is a U.S. domestic call)

The CC's influence was ALWAYS overstated

From Jared I.:

And it was never a majority….

“Signs hint Christian Coalition influence has peaked,” Chicago Tribune, 9/13/1996.

Although the Christian Coalition claims 1.7 million members, U.S. Postal Service data for September 1995 shows the organization mailed only 310,296 copies of its flagship Christian American magazine, which goes to people who contribute at least $15 a month to the group.

Lynn of Americans United, who requested the Postal Service figures, argued that they show the coalition is inflating its membership. But [CC spokesman Mike] Russell said not everyone who works with the coalition gives money regularly or subscribes to the magazine.

Tax returns show that donations to the coalition totaled $18.7 million in 1995, off nearly 12 percent from the $21.2 million it collected in 1994. Russell attributes the drop to the fact that 1995 was not an election year.

DON'T LET THIS BOOK GET KILLED!

Mary Mapes Hits Bloggers and MSM in Upcoming Book
By E&P Staff
Published: October 07, 2005 2:15 PM ET

NEW YORK Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post might have a bigger scoop than he thought. In his online column this morning, as a final, almost throwaway item, he quoted from the first chapter of the forthcoming book by former CBS producer Mary Mapes that covers, among other things, her controversial experience with the Dan Rather/Bush/National Guard “60 Minutes” segment.

Among the excerpts: “I was incredulous that the mainstream press — a group I’d been a part of for nearly twenty-five years and thought I knew — was falling for the blogs’ critiques. I was shocked at the ferocity of the attack. I was terrified at CBS’s lack of preparedness in defending us. I was furious at the unrelenting attacks on Dan. And I was helpless to do anything about any of it.”

He said he had drawn the brief excerpts from the first chapter, which had been posted (as sometimes happens with new books) at amazon.com. He also provided a link. But the link goes to a dead Amazon page. In fact, the book (which is due out on Nov. 8) seems to have disappeared completely from Amazon, except for its audio version (Mapes narrates herself).

Read more.

Ethics panel won't investigate DeLay

From Carolyn Kay:

Why hasn’t this been all over the mainstream media?

Seattle Times
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Hastings says ethics panel won’t investigate DeLay
By Alicia Mundy
Seattle Times Washington bureau

WASHINGTON – Rep. Doc Hastings, the Washington state Republican who chairs the House ethics committee, touched off a political controversy this week with statements supporting embattled Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

Hastings told the Yakima Herald-Republic that his committee would not investigate a 15-month-old complaint about DeLay’s role in alleged illegal campaign contributions in Texas.

Such an investigation would duplicate the work of the Texas district attorney who obtained indictments against DeLay over the fund-raising issue, Hastings said. “We don’t have the resources,” he added.

A Hastings spokeswoman later said the congressman wasn’t ruling out an investigation after the criminal case.

Yakima Herald-Republic, WA
Published on Friday, October 7, 2005


Doc feels the heat
By LEAH BETH WARD

Seeking to blunt criticism that he has compromised his objectivity by publicly commenting on Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, Rep. Doc Hastings said Thursday he would not hesitate to investigate the former House majority leader “at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way.”

The Pasco Republican has been criticized by at least one conservative group and a public advocacy group for commenting on DeLay’s indictment by a Texas grand jury and for suggesting the Travis County district attorney who brought the charges is politically motivated.

Lots more really good stuff at MakeThemAccountable.com.

Carolyn Kay

Heat's on

October 6, 2005 — After it was reported that Karl Rove had agreed to give further testimony to the Grand Jury investigating the CIA leak, Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin denied his client had received a target letter from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, a formal “heads up” sent to individuals who are about to be indicted. However, it is being reported from well-informed sources throughout Washington that 1) target letters have been sent to Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and Ari Fleischer; 2) Rove has agreed to testify and possibly agree to a plea bargain agreement in return for his testimony against other targets of the criminal probe; 3) Cheney and Bush may be named as unindicted co-conspirators; 4) Bush’s “war speech” before the National Endowment for Democracy and a late Thursday afternoon report that “19 operatives” have arrived in New York City to place bombs on subway trains are blatant attempts by the White House to divert attention from the impending indictments against the Bush White House. The main stream media is just beginning to take notice that a “Watergate-level event” is about to occur in Washington.

Read more.

Bush's brain (and Cheney's, Rove's, DeLay's, Limbaugh's, Rice's, Hannity's, Coulter's….)

Study: Adept Liars’ Brains Are Built Differently
By Robert Lee Hotz
Times Staff Writer
10:47 AM PDT, September 30, 2005

In the lexicon of lying, there are white lies and bare-faced lies. Facts can be fudged, forged or shaded. There are fibbers, fabricators and feckless fabulists. By whatever clinical term, the truth simply is not in some people.

Now scientists have an anatomical inkling why.A new study from the University of Southern California, published in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that the talent for compulsive deception is embedded in the structure of the brain itself. People who habitually lie and cheat – pathological liars – appear to have much more white matter, which speeds communication between neurons, in the prefrontal cortex than normal people, the researchers found. They also have fewer actual neurons.

The differences affect a portion of the brain, located just behind the forehead, that enables people to feel remorse, learn moral behavior and plan complex strategies. The surplus of connections between neurons might enable these people to be more adept at the complex neural networking that underlies deceit.

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