Tag: Jack Abramoff

Alaska Walruses Without Ice



“an unusual gathering on a barrier island in Alaska. ”  They’d normally be out on the floating ice after foraging, but there is no ice this year near their feeding grounds.  Arctic sea ice is at the 3rd lowest point in recorded history.


Walruses Swarm Beaches as Ice Melts

National Geographic

http://news.nationalgeographic…

Biologists with the USGS say the situation can be very dangerous because walruses are easily startled, and can stampede. Some walruses, particularly calves and juveniles, can get crushed to death by larger walruses moving about.

Monday Humor: Harry Goes Tea Party, Gates Surges Self, Delay, & Other Stories of After the Crash

( Note:My computer and internet connection has been a bastard all weekend, and then it locked up badly on the first thing I wrote this am, and I can’t get @#$%^&*#$%^& effing iphoto to stop crashing everything else, and photobucket sucks, so you’re getting this instead.  Deal with it.  )

1. Reid breaks with Obama, comes out against Ground Zero mosque.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…


“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. “Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”

Reid is the most senior Democrat to come out in opposition to the mosque.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, had questioned the wisdom of building the mosque, too.

We’re all glad that you candidates have so much time on your hands after solving the rest of the nation’s problems, that Sen Reid, via his trusty spokesperson, and Exxon via Shakespalin can get into a pissing match over New York real estate to help get re elected. I know for sure that every am every unemployed Nevadan gets up every am and thinks,  if only the zoning in Manhattan was different, I wouldn’t have lost my house to foreclosure and we’d get more tourists visiting again.  

2.  McChrystal to Teach at Yale in fall of 2010

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…


The course will be offered in fall 2010 by Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where McChrystal has been appointed a senior fellow.

teach what ?   A graduate course on leadership ?   You’d think that West Point would be interested. Oh, wait….  

3. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates  to Retire Sometime in 2011


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

“I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012,” he said. It might be hard to find a good person to take the job so late, with just one year to go in the president’s current term. And, he added, “This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year.”  

It isn’t ?


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a…

Gates quickly intervened, taking both programs outside normal channels. He added $16 billion to build more MRAPs on a crash schedule. And he fired the Air Force’s chief of staff, Gen T. Michael Moseley, in part for negligence with the nuclear command, but mainly, according to knowledgeable officials, for his sluggishness on the drones.

So, near the end of 2007, Gates called on Gen. David Petraeus, then the U.S. commander in Iraq and the architect of the counterinsurgency strategy there, to chair that year’s Army promotion board, which would advance 40 colonels to the rank of brigadier general. More than a dozen of the Army’s promising colonels, at least one of whom had been passed over twice, got their stars. With this single stroke, the Army’s culture — the signals sent to the troops of what kind of soldiers get promoted and what kind don’t — changed dramatically.

Even before Obama’s term formally began, Gates launched a three-month review of every major line item in the half-trillion-dollar defense budget, drawing the entire building — the highest-level civilian analysts and military officers — into the process. By April 2009, his teams had compiled a list of 50 programs primed for change. Gates decided to kill, slash, or restructure 33 of them, including some of the services’ most cherished weapons systems.

_______

All told, Congress approved 31 of Gates’s 33 cuts. The other two — the C-17 cargo plane and an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter — Gates has vowed to kill this year.

….  Even before Obama’s term began….  

The article almost doesn’t sound like a puff piece until the part where Gates started waxing eloquent about necon PNAC “military analyst”  Frederick Kagan and the American Enterprise Institute,  Frederick Kagan and his wife  Kimberly Kagan, who runs the “Institute for the Study of War,”   (more links here:  https://docudharma.com/diar…    )

are the two hired right wing think tank hacks the Pentagon trots out now and then to make up excuses to keep doing the same thing over and over.

Gates says we aren’t the Soviets in Afghanistan because we didn’t kill a million and displace 5 million more-  ignoring the fact that is what happened in Iraq under Bush, Cheney, L Paul Bremer, and his predecessor, Def. Sec. Rumsfeld.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R…

The humorous part comes from the fact that Gates is pushing for reforms in weapons contracting at the Pentagon in preparation for selling more armaments and weapons to “allies,”  and that he is “passionate, “revved up” and “stoked” about these military budget economies.   Time to deploy that Golden Parachute as a Military Weapons Procurement Consultant Dude !

Ellsberg Afraid US May Kill Wikileak’s Assange Over Iraq Leaks

This was previously blogged this afternoon over at FDL much better than I could do it, so I’m going to direct you over to there and Jane Hamsher and Jim White:

Transcript:  Daniel Ellsberg Says He Fears US Might Assassinate Wikileaks Founder

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c…

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange released the Iraq War video “Collateral Murder” this past April, which is shot from the viewpoint of the US Apache Helicopter crew who murdered 2 Reuters journalists in 2007.   The person who leaked the video to Wikileaks, Spc Bradley Manning, was arrested May 26th 2010 in Iraq.

My previous diary 6/7/10  “Wikileaks source arrested, hacker snitched”

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Diary on the video, 4/5/10,   “Wikileaks: Reuters and kids as collateral damage”

https://docudharma.com/diar…

For you younger folk, Daniel Ellsberg was the reason we finally began to get out of the Vietnam War, because he leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971.  

Ellsberg wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D…

He attended Harvard University, graduating with a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Economics in 1962 in which he described a paradox in decision theory now known as the Ellsberg paradox. He graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an officer in the Marine Corps for two years. After his discharge, he became an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Ellsberg served in the Pentagon from August 1964[1] under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (and, in fact, was on duty on the evening of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, reporting the incident to McNamara). He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department.

After returning from Vietnam, Ellsberg went back to work at the RAND Corporation. In 1967, he contributed to a top-secret study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War that had been commissioned by Defense Secretary McNamara.[2] These documents, completed in 1968, later became known collectively as the Pentagon Papers. Because he held an extremely high-level security clearance, Ellsberg was one of very few individuals who had access to the complete set of documents.[3] They revealed that the government had knowledge all along that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly.[4] Further, the papers showed that high-ranking officials had a deep cynicism toward the public, as well as disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians.[4]

Pentagon Papers wiki


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Commissioned by United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 1967, the study was completed in 1968. The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.[1]

Daniel Ellsberg quote, years later:



Well, I had been consulting for the government, and this is now ’64, for about six years at that point, since ’58, in particular since ’59: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and now Johnson. And I had seen a lot of classified material by this time-I mean, tens of thousands of pages-and had been in a position to compare it with what was being said to the public. The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. …..   The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth-essentially, never say the whole truth-of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.[26]

Breaking: Doolittle Paid Tom Delay’s Legal Fees out of State Acct,Roseville CM Implicated

(Of all the things I never expected to see today, this has me absolutely gobsmacked. If you are an Abramoff Scandal Junkie, Read On ! )

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the ex Rep. John Doolittle (CA-04) and his wife, Julie’s, fallout from his involvement with Jack Abramoff, Kevin RIng, a lobbyist associate at Greenberg Traurig with Jack Abramoff, has finally gone to Federal trial on conspiracy charges to bribe a public official this past September.  Ring was also a lobbyist for the local City of Lincoln in CA-04, in Placer County, Doolittle’s district.  Ring did not testify in his own defense, and several of the witnesses refused to also, pleading the 5th against self incrimination because the Feds wouldn’t grant them immunity.  The trial has gone to jury this week, and the jury has been deliberating for 3 days with no verdict yet.  

This, in local parlance, is waiting for the Other Shoe To Drop for our ex Republican Abramoff Scandal Encrusted Congressman, Doolittle, and his wife, Julie, who had been taking 15% of all of his campaign contributions as a “fundraiser’s fee.”   Julie had a one woman “business” she called “Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions,” which is where that 15% cut went into.

Tonight, while checking the local Sacramento Bee, I noticed this little story:

10/7/09 Roseville city manager placed on paid leave


Roseville City Manager W. Craig Robinson has been placed on paid leave Wednesday.  “We are not discussing any details of it. They met in closed session,” MacPherson said.

Robinson accepted the city manager’s job in February 2003. He’s been with the city since 1989.

Robinson will continue to receive his $273,000 annual salary.  http://www.sacbee.com/topstori…

Oh, local intrigue with another player in the Doolittle saga of shakedowns of local developers. Roseville is just to the south of Lincoln. Must check the donations.  Wait until you see this one.

Burris: IOKIYAR!

Also posted at Kos

Roland Burris spoke to Rod Blagojevich! Name a Politician in Illinois who hasn’t? We all knew he was lying…but in the matter of lies…this was a tiny one.

Heck Bill Clinton lied too and he got Impeached!

George Bush lied….so what.

The difference was, “under oath”!

Bush testified, but not under oath, with no transcripts and with Cheney to help him out.

Burris got videotaped.

Maybe he needs to change parties.

Paying to Play And Paying The Price

Crossposted from ePluribus Media to here and to DailyKos.

The Daily News has obtained an exclusive photo of President George W. Bush shaking hands with Isaac Toussie‘s father;1 the photo had been taken earlier this year. According to Daily News political correspondent Celeste Katz, it was not immediately clear whether the photo was snapped before or after Toussie’s father made his April contribution of $28,500 to the Republican National Convention.

The timing of the picture — both the appearance of it now, as well as whether it was taken before or after the hefty contribution — could significantly add to the potential controversies that the Bush Administration and the Republican party have to worry about, particularly with regard to Bush’s legacy.

Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP

The Bush-Toussie picture was first published exclusively on the New York Daily News; the Bush-Abramoff photo was found on Tennesseefree.com and was apparently originally posted on MSNBC.msn.com

           

 

Vampire Kisses: Did Abramoff and Wilson Bleed Romero in NM Election?

Crossposted from ePluribus Media

Dennis Greenia, Vampire Slayer

dengre I first learned about Jack Abramoff’s successful plot to help Heather Wilson ambush and bleed dry my good friend, Richard Romero, in two separate New Mexico congressional elections while strolling with dengre down K Street. Both times, Abramoff employed a stealth PAC purportedly championing health care reform. By 2004, New Mexico’s political aquifer flowed red.

K StreetI’m not the first person to learn about Abramoff from dengre.  He’s one of the brave few whose nocturnal obsession with vampires unearthed Washington’s Empire of the Undead for the slumbering masses.

Dengre, aka Dennis Greenia, reminds me of Van Helsing. He wears rumpled plaid shirts and seems to sport a permanent case of bedhead. He talks about Abramoff all the time. I’m not sure if he sleeps.

John McCain “Pals Around” With Felons

Inspired by this little comment right here:

“We see America as the greatest force for good in this world,” Palin said at a fund-raising event in Colorado, adding, “Our opponent though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

linky: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITI…

Now, CNN goes on to explain that:

…the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called ‘somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.’ ”

Several other publications, including the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The National Review, have debunked the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship.

But, if Sister Sarah wants to go there…

Another Day, Another Corrupt McCain Advisor

Maverick McCainIt hardly seems that a day goes by without a new revelation of lobbyists in John McCain’s campaign. Last week I reported that, so far this year, five tainted staffers have had to resign. Still on the McCain wagon are uber-lobbyists Charlie Black and campaign manager Rick Davis. Media Matters has compiled a superb list of even more tainted McCain staffers

Now the Washington Post is reporting another unethical, and perhaps illegal, McCain relationship with a political benefactor: Citizens Against Government Waste. CAGW has a long history with McCain. They have endorsed his candidacy for president, heralded him as a “Taxpayer Hero” and contributed $11,000 to his campaign. The Post article describes an even deeper partnership that potentially violates election law prohibiting coordination between campaigns and independent advocacy groups.

You Are Entitlted to Know NOTHING!

The Bush administration is laying out a new secrecy defense in an effort to end a court battle about the White House visits of now-imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The administration agreed last year to produce all responsive records about the visits ”without redactions or claims of exemption,” according to a court order.

But in a court filing Friday night, administration lawyers said that the Secret Service has identified a category of highly sensitive documents that might contain information sought in a lawsuit about Abramoff’s trips to the White House.

Does this look like government “of and by the people” to you?