Monday, December 25, 2006

Murtha's PAID

When your ambition exceeds your ethics... else what's a lobbyist for.

Or that's the way it was in the House under the reign of dethroned Majority Leader deal-maker Tom Delay (R-TX) who set up his own charities "that became the focus of attention by businesses and lobbyists seeking to curry favor with him." (WaPo)

That is why it is more than little unsettling to read "Nonprofit Connects Murtha, Lobbyists."

This is the same Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) that incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) doggedly supported for Majority Leader, a political dust-up she lost. And just as well it seems, since the Democrats stated priorities are "ethics and budget restructuring"

Among the provisions in the Democrats' ethics package are "demands for more transparency in the doling out of federal funds to home-district projects and a required pledge that no earmarks benefit a member of Congress personally."

Such provisions may put wheeler-dealer Murtha in a sweat-producing spotlight since his nonprofit creation, PAID, has "become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists."

The voters are watching to see if the trust they placed in the new Democratically-controlled House and Senate is misplaced. For far too long, far too many senators and representatives have been flying too close to the sun of corruption.

They need their wings clipped.... and that applies to both parties, starting with Pelosi-favored Murtha.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

You Go 110th Congress!

At last a really good, a great, idea!.... "Democrats Freeze Earmarks for Now."

"Democratic leaders declared a temporary moratorium on special-interest provisions known as earmarks as they attempt to cope with a budget crisis left by the outgoing Republican-led 109th Congress." (WaPo)

The hordes of blood-sucking D.C. lobbyists worst nightmare.... "an accountable, above-board, transparent process for funding decisions and put an end to the abuses...." declared incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).

This is exactly the kind of action the electorate is looking for from the new Democratic leadership! We, the long-ignored taxpaying electorate, salute you!

At Last A Good Idea!

Three years too late.... "To Stem Iraqi Violence, U.S. Aims to Create Jobs."

It finally dawned on the Dim-bulb D.C. Deciders that it might be better to restore jobs in the nearly 200 abandoned factories in 70% unemployed Iraq than to continue to win hearts and minds by destroying lives and livelihoods.

Well, duh!

Now, if we can just convince the White House to also turn their elitist attention to our out-sourced, illegal-alien-cheap-labor flooded, NAFTA-negated under and unemployed workforce and rusting factories before China runs the IOU table and it's all over for the once-thriving USA.

Here is a shameful video on how we have been "liberating" Iraq. It is symptomatic of the arrogance and paucity of leadership infecting the D.C. Deciders and seeping down the chain of command.

We're living in the world Bush made "staying the course," and now "going forward."

How about a couple of slogans from the cheap seats..... "Yankees Go Home" and "Made in the USA!"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bush to Maliki... Kiss, Kiss

It's symbolically the new Mafia "kiss of death"..... The Decider's "you're doing a heck of a job" or words to that effect. Just ask Brownie, or Rummy.... and now Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki.

After the Iraq Study Group report took Bush to the tent-shed for a whuppin', a defiant Bush publicly assured Malaiki he was still his guy. In a joint press conference on December 7 with Iraq-policy-enabler, British Prime Minister Blair, both exclaimed "that supporting the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was central to efforts to help Iraq defend, govern and sustain itself."

Note to Maliki.... too bad about your new drapes.

Just three days later.... "Talks Under Way to Replace Iraq PM" .... to form a new parliamentary bloc that would seek to replace Maliki.... and the "new alliance would be led by senior Shiite politician Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who met with President Bush last week."

Bush missed his calling, he should have been a ring-kissed don. He has the necessary forked-tongue.

So, it is refreshing to learn that straight talk has a place in Iraq politics. In the words of Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani about Maliki's government.... "Why should we continue to support it? For its failure?"

Why indeed. If only....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Who Needs LeCarre

I'm not going to read spy novels anymore. LeCarre can't compete with the ongoing cloak-and-dagger mystery surrounding the polonium-210 murder in London of renegade Russian spy and Putin-government detractor, Alexander Litvinenko.

The stakes in solving this mystery are high. On his deathbed Litvinenko fingered the person he was sure engineered his poisoning.... Russia's Decider.... President Putin himself.

Why would Litvinenko be targeted?

Perhaps because Litvinenko was investigating the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, or because he claimed that the Russian government itself blew up Moscow apartment buildings in 1999, killing hundreds of civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war.

But this real-life thriller .... government-sponsored murder and dirty tricks, disgruntled spies, disinformation, polonium contamination everywhere from jet liners to the bowels of Moscow.... may never have a final chapter. State-ordered assassinations seldom do.

In "That Murder in London," Charles Krauthammer argues that the reason for the messy and brazen murder of Litvinenko was to send a message.... that this is what awaits anyone who goes against the Russian government. "They'll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they'll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.... It is the ultimate in deterrence."

Today, WaPo reports "Russian Tied to Ex-Spy Also Ill From Radiation." In true Mafioso style.... make sure no one talks. Dmitry Kovtun who met with Litvinenko just before he succumed to radiation exposure, now himself has "an acute form of radiation sickness, with internal contamination.... affecting the liver, the kidneys, and the intestines."

It would all make thrilling reading, if it was fiction. The only fiction is that Russia hasn't returned to its deadly ways.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Where's the Will?

Most point the finger of fault for our free-flowing Bush administration blunder in Iraq on a lack of will to subdue speedily and with massive force the insurgents and warring tribal and religious factions.... instead allowing chaos to build and build until it is now an unwieldy, and probably "unwinnable," deadly morass.... whatever winning is since there are no benchmarks to measure victory.

The same lack of will to secure our porous border with Mexico is allowing the illegal alien invasion to fester and grow into an overwhelming social, cultural and fiscal disaster for our nation state, while almost insuring terrorists a free pass into our homeland to do their deadly worst.

In "DHS Plan for 'Virtual' Border Fence Still Has Gaps," it is reported that "A Bush administration plan to build a 'virtual' fence along the Mexico border will cost $7.6 billion and be completed by 2011, but the government lacks clear benchmarks for success, according to a report to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security." (WaPo)

The DHS has a "goal" of controlling 345 miles of the 1,993-mile-border by the end of 2007, but admits there is no way to really judge "control."

Sound familiar? There is no will to secure the border, no way to benchmark progress, no "can do" spirit in the administration to get the job done.

However, the NAFTA super-highway from Mexico across the U.S. is already under way, there is a will to do this in the Bush administration.... The Decider wants a North American "community" and Congressional debate or the will of the people be damned.

Bush in just six years has forced his megalomanic ideology onto his increasingly dangerous world, and is dismantling our very nation.... right before our eyes.

Congress.... an outraged nation wants the runaway Bush dictates stopped and governing to commence. Do you have the will?

Monday, December 04, 2006


It took the Washington Post to tell me what was going on with my hometown newspaper, The Des Moines Register, owned by the mega 90-newspaper-chain Gannett.... "A Newspaper Chain Sees Its Future, And It's Online and Hyper-Local."

My first impulse is to cancel home delivery and just get the news online.... but then what would I read while waking-up with corn flakes and coffee?

It's not that we haven't noticed a trend.... as the weekend and hyped shopping days loom, Gannett's Register gets weightier and weightier.... with ads and ad inserts and ad slicks, and worst of all.... the side-of-the-page-long tear-off ad. I have sworn to never, ever buy anything advertised in a tear-off ad.

And, the news content has gone loco.... local. Articles on how Aunt Jane raises turnips in her window box are pushing aside "hard" news. I buy the newspaper for "hard" news which is now consigned to two-inch blurbs beneath "celebrity news" on page 2 or buried on the back pages.

When doing research on my family history and searching through newspapers from the 1800s I remember thinking how quaint the newspapers were. Filled with articles like Aunt Jane and her turnips, little national news, local gossip, and especially who died, and how they died.... the way you would tell an inquiring friend. When friends died, people cared.

Just goes to prove that everything new is really something old. The obit pages are starting to eat up the Metro news section in the increasingly thin Register news sections.... but most are dry, and must be paid for by the family.... unless the obit is just six lines thus diminishing the departed's life.... and are just another source of income for Gannett.

The new Gannett thrust is to feed the web constantly with new local "news" stories.... such as posted thus far on the Des Moines Register web site this morning:

Man says he was kidnapped while waiting for police 7:28 am
Dollar General robber passes up $1 bills 7:25 am
Warm-up beginning across Iowa 7:24 am

The "warm-up" is into the mid-30s this afternoon.... well, you can just read them for yourself if you're into jelly-soft news.

Just now, CNN announced that John Bolton has resigned, and if you don't know who John Bolton is, then you must get all of your news from a Gannett newspaper.