Abramoff Investigation Hindered: Make The Link!

I think we should all make the link between this, 3 Charged in Killing Of Fla. Businessman

Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis was killed on a Fort Lauderdale street on Feb. 6, 2001. Two of the three men charged had been hired as consultants by Adam Kidan, one of Abramoff’s partners in the SunCruz Casinos venture. [emphasis added]

and this, Demotion of a Prosecutor Is Investigated,

The Justice Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I. are looking into the demotion of a veteran federal prosecutor whose reassignment nearly three years ago shut down a criminal investigation of the Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, current and former department officials report.
They said investigators had questioned whether the demotion of the prosecutor, Frederick A. Black, in November 2002 was related to his alert to Justice Department officials days earlier that he was investigating Mr. Abramoff. The lobbyist is a major Republican Party fund-raiser and a close friend of several Congressional leaders. [emphasis added]

Murder takes place just after Bush takes office. Prosecutor later blocked by Bush administration from investigating Abramoff’s activites. Question – was this a reason the Bush administration was trying to keep the prosecutor from looking too deeply into Abramoff?

Is It Because of Rush?

US Forces ‘Out of Control’, Says Reuters Chief,

Reuters has told the US government that American forces’ conduct towards journalists in Iraq is “spiralling out of control” and preventing full coverage of the war reaching the public.
The detention and accidental shootings of journalists is limiting how journalists can operate, wrote David Schlesinger, the Reuters global managing editor, in a letter to Senator John Warner, head of the armed services committee.
The Reuters news service chief referred to “a long parade of disturbing incidents whereby professional journalists have been killed, wrongfully detained, and/or illegally abused by US forces in Iraq”.

I wonder how much of this has to do with Armed Forces Radio piping the Rush Limbaugh show in to the troops every day? If you listen to Rush you know that he spouts a daily diatribe about how the mainstream media is engaged in a treasonous conspiracy to undermine the country’s efforts in Iraq, even going so far as to say that they want our troops to be killed because it makes Republicans look bad, etc. Someone stationed in Iraq and listening to enough of that…

Reid Speaks Out on Corruption and Cronyism

This statement was just released by Senator Harry Reid’s office:

REID, DEMOCRATS DEMAND END TO CULTURE OF CRONYISM AND CORRUPTION
Call for Corruption Czar to Oversee Reconstruction Because America Can Do Better
Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid:
“As I’ve said before, the biggest abuse of power is having the ability to help the American people, but choosing not to instead. Now, even in the wake of Katrina, that’s the choice Republicans continue to make.”
“No help for victims. No help on gas prices. And no end in sight to a string of ethical scandals.”

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Bribing Zogby to Poll on Bush Impeachment

[UPDATE2: Polling on Impeachment
Does the public favor an investigation into grounds for impeachment of President Bush? We have no way of knowing, because the pollsters aren't asking. The After Downing Street coalition has begun collecting donations to hire mainstream professional pollsters to ask the questions that need to be asked. It doesn't take much money, but can have a tremendous impact. Learn more and contribute here:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/polling]
[UPDATE, 1 a.m.: The email/campaign mentioned below is obsolete, being replaced by a much larger scale campaign. Check out Raw Story on Friday, the 30th (tomorrow/today) for details. This per Luke Ryland. -Thomas]
Got this email in my box today… here’s the scoop: Zogby did a poll in June on whether Bush should be impeached if he mislead the nation about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. 42% of the public said “yes”. At that point, Zogby indicated that he would do a follow up survey… but he hasn’t done one since, and last week he said he wouldn’t (interview with RAW STORY), unless someone paid him to (claims he wants to avoid losing his “neutrality”).
Here’s what the email says (excerpt):

If the Pro-impeachment camp can’t raise the money for this, we’re not much of an anti-bush movement are we? THIS would make a difference! Surely we anti-bush activists can raise $5000 or even $10000. There is no minimun donation amount, but I think most people would consider $5 affordable and reasonable. If not, whatever you can afford is fine. Shoot, if we get 5000 people to donate $2 each, or 10,000 people to donate $1, we’re on our way. I already have 3 pledges of $100 and one for $50, so we’ve got $350 in the kitty and are off to a good start. If for any reason this effort fails and this doesn’t work out, all the money donated will be returned, less the 2.9% +$0.30 cent fee that PayPal takes for business and premier accounts.

If this sounds like a concept, you can donate here (full text of email reproduced “below the fold”… click on “more”).

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DeLay Indicted!

I’m breaking away from my “day job” to bring you the news that U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been indicted for conspiracy and is leaving his leadership post (but not the Congress).

DeLay Is Indicted in Texas Campaign Finance Probe
,

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that likely will force him to step down as House majority leader.
“I have notified the speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority leader,” Representative Tom DeLay said.
DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay’s national political committee.

Who is next? Abramoff is already indicted. Will it be Grover Norquist? Ralph Reed? Karl Rove? That’s the group that controls the “conservative movement.”

GOP offers comments on aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

From a list I’m on:
“We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do
it, but God did.”
Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.), as quoted in The Wall
Street Journal.
“What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in
Texas. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were
underprivileged anyway, so this–this (she chuckles slightly) is
working very well for them.”
Barbara Bush, as quoted by the American
Public Media’s “Marketplace” program.
“Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?”GOP Majority
Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas)
, while visiting child refugees from New
Orleans at the Houston Astrodome.

Operation Offset – the Republican jihad against government continues

The Republican Party appears to be run by ideological nitwits bent on using any excuse possible to push their agenda of eliminating federal programs and services that serve anyone other than rich people and business (or function as political pork). The vast majority of Americans support programs like Medicare, federal assistance for college, the CDC, AIDS prevention, etc. etc. These twits need to be send packing, they need to be shown up for the fringe nutcakes they are – every last one of them, just about. Note the “war” language, too – these guys clearly don’t get it. The era of a “war on government” (hell, a “war” on anything, at this point) is over. The American people want effective government that serves the interest of the broad mass of the people.
Via MoveOn.Org:
The Republican proposal, titled “Operation Offset,” was authored by the Republican Study Committee, a group of over 100 influential members of Congress, including powerful committee chairs and members of the Republican leadership.
http://www.political.moveon.org/images/operation_offset/operation_offset.htm?id=6042-2958449-IPtfToge64.qfdnbe37e2g&t=4
Here are just some of the most egregious cuts:
* $225 billion cut from Medicaid, the last-resort health insurance program for the very poor.
* $200 billion cut from Medicare, the health care safety net for the elderly and the disabled.
* $25 billion cut from the Centers for Disease Control
* $6.7 billion cut from school lunches for poor children
* $7.5 billion cut from programs to fight global AIDS
* $5.5 billion to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
* $3.6 billion cut to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities
* $8.5 billion cut to eliminate all subsidized loans to graduate students.
* $2.5 billion cut from Amtrak
* $2.5 billion to eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
* $417 million cut to eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency
* $4.8 billion cut to eliminate all funding for the Safe and Drug-Free schools program

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Brazilians and Brazilians

An e-mail I received:

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.”
“OH NO!” the President exclaims. “That’s terrible!”
His staff sits in stunned silence–shocked at this uncharacteristic display of emotion–nervously watching as the President sits slumped in his chair with his head in his hands.
Finally, the President looks up and asks, “How many is a brazillion?”

Racketeers, Nothing More

Josh Marshall neatlysums up what my own research has been pointing to.

The Republican machine built by DeLay, Norquist, Abramoff, et al. and pulled into high gear after 2001, is a pay-for-play political machine. This is just another part of the operation, like the diktat for trade associations to hire only Republicans. Big political machines need their soldiers taken care of — jobs on K Street which also discipline the trade associations under Hill leadership. Just so, they need big sums of money to move around off the books. How does Rove keep the millions moving to Norquist? To Reed? To all the other operatives whose names you don’t know about?

The Republican Party has become an extortion racket. If you pay in you get lots back – from the taxpayers. If you don’t they crush you. Government and policy and things like that are not part of the equation. Ideology is only a cover for looting the treasury. It’s a cirrupt corporate takeover play, nothing more.