Secession Talk — Not In The News?

I have to say, it is striking that the day after the Governor of Texas talked about his state seceding from the United States, I have seen no reports or discussion in the news! This should be a huge, huge story. The historical precedent for the impact of such statements could not be more alarming. Yet, nothing.
What is the reason for this? Why are the editors of the corporate media, who decide what will eb on the nation’s agenda, hushing this up?
This reminds me of the silence last year after when it came out that the Republican Vice Presidential candidate was associated with a group calling for Alaska’s secession from the United States. There was also little discussion of the implications of such a position.
I thought the media loved to cover controversy and hypocrisy? What could be more controversial than a Governor calling for his/her state to leave the United States? What could be more hypocritical than supposed “patriotic” conservatives hating the country so much they want to disband it?
Update – Alaska, texas, now Georgia, too. Nothing on the TV yet. (h/t Americablog.)

Second-Hand Smoke and Heart Attacks

Doctors did a study in Peublo, Colorado after the city banned smoking in workplaces and indoor public areas. They compared hospital admissions for heart attacks for a year before and three years after the ban, and compared the results with two nearby areas that did not have similar bans.
The study found a 41 percent drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks resulting from the public smoking ban.
It turns out that tobacco companies started studying this in 1971 and knew about these results. But instead of doing something about it “Philip Morris masterminded a massive global effort to confuse and deceive the public about the health hazards of secondhand smoke and to delay laws restricting smoking in indoor public places.”
Read about the techniques they used to prevent smoking bans at: Deadly Deception: The Tobacco Industry’s Secondhand Smoke Cover Up | Center for Media and Democracy

Deep Thought On Rule Of law

Ford pardoned Nixon, which led to the crimes/bribery/theft/fraud/lies/wars of the Reagan/Bush I administration. It also led to a common understanding that in America the big fish operate under different rules and are held to a different standard.
Reagan was let off the hook for Iran/Contra and Bush I pardoned everyone who otherwise might have testified against him. Then under Clinton they let bygones be bygones, bribery remain unpunished and stolen money stay stolen which led to the crimes of Bush II. (It also paved the way for Clinton’s impeachment because they knew the Dems would let them get away with anything and the public was ready for a story about people at the top not being let off the hook.)
If you don’t prosecute lawbreaking and hold accountable the lawbreakers, it will just happen over and over, worse each time. Throughout the Bush II administration the Dems refused to hold anyone accountable and look what’s happening today.

Bailout Money Used For Bonuses To Rich Execs

In case you missed this, because of the election news. I apologize in advance for making it bold type, but I am really pissed off and want to be sure everyone sees this.
Wall Street Fat Cats Are Trying to Pocket Billions in Bailout Cash,

… nine banks about to be getting a total equity capital injection of $125 billion, courtesy of Phase I of The Bailout Plan, had reserved $108 billion during the first nine months of 2008 in order to pay for compensation and bonuses…
The country’s top investment bank (which since Sept. 21 calls itself a bank holding company), Goldman Sachs, set aside $11.4 billion during the first nine months of this year — slightly more than the firm’s $10 billion U.S. government gift — to cover bonus payments for its 443 senior partners, who are set to make about $5 million each, and other employees.

CALL your Congressperson’s office and demand to know why the taxpayer bailout money is being used for bonuses.

Obama Campaign Asks Special Prosecutor To Look Into DOJ/McCain Campaign Collusion On ACORN Charges

The Obama campaign today sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey asking that he expand the scope of the ongoing investigation into Justice Department politicization to “include a review of any involvement by the Justice Department and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC)’s systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.”

Briefly, the DOJ politicization scandal stems from Republican efforts to conduct partisan vote fraud investigations before the 2006 election. Prosecutors who refused were fired, prosecutors who played along were not fired (and are still there). After an outcry and the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales the new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, appointed a special prosecutor to look into the politicization. The current vote fraud accusations and accompanying Justice Department, FBI and White House involvement follow the same pattern, and are based on no credible evidence, so the Obama campaign believes that it may be related to the ongoing partisan politicization of the government’s law enforcement.

More coming…

Update - Ari Melber at The Washington Independent has more,

Citing an “unholy alliance” between Republican operatives and potentially illegal conduct by law enforcement targeting voter fraud, the Obama campaign demanded Friday that the U.S. special prosecutor looking into the U.S. attorney scandal investigate the matter.
General counsel Bob Bauer sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey charging that coordinated “misconduct” by McCain campaign representatives and GOP officials were relevant to the special prosecutor’s work, because the activities may relate to the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys in late 2006.
The letter requests that the special prosecutor’s inquiry “include a review of any involvement by Justice Dept. and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign [and RNC's] systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.”

Doesn’t Anyone Remember The Justice Department Politicization Scam????

This in the news today: Officials: FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud,

The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election. A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.

A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.

First, it is ILLEGAL for anyone in the government to leak news of an FBI investigation. That by itself should be a tipoff to what is going on here.

Second, this is what the Justice Department politicization scandal was about: prosecutors fired for refusing to involve themselves in phony pre-election investigations of vote fraud, and others who were not fired because they played along. Those prosecutors are still on the job. Get it yet?

I am seeing 24.7 hysteria in the media that ACORN is engaged in a conspiracy to steal the election. But once you look into it there is not a single fact behind the charges. In fact, there were a total of 26 cases of voter fraud in the United States in a 5-year period studied.

Meanwhile the Republicans are fighting to purge millions of citizens from the voting rolls before the election. Do you not get it yet?

Outing CIA Agent Was “Official”

Appeals court upholds CIA leak lawsuit dismissal s,

The court ruled Cheney and the others were acting within their official capacity when they revealed Plame’s identity to reporters.

Oh, and by the way,

Chief Judge David B. Sentelle wrote the opinion and was joined by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. Sentelle was appointed by President Reagan and Henderson by the first President Bush.

Sentelle

In 1992, for reasons that have never been explained, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist replaced MacKinnon with one of the most right-wing judges in the federal judiciary, U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle.
By naming Sentelle, Rehnquist altered the political climate surrouding the selection of special prosecutors, effectively injecting conservative ideology into the process in a way that had been avoided during the previous 14 years.
. . . A North Carolina Republican, Sentelle was seen as a hard-line conservative, a protege of Sen. Jesse Helms and a close ally of Sen. Lauch Faircloth, two of the Senate’s most conservative members.
Before donning black robes, Sentelle also had been a Republican Party activist.
. . . Even after his appointment to the federal bench, Sentelle engaged in public writings harshly critical of liberals. In one article, Sentelle accused “leftist heretics” of wishing to turn the United States into “a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state.”
. . . Since his appointment, Sentelle has steered nearly all sensitive investigations into the hands of partisan Republicans.
In late 1992, when the Bush administration was caught searching Clinton’s passport files looking for derogatory information, Sentelle’s three-judge panel handed off the investigation to GOP stalwart Joseph diGenova, who found no wrongdoing by his Republican associates.
After Clinton’s inauguration, Sentelle’s panel kept picking Republicans for high-profile cases. David Barrett, head of Lawyers for Reagan in 1980, was named to pursue allegations that Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros had understated how much money he had paid a mistress.
. . . But Sentelle’s most controversial special prosecutor was Kenneth Starr.

If You Can’t Do The Time, Don’t Do The Crime

A new group called Accountable America is warning conservative donors about staying within election laws. The New York Times wrote about this the other day with the misleading headline, Group Plans Campaign Against G.O.P. Donors.
Of course it isn’t a “campaign against GOP donors” it is a campaign warning against unlawful and unethical activity. But stopping unlawful activity just might dry up a lot of the Republican Party’s — and the right’s supporting infrastructure’s — cash flow. This includes 501c3 tax-free “charity” think tanks and 501c4 “issue” organizations that are really illegally engaged in candidate activity, or otherwise acting as conduits for corporate money or for those who have “maxed out” (reached the legal limit) for political donations.
The other day I wrote about,

… companies intimidating workers to vote a certain way, churches, think tanks, front groups incorporated as c4s but doing candidate work, campaigns violating election laws, etc.
… Suppose [we could create] some concern among the Wal-Marts and the Sheldon Adelsons that they had better think about following the law?
What would this do to the funding sources of the right’s machine?

So I guess great minds think alike. Heh.
There is plenty of need for an effort to get conservative and corporate donors to follow the law. Just for example — last week’s news about “curious” bundled political contributions made by employees of oil companies receiving billion-dollar contracts from the government to McCain and Republicans. Some of these donations came from people clearly unable to make such a donation on their own. This makes it appear that the companies may have illegally given these people money to give to McCain and the Republican Party and groups are demanding an investigation (that will never happen).

[Public interest groups] want the Justice Department to investigate whether bundlers for John McCain’s presidential campaign are using “straw” donations — those made in the name of someone else to evade contribution limits.

A story at TPM elaborates,

“An executive from a company that has a billion dollar contract to deliver oil to U.S. bases in Iraq possibly violated election law to funnel contributions to McCain. We think that warrants an investigation.”
And on the Hess matter … : “An office manager for an oil company that stands to gain millions in profits from offshore drilling makes donations for the first time this cycle to McCain, and did it at the same time nine other Hess donors do. That’s worth an investigation.”

Now that Accountable America is on the scene maybe corporations and big donors who are thinking about engaging in illegal activities will think twice.
If you want to help this effort you can donate by clicking here.
Update Kathy G writes about Accountable America in her post Liberal fascism strikes again!

* The new group will offer a $100,000 reward to those providing information that leads to the conviction or judgment against a conservative or business-related organization that violates the law.
* Accountable America will provide information to the public through television ads, mailings, phone calls and its Web site.
* Next week the organization plans to send a mailing warning nearly 10,000 Republican donors of the consequences of funding organizations that break or skirt the law.

Pentagon Pundit Scandal Broke the Law

Please read Pentagon Pundit Scandal Broke the Law | Center for Media and Democracy.
Note that “Pentagon” means the Republican Party appointees in the administration who run the Department of Defense, which resides in the Pentagon.
The Pentagon was conducting “information operations” targeting the American public. This program was blatantly illegal.
Note that almost NO news outlets involved are reporting on this story at all. What does that tell you?

Republican Prosecutors Drop Another Abramoff-Linked Investigation

m4s0n501

Funny how all those corruption investigations stopped when all those prosecutors got fired, isn’t it? Here’s another: Burns no longer part of Abramoff probe,

Former Sen. Conrad Burns is no longer part of a federal investigation of jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
Burns, R-Mont., narrowly lost re-election to a fourth term in 2006 after Democrats made his relationship with Abramoff a central issue. Abramoff is the key figure in a corruption investigation that has led to convictions of a former congressman, legislative aides, lobbyists and officials in the Bush administration.

I’m not saying Burns was involved with Abramoff or not. I AM saying that there is no reason to have any confidence that anyone in this Justice Department is interested in finding out. He’s a Republican, so the case is dropped. We know that the reason those prosecutors who were fired was they wouldn'[t “play ball” with the politicization, and we know the ones who did and dropped investigations of Republicans and/or initiated investigations of Democrats kept their jobs. They are still there, the Congress isn’t doing their job of getting to the bottom of this, so we’re left with the assumption of political interference and corruption.

All The Way To The Top!

Governor Richardson said Friday if elected he will investigate and prosecute the torturers – all the way to the top. And Senator Dodd is filibustering right now against retroactive immunity for crimes committed at Bush administration request. Now we should ask the rest of the candidates if, once elected, they will also hold Bush administration officials accountable for crimes they committed in office.
Gov. Bill Richardson: Torture: Leadership Requires Accountability, All the Way to the Top – Politics on The Huffington Post,

We learned this week that the CIA destroyed tapes of American officials committing torture. The American people deserve to know whether laws were violated and whether the President was directly involved in illegal activities. Torture is a black and white moral issue. A failure to act decisively in this case will be an unacceptable failure of leadership.
Torture is un-American, it violates international law, and it is wrong. And when I am President, I will make sure that those who are responsible for torture are held accountable for their actions.

Continue reading

Dodd Demands New Atty General Investigate White House Cover Up

Dodd Calls on Mukasey to Investigate McClellan Charges of White House Cover Up | Chris Dodd for President,

Chris Dodd today released the following statement in response to the claims of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he “unknowingly passed along false information” to the American public and that “the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in [his] doing so,” including the Vice-President and the President:
“Today’s revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.
“During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew and when he knew it.”