Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day: US Casualty Count in Iraq War at least 24,000!

Official US service members killed in Iraq has gone beyond 1,700, but it seems that the Pentagon isn’t including service members who were wounded in Iraq and who died en route to US military hospitals in Germany. That number is 6,210. We don’t know how many died of their wounds after reaching those hospitals, but with nearly 8,000 US service members killed in Iraq or en route to German hospitals added to the official count of those seriously wounded topping 16,000 (some say the Pentagon is underreporting the number), this brings Iraq War casualty counts (the sum of deaths and seriously wounded) to 24,000 and that is not counting those who may have died from their wounds after reaching hospitals. On this Memorial Day today we should remember the possibly 30,000 US Service Members who have either died or have been seriously wounded in Iraq despite the Pentagon withholding such information from the American Citizens. Thank you one and all who have sacrificed by following the call from our country in all wars that this nation has been involved with!

Happy Memorial Day! Minneapolis Star-Tribune Becomes First Large Mainstream Media Paper to Proclaim the Truth, Bush Lied Us Into Iraq!!!

Read the editorial here.

Here are some snippets:

In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.

The "smoking gun," as some call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times. It is a highly classified document containing the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just held in Washington. His mission was to determine the Bush administration's intentions toward Iraq.

At a time when the White House was saying it had "no plans" for an invasion, the British document says Dearlove reported that there had been "a perceptible shift in attitude" in Washington. "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

It turns out that former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were right. Both have been pilloried for writing that by summer 2002 Bush had already decided to invade.

No other Major US Newspaper has had the GUTS to declare this in such unambiguous terms. “President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes.” The Corporate-Owned US News Media Outlets knew Bush was lying and they let him lie us into wasting our young people’s blood, hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, and our good standing among the other nations of the world whose press exposed Bush’s lies to them “in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.”

The TV News where 90% of Americans get their news still haven’t shown the guts to tell the truth that the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has. When will the rest of them tell the People of America the TRUTH? That’s a very good question. Why aren’t we all contacting them demanding they do so or else we will contact their advertisers and inform them we will not buy their products until the stations tell the people the truth?! Contact the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and thank them. Then contact the following network news centers and ask them why they still haven’t told their viewers about the Smoking Gun Downing Street Memo that Bush had decided to go to War in the summer or 2002 and that he was going to fix the intelligence around that decision in order to fool the American People into supporting the War in Iraq:


ABC World News TonightPhone: 212-456-4040

CBS Evening NewsPhone: 212-975-3691

NBC Nightly NewsPhone: 212-664-4971

PBS NewsHour with Jim LehrerPhone: 703-739-5000

As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you maintain a polite tone.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

News in a nutshell

Parent Company of CBS Censors Rock Group "Nine Inch Nails" from Performing Song in Front of Bush Image

Republican Senators Voted for Bush's Right Wing, Extremist, Hack Judicial Activists with An Ideological Agenda, Not a Respect for the Law

Bush gives nation a lump of coal claiming our energy future is coal!

Departing NY Times Editor Attacks one of the few voices for the truth coming from that now disreputable rag!

Former speechwriter for Mario Cuomo explains why he is joining the GOP! – a must read

Will Bush Admin Slam War on Terror Hero Pat Tillman’s Parents Now That they are Critical of Bush Admin? I think they will. They’ve Attacked Former Members of the Bush Admin for Less!

Closed military bases could become repositories for nuclear waste under a little-noticed section of a spending bill that was passed by the House this week! You know all those jobs lost to your community? Well we’re replacing them with dangerous nuclear waste so don’t worry!

Republican Senator Santorum Faulted for introducing legislation 2 days after taking $2000 Donation from recipient of that legislation – How dumb do Republicans in Congress think the American People are?

Egyptian plain-clothes police beat up demonstrators in central Cairo - in some cases groping women protesters. Laura Bush praised this as a great step forward! Just like her husband’s suppression of protestors in the US!

Intelligence analysts who got Iraq intel wrong are rewarded for screwing up and helping Bush to push US troops into Iraq based on erroneous info! Great job guys! Keep up the good work!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Well-Connected Republican “Loses” Over a Quarter of $50 Million Workers' Compensation Fund Given to him to “Invest”

Ohio Republican fundraiser Thomas Noe raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for George W. Bush and much more for other Republican politicians. In return for services rendered to the GOP, Noe was given $50 Million of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation funds to invest in “rare coins.” His lawyers now admit that he has lost more than a quarter of that $50 Million. In the 1990s, Noe, 50, was chairman of the Republican Party in Lucas County, which includes Toledo. His wife, Bernadette, held the same position until last year. He has been a close friend of the last two Republican governors of Ohio.

The state's Bureau of Workers' Compensation, the state agency in charge of paying medical bills and providing monthly checks to state workers injured on the job, agreed to invest in a rare coin fund that he controlled as a way to hedge its holdings in stocks and bonds, an investment that experts have called highly unorthodox. Experts in state workers' compensation programs said they knew of no other states that invested in rare coins, largely because they are considered volatile commodities that are difficult to price, difficult to sell and easy to lose or steal. Under Noe’s control it seems that many of these coins have been lost or stolen or at least that is what Noe claims.

Democrats have explained the missing millions in coins as the dangers of one-party government. Indeed, in Ohio it is hard to find anyone in state government who is not a Republican, since Republicans control not only the governor's office, but the Legislature, the attorney general's office, the Supreme Court and the state auditor's office. This is a microcosm of the US Federal Government in which all branches of government are controlled by Republicans or those appointed by Republicans. Corruption in the Federal Government is going un-investigated and unabated because of this one-party control. The Corporate-Owned US News Media Outlets have consistently refused to tell the American people about such corruption as evidenced in previous posts here and in other Internet sources.

The American People cannot rely on Corporate-Owned US News Media Outlets for their information about their elected officials when those corporations have so much to gain from Republican control of government!

Read more about Ohio’s Coin-Gate here.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

GOP Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Goofball) Accuses comedian Bill Maher of Treason for Making a Joke Bachus Couldn’t Get

Link to Story

A congressman says comedian Bill Maher's comment that the U.S. military has already recruited all the "low-lying fruit" is possibly treasonous and at least grounds to cancel the show. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., takes issue with remarks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April. "More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."

White trash Army Reserve Pfc. Lynndie England was accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. "I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country." Although this is not the definition contained in the Constitution it is the only one contained in Bachus’ small head.

In a statement released Monday night, Maher defended his support for the American armed forces. "Anyone who knows anything about my views and has watched my show knows that I have nothing but the highest regard for the men and women serving this country around the world," Maher said in the statement.

Bachus said he was appalled after watching a rerun of the show shortly after returning from a visit to Germany. He has since written to Time Warner, HBO's parent company. "I don't want (Maher) prosecuted," Bachus said. "I want him off the air."


Bill Maher actually misspoke. Rather than saying that the Army had already picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, he meant to say that the citizens of Alabama’s 6th Congressional District had already picked the lowest-lying-peckerwood-fruit for their Congressional delegation. Current 6th Congressional District office holder Spencer Bachus should consult the Constitution which defines Treason as an “overt act” giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and doesn’t include constitutionally protected speech simply critical of the military. Bachus took an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, but unfortunately this illiterate hillbilly is incapable of reading let alone comprehending the document his party daily wipes their overpaid asses with. Naturally Bachus says that he doesn’t want Maher prosecuted just off the air. Even an inbred embarrassment like Bachus knows that such a prosecution would be laughed out of court by anyone that Bush didn’t appoint to the bench because of their opposition to abortion and support for corporate welfare. He just wants Maher off the air because Maher is critical of Bush and makes too many intelligent remarks while doing so. Republicans only support free speech when it happens to agree with their opinions otherwise they want censorship.

I think Maher’s comment may have been insensitive and an ill-advised idea to joke about, but Bachus just is another GOP Shit-For-Brains trying to grandstand in order to get public adulation over false patriotism he doesn’t really posses. If you know anything about Bachus’s previous attempts at grabbing headlines you will know what I mean. Previously Republicans claimed that anyone critical of Bush was committing Treason. A preacher recently kicked out members of his congregation if they hadn’t voted for Our Lord and Savior George W. Bush. He had done the same in the lead up to the Presidential Election. The Radical Right’s confusion between party loyalty and patriotism and piety is frightening. And should be a concern for all right-thinking Americans. I fear for our country in the hands of these people!


FBI Records Released Showing Reports of Guantanamo Bay Guards Mistreating Koran Including Flushing One Down the Toilet Going Back to 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember how the Bush Administration made Newsweek apologize and retract a one paragraph article that the US was investigating whether Gitmo guards mistreated the Koran including flushing one down the toilet? Republicans were calling for the Newsweek writer to be tried on charges of TREASON or KILLED FOR MAKING UP THIS OUTRAGEOUS LIE!!!! Well, just released FBI records show that Guantanamo Bay guards going back to 2002 have been accused of mistreating the Koran, and at least one allegedly flushed a Koran down the toilet back in 2002! The Bush Administration has known for THREE #$@$#@ YEARS that this had happened, and yet they made Newsweek bow and scrape for forgiveness, and then the White House Spokesman for Bush blamed them for 15 DEATHS and the DESTRUCTION of the US GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION throughout the world! President Bush’s Official White House Spokesman Scott McClellan On May 16 said that the Newsweek’s cost peoples lives he repeated the charge on May 17. Now that the truth is coming out Bush’s official spokesman is backpedaling on those claims! What a bunch of lying SOBS!!!!! Read about the FBI files that the ACLU made the Bush Admin surrender to the public showing that they have been once again lying to us!!!!

COWARDICE -- the ONLY way to describe the US media coverage of George Galloway's hearing before Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

After Scotsman George Galloway was falsely accused by Republican Senator Norm Coleman he came to Washington to clear his name. He not only did that, but his testimony shined a light on criminal activities by the Bush Administration and his Republican supporters in Congress. Senator Coleman’s committee originally posted Galloway’s testimony, but after a single day removed it. They continue to show the testimony of his accusers. All other witnesses giving testimony before the committee have their testimony posted on our Tax-Payer Funded Senate.GOV website, except the man who turned the tables on his Republican accusers. They continue to refuse to post his testimony. You can read it here thanks to American Patriots who believe that Freedom of Speech is not only for those who parrot George W. Bush’s statements, but for us all. Now you would think that the news media would give you this information. But you would be wrong! The TV news refuse to air Galloway’s testimony, and newpapers report it in a very right-wing biased way as you will find from reading this article by Maria Tomchick.
Just What You'd Expect -- Galloway and the US Press

Cowardice is the only way to describe the recent coverage of George Galloway's hearing before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Not only did the nation's two major dailies get many of the facts wrong, they went out of their way to paint Galloway as guilty.

I'm going to pick on the Washington Post and the New York Times. Colum Lynch, the reporter assigned by the Washington Post to cover the Senate investigations of the UN's oil-for-food program, wrote an article on May 12 entitled "Panel Connects Oil Program to Europeans." The article repeated charges made by the Republican majority on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that several European politicians, including British MP George Galloway, had accepted bribes from Saddam Hussein in the form of oil-for-food program allotments. Galloway, by the way, is a long-time, vocal critic of the sanctions against Iraq and the ensuing US/UK war--as are all of the other European politicians named by the committee, a fact that should raise any self-respecting reporter's suspicions of a Republican witch hunt. Or a "mother of all smokescreens," as Galloway has called the investigation--one that takes our attention off the much more serious problems being unearthed by the UN special investigator in Iraq who's auditing how the Bush administration spent Iraqi oil-for-food program money after the invasion. Of course Lynch proves he has no instincts for the important story, and instead merely repeats the committee's accusations.

Lynch then wrote a follow-up article on May 18 about Galloway's hearing before the Senate committee, a story that was buried on page A11. Lynch goes out of his way to portray Galloway as a loose cannon, saying that he "unleashed a personal attack against panel Chairman Norm Coleman," "delivered a fiery attack on three decades of US policy toward Iraq," and that he "dispensed with the deference traditionally reserved for Senate leaders." Not content with that, Lynch goes on to say that "he described himself as a 'friend' of former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, and said that he met twice with Hussein."

What Galloway actually said was this: "On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false. I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to the sanction, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr. Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country--a rather better use of two meeting with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of his."
While Lynch purposefully omits the Donald Rumsfeld reference from his article, he does include the following: "The Senate subcommittee has not presented any bank records or other documentation showing that Galloway traded in Iraqi oil or paid kickbacks to the government." But this is in paragraph 8, exactly halfway through the article, instead of paragraph 1 or 2, where it could have been used to establish an all-important context for the Republicans' oil-for-food circus act.

In paragraph 15 of his article (the next-to-last one), Lynch mentions in passing the most important finding of the whole oil-for-food investigation: that the Texas petroleum company Bayoil paid $37 million in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, an enormous and direct violation of the oil-for-food program rules by a US company that dwarfs anything Galloway is charged with. But Lynch somehow forgets to mention Bayoil by name, nor does he question why Senate Republicans are trying to crucify Galloway and other anti-war politicians, instead of siccing the US Treasury Department on Bayoil.

The New York Times report is equally bad, but in a different way. Written by Judith Miller, whose reports on Saddam's WMD capability amounted to uncritical stenography for right-wing neo-cons, the article is almost genteel in its careful phrasing. She uses flattering descriptive terms to describe Galloway, while framing her article in a way that give credence to the oil-for-food investigations. Miller variously describes Galloway as "a maverick," "a flamboyant orator and skilled debator," and says he "more than held his own before the committee." But Miller also mentions the two meetings with Saddam: "He said he met with former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz many times, but met Mr. Hussein only twice--as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had." Aha, Rumsfeld mentioned at last! But Miller makes no mention of what Rumsfeld did with his time versus what Galloway did with his.

According to Miller, "the committee has produced no documents that show that Mr. Galloway or his charity actually received money." You can almost hear the tea spoon clink gently against the saucer. Where does this little bon mot appear? It was the last sentence of paragraph 14 in an 18-paragraph article. Of course, Miller makes no mention at all of Bayoil. That would be impolite.

As usual, if the US public wants the truth, we have to go to the original sources, in this case the transcript of Galloway's statement. Interestingly, the British newspapers were quick to offer up the transcript, while US papers decided it wasn't newsworthy. Kudos belong to the alternative press in the US, which widely reprinted Galloway's statement. You can find it at here.
Articles cited in this analysis:

"Panel Connects Oil Program To Europeans," Colum Lynch, Washington Post, 5/12/05, A16

"Briton Denies Having Rights to Buy Iraqi Oil," Colum Lynch, Washington Post, 5/18/05, A11

"British Lawmaker Scolds Senators on Iraq," Judith Miller, New York Times, 5/18/05.

Maria Tomchick is a co-editor and contributing writer for Eat The State!, a biweekly anti-authoritarian newspaper of political opinion, research, and humor, based in Seattle, Washington. She can be reached at:
Once again the Corporate-Owned Media who are shills for the Bush Administration are deliberately misleading the American People. Galloway not only defended the baseless accusations against him, he indicted the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership in Congress for their own crimes! Remember that the US Senate’s own website Senate.GOV posted the testimony of EVERY SINGLE OTHER WITNESS EXCEPT GALLOWAY!!!!!! The Republican led Senate originally posted his testimony, then after a day they took it down, but kept the testimony of his accusers on the web site! OUR WEBSITE THAT WE PAY FOR WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS!!! They refuse to re-post his testimony because they hope the American people won't learn what he had to say! The Republicans in the Senate are COWARDS!!! When the Government wants to prevent its citizens from reading something they had better read it for their own freedom’s sake! Read it here.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Free Speech Died In America Once Bush Was Elected President! Here’s Further Proof!

All across the nation for as long as President Bush has been in office those who were protesting his policies were removed miles away from events featuring Bush and placed in “Free Speech Zones” where they were behind fences and not allowed to be interviewed by the press. No previous US President had done this! Then those who were members of the Democratic Party or had pins or T-Shirts or bumper stickers on their cars critical of Bush Administration policy were thrown out of Tax Payer Funded events featuring Bush even if they were not protesting only attending peacefully. A while back 3 people in Denver with tickets to see Bush at a Tax Payer Funded event were thrown out by a Republican Party official posing as a Secret Service Agent because of a bumper sticker on their car. Once again an American Citizen with a valid ticket to see President Bush at a Tax Payer Funded Event was prevented from attending because he had a Democratic Party T-Shirt. Many of other attendees at the Arizona event were allowed in with Republican T-Shirts, but the one attendee who had on a Democratic Party T-Shirt was refused entrance from the Tax Payer Funded event even though he had a valid ticket from his US Congressman. Only those with tickets from their members of Congress can now attend Bush’s Tax Payer Funded speeches. But if you happen to be wearing a political T-Shirt it has to be a Republican Party T-Shirt. No Democratic Party T-Shirts are allowed! This is America after all the home of Freedom and Democracy and the One Party that Controls the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and has a Supreme Court with 7 of the 9 justices appointed by Republican Presidents including the Chief Justice who was appointed as a justice by a Republican President and as Chief Justice by another Republican President. 10 of the 13 US Federal Appellate Judges were appointed by Republican Presidents as well. So naturally in the home of Freedom and Democracy and Free Speech you can’t wear a Democratic Party T-Shirt! Only a Republican one! The 19 year old University of Arizona student was wearing a UA Young Democrats T-shirt which is white and has the party's logo on the back. He offered to take the T-shirt off and wear only the long-sleeved blue shirt he had on underneath, but the event staff still would not admit him. No Democratic Party members allowed. They only make up 49% of the voters in the last election not the 51% who voted for Bush. Majority rules in this country! You are either with us (the Republican Party) or you are against us (America). There is not middle ground in the New Amerika of George Bush!!!!! A staff member asked to see his shirt before crumpling up the student’s ticket and walking away. He returned to say the Young Democrat's name had been added to the list of those not allowed into the convention hall. I fully expect the young man to be visited in the middle of the night and taken to Guantanamo Bay to be Tortured for his High Crime of being a Democrat! How dare he vote for anyone else than Emperor George!!! Off with his head says the Emperor!! Off with his head!! Long Live King George!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Nearly 3 Weeks after Downing Street Memo Released NY Times Reports on it, but Oh So Weakly

On May 1, 2005 the Times of London released the Downing Street Memo that revealed evidence from senior British governmental officials that President Bush had already decided to invade Iraq by July of 2002 long before getting Congressional approval for such an act, and that he “had decided to justify this decision by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D” and that the “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” in spite of the fact that “the case was thin.” And that Bush's National Security Council, then headed by Condoleezza Rice, “had no patience with the U.N. route,” and that the NSC had “no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record.” For seven months until the war began Bush continued to claim that war was a last resort, and that diplomatic avenues were being tried. Two weeks after this news broke the Washington Times printed a small story buried on page 18, and now nearly three weeks after the fact the NY Times printed a weak story on it failing to point out the importance of these revelations. As usual for the Corporate-Owned Mainstream Media this was not published on the front page or anywhere near it. The ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs as well as PBS NewsHour have failed to report on this at all. CNN and Fox (read Faux) News if they reported on it at all did so in a dismissive manner. Both the Washington Times and the NY Post have admitted that prior to the Invasion of Iraq they deliberately down-played reporting on evidence contrary to the Bush Administrations position and mislead their readers into thinking that evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction had been found in Iraq (the Bush Admin’s official weapons inspectors have concluded that WMDs were destroyed after the first Iraq War in 1991 or soon after). The NY Times new Public Editor had the cojones to claim that this was not further evidence of their self-censoring news critical of the Bush Administration from landing on the front page when the seriousness of the news warranted it. Columnists at the NY Times have been able to voice criticisms of Bush’s policy, but the news editors or their Corporate controllers have always managed to keep news that questions remain for much of this policy off the front page, and often off the pages of the NY Times.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Senate Too Embarrassed to Post British MP George Galloway’s Indictment of GOP and Bush Admin on Senate.GOV!!! What are they afraid of—the TRUTH!!!

Every time someone is brought before a Senate Committee to give testimony (especially when that witness is an official of a foreign government!), a transcript of the entire testimony is posted for all of the Citizens of the US to see on Senate.GOV the Senate’s official website. That’s so that we can see what our elected officials are doing and show they are spending our tax dollars! Well, British MP George Galloway testified before Senator Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee in which he not only showed that charges against him were false, he indicted all of the Republicans in Congress and the Bush Administration on their own involvement in the UN Oil-for-Food Program (Bush’s Oil Companies were responsible for more than half of the illegal payoffs!), but Galloway didn’t stop there, he indicted Congress and the Bush Administration for their knowingly misleading the People of the United States of America into a War that itself was illegal since Bush had already decided to send US Forces months before getting Congressional permission and had also decided to falsify intelligence in order to justify the war. Sen. Coleman and his Republican brethren were so embarrassed that while they initially posted Galloway’s testimony, they after one day of it being posted they removed it from Senate.GOV. The refuse to re-post it. Reason? They don’t want the American people to read it! Well guess what? Someone else has transcribed the complete testimony and posted it here. Now the American people can know what their elected officials are doing despite their desire to keep it secret. Too bad, Norm. You are an IDIOT for bringing a man with the balls to call you what you are before everyone!!!! They say a lawyer should NEVER ask a witness a question if he doesn’t know what that answer will be. Lawyer and freshman Senator Norm Coleman did just that, and he got BURNED!!!!

The testimony of every single other witness who gave testimony before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on the Oil for Food scandal is included on the Senate.GOV website except for Galloway's testimony which they removed after a single day. Yes, that's right every single other witnesses testimony is available on Senate.GOV except the one guy who called the GOP out on their hypocrisy and laid the blame where it belonged.

Read the links shown in this post, and then read the ones under "Read these to be informed" in the upper left hand corner of this page to be informed about your own government. The Corporate-owned Media News Outlets aren't telling you what you need to know, so as a patriotic citizen you need to find out for yourself!


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Congress moves to restrict court rulings on God

Online article here.

WASHINGTON — Conservatives balk at accusations that the current Congress and the Bush administration are intent on turning the United States into a theocracy. Yet, a bill sponsored by 28 members of the U.S. House and Senate looks like a move in that direction.

According to the text of the bill, the proposed Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 would remove the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over “any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”

If passed, the bill also would limit the ability of judges to interpret the Constitution if it involved “any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.”

Judges who fail to comply could be impeached or prosecuted.

Project Censored award-winning journalist W. David Kubiak charges that the bill would divorce U.S. jurisprudence from “our hard-won secular history and international norms.” The Conservative Caucus has called it an important step that would prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from weighing in on “the acknowledgement of God (as in the Roy Moore 10 Commandments issue); and it also restricts federal courts from recognizing the laws of foreign countries and international law [e.g., against torture, global warming, unjust wars, etc.] as the supreme law of our land.”

Thus far, the mainstream media has ignored the legislation. A May 16 search of Google News turned up no coverage, despite the fact that the office of lead sponsor Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL, told Kubiak last week, “We have the votes for passage.”

Friday, May 20, 2005

Rupert Murdoch Right-Wing owner of Fox News and the New York Post may have caused the US to violate the Geneva Convention

Rupert Murdoch the Right-Wing owner of Fox News, the New York Post and the Sun (a British daily tabloid) may have caused the US to violate the Geneva Convention. Both the Sun and the New York Post published front page pictures of Saddam Hussein in his prison cell in his underpants. The tabloids said the photos were provided by a U.S. military official. Murdoch’s paper said that they would be publishing other embarrassing pictures of Saddam in his cell in future editions. Maybe even one of those attractive Abu Ghraib butt pyramid photos! While Saddam was a ruthless dictator the Geneva Convention has rules concerning the treatment of prisoners of war, and allowing them to be photographed in their underwear is according to legal experts a clear violation. Of course showing pictures of his sons' dead bodies all bloody and disfigured was considered by legal experts to be violations as well. As were the mistreatment of detainees (most of whom the Pentagon admitted to the Red Cross were not criminals – just people who might have information) at not only Abu Ghraib, but several other holding facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. But don't fret, since Bush’s Attorney General, Albert Gonzalez, said that the Geneva Convention is quaint and Bush could just ignore it, there won’t be any recriminations toward Murdoch who has been a strong Bush supporter having his Fox News and New York Post twist the news to favor the Bush administration for over 4 years.

Future generations looking back at this time will doubtless consider the many illegal and immoral actions of the Bush administration and their wealthy supporters such as Murdoch (of which this one will be considered the smallest of violations) as flagrant criminals who high jacked the nation for their own financial interests and lust for power, but fortunately for all of them the Corporate-Owned News Media Outlets will continue to keep the American People in the dark about the goings of their elected officials and their Corporate Sponsors. Once their power is broken and the truth finally comes out their epitaph will be comparable to Benedict Arnolds. But for now their reputations are safely protected.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Washington Times cartoon sets Pakistanis on fire with anger, but the White House won't be calling Rev. Moon, a long-time Bush family supporter, to task like they did Newsweek!

News in a nutshell

Bush EPA Official Admits Helping Developer Destroy Wetlands

Columbia Journalism School to media: Everything you know is wrong

Bush is Wrong -- Filibuster is an Integral Part of Country's History

GOP leader says Dems trying to assassinate judges, while judge whose family was murdered testifies

Newsweek Finds Bad Stories Aren't Equal

American who was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq shares his views on Iran's nuclear capabilities

Red Cross told U.S. of Koran incidents as early as 2002 - reports continued until the end of 2004 in spite of this White House presses Newsweek to repair U.S. image abroad -- Interesting But Did Newsweek Damage America's Image? Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard Myers, said that the Newsweek article wasn’t responsible as reported on Bush' own State Dept. website and here on its Pentagon web site - A Guantanamo prisoner reported Koran abuse over a year ago and a US Official apologized for this.

Patriot Act expansion would let FBI bypass judges

Red State gets $1.5 Million More in Pork from Congress For "a Bus Stop" Thanks to Republican Senator, but Doesn’t Know How To Spend that much Money for a Measly Bus Stop Remember that Blue States Pay In Most of the Federal Dollars and the Red States Take the Most in Federal Pork Barrel Payoffs but Complain about How Much Taxes They Pay!

Bush’s FBI and ATF Claim that Animal Rights Activists and Environmental Activists are the Biggest Danger to America – Forget about those Republicans in Congress and Televangelists Calling for Deaths of US Judges and Other Domestic Terrorists Blowing Up Abortion Clinics and Shooting Doctors and Right-Wing Militia Members Blowing Up Federal Buildings and Threatening to Shoot Mexicans Coming Over the Border – No, It’s Definitely Those Animal Rights Activists and Environmental Activists that We Need Protection From. James Inhofe a Republican senator and the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee said that he thought PETA (the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) were supporting terrorist groups. Some committee members have expressed skepticism over the high level of concern toward environmental and animal rights activists.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Right Response to the Bush/Newsweeek Story

David Sirota had this to say on his blog:

The Associated Press reported this White House response to the Newsweek fiasco:"

"It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not...The report has had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged."

The irony of this White House "outrage" in light of all the lies about Iraq the Bush administration has fed America is really incredible. A reader sent me a good response to this latest Bush administration rhetoric:

"It's puzzling that while the White House now acknowledged that they haven't found WMD or a link between Al Queda and Iraq, they have refused to retract their claims. I think there's a certain standard of governing that should be met and in this instance has not. The claims the administration used to send this nation to war has had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged."

16 Afghanis killed possibly because of the Newsweek story vs. 1600 US Service Members killed because of the Bush Administration's story plus tens of thousands of US Service Members wounded (many maimed for life), 100,000 Iraqis killed and upwards of $300 Billion wasted. Naturally the Right is up in arms about the Newsweek story since it has so much greater repercussion than that silly little Bush Administration booboo!

Also read White House Irony Watch: Newsweek Edition over at

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Scotsman Reads Republicans in Congress the Riot Act and Hands them their Heads and Bush Admin Involved in Oil For Food Scandal!

Republicans in Congress thought they would skewer an anti-Iraq War Scottish member of the British Parliament by accusing him of involvement in the UN Food for Oil scandal. Instead this no nonsense MP read the Republicans in Congress the Riot Act calling their bluff and exposing them as the biggest bunch of hypocrites since ... well actually the Republican Party is the current Guinness World Record holders for Hypocrisy! Here are some good comebacks this Scotsman gave the pompous puffed up prevaricators of Congress:

“I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice,” he said. “I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever having written to me or telephoned me, without any contact with me whatsoever and you call that justice.”

"You have the gall to quote a source without ever having asked me if the allegations were true, that I am the 'owner of a company which has made substantial profits from oil for food,'" Galloway said, noting that he owns no companies besides a media firm in London. "You had no business to carry a quotation utterly unsubstantiated and falsely implying otherwise," he said. "You've already found me guilty before I have had a chance to come here and defend myself."

Mr Galloway rejected a claim in the sub committee's report that he had had "many" meetings with Saddam Hussein, explaining that he had only met the former dictator twice.“I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns,” he said.“I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and American governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas,” he said. "I met [Saddam] to try and persuade him to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back in the country, a rather better use of the meetings than your own secretary of defense," Galloway told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Investigations Subcommittee.

He said the lists on which his name appeared had been provided by "the convicted bank robber and fraudster and conman" Ahmed Chalabi who later fed top secret US intelligence to the government of Iran endangering US lives and weakening our leverage against that nation. Chalabi a darling of the Bush Admin has now been named as Iraqi Oil Minister despite his previous conviction and anti-American behavior toward Iran.

Some of the "evidence" against Galloway had already been proven forgeries. A fact the Republicans ignored until the Scotsman called them on their hypocritical stance. “What counts is not the names on the paper. What counts is where’s the money, Senator? Who paid me money, Senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars? The answer to that is nobody and if you had anybody who paid me a penny you would have produced them here today.” he said.

To one politico, Sen. Norm Coleman, he responded, “I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning. Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right, and you turned out to be wrong. And 100,000 people have paid with their lives, 1600 of them American soldiers, sent to their deaths on a pack of lives, 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies. If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, who's dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened, to President Chirac, who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens, you are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth. ” Note: what Gallaway is refering to is that while 3% of the Food for Oil money went missing after 12 years the Bush Administration "lost" nearly 50% of the $20 Billion of Iraq's Oil Money that it was supposed to use to rebuild Iraq. They spent about $2 Billion of the $20 Billion for this purpost and "lost" over $9 Billion of the remaining $18 Billion in a single year. The rest went unused for the purpose of rebuilding Iraq as promised. Insiders suggest that the missing money lined pockets of those connected with Bush's former viceroy in Iraq, Paul Bremmer. While an investigation of the UN Food for Oil scandal was completed, NO investigation has been started to locate the missing $9 Billion that the Bush Admin lost in a single year!

The GOP are unaccustomed to someone actually standing up to them and exposing their lies in public. They were left with their mouths hanging open at his bluntness. You can read more about this altercation here and here and see the video of Gallaway shoving it up the GOP's arses here.

It turns out that the Bush Admin knew that the UN Oil for Food program was being skimmed and despite their ability and duty to investigate it at the time did nothing. That's because they were making money over it. A report just released found that the Bush Administration was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions, on occasion, they actually facilitated the illicit oil sales. The report further shows that US oil purchases under Bush accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together. The GOP have been crying crockadile tears over a scandal they participated in. And to a greater extent than the rest of the world combined! What a bunch of hypocrits! Read the damning evidence here.

Well done Mr. Galloway! I wish the Democrats had half the cajones you exhibited on Capitol Hill! If they did maybe the American People would realize what a bunch of lowlife losers the new leaders of the GOP are!


Monday, May 16, 2005

Bush Admin Admitted that Newsweek Article Not Responsible for Violence – Until Propaganda Strategy Changed

Today the White House and most Republican sources were blaming a Newsweek report that the US Military used flushing the Koran or threatening to flush the Koran down a toilet as a method of getting information out of them for causing riots in Afghanistan. The only problem is that until today the Bush Admin and even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard Myers, said that the Newsweek article wasn’t responsible for the increased violence. You can still access a page on the Government’s Dept. of State web site saying so – until they realize that it violates the latest propaganda and remove it. The Pentagon's Web Site contains that assessment here as well. Again until the Government realizes that it is still out there and then expunges the information. Frequently the Bush Administration has wiped information from Government Web Sites when the existing information contradicts the Bush Admin’s claim de jour. It is interesting to note that the Bush Admin has not officially said that the Koran incident did not occur. Newsweek had this to say, "On Saturday, Isikoff spoke to his original source, the senior government official, who said that he clearly recalled reading investigative reports about mishandling the Qur'an, including a toilet incident. But the official, still speaking anonymously, could no longer be sure that these concerns had surfaced in the SouthCom report." They may have been the subject of other investigations not the SouthCom report as Newsweek origninally reported based on information from this "senior Government Official." Pentagon sources refused to comment directly on this, but also refused to deny the Koran in the toilet situation occured. History Professor and Middle East expert Juan Cole has more to say about this here. It turns out that members of the Bush Goverment were actually shown the Newsweek report before it was published and they did NOT object to the facts prior to publication. Watch this for more info.

Republicans are calling for Michael Isikoff the author of the Newsweek article to be fired or forced to resign. They say that despite the fact that he may have gotten misinformation from "a senior U.S. Government official," his decision to print the information led to the deaths of 16 Afghanis. But if we follow that line of reasoning isn’t it true that President Bush supposedly decided to invade Iraq based on false information from goverment sources that Iraq had WMDs and that decision lead to the deaths of over 1600 US service members and tens of thousands to possibly 100,000 Iraqi deaths? We’ll ignore for the moment that recent memos out of Britain show that Bush had decided to invade Iraq by July of 2002 and had decided to make the “facts fit the policy” to invade. If Isikoff must be made to resign for deciding to go ahead with bad information from the government why shouldn’t Bush be subjected to the same requirement? His decision lead to thousands of times the number of deaths and upwards of $300 Billion Dollars of US Taxpayers money being spent. Why aren't Republicans calling on Bush to resign? Because Republicans don't have to play by the same rules as they demand other people do. That is part of the hypocricy that is the GOP.

Republcians and newscasters are claiming that Newsweek has admitted that their report is false. But the Columbia Journalism Review' CJR Daily writes, “Most reporters, particularly on television, are reporting that Newsweek has retracted the allegation that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay. But that's wrong: The magazine has said only that it no longer stands by its claim that allegations of Koran desecration appear in a forthcoming report from U.S. Southern Command. That's a very different point. There have been numerous other reports -- mostly from detainees -- suggesting that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo did abuse the Koran.”

Daily Kos reports that other US News Sources had reported the Koran incidents previously citing other sources going back two years, and posits that the Bush Admin won a game of chicken with Newsweek by forcing them to back down so they could use it for political advantage. This is further evidence that the Corporate-Owned Mainstream Media is anything but liberal when they consistently knuckle under to the GOP. The current claim by the Bush Administration that riots in Afghanistan are due to the Newsweek blurb (which was only one paragraph long) begs the question of whether Afghan tribesmen read Newsweek and read it cover to cover in order to catch the single paragraph in question.

Note that prior to publication Newsweek submitted the article in question to two count them two Pentagon Officials in order to verify the information contained in them. These Pentagon Officials report to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who reports to President Bush. Neither Pentagon Official complained about the Koran in the toilet report. One said nothing and the other complained about an entirely different fact that was corrected by Newsweek. They effectively vetted the report in doing this. The White House said nothing about the Newsweek article for 10 days following its publication. Later after riots broke out and Generals Myers and Eikenberry assured everyone that the Newsweek article was not responsible for the violence, the White House suddenly siezed upon the opportunity to blame Newsweek after the Generals assured the world that the political situation in Iraq was the cause.

My guess is that since this is in the most recent edition of the magazine, the issue hasn't made it to that part of Central Asia prior to the riots (usually US magazines delayed several weeks to that part of the world), and General Myers assessment is more accurate. The Bush Admin is effectively calling the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a liar for saying otherwise. More on this story as it develops. Another US General, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, agreed with Myers that the Newsweek article did not start the violence. The White House is calling General Eikenberry a liar by this claim as well. Personally I'll take the word of the soldiers over the Bush Administration! Republicans however doubt the word of soldiers who have devoted their lives to the defense of the nation and believe Bush instead. To each his own!


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Texas Sends Murder to Illinois – Thanks High Crime Red States! Thanks a Whole &*%# Lot!

A Texas man named Jerry Hobbs had been in and out of prisons for most of his life. Recently he left Texas. The Texas authorities were overjoyed that they didn’t have to worry about him anymore. He went straight to Zion, IL, just north of here before long he stabbed to death his 8-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old friend because they were riding bikes, and he wanted his daughter home because he had grounded her. So he killed her and her friend. They just held the funerals for the two little girls this Texan killed. The Red States (mostly southern ones) have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates in the country. They are the reason that the US murder rates are so high. The Blue States have the lowest crime rates and murder rates in the country. The Red States (mostly the southern ones) have the highest divorce rates in the country. The Blue States have the lowest divorce rates with Massachusetts having the lowest divorce rate in the country. The Blue States pay most of the Federal Dollars and the Red States take the most in Federal Payoffs. For all their conservative moaning about taxes they get far more than they give and the Blue States give far more than they get. And yet the Red Staters are saying that they are for family values. Really? Committing the most crimes including the most murders, divorcing your spouse that you swore to stay with in sickness and in health till death do you part, taking far more than you give and complaining that you want to give even less so that others will have to carry your sorry asses even farther than we already do. What a bunch a losers the Red Staters are! I say we the Blue State people of this nation succeed and leave the Red Staters to have to pay for their own roads, bridges and stoplights. We would have more than enough money and they would be dead broke. We would have the lowest divorce rate and murder rate and crime rate in the world and they would plummet on every conceivable measurement of civility. Because they have family values that allow them to kill, steal, cheat, divorce, and suck up other states money and complain that they didn’t get to suck up more money. What a bunch of losers. I say we dump them like the trash they are!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Illinois Teens Challenge Rush Limpballs to a Debate after he says they Don’t Know Anything about World War II – But He’s too Chicken to Debate Kids!

Recently Rush Limpballs went off on how stupid kids are because he heard about a multicultural class High School students in Evanston, Illinois take. Recovering Drug Addict Rush came to the conclusion that if they take that class then they must know nothing about World War II saying that Evanston Township High School students "don't know anything about World War II" and "they've probably never heard the name Adolf Hitler" because they're so focused on a multicultural curriculum. Exactly how did Rush come to this conclusion? I think he’s pill-popping again. The students of the high school he slammed then challenged Rush to a debate on World War II. Rush for once was silent. He doesn’t want to debate the kids. And with good reason. All ETHS sophomores choose among several "global perspectives" courses covering the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Russia. In the Middle East class, for example, students adopt a new identity for the semester -- a Syrian baker or a medical student in Qatar -- and try to view what's transpiring in the region from that perspective.

"In 2003, ETHS won an excellence in international education award from the Asia Society and the Goldman Sachs Foundation. ETHS offers seven languages, including Japanese and Hebrew, and has several clubs with an international flavor, including Model United Nations and Amnesty International. Students and staff also point out that the school requires yearlong courses in U.S. history and Western civilization."

"It's funny to me that someone would say we don't know about World War II -- we live in a large Jewish community," said Jane Biliter, a senior. Each year, the school hosts activities for Holocaust Remembrance Week. "Until 10th grade, all we did was U.S. and European history. It's just so false that what he says is funny."

"It struck me as incomprehensible that somebody would think multiculturalism antithetical to American values," Supt. Allan Alson said. "I was stunned that he had such certainty that our kids were not knowledgeable about basic American history when in fact our student do extremely well" on standardized tests in that area. "It's a shame he lets his conclusions determine his evidence."

"Aaron Becker, who teaches the Middle East class, said his students also are considering sending Limbaugh essays they've written on American history.
'This is a perfect teachable moment,' Becker said. 'Kids are angry and want to respond by showing they know a lot, that it's not a zero-sum game, that you can learn about more than one history.'"

Becker said the kids will decide how best to respond.

"It's not even worth responding to," said Aaron Hamilton, a senior. "He has nothing to say about my education and my future. He's just a guy talking on the radio."

Read more about how Rush Limbaugh is too chicken to debate the high schoolers he claimed don’t know anything about World War II. They would kick his pill popping pimply butt.


If you say Conservative you are therefore a Liberal. Right? How stupid do they think we are?

The Media Research Center, a conservative media group, recently released what it called a “study” showing that the media has a liberal bias. Their claim is that there have been more mentions of the word "conservative" than the word "liberal" in a given period, and their conclusion is that the news must be "biased" against conservatives. This argument might (and I say only might since the context of the information is more important thatn the labels) have some merit if the number of conservatives and liberals mentioned in the news were equal. But Conservatives control the House, the Senate, and the White House. Conservative religious groups have been exerting forces and speaking out loudly (often calling for violence against judges, but I digress) in the news. Other conservative groups have been vocal since the election as well. Naturally with all the conservatives in the news the word conservative is going to come up more often than liberal. Now the right is championing this “study” for proof of liberal bias in the media. Are they retarded? Do they think the majority of the American People are? Read Media Matters report on this “study” here for a more detailed account of this and for many many account of Right Wing bias in the US Mainstream Media. This time looking at context rather than the occurence of one or two words. Study? That's what they call a Study? They would flunk any serious class studying like that. Sheesh!


Proof US Media is Not Only “Not Liberal” They are Not Even American—they are Unpatriotic Scum!!!!

Time and time again the US Mainstream Media has failed to report to the American People what its own government is doing: the crimes and corruption, the lies and deliberate misleading of the American people in order to line the pockets of a privileged few whose campaign contributions provide the quid pro quo of graft that is the hallmark of the current US Government. Well, nearly 2 Weeks After a conservative London newspaper published a Memo that Revealed the Bush Administration Fixed Intelligence to Justify the Iraq War, the Washington Post decides to run a story about It on Page 18. Yes! Page 18 and two weeks after the news broke. Once again a story that should be on the front page the day the news broke and would if Clinton had lied in order to start a war is buried two weeks later on page 18 where it is unlikely to be read by many Americans, but the paper can later claim, “Look we reported it,” when the American People rise up in righteous indignation that they were deliberately mislead into supporting an unnecessary war of convenience and profit for the likes of Haliburton! This is Incomprehensible, unless the First Loyalty of the Washington Post and the US Mainstream Media at large is to the Bush Administration, not to delivering the truth upfront and on a timely basis to the American People! Their real loyalties do no lie with the American People that’s for sure! Liberal Media My ASS!!!!!! The US Mainstream Media couldn’t tell the American People enough about Monica’s stained blue dress or where Clinton offered to put his cigar, but a war that is costing the US upwards of $300 Billion (that’s Billion with a B) over 1600 US Service Members dead and tens of thousands wounded most for life, by some estimates 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, the undying hatred of the world because their press actually reports what our press suppresses. That the US Mainstream Media either doesn’t report or buries nearly 20 pages deep two weeks late so that it won’t be read. In what Bizzaro Universe is that considered a Liberal Media? Only in the twisted demented minds of neo-conmen like Karl Rove, Bill O’Lie-ly, Rush Limpballs, and Sean Insanity! It’s Liberal Media this and Liberal Media that. Liberal media my ASS!!!! Unfortunately, the people are believing this BULLSHIT because it’s being broadcast into their brains 24x7!


I have 3 small children, and I will not have them live in a nation where liars rule the government and the media and keep the people as their unwitting slaves by keeping them in an information vacuum!!! I want my country back so our children won’t have to live under a totalitarian regime. Again I’m not advocating violence, I am calling for the American people to inform themselves despite the Siren’s call of mainstream media infotainment by reading news sources such as those on the upper left corner of this page under the heading “Read these to be informed.” A people informed is a people who can control their own destiny by choosing leaders who will be responsive to the needs of the people and not to the demands of special interest groups including the mainstream media itself!!!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Black And White And Full Of Crap -- Lies Run Big, Facts Small in U.S. Media

By Ted Rall

05/11/05 "uExpress" - - NEW YORK--One year ago the American media was pushing the Pat Tillman story with the heavy rotation normally reserved for living celebs like Michael Jackson. Tillman, the former NFL player who turned down a multi-million dollar football contract to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, became a centerpiece of the right's Hamas-style death cult when he lost his life in the mountains of southeastern Afghanistan. To supporters of the wars and to many football fans, Tillman embodied ideals of self-sacrifice and post-9/11 butt-kicking in a hard-bodied shell of chisel-chinned masculinity on steroids.

Tillman's quintessential nobility, we were told, was borne out by the story of his death--a tale that earned him a posthumous Silver Star. Whether you were for or against Bush's wars, Americans were told, Tillman's valor showed why you should support the troops. Young men were encouraged to emulate his praiseworthy example.

Several thousand mourners gathered at Tillman's May 3, 2004 memorial service to hear marquee names including Arizona Senator John McCain called upon all Americans to "be worthy of the sacrifices made on our behalf." "Tillman died trying to save fellow members of the 75th Ranger Regiment caught in a crush of enemy fire," the Arizona Republic quoted a fellow soldier addressing the crowd. Tillman, said his friend and comrade-at-arms, had told his fellow soldiers "to seize the tactical high ground from the enemy" to draw enemy fire away from another U.S. platoon trapped in an ambush. "He directly saved their lives with those moves. Pat sacrificed his life so that others could live." It was, as the Washington Post wrote, a "storybook personal narrative"--one recounted on hundreds of front pages and network newscasts.

It was also a lie.

As sharp-eyed readers learned a few months ago from single-paragraph articles buried deep inside their newspapers, Pat Tillman died pointlessly, a hapless victim of "friendly fire" who never got the chance to choose between bravery and cowardice. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Washington Post now reports that Pentagon and White House officials knew the truth "within days" after his April 22, 2004 shooting by fellow Army Rangers but "decided not to inform Tillman's family or the public until weeks after" the nationally televised martyr-a-thon.

It gets worse. So desperate were the military brass to carry off their propaganda coup that they lied to Tillman's brother, a fellow soldier who arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, about how he died. Writing in an army report, Brigadier General Gary Jones admits that the official cover-up even included "the destruction of evidence": the army burned Tillman's Ranger uniform and body armor to hide the fact that he had died in a hail of American bullets, fired by troops who had "lost situational awareness to the point they had no idea where they were."

"We didn't want the world finding out what actually happened," one soldier told Jones. A perfect summary of the war on terrorism.

The weapons of mass destruction turned out to be a figment of Donald Rumsfeld's imagination. The Thanksgiving turkey Bush presented to the troops turned out to be plastic, as much of a staged photo op as the gloriously iconic and phony toppling of Saddam's statue in Baghdad by jubilant Iraqi civilians--well, actually a few dozen marines and CIA-financed operatives. So many of the Administration's "triumphs" have been exposed as frauds that one has to wonder whether that was really Saddam in the spider hole.

We shouldn't blame the White House for producing lies; that's what politicians do. But we expect better from the media who disseminate them.

Case study: the Washington Post's dutiful transcription of the Jessica Lynch hoax. Played up on page one and running on for thousands of words, the fanciful Pentagon version had the pilot from West Virginia emptying her clip before finally succumbing to a gunshot wound (and possible rape) by evil Iraqi ambushers, then freed from her tormentors at a heavily-guarded POW hospital.

Like the Pat Tillman story, it was pure fiction. Private Lynch, neither shot nor sexually violated, said she was injured when her vehicle crashed. She never got off a shot because her gun jammed. As she told reporters who were willing to listen, her Iraqi doctors and nurses had given her excellent care. She credited them for saving her life. In a weird sort of prequel to the shooting of an Italian journalist, they had even attempted to turn her over at a U.S. checkpoint but were forced to flee when American troops fired at them.

In all of these examples, editors and producers played corrective follow-up stories with far less fanfare than the original, incorrect ones. To paraphrase "X-Files" character Fox Mulder, the truth is in there--in the paper, on TV. It's just really, really hard to find.

Readers of the American press and viewers of American radio and television are likelier to see and believe loudly repeated lies over occasionally whispered truths told once or twice. As a result of the reverse imbalance between fact and fiction, the propaganda versions of the Tillman and Lynch stories, the staged Saddam statue footage, and the claim that Iraq had WMDs are all believed by a misled citizenry that votes accordingly.

For journalists supposedly dedicated to uncovering the truth and informing the public, this is exactly the opposite of how things ought to be. Corrections and exposés should always run bigger, longer and more often than initial, discredited stories.

FOLLOW-UP: Readers who contacted their elected representatives in response to my column two weeks ago about the two 16-year-old Muslim girls detained by Homeland Security because one wrote an essay about suicide bombings (she was against them) have gotten results. Such pressure has prompted the feds to release the girl from Guinea, who has returned to her high school in New York City. But Bush Administration officials have decided to orphan her by deporting her father. The other girl, from Bangladesh, is also being released from prison but HomeSec plans to deport her along with her entire family. While the two girls' release obviously belies the government's claims that they are "an imminent threat to the security of the United States," your letters and phone calls to your Congressperson and/or Senator could help reverse these continuing acts of injustice.

The Way You Vote can Get you Fired in 45 of the 50 US States


How Your Vote Can Get You Fired

NEW YORK--You arrive at work early, work hard and leave late. You're quiet, respectful and well liked. You keep your nose clean: when someone brings up politics, you're smart enough to shut up or walk away. You wouldn't want to say anything that might annoy one of your coworkers.

Once you get home, though, you get to be yourself: a committed political activist. You work the phone bank at Republocratic headquarters, update your blog with scathing takedowns of opposing politicians and chat up your neighbors to urge them to vote for your favorite candidates. But when you clock back in, you leave it at the door. You're cool. One morning, your boss calls you into her office. "It has come our attention that you're a Republocrat," she says. "We don't want your type working here. Gather your things and get out. You're fired."

Can she do that? Are your political opinions your employer's business? It depends on the state.

My friend's employer recently gave "Jackie" (not her real name) a choice: give up her political blog or be fired. She lives in Florida, where labor laws prohibit discrimination based on sex or affliction with sickle-cell anemia--but not political expression. Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, head of the Miami chapter of the ACLU says: "The [Florida] law is pretty clear that a private employer can fire someone based on their political speech even when that political speech does not affect the terms and conditions of employment."

If Jackie lived in California or New York, she could sue her boss merely for even threatening her with dismissal. Unless you're spending your free time working for the violent overthrow of the government, those states protect a worker's right to political speech outside the workplace. (Companies may ban some workers, such as store clerks, from wearing political buttons or campaigning during work hours.) But only five states have laws protecting workers' offsite political speech.

Residents of the other 45 states get no help from federal law. "Do not think you're protected by the First Amendment," says Lewis Maltby of the National Workrights Institute. "It doesn't apply to private employment." Only five states, he says, ban political firings. Even contractors that earn income from the government are exempt, as are private offices, shops, restaurants and factory floors--where 85 percent of Americans work.

Last year's presidential election campaign first exposed the problem.

Lynne Gobbell's boss fired her from her job after she refused his demand that she remove the Kerry-Edwards bumpersticker from her car. "I would like to find another job, but I would take that job back because I need to work," she told the Decatur paper. "It upset me and made me mad that he could put a letter in my check expressing his (political) opinion, but I can't put something on my car expressing mine." Coworkers confirm that the company attached a pro-Bush letter to paychecks.

He has that right under Tennessee law.

On the other side of the left-right divide, Playgirl magazine fired editor Michele Zipp after she wrote an article "admitting" that she was a Republican. "I wouldn't have hired you if I knew you were a Republican," Zipp quoted a Playgirl executive. As a New Yorker, she can sue for damages.

Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, every American is entitled to his or her political opinions. But unless you're so wealthy that you can afford not to work, what good is the right to free speech if your employer can fire you for using it--even after working hours? Our hodgepodge of conflicting state labor laws highlights the absurdity of the situation. Why can the leftover "W '04" sticker on your car get you canned in Florida but not in California? How can the United States bring democracy to the Middle East while allowing American citizens to be fired for how they vote?

Extending national protection to outside-the-workplace political expression is something that even Democrats and Republicans in this highly partisan Congress ought to be able to agree upon. Neither party wants its supporters to lose their jobs. The obvious remedy is to add the protection of political speech to the list of activities and identifiers already covered under current federal labor laws: whistle blowing, race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, etc. Only then will we truly be a nation that values and protects free speech.

Jackie, by the way, has ended her blog. In the town where she lives, jobs are hard to find.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The White House Goes Psychic as It Shreds Our Constitutional Rights


Since its inception, BuzzFlash has made it an editorial policy to focus on how the Busheviks abuse the U.S. Constitution by excluding anyone who won't sign a loyalty oath to Bush from his public events. This started with public campaign events prior to the 2000 election, including the arrest of three people for merely holding up small posters at an open-air public rally in Tampa to which all were invited. It has continued as a repeated pattern at taxpayer-funded Bush events during his term as President.

Now mind you, not only are people thrown out or arrested for exercising such First Amendment rights as wearing a John Kerry T-Shirt, they are even excluded admission if the Bush White House "suspects" they are not loyal "Stepford Republicans." Spotters scour the parking lot for bumper stickers that might indicate a person is "for peace" and therefore -- it follows in the White House thinking -- unqualified to attend a presidential event.

The mainstream press has largely ignored this violation of our Constitutional rights, over and over again. It has been left to local press in the Heartland -- like Fargo, North Dakota, Charleston, West Virginia, Omaha, Nebraska and Denver Colorado -- to cover these gross and illegal acts against the rights of American citizens to attend taxpayer-funded public events.

But recently, BuzzFlash has focused on the case of three attendees at a Bush "town meeting" to "sell" his social insecurity plan -- paid for by taxpayers -- at which the three were first excluded from the event because of an "objectionable" bumper sticker (even though they had tickets from a Republican Congressman). Then they were allowed in for 20 minutes, but then escorted out by a man claiming to work for the Secret Service. Another couple was also threatened with arrest, even though they partook in no disruptive activity. (This Denver occurrence -- which is one of many -- is detailed in the resource links at the end of this BuzzFlash editorial.)

The pattern of the White House when called by local press about these chronic violations of the American Constitution was to blame "overzealous local volunteers." And the local press would fall for it each time, because they were unaware that this was a national pattern, since the national mainstream media wasn't reporting much about it at all.

However, the Denver Three -- as they have come to be known -- have put the heat on. They got the Secret Service to admit -- in an unprecedented meeting -- that the man impersonating a Secret Service agent was not one of theirs. Although impersonating a Secret Service agent is a violation of federal law, neither the White House nor the Secret Service will disclose who the man was. Second of all, the "Denver Three" were able to draw de facto admissions from the White House that they were responsible for the exclusions across the nation -- not local "volunteers." In fact, in addition to having "spotters" (or spies) in the parking lots and other nefarious tactics, the White House prepared lists of who was to be excluded.

More frighteningly, White House Press secretary Scott McClellan defended this anti-U.S. Constitutional practice by telling the Rocky Mountain News, "If we think people are coming to the event to disrupt it, obviously, they're going to be asked to leave."

In rare coverage of the pattern of Constitutional abuses by the White House, a Washington Post story recently quoted another White House flak pretty much saying the same thing, emphasizing that the White House had the right to keep out people who would not appropriately "respect" Bush.

This reminded BuzzFlash of the Steven Spielberg film "Minority Report," in which murders could supposedly be predicted and stopped before they occurred. One online review describes the movie this way, "Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick, MINORITY REPORT is set in a 2054 Washington D.C. judicial system in which killers are arrested and convicted before they commit murder using a psychic technology. Tom Cruise is the head of this Pre-crime unit and is himself accused of the future murder of a man he hasn't even met."

Of course, the man behind the "Minority Report" system turns out to be a hypocritical murderer himself, which, in a metaphoric sense, makes the movie an appropriate parallel to the White House's assertion "that simply a belief that someone intends to disrupt a presidential event is enough to get the person removed."

So put the Constitution through the shredder; if you don't "look Republican," a man violating the law by masquerading as a Secret Service man -- or local police -- will keep you from attending an event that you are paying for with your tax dollars, and you may even get arrested if you hold up a sign or wear a T-shirt that isn't consistent with the Bushevik message of the day.

It's all consistent with a foreign policy based on shedding blood -- and billions and billions of our dollars -- in pre-emptive military attacks based on the presumed "intention" of the enemy, even if they don't have the weapons that the Busheviks invented for purposes of prodding the nation into war.

We have people in the White House who believe they are mind readers and that the American Constitution doesn't apply to American citizens. We have people in the White House that want us to pay for their propaganda events, but say that we can't attend them because they "know" that anyone who is not a "Stepford Republican" is, in essence, a criminal in intent.

They are destroying our Constitution; they are establishing a theocracy; and now they claim to be psychic too.

And the mainstream press largely sleeps through it all, as our freedoms our stolen from us one by one.

They are too busy laughing at the hypocritical Laura Bush telling horse penis jokes at the national correspondents' dinner in D.C.

These so-called journalists have traded their souls, their professionalism and their commitment to democracy for cushy jobs and the comfort of being part of the elite ruling class.

How could we expect the mainstream press to remember what the Constitution says? They can't remember the news from yesterday; how could they remember a document that was written more than 225 years ago?

Anyway, to be make it in the mainstream press today, you got to be a psychic, right? After all, you got to keep up with the White House.


Additional Resources:

Leslie Weise of the Denver Three Asks On Whose Authority They Were Expelled? It Sure Wasn't the Secret Service ...

Memo from The Denver Three: A Compilation of Information on the White House Excluding Citizens from Taxpayer-Funded Events, April 28, 2005

Jay Bob Klinkerman, Head of Colorado Young Republicans, Is Uncovered by Denver 3 in Connection to Their Forced Removal at Bush Public Event, But Mystery Man Who Allegedly Criminally Impersonated a Secret Service Agent Still Not Revealed by WH, April 27, 2004

White House Admits that It -- Not "Zealous Volunteers" -- are keeping American Citizens from Tax-Payer Funded "Bush Town Hall Meetings, April 19, 2005

Denver Three puzzle pieces still don't fit (Jim Spencer/The Denver Post)
White House weighs in on ouster: Bush aide: Belief someone plans to disrupt is enough (Ann Imse/Rocky Mountain News)

2 want to find GOP mystery man (Jim Spencer/The Denver Post)

Agents quiet as Denver 3 make noise (Jim Spencer/The Denver Post)


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Separation of Church and State – 1776 – 2005 – RIP

It has now come out that prior the 2004 election Pastor Chandler (the preacher who recently excommunicated 9 of his parishioners for being Democrats) told his congregation that anyone planning on voting for Kerry should leave the church. State Baptist Conference officials said that this was proper although legal experts say that this is a “clear violation of Internal Revenue Service rules against political endorsements by churches,” and churches practicing political endorsements should loose their tax exempt status. There is little chance of the Bush Administration Department of Justice or IRS going after these churches, however. Reports of churches across the country endorsing Republican candidates or pressuring members on their voting habits have been pouring in during the past year. There has been no action from this administration to enforce IRS laws concerning this.

Also before the 2004 election in Colorado a Bishop named Sheridan had a letter read at all the parishes in the diocese stating that anyone voting for a candidate supporting abortion, gay rights, or stem cell research will not be allowed to receive communion. Exactly how the priests would know how a communicant voted was not explained. Can you say scare tactic? According to the late Pope John Paul II and the Vatican the Iraq War was an unjust war (and therefore mass murder according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church). Also the late Holy Father and the Vatican pronounced Capital Punishment as murder and against Church Teachings. So last fall I wrote Bishop Sheridan twice asking if he was also going to inform the parishes of his diocese that those voting for candidates supporting either of these issues should not receive communion either. The Republican leaning Bishop refused to reply to my letters, and failed to inform his flock of this further issue. Surprise surprise. Prior to the 2004 election then Cardinal (now Pope) Joseph Ratzinger in his official capacity as prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith announced that Catholics were free to vote for candidates that supported abortion (and other issues) so long as their position on that issue wasn’t the reason the Catholic was voting for him or her. Meaning a pro-life Catholic could vote for a pro-choice candidate because of his stand on issues such as the treatment of the poor, etc. Not surprising this information was not shared from the pulpits of American Catholic Churches and was hardly reported by the media so most US Catholics were unaware of this. A majority of US Catholics thought they had to vote against pro-choice candidates or not vote at all or they would be violating rules of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church bears the greatest responsibility for perpetuating this misinformation, but some of the blame should be placed upon the media that harped on the claims of local partisan characters like Bishop Sheridan and failed to report the Church’s official stance on the issue. I’m sure the fact that the Bush Administration has allowed rule changes permitting Big Media Corporations to gobble up more and more TV and radio stations that ever before had nothing to do with this. Yeah, right!


Friday, May 06, 2005

North Carolina Baptist Preacher Throws Democrats Out of His Church Unless they Convert to Republicanism and Support George W. Bush

9 Parishoners Excommunicated for Not Being Republican So Far – More to Come – the Bluring of Church and State has Begun in Red State America

Associated Press Story on line here.

AP-The minister of a Haywood County, North Carolina Baptist church is telling members of his congregation that if they're Democrats, they either need to find another place of worship or support President Bush.

Already, the Reverend Chan Chandler has ex-communicated nine members of East Waynesville Baptist Church. Another 40 members have left in protest. During last Sunday's sermon, he acknowledged that church members were upset because he named people, and he says he'll do it again because he has to according to the word of God.

Chandler could not be reached for comment Friday, but says his actions weren't politically motivated. One former church member says Chandler told some of the members that if they didn't support George Bush, they needed to resign their positions and get out of the church, or go to the altar, repent and agree to vote for Bush.


I can just imagine the “prayer” that this “minister of God” is demanding his Democratic parishioners pray, “Oh, Lord and Savior George W. Bush, we have sinned against you in our unbelief of Your divine Lordship over all the Earth! Please forgive us our Democratic past, and help us to follow You and only You for ever and ever. Amen!”

That’s what we get when we let the Republican Leader of the Senate give the sermons on Sunday, and allow the Bush-Cheney Campaign to hold rallies in Churches throughout the country in 2004. Now churchgoers have to worship George W. Bush as God or be cast into the Lake of Fire where we will burn for all eternity for our lack of Faith in Bush.

May George Most High forgive me for my unbelief in his Lordship.


Lobbyist Abramoff who Had Close Contact With Bush Team 200 Times and raised more than $100,000.00 for Bush’s Campaign is Under Criminal Investigation


The Associated Press

May. 6, 2005 - In President Bush's first 10 months, GOP fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team logged nearly 200 contacts with the new administration as they pressed for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws, records show.

The meetings between Abramoff's lobbying team and the administration ranged from Attorney General John Ashcroft to policy advisers in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, according to his lobbying firm billing records.

Abramoff, a $100,000-plus fundraiser for Bush, is now under criminal investigation for some of his lobbying work. His firm boasted its lobbying team helped revise a section of the Republican Party's 2000 platform to make it favorable to its island client.

In addition, two of Abramoff's lobbying colleagues on the Marianas won political appointments inside federal agencies.

"Our standing with the new administration promises to be solid as several friends of the CNMI (islands) will soon be taking high-ranking positions in the Administration, including within the Interior Department," Abramoff wrote in a January 2001 letter in which he persuaded the island government to follow him as a client to his new lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig.

The reception Abramoff's team received from the Bush administration was in stark contrast to the chilly relations of the Clinton years. Abramoff, then at the Preston Gates firm, scored few meetings with Clinton aides and the lobbyist and the islands vehemently opposed White House attempts to extend U.S. labor laws to the territory's clothing factories.

The records from Abramoff's firm, obtained by The Associated Press from the Marianas under an open records request, chronicle Abramoff's careful cultivation of relations with Bush's political team as far back as 1997.

In that year, Abramoff charged the Marianas for getting then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to write a letter expressing support for the Pacific territory's school choice proposal, his billing records show.

"I hope you will keep my office informed on the progress of this initiative," Bush wrote in a July 18, 1997, letter praising the islands' school plan and copying in an Abramoff deputy.

White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Thursday that Bush didn't consider Abramoff a friend. "They may have met on occasion, but the president does not know him," she said.

As for the number of Abramoff lobbying team contacts with Bush officials documented in the billing records, Healy said: "We do not know how he defines 'contacts.'"

Andrew Blum, a spokesman for Abramoff, declined comment.

The Greenberg Traurig firm, where Abramoff worked between late 2000 and early 2004, is investigating Abramoff's work and cooperating with government investigations.

"Greenberg Traurig accepted Jack Abramoff's resignation from the firm, effective March 2, 2004, after Mr. Abramoff disclosed to the firm personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm and antithetical to the way we do business," spokeswoman Jill Perry said.

Abramoff is now under federal investigation amid allegations he overcharged tribal clients by millions of dollars, and his ties to powerful lawmakers such as House Majority Leader Tom DeLay are under increasing scrutiny.

The documents show his team also had extensive access to Bush administration officials, meeting with Cheney policy advisers Ron Christie and Stephen Ruhlen, Ashcroft at the Justice Department, White House intergovernmental affairs chief Ruben Barrales, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles and others.

Most of the contacts were handled by Abramoff's subordinates, who then reported back to him on the meetings. Abramoff met several times personally with top Interior officials, whose Office of Insular Affairs oversees the Mariana Islands and other U.S. territories.

In all, the records show at least 195 contacts between Abramoff's Marianas lobbying team and the Bush administration from February through November 2001.

At least two people who worked on Abramoff's team at Preston Gates wound up with Bush administration jobs: Patrick Pizzella, named an assistant secretary of labor by Bush; and David Safavian, chosen by Bush to oversee federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

"We have worked with WH Office of Presidential Personnel to ensure that CNMI-relevant positions at various agencies are not awarded to enemies of CNMI," Abramoff's team wrote the Marianas in an October 2001 report on its work for the year.

Abramoff's team didn't neglect party politics either: There were at least two meetings with Republican National Committee officials, including then-finance chief Jack Oliver, as well as attendance at GOP fundraisers.

In 2000, Abramoff and his team were connected enough to both political parties to boast of obtaining early drafts of the platforms each adopted at its presidential nominating convention.

"In the case of the Republican platform, the team reviewed and commented on sections dealing with insular territories to ensure appropriately positive treatment. This was successful," the Preston Gates firm wrote to Marianas.

"In the case of the Democratic Party platform, the team assisted in drafting early versions of neutral language relating to the territories," the firm wrote. "However, heavy intervention by the White House eventually deleted positive references to the CNMI."

The access of Abramoff and his team to the administration came as the lobbyist was establishing himself as a GOP fundraiser.

Abramoff and his wife each gave $5,000 to Bush's 2000 recount fund and the maximum $1,000 to his 2000 campaign. By mid-2003, Abramoff had raised at least $100,000 for Bush's re-election campaign, becoming one of Bush's famed "pioneers."

Money also flowed from the Marianas to Bush's re-election campaign: It took in at least $36,000 from island donors, much of it from members of the Tan family, whose clothing factories were a routine stop for lawmakers and their aides visiting the islands on Abramoff-organized trips.

Two Tan family companies gave $25,000 each to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2002 elections. Greenberg Traurig, too, was a big GOP giver. Its donations included $20,000 to the Republican National Committee for the 2000 elections and $25,000 each to the GOP's House and Senate fundraising committees in 2000 and again in 2002.

The Marianas' lobbying paid off it fended off proposals in 2001 to extend the U.S. minimum wage to island workers and gained at least $2 million more in federal aid from the administration.

Abramoff's team bragged to the cash-strapped Marianas government that the taxpayer money would cover its lobbying bill: "We believe that this additional funding along with other funds we expect to secure by the end of the year will make clear to even our biggest critics that we pay for ourselves," Abramoff teammate Kevin Ring wrote in October 2001, copying in Abramoff.

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