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Friday :: October 15, 2004

70,000 Die in Darfur Refugee Camps

This is appalling. Maybe if Iraq weren't draining all our money, we could be helping out more here.

At least 70,000 people have died since March as a result of poor conditions in refugee camps in Sudan's Darfur, the United Nations health agency said Friday. The World Health Organization warned that the death toll will climb unless other countries provide more aid.

The revised death toll cited by the UN does not include those killed in ongoing violence being carried out by Arab militias against Darfur's black residents and from rebellion by tribal groups.

This is genocide. Ethnic cleansing. Read the latest Human Rights Watch report and take action.

02:00 PM |  PermalinkForeign Affairs | Comments (1) | Trackback (0)

Kerry Says Draft Could Return if Bush Re-elected

John Kerry said today that Bush's policies in Iraq could lead to a return of the draft if Bush is re-elected.

Kerry told The Des Moines Register, "With George Bush, the plan for Iraq is more of the same and the great potential of a draft." The interview was published Friday as Kerry was leaving for Wisconsin and a speech on the economy.

GW's denials don't mean much because his credibility is so low. Remember his father's electioneering statment made during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, "No New Taxes, Read my Lips"?

The Congress will push me to raise taxes and I'll say no. And they'll push, and I'll say no, and they'll push again. And I'll say to them: 'Read my lips -- No. New. Taxes.'"

After Bush won the election, of course he raised taxes. He always knew he was going to have to do it -- it was inevitable. In fact, Bush signed the largest tax increase in history. Nevertheless, millions of Republican voters felt they had been doublecrossed. But he had only told them what he knew they wanted to hear. He assumed they knew that. And it was that duplicity which ultimately cost him the re-election.

Don't trust GW's promises on the draft. There will be no holding him accountable. More here.

01:49 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (2) | Trackback (0)

Help Stan Matsunaka Win in Colorado

Stan Matsunaka has closed on Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado and is now within reach. His polls show him within 5, and her internals show him down by only four points. Her unfavorables are at 52, and her re-elect is now at 45. Stan can win this, but he needs cash. The RCCC is pumping money in, and he needs to get the word out. Check out Adam Mordecai’s post on Change for America.

Give to Stan today.

01:41 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (0) | Trackback (0)

Polls: America's Reputation is Suffering World-Wide

Ten new polls taken around the world show that those in other countries think less of America today and that their opinion of us has been sliding the past three years.

By big margins, those questioned said the war in Iraq did not aid the global fight against terrorism.

And in eight out of 10 nations, those polled said - often in landslide proportions - that they hoped to see Democrat John Kerry beat President Bush in next month's election. Bush won backing from a majority of respondents only in Russia and Israel.

The polls were conducted in Canada, France, Britain, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Israel and Russia, with results to be published in the participating newspapers on Friday.

We take this as an Indictment of President Bush and his policies and his war. You have a chance for change on November 2. Use it.

10:22 AM |  PermalinkPolitics - Other | Comments (37) | Trackback (0)

Kobe Bryant's Accuser Identifies Herself

After a year of everyone who cared to already knowing her identity, the accuser in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case has made her identity public--because the federal judge presiding over her civil lawsuit for damages against Kobe ruled she had to in order to bring her lawsuit.

A federal judge had ruled that the woman must be publicly identified in the case as a matter of fairness. A Denver newspaper gave a similar reason when it published the woman's name in Friday editions.

"Until now, the News has exercised its editorial judgment and has not named Bryant's accuser despite the fact that her name was widely known," Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple said in the story. "But today we are naming her, after she made the decision Thursday to refile her lawsuit in her own name seeking money damages against Bryant."

Other news organizations are continuing to withhold her name. TalkLeft believes the Rocky Mountain News made the correct decision in publishing her name and that other news organizations should follow suit. She has never been found to be a victim. It may be that Kobe is the victim. Let it all come out in the civil suit. Deference to the woman over Kobe is no longer appropriate given her decision to refuse to testify at his trial.

10:07 AM |  PermalinkKobe Case | Comments (8) | Trackback (0)

Pentagon Board: Spy on Everyone

Via Noah at Defense Tech: This summer, an influential group of Pentagon advisers, the Defense Science Board, submitted a report to Rumsfeld recommending massive spying on the level of "The Manhattan Project" to win the war on terror:

The Pentagon urgently needs a massive effort to develop tools to track individuals, items and activities in ways that exist today only in science fiction...Technologies that can identify people by unique physical characteristics — fingerprint, voice, odor, gait or even pattern of iris — must be merged with new means of “tagging” so that U.S. forces can find enemies who escape into a crowd or slip into a labyrinthine slum.

A Defense Science Board study this summer, “Transition to and From Hostilities,” calls for a new array of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

“The global war on terrorism cannot be won without a ‘Manhattan Project’-like TTL [tagging, tracking, and locating] program,” said briefing charts summarizing some of the study’s findings. The Manhattan Project was a top-secret U.S. military-led effort involving many civilian scientists during World War II to develop the atomic bomb.

Noah responds,

09:47 AM |  PermalinkCivil Liberties | Comments (15) | Trackback (0)

War Weapons Now Available for Jails

A whole new batch of toys for prison guards to play with is now available, courtesy of a new publication by the National Insitute of Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice. It's called Department of Defense Nonlethal Weapons and Equipment Review: A Research Guide for Civil Law Enforcement and Corrections and is available here.

The report is little more than our Justice Department acting as an ad agency for the corporations that developed such weapons for DOD, enabling them to sell the weapons to police and prison guards.

These weapons are developed to control or disperse large crowds in open settings, and are utterly unsuited for use inside the confines of a closed environment like a prison or jail. What may be appropriate for war become instruments of torture in a prison setting, yet there has never been any discussion or acknowledgment of this by the DOJ, corrections professionals, and certainly not by the manufacturers themselves. Defense lawyers frequently see prison guards and jail deputies misusing tasers, mace, etc., especially in understaffed facilities.

From the report's introduction:


Demand the Truth About the Draft

Howard Dean is demanding George Bush tell us how he will continue the war in Iraq without a military draft. Join him. Read Governor Dean's letter and column about the draft...Watch the new video available here.

George Bush is already drafting Americans to fight in Iraq: forcing soldiers to stay active beyond their commitments and ripping apart families by sending unprecedented numbers of National Guard and Reserves to occupy a foreign land. If we "stay the course" with this president, we will face a choice: drastically reduce our commitments or reinstate the draft.

One of the Joint Chiefs and Bush's own administrator in Iraq have both said that we will need tens of thousands more troops to stabilize the country. We have been misled about this war from the beginning. About nuclear weapons, about the cost, and about the progress being made. Now they say we won't need a draft. We cannot afford to take their word for it.

I demand to know how George Bush plans to guard the homeland, protect against threats abroad, and stabilize and occupy Iraq -- without resorting to a draft.

09:26 AM |  PermalinkWar in Iraq | Comments (23) | Trackback (0)

Homeland Insecurity

by TChris

TalkLeft commented yesterday that the TSA has plenty of money to party even as it fails to fund the inspection of cargo entering our nation's ports and airports. The TSA's misplaced priorities are made evident by a brief report that its Inspector General released yesterday.

Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin began the review of customs and border protection procedures at the request of House Democrats after ABC News twice successfully shipped about 15 pounds of depleted uranium into the country in cargo containers.

"Improvements are needed in the inspection process to ensure that weapons of mass destruction or other implements of terror do not gain access to the U.S. through oceangoing cargo containers," according to the four-page report made public yesterday.

Rep. Jim Turner complains that Ervin's short report lacked a "key recommendation" for correcting the problems. Here's one: spend less money on parties and self-promotion and more on homeland security.

09:11 AM |  PermalinkWar on Terror | Comments (7) | Trackback (0)

Nat'l Guard May Return to FL Airports

by TChris

Florida's National Guard patrolled Florida's airport terminals for a few months after 9/11. Now the National Guard troops have received "warning orders" advising them that they may return to that duty later this month.

"Several law-enforcement officials said there is no specific threat to Florida." So why return the troops to the airports after nearly a three year absence? A cynic might suspect that the administration is trying to scare voters, or that it wants to create the illusion that the government is working to protect voters from a specific threat.

09:03 AM |  PermalinkWar on Terror | Comments (4) | Trackback (1)

Thursday :: October 14, 2004

Call to Ralph Nader: Leave the Race

This disturbing news is in Friday's New York Times:

Mr. Nader will be on the ballots in more than 30 states. Polls show that he could influence the outcomes in nine by drawing support from Mr. Kerry. They are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

Moreover, six - Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin - were among the top 20 where Mr. Nader drew his strongest support in 2000. If the vote for Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry is as evenly divided as the polls suggest, the electoral votes in any one of those states could determine who becomes president.

Hey, Mr. Nader, please, get off of our cloud. Don't let your ego cost the rest of us a sane four years of governance.

10:12 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (32) | Trackback (2)

Why Nader Got Knocked Off the PA. Ballot

In a 430 page opinion, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court kicked Ralph Nader off the ballot. Here's why:

"In conclusion the President Judge must state that he has served longer on the Commonwealth Court than any other Judge in the Court's history and as a result thereof has reviewed more nomination petitions than any other Judge in the Court's history. I am compelled to emphasize that this signature gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated upon this Court. The conduct of the Candidates, through their representatives (not their attorneys), shocks the conscience of the Court. In reviewing signatures, it became apparent that in addition to signing names such as "Mickey Mouse", "Fred Flintstone", "John Kerry", and the ubiquitous "Ralph Nader", there were thousands of names that were created at random and then randomly assigned either existent or non-existent addresses by the circulators.

A detailed line-by-line breakdown of the pages and lines reviewed and the reasons for disqualification has been prepared by each judge and follows [on the remaining 430 pages of the opinion] ....The secretary of the Commonweath is directed not to certify the names of Ralph Nader and Peter Miguel Camejo as candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States in the November 2, 2004 general election."

[hat tip to Peter G.]

10:00 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (13) | Trackback (0)

More Mary Cheney: Who's the Tawdry One

Update: Dave's Salon article on the Lynne/Mary Cheney issue just went live here. He's right on the money. He begins:

First, let's dispense with the comic aspects of the parental indignation:

Mary Cheney has been happily out of the closet for at least a decade, so John Kerry was hardly dragging her out against her will. She spent the late '90s working as a veritable professional lesbian, as gay and lesbian corporate relations manager for Coors Brewing Co. Dick Cheney himself has been using her sexuality on the campaign trail. Click here to watch a Human Rights Campaign ad with him on the stump on Aug. 24, 2004: "Lynne and I have a gay daughter ... " The Bush-Cheney administration has shamelessly used homosexuality as a wedge issue, never hesitating to play the sodomite card when it serves their political ends. John Edwards brought up Mary Cheney in response to a similar gay-rights question just eight days earlier in the veep debate. Dick Cheney responded by thanking him for his kind remarks.

Go read the rest.

Dave Cullen of Conclusive Evidence, who live-blogged the debate with us Wednesday night, speaks out on his blog about Lynne Cheney's and the mainstream media's castigation of John Kerry for mentioning Mary Cheney's sexual orientation during the debate.

09:09 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (43) | Trackback (3)

FCC Won't Stop Sinclair Broadcast

The AP reports:

The Federal Communications Commission won't intervene to stop a broadcast company's plans to air a critical documentary about John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities on dozens of TV stations, the agency's chairman said Thursday.

"Don't look to us to block the airing of a program," Michael Powell told reporters. "I don't know of any precedent in which the commission could do that."

Now what?

06:14 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (40) | Trackback (0)

Stupid Criminal of the Week

by TChris

Threatening a bank teller with a gun is a traditional bank robbery tactic. When the teller is behind bulletproof glass, however, the threat is less effective.

He put a mask on his face, pulled out a gun and demanded money. But when the bank clerk laughed in his face, the would-be robber was so humiliated he just ran away.

The lesson to be learned: look around inside the bank a bit before deciding whether to rob it.

Investigation Recommends Charges From Prisoner Deaths in Afghanistan

by TChris

Charges ranging from manslaughter to conspiracy may be brought against 28 soldiers implicated in the deaths of two detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Both prisoners died from blunt force injuries. Military medical examiners ruled each death a homicide.

"Many of the 28 soldiers may have lesser culpability," the Army said, adding that "Commanders, with the advice of their lawyers, will consider the full range of appropriate administrative and disciplinary measures from taking no action to recommending trial by court-martial."

One soldier, Sgt. James Boland, has already been charged.

01:32 PM |  PermalinkDetainees | Comments (6) | Trackback (0)

Boston Police Shut Down Fingerprint Unit

by TChris

The good news for those accused of crimes in Boston is that they are less likely to be victimized by bad science: the Boston Police Department is shutting down its inept fingerprint unit.

[Stephen] Cowans spent six years in prison after the unit wrongly matched his print with a fingerprint from a glass mug found at the Egleston Square crime scene where Officer Gregory Gallagher was shot and wounded in 1997.

The two fingerprint examiners responsible for Cowans' wrongful conviction were placed on administrative leave. The error was blamed on a lack of training and standards, although a contributing factor appears to be the unit's institutional desire to make the facts fit the theories conconcted by investigating officers.

"I have never seen anything but problems with the Boston fingerprint lab," said [fingerprinting analyst James] Starrs, who worked for Cowans' defense team. "I've never seen quality work from them. ... They're police sergeants, not scientists, doing the work. That's a serious problem, because they don't have the scientific standards to abide by."

The state police will do the unit's work until it hires and trains competent individuals who are willing to place science ahead of preferred outcomes.

12:50 PM |  PermalinkInnocence Cases | Comments (4) | Trackback (0)

Younger Voters Should Be Wary of Bush

Natasha of Pacific Views shares her reaction to Bush's debate statements. She's right about his clearly stated intent not to provide financial protection for our youth:

The president was smiling like it hurt, taking it out on the podium, and it appeared at the beginning, foaming at the mouth. Selected Bush quotes from tonight's debate:

"We'll honor our commitments to senior citizens. But for [younger people] we need to have a different strategy."

Ha ha. Now that I've stopped laughing, I realize that Bush thinks commitments to seniors should be honored, but not commitments to people who aren't. Not being a senior, I resent that.

Natasha has a response for Bush.

In his closing statement, Bush said to the country that "We've been through a lot together over the last three, three and a half years." An ex of mine said virtually the same thing, also after some years of being through a lot of fiscal irresponsibility, dictatorial behavior, and grand, glorious promises that were never kept. To the president, I'd say about the same thing I said then:

We sure have been through a lot. And I've had enough.

12:16 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (54) | Trackback (1)

TSA Parties to Make America Safe

by TChris

The Transportation Security Agency can't find the money to screen air cargo (pdf) for explosives, but it managed to spend almost a half million dollars on a party to celebrate ... itself.

Awards were presented to 543 Transportation Security Administration employees and 30 organizations, including a "lifetime achievement award" for one worker with the 2-year-old agency. ... The investigation by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin, also found the TSA gave its senior executives bonuses averaging $16,000, higher than at any other federal government agency, and failed to provide adequate justification in more than a third of the 88 cases examined.

Party on, Tom Ridge.

11:31 AM |  PermalinkWar on Terror | Comments (7) | Trackback (0)

Mary Cheney Discussion

Update: John Kerry just made this statement in Las Vegas (received from his campaign):

I love my daughters. They love their daughter. I was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue.

There's lots of discussion over Kerry's bringing up Mary Cheney during last night's debate on whether gays are born gay or become gay by choice or socialization. While Bush answered he wasn't sure, Kerry immediately responded it's a biological matter, i.e,. that's how someone is born. Elizabeth Edwards this morning said:

ELIZABETH EDWARDS ON ABC RADIO: "She's overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion. I think that's a very sad state of affairs-- I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences-- It makes me really sad that that's Lynne's response."

I think "Sexual preferences" is a politically incorrect term. Homosexuality is not a choice. It's how one is. That was the point of the debate question. The better term is "sexual orientation."

11:17 AM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (68) | Trackback (0)

Iowa Redux?

CNN reports that a new poll shows Kerry taking the lead over Bush.

Sen. John Kerry appeared to gain more momentum heading toward November 2, easily beating President Bush in the third and final debate, a poll taken late Wednesday night suggests. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup snap poll taken immediately after the presidential debate found that respondents gave a significant edge to Kerry over Bush, 52 percent to 39 percent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi made an interesting comment on MSNBC last night. He said that Kerry is pivoting again, like he did in Iowa, to come up from behind and take the lead. By the time he does it, it's too late to stop him. (I'm sure I'm mangling the comment, but I remember the word "pivot" and the gist of what he said.)

Kerry has slowly been building trust and credibility with the American people. They have had a chance to see him now, three times. He stands erect,, he's calm--almost Zen-like as Markos of Daily Kos would say--he's become Presidential. Bush, on the other hand, has turned into a petulant child, banging on the podium, raising his voice, grinning that false grin.

Kerry needs to keep the momentum going. if he can do that, I think we will have a new President. Which means we get a new Attorney General. What a relief that will be.

09:49 AM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (19) | Trackback (0)

Detainees Not Receiving Lawyers or Hearings

It's been three months since the Supreme Court ruled that the detainees at Guantanamo have a right to a hearing to determine their enemy combatant status. Lawyers for the detainees say the Government is dragging its feet:

Of the 68 alleged al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who have so far petitioned for access to federal court in Washington, only a handful have even spoken to their lawyers. With some held for nearly three years on the U.S. Navy base, the detainees remain largely precluded from receiving legal help because of protracted negotiations with the Justice Department over lawyers' security clearances, the government's insistence on monitoring attorney-client conversations and the number of visits lawyers will be allowed, defense attorneys told a U.S. District Court judge yesterday.

06:18 AM |  PermalinkDetainees | Comments (8) | Trackback (0)

From the Podium: Bush's Debate Notes

Throughout the debate, Bush was seen taking notes on a piece of paper at his podium. At great risk to life and limb, some Bothans were able to smuggle out the notes and present them so that they are available for everyone to see. They report that many Bothans died to bring you this information ... However, the notes are a scream, so they did not die in vain.

12:15 AM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (7) | Trackback (0)

Big Media Debate Analysis

The media coverage of the debate will be unrelenting today. Of the one's I've read so far, here are a few I recommend:

Wherein Bush Turns That Frown Upside Down
James Benett, New York Times

A Crucial Test, But Not Final
Todd Purdy, New York Times

Bush Grins, Spins But He Doesn't Win
Tom Shales, Washington Post

12:14 AM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (7) | Trackback (0)

Martha Stewart Shopping for Publisher for 'Prison Diary'

Martha Stewart's lawyers are shopping publishers for her prison diary. This makes sense. Martha could get $5 million or so and use up hours of boring time writing it.

Wednesday :: October 13, 2004

Blogger Reaction to Third Debate

Here's the transcript of tonight's debate.

Now, reaction from the blogosphere:

Josh Marshall:

Kerry looked more presidential than the president. I don't know how else to put it. He seemed collected and forceful through the whole thing. The president, meanwhile, seemed excitable, edgy and sometimes ungrounded. Again and again with the banging the table. Perhaps after one question you can get away with a cocky look of sarcastic disbelief after your opponent stops talking. But not every other time.

Another point struck me as similar to the first debate, very similar. Kerry controlled the tempo of the evening. He kept the president on the defensive. He landed his key points about the budget deficit and the president's avoidance of the job issue several times. On health care there was more of a tussle. But I don't think the president framed the evening in the way he and his advisors wanted -- defining Kerry as an out-of-the-mainstream liberal. He did better at that in debate number two than he did tonight.

Oliver Willis:

I give it to Kerry simply because his ideas don't suck, and he can MAKE COMPLETE FRICKIN' SENTENCES and the fact that the president can't talk without making big giant lies...."What have you learned from your wife?" Why is that question in a presidential debate? Not even relevant. And Bush on his wife: she tells me to stand up straight, talk right -- is she his mom?

10:46 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (19) | Trackback (1)

Debate: Who Won?

Ok, who won.

I think Bush sounded like a child and Kerry seemed most presidential. But the questions were so weak. It was not a good debate.

Update: On line polls:

Fox: Bush (34%) 31,614
Kerry (66%) 61,194

MSNBC: Bush 24%
Kerry: 76%

Taegan Goddard, Poltical Wire:

President Bush was, again, on the defensive from the outset. He spent so much time portraying Kerry as a "Massachusetts liberal" or taking cheap shots, he rarely answered a question directly. When stuck, Bush resorted to sweeping ideological generalizations, in effect saying freedom and tax cuts would solve all of America's problems. When really stuck, he resorted to bad jokes.

By contrast, Kerry was in command of nearly every subject. He was especially strong on the expired assault weapons ban, the minimum wage and homeland security. My only significant criticism is that Kerry rarely explained the details of "my plan," but that's somewhat understandable given the limited time format.

The bottom line is that Kerry not only sounded more presidential, but looked presidential. By this measure, he was the clear winner.

More On line Polls: (Via Political Wire)

08:29 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (55) | Trackback (2)

Debate: Final Round

Bush expounds on his faith. He's on home territory here. It's all the more scary because there are people at home cheering him for this. It does not belong in our government. Kerry's joining in here. At least he's mentioning other ways of connecting to a higher being.

DaveCullenCO: Bush on God and prayer. He's doing well for his crowd, plus. The mainstream eats this stuff up. Kerry needs to show some warmth on this.
DaveCullenCO: Don't be an Iceman, Don't be and Iceman.
DaveCullenCO: Well at least Kerry is talking about his faith a bit. That helps. But he is doing it as KIND OF an iceman.
DaveCullenCO: Nice job on the loving your neighbor better, though. And good job working in the altar-boy thing earlier.
DaveCullenCO: He's got to convince some people he's not a Godless heathen.

That's what's so scary. He feels the need to join in.

08:16 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (12) | Trackback (0)

Debate, Part 2

7:53 pm. Bush on Immigration: We have 1,000 more border agents, unmanned vehicles, new equipment. He was a border governor, he knows this stuff he says. He wants a temporary worker card, so long as there is no american willing to do the job.

No amnesty, let's not reward illegal behavior.
Mistake by Kerry - going back to economic issues --and lapsing into statistics. He does that when he's angry.

Kerry on immigration: He'll toughen up our borders. we need to crack down on illegal hiring. An earned legalization program.

Next question: Kerry wants to raise minimum wage. He will fight tooth and nail to pass it.

Good for him.

DaveCullenCO: Karl obviously told Bush, "When you feel a frown coming on, smile." So he's not exactly frowing like the first night, but he's squeezing out the most comical string of goofy smiles, fake smiles, strained smiles, painful smiles . . . Half the time he looks like a kindergarten boy told to smile for the camera who can't figure out how to do it and pulls his cheeks apart while gritting his teeth.

07:51 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (7) | Trackback (0)

Live Debate Blogging

Ok, you go. I'll blog up here, readers take the comment section. 3 minutes to start time.

Theresa and Laura just had a nice greet on the way to their seats. Michael J. Fox is in the audience. Stem cell research is bound to come up.

Cspan has the split screen up.

They are out. Dressed remarkably the same.

Will we ever be safe and secure again. Kerry and Bush both say yes. Bush is very eager tonight.

Compare his statement on Osama tonight with this one from 3/13/02:

06:57 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (57) | Trackback (1)

Report: U.S. Holding al Qaida Detainnees in Jordan

Haaretz reports that the overseas place of detention for senior al Qaida operatives being held by the U.S., including Khalid Sheik Mohammed,is in Jordan.

Background here.

06:24 PM |  PermalinkDetainees | Comments (3) | Trackback (0)

Bloggers to Raise Money in a PAC

BlogPac has its second ad campaign running, targeting the Oklahoma Senate race (running locally on the internet). Money is being raised for a third great ad campaign. Your donations can help. As to BlogPac,

Writing a blog post is not enough. Reading a blog post is not enough. Commenting on a blog is not enough. Being educated is the first step toward political change. But the next step requires doing something. is that next step -- a group of bloggers not content to simply write words or read them, but eager to take action on the pressing issues of our day. We will not sit idly by and merely chatter as everything we care about burns. And you join us in our efforts.

BlogPac is the new PAC created by virtuoso bloggers Markos of Daily Kos and Jerome of My DD. I've accepted an invitation to serve on the Advisory board, along with Markos, Jerome, Atrios, John Aranovis of AmericaBlog, Matthew Stoller of BOP News ,, Anna of Annatopia, and others.

This netroots effort is just getting started. Between the Novmember election and the 2006 midterm elections, there will be a lot of work to do and a lot of money to raise. It is an effort by those who spend their times online and embrace participatory media and politics. Whether you are a blogger, a blog reader or just an internet user, please join us as we use online tools and technologies to further the cause of progressive politics in our nation.

05:25 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (0) | Trackback (0)

Fox News' O'Reilly Embroiled in Sex Harassment Claim

Note: This is not a bash of Bill O'Reilly. It is just a reporting of news. Please don't trash Mr. O'Reilly in the comments, or I'll shut them down. He and everyone at Fox News have been extremely gracious and respectful in my contacts with them, and no one should judge Mr. O'Reilly before the facts come out at trial.

In a pre-emptive strike against an anticipated $60 million sex harassment suit, Fox News Show Host Bill O'Reilly has sued former Fox producer Andrea Mackris and her lawyers for extortion and other claims. Mackris filed her lawsuit today.

Smoking Gun has the text of Mackris' complaint against O'Reilly and it's a doozy. From the detail included in the descriptions of telephone calls, it may be Ms. Mackris taped them.

O'Reilly denies her allegations and a says it's a shakedown.

03:58 PM |  PermalinkMedia | Comments (12) | Trackback (0)

Tacoma Investigation Results Kept Hidden From Public

by TChris

After Tacoma's police chief, David Brame, killed his wife and then himself, a Washington State Patrol investigation uncovered a "culture of corruption" within the Tacoma Police Department. The City responded with its own investigation, but has made public only a few of its findings.

After months of refusing to make public an investigation of alleged misconduct by police and city employees, Tacoma City Manager Jim Walton released a heavily edited version of the report Tuesday. It includes the name of just one of the 32 individuals suspected of wrongdoing: David Brame .... It doesn’t identify anyone else, including a former employee whom Walton has determined improperly shared confidential medical records with his wife. And it blacks out descriptions of all but two of 33 allegations investigators examined.

Walton says that agreements with city employee and police unions prevent him from making more complete disclosures, as does the Public Disclosure Law, despite findings that sustained wrongdoing in twelve cases. A lawyer for Brame's deceased wife disagrees.

“The city’s not really being honest with the citizens of Tacoma when they say they can’t hand it out because of the Public Disclosure Act,” [Paul] Luvera said. “They got lawyers to go to court and prevent it from being disclosed. That’s the only reason it wasn’t disclosed.

The public's right to know extends to wrongdoing by public employees. Except, it seems, in Tacoma.

03:19 PM |  PermalinkMisconduct | Comments (2) | Trackback (0)

October Surprise....What is It and When?

We're just about into the middle of October, and so far, no surprise. There will be one, of course, Karl Rove leaves nothing to chance.

Here's my current best guess: Osama will turn up dead. There's too many problems if he turns up alive....debate over where he gets held, does he get a trial and by who, yada yada.

If he turns up dead, it will be as if Bush killed the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz...people will be chanting, "Ding, Dong, the witch is dead" as if all our battles with terrorists will be over.

Bush needs Osama gone, not captured. Now here's the question: If he turns up dead, will an independent pathologist or medical examiner be allowed to examine his remains to determine how long he's been dead? Wouldn't you want to know if he died a few days ago or has been in storage for six months or more, in preparation for an October unveiling?

Just a thought.

03:02 PM |  PermalinkElections | Comments (31) | Trackback (0)

Pre-Debate Open Thread

I've got to take a few hours to finish up other things, but will be back to live-blog the debate. Here's an open thread to post your comments until it begins.

02:57 PM |  PermalinkBlog Related | Comments (7) | Trackback (1)

If you've made it down this far, how about a tip to keep us strong.

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