Just read between the lines...

Red Text is the real story hiding between the lines.
Violet Text is a notable quote from a specific blogger.
Blue Text is my own personal commentary.
Gold Text is a link to the original sources.

One word of advice I would offer to everyone who reads this blog;

....Each and every day, take just a moment of your precious time to pray for Peace and Justice.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday morning stories

Red text is the "real" headline in these stories and articles.
Blue text is my own personal commentary.

After the Iraq vote, the National Republican Congressional Committee headlined a news release attacking Rep. Nancy E. Boyda (D-Kan.): "Boyda Follows General Pelosi's Orders, Marches With MoveOn.org's Left-Wing Army." But Democratic leaders are doing what they can to help first-termers blunt such attacks. For example, Boyda represents a district with a big military presence, so they assigned her a coveted seat on the Armed Services Committee. (Rahm) Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, is the point man for teaching new members political survival skills. "He's a taskmaster," said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). "Rahm is constantly reminding us of the need to get back and do things, to raise money and see constituents. It's like a mother who nags." They don't always listen to Emanuel. Boyda, a surprise winner in a Republican district, declined a special effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to promote her fundraising. She said she preferred to maintain her independence in campaigning. Emanuel was infuriated at first, she said. "It took him three weeks to come down from the ceiling," said Boyda. "What I would sense now is I have earned his respect." (Seedy Rahm?)

Last October, Susan Ralston resigned from her job as assistant to Karl Rove after reports surfaced that she had served as a "conduit" between Rove and Jack Abramoff. She will be testifying next week about that relationship according to Roll Call (sub. req'd)
"The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has summoned Susan Ralston, a former top aide to White House adviser Karl Rove, to appear at a deposition on April 5 about her contacts with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. A March 30 letter from the committee to Ralston, said the panel would question her regarding whether White House officials reimbursed Abramoff for tickets and meals provided by him; whether White House officials acted improperly on behalf of Abramoff and his clients; and why Republican National Committee e-mails were used to communicate about official business with Abramoff. Ralston, Abramoff’s former assistant at Preston Gates, resigned in October 2006 after a Congressional report found that she accepted tickets from Abramoff to nine sports and entertainment events while providing him with White House information. The report did not find evidence that Rove, who the Senate Judiciary Committee is seeking to question on the U.S. attorneys scandal, knew about Ralston’s actions."

ONE MORE SHOE DROPS ON THE BUSH CABAL (more of the centipede)
In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal. A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president’s chief campaign strategist. Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced. He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides."
Firedog Lake regular poster Pachacutec penned this response to Dowd, and it could not be stated more plainly: "The people you joined up with have had the very agenda you abetted since at least the days of Nixon, and unless we rid our public life of them, they'll be back again. You were an insider. Start talking about what you know. Grab your knife and start the stabbing. That's how you can restore some balance, wanker. And if this is any evidence of your newfound moral compass, I'd say it's not quite pointing true north, now, is it ? (H/T to Julia from Sisyphus Shrugged, via email. She has even more here. Oh, and you didn't think digby could leave this alone, did you?)" (Dowd's son is heading for Iraq, maybe he finally has something that matters more to him than succeeding in his poitical spin)

(Gonzales shifts his story again)
AS ADVERTISED, D. Kyle Sampson's testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the questionable firings of eight U.S. attorneys was bad news for Atty. Gen. Alberto R. (AKA "Shifty") Gonzales. The nation's chief law enforcement officer stands revealed as either an unreliable witness or a man who would rather deceive Congress than admit to his own wrongdoing. Sampson, Gonzales' former chief of staff, contradicted the attorney general's statement on March 13 that he was "not involved in any discussion" of the firings. That might have caused more of a sensation had Gonzales not already amended his denial — after e-mails revealed that he was present at a meeting at which the firings were discussed. Gonzales' new, "more precise" formulation is this: "I wasn't involved in the deliberations as to whether a particular United States attorney should or should not be asked to resign." But even that seems hard to square with Sampson's testimony that Gonzales took part in discussions about the "strengths and weaknesses" of various prosecutors...

Since George Bush took office, his administration has been not so quietly dismantling the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, which is responsible for enforcing the nation's civil rights laws, and doing it for the same reason the eight federal prosecutors were fired: to use the enforcement power of the federal government for Republican gain. Instead of attending to the Civil Rights Division's historic mission, addressing the legacy of slavery by enforcing anti-discrimination laws, the Bush administration has employed the division to advance the political agenda of a key GOP constituency, the Christian right and also, quite literally, to get Republicans elected...

About one-third of the nearly four dozen U.S. attorney's jobs that have changed hands since President Bush began his second term have been filled by the White House and the Justice Department with trusted administration insiders. The people chosen as chief federal prosecutors on a temporary or permanent basis since early 2005 include 10 senior aides to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, according to an analysis of government records. Several came from the White House or other government agencies. Some lacked experience as prosecutors or had no connection to the districts in which they were sent to work, the records and biographical information show. http://letters.washingtonpost.com/W3RH02DB2357CE0C6446D306EF0420

Much to the chagrin of the White House, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wants to hear from Susan Ralston. Jack Abramoff's former personal assistant, Ralston became Karl Rove's assistant in 2001, where she was his "implant" at the White House. The hearing will also be a good opportunity for Waxman to press for more details about White House employees' use of outside email accounts provided by the Republican National Committee. Ralston used such outside accounts when corresponding with Abramoff, even writing to him once, “I now have an RNC blackberry which you can use to e-mail me at any time. No security issues like my WH Email.”

Fired federal prosecutor Bud Cummins took strong exception Thursday to testimony by a former Justice Department official about the firings of Cummins and seven other U.S. attorneys.Cummins objected to the testimony of Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in Sampson’s appearance Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sampson told senators he believed each of the federal prosecutors fired late last year by the Justice Department was replaced because of problems related to his or her performance in office.“If they’re starting to say that I had performance problems, then I have the same gripe the other seven have, because it’s a lie,” said Cummins, a Republican Bush appointee who was removed as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and replaced by Tim Griffin, former assistant to White House political adviser Karl Rove. Cummins said if he were to comment further on Sampson’s testimony, “I’d need a censor.”
(thanks for the link from Think Progress)

The government contractor that set up a billion-dollar-a-year federal reading program for the Education Department and failed, according to the department's inspector general, to keep it free of conflicts of interest is one of the companies now evaluating the program
. Reading First, part of President Bush's signature No Child Left Behind education law, provides intense reading help to low-income children in the early elementary grades. RMC Research Corp. was hired to establish and implement the program starting in 2002, under three contracts worth about $40 million. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/31/AR2007033100824.html

Fifth-graders at Mountain View Elementary School in Purcellville put a new twist on a well-known science experiment last week. They mixed vinegar and baking soda in plastic bottles, then watched as bubbles filled the bottles and gas inflated balloons fitted on top. What was unusual was how they logged their observations. Using hand-held computers, students recorded audio descriptions of the experiment, listed measurements of the balloons' circumference in tiny spreadsheets and -- before, during and after the experiment -- drew pictures of the bottles on the miniature screens. With a tap on the screen, they launched a slide show of the whole process.

Biotechnology companies, including Genentech Inc. and Gilead Sciences Inc., can't find enough scientists to hire, threatening to slow one of the industries bolstering U.S. job growth. Genentech's work force doubled in the past four years to 10,500 and may rise 11 percent this year -- if managers can locate biomedical scientists. Gilead bought two companies last year, partly to get 200 skilled employees. The biotech business, which generated $51 billion in U.S. sales in 2005, is one of the fastest-growing U.S. industries, creating 40,000 jobs from 2001 to 2004, according to Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Genentech says the lack of qualified applicants means the company is "scrambling" to grow. A drop over the past decade in the percentage of U.S. college graduates pursuing science is making the task harder. "The big failing is in education, not only postgrad but also undergraduate, and even K-12," Robert Reich, the former U.S. labor secretary who is a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said in an e-mail. "We do a lousy job of training our kids to be scientists." http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/309760_biotechshortage31.html

It was October, just the second month of school, and the teenager was already facing his second disciplinary hearing for excessive absences: He had skipped 18 of his first 29 days of freshman year at Charlestown High. As Cooper sat in the school's front office, his mentor, Emmanuel Allen, a former dropout who helps Boston teens get back in school, leaned forward and looked the 15-year-old in the eye. "If you don't figure out this school thing now, you're going to get trapped," said Allen, 30. Cooper nodded, but avoided Allen's gaze. Yvonne Cooper, 65, stared wearily at the grandson she has raised since birth. "I can't close the book on you," she said. "I can't do it. It's got to work. It's got to work." Cooper, who had dropped out of school last spring, is in his second tour of the ninth grade. He is participating in a new joint effort of the Boston public schools and Boston Private Industry Council to return dropouts to school. He was one of 34 students on the school system's list of 1,660 dropouts who initially agreed to re-enroll. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/03/30/a_rocky_path_back_to_school/

THE "INHOFE SCALE" OF ENVIRONMENTAL IGNORANCE by Lou Grinzo on Think Progress (thanks to Daily Kos for the Link) today's blog quote of the day; "Finally, let me say a few words to the good people of Oklahoma. James Inhofe has been your senator since he won a special election in 1994 (according to his page on the Senate web site), but you deserve better than this in a Senator. I realize how easy it is to vote for a veteran lawmaker, someone who will have more influence, and therefore someone able to deliver more to your state, than a rookie in the Senate. But please take into account his and all candidates' views on this most pressing of issues. Having a lawmaker who is firmly rooted in reality and appreciates the gravity of this situation is in your and everyone's best interest."
(INHOFE IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE CITIZENS OF OKLAHOMA) http://www.grinzo.com/energy/blog_entry_archive/2007/03/2007x03x22_2.html

Seattle biodiesel startup Planetary Fuels LLC wants to build a plant west of Boeing Field to produce that alternative to gasoline and petroleum-based diesel. The company's land use application, filed last week with Seattle's Department of Planning and Development, seeks permission to build 32 above-ground tanks and three underground tanks, with a total capacity of 442,000 gallons. The plant would replace a warehouse at 7800 Detroit Ave. S.W., according to the application. Planetary Fuels was launched in early 2006 by Ophir Ronen, a co-founder of Internap Network Services. Ronen said in June that he expected to have a production facility up and running in 2006, producing between 2 million and 8 million gallons of biodiesel per year, using crops from local farmers. The proposed plant has a capacity of 6 million gallons per year. Construction is due to begin in late summer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/309758_planetary31.html

With demand for ethanol pushing corn prices to $4 a bushel or higher, it was not a surprise that farmers intended to plant a lot more corn this season. What was surprising about the Agriculture Department report released Friday was just how much they intended to plant -- a staggering 90.5 million acres, the most since World War II and 15 percent more than last season. But intentions do not always translate into reality. Many analysts were cautioning Friday that it was too soon to assume there would be a bumper crop. Some farmers may change their minds about planting corn, especially after corn futures dropped on news of the planting report, though prices remain strong. The analysts, however, were worried about the weather. "Our climate scientists are predicting a challenging growing season," said Daniel Basse, president of AgResource, an agricultural research and consulting firm.
(it won't be too difficult to grow corn this season, if this wet weather pattern holds up, as long as they can get in to plant it)

Some of the largest swaths of natural forest left on the planet are being dismantled at an alarming pace to feed a global wood-processing industry centered in coastal China. The Chinese logging boss set his sights on a thickly forested mountain just inside Burma, aiming to harvest one of the last natural stands of teak on Earth. He handed a rice sack stuffed with $8,000 worth of Chinese currency to two agents with connections in the Burmese borderlands, the men said in interviews. They used that stash to bribe everyone standing between the teak and China. In came Chinese logging crews. Out went huge logs, over Chinese-built roads. "Western consumers are leaving a violent ecological footprint in Burma and other countries," said an American environmental activist who frequently travels to Burma and goes by the pen name Zao Noam to preserve access to the authoritarian country. "Predominantly, the Burmese timber winds up as patio furniture for Americans. Without their demand, there wouldn't be a timber trade."
(did Hurwitz make some kind of deal with the Chinese?)

Benjamin Franklin started one of America's first paper mills with cannabis, allowing a colonial press free from English control. Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Montana and West Virginia also have passed hemp-farming bills. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, introduced such a bill in Congress in June, but it hasn't advanced in the face of opposition by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the White House's anti-drug office. The DEA says allowing farmers to grow hemp in the USA would undermine the war on drugs. It says marijuana growers would be able to camouflage their crop with similar-looking hemp plants, and that DEA agents would have difficulty quickly telling the difference. "Let's not be naïve," says Tom Riley of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy. "The pro-dope people have been pushing hemp for 20 years because they know that if they can have hemp fields, then they can have marijuana fields. It's ... stoner logic."
(this all just sounds like more "Bush logic" to me, the cotton, timber, paper and oil industries all Bush bubbas, are terrified they will have to compete with this ultimately renewable resource, so they are fighting against it by vilifying it as "a drug")

As lawmakers on Capitol Hill push for a cap-and-trade system to rein in the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, an unlikely alternative has emerged from an ideologically diverse group of economists and industry leaders: a carbon tax. Most legislators view advocating any tax increase as tantamount to political suicide. But a coalition of academics and polluters now argues that a simple tax on each ton of emissions would offer a more efficient and less bureaucratic way of curbing carbon dioxide buildup, which scientists have linked to climate change.

The world’s richest countries, which have contributed by far the most to the atmospheric changes linked to global warming, are already spending billions of dollars to limit their own risks from its worst consequences, like drought and rising seas. But despite longstanding treaty commitments to help poor countries deal with warming, these industrial powers are spending just tens of millions of dollars on ways to limit climate and coastal hazards in the world’s most vulnerable regions — most of them close to the equator and overwhelmingly poor.

George Bromley is a career mailman. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, Bromley delivers mail to 320 households in the Port Ludlow area, just across the Puget Sound from Seattle. But Bromley doesn't drive a white mail truck, and he doesn't wear the official blue-gray uniform of a letter carrier. He has no benefits and makes less money than U.S. Postal Service carriers do during their first years on the job, though he's been delivering the mail since 1985. But recent decisions by the Postal Service have cast a shadow of doubt over carriers like Bromley -- mostly because there's a chance that there soon could be a whole lot more of them. Right now, private carriers -- technically termed highway contractors -- serve mostly rural areas in the state. Across the state, almost 100 areas are serviced by highway contract routes -- everywhere from Acme to Winthrop. But a nearly decade-old rewrite of a national Postal Service bylaw made it easier to contract out both rural and city routes. "It's not the good old days where you know your postal carrier and he knows you and your kids," said Paul Price, the business agent for the National Association of Letter Carrier's region 2, which serves Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/309808_postal31.html

An Iraqi military spokesman said Sunday that militants fleeing a security crackdown in Baghdad have made areas outside the capital "breeding grounds for violence," spreading deadly bombings and sectarian attacks to areas once relatively untouched. The most recent strike occurred Sunday when a bomb struck a popular market in Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding four. It was the second attack in the city in as many days after two Iraqis seeking work were killed in a car bombing on Saturday.

Just seven days after the death of Fort Lewis Ranger Pat Tillman, a top general warned there were strong indications that friendly fire killed him and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press. It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth -- that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades.

The U.N. humanitarian chief said Saturday that the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region (IS) destabilizing neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic and a comprehensive solution to the region's problems was needed. John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, concluded a 10-day tour of the region by saying he was struck by "the magnitude of the humanitarian challenge in these three countries" and calling for a strong political effort to end the growing chaos.

Valerie Plame was covert. Valerie Plame had served our country covertly within the last five year prior to the disclosure of her identity. To suggest otherwise today, when the facts are now beyond dispute, is that extraordinary combination of delusion and dishonesty that will be seen by history as the darkest side of national security disasters of the Bush years. (but they must continue to perpetuate this lie, the only option is an admission of extreme guilt)http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/03/toensing_doesnt.html#more

No comments: