Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Roskam = DeLay

So Tom "The Hammer" DeLay was indicted today on conspiracy charges with two other cronies of his for illegibly using his PAC to illegally pass money to Republican political candidates.

Candidates like Peter Roskam, Republican candidate for congress in IL-06.

Turns out, Roskam, who just happens to be a former apprentice of Tom DeLay, having worked for him in DC, was investigated for just the same type of illegal activity. Roskam’s state campaign was investigated in 1992 by the Illinois Attorney General and the IRS, then his congressional campaign was investigated again in 1999 for campaign ethics violations.

Is there a pattern here?

Roskam worked for DeLay. DeLay has been slapped with three ethic violations while in congress and just indicted for possible campaign finance law violations. Roskam has been investigated for campaign finance law violations in both his previous campaigns. DeLay's PAC, for which he has been indicted, donated heavily to Roskam's campaign. And Guess who just hosted a $500 a plate dinner for his friend and former apprentice Peter Roskam.

Why that would be Tom DeLay.

A culture of corruption starts at the top. Republicans like DeLay are seeing their past catch up to them. What we don't need in congress is former DeLay staffer, who will carry on DeLay's ethically challenged ways. Not only is Roskam too far to the Rigth to accurately represent IL-06, but his ties and seemingly coincidental similarities to DeLay should make anyone question whether he deserves to hold office.

We don't need another Tom DeLay in congress.

PS to any GOP trolls:
I don't want to hear this BS about "partisanship" regarding this indictment of DeLay:

A June 17 editorial in the Houston Chronicle commended his work: "During his long tenure, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has prosecuted many more Democratic officials than Republicans. The record does not support allegations that Earle is prone to partisan witch hunts." This assertion supports Earle's own claim about his record; a March 6 article in the El Paso Times reported: "Earle says local prosecution is fundamental and points out that 11 of the 15 politicians he has prosecuted over the years were Democrats."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Burried in Work

So no posting lately. Too busy. But at least getting noticed. From Archpundit:
Of Good Blog Ads
Christine Cegelis' ads are cracking me up and using the medium quite well.


And the candidate herself was just as gracious via an email:
Hi Kathy, Michael, and Peter,
I am not sure if it upped our contributions but the landing page is really good. In fact both the ads and the landing pages were very good. Thanks for all your hard work.


So this is what I've been doing lately, and just finished another logo for the ISU Dems, and startig a contract for a local canddate running for state senate. I've also been contaced Kerry's CTO regardig some work.

Much business.

Go christine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

DFA-Cegelis Endorsement Helps IL Dems

If you haven't heard, Christine Cegelis made DFA's top 10 grassroots candidates list, putting here squarely in the running for the first DFA grassroots endorsement:
Democracy for America is hosting an online instant run-off vote to determine which congressional candidate will receive their first national endorsement of 2006. The vote is open to all challengers and open seat candidates. The candidate who wins the instant run-off vote will receive a DFA-List endorsement and a national e-mail from DFA's Chair Jim Dean.

Vote for Christine Cegelis here.

Voting closes on Saturday, September 24 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

So why should you vote for Cegelis at DFA rather than any of the other great candidates on the list? Besides her being someone I'm confident would be a great congressperson, she's the only candidate from Illinois on their list. For local Democrats this fact is important.

Her GOP challenger is a former DeLay and Hyde aide, and about as far right as you can get outside of Texas. Even though he is way to the right of the vast majority of the district, the GOP wants to retain Hyde's seat badly, and have already shown they mean to throw money at this race.

A race right here in Illinois.

By helping Cegelis get the DFA endorsement, attention will be focused on IL-06, and Illinois politics nationally. This will open new interest not only in the Cegelis campaign, but in Democratic groups and candidates in the area.

Democrats right here in Illinois.

Being the first grassroots candidate to earn DFA's endorsement will focus media on the race. This provides Illinois Democrats an opportunity to raise issues the Illinois GOP wants to keep quiet. Media focus local Democrats can use to highlight their positive agenda, and Roskam's right-wing agenda.

Media focus right here in Illinois.

But we all know Politics and money go together. A DFA endorsement will open fundraising sources and donors to Cegelis and other Democrats running in this area. As Emily's list says: "Early money is like yeast." Start the funds flowing early, and they will flow beyond the Cegelis campaign as the Democratic presence in the area continues to grow and become energized.

Energized Democrats right here in Illinois.

And finally, the race is winnable. This is a potential take away for Democrats. This story line alone will create a media frenzy in the area. Christine received 44% of the vote against a legendary Henry Hyde - his career low. With a well funded challenger this time around, IL-06 turns into a real pick up opportunity for Democrats.

A Democratic pick-up... right here in Illinois.

So help Cegelis earn the DFA nomination and help Illinois Democrats in the process. Go to DFA now and VOTE FOR CEGELIS!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina Response: Dems vs. GOP

Democratic lawmakers response to Katrina:
In the next few days, we will introduce the “Hurricane Katrina Accelerated Tax Refund Act.” This bill would immediately accelerate the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and applicable education incentives. By taking these steps, we can deliver resources on a fast-track basis to families that have worked hard, paid taxes and earned these tax benefits, all the while stimulating local economies. These Americans who have lost so much should receive their refunds now rather than later.

Republican lawmakers response to Katrina:
WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said on Tuesday he had no intention of reopening a sweeping bankruptcy law passed by Congress earlier this year, despite proposals to exempt Hurricane Katrina victims from some of its provisions.

The new, more stringent bankruptcy law will not harm people left "down and out" by the storm, Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner said.

He said he would not hold a hearing in his committee on a bill by the panel's ranking Democrat, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, and 31 other Democrats who want to exempt Hurricane Katrina victims from parts of the new bankruptcy law. A chairman's decision not to hold a hearing usually prevents a House bill form advancing.

Congress last spring passed the new bankruptcy law, which makes it harder for heavily indebted Americans to wipe out their obligations. It goes into effect on Oct. 17.

More Republican response to Katrina:
Only after considerable pressure to respond to Hurricane Katrina and observe Chief Justice William Rehnquist's funeral did Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist back off from his determination to begin the estate tax debate immediately after Labor Day.

It will be fascinating to watch how the senators from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama explain to their constituents why a $1 trillion tax break for multimillionaires and billionaires, few of whom live in their states, ranks as a timely national priority.

Even more Republican response to Katrina:
“SEPARATE BUT EQUAL” EDUCATION: The Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will ask Congress to waive a federal law that bans educational segregation for homeless children. The Bush administration is arguing, along with states like Utah and Texas, that providing schooling for evacuees – who, in this case, are likened to homeless children — will be disruptive to public school systems, so they want to have sound legal backing for creating separate educational facilities for the 372,000 schoolchildren displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Democratic Party Priorities:
- Easing the burden of those stricken by a national disaster

Republican Party Priorities:
- Easing the burden of credit and banking interests
- Easing the burden of billionaires
- Separate but equal education

Why is this so hard for 51% of Americans to see?

Bush and Permission Slips

Remember when Bush said that the US of A doesn't need no stinkin' permissions slips for the UN or anyone to go to war. Well, it appears he needs a permission slip from Condi Rice to use the bathroom:



In case you can't read Bush's writing, it reads:
I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible...

This isn't a joke. This is a real photo straight off Yahoo News. The man who didn't need the UN's permission to invade a whole country is asking if it's possible to have a bathroom break at the UN. Is it possible?!?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Vote for DFA Support of Cegelis

Democracy for America is looking to the Blogosphere for suggestions of who to support in 2006. They've officially rolled out the first batch of 2006 candidates for U.S. House of Representatives. Cegelis has made the list of potential candidates.

She is representative of everything a "grassroots" candidate stands for, so she genuinely deserves this vote for DFA support. You can vote for her here.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Proud of My Daughter

When my daughter was a baby, a friend gave her a talking Barney doll for Christmas. This quickly became her security object, and she went everywhere with "him." She took him to the store, to Auntie's, to the mall. There was no such thing as going to bed without Barney, as one night when he was left at Auntie's proved all too painfully.

Recently Barney has diminshed in status, overtaken by stuffed unicorns and princess dolls. But he still shared a spot among all the fuzzy stuffed unicorns on her bed that she slept with every night. Until today. Today she gave Barney away.

A friend of my wife has friends in the Gulf Coast area hit by Katrina. She was gathering donations of basicis like diapers, cleaning supplies, tooth brushes, etc. that are going to be driven to the Gulf today. My daughter wanted to help too when she heard about other little girls who lost everything in the storm. She decided she wanted some other little girl to have her once favorite stuffed toy. So she gave Barney away without being asked to at all. She just put him in the box with the soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

Proud moments.

Hurricane Entitlement Queens?

You've got to love those compassionate, caring Republicans. Case in point: Ken Melman, the Chairman of the Republican Party:

"Nevertheless, as all Americans work together to help the Gulf Coast recover, I hope Chairman Dean will match his rhetoric with his support for reforms that replace bureaucracy and entitlement with hope and opportunity."

That's right, boys and girls! Dean should stop trying to hold the Bush administration and Republican controlled congress accountable for the federal government's failure to have a plan for a well predicted natural disaster! It's not like the Republicans control the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Instead of playing the blame game, Melman insists Dean should focus on replacing bureaucracy and entitlements.

Heaven knows the Republicans hate bureaucracy. That's why Bush created the largest government bureaucracy in US history - the Department of Homeland Security. That's why he gutted FEMA's budget and placed it under the control of this huge bureaucracy. That's why the response to Katrina was so quick! When help was requested by state and local officials, this wonderful new bureaucracy required the right paperwork signed by the right people which delayed help by days! But Republicans hate bureaucracy.

Next, Dean should join the Republicans in ending entitlement programs! So stop making Hurricane Entitlement Queens out of the victims of Katrina. We all know, these people are not entitled to anything, but should work for a living. If their city is underwater, that is their problem. They should have though about that when they moved there. If they want to work for Haliburton to clean up their city, they should do so at below prevailing rate for wages in the area. This is an ownership society, remember. Personal accountability is a Republican value.

Sigh.

Here again, as a Democrat, I just don't understand Republicans. They say they are against everything that they do. The hate big government, but they increase the size of government. They say they are "compassionate" but they are against entitlements for those in need. They openly tout their faith, but ignore every parable about Jesus in their bibles.

I don't get it. Last time I checked, if an American city was destroyed by a hurricane, the Americans who live there are entitled to be helped by their government. But then I'm just a damn liberal. Rep. Richard Baker of Baton Rouge feels differently:
"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

Compassionate Conservativism at it's best!

Help Kisler Help Katrina Victims

When you think of helping victims of Katrina, you think about sending food, water, and basics. But what about helping those who survived indentify their loved ones who lost their lives? Beyond basic survival, I can't think of anything more important for these people who've lost everything than to have the type of closure this provides. Mike Kisler has just these forensic skils and he's been asked to go help, but he needs our help to get him there. From Mike:
I've been contacted by the National Funeral Director's Association. They desperately need volunteer funeral directors to help process the remains of those who perished during Hurricane Katrina (they estimate 40,000). I'm ready willing & able, as soon as I can get vacation time scheduled at work.

The work we will be doing is important to the survivors. We will be identifying remains, notifying next-of-kin, and returning any personal possessions that we recover. That way the grieving families can have at least some closure to the loss of their loved ones.

Here' s the hitch: My Funeral Director's license is currently "inactive". The process to "reactivate" it is both arduous and expensive. However, I have negotiated a deal with the IL Dept. of Professional Regulation that manages to cut through a great deal of the "Red Tape" (THANK YOU PAT QUINN!!!).

But the expenses involved are still extensive. The "reactivation" fee alone is $260. Additionally, I have to get a bunch of very expensive vaccinations before the license can be issued. Furthermore, I have to have the license before I can be considered for deployment (I will receive reciprocal license status from the State of Louisiana). Altogether, these expenses will total $800-$1,000.

I was off work for three months this summer for surgery, so my finances are pretty shaky right now. I just can't afford that kind of cash outlay on my own. But I really want to go and help. So I'm asking for your help.

Please send donations through PayPal
Account: mlkisler@comcast.net

Or, mail them to me at:
Mike Kisler
P.O. Box 2575
Darien, IL 60561-2575

Excess contributions will go to nearby shelters who have taken in evacuees.

This is a way to help a local Democrat and good guy help the victims in a very real, and overlooked, way. Show him some love.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bush Helps Victims by Lowing Their Wages

Bush is doing a bang up job helping the victims of Katrina. Now that people are out of work and desparately in need of jobs, what does he do? Eliminates the law that requires them to be paid the "prevailing rate:"
President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage:

In a notice to Congress, Bush said the hurricane had caused "a national emergency" that permits him to take such action under the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act in ravaged areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

[...]

The Davis-Bacon law requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the area where the work is conducted. It applies to federally funded construction projects such as highways and bridges.

That's right, boys and girls. Helping people means helping pad a government contractor's bottom line. Uh, who are these government contractors anyway who now get to up their margins by low balling their laborers?
An Arlington-based Halliburton Co. subsidiary that has been criticized for its reconstruction work in Iraq has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc., won the competitive bid contract last July to provide debris removal and other emergency work associated with natural disasters.

You just can't make this shit up.

Mississippi Loves Mr. Cheney

This is priceless. And on live television to boot:
Vice President Dick Cheney, in Gulfport, Mississippi on a tour of the Katrina hurricane zone, was told to "go fuck yourself" twice on live television, RAW STORY has learned.

During a discussion on hurricane relief efforts, an off camera protester shouts, "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself."

Raw story has the rest.
Crooks and Liars has the video.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Stop the Blame Game

Will you silly liberals stop blaming Bush for the government's poor response to Katrina. Pointing fingers won't solve problems. It only holds people accountable. We don't have time for that now!

It wasn't his fault those stupid people didn't evacuate New Orleans. After all, Bush pleaded with the Governor of LA to order an evacuation on Wednesday. Just like the Governor did on Sunday before the storm hit.

I mean, what do you want? Bush even cut his vacation short. It was suppose to be five weeks, not four and a half. This of course shouldn't be an example followed by his other cabinet members, who remained on vacation. Hey, they have lives too you know.

But don't forget, Bush did visit the devastated city. From 1,500 feet above it in the safety of Air Force One several days after the flooding. Then when he came back yesterday, he took several fire fighters with him for a nice sight seeing photo-op.

It's not his fault he thought no one anticipated the levies breaking. How is he suppose to know? After all, he did appoint a guy who was let go from his job as an Arabian Horse judge to be the director of FEMA. And since George doesn't read, he wouldn't have read the National Geographic article a year ago about the potential disaster a category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane would cause when the levies broke in New Orleans. None of the experts he put in charge of Homeland Security should be expected to read this sort of thing, or the countless articles in major newspapers throughout the Gulf coast, either. You know it's hard to find good help.

It's not Bush's fault that FEMA wasn't prepared for a national disaster. It's not like emergency management is in their name or something. You can't blame Bush for their problems. It's not like he's in charge of who runs that giant big bad government agency. That's just big government for you. I mean, if he had gutted their budget and stuck them under the control of Homeland Security, that might be another thing. But who's got time to read the organization charts in Washington anyway?

Hell, it's not even FEMA's fault. After all, they can't just roll in and take over a national disaster like that. There is such a thing as state rights you know.

It's not Bush's fault the levies broke either. It was a natural disaster you morans. Cutting budgets for flood relief and levee projects to record lows had nothing to do with it. After all, we need tax relief. Especially those of us who make over $500,000 a year.

No, it wasn't Bush's fault. So stop you're liberal blame gaming. Bush has big problems to get to solving you commie America haters. After all, as his mom says, now that they've lost everything and been bused to Houston, everything is working out well for those poor underprivileged people even if that is a scary thought for her. Or to put it as Jon Stewart just did:
If New Orleans wasn't built in the first place, this disaster never would have happened. It's New Orleans fault."


Sigh.

Monday, September 05, 2005

"This is working very well for them."

Would you like a glimpse into the mind that raised our Chickenhawk in Chief? From the former first lady, Barbra Bush, commenting on the refugees from New Orleans that have been bused to the Houston Astrodome:
What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle)--this is working very well for them.

That's right, boys and girls. If you are a poor black resident of New Orleans and have just survived a hurricane, had your home and all worldly possessions washed away from the ensuing flood, then waited for nearly a week while Bush and the rest of his government was on vacation, only to be shipped by bus to the Houston Astrodome where you now call home, things are working very well for you.

Not only does she find this logical, she thinks the idea of these poor black people moving to her state is scary. No wonder George is fucked up.

MP3 Audio here. (hat tip to Atrios)

I'm Speechless. Olbermann Isn't.

Keith Olbermann. If you don't watch his show "Countdown" on MSNBC at 7:00pm you should. Here's part of his take on the Bush administration's total lack of credibility in the wake of Katrina:
No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the "chatter" from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn't quite discern... a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Hat tip to Delaware Dem at dKos for the transcript.

IRC Help Links

Here's some links to the International Red Cross:

Donate Money
Donate Goods
Volunteer

Speechless

I've been consumed lately by the accounts of utter incompetence by the federal government and the Bush administration in responding to the devastation in New Orleans. The lack of response time, Bush hob-nobbing backstage with country music stars while people drowned in New Orleans, FEMA being unaware of thousands waiting for aid at the New Orleans Convention Center when the news media was covering the situation there 24/7, the outright lies about not being able to predict such a disaster when experts were on record requesting help for just such a diaster years earlier, the cutting of funding for flood protection for New Orleans while giving taxe cuts to millionaires, and the refusing of boats, busses and water by FEMA when help on the way from other states.

But if this wasn't enough, the Republican Party lead by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist are reportedly going to demonstrate just how callous and heartless they are when congress returns on Tuesday. With tens of thousands homeless and having lost everything, Bill Frist - Republican in control of the agenda in the Senate - is going to introduce a bill to repeal the estate tax permanently.

Americans all along the gulf coast have lost their homes, their jobs, and their cities. They have nothing. And the priority of the Republican Majority leader is to see that millionaires like Paris Hilton retain their astronomical wealth so their great grand children can continue to live in the outrageous lifestyle to which Paris has become accustom to. Tens of thousands of people in New Orleans are still without water, food and shelter, and the Senate Majority leader is introducing legislation that will help millionaires like Trent Lott rebuild one of his many houses so that Bush can sit on the porch and admire the view.

I'm speechless.