November 21, 2006

GOP Fundraiser Gets 18 Years in Prison

A GOP fundraiser who embezzled from a state investment in rare coins was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison in a scandal that helped bring down Ohio's ruling Republican Party on Election Day.

By JOHN SEEWER

Ex-Daley Aide Sentenced To Prison

Read this news story below. This is why corruption runs ramp-pit in are government. You do the crime you don’t do the time; you get your hands slapped. The first thing these convicted elected officials (gangsters) pack when they are going to so call federal prison is their golf clubs, its like a vacation for them. Corrupt elected officials who commit crimes when in office need to go to a state prison and put in with the general population and stripped of all government benefits’ and after they do the maximum sent-tins they need to be kicked out of the USA for the rest of their life and if a government elected official commits a crime in war time they need to be put in front of a firing squad. And if big corporations and lobbyist or who ever are involved in the crime they get the same sentence. Just before a president leaves office he pardons convicted government officials. No more!
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The President is doing a lot of cuts in benefits’ for Americans, so why not have cuts in his benefits’?
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Ex-Daley aide sentenced to prison
Tribune staff report
Published November 20, 2006, 5:23 PM CST
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Mayor Richard Daley's former patronage chief was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for his role in a hiring fraud scheme at City Hall. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.Robert Sorich showed no emotion as U.S. District Judge David H. Coar delivered a tongue-lashing.The offense is corruption — corruption with a capital C,'' Coar said. "For people to owe their jobs to political advancement rather than performance on the job stinks."I don't give a hoot whether this has been going on for 200 years," the judge said. "It still stinks.''As Coar handed down Sorich's sentence, the former City Hall insider stood stiff-lipped while his wife and mother broke down behind him.Sorich could have received as much as 57 months in prison, but Coar gave him the lowest end of the sentencing range.Prior to the reading of his sentence, Sorich said, "I just want to stand before the court and my family and friends and let them know I am not a broken man."He did not apologize or otherwise accept responsibility for the crimes a federal jury found he committed.Sorich and three other former city officials were convicted in July in a trial that highlighted the inner workings of the mayor's political machine.Prosecutors say Daley aides rigged hiring for thousands of city jobs and promotions in favor of political loyalists. The scheme allegedly was designed to enhance Daley's political power.Lawyers for Sorich and his three co-defendants in the trial have argued that the requested sentences are unduly harsh.They have noted that city workers convicted of taking bribes received relatively short sentences.Sorich and Timothy McCarthy, his former aide in the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, were each convicted on two counts of mail fraud.Former Streets and Sanitation official Patrick Slattery was convicted of one count of mail fraud, while John Sullivan, a former Streets and Sanitation managing deputy commissioner, was found guilty of one count of lying to federal agents about political hiring.Today, Slattery was sentenced to 27 months in prison, while Sullivan was given two months in custody and two months of home confinement.
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November 17, 2006

It's high time for politicians to be paying attention.

Nancy Pelosi, you just don’t get it do you. Neither did the Republicans and look what happen to them.
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I want government transparency and accountability!
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I am fad up with the corruption in Washington.
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Get corporations out of Washington.
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FIRING ALL members of Congress (regardless of party) who are corrupt,
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Nancy Pelosi Wants Total Crap

House Speaker Pelosi's choice for Majority Leader, Draft Loving John Murtha, has this to say about the anti-corruption bill being pushed by Madame Speaker:

Even though I think its total crap, I’ll vote for it and pass it because that’s what Nancy wants.

I think he's brain-damaged but that gives Murtha too much credit. He's just
corrupt.

Pelosi’s Endorsement of Murtha. Total Crap

Nancy Pelosi was chosen by acclamation to become speaker of the House. Ninety minutes later, she experienced her first smack down.

Pelosi had only herself to blame for this briefest of honeymoons. Just five days after the Democrats' election victory, she shattered party unity Sunday by urging House Democrats to reject her longtime deputy, Steny Hoyer, in favor of antiwar firebrand Jack Murtha, who proceeded to brand House ethics reforms "total crap."

Yesterday, rank-and-file Democrats told Pelosi her endorsement was total crap: They overwhelmingly chose Hoyer to be majority leader.

Hoyer supporter Maxine Waters was holding forth on the impact of Pelosi's letter Sunday endorsing Murtha. "People just said 'I wonder why' and kept on moving and voted for Mr. Hoyer." It's true: Hoyer wound up with about as many votes as he forecast before Pelosi's endorsement of Murtha.

For Pelosi, who led Democrats back to a majority in the House after 12 years, yesterday should have been a coronation for the first woman to be speaker. Instead, her party had plunged into fratricide, and cable news was running nonstop clips of Murtha talking with FBI agents posing as sheiks in the Abscam sting.

Was this a great moment for Democrats, or "total crap"? "The latter," Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider had to admit as she surveyed the melee outside the caucus room.

November 16, 2006

Jack Abramoff Controversy

Jack Abramoff Controversy
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Abramoff Heading To Prison, Prosecutors Want Him To Roll On More Politicians
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Dorgan Tangled in Abramoff Web
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Dorgan has the North Dakota press wrapped around his finger. In a small state like North Dakota, Dorgan, Conrad et cetera are really important people who can really cause problems if the locals do Kiss their Bu**s.
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No brainer. Will be interesting to see how this unfolds. If the Dem’s are even halfway serious about ethics reform all this will come out. If not, then it remains politics as usual.
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No surprise there.
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November 15, 2006

Questions Surround Speaker Pelosi's Choice For House Majority Leader

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Democratic-leaning watchdog group, accused Pelosi of compromising her ethical standards by endorsing Murtha.

Murtha has fought charges for years of using his senior status on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee to award favors to campaign contributors. He voted against a Democratic package of ethics reforms earlier this year

CBS News reporter Allison Davis

Representative Hoyer's supporters are reviving accounts of Murtha's less-than-decisive rejection of a bribe in the 1980 Abscam FBI sting operation. More recently, Murtha has battled allegations that he may have accepted favors from defense contractors.

Most immediately, Murtha's opposition to ethics reform, including past brushes with ethics issues, open Pelosi to charges that she hasn't heard voters on the importance of cleaning up the culture of corruption in Washington.

"Future House Speaker Pelosi's endorsement of Representative Murtha, one of the most unethical members of Congress, shows that she may have prioritized ethics reform merely to win votes, with no real commitment to changing the culture of corruption," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group that took a lead in criticizing former GOP majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas over corruption charges.

By Gail Russell Chaddock

November 13, 2006

First, Ethics Reform

The 'culture of corruption' helped Democrats win. Now they need to fix the mess!

ONE OF THE loudest messages from Tuesday's elections was disgust with the way Washington does business. In exit polls, 42 percent of voters said corruption and scandals in government were extremely important in their decisions -- a greater share than for the war in Iraq, terrorism or the economy. House Democrats have vowed to quickly adopt new ethics rules; their package is good but could be improved. Senate Democrats, who, after yesterday's gracious concession by Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), will control the chamber, say they too have heard the voters' demand for change.
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Read The Full Story: Washington Post
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[My Reply: “Good, but not good enough”.]
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The GOP lost control of Capitol Hill for a number of reasons, the war (the televised pictures of growing casualties were hard to shake off) and the scandals involving Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley (all of which were broken by news organizations). At times it seemed journalists and administration officials were offering two different versions of reality. But in the end the polls accurately forecast the thumping to come.
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Now the question is whether a press corps that has been openly at odds with the president will hold the newly empowered Democrats to the same tough standards.
Read The Full Story:
By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post

Lame-duck Congress Has Busy Agenda

The Democrats won the midterm elections, but time has not run out on the Republican majority in Congress
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Find-lee! "The Do Nothing Congress", wants to do something?
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Joseph Lieberman, Said:
Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, elected as an independent, said Sunday on "Meet the Press" on NBC that he wanted Congress to take up the lobbying and ethics changes that died before the election.
Carul Hulse, New York Times
Read The Full Story:
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Nancy Pelosi Said:
Nancy Pelosi has previously said a Democratic-led Congress will not be a rubber stamp for the White House. Nancy Pelosi, said she hoped there would be cooperation with congressional investigations -- part of the checks-and-balances system built into the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi also has said that in the first 100 hours of her speakership she will push for action implementing all 9/11 Commission recommendations on national security, raising the minimum wage to $7.25, eliminating corporate subsidies for oil companies, allowing the government to negotiate Medicare drug prices, imposing new restrictions on lobbyists, cutting interest rates on college loans and supporting embryonic stem-cell research.
CNN's John King, Dana Bash and Ed Henry
Read The Full Story:

November 10, 2006

Cuckoo Science

Sometimes on RealClimate we discuss important scientific uncertainties, and sometimes we try and clarify some subtle point or context, but at other times, we have a little fun in pointing out some of the absurdities that occasionally pass for serious 'science' on the web and in the media. These pieces look scientific to the layperson (they have equations! references to 19th Century physicists!), but like cuckoo eggs in a nest, they are only designed to look real enough to fool onlookers and crowd out the real science. A cursory glance from anyone knowledgeable is usually enough to see that concepts are being mangled, logic is being thrown to the winds, and completely unjustified conclusions are being drawn - but the tricks being used are sometimes a little subtle.
Two pieces that have recently drawn some attention fit this mould exactly. One by Christopher Monckton (a viscount, no less, with obviously too much time on his hands) which comes complete with supplementary 'calculations' using his own 'M' model of climate, and one on JunkScience.com ('What Watt is what'). Junk Science is a front end for Steve Milloy, long time tobacco, drug and oil industry lobbyist, and who has been a reliable source for these 'cuckoo science' pieces for years. Curiously enough, both pieces use some of the same sleight-of-hand to fool the unwary (coincidence?).
But never fear, RealClimate is here!

November 08, 2006

Global Warming

An analogy I like to use is that of the Titanic. If you see an iceberg up ahead, do you convene your engineers to debate the effects of ice hitting a ship or do you have the engine room throw the engines in reverse and turn the ship as hard as it will go?

The way we're handling our planet is akin to a captain saying "Convene the engineers to debate about the ice, but I'm going to plow through that iceberg anyway. After all, this ship is unsinkable and turning would waste precious time and coal."
Comment by Yartrebo

Re: Yartrebo, The iceberg has already been struck. We did not see it in time. It is now probably a good idea to get a damage control report, and see if we are taking on water. If in fact we are, we need those engineers to decide if 1) all the compartments will flood and we will sink (no lifeboats!) 2) only one compartment will flood, the ship will list a little, but we can make it back to port, 3) the ship is leaking but the bilge pump capacity is large enough to continue on to our destination without many problems, or 4)we need to go down there and try to fix the leak, or we will surely sink.
“How much CO2 emission is too much”?
RealClimate:
http://www.realclimate.org/
November 06, 2006
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“We’ are doomed”