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Thursday, August 31, 2006

DeVos: Crazy as a fox or just plain dumb? I pick option two

I was checking out Michigan Liberal this morning and read the post saying Dick DeVos is running the "Run Dick Run" cartoon short that's been on the MDP site since last weekend convention in Detroit on his site. Either DeVos is dumber than I thought he or his cronies don't pay attention to anything that come across their emails boxes. Think about it if he's that's stupid to run an cartoon that trashes him on his own website, then he shouldn't be elected to dog catcher. Honestly how many people who's running for public office is going post up a video created by the other side to run on their own site? George W. Bush is the dumbest man ever to slime his way into the white house I bet you haven't seen a Gore, Kerry or Moveon.org ad running on the Coke Monkey site when he was running for president right? I'm done ranting go check out the story on the Michigan Liberal blog Michigan Liberal

New law: Late videos get you jail time

Conspiracy blamed in arrest over late video Conspiracy blamed in arrest over late video Antiwar protester sees a connection BY FRANK WITSILFREE PRESS STAFF WRITER August 31, 2006 If you enjoy conspiracy theories, here's one: Monica Legg, a 43-year-old antiwar protester arrested last Thursday at her home in Lewiston, in Montmorency County, and charged with failing to return a rented video, says the Man -- as in the government -- is prosecuting her because of her political views. The connection: The same day she was arrested, she said, her photo appeared in the Free Press with a report about protests in Ferndale. Moreover, she said Wednesday, her 45-year-old husband, Donald Legg -- who has a bumper sticker on his car that criticizes Vice President Dick Cheney -- was charged, too. Both are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in 88th District Court in Atlanta. But the prosecutor, video store owner and state police say that politics has nothing to do with the arrest. Suzanne Cronk, who owns the Timbertown Video store in Lewiston, said that she let the Leggs rent videos on faith, and that when the tapes didn't come back, she tried to contact them but didn't get a response. Finally, Cronk said, she called the police. "I don't have a political agenda," said Trooper Pat Pullum of the Gaylord Post, who was the arresting officer. "It's just my professional duty." If you get jail time for late or no returns on videos I would be sitting in Jackson prison right now. The Leggs got charge for bustin the coked up monkey chops so don't believe this they didn't return a video mess. Add this to if you wore a anti smirk shirt or have an John Kerry bumper sticker be prepare for some serious payback from the Bush followers.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Majority of Americans think Karl Rove sucks

Majority Of Americans Have An Unfavorable Opinion Of Karl Rove... The Huffington Post Majority Of Americans Have An Unfavorable Opinion Of Karl Rove... Gallup Poll Posted August 28, 2006 10:53 AM READ MORE: Karl Rove, Investigations, CIA AP A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds that Americans have a more negative than positive opinion of presidential adviser Karl Rove, a pattern that has been consistent over the last year. Rove's current ratings have recovered somewhat from the low point measured in April, shortly after some of Rove's White House duties were reduced and as reports continued to suggest Rove might be indicted in the CIA leak investigation. His current ratings are roughly in line with his ratings from last October. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans say Rove has too much influence over the decisions the Bush administration makes. Views of Rove are predictably divided along partisan lines; Democrats are more critical than Republicans in their overall opinion and a majority of Democrats say he has too much influence over the Bush administration. Finally the American public is waking up(what took you so long?) Karl Rove has done nothing but slime and trash anyone record to get the smirk or his enablers elected into office.

The Real DeVos turnaround plan

MI-Dems The Real DeVos Turn Around Plan The MDP yesterday released Dick DeVos’ real plan for Michigan. To read the details of this plan click here. Inside the plan: - DeVos Economic Policy: Bush Economics and Sending Jobs to China- DeVos Social Policy: Extremism for Michigan- DeVos Tax Cut Policy: Corporations Over Real People- DeVos Education Policy: Giving Up on Public Schools- DeVos Health Care Policy: Don't Get Sick, Everyone fro Themselves- DeVos Leadershiph Style: Duck, Delay and DeLay I would just show that pic with DeVos with Rove. Karl Rove isn't know to be friendly with moderate Republicans, the type of Republicans Rove hangs out with outside Jeff Gannon are flaming hard-core faithful of the Republican right.

Today's GOP word is "Islamic fascism"

Print Story: Republicans target 'Islamic fascism' on Yahoo! News Republicans target 'Islamic fascism' By TOM RAUM, Associated Press WriterWed Aug 30, 7:23 AM ET President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq. Bush used the term earlier this month in talking about the arrest of suspected terrorists in Britain, and spoke of "Islamic fascists" in a later speech in Green Bay, Wis. Spokesman Tony Snow has used variations on the phrase at White House press briefings. Sen. Rick Santorum (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., in a tough re-election fight, drew parallels on Monday between World War II and the current war against "Islamic fascism," saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries. It's a phrase Santorum has been using for months. And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday took it a step further in a speech to an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, accusing critics of the administration's Iraq and anti-terrorism policies of trying to appease "a new type of fascism." White House aides and outside Republican strategists said the new description is an attempt to more clearly identify the ideology that motivates many organized terrorist groups, representing a shift in emphasis from the general to the specific. "I think it's an appropriate definition of the war that we're in," said GOP pollster Ed Goeas. "I think it's effective in that it definitively defines the enemy in a way that we can't because they're not in uniforms." But Muslim groups have cried foul. Bush's use of the phrase "contributes to a rising level of hostility to Islam and the American-Muslim community," complained Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Conservative commentators have long talked about "Islamo-fascism," and Bush's phrase was a slightly toned-down variation on that theme. Dennis Ross, a Mideast adviser to both the first Bush and Clinton administrations and now the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he would have chosen different words. "The `war on terror' has always been a misnomer, because terrorism is an instrument, it's not an ideology. So I would always have preferred it to be called the `war with radical Islam,' not with Islam but with `radical Islam,'" Ross said. Why even mention the religion? "Because that's who they are," Ross said. "Fascism had a certain definition. Whether they meet this or not, one thing is clear: They're radical. They represent a completely radical and intolerant interpretation of Islam." While "fascism" once referred to the rigid nationalistic one-party dictatorship first instituted in Italy, it has "been used very loosely in all kinds of ways for a long time," said Wayne Fields, a specialist in presidential rhetoric at Washington University in St. Louis. "Typically, the Bush administration finds its vocabulary someplace in the middle ground of popular culture. It seems to me that they're trying to find something that resonates, without any effort to really define what they mean," Fields said. Pollster Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, said the "fascist" label may evoke comparisons to World War II and remind Americans of the lack of personal freedoms in fundamentalist countries. "But this could only affect public opinion on the margins," he said. "Having called these people `evildoers,' fascism is just a new wrinkle," he said. The tactic recalled the first President Bush's 1990 likening of Iraq's Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler. "I caught hell on this comparison of Saddam to Hitler, with critics accusing me of personalizing the crisis, but I still feel it was an appropriate one," the elder Bush later wrote in a memoir. It was one of the few times the younger Bush has followed his father's path on Iraq. Charles Black, a longtime GOP consultant with close ties to both the first Bush administration and the current White House, said branding Islamic extremists as fascists is apt. "It helps dramatize what we're up against. They are not just some ragtag terrorists. They are people with a plan to take over the world and eliminate everybody except them," Black said. Stephen J. Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University, suggested White House strategists "probably had a focus group and they found the word `fascist.' "Most people are against fascists of whatever form. By definition, fascists are bad. If you're going to demonize, you might as well use the toughest words you can," Wayne said. After all, the hard-line Iranian newspaper Jomhuri Eskami did just that in an editorial last week blasting Bush's "Islamic fascism" phrase. It called Bush a "21st century Hitler" and British Prime Minister Tony Blair a "21st century Mussolini." Someone needs to give Man on dog Santorum and the RNC a Webster Dictionary so they could look up the term of fascism. This is the last ditch effort of the GOP to hold on to power they can't run on their records, they can't run on the "benefits" of the war in Iraq and they're running from Bush and the term Republican for example here in Michigan we have a dude name Mike Bouchard who in two ads never mention he's a Republican, during his ad he bash the Republican control congress.

GOP can't woo top candidates

Not to drive people away I won't add the link to Kathy Harris site. Print Story: Republicans fail to woo top candidates on Yahoo! News Republicans fail to woo top candidates By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent2 hours, 35 minutes ago Click on Katherine Harris' Senate campaign Web site and look for the blog. "This section will be updated soon," reads a message — dated May 29. A Web site 100 days out of date is hardly the worst of it for Harris, whose political wounds, many of them self-inflicted, make her the poster woman for Senate Republican recruiting woes. Missed opportunities, stumbles and bad breaks in a half-dozen states or more in 2005 have tilted the map toward the Democrats in ways that are still unfolding. "In every single state where they were challenging one of our incumbents they did not get their first choice and in many cases they did not get their second," said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, head of the Democratic campaign committee. As a result, he said, "we can spend our time and money challenging their incumbents." Apart from Florida, Republicans failed to get their preferred recruits in North Dakota, a heavily Republican state, as well as Washington, Nebraska, Michigan, West Virginia and Vermont. Several GOP officials concede the party's prospects are hampered as a result. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid open criticism of North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who chairs their campaign committee. Brian Nick, a committee spokesman, conceded failures in North Dakota and especially in Florida, where Dole tried repeatedly to persuade others to join the race. "We felt that was a state we could put in play and obviously that race hasn't become competitive and we've moved on to other endeavors," he said. Overall, he said, "Recruiting for Republicans has been very successful," with strong challengers for Democratic-held seats in New Jersey, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington. Public and private polls show Democrats winning in each, handily in some. On the eve of the traditional Labor Day kickoff to the fall campaign, Democrats appear poised to gain seats, although picking up the six they need for a majority remains a significant challenge. Recruiting is influenced by the "larger political environment," said Jim Jordan, former executive director of the Democratic senatorial committee. "Attractive Republican candidates likely chose not to run this cycle because the political winds were against them." Polls show President Bush's popularity down, the war in Iraq is unpopular and the Republican-controlled Congress is viewed with dissatisfaction. The Democrats, with $37.7 million in the bank as of June 30, to $19.8 million for the Republicans, hope to use their financial advantage to exploit Republican recruiting shortcomings. As an example, they plan to take money they might have needed to help Sen. Bill Nelson (news, bio, voting record) in Florida can now go to elsewhere. Obvious possibilities are competitive races for Republican-held seats in states like Ohio, Missouri or Tennessee — or perhaps more challenging races in Virginia and Arizona. Ironically, Republicans might benefit in an odd way from Harris' woes. The party has made it clear it has no plans to spend its own money on her behalf, so it, too, can spend money elsewhere. Democrats have recruiting difficulties of their own. They have little hope of winning a Nevada seat after failing to persuade Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to run. But Republican problems are widespread. Rep. Candice Miller (news, bio, voting record) declined to run in Michigan. Likewise Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (news, bio, voting record) in West Virginia. In heavily Republican North Dakota, Gov. John Hoeven spurned an appeal from White House political strategist Karl Rove to challenge Sen. Kent Conrad (news, bio, voting record). Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas declined to run in Vermont after Sen. Jim Jeffords announced his retirement. In Nebraska, which customarily favors the GOP, former Gov. Mike Johanns became agriculture secretary rather than challenge Sen. Ben Nelson (news, bio, voting record). Dino Rossi declined to run in Washington after losing a gubernatorial race in a 2004 recount. Republicans fielded candidates in each case, and say wealthy challengers Pete Ricketts in Nebraska and Mike McGavick in Washington are running particularly well for Democratic seats. Not so in Connecticut. There, the White House declined to endorse Republican Alan Schlesinger in a state where the Democrats are deeply divided between incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont, who defeated him in a primary on an anti-war platform. Harris, a second-term member of the House, was the most eager of candidates. As one of the Republican heroines of the presidential recount battle of 2000, she initially wanted to run for the Senate in 2004. Party officials persuaded her to stand down. They feared that while she might win the primary, she was too divisive a candidate to carry the state, and might hamper Bush's re-election prospects. Last year, Republican strategists presented Harris with a party-paid poll last year that showed she was virtually certain to lose if she ran in 2006, officials said. Undeterred, she's gone ahead, with chaotic results so far. She's had four campaign managers, and some former aides describe a woman given to temper tantrums. In a sign of organizational shortcomings, her office phone was answered by a professional answering service one recent Sunday, less than a month before the primary. Former staff say she didn't tell them about receiving a subpoena from the Justice Department as part of a federal investigation. Then there's the controversy stirred by her comments. Recently she told Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the Founding Fathers did not intend the country to be "a nation of secular laws." In a state with millions of Jewish voters, the campaign backpedaled. Campaign manager Bryan Rudnick said that as a grandson of Holocaust survivors, he knew that Harris "encourages people of all faiths to engage in government so that our country can continue to thrive." Despite numerous entreaties from Republicans, Harris has passed up numerous invitations to quit. "Katherine Harris is the only Republican candidate with a proven record of leadership and accomplishments that can beat Bill Nelson," said spokeswoman Jennifer Marks. "Our campaign is aggressively moving forward."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Heck of a job Brownie says White House want him to lie

I got this from Truthout.org Go to Original Brown Says White House Wanted Him to Lie United Press International Sunday 27 August 2006 Washington - The ousted head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency says the White House wanted him to lie about the response to Hurricane Katrina. Former Director Michael Brown told ABC News "This Week with George Stephanopoulos' Sunday he stood by comments in a Playboy interview, and President Bush wanted him to take the heat for the bungling. "The lie was that we were ready and that everything was working as a team. Behind the scenes, it wasn't working at all," Brown said. "There were political considerations going into all the discussions. There was the fact that New Orleans did not evacuate and the mayor (Ray Nagin) had no plan." Brown said it was natural to 'want to put the spin on that things are working the way they're supposed to do. And behind the scenes, they're not. Again, my biggest mistake was just not leveling with the American public and saying, 'Folks, this isn't working." The former FEMA chief cited what he called an e-mail 'from a very high source in the White House that says the president at a Cabinet meeting said, 'Thank goodness Brown's taking all the heat because it's better that he takes the heat than I do." Also on 'This Week,' U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said the administration still doesn't understand the magnitude of the reconstruction problem; but the president's Gulf Coast coordinator, Don Powell, said the federal government's No. 1 priority is to rebuild the area in a businesslike way.

Bush, Katrina and Trent Lott's House

Consortiumnews.com Bush, Katrina & Trent Lott's House By Robert Parry August 29, 2006 On his 13th trip to the Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast, where hundreds died and tens of thousands lost everything they had, George W. Bush was still mourning the loss of Sen. Trent Lott’s Mississippi waterfront house. Hurricane Katrina “was massive in its destruction,” Bush told reporters along for his Aug. 28 visit to the slowly recovering region. “It spared nobody. United States Senator Trent Lott had a fantastic house overlooking the bay. I know because I sat in it with he and his wife. And now it’s completely obliterated. There’s nothing.” Indeed, perhaps the most revealing glimpse that the Katrina disaster offered into Bush’s inner self was the contrast between his strained attempts at empathy for the common folks – like a photo-op hug for a couple of well-scrubbed African-American girls who survived the flood – and his pain over the destruction of one home owned by a millionaire senator who lives most of the year in Washington. Katrina ripped off the pretense of Bush’s folksy style, showing that he remains the son of privilege who feels for those like himself and feigns sympathy for others. After Katrina hit the Gulf region and inundated New Orleans one year ago, White House officials even had trouble getting a vacationing Bush to focus on the magnitude of the disaster. As tens of thousands of Americans in New Orleans pleaded for rescue and as hundreds of bodies rotted in the heat, Bush belatedly agreed to cut short his five-week Texas vacation but still insisted on fulfilling speaking engagements in San Diego and Phoenix – where he posed clowning with a gift guitar – before heading back to Washington. Back at the White House, Bush’s staff – knowing their boss’ disinterest in reading newspapers or watching the TV news – tried to clue Bush in on how bad things were by burning a special DVD with TV footage of the flood so he could watch the DVD on Air Force One, Newsweek’s Evan Thomas reported in a retrospective on the flood. “How this could be – how the President of the United States could have even less ‘situational awareness,’ as they say in the military, than the average American about the worse natural disaster in a century – is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace,” Thomas wrote. [Newsweek, Sept. 18, 2005, issue] Yet, despite the DVD showing the horrific conditions, Bush still treated his first trip to the stricken Gulf region on Sept. 2, 2005, as a chance to pat his disaster team on the back and chat up the locals about how everything was going to turn out just great. Bush praised his inept Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown. “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” Bush famously remarked, just days before Brown was relieved of command and resigned from FEMA. Bush also consoled Sen. Lott, who had lost one of his homes to the flood. “Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house – he’s lost his entire house – there’s going to be a fantastic house,” Bush joshed. “And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.” Even as he was departing, Bush still wasn’t connecting to the magnitude of the horror. At a press briefing before boarding Air Force One, Bush recalled his past hard partying in New Orleans, which he called “the town where I used to come … to enjoy myself, occasionally too much.” Later that night on a TV fundraiser for hurricane relief, rapper Kanye West summed up the President’s behavior with the memorable line: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” The remark sent NBC executives into a panic that led to them censoring West’s comment from the show’s rebroadcast in the Pacific time zone. More Compassion But many Americans appeared to have agreed with Kanye West. Bush’s approval ratings dropped to record lows, prompting Bush to revise his approach to the crisis. He ordered up more trips to the region, posed with more African-Americans and vowed a vast rebuilding project on par with what he has promised for Iraq. On Sept. 15, 2005, Bush gave a nationally televised speech in shirt sleeves in New Orleans’ Jackson Square with special generators and lighting flown in to give the President a dramatic backdrop. “We will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes,” Bush declared in phrasing reminiscent of his pledges about Iraq. But his poll numbers continued to fall and he returned to the scene again to demonstrate more concern and more compassion. “We look forward to hearing your vision so we can more better do our job,” Bush said at a briefing in Gulfport, Miss. As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd observed, “There’s nothing more pathetic than watching someone who’s out of touch feign being in touch.” Though Dowd believed that Bush was echoing his father’s pretense of empathy as in his dad’s famous comment, “Message: I care,” the President may have been revealing how much he is like his mother, Barbara, who visited flood survivors at the Houston Astrodome and commented, “what I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas.” The former First Lady then added, “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this – this (she chuckles) is working very well for them.” One year later, George W. Bush is still trying to put the best possible spin on the slow pace of the region’s recovery. “There will be a momentum; a momentum will be gathered,” he explained to reporters. “Houses will begat jobs, jobs will begat houses.” But no house seems to grab the President’s attention the way that Trent Lott’s does.

Another jumps off the good ship Lieberman

Print Story: Inouye abandons Lieberman on Yahoo! News Inouye abandons Lieberman By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 50 minutes ago Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye (news, bio, voting record) said Tuesday he is supporting Ned Lamont over Sen. Joe Lieberman because of the Connecticut lawmaker's contention that the Democratic Party doesn't stand for mainstream America. Inouye, who campaigned in Connecticut for Lieberman prior to the Aug. 8 primary, issued a statement endorsing Lamont and citing Lieberman's recent criticism of the party. Lamont upset Lieberman in the Democratic primary and the three-term senator is running as an independent in hopes of holding his seat. "After the primary, Senator Inouye was most disappointed and unhappy when Senator Lieberman remarked that the Democratic Party no longer represented the mainstream of America, and that the Democratic Party had lost its values," the eight-term Hawaii senator said in the statement. Inouye is the latest prominent Democrat to rally behind Lamont, a political newcomer whose anti-war views helped him topple Lieberman, a staunch supporter of the war. "Senator Inouye tried his best to help ensure a victory by Senate Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary," the statement said, referring to the earlier campaign appearance. "Unfortunately, that did not happen." The Lieberman campaign had no immediate comment. Party officials such as Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who backed Lieberman in the primary, have endorsed Lamont in the three-way race. Republican Alan Schlesinger also is seeking the Senate seat. The Connecticut race has been cast by many as a referendum on President Bush's Iraq war policies. Lieberman has been a strong supporter of Bush's handling of Iraq, winning praise and endorsements from Republicans

Monday, August 28, 2006

Exploding the Charter school myth

Exploding the Charter School Myth - New York Times A federal study showing that fourth graders in charter schools score worse in reading and math than their public school counterparts should cause some soul-searching in Congress. Too many lawmakers seem to believe that the only thing wrong with American education is the public school system, and that converting lagging schools to charter schools would cause them to magically improve. The study, based on data from 2003 on students’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, found charter school students significantly behind their non-charter-school counterparts. But it also showed that not all charter schools are created equal. On average, charter schools that were affiliated with public school districts performed just as well as traditional public schools. That may be a disappointment to advocates who expected them to show clear superiority. But the real stunner was the performance of free-standing charter schools, which have no affiliation with public school systems and are often school districts unto themselves. It was this grouping that showed the worst performance. Free-standing charter schools often bite off more than they can chew. The presumption is that without the bureaucratic restraints of the public school system and the teacher unions, charter schools can provide better education at lower cost. But the problem with failing public schools is that they often lack both resources and skilled, experienced teachers. While there are obvious exceptions, some charter schools embark on a path that simply recreates the failures of the schools they were developed to replace. Charter school advocates denounced the new federal study even before it was released and took issue with its methodology, which is not perfect. But this study does not stand alone. The evidence so far shows that charter schools are not inherently superior to the traditional public schools they often seek to supplant — and that they are sometimes worse. One advantage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was the wave of education studies it started. They offer hope that Congress will look at the record when it considers reauthorizing the law next year. If it does, lawmakers will back away from the part of the act that offers charter schools as a cure-all. They should instead home in on the all-important but largely neglected issue of teacher training and preparation — which trumps everything when it comes to improving student achievement. These studies argue for a more nuanced federal policy that does not just advocate wholesale charter conversion but instead defines and supports successful models only. Beyond that, Congress needs to grasp the obvious, which is that the quality of the teacher corps is more crucial to school reform than anything else. The original law required states to provide highly qualified teachers in core subject areas by this year. But the Education Department simply failed to enforce the rule, partly because of back-channel interference by lawmakers who talked like ardent reformers while covering up for state officials clinging to the bad old status quo. Four years later, the national teacher corps is still in a shambles. Until Congress changes that, everything else will amount to little more than tinkering at the margins.

Racism might cost GOP minority votes

Comments may cost GOP minority votes - Yahoo! News Comments may cost GOP minority votes By ERIN TEXEIRA, AP National WriterMon Aug 28, 4:16 PM ET One Republican senator described his house painter as a "little Guatemalan man." Another called an Indian man a "macaca," a type of monkey. Just as the GOP is pushing for minority voters, the two recent gaffes have fed the perception among some blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans that Republicans are out of touch with the changing face of the nation. "There is disconnect at some level," said Michael K. Fauntroy, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. "The country is becoming browner and new voters, particularly new immigrant voters, don't respond favorably to (offensive) comments. "They may have already missed the boat on this." Reports surfaced last week that Sen. Conrad Burns (news, bio, voting record), a Montana Republican, called his house painter a "nice little Guatemalan man" during a June speech. Burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, also suggested that the man might be an illegal immigrant. It turns out the worker is legal. Earlier this month, George Allen, a Republican senator from Virginia, twice referred to an opponent's volunteer using a term for a monkey, considered by some to be a racial slur. "Let's give a welcome to Macaca here," Allen said. "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Allen has since apologized to S.R. Sidarth, who was born in Virginia and is of Indian descent. Republicans hardly have a lock on offending minorities. Former Democratic congressman and civil rights leader Andrew Young, who is black, said this month that Asian, Jewish and Arab shopkeepers in black neighborhoods sold shoddy goods to blacks and drove away their businesses. And, amid protests, the Democratic party this month pulled an advertisement from its Web site that compared Hispanic immigrants to terrorists. But the comments by Burns and Allen have garnered heavy attention as their party is trying to improve its showing among minorities. Neither senator returned phone calls seeking comment. "These misstatements are not reflections on the (Republican) party," said Tara Wall, director of outreach communications for the Republican National Committee. "We've had a long-term commitment to inclusion." Wall said that since taking the helm in January 2005, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman has "stepped up" the party's outreach to minorities. That effort has included holding nearly 100 town hall meetings with black, Latino and Asian-American groups, she said. The party also is strongly pushing the candidacies of black Republicans in upcoming elections: Ken Blackwell for governor of Ohio, Michael Steele for Senate in Maryland and Lynn Swann for governor of Pennsylvania. This summer, Bush spoke at the convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for the first time in his presidency. The crowd cheered when he said many blacks don't trust Republicans. At last summer's NAACP convention, Mehlman acknowledged the need to mend fences. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization," he said. "I come here as Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong." Said Frances Rice, chairman of the National Black Republican Association: "I think Republicans have an excellent chance of winning over a good percentage of minority voters." Some say that's already happening. In 2004, 46 percent of Hispanic men, for instance, backed Bush compared to 36 percent in 2000, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. While only 11 percent of blacks voted for Bush in 2004, it still was up from 2000. But there's a long way to go. Associated Press-Ipsos polls from June to August show that 81 percent of blacks, 62 percent of Hispanics and 69 percent of Asian-Americans identify with Democrats over Republicans and independents. Outreach to minorities can ring hollow if it's not backed by strong policies, said Louis DeSipio, a professor of political science and Chicano/Latino studies at the University of California, Irvine. "Even a candidate that says something offensive, if he then came out and advocated a path to citizenship (for illegal immigrants), then I think voters would pay more attention to that," he said. Immigration promises to be a key issue with Latinos in the contentious November elections. A House measure approved last year that would make it a felony for illegal immigrants to be in the U.S., helped spark massive street demonstrations this spring. Organizers have worked this summer to register more Latino voters and get those who qualify to become citizens. Many black voters remain angry over the Bush administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina last summer, when thousands of New Orleans' poorest residents, mostly black, faced deadly floods. "Katrina hurt the Republicans' credibility with the African-American community," said Stacie Paxton of the Democratic National Committee. Donna Brazile, a longtime Democratic strategist, agreed. "Republicans are sending mixed messages to people of color, in particular African-Americans and Hispanics. On one hand they would like us to come into the big tent. But once you get in you will see the unwelcome mat remains on the inside." What minority voters might that be Mr. Rice? Last time I check Bush "popularity" among blacks is 2% and he didn't do much to help himself at the NAACP convention. The Republicans idea of out reach is buying off the black churches hoping the preachers on the pay roll will steer their followers into the GOP camp. Blacks and other people of color have sense to see actions are more important than words and seeing the delay of aid to the people who suffer in Katrina and how the right talked about the victims have called off any bets to the Republican party.

Granholm's truth team catches yet another DeVos lie ad

You gotta love the Granholm truth team every Dick DeVos ad has been soundly smackdown by the truth squad and here's another example Granholm For Governor: The Truth Squad Amway guy ad: Jim Zawacki: "The business started in 1960. I bought it in 1985. We've tried to grow here, but there's too many things working against us." The Truth:· The company owned by Jim Zawacki, GR Spring and Stamping, actually is growing in Michigan. On July 24, 2006, the Grand Rapids Business Journal interviewed Zawacki. He said his company recently invested $1.2 million right here in Michigan. · "Grand Rapids Spring and Stamping recently spent $1.2 million to buy a new press, and city commissioners granted the company an industrial tax abatement for its investment. But the city's most noted maker of spring and wire forms and stampings isn't the only manufacturer investing. Four others either have or plan to spend $3.1 million on equipment and plant renovations, and they, too, have either received a city-approved abatement or are in the process of getting one. In roughly a month's time, these five manufacturers have told the city they intend to invest a total of $4.3 million in their businesses. And for GR Spring and Stamping, its investment resulted in the purchase of a 1,000-ton Verson press - the largest the company has ever owned. "Our largest press used to be 600 tons, so this gives us more tonnage and a bigger bed press so we can do bigger things," said Jim Zawacki, president of GR Spring and Stamping. (Grand Rapids Business Journal, July 24, 2006) Amway guy ad:Jim Zawacki: "The state bureaucracy just strangles you." The truth:· The City of Grand Rapids awarded GR Spring and Stamping thousands of dollars in grant money, helping the company bring jobs to Michigan. · "First Ward Commissioner Roy Schmidt described GR Spring and Stamping as a "good employer" and noted that the company will add up to 10 new jobs due to its purchase of the press. The abatement will save the firm $55,000 over 12 years on its estimated tax bill of $138,000." (Grand Rapids Business Journal, July 24, 2006) Amway guy ad:Jim Zawacki: "No other state has a single business tax." The Truth:· Governor Jennifer Granholm called for the elimination of the Single Business Tax but refused to allow the $1.9 billion hole to be filled with increased taxes on working families. · Dick DeVos supported the elimination of the Single Business Tax, but refuses to tell people what he'll cut police and fire, health care, or education. · "DeVos also said he might not come up with specific proposals before the November election for replacing revenue that would be lost from repealing the tax, which generates nearly $2 billion a year." (Associated Press, April 12, 2006) Amway guy ad:Jim Zawacki: "The governor has had more than enough time to make things happen." The truth:· In a recent interview, Jim Zawacki communicated what Governor Jennifer Granholm has been saying all along, unfair foreign trade policies are hurting Michigan -- the same policies lobbied for by Dick DeVos: "Mr. JIM ZAWACKI (Tooling manager, GR Spring & Stamping): There's absolutely no doubt about it. I would've been twice the size I am today. DAVIDSON: He's not talking about his weight. Zawacki owns GR Spring & Stamp-ing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the kind of old economy business that people worry will disappear from the U.S. He makes metal auto parts, like car bumper holders, or the springs inside seatbelt latches. Mr. ZAWACKI: Springs are made on special machines. It's probably the most fascinating, because most people have never seen a spring machine before. DAVIDSON: Zawacki says Chinese companies are taking his business. And, he says, they don't play by the rules. Chinese firms steal U.S. copyrights, he says. They get government subsidies. But worst of all for Zawacki, China's Cen-tral Bank manipulates its currency to keep it cheap, and that cheaper currency keeps his company stuck at around 400 employees. Mr. ZAWACKI: I'm not smoking pot, nor have I ever, but the point is that we would easily be over 800 people. DAVIDSON: He wants President Bush to force China to play fair. He says his parts only cost 20 percent more than the stuff coming from China, so if Presi-dent Bush gets China to revalue its currency by 20 percent, Zawacki believes his company will get a lot more business." (All Things Considered, April 18, 2006) · In May of 2005, Zawacki said he lost money because of unfair trade with "Korea and China." Dick DeVos chose China over Michigan, investing more than $200 million in the China market. · "Zawacki said his company did $5 million worth of business with a local firm each year as recently as six years ago. But today that firm isn't one of his customers. "Their products are now made in Korea and China. And that is just one (company) of many," he said. "We just want a level playing field as a manufacturer. There are so many unfair things that are going on related to trade, and our government is in a bind." (Grand Rapids Business Jouranl, May 16, 2005) · In September of 2004, Zawacki urged the Bush administration to play fair and also spoke highly of Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards: "In fact, Zawacki is one of a growing chorus of supplier industry representa-tives urging the Bush administration to force the steel industry to come down on prices to avoid a situation where manufacturers will look overseas for cheaper options." (Reed Business Information, September 2, 2004) "'Personally, I like John Edwards,' said James J. Zawacki, chief executive of G.R. Spring & Stamping Inc., in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a self-described po-litical conservative. 'He's been saying the right thing about manufacturing. He has real appeal to people. I don't like trial lawyers, I've got to say that. But I go with what he was saying about manufacturing.'" (The Washington Post, July 7, 2004) Amway guy ad:Jim Zawacki: "She does not know how to create jobs. If Michigan is going to survive, it's going to need a change in the governor's office. I'm Jim Zawacki, a small businessman, and I'm voting for change." The Truth:· Jim Zawacki's company added 100 new jobs just last year. Zawacki himself lamented that, "All you hear is the negatives," when commenting about his company's success. · "No sector of West Michigan's economy carries a worse stigma than tool and die. Globalization and excess capacity have laid waste to the craft. By all regards, it is now perceived as a dying industry with little opportunity for job growth, startups or profit. The truth, however, is nothing of the sort. 'You don't hear about the companies that are either steady or not moving backwards,' said Jim Zawacki, president of GR Spring & Stamping. 'All you hear is the negatives.' Capitalizing on opportunities with "new domestic" automakers like Nissan, Honda and Toyota, Zawacki's firm has grown by 100 people in the past year alone." (Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 8, 2005 Man DeVos has to pull things out his butt to make a case against Granholm, can't wait to see Granholm start cracking him on Amway.

Gore lashes out at media consolidation

Gore lashes out at media consolidation - Yahoo! News Gore lashes out at media consolidation By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press WriterSun Aug 27, 9:52 PM ET Former Vice President Al Gore said Sunday ever-tighter political and economic control of the media is a major threat to democracy. Gore said the goal behind his year-old "interactive" television channel Current TV was to encourage the kind of democratic dialogue that thrives online but is increasingly rare on TV. "Democracy is under attack," Gore told an audience at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. "Democracy as a system for self-governance is facing more serious challenges now than it has faced for a long time. "Democracy is a conversation, and the most important role of the media is to facilitate that conversation of democracy. Now the conversation is more controlled, it is more centralized." He said that in many countries, media control was being consolidated in the hands of a few businesspeople or politicians. Gore said in Italy much of the media is owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has stifled dissent on television, and in South Africa, Gore said, dissent "is disappearing, and free expression is under attack." In the United States "the only thing that matters in American politics now is having enough money to put 30-second commercials on the air often enough to convince the voters to elect you or re-elect you," he said. "The person who has the most money to run the most ads usually wins." Gore lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush in disputed circumstances. Current TV was launched last year amid much skepticism, but anticipated the tide of user-generated content now sweeping the media world. His long-standing warnings about the threat from global warming have reached a mass audience thanks to "An Inconvenient Truth," a slick, stark movie that has become one of the most successful documentaries in U.S. history. Gore's renewed popularity, and his high-profile book and movie tours across the United States, have spurred speculation of a White House run in 2008. He denied it again Sunday. "I don't have any plans to be a candidate, I don't expect to be a candidate," he said. "I really do not expect ever to be a candidate again." Gore said there was a link between control of the media and a lack of political action to control climate change. "Questions of fact that are threatening to wealth and power become questions of power," he said. "And so the scientific evidence on global warming — an inconvenient truth for the largest polluters — becomes a question of power, and so they try to censor the information."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Connerly says DeVos is scaring off money

Connerly: DeVos is scaring off money Connerly: DeVos is scaring off money Ballot measure is at issue BY CHRIS CHRISTOFF and DAWSON BELLFREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU August 26, 2006 Ward Connerly backs the MCRI. California businessman Ward Connerly said Friday that Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos' opposition to a ballot proposal to end race- and gender-based affirmative action for Michigan government and schools has dried up potential contributions. Speaking at a taping of the public television program "Off the Record," Connerly said, "People don't want to get on the bad side of Dick DeVos." Republican DeVos has said he believes the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative goes too far, and has joined his Democratic opponent, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, in opposing it. Connerly said potential GOP contributors to MCRI fear being on the outs with a DeVos administration if he is elected. He said after the taping that Michigan is known to have a vindictive political climate, that those in power "don't forget who their enemies are." DeVos is opposing the ballot proposal for political gain, Connerly said, because he doesn't want to energize Granholm voters. But he suggested DeVos personally supports MCRI. Connerly campaigned in Michigan this week for the ballot proposal. Later Friday, DeVos spokesman John Truscott said Connerly "doesn't know what he is talking about." DeVos "thinks this proposal is severely flawed and he has said so," Truscott said, while denying that DeVos had warned his supporters to withhold contributions to the ballot proposal. Usually I don't give a damn when right wingers fight each other but Connerly has said something what I already knew that DeVos supports banning affirmative action and he's "siding" with Granholm only to make sure when Detroit go to the polls in huge numbers to knock down the ban most of those votes don't spill over to Granholm. Detroit listen up DeVos supports the ban I don't care if his mother, father, sister, brother and wife say he don't, DeVos supports the ban. I'm going to tell you what's going to happen if some how his father millions in fact buy his way into power, he's going to tell Ward Connerly to come back in 2008 to try again with the ban and this time around he's going to support it citing he has a change of heart while talking with the "victims"of affrimative action.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The truth squad take down another DeVos lie

Granholm For Governor: The Truth Squad Dick DeVos held a press conference this week calling on President Bush to meet with Detroit auto executives. Governor Granholm has been making this same call for almost nine months, and she is seeking real solutions from Bush. DeVos waited until it was politically beneficial for him to take a stand against the President, whom he has supported financially and agreed with on policy. And for those who looked closely, it is easy to see that DeVos didn’t challenge any of the real problems that Bush should be confronting. DeVos did not join Governor Granholm’s call for strict enforcement of trade rules to eliminate unfair barriers that are hurting American workers, and he did not join the Governor in calling for Bush to cap excessive oil company profits. Don’t let DeVos distort his record and pull a fast one by holding one grand-standing press conference asking Bush to take a meeting now that he should have taken months ago. Additionally, DeVos released a radio ad this week is the height of hypocrisy: he criticizes Michigan’s unemployment numbers, which are a result of the trade and outsourcing policies that he supports, and then attacks the Governor’s record when he knows that she has spent years cleaning up the mess left behind by John Engler. When you hear this radio ad on outsourcing, fight back with the truth. Here’s the transcript along with the facts behind DeVos’ statements: Women Citizen 1: “I showed up for work but they told me it was being outsourced.” The Truth Governor Granholm has never outsourced jobs, and she has fought the policies and people who support outsourcing. She in-sourced Michigan jobs that John Engler sent to India, bringing a state call center back to Oscoda, and her Buy Michigan First initiative ensured that 85% of the products that the State purchased last year came from Michigan companies and Michigan workers. Dick DeVos’ record on outsourcing is abysmal it’s surprising that he would raise the issue, except to try to distort the truth. DeVos supported the people and policies that promote outsourcing, including George Bush's failure to stand up against unfair trade barriers. Man Citizen 1: “The placement firm told us ‘if you want to work there’s jobs, but not in Michigan’.” The Truth: This sounds like something Amway may have said when Dick DeVos was CEO. During that time, DeVos laid off nearly 1,400 Michigan workers while creating thousands of jobs in China. Michigan’s automotive industry is facing unprecedented challenges, in part due to unfair trade agreements that Dick DeVos supports. But at the same time, there are many encouraging signs, with companies like Google, Whirlpool, United Solar Ovonic, ePrize and Hemlock Semiconductor hiring thousands of Michigan workers and expanding in Michigan. Dick DeVos wants Michigan citizens to think that we are the only ones suffering, but the truth is that the national jobless rate increased last month as well. Announcer: “Since Governor Granholm took office Michigan has lost 104,000 jobs. We lost 29,000 jobs in the last month alone. The only state to lose jobs three years in a row.” The Truth: Much of the unemployment increase in last month was related to the typical July retooling of auto plants for model change over. July is well known to be one of the most volatile jobs months for our state in terms of statistics. In the two and a half years before Governor Granholm took office, Michigan lost 164,000 manufacturing jobs and 240,000 total jobs under Engler & Bush. In 2005, the state’s jobless rate declined for the first time since 2000. Man Citizen 2: “There needs to be a change in the government here. Our present governor doesn’t have a business background.” The truth Dick DeVos business background is much less sterling than he would like voters to believe: His Asian strategy for Amway led the company to decreased revenue for the first time in over a decade, and he responded by slashing jobs in Michigan while investing in China. Governor Granholm has a long history of fighting for Michigan workers and families as a public servant. The real change in Government would be to put Democrats in control. As Governor, Jennifer Granholm has been a lone Democrat standing up to a Republicans who hold the offices of Attorney General, Secretary of State, control of both the State House and Senate, and the Michigan Supreme Court. She has also been fighting back against extreme Republicans controlling the agenda in Washington. Woman Citizen 2: Like a lot of people, I’m worried that I’m gonna have to go out of the state.” Man Citizen 3: “This last month we had to dip into our savings to pay for health care. A thousand bucks a month…you can’t do that very long with out saying ‘crap I gotta move.’” The truth: Governor Granholm’s Michigan First Health Care Plan would create affordable, accessible health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents. Dick DeVos has not yet produced a health care plan, but he has said that he thinks the only way for people to get health insurance is for them to find jobs that offer it. This approach would leave hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens, including working Michiganians, to pay for their health costs out-of-pocket. Health care costs are one of the leading reasons that Big Three automakers are turning to Ontario, Canada to build new plants, and Governor Granholm is taking on the problem. Woman Citizen 3: “It seems like everybody knows somebody who doesn’t have a job.” Man Citizen 4: “It’s like the American Dream has left Michigan.” The Truth: Dick DeVos has a long history of trying to get himself ahead by creating false hopes of the American dream. His original scheme was called Amway, and it hurt thousands of honest, hard working Americans, while padding DeVos’ pockets. Governor Granholm knows that the American Dream in Michigan begins with the basics: education, health care and public safety. Dick DeVos has already jeopardized these basics to provide tax cuts to businesses. Who is at the top of DeVos’ new pyramid scheme, and who will fight to make sure that every Michigan citizen has a chance at the American Dream if DeVos and his policies pandering to the powerful take control? I don't know which is worst the out and out hypocrisy or the actors DeVos hire to do his ads. The guy whines about outsourcing while he practices it when he was at charge at Amway and he backs groups that speaks about the benefits about outsourcing, either Amway guy is losing it or he's growing desperate so he's willingly to say anything even if the ad blows up in his face. Hey Dick how about a plan instead of false attacks or you're scare?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Dems to go after GOP for Katrina screw ups

Democrats focus on GOP Katrina blunders - Yahoo! News Democrats focus on GOP Katrina blunders By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 39 minutes ago Hurricane Katrina convulsed the nation with its massive destruction. Now Democrats believe it could wreak havoc again in a tide of voter resentment that could sweep Republicans from power. On the verge of Katrina's one-year anniversary, Democrats from New Orleans to New Haven, Conn., to New York are launching a coordinated political assault on the Bush administration's response to the devastation that struck the Gulf Coast. Democratic lawmakers began arriving in the stricken region Thursday, making a stand that will culminate Monday when about 20 House Democrats convene in Bay St. Louis, Miss., for a town hall meeting. Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu (news, bio, voting record) of Louisiana plans to deliver the Democratic response to President Bush's Saturday radio address. Party leaders sense that the Bush administration's performance in the aftermath of last year's hurricanes and lingering problems rebuilding the region are as politically damaging to the president — and by extension, other Republicans — as the war in Iraq. "The bad thing is that no matter what happens in Iraq, Katrina is done," Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said in an interview Thursday. "It happened. You can't undo it. It's a huge scar." The Bush administration, acting quickly ahead of the Democratic campaign, plans to use the anniversary to make its case that the region is on the mend. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was in New Orleans on Thursday to announce more than $60 million in international donations for Gulf Coast schools and universities. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez was in New Orleans Friday to portray the city as "open for business" and to attend the reopening of a Home Depot store damaged during the hurricane. Bush scheduled a visit to the region next week to tour a storm-hit neighborhood in Mississippi on Monday and deliver a speech on the rebuilding effort. On Tuesday, the anniversary of Katrina's landfall, the president is to attend a prayer service in New Orleans. The White House, sensitive to perceptions of foot dragging, issued a one-year anniversary fact sheet stressing that "rebuilding will take time." "The one-year anniversary is not a finish line," the statement said. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted Aug. 7-9 found that 67 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Bush's handling of the Katrina disaster. Pollsters from both parties say the hurricane's immediate aftermath, with its scenes of chaos, desperate refugees and response delays came at a particularly vulnerable time for Bush. "Katrina gives people who already dislike the president another reason for disliking him," said pollster Tony Fabrizio, a Republican. But that's unlikely to affect races in congressional elections, he said. "If Democrats are pinning their hopes of regaining the House on Katrina, then House Speaker Dennis Hastert is safe," Fabrizio said. Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg, however, said Katrina was a "seminal event" in Bush's public opinion plunge. "The anniversary is going to be a reminder to a lot of people of how unprepared our government was to deal with a natural disaster," Greenberg said. "I don't think that's good for the people in power." Dean said the public may not even need a reminder. "People lost confidence in the president after Katrina and the president never recovered and regained the trust of the American people," he said. House Democrats on Thursday accused the administration of poorly managing the recovery effort, saying 70 percent of $10 billion in recovery and reconstruction funds were awarded to contractors without competitive bids. "There is no question that incompetence by the Republican administration and their leaders in Congress, the lack of open government and honest leadership is a campaign issue," said Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record) of California, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee. In New Orleans on Thursday, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said after a tour that the city needs a massive public works project to rebuild it physically and economically. "For as much money as we spend in one week, one week, in Iraq — $3 billion — we would create 150,000 jobs in America," he said. "If we spend it all along here in New Orleans, that would be 150,000 high-paying jobs. That's where we have to go." Bush and his fellow Republicans aren't the only ones being pushed onto the defensive. In Connecticut, Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont used the Katrina anniversary to criticize Sen. Joe Lieberman, the incumbent Democrat who is running as an independent, for being one of the lead architects in the creation of the Homeland Security Department. Democratic strategists believe Katrina also gives Democratic candidates the ability to counter Republican criticism that Democrats are soft on terrorism. Republicans have typically rated better than Democrats with the public in fighting terrorism, an edge that helped the GOP win in 2002 and 2004. Katrina, Greenberg said, "emboldens Democrats to push back in a way that they did not in 2002 and in 2004." Katrina especially angered black Americans, a core bloc in the Democratic coalition. The AP-Ipsos poll found that only 17 percent of minorities approve of Bush's handling of Katrina. "Katrina ended any effective ability by Republicans to appeal to African-Americans," Dean said

Charlevoix businessman calls GOP to back Granholm

Mlive.com's Printer-Friendly Page Charlevoix businessman calls on Republicans to back Granholm 8/24/2006, 12:42 p.m. ET By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN The Associated Press LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm got a boost Thursday from a Charlevoix businessman who has started a group called Republicans for Granholm. Gil Ziegler, 68, said he wants to see Republicans keep control of the state House and Senate and win other statewide offices. But when it comes to a choice between GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos and Granholm, he's voting Democratic. "As an automotive supplier, no one needs to tell me that Michigan has taken some hard hits in its manufacturing economy," said Ziegler, who owns Alken-Ziegler, a privately held metal forming and machining company with offices in Kalkaska and Livonia, where Ziegler also has a home. "Gov. Granholm has strategies in place to bring us through this difficult period, with a stronger and more diverse economy in the future," he added. Ziegler could list only a few adherents so far but thinks voter-rich Oakland County could be fertile territory for his group. DeVos campaign spokesman John Truscott said he doesn't think Ziegler will attract many others to his group. "He is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but I don't think it represents the feelings of most of the people in the Republican Party or even most independents," Truscott said. Craig Ruff of Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing think tank, doesn't know how many Republicans will vote for Granholm, but he wouldn't be too surprised if the DeVos campaign didn't come up with someone promoting Democrats for DeVos. "Both candidates want to portray that they're being backed by a wide spectrum of people from both parties," he said. Ziegler said he disagrees with Republicans in Washington and Lansing who oppose embryonic stem cell research and who have turned many social issues into political litmus tests. "I'm going to disappoint some people in the Republican Party. But those are the extremists in our party who want to block stem cell research and who turned out of office a good man like U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz," Ziegler said. He was referring to the 7th District incumbent who lost the GOP primary earlier this month to Tim Walberg, who said Schwarz was too liberal. DeVos opposes embryonic stem cell research, although he supports research on adult stem cells. Granholm has asked citizens to voice their support for lifting a ban on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan by signing an online petition. Ziegler said he donated money to DeVos when he ran for the State Board of Education in 1990, but won't do the same this time. Federal records show Ziegler donated $5,000 earlier this year to Its My Party Too PAC, a national group that wants to "return the Republican Party to the sensible center." He also has given to the Michigan Republican Party and was appointed by former GOP Gov. John Engler in 1992 to the Northern Michigan University Board of Control. As a loud lightning crack sounded outside, Ziegler joked, "I knew lightning would come if I ever endorsed a Democrat." Ruff said he doesn't expect many die-hard Republicans or Democrats will cross over to vote for the other party's gubernatorial candidate. But "if you're a ticket splitter and you see the governor is attracting Republicans to her column, it probably makes you more comfortable casting your vote for her," he said. ___ EDITOR's NOTE: Kathy Barks Hoffman heads the Lansing AP bureau and has covered Michigan politics since 1986. ___ On the Net: Republicans for Granholm: http://www.republicansforgranholm.com

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Things aren't what they seems to be with Dick DeVos.

Things aren't what they seems to be with Dick DeVos. In his early ads Dick DeVos likes to portray himself as a concern businessmen with moderate Republican (even though he don't say he's a Republican) views who saw his state in a dire need of a change and a need of a new leader therefore he has jumped on his white horse riding to save Michigan from the grasp of the evil Jennifer Granholm and if elected he will bring Michigan back to a level that other state will envy well that's the general theme you get from his ads. Taking a line from a talk show host here's the real deal about Dick DeVos he isn't a moderate businessman and he's isn't riding a white horse to save Michigan, what Mr. DeVos is he's a right wing corporate Republican and he's riding on a black horse looking to lob off the heads of the middle class and working poor of Michigan. Dick DeVos main is that he wants to further tip the scale to benefit the already wealthy elite in the state while we flip the bill for it. It seems the DeVos camp realize that Granholm is picking up the pace due to the polls one that has them even and the other has Granholm up by 7 points so in response DeVos will make us viewers of local tv suffer with more ads that his daddy paid for. In this round ads from Dick DeVos the ads gone from fluffy sweet cotton candy rhetoric with no substance to very nasty with no substance, Dick DeVos and his cronies in the Michigan Republican party have gone the route for blaming Granholm for everything for jobs leaving the state, sagging performance of the big three hell if they can blame Granholm for Ben Wallace leaving the Pistons trust me they will have an ad with a kid in a big Ben Wallace Piston jersey crying outside the Palace saying "why governor Granholm you couldn't force Ben to stay?" Not only his ads turned nasty even though he wanted to get out of the mud and get down to business he has resorted to lie in his ads for example the last two ads he ran, DeVos got rip for doctoring quotes by the papers that he used in the ad and the second ad "left behind" DeVos out and out lied. First he claimed Granholm never met with Honda officials when in fact she did, he shows a plant being tore down but negates to mention the plant shown being tore down was replace with a state of the art facility, he also claimed the New York times was critically of her when in reality The Times just printed what Dick DeVos and the Michigan Republicans said. And now he got a radio ad whining about outsourcing which is ironic I get to that in a few, what's amazes me about his campaign that he's basing it on things he's against. Here's the history about Dick DeVos one as head of Amway Dick DeVos has shipped out over 1,000 jobs from Michigan to China, invest millions in the Chinese economy on top of lobbying for more unfair trade policies that benefited him and his friends. Let's not forget DeVos funding right wing think tanks to talk about how outsourcing gets a bad rap, on top of being anti union and anti worker his wife said people getting high wages was the problem. The guy has no plan, no ideas and he's want to be governor? If you want George W. Bush to run the state of Michigan then by all means vote for Dick DeVos if you want Michigan to improve keep Granholm.

Taxes are not the problem...

Lansing State Journal: Taxes not hurting Michigan, study says Taxes not hurting Michigan, study says Auto industry decline cited as source of woes By Chris Andrews Lansing State Journal A weak auto industry - not high taxes - are at the heart of Michigan's struggling economy, according to a report released Monday. The report by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research concluded that Michigan has lagged behind the rest of the nation since 2000 almost entirely because of the decline of Michigan's automakers. "We have over seven times the national average of employment in the auto sector," said Timothy Bartik, a senior economist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan institute. "If the auto industry had done better, we would have grown closer to the national average." Michigan's unemployment rate - now at 7 percent - has been above the national average for several years. The economy is the dominant issue in this year's gubernatorial election. The study, funded primarily by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., found that Michigan taxes are at or below the national average and the average of neighboring states. And it said eliminating the Single Business Tax without replacing the lost revenue wouldn't significantly help Michigan catch up with the rest of the nation in job growth. The cut in taxes would reduce public-sector employment, it added. A better strategy would be to lower taxes on new business investments while maintaining overall revenue by raising taxes on businesses not making new investment in Michigan, the report said. But John Truscott, spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, said he puts more stock in the experiences of business people creating jobs than in think tanks. And business leaders constantly complain about the Single Business Tax, as well as other taxes and regulations in Michigan. "With studies like this, it is easy to do the research in a way that gets the results you want," he said. "The fact is, we're losing jobs at an alarming rate." Tricia Kinley of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce said she hadn't seen the report but believes Michigan is a high-tax state. "If people want to say we're right in the middle of the pack, it doesn't explain why we can't compete." Bartik said the explanation comes down to the auto industry, which has shrunk as domestic automakers have lost market share and as technology allows more cars to be built with fewer workers. For every direct auto job that is lost, four jobs in other industries are lost, he said. The study also said that doubling the number of college graduates in the state would help the economy, but that would take many years to achieve. The report was primarily funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which contributed $55,000 for the study. The Upjohn Institute contributed $10,000 to $15,000, Bartik said. MEDC President James Epolito said the report validates the approaches the state is taking to strengthening the economy, including tax credits and efforts to diversify into other industries, such as life sciences. But he said the auto industry will continue to be vital. "It is really going to be necessary that American automobile manufacturers get healthy," he said. Contact Chris Andrews at 377-1054 or candrews@lsj.com. This study probably burst one of Amway boy and the Michigan Republican collective bubbles, one of the "case" the Republicans and DeVos have against Granholm. But the question should be ask to Dick DeVos and the Michigan Republicans how can you blame Granholm for poor decision making by the auto industry?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Groups working to get LIEberman off the ballot

Connecticut Groups Push to Remove Lieberman From Ballot Connecticut Groups Push to Remove Lieberman From Ballot Associated PressTuesday, August 22, 2006; A06 HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 21 -- Critics of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's independent run to keep his job attacked on two fronts Monday, with one group asking an elections official to throw him out of the Democratic Party and a former rival calling on state officials to keep his name off the November ballot. Staffers for the senator from Connecticut, who lost the Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, called both efforts dirty politics. The senator filed as an independent candidate a day after the loss, running under the new Connecticut for Lieberman Party. A group whose members describe themselves as peace activists asked Sharon Ferrucci, Democratic registrar of voters in New Haven, to remove Lieberman from the party, arguing that he cannot be a Democrat while running under another party's banner. The request could lead to a hearing in which Lieberman, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in 2000, would have to argue that he still adheres to the party's principles. "The law is pretty clear he is no longer a member of the Democratic Party in good standing," said group leader Henry Lowendorf. "There was an open vote, and he was voted out. He joined a different party." Ferrucci said she would research the request, the first of its kind in her two decades on the job. Lieberman campaign manager Sherry Brown branded the effort "dirty political tricks at its worst." "This kind of ridiculous, partisan game-playing is not going to provide anyone in Connecticut with better jobs, better health care or better schools," she said. Since losing the primary, Lieberman has referred to himself as an "independent Democrat" and said he plans to remain part of the Democratic caucus in Washington, even though several leading Democrats have called for him to give up his independent run. Lieberman, popular among Republicans and unaffiliated voters, led Lamont by 12 percentage points in a recent statewide poll, with Republican Alan Schlesinger far behind. John Orman, a Democrat who gave up a challenge to Lieberman last year, argued in complaints filed with the state Monday that the senator should be kept off the Nov. 7 ballot. Orman, a Fairfield University professor of political science, accused Lieberman of creating "a fake political party" and added: "He's doing anything he can to get his name on the ballot." © 2006 The Washington Post Company

More to the leak?

Calendars Show Armitage Met Reporter, Calendars Show State Deputy Met Reporter During Time of CIA Leak Case - CBS News Calendars Show Armitage Met Reporter Calendars show State deputy met reporter during time of CIA leak caseWASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2006By MATT APUZZO and JOHN SOLOMON Associated Press Writers AP) Then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003, the same time the reporter has testified an administration official talked to him about CIA employee Valerie Plame.Armitage's official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show a one-hour meeting marked "private appointment" with Woodward on June 13, 2003.Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame's identity as a one-time CIA covert operative to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the administration's march to war with Iraq.When contacted at home Monday night, Woodward declined to discuss his meeting with Armitage or the identity of his source in the CIA leak case. Instead, he referred to his statement last year that he had a "casual and offhand" discussion about Plame with an unidentified administration official in mid-June 2003.A person familiar with the information prosecutors have gathered, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the material remains sealed, said Woodward's meeting with the confidential source was June 13, 2003.The calendar released to the AP is the first confirmation that Woodward and Armitage met during the key time in the CIA leak case that was the focus of Fitzgerald's probe.The identity of Woodward's source remains one of the big mysteries in the case because the Post reporter is the first member of the news media known to have discussed Plame's CIA employment with an administration official.Woodward's former Post editor, Ben Bradlee, has speculated publicly that Armitage was the reporter's "likely source."And defense attorneys for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the lone administration official charged in the CIA leak case, also have suggested Armitage could have been Woodward's source when they unsuccessfully tried to persuade a court to order the release of State Department documents.Fitzgerald's office declined comment Monday. Reached at his home in Virginia, Armitage said he could not discuss his cooperation with Fitzgerald's office, the meeting with Woodward or any details of the case.Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, faces trial in January on charges he lied to authorities about conversations he had with reporters about Plame.Libby's lawyer, William Jeffress, said Monday that Armitage's calendar only bolsters the defense's argument that information about the State Department official's role in the CIA leak affair should be released."I would hope that the facts on that would come out," Jeffress said. "We have asked for information as to Woodward's source in discovery but that has been denied."Woodward's current boss, Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., said Monday, "We are not going to disclose the identity of a confidential source."Woodward has said he received a written release from his confidentiality obligation to the source and was even asked by his source to tell prosecutors about their conversation. But he has refused to publicly identify the person.Woodward has said Plame came up incidentally during an interview he was conducting for a book he wrote on the Iraq war. He said the source told him that Plame was a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and no evidence has emerged in public that Woodward's source actually knew she had been a covert agent. Fitzgerald has signaled there are no plans _ beyond the Libby indictment _ to prosecute any other officials for releasing Plame's identity.Armitage's calendar also shows that a week before Woodward's meeting with Armitage, the deputy secretary of state met for 15 minutes with Libby.That meeting occurred as State officials were about to prepare a report outlining how Plame's husband was sent to Niger before the Iraq war to check unverified intelligence that Iraq was seeking nuclear materials from Africa.Wilson reported back to the Bush administration that he was unable to verify the claim, but the administration continued to use the information to bolster its argument for war. Wilson has cited the decision to rely on the bad intelligence in his criticisms of the administration.Two people familiar with the meeting, however, said the Libby-Armitage meeting dealt with issues involving Pakistan and said the subject of the CIA leak case wasn't raised. Both spoke only on condition of anonymity because some information about the meeting remains classified.MMVI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mayor drops out to replace DeLay

Mayor ends candidacy for DeLay's seat - Yahoo! News Mayor ends candidacy for DeLay's seat By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 14 minutes ago Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace withdrew Monday as a Republican write-in candidate for the seat vacated by the resignation of former House Majority leader Tom DeLay. His action left the Texas GOP united behind one write-in candidate, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who had won the party's endorsement last week. Wallace had previously indicated he would stay in the race despite the party's snub. "What I am choosing to do at this time is unite with the Republican Party behind one candidate," Wallace said at a news conference. "There is no way that two write-in candidates could win. It would be very difficult and divisive to the Republican Party." Wallace said the party did not pressure him to withdraw. DeLay won the GOP primary in March but resigned from Congress in June as he faced increasing scrutiny over ethical troubles, including state money laundering charges and fallout from his association with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The state Republican Party declared DeLay ineligible, setting up a plan for party insiders to choose a replacement candidate to face Democrat Nick Lampson, a former congressman. However, Democrats won a federal appellate court ruling that DeLay could only withdraw from the race and that any Republicans wishing to replace him would have to mount write-in campaigns. Sekula-Gibbs, a dermatologist who is serving her third and final term on city council, faces a tough campaign against Lampson, who has been running steadily and has raised about $2 million while Republicans were occupied with fighting the ballot issue in court. Democrats need 15 seats to gain the House majority. Only four people have been elected to Congress as write-in candidates.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How to make an Dick Devos ad

How to make a Dick DeVos ad by Dick Amway DeVos 1. State the problem over and over again without giving any ideas or real solutions for that problem. 2. Scream about the nasty and negative attack ads coming from the other side no body is going to notice A. the other side hasn't issue any and B. while I condemn the other side for attacks I issue some of my own. 3. Doctor quotes and don't show sources of them, why not I asked no one cares if the quotes I used in my ads are taken out of context, written by conservatives columnist writing their opinions let the people find out the paper don't support their views. 4. Hide the facts for example my Honda ad when I showed the tore down GM plant yes I left out the fact that GM replace that plant with a state of the art plant but that would ruined the point I'm trying to make, or the 11th hour thing to make Granholm to look like a Johnny Come Lately about the Honda plant I also left out that Michigan and Indiana wasn't the only state fighting to get that Honda plant. And that whole New York Time article thing where it state "was criticized last month when Michigan did not actively compete for a Honda plant that will be built in Indiana," but the article did not level that criticism itself the thing is the New York Times didn't say that, that came from me and the other Michgian Republicans. 5. Just make things up. And who says I didn't allow Conservatives to post on my blog

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Amyway guy unloads two negative ads

Press Release DeVos Unloads Double Barrel Negative Attack DeVos spends over one million dollars on two TV ads lying about Governor Granholm’s Record LANSING- Today GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos continued his onslaught of negative TV ads by releasing two ads in less than twenty four hours that distort and outright lie about Governor Jennifer M. Granholm’s record. In the ads, DeVos lies about the Governor and Honda Motor Company and has Republican actors criticizing the Governor. After promising not to go negative, DeVos has now released the first three negative attack ads of the campaign. “Dick DeVos doesn’t realize that this is an election not an auction. Only someone without a plan and without a clue would spend over one million dollars in less than a day on two negative attacks. DeVos already had the record for the most money spent on a Michigan gubernatorial campaign, but now it looks like he will have the record for the most negative attack ads,” Brewer said. “DeVos’ ad about Honda is an outright lie and his next ad clearly uses right-wing conservative actors to unfairly criticize the Governor. We have already seen DeVos pull or change two TV ads because he got the facts wrong and they were reprimanded by state newspapers for it. I’m certain we will see more of these distorted ads from DeVos.” DeVos’ ad “Grand Turnaround” was severely criticized by the Grand Rapids community because of its claim that Dick DeVos was the cause of the city’s turnaround. Even Dick DeVos’ father, Rich said the ad used a “little political license.” The ad was pulled shortly after the public criticism. In DeVos’ first negative ad “Newspapers,” he misquoted and used misleading statements from the Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal. Both papers criticized the DeVos campaign’s use of the articles for an attack ad and had a version of the ad pulled from the air. In DeVos’ Honda ad he misidentifies WJR as 950AM instead of WJR 760AM or WWJ 950AM. “In his ads, DeVos fails to mention that the Governor is the only candidate with a specific and comprehensive economic plan, and he also fails to disclose that by cutting 1,400 Michigan jobs and shipping jobs to China, he is part of problem facing the state,” added Brewer. Full rebuttals to both of DeVos’ new attack ads are included in the links below. “Left Out” Ad Rebuttal “Leader” Ad Rebuttal The Amway guy is begging Granholm to hit him with the facts, I don't know how can this fool talk about jobs when he sent them out of the state and how he can he talk about ideas where he hasn't presented one in any of his ads just cotton candy rhetoric and false attacks. Hey Michigan Republicans I know it's asking a lot because of the tiny brains you guys have but how about telling your guy to come up with a plan.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Let's back Judge Anna Diggs Taylor

Folks you don't need me to tell you how important the decision that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor made yesterday but you know the right wing media and their zombie followers will go after this judge with fire and pitch forks... So we especially us liberals here in Michigan better flood this judge with emails and calls backing her up 110% because we know the right will attack her without mercy. I did my part by emailing her and thanking her now it's up to you Mike Malloy Go to his site he has the number and the email address of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor send her a letter or call tell her she's doing something what the Republicans in congress refuse to do defend democracy.

Debunking the DeVos latest lie ad

What Amway guy claim:"In Michigan, we're tearing down auto plants. In other states, they're building new ones. Indiana just landed a new Honda plant." The truth:We all know that the American automotive industry, which is based in Michigan, is facing enormous challenges and that Michigan is harder hit by George Bush's unfair trade and outsourcing policies than any other state. Honda is just about the only auto company that does not have and has not historically had facilities in Michigan, so it was a long shot that they would locate a new plant here. Thanks to Governor Granholm's efforts, almost every other major automaker has invested and expanded in Michigan in the past four years: · Nissan has opened a new design studio in Farmington Hills.· Ford is touting a plan to invest $1 billion in manufacturing and powertrain technology in Michigan.· Hyundai Motor Co. is building a technical center in Superior Charter Township.· Mitsubishi and DaimlerChrysler are partnering to build a $380 million engine plant in Dundee.· Toyota is investing $150 million to build a research and development facility.· GM is upgrading and investing in plants in Warren and Ypsilanti. In the last four years, the Big Three alone have committed to investments totaling $9.5 billion. Honda is investing $550 million in its plant in Indiana. What Amway guy claim:"The press reports Indiana's governor pursued Honda for a year, while Gov. Granholm was blindsided, only got interested at the 11th hour." The truth:Honda made their announcement in June 2006. Governor Granholm traveled to Japan to meet with Honda in August of 2005, and her economic development team met with company leaders again in 2006. Honda has never built a facility in Michigan and made it clear that it was interested in building this new plant near its existing facilities. Governor Granholm told the Associated Press, "Michigan did have a bit of an uphill battle because for years before I got there we didn't go to Japan, and we didn't aggressively and effectively recruit. If we had been doing that like Indiana had been for years, we might have been in a different position." What Amway guy claim:"The New York Times says Granholm didn't actively compete for Honda." The Truth: The New York Times said no such thing. The Times reported that the Governor had been criticized along these lines; however, the criticism came from partisan sectors, including DeVos himself, looking to score political points rather than share facts. This is not the first time that DeVos has purposely misled voters about what is reported in newspapers. In July, the Lansing State Journal was inaccurately cited in a very similar way. They wrote the following in response: "Dick DeVos and his campaign for governor have tried to pull a fast one on mid-Michigan viewers with a new ad that makes reference to the Lansing State Journal. This ad, designed to erode Gov. Jennifer Granholm's image, does quite the opposite. It illustrates DeVos' unwillingness to play straight with voters." The Detroit Free Press similarly complained when DeVos portrayed the paper as criticizing the Governor, using the words "phony" and "demagoguery." In fact, a Free Press columnist wrote an opinion piece advising that the Governor should avoid engaging in tactics of that nature. The Free Press reprimanded DeVos, noting that the point the columnist made is "different from criticizing the governor for engaging" in those tactics. What Amway claim:"Granholm admits she didn't meet with Honda when she went to Japan." The Truth:Governor Granholm DID meet with Honda personally in 2005. In 2006 she dispatched her economic development team to meet with them this was not an oversight or a mistake. When DeVos originally criticized Governor Granholm for not personally meeting with Honda officials during her 2006 Japan jobs mission, the Associated Press investigated the accuracy of his claims. They found that Governor Granholm sent her economic team to meet with the company, and they reported that even Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels did not personally meet with Honda executives when he traveled to Japan in 2006, because the company does not look favorably on meetings with Governors in the latter stages of their decision making process. What Amway Guy claim"Michigan is being left out of a game it should be best positioned to win." The Facts:Again, under the Governor's leadership, Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford, GM and Daimler Chrysler have all invested in Michigan and created jobs here. Thanks to the Governor's ongoing efforts to bring jobs to our state, Michigan has has 215 research and development centers and more auto-related R&D activity than the remaining 49 states, Canada and Mexico combined. Far from being left out, Michigan remains the automotive capital of the world. THE BOTTOM LINE: Governor Granholm has an economic plan that is beginning to work. The DeVos campaign has gone negative and is fabricating this story. Everyone knows that the American automotive industry is facing enormous challenges, and that Michigan, as the center of that industry, is disproportionately and adversely impacted by those challenges. The real problem is that American workers continue to compete on an uneven playing field because of the unfair trade policies that Dick DeVos and George Bush lobbied for and support. For the DeVos team to base their entire campaign on the idea he can create jobs and trying to blame Granholm for the lack of them is a sick joke. Dick DeVos hasn't created a job in his entire time at Amway in matter of fact not only he sent jobs out of the state he sent them out of the United States to China. And now he's running around in these ads talking about let's get Michigan back to work when he supports the Bush White House policy of outsourcing and sending funds to right wing think tanks to speak about the benefits of outsourcing. And union busting but he wants to get out of the muck and debate about jobs ok Amway guy what's your plan? From the ads you been running you haven't display one you only recycle Bush plans. People of the state don't be fool this guy is nothing more than George W. Bush no plans, no ideas and corrupt.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lamont, Dems fight back against Lieberman and the GOP

Democrats Counter G.O.P. and Lieberman on Iraq - New York Times Democrats Counter G.O.P. and Lieberman on Iraq By JENNIFER MEDINA NEW HAVEN, Aug. 16 — Democratic leaders supporting Ned Lamont’s Senate campaign struck back yesterday at attacks suggesting that their party’s support of him portrayed the Democrats as weak on national security. White House officials, national Republican leaders and Mr. Lamont’s opponent, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, have said that Mr. Lamont’s position on the war — calling for a timeline for troop withdrawal in Iraq — would embolden terrorists. Mr. Lamont’s campaign has sought to identify Mr. Lieberman with the Republicans, saying that the senator’s criticism of Mr. Lamont shows his alignment with the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq. Asked about the attacks in an appearance in New York City, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had “deep regret that there’s any effort to politicize the war on terror,” but she did not actually name Mr. Lieberman or criticize Republicans directly. “I think every American wants to successfully prosecute this war, to bring to justice those who would attack us and our friends and allies around the world,” she said. “I just think we have to be united as a country.” Mr. Lamont held a press conference Wednesday afternoon specifically to counter the attacks from Republicans, calling them “outrageous” and “disrespectful” of Connecticut voters. “We don’t need any sermons on the meaning of 9/11,” Mr. Lamont said of remarks by Vice President Dick Cheney, adding that Mr. Lieberman was “becoming more and more the de facto Republican candidate.” Alan Schlesinger, the Republican running for Senate, has received little support from national and state party leaders and polls show him badly trailing both Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Lamont. While national Democrats lined up behind Mr. Lamont the day after the primary, it was unclear who would actively campaign on his behalf, either through appearances here or through fund-raising. Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, sent a fund-raising appeal via e-mail to millions of his supporters, imploring them to send contributions to Mr. Lamont, along with Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii. “Each of these candidates is making the mess in Iraq a central issue in their campaigns for the Senate,” Mr. Kerry wrote. “In the Senate,” he added, “Ned Lamont will go head to head with Don Rumsfeld, and our troops will benefit from Lamont’s leadership. He knows that patriotism isn’t reserved for those who defend a president’s position; patriotism is doing what’s right for our troops and our country.” Dan Gerstein, the spokesman for the Lieberman campaign, said that the support from Democrats like Mr. Kerry would have little sway in Connecticut. “This is no surprise, just partisan politics as usual,” Mr. Gerstein said, “We’re focused on speaking to voters in Connecticut about the issues that matter most to them and building a broad coalition of Democrats, Independents and Republicans.” The Lamont campaign, he added, was “twisting” Mr. Lieberman’s statements. “It’s the height of chutzpah of the Lamont campaign to talk about politicizing the issues of national security,” Mr. Gerstein said. Colin Moynihan contributed reporting for this article from New York City.

Judge smackdown Warrantless surveillance

Judge nixes warrantless surveillance - Yahoo! News Judge nixes warrantless surveillance By SARAH KARUSH, Associated Press Writer 59 minutes ago A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it. U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. "Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution," Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves secretly listening to conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries. The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets. The ACLU said the state-secrets argument was irrelevant because the Bush administration had already publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to rule on the case. "By holding that even the president is not above the law, the court has done its duty," said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs. The NSA had no immediate comment on the ruling. Taylor dismissed a separate claim by the ACLU over data-mining of phone records by the NSA. She said not enough had been publicly revealed about that program to support the claim and further litigation could jeopardize state secrets. Beeson predicted the government would appeal the ruling and request that the order to halt the program be postponed while the case makes its way through the system. She said the ACLU had not yet decided whether it would oppose such a postponement.