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Friday, September 29, 2006

Dick DeVos supports George Macca Allen

Over at Michigan Liberal there's a post detailing the DeVos PAC policy of picking candidates for elected offices that share Amway Dick world view, and guess who the DeVos PAC gave money to? One George Allen who used a racist slur towards one of Jim Webb's supporters, the same George Allen that has the confederate flag and a noose in his law office and the George Allen who put a moose head in the mail box of a black family. Read more over at Michigan Liberal :: Dick DeVos Supports Racist Views of Sen. George Felix "Macaca" Allen

George Allen a racist? Say it isn't so George..

New Report That Senator Uttered Slurs - New York Times New Report That Senator Uttered Slurs By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 — Another acquaintance of Senator George Allen said Tuesday that she heard him use a racial slur in 1976, contradicting a statement he made Monday in an effort to tamp down similar accusations. Mr. Allen’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, called the account by the woman, Ellen G. Hawkins, “another false accusation.” Mr. Allen, a Virginia Republican whose re-election campaign has been knocked off balance by the accusations, said Monday that he did not remember ever using the term and that “it is absolutely false that that was ever part of my vocabulary.” Mrs. Hawkins, who described herself as a rural Virginia housewife and an active Democrat, said in an interview Tuesday that she heard Mr. Allen use the slur repeatedly at a party on election night in 1976. She said Mr. Allen used the term while deprecating the intelligence of the black players on the Washington Redskins football team, which Mr. Allen’s father coached. Recalling remarks about its star running back, Larry Brown, Mrs. Hawkins said that Mr. Allen “started in effect bad-mouthing him, saying what a shiftless you-know-what” he was. She said she remembered the conversation because she was a big fan of the team and was shocked. She said Mr. Allen’s statement on Monday was “just plain a lie.” She described her recollections in an e-mail message forwarded to The New York Times. Her former husband, who she said was at the party, did not return a call for comment. Mr. Wadhams said the encounter “did not happen.” He said that Mr. Allen remained “very good friends” with Mr. Brown and that as governor of Virginia, Mr. Allen had appointed Mr. Brown to the board of visitors at George Mason University. Mrs. Hawkins is the third acquaintance in two days to recount hearing Mr. Allen use racist slurs. The accusations are the latest twist in events set off when Mr. Allen called a young Democratic campaign operative of Indian descent “macaca.” Critics said the term was a racial pejorative derived from the name of a monkey species. Mr. Allen apologized for any offense and said he had just made up the word. A college football teammate, Dr. Ken Shelton, has said Mr. Allen used racial slurs and engaged in a racist prank in college in the early 70’s. An anthropology professor, Christopher Taylor, said that as a graduate student at the University of Virginia he heard Mr. Allen use the epithet. Mr. Allen’s campaign issued former teammates’ statements saying they did not remember his using the term. The campaign also issued a statement from his former wife, Anne Waddell, who confirmed meeting Mr. Taylor but disputed his recollection. She said Mr. Allen “would never utter such a word.”

New hope for Democrats

New Hope for Democrats in Bid for Senate - New York Times New Hope for Democrats in Bid for Senate By ROBIN TONER WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 — Six weeks before Election Day, the Democrats suddenly face a map with unexpected opportunities in their battle for control of the Senate. In Virginia, a state that few expected to be seriously competitive, Senator George Allen looks newly vulnerable after a series of controversies over charges of racial insensitivity, strategists in both parties say. In Tennessee, another Southern state long considered safely red, Representative Harold E. Ford Jr., a Democrat, has run a strong campaign that has kept that state in contention. Elsewhere, Democratic challengers are either ahead or close in races in five states held by the Republicans: Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to political strategists in both parties and the latest polls. All of these races could shift direction in a matter of days, let alone six weeks, and Republicans are counting on their superior finances and large blocks of television advertising to hold the line. Democrats also have their own vulnerabilities, particularly in New Jersey, where Senator Robert Menendez is in a tight race with his Republican challenger, State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr., according to recent polls. Democrats must win six Republican seats to regain a Senate majority, meaning they would have to win nearly every close race. Even the most optimistic Democrats acknowledge that such a feat would require a big anti-Republican wave, a lot of money and a lot of luck. Still, a shift in the Senate was always considered a long shot this year. Some analysts now say, however, that there are enough Republican seats facing serious challenges to make it at least plausible. “There’s a big difference in talking about six seats in play and not five,” said Stuart Rothenberg, an independent analyst. In Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, has been lagging behind Bob Casey, the state treasurer, for months. In Rhode Island, Senator Lincoln Chafee, a Republican, overcame his primary challenge, but remains locked in a tight race with Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democrat and former state attorney general. Senator Mike Dewine, Republican of Ohio, is fighting an unhappy political mood in his state, stoked by local Republican scandals and economic unease.. Independent polls suggest Mr. Dewine remains in a tight race with his Democratic challenger, Representative Sherrod Brown. In Montana, Senator Conrad Burns, the Republican, has been considered vulnerable for months to his Democratic challenger, Jon Tester, a farmer and state senator. And any route to a majority for the Democrats would have to include Missouri, where Senator Jim Talent, the Republican, is being challenged by Claire McCaskill, the state auditor. Republicans’ hopes for a pickup look strongest, at the moment, in New Jersey. But another target is the open Democratic seat in Maryland, where Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is running against Representative Benjamin L. Cardin, a Democrat still trying to unify his party after a competitive primary campaign. Republican strategists acknowledge the intensely competitive map but say they are ready for it. “Anybody who says there’s no way the Democrats could regain control of the Senate, that’s just wishful thinking,” said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster active in numerous House and Senate races. “But there’s a long way between could and would, and the Republican resource advantage is just now coming to bear.” Democrats are upbeat but wary. Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said: “We will pick up seats. And if the stars continue to align, we can take back the Senate.” Republicans say they have the money not only to defend their seats, but also to put Democrats on the defensive in Maryland, New Jersey and elsewhere. “We obviously knew all along many of our Republicans were going to have difficult races, and they’ve known that as well, which is why they have more resources than their counterparts and are able to push back,” said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Republican Senate candidates are getting a major boost from the Republican National Committee, which is financing an advertising campaign so far focused largely on Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. This is widely viewed as a firewall strategy: If Republicans hold onto even one of those seats, it stymies the Democrats’ hopes of regaining a majority. Mr. Schumer said, “The 800-pound gorilla is the money the R.N.C. is pouring into those races.” Republicans also argue that six weeks out, many voters are only beginning to pay attention. In Tennessee, for example, Ben Mitchell, campaign manager for the Republican Senate candidate, former Mayor Bob Corker of Chattanooga, said voters would reject Mr. Ford when they learned about his voting record, which Republicans assert is at odds with his centrist image. Pete Brodnitz, a pollster for Mr. Ford, countered that Tennessee voters had a “big appetite for change.” Perhaps the most unexpected development this year is the competition in two Southern states. Democrats have fared poorly in the South in recent years, which has accounted, in large part, for their difficulty in gaining a Senate majority. Tennessee, where the seat is held by the retiring majority leader, Bill Frist, is drawing intense interest from national Republicans. President Bush was in Memphis on Wednesday to raise money for Mr. Corker. The Virginia race — between Mr. Allen and Jim Webb, the Democrat — looked safe for the Republicans until Mr. Allen made a demeaning reference to a young American man of Indian descent — a Webb campaign worker — at a rally in August. Then, last week, Mr. Allen reacted angrily to a reporter’s question about whether his mother had been born Jewish, which began another distracting episode for his campaign. This week, he has faced accusations that he used racist slurs in the 1970’s and 1980’s — allegations that Mr. Allen has flatly denied. This week, Mr. Allen’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, described the race as “competitive,” but asserted that would change as it became clear that Mr. Webb “stands with John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton.” Steve Jarding, an adviser to Mr. Webb, described the race as a dead heat, and said that while Mr. Allen retained a financial advantage, Mr. Webb’s fund-raising had soared of late. Both parties are watching to see if Mr. Webb can take advantage of his new opening. Analysts say the level of Senate competition should come as no surprise; Senate races are more likely to reflect national trends, they say, whereas most House districts are so carefully drawn on partisan lines that “they are safe against anything but a hurricane,” said Gary C. Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego. I hope America is finally waking up to these corrupt Republicans and we can get some check and balances back in the country. But than again I think to 2004 and the same American public(if you believe) put the smirking half wit back in office, so Novmber it's going to be a big test for America either you want the United States to resmemble a Democratic Republic again or you're going to vote for the latest GOP slimeball because you don't like the queers or those color folks?

Burns like pissing off people of color

He insults fire fighters, Mexicans and now Italians who next Burns? Midgets? Print Story: Burns jokes about Italian-Americans on Yahoo! News Burns jokes about Italian-Americans By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press WriterThu Sep 28, 8:35 PM ET Republican Sen. Conrad Burns (news, bio, voting record), who has gotten into hot water before for comments seen as disparaging various groups, joshingly remarked Thursday on the number of Italian-Americans at the Federal Aviation Administration. The Montana senator, facing a tough re-election fight against Democrat Jon Tester, was heading an aviation subcommittee hearing of the Commerce Committee when two FAA officials, Michael Cirillo and Nicholas Sabatini, introduced themselves as witnesses. "I'm wondering if that's all they're hiring," Burns said of the federal agency. Burns campaign spokesman Jason Klindt said the senator was just kidding around with the two Italian-Americans. "Lighten up. Robin Williams does an entire standup act on Scotsmen, and Conrad doesn't take offense to that," Klindt said of Burns, who is of Scottish-American descent. "Political correctness has run amok. I mean everyone just needs to lighten up." Burns, 71, has made several gaffes during his campaign. Last month, he said the United States is up against a faceless enemy of terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night." He drew criticism in June for calling his house painter a "nice little Guatemalan man." Burns also had to apologize after confronting members of a firefighting team at the Billings, Mont., airport and telling them they had done a "piss-poor job," according to a state report. The Hotshot crew had traveled 2,000 miles from Staunton, Va., to help dig fire lines for about a week around a 143-square-mile wildfire east of Billings. "It sounds like the only group that Burns has yet to offend is out-of-work auctioneers from Missouri," said Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Tester, Burns' opponent in the Senate race. Also during Thursday's hearing, Burns asked witness Matt Andersson, senior aviation consultant for CRA International, about the spelling of his name. Andersson said it's the Swedish spelling. "Oh, ja," Burns replied in a mock Swedish accent. ___

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bringing back the Dark ages

Bringing back the Dark Ages (Metro Times Detroit) Bringing back the Dark Ages by Jack Lessenberry 9/27/2006 Last week, Dick DeVos, the man who is spending millions of dollars a month attempting to sucker you into voting for him for governor, escaped. Escaped his handlers, that is, who want to filter every word their man says through three speechwriters and two public relations consultants. But Amway Dick gave a telephone interview with the Associated Press on the subject of education and he said he wanted "intelligent design" taught in schools. With that, he showed that he was clearly qualified to be governor. Governor, that is, of Tennessee, in 1925, the year of the Scopes trial. Tennessee lawmakers had just made it illegal to teach evolution, which they interpreted as meaning that man was descended from monkeys. Instead they made monkeys of themselves and their defender, political gasbag Williams Jennings Bryan, who finished the trial and promptly dropped dead. (You might have seen Inherit the Wind.) Well, guess what. The people of this nation apparently never learn a thing, and are at this silliness again with less excuse. When I was a teenager in 1966, I might easily have believed it if the Hindu god Shiva had called me up and told me that the world would be a smoking radioactive cinder today. But what if he had tried to tell me we would be doing Vietnam all over again, except in a worse and stupider way, four decades later? That'd been pretty hard to swallow — especially if the Shiv had told me that in 1968 or later. And had the ol' Destroyer hinted that our political leaders would still be arguing about evolution today, in the year of our miscalculation 2006, well, I would have shot indignantly out of nirvana like a lightning bolt. How could anybody, even a god with a blue neck, talk about insulting the collective intelligence of Our Politicians? Well, I now see why Shivvie, in his infinite wisdom, didn't confide in me; I don't do long-term depression well. Our man from Amway is far from alone in his lack of belief in evolution, and a couple of legislators actually have done more damage recently along these lines. Earlier this year, the Michigan Legislature finally and responsibly acted to toughen up guidelines for high school graduation. Ours were way too lax. Even the legislators realized that without better preparation, fewer of our students will be able get into college, much less get the good, high-tech jobs of the future. (You may have noticed Oldsmobile is no longer hiring unskilled assembly line workers, no?) Final curriculum standards were to be approved last week — but the State Board of Education held up the science ones, putting off final approval till Oct. 10. Why? Because the board was terrorized by two Republican lawmakers who want the words "may or may not" inserted in language that talks about whether evolution explains the fossil record, etc. The state board should have told them to go take a walk where the sun doesn't evolve, or something. But Kathleen Straus, the board's president, told me they felt they were required to get input from the Legislature. So she, and most of the board, voted to put off adopting the standards. However, Straus made it clear that when they reconvene, she won't vote for opening the door to "intelligent design." Neither, it seems, will a majority of the eight-member board, which Democrats currently control, 5-3. That's a relief, if true, but it is still dismaying and disgusting that the State Board of Education feels the need to pander to a bunch of anti-intellectuals who would sneak fundamentalist, know-nothing religion into the curriculum. This should really bother those who care about money, or our state's economic future. High-tech firms are not going to come to Michigan if they think there is any chance we are going to teach funny, crackpot science in schools. If I were building a bridge, it wouldn't matter to me in the least if my engineer believed the universe was held up by a divine Allis-Chalmers combine, to which he prayed fervently at night. That is, I wouldn't care as long as I knew that he had been properly trained in how to calculate the physical stresses and make my bridge sturdy and sound, and acted on his day job as though the conventional laws of physics and metallurgy applied. But if I thought there was a chance he might have been allowed to study Allis-Chalmersism instead of calculus in school ... no way, baby. Intelligent design is neither intelligent nor a science. It is merely a way to try to dignify some irrational religious theories. It should be noted that there are plenty of believing Christians who accept evolution as the way God made the world. There is exactly as much scientific evidence in favor of teaching "intelligent design" as there is in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Actually, last time I looked on His Noodly Web site, several hundred scientists had weighed in on behalf of Pastafarianism, saying teaching about the Spaghetti Monster makes as much or more sense than intelligent design. Which reminds me ... has anyone seen any sign that Dick DeVos has a sense of humor? Want to get involved with a worthy cause? Then you might look into helping out a new nonprofit group, Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. They want to help the public learn just how promising this work could be. That's important, because the same religious-nut yahoos who want to teach creationism are doing everything in their power to prevent progress. President George W. Bush recently vetoed a bill that would have provided federal money for embryonic stem cell research. He thinks that means killing babies. In reality, all scientists want to use are the discarded clumps of cells that are the leftovers at fertility clinics. What happens to them if they aren't used for research? They get flushed down the drain, which Georgie evidently thinks is more pleasing to God. What's worse is that Michigan's laws are even more restrictive than the federal standard. We need to fix this. State Rep. Andy Meisner (D-Ferndale) has been leading the charge to do the Lord's work and change our medieval laws, but he has been stymied by the inquisition. If people, including Republicans who aren't fundamentalist reformed alcoholics knew more about it, the vast majority would be marching on Lansing to force the politicians to not only allow it, but pour funding into it. Want a small example of what this research could mean? Last week scientists in Toronto (a city in Canada, a civilized country) announced they had used human embryonic stem cells to completely restore the sight of laboratory rats that suffered from a disease like macular degeneration. An American scientist working on the project said clinical trials on people might happen soon. Other perfectly sober scientists think diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and even paralysis might be overcome by developing embryonic stem cell technology. Besides the effects on people, can you imagine the effect on Michigan's economy if we were to become a major center where, say, people came to have their sight restored?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Double talk regarding DeVos and special interest

Press Release Hypocrite DeVos is a “Special Interest”DeVos proposes special interest legislation, but ignores his long history of spending millions to buy political influence LANSING- Today the Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer sharply refuted Dick DeVos’ claim that he would implement a package of “Special Interest” bills as Governor. Brewer pointed out how hypocritical DeVos’ position is given that he has not only been directly associated with numerous political action committees (PACs), but he has even created several of them. DeVos has given millions of dollars to Republican candidates and campaigns and lobbied them for legislation that benefited him and his company Amway. DeVos’ wife Betsy wrote in a 1998 Roll Call opinion editorial, “I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party. I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return.” “An ethics bill from a man who has a long history of soft money influence peddling is like having the fox guard the chicken coop. This is DeVos’ campaign using more than just a little ‘political license,’ it is hypocrisy and deception at its worst,” Brewer said. “DeVos’ own wife admits that their family buys influence and they expect things in return. They have given millions of dollars from their PACs and own personal wealth to ensure that they continue to profit at the expense of the people.” Dick DeVos personally created the PAC Restoring the American Dream in 1997. The Detroit Free Press reports that the PAC “has given $1 million to scores of Republican candidates around the country, mostly those running for the U.S. House and Senate.” Dick DeVos was also one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Education Project and All Children Matter, a state and federal PAC to promote school vouchers. Dick DeVos also oversaw the creation of Altipac, a political action committee formed when he was the President of Alticor (Amway). The Center for Responsive Politics reported that while Dick DeVos was President of Amway, the company gave nearly $7 million dollars to Republican candidates and organizations. Common Cause reported in 1994 that Amway made record-setting soft-money contribution of $2.5 million to the Republican Party. Dick DeVos and Amway used that soft-money influence to successfully lobby for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China (PNTR) and other trade agreements. Business Week reported in 1995 that Dick DeVos was a key member to then Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s “Corporate Kitchen Cabinet.” The Washington Post cites Gingrich as the central figure to inserting a tax loophole into the 1997 federal tax and budget bill which primarily benefited Amway and its Asian investments, to the tune of nearly $300 million according to Common Cause. DeVos personally allowed Tom DeLay to hold a Republican Majority Issues Committee meeting on his yacht. “I noticed that DeVos’ ethics package did not include limitations on using your family’s yacht to funnel millions into political campaigns,” Brewer said. “It also did not include anything about disclosing tax returns. Dick DeVos’ campaign has been trying to hide the real DeVos from the people of Michigan and this press stunt is just another attempt to hide him further.” The Republican Legislature has refused to support Governor Granholm’s reform measures that will strengthen ethics laws, increase financial disclosure requirements, and reform campaign finance laws. To view DeVos’ family contributions visit the Detroit Free Press’ breakdown oftheir donations

More blame Bush for not catching Bin Laden

http://www.rawstory.com/printstory.php?story=3386 More Americans blame Bush than Clinton for failure to capture Osama bin Laden 09/27/2006 @ 9:44 amFiled by RAW STORY According to the latest Gallup Poll, more Americans blame President Bush than former President Clinton for the failure to capture Osama bin Laden, RAW STORY has learned. "According to a recent Gallup Panel survey, the American public puts the primary blame on Bush rather than Clinton for the fact that bin Laden has not been captured," writes Lydia Saad for the Gallup News Service. In the telephone survey based on interviews with 1,010 national adults, aged 18 and older, which was conducted from September 21 to 24, before and after Clinton's "heated" interview on Fox News Channel aired on Sunday, 53 percent blame Bush, while only 36 percent blame Clinton. "Clinton's reputation in this matter is far from unblemished, however," notes Saad. "Forty-two percent of Americans believe Clinton deserves either a great deal or a fair amount of blame, while only 32% say he deserves no blame." Excerpts from Gallup News Service report: # It is hard to know whether the ongoing war of words -- including a highly publicized outburst by Clinton over the weekend in an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace -- is changing any minds, or merely inciting partisan loyalties. Republicans and Democrats are largely divided into opposing camps on the question of who is more to blame for bin Laden's ability to evade capture: 71% of Republicans say Clinton is more to blame while 83% of Democrats hold Bush more responsible. While a small minority in both cases, Republicans are more than twice as likely to blame Bush as Democrats are to blame Clinton (18% vs. 7%). Clinton's strong advantage among the general public on this question comes more from the fact that political independents are closer to the Democratic side in their attitudes, with a solid majority blaming Bush more than Clinton (58% vs. 31%). .... Perceptions of the degree to which each president deserves some blame for bin Laden's whereabouts are similarly partisan. The overwhelming majority of Republicans assign a great deal or fair amount of blame to Clinton, while only 24% assign this much blame to Bush. Conversely, 77% of Democrats assign high blame to Bush, versus only 23% blaming Clinton. Again, independents align more closely with the Democrats.

Great take from POHLITICS regarding the Detroit News op ed

Zach is all over the lame attempt by The Detroit News or as I call them the Fox News of print media to downplayed what Granholm has done i.e. Google and the investments she got from Japan, while trying to highlight The Amway Dick, how when the man has no record of doing things is beyond me but the whore over at the Detroit "News" tries. POHLITICS

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Debates are set

Granholm For Governor: Debates Finalized Debates FinalizedTuesday, September 26, 2006 By: Campaign Release The candidates all expressed satisfaction with the final Debate Agreement, a copy of which is available to the news media upon request. (LANSING) – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Dick DeVos announced today that they have agreed to participate in three debates during this year’s gubernatorial election, and a joint appearance before the Economic Club of Detroit. The candidates all expressed satisfaction with the final Debate Agreement, a copy of which is available to the news media upon request. After reviewing the numerous debate invitations that their campaigns received, the candidates agreed to the three debates which would receive the largest possible viewing audiences. Both campaigns expressed their gratitude to the numerous groups that requested either a debate or joint appearance, but due to time constraints the campaigns were unable to honor every offer. Granholm and DeVos will debate each other three times on live, televised broadcasts. On October 2, 2006, at 8:00 p.m., the first debate will be broadcast live from WKAR-TV in East Lansing and made available to all Michigan Public Television and Fox television stations, including WJBK-TV in Detroit. On October 10, 2006, at 8:00 p.m., the second debate will be broadcast live by WDIV-TV and WOOD-TV from the studios of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids and made available to all NBC televisions stations in Michigan as well as WOTV-TV in Battle Creek. On October 16, 2006, the third debate will be broadcast live from the studios of WXYZ-TV and made available to ABC and CBS television stations in Michigan simulcast. Finally, the candidates will make a joint appearance and deliver remarks at a luncheon co-sponsored by the Economic Club of Detroit and the Michigan Chronicle on October 12, 2006. Everything is set, let DeVos making himself look like an ass begins.. It's not if but how bad Granholm will make DeVos look. It's one thing whining and lying in thirty second ads it's another to debate the person you're lying about face to face when she can answer every charge you thrown at her. The DeVos team has to be hitting the coffee, pulling all nighters putting together a script even Dick can follow without looking like the empty suit, beady eye, peanut shape head fool that he is. What I hope Granholm hit him on is this 1. He has no plan or he has no ways to pay for his "plans". 2. DeVos has took credit for Grand Rapids being turned around, tell people he hasn't done a single thing he's daddy and his business partner turned Grand Rapids around not him. 3. Attack the central theme of DeVos run, jobs leaving the state, yeah jobs are leaving the state when Dick and his friends are trying to benefit from cheap labor. 4. Bring up DeVos ties to Bush, DeLay and Rove. Or to be simple bring up 1and 3 all day.

Push hard by design

- toledoblade.com - Pushing hard, by design Michigan's Republican gubernatorial candidate should have set off alarms among every intelligent voter with his revealing comments about the state's science curriculum. Dick DeVos thinks it should include a discussion about intelligent design, also known as "a 21st-century version of creationism," also known as religion masquerading as science. Michigan voters who may have only been following the governor's race peripherally until now, should closely examine this striking DeVos revelation. It says a lot about the man who wants to lead the state forward while supporting ways to set it back decades with weakened state standards for science classes. At a time when the state board of education is close to adopting new science curriculum guidelines, Mr. DeVos has weighed in on the side of teaching "intelligent design" as part of high school biology. He believes Darwin's evolutionary theory of natural selection - upheld as an unshakable pillar of science by virtually every prominent scientific organization in the United States - is on par with the inherently religious intelligent design theory. Be wary, Michiganders. Proponents cleverly try to bring religion into the science classroom by suggesting students be exposed to multiple theories of creation as if Darwin's theory is merely one hunch among many. They mistake "theory" in the scientific sense to mean "conjecture." In reality, scientists regard it as "a strong, over-arching explanation that ties together many facts and enables us to make testable predictions." Kenneth Miller, Brown University biology professor and author of a biology textbook used in nearly half the nation's schools says, "If you invoke a spiritual force in science, I can't test or replicate it." But there may be an appropriate educational venue for discussing an ideology grounded in religion. Mr. DeVos' Democratic opponent, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, gets it. She says school districts can explore intelligent design in current events or comparative religions classes but schools need to teach the established theory of evolution in science classes. Otherwise, as many in the education and business community attest, Michigan students and the state will suffer. A distorted, politicized science education will put them not only at an academic disadvantage with their peers but ultimately behind competitors for future economic opportunities. In an age when education is more critical for advancement than ever, Republican Dick DeVos doesn't get it. He favors sabotaging state science education standards with "the ideas of intelligent design" that lack empirical evidence and do not belong in a science classroom. Hopefully when Michigan's board of education finally decides what the state's public schools science curriculum should be and how it should approach the teaching of evolution, reason will prevail.

Hillary Clinton hits back Kinda sleazy Rice over 9.11

Print Story: Sen. Clinton hits back at Rice over 9/11 on Yahoo! News Sen. Clinton hits back at Rice over 9/11 1 hour, 13 minutes ago New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hit back at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday as the political fighting escalated over which president — Bill Clinton or George W. Bush — missed more opportunities to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks. Clinton, D-N.Y., took aim at President Bush and Rice over their roles in 2001 before the attacks, part of the growing argument touched off after Bill Clinton gave a combative interview on "Fox News Sunday" in which he defended his efforts to kill Osama bin Laden. "I think my husband did a great job in demonstrating that Democrats are not going to take these attacks," Hillary Clinton said. "I'm certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled 'Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside the United States' he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team." The senator was referring to a classified brief given to Bush in August 2001, one that Democrats say showed the Bush administration did not do enough to combat the growing threat from al-Qaida. When the brief was delivered, Rice was Bush's national security adviser, and Clinton's response was clearly designed to implicate her in the same criticisms that have been made of Bush. Clinton's response came a day after Rice denied Bill Clinton's claim in the television interview that the Bush administration had not aggressively pursued al-Qaida before the attacks of 2001. "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice said during a meeting with editors and reporters at the New York Post. "The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false, and I think the 9/11 commission understood that." Rice also took exception to Clinton's statement that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for incoming officials when he left office. "We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaida," she told the newspaper, which is owned by News Corp., the company that owns Fox News Channel. The former president became furious during the television interview when asked why he did not do more to fight al-Qaida. "That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Clinton said in the interview. "They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try." The interview has been the focus of much attention, earning the show its best ratings in nearly three years. Rice questioned the value of the dialogue. "I think this is not a very fruitful discussion," she said. "We've been through it. The 9/11 commission has turned over every rock, and we know exactly what they said."

Professor says Allen used the N word

Print Story: Professor says senator used racial slur on Yahoo! News Professor says senator used racial slur By BOB LEWIS, Associated Press WriterTue Sep 26, 9:49 AM ET A noted political scientist joined one of Sen. George Allen (news, bio, voting record)'s former college football teammates in claiming the senator used a racial slur to refer to blacks in the early 1970s, a claim Allen dismisses as "ludicrously false." Larry J. Sabato, one of Virginia's most-quoted political science professors and a classmate of Allen's in the early 1970s, said in a televised interview Monday that Allen used the epithet. Sabato's assertion came on the heels of accusations by Dr. Ken Shelton, a radiologist who was a tight end and wide receiver for the University of Virginia in the early 1970s when Allen was quarterback. He said Allen not only used the n-word frequently but also once stuffed a severed deer head into a black family's mailbox. Allen's campaign released statements from four other ex-teammates defending the senator and rejecting Shelton's claims. Christopher J. LaCivita, an Allen strategist, said Allen and Sabato were not friends nor did they associate with each other in college. "Larry is obviously relying on words he heard from someone else," he said. "We believe it's completely inaccurate." Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, would not tell The Associated Press how he knew Allen used the n-word. He told Chris Matthews on MSNBC that he did not know whether it was true that Allen used the word frequently while in college. "I'm simply going to stay with what I know is the case and the fact is he did use the n-word, whether he's denying it or not," Sabato said. Allen, a Republican, has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008. Questions about racial insensitivity have dogged him during his re-election bid against Democrat Jim Webb. Allen's use of the word "macaca" in referring to a Webb campaign volunteer of Indian descent in August prompted an outcry. The word denotes a genus of monkeys and, in some cultures, is considered an ethnic slur. But the senator insisted he did not know that and had simply made up the word. Allen vehemently denied that he used the n-word. "The story and his comments and assertions in there are completely false," Allen said during an interview with AP reporters and editors. "I don't remember ever using that word and it is absolutely false that that was ever part of my vocabulary." Shelton said Allen used the n-word only around white teammates. Shelton said the incident with the deer head occurred during their college days when he, Allen and another teammate who has since died were hunting on a farm the third man's family owned near Bumpass, Va., 40 miles east of the university. Shelton said Allen asked the other teammate where black families lived in the area, then stuffed a deer's head into the mailbox of one of the homes. "George insisted on taking the severed head, and I was a little shocked by that," he told the AP. "This was just after the movie `The Godfather' came out with the severed horse's head in the bed." Shelton said he came forward because of Allen's presidential prospects and the "macaca" incident. "When I saw the look in his eye in that camera and using the word `macaca,' it just brought back the bullying way I knew from George back then," he said. Shelton described himself as an independent who has supported Democratic and Republican candidates. He said he regretted that he had not spoken against Allen in the early 1980s, when he first entered politics. Shelton said he began writing down his recollections as Allen's career "ascended to heights I never could have imagined." Other former teammates rushed to the senator's defense. Charlie Hale, a college roommate of Shelton's and an Allen campaign volunteer, said that he had hunted often with Allen, and "there was not even a rumor on the team" about the alleged deer incident. Doug Jones, another Allen campaign volunteer who said he had roomed with Shelton, also dismissed the allegations. "I never heard George Allen use any racially disparaging word, nor did I ever witness or hear about him acting in a racially insensitive manner," he said. Another former teammate, Gerard R. Mullins, said he recalled nothing racist about Allen. "George had a strong personality, and I guess that's why he was a quarterback," Mullins, who is not close to Allen, said in a telephone interview. Allen was sometimes confrontational with teammates, he said. "He would kind of pick on everyone a little just to get a reaction," said Mullins. "From a football standpoint, if you were black or white it didn't matter. If you dropped a pass, he'd have something to say to you." Shelton's claims came a week after a debate in which Allen bristled at questions about his Jewish ancestry. Allen later acknowledged publicly for the first time that his grandfather, a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, was Jewish, and on Monday he said both his maternal grandparents were Jews. Explaining his initial reaction, Allen has said his mother swore him to secrecy when she told him about his ancestry last month. Allen's father, the late George H. Allen, was a legendary football coach with the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins. Allen transferred from the University of California, Los Angeles, to Virginia when his father took the Redskins job. And this guy was the front runner for president on the GOP side, I gotta say the Republicans sure know how to pick em'

Busting up the single state recession myth

Zach posted an article taking down the central piece of the DeVos campaign of Michigan is the only state being left behind as the rest of the country is advancing POHLITICS .

The Snarl campaign for Bouchard

Press Release Cheney Raises Money for Bouchard, Avoids Meeting with Big Three GRAND RAPIDS- Today Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer criticized Vice President Dick Cheney for not meeting with the Big Three CEOs while in Grand Rapids for a political fundraiser with GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike Bouchard. President Bush also avoided the Big 3 when he came to Clarkston earlier this month for a fundraiser with Bouchard. The Bush-Cheney Administration canceled three meetings with the Big Three CEOs, criticized them for not making “relevant” vehicles and has refused to adopt health care, trade and tax policies that level the playing field with their foreign competitors. "Bouchard is once again openly embracing the failed Bush Administration by having Cheney come in today," Brewer said. "It is typical that a Republican like Bouchard is more interested in Cheney raising money for his campaign than having Cheney tackle the problems the auto industry is facing in Michigan. In every decision, Cheney chooses personal profit over helping people. A perfect example is his no-bid contracts for Halliburton. Now it seems his crony Bouchard is following suit." General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has also been very critical of the Bush-Cheney Administration’s lack of leadership on health care and energy costs affecting businesses. The Detroit Free Press reported that Wagoner, speaking at an auto industry seminar in Traverse City, said, “Some of the things that we all believe are necessary to ensure the continued strength of the (manufacturing) sector, which I think is just vital ... we just don't see the leadership." Michigan has been especially hurt by the Bush-Cheney Administration’s economic polices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan has lost over 180,000 or 1/3 of its manufacturing jobs since the Bush took office. Many of those jobs were lost due to outsourcing. “It’s very revealing that Dick DeVos continues to avoid Bush and Cheney when they are in his hometown, especially since the DeVos family gave over $600,000 to their campaign,” said Brewer. “DeVos simply doesn’t want to let Michigan voters know where he truly stands - alongside his friends Dick Cheney and George Bush.” On October 30, 2004, during a speech in Grand Rapids, President Bush thanked the DeVos family for their support and specifically thanked Dick DeVos’ wife, Betsy, for her “friendship.” According to the Detroit News in 1999, Dick and Betsy DeVos were dinner guests at the Bush ranch in Texas. Many other Republican campaigns around the United States have stated they are unwilling to campaign with Bush or Cheney. For example: ''It just doesn't help me; the things he (Bush) says or does in my district don't really help,'' said Representative Rob Simmons of Connecticut, a Republican facing a particularly tough challenge from Democrats. [New York Times, September 8/2006] "In a word, no. Not at this time." - Rep. J.D. Hayworth when asked if he would like President Bush to help him campaign in Arizona [Imus in the Morning, 11/9/2005] "We just want him to raise money. Late at night. In an undisclosed location." - An aide to GOP Gubernatorial candidate Judy Topinka, asked if she would like President Bush to campaign for her this year [Washington Post, Will Column, 4/6/2006] "Is the president a political help? No, that's obvious." - GOP Sen. candidate Mike McGavick [MSNBC, 9/6/2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Granholm rolls out hot new ad

Granholm is taking aim at DeVos latest round of gloom and doom ads with a ad detailing Toyota move to Michigan which you can view over at Guv Jen website or you can swing by POHLITICS Zach YouTube it for your viewing pleasure. No offensive Guv Jen I prefer watching the ads on You Tube rather than wait for the window player. I'm starting to think Granholm plan is to mix ads detailing what she did in office and what DeVos isn't doing.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Great post about DeVos over at Mich Lib

http://http://www.michiganliberal.com/frontPage.do Amway Guy's Extreme Views on Creation Cost Michigan Kids and Taxpayers by: DemWave Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 21:28:00 PM EDT (From the diaries - promoted by matt)The recent Oakland Press editorial characterizing Dick DeVos's statements on "Intelligent Design" as a political mistake, also notes that the wacko Thomas More Law Center is threatening to sue Gull Lake Community Schools because the school district prohibits the teaching of creationism "Intelligent Design". As a result of the legal action by the Thomas More Law Center, the school district will have to spend tax dollars on lawyers instead of teaching children. And where does the Thomas More Law Center get it's money? You guessed it. None other than the Amway Guy himself, Dick DeVos. As Brian Dickerson noted last week in the Detroit Free Press: Since 2002, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation gave at least $5,000 to the Thomas More Law Center, which unsuccessfully defended the Dover, Pa., school board in last year's federal court showdown and has threatened to sue on behalf of two Michigan science teachers who want to teach intelligent design. So Dick DeVos's views on "intelligent design" are more than just a diversion from other issues. The Dick is not merely expressing an opinion on an issue. Dick DeVos has financially supported a group that seeks to force school districts to teach "intelligent design". Actions speak louder than words, Dick. Moreover, Michgan businesses and citizens will pay for the extreme views of Dick DeVos. His financial support for the Thomas More Law Center is forcing at least one Michigan school district to expend tax dollars that would otherwise go to classroom instruction to instead pay for lawyers to defend against a frvilous lawsuit. And make no mistake, Dick DeVos's support for "intelligent design" is more than just adherence to Chrstian beliefs. He embraces an extreme view of the world and its creation that ignores science and is out of the mainstream of Christian thought. According to the Catholic Church (no liberal institution): Intelligent Design reduces and belittles God’s power and might, according to the director of the Vatican Observatory. Science is and should be seen as “completely neutral” on the issue of the theistic or atheistic implications of scientific results, says Father George V. Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory, while noting that “science and religion are totally separate pursuits.” . . . [Fr. Coyne] points to the “marvelous intuition” of Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman who said in 1868, “the theory of Darwin, true or not, is not necessarily atheistic; on the contrary, it may simply be suggesting a larger idea of divine providence and skill.” Pope John Paul Paul II, [Fr. Coyne] adds, told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1996 that “new scientific knowledge has led us to the conclusion that the theory of evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis.” . . . [Fr. Coyne] proposes to describe God’s relationship with the universe as that of a parent with a child, with God nurturing, preserving and enriching its individual character. “God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words.” [Fr. Coyne] stresses that the theory of Intelligent Design diminishes God into “an engineer who designs systems rather than a lover.” “God in his infinite freedom continuously creates a world which reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity,” [Fr. Coyne] said. “God lets the world be what it will be in its continuous evolution. He does not intervene, but rather allows, participates, loves.” To summarize: 1. Dick DeVos supports "Intelligent Design," a non-scientific theory that, according to the Vatican, "reduces and belittles God's power and might." 2. By supporting "Intelligent Design", DeVos apparently rejects freedom and instead embraces a Newtonian dictatorial God. That is a disturbing world view for a man who seeks to govern the State of Michigan. Why does Dick DeVos hate freedom? 3. Dick DeVos supports organizations that seek to impose their extreme views by threatening litigation. Dick DeVos's endorsement of such litigious behavior sends the wrong message to businesses considering Michigan. 4. Dick DeVos's support for organizations that promote "Intelligent Design" is costing Michigan school children and Michigan taxpayers. Dick DeVos: Wrong on the Beginning of Time. Wrong for Michigan.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Granholm truth squad busting up yet another DeVos lie

http://www.granholmforgov.com/site/PageNavigator/truthsquad Granholm For Governor: Truth Squad: Giving Up This week the DeVos for Governor Campaign unleashed yet another attack against Governor Jennifer Granholm. In one advertisement, DeVos features Lee Iacocca. Unfortunately, Iacocca's statements are full of mistruths. We need to reach out and set the record straight. The Claim:Lee Iacocca: "A lot of people have given up on Michigan" The Truth: Never forget Michigan's problems stem from the unfair foreign trade and outsourcing policies supported by President Bush and lobbied for by Dick DeVos. (China Daily, January 30, 2000) · Lee Iacocca and Dick DeVos both supported NAFTA. Michigan lost more than 63,000 jobs due to NAFTA. (Manchester Guardian Weekly, December 12, 2001; Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 1993; Economic Policy Institute, "NAFTA's Cautionary Tale," July 20, 2005) The Claim:Lee Iacocca: "I haven't." The Truth:Lee Iacocca now lives in California. This commercial was filmed at his home there. The Claim:Lee Iacocca: "This guy is a Michigan manufacturer." The Truth: Dick DeVos chose China, NOT Michigan. On May 17, 2006, the Detroit News published a letter from the former Amway President himself. In the letter, Dick DeVos said his company invested $200 million in China. · Today, there are more Amway jobs in China than the company's home state of Michigan. Alticor's Media Blog admitted DeVos' China investment ended with 4,300 jobs in China. (Alticor Media Blog, April 13, 2006) The Claim: Lee Iacocca: "When others gave up on Michigan, he toughed it out, turned things around, made things happen." The Truth: Dick DeVos eliminated 1,400 Michigan jobs. (The Grand Rapids Press, September 17, 2006; Associated Press, June 22, 2006) · Dick DeVos was Amway CEO for eight years and in that time the company's revenue declined. It was the first decline in nearly a decade. (Detroit Free Press, November 21, 1998) The Claim:Lee Iacocca: The most important thing Dick DeVos makes is Michigan jobs. The Truth: There is no proof Dick DeVos is a jobs maker. It has now been over seven months since the DeVos Campaign told the Associated Press they would provide proof of creating / saving jobs in Michigan. The Michigan press is still waiting. (Associated Press, February 27, 2006) Man I wish I could buy the Truth Squad a pizza dinner cuz these dudes are on top of everything the Amway Dick puts out there and this is another example of how good these guys are. Once again Dick DeVos is trying to create an image Michigan is in trouble and he's riding in to save it( nevermind he supported policies that got Michigan in trouble in the first place) this time he got Lee Iacocca to spew the myth of DeVos being a Michigan businessman trying to save the state because he believes in it so much(excuse me while I puke up right wing sugar coated crap). My favorite part of the truth squad is where Iacocca claims he hasn't given up on Michigan yet he lives in California matter fact the Amway Dick filmedmed the Iacocca part of the ad in his Californian house.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The real Dick DeVos please stand up, please stand up

BRIAN DICKERSON: Republican strategists cringe as the real DeVos stands up BRIAN DICKERSON: Republican strategists cringe as the real DeVos stands up BY BRIAN DICKERSONFREE PRESS COLUMNIST September 22, 2006 Mayday! Mayday! All hands on deck! Full astern! OK -- so maybe Dick DeVos' handlers didn't really shout those things Wednesday when their candidate told the Associated Press he'd like to see more public schools make a religious doctrine known as intelligent design a part of their science curricula. But the urgency with which top GOP strategists moved to limit the fallout from DeVos' public embrace of creationism was striking in a campaign that has been mostly smooth sailing. Since last February, Michigan voters have been steeped in a $13-million TV campaign designed to portray DeVos as a sophisticated businessman with little time for the social agenda that animates his party's conservative Christian wing. Gov. Jennifer Granholm finally joined the broadcast scrum in August, but even Democratic strategists concede privately that DeVos' TV campaign has been more polished. DeVos himself has been equally disciplined, eschewing the evangelical causes that have preoccupied him as a private citizen to hammer away at the jobs issue every pollster says is the electorate's paramount concern. Granholm's ads paint DeVos as an outsourcer of jobs and exploiter of corporate tax breaks. But even those attacks reinforce Republican efforts to frame DeVos as a businessman more interested in economic development than in abortion or school prayer. Then, Wednesday afternoon, the DeVos campaign found itself uncharacteristically off-message. The culprit was not a new Democratic attack ad, but the Republican candidate himself. In a phone interview with Kathy Barks Hoffman, veteran chief of AP's Lansing bureau, DeVos opined that Michigan's science curriculum should include a discussion of intelligent design, which posits that the biological theory of natural selection fails to account for the complexity of living organisms. "I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory," DeVos said. "That theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas." A grass-roots campaign to advance intelligent design as a scientific alternative to the Darwinian theory of natural selection ran aground in the courts last year when a federal trial judge appointed by President George W. Bush concluded that intelligent design was "creationism relabeled" and barred a Pennsylvania school board from making it part of the science curriculum. Asked Wednesday whether he supported proposed guidelines that would allow school boards to mandate the teaching of intelligent design as part of their districts' science curriculum, DeVos replied that he did. The AP story broke on freep.com and other newspaper Web sites around lunchtime. By midafternoon, DeVos campaign manager Greg McNeilly and spokesman John Truscott were phoning reporters and editors around the state, challenging headlines that described DeVos as a proponent of intelligent design and insisting that his comments had merely reiterated his long-standing support for control of public school curricula. Voters who e-mailed the campaign to inquire about the interview received a reply informing them that news reports had "misrepresented" DeVos' views and enlisting voters' help in quashing "this untruthful rumor." For the record, Hoffman neither misrepresented nor embellished DeVos' comments. Her story was a faithful account of her taped interview. But voters needn't belabor what DeVos said (or meant to say) about intelligent design; they need only review his generous support for conservative Christian groups that have been working tirelessly to inject religion into the public school curriculum. To find out what most candidates are about, you need only look at who's bankrolling them and why. But in DeVos' case, it's at least as instructive to look at whom the candidate himself has bankrolled over the years. DeVos' status as one of the Republican National Committee's preeminent financiers is well known; without his patronage, our current president might be just another name on the lecture circuit. But what DeVos and his wife, Betsy, have given to politicians pales beside their generosity to conservative religious organizations working to outlaw abortion, prohibit gay marriage and adoption and promote school prayer, religious displays in government buildings and the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Since 2002, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation gave at least $5,000 to the Thomas More Law Center, which unsuccessfully defended the Dover, Pa., school board in last year's federal court showdown and has threatened to sue on behalf of two Michigan science teachers who want to teach intelligent design. Tax records detailing the foundation's most recent donations weren't available Thursday. But the contributions documented in its 2002 tax return are among hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to similar groups ranging from the Michigan Family Forum and Right to Life of Michigan to the Lansing-based Foundation for Traditional Values, which sponsors what it calls the state's "premier Biblical worldview and leadership training program." All this generosity presumably betokens a more-than-casual interest in advancing the conservative Christian agenda espoused by these organizations. So you can hardly blame DeVos for putting his mouth where his money is -- even if the political strategists around him would rather he kept it shut. I'll be the first one to admit Granholm isn't prefect and the things she manage to get done with this corrupt brought and paid for Republican control state house is bar none amazing. But we have a choice here we can still progress with Granholm and put Michigan back on her feet or we're going to regress with DeVos, who's going to bend over backwards for the special interest and the richest people that lived in the states at the expense of average person in Michigan. On top screwing the poor he's going to allow his friends of the loon wing of the Republican party ram down their world view down our throats.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The new MDP ad entitle lobbyist.

Over at POHLITICS Zach has YouTube the latest ad from the Michigan Democratic Party ad entitled "lobbyist" which talks about how our friend Dick DeVos was giving money to various Republicans from President Chimp McMonkey to his rubber stamps that make up our congress in return DeVos has receive favorable unbalance trade policies that he wants and get perks like getting tax cuts for shipping American jobs overseas. In my humble opinion "lobbyist" is a better than the last ad the MDP ran, it hits DeVos everywhere and if he tries to defend against it he's gotta do two things 1. suck it up admit it then spin or 2. do what DeVos has done up to this point just tell a bold face lie and hope his cronies in the media like Nolan Finley, Frank Beckmann and the rest of the flying monkey right that make up the Detroit "News" editorial board back it up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Papers please... House passes bill to make voters show ID

Print Story: House passes bill to make voters show ID on Yahoo! News House passes bill to make voters show ID By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer 2 minutes ago The House voted Wednesday to require Americans to show proof of citizenship in order to vote, and the Senate moved to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border as Republicans sharpened attacks on illegal immigration before the midterm elections. The 228-196 House vote on a new photo ID plan and the Senate's consideration of the fence were both part of a get-tough policy on illegal immigrants that Republicans have embraced after Congress' failure to agree on broader legislation that would set a path for undocumented workers to attain citizenship. House GOP leaders have insisted that tighter borders and tougher laws must precede more comprehensive immigration changes. The House passed the fence bill last week and plans votes Thursday on other enforcement measures: to increase penalties for people building tunnels under the border, make it easier to detain and deport immigrant gang members and criminals and clarify the ability of state and local authorities to detain illegal immigrants. Republican sponsors of the voter identification bill said it was a commonsense way to stop fraud at the polls. People need photo IDs to board planes, buy alcohol or cash checks, said Rep. Vernon Ehlers (news, bio, voting record), R-Mich., chairman of the House Administration Committee. "This is not a new concept." "This is what Americans want," said Rep. John Mica "They want safe borders and they want safe ballots." But Democrats assailed the legislation, saying it could hurt minorities, the poor and the elderly — groups that tend to vote Democratic — who might have trouble producing a photo identification. "This bill is tantamount to a 21st century poll tax," said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "It will disenfranchise large number of legal voters." Rep. Ike Skelton (news, bio, voting record), D-Mo., said he was initially denied a voter ID required under a Missouri state law because he doesn't have a driver's license and couldn't immediately produce a passport or birth certificate. His congressional ID card was not accepted. A Missouri court earlier this month struck down the state law, and on Tuesday a state superior court judge in Georgia ruled that that state's law requiring a photo ID was an unconstitutional condition for voting. The bill would require everyone to present a photo ID before voting in federal elections by 2008. By 2010 voters would have to have photo IDs that certified they were citizens. In response to criticism that this would be a burden for the poor, the bill stipulates that states must provide the identification cards free of charge to those who can't afford them. The Senate, meanwhile, voted Wednesday to take up a bill to build a 700-mile fence along one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border. Action on the fence, which could cost billions of dollars, comes four months after the Senate approved legislation that, along with tightening border security, created a guest worker program and outlined how people in the country illegally could work toward legal status and eventual citizenship. President Bush has supported this broader approach, but it has met strong resistance in the House, where opponents have said it was tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants. Bush, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, said he would sign a fencebuilding bill as part of efforts to strengthen the border. But he added, "I would view this as an interim step. I don't view this as the final product. And I will keep urging people to have a comprehensive reform." Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said, "While I've made it clear that I prefer a comprehensive solution, I have always said we need an enforcement-first approach to immigration reform." Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada countered, "We can build the tallest fence in the world and it won't fix our broken immigration system." To do that, he said, "we need the kind of comprehensive reform that the Senate passed earlier this year." The current bill wouldn't provide funding to cover costs of the fencing and other barriers aimed at preventing illegal entry. About $1 billion for the fencing is likely to be included in a bill for the Department of Homeland Security that Congress is expected to approve before its scheduled adjournment next week for the elections. Also on Wednesday, a bipartisan task force recommended that Congress provide a path to legal status for immigrants who can demonstrate steady employment, knowledge of English and payment of taxes and who pass a background security check. The panel, chaired by Spencer Abraham, former Republican senator from Michigan and energy secretary, and Lee Hamilton, former Democratic representative from Indiana and chair of the 9/11 Commission, also urged new verification mechanisms to assist employers in hiring only authorized workers. ___ The voter ID bill is H.R. 4844. The fence bill is H.R. 6061. ___

DeVos campaign full of contradictions over jobs number

Press Release DeVos Campaign Full of Contradictions Over Jobs Numbers DeVos campaign has failed to provide any documentation for their job creations claims LANSING-Today Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Mark Brewer criticized GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos and his campaign for their inability to prove any of DeVos’ alleged job creation and their contradictions and inconsistencies over DeVos’ jobs record. “The DeVos campaign’s ‘pick a number’ approach to his jobs record has to stop. There is a reason why DeVos never provided any proof that he created jobs – DeVos has never created a job outside of China,” said Brewer. “The only fact we know about DeVos’ jobs record is that while he was President of Amway, he eliminated nearly 1,400 Michigan workers, a quarter of the company’s Michigan workforce.” The DeVos campaign has differed wildly on DeVos’ job record (in chronological order): By 1997, when 70% of Amway’s sales were overseas, 5,300 of the company’s 14,000 employees were in Michigan. Today, Alticor has about 13,000 employees worldwide, including 3,927 in Michigan and 721 in other U.S. locations, said DeVos spokesman John Truscott. [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 2005] A spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos said Monday that DeVos has created at least 7,000 jobs while head of two Michigan companies and in conjunction with several Grand Rapids building projects, including the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. [The Associated Press, February 28, 2006] During our expansion, and contrary to the partisan rhetoric that’s being spread, not one Michigan job – not one – was sent to China. In fact, expanding into the Chinese market has created 300 jobs right here in Michigan and helped secure the employment of thousands more Michigan workers. [Dick DeVos’ Opinion Editorial for the Detroit News, May 17, 2006] DeVos has insisted that he expanded Alticor’s operations into China as a way to expand his business operations at a time when the business’ American business wasn’t doing as well. All of his Chinese-made products are sold in China, DeVos claims, and as a result of this expansion, it created around 200 new jobs in Michigan. [MIRS Capitol Capsule, Friday, May 19, 2006] Because of selling Michigan-made products around the world, Dick DeVos created 1000 Michigan jobs, and saved 3,000 more. [DeVos Campaign Website, week of September 6, 2006] “The third fact that you don’t hear about is that 400 jobs exist in Michigan today because the company invested in China,” said DeVos. [WJRT ABC 12, September 17, 2006] The DeVos campaign has also failed to provide documentation for any of their jobs claims: Truscott said he will have documentation in a few days to back up how many jobs DeVos has created, either directly or indirectly, while overseeing his family's Grand Rapids building projects and as president of Alticor and The Windquest Group, a Grand Rapids management group involved in making and marketing storage and space utilization products. [The Associated Press, February 28, 2006] It's not that Republican challenger DeVos is such a wonderful alternative. He's been long on commercials and miserably short on substance. He claims he can create jobs. Show us the plan. He claims he knows how to lead. Where's the proof? [Tim Skubick, Lansing State Journal, April 14, 2006] The DeVos campaign agrees that Alticor laid off 1,400 workers while restructuring in 1998 and 2000, but says all were white-collar workers and that nearly 4,000 blue-collar jobs were not cut. It also says that DeVos has created other jobs, such as those involved in building a Marriott hotel under construction in downtown Grand Rapids. That Alticor project got off the ground while he was president, his campaign says. The DeVos campaign has not yet released documentation to back up its statements that DeVos created jobs. [The Associated Press, March 20, 2006] “When you mentioned he created all of these jobs, prove it. You haven’t yet.”- Chris Dewitt “We will Chris.”-John Truscott [Frank Beckman Show, WJR, August 15, 2006] I've talked about that couple of post ago when the Amway Dick first mounted his defense against the Amway and China ads he claim he didn't cut jobs but created 4,000 Michigan "jobs" sounds amazing right? Hold up Amway Dick didn't cite anything to back that claim so I guess Dick wants us to take his word for it. Using half truths and selctive editing of one statement to make them look bad is always going to be seen in politics but DeVos is just making stuff up as he goes along in the campaign. Like I post over at POHLITICS in Zach's comment feedback the only reason Dick DeVos is still in this race is money. Because no one can make these many mistakes and get caught lying over and over again but still remain tied or within striking distance without spending tons of money.

Amway Dick thinks Intelligent design should be talk about in science classes

DeVos: Intelligent design should be discussed in Michigan's science classes DeVos: Intelligent design should be discussed in Michigan's science classes By KATHY BARKS HOFFMANASSOCIATED PRESS September 20, 2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos says he thinks Michigan’s science curriculum should include a discussion about intelligent design.He says teaching intelligent design along with evolution would help students discern the facts among different theories. He’d like to see local school districts be able to teach intelligent design if they choose to, although he wouldn’t require that it be taught in science classes.“I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory,” DeVos told the Associated Press this week during an interview on education. “That theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas, not less.”Intelligent design’s proponents hold that living organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher force rather than evolving from more primitive forms. Some want science teachers to teach that Darwin’s theory of evolution is not a fact and has gaps.However, a federal judge in December barred the school system in Dover, Pa., from teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in high school biology classes. The judge said intelligent design is religion masquerading as science and that teaching it alongside evolution violates the separation of church and state.Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said that Michigan schools need to teach the established theory of evolution in science classes and not include intelligent design. She says school districts can explore intelligent design in current events or comparative religions classes.The State Board of Education last week postponed adopting new science curriculum guidelines until state lawmakers get more time to weigh in on what the state’s public schools science curriculum should be and how it should approach the teaching of evolution.House Education Committee Chairman Brian Palmer, R-Romeo, told the board that language adopted in curriculum standards should be broader rather than narrower to allow for changes in theory.He did not mention intelligent design, although critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan have said some Republican lawmakers are trying to “weaken” state standards to allow some instruction about intelligent design in science classes.The issue already has generated some controversy in Michigan. The Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center last year threatened to sue Gull Lake Community Schools over its policy that intelligent design can’t be taught as part of science classes. The law center represented the Dover school district whose policy was struck down.Two middle school teachers in the Gull Lake district in southwest Michigan had wanted to include intelligent design as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution in their classes. The district banned them from doing so.The Gull Lake policy now leaves the door open for intelligent design to be taught as part of an elective class on controversial issues, district attorney Lisa Swem has said.The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, funded by the candidate and his wife, gave the Thomas More Law Center $5,000 in 2002.DeVos told the AP this week that allowing school districts to include intelligent design in science classes lets them to “expose students to a multitude of ideas, ... to think through the challenges, to learn to discern between multiple theories.” It's clear now that Amway Dick is trying to send smoke message to the foaming at the mouth Christian right telling them that he believes what they believe.. First Stem cells now this DeVos is showing his right wing whack job card now cuz his "I'm a concern moderate businessman" act has all but failed him so he's appealing to the nuts that would vote for their own narrow world view instead of the common good of everyone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Halliburton: If you don't sue you get a medal

TPMmuckraker September 18, 2006 02:10 PM Halliburton to Wounded Employee: You'll Get a Medal -- If You Don't Sue By Justin Rood - September 18, 2006, 2:10 PM Halliburton will help its combat-zone employees get the honors and recognition they deserve -- if they promise not to sue the company. That's according to new documents released today by Senate Democrats. Ray Stannard was a truck driver in Iraq for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. In 2003, he was part of a fuel convoy that was ambushed by insurgents. Seven Americans died in the attack and 26 were injured, including Stanner. He is suing the company. His company knew the convoy's route was dangerous and unprotected, he says, but sent the convoy through anyway. "What they did was murder," Stannard told CBS News recently. "And I stick by that." The circumstances of his injuries qualified Stanner for the U.S. Defense of Freedom medal, the civilian equivalent to a soldier's Purple Heart. In offering to forward Stanner's medical records to the Department of Defense so they could confirm and appove his award, KBR required him to sign a release form. (You can see the document here.) The document, sent to Stannard in November 2004, appears to be boilerplate -- but for one curious paragraph that appears to indemnify KBR from any wrongdoing that may have led to Stanner's injuries: . . . I agree that in consideration for the application for a Defense of Freedom Medal on my behalf that. . . I hereby release, aquit and discharge KBR, all KBR employees, the military, and any of their representatives. . . with respect to and from any and all claims and any and all causes of action, of any kind or character, whether now known or unknown, I may have against any of them which exist as of the date of this authorization. . . . This release also applies to any claims brought by any person or agency or class action under which I may have a right or benefit. Stannard didn't sign the form. He received the medal. And he filed suit against the company the following May.

Howard Dean on Granholmforgov.com

Howard Dean on GranholmforGov.com Tuesday evening, 9/19, Howard Dean will be taking questions LIVE on the Granholm campaign website. He will be taking questions on the G4G blog at 8:30PM. Feel free to submit questions in advance, or log on to the website tomorrow and post a question or comment. Governor Dean is coming to Michigan for the DNC Black Caucus’s African American Summit this weekend. Spread the word! – Clint Wallace

Big Dog let loose: Clinton on Rove and everything else

Remnick On Clinton On Everything, Picked Up By Nothing Huffington Post Rachel Sklar Posted Monday September 18, 2006 at 01:00 PM What do you get when you send esteemed and erudite New Yorker editor David Remnick around the world with the wildly popular former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, to talk about his life, work, legacy, and not-at-all-controversial-or-in-the-news-lately wife Hillary ? Quite a lot, actually: A massive 23-page story (with photos, poems and cartoons, but still) with anecdotes, frank exchanges, keen insights and some really, really good soundbytes. What you don't get is a link: The piece is not available online. Which means that what you also don't get is any online presence. At all. Which for a piece like this is saying something. Before I list a few of the gems you'll find if you, too, invest the thirteen hours needed to read it all, I will note one quote from Clinton: "I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit." Incredibly, one week after publication, a search for "I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit" on Google will yield one hit: A link to ABC's "The Note" that actually takes you to the wrong link and requires a search through the archives and then moving forward a few pages before a measly excerpt may be had. What does this tell us? It tells us that the New Yorker PR department needs to send their press releases out more widely online (and make it available the next week somewhere other than Google cache), and that the New Yorker can't rely on Remnick's cachet, Clinton's galvanizing popularity and the tantalizing possibility of Republican trashtalk to bring a 23-page article to life in the blogosphere without a little help. Here is a non-exhaustive list of nuggets from the piece; those looking for a precis can find one of sorts in the New Yorker PR dept's aforementioned 1,066-word account, as well as a New Yorker Q&A with Remnick here. Clinton on Rove: "I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit." Clinton on the Kerry campaign: "Like a deer caught in the headlights." Clinton on watching the World Cup Final in Berlin: "I'm totally psyched for this." Clinton on the vote to go into Iraq: "I'm sick and tired of being told that if you voted for authorization you voted for the war. It was a mistake, and I would have made it, too....The administration did not shoot straight on the nuclear issue or on Saddam's supposed ties to Al Qaeda prior to 9/11." Chelsea on her father's handling of the AIDS crisis after writing a thesis on the subject at Oxford: "I gave you a grade," she told her father. "What did I get?" Clinton asked. "C-plus." Her rationale: "You didn't do nearly enough. But you did more than anyone else in the world." Clinton on dying: "I've reached an age now where it doesn't matter whatever happens to me...I just don't want anyone to die before their time anymore." Hillary on that weird NYT story about their marriage: "I'm endlessly fascinated by people's fascination with us, but that's not something I'm going to spend much time on." Bill on that weird NYT story about their marriage: "I think it got pretty well the response that it deserved." Apparently, Hillary Clinton loves giraffes; accordingly, her husband bought her a giant wooden one which Remnick estimated was "seven, eight feet tall." (The NYT is no doubt working out the symbolism.) Clinton on WaPo's Susan Schmidt: "A Xerox machine for Ken Starr." Clinton on his inaction in Rwanda, which he said was the worst foreign-policy mistake of his administration: "We never even had a staff meeting on it." (Note: Clinton said that was "why I went there and apologized in '98"; he said the Rwandans said he was the only one who had apologized.) Remnick on Clinton's relationship with Ron Burkle: Apparently, Clinton flies on his plane. Remnick on Ron Burkle's alleged penchant for models and youthful plane guests: Er, nothing, actually. Hey, 23 pages doesn't give you much space. Clinton on puncutality, as expressed in being 15 minutes late to meet with Nelson Mandela, per Remnick: "Astonishingly, he will make anyone wait for him, even a global patriarch who is presumably his moral hero." Clinton on the Bush administration: "It just makes me mad...I just wish I were there trying to articulate an alternative vision." On the fact that he is not: "You have to bloom where you're planted."

Granholm, Amway Dick work on debates

Granholm, DeVos to face off on TV Granholm, DeVos to face off on TV 3 debates are scheduled for next month BY DAWSON BELLFREE PRESS STAFF WRITER September 19, 2006 The first debate between Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Dick DeVos is expected to be on Oct. 2. (April 2006 photo by KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/DFP) Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Grand Rapids businessman Dick DeVos have agreed to appear in three televised debates in the first weeks of October, representatives of their campaigns said Monday. Details on the events in Grand Rapids, East Lansing and Southfield were still being finalized. But Chris DeWitt and John Truscott, spokesmen for Granholm and DeVos, respectively, shook hands and guaranteed a deal would be reached while taping another, campaign-related program Monday afternoon at WKAR-TV in East Lansing. The first debate is expected to be hosted by WKAR, the public TV station on the campus of Michigan State University, on Oct. 2. The others are at WOOD-TV (an NBC affiliate) in Grand Rapids on Oct. 10 and at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7, an ABC affiliate) in Southfield Oct. 16. A fourth joint appearance also has been scheduled at the Detroit Economic Club on Oct. 12, but whether that event would be in debate format remained unclear. When Democrat Granholm faced Republican Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus in 2002, the candidates appeared together only twice, and only once (in Grand Rapids) in a classic TV debate. Negotiations over the debates this year have been prickly in public. But political experts and campaign insiders agreed that this year, with voter anxiety high and doubts about both Granholm and DeVos, it is in the best interest of both candidates to have a higher-profile debate schedule. "The governor is a very good communicator," said Larry Owen, a Lansing lawyer, longtime activist and candidate for governor in the Democratic primary in 1998. "But she needs to show people she knows her stuff." "Dick DeVos says he's run a big business ... and been successful. He ought to be able to talk about that." Most of all, Owen said, voters want to see the candidates "going head-to-head. They deserve something more than television commercials." DeWitt and Truscott, on the verge of concluding negotiations over the schedule, were ready Monday afternoon to begin raising and lowering expectations about how the confrontations would unfold. DeWitt acknowledged that Granholm is widely viewed as a superb communicator, but he wanted to make sure no one assumed she would handle DeVos with ease in debate. In recent months DeVos, who sometimes appears stiff on camera, "has gotten much better," DeWitt said. Truscott, meanwhile, was lavish in his praise of Granholm's speaking skills. DeVos, he said, hopes to "hold his own" by focusing on his vision for Michigan and reminding voters about "the governor's record of failure." It's clear that the Amway Dick is worry about getting smoke and falling further back of Granholm. If you're Granholm you're licking your chops on the idea of exposing DeVos as an empty suit on statewide tv and maybe national, so you know DeVos' team is going to work day and night working to make sure he doesn't sound like a pre school kid explaining how to put a model car together when they have to explain their version for the state. I'm going out on a limb and say Granholm outside falling off the stage she should beat DeVos when it comes to substance of the debate. The important thing for me in the debates is that Granholm or someone brings up the fact DeVos has spent close to 20 million dollars he flooded our airwaves and printed ads in the media for months yet he hasn't spoke of a plan that "Turn around" plan he had got ripped for being a microwave heated version of the Bush administration plan and it lack any detail either how to do these things he promise or ways to pay for these programs. And the fact he hasn't took a stance on an issue he either give a generic vanilla answer or he avoids it complently so he has no plan and he's doesn't take stances on issues so DeVos backers why are you supporting him?

Monday, September 18, 2006

New York GOP given up already??

Record-low turnout in N.Y. GOP primary

Sun Sep 17, 9:09 PM ET

Voter turnout for last week's Republican primary to choose a challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was just 5.6 percent, the lowest level ever recorded, election officials said.

The primary pitted little-known former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer against Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland, a Reagan-era Pentagon official and political novice. Spencer won 61 percent of the GOP vote to 39 percent for McFarland.

Unofficial returns showed fewer than 180,000 of the state's more than 3.1 million Republicans voted.

The GOP turnout was the lowest since 1975, when the state began keeping primary turnout numbers, said Lee Daghlian, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections.

Meanwhile, turnout for Clinton's Democratic primary against antiwar activist Jonathan Tasini was about 13 percent. Voters also chose between two Democratic candidates for governor: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

Clinton collected 83 percent of the vote and Spitzer about 81 percent as about 715,000 of the state's almost 5.5 million Democrats voted.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Polls show Granholm still leads DeVos, Stabenow pimp slapping Bouchard

From The good people over at MI-Dems MI-Dems New Gov and Sen Poll Results! MI-Gov: Granholm 50 DeVos 42 (last month 49-42)MI-Sen: Stabenow 53 Bouchard 34 (last month 51-38) Granholm is still holding, Stabenow gets a nice bump. As Detnews points out, Granholm is trusted by voters who blame Michigan's failing economy on President Bush. Good news for MI-Dems everywhere! It's no surprise the Detroit News would add that little snip at the end since they're the Michigan Republican Party Microphone for the state. But I'm glad to see Mrs. Granholm increase her lead over DeVos despite being out gunned by the Amway Dick 10 to 1 in ads and in air time for one Granholm ad you see two DeVos ads 3 if you count the revise version of the ad. Debbie Stabenow lead isn't a shock to me Mike Bouchard has acted like the term Republican has a bad case of VD since he got the nod last month. And the ads he does run makes the case for Stabenow.

Forget Rock the Vote the right is going to Hack the vote

A buddy sent me this story from Salon written by Brad Friedman so Brad Blog fans might wanna check this out!! Hack the vote? No problem Salon Diebold, the e-voting-machine maker, has long sworn its systems are secure. Not so, says a new Princeton study. Converting votes from one candidate to another is simple. By Brad Friedman Having reported extensively on the security concerns that surround the use of electronic voting machines, I anxiously awaited the results of a new study of a Diebold touch-screen voting system, conducted by Princeton University. The Princeton computer scientists obtained the Diebold system with cooperation from VelvetRevolution, an umbrella organization of more than 100 election integrity groups, which I co-founded a few months after the 2004 election. We acquired the Diebold system from an independent source and handed it over to university scientists so that, for the first time, they could analyze the hardware, software and firmware of the controversial voting system. Such an independent study had never been allowed by either Diebold or elections officials. The results of that study, released this morning, are troubling, to say the least. They confirm many of the concerns often expressed by computer scientists and security experts, as well as election integrity activists, that electronic voting -- and indeed our elections -- may now be exceedingly vulnerable to the malicious whims of a single individual.

US press Bigwigs screw up, Again

Consortiumnews.com U.S. Press Bigwigs Screw Up, Again By Robert ParrySeptember 14, 2006 So, right-wing columnist Robert Novak now says that Richard Armitage, Novak’s initial source on the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, wasn’t just some loose-lipped gossip blurting out her name, but rather that Armitage urged Novak to write about Plame’s alleged role in her husband’s fact-finding trip to Niger. In a Sept. 14 column, Novak calls Armitage’s recent depiction of their July 2003 conversation “deceptive” for suggesting that Armitage’s leaking of Plame’s CIA identity was innocent and inadvertent, when Novak recalled it as intentional and even calculating. Yet, for the past two weeks, major Washington journalists have been treating Armitage’s account as the gospel truth and, further, as proof that George W. Bush’s White House had gotten a bum rap on the Plame-leak scandal. This misplaced “conventional wisdom” extended from the Washington Post’s editorial pages to virtually every major TV chat show – and even touched off another round of personal attacks by Bush allies against Plame’s husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, for having dared to stand up to the President over his false claims that Iraq sought uranium ore from Niger. According to these press pundits, the real victim in the Plame case was Bush’s political adviser Karl Rove, who had suffered under suspicions that he had orchestrated a smear campaign against Wilson for becoming, in July 2003, one of the first Washington insiders to accuse Bush of having “twisted” intelligence to justify invading Iraq. Despite reams of evidence that Rove did participate in such a smear campaign – and also was a source on Plame’s identity for at least two journalists – prominent opinion leaders rallied to Rove’s defense, chastising news outlets that had pointed fingers at Rove. In a Sept. 7 article, entitled “One Leak and a Flood of Silliness,” veteran Washington Post columnist David Broder wrote that publications which had made these allegations “owe Karl Rove an apology. And all of journalism needs to relearn the lesson: Can the conspiracy theories and stick to the facts.” But it now appears that it was Broder and other see-no-evil pundits who were ignoring the facts as well as the well-worn pattern of the Bush administration attacking Iraq War critics. Indeed, if anyone deserves chastising for unprofessional journalism, it would be Broder and other mainstream journalists who continue wearing blinders that so limit their field of vision that – after all these years – they still can’t believe that Rove and the White House would play dirty to discredit anyone who challenges Bush. On Sept. 3, I wrote that this clueless behavior of these Washington journalists – in the face of so much damning evidence – justified the old “Shawshank Redemption” question posed to the corrupt prison warden: “How can you be so obtuse?” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How Obtuse Is the U.S. Press?”] Armitage Myth Beyond the specific evidence of a White House campaign to out covert CIA officer Valerie Plame and the broader Republican hostility toward anyone who gets in Bush’s way, there is also the notion that Armitage, long considered a tough team player, was an independent soul who would never help the administration discredit a troublesome critic. Though Armitage may not have been one of Bush’s intimates nor a leading enthusiast for invading Iraq in 2003, the Washington press corps is exaggerating both Armitage’s independence and his anti-war credentials. Virtually forgotten in all the news coverage was the fact that in 1998, Armitage was one of the 18 signatories to a seminal letter from the neoconservative Project for the New American Century urging President Bill Clinton to oust Saddam Hussein by military force if necessary. Armitage joined a host of neoconservative icons, such as Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, William Kristol, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. Many of the signers, including Donald Rumsfeld, would become architects of Bush’s Iraq War policy five years later. A well-placed conservative source, who knows both Armitage and Rove, told me that the two operatives are much closer than many in official Washington understand. Armitage and Rove grew to be friends when they were negotiating plans for bringing Colin Powell into the Bush administration in 2000, when Armitage represented Powell and Rove stood in for Bush. After the administration took office, Rove and Armitage remained in frequent communication, becoming a back channel for sharing sensitive information between the White House and the State Department, the source said. Beyond these relationships, there is also evidence that Armitage was part of a classic Washington scheme to slip Plame’s identity into the newspapers, albeit with plenty of deniability for all involved. The evidence about Armitage’s role in leaking Plame’s identity – and thus destroying her CIA career as an undercover counter-proliferation operative – now includes Novak’s account of their July 8, 2003, interview as Novak described it in his Sept. 14, 2006, column, entitled “Armitage’s Leak.” Toward the end of the hour-long meeting, Novak wrote, he asked Armitage, the then-Deputy Secretary of State, why former Ambassador Wilson, had been sent on the trip to Africa. (Novak doesn’t say whether he was one of the journalists who had been urged by the White House to pursue that line of questioning.) Novak wrote that Armitage “told me unequivocally that Mrs. Wilson worked in the CIA’s Counter-proliferation Division and that she had suggested her husband’s mission. As for his current implication that he [Armitage] never expected this to be published, he noted that the story of Mrs. Wilson’s role fit the style of the old Evans-Novak column – implying to me that it continued reporting Washington inside information.” In other words, Novak acknowledges two significant points: that he asked why Ambassador Wilson was chosen and that Armitage knew that Plame held a sensitive CIA position, yet still wanted her exposed. Deniable Leak What is not clear from Novak’s account is whether anyone in the administration planted the idea of asking about Wilson’s trip in Novak’s head, knowing that the Plame information had been distributed sufficiently at senior levels of the administration that it likely would be divulged by someone. Rather than Broder’s claim that this idea of an orchestrated leak is some kind of “conspiracy theory,” it actually is a fairly common Washington technique for getting out damaging information about an adversary, spreading the news around the government and then urging reporters to ask about it. Plus, there is solid evidence that the White House conducted just such an operation. A month before Wilson’s Iraq-Niger Op-Ed article appeared in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney already was anticipating possible trouble from the former ambassador whose trip to Africa had helped disprove the bogus claims that Iraq was seeking yellowcake uranium ore from Niger. So, Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis Libby requested a report on Wilson from Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, a neoconservative ally. In violation of the strict rules against jeopardizing the covert identity of CIA officers, Grossman’s report, dated June 10, 2003, tossed in a reference to “Valerie Plame” as Wilson’s wife. CIA Director George Tenet also divulged to Cheney that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA and had a hand in arranging Wilson’s trip to Niger – information that Cheney then passed on to Libby in a conversation on June 12, 2003, according to Libby’s notes as described by lawyers in the case. [NYT, Oct. 25, 2005] Those two facts – Plame’s work for the CIA and her minor role in Wilson’s Niger trip (which was approved and arranged at higher levels of the CIA) – were transformed into attack points against Wilson, to suggest nepotism and to question Wilson’s manhood. On June 23, 2003, still two weeks before Wilson’s article, Libby briefed New York Times reporter Judith Miller about Wilson and, according to a later retrospective by the Times, may then have passed on the tip that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA. The anti-Wilson campaign gained new urgency when the ex-ambassador penned his Op-Ed article for the New York Times on July 6, 2003. As Cheney read Wilson’s article, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa,” the Vice President scribbled down questions he wanted pursued. “Have they [CIA officials] done this sort of thing before?” Cheney wrote. “Send an Amb[assador] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?” Though Cheney did not write down Plame’s name, his questions indicated that he was aware that she worked for the CIA and was in a position (dealing with WMD issues) to have a hand in her husband’s assignment to check out the Niger reports. [Cheney’s notations were disclosed in a May 12, 2006, court filing by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.] On the morning of July 6, 2003, Wilson appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to elaborate on the Niger dispute. Later that day, Armitage arranged for a copy of Grossman’s memo to be sent to Air Force One, where Secretary of State Powell was accompanying President Bush and other senior officials on a state trip to Africa. On July 8, 2003, two days after Wilson’s article, Libby gave Judith Miller more details about the Wilsons. Cheney’s chief of staff said Wilson’s wife worked at a CIA unit responsible for weapons intelligence and non-proliferation. It was in the context of that interview, that Miller wrote down the words “Valerie Flame,” an apparent misspelling of Mrs. Wilson’s maiden name. [NYT, Oct. 16, 2005] On that same day, Novak elicited the information from Armitage about the role of Wilson’s wife in arranging the Niger trip. Planted Question Meanwhile, Time magazine correspondent John Dickerson, who was on the presidential trip to Africa, was getting prodded by other administration officials to ask about the seemingly insignificant question of who had been involved in arranging Wilson’s trip. On July 11, 2003, as Bush was finishing a meeting with the president of Uganda, Dickerson said he was chatting with a “senior administration official” who was tearing down Wilson and disparaging Wilson’s Niger investigation. The message to Dickerson was that “some low-level person at the CIA was responsible for the mission” and that Dickerson “should go ask the CIA who sent Wilson.” Later, Dickerson discussed Wilson with a second “senior administration official” and got the same advice: “This official also pointed out a few times that Wilson had been sent by a low-level CIA employee and encouraged me to follow that angle,” Dickerson recalled. “At the end of the two conversations I wrote down in my notebook: ‘look who sent.’ … What struck me was how hard both officials were working to knock down Wilson.” [See Dickerson’s article, “Where’s My Subpoena?” for Slate, Feb. 7, 2006] Back in Washington on July 11, 2003, Dickerson’s Time colleague, Matthew Cooper, was getting a similar earful from Bush’s political adviser Rove, who tried to steer Cooper away from Wilson’s critical statements about the “twisted” Niger intelligence. Rove added that the Niger trip was authorized by “Wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency [CIA] on WMD issues,” according to Cooper’s notes of the interview. [See Newsweek, July 18, 2005, issue] Cooper later got the information about Wilson’s wife confirmed by Cheney’s chief of staff Libby, who had already been peddling the information to Miller. On July 12, 2003, in a telephone conversation, Miller and Libby returned to the Wilson topic. Miller’s notes contain a reference to a “Victoria Wilson,” another misspelled reference to Wilson’s wife. [NYT, Oct. 16, 2005] Two days later, on July 14, 2003, Novak – having gotten confirmation about Plame’s identity from Karl Rove – published a column, citing two administration sources outing Plame as a CIA officer and portraying Wilson’s Niger trip as a case of nepotism. But the White House counterattack against Wilson had only just begun. On July 20, 2003, NBC’s correspondent Andrea Mitchell told Wilson that “senior White House sources” had called her to stress “the real story here is not the 16 words [from Bush’s State of the Union speech about the Niger suspicions] but Wilson and his wife.” The next day, Wilson said he was told by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that “I just got off the phone with Karl Rove. He says and I quote, ‘Wilson’s wife is fair game.’” 'Given to Me' When Newsday spoke with Novak – before he decided to clam up – the columnist said he had been approached by administration sources with the information about Plame. “I didn’t dig it out, it was given to me,” Novak said. “They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.” [Newsday, July 22, 2003] More than three years later, in his Sept. 14, 2006, column, Novak is reiterating that early claim, indicating that Armitage was one of those who pushed Plame’s identity. But, also note Novak’s use of the plural in referring to the administration officials who gave him the Plame information: “They thought it was significant, they gave me the name.” Novak’s comment and the wealth of other evidence suggest that he was, indeed, just one cog in a broader campaign to get Plame’s name into the press. It wasn’t a case of some tidbit casually mentioned as “gossip” by Armitage and then reluctantly confirmed by “poor” Karl Rove, which is the current “conventional wisdom” of Washington. Novak’s contemporaneous comment to Newsday fits with the pattern of facts that is now established about the administration’s organized leak of Plame’s name, as well as with a common-sense understanding of how this White House operates when Bush faces criticism. In a court filing – after indicting Libby on five counts of perjury, lying to investigators and obstruction of justice – special prosecutor Fitzgerald said his investigation had uncovered government documents that “could be characterized as reflecting a plan to discredit, punish, or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson” because of his criticism of the administration’s handling of the Iraq-Niger allegations. Without doubt – based simply on the public record – the evidence clearly supports Fitzgerald’s conclusion. Beyond the Plame leak, the White House also oversaw a public-relations strategy to denigrate Wilson. The Republican National Committee put out talking points ridiculing Wilson, and the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee made misleading claims about his honesty in a WMD report. Rather than thank Wilson for undertaking a difficult fact-finding trip to Niger for no pay – and for reporting accurately about the dubious Iraq-Niger claims – the Bush administration and its many media allies sought instead to smear the former ambassador. The Republican National Committee even posted an article entitled “Joe Wilson’s Top Ten Worst Inaccuracies and Misstatements,” which itself used glaring inaccuracies and misstatements to discredit Wilson. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Novak Recycles Gannon on ‘Plame-gate.’”] Meanwhile, with her undercover work and her career in ruins, Plame quit the CIA. She and her husband have since filed a lawsuit against some of the administration officials implicated in the leak. Yet, David Broder and many other Washington journalists either still don’t get it – how the administration set out to destroy this couple and make them an example for other potential critics – or perhaps the pundits are as willfully obtuse as the corrupt prison warden in “Shawshank Redemption.”