Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Almost Daily Giuliani Report

Scandal Du Jour

In the fall of 2001, city cops chauffeured Rudy Giuliani's then-mistress, Judith Nathan, to her parents' Pennsylvania home 130 miles away on the taxpayers' dime. Records show that city cops refueled at an ExxonMobil station down the road from Nathan's childhood home in Hazleton on Oct. 20, 2001, while Giuliani stayed behind in New York attending 9/11 funerals. ...

...records show that - in addition to using City Hall funds to take Giuliani and Nathan to 11 secret trysts in the Hamptons, as has been previously reported - taxpayers were paying to ferry Nathan on long-distance trips without Giuliani, now a Republican contender for President.

..."At what point do we acknowledge that this was just a cheap political hit and that the premise of the original story has been proven false?" said Giuliani adviser Anthony Carbonetti.

Uh, I don't know, Tony, maybe when you CAN actually prove that there was no intent to cover it up?

Besides the fact that if this were a Democratic presidential candidate, he or she would've been ousted from the race months ago (if they ever had a chance to run in the first place), bidding farewell in a teary-eyed press conference surrounded by family and a forgiving spouse. Do you doubt it? Think about Gary Hart and Monkey Business... hell, Clinton was impeached for lying about an affair. Who wouldn't under those circumstances?

But once again, this is just another example of the pseudo-ethical "do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do" Republicans and the hypocrisy that has penetrated the GOP to their very bowels (pun intended).

Is It Over?

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy...

Giuliani refused to take questions here today about allegations that travel expenses were picked up by obscure city offices when he was mayor of New York City.
“We’ve already explained it,” he said, walking past reporters after a town hall meeting.

Giuliani, who is normally friendly to reporters, bristled past them, and
campaign staffers were unusually physical in keeping the press away.

Here comes the Gestapo! It's only a matter of time before the horns break through on Giuliani's forehead.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel Dead at 69

Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

I had one of these when I was a kid! If you didn't have one, you weren't cool.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bush's Stem Cell "Victory"

If it weren't for Dubya the vetoing embryonic stem cell bill and defunding research, scientists would have never been able to reprogram ordinary skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells. Confusing, isn't it?

Two groups of scientists in Wisconsin and Japan have found a way to reprogram ordinary skin cells so they behave like embryonic stem cells. So it may become unnecessary to use embryos in this cutting-edge research.

When the good news was announced, the White House had the gall... to claim the victory as its own. “This is very much in accord with the president’s vision from the get-go,” said policy adviser Karl Zinsmeister. Without the slightest hint of irony, he suggested that their stalwart opposition actually fueled the scientists’ success. Next thing you know the president will nominate himself for the Nobel Prize in medicine.

Is that what he was doing when he surrounded himself with all those snowflake babies?

As Ellen Goodman at continues:

This breakthrough was not the president’s “vision from the get-go” or any other go. First of all, the Bush administration bet on the wrong horse—adult stem cells. Second, the researchers couldn’t have gotten to step two without step one. They needed human embryos to learn how to do this without human embryos. They’ll still need embryos for some time, as both a benchmark and a way to judge whether stem cells from skin are effective and safe.

So let's all thank Dr. Bush, the 21st Century Einstein, as he has delayed stem cell research by at least five years.

Giuliani Scandal Du Jour

ABC News: Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on

"She used the PD as her personal taxi service," said one former city official who worked for Giuliani.

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

...former city officials said Giuliani expanded the budget for his security detail at the time... many of the security expenses were initially billed to obscure city agencies, effectively hiding them from oversight.

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson: "That's not the way that we operate these days, and it would not be the preferred way of doing business. In the end, it's a very convoluted way of getting things done."
"If anyone hoped that no one would notice, they were being foolish,"
Thompson told ABC News.

Does the enjoyment I'm currently feeling make me a bad person?

Et Tu, Washington Post?

The Lie That Will Not Die

Here's the Washington Post front page "news" story of the "assumption" of a conservative Republican that Barack Obama is Muslim. As the Daily Kos reports, "Actually, calling them rumors gives them too much credence. It would be more accurate to call them blatant lies, yet the Washington Post has decided to give them a national platform. The only thing missing from this story is the siren at the top of the page."

The Post article even goes so far as to use the mythbusting website to continue the attack, only to leave out that Snopes reports the rumor is false.


Another e-mail, on a site called that tracks Internet rumors, starts, "Be careful, be very careful." It notes that "Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim," and that "since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when you are seeking political office in the United States, Obama joined the United Church of Christ to help purge any notion that he is still a Muslim."

This is immediately followed with a line about a CBS poll that showed, "a huge number of voters said they did not know Obama's faith." What the Washington Post didn't bother to address? What had to say about the story:

Claim: Illinois senator Barack Obama is a, "radical, ideological Muslim."
Status: False.

It's over. The Washington Post has become the Weekly World News.

**UPDATE: Bob Cesca at Huffington Post has more.

Delta City Blues

Michael Brecker

Sleeping With The Enemy

Rudy's Sheikdown

Wayne Barrett, writing for the Village Voice, painstakingly researches Rudy's business contracts. Among his clients: Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani.
Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attack—a man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, often referred to in intelligence circles by his initials, KSM—al-Thani rushed to New York in its aftermath, offering to make a $3 million donation, principally to the families of its victims. Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir...

...The contradictory and stunning reality is that Giuliani Partners, the consulting company that has made Giuliani rich, feasts at the Qatar trough, doing business with the ministry run by the very member of the royal family identified in news and government reports as having concealed KSM —the terrorist mastermind who wired funds from Qatar to his nephew Ramzi Yousef prior to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and who also sold the idea of a plane attack on the towers to Osama bin Laden—on his Qatar farm in the mid-1990s.

The hero of 9/11... what else do we need to find out about Rudy before his presidential campaign crumbles? It's a sure bet that if the shoe were on the other foot and a Democrat was found to have business ties to terrorists, he would be skewered by the Right-Wing Spin Machine.

Broadway Strike Over

NEW YORK TIMES: The league representing Broadway’s theater owners and producers and the union representing its stagehands announced a settlement last night, bringing to an end a strike that had shuttered most of Broadway for 19 days, disrupted the plans of thousands of theatergoers and cost the city tens of millions of dollars in lost revenues.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Give Up Your Crosses or Go To Jail

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC or WHINSEC), formerly the School of the Americas is a United States Department of Defense facility at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.
The SOA has been criticized for the participation in human rights violations of some of its graduates. Critics argue that the education encouraged such practices and that this continues in the WHINSEC.

Each year since 1990, the independent organization School of the Americas Watch, stages a protest at the school. This year U.S. presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, Sister Mary Waskowiak; President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Rabbi Michael Lerner addressed the crowd...

Watch Kucinich's speech here:

Fourteen protesters were arrested. In an incident that illustrates the increased harrassment by the Columbus police, three more SOA Watch activists were arrested and face charges for refusing to relinquish crosses at the vigil site whose size exceeded Columbus police regulations.

Wait a minute. Three college students were arrested because their crosses were too big?!

The so-called White Cross Three include Matthew Boynton, 20, a sophomore in International Affairs; Ashley DeBelardino, 18, a freshman; and Eric Pierce, 26, a junior in History Education. Each are members of the KSU Green Party Chapter and are also affiliated with the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition.

The arresting officer attempted to stop them from bringing in the crosses and said that SOAW had agreed to the size guidelines. "All you’re doing is disrupting the SOA people because they agreed to those guidelines."

However, Boynton said SOAW told him that they had not agreed to the guidelines.

"I have had it clarified from several people from SOA Watch, and no, they never agreed to those stipulations. The stick law is a City ordinance, but SOA Watch had no role in the restrictions. They had not agreed to those things. And I guess in previous years, the City had the protesters walk through metal detectors and that was challenged," Boynton said.

"The SOA people didn’t feel that way at all. We had dinner with most of the SOA organizers later on. They were very pleased we can take that stick law to court," Boynton said.

..."It’s a restriction on free speech. It’s obvious that protesters bringing in signs too thick or too long or bringing in small flag poles, that’s not dangerous. Those are not being used as weapons, only to convey speech. When the City says this, what they’re really saying is you can only convey your freedom of speech how far we want it," Boynton said.

"I think it’s just a tool police forces use to harass protesters. Anytime a police can step into your business and take away your sign and tell you you can’t use whatever you want to your protest is giving the cop power over you, and I consider that harassment. And it also gives them grounds to do other things to you," Boynton said.

Boynton also disagrees with the notion that the white crosses could be used as weapons."I think it’s ludicrous. I don’t think they could be used as weapons. And even if there was the possibility to use them as weapons, it’s a peaceful area, these are protesters who are nonviolent and there’s no threat of using them as a weapon if they could be used as such," Boynton said.

"Essentially anything could be used as a weapon. You can strangle someone with a flag, but a flag is not a weapon."

Lott To Resign

JACKSON, Miss. — Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, plans to resign his seat before the end of the year, congressional and Bush administration officials said Monday.

Lott, 66, scheduled two news conferences in Pascagoula and Jackson later in the day to reveal his plans. According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, Lott intends to resign effective at the end of the year.

...Lott's colleagues elected him as the Senate's Republican whip last year, a redemption for the Mississippian after his ouster five years ago as the party's Senate leader over remarks he made at retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party in 2002. Lott had saluted the South Carolina senator with comments later interpreted as support for southern segregationist policies.

Well, birds of a feather...

But seriously, something major is happening here. The amount of resignations over the last few months is not something I remember as a normal thing towards the end of an administration. Are the rats truly deserting the sinking ship?

What do they know that we don't, that is causing an exodus from Washington? Something of epic proportions is going to break soon. One would have thought it was the McClellan book quote story - or non-story as the "liberal" media would have you believe. A cackling laugh or a $400 haircut is major news, but the possibility that the highest officials in our government committed treason is something to be buried in the back pages.

Speculation is that Lott is trying to beat the new rule for former Senators joining lobbying groups. By resigning before the end of the year, Mr. Lott would beat the effective date for new ethics rules that double to two years the amount of time former Senators must wait before they can join a firm to lobby former colleagues. The new rule applies to those who leave office “on or after” Dec. 31.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rudy and Bernie and Paul, Oh My!

First Rudy's BFF Bernard Kerik, the man Rudy recommended for Homeland Security Director, is indicted for fraud and now comes this tidbit of information:

Who is Paul Singer? He and Rudy Giuliani would prefer you not think too much about it.

Singer, who founded the multibillion dollar hedge fund Elliott Associates, has raised $200,000 for Giuliani. He flies Giuliani around in his jet.

And as of September, his $175,000 contribution was the sole backing for the Republican scheme to split up California's electoral votes. Instead of all the electoral votes in the country's most populous state going to the state's winner (almost surely the Democrat), the ballot initiative would throw the loser (the Republican) his percentage, potentially swinging the election.

Are Rudy and his backers behind the California electoral votes scheme?

...what has attracted notice recently is Mr. Singer’s September donation of $175,000 to a group called Take Initiative America — California, a corporation that had been set up in Missouri the day before, and which then donated the money to a group called Californians for Equal Representation.
The California group wanted to change the way the state’s 55 electoral votes are apportioned, from winner-take-all, to one apportioning the votes according to Congressional district. Such a change could give Republicans as many as 20 more electoral votes, making it much easier for the party to win the White House.

Foreign Fighters in Iraq Come From US "Allies"

Guardian UK - More than 40% of the foreign fighters who entered Iraq to join the insurgency in the past year were citizens of Saudi Arabia, America's key partner in the Middle East, according to detailed information seized from a camp used by them. Documents and computers found by the US army at Sinjar, on the Iraqi-Syrian border, revealed that the other single largest group came from Libya, which is now being rehabilitated as a reliable western ally.

The captured data has been described as an intelligence treasure trove that included biographical details and the hometowns of the more than 700 fighters who entered Iraq since August 2006. Of those 307, or 41%, were Saudis and 137, or 18%, Libyans, senior US military sources told the New York Times.

Did anyone see this reported on Fox News? Me neither.

So Bush is sabre rattling at Iran, he includes Syria as an "axis of evil" in the now infamous 2002 State of the Union address, but his business partners in Saudi Arabia are suicide bombing the shit out of us. I wonder if our "ally's" borders are as carefully watched as Iran's or Syria's... Heckuva job, Georgie.

If At First You Don't Succeed, Lower Your Standards

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24— With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

Instead, administration officials say they are focusing their immediate efforts on several more limited but achievable goals in the hope of convincing Iraqis, foreign governments and Americans that progress is being made toward the political breakthroughs that the military campaign of the past 10 months was supposed to promote.

Great. Mission accomplished. Now, let's get the hell out of there.