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Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up April 13, 2009

Posted by nytexan on April 12, 2009

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It’s Monday, and that means it is time for yet another edition of the TEXAS Progressive Alliance’s Weekly Round-Up.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chismes noticed Fort Bend County was slapped by the DOJ for actual election integrity problems. Voters were illegally denied provisional ballots and Spanish speakers were not accommodated. Betty Brown probably wishes those voters would make life easier for English-speaking poll workers.

BossKitty at TruthHugger cannot accept that Tax Laws, Tax Legislation and Lawmakers are ignorant to the fact that keeping the taxpayer clueless brings in more revenue. Built in vagueness and contradiction guarantee more tax dollars collected. This country has brainwashed its taxpayers, that it is easier to waste their money on sleazy preparers and tax software, than to learn what taxes are all about. Taxpayers are complicit in their own misery, even though the government really tries to make the facts available. Taxpayers are convinced that taxes are just a necessary evil … “Death and Taxes”. But today, Can You Trust Your Tax Software When It Can’t Keep Up.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted a video using Franklin Roosevelt and George W. Bush dolls to illustrate the recent liberal ascendancy in the United States.

We all had some fun at Rep. Betty Brown’s expense last week, but Off the Kuff noted that there was a bill pending before Rep. Brown’s Elections Committee that would actually help alleviate some of the problems that prevent eligible citizens from casting their ballots.

At Texas Kaos, it’s been a bemusing week of watching Glenn Beck prepare to storm the Alamo City with Tea Bags. But nothing could have prepared us for Rick Perry linking his fortunes with Beck after his gasoline drenched performance.   Apparently a primary threat in the Texas Republican Party means you double down on the batshit crazy lies. Who knew?

Kim Jong Il wasn’t the only person to fire a missile this week.  McBlogger went ballistic over that dapper Senator Watson.

The Employee Free Choice Act met the Democratic Senator from the Great State of Wal-Mart and is headed down to defeat as a result.  PDiddie at Brains and
Eggs
has more on the Senate’s caving in once again to the  corporations.

Asian American Action Fund Blog has extensive coverage of Betty Brown’s ridiculous questioning of Ramey Ko from our first report to Brown’s “apology” and Ko’s description of their conversation. In addition, there are link roundups of most coverage of the incident from the 9th and 10th. And don’t miss law professor Frank Wu’s exploration of the matter. We will provide further updates as this story continues to develop.

Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the 20 Republicans in the Texas House who voted against education benefits for veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted in Politics, Texas, Texas Blogs, Texas Politics, Texas Progressive Alliance | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round-Up March 9, 2009, Daylight Savings

Posted by bosskitty on March 9, 2009

It is Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance’s Weekly Round-Up.

jobsanger knows that more money needs to be raised to pay for needed improvements and repairs to America’s infrastructure, but he remains convinced that the Mileage Tax Is A Terrible Idea.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson gets readers ready for hte upcoming Voter ID debate, or as the the Texas GOP calls it The single most important issue facing Texas today.

The new video at Texas Liberal is called Reading About The Panic Of 1873 In Front Of The Enron Building.

Over at McBlogger, Captain Kroc posts an interesting piece about seemingly unrelated issues, Rush Limbaugh and Child Molestation.

The Texas Cloverleaf gives a brief on Equality TX Lobby Day this past Monday.

Off the Kuff looks at the case against voter ID, also known as the single most important issue facing Texas today, as advanced by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

DosCentavos posts about the latest on the Voter ID. Can national Latino political and economic muscle be flexed effectively, as it was for Obama?

Obama sent the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to see what our military can do to stop drug cartel activities. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks John Cornyn is shopping border violence as a theme for his 2012 presidential run.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is frustrated at the regression, into childhood, of those who claim to be Republicans. They are NOT Republicans. They are the Neo-Republicans who have hi-jacked the party name to deceive ordinary conservative Americans. They have stolen the GOP cloak to hide their real agenda. Op Ed: Neo-Republicans Are Not The Grand Old Party, scattalogical analogies.

Xanthippas at Three Wise Men rounds up opinion on the newly released OLC memos. We knew they’d be bad…but still.

John at Bay Area Houston says the Harris County GOP’s “Give a Mexican a Bike” program is probably against federal law and smothered with hypocrisy.

As the head of FreeRepublic.com gets visited by the Secret Service, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs finds several GOP pre-post-mortems on the GOP.

TXsharon joined other blogs in areas effected by unconventional natural gas drilling in asking readers to TAKE ACTION and let The View know they were irresponsible to give T.Boone Pickens free advertising for his plan without investigating the full implications. The same drilling practices Pickens promotes recently contaminated water wells in the Marcellus Shale causing one to explode. Manhattan borough president called for drilling moratorium.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

One Step Closer To War With Iran

Posted by nytexan on August 15, 2007

It appears that we are moving one step closer to a war with Iran. While Karzai and Maliki are trying to set up relations with their neighbor Iran, Bush is adding fuel to the war fire. This will be the first time this type of action will be taken against a foreign government entity.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. government is involved in intense discussions over naming all or part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group in a move that would effectively declare “open season” on the organization, a senior official told CNN.

If made, the designation would come in the form of an executive order from President George W. Bush, the State Department official said.

Such a move would allow the Treasury Department to go after the finances of the group and those who do business with it.

“It would basically declare open season on these guys,” the official said, adding that the move is being taken because of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps‘ (IRGC) support for “all the bad actors” — insurgents in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and other terrorist groups in the Middle East like Hezbollah and Hamas.

The move is “three-fourths done but the devil is in the details,” the official said. An internal decision has been made to take some action, but there is still debate on whether to designate the entire IRGC or just the elite Quds Force.

“We need to decide whether to go for the sledgehammer approach of the larger group or the laser method of just going after the Quds Force,” the official said.

Asked to comment on the reports that the Guard Corps may be named a terrorist group, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe would only say:

“It’s not appropriate for us to discuss potential future actions. We continue to urge Iran to play a constructive role in the region, and to stop providing support to terrorist organizations.”

Although most in the administration wants to go for the whole group, some want to tone it down a bit to soften the anticipated criticism from European allies, the official said.

For months, U.S. officials have contended that Iranian agents, from the Quds Force, are helping train and equip militants in Iraq and have been supplying armor-piercing explosively formed penetrators to insurgents that have been used against U.S. forces. Iran has denied these assertions.

The discussions come amid increased pressure by Congress to take tougher measures against Iran, including a possible divestment campaign. According to the official, the move by the administration could blunt any action in Congress which might tie the administration’s hands.

Posted in Bush, Executive Orders, Iran, Karzai, Maliki, Middle East, military, Politics, President, Revolutionary Guard, War | 8 Comments »

RNC Now Seeks Shelter of Executive Privilege

Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007

t r u t h o u t | Report: By Jason Leopold

  • The Republican National Committee said it will not abide by a subpoena and turn over documents to a Congressional committee investigating the firings of at least eight US attorneys last year because the RNC is waiting to see if the White House will assert executive privilege over RNC documents at the center of the controversy, according to an outside law firm retained by the RNC.

Are they freaking kidding me!!! So let me see if I understand how Executive Privilege works; you don’t have to work in the White House or even be a passed employee of the White House staff, you just have to have associations with the Bush gang. Well crap that’s have the country that now claim executive privilege.

  • The White House has asserted executive privilege to block senior administration officials from testifying before Congress about their involvement in the decision to fire the federal prosecutors. Moreover, the White House has cited executive privilege in declining to turn over specific documents to Congress that may shed further light on the circumstances behind the attorney firings. The US attorneys believe they were fired for partisan political reasons. In some instances, the US attorneys said they were pressured by Republican lawmakers and RNC operatives to file criminal charges against Democrats at the center of public corruption probes prior to last year’s midterm election as well as individual cases of voter fraud, which the attorneys said was based on weak evidence, in order to cast a dark cloud over Democratic incumbents and swing election results toward Republican challengers.
  • Earlier this year, internal Justice Department documents related to behind-the-scenes discussions involving the US attorney firings revealed some Bush administration officials have primarily used email accounts maintained by the RNC to conduct official White House business in what appears to be a violation of the Presidential Records Act. The RNC is believed to have thousands of pages of documents from White House officials in its possession, dating back to 2005, that could answer lingering questions about the role the administration played in the decision to fire the US attorneys.
  • The latest salvo between the RNC and Congress over the documents under subpoena sets the stage for a legal showdown between the House and RNC Chairman Robert Duncan, who Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers threatened to hold in contempt if documents and internal RNC emails relating to the Congressional probe are not turned over to his committee. Neither Conyers nor a spokesman for the congressman returned calls for comment on Monday. Presumably, any further legal action would take place when Congress returns from its summer vacation next month.
  • In a letter sent on Friday to Conyers, Robert Kelner, an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, said the White House counsel’s office instructed the RNC not to “produce Category Two documents at this time.”

Full Read

Posted in Bush, Congress, Conyers, Department of Justice, executive privilege, Judiciary Committee, Oversight, Politics, RNC | 3 Comments »

Gonzales To Oversee Death Penalty

Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007

This is stunning, Alberto Gonzales the guy who can’t recall where he put his shoes will be in charge of overseeing the death penalty. Obviously there were several items that were missed by the 109th Congress when they reauthorized the Patriot Act. Interesting that the items missed have to do with the Department of Justice.

  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could see his influence over death penalty decisions increase under new regulations expected to be approved soon by the Justice Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Implementing a “little-notice provision in last year’s reauthorization of the Patriot Act,” the Justice Department rules give Gonzales authority that had previously been held by federal judges to decide whether states are providing adequate council for defendants in death penalty cases, according to the Times.
  • “The move to shorten the appeals process and effectively speed up executions comes at a time of growing national concern about the fairness of the death penalty, underscored by the use of DNA testing to establish the innocence of more than a dozen death row inmates in recent years,” reports Richard B. Schmitt in the Times Tuesday.
  • On the same day the Times story appeared, Gonzales addressed the Fraternal Order of Police National Conference in Louisville, Ky. Although the attorney general did not mention his soon-to-expand death penalty influence, he did invoke his nephew’s service in Iraq.
  • “Recently, some in the media have questioned how I deal with the recent challenges in the Department. It’s simple. You see I have a nephew stationed in Iraq. I visited with him on Saturday and we talked about his challenges,” Gonzales said. “Yes, I face criticism, but he faces bullets. I sleep comfortably in my own bed next to my wife. My nephew sleeps with his buddies in a converted meat packing building.”
  • Gonzales has faced withering criticism from Congress over his role in firing nine US Attorneys last year and a host of other scandals. In Louisville, Gonzales joked about his and other administration officials’ frequent appearances before congressional committees investigating his conduct.
  • “And as Defense Secretary Robert Gates has noted, ‘In Washington, most of my public remarks tend to begin with someone asking me to raise my right hand,'” Gonzales said.
  • Among the topics that have come up during Gonzales appearances in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill was his handling of a previous death penalty case. TPM Muckraker revisits an exchange between Gonzales and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican.
  • Specter and Gonzales sparred over the Justice Department’s decision to overrule a federal prosecutor who decided not to seek the death penalty for Rios Rico, who had been convicted of murder in Arizona. The US Attorney overseeing the case previously, Paul Charlton, testified that deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and Gonzales had deliberated on the case for “five to 10 minutes” before deciding to seek the death penalty.
  • Gonzales said he could not recall anything about the case of his discussions with McNulty about it.
  • “Well, Mr. Attorney General, I’m not totally unfamiliar with this sort of thing,” Specter chided Gonzales. “When I was district attorney of Philadelphia, I had 500 homicides a year. I didn’t allow any assistant to ask for the death penalty that I hadn’t personally approved. And when I asked for the death penalty, I remembered the case.”

Posted in Congress, Department of Justice, Gonzales, National, Patriot Act, Politics | 1 Comment »

Elizabeth Edwards Smacks Down Hillary & Obama

Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007

You really have to love the openness and straight talk from Elizabeth Edwards. In a recent interview she smacked down Hillary and Obama on a variety of issues but one important one for me was their lack of blocking the Iraq Funding Bill.

  • NEW YORK (AP)Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic candidate John Edwards, lambastes his rival Barack Obama as “holier than thou” on the Iraq war and accuses Hillary Clinton of failing to show leadership on health care and Iraq.
  • As her husband trails Clinton and Obama in national polls, Elizabeth Edwards has been an outspoken critic of his opponents. Last month, she said her husband would be a better champion for women as president than Clinton and more recently said, “We can’t make John black, we can’t make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars.”
  • In an interview published in the August issue of The Progressive magazine, Elizabeth Edwards complained about Obama, who opposed the war when he was a state legislator in Illinois but has voted for funds for the military.
  • John Edwards, then a North Carolina senator, voted in 2002 to authorize the military invasion of Iraq. Since then, he has said his vote was a mistake. He also voted against several funding requests while in the Senate — but not all, as Elizabeth Edwards claimed in the interview.
  • “And honestly, the other candidates?” Elizabeth Edwards asked. “Obama gives a speech that’s likely to be extraordinarily popular in his home district, and then comes to the Senate and votes for funding … So you are going to get people behaving in a holier-than-thou way. But John stood up when he was in the Senate for exactly the thing he’s asking these people to stand up for now.”
  • Edwards also criticized both Obama and Clinton for not using their influence to line up additional votes to block an Iraq funding bill in May. The two senators were among just 13 Democrats to vote against the bill.
  • “We’re electing the leader of the free world,” Elizabeth Edwards said. “They should have been making speeches about why it was they were doing this, and standing up and trying to rally. And they didn’t. They weren’t leaders.”
  • On health care, Edwards said Obama’s plan for universal coverage was inadequate because it left 15 million uninsured. She also criticized Clinton for not producing a health care plan and for questioning whether there was sufficient “political will” to enact universal care.
  • “Hillary is saying we need to develop a political will. She hasn’t been talking to people if she thinks we need to develop it. We do not. There is consensus on this issue,” Edwards said.
  • Edwards even suggested Obama’s signature theme — a plea for hope and political unity — had been lifted from her husband’s 2004 presidential campaign.
  • “You listen to the language of what people say, particularly Obama, who seems to be using a lot of John’s 2004 language,” Edwards said, noting that Obama’s media adviser, David Axelrod, worked for Edwards that year.
  • Spokesmen for both Clinton and Obama declined to comment on the Elizabeth Edwards interview.

Posted in Clinton, Democrat, Edwards, Election, Elizabeth Edwards, Obama, Politics | 2 Comments »

The Architect’s House Of Cards Falls Down – Not Soon Enough

Posted by bosskitty on August 13, 2007

rovebush.jpg Rove ‘more dangerous’ on the outside

Karl Rove may be leaving his roles as hard-nosed strategist and bookish policy expert in the Bush White House, but that doesn’t mean Democrats can rest easy.

“Karl outside the White House is more dangerous to Democrats than Karl inside the White House,” said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore’s campaign manager. Her view: He’ll have lots more free time now to dream up ways to boost President Bush’s standing, “rebrand” the GOP and conquer the 2008 electoral map.
Though Rove says he is not about to vanish from politics, the debate over the legacy of his unique dual role has begun. Some say he personifies the need to limit the power of White House political aides; others say he’s a model future presidents may want to emulate.

Rove is the epitome of intellect applied to evil goals … Rove incited Republicans into more unscrupulous behavior than they could have imagined on their own . . . He will remain the poster boy for political corruption until someone has the guts to indict him.

Posted in Bush, conspiracy, Contempt, Corruption, Deception, disinformation, DoubleSpeak, Election, Evil, Executive Branch, Hypocracy, Impeach, indictment, Inherent Contempt, intelligence, Karl Rove, Legacy, Orwellian, Politics, President, profiteers, Propaganda, Republican, RNC, Rove, The Divider, The Liar, threat, Vote, War Cost | 9 Comments »

America, Canada, Mexico – Three Nations Under What

Posted by bosskitty on August 12, 2007

spp_200.gif NOTICE

On March 23, 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin inaugurated the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP). The SPP endeavors to enhance the competitive position of North American industries in the global marketplace and provide greater economic opportunity for all of our societies, while maintaining high standards of health and safety for our people. The three countries will work together, in consultation with stakeholders, to improve productivity, reduce the costs of trade, and enhance the quality of life for our people.

SPP Myths vs Facts

Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America (North American Union) while respecting the sovereignty and unique cultural heritage of each nation. The SPP provides a vehicle by which the United States, Canada, and Mexico can identify and resolve unnecessary obstacles to trade and it provides a means to improve our response to emergencies and increase security, thus benefiting and protecting Americans.

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America Prosperity Agenda

PROSPERITY AGENDA Promoting Growth, Competitiveness and Quality of Life

To enhance the competitive position of North American industries in the global marketplace and to provide greater economic opportunity for all of our societies, while maintaining high standards of health and safety for our people, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will work together, and in consultation with stakeholders, to:

Improve Productivity, Reduce the Costs of Trade, Enhance the Quality of Life

There is much debate and controversy about this agreement. I will share what I learn as I educate myself with the facts. As always, if Bush did this below the media radar, I will remain suspicious. See some of the controversy at SourceWatch. There are more radical views found at Stop The North American Union.  This is the link to CNN stories about the NAU event on YouTube,  very interesting ….

Posted in Canada, Mexico, North American Union, Politics, SPP | 8 Comments »

Cornyn Looses Top Republican Supporter to Democrate Noriega

Posted by nytexan on August 12, 2007

Just another nail in the coffin of Senator do nothing for Texas Cornyn. Democratic challenger Rick Noriega has just gained the largest supporter of Cornyn and the Republican Party. Texas republicans are turning their backs on the Cornyn and taking a stand for what’s right.

From Capital Annex:

  • One of the top Hispanic Republicans in the nation says he cannot support U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the next election because of the position Texas’ junior senator has taken on immigration reform.
  • Houston businessman Massey Villarreal told the Guardian he would instead back Democrat Rick Noriega, a state representative from Houston. Noriega is exploring a campaign for the U.S. Senate.
  • “I have decided to support Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate as a Democrat. I just don’t think John Cornyn hears my community,” Villarreal said.
  • “I know he (Cornyn) supports some issues that affect my community but immigration reform is one of the defining positions in my community. I have got to support what is good for my community. At the end of the day, regardless of party, we have to come home to our community, where we grew up in the grassroots.”
  • A native of Corpus Christi, Villarreal is one of the top Hispanic Republicans in the country. Named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine in 2002, Villarreal served as chairman of the board of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly for four terms.
  • In 2000, Massey was named national Hispanic vice-chairman of the Bush/Cheney for President Campaign and deputy vice-chairman of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. He also served on the national steering committee for the Viva Bush Campaign.
  • Villarreal has been given state appointments, with then-Gov. George W. Bush naming him to the Texas State University System board and Gov. Rick Perry asking him to head up the Texas Department of Economic Development.
  • His company is Precision Task Group, a Houston-based systems integration firm.
  • This shows just what kind of appeal Rick Noriega has to Texans of all types. Clearly, not only Noriega’s immigration stance but the fact he actually served on the U.S.-Mexico border are resonating with a lot of people.

Posted in Cornyn, Democrat, Election, GOP, Immigration, Massey Villarreal, News, Politics, Republican, Rick Noriega, Senate | Leave a Comment »

Soldiers Are Collapsing Where They Stand

Posted by nytexan on August 11, 2007

The truth about the health and well being of our troops never seems to get covered by the main stream media. However, the truth about the U.S. troops seems to smack the British media right in the face.

While Bush will stand up there and continue to lie to us and Petraeus will present a bogus report in September, our soldiers are collapsing where they stand. All is not well in the real world of the Iraq war. As you read the article you will see that the soldiers are not allowed to tell the media what’s really going on. Shocking that Bush would be deceiving the American public.

Here’s alittle tidbit that’s at the end of the article “America’s ‘war tsar’ has called for the nation’s political leaders to consider bringing back the draft to help a military exhausted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

falluja10c.jpg

Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.

Lieutenant Clay Hanna looks sick and white. Like his colleagues he does not seem to sleep. Hanna says he catches up by napping on a cot between operations in the command centre, amid the noise of radio. He is up at 6am and tries to go to sleep by 2am or 3am. But there are operations to go on, planning to be done and after-action reports that need to be written. And war interposes its own deadly agenda that requires his attention and wakes him up.

When he emerges from his naps there is something old and paper-thin about his skin, something sketchy about his movements as the days go by.

The Americans he commands, like the other men at Sullivan – a combat outpost in Zafraniya, south east Baghdad – hit their cots when they get in from operations. But even when they wake up there is something tired and groggy about them. They are on duty for five days at a time and off for two days. When they get back to the forward operating base, they do their laundry and sleep and count the days until they will get home. It is an exhaustion that accumulates over the patrols and the rotations, over the multiple deployments, until it all joins up, wiping out any memory of leave or time at home. Until life is nothing but Iraq.

Hanna and his men are not alone in being tired most of the time. A whole army is exhausted and worn out. You see the young soldiers washed up like driftwood at Baghdad’s international airport, waiting to go on leave or returning to their units, sleeping on their body armour on floors and in the dust.

Where once the war in Iraq was defined in conversations with these men by untenable ideas – bringing democracy or defeating al-Qaeda – these days the war in Iraq is defined by different ways of expressing the idea of being weary. It is a theme that is endlessly reiterated as you travel around Iraq. ‘The army is worn out. We are just keeping people in theatre who are exhausted,’ says a soldier working for the US army public affairs office who is supposed to be telling me how well things have been going since the ‘surge’ in Baghdad began.

They are not supposed to talk like this. We are driving and another of the public affairs team adds bitterly: ‘We should just be allowed to tell the media what is happening here. Let them know that people are worn out. So that their families know back home. But it’s like we’ve become no more than numbers now.’

The first soldier starts in again. ‘My husband was injured here. He hit an improvised explosive device. He already had a spinal injury. The blast shook out the plates. He’s home now and has serious issues adapting. But I’m not allowed to go back home to see him. If I wanted to see him I’d have to take leave time (two weeks). And the army counts it.’

A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. ‘We’re plodding through this,’ he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. ‘I don’t know how much more plodding we’ve got left in us.’

When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain’s assistant who has come to bless a patrol. ‘Why don’t you tell the truth? Why don’t you journalists write that this army is exhausted?’

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Health, Iraq, mental health, military, News, Petraeus, Politics, Soldiers, veterans, War, War Czar | 6 Comments »