Saturday, July 29, 2006

Moveon--4, Corporate America--Who Cares?

Ah, I love the smell of Moveon in the morning:
Corporate Media Censors MoveOn: "Perhaps you have thought, 'If the voters knew how venal a GOP member of Congress was, they could never get re-elected.'

MoveOn is testing that proposition with a public service ad campaign that targets four Republican candidates whose votes in Congress have put special interest profits before the public good.

'Caught red-handed' is the moniker for a series of MoveOn TV ads that expose the lawmakers' fealty to the corporations that fund their campaigns. MoveOn PAC Director Eli Pariser puts it this way: 'The most visible and insidious form of corruption is the form that is also legal, and that is the money politicians take from big companies and the votes that they give in return to help those companies out.'"
Despite resistance from GOP affiliated media, the "caught red-handed" campaign seems to be working. In Connecticut, a survey taken in Rep. Johnson's district found that, following the ads, her share of the vote dropped from 47 to 41 percent, while her Democratic opponent Chris Murphy's share of the vote rose from 46 to 51 percent--an 11 percentage point shift.

Similiarly, in Virginia, Thelma Drakes' 51 to 42 percent lead in the polls shrank to a 46-46 tie with challenger Phil Kellam--a 9 percentage point shift. MoveOn set out on this campaign, in the words of Pariser, to find out: "How do you take the issue of corruption and tie it to the politicians that we need to beat in November?" The answer: Paint their hands red, for all to see.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Other Than Neocon and Zionist Invasion of a Country Under False Pretense, How Will 7/12 Be Used Like 9/11?

Squarely and firmly I lay blame for the Israeli murder of Lebanese civilians on the US Washington regime. This administration--and all Republicans who support it--KNEW that invading a sovereign nation set the stage for the next "victim" to play the pre-emptive defense card and that victim would of course be Israel. Zionist and Neocon PNAC activists have wanted this war--have salivated for any excuse--to begin their anti-democratic advance of world domination, some for Judaeo-Christian interests and others for corporate interests, and on July 12 Hezbollah gave them that excuse (...was it Hezbollah or an Israeli plant? Think 9/11 conspiracy-style here).

Past reports from blog sources have been claiming US interest for invading Iran has been centered on the summer of 2006. Why? Did US administration contacts give Israel the go-ahead to start the war that they, with poll numbers disappearing off the chart, could not politcally accomplish? After all getting 'permission' (that's a joke) would require Congress and democracy.

This invasion of Lebanon is the beginning of a war precipitated on convenience. It is criminal. America is more than complicit. What the hell are YOU going to do about it?
Israel's military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago.
Of all of Israel's wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared," said Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University. ".In a sense, the preparation began in May 2000, immediately after the Israeli withdrawal, when it became clear the international community was not going to prevent Hezbollah from stockpiling missiles and attacking Israel By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to last about three weeks that we're seeing now had already been blocked out and, in the last year or two, it's been simulated and rehearsed across the board."
Washington's Latest Middle East War: "It must be stated unequivocally that this is a war against civilians – there is nothing “collateral” about it. And Israel is responsible for this war. Hezbollah’s July 12 raid across the Israeli border may have violated the 1949 armistice agreement between the newly created state of Israel and Lebanon, but it was limited to a military target. The only Israelis killed or captured were soldiers. Given the human devastation of the predictable Israeli response, the raid may have been what French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy called it, an “irresponsible act.” But it did not violate international law. According to Human Rights Watch, “the targeting and capture of enemy soldiers is allowed under international humanitarian law.” It was Israel’s response, on the other hand, that escalated to a full-scale attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure starting with the bombing of the Beirut international airport. That act was what Douste-Blazy, distinguishing it from Hezbollah’s raid, called “a disproportionate act of war.” The Israeli attack stands in stark violation of the Geneva Conventions prohibitions against collective punishment, targeting civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure and more. The attack was – and remains – a war crime."
Hat tip--Harry Morel

Monday, July 24, 2006


The new threat of low, low prices:
It is now twenty-five years since the Reagan Administration eviscerated America's century-long tradition of antitrust enforcement. For a generation, big firms have enjoyed almost complete license to use brute economic force to grow only bigger. And so today we find ourselves in a world dominated by immense global oligopolies that every day further limit the flexibility of our economy and our personal freedom within it. There are still many instances of intense competition -- just ask General Motors.
The stakes could not be higher. In systems where oligopolies rule unchecked by the state, competition itself is transformed from a free-for-all into a kind of private-property right, a license to the powerful to fence off entire marketplaces, there to pit supplier against supplier, community against community, and worker against worker, for their own private gain. When oligopolies rule unchecked by the state, what is perverted is the free market itself, and our freedom as individuals within the economy and ultimately within our political system as well.

Popular notions of oligopoly and monopoly tend to focus on the danger that firms, having gained control over a marketplace, will then be able to dictate an unfairly high price, extracting a sort of tax from society as a whole. But what should concern us today even more is a mirror image of monopoly called "monopsony." Monopsony arises when a firm captures the ability to dictate price to its suppliers, because the suppliers have no real choice other than to deal with that buyer. Not all oligopolists rely on the exercise of monopsony, but a large and growing contingent of today's largest firms are built to do just that. The ultimate danger of monopsony is that it deprives the firms that actually manufacture products from obtaining an adequate return on their investment. In other words, the ultimate danger of monopsony is that, over time, it tends to destroy the machines and skills on which we all rely.

Got Peace?

If I hear one more idiot pundit from Fox, CNN or the Heritage Foundation/Institute/winger think-tank, claim the scuff between Israel and Hezbollah is World War III I'm gonna smile. Yes smile. Fight fire with peace.

Let's get this straight. Israel is acting like a huge asinine baby. Hezbollah is what American "Christocrats" (for lack of a better term) would give their right arms to be themselves in the USA. The Neocons have been getting off every day this started--it is the wet dream they have needed to kick off their "World War III" (they couldn't get enough traction in Iraq). Bush is lost--utterly out of his league. And because Bush *is* over his head ANY American citizen with brains instead of the Rapture/Fox/fecal matter between his or her ears will strive for peace, not war, at this juncture.

So why smile?

People who want war want your energy. They want your anger. When you lose your cool they win their war--against YOU! So don't give it to them. Think your own thoughts--even if what you think is that such folks are lunatics who deserve institutionalization--but when you're in the material world (you know, the one outside yur head), radiate PEACE.

Get out the peace signs, the smiley faces, the flower power--whatever it takes--and fight their fire with your peace. Don't regurgitate the fear. Bring reason back to the table. Show others how--be informed about the facts of the matter yourself--and be calm. It'll drive fear-mongers crazy!!!

That's okay. They eat their own anyway.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Israel Itself is a Mistake

Finally, someone agrees with me...
Hunker Down With History: "The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

This is why the Israeli-Arab war, now transformed into the Israeli-Muslim war (Iran is not an Arab state), persists and widens. It is why the conflict mutates and festers. It is why Israel is now fighting an organization, Hezbollah, that did not exist 30 years ago and why Hezbollah is being supported by a nation, Iran, that was once a tacit ally of Israel's. The underlying, subterranean hatred of the Jewish state in the Islamic world just keeps bubbling to the surface. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and some other Arab countries may condemn Hezbollah, but I doubt the proverbial man in their street shares that view."
...a little late perhaps, but still...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Triumph of the Authoritarians - John Dean

Join us July 23, 2006 for week four--They'll Steal it by Lieing-- in our five-week Election Integrity series Steal Your Vote, Silence Your Voice: How Republicans Will Steal Your Vote in 2006 and Beyond...

We'll be talking with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean who has just published his seventh nonfiction book: Conservatives Without Conscience. We'll be discussing the second of two questions one must answer to determine if the 2004 elections--and hence those in the future--could be stolen: "...have we seen anything in the moral universe of George W. Bush, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney that would stop them from stealing an election for moral reasons?" (Dr. Robert Fitrakis).

John Dean: "For more than 40 years I have considered myself a 'Goldwater conservative,' and am thoroughly familiar with the movement's canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon imperial presidency on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra."
"What I found provided a personal epiphany. Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, ``enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral." And that's not just his view. To the contrary, this is how these people have consistently described themselves when being anonymously tested, by the tens of thousands over the past several decades."

Hat tip: Kat L'Estrange

From the "I Never Thought I'd Say This" Files...

I never thought I'd quote this guy, until I read this:

Moderation in the protection of liberty
is no virtue;
extremism in the defense of freedom
is no vice.

-- Senator Barry Goldwater. 1909-1998

Protect all the voters, count all the votes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


MEXICO CITY: Via Greg Palast: "While much of the world believes Felipe Calderon has been officially declared Mexico's next President, it is not true. At least not yet."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

OPEN THREAD--AP SHOW--07-09-06: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Robert Fritakis and John Brakey

"They'll Steal It By Purging and Spoiling." We discussed ballot spoilage, purging, the Help American Vote Act (HAVA), electronic machine malfunction and more with guests Robert F. Kennedy Junior, 2004 election specialist, attorney and 2006 Green Party Gubernatorial candidate, Robert Fitrakis and Arizona election justice activist John Brakey.

Thanks to my guests it was another great Action Point show.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Imagine This--A Candidate Who Stands Up For Those Who Vote For Him

Liberal United States candidates take note--people will back you all the way to the streets WHEN you show them the leadership it warrants...
Obrador rejects recount: "Leftist leader Andr�s Manuel L�pez Obrador refused to concede defeat Thursday in Mexico's closest-ever presidential race, after an official recount showed conservative candidate Felipe Calder�n ahead by less than half a percentage point.

Alleging irregularities in the electoral process, Mr. Obrador promised to bring claims to a special electoral court and urged supporters to join him in the streets Saturday for a protest in the Zocalo, Mexico City's main square - raising the fear of violence in an already polarized nation with two distinct visions for the future."
Don't forget that for the month of July, Action Point's broadcasts are covering how the last two US elections were stolen...oh, knew that, right?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Another Day, Another Diversion. Ho-hum....

A bait and switch to New York Times from a Saudi terrorist funding cover-up? Nah, this administration would never do that...
Niagara Falls Reporter Opinion: "DETROIT -- The attacks on the media, especially The New York Times, over revelations that the Bush administration has been secretly rummaging through international banking transactions, deflects attention from a far more serious issue.

The real story is not that our government is looking at networks financing terrorist operations -- a legitimate and necessary activity -- but how poorly that job is done and how the greatest source of terrorist funding escapes serious scrutiny.

Lenny Wallace, a Florida-based financial consultant, has spent nearly five years trying to get to the bottom of a $5 billion series of loans involving Citigroup and a Saudi prince. The deal saw money bouncing from Singapore to Scotland to Miami. Wallace was retained to facilitate the loans and assist the bank in investing the proceeds. What he thought was a legitimate business venture turned into a mysterious shuffle of funds for nebulous purposes.

Jack Blum is a Washington lawyer and skilled investigator who has spent years following the trail of dirty money. William Greider reports in 'The Nation' on Blum's assessment of phony furor over The New York Times blowing the lid off the government tracking international banking data.

'The scandal here is not government overreach, he tells me. The scandal is the pitiful reluctance of this administration (and others before it) to get serious about the problem,' Greider reports. Blum told Greider the monitoring system the Times reported on seems 'unexceptional' and 'so narrowly focused' it ends up producing empty information.

'Meanwhile, the biggest purveyor of terrorist money, as everybody knows, are accounts in Saudi Arabia,' Blum said. 'Nobody will deal with it because the Saudis own half of America.'"

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

PALAST REPORT: GRAND THEFT MEXICO--Are Republicans Exporting Election Fraud?

Twice (so far) Action Point has interviewed Greg Palast. Twice we've been stunned--STUNNED--by this guy's investigative prowess, on-air story focus and entertaining delivery. He's the journalist that I wish we had more of by the dozens, and in the newsrooms of cable and mainstream media throughout the country. If folks like Greg Palast were at work in this country, I might actually get some sleep again!
GRAND THEFT MEXICO Greg Palast: "This past Friday, we reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had obtained Mexico’s voter files under a secret “counter-terrorism” contract with the database company ChoicePoint of Alpharetta, Georgia (See BUSH TEAM HELPS RULING PARTY “FLORIDIZE” MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.)The FBI’s contractor states that following the arrest of ChoicePoint agents by the Mexican government, the company returned or destroyed its files. The firm claims not to have known that collecting this information violated Mexican law. Such files can be useful in challenging a voter’s right to cast a ballot or in preventing that vote from counting."

It is, of course, impossible to know whether the FBI destroyed its own copy of the files of Mexico’s voter rolls obtained by ChoicePoint or whether these were then used to illegally assist the Calderon candidacy. But we can see the results: as in the US, first in Florida, then in Ohio, the exit polls are at odds with “official” polls.

ELECTIONS: Electronic Flipping: If Not Already, When?

July 16 2006, join Action Point on Air America Radio KPHX Phoenix for "They'll Steal it By Flipping", part three of our five-part July series Steal Your Vote, Silence Your Voice: How Republicans Will Steal Your Vote in 2006 and Beyond!
In a country where your vote is supposed to count, you should be worried about someone stealing your vote: "Last week, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University issued a report after 18 months concluding that one person, with knowledge and access to voting machine software, could change the result of an election. 'It's not a question of 'if,' ' said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., 'it's a question of 'when.' '"

ELECTIONS: The Coming Ballot Meltdown

The Coming Ballot Meltdown: Ohio Election Chaos A Harbinger Of Things To Come - CBS News: "So it's not inconceivable, as the nation awakes on November 8, that the Ohio governor's race will be too close to call. And if that happens, all hell will break loose."
..and I promise you that demon Republicans will preside in the midst.

ELECTIONS: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Coming to Action Point in July!

We'll be discussing this:
During a White House press briefing on June 8th, a tough question caught Tony Snow off guard. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has written an article in Rolling Stone which revisits the Ohio vote in 2004," a Baltimore radio reporter asked Bush's spokesman. "Does the president believe Kennedy has raised any new evidence of voter fraud?"

Snow tried to deflect the question with a joke, suggesting that the reporter should serve as Bush's "emissary from Rolling Stone." But many citizens, journalists and elected officials are taking our four-month investigation of vote-rigging in Ohio far more seriously ["Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" RS 1002]. The debate began online, where the story set off a firestorm. More than 700,000 people logged on to to read the story, and thousands of bloggers posted heated entries about Kennedy's report.
..and definitely this...
Even Democrats who have been slow to question the election results were convinced by Kennedy's exhaustive report. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who serves as the party's chief deputy whip, took the extraordinary step of admitting her mistake. "I apologize for not taking seriously enough the allegations that the 2004 election was stolen," she confessed in a speech on June 14th. "After reading Bobby Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone -- 'Was the 2004 Election Stolen?' -- I am convinced that the only answer is yes." Schakowsky promised that the Democrats would move aggressively "to ward off a repeat performance."

Kennedy, meanwhile, is preparing to up the ante on those he believes abetted the GOP's electoral theft. In July, the outspoken attorney plans to file "whistle-blower" lawsuits against two leading manufacturers of electronic voting machines. According to Kennedy, company insiders are prepared to testify that the firms knowingly made false claims when they sold their voting systems to the government -- misrepresenting the accuracy, reliability and security of machines that will be used by 72 million voters this November.
"This is a unique way to try and stop these vendors," Kennedy tells Rolling Stone. "In both cases, our whistle-blowers are familiar with security problems that were well known by the vendors but concealed from election officials during the bidding process. Because we're relying on 'inside' knowledge, it is a far more frightening prospect to the company than a traditional lawsuit might be. And if we prove our case, we will hit the corporations the only place they feel it: in their pocketbooks."
..and much more. You can count on it!

Big Pharma uses Consumer Protection Process to Drive up Your Drug Costs

And you should be angry...
...Petitions to FDA Sometimes Delay Generic Drugs: "A procedure designed to alert the Food and Drug Administration to scientific and safety issues is getting a hard look from members of Congress, who say they are concerned that it may be getting subverted by the brand-name drug industry.

Some at the FDA, as well as leaders in the generic drug industry, complain that 'citizen petitions' -- requests for agency action that any individual, group or company can file -- are being misused by brand-name drugmakers to stave off generic competition.
The simple act of filing a petition, they say, triggers another round of time-consuming and often redundant reviews of the generics by the FDA, which can take months or years. In the process, consumers continue to pay millions of dollars more for the brand-name drugs."
...but be careful of a Republican congress "looking" at your consumer protections. We know by now that Republicans never do anything for you without it being one side of a splitting strategy: target the consumer protection their big money lobbying friends want lifted and then find a way to logically argue that the consumer ill can't be removed without gutting the consumer protection as the solution.

There is no basis in fact for such presumptions. It is all a matter of framing. And the argument is *always* framed that the *only* course of action precludes any regulation of the industry behavior. That is a lie. That is false representation of the possibilities. Never accept the presumptions of how a process must be framed from this Congress. It will always cost you more in the future than any price you believe you are being led to pay now. Remove a process so that your generics can be had more speedily? NO! Slap the hand of pharma abusers--hard--and make them put the candy back!!

Why I Don't Support the Nuclear Alternative

Nukes Kill. Period.
Getting Off Our Nuclear Power Fixation: "Despite Vice President Dick Cheney's contention that nuclear power is 'carbon-free,' nukes contribute to the greenhouse effect. The government is betting billions of dollars of our money, and could simply give it away to developers to build new nuclear plants. And, our country's aging nuke fleet is getting plastic surgery while its innards decay and get ever closer to fatal accidents."
UPDATE (07-04-2006) And even an argument to me like this, where wind is compared to nuclear, makes no difference:
"Wind power has been established as a safe, clean, cheap energy option," the Earth Policy Institute's Joseph Florence told OneWorld.

The U.S. has installed 9,100 megawatts of wind power capacity, the group says, including a record-breaking 2,400 megawatts in 2005. Chief among the reasons for the growth were advances in technology and a 1.9-cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity produced from a wind farm during the first 10 years of its operation.

"Political support is the key driver in the wind industry," Florence said. "If Congress votes to continue the production tax credit, then the future is bright. But without government support it just can't compete against traditional non-renewable technologies."

Not everyone is so bullish on wind power's ability to provide for America's energy needs, however.

Advocates of nuclear power contend that wind require too much land to power the U.S. grid. Almost half of U.S. energy currently comes from coal, while 20 percent comes from nuclear power. Nuclear industry representatives say if America is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming, nuclear power must be front and center.

"Nuclear energy has the smallest environmental footprint of any other emission-free source," the Nuclear Energy Institute's Mitch Singer told OneWorld.
Nuclear's CO2 footprint may be smaller, but its poisonous half-life nature makes it a Goliath. Don't be swayed by the least important feature of the pro-nuclear argument--a slight contribution to humanity's early heat death-- while ignoring the more harmful effects of a later death from disease and deformity!

Corporations Aren't People

Among the things high on my personal Action Point list is ending the utterly ridiculous outcomes that stem from the position that corporations are people with a voice. What are they saying? Profit before people?! Then that's even more of a reason to shut them up:
Corporations Aren't People: "Largely lost amid last week's Supreme Court rulings limiting President Bush's imperial powers and upholding Texas Republicans' 2003 gerrymandering was a decision that put the kibosh on Vermont's campaign finance and spending laws -- the strictest in the nation by far.

The justices, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that the limits were unconstitutional according to the standard set out in the landmark 1976 case Buckley v. Valeo, which held that spending millions of dollars to get elected is a protected form of political speech.
But the decision reveals yet again how deeply entrenched the role of big money is in the American political system. Over the last 150 years, bizarre legal doctrines have developed that have effectively codified the power of special interests. In addition to the idea inBuckley that 'money equals speech,' we've been saddled with the Orwellian concept of 'corporate personhood.'"

Sunday, July 02, 2006

OPEN THREAD--AP SHOW 07-02-06: Greg Palast & the Reverend Jessie Jackson: STEALING THE NEXT ELECTION


New Day and Time
Sunday July 2, 2006 12 Noon & 10p (3p EDT & 1a EDT)

Join us as Action Point kicks off our new day and time with a month of Sundays devoted to stopping radical special interests from stealing your vote.

Already some Republicans are brazenly stealing your future vote by their refusal to reauthorize the 1965 Voter Rights Act (VRA). Through that lens Action Point will examine civil rights, past recount scandals, voter-roll scrubbing and more. With Election Day just four months away, now is the time to call in, be heard, and take action.

Scheduled guests include the Reverand Jesse Jackson, Greg Palast, Ralph Neas (People for the American Way) and Keenan Keller (Senior Democratic counsel for the Committee on the Judiciary for the U.S. House of Representatives).

Date: Sunday, 07-02-2006
Show time: Noon-1 PM MST
Local call-in: 602-258-8800
Toll Free: 800-989-1480
(Attention MAC users: stream on Microsoft Media Player or another MAC alternative)