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Friday, June 10, 2005

More Sensenbrenner Shenanigans

Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) is up to his tricks again.

The House Judiciary Committee Chairman, one of the authors of the (anti-)PATRIOT Act, the man behind the [National ID/Internal Passport] REAL ID, and sponsor of HR1528, shut down and walked out of hearings on the renewal of the Unconstitutional provisions of the (anti-)PATRIOT Act.

Come on Wisconsin, vote this would-be tyrant out!

Read the article here.

For when you just need to hit something...

Has Dubya made you steaming mad recently?

Go ahead and work out that frustration.

Bush Approval Rankings

He's tanking.

Results of AP-Ipsos Poll on President Bush

Jesse in '08!

Jesse Ventura on the issues.

Once again, it's time to call your Congresscritter:

It's way past time to ensure voter-verified paper trails, and Rep. Holt's bill (search for H.R. 550) does so.

An excerpt:


Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005 (Introduced in House)


This Act may be cited as the `Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005'.


(a) Voter Verification and Audit Capacity-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Section 301(a)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:


        `(A) IN GENERAL-

        `(i) The voting system shall produce or require the use of an individual voter-verified paper record of the voter's vote that shall be made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter's vote is cast. For purposes of this clause, examples of such a record include a paper ballot prepared by the voter for the purpose of being read by an optical scanner, a paper ballot prepared by the voter to be mailed to an election official (whether from a domestic or overseas location), a paper ballot created through the use of a ballot marking device, or a paper print-out of the voter's vote produced by a touch screen or other electronic voting machine, so long as in each case the record permits the voter to verify the record in accordance with this subparagraph.

        `(ii) The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error made by the system in the voter-verified paper record before the permanent voter-verified paper record is preserved in accordance with subparagraph (B)(i).

        `(iii) The voting system shall not preserve the voter-verifiable paper records in any manner that makes it possible to associate a voter with the record of the voter's vote.

        `(iv) In the case of a voting system which is purchased to meet the disability access requirements of paragraph (3) and which will be used exclusively by individuals with disabilities, the system does not need to meet the requirements of clauses (i) through (iii), but shall meet the requirements described in paragraph (3)(B)(ii).


        `(i) The permanent voter-verified paper record produced in accordance with subparagraph (A) shall be preserved--

          `(I) in the case of votes cast at the polling place on the date of the election, within the polling place in the manner or method in which all other paper ballots are preserved within such polling place;

          `(II) in the case of votes cast at the polling place prior to the date of the election or cast by mail, in a manner which is consistent with the manner employed by the jurisdiction for preserving such ballots in general; or

          `(III) in the absence of either such manner or method, in a manner which is consistent with the manner employed by the jurisdiction for preserving paper ballots in general.

        `(ii) Each paper record produced pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be suitable for a manual audit equivalent to that of a paper ballot voting system.

        `(iii) In the event of any inconsistencies or irregularities between any electronic records and the individual permanent paper records, the individual permanent paper records shall be the true and correct record of the votes cast.

        `(iv) The individual permanent paper records produced pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be the true and correct record of the votes cast and shall be used as the official records for purposes of any recount or audit conducted with respect to any election for Federal office in which the voting system is used.

      `(C) SPECIAL RULE FOR VOTES CAST BY ABSENT MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS- In the case of votes cast by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the ballots cast by such voters shall serve as the permanent paper record under subparagraph (A) in accordance with protocols established by the Commission in consultation with the Secretary of Defense which preserve the privacy of the voter and are consistent with the requirements of such Act.'.

Here's the list of your Rep. on board?
COSPONSORS(135), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]:

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 2/2/2005 Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] - 3/2/2005
Rep Allen, Thomas H. [ME-1] - 2/2/2005 Rep Baird, Brian [WA-3] - 2/2/2005
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 2/2/2005 Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] - 2/9/2005
Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] - 4/5/2005 Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 2/2/2005
Rep Berry, Marion [AR-1] - 3/17/2005 Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 2/16/2005
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] - 2/16/2005 Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] - 2/10/2005
Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] - 4/5/2005 Rep Boyd, Allen [FL-2] - 3/2/2005
Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] - 4/20/2005 Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 2/16/2005
Rep Brown, Sherrod [OH-13] - 2/9/2005 Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] - 3/17/2005
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] - 2/2/2005 Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 2/16/2005
Rep Case, Ed [HI-2] - 2/2/2005 Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 2/2/2005
Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] - 2/2/2005 Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 2/2/2005
Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] - 2/2/2005 Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7] - 2/16/2005
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 2/9/2005 Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 3/2/2005
Rep Davis, Jim [FL-11] - 3/2/2005 Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 4/20/2005
Rep Davis, Tom [VA-11] - 2/2/2005 Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 2/2/2005
Rep DeGette, Diana [CO-1] - 3/2/2005 Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 2/16/2005
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] - 3/10/2005 Rep Dicks, Norman D. [WA-6] - 2/2/2005
Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] - 3/17/2005 Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] - 2/16/2005
Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 2/16/2005 Rep Emanuel, Rahm [IL-5] - 2/16/2005
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 4/5/2005 Rep Eshoo, Anna G. [CA-14] - 2/2/2005
Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2] - 2/16/2005 Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 2/2/2005
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 2/2/2005 Rep Ford, Harold E., Jr. [TN-9] - 3/10/2005
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 2/9/2005 Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] - 4/5/2005
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 2/16/2005 Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 2/16/2005
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 2/2/2005 Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-27] - 2/9/2005
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 2/2/2005 Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 2/9/2005
Rep Hooley, Darlene [OR-5] - 2/16/2005 Rep Inslee, Jay [WA-1] - 2/16/2005
Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] - 4/5/2005 Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 4/5/2005
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 3/2/2005 Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 2/16/2005
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 2/2/2005 Rep Kanjorski, Paul E. [PA-11] - 5/11/2005
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 2/2/2005 Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 5/26/2005
Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 2/9/2005 Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 2/2/2005
Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3] - 2/2/2005 Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 2/2/2005
Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12] - 2/2/2005 Rep Larsen, Rick [WA-2] - 2/9/2005
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 2/2/2005 Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 2/9/2005
Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] - 3/2/2005 Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 2/2/2005
Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-7] - 4/5/2005 Rep Matheson, Jim [UT-2] - 2/9/2005
Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] - 2/9/2005 Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 2/9/2005
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 2/2/2005 Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 2/2/2005
Rep McKinney, Cynthia A. [GA-4] - 2/2/2005 Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] - 3/2/2005
Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] - 3/2/2005 Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] - 2/9/2005
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 2/9/2005 Rep Mollohan, Alan B. [WV-1] - 2/2/2005
Rep Moore, Dennis [KS-3] - 2/2/2005 Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 2/2/2005
Rep Murtha, John P. [PA-12] - 2/16/2005 Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 2/2/2005
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 2/9/2005 Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] - 2/2/2005
Rep Obey, David R. [WI-7] - 2/2/2005 Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 2/16/2005
Rep Owens, Major R. [NY-11] - 2/9/2005 Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] - 2/9/2005
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-8] - 2/2/2005 Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 2/16/2005
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 2/2/2005 Rep Petri, Thomas E. [WI-6] - 2/9/2005
Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] - 2/2/2005 Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 2/16/2005
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 2/16/2005 Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 2/9/2005
Rep. Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] - 3/2/2005 Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 2/9/2005
Rep Sabo, Martin Olav [MN-5] - 2/2/2005 Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] - 2/9/2005
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] - 2/2/2005 Rep Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 2/9/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 2/2/2005 Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] - 2/2/2005
Rep Scott, Robert C. [VA-3] - 2/2/2005 Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 2/9/2005
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 2/2/2005 Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [NY-28] - 5/5/2005
Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] - 4/5/2005 Rep Snyder, Vic [AR-2] - 2/16/2005
Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 2/9/2005 Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 4/5/2005
Rep Stupak, Bart [MI-1] - 3/10/2005 Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1] - 2/16/2005
Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 2/9/2005 Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 2/16/2005
Rep Udall, Mark [CO-2] - 2/9/2005 Rep Udall, Tom [NM-3] - 3/2/2005
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] - 2/2/2005 Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] - 2/9/2005
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 3/10/2005 Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] - 2/2/2005
Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] - 4/5/2005 Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] - 2/2/2005
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 2/2/2005 Rep Wu, David [OR-1] - 2/2/2005
Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] - 2/9/2005

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Conyers schedules a Congressional Hearing on the Downing Street Memo

Read what Shakespeare's Sister has to say.

If you're so Pro-War, put your own ass on the line...

Courtesy of The Center for American Progress.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Anti-Bush License Plate

This license plate was issued by the State of Washington and then later revoked as being "Offensive to good taste and decency."

It's for auction on E-bay.

He is "Not a Crook"

Deep Throat Today

Keep the Internet free from FEC regulations

Join the McCain-Feingold Insurrection:

A sampling of some of the headline's of the Bush/Blair press conference yesterday

The Houston Chronicle: Bush, Blair try to discredit the Downing Street Memo

The New York Times:
Bush and Blair Deny 'Fixed' Iraq Reports

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Blair, Bush defend going to war

The Washington Post: The Memo Comes In From the Cold

The Washington Post:
Seldom-Discussed Elephant Moves Into Public View

The Boston Globe: Bush, Blair deny memo assertion of 'fixed' intelligence

And some commentary from

Drowning Out the Real Issues

Drowning Out the Real Issues

By Terry M. Neal Staff Writer
Monday, May 23, 2005; 6:28 AM

A certain and clear pattern has emerged when a damaging accusation or claim against the Bush administration or the Republican-led Congress is publicized: Bush supporters laser in on a weakness, fallacy or inaccuracy in the story's sourcing while diverting all attention from the issue at hand to the source or the accuser in the story.

Often this tactic involves efforts to delegitimize the entire news media based on the mistakes or sloppy reporting of a few. We saw this with the discrediting of CBS's story on irregularities in President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service in the 1970s. Although the CBS "scoop" was based on faked documents, the administration's response and backlash from both conservative and mainstream media essentially relieved Bush of having to deal with the story. In other words, the allegedly "liberal" media dropped the story like a hot rock.

We saw ex-members of the Bush administration -- former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill, former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John M. Shalikashvili and former director of faith-based charities John J. DiIulio Jr. -- similarly attacked by conservative bloggers and columnists. The mainstream media eventually backed away from coverage of their claims as well.

Read the Full article.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Universal Healthcare Vouchers

It covers everyone. It cuts costs. It can get through Congress. Why Universal Health Care Vouchers is the next big idea.

An article from the Washington Monthly.

It's interesting to watch a trickle turn into a torrent...

The Downing Street Memo seems to be picking up more and more steam, even though the mainstream media has been rather reluctant to cover it.

Here's what the Washington Post had to say on it today:

"...More than a month after its publication, the so-called Downing Street Memo remains among the top 10 most viewed articles on The Times of London site.

It's not hard to see why this remarkable document, published in The Times on May 1 (and reported in this column on May 3), continues to attract reader interest around the world, especially with British Prime Minister Tony Blair visiting Washington Tuesday.

The July 2002 memo, labeled "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY," reports the views of "C," code name for Richard Dearlove, the chief of British intelligence. Dearlove had just retuned from a visit with Bush administration officials eight months before the war in Iraq began.

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," Dearlove told Blair and his senior defense policy advisers. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

A separate secret briefing paper for the meeting said Britain and the United States had to "create" conditions to justify a war.

The story attracted some news coverage in the United States, but not much. Last month, the Chicago Tribune concluded that "the Downing Street memo story has proven to be something of a dud in the United States. ..."

There's a coalition of groups, After Downing Street, that are pushing for a formal investigation into this, and in this is "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" against the American people that would be grounds for impeachment of the President. There's also a group of bloggers, currently 362, the Big Brass Alliance, which this blog recently joined.

Over 100,000 citizens have signed John Conyer's letter asking certain questions about the lead up to the Iraq war.

Now if only we could get a real investigation into what really happened on 9/11.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Letters to the Editor

I had two LTEs published this week, one in today's (Sunday) Tribune Review:

Trib. Letter

Your papers, please

I find it chilling that the Trib editorializes in favor of the Real ID Act of 2005, passed without debate and under the radar of the American public by its attachment to the Iraq war supplemental appropriations bill ("Security 'burden'?," May 31 and

It's a national ID card that would make Stalin proud, an internal passport that requires machine-readable technology to allow access to the data contained in it (remotely accessible RFID is what the Department of Homeland Security wants) and that can contain biometric data.

The government's ability to track every movement of its citizens doesn't go into effect into 2008 -- there's still time to repeal this unconscionable legislation, or have the courts block its implementation, not as an undue burden on the states, as the governors of the several states are alleging, but as an unconstitutional federal power grab and an invasion of citizens' privacy and freedom of movement.

Andrew Lewis

And one in Friday's Post-Gazette:

Post-Gazette Letter

Right to bear arms

In your May 23 editorial "Misfire: A State Gun Commission Misses Its Target," you ask, "Why can't local municipalities pass their own enhanced firearms measures by referendum? Why shouldn't a person be limited to buying one handgun a month, something that Gov. Rendell has supported in the past? (An exception could be made for collectors.)"

There is a very simple answer to these questions. Both of these measures would violate the constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Article I, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states: "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

While people may claim ambiguity in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (although reading the constitutions of the several states that were signatories should clear that up), there is absolutely no ambiguity in our commonwealth's constitution. Any measure which restricts the right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves would be null and void as well as unconstitutional.