Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cheney To Make First Larry King Live Appearance Since 'Last Throes' Comment


Tonight at 9 pm EST, Vice President Dick Cheney will make his first appearance on CNN's Larry King Live since May 30, 2005, when he infamously declared that the insurgency in Iraq was in its "last throes" and predicted that "the level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline." Only recently, in Stephen Hayes's biography of him, has Cheney finally conceded that "it was obviously wrong" to claim the insurgency was in its "last throes." The Progress Report assembled a video compilation of Bush administration officials defending the comment. (Watch it HERE.) You can send questions and comments to Larry King Live here and video questions for the show here. Separately, during an interview with CBS News yesterday, Cheney called himself a "big fan" of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He also again refused to admit that he is a part of the executive branch, saying instead that he is "a unique creature" in constitutional government.

Firestone Country Club

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hallelujah, Wal-Mart is getting religion





The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company announced this month that it will test sales of Biblical action figures.


The makers of the action figures, One2believe, said the figures are aimed at Christian parents who prefer their children play with "Samson, Noah or Jesus rather than a comic book character or Bratz doll."

According to The Associated Press, One2believe Chief Executive David Socha said his products were part of a "battle for the toy box" (and a battle for your pocketbook) with dolls and figures that he said carry negative messages.

"If you're very religious, it's a battle for your children's minds and what they're playing with and pretending. There are remakes out there of Satan and evil things," Socha said.

No word on what "evil things" are, as defined by Socha, but it's a safe bet that anything you're spending money on something that isn't made by his company is "evil."

The toy line will be on some Wal-Mart shelves starting next month, mainly in the Midwest and South, but also in California and as far northeast as Pennsylvania, Wal-Mart officials said.

The toys, based on biblical stories, include a 3-inch figure of Daniel in the lion's den, a 12-inch talking Jesus doll and 13-inch Samson action figure, according to the AP report.

No stores in Northwest Arkansas were named for the initial toy Crusades.

Wal-Mart continued its religious theme to the extreme -- about as extreme as you can get -- when the Rev. Al Sharpton and Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott shared the same stage, with both men calling for Congress to revive immigration legislation.

Sharpton and Scott made their immigration/emancipation speeches this month in speeches before the nation' largest Hispanic civil rights organization, the National Council of La Raza's annual conference in Miami.

Congress needs to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill now, said Scott, who attributed his views in part to his Mexican-American granddaughter. Scott said the girl has helped him to understand immigration as more than "simply a cerebral exercise."

Of course, The Associated Press reports that approximately 14 percent of Wal-Mart's customer base is Hispanic. That, more likely than not, helped Scott realize immigration is more of a "monetary exercise," than a "cerebral exercise."

To wit: "I want to say what a lot of people won't say. The immigration debate is not simply about border security, it is a problem of America dealing with race."

Uh, Al. A lot of people aren't saying that because it's not true.

Most sane people have a problem with ILLEGAL immigrants because they haven't taken the steps to become LEGAL Americans that other immigrants have taken. A majority of Americans want some kind of comprehensive immigration plan that at least keeps track of who's coming and going across our borders.

Immigration aside, it's nice to see Wal-Mart has found religion, after a brief dalliance with the (gasp) National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce recently. Maybe the talking Jesus and Moses action figures (along with the complaints of church-goers) told the corporate office to get back to the straight and narrow -- mainly the straight.

I'm trying to put off meeting a talking Jesus for as long as possible.

Highland Square Neighborhood Association




Highland Square Neighborhood Association
140 North Highland Ave.
Akron, OH 44303

July 23, 2007

Akron City Council
166 South High Street, 3rd Floor
Akron, OH 44308

Dear Akron City Council Members, Mayor Plusquellic, Robert Bowmen, Leah Anglin, Tia Stathopoulos and Brett White,

On April 30, 2007, the Highland Square Neighborhood Association (HSNA) made a request to the Joint Economic Development and Job Creation Committee of Akron’s City Council to take action against Albrecht, Inc., who has broken several key obligations in the Joint Development Agreement and the Ground Lease Agreement at the Highland Square Triangle Site on the corner of West Market Street and North Portage Path. After 10 weeks of silence from the City despite repeated requests by both phone and email, the residents of Highland Square are still without a grocery.

As outlined in the HSNA’s previous request, Albrecht, Inc. has already failed to meet numerous obligations that it agreed to in its contract with the City. Included in these are: 1) failure to promptly start site preparation and construction, 2) failure to make legitimate efforts to lease the property to a grocer, 3) failure to provide rentable space by July of 2007 and, 4) failure to create fifteen full-time equivalent jobs related to the site, among others.

An illuminating example of Albrecht, Inc.’s deliberate undermining of efforts to bring a grocery to Highland Square occurred in the negotiations with Freshway Market. In 2005, Bob Foutty, Freshway Market’s owner, presented a pro forma to Albrecht, Inc. with a lease rate of $12 per square foot, an amount that was not addressed as inappropriate by Albrecht, Inc. As is the case with any lease negotiation, the price was a significant factor in Foutty’s decision to continue negotiations. For the nearly two years that followed, Albrecht, Inc. stalled drafting a lease agreement, claiming that the permitting process was responsible for the delay. Further inquiries by the HSNA determined that, to date, neither plans nor permit applications have been submitted to the Akron Building Department for a grocery store, exposing this deliberate stalling tactic.

It was not until early this year, at a meeting that included Bob Bowman and Leah Anglin from the City’s Economic Development Department, that Foutty was finally presented with the first and only written proposal from Albrecht, Inc. The rent figure had nearly doubled to a cost prohibitive $20 per square foot, including the $3 common grounds fee. Upon hearing the inflated price, Bowmen inquired of Foutty what would be required to close the deal, indicating that the City would be willing to assist him in opening a grocery in Highland Square. Foutty requested their assistance in locating small business programs that would absorb some of the costs. To date, no one from Economic Development has contacted Foutty.

According to Section 37 of the Akron Municipal Code, City Council and the Mayor have the authority to investigate the financial transactions of any office or department of the city government, and the official acts and conduct any city official. This Section is directly applicable to both the financial transaction between Albrecht, Inc. and the City and to those within the City who are intentionally acting in a manner complacent to the enforcement of the contract.

Furthermore, City Council and the Mayor are authorized by law to serve subpoenas for witnesses and documents relating to this issue and have the power to punish as for contempt those who fail to produce all related materials.

As taxpayers of the City of Akron, we hereby demand that City Council and the Mayor begin such an investigation into Albrecht, Inc.’s failure to honor the terms of the Joint Development Agreement and Ground Lease Agreement for the Triangle Site in Highland Square. If City Council and the Mayor fail to provide the public with their findings and a roadmap to resolution by August 13, 2007, the HSNA shall file suit, as per our rights in Section 733.59 of the Ohio Revised Code, against Albrecht, Inc. on behalf of the City of Akron, to remove Albrecht, Inc. from the site, as is provided for in the Ground Lease Agreement.

As the elected representatives of the citizens of Akron, you now stand at a crossroads. You can either continue to go to bat for a developer that has persistently shirked his responsibilities under the contract which you signed, or you can stand up for the residents that you were elected to represent.

Beyond the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars which have been spent to prop up Albrecht, Inc. in Highland Square, the real victims of this unnecessary situation are those who cannot jump into their cars to trek to Acme #1: the poor, the elderly and the children. As our campaign to educate the public about the contractual failures and sweetheart deals begins, we sincerely hope to be able to say that you are one of those that is standing firmly with the residents of Highland Square.

Sincerely,

Lisa Bostwick, President
Highland Square Neighborhood Association

Katie does Alberto for 1 minute and 44 seconds

The CBS Evening News has devoted approximately 1 minute and 44 seconds of airtime to questions surrounding whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has testified truthfully in his numerous appearances before Congress in recent months. Most recently, on the July 26 edition of the Evening News, anchor Katie Couric reported without elaboration that: "FBI Director Robert Mueller is now contradicting Gonzales' testimony about a 2004 hospital room meeting with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Gonzales has said the meeting was not related to a secret eavesdropping program. But today, Mueller testified that it was." Couric provided no further details on the controversy surrounding the 2004 hospital confrontation involving the Justice Department, the FBI, and the White House over the National Security Agency's (NSA) "secret eavesdropping program;" nor did she mention that Mueller's testimony affirmed former deputy attorney general James B. Comey's May 15 congressional testimony about the incident.

Couric's report continues a pattern of inadequate coverage on the Evening News of the hospital incident, its relevance to the wiretapping program, and the truthfulness of Gonzales' testimony. As Media Matters for America has previously noted (here and here), the Evening News failed to report on Comey's testimony at the time -- during which the confrontation was first exposed -- and, to date, still has not reported on it. In fact, the Evening News did not report on the hospital incident until July 24, when Gonzales testified that the "visit to the hospital" in question "was about other intelligence activities," not the controversial NSA "terrorist surveillance program." Even then, Couric reported only: "Gonzales also denied trying to force his predecessor, John Ashcroft, to recertify a controversial domestic eavesdropping program back in 2004. Ashcroft was in the hospital in intensive care at the time." The July 27 and 28 editions of the Evening News provided no further coverage.

As Media Matters noted, Comey, who served as acting attorney general while Ashcroft was ill, testified on May 15: "In the early part of 2004, the Department of Justice was engaged -- the Office of Legal Counsel, under my supervision -- in a re-evaluation both factually and legally of a particular classified program." Comey testified that before Ashcroft fell ill, the two had engaged in "a private meeting" prior to the March 11, 2004, deadline for the program's renewal and discussed "concerns as to our ability to certify its legality."

Comey also testified that, while Ashcroft was hospitalized, he informed the White House of the "decision that as acting attorney general I would not certify the program as to its legality." As The Boston Globe reported, Comey testified that his actions resulted in having to "rush[] to Ashcroft's hospital room on March 10, 2004, in order to prevent White House officials -- including Alberto Gonzales, then the White House counsel -- from taking 'advantage of a very sick man' by pressuring him to approve the program." The Globe further reported that Comey claimed that Gonzales and then-White House Chief of Staff Andy Card were "[u]nable to persuade Ashcroft, who was recovering from surgery," but "advised Bush to let the program go forward....Bush reauthorized the program without Justice Department certification that it was legal." Comey testified that he "believe[d]" that Ashcroft, Mueller, Ashcroft's chief of staff, and Comey's chief of staff, as well as others, were all prepared to resign over the dispute. Eventually, according to Comey, President Bush intervened and made the change "the Justice Department believed was necessary to put this matter on a footing where we could certify to its legality."

In a July 24 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales testified that "the reason for the visit to the hospital ... was about other intelligence activities." He added, "It was not about the terrorist surveillance program that the president announced to the American people." As The Washington Post reported, in his July 26 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller apparently "contradicted the sworn testimony of his boss, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, by telling Congress that a prominent warrantless surveillance program was the subject of a dramatic legal debate within the Bush administration." The Post added that "Mueller was not present during the hospital visit but testified ... that Ashcroft briefed him on the conversation. He repeatedly said he agreed with Comey's version of events, which included testimony that Mueller, Ashcroft, Comey and others were prepared to quit if the program went ahead without changes to render it legal."

Additionally, Mueller's testimony apparently contradicts Gonzales' previous testimony in 2006 that the warrantless wiretapping program "had not provoked serious disagreement involving Comey or others." During the July 24 hearing, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking Republican on the panel, suggested that Gonzales could be charged with perjury for his earlier statements regarding the March 2004 confrontation. Specter told Gonzales that the committee would be carefully reviewing his testimony "to see if [Gonzales'] credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable."

During the hearing, Specter also twice suggested that a special prosecutor could be appointed in order to pursue contempt charges against White House officials who refuse to appear before congressional committees. In a July 20 article, the Post reported that Bush administration officials have asserted that "Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases" -- such as the ongoing dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys -- "in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege."

Following Mueller's July 26 testimony, four Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- Sens. Chuck Schumer (NY), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Russ Feingold (WI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) -- called "for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate possible wrongdoing by the Attorney General, originating with his statements regarding the removal and replacement of several United States Attorneys, in addition to his testimony before Congress regarding the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP)." The group cited Gonzales's apparently conflicting statements regarding the ongoing U.S. attorney scandal as enough to warrant investigation.

A July 29 New York Times article reported that the "2004 dispute over the National Security Agency's secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program." The Times went on to state: "If the dispute chiefly involved data mining, rather than eavesdropping, Mr. Gonzales' defenders may maintain that his narrowly crafted answers, while legalistic, were technically correct." However, the Times further reported that comments by members of Congress briefed on the program "suggested that they considered the eavesdropping and data mining so closely tied that they were part of a single program."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Chapel in Akron, OH

The Chapel is a non-denominational mega-church where they utilize the latest technology to put their brand of God's love into action. Nobody disputes Pastor Knute Larson, pictured at left with his partner Pastor Paul Sartarelli, has the gift to summon the Almighty Dollar into not only his pockets, but also the local economy through the crowd of 8,000 believers he attracts to downtown Akron. One of the dirty, albeit, not so little secret, of the beloved and charismatic Knute is his support of James Dobson's Focus On The Family to perform a miracle, and make a gay man or woman, straight. The main thrust behind the fraudulent "Ex Gay" marketing machine requires one to believe that everyone is heterosexual, and all heterosexuals have sexual thoughts for those of the same sex. And those who have sex, and claim to have actually fallen in love with someone of the same sex, well they just need to attend one of 2 support groups The Chapel advertises in their newsletter. One is called "Bonds Of Iron". Knute says the group offers "mentoring" and if you call a "confidential hotline" at 330-315-5439. The second group is called Genesis. Knute claims Genesis is a support group that offers help for those who wish to find freedom from same sex attraction. It too, wants people to call a "confidential hotline" at 330-315-5610. The Chapel doesn't say if by dialing the hotline, the caller will reach Knute for some serious hot and heavy counseling. But nonetheless, a willing and able body will be manning the phones.
The group Exodus was founded by Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper. It dramatically grew in 1998 when the politically motivated James Dobson, and his Focus on the Family jumped on the “ex-gay” bandwagon launching a multi-million dollar newspaper, television and telemarketing campaign. Their new message was a helpful sympathetic one. Quite the opposite of the traditional fire and brimstone rhetoric that made them seem mean-spirited and intolerant. By embracing the “turn them straight” message, hateful men like Rev. James Kennedy, and Pat Robertson could claim they loved gay people and were just trying to help them become the straight people they believed they could be.
Every leading medical and mental health organization says therapy designed to change a person's sexual orientation is ineffective and sometimes dangerous. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics all have policy statements against such treatment. The APA says that attempts to change sexual orientation will lead to "depression, anxiety, and self destructive behavior."
History reinforces the findings of these health organizations. Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, founders of Exodus, denounced the group they founded, divorced their wives and held a commitment ceremony to celebrate their love for each other. The founder of Homosexuals Anonymous, Colin Cook, was exposed as a fraud for giving nude massages and having phone sex with the very people who called his "confidential hotline".
From the prehistoric rock paintings left by the San people in what is now modern day Zimbabwe to Native American berdache who were venerated for their Two Spirit nature.
Gays have always been present and disproportionately represented among the most creative and well respected members of ancient and modern societies. One could naturally conclude that homosexuality is part of "Gods plan" and the specific nature ordained for some individuals. St Paul urged that we be and act according to that God given nature. That is the essence of his arguments in the Epistles. Being faithful to one's true nature. When truthfully applied that sounds nothing like the bigotry coming from Christian Radical groups like The Chapel.
The perversion of religion for political purposes has as its goal a theocratic state. It doesn't matter if it's Christianity, Islam or Judaism. Religion and politics is a lethal mix.



Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bill O'Reilly accuses guest of lying -- but "hateful" Clinton comments he claims he removed are still on website

During the July 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly claimed to have "exposed" the Daily Kos blog "as a hate website" and went on to criticize the decision by some Democratic presidential candidates to attend the YearlyKos convention. In response, Fox News contributor Jane Hall said to him, "You had hateful comments on your website about [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY]." O'Reilly then claimed: "No, I didn't. We took them off." He later added, "That's a lie, and I can't let you say a lie on this broadcast." After cutting Hall's microphone, O'Reilly again asserted, "I can't let Jane lie. We don't allow hateful comments on BillOReilly.com. When they come up and we find them, we take them off." In fact, as of 5 p.m. ET on July 27, several comments about Clinton that were documented by Americablog (here, here, and here) remain on O'Reilly's website, including one that has led Huffington Post blogger Lane Hudson to ask for a Secret Service investigation:

Bill O'Reilly also has not removed a comment from a user regarding Rep. Keith Ellison's (D-MN) comparison of the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks to the aftermath of the burning of the Reichstag in Germany in 1933. As Americablog documented, the user wrote: "Maybe it's time to burn down the capitol building like Hitler did with the Reichstag building? Anyone comparing Bush to Hitler has absolutely no idea of what real Nazis were like in the '30's. Ellison is an idiot."

As Media Matters for America noted, O'Reilly has continued to attack Daily Kos over the course ofthe past two weeks, comparing the blog to the Nazi party, the Ku Klux Klan, Mafia gangster Al Capone, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and white supremacist David Duke while declining to address egregious comments on his own website. During the July 26 segment, O'Reilly agreed with Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg's statement that the candidates' decision to attend the YearlyKos convention "is all you need to know about the strength of character, or more precisely, the lack of character of the Democratic candidates." Also, O'Reilly called Democratic presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson "the biggest coward in the world" for deciding to attend the convention.


Friday, July 27, 2007

FEC Rolls Out Red Carpet To The White House

With campaign finance restrictions putting a damper on the ability of the rich and the famous to influence elections with their money, one Hollywood mogul wants to tap into stars' fame instead. A former entertainment exec whose style was cramped by the 2002 act outlawing "soft money" has found a way to raise money for candidates without encountering individual donor caps. The Federal Election Commission on July 12 voted four to one that television executive Michael King could encourage entertainers to volunteer for campaigns by making contributions to charity in lieu of paying them a performance fee. The FEC ruled these donations would constitute neither campaign contributions nor payment to the performers. *Read the story: http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=295

Thursday, July 26, 2007

For Health Care Call George, Your State Senator

The newspapers are buzzing: More and more Republicans are talking about overriding President Bush's threatened veto of health care for kids.

This would be the first time Bush has suffered such a major defeat from his own party. And if Congress can beat back Bush's veto, we'll take a huge step forward in the fight for health care.

But the bill is still a few votes short, and Senator George Voinovich is key. Can you call him today?

Senator George Voinovich
Phone: 202-224-3353
Republicans are "very nervous" about voters punishing them for a vote against health care. We can tip the balance with our phone calls.

Right now, all across the country, kids are waiting in crowded emergency rooms. Many of them started to feel sick a few days ago, but their parents didn't go to the doctor because they didn't have health insurance. Now they've gotten sicker—and their condition is more expensive to treat.

It doesn't have to be this way. Our phone calls can begin a new day for health care in America.

The Friendly All American Wal-Mart

Here is something we all should think about the next time we are in Montrose, that beacon of Americana. Something to ponder as we shine the "We are proud to be American" bumper stickers on our most anti-American status symbol of all foreign made vehicles; And head into the local Wal-Mart: According to economist Robert Scott of the Economic and Social Research Institute, “trade flows between Wal-Mart and China displaced nearly 200,000 U.S. jobs between 2001 and 2006, when the retail giant accounted for 11% of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China”. [States News Service, June 27, 2007]

White House Briefings Targeted Diplomat Donors

White House aides under the authority of Karl Rove have acknowledged holding some 20 private briefings for President Bush's top diplomats to inform them about which Democratic House members may be vulnerable in 2008. One such meeting included six European ambassadors and the consul general to Bermuda, who, together, have contributed more than $1.6 million to Republicans since Bush's 2000 campaign, according to the Center For Responsive Politics research. Although the Hatch Act bars federal workers from participation in partisan politics, top officials have denied any wrongdoing.
Read more about it here:
*Political contributions from U.S. ambassadors:
http://www.opensecrets.org/bush/ambassadors/index.asp

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sean Hannity Beats A Dead Horse (And Likes It!)

Discussing Vince Foster, Sean Hannity asked: "Did a close friend of Hillary Clinton commit suicide, or was it a massive coverup?"

On the July 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, teasing a segment on "the mysterious death of [former deputy White House counsel] Vince Foster," host Sean Hannity asked: "Did a close friend of [Sen.] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton [D-NY] commit suicide, or was it a massive coverup?" During the segment, Hannity asserted that on July 20, 1993: "Vince Foster got in his car and drove to Fort Marcy Park in Virginia. And he supposedly walked through the woods, and depending on which version of the story you believe, he took his own life." He also claimed that "[i]n the minds of some," questions regarding the contents of Foster's files following his suicide "may have provided a motive for foul play." In fact, Foster's death has been conclusively determined by several investigations to have been a suicide. Hannity billed this segment as "one of the darkest and most mysterious" of "The Clinton Chapters," a regular series on Hannity's America whose assertions Media Matters for America has repeatedly debunked. This is the second week in a row that Hannity has baselessly asserted on Hannity's America that the circumstances of Foster's death are still a matter of debate.

The Office of the Independent Counsel -- then headed by Kenneth Starr -- completed its inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Foster's death with a report issued on October 11, 1997, which concluded that "based on investigation and analysis of the evidentiary record, that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park." The Office of the Independent Counsel's report also excerpted the findings of several other investigations into the death of Vince Foster, all of which conclusively determined that his death was a suicide. These investigations included:

  • An August 10, 1993, joint report by the Department of Justice, FBI, and Park Police, in which Robert Langston, chief of the U.S. Park Police, asserted: "The condition of the scene, the medical examiner's findings and the information gathered clearly indicate that Mr. Foster committed suicide. ... Our investigation has found no evidence of foul play."
  • A June 30, 1994, report by special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske Jr., which concluded that "[t]he overwhelming weight of the evidence compels the conclusion ... that Vincent Foster committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993."
  • An August 12, 1994, report by Congressman William F. Clinger Jr., then the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Government Operations, concluding that "all available facts lead to the undeniable conclusion that Vincent W. Foster, Jr. took his own life in Fort Marcy Park, Virginia on July 20, 1993."
  • A January 3, 1995, report by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs stating that "[t]he evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion of the Park Police that on July 20, 1993, Mr. Foster died in Fort Marcy Park from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the upper palate of his mouth."

On January 5, 2001, independent counsel Robert Ray released his final report into the Whitewater matter, which included his conclusions regarding the discovery and removal of documents from Foster's office following his suicide. According to the report, Ray investigated "whether anyone obstructed the investigation of the U.S. Park Police and the FBI by removing or concealing relevant documents from Foster's office," and "whether, in the subsequent investigations, anyone committed perjury, made false statements, or obstructed justice." Ray determined there was "insufficient evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone had committed a federal crime," and chose to pursue no criminal prosecutions.

This is the second "Clinton Chapters" segment in which Hannity has suggested that Foster's death was something other than a suicide. As Media Matters documented, on the July 15 edition of Hannity's America, Hannity asserted: "[T]here are still many chapters remaining open from [Clinton's] time at the Rose Law Firm. Take Whitewater and the death of Vince Foster." Hannity closed the July 22 edition of the "Clinton Chapters" by stating: "[T]he most heated debate over Foster's death wasn't political. It had to do with old-fashioned police work. And that's where we'll pick up next week when we open up another chapter in the Clintons." He will discuss "chapter nine, the mysterious death of Vince Foster, part two" during the July 29 edition of Hannity's America.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Meet Rodney A Smith


Meet Rodney A. Smith. He is a political consultant and fundraiser.

In the past thirty years, he has raised over a billion dollars for candidates and political committees.

He has been the National Finance Director for the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee and served as Treasurer and Finance Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He holds a lot of power and influence in the Republican Party.

Rodney Smith works closely with his friend, telemarketer fat cat Gary Taylor of Akron, OH. They are busy queen bees these days, with another Democratic Debate around the corner. They are busy producing Fall marketing campaigns. Gary's IT department at InfoCision is creating calling lists of donors and gearing up to roll out their new Fall marketing campaign. All of Gary's 3700 poor telemarketers are learning scripts about people and issues they know nothing about...repeating to themselves...Alaska and Hawaii are states!Heck some of them can't even read..but God bless them, they try. The InfoCision Fulfillment Department is shining off those gavels and preparing to send out those NRCC Business Advisory Council National Leadership Awards. Even Business Advisory Council Chairman Congressman Tom Cole is practicing his lines on why this election cycle, his Republicans will be victorious.

President Bush’s poll numbers are hovering around 30 percent and Congress's are even lower, but National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, has told reporters he "feels good" about his party's chances in the 2008 congressional races.

In a recent briefing with reporters, Cole said the NRCC has recruited 15 to 20 "strong candidates" in districts that were closely fought in 2006, and said they were "pragmatic professional decision makers." He also said he expects an anti-incumbent mood to collectively benefit his party, which currently finds itself in the minority.

But Cole's job is made more difficult by the NRCC's financial disadvantage relative to its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Cole said Thursday that the committee raised between $13 million and $14 million dollars in the second quarter, and currently only has $2 million cash on hand. Meanwhile the DCCC said Thursday it had raised $17 million in the same period and has $19.5 million on hand - nearly ten times more than the NRCC.

Both committees face debts of around $4 million.

As for the President's influence in the congressional races, Cole said "he won't be the decisive figure in the '08 election. There will be a new face on the Republican Party."

Cole also downplayed the effect of any particular Democratic candidate in motivating his party's voters.

"I don't think people vote for or against their representative on the basis of their presidential nominee," he said.

Fall is such a lovely time to roll out a new campaign. And if you like InfoCision's phony Business Advisory Council, you'll just love what Gary and his crack staff of writers have waiting for you when you receive the taped message from the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Telling you what a great business leader you are and for just a few hundred dollars you, too, can have a Ronald Reagan "gold" medal, or a gavel or....We'll just have to wait until the fall to find out.





Friday, July 20, 2007

From Media Matters

On the July 19 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough discussed an ABC News report on comments Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) made at a Planned Parenthood event, which appeared under the headline "Sex Ed for Kindergartners 'Right Thing to Do,' Says Obama." Scarborough said, "I'm gonna tell you why Democrats don't get elected president regularly, all right? Because they say things that lend themselves to the type of headlines, this Associated Press headline, and you gotta be careful." Scarborough, co-host Mika Brzezinski, and guest John Ridley, an NPR contributor, proceeded to sharply criticize Obama -- with Brzezinski exclaiming, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa" and Scarborough and Ridley sharply questioning Obama's political judgment. None, however, actually spelled out what Obama was advocating.

By contrast, the ABCNews.com article to which Scarborough referred elaborated on Obama's position:

When Obama's campaign was asked by ABC News to explain what kind of sex education Obama considers "age appropriate" for kindergarteners, the Obama campaign pointed to an Oct. 6, 2004 story from the Daily Herald in which Obama had "moved to clarify" in his Senate campaign that he "does not support teaching explicit sex education to children in kindergarten. . . The legislation in question was a state Senate measure last year that aimed to update Illinois' sex education standards with 'medically accurate' information . . . 'Nobody's suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it,' Obama said. 'If they ask a teacher 'where do babies come from,' that providing information that the fact is that it's not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing. Although again, that's going to be determined on a case by case basis by local communities and local school boards.'"

In addition to local schools informing kindergarteners that babies do not come from the stork, the state legislation Obama supported in Illinois, which contained an "opt out" provision for parents, also envisioned teaching kindergarteners about "inappropriate touching," according to Obama's presidential campaign. Despite Obama's support, the legislation was not enacted.

Scarborough noted that Obama "says, of course, that it needs to be age-appropriate," but did not discuss what Obama meant by age-appropriate. Brzezinski stated, "I'd like to know what age-appropriate sex education for kindergarten is." Ridley said, "I don't want my kid, 4 or 5 years old, to be sexually aware at that point." Scarborough did not note that Obama was quoted in the ABCNews.com article saying, "Nobody's suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it." Nor did he mention the article's reference to "teaching kindergarteners about 'inappropriate touching.' " Check out mediamatters.org for more stories.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Unholy Trinity Of Christian Radicals

Two old Truths came to life this past week one is history repeats itself. The other is history teaches that great nations crumble from within . These two sayings is something that even home schooled children learn at a fairly young age.
The truth of the sayings came clear with President George W. Bush in Cleveland, OH this past week repeating the lie about the link between Iraq and the attacks by Islamic Radicals on September 11th, 2001; and the media allowing the lie to go again unchallenged.

The Islamic Radicals were funded by Saudi Arabian billionaire Osama Bin Laden. They were schooled and nurtured in a country with a conservative, God fearing, government called the Taliban. They were the Deciders of right and wrong in all aspects of the life of its citizens. If you did not pray the way those in power prayed and believed in the way their holy men interpreted the holy book- then you were in big trouble. The government ruled through the Fear of God's wrath and the apathy of it's own people.
The Unholy Trinity pictured here have dedicated their lives to bringing into power the very same type of religious fanatics that ruled Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They support religious schools tha
t teach children that only their brand of the holy book they study is the true way to heaven. And they will say and do just about anything to get that last dollar out of your pocket and into theirs. And to fight to keep secret just how much of the good life they have made from selling the good book.
Jay Sekulow is an attorney who has been named one of the most influential evangelicals in the United States. He runs the American Center For Law And Justice and another non profit, CASE. He says he fights for religious freedom. And the ACLJ does market itself as a Christian legal advocacy group. It does file lawsuits on behalf of Christians who feel their beliefs have been jeopardized by such things as not seeing the not a big enough bibles on display in court houses. Jay not only has made himself a millionaire from the kindness of strangers, but has also managed to enrich family members as well: his wife, brother, sister-in-law, and sons have been on various boards and payrolls of groups which he either controls or has a lot of influence with. Many stories have appeared about Jay and his millions.His good friend and golf buddy is Gary Taylor, founder and Chairman of telemarketing firm InfoCision Management Corporation. Gary's corporation raises money for Jay Sekulow. The staff at InfoCision write scripts using the Fear of God to move people to give up their last dollar to kick the infidels out of office and to keep their kind of God Fearing Christians in power. They raise enough money for Jay Sekulow to keep him and his family and the cousins of his family flying in plush private jets to luxury golf resorts 'til the Second Coming. Another power broker in the Army of God is Rod Parsley, pastor of the World Harvest Church in Columbus.
Rod, much like Gary and Ja
y seems to dream of a day when the United States becomes a Christian State. As reporter Sarah Posner wrote in an October 23, 2005 article, called With God On His Side:
In his church, Parsley claims to be fomenting revolution at God's direction. This revolution -- theocratic in character, of course -- is portrayed by Parsley as a battle between the beleaguered, persecuted Christian and a secular culture that has devolved into chaos. Parsley, a man by turns bellicose, ingratiating, and kitschy, has placed his cult of personality front and center in the “culture war” -- a label that suits his depiction of an apocalyptic showdown between good and evil. Whether he is discussing the distinction between Christian and Muslim (“I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam”), straight and gay (“the pressure on society to accept the audacious behaviors and disastrous consequences of homosexual activity is not a matter of cultural drift or shifting mores; it is a highly orchestrated, highly organized, and extremely disciplined political program”), or atheist and theocrat (the media has engaged in a “high-tech persecution of my faith”), Parsley sees battle lines drawn clearly. And he is the Decider of what's right and wrong because, as he is unafraid to say, God told him so. In a broadcast of TBN's
Praise the Lord television program, Tony Perkins, a prominent leader of the theocratic elite, introduced Parsley to the audience as one of the “new generals” of a Christian army bringing a revival “in every realm of life” to fruition. According to excerpts of World Harvest's bylaws made part of the public record in a lawsuit filed against Parsley in the 1990s, “the government of the Church is in the hands of the Pastor, who has ultimate authority under Christ”; “the church must function as a theocracy”; a democracy “is not God's way”; and “the purpose of the Church is not to do the will of the majority, but the will of God.” Exactly how much money Parsley brings in is something only he and his Fundraiser of Choice- Gary Taylor, may know. Rod has said that his church has never applied for membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a voluntary-membership organization of nearly 1,200 evangelical groups that requires, among other things, public disclosure of audited financial statements and reports, including financial information about specific projects for which a ministry is soliciting gifts. Parsley claimed that World Harvest conducts an annual independent audit “through the scrutiny of the board of directors,” which consists of himself and his parents. (Council standards also prohibit insiders from maintaining exclusive control of church governance.) He does not make that “audit” available to the public, however, nor does he provide documentation of how money he says he raises for humanitarian projects is spent.
So what course of action can we the people take? How about writing letters to the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal asking for a story on the Republican Radical Christian money making machine that is now seeking a deal from the city of Akron for their new corporate offices? How about demanding a public audit of the these profitable Christan non profits from the media and the our government officials?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

Free Palestine

The media outlets reported that the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt, the designated representatives of the Arab League, will visit Israel this week as part of an effort to jump start action on the Saudi initiative peace plan. The trip marks the first official visit by official representatives of the 22-member body comprised of Arab nations. In broad strokes the Saudi initiative offers Israel full recognition by the Arab states in return for a full withdrawal from post-1967 lands. There are deal breakers inherent in the plan, including a demand for a "right of return" for Palestinians who left what is now Israel in 1948. It is a demand Israel says it cannot consider without losing its identity as the Jewish state. The plan was first unveiled in 2002 and has been rejected by successive Israeli governments. It differs from the Road Map peace plan sponsored by the Quartet [the U.S., the U.N. the EU and Russia] in that it would constitute a deal between Israel and all Arab nations, while the Road Map is between Israel and the Palestinians. Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi is currently visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice coming in next week.
Here is an interesting fact about the colors of the Palestinian flag represent:
Green is for the land of Palestine, White is for the peace in which the Palestinian people lived before they were made refugees, Red is for their blood spilled trying to liberate their land, and Black is for their life under occupation. It is time for us to end the continuing illegal seizing of the land of Palestine. It is time to recognize US policy in dealing with this crisis has failed. It is time to tell Israel to tear down it wall. It is time for Christians, Jews and Muslims to reclaim their faiths from the Radical Extremists within them. For more information on how you can help visit The Free Palestine Group. The group is located on www.facebook.com
Free Palestine a group of students committed to the freedom of the Palestinian People and Land.
This is not a group to rant. It is a group of students who support the quest to free a people long downtrodden by the occupying power. In no way is it a group dedicated to the demonization of Jews. They understand and recognize the historic presence of Jews in the region as well as the 13 centuries of coexistenct amongst different religious groups. The group does discourage religous debates. They are without relevance and merly serve as a divisive distraction from the stated goals of the group.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."- Dr Martin Luther King,Jr

"Let it be known that time is really just two days- a day in your favor, and a day against. If it is your day, do not squander it, and if the day is against you, just remain patient."- Ali Ben Abi Taleb.

"War of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." - Mohammad Ali

Saturday, July 7, 2007

InfoCision and the Radical Christian Right


InfoCision Management Corporation is headquartered at 325 Springside Dr Akron, OH. (Pictured at left.)It was founded 25 years ago by its Chairman of the Board, Gary Taylor. It is the second largest privately held telemarketing company in the United States. Their specialty is raising money for radical Christian political organizations such as, Jerry Falwells Liberty University and Concerned Women For America. They raise money for Benny Hinn Ministries and Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church, (Aka Breakthrough Ministries) and Rod's Center For Moral Clarity. InfoCision markets itself as a Christian Company and even has the Christian flag flying alongside its corporate and American flag, Jesus would be proud. They have 3800 employees and pay some of the lowest wages in the market. They keep wages down by only expanding to cities with high unemployment.
And yet has been voted by the industry as one of the top places to work in Ohio...Hmmmm.
They often use similar scripting for the Christian/Political clients. Changing the scripts just so, to better fit the message of the Political/Christian candidate they are raising money for.
Right now, one of the biggest clients is the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The NRCC is the Republican Party's chief fundraising committee dedicated to electing Republican candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives. The NRCC has been doing a fine, dedicated job of fattening the pockets of InfoCision founder and Chairman, Gary Taylor.opensecrets.org/parties/expenddetail.asp?txtName=INFOCISION+MANAGEMENT+CORP&Cmte=NRCC&cycle=2006
The National Republican Congressional Committee is well known for it Business Advisory Leadership Award. In which for a contribution, you can receive a color photograph of George W Bush and a gavel. Not just any gavel mind you, but an exact replica of the one used by the Speaker Of the House. Of course the scripting changed, when Nancy Pelosi became Speaker. No self respecting Christian Republican would want a gavel like the one used by Nancy...
With the blending of the extreme christian messages with the political clients how reaching millions of homes and business's every day. Newt Gingrich is planning whether to run for president based, in part, on how much money InfoCision raises for his group, called GOPAC.

Question: How can the Republican Leaders, like Newt Gingrich down play the role of the Radical Christians in their party?
Answer: Because that is the way it is scripted by their high priced marketing company.
One of InfoCision's newest clients is the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Stay tuned.