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Archive for the 'Politics' Category

MEDIA: Feds Arrest CBS Staffers For Filming Conditions At War Veteran’s Hospital

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

PHILADELPHIA — TWO CBS 3 staffers were detained Thursday by officers assigned to the Veterans Administration Hospital (39th & Woodland) for videotaping without permission.The pair were caught “in an area of the nursing facility where they were not allowed to be,” Richbattlefatigue.jpg Manieri, U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman, told us Friday.

A female photographer was fined $150 for disorderly conduct after putting up some sort of struggle when confronted, and was also fined $50 for trespassing and $50 for unauthorized photography. A male producer also received the lesser two fines.

VA officers confiscated a videotape from the CBS 3 crew and a copy of the tape was returned to the station, Manieri said.

The unknown undercover investigation by CBS 3 at the local VA Hospital comes on the tails of recent Washington Post reports alleging mistreatment of wounded vets at Washington’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“We won’t comment about the nature of our story except to say that this incident won’t deter us in any way from covering it,” said CBS 3 spokeswoman Joanne Calabria. “We don’t believe our people did anything wrong and we stand by them.”

DAN GROSS: In China, They Arrest Reporters For Telling Stories The Government Doesn’t Like, Just Sayin’
PREVIOUSLY: The Shame Of Walter Reed

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1.5 Million Women To Sue Pants Off Wal-Mart

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO Feb 6, 2007 (AP)— A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest private employer, must face a class-action lawsuit alleging as many as 1.5 million former and current female employees were discriminated against in pay and promotions.walmartevil_sam.jpg

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a 2004 federal judge’s decision to let the nation’s largest class-action employment discrimination lawsuit go to trial, possibly exposing the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailing powerhouse to billions of dollars in damages.

“Plaintiff’s expert opinions, factual evidence, statistical evidence and anecdotal evidence present significant proof of a corporate policy of discrimination and support plaintiff’s contention that female employees nationwide were subjected to a common pattern and practice of discrimination,” the court wrote in a 2-1 decision.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Woman Is The N-Word Of The World

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Hello AOL NEWS Readers! If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now! You Could Have It So Much Better With Phawker! Hello AOL NEWS Readers!

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

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EDITOR’S NOTE: First, let me say we are positively flattered to rank up there with Monkeyfister and Daily Pulse — feels like we’ve arrived. Second, ordinarily we couldn’t care less if this guy fucked rocks, as long as the rocks were consenting adults. Whatever gets you through the night, man. But this guy runs with a pack of Christo-fascist Elmer Gantrys that used their considerable influence over their mega-church flocks to whip up a lot of misinformed and gullible people into a baseless hysteria about gay people, just so they could turn out the vote for their RNC taskmasters. We have no patience for bullies, least of all those in the pulpit, and even less for a big fat hypocrite bully in the pulpit. It would be un-Jesus-like enough if Ted Haggard wascellphonetits.gif at least sincere in his gay-baiting, but it was all a cynical lie. People, he was FUCKING ANOTHER MAN FOR FOUR YEARS! And now they’ve ‘cured’ him. Like he got a hold of a bag of meth cut with a little too much gay and just wasn’t the same for a while. Thanks to the “ministering” of his brethren he’s back to “completely heterosexual” — well, on behalf of heterosexuals everywhere let me be the first and possibly last to say: Hoo-fucking-ray for our team! Let me spell it out for you: You are gay, Ted, some people just ARE. A minority percentage of every living species is g-a-y — it’s called SCIENCE, look into it! You are not the first holy man to get his piety caught in his zipper and won’t be the last, but take it like a man. Look, it’s not like I’m incapable of forgiveness. I still go to David Lynch movies, after all. But you, sir, remain a liar to yourself and deceiver of others and, increasingly, a sad pawn in a farcical Christian Right cover-up, not to mention the punchline to some sick Culture War joke that just isn’t funny any more. As such, Jesus still has to love you, but I don’t.

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Grand Jury INDICTS State Senator Vincent Fumo

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Fumo, 63, is charged with conspiracy, fraud, obstruction of justice and filing false tax returns. Thefumo_final.jpg 267-page indictment alleged that Fumo, one of Pennsylvania’s most powerful politicians, exploited the neighborhood charity he helped create and controlled: Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods.

“Besides relying on his income and assets to support his lifestyle, Fumo regularly endeavored to gain personal benefits and gratuities frmo [SIC] others, including entities over which he had influence, such as the Senate [and] a non-profit organization he established and controlled, Citzens Alliance….Fumo stated to a close confidant his philsophy that a person is best advised to spend ‘other people’s money,’ ” the grand jury said. “Fumo often referred to this goal by the acronym OPM.” The grand jury also alleged that Fumo used his legislative staff for personal and political purposes.

“Defendant Vincent J. Fumo systematically, routinely, and improperly used the funds and resources of the Senate for his personal and political benefit,” the grand jury said. “He directed that Senate contractors and employees employed by the Senate serve him in any manner he desired… to further his political goals and attend to his personal wants.” The grand jury also alleged that Fumo:

-Used Senate employees as campaign aides.

- Used Citizens Alliance to fund political polls.

- Took trips to Cuba paid for by Citizens Alliance.

- Defrauded the Independence Seaport Museum.

- Used Citizens Alliance to pay for “tens of thousands of dollars of goods,” including tools.

– Used Citizens Alliance to buy a bulldozer to clear land on his 100-acre farm.

- Used Citizens Alliance to fund a grassroots group at the Shore to help stop a dune replenishment program that threatened to block his view.

- Used a Senate-paid private to spy on his ex-wife, former girlfriends and political rivals.

If convicted, Fumo could face at least two years or more in federal prison.

INQUIRER: The Bill Comes Due
INDICTMENT: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. VINCENT FUMO [PDF]

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ST. JOHN THE ESCALATOR

Saturday, January 20th, 2007
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NEW YORK TIMES: 27 Americans Killed In Iraq Over The Weekend
NEW YORK TIMES: Faces Of Death

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COMEUPPANCE: GOP Congressman Ney Sentenced For Being A Drunk, A Liar And A Useless Sack Of Shit

Friday, January 19th, 2007

barney2.gifWASHINGTON – Former Rep. Bob Ney was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a congressional bribery scandal. The Justice Department had asked for a term of 27 months in prison.

Ney, the only congressman charged in the case to date, pleaded guilty to trading official favors for golf trips, tickets, meals and campaign donations from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.neycomic.JPG

Ney admitted that he traded official actions for expensive trips, sports tickets, meals and campaign donations from the former lobbyist, who is already in prison.
[...]
Prior to the sentencing, nine letters from citizens, most from Ohio, were sent to U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle and filed at court, asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence. One letter said, “I beg you to give him at least 27 months and if possible put an extra 0 on his sentence behind the 7.” Another letter says, “If the punishment fit the crime, he’d be shot at sunrise.”
[...]
A former member of his congressional staff said that as the federal probe intensified in 2004 and 2005, Ney began to drink more heavily. Matthew Parker writes that Ney “could rarely make it through the day without drinking and would often begin drinking as early as 7:30 a.m.”

MSNBC: There Ain’t No Happy Hour In The Big House

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FIRST AMENDMENT: Provision Of Lobbyist Reform Bill Requires ‘Political’ Bloggers To Register With Congress Or Face Year In Jail, Where The Wireless Really Sucks

Friday, January 19th, 2007

It remains to be seen whether or not the provision in question will still be in the Lobbying Reform bill by the time it hits the Senate floor for a vote — ideas this blatantly unconstitutional and vampiric tend to crumble under the first light of judicial review — but this is the latest bit of nastiness ringing the blogosphere’s Orwellian alarm bell:

In what sounds like a comedy sketch from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, but
isn’t, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on
grassroots causes and citizens who criticize Congress.orwell.gif
Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.

WONKETTE: First They Came For The Bloggers And I Did Nothing
PRISON PLANET: Because I Was Not A Blogger
OF ARMS AND THE LAW: And Then They Came For Me

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ABU GONZALES: Senators Probe Top Cop, Invasive Procedural Deflected By Impenetrable Congeniality

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

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BY GLENN GREENWALD This is what I have learned so far: All of the Senators are very “concerned” and sometimes even “disturbed” about many things, almost all of them different for each Senator. Gonzales definitely shares their concerns about everything, and assures them he takes it very seriously and he is happy to sit down with them and explore ways to fix/improve/think about it.

For any information the Senators want, Gonzales does not have it, but he will definitely endeavor to get it for them. When pointed out that he has made the same promises many times before and told them nothing, he assures them them he is working diligently to get it, but that it is a very complex matter, and they are entitled to it and will have it (sometimes he politely denies ever having promised it before but then says he will get it anyway).

Feingold began by pointing out that the administration, including Gonzales, has many times accused opponents of the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” — meaning those who insisted that eavesdropping take place within the law, within the FISA framework — of “opposing eavesdropping on terrorists” (I can find 20 examples in 5 minutes of that).

Feingold’s first question – “do you know of any one in the country who opposed eavesdropping on terrorists?”

Gonzales: Sure – if you look at blogs today, there is a lot of concern about all types of eavesdropping, who don’t want us eavesdropping at all.

Feingold: Do you know anyone in government who ever took that position?

Gonzales: No, but that is not what I said.

Feingold: It is a disgrace and disservice to your office and the President to have accused people on this Committee of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists.

Gonzales: I didn’t have you in mind or anyone on the Committee when I referred to people who oppose eavesdropping on terrorists. Perish the thought.

Feingold: Oh, well it’s nice that you didn’t have us “in your mind” when making those accusations, but given that you and the President were running around the country accusing people of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists in the middle of an election, the fact that you didn’t have Congressional Democrats in “mind” isn’t significant. Your intent was to make people think that anyone who opposed the “TSP” did not want to eavesdrop on terrorists, even though that was false. No Democrats oppose eavesdropping on terrorists.

Gonzales: I wasn’t referring to Democrats.

So, apparently, all those speeches Bush officials and their supporters have spent the last year giving accusing people of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists, and all the television commericals making the same accusations throughout the months leading up to the election, were not about Democrats at all, but were about random bloggers who are against all eavesdropping. Where? Maybe on Smirking Chimp and Democratic Underground. That is who they meant when they were talking about opposing eavesdropping on Osama bin Laden. They didn’t mean Democrats in Congress. The entire campaign and all of those accusations were directed only to the bloggers who don’t want them eavesdropping at all.

UNCLAIMED TERRITORY: I Don’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry

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McCaingry: Is Presidential Bid Of SAINT JOHN THE ESCALATOR The Latest Casualty In Iraq?

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

mccaingry.jpgFor seven years, conventional wisdom has said that the state’s pivotal independent voters would line up behind maverick Sen. John McCain, as they did so famously in the 2000 GOP primary. But new polling data, to be released later this week, will suggest that might no longer be the case. Manchester, N.H.-based American Research Group finds that McCain’s popularity among New Hampshire’s independent voters has collapsed. “John McCain is tanking,” says ARG president Dick Bennett. “That’s the big thing [we’re finding]. In New Hampshire a year ago he got 49 percent among independent voters. That number’s way down, to 29 percent now.” American Research Group, which is New Hampshire’s leading polling company and has been operating in the state since 1976, polled 1,200 likely Granite State voters in the survey. Bennett says ARG is finding a similar trend in other states polled, including early primary battlegrounds like Iowa and Nevada. “We’re finding this everywhere,” he says. The main reason isn’t hard to find: His hawkish stance on the Iraq war, which is tying him ever more closely to an unpopular president. “Independent support for McCain is evaporating because they view him as tied to Bush,” says Bennett. The McCain camp yesterday said the senator, who is pushing for a bigger troop surge in Iraq than the president, will stick by his guns. “He has been and will remain committed to achieving victory in Iraq,” a spokesman said.

BOSTON HERALD: Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword, If You Will

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THIS JUST IN: Fumo Sent THE LETTER Last Summer From Federal Prosecutors, And No It was Not A ‘Come Spend A Week At Our Beach House’ Invite

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Typically, prosecutors send target letters to people who are likely to be charged, as a warning and as an invitation to testify before the grand jury. It’s an offer that the targets usually refuse.fumo.jpg

“It is the rare case, in my experience, that you can talk a prosecutor out of charges once a target letter is issued,” said Lawrence S. Lustberg, a Newark lawyer who defended one of the Commerce Bank executives convicted in the 2005 City Hall corruption trial.

However, the delivery of a target letter, part of a secret grand jury process, is no guarantee that charges will be filed.

Before prosecutors present a potential indictment in such a high-profile case, they often consult with senior Justice Department officials in Washington. Also in such cases, defense attorneys are likely to be afforded the opportunity to meet with top officials, including U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan.

The Fumo investigation is focused on whether Fumo used funds from a multimillion-dollar South Philadelphia charity for personal or political benefit – and whether Fumo and staffers destroyed evidence to try to thwart the FBI.

With the grand jury’s term due to expire next month, prosecutors have subpoenaed witnesses to appear in the coming weeks, sources said.

INQUIRER: Ever Get The Feeling People Are Out To Get You?

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RIGHT WING WELFARE: Santorum Accepts Pity Hire From So-Called ‘Think Tank,’ Thinks He’d Be Perfect Posterboy For Their New AMERICAN ENEMAS Service, Daughter Still Inconsolable About Election Returns

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

FROM RIGHT WEB: The Ethics and Public Policy Center, founded in 1976, was the first institute to break ground in the new frontal attack on the secular humanists. It has been on the cutting edge of the neoconservative-driven culture war against liberalism and the associated effort to ensure right-wing control of the Republican Party. When he founded EPPC, Ernest Lefever said thatsantycry.jpg part of the role of a “small ethically oriented center” like EPPC was to “respond directly to ideological critics who insist the corporation is fundamentally unjust.” Lefever said he was motivated to start the organization because “U.S. domestic and multinational firms find themselves increasingly under siege at home and abroad. They are accused of producing shoddy and unsafe products, fouling the environment, robbing future generations, wielding enormous power, repressing peoples in the third world, and generally of being insensitive to human needs.” (more…)

GUNCRAZY: Vowing To End Blizzard Of Hot Lead, Dueling Mayoral Candidates Show Off Battle Scars From Back When They Were KEEPIN’ IT REAL, Yo

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Mayoral candidates U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and state Rep. Dwight Evans [NOT pictured, right] yesterday both claimed totupac3.jpg have been struck by gunfire during their teen years.

Fattah said he was struck in the legs by a shotgun blast in the mid-1970s while breaking up a gunfight and was treated at Mercy Hospital in West Philadelphia.

Evans said he was working in food services at Rolling Hill Hospital in Elkins Park in 1969 when a co-worker accidentally dropped a gun. It hit the floor, went off and sent a bullet ricocheting off his ear, Evans said.

Both mentioned their battle scars while describing their plans to fight crime, which is shaping up as the No. 1 issue in the race.

DAILY NEWS: Getting Shot Now A Mayoral Resume Builder In Tha 215

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YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY: First Woman In U.S. History Is Sworn In As Speaker Of The House

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

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SAN FRANCISCO — It shouldn’t be surprising that it took more than 200 years for Congress to select a female speaker of the House. The United States isn’t exactly at the forefront when it comes to women in politics.

Women make up a larger share of the national legislature in 79 other countries, including China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an association of national legislatures. The U.S. even trails a couple of fledgling democracies: Afghanistan and Iraq.

“When my colleagues elect me as speaker on Jan. 4, we will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is set to lead the House when the Democrats take over. “In more than 200 years of history, there was an established pecking order — and I cut in line.”

NBC11: How Nancy Got Her Groove Back
NY POST: How Dick Got Downsized

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