Archive for January, 2008

2007 Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians

Below is the Judicial Watch’s 2007 Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.

3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men’s bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly “sent signals” to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed ‘No!’” When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, “What do you think of that?” The power play didn’t work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.

4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate’s subcommittee on Military Construction’s approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.

5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY): Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor’s office “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons…” ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani’s former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.

6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR): Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: “[Huckabee’s] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor’s office.” And what was Governor Huckabee’s response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.

7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby: Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies — two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice – all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued “Executive Clemency” to Libby and commuted the sentence.

8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): A “Dishonorable Mention” last year, Senator Obama moves onto the “ten most wanted” list in 2007. In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company’s shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi’s home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi’s earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi’s leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down – which protects members in both parties from accountability.

10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, “Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.” Whittemore also hired one of Reid’s sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father’s office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest


 

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January 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm 1 comment

Global Warming: The Greatest Hoax Ever-Part One

This is the first in a multi-part series on the hoax of global warming.

This past December, the U.S. Senate released a report concerning man-made global warming. In this report, over 400 prominent scientists from over 2 dozen countries disputed the “consensus” on man-made global warming. Dr. Tom V. Segalstad, a professor and head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo, said that man-made global warming “is a search for a mythical CO2 sink to explain an immeasurable CO2 lifetime to fit a hypothetical CO2 computer model that purports to show that an impossible amount of fossil fuel burning is heating the atmosphere. It is all a fiction.” Dr. Richard Courtney, a UK-based climate and atmospheric science consultant said, “To date, no convincing evidence for AGW (anthropogenic global warming) has been discovered. And recent global climate behavior is not consistent with AGW model predictions.”

In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel said global warming was “the greatest scam in history”, and that he was “amazed, appalled, and highly offended by it. It is a SCAM.” Coleman said the science backing global warming was horrible and there is no science that backs up the claim that man is responsible for climate change other than urban heat islands. The scientific claim that CO2 is responsible for global warming is unproved.

Coleman further stated, “I can’t find a single study, and I have searched and dug and read and read, that I find is really significant evidence that man’s activities has caused global warming. I just can’t find it. I don’t find anything going on currently that is unprecedented, that is frightening, that is irreversible, and all those words are being thrown around. What I do find is a huge pilling on by scientists, environmentalists, politicians, and the media. I’ve never seen anything like it and I find it a real distortion of science.”

When was asked if Coleman thought the planet was warming, he said, “We just came out of an 11 year warm solar cycle. To deny the solar cycles is to not look at the basic physics. All energy comes from the sun. The sun isn’t a constant; it does vary. The last decade we have just peaked through a solar cycle. The last two years we have pasted the peak and I’ve seen a slight cooling around the earth.”

Coleman was asked if we should expect an observable cooling period in the next decade. He said, “Yes, I think we’re definitely going in a cooling trend in the next decade.”

Coleman said people buy into global warming because “there is a huge prejudice to buying in to it. He said, “You get the awards, you get to go to the meetings, you get the funding, you get the promotions, and going against the grain is very uncomfortable.”

So, we have over 400 prominent scientists, and the founder of The Weather Channel who believes man-made global warming is a myth, hoax, and a scam. But there is more-much more to come.

January 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

John McCain’s Double Talk Express

See if you can figure out exactly what the straight talk is.

January 19, 2008 at 8:32 pm Leave a comment

Is George W. Bush Deserving of More Credit?

Randall Hoven wrote an interesting article on www.americanthinker.com about why Republicans should not be depressed and how President Bush’s record is a lot better than the mainstream media would have us to believe. For those who have not read his article titled, “Hey GOP: Cheer Up, Chin Up!”, I thought it would be interesting to review his points.

Hoven said that in order to look at the Bush presidency in its full context, you need to look at President Clinton’s time in office. When Clinton took office, the economy had been on a 10-year growth streak that averaged 3.3% annually. It had a 4% growth in 1994. On January 14, 2000, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its pre-Bush peak. By the end of the year, the Dow Jones declined over 6%.

George W. Bush was sworn in as President in late January 2001, and the federal budget he inherited was signed by Clinton and did not expire until September 2001. The 8 month recession officially started in March 2001.

President Bush’s first budget took effect on October 1, 2001. The recession from March officially ended in November 2001, just one month after his first budget and 2 months after the 9/11 attacks. The real GDP grew by 3.9% from 2003-2004, and has continued an annual growth of more than 3% since.

Unemployment peaked at 6% in 2003. Throughout 2006 and 2007, unemployment remained below 5%.

Bush did increase spending. It was increased to about 20% of the GDP. This was below what it was from 1975 through 1996. The deficit currently stands at about 1.8% of the GDP.

The gross federal debt now stands at about 65% of the GDP. This is higher than it was in 2000, but about the same level from 1993-1997.

Other Bush accomplishment over the last 7 years were tax cuts, strengthened defense, liberation of Afghanistan from Taliban control, the removal of Saddam Hussein, and the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are arguments that the above numbers have been distorted or taken out of context. Most people will only remember Bush for the mess in Iraq, government growth, and high gas prices. However, Hoven does make some interesting points that need to be considered when looking at the legacy of George W. Bush.

On a personal note, I believe Bush has done some good things for this country. However, I also believe he abandoned and compromised his conservative principles on some issues (i.e. allowing Ted Kennedy to write the education bill, nation building, border security, etc.) and helped to squander away a Republican majority in Congress. I think the promise that conservatives felt when Bush was elected in 2000 was never fulfilled and that is why there is such an empty feeling when it comes to the presidency of George W. Bush.

What are your thoughts?

January 18, 2008 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

Questionable Traffic Stop in Kimball County, Nebraska

In the January 14 edition of the Omaha World-Herald, Elizabeth Ahlin covered a story about a traffic stop in Kimball County.  The article, “Kimball County Seizes $69,040 in Traffic Stop”, tells a story that just doesn’t add up to me.  Below is the article verbatim:

Christmas came early last year for a new Kimball County Sheriff’s deputy.
 Deputy Chris Engel, 25, had been on the job just two weeks when a routine traffic stop Dec. 20 turned into the biggest cash seizure the Nebraska County has ever seen. Engel pulled over a Salt Lake City, Utah, resident whom he suspected of speeding on Interstate 80 near the town of Kimball.

The driver’s story didn’t add up, Engel said, so he did a little more investigating. In the end, $69,040 in cash was taken from the car. Officials suspect the money is connected to a drug-trafficking operation, he said.

The driver was not arrested — or even ticketed for going 10 mph over the 75 mph speed limit. (He was warned.) But the investigation is ongoing, Engel said. The Nebraska State Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency are assisting in the investigation.

It was the first big cash seizure Kimball County has seen, said Sheriff Tim Hanson. With Interstate 80 running through the Panhandle County, he believes there are ample opportunities to make a dent in drug operations. But in such a sparsely populated county with few resources, it has been difficult to devote deputies’ time to patrolling the Interstate, he said.

“Chris is a very aggressive young deputy,” Hanson said.

Investigators don’t know if they will be able to connect the money to a drug operation, Hanson said, but the important work already has been done.

“The big thing is he grabbed 69 (thousand dollars) and took it away from them,” Hanson said of the money seized. “That’s going right straight to the heart of the matter.”

All of the facts of this story may not be present in the article, but if they are, it appears the Kimball County Sheriff’s department should be prosecuted for theft.  The driver was pulled over on a “suspicion” of speeding and was given no ticket.  However, the deputy took $69,040 from the car.  They suspect the money is connected to drug-trafficking, but they have no proof or any idea if it can be connected.  It appears the driver’s Constitutional rights have been violated and the money should not have been taken.  This may be a case of literal highway robbery. 

January 15, 2008 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

The Great Ronald Reagan Accepts Blame

Since there are no Ronald Reagans running in this years Presidential primary, I thought this video would be a great reminder of how great the great communicator was.

January 14, 2008 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

John McCain’s Liberal Record

On Friday, Mark R. Levin posted an article on National Review Online. His article detailed the real record of John McCain and not the one McCain is trying to pass off. Levin shows what a disaster McCain’s domestic record has been. I want to review Levin’s points.

For starters, there was McCain-Feingold. This bill limited political freedom of speech.

McCain-Kennedy was an amnesty plan for illegal aliens.

Through reporting, regulating, and taxing of greenhouse gases, McCain-Lieberman was the largest attack on American industry in our nation’s history.

Under the guise of a patients’ bill of rights, McCain-Kennedy-Edwards was the largest windfall for trial lawyers since the tobacco settlement.

McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs harmed pharmaceutical research and consumer safety.

John McCain opposed the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts claiming they were only for the rich.

McCain was the leader of the Gang of 14. The Gang of 14 successfully stopped the Republican Senatorial leadership form changing Senate rules that would have ended filibusters to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

McCain has supported the ACLU in trying to give due-process rights to unlawful enemy combatants. He wants Guantanamo Bay closed and al-Queda terrorists to be placed into our own prisons. This would give them legal rights and would burden our prison system with managing them.

Despite the lack of evidence supporting McCain’s claim of forcing President Bush to adopt General David Patreaus’ troop surge strategy, he apparently is taking credit for it. He also likes to point out his disagreements with Donald Rumsfeld, where was he when the Clinton administration downsized the military? Did he not want to ruffle the feathers of his friend and former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen?

During the last debate, there was little if any attention focused on McCain by any of the other candidates. Why was he given a free pass while they took swipes at each other? You have to hope that his record will be more closely examined next debate.

January 14, 2008 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

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