Friday, April 29, 2005
Former Sen. Dean Barkley, who has recently been a consultant and lobbyist, will serve as campaign director and chief strategist, Friedman announced Friday.
"Arguing against loosening sanctions against Cuba last year, DeLay warned that Fidel Castro "will take the money. Every dime that finds its way into Cuba first finds its way into Castro's blood-thirsty hands.... American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the cost of our national honor."
DeLay has long been one of Congress' most vocal critics of what he calls Castro's "thugocracy," which is why some were surprised last week to see a photo of him smoking a Cuban cigar ÷a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona, which generally costs about $25.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Correction to This Article: The headline on this analysis that appeared in The Post overstated the opinions expressed by legal experts. The experts said that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is in danger of being declared in violation of House rules, but they did not characterize such a finding as "likely."
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Echoing our first television spot from 1980, our latest ad denounces the shameless, cynical exploitation of religion by the radical right to achieve their political goals.
Check out their newest ad:
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WASHINGTON – Tom DeLay's initial tormentor, Chris Bell , returned to Washington last week, lining up support and plotting strategy for his run for Texas governor.
This time last year, Mr. Bell was still reeling from a post-redistricting defeat and preparing the ethics complaint that triggered an epic partisan battle in the House. That complaint led to two rare admonishments for Mr. DeLay, turning Mr. Bell, a one-term Houston congressman, into a folk hero to the majority leader's critics – and a target for Republicans.
Mr. DeLay has called him a "partisan stalker."
"His back is against the wall," said Mr. Bell, asserting that each new allegation about Mr. DeLay's ties with lobbyists, overseas travel funded by foreign interests and other matters vindicates his demand last year for a full inquiry.
"The admonishments pushed DeLay to a place that he didn't want to be, and that was above the radar screen," Mr. Bell said in a half-hour chat in his consulting office near the Capitol.
Mr. DeLay has denied any violation of the law or House rules. With pressure mounting, he's asked for a hearing before the House ethics committee to clear his name. Last week, Republicans offered to open an inquiry immediately. Democrats refused, holding out for a reversal of new rules that require consent from both parties to open an investigation – a reversal of a long-standing rule that triggered inquiries in case of party-line deadlock.
Mr. Bell says he's not sure Democrats should walk away from the offer to put Mr. DeLay under a microscope. On the other hand, he's happy to see the majority leader twist in the wind as long as possible.
"I would like to see Tom DeLay run for president while I'm making this race for governor," Mr. Bell said. "I'd like it to be wall-to-wall Tom DeLay because he has become the figurehead for everything wrong with the Republican Party, and the only thing that does is help me, tremendously."
In response to the Bell complaint, the ethics panel admonished Mr. DeLay for enlisting the Federal Aviation Administration in the hunt for the plane owned by Democratic state Rep. Pete Laney during redistricting and for golfing with energy executives with an energy bill pending.
The committee later chided Mr. Bell for accusing Mr. DeLay of seeking a bribe from that company, calling the allegation "innuendo" and "exaggeration."
With four of five Republicans on the ethics committee saying last week that they'd like to open a DeLay inquiry, Mr. Bell says he hopes more facts emerge.
Analysts give him long odds of winning the governorship. Democrats have fared poorly in statewide races in recent years. And like most congressmen, he's largely unknown outside his home turf, which he couldn't hold after the Legislature shifted demographics to favor a black candidate.
His role in the ethics fight raised his profile, though, and he's doing his best to capitalize on that.
"I was willing to stand up and say enough is enough and file the ethics complaint. That, in and of itself, isn't a recipe for success in a governor's race, but it sure is nice to have a foot in the door," he said.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
President Bush in Galveston County today, where workers voted to privatize their retirement accounts in 1981:
Just – let me just give you a sense for the difference between what a worker gets here in Galveston and then a worker would get out of Social Security. If you get a 3.75 percent return, like they guarantee here in Galveston, on your money, and you’re a person working 37 years, making about $25,000 a year, you’d receive $1,250 a month from the alternate plan now available for workers here – as opposed to $669 from Social Security. Think about that. That’s a difference between a better rate of return on your money over a 37-year period.
In fact, the Social Security Administration did an analysis of the Galveston plan in 1999. The report showed well-paid workers with no kids did slightly better in the short run under the plan. As for everyone else:
Social Security tends to offer higher initial benefits than the Galveston Plan to workers with lower earnings and/or families with dependents who qualify for Social Security benefits. Although many of Galveston’s initial benefits are higher than Social Security’s, they are not indexed to inflation and lose value relative to Social Security’s over time.
The same year, the Government Accountability Office compared the two plans, coming to a similar conclusion:
In general, low-wage workers and, to a lesser extent, median-wage workers would fare better under Social Security. High-wage earners can generally expect to do better under the Alternate Plans, although if spousal benefits are included, even the high-wage workers could eventually receive higher benefits from Social Security.
Hmmmm, makes you wonder which report President Bush was quoting.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that given the ethics complaints against DeLay, 41 percent of Americans thought he should step down as majority leader while 32 percent said he should remain in the job. But among those who were closely following the ethics issues, 63 percent said he should quit his leadership post.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Man, does he look angry.
Also Think Progress has this: Against People of Faith
“Before boarding his flight to Crawford to meet with President Bush Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah presided over the arrest of 40 Pakistani Christians on Friday. Their crime? The Pakistanis were caught praying in a private home in the capital Riyadh in violation of the state’s strictly enforced religious law that bans all non-Muslim worship.”
Wow, I really thought he was in for the long haul. Richard put up a hell of a fight and there is no doubt in my mind that he would of surprised a lot of people. May we wish Richard and his family the best of luck and health. Continue fighting the good fight.
3. For the last several weeks Tom DeLay has been loudly proclaiming his innocence while simultaneously obfuscating the real facts of the case behind a smokescreen of partisan buffoonery. The way Tom tells it, he's completely innocent of all the charges against him and the only reason he's in trouble is because of the evil liberals plotting against him. Well, the evil liberals over at the Washington Post turned up some interesting information last week that makes the hole Tom has been digging look just a little bit deeper and darker. According to the Post, when DeLay took a trip to England and Scotland in 2000, he "said that his expenses on this trip were paid by a nonprofit organization and that the financial arrangements for it were proper." I should think so - because "House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists."
Unfortunately for Tom, the Post turned up documents last week which showed that the airfare for the trip was charged to a credit card issued to one Jack Abramoff - a lobbyist, and one of DeLay's best buddies, who also happens to be right in the middle of a federal criminal and tax investigation as we speak. And in case Tommy Boy wants to play the "I didn't know" game, the Post also notes that, "The invoice for DeLay's plane fare lists the name of what was then Abramoff's lobbying firm, Preston Gates & Ellis. Multiple sources, including DeLay's then-chief of staff Susan Hirschmann, have confirmed that DeLay's congressional office was in direct contact with Preston Gates about the trip itinerary before DeLay's departure, to work out details of his travel. These contacts raise questions about DeLay's statement that he had no way of knowing about the financial and logistical support provided by Abramoff and his firm." Oops.
5. One more quick aside this week to keep Tom DeLay simmering on the front burner - this comes courtesy of David Sirota's blog. Sirota noted that back in 1995, not long after Republicans had retaken Congress based on a promise to clean up Washington, Tom DeLay said this: "The time has come that the American people know exactly what their Representatives are doing here in Washington. Are they feeding at the public trough, taking lobbyist-paid vacations, getting wined and dined by special interest groups? Or are they working hard to represent their constituents? The people, the American people, have a right to know... I say the best disinfectant is full disclosure, not isolation." So I guess that wasn't you at the Three Tenors concert then, Tom?
Funny how the number 4 spot is Brian Wilson of Faux News.
4. We noted last week that Tom DeLay is facing increasing criticism from members of his own party, such as Newt Gingrich and Rep. Christopher Shays. DeLay has also been criticized by Bill O'Reilly, the Wall Street Journal, and several other newspapers who endorsed George W. Bush in 2004. Not that you would know any of this if you happened to catch Brian Wilson on Fox News last week, of course. Wilson said that DeLay has never been found guilty of violating any law and that Democratic front groups are targeting him, using this helpful graphic to bolster his points:
Wilson also aired clips of DeLay claiming he was being targeted by a "left-wing syndicate" and that he was a victim of "journalistic activism," and reported that he was "not getting an even break from the media."
So where did Brian Wilson get this information from? Simple - he copied it from an email that Tom DeLay sent to his supporters last week, in which DeLay whined about his problems being nothing more than a plot by the vast left-wing conspiracy. Of course, Wilson helpfully declined to delve into the truth of the matter - he just allowed DeLay's comments to stand without rebuttal. Looks like he's has been taking "journalism" tips from our old pal Jeff Gannon.
Thank you Democratic Underground
media showing things not going so well in Iraq. Music is "Hurt" by Johnny Cash.
In the meantime... Bush more certain than ever on Iraq war
In the two years since Bush declared an end to "major combat operations, '' thousands of Iraqis and nearly 1,500 Americans have died; U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $200 billion to secure the peace; troops discovered no weapons of mass destruction, which was the principal reason stated by Bush to justify the attack; and a majority of Americans now say they disapprove of the president's handling of Iraq.
Yet the perception by critics that the mission is unproductive, or a debacle, shows no sign of resonating at the White House, where, quite to the contrary, it is evident that Bush feels emboldened by the past two years' experience.
Delay and Houston protestors. Good picture.
Is Bush backing off Delay?
And some Republican polltakers are seeing evidence that public support for Bush's judicial agenda is being hampered by the visibility of DeLay and his religious allies. "He helps us gets things done in the House, no question of that," said a White House insider. "But I'm not sure his strategy now is helping us-or him, for that matter."
Thursday, April 21, 2005
My tendency is to stay out of primaries, and even now I don't want to make an endorsement. But, my take absent any information I'm not aware of is that the DCCC would be making a big mistake not backing Morrison v. DeLay in 06.
I lack perfect information on these things, but my perception is that Morrison would be opposed not because of his lack of skills as a candidate, but because of his lack of deference to the DCCC.-Atrios 10:09 PM
Members of Bay Area New Democrats took a spin with Spanky the Ben and Jerry trailer with Uncle Sam spanking Tom DeLay. Did we have fun or what?
We got nothing but GREAT responses even in a heavily R neighborhood. On our way back we had a person with GOT JESUS? and GOD LISTENS stickers all over his car stop and shoot us the finger. Later he caught up with us, slammed on his brakes and was trying to do something.
All in all a great day for Spanky in Tom DeLays district!!!!
The Forum has been contacted several times by Republicans from the District and by some National Republican interests about the dissatisfaction that many mainstream republicans feel about how Tom DeLay has taken his extremism beyond their values. As one might hope, many Repbublicans do not share Tom DeLay's wierd worldview. Now some are voicing their discomfort with their politics being lumped in with what Tom DeLay has come to stand for.
Sorry that you are missing the point. If DeLay did something illegal or that violates House rules, he should pay the consequences. The point of these posts is the hypocrisy of the DemocRATS and their surrogates in the mainstream media who are driving this story. If DeLay goes, that is fine. But Harry Reid has to also go, along with many others on the other side of the aisle. Let the rules apply to all. If our side had a rapist in the White House, he would have been forced out. I don't wish to hear Ted Kennedy talk about water torture or Hillary Clinton brag about the good things her rapist husband did for women.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
"You talk about judicial activism, we now have journalistic activism. A legitimate paper, The New York Times, is shopping an op-ed piece calling for my resignation amongst Republicans. It shows you what's going on here," DeLay added.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
This photo of Richard ran in Sunday's NY Times
In DeLay's Home District, Rumblings of Discontent Surface
The New York Times, April 17, 2005
Patricia Baig, a substitute teacher with a comfortable inheritance, paid $2,776 this week to call for Representative Tom DeLay's resignation.
Ms. Baig, 57 - who identifies herself as a fellow Republican of Mr. DeLay, the House majority leader, and is one of his constituents - took out a full-page advertisement on Wednesday in the 62,000 copies of the weekly free Fort Bend Southwest Sun. It urged demonstrators "who want ethical reform" to rally against Mr. DeLay's speech Saturday night to the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, "to protest the actions of Representative DeLay and ask for his resignation," while adding her gun-owner's caveat: "This is NOT a protest of the N.R.A.!" READ THE FULL STORY HERE...
visit Richard Morrison
Somebody ought to look at the organizations and ask The New York Times, The Washington Post, the L.A. Times, Time, Newsweek, AP why they're spending all these resources they are, who they talked to ... are they collaborating with all these organizations that are funded by George Soros and his heavy hitters, and do these organizations ever talk to each other? Of course they do, they have people that are on the same boards. I mean, different boards but same people.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay intensified his criticism of the federal courts on Tuesday, singling out Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's work from the bench as "incredibly outrageous" because he has relied on international law and done research on the Internet.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
DeLay Should Quit
That's right - Tom DeLay (1) has made it to the top of the list for the third week running. How much longer will rank-and-file Republicans put up with his antics? Elsewhere, The Bush Administration (2) has an interesting new plan for dealing with terrorism, Senate Republicans (3) showed how much they care about American military personnel, and George W. Bush (5) made some dubious statements about the invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, Sean Hannity (6) demonstrated the integrity of Fox "News," The Alliance Defense Fund (7) likes harassment, Eric Rudolph (8) is not, apparently, a terrorist, and Jeff Miller (10) has made an ass of himself.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Ten former Republican U.S. lawmakers on Friday urged a reversal of new House of Representatives ethics rules that they charged were changed to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay from further investigation.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Tom DeLay (1,6) tops the list again this week after a tough week for ethics violators, but Fox News (2) is more than happy to give him an assist. Mel Martinez (3) owned up to the Terri Schiavo memo - sort of - not that The Forgery Shovelers (4) cared of course. And John Cornyn (5) suggested that perhaps judges should tone down the old "judging" thing if they cared about their safety. Yup, it's been a prime week for conservative idiocy. Elsewhere, Republican Hypocrites (7) seem to have gone silent on the issue of high gas prices, The Jeff Gannon Show (8) rolled into town for an encore, Michelle Bachman (9) hid in some bushes, and what happens when you mix professional wrestling with right-wing whackery? You get my new all-time favorite conservative idiot in the form of Warrior And Chums (10). Enjoy.
"DeLay's problem isn't with the Democrats, Delay's problem is with the country. And so Delay has a challenge to lay out a case that the country comes to believe."
--Newt Gingrich, caught telling the truth for once. BartCop
To put it plainly, DeLay's Republican Congress doesn't care about you. Their major legislation appears to be little more than a quid pro quo with huge special interests -- with cynical indifference to the problems facing middle class Americans. As health care costs have continued to skyrocket, Republicans passed legislation that provided almost $140 billion in windfall profits for their donors in the pharmaceutical industry, while making it explicitly illegal for the federal government to bargain for lower prices and preventing ordinary seniors from importing FDA approved drugs from Canada at a lower cost. As millions of Americans lost their jobs in the Bush/ DeLay economy, House Republicans gave away billions in taxpayer money to special interests like Enron. As millions more Americans struggled to make ends meet, Republicans cut the right to overtime pay for countless workers.
The site, named "House of Scandal," echoes a similar site launched by the Washington watchdog Citizens for Ethics earlier today. But the site marks a new strategy by the Democratic Party to add interactivity to a series of scandals dogging the House Republican leader that have often been too complex for the average voter.
Jack Abramoff: Under investigation by the Justice Department, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the IRS, the Department of the Interior, and the FBI.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
ABC has put up the transcript. Some of the more interesting quotes:
The DeLay trip to the South Pacific island, originally reported by a "20/20" investigation, was part of an effort by former aide Jack Abramoff to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
Later, according to a recording made by a human rights investigator posing as a potential customer, one of the prominent factory owners said that DeLay had promised to stop the reform laws.
"Do you know what Tom told me?" Willie Tan said. "He said, 'Willie, if they elect me Majority Whip, I make the schedule of the Congress, and I'm not going to put it on the schedule.' So Tom told me, 'Forget it, Willie. No chance.'
Get on the Delay wagon. All aboard....last call....next stop......Petticoat Junction
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
GROUPS PAID DELAY'S WIFE, DAUGHTER
CONGRESSMAN TRIPS LINKED TO RUSSIAN LOBBY
This is Drudge but here is his headline at the moment. Go on Tom, blame this on the liberal press!
NYT PAGE ONE LEAD, WASH POST PAGE ONE WEDNESDAY, NEWSROOM SOURCES TELL DRUDGE: Ethical questions surrounding House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas intensify... A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements.... Developing...
Monday, April 04, 2005
A cable channel recently acquired by an investment group led by Al Gore is to relaunch Aug. 1 under the name Current, hoping to generate much of its content from viewers.
Current will provide a fair amount of its own programming, at least initially, said programming chief David Neuman, a veteran television executive who most recently was a consultant for Time Warner Inc.'s CNN. Mr. Neuman said the channel has hired hosts for different segments. While Current primarily will be a news and information channel, he described it as closer to MTV and VH1 than Fox News and MSNBC.
Visit Kos for a breakdown of what was said and blogger reaction.
Remarks by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on the Senate floor today.
I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's footing among his constituents has slipped drastically during the past year and a majority of his district disapproves of how he handled the Terri Schiavo case, according to a Houston Chronicle poll.
Also, latest Zogby poll has Delay looking like crap in my very republican district.
For whom did you vote for in the 2004 election -- Tom DeLay or Richard Morrison?
Other/Did not vote 16.2
Do you think Tom Delay deserves to be reelected or do you think it is time for someone new?
Someone New 49.2