Monday, February 02, 2004

Another Halliburton overcharge!
OOPS-They did it again!

Halliburton Co. allegedly overcharged more than $16 million for meals at a U.S. military base in Kuwait
This occurred during the first seven months of last year, according to a published report Monday, citing Pentagon investigators auditing the company's work.

What Do You Think?
"In general, I think the FCC does have a role in promoting some reasonable standard of decency. However, considering what's on television these days, I think the FCC is being pretty silly about investigating this."
--Howard Dean, about the Janet Jackson/Justin Timerlake/Superbowl FCC probe

N.Y.Times editorial
Come back, little Deaniacs
....Many of the young people who heeded Senator McCarthy's antiwar message in 1968 spiraled away from politics forever when Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nomination. The young Deaniacs could easily add to the near majority of eligible voters in America who find politics a waste of effort. One of the most important missions of the Democratic nominee this year is to help keep young people interested when the campaign boils down to the deeply pragmatic politics of the summer and fall...
I wonder why the New York Times editorial staff believes 2004 will be any different than 1968. I think the words "pragmatic politics" are just code-words for something far more insidious than simply pragmatic.
You see, the primary season is far from over, and the New York Times is already counting Dean out of the race.
Obviously, the NY Times has their crystal ball poised and ready.. and they're already planning on how the leftover Dean supporters will fit into the 2004 election. I'll bet they even have them slated for their own favorite establishment candidate, which has never been Governor Dean. For them, the writing's on the wall.

If the writing's on the wall, I ask you:
Who's doing the writing?

On some far-off day when the writing is done by the people and the pragmatic result equates to the writing of the people, I will understand the new York Times' hope for keeping these young kids in the system. Consider, however, what these kids see happening before their very eyes. They see an alleged front-running candidate who is paying for his commercial time with his filthy-rich wife's money and contributions from specal interests. They see Terry McAuliffe trying to cut their candidate off at the pass...issuing the date in which Governor Dean will be officially the "undead" candidate, as CNN's political mouthpiece Bill Schneider has been touting all this past weekend. These kids see their hard-earned small contributions wasted because of a media who would choose to mock their candidate by spurting nonsense about him repeatedly on the news networks and who chastise his wife for being her own person.
I'm a Dean supporter and I'm no innocent kid..I've been around this block before. Frankly, I believe we're going to see a replay of spades. This is far more than "disillusionment". It's an established political system that does not appreciate being challenged. I'm thinking seriously of parting from the Democrats myself. Any candidate in November will be better than Bush, but at the same time, this was the supreme chance to show America that we people are ready for a change.
The powers-that-be have stopped us at nearly every turn. The media and the Democratic powers virtually ignored Dennis Kucinich's candidacy. There will be a political price for them to pay, I'm afraid.
N.Y. Times/Bob Herbert
Keeping It Real-
Getting Out the Low-Income Vote
One of the biggest reasons politicians continue to trample on issues of crucial importance to low-income Americans -issues like jobs, education and access to health care - is the traditionally poor voting habits of that segment of the population. The percentage of people who vote (and the level of attention they get from politicians) rises steadily as you scale the income ladder.

Most Americans are unaware of the extent of the suffering that has fallen on the bottom 20 percent or so of the population. Many low-income Americans are leading lives of grim and sometimes painful determination, struggling to survive from one day to the next. The contrast between the real lives of families sinking beneath the weight of economic distress and the headlines that continue to insist that the economy is doing famously is extraordinary.

The idea is to make low-income voters a force too strong to be ignored. A recent study commissioned by the center showed that small increases in voting by low-income people could be decisive in several strategically important states.

Media's Greatest Sin:
The Dean Scream:
The Version of Reality You Didn't See on TV

.....we collected some other tapes from Dean's speech including one from a documentary filmmaker, tapes that do carry the sound of the crowd, not just the microphone he held on stage. We also asked the reporters who were there to help us replicate what they experienced in the room.
Reena Singh, ABC News Dean campaign reporter: "What the cameras didn't capture was the crowd."
Garance Franke-Ruta, Senior Editor, American Prospect: "As he spoke, the audience got louder and louder and I found it somewhat difficult to hear him."
Dean's boisterous countdown of the upcoming primaries as we all heard it on TV was isolated, when in fact he was shouting over the roaring crowd.
And what about the scream as we all heard it? In the room, the so-called scream couldn't really be heard at all. Again, he was yelling along with the crowd.
I condemn the television networks for this overplaying of a specially-selected video. I found the tone of ABC and FOX to be particularly unapologetic in this article. CBS is the most anti-1st amendment network I've seen (besides FOX the right-propagandists). CBS has censored a commercial this week and has refused to show programs such as a movie about the Reagans. In this instance, they have apologized after they did their damage to Governor Dean.
As long as the media acts as a gaggle of clowns, the American public will be little more than clowns discussing what they've seen the night before at water coolers across America.

Bush Wants a Cover-up, Not an Investigation
"Bush, under mounting political pressure, will sign an executive order to establish a full-blown (RIGHT!) investigation of U.S. intelligence failures in Iraq... By setting up the investigation himself, Bush will have greater control over its membership and mandate. (and ability to cover his great sin!) The senior White House official said it would be patterned after the Warren Commission (whose report on JFK's assassination is believed by no one)... David Albright, a former weapons inspector, said the administration could use the commission as a way to delay judgments about the intelligence community and the administration's use of the intelligence information. 'The bottom line for them [the Bush administration] is to delay the day of reckoning about their use of the weapons of mass destruction information,' Albright said. 'David Kay can blame the CIA and say 'Oh, I made all these comments based on what I heard from the intelligence community.' Bush can't do that. He's the boss.'"