frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.



Check out my old  Voice of the People page.


Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

jonsdarc@mindspring.com




Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington



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Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 15h 40m 4s

The speech filled with Lies

Thanks to ThinkProgress.


Bush said: “The government of this nation will do its part as well. Our cities must have clear and up-to-date plans for responding to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or terrorist attack.”

FACT — BUSH SAID DHS WAS PREPARED TO MEET TERRORIST THREAT: Bush, 3/2/04: “We’ll face the terrorist threat for years to come. Our government is prepared to meet that threat. One of the most important steps we’ve taken is creating the Department of Homeland Security, combining under one roof, with a clear chain of command, many agencies responsible for protecting our nation… You faced the challenges standing up this new Department and you get a — and a gold star for a job well done.” Bush, 7/22/04: “We will work tirelessly to disrupt and prevent terrorist attacks — and if an attack should come, America will be prepared.”

FACT — FORMER DHS HEAD TOM RIDGE SAID COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN FIRST RESPONDERS HAD IMPROVED: Ridge, 7/22/04: “We’ve committed unprecedented funding, training, equipment and support to first responders at the state and local levels. We’ve improved communication, coordination and cooperation between everyone involved in our nation’s preparedness and response.” Bush, 9/13/05: “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government.”

*****

Bush said: “I also want to know all the facts about the government response to Hurricane Katrina.”

FACT: BUSH DOESN’T SUPPORT INDEPENDENT PANEL: Seventy percent of Americans support forming an independent commission, but Senate conservatives are working to create a panel that will reflect “their dominance in Congress.” Bush plans to “lead his own investigation of what went wrong.” [Times-Picayune, 9/14/05; Orlando Sun-Sentinel, 9/15/05; The Guardian, 9/7/05]

*****

Bush said: “We will not just rebuild, we will build higher and better. To meet this goal, I will listen to good ideas from…state and local officials.”

FACT — WHITE HOUSE BLAMED STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS FOR FAILURES: Headline: “White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials” [Washington Post, 9/4/05]

Bush said: “Yet the system, at every level of government, was not well coordinated, and was overwhelmed in the first few days.”

FACT — CRS REPORT SHOWS BLANCO DID HER JOB: A Congressional Research Service report found “that the Governor did take the steps necessary to request emergency and major disaster declarations for the State of Louisiana in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina.” [Office of Rep. John Conyers]

FACT — DHS SECRETARY FAILED TO RESPOND AS HE SHOULD HAVE: Federal documents obtained by Knight Ridder demonstrated that “even before the storm struck the Gulf Coast, Chertoff could have ordered federal agencies into action without any request from state or local officials.” [Knight Ridder, 9/13/05]

*****

Bush said: “I consider detailed emergency planning to be a national security priority.”

FACT — FOUR YEARS AFTER 9/11, STILL NO NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS GOALS: On August 30, “as New Orleans was drowning and DHS officials were still hours away from invoking the department’s highest crisis status for the catastrophe,” department contractors were emailed the planned “national preparedness goal.” “The checklist, called a Universal Task List, appeared to cover every eventuality in a disaster, from the need to handle evacuations to speedy urban search and rescue to circulating ‘prompt, accurate and useful’ emergency information. … But the documents were not a menu for action in the devastated Gulf Coast. They were drafts, not slated for approval and release until October, more than four years after 9/11.” [Washington Post, 9/3/05]

Bush said: “This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. We are going to review every action and make necessary changes, so that we are better prepared for any challenge of nature, or act of evil men, that could threaten our people.”

FACT — BUSH CLAIMED TO HAVE LEARNED THE LESSONS OF 9/11: Bush: “I make decisions based upon what I think is important for the security of the American people. And I’m not going to forget the lessons of 9/11, September 2001.” [10/3/03]

*****

Bush said: “As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America.”

FACT — MILLIONS MORE AMERICANS HAVE FALLEN INTO POVERTY SINCE BUSH TOOK OFFICE: 1.1 million people fell out of the middle class and into poverty in 2004 1.4 million more children live in poverty since Bush took office 250,000 more African Americans fell into poverty over the last two years 500,000 more Hispanics fell into poverty over the last two years [Census.gov]

*****

Bush said: “And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely – so we will have a team of inspector generals reviewing all expenditures.”

FACT — BUSH ADMINISTRATION DEMOTED CORRUPTION WHISTLEBLOWER: The New York Times on Bunnatine Greenhouse’s reassignment: “A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday…” [New York Times, 8/29/05]

Bush said: “Hundreds of thousands of people from across this region will need to find longer-term housing.”

FACT - ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO PUT PEOPLE IN TRAILER PARKS: Rather than providing Section 8 housing vouchers, Bush has requested mobile-home manufacturers to “supply tens of thousands of travel trailers and mobile homes” for victims. [Washington Post, 9/5/05]

*****

Bush said: “To every person who has served and sacrificed in this emergency, I offer the gratitude of our country.”

FACT — BUSH ORDER ALLOWS FEDERAL CONTRACTORS TO PAY LESS THAN PREVAILING WAGE: President Bush issued an order suspending application of the Bacon-Davis Act which “set a minimum pay scale for workers on federal contracts by requiring contractors to pay the prevailing or average pay in the region. Suspension of the act will allow contractors to pay lower wages.” [Washington Post, 9/9/05]

FACT — BUSH WORKING TO SUSPEND WAGE SUPPORTS FOR SERVICE WORKERS: The White House is working to “suspend wage supports for service workers in the hurricane zone as it did for construction workers on federal contracts.” [Washington Post, 9/14/05]



Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 15h 2m 50s

Is this deliberate??

From the New York Times:

Thanks to BlahBlah for help with most of the summarization below.

FEMA - the same federal agency that botched the rescue mission - is faltering in its effort to aid hundreds of thousands of storm victims, local officials, evacuees and top federal relief officials say. The federal aid hot line mentioned by President Bush in his address to the nation on Thursday cannot handle the flood of calls...

[...]

James McGehee, the mayor of Bogalusa, a small Louisiana city near the Mississippi border, could barely contain his rage in an interview on Thursday.

"Today is 18 days past the storm, and FEMA has not even put a location for people who are displaced," he said. "They are walking around the damn streets. The system's broke."

[...]

Federal officials are often unable to give local governments permission to proceed with fundamental tasks to get their towns running again. Most areas in the region still lack federal help centers...

[...]

FEMA...is an agency with limited federal money that must quickly expand its operational capacity only after a major disaster strikes. It has not won a large chunk of the new federal homeland security dollars, that have been dedicated to terrorism.

[...]

The president of St. Tammany Parish, Kevin Davis, is praying that it does not rain in his sweltering corner of Louisiana, because three weeks after the storm severely damaged his drainage system, FEMA has yet to give him approval to even start the repairs.

[...]

Up north in the poor parish of Washington, residents are sleeping in houses that were chopped in half by oak trees. The promised wave of government inspectors have not shown up to assist them.

[...]

In Tangipahoa Parish, the parish president, Gordon Burgess, said he called FEMA officials daily to ask when they would arrive to assist residents with housing. Mr. Burgess said the federal workers say, " 'I'll get to you next week,' and then the next week and then you'd never hear from them again."

Indeed, almost every local leader interviewed - even those sympathetic to FEMA's plight - complained that they could not get FEMA to approve their contracts with workers, tell them when they would be opening help centers or answer basic questions. Often, they say, the FEMA worker on the ground, eager to help, has to go up the chain of command before taking action, which can take days.

"People on the ground are wonderful but the problem is getting the 'yes,' " said Mr. Davis of St Tammany parish, who has a contractor ready to clean his drainage system of the same trees FEMA allowed him to take off his streets, and to repair parts of the sewage system.

"I'm saying, 'Wait a minute, you pick up debris on the road but not the drainage?' If it rains, I've got real problems. I just need someone to tell me make the public bids and I could rebuild our parish in no time."

[...]

Tempers are already flaring among many of the thousands of people displaced by the storm who have had a hard time getting through to FEMA on the telephone or finding centers where FEMA representatives can answer questions about various federal assistance programs. Only 8 of 40 promised sites have opened in Louisiana.

[...]

Evacuees and local officials also complain that FEMA's request for them to register on line or via phone is unrealistic, given that as of Wednesday 310,000 households in Louisiana were still without telephone service and 283,231 were still awaiting power, or nearly 30 percent of the state's households.

[...]

Meanwhile, truck drivers carrying tens of thousands of tons of ice and driving water have been sent on a cross-country tour, from city to city, only then to be told to wait for up to a week in a parking lot in Memphis, with their engines, as well as their tabs as drivers running.

"It is a sad experience," said Frank Link,, who was sent from to Missouri, then to Mississippi, then to Alabama and then to Tennessee - all with the same load of 41,580 pounds of ice that he had loaded in Chicago. "I went down there to help. All I did was get the runaround from FEMA."



Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 14h 38m 29s

Ruled by 180 year old court decisions

''We are now arrived at the inquiry--'' continued the Chief Justice, ''What is this power? It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitution . . . If, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of congress, though lim ited to specified objects, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, is vested in congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States.''

-- Chief Justice John Marshall, Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)


Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 14h 31m 50s

The commerce clause

From Wikipedia

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

Courts and commentators have tended to discuss each of these three areas as a separate power granted to Congress. It is therefore common to see references to the Foreign Commerce Clause, the Interstate Commerce Clause, and the Indian Commerce Clause, each of which refers to the power granted to Congress in this section.

The use of the Commerce Clause by Congress to justify its legislative power over citizens has been the subject of long, intense political controversy. Interpretation of the sixteen words of the Commerce Clause has helped define the balance of power between the federal government and individual states. As such, it has a direct impact on the lives of US citizens.

According to the Tenth Amendment, the federal government of the United States only has the power to regulate matters specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Other powers are reserved to the States, or to the people. The Commerce Clause is one of those few powers specifically delegated to the federal government and thus its interpretation is very important in determining the scope of federal legislative power.

History

Early years 1824-1935

In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), Justice John Marshall ruled that the power to regulate interstate commerce also included the power to regulate interstate navigation: "Commerce, undoubtedly is traffic, but it is something more—it is intercourse ... [A] power to regulate navigation is as expressly granted, as if that term had been added to the word 'commerce' ... [T]he power of Congress does not stop at the jurisdictional lines of the several states. It would be a very useless power if it could not pass those lines."

In Swift v. United States (1905), the Court ruled that the clause covered meatpackers; although their activity was geographically "local," they had an important effect on the "current of commerce" and thus could be regulated under the commerce curve. The Court's decision halted price fixing. Stafford v. Wallace (1922) upheld a federal law regulating the Chicago meatpacking industry, because the industry was part of the interstate commerce of beef from ranchers to dinner tables. The stockyards "are but a throat through which the current [of commerce] flows," Justice Taft wrote, referring to the stockyards as "great national public utilities."

New Deal

The clause was the subject of conflict between the U.S. Supreme Court and the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935-37 when the Court struck down several of the President's "New Deal" measures on the grounds that they encroached upon intrastate matters. After winning the 1936 election by a landslide, FDR proposed a plan to appoint an additional justice for each unretired Justice over 70. Given the age of the current justices this permitted a court population of up to 15. Roosevelt claimed that this was not to change the rulings of the Court, but to lessen the load on the older Justices, who he claimed were slowing the Court down.

There was widespread opposition to this "court packing" plan, but in the end the New Deal did not need it to succeed. In what became known as "the switch in time that saved nine," Justice Owen Josephus Roberts and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes switched sides in 1937 and upheld the National Labor Relations Act, which gave the National Labor Relations Board extensive power over unions across the country.

In 1941 the Court upheld the Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated the production of goods shipped across state lines. In Wickard v. Filburn, (1942) the Court upheld the Agricultural Adjustment Act, stating that the act of growing wheat on one's own land, for one's own consumption, affected interstate commerce, and therefore under the Commerce Clause was subject to federal regulation.

Civil rights

The wide interpretation of the scope of the commerce clause continued following the passing of the Civil Rights Act, which aimed to prevent business from discriminating against black customers. In Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964), the Court ruled that Congress could regulate a business that served mostly interstate travelers; in Katzenbach v. McClung (1964) the Court ruled that the government could regulate Ollie's Barbecue, which served mostly local clientele but sold food that had previously moved across state lines; and in Daniel v. Paul (1969), the Court ruled that the government could regulate a recreational facility because three out of the four items sold at its snack bar were purchased from outside the state.

The Rehnquist Court

In 1995, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, delivered the opinion of the Court in United States v. Lopez (later clarified by United States v. Morrison). There, the Court ruled that Congress only had the power to regulate: the channels of commerce, the instrumentalities of commerce, and action that substantially affects interstate commerce. Thus the government did not have the power to regulate relatively unrelated things such as the possession of firearms near schools, as in the Lopez case. This was the first time in 60 years, since the conflict with President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936-37, that the Court had overturned a putative regulation on interstate commerce because it exceeded Congress's commerce power. Justice Clarence Thomas argued that allowing Congress to regulate intrastate, noncommercial activity under the Commerce Clause would confer on Congress a general “police power” over the Nation.

The Court found in Seminole Tribe v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996) that, unlike the Fourteenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause does not give the federal government the power to abrogate the sovereign immunity of the states.

Many described the Rehnquist Court's commerce clause cases as a doctrine of "new federalism". The outer limits of that doctrine were delineated by Gonzales v. Raich (2005), in which Justices Scalia and Kennedy departed from their previous positions as parts of the Lopez and Morrison majorities to uphold a federal law regarding marijuana. The court found the federal law valid, although the marijuana in question had been grown and consumed within a single state, and had never entered interstate commerce.


You can visit here if you are interested in more details about the landmark court cases surrounding the commerce clause in the US constitution.


Friday, 16 September 2005 at 20h 8m 25s

A cruel facade he calls leadership

This is from Brian Williams (thanks Atrios.)


I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.



Friday, 16 September 2005 at 19h 44m 0s

Your kidding, right?

This story came out the day before the "big speech" -- give me a break.

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 - President Bush is to pledge in an address to the nation from New Orleans on Thursday night that the federal government will provide housing assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina and also help reimburse the states for costs they have absorbed in taking in evacuees, a White House official said Wednesday.

The commitments are part of a series of initiatives that the president is expected to announce as he tries to recover from the political fallout over the government's handling of the storm.

. . .

White House officials also played down the notion that Mr. Bush would offer a "Marshall Plan" for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, as the Senate Republican leadership called for in a letter to the president on Wednesday. "We stand ready to work with you to lay out a comprehensive approach to the coordination of relief and development efforts through a 'Marshall Plan' for the Gulf Coast as soon as possible," said the letter, signed by Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, and others.

Instead, administration officials and a Republican close to the White House said Mr. Bush would offer some general principles about "building a better New Orleans" with stricter construction standards to try to avoid a replay of the recent catastrophe. Republicans said Mr. Bush would not mention a price tag, in large part because of budget and political pressures from House Republicans and other supporters angry about administration spending.

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.


Who is in charge of the reconstruction effort ?

I'll let Ed Kilgore speak for me on this one.[SOURCE ]

After all, Karl Rove is (a) the man most responsible for the entire strategy of partisan and ideological polarization that has poisoned the atmosphere of American politics, and (b) a consistent practitioner of a form of politics that relentlessly focuses on the conjunction of money, ideology, and (in his mind, at least) purchasable voter blocs, and (c) the potential object of a federal indictment for violating national security policies, and his own security clearance, by "outing" an undercover CIA agent to punish her politically inconvenient husband.



Tuesday, 13 September 2005 at 22h 1m 1s

Hypocrites

Do you remember?

Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger makes copies of federal documents and stuffs the copies in his pocket so he can remember the documents, and Dennis Hastert orders a full fledge investigation (during the heat of the 2004 election -- coincidence???) which comes out and quietly says that no documents were taken, and no wrong doing was found.

Just like the whitewater hoax. No wrongdoing ever occurred.

Oh but the roar of false indignation.

Back to 2005.

Two lawyers representing the Bush administration go into the Federal documents of recent Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and remove 2 federal documents -- ie, they are gone, vanished, no longer in existence -- and ...

There is no investigation??? Not a word.

Is this the same reason why the Bush administration redacted , what was it, 36 pages of the 9-11 commission report which detailed the Saudi involvement?

Or why when it was discovered that Republican operatives were hacking into Democratic computers from the offices of Robert Frist ... suddenly an envelope with the poison Rincin arrives at Frist's office, and the investigation of Frist's computers comes to a halt.

Can you say Anthrax in envelopes to Congress?

Can you say Medicare bills signed at 3:30 in the morning after Hastert bribed congressmen on the floor of Congress -- for a bill that is a sop to the Insurance industry that pays the politicians well.

And what about Jack Abramof and Tom Delay scamming by diverting funds from cheritable non- profits and use front organizations and fake businesses to funnel cash into political slush funds? What about the way Ohio Republicans used the State Worker Retirement fund as a conduit to raising huge amounts of cash under the disguise of investing in the same investments of the trust fund?

How many cost-plus contracts will Halliburton and Bechtel get at the expense of the tax payers?

Will Ken Lay ever serve time, or will all his suggested appointments to the Federal bureaucracy ensure that Enron-onomics will be with us for an uncomfortably long time -- that means you Patrick Wood III.

Of course Bush doesn't flout the Geneva Conventions in Guantanamo, thats why Bush refused to join the World Criminal Court and why the ABM treaty was ended, and why longtime Bush lawyer Gonzales wrote a legal memo stating that the Geneva Conventions were "cute" and non-applicable.

Why is Tom Delay soon going to be criminally indited, and why did the Republicans all gather together and change their rules about prohibiting a majority leader who is indited for a federal crime?

How about gerrymandering Texas after it was legally redistricted, so that you create 5 seats for Republicans by deftly slicing the Democratic areas to shreds?

Need I say more?

Now I forget, what was it that Clinton did?


Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 13h 16m 15s

Other FEMA appointed officials

There is a list provided by David Allen here.


Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 14h 23m 42s

The media double standard

From the Rolling Stone : [LINK]


. . . The press also went into a tizzy over Gore's casual comment during that first debate that he had traveled with James Lee Witt, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to Texas during a spate of wildfires. As vice president, Gore had traveled with Witt seventeen different times, but not on the date in question. Gore corrected the record the next morning, but the press treated his slip of the tongue as wildly important.

. . . During the debates, though, Bush made a handful of blunders regarding military operations in the Balkans and Haiti, about the facts surrounding Texas' most celebrated hate-crime trial and about his own tax plan. Bush was free to botch facts about central policy issues and the press wouldn't question his intelligence. But if Gore were to misstate nonessential details, such as how long a student had to stand in a crowded Sarasota classroom, he was tagged a liar who couldn't be trusted.

Few journalists saw anything wrong with this double standard. In fact, some found it amusing. "You can actually disprove some of what Bush is saying if you really get in the weeds and get out your calculator, or you look at his record in Texas," Time magazine columnist Margaret Carlson told radio morning man Don Imus at the height of the campaign. "But it's really easy, and it's fun, to disprove Gore. As sport, and as our enterprise, Gore coming up with another whopper is greatly entertaining to us."

Who decided that covering presidential politics was supposed to be "entertaining" and "fun" for journalists?


Answer: the corporate exec's and proprietors who got the word out : make Dubya look like an easy-going honest man of integrity, and make Gore look like a stiff, humorless, slick bureaucrat. Those who heeded the call got the big spots and the promotions.

Bastards.


Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 12h 12m 31s

Can you tell the difference?

Thanks to Billmon.


Organizers of the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial Freedom Walk on Sunday are taking extraordinary measures to control participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with police and the event closed to anyone who does not register online by 4:30 p.m. today. The march, sponsored by the Department of Defense, will wend its way from the Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and "sterile," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense.

The event, the America Supports You Freedom Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks and a show of support for those serving in the military, topped off with a concert by country singer Clint Black, known for his pro-troops anthem, "Iraq and Roll."

Organizers said they expect 3,000 to 10,000 participants.

Washington Post
Tight Constraints on Pentagon's Freedom Walk
September 9, 2005

...

Pyongyang, North Korea -- Organizers of the Democratic People's Republic's memorial Slavery Walk are taking extraordinary measures to encourage participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with secret police, and the event closed to anyone who does not have the slogan "Long Live Dear Leader, Glorious Light of the Proletarian Masses" tattooed on his or her forehead by 4:30 p.m. today. The march, sponsored by the Ministry of Defense, will wend its way from People's Tractor Factory No. 438 to the People's Palace of Democratic Torture along a route that is classified as a state secret and will be lined with 16- foot concrete walls topped with broken glass and razor wire to keep it "ideologically pure," Dear Leader Kim Jong-il said.

The event, the We Will Gladly Lay Down our Insignificant Lives for Dear Leader Slavery Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of imperialist aggression and a show of support for those serving in the People's Army, topped off with a concert by folk singer Klint Black-il, known for his pro-government anthem, "Without Your Brilliant Dialetical Thought, Our Petty Lives Are Empty and Meaningless, O Wonderous Dear Leader."

Organizers said they expect 30 million to 100 million participants.

Pyonyang Post
Unprecedented Freedom Allowed For This Year's Slavery Walk
All Hail Dear Leader!
September 9, 2005





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